Monday, November 21, 2011

dirty rags and SSSRWC

Fine news this morning. I got a package from Dirt Rag full of shirts, socks, and stickers. I can't decide what to wear first.

I haven't had a chance to try on the jersey, but the Viking Cat assures me that the club-cut gives him plenty of mobility:

The stickers said "Ride a fucking bike" and "One less car, bitch." I found the first too forceful, and the second too pretentious. So I made some alterations.

The command became a statement of fact:

And the imperious statement became a reason for my girlfriend to slap me in the mouth:

That's what she gets for leaving her bike with me.

All of this stickiness is in preparation for the Single Speed Stage Race World Championships at Breck Epic, which I'm covering for the magazine. Eight people from the Pgh/ WV are already signed up. And there's always room for one more car in the caravan. Sign up is here.

For some stupid reason, MikeMac is considering having a fixed gear class. And on the facebook page, he's offering a jersey to anyone who can think of something more horrible than doing the race fixed. I think I'm in the lead so far:

If you have something worse than a bath in whale semen, by all means, take that free jersey from me. Then go see a psychiatrist.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Deer, meat cabrio

I creamed one of the bastards on Sunday night.

I rolled over the top of Three-Mile Hill outside of Donegal. It was a clear night. I was squinting to figure out if I could see Pittsburgh.

I was in the left lane. A big buck hopped over the jersey barrier and landed in front of me. He lifted off to jump again, and I hit him at 50 mpg.

My first thought was fuck me, this is going to be expensive.

The poor beast didn't die. When I walked back up to look at him, he was still trying to get up and run away. Both back legs were broken. And judging by the antler puncture in my fender, his neck was probably broken too.

A guy stopped and mentioned that we should call the state police to put the deer out of it's misery. As soon as he finished his sentence, a Ford pickup pulled onto the shoulder.

The driver got out with a handgun, walked over to the deer, and shot it in the head. It twitched around for a few seconds before it went stiff.

"Somebody'll pick at up and eat 'em," he said.

The hit did bad things to the tiny gay convertible.

Totally buckled the hood and passenger fender. Fortunately, it looks like the radiator took most of the hit and the rest of the insides weren't hurt. More fortunately, the deer wasn't high enough in the air to go through my canvas top. And now I'm car-less again.

This leads me to my horrible relationship with motor vehicles.

In 2008, the Dirt Mobilis didn't pass smog inspection. It had 245,000 miles, and I didn't want to fix it. So I sold it for a grand.

I didn't have a car all winter, then I bought a lifted SUV because my little economy car polluted too much. Ironic, yes. The government made me do it.

I lovingly named the monster the Grumbler, and it promptly blew boiling antifreeze all over my hands.

I fixed it, then it blew boiling antifreeze all over my hands again.

I fixed it again, and the clutch blew up. I couldn't get under it until the snow melted.

I drove it out West, and it blew boiling antifreeze all over my hands a third time.

I sold the Grumbler last January. I didn't find the Cabrio until March.

I spent one blissful month driving the Cabrio. Then transmission exploded during the Big Gay WV Adventure. It took almost two months to fix.

I drove it out west, and got a flat tire in the the desert in July.

And now I'm stuck again.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Murrysville 'cross

Things I'm bad at:

-keeping track of my mug
-remembering to wash my pants every month

This is me. Stick boy is behind me. He's about to lap me.

Murrysville was my first 'cross race of the season. I had to sprint to hold Stick off. But after that I settled back into my apathetic pace. I tried a lap on Don Power's geared bike, and I think I was slower on that than I am on my brakeless-fixed gear-29er thing.

I just can't take racing 'cross seriously. Doing the same grassy lap over and over and over starts to makes me lose interest.

Mud makes it a little better. At least then I get to throw down sweet skidz in the corners.

But hell, I'll be honest, I didn't used to go to 'cross races to race. I went to be an ass. I miss the donuts:   

The good days of whipped cream bunny tails, puffs of powdered sugar, and donut shaped welts. I miss them.

The only thing as good as donutting a friend in the face while they're on a bike is donutting a friend in the face while they're not on a bike.

But now donuts are banned. And I guess it's better that way. People shouldn't be distracted from the somber business of bicycle racing. It's very important stuff. I mean, I would never throw donuts at a surgeon during open heart surgery, or at a baby that was being baptized, so I don't know why I thought it was ok to throw donuts at racers.

I'm going to do one more 'cross race this season, the Little Washington 'Cross, just so I can put Old Meat Scissors Morrison back in his place.

His place is behind me:

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Super D wrap up

I'm pretty much done with race season, so I took a week off bloggy this thing. But I gotta tie up the loose ends on the Ohiopyle Super D race.

Everybody I talked to on race day had a blast. And Ohiopyle finally has a mountain bike race. Win.

The course was just right for a Month of Mud series race. Not too scary, long enough to avoid pissing off the XC folks, and still a different experience from a regular cross country race. It sounds like it's going to stay in the series.

Unfortunately for me, I flatted on my home course. Even more unfortunately, I lost to Don Powers by two seconds. He'll never let me forget it.

Most of the gnarly boys and girls didn't come out to play. We had about 35 show up for practice the day before. But they thought the course was too much pedaling, so they didn't come back for the race the next day. Understandable I suppose. A 45 minute Super D does have more pedaling than a two minute downhill at Seven Springs.

There were a few people that called it a regular XC race. I don't know about them, but I've never gotten to ride a bus to the top of a mountain in an XC race.

The course ended up being  2,138 feet down and 624 feet up over 9 miles. Here's the gps file. We went from the highest point in the park to the lowest. It was a long and mellow, but it was still a Super D.

That said, there's room for improvement. The long field section sucked. The gravel road section of McCune sucked. The go-arounds on the hard lines weren't long enough, and the hard lines weren't hard enough. And to be honest, Sugarloaf isn't the best downhill in the park. It just happened to flow the best for a race course.

Now that we have the logistics of getting bikes up the mountain, I'm hoping we can do a steeper and more technical race this spring. That would be a course that's 15-20 minutes long, almost entirely downhill, and full of big rocks. But if we want to do that, we (I) need to get cracking on a new trail. The terrain is there, it just needs raked off and mapped out.

And in the far far away future, it looks like Pittsburgh is invading the Breck Epic SS class next year. Oh yes. I pitched the idea of an East Side vs. West Side vs. The Big Belligerent Canadian points competition to MikeMac. It sounds like that's a go. Now I need to figure out a way to get there.