The Cuban Crisis

The Cuban Crisis of an Entirely Different Kind

(WBL 2014 # 9: Bowman)

After being the bridesmaid for the first two Pro sprints in WBL 2014, the Cuban Missile Frank Traveiso struck back with a vengeance as he reeled off his second consecutive win this past Saturday on the Team Mission Source Bowman Classic with yet another one of his patented smash mouth sprints. As the large contingent of pedal-warriors headed down the back-breaking byways in the demanding Gene Dixon-Hargrove Lake Final Attack Zone after 90 miles and 4.5 hours of pedal-stomping, Big Frank and his two cohorts, David Cueli and Rueben Campiones, patrolled the front like pit bulls guarding the last known ham bone in the cosmos. Each of the six hurtful hummocks in the Dixon-Hargrove Lake Attack Zone caused the front group to shrink in size until it was finally reduced to fifteen fit folks as the frontrunners took the last right hand turn on Melton road with 1.5 miles to go. And though such heavyweight contenders as J Rosskopf and O Clarke and Andy Baker and Benjamin Bryant pounded at the front in an effort to flee from the scene of the crime, no one could escape the rapacious tethers of the Cuban Missile and his two fast friends. As the lead group hit the final intractable incline headed up to the finish line, Big Frank sat on the wheels of his two speedy segotias as they flew towards the line like low flying fighter jets. Big Frank waited patiently until 200 meters to go, then jumped like a burning cheetah headed for the nearest watering hole. And though country singer and WBL cycling legend Thomas T Graham Brown also jumped and nearly pulled off a major coup, it wasn’t to be, and the Cuban Missile ripped by the Nashville Star three feet from the line and took out his fifth lifetime WBL win. The Missile’s speed crossing the line registered an amazing 77 miles-per-hour on the WBL radar gun.

Big Frank also made a major move towards securing the grand prize in WBL 2014, the Creature Comforts Overall Leader’s Jersey. Big Frank had the jersey on his back during the ride, and his win and his big points grab (14 points) may have been the death knell for the others contenders for the throne. Only Fletcher Paperweight Lydick matched Big Frank in the points category (14 also) by not only dominating the Non Pro category, but by also placing 5th overall with an eye-popping sprint up the terrible finishing hill. Paperweight surged up the leader board into second place and currently sits 7 points down on Big Frank. Morgan M Train Patton also made significant gains on the day and pushed up to 3rd Overall, but still sits 14 points behind the Missile. And though Alto and the big World Cup points that come with it are still on the agenda, the Overall title for WBL 2014 appears to have boiled down to a contest between Big Frank and Young Fletch. The rest, as they say, are fighting for scraps. But since even 5th place Overall in the WBL pays 1 million deneros in cold hard cash, expect bloody, barroom brawls to follow in the final two weeks in which enemy combatants are tossed over tabletops, heaved out plate glass windows, and poked with two fingers in both eyes. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

1 February 2014 started out at nearly 40 degrees at takeoff, which was downright toasty when considering that at departure time the last few weeks, the temperature has hovered somewhere close to negative nil. But never fear, the whether-wizards, as they’ve done all winter in the WBL, refused to provide any more comfort and a thick layer of gray clouds papered the sky, blotting out the sun for the entirety of the day. As the feisty group debouched into the barbericum via the Nowhere Road portal, also known as the “Way of Grief,” the Zealots tucked in behind a few future stars and present day young cycling phenoms who fly the colors of the day’s sponsor, the Mission Source Cycle Team. The Four Young Musketeers, Troy Waine, Leon Waine, Owen Braunecker and Reece Latham, escorted the Big Names in the peleton—Joey Rosskopf, Frank Travieso, Oscar Clarke, Thomas Brown, Brendan Cornett, Andy Baker, Dave Cueli and Ruben Campiones—to the outskirts and town and dropped them off in grand style. In fact, cycling experts agreed that as a direct result of the energy Big Frank Travieso saved because of the Four Musketeers smooth-as-silk and easy-as-butter early pull, he was able to score the win later. Because I witnessed the event first hand, I have to agree. As this story went to press, the Four Musketeers’ agent was on the phone with Big Frank making arrangements for the team’s cut to be mailed out the next day. Their agent felt like if Frank kept ten bucks, then that would be fair. I may have mentioned that because I witnessed the event, I cannot disagree.

The Ladies sprint came fast and furious once again. Only 12 miles into the day’s epic quest, which some call a “quixotic misadventure,” but which I claim is the Yellow Brick Road and the quickest way to Oz, the Ladies were out of the saddle and pumping and huffing like greyhounds chasing a motorized rabbit. The short, fast and flat blacktop leading to the line played right into the hands of a sprinter with power, and M Train Patton-Brown sped away to take first. She was followed closely behind by Little Z Mary Zider and Ashley A Town Gruber.

Ladies Sprint (Nowhere Road):

  • 1)       M Patton-Brown: 3 pts
  • 2)       M Zider: 2 pts
  • 3)       A Gruber: 1pt

A short time later, at Mile 28, the group crossed the Broad River on Wildcat Bridge Road and the cruel and vexatious 800 meter uphill sprint for the Non Pros began. This incline snakes up and over a steep ridge at a constant 7% grade. The climb takes two minutes even if a rider is on the rivet and blowing snot out of his or her nose. Two minutes, when a gong is banging in your ears and a watermelon is trying to squeeze itself upwards in your esophagus and ultimately out your pie-hole is a rather long time. Team Novo Nordisk riders made a stellar run for gold considering they were riding blind and didn’t know where the line was, and riders fell away like flies under glass as the Novo boys tore up the obdurate slope. But as the front group, now reduced to a slender half dozen, rounded the third and last bend but still stared a 200 meter hill straight in the face, the three strongest of the bunch broke free. Approaching the line, Fletcher Paperweight Lydick surged and barely clipped a suspiciously fit looking Jason Bewley by a cat’s whisker with Damien Show Stopper Dunn not far behind. Once the tattered and broken bodies were rounded up and thrown back on their steeds, we continued onward, forever searching for the next windmill to battle.

Non Pro (Wildcat Bridge Hill Jamboree):

  • 1)       Fletcher Lydick:  pts
  • 2)       J Bewley: 2 pts.
  • 3)       Show Stopper: 1 pt

After the store stop in Bowman at Mile 40, the group began its long journey home. We were so far beyond the pale in Bowman that I almost started to cry. However, when we hit the infamous Nickville Road, a road strewn with carcasses of dead Zealots from previous WBL rides in other years, I was forced to gulp down my tears because Michael the Torch Kanning went to the front and set the pave on fire. In other words, the Torch lit it up. Behind, the lads and lasses scrambled for shelter. But the Torch showed no mercy on his compatriots and simply continued to shovel coal into the furnace. The heat caused painful fingers of fire to burn both my thighs. But do you think anyone cared! 

The group entered the arduous Hargrove Lake-Gene Dixon Final Attack Zone after almost 4 hours of pedal-rotating and our legs were feeling the effects of the multitudinous hills and the pertinacious pace. But like a rolling snowball, the group kept motoring the whole way home. A slight bumping of wheels halfway into the Attack Zone caused a split and the argus-eyed Michael Baldwin York, who is one of the famous Baldwin brothers, showing the savvy of a politician who never sends emails or texts, bolted off into the wild blue yonder and stole the sprint and the 25 dollar prize. Michael Baldwin literally stole the sprint from Benjamin Bryant, a.k.a. the Flatulator, and after the ride he was arrested and charged with theft. He claimed in his defense that he “simply didn’t know I’m so damn fast” and the judge agreed and threw out the case. As Baldwin-York left the jail, he looked back at the judge and said, “I didn’t know I was so damned good looking either.” He flipped the judge a quarter and strolled out the door. He retired later, claiming “his season was over.”

After the sprint the group sailed to the line behind the impetus of Big Frank and his four friends. Although most only saw two confidants, all agreed that they rode with the strength of four. Though attacks flew off the front like bats flying out of a cave, the Cuban Missile and his crafty cohorts ran all escapees down. Heading towards the line in the front group of 15, the Big O Oscar Clarke even agreed that this scenario was a “Cuban Crisis of an Entirely Different Kind.” And so it is: How to break the stranglehold of Big Frank and the Spanish Armada? With only two to go in WBL 2014, some say it simply can’t be done.

Kudos, shout-outs and Congrats are in order also for Mary Zider, AJ Joe Walsh Meyer, Brendan Bam Bam Cornett, 15 year old dynamo Ian Garrison, Andy Dylan Scarano, Show Stopper Dunn, B Bryant and the entire Mission Source Cycling Team for completing this epic ride!


  • 1)       Frank Travieso: 10 pts.
  • 2)       T Brown: 8 pts.
  • 3)       AJ Meyer: 6 pts.
  • 4)       B Cornett: 4 pts.
  • 5)       Fletcher Lydick: 2 pts.
  • 6)       Andy Scarano: 1 pt
  • 7)       Pull Point: Michael Kanning: 1 pt
  • 8)       True Grit: Scott Morris, M Trivette: 1 pt

Non Pro:

  • 1)       Fletcher Lydick: 5 pts
  • 2)       D Dunn: 3 pts.
  • 3)       Ian Garrison: 1 pt


  • 1)       M Zider: 5 pts
  • 2)       A Gruber: 3 pts
  • 3)       M Patton-Brown: 1pt

2014 Overall (1 February 2014):

1)      72 pts: F Travieso

2)      65 pts. F Lydick

3)      58 pts: M Patton-Brown

4)      57 pts: O Clark

5)      55 pts: Mary Zider

6)      48 pts: T Brown

7)      45 pts: A Gruber

8)      45 pts: D Dunn

9)      45 pts: J Bewley

10)   41 pts: J Rosskopf

11)   39 pts: M Carrelli

12)   37 pts: M Trivette

13)   37 pts: E Cox

14)   36 pts: E Murphy

15)   36 pts: B Lide

16)   36 pts: B Bryant

17)   36 pts: S Wrege

18)   36 pts: D Gabriel

19)   36 pts: C Tinsley

20)   36 pts: L Ainslie

21)   36 pts: S Philyaw

22)   36 pts: A Scarano

23)   35 pts: J Smith

24)   35 pts: S Morris

25)   35 Pts: D Crowe

26)   33 pts: D Blalock

27)   32 pts: B Cornett

28)   32 pts: J Gruber

29)   32 pts: A Smola

30)   31 pts: M York

31)   31 pts: S Parrish

32)   29 pts: F Crumley

33)   28 pts: H Garrison

34)   27 pts: D Jordan

35)   25 pts: C England

36)   25 pts: R Wolfe

37)   25 pts: M Kanning

38)   25 pts: B Parkerson

39)   24 pts: E Kirk

40)   24 pts: M Miller

41)   24 pts: D Hurst

42)   23 pts: B Mayo

43)   23 pts: D England

44)   23 pts: M Lipold

45)   23 pts: O Quinn

46)   23 pts: J Koch

47)   21 pts: S Rafal

48)   20 pts: C Deluise

49)   20 pts: R Evans

50)   20 pts: D Farlowe

51)   20 pts: A Ulich

52)   20 pts: J Baynes

53)   20 pts: B Magner

54)   20 pts: M Klein

55)   19 pts: D Goodman

56)   19 pts: D Mealor

57)   19 pts: R Foster

58)   19 pts: T Petit

59)   19 pts: T Pazur

60)   19 pts: T Mulkey

61)   18 pts. R Conaster

62)   17 pts: AJ Meyer

63)   17 pts: M Szalkowski

64)   17 pts: J Campbell

65)   16 pts: M Edmonds

66)   16 pts: J May

67)   16 pts. K Corsello

68)   16 pts: B Kerrigan

69)   15 pts: D Ramos

70)   15 pts: J Heimer

71)   15 pts: R Foster

72)   15 pts: N Dunn

73)   15 pts: H Nash

74)   15 pts: E Gruenwedel

75)   14 pts: T Magner

76)   14 pts: K Madsmith

77)   13 pts: J Loudermilk

78)   13 pts: B Lanzilotta

79)   13 pts: R Williams

80)   13 pts: R Butler

81)   12 pts: M Waine

82)   12 pts: A Hilliard

83)   11 pts: 11 pts

84)   11 pts: C Constantine

85)   11 pts: E Caldwell

86)   11 pts: W Kaiser

87)   11 pts: C Vogely

88)   11 pts: J Shirey

89)   11 pts: L Radli

90)   11 pts: C whalen

91)   10 pts: E Winter

92)   10 pts: Ian Garrison

93)   10 pts: Kara Crowe