Golf Laugh

Believe it or not the Internet does have a definition for “golf laugh”. It states a golf laugh is “To offer a short, polite chuckle to someone as an acknowledgement that they said something THEY think is amusing, but it really isn’t. To help someone not feel uncomfortable or embarrassed by politely laughing at their stupid joke.”

Suffices to say and considering the group of guys I hang with I golf laugh…… ALLOT. Aside from the Wrecking Ball and, occasionally, the Spanish Mackerel most of the BC guys just aren’t really that funny. Don’t get me wrong, they definitely believe they are. Perhaps it’s just me.

Other terms:
JL or Jim Laugh: Similar to golf laugh but instead of trying to be polite it has more of a “I am very uncomfortable with this line of joking around can you please stop now before I kill you” tone to it.

LOL or Laughing Out Loud: Often a term used by teenage girls…..or Lil’ Ball…..LOL

Mirror, Mirror

An article found on states “Forget about opposites attracting. We like people who look like us, because they tend to have personalities similar to our own. And, a new study suggests, the longer we are with someone, the more similarities in appearance grow.”

Now I don’t know that I agree with this study, but I do know that if one more person mistakes me for the Red Dragon (a/k/a The Butcher) they may get a face full of my fist.

Now don’t get me wrong, I like me some Red Dragon, but other than the slimmest of resemblance we are nothing alike. For example:

-I ride my bike regularly = Seeing Red Dragon on a bike is like spotting Sasquatch in the Pacific NW;

-I like things neat and orderly = Red Dragon’s truck looks like a refuge dispenser;

-I’m quiet and reserved and don’t like to bring allot of attention to myself out in public = Red Dragon in a public place might be heard to say, in his most loud voice “do you remember that time I crapped my pants then threw my underwear at those nuns.”

So, the next time you see a guy riding his bike on the trail, his jersey neat and pressed, not making a sound……consider that maybe, just maybe, it is not the Red Dragon….It could be Sasquatch in disguise.

Winding Up

The last few days have been really good on the MTB (minus the $140 lost for another broken part as a result of ANOTHER crash). Instead of us doing the same ol’ same ol’, we have started putting in some pretty good efforts during the last few rides. Last night’s ride was a blast. It was a small crew with me, Wrecking Ball, Big Worm and Lil Ball. Big Worm was a man possessed. He kept the pace up most of the ride and when he wasn’t attacking, Wrecking Ball was. Even though the efforts definitely hurt it sure felt good to put them in. Unfortunately, the cold weather combined with all of the heaving breathing has got my lungs all screwed up. I’m hacking and coughing like a 70 year old man with COPD. Maybe this little extra kick in everyone’s step is the first sign that Spring and longer days are just around the corner. I can only hope.

The only thing missing from the rides this week were the rest of the crew who were fairly consistent in the early part of fall/winter (Marko, Steve, Berg, and Tim). Sure would like to see those guys back out with us on a weekly basis. Those guys along with the lost boys (Dan, Kent, Ken, Darien, Rick) would make ALMOST everything right in the mountainbiking world.


This picture goes out to brother Kent. No, he is not dead in the physical sense. Sure he’s “physically” out of shape and perhaps has hit rock bottom in the mountain biking sense, but he is still out there, somewhere, still kicking. We miss him on rides (some of the guys can actually remember what it was like to have him on a bike). There has been chatter about a comeback, perhaps him even winning the Georgia State Championship Series (although second place would be VERY respectable) in 2010. If you see him out there please pay your respects. Man I miss that guy.

The Lost Boys

Wow, what a fun weekend of mountain biking. Saturday had me, Big Worm, Wrecking Ball and Spanish Mackerel loading up the truck and heading to middle Georgia for some mountain biking fun.

First stop was the Boy Scout camp (Camp Thunder) near Thomaston. With well over 2,000 feet of climbing per lap, past trips on this trail have turned out to be more hiking than biking, but this time it seemed to be the opposite. It’s amazing what you can do when you settle down and just find a grove. Big Worm decided to do things the hard way. About 2 miles in, and during the second climb, he breaks a rear derailleur. So now he’s down to about 3 gears. This is not the place to limit your gear choices. Riding behind the big man you would never have known he had a problem. He rode all the climbs the rest of us made and cleaned some that we couldn’t. The Mackerel gave his best impression of a mountain goat while running his mouth during the climbs. Me and WB were devising a plan to toss him over a cliff while at the same time breathing through our eyelids.

After the ride we head for Macon and try to find the big man a derailleur from one of the bike shops. After several calls it was not looking good as none had any level of Sram for purchase. As luck would have it, one of the wrenches offered to sale his XO off of his personal bike…..SOLD. So we get to the shop at closing time and the deal was done. Oh, and it must be said that Big Worm was “recognized” in the shop as a GSC participant. I made sure they realized that he was not only a participant but the GSC Clydesdale champion.

After checking into the Hotel, getting cleaned up, and drinking a few beers, we head out for some Mexican food. Good stuff, and hey since we are not racing the next day (thank God) why not hit Baskin Robbins for some ice cream. Seemed like a good idea at the time. Back at the hotel there was mention of a ten o’clock run to Five Guys Burgers but, thankfully, cooler heads prevailed.

Sunday we get up early and hit the free hotel breakfast before loading up the truck. Before heading to Dausset we hit Dunkin Donuts for some iced coffee and donuts (did I mention not a race weekend…THANK GOD). Off to Dausset we go. Unlike the day before, Sunday was gorgeous (sunny and cooler). The trails were a mess due to all of the rain days before. Very slick, and very muddy which made things interesting. Not even half way through the ride Big Worm, you guessed it, breaks another part. This time his saddle rails have snapped. He gives it a go for a while but decides he needs to head back to the truck. He hands SM the map, gives a few instructions and we part ways. Me, WB, and SM hit the “huff and puff” section of Dausset and struggle with the mud and water. WB was about to blow a gasket (bonked) and I’m having some “intestinal” issues (which I’m sure had nothing to do with the diet I enjoyed while on the trip). Overall another very fun ride.

Load up the truck, stop by JB’s BBQ, then head to the house. I can’t wait for the next guy’s weekend (RACING NOT INCLUDED).

A man’s got to know his limitations!

A good size group of Bikechain’s posse made the trip to Fernandina Beach this past weekend for the second installment of the Florida State Championship MTB Series. Me, Big Worm, Wrecking Ball and Spanish Mackerel loaded up the truck on Saturday and headed over. Derwood with his liter, Red Dragon with the Ball and Chain, and Iceberg with his parental/sibling units also made the drive over Saturday. Marko and Silk got up before the chickens on Sunday morning and headed over in time to make the race.

Saturday’s pre-ride was uneventful. This course is fun to ride. Nothing real technical, but fast and flowy. You can lose your head on this course if you’re not careful (literally). There are quite a few low hanging limbs waiting to take your head off if you are not paying attention. Not a big deal on pre-ride but be careful on race day when oxygen deficit is maxed out. Load the truck back up, head to the hotel, get cleaned up then go find grub. Hmmm, ate at a really good Italian restaurant there last year so we hit it again. Good food, good times. Argue about what each of us owe, stress about it a little more until Big Worm starts to explode then head back to the hotel for some R&R. Watch a little Police Women of Broward County to look for lil Ronnie (Big Worm says he wears skirts and rides like a girl so he might be featured on the show). Get ready for sleep before a tap on the door. Bikechain’s CEO decides to make a late night sales call pimping the new Bike Chain gear. Swag and monies exchange hands and finally get rid of CEO. Lights out.

Six thirty came early. Big Worm did his usual jump right out of bed, head for the door and hit breakfast. The big man worries that he will not get his 5 waffles if he is not first to breakfast. Terry is on the big man’s heels. Me and Mackerel take a while to get motivated enough to get up. I am in my typical race day panic mode questioning why in the hell I put myself through the stress and aggravation that comes with racing. I can’t bring myself to eat much on race day due to nerves, but manage to swallow a bagel and banana. Off we go.
Yellow wave goes first. I’m in my second ever Sport race and about to soil myself on the starting line. Horrible start. I KNOW everyone is faster than me so I go into the woods near dead last. Crashed 2.5 times in the first lap. Needless to say, this is not going well. Get behind a few guys not going very fast and just sit there knowing I should get around. About get head taken off while trying to let Mr. Amazing Pro Dude (Bob) around. Three laps and cross the finish line in 20th place (out of 27 riders). Did I give it all I had NO, was I disappointed YES. If I can’t get these pre-race panic attacks in order then my racing days may be numbered. I’m pretty good at handing out water bottles. Maybe there’s a place for me as the MTB version of a domestique.

Congrats to Iceberg (1st); Big Worm (3rd) and Silk (4th) on their podium finishes. Great job to the Red Dragon and Bikechain for being the round sponsor . Tom Brown in two weeks. Trying to get my wife to get us out of town that weekend but no luck as of yet. Damn I may have to enter ANOTHER race. Do I feel lucky, well do I, punk.

The End

Ok, so let’s rap this thing up. On Saturday Me, Big Worm, Ice Berg, and Graham Cracker piled in the truck and made the long drive to Helen for the last of the Georgia State Championship series. Big Worm and I had participated in most of the series races with Ice Berg and Cracker just tagging along. Longshanks and his wife headed up on Thursday to make a long weekend of it.

I was so stoked that this was the last race in the series and I can promise you it will be the last series I commit to.
The trip up was fairly uneventful. We made the usual stop at the sausage place so Worm could get his fix. We were pretty happy once we finally made it into Helen, only to find out that place stays crowed with tourists all year long. It took us 30 minutes to get through town before we could make our way to Unicoi for our pre-ride.
The trails at Unicoi are awesome. Nothing real technical and the trails were in great shape. Plenty of climbing but all were doable. The descents were fun (even though I loved my brakes on most of them – I’ve got to work on this weakness). Berg and Cracker did their thing while the Worm and I decided a slower pace would be more appropriate for a pre-ride.
When we get back to the truck I see foot doc at the parking lot. Foot doc was only 2 points behind me in the series points (me in second and him in third). He notifies me that he will not be racing the next day due to an injury he sustained in the Ellijay race. Sucks for him, but my race just got easier. The fourth place guy was 4 points back so he should not be a problem.
A walk in the oven (it was hot), some mediocre food (but good beer) and we are back at the hotel for an early night of it. Sunday morning comes and we are off to Unicoi. We find a good park, set up the tent and Worm and I get ready for the early wave start. Thank God for this. It was brutally hot and we knew the second wave guys would be suffering.

I’m not quite as terrified as I usually am before a race but the butterflies were still there. Worm is off and I am awaiting my start. Small group this race as only 9 guys show up. We’re off and I am second going into the woods behind “evil bastard.” Of course the race starts going uphill and then a sharp switchback. EB hits the deck while trying to negotiate the switchback. I get around and am leading the race. Roadie dude is on my wheel and stays there for a while before he decides to get around. He’s gone. By that time EB finds my wheel. He stays there for most of the .lap. We start discussing politics and the state of the current health care system before he realizes I can’t climb worth a damn so he gets around and he’s gone. I keep a steady pace and start picking guys off from the other groups. I’m starting to think that a third place finish would be respectful and this way I am assured of my number 2 series placing. Every now and then I can spot roadie dude in front of me but never really could bridge the gap. I’m tired of climbing and my heart rate is way up. I’m ready to be done. I pop out of the woods, think “thank God” and start to make the 75-100 trek to the finish line. I look back to see who’s behind me and thought I saw a guy in my class. I amp it up then look back again. The guys not coming (he ended up not being in my class). I look up and notice roadie dude right there. The kick in the balls for this race is that the last 30 fee or so is straight up. I kid you not that sport guys were walking up this thing. Well luckily for me roadie guy did not know I was coming until it was too late. I was in the perfect gear and he was not. I stomped it out, caught him, and beat him to the line by about a foot or two. I was stoked to have stolen second place.
Big Worm finished up and got his first place finish. Who cares that he was the only guy racing in his class.

Graham Cracker destroyed his field. This kid flew. I know because he flew by me during my race. What’s amazing is that he hit something that stung him on the mouth about 10 minutes into his race. His mouth swelled up like a life raft.
Berg being the amazing racer that he is (if you don’t believe me just ask him) destroyed his field as well.
Longshanks in his first expert race suffered. Three laps and a hot day made the conditions tough. It still looks like he had a respectful finish. I sure wish I had your toughness LS.

We hit the series ending awards ceremony where BW and I collect our plaque and swag, jump in the truck and head back home. I’m in the door about midnight, announce to the wife that amazing his home, show off the swag and hit the bed.

Georgia series in the books.

Hitting the Wall

Me and Longshanks made the long drive to Ellijay over the weekend for the 7th installment of the Georgia State MTB Championship Series. The Event was held at “Falling Waters” which is a planned gated community on 2,000 acres. The place was beautiful with a lodge, giant lake and great views of the mountains in the distance. We pull in around 2:00 on Saturday for our pre-ride. The temperature was a cool 77 degrees (are you kidding me, it’s July).

We gear up and hit the course. The start takes you 1.5 miles up a paved road. Two minutes into the ride, I’m in my small chainring and small cog and my heart rate is at 90% max. This road was steep and painful. This is a pre-ride and I’m working too hard. Fifteen minutes later we made it to the top of the climb and finally hit some doubletrack. You get a chance to recover a little before hitting some little false flats. About the time you have recovered from the road climb they give you a nice little doublletrack climb. LS powers up but again I am in small/small and just about hitting max heart rate. I make it to the top, stop, and try to get my breath. Damn that little hill hurt. Finally, some downhill that you can flow. Then, suddenly, I see 3 arrows all pointing down (the sign of danger ahead). What came next was the scariest downhill I have ever ridden. This thing had washouts, ruts a few rocks and headed straight down. You dared not let go of the breaks. The few times I did let go I could not believe how fast the speed built up. LS was just ahead of me and about half way down this 2 mile or so decent when he hit the ground. I swerve as not to run over his skull. We stop and wonder what the weird smell is. We soon realize that our brakes are smoking. We get back on the bikes and finish the decent. The rest of the ride is easy. Some hiking trails and then pop out into a field that has some small climbs. 5.5 miles and 44 minutes later and were done with the pre-ride.

I knew Sunday would be tough. I am no climber and am at least 10 pounds heavier than I should be. My legs felt heavy from the previous days efforts and I’m dreading doing the road climb (twice). LS has the early race and takes off. He comes through both laps in 3rd place. The first two guys (sandbaggers) have left the rest of the field behind. LS finishes in third but he is a little disappointed in his race.

I have the second wave so I’m off around 11:40. Eleven guys in my class and we are headed up the road climb. I feel like everyone in my class has passed me going up. I catch and pass most before the singletrack. I believe I was in the woods in 4th place. Unfortunately I have a mechanical and have to get off the bike to fix it when two guys pass me. I jump back on and catch those two. I get to the doubletrack climb and end up walking half of it. Bomb the downhill and get ready for the next lap. At the start of number 2 I knew I was in 3rd place. NB checked out early but I had my eye on the 2nd place guy. He stayed in my sight all of the lap but I could never get right up on him to get a chance to sprint it out at the end. I finish 3rd about 30 second behind 2nd place guy.

Considering how I felt going up the climbs, I guess I should feel good about the 3rd place finish, but truly I do not feel that I am riding very good lately. Most of my issues appear to be more mental than physical. One more race to go in the series which is Helen in 3 weeks. I’m holding onto 2nd place overall with the 3rd place guy on my heels only 2 points behind. I’ll need to pay close attention to him in Helen.

So what did the two older guys learn while traveling alone to a MTB race? Pinot Noir goes best with cheese and crackers when served at room temperature.