A riveting tale of tragedy, contemplation, and the acceptance of loss.

A friend, a good ol’ chap here in Madison, goes by Samwhich, eloquently shares his account of what transpired just moments before one of his super serious cyclocross races.

Cyclocross. That’s what you do in Autumn if you ride bikes and wear skinny jeans, right? Well, that’s what I do, on a decidedly non-ironic machine. It’s carbon. Hipsters don’t ride carbon bikes. And it has derailleurs—not just one, two. No mustache. Legs shaved. Skinsuit. That fucking skin suit.

It’s where it started. A skinsuit. Fuck all, I’ve never worn a skin suit, it’s got no pockets, so I got no use for it. But there was a left over in the team kit box so I grabbed it.

I watched the Cat 4 race. The race leader, and eventual winner, was wearing all black, on an all-black bike, with black wheels. My kind of man. But he had too many disc brakes and way too much carbon. So I let him know what I thought. He also rode away from the field. I asked him if he’d ever heard of category 3.

This was all before the tragedy of course. A long way after the race and only slightly before my own, I decided it was time to pretend to be serious about this racing thing.

Bike leaned against the car, right where I left it an hour ago. A bit of potatoes and asparagus to stave off the strong, dark beer I was pre-racing with. Changed in the parking lot, I had no towel, so stood for all to see. Stuffed my fairly new, kinda pricey—but I got them at employee cost (you still pay MSRP for bike gear?)—Giro Bravo full finger gloves (black, is there another color?) onto my debilitated and neglected pectoral muscles.

Then came the urge. Those New Belgium Abbey’s had worked their way through as fast as I’d expected, yet failed to prepare for.  All sails set for the nearest Port-a-potty. Walked in the door (latch broken), where tragedy stuck like Zeus’s missile of baby fluid into an unsuspecting virgin. I foolishly unzipped that goddamned skinsuit and watched a glove, only one, sink into the blue-green-brown fluid occupying the bowels of that blue box.

Fuck.

I paused a moment to contemplate my predicament: one glove, quickly sinking into an abyss of human excrement, nothing to wash it with, the other in the pool of liquid near my feet. Pause. Pause. Pause. I poked it to asses it’s rescue. Hopeless. Hopeless. Hopeless.

I took moment to wonder if it was even a good idea to buy them. They sucked ass and gave me blisters. I don’t even like wearing gloves. Fuck it. I pissed all over it, grabbed the other one from the floor and hung it from the I-have-trouble-taking-a-dump railing. Someone else can go fishing.

Honey Hole

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About Cupcake

I don’t have a beer gut, I’ve developed a liquid grain storage facility.

40 thoughts on “A riveting tale of tragedy, contemplation, and the acceptance of loss.

  1. …honey hole ???…at first i thought that said ‘hein verbruggen’

    …what is the sound of one glove crappin’ ???…

  2. Every time I go into one of those wretched boxes I expect something of mine; glasses, helmet, gloves, phone, etc to jump to it’s death.

    thankfully and usually it’s just my dignity.

  3. The mass has already begun to gather at the start for the Tour of the White Mtns and I was on my way from camp when it hit. I backtracked a couple hundred feet back to the honey buckets to make quick work of the the expulsion.

    Being in a hurry and picking the first hole in the floor, I neglected to notice the absence of some good ole ass wipe. Upon reaching for the roll I realized I was up shit creek. Now what…. Sure as hell can’t ride 36mi w/ a chamois full of shit grease.

    So off come the shoes and right then and there, my favorite riding socks were laid to waste.

  4. Funny, when I gotta drop a deuce at a cross race I usually squeeze out a long steamer on a paper plate and run it over to the mud bog run up and chuck the thing on the steepest, nastiest crux section. Then I grab my camera and shoot away, while yelling drunk-ass remarks that only my four girl friends and I understand (we inveneted a sexy woodland-realm language).

  5. For a half a second I thought you were gonnna dive for it. I have pondered similar situations. Makes me wonder what would you/I dive for?
    Fucking gross!

  6. about 15 years ago upon a return visit to the great state of Wisconsin, my wife and I were occupying neighboring porto pots on our way out of Summerfest in Milwaukee and I casually asked her if she had the car keys…next thing I heard was her say, “OH SHIT”…into the brownnish blue. Thankfully, my good friend followed behind her as he heard my loud WTF’s and went elbow-deep into the warmth wrapped in one of those plastic grocery bags to reclaim said car keys, thus saving the moment. That is taking one for the team.

  7. I used to go skiing with this dude who had those clever little retainer straps for his gloves, so you can’t lose them, like gnarly mountain climbers wear. One day after we’d split like an eighteen-pack, he stopped to whiz on a tree, wasn’t paying attention and like half-filled his own glove with urine. That was pretty goddamn funny.

  8. 1998 Sea Otter: saw a brand new pair of Oakleys lyin atop Mt. Dookie in one of the blue offices. Tough moment for me. Walked away, and since then everytime I see a dude with Oakleys on I think “shitpile”.

  9. After queuing for what seemed like hours to “deal with a load of darks” before my last ironman, a blue-room finally became vacant. Walked in and the dude before me had laid a pile the size of Mt Rainier right on the seat. WTF? He must have kangarooed it and missed badly. What’s a guy to do? I don’t have time to go back in line and wait for an alternative booth. I grabbed generous amounts of paper and pushed that steaming pile off into the abyss. Gag, retch, choke, spit, try not to breathe – you get the idea. Finally got my load done. Delightful experience.

    On the plus side, at another triathlon, I once used one of the aforementioned thunder buckets right after Dave Scott. Didn’t smell a bit. Well, maybe like roses with a hint of cinnamon.

  10. @7 i will remember that one, i laughed my ass off! @ 10 Hah Summerfest! It’s been a long time! Milwaukee drunks know how to handle their shit!

  11. …gee, cupcake…for any loss yer pal samwhich feels, i’m sure these beautiful & heartwarming stories will fill him with joy…

  12. I once felt sorry for myself as I had no gloves, until I met a man who had ……. what the hell is the moral to the story? Other famous people who wore just one glove? Michael Jackson, Pete Rose, the drummer from Def Leopard?

  13. This kind of quality literature is why I visit this webpage on an almost daily schedule. Thanks to all who made me smile a little brighter…

  14. Over-priviledged puke has obviously never been to the shithouse on a moonless winter night. Or worked on a construction site. Pity. Tether everything, son, and check for yer wallet before you walk away.

  15. …speaking of a lotta shit, he’s our pal lancey-pants, who, as someone else pointed out, is in deeper denial than o.j.simpson, just wants you to know that HIS conscience is clear…

    http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/lance-armstrong-my-conscience-is-clear

    …all of the continuing drug allegations are like so many dirty needles left lying around under the palm trees on the white sandy beach that lance armstrong can afford to live on…

    …he’d like everyone to move on & forget he was the guy who left them there because basically, it doesn’t bother him so by his logic, it shouldn’t matter to anyone else, ya ???…

  16. @hack— those were the days, just beastly cars, making V12s making 900 HP in cars tha weighed about 500 kilos. Notice the old-fashioned shift lever— he had to take his right hand off the wheel to shift. Pretty vicious on some of those downshifts.

  17. and BTW, I was at the US Grand Prix in Phoenix AZ that same year, an event Senna won. They had to spot-weld the manhole covers down to keep the cars from sucking them up off the road. I distinctly recall standing at a 90-degree downtown street corner and watching Senna come through, apexing at almost 90 MPH, and every single time, I couldn’t believe he went through without crashing. Un. Real.

  18. Mikey: Yes, I am not even a motor sports guy but even I can tell that this guy was from a different fucking planet. The footage of him in Monaco in ’88, in the rain at Donington in ’93, etc.- all just unreal. This guy truly had no limits. He is still out there…

  19. @hack— I wasn’t a huge fan during Senna’s early years… brilliant, obviously, but he was also capable of huge mistakes, crashing out with a minute-plus lead and blaming the other driver. But I tell you what, I still remember exactly where I was when I learned he’d died… leading a Formula 1 Grand Prix.

  20. Mikey, yes, died leading the race after turning what ended up being the second fastest lap of the entire race with cold tires and a full tank on one of the first laps of the race. Of course he started on the pole per usual. All of this when it was clear to everyone who knew him that he didn’t even want to be there because of the crash that killed Ratzenburger and bad feelings about Imola and that turn. Of course once he was in the car he went the only way he knew how – 100% balls out.

  21. …senna always HAD to push himself & thus the accidents mikey mentioned…

    …while others might gain & protect a race lead, senna having gained a race lead had to push himself to as great a lead as possible which on occasion spelled disaster…

    …but as i’ve mentioned before, that day at imola was an oddity wherein of the many factors that were stacked against senna & might have brought about his demise, none of the usual were the cause of his accident…

    …a simple failed suspension piece brought about the end of a truly great driver & an interesting human being…

  22. So Greg Lemond comes out and claims Lance has spent ten years trying to destroy him… hey Greg, what have you been doing these last ten years? Not selling bikes— my Poprad is one of the last machines ever branded as such.

    Plus, I see the victor of the Tour of Turkey just got popped for EPO.

    Pro cycling sucks these days.

  23. Yes, after reading Hamilton’s book I got on a kick and read Kimmage’s, then Fignon’s, Willy Voet’s (Festina soigner who got busted with a load full of drugs) and now am on Millar’s. What a fucking mess. One that that does seem clear though is that it wasn’t until EPO came along that the “preparation” became an absolute necessity if you wanted to win. But hell, who am I to talk as I am sitting her pounding O’dell pale ales trying to figure out what my caffeine dosing plan will be for the 12 solo at 24 hours of fury.

    Now back to trying to become, as Senna would say, “a smoother person.”

  24. Yes, the thing is, those cars used massive ground effects, and as a result were exceedingly pitch- and yaw-sensitive… So lord knows what kept Piquet’s car on the road at the yaw angle he saw on that pass.

    I liked how American driver Michael Andretti described the McLaren-Honda (he was teammates with Senna in, uh ’93, I think), he said it “blurred his vision” at speed, and had to be “horsed around” in slow corners. Nasty, through and through.

  25. Well, that was in the wet, and Senna got away with just about everything when it was wet.

    An F1 start in the rain is exquisitely, batshit crazy. Spa 1998:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4VdJYDHdtek

    Seriously, watch the video, you can see cars from the rear of the pack arriving at the scene of carambolage at 120 MPH, full-throttle, totally blind.

    The only thing that rivals it is MotoGP starts in the rain. Hell, they can’t complete a lap in the dry without theatrics.

  26. Wow, that is nuts. I need to read up on Shumacher to see what his game was all about. Obviously it must have been damn good.

  27. Mr. Schumacher made his reputation by piloting the Benetton-Ford, set up viciously nervous (oversteer), and keeping up with more powerful machines. Driving such a nervous car is quick, until it bites you. M. Schumacher never got bit. Amazing.