Cedar Cross 2012 - Brought to You by Bob

Greetings, loyal Team Seagal subjects! It is amazing how something can start out with humble, modest beginnings, and simply explode into something much greator. Such was the case with the first ever Cedar Cross ride/race. I remember speaking with Cedar Cross Overlord Bob Jenkins last summer at Tall Oak about cyclocross races and courses, and how he had this great idea for a CX course that could rain blood down on all other CX courses. A course unlike what our state has evar seen. Sounded awesome to me, and I told him to count me in. A few months later, he "announced" that he had formulated a coherent vision and put together a loose description of what he had in mind. A long fucking ride, for sure. What I didn't understand really is that his expectations were basically to have just a few couple dozen friends show up for a ride at his house, and he'd have BBBQ. Awesome. I'm/we're down.

What ended up happening: Word of mouth, spreading faster than the clap on a college campus. Bob had made a simple blog where people could sign up. Instantly the list of people signed up was like 50. not long before it reached 70, and then 100. No fucking way. I watched as the list passed 130 names. Who were all these people? From all the surrounding states - Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Illinois, Texas, and even a rider or two from Missouri. Then 150. As the date grew closer, I heard it had passed 170, and grew close to 200, though he was too damn busy having to organize and coordinate than update the list.

And it wasn't just participants that jumped on board - sponsors wanted to be apart of it too - every week it seemed like he would announce a new company that was giving away some seriously cool shit:
-Kuat Racks
-Backcountry Research
-Monster Bicycle Company
-Jeff City Athletic Events Committee
-Foosh Mints
-Red Wheel Bike Shop - Owned by another superior badass, Nick
-Paceline Products/Chamois Butt'r

Attaching an excellent cause to the event is always a good idea - in this case it was the Callaway Hills Animal Shelter. In addition to that, this event was perfectly positioned to be a great preparation ride for the Dirty Kanzaa 200 race.

Oh yeah, and it was FREE.

In addition to throngs of participants and sponsors, the volunteers also were all over the place. Between the squad of weedeating dudes who cleared the singletrack of overgrowth, the people that helped at all the crucial turns and at the check-in were awesome. (Check-In seriously could not have gone more smoothly.)

So with all of this in place, and a date in sight, I for one had been trying to put in some long miles on the CX bike - the idea to turn my t'aint into an impenetrable fortress of callous.

Skip to race day. We sent a number of troops to this event - Sasha, Lawman, Sandwich, Schlomo Axel, Dr. Rolland Sallinger, Professor, and myself, Casey F. Ryback, not to mention our associated parties. I was up at 0430 hours, ready to meet my attack squad in the Party Wagon for the long drive over. Lukabis Cannabis, Brett, S. Axel and myself man-piled into the man-wagon for the drive over. After an unsuccessful attempt to divert Scooter's arrival at the correct parking lot, we were all checked-in, slathered in sun-block, and ready to roll-out - already noticing that it was hot as fuck outside.

Rarely seen sight in the parking lot prior to the roll-out: Pete Goode getting prepped next to a vehicle that he drove to the start line.

Bob, clearly a little overwhelmed by what he had created, told everyone what to expect:
 The only thing higher than his blood pressure today and the days leading up to today was the incredibly level of badassery about to go down.

A few well-thought-out expletives, and the roll-out was underway, book-ended by a lead and chase vehicle (Again, an example of the awesome volunteer support.)

A few miles of roll-out allowed a lead-group to develop, populated by some seriously fast dudes. As they stretched out of sight, I settled into a comfortable pace, chatting it up with the Rolla Giant himself. I started to notice a group of other riders filing in behind me, to form the first of many man-trains on the day. The dreaded first climb of the day wasn't a cake-walk, but it wasn't enough to stop the party. It was there that I made my move and passed the couple from Texas on a Calfee bamboo tandem with a belt-drive timing chain/belt. Once up in the hills, the real ride began to take shape. Rolling gravel roads, punctuated with lots of short kickers, and all kinds of well-groomed gravel. Some of the gravel ended up being pretty deep, which made me happy that I had fatter tires before I even got to the singletrack.

Having the cue sheet was pretty crucial until you we arrived at the singletrack, which was very well marked. The first off-road part was as we entered into the Mark Twain National Forest, past a Forest Ranger, and out through a beautiful green field that stretched for miles. Really awesome, as we just followed the balloons. I was tempted to stop to see if they were secret jenkem balloons, but keeping the party rolling was more important. Huffing fermented poo-gas would have to wait.

Filing though a number of gates, we found ourselves shredding down the first singletrack, which made me think of mountain biking in the 1990's - steep and sloppy. I had been riding with Pete for a while, and he was regaling us with tales of having ridden here back when the 1990's style of riding was the only style. Settling into a small strike team of myself, Strove, Pete, this other guy from CoMo on a 26" and a few other dudes, we agreed to try and keep our group together at least to the 4 big, pissed-off dogs that were noted on the cue sheet. Fortunately, by the time we got there, they didn't give a fuck anymore, presumably because enough dudes had sprayed the shit out of them with dog spray.

Miles rolled past, climbing endless hills while seated lest I stand and spin my rear wheel; something you learn with a singlespeed is how to keep your legs moving at very low cadences. The heat was the word of the day, with hardly any wind to speak of, and hardly any clouds for the first half of the ride. We eventually made our way to the second piece of singletrack, which was muddy as fuck. The ground was more soft than Criss Angel at Roxy's on the East Side. As a singlespeeder, I was doing a lot of pushing.

Then, as if to say "Fuck you! Ha Ha Ha Ha!" We crossed a creek, clamored through the muddy banks, and found ourselves clawing our way up this sadistic hike-a-bike, which had been dedicated to Jeff Yielding. It reminded me of the hike-a-bike/run-up that we had originally planned on including in the 2009 CXmas course, but removed at the last minute due to potential legal issues. I pictured Bob standing at the top peering down, hands-in-fists on his hips looking like this:

The heat continued, and, I feel, was the major factor that caused people to pull out or not. I was amazed at how little water and tubes some people would carry. By the time I hit Old 54, felt like Kramer when he was tanning with butter:
"Hey buddy!"

Lesson learned: use sun block next time. My goal from there was to go the extra 6-7 miles to Ham's Prarie and hit up the gas station, which was at mile 70. It was a welcome sight to walk in and buy a bunch of ice-cold fluids. Ooooweee! The hottest part of the day was over for me, as the clouds had started to roll in. I saw some people there that were in bad shape, and felt fortunate that I was on my way to getting my second surge. As noted on the cue sheet, anyone who had made it to this gas station before me was lucky:
Lucky for everyone else, the only "logs" on course were laying on the side of the trail, having been cleared off by volunteers.

Leaving Hams Prarie, I pressed a little bit to try to latch on with Jacob Rohter and the 26" mtb guy from Columbia from earlier. Steve from Jeff City was still along for the ride, as he had done since mile 40 when I helped him fix his flat and gave him my second tube. He was looking more spry than me, but wouldn't go any faster because he didn't know where he was going and didn't know how to fix anything.

I was looking forward to passing the nuclear plant, but we had to hit this ripping descent and the hardest climb of the day first. Another two miles and this thing came into view:

Pretty cool to ride past something like that.

Before long we were gearing up for the final "badass downhill" of the day, which would drop us to the Katy. Totally awesome, and since it had cooled off, I was feeling good about it. Once onto the Katy, we started to form a bit of a man-train, to keep the pace a little higher and get our swollen asses back a little more quickly. Turning off the Katy and over into the field roads, we traded "punches" with the Dynamic Duo of Todd and Karen Holtmann, who were looking strong. Choo-choo-ing all around those flats, up onto the levee, past plenty of dudes fishing in the irrigation creeks, and more than a little uncertainty in regards to whether or not we were actually on course, the four of us were on the final stretch that would leads us to the 54 overpass and onto the end. It was me, weird Jeff City Steve, Jacob, and the Columbia 26" dude. The Holtmann's had passed us earlier while I changed my 2nd flat tire, but this is where we slowly pulled our way back up to them. They latched on for a few miles, and I ended up as the Cleveland Steam-powered locomotive at the front of our Victory Man-Train. I turned on cruise control for the last several miles. We even came across Steve Friedman who seemed a little dazed. He latched on as well for a little bit, but the next time I looked back, he and the Holtmann's had peeled off, leaving our man-train with only 4 man-cars. Once I got the Capitol Building in sight, then the airport lights, it was all over. A little jog over Hwy 54, around the corner, and then a sprint for the finish, because the crowd always loves a sprint finish. 

The pavilion was full of camaraderie, Tall Grass Beer, and tubed-meats. And those tubed-meats were fucking delicious, cooked up by some good dudes. But honestly, I could have been eating a bowl full of cooked santorum with a side of smegma and it probably would have tasted good. Watching the rest of the finishers find their way to the end was a thoroughly enjoyable. Tons of great people there to greet them as they rolled in.

It doesn't get much better than that! This race/ride pretty much defined what "grass-roots" means. And Bob Jenkins, seen here:

...is pretty much one of the best dudes you could meet. Or meat. Which is odd when you think that a guy who is such a good person to know can hate people so much that he would think to put them through such a tortuous course as the one we did today. Watch him with his nieces and you'll see what I mean! I think we're all glad that we've been able to have him come to our events, and setting the bar very high early on for egg-nog consumption.

Speaking of that, I ran into Adam Hemplemann, (living in infamy here) and let him know that I have a shitload of expired nog that he is welcome to if he would like:
These are sitting on my back porch, still.

I got some cool shit courtesy of Backcountry Research, who donated nearly $1000 worth of shit to the cause):

There was a ton of cool shit up for grabs. Jim at Monster Bikes provided a custom flask to the last person to cross the line, totally awesome.

Finally, there was a donation bucket at the table before and after the ride for the Callaway hills Animal Shelter, a no-kill shelter. I didn't make it around to putting any cash in the bucket, but I have proof that I put in an online donation:

 You can donate to the shelter as well - http://www.petfinder.com/shelters/MO133.html

I know there were a lot of people who didn't make it for various reasons, so I don't think it quite hit the 170-200 mark, but that's alright because it doesn't cost shit! Lets hope that next year it goes down AT LEAST as well as this year, and gets even bigger. And hopefully Bob's doesn't have a heart attack because of it. There are plenty of other stories to be told, between Boyd, Mrs. Boyd, Wendy, anyone in my man-train or man-wagon. Definitely felt like I was part of something special.

My garmin link.

-Casey F. Ryback


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This is one of those not-an-option things. See you this weekend. -Casey F. Ryback


MFXC 2012, You Dicks.

Greetings, Loyalists to the Team Seagal Movement. This weekend brought about many glorious things. The least of which being the turds that I left in the pit toilet at the Council Bluff Campground. (And that's saying something, because I had to go so badly that I was playing "whack-a-mole" all the way from the campsite.) It was a glorious weekend, though we were saddened by a number of people who were unable to make it, most notably C-Dorbs and PBR Dave. It DID bring about our own Prodigal Son, Masson (pronounced Mah-SAHN) Storm back from the poo-cific north-piss where he has been busy courting a coffee sponsor. And blastin' nips wherever they need to be blasted.

Despite the lack of such prominent figures (and t-shirts) we pressed on, in spite of the horrendous weather just a few clicks north of us. I had picked up the Corpse-Grinder himself, Tylor, after work on Saturday evening, and we headed down, listening to our favorite song on loop. The storms that we drove through while on Hwy 21 were more threatening than Criss Angel with an upside-down periscope looking underneath the stalls at the YMCA. It was so bad that I didn't think there would be much of a trail left to shred the following day. However, as if Energor himself had intervened, the rain cleared up just before we reach Potosi, and we arrived to fine all of Council Bluff/Little China Town bone dry. That long-practiced Team Seagal Rain Dance seemed to work. And by "seemed" I mean "semen." From yaks.

I was actually quite pleased to be able to be the one to accompany Corpse-Grinder down on his first trip to these trails. The drive down alone is worth it, what with all the bath tub Marys, the Assphalt sign, and of course, the titty school at 21 and C.

We arrived to be presented with several delicious things. Number one, we busted out the newest, and one of the best products from Pabst in a while:
Check shelves soon.

We also found Stormy cooking up a feast in preparation to film an art-house redux of the truly classic fart scene from Blazing Saddles:

Oh man. There was no doubt that great things were afoot, like our fancy fire. And lets not forget, my first sighting of a brand fucking new Kona Raijin in it's natural habitat. Might be the first one in the state, or even the surrounding states. Looks cream-tastic:
Me at the moment of seeing it: "HHHNNNNNGGGG Got a towel?"
The night devolved into a cacophony of ridiculousness and ancient Chinese Scroll translations, some taking place around the weather station, which might explain the "foggy" readings that were reported from that station that night. Before long, we had all retreated to the hammock district for sleep:
I chose to forgo my tent and sleep out underneath the stars, laying my sleeping bag on some tyvek paper. Throughout the night, the hammock district turned into a zipper test facility. Even though we had stopped filming that redux of the Blazing Saddle fart scene, there was still plenty of ammo left, and it had to go somewhere. I awoke more than once to the sound of a triumphant "r-r-r-r-r-riiiiipppp" only to be followed by sleepy laughter from all directions.

Upon awakening, Drew practiced some slack-line for a little while:
...and then let out some more ammo:

Mini Trail Monstor came into the possession of some "cat-fish bait":

As morning continued on, moar and moar people showed up, ready for some t'aint pounding. Even the DRJ-AARP bus showed up. But MFXC isn't just a fun ride with friends. It's a place to show off the hottest fashion, such as Nick and his proper selection of socks:
...to T-tocs rocking his '09 vintage D9 bulldozer hat:

We lined all the non-racers up, everyone having made peace with Energor, next to the shitter. Which makes sense, since there is always someone who has to shit at the last minute. Let us not forget the UnaDoctor suddenly leaving the start line at the '09 Rim Wrecker to drop off a quick load. Fortunately, those promoters also lined us up next to the shitter. Also fortunately, the Council Bluff campground has a lot of shitters. We tend to see shitters like Criss Angel sees the boys: The more, the merrier.

Anyway, so we gave a head start to one lucky trio - Rock, who did the shirt design, and Caleb and Gabby who were the first to sign up in the male and female classes, respectively. The rest of the assholes were behind them, lining up in no particular order

I'm not sure any other races are led out by an Astro Van. In any case, ours was, and it wasnt' even a race. Truth bomb! Rolling through the campgrounds:

Instead of a "wash me" drawing, it was a "sperm me" drawing:

Our support crew loaded into the party sedan,and we set out to see our non-racers. Our first "aidstop" would be at the DD/32 lot. It wasn't long before they rolled through, and it wasn't long after that when I was able to dispense a bunch of aid, or aids, to poor little cutie Roland Sallinger, having made a fatal error in his race preparation - installing Crank Brothers pedals on his bike. He rolled in, and did this to his pedal:
Quick thinking led me to board a one-man bullet man-train back to the camp ground, where I would grab Jerkward's pedal and wrench, and get him rolling with a spare pedal. Bing bang boom. Crisis averted. He was riding really well, which is too bad because this mis-hap took him out of contention for the most part, but despite having everyone pass by before getting rolling again, he was about to pass over 1/3rd of the field by the finish.

Our next stop would be to the second gravel road crossing, where we would watch everyone go past, and then circle back around to us. Lawman and company would sally forth and meet up with Team Seagal's newest ally, one Monty McMontyson. Otherwise known as Monty the Cock Farmer, he's a great dude who has more immobile trucks surrounding his house than his wife has teeth. But what a great guy, and the subject of our spoke card:

We watched many a non-racer come through:
Dan "Flat bars > Drop Bars" Fuhrmann
Jason "I Need a Seagal Nickname" Pryor
Grand Master Geezor

 There were a bunch of dead butterflies around there. The second one we thought was just a little tired and shagged out, so T-tocs and Nico fed it some jerky. An hour later it still hadn't eaten it, so we then deduced that no one can resist Jacks Links jerky that long, so it MUST have been dead.

 At the second aids station, Scooter's pedal fix was still working, which was good to see. I had offered to write "Shimano M-959" on it, which would help ensure years of problem free use, but he had no time:

MFXC Ovorlord Norcword was all smiles as he and T-Town proceeded elsewhere:

Before we could say "pubes in the water jugs," we were again staring at the front end of the non-race, coming up the road. A 4-man man-train consisting of Chris "Hey What's For Lunch" Ploch, Rock "Van Buren" Wamsley, Caleb "Too Nice of a Guy to Curse Gratuitously" Hulsey and of course, Bob "I Commemorate Every Lunar Cycle With a New Mountain Bike" Arnold:

Not long after, the first Latino Singlespeeder rolled through, our very own Taco-Pizza:
I could hear the music in his headphones, a favorite album of his:

Chris "No Big Deal, Breh" Connolly

Corey "I Climb Simply By Leveraging  Bike Against My Legs Using My Arms" Case

Our non-racers, approaching the final stretch of singletrack, were thankfully able to be inspired by Casey Ryback and the time he took down that entire boat full of terrorists:

We were fortunate this day to be able to catch a glimpse of a rarely seen species, a track-racer in the wild. It was hard to miss it though, as this particular one, known as a Tylor, was having trouble adapting to the 10mm longer crank arms on this bike. Thankfully, his Ivan Drago-esque calf muscles made up for mountain bike crank length issues:
Reminded me of that time Ivan Drago was training in that super-modern Soviet training facility:

Not long after that, T-Torcs and the Bearded Fish Slayer himself, Masson emerged from the dust, and Farinella and I were ready for them, to send 'em back to hell, where they belong:

We weren't in a very receptive mood, and I was ready to take Gabby out with the Louisville Slugger that I found in the creek:

But she was in just such a good mood, despite being in a one-woman woman-train for the race as a whole, that I couldn't bare to beat her to a bloody pulp. So instead, we let her pass, onto glory.

With that, our modestly-priced Party Sedan headed back to the finish, for moar merriment and tiny birds nests in water spigots:

We found that Mrs. Adams was patiently waiting at the top of the Alpe d' Bluff for the non-racers to finish, taking down times, for which we are quite thankful. But did you have to be so juvenile? I mean c'mon, this is not the kind of humor that we here at Team Seagal HQ like to condone, in any way. Last time we give you the notebook...

What would a Non-Race be if it weren't for unacceptable-at-a-legitamate-bike-event behavior:
The "eyes" have been censored to protect the identities of those involved.
We got to dish out some pretty slick prizes and schwag:

Peat "MFXC Is A Recovery Ride for Cohutta 100 The Day Before" Henry

Chris "Why Are You Hitting Yourself" Ploch

Full ENO Hammock, Middle Fork Roasters mug and coffee? Not bad for being the first one out and last back!

Not pictured in the schwag pile: Caleb being such a nice guy that we decided to actually give a prize to second place - a pair of PAF Velocity Blunt SL rims, in white, of course. Flaco's Cocina also threw in a nice gift certificate for first place, which we inadvertently tricked Chris "Glad You Got To See Me" Ploch into giving to Caleb. Don't forget Turbo McTurboson getting coffee, a mug and a Flaco's gift certificate for the next time he's in the big city - all for being the fastest single speeder.

And of course there was the copious amounts of delicious PBR that flowed straight down our throat-holes, and always at the most opportune times, like at the top of Mount Gravel.

Also not pictured were the free farts that were provided all weekend. More can be provided upon request.

Big Thanks to the miraculously-named Middle Fork Roasters from Masson's new homeland, Seattle. They provided the coffee, shirts, mugs, and relief from caffeine-withdrawal headaches for another day. What great support for an event 2000 miles away!

There ARE shirts, so if you signed up ahead of time, we have a shirt for you. We'll try to be contacting you soon to get you a shirt.

Closing the book on this year's event coincided with me closing my results notebook, only to find more artwork, which I'm going to one again blindly assume was courtesy of Stephanie:
I particularly like the tick.
As we've said before, here at Team Seagal HQ we are all about education, if nothing else. With that in mind, I would like to recommend a new product:

That fucking thing is almost as useless as a pedal-assist bike. Or more properly named, a fucking "moped." And they DON'T fucking belong on bike paths.

I would have had this report up sooner, but I was busy doing this all day Monday:

Now we'll see you next weekend. We're coming for you, Bob Jenkins! -Casey F. Ryback