2008 Hermann CX State Championships!
Greetings Loyal Team Seagal Fans! I have a hypothetical question to pose for you - if it wasn't for cyclocross, how or what would you ride on days that the temperatures are in the shitter? (btw, spell-check does not recognize the word "shitter") The temperature today was in the 'teens for most of the day, eventually working it's way up to the freezing mark. It was generally cold enough to give you the pee and/or poo shivers, without having to even pee or poo. But that's cyclocross. And not coming from a heavy cyclocross background, I am amazed at how easily I/we have come to *crave* sewer-like rainy/muddy/cold/yak-semen-slick conditions, when I've spent all of my mountain-biking life despising and loathing them. If it weren't for the shared euphoric agony of cyclocross, we'd more likely than not find excuses to stay at home wearing the Snuggie and watch the Lifetime Movie Network while crying about how we're not getting adequate training miles, and using tampons to wipe away out tears. Maybe that is why the cycling gods created cyclocross - because they were tired of our sniveling and whining about how bad the weather is, and how we don't get to ride. They said, "Enough of this fuckin' around" and created a glorious discipline that would embrace it.
We landed in Hermann around 9AM to find that it so cold, that it was one of the few times when it would not be teh gayz0rz to hang out in the heated mens room. Looking "pro" took a backseat to warmth. Overall conditions weren't quite as bad as 2007 Champs, but they were colder for sure. After registering, we sat through a reading of Buddy's list of rules:
-Most important of those rules: No rough stuff, and no playing on wet equipment. (Insert Robort joke here.)
The course was fantastic - run-ups leading to off-camber hill run-ups, a super metal sandpit (that WAS rideable), barriers, a stairway that led to the pain cave, 180 turns, and a mind-snapping labyrinth of course tape was enough to break the wills of lesser soldiers, but not those of us who sacked-up and rode today.
The Cat 4 race was littered with Team Seagal soldiers - Cockpuncher, Gino, Nico, Mason, The Doctor, and Myself were all out for the souls of our competition. Doctor had an unfortunate run-in with that bitch, the dropped-chain fairy. Cockpuncher and myself were found to be in very close proximity for a good portion of the race, with me nipping at the heels of one Mr. Farinella (sp?) and some other dude from Dogfish who managed to find another gear as we started the last lap.
*Thanks to Lori who snapped a bunch of fantastic photos of each one of us at each major obstacle! Seriously, peruse all of them, because there are many more here - Link*
The Doctor in the process of dealing out Wrist-Snappage:
Nico giving the pavilion spectators a step-by-step lesson on how to tackle the barriers:
If the lead singer of Mastodon were to race CX, he would look like Mason going up stairs:
Gino, having just re-entered orbit (as evidenced by the steam on his shoulders):
Cockpuncher's cock-punching face:
How do you ride a sandpit? Coach shows you how to ride a fuckin' sandpit:
Thoroughly satisfied, and ready to change into dry, warm clothing:
After this photo, Mason decided, while wearing sunglasses, that he'll be starting a new tv show called "Mason's New BFF."
Some dudes would literally bound up the stairs. I ambled. Sacheyed, almost. Of course, the real stair-climb race was between Dan-o and Trixie, the dog:
After the "4's" race, some of us dug into a sun-lit superfan spot, and others lined the stairs while hanging out with the Mesa Crew:
Chris, being the crowd schmoozer that he is, was always grabbing for "crotch-preems" or rather, "ball-bucks", held expertly by Matt James and our own Mason Storm:
He was also gunning for the PBR/Stags, both standard and stuffed-with-dollars:
Dust also wanted him some ball-bucks (I think that one may have been the $5):
Most Pro-As-Fuck Shoes Award goes to The Butthead:
Most Intense Face Award goes to Curt Kippenburger (I think):
Once all of the excitement at the race was finished, we were re-deployed on a seek-and-destroy mission For Great Justice of food. We found it at a seemingly badass Mexican restaurant in Washington, but it turned out to not stack up to Dos Primos in terms of speed and quality of food. It DID, however, present our Mason with a challenge, one that was chock full of potentially heinous epicnicity. That is, the 5lb "El Diablo" Burrito. If said challenger is able to finish El Diablo in less than 30 minutes, it is on the house and their photo is put on the wall. You are in essence, making a deal with the devil.
An $18 Burrito looks like this:
Mason's funeral will be held this Thursday at 11AM.
After food, we were to continue our final mission objective, which meant getting some much needed rest in a comfortable bed:
Gino - 19/44
Nico - 26/44
Doctor - 28/44
CFR - 31/44
'Puncher - 33/44
Mason - 44/44 - (I thought there was another racer that finished like 30s after you?)
Enough can't be said to thank all of the people that sat at the tables early in the morning for two butt-ass-cold, windy days while taking our numbers, handing out tubed meat on buns, setting everything up and then staying late tearing everything down. Your hard efforts make these events run seemingly without a hitch to all the participants! Jeff Yielding is the man when it comes to anything that involves both Hermann and cycling!
The rest of CFR's photos - link
The full set from Gino's camera, Cat 1,2,3link
We'll be super-fan-ing it up at CX Nat's next weekend in KC, as should you be. The weekend after that, come to CXmas - there sounds like there will be a great turnout for this one, be a part of it!
-Casey. Fucking. Ryback.