Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Amazing night...


I rode me a good one tonight. It was just me, all alone on a beautiful snow-packed trail...a silvery moon was out, it was cold but breathless, and I rode with a herd of playful deer along the Northshore Trail. They would run up ahead and then wait fer me and then bound up and over again, when I got close, and then wait and wave their bushy white tails, and then bound off again, some of them jumping so high that they went clear over the moon...and there aint no way you can tell me that they weren't out having as good-a-time as I was havin'...It was really something to behold...Without gettin' all emotional and all, suffice to say, it was a beautiful night to be out on the trail...just beautiful....Life is beautiful...there I go gettin' all emotional and all...

Monday, December 28, 2009

Just back to Duluth...

Here's hoping that you and your's have a great new year!!! We are just back from a few dayz of skiing up in the magical UP of Michigan...I was going to taper a bit in anticipation of this Saturday's Northshore Winter Ultra...but I just received word that the event has been cancelled due to poor numbers (and no doubt other issues as well)...So it goes...It had a weird feel about it, ever since he had to change it from a Northshore Trail point-to-point from Duluth to Two-Harbors to a Lester River eight-mile loop 11 lap race....Itz not a big deal to me as I live about ten minutes (by bike) from the start and I was only looking at it as just another big training ride for the Arrowhead 135, but I do hope it will fly in the future. My revised plan for my Holiday Break is to really try and pack away some big saddle time for the week (20 plus hours) and read some good books...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Thanks to Mr. Roe and Team...Toscubia...Did not disappoint!!!


Tuscobia Race Recap

Initial remarks:

Before I begin, let me convey to Tim Roe and his band of gracious volunteers a heartfelt THANK YOU. The idea of transporting the racers to the start via a school bus was both novel and exceptionally fun. Some of my most stirring memories from the event stem from laughing and joking with the fellas on the bus including Chris Finch, John Kurth, Chris Schotz, Nick Wethington, Matt Maxwell, Dennis Grelk, Bill Shand, and as well as my own duo of training buddies, Jason and Jeremy. The comradeship that developed was very appealing and had the effect of getting the author even more fired-up for the grand reunion in a few weeks up in International Falls. We also had a wonderful time hanging out in the Edge-o-Town motel the night before. Thanks to Jeremy Kershaw for booking the room and in general taking a leadership role…A special thank you to Bill Shand for getting up pre 3:00 a.m. to start a great pot of coffee.

The finish located at the home of one of the volunteers speaks volumes to the generosity of the folks in charge. It was really fun to hang out and drink a few beers with racers and volunteers in this rustic Northwoods abode. I especially enjoyed spending time with Lance Andre, Karen DeBoise, and the race director, Tim Roe. Also a special Thank You to Rich Hendricks, who was at the checkpoint to offer me encouragement and vital information regarding the two guyz in front. Rich, like Jeremy, fell victim to the dreaded skinny-tire disease.

Race Recap…At least--How I remember it:

How can this be? This is killing me. I can’t ride on this! No one, nobody, but Pramann can ride this! Why would so many people be out walking on this trail? It makes no sense? This is crazy? Could it be that deer hunters over here actually walk when they hunt their tame quarry? No way, deer hunters don’t walk. None of the deer hunters I know walk!…No one would walk on a trail like this? My mom wouldn’t even walk on this, itz too soft!!! We are out in the middle of NOWHERE, who walks out here?….My weary mind agonized over the cause of the trashed out trail…It became an obsession…my brain needed a culprit to blame…to blame for my angst and despair. I cursed the perpetrators…

Then the solution to my quandary popped out of nowhere and appeared in my smallish brain…The reason for all the devastating foot traffic, the reason that the tiny little sweet spot is completely pock marked with deep footprints, the only span of track that is navigable on this relatively remote snowmobile/ATV is because of the Wisconsin National Guard! Thatz it! Itz the only way that any of this makes sense. The Commanding Officer at a nearby base made his charges hike the second half of the Tuscobia trail as a punishment for some dereliction of duty. I wondered what they did to receive such a harsh reprimand, for a forced march in this sugary mess would test the resolve of even the most ardent of infantry. The thought of the foot soldier, under orders, marching eased my demented mind.

Solving the source of the problem offered a momentary respite. Unfortunately having figured out the “why” part of the constant and thus debilitating foot prints (they had the effect of causing the trail to become nearly impossible to ride; unless you are Dave Pramann), did little to ease my frustration. Yet, I was buoyed by Andre’s erratic tracks because (as we all know) it is comforting to know that at least one of the two that I am chasing is losing the battle for smooth straight-line consistency that is so important in endurance snow cycling.

The juxtaposition of the two distinct tracks that I follow provides a study of sublime steadiness and efficiency contrasted with brute, obtuse, and energy-wasting force. Pramann’s tracks connote a ride that is rail-straight and narrow, smooth and economical. Andre’s work is scattered and harried, agonized and yet willful and scornful. An occasional body print in the snow allows me to smile…

My own work is similar to that of Andre’s and yet perhaps even more unsteady, zigzagged, and blunted. Ride for a few minutes, catch a disjointed edge with the front tire on the far right hand side of the trail, overcorrect thus slicing across the trail, careen off a rut on the other size, spin out, curse loudly, repeat. Ride for a few minutes, catch a disjointed edge with the front tire on the far right hand side of the trail, overcorrect and slice across the trail, careen off a rut on the other size, spin out, curse loudly, repeat. Ride for a few minutes, catch a disjointed edge with the front tire on the far right hand side of the trail, overcorrect and slice across the trail, careen off a rut on the other size, spin out, curse loudly, repeat. Repeat. Repeat…

This goes on for hours, well into darkness, and then finally I catch a glimpse of a red flashing light up ahead with about twelve miles to go. My heart soars for I believe that I am catching up to one of the leaders. But as I progressed, I noticed that the light is not moving, so I quickly infer that it is the tail-gunner from the marching troop deployment. It makes perfect sense that in an exercise of this sort the platoon leader would cover his rear. As I make my way onward I begin to practice various salutation strategies, “Well done, sir;” “I support the troops,” “Thank you for your service;” “I know a guy thatz in the army, maybe you know him, his name is….”

To my surprise it is not a soldier on a forced march, instead it is one of those goofy runner-types that shows up at the Arrowhead 135 every year. You know the type— lean and slight, serious, aloof, wily like a fox, hungry-looking facial features, sunken nervous eyes, and minuscule backside. This one was sitting on what may have been construed as his enduro-sled, perhaps taking a bit of a respite from is burden, as far as I could tell.


Of course bikers and runners relate to each other in similar ways to that of wolves and coyotes, but I am a gentle soul, I had all the gear I needed, and me larder was full, so I feigned compassion asking him, “So how we doing?”


He responded, as they often do, with a long incoherent dissertation on his immediate physiological and psychological merits and ailments including references to various Latin terms that apparently link up various muscles and ligaments, etc... It was during the initial phase of his lecture that I belatedly grasped the important fact that it was he and his fellow henchmen that were indeed the source of the trashed trail.

Once this revelation set in, cutting him off, I demanded, “Whatz going on? Why are you ahead of me? How did you get out front?”

“I am in the 50 K race…you know, we started up the trail from…”But before he could explain further, I was off in pursuit of a forlorn hope that Pramann or Andre would falter. At least I had the real culprits to blame…the knowledge gave me strength…

Of course Pramann was not going to falter and yet I did close some of the time gap that lay between Andre and me. Had it not been fer them crazy runners/walkers, I'd won the thing for sure, no doubt about it!!! Thatz a GIVEN!!!

Postscript:

At the start, the trail conditions caught everybody on the bus completely by surprise. Endurance guyz are by their nature, great optimists. A few beers the night before, mix in elements of “groupthink” to the equation, and by the time we pulled into the parking lot in Rice Lake at 7:30 a.m. we were all convinced that Chris Schotz and Jason Buffington, on their slick mountain bikes, were going to set the pace. A predominate theory was that the high humidity (a mist in the air) combined with below freezing temperatures, combined with a recent grooming of the trail would set up the snow and that it would be fast and maybe somewhat icy. The only dissenting voice had been Pramann, but he was not on the bus. Pramann had accurately predicted that it was going to a “slog” and that it could well take racers up to twenty hours to compete it and he was right.

Upon arrival and the requisite warm-up ride on the trail, it was obvious that it was going to be a very hard ride for the guyz on the snowbikes and that it may prove impossible for guyz on regular mountain bikes. The initial miles were bad but then after about twenty miles or so the course did get better. There was even a span of about fifteen miles in the middle section that allowed one to really ride fast. The last thirty miles were the toughest because the foot traffic made the already narrow and marginal “sweet spot” very rough. But so it goes…

Finally, I would be amiss if I did mention the impressive effort demonstrated by the good Dr. Buffington. He finished the race on a 29er in the “Pramann” predicted time-span of just under twenty hours…the only one to finish that started on a regular bike…Bravo Jason!!!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

A reprieve of sorts? A new lease on life…A reason to continue?

Dearest Charles,

We at the board of directors have consulted on your recent effort at Tuscobia and come to the conclusion that you have once again created a "stay of execution" for yourself. Along that difficult trail, your pursuit of honor for all that is DBD was admirable as well as the fear you and your people have clearly instilled in young Buffington is worth mention. However, given the Heck-of-the-North debacle and other digressions, we will need to see consistency in the upcoming months in order to remove your name from the "list of dishonor".

Several items discussed at our recent meeting are worth your thought and yet due to time constraints can be viewed in more detail upon your receipt of the meeting's minutes in due time. In sum, three notable events that did transpire cannot be postponed. Most impressive was Crazy Horse flying into a peyote-induced rage when told of your inability to close a sixty+ minute gap that existed between you and the sturdy Pramann. Secondly, Bill Tilman and old Amundeson were both reduced to tears upon the news of you pushing your bike for extended periods of time coupled with prolonged use of your controversial ‘granny-gear.’ Lastly, the ever present and perennial DBD Duluth supporter Ghandi, was physically removed after he began dismantling the main study of the Kitch Club, once he was informed that you let a Floridian beat you. As the man-servants hauled the inconsolable Mahatma to his rickshaw he was heard ranting, "This cannot be! I refused to believe it! Liars, all of you, LIARS! Farrow would never allow himself to be beaten by a southerner…Why did he not use his revolver? The shame, the shame…I'll see you all in HELL!"

Finally, Buffington's resume strengthens. We'll be contacting him shortly. As of this correspondence it seems the lad is super human.

As usual, steady the men and another finger of rum for all.

Yours respectfully,

Sir Eki

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Sage One puts on a Clinic @ Tuscobia

The sage ancient, Dave Pramann, once again, dominated at Tuscobia this weekend. But the coveted Shackleton Perseverance Award goes to the neophyte Jason Buffington... Conditions were of the sort that tested even the most hard-hearted of MEN...Lance Andre finished second and looked very good as well and if still on the ladder moving upward to peak form will contend for the win at the Arrowhead 135...The Westerners and the Alaskans, coupled with Pramann, Andre, and a host of others will make this upcoming Arrowhead the most competitive ever. If hardpack, look for Buffington, under the gentle but concerted tutelage of the author, to contend as well... Of course, my money is on the wily PRAMANN...

A fully embellished race report in a few dayz...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The beginning paragraph of a newly penned great American Novel


Through the arctic ice fog, a humanly, albeit ghastly figure in agitated frozen repose came into murky view. Upon closer inspection, evidence indicative of a recent bloody transgression of mythological proportions plays out before the interlopers; a classic tragedy of man’s inevitable descent into folly. Before those of the living lies a man of obvious good breeding, perhaps of royal lineage, his cold bluish body that of an aged, but fit specimen. Nearby rests a two-wheeled contraption loaded to the hilt with gear of the kind which men of adventure rely. Herein lays a man who fought bravely as his gnarled features indicate a mortal that did not give up without a supreme struggle. Clues litter the grisly scene that confirm beyond doubt that when the question of his mortality was at hand in this frozen hell, he took up the challenge with both gusto and admiration. Amid the circumstance of his death knell, this gentleman took a valiant, lofty, although enigmatic step to alert the living of what can only be construed as a highly personal and grave injustice by employing the frozen ground as his parchment, his detached thigh bone as a rudimentary quill, and his arterial blood as ink in a final act of insurrection by scribbling the word, TUSCOBIA.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Working on improving your vocabulary skills...


Improving and building upon your Cycling Lexicon

Source: Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary [1975 edition]

Hurt Tank /hert tank/ [ME to soak in a hurten pot]. To soak in a hurt tank. 1. Bereft of hope whilst cycling. Forsaken or damned, "catch 22". Sad or lonely whilst barely hanging on to the end of a heartless peleton. To feel or suffer great bodily and mental pain or distress during a DBD training ride. To be wounded with no sympathy from others. 2. To suffer want or need without anyone else caring while on a DBD training ride. 3. Mental and emotional torment without hope or chance of respite while riding a bicycle in a group. 4. Great discontent while in the act of laboring a bicycle amongst a group of malcontents and criminals. 5. Being in poor condition and a drain on the other cyclists. 6. To feel scorned by one's peers whilst riding a bicycle.
________________________________________

Origin:
1740s France; ME peine punishment, torture, pain
. Based on the scourage of Jean-Paul Marat [see photo above] (May 24, 1743 – July 13, 1793). Marat was a Swiss-born French physician, philosopher, political theorist, cyclist and scientist best known as a radical journalist, politician, and endurance cyclist from the French Revolution. He would take part in long sick enduro-rides on his steel single speed bicycle with a group of dubious characters that called themselves the DBD. After DBD training rides, Marat often sought the comfort of a cold bath to ease violent itchings due to a hideous skin disease long said to have been contracted years earlier, when he was forced to hide from his enemies in the Paris sewers. “Where is Marat?” “Oh, he’s soaking in the hurt tank again.” In the earlier part of the 20th century in England, a wounded, yet still able tail rider of a cycling group in a long remote cycling event was said to be “soaking in the hurt tank.”
Synonyms associated with "hurt-tank": 1–3. torture, misery, torment. PAIN, ACHE, AGONY, ANGUISH are terms for sensations causing suffering or torment. PAIN and ACHE usually refer to physical sensations whist on a bicycle (except heartache); AGONY and ANGUISH may be physical or mental involving a man just barely holding on to a unsympathetic group of bikers. PAIN in this context suggests a drawn out suffreing: a pain in one's knees. ACHE applies to a continuous pain, whether acute or dull: headache; muscular aches. AGONY implies a continuous, excruciating, scarcely endurable pain: in agony from a wound. ANGUISH suggests not only extreme and long-continued pain, but also a feeling of despair. 2. pang, twinge. 3. Think Trans-Iowa or Arrowhead 135

Monday, December 7, 2009

What were you doing at 4:07 a.m. on Sunday morning...I was getting dressed for a training ride that required me to leave my house at 4:30 a.m......

Quotations, musing, apologies, and recollections from Sunday’s eight hour DBD effort—

"Either Rich has Titanium collar bones or he has just been extremely lucky."
-Eki (when he was still human). Note: Hendricks was on road bike maneuvering terrain that tested the rest of the group, all of whom were on mountain bikes.

Re ‘Titanium quote’: “I am extremely lucky. Or perhaps . . . skill. You see Sir Eki, when one tips over as often as I, one must learn to fall properly . . . and wear a good helmet . . .”
-Hendricks

“He is riding deep within himself now; he is soaking in the hurt tank, but fear not for he will rally. I know him and he would not want us to slow down…He doesn't want us to wait for him...”
–Farrow on responding to queries of concern re Eki during the dark time….

“How many times can Hendricks tip over during one ride?”

-The group

Farrow to Hendricks, "Is that blood?"

“So just how is it that Farrow, after bringing only ’simulated food’ puffs for sustenance, was able to find Mallory's cache hidden years ago?"
-Hendricks

"Steady the lads, one finger of whiskey to each of them..." -Note from George Mallory in a canvas bag containing a flask of aged whiskey.

"What's with Buffington? Apparently 8hrs is not enough . . . just who is this guy . . . really?"
-Hendricks

Itz 5:04 a.m. this is an outrage…I say we leave him.”
-Farrow on Eki’s tardiness

"I don't know what kind of watches you guys are using."
-Eki addressing false allegations that he was late

"Jason, have you eaten ANYTHING?"
-Eki accusing Jason of being alien

Coprophagy.”
-Buffington on working through a revolutionary solution for dealing with carrying enough food on long remote enduro-rides.

“Can we learn to do that?”
-Farrow, intrigued by the possibilities of coprophagy

“ I already do that…”

-Eki on the efficacy of human coprophagy during long endurance rides.

"You should paint some nipples on that diaper?"
-Buffington addressing Farrow's 'man-diaper.'

"I wish I had like a 34 x 60 on this thing."
-Eki commenting that his gear ratio was too difficult

Farrow: "Is that a MAN in that tree?" Eki: "No, it's the top of the tree." Farrow: "God, I need to get glasses."

"Lost in Woodland"
Eki, finding himself on Pleasant View Rd, just off Jean Duluth, after 3 1/2 hours of riding.

"Does that shot glass say 'Dubai' on it?"
-Buffington questioning Mallory's choice of shot glass while the group enjoyed a finger of the good stuff on trail.

“Hey there’s a moose! I mean there was a moose, they must have moved it…it was here last summer, it was a fake moose, but I swear there was a moose here”
-Farrow

“Help me help you.”
-Eki trying to work with Farrow’s dementia

Looking back on Jean-Duluth and catching a momentary glimpse of Farrow's bike perpendicular to the direction traveling. Buffington

How many times thinking/saying "Rich has got to be really hurting now", and glancing back to see how far back he was, and seeing him right on my wheel.

"Look wolf tracks. And there's a wolf kill. And where a wolf treed a skunk."
-Farrow

Dearest Mallory:

First of all, I'm alive! I made it home and into the hurt tank where I soaked for upwards of an hour. My wife had to make me a sandwich, hot cocoa and listen to my pleas and cries. That ride was soooo DBD for me. While the others effortlessly spun through the miles, I toiled. My God, I was hurtin'! The first words out of my mouth to Amy, when she came down to the basement were..."I'm in trouble!" Yes, I let the rubber ducky float around in the hurt tank with me.

As I try to assess the damage and why it happened I can only surmise that I went into the ride in a dehydrated state, which only got worse and worse. I bet I drank a gallon of fluids when I got home and didn't take my first pee until about 6:00 p.m. I couldn't move! After I rolled out of the hurt tank I made my way to the couch where I proceed to fall into a slumber that lasted nearly 3 hours.

Funny how the HURT gods seem to pick one of us from time to time and they then direct all the pain they can muster onto that one man. It was my turn. In hind sight I wish the men would have just left me out there. I deserved to ride alone, left behind, forgotten. Jason failed his test miserably by coming back to drag me up to the group time and time again. If he truly was DBD he would have left me, like FARROW did...

Overall, it is with great shame that everyone had to see that. Again, please accept my deepest apologies.

Eki

Friday, December 4, 2009

Like being inside of one of 'em glass globe thingies with the snow....

The last three nights out on me Gunnar 29er have been magical...what with the snow and all...sure am thankful to be livin' in Duluth Minnesota...Duluth--best kept secret in the whole world, but don't tell anybody!!! Big ride planned for Sunday and then taper taper taper for the big dance on December 19th...The Tuscobia Race...down in Wisconsin near Rice lake...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A rare find: a secret correspondence revealed...more to come.


Dearest Mallory:

As I sit here encumbered within the confines of society's expectations, I think back to the small victories and shameful tragedies that were Sunday's DBD ride. My heart soars as I reminisce about the endless miles of gravel, the countless attacks on the Fox Farm rollers designed to test Farrow and Hendricks’ resolve, and the penultimate full-on sprint to the top of Hawk's Ridge with Rich offering a concession speech at the top as Farrow faltered and wept the tears of a forlorn clown. Yet, the ride was not without its melancholic moments for I deeply regret not offering Kershaw my revolver in his time of crisis.

So, with that being said, I raise my glass and may I suggest another finger of rum for the good men, for it is them that drives me on and puts me deep into the hurt tank as we chase the folly of our dreams.


Humbly your servant,

Sir Eki - Lifetime DBD member



Bully Eki bully!!!

Well done. Hendricks has potential. Farrow continues to disappoint. Kershaw without his revolver? Any hope for the Buffington youth? These are troubling times in which we now live. Steady the men...I shall consider the extra finger of rum...

Carry on,

GM

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A rare glimpse into the internal workings of the DBD...


Finally after years of covert investigative work including around the clock surveillance of the highly exclusive Kitchi Gammi Club, located in Old Duluth, Bob Woodward, the noted journalist of Watergate fame, has obtained a recent document that sheds light onto the internal workings of the highly secretive DBD Honor Board. Woodward reportedly bribed an unscrupulous Kitchi Gammi Man-servant who covertly managed to pocket one of several copies of a letter from a "Hendricks" that presumably was part of an agenda distributed to the Honor Board at a recent DBD meeting held at the Club.

Dear Sir Earnest:

I thought you may like to hear of our most recent expedition to the vast reaches of the Pequaywan Lake area and beyond. All men in attendance had on their person’s the required items including the British .455 Webley Revolver. I am happy to report that none were required to be unholstered.


Temperature a cool -5C, winds calm as we bravely depart our vessel, the William A Irvin at 06:00. To my surprise and joy, we were not two, but three riders . . . A certain John Hatcher rose early to help us reach our goal.

This expeditionary force was thus made up of: Hatcher, Sir Ek (of Scandinavian descent) and your humble friend and author Hendricks (of Dutch accessory). Mallory was there to offer his regards. Our spirits soared as he ordered an extra finger of rum for our small force.

Our route through well known areas somewhat uneventful, save the chance meeting of another explorer. To our surprise and dismay, this comrade of the morning chose to not acknowledge our presence and continue alone (what's up with that anyway at 6:15 in the morning??). Eki needed to be momentarily restrained, but he quickly regained his composure.

By the time we reached the top of the Lester River summit, the cold had rendered all external water supplies unusable, only those worn on our backs remained accessible. Some had to place these frozen supplies and sustenance next to the body, and only hope for a thaw.

As the sun began its journey . . . our route calm and beautiful . . . we rode easily as one, discussing history, thoughts and dreams. We wondered aloud of our missing mates . . . were they as ill as claimed, as otherwise busy as declared . . . or were they even in a warm place, beverage in hand in the land of Iron, Or were they indeed on their own "secret expeditions?"

As we turned to the East, somewhere North of Pequaywan lake, we were met by a strange vehicle . . . it appeared to be of somewhat modern design, constructed of metal, yet conveyed by 14 sled dogs. What a strange site it was . . . Suddenly, the weather turned against us as a thick, pea soup fog appeared . . . our vision limited to at best 15 meters . . . off we continued, unhindered by this turn of events.

Moving along familiar routes, most recently travelled on 26 September, we arrived Clover Valley where our good friend and fellow rider Hatcher was forced by prior commitments to leave us. Brave soul he . . . at the point of departure he had achieved some 67 miles, with resources rendered nearly unusable by the cold . . . and still with 23 solo miles to travel!

Here the Scandinavian and Dutchman continued Easterly, toward the Lake at high speed, searching for the warmth and comfort of civilization. A hearty "thank You" to Miss Sarah who supplied us with the life sustaining coffee we so desired.

The effects of the drug immediately apparent as we easily climbed the Homestead apex, only to be confronted by a short, yet steep climb up "Hegberg . . " Shortly after, we achieved 45 mph on a steep, gravel descent . . .

Back to the Lake we headed, rolling uneventfully along the shore only to be dared by one final challenge: the Seven Bridges and Hawk Ridge ascent. It is here where our Dutchman, who led his two letter surnamed companion up each and every preceding challenge, learned "It is not he who leads the first lap . . . it is he who leads the last lap that wins . . ." It is assumed that were it not for the help of Sir Ek, that Hendricks would still be gasping for air as he trundled up this final summit. A lesson well taught and learned . . .

Shortly after our route complete, expedition over . . . we concluded it was indeed a great day . . . Total journey, well over 100 miles . . .
Respectfully Yours,
Hendricks

Friday, November 20, 2009

I am a flawed individual with many eccentricities, I have my detractors, there are those who find me onerous. Yet it can't be said I am not willing to


...read a book of any sort based on a recommendation from someone I trust or love or both love and trust...So when my nine year offspring (of whom I both love and trust) told me that I simply had to read Diary of a Wimpy Kid...I said "Okay" and I was not disappointed...It is hilarious!!! Seriously, no not seriously, but for anyone that has survived "junior high" this is a must read....I was weeping with joy. The little dramas of adolescence brought back both fond and embarrassing memories as I cruised through the pages last night. You possess a cold heart, if the cartoons do not make you laugh out loud...Note: Ingestion of a few bottles of fresh Bell's Kalamazoo Stout only had the effect of intensifying my glee....

Thursday, November 19, 2009

http://almanzo100.blogspot.com/

Go to the above site and watch these promos....they are so clever, so funny....
Amazing :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sir George Mallory, in a rare public correpondence addressed to the author via telegraph, weighs in on recent DBD activities in the Northland...





Dear Sir:

Although somewhat delayed due to a problem with our Sherpa people, Earnest and I received your correspondence of November 15th @ Latok Base-camp regarding your efforts to get us to back you in getting the DBD to sanction your most recent training sessions including the east to west single-track mtb effort and more importantly and slightly less straight-forward, the two-pronged training session beginning at 8:30 p.m. on this last Saturday night through to 12:20 a.m. on Sunday and then again leaving at 5:35 a.m. on Sunday and finishing it up at 10:42 a.m. on that Sabbath, November 15th. The 8 hour+ effort on the single-track using mountain bikes is forthright and thus should sail through with no problems. While the more recent effort, involving the double session on both gravel and tar, is certainly a more contrived effort, both Ernest and I believe that it too will ultimately be approved by the powers-that-be. According to our elemental mathematical skills, the air up is a bit thin and we are no longer young men; the second effort does indeed exceed both the required eight hour threshold and the cumulative sixteen hour time-frame. You can count on our support regarding both efforts. Bravo, well done, bully!

Let me personally commend the boyz in attendance (Hendricks & Kershaw). These are brave men for on this particular night ride they were alone with you; it takes solid men to embark on such an endeavor accompanied by a rider of your erratic and unsavory history. According to our sources, the ensuing Sunday morning ride with Hendricks, Buffington, and Eki also went off without a hitch. Note: We have taken the liberty to begin a portfolio on each of these promising lads.

Although I must add that it is regretful that Eki was NOT able to achieve the eight hour parameter for either of the two recent efforts. Has his dementia improved? We certainly are not unfeeling or unmoved by the woes that face our leadership and our understudies, but plebeian behaviors cannot be tolerated, please keep a close eye on Eki. Of course it is often the case that the talented and the eccentric are one in the same.

Furthermore, I must add that Kershaw’s absence on Sunday does not bode well for his induction date. I have instructed that that date be momentarily postponed until the aforementioned submits proper documentation detailing the rationale behind his failure to appear for duty. His claims of a solo effort on that Sunday, to date have been unsubstantiated.

On a personal note; I, too, am concerned about Kershaw’s tendency to gravitate towards aspects of the occult. We had trouble when both Kipling and Newton went that route and I’d certainly rather not repeat another messy Salem’s Witch Trial. Case-in-point, his most recent adoption of what could be construed as a provocative satanic icon to represent/promote to the public the highly successful Heck-of-the-North race certainly add fuel to the fire and furthermore adds ammunition from which his (and our) detractors will be quick to seize upon.

Regarding the enigmatic Eki and his recent disconcerting propensity to retreat to the safe confines of his abode-upon-the-hill with the onset of darkness has also raised eyebrows here at the Kitchi Gammi Club. The image of an Eki in repose upon a soft couch while you and the two lads fly across the remote barrens by starlight is a vision that is decidedly unDBD-like and therefore, not surprisingly, the cause of great agitation and consternation amongst some of the more spirited of the group. For one, Crazy Horse upon hearing of Eki’s lack of participation regarding Saturday’s night ride flew into a rage culminating in his attempting to “count coupe” on a slightly inebriated Ed Hillary (an ardent Eki backer). The fact that Buffington skipped out on Saturday's night ride did not ease matters. Such gross absenteeism constitutes a red-flag for this young up-start. The ensuing melee almost ended in fisticuffs and put an unpalatable tension in the air for the reminder of the evening or at least until a second round of whiskey was served and old Tilman began to regale the group with stories of his misadventures on the Mischief.

I would also like to take a moment to commend you on your obvious, albeit subtle generosity in allowing the youths, most notably Jason and Rich, to lead the pack for long periods of time during these recent training rides. I know that as a consummate leader and alpha male, it is difficult to let go of the front position in the peloton and yet if we are to bring these lads into the fold, such self-sacrifice is a worthy and noble deed. A deed that must in your case require an extraordinary degree of restraint. To these acts of chivalry on your part, I say BRAVO! Also, thank you for reporting to the group the two important sightings of the rare tree skunk and the acrobatic lynx, not to mention the collective run-in with the white rabbit during the night ride. These reports help us to corroborate our record keeping of such phenomena. Both Messner and the Duke of Abruzzi were particularly interested in your insights regarding the elusive tree skunk.

In closing, it is our contention that both of your recent training sessions will meet with success in obtaining approval. Keep up the good work and please convey to Eki and the others our deepest salutations. Regarding the DBD group’s decision to not sanction Eki’s recent work represents a set back from him, but he is a stout fellow and will do fine. Tell Eki to hold to a stiff upper lip and that rules are rules. He still has time to make up for lost ground. Continue to push Buffington as I suspect that he has the heart of a lion. The same can be said of Hendricks. It is a good thing to test the men’s meddle, but from time to time, do not be afraid to order an extra finger of rum to be passed around after hard training rides. For the most part we are pleased with your work in Duluth.

Best regards,
George


ps Ernie sends his regards

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Update...too busy to pubically muse or to put finger to keyboard...

Monday, November 16 Update: DBD #1 & DBD #2 (unofficial, under-review): The Reduction & Detachment Phase of the 2009/2010 season commenced on a beautiful Sunday...At the onset, the author experienced a minor, albeit disconcerting, leaking of an incomprehensible saline solution which had the effect of redden his eyes and thus momentarily blurring his vision ... full reports on both rides to follow....Been super busy with the day job of late...If you need interesting reading material check out the roster for the 2010 Arrowhead 135 (104 racers signed up and still two weeks until the entry registration date closes...the field is truly international and very competitive...so exciting...many Trans-Iowa and Alaskan Invitational veterans

Saturday, November 7, 2009

What I have been reading lately—[in order of importance]

Where men seek glory: The Pat Tilman Story by Jon Krakauer. Krakauer, a great endurance athlete in his own right, has written four recent masterpieces [Into the Wild, Eiger Dreams, Into Thin Air, Under the banner of heaven] and his fifth is no exception. All of which explore the absurdity and futility of it all. This is a great read and should not be missed. Amazing, and sad, amazingly sad…Just simply an amazing story detailing the life and times of a full on stud that gets mistakenly killed by his comrades in Afghanistan and then McChristal (spelling?) and the other powers-that-be (including all the way up to the White House and for sure Rumsfeld) initiate an ill-conceived and immoral cover-up. Five stars out of five possible.


In the Graveyards of Empires by Seth Jones. A comprehensive recent history of the British and Russian experiments in Afghanistan. Obama has read it and thatz why he is taking so long to commit to troop escalations. If history is a guide, we are in for a huge mess in Afghanistan, but thatz no be surprise to anyone who can think independently. Fours stars because he is somewhat repetitive and the book reads like a text book, albeit a very well written text book.

Novels and Social Writings by Jack London. Excellent works by an American master. My favorite is an essay titled, “Why I became a socialist.” Four stars cuz ya gotta work some to understand his prose.

Spring on an Arctic Island by Katharine Scherman. A great narrative pertaining to a 1953 trip that a group of six scientists took to Bylot Island which is way up north of Baffin Island. It is just a very excellent travel story. Itz great, I loved it. Top notch and five stars.

The Condor Years: How Pinochet and His Allies Brought Terrorism to Three Contingents by John Dinges. Somewhat hard to understand and very tightly packed with tons of information. I had to work hard to get through this investigative work. Once again the CIA plays a pivotal role in screwing up the rest of the world. Three stars…

Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson. Won a bunch of awards…But really nothing much happens…I got through it, but it ended and I was like, “What?” Don’t bother…

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Winter Formal is full...

The BIG ARROWHEAD 135 DANCE up in I-Falls on February 1th & 2th (and maybe 3th...if you are into "slow dancing") has met itz limit of 75...This is an amazing milestone in that to my knowledge it has never filled so quickly!!! The field holds many names that are linked to great cycling achievements including several Alaskans that have completed (and won) the mega-classic race from Knik to Nome (1100 miles or so). As I read through the roster my lofty loins soared with excitement and anticipation, many of my old buddies are signed up including da boyz from Nordakota, Lance Andre, Chuck Linder, Da Navy Guy, etc. etc... And even the Dark Forces of Winter promise to comeback and haunt the trail (the cold-hearted Pramann and the unmercifully frigid Brannick)...

Rest assured, Dear Readers, that Good shall conquer Evil, on the frozen wastelands of Northern Minnesota! Yet these Black Adders, these rivals of the White Knights (headed by young Jedi-Warriors, including the youthful, but tested Chris Plesko, of whom's purity of adventurous spirit surely will give the evil-doers pause), will not surcease their reigns of terror without a battle of epic, no mythological proportions. Itz gonna be SO GREAT!!!! Thanks Pierre and Cheryl :)

More on others in the field later today...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Such a proud moment in an otherwise mundane life defined by endless hours on a bicycle...


Minnesota owns ATV record — for the moment...
(Source: Duluth News Tribune (with italics that of the author)...Note: loyal readers will recall that the author found himself in the middle of this amazingly impressive record attempt while trying to ride the 155 mile Northshore Trail route last June on his Pugsley )


There's a game of ATV one-upmanship going on as the Silver Bay, MN parade apparently has only a tenuous hold on its recently attained world record.

It seems the All-Terrain Vehicle Association of Minnesota has found itself in an ATV parade war since breaking the world record for the event in Silver Bay in June.

The association announced Monday it received word from officials at Guinness World Record that the June 13 event featuring 1,632 ATVs was, indeed, the “World’s Longest ATV Parade.”

“We’re excited,” association representative Jon Bohn said. “We’ll hold it as long as it takes for Utah to be recognized.”

That’s Richfield, Utah, home of a parade that featured 2,014 ATVs in September. And Bohn says there are plans in Kansas and Kentucky to better that mark.


The Minnesota group will wait awhile before making another attempt, probably in 2011 or 2012, Bohn said. It’s more than a stunt. The parade in Silver Bay was a way to draw its membership together, Bohn said, and involve state agencies and the region in efforts to educate people* on ATV use, safety, (and intimidate guyz like CP Farrow and his band of rogue cyclists). *educate people??? "I need me some mor edukatin' on that thar ATV..."

“A lot of people got a look at how the trails work along the Shore, (and many of the folks got to mock the crazy biker that was trying to get through on his way to Grand Marais)” Bohn said.

The Guinness recognition means the Harlan County Ridge Runners group in Everts, Ky., is no longer the official record-holder with 1,138 ATVs in a parade. “We have a meeting this Thursday night. I’m sure it will be brought up and plans will start being made to go after it again,” said Bill Troutman, president of the Kentucky group.

The Minnesota association tried to break the Harlan County record in 2008 but fell short. If the Guinness verification system is consistent, Minnesota will have the record for at least five months.

“We are thrilled to have the record certified and that so many ATV enthusiasts and their families could join us to break the record,” parade organizer Les Schermerhorn said. “Thank you to everyone that joined us and to everyone in the city of Silver Bay for their wonderful hospitality.”

News of the record circulated around the world, Bohn said. He has news clippings from Australia, Great Britain, and Russia. He welcomes the new record-seekers, saying the association has played a key role in promoting ATV use. “We’re part of the trend to catch new riders. It’s nationwide.”


Itz Pretty Cool to think that in my small little way, I played a part in this amazing record attempt...Itz this kind of committment to excellence, this "can-do" approach, this America #1 attitude, that continues to impress the rest of the world...YES YES YES....Minnesota can and will break this ATV RECORD again and I hope to once again play a role in making it happen....Minnesota deserves this record, we need to keep this record here in the Northland...write your congressman and/or your congresswoman...tell him or her that we will NOT stand for Russia to have this record, or even Utah...

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Real Season Begins...

November 2, 2009 to April 12, 2010 (or two weeks before the Mega-Classic Trans-Iowa): The training season- Where one is reduced, rebuilt, and ultimately transformed into a full on Enduro-Samurai... While this vital season is based upon a series of highly secretive DBD training sessions, there are an unprecedented three local racing opportunities for us here in the Northland.

Highlights of the season involve the seventy-five mile Tuscobia point-to-point on December 19th; the eighty-eight mile Northshore Ultra in January, and then of course the full on classic, The Arrowhead 135 on the first Monday of February.

I am so pumped...yesterday as a warm-up, we went 4+ hours and upon finishing it up my toes were numb from the wet cold...I wept tears of anticipatory joy...

Friday, October 30, 2009

Bluff-Land Epic; Part II of the race recap...


Part II: A redemption of sorts….

As we left our intrepid group, Eki was “circling the drain”, Farrow leaving the pit alone, had embarked upon a forlorn hope that the man-child would falter and that Schotz would experience a catastrophic collapse, and yet all the while Kershaw seemed to be taking it all in stride.

This was Kershaw’s first twelve hour mountain bike race, which would be a daunting proposition for most, but for him it was just another weekend endeavor. Kershaw first appeared on the DBD radar when rumors of his epic Arrowhead 135 ski first surfaced early last February. To ski the full Arrowhead135 is a rarely accomplished feat and takes a tremendous amount of fortitude (note: only four or perhaps five have ever been able to ski it). Regarding his impressions of his first WEMS, from his diary, he submits simply and without fanfare: “I thought to myself that this is going to be the most brutal day of riding I have ever had (think rugby on a bike). Ironically, as the laps started adding up, I found that I got stronger and more skillful at negotiating the course. I thought for sure my first lap would the strongest, but really the laps toward the end were cleaner and more satisfying.”

When queried about whether he had seen Eki during those fateful hours comprising the mid-race parameter, Kershaw volunteered, “I did see Eki near the half way point of the race at the pit-stop, and he seemed steady, yet I initially found it strange that he would linger during the heat of the race. Furthermore, I was taken aback when he asked me to roll him a ‘Kotak Adjaib.’ He was at the pit when I arrived and thus he greeted me with a, ‘Bravo Kershaw, well done!!!’ Before I could respond in kind, he quickly added a most disturbing request….’Say Kershaw, I am having a bit of a time of it, and I am afraid that I am played out. Me hands are all but useless. Hence, would you be a good chap and roll me a tight Kretek with the blend that we use for these sorts of occasions?’”

Having studied DBD protocols, Kershaw knew that Eki was asking him to assist in rolling the proverbial “last smoke”; essentially a rite of passage as old as the founding of the Freemasons. Nevertheless, Kershaw did as he was told and then following further instructions (as any good under-study should), placed the hand-rolled cigarette between the clinched teeth of the stalwart, yet pale Eki. Eki then signaled, using secret hand gestures as ancient as Stonehenge, that he required some distance. Kershaw, being a quick-witted lad, knew the score and thus swiftly mounted his Clockwork steed (a creation of local fire and steel) and made haste unto the course for yet another lap on the torturous course.

As Kershaw worked his fully rigid 29er machine across the myriad of logs and stones and hills and gulches, where upon a particular traversing criss-cross he spied Farrow. Their eyes momentarily met and Farrow called out, “Well done young Kershaw, perchance what news, if any, on old Eki?”

“I am afraid Sir Eki has inhaled his last smoke!” was all there was time for Kershaw to utter…lest we forget that there was a race going on! Upon hearing the news, a strange incomprehensible saline solution momentarily filled old Farrow’s crusty eyes, but he wiped it away and bucked up. Again, there was a race to be fought.


It went on like that for the rest of the lap, with each rider alone with his thoughts of imperfection, absurdity, and the finiteness of our time here on this planet. It helped ones demeanor to curse with dramatic discourse the logs, the unrelenting logs, the God forsaken logs. As he neared the pit stop, again Farrow felt unfathomable pangs deep within is manly loin area, for he knew that old Eki would be well on his way to “a better place, where men don’t have to shoot their dogs and eat their livers.” Yet, upon arrival to the pits there was no corpse of Eki? How strange?

Farrow asked the mother of the man-child (whose pit was close by), “For where art thy Eki?” The matronly woman, reluctant to give forth any semblance of information that might benefit the aged rivals of her off-spring feigned muteness. But Farrow was in a surly mood and was thus not willing to use his legendary charm to coax a reply from the loyal mother. Instead, he charged forth from his steed and once again within a close proximity declared with feeling, “Do you know where Eki is?”

The woman relinquished in hushed tones, “He took a few drags off of a foul cigarette, paused, looked upward to the sky, snuffed it out, put a leather case that looked to house a WWI era British Issue revolver back into his rucksack, mounted his steed and rode off. But, it matters not, I tell you, for neither of you shall catch my son!!”

Eki had experienced a renaissance, a revival, a reawakening, and was back in the fray…Farrow’s heart soared, even his chapped loins rejoiced…. Eki was back in the game...

“Hold your tongue, woman!” But alas, Farrow did not hear her foreboding words and only knew a great sense of relief. Released from negative thoughts of body disposal and the like, Farrow’s bike seemed lighter, the hills softer, the logs less loggier

AS fate would have it, Farrow and Eki were not able to reel in the impressive youth and Schotz was not about to be stopped. But Kershaw proved himself an able endurance rider winning the single speed class. All survived to fight another day. Bully!

[Postscript: The talented young rider that took second place in this event is named: Jake Begley...Unbeknownst to the writer upon the initial publication of this recount due to a delay in access to the official results. Bravo Young Jake, your future looks bright indeed!!!]

Submitted by W. Churchill, Club Historian

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Get those entry fees in...Pronto...

Hey Sports Fans: Don't pass up the Tuscobia (12/19) and the Northshore Ultra (in mid January)...these are local events put on by guyz that love racing and want to afford more "USCycling nonsanctioned" affordable, thoughtful, and challenging events up here in the Northland. WE NEED TO SUPPORT THESE KINDS OF EVENTS!...Send in your entry fees before November 1st and save big bucks. I have personal knowledge of the one in Duluth and it is gonna be GREAT.....Access available to their perspective sites on the right of this page...Winter racing is a total blast...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Part I: WEMS--The Bluff-Land Epic Chronicles



So after all the trials and tribulations, all the ups and downs, it had finally come to this— his final stage exit. Of course both the poets and the novelists would have conjured a more fitting end to a noble life lived, but such is the tragedy of authenticity. Like Achilles, he was known by anyone and everyone who had ridden with him to be a brightly shining, glowing star that would never stand for the fading mediocrity and spiteful nature that irrefutably accompanies the corps of the aged enduro-racer (think Farrow and his curmudgeons).

Eki’s gums were swollen and his teeth loose— the first signs of scurvy, his hands were decrepit, really mere useless claws— from hours of log jumping, and his lifeless knees were so misshaped and swollen that they resembled nothing more than two large black leather bags of marbles, relics of the like used by school children of antiquity.


"Be a good sport and send me diary to my widow," were the first words he had spoken to his comrade, Farrow, since the second lap of the Buff-lands Epic 12 hour WEMS race, now it was some five hours later. Farrow feigned deafness and thus said nothing. He, too, was living through his own hell, but his base instinctual need to track and hopefully wear-down the man-child rider that was out ahead of them, gave him misguided strength to push through the dark times that they were now collectively experiencing. But let us not forget that Farrow had somewhat comparatively fresh legs while the stoic Eki was six hours into his eighth WEMS race and his eleventh endurance race of the season. Both of the old lads were teetering on the precipice; that fine line between movement and lock-up and Eki, rightfully so, was feeling it down down down to his very soul.

Shortly thereafter, together they arrived to the pit area having nonverbally agreed (using secret hand-symbols as old as Stonehenge) to make a momentary stop to reload on fuel. Upon arrival, Eki (in a sullen down trodden voice that still maintained an air of detachment and honor) declared with candor, yet simply, "I am just going inside to that yonder Porta-potty and may be some time; perhaps I’m cutting you loose. I did enjoy the time. Give my regards." Then with admirable forthrightness Eki stumbled and tottered, ultimately breaking from that sacred bondage that exists betwixt racer and his trusted two-wheeled steed, then he gently laid the freed bicycle on the turf, and did NOT look back. Next with stern deliberation tinged with a hint of regret, he reached into his rucksack and revealed a smallish leather configuration of the size not unlike that of which an antique WWI-era British military-issue revolver might reside. Of course, given DBD speak, the lexicological implications of his statements (and his subsequent actions) were clear, he was all ‘played out’ and thus he knew the manifestations of such a realization required a drastic protocol to fulfill his solemn oath to the DBD Honor Code. Mallory, who was there in an observatory role, recently reminisced, "At the Bluff-Lands epic, we knew that poor Eki was walking to his death, but though we briefly considered an effort to dissuade him, we knew it was the act of a brave man and an English gentleman. I, for one, felt a tremendous since of pride."
The reader may ask, “Where was Farrow with all this drama playing itself out?" Already devastated by a glimpse of the hard-charging dark-angel and mischievous sprite, Schotz, who was in hot pursuit, Farrow was thus forced to confront the real possibility of being lapped and thus further humiliated. Plus he had to wrestle with news that the youth was gaining momentum. All of it put together, essentially had the effect of simply and irrevocably numbing him to the circumstances as they unfolded.

“I admit that I was a wreck, but I do remember when old Eki produced the smallish leather configuration from his rucksack, that my eyes began to fill with a strange incomprehensible salty solution…but really I felt nothing. I guess I do remember hoping that he would leave me his new Gary Fisher. I remember asking myself if it would be inappropriate to sell it, or how long I should hold on to it before I tried to sell it. I guess I also remember thinking that he was going the same path as “King”, Amundsen’s favorite husky, when the Norwegians ran out of food on their back from way the Pole,” reflected an unapologetic Farrow.

At Mallory’s drunken urgings, after a very brief bout involving a deeply, cognitive sense of loss (or may be it was forbearance) for his fallen comrade, Farrow shook off his melancholy and with renewed fortitude manifested by a stiff upper lip and a jutting chin, rode off for another lap with a hope and a prayer that the two leaders would falter. Farrow knew that the leader, Schotz, was solid. In fact probably on any given day, Schotz is the best in the Midwest at this distance, and so the most that he could hope for was that the irrepressible Schotz would suffer a mechanical. However, for the untested youth in second place, he thought that a real chance still existed if he could continue to ride at a steady pace of about fifty-five minutes per lap. Thus a mid-race plan was hatched, Farrow would steady himself and grind it out, playing the odds, which usually meant that the youthful ones would eventually falter, especially once the sun set and the darkness came onto the racers and demons begin to stalk their quarry with tenacity. Yet as the course brought forth its unrelenting climbs and its immeasurable logs (placed willy-nilly, thus representing a scourge of biblical proportions for any lightweight wheel-set), the grave underpinnings of what he had just witnessed regarding the reduction of Eki began to take hold of him. Although the lap times were short, nearly always under an hour, even late in the race, this particular lap seemed to take forever. A loud report, which turned out to be no more than a stick breaking, nearly sent him into the dirt. Was Eki’s “card finally punched?” Had he really ‘cashed in his chips’, ‘bit the dust’, ‘brought the farm’, ‘gone belly up’, ‘kicked the bucket?’ Had the ‘fat lady finally sang’, for old Eki?
To find out….Read Part II…Will Eki end it all to avoid a DNF? Will Kershaw supply the final finger of rum and cigarette to the inconsolable Eki? Will Farrow persevere? Will Kershaw impress? The answers to all these questions and more will be revealed in Part II…

Narrative by W. Churchill, Club Historian

Monday, October 19, 2009

La Crosse was such a BLAST!!!! Thanks again...WEMS is the best series in the NATION...thatz right, the NATION!!!!

The WEMS @La Crosse did not disappoint [The Bluffland Epic]: Schotz schools the field, Youth confounds Duo from DBD, Kershaw impresses veterans, Eki miraculously climbs out of the Abyss of the Damned, Farrow stays relatively sober for much of the race…A fully embellished race recap to follow in a few dayz…Thanks to the guyz at the HPT [Human powered trails] :)

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Coulee Valley Country amid the OLD MAN RIVER awaits!!!


Brave men and women, upon two-wheeled mounts, congregate this Saturday upon the picturesque Mississippi Bluff Country to battle demons...Deep within their fiery loins, these soldiers of righteousness know that the battle has already been decided by forces well beyond their comprehension...May the gods of antiquity take mercy on the small contingent from the MN northern lats and yet strike down the interlopers from west central Wisconsin...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Extra Extra Extra


A.P. via telegraph wire: Eki Found, Alive!

Follow up to: Eki Missing, Farrow Person of Interest--


Duluth Chief of Police: Tim Ek or "Eki" as some know him, has been located. You may recall the stalwart cyclist recently went missing after his ill fated Heck of the North attempt. Investigators have been working around the clock to locate the man. Investigations have included extensive interviews with Farrow, who I might add, is clearly disturbed, as well as a detailed forensic look at the scene where the chainless Specialized Tri-Cross was discovered, near Grain Elevator #5. The facts are these; Farrow, despite finger nail removal, water boarding, and a relentless onslaught of cold water enemas maintains that he was not involved. Tracks were found at the lake shore that lead straight away from the bicycle and disappeared at the water's edge. To us, this meant "Eki" did leave the shore on his own, albeit with help from Farrow's coaxing efforts to have him "end it all, as it should be done, according to the DBD…”

Now, here's where the story takes a turn for the surreal. Eki was discovered in a remote trading post near Hudson's Bay. It seems he stowed away on a 1000 footer, made his way through the St. Lawrence Seaway at which point he identified with a renaissance festival and ultimately an unsavory group of individuals who transported him to upstate New York. It seems he spent some time in the Hamptons portraying himself as a wealthy descendent of an individual he's only identified as "Mallory".

It was approximately two weeks later that he was discovered working on a remote trap line near Hudson's Bay. In his possession was a picture of a crazed looking Farrow in a tee-pee that investigators have determined was a rest point in last year's Arrowhead 135 ( hard-core winter cycling race) and a DVD of the movie Into the Wild. It appears that the aged athlete was so ashamed of himself and what he'd done to the reputation of all that is DBD during the Heck of the North he was doing his own impression of Alexander Supertramp or Chris McCandless.

Eki's wife was available for comment after her recent release from the archaic mental health facility in Moose Lake, Mn where she did a short stint following a break down that she still places firmly on Farrow's shoulders. Ms. Ek was allowed to view a picture of the grayed and scurvy ridden Eki and speak to him briefly via satellite phone as he was being flown back to Minnesota for further questioning regarding his partner's (Farrow) involvement in his disappearance. She had this to say, "The man in that picture is not my husband, the man on the phone was not my husband. I WANT MY HUSBAND BACK!! DAMN YOU FARROW!!"

The Duluth Police Department is deeply satisfied with this outcome and also acknowledges that there clearly is a long road ahead for Ek and his wife, but with years of therapy we're confident that they'll pull through this. As for Farrow, he is currently being held, but will be allowed a "work release" if you will for an upcoming WEMS race in La Crosse that he plans to attend with, yes, his partner, Eki.


In a bizarre turn of events, earlier day, upon leaving the Kitchee Gammee Club in east Duluth after consuming a seven course "lunch", as the duo escaped the throngs of curiosity-seekers by commandeering a local rickshaw, Eki yelled out, “Bully, Bully, we are good to go…onward to victory” As Farrow prominently displayed the V for victory hand gesture.

Monday, October 12, 2009


Is there serious trouble at the DBD? —An exclusive interview with Earnest Shackleton, the second in command at the DBD…

In what can only be surmised as a calculated effort to head off the advent of potentially damaging media coverage of what has been described by many pundits as a “disastrous month” for the prestigious, albeit secretive, even cryptic, DBD Adventure Club, Sir Earnest Shackleton, second in command @ the DBD, has agreed to sit for an unprecedented interview session (even though suffering from snow blindness, exacerbated by his untimely death). The interview was held at the majestic DBD Smoking- Room within the fabled Kitchi Gummee Club situated in old Duluth. Note: Shackleton insisted that he speak in a rare Highland Sherpa dialect, so much of the interview involved an interpreter (of Shackleton’s choosing). Also, while Mallory was indeed in attendance, he refused to answer any and all questions, but he freely imbibed, with disconcerting gusto, upon the generous stocks of aged whiskey and other hand crafted libations.

Interviewer: Sir Earnest Shackelton is there indeed a schism developing within the DBD?

Shackleton: Please call me “Ernie.” Do you mind if I smoke my pipe? Please feel free to do like wise. Can I have my Man-servant get you anything? A little brandy perhaps?

Interviewer: Are the rumors true? Sir Shackleton, is there serious internal divisiveness within the DBD?

Shackleton: Please call me “Ernie.” Would you care for a bit of pickled caribou?

Interviewer: Ernie, are the rumors true?

Shackleton: We are not unaware of the public perception that there is currently a degree of tumult within the club. But you must remember that we are a group of unrestrained individuals that do not hide disapproval or discontent, even when other club members are involved. When Hillary and Tensing stepped onto the summit of Everest, Mallory and his boyz cried foul due to the use of bottled oxygen by the 1953 team. When Amundsen ate his dogs, Scott’s crew was quick to criticize. When Tilman sank his beloved Mischief in the chilly waters off Norway, Slocum openly snickered. When Eki left Farrow for dead during the Trans-Iowa V, Mallory went on a drunken binge and broke a bottle of Remy Cointreau cognac over a pro-Eki club member’s head in this very room. These spats are nothing new, they happen from time to time, and they always resolve themselves in fact I find the whole matter rather invigorating.

Interviewer: Our sources indicate that The New York Explorers Club recently leaked to the New York Times that Mallory had gone completely berserk upon news of the Heck of the North debacle, yet out of fear for their personal safety, the powers-that-be at the NYT opted to not publish the leak. Can you shed some light onto this?…Is this true; is the DBD involved in some kind of extortion or cover-up?


Shackleton: It would be inaccurate to convey to you that our group has never ever engaged in active disagreement with the New York Explorer Club. We acknowledge that our people in the American colonies have, of late, had a tough time of it. But let me remind you that Eki has done something like ten enduro-cycling events this year, something like 140 hours of racing (an amazing number), so of course the hinge factor will swing against him from time to time. Eki has done the club proud with his efforts at the Trans-Iowa and his work at the WEMS races. We are not uninformed as to Farrow’s propensity for erratic behavior, but the same can be said of both Dr. Cook and Mawson, who upon maturing with age (and untimely deaths) have become model club members.

Interviewer: What do you make of the young up-starts, Kershaw and Buffington? Buffington has gone on record as comparing the DBD with a “Barney Fun Club for the Aged.” And Kershaw has raised eyebrows with his implied tendencies to reject conventional religion for the occult with his attack on the religious affiliation of the recipients of Farrow’s heroism during that recent fire rescue.

Shackleton: It would be to mislead to deny that we know nothing of these two young men. Of course Buffington’s comment was simply a manifestation of his frustration in learning of the long road ahead, should he pursue his dream of being chosen. We cannot confirm nor deny that Kershaw’s effort to craft a DBD-like cycling event within the barrens of the Northern reaches of America met with approval. Perhaps some among us felt that it was too short, while others may have conceded that it was a great expression of distaste for the direction most cycling events are heading within the colonies. But as you are no doubt aware, entry into the club nowadays requires one to have met with an untimely, albeit honorable death or to be grandfathered in by those few among us that are still among the living. To answer your question: Yes. We know of them, we know of Buffington’s impressive effort at the recent WEMS event at the Thunderdown where he rode to an overall second place finish on a single-speed. And we know that he was in the lead going into the final lap; he could have won and next time he will win. We were privy to Kershaw’s effort at last February’s Arrowhead 135 where he skied the arduous route in impressive fashion. A feat that is not easily achieved and has thus defeated many solid men. As to his supposed tendencies towards supernatural phenomena, who cares! Is he a Devil Worshipper? It matters not for again we accept all, or nearly all, as long as the fellow is tough-as-nails! Itz none of our business! Let me take a moment to convey to your readership that the DBD is proud of itz efforts at maintaining diversity within our ranks. Henson, Norgay, London, Vonnegut, Prince Luigi Amedeo of Savoy-Aosta, Dylan, Crazy Horse, and Uemura are all life-time and post life-time members and we pride ourselves on complete tolerance of any and all belief systems (sans fascism, alcohol & caffeine abstainers, serious people, and the like). If someday Kershaw would be asked to join he would clearly fit in well with the group regardless of his spiritual leanings.

Interviewer: What is ahead for the group?

Shackleton: We intend to have a presence at this upcoming weekend's final WEMS event at La Crosse. The club shall also be represented at the classic Arrowhead 135 as well as the two upstarts, the Tuscobia and the Northshore Ultra. Oh my! Look what time it is? Sorry, I need to get a move on as Mallory and I due to have tea with the Queen Mum…Cheerio…I hope this helps to quell any rumors…all is well...no worries...