Monday, June 13, 2005
compliments of Dennis- Wes and I smile for the camera, Diane Squints to see the time split from the leaders, and Fitzy continplates his next master plan, either that or he is looking down one of the women riders jerseys, it's hard to tell... Jesus I need a hair cut...
Sunday, June 12, 2005
After 3:45 minutes there is a light at the end of the tunnel....
Saturday Morning, a hearty group rolled out of my place at 7:30am for what was promised to be Epic ride #2. I believe that the ride didn't disappoint. This week's route focused a little more on Fairhill early, and then hit all the trails in White Clay. The group included:
Amazin' Andrew, Matty T, Buddy (the leg breaker), Alan the cleaner, Fuzzy, Slick Rick, Biddle (ty domi of 'cross), me, and special guests Wes the Conqueror, and Internet Friend Chris A, who both came into town for the extravaganza.
This is the tree off of the teeter totter that took Diane down 2 weeks ago... Notice the lack of bark from impact of the chunky monkey...
Last time we kinds ripped though all the parks trying to hit them all, I hoped if I just focused on the 2 parks we could better showcase them for Wes and Chris. Amazin' Andrew summed it up best "from the slippery roots of Fairhill to the dusty tails of White Clay."
It was hot, but didn't seem as brutal as the past few days. Maybe because we left so early? But in the woods it actually felt good riding, first time since you know Mother Nature turned on Summer around here. Gonna use a Kerkovian term "swamp ass conditions"
Slick Rick, Wes the conqueror (with air jordan wrist bans I might add), Internet Friend Chris A, and Buddy...
We had a great ride. Sure enough it got kinda quite at the end, but I think that's the nature of the beast. Focusing on just two parks, we could hit more single track coming home, and probably picked up a couple more climbs for good nature. Numbers looked like this:
Water stops 2
Fuzzy comes off of Skinny Bridge...
Yellow Jersey: Fuzzy-
If you don't know Fuzzy, his name will give you a pretty good picture of the fellow. Fuzzy is great rider, one of the godfathers of our riding community. He is pretty well insulated with fur, so hot humid "swamp ass conditions" aren't the ideal for him. He battled in and fought all day. He was riding his litespeed 2 speed, and broke the derailleur cable, which he jerry rigged with a stick to finish the ride. Tough stuff.
Pink is the color of Passion...
Andrew and Buddy fought a vicious battle all day. Well, not really vicious, it was pretty damn good spirited, but damn they were getting after each other and consequently all of us on every climb. Wes and Rick made a run for it at the end, but Andrew and Buddy had amassed enough points with flyers on every climb early to take it out of reach. Up the last coming out of Little Egypt it was a 2 up man climb for the Jersey. I didn't see the end, because I was way off the back, but I hear Buddy nipped Andrew and took the day... Matt gets credit for taking a huge flyer on the border trail climb, probably the toughest of the day... I just kept saying "I'm not chasing Matt, I'm not chasing Matt...I'm not chasing Matt..."
Alan the Cleaner rode tough today on his new ON ONE.
Biddle, and Alan who bring the usual, "I haven't been riding that much..." but were there all day, and kept the ride moving. Hinualt himself would have been proud of your rides today boys...
All in All outstanding stuff...
A bunch of us loaded up and went to West Chester tonight to watch the Iron Hill Brewery Sponsored Twilight Criterium tonight. The pro race was awesome and sick fast. Although I enjoyed watching the top dogs throw down, I think the coolest part of it was cheering for our local friends who were ripping. Dan the Man, Nick S, Johnny Royale, Fergie, and Blair S. Blair lined up next to Marty Nothstein on the front row and said, " Marty you went to the Olympics huh? Me too Biatch!" as reported by Fitzy.
Slick Rick captured Blair perhaps the best, "you know how we all think Blair is a bad ass, So do all those 1-2's"
Talked to Dan after the race and he commented how they rode the first 20 (of 50) laps over 30 miles an hour. Holy shit. Dan is a sick dude. Half a lap and I would have been off, half a lap... The race was awesome, the officials screwed the pooch when the field got lapped which caused all kinds of havoc and unhappy dudes in lycra, but I guess that's road racing.
Went to Coyote Ugly, the gourmet Mexican place that Joey T was denied due to a power outage. Well, Joey you may have lucked out my friend. Food was good, but way over priced, luckily the company was great, but the kitchen was slow and we were all tired. I mean if I get a $25 enchilada, it better not taste the same as the $8 enchilada from Donny P's. And it did. But really I have no complaints; it was a great day top to bottom.
Thursday, June 9, 2005
What!!?? Darth Vader can't enjoy Dirt Rag
while dropping the kids off at the pool ?
I am 10 years old. I go to the dentist for my regular six month cleaning. The hygienist is killing me. She is stabbing me with that pick tool, just scraping across my teeth and my gums. I can clearly remember the iron taste of blood in my mouth. So I did what any scared and hurt 10 year kid would do. I bit the shit out of her. I bit the shit out of her, pulled out the spit sucker that was in my mouth, jumped out of the chair, ran through the waiting room, past my mother, out the door and to my mother's car. In the meantime, a car slammed on it's breaks, screamed to a halt, and I was inches from being a bug dink on their hood.
My mom was really pissed. I got grounded from my bike until I could go back to the dentist. It was a long six weeks. I clearly remembering how much I was dreading going back, but in the interest of getting my beloved bike back. I had to do, what I had to do. I went back.
I am 32 years old. I hate the dentist. I go for my normal six month cleaning. I sit and the chair and the hygienist begins to make small talk. I hate that. Just do your evil and be done with it. However, she sparks my curiosity when she says, "do you remember when you were younger, and you bit a hygienist and ran out the door?" Feeling pain from that experience all too familiar I speak up, "yeah, that bitch was mean, she was killing me." The room gets really quite. I think for a second that perhaps using the term "bitch" has offended the hygienist. she replies, "yeah, that was me. please sit back and open wide..." I lay back and shut my eyes readying myself for the pain about to come. No further words are spoken...
I am 33 years old. After changing jobs and hurting my back I have been remiss in getting my teeth cleaned, so I was a few months late. I finally get an appointment. I get in, I sit down. All the while I do not know who my hygienist is. She finally comes in and greets me. Then much to my horror she asks, "Was it you or your brother that ran out of the office when they were a kid?" I freak out. I 'm about to take a beating again. Instead, I do what any 33 year old man would do, who has been scared, who knows he's about to take another beating... I lied. "No, I think that was my brother Craig, not me..." Have to say the hygienist was great that day, maybe my best dentist visit ever.
Riding has been tough going this week, although today I had some fun. This morning did some time over at white clay. Had my fastest run up the border trail all year that was pretty cool, but felt like ass the last 15 minutes of the ride. I struggled to get my fatmarc ass back to the toaster.
After work tonight hooked up with Fuzzy at Fairhill for a good ride. We were supposed to meet Todd, Roadie Mike and Alan the cleaner, but it we never found them. I'll tell you the heat is just killing me and has made this week a bear. My legs feel so heavy, just beat down tired. I'm gonna chill tomorrow and try to get some life back into them for Saturday's Epic ride #2. Joey T is back in D-town looking a playboy with Danielson, while here the real world we should have a killer group this weekend : Wes the conqueror is coming down, Internet Friend Chris is coming too, Buddy, Matt, Amazin' Andrew, Slick Rick and Biddle, the ty domi of cross, are all scheduled to make an appearance. This is gonna be a fun ride. I hope it doesn't rain, I'm really stoked for the weekend. Looking for a ride? Drop me a line...
Tuesday, June 7, 2005
Gatorade Hoarding... sad but true...
Whoa Nellie!!! Keith Jackson did it. He got me hooked, and now they've take it away. Maybe I fell victim to the marketing. In all the cycling rags, it was touted as "super Gatorade" I walked into my Wawa and sure enough there it was like a beacon in the night. "Endurance Formula Gatorade." I drank it, the flavor was good, and it worked. I raced the 12 hours of Lodi, I drank 5 bottles of the stuff. For a time life was good. Every Wawa, every grocery store I walked into had my stuff. Yellow Endurance Gatorade. Life was good.
Enter French Creek. I roll into my Wawa, ands alas it is gone. No Endurance Gatorade. I figured a mistake, briefly sold out; I hit another Wawa, no dice. I start to panic. I mean, it is bad news to change you hydration plan on race day. So Hit a grocery, I'm still shit out of luck, I find another grocery store, and sure enough they have just 3 bottles left. I buy them all. I use one and hoard the other 2 for up coming races.
Do you see what I have become? An Endurance Gatorade hoarder. Is there no market demand for the stuff? Or perhaps Chris Leigh doesn't want any other athletes to have the Gatorade advantage. Has Keith Jackson become the pimp of the nation? Whoa Nellie no more Magic Gatorade for you!
And so, I will continue to ride my mountain bike, thirsting for true refreshment, the Gatorade Endurance formula that I took for granted, that I am addicted to. I love your endurance formula, and just want to find more, can you help a brother out?
Sunday, June 5, 2005
Everybody loves a clown...
In a dozen or so years of riding and racing, I have left my home more times that I care to recount in the dark, in steady, driving rains. Each time I have done this a similar thought crosses my mind once I make the venue. What the F-ck was I thinking?
Today was the same.
Enticed with the promise of Happy Meals Buddy and Matt loaded up the toaster with me, and we headed out to the Tour de Tykes. This was an 18 mile point to point race over a lot of technical loamy trails. I will admit that this may have been the most single speed unfriendly course I have ever raced on. The race was brutal. It was constant climb and descend scattered over some really good technical trails, but due to the rain you couldn't carry any momentum and I, like most people, ended up walking up most of the climbs. In the end I probably walked 1/3 or so of the course. That being said, the mud wasn't horrible, just slick and not sticky at all. Hardest part of today was the inability to climb on the bike.
Travis pulls out a can of whoop ass...
The single speed class was one rider short today as Travis S (s for sick fast dude) raced senior 1 in the hopes of taking home a little cash. He took third, so it looks like that was a good move for him. I like to mention that Travis is one of the nicest, supportive, friendly guys I have ever had the opportunity to meet. Nice job Travis...
Single speed went off and up the first long climb we were packed tightly. We had agreed to pace ourselves up opening mile climb until we hit the steep section of the road. We rang our bells and smiled for the crowd. Race fans love single speeders, and they love bells. Wes the Conqueror picked up the pace right at the steep pitch and got away pretty cleanly. As I mentioned the course had a lot of off the bike running, and back on sections. You might remember that Wes the Conqueror is pretty good at that kinda stuff. Better than the average bear you might say. He rolled to the win. Wes brought along his cool girl friend Alyssa today. I hadn't seen her since cross season. She is very nice. I missed seeing her mother. I busted on Wes a little, "great bring the girlfriend to a point to point race, see yeah babe, have fun the next 2 hours while I'm gone. Why not wax the truck while you're waiting huh? " Not a whole lot to see in a single lap race, know what I mean ?
Peterman is a Wooden Wheels haunch. He is super nice, super strong, and local to the Tour de Tykes area. He pushes a big gear. I knew at the beginning he would have the home field advantage and as such would be even more dangerous than he usually is. (point here is I have a lot of respect for the guy, even more so on his own turf...) So when he came around me on the first climb I was cool with letting him share some of his local knowledge with me. We went back and forth through the first half of the lap. On the bike I felt like I could hold more momentum than he was. Must be the Spot Brand 29er. However he was killing himself and consequently me on the run ups. Tough guy. Good guy. On the last loop of the course, Twice I thought for sure we had to be finishing up so I put in good strong finishing efforts, only to realize and much to my horror, we weren't done. Only by my pure stupidity was I able to open up a small gap on Peterman, and slip away with a second place ride today. I almost blew it on top of one of the run ups, as I jumped cyclocross style back on my bike, slipped off my pedal and jammed the nose of my seat into my ass. It hurt so bad I was sure I torn myself a second a-hole. I had to stop for 10 seconds to keep myself from vomiting. Once I got some blood flow back in my face, I got rolling again a couple of minutes later the pain subsided. I was really expecting to see blood in my shorts after the race, and was stoked that I didn't.
"Look into my eyes..."
I'll tell you, I am far faster when I ride my bike than when I have to walk it. I know there's no shame in pushing that single speed bike, but I pride myself in riding with a rhythm and maintaining momentum. Today was one long slugfest, which is good but not my forte. At French Creek Wes the Conqueror took, 7:00 out of me, I had hoped to cut that down a bit today, but as I mentioned he's pretty fast, and real smooth when off the bike, he took 10 out of me today. I won't even mention how much Travis would have beaten me by. So despite having to run my ass off today, despite trying to impale myself, and despite feeling utterly and completely lost, I had a good ride, I had fun and hell I picked up my first MASS podium ever. All in All a good day.
Tour de Tykes is a Charity fund raiser for the Children's Miracle Network, and a fun event. The trails were cool, it was very tough race. One of my goals has been to do races that I haven't done before; I can mark this one off of my list.
Big Ben uses some post race re-hydration. Did you know his girlfriend is a stripper? That's the word on the street....
The ride home in the toaster was a little frantic. I was supposed to go out with Diane to Newark night, but we got totally lost, and we were really late. That didn't go over too well. Sorry babe, luckily my wife is very cool. Buddy and Matt took 5th and 6th today in another stacked SS field. Buddy flatted early and fought his way back. I didn't see where Andrew ended up, Karen or Paul from NY. Bill Duh! had a great ride today. On the way home Buddy and Matt wanted to grab some food, I saw a Wendy's, which they both scoffed at "I was hoping for something a little more healthy, I don't really like junk food" they said to me. So when we stopped for gas, totally lost, 15 miles north of Lancaster, they both got roller dogs from a gas station. Yup, that's eating healthy boys. Matt and Buddy also had a burpapalooza contest going, which I think Matt took in a sprint finish right at the end of the ride. Thanks for riding shot gun fellas. Matt and Buddy are two of my favorite people in teh world, and I was glad to road trip with them today...
Wednesday, June 1, 2005
My boy James talked me through the Strenuous SS Worlds Entry Process tonight...
Diane, "don't forget to register for that race. I know you think it's gonna fill fast, but I've heard that before. Just register and get home..."
I reply coyly, "no sweat babe, I got a plan, but I gotta get LWebb registered too..."
I open up two browsers log in to bikereg.com, sign in go to the single speed worlds page. They are not allowing anyone to register yet. I hit refresh. Still nothing, system is running slow, I know this is a bad sign...
I hit refresh again, and still the same, being the patient person I am I hit it again, still nothing... I have never seen bikereg.com so slow...
game on, I look at the browser I have determined I would sign LWebb up on; they are letting folks sign up. I log in with her password, I have her credit card number and roll through the pages. I get to the shopping cart. "oh F-ck! I yell, as I have checked "yes" for a Velonews subscription. "shit," I yell, " how the hell do I get this out of the shopping cart?" I jump over the browser for me. It's just a blank screen "Common, common"
It's James. "so what do you think?" he asks, I respond to his question with a question, "do you think we'll get in?" James responds, "dude I didn't think it would be this tight, holy shit !" I probe, "you get anything yet?" James, "nope, just a white screen..." "wait, here we go, I get the box, T-shirt size, bam! moving to check out..."
Excitedly, I check the browser I have opened for Lauri, I am back at the beginning, and I uncheck the Velonews subscription. I hit submit, I get a white screen... I check back with the browser I have set up for my own entry. yes, I got the box, everything is checked, I hit submit. damn another white screen and waiting...
James speaks up, "dude, it's taking my credit card info, yeah!" he reads the processing screen to me, "please allow up to 2 minutes for processing..." "yeah! James shouts I got the confirmation! I'm in !!!" Just them my browser perks up, the one I have set up for my entry, and asks for my credit card info. I happily supply. I hit submit. "please allow up to 2 minutes for processing..." trying to stall a little, I clean up my stuff, place my planner in my bag. James speaks up, "dude, I'm looking at the confirmed entrants, 90 people already, and there I am, I'm in!" Let me refresh..." he continues, "I'm getting the white screen still..."
I check the browser for LWebb, finally we are at check out again, "shit, James, she's still got the Velonews on there, she's gonna kill me if I subscribe for her. F-ck! what do I do? Shit I gotta start from scratch." With great trepidation, I close LWebb's browser, and open a new one. I hope for the best. I gotta get her in. I sign on using her password, again. shit this is slow, I jump back to my browser. "shit, I'm in! yes!!, but f-ck!" James speaks up, "dude, your there and there are 125 folks in already, no LWebb ." Me, :shit what a dick I'll be if I get in and can't get LWebb in. What an ass, she's out riding and I'm stressing this... Damn it!" I get my conformation. I can't celebrate yet, not done my job. Got to get LWebb In. I jump over to LWebb's browser, "common, common log in..."
New picts of my pups per JVAL's request...
James bails out , "dude, I got jet, I got dinner with the 'ents tonight, I got run, don't worry you'll get her in. Imagine how many single speed geeks sitting around their computer right now trying to get in! Holy cow! And who's a bigger geek, you trying to get in or LWebb out riding asking you to get her in? There are...
I quickly interrupt James, "don't tell me, I don't want to know how many are in, I just don't want to know..."
James, "Okay, dude, later..."
finally, the race page, I check entry, t-shirt size, NO VELONEW SUBSCRIPTION, hit submit... White screen again... Thoughts of impatience rip through my head, "f-ck, hurry up, hurry up," Finally the check out. I think to myself, "Okay, where's LWebb's CC #, shit, it's in my planner, in my bag, crap..." I rip into my bag pull it out. Enter it up, hit enter. " please allow 2 minutes for processing..."
"yes, this is good" I think to myself. confirmation shoots up. "Yes, Got her in!" I go back to the confirmed rider list just to make sure; I see Karl F, Dan O, Wes the conqueror, Buddy, RickyD have all gotten in. Where's Matt. "shit, Matt's not in yet..."
I call Buddy. "dude was that not the craziest thing ever?" Buddy responds "man, that was nuts, I couldn't get bikereg.com to move." I ask, "is Matt getting in?" Buddy, "I don't know." I continue, " dude, I just got LWebb in, give him a call or worst case get him in with another id." Buddy, "right on man, shit this is crazy..." I reply, " hella yeah!"
I check the confirmed riders list, 230. Holy Shit. Still no Matt. I find out by the time I get home that Matt has made the cut. 339 at 6:00pm. I didn't plan on drinking a beer tonight, but shit after the stress of that, I crack open a magic hat with a sense of victory.
a quick glance shows many more friends heading to state college: Joe Foley, Les, Erin G, Big Time Butch, Roadie Mike K (who kicked my ass saturday), Elk, Dave C. (your dad is a great professor), Jed from Gretna, Jed from College Park, Trevor M, Topher and his magical beard... I'm sure there are more... That was cool... by 9:30 last night registration was closed...
"I'm going to worlds baby!, I'm going to worlds!!"
Saturday, May 28, 2005
Buddy, James (behind buddy), Slick Rick, the real Joey T, Ted Logic, Roadie Mike, Green Trek John, Amazin' Andrew, Fitzy, Kurtee all joined me for a fantastic voyage today...
Back in the early days of my Wooden Wheels rein of terror, we rode from the shop every Wednesday night. One of the best loops we used to do was the 4 park ride. The goal was basically hit as many of the local parks in a loop, (Carpenter, Fairhill, Rittenhouse, and Iron hill) that we could and be back to the shop before dark.
out my door, 4 minutes to Fairhill trail head... this is 7:33 am...
These rides evolved into the Ted Logic Death Marches, as Ted would hold 3 hour plus rides leaving from his house in Newark, riding straight up the road out 273 to Fairhill. Then work the trails all they way back to his house connecting what is now White Clay, Carpenter, Middlerun all into one sick loop. Ted would have these rides on early Saturday mornings, and they were one of our key preparations for 24hr races...
Today, 10 hearty souls showed up at my house at 7:30 am, to continue the tradition of the 4 park ride, the Ted Logic Death Marches. I had dreamed up a loop for a while connecting Fairhill, Carpenter, White Clay, Central Middlerun, and of course the Judge Morris section. So I was excited as we headed out this morning.
My new toaster...
The ride was awesome. For about the first half of the ride I had Joey on my wheel. It has been great having him in town, and he had me laughing most of the ride, talking shit, about this or that. Hell, sometimes he was just making noises. It was good. Up one climb Buddy and I were riding side by side with Joey, and we were huffing pretty good. Joey is totally calm. Like he was going for an easy walk. I asked Joe to at least fake it.
So he did and that was funny.
Slick Rick's new Toaster...
Let me wax nostalgic on you here. I remember Joey when he was a 14 year old kid and started riding with us. It's pretty awesome to see him grown up. I love following his blog, and his stories as he lives the life out in CO. I miss having him in the community, but I am proud as shit to be able to say I know that kid, and hope I was a positive influence on him. Joey has invited all of us out to Durango. He said Todd has a nice pad and we can crash there... sweeeeeet! Joey rocks... Okay, you can put the tissues away now...
Joey speaks of the virtues of Durango...
The pace was very even, and everyone rode really well. We didn't have any big breaks except for Kurtee who had a triple flat. Let me explain, first he flatted the rear, and then while fixing it notices that his front has flatted too, then the first tube he used to fix the rear was flat, so he had the triple flat.
A little over 3 hours in, we passed Les and company on the judge, and the realization came that we had a ways to go to get home. I tried to conjure up the most direct route home I could. It was tough stuff. And while the first 3 hours could be characterized as glib and pretty funny, that last hour was pretty quite.
In the end we did 46 miles, 5 parks, in just over 4 hours. It was epic, and truly a great ride.
Andrew took a pricker in the face early, but liked the war paint look and stuck with it for the ride... Andew has become one of the toughest guys I get to ride with... He is a sick dude...
When I got home, I found Diane nursing an injury. She had gone over to White Clay with Tab to ride the skills trail. She rode the entire thing, including the new teeter totter, but caught a tree coming off of it.
Wait a second my wife was riding the skill section at white clay, and in a sick strange way when she said, "honey, I cleaned the teeter totter but stacked it into a tree with too much speed coming off of it..." I thought it was one of the sexiest things she had ever said to me, and I was strangely aroused. Is that wrong? My wife rules...
Anyway, it was great ride. Great day.