My only daughter, I love you, and I'm so sorry for what we've done. Two months ago, you turned 5, and today we have given you President Donald Trump.
I don't know what to say really. I tried. Many, many of us tried very hard to prevent this from happening, but the tide that came in was pretty strong this time, for whatever reason, and when it rolled back Donald Trump and 60 million Americans with the right to vote their mind, whatever that might be, were the only ones left standing. I disagree with them emphatically, Avery, but I will say this for them; they were very, very angry.
You know how mad you get when you get left out of games? Sometimes you're not old enough, or not tall enough, or you're not a boy, and you don't get to play. You know that deep angry sense of wrong you feel when you sit with daddy and we watch the boys race their bikes in France on TV, and there aren't any girls, save for the ones that have to kiss the boy who wins when he wins? I imagine, to a certain degree, that's how those people who voted for Donald Trump feel and have felt for a while now. Left out. Left behind. Wronged. I try to put myself in their shoes, and though I disagree, I think I understand - at least I understand where they started.
The hard part for me - and certainly the hard part for you, my daughter, is all the other things that their anger carries with it. I don't see how you'll have any way of not taking from this the hard lessons, that men are somehow better than women, that a girl can't be president, that if a man with enough money forces himself on you someday, you'll have to just take it. You have little choice but to accept the truth, the awful truth, that women are not yet equal to men in this country. We are not yet ready. We have not had enough strong, competent women lead us yet to vote one into the highest office in the world. Hidden behind all the veiled accusations that we hurled at Hillary Clinton, about her emails and her health and her wealth and her pantsuits, right there just below the surface, there was one word: woman. I am so sorry and ashamed that we have to raise you in a country and a world where that is true, but it is.
I promise you, my love, that we are wrong.
I promise that we will someday be better than this, and you'll be able to walk down the street with your head held high, confident, equal, and assured that no one, regardless of their social status or office, can ever touch you without your consent. I promise you that you can race bikes too. That you can run faster than the boys. That there is literally nothing, NOTHING, that they have a right to do that you can't do too, do better, do more, do however you want, and that someday - not today, but someday - no one will be able to take that away from you. I promise you that this is all a big mistake, that eventually cooler heads will prevail, that next time around the 100,000,000 Americans that had the right to vote, the responsibility to vote and send the right message to our daughters about right and wrong - but didn't - I promise you that they'll turn up and vote for you someday if you want them to.
Be strong, be tough my little one. You will need it.
On a 60 minute lunch break, it took me 40 minutes to ride my bike to the local elementary school, stand in line, vote the shit out of that place, and ride home. Leaving me only 20 minutes to shred the local goods along the way.
I made the sacrifice. The shredding, that is, not the voting. The voting part is not an option.
20 minutes of trail, though, and nothing mattered any more.
Puts me together every time. I even stretched it, took a bonus 10 minutes, just to savor the effect.
Slayer of Goats? Or slayer of Goat Trails? The truth is out there.
For those curious about such things, El Chupacabra fits in a Surly Karate Monkey fork with gobs of room to spare. I set it up on a Bontrager Rhythm PRO Scandium 29er rim, that rim being 28 mm, not the recommended 35mm, but it beaded up just fine on the first try using just a floor pump and not a drop of sealant. So if the set up process means anything, fat life is gonna be easy.
Paranormality will kick into overdrive in 2 short days, assuming that you're the kind of person who likes to put on your costume Friday night, imbibe enough Ninja Porters to sleep soundly in it, wake up Saturday conveniently dressed for the day, and roll straight to the Northside for The Paranormal.
Costume reports from near and far:
Birder with petition to ban bikes from Ragged Mountain Brian Silva
Obama's half brother, Malik
Drunk Ken Bone
Religiously Offensive Public Servant Soyuz Space Rocket and the ISS
I advised one individual that it was too soon for a Zombie Dave Mirra costume, though something tells me Dave Mirra would disagree with me about that. So, whatever, do what you will.
Anyway, the weather looks absolutely splitter. Some rain Friday morning will tamp the dust down a little, and we'll be left with HUGE blue skies, cool temps, and hero dirt for one and all. If someone dresses as Grothar, God of Weather, please make it a point to give that person a high five.
Feeling the need to pre-ride? The course should be 100% marked, leaf blown, and dialed to perfection by Saturday AM. So show up early Saturday and you'll get first tracks on what I believe it our finest Paranormal track yet. If you feel the need to pre-ride BEFORE Saturday, get in touch with me directly and I'll make that happen for you.
Not much can compare to that, but anyway, I give you my Paranormal Predictions of Greatness (and not so) for this bizarre election year of our lawd, 2016.
First, The Weather:
HERO Dirt is the forecast. A wee bit of rain on Friday will leave the track tacky, but not sloppy. Skidding and yipping with joy. Also , it'll be a tad cooler, which will be nice considering all the sweating and cursing the bugs we'll be doing this week to prep the course for your reaping.
There's usually very little reason to doubt the offensiveness, tastelessness, and filth of Scott Ramsey's costume. So he's a tough man to bet against when it comes to the costume contest, except that he's so very often DQ'ed for the sheer raunch of it. But this year I received a murky text from someone else - who shall remain nameless - days ago, that eluded to the fact that his significant other came back from a business trip, spied his costume still mid-creation on the workbench, and instantly assumed it was a sex toy. So that person shall remain my nameless pick for Costume champion - but I have a feeling we will all know it when we see it.
Onto the Categories, quick and dirty. Emphasis on QUICK.
Solo Women: Laura Hamm, should she turn up, will have to pry the solo winner's check out of Anne Pike's cold, dead fingers. But will she?
Solo Men: Petrylak. I'm falling asleep here. By a full lap or two? Until someone, ANYONE, shows me something, ANYTHING, that halfway resembles EITHER the engine to out-pedal or the stones to out-handle Petrylak in the single at night, I think it's Petrylak AHEAD BY A CENTURY. But I'll accept any and all applications to the contrary, because quite frankly, watching Petrylak kick every one of your asses by 10+ miles every year is a straight yawner. Get your shit together, Richard Serton.
Solo SS: Iron Mike Coco. He officially signed up, he runs about 39 X14 or so, and he slugs the High Life like it's G2 gatorade. I think Kesecker, having just come off a training camp in the hills and hollers of North Carolina with that part timer has-been Gordon Qwasdsworth, will at least give Coco a scare or two. But it's 6+ hours of Singlespeeding. I think it takes a lifetime of SS commitment - along with a healthy dose of not actually caring about your knees - to really do that to yourself for that long at top speed, and Coco has made that commitment. Unless Dicky hitchhikes to E-Rallys-ville to show off his costume? Headquarters to Dicky, over...
Duo Categories - all of them - lumped together: Look, let's be honest - you people don't count. We all know damn well that the sun goes down, the kegs get tapped, and whichever one of you is out on a lap comes back into the transition super hot to find a drunk teammate with a burger and a beer in their hand as a peace offering/bribe not to be sent back out for another beating, and you take it, the capes come off, and you get down to the business of eating, drinking, and talking shit about you partner by the fire whilst funding CAMBC's heretofore unbuilt Preddy Creek pump track. I'm not judging. Far from it - I am ONE of you. So bring cash, and let's get that thing built.
TRIO: OK, it's the first time out for this thing, and so it's tough to get my head around just what is possible here. I think this could be a legit, fast race for glory - knocking down maybe 8 laps? Is 8 possible? We shall find out, I think. Especially if Bryan Lewis, Ben King, Jake King, or some other similar underfunded yet still very pro assembly shows up in costume with business to be done.
But back to my earlier point, they still might not beat Petrylak.
You know what's up: sign up
show up up UP.