T-tocs and the Ouachita Challenge 2010

T-tocs here for full report. As many of you jerks may know, the Ouachita Challenge 2010 took place this past weekend in Oden, Arkansas. This was to be my first mission in mountain bike racing and DEFINETLY not my last!

I encountered many trials in preperation for this mission, countless miles on the cross bike with fellow teammates, Chubb rides, and countless chinamen meetings with a certain Stormy and Jerkward.

I have heard stories of Ouachita from many of you. All stating that this is the race that will either break you, or make you. Well, it did both.

Stormy and myself left for Oden at 5pm Friday afternoon with a quick stop for food and gas before departure. That led us all the way to Springfield, MO where we stopped at the most popular place in Springfield, Walmart for a car charger for our cellular devices. This was wise of us soldiers to do so because if anything happened out on the trail during the race it was a good thing to have my phone in case I had to call Jesus and ask him, "Why me!, why this torture!" The ride from Springfield took a little over an hour in the Shangri-La to just outside Oden for camp.

The camp ground we stopped at was BBBAAADDD AAASSSSSS! Many chinamen were congregated inside our camper, a certain Jerkette's Honda Element. This would be our shangri-la for the weekend.

Saturday morning we woke around 9am for serious wind and Hemp granola breakfast outside our Shangra-la. With a quick wash of the face and hands we were on our way to Oden.

The ride to Oden is unbeleivable! To add, Pine trees make my privates tingle, and boy were they a tingling! So many pines!!! Oden was our destiny and we made that destiny around 12pm due to another trip to the most popular place in town- Walmart for some arm pit wonder sticks. I was told of a story where a certain Doctor purchased a pair of chinese dragon swim trunks from this exact location.

The Oden High School location is perfect for this race. Travel this way and hit gravel rode to Womble trail, travel that way, hit gravel road to Ouachita trail. Eww Whee!

We got our race registration under control and were ready for bike preparations. That took some time. I swapped out the dual WTB Exiwolf setup I had going for a Maxxis Ignitor for the rear and a Exi up front. This was good. We got our bikes ready and kitted up for some pre-race riding. A racer by the name of Mike went along with us for our pre ride. He was from Wichita, KS. The direction we took was the direction the race was to start. From Oden High School, to about 5 miles of gravel road, then onto the Oauachita Trail! HOLY SHIT! This opened my eyes! We rode about 5 miles of trail before turning around for dinner.

On to dinner, delicious Speghetti and garlic bread with a side of salad did the trick. This was a great meal after some gymnasium high powered, blow your nuts off showers before meal time.

After dinner I had some difficulty getting my Ergon GX3 grips set to where I wanted them. Oh, my rotors were bent to shit too, so the breaks were a squicky mess! The bikes were put on the Shangri-La and we made our way back to the cafeteria for a double down of speghetti and bread. The raffle was about to go down. We did not win anything, but two good men gave us their raffle tickets to better our chances. At the end of this it was time for bed and boy was that the last thing on my mind.

I slept great! So did Stormy. We woke around 630am, that was cutting it close with a start at 8am. Everything was okay. Storm went to drop some off, as most racers did before race start. He grapped us a breakfast of banana slices and pancakes. No sit down breakfast for us, we were running behind.

Storm caught a flat 2 minutes before the start and he changed the fastest flat on a mountain bike wheel I have ever seen in my life! There was a quick shout out to John "Fuzzy" Mylne who was also on a single speed getting his legs ready. That was awesome to see him there.

Ding-Dong, the school church bells rang and the race was on! I kept it casual the whole race really...reminding myself to keep a smile and have fun on my bike. I kept this attitude the whole race. So did Stormy.

About 14 miles in it took us to Aide Station 1, which I blew through! I had enough hydration to get me to the next. I was starting to feel good on the bike. Passing about 20 racers getting water and a volunteer saying I was 5 minutes behind the lead. THAT DIDNT MATTER TO ME, I'M HERE TO HAVE FUN, NOT WIN! This next section changed my life- Blowout Mountain! Holy Shit again! This was gnarly climb after gnarly climb. Once at the top a man behind two giant boulders was letting it drop, that made me and Stormy laugh. I caught up to Storm about halfway up Blowout. We hung out together for almost the rest of the race. Brotherly love. The downhill after the Blowout climb made my hands hurt! We hit another Aid Station after some gravel riding. This was our first stop. I saw orange slices, PB and J sandwiches, and my favorite, PICKLES! That also got me going! Nothing like a pickle during a race! Eww Whee! I got my food and water and we were off, off the bikes that is climbing what people were calling Suck Mountain, and yes, it Sucked! It was steep, but at the top it was beautiful! What a fucking view! That did it for me, I LOVE MOUNTAIN BIKING! PERIOD! Aide Station 3 came after some serious gravel riding where I lost Stormy and was on my own for some time.

I cannot describe what goes through the mind when you are only 25 miles into a 60 mile race! I caught back up to Storm on the gravel and that took us to the Womble Trail. This was Aide Station 4. Entering the Womble Trail I didnt know what to expect. It as two climbs that at the top dropped off to 300-400ft lookouts onto Ouachita River , OH MY GOD! SOOO AMAZOORRRRZZZZ! This is where I started to realize Mountain Bike Racing was now part of my life.

The Womble Trail is great, so great I can't stop thinking about it!

At 10 miles into the Womble it dropped us onto a gravel road where I screamed out loud at myself to keep pedaling forward. I felt stupid for shouting out loud and whinning like a little bitch! I crushed on and Stormy went right on through to the last little bit of Womble we had left. I was feeling the burn fooo shoooo! It hurt, BBBAAADDD! Stormy broke down cramping due to lack of Perpetuem that he used up. The last 10 miles suuuuuuuucked! It hurt bad bad bad bad bad! I was toasted for sure! We meet up with two lovely ladies, a certain Missourian, Sonya with Team Red Wheel, and a Illing from Austin. We rode with them and then I lost the three of them and started to break down. I exited the Womble to the last Aid Station, number 5. I got my last token, a brown zip tie, which also changed my life! I love the color brown now. The guy handing out the token told me I could use a slice of Pizza, I told him if he said anymore I would have to snap his wrists. It was all downhill from here on gravel. It felt good seeing farm land for the last 3 miles. The Midwest is badass! I love it! I made a left turn on route 88 which took me up a short climb to the finish. I DID IT! I COMPLETED THE CHALLENGE! A few minutes behind Stormy and a hug from him made the race complete! I grapped something off the finsher's table, a new pair of Ergon GAI grips and that was it. What a race, HOLY CRAP! YES!

We took showers after the race, which again took my nuts off and headed out toward the Lou. We stopped midway for burgers and tequila shots before bed in the Shangri-La. Woke up around 7am and made our way to the Lou and the journey was life changing! I cant thank the race support crew and the volunteers for such an amazing experience.

I WILL return next year! Also, I will return with a mustache!

Good luck,



Middle Fork XC Top 25 Registrants

1. Cock Punchor SS
2. Stephen Chesley SS
3. Dan Miller M
4. Gabrielle Renner F
5. Rob Ballou M
6. Scott Nelson SS
7. Wendy Davis F
8. Jeff Yielding M
9. Roger Mackay M
10. Drew Black M
11. Barry Vollmer SS
12. Christian Stitz M
13. Todd Holtman M
14. Nico Toscani SS
15. Scott Peipert M
16. Karen Holtman F
17. Rock Wamsley M
18. Bob Jerkins M
19. Lukas Lamb M
20. Mitch the Mashor M
21. Taggart SS
22. Karl Kimbell SS
23. John Hatcher SS
24. Brian Busken SS
25. Jason Pryor M



Me, Mitch, and Middlefork

Greetings Jorks. Unlike your typical watered-down "Christian Music," teh Middlefork Trail is fucking awesome. And since I wasn't able to make the Team Seagal AZ tryouts with Norc-ward, the next best option on a beautiful thursday off was to be deployed south of Potosi for some Middlefork recon. With Mashor back from "vaca" with the "fam," we joined forces like a couple of modern day Conquistadors and laid down the law all through the OT.

Now I feel as though I've put in a respectable number of miles this year, although most of them have been on the road since I've regretted almost every mountain bike ride that I've been on so far. The only ones that have not been regrettable in fact have been the days with lots of snow. The rest of left me and my bike covered in shit. Regardless, the mileage has started to accumulate and I figured that would help see me through a day chasing down the 2009 Burnin' 12-Hr Solo Champion and fellow belt-buckle-owner. Not so much.

Waking up to the sound of Nickelback on the radio is like the best way to wake up, as the the instant sensation of pure hate is like drinking 3 pots of scalding hot coffee - it wakes you up and get the blood pumping so you're ready to tackle the day. Saddling up my shit, I meet Mashor, where our forces combined into a 2-man-train which choo-choo'd down to 32/DD:

The sun was shining, the hate was spewing forth, and the gravely texture of the first descent from the trailhead let me know that the rest of the day will take work that will pay off in dividends. An excellent pace was established, Mashor never getting out of the big ring on his 2x9 and I trying to not get too far into the red zone up some of the steeper sections. Not having to race against the clock affords a person some time to check out some of the side features off the trail:

The climbs didn't get any flatter from the last assault on this trail, but there were a few more trees down - maybe 6 or 7 that required a dismount. There were also plenty of sections where you can see all the work that had been done removing fallen trees, and it kinda felt like a hallway at times:

We also happened to come across the elusive Iron County Jenkem Farm, which Nico and the Doctor had encountered last year in the form of lots of white buckets throughout the woods. Creepy. No photos were taken for fear that it would make the times past a little too real later on.

As we made progress down the trail, our conversation brought us to the topic of Dwayne, and his nuclear-powered motor. Mashor informed me that in the last two weeks that jerk has done 2 Double-Berrymans, and gone "long" on the road several more times. And when Dwayne sez "long," it usually is the type of ride that starts and ends using a headlight. Thoughts of this swirled through my head as we came to Strother Creek which comes off of the tailings pond, and managed to cross it only to find ourselves on a section of trail that was so horsed-up, we were thinking that we stumbled into the Swamp of Sadness from "The Never Ending Story:"

The last few miles between Strother Creek and Hwy J are in my opinion rather forgettable due do the horse traffic, but still totally worth doing. We checked out the trailhead that enters the Karkagne Section of the OT, and then blazed a path homeward on the gravel roads. Mashor had never been back that way, and so I was somewhat anxious to show him this:
(Those of you that have done it know what that is the beginning of. - over 370 feet in just over a mile!)

We plodded back to the car, settling into a (for me) good pace up the final climb to 32. My t'aint was happy to be back in dry clothing and sitting on a nice set in the Mashor Mobile, as I thought how much more form I need to acquire before I'm read to board the man-train down to Syllamo's. If not 100% ready, then Syllamo's might destroy me like this:

-Casey F. Ryback


Vacation is OVER

Greetings and good day. Nico Toscani here. Over and over, again and again, my brain has replayed to me the events and goings ons of the past week (my minds speaks to me with a Chinese accent, btw). I had the opportunity to play the staring role in a Team Seagal Arizona production, a week-long desert blockbuster conceived by one of our closest and most trusted allies, the crafty Dr. Wesley McLaren:

As you can see, Doc is a huge jerk. So is his dog, Taco. Unfortunately, both dog and man were all types of laid-up when I came knocking at their door. Dr. McLaren's wrists are strong as quantanium and his skills in Stemware Jujitsu are superb. I have been told his mind also speaks with a Chinese accent. Despite possessing these wonderful qualities, Dr's left clavicle really sucks.

When I left for Prescott (pronounced press-kit), AZ the weather in St. Louis, MO was sunny and 70 degrees. When I arrived in Prescott the weather was...

This did not affect us in the least, instead of whining we had a glorious afternoon consuming delicious PBR and then green cans of IPA. Our activities' list included city-touring and private Chinese language lessons. Mrs. Dr. then made us a wonderful dinner and we watched a straight-to-DVD major motion picture staring The Master. Very pleased, we then retreated to our quarters. Sleep came easy as we dreamed of breakfast beers and more Chinese lessons.

The next morning, UPS delivered my bike to Dr's new employer, Ironclad Cycles. The build went very well I set my wheels up tubeless [for the first time] on the first try! During the next few days the weather became warm and sunny and all the snow melted. My bike was working awesome so I went on a little ride around Dr's neighborhood.

I climbed the hill behind his house:

Several hundred vertical feet later I found two things:

1) Excellent view of Prescott and 7,000 ft mountain peak:

2) Monster Truck!

Look at how much bigger this persons monster truck is compared to the other persons mazda sports car. Rediculous, except for the one time during my visit that I wished Doktor did own a monster truck.

Myself, Dr, and Mrs. Dr decided to go and watch the sun set over the Verde Valley from "The Overlook." Up and Up and Up we kept going for like 45 minutes, the three of us traveling in their '95 Jeep Cherokee. The road changed from pavement to dirt and looked like this:

No problemo! The Jeep handled that like a champ. Soon though, the road changed to this:

Ohh man. The Jeep was still scootin' along until we took the wrong line and ate shit in this rutty sonofabitch:

High Mountain Rescue came in the form of another Jeep, a seriously jacked Jeep, equipped with a winch. In like three minutes, we were pulled free from the rut of despair and much cheering ensued.

Let's get on to the race. HOLY SHIT! Sedona is amazing. We arrived around 6:10am, almost an hour early. The sun was beginning to rise and the surreal Mars landscape was lit-up in a crazy purple glow. By 7am, 29 racers (over 10 riding SS) had gathered in the IGA parking lot. We were ready, Scott M. addressed the crowd. He promised that much fun was to be had, and wished everyone a most superior attitude. After a short neutral roll out, we were off! Immediately, two large groups formed. I found myself directly between the two groups, keeping the lead group in sight while distancing myself from the rear group. The trail and slickrock riding was perfectly flowy and spiced frequently with technicality. The soil was red and tacky, my tubeless, high volume tires hooked-up like crazy.

This scenario continued on for a couple of hours as the Sedona landscape unfolded in front of me. After a while though, well, I fuc*ed it up. Oops, I rode th Llama trail three times instead of once. Then I got really lost. I was never scurred about being lost though, I was running a fancy new GPS. Although I was having trouble linking together the race course I knew that I could find my way out so I never got panicky.

A little under six hours had passed when I reached the finish line at the Bike and Bean: (also a Kona dealer and the best bike shop in Sedona.) Unfortunately, I did not finish the race course; FORTUNATELY, I was the first person to show up for the after party! Dave Aholt, PBR rep to the stars, made magic happen and arranged the donation of SIX cases of delicious 16oz PBR cans to be enjoyed by all.

Over 50 people showed up to the party to enjoy the tall cans and cheer on the finishers. Here is the view out the front door of the Bike and Bean:

Dr. had a great time too, Sedona is an alright place to be stranded for 8 hours when the weather is 64 degrees and breezy. He went on a 10 mile hike of the race course and made new friends with a fella named Randy...reports indicate Randy is also very fluent in Chinese so they had much to converse about. In addition, Randy and his crew were definitely finishers of this brutal race. There were six finishers in all, kudos to each of them. Of the six, four were riding SS - the winning time was just over nine hours, the final finisher crossed the line in just under eleven. Holy shit!

The drive back to Prescott totally blew my mind. we descended from Sedona into the Verde Valley and drove 30 miles across the desert floor towards the 7,000ft Granite Mountains in the distance. As we began to negotiate the twisty highway switchbacks scaling Mt. Mingus the sun began to set behind us. Nearing the top of the pass, built right into the hairpin turns is the incredibly impressive town of Jerome, AZ. Jerome is an old copper mining town, once home to over 15,000 people. The entire city is built right into the hillside, hardly clinging to the cliffs. They have one big-ass view of the Verde Valley stretching all the way to the red rocks of Sedona with the snow covered 12,000ft San Francisco peaks (Flagstaff) behind it. That shit will be hard to forget, thanks so much Doc.

The next day me and Doc drove 3 miles from his doorstep to the Granite Dells, for a 2hr hike among the billion year-old rock formations. Taco the dog came with us on the hike and I think we wore her out - when we came home Doc forced her to put on this strange, sand-deterring diaper:

By this point, vacation was almost finished. I was flying out the next day in the late afternoon so I figured I had time to go for one last ride, a mtb ride! I woke up early, suited up in my Team Seagal Kit and donned a Hi-vis yellow vest. I made my way out of town, climbing on the Senator Highway in order to link-up with the 396 Trail, a popular XC orientated trail that bears an uncanny resemblance to both Middlefork and the Lone Wolf Trail. I felt right at home on the flowy trail and my tires were still tubeless so I began to smile. After 20 miles and 3,000 ft of climbing I returned back to Dr's house. He handed me a green can and asked me to take a seat. I did what he said, and with a thick Chinese accent The Dr. began to tell me of his most recent encounter with Energor. The two of them had come to a consensus, Dr. revealed that I made the team, I was now a member of Team Seagal Arizona!

I am home now, the next obstacle to overcome will be the Lost Valley Luau on Sunday March 28. I must encourage your attendance at this most excellent event. I will be racing SS, but there are rumors floating of Seagal soldiers signing up in *different* categories. This means beware and take cover now, no wrist is safe!

Thanks for stopping by,

Nico Toscani


2010 Non-Race #1 Middle Fork XC UPDATE

So far I have recieved 16 entries for the Middle Fork Non Race. I will post the roster when we hit 25, and then the final roster on the last day of registration Monday March 29. I have all the racer/non race info packets ready for the mail, the prizes are being collected, and some very unique trophies are in the process of being made. I have said too much, so quit being a jerk and mail in your postcard. If you have no idea what I am talking about then go here for more info.
That is all.

Wednesday at Council Bluff Lake

To: Team Seagal Allies in Arms
From: CockPunchor
Re: Assault on Council Bluff Lake


* Deployment begins 17Mar2010 at 0900 from Punchor HQ in South City (stop)
* We will begin the assault from the Top Secret, no pay-to-play parking lot of the Enough Boat Launch (stop)
* Wrists will be snapped for a minimum of two laps (stop)
* Dos Primos will be crushed upon completion of wrist snappage (stop)
* Anyone wishing to assist Jack Taggort in his efforts to de-sandify Punchor's vag is strongly encouraged to attend (stop)

This messorge will self destruct in 24 hours (stop)


Don't forget to get your Porstcords in to Tropical Mason Storm for the soon to be most fucking amorzing Non-Race of all: The 2010 Middlefork Non-Race #1. Now, go Middlefork yourselves. Punchor, out.


The Fuel That You Need the First 2010 Non-Race

Greetings Team Seagal Fans. Certain ads come along from time to time that make you wonder if they were on the Zambian Lung Butter when they made it. Steven Seagal - the gift that keeps on giving:

Speaking of the upcoming non-race, info available here, spots are filling up fast so follow the instructions. A roster will be forthcoming.

Word has it that completing this Non-Race is harder than eating a cookie off of one's shoulder:

-Casey F. Ryback


2010 Non-Race #1 Middle Fork XC

Greetings Jerks and Jerkets. Mason Storm here to tell you about the first Non Race of 2010. First up on this years Non-Race calendar will be another first ever. The Middlefork XC race will take place sometime in May, and it is only open to the first 50 to register. Register you say, but I thought Non Races are free?! They are, but this one is special so in order to get all the info(The Where, When, Why, and WTF!) You must mail me a postcard containing your info, and if you are one of the lucky 50 you will recieve all the race info in your mail shortly after. Let me just say that the the order I recieve your registration will determine how and where you start this race, so what are you waiting for...send that shit! This race will have 3 cats. Men Open, Women Open, and SS Open. It will be 33mi mix of singletrack and country road. It will be one large loop, and expect finishing times to be roughly in the 3-5hr range. I will send all entrants there race #'s and information on April 1st, so you have to get me your info by Monday, March 29. Send yout postcards to...

Mason Storm
5912 Southwest Ave.
St. Louis MO 63139

Postcards must contain this info.

CAT(M,F,or SS)
RETURN ADDRESS(otherwise I can't send you the race info?!you dig?)

Just in case you have never ridden Middlefork here is a video from our friends over at the DRJ camp from yesterdays ride.

MiddleFork from bob arnold on Vimeo.

I will post the other 2010 Non Race dates later this week, but just FYI you will see #1 Middlefork XC, #2 3rd Annual Chubb Challenge, #3 Vampire 100(1st Road Non-Race!), and of course #4 2010 CXmas in the upcoming calendar.
That is all for now, good luck.


Team Seagal Arizona Try-outs Next Saturday 3/13!

Holy shit, and good day people. The author today is Nico Toscani and I am a tremendous jerk. Last time I took vacation was in September 2009, the location was Durango, CO. Several soldiers from our battalion participated, we had a friggin' amazorz time. Here are some behind-the-scenes, un-published photos of my last vacation:

Pretty cool trip, right? Since we have now visited times past with great joy, let us please focus forward on the future. Fortunately, for the author, it is vacation time whonce again. I spoke to my Dr. Friend in late January, he relocated to Prescott, AZ last summer. A most excellent town, Prescott is also home to home Whiskey Off-Road and Doc's new TC-MAN. Dr. is a rapscallion, it was very nice to speak with him. We first reminisced about times past and great joy ensued. Next, our good Dr. friend became serious. He spoke of a recent dream. Energor, he said, had appeared to him in a foggy haze of Zambian B.H...

"Doktor," Energor beckoned, "Team Seagal Arizorna is awesorme. You are supreme leador of Team Seagal AZ. You need some forllowers, though, Doktor." Energor paused and then reached out his hand. Doctor passed him a balloon and Energor smiled. Soon after, Energor began to speak again.

"Seek out the event that will flush free the most sand from the under-carriages of your followers." Energor drew deeply from the balloon. "Doktor, never fear. The reading on the Park VGS-12 shall confirm."

Wow. Doctor then revealed to me the chosen event and its location, taking place deep within the Coconino National Forest. I was moved by Dr.'s nice tale of foggy dreams. It was an easy decision to accept his invitation, I arrive in Prescott next Tuesday 3/9/10. Race is Saturday 3/13.

My 2008 Kona Kula Supreme 29 has been retired, what a great frame that was. I have a 2010, poo-brown colored Kona Big Unit 29 on order to replace it but the finished frames have not arrived yet to our country. No big deal though, I just got this:

In review, let me assure you that I am a tremendous jerk. Stay tuned for continuous updates as vacation unfolds, I really hope I make the team. PEACE!

-Nico Toscani

*THIS JUST IN: Doktor has had an unfortunate run-in with a sink-hole! Early reports indicate that Dr. got served while shredding trail in San Jose on a $8,000 Specialized S-Works. He will be Ok but was temporarily KO'ed! Dr. will be playing a support role during his team try-outs next Saturday. Gooooo Dr!