Friday, April 15, 2011

Gravel Grinder Wrap Up Or The Beast With A Million Photos

I'm tired. I mean, my fingers and hands hurt too much to write in any kind of vigorous way. I would never use the word "vigorous" in speech, in that context. The blog-o-verse version of me is such a douche. The new job is the ultimate excuse for getting out of blogging...or anything. It's like having a kid or a dog, but it's not...because people only have a small number of kids or dogs; I have hundreds of kids I have to put on bikes. It is literally like I am raising hundreds of children, so all parents and pet owners can pretty much suck it, because I am a better, cooler, harder working person than all of you motherfuckers put together. Even if you had mutant powers and Nobel Peace Prizes, you still wouldn't have shit on me. 

See, what did I tell you? Blog-o-verse me...such a douche. 

I Rolled It Forward today, I rolled it backward today, I rolled it every which way, and now I am just going to lay down some photos, lots of photos, and talk about them. 

Sometimes I start talking about something to someone and find myself getting the blank, "I have no idea what the fuck you are talking about" stare. I realize that I have not filled in the Five Ws and The H. I just assume everyone reads Big Bikes, so I don't have to waste my time putting stuff in context. But, as my grandmother often reminds me: "T-Homas (that's what I get called when I'm in trouble) not everyone in the world reads your stupid fucking blog, you dipshit." Hey, she's 88-years-old and she can basically do and say whatever the hell she wants. These days when she belittles my only joy in life and calls me a dipshit, I don't take a swing. 

My point...ah yes, these are all photos from the Gravel Grinder, if you don't know what that is, here you go!

(Note: I wrote the first part of this post at night and now I'm sitting here in the AM, with coffee, going "Should I really keep that stuff? I sound like a dick." Eh, it works for Chandler.)

I forget what this guy's name is, but he killed the Gravel Grinder not-race on this cargo carrying rig. Two things about him: 1.) He was supposed to be running tech support, sort of like a follow car, but he was too freakin' fast, so he dropped most of the people in the race. 2.) He lets people surf on the back of the thing. Which is up there on the same level of sketchiness with a similar form of cargo surfing:

This is great, I have eight thousand photos to talk about and now I'm throwing videos in as well. This could take all day. 

"How did this come out of my body? There's pieces...there're banana pieces...OK I know I chewed it." 

Oh, what's that? You don't get the reference? Guess I have to embed another video:

4:12 in, it will all be explained. Although about 2:30 in is really the best part. "I'm inventing electricity and you look like an look like a fucking idiot." And by the way, yesterday I was having issues finding Youtube's embed button. That's because they hid under the "share" button. Dicks. 

Living on the east coast, we rarely see Soulcraft bikes. If we lived on the west coast, we'd all go on road trips with Soulcraft Sean all the time. It would be awesome. We should all move to the west coast. 

Rockin' the shit at the whiskey aid station.

George W. Bike 29's addition to his Niner Air 9 Carbon. 

Pete-tare Kee-lair's (that's how he pronounces his name with his French-Canadian accent) take on the Niner motto. As seen on Dicky's bike. 

Seamus, A.K.A. "Shameless." I slept on George's incredibly comfortable couch. I would be woken up during the night by Shameless' face licking. It would become incorporated into horrible nightmares that I will never forget. 

George's friend Rosey's car. A diesel, patchwork VW with bike racks. This epitomizes Vermont for me. 

Yess tensioner. It's what makes the single speed Jet 9 called Shredward Van Halen that I will be riding at Single Speed-A-Palooza work.

At one point during the weekend, I started talking to George's friend Drew (or at least that's what I'm going to call him...not very strong with names) about Black Swan. I told him that Vincent Cassel was in it, "You know, that creepy French dude who looks like Craig Gaulzetti?" He didn't know who Craig Gaulzetti was either, so that didn't help. 

This is Craig:

He resembles Vincent Cassel much more in real life and in other photos (that are no longer available since he deleted his Facebook profile for some reason). 

George has the Apple TV, so, undaunted, I brought up a Youtube video (above) of Cassel on some awful, low budget web show with some guy called Stephen Holt. This still didn't help Drew, he'd really never seen a Cassel film, even a classic like La Haine. 

See, now I'm just adding photos and videos on top of an already massive pile of photos and videos. Guess I'm making up for lost time. 

The truly crazy thing is that Drew ducked out to the other room and came back wearing glasses and a fedora, wowing us all with his prop-driven Stephen Holt impression. 

Uncanny. Shameless is completely freaked out. 

This dude is 13. He rode the Gravel Grinder. Isn't that a good story? 

And this guy brought a shot glass to the whiskey station to add some semblance of civility. 

I  contracted a new name in VT, and so did the cyclist formerly known as Doug. He is now "Dough."

Five Hills Bikes is George's brick and mortar place in Waterbury. 

Frida's catered the Grinder. Decent Mexican food in a state full of really, really white people...who knew? If you're in Stowe, check 'em out. 

Geekhouse sighting. 

George and Shameless. 

When I showed up at Five Hills Saturday night I was charged with the task of riding every bike in the store around a circuit. It was all fun and games until I started doing burn outs on a training wheeled 16" bike. George realized that his method of torture would lead to a whole lot of linoleum mopping and pulled the plug on the project.

This photo sums up the weekend for me. That doesn't mean we're done yet. Sit down!

Drew was literally shaking by the second time he got to the aid station. I pushed him back into the not-race like I had just done a wheel change for him at the Tour De France. 

Hey! More whiskey. 

G-Eunich gets a little massage at the Black Back Pub post-Grinder. 

Mustache ride.

This OG Karate Monkey weighs as much as those two Air 9 Carbons...combined. And all of them belong to George. 

The rider of this bike swore that this is just a sticker of Bruce Lee, but I beg to differ. I think it's Grace Slick's head (with a short hair cut) stuck onto Bruce's body. Freaky. 

Don't you want somebody to nunchuck
Don't you need somebody to nunchuck
Wouldn't you love somebody to nunchuck
You better find somebody to nunchuck

When I left Waterbury on Monday AM at eight, it was as dark as if it were eight at night. It looked like the world was going to end. Which reminds me of the time I started a blog post in the morning and spent so fucking long pasting photos and videos into it that it became nighttime before I finished it. 

Now I'm tired and you're bored, let's do it again Monday!


Uri said...

FYI, it was actually a factory option. Look up VW Harlequin. Also, my captcha is "orkstroo". How pleasing.

Big Bikes said...


stop knowing so much about a time before you were's creepy.

But are you sure?
That's just a red car with a blue hood and bumper. Harlequin was more of a patchwork-mess even no?

- t

Uri said...

The rare partial Harlequin, or "Halflequin" if you will.

jeff said...

The "sweeper" with the rack is Aaron - one of the area's under-cover mtb bad-asses. He's made me puke into my mouth on more than a cpl climbs (from the saddle of his rigid ss). Sorry I missed ya' for the GG, the weather was picture perfect for a tuckerman's trip! man, i got to get on my bike one of these days, but the skiing/riding is still so effin' sweet!

George said...

Seamus misses you

Russ Campbell said...

Good thing my wife (from Louisville) doesn't read this blog, cuz she'd be all over your ass for saying Maker's Mark is "whiskey" and not Kentucky Bourbon. To me, it's "fire water" no matter what you call it.

rosy said...

That is what happens when you rear-end a truck, fix it with whatever is around and use the insurance money for food and rent.