Friday, November 18, 2011


Ah yes dear readers, today is the eve of the return of cyclocross to Columbia, and the entire town is positively buzzing with excitement.  If you are reading this blog from somewhere other than Missouri - you may not have understood the context of that hypertexted link.  It seems that the head football coach of the University Missouri was busted for driving his vehicle under the influence of alcohol this past week.  And all I can say to Coach Pinkel is this.  Dude - you should seriously think about taking up cyclocross.  Not only is operating your mode of transportation under the influence permissible, it's highly encouraged!  I believe the po-po finally pulled you over for lane violations - correct?  Shit - during a cross race, if you blast through the barrier tape, the fans will probably actually give you more beer!  It sounds like you've got 'cross in your blood, my friend (along with 6 or 7 Natty Lights).

At any rate - I thought that in celebration of tomorrow, we should have  special cyclocross-themed Friday mail.  So, from the hundreds of letters I've received this week, I've weeded out only the cylocross-related notes to post for you today.  Enjoy:

Dear PooBah,
Can you fill me in on the rules of heckling?  I want to come watch the COMO AWESOMO race tomorrow - but want to make sure I don't cross any boundaries with what I can say and do to the racers.  For example, is this allowable?
Thanks a bunch!  Looking forward to tomorrow - 
Pete G.

Great question.  I'm going to have to refer to a higher power on this one:  The St. Louis Biking Message Board where a recent post reviews the rules and etiquette of "hecklery."

1. No touching riders actively racing

2. No throwing, spitting, or discharging objects from a device at riders. Even if you know them.

3. Heckling insults should reply on wit rather than obscenity

4. Foul language is permitted as long as there are no children within an acceptable distance. Acceptable distance will be defined as the length of the biggest hill in the race since it is a well known fact that sound travels down hill.

5. Hand ups are permitted as long as a person’s body remains behind the course tape

6. Acceptable handups include: Beer in cans, paper money in denominations of $1 and higher, pizza or other awesome type of food like donuts, beer in plastic cups.

7. Unacceptable handups include: Beer in bottles, canadian paper money, slimy food like baloney, and weather inappropriate items such as Hot Chocolate on a hot day.

8. Spraying riders with beer or other liquid is acceptable only if the promoter has designated a portion of the course as a “spray zone.”

9. Heckling shall be confined to portions of the course a rider is most likely to wipe out and suffer further humiliation.

10. Acceptable Locations include run ups, steep inclines, difficult barriers, mud pits, sand pits, or high speed down hill turns.

11. A rider hopelessly out of contention and suffering shall be heckled excessively, and offered double beer, but no cash.

12. Costumed hecklers will be given priority placement along the course tape.

13. Excessively drunk obnoxious hecklers will leave the venue upon first request.

14. Heckling requires a minimum group of three persons. A group of less than three hecklers will be considered lame losers and risk being heckled by riders for their lamosity.

15. Priority heckling position will be given to those with voice or noise amplifying instruments such as air horns or electronically powered megaphones. 

So, whereas this looks like it would get a pass on Rules #8 regarding spraying, #12 regarding the wearing costumes and #14 regarding the group size of the hecklers, I think Rule #2 trumps them all with the "no spitting" clause.  So I'd have to say unacceptable, unfortunately.

Dear PooBah,
I'm thinking of dressing up for tomorrow's race, but need a little added incentive.  What will you give me if I race dressed as Dr. Frank-N-Furter from the Rocky Horror Picture Show?
Looking forward to your reply,

I will pay you exactly $4.20 and send you this T-shirt in a women's size XS as pictured.

Dear PooBah,
How did COMO AWESOMO get its name?

Another good question.  Some think it was named after the South Park episode where Eric Cartman dresses up as a robot, the Awesom-o-2000....

But i have it on good authority that real reason behind the name is because there will be pilgrim-costumed human barriers that will need to be either traversed on foot or preferably by bunny hopping.

That's it for today, kids.  See everyone at the race tomorrow!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Cyclocross comes back to Columbia - with a death-defying pig colon!

Hey kids.  Cyclocross has finally returned to Columbia, where it should be.  Why should our COMO kids have to drive two hours in any direction to kick ass when we can do that right here in our own back yard?  Here's the scoop:
(click to enlargen)
This Saturday, November 19th in Phillips Park, it is on like Donkey Kong.  So now you are asking yourself, "Where in the shit is Phillips Park?"  Well, I'm a-gonna show you.
Take 63 South from I-70 to the Discovery Parkway exit and turn right.  The Park is on the right along the shore of the lovely Perry Phillips Lake.  In case Siri is guiding you, just tell her the official address is 5050 Bristol Lake Parkway.

Here's the course layout.

Take special note of that curly-Q section in the middle.  That is what is called a "Spiral of Death" for those in the CX biz.  Here's what one looks like in action...

Even I have to admit that watching a bunch of C-class racers navigate a Spiral of Death brings absolutely nothing death defying to mind. Instead - they all look like a bunch of slow moving turds making their way down the spiral colon of a pig only to be shat out upon a set of barriers and a run up.  (Yes, pigs have sprial-shaped colons....don't ask me how I know this.) 

I can say this because I am a C-class spiral turdville, here I come....let's hope I don't clog up the works.

At any rate, word on the street is that turnout for this Saturday's race is going to be big, with big names coming in from Jeff City, Hermann, St. Louis and Kansas City, and last but not least, all the heavy hitters from little old Columbia including 2010 Bubba CX champion Dan Miller, 2010 Missouri State CX Champion and current Bubba CX points leader Josh Johnson, 2011 Hermann CX champion John Schottler, as well as COMO elite racers Lawrence Simonson, Mike Best, Mike Bruzina and Pam Hinton to name but a few.  So even if you aren't coming to race - you aren't going to want to miss out on watching the throw down.

Oh yeah - and you've only got 48 more hours to check out the COMO AWESOMO page on facebook to talk some trash....

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What did I miss???

Do you ever have those dreams where you are back in high school, and while on the morning schoolbus remember that you have a trigonometry mid-term, only to then realize that you haven't actually attended a single trig class all semester? And you think to yourself, "Holy shit - what have I been doing for the past month and a half?"  Professional sleep-ologists refer to this as an anxiety dream, and I have this particular one all the time.  However, in my own version I also arrive to my mid-term and realize I have no pants on.  Anyway, the past couple of weeks have been so busy at COMO CYCO headquarters that I arrived today and thought - "Holy shit - where have I been?"  Plus, I have no pants on. 

So it's time to play catch-up.  What did I miss?

Well the biggest news from the past couple of weeks has to be about Alberto Contador.  Congratulations are in order because he recently got married!  Unfortunately, immediately following the ceremony, he was partially blinded in the left eye by a thrown grain of rice, intended for good luck, but resulting in a deep corneal ulceration.

The crowds were scanned for who might have pelted rice directly at his eyes, and one familiar face was actually seen scurrying away on bicycle.
And in some cruel joke, those in attendance of the wedding who learned that the World Anti-Doping Agency has confirmed that it will not fund follow up studies to confirm the presence plasticizers in Contador's blood during the 2010 Tour, (suggesting he may have received a blood transfusion), decided to mock Bertie by wrapping his wedding car guessed it....a never-ending sheet of plastic.
It could have been worse, I suppose.  They could have slathered the car in steak sauce instead.

Sources close to the Contadors have reported that he was pretty nervous about his wedding night and sought some advice regarding how to "seal the deal" so to speak from a popular Spanish talk show specializing in sexual therapy.
Alberto was introduced to a puppet called "Mr. Happy" which proceeded to instruct him on the special art of marital consummation.

And apparently, Jens Voigt was pretty concerned that Alberto didn't really understand that the primary purpose of sexual intercourse is to procreate (he and his wife have a sixpack of kids) he sent this  story as a gentle reminder via his Twitter feed to Bertie and his new wife....

Congrats, Bertie!

Friday, November 4, 2011


You may be wondering where I've been all week.  I could lie and say I've been incredibly busy with work - but I don't want to insult your intelligence like that.  So I will be truthful.  This week I got the new iPhone 4S....which honestly meant absolutely nothing to first that is.  I simply needed a new phone out of necessity.  My old iPhone was rendered nearly unusable after the GEEC tried to dribble it on the garage floor a couple of times.  Funny things about iPhones - they are pretty amazing little gadgets, but they don't bounce well.  Anyway - after receiving the iPhone 4S, I learned that I can actually converse with a female-voiced internal computer named "Siri", as demonstrated in this advertisment:

Pretty amazing.  The iPhone's Siri can help me can seal the big deal while running, check traffic conditions and alert my significant other of my ETA, check the weather in the city to which I will be travelling and many more things.  However useful all of these requests seemed, I still thought of an application that could be of more benefit.  So as soon as I took Siri out of the box, I told her:

She replied,

Siri then went into map function and showed me the location and name of both stores which were both JC Penny's.  This is not exactly my first choice of pants store - but getting the locations and directions of Walmart was probably just too much to ask for.  And besides -  in desperate times, beggars cannot be choosers.

What impressed me most with Siri was that her voice was very calming and soothing.  And there was no criticism or judgement - just helpful information.  For example, when I informed her that I had just soiled myself, she could have responded with,

But alas, no.  She immediately went into help mode....what anyone of us would want in a moment of crisis.  Honestly, I think we could learn a lot from Siri.  At any rate - she and I have been conversing quite a bit lately - and yes, I may have become a little preoccupied with her - and thus have neglected you, dear reader.  So I apologize.

That said, a good friend just passed this article along to me which has made me a little concerned.

So, my new relationship with Siri could result in me "shooting blanks" so to speak.  This is what is called the risk-benefit trade off, and one that Siri and I will wrestle with..... but we'll do it together. 

At any rate - I need to mention a few cycling related things, since this is supposed to be a cycling blog, afterall.

First up is the Pro-Cycling Tweet 'O The Week provided this week by Tyler Hamilton's twitter feed in response to the news that Lance Armstrong flew into Boston to give a presentation at Harvard recently:

Let's hope they got a chance to catch up in the men's room.

And far more important than that - I'm happy to announce that Cyclocross is coming back to Columbia!  Mark your calendars now.  The first annual CoMo Awesomo CX race will be Saturday, November 19th in A. Perry Phillips Park.  I don't have all the details now, but will try to track those down for everyone and get them up here soon.    Until then - spread the word!

OK - and just a few letters...

Dear PooBah
How many French junior road cyclists can fit up the ass of the junior road world champion Pierre-Henri Lecuisinier?
Just curious -
Edwin K.

Edwin- that that the French juniors have won the world championship, their heads are just too big.
photo credit.

Dear PooBah,
What do you think David Millar is thinking in this photo?
Kevin H.
photo credit.
Several possibilites, really....take your pick:
a) "Wow, and I thought getting pricked by the EPO needle used to hurt!"
b) "Damn, why is he so angry?  I told him he could go first!"
c) "I can't figure out why this damned Breathe Right strip isn't working!"
d) "Gunther - did you bring the DZNutz like I asked you?"

Dear PooBah,
Do you have any idea why Frank Shleck was recently seen half-naked, sitting on a large pole swinging garbage bags at another half-naked dude?
Alex C.

photo credit.
Hmmmmm good question.  I'm not sure - but here's an equally perplexing one.  Why in the hell is he also pretending to be Angus Young from AC/DC?
photo credit.

Dear PooBah,
Chris Horner recently posted a picture of himself doing some new exercises that involve him balancing himself on a single giant ball.  This must be a really difficult and dangerous maneuver - eh?  Do you think this exercise could catch on with other pros in the peloton?
Jill S.

Well, despite the danger, attempting to squish a single-ball that has gotten a little big for its britches is certainly not new to cyclists in the pro-peloton....that's for sure. 

Dear PooBah,
Since the Brits won the world road championships, it seems like they've adopted a new superior attitude within the cycling world that has permeated throughout British culture.  For example, take a look at the cover of November's issue of Esquire that was released here in the US last week:
Now look at the cover of the November issue of Esquire that was released in the United Kingdom last week!

What's wrong with this???
Herman G.

Don't fret too much.  For starters, Ms. Lowe's saddle is too low.....I've studied the article in some detail and am also worried that she might have a bit of a drinking problem as well, as it appears that she isn't able to deliver water from her bottle into her mouth successfully at all. 

And her cycling shorts are REALLY shy on the chamois!  That's going to result in a little chafing, I think.
With all these faux-pas, I wouldn't worry too much about the so-called British cycling superiority...

That's all for today, kids.  Have a great weekend!