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.
Friday, April 29, 2005
I have sensitive arm pits. Seriously, I can't even use deodorant made for men. Degree, Speed stick, Old spice all make my arm pits look like ground zero in measles break out. So I use women's deodorant, mainly Secret. You know strong enough for a man, but made for a woman. I like to think of it as strong enough for a man, but made for Fatmarc.
Problem is I have hairy armpits. Hairy might not be strong enough of a description. Try and picture Chewbacca living under my arms or something. The Secret deodorant smells nice, but it clumps up in my pit hair. Then it itches, and causes my arm pit hair to stick together. Although I smell spring fresh, I feel like I have Bob Marley possessing my armpits. Sometimes there is big nasty dready arm pit hair. It totally freaks me out. Someday I'll walk past you and you hear someone singing "No Woman No Cry!" Yeah, it's my Bob Marley arm pit.
I thought about shaving my pits, I made that mistake once when I was younger; it itched and poked like a sonofabitch. I don't know how women do it. Don't get me wrong, I'm definitely not digging on the Euro Woman Hairy Pit look, but I could understand what motivates it. But I digress, Last night, I was sleeping dreaming that I had mountains of deodorant under my arm, and I was scratching it trying to get it off but I couldn't. I keep scratching, and scratching, and I woke up and I found myself scratching my arm pit. Thing is I showered before I went to sleep, no deodorant, no Bob Marley, just Chewbacca. Great, I have my armpit woes deep in my subconscious. It's just not good. Jesus, who has nightmares about their arm pits? I think I need help.
Saw my folks last night, it was good. It was Mom's Birthday. We ate subs and talked smack. Everyone was in good spirits. My niece Ciara was playing ballerina and singing at the top of her lungs. That was cool too. Tim put together a web site based on my blog and some other stuff I gave him for his senior project. I think it came out very well- check it out over on the right.
I have been riding the rollers before work this week trying to salvage my spin. I was always told there are 2 kinds of strong riders:
1. People who can crush the big gear, the mashers,
2. People who can spin the gears smoothly, spinners.
It took me 10 years to develop have a decent pedal stroke. 2 and ½ years of single speeding and I've destroyed it. I'm the only guy out there mashing small gears. Great, Frigging great. That and $4.50 might get me a cup of coffee at Starbucks...
Anyway, I need to go to work now.
Protect your arm pits.
Pit dreads are evil.
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
That image, the bloody fist working relentlessly, has been burned in my mind for days now. Each time I ride, I think of that bloody fist. Last night I rode Granogue with Nick S, Matt T, Buddy the leg Breaker, Green Trek John, Leo and a number of guys from The Beans team, that was the image in my head the entire time. A bloody fucking fist. I had hoped to race the AMBC at Greenbriar next week, but tonight’s ride proved to me that it’s still too soon. I’m still developing. I’m getting stronger, but still have much work to do. But as I climbed and Matt passed me on I think every climb tonight, I kept thinking about that bloody fucking fist. I tried to ride with heart. I tired to work hard, and I push myself, although I may not have the fitness I want, I can ride like it is important to me, because it is.
The bloody fist was in my mind as we climbed over Weymouth’s, and I thought about the Granogue race last year. It was one of my best races ever, and although I took 3rd, in that field that day, I was proud to walk away with 3rd. Had I chosen to race my age group, I would have won. But standing on that podium with those guys, I wouldn’t change a thing. Tonight, with sadness I rode, knowing I would not be racing this weekend. But still the bloody fist was in my head and in my chest pumping, working, driving. I shared some of my experience with Buddy and Matt, I’m proud of those guys, they have worked hard, they are my boys, I want them to ride well. I want to share any wisdom I have with them, so this Sunday, against what will be a huge and very tough field, they can stand on that podium.
Up the fire road climb the last time, Matt attacks early, once we catch him Green Trek John and Nick counter, I can not respond, They are riding very well. I keep the image of the bloody fist in my head, I catch Matt and I try to stay with him. He surges and opens a small gap. The bloody fist drives me on. I stand and try to close, the rise picks up again, I get close, but Matt eludes me. I have ridden well, and I am pleased. But still there is much work to do. I want to ride with heart, not a shiny valentine heart, but a strong, pumping, vital bloody fist.
Sometimes, I ride from a dark place.
Sunday, April 24, 2005
That's right. Moosehead Lager sucks. The other night after a wonderful ride through fairhill, feeling just a little giddy, I saw a sign at the local liquor store, which is crawling distance from my house that said:
" Moosehead Lager From Canada only $6.00 for a Sixer !"
Look, I know you get what you pay for, but damn, I thought for sure this was a deal. I picked up a sixer, and headed for home with what I thought was a slam dunk. How could Canada treat me wrong. All my experiences with Canada have been great :
1. Spot Brand- from Canada, the greatest single speeds in the world, super folks to work with, and damn my favorite bike company, every time I ride my single I smile.
2. Blair- He's from Canada, the dude is fast as all hell, and fun as shit to ride with. Prime example, during the ride today, Blair sang the chorus to Proud Mary with me as the Pelotone bounded through Chesapeake City. He has a hardy laugh, which stings in your head as he laughs through the toughest part of any ride. Okay, that might not always be good.
3. Jones Soda- from Canada, artsy fartsy pictures on the bottles, fruity flavors and damn really just the best soda you can find.
So with all that goodness, how could I go wrong with Canadian Moosehead. Blah ! It was awful, almost as bad a Budweiser. It was so bad my dog even gave me a dirty look. Seriously, Riley and I have shared many a beer, and never has he given me a dirty look. We sat on the deck relaxing, I took a couple sips, and decided to share with my pup. I poured some into his bowl, he rushed over, took a couple of licks, turned and looked at me as if he was thinking, " What the frig is this? You call this beer? Why waste my time? " With disdain he walked away. My dog wouldn't even finish it. So I have a 5er of Moosehead in my fridge if anyone is interested.
Slick Rick and the flat the brought the pelotone back together...
Today was no different. Ted Logic and I left my house for the ride, I tried to con him into going down to the Queen B ride starting a few more miles south. Ted Logic took 9th yesterday at Camp Mack, me, I'm just not on form yet. Despite my pleading, Ted insisted on the PWC for today. I knew really, I needed to do the PWC. I looked to this ride as a test to see how my fitness is coming along. I also knew, that this was the first week I had done any intensity, and as such I was likely in well over my head.
Leo getting ready to throw the smack down on me...
I have to say for the test, I gave myself a "D". "D" for dropped. As in "I got dropped 3 times." Up to 1:40 into the ride I was in good shape, then I blew a hill, was off like a prom dress and couldn't seem to get myself together, Super Tri Guy Mark, paced me back to the group, but still I couldn't find my groove. I found myself struggling 50 yards off the back. Billy V, and George, slid back to provide me some support, and just when I thought the three of us be riding a home alone, Slick Rick flatted and the group waited so we were all together again.
Billy V- Local Icon.. Saved my butt a couple times today... I remember the first time I rode with Team De, he came up after the ride patted me on the back and handed me a beer. He knew I was in way over my head, but the beer was one of the sweetest I ever had.
We started off fast, and our group which had whittled down to probably 10 of us, was soon just 6. I hung as tight as I could, and in the cross wind had a whole new idea of what "riding in the gutter" was all about. Five miles from the end, I popped again, and struggled back to my car by myself. The PWC lead group today was Blair, Super Tri Guy Mark, Amy, Slick Rick, Leo and Mike CZZZZZ. I rolled in probably 5 minutes later.
The ride was sick, fast, and fun. I prefer single track to the road, but some of the guys in this group are so fun to ride with. Super Tri Guy Mark, Blair, Amy, Mike CZZZ, fun guys and really fast. Good stuff.
Shawn resting after dragging my ass around all day.
Numbers: well the ride was 60 miles, and with Slick Rick's flat I was back in the lot in 2:50. If you do the math, it tells me I haven't ridden that fast/long in a very long time, so I'll take that as a victory. I burned 2,500 calories today too. Yeah, so I got that going for me.
Maybe someday I'll get Super Tri Guy Mark on a single speed. He'd be pretty bad ass.
Went to Panera Bread Company for lunch with Diane. Had a Turkey Sandwich with Bacon and Cheese. It was toasted, sort of, one of those fruity Panini deals. It was excellent, I have to say I really enjoyed the cup of Joe I had too. Diane went with a cup of soup, which she thought was a little shy, and a Caesar salad, that was quite good.
Thursday, April 21, 2005
So I get a call yesterday from a friend. They are doing a product shoot in Philly and have asked me to be one of the models. I am happy to oblige and agree. This will be different, how hard can it be to have you picture taken? I mean I had it done at least once a year through school right?
The director, Elle, shows up and goes from being a friend, to all business.
Elle starts, "what's you hair looking, like, take off your hat, yeah, that looks good." She continues her assessment, " hmm, sideburns look a little shaggy, can you trim them up?" " Do you have any sweaters ?" I respond, " I have a sweater vest ?" Elle smiles and comment , " that's nice, we won't need the sweater vest." Kinda flabbergasted, but still eagger to help, I agree. Elle, with a head of steam, and great motivation takes off, as we agree to meet in the morning.
I think for a second, and realize my fashion sense has just been evaluated, and I think I passed, probably with a "C" though. I hope I don' t end up on " what not to wear. " I have to admit my style is probably best described as somewhere between mid 80's skater and grumpier old man. So I probably shouldn't have been surprised when I showed up to the shoot in the morning sporting clogs and black shocks as Elle, again in full directorial mode, greets me, " Good morning, you look great, now lose the black socks." I love Elle. She is cooler than me.
So the shoot goes on, you'd think it would be easy. Oh, no, nothing can be that easy. When Ru Paul says, "you better work! " he means it.
The photographer says things to you like " look natural" " be cocky" " can you focus out here"" keep your eyes open"" walk a little slower" It was hard to keep a straight face at times, but the entire time I'm trying to be serious and do what the photographers want.
How the fuck do you look natural? Man this was very weird.
Also weird, I had a co-model very nice, pretty young lady, and the scene was us walking together, you know like a couple. I have to admit, I felt a little weird. Look I know we were just acting, but seriously, it's been like 14 years since I walked down the street with my arm around a woman besides, Diane. Look, it wasn't like I was cheating on Diane, but my counter part is taller, and just kinda acting like we were a couple was, you know weird, because, we not a couple. We aren't attracted to each other, we just had to act. I know, sounds, easy, but seriously it was weird.
I was not meant for the arts. How anyone can do that for a living and actually look, well like models look, is beyond me. God Bless 'em, me I don't think I have to worry about being a supermodel. I have a whole new respect for Ashton Kutcher after today. Thanks for the help Elle; you can count on me anytime you need me. Contact my agent at the Townsend Agency if you need my services again...
After a long hard day of trying to look natural, I head to fairhill for a little noodle on the bike. Trails were freaking spectacular. Bike felt great, my legs were tired from a couple of hard days, but I was having the time of my life. I expected to see tons of folks, but only passed 3 guys. Oh, well their loss.
The night finished off with what I believe are easily Newark's best Nachos from Iron Hill brewery. They were out of sight, I had a side of Guacamole, which was very strong, and frankly, I am really picky about my Guaq. Diane had some crab soup that was also top notch. No trip to Iron Hill is complete with out a pint of anvil ale. Yummy to the tummy.
Well, I still haven't showered from my ride; I need to do that now. I'm dirty, and I smell bad.
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
Jebbagger putting the wood to us all night... Hey what's up with those baggy shorts? You playing basketball after the ride? I hear the Sixers need a point guard ?
Grouping up after Weymouth's...
Oh man am I tired. Flew into Chicago over the weekend for work and got home late last night. Felt like my brain was swimming all day. Trip was fruitful and cemented even further how great the company I work for is. I wish I brought my camera, because I saw lots of good jackass stuff, including these pretty cool painted cows in Chicago. I always get caught up in the cool fix gears, and courier bikes you see in the city. Damn, if I wasn't such a child of the suburbia that might be the life. Maybe I just need a track bike...
Kurt and Single Speed Dan... SS Dan Possible 4th for WV ?
Although I haven't done shit for the Granogue race this year, fighting being sick, and hurt, I just haven't been there, I did get to go to an invitation only ride tonight. The WW crew have done a ton of work on the course, and cut some new trail, and they wanted to get it ridden in really well. So some of the local riding groups were invited in, and the WW gang lead them on tours around the estate. Pretty good deal. First lap I rode with the DTS, which was nice. Brian and Jebbagger led our group. They are both freaks. Total freaks. Good pace, I focused really on being consistent on the climbs, and for all intents and purposes I cleaned everything, which at Granogue is pretty cool.
Randal- 2005 Fairhill Race Guru... Good Guy... That light is god telling him to have a single speed class at fairhill, either that or selecting the pope. something like that.
Second lap, which I skipped Weymouth's on , I rode with Leo and Slick Rick. We weren't really going fast, but I was working hard. Damn Slick Rick was on me like nothing, not breathing hard or anything. I thought I could gap him on the decent, yeah that was wrong. The dude is riding great. Again climbing on this lap was the same. Consistent, strong, not over extending myself. Just pushing up to the limits, with out going past it...
Ken R, the god father of Middle run ...
Tonight's ride could have been called riding with people who hate me. I have a big mouth and I shoot it off sometimes, and over the years, I've gotten into with some of the DTS. Time heals all wounds, and I hope those guys don't hate me too much. Craig (not my brother) was there too. He's been giving me the cold shoulder, and I couldn't figure out why, then I remembered I called him treasonous in an email. That might have been a little over the top huh? What can I say I like nickel words. Like I said time heals all wounds, so maybe some day we'll be cool again.
The Triumpherant- Leo, Semi Retired Kurtee, and Dennis. Local Heros of mine since I first started pedalling...
Anyway, the course looks great, I had fun, and the Professor, who I think was trying to trick me, was asking, "so are you racing granogue" to which I replied, " nope the plan has me opening out on May 16, racing prior to then would be premature." I think I caught him smiling when I said that...
Met Diane and some of her friends for dinner. I had a Santa Fe Salad. Like all the food at McGlynn's it was disappointing. Bummer.
I am beat. I need to go to sleep so I can ride tomorrow, and maybe function like a human being at work, and you know be a good husband an what not.
Saturday, April 16, 2005
Buddy and I went for a ride today. He's watering the plants here...
My wife, she is a student of guitar. She has been playing for 9 months. I have to say I am really impressed with her improvement, and how dedicated she has been to learning the guitar. She has a great teacher, and I know that helps, but she is also very diligent, and passionate about playing. I enjoy watching her learn new songs. She can even play stairway!
With the guitar comes many trips to the music store. It hasn't been hard for me to draw many parallels between the bike shop, and the music shop. Both seem to sell a product, but really are selling a lifestyle. Both are manned by passionate purveyors of the craft, both have sage practitioners eager to share their experiences. Both have guys who are a lot cooler than I am.
Now what has been disconcerting is that each week or so as we look to purchase a new book for class, or sheet music, or oogle the electric guitars, I always get all the attention.
My wife will be cradling a Gibson guitar, and sure enough the fellas from the back come out, look at me and ask, "can I help you?" Sure, I'm a little rough looking, but damn, I'm no degenerate musician. I mean, I can barely play the stereo. I'm a degenerate cyclist man, common can't you tell the difference?
Last night was the worst case yet. We were in a music store, the fella was very helpful. He tended to us quickly and was very nice. Diane asked for a book, but he didn't have it, he offered to order it. He began to ask her, "how long have you been playing?" "are you taking lessons?"
Then he looks at me and comments "it's nice how you've gotten her to play. How long have you been playing? Are you in a band?"
I responded, "no, no I ride a bike man, I don't play guitar."
He eyes me up and down, nicely prods, "really?"
I reply, "really" What I was thinking was, "common dude, do I really look like a musician? I'm a cyclist, look I shave my legs! you're killing my vibe here. "
Anyway, we walked out of the store, and my degenerate musician wife starts busting my chops right away. "are you in a band, ha ha". " Luckily she's a good sport. Yup, it was a good night.
From time to time I roll around the completely far fetched idea of opening my own business. I am not really serious and in fact I usually have more fun just making up names for what I would call my business. For a few weeks, I wanted to open a shoe store. I was gonna call it Senor Marc's Shoe Emporium. Then there's always the idea of the bike/coffee shop Bikes and Beans. Diane and her friend Patty where adding to this game the other night and they came up with a shoe/bike/coffee shop called Clogs, Cogs, and Coffee. Diane said you could do a Shoe/Bike/Internet café that would be Clogs, Cogs and Blogs. I have to say Patty, who has a huge rack, had the topper of them all, if she went in on it and was working at the shop it could be Bikes, Beans, and Boobs. She would of course wear Hooters style clothing. I think that might work. Anyway, all in fun, I love my job.
Layla flying around the yard...
Diane and I went to the Grasshopper Café off 896 for breakfast today. She had a couple of eggs, and I had a breakfast quesadilla. It was awesome, this place is small and kinda off the beaten path, but the food is top notch. Very good meal.
On the way to eat we passed a bunch of friends riding on the road, as we passed, I hung out the window of the car like a jackass and shouted, you skinny tire people, you lycra wearing, skinning tire people! The looks on the faces, went from suffering, to anger as they realized someone was yelling at them, to laughter as they realized it was me being a jackass. Mike CZ and Tom MC had the most expression. Not sure Postal Dave knew it was me at all.
Buddy and I rode the south half of Fairhill today. Trails were wicked fast. I wasn't, but it was sweet. Really good riding. Rode the new bike, little taller gear today. I felt a little pull in my back, but not in a bad way. New bike needs a Reba. I think I got the appropriation committee (Diane) talked into it already.
Damn, it's good to be a gangster.
Saw Leo out today too. I love that guy. Every sentence starts with "those fucking guys, sonofabitch... " and the story begins. He rules.
Good ride, almost 2 hours. Buddy said, "I'm glad we weren't hammering today." to which I answered, " we weren't hammering !?" Good stuff, bike felt good, legs felt good. Life is good.
Thursday, April 14, 2005
my dogs are shedding right now. I haven't vacuumed since last weekend. My Berber carpet is quickly becoming a hairy little nest. It's like something out of an Alien movie or something. Seriously, the amount of hair coming off of my dogs, I don't understand how they are not bald, like one of those funny little hairless cats or something. This morning as I let Riley and Layla out to do their business, I watched them frolic in the morning sunshine. They would wrestle, and run, and bounce off of each other as they ran in circles in the yard. Each time they would bump into each other a little puff of what looked like smoke, but was really hair would be released into the air. Wonderful and disgusting all at the same time.
A rock and a hard place.
Just last night my coach/adviser called me and we had a long talk about being patient. About remembering that I'm on track, the plan is coming together, I am riding well, and the goal was to extend the season. The Professor knew I was frustrated, and we talked about easing into intensity and not killing myself too quickly. We also talked about not killing myself on all the group rides. Burying myself for a 1:30 group ride that kills the rest of the week is just not worth it, although fun, it will in the hurt me more than help me. I agreed, I hung up the phone with a sense of determination, and pride. I am focused on my goals.
I think this is Buddy. Dude is riding sick good. I am lucky to get to ride with him.
So tonight, yeah I did a fast group ride. Back in school I studied Mythology, Cybdus and Kyrabda were sea monsters that would lure ships in between them and destroy them, A rock and a hard place was what my teacher, Ms. Posatko would call Cybdus and Kyrabda. Tonight I spent the night riding behind Matt, and in front of Buddy. Clearly, a rock and a hard place. Matt rode great tonight. He was feeling it. He rode super smooth, and over every roller was just on top of the damn gear. Slick Rick rode with us, out of respect for the single Slick Rick rode in fourth position, steady pushing the big ring. I hung in all night, and on a couple occasions just when I was riding the edge just a little too hard, I asked Matt to back off just a little and very kindly he did. My technique felt good tonight, starting to get used to riding with suspension again. My legs are beat, but it was a good ride. Professor I promise to ride easy tomorrow, and not totally kill myself.
Matt tackles skinny bridge with authority.
This has been a good week for me. I was sick and pretty down and out. But each day I've ridden, and I felt a little better. Still have a dry cough, but that might be from the dusty trails. Check out this weeks riding:
Tuesday- White Clay
Thursday- White Clay and Middlerun
Yeah, life is good. I get to ride in the gardens of the gods for sure. Anyway, I'm going to soak my sore legs and to drink some OJ.