Vampire Century #2 ("Turd Edition") and Bonus Rant

Greetings, Team Seagal Connoisseurs! The heat is back. And I'm not talking about what we do to female loins. The weather now is routinely in the 90's, and that can be less than fun when going to ride. What better way to crush out mileage when in heat than to ride at night - a page from D-Wayne's book. This saTURDay we will be heading west once the sun goes down - not to return until the sun has come back up.

Here is the rough route that Jerkward spear-headed, being the birthday boy. I know it is just shy of the full 100 miles on paper, but we can easily do a detour SOMEWHERE while riding that will easily get us over the top:

Currently there is no off-pavement stuff on the route, so skinny tires should probably be fine. However, we're a bunch of jerks so good sTURDy tires (with extra tubes) will benefit you. I know there are gas stations at about mile 20, 35, 50, 60 (QT at the Grants Trail), 74, John's Donuts at about 75 (if he's open still), and by then we'll be in the city and headed through Forest Park. It would be a good idea to bring cash, as not all donut shops take credit card.

We're rolling at 9:30 from Casa del Crotch-O. Makes sure you have lights, because we'll be without the sun for like 6-7 hours.

By the way, You should congratulate Dr. Roland Sallinger for his back-to-back 100 mile MTB races, one of which he crushed the souls of everyone else in his way - 1st Place at ICCP! Lets not forget the 1-2 punch of Team Seagal teams at the same race, manned by the man-trains of Nico and Titty, and Pry0r and Weink0rn. Nice fucking work.

On a totally unrelated note, I have been meaning to get something off of my hairy chest. That is, as a bike mechanic and all around bike enthusiast, the overwhelming propensity for bicycle and bicycle accessory manufacturers to integrate bottle openers into every possible tool they can, is getting old and very overly-kitschy. Look around and you'll notice these things squeezed into everything. And I'm not talking about promotional cheap bottle openers that have the company's logo on it and are given away at trade shows, I'm specifically referring to the adding it onto existing tools that have other purposes. It's like when an entrepreneur thinks he has a great idea by taking an existing idea, and simply adding a clock or a radio into it. Then all the bro-chacho's, when given a gift by all their bro-chacho buddies, will be like "Sweet, brah! This headset press you got me even has a bottle opener on it!"

May I present the evidence:

This is the derailleur hanger on a Santa Cruz Chameleon. The opener is completely useless, unless you went out of your way to purchase an extra one and put it on your keychain.
Not to mention the hundreds and thousands of hits you get if you do a google search.

Because these rotor-truing forks weren't functional enough.

Because Thule didn't realize that their shitty wrench that is included with every hitch rack will never be used by anyone who has any real tools.

This is an Avid bleed block, and you may have missed the bottle opener. Good thing they have it though, because all the time you spend bleeding Avid brakes will require refreshment. Or maybe it is best to drink away your memories of all the times you have to bleed/service Avid brakes.

Felt and Pedro's both make extra cute tools that get mounted onto the water bottle bolts of your bro-tastic singlespeed or fixie-brah, because everyone know that singlespeeders are the hippest and most drunk of all cyclists, right? (This is in addition to Pedro's other bottle openers.)
Pedro's Trixie - and it doesn't even let your put a cage over it.

Felt's tool that comes with the Breed, and is required to remove the rear wheel on account of their shitty dropouts

Don't forget Surly, the most crunch-tastic brand out there. They offer two kitschy ways to remove caps from your beers:
The Tuggnut
The Jethro Tool - marginally better at tightening your nuts than removing your tops.
Park makes a pretty elegant wrench (which I own) and I'd carry it around more if it didn't weigh as much as my entire combo-wrench set (not to mention Park's other bottle opener):

Timbuk2 sews an opener onto their apron, which would be cool, if I didn't actually want to look professional when trying to convince a customer to let me charge them money to install some really expensive and finicky shit on their mega-expensive bike:

Personally, I prefer my Malliard Helicomatic cassette tool, which beat all these other kitschy tools to the integrated-bottle-opener-tool punch by like 35 years:

 And besides, everyone knows that an Shimano SPD pedal works great as a bottle opener, something which can't be said for Crank Bros pedals. (Just another reason to not use 'em.)

See you SaTURDay, and then again the following Sunday for the Team Noah Century.

-Casey F. Ryback


Hairy Hundred following a Hairy Hiatus.

Greetings, Team Seagal Fans! As you may have noticed, it has been a little while since this internet backwater has shown signs of life. Well, that is, unless you count the comment section of previous posts, in which case it has been full of life in the form of triku's, jenku's, and other depravity regarding certain island-based Asian cultures.A continuation of the comments section of Robort's blog, as it were.

The fact is that the life of the Crotch is a tumultuous, cavalcade of randomocity, failure, hatred, unpreditability and superiority - all rolled into one massively overstuffed burrito of piss and vinegar. To give you an idea of the items that may or may not have taken precedence over authoring the blorg recently include:
  • hours upon days upon months applying for government grants in the field of advanced jenkem research, which involve a lot of overseas flights to the country of Zambia, all while drinking beer each night
  • developing both a new disdain for most things related to humans and a new alcohol tolerance, the likes of which my body has not seen since college
  • inability to get to many (if any) cycling events/races, on account of said races being held on Saturdays 95% of the fucking time, leaving me to do little else but drink after work
  • going out for rides from my house, only to be distracted by all the cool shit one finds in the city if they pay attention to anything beyond their own meaningless existence, thus causing my rides to be less intense than usual and more of a sight-seeing mission - and when compounded with a rise in drinking, leads to less desire to attempt to go faster than someone on a race course
  • a realization that buying fancy go-fast parts for my bicycles will not make me faster when pitted against an increase in alcohol consumption - thus leading to a reduced desire to feign an attempt at going fast during a race
  • General bitterness - both relating to ones attitude towards everything and in the flavor profile of my beer consumption
  • questioning the relevance of blogspot, having been told that tumblr is actually where "it" is currently at
This is not to say that there has not been a copious amount of shit happening so far this year  - I just have been a part of very little of it. And I can't very well be an authentic source of badassery if I didn't participate in an event now, could I? I mean, if I were writing a report about the nuances of this year's Cedar Cross (an event which I had very much been wanting to participate in but mistakenly vag'd out at the last minute,) and you knew for a fact that I was actually at home with my thumbs up my ass being a pile of turds, how could you ever believe anything that was said on this site ever again?

There are a lot of things that I had thought about trying to report, but having not been there it didn't seem morally right. Things such as Titty saving some brochacho's life in the aftermath of Syllamo's Revenge only to have his karma repaid by having the Vangina (otherwise known as the 'Stro) break its ass down - all while Jerkward and company were performing a "2010 Crotch Special" by failing to make the turn at Cabool, MO on the return trip home. Things such as the torrential monsoon that was delivered by an angry Energor at the Lost Valley Luau, leaving everyone to wonder if rain will ever not threaten this fucking awesome race. Things such as our very own t'aint-slayer Nad Snurb at the Missouri State Singlespeed Championships in St. Joseph State Park:
Things such as Sasha herself, of Team Seagal fame getting featured some tiny regional rag known as the New York Times while riding the Dirty Kanzaa: CLICK HERE FOR NYT VIDEO!

Things such as the OGRE, which involved a lot of massive Missouri Hills, and was handled nicely by a lot of St. Louis Crew.
And Things such as the new Tour of Hermann ride/race/gravel grinder, and event in which I actually did participate a couple of months ago, however the same day I sat down to write a little Coach-style report on the ride, that whole Boston Marathon bombing happened and I would have felt like an even bigger asshole than I normally do if I wrote a jerky report while the nation was grieving.

So here I sit, drinking a Mother's IPA (available in Potosi) , and recovering from only the second (or is it third?) out-of-town event that I have done this year - The Inaugural Hairy Hundred, put on by a couple of well-known dudes from Columbia - as I like to think of them, the "Best Johnson Duo" - Mike Best and Josh Johnson. I'm sure you're familiar - one of them makes frames, and they both make lesser mortals weep uncontrollably on the CX/MTB course. They called it the "Hairy Hundred" and I figured that since I'm so hairy that I'm often mistaken for a Bosnian woman, it would be a natural environment for me.  And since you can't spell "saturday" without "turd," I prepared my Kona Major one (read: lubed the chain) for a long day in the saddle in Howard County. The Leadbelt XC race was also happening (as mentioned earlier) yet I opted for the longer saddle time on account of my inability to get it otherwise.

I drove to Boonville for a brief stay at the Days Inn, and upon waking up the next morning, I ate some shitty food and lined up. On one hand, I was kind of hoping for a mechanical so I could get a chance to use my new multi-tool, the Crank Brothers "Pica+" which managed to actually improve on my up-til-now favorite multi-tool of all time, the Crank brothers multi-17. I probably wouldn't have bothered to purchase this new tool had I not lost my old one to the trail gods at Lost Valley. I changed a flat tire and failed to fully zip my saddle bag, and my beloved rusty 12 year old tool was lost forever. It doesn't owe me anything. Then I saw the Pica tool, which has every tool I want/need on a multi-tool, just like the multi-17, but this one is made with rust-resistance stainless steel! Also, all the tools have indented pivot points that click tools into place. It is a smoother, more rounded tool, and I was unable to find a reason to use it this past saturday. Must be because of my superior mechanical skills when prepping the race 'wheel. But this new awesome tool has me wondering, how can Crank Brothers make such a perfect multi-tool, and yet make piles of turd when it comes to pedals, wheels, seatposts, and especially pedals. (ie. everything else.) Man those pedals suck. Just ask anyone who has had them fall off while riding. "But Coach, I've never had a problem with my Candy's! I love them! They're the best pedals ever!" To that I would say "GTF, and purchase some SPD's, otherwise known as "The Clipless Pedal Promised Land."

This has me wondering, which pedals would I least like to use, Crank Brothers, or Frogs? Kinda of like trying to decide whether to cruise Grant's Trail on a Softride or on a Cruzbike conversion.

Pulling into Rocheport and toeing the line, I soon realized that this was in fact not a ride just for hairy Bosnian women like myself, but rather it was mostly populated with shaved, nubile twinks that were ready to snap my wrists into submission. No matter, I was already there, so I might as well get totally ripped. It was looking to be a good day, however I had a slight sense of uneasiness at the thought of having not partaken in my morning constitutional. I had engaged in heavy trench warfare with the toilet the previous night just before going to bed, and emerged victorious in a landslide (or mudslide, if you will) victory. I thought that it would hold me over. So I started the ride out with a little more ballast than I probably should have.

The roads were in great shape, with some surprise rain overnight having done little else beside keep the dust down. The hills were not quite as tall and steep as those that had been experienced at the Tour of Hermann, however they were came with enough rapid succession that my legs were in bad shape by the time I hit the town of Glasgow, the roughly half-way point. While riding for miles on end without headphones, you have plenty of time to think, and learn. For example, one thing I learned while riding these roads was that this is Budweiser country. This knowledge is solely based on the number and consistency of Bud/Bud Light/Busch cans and six-pack holders tossed out the window to the side of the road. They were almost as numerous as lives wasted at a Gathering of the Juggalos.

Reaching the halfway checkpoint in Glasgow, I was forced to come to terms with the arrival of a logjam that had broken free upstream, and finally had made it's way to the dam, otherwise known as my b-hole. If I didn't let it go under controlled conditions, there could be an uncontrolled breech of the dam. I was sure to find my way to the top of the hills a little more easily now.

Based on the elevation profile, the course would eventually drop down to the river bottoms and flat farm land, which proved to be a mixed blessing. The gravel on the first 10-ish miles was bah-rutal. This particular gravel, much like the boy in Criss Angel's cellar, had been very recently laid. It was rough going, hard to find a good line. I was more than a little jealous of Maria of Team Noah and the fat tires she had on her mountain bike at this point. Fortunately, this suffering paid off with a long stretch of flat of pavement, and just a hint of a tailwind to soothe my pummeled t'aint. Had I remembered that our very own Roland Sallinger, AKA Skeez-master Scooter was assaulting the Lumberjack 100 at the same time, I would have had to tell myself to sack-up and remember that I am not actually feeling that much pain, compared to him.

But, my legs were waning. Though, much like the burn-mark on the ground from the CXmas bonfire 7 months ago, they were still there. A few more miles of hills to crest before getting flushed out onto the Katy Trail and I'd be home free. Those last few hills nearly did me in, despite not being very big. Once on the Katy for the final stretch home, I happened upon another dude whom I never get to speak to any longer, Kevin Bonney who wasn't enjoying life too much, partly from having been out of water for some time. I had restocked my Camelbak at the last gas station, and had plenty of water to give. Then we came up on ANOTHER dude who was just sitting there in the shade. He asked, in a beat-down kind of voice if we had any water, so I gave him a bunch as well. Wasn't long to go at this point! Another few minutes, and we found ourselves reaching the land of milk, honey, BBBQ, and beer. Oooooweee!

Later that night, having soothed my t'aint and fully-snapped wrists at home, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to introduce Nico to this video:

Thanks to Josh Johnson, Mike Best, and all the other volunteers, particularly the Rocheport Bike and BBQ for providing a place to engage in such activities.

Now, what kind of post would this be without updating everyone on the latest gossip. This little tidbit is a juicy one, too. Our lovably quirky buddy, Ben G (seen here) has recently gone and gotten himself a singlespeed, via the converting-his-old-bike-method. After having experienced it for the first time, he responded by saying "I am alive once again! It was awesome. So awesome. I don't think I ever experienced that much awesomeness on two wheels. I have switched sides. Forever and ever. I swear my first born over to you in gratitude." Nice work, you fucking jerk!

On another note, I feel it our duty (hehe, doodie) to share with you a particularly amazing short film, starring the one and only. I give you, Sheep Impact:

You're welcome.

While you're at it, educate yourself with this website, for it should be viewed as a Seagal Bible of sorts:
Every Steven Seagal Movie Ever Made. I think this website is best summed up in the FAQ's, where the proprietor answers the question "Why does your blog suck so much balls?" with a simple "Because fuck you, that's why." I literally could not have said it better, myself. It is your duty to pour through its content.

Again, you're welcome.

I leave you with a new tri-ku:

I train with power
Despite my beer belly
"Age group finisher"

-Casey F. Ryback, The Unflushable Turd