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The Racing Exploits of Team Labor Power
w/ MKA

Greed Good, Glory Gooder? You decide. Fredlands, CA

40 plus Crit, Fredlands, 35 minutes, 70 nimbos, average BMI around 27, Adulturers 58%, Fundy Rapturism 67%, Thurlow Fan Club 28%, Squeeker Fan Club 89%; Avg No. Babes Popped per week by Squeeker 5.; Avg No. bottles vino uncorked per day 4.

Now then.

Insiders predicted Perturbo and Squeeker would go from on or about the gun. Not a heroic prediction. Sort of like predicting the origin of the sunrise. Perturbo of late has been b-slapping the masters fields and pretty much intimidates the up-n-comers in the dream races. Squeeker just knows how to race besides which Fredlands was his 2005 debut and he had the fresh legs and your basic "girls just want to have fun" breezy attitude.

Daddy Labor waved the usual $1k bonus for the Labor Vee. Practically a freebie considering mythic sprint doyen and Labor Archetype Der Hiptler present, fluffed and puffed. Back in The Day in North Texas Jim Hoyt of Richardson Bike Mart nicknamed Der Hiptler "Butter" on account all he had to do was dangle a $50 and Hiptler would cough up a gall bladder to nose out all comers. Hoyt's a first rate capitalist. So what did he get out of it? The answer has to do with the joyous power of being able to induce others to suffer. Guy like Hoyt's worked hard, has a few properties, I'm sure a handsome bank account or two. But probably not enough to bankroll a Kentucky Derby quarterhorse or a Nascar coffin cruiser. He probably got more pro-rated bang for his buck watching Hiptler puke at Hotter' n Hell than Chappy Chapman got watching Smarty Jones win the Derby. Like I said a very good capitalist.

As expected, Perturbo and Squeeker squirted off early with a little help from Labor's Hector Commacho, who expertly ramped up the speed on the second lap. MKA bolted up to the magic bus, settled in, and in no time was besot with unspeakable guilt. Where's my master? Where's Der Hiptler? He will be angry that I abandoned him. MKA noticed three other racer-type creatures managed to latch on, including respectable but not extraordinary pedalpods Desert Rat (free agent) and Frank N. Furter (Flailer Made). If I ask nicely maybe Squeeker and Perturbo will slow down so Hipster can catch on.

Squeeker and Perturbo would have none of it. They just kept ramping and didn't seem to mind that MKA was floating on the rear like a swollen scabie on the buttocks. They probably recognized that even a fresh MKA couldn't thread the needle on that final corner against two seasoned nutcutters. Finally we saw the tail of the field and MKA pepped up. Wait a second. Maybe my fellow Labor brethren will escort me into that final corner like I was the Pope surrounded by his Swiss Guards. Why wouldn’t they? Huge cash bonuses. Plus the vig, which MKA historically plows back into the team coffer.

MKA smelled victory and began trading hard pulls to catch the group. With three to go, we caught. Unfortunately, no Laborites to be seen. MKA pondered: Were they off the front? On the last lap, the train was set up: Perturbo, Squeeker, Frank Furter and MKA locked on. MKA would attack in the S turn into the headwind so as to hit the final corner at speed and carry it through to the finish. That was the plan. But coming out of the hairpin first turn Frank Furter, who had been a reliable wheel all day, decided to dig a pedal into the blacktop. A gap opened up and Turbo and Squeeker were off to the races. Frank looked back at MKA like a bad dog about to get scolded, utterly defeated, so MKA uncorked his can of whoop ass, but unfortunately said receptacle had been downgraded to a locket filled with sour gas. Not much combustible fuel. Enough to catch on, yes, but not even enough to be happy about just being happy to be there.

We come out of last turn and MKA begins his mock sprint and low and behold here comes Der Hiptler! A regular shooting star. Some say he would've even won the race had two things occurred) had he not been lapped, and 2) had he actually won the field sprint. Before dismissing the effort, you will please note that ten meters after the finish line the Banger Formerly Known as Butter did verily whiff by Squeeker. Of course by that time Squeeker had his shorts down with the guitar out and the Pete Townsend windmill workin.

What happened? Where was the Hawk Star and his blistering lead out? Hawk had gone for the glory and, by all accounts, got it. About the time we caught on, he had scored an outrageously rich prime of $100. His feathers were plucked, but he got his c-note and his glory, which as we know is priceless. As for Hiptler, post race explanations are often garbled and warbled at best, but as MKA understood it, Hiptler could've lead MKA out but in so doing he would’ve had to have employed a savage slicing-type maneuver which in view of MKA"s propensity for freaking out in the face of danger would’ve surely turned him into a ridiculously bloated and totally immobile puffer fish.

Greed over Glory? You decide.

40 Plus Bored (average speed 27.7 mph)

1. Ricky Sqweeker, Postal Pritties (worked the break over like The Wad pounding Jenna, Tracy, Marilyn and Linda in an all-star orgy).
2. Perturbo, Legends of Grouchy Hollow. Pounds Peckerheads for Pleasure. Purportedly not afraid of Hiptler.
3. Max Kash Agro, Labor Proudly. (Smoldering in grease fire, can't give it away).
4. Frank Furter, Flailer Made (Picked a fine time to leave me Lucille).
5. Desert Rat, Free Agent (watch your wallet).
6. Simple Green. Simple Green (corners like a drunk Chinaman pulling a rickshaw)
7. Der Hiptler, Labor PuffDaddy ("I'm never doing another masters race. They're too fast when they're not too slow and always too stupid. Next time I'm entering the dream race with Clevestein Barr.")

30 + Criterium, Fredlands, All the Usual Idiots Except for Cleveland (who's a highly unusual idiot). 90 warthogs, 60 mins.

MKA's often wondered whether Cleveland is as goofy as his reputation. Did we create the archetype of a silly, self-preening, delusional, whacked out simpleton and unfairly tag an innocent with the taint, or does this man-child called Cleveland truly and authentically stand for all the puerile qualities that his nickie represents?

It's important to question stereotypes now and then, so as to not falsely abuse. It's with this open mind the other day that MKA came upon Cleveland during the Fred Park training ride. Cleve was conspicuously rocking out with his Ipod inserted, singing badly (didjaseemee?). Nothing unusual there if Karaoke is your bag. MKA drew closer. What's that tune he's singing? Sounded familiar. But it couldn't be. Different eras. Different hair styles. He wasn't even born then. It didn’t fit. No way. The way he's singing so loudly, so boastfully, like he wants the pel to appreciate the musical genre that moves him, the band that inspires him. We are what we sing, what we listen to. But the dots just didn't connect. Could this be a cosmic put on? Cleveland goofing on his goofers?

But the lyrics were unmistakable. We crested a hill. Everybody's lungs were screaming for oxygen. We panted, we gasped, we choked. But our man-boy simply sang, serenely, like a gelded Vienna choirboy. He sang for all of us. A double message 1) whilst you mortal hacks suffer, I am gay, carefree and so wondrously superfit that I can carry a tune (didjahearme?), and 2) I am a woman's man, no time to talk. Yes. Cleveland was singing the Bee Gees. MKA kids you not. In a roughly approximate high-pitched, lady's-man-in-baby blue polyester falsetto, Cleveland poured out his heart and soul

Whether you're a brother or whether you're a mother,
you're stayin' alive, stayin' alive.
Feel the city breakin' and everybody shakin',
and we're stayin' alive, stayin' alive.
Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin' alive, stayin' alive.
Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin' alive.

Good lord MKA had to laugh. Is anybody else getting this? MKA looked around. Nobody seemed too impressed. Perhaps MKA had projected himself into some weird parallel universe in which every sound and image was perfectly tailored to entertain his own twisted sense of humor, an imagined sweet spot only he could enter. Perhaps. And yet his lips did move.

Those rubber lips continued to flap pretty much nonstop through the duration of the 30 plus race. Normally MKA enjoys freaks, geeks, nerds, social lepers and counter-culture outcasts of all stripes. They add spice. So he kept holding out for something endearing about the sheer energy Clevestein had invested in taking his blithering idiot status to all time highs. It occurred that his vocal cords were like a teletype that instantly spit out whatever inane image appeared in his noodle. One second he was a patently fraudulent wigger, the next a huckstering Dr. Phil, the next a budding Son of Sam with a death wish, the next a trembling, liberal-eradicating Ann Coulter. The torrent of sewage-tinged twaddle never quite rose to the level of adrenalin-triggering "smack-talk." MKA felt no urge to fight back. Rather, MKA felt the need to get away, quickly, the way you speed up on the sidewalk when you're about to pass a bible-toting street preacher condemning all to Hell. You can't exactly despise the numbskull, but you can't really feel sorry for him, either.

Click image to see a larger shot of The Pontificator of Piffle unloading a bowelful directly into the ear of a fleeing MKA.

Those rubber lips continued to flap pretty much nonstop through the duration of the 30 plus race. Normally MKA enjoys freaks, geeks, nerds, social lepers and counter-culture outcasts of all stripes. They add spice. So he kept holding out for something endearing about the sheer energy Clevestein had invested in taking his blithering idiot status to all time highs. It occurred that his vocal cords were like a teletype that instantly spit out whatever inane image appeared in his noodle. One second he was a patently fraudulent wigger, the next a huckstering Dr. Phil, the next a budding Son of Sam with a death wish, the next a trembling, liberal-eradicating Ann Coulter.
The torrent of sewage-tinged twaddle never quite rose to the level of adrenalin-triggering "smack-talk." MKA felt no urge to fight back. Rather, MKA felt the need to get away, quickly, the way you speed up on the sidewalk when you're about to pass a bible-toting street preacher condemning all to Hell. You can't exactly despise the numbskull, but you can't really feel sorry for him, either.

Click image to see a larger shot of The Pontificator of Piffle unloading a bowelful directly into the ear of a fleeing MKA.

The problem was there was no getting away. MKA found himself in a break with about 12 others, most of whom were butt draggers looking for a free ride. Hawk of course was in the mix. Hippstarr was back in the peanut gallery holding court over the backflushers. Squeeker again was the life of the party. He kept ramping, trying to break off the piddledinks. Clevestein's modus seemed to be sit on, wait till Squeeker screamed for the pudwhacks to pull through, and then boldly attack into a headwind just long enough for Squeeker to give him an earful on echelon etiquette. He'd then retreat red-faced to his corner, put on his dunce cap and sort of rock back and forth, muttering.

The "break" turned out to be a big long turd that was getting longer as the average speed dropped to 24.5 mph. Eventually, Hiptler latched on after violating about 7 Commandments (Thou shall not work, thou shall not chase, thou shall not tow, thou shall not share, enjoy, smile, etc). He brought up Grendel Coxworthy, a burly chunk of a beast with massive sternocleidomastoids and hulking calves. Efforts to pinch off proved futile. It was coming down to a sprint. Clevestein's Beer Dawgs and Labor each had three in the cluster. With three to go, the promo jangled a $100 prime. On the backside, Hawk came out of his hollow log and pinched off, cleanly. The gap widened. 100 meters. 200 meters. Down corkscrew lane, MKA's outriggers are splayed out when suddenly a flash rips by. It's.... Hipp Star? The wily one? The cagey Deniro-esque one man, one bullet, one kill? Chasing down a teammate? For a prime? When all he has to do is sit, MKA will do the heavy lifting? When all he has to do is rest, recover and blast through the final turn on the final lap for the Vig, the Vee and the Labor $1k Premium? Butter, where art thou?

MKA didn't say a word. Didn't need to. Another rider shouted, mockingly, "That's your teammate up the rode, Idiot!" That was from Briggs N Stratton, a loner who's never had a teammate but understands theoretically that chasing one down is a bad thing.

Click image to see a larger view.

Hover got the Benjie and Hiptler looked real fast coming across the line for the fictitious steak knives. Hover kept going, bless his heart, leaving a trail of pinkish entrails. Clevestein took the point and slowly reeled the Hawk in, who celebrated his own demise by shooting a belligerent bird into Clevie's mug, partially out of disgust but mostly for the benefit of Hawk's mentor, MM Hackenflack, who casts chasers into the same boiling pot with suicide bombers. As MKA passed the wreckage, he gave Hawk a nod and consoled that Labor's all over it, assuming that Der Hiptler will live up to his legend.

Last lap. MKA came out of the hairpin on turn one on the point, fully prepared to throttle down, assuming the Hippstar knew the shot. About then Briggs snapped off, opening an impressive gap. MKA bore down. We entered crash alley. Briggs' boilers began to overheat. MKA sensed that catastrophic failure was imminent, and poured on what was left. Briggs dove into the final turn with MKA within spitting distance. MKA ritualistically stood up to sprint, hoping the conformity to custom would magically turn his busted turnip truck into a spark spraying shit wagon but alas all he got was a face-full of road grit as Squeeker and Grendel slammed by. Der Hiptler, master blaster and ace money man, managed to squeak by MKA at the line for fourth.

Hiptler's post race commentary already a classic "I didn't know Hover was off the front because I was cross eyed chasing the break down with Coxworthy on my wheel." No explanation of why Labor's best hope for the Vee was shooting his load for a prime with three to go, a prime who's street value was a fraction of the MKA $1k bonus, and not nearly as glorious as the top spot on the podium, which Labor had owned the past two years.

Click image to see a larger view.

Greed good, glory gooder? You decide.

30 + No Greed No Glory Bored, Fredlands.

1. Grendel Coxworthy, Karl Strauss Brewdawgs (Ever bump n grind with a rhino? Same thing)
2. Briggs n Stratton. Frank Zappa Road Toads. (Also renowned Fabulous Furry Freak Brother)
3. Ricky Sqweeker, Postal Pinots ("I took one look at the lame-o's in the break and had to make like a hatchet and split.")
4. Der Hiptler, Labor Poof Daddy ("Too much suffering in masters races. I'm doing the dream race from now on.")
5. MKA, Labor Prostate Prodder (Finally, Labor has it's priorities straight. Greed Good, Glory Greater!)
6. Dennis King Kong, 7. Andy Brown Nose, 8. Arrogant Quiznose, 9. Scotty Cockring, 10. Gawd's Gift

MKA
4/8/05

Post Note

Those rubber lips continued to flap pretty much nonstop through the duration of the 30 plus race. Normally MKA enjoys freaks, geeks, nerds, social lepers and counter-culture outcasts of all stripes. They add spice. So he kept holding out for something endearing about the sheer energy Clevestein had invested in taking his blithering idiot status to all time highs. It occurred that his vocal cords were like a teletype that instantly spit out whatever inane image appeared in his noodle. One second he was a patently disgracefully buffoonish wigger, the next a huckstering Dr. Phil, the next a budding Son of Sam with a death wish, the next a trembling, liberal-eradicating Ann Coulter. The torrent of sewage-tinged twaddle never quite rose to the level of adrenalin-triggering "smack-talk." MKA felt no urge to fight back. Rather, MKA felt the need to get away, quickly, the way you speed up on the sidewalk when you're about to pass a bible-toting street preacher condemning all to Hell. You can't exactly despise the numbskull, but you can't really feel sorry for him, either.

Last week MKA wrote a letter to the USCF quality control endorsing teammate Jeff Flailoway's upgrade from a cat 4 menace to a cat 3 nuisance. MKA wrote "Jeff's bike handling skills far surpass his level of experience. He corners with the ease and prowess of a pro, descends like a tour de France champion, and always puts pack safety above reckless self-advancement." Three days later, in the 30 plus criterium, Flailoway dug a pedal and paid for his sins with a bloody right hip and a right forearm lacerated so deeply he required three stitches.

Click on images for larger shots of boy soldier with self inflicted wounds

But Jeff was just getting started. Two days later, on a steep descent into Laguna Beach, Jeff dodged an errant car driver, smacked into a curb at 35 per, flipped up in the air, landed hard, breaking two ribs and slicing his left hip. The impact imbedded a fistful of gravel deep inside his hip, requiring the ER doctor to bury his hand inside the epidermal flap to fish out the crud. Flailoway, who heretofore had always been very cheerful about this sport, finally came around and admitted he was hopelessly mired in a "stoopid [expletive depleted] sport!" Baptism by burning road rash! Welcome!

Also, the finish of the pro -1 criterium was at once ghoulish and comical. Waifishly tiny and body fat repellent Roberto Meza was sprinting towards the line in a massive cluster frenzy when winner Rashan Badasshi shaved by him, forcing our pint sized hero to wobble violently. Somehow Meza stayed up, and everybody breathed a sigh of relief. Disaster averted. He savored the euphoria a good 6 seconds when his teammate came up to give a big hug which of course knocked the tinytot off balance, causing him to crash hard within 100 meters of the finish line. It looked like he wanted to cry and I don't blame him. If he'd been able to breathe he probably would have.

Click on images for larger views

 

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