Monday, October 12, 2015

The Paranormal Paranormal

The Paranormal is coming.
Climb aboard if you, too, are scared of getting older in the snow.

Oh man, I love that version of Ghost Train.  Because what's more haunting than Ghost Train played live at the end of a 3 hour set, just pouring sweat and beer, in a barn in some godforsaken corner of Iowa, filmed in black and white and fog, scared to death, and getting old.  Brilliant.  You can actually see the full show here if you dig it like I do:

Annnnnd, on to the Paranormal.  Let me deal with the most pressing issue first before getting into the nitty gritty.  And so here that is, and don't worry - I already told Marky Mark, who is in charge of beer, NOT to get Boxcarr this year.  I don't quite understand how you fuck up such an amazing beer - a memento and an important component of fall itself - in such a large scale and total manner.  But they did.  And so we won't be having any of it.  Again, I don't understand what the fuck happened.  But don't worry, it won't happen here.

With that out of the way (and thank you to the multitude of fine, concerned, halfway drunk citizens among you who took the time out of your busy day to text message me, email me, call me, and make absolutely sure I knew about the goddamn and complete travesty that is 2015 Boxcarr so that you wouldn't be forced to drink, free subpar beer at the Paranormal) let's talk about the fractional balance of the equation, which is the actual bikes part.

The Paranormal this year is going to be pretty massive, in more ways than one.
1)  There is a Trek Demo, kicking off a 10 AM here at the rancho relaxo.  The trails are downright pimped, all the bridges are back in place, and my wife - for the first time in her young life - has bike lust.  I'm so proud of her.  And Trek.  And VISA for that matter.  I reckon we will be an 8 Trek household by Monday or so.  What can I say - those creeps can roll.

2)  CAMBC's take a kid mountain biking day - or TAKMBD for (sort of) short.  Kicks off at noon.  Same location.  Same trails.  The weatherfella' says it'll be 60 degrees and sunrays all day on Saturday.  Or at least until dusk or so, when the going gets good, as it always does.  Enjoy, lil' rippers.

3)  The course itself.  Every good thing must evolve.  And evolution in this case means bigger and better.  This year, it's a full 8 mile lap that'll cost the common man about an hour of his life that he'll never get back.  Plan on throwing a few of those hours away - it's that good.  Also, the transition is about a mile away from past years - this time right off of Markwood rd across from Claymont subdivision.  It's a huge start/transition area, plenty of room to get rowdy.  Bring Your Own Fire Pit (BYOFP.)

4)  Will Leet on a mountain bike.  For those of you that know Will, I don't have to explain this.  Those that don't, imagine for a moment the kind of power that Tom Boonen puts out in a sprint, but then put him on a mountain bike (which he has never ridden), on wet roots (which he doesn't understand), in the dark (in which he can't see, of course), and in a costume that is impairing his ability to ride (which was questionable already.)    It's like watching an adolescent giraffe try to fuck a wet football.  This level of power/disaster will make even Lorenzo riding a mountain bike look like Swan Lake.  Give that kid a little space in the turns if you know what's good for you.
I don't always ride mountain bikes.  But when I do...
Yet, with all of the change, there are constants by which The Paranormal must operate to remain The Paranormal, and as a co-host of this revelry, I consider myself sort of a guardian of these commandments:
1)  Free Beer.  Covered.  See above.  We got it.  Try to settle down about this.
2)  Classic Paranormal Trail  Worry not - we added a ton of action this year, and the trails we added are the best of the best, but there are still plenty of classic paranormal moves - sketchy root gardens, sketchier drops into the creek,  wide open bermed loamy downhills - to make sure you know that you're still racing The Paranormal.
3)  Costumes.  The time bonus for costumed riders remains intact, as it always will.  Costumed riders get to start early, and non-costumed sourpusses have to watch them ride away and wait their turn and regret not being one of the cool kids.
I use the term "cool kids" with considerable pause
4) Pre Rides - As always, you have the opportunity to preview a lap of the course well beforehand, get the lay of the land, contemplate what it might feel like to do 8 or 9 or those to yourself.  Those previews are Monday at 8 PM (ladies only, via the CAMBC ladies group on Big Blue), Tuesday at 6 PM, Thursday at 6 PM, and pretty much all day Saturday.
5) Camping - Free.  Primitive.  Rad.  On the course.  Wake up on Sunday with a skeleton on top of you, in a remarkable amount of post-ride-post-party pain, with Ma' Nature in all of her naked splendor a simple a zip of the tent flap (or not) away.  

In summary, this might be a paranormal sort of Paranormal, but I'm of the opinion that Parnormality is a good thing, and thus, I implore you to get your costume ready, your bike dialed, your shit together, and your registration in by close of bidness on Thursday so I can consider your participation in my annual, mostly-worthless-yet-somehow-compelling prediction of how the race (and non-race) will shake out.  

Only way to play along is to sign up, up, up.


  1. Whoa whoa forgot 5). Shawn's last birthday in his 30s. It's been 6 years since the Paranormal and his birthday last converged.

  2. No photo cred on Quads, prepare for a legal battle!

  3. I'll be showing you all something more akin to the "pigeon lake"!