Greetings Team Seagal jerks. Another weekend of racing with beautiful weather is behind us. Instead of vomitous "Belgian" weather, it has been mild, leaving the ground dryer than camel's nut sack. It could be a lot worse. Even though we all dream for nasty conditions where it is cold and rainy, and I (along with the rest of the Bubba crew) wish for softer ground into which I can drive the wooden stakes, it certainly is hard to complain about not having to completely overhaul your mud-caked bike after each race, and not having to change out of cold, wet, shitty clothing and stand in the slop. Perhaps we employed a little too much yak semen earlier this year when doing our secret Team Seagal rain-repelling dance, in hopes of dry mountain bike races. No matter.
This weekend's races were full of stores that sold nothing but Team Seagal jerks. CX at the Sem was once again a truly spectacular course that, much like John Candy, was loved by all. Unfortunately, much like John Candy, that race is over now, with the Dynamic Duo of Butthead and our own Professor punching each other in the face over again the whole time, ultimately leading to the JDE, or Johnson Diesel Engine, reigning supreme. Because after all, "He has the jersey." Professor told me that it was probably the hardest CX race he'd had this year.
Sunday was a new day however, with new challenges, and new jerks. The whole time setting the course up, I was left wondering just how the people at Suson Park managed to get grass to grow out of concrete, because as I hammered in the stakes, they just refused to go into the ground, unlike Criss Angel's butthole, which doesn't refuse anything. That being said, the Sunday course was fast and furious, with many brand new things to try out. I for one, was trying out my newly built and glued set of killer Velocity Major Tom rims to which I have a set of Challenge Fango's attached, all spinning on my favorite hubs in the world, White Industries. This would be my first time ever on tubulars, and to say I was just impressed would be like saying "Criss Angel is just bisexual." I thought I might be the first Team Seagal Soldier to employ tubulars, but alas, Professor beat me to it in a much more pro way - carbon rims with Dugasts.
Also being debuted at Suson was a prototype product from the minds of Anthony Dust and myself, The Crotch, which can only be described as a series of can cozies sewn together to make a somewhat-insulated sleeve, and is then held with a shoulder strap. This allows for easy carrying of beers around a race course, and keeps them relatively cool. Or at least, cooler than they would be if they were in your pocket. 6 cozies equals 5 beers. Spy shots have yet to be found. Expansion plans are already in the works.
We started the race uphill, in gravel, which doesn't bode well for a tubbo-McTubberson such as myself. Nevertheless, I managed to hang onto the man-train involving King Furby himself, noted beard-dopers Robert Mayfield, Mason Storm, and T-tocs. Eric Siever and LaBerta were well gone, despite their lack of beards. As we choo-choo'd around the course, things sorted themselves out and better lines were discovered. The Tropical Storm found himself needing a back-e-atomy, and had trouble hitching himself onto the back of the Crotch-train. I was having troubles of my own keeping Robert in sight. I would start breathing down his neck through the twisty descents and small log barriers, but he would pull away on the straights and the climb up-to and passed the start/finish. I found the grassy climb just after the start/finish to be the hardest part of the course. It was so hard, it was harder than Criss Angel at a Boy Scout Jamboree. This is also the climb where Mr. Shoemaker would start to make up time on me. He was hungry for the Crotch, as usual, but this race, the Crotch would get the better of him, as I finished in 4th place.
I was somewhat surprised how long it took the lead C-Racer, from Team Mack, to catch up, and when he did, I tried to back off and NOT draft him at all, as he smelled worse than the Creve Coeur Fish. (However, his handling skills were lacking, and so I was forced to endure his "musk" at close proximity for a while.) The steep run/ride up was fun, and I actually enjoyed taking out the frustration on that hill, that I had bottled up from hitting my hand multiple times the day before with the hammer while trying to drive wooden stakes into concrete. I would ride to the top, pass the peanut gallery involving Jerkward and the Stovingtons, making sure to stay in front of any geared riders hoping to pass me ahead of time. Following our race, I and the rest of the Team Seagal army spent time heckling Nate Means as he turned the B-Race into his playground.
The A Race seemed just a hair on the sparse side this time, with a handful of familiar faces not present. What WAS present was another showdown between our beloved Professor and Butthead. If I didn't know any better, I would think there might be some sort of rivalry here. The two of them rode with the group for a lap or two, then proceeded to pull a Mad Max on them, and turn on the supercharger. The gap they created was measured with a calendar. Not to say that was the only race going on in the A's - Scott O, Mr. David Stroot, and a handful of others made for some excitement. Anthony Dust created a one-man man-train on which he rode for 3rd place, and as always, Scooter McScootington was much loved by all, and got the most cheering and jeering (behind the Butthead/Professor Express) as he crested "Hooligan Hill," even managing a delicious PBR-Hand-Up. Truly an awe-inspiring feat of superior attitude and perseverance in the face of a year that, well, to call his year rough, would be like calling Criss Angel "just a little more in touch with his feminine side than most." The only thing our Hill of Pain needed was a Metal drummer on the sideline pummeling everyone's eardrums with double base kicks and blast beats. Professor needed this not, as he found his way to 1st place by climbing up the finishing stretch to the promised land by doing what he does best - C-C-C-C-C-CRUSHING HILLS.
(You'll have to bear with me, as this write-up is being composed on an iPad, and it seems to be next to impossible to upload photos for viewing here.)
Anyway, this weekend was another success, and next weekend is sure to continue this tradition of success, in a most glorious way. Yes, we return to Mt. Pleasant next Sunday. You may remember Mt. Pleasant to be the scene, last year, of many broken dreams and much pain. Who would have thought that soft, green grass could have been so painful? I know Mashor remembers Mt. Pleasant vividly, where he was disqualified by Buddy for taking a wine hand-up. (It was his first CX race.) This year there is sure to be more pain, more hate, and more noise, as I have received super secret information that there may be a healthy Red Wheel deployment. If you don't show, we can only assume you are doing one thing: watching a 24 hour Criss Angel Mindfreak marathon. And that is just terrible.
-Casey F. Ryback
p.s. Thanks to Mr. Fickinger and Evil Mike for the photos!