The Racing Exploits of Team Labor Power
Time: MKA Retires the Goons and Goes it Alone. Murrietta, CA.
In 1996, in a business park deep in the O.C., Gen. MKA planted his
feet, adjusted his aviators, set his jaw, took a puff from his corncob
pipe and decreed that time-trialing was a mutant sideshow in a cult
sport. "I prefer to race against humans, not clocks,"
he sniffed. "Time trialing is for the same 'free-diver' weirdos
who put on a lead belt and drop like an anchor until their lungs
and heart explode."
pointed out that MKA was at best a mediocre trialist. "Of course
I am," he chided. "I'm a bike racer. I prefer to exploit,
abuse, and deceive -- that's why we call 'em 'tactics.' The
clock doesn't lie, so naturally I'm at a disadvantage. If I can't
manipulate, cheat, bribe or in some way goose, grease or finagle
the odds, naturally I'm fodder. Like Bill Blake said, 'the weak
in VO2 max is strong in cunning.' I'm not going into a knife
fight with a knife, I'm bringing a frinkin' tommy gun." Like
any good Republican, what Gen. MKA feared most, more even than a
superior adversary, was a level playing field. That an the messy
business of accountability.
playing field itself was a myth. "It's all predetermined,"
MKA explained. "I can't bulk up my mitochondria, expand the
diameter of my pipes, or tack on another few billion alveoli. The
Heart-Lung-Muscle Holy Trinity is fixed, and I'll always be mechanically
bereft, consigned to the sordid but highly profitable world of capitalizing
on the misfortune or flat out idiocy of others."
the next several years, Gen Agro assiduously avoided individual
time trials. He surrounded himself with an army of mules and misfits
who gladly sacrificed everything to feed Agro's ravenous ego. Talented
racers who in their own right could've been top dogs, but who instead
set aside their dreams to avoid the tantrums (and payroll deductions)
of their scowlish leader. Legendary lapdogs like MM Hackenflak,
Rambo Reid, Vinny the Hack, H. Diddy and Bobby "One-Eyed Jack"
Peru. Each, after years of heavy lifting, latrine digging and grenade-smothering
in battlefields from Birmingham to Visalia, discarded like wet snot
rags. Agro's bloody-knuckled montegard army plundered parking lot
crits from Canada to Mexico, leaving a trail of severed limbs and
pregnant mutts. MKA loutishly confiscated all winnings, quickly
amass a great fortune which he poured into the construction of an
impregnable fortress on a cliff on top of a german-built labyrinth
of tunnels, crypts and chambers in which to hoard the glittering
MKA road his crew into the dirt, sending wave after wave into the
spray of hot lead, often using his closest and most loyal bodyguards
as human shields. He refused to go it alone, won thousands of races,
broke countless bonds of brotherhood and stood atop the pile of
severed heads crowing like a cock. He often wondered if, perhaps,
he could find the courage to go it alone without his squad of goons.
A few years ago, he entered a team time trial, but of course stacked
the deck with thoroughbreds like Vampire, Rican and J "Baby
Labor" B, each of whom faithfully pulled MKA around like Caesar
on a chariot in record setting time (MKA didn't even finish). Last
year, in 2004, MKA greedily saw an opportunity to fetch a starz
n barz in the little known nationals tandem time trial. Again he
recruited a mutant, the Vampire, whose job was to do all the legwork
so MKA's beautiful mind could be freed up to call in air strikes
should any die-hard be fool enough not to surrender.
one of MKA's aversions to time trialing is that it requires self-knowledge,
as opposed to self-delusion, which had always been like a mother
to MKA. Time trialists insist on knowing what their heart rate is,
the idea being you're not really tired until that little beep goes
flatline and the ambulance shows up with the cattle prods. MKA prefers
not to know, choosing to believe that there's a mystical force in
the universe that makes you go fast and the only way to tap into
it is to close your eyes and drift away. Being an ordinary prudent
but high strung man with a pronounced fear of bursting at any moment,
the last thing MKA needed to know was that massive cardiac eruption
was only a heartbeat away.
also hated the discipline required to chart out a plan and stick
to it. Time trialists, unlike pack squatting predators, couldn't
day dream. They had to constantly monitor, measure and calculate
vectors, trajectories, ground speeds, distances, wind friction and
assorted invisible vortices, eddies and swirls. You couldn't slack
off, or grift, or play act or goof. You had to stay long and strong,
itself a laughable impossibility for a life-long premature ejaculator
MKA hedged his bets by bringing in a dead ringer who don't know
much about biology but a whole lot about producing prodigious amounts
of snot and smagma speedballs. Antelope Island, in the middle of
Salt Lake. As MKA steered the rig up the final climb, Vampire began
to choke, spit and sputter like he was about to blow. MKA back-handed
and cursed the non-responsive beast but all he got was fistfull
of snot. Despite the oppressive demands of navigating, MKA somehow
managed to find the energy to turn the crank arms. The next few
miles were a living hell that only got worse after the finish line.
MKApulled the smoking rig into the parking lot under the 102 degree
F Utah sun and stopped. MKA's hams began to seize. MKA could not
lift his left leg over the top tube. A good samaritan spotted the
looming crisis and quickly removed the front wheel to lower the
front end. Still, MKA was welded to the spot, and the left ham began
to bubble, twist and shout as the sciatica caught fire. Finally,
the medics called in the jaws of life to remove the smoldering MKA
from the burning wreckage. MKA spent the next several hours plopped
down on a bag of ice, popping Vioxx and irrigating the bloodstream
from an IV bag while hooked up to an electro-accupuncture tens unit.
learned something that day. Form counts. Not the nebulous
"form" word as used breezily by euro hacks when they mean
"fitness," but form meaning adapting the body's muscular-skeletal
profile to the contours of the machine during maximal effort. A
time trialist can improve his odds by training in the aero position.
It starts with the purchase of a TT bike that's not made out of
melted down civil war cannonshot. MKA vowed to fully invest, to
adjust his muscles to the radically awkward position, to fine tune
his mechanical efficiency, to learn to stretch out and flatten the
spine, to actually train -- sub rosa, mind you -- lest MKA's investment
yield miserable returns.
Max Kash Agro Time Trial, Murrietta, CA, 7 miles, Massive, Vicious,
Cannibal Headwinds, Negative Life-Zapping Tailwinds, Blood Spattered
18 Wheelers, Really Hilly, Really Stoopid.
guys had funny bikes. Some did not. Some guys had funny helmets.
Some did not. Some had funny wheels. Some did not. Very few had
anything approaching a funny, sunny disposition. It had been raining
the past few days and dark, low hanging storm clouds were fast approaching.
A mixture of dread and longing hung in the air. Bad cliches abounded.
Nervous chatter filled the void. Nobody had anything appropriate
or remotely interesting to say. A short wave radio buzzed with the
news a time trialist -- " a state champion" no less--
had collided with an 18 wheeler, fracturing a femur. Drummed out
marine, jabbering CBR mastermind and everybody's favorite pinata
Chris "Blood" Clotts returned minutes later with the pretzled
remnants of a very expensive bike, offering to let the looting begin
for a low, low price.
Go slow. This sounds absurd. But that's what the experts all say.
You have to throttle back to have any gas left. The race isn't won
in the first half, but in the last mile of the second half. Huh?
You go fast by going slow? Yes, the paradox of time trialing. So
instead of taking off like MKA was being chased by a swarm of rat-a-tatting
zeroes, red barons, messerschmitts and pissed off Africanized honey
bees, MKA resisted the temptation to blow it out with the tailwind
and consciously conserved the fight-flight juice. On the way back,
MKA spun a pritty gear into the headwind, and pretended to run in
place on his tippy toes, imagining his knees tickling the lobes
of ears, like a complete and total self-degrading powder puff woose.
finished with all body parts attached and a phlegm-free stem. It
didn't hurt much. Turns out time-traveling old fart Perturbo beat
MKA by a mere 5 seconds, Vampire by 3 seconds. A wave of giddy freaky
geekiness rushed over MKA . He had transitioned from a "just
for fun" nabob to a thin-lipped, hyper serious "technician."
He demanded to know where he lost those precious seconds. He studied
the photos like a Nasa space shuttle engineer looking for fuel leaks.
1: The Grinning Idiot.
rule is the back shall remain as flat as a pool table and the chin
is supposed to tuck in down around the elbows so the wind parts
cleanly. Man and machine are supposed to knife through a hole in
the wind like a dart. Photo 1, however, shows that MKA is about
as streamlined as the bow of an overloaded Bangladesh river ferry
taking on water. And that satanic grill with the pointy beak, the
puffy cheeks and the owlish eyes. Studies show a time trialist can
convince the body that it's not tired by relaxing the face. It's
called biofeedback and you employ it everytime you are faced with
expelling a fist-size rock through your rectum.
one can almost see the wind pockets pool up in the eye sockets.
Where are the $350 wrap-a-rounds? Or the helmet visor? Turns out
MKA opted against optical wear on grounds they have a tendency to
wind up in his spokes and the visor was an extra $12 which MKA considered
extravagant and bogus in view of his head's propensity to swell
in the heat of battle which of course would fill in any wind-sucking
Scrap the Dukakis-cum-tank commander bobble-head helmet. Deduct
Swap out the chipmunk-eating-nuts position for the snake-in-the-grass
pose. This is like war, keep your head down and put your faith in
the respect, admiration and love of humans operating dangerous multi-wheeled
weapons. Deduct 10 seconds.
Cocoa butter up the blinding, milk white, legs and consult hollywood
make up artist to accentuate hidden muscle striations, chasms and
gutters. Time savings: not important. (Risk: Obsessive self-leg
loving possibly distracting).
More sit ups, fewer chocolate almond clusters. A happy SpongeBob
will never beat a miserable elextric eel. Deduct 5 seconds.
MKA decided years ago that booties were an unbecoming effeminate
accessory. Despite mounting evidence of their wind-shaving properties,
and a secret yourning to look really cool, MKA has remained doggedly
faithful to his original knee-jerk premise and stubbornly refuses
to boot up. He does carry a fat roll of duct tape in his game box.
Poor pre-race clock management, however, prevented MKA from strapping
up. Deduct 5 seconds.
Vampire's transylvanian roots are well known. Recently, a complimentary
theory that Vampire's metabolic pathways share many analogs with
the arthropod family has gained wide support. As evidence, scholars
note that he has a voracious appetite for sugar, no matter how many
calories he ingests he never gains weight, as a gardener he soils
key body parts daily with aphids, cicadas and related stinkbugs,
he has poor table manners and he tends to excrete highly viscous
tendrils of foam and phlegm during maximal physical efforts. In
short, the Vampire is part spittlebug.
biologists have debated the advantages of plastering the mug with
quid-like gobs of spit. Proponents note that the foam acts as a
shield behind which the Vampire can hide from potential predators
-- one look at the rope of snot swinging between the lower lip and
chin and most will opt for a less noxious morsel, or simply get
away to avoid fall out. Additionally, the foam barrier insulates
the spewer from extreme temperature swings and on humid days can
even provide a source of recycled fluids. It is has not yet been
shown that the phlegm-bot is able to recycle nutrients as well,
but research does indicate the presence of essential amino acids
in the secretions.
one cannot chose his parents. Either your parents are part-bug or
not. Consquently, this knowledge has little translational value.
observations: 1) Despite a rudimentary brain stem, the Vampire is
able to grasp and synthesize the data from his heart rate monitor
and SRM. 2) Blessed with a rudimentary brain stem, the Vampire understands
going long and strong has more to do with training the body than
festooning the bike with discs and fancy front ends.
3. The Silver Bullet
keep waiting for Perturbo to slow down or retire. But he's going
faster than ever and now that he's 45 years old he's able to enter
virtually every race offered (viz. the dreamer race, the baby masters,
the nasty masters and the happy buddha masters). On a good day,
he'll place in all four races and haul in $100. On a great day he'll
win all four races and bring hiome $112.12. Turbo has forgotten
more about time trialing prep and execution than MKA will ever know
so at the risk of presumptiousness MKA offers the following clues
as to what makes this alpha grey roll.
the visor. It's actually a Doppler Vortex Radar Lense of the type
used by jet aircraft to detect wind shear, vortices, eddies, wakes
and wind walls. The reason Turbo bobs side to side in that romp-romp
unorthodox fashion is he's constantly ducking and dodging wind blasts
in favor of the path of least resistance. This also explains why
MKA is unable to hold his wheel.
Max Kash Agro TT (overall)
14:36 Curtiss Carrying a Gunn, Knows How to Use it. Lou Reed Rollers.
2. 15:01 Jason "Baby Labor" Bausch. SeaSaliva. ("C'mon
guys, let's do repeats on Saddleback!")
3. 15:09 Perturbo Rogers. Hoffy's Heroes
4. 15:10 Peter Trollsom. Tazmanian Devil Dawgs. (built like a snowplow
but he can blow).
5. 15:11 Vampire, Labor Power (Smagma easily removed with Simple
6. 15:14 MKA, Labor Power (manipulating results to amplify glory,
7. 15:22 By Josh Webster, Future Labor (welcome back to the pack)
8. 15.24 Hutch, Spineless (pure evil).
Vampire went on to win the 40 plus overall. He beat Turbo in the
mucky road race, which put him into a tie. In the criterium for
the vertically challenged, Turbo won but Vampire won the 5 point
bonus to secure the overall victory. Chris Lotts and crew did a
fantastic job planning and managing the race but in the future perhaps
the points bonus can be trimmed down or distributed over a few places
to better parallel the time bonuses in a timed stage race....Droober
shocked the world in the road race, pulling away on a long grinder
uphill from the gun, and quickly getting out of sight. The pelaton
piddledinked around until Turbo and Vampire grew bored and blasted
off. They caught Droober on the last lap and, despite the hint of
obligation that comes from honoring courageous acts of mud-caked
heroism, they treated him with all the respect of a burglar who
has tripped a spring gun...
days of bike racing, no disqualifications, no center line violations,
no fleecing of racers with arbitrary penalties, no timing snafus
that went uncorrected. But take some advice from a guy who has spent
a good deal of his life tip-toeing the razor's edge: don't give
the destroyers a plausible reason to bash you. To wit, please don't
threaten to charge racers $20 to look at the finish tape. It's like
penalizing a movie star for looking at herself in the mirror. Of
course racers will challenge the results. We always believe we placed
higher. We always believe the officials conspired to undermine our
glorious finish. Sometimes MKA will talk himself into believing
he got shortchanged just so he can see himself on the television
monitor in a skin suit all gassed out with the triceps bulging,
the choppers gnashing and the quads popping -- it's the stuff of
dreams ferchrist! As for heckling the lackadaisical pelaton for
sundialing as the break pulls away, this is vintage Blood Clotts
which MKA fully supports. Folks, note the authenticity, the honesty.
Here's a merchant selling a low cost/high return product to customers
riddled with a fascinating array of psychopatholgies whom he absolutely
refuses to butter up, kowtow, schmooze, fondle or mollify. He is
like Seinfeld's notorious "Soup Nazi" -- full of bluster
and uncouth outbursts but he serves up a very satisfying bike race
with big chunks of cash and no cheap-ass lima beans.