Diamonds in a Dunghill

Diamonds in a Dunghill

(Talmo: WBL 2013 # 6)

The Big O Oscar Clarke and Erin Bone Crusher Winter sparkled like diamonds in a dunghill as each scored a stunning win on yet another brutal 85-mile, 4.5 hour day in the WBL. Trying to contain Winter was like trying to catch sunshine in a box as she notched her second lifetime WBL win with a powerful push up the final 1 mile incline to the Pink Church finish line in the -Sunshine Cycles Ladies Day Classic. Likewise, trying to corral the Big O was like trying to pick up water with one hand—it can't be done. The Big O pulled clear early with a violent surge in the cruel and much detested Pink Church Loop Final Attack Zone, an 8-mile stretch of inhospitable asphalt stained with bitter tears and spilled blood and littered with frozen corpses to costly to remove. In the end only Phil the Thrill Gaimon could match the Big O's potent pedal strokes and the two powerhouse Zealots held off a hard charging group of ten slobbering, bloodthirsty chasers for almost the entirety of the barbarous finishing loop. At the line the Big O barely nipped the Thrill with a wicked turn of speed and pulled off the most prestigious and by far the hardest win of his budding career, the Atlantis Hydroponics Talmo Classic. Both pros showed they will be forces of nature that must be reckoned with on this year's national and international stage.

At the post ride press conference tears rolled down Big O's cheeks like his eyes were spigots with the tap left on. (Tears rolled down the Thrill's cheeks too but he was balling for different reasons.) After all, this was the Big O's first ever WBL win. Bone Crusher frowned at the Big O's lack of composure and leaned over and whispered, "Look, pretend this isn't your first rodeo. And please, quit your sniveling, you're embarrassing yourself." The Big O blew his nose. "How should I act," he replied, looking into his hanky. "I'll show you," Bone Crusher answered. She reached into the Big O's prize box and cracked opened his bottle of tequila and turned it up. Gurgle-gurgle-gurgle. She drained half the bottle with a ten-second pull, gently placed it back down, screwed up her face, and then whinnied like a horse with a dozen bees in its mouth. When she burped, a small blue-tipped flame leapt out of her mouth. She pushed the bottle towards the Big O and he did the same. Shortly thereafter the two were on top of the table buck dancing to an Irish jig. The two were hooting and hollering and singing karaoke and calling other people ugly names. Chairs screeched backwards, fights broke out, tables were overturned, and glass was splattered on the floor. Bone Crusher looked out at the melee and smiled. She picked up the empty tequila bottle and flung it into the crowd. It was rumored to have struck Thom Leonard squarely on the head.

The Misadventure Begins

A luminous legion of the strongest and wiliest pedal-bangers in this neck of the woods signed in to contest the Talmo Classic including not only the terrible triad of Bone Crusher, the the Big O and the Thrill, but also Yellow Jersey holder Tony the Blade Scott, Frank the Crisis Travesio, Chad Fat Cappy Capobianco, Joey the Wrecking Ball Rosskopf, the Brothers Magner Casey and Brett, Benjamin the Flatulator Bryant, A.J. Oscar Meyer, Jordan the Hemmy Heimer, Reid the Messenger Peacock, Fletcher Fletch Lydick, Eric Born on the Bayou Murphy, Iona Ya Man Parks, Catherine the Great Peacock, and Zoe Little Tornado Frazier. Looking around at the frothing gaggle of young gunslingers, proven pros, and all around hammerheads, I thought it might be best to call in sick. Unfortunately, Carney's line was busy. Then I remembered that he leaves it off the hook on Saturday mornings because he likes to sleep in.

The pack headed out of town via Prince Avenue and Tallassee Road behind the mighty pedal strokes of Tank Crumley. Tank was not only at the front at the beginning of the ride on Prince, he was at the front in the middle and near the end also as well as all points in between. In fact, he hogged time at the front like a pig with his snout in a bucket of gruel. He refused to move and even pretended he couldn't hear when others asked him to pull off. "Gimme some time up front," Rootin Tootin Cal Hootin begged. "I'm sorry, I'm deaf, dumb and blind," Tank said grinning like a fox in a henhouse as he just kept on pedaling away. Tank spent a total of 3.6 hours at the front on a ride of 4.5 hours total, and for his phenomenal feat he was awarded the day's Pull Point.

Tank was also at the front when the entire group was pulled over as they scudded out of town by a copper on a motorized popo-cycle. The moto-popo was wearing shiny black boots and shiny silver badge. After stopping the group of around 100 Zealots, the moto-popo boot-stomped up to the front of the group and bellowed, "Who's in charge of this rag-tag charade?"

"I am," Tank said, bowing out his chest. "Where I lead, they follow." True enough.

"Yall's group is way too ugly to be assembled all together at once. It's an illegal assemblage of ugly folks and my eyes can't take it," the moto-popo whined. "Eee-gads, just look at those two." He pointed at Scott Mercury Morris and Brett Bollywood Magner.

Tank turned and looked at Mercury and Bollywod. Damn, the moto-popo did have a point because those two fools are ugly as hale. Tank turned back to the popo and said, "Look, just think about how bad their mamas must feel." Tank had a tear in his eye. "I'm taking them to a farway place and I'm gonna dump them there."

The moto-popo scratched his chin and finally said, "Okay, I guess you're right. Poor fellas never had a chance. Don't bring em back inside the city limits, ya hear? Now get outta here." The group sailed away. Luckily, the black-booted moto-popo never saw Michael York because he was wearing a bag on his head.

The Ladies Sprint

The Ladies sprint zone didn't open until mile 40 and there were plenty of large, hurtful hummocks to tackle before then. The Zealots would climb just under 5,000 feet total for the day and many of the hardest hills were in the first half of the ride. When the whistle blew for the Talmo City limit sprint it was like a dozen tornadoes broke out all at once. The wind was swirling in circles and houses and buildings were flying in the air and it was hard to see who was where and what was what. When the dust settled, thanks to the calming influence of Bone Crusher Winter due to her mastery of Zen Buddhism, the placings in the problematic sprint was quickly settled. In the end the Little Tornado Zoe Frazier came out on top. After the placings were announced, Bone Crusher held up three fingers and said, "Ommmmmm." That may not have been exactly what she said.

Talmo Intermezzo sprint (Ladies)

  1. Zoe Frazier: 3 pts
  2. Erin Winter: 2 pts
  3. Catherine Peacock: 1 pt

Jefferson Riviera Wall (The Non-Pro, 1, 2 Sprint)

After the ladies sprint the grupetto continued assaulting the blacktop with their bikes. The poor pavement had no chance as these steely hearted scoundrels ran roughshod over the countryside. But the asphalt struck back. The group rolled over more backbreaking hills that began to suck the go-juice from their legs. Lactic acid filled their legs like sludge in a rusty copper pipe. Those who originally had plans to contest the sprint were now rethinking their plans. "Perhaps I'll just grab a big plate of turdurken and six pack and head for home," Crowe said, and he did. But just when the pack thought the ride couldn't get any harder, the whistle blew and the group began the Non-Pro, 1, 2 sprint on the Jefferson Riviera Wall, a vertical incline that should be illegal to climb.

The group first flew down the steep hill to the bottom of the gorge before beginning the 500 meter uphill wall to the line. The grade is so steep riders have been known to fall backwards on their bikes. At the bottom crossing the bridge the pace ratcheted up and the large group split once, twice, and even thrice. Showing the acumen of a seasoned pro and the sangfroid of a cunning master thief, Fletch Lydick sat in and held on until just the right moment, and with the line in sight he sprang away. The 15 year-old Fletch won the points with a masterful display. The impressive Justin Smith followed in 2nd with Yellow Jersey holder the Blade close behind.

J Riviera Wall Intermezzo sprint (Non Pro)

  1. Fletcher Lydick: 3 pts.
  2. Justin Smith: 2 pts.
  3. Tony Scott: 1 pt

The Final Attack Zone

After the J Riviera Wall, the group flew four miles down the J River Road and hit the Final Attack Zone at mile 71 with a right hand turn at Alligator pond. The Pink Church Loop is an 8-mile circuit that is devoid of any flat spots. The parcours drops suddenly and climbs back up as swiftly. It dives and rolls and bends and twists. There is no place to hide, no strategy to employ. All one can do is pedal like hale and hope (pray) to hang on.

Heading up the 1 mile slope for the first crossing of the Pink Church line the Ladies were sprinting for the win. The Pros were also sprinting for points. After a moment of grace, a surge at the front split the group in half. The front group continued to surge and eventually a group of 25 pedaled clear. A few were coughing up blood. Bone Crusher Winter, showing that Zen Buddhist are savvy if nothing else, made the front group because of her superior position. She held strong up the implacable incline and at the top sprinted away. She took the Ladies Day win with a dominant display of sheer strength, desire, dedication and drive. As she crossed the line she threw both arms in the air and spit on the side of the road. I did not realize Buddhists spit on the side of the road but I am learning new things every day. She also cursed like a sailor, albeit a Zen Buddhist one. Zoe Little Tornado Frazier scorched across in 2nd with an epic ride, while Catherine the Great Peacock sprinted across for 3rd. Namrita Odea, Iona Winter and Maria Carrelli rounded out the podium spots for the Ladies. Bone Crusher held her one-hundred bill in the air and screamed, "Now that's real transcendence." She may have been drinking at the time.

Ladies (Finish)

  1. Erin Winter: 10 pts.
  2. Zoe Frazier: 8 pts
  3. Catherine Peacock: 6 pts.
  4. Namrita Odea: 4 pts
  5. Iona Parks: 3 pts.
  6. Maria Carrelli: 2 pts

The pros also sprinted for points the first time they crossed the Pink Church line and in a show of what was to come and what will be, the Big O jumped and went clear. But the Flatulator Benjamin Bryant was pedaling furiously—he'd snuck away and was way up ahead. The Big O and the Flatulator both dug like gold miners as they closed and the line, even a photo couldn't reveal who won—it was a dead dog draw and both were given the win. Michael York showed off his wicked sprint and charged over for second, followed by the Blade who picked up the crucial last point.

Pro Sprint (Pink Church)

  1. O Clarke / Benjamin Bryant (tie): 3 pts
  2. Michael York: 2 pts
  3. Tony Scott: 1 pts

After the first sprint the group turned right and kept on motoring down the road. There were still seven long, difficult miles to pedal until they would circle back to the Pink Church line once again. The pack was stretched thinner than a gossamer thread as they flew down the gyring, corkscrew descent at 40 miles per hour. At the bottom the road tilts upwards at an acrimonious angle and at this particular spot the heavy-hitters fired their high-powered weaponry in a true display off shock and awe. In other words, the group fractured, splintered, and then exploded as a group of four went clear. Over the top, The Big O, Phil the Thrill, Hemmy Heimer, and A.J. Oscar Meyer (no relation to the Big O) were 5 seconds clear and gaining.

Behind the four danger men, a group of ten formed including Rosskopf, Fat Cappy, Fletch, Big Frank Traviseo, T Petit, C Magner, the Flatulator B Bryant, David Notso Goodman, Matthew Miller Time, and Dark Hurst. The chasers had their noses glued to their stems and they pedaled so hard that sparks were flying from where the rubber hit the road. Both groups were on the rivet and hammering as if their lives depended on winning this sprint.

The four up front held the chasers at bay, yet they couldn't increase their gap, which was now holding firm at 10 seconds. The temperature in the area rose a good ten degrees the two groups were pedaling so hard. As both groups turned right at Alligator Pond only 1 mile from the line, the Big O and the Thrill hit the gas again. After a stellar effort, Hemmy came unhinged but A.J. held on. The chasers could plainly see the front group ahead and everyone in both groups were pedaling with wild abandon. The chasers also shattered on the final hill and split into bits and pieces. Ahead, the Big O and the Thrill pressed on the gas and both rode clear of A.J. Body parts littered the roadside like flotsam and jetsam from a sunken pirate ship. The first chase (Rosskopf, Fat Cappy, Big Frank and C Magner) scooped up A.J and Hemmy and roarded past like afreight rain. At the line ahead the Big O pipped the Thrill and scored the hardest-fought victory of his two decades on earth. Travesio, showing an incredible ability to suffer, won the sprint for 3rd, followed closely by C Magner and Fat Cappy who both had spectacular rides. Rosskopf pedaled over the line in 6th.

Young 15-year old phenom Fletch Lydick came in shortly behind in 7th, having made the first chase, and moved into first place in the Overall in WBL 2013. As WBL 2013 heads into the deep part of the season, the Overall is up for grabs. The race is tighter than it's been in years. Stay tuned, there's more to come.

Talmo (Finish)

  1. Oscar Clarke: 10 pts.
  2. Phil Gaimon: 8 pts.
  3. Frank Travesio
  4. Casey Magner: 4 pts.
  5. Chad Cappy: 2 pts
  6. Attack Point: Jordan Heimer, A.J. Meyer: 1 pt
  7. Most Time at the Front: Frank Crumley: 1 pt
  8. All: 4 pts.

Non Pro (Finish)

  1. Fletcher Lydick: 5 pts
  2. Clark Hurst: 3 pts
  3. Tomas Petit: 1 pt

Junior (Finish)

  1. Fletcher Lydick: 3 pts


  1. Fletcher Lydick: 33 pts
  2. Tony Scott: 31 pts.
  3. Justin Smith: 30 pts
  4. Erin Winter: 29 pts
  5. Catherine Peacock: 26 pts
  6. Oscar Clarke: 25 pts
  7. Clarke Hurst: 25 pts
  8. Frank Travesio: 24 pts
  9. Zoe Frazier: 23 pts.
  10. David Jordan: 22 pts
  11. Thom Leonard: 22 pts
  12. Jason Crosby: 22 pts.
  13. Benjamin Bryant: 22 pts
  14. Scott Morris: 22 pts.
  15. Reid Peacock: 22 pts
  16. Tim Lees: 22 pts
  17. David Haney: 22 pts
  18. Frank Crumley: 20 pts
  19. Phil Gaimon: 19 pts.
  20. Damien Dunn: 19 pts
  21. Parker Haney: 19 pts
  22. Phillip Han: 19 pts
  23. Jason Bewley: 18 pts.
  24. Thomas Brown: 18 pts.
  25. Brendan Cornett: 18 pts
  26. Clarke Hurst: 18 pts.
  27. Criag Tinsley: 18 pts.
  28. Russ Foster: 18 pts
  29. David Goodman: 18 pts
  30. Matt Whattley: 18 pts
  31. Josh Pontzer: 18 pts
  32. Crowe: 18 pts.
  33. Tomas Petit: 17 pts
  34. Michael York: 17 pts
  35. Maria Carrelli: 17 pts
  36. Eddie Odea: 16 pts
  37. Joey Rosskopf: 16 pts
  38. Chris Slone: 16 pts
  39. Chad Cappy: 16 pts
  40. Nick Arroyo: 16 pts
  41. Blake Bradford: 16 pts
  42. Austin Ulich: 15 pts
  43. John Butler: 15 pts
  44. Paul Harkins: 15 pts
  45. Sam Rafal: 15 pts.
  46. Shannon Wrege: 14 pts
  47. Livili Radli: 14 pts
  48. Russ Foster: 14 pts
  49. Robert Consaster: 14 pts
  50. Morgan Patton: 13 pts
  51. Cal Hootin: 12 pts
  52. Michael Waine: 12 pts
  53. Clay Parks: 12 pts
  54. Casey Magner: 12 pts
  55. Joe Dunlop: 12 pts
  56. Iona Parks: 12 pts
  57. Brooks Lide: 12 pts
  58. Brett Magner: 12 pts
  59. Brian Molloy: 12 pts
  60. Eric Murphy: 12 pts
  61. Matt Miller: 12 pts
  62. Christian Dicenso: 11 pts.
  63. Michael York: 11 pts
  64. Michael Trivette: 11 pts
  65. Ceci Crowe: 11 pts
  66. Hunter Garrison: 11 pts
  67. Dustin Mealor: 10 pts
  68. Rob Butler: 10 pts
  69. Big Cappy: 10 pts.
  70. Oestrich Nick: 10 pts
  71. Jordan Heimer: 10 pts
  72. Huntley Nash: 10 pts
  73. Don Newman: 10 pts