Wednesday, November 19, 2008

“We shall not bring back a single bit of gold or silver, not a gem, nor any coal or iron. We shall not find a single foot of earth that can be planted with crops to raise food. It’s no use. So, if you cannot understand that there is something in man which responds to the challenge of this mountain and goes out to meet it, that the struggle is the struggle of life itself upward and forever upward, then you won’t see why we go.”

George Herbert Leigh Mallory
Founder of the Avenging Mallard Adventure Club & and Architect of the DBD

In response to inquiries regarding the enigmatic DBD

A special division of the Quixotic Rogues Cycling Club; the DBD is cloaked in secrecy and mysticism whose beginning stems from the Golden Age of Exploration. Certainly a more romantic time when an alpha male was measured by his propensity for ardent suffering as compared to the present-- in that it is rare in todayz world, the era of the sensitive beta male, for men to measure themselves against the forces of nature … Apparently itz specific founding stems from a chance meeting between Luigi Amedeo di Savor, the Duke of Abruzzi and George Mallory deep within the Hindu Kush at the turn of the 20th Century. Mallory was on his way to Everest while the Duke was finishing up a bold but unsuccessful bid for the virgin summit of K2. Legend has it that the Duke, in the throngs of severe exhaustion, malnourishment, and despair broke down and emotionally wept as he recounted the circumstances of his defeat (during of which he had lost several top-notch men). Mallory was, of course, steadfast, unsympathetic, and immediately called his men together to insure them that any man in his expedition caught sobbing would be shot. He then left the immediate area to allow the Duke to gather up what was left of his compromised manhood and to soldier on...

The DBD training sessions are designed to develop in our athletes a sense of indifference to feelings. It is our contention that the best endurance cyclists are numb, albeit efficient machines void of any semblance of human emotion. We are committed to simple objectivism. Approach the objective, begin the objective, finish the objective...period.

Cessation of history, a disdain for glory, even comfort; they ride not for fame or enlightenment…they ride only because they are on the bike. They stop riding only when the race is over. There is no joy, no reflection, no sense of accomplishment…there is only THE ROAD…There is only a beginning and an end. Men, having completed a long series of DBD sessions, no longer worry about divulging their inner feelings as they are devoid of emotion. A seasoned DBDer is essentially emotionless...

Involuntary sinew and muscle function replaces free will; the brain is replaced with a simplistic albeit more efficient notochord. Cognition is limited to “thinking” only of the most fundamental instinctual thoughts such as basic maintenance of caloric intake and hydration and maintaining adequate power to the pedals. Bloody chafing along ones MAN AREA, the sort that would drive a normal man insane is just something that occurs, nothing more nothing less...

Below is the musings of a robust lad; a man well on his way to achieving notoriety within the enduro-freak cycling community (and training partner of the declining author) regarding the just completed third DBD training ride of the season [Note: last Sunday, November 16, 2008, the DBD left Duluth at 4:40 a.m. and embarked on a 7.5 hours session]. As you read, please consider that the DBD is still in the early phase of training. One cannot hope to achieve the full DBD mindset until after ten or more sessions. The idea is to develop the athlete in a progressive manner with the goal being for a full peak around late April and early May of 2009 (and a minor peak for the first week of February '09):

You may be thankful that you missed this one. The idea of traversing all the trail systems that Duluth has to offer is a bit daunting when one considers that it's winter. We climbed up Lester through the mud in complete blackness with a light snow falling. We decided that Lester was just too wet and we needed to get out of it. We then crossed to Hartley via Amity and the XXXX XXXXXXXX XXXXX (a superb section for mountain biking I might add). Once in Hartley we completed the inner loop and the new sections that have been added. Mind you if you really think about these sections, it amounts to a great deal of climbing in soft soil. Upon completion of Hartley the light of day was upon us. We hit the pavement for the commute to Piedmont. Our sweat soaked clothes gathered the bite of the morning air like a moth to flame. Although we did not acknowledge it, we were cold and really hunkering in as we rode exposed into a west wind. Once again we climbed, as we entered my neighborhood to the P.T. parking lot. Cold and wet with sweat we hit the trails. This is the portion of the day where we soared. The trails were hard and fast. Among the deer we sketched our way through what XXXXXXX aptly referred to as "like riding in the Rockies". The new G.F. really proved its worth in this system as I was able to accurately make comparisons to my other bikes as I passed through familiar sections. After completing a large loop we exited on the trail that simply goes down as "World Class". We shook our heads as we were spit out onto skyline by the "Wall" overlook. Short two minute break to eat and re-fit in an effort to prepare for the exposed ride to Spirit. Again, the cold nipped at us and worked its way through our clothes, but we remained stoic. Upon arrival to the mountain we were beginning to realize that the morning was taking its toll. We were wasted! We pushed our bikes up the hill and again re-fit at the top of the ski lift. Entering the challenging single track we noticed that our skills were diminishing as we argued about who would lead. A time check indicated that we were 6.5 hours in and really tired. We completed the top section and had to push some of the climbs as the power was gone from our legs. We toiled in the top half of the mountain for about 30-40 more minutes before conferring about continuing. Careful to not demonstrate emotion, we agreed that if we completed the entire lap our total bike time including the commute home would put us north of 8 hours or even 8.5 hours. We decided to pull the plug and traversed via service road across the mountain and back to the parking lot. A short re-fit for the commute home and we were on our way.
I was so wasted when I got into my house I wasn't sure I would be able to get my gear off and actually considered laying down on the basement floor for awhile. However, I managed to get undressed and get everything into the washing machine. I made my way to a hot bath and promptly fell asleep in the tub in about 3 seconds flat awakening to the sound of XXX returning from a run. I lost a total of 7 pounds on that ride. I consumed massive amounts of food throughout the rest of the day including an entire pizza. In addition, I took about a 2.5 hour nap. I haven't been that worked for quite some time. The new bike was completely trashed. It looked like I had owned it for about 5 years, but man she worked well. I hope I did not display any emotion…


  1. I want to move to Deluth. I need somebody like you to ride with.

  2. You road the clown bike, didn't you? All of Nord Dakoda wants to know.

  3. Is it OK to display emotion after reading this post? If not, I'll just play some Low in the back ground.

  4. One only must be emotinless while on the ROAD

  5. Charlie,
    Thank you for such an inspiring post. Could you give some insights on the DBD.
    Thank you,

  6. Hey Charlie,
    First off remember that the city of Duluth actually stretches past to Fond Du Lac. So after Spirit, you still have the rail road grade and trail XXXXXX all the way to Mission Creek. You British puffs pulled out halfway!! There is no way Mallory made it to the top, his Sherpas must have dragged his body from Base camp to 25,000 feet to fullfill their contracts.... posibly had a smoke from the summit to check out the view then headed down.