21 February 2009

Things that make me laugh...

Herein, are just a few things that I just read this evening that kind of made me chuckle, or made me think about a few things, maybe they did for you as well, eh, then again, maybe not. You decide. Deride, if you will.

Part the first:
O'Grady's recent tirade.

As I normally do, I laughed at Mr. O'Grady's latest throwdown on the sport that apparently too many people take way too seriously. How do we know this, well, fast forward to the letters section on Velonews and we have this response from an irate reader of O'Grady's recent outburst:


I read Patrick O'Grady's on-line article, unfortunately.

Was this called for?
"The others, belonging to Janez Brajkovic, Steve Morabito and Yaroslav
Popovych, are indistinguishable from the jillions of other Madone 6.9 Pros
ridden to mid-pack finishes in industrial-park crits worldwide by
potbellied masters racers. "
Sure, we may have never been god-like pros, but describing what is probably the MAJORITY OF YOUR RACING SUBSCRIBERS as "potbellied" was inaccurate, unnecessary and demeaning. This subscriber would suggest that you choose your words a bit better.

John Strasser"

Actual link to letter section at Velonews.com.

Alright, first of all, it looks like someone touched a nerve with Mr. Strasser eh? Did someone eat too much food over the holidays and hasn't been riding since about that time and has a bike that is oh so average, but really highly extremely overpriced? Hey, nothing wrong with the Madone, as long as you don't actually have to pay for one. I'd ride one all day, if it was given to me. If I'm going to part with my hard earned greenbacks, or in the situation that I'm in now, my lack of hard earned greenbacks, sorry, it's not going to be for a Trek. I'd much rather ride the Pinarello Prince that I have now, but I digress.

Second, Strasser, seriously, get a sense of humor. Most pot bellied mid pack master's racers know what they are (it's what O'Grady has been for, well, many years now, and what I ASPIRE to be), and they apparently don't take themselves as seriously as you do. I know lots of master's racers, and guess what? Those are normally some of the coolest cats out there, mostly because the ones I know have been racing bikes since the days of toe clips and wooden bottom shoes, and didn't just discover the sport when Lance rolled around le Tour in 1999 (or later for the late bloomers).

I can picture Mr. Strasser now. Rolls up to the "Saturday Morning World Championship ride" (you know which ride I speak of, there is one in almost every town where there are, well, people who like to ride bikes), on his shiny new Madone, matching Nike shoes, matching Giro Atmos LiveStrong edition helmet, Astana kit (he's already upgraded from the old Disco kit), a $400 pair of Oakleys, embrocation on his newly shaved legs, and not a speck of dust nor dirt anywhere near his visage. As the group rolls out of town, he's yapping away about how he's been doing some zone 3 this week, and maybe a little zone 4, and that his new SRM Dura-Ace crank (he has to use this crank because they don't make a SRAM crank - yet) is giving him great power files that he can upload to his training blog so that his coach can see them, and his friends can be amazed by a ton of squiggly colored lines that only maybe about 3 people in the world really understand anyway.

As the group makes their way into the "meat" of the ride, you know, where the shit normally starts to get thrown down, he sticks in the middle of the ride for a little while. Talking less now, trying to keep the legs turning over, and talking the game gets harder when you suck, and your gut is getting in the way (I ought to know, my gut is getting in the way more and more these days). As the group approaches the section of road where the shit really goes down, all of a sudden, Mr. Madone is no longer seen. Where the hell did the annoying guy go? A few minutes later, we all know the answer.

He took the side road about a mile back so he could take a short cut, catch his breath, and intercept the ride up the road where it's a little flatter, and he can tuck in behind everyone else.

Over the flats we go, and we're grinding it out. Mr. Nike New Shoes is sitting at the back, huffing and puffing, and just barely hanging on for dear life. Ah, a stop sign. He can catch his breath again, and then more flats, same sitting at the back. Finally we reach some climbs, OK, they're not huge, but they are a little bit of a bump, and it normally separates the strong from the weak. Mr. Oakley goes shooting off the back like a caboose separated from a runaway freight train, and as he fades off the back, you hear, "Coach told me to take it easy today anyway, this is supposed to be a rest day..." Yeah, you all know THAT guy, you've seen him. You've ridden with him, thing is, he's not done yet.

After you ride over hill and dale, chasing attacks down for the workout, having fun with your friends, on the run back into town, you see him. Again, waiting, and soft pedaling up in front of the on rushing pack. Approaching the "sprint" line at the end of the ride, he gets back into the line, surprisingly fresh for someone who got dropped about 40 minutes before. The sprint starts to break loose, and I don't need to tell you what that's like on a group ride. You've got yay-hoos all the way from folks who have never raced, to folks who are local strong cat 1s and 2s and 3s trying to actually mix it up, and here comes Strasser again. He jumps into the sprint, and starts going for it. Despite himself, he's an OK sprinter, but he's not that good, in order for him to "win", he slides slightly to the left, therefore running you OFF the road, so that he can "win". Thing is, he starts turning squares 50 feet from the line, and 20 people go rushing past him anyway, and he almost killed you. All in a fine day for guys like this.

You have all had this experience, I know that you have. And there might be some of you out there who ARE this guy. If you are, stop it. Knock it the fuck off. Nobody thinks that you're cool, and really, nobody likes you. What we want to do is toss a tree branch into your spokes, and given the right chance, and opportunity, that's what we're going to do. It would be better for everyone else if you just didn't show up. Seriously, stay at home, or ride alone. Nobody. Likes. You.

Oh, and did I mention? Get a fucking sense of humor.

I was going to write about something else, but I seemed to have forgotten what that was exactly during my above tirade. Sorry about that. More later. Adios.

Labels: ,

01 February 2009

In 'ze weeds again...

And yet again, I've been in the weeds folks. Ah well, this working 80 hours per week (I shit you not), is not good for the soul, let alone, just some overall mental health. Reminds me of the days of when I thought that maybe at some point in my life I could be a pro bike racer. Sleep. Work. Ride. Repeat. Except now, it's sleep. Work. Sleep. Repeat. See, being in the automotive biz, we had a round of layoffs right before Christmas, which then put the department that I work for down 3 people. We didn't have any less work to do before the layoffs, but now, we have far less people to do it with, and hence, 80 hour weeks, but I digress.

I did spend the week before this one in Washington DC, for the Inauguration of our 44th President of the United States. Yes, I was one of the millions of people that was there for this historical event. And I have to say, even though there was a lot of waiting in line, and a lot of hassle, and a shit-ton of people, damn it, it was worth it. Even though I was swarmed by thousands of people at every turn that I took, I remained happy, as did just about everyone else (my wife said fuck it and went home after waiting in line for 4 hours to get to our ticketed location near the Capitol). That was the overall vibe. Lots of people, and hardly a one was angry about, well, anything. I've got to tell you though, the security in that place on that day, in0fucking-credible. If you looked around the building rooftops near the Capitol, there wasn't one that didn't have a sniper team on top of it. There were about 10-15 helicopters all hovering over the city, and not just regular helicopters, nope. We're talking Blackhawks with door gunners, Super Cobra gunships, and AH-64 Apache Longbows. Then orbiting above the slow movers, there were a bunch of fighter planes flying high cover. That place was on lock down. In order to get where my tickets put me, I had to go through an airport style security check. Shoes off. Belt off. Empty all pockets. Go through the metal detector, get back dressed, and run to the field. I started standing on line at 6:30AM, I didn't enter the lawn until 11:30AM, just as Diane Feinstein started the "official" program. I made it just in time to hear the VP sworn in, and then Aretha, Yo Yo Ma and his buddies, and then the BIG show. I got to hear Chief Justice Roberts fuck up the oath (and I stood there saying to myself, that wasn't right), and then got to hear the speech. Again, even with all of the hassle, it was still worth it. It's true though, as soon as Obama got done talking, it was mass exodus from that place, and then, human gridlock on the streets. There were probably 15-20 minutes where I couldn't even move, let alone walk somewhere. Being that I'm not from DC, and sort of only know my way around a little bit, I got lost trying to find a Metro stop to take the train back to my sister in law's house. Well, I really didn't get lost, per se, but the 2 stations that I knew the locations to, were closed. I did end up walking around for 2 hours trying to find another one, but I was still in a good mood when I got back.

That evening, we got to attend the Southern States Inaugural Ball, which was just like prom. They even held it in a big gym at the DC Armory. Drinks were not free, which pissed me off, and then, they had a piss poor selection of beer on hand (Bud products only). The entertainment sucked. The food, was little, and not that good. But, we did get to see Biden and Obama before the night was over. Joe made his appearance first of course. And about 10 minutes later, I looked behind me, saw a guy in a dark suit talking into his jacket sleeve, and saw a sub machine gun slung over his shoulder, and decided that Obama was about to show up. He rolled onto the stage about 5 minutes later. We got a little speech, a little dance, and again, as soon as he left, the place cleared out, even though there was a second band getting ready to play (they sucked worse than the first one). The man has some serious drawing power, that's for damn sure.

That's what this kid has been up to. I have more to spew forth, but will save that for another time. It's Super Bowl Sunday, and it's almost time for the pre-game to start on the East Coast.

Labels: , ,