Monday, July 27, 2009

Steve McQueen, James Dean, Andrew Slater

The great transportation post. I think I have whined, postulated and soapboxed enough eluding to this that it now has to be written. I'll start it off with this statement (for all of those not privy): I am that guy who reads more into his own ride than anyone else ever will.

Problem: My vehicles are completely heinous and egregiously offensive to my perception of cool.

Solution: Motorcycle.

Problem solved, I bought myself a nice-ish Honda Shadow VLX. Faster than a C4 Vette and cheaper than my mountain bike. And damnit by all forms of justification I deserve this thing, no young 20 something who enjoys his toys this much should have to endure back to back ownership of a teal Hombre and a Grand Caravan without a little penance for my lack of cool.

James Dean meets socceer mom.

A funny thing dawned on me the day I brought this bike home though, the reason my truck went to hell is because I had NO desire to mess with it. The bike came home and the fouled spark plugs were immediately replaced, leaned out the gas and immediately started researching pipes, jet-kits and gearing. Holy crap, I understand vehicles again!

I have never owned a vehicle which I wasn't completely in love with (completely in love with, my totalled Camaro makes more appearances in my dreams than all of my pretty young exes combined) so like hell if I would ever let one of my girls suffer un-necessarily. And while I un-selfishly wasted many a teenage hour underneath my Camaro, big Jeep, little Jeep trio, the Hombre was left to wheeze, puff and suffer through her existence unless it was absolutely necessary that I get underneath her. If something broke I couldn't care less and she probably sufferered un-necessarily because of this. Lesson learned: never buy something I don't actually want, I will refuse to even acknowledge that I might be capable of fixing it and let it sit out of spite.

No self respecting man can go from these to a teal Hombre without a little hatred towards life in his heart.

Oh well, live and let live. I am now the owner of a broken down little truck, a kid/race team hauler and a quarter life crisis bike. But dangit I feel like I finally own some transportation that I can be proud to call mine again.

A final note: I know the majority of this made me sound incredibly shallow and ride centered, but it really isn't one of those things. If I was handed a Buick LeSabre tomorrow that handled like a Corvette and had 500hp or a Honda Ruckus that could rockcrawl and fling mud 30 feet in the air I would be ecstatic. But those things never will do that and part of life for me is keeping the adrenaline pumping, the corners pinned and the holeshot in the crosshairs. Alright so maybe there is a little shallowness to go along with this but damnit I'm still young and really do believe I enjoy/get more out of my toys more than most other people.

So here's to motorcycles, lost loves (think engines not ovaries) and the minivan/truck that caused this over-dramatic quarter life crisis of mine.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Bad to the Mothereffin' Goat

The pain train pulled into Topeka today and somebody had painted the lumbering diesel engine black with a mean lookin' goat on the side.

The founding father's of BGR.

BGR's take for the weekend:
1,2,3, in Expert U29 by Waller, Stamper and Patterson
1 in Sport U29 by yours truly
Check out the badgoatblog for more race digs.

Now the Sunflower Games are pretty notorious for having a less than stacked field (and in my case it would be considered even less than whatever less than stacked is) but regardless I will take a win any way I come across it.

I can't hate too hard on the race though because my body acted exactly how I wanted it to during this race. I don't know if it was the weather or the trails or if I actually am coming into a bit of form but straight out of the holeshot I pretty much laid claim to the entire sport category (ok there were 2 U39guys who had better overall times but whatever) and never let up.

Style points.

And damn it felt good to be able to look at the holeshot, take it, settle my heartrate and continue railing the turns for an entire race. I can definitely feel the extra 15lbs on my frame from the last time I was competitive but the hills were short and steep enough that the extra weight (while noticeable) probably helped more than hurt with that extra power.

Mind you this wasn't Bad Goat's first event of the weekend either. Three of the four founding father's participated in the Hawk's Tour De Franzia on Friday night. Owen Patterson grabbed an honorary BGR spot for the race and away we went. A little disapppointing as we were promised an obstacle course at the end and were instead given a drag race on a 12" bike (wouldn't have mattered as I would have crashed it either way). But the booze was cheap, the women were still underaged and blonde and BGR was representing in some of the other facet's of things we do well.

Glass #3, things got progressively worse after this.

BGR's total weekend take: 24 glasses of wine (in the race alone), 4 commemorative wine glasses, at least 3 mysterious injuries, 4 podium spots and all of the style points any team hoped to have this weekend.

Raise it up Pattersnap

So here's to the Bad Goats, the Hawk, Franzia, finally finding my form and some darn fit friends.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

But you will still read it...

One more from the bowels of my brain... I don't mean to bore y'all with my inconsistent ramblings but darnit all, I've been working late shifts all week which does not lend itself to my lifestyle well. Meaning that by the time I get off work I have little left to do besides eat and sleep instead of my normal fish/ride/adventure agenda. Hopefully this gets resolved next week because I hate taking my restlessness out on the internet and a short-ish run in the evenings.

#1: Has anyone else watched every episode of Scrubs put up on Hulu at least twice already? I'm pretty sure the last five episodes are going on three days of internet time now and I honestly could watch the series finale over and over. I'm sorry but I have to wax poetically about this thing, I have to say that the writing behind this show has been mind-blowing. Not necessarily for the final season (as a whole it sucked) but that finale man... wrapped it up in a perfect box with one of those ribbons you curl by running the scissors between your thumb and the blade and handed it to you with a smile and a piece of raspberry filled cheesecake. Good lord, there has been some immense writing out of this show but I have never seen a finale leave me wanting more that bad.

That rant was aimed primarily towards a certain Californian who I heard was refusing to watch the last season until it came out on DVD, embrace your computer and pirate that shiz sir.

#2: Goals. My goal for this week is not to pay for a meal. So far I am 4 days in without it, the whole coffee shop job thing makes it pretty sickly easy. The fact that my entire job profile 4 days a week is to talk to other college students who more than likely have at least one job in the food service industry makes it that much easier. Tomorrow will be the test, spinning the wrenches at the CC leaves a man hungry and the Price Chopper next door has a pretty well done up salad bar. I'm hoping I can live on the leftovers from work today but I'm sure it will be uber-tempting.... honestly I'm probably gonna have to pay for at least one meal this week.

#3: Motorcycle. Ever feel like you are being conspired against by life? That's how the motorcycle gods are treating me. So far I've missed out on three bikes that I wanted desperately. These have been the last two weeks debacles.
A) Was .5-1 hr late as it got snagged out from underneath me as I was driving frantically into JoCo after getting stuck at work.
B) Some do-gooder honored his commitment to the first caller who couldn't pick the bike up for fiive days after I offered him full value (if I approved) on the same day he posted it.
C) Ran into a kid who felt his bike was worth wayyyyy more than market value. Maybe 20 years old and thought he owned the coolest thing ever (can't blame him, I've done the same when I sold my Jeeps). I offered him market value over the phone and he laughed and never called back. Meaning he either got the ridiculous asking price or came to his senses with someone else.
D) This dude's wife decided to pop out a kid the day I was supposed to check out the bike. I still have hope for this one as the entire reason he was selling it was because of the impending doom that is child rearing. We'll see though, I have high hopes but the anti-motorcycle gods are loving making this difficult on me.

On the up side I drive a mini-van now (lame failure...wah, wah, wah cartoon music follows this statement). The Hombre was replaced by this monstrosity, I would go on further but I have a whole nother outlook on transportation that has been coagulating in my brain the last few days regarding transportation.

So here's to Zach Braff, free grub and being frustrated at having obstacles blocking my path of attempting to be James Dean.

Ponderings of el cuarenta de Julio (July 14th in Spanish...right?)

I want my stuff back. About a month ago I started a list of garments I once owned but no longer can find, it's staggeringly large. I have three reasons why I think this list is so large...

1. Girls are inevitable hoodie thieves: I don't wear hoodies by nature, it just has never been my thing. I much prefer the collar to an awkward hood. But damnit I have owned a few in my day and for some reason I am down to one at the current moment. I don't care if I have 5 beers in me and you are complaining about being cold, give me my damn hoodie back when you are done with it. Those things are like $40 a pop, is it a trophy for you to own a piece of clothing once owned by a man who rode for the KU cycling team or played on the Olathe lacrosse team or just shopped at Hollister when he was 16?... didn't think so. Give it back.

2. I lose/misplace things that have little importance to me: If I'm at a pool/river/lake/work and my t-shirt gets trashed, chances are I would rather live without attempting to get 4 pounds of mud off of it than trying to clean it out. The catch about this is I rarely remember leaving said garment behind and have come to just blame the opposite sex or friends who stay at my house on stealing or borrowing it permanently.

3. Here's my conspiracy theory... the mother: I'm like 90% sure that she throws out things that are too haggard for normal people to wear but that I still insist on keeping. Not that she does my laundry regularly, as I'm reminded every time I go home to procure a washing machine for a day and wash my jeans/bike shorts/dress shirts together. But I have a theory that on the rare holiday weekend she gets a hold of my clothing she tosses at least a handful of stuff out (I know she reads this and will disagree but like all of the JFK fanatics out there I hold steadfast to this theory).

Bicycle Racing

Here's the stuff that I don't understand...

By some grace of something that I don't understand I was gifted enough to race cyclocross well, don't believe me? Look further back into my USAC results before I discovered the finer things in life. Yet I refuse to enter a race that translates into cyclocross skills. If it isn't under 6 hrs I rarely enter it, and this season has been even worse because I'm refusing to enter pretty much anything that would normally interest me. I justify it by telling myself that it will be "good base miles for cross." What this actually has translated to in the past few years has been more along the lines of "well you forgot to train for cross again...have fun."

Regardless, I've become pretty resolved to finish the Rapture in Misery solo 6 well this year. Why? No idea. I have never, ever, really never excelled in a temperature above 60 degrees and this race is notorious for 100 degree heat indexes during the day. But for some reason I want to do it and I want to do it well.

My last and only decent placing in a 6 hr event went like this (mind you this was almost 3 years ago)

Lap 1: 40 degrees, hold back and watch the teams ride away.
Lap 2 and 3: throttle, throttle, throttle
End of Lap 3: Stans blowout, eat 2 turkey creamsheese bagels while sitting on truckbed, look at bike with disdain, down half a can of Cope, fix bike.
Lap 4-7: Ride like a 19 year old whose testosterone level can crush his rationale.

This netted me an 8th place (I think) but for some reason I think I can do that again, with a body that has proven itself time and time again to be less resilent and more prone to fickleness than it was at only a few years younger age. I'm almost positive turkey, cream cheese bagels would make me vomit uncontrollably mid-race, add in tobacco and I might as well just put a sleeping bag in the back ot the van and wait for the rest of the team to get done. Oh well, still gonna enter the race and hope for the best.

Here's the one and only rationale I can figure out on why I want to do 6+ hour events well, my friends. I know this crew reads this thing and I don't know whether to thank you for pushing my physical limits or hate you for making me want to do things I shouldn't be doing, but y'all deserve some flattery anyways. Between watching Stamper pace himself like a man who knows more about his body than I think he cares to admit, Pattersnap for railing singletrack on a rigid SS so hard that one lap would make a normal man cry, or Waller just serving up pure un-adultered brute big-ring force for more hours on end than any XTR chaingring should endure.

I had one more important thing on my mind that had been badgering me to write about this week but I can't recall what it was at the current moment, so much for the mindmap skills we were all taught in the 4th grade. Wing it and something will be lost along the way.

So I guess here's to lost clothes and doing things we weren't meant to do. Cheers to the kids that push me, my own irrational thoughts and lost Hurley t-shirts.