Another CXmas Miracle! (warning - pic heavy!)

Greetings you Jerky-Ass Jerks! I wish I had another artfully-crafted, Christmas-themed literary truth bomb to drop onto your minds, though I believe there aren't any more worthy pieces for me to butcher when recounting this year's final Non-Race, CXmas.

That being said, let us look back, and reflect upon just what happened. As many of you know, this Non-Race was much more... on the "DL." And not the kind of DL that Ice-T talks about. But rather, the kind of DL that might keep us off those radars from last year. Contacting Lord Gino, Overseer of All Things CXmas-related, put you on a fairly exclusive list. A list that brought people from all over the Bi-State region.

We've been racking our brains this last year trying to figure out a new and fresh "location" for this Non-Race, and Gino, in all of his CXmas madness, birthed a new monster that would be sure to elevate the pain and suffering to a whole new level. All reports were that this year's course was as hard as Criss Angel while attempting to "dock" with Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger. Between the Stairway to Heaven, the gravel descent into hell, the egg nog/PBR/push-up dispensary, the Katy spray, the singletrack, and the ridiculous gifts, you wouldn't be able to keep the holiday cheer from being rammed down your throat-hole. And the entire route promised to not interfere with or ruffle the feathers of the powers that be.

Upon checking in with Gino, and handing over some canned goods,:
...you were issued your spoke card and greeted with a face-full of lovingly hand-wrapped gifts:

I and my good partner in crime had the joy of loading up the trunk with nog and PBR before watching the start and heading out to our checkpoint. But of course, a little taste-test was in order, to make sure that the temperature was just right - same idea as when you test a bottle of milk on your wrist for the baby. A truly beautiful sight:

Another beautiful sight, Masson in PBR-Pajamas: I personally tried to meet with many people who travel a great distance to be with us that day. I was greeted with a representative (patriarch?) of Team Red Wheel, who ceremoniously presented Team Seagal with the gift of Chimay, beautifully wrapped. I then proceeded to put that shit into my stomach.

Some people would be approaching this ride as an excuse to drink nog and be merry with lots of friends after a year's worth of intense racing and training, while still others were looking to be fucking serious, and take no prisoners. For example, profanity-laden-registration-email-author Mr. Piepert was using every advantage at his disposal - aero helmet, aero bars, tubular wheels, intimidating jersey with lightning on it, and to top it all off, he was sober. (Though it is up for debate whether or not this is an advantage for him.) I met with him pre ride as he was limbering up:
He divulged to me some of his go-fast secrets, the most intriguing of which was keeping his saddle heavily lubricated with Astroglide so that he could easily move around on the saddle as he changed positions from upright-to-aero-bars-to-standing-to-dismounting-to-remounting. Truly cutting edge stuff.

I next found BJ, from Team Momentum, preparing for his attempt at CXmas glory. He had brought the Momentum soigneur along for assitance:

All the pre-non-race prep had everyone ready to go, poised to hear the inspirational, Lombardi-esque pre-non-race words from "Digiorn-bro." Nick had his trailer full of goodies, while Borb Jorkins looked on wistfully and full of determination (which was in stark contrast to his nametag photo):

Sadly, we were missing many people who for one reason or another, were unable to join us. Not the least of which was our New East Coast Syndicate, otherwise known as C-Dubs, who, as a result of debilitating hip-pain, stayed in New York and using the time to "translate the Lost Scrolls of the Ming Dynasty."

Gino did then speak, and he spake of glory whilst pointing eastward:
Lining up for the le Mans-style start, the tension was palpable. Mr. Pieport was sent off the front, unknowlingly chasing Jason Pryor who was amazingly already off the front:
He was of course closely followed by the stampede, or the man-pede, with the Tropical Storm and Co. leading the way:

That was the cue for Mr. Farinella, PBR-Dave and I to man-train over to the nog station. On that short journey, we did see our CXmas-ers choo-chooing down the path, on their way to "The Vomitory:"

We arrived at the Vomitory, ready to "induce." The cups were lined on the table with care, with hopes that CXmas-ers sooner would be there:
One by one, the cups holding that nectar of the gods (the god being Energor) were emptied, though some elected to do push-ups instead (ever see someone doing pushups in a TT helmet?):

After sucking down that delicious nog, they would carry their bikes up the 210+ stairs: Whether they put down some PBR, egg nog from Aldi, or threw down push-ups, they all came through secreting CXmas spirit from every orifice. However, there was one group that was in no hurry to leave that checkpoint. That is, until some unfinished business was resolved.

But first, a little background.

Last year, there was certainly some one-upman-ship happening (with an emphasis on the man.) 2 cups, 3 cups, 4 cups, and before long, 5 cups were downed. But when Mr. Jenkins came along, and having learned of the bar to be reached, didn't just beat that record, but literally mouth-raped the record by putting 15 cups of nog down his throat. This lit a fire in his teammate Nick's belly; for this year, upon reaching the Vomitory, you could tell that they had been both planning on settling in for the long haul, savoring every thick, creamy, nutmeg-infused cup, regardless of the daily recommended value of elf-cum or pubes. Sitting back, they discussed the finer points of egg nog, and the consumption of. Here we have a rare photo of the two of our heroes holding only one cup each:
It didn't take long before the flow of nog started to slow down, as they pondered the distanced they still had to go:
We all thought the "contest" had been decided once Bob vomited after the 14th cup, and Nick pulled the nog-plug at 11. However, it was then that a dark horse candidate came forward - Adam, somewhat new to this arena. Having realized that this nog had no booze, he stepped into the ring. He stood there, confidently draining cartons of nog: Cool and calculated, he clawed his way to the top, setting a new record of 18 cups! Though, depending how you enforce the rules, his crown may be up for debate:

(Thanks Dana for sending me that vid!!!)

Congratulations to Adam, Nick, and Bob, and the rest of their crew, for somehow managing to get all of their bikes and trailers to the top of those stairs, patiently taking the time to effectively block off the right side of the stairs with several puddles of regurgitated/pre-ingested nog.

After leaving the nog station, our victims, er, non-racers circled the top loop of Creve Coeur Lake Park, (unfortunately having to avoid the sloppy singletrack) where they would make their way down the treacherous gravel hill, circle their way back across the river, and take the Katy out to some twisty singletrack goodness which is almost perfectly constructed for a CX bike assault! On the final return stretch, our non-racors were presented with a gift to bring back to the start line:

Truly ridiculous!

And there was much debauchery and merriment to be had there as well, spread on thick by Taggort, Jerkward, Lawman, and PBR-Dave:

Unfortunately, a few of our buddies had some troubles navigating their way to the finish line as quickly as they would have hoped. Both Tyler and Devin found themselves doing a little extra mileage. Devin has vowed some serious orienteering training regimens for next year. Whatever trials and tribulations people may have had though, that didn't stop others from completing the ultimate task in most glorious fashion:

The festive atmoshere almost had me forget that I got my sweet Sebring convertible stuck out in that field because I forgot it didn't have Posi:

2010 CXmas Non-Podium:
1st Place

(you should see the INSIDE of that suit!)

2nd Place

3rd Place, after finding a second use for his aerobars

1st Woman

1st Singlespeed

Yes, there was still more egg nog to be had, though this time it was much more refined, and distilled of the bullshit:

"This bottle is a lot easier to hold than some gayz0rz oversized present..."

Tom Albert, a little delirious from severe chaffing of the ass after having "soiled" the race-course, tried unsuccessfully to ride through the gifts, but WAS successful in being moar awesome: The Hayes' and Matthews' tandem class:

All of this Christmas cheer left Santa pretty dirty - Before:

We're always glad when some honorable dignitaries of DRJ come to show us the best of what DRJ has to offer at this time of year: "This is my wiping finger when taking shits in the woods."
The only thing you win from CXmas is bragging rights, and/or a headache the next day. Perhaps next year though, we'll take a page from the Singlespeed World Championship textbook and offer a sweet tattoo to the winner. Though instead of a badass bike-related design, it'll be winner's choice from one of these tattoos: Link

So with all of that behind us now, I'll take a line from the Golden Girls' theme song, and I, on behalf of all of Team Seagal, would like to say to all of our fellow Non-Racers, "Thank you for being a friend."
Merry CXmas!
-Casey F. Ryback, the Ghost of CXmas Past, Present and Future