The Green Shammy


That’s what it’s all about. 

If it didn’t hurt it wasn’t worth it.

I think I’ve got more out of dragging my sodden pain wracked cramping body across the line for fifth fastest in an obscure club handicap, than anything else in the world.

Including the birth of my children.

I knew I had done something.

My old coach, “Leather Crotch” McGee used to encourage us to sew a green scourer into our racing shorts to replace the chamois. The “Green Shammy”. This would toughen us up.

“Pain is LIFE” was his motto. Sometimes he almost seemed to enjoy it. 

Nothing seemed to make him prouder or happier than if you had just done a hundred miles in the rain on “the Green Shammy”. He’d laugh, slap you on the back, quiz you about every pain filled detail. Sometimes he would “take a look at it” for you.  Then he’d excuse himself for some private time so he could calm down.

They don’t make coaches like that anymore.


The Crank is the embodiment of archetypal cranky veteran bike riders, whose worn out bike riding stories are embellished each time they are recounted. Hard as nails The Crank is a devious scoundrel who rides roughshod over anyone who has the misfortune to meet him. This Crank story by John Caskey.