Things that made me laugh…

Herein, are just a few things that I just read this evening that kind of made me chuckle, or made me think about a few things, maybe they did for you as well, eh, then again, maybe not. You decide. Deride, if you will.

Part the first:
O’Grady’s recent tirade.

As I normally do, I laughed at Mr. O’Grady’s latest throwdown on the sport that apparently too many people take way too seriously. How do we know this, well, fast forward to the letters section on Velonews and we have this response from an irate reader of O’Grady’s recent outburst:

“Editor,
I read Patrick O’Grady’s on-line article, unfortunately.

Was this called for?
“The others, belonging to Janez Brajkovic, Steve Morabito and Yaroslav Popovych, are indistinguishable from the jillions of other Madone 6.9 Pros ridden to mid-pack finishes in industrial-park crits worldwide by
potbellied masters racers.”

Sure, we may have never been god-like pros, but describing what is probably the MAJORITY OF YOUR RACING SUBSCRIBERS as “potbellied” was inaccurate, unnecessary and demeaning. This subscriber would suggest that you choose your words a bit better.

John Strasser”

Actual link to letter section at Velonews.com.

Alright, first of all, it looks like someone touched a nerve with Mr. Strasser eh? Did someone eat too much food over the holidays and hasn’t been riding since about that time and has a bike that is oh so average, but really highly extremely overpriced? Hey, nothing wrong with the Madone, as long as you don’t actually have to pay for one. I’d ride one all day, if it was given to me. If I’m going to part with my hard earned greenbacks, or in the situation that I’m in now, my lack of hard earned greenbacks, sorry, it’s not going to be for a Trek. I’d much rather ride the Pinarello Prince that I have now, but I digress.

Second, Strasser, seriously, get a sense of humor. Most pot bellied mid pack master’s racers know what they are (it’s what O’Grady has been for, well, many years now, and what I ASPIRE to be), and they apparently don’t take themselves as seriously as you do. I know lots of master’s racers, and guess what? Those are normally some of the coolest cats out there, mostly because the ones I know have been racing bikes since the days of toe clips and wooden bottom shoes, and didn’t just discover the sport when Lance rolled around le Tour in 1999 (or later for the late bloomers).

I can picture Mr. Strasser now. Rolls up to the “Saturday Morning World Championship ride” (you know which ride I speak of, there is one in almost every town where there are, well, people who like to ride bikes), on his shiny new Madone, matching Nike shoes, matching Giro Atmos LiveStrong edition helmet, Astana kit (he’s already upgraded from the old Disco kit), a $400 pair of Oakleys, embrocation on his newly shaved legs, and not a speck of dust nor dirt anywhere near his visage. As the group rolls out of town, he’s yapping away about how he’s been doing some zone 3 this week, and maybe a little zone 4, and that his new SRM Dura-Ace crank (he has to use this crank because they don’t make a SRAM crank – yet) is giving him great power files that he can upload to his training blog so that his coach can see them, and his friends can be amazed by a ton of squiggly colored lines that only maybe about 3 people in the world really understand anyway.

As the group makes their way into the “meat” of the ride, you know, where the shit normally starts to get thrown down, he sticks in the middle of the ride for a little while. Talking less now, trying to keep the legs turning over, and talking the game gets harder when you suck, and your gut is getting in the way (I ought to know, my gut is getting in the way more and more these days). As the group approaches the section of road where the shit really goes down, all of a sudden, Mr. Madone is no longer seen. Where the hell did the annoying guy go? A few minutes later, we all know the answer.

He took the side road about a mile back so he could take a short cut, catch his breath, and intercept the ride up the road where it’s a little flatter, and he can tuck in behind everyone else.

Over the flats we go, and we’re grinding it out. Mr. Nike New Shoes is sitting at the back, huffing and puffing, and just barely hanging on for dear life. Ah, a stop sign. He can catch his breath again, and then more flats, same sitting at the back. Finally we reach some climbs, OK, they’re not huge, but they are a little bit of a bump, and it normally separates the strong from the weak. Mr. Oakley goes shooting off the back like a caboose separated from a runaway freight train, and as he fades off the back, you hear, “Coach told me to take it easy today anyway, this is supposed to be a rest day…” Yeah, you all know THAT guy, you’ve seen him. You’ve ridden with him, thing is, he’s not done yet.

After you ride over hill and dale, chasing attacks down for the workout, having fun with your friends, on the run back into town, you see him. Again, waiting, and soft pedaling up in front of the on rushing pack. Approaching the “sprint” line at the end of the ride, he gets back into the line, surprisingly fresh for someone who got dropped about 40 minutes before. The sprint starts to break loose, and I don’t need to tell you what that’s like on a group ride. You’ve got yay-hoos all the way from folks who have never raced, to folks who are local strong cat 1s and 2s and 3s trying to actually mix it up, and here comes Strasser again. He jumps into the sprint, and starts going for it. Despite himself, he’s an OK sprinter, but he’s not that good, in order for him to “win”, he slides slightly to the left, therefore running you OFF the road, so that he can “win”. Thing is, he starts turning squares 50 feet from the line, and 20 people go rushing past him anyway, and he almost killed you. All in a fine day for guys like this.

You have all had this experience, I know that you have. And there might be some of you out there who ARE this guy. If you are, stop it. Knock it the fuck off. Nobody thinks that you’re cool, and really, nobody likes you. What we want to do is toss a tree branch into your spokes, and given the right chance, and opportunity, that’s what we’re going to do. It would be better for everyone else if you just didn’t show up. Seriously, stay at home, or ride alone. Nobody. Likes. You.

Oh, and did I mention? Get a fucking sense of humor.

I was going to write about something else, but I seemed to have forgotten what that was exactly during my above tirade. Sorry about that. More later. Adios.

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About giantcu92

Engineer living in the NOVA, and working for "The Man". Cycling and political junky. All things 2 wheeled are good. 4 wheels? Eh, OK, but 2 wheels better. Washinton, DC, USA

14 thoughts on “Things that made me laugh…

  1. Never done a group ride much less a crit. But if I did, I would sooooo be Mr. Strasser.

    What can I say….I love to ride but “sucking wind” is my middle name.

    But if I did show up to a Sunday ride, it’d be on my trusty 10 yo Cannondale mtn bike.

    Cause ya know….that’s how I roll. It’s also all I have.

  2. That guy you are describing? Mr. Nike new shoes? There’s a word for him.

    He’s called a “Strasser.” C.f.: “I would have had a much better time on the ride today if it hadn’t been for all the strassers.”

  3. good stuff. good stuff. sounds like just the kind of crap that motivated this website in the first place. There could be tomes written from the perspective of the soldiers on the other side of the counter from strasser, too. the wrench turners and the sales hookers that have to deal with dudes like him to make their $10.75 an hour.

    “Strasser, the weight savings you’ve accomplished with your $1200 purchase today could be more easily accomplished by knocking out a nice solid shit.”

  4. I was happy to have my entry-level Specialized Allez back when I logged asphalt miles. Now that I don’t I really dont care about shitheels like this, since they dont affect me.

    But I would have something in my jersey if he was a regular who pulled shit like that. Something like a broomhandle with bottle caps nailed to it, so I had the choice of either smacking him with it, or jammin it in his spokes.

    Either way, he avoids me next ride out.

    Maybe someone should run him into the dirt a few times. And I mean take him out on a few consecutive 100 milers to wear him down, then explain that he needs to stop being such an ass, and ride like a normal person, not some wanna-be racer who can’t hold his own in the peleton or sprint.

    Also… IMHO, If your knees hit your gut, you should NEVER be in a sprint. That shit is designed for the sub 170 riders. Period. No room for the Jan Ullrich types up there.

  5. …natural selection…

    …guys like ‘strasser’ usually manage to take themselves out before too long or else they end up riding w/ guys like themselves so they can all commiserate w/ each other about the chilly reception they got w/ the ‘fast’ crowd…

    …ya just gotta hope it happens sooner, rather than later…

  6. Heh heh, nice rant, sir.

    I went on a big group ride in Ohio one time. We arrived early because we weren’t sure where the trailhead was. There wasa guy there, honest to god, who had an LA-equivalent Madone, and he showed me how he had replaced a handful of alloy fasterners with titanium, saving several grams. I honestly wasn’t sure at first whether he was bullshitting me.

    Me and my buddy rolled out with the “B” riders, and our group caught the As a few miles out… I got dropped at about 35 miles (out of 40) when the guy in front of me got gapped and I failed to bridge up. My buddy lasted almost until the sprint. It was fun. I’m pretty sure I didn’t see titanium fastener guy go up the road ahead of me.

  7. I’ve never raced. I only own a hardtail mtb and a fixie. I usually ride alone. So I can’t personally relate to your hypothetical situation…but I can vividly imagine it. And I know of people “like” that guy. You forgot to mention that he shows up for the race/crit with his Madone strapped to the top of his BMW/Saab/whatever $30k+ suv you can think of.

  8. I am a Clydesdale pushing 60. I have-what, six or seven bikes?-whatever. All of them together would not make a decent down payment on a Madone.

    And that’s fine by me. I’ve never raced and don’t plan to. But if I did I’d probably show up hairy-legged, in baggy shorts and mountain bike shoes. Probably with my 30 year old Raleigh, or the Specialized Allez I got for $20 at a thrift store.

    And I’d have fun. Fuck ‘em if they can’t take a joke.

  9. See, that’s what I’m saying. It’s not about having a nice bike, lots of people do, but it’s about the ATTITUDE that you bring with said fancy bike. Hey, I can’t ride for shit anymore (out of shape, too much work, bad eating, bad drinking, etc, etc…) and I have a really fancy bike that I got a really good deal on, but it’s about your attitude, not the bike. I know lots of really cool guys who have super high end shit, and they’re nice guys, not pretentious, and not assholes.

    Strasser sounds like an asshole.

    That was my whole gist of it I guess.

  10. I think the “Colorado MTB” litmus test still applies. If you show up for the ride and the bikes on the roof are worth more than the car, you’re okay. My Jeep and the Trophy Bike are about equal in value, if I bring my wife’s or a friend’s bike, I’m over. Have a great ride.

  11. Sounds to me like strasser hit as much of a nerve with you as o’grady hit with him. Take your own advice, relax, dude.

  12. O’Grady, tellin’ it like it is. the Strasser analysis is spot-on as well- made me laugh hard and i had to re-read it several times just for the pure enjoyment of it, not to mention factual accuracy. good stuff. i have hardly ever done a saturday or sunday group ride out of Boulder when that guy wasn’t in there fuckin’ things up.

  13. Snakehawk…again, spot on.

    I worked in a shop where there used to be guys come in and weight tubes on our triple beam….actually pull them outta the box and weight them then buy the lightest one. No shit.

    I just had to laugh at the “just take a shit” comment… right on.