Wednesday, June 26, 2013


A Happy, Hoppy Farmer, Nate Versluis celebrates the release of his own beer at Harmony Brewing Company. First Prize for being just too awesome on a Fat Bike.

I am way behind on my always inaccurate and highly opinionated cycling scene news, and before time and my declining mental capacity completely wash away the past,  along with the injection those Federal Agents just gave me, here's a quick look back. 

One of the most important "cycle-happenings" this spring was the release of the Hoppy Farmer beer at the Harmony Brewery in Eastown, honoring The Farmer,  a.k.a. Nate Versluis, of Farm Team Racing. The naming of the beer was actually an award for winning the Farmer's Fat Bike Race Series this past winter - since winter is when you race on those things and spring and summer is for not only celebrating your accomplishments on a Fat Bike, but also celebrating the fact that you no longer have to ride those miserable, overweight two-wheeled pieces of fad-a-licious velomonstrousities - at least until the snow flies again. Okay so one man's velomonstrousity is another man's Fat Bike - so don't name a beer after me, see if I care.

For those of you that aren't familiar with Fat Bike Racing, or the notion that anybody would even think of racing big lumbering two-wheel lorries, here's a taste of how The Farmer got his "Just Beersserts."

Harmony Brewing Company is where it all went down. Nice place, but park your #$^%!@!! Fat Bike at the curb, please. The Brew-house is one of 14,000,000,000 breweries now open in Grand Rapids. In fact all the home in GR are now Brew Houses and we have to all go to Rockford to sleep at night.

Mark Hendershot parked his Fat Bike at the curb, as did other celebrities that arrived for the Hoppy Farmer beer release. You can just see the fender of my Rolls on the left. 

Nate even rode in on the Fat Bike that carried him to victory for the crowd to to see and admire its large an big tires - and to ride home - maybe.

The place was packed with people I knew and didn't know. Here's the Farmer's Wife, Sheri, right, toasting the Hoppy Farmer with two people I don't know and don't care about.

Kim Kordecki, Matt Mead and others beer and bike aficiandos crowd the bar waiting for a taste of the new Hoppy Farmer beer.

I even tried the Hoppy Farmer, though I'm not much of a beer critic - plus I don't have any tattoos which disqualifies me as a craft beer judge. My verdict, however:  very good and tasty beer. While I could taste the hops, I couldn't catch a hint of any farmer - which is a good thing, I guess.

Cupcake seemed to enjoy the Hoopy Farmer, even though there wasn't any cupcake flavoring it.  Or frosting.

Cupcake sported Fat Bike appropriate fashion for the occasion. This seems the perfect application for a Fat Bike - logging. I'm buying one right now, growing a beard, getting an axe and a plaid shirt.

The Farmer enjoyed his Hoppy Farmer Beer. Oh yeah ... he enjoyed the hell out of it.

... as did other members of the Farm Team like Joe S. Not that's not the camera that's blurred, that's Joe.

But just as every Fat Bike race season comes to an end with the melting of the snow, the celebration of a Big Fat Bike Series win has to come to an end as well ... as soon as the last keg is drained ...

... and what started as a celebration of Fat Bike supremacy for the Farmer ends up face first on the Easton sidewalk like any Blues Fan kicked out of Billies on a Friday Night. It must be an Eastown thing, ya think?

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Holy Bike Crashipotimus Batman!

Racing crashes can happen for no reason at all and are often just bad luck. But this fixed-gear-night-Crit, as reported, photographed and posted by You Got Dropped! was pretty much a sure thing. Promoters could have listed a "Crash" on the program. Below is the video version, from the other side of the course.

Road season is in full-swing. I can tell it is when I get a call on a sunny weekend afternoon informing that my friend so-so crashed at the Tour de Saginaw, Tour de Hudsonville, Tour de Lamont, or Tour de-something-or-other and broke their______________.

a) Collarbone
b) Arm
c) Leg
d) Finger or Thumb
e) Skull
f) Carbon bike or wheels
g) Ass
h) Oakley's
i) Hotel Room Card Key
j) Newt team kit
k) The ratchet on new white Sidi's

Tough Guy Mike Krywanski chats up what he thinks about crashing.

Not too long ago I got the bad news that Mike Krywanski, (shown above in an amazing celebrity look-a-like photo) suffered a very damaging crash in mile 97 of the Tour de Middle of Michigan (or something like that), in the Cat 1-2's. Mike's a tough racer and like many experienced "Masters" has the mad bike skillz to "Land on His Wallet" and save his more valuable hide to race again another day. This time Mike wasn't so fortunate and it looks like he may be out for the rest of the season. Our thoughts are with him, but we are sure he will be back racing again soon. Get well Mike!


While there are any number of reasons for crashes, like blowouts, crappy riding, or fried chicken grease all over the road, sometimes you can chalk it up to course design and traffic control. You need to watch this whole video. It just keeps getting worse and worse. Bunny-hopping a downed soccer mom and getting a concrete facial is no way to race.


Matt Norton, Free Wheeler team, hidden by a scrum consisting of members of his team and medics in front of a greasy chicken factory, crashed just after the finishing sprint of the Tour de Frankenmuth. 

Examination of this crash, in the video (below), tells us that a race is never over, even when it's over. You'll notice there was a lot of Oakley destruction, new kit shredding and carbon bike and wheel cracking. Thankfully Matt fully recovered from the crash and will once again be out there destroying equipment, kit, and those expensive Oakley's. 

If you don't have time to go through the video, examining it frame by frame to discover the source of the crash, let me make it easy for you. I recorded a series of shots that show you exactly where it all when pear-shaped. Follow along and learn.

1. Here's where it starts to go all wrong. Too many in the group and every single of one of them thinks they can win it. A formula for disaster. See the guy up the hill, in the back, that looks dropped? That's the way you do it. First or way-back last are the two safest place to be.

2. I can smell the rubber burning and hear the carbon snapping before it even happens, looking at this. Guys spread all over the road, out of gas, but still trying way to hard even though this thing is as done as a bucket of chicken bones.  Essentially this is the "Crashed Guys Still Riding," picture. Again, the guy back up the road is doing it right in my book. I believe he's shaking his fist, celebrating his teammate's win, as if he led him out. Chances are they aren't on the same team and he's never seen the guy who won in his life. Well done dude!

3. Here the race is as over as my racing career is right now. At this point in the race just keep pedaling in a straight line and start thinking about where you want that post-race fried chicken. But while you think the race is over, some doofus has decided to put his head down and sprint for 26th, or has hit that chicken fat slick ... or something else that you, or somebody like Matt, never saw coming ...

4. Batman! This happened so fast you can't even see it on the video because Batman popped in between frames. Luckily I caught it on my super-speed atomic race camera. It appears that Batman jumped out of his Frankenmuth Chicken suit and punched somebody, probably Matt, right in his carbon wheel, or maybe even right in his Oakley's! You bastard Batman!

5. Here's a close-up I caught of Matt just before Batman connected with him after crossing the finish line. Matt can't remember what happened after the crash. Maybe this photo will bring it all back.

6. Where the hell are my Oakley's? Matt's down and waiting for help while other racers are looking for pieces of their expensive designer eye-wear.

Here they are buddy ... lets see how good that a Oakley warranty rocks.


If you think you aren't up to crashing, you can always practice crashing on your weekly ride. Here you can see the author of this video is honing his "I'm going to eventually go down riding like this, and maybe take all over you with me," moves, as well trying to cause additional crashes by GoPro'ing his buddies.


Just because you aren't touching wheels in a high-speed crit or road race sprint, or getting smacked in the face by Batman, you can still go down. Even on a perfectly good time trial bike. Here's a somebody that one pound too many in his tires.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Breaking News: If Wiggo's not racing the TdF neither am I!

Sutton: I love touching your sideburns, my boy. Sure you don't want set new goals like being a proper bike racer again?

Wiggo: Hands-off me you smelly old c#nt!

Bradley Wiggins is at crisis point, says GB head coach Shane Sutton

• Injured Wiggins ruled out of Tour de France defence • Cyclist 'needs to set new goals', says Sutton

While  you may have been shocked and dismayed to learn that Wiggo isn't going to race the Tour de France this year, I image that you'll be totally gutted to hear that  I've pulled out of the race as well.

Here I am waiting to get out of site of the downtown crowds in Frankenmuth to do what I do best these days on a bike - get dropped, quit and slink back to the Grandpa Van.

 Despite my craptacular form this year, like Bradley Wiggins, I have decided not to ride the good old Tour de France. Of course I never was going to ride it, but there's some satisfaction in saying you're not going to, as if you could ...

I thought early on in the season that I could use some professional training programs to get me going ... drinking beer may work for Fabs, but for me ..

Well this year you can just call me Flabs ...

To keep from becoming over-trained I even experiment with Basso's approach to training. Again, total fail. Call me Flabs Fat-Basso.

While my excuse for not being able to compete in even the lamest of races is solely because of piss-poor training, old-age, terrible attitude, crap-diet and too many beers, Bradley has decided not to defend is TdF title because of a bad knee. It looks like it is going to take him some time to recover from this injury because from this photo it appears like his doctors don't know where his knee is.

Tom Boonen, Julie Bonnen's brother, also had a knee problem that sidelined him for the early part of the season. When they asked lil' Petey Sagan where he thought Tom's knee was - well he got it wrong too. Looks like he could practice medicine in Britian.

JWOW from Jersey Shore fame has been having knee problems as well - which is apparent in this recent photo. I'm not sure if it is a cycling injury, or just from old fashioned "Jersey Floor Carpet Sprinting." Looks like her bad knees should be easy to spot by even a confused soul like Peter Sagan. It's just a matter of deciding Upstairs/Downstairs, isn't it?

While figuring out how to get into shape for the upcoming cross season, and what's left of whatever cycling season we're in right now, I'm going to contemplate a completely new training program while I swing in the hammock in the back yard drinking beer and watching another cycling great, Mr. Zdeneck Stybar, or Styby-My-Lawn-Boy as I like to call him, pictured above, rehab his bad knee by mowing my lawn. Thanks Styby - nice work, and nice no shirt!

When I'm done with that, I plan to get my ass going and do some cyclocross skill workouts with Wiggo to get his knee in shape, as well as doing something for his absolute shit cyclocross form ...