Tuesday, May 10, 2011

(semi) Complete Cast and Crew

Upon reading a recent blog entry one of Rodzilla's co-workers commented (to him personally but unfortunately not on the blog site. We're improving in that category but we're still running about a 75:1 page view to comment ratio, we can do better. If you visit the site let us know you were here, even if it's to tell us "you're nowhere near as funny as you think you are." or "For the love of Pete, choose a sport that doesn't involve you in spandex, or if you must wear spandex stop posting pictures of yourself in it." We're no respecters of comments, we love them all ... OK enough on that) the co-worker's comment was something like: "I felt I was picking up a sit-com in the middle of the season." Let's give ourselves a pat on the back for the simple fact that the adjective 'bad' or 'cheesy' was not used to modify sit-com (hooray for us) and then address what this co-worker was saying. The problem with this blog is we keep referencing characters, people, places, events and fringe pop culture movies, songs, tv series etc. as if the reader knew exactly what we were talking about. Well short of inviting you to Rodzilla's basement for a marathon weekend screening of B-movies about bikes, 80's situation comedies and Steven Segal action thrillers I can't help the latter part of that complaint but we have tried to give a snapshot of the main characters whose story lines make up a recurring theme, as opposed to a passing subplot. Which brings us to today's blog entry ...

Is anybody else old enough to remember the original Gilligan's Island theme song? The black & white one from the pilot season? No? Well I'll help you out:

You'll notice, if you've ever watched an episode of Gilligan's Island in color that in the black & white season only a partial casting call was provided in the opening credits:

There's Gilligan:

Yes, the blog is called Cycling with Rodzilla, so by rights, Rodzilla should have the eponymous roll in this 60's TV comedy series analogy, but Gilligan's nick-name is 'lil-buddy'. I'll wager Rodzilla hasn't been referred as lil buddy by anybody since he hit puberty, if ever at all. So I'll be playing the part of Gilligan today. It's me, Steve aka (im)deebers, aka deebers aka 'Big Ring' (per doctor Ivey) aka 'the Deebs' (that's a recent unauthorized Rodzilla addition) Larsen.

the Skipper too:

Number two in the credits but number one in our hearts, captain of Team Sons of Perdition in the upcoming Rockwell Relay, LOTOJA Lottery winner, notorious ladies man on two wheels, keeper of the blog and the most interesting cyclist in the world's homeboy:
"I don't always ride bikes but when I do, I like to draft behind Rodzilla.
Keep pedaling my friends."

It's Rodney aka Rodzilla, aka cap'n Rodney, aka Sir Rodney Longcranks, aka 'it's Miller-time', Miller.

The Millionaire:
Despite our collective (Rodzilla, Swedish Matt, me, dregger) history of unwise and imprudent purchases to support a surprisingly expensive, albeit enjoyable and rewarding, habit, none of us has sufficient funds at our disposal to reasonably play this roll (Matt's feeble attempts to purchase a second Tarmac S-works SL3 for $3500 and call it his 'rain bike' notwithstanding). The only person with the available disposable income and penchant for squandering it on all things cycling is everybody's favorite physician Dr Roger, aka Ra-Ja, aka 'the Maharaja' Ivey:

Racer X
(no photo available so he is depicted here as 'Racer X', Speed Racer's mentor )

You could argue that Dr. Ivey is a fringe character at best, making only the rare cameo appearance, condescending comment or testosterone fueled, laying down the gauntlet, challenge. But consider: without Dr Ivey there is no purchase of Fuji team RC carbon fiber bike for dregger (passed on to me, then to La Canadienne), no Pony Express Century ride, no LOTOJA 2010 for dregger and me and hence no LOTOJA 2011 for 'Zilla and myself. So hats off to the man whose actual rain-bike is more expensive than Saxo-bike, Cannondale SS and whatever Swedish Matt calls his bike put together, and who in one way or another inspired most of what we have been blogging about for the last few months.

and his wife:

This is not a character that comes in to play in our blog-o-sphere, though I will wager our collective wives wish we would stop pretending to be the Maharaja in our cycling expenditures. What we need is a "you bought what" or a "You signed up for that. Again?" of each of our wives when they are feeling less indulgent of our hobby. Look in the archives Rodzilla, I'm sure you'll come up with something.

The Movie Star:

Any one of the doot-doot girls providing backup vocals to Rodzilla's Motown Bike Ride last Saturday would work nicely here:

but the line is 'movie' star. I believe there's a video clip of Rodzilla's ride with the stars that could work here, if he still has it. Maybe we will use this particular spot in this blog post to add miscellaneous videos that we've shot and the title of movie star will go to the video subject of the moment. Something to keep coming back to the blog to check on.

And the rest!

Yeah, even as a kid I felt this sweeping summation of the remaining cast (There were only seven for crying out loud, you've already named five, would two more kill you?) was in poor taste and at the risk of repeating the crime here, I give you, the reason for today's blog. Took us a while to get here didn't it? I should have warned you about my tendency to go on and on ... Oh I did warn you. Nevermind.

Swedish Fish

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Swedish Car

Swedish Matt

For the Record, not actually Swedish. But he served his mission in Sweden and his wife looks Swedish (see below) ans he can read the IKEA catalogue in the original language, always helpful if you're looking for an affordable bedroom set and you want accurate information. Reluctant Road Cyclist would also work. We may have coerced Swedish Matt into purchasing a new road bike for (according to him) "more money than I would ever want to spend on something I can't take off road" by talking him onto Team Sons of Perdition. Relax Swedish Matt, the trails will still be there when the snow melts. For now just keep your mind set on the Cyclist #2 duties for the Rockwell Relay http://rockwellrelay.com/moab-cyclist-2/ . We'll start riding in the dirt soon enough.

ABBA 4 ever


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Not Swedish.

But come on, Swedish Wife aka Liz, aka Liz-beth, aka 'miss Eliza' aka Relief Society President looks at least as Swedish if not more so than those other so-called Swedes, wouldn't you say?When I first met Swedish wife and then found out that Swedish Matt served a Swedish mission I theorized that Swedish wife was a stand in for all those leggy Swedes that Swedish Matt met (in Sweden!) and couldn't date. I've since given voice to that theory several times and nobody has shot holes in it, so there it is. Swedish Matt/Swedish Wife. On the cycling side of things, Swedish wife is just a hair under 6' (pretty sure she's taller than Swedish Matt but I've noticed Swedish Matt never stands close enough to her in public for anybody to eye-ball the measurement) and roughly 80% of that stature is legs. Swedish wife should run the high hurdles, but since this is a cycling blog, she has the tools to climb any mountain and win any sprint, she just hasn't applied herself yet. If Swedish Matt gives her enough time away from the Swedish brood so she can train? Well then, who knows what the limit might be?

Ivan the elusive, Ivan the Illusion, Ivan the legend.

I actually had an Ivan siting (true story) and he wasn't all covered in hair and looking to eat some beef jerky like you see in the commercials. The location was the fund-raising 5k fun run Rodzilla referenced in his last blog. He was on his Specialized Allez* road bike, suited up in bike gear and clutching about $40, all in one dollar bills which made it seem like he may have been on his way to a 'Gentleman's' club but decided better of it and came to the fundraiser instead (Good choice Ivan). I was manning the donation table when he rolled up, identified himself shoved the money into my awe-struck hand and said "It's all the cash I had, but it's for a good cause." And then pedaled off before I could snap a grainy photo with my cell phone camera, just like the Sasquatch would (the elusive part, not the altruistic part).

*a new layer in the legend of Ivan is that he is in the market for a Pinarello Prince on sale at Backcountry. If he pulls the trigger on that purchase I will feel more reassured about his level of commitment to Team SoP and the Rockwell Relay.

Nigel & dregger:

clockwise from top left: Nigel, me, dregger, dregger's Cervélo R3
and Maharaja's (borrowed for dregger's top of the podium ride) Pinarello Dogma

dregger is the one who started all this for me. He's shorter, more squat and just about as heavy as me, and also a stronger rider and better climber than me. That said, ever since he beat me by 90 seconds in the 1995 St George Marathon, he's finished behind me in every organized race we've entered together. At this point he (dregger) would probably want to point out that the above photo was taken just minutes before he cleaned my clock in the first ever Larsen Invitational Utah Hill Climb*. I would point out that he was riding on $10,000 dollars worth of sculpted Italian cyclery while I was on the Fuji with overstretched shifter cables that would not allow me to shift out of the large chain ring up front (adding to the already robust 'Big Ring' legend). We both managed to handily beat (skinny) Nigel who weighs about as much as three hummingbirds, assuming two of the three hummingbirds suffer from anorexia nervosa. It's mystifying and frankly insulting the Great Creator of all cyclists everywhere that Nigel isn't the King of our particular crew of castaways. He doesn't even own a bike, that's probably a large part of the problem. He's on his third Ragnar this year (one of which he ran as a 6 man Ultra team). We need to get him to trade in his running shoes for some wheels and come join us. Like Swedish wife, he has all the tools, he just isn't applying them appropriately.

So that's it. If you're still with me at this point, you're up to speed. And a good thing too. All of this season's best episodes are yet to air. Stay tuned.

talk/blog soon,


*Larsen Invitational Utah Hill climb is not a USA Cycling sanctioned event


  1. I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank the Ra-Ja for inspiring the love of biking in Dregger who then passed this love on to my honey who (because he wanted to ride so much and still spend a lot of time with me) encouraged me in the cycling sport (and gave me Dregger's Fuji) and who is always pushing me to do better (and ride faster! [I will not train for LOTOJA with you]). So... thank you, Dr Ivey. I'm having a great time.

  2. Hummingbirds must be heavier than they look if I only weigh as much as three of them...and I want it noted that if I had "applied" myself on the Invitational...I might very well have beaten you on my first time ever sitting on a road bike! Good blog...I even read the whole thing...

  3. First !

    "I don't always ride bikes but when I do, I like to draft behind Rodzilla.
    Keep pedaling my friends."

    Second !

    Nigel who weighs about as much as three hummingbirds, assuming two of the three hummingbirds suffer from anorexia nervosa.

    Excellent Read, you are a gifted writer. I wonder out loud if you re-read before you post and censor yourself? Cause some of the stuff that actually makes it to print....Well lets just hope, people aren't as offended as when we go home teaching :)

  4. PS, Always looking for capitol gain and to support my dirty habit. I got a little creative on a KSL posting

    Check it out

  5. My words carry weight that would break a less interesting mans jaw.

    Ive won trophies for my game face alone.

    I bowl… Overhand.

    Police often question me, just because they find me interesting.

    My beard alone has experienced more than a lesser mans body.

    My blood smells like cologne.

    And know this my friends, I don't always bike, but when I do ..... LOL

  6. comment on a comment(s):
    to La Canadienne: "I will not train for LOTOJA with you" I say "every ride is a training ride."

    To Nigel: " if I had "applied" myself on the Invitational...I might very well have beaten you on my first time ever sitting on a road bike!" I say "there is still plenty of time to matriculate (just do it already)."

    To Rodney: "I wonder out loud if you re-read before you post and censor yourself?" I say "No. Should I?"

  7. To Jonathan Goldsmith? Well played sir.

  8. Thanks for the intro. There was a lot of pictures on there of Swedish things-and for the record, my ancestors are Swedish. But I have Cherokee in there also, so we can obviously see which side won out in the gene pool. I would like to thank my hubby (who would argue he does too stand near me in public, yes, I read the blog to him) for getting me to love biking. It all started with mountain biking, where my heart is also, but I will take it where I can get it. And if that means getting on a road bike-then that is what it means. And for the record- I took the hubby's bike and told him to find himself a new one, just didn't realize what an expensive decision I had made.

  9. Hey Gilligan, great read.
    And thanks for leaving a bike here in Kanata last summer; I rode it yesterday through the woods. Sadly, it wouldn't go over a fallen tree laying across the path. Perhaps bigger tires? I'll look into it. Good luck with the training. Juanatin

  10. When did this biking blog become so much more?

  11. Jon (or as you will be known in the future on this site 'El Profesor') glad you got to go for a ride on the Canadian shield. That bike is a bit of a tank but serviceable for the average forest path. Felled trees? You may need to go bigger than a bike for that one.

    Tom, the answer to your question is teamwork. I provide the lyrics, Rodney supplies the music, I bring the peanut butter he brings the jelly. I cook the ham, he fries the eggs. It obvisously helps that we're passionate about the same thing. Thanks for the comments & encouragement.

  12. Since you want comments here it is... Does the blog make it seem more real? Which is funner, the riding or the writing?

  13. Anonymous, good questions. For me it's the riding that's fun and challenging. The writing is just a way to relive it, at least the enjoyable parts. There are miserable days and I do my share of complaining about them but the good days far outnumber the bad and the enjoyment always outweighs the misery. The blog, then, serves as a place to debrief, an electronic depot for the memorable summer rides that we can revisit when the weather turns cold again (that's assuming it will ever actually get warm). Thanks for the comment.