Greetings, loyal Team Seagal Fan! We are well on our way to broadening our path of destruction that is un-sleeping, unwavering, always steam-rolling ahead, smashing that which it wants to smash. As a team, we started off like a sniper, doing one thing and doing it well - endurance mountain bike wrist-snapping. In fact, our official inaugural race was the 2006 24 Hours of Landahl race. Fast forward to now, where there are continuous sightings of Team Seagal soldiers mixing it up in local cyclocross races. We are now more like Steven Seagal's character in "Under Siege" - an Ex-Navy Seal, expert in martial arts, explosives, weapons and tactics, Silver Star, Navy Cross, Purple Heart with Cluster. In other words, we're becoming massive badasses in more and more disciplines.
Jack of all trades, master of none? Screw that, more like supreme masters of all trades, failures at none, and please introduce me to your hot sister.
Night Cross at Creve Coeur Lake has been highly anticipated for a long time. It was written in the Book of Ezekial, 12:2-5, "And yay let all those who possess not-too-skinny tires to mount them unto their rims, and do so not until the sun has set in the sky. They will ride thine bicycles, and do so regardless of atmospheric temperatures, regardless of ridiculous vestments or garb. And there was much gnashing of teeth and gears."
Many of us were deployed to the battle of Night Cross. Nico was all smiles in his Willie McGee/underpants outfit, Gino looking like a retiree in Hawaii with Hawaiian shirt, grass skirt, and lights on his bike were both snapping wrists in the B-Race. The Doctor looking fine in his orange stretch-pants, Mason toting his boom-box, Col. Cockpuncher in his full military dress uniform (which still fits) and I dressed like in my 1972 couch suit with xmas lights on the spokes of the Hyblocross in the C-Race - we looked like a hundred bucks! Santa Claus made an appearance and managed and snapped some wrists as well, though apparently he wasn't in a very giving mood when it came to giving up placings.
Altus cranksets be damned, I was making sure to hand out CXmas cards whilst in the heat of battle. Or rather, the cold of battle, given that the temperatures were below freezing, exemplified by the stupid frozen puddles in the parking lot.
The C and B race might have been the sight of awesome, not-stupid costumes, but the A Race was the placed to find heated battles. And heat sources were hard to come by on the sidelines, but the flood-light generators managed to both heat our hands and probably kill some brain cells from their exhaust. A few of us set up the PBR hand-off zone right after the sand-pit, and in doing so, found several willing recipients - Davey B, Chris Ploch, Anthony Dust (3 or 4 times in a row, one of which he handed off to a fellow racer!!), Devin, and some dude who had obviously had enough and was about ready to pack it in. Many people were confounded that my hands hadn't frozen off due to my lack of gloves, but as it turned out, as long as I continued to obnoxiously ring the bell, my hand would stay warm. And I had a lot of ringing to do in order to counteract the delicious cold beer in hand. How serendipitous. We even got a shout-out by the leopard-print bathrobe-clad announcer! Totally awesorme. Seriously, so much party-like atmosphere was to be had Saturday night, we would have never guessed that we were surrounded by more roadies than mtb'rs. It was grat to see Zach Brace out there kickin' ass and chewin' bubble gum, but I think he wa all out of bubble gum.
Few things were more exciting though, than watching Nate, Josh, Big Pirtle and some dude from KC duke it out on the front of the A race. The KC dude managed to hang on for quite a while, but with those 3 CX masters destroying minds left and right, he was only prolonging the inevitable.
After the morning caffeine, poop, and enough advil to give a horse liver problems, The Doctor, myself, and Ms. Doctor trudged our way back out to the scene of the crime on Sunday. It was decidedly nicer conditions, given the lack of sand, the lack of butt-ass-freezing temperatures, and the lack of 50% of the previous night's attendance. The Doctor displayed a Superior State of Mind worthy of a Steven Seagal movie plot, when he rolled a tire on on the last lap with 75% of the course left to go, but finished the race. I still didn't even come close to passing him, despite having tires that seem to be literally impervious to sliding out on grass. Doesn't matter though, as I've found that I don't really have the "road legs." My "mountain" focused training this year, leading up to a waterfall-shaped "taper" has left me putzing around in the back of the C race with little hope of progress.
Sunday's A Race was another fantastic clash of the titans, with Nate Rice and the same KC dude from last night battling it out for several laps until Nate said " 'Nuff 'a this fuckin' around" and punched the gas for an un-answered breakaway win. Yikes. Does UCI have a test for Arnold Schwarzenegger-legs-transplant?
Davey found himself in a battle to the death with Josh Johnson, and took the sprint at the line!!!oneoneeleven It was simply amazing to watch all the other A games come to the party - Drew Black sed his back was essentially trying to kill itself, but you wouldn't know it from how strong he was riding - he was like the foreman of a hammer factory. Ploch held off a couple of guys who were nipping at his heels, oh man! Scott O. was mashing the pedals at the front of the race as well.
One of the more amusing parts of the festivities on Sunday was watching the roller-bladers, recumbent riders, aero-bar equipped Navigators, and weekend warrior TT'ers stopping by and watching as we were getting absolutely retarded on the sideline. You can't avoid 'em at that place.
We'll see about getting some photos posted up. In the meantime, prepare your mind, you body, and your t'aint for CXmas, Dec. 21. Seriously, don't be a shithead.
And seriously, how did I (we) not get involved with this serious business sooner?
-C. F. Ryback
*EDIT* P.S. - Read this thread. You'll be in tears laughing. At least check out the first page. Trust me.