Saturday, May 25, 2013

Laid To Rest

I had initially thought I would let this roll of my back and ride it off. It just so happens that the way my mind works it has been on repeat since this morning. On one hand it's really no big deal yet on the other it just really irritates me. Okay... I'll just spill it.
So as j.rider and I were getting geared up and ready to head out for a nice Saturday ride. A fellow pulls up next to us and starts getting his bike ready and kitting up. Out of nowhere he says this "Death Riders huh....So you like laughing in the face of God?" Now keep in mind it's the first and only thing he says to us. We weren't jamming SLAYER or Lamb Of God while suiting up. Just two fortyish guys heading out for a bike ride. Heck we were wearing arm warmers so my sleeve of tattoos was even covered. I don't even think I was swearing, which is kind of hard to believe.

I typically am not a people person so I just kind of smiled and clipped in for the ride. I guess what bugs me is this. How am I laughing at God exactly? By wearing BLACK and not being afraid of the word DEATH? While I may not follow western religions it doesn't mean I am godless. I would also like to think any God no matter what the faith has a sense of humor and appreciates the irony of life. Hey just look at the platypus or three-toed sloth, I think God may like to laugh as well. Or have a look at this bible passage:

Genesis 21:6

And Sarah said, “God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh over me.” 


I guess what gets me is  how righteous some folks seem to think they are. My whole life I have been an outsider not always by choice in my early years. Somewhere around 12 or 13 I realised I was going to be different and that would be okay. I began getting tattooed at 18 and I have had numerous piercing over the years. My current ear rings are large enough that you can put your fingers through them. So I am well versed at getting strange looks and judged by how people perceive who I am.  Maybe I am being to hard on the fella but it was just a weird thing to say much less open a conversation that way. Either way he is entitled to his beliefs, just don't assume I am making some sort of statement on your life or chosen faith. 
Just don't assume I am some Godless Heathen either. In fact it might surprise the guy how much reading I've done on religions of various faiths. Something he would probably find hard to believe. Some of the most wicked men and women in the world used religion as guide for hate torture and abuse. So it may not be the best measuring stick of someones character.

With all that off my chest. It's a long weekend get out and ride your bike.

I'll chain you to the truth
 For the truth shall set you free
 I'll turn the screws of vengeance
 And bury you with honesty

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Conceptualizing Theories in Motion

I was able to kick the sinus funk last week and actually got some rides in before lining up with a number attached to my bars on Sunday. As race reports go it's not exactly amazing or spectacular. With that in mind it was a success in my book. I wasn't smashing course records or putting screws to the almost 40 class. However, I was able to stick to the larger plan of ridding 'my race' and trying not to get caught up in going to deep into the red. It may bruise the ego a bit to go out a little slower and settle in to a rhythm. It actually seemed to put me into my natural spot in the pecking order so I didn't have to worry about ridding the rivet as much. I also seem to be dialing my nutrition and hydration after a ton of research. My vicious cramps of years past seem to be finally put at bay. Finishing a race and having to pee is also a nice surprise when the temperature is in the nineties and nasty humid. Ahh Summer is coming to St. Louis


I also have to keep in mind I've done about five races in the last six years. Sometimes it is hard to forget about my long absence from the scene. As they say life sometimes gets in the way.  In my time away I chased a childhood dream to the city of angels and later made the drive of shame back across the country. Coming back home to a job working forty plus hours a week including overnights and weekends sort of killed my cycling life. I was granted early parole almost two years ago and was able to regain sleeping at night and hours of day light to ride. While it still may not be perfect, I will take working the hours I have now over ever going back to an overnight schedule.


Every now and again j.rider and I discuss whether or not most folks understand the 'Death Riders' We get our fair share of odd looks and second takes at races or out on the trail or road. Sunday was one of those odd days when someone steps up to ask about the 'team' Which is sort of funny considering another team in town has  been created around Steven Segal. Either way it's always sort of a fun conversation, some folks seem interested in joining if you can believe that. While others seem confused when they ask who sponsors us or who the team is and we answer.
The three of US
When we tell them it's just some old punk rock/metal head guys who happen to ride bikes and complain the always seem to smile, even if it's awkwardly. The fact we have borrowed logos and art work from one of our favorite record labels is our way of giving a nod to that side of us. I always wait for the day someone asks if we are into Hardcore. So far we are striking out on that query. So to the guy who came by to ask about the Deathwish Racing, thanks for saying hi and asking who and what we are.

was one of those bands that just kind of came out of nowhere but was a game changer

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Blood Stains

I promise this will be my last Skateboard related Cycling post for awhile. I will admit this one has a rather good cycling connection. Like i have mentioned before, I was lucky enough to find skateboarding in my youth and it began to consume my life. I am still very much that person who was shaped by the images and words in Thrasher and the Punk Rock that came along with it. Okay... Okay.. I'll get to the point of this.
In 1986 my first official Pro Model skateboard was purchased as a Christmas present. I had spent hours in Future Sk8 looking at the mile long wall of decks over the months before December. Finally, i had made up my mind. I went with a Santa Cruz ~ Rob Roskopp III 

I'm not sure what sold me on it for sure. I did know Rob was from the mid west and at the time no other company had a better artist than Jim Phillips. I'm sure it was a combo of the two that sold me. I followed the 'Barn' as Rob was nicknamed, Jeff Kedall and Natas and in the later years Jason Jesse too. As the 80's wound down so did vert skating Rob's bread and butter, so he sort of fell off the radar so to speak. He became a pioneer in the newly emerging snowboard world and we even heard rumors of him ridding bikes.
Which to the 16 year old me seemed oh so wrong.

The 'Barn' in an ad for Local Motion
(this hung on my bedroom wall for years)

Once I began to take up mountain bikes and then started racing in the early 2000's. One of the many 'hot' bikes of the day was the Santa Cruz 'Superlight'. This got my old noggin thinking and after asking a few shop guys and reading some MTB mags... It was indeed that same brand and hero from my youth. Well sort of...
While not the same company as the skate guys, it stills share some of the pedigree. From then on I was pretty keen on the company. I still remember when j.rider got his 'Superlight' I was enamored by that bike. A few years later it was on my must have list, but as things go it never really became a reality.
Call me a fan boy or whatever. The fact is I'm stoked on what they do and the fact Rob is at the helm.

Roskopp is the shirtless dude

Saturday, May 11, 2013

I Hate Sports

Well I guess "Cycling" counts as a sport... But, I really could careless about stick and ball sports. It never really interested me. I played little league for a year to please my folks and then I was done. Thankfully, I was blessed to find salvation in Skateboarding. It's sort of hard to believe now, but in 1984 being a skater wasn't exactly cool. I've been called dork or Skater Fag or just plain faggot plenty of times. None of that seemed to matter much because I had found something that spoke to my soul. I was obsessed with it in my teens and would rather go skating than on dates or to a party. At sixteen my childhood dreams of being some kind of pro came crashing down.
I broke both bones in my lower wrist into two separate pieces. An impromptu surgery and about nine months in a cast and brace shock my confidence and desire to push it to the edge. I have always said Skateboards and Punk Rock saved my life and to this day I still believe that. 

Bikes and Cycling have sure helped to allow me to feel that same excitement Skateboards gave me years ago. So what the heck does this have to do with bike racing? Well nothing I guess... While I don't take any interest in mainstream sporting events. A few events make my yearly list of must watch. The Tour De France, The Giro, Paris Roubaix, Supercross and my kind of Super 'Bowl'. For the last nine years Vans and Pro-Tec have been putting on the worlds biggest bowl skating contest. I have had the opportunity to set foot and four wheels in the famed Vans Combi-Bowl at the block. I can tell you without a doubt it's large, intimidating and a hell of a lot of fun. So while I might not be racing the bike this weekend I will be watching some of my childhood heroes do what they were born to do. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Paper Chains

With the weekly deluge of rain and what not I had been wondering if racing was even going to happen at all this week. Well just as luck would have it, seems I got a wicked sinus infection for my turning 39 on Friday. I spent most of the weekend on the couch or sleeping...Or both. By Monday I thought I was on the mend but the chills I was having at work let me believe otherwise. Tuesday morning came and i felt awful so i stayed in bed and tried to forget about work and racing. it's now Thursday and I think I'm finally coming out of the sinus funk. Either way my idea of besting my 2012 Greensfelder Challenge result will have to wait. Well, unless it indeed gets rained out. Which as of posting this looks lees and less likely. I guess this is some of the perks of being your own race team. I have no team boss to let down except myself. Damn you broken nose and crappy sinus cavities!
These paper chains made of tissue are binding my desire.

Paper Chains ~ SCAB

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Rest In Peace

While not cyclist or technically punk rockers, we here at the Death Camp have been avid fans of Slayer for years. It is a true loss to the Metal, Thrash and Punk/Hardcore communities.

Jeff Hennaman
1/31/64 - 5/2/13

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


While I understand the recent precipitation has been great for the farmers, trees and grass. The copious amounts of liquid that seems to fall Thursday thru Sunday is getting to me. In more ways them one actually, the mold and pollen indexes are battling it out for top marks. So I have been sidelined since Monday afternoon with the sneezing and post nasal drip of an allergy sufferer. I've collected my arsenal of nasonex, neti pots and plenty of liquids but it's still taking the fight out of me. Hopefully, tomorrow I will feel even better. Just in time for... You guessed it more of the wet stuff. All in all things could be worse of course. 
I just hate not feeling 100%

At least I had a few bright spots this week j.rider forwarded an article from Bike Rumor my way. He knows I'm a sucker for all things Van Doren. So it should come to no surprise I can't wait to order up a set of ODI Lock-On Vans grips. I don't think they will make me go 'off the wall' but they sure look cool. I have been wearing some sort of vans shoe since about 1982 or so. My first pair was of course a black and white checkerboard just like Jeff Spicoli. I may be from Missouri but i am all SoCal in my heart. 

Maybe a little Threadbare will cure my blues