For whom the bell tolls

It was warmer today — but not that much warmer.

It was warmer today — but not that much warmer.

Finally, the temperature crept above zero, and then above freezing, and after I shipped my “Shop Talk” cartoon for the March 1 edition of Bicycle Retailer and Industry News I was able to sneak out for my first ride in the better part of quite some time that didn’t require pulling on enough neoprene to make wetsuits for every frogman in the Chinese navy.

First I took the Bootleg Hobo out and about with a GoPro on board, so I could get some winter footage for its video review, which Adventure Cyclist wants early next month.

Then I pulled the old mountain bike out of the garage again and rode over to Bear Creek Regional Park, where the Mad Dogs used to promote cyclo-cross races back when we were men instead of whatever it is that we are now.

There was still plenty of snow and ice on the ground, plus some slush to keep it company, and the trails were thick with feckin’ eejits who were either unable or unwilling to hear the crunch of fat tires on old snow, a bell rung thrice, and a cheery voice warning, “On your left!”

I startled the mortal shit out of at least two of ‘em when I passed. They jumped smack out of their shivering skins and left ‘em splayed on the ground like sex dolls awaiting inflation, their internal workings exposed to the elements. Stupidity should be painful.

Speaking of which, our local fish-wrapper, which is dead set on helping politicians, developers and other shameless hoors further enrich themselves at the taxpayers’ expense by elevating The Olympic Movement to cult status hereabouts, couldn’t even be bothered to localize an Associated Press story about a new national mountain-bike series that will finish right here in Bibleburg, home to (wait for it) The U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Cycling, in the U-nited States of America.

Nope, they’re too busy pimping the Winter Games, which is all the way around the damn’ world in Red Roosha, is what.

Shit, the lazy sonsabitches didn’t even fix the typos. Looks like we lost the Cold War after all.

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18 Responses to “For whom the bell tolls”

  1. Paul Says:

    Ah yes, the ijitts are here in the North East. At times I break out my grandfather’s old police whistle. Gets them to move 50 yards out and spill the latte’s. Winter fun..

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Now that’s the ticket. I’ve been thinking about going to the squeeze-bulb horn since my bell no longer seems to cut it (though the big clanging brass one from Rivendell on my 29er still cuts like a hot knife through the buttery iPod haze).

  2. veloben Says:

    “when we were men instead of whatever it is that we are now”. Oh we’re still men. Just super-sized, fuzzy and in terrain following mode.

    What’s it feel like to be above freezing? We’ve got at least 10 more days fluxing about the positive and negative single digits.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      It was pretty damn fine, Ben. Toes got a little cold, was all (should’ve worn full booties instead of toe covers). But all in all a very nice change from the past few days, which I mostly spent indoors, swaddled in fleece, muttering unintelligibly about the Universe and my place in it.

  3. weaksides (@weaksides) Says:

    Well it ain’t so bad here then. We may see some snow tomorrow and then Sunday will be partly sunny with highs just below 60.

    Still I’ll be happy to sit still sweating while I look at winter in my rear view mirror…. one day.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      S’pose to be 48 here tomorrow, which I shall accept gratefully. I have road bikes to review and much of the road seems to have disappeared under a coating of ice, snow and eejits.

      • veloben Says:

        I expect the Universe has no clue we’re here. And therefore we can damn well do what we want. Unfortunately I seem to be wrong. Invoke the axiom of “Larry’s wife”.

        Looking foreward to the Hobo review.

  4. Khal Spencer Says:

    From the looks of that pic, Bibleburg won the Cold War.

  5. Patrick O'Brien Says:

    Wouldn’t it be something if Epic Rides organized an event in Bibleburg right under USA Cycling’s nose? The benevolent UCI has decided not to enforce rule 1.2.019 for another year, so why not? Bet the local businesses wouldn’t have any problem getting in on the payday from thousands of riders, volunteers, and spectators visiting for the weekend. Did anyone get to attend the Grand Junction event they organized?

  6. Larry T. Says:

    Say what you will about the Olympic Games, but once the media “Chicken Little’s” stop clucking about $50 billion petro dollars, shooting stray dogs and no toothpaste on airplanes, the kids involved in what is supposed to be the world’s peace festival take over. All that other crap fades away and SPORT prevails, thanks be to Zeus.
    Compared to what’s normally on the boob tube, even the “sports” where kids spin around in the air, on snow, or on ice, while some so-called judge holds up a scorecard are good. I enjoy the RACES, whether on skiis, skates or sleds…and with the temps we have here on the frozen plains of Iowa….there ain’t much else to do but watch TV anyway!!!

  7. Patrick O'Brien Says:

    That men’s biathlon event, 10K sprint, yesterday was fun to watch. The old guy got it done again. But, I wish there was a non-commercial network covering the olympics. Then we could get the sport without the constant commercials, poor editing, nationalism, and political bullshit. I am willing to suffer through it for some events, the biathlon and speed skating in particular.

    • Larry T. Says:

      I know what you mean about NBC. Makes me wish we were in Italy (surprise!) where the TV coverage is pretty much as described in your wish rant.Did you know the sport of biathlon has doping issues that rival pro cycling? Some competitors were just caught last month in fact. When they catch cheaters in biathlon, the clean ones should be able to shoot ‘em with their competition rifles!!!

      • Pat and Sandy O'Brien Says:

        Didn’t know that Larry, although I am not completely surprised considering the aerobic requirements. I can’t imagine controlling my shooter’s breath like they do after the skiing. Tough stuff. Watching the women’s competition right now.

  8. Douglas Glondeniz Says:

    Hi Pat,
    You’ve got way better weather than we do here is Michigan. Enjoy it. Is there anywhere us non bike insiders can access your cartoons?
    Thanks, Doug

  9. John O Says:

    I don’t remember what I was so I’m good.

  10. Khal Spencer Says:

    Hey, Larry, is your Cycleitalia site up and running? I was trying to connect a colleague to your business but gives me an error message:

    The following error was encountered while trying to retrieve the URL: http://www.cycleitalia.com/

    Connection to 207.150.220.150 failed.

    The system returned: (110) Connection timed out

    The remote host or network may be down. Please try the request again.

  11. psobrien Says:

    The Mad Dog must have his nose to the grindstone making that kibble money for the Boo man.

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