Wednesday, February 6, 2013

chance of a lifetime

5:20am the alarm goes off and thirty five minutes later Glitter Gravel and i are heading north on I-65 on the way to the Cyclocross World Champeenshits of the Universe.  as the sun began it's ascent into the heavens, my bloodshot eyes focused on the construction signs and lead me to what would be an omen of what was about to pour into our laps like hot coffee in a McDonald's drive through.


we rolled into Louisville an hour late because even though it's west of Nashvegas, it's in the previous timezone.  luckily, we made it just in time to watch the Junior World Champeenshits.  and watching that 17-18 year old cross the line, after giving every bit of strength, heart, love, fear, and pain into a minute span of his life that will for ever be one of the greatest memories.

this was followed by yet another amazing performance, which you can read about it great detail, with just a couple clicks... so i'm not going to talk about that because being redundant is boring and annoying.

what you won't read about is the party.  this thing was a fucking circus.  more than ten thousand of your closest friends from all over the world came out to throw down at the ho-down in the Blue Grass State.  and not one muther fucker held back.  even the photographers were ready to take it seriously.  so for all of you who decided not to go, even if you live within a few hour drive, well...  you are a complete and total fucking idiot.  i met a couple dudes that drove from seattle.  your excuse is stupid.

so what happened?  this is what happened that you won't read about in magazines.  in fact, i would seriously doubt if NASCAR could produce such a beer and whiskey swilled group hug love fest of people from not just all walks of life, but walks of life from all over the world that would end with nothing but respect, fun, and a Disney like smile deep down in your heart that isn't contrived.

so if you can imagine everyone is drunk, screaming, cheering, and laughing, not just for the local boys, but supporting every single person that towed the line.  ...and it was wrapped up in mud, beer and waffles.  find something bad about that.

there are a whole lot more, but i think this tame representation gives you an idea of how it all went down.

all at once the filth and mayhem ended and we poured out of the venue like clumpy milk onto the streets of Louisville, and then things really got out of hand.

once Glitter Gravel's phone was found, left over pizza was eaten, and i sobered up enough to drive, we wrapped up the impromptu tailgate after party at the venue (which happened thanks to the lost phone) and headed to On Your Left Cycles for the Chris King after tailgate after party sponsored by Sierra Nevada... which turned out to be a good thing when they ran out of beer since i had four cases of Yazoo in the truck.  as much as i don't like to share, i couldn't stand to think i would have to talk to sober people, so i gave in. not sure if you know this or not, but cyclists drink a lot of beer.  like, a whole lot.

On Your Left Cycles gets it.  the guys running the place have heart, passion, and love for cycling, no matter what, and the crowd was nothing less than stellar.  old friends, new friends, and people who thought i was homeless milled, chatted, smiled, drank and celebrated the fact that we had all just left the 2013 Cyclocross World Champeenshits less than a few hours ago, and we were in By God Kentucky.  like i said, if you coulda gone but didn't, you suck.

somewhere around this point things began to fade in the brain and my memory starts getting fuzzy, blank, and i might have had an out of body experience, or maybe i was slipped a roofie.  either way, my ass didn't hurt when i woke up, so i'm ok with that.  while going through all my photos from the weekend, i stumbled upon this:

kinda starting to wonder what will show up on the internets in the next couple of days...  if you can send me a pic of my birthmark, i'll mail you a $20 bill.

the next morning, after not making it back to where ever we were supposed to sleep indoors, we awoke freezing in the back of the pick up truck (excellent cyclocross conditions are terrible camping conditions) to learn Grimpeur Brothers were offering salvation for the free takin' as along as you weren't a complete asshole.  so we talked them into letting me in anyway.  i can not begin to describe the elation of this amazing coffee running through my veins like much anticipated heroin after six weeks in the sober tank.  life changing.  these guys get it, and they knew exactly how to do it.  click the link and buy some coffee, and don't do it just because it has a bicycle on it.

as much as i would like to thank the event organizers, racers, teams, and people all over the world, the biggest pat on the back needs to go to the city of Louisville, and the heroes that held back the Ohio River so the show could go on.  these people worked for days on end, never taking a break, holding back at least three feet of water that would shut this thing down like grandma innocently stumbling into a cocaine infused orgy with fresh baked cookies and milk.

they held back the ohio river.  via wiki:  "The Ohio River (Seneca: ohi:yĆ³[2]) is the largest tributary, by volume, of the Mississippi River. At the confluence, the Ohio is even bigger than the Mississippi (Ohio at Cairo: 281,500 cu ft/s (7,960 m3/s);[3] Mississippi at Thebes: 208,200 cu ft/s (5,897 m3/s)[4]) and, thus, is hydrologically the main stream of the whole river system, including the Allegheny River further upstream."

even though i witnessed the greatest cyclocross racers of the day, the people that made sure everything went off without any issue are the real heroes.

so let's lift a glass of whatever keeps you from killing everyone in honor of these dudes and dudettes, cuz they're the baddest mother fuckers on the planet, and they saw to it that the dreams of those participating could be fulfilled, lives could be changed for the better through bicycles, and the United States knows cyclocross.

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