Greetings, Loyal Team Seagal jerk-stores. Casey Fucking Ryback reporting from Team Seagal HQ. It looks as though our goal to further temper the minds and souls of every mountain biker out there has, as of this past weekend, gotten significantly closer to being reached. After this race, the only thing more hardened than the minds of those non-racers that participated is Criss Angel applying for a janitorial position at an all-boys high school.
As is the case every spring in Missouri, we had been watching the forecast evolve every 10 minutes for the 2 weeks leading up to the non-race. At times it looked quite grim, but in the end, the proper call was made, as both Friday and Saturday were devoid of any precipitation, leading to very "thirsty" trail conditions. Yes, it is true that the forecast most likely had a hand in reducing the number of participants from 72 people having registered, to about 42 people starting. Prepare for mandatory ribbing directed at those who didn't come: Although I think that the other hand involved was the island paradise located within the vaginas of the no-shows, replete with sandy beaches as far as the brown eye could see. And sandy island paradises are very inviting. Good thing for us the entry-fee was non-refundable!
We have all been anticipating this, the Second Annual MFXC race for a number of reasons. The obvious reason being the ridiculous riding that is to be had with all of our best friends forever (or "BFF's), and this year the other reason was the opportunity to get to meet honorary Team Seagal member, Chris Wurster, otherwise known as "C-Dubs," otherwise known as the New East Coast Syndicate - a term coined by Nicorn. As hard and pipe-hittin' as they come, this dude has probably spun more miles while bonked than the rest of us have combined, in total. Not long after "joining our flock" he competed in the Baja Epic Stage Race. Look it up. Not to mention the Cape Epic Stage Race, countless 100-mile races, and being a NUE Series masters podium-placer. And the best part is, the only communication I had had with Independent Fabrications-sponsored rider was in various other internet-backwaters where we discussed with the Good Doctor, in LENGTHY detail, our daily bowels movements.
The course had been decided long prior, with Mason heading down Friday night to take care of official business. The rest of us would be joining in over the course of the next day or so. In what has become sort of a CFR tradition, I Mario-van-Peeble'd my way down after work on Saturday, in the dark, blasting some Scandinavian death metal, completely 'roided out on adrenaline, ready to party.
I arrived to find our campsite relatively devoid of homosexual Mexican conga-lines, but chock full of ancient Chinese scroll recitations, and PBR. C-Dubs greeted me with that sweet New York voice, and T-Tocs blew my mind with other various truths. At that moment, Nico presented me with something that had been missing in my life for some time - Braquito materials:
Those present did then enjoy such glorious braquitos. It was then that Energor looked down on, saw that it was good, and gave us a starry night instead of the predicted showers.
Gifts were exchanged - C-Dubs presented Jerkward with a flask that has seen many miles:
The campfire was inviting, helped greatly by the still air allowing smoke to go straight up, and not in my face. Much debauchery was had, or at least, I think there was. I seem to be having trouble recalling that point of the night...
Morning came, and Jerky had trouble getting completely out of his hammock, accidentally getting his pen0r stuck:
Stormy and Lawman headed out early to make the water drops and do some last-minute course marking. Meanwhile, the rest of us broke down camp, and headed up to the DD/32 trailhead for the start of the day.
Drew was showing Matt James just how many of his fingers Criss Angel managed to make dissappear into an audience member's ass at a recent performance. And by "audience member," I mean "hobo." And by "at a recent performance," I mean "behind a dumpster in the back of an Applebee's."
At the parking lot, I was presented with trio of custom-made trophy's, generously provided by hearty non-racer Tom Lauria! I actually hurt my leg by slipping on the pool of melted-brain-matter that dripped out of ears and accumulated each time someone walked up to get a look at the trophy's. Thanks a lot, Tom. Jerk.
A grouping of crows is called a "murder." As it turns out, the same applies to our team, so here is a photo of a "murder" of Team Seagal teammates:
Peat: "Anyone want to shotgun a beer with me? No? I guess I'm the only one partying..."
The one and only C-Dubs, donning the kit he was destined to wear:
It was about that time, so we had the slow roll-out to the official super-secret starting point:
We staged everyone in the woods, far from prying eyes, where we put the "stag" in "staggered" by having a slightly staggered start:
Once everyone was gone, we had business to take care of. Gino headed out to get ready for some course sweepin', Stormy and I saddled up to head to a couple of different points on the course, and Lawman went to his Aids Station. It wasn't 15 to 20 minutes before all of the non-racers were crossing Hwy 32:
There may not have been as many people showing up, but there were at least as many smiles!
This dude wants everyone to know to stay the fuck off his property:
Caleb, chasing down the Professor/Torrez Pain Train, which had just choo-choo'd through less than a minute prior:
Cresting the Mount Gravel:
Looking good, broseefus:
Orin was actually freestyle-rapping up the whole hill:
If you won, thank this guy for the trophy!:
Thrasher gettin' his aero-tuck on:
After splashing through this low-water bridge, our non-racers found themselves passing Shasta the dog and friends, though reports were that he was pretty chill today.
We visited Lawman's Aids Station, something like 12 miles in, where we watched some important business unfold:
Never a beard-doper, Nico derives most of his performance-enhancing substances from his mustache, otherwise known as "'Stache-doping:"
He forgot the most important part of a thumbs-up (the thumb):
During the course of Mason and I's Tour of Iron County Gravel Roads, we found some interesting things, such as Monty the Rooster Farmer's road barricade and a USGS marker:
(extra points if you can tell me where it is located - excluding Masson)
The weather on the day was perfect. But, like the virginity of boys who live in Criss Angel's neighborhood, it didn't last. As Masson and I drove back towards the finish line, the temperature dropped faster than Criss Angel's pants at an airport security checkpoint. And it didn't take long for the pitter-patter of rain drops to make their presence known - a sound that closely resembled the scurrying pitter-patter of boys' running footsteps when Criss Angel walks onto a school playground.
So yeah, the weather turned south, just in time for everyone on course to finish completely soaked - even the winners!
2011 MFXC 1st place tie, Professor and Torrez at 2hrs 47 minutes!
It didn't take long at all for the esteemed Nico Toscani to smash all of our pre-conceived notions (or "bro-tions") about this year's course being less-SS friendly, and thus also taking 1st place SS, in 2hrs 48min!
Dan "Trail Bling" Fuhrmann laid down a pretty serious path of destruction as well:(damn, I gotta work on my photo-timing - that was supposed to be a phat up-yours)
Newly christened "Strove" Friedman:
Caleb Hulsey put in a huge, badass effort to give the Professor and Torrez a good run for their non-money, but had to un-hitch from the back of their pain train after his matches ran out. All this, despite pro sunglasses:
Drew ended the day just like he ended that sleepover at Criss Angel's house - all wet:
Our own Orin Boyd showed us all how to come through the finish line:
Not-old Ben Banet finished the non-race making it look all too easy:
Mr. Scott Peipert pulled a "Michael Phelps" on the trail - that's what's called when he doesn't swim, he just beats the water into submission until it takes him where he wants to go. Only instead of water, it was trail. He wasn't really riding his bike, just being brought to the end by the trail:
Todd seems surprised to have finished so quickly, probably wishing he had his long-sleeve women's jersey from last year:It didn't get any sunnier or warmer, but that didn't stop Larry Koester from showing his pimp hand to the trail:
Watching people finish, I was reminded of Ivan Drago during the fight with Rocky Balboa in Rocky IV - "He is no man, he is a piece of iron." They marched right in, minds hardened like iron, although my pink camera was not as un-flinching as everyone's resolve in the face of epic conditions. Some of the better finish-photos:
Now I have to drop a major truth bomb upon your mind. Are you ready for this? I don't think you're fucking ready. Our Lawman found THE MIDDLEFORK. This fork was found on the ground, far out on the fucking Middlefork trail. Gaze upon the great Middlefork, for it is good:
This is the greatest fork there has ever been. And there is no denying this. This is fate - this fork needed to be found, and needed to be found at this very moment. I'm not sure what this means, but you can rest assured that there is a greater force at work. Perhaps Energor.
Nico and his bath-shawl:
The winners showing their reward:
Thank Energor we had that Kona Tent, as it saved the day, for sure. It allowed us to cheer on Craig as he rolled through:
Karl and T-Tocs were unfazed:
Sasha arrived full of emotions, releasing a Meg-Ryan-Sleepless-in-Seattle-esque sound:
Oz Cycles owner Dan Dougan was Sasha's "rabbit," which is a cute name for "whipping boy." He had a rough go this race - getting abused by Sasha, AND having to listen to his broken Gary Fisher, as he nursed it to the end. Nevertheless, he was high as a jenkem fiend:
Ben Muthuh-Fuggin' G wasn't last this year:
Mary Piper arrived to find cold beer waiting for her in Lawman's hand, which is exactly what she needed, being so cold her left hand stopped working:
Rob had come through earlier, but in a true display of superior attitude, turn right around to go make sure Gabrielle was alright, as she hadn't been heard from in a little while. We were cheering to see the two of them return, epic smiles abound:
That only left one non-racer out on course - Hatch0r, who emerged grinning like a jerk:
The only thing left before the requisite visit to Dos Primos was to see Gino come through the finish line, marking the end of the train. It wasn't long before he rolled in and the new course was set: the parking lot of the Dickey Bub, where lots of Mexican food and cherry pepsi would be shoveled into our throat-holes. I can tell you that I didn't even chew the chili poblanos, but rather went Farinella-style with a funnel. I don't know that I've ever seen the parking that full of bikes-on-cars. Truly the only way to end a long effort on the Ozark Trails south of Potosi.
What we're doing here is simply providing an outlet for like-minded people to come and do what they love to do - race or ride their bike. Things are growing, and we feel like we've got a good thing going on - something that is really only beginning.
Thank you so much to everyone who either didn't pay attention to the weather forecast, or simply didn't care, and showed up to have a badass time! And beyond that, those of you jerks who stuck around to huddle up with a bunch of dudes in the rain watching the last people finish up! This thing is just as much fun to run as it is to ride - and we're already putting the puzzle pieces together for next year's edition!
On a side note, I'm also thankful that no one showed up on an off-road recumbent:
-Casey F. Ryback, Regular Guy
MEN OPEN:TIE Dan M and Matt J 2:47
SS OPEN:Nico T 2:48
WOMEN OPEN:Sasha P(on a SS BTW) 4:10
1. Torrez and The Professor 2:47 TIE1st Men Open
3. Nico 2:48 1 SS
4. Dan F 2:50 2nd SS
5. Strove F 3rd SS
6. Caleb H 2:59
7. Drew B 2:59:20
8. Orin B 2:59:58
9. Ben B 3:00
10. Scooter 3:02
11. Todd H 3:02:21
12. Larry K 3:06
13. Dave H 3:06:43
14. Todd H 3:06:47
15. John D 3:09:37
16. Brian B 3:10
17. Matt H 3:12
18. Dan B 3:12:29
19. Brad W 3:15
20. Corey C 3:17
21. Craig T 3:20
22. Jason P 3:22
23. Josh P 3:28
24. Tom L 3:29
25. Craig S 3:41
26. Peat H 3:45
27. Karl K 3:48
28. Chris W 4:01
29. T Tocs 4:02
30. Keaton H 4:06
31. Dan D 4:09
32. Sasha P 4:10 1st Women Open
34. Josh C 4:17
35. Rob B 4:23
36. Ben G 4:38
37. Mary P 4:52
38. Gabby R 4:59
39. Hatch0r 4:57
More photos, courtesy of Brad's better half: http://www.flickr.com/photos/36869814@N06/
rest of my photos: https://picasaweb.google.com/teamseagal/MFXC201102?authkey=Gv1sRgCI2n08K26_6xkgE#
Lawman's photos: https://picasaweb.google.com/Davis437/MFXC2011?authkey=Gv1sRgCOuG5JWvx9L5TA&feat=directlink#