Friday, June 25, 2010

Gone Fishin'

Upper management at COMO CYCO has informed me that I need to do more for all the readers our there (I think we're up to 14 now???) in the way of give-aways or contests or free shit of some sort.  I have taken this suggestion under advisement and have decided this is a shitty idea decent suggestion.  Therefore, today I am offering these things to you, free of charge.

#1)  A COMO CYCO vacation.  For the next week, instead of checking in here periodically and wasting your time reading about absolutely nothing relevant at all, go do something practicing your aero position while commuting to work.....
...or maybe mounting that suicide brake lever to your saddle rails on your fixie so that if you decide you need to brake with something more substantial than a skid stop, it will just look like you are picking your ass and not cheating....
...or maybe training your dogs to tow you down the Katy Trail....
...or maybe hang that new cycling poster on your bedroom wall....

#2) Secondly, I'm going to have a contest and give away something that I have and don't want anymore really cool as a prize that I will come up with next week when I get back....cause right now, I'm going fishing.

Peace out kids....ride safe and see you in July.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Riding abreast: Lycra clad wussies take note!

One of the proposed purposes of a blog is to offer an interactive format through which opinions can be stated by the author and then commented upon by the reader.  I'm fortunate to have a few readers who comment with alarming of which always goes by the name of 'Anon Ymous'.....I believe he/she may be Middle Eastern.  At any rate, Anon Ymous posted another eerily relevant comment in response to the Nake Bike Ride post I wrote earlier in the week.
I believe Anon Ymous might actually be employing some kind of "Blog Spam"  which I recently learned about.  These Blog Spam comments can be keyed by something in the post itself that the automated spammer picks up on to initiate the advertising of objects for sale that are related to the post.  In this case, the Blog Spam listed some bags for sale which were clearly in response to some 'Fun Bags' published by the Riverfront Times and posted here on Tuesday.

And speaking of fun bags, if you possess the desire to show yours off during your recreational activity of choice, by all means, cycling seems a safe way to go.  Breasts are seemingly not in harms way while riding a bike and shouldn't be at too high a risk for injury in stark contrast to certain other activites.... say, naked sledding.
(Pair the effects of cold temperatures and proximity to steel runners and you have a recipe for a severed one wants that)

But speaking of reader comments and breasts, one of my favorite pass times (other than stealing people's garden gnomes) is reading the column in the Columbia Tribune written by the Spokesman.  This week's installment features a discussion and interpretation of some cycling laws regarding appropriate bike position on the road and the legality of riding 'abreast' .

As one can imagine, an article such as this invokes tremendous ire among many COMO citizens, and like Anon Ymous, some have become regular commenters offering up regular responses to all of the Spokeman's articles.  This was my favorite response to the Spokesman's column this week:

"The riding abreast is what I fault these guys that Hank Waters called "Lycra clad wussies."  When they don their brighly colored lycra and hit the roads they appear to have left courtesy behind.  Riding 6 abreast, they block both lanes of narrow country blacktops preventing vehicles from passing.  I had them rudely yell "Share the road" after following for two miles and honking several times.  The County Mounties should crack down on these bozos."

Now, whether Chas was really stuck behind 6 cyclists is debatable since there were no witnesses, but I'm pretty sure his written comment would constitute a confession of cyclist harassment which is against the law in COMO, is it not?  In the spirit of promoting better understanding between cyclists and non-cyclists, I'm sure we'd all be willing to forget his unlawful actions if Chas was willing to retract his statements regarding us being a bunch of "lycra-clad wussies."  There is absolute nothing wussie about wearing lycra.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Naked Bike Ride St. Louis 2010: NSFV (Not Safe For Vegetables)

I returned to work this week after a blistering hot weekend wondering the following things.....

1) What happened to springtime in Missouri?
2) When did the COMO CYCO dog eat $58?
3) How did the naked bike ride go in St. Louis?

I cannot provide all the answers to these questions but I will try to shed a little light on some of them.

1) Spring was cancelled in Missouri for 2010 by Governor Nixon at the same time he cancelled the Tour of Missouri.  There will be nothing conducive to enjoyable cycling in Missouri this year.

2) I have no idea, but a big thanks to the poop scooper who returned it!

3)  I give you the photos of Naked Bike Ride St. Louis as published by the Riverfront Times.

Unbeknownst to me, apparently the naked ride was both protesting the use of oil, and promoting the growth of ferns.

She definitely got it closer....

There were other "vegetation-themed" outfits...
Observe the gentleman on the left.  I believe that having sex with a bell pepper may be illegal in Missouri (but not Arkansas) and falls within the "vegiality" classification of sex crimes.  But as his partner (the non-vegetable partner that is) is quick to point out, "SWEAT NOT OIL" was the the theme of the day, which was probably ensured if he got a pepper seed lodged in his urethra.

Is that Cyclextreme's Tom Brinker incognito wearing a moustache, sombrero and speedo?

I'm perplexed by this fellow's willingness to ride in a banana sling but somehow still feeling as though he would require a CamelBak and riding gloves for the ardous 10 mile journey.

Many cyclists painted the BP logo on their bodies in clear protest of 'big oil", while others chose to draw the Star Trek insignia upon themselves in protest of this viral video.

In the spirit of promoting confidence in one's body image (another goal of the Naked Bike Ride) any number of cyclists proudly took off their bras and bared their breasts.....

.....while other chose to use their mammaries as rather grim and aggressive this guy who turned his nipples into the glowing red eyes of a skull...
Or this woman who used her breasts as a billboard to display the letters 'F' and 'U'...

...which I'm guessing stands for "Fake Udder?"

Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday Mail!

Today of course is St. Louis Naked Bike Ride's Eve which means all those anxious to bare all are getting nervous with anticipation and excitement.  Final preparations will be made tonight and all participants are contemplating one of the following things:

1)  How will I paint my breasts to disguise my nipular areas while still demonstrating my toplessness?
2)  How badly will my junk be battered on my road saddle?
3)  Where will I stash my extra tube in case I flat?

The main objective of the Naked Bike Ride is of course to protest our nation's dependency on oil, but I hope those partaking in the festivities will remember that they ride naked in jest and have the choice of being clothed or not....but there are those cyclists who are forced to ride naked try to be a little sensitive to their plight.

On to Friday Mail:

Dear PooBah,
I need your help.  As a kid, I used to get my ass kicked all the time for no apparent reason, but I always expected it was because of the bike my folks bought for me.  This traumatized me deeply such that even today, as I'm on the brink of purchasing a new bike, I'm worried about being ridiculed for it.  Any advice?
Richard F.

I have some good news for you.  You were NOT getting your ass kicked because of your were getting your ass kicked because your momma dressed you in diarrhea-brown Garanimals which you chose to pair with a Dick Tracy hat.  So purchase your chosen bike with confidence, and by all means, wear the same outfit....because now it's retro-ironic.  You will be the coolest middle-aged hipster in COMO.

Dear PooBah,
I just read a concerning article about how narrow bike seats can cause perineal and genital numbness.  Therefore, I've decided to go with a slightly larger saddle that is advertised to provide more support.  Can you take a look at my saddle and tell me if you think it is still too small?
Thank you!
Timothy T.
If you go with anything larger, it could double as a helicopter landing pad.

Dear PooBah,
I'm trying to update my cycling wardrobe but am having difficulty deciding which new outfit to purchase.  Can you give me some help?  Which do you like better?  A,B or C?  Thanks!
Terry M.

Definitely go with 'C'.  Remember that red is the color the best shows off your inner champion.

Dear PooBah,
Bicycle racing seems to be expanding globally these days, with races occuring in as far flung places as Mongolia and Slovenia.  Do you have any favorite exotic races that you would recommend we watch out for?
Krystle N.

Absolutely - the Tour of Cambodia....Instead of the Maillot Jaune or Maglia Rosa, the leader wears a tin foil hat and in place of the customary champagne toast for stage victories, daily winners are awarded raw water buffalo.  The shit is epic.

Dear PooBah,
I love cycling, but also love to run.  There is only so much time in the day, though, and I'm having trouble finding the time to partake in both.  That's why I recently purchased a "RunBike."  Now I can enjoy the best of both worlds in half the time!
Dave F.

Wow, impressive machine.  It kind of looks like a ballerina's tutu only with wheels.  I also see that you've mounted it with a water bottle cage and a saddle bag.  I wonder if you could also rig the frame up with a holster that could carry an extra large douchebag, in case the need ever arose?

Have a good weekend, everyone.  Ride safe -


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wednesday night aggressive!

Competitive cycling, like most other sports, can bring about a certain amount of aggression occasionally. This is typically directed toward other cyclists as was witnessed yesterday in the St. Louis Biking Forum regarding the topic of sandbagging.  However, if you are like me, you just wish you could be good enough to actually sandbag someone other than the typical campus-sidewalk-riding-grad-student on their rusty-chained Murray.  Thus, aggression on my part is typically self-directed and results in long conversations within my head about why I continue to suck.  I thought about getting myself a Jens Voight "Shut up legs" t-shirt....

But this would be discriminating against my equally feeble lungs and gut, which also tend to falter at inopportune moments.

Speaking of aggression, yesterday's Stage 4 finish in the Tour de Suisse saw a massive pileup which resulted from Mark Cavendish and Heinrich Haussler colliding as they aggressively jockeyed for position during the final sprint.  As Cavendish swept slightly to his left and caught Haussler's front wheel, his own front wheel crumpled to the fork.

You can pretty much guess what ensued.

Cavendish was penalized 25 points, 30 seconds in general classification and 200 Swiss fances ($175).  Officials also relegated him to the back of the group he finished with.  At the beginning of today's stage, much of the peloton delayed the start in protest of Cavendish's supposedly over-aggressive riding. 

If you watch the above video closely, you can see Tom Boonen T-bone Cavs in the head just before he goes down himself.  And speaking of Tommeke, how about his new advertisement...

In the new marketing campaign for Merckx, the elf-eared Tommy reminds us that each of us is, indeed, a cannibal.....or in my case....that it's Wednesday evening, and I have just vomited the Hostess cherry pie I bought from the vending machine at work on Andy Sapp hill..... 

That's real artifical flavored fruit filling!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Cat2 MTB Sandbagging Scandal: Cat up 'til you suck!

A day after I acknowledged the awesome achievement of some of our local COMO cyclists in the recent MO MTB Championships, a reader brought to my attention an emerging discussion on the STLBiking forum in which the CAT 2(Sport) MTB Champion, Justin Bowen, has been accused of sandbagging by cyclist "Big Fro 29er":

"One thing that rubbed me wrong about the Sport Class was that I thought I had won the 30-39 class, just to find an expert class guy name Justin (number 226) from G-sallo had finished 10+ minutes ahead of the rest of the sport class. How is that winning? That is cheating! I Came to find out that he had sandbagged the sport class last year and won, but do to a technicality (not having a valid USAC license), he was not given the went to the 2nd place guy, Rock Wamsley (who one of my good friends, and is racing expert class this year).

So, I talked to Justin after the race and he had a pre-metitated plan to not race any expert class races this season until after the state race, so he could sandbag the sport class today and kill the rest of us by a huge margin to "win" the state champ jersey. This is what he told me! What a D-bag! The rest of us in sport class felt robbed. So, Justin has my State Champ Jersey at his house. But his little girls can't even be proud of him because this D-bag cheated to get it. It is so unethical. I could have raced the beginner class and won myself a state champ Jersey too, but that is not ethical.

Then I found out from other cyclist [that know him] that he has done this in cyclecross and road racing. This guys is a CAT 3 on the road..why are you racing the Bubba cross series in the C class? Come on...that is the beginner class! Maybe you should move up to the expert class in MTB and stop sand bagging sport! Nobody likes people like you! What happened to integrity and moral values? I hope you are proud of yourself for taking my sport class 30-39 state champ jersey. You need some ethics training. I hope you aren't teaching your kids how to be like you, because I feel sorry for them to have such a horrible Dad.

I can tell you all 3 of my kids are of pround of me.... because they know who really won the state champ jersey!  God will make sure A-holes like you get what you deserve..."

Pretty harsh words to be sure...especially invoking God's wrath upon someone's anus and questioning his ability to parent all over a Cat 2 mountain bike race.  

However, a little investigation by some of the forum readers demonstrated that Bowen's lap time speeds put him on par with the top 5 cyclists within the Expert (Cat1) class which was also supported by his finish time of 14 minutes in advance of the Cat2 second place finisher (Big Fro 29er).  Bowen's response was that he is, in fact, a Cat2 in MTB, but was just having a great day. 

But by this point, some video surfaced on facebook that showed Bowen (#226) not only having a great day of racing, but perhaps actually getting a head start.  The video shows him racing up with the Cat1s at the very beginning of the race which heavily suggested he actually started with the Cat1s who were released several minutes before the Cat2s. 

Bowen responded to this video:

"I thought this was a field start, where u line the classes up and we all go..... At saturdays event, I was on the FRONT row until the guy wiith the bullhorn said experts on the front, sport behind them, so I MOVED BACK (at least thats what I thought he said, so I even looked around at the numbers of everyone around me and we ALL were 200 something!....I dont know who is a sport racer, I have raced 3 many mtb races in my life besides dirt crits! but I did recognize several of the fast experts and they were on the front row, so again, I MOVED BACK! . I logically concluded that I was at the right place to start. one may assume that since I have a fairly strong engine and can handle a bike offroad that I would know the "mountain bike rules" but realize, there were no signs indicating classes, no spraypaint on the ground whatever or number differentiation between sport/expert. and maybe the guy clearly stated it, honestly I am not sure, I am not running down the promoters, these guys did a great job. I am just stating my case."

So after admitting to starting with the wrong group, he concludes with the comments:

"I ride for fun win, lose or draw. apparently some of u dont and I feel for u. but I must say, its pretty cool to be so famous now! thanks!

it may be necessary to invoke the courts to remove the sand filled jersey from the shop floor, it is being used to hold the door open. does this mean I can still race sport? ahaahahahahahahaaa.. joking!"

And Bowen added some validity to his claim that he was using his Missouri State Championship jersey as a sandbag door stop by posting a video of him doing just that on YouTube.

At the time of this posting, USA cycling headquarters has asked Bowen to return the jersey.  I hope he cleans the sand out of it before handing it over to "Big Fro 29'er."  And despite the fact that I'm certain God cares deeply about Cat 2 Mountain Bike races in Missouri, I hope he goes easy on Justin.

Some unresolved questions, however remain:

1) When can someone truly call "sandbagging?" in amature racing?
2) Does 'Big Fro 29'er' indeed possess a big fro?
3) How much sand can a large Missouri State Championship jersey actually hold?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Missouri State MTB news is par for the course.

Awhile ago someone asked me why I bother having a cycling's a lot of work for no recognition.  Maybe that's why I like it....It's just like cycling. 
Case in point: In trying to learn about what happened at the Missouri State MTB championships this weekend, I was hard pressed to find a single item about the results in any news outlet.  I find that a little pathetic.  Luckily, I knew which blogs to check out.  What I learned is most certainly some newsworthy stuff for COMO and yet, 48 hours after it happened, it doesn't appear as though it's going to show up in the local this is what we are left with......crappy second-hand news-esque blog reporting.  I'm no journalist, and certainly no reporter. But if Kermit can throw on a hat, and overcoat and pick up a microphone and call himself a reporter - I guess I can too.
Thus, I'm only too happy to pass along these stories - mostly because they involve three regular non-Pro guys that threw it down this weekend and cleaned up at this weekend's Missouri State MTB Championships in Castlewood that resulted in a number of State Championship jerseys coming our way. 
But if you want the real stories, do what I did, and go right to the source - visit the blogs of the cyclists themselves. All the links are below.

First off, John Schottler took the State Championship jersey in the Cat 1 field, besting among others, Kansas' Aaron Elwell who recently took 14th against an amazingly competitive field at the Pro Mellow Johnny's MTB race in Texas.  Schottler opened up an insurmountable gap of about 3.5 minutes on his rivals to finish in 1:52.03.  The worst part of the day wasn't even the heat and humidity, but rather that this was the best picture anyone captured of the new State Champion crossing the finish line:
Unrecognizable or not, he has the jersey now.

And in the singlespeed competition, Dan Miller brought home the State Champ's jersey winning the competition over Pro racer and former singlespeed National Champion, Deejay Birtch:  Here's a photo of Miller in the classic Team Seagal jersey holding the Team Niner Pro's wheel early in the race.
And on the podium...
It's actually a good thing he took 1st, because I'm pretty sure if he was 2nd or 3rd, he would have disappeared from this photo altogether.

And here's a shout out to COMO peloton member, Mike Best, of Ashland who brought home the State Championship jersey in the MTB Marathon division.  Best's blog is entitled "Lanterne Rouge", which signifies the special designation for those fnishing dead-ass last in a race (something I'm all too familiar with), but which he may need to consider changing after this weekend's performance.

By my estimation, COMO cyclists are now the reigning State Champions in the following (did I miss any?):

Cross Men's 1/2 - Josh Johnson
Cross Men's 3 - Dan Miller
MTB Cat 1 - John Schottler
MTB Singlespeed - Dan Miller
MTB Marathon - Mike Best
Road - Women's 1/2 - Pamela Hinton

Newsworthy for COMO, a town trying to enhance its cycling identity?  I would think so....

Friday, June 11, 2010

Friday Mail: Of racing, art and impending nudity

We start this morning with a little rundown on some local racing.  This weekend finds the Tour de Grove in St. Louis, which is the highest paying single-day race in Missouri.  The NRC premier races will be held on Sunday, but new this year are crits and night street sprints to be held on Saturday.  Follow the link for more information.  And in conjunction with the Tour is Art Crank St. Louis, an exhibit of cycling posters created by local artists to be held at the Atomic Cowboy.  This is a fantastic way to feed a starving artist and get some amazing cycling-related art, like this!

I'm really excited about this, as I've been needing another bike inspired piece of art to compliment my newly purchased oil painting of a serene, yet pensive, Tom Boonen:

I just love this painting.  There is something so angelic about Tommeke here.....his eyes seem to follow me all over COMO CYCO headquarters - no matter where I go. 

And speaking of St. Louis, remember that you only have one more week to decide what you are going to wear for the 2010 World Naked Bike Ride to be held in St. Louis on June 19th!  Here was last year's poster for the event which illustrates a giant headless naked woman who is apparently in the act of dismounting her unicycle so that she can dry hump the St. Louis arch. 

Being the cultivator of a blog that occasionaly shows a scantily clad woman or two astride bicycles, I certainly am not one to criticize about how female cyclists should be portrayed, but is anyone else somewhat disturbed by the fact that the artist of the aforementioned poster chose to draw the naked woman sans head?  Perhaps this year's Naked Ride organizers could meet up with some of the Art Crank artists for a new marketing strategy.

At any rate, I am happy to bring you this week's reader mail.  Have a great weekend!

Dear PooBah,
Writing you from Nottingham, UK!  I know this is a cycling blog, but were you aware that England will be playing the US in world cup football on Saturday?  Prepare to have your collective bums thoroughly whipped!  By the way, thought you might appreciate a picture of me on my bike!

Sweet Moulton.  I especially like what you've done with the twin-mounted bottles on the saddle.  It kind of makes it look like you have a little jet pack on your seat.  By the way, I may be mistaken, but it looks like Dr. Who just landed in the woods behind you...better scurry along before he thinks you are representative of cycling culture all over the planet.

Dear PooBah,
I am a huge advocate for commuting to work by bike and try to encourage those around me to do the same; so much so that I frequently let the people I work with take my bike out to run errands.  However I get sick of seeing the paint job of my vintage road frame nicked and scratched from my co-workers not practicing safe cycling.  So I wrapped the entire thing with old inner tubes.  Do you think this will provide enough protection?
Jerry T.

Wow great idea.  It's kind of like a condom for your bike....just don't forget the higher contact areas that are really at risk....the saddle and the handlebars.  No need to risk exposing them either!

Better yet, why don't you just get one of these for the office?

Dear PooBah,
I recently had a bad crash on my bike which really deformed the rear fender.  I thought it was trashed but was surprisingly able to bend it back into shape by squeezing it between my thighs.  I just thought I would pass the tip along to your readers in case they found themselves in the same predicament!
Mary M.

Great tip!  Thanks a bunch.  By the way - it looks like you smeared a little grease in your cleavage by accident...or is that a tattoo...or is it hair?  Ummmm...nevermind.  By the way - be careful of those spot-welded stamped drop outs you've jammed into your stays....I'm not sure of the weight-rating on something like that, but....ummmm.... nevermind.  Good luck with the repairs!

Dear PooBah,
I've been thinking of joining the CBC (Columbia Bike Club) race team but stumbled upon this photo on their website which has me a little worried....I'm not sure I would fit in?
Bruce J.

This photo is a little misleading and shouldn't concern or intimidate you.  You don't have to ride carbon deep dish wheels to be on CBC. 

Good luck to all the folks racing in St. Louis this safe!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Growing up is hard to do

As summer slowly creeps upon us, I find myself reflecting upon my childhood quite a bit.  I think it probably has to do with summer being the official season of happiness in "kid-dom."  No school and endless days exploring streets on the back of my Huffy 10-speed are the stuff of good memories.  It occurs to me that I've always owned a bike...before the 10 speed, I had a single speed Huffy street bike with coaster brakes, and before that a tricycle, and before that a metal green pedal car.  I loved that pedal car, which made my interest really pique when I saw this posting in Craigslist last night:
Yes, for the low, low cost of my iPhone, I could find myself behind the wheel of an adult pedal-car!  What a steal....and what better way to rekindle the cycling spark of yesteryear?  Certainly, reflection is typically a positive thing and can even be interesting to others when one has led a fascinating life and chooses to share their lifetime of experiences, say in the form of an autobiography.  It used to be the case that autobiographies were written at the end of one's tenure in a given pursuit, following a long string of achievements.  But why should one wait to review their accolades until they are old and grey?  Why not live in the glory days while the glory days are still in full swing?  Thus, last week, Mark Cavendish's book entitled Boy Racer was released

This is just smart marketing, because in the life of a pro cyclist, who really knows what tarnishing event might happen tomorrow that could make obsolete (and devalued) the accomplishments of today?  Plus it leaves room for sequels.  Take the case of Lance's self-documentation:  First there was "It's Not About the Bike," followed by "Every Second Counts," and most recently "Comeback 2.0: Up Close and Personal."  Hopefully Cav's "Boy Racer" will be followed up by another equally fascinating installment now that he's in his professional adolescence....

And speaking of getting old and cranky, I was rather surprised to see this story last week.

As reported by the Tribune, apparently James Nikolas busted out a scoped rifle and went after some kids that he thought had stolen his bicycle.  Luckily, no one was harmed and Mr. Nikolas was apprehended later that day.  Interestingly, he posted the bond  of $7000 and was released at 2 AM.  You know, for $7000, I'm guessing he could have bought a pretty nice new bike to replace the one that was stolen.....unless he was riding a fully equipped Pinarello Dogma Di2......which, I admit, are probably pretty popular amongst the mid-Missouri NRA member demographic.