The Phoenix

Photo: Janet Hill
Photo: Janet Hill

As a dyed-in-the-wool Northerner, my time living in the South was a mixed bag. Southerners think differently, speak differently, eat differently, and prioritize life differently than do Yankees. In many ways, I became a better person during my time in the South, learning to relax a little bit and stop chasing my tail over everything all the time. In fact, the new and relaxed Frank was probably better prepared for the mellow attitude towards living that I’ve found so delightful here in the Pacific Northwest. (Believe it or not, PNW Frank of today is less-uptight than previous iterations.)

On the other hand, trying to get something moving faster than it was already moving was a near-impossible task and one that caused my impatient self frustration at times. I also learned that while the North has long since moved on from the trials and tribulations of the Civil War (er, the War of Northern Aggression), parts the South has not. In fact, any conversation with an elderly Southern Gentleman would invariably lead to the assertion that the South would rise again, to which my query was ignorant as always: “Again?”

My sense of nationalism is a wonderfully flexible thing. I was raised in the States in a Dutch household by Dutch parents speaking Dutch as my first language. I was, however, born in Saint Paul, Minnesota, about a score after Johnny Cash accidentally met a heartbreaker there. On any typical day, I self-identify as a Dutchman, despite my passport being inarguably American after having been born within the borders of the United States. But whenever the good ol’ US of Fuckin’ A pulls one out of the bag, my allegiances happily flop over and I’m suddenly a proud American. Its very convenient, always being on the winning side this way.

Seeing the turnout at the Cyclocross World Championships was one of those times. Everything fell in place; the crowds, the racing, and the weather going full-blown Cyclocross by throwing ice, snow, mud, and rain at the racers. American Katie Compton even brought home a Silver medal. (Oh, and by the way, the Dutch won 3 out of 4 events, so put that in your pipe, Belgium.)

This was already enough to restore my faith in American Cycling, but it wasn’t until the Elite Men’s Award Ceremony that I was nearly brought to prideful tears. There isn’t any population that has a healthier disdain for authority than do Americans, and I can’t think of any group of Americans with a healthier disdain for fat white corrupt assholes than Southerners. Given the current state of affairs, I tip my hat to the great work done by Louisville, Kentucky in organizing the event, the throngs who showed up and proved that Cycling can be successful in America, and booing Pat McQuaid like he has always deserved.

I’m not sure if the South will rise again, but I’m mighty proud at how we pulled this one up from the ashes. Chapeau, ‘Murca.

Related Posts

71 Replies to “The Phoenix”

  1. @VeloVita


    Bummed that we didn’t meet up.

    Too much to catch up at work to wax poetic about the event but I’ll echo your reports: it was a great day. In the end, happy that they moved everything to Saturday (even though that meant missing out on a Saturday morning distillery visit) as the walk from the hotel to the venue was a little longer than anticipated. This way, was also able to catch the junior race which was good. Loved how the Japanese rider was getting the loudest cheers from the crowd! Weather was perfect, crowd was great, tight course layout meant easy access to every part of it. True that getting a beer before the last race was a bit of a challenge.

    We missed the podium ceremony (and thus the boos heard around the world) as we were hangin’ out by the Rapha Focus pit, hoping to get a few autographs (didn’t). But we did run in J-Pow and Ryan Trebon in the hotel lobby on Sunday and they couldn’t have been nicer.

    I also managed to run into Ryan Kelly (of “ah, chocolate milk fame” from 200 on 100) over an over: first at the Galt House hotel bar, then at the course, at the official unofficial after party, Sunday night at Against The Grain Brewery (also where Rapha Focus had their team dinner), and finally at the airport Starbucks. He looks shorter on the internet.

    Link to my pics from the event.

  2. I cannot explain how annoyed I am that I didn’t make it down there from Cincinnati. Why must I have a job? Oh. The horror.

    But, the weekend before Kings CX was awesome.  As a side note, a member of the team I used to ride for was very excited to place 9th in the elite women and, wait for it, get drug tested.  Apparently, it is now a right of passage.

  3. @VeloVita


    Even the Belgian U23s know how to do Casually Deliberate

    I sit like this all the time, but I do not look pro doing it.  One of those things where wearing the Belgian baby blues means you can do WTF you want and you will still look the look.

  4. VeloVita – Ha ha ha, amazing.

    Damn, didn’t realize Trebon crashed that hard!

    No trombone for me, I spent all my Talent Points on sports, none on music. I used to get kicked out of chorus in high school (we had to take it) because the director thought I was trying to ruin the sound of the 100 person choir. I was doing my best though.

    Some photos, nothing nearly as good as some of the others, but here they are:

    Klaas’s bike wheeled away by a sharp looking older mechanic while he was being pissed off on the podium:

    A second shot, you can barely make out his name on the TT. The gent to the left had on a Bart Wellens fan club parka. Awesome!:

    Some one get this young man some leg warmers. The blood on his socks & beaten pegs pained me to watch come by each lap:

    Pretty sure this is the U-23 start:

    Action shot of Niels being followed by Simunek Jr., I think.

    This gent held down the fort all day long, was in the same spot for every race:

  5. @Ron

    That might be Logan Owen, huh?

    The bloody-socked American?  Yep, that’s Owen.

    I didn’t realise Trebon crashed either – he kept coming around the finish lap after lap and then just didn’t.  I figured he must have had a major mechanical or something.

  6. Owen’s pale Pacific NW guns made me cold & wince just seein’ ’em.

    And speaking of regionalism & differences – holy fuck, do some (most?) Southerners talk really damn slowly. When a few of my Southern friends start telling stories I’m able to pull out a pillow, catch a bit of shut eye, then wake up for the end of it.

    Then again, I talk too fast & include far more detail than necessary for most discussions.

  7. 1st post…this may be a dumb question but what makes the Belgians so freakin dominant?

  8. @Ron

    Then again, I talk too fast & include far more detail than necessary for most discussions.

    I think my wife would tell you the same thing about me.  If I’m talking and get ‘the look’ I just stop.


    1st post…this may be a dumb question but what makes the Belgians so freakin dominant?

    Not a dumb question at all, although I’m sure Frank would be the first to point out that it was actually the Dutch who had the best showing in Louisville.  I think its mainly just because its in their blood – they grow up with it.  I think this says it all:


  9. @VeloVita

    Any west coast based KT attendees want to volunteer to bring one of these back for my pedalwans in a 40 or 45 cm wheel size?  Failing that, a pair of the little-kid size drop bars?

  10. @shackleton

    1st post…this may be a dumb question but what makes the Belgians so freakin dominant?

    In no particular order: history, geography and climate. And beer, of course.

  11. Frank, don’t be so hard on yourself.  Neither hailing from Minnesota nor Seattle would make you a yankee down here, at worst you are a psuedo-Canadian Midwesterner or a vagrant, pot-smoking Californian.  You would have to be east of the Mississippi and north of the Mason-Dixon line to be a true yankee.  It is a very select group, and one that no one would willingly confess to being a part of.  It would be like calling yourself a Frenchman.  As for southerners not liking the corrupt fat white asshole, hell we invented him, remember Huey P. Long, Boss Hogg & Jeb Bush?

  12. Both your own country and the country in which you reside refuse to nominate you, so you get Malaysia and Barbados to nominate you. Which requires a rewrite of the rules in the middle of an election season.

    That’s legit!

  13. Ah yes, Malaysia, Barbados, and Turkey those bastions of democratic freedom. Those amendments aren’t going to lead to a future shit show at all (let alone the current one) /end sarcasm 

    Seriously? WTF, does Barbados even have a cycle team. That fucking island makes Luxembourg look huge. You couldn’t hold a single stage of a Grand Tour on that thing.

    @Chris, this is exactly the kind of shit Mugabe would pull.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.