Thursday, February 23, 2012

2012 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo - The Year of the Couch

If you are looking for the 2012 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo race report, you won't find it here, as one actually has to put out some sort of race effort to write a race report. Check out the Philosofizer's accurate account of the B.P.R. Ludicracy if you want to experience what really went down.

I am here to tell you, for some, 2012 Old Pueblo, was in fact "The Year of the Couch" (as obviously demonstrated above). It was the year that Back of the Pack Racing set up the "BPR Living Room".

I went into the race feeling ill for well over a week. I tried to maintain positivity and thought that it was just pre-race jitters. If you think about it, pre-race jitters is almost an impossibility as it is really hard to be nervous about anything...when you race at the back of the Back of the Pack. My race started out with only 2 laps on Saturday, and after the 2nd lap it was all I could do to get my singlespeed back to the Living Room. I was tired, exhausted, and wanted to just lay day. So I did what was required, I laid down on the one of the three of the BPR couches and slept until until Sunday morning. Sunday morning arrived and I suited up in my BPR plaid and managed to squeeze in 2 more laps. The last lap of the race was the most rewarding as I rode the Black Rhino SS Fatbike, the bike that just makes you smile.

I wasn't the only one sucked into the couch, and I am sure I won't be the last. It truly is a curse, and now we seem to have 3 of them: The Pink Futon, The Mouse Couch fold-out, and the Ikea Sofa. Despite my poor demonstration of athleticism, I had an incredible time hanging out with my family, friends, and crazies, and without all these people my race just would not have been the same.

-Mad Rhino

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

24 Hours in the Old Pueblo - The Curse Continues... for some

Before we get this started - check out this video. When I say "I'm holding a Garage Party", this is what's going on. Seriously.

The Black Keys - Lonely Boy

Anyway, Back to the Action:

24 Hours in the Old Pueblo was one for the books. Well, every race at the back of the pack is one for the books. This race didn’t go off as planned - but it went off.
The weather was great, the track was fast and the BPR compound was outrageously cool. We're getting a hang of this racing thing. Too bad we aren’t too interested in The Race - we are only interested in the BPR Championship Series, also known as the race @ the back of the pack.

So below is a short summary of the weekend and a few pics. Below that are a few thoughts on the race itself. But I’m sure you, a trusted member of the BPR Fan Club, won’t make it to the end of the posting. Just because. That’s how you are and that’s what the blog-o-sphere is all about - browsing... not reading.

this is how we roll - no joke, jokester

The Awards - The BPR Championship Series:
This race was dominated by The Morale Chairman. We were all surprised. You see, The Morale Chairman, a.k.a TeddNeck, a.k.a. Corporate Tedd, doesn’t have much time to train, I mean ride The Judd’s bikes. The Morale Chairman is a responsible father and member of the working world. Therefore he only logged about 100 miles in the last 2 months. (Ok, last 5 months.) So he truly came ‘off the couch’ and put in some monster miles. Crazy demonstration of mind over matter.

The other hooligans at the back of the pack? Well, we all had fun. Even if we didn’t perform up to our abilities - or should I say ‘ we didn’t perform up to our lofty expectations’. 
The Awards:

  • The Morale Chairman. “I brought two couches, I came off the couch, but the couch doesn’t own me” Award. 9 Laps & current leader of the 2012 BPR Championships Series. 90 Points
  • The Judd: “I can break the 200 mile barrier - if it wasn’t for the damn Curse of the Pink Futon” Award. 7 laps and eventual champion of the 2012 BPR Championship Series. 70 Points
  • Prob-eee: “I’m to damn old for this, I need a new hobby, I miss my yoga mat. Will you give me a Massage?” Award. 7 laps and soon to return to a state of ‘retirement’. 70 Points
  • Mad Rhino: “I wish the porta-johns were closer, then again, I’m racking up mucho miles thanks to this flu, if you know what I mean” Award. 4 laps - but more like 10. 40 Points
  • The Lt Col: “Down but not OUT” Award. Zero Laps - will return to action once he finds a new knee on Ebay or Craig’s List. 100 Points, because I feel sorry for the dude!
    • And we all know that The Lt Col would've put down an easy 200+ mlles (13 laps) if he had a functional leg. Right?
  • Big Jim: "If he put on some plaid and rocked the patches he would get an award" Award. 8 Laps in like 9 hours & 20 minutes - with a little snooze thrown in after lap 6. No Joke.
The B.P.R. Championship Series

What We've Learned, The Lessons Learned:
  • When The Morale Chairman pedals The Judd’s ultimate racing machine, Black Sheep Highlight #1, The Judd shouldn’t be surprised when the dude that races ‘off the couch’ puts in big miles - Judd style.
  • 32 x 19 worked for The Judd. 32 x 20 worked for The Morale Chairman. But you know what... 32 x 18 is the answer to all the world's problems... when rolling on a 29er.
  • Lava Lamps don’t work too well in the cold.
  • The Morale Chairman is not afraid to implement the following eating strategy. Knife into peanut butter, knife + peanut butter into mouth, repeat, again. Hand the peanut butter jar back to The Judd.
  • Prob-eee is not afraid to set up a tent, sleep at a hotel for 3 out of 4 nights AND sleep in the BPR living room on race night. What was the tent for? Oh yeah, private messages. I forgot about that.
  • Mad Rhino is a finicky eater - his favorite food group? Hot dogs.
  • Mad Rhino’s padre, Rick, is not afraid to take the knife to the shirt at pants. Cutoffs, TeddNeck style. Awesome!
  • Big Jim can and will put down some wicked fast laps, until the Curse of the Pink Futon reaches out with a death grip.
  • A sheep trailer, I mean horse trailer, works just fine for hauling around the BPR compound... and a few sheep.
The BPR Compound:

The BPR Compound at 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo was All Time! Three couches, stereo, coffee table, end table, living room carpet, fireplace, disco ball, lava lamp, a couple spare bedrooms and an outhouse with an awesome view. 
That’s right. Mad Rhino, the recipient of two BPR Field Promotions, made it happen, again. He showed up early Thursday morning and secured an ultimate spot for the Back of the Pack crew. PLUS there was real estate right next door that our friends from Gallup snagged. It was awesome. The stage is set for the ultimate BPR Compound, to be erected at 24 Hours in the Enchanted Forest.

the compound @ the back of the pack

Plaid does not Conquer All: 

Well, the plaid Chuck Taylor’s are awesome, but I won't roll out with them next race day. The feet tend to slip forward in the plaid power machines, thus causing total toe numbness by hour 3 and massive toe pain by hour 5. So, no more plaid Chuck’s on race day. BUT the platform pedal & hiking boot strategy worked well for The Morale Chairman. So leave the Chuck’s for the post race party. But don’t be afraid to rock the flat pedals and hiking boots.

not a great idea

Payback’s a Bitch: 

Back at the 24 Hours of the Enchanted Forest, around lap #3... for us, Mr was at the shot / beer tent on the backside of the course. Just like any long lost friend, Mr DrunkCyclist asked The Morale Chairman to stop for a shot. Well, The Morale Chairman was convinced that he was on pace to set a world record and thereby qualify for the 24 Hour World Championships - so he passed on the offer. As The Morale Chairman sped away, Mr DrunkCyclist yelled out “What, you think you’re an athlete all of a sudden?” That simple comment got The Morale Chairman thinking for a moment, just a moment. (I LOVE the word ‘got’. It’s so simple.)
Anyway, at the start of the last lap of Old Pueblo the DrunkCyclist Gorilla cornered The Morale Chairman, and ‘offered’ up a bottle of Wild Turkey. (Yep, payback’s a bitch.) In classic Morale Chairman fashion (as he really isn’t an athlete) The Morale Chairman tipped the bottle back, way back. AND paid the big price by burping up Wild Turkey for the duration of the last lap. 

Moral of the story - The Morale Chairman won’t piss off a gorilla, again.
The Psychology of IT ALL:

This race had it all for us dudes at the back of the pack. We’ve fine tuned and perfectly executed the training plans. (PLANS - plural - because we are a team of individuals.) We all understand the demons. We all have a unique but similar game plan. We were all in position to dominate as we know how to dominate - at the back of the pack.
But it’s the psychology of each individual that makes the race dynamic and the results unpredictable. It’s amazing is how each race day situation is unique and each individuals response is different. 
A dude, The Judd, in perfect race shape (yeah, perfect) can fold up like a deck of cards due to a simple couch and the dream of living a life of luxury. Another dude can roll off the couch and rise to the occasion and throw down a personal best... Like the Morale Chairman. 
24 hour racing, 29 Inches / Single / Rigid style, can be a physical test, for some. But for most of us it’s a test that challenges the organ between the ears - the brain. Some days the brain rises to occasion. Other times the brain lays in hibernation. It’s called mental toughness, or lack of. It’s the Psychology of It All. And we’ll never GET It - at the back of the pack. But we thrive on the challenge, none-the-less.
The Conversation of the Race:

Prob-eee was in rare form at this race. His goal was 3 / 3 / 3 -> 3 afternoon laps, 3 night laps, 3 morning laps. Once he realized that his legs (and mind) would not support this goal he transformed into.... a couch potato that requested regular massages, from his personal masseuse. And this couch potato almost got french fried!
5:45 AM. The Judd was sound asleep on the couch, in the living room, counting his sheep, preparing for an 8:00 AM battle with the trails. Prob-eee just put another log on the fire.
Prob-eee: “Judd, Judd. Wake up”
The Judd: “Damn it Prob-eee. What? You just woke me up.”
Prob-eee: “Judd, a log fell out of the fire. The carpet is burning. Pick up the log.”
The Judd: “Prob-eee you just put a log on the fire. You pick up the log.”
Prob-eee: “But Judd, I just got under the blankie. I’m too tired. I’m cold.”
Geez. If Prob-eee was smoking in bed - after a nice massage - and dropped his Cuban cigar - and his bed started burning. I bet he’d call his neighbor for help, because he’d be too tired to put out the fire. 
The Pics:
the living room

the TeddNeck - thinking about the race - on the morning of race day

just some bikes

the start

the dudes at the start

our buddy from Tennessee. nice kit, nice boots, killer dew... dude
seriously, this dude was cool
and I swear he was showing his gut... on purpose

if a sheep is not in the budget, how about a Black Rhino
but only if your name is Mad Rhino

the night after

the sheep trailer is packed up and ready to go

And Some Music - That Makes Me Dance - Like a Fool

And Now What I Really Think:

At the back of the pack we seldom bring up issues associated with the global idiocracy routinely on display at sporting events. We are all about good times with good people. But the idiocracy at Old Pueblo was at an all time high. Many many fellow racers talked about the piss poor sportsmanship demonstrated over the 24 hour event at Old Pueblo. Is this piss poor sportsmanship similar to a festering plague? Maybe. I'm willing to bet It'll get worse before it get's better, unless the race organizers gain control and 'get medieval on your ass'.

Yeah, I'm one to avoid confrontation - at all costs. Life is too short to be dragged down in the mud. I was tempted to just get on my bike and move on - laugh it off. But at times I must tell it the way it is. So, this is the way it was.

The Ultimate Example:

Our friend, a female, was cranking out some laps on Sunday AM. She heard the dude near her vocalize his displeasure with the scene by saying 'they need to get these women off the course'.  

No Joke. Seriously. I'm not joking. 

Yeah, this is a perfect example of the vibe that most of us experience far from the front of the pack. Total Bullshit, Huh. Especially when you consider how many super freak women SMOKE the dudes on the course. Anyway...
The Idiocracy - The F Bombs:

Below are a few more examples:
a Jackass Yells: “1st Place Team, Rider Back”
the reality as we see it: Really, like I should pull over into this cactus because you’re in 1st place after the 3rd hour of the 24 hour race? Like the rule ‘a challenging rider must overtake a lapped rider safely’ doesn’t apply now because you are the first place team? Damn, jackass. Get a job. Grow up. Go back to your team RV and get a hot rock massage.
a Jackass Yells: “Yield”
a Jackass Yells Again: “Yield! Man! There’s no place to pass here!”
the reality as we see it: To hell with you, why do you think I won’t yield, right here. BECAUSE there is NO PLACE to pull over, i.e., no place to pass! Jackass. Wait 20 yards and don’t yell YIELD at me again.
a Jackass Yells: “Move!”
the reality as we see it: You want to throw down right here? How about ‘On your left when you get a chance’. Yell MOVE again and I’ll move your ass into a jumping cholla. Jackass. AND learn some manners - you better not be yelling MOVE to all the spandex clad Foxy Mamas out here.
a Jackass Yells: “One More”
the reality as we see it: Dude, if there is only room for one to sneak by, safely, then don’t try to be the 2nd (or 3rd) dude that passes when the trail closes out. That’s how dudes & dudettes end up in the cactus. And it should be the ‘One More’ dude that takes the cactus up the a$$.
a Jackass Yells:  “Excuse Me!”
the reality as we see it: Yeah, this jackass tried to pass on a rough descent - when there was a large opening 10 yards further down. So, Excuse Me? What, you want me to stop here in the rocks, fall over.... on your skinny ass.
a Jackass Yells:  “1st Place Corporate Team, Rider Back”
the reality as we see it: cycle back to the top of this section - you’ll see what we think when the jackass Yells “... 1st place team”.
What Comes Around Goes Around:
On the 2nd lap some jackass wearing an all black ‘kit’ with orange lettering ran me into a bush. No big deal - probably just an accident. He probably apologized and I just didn’t hear it. BUT then 60 seconds later the jackass ran a super cool dude on a 36er right off the trail, while going through a ditch lined with bushes and cacti. Ok, I no longer believe in accidents. This dude will get what’s coming to him. Especially when he gets sent to the big house (for being a jackass) and some bubba makes him The Bitch.
The Morale Chairman was entering the timing tent at night - the nice race volunteer instructed TeddNeck to dismount. So he did. THEN a JACKASS rode right into TeddNeck. Seems like this Jackass felt authorized to ride into the tent. No joke, another jackass tried the same thing on the next Lap. I’m sure the 3rd Jackass that tried this ‘roll in’ got the beat down of his life from the angry crowd. 
Some jackass in fluorescent green socks cut off The Judd on a section close to the final set of climbs. Whatever. THEN about 5 minutes later the jackass was run into a cactus by another jackass. Straight into a big prickly pear. Straight into it! Jackass #1 was PISSED OFF and yelled profanities at Jackass #2. I just laughed my a$$ off.
Yep, what goes around comes around, sooner or later.
Final Thoughts on Stupidity:
Yeah, the idiocracy was at an all time high this year. I was run off the course 5 times - at least. When I mean run off, I mean I was forced off the trail and had to slam on my brakes so I wouldn't run into a cactus or bush or rocks. No joke. Run off the trail FIVE times. 

Yeah, you all can say “It’s a race, dude. What do you expect. Toughen up.” 
And I say “If we all behaved that way, if we all threw elbows, if we all yelled MOVE or YIELD, it’d be a BLOOD BATH out there. Is that what you want?” 

Obviously Not!

And Again:

If you are really pissed at me  - for documenting reality, then come over for a classic BPR Garage Party. Your invited, bring your dancing shoes. Dude. Dudette.

Until Next Time:

Who knows if Back of the Pack Racing will show up for the 2013 edition of 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo. (Maybe we won’t be invited back due to the few F Bombs we throw out to the pricks, dickheads and assholes.) Bikepacking and snowbiking and fatbiking seem to dominate our future plans. We’ll always have time for the best 24 hour races in the great southwest, but there are a lot of awesome races out there. (Ask me, I'll tell you which ones are AWESOME.) So we gotta work on the priorities based on cash, time and the vibe. Not like you care though.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

2012: Let the Racing Begin... The Funny Season is Finally Over

Well, the funny season is over. The next 8 months will be filled with pain and suffering and a bit of laughter, a bit. I have a feeling that 2012 will bring some wicked challenges and wicked memories.

The biggest (like biggest) race on the BPR schedule is in 7 days - 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo. I'm totally prepared physically, I think. We shall see if I'm prepared mentally, as the 4AM demons will come out in full force. Guaranteed.

I have a new strategy for battling these demons. I'm not gonna divulge my secret strategy - but I know it will work. Big miles will be laid down by this obese MOFO at the back of the pack. Wanna place a friendly bet on whether or not I break the elusive 200 mile barrier?

Although 24 Hours in Old Pueblo is just one race out of many - it's the race that sets the tone for 2012. We have a big time schedule this year... 24 hour races including a 24 hour SNOW BIKE race up in Yellowstone, a few 12 hour races and... a few ludacris bikepacking adventures - like the Colorado Trail and whatever other crazy adventures that Mad Rhino plans.

Before we know it we'll be drinking Paul's Beer at the Zuni 100 in late October and telling crazy stories about the 2012 ludacracy at the back of the pack. Until then, we'll keep the cranks turning and do everything we can to consume more Modus Hoperandi than any other group of irresponsible single speed freaks.

The Keys:

It's been a struggle lately to find motivation to write the history - as BPR Hustorian I must write the history. I've been spending massive amounts of time: riding, working on bikes, suffering from Crossfit, beer tasting, working so I can pay the mortgage, werewolf hunting, and UFO watching. Maybe this will all change, maybe I'll find the motivation to write more history. BUT in case I don't,  I've made a copy of 'The Keys' and handed them over to Mad Rhino. Hopefully the beer brewing, steel SS riding freak will help me with the ludacracy at the Back of the Pack. So if you read a post that is filled with MASSIVE amounts of grammar mistakes... DON'T BLAME ME!

And of Course Valentines' Day:

Many people call me: a renegade, a cowboy,  an isolationist, independent,  psychotic, sadistic, KoRny, stupid, freakish, brilliant, stupid.. blah blah blah.

But I am really a romantic at heart... yeah right.

Check out this video. Enjoy the music from Anthrax. AND if you are a love bird - don't read too much into this song. Just trying to shake things up a bit. If you find the patience to watch the entire video, you may see a few UFOs. Seriously.

February Romance @ The Foothills from Judd Rohwer on Vimeo.
Valentines Day - Back of the Pack Style... with a few UFOs

Just some Random Pics:

Santa Claus?
or The Morale Chairman enjoying the snow?

just out for a cruise, when The Lt Col was cruising

Back of the Pack Racing has the BEST perks for the 'juniors' 
The BPR Junior Team geared up

down but not out - The Lt Col survived a terrible snowboarding accident
yeah, The Lt Col will be back in action later this year

chicken & waffles & beer always cheers up a gimp

the new BPR 'kit'

gotta train as you race - in the Chuck's

Lisa @ Zia Rides sent me this photo,
she's a bit concerned that The Lt Col always looks lost
well, the dude is always lost - he definitely ain't no navigator

3 sheep and 1 necromacer ready for Old Pueblo
two 29er's and two FatBikes

a hint of something to come - everyday is a good day for a disco party
See Ya'll at Old Pueblo.