Sunday, Dirty Sunday

Greetings, Team Seagal Hombres. We are currently ensconced in near-perfect weather, which only makes the riding and racing that much bett0r. A titty bit nipply early in the morning, which slowly transitions into perfectly mild temps by mid-morning. The leaves are starting to crisp over, and the balloons on my late-season jenkem harvest are almost at full-expansion. I love this time of year.

Of course, this is also the time of year where the Tall Oak Challenge rears its drunken head. Having not missed one of these since we first started attending a few decades ago, I was sure mark this as "Top-Steven Priority." I mean, how can you not want to take part? It's not that far of a drive from the STL, and the race loop is just like one of my least favorite hook-ups in college: "Tons Of Fun." (Funny thing was, she wasn't *technically* a ton, and she wasn't much fun either.)

Over the course of 6 hours, you can get in some big mileage, without having to be hours and hours away from the start point. Then drink afterwards. Everyone has a genuinely good time, except for that dude who snapped his derailleur hanger before even entering the singletrack at the start. Poor bastard.

The wheels were set in motion at Team Seagal HQ, and the plan was to deploy 5 members of our elite strike force. Punch0r, FrozenPizzaPie, KneeCorn, Sandwich, and myself, CFR. Unfortunately, due to one of the very few forces beyond our control, Punch0r was called on to a different mission of an even higher priority, thus getting served by the best. Needless to say, he was no longer going to be part of our Jefferson City Landing Party. Myself and ItsNotDelivery would be in the 6-hour Mario Van Peebles Class, while Kneecorn and Titty would be in the 6-hour Danny Devito/Arnold Schwarzenegger (Twins) class (The Duo class.) Our man Scooter was also riding dirt bikes this sunday, but his bike was equipped with drop bars, and he was riding in the Alton Superprestige CX Race at La Vista Park. 11th out of 18 in the Super Badass Class. Nice fucking work. May your post-race turds flow like lava out of Krakatoa.

I rendezvoused with the other three at an undisclosed location, where we set sail. On the way over, we passed a tanker carrying what must be a load of "Unobtainium" from Oakley:

We took a southerly route to our destination, and arrived on target just in time to not have to play catch-up with the rolling start. All business prior to the start, we had no time to schmooze. Didn't need any arm warmers or emBROcation, as it was perfectly mild. Tons of dudes lined up, and I got to see Peat for the last time for the next 6 hours. There were tons of people, which was awesome, and Larry Pirtle sent us out. 

Usually I end up jam-jobbed for most of the first lap at this race, but this time I put myself in a good spot in the open field which had me into the woods ahead of the bulk of riders, and both Titty and Grorg were just within sight of me. I also managed to keep my effort reigned in so that I didn't bury myself into a hole too early. Didn't even have to drink much.

Quick Product Review Section:
What was a little sketchy was riding on two brand new tires, not knowing how they handled yet - Continental X-King 2.2" with the "Protection" Sidewalls, which I had never gotten a chance to ride prior to mounting them tubeless 3 days earlier. The mounted up easily to my (dinged-up) Velocity Blunt SLs, and I started the race at around 28-30 psi (according the the pump that I borrowed from some dude who didn't even know it.)  The tires un-mounted are very stiff, and un-flexible. They easily keep a round shape in your hand without folding over. I may have had the pressure a little high, but I'm also like 215 lbs, so I err on the high side. I was expecting a softer ride, and was wondering if my fork was even working. Maybe it was the fact that I haven't really had much time on the MTB at all in the last couple of months, but the bike was feeling a little nervous-handling. I wasn't pushing into the corners as hard as I would like to. I eventually learned how to ride them properly after a few laps. They did roll fast, but then by the 2nd lap I had to stop briefly and burn a big air co2 cartridge to replace the air that I had been burping out in the rear tire. I had to stop one more time to top off my tires 2 laps later due to burpage. I'm ok with that, as long as they don't get sliced to death, which they didn't.

Anyway, laps rolled by, eating gross Clif-Shots that I got for free, and downing water, Hater-ade, cute little mini CocaCola cans, chocolate milk, and Bolthouse smoothies. I haven't done any endurance mtb races this year, so I didn't really have much of a plan for this event other than eat and drink sugary/caffeinated bullshit each lap. My teammates were using this race to get a little more dialed for the upcoming Burnin' effort, whereas I was just riding since I sadly can not make Burnin' this year.

Whatever their plans were, they worked beautifully, because by the end of the day, Gino had placed fucking 3rd in the Mario Van Peebles class behind two seriously fast dudes - one dude on a Felt, and another dude who is the newest cutie-bumpkin on DRJ. Nico and Titty got 4th place behind the Ethos twins, Ploch and Albert, and two other broski's. I don't know where I placed, but it was somewhere in between the two Peats - one place ahead of Peat Goode, but behind 4th place Peat Henry.

I managed 9 laps, while Gregward and the Twins got 10 laps. That's a lot of fucking mileage. More impressive, was Nico's mustache winning the prize for best mustache. It was especially meaningful with previous facial hair champions Josh Carroll and Peat Henry in observance.

The post-race much enjoyable with lots of beers being drank, lots of meat being consumed, and much discussion had. Our van had one more destination in it's sights: Shakespeare's Pizza for the best fucking pizza, the JOBS:

Holy shit, that was good fucking pizza, accompanied by 22oz Ranger IPAs and 22oz Bell Two Hearted Ales. And a homeless guy in the shitter.

We decided that for Burnin', we decided that Taggort, Punch0r and C-Dubs should be on a team entitled "Crotchety Old Fucks." With an emphasis on the crotch.

On a side note, this blorg has seen much activity, and I feel that we are fortunate to have been able to keep at it this long. But alas, this post marks the end of an era - the bachelor Crotch. In a few weeks, after returning from honeymoon, I expect to not be able to write worthwhile posts any longer, the life having been sucked from my married ass. Hopefully I shall overcome.

-Casey F. Ryback

P.S. After a 6.5 hour thrashing, my hands are more tired than that time I downloaded those topless photos of Bea Arthur.


Sunday Centuriousness

Greetings, Team Seagal Holdouts! Oh boy, is there a lot of crap going on. Between CX starting, Tall Oak Challenge next weekend, Burnin' a few weeks after that which also coincides with C-Dubs triumphant return to his spiritual homeland. And let us not forget the ongoing challenge to continuously get fucked.

And for how much has been going on lately, we would like to extend a laurel, and hardy apology for our lengthy hiatus of porsting on this blorg. But today, mainly on special request to Punch0r, I'm going to chronicle Sunday's goings-on.

Nearly all of us (Except Mr. Roland Sallinger, good man that he is) had to miss Hermann CX, however some of us (myself included) had to go and drink a lot on Saturday night on account of my looming nuptials. So waking up in time to make it to Hermann in time for some racing on Sunday was a tall order.

That left open the option for a long ride, leaving mid-day from South City. Holy shit. I met with FrozenPizza at the Store that Sells Only Jerkwards' house in Dogtown. Our plan: to leave, and  then return, having reached triple digit miles. And since we left around 1:30-2, we made sure to bring lights. This was sure to get our juices flowing even faster for an all-out assault on the Burnin' competition. (FYI: Just because Snurb broke nearly every bone in his body like 1-2 months ago, his mustache has reached its fighting weight - which means only one thing. The top of the Burnin' SS podium will be defended.)

Back to our heroes.

We set off up Midland, quickly achieving escape velocity. As we dropped down Marine Road into Creve Coeur Lake Park, we heard the sound of a whip cracking. I immediately thought of the salesman who sold Homer the snow plow using a whipping sound. But then I looked to the right, and there was whip-cracking contest happening right before our eyes. We all were staring in confusion trying to figure it out, but as we merged onto the bike path, we quickly were snapped back into reality - when riding the Creve Coeur Lake path, you need to be on full alert - it is the land of shirtless rollerblading badasses, wind-bladers, and triathlete wannabes. Fortunately for us, PizzaTown has recently installed a bento box on his bike, so we were pretty confident that we would be accepted by the locals, and they would grant us safe passage to the other side of the Page Bridge.

We did manage to pass over into the St. Charles County safely, but not before seeing the smoothest and most rhythmic roller blader we've ever seen. (Shirtless, of course.) We also were passed by a true human centipede of a triathlete paceline. These dudes were all in their aerobars/restbars, and they were definitely pacelining. I was hoping to witness one of these:

Anyway, we dropped onto the Katy, and this time went north, with our sights set on the end of the line in Machens. Passing the Family Arena, we got to witness another cool contest - autocross in their sprawling parking lot! Very cool stuff. I'd never ridden north on the Katy past downtown St. Charles. I quickly found out that it ends up being relatively twisty and with much more up-and-down, compared to the rest of the trail - definitely a plus. Our man-train plodded along, always keeping the pace strong, and before it, we hit the end, which was pretty underwhelming:

We were on a route that had previously been traversed by our own Toscani and Boyd, on a recent vampire century on the night of Hurricane Isaac, so we knew we were in good hands. This route, after leaving the Katy, went through miles and miles of nice, quiet farm roads, as we pointed our handlebars at the Hwy 67 bridge into Alton. Not long before reaching that bridge, we saw yet another fun community activity - an honest-to-Energor tractor pull. Using normal, everyday tractors. I didn't take any photos, because I got the feeling that the fat dudes in overalls already didn't like the less-fat dudes in spandex stopping to watch.

So we kept moving, and were treated with a nice view of Alton (if there is one):

We stopped at the last gas station for provisions, and then headed across the bridge in the bike lane which, for a cyclist, was only slightly better than no lane at all. Whatever. We were back up on the levee and riding back south in no time:

 Good to be on a fat-tire pavement bike for all the gravel we encountered. No big deal, we crushed it, handily. Riding along the Chouteau Canal, we had one of the only glimpses of the sun the entire day - and it was a nice one too, as it set:
We were brapping the shit out of this trail, and at the last possible moment of gravel, Jerkward's had to get a flat. which was good for me, because I was in the process of getting my wrist snapped, having slowed down to take that sunset photo, and then being unable to catch back up on account of my corpulence.

As we returned to pavement from the gravel levee trail, I was able to hear the faint sound of three t'aints rejoicing in unison. However, that would be short lived, as we passed through the outskirts of East St. Louis on the way towards the McKinley Bridge. Passing underneath the arch, avoiding the horse piss and shit all over the ground, we turned briefly up Chouteau, and made a quick stop at this nearly forgotten church, which has the most ominous statue out front:
Whoah. Dude.

It'sNotDelivery and Toscani made it evident around this time that their legs were made of pure Quantanium, as I was unable to answer their impressive accelerations over the bridge, down the River Trail, and then all the way down Broadway. 90+ miles in with our lights on, I was just watching their blinky tail lights from a distance. To better paint a picture, while I was passing the entrance to Bellerieve Park, those two jerks were already passing (and thankfully not turning into) the entrance to Sister Mary (You're Alright) Charles Park.

We thankfully regrouped and rode up River Des Peres Road, and made a stop at Walgreens for actual frozen pizza, right before getting back to Casa Croach, where we drank the rest of the Hamm's that I had previously bought at Quicktrip:
That's fucking cheap.

We relaxed well, having ticked over 100, and enjoyed the recent rain that our region has received, which allowed us the luxury of riding dozens of miles on the Katy Trail and other gravel, with hardly ANY dust at all. Oh man. September's century: done.

Now on a side note, as this cyclocross season gets underway, you might end up having to suffer someone as they complain about how hard (or easy) the day's CX course is, or how it doesn't suit their style. I would like to offer some advice - that you simply tell them to:
that's good advice.

Don't forget to come to The Gateway Cross Cup. Since there is a decent chance that you don't know anything about it this year, it is at Heman Park again, and it is on Wednesday, September 26th. Don't fuck this one up.

-Casey F. Ryback