What is this, you say? I thought Ryan was gonna race bikes until his face fell off, and now he’s heckling instead of racing?!?
Yeah. Well, sometimes I make great plans to race my bike a shit ton, totally forgetting that I sometimes suck at a level that is unmanageable and I have to spend the day on the couch. Also I hate mud, and I hate breaking my shit.
I did go down to the race will all intentions of racing, though.
Aaron and I got down there at 5 and set up shop at registration, where I was in charge of the 1/2/3 men’s race, and posting photos to Twitter of lost sunglasses:
My usual rule for registration is that one should always have cute girls do it (Colin had that covered with Meg and Michelle (hey ladies, don’t know if you saw, but I ate five packets of mayo with my large fries)), but I realized that it’s also pretty great to have someone from the field work registration. As soon as I saw someone I knew from the 1/2/3 race walk in, I pulled their shit out and got them moving along lickety split.
OBSERVATION: The big difference between dudes in the 1/2/3 race and dudes in the 3/4 race is that 1/2/3 dudes understand that they need their license and try to remember their license. If they don’t remember their license, they make sure they queue up their USAcycling.org info on a smart phone so the registration people can see that they have a racing license. So, if you’re a beginner racer and want to act like a PRO, remember your license!
So that was fun, until Colin said “Hey jerks, the 3/4 men are destroying all the course tape, so go out there and fucking fix it.”
And there was a lot of course tape to destroy. It probably didn’t help that people were racing down the side of a ski hill that was – AGAINST ALL LOGIC – a FUCKING BOG.
Yes, Colin managed to have a cross race on the only BOG MOUNTAIN IN THE WORLD.
MUD WORLD. NO RULES. FUCKING WATER DRAINS UPHILL.
So there was a lot of tape, lots of turns, lots of mud, and lots of work for Ryan and Aaron with regards to tape repair.
We had a lot of fun “excitedly cheering” for the races, and I really enjoyed watching Ed Meyer crush the Men’s 3 race. Ed races like four times a year, and when he does, he destroys whatever field he’s in. He and I had some epic battles a few years ago, so I feel comfortable heckling him with great energy.
Aaron and I were in a great location to heckle, as racers had to make several turns as they came down Mud Mountain, and everyone was going about three miles an hour. People were also running a very muddy section right in front of this. All of these factors combiend to provide me with one minute or more of quality conversation time in with each racer as I walked beside them, all the while they were wishing they could fill their ears with mud so they wouldn’t have to hear me any more.
So we kept watching the race and repairing the course, seeing bikes get more and more disgusting.
I suddenly became very mature, and realized the following:
- I was not, under any circumstances, going to do well at this race.
- The course was so gross and slow, I was not going to get much of a workout in.
- I had to ride my bike to work the next morning, and didn’t want to be up until 1 a.m. cleaning it.
- I did not want to destroy parts of my drivetrain and a pair of brake pads.
- I would not have had any fun racing.
So, I decided to not race, and nudged Aaron in the same direction, as we both realized the foolishness of such an endeavor.
This decision seemed better and better as we watched the women’s 1/2/3 race, as bikes were gross.
I stretched my heckling legs by having some conversations with Lyne Bessette, the ladies of the crossresults team and everyone else I knew in the race. I also embarked on a half-hearted flirting attempt with Evelyne Blouin, but failed in getting her number or asking her to enjoy a can of Natty Ice with me.
And yes, screaming at a person riding their bike through mud in the dark is considered “flirting”.
With my heckling warm-up complete, Aaron and I ducked out of the race and headed to the nearby beverage store to get some beverages, and came back in time to watch and course-repair for the Men’s race.
It was a real treat to be able to spectate on the field that I usually race in – I enjoyed it very much, and got to say lots of the things that are usually on my mind when I’m racing. For example, reminding Justin Lindine that he is the mayor of Jerk City.
The race started fast, with Jeremy Durrin taking the holeshot ahead of His Honorable Jerkiness, with the field quickly strung out and and somewhat distracted by some of the most inspired heckling I have ever done.
Dude I Usually Race With, Matt Mitchell, got caught up in a crash at the start and was almost lapped on his first lap. Which made me REALLY HAPPY that I didn’t race.
Matt later joined us for spirited encouragement.
Have I mentioned that Greg Whitney currently has the legs of a robot made of lasers? Because he does. It makes me happy and also makes me angry at him, because there’s pretty much no way we’re gonna hang out at all this year at the bicycle races.
Jeremy kept his lead for a few laps, before his constant crashes caught up with him and the founder and CEO of Jerk Enterprises, Ltd. passed him. Lindine is also a CRAZY FAST RUNNER, as evidenced by the time he ran down the side of the ski hill faster than Jeremy was riding it.
Well, that may mean that his running prowess was affected by the conditions, but it was terrifying.
Another interesting battle was between Manny Goguen and Pascal Bussieres.
Those of you who have been reading this site for years may recall my beef with Pascal. In the 2005 and 2006 cyclocross seasons, Pascal would do the 1/2/3 35+ race and THEN crush the B race, usually lapping me and making me really sad. I partially avenged this last year at Downeast, but that didn’t satiate me – nothing short of complete destruction of Pascal will satiate my thirst for blood.
So Manny started gaining on him, and then I started actually cheering for Manny to beat him, all the while remind Pascal of the seasons that he made me sad. But he was a good sport, and seemed to be laughing. But I couldn’t tell.
Manny was victorious for a while, but eventually faltered and totally failed me.
Aaron and I eventually worked through the beverages we had brought with us by handing them out to racers who looked thirsty, or to racers who we wanted to stop and hang out with us.
The field got smaller and smaller, my heckles made less and less sense, until all that was left was a confused and comically dropped Rosey who received the full-effort of five professional-grade hecklers.
And then the race was over, and Aaron and I helped pull down the course while Colin walked around in sandals, shorts, and knee warmers.
Seriously? The dude who is in charge of ALL THE DATA was walking around the Great Bog Mountain in fucking SANDALS and SHORTS? Good lord.
And for your viewing pleasure, Thom Parsons made a “Best of Heckling” video for the Interwebs:
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Watch more video of Night Weasels Cometh 2011 on cyclingdirt.org