Wednesday, October 31, 2012

More Women Cyclocross Mud Wrestling: The Latest Petitesreines Video

Cross Girls Just Like to Get Dirty: It's Video Vendsday

"Those dirty, dirty girls! Bloody, muddy filthy wenches, off with their heads! Where are my mud tires Chauncy? Somebody is about to get schooled!"

Who better to introduce this brief voyage into women cyclocross racers in mud than Queen Anne. She's having a great year already on the dry stuff, we can only imagine when the going gets good and gooey what she will be doing to the competition. If you didn't notice, Queen Anne and the rest of her crew take every opportunity to go out and practice on the slippery stuff. Looks like they were out at Waterford just this week putting the mud tires and practicing going fast or falling in the mud. That's how you get good - I guess. From my results this year it's apparent I don't know whether it's dry, muddy, or paved.

One of the muddiest, if not the muddiest races of the year last year was the New Year's Resolution Race in Chicago. This is a nice video showing what happens when you mix mascara with mud. You'll also catch a glimpse of the one of Animal Sisters at the end! Bonus!

Just this past week Women's World Cup Racing was already in the deep mud, in a place called Pizen, somewhere on an island called Europe. After a bad start Katie F'ing Compton showed how she handles mud and makes a great comeback for the winner-winner f'ing chicken dinner. Awesome stuff. It's the whole race, but it's not that long, so check it out.

4ème Manche de CDM cyclo-cross from Petitesreines on Vimeo.

One of the best cross videos from last year by far by Petisisreines. I thought I would bring this muddy-women-mud-wrestling-cross-bikes back just to remind everyone of what could be coming soon with all this rain and crazy weather. Also the videography and music is cool, not to mention all those women mud wrestling. (If it doesn't play here, just hit the link to see it.)

Not so super muddy, but muddy enough is this classic Women's World Cup, from Zolder. More awesome video, racing, music and muddy euro-girls from Petitesreines.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Getting Schooled: Two Days of Tailwind's Lake Orion

John Osgood out of the saddle and driving hard on the backside of the course. Great photo that really shows-off  Michigan Cyclocross at its best and most beautiful by Gail Osgood.

While I haven't exactly been killing it on these two-day races that have been filling the cross calendar this season, I have got to say that I like these two-day crossaganzas that Tailwind has been knocking out this year. This one, at Lake Orion High School, was a great venue, and I certainly like to have a second shot at it, having really blown both days with crashes and poor riding. Smooth grass, lots of off-camber, punchy hills, some sand, great facilities (warm locker rooms and bathrooms!) good announcing and race support by the Tailwind folks, really made this race enjoyable. The area is also good for restaurants and shopping, if you have family that digs that kind of thing.

Adam McIntyre puts on the Face of Anger for Day Two at Lake Orion. Day One was a Stomach of Anger race so your face would have to look sick or look like you were looking for a bathroom.


On day two Adam took the top step of the podium in the Men's B race after pulling nice a second place day one.

Sarah McIntyre running the sand on day two. Day one you could ride it. Or crash in it, like knuckle heads did.

Apparently she ran fast enough to jump onto the podium! Nice work Sarah! (I also wanted to put up podium shots of Anne Swartz, Day Two winner, and Marne Smiley on Day one, but couldn't find one. Great racing in the Women's ranks, both days.)

John Osgood was racing great on both days but had to work harder one day two to overcome a couple of crashes.

Here some guys that could school anyone. Nice looking Elite Men's Podium, with Sven on top, Paramalee second and the Pony third. Great to see Michael Wissink back again.

Me, I generally sucked both days, which was a shame since this was great course to waste. Here I am approaching the exact spot where I somehow was able to completely End-O, for no particularly good reason on day one. Well done, dorkface you suck!

You don't have to take my word for the quality of the course, just watch this wild one lap ride of the B-Men's Race with Big Mac - one of the best I think. After riding this thing myself I can't believe how fast these guys handle some of these these turns and off-cambers.

Thinking of riding tonight? It's looking chilly and wet. I may do it if it isn't raining. Cold is one thing. Wet is another. Cold and Wet is pretty tough way to roll-out in my book. With ICE MAN closing in fast I'm sure the pace will be coming back to normal and it may even be time bring back Single Speed Tuesday! Let me know what you think.

Friday, October 26, 2012

What's Stopping You This Race Weekend? Plus 5-Year Old World Cross Champ

Disc-hater wearing a canti-hater shirt? Wuz-up dummy?

A disc brake denier (cross bikes/road bikes) I'm proud to rock my disc brake hate on my new Can't Stop Won't Stop shirt (meant denigrate canti's but I'm not taking it that way.)

No discs and senseless stopping power here.

Will it rain? Snow? Sleet? Hurricane? You can be sure that if there's any precipitation at all that these sweet carbon rims will be absolutely dope, as in not-dope, when they get slicked up without the benefit of discos. But who cares? I'm so slow it probably won't matter.

Hi, how are you? Can't you see me waving at you?

On the way to the race today (Lake Orion-Tailwind Saturday and Sunday) I saw this guy waving at me. I had to drive around to the other side to see just what he (or she wanted).

Hey you going to the race too? Well I was ... guess what stopped me? 

My guess that what stopped him wasn't canti or disc brakes, but something like a 30-30 or something even bigger, which has a helluva lot more stopping power than some dumb brakes.

When you're a world champ you probably don't need no stinking brakes. I hope this kid isn't at Lake Orion this weekend - he'd probably kick my ass. Five years old and so pro! Sickening. Cute. But sickening.

No matter how old you are, enjoy your riding this weekend.

Big Mac Mad Anthony Video and I'm Changing My Name

The Farm Team Preparing for last night's ride.

 Beautiful weather, that we may not see again for awhile. Shorts and short sleeves. Even skinsuits! Those Farm Teamers know how to roll, don't they? See above. Bonnie is checking her "Training with Power Data, while Shawn Davison and Dan Jansen wait, enjoying all the power they have.

Nice ride last night with plenty of ICEMAN trainers out training in beautiful weather. I took a short loop, with a small group, that appeared to be totally uninterested in breaking the Golden Two Hour mark, preparing for weekend of racing in Lake Orion. While the race is put on by Tailwind, Day 1 will be a Stomach of Anger Series Race (with SOA points) and I'm guessing Tailwind Points. Day 2 will be a Tailwind only points race. Since I don't have points in either one, I'm not too worried about it, but just in case you are ...


While this great on board race video of Mad Anthony has been up for a couple of days, I haven't had time post it here I've been working so hard on having my name officially changed. It's harder than you think! There's a lot of paper work and all those tattoos that have to be altered. But more about that later. Take a ride with Adam as he rocks the Crazy, Nutty, Insane Mad Anthony course. After all this he took the second step. Well done!

Julie McGraw Photo - while riding at Cascade last week I was still Surly Bastard - but no more!

It's official - due to popular demand, and the Biketorch's Lower Huron Highlight Video, I am changing my biking Identity and Name from Surly Bastard to THAT BISSELL GUY (Again)!

If you want to get your name changed, confidentially, call Sam. As you can see he names the names, and changes them too! Thanks Sam!

For those of you who missed the epic video event that lead to my name change here is is again ...

Also, if you watched the above video and have a bad taste left in your mouth from having to watch Cat 4 racers race, here's something a bit more fun - watching Cat 4 racers race from the sky. The Whirl Bird Race coverage is back, and that's always fun - but, actually, this year, I'm starting to get over it. I think the toy helicopter has to come down and start buzzing the riders or shooting them with toy machine guns. Maybe they could put a speaker in the Whirly Bird so they could heckle the riders from above, or maybe drop bacon on them like "hand-up bacon poops from the sky!"

Well there's plenty of racing and riding everywhere this weekend. Check out the Lowell 50, which I believe is this weekend. Good luck!

Yours Truly, the guy formerly know as Surly Bastard,

That Bissell Guy (again)!

Thursday, October 25, 2012


Alone at last. A warm rain and an empty parking lot was the backdrop for Tuesday's ride.

On Tuesday I figured it would safe to revive the Crazy Bastard Ride for one day before the ICEMAN GOETH, knowing that rain is one of the most dreaded enemies of any serious ICEMAN would-be-racer-in-training, and that more than likely nobody would show up (I was right, almost). Like super-stinky European Tour riders of old, that believed showering would fill your legs with water and slow you down, riding in rain, even warm rain as it was on Tuesday, could wash away any ICEMAN fitness you had already gained through running stop signs at night - and that as a result, washed cleaned of any fitness you had built-up, you would not only finish over the GOLDEN TWO HOUR time limit you had set for yourself this year, and for the last ten years running, but that you would probably come in something like 4,237 which never makes for a good story at the bar for the rest of the winter when you'll be doing more talking about biking, than biking.

"My ICEMAN time was 1:59:59 and I came in 3,759, but I was 146 in my age group. What did you do? Your usual pathetic 2:11:36,  4,237 overall and 534 in your age group? Let me shoot you in your stupid green face and end the suffering, okay?"

Some came pumped to ride in the rain on Tuesday. But maybe he should be letting air out to maximize traction in the mud. Actually, with all the rain the mud was minimal.

So it was that two-hardy-souls, or too-fool-hardy-souls showed up for a ride, along with my foolish self. Big Mac (Adam McIntyre) and Harrison Webb,  were it. 

We did over an hour and half, and put in some good miles. There was a strong downpour at the end, but it was warm and the extra rain cleaned the bikes up - no need to break out the bike washers.

Here you can see the effects of the ride on Harrison. He started to literally change before our eyes as he was soaked through in the rain. A few moments after this was taken, he looked like this ...

He said it had something to do with the effect of the rain on his Oakleys, but I think something else was going on. Word is from Speed Merchant Headquarters today, that Harrison caught some kind of bug on the ride on Tuesday. Maybe if he learned how to dress for a rain ride he wouldn't have all these health issues.

Dressed for what weather? This guy will never be chilled from wearing a wet kit. Take note Harrison - that's the perfect rain riding outfit - you are either soaked to the skin, skin soaked, or just skinned. Talk about Specialized!


Over the last two races, at Mad Anthony and Lower Huron, I have been tussling with an Ann Arbor Velo Club rider, passing and re-passing, and you know what I mean. It has been a practical war on wheels between us - almost as exciting as the war between Mothra and Godzilla. Okay, it hasn't been that exciting, but I noticed that the guy (I don't know him) has been rocking a GoPro during the races and I wondered if he was recording our duels for cross racing posterity. Leave it to Adam McIntyre to go out and actually find the video and send them to me. While I was impressed with my mounts and dismounts, the power I showed in these videos makes me think I'd finish ICEMAN in about 2:37:19, 4789 overall, but probably top ten in my age group.


Our racer and videographer puts together a nice compilation of the race, with some running and racing commentary.


The war of and aging Godzilla and Mothra continues in Detroit. Nice view of the course here - I wasn't thinking of all those drop offs to the side! Yikes! Anyway, thanks Mothra, or Godzilla, or whoever you are! See you this weekend.

Nice weather tonight, I may be out for a nice easy ride to get ready for another weekend of Monster Battles on Cross Bikes. Maybe I'll see you out there - maybe I won't - but enjoy this weather while it lasts!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Double Your CX Pleasure and There is No On My Left

Mad Anthony 2012 started the weekend off with inside-outside fort riding fun at Historic Fort Wayne in house-on-fire and car burning Detroit.
Talk about doubling your fun! The Animal Sisters made an appearance at Mad Anthony this weekend. They've been hibernating since New Year's Resolution in Chicago.

The "Moat"was used as a part of the course. After all these years it is still claiming souls. Cupcake was almost one of them.

Mad Anthony kicked off a great weekend of racing along with second and third for the Bissell Boys in the Bs - followed by the Triplets of Bissellville later in the day - but that's another day, another blog.

Flying Bats flying up the hill on his super-lightweight cross machine. Yes that's Craig Rawlings to you, stomping up the hill in the super-tough 45+ Masters. One hour of @#$$ agony. He was joined by Triplets of Bissellville Bob Hughes and Fast Fred Bunn.

There was a large contingent of Grand Rapidians on the scene in Detroit this weekend at Mad Anthony. Here, we get the fully frosted "Cupcake" eye from Laura, who was having a fantastic race until a freak crash on the "Demon Drop" back in the moat to her out of it. Luckily she's not too badly hurt and should be back in action soon. Next to her Ellie Burke is looking at all the crap that Tom has attached to her handle-bars and wondering what it is all for. "Do I really need to be #@#$%$#ing TRAINING WITH POWER right now, Tom?" I think she said. But not really, she never said anything like that.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh, isn't that sweet? Speaking of Ellie and Tom, here they are in a photo a grabbed somewhere out-of-state last week where they both had great results racing cross. They are indeed the galloping Cross-Couple of Michigan Cyclocross. At this point you usually insert the phrase - way to represent! which is totally cycle-ease I just can't do it.

Big Mac charges out of the tunnel which is one of the unique features of this fun, but novelty-style race. He's on his way to another podium. Winning, podiums week after week, he can't stop, he won't stop - who does he think he is Adam Meyerson? Just because he's still running canti's? Disc-brake denier ...

Here's a shot of Adam McIntyre and Michael Bellovich in their Bissell kits, on the podium, 2nd and third. Guess which one of the two other dudes pictured is a mountain biker. And dude, thanks for picking up Betty's poop.

Sarah McIntyre having a good race at the top of the Fort wall. Behind her you can see Detroit burning to the ground. That day, outside the Fort "compound" there were two house fires and a car fire. Just getting warmed up for the World Serious, I guess. Also in the news both Sarah and Cupcake were once again featured in the media as part of a photo story on the race in the Detroit Free Press. What a couple of media divas those two are ... you can see the story, plus a lot of great photos by Diane Weiss, right here ...

A beautiful Diane Weiss Photo from the Detroit Free Press. See of Weiss' photos here. Cupcake was on form and flying, as you can see.

Who wasn't flying? That's me down below yelling for somebody to throw down a ladder or a rope so I can get up this thing. Most people with real legs, and not the drawn-on kind I have, rode up this hump.

Ellie Burke could have ridden up it, but decided to humiliate other racers by sprinting up the hill and leave them to burn their quads in misery. One tip for Ellie in carrying the bike here - since it's a cyclocross race, and you look hot in your skin-suit, you know somebody is taking your picture so keep your head up and smiling. 

Cupcake demonstrates how you should do it if you want a good press photo. Too bad this photographer had the shakes.

To wrap up Mad Anthony, the big winner was the Road King - our own home town favorite Tom Burke who made a sweet move toward the final laps to take an impressive win over some tough customers. 

Tom Burke winning at Mad Anthony is immortalized in this beautiful image that could only be from the minds of those love-to-hate folks at The Michigan Scene. TMS has full results of this year's Mad Anthony, of the people that matter, with full translations and identities that actually make sense if you know any of these characters. Or even if you don't.


Another great shot - and it's even me - by Julie McGraw. Julie has lots of great photos of the race and more biking action. If you'd like one or yourself, or friends, check out her site at: Julie McGraw Photography and see her great stuff on Facebook. She should photos for sale up soon.

I have to say I had a great time on Sunday racing at Cascade Park. Kisscross has changed quite a bit with chip-timing, lap cards and such, but the vibe is still pretty much the same. The Cascade course was also greatly improved since the last time I raced there. The only really bad part about being away for so long, and not racing with the new guys, is that they haven't learned to stay away from me yet - but that can happen anywhere.

Queen Ann explains the rules of the cross-roads: THERE IS NO ON MY LEFT! (Or on my right, for that matter.)

Several times this year I have heard a small voice behind me saying something like: "I'm on your left!" or even more ridiculously, "I'm on your right!" To me this is like the opening of a knock-knock joke that's going to end with a punch-line that runs along the line of, "that's cool, but why don't you just go f#ck yourself? Knock-knock." My usual response had always been something like this:

a) I don't give a shit.
b) That's your problem.
c) Try it, if you think you're big enough.
d) I don't think so.
e) Go f*ck yourself.

Warning of a pass in a cyclocross race doesn't make any sense to me, unless you are passing a junior racer at a high rate of speed. If you are actually racing somebody why would you let them know you are going to try and pass them? In the past I have used this information to my advantage, and I'll bet I'm not the only one. After hearing "on your left," count to three, or until you feel something on your hip and then slam the door and listen for the sound of course tape snapping and cursing.

Being somewhat annoyed with what to do with a bunch of "on your this and that's" this year I approached Queen Anne to ask her advice about what to do and say in such situations before the Cat-4 Racers got together and took out a POA on me. As always the Queen knew just what needed to be done. It wasn't profane, threatening or any of that. In fact it was just beautifully and simply Queen Ann-like. 

"Just tell them," she said, "that there is no on my left."

This sage advice was working great until the Cascade race on Sunday when suddenly I was forced to race with Mountain bikers - and without proper immunization, I might add. On a downhill section, heading straight into a swooping left-hander I incredibly hear from behind me:

"I'm on your right."

Not being able to think clearly I said something between, "I don't give a shit," and "you must be kidding."

The dude (my tag for Mountain Bikers) stuck it in there anyway and attempted a pass on the outside of the turn, thinking that his matched set of staggered racing tires (see the video below) would bank him through the turn.

Unfortunately, unlike the NASCAR Driving Scientologist in the movie, he didn't make it through on the outside. Here's a dramatic re-enactment of how his pass ended.

Riding a nice recovery ride tonight out of the T-Park, maybe earlier than usual. Nice night, and only so many more days until the ICE MAN GOETH AWAY, so I'll bet your friends will be flying.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World

You thinking about going to MA? You need more info on how to get there and race times? Check out Mad Anthony details right here.

It's almost here - one our favorites from last year, Mad Anthony made it's way back onto the calendar thank goodness, and it's coming our way again this coming Saturday. If you've done it before you don't need to have your arm twisted to return. If you haven't done, well you need to. Here's a good look at last year's Mad-Fun on last year's course. I'm so hoping they stay with this course layout. It was fun to drive with great views. Keep an eye-out - everyone that wants to can join us for a East Side-West-Side cyclocross get-together at Traffic Jam (restaurant/bar), following the race on Saturday. We had fun doing this last year, and it should be bigger and better than ever this year.

Ride the course with Adam McIntyre in another of his great videos from last year. This was made back in the day when there were people in front of Adam to watch and not just an empty course unrolling in front of him - except for Bob.

While you are enjoying your Mad Anthony this year, I think you should take a moment to remember one of the people who had a big role in planting the seed and making this race a reality - Joe Lekovish. Joe won't be here as he's taking a cycling vacation, that is well deserved after all he's done for cycling and racing here in Michigan. Let's give Joe a tip of the hat, or a beer, or something like that. Well done Joe - enjoy your time-off with family and the real world. We'll be waiting for you when you get tired of all that and decide to come back.

Here's Joe Lekovish, one those responsible for Mad Anthony taking a little time off with his family this year. Yeah you could say he's let himself go a little, but what the hell, he deserves it after all he's done for Michigan Cycling.

Here's Joe the way you remember him. He was making some kind of executive decision here, I'm sure.

Speaking of taking some time off, I decided this week to revisit the ride that was once known has the Crazy Bastard Ride (which will resume as normal in the week preceding ICE MAN). While Tomas Wolfe says that you can't go home again ...

... there is nowhere written, even in this classic, about not being able to go back to your old ride and tagging along as a passenger. In fact it was quite enjoyable to just sit in and not worry about who was running through stop signs (actually it was controlled) and who was going off the back (who cares, but it looked like George was collecting the tattered tail-enders). So I could just push on the cranks and keep and eye out for big-old 29-wheels being sawed like they were in the hands of drunk lumber jacks taking down a tree (or were they trying to take down me? Not on purpose of course).

Yeah this is kinda of the same action you'll see when one of the strongmen in the group starts his 29er Sprint. Only instead of sweat flying it's gravel.

As I said, sitting in was fun ... and amazingly easy since the suction of about 50-knuckleheads was enough to pull you right along. At one point I thought that my rear derailleur was hanging up because I just couldn't spin any faster. Well no, it was broken, there were just no more chain inches to give. I've discovered the limitations of a 46x11 and this is apparently it ...

Think is the top speed for a dirt road ride ever, for me. I thought my dirt road bike would only go this fast if I fell out of a tree.

The ride reminded me a little of Grattan, only without the ambulances. After it got dark riding along in the flying pack didn't take as much physical effort as it did the ability to turn yourself over to another higher power - in this case a surging group charging toward a sub 2-hour performance at ICE MAN. After awhile I checked out and rode home, picking up orphans and the lost and lingering along the way. As I look back on it, fondly, the ride that night was a little like the movie that this post is named for - this is a dramatic re-enactment of the ride for your viewing pleasure.

It was also pointed out to me that going back to your old ride to see what was going on was like driving by your ex-girl friend's house to see who's banging her. And you know what you get when you do that.

Montage of all your Ex's letting you know what they think of you and how much they miss you.

So I'll leave it up to you. Vote on what I should do from now on:

(A) Stay Away
(B) Ride
(C) Shoot myself in the face
(D) None of the above

Wait the totals are already in ...

and the vote is ...

Nun of the above. Yeah, she's glad to see me too, isn't she?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


It's the worst time of year to get the layers, clothing and "glovage" just right for a comfortable ride, I think. Too warm, too cold, I never seem to get it right during this transition season. Above, I try to beat the odds by carrying 3-sets of gloves. Usually the pair that's just right for the night's temperature falls out of my pocket around mile four, and I'm f*cked for the rest of the night. If I can get my glovage right I may ride tonight.

Wear your crazy face to this one no matter what the weather. Mad Anthony is coming up this weekend and no matter how hot or cold you think you are, you should be there for the number one cross race in Michigan. It's amazing how this nutty thing has taken off and taken hold, located inside and outside old Fort Wayne on the south side of Detroit. Also make sure you check back here this week, we're having a little get together near the venue (a safe house) right after the race. We're going to meet up with our East-Side buddies. It's being put together by the the Flying Rhinos, and the restaurant/bar/pub is really cool. Yeah, they've got class, those Rhinos. Even though they are Purple ...

Who's going to be at Mad Anthony? This guy? Probably not. I hear he can't race until he gets his tire inflator dialed in (I like to call my tire inflator a "Gasser" since I pump an exotic mixture of explosive hydrogen and laughing gas into my tires). Who comes will also depend on if the Yankees get instant replay before the end of the series with Detroit. How the Yankees can even think of playing without instant replay everything, and a dialed in gasser, is beyond me. Big babies ...

While I TOTALLY dig the Mad Anthony race poster if I was going to do a cross race this is what my race poster would look like. I'd call my race Crazy Connie's Crash Cup, or something like that. When you scratch the poster you'd smell Axe Body Spray, scented candles (already lit) and an Adele song would play in an endless loop. Yeah I'm a sensitive guy. I am. I really am. If you don't believe me, watch this ... Bond, James Bond.