[Being the superstitious lot, we at Staten CX begged some Blog-Gods to write the official Event Horoscope. [Ed. They weren't available.] Sensing our New York angst, The Unholy Rouleur from DC volunteered to calm our nerves with clear predictions for Sunday, November 30th, 2008. Thanks Jim!]
The good promoters of next week’s ‘Cross race on Staten Island asked me if I could provide a cyclocross horrorscope for their race. Evidently, the BikeSnob is too busy running his combined Phrenology and Faith Healing shop, and I understand Stevil Kinevil is spending most of the week sacrificing California Virgins – both of them – and test riding a new Norwegian Death Metal-inspired Razr Scooter. So the task fell to D team - the Unholy Rouleur.
I freely admit that I’ve never been to this race. It’s new, and I live about 200 miles away, plus I doubt I could get to Staten Island without getting mugged coming through North Jersey. So I don’t know what I’m talking about when I tell you that it’s going to rock. I know this for certain because they will have free Belgian waffles. Nothing is bad if there are free Belgian waffles – a point I made recently to the King of Belgium when we were talking over beers about how to rehabilitate his country’s image in the eyes of the Dutch. The other half of my strategy was free pommes frites with a chili pepper mayonnaise, but he wasn’t so sure about that. It's entirely possible I was really drunk on Belgian beer and only imagined getting hammered with the King of Belgium, but trust me, even if he was only a hallucination, he is a great, great guy.
Anyhow, relying on my occult knowledge of tea leaves, chicken bones, and things I’ve noticed stuck on the cusp of Uranus, I can tell you that the race is going to be a good one. I can also tell you what your horrorscope is going to be for race day, so you will know how best to prepare for the race.
Aries – the Ram. It’s looking good for you. The weather will be cold, but fortunately, your profuse back hair will keep you warm, and that’s just the female Aries racers. Male Aries will be even better positioned to butt their way through the pack thanks to their enormous horns. Is somebody trying to compensate for something with those things?
Taurus – the Bull. Your riding style involves strength, stamina, and an almost uncanny ability to hop fences to get at female cows. You’ll do well here, but a word of caution. This race coincides with the peak of hunting season. You may want to consider treating this as a Halloween ‘cross race and coming dressed as “bull-et proof vest.” Smith & Wesson and General Dynamics both make good “costumes.” One rated to stop up to 7.62 NATO rounds should be good enough
Gemini – the twins. It’s going to be a rough weekend for the twins. I see multiple flats, a number of hard crashes, and a cracked frame in your future, plus you’re going to get arrested for being underage when you go to get a sixxer of Brooklyn Ale from the bodega. It’s not looking good. I propose an alternate course of action for the Twins. You should forget racing, and meet me at McSorleys on Friday at about 8:00 PM. Wear red. I haven’t seen your palms yet but think that your love lines will be looking longer and longer right about then, or if not longer then at least long enough. I foresee that you won’t miss the race at all. We’ll erect a barrier together, have a really good runup, enjoy the curves, and have a climactic finish. Yeah, it’s going to be a great weekend if you’re me, er, I mean the Twins.
Cancer – the Crab. The good news is, it’s treatable. The bad news is, you’re never going to look at cute little hipster chicks from Williamsburg in quite the same way again. But look on the bright side – not only can you head out to Staten Island and race ‘cross this weekend, but if your mom in Iowa is worried about your diet and exercise, you can tell her that you had crabs every night this week and you rode your bike lots. Racing cross while also keeping your mom happy despite what she suspects is your depraved and aimless hipster lifestyle is a win-win for you, as far as I’m concerned.
Leo – the lion. Okay Leo, we all know you’re not a lion, that you’re actually a 49 year-old orthodox Jewish guy with a long beard and a white-fro, who lives in Mamaroneck. But that’s okay, we all know resting is the most important part of training, and you will have been resting your ass off on Shabbat. As everybody knows - even those f***s at the league office - you don't roll on Shabbat. So next Sunday, you’ll be ready to roll, and I foresee that you’ll sandbag it in the 3/4 Masters instead of racing in the elite where you belong. This will earn you the well-deserved hatred of your friends, as you have a good time at the front of the pack. Sure, it’s possible you aren’t interested in the great bacon primes that the organizers lined up. But you are eligible for the other prizes, and the proceeds from this race go to inner-city youth. That’s not chopped liver now, is it?
Virgo – the Virgin. You really shouldn’t be reading this blog now, should you?
Libra – the Scale. You’re a libra if you looked at the Bikereg page and wondered where the SuperClydesdale / Athena races were being held. Don’t worry about it, Libras. I looked into the future and you’re going to have a fun race anyhow. Seeing as how this is a ‘cross race, you’ll be racing against people for the entire 45 minutes, even if you’re just trying to fend off DFL with two other Clydesdales and a U-14 Junior who is about to lap you. It’s all good. Double Extra Bonus: Staten Island was formed at the end of the last ice age – the geologic era, not the movie. It is comprised of granite. So unlike those muddy races in Portland, where a Clydesdale crashing hard has been known to disappear forever in the deep mud, there is no risk whatsoever of you disappearing into the mud thanks to a solid layer of bedrock underneath the grass. On the other hand, you have a pretty good chance of getting a broken collarbone and separated shoulder when your Michelin Jets slide out from under you, so you may want to consider wearing an older jersey that you don’t mind ripping up and fashioning into a sling.
Scorpio – the scorpion. Cursed from birth with a zodiac sign that doomed you to being the head of an enormous transnational criminal enterprise, you’ve found that the only thing that brings meaning and enjoyment to your life, other than plotting world domination, is ‘cross racing. So you see, Scorpio, that makes you just like every other ‘cross addict out there, except for you having about 80% more International Villain-itude. (Only match sprinters and Keirin riders are more villainous). I see you already have some plans to kill your competition this weekend, but think you need to avoid having your clueless henchmen due your dirty work – that whole domestique thing only works defensively in cross, it’s no good on the attack. Moreover, you need to leave the sharks with frickin’ lasers on their heads at home. There isn’t enough water here to make them viable. You might want to look into similarly equipped laser-bearing Snakehead fish, which can walk on land, or perhaps arm up the local squirrels with prison shanks, made in the prison workshop of nearby Riker’s. Even then, I don’t see world ‘cross domination on your calendar for this weekend. But hey, maybe you’ll win a mid-pack prime. It isn’t world domination, but that would be nice, right? I hear they have bacon.
Saggitarius – the Archer. Many ‘crossers say they have ‘arrows in the quiver,’ but it’s only literally true for somebody like you. I foresee you having a very good race next Sunday, right up until the point where a heckler on the runup throws beer on you, and you shoot him with a flaming arrow. You need to know that this is ‘cross, not the NY Knicks. An unsportsmanlike display of that sort would result in the officials sending you to the back of the pack. Plus the Department of Natural Resources guys may be out there, and bowhunting season ended a month ago, so you’d be looking at a thousand dollar fine. I'm cautioning you against using that bow if you want to preserve your normal 53rd place finish.
Capricorn – the horned goat. I foresee you having a good race if you can avoid locking horns or handlebars with the Ram, Aries. There is plenty of flat field for you to graze on, and rumor has it that there are places on the island where various beverages of grainy origins can be purchased – and I know how you like your wheat, your hops, your barley and similar grains. Now for the bad news. Since you’re basically just a sheep, you can forget about spectacular results. Mortal terror of being alone will prevent you from falling behind the pack, just as mortal terror of being alone will prevent you from breaking away for the win. So you’re fated to have a mid-pack finish, no matter what. Hey, have you considered roadracing? You have what it takes to be a great domestique. I hear George Hincapie is from your neck of the woods…
Aquarius – the Water Bearer. Dude, this is a cross race. Leave the water at home. Bring some Belgian brewskis and drink them discretely out of a plastic cup. Bring enough for 20 of your closest friends. I foresee that you are going to get your ass kicked in an epic fashion in the race, but you still have a decent chance of winning the party. You may want to consider some Manscaping too – when the party really gets rolling and you start taking your clothes off and trying to get a naked ‘cross ride going, you’ll be more convincing if people don’t think you’re a grizzly bear trying to lure them to their death in a sand pit.
Pisces – the Fish. There’s no hope for Pisces on this course, unless it rains heavily. For one thing, gills are no use whatsoever on sand pits, they just get packed with loose sand (kind of like lungs, really), though you will probably feel comfortable with the “spawning salmon” vibe you get from hopping over the barriers up the runup, one after another. For another thing, have you ever tried to sling a bike over your back, only to have it catch on your enormous dorsal fins? It’s not good. I’d recommend that you hang out somewhere near the Jersey shore this weekend and eat clams instead of racing.
So there you have it. Some of you are going to have great races, others of you are doomed, doomed, doomed I tell you. But everybody is going to have fun, and it’s for a good cause.
Plus there’s bacon. You did get that, right?