Sunday, November 27, 2005

Turkey Cross

I bet Neil never played at the Breakfast table...

Look, I love kids. I can't say that I'm a huge harmonica fan, but you know, Bob Dillan, Neil Young, Bono, Springsteen, they can't all be wrong can they? But the combination of a kid and a harmonica can be disastrous. This morning Diane and I headed out to the local watering whole to enjoy a Sunday morning breakfast. Sitting behind us was a nice family, who had decided to give their young son a harmonica. He sat at the table making all kinds of noise, almost like Chinese water torture for your ear. A budding musician, I understand. Diane and I are pretty good sports, but frankly this was loud, and kinda annoying.

Kid: "dad, listen to this do you know what song it is?"

Kid plays song on harmonica. Dad ignores him, not venturing a guess.

Kid : "Dad, listen. What song is it?"

Kid plays again, Dad still ignoring him.

Kid: "Dad listen !!!"

Diane: "it's fucking jingle bells, get with the program DAD! "

Now, Diane said it quietly, and I'm not sure the family heard her, but I did, and damn near choked on my coffee. Something about the phrase "fucking jingle bells"

I will say this it got quiet from there on out, no more harmonica. Like I said, Kids are great,
Harmonicas have their place, but together they can be a mess.
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Spot teammate Paul ....

This weekend was going to be a one race weekend for me. The choice was pretty tough as both races were 2-3 hours away in Virginia. In the end the choice came down two factors :

1. I have never done the King George Race

2. The idea of sitting in traffic on Sunday Night on I-95 was more than I could bear.

Okay, call me weak, the Sunday race was a MAC, was a UCI and definitely would have had tougher competition, but I raced Saturday, had a really good ride, and ended up making the podium. 5th place overall. A field of just 43, which is by far the smallest field I have started in this year, but still pretty damn big, for a regional race. I know the many of MAC strong men where not present, but I'll be honest I was pleased with my ride. Had a nice battle with Fred W. He came around me after I crashed my brains out, I made contact twice, but in the same false flat section he gapped me and with one to go, he got maybe 25 yards on me that I couldn't close up. Mark G, was never too far off and kept me honest. Slick Rick took the overall, Kutney from VA, was second, Mr. Root 3rd. Hats off to Judd, the course was wicked tight very technical. Aside from me stacking it wicked hard going into the run up, I just carried too much speed, I was very pleased with my ride.

For those keeping track at home that's three good rides in three weeks. I'm riding my best cross of this season, hell of my life, and coming into the final 2 weeks of the season with Mabra finals, Mac Finals, and that race little race in Providence, I'm feeling pretty good.

Yeah. This next two weeks are gonna be ones to remember

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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Superbowl of Facial Hair...

I wanted to thank all of you who noticed my fledgling beard yesterday. The warm greetings of " pack your razor too soon" or "are you living in the Honda this week? " were appreciated, but allow me to give you some insight to my rough looking face this week. Okay, generally I am recognized for my favorite piece of facial hair my sideburns. As I have shared with you all, I have even named my wonderful sideburns (lefty and Kevin). As we quickly approach Thanksgiving, an unspoken family tradition builds it's way up for the Fatmarc Family. That's right the Superbowl of Facial Hair. All my brothers and my father , we all participate.

Thanksgiving morning as the family gathers, we all eye up what the other has going and quietly give a nod a approval but a weak effort can result in being shunned. You know like the Amish or something. Let me give you a run down on what I'm up against this week:

Dad- he goes with the Grizzly Adams look. Full on beard, extra woolly for the holiday. Could be borderline Uncle Jesse, but still probably 6 months from ZZ top. Always a strong competitor
Brother Bryan- Bryan is a probation officer, so he usually stays pretty clean cut, however this week you can expect a really patchy 5 o'clock shadow looking move. He'll follow up with some good thanksgiving pants (elastic waistband) and he'll be a dark horse to win.
Brother Tim- Perhaps the favorite in this year's competition. Tim can rock a full on Amish Beard. However, I think he’s going more conservative this year, should be exciting to see what he brings. The 2-1 favorite to win. Brother Craig- the wild card. Craig lives in New England so we are never really sure what he's going to bring. A couple years ago he was our surprise winner with a totally horrible patchy, beard. He was going for the Civil War look but it just wasn't happening for him. I suggested he take some hormones. That didn't go over so well. He won using a prop- a cowboy hat. The combination of a patchy Civil War beard an awful cowboy hat was more than any of us could hang with.
Me- Well, I've had the full on Elvis chops, gone with the soul patch, and from time to time have rolled out the goatee. Frankly, my trustee sideburns, lefty and Kevin never let me down. But this year I really need to step up my game. First I thought about going with the cop mustache. I figured I could win easily with that, totally unexpected and shock value always pays off, then I saw Lemmy from Motorhead and was inspired. Side burn to Side burn via the mustache. Yeah that's the ticket. Diane quickly put the kibosh on that. So it’ll just me, lefty and Kevin, my trustee side burns.

So you see the competition is tight, and now you all know that I am in fact training for the facial hair superbowl. Your support is greatly appreciated.


Sunday, November 20, 2005

girls go crazy for a sharp dressed man...

Staging for a cross race is so tough this year.

Friday afternoon Diane and I each took half days so we could go see the new Harry Potter flick. Diane is a huge Potter fan, which kinda makes me somewhat of a fan, or at least the sidekick of a fan. Anyway, the movie was good, very entertaining, I liked the last one better but Diane loved it.
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The picture says everything; Adam is King...

For the record Sager- Teammate in Dress= I win the blog off.

Saturday I did some openers, and then rode around the fairhill fairgrounds with Wayne (the Erik Zable of Mid Atlantic cross), rolling the courses for the upcoming fairhill double weekend. The courses are gonna be lots of fun.
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Dieter and Wes the Conquorer

Sunday, I went to the Cyclocross Relay World/National/Pennsyvania State Championships at the Marysville Lions club. Let me say this, Mike Kuhn knows how to have a good time. He lays out a phenomenal course; I have always loved this venue, and
40 folks out to ride and race their bikes and in general have a great time. Although this was a different format, it was a ton of fun. This year there were 10 teams this year, next year there will be more for sure. This was seriously one of my favorite races all year. Big Ups to Mike. Thanks for letting me play in your sandbox.
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so dude, "are you wearing a thong?" Posted by Picasa

Good Fashion is so important in cycling...

I rode on the Sharp Dressed Men, a team, consisting of FortJames, Wes the Conquorer, Adam, king of all emailers, and myself. We were managed by the monkey. The race was fast, and fun. We approached it much like a 24hr mtb race. Stick to our rotation make changes at the end if we need to. I thought the course got faster as it went, and the laps rolled off. I will admit it was very odd to see a lap counter with 15 laps to go. In the end the Defenders (Dieter, Hebe, Chad , and Sally) took the title with a late charge that had them move from 4th, all the way to first. They used good strategery, as they alternated laps early, and pulled sally from their last 2 rotations, in doing so they rode into victory. 2nd place went to the Visit PA/Holmes bikes team made up of (ray, Taylor mc, nice dude on the trek, and Don). Third was the very sharp dressed men. Fourth place was the Mike Kuhn lead team with Luxy, Root, and Michelle. I think everyone had fun, raced their asses off and really enjoyed the format.
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FortJames in effect...

a few observations:

Luxy is an excellent announcer, in a Howard Stern equal opportunity offender kinda way. It was pretty great. The one that stuck with me was "if fatmarc could take a rest between all his laps he could be a national champion cross racer..." that was good.
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Dieter was on point today. Great Ride, Smack good enough for the NBA.

Even better than their great ride was the strong smack delivered by Hebe and Dieter.

However, Dieter and Hebe did seem to have difficulty finding their bikes. They kept disappearing and winding up on stages, or in the ladies bathroom. I'm not sure what was going on, must have been some kind of gremlins or something. For the record the Sharp Dressed Men had nothing to with it.

Adam raced in a dress. Nothing else I can say about that, the guy was fast, and raced in a dress. Some Guys are so lucky...
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Team Shiftless Single Speed Team...

I was talking to one of the shiftless riders. She asked me, "so your not racing single speed" to which I replied, "nah, just mountain bike, I hurt my back racing racing single speed cross last year, you guys are tough. The big gear just tore me up. I'm running a 1x8 with SPOT BRAND chain gaurds." to which she responded respectfully, "hmmm, that's nice." in my head I said to myself, "great she thinks your a pussy, you geared bastard..." She smiled nicely and went over to the transition area to take her next lap. She was really very nice.

The officials yelled at us, " I hope you weren't gonna warm up on the course!!!" which normally I wouldn't consider, but since there were only 5 B racers and they had all just lapped we didn't think it would be that big of an issue. Look I love officials, and do my best to thank them all the time, but today, at this super grass roots race, with only 5 B riders, you'd think they might chill on the warm up rule. Never let a chance to yell at someone pass I guess. Again, all in all, thank you officials for a great day.
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3rd place- Sharp Dressed Men with our manager Diane

I want to thank FortJames and Wes the conquer for getting me to do this. I'll be honest, before Thursday, I thought this entire format was kinda silly. But after getting into it, and actually racing the format, I couldn't stop smiling, this was so much fun. Simply outstanding. Big-time fun, and a race I can't wait for next year.

Question "so what's your order?"
Answer "well, Wes is gonna give it to the guy in the dress, and then the guy in the dress is gonna give it to me, and then I'll give it to James."

It was that kinda day.


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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Change of Plans

Originally uploaded by realfatmarc.

At 8:00 tonight, I was fighting off this fucking cold, feeling a little guilty about blowing off cross practice tonight, but I figured, be smart, get through this cold, hoping I don’t get sicker.

And then the phone rang. It was Wes. He wanted to plant a seed with me. He said, “any thoughts to doing the relay this weekend?” To which I responded, “Well Fort James had mentioned it to me, but I was gonna race Saturday…” Diane was sitting next to me on the couch, and started to make funny faces. She knew I couldn’t resist the lure of a team relay race, and the fact that it’s a cross race makes it even worse. That bastard Wes, I bet he and his fortmate FortJames were on some secret Fortlistserver putting together a master plan for our super duper team. Okay maybe not.

You know I can resist one of my homies trying to get me to race a relay race, but damn man, how can a man resist 2 of his homies? It can’t be done I tell you! It can’t! Damn they knew me too well; I can never resist a relay team race. It’s like coke or meth or cold medicine or airborne that I just can’t stop taking.

So yeah, fatmarc who lives in Maryland is out of the 35+ Pa State States Race, and into the Relay race. Hell yeah! This ought to be really good. Hey Kuhn dog any rules about tiger suits, or clown make up? I am so totally in. Thanks Fellas…

And so, our lot was cast, in less than 40 minutes my weekend’s plans changed, and I look forward to the Pa State Championship of the World, of relay cyclocross racing. I can’t wait.

For the record, our team is:

Wes the Conqueror
Fort James
One and only Email Dominator Adam S (only he doesn’t know it yet)

And Adam, BTW Wes says you have to come up with a snazzy name.

I’m totally stoked this is gonna be fun.


Monday, November 14, 2005

Proudest Monkey...

5:30 load up 2 bikes, 2 dogs, and 1 guitar and hit the road.

5 hours later land at my brothers.

I think it's safer and cleaner to not wash your hands when using a bathroom on the NJ turnpike, given you stand 1 foot from the urinal, and touch nothing but yourself.
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run. suffer. die. Posted by Picasa

monkey and skinnycraig rock out a bit... Posted by Picasa

Damn Euro Kids !

Hit some openers with my brother. "funny I thought you would have gotten further?" then after I finish my last one, he proceeds to take me up a hill steeper and longer than anything I've done all year, all the while smiling at me. Pay backs, are a bitch. (see fairhill blog earlier in the year)

Hit Amherst. Great town. Makes me sad Newark isn't that cool anymore. Where did all the hippies and punk kids go? Amherst had so many cool music stores, so many cool bookstores. Just a good town. Why is Newark infested with Brittany Bling Bling wanna bes?

had great Japanese at GO-TEN Saturday night. Scallops were devine.
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Diane and Beth, our hostess with the mostess Posted by Picasa

did a little snugglin's today...

Cycle Smart International.

My race- start in 7th row, field capped at 100. start was crazy, but I kept moving up. Rode well. I was very happy. Best of all, I didn't ride scared, like I did in Portland. I was aggressive. Attacked my strengths and rode a good race. Was in Ransom's group for like 2 laps, then he left us ad it was my group until I attacked 'em. Saw Kerry, Mega, JD today. It was great to have my bro and his family cheering for me. Always like to have Diane there. Look I didn't win any national championship, but I raced my ass off, I rode my best, which I don't feel like I have in my last 3 races, and that makes me happy.
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Dieter -

I'm not the Fort GPOA! Cheering squad but we (me and my family) had a really good time watching Wes the conqueror and Deiter race today. Dieter doesn't really do himself justice in his report. Basically he had moved through the group with Van de Klaus and FAHFM, and looked to be moving up when he flatted. He the chased back through one group, bridged back to the Van der Klause group and then, well threw a piston rod. Dieter should be proud.
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wes the conquorer.

Before the race Wes asked me to let him know where he was 2 laps in. Well on the first long straight I kept looking for him, but couldn't find him. That's because he was 4 from last. But he kept digging, 2 laps in he was in 49th place, which Diane said, "you can't tell him 49th place." I agreed, We told him "mid pack" at Mega's suggestion. Wes would nod, put his head down and keep driving. On the second run up, which many were riding, Wes was flying through packs of people passing. In the end Wes held off Wellsy and McCormack who were sprinting for the win, and finished on the lead lap in 29th place. Again, Wes should be very proud Posted by Picasa

Wes Plows into Running dude.

Props to JD and FAHFM the look park course was outstanding, one of my favorite courses ever. I did the old UMass course, which I always thought was kinda shy, but look park was fantastic. Thanks to SkinnyCraig, Beth and Taylor for having us for the weekend, it was awesome.
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Rob Campos and Fergie

Luxism of the week (guest starring Mega)

Dude totally stacks it crossing one of the railroad track "jumps" he is all jammed up on the group, ass over head.

Mega looks at us nonchalantly and says, " he's a roadie..."

Yup, that pretty much explained that horrific crash.
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Logan (owner of the greatest blog ever)

Thanks to Kerry who came all the way down to see me race. She is the best of the best.

6 hours or 4 songs off of the last Dave Mathews live album we were home, No, Im not a DMB fan, but my wife is a big DMB fan, which short or makes me a dmb fan, in a Jules kinda way.

God bless Heidi who had another hour south to go. We made that "read each other's blog" first awkward, I know this person but not really meeting this weekend.

All in All a Great weekend.

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mayhew was one of many mid atlanticers this weekend... Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 9, 2005

so just how serious are you about this ?

chillin' with my newphew Justin aka superchunk.

That's what I ask myself each morning when I wake up and think about laying in bed bagging a rollers ride or a run. You know when you get home from work and feel just whooped. I can bag tonight. No worries. Then I ask myself, "just how serious about this are you? Is this worth it ?I ask myself this each time I pass by the krispy kreme donuts that the kind ladies at work bring in. Look, I make no bones about my place in the world as a cyclist. In the MAC/MABRA I'm not even a blip on the freaking screen. However, I don't want to look back at this season and say, " I should have, I could have..." I want to give my best, everyday. Now sometimes this doesn't always work out, but during cross were everything is intensified 20x vs. a 2-3 hour mountain bike race, I find myself asking myself more than ever, " how serious are you about this ?" I want to have my best rides at the biggest races of the year, and very frankly, my best rides are still ahead of me. I know it.

Speaking of the candy bowl. Holy crap I got on the scale the other day and Fatmarc was quickly approaching off-season weight. YIKES! It's been like a pound a week since cross started. That folks is no good. Despite cranking up the intensity, my overall hours on the bike for the week have been drastically cut down. Instead of riding 2-3 hours a day, now it's suffer for an hour. Regardless, the caloric output is reduced, the caloric intake remained the same. Hell, who am I kidding, I have had a hell of a craving for bacon the past few weeks. End result, fatmarc is packing on some extra LBS. And so last weekend I looked at my bloated naked self in the mirror and said, "how serious are you about this?" I put down the Twix bar. Put down that vanilla malt milkshake. (don't even ask why I was eating a Twix, drinking a milkshake starring at myself naked in a mirror) I said "self, you get a handle on your caloric in take." Good news. 4 days in, and I'm starting to shed some of that extra luggage. 5 weeks left. A pound a week will get me where I want to be. In the end, it is all worth it, if nothing else to say, I gave my fucking best.

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Sunday, November 6, 2005

Lower Allen...

wayne (erik zable of midatlantic cross) and Joel...

So Slick Rick and I arrive, and start to head out on the course to warm up. Immediately I notice that I have too much air in my tires. Not 30 seconds into our ride, I totally stack it in a corner right in front of the pavilan. I locked up the rear end, it started to slide out to my left, it catches and edge, catapulting me on to my ass, as I slide my SPOT BRAND whore tail ass over teacups under the tape. I get a good round of applauce, pick myself up and get going again. I stop and let a air out of my tires, only I let way too much, and in another corner, I rolled my tubular. Fucking brilliant start.
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