Thursday, June 2, 2011

Team Sons of Perdition (a rose by any other name ...)

per·di·tion (pər dis̸h′ən)


  1. ARCHAIC complete and irreparable loss; ruin

  2. THEOL.

    1. the loss of the soul; damnation

    2. Hell

Web definitions
  • The notion of the Son of Perdition or the Man of Sin or The Wicked One can be found in and is a name commonly associated with the Antichrist ( and ), the Lawless One (Dan. 7 and 8), and the Beast of Revelation .

What's in a name? Have you ever heard a great band name and had your interest piqued enough by what they called themselves to listen to their music even though you suspected (correctly as it turned out) that the naming of their band marked the zenith of their career/creativity? Bands like these:


JFKFC (An Atlanta metal supergroup featuring members of other notably named bands like Necropolis, and Artemis Pyledriver)

Kathleen Turner Overdrive

Mary Tyler Morphine(From TV newswoman to female-fronted hardcore band)

John Cougar Concentration Camp (They’ll never drop the “cougar” from their name.)

Gringo Star


Generally you came away unimpressed with their actual talent but still chuckling to yourself at their obvious lack of pretense and or need to take themselves the least bit seriously. It's in that same vein that I would regard our cycling team's chosen moniker. Yes it's bleak, forboding (see above definitions), perhaps even more than a bit cheeky (if this entire venture ends in catastrophic, life altering, transcendent failure, need we look further than the team name?) but let's not forget the late-great band Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head

at Live8

and again remember, nobody (especially anybody who has ridden a bike with us for more than 5 minutes) is taking us very seriously.

The actual name came from an aborted date night. We (the Swedes, Rodzilla/Red Rider La Canadienne and I) were going to go see a movie of the same name:

Sons of Perdition Poster

Sons of Perdition (2010)

R 85 min - Documentary
Users: (33 votes) write review | Critics: 7 reviews

An inside look at polygamist teens who have become religious refugees in mainstream America.

All levity aside, that does sound grim. Without getting too personal, a member of our crew has some history with with this particular polygamist group and it was that personal connection that had us planning on attending the movie's one and only showing at a local cinema. Alas, it was rated R (restricted) so we abandoned the date night (just as well Rodzilla tends to fall asleep 10 minutes into any movie that doesn't feature bikes or explosions, this one promised neither) but kept the name. I would be lying if I didn't admit that every time I write 'Team Sons of Perdition" I cringe a bit and hope that Fate, Kismet, Karma ... whatever you choose to call it, shares our same ironic sense of humor.

That said, the name is not without application in the upcoming relay race. Consider the route covers more than 500 miles of southern Utah desert from Moab to St George and to that fact add this foot note of information:

Leg Notes: This leg will take you past the beautiful Abajo (Blue) mountains on the right. Passing thought the Comb Ridge at mile 37.5 is a majestic moment. Leg ends at the Mule Canyon trailhead where Anasazi ruins dating back to 1200 AD can be explored. GASOLINE WARNING!!! After the turn off at State Road 95, the next gasoline is in Hanksville, 121 miles away. Make sure to fill up in Monticello, Blanding, or the gas station at the corner of 191 and 95.

That's right 121 (that's 200 km for those who have embraced the accuracy of metric measurement) miles without services of any kind. When was the last time you drove on a stretch of highway that desolate? This particular stretch of the race takes place in daylight (assuming we are all pulling our collective weight in the saddle) but the race doesn't stop when the sun goes down. The race route takes us through some of the least populated land in our fair state. I'm anticipating relaxing in the bed of Rodzilla's truck and contemplating the Cosmos between naps but for the poor sap pedaling his bike over a mountain on a desolate highway with the only visible light coming from the unit strapped to his helmet. I'm looking at you Swedish Matt, kudos to you for taking what I like to think of as the 'ride to the stars and back' leg.

Leg Notes

From Torrey start climbing up UT-12 into the Boulder Mountains. Climb is steep up to a false summit at mileage 15 then after a short decent and 5 more miles of climbing you will hit the boulder pass. Take a moment to enjoy the view the east. The mountains seen in the distance are the Henry’s that you just passed earlier in the day. After summit you have a steep decent down to the quaint town of Boulder and to the exchange. Take caution and watch for cattle, deer, and elk on the road during the decent.

Elevation Map – Leg 6

I'm sure to Swedish Matt it will feel like this is the cycling equivalent of outer darkness. Maybe not eternal but the outer darkness I've read about doesn't require you to dodge cattle and elk while riding down a mountain in the middle of the night at 35 mph. Let's all remember the Swede in our thoughts & if it's not too late for 'Team Sons of Perdition', our prayers.

It didn't have to be Team SoP (see how I tend to shy away from it ... superstitious I guess). My recommendation was the Soggy Bottom Boys:

an homage to my second favorite (and still top five of all time) Coen brothers movie. As things have developed, the name would have been remarkably apropos.

You've got Ulysses Everett Mcgill/Rodzilla

The tragically self-confident and woefully unprepared leader of a group of reluctant outcasts. He scores a 10/10 for 'can do' spirit, a 6.5 (the .5 was a nod to generosity) out of 10 for realistic expectations (of himself and the team, he's a dreamer, the world could use more like him). You have to give it up to both of them for their never-say die, never quit, attitude. Whether it's breaking out of jail win back your family or biking up a 10% grade in the Utah desert summer when you tip the scales at 125 kilos (see how the metric system works in your favor Rodzilla?) our fearless leader will set the odds aside and get the job done.

Greyhound Racing Pictures

Rodzilla in his mind

Rodzilla in reality

Rodzilla: "I am thinking about heading to the beast in the south east after work for a quick accentand by quick I mean 10 secs faster than [La Canadienne's] last recorded time."

Ulysses Everett McGill: "Me an' the old lady are gonna pick up the pieces and retie the knot, mixaphorically speaking."

Pete/Swedish Matt:

Film Still

The voice of reason. The 'calls it like he sees it man' (if you want sugar coating on it, go to a donut shop) whose opinion you might not agree with but you have to respect because it's based on reality. Let's call him a realist.

Matt : "Nothing makes a cheap bike look cool or a nice bike look cheap like a set of wheels."

Pete: "That don't make no sense!"

Delmar O'Donnell/ (im)deebers

Willing, capable (mostly), pragmatic and not a lick of leadership ability or desire to lead. A task oriented journeyman who just wants everybody to work together and get the job done. You look at both of them and you know there's something not quite right, you're not taking them seriously and you don't feel threatened, nor should you. Both are basically moving targets waiting to get their teeth kicked in by Big Dan T or humbled on the nearest hill-climb by Dr Maharaja Ivey. They both kinda look like dorks*, but it's hard to argue with the results.

(im)deebers (in response to Swedish Matt's assessment of his wheel set purchase to replace his tubulars): "I'm just glad I can repair my flats now."

Pete: Wait a minute. Who elected you leader of this outfit?
Ulysses Everett McGill: Well Pete, I figured it should be the one with the capacity for abstract thought. But if that ain't the consensus view, then let's put it to a vote.
Pete: Suits me. I'm voting for yours truly.
Ulysses Everett McGill: Well I'm voting for yours truly too.
Delmar: "Well I'm with you fellers."

* Exhibit A: the photographic evidence (one of literally dozens of dorky delmar/deebers cycling photos) this, the photo of me looking like the special Ed action figure, complete with protective helmet was the best head shot photo I could find ... enough said.

Tommy Johnson/the Legend of Ivan

Both show up well into the second act of the movie, where they came from and how they got here is shrouded in mystery. Both add some diversity to the otherwise Wonderbread ensemble. Both sing a few songs, lighten the mood and then disappear as abruptly as they showed up. Troubadors, with a capital 'T'.

the Legend of Ivan:

If I were a rich man,

Ya ha deedle deedle, bubba bubba deedle deedle dum.

All day long I'd biddy biddy bum.

If I were a wealthy man.

I wouldn't have to work hard.

Ya ha deedle deedle, bubba bubba deedle deedle dum.

If I were a biddy biddy rich, Yidle-diddle-didle-didle man.

(at least I think that's what he was singing).

Tommy Johnson: I had to be up at that there crossroads last midnight, to sell my soul to the devil.
Ulysses Everett McGill: Well, ain't it a small world, spiritually speaking. Pete and Delmar just been baptized and saved. I guess I'm the only one that remains unaffiliated.

The mysticism surrounding both their origins lends itself nicely to the team name (Sons of P, not Soggy Bottom Boys).

So there you have it. Perhaps the team should actually combine the two names in one: The Soggy Sons of Perdition? Certainly if the normally prevailing weather pattern for summer in southern Utah returns we will have the soggy part covered, though I expect it will involve more than just our bottoms. Either way, the Relay Race now has its official soundtrack:

[image loading]

I am a man of constant sorrow
I've seen trouble all my days ...


  1. Thanks, Delmar. I thought of another: Jerry Lewis Farrakhan (I think Dave Eggers came up with that one, actually).

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