I don't even know where to begin with this...with the exception that I now truly know 'cross is universal! Truly global. From Portland to Diegem and on to [CLASSIFIED CITY], Iraq. We all love it so. And so how this all came to be? Let me tell ya...
I get an amazing amount of emails a day from readers. It still blows me away. I try to answer every single one as this is one giant brother/sister hood of folks who simply want to play in the mud. You have to keep up those connections, yo! Keep on sending 'em!!
And so it was with Mr. Norton. Lance Corporal John Norton, United States Marine Corps. A simple email to talk about cross equipment, frames, tires...all the goodness. And of course we got our geek on in an exchange of great e-mails between he and I. At some point it occurred to me: this home boy is in the service. And a few exchanges later, John is in I-R-A-Q!!!! And so, without haste, a package was bundled up and shipped to John as I wanted him to have a bit of U.S. cross love surrounding him. A little of the hup hup for a guy who is clearly no buttercup. And with that in mind I was impulsed to do a '5 Questions With...' episode with our crossing brethren. The following is a unclassified and unaltered set of answers from John, and I am so proud to have had this exchange with him to share with you all.
John, just know we are thinking about you and your fellow Marines over there. Get back home. Stay healthy. And cross on. We'll try and keep ya entertained!
1) LCpl Norton! Welcome to Mud and Cowbells man! First, know that this entire M & C community is super proud of you and want you safe and home soon to tear it up on the 'cross bike! But first, tell us a bit about you and your job in Iraq!
Hayo the BIG question, what do I do? Besides sleep, eat, sleep and eat, I am truck (MRAP) gunner, I have the best seat in the house, paired up with my second wife a beautiful M2 named Betty for when shit gets hot. Our mission is to ROLL DEEP and provide security on the streets of Iraq from point A to point B, while at the same time making sure the package does not get jacked up or lost and time to time scare the living shit out of people who want to fuck with us. Nothing like a loaded M2 pointed at your dome.
2) That is some SICK lightweight ride you've got there in that picture you sent me. Kidding (you can pummel me when you see me). Tell us about your 'cross ride here in the States. I 'hear' through the grapevines (even all the way from Iraq) that something new and scandium is coming to you. Do tell...
If I tell you, I might just have to kill you! I do not know who your informant is but their time is short. I will be rocking a sexy Rock Lobster Team Scandium steed.
3) What's the deal with training, man? Can you jump on that trusty steed and get some hot laps in when you're not on duty? Do you need to moto-pace behind a Hum-V?
That trusty steed is more like a death trap, I think it would do more use as a battering ram! I’m going to pour lighter fluid all over it and ride it for a sick photo op. Training: It all starts with an Oreo Sand Protein Shake, let me explain the steps. Take one complete row of double stuff Oreos, two 32oz G-rade packets, one scoop of muscle milk, and a bottle of water, mix it up and BANG! Oreo Sand Protein Shake. For the daily train it is up to my body, but I do anything from 3 - 4 mile runs, push-ups, pull-ups, life fitness machine, and variations of core workouts.
4) Any chance that "Hup Hup, buttercup" could replace the primal "hoo-rah!" of the Marine? Who do I need to send a shirt to up the chain of command?
I would love to say thank you in advance. Some folks have started to call me buttercup! I think the “Hup Hup, buttercup” as a war chant sounds much more intimidating, as I pass little Iraqi children and grown-ups a like I will shout “Hup Hup, buttercup.Now go and check out mudandcowbells.com biatch!"
5) Bart Wellens or Sven Nys? C'mon Norton! Who's your guy?
Sven Nys of course!