A Syllamo To Remember

Greetings and Salutations, Team Seagal JERKfosi. It is I, the PunchOr of Cock, with a post-Syllamo tale to tell. Our story begins several months back, when I decided to sign up for the SS category...a first for me for this event. Turned out to be a very wise decision. After accepting the advice of several teammates, I wisely swapped my normally very adequate 34t chainring with a moAr Arkansas friendly 32t. Smooth move, ExLax. Now running 32X20, I felt at least somewhat prepared for what Satan's little section of the Bible Belt could dish out.

Fresh brake pads, fresh Stans and fresh gearing had my attitude in a very Superior state. After much work related bullshit was put behind me, I met up with our newest Soldier, Czech "Pohodar" (that means BADASS), Adam Rybar, and our chauffeur, Loreen. We met at Loreen's office in South County, which meant my radio was tuned to KSHE for some fuckin' Skynard, the T-tops were off and the hi-tops were on. The sun was shining and much excitement was in the air. Upon making the gear & bike exchange to Lo's Suby, we paid a quick visit to the latrines and hit the road for the five-plus hour journey Southwestward.

Our first stop was a visit to Route 66 Bicycles in RollOrz, where we, along with the PROprietOr, Dan FuhrmOrnn, discussed the lack of trail maintenance and likelihood of horrid conditions (100% chance of shit) we were to encounter. We then stepped outside to admire FuhrmOrnn's rock garden.

Those rocks are as prevalent as frightened children at Criss Angel's pool party.

Departing RollOrz, we motored on Southward on highway 63, which is like the Great Silk Road for meth trafficking. By the time we made it as far as West Plains, a pit stop was in order to fuel up with Casey's General Store pizza and to beef up our Juggalo count.

The "woman" driving this rig had as much metal in her face as this little trollop. So we topped off with gas and hit the roAd once moAr.

We arrived in "downtown" Mountain View to pick up our lightly swagged out registration packs, complete with t-shirts made from the excess inventory of highway worker uniforms. These things are brighter than the asses of little boys in Criss Angel's dreams. Two Hammer gels, a bunch of literature and one ugly ass shirt. If that’s not worth the price of admission, I don’t know what is!

On to our home for teh night, Sarah's Cabin. A lovely little cottage and a bunch of JERKS to share it with. The residents for the next couple days were: PunchOr, Rybar, Lo, The Reverend Storve FriOrdmOrn, Dave H, Rob L and ChristOrine FOrd, all the way from Iowa CitAy.

Upon arrival at the cabin and taking the bike down from the roof, my rear brake hose decided to simply fall out of the lever. I believe this is what one refers to as "Avid breaks." My once Superior Attitude quickly became decidedly less so. However, having a bunch of very Superior cabin-mates, we quickly ASSembled a plan.....a trip to RURAL ARKANSAS MAL*WART!!! We secured DOT4 brake fluid and a syringe (for the latter, we probably could have found one in any of a number of vacant properties nearby).

Got back home and set about fixing it. Not really fixing, because I still have Avid brakes, but Dave got it to at least get me by pretty well. It required a lot of pumping....not unlike a typical evening at the Criss Angel Summer Camp for Wayward Boys....but it did the job.

Everyone enjoyed a bit of dinner and a couple beers before settling down for some non-sleeping. Race day we awoke to moAr rain, temperatures in the mid-40's, and a lot of people using one bathroom. We traveled over to race HQ, prepared our minds and out taints for battle, listened to the promoter describe the dangers and the 'untrimmed-ness' of the Red Loop, then lined up for the mass start. As we were standing there, the rain began to fall at a heavier rate, prompting the entire 300+ racers to scream "Let's fucking Go already!!!" And GO we did....straight up that 9/10 mile motherfucker prior to the fuck-fest that was the singletrack entry.

The Blue Loop was, for me and many others, virtually un-rideable. I honestly think I walked about four or five miles of the 50 during the race. Moab doesn't know dick about "slick rock." Get the fuck down to ArKansas after three days of rain and 2/3's of a big MTB field in front of you....then you will understand slick fucking rocks!

I felt very good after arriving at the first aids dispensary. I refilled bottles, ate a banana and a Pop-Tart, and continued on. Upon turning off of the Blue Loop and onto the Orange, I felt touched by the hand of Energor himself and enjoyed totally ridable trail for several miles. Reaching the 2nd of three checkpoints, my spirits were lifted, my Attitude became once again Superior, as did my State of Mind. Once past station number three, at about the six hour mark, things were actually humming along quite nicely for me. Met a couple doods from Mississippi and rode with them for many miles. Then, on the Red Loop, after all that rocky bullshit prior, I flatted....TWICE in about 7 miles. Fortunately, I had two tubes and was able to make it to the finish, completing my first Syllamo on SS. I have to say, I am still pretty sore, but pretty goddamned happy about doing this with so few miles under my belt thus far this season.

Following my "race," I can't tell you how much I appreciated Strove walking up and handing me a very illegal IPA at the finish:

I was fucking spent, but felt great at the same time.

Back at the cabin, the Reverend StrOve led us in Bible study:

Following prayer, many tubed meats were consumed, along with copious amounts of various beers from around the region. I was able to sit on the pOrch for a brief conversation with an Asian gentleman and then engage in moAr merriment until passing out at about 9:30pm. A fucking awesome day.

Up early Sunday morning, we loaded up and headed home, but not before stopping for the worlds slowest breakfast cook:

While there, I visited the top of Mt. Kohler, where, as the sign directed me, I left "Warm Apple Dumplings."

I hope the old dood following me in there did not OD on the Clif Shot fueled jenkem vapors I left behind.

And, it's worth noting that St. Louis' own Dr. Rich Pierce brought home this nice bit of garden decor:

Huge thanks to Dave H and Adam for the help with my brakes....I would have been unable to even start without the assistance. A great time with a bunch of really cool peoples. I hope everyone enjoys a nice mini-vanning today……….


NW Epic Series Race #1 Stottlemeyer 30/60 Race Report

Greetings Team Seagal Official Jerk Club Members,

Masson "PNW JERKLIFE" Storm here after too much time away from teh TS blorg. Well it's that time of year again here in the PNW when Jerks start to surf the brown pow and shred the gnarnia with every chance they are given. I have been riding my RAIJIN every Monday at the Port Gamble Tree Farm for the past 9/10 weeks in preparation for the past weekends race. So much trail out there it's unreal, a short ferry ride and 7mi road approach via your bike and you can ride for hours and hours.  This was my 3rd time racing this race since moving to WA and it has become an annual thing for me, and the invite for out of state participants is always wide open.

The NW Epic Series out here is top notch and offers a great ability to race a full endurance series with all the races being less than four hours from Seattle, and in the case of Stottlemeyer it's a 20 min ferry ride and 7mi drive from my doorstep. The proximity of these trails to where Katemeyer and myself have lived going on 3 years now has been so great. I look forward to sharing the sweet sweet single track that awaits any Jerk who signs up. With something for everybody, and moar trail than any Jerk could ever dream of Stotty is a great place to shred. With one exception, when its muddy, and I mean really fucking muddy. I'm talking whites of your eyes Dutch in Predator Muddy.

I was signed up for the 60mi as I had done the year before, but after almost a full weeks worth of rain in Port Gamble, WA. the week leading up to the event I knew how muddy it was going to be, so I changed to the 30mi and prepared to get served. Thankfully I had some sand lingering in my chamois as it would turn out to be the only dry part of this past Saturdays event.  The race starts with a 2.5mi false flat fireroad climb before you make it to the single track that starts the 15mi loop. I had decided that no matter what I was going to maintain a steady 10mph pace to start the day, I did just that and entered the shit show probably somewhere in the middle of about 200 racers. The 60 milers had been on course for the past 2 hours and the leaders caught me while finishing my first lap, it was they're 3rd.

The course was brutal, but even despite how muddy, slick, soul crushing it was you just had to smile. I suffered the entire time, mashed my gear 32x20(I could've used a few more gears) for nearly 5 hours before finally crossing the finish line. 14/16 in the SS cat and 228/270 overall might be my worst result in a while, but I was just so happy to have finished the event. It was easily the hardest race I have ever done, and quite honestly I don't know how anyone finished the 60mi let alone in under 6hrs.

After the race the participants were treat to ice cold Rainier Beer and BBQ. I crushed out 4 brewsers, a pulled pork sandwhich, and hit the road with Katemeyer and the dogs for our campsite at Lake Crescent.  We got a fire going, made some braquitos, read scrolls, and enjoyed all the beers my cooler could hold. Another Stotty in the books for the Storm's, and I'm already looking forward to next year!
Next up for Mr. WA is a self supported bike race/ride across the state of Oregon, the Oregon Outback. This continental divide style, but much smaller. 360ish miles that I will be taking on Mario Van Peebles Style aboard my  2013 Kona Unit SS 38x17. Post to follow. GTF'ED Y'all.



A Crotch visits the N.E.C.S. on his home turf and turns it briefly into "TC MANhattan"

Greetings, fellow Midwestern mountain biker jerks! I, the Doughy Rider himself - Coachward F. Crotch-back, come with a tale to tell. For I, along with the Saintly Mrs. Coach, have just returned from a diplomatic mission of peace to the great state of New York, where we got to visit, amongst many other things, our very own New East Coast Syndicate - C. Dubs. In the process, I have learned many great things about The Empire State, or to be moar specific, the Isle of Manhattan. Please bear with me, as since this was a strictly diplomatic mission, there was no two-wheeled warfare waged, at least not on a race course.

First though, it must be mentioned that it is with some sadness - a lack of euphoria, if you will - that I write this passage, having been unable to attend the Missouri Cycling Monument, Cedar Cross. I wish I could have been there to get lemonade from the road-side stand, I wish I could have been able to hear Mr. Jenkins himself advise his nephews to drop the water bottles full of beer if the cops show up so they don't get in trouble. I wish I had been there to destroy the Ham's Prarie restroom for everyone who followed behind me. But alas, there were even greater forces at work this past week, and I had little to no control over them - much like my bowels after a pot of my own special Crotch Blend of espresso roast coffee in the morning. (The best part of waking up indeed!)  That all being said, a couple of huffs from my handle travel-friendly e-balloon, and I was quickly transported back to the outskirts of Jeff City - reminiscing about many times past, specifically that of picking gravel from my crack two years ago.

We arrived, with a suitcase full of extra delicious Midwestern beers. Stepping outside the airport, I could smell the fresh NYC air, and thought to myself how it smells better than I was expecting, which should make for an even better contrast for the special brew of "Fly-Over State Jenk" that was I planning on releasing later in the week. This fresh air was even more surprising after emerging onto the sidewalk after a lengthy trip on the Subway.

Anyway, great care was taken to preserve the integrity of said beers, (carefully wrapped in my undies) for a proper delivery. Before the J.P.S. (Jerky Parcel Service) was able to complete its rounds however, we had to meet for some food and beers at a neutral location, to discuss the transfer of good-will for beers:

We saw numerous things in NYC, specifically a surprising lack of totally sweet urban-fixie-brah-messenger-lane-splitter types.(Maybe it was different in the outer borroughs.) What we DID in fact see, were hundreds upon hundreds of Mexican or Chinese food delivery dudes on old, beat-to-shit mountain bikes with 2-ring road cranks installed cruising around everywhere with big Wald baskets on the front. So if you want you're looking for sweet NYC courier work, contact any of the hundreds of Chinese or pizza joints and they'll hook you up. Just beware, they work in ALL weather - I felt as though their numbers on the streets increased once the rain came down. Of course though, everyone knows that rain is not good on deep-section painted wheelsets, so many fixie-brahs may have retreated once the weather turned sour.

A strange occurrence that happened moar than once, would be when my gay-dar would go off, and upon a second glance, would realize that they are just European once they started speaking French or German or whatever. Please bear this in mind.

When in NYC, there are many things to do and see, so here is a short list of things I can check off the list for next time. For example, having visited the strip clubs, I found to be very strange, and unsatisfying, for a Missourian such as myself. These hardcore bitches were terrible at working that pole, not to mention the open windows during the day killed the atmosphere, as seen here:

After going to the titty bars, I felt a little gross, so we took the Subway back to home base for a good shower. This fit in nicely, for it gave me the opportunity to partake in a little bit if Missouri tradition in the Empire State - a good ole' shower beer:

Of course, venturing to this city required the sampling of some tasty vittles. At one particular food purveyor, we found something that I simply can not believe has yet to arrive on the banks of the Mississippi just yet - fucking crispy bacon with maple syrup for dipping:

I did opt to avoid a drink known simply as the "Negroni," which sounded moar like something that would have been served to black slaves in the 1830's:
 Hell, St. Louis may be south when compared to New York, but it isn't THAT south. Sheeeeit.

All this boozin, eatin' and clubbin' had us needing to take a break, and stretch our legs, and what better place to do that than in world famous Central Park. We had good weather, so a nice stroll down the curved paths, around the Reservoir, past the bridge from Home Alone 2, and around numerous  closed-for-the-season meadows. We eventually happened upon a food cart, so we picked up a salty pretzel, some shish-kebab, and a hot dog to munch on while we watch the people pass by. And let me tell you, if you think Forest Park is busy with lots of weirdos, Central Park is on another plane of existence. Freds, as far as the eye could see. Rental bikes in a continuous procession. And it wasn't just bikes for rent, but there was also a place somewhere that you could rent fucking Elliptigo's. Take this choad-burger for example:
What you are seeing in this photo is a full grown man, on a rental Elliptigo, who stopped in front of us to attempt to snap a "selfie." Unable to reach his arm out far enough to allow his crap-filled phone to encompass the entire monstrosity that is an Elliptigo, he managed to get this passer-by to take the photo - though he had to turn his contraption around so he could try and get an "action" shot. 

In another commons area, we had another full grown man, taking the form of a fruit-booter (with all due respects to reformed 'booter, the Tropical Storm) who was fruit-booting around this little area, listening to a boombox, and dancing like a figure skater. What music was he listening to? Stairway to Heaven - a song during which he was doing circles while holding up the metal horns. Completely enthralled in his music, he would buzz nearly everyone who went past, usually while holding his boombox (not pictured here:)

It was a fascinating study in human narcissism, observing all this strange behavior - the desire to be noticed. In the same super-busy commons area, were three dudes in everyone's way doing free-style frisbee, no doubt for the attention.

All this is well and good, but I was giddy as Criss Angel with a schoolboy at the chance of meeting up a dude who is probably more robot than man now - our very own New East Coast Syndicate and the lovely Mrs. Dubs, deep within N.E.C.S. territory. Riding the elevator to his floor, my ears popped, and gave me pause to think about the velocity that his turds must reach upon flushing his toilet. What is the terminal velocity for turds in sewage pipes running straight down for 2 dozen floors? Does overall consistency enter the equation? And would a "floating" log have a higher or slower terminal velocity than a "sinker?" Truly, these are heavy questions that will continue to "float" or even "swirl" around in my mind.

Mr. and Mrs. Dubs treated Mrs. Crotch and I to a magnificently prepared meal, and continued to provide me with numerous beers that all ended up in my stomach - a few extras of which made the return trip home. A wonderful evening with solid company - you couldn't ask for moar.

It was so high up, we were above the crop-dust cloud I had left at ground level:
Needless to say, I was almost as excited to impart my own "flavor" upon Dubs' own Mt. Kohler, his "fortress of soli-poo'ed" if you will, after having heard many, MANY tales of it's resilience. Imagine my surprise to walk in, and find some restrictions already in place:
 He's one step ahead of me!

With pleasing night-time views like this, I see where he continues to get inspiration to continue the important research in the field of jenkem studies, of which he is currently a tenured research professor:

All good things must come to an end, such as our sojourn into the Megalopolis of NYC. However, I did not return to Team Seagal HQ empty handed, for my suitcase fit a surprising number of beers:

Now, as a public service, since Team Seagal puts great emphasis on continuing education, I thought that it would be a good opportunity to offer a few ways to pick out tourists from the crowds on your next visit to Manhattan. I feel adept identifying these traits, having just been there, and having exhibited many of these traits before learning the ways of the natives to blend in and adapt their culture:
  • badly sunburnt face from open-air tour buses/boats, and standing in long lines outside
  • SLR camera permanently around neck - usually in conjunction with large backpack or square shoulder bag
  • Standing in the middle of a massively busy sidewalk taking a photo, oblivious to the throngs of people trying their best to not run them over
  • Tourists tend have their heads up, looking/gazing around and pointing, while residents mainly just look down, trying to avoid eye contact
  • They may or may not be wearing a complimentary/novelty poncho in the rain, seen here:
  • Tourists will still be speaking quietly
  • They'll be the ones happy to pay asking price for cheap bullshit in Chinatown
  • Residents seem to generally be dressed for work, or for a workout. Tourists look like they are going to a family reunion all the time.
These are just a few of the observation I made, feel free to add your thoughts.

I hope that this has been enlightening for you - for as I said, Team Seagal tries to educate as much as it does snap wrists. In summation, I found the city of New York to be, despite it's problematic lack of public restrooms, a huge, beautiful, crazy, interesting, and above all, a wonderful place to visit. I can only hope that I was able to impart my own "flavor" to it during our short visit.

In the meantime, feel free to get totally minivanned.

-Casey F. Ryback