Sunday, July 31, 2005

hard beef, pus, and the Summer Sizzler at Sewell...

"Great start talking about food when the fat guy gets here..." Fitzy had excellent form this weekend...

Wes came down Friday night and we headed to Homegrown in Newark. When ever we have a guest we try to give them a good flavor or our town's trails and of course food. I went with a Mexican Lasagna; Wes had Falafel, and Diane with her homegrown steady, the Crab Dip. Everyone seemed to enjoy their food. The Mexican Lasagna was excellent. Layers of Tortilla each with a mixture of beans, and cheese, and salsa. Oh my it was good. A couple of Magic Hat #9 helped to wash it down nicely...
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Fort James and Allan the cleaner...

Saturday we were up early and planned to meet some folks for a nice pre race ride through White Clay. We met up with Alan the Cleaner, Fort James, Buddy the leg breaker at the ticking tomb. We rode up through Brian's Field Trail, and I picked up the tempo just to open up the legs a bit for Sunday's race. Wes chimed in, "hey, save some of the O face for Sunday huh?" Rolled into Possum Hill Lot where we picked up Slick Rick and Fitzy. Fitzy was debuting his brand new Bianchi Puss. This would basically set the tone for the ride as Fitzy started with, "how do you like my new clean puss?" it went down hill from there with :
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Fitzy's new puss ...

"Fitzy was hammering the puss today"
"I didn�t put bottle cages on it because I wanted a clean puss"
"I feel like I can really get some good power on the puss"
"the seat angle is a little different; you know the angle is the key to success with a puss"
"Hey Fitzy, was the puss smooth through the tight section"
"I'm breaking in the puss really nicely today"

Juvenile? Yup. But funny just the same.

A couple more efforts as Wes went to the front, and Slick Rick followed, causing a change reaction of everyone redlining it, if just for a few minutes. I shouted out, "what happened to saving the O Face!" The weather was beautiful, the ride was fun. At an hour and half in, we cut it short, trying to save something for Sewell. To be sure we could have been really happy playing the White Clay trails for another hour or so...

Hit Diane's favorite chain Don Pablo's Saturday night. Food was good. Consistent. Diane got her usual. 2 hard beef tacos. Ordering went something like this:

Waiter: "what would you like ma'am?"
Diane: "two tacos and a side of corn cake please..."
Waiter: "what kind of tacos ma'am?"
Diane: "Give me the beef. Hard..."

The waiter's eyes got big; I almost spit water out my nose...
The waiter swallowed hard trying not to laugh. Wes and I weren't that cool.

Okay, I'm almost 35 locker-room humor still is funny to me. Juvenile? yup.

Of other interest on this night was a huge table of like 20 folks sitting right next to us. There was a young passionate couple, maybe 17 year old, sitting right in front of somebody's parents flat out going at it. They were groping each other, full on making out. I felt like Russ in European Vacation, "Dad, I think he's gonna do her right there on the table." There was some serious heaving petting going on. Aside from the whole over the top PDA thing, I mean I couldn't imagine feeling up my girlfriend in a restaurant in front of her parents, or my parents, or hell Diane, Wes and I. It was pretty damn funny. They must have had oysters or some other kind of aphrodisiac...
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Wes the Conqeror, Buddy The legbreaker, Slick RIck during a brief regroup...

Sewell Race:
I love this race. I fucking hate this race. The terrain here is brutally flat, and so it's really hard to get any spacing or distance on anyone. Racing is really tight, and competitive. The course is really fun to ride, but it's also relentless. No place to recover and the pace is very fast. If you make a mistake, you'll lose big spaces. The racing was really tight, almost cross like expect for it's an hour longer. I had a ton fun. I think an indication of how great the single speed group is, and how much we like each other is immediately following the finish 3rd, 5th, 6th, and 7th passed around a bottle of coke, trying to settle our stomachs and keep from puking...

Lap One:
Ransom (guys) took of with a furious start. Wes the conqueror covered and they were setting a brutal pace. I slipped by Topher and Big Ben hoping to bridge up, but was unsuccessful. I was leading a single speed train containing Me, Topher, Big Ben, Tim Dickson, Todd the Maestro, Maurice (the gangster of love), and Buddy the leg breaker. When it was clear to me that I wasn't bridging I tried to back off a little but had already over extended myself. Ben and Topher were chatting away, I could barely breath. Bastards.

Lap Two:
Still hurting from the first lap, Ben, Topher, and Tim come around me in the field. I felt like the front section of the course was my best. I fight back, attacking on each little rise, and get around each of them. I stay aggressive as a get a little space on Topher. I feel like if I can build a gap, I should be safe.
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Diane getting ready for a ride, Ride still no hair on the belly...
Fool the dog's belly not Diane's What kind of Blog do you think this is ?

Lap Three:
I kill myself in the front section. Sprinting up each hill. I feel the sharpness of a cramp coming on. I try to drink some Gatorade, but I'm breathing really hard. No place to really feed on the course. Half way through the lap I feel like I have some space on Topher. Maybe 45 seconds. At the end of the lap, I loop through the switchbacks and much to my dismay he is still there. He looks strong.

Lap Four:
Time to get down to brass tacks. I am really suffering, and still not feeding. It's hot here, and the race feels like a cyclocross race. I'm on the rivet the entire time, I convince myself to attack the front section, hoping to solidify my gap enough to hold on to third. I punch it on each section, but I feel cramps coming on. Not good, I focus on the trail. Through the switch backs, I still can't see Topher. I think I'm in good shape. Over the quick up I glance back. The past 2 laps I had put time on him here. "Fuck" I think to myself as I see Topher charging. My legs are definitely cramping. I start drinking, but it's too late. I am cooked. I pick up my pace a little, if I can make it to the last section maybe I'll hold him off. I glance over around the switch back, and don't see him. "Good" I think to myself, maybe he's done. I look forward, and Topher attacks me passing on my left. "Fuck, I think to myself" Up a quick steep section I try to respond. The lights are on, but nobody is home. I start losing momentum, Topher is gone. I am struggling to turn the pedal at this point. I try to get it going again, focus on my spin. I feel bad, I'm dieing a slow death. "there's only half a lap, hang in there; keep pushing dig deep" Maurice (the gangster of love) latches on to my wheel. Though the loaming pine section he comes by he asks, "what the hell happened to you?" "I think I cracked dude, thanks for noticing" He starts to power away; I stand on my pedals in vane trying anything to get some power down. But the truth is I am done. I climb the steep little climb where fans cheer, "dude, you're the only single speeder to make this each lap." No solace as I have lost 2 spots in the last 1/2 a lap, and I'm sure I was sporting a mask of pain Something like this...
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the greatest mask of pain ever... Fergie Posted by Picasa

hey kid this is a NC-17 website...

Wes the conqueror won, Ransom 2nd, Topher 3rd, Maurice (the gangster of love) was 4th, and I was 5th, Big Ben 6th, Todd 7th, Buddy the leg breaker 9th. Good race. Really tough. I respect all the guys I race with a lot, I'm lucky to race with such talented and cool guys. Very luckily everyone in our class gets it, if you know what I mean. I do kick myself for not feeding better, that's a little disappointing, when I open my camel back only 1/3 of it was used. I am such a dumb ass sometimes. But it was good racing what else can you ask for?
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Most money I have taken home this season...

Quick Notes:

* I had a good time, saw lots of good folks. It was a good day. I had a good time; 1:42 race time, 22nd fastest over all... Wes the conqueror did a 1:36, and was the second fastest time overall.

* I left with more money than I have from any race this year. Okay, it wasn't mine, as I collected for Green Trek John (who raced his silver stumpjumper) 4th, Slick Rick 5th, and Mike K 6th in the Vet class.

* Hats off to Fort James who put up an 8th place in his age group today. Dennis Smith took 3rd in the 45+ expert, with a very strong ride, surprise, surprise; he's coming along just in time for cross. I got a secret Henry's team jersey for him to borrow if he wants it...

* When I got off my bike my back kicked me hard. I couldn�t stand up straight for like 5 minutes. I'm coming to see my masseuse this week.

* Good times, race was well run, they f-ed up the single speed class results again, and despite all of us standing there and explaining what happened, there was resistance to correct them. What the fuck is that? As I look on the website, I see they haven't fixed them yet, or even from Marysville. Those guys get damn cocky about the results. Their first answer to us was "did you say something in the 20 minute protest period? " If the Mass guys want to act like Norba, they'll end up like Norba. Thing is the scorer is more than willing to make sure the results get done correctly. What the fuck? Get it right folks, get it right.

* Hats off to Chris Hinman and all the No Cents guys for putting on another great event, ( scoring aside) the race was perfect, and I know scoring is outside of the No Cents organization. Well done, much respect.

* Dan the Man almost killed Kid Chris. Seems during the race, Kid Chris put Dan into the woods while Dan was trying to pass him. That first year in expert is tough, in sport it's totally cut throat all the time, in expert, folks recognize if some one is faster, let 'em pass, if you are faster or on another day, you'll expect the same courtesy. Sometimes life lessons come hard. I'm sure there are no hard feelings.

* On behalf of the single speed class I want to thank Howard Brown and the bike line tent for the coke that kept all of us from puking our guts out.

Okay, that was a lot. I'm done now...

fatmarc Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 28, 2005

PWC- 2 out of 4 ain't bad baby...

Your 2005 District TT Champion- Billy V... Bad, Bad Man... PWC-

Fuck yeah. I did it, stayed with the group, didn't get dropped, hell I used smoke and mirrors but shit yeah, I made it to the finish with the group. Don;t get me wrong there were plenty of times when I was totally on the rivet, and thought I was done, but kept my composure and sucked wheel like a banshee, and stayed in. Great group tonight, although I did miss the Shark. Some of the really bad mofo's were back along with the usual cast of normal bad mofo's. Hope I don't miss anyone but I think the group was:

Dan the Man, Matty D, Spencer, Slick Rick, Yinger, George, Billy V, Pres Jay, Cool Ass Dave H, Postal/Disco Dave, Road Bike Amy, Jonathan, Cohen, who popped in fresh in a couple of sections, John Hagen, and your favorite Spot Brand Whore (sorry if I missed anyone)

Ride was fast, and fun, some good smack talked in a friendly manner. Started fast, and cruised over the cemetery bridge. Up 896 I thought I was in trouble and skipped a rotation. Ah yes, hide in the pack. Turned onto porter and the Yinger took a flyer at the front. Group responded and once we got together, Spencer flatted. We soft pedaled for a bit. John Hagen went to the front on 71 and set a viscous pace. Back on Chesapeake City road, I realized I was feeling a little tired, and was quickly coming up to the two rollers where generally I find myself dropped like a ton of bricks. I said to myself , "self, don't fuck this up, be smart, hide in the pack. Survive this section. " I hid kinda safely behind Slick Rick's wheel over the first. My plan was to try to stay in the group and make it over the second hill, where I have been dropped 2 of 3 previous times I've done this ride. For the record, drafting off of Slick Rick, Matty D, and Amy is like trying to eat a steak with a straw. Sure you can get some benefit, but is it really worth the suffering?

But digress, Dan the man took off up the second hill, and I threw my plan out the window and tried to hang on as long as I could. The new plan was stay with Dan the Man until I cracked, which was about 200 yards over the top of this small roller, and hope I could recover and catch a wheel of the rest of the group. I was very pleased that my new plan worked, and I felt a little victorious, as I had made it past the place were 2 of 3 previous times this very group had dispatched me.

Up 273 the group worked well together, Ying yelled at us, again no one listened, and Matty D had us reverse our rotation. Up some little shit road, Spencer took off setting up a sprint, Dan the man and Slick Rick ended up fighting it out Manu a Manu. Up the final strip, and the final sprint line the Secret Henry's team came together as Slick Rick and I took massive pulls and delivered Dan the Man to the line. Well, it was a crack in the road, it may have not been the final sprint line but shit we delivered him somewhere. It's the damn thought that counts! Matty D and Dan fought it out to the line, I'm not sure who won I was with the groupetto and frankly just happy to be finishing with the group. I race in the single speed class, when we do have to sprint, it usually just embarrassing, like Rasmussen on TT bike bad, if you know what I mean.

Back in the parking lot I got sweat in my eye. That stung a lot. Billy V had refreshments and we talked briefly about riley and our other dogs. That was cool. Prez talked about a Special Olympics, and a local duathalon coming up. I sat feeling really happy about my ride. Got a couple really good rides with intensity and I look forward to racing sewell this weekend. Shit I'm batting 50% for finishing this ride with the group now! Thanks folks tonight was a ton of fun.

Other quick notes, George and Amy were fantastic gate keepers and did a great job helping to communicate and kept the pack rolling. And Billy V who just won the district TT championship said, " I was happy to win one, now I have a district championship in my 40's, my 50's and my 60's" In my entire life I will never be as tough or cool as that guy. Tough as Nails. Yeah Boy, that guy is a bad, bad man, congrats and mad props.


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Couple of Cool Movies; Riding with Animal Chen

Tuesday night it was hotter than an oven outside, my shoulder still is sore so I rationalized that I should take the night off. So I blew of the Tuesday Night Titans and hung with Diane and the dogs. We watch 2 really good movies, really old movies. These will be no surprise to anyone, but I just forgot how funny they were. First was "Major League". Cheese baseball movie, but so damn funny. My favorite part is when Willie Mayes Hayes, slides into the base and comes up 3 feet too short. Next it was "Office Space" which if you ever worked in an office is so realistic that it's a little painful. Totally white dudes wanting to be gangster too. The part that I forgot about that was so damn funny was the "O face" as in, "if I'm lucking tonight I'll get to show her my O face, Oh! Oh! Oh!" These guys nailed office life to a T, luckily my current work environment doesn't fall under that umbrella. Unfortunately my former bank life was all about it. Anyone seen my red swingline stapler?

With my gimp ass shoulder, I rode the road last night. I did Aaron Chen's Wednesday night ride, which I don't think I have ever done before. As we headed out a storm was blowing it. The ride was cut short, but we had some really fun fast sections. Jonathan was there. I hadn't seen that dude in a while. He went to the front and set a great pace to get us home before the storm. I took the obligatory pull to make it look like I was helping with the pace. Jonathan is a super nice dude, I hope he is going to be around. Short ride, but it was good. Met a nice lady Katrina, who races Extera races, she was laying the smack down pretty hard. That was sweet. Hope to hit the Peoples World Championships tonight. Goal is to not get dropped, to do no work, and to suck major wheel. That would take me to 2/4 for the year, and a 50% drop rate on the peoples world championship . But let's not count my chickens before they hatch.

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Sunday, July 24, 2005

Riley News, the darkest place; State College...

Patches.. I mean Riley finally chilling at home

Thanks for all of the encouragement...

Riley is home, and still wobbly, but home. The vet is really happy with his progress and it was great to have him finally home. Diane and I took shifts of sitting on the couch with him. He looks a little funny as he has huge bald stops from were they gave him and MRI, Surgery, the heart monitor. We may have to re-name him patches. We're not out of the woods yet, but it's good to have him home.
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Buddy, Ben and Wes use the "magic" post ride reydration drink...


With riley home we chilled. We actually cooked. I know write it down on your calendar. We had kielbasa and macaroni and cheese. I didn't say we were good at cooking, just that we did it. I throw meat on the grill and it's good. And it was good. Nice Dinner.

Rode with Matt (run forest), Buddy the leg breaker, and Green Trek John, on is gray Bianchi, who joined up with us a little late. We left from Matt's and did a nice tour of White Clay, Middle Run and the Judge. Matt was the maestro and led a great loop.
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Matt and Bob ...

Roughly half way in, Buddy hit something in the trail and went ass over teacups; I was riding right on his wheel and never really had a chance to react. I plowed into him and we tumbled to the ground together. As I lay on the ground, my shoulder hurt, and I noticed my shin had some blood, I started to move slowly, and felt okay. Then I smelled something that must have come from the deepest, darkest, foulest place in the world.

That's right, Buddy's ass. Just to pay me back for crashing into him, Buddy, whose flatulence was world class today, farted on me. So as I lay on the ground not sure if I'm really hurt yet or not, my olfactory senses are overloaded with the pungent smell of Buddy's ass. It was like I was sprayed by a damn skunk. Great. I guess that's what friends are for. I got up and we finished the ride, although I'm sore in some places I wasn't before crashing into Buddy. Up the road to Matt's house, we usually have some kind of silly sprint for the line. I started late, Matt and Buddy had half a bike on me, I was able to close up on Matt, and as I started to move up on Buddy, he cut over and cut me off, taking the sprint. Luckily for me the officials saw Buddy's move, and relegated him to the back of the field. There is nothing more pathetic than guys on single speeds sprinting up a hill. I guess that's the "lance factor" in action...
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I came, I saw, I brought lasagna...

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harry one of our guides...

State College Sunday:

Harry from Mount Nittany, and Wes the Conqueror, lead a hardy group of us on a scouting trip around the SSWC course. Our group contained, Matty T (run forest), Buddy the leg breaker, Ted Logic, Big Ben (whose girlfriend is NOT a stripper), Bob E and myself. Although we did not make it all the way around the course, we got a good view at the very challenging loop. Personally I rode like ass today. Below I have listed my lame excuses. Although they are well thought out, and they are still very very lame. This I admit.
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The Conquorers wouldn't fit on the sign...

Anyway, the ride started with a 15 minute fire road climb, the longest climb I have done this year that was followed by a 24 minute climb and another 15 minuter. If you are coming to SSWC bring your climbing legs, and polka dotted jersey's folks. Wes was sick, I know he didn't feel his best in the rocks today, he was unfreaking believable on the climbs. Matty (run forest) was feeling really smooth today, and was on top of the gear, very nice. Buddy was buddy, and couldn't be dropped in the single track. Big Ben is riding out of his head. He dropped a chase group containing Buddy, Matty and Myself on the final big climb. He told us to stop calling him "BIG MAGGY BACKSTEAD" in bad english accents. Bob was smooth and steady all day. He did keep getting dog shit on his surly and would have to clean it off his down tube. That was kinda funny. I rode like ass today. Usually I pride myself in my technical skills, but it was ugly today. See list of excuses below. Good news is I really had a great time, riding was sweet, and I was really grateful to have such great guides. About 3 hours in Harry bailed out, and Ted who was really suffering on the climbs today, rode by the group exclaiming, "Stuart OGrady is really not a fan of the climbs" in a Phil Ligget accent that had as all laughing. 20 minutes later at the top of the climb no one was laughing. Tough Stuff.

The ride was followed up by an excellent visit to Wes's folks at basically the base of Mt. Tussey Ski Area. Ms. Conqueror had whipped up amazing spinach lasagna, and an outstanding salad. On a regular day, this would have been an outstanding meal, after this ride, I heard angels singing every time she walked out onto the deck. Thanks to Harry and Wes and the Schempfs for their hospitality. Today was a most difficult and most fun day.
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Lame Excuses why I sucked ass today:

1. Too much air in my tires. Bob said I should change my blog to "flatmarc" instead of fatmarc. I was scared to let any air out trying to avoid another flat. I was rattled all over the place.
2. My shoulder hurt from previous day's crash and that made me really tentative as a rider... I stacked a couple times early in the ride, and my confidence was shattered. I am a shell of my formerself, and I just rode shy.
3. In the same vain as #1 too much air in my fork. It was really stiff, great for White Clay, not so good for State College.
4. New Shoes. Had new cleats, still not used to them, and the new cleats didn't release as well as old, thus taking away my confidence in a quick bail out.
5. I was up too late and had to leave the house at 4:45. Fatigue.
6. Pulled rear wheel out of dropouts and disc brake was rubbing, and I didn't figure it out until it was too late.
7. I forgot my magic beans that I eat before every ride. One makes me feel taller, one makes me feel small.

Yes, I know they are all lame. And in the end none of them mean anything, I didn't have my best stuff, but I had fun with a great group of guys today. The trails were phenomenal and I am better for the experience. Really good stuff and great lasagna too!

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Thursday, July 21, 2005

My Sick Dog, PWC, and Newark Brewfest...

Riley Roo…

Fuck. My dog is sick. Almost lost him Tuesday, then a major surgery and almost lost him yesterday. Good news is he is doing much better. 75% better the doctor said. I get to see him Friday at 10:00. Been a tough week emotionally for me, shit I don’t have kids, they aren’t in our future, I have dogs, and I love them very much. Like I said been a really tough week this week for Diane and I, good news is I think we are turning the corner. Fucking aye. Riley will be the 10 million dollar dog by the time this is done. Worth every freaking cent, if it means he is out of pain, and will have a longer, more fun life…

People’s World Championships…

I try to hit this ride once a month or so, it usually means I have to leave work early to make it happen, so I try not to take advantage of my good work situation. Anyway, I pulled into the lot only to see the pelotone heading out. FUCK. I got dressed quickly and TTed down 896 to meet the group. Is it bad it I pegged my heart rate at 175 before I caught the group? I saw them on the cemetery bridge and spun around. Billy V, local legend came flying by and I grabbed his wheel. It was hot, and Billy looked a bit like a cooked turkey on thanksgiving. He pulled me up to George who in turn got me into the main group. This was the 3rd time I’ve done this ride this year, the previous 2 times, I was dropped. Tonight none of the really bad mofo’s were here, just the bad mofo’s. Heading up 896 and on Porter Road, Disco Dave tried to find someone to dance with him. Dave and Christian had a two step maybe 25 yards up from the group. The Yinger yelled at the pack, but everyone ignored him. The main pack kinda all looked at each other, kinda like, okay whose willing to bury themselves? This happened a lot. Despite that fact that it was against my plan to suck wheel all night and do no work, I jumped to bridge the gap with surprisingly not abrasive Matt in tow. After Kirkwood and on 71 I found myself at the front again with Matt. I was thinking, dumb ass get off the front, surprisingly not abrasive Matt, was very kind and didn’t leave me hang out on the front at all. I shuffled back as Tierney, and Dave Hall took pulls at the front. Ying yelled at us all again. Erik, who I guess is the new guy rode strong. Ying flatted, (must have been Karma) and the group was kinda splintered. Disco Dave seemed a little frustrated he couldn’t find a dance partner and I think he bailed. Spencer, Christian, surprisingly not abrasive Matt, Erik and I kept tempo and the front and finished together. I think there was a sprint, I think Christian got it, but I was hanging on to Spencer’s wheel for dear life, and may have missed it. I made it to the end with out getting dropped. Yeah, that was cool, but a little hollow, although the ride was hard, it wasn’t as brutal as when the really tough mofo’s show up. Don’t get me wrong there were a couple of times when the tough mofo’s (as opposed to the really tough mofo’s) almost shelled me, but I stuck it out. It was a good night for sure. Spencer took sometime to help refresh my pace line skills, and to keep my pulls fluid. Spencer is an ace and the advice was much appreciated. I just don’t do the amount of pack riding I used to. Back at Peoples we rode in to find Dave Hall, who is super cool, Billy V, too cool for words and George, another cool guy, having a post ride refreshment. Billy gave me a Dr. Pepper, it was great.

Newark Beer Fest…
Damn, Diane and I went to Newark tonight to find the brewfest, but couldn’t find it anywhere. So we ended up at Iron Hill Brewery where we drank a little too much and had an excellent plate of nachos. Excellent. No brewfest, but what the hell…


Tuesday, July 19, 2005

When will the Harry madness end ?  Posted by Picasa


Maybe 3 weeks a go I got an email from Frank the owner of Biketopia a sweet shop in a suburb of Philly. He asked if would come in and do a talk to some of his customers about single speed mountain biking. I was honored to have such a request, and last night I took my power point presentation in and talked about what I felt were the benefits of single speeds to an intimate crowd of folks. Frank has a great shop. When you walk in you feel like you are walking into an old friend’s place. It is very down to earth, has loyal neighbors, loyal customers, and really good energy. I had never given a presentation on single speeding before so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. The folks were super nice, and had a lot of great questions. I felt a little weird sometime because I spoke so much about how great it is in our community and how single speed became big in our town. When asked where I thought the hot beds for single speeding are I said, "Newark, DE." then followed up with " Philly, DC , State college, and some guys in Colorado really like 'em" Todd don’t be surprised if someone asks you for your autograph. Frank and all the Biketopia guys and gals were very gracious, and I hope they had as much fun as I did. I tried to not pimp Spot Brand too much, but you know I am the Spot Brand Whore…

Check out the website:


thanks again.


Sunday, July 17, 2005

Harry Potter Dorks, Full Moon and Fairhill...

Count the number of fairhill podiums I have...

Harry Potter Dorks.

Okay, I've always considered myself a bit of a dork. You know a nerd, a freak, a spaz. It all started over some girl in 7th grade, and I clearly remember being a pawn in some popular 7th grade drama queens game, almost getting my ass kicked by a big ole bully and thinking that being popular must suck. For the record, fuck you Cindy V. and Fuck you Debbie B. From that point on I was kinda an outsider. I was attracted to things that seemed to be counter culture. It's amazing how much trouble you can get yourself into with a bad attitude, a big mouth, and a skateboard.

Anyway, as I have aged, and in theory matured, I found myself being a lot less angry, and maybe even more dorky. Whatever, I am very comfortable in my own skin. But, I digress, my wife is a big Harry Potter Fan. Which is pretty cool, I mean it's no x-men or anything, but what the hell. So as all you Harry Potter fans know Friday night at midnight, the latest book was released to the public. So you know where I was Friday night at Midnight? That's right standing in line at Border's waiting to pick up her book. Our local Border's had 1200 copies, and starting a midnight they were calling folks in 50 at a time. Yeah, our book was number 934. As we stood in line well past midnight Diane and I had some outstanding people watching. I observed 4 basic groups of people:

1. Dork Enablers- (10% of the population) these were the parents that brought their young children to this event, who thought it was a good idea to bring their 10 year old to a book store in the middle of the night. Much like my parents who thought it was okay to let me run around the neighborhood with a batman cape, and a wiffle bat that I fashioned as my light saber until the age of 14. Parents take a good look at me. This is the future you are allowing for them. Think about the repercussions of your actions. Lots of kids dressed up, good hats, mascara drawn scar on the forehead almost a requirement.

2. Happy Teenagers- (20% of the population) lots of kids who were Harry fans as kids, who had followed the series and grew up with it. These guys were bouncing off the walls, many dressed in custom. (what a night to forget my camera). Most were nice. Shit they were happy to be out of the house past midnight. My folks would have shit themselves had I asked to go out in the middle of the night to buy a book. I can hear them now, "take the car, here's some money, shit I didn't even know you could read!" Best costume here for sure, this girl was spot on for the Emma Thompson character in the last movie. Bad news for her is that she was 16 and looked 40. There were 2 pain in the ass Hilton sister wanna bees standing right in front of me. For any parents out there, if you daughter wears skirts less than 6 inches long, and has her thong showing all over the place, and you wonder if she is a slut, wonder no more. She is. The stripper pole is calling her name...

3. Adult Dorks- (20% of the population) Okay, I count myself in this group. Not quite trekies, but still adults who enjoy good stories, who enjoy follow TV shows, who were waned on comic books, and star wars, yet have struggled to have some kind of normal life. We cherish our dorkness, and enjoy the finer things in life, like Justice League cartoons, Adult size tiger suits and obscure movie references. Not too many dress ups in this group, but hard core fans. We met a school teacher who came up and was talking to us, and said, "I was here with my kids a 9:00pm, but they got tired so I had to take them home." Diane and I looked at each other and said, "we don't have kids, we wanted the book." The teacher volunteered, "okay, I admit it my kids hate Harry, I'm here for me." We ended up talking to her for like an hour, very nice very cool woman, and the coup de grace - She had ordered 2 books, had 2 tickets numbers 300 and 301, and she generously gave us number 301! That was really cool and meant I'd be home before 2 am!

4. The Trolls- (50% of the population) This was the ugly thing. Large group of people who never got comfortable with their dorkness. This group was just mean. They were so uncomfortable in their skin, they just tear everything down around them, and they were just so condescending and seemed like bad people. The worst of which was a guy I went to school with who had a pretty insidious past. He actually was working for Borders, and was in all his glory running up and down the sidewalk yelling at kids and families, just out of control. He was on a full on power trip. My bet is he was sporting wood the whole time. My message to these folks: Go home, Go back under the rock you were under, go to some web site and rip on the Harry books. Pretend to yourself that you could have done it better. Silent Bob and Jay will be at your door soon to kick you ass. Diane described them as "dungeon masters who where too smart for everyone else, and now have to play by themselves." They were all chain smokers, and unless they had a troll chick with them, my guess is they were 40 year old virgins. Bastards. They were just mean spirited. Some dressed up, but when they did it was warped, and not for fun. They were kinda scary. Get some help people, if you are at borders at midnight to get some wizard book, you are no better than the rest of us dorks. Get over yourself. Get some serious help.

Diane reports that the book is very good as she is a couple hundred pages in. No spoilers here, but sounds like a good read. Me, I'll buy it on disk.

Does Eating at the Half Moon Twice in the weekend make it a full moon?

Ate well this weekend, Friday took Diane and Katie to half moon Friday night, crab nachos kicked off the meal, they were awesome. For main courses Katie had a crab cake, as she can't get good crab in the springs, Diane had a couple pieces of filet. The one was a little over cooked, but the other was just perfect. They were smothered in cheese and potatoes. I had a Reuben. Very well done, but the portions were bad for me. It was like it was made on mini me bread. Seriously, tiny little pieces of bread, on this huge plate. Couldn't believe it. small but very good. good. It was so good that when Buddy mentioned he was going there with the NY boys Saturday, Diane and I jumped in again, round 2 saw us eat:

Crab cakes for Diane, and I had Chicken with brie and fresh salsa. Very tasty. The dessert was the best though, a very nice apple caramel cheesecake. Haven't done a lot of dessert lately, but that was really good.

Fairhill Debacle

Disappointing, Disheartening, unbelievable. Despite bringing good fitness, good confidence, and a good attitude, Fairhill was again nothing but painful for me. I started the season late, and focused on fairhill. My history at fairhill is clearly documented, and despite being a 7 minute ride from my front door, despite being one of my favorite places to ride in the world, I am still shit out of luck when it comes to racing here.
Here's my day:
promoters start all expert/pro classes at time. (which by the way was fucking stupid); I fight through traffic, get a little aggressive on the downhill to sunken bridge, I flat. Less than 10 minutes in and I flat. Thinking I had three co2 cartridges I take a shot in the dark that I can shoot an air in the tire, and be okay. I wrestle it out of my camel back, screw it in, try to stay calm hoping for a miracle. The tire fills, I get back on, maybe losing 1 minute tops. I'm climbing past people when I realize the tire is going flat. I am screwed.

So I change it. Not my best change, I felt like I was gonna cry, so much of my year I built on this race, and less than 10 minutes in I basically double flatted. All of the experts came by, then all of the sports came by and finally I get going only to realize I only had one c02 cartridge left, and didn't half enough air to continue. Luckily one of the B-Line Sport women had an extra. So from that point, of all riders doing the full loop, I was DFL.

The next few miles, I debated going home to drink beer and watch the tour or if I should get going. Then I started to get indignant and pissy. I fought back some. In the end I finished 10th. I rode home and got a shower. I really felt like I was gonna have a great day today. Fuck. Well, for me, there's next year. Fairhill still eludes me, and despite 7 attempts I still haven't seen a podium.

I love to race. I love seeing the people, I love to camaraderie. I know where I stand in the world of bike racers. That being said, I really committed myself to doing well, to winning Fairhill, that's what made today sting that much more. If I didn't care, it wouldn't matter. To be honest, I would rather care, but damn it made today that much tougher to swallow...

On the up side Joe Foley rode fairhill for the first time. He liked it. Saw Gwadzilla for the first time since last fall. Saw secret Henry's teammate Dave, who I haven't seen in a long while. Buddy, Matt and James put up solid rides, and Todd, the god father of single speeding, with out whom I wouldn't be riding a single speed was 3rd. What a great ride. Congratulations to Ransom on the w, and to Tim D who put up a great ride today to take second.

Well it's back to the drawing board for me tomorrow. There are after all 2 cross races at Fairhill in December!


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Wednesday, July 13, 2005

fairhill is my paris roubaix...

my hardcore training program in action... Posted by Picasa

Okay, I’m clearly no George Hincapie. For one I don’t wear all that much gold, and frankly, I’m guessing he hasn’t spent any time on a single speed mountain bike recently. It might be borderline blasphemous to compare myself to him, but I will anyway. Each spring I watch my favorite of the spring classics hoping that my man Big George will break through and win the race that I know he wants more than any. Each year with horror I watch as he puts in good ride after good ride, and has come up just short. Big George rides his ass off, and has nothing to be ashamed of, but still Paris Roubaix eludes him. As I watched Tom Boonen take the sprint last spring, I thought about my own personal albatross. The Fairhill Classic.

Fairhill is one of the year’s best races every year, usually 24-28 miles of single track, one loop. The race is usually attended by the toughest and fastest in the region. It has always been one of my goals to win this one. I live in Fairhill; I ride my bike there 4 days a week. I know the trails, I know the hills, I ride very well here. It suits my strengths. Despite these facts the best result I have ever mustered was a 4th. Twice I have had excellent looks at a win, only to come up a little shy:

Senior Sport 19-29.
I get a great start, and by half way have taken the lead. The race was 24 miles; it was going to be close to a 2:30 hour race, not my specialty. Still with 2 miles to go, I lead, and I faced one long hard climb back to the fairgrounds and the finish. As the climb started, my legs felt weak. I was tired, I had hit the wall. About halfway up the climb, just when the steep stuff started I heard the voice. Jay Jay called out ,”fatmarc… I’m coming for you…” Jay Jay is one of our areas toughest riders, a friend, and a sonofabitch on this day. At the time he was a dominating sport racer. I spun the granny as Jay crushed the big ring and passed me. Mentally I was crushed, less than 2 miles from the finish and I crumbled… After Jay passed 2 others got by me, as I struggled to finish the race… I finished 4th…

Elite Single Speed
I was not the strongest rider in the field, but still I missed a huge opportunity. I got off in the break with Keith G (bobby’s boy) and Nick (bad, bad man). Keith and I were riding together down the yellow trail, a trail I have ridden 1000 times, and I hooked my bar end on a tree and stacked. Keith was now clear and my front wheel had a wobble to it. In stead of undoing the brake, I choose to ride with the rubbing brake, wasting precious energy. (STUPID)

Still, this was my home turf and I clawed my way back into the race. Keith took the lead, and rolled on. At the half way point, I saw Nick. He was 20 yards in front of me; I got excited and began to close in on him. Through the rocky creek bed that I had ridden a 1000x, I raced recklessly and of course I pinch flatted. (STUPID).

Unbeknownst to me at the time, Keith snapped a pedal, and was over taken late by Nick. Who would go on to earn a very deserved win. Me, I fumbled the tire change, and lost 10 minutes trying to get my Co2 to work. It was a nightmare for me. I worked impatiently as Topher, Tim D, Matty (run forest) all passed me. In the end an unfortunate flat on the final climb for Tim D, allowed me to steal 5th in the final 2 miles. I was disappointed in myself, not so much for not winning, as for making so many mental mistakes. You just can’t do that if you expect to race well. More painful was the realization that I really felt I was going to overtake Nick, the eventual winner, not sour grapes, but I know it is not likely I’ll get another look at a fairhill win like that….

And so this weekend, I come into fairhill riding well, maybe not as well as Fort James might lead you to believe but I feel good. I know the course, my weight is where I want it needs to be, I am excited for the opportunity race fairhill again, to take another swing at what is for me is one of the big ones… Sunday morning, I’ll wake up, eat a waffle, get dressed ride over the fairgrounds, and take another shot at the fairhill classic…

Tuesday Night Titans:
We saw the return of Swamp Ass Conditions today as Todd (the maestro), Slick Rick, Biddle (ty domi of cross), Fuzzy, Jay Jay and I rolled out for another edition of the TNT. Rough group. Fuzzy and I tted over to the church to meet the group from the ticking tomb. The pace was tough, as Todd had obviously seen too much of the tour today and attacked hill after hill in middle run. Slick Rick simply ripped our legs off. On the steepest climb of the day he opened up a gap on the group the was 40 yards in less than 10 seconds. No one could respond. We finally jumped over to White Clay were the pace seemed to let up just a little. Down shock and awe I started to get chills, and backed off the pace. Fuzzy was kind enough to roll back to the cars with me, got just under 2 hours in. It was fun, and hard. Mad Props to Slick Rick…


Sunday, July 10, 2005

my dog shit the bed friday...

The culprit ?

Well, okay not the bed, and maybe it was vomit, not shit but just as bad. And it was in his crate, the bathroom, down the stairs, in the kitchen. Everywhere, projectile vomit, Linda Blair Style. So we rushed Riley to the Emergency Vet. Who kept him for a couple of days. When he was a pup he ate a towel, and got sick like this. When I was cleaning up I found a fully intact hair scrunchy. I think that was our ticket, the cause of the blockage that made my poor pup puke all over my house. So $800 dollars later, Riley came home to a happy family, and a clean damn house. BTW thank god for our little Bissell (official sponsors of the discovery cycling team) carpet cleaner, life saver...
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Crate of ugliness... Posted by Picasa

Riley getting back to his fun self... Posted by Picasa

Little Green saves the day.. check out that spew on teh right, that's just from around his crate... Sweet huh? makes you think twice about coffee...

the boys git r done...

Early reports from the MASS stage race are good. Matty T (run forest) 2nd in the endurance race, followed by Amazin' Andrew in third, Jebbagger 2nd, Wes the conqueror 1st single speed. Mike K 4th 35+ expert. Buddy the leg breaker and Fort James had rough days, but will live to fight another day...

Just for clarification wussy is a hybrid of a pussy and a wimp. Just in case you wondered.

For the first time in a few months I got some this weekend.
Yup, La Tolteca! I had a big ass burrito, it was outstanding. Diane went with 2 tacos and an enchilada. She enjoyed it as well. If you are ordering by the numbers Diane went with combo #4 and I had the 219. Burritos make me happy.

Sunday after our rides, Diane and I hit Kate's for brunch, she had crab cakes which are always awesome there, and I had the big ass western omelet. It was really a big ass omelet. And Tasty too! Dennis and Linda drove up and joined us. It was great company. It was a good day for sure.
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Crappy Picture- L.Webb out of the furnace on the three field climb...

Rides this weekend:

Sat.- it rained all day Friday so most of the trails were going to be too wet. My back was somewhat jammed up, and the road bike makes it worse, so I headed out on the road on the mtb. I did the back half of the icicle metric century. I felt pretty good on the hills in Landenberg. I was SoPRO when I got a call on my cell, and was talking while climbing up a hill. I usually don't carry a phone, but with Riley hospitalized, I wanted to stay near contact.

I was totally grumpy, was up all night with the dog, and my legs hurt. Ted Logic, LWebb and I hit the fairhill course. Ted Logic was rocking his new Bianchi Sass which was a replacement for his old Bianchi which he broke. I tried to talk them into cutting out a couple of sections, but I was rudely rebuffed. "don't you want to see the whole course?" Lauri said to me. Ted Logic, who on the way over was talking about bailing early said, "yeah, man, I want to do the whole thing.."

Fuck me. My legs hurt.

About half way through the loop we picked up Karate John. I hadn't rocked with him in a while, it was great to see him. He was one of the founders of the original ww mtb team, and a god father of mtbing in our area.

Pace was good, we were making great time until L.Webb flatted, and didn't have anything. She joked about the camp she is leading next week and rule number one ,"always be prepared..." A stranger stopped and gave her a tube, which was weird because KJ and Ted Logic had tubes. Whatever he was a really nice guy, maybe he was paying it forward...

Rode the new section of the course. It's very short, Just a little piece of single track, but really steep. It won't add much to the loop, just a section to make it a little tougher. One last punch in the gut before the final big climb. We'll call it a mandatory dismount for the single speeders. All in all the entire course is in great shape and was very fun.

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