Archive for the ‘Live Update Guy’ Category

A Charles Pelkey live update

January 16, 2023

The GoFundMe that David Stanley set up to help our old pal Charles “Live Update Guy” Pelkey is ticking along nicely, which is more than I can say for the “classic” LUG video up above.

As of 2 p.m. Dog time the fund was at $24,410 — a tip jar that we never could’ve imagined when we were begging for nickels to run Live Update Guy. A thousand thank-yous to everyone who has contributed and/or spread the word about the fundraiser.

Now, give a listen to another old pal, Diane “The Outspoken Cyclist” Jenks, who interviewed David for the most recent episode of her long-running podcast.* You’ll get a better idea of how all this good fellowship came about.

If you haven’t joined the party, here’s a link to CP’s GoFundMe page.

* One minor correction: The cartoon of Charles that accompanies the GoFundMe news Diane and I spread around is not by Your Humble Narrator. It’s by David Brinton, a.k.a. Brintoni, who did such great work illustrating “At the Back” in VeloNews while I was up front pissing on people’s shoes.®

It never rains, but it pours

January 11, 2023

We got a drive-by from that cloud over by the Sandias.

Thanks to everyone who has dropped a dime in Charles Pelkey’s GoFundMe tip jar.

As of 8:30 a.m. Dog time the fund was approaching $18,000, which as organizer David Stanley notes represents “a phenomenal level of love, affection, and admiration” for our old Live Update Guy pal.

I’ve added a widget to the sidebar for anyone who missed the memo. And it was delightful to see so many former VeloNews types in the list of donors.

Meanwhile, here in The Duck! City this morning we got a wet little kiss on the cheek from the gods; just enough rain to rinse some dust off the cacti. Thank you, sir or madam, may I have another?

I expect Herself and her pal Leslie are glad they canceled their trip to Southern California, where the rain is washing away the dust, the cacti, the hillsides the cacti are rooted to, and damn nearly everything else. Especially since the FAA developed a hitch in its gitalong, an IT failure of some sort that buggered about 4,600 flights.

That’s a surfin’ safari you can keep, is what. Nobody likes this drought, but who wants to hang ten on their front door while rocketing down a diversion channel to the Rio Grande?

LUG nuttery from days gone by

January 10, 2023

Editor’s note: While we’re waiting to hear from the man himself, I’ve unearthed a couple moldy oldies — a short video I did for Live Update Guy, and a piece I wrote about Charles “The Big LUG” Pelkey back in 2017, when I still had a column at Bicycle Retailer and Industry News. Meanwhile, you can offload your spare change into Mr. P’s Tip Jar at GoFundMe.

• • •

“He shook his head, and as he shook his head, I heard someone ask him, ‘Please, Mr. Bojangles, Mr. Bojangles, Mr. Bojangles … dance.”—Jerry Jeff Walker, “Mr. Bojangles”

By Patrick O’Grady

This July marked the first time in years that I haven’t been required to follow the Tour de France.

So I didn’t. And it was swell.

Well, mostly.

I’ve spent nearly three decades paddling my little canoe along the bright yellow revenue stream of the Tour without ever having to visit its source in France, which I hear is quite a drive from Albuquerque, even in a Subaru.

The Tour got me into bicycle racing in the Eighties, and bicycle racing got me out of the newspaper business in the Nineties, before The Suits declared open season on copy editors.

Fight or flight? Flight, I thought as I hit the door running, and when does the beverage cart come around? Make mine a double. Anybody who thinks a pan-flat, 200km sprinters’ stage in the Tour is dull never edited a school-board story at 10:30 p.m., when sensible people are already half in the bag.

But even the Tour loses its kick after a while. And so, after Charles Pelkey and I agreed to leave his Live Update Guy project parked for 2017, I celebrated by stuffing part of a bike and all of my left hand into a trailside cholla.

Funny money. Of all the things I’ve done for money, Live Update Guy scores way up there on the fun meter.

This odd little enterprise came about in “Let’s put on a show!” fashion, a la Busby Berkeley’s “Babes in Arms.” Or maybe Monty Python’s “The Crimson Permanent Assurance” would be closer to the mark.

Charles had been handling live updates and other chores for a Boulder-based cycling enterprise until he got a pink slip and a black diagnosis more or less simultaneously in 2011, two days after the Tour wrapped.

The one-two punch of unemployment and breast cancer couldn’t keep him down, though. He put his University of Wyoming law degree to work full time, eventually becoming a co-founder of the Laramie firm Neubauer, Pelkey and Goldfinger, LLP.

But Charles still enjoyed following pro cycling, and while undergoing chemotherapy he hung out another shingle, LiveUpdateGuy.com, and called the 2011 Vuelta a España—supported not by advertising, or vulture capitalists, but by his readership.

Like Mr. Bojangles, Charles was dancing for tips.

Hey-o! I joined the show in 2012, but Charles was the star, and rightly so.

For starters, he had actually been to all three grand tours, performing feats of journalism. In this new role, he arose at stupid-thirty for the start of nearly every stage of nearly every GT, and generally carried on till the bitter end, then popped back in later to add results for the data-obsessed.

I generally clocked in late to make fart noises, get things wrong, and make people crazy. In other words, same as I do here.

This has its limits, as you know. If Charles had lawyering to do and left the keys to the joint with me, eyeballs and donations dropped off accordingly. Nobody turned on the “The Tonight Show” to watch Ed McMahon. They wanted Johnny.

Spare change? We said LUG operated on the NPR model—light on commercials, heavy on beggary—but it was more like busking next to an upturned hat on a downtown sidewalk.

When the act was good, we got paid. Not so good, not so paid. It was an astoundingly libertarian business model for two old commies, though there was a Marxist overlay; we didn’t bounce anyone who couldn’t or wouldn’t pay. “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.”

We got a big assist from the audience, which included an actual monsignor at the actual Vatican who proved a prodigious daily essayist; a generous East Coast equestrian with a crush on Peter Sagan; and a poet laureate who affected the guise of a herring-mad penguin.

“I’d say that some of my favorite memories involve the family that we created out of that site,” said Charles. “They are a wonderful group of people. It’s been a privilege to get to know a lot of them.”

It’s … Monty Liggett. When action was slow on the road, LUG served up running gags (Monty Python and various Liggettisms were in heavy rotation).

So, too, were clubby and impenetrable acronyms like HWSNBN (“He Who Shall Not Be Named,” for a certain Texan), and NRRBBB (“Non-Race-Related Blah-Blah-Blah”), in which some critics argued we indulged too freely.

But when you have the effrontery to provide live commentary on a grand tour from start to finish, and from the wrong side of the pond, with few resources beyond unreliable video feeds and your equally dubious wits, it’s hard not to tumble into the ditch of digression now and then.

Some days trying to keep it between the ditches felt an awful lot like work. So, with Charles now a legislator as well as a lawyer—he won election to the state legislature in 2015—and me wanting to ride a bike in the early morning before the Duke City desert starts to smoke, it seemed wise to take a break this time around.

Maybe not, though. Because if we had been calling the Tour, safe in the ever-lovin’ arms of the LUG Nuts, I might not have stuck my hand into that damn’ cactus.

• Editor’s note v2.0: This column appeared in the Aug. 1, 2017, issue of Bicycle Retailer and Industry News.

Update on the Live Update Guy

January 8, 2023

Remember this guy? Well, it’s Tip Jar time again.

Our old buddy Charles Pelkey, the Live Update Guy famed in song and story, is in a tight spot.

The big LUG could use some
spare change, man.

Regulars here know the story. Charles fought breast cancer to a draw, then got back to living his life as a lawyer, legislator, and family man.

But he’s since had a few setbacks, the kind that dollar up on the hoof awful fast, and another friend has set up a GoFundMe site to help Chazbo stay one long step ahead of the bill collectors.

That’s right, folks — it’s Tip Jar time again! Doesn’t matter if it’s dimes or dollars, every little bit helps.

And if you can spread the word on your various social-media accounts, that would be swell, too. Thanks in advance.

It’s (not) alive!

June 26, 2021

Yes, yes, yes, it’s that time of year again, and Charles Pelkey and I are … still not doing our famous Live Update Guy thing.

I always feel a twinge of guilt and sorrow over having turned my back on the one what brung me to the freelancers’ dance — bicycle racing, and specifically Le Tour — but I sure do enjoy having my mornings free for bicycling instead of blathering.

Charles, of course, wouldn’t know what a free morning was if it bit him in his billable hours, which it would. He’s lawyerin’ away like crazy up there in Wyoming, and confesses via email that, like me, he doesn’t have any idea who the top men in the Tour are anymore.

But all that NRRBBB®* sure was fun while it lasted, wasn’t it?

* That’s Non-Race-Related Blah-Blah-Blah to you, sonny.

‘Christmas in Chihuahua’

December 29, 2020

Giclée prints are available in the lobby. Cash only. No checks.

Behold the latest in my celebrated “A Mad Dog in Winter” series. It may be my greatest Work. Either that or just an iPhone snap of the driveway.

Speaking of the Work, Charles Pelkey and I will be joining the fabled Diane Jenks this morning on “The Outspoken Cyclist” podcast. We’ll be talking about Live Update Guy in general and the late Msgr. Richard “Mons” Soseman in particular. Mons was a regular at LUG during his days at the Vatican, and this is just another way for us to tell the world how much we miss him.

R.I.P., Msgr. Richard ‘Mons’ Soseman

December 9, 2020

Msgr. Richard “Mons” Soseman.

Msgr. Richard Soseman, better known to the Live Update Guy crowd as “Mons,” has been taken from us by the pandemic. He was 57.

LUG’s Charles Pelkey gave me the word just now. The Catholic Post has more.

A Mass at the tomb of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen on the 41st anniversary of his death on Dec. 9 also was a first opportunity for the Diocese of Peoria to mourn the death from COVID-19 two hours earlier of the vice postulator of the famed media pioneer and author’s cause for canonization.

“We gather with sad news for our diocese as Msgr. Richard Soseman has gone home to God this morning,” said Coadjutor Bishop Louis Tylka of Peoria at the start of the 8:30 a.m. Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria.

Msgr. Soseman, 57, had been the episcopal delegate assigned by Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, to assemble Archbishop Sheen’s sainthood cause and later became vice postulator. Acknowledging “our hearts are heavy” with the news of his death, Bishop Tylka said “in some ways it is providential and fitting that on the same day that Sheen went home to God, so does Msgr. Soseman.”

We knew Mons as a cycling fan, a witty, energetic correspondent, and a generous spirit who gave far more to our silly little sideshow than it deserved. Neither Charles nor I ever met the padre face to face, but we both miss him as though we had spent years in his presence. Which, in a small and remote way, we did, a blessing for which I am grateful.

The Catholic Post will publish a full obituary at some point. I expect Charles will have more to say as well. In the meantime, those of you on Facebook might visit the monsignor’s Facebook page.

Be well, take care, and give a thought to absent friends.

LUG rides again!

May 14, 2020

Remember this guy? He’s gonna be on Zoom and ESPN.
And here I always thought he had a radio face, too.

This time around, the acronym stands for “Legislative Update Guy,” and the live updates will include a video component.

No, not old “Monty Python” clips. Go and boil your bottoms, sons of a silly person.

My old Live Update Guy comrade Charles Pelkey and his fellow Wyoming state legislators will be participating in a special session via Zoom beginning Friday. And yes, we can watch. And without having to drop any of our DonnyDollars® into the Tip Jar!

Bonus! Winning! So. Much. Winning.

Charles rang me up last night to wish us a belated happy wedding anniversary and we spent a few minutes catching up. In addition to attending virtual special sessions of the leg’, he’s continuing to practice law, and while he’s not exactly burning up Wyoming’s roads on the old two-wheeler these days, he is finding time to do a bit of walking.

He’s also appearing in the latest HWSNBN documentary, “Lance,” as you can see from the screen grab above, which I liberated from the trailer.

Filmmaker Marina Zenovich has directed works on Robin Williams, Richard Pryor, and Roman Polanski. I don’t believe I’ve seen any of them, and I don’t believe I’ll be seeing this one either, having exactly zero interest in the latest version of Ol’ Whatsisface’s “truth.”

But it was cool to get a live update from an old pal.

Non-Race-Related Blah Blah Blah®

April 2, 2020

Well, it seems sports podcasters have finally caught up with what Charles Pelkey and I were doing all those years at Live Update Guy.

With everyone staying home and the athletic world as a whole looking a lot like the middle 75km of a flat Tour stage, they’ve resorted to (wait for it) Non-Race-Related Blah Blah Blah®, a LUG specialty. As Caroline Crampton writes at Nieman Lab:

“As well as covering how players and support staff are handling the situation, [The Anfield Wrap] is dipping into comedy, history and broader fan culture. Iain Macintosh, chief executive of Muddy Knees Media — best known for The Totally Football Show and other associated podcasts — spoke of similar plans. His team just has “an inexhaustible supply of new feature ideas,” he said. “We’re not trying to replicate what we did before, because we can’t, but rather see it as a chance to go through all those things that we’ve talked about doing that, you know, real life has got in the way. Now we can get them out there and give them some air.” That includes a forthcoming “Pundit World Cup” as well as film reviews, documentaries, and quizzes.”

Maybe it’s time to revive LUG as a podcast. With no irksome bicycle racing and TV images of same to cramp our creative style, we could really focus on just making the whole thing up.

Recycled 4: The best of ‘Mad Dog Unleashed’ 2017

December 29, 2017

• Editor’s note: Since my Bicycle Retailer and Industry News column won’t survive into the New Year, I’ve decided to resurrect a six-pack’s worth of this year’s “Mad Dog Unleashed” screeds between now and then. This is round four, a little attaboy to my old Live Update Guy comrade Charles Pelkey, who is alive and well in Laramie and contemplating a comeback in 2018.

Johnny and Ed (Hey-o!) decided the show must not go on for 2017.

LUGging out: Live Update Guys were DNS for Tour

“He shook his head, and as he shook his head, I heard someone ask him, ‘Please, Mr. Bojangles, Mr. Bojangles, Mr. Bojangles … dance.”—Jerry Jeff Walker, “Mr. Bojangles”

By Patrick O’Grady

This July marked the first time in years that I haven’t been required to follow the Tour de France.

So I didn’t. And it was swell.

Well, mostly.

I’ve spent nearly three decades paddling my little canoe along the bright yellow revenue stream of the Tour without ever having to visit its source in France, which I hear is quite a drive from Albuquerque, even in a Subaru.

The Tour got me into bicycle racing in the Eighties, and bicycle racing got me out of the newspaper business in the Nineties, before The Suits declared open season on copy editors.

Fight or flight? Flight, I thought as I hit the door running, and when does the beverage cart come around? Make mine a double. Anybody who thinks a pan-flat, 200km sprinters’ stage in the Tour is dull never edited a school-board story at 10:30 p.m., when sensible people are already half in the bag.

But even the Tour loses its kick after a while. And so, after Charles Pelkey and I agreed to leave his Live Update Guy project parked for 2017, I celebrated by stuffing part of a bike and all of my left hand into a trailside cholla.

Funny money. Of all the things I’ve done for money, Live Update Guy scores way up there on the fun meter.

This odd little enterprise came about in “Let’s put on a show!” fashion, a la Busby Berkeley’s “Babes in Arms.” Or maybe Monty Python’s “The Crimson Permanent Assurance” would be closer to the mark.

Charles had been handling live updates and other chores for a Boulder-based cycling enterprise until he got a pink slip and a black diagnosis more or less simultaneously in 2011, two days after the Tour wrapped.

The one-two punch of unemployment and breast cancer couldn’t keep him down, though. He put his University of Wyoming law degree to work full time, eventually becoming a co-founder of the Laramie firm Neubauer, Pelkey and Goldfinger, LLP.

But Charles still enjoyed following pro cycling, and while undergoing chemotherapy he hung out another shingle, LiveUpdateGuy.com, and called the 2011 Vuelta a España—supported not by advertising, or vulture capitalists, but by his readership.

Like Mr. Bojangles, Charles was dancing for tips.

Hey-o! I joined the show in 2012, but Charles was the star, and rightly so.

For starters, he had actually been to all three grand tours, performing feats of journalism. In this new role, he arose at stupid-thirty for the start of nearly every stage of nearly every GT, and generally carried on till the bitter end, then popped back in later to add results for the data-obsessed.

I generally clocked in late to make fart noises, get things wrong, and make people crazy. In other words, same as I do here.

This has its limits, as you know. If Charles had lawyering to do and left the keys to the joint with me, eyeballs and donations dropped off accordingly. Nobody turned on the “The Tonight Show” to watch Ed McMahon. They wanted Johnny.

Spare change? We said LUG operated on the NPR model—light on commercials, heavy on beggary—but it was more like busking next to an upturned hat on a downtown sidewalk.

When the act was good, we got paid. Not so good, not so paid. It was an astoundingly libertarian business model for two old commies, though there was a Marxist overlay; we didn’t bounce anyone who couldn’t or wouldn’t pay. “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.”

We got a big assist from the audience, which included an actual monsignor at the actual Vatican who proved a prodigious daily essayist; a generous East Coast equestrian with a crush on Peter Sagan; and a poet laureate who affected the guise of a herring-mad penguin.

“I’d say that some of my favorite memories involve the family that we created out of that site,” said Charles. “They are a wonderful group of people. It’s been a privilege to get to know a lot of them.”

It’s … Monty Liggett. When action was slow on the road, LUG served up running gags (Monty Python and various Liggettisms were in heavy rotation).

So, too, were clubby and impenetrable acronyms like HWSNBN (“He Who Shall Not Be Named,” for a certain Texan), and NRRBBB (“Non-Race-Related Blah-Blah-Blah”), in which some critics argued we indulged too freely.

But when you have the effrontery to provide live commentary on a grand tour from start to finish, and from the wrong side of the pond, with few resources beyond unreliable video feeds and your equally dubious wits, it’s hard not to tumble into the ditch of digression now and then.

Some days trying to keep it between the ditches felt an awful lot like work. So, with Charles now a legislator as well as a lawyer—he won election to the state legislature in 2015—and me wanting to ride a bike in the early morning before the Duke City desert starts to smoke, it seemed wise to take a break this time around.

Maybe not, though. Because if we had been calling the Tour, safe in the ever-lovin’ arms of the LUG Nuts, I might not have stuck my hand into that damn’ cactus.

• Editor’s note v2.0: This column appeared in the Aug. 1, 2017, issue of Bicycle Retailer and Industry News.