Movie Review: "Rambo" - by Casey Ryback

"When you're pushed, killing's as easy as breathing"

When making the decision to see the newly-released Rambo movie, I was pretty excited, as I am a big fan of action movies. Especially when they are part of a badass series of badass movies. However, nothing could have prepared me for the cinematic epic of glorious death that awaited me at the movie theater that night! From beginning to end, the pain fell like rain. People died in almost every imaginable way. Mushroom cloud explosion? Check. Esophagus ripped from throat by hand? Check. Arrow through the face? Double check. Cut in half by .50 cal? Centuple (100) Check. Flame thrower? Mines? Disembowling? Rock-to-skull? CHECK CHECK CHECK CHECK! I mean, how often do you see a person turn into a cloud of tomato soup?

But this isn't just strictly about body counts. This is about vengeance, and giving people what they deserve. In the process of making this movie, Stallone must have spent much time thinking very hard on just how to make the bad guys really, REALLY bad. The thought process must have been something along these lines: "Ok, this guy is already a piece of shit. But how much worse can he look? Can we turn him into such a bad guy that people in real life will actually attemt to kill the actor?" Without giving anything specific away, I will say that you may have the sudden urge to get out of your seat and cheer at the screen as if you were in a high school pep rally.In addition to the vast amounts of jaw-dropping action scenes, the cinemtography and style in which the movie is portrayed makes everything that happens feel much more real and hard-hitting. Gritty and visceral are two words to describe it. Oh yeah, and graphic. This is NOT some campy 1980's action flick. (And believe me, this team knows their 1980's actions movies.)

Bottom line, this movie raises the bar for ALL movies, and it will give us (well, maybe just me) inspiration on the upcoming 3/6/12/24 hour epics races and rides coming up this season. You need to watch this movie now.


2008 Team Seagal Annual Dues

Attn All Team members: Steven would like to remind you all that the yearly dues need to be in by Feb 15, 2008. The amount is $60.00 and can be made out to Team Seagal Racing/or just give me cash! This fee will get you 1 jersey and 1 bibshort....if you want more you will have to pay cost. Please get this $$$$ in on time, so we can have our kits ordered by the following Monday. Don't worry about sizes or anything else just yet, because we will get a sample size kit.
PS- RAMBO this friday....stay tuned for show times....be there and don't be GAYZORS!


100 Miles of Forest Park?!

Good day Team Seagal fans. Thank you for your attention, we must detail an absurd feat as completed by two of your favorite cycling comrades:


This event took place last Friday, the 11th of January 2008. Earlier in the week, Dr. McLaren and I developed a truly super non-race course, tracing some 4.2 miles through the streets of Forest Park. Our route is highlighted on the following grainy map:

Here is a description using words of the 100 Miles of Forest Park Super NON-race Course:

Find the start / finish point at the bottom of Art Hill, go ahead and climb that to begin. Hang a left at the Zoo, pass the Worlds Fair/ Spanish Pavilion, make a right at The Muny roundabout and ascend McKinley Street up past The Jewel Box. Hang a left, pass some ball fields, The Mounted Police Stables and finally The Planetarium. Make another left to cruise past Jefferson Lake, do not disturb the busy fisherman. Follow the road, it curves back to the west passing the MO History Museum, the course regenerates itself as you return to the bottom of Art Hill.

Dr. McLaren and I completed 21+ laps of this Forest Park Super NON-race Course. We had a Garmin GPS unit so our progress was tracked by satellites in space - very fancy. In the middle of lap 12 we decided it was time for some lunch so we left Forest Park and rode to Legrand's Deli in south City. We enjoyed sandwiches and a can each of Steven Seagal's own Cherry Charge flavoured Lightning Bolt energy elixir, a natural energy drink packed with vitamins and exotic botanicals. We then returned to Forest Park and continued riding in circles until the odometer read 100.

Would you like to meet the bikes we were riding that day? Allow me to introduce Dr. McLaren's '88 Schwinn Tempo.

Check out that stylish head tube, this man has some serious team spirit!

Orange bikes are exciting to me, I was riding this Milwaukee Orange One.

Both of our bikes were set-up as single speeds because we like to coast, both bikes shared the same gearing of 42 x 16. In addition, we were both rolling on new wheelsets prescribed and built by the crafty Dr. McLaren himself. In fact, The Dr.'s new wheels are so fancy they deserve a mention. He's got Campy Chorus 9/10 spd hubs laced to 32H Velocity Aerohead rims with Wheelsmith bladed spokes. He had to hand mill cassette spacers to fit the funky Campy spline when fine-tuning the chainline on the Tempo. You can tell in this photo he is very pleased with the outcome:

I, Nico Toscani, am also very pleased with my new wheels. Take a look at my ghost picture:

Thanks for your patience and your thoughtful consideration for our team blog. Come back again soon to learn of the next Team Seagal adventure, possibly in progress right now!


WTF is with these guys and energy drinks?

Greetings Loyal Team Seagal Fan. Casey here, with another ridiculous energy drink review. This time, we have 3 very strange beverages indeed. Unlike our previous drinks that stand out due to their movie-star endorsement or extremely over-sized can, these 3 actually employ titmouse-sized containers, and if they were to be endorsed by a celebrity, it would probably be this lady:

The three contestants, none of being refreshing or carbonated:

All of which have healthy dose of Asian lettering, which is interesting and makes for plenty of personality, but what if I wanted to know what was actually in the drink?

Ooo, look at that - 50mg of Ching Chong Nip Nong!

The M150 SOUNDS like a firecracker. Sometimes a firecracker-like drink would be good if you want a pick-me-up. This is more like putting your lips onto the spout of a fountain-soda syrup bladder that has yet to be mixed with carbonated water. That's bad. It LOOKS like I found it buried in Old Man McGillicuddy's medicine cabinet. The absolute BEST feature of this drink though is found on the front label:

Apparently this drink has qualities of Heroism and Leadership - it says so on the badge! It's as if M150 is the Sheriff of Energy Drink Town, and it won't allow any drinks that are followers, or are un-heroic to pass through. Classic.

The other two drinks, "Carabao" and what is apparently the original Red Bull.

Turns out, they both taste EXACTLY the same, and that taste is surprisingly similar to Red Bull - from Holland. The mini Red Bull can has a pull-tab, reminiscent of the beer cans that your dad would drink back in the day when he'd come home from work and beat you. ("Dammit Bobby!") The nice thing about Holland Red Bull though? It has CARBONATION! and NOT AS MUCH SUGAR!

Unlike the notorious Fixx drink, I WAS able to finish all three of these... things. (Though they are only like 5 fl. oz., so that isn't saying much.)

One more thing to note about Asian Red Bull - you can win a crazy Asian mountain bike! Do those fenders come standard?

Lesson Learned: When a teammate of yours comes up to you and hands over a "bag 'o energy drinks," do not hesitate by questioning the outcome of this endeavor - simply grab and run! Quickly! The outcome can ONLY lead to a more Superior Attitude, and a Superior State of Mind!


A Challenge for YOU

Greetings to you, the loyal Team Seagal fan. Casey here. I have an assignment for you. That is, come up with an acronym for the word "SEAGAL." Some ideas already postulated:

Singlespeed Extreme All-terrain Guys At Large

Singlespeed Enthusiast And Gearless Angry Losers

Stupidly Entertaining And un-Gayzorz Armed Legions

Pretty bad, I know. You can cum up with a better one, I'm sure. Use your badass melon on top of your shoulders and pinch off a loaf of acronym for the rest of us to read! The best one gets a prize. No really! If you come up with a weak answer, you may get kicked by someone wearing these pants:

However, it probably won't be Chuck Norris wearing them. His kicks don't scare us like a multiple-broken-bone injury inflicted by Steven Seagal does.

This is, of course, so that if Mr. Seagal does happen to catch wind of our awesome Team, we can say "No, we're not using your name, we're using an acronym that coincidentally matches up with your name. Geez."


Geared Cyclocross Century!

Greetings to ye fellow Team Seagal fans. Gather round as we share another tale of great adventure and bravery as performed by two of your favorite Team Seagal heroes: Dr. Wesley McLaren and Mr. Nico Toscani. This Journey took place on Sunday December 30 in the year of our Lord 2007. I, Nico Toscani, greeted the day at a hearty 6:30am awaking to prepare for the great odyssey. After much espresso and camelbak filling I departed my residence near the magnanimous Forest Park and headed off towards breakfast: The Hardee's at the intersection Hampton and the ill-fated HWY 40/64. I was atop the newest steel steed in my fine collection; a cement grey Surly Cross-Check. This cycle began life as single speed but with the good Dr's surgical-like wheel building prowess it just recently got its gears, all nine of them. Here is a photographic description of the happy new cycle.

Well, it was 7:15am and I had a fat sack of egg samiches and hash-crowns so I headed over to Dr. McLarens' Office to dine and discuss the rest of the day’s goings-ons. Breakfast was just delightful and was followed up with the Dr's special signature blend of Chinese Herbs, undoubtedly fortified with Tibetan Goji Berries and Asian Cordyceps to keep us strong. If you are ever to meet with the Doctor take with you this warning: do not refuse his prescriptions- it is considered extremely rude in his culture to do so.

Together we left the Dr.'s Office and pedaled off towards the vast unknown in search of our destiny. Our route was a fairly simple one, picking up Midland Blvd in University City and following it west. Soon, we passed under I-270 and entered into Creve Coeur Lake Park off of Marine Ave. Here is where we took our first pit-stop- Check out the Dr's fine steed, the Fuji Cross Comp (on loan from the Shop Minister's permanent collection) leaned up near the restroom in Creve Couer Park.

This was no ordinary bathroom, but rather a member of the revolutionary Missouri State Bathroom Pilot Program (The M.S.B.P.P.). Instead of separate stations for hand washing, soap application, and hand drying this resting stop combined everything into one tidy hole in the wall. After you've completed your business just stick your hands into the hole and without pressing any buttons you receive 1) The perfect amount of soap squirted into your palms 2) A gentle stream of warm water to wash with 3) A hearty blast of hot air from a hidden electric blower. Just amazing technology here folks!

It was easy to traverse the park trails, soon we found ourselves crossing the Missouri River via the Page/ HWY 364 bridge and entering onto the Katy Trail. We were at mile marker 43 when we began the Katy portion of our journey to the west. Trail conditions were pretty damn good. We were able to keep a speedy pace, hovering around 16 - 19 mph on well packed ground. A little trail interference was encountered around MM 57 in the Weldon Springs Conservation Area. It got very swampy and progress slowed but did not stop. We rolled through Defiance and took another pit-stop at Matson Hill Rd. We were at approx mile 38 of our journey; check out the stately Dr. in this photo at Matson- definitely still in good spirits!

Our leisurely ride continued west and became very painful when our eyes focused upon the following street sign.

We left the Katy Trail and turned right onto Terry Rd, the gravel drive of pain and death.

Terry Rd. snakes upwards for almost three miles of steep, gravel rollers until it intersects Duke Rd, The paved reward for all of your troubles. Anyone who has ridden on Duke must leave with a very big smile on their face; wonderful scenery and smooth auto-free asphalt are there to greet all riders. It is here on Duke Rd that we achieved the day's top speed of 37 mph- pretty kick-ass, fun stuff on a cyclocross bike with fat tires!

Here is a photo of the log at which we stopped for a delicious picnic lunch and then some more of the Dr's special Chinese Herb Medley (for strength).

This log was found at the intersection of Duke and Matson Hill Rd. We were sitting there on the log when a group of riders passed us headed east on Duke Rd- it was King Furby and the St. Louis Cycling Club Defiance Group Ride! We yelled for Furby and his crew to join us at the log but alas, they did not hear our cries. Those guys really missed out, take a look at how much fun we had at the log during lunch.

Very carefully we desceneded Matson Hill Rd towards the Katy Trail where we turned to the west yet again. The Dr. and I pedaled to Klondike Park to visit the site of the last Team Seagal NON-race. We stopped at the bottom of the race course to relive the great memories and then climbed the path to the scenic overlook. Here is photographic proof that we did indeed visit Klondike Park.

The Dr. and I entered the Katy trail again, this time heading back East from our furthest point west, MM 64. We made haste on the return, eager to tell the others of our journey. One final stop was made, at a very special bench memorializing an apparent lost soldier. We dedicated our trip to this unknown, made peace and offered up a final gift of Chinese Herbs in his honor. We leave you with this photo of what is referred to as Al's bench; may his special blessing follow you wherever ye go!

-Nico Toscani