Talk about being set up to underestimate the course! When you think "rock garden," you usually think of something that isn't terribly long, something that of which the end can be seen from the beginning. Well, this "rock garden" turned out to make up possibly a good 1/4-1/3 of the course. The word "relentless" comes to mind. In addition to that, another good chunk of this course was out in the sun through fields and down a powerline strip through freshly cut grass that radiated heat in the same way that Nickelback radiates gay-ness. This is with temps in the upper 90s.
The rest of the course, however, if not in a searing-hot field or on rigid-fork-pounding rocks, was amazingly fast, flowy, fantastic, and fabulous, from which the fun flooded forth to our faces.
Nico Toscani, Mason Storm, and myself, Casey Ryback, arrived at the elder Toscani residence late on Friday night, where we would enjoy soft beds and unbeatable hospitality the following morning in the shape of home-cooked waffles, ham and eggs. Talk about race-prep! It sure beat setting up a crap-filled tent by the light of crap-filled car headlights, then sleeping on the hard ground with 1-2 sweaty dudes who are less than a foot from being all up in your business.
We arrived at the park and set up a prime spot along the course for mid-race goodies. Mr. and Mrs. edler Toscani came to cheer us on and snap a few photos, which was much appreciated.
Here, you'll find Mr. Ryback utilizing his new and admittedly-dorky canopy chair even though it turned out to be the only shade to be had in the absence of a big Kona race tent (man what a tasty Toscani smoothie, btw):
"HAY GUYZ!! WISH YOU WERE HERE! XOXOXO"
Your heroes, along with Mrs. Toscani, proprietor of Nancy's Fancy Sweaters:
Either Mr. Ryback or Mr. Toscani on one of the biggest (and hottest) hills on the course:
Of course, the real action came in the form of results, which you can always rely on with Team Seagal. Are you ready? Nico Toscani came in 2nd place in the men's 20-29 6 hr solo class! The only other guy to beat him: Cameron Chambers. Never heard of that guy? Look him up. He finished 9 laps (just over 6 miles), whereas Cameron finished 11. The only way second place could look better is with a mustasche:
Our good buddy Christian was riding in great form as well, with a 3rd place finish in the 6 hr solo 30-39 class (cool t-shirt!):
Unfortunately, a not all St. Louis riders fared as well. Matt Keeven was also on hand to check out the new venue, though he lost communication with his feet, and had to pull the plug pretty early. St. Louis' own Scott O. also had a ridiculous run of flat tires, (6?) which took it's toll on his patience and inner-tube supply. Take it from a racer who passed many other racers on the side of the course - the so-called "rock garden" was NOT friendly to tires.
For instance, this guy (didn't catch his name) had some pretty terrible luck, and was even lent a co2 on the trail by our own Mason Storm. His last lap took an extra long time, behind which I'm sure there is quite a story. I wanted to mention him though because he still came into the check-in area and finished, even though the awards had already been given, the course was already being torn down, and most people had already left. Way to persevere,man!
The ride home provided nearly just as good of a time as the race itself, in the form of nerds like this. Note the gayz0rz license plate and the earpiece-headset:
This abomination shouldn't be allowed on public highways, and the father of this family probably has a fanny pack:
Despite these other threats on the roadways, we set an iron-clad course to Shakespeare's Pizza in Columbia for some healing of our minds, after we just had our wrists and minds snapped for over 6 hours in the blazing hot Kansas sun. It was a regular t'aint-holocaust out there. How delicious does this combo look?
When all was said and done, Nico finished with 9 laps and just over 51 miles, while Mason and myself both had 7 laps and just over 43 miles. Not bad for a days work in July... Don't forget - Next Sunday is Non-Race #4 at Matson Hill!
I don't think I've forgotten anything... Anyway, it's late and time for bed.
It turns out that this poor sap in a town over in Britain did not pass his cycling proficiency test. So, in a glorious display of law-enforcement bureaucracy, he has been ordered to resort to patrolling the townships over which he has jurisdiction by PUBLIC TRANSIT. A POLICE OFFICER PATROLLING BY BUS until he is able to retake and hopefully pass the proficiency test. So in case you were wondering which English town to pillage, you might grab yourself a bus schedule for the hamlets of Halstead, Knockholt and Badgers Mount, and go nuts.
I don't think it is possible to make this kind of thing up.
View full story here: stupid Brits...
This past Thursday, the 3rd installment was held, which found many of our Seagal Heroes firmly in the conductor's seat of the Pain Train. Mason Storm, Gino Felino, and Nico Toscani must have gotten tired of hearing Casey Ryback (myself) blather on and on about how badly his wrists had been snapped as he was shelled off the back of the A Race the last two weeks, and they had to come and see for themselves.
Gino showing nary a sign of stress or strain:
Mr. Toscani aboard his Salsa El Mariachi 1x9 in the A Race, courtesy of Tracy at the Alpine Shop:
Mason aboard his Fischer Ferrous in the B Race, also courtesy of Tracy:
Mr. Ryback after his Hiroshima-like explosion, about to fall two more places (though these dudes wouldn't pass me until after the creek crossing):
Start of the B Race:
5 seconds into the B Race - is it 1987?
Big thanks to Ms. Ryback for providing the photos. More photos of the Short Track #3 can be found here. Photos of Short Track #1 can be found here. No photos exist of Short Track #2, as there was a gigantic tidal wave that wiped the entire race away. A few racers were seen clinging onto the side of Noah's Ark as he made the best of the torrential rains.
Onto other business. A few of us here in the Team Seagal War Room have concocted a glorious idea of doing a night-time century. That's right, a full 100 miles, all after dark. No sun. There would be a few things to keep in mind when planning this out:
1) We would need to keep to well-lit streets and roads in order to not have to rely on full light-sets, the batteries of which would only last a few hours. So there would be few, if any quiet country roads. A lot of urban riding, and a lot of major roads to extend out. Traffic would be light on normally busy, but well-lits roads such as Manchester, Brentwood, Olive, Big Bend, or whatever.
2) Some MRT or Grant's Trail action would be in order.
3) Blinky lights would be required.
4) At-dawn BBQ would also be required.
Prepare your minds.
-Casey Fucking Ryback
This drink has had some stigma associated with it. Given that, we must refer to the time-tested equation: controversy + energy drink = me purchasing that energy drink. The apparently litigations brought against the makers of Cocaine Energy Drink have led to this awesome disclaimer:
I personally like that the word "Cocaine" is written in a "white powder" font, ready to be read with your nose. Kinda like a blind coke-addict's braille. The caffeine in this little 8.4 oz can is a whopping 240mg. Pretty concentrated for such a small serving. That's like an entire Monster can. If the caffeine content is surprising, then the taste is a f***ing sucker-punch from Dolph Lungren as Ivan Drago in 'Rocky 4.' This was the first drink that made me wince and then say aloud, "OW!" as it burnt my esophagus and nasal passages going down. No nosebleeds, but I suddenly want more and more and more, and I feel damn near willing to do anything to get one.
That's a lie, it tasted terrible. Maybe I was supposed to consume it like this:
Is there such a thing as energy drink rehab?
p.s. I've typed the phrase "energy drink" a shit-ton in this post.
tri·fecta (trī fekt a) noun: A highly enjoyable bicycle tour of St. Charles County where participants use the Katy Trail to connect three totally sweet MTB trail systems including: Lost Valley, Matson Hill Park, & Klondike Park.
The month of June has been a quiet one for me, Nico Toscani, as I purposely planned it to include only Mohican recovery and super fun party-time action. That is, zero races and plenty of delicious PBR. Mohican recovery did actually take a minute -on one occasion soon after the race I actually DNF'ed a Chubb Lap, retuning to the Lone Elk Trailhead before I even reached the picnic table. This would not be the case for the rest of the month. I set my sights on the Trifecta, wondering how many of its configurations I could domintate with my single-speed mountaining bike.
Three consecutive Mondays in a row I administered a challenge to the Trifecta, just daring it to try and make a fool out of Nico Toscani. I had to up the mileage on each successive attempt:
1) Monday June 16, 2008 - Trifecta (and a bit of The Hamburg Trail)
Leaving from The Mound...
- drop into Lost Valley, ride a CCW Lap starting with the gravel double track climb. 3/4 the way through the lap turn right off the the double track towards the parking lot and cross HWY 94. Head west on The Katy trail towards Matson.
-Up Matson Hill Rd, one lap of Matson Hill Trail and then back down to the Katy Trail. Head west towards Klondike.
-Arrving at Klondike Park, up the Hogsback switchbacks on the East Side of the park, then onto Powerline, Strip Mine, etc on the Western side of the park.
-East on Katy Trail back to Lost Valley, complete the last 1/3 of the lap you began earlier. Climb the double-track out of LV back to The Mound.
On this particular day Gino and I added 6 miles of The Hamburg Trail for some extra climbing.
2) Monday June 23, 2008 - Trifecta PLUS
Leaving from The Mound, a Trifecta PLUS is all the riding as mentioned above, but you complete two laps of each MTB trail system before moving onto the next. This particular ride included an optional accent of Terry Rd > Duke Rd > descent of Matson Hill Rd, just for the smell of it.
This ride was completed solo, somebody please tell me how is my table is moving at 5.5 mph?
3) Monday June 30, 2008 - DOUBLE Trifecta, aka Sex-Fecta
This particular pain train is exacly what it says it is. Dr. Wesley McLaren and The Shop Ministor joined me for the AM Trifecta, which departed The Mound at 9:30am. We were animals, gobbling up the course as if we were all riding with a 34 x 17 gearing. Trifecta #1 was history with a ride time of 2hr 57min, definitley the fastest Trifecta I had ever completed. I was feeling pretty good afterwards, but was wishing I hadn't watched Dr. McLaren slug back an ice cold PBR at the parking lot as I re-filled my bottles with 1/2 strength Gatorade. I was on my own for the PM Trifecta and things started off pretty sluggish in Lost Valley. I was fearing greatly that I would become saturated with weak-sauce and end up walking the towering gravel climb up Mastson Hill Rd. This would not be the case, I cleaned all of the major hills that haunted me and returned back to The Mound to post a PM Trifecta Ride Time of 3hr 2min. Quite a consistent day, I thought.
Thanks for stopping by, stay tuned for the next Team Seagal NON-Race, The Matson Hill Relay Race to be held on Sunday July 27, 2008.