Aging Hipsters Instagram

He's ok if he's not the fastest on the block, but that doesn't lead him to treat cycling like an adult kickball league as so many do. Cycling is important. It's ok to train for it. It's ok to want to be faster, because that's actually more fun than sucking completely. At the same time, being fast doesn't make you better than anyone else, and he knows that, too.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Brown Speed

Dear Readers,

I ate too much chick pea salad for lunch yesterday. It upset my constitution pretty badly. I had originally planned to do my efforts around the local park but in this case discretion was going to be the better part of valor...

I got home and took some pepto... I still wanted to ride and get my efforts in, so I set up the trainer and kitted up, with of course the bib straps down in case during an effort something went horribly wrong...

In the end, there was a little rumbling, but no other issues...

not the ride I planned, but I'm happy with my efforts...

cross practice tonight. (no chick pea salad today)

let's rock.

respect
vanderbacon




Sunday, September 14, 2014

It's just coffee

Dear Readers,

I bumped into my super hot ex-girlfriend today at star bucks. It was cool, not awkward at all. We sat down and talked for a little while. It was nice to catch up. We talked about music and TV. Totally normal stuff. She likes my new hair cut. She said she's missed me and would  like to get coffee again sometime this week. We'll probably catch up sometime next week. We are totally not getting back together.

Independence Cross (formerly beacon cross)

Beacon photos courtesy dennisbike.com

The Bridgeton, NJ is a very unique and wonderful course. Formerly put on by the Beacon team and now the Independence team I was stoked to get there to race this year. The sandy nature of the course and the Amphitheater of Doom are unique to the venue, and makes it special, fast and technical. The promoters go out of there way to have 4 dismounts/choices a lap. Did I  mention a beach run? Chapeau gentlemen, thank you for keeping cross real.  (I'm not a fan of grass crits-they just don't suit my strengths)
Kelly leads our group off the beach..
But I digress. Two weeks ago, if you would have asked me about racing cross, I would have said, "fuck cross". Then these guys got me all crossed up and excited. I originally planned on riding my mountainbike at Granogue. BUUUTT.. Well, now I'm gonna have a season, not racing every weekend, not chasing points- but racing for sure... Once I decided that I was racing, well, I know how hard cross is, and how hard Granogue is, and how hard the first cross race of the season is so I signed up for Independence Cross (formerly Beacon) as a shake down race....

I've had a request for some traditional race reporting, so here's how it goes:
Amphitheater of Doom Lap 2...
Got a good start. Tagged onto the back of the lead group. Close to midway through I found myself in a nice group with Kelly and Big Time. We were chasing the leaders who were just up the road a bit. Fergie came through about halfway through and the pace picked up, I was off the group and dangling... Pat from Guys motored by me on the long straight. Going into the final lap I could see Lombardo coming back. He's stronger than me, I'm not gonna get too many chances to chase him, but today I was gonna try to keep him honest. I felt like I could get to him. I charged after him, figuring I'd leave it all out there, and I slid out in a sandy corner. While I didn't totally hit the deck, I admit I lost my mojo in the corners a bit and kinda muffed a couple others... The chase was over as I rolled in after him with a big smile on my face. That was a good ride for me...

I will say the 8:00am start was a little tough, but getting home by 11 was pretty damn rad...

Granogue.

Paul, Lisa, and Ben brought back Granogue this year, and it was amazing. It was weird really only having to worry about my race, and not about the event. It was weird and wonderful. The course was great. Paul, Lisa and Ben were very kind to me and I really appreciated it. Returning to Granogue was extra special for me... To show Honor to me, Paul and Lisa gave me a front row call up for my race.
Photo by Kita Roberts Professional Photographer and one of two official photographers of Granogue Cross...
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to cash in on it at all... In reality, I felt like I had a top 20-25 in my legs, but my bikes didn't agree. Got a good start, at the bottom section of the lap, I had drifted back to about 8th, but was feeling good. I shifted into my easiest gear as we rolled into a slow climbing section, and the chain overshifted and freakin' wedged between the cassette and the spokes. I couldn't get it out so I started running... The entire race started rolling by me.  I think I was DFL when I made the pit and grabbed my pit bike. I tried to stay cool, and get into TT mode, I got back to the tail end of the race and started picking off riders. I told myself, "time to play pac man let's see how many guys I can gobble up!" I was picking off riders, and feeling good about the world.
thanks to Heather for this shot...
Lap three, I rip through the bridge section, and flat my front tire. Unbelievable. As if my race wasn't already over now it was really done. So fucking disappointing. But at this point I'm committed to finishing this travesty of a race. This is when the highlight of my races happened:
Photo by Kita Roberts Professional Photographer and one of two official photographers of Granogue Cross...
First- as I ran towards the big run/ride up- "the wall"-  Chappy- a dude I have tons of respect for and is having a great season had the best heckle of the day "Dude, just think of it as running another 5k!" I laughed through my frustration... Thanks Chappy...
Photo by Jenn Sears..
Next- When I ran to the bottom of the big run up- there was this amazing trombone player. As I ran up the hill with my flat tire, he played the sad trombone music... I stopped halfway up the hill and looked up,and saluted the fans on the wall... the crowd cheered louder than I could imagine...

I smiled, and as I started to run again it got louder and the trombone player played charge! I was frustrated, disappointed, but at that moment fully in love with my crazy hot ex girlfriend with a huge smile across my face...

I changed bikes and finished out my race...

Frustrating for sure, I had high expectations for today... There's always next week...

BTW- everyone cheering on the big hill was awesome. Thanks for being rad. Thanks for reminding me why Mid Atlantic Cross is so amazing! So many hugs today. It was a beautiful thing...

Special thanks to my buddy Bob Joos who worked pit for me today, and really had to work his ass off.. I am very appreciative of his support and frankly getting my bikes working again.. If he hadn't have gotten my first bike working again, when I would have been done when I had to pit a second time... His encouragement each lap kept me going.. Thanks Bob...
this guy worked his ass off for me today!
so that's my story... Joy, Pain, Sunshine and Rain... motherfucking cross rules...

thanks for reading.

respect
Fatmarc Freakin' Vanderbacon

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Return to Granogue

Dear Readers,

October 2011 was the last running of the Granogue Cross race. I was proud to be a member of that promotion team that brought Granogue Cross to life for 10+ years. That last year was very hard: UCI double,UCI Junior race coupled with other things going on in my life it, made for a brutal weekend. When it was over, I was exhausted and relieved it was over versus exhausted and triumphant. I felt like I struggled through that entire week just spent.  During our run, we established Granogue as the crown jewel of the mid atlantic cross scene, and one of the best races in the country.  That 2011 course was what I felt was one of the best Granogue Courses ever. (Chapeau Tom McDaniel and Lauri Webber) I was bummed that I didn't get to race that course in 2011.
Nick Sears  runs the barriers. I'm practicing what will be my best area this cross season-
Cheering!  Not Heckling... Kelly Cline Cheer Coaching is paying off!  
Late last fall, a group of friends who has always helped Velo Amis in the past, stepped up and wanted to bring Granogue back into the Mid Atlantic fold. Granogue would be returning to the fold for 2014.

Granogue is very special place. Racing cross there has always been an incredible experience. I was super stoked to have the opportunity to preview the Granogue 2014 course this week.
Spent the evening chasing these guys around...
 Here's my review of the course: It is rad.

I joked with the promoters (Lisa, Paul and Benny) that this was by far my favorite Granogue course ever.
This guy is taking to cross like a bee to honey...
(I)Paul smiled and said, "that's because you aren't promoting it isn't it?" I smiled coyly. I'll admit that not promoting allowed me to play much more freely on the course. Bombing around the estate, I appreciated the fresh look at the course that was taken. Best described the course is the same Granogue but in a totally different way. I am really impressed with the fresh look Paul, Ben and Lisa have taken at the venue.
A series of shadows in the park...
Riding around, I suffered as only someone who has struggled to propel a bike across grassy fields could understand. It was wonderful. The course is challenging and incredibly fun. It's hard:  there is elevation change, running,off camber, and hard bike driving sections.  It is completely different from anything that has been there before, but at the same time it's Granogue. After previewing the course, I am really excited for race day and the new tradition that these guys will be forging.

still smiling. What a great night.

respect
marc