Last-minute status aside, there were still somewhere in the toilet bowl of 100 like-minded jerks that showed up. Hard to believe that many people had nothing else to do and nowhere else to be on the weekend in between Christmas and New Years, and therefore elected to ride their bikes in some dreary, windy, frozen-ass, gas-ass-sheep weather.
|The Ultimate Jerk, dispensing instructions |
This year also marked the glorious return of Santa-Boz, who has a new, titanium sleigh that has improved snow-handling characteristics:
|Note the fender hopeless tasked with defending against spray from a tire much wider than the fender itself|
I suspect I know the real reason for all the fat bikes cropping up lately. Despite the lack of conditions in Missouri that provide a platform for them to be fully advantageous, they want to have the excuse I hear at the shop on a regular basis when the customer insists on purchasing a mountain bike instead of a road bike - even though they admit they'll never ride off pavement. "Well you know, if it's harder that's fine, I'm just getting a better work-out that way. You know."
It was windy as fuck (WAF) at the mound this day, and I think that served to motivate us to depart promptly. Fortunately, I had my new windproof uber-thermal tights, and oooweeee, I was in comfort-land. This is in stark contrast to Mark "Hardman" Grumpke's thermal leg-wear:
Seeing Mark's ability to give the weather a huge middle finger reminded me of something:
Continuing on in our jerk-infested escapes, I passed by one Nick "Red Wheel Bikes/Baby Clothes" Smith who had simply this to say:
I love riding through Busch Wildlife:
Stopping for a minute, I could hear the sound of a monster trucks coming down the road in a group:
It wasn't long, before I was fortunate enough to run into Bob "Disqualified in The Past For Attempting to Race Shirtless" Jenkins, and he had what may be the best CXMAS "get" evar:
After about 15-20 minutes taking turns behind a large tree, we had to get back on the road as we were behind. We vowed to NEVER GIVE UP, and continually reminded ourselves of how motivated we are to succeed, because it is only ourselves that can keep us from being who we want to be. Don't Forget, Bob.
A few miles down the road, and further into the woods, we came a large group of people huddled together, much like emperor penguins on a glacier, shielding themselves from the wind. As it turns out, we found the obligatory Egg Nog station, and the start line of the only bicycle race to ever take place completely within the confines of Busch. I had to stop for some moonshine, courtesy of "The" Mitch:
These three weren't even aware of CXMAS: they were already drinking alone out in the woods and we happened to show up. What are the odds!
|Claire, Tom "Foolery" Marsh, and (Marty?)|
And it was on:
What were we thinking? What a terrible idea. Fortunately, I was able to turn to Rock, who would be the voice of reason and responsibility:
I'll be honest, I don't even really know who won what, but we gave away some pretty shweet Pabst Shtuff to the chicks, the dudes, and the one-gears:
By this point, we had all been standing around for quite a while, and the slow trickle of body warmth escaping my nice, expensive breathable cycling clothing had left me with little heat in my body, except for in my colon, where my slowly-building steamer was maintaining the necessary heat required for a proper jenkem high, later.
So we had to depart, leaving no trace that we were there. But very shortly down the trail, we had to stop again, and revisit CXMAS's past, specifically the site where Mr. Jenkins originally set the bar (seemingly) un-attainably high in terms of egg-nog ingested:
We didn't have far to go now, and most of that distance we'd be going with the wind at our backs. Up until now, that wind had been more annoying than the thought of having a saddlebag mounted like this:
This next picture encompasses a sort of "white whale" for me. In Busch Wildlife, there are countless of old munitions bunkers, scattered throughout the hills. And they are all numbered, usually with three numbers. I have been dreaming of finding a bunker with the number "666" on it for years. I am proud to say, that on the ride back to the car, I finally found it:
I was very glad to finally reach the vehicle, at which point I pissed on a concrete block, and then Brett and I followed the leader to a nearby eatery in Dante's outer circle of hell - AKA The Chesterfield Valley. At this eatery we found several dozen more CXMAS'ers eating and drinking. What an excellent way to finish a ride which is already an excellent year-finisher for everyone around these parts who rides.
Stay tuned, for there is more to come. In the meantime, get familiar with the Bluff View Trail.
P.S. Digiorno and Titty are fucking jerks.