After yesterday’s post on the FTR, I’ve been inundated with calls, emails, and text messages from the mass media regarding the ride’s participants. Ridographical information, as well as current Vegas betting lines, are below.
Major Bob: Recently returned from a tour of duty in Iraq in the service of our armed forces, he is the only legitimate man on this year’s FTR. In keeping with his manliness, he has never been seen turning more than about 50 rpm, preferring gigantic 53 x 11 combinations to tweezly spinning gears for wimpish wankers. Prediction: With less than 48 miles on his legs since returning from the Punic Wars, he will experience gravitational disequilibrium on the Lake Casitas and Balcom Canyon climbs.
Douggie: If it’s a long, hard, gnarly ride, count Douggie in. He’s gritty, never quits, and frequently bests those who train twice as long and twice as hard, except for his fiancee. Prognostication: With more than 12,000 miles on his legs in 2011, Douggie will have a pretty easy time of it.
Polly: A former marathoner, no matter how tough the ride he knows IT’S STILL ONLY CYCLING. Polly has the pain threshold of a stone and the endurance of a camel, but, unfortunately, the climbing ability of an oxcart. I will never forget the day at Punchbowl that he and I spent off the back together, marveling at our shared stupidity of trying to compete against real bike racers on a hilly course. Forecast: Polly will hurt because he will give it his all.
Hair: Easily the fastest finisher in this group except for those sprints where his curly locks get hung up in the derailleur, Hair is still smarting from the knowledge that Wanky took the Fillmore sprint in 2011, and that T-Rex took Ojai that same year. Crystal Ball: Hair will smoke all the sprints, and tank all the climbs.
StageOne: The only FTR participant who can’t pass a metal detector test without a full body probe, StageOne is the most beloved pedaler in the group. Single-handedly responsible for the couth and pretty look that has taken hold of cycling kits across the land, StageOne is a the only rider about whom no one can say an unkind word. Except Wankmeister. Because he says unkind words about everyone. Madame Bonnie: Flog and flail from start to finish.
King Harold: Fast. Smooth. Relentless. And extraordinary skill on the outdoor grill. In a word, “Peerless.” Astrology Report: Still smarting from his 23 mph hunchback flail on FTR’s 2011 edition, King Harold has been viciously training with the elites (in between high school girls’ lacrosse matches) as he hones his Flatback of Death while simultaneously sharpening his Climbing Blades O’ Glory. When we hit the 101, None Shall Pass.
Wankmeister: Biggest mouth and fastest keyboard in the South Bay. Talks the talk, walks the plank. Soothsaying Seer: 2012 is Wanky’s Year of Nondemption. Having completed the first phase of Canyon Bob’s “Three Up’s” Training Plan (Build Up, Blow Up, Give Up), FTR 2012 will be a classic demonstration of Phase 2, followed by Phase 3 at Boulevard.
ElRon: The only legit FTR participant besides UbErfRedwho actually won big races when he was young, ElRon can’t resist doing one big ride per year. It is Foretold: ElRon will do better than half the field on less than 600 total miles in 2011. And he’ll be smiling every pedal stroke of the way.
Roadchamp: Lots of people want to come out and play, until, that is, they see the knuckle-dragging bully hanging out at the playground. He climbs. He sprints. He attacks. He fucks you up. And he never even breathes hard doing it, dammit. Tarot Card Reading: Casitas Lake climb, KOM. Balcom Canyon Road, KOM. Climb out of Ojai, KOM. Don’t like it? Tough.
G3: Famed for tucking onto a wheel and then leaving everyone in his wake on the Switchbacks in between parties on his deck overlooking the ocean, G3 has been piling on the miles and the fitness. Palm Reading: Highly callused, but aside from that, he will torque down on the nuts when we hit Casitas.
Tay Lorus Rex: The strong, silent type, T-Rex, climbs well, sprints like a beast, never shirks the point, thinks it’s “fun” to ride people off his wheel. Fortune Cookie: T-Rex will put King Harold and Hair to the test, and is likely to administer a sound spanking at one of the hotspots.
Turtle: Never misses an FTR, or a 3-day deathfest from Mammoth to Manhattan Beach, or a 4-day beatdown from San Jose to Long Beach, Turtle’s wheels keep on turning. Haruspicy Reading (that’s divination from the liver of sacrificial animals): He’ll be one of the few who returns to Camarillo without looking like last night’s pizza mixed in with beer and gutter sludge.
Becker Bob: Never trains for FTR, Becker Bob prefers to live in the moment, particularly when the moment is spelled “b-e-e-r.” Won last year’s FTR competition for “Person To Complete It With Even Fewer Training Miles Than ElRon,” for which he earned a month of sore legs, achey back, Shermer’s neck, etc. On the Horizon: His own personal hurt locker, from which he will only emerge after about seven hours.
Big Bowles: He’s the only guy for whom FTR is just another day. Big Bowles logged 54,992,192.9 miles in 2011, a third of which were vertical. Ouija Board: Churn and burn, he’ll look no more tired at the end than at the beginning, and will ride away from Wankmeister (again) on Golf Course Hill in Camarillo.
Dogg: It would be improper to say that Dogg has fewer training miles for FTR than Becker Bob, because it implies that at some time in the year he trains. Dogg doesn’t, and hasn’t, and won’t, unless it involves large tumblers filled with tequila or high grade gasoline. Dogg’s Augury: He will suffer like a dogg for the entire ride, but will not utter so much as a grunt or groan of complaint.
Wehrlissimo: Still recovering from the cruel manhole that jumped up and smacked him in the ribs, Wehrlissimo will not be put off by mere broken bones, concussions, or being left for dead in the middle of a major thoroughfare in South Central L.A. in the dark at 5:00 a.m. No, he will simply add it to his list of things to ignore, and plow on ahead. Gastromancy Reading (predictions through stomach-based ventriloquism, i.e. stomach growls): He will mash his way through to the bitter end, and fight it out for victory amidst whatever grupetto he ends up in. Of all the non-whiners on FTR, he will whine the least.
Iron Mike: With the determination of a hardened con, Iron Mike has a simple rule in life: if he says he will do it, he does it. No ifs, ands, buts, clauses or dangling participles, he harks back to a time when a man’s word was his bond. Those days, of course, are long gone. Extispicy Revelation (divination from the entrails of animals): Iron Mike will end up pushing at least one FTR-er through critical sections of the course.
uBerFrEd: Suffer he will. Persevere he must. Hammer he can. Former national team member and cycling Yoda in the glory days of the 80’s, he’s degenerated into a fabulously successful day-jobbing titan of industry. Oneiromancy Outlook (divination through dreams–dry ones): Flog he will. Flail he shall. Ahead of Turtle, finish he must.
FTR DS: It takes more than a broken leg, a mud puddle, and a “u” between the T and R in FTR DS to keep a good man down. Creator of the FTR, master of all he surveys, and one tough bastard, FTR DS is admired by many, respected by many more, feared by virtually all, and laughed at by his wife and daughters. Divining Rod says: He will give Roadchamp a run for his money on Casitas, but get flogged in the end. He will, however, make up for having been mercilessly shelled by Wankmeister on Casitas in 2011 by administering a most thorough beatdown to Wanky, who will be too cowed to try another sneak pee attack on Balcom, though he may do it anyway just for old time’s sake.
Stern-O: The man behind the legend surrounded by a myth wrapped in a mystery hidden in an enigma and finally revealed with two fully repaired front teeth an an unbroken rear triangle, Stern-O returns to FTR to show once again that he is one tough as nails bastard. His bike will be cleaner than your new dental floss. Tea Leaves show: Stern-O will challenge on all the climbs, utter not a whimper, and show up tough as a boot and ready for a flogging. And God help that guy who used to dress up in the Team Cervelo kit and get yelled at by Stern-O for being a poser if he happens to cross our path.
Toronto: Canada is where bad actors, failed entrepreneurs, and terrible literature go to die. It is also where a few butter-soft SoCal natives go to become hardened men of steel, able to withstand the bitter cold, the sapping sun, the relentless wind, and the pain of the peloton. Such a man is Toronto. Ceromancy Reading (divination through the patterns of dripping wax): Toronto will play it safe in his first FTR and acquit himself with honor and grit.
Hockeystick: Proof that FTR is truly open to anyone who begs long and hard enough, Hockeystick’s preparation has involved several 200m sprint workouts at the Home Depot Center velodrome followed by three cases of craft Bud Lite beer. Feng Shui suggests: Hockeystick will crater somewhere along the 101 and require a tow truck to get him to the next rest stop. The only way he’s getting up Balcom is with an airlift.
Wildcard: No info on this dude. We could all be in for the ass beating of our lives. Or he could be just another wanker who’s had one too many Twinkies. Only time and french toast will tell!