Friday, May 22, 2009

Tandem Stoker Tired of Staring at Husband’s Ass

Veteran tandem enthusiast, Heather Coburn, is growing increasingly frustrated with her role as the perpetual stoker on the tandem she shares with her husband, Gene.

“I was all for it when he sold me on the idea a few years back, but now I think I got the butt end of the deal—literally,” says Coburn. “It’s okay for shorter distances, but after about hour three of a century ride, I’m sick of it. And I’ll never ride with Gene again after we’ve had Thai food the night before. I might as well be drafting a porta-potty pumper.”

Coburn describes how she unwittingly found herself relegated to the role of stoker.

“I was intrigued by the novelty of the tandem at first. But the novelty soon wore off. Gene’s as happy as can be out in front. He’s up there—nose in the wind, big goofy grin as he pilots us—totally oblivious to the never-changing view that is my hell.”

Besides the unchanging view of her husband’s backside, there is other unpleasantness.

“Going uphill is the worst,” explains Coburn. “Only the most skilled tandem duo can get out of the saddle together. We’re not quite there, so when he gets out of the saddle, his Black Bottoms practically chafe my nose. It’s disgusting.”

Don’t get me wrong, he’s got a nice butt—especially from all of the cycling we do. But like anything else, too much of a good thing can be unhealthy. Even after 22 years of marriage, there’s still areas of our lives where it’s possible to share too much information.”

Coburn feels she was suckered into the lure of a tandem and wants to warn others.

“Couples see us and they think ‘Oh, how cute! That looks like fun! We should get a tandem.’ Don’t fall for it. The tandem industry doesn’t want you to know that the stoker’s role is one of indentured servitude. It’s a dirty secret."

Coburn adds, “If you ever see a smiling stoker, they’re in on the ruse. They’ve been duped, so they want others to be fooled too so they’re not alone. Misery loves company.”

Coburn is on an inspired quest to expose the tandem stoker’s reality.

“Until now, no-one’s been brave enough to come forward with the ugly truth out of fear of reprisal from the tandem Mafia. I want my story—and that of other stokers—to be told in a Lifetime original movie. Or at least in a segment on Maury. I’m also thinking of starting a stoker support group.

“Unless you’re a proctologist, that’s way too long to spend with your face four inches from someone’s ass.”

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Visiting Americans “Totally Blank” on What to Write on Giro Course

Visiting American cycling fans Tony Marzavas and Mark Horton were recently frustrated as they tried to think of something clever to write on the Giro d'Italia course.

The two pondered what to write in the road on the ascent of Croce d’Aune during the Giro’s fourth stage on Wednesday from Padova to San Martino di Costrazza.

Horton explains that after traveling all the way from Columbus, Ohio “we were pretty flustered when we couldn’t think of anything clever.

“We staked out the perfect spot – right near the King of the Mountains sprint at the summit. But by the time we got situated, we both just kinda looked at each other. We totally blanked.”

Their momentary lapse in concentration made them uneasy.

“We tried not to panic. After leaving our families and spending thousands to get here, this was our chance to get a nanosecond of television coverage and cement our legacy. If we wrote something poignant, the riders would notice it and fondly recall later, ‘Remember when we were climbing Sestrière and someone had written Go Levi! in the road? That was nice.’”

Once their creative juices started flowing however, the pair was dismayed to realize that many of their favored options were already taken.

“We’re here to support Astana, but by the time we found a good spot, somebody had already written Levi! Levi! Levi! nearby. A little bit further up, someone had written Go Lance! in giant letters. Right below it, there was a big Chris Horner. I mean, who’s left? Popovych? Brajkovic?!? Are you kidding me? There’s no way in hell I’m going to try to spell either of them and risk a typo that might be seen by millions of viewers. Plus, I’m pretty sure they’re not American anyway.

“Of course, someone had already drawn a giant penis. Damn.”

Undeterred, the duo dug deep to think of something that would stand out. “We finally ended up writing Vive le Giro. We got a few funny looks from some Italians – or maybe they were French. But I think they were just jealous that they didn’t think of it first.

“After some initial panic about our options, we were satisfied. It’s not in direct support of Astana per sé, but reflects our passion for the Tour. I mean Giro. I can’t wait to check the DVR when we get back to see our work immortalized.

“I wonder if the news will be waiting for us at the airport when we return.”

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Drunk Belgians Argue: Who Was Better? Thorju Yosteen or Justeen Thoryos?

Alcohol-fueled tensions were running high among Belgian cycling fans Saturday night at Le Fluurgen Klopp, a popular pub in the working class suburb of Assebroek* outside the industrial city of Faargenkold.

The topics of tonight’s heated debate were the storied careers of two unsung Belgian amateurs. In between orders for another Stella Artois, the argument raged.

“Thorju Yosteen!”

“Justeen Thoryos!!”

Yosteen won the coveted Blort-Flerg-Blort in 1972, just edging his more seasoned teammate, Thoryos, as members of the short-lived Zoop Knurd squad. Thus began an intense rivalry that characterized many Belgian amateur races throughout the seventies.

Few Belgians will forget when Thoryos won the ’73 Shaartsnortt kermesse series. Yosteen claimed that Thoryos had given him a ‘Belgian hickey’ —licking his pinky finger and sticking it in Yosteen’s ear, thus distracting him to gain the victory. Officials failed to witness the alleged offense, and despite Yosteen’s protest, Thoryos retained the win.

Their intensely competitive tactics continued in the ’74 Korntuurd Classic when Yosteen gave Thoryos a ‘Belgian rugburn’ —lighting Thoryos’ jersey on fire as they rode, and escaping for the win amid the confusion and disarray as Thoryos flailed to remove his flaming garment.

Thoryos saught revenge in the 43rd running of the Hoon Vaarg Vannddderrrdaasssen Boont in 1975. Thoryos co-conspirators saw to it that Yosteen received a ‘Belgian lunchbag’ —a musette filled with lead weights. As Yosteen sped through the feed zone, he crashed heavily and dislocated his right shoulder as he reached for the approximately 200 kilo food tote.

When Yosteen resumed racing in the 1976 Puupfaart Race, their aggressive racing action turned borderline murderous when Yosteen gave Thoryos a ‘Belgian appendectomy’ —stabbing Thoryos in the side with a tire iron.

Sadly, both riders’ careers ended prematurely when during the 1977 Ronde Van Boogerflikk, they received lifetime bans after mutually attempting to inflict a ‘Belgian waffle’ —throwing popular breakfast pastries at each other during the race.

*This is a real town in Belgium. Look it up. All other names of pubs, cities, riders, teams, races, and 'Belgian anything' (except waffles) are fictional. Duh.
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