It won’t be over before you know it

Today ended Flog v.4, Flog 2018, or simply That Stupid Fuggin’ Ride.

Here is its obituary. Please read it in a silent place where you can appreciate the solemnity of this sad time.

Flog v.4, ladies’ man, man’s man, natty dresser, devourer of carbon and roto-tiller of dainty egos, died on Thursday, August 30, 2018

“Floggy,” as he was known by his friends of which he had none, and “Stupid fucking ride” by everyone else, was hated by many, despised by some, detested by others, reviled by a handful, disliked by those closest to him, and genuinely loved in 2018 by a mere 80 riders, most of whom are listed on this spreadsheet. Even they didn’t think much of ol’ Floggy, as most participated once or twice and never came back.

The riders in Floggy’s life were numerous, but few if any of the relationships lasted, and none was meaningful. He particularly fancied tough riders, uncomplaining, down to earth, humble people who thought chewing through 200 yards of stinking shit was a “good time.” These people meant a lot to him because of the way they started tall and proud and were eventually torn down into tattered, beaten, humiliated quitters who simply stopped waking up early enough to make the ride or shamefully shuffled over to NPR.

Floggy loved his mom Jeff Fields, who with the help of her sisters Randy and Scott Dickson, taught Floggy that if you aren’t miserable early and often you’ll never be happy. Floggy was reared in what used to be called a broken home but nowadays is simply referred to as a “shithole filled with psychopaths.”

Floggy’s cousin from Amsterdam, Marco Vermey, occasionally dropped in to help with the childrearing duties that involved hundred-mile rides in the rain, in the cold, in the heat, on flat tars, through nail storms, and across broken glass deserts on his hands and knees. Some say this is where Floggy learned his misanthropic ways, but others simply said he was born an asshole and so would he die.

In California in the grand year of 2014 during construction on Westchester Parkway, Floggy began working at the golf course in toney Palos Verdes Estates, where he quickly developed a new reputation that was much like his old reputation, in other words, bad.

Joined by ne’er do wells such as Stathis the Wily Greek, Head Down James, Stravver Jr., Emmy Sue, Derek the Destroyer, Michelle, Hair, Davy Dawg, Boozy P., Captain, Canyon Bob, Toronto, Crowbar, and a handful of other misfits, Floggy quickly grew from an enjoyable informal ride among friends to a fringe exercise in self-mutilation that people only attended in order to quell their inner demons through grimacing, sweating, and droppage.

Floggy loved droppage and never met a rider he couldn’t drop. Although there were countless elite riders who were disciplined by Floggy and sent home packing, before he died Floggy happily reminisced on having taught his mortal enemies a few things about life:

  • Quit making excuses.
  • You still suck.
  • It doesn’t get easier, you just go slower.

And Floggy’s key lesson in life, which for all but a few insomniacs and chronic worriers was ultimately unteachable: Get your lazy fucking ass out of bed.

Yes, Joey, he’s talking to you.

Floggy’s greatest regret was not being able to sucker more suckers into showing up at the Malaga Cove Plaza fountain every Thursday at 6:35 AM pointy-sharp for a drubbing that, once endured, none ever seemed to forget. As South Bay Baby Seal once explained it, “There’s something about getting up in the morning and riding over to the Flog that makes you keep riding over to somewhere else.”

And Floggy tried everything to bring more and bigger idiots under the tent, including a completely fake points rating system, useless trinkets, insincere compliments, and a spammy email chain designed to make people think that somehow it was all worthwhile.

It wasn’t.

Flog v.4 never really cared about anyone, which was his secret to life. He never opened doors for old ladies, gave money to the homeless standing on the 405 entrance ramp at Artesia, he blasphemed daily, never donated to worthy causes, obstinately refused to patiently teach life lessons to young children, and certainly never encouraged budding cyclists to pursue their passion unless their passion was quitting. To the contrary, Floggy could most often be heard Thursdays saying “Don’t talk to me,” or “Shut the fuck up,” or “Your turn for the lead-out and quit sandbagging, you motherfucker.”

Some people, generally those with substance abuse problems, found this endearing, but normal cyclists avoided Floggy with fear, disdain, and contempt. These same riders jealously read each Stravver segment and held exciting #socmed discussions about when they would be ready to do their first Floggy.

They never were. As Floggy never tired of saying, “This ain’t Facebook, asshole.”

Yet for all his failings, and they were so numerous that a special Google algorithm developed by floggers Dan and Bryant broke in half trying to index them, Floggy was dependable, and deep down, way down, way way way down, he was appreciative of each person who put it all on the line, even if it was only for a lap, or for half a lap, or, like Joey, for a brief glance out of his upstairs window at passing floggers before rolling back over for another game of Dungeons and Dragons.

Floggy excelled at 1-minute and 5-minute intervals, making people vomit, inducing migraines on Wednesday night, generating endless excuses for lazyasses too lazy to get out of bed, engendering neuroses, and fostering fake enthusiasm, but the thing he did best was show up and lead through example. No one was unhappier than Floggy, and week in, week out, a small cadre of oddballs endeavored to match his misery.

None succeeded.

Despite his unfriendly, scowling demeanor, Floggy was open to all, and with the exception of That Guy, no one was ever publicly berated for being a dick. To the contrary, Floggy greeted everyone with a smile, a nod, and he was punctilious about names because he knew that no matter how nice he was in the beginning, one lap in and everyone would be sad face and hate his fucking guts, which was all he ever really wanted.

Refusing to brook challenges of any sort, Floggy was oddly open to suggestions, especially when screamed at him in fury. Changing from a race to intervals, beginning together slowly rather than speeding into traffic through a hot turn at 30, and gently descending rather than bombing the wet, peacock-filled hairpins were all changes to which Floggy angrily but eventually acquiesced.

Floggy took fashion cues from no one. His signature look was plain tarmac, a hill on PVDN, a short false flat followed by five minutes of mind-bending pain on an undulating climb ending in a sprint for the second wooden backward-facing do not park sign across from the second entrance to the golf course right where the road peaks. He wore this attire no matter what, and the greatest compliment ever given to him was by Daniel Bonfim, who, on his first and last ever visit to Floggy, said this: “I’ve been on this road a hundred times and never knew it was this steep.”

Floggy didn’t like travel, didn’t speak any foreign languages, was bad at math, worse at arithmetic, spelled poorly, never kept a paying job for more than six months, and spent his life surrounded by phone calls from debt collectors and threatening letters regarding unpaid alimony and arrearages on child support. Yet for all of the self-induced failures and continual disasters that marked his personal life, Floggy’s public persona was as pure as the driven snow: “Show me your tired, huddled masses and I will beat them senseless until they hate cycling forever.”

Floggy despised phonies, especially of the cycling variety. Floggy believed that if you were on a bike you were winning, even with a motor and drugs, but if you were on a carbon bike with e-Tap and duded up like a bike racer, squeezed into an undersized clown costume and acting like a speedster, you should at least be able to heave your guts onto the roadside a few times a year. Floggy particularly hated racing bikes with fenders. No one knows why. He just did.

Because of his irrational fear that he would die best known as a cyclist, Floggy requested that his family not throw a cycling-themed funeral due to his hatred for the sport. Consequently, to spite him the family will hold a private, family-only service open to the public where everyone is requested to show up in their favorite bike outfit. Visitation will be held at Yellow Vase Cafe, Malaga Cove Plaza, Palos Verdes Estates, from 6:35 -8:00 on Thursday, August 30, 2018. In an especially mean twist by angry survivors, priority seating will be given to Italian Gentleman Riders.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you get your lazy fucking ass out of bed and make something of the day. The family would also like to thank the Lunada Bay Boys on Mom’s Couch for inspiring Floggy to take out that whopping life insurance policy which his survivors will now spend the next ten years fighting over in probate court.

Finally, the family asks that in honor of Floggy you mark your calendars for Thursday, January 3, 2019. As a believer in the resurrection and the life, Floggy has every intention of returning as Dog the Undead King of the Zombies for Flog v.5. It ain’t over ’til it’s over, and it still ain’t over.

END

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