Archive for the ‘Mad Dogs & Irishmen’ Category

Cold blow and the rainy night

December 7, 2018

The transition from fall to winter is always a sketchy time around here.

I’m not a fan of shorter, colder, darker days. They remind me at a genetic level of why my people invented uisce beatha. And since I no longer indulge in that miraculous restorative I’m at sea without a paddle on these chilly gray mornings, when the hangover is outside my head, at large and in charge, and not even aspirin is of any use.

This is when I await a tot of bad news, the way I once awaited a shot of good booze. The life of the free-range rumormonger is wild and free, until it isn’t, and it’s generally around this time of year when editors count and cull their herds.

“Oh, that one’s got to go. Dumber than three mules, eats like six of ’em, and shits all over the place. Fetch my .30-.30.”

It was fall 2017 when I got the word that Bicycle Retailer and Industry News would no longer require my “Mad Dog Unleashed” column. This was not a surprise. The industry-news biz, and the industry itself, was not exactly flush. Flushed was more like it. And shortly thereafter the publisher who gave the order and the editor who carried it out were no longer with The Organization.

About the same time Adventure Cyclist guessed that they wouldn’t need me at Interbike Reno, the Last Dance in Sin City having demonstrated all the intoxicating power of a half-can of O’Doul’s, a two-wheeled version of P.T. Barnum’s This Way to the Egress. When I heard nary a word about the show afterward I assumed Management had made the right decision. A bored and sober Dog makes a poor companion indeed. Whining and snarling and pissing on things.

And an old Dog, too. Set in his ways he is. ‘Tis a wee bit late to be training him so. Is there a .30-.30 to be had somewhere, d’ye think?

Well, p’raps. But not right now. Until I hear otherwise, I’m to deliver the first “Shop Talk” cartoon of 2019 to BRAIN next week. And a fresh Adventure Cyclist review bike awaits me down at Fat Tire Cycles, one of the few Duke City shops I have yet to visit.

And thus we have this week’s edition of Radio Free Dogpatch: “Cold Blow and the Rainy Night, or Whatever Floats Your Boat.” Give it a listen.

P L A Y    R A D I O    F R E E    D O G P A T C H

• Technical notes: This episode was recorded with a Shure SM58 microphone, Rogue Amoeba’s Audio Hijack, and the old 2009 iMac. Cap’n Whitebeard used an Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB mic. I edited the audio using Apple’s GarageBand on a 2014 MacBook Pro. The background music is “Into the Sunset” from Audio Hero via Sounds of the sea courtesy

• Editor’s note: The very day I recorded this episode BRAIN announced that the bell had tolled, not for me, but for Interbike, both show and staff. That shit will roll downhill — just how far and fast remains to be seen — and I feel the pain of all those who saw the business end of that .30-.30. Marc Sani, one of BRAIN’s founders and presently its interim publisher, has a few thoughts on the whys and wherefores. As for me, I wrote about the final Vegas show in 2017, and you can read that after the jump.

• Off to see the Wizard in 2017

Fashion Friday

June 12, 2015
Old Guy kit: The original (left) and the second edition.

Old Guy kit: The original (left) and the second edition.

Attention, DogMart shoppers! Today’s yellow-light special is … new Old Guy jerseys.

I just got off the phone with one of the fine folks at Voler and we’re setting the wheels in motion, as it were. The general idea is that rather than do this the old-fashioned way — book a reservation date, set a production schedule, wait seven weeks to ship, etc., et al., and so on and so forth — we set up an on-demand deal that could have kit in your hot little hands in fairly short order.

Best of all, Voler will handle all the heavy lifting of order fulfillment, so you won’t be at the mercy of the notorious Irish work ethic. (“What’s a shovel for then if not to lean upon?”)

The op’ should be not unlike the one Drunkcyclist uses to get its kit to the people. I’m awaiting an email from the gent who makes all these Lycra dogs bark, so when I hear something, so will you. I’ll post an announcement on the DogPage and drop a permanent link into the sidebar at right.

And thanks to everyone who kept pestering me on this. It sounds like a win-win for all concerned, save the poor sods who have to look at us wearing this stuff.

Paddy whacked

September 28, 2013
There was a hint of fall color in the trees as I cycled across the creek toward Palmer Park.

There was a hint of fall color in the trees as I cycled across the creek toward Palmer Park.

I rarely applaud the thumping of a Mick by a Limey, but I was happy to make an exception in the case of Brian Cookson vs. Pat McQuaid.

Fat Paddy pulled every dirty trick he could find from his size-5 cap during his frantic campaign to retain the UCI presidency. But when Cookson finally said, “All right, we’ve had enough of this,” and moved that the UCI Congress proceed to a vote, that august body handed said hat back to the blubbering bog-trotter and showed him the door.

Now, I rarely pay close attention to the racing side of our sport unless some silly person is cutting me a check. So I have no idea whether Cookson will be able or even willing to make all the changes that even a casual look-around deems necessary.

But at this point it seems to me that electing a blow-up plastic sex doll would be preferable to another term for Fat Paddy, unless that term were to be served in the H-Block.

Thus I celebrated the omadhaun‘s ouster with a short ride on a cyclo-cross bike with UCI-illegal tires. Póg mo thóin, Paddy, go n-ithe an cat thú is go n-ithe an diabhal an cat! 


July 25, 2013
uisce beatha

There stands the glass. …

Outrage repeated ad infinitum is like an overlong intervals session. At some point you come up off the saddle and then sit right back down.

I’m not even in the saddle for the news about Stuart O’Grady and the rest of them from 1998. I’m back at the house, with the bike on its hook, and looking longingly at that unopened bottle of Bushmills in the kitchen. My performance-enhancer of choice for longer than I care to remember, even if I could.

So, instead of me struggling to gin up an anemic burstlet of apoplexy, how ’bout we take a trip down memory lane to August 2007, when “Friday’s Foaming Rant” still bestrode the narrow cycling world like a Colossus?

Éirinn go Brách

July 7, 2013

Imagine my surprise. You can teach an old race new tricks.

After just one day of the same ol’, same ol’ — line up the choo-choo, hop aboard, let your boyos break everyone’s legs before you lop off their heads in the final 5km — the peloton finally muttered, collectively, “Fuck that shit,” and put the boots to Team Sky from the gun.

And an Irishman won the stage, which makes it so much sweeter. If there’s anything a Mick loves more than a free pint of the black, it’s a Limey on the deck where a bold lad can give him a bit of the auld shoe leather. A right proper hooley it was.

Sure, Zoom-Zoom Froome is still in yellow. But today is about the wearin’ of the green.

Vulneratus non victus

July 2, 2013

The bracelet says “Harden the Fuck Up.” That’s Aussie for “Vulneratus non victus.”

It means “Wounded, not conquered,” and it’s the O’Grady family motto. ’Tis a suitable one for Stuart O’Grady, who has broken nearly every bone in his body at least once in his long tour of duty as a pro cyclist. (He has another, of course, part of which you can see in the wristband I’m wearing.)

Happily, today Stuey was in fine fettle and helped drive the Orica-GreenEdge squad to victory in the team time trial at the 2013 Tour de France. The Aussie squad nipped the world champions in that discipline, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, by less than a second.

Alas, Cannondale’s Ted King was less fit today. Battered and bruised from that stage-1 crash, he was quickly dropped by his team, rode in alone, and saw insult piled atop injury when the wankers who run the race decided that he had finished outside the time cut, a hard-hearted and dubious ruling that drew widespread condemnation from riders, journos and fans.

It’s a bitter ending to King’s first Tour. But Stuey’s proof that a wound need not spell defeat. He’ll be back.

Up the rebels!

November 1, 2012
Bog Trotters jersey

The famous Bog Trotters jersey, which sold about as well as Frankenhein’s fantasies about Big Tex once the deal went down.

It beats me how a guy with no job can have so little free time.

Today’s simple two-hour chore turned into a seven-hour slog, and tomorrow could be worse. Friday is traditionally a day under which PR types hope to bury unpleasant stories, and there are still a few of them shambling around out there post-Halloween, Lycra zombies badly in need of a hotloaded .44 Magnum round to the brain.

Today’s tidings brought a smile to my face, however. It seems that Paul Kimmage has filed a complaint against Fat Paddy and Frankenhein, the first for being a Guinness-soaked mouth attached to a prolapsed asshole with a reverse flow and no filtering apparatus in between, and the second for being a shameless striapach whose teeth fold back at the flip of a wooden nickel.

I considered it a delightful riposte to these spalpeens for having brought a similar action against the crusading Irish journo’ for merely calling them what they are. And so today, in Kimmage’s honor, I wore my Bog Trotters jersey on the daily ride, with a green headrag under the old brain bucket.

Some days previous I also kicked in a smallish sum to Kimmage’s defense fund, managed by the merry band of misfits at Cyclismas. It’s some of the best money I’ve ever spent outside a pub, especially considering that Fat Paddy and Frankenhein get to enjoy the hangover.

Public service announcement

October 24, 2012

I don’t often make pitches like this, but a friend and colleague finds himself in something of a financial hole and I’d like to help some other friends throw him a long green rope.

Patrick Brady, the guiding light behind the website Red Kite Prayer, provided space and funds to Charles Pelkey and John Wilcockson last year when they found themselves abruptly double-flatted with no spares in three-legged-pit-bull country. Now Padraig himself is in something of a pickle, having kissed the planet at speed and, as a consequence, incurred some medical bills to which the insurance company is giving the old ho ho ho.

Long story short, another friend is soliciting small donations on Padraig’s behalf — basically, the equivalent of a tasty microbrew that one might buy for a riding buddy — and if you feel moved to kick in a fin or two I will see to it that he personally kisses you on the lips once his lips are more or less back where they belong. That is all.

Home again, home again

January 11, 2011

Miss me? I drove to California for Theresa Coursey’s memorial service, and while it was swell to be among friends, people I hadn’t seen in a spell, a guy likes everyone to be present and accounted for, and we were one fine woman short.

Theresa’s service drew a standing-room-only crowd, the sort we’d all secretly like to have, but few of us deserve. Theresa had it coming. Her husband and their children all spoke, and if there was a dry eye in the house it was not one of mine.

Afterward we ate and drank, talked and took long walks, and after a few days together we all scattered, returning to our lives in Prescott, Philly, Tempe, New York, Colorado. But I’m still thinking of Theresa, wishing I’d spent more time around her, and I know I’m not alone.

Being present these days is not always easy, but it remains vital. In “Taking the Path of Zen,” the late Robert Aitken Roshi recounted the evening message of sesshin as given at Hawaii’s Diamond Sangha:

I beg to urge you, everyone:

Life-and-death is a grave matter,

all things pass quickly away;

each of us must be completely alert:

never neglectful, never indulgent.

That’s my evening message to you. In the morning, the comedy will resume.

Aged Beef

May 22, 2010
Bill "Billy B." Baughman caught in a rare moment of surrender.

Bill "Billy B." Baughman caught in a rare moment of surrender.

The notorious Bill “Billy B.” Baughman, a.k.a. Big Bill McBeef, was honored this evening at a reunion of his former cellmates who gathered over cheap wine and even cheaper jokes to recall their deep and often infectious relationship with the doddering old pervert in honor of what he claims is only his 60th birthday.

The highlight of the evening was this faded photograph of Billy B. surrendering to the authorities on a felony charge of Selling The Irish Weed Trimmers That Will Not Start Unless Billy B. Is Starting Them For You, You Drunken Mick, You. The snapshot was a keepsake provided by Patrick “Mad Dog” O’Grady, a former weed-trimmer customer and bunkmate who is believed to have been the first to “turn him out,” as the jailhouse parlance puts it.

“He got out in front of me on that weed-trimmer deal, but after that I only ever seed him from behind,” guffawed O’Grady,  clapping Baughman on the back, which is yet another truly filthy and juvenile gag and one which goes just about as far as we need to take this particular line of humor this evening.

The truth is, Bill and I have spent a lot of time chasing each other around on bikes since the early 1990s, and if I only saw him from behind, well, it was because I could never catch the sprightly sonofabitch. A happy belated birthday to you, Bill, and may you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows you’re dead. Slainte.