Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Minnesota 24 did not disappoint...

Selected Minutes from a recently held meeting of the DBD Honor Board:
Note: The Board was unable to form a quorum as both Shackleton and Mallory were not in attendance. Shackleton is on a fact finding trip to Alaska, specifically trekking along the southern aspect of the Iditarod Trail in search of a Mr. Gauld’s nose and Mallory is pursuing a long held dream of his to bicycle to and then solo climb K2 without the aid of any equipment manufactured after 1920.

Proceedings included a brief summation of a recent endurance event:

…The inaugural Minnesota 24 Hour Race held at Memorial Park in Red Wing this last weekend did not disappoint. Both Buffington and Farrow attended representing the secretive and highly exclusive DBD Adventure Society.  While the course was short (one could easily turn a lap in under forty, even thirty—five minutes), it was quite exhilarating as it included many high speed, banked roller-coaster turns and fast descents. Regarding our people; while their efforts did not result in any noteworthy honor or glory for the Society, they did both conduct themselves as gentleman competitors committed to representing the Society in a manner that did not detract in any way from our principals of steadfast integrity or death.  
As many of you know in recent months Buffington’s name has become synonymous with lofty, manly, victorious, deeds winning many challenges and thus bestowing great honor upon the local Duluth Chapter of the DBD. But alas in Red Wing, he was hampered by a bout of melancholia exacerbated by recent exposures to the dreaded bordetella parapertussis bacteria.  Even so he still turned in an effort of which any normal man would be proud. Whilst attempting to revive himself using the recuperative powers of liquidified fermented barley and hops, upon each and every arrival of the elder Farrow to their pit-area, Buffington was always responsive to the old man’s needs, offering both physical and psychological support.  Look for Buffington to destroy the field at his next race venue for a man such as he, a champion, rarely accepts defeat more than once a season. 

In contrast Farrow (whose decline of late has been well documented), to the relief of many Society members, was able to finally put together an effort that can survive the scrutiny of the high standards set by our guiding principles of potius mori quam foedare. He did well on a single speed Pugsley turning 26 laps.  He did faulter at 3:00 a.m. after seventeen hours of riding, taking a nap, yet the kindly Buffington rousted him up and had him back on track after a three hour respite. The both of them rode together on the last lap, a time together that meant a lot to the old man.  Crossing the finish line together was a wonderful thing...Note: Rumors of microscopic tears were apparent though both men adamantly deny any such display of public emotion. Of course any such public display of emotion are strictly forbidden by DBD protocol.

However, the fact of the matter is that the day belonged to Charles Parsons of the Angry Catfish Club, a group out of Minneapolis.  Parsons has always been a dedicated endurance athlete endowed with true grit (several times a finisher at the Trans-Iowa), but this season he has taken his performances to the next level.  He was mounted upon a single-speed and yet he won the overall solo title, turning an impressive 34 laps!  He won the event in impressive style all the while maintaining a humble and amicable relationship with all in his sphere.  Look for Parsons to be a factor at the upcoming Arrowhead 135.

The DBD Adventure Society formally issues him a heartfelt: “BRAVO Charles Parsons! Bravo!”

Also worthy of mention: Greg Leschisin of Colorado, Kaleb Himli of Spring Valley, Dean McCauley of Ely (52 years old), and Rob Herrman of Angry Catfish. The above all conducted themselves as gentlemen/athletes during the 24 hour event and the DBD is proud to call them “friends of the DBD” and thus bestow upon them the coveted title of “Persons of Interest to the DBD.” Note: Parsons also is now considered a Person of Interest to the DBD.
The DBD also wishes to publicly thank Muddy Paws Racing for putting on a very well organized and fun race…Bravo.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Minnesota 24 Hour Race...Words of wisdom

Minnesota 24…Here we come!

Buffington and I are in intense preparation for the inaugural Minnesota 24 (  Look for Buffington to impress in the single speed category.  Look for me to fall over frequently in the new Fatbike category. 

What follows is a definitive list of carefully composed random thoughts on the logic of attempting to race ones bike for twenty-four hours around a smallish loop in the woods adjacent to a reform school for juvenile delinquents.
The two best parts about racing a 24 hour event is that one is afforded the excuse to not train at all for the week leading up to the race (arrive with fresh legs) and to also, in the week leading up to the start, zestfully imbibe his or hers’ favorite fermented barley and hops beverages with reckless abandon.  The former is intuitive and thus requires no further explanation. The ladder is based on two important considerations that every 24-hour competitor must confront—1.) The benefits of Beer-Loading now enjoys the status of being acknowledged as well established scientific fact.  Unlike that of the unfounded claims by liberals that humans cause problems related to the environment and climate or that Hedge Fund Mangers act in self-interest or that smoking or coal mining causes health problems. According to a Dr. Mannie (PhD in Beerology from Oral Roberts University), who appears regularly on Fox News (that stalwart tower of non-biased journalism) there are a number of natural antioxidants and vitamins in beer that can help prevent heart disease and even rebuild muscle. It also has one of the highest energy contents of any food or drink. Dark beers (Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout) tend to have the most antioxidants, which help reverse cellular damage that occurs naturally in the body. A recent study published in the Journal of American Beers Drinkers Who Believe in the American Way has also found that dark beer has higher iron content compared to lighter beers. Remember, iron-ore from the Iron Range is an essential mineral that our bodies need. Iron-ore is a part of all cells and does many jobs including carrying oxygen from our lungs throughout the rest of our bodies. Note: Iron ore and other valuable stuff that is dug up in huge mega-pits right here in the Northland by dedicated workers hired temporarily by the nice "job creating" corporate people from Canada, Chile, India, and China.  2.) I forgot what the second reason was.  I am little foggy from my pre-race preparation…

Other random, well conceived thoughts: None are coming to me at this point.  

Monday, August 20, 2012

Racing within my ability range....

Never won anything in my life…but maybe someday?
I had a funny conversation with a real nice guy (of whom I rarely get to see), during my kid’s bike race over at Mont du Lac this last Sunday.  I was lamenting about how pathetically slow I am on techy, fast single track and so being the nice guy that he is; he said something like, “Well I am sure that back in the day you were really fast.”

His comment had the cathartic effect of compelling me to recall that I have never been fast, never been worth a damn on techy singletrack, and that I have never won any sort of athletic contest in my life.  This thought brought great comfort to my troubled soul...

It must be tough for guyz that were really fast in their youth and as they age they are forced to concede the thrill of victory to their younger rivals, but for a guy that has never been fast, the transition to bit player is much easier.  In other words to go from being a mid-pack rider to a back-of–the pack rider does not require a wholesale change in ones philosophy. 

Armed with this renewed appreciation of moderate expectation, I went on to have a great race (given my standard) later in the day. As I rode through the excellent, thrilling course at Mont du Lac, I smiled as my heart soared for I still love mountain bike racing…Thanks COGGS….

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Reading Chris Hedges gives me a headache...

Do you ever get the suspicious feeling that maybe things are not quite going as well as they should? That maybe the simple straightforward notion that if we could just have some “solid economic growth” (maybe put Mitt in charge cuz he knows business) that everything will get back to normal is just a bit too rosy?

Get a copy of Chris Hedges’ Empire of Illusion for a cold slap in the face…Below is a quote from one of his more optimistic paragraphs—
“…our collapse is more than economic and political collapse. It is a crisis of faith. The capitalist ideology of unlimited growth has failed. It did not take into account the massive depletion of the world’s resources, from fossil fuels to clean water to fish stocks to soil erosion, as well as overpopulation, global warming… It failed to understand that the huge, unregulated international flows of capital and assault on manufacturing would wreck the global financial system.  An overvalued dollar (which could soon rapidly deflate); wild swings in the stock markets; housing bubbles; unchecked greed; the decimation of our manufacturing sector; the empowerment of an oligarchic class; the corruption of the political elite; the impoverishment of the workers; a bloated military and defense budget; and unrestrained credit binges are the consequences of a failed ideology and conspire to bring us all down…(Hedges, p. 184)

I am with Hedges on this one…the traditional obsession with economic growth as a panacea for all our problems (as we all know, if we think about it for a few minutes) is folly.  In Hedges' words we are living an "illusion" if we think that things can continue on as they always have in the past.  We all know that sooner or later we are gonna start running out of important stuff. Natural resources are not infinite…I think we all just kinda figured it would happen long after we were gone…Of course it is relatively easy to articulate the problems..the hard part is coming up with workable solutions...So it goes.