Truman's Big Love, redux - big speed, big fun, and big BBQ dinners

Greetings Loyal Team Seagal Fans! The good times just keep rolling this summer here in the Team Seagal Camp. And by good times, I am referring to traveling all the way to Landahl Park Reserve, again, for another badass race put on by all those Badasses over at Heartland Race Promotions. We went down... way down... deeper and deeper... all while singing along to Huey Lewis and The News, and found one of those experiences that make you truly enjoy life, and make all that 9-5 bullshit worthwhile. Turns out, you don't even need a Life Is Good t-shirt and Chaco's to have a good experience. In fact, life is better for both you AND I if you don't wear a Life Is Good t-shirt. This is because you won't be a cheeseball, and I won't have to look at your cheeseball ass.

5 of your favorite Heroes, Gino Felino, Lt. Col. Austin Travis, Mason Storm, Shop Minister, and yours truly, Casey Ryback, did intend to destroy the minds and souls of all that lay before them. The battlegrounds were the Singlespeed Class, and the Clydesdale Class. The competition was great, as was the preparedness of our collective t'aint. We found the classes a little more crowded than the KC Cup two weeks ago, which we greatly welcomed. Mo' Competition, Mo' Fun we always say, unlike with P. Diddy's song "Mo' Money, Mo' Problems." Spirits were high, and our legs were hairy. How can you go wrong?

Singlespeed class started off with a bang, seeing a line of coke... er.. 5 or 6 riders (including Matt Keeven, Gino, Lt. Col.Travis, Shop Minister, Troy N. and yours truly) shoot off the front and open a large gap immediately entering onto the "Boulevard," where it became a loose super-fast paceline. Well, super-fast relative to singlespeeds. Okay, I wasn't going that fast, though I did keep the front guys in sight. Once the first rocky climb came up, many were found going CX-style and running up in order to save energy. At this point, things spread apart quite a bit more and the race settled in. I gritted my teeth knowing that I had, not surprisingly, gone a little too hard at the beginning, so I tried to strike a balance between easing off my anaerobic pace and keeping the adrenaline going. It didn't take long for extra motivation to come up behind me, as Andy Schuette was becoming visible just behind me around every turn, and I knew he had the taste for blood! BLOOOOOOD! So I couldn't let up. Shop Minister, Lt. Col. Travis and Gino stayed fairly close for nearly the entire race, always battling to the death with Mr. Nelson, who was gunning for a better result than he had two weeks ago.

This course was absolutely ripping. It felt like a pump track coming down Tasty Goodness. My average speed was just shy of breaking the sound barrier, at 12.3 mph. That's pretty quick, considering you have to contend with Family Trail, and 200+ lbs. I'm curious what the expert men were running...

Much to my (and all our) surprise, I come out of the last bit of singletrack on my second lap, about to cross the little bridge going up to the start/finish, and there sits one Mr. Keeven! His first of 2 flats had reared its nasty, smelly head. It is bittersweet to pass someone that you know is a much faster rider than you simply because of a mechanical, but hey, no one will disagree that that is racing. If it were always solely about the legs muscles, then that wouldn't be mountain biking. That would be bodybuilding. We never saw Keeven again, until he crossed the line running - having run half of his last lap on foot! Unfortunately, he wasn't the only Mesa racer with a bad stroke of luck. Chris of Mesa Cycles had much trouble with his tires.

Mason Storm had a strong race as well, working moar like a massive steamroller of pain all the way to the finish line where an ice cold PBR was waiting for his black ass. Final Team Seagal results:
Singlespeed Class - 1) Shop Minister 2) Gino Felino 3) Lt. Col. Austin Travis 5) Casey Ryback
Clydesdale Class - 3) Mason Storm
That's right - 4 out of the top 5 were Team Seagal badasses. Now THAT is Badass.

Here, you'll see myself, Mr. Ryback, spreading my Batwings:

Mason gets his dues (not shown: pouring one for the homies):

After the race, there was much socializing to be had. Maybe a little congratulations to each other for representing St. Louis so well. Much PBR was drank, as well - this cooler was FULL with 2 full cases worth of cans:

DaveyB sportin' his new hat, and to say thanks, tries to show us his man-package:

The more attractive half of Team Trail Monster takes 5th place in beginner womens class:

Doesn't it look like Drew is dragging not only his new schwag, but also some dude behind him?

I promised I'd get a non-blurry photo of Davey B this time on the podium, especially since he was the ultimate wrist-snapper this weekend, taking 1st overall against a mega-stacked field! Congratulations!

Also big congratulations are in order to Christine, as seen here, for taking 1st in expert women's!

Whew! After all that super-racing (that's like racing, only more awesome) we had worked up quite an appetite. (Not an ape-tit.) So our Team Seagal Pain Train set a course to join forces with 4 DRJ Representatives (Mr. Ploch, Mr. Matthews, Mr. Beirman, and Mr. Albert) in dominating a local eatery, known as:

That place is a haven for all things meat-related. Oh mama, the combo platter involves all the major species found on the farm - pork, beef, ham, and then you STILL get 2 sides, a delicious pickle, all slathered in this sauce that probably can cure cancer. It's that good. Kinda feels like a place that Bandit would have eaten.

It was somewhat slow progress on the way home, due to two reasons. 1) Extra wind drag caused by open windows, which were required to ventilate the noxious gases out of the Pain Train. Noxious gases coming as a result of PBR and Biffles. 2) The need to stop at various gas stations for beverages. 2 cans which we've never tried before. The first one offered a very ambitious claim - to "restore faith in mankind":

Maybe I'm just a pessimist, but it will take a lot more than just a tasty, caffeinated energy drink to restore my faith in humanity after having seen Steven Seagal's new movie "Pistol Whipped."

The other can was much more intimidating, called Black Mamba. It's "The Energy Drink that Strikes Back." My face sez it all:

Don't forget - NORBA Short Track Series starts this week! It'll be some super fast, non-hilly riding with beer and food and girls and diamonds! Well, no diamonds, but lots of good stuff nonetheless! You should try it out fo' sho'...

-C. Ryback


Christine said...

Great race report. Good racing and fun times! See y'all soon.

Davey B said...

yo, that picture of drew-by is priceless!

thanks for the hat, jen was amused that i called her back on the ride home, after telling her about the race, to tell her how stoked I was about the hat. thanks! i'll wear it with pride.

Marc said...

Great report coach! Man, STL came with it to the race this weekend. I was stuffed with bread n' butter by the end of the day.

James Nelson said...

You guys should try Bates City BBQ, highway Z exit, east of Oak Grove and Landahl. Local place that it pretty tasty.

Chris Wurster said...

Way to rule the podium....haven't seem something like that since the East German women's swim team in the '70s.
Once again Mason does a superb job at showing the sponsor's goods on the box!
Anyone up for a 24 hr team single speed race somewhere between St. Louis and NYC?

Anonymous said...

Matt, nice racing with ya! Next year i will bring my single speed out and you can show me how its done in the fast lane.

c ya @ RIM


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