Greetings Loyal Team Seagal Fan! I know what you're thinking - "Man, those Seagal dudes are a bunch of jackasses." or "Man, those Seagal dudes sure don't like dudes." Or "Man, those Seagal dudes are the most hard, pipe-hittin' mother f***ers out there." Or "Man, those Seagal dudes are such 'bromosexuals.'" Or "Man, those Seagal dudes are both badasses, AND consistently chill when it comes to racing and having fun." As it turns out, our badassness (and saddle sores) just increased exponentially with the results from Saturday's Tall Oak Challenge.
The odds were stacked against us before we even left St. Louis. Lafayette Square was awash in both our own delicious Pabst, and brews from Square One. Long into the night we watch other skinny-tire-types ride their bike fast after dark while putting down the beverages, morning dehydration be damned. In addition to that, we were minus one soldier due to work obligations. I guess we all gots to makes the money, right? Thirdly, we didn't take any PCP, as I said we would. It's amazing what you can overcome when you have superior attitude and superior state of mind.
We arrived at Binder Lake greeted by sunny skies, low wind, perfectly manicured trails, and a healthy dose of Missouri heat; though the heat wasn't as bad as it was at Seamonkey Xanadu. It was hot enough to drip sweat onto the bike within about 20-30 minutes of the first lap. But at least I couldn't smell the previous night's libations in that sweat... It could have been hotter though, thanks to help from Christian who let us share some of his EZ-Up tent space, and Rich who lent one to us. Because racing without shade sucks.
Those of us present on the start line included Mason Storm (with Cockpuncher ready to take the hand-off on lap-2) in Duo Class, and Gino Felino, Lt. Col. Austin Travis, and myself, Casey Ryback all going Mario van Peebles style - Solo.
The Le Mans style start was a fairly short but effective one as many of us who were at the front of the pack were hurdling over bikes. Bam! And so the long, arduous journey within each of our selves began. Things seen/left on the course: pain, weakness, remnants of various t'aints, some poor bastard's blackburn mini-pump, and a big-ass, day-glo orange mushroom that is likely to engulf the entire Binder Lake trail system soon.
A phenomena pointed out by Nico (one which I will confirm) after Rapture in Misery is that of the hand and fingers, which are really fatigued from gripping the handlebars and brake levers during long events (6,12hr) such as these. As it turns out, the muscles that the hand uses to hold toilet paper and then wipe one's self are the exact same muscles that get fatigued during these events. Imagine going to wipe yourself, and then having your once-up-to-the-task hand simply collapse into your ass, unable to finish the job. It is quite distressing, and allows me to see the value in a bidet.
What a dork - are those Cannondale Chaingang socks?
He's not as fast as he looks... oh wait, yes he is. Fast Lap Winner:
Lt. Col. Austin Travis gets a hand-off, and about to go deal out some more snapped wrists:
Gino stops in:
Lt. Col. Austin Travis in... 1ST PLACE IN MEN' SOLO! (I think his mustache played a huge part in that victory.)
Pfood really, really enjoying his beer:
Best Facial Hair Competitors:
We don't have full official results just yet, but it won't be long. (Whoah, I just saw two tigers mating on PBS. Damn!)
Here at Seagal HQ, we are in full agreement that it was a fantastic race. Perfect trail conditions, thanks to meticulous trail stewardship by the local riders. And TONS of schwag from New Belgium, Red Wheel Bike Shop, Specialized, and Kuat Racks - So much schwag! A regular schwag-fest! Schwag-tastic! Seriously, the trail was in simply awesome shape, and the fun was at a peak. Oh yeah, tons of free food provided by some nice ladies working the food tent. Oh man, free food is the best food. It's kind of like beer in that regard. Unless the beer is Camo.
HUGE thanks to all involved. (Please do it again next year - the venue is too perfect to NOT do it!)
Steven would be proud.
And now a Special Bonus Feature makes a return - an interview with one of the Soldiers - Lt. Col. Austin Travis, coming off of his BIG win this weekend!
Team Seagal (TS): "So Lt. Col. Travis, Tell us, how do you feel after your big... Hey! What are you do... NOOO!" ~~~crack~~~
Lt. Col. Austin Travis: "Hahaha!!! I make it rain!!"