BDA Scoreboard


The 2020 quarantine creative writing series concludes with one of my favorite topics, Big Sassy.  A gentle giant, he is a friend to all, never met a stranger kind of fella, and we are most fortunate to call him our friend. 

This piece, however, is not written about how everyone loves him (they do), or his stature in society, our circle of friends. 

No, this is a collection of  SOME ASS BUSTIN’S

The Big Sassy BDA scoreboard is my meta-analysis of some of the worst ass-bustings any man has had to endure on a bike and sometimes running. Strict scientific rigor was used in the calculations (read: I made all this shit up minus the actual ride data)

For starters if you don’t know why he’s called Big Sassy, and what BDA is, go here 

If you wan’t the cliff notes, he’s a giant orangutan with chimpanzee watts and a penchant for crape myrtles.

BDA is short for Bust Dat Ass. 

For many years he was part of Nashville’s most decorated watt-goblin super hero team:

giphy-1

Together, Lord Thunderass and Big Sassy, two of the areas most notorious watt goblins, busted all the ass, dranking all the beer and eating all the hamburders. Their success is chronicled among the Nashville parking lot crits and at least 3 stories involving Snowball.

Many beers ago, I was fortunate to cross paths with these two ding dongs, and over the years, endured a ripe collection of colorful #BDA history from ‘Ol Sasass.

Ace, is just too fast. I had to choose the chuncky slow one if I had any chance at all for BDA points.  

Right, on with it then. Wayback Machine engaged:

The Big Sassy BDA SCOREBOARD

#1. PWP red trail ass whippns. 

Screen Shot 2020-04-12 at 11.47.47 AM

If my memory serves me correctly, we would trot, run, run faster, hit some of those nasty red trail climbs, and Tankass here would push the elevator button.  The tiniest of gaps would open, and then in a moment as the trail settled, he would be back, chugging along. I knew it was futile, but each time I would try anyways.

The final 1/2 mile or so, the trail would turn down into a blistering fast finale.  No fear as this is the natural environ for giant hairy ape ass – his ankles locked-in, the burners now full blast, and in a moment, he would be gone.

I never stood a chance.

For the record, I don’t think I ever recorded a single BDA point in these runs, and, looking back, likely never will as I’m now the current president of the USMNMWT (US Men’s National Mall Walking team).

Result: Big Sassy 50 BDA points

#2 Cedar Hill Beer Mile 

Special edition dumb shit: 4 beers. 1 mile.

*Worst. Officiating. Ever. THANKS, DEEDER. 

CLEARLY, there is video evidence of the barf here,  which should result in disqualification.

*Result: Big Sassy stole 50 BDA points here

Scoreboard: Apeass, 100, MLP, zip

#3. Bellringer 50k 

A dark place in my mind.

The dumbest thing I ever agreed to do. The second dumbest thing I think I ever did was roll out with Country Al at a 6min mile pace to start. I was dying, he was hungover eating breakfast and talking about the prior evening festivities with Captain Destructo and Fievel. My knees folded around mile 15. The rest has been compartmentalized. Occasional ptsd happens if when I’m out sketching with the USMNMWT.

Result: maximum BDA points (100) to Big Sassy, to Lord Hushpuppy, and to all the 80+ blind senior citizens that finished hours ahead of me that day.

Scoreboard: Big Sassy 160 MLP 0

Ugh.

I have had to endure SO much shit talking over the years.

#4. Big Sassy Boulderdash

Screen Shot 2020-04-12 at 12.54.05 PM

I finally found a chink in his furry armor:  if it goes up, and in a big way, that big ass of his starts to feel the Earth’s gravitational pull.

DING DING DING DING!

Results: 10 BDA points.

Sadly, I finally scored a few BDA points, and that turkeyass up an R U N N O F T into land o cheese, Wisconsin.

Scoreboard: Big Sassy 160 MLP 10

TEN. 

#5 San Diego #BeerCamp2018

IMG_6795

Lord Fupa took the BDA points off this epic Black Canyon stage with some solid descending (read: Sassy cooked a corner, nearly hugged a canyon wall and shit his bibs on the descent out of the canyon).

Insult to inujury, Sass suffered immensely from the tequila arid desert climate, whereas severe dehydration took him out of any BDA points from the Borrego Death March.

Which was a bonus for MLP, as this tankass was left wondering why the glass elevator wasn’t working. 

Result: More points to Lord Fupa.

*5 style points earned by the Crape Myrtle Champ, for hiding Lord Fupa’s shoes on day 3.

Scoreboard: Big Sassy 165 MLP 10

Sat. Oct. 19th, 2019

The Inaugural Big Sassy Iron Balls 80 Gravel which quickly turned into the Big Sassy Street Pizza 50k.

This chilly October weekend, I reluctantly trekked up to ‘consin to see my good buddy. I had zero fitness, like, less than zero, but missed the old codger, so agreed (dumb) to do a gravel adventure with him, the Iron Bull 80.

Leading into that weekend, I was waking in the middle of the night with cold meat sweats and the sound of Big Sassy in my head,  ” ‘Lord ‘O Mighty, Tankass, how many tacos yew been eating down there?? IM BOUT TA BUST DAT ASS!!!” 

Ugh.

One option I had been weighing was that I had not pre-registered.

I had an out.

I could create any number of excuses, and then slink back into my cave of shame.

Problem: My handler.

Every time I was stuffing my face, thinking it’s time, I was gonna do it, call the hairy bugger and pull the plug, my damn handler and default editor, SWG, would talk me off the cancellation ledge, “No” she would say, “you will be fine, y’all will have fun

She has zero comprehension of the deep physical an mental anguish that comes with an ass busting from Big Sassy. 

Back to the Iron Balls 80 story, because somehow I need to go from that hot mess and get to the crescendo that is the #BeerCamp2020.

Stressing, I called to see if Big Sassy could be talked into a shorter distance, I mean, what was to be gained in doing 80 miles of  deep winter gravel?? 

1st problem: the short distance was 14 miles, or some ridiculously low # of miles.

Second problem -Big Sassy. You can’t reason with his damn stubborn ape ass, it didn’t matter, his answer was emphatically, “nope, paid for 80, I’m gonna do 80“.

I resigned to the fact that I was to suffer handsomely for 6+ hours in the cold wet roads of Wisconsin.

The only sound I would hear would be the tiniest bird in my ear, whispering “damn, SON, how’d you get so big, you are even larger than usual now, “…. or some variation of this warped affectionate friendship.

And then it happened

In life, there are the random acts of fate, which can significantly alter the fabric of history with the wave of a sweeping hand.

Consider

  1. What if Bo Jackson hadn’t gotten injured? Would he have won a Super Bowl with the Raiders?
  2. What if Jordan kept playing baseball instead of returning to the Bulls? Would the Bulls have won 3 more titles without him?

and lastly,

  1. What if Big Sassy hadn’t eaten that rotten Texas Bbq? Would he have put the ass whooping of a lifetime that Ajax couldnt wash off, on yours truly?

The karma gods had smiled upon my tankass.

What I didn’t know, was that Sassy had not been able to eat much, and what he was shoveling down, wasn’t staying down.

I have to give ‘Ol Boy credit though, he nearly bluffed my ass out of the trip, he tried to play that pair of two’s in bicycle bravado Texas hold-em, all the way to start line.

Quickly now, to the climatic end:

Land of Cheese. 4am wake-up.

Car loaded and rolling down a very dark two lane road. We had agreed to stop at a local gas station for breakfast and some supplies.

The road was still dark, illuminated by the headlights of the rental truck.

The heavy rumble of winter tires rolling over the chip and seal two lane road. Lack of coffee had yours truly on mute mode.

Out of the dark, a soft audible comment,  “pull over”

I snapped back from my zombie like trance and scanned the road ahead, trying to find out what exactly we were pulling over for, a gas station?

My ass was hungry.

followed by a much louder “PULL OVER, NOW”

I carefully mashed the brakes and wheeled over in the darkness. In a moment of adrenaline, I looked over to see the Sassy’s head hanging out as the passenger door as we braked onto the side of the road.

STREEEEEEEEET PIZZA PIZZA ALERT!!!

LOL

Lady Karma bitch slapped the cheese curds out of his ass.

In that moment, I think my subconscious was calculating the odds of turning around and going back to bed versus continuing on, why would we even think about riding?

—>>>BDA points be in play now!

LOL

I made another attempt to bag the ride, no way in hell we were going to ride 80 in these conditions with some gut bug hanging around. Better to head back to base camp, go back to sleep, and then maybe, ride later.

Nope, he says, “feel tons better, ready to throw down!”

Good grief.

Followed by the requisite Big Sassy cleaning mode.

Cold and dark we finally lined-up at the start line. I figured we could hide among one of these groups of cyclists  and maybe let some others do the work, this could be bearable.

We settled in for what turned out to be a pretty nice morning, rolled the climb together, shared a few dirt miles with a small group and then finally called Uncle after a couple of hours.

Turns out, cheese curd fumes will only take you so far (25 miles to be exact).

We limped our way back to the car and found the closest local brewery, just in time for 11am breakfast and beers, and then stopped at a cheese factory on the way back, for, yes, more cheese curds (truth! lol)

Screen Shot 2020-04-12 at 8.59.47 AM

fOl4aFDXTEGgZjANYLfL5Q

Result: no BDA points awarded. 

Scoreboard: Big Sassy 165 MLP 10

Twelve weeks later….

Dec. 31, 2019 NYE BDA Ride

Screen Shot 2020-04-12 at 8.19.34 PM

I tried to BS my way thru this ride. I remember attacking the furry bastard on Bull Run, and with too much confidence, thinking aloud, “o this fat bastard gonna get that ass busted today” LOL

Sadly, I immediately discovered that my holiday fupa was dragging my front wheel and promptly went onto the receiving end of a Big Sassy beat down, watching all the BDA points evaporate.

Result: Big Sassy ended 2019 taking all 50 BDA points.

Scoreboards: Big Sassy 215 MLP 10

Supreme suffering over the next 10 weeks or so. Big, cold, rides. Helps having a beer camp on the horizon, more so if there’s a chance to steal back some pride. 

Which brings me to #BEERCAMP2020 (pre-covid)

Beercamp is a fun  escape from the cold.  A  collection of close friends who vacation from Nashville’s stubborn winter, always with bikes, road bikes, mountain bikes, sometimes hiking shoes, sometimes with the chilns, once with Fievel. 

Always with beer.

The 2020 edition started at the infamous 24 Hours of Old Pueblo mtb event.  Chronicled here. 

For the sake of getting this over with, I’ll skip the 24HOP and get straight to the crescendo, the BDA on Mt. Lemmon.

Mt. Lemmon ride #1.

Screen Shot 2020-12-29 at 10.55.13 AM

Post 24HOP, my legs  felt okay, I had that junky lactate feeling. I slept really well the night before, no question it was because I was able to sleep in a comfy bed and not freezing my ass off under a saguaro in the desert. 

I was also praying to the gods, that a really long climb might neutralize his big ass (neutralize more than me that is)

We rolled towards the approach of the 21 mile beast. I winced at the thought of suffering on this climb for hours. I thought about my trusted wingman, Hushpuppy, and was sad that he wasn’t gonna be along for the slog.

Ace had made his intentions clear earlier,  he was gonna go roll mode at the base.

Baaawett, SWG, Sassy Ass and Baterman…..basically everyone else in our ragtag group, was like mmm hmm, you go….and in the next moment, Ace was gone, steady acceleration. He floated away. 

No response from our group, slow easy roll.

Random conversations. 

Never for doing any remotely intelligent on a bike, so naturally, unannounced, I decided to jump out of the saddle and try to sprint up to the young stud. 

My brain was like “oh yeah, this is a great idea, if I can catch Ace’s wheel, he can tractor beam my ass for a few miles, that big hairy bastard will never catch me!”

My legs: “wtf  are you stupid or something???? (a) you aint’ gone catch Ace and (B) this is the bottom of a 21 mile climb!

After a good 60s effort, I knew I was screwed.  

Ace was gone, and I had only succeeded in burning my only match, at the bottom of the climb no less. 

I could see the road side saguaros start to tremble as I heard the furry bastard react. I fought off tears and put my head down praying  for a little rhythm, and that my HR might come down. 

Screen Shot 2020-12-29 at 10.49.23 AM

A quick peek back, and Sassy appeared to be in seek and destroy mode, he had responded and now maybe a good 30s back.

Ticking over the pedals on the early ramps, I found I could push a bigger gear on the 3% stuff. This was a good sign. 

The recipe for the next hour, pedal, stand, look back, pedal. Try not to crash staring out over the desert.  All the way to Mile 9 and the first overlook. A truly gorgeous day. 

I rolled into the overlook parking and took a good long drink.

Scanning the approach..15 seconds passed, then 30.  A gentle breeze as the faint sound of wheezy breathing and then, like a gorilla in the mist, he appeared.

Grinning from ear-ear, I waved in the direction of the parking lot. He shrugged me off, lowered his head and kept pedaling.

Laughing I hopped on the bike and took a dig to catch his wheel. 

Me: “Yo! How you feeling big boy?!” 

Big Sassy: “gotta keep rolling, haven’t had any water in some time” 

I looked down at my bottles. I had taken maybe 3 drinks of water. I had a full second.

Naturally, before offering,  I asked, “the rest of the climb is pretty boring, wanna turn down and go drink beer? come on”

Ape-man “nope. I’m going to the top”

Smiling, I mumbled,  “stubborn bastard”

I knew he would gut himself to get to the top, go full dehydration in the process. I offered my second bottle, he accepted.  

We put it on cruise control and rolled towards the top. I talked about the random things in life, my work, Jena’s art, Brooklyn, whatever, just to keep the mind from going to the dark place. Sassy didn’t say much, he had receded into that cavernous dome of his, 100% mute mode.

That is, until the end of the climb neared. 

At some point, Ace must have gotten bored waiting at the top, and turned down to join us for our final push.

He passed us on the descent as we were within a couple of miles, did a u-turn and rolled-up, smiling. 

Ace: “not much farther”

In the distance, a green mile marker sign. 

I looked over at Sassy. He looked like warmed over death, wearing a salty beard, pedaling squares.

Ace” Y’all gonna sprint the finish?”

It was at this moment, I  thought I saw a sparkle flash in his eyes. 

Screen Shot 2020-12-25 at 11.16.19 AM

Mute mode disengaged. 

Ace: “Aww hell. Lemme get up the road and setup”. (he had shouldered a tiny DSLR camera up). 

Smelling the BDA points, the Crape Myrtle Bandito roared back to life. 

Screen Shot 2020-12-25 at 11.18.36 AM

and to be honest with you, the furry bugger nearly stole it. 

Thankfully, the Earth’s gravitational pull was like a lead out man for MLP and I avoided what would have been an insufferable amount of blowback.  

Gasping for air, I let out a great belly laugh, while Big Sassy executed his patented Wisconsin Cheese Curd move, trying to vacate his gut. 

Screen Shot 2020-12-25 at 11.27.49 AM

Maximum BDA points for the HC climb (50×2)

Big Sassy – 215, MLP 110

The great thing about this post, is that it just keeps going. A damn novel. 

That evening, at dinner, it was decided that since we only had 1 day left of Beercamp,  that we would ride Lemmon, one more time. 

Sassy was smiling from ear to ear, visions of BDA redemption. I looked at Bateman and honestly didn’t see the same look of elation. My hunch was Bateman’s Couch to doing epic shit did not apply to doing epic shit on back-back HC climbs.

Starting the second Lemmon ascent, a gentleman’s agreement was announced. Since everyone was buggered from a week of riding, the pace would be super chill. No vicious accelerations or sustained efforts, just a great day riding in the sun, on the mountain, with our good buddies, our final beer camp ride. 

Screen Shot 2020-12-25 at 11.19.28 AM

I’m not remembering exactly how or who, but somehow it was discussed that sprinting for mile markers would be the BDA deal. Naturally, since this is the dumbest thing, it was agreed upon. Eric, ever the wise one, politely declined. 

So here we are, riding as slowly as humanly possible, up Lemmon. 

Me: staring at my device trying to calculate next mile marker (5 tenths to go)

Sassy: “why are you in that gear??”

Me: “why are you looking at my gears”

Pace ticks up just a hair.

Off in the distance, the slightest green color of a mile marker. 

3 tenths of a mile to go

Sass: “neutral”

I thought I heard a gear click.

2 tenths of a mile to go

Pace ticks up just a little more.

Sass: “I said neutral, neutral, Pony”

The green mile marker is in clear sight now, maybe 200 hundred yards.

A little side-eye English to sneak a glance at his cadence. 

The mechanical sound of a front derailleur. 

Sassy is out of the saddle now, pushing a big gear while loudly saying

“NEUTRAL”

Neutral my ass.

He was in full roll mode now, ramping up that giant watt machine. 

My lungs were burning almost as bad as my legs. Grabbing as many gears as I could, I grimaced and kicked the cranks twice maybe 10 times, I dunno, it sucked. 

The mile marker and the Sasquatch both faded behind. 

Mute mode for another mile. 

There would be only one more sprint on Lemmon, near the Windy Point overlook, That one in particular included shutting the door on Big Sass where he narrowly avoiding another canyon wall hug. Oops.  More chamois stains. 

Screen Shot 2020-12-29 at 10.48.50 AM

Pony had secured his second double (hc) BDA point treasure.

The conclusion of Tuscon BeerCamp leaves us at

Scoreboard: Big Sassy 215, MLP 210

Back in the game!

Epilogue:

We were fortunate to get the beercamp in this year before the dumpster fire of 2020 began. Everyone is ready for 2021, and with a new year comes new hope, for everyone.

Back to the beginning of this story. We were driving back from our last dinner together, wrapping up our Beercamp in Tuscon. A song came across the radio and I smiled, making a mental note to work on a special adaptation on the flight home. There it sat in a draft folder until very recently.

Special thanks to the Bateman and SWG for the creative lyrical assist, Ace for the awesome photos, and Lord Fupa, for encouraging me to just go for it and post the barf photo.

We look forward to seeing you soon, Big Sassy, until then, keep eating them cheese curds!

Happy New Year, Everyone!

MLP

Please press play and enjoy following along with the note #BigSassyBDASong

It’s a little bit funny, this feeling inside, 
I’m not one of those who can, easily hide

I don’t have much fidness

but,

boy if I did

I’d bust your assssssush, where you now live 

If I was a pro cat 4,

heh,

but then again no 
Or a man,

who makes excuses,

when he…….. blown out the doe 


Oh I,

know it’s not much but it’s the best I can do 

My gift is my bike 

And a,

this ass bustn’s for you 

And you can tell everybody this is your sprint 
It may be quite simple but, now that it’s Don 


I hope you don’t mind 
I hope you don’t mind 


That I put down in words 
How wonderful life is

when your ass z buuuusted.

I sat on the saddle, and kicked off the rust
well a few of these cheese curds, they’ve got me quite cross 

But Lemmon’s been quite kind 
While I wrote this song 


It’s for people like Sassy

that 
Keep it turned on 

So excuse my dehydration 
But these beers I do 
You see I’ve stained my chamois 
they’re green n they’re blue 


Anyway, the thing is, what I really mean 
Yours are the sweetest ass I’ve ever busted

And you can tell everybody… BDA song 
It may be quite simple but 
Now that it’s Don 


I hope you don’t mind 
I hope you don’t mind 
That I put down in words 

How wonderful life is

when your ass z buuuusted.

I hope you don’t mind 
I hope you don’t mind 

That I put down in words 
How wonderful life is

when your ass z buuuusted.

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