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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Autonearbyu Syndrome: How To Lose Schababerle

Schababerle, the 2nd race in the Ohio Valley Spring Road Series is this weekend.  Here's a summary of survival for those making the trip to this spring classic climb in Northern Kentucky.


Autonearbyu Syndrome:
The incessant urge to quit every time your sniveling broken body passes your car at the intersection of California Cross and Rt. 10.

Toasters:
The crowd of people along the last pitch of the climb who have done this race enough to never do it again and have resorted to heckling your sorry ass as you deliver the mail.

El Perro De Tres Patas
The legendary three legged dog of Schababerle lives along the descent back to California Cross.  Unlike Ghost Dog who lives on Rt. 8 between Mentor and Silver Grove, at least you’ll see El Tres coming.  The issue is, at this point, you’ve finally caught your breath from the climb and closing gaps in the crosswind and all you want to do is chill in the pack.  It’s the perfect spot for El Tres to get a jump on eating you.  Think of it like this.  Ghost Dog comes out of nowhere, from behind another team’s unseen lead out train like Robbie McEwen.  El Tres attacks are as conspicuous as a bag of leaves in a windstorm, much like Cadel Evans.  You’ll see and hear him well before he gets you.  However, because you’re just getting your eyesight back from being over your lactate threshold for the last 20 minutes, you’re easy pickin’s.  El Tres doesn’t come out ever year.  Judging from the fact that he barely raises his head sometimes, it’s been rumored that El Tres has been high on doggy Ritalin from time to time.  El Tres will never die.  If he does there’s no shortage of three-leggers in Kentucky to take his place.

God-schooled-ya:
Realizing that Godzulla, the diabolical founder of this race with the tattoo arm warmers in the mis-matched Xavier kit who attacked from the gun on Rt. 10 just to mess with you, finished in front of you.  (See Fat Boy 10 Attack)

The Fat Boy 10 Attack
From the start at Flintlocks, with 5 or 6 times up the beast in your future, you’d think it’d be a rather mellow ride up Schababerle at least the first time, at least until the toaster, at least until the first pitch.  Nuh-uh.


If you’re unfamiliar with the toaster, Schababerle is actually a nice scenic climb with two slight stretches of quad relieving lulls on the way up.  The toaster is the last pitch to the tippy top.  When you get there it will feel like riding down and into a BMX style half pipe. Then you’ll realize it’s bigger than anything you’ve seen on the X-Games.  Frantically you’ll dump it into your lowest gear.  If you don’t drop your chain shifting from your 53-17 to your 39-27 at the wrong moment, you’ll soon find yourself looking at your cassette thinking that you brought the wheel with the 12-23.  


That said, no doubt, a slightly grizzly looking dude in an unfamiliar kit will attack well before the base of the climb on Rt. 10.  You’ll write him off as a big boy trying to get a jump on the climb and let him go.  He will be followed by three or four others thinking that his effort to get his caboose on the climb before everyone else is a good idea.  However, 5 guys up the road in different kits tends to make the alarm bells go off, especially knowing that the right turn into Schababerle and the first left on the climb will stretch the pack into a long 2-3 rider wide line.  No matter how you cut it, you’ll be following multiple attacks and be on the edge of crying for mama between bouts of the pukes before your Garmin even registers a change in elevation. 

Hell Hole:
The port-a-poddy along the backstop by the Flintlocks softball field that’s been there all winter and just beginning to thaw.  Guy tip: remove your sunglasses from your helmet before peeing.  Girl tip: invest in a Bumper Dumper.

“Sin” Ders
If you bought brand new road tires for the season, take them off your bike now.  Obviously you’ve never ridden in Mentor, KY in March.  You see, they don’t use salt on the roads here in winter.  Calcium chloride and beat juice are for pussy-towns like Cincinnati.  There’s a giant coal power plant just down the river.  When the coal is burned, cinders are the result.  It’s burnt up coal, what is referred to as coal ash.  Questionably biodegradable, it’s a wonderful thing.  It doesn’t really melt ice or snow.  Instead, being much like teeny tiny shards of black glass, they spread it on the roads.  It embeds itself into the tires of cars, essentially turning them into studded tires.  Brilliant!  It works exactly the same way with bike tires.  Only, your tires are .7 mm thick.  Suddenly those brand new Conti GP 4000 S’s have a hundred cuts on them.  Inside each cut is a microscopic black piece of glass.  If you don’t pull them all out after the race you’ll get flats for weeks.  My best advice: put your crappy-old out-of-fashion light blue Michelin tires on.  The best thing you can do is avoid the "black sand" and every time you hear a rider say “gravel” imagine them saying “glass.”  Throw your tires away after the race.

Indiana:
The state of residence for the winner of your race whose jersey you’ve never seen in your life.