Greetings Team Seagal Fans. It's strange how things happen. Despite the fact that the race at Mt. Pleasant Winery was pretty well regarded as being the most ridiculously hard race last year, the race was destined to come back. In fact, I'd say that it was probably the most anticipated race of this season. All season long, the thought about all of those hills compacted onto such a small plot of land got me all hot and bothered. For it had been foretold in the Necronomicon, "Verily, he who is known as Yog Sothoth did spake of a grower of fermented grapes, and upon this land there shall be held a yearly race of bicycles, and they shall know but terror and destruction. They shall ride alone, under the gaze of Cthulu, on ridges and upon grass of which time hath forgotten, and now only knows the odor of the undead souls of the begotten. Truly, this was not to be a happy place to be racing your bike.
There are two big things in cyclocross that hurt a shit-ton. going uphill, and cold, shitty weather. (And getting slapped in the ass from the official Team Red Wheel horn.) This past Bubba race, held at Mt. Pleasant Winery, had only one of those two things - and the weather was nice. It was kind of like entering a hilly thunderdome. It was fun putting up the course, but then actually clipping in and racing this course was about as fun as being backstage at a Nickelback concert. And there's only a few things that happen backstage at a Nickelback concert, and they all involve forcible sodomy.
There were many Team Seagal Soldiers that were deployed to this race, however, only three of them were racing - myself (Crotchmaster Flash), Forrest Taft, and The Professor. The Stovingtons, Jerkward, Team Trail Monstor and Gregward took up residence on the sidelines, making sure that everyone they knew in each of the races heard what they had to say. (The word "jerk" comprised about 40% of all words they spoke today.)
As we approached the line, I looked to my right and saw "Kirby." I looked to my left and saw T-tocs. It was like I was in a jerk sandwich, and I was the meat. "Sometime in the next 30 seconds" the bell went off and we slowly accelerated in our mid-range SS gears. I somehow ended up in 2nd place for almost two laps, which was a really strange position in which to be - off the front of the man-train. It wasn't long before my back muscles shifted my transmission into reverse, at which point I then went from 2nd to 4th or 5th (not totally sure) and also watched numerous gear dudes pass by. I had the misfortune to be able to watch/smell the smelliest rider in the bi-state region, on Team Mack, pass me by once again, much like last week. In an effort to continue part of the Team Seagal Mission, which is to bring you down to our level of humor, I will give you my theory on his repeated stench. My theory is that he must have unloaded a ~3 foot long brown snake while wearing his unwashed bibs, and since they might be the only team bibs that he has, he has to continue wearing them after saying to himself "Ah fuck it, it's too late to make them clean now. I might as well just let it go, maybe it will come full circle and get back to smelling nice again." Not yet.
While entering into my last lap, I was passed by grabb-ass expert and moonshine connoisseur, Nick Smith, who reminded me that I beat him last year. I think the fact that he didn't wait around for me implied that this was payback. There were a lot of TRW's that made the arduous trek over from the Jeff City Metropolitan area to join in our mirth - Stoney, Adam, Corey, and the keeper of many middle fingers, Mr. Jerkins himself. I crossed the finish line glad to be finished with that race, because the "happy place" I had gone to was wearing off, which was just me thinking about I could get away with murdering and hiding the body of Chad Kroeger, lead singer for Nickelback.
Glad to be finished, I set to fixing downed tape, obnoxiously cheering people pre-riding the course, and discussing with Scooter McScooterson his night at Council Bluff with the gang of gay mexican dudes. I cheered on noted beard-dopers Tyler Bick and The Rock putting on their pain faces while riding the Pain Train to Painville. It wasn't long before the main act came on, starring Professor, Devin, Scott O., Jeff, Schottler, Butthead, Scott P., and a large number of other dudes. Last year on this very hillside, we witnessed one of the great battles in all of Missouri CX-dom - Professor and Butthead duking it out for second place. With that still fresh in our minds, it was exciting to see Scott O take the lead for *several* laps, and then to finish in the top 5. Oooooweee. The Power Trio of Professor, Devin and Jeff soon formed their own train which choo-choo'd away from the rest, putting a sizable gap on the rest of the field. Based on their personalities, it may have been the nicest, most cordial three people to be racing at the front. How... nice.
Dan was pulling ahead on the climbs, which soon saw some space develop between them, and allowing space for Schottler to bridge the gap and make it into the top 3. Devin held him off long enough to keep second, with Dan doing what Warren G always wanted to do - have wings and fly - to first fucking place!
Hard to imagine a better way to spend a Sunday in November. It's as hard as Chad Kroeger reading Boy's Life magazine. The weather hasn't fully broken down yet, so enjoy it while you can. One way to do so will be next Sunday, where we will reconvene at Spanish Lake and do it all over again. I mean what else will you be doing, hanging out in bed with your friends?
Just remember - there are two reasons to ride bikes - for a paycheck, and for fun. So if this isn't your job, there is no reason not to enjoy it. Jerk.
-Casey F. Ryback