Here’s mud in your eye

That old cyclocrossin’ gang of mine from the Nineties, at a race in Fort Collins. Lee Waldman (second from right) is still at it: He just took fifth in the 70-74 race in Tacoma.

If you’re weary of watching the mudslinging in DeeCee, why not change the channel to cyclocross nationals in Tacoma?

You can stream Sunday’s elite races live at Cyclocross Magazine‘s website or at USA Cycling’s YouTube channel. M’boy Tim Johnson will be providing commentary along with Meredith Miller and Brad Sohner.

Sounds like a runner’s course out there. My kind of course. I coulda been there instead of here, in Palookaville. I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am, let’s face it.


30 Responses to “Here’s mud in your eye”

  1. Larry T. atCycleItalia Says:

    Can’t help myself – how many entries do they get in Tacoma for a 70-74 age group ‘cross race? Beyond simply sucking at bicycle racing, I’m the same age as mutants like Ned Overend so the only way I could win would be for nobody else to show up or, as our friend Piero Coppi used to tell us about his first (and probably only) race win – when he told cousin Fausto he’d won a race, Il Campionissimo asked, “What happened? Did everyone else fall down?”

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Just 14 finishers in the 70-74s, which seems low. But then racing ain’t what it used to be, or so everybody tells me.

      You march down the age groups and the turnouts get bigger. There were 22 finishers in my group (the 65-69s), 92 in the 50-54s, 68 in the 45-49s, 48 in the 40-44s, 38 in the 30-35s, and like that there.

      My few triumphs depended on bad weather, poor turnout, and crashes. If it snowed on a holiday weekend, and all the other dudes either stayed home or fell down, why, I had a chance.

      • Herb from Michigan Says:

        Hmm.. the guy in the yellow jersey in the middle looks familiar. The demented grin looks like a character that’s been moving around the Southwest for years posing as a journalist and cartoonist. Bout the right height. If I could see the legs better and if they looked colt-like, I’d know for damn sure. Then, I could ID positively and get him locked up until he coughs up another podcast.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Here’s the auld fella on the run. He wasn’t podcasting much back then either. I need to get back on that horse. The podcasting, not the Pinarello. …

        The auld fella on the run in Fort Fun.

  2. Michael Porter Says:


    Are you going to be in Tacoma for ‘Cross Nats? I remember hanging’ with you at the race back in the 90’s when it was in Seattle. I also remember the race you created/hosted down in the little park near Colorado College in the Springs

    Michael Porter

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Hey, Michael … nope, no ’cross nats for me. I don’t cover racing these days, and nobody will send me nowhere no more.

      I remember those Sea-Tac races. Holy shit, did I ever freeze my ass off there. Damp cold that went straight to the bones. That was back when VeloNews covered everything from juniors through geezers to elites. In point of fact, it was an awful lot like work.

  3. mooremediaone Says:

    Three cheers for being a bum. A bum of the good kind, not the White House kind.

    Yeah, I do need to change the channel. It’s the Christmas season and I should be feeling that warm fuzzy feeling instead of angst and wretch. The mud will help, it’s a sloppy step in the right direction.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      The TV coverage has definitely improved over the years. Of cyclocross nats, that is. Of the other stuff, it’s pretty much same-ol’, same-ol’. Louie Gohmert with his fat yap open so wide you can see the chair through his asshole.

  4. Pat O'Brien Says:

    I remember a mountain bike race years ago on Ft. Huachuca. In the 69 year plus category there we only two entrants, both men. One guy told the starter to wake him up right before he started the race.

    And now for horrors or horrors, I am officially down to one bike as of today. Just me and my Soma Double Cross disc, one bike to rule them all, roads that is.

    • JD Dallager Says:

      Pat Me Boyo: How many guitars please? 🙂

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        Three. Guitars are good for your mind and bikes for your body. But one bike, especially a cyclocross bike, can handle all the pavement and dirt roads I ride. I rode the half century in Sante Fe on that Double Cross Disc last May, and nothing hurt the next day. At 70 trips around the sun, I am doing my best to simplify my life and get rid of things I don’t use anymore. I play each guitar I own at least once a week. The Rainsong gets played every day because it can hang on the wall all the time without worrying about humidity or temperature changes.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        I have two guitars. But I play like a guy who has none.

        • Hurben Says:

          I play a great Air guitar, (it’s cheaper, produces no greenhouse gases, (only my own but let’s not go there), & uses natural resources so Greta would support it).

  5. khal spencer Says:

    Has anyone here had enormous difficulty mounting Schwalb tires? I bought a pair of Schwalbe 26×1.35 Marathon Plus tires to put on generic Bontrager rims. I had a set of Michelin City tires on them but they slipped while cornering and scared the crap out of me.

    Well, I got the Schwalbes mounted after exhausting a month worth of swearing and finally using motorcycle tire irons. I’ve never seen such tight tire fit in my life.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      It seems to me that the push toward tubeless-ready or tubeless-compatible tires and rims has made mounting just about anything more difficult.

      The 700×37 WTB Riddlers on this Cannondale Topstone 105 are without a doubt the most evil, wretched sonsabitches I have ever encountered. When coupled with the WTB ST i23 rims, anyway.

      I had trouble with them trailside after a flat and again in the workstand back at the rancheroo, when I wanted to replace my saddlebag spare with a fresh sealant-filled tube.

      Some time later I thought I’d pull the Riddlers off and see if a set of Donnelly EMPs was any more compliant, but I could only get one side of the rear’s bead pried loose.

      After my hands began to complain — and me with a cartoon to draw, too — I finally gave up. Tire irons were no help at all. I had to lay the wheel on the floor and stand on the tire to break the one bead loose, f’fucksake. I can’t imagine trying to resolve a puncture with this setup in evil weather far from home.

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      They are really hard to get mounted and the bead seated on Mavic and Shimano rims. This stuff makes it much easier for me.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      If you don’t have any of that on hand, some soapy water will do. Sometimes.

      • khal spencer Says:

        I wonder if my spray can of silicon lube would work the same.

        • Hurben Says:

          Soapy water would do the trick, it’s what I used to use on my Motocross tyres & it evaporates. Silicon spray is just going to imprecmate your tyre cause it to slip around the rim

          • Hurben Says:

            impregnate damnit & no I don’t want further debate and/or advise

          • Larry T. atCycleItalia Says:

            Right! Soapy water or fluid designed for the task. Metal tire levers. Patience. Determination. Willingness to take ’em down to the bike shop and let them wrestle with them. Once they’ve been on the rims for awhile, most stretch enough to make it easier next time, though I’m not sure about some of the newer stuff out there.
            My worst nightmare was a set of Challenge Stradas a couple of seasons ago. I had a few of the earlier version but these new ones were the hardest to mount of any I’ve ever wrestled with and worse, once mounted rode like crap!!!! Seemed the only thing that was the same as the earlier ones was the label?
            No more challenges like that for me, I’ll stick to Michelin, Vittoria or (when I can find ’em at a reasonable price) Veloflex – 100% Made-in-Italy 🙂

          • Patrick O'Grady Says:

            Funny thing is, I really like the way these WTB Riddlers ride on the kitty litter and whatnot that characterizes the New Mexican landscape.

            If this were my bike, I would remove and replace these tires a half-dozen times at home until I was confident I could easily resolve a puncture in the wild, in all conditions.

            Either that or find another wheel-tire combo.

    • Pat O’Brien Says:

      Marathon Pluses are for those of us who hate flats and sealant. I have using Marathons, both regular and Pluses for years. Last flat I remember was a roofing nail. Thorns, even goat heads, can’t puncture them in my experience. I used Smart Sam Plus on the mountain bike.

      “If I have told you this story before, don’t stop me. I would like to hear it again.” Groucho

      • Larry T. atCycleItalia Says:

        Do those ride better than those hoops of garden hose named Armadillo sold by the Big-S? If I had to ride on those I think I’d take up golf. On the subject of golf we rode out to see the Trek-Segafredo boyz (as I noted earlier) at a golf resort just 20 kms from our house. As we rode in I watched a guy whip out what looked like an electronic range-finder, then some sort of wind indicator before taking his shot. Geez, thank gawd at least you still have to swing the f–king club…and pedal the bike! Too damn many electronic gizmos in sport these days!!!

        • khal spencer Says:

          I think the Marathons feel better than the Armadillos. I used Armadillos in Hawaii back in the day when everyone thought the side of the road was the beer bottle repository. Yes, they rode like crap. Gatorskins are better but I’ve put goatheads right through them.

          I’ll try soapy water next time and try swearing in Italian. Tried talc this time and it only worked after i broke out the motorcycle tire levers. Sheesh.

          • Larry T. atCycleItalia Says:

            The f–king Challenge Stradas cost me an inner tube on each wheel! Yep, got ’em levered on only to find I pinched the tube. Levering ’em off, replacing the tubes and levering ’em on again did the trick – now held air just fine.. but rode like crap.
            Dunno what happened from the first ones I liked (and could be mounted by hand) to these pieces of s–t, but these new versions now reside in my last-resort bin…but I think I’ll take up golf before I ride on them!

          • Pat O'Brien Says:

            These might help. I would buy a pair but they wouldn’t get enough use around here. My LBS swears by them.


          • khal spencer Says:

            I have a pair of big adjustable clamps I bought for wood working. Those helped a lot yesterday holding the bead in place as I fought with getting the last few inches over the &^%$#@ rim.

        • Patrick O'Grady Says:

          Swear a lot, and really loud.

          Also, I’ve read that some people will use a bench vise to wrench the sumbitches off. Seriously.

  6. DownhillBill Says:

    I once built up a nice set of wheels with Campy Aero clincher rims and tried to mount a new pair of Turbo R slicks. Broke a Zip Stick lever, etc. etc. Would have sold the wheels for $20 if anyone offered. Finally got them on with a large hinged super-lever (sorry, no name on it) which I then had to carry on the road until the Kevlar beads stretched.

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