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Bobke rules!!!(6 posts)

Bobke rules!!!jaybird
Mar 15, 2002 10:48 AM
I just got this off of I can wait to read the article he is talking about...

Has anyone read it yet?

It's always a delight to see a new Bob Roll column in VeloNews, and not just because I like the feverish glint in his jaundiced eye. Like some biwheeled, mutton-chopped Quasimodo popping wheelies among the stony gargoyles, ringing the Big Bell with lusty strokes from Thor's hammer, he draws the angry, torch-waving villagers away from me for a while, giving me a moment to catch my breath and plot new outrages of my own.

His "At the Back" in the 30th-anniversary edition, "Eurotrash and the Texas Tornado," (see VeloNews, March 18, 2002, page 106) was vintage Bobke, a red flag brandished in the vacant faces of the mooing steers who besmirch cycling's feedlot, chewing cuds full of training tips, bike porn and Lance sightings. I jokingly suggested that editor Kip Mikler should provide a Bob Roll Decoder Ring with the issue, and at least one befuddled reader actually requested one.

Philistine. I wouldn't give him the ring around my toilet.

A Natural Born Mujahadeen

The ink hadn't dried on VN4 before the e-mails started pouring in like the Flood, clogging the editors' in-boxes more completely than a hotel sewage system under peristaltic assault from a Tour's worth of roughage-gobbling racers.

That, by the way, is an image that Bobke would appreciate. When I interviewed him for a New Mexico newspaper way back in 1991, the year after his diaries first began appearing in VeloNews, an irate reader had just taken him to task over a graphic discussion of a "wicked" Belgian virus that had dramatically altered his bowel habits.

"That's about 70 percent of what we (pro racers) talk about," Roll said then. "I had one sentence in there. I let him off easy."

Words To Blow Chunks By

Reading Roll has rarely let anyone off easy, especially in those early years, when his diaries were accompanied with glossaries explaining Bobke-speak. While the cycling press was portraying Greg LeMond as Richie Cunningham, Bobke was busy painting himself, with a very broad brush indeed, as some unearthly hybrid of Fonzie, Charles Bukowsky and Rodan the Flying Monster-crashing, burning, bonking, raving and blowing sky-high chunks, from both ends.

As an inept masters racer who had to use binoculars to see the podium, I relished his blue-collar view of the pro peloton, one soldier's diaries from a series of foreign battlefields on which the grunts fought and died so their officers could collect the medals. He laid nicknames on some ("Wookie" for Ron Kiefel), and nasties on others ("Belgian cheesehead" for Claude Criquelion), and made us feel that we knew them.

Blood And Butt-Cheese

When Bobke veered off-road, it seemed only natural. The cobbled lanes of Europe weren't big enough for a Durango Diner, bacon-and-eggs kind of guy who wrote about diluting a mud-filled stomach with double shots of tequila, irrigating the Cactus Cup with his own arterial blood, and crashing into children and telling their angry fathers to "go watch a chess game, you massive, Swiss butt-cheese." But even some among the laid-back fat-tire crowd found fault with Bobke, and the critical letters kept coming, only with more misspellings.

Hey. Don't like him? Don't read him. Save your tender stomach from those caustic gastric juices that gush like the Bellagio fountains at the sight of a Roll among the Wilcocksons, pissing in the teapot. Would you sit in your La-Z-Boy, place your private parts on a wooden cutting board, then repeatedly bang them with a meat tenderizer while complaining that it hurts, it hurts? Of course not.

So give your eyes and my ears a rest, and let those of us who like him enjoy him in peace. I'm totally jazzed and stoked and dipped in doo that my stone homeboy still slays all, and you - your freakin' whining gives me a wicked headache, you massive butt-cheeses.
re: Bobke rules!!!davet
Mar 15, 2002 11:50 AM
Whoever wrote that article has a fabulous way with words and a keen grasp on the language!!
Met him last year in FranceMeMyselfandI
Mar 15, 2002 9:18 PM
Stage 16, walking from the parking lot to the finish area I see Bobke walking with Chris Carmichael on the way to the press area. My parents had already talked to him at a previous stage so we talked to him again. He's a very nice guy and seemed to know a lot of history. He was told us of the basic colonization of the region of France that we were in. Basically, he told us how the neanderthals moved in and killed the native humanoid species. Really interesting fellow. Chris Carmichael was kind of a wierd guy. He had a wierd vibe.
re: Bobke rules!!!DaveL
Mar 16, 2002 4:27 AM
Bobke is the greatest, a real stud, a real kickass rider. His is the kind of commentary that can cross-over and speak to riders and non-cyclists as well. He really adds something to the coverage - knowledge, experience and personality. AND he answers his e-mail...
James Joyce meets Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas nmSlipstream
Mar 16, 2002 9:14 AM
James Joyce meets Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas nmharry hall
Mar 17, 2002 4:06 PM
Wish I could write like Bobke! He wasn't a half-bad rider, either.