My in Depends Day

July 4, 2016 § 26 Comments

The July 4th Holiday Ride is always a doozy. This year was no exception.

It’s hard to disagree with the statement that the Holiday Ride is the worst ride ever. About 200 people show up and flail their way from Manhattan Beach to Brentwood. Then there is a knife fight in the mud for Tony Manzella’s wheel and we pack the entire lane of a narrow, twisty, fucked-up country road, the knife fight for Sweet Ass’s wheel moves on to guns, then mortars, then nukes, and two minutes in there are 10 riders left and unless you’re one of the ten your day is done.

If you’re one of the ten, you just risked life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for about twenty minutes of crystal-meth-pure misery.

Before today’s ride Sausage told me to video it on his GoPro. “But I have a Cycliq Fly12,” I protested.

Sausage is into high quality. He’s also real diplomatic. “Your camera sucks,” he said. “Use mine.” It’s hard to argue with facts.

EA Sports, Inc. and I drove to the Center of the Known Universe where everyone was standing around all nervous as hell. Why nervous? I don’t know, actually, because the ride always ends the same way. You get miserably dropped. There is no drama, and after having done it for ten years there’s not even any mystery about when it will happen.

Of course not everyone in the Santa-Monica-to-the-South-Bay arc is a lunatic. About 200 other people, all of whom who have done the Holiday Ride, and all of whom know how stupid it is, have formed an alt-Holiday Ride called the Yellow Vase Ride. They ride at a friendly pace around Palos Verdes and then have coffee and croissants at the Yellow Vase cafe. People laugh, talk, tell stories, and appreciate the beauty of the area and the fun of cycling.

Well, fuck those people.

By the time we got to Marina del Rey there were another hundred or so baby seals who’d been added to the clubbing list. In addition to the drama of the ride there had been some pre-ride Facebag drama, too. Phil Gaimon was going to show up and tow us up Mandeville at 462.3 watts like he did last year, but first we had to sign up for his Grand Fondue. One of the local Strava addicts complained that it wasn’t fair for us to be motoring along behind Phil, and a war of words ensued, after which there was a lot of red, rashy, very painful butthurt. So to make sure everyone on the ride was going to be okay I brought something for anyone who might need it.


Of course Phil didn’t show up so there was no need for the balm, but it’s nice to be prepared.

The ride followed its predictable course. At first people were chatty and tried to hide their anxiety with lighthearted banter. Then in Santa Monica people began to fight for position. Then on San Vicente it went from blob to narrow line, 2 or 3 abreast. Then on Sunset it was deadly silent. Then on Mandeville there was only grunting and the clanging of gears. A few people put on a brave front with occasional chatter. Two minutes in it was quiet as a teenager at a video console, an ethereal silence that enveloped us as each rider sank lower into the pain mire, everything in the universe resolved into the tiny strip of rubber twelve inches in front of your nose, and one by one people fell off, no words or excuses or explanations needed because the brutal pace and gravity spoke all that needed saying.

It kind of looked like this.



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§ 26 Responses to My in Depends Day

  • Worldchamp says:

    Nice vid! About the time you said “I got this” when you hadn’t even gotten to the open field half way up, I thought “you SO don’t have this!” 🙂 I was very impressed by your multiple come backs! Nice job, Grandpa!

  • Woody Foster says:

    I wondered WTF some schmuck was doing on a tt bike in a bunch ride. Then nek minit…I understood.

  • BAR says:

    So liked the video and explanations! I get it, quite a bit better. Thanks for going to the trouble.

  • Mathieu says:

    This was my easy week anyways. Hahahahah

  • sorta_TX_racer says:

    Helluva rider but that watermelon rind kit is not a good look on anything other than a watermelon.

    • fsethd says:

      Hahahahaha! It was hard to tell what the pattern was with all the snot and blood in my eyes.

  • shano92107 says:

    I thought about going up there to get my dick smashed by a bunch of strangers but then I drank a beer and forgot. Looked like you hung pretty tough there

  • channel_zero says:

    Haha. I was the heckler at ~4:57 on your video.

    If only I could rise above slightly above average, I would have jumped in and really heckled the Very Serious Mood in that group until my turnoff for Westridge.

    • fsethd says:

      We were Very Serious because we could have all been Very Great Professionals if we had been Better Riders.

      • channel_zero says:

        For 2017, I’m going to buy an electric bike so I can trash talk the group while you schlubs grind up Mandeville staring at the wheels in front of you.

        The best part will be going back-to-front at about Merrimack talking the whole way. The video would be epic. “Why you going so slow? How come you aren’t winning?” So many slumped shoulders staring at the road below, so little oxygen, so much hate in the eyes.

        That would be so awful and hilarious. I’m just not that cruel.

  • channel_zero says:

    Love the commentary on the bottom. yeah, you got that.

    Do we know what happened to watermelon man? Seems like there was going to be an explosion/collapse at about Gardenland with a move like that.

  • dangerstu says:

    What, and you didn’t even win?

  • Hell of the South says:

    Dude, your bike creaks worse than a cheap bed at a pay by the hour motel. Dip that baby in cooking oil

  • Edwin says:

    Clearly those gopros weigh a ton and are not aero at all

  • Waldo says:

    I dunno. Watching the vid wasn’t strenuous at all. Mandy looked flat as a pancake, so I don’t see why you couldn’t grab more of that sweet ass’s wheel and coast to the finish. You’re getting soft, gramps.

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