Aging Hipsters Instagram

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


Sunday, May 28, 2006

My blog is pretty much a sausage party...

(Paul welcomes everyone to the gun show...)

I had that realization today. No chicks really read my blog. Here let me list the women I know who read this foolishness:

my mom (thanks for reading mom) ;my sister in law (thanks tab) ;my wife (thanks Diane) ;Mega (thanks meg);L-Web(thanks );Keri (thanks combsy) ;Amy (thanks Amy)
Lisa (thanks lisa)


That’s it. I wonder if I’m okay with that. Roughly 7 women who regularly read my blog. I always considered myself very equal opportunity kind of guy, but reality is this is a dude club. Hmm, wonder how I feel about that.

Townie…
I live in a college town. I love my college town. This is the town I grew up in, and the college I went to. Living in a college town guarantees me a few things, good coffee, good restaurants, scantily clad co-eds in the spring, and a pretty liberal attitude in the town.

One weekend a year, I have to pay the piper for all the things that I love about living in a college town. The weekend is called graduation. First of all, the influx of people and cars into the town, makes traffic a nightmare. The best plan is to stay out of town as much as possible. But Like I said good coffee, good food… that’s why I live here right. Worst perhaps of all is the douche bag Parents that Graduation brings as they drive their SUVs, their Hummers, and their Escalades, their Giant Killing Machines. Diane drives a little car; you might call it a mini car.

Well, coming out of the parking lot last night, some big fat rotund monster of a man, driving his shinny new H2 with 20 inch rims, smoking a huge disgusting cigar, blew threw his stop sign and almost plowed into us. If it wasn’t for Diane locking up the breaks, and swerving left we would have been hit. The obnoxious fat bastard laughed when Diane honked at him, threw his hand in the air, and continued on through the intersection. Just because you sent your little princess to school here doesn’t mean you own the town you fucker. I wonder were some of these kids driving the BMW’s with “W” in ’08 stickers on them get their disrespectful attitude. Hmmm rotten apple doesn’t fall far from the tree huh? Oh, and yeah, the New York Giants suck you bastards. I’m a cutter. I’m a townie.

Friday:
Took the day off, set out early for a 3 park ride. Trails were divine and my motivation was strong. After 2 hours or so, I had made it through fairhill, and white clay, and did a little lap in middle run. I swung back around to white clay and met up with Diane. We rode for an hour an a half. And then the skies opened up on us. Like I said before Diane drives a small car, and the chances of her getting my Spot Brand 29er in it, were nil. So I cowboyed up and continued my way down the trail. An hour later, coming up through the Gallagher loop in fairhill, torrential down pours pounded me. I thought to myself this is okay, who else is training today, who else is gonna have over 4 hours of saddle time today? A rainy Friday? 7 minutes later, I rolled into my garage. I wiped down my bike, took of my shoes and looked out the garage to see a wonderfully sunny day. Who else would have a nice day riding, the Friday before a long weekend that is sunny and beautiful. For the record, I counted 23 folks on bikes I saw the rest of the sunny warm afternoon. Bastards.

Saturday:
Elk and Les, international man of mystery, came down to my house and we did a nice loop of fairhill. I like riding with Elk, because although he is not local to fairhill, he rides here a lot, and puts loops together that I wouldn’t normally ride. That’s pretty cool. I started the ride a little knackered, but the trails were insanely nice. I was on the rivet most of the morning. We’d roll along at a nice clip, and Elk would have a little surge just for a second, or through a short section, I’d look up and the dude would be 50 yards down the trail in an instant. Les covered. We rolled back to my place having put together a really nice loop, and covering some great miles. I was grateful to ride with these guys.

Elk had brought down some fresh Philly Soft Pretzels, and some fine mustard. These weren’t the crap you get a wawa that have been sitting in the bed of somebody’s truck for 2 days before being thrown up on the counter, but fresh baked, soft pretzels. They were excellent. Elk left a couple of extras which Diane and I enjoyed later in the afternoon. He did take the fine mustard though. We managed through.

Sunday:
Big ole group meeting at my place. Headed out to criss cross the single track lusciousness that is Fairhill. Buddy the leg breaker, Spot Paul, K-Man, Ben A, Fitzy, and Ted Logic helped me keep the wheels turning today. Kid Chris, joined us along the way. We rolled pretty much a totally different loop today vs. yesterday. That’s what’s nice about Fairhill.

Hell, I skipped my favorite section (kenny’s revenge) all weekend. Ole Kid Chris is developing a nice sense of humor. You know aside from chugging bottles of maple syrup, we were climbing up the three field climb, and Spot Paul was setting a nice tempo. Kid Chris rode up along me and started to push me up the hill, so I shoved him into the tall grass. He laughed; all kidding aside, Kid Chris is riding very well. As we finished out the ride, we climbed up 5 bridges, I heard a little clutter behind me, so I attacked. I pretty much threw everything I had into it. Buddy covered me like a bad polyester suit. Once it leveled out, I sat up a bit, and asked, “we got a gap didn’t we, please tell me we got a gap, that was a lot of work.” Buddy smiled, “yeah, we got a little one” the group quickly joined back on and finished the last section of Gallagher and got back to my crib. Spot Paul had brought a cooler full of fresh fruit. Ben, Buddy, and Paul had apples, and K-man had a pear, but only after a 21 point inspection of the said piece of fruit.

Sunday night we rolled out to Howard’s little shin dig. Dennisbike and I teamed up to play some horseshoes. Yeah we were undefeated by nights end. I actually threw my best games ever. I scored 5 ringers in the game against Amy and Howard. My brothers and my father can really play horseshoes well, me usually not so much. But today, I made my family proud. Howard’s was a lot of fun. Thanks. Well, it’s after 11:00 and I have a 9:00 ride. I’m going to bed.

Respect
fm

Thursday, May 25, 2006

mr. business man, I don’t get to choose when I die, why won’t you let me live my life the way I want to…


Went to the Belmont Plateau tonight for the Thursday night races. Les, international man of mystery, informed me that these races have been going on for 18 years. Every Thursday night 6:30. Damn, that was fun. Philly is a hot bed for cycling, and if you looked at any results from a local race you would see the podium littered with Philly residents. Props to Philly.

Big Ed Bush was the maestro of the event. We laid our bikes down, he told us about the course, and we all ran to our bikes. I didn’t run so great so I went into the woods a little further back than I would have liked. The course was wicked fun and silly tight. Very little room for passing. As I didn’t pre-ride, I really wasn’t ready for was Big Bush had in store for me. The trails were sensational, tight, big honking logs, very fun.

At the end of lap one, I was on the rivet, totally blowing the technical stuff. I kinda got stuck on top of this log, when I felt a guiding hand push me over, and keep me going. There’s only one man who touches me during a race. “Biddle!!” I exclaimed, as he had come up on me. I finished up the lap, and hoped Brent (the tie domi of cross) would be right on my wheel, the guy is like water down the trail, but alas he wasn’t there. I didn’t see Brent again until the finish. At one point I looked down and saw Yozell, leading Deiter, but I couldn’t really tell where they were on the course in relation to where I was. It was that twisty.

Second lap ruled, now that I kinda knew the course, there was much less track standing and I started to get a rhythm through the big logs, and twisty corners. I kept moving up and passed a bunch more people.

Final lap was my favorite, had good rythem keep moving forward, had my flow. I picked off a couple more guys, and closed in on a fellow in an orange kit. The entire race I would see him out on the fire road sections, and I was trying to catch him, and I made it right up to him near the finish, when I decided, this probably wasn’t the place to try and attack and pass in the last 100 yards. My guess is he would have out sprinted me anyway. I didn’t get a chance to talk to the fellow, so “dude great race!”

As I finished a small group of folks were sitting about the field enjoying some ales, and telling the story of their rides. I exclaimed, “I just finished my first race of the year that was less than 4 hours long!” The crowd gave me a small round of applause. Wes the conqueror handed me a Miller High Life, the champagne of beers. It was a tasty treat.

I have no real idea where I finished. But I don’t think anyone does, and it wasn’t really the point of the exercise. I think it was all about riding hard, with friends, and enjoying the high life afterwards. Pretty damn perfect Thursday night.

Very fun night, thanks to Les, international man of mystery for informing me of the shin dig. Thanks to Big Bush for maestroing, and thanks to everyone for hanging out. This was wicked fun. (wicked use if for Combsy in new England). I’ll be back in a few weeks for sure.

Oh yeah, I had a really good pork sandwich today. It had provolone cheese and was served on a kieser roll. Very tasty. Good Fries too. They were washed down with an ice cold Arnold Palmer. Lunch was good today, all fresh from the Yellow Dog Tavern.

respect
fm

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Smashed Jimmies...


Brian scores the best shot of the year, as his daughter runs across the finish line with him. I thought it was cute but perhaps a little cruel to make your daugher pace you for the entire race by running along side of you. Kids always have so much energy! (picture stolen from dennisbike.com)


Rolled out of the Pike Creek Baptist Church for tonight's edition of the Tuesday Night Titans. The group was a mighty solid one with Todd (el presidente) maestroing, once a week Paul, Green Trek John, Les, (International Man of Mystery), Fort James, Biddle (ty domi of cross), Single Speed Dan, and Matty (run forest) pulling a pop in fresh at white clay.

Over on the judge, Todd (el presidente) pulled the cheeky move of the year, as he passed a runner, then attacked as the rest of the group as we were jammed up as we yielded to the runner and let him continue to a place were all of us could pass. Perhaps, Todd should review the imba rules. In true Todd (el presidente) fashion, he complained that the tank was feeling pretty empty tonight, but still he kept attacking away.

On the white clay side, we dove into the skills trail, and I decided to ride the rock garden versus the skinny bridge. I don't know where my head was as I totally stacked it in this section. Up on to the bars, and smashed my Johnson right on the stem. Luckily I land on my feet and walk it out. Les, international man of mystery rode by on the skinny bridge and said, "I saw that!" I tried to speak, but being that my boys were up in my throat, I couldn't squeak a sound. I went up the trail and started to ride down toward the rocks again, I tried to feather my rear break, and realized my cable was kinked at the top of the housing. Thus I had no rear break. I scurried down the skills trail avoiding an obstacles, and still hurting in the junk area. I am certain that if I wasn't 1970's pubic furry down there, I could see a huge bruise just above my twig and berries. Okay, I'm done talking about my junk now. SS Dan who has some issues too and was also off the back said, "do you know where they went?" I replied, "nope, sorry dude, I'm not chasing Todd with just a front break, I'm headed home..."

So I was dropped, sore in the pelvic region, and started to head back to the car without a rear break. I looped around a bit, because the trails were beautiful, and the night was young. Finally, back towards the car I passed a young lady walking down a step pitch. I said hello, and she said to me, "you know the first rule, when in doubt, dismount" I smiled like a Cheshire cat, remembering how I had made the beginner class at Granogue repeat this before their race. Whether she was in that crowd or not, I don't know, but I'll pretend she was. Despite my smashed family jewels, the night was a success.

respect
fm
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Sunday, May 21, 2006

baby you be sweet, be sweet....


Friday night…

Going away party for L-Web and her clan. Brian rolled in style in the beamer.
I bought Jeb a 2 liter of vault, and he didn’t even dent it. Megan ruled the endo board, and the simpson’s video game.

Good group good food, lots of beer. Damn drank more than I have since worlds.
Paul made a bunt cake it was good, Tab made jambalaya, it was good.

Les Leach, international man of mystery, true to his word brought yahtzee.

Kurtee was cooking still decked out in his cycling kit, made a killer chili

Buddy ate shit on my endo board, and I thought broke a rib.

Stop Sign Amy- damn folks, I have been giving nick names, aliases since I started this blog almost 2 and a half years ago. Never, have I had push back on a nick name. For the record Amy, liked her nickname. But 14 comments later, not to mention the personal emails I got on the subject, I decided that Stop Sign Amy would not be used.

Now sitting in the kitchen of my house, with a ton of us talking shit, we came up with the new name. Amy actually brought it up herself. From this point on she will be FFA Amy. As far as the background, I ain’t saying shit. Want the details? Ask ole FFA Amy.

Todd (el presidente) was beaming with pride as Jennifer his oldest daughter was graduating from Temple last weekend. Congrats buddy.

Lots of drinking, lots of stories, sharing pictures, it was pretty awesome.

It was a late night and when Ted Logic started talking about a middle class up rising and the remaining 5 of us (wes the conqueror, Freebird Chris, Tedlogic, Matty (run forest) and me) sat around the last of the empty beers, we decided to call it a night. Damn I’m old.
Saturday-

Rode our bikes over to Scottish Festival at FH. Fast John was patrolling as a volunteer
ranger. As I rode the bike in I heard one of the Scottish bag pipe kids says, look at that guy riding a pink bike, that’s queer. Now let’s break this down, a dude in a skirt, is calling me and my pink bike queer. Humm interesting.

Watched the world of cut throat competitive river dancing. We were betting on each round. “I got the tall one in green” Also watched a Shepard work a small flock of sheep with a couple of border collies. That was cool.

at granogue Slick Rick had a new style going on that had some scratching their heads...


i guess the look is catching on...

everyone wants to rock manpris.

later that evening, Wes and I slipped into Fairhill for a little ride, to open up the legs, it was good. The flow was going well. Horses f-ed up a couple of sections that surprisingly are closed to them. That made me a little grumpy. Two longish climbs, we were half wheeling each other, both breathing pretty hard, but neither of us let off the gas either. Must be something in the water here….

Sunday-

Went to the Neshanminy race. Not too much to report here. Got a good start, employeed my strategy well, move into the top 10, riding well. Started the third lap, took a gu, which doesn’t usually settle well in my stomach, Attacked earlier in the lap than I should have. I immediately puke up a little GU, which is kinda like dry heaving a bit. So with a lap and a quarter to go I cracked hard. Swami Scott was on the cell with my internet friend Chris, and I heard him say, “here comes fatmarc, he’s not looking too good.” I should have kept my composure a little better, I should have drank some Gatorade and try to get it together. I had just made contact with Kurt V for like the 4th time in the race, and contemplated passing when I died. Like I said, I should have kept my composure, I should have drank more Gatorade, and gutted it out, but I didn’t I pulled up with a lap to go.

I fing hate dnfing, and this year I have 2 of them, although FC wasn’t really my fault. Hats off to Guys for putting on a nice event. Thanks to the leg marking nazi who marked my leg on the fing line. It’s really nice and pussey right now. Swollen too. I won’t have to worry about getting marked at Hershey because it will still be there. I’m seriously gonna get a fucking doctor’s note so I don’t have to do this anymore. My leg is all swollen abd broken out where their wrote the little V. No matter what Big Bush says about me having a Tattoo on my leg, that ink from the pen totally jams my leg up. In fact, I probably would have finished today, if I didn’t have magic marker ink flowing through my blood.

Spot Paul lead the way for the Spot Whores today taking 5th place in the SS class, Fitzy was experimenting with a QR on the back of the bike, and it sounds like it didn’t work out so great, he finished up as we were getting ready to go out. Matt run Forrest was in the top 5ish of the 30-34 expert race when he flatted on the fourth lap and called it a day. Buddy was in the top 20ish of the 35-45 expert race when he stacked it and aggravated his endo board injury. Not the best day ever for the Mighty Might Spot Brand team. Yikes. We’ll do better next time I promise.

Oh well, we had a ton of fun, hell of a good weekend.

respect
fm

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

hippies, as good as it gets, more granogue, and a new nickname.


My wife, as I have detailed here before, likes dirty hippie bands. Now she’s not a deadhead, but damn, Dave Mathews, Ben Harper, Jack Johnson, and Matt Costa, forget about it she’s all over it. Matt Costa is what brought us to the city of brotherly love Tuesday night for an intimate evening with the 88, and Matt Costa, at the North Star Bar.

88 was a poppy killerseque band from LA. They were fun. Matt Costa came on next. He proceeded to put his harmonica on and bump his head on the microphone. “I meant to do that” he said with a smile. He was really good on stage and pretty damn funny. At one point he brought the best clapper in the crowd up on stage. That was really funny. Gotta say, I don’t love that dirty hippie music, but I did have a good time.

The couple standing next to us was pretty jacked up. I’m not even sure they were 21. I am pretty sure the were rocking out on some ecstasy though. I think this because at first they were rocking some pretty gratuitous public displays of affection. And then as they were cuddling and all huggy the girl kept grabbing my leg, and well, my butt. Funny thing is she didn’t realize that it wasn’t her boyfriend’s leg and butt. They’d be hugging and she’d go right past his leg and grab mine. I’d move over and it would keep up. I don’t think she ever realized it was me and not him. Damn, He must be a pretty good cyclist too.

Later in the show, she was pretty wobbly and looked a little green. I thought she was gonna puke on my new Danskos. Luckily she did not.

Tonight I rode with the boys, K-man, Matty (run forest), and Buddy the leg breaker. Through 5 bridges and crack head bob we were rolling like we were in tron. No one talked, we just flew threw the single track. Inches separated our wheels are we carved through the single track like we were on rails. We played a dangerous game of chicken as no one was willing to back down tonight. The pace was ridiculously high, and we’d come to an opening and joke about going too fast, or how much we suffered. Matt (run forest) would dive back into the single track, or up one of the rolling climbs of fairhill, and just punch it. I would bite my lip, grit my teeth and cover his wheel, doing my best to not give him any light and space or satisfaction of a gap. It was that kinda of night.

I realized tonight that right now, today, I am riding the best mountain bike of my life. My weight has been good, climbing as good as it gets for me, and my timing just feels right. What’s that mean for the race this weekend? Maybe something, maybe nothing. I find it’s really not about results anymore as it is about the effort, the experience, and how much I was able to dig, able to give. It’s the process that keeps driving me on.

Got a lot of really good feedback about Granogue. Got forwarded a nice thread titled “granogue was the best mass race ever.” That pretty much made my day. My favorite note came from Mike Fitzpatrick who rides for biketopia:

“My take on my worst race ever.

Great pre-race pep talk. Best I've heard, anyway. Humanizing the race in memory of your friend Andrew hit home and my wife filled up. She flat out cried on the way home after I filled her in on what I knew about him. You've heard from a lot of people much more articulate and funny than I, but this was by far my favorite yet worst race. Dead Ass Last in my class, doubled over cramping, out of water, gu, skill and will, I limped into Fuzzy's marshal station. He knew I was hurting badly. Maybe it was the blood and pale whiteness. Maybe it was that crap blaring from his stereo. He got me up that fucking hill with his logic. "It's right up there, dude". I don't think I'll forget Fuzzy. Good people.

"Right up there" was my wife and three kids waiting to cheer me through the finish. Waiting patiently. Very patiently. Dead Ass Last. They even had a hot dog waiting for me.

Nice job Marc. Great memories for my worst race ever. Does that make it an epic? I'm careful not to use that term unless I mean it.


Thanks mike, yeah it was epic. fuck all that mass bullshit, that right there is why we put on the granogue race. That rules man. Thanks. BTW, expect a different kind of format from us next year. We have some big plans; very frankly we want to put on a race for people that get it, people like mike. Not people that want to have a 40 email argument over leg marking. Jesus, man life is too short.

Messages like Mike’s, that’s what has driven us to make Granogue what it was this year, and what will drive us to evolve it into a more fun, even better event. Expect more flowing, more fun course next year.

Finally, my friend Amy was disappointed that I have not given her a nickname yet. Amy is one of the folks from the cycling community I have known for the longest. She came along just a little after I started running around with Nick and Andrew. She must have been like 17 or something. I struggled to come up with a name for her. You know I’m really impressed with how hard she works, and how good she has really gotten. Then I watched her race last week, and the name came to me like a gong in the night. “Stop Sign Amy.” That’s it. It’s got a good ring to it don’t you think? Yeah. “Stop Sign Amy.” Whatcha think?

Respect
fm

Sunday, May 14, 2006

2006 Granogue: my point of view


We have proudly had the Granogue mountain bike race for almost 10 years now. Four times I have been race director. Other times, I have had various roles in the promoting this race. With the demise of the Wooden Wheels Team this year, many of us feared the loss of this race, So I agreed to take on race director duties again. I enjoyed directing this year more than any other; I believe that this was due largely to the community approach to putting on this race. All Newark bike shops contributed: Wooden Wheels, Henry’s, and Newark Bike Line. We had 8 different teams working (IF, Spot, Henry’s, Bike line, Fort Frames, Visit Pa, Wilmington Velocity, ADG/Joes not to mention my parents, my brother, employees of Dansko, and Wooden Wheels. For me it was a joy to work with all of these great people to put on an event as a tribute to Andrew. (the view of the dawn from teh Granogue Tower is breathtaking. Every race, I try to make it out to see it...)


Over the years we have had some great directors, (kane, JT, L-web, Amazin’) and I don’t want to speak out of line, and perhaps they wouldn’t say it as I am but it do believe we all had the same goal. First, the race is about the rider experience, create an unique experience, a professional experience, a race that the riders will take pride in completing, and regardless where they placed, walk away pleased. Second, we want to be the best race in the region. We want to set the bar for what riders can expect at an event. We want to be the race that other promoters look at and go, “shit, we have to step up our game.”

After yesterday’s wonderful event, I hope, I really believe that we accomplished our goals this year. As a racer, sometimes I can forget the endless hours of planning that it takes to promote a race. But, as a promoter, I know that it takes lots of good people to support you, lots of people committed to putting on the best product, and lots of attention to every single detail, for us that is what made this race so spectacular. As you get to the wire, it can be easy to say “f-it” this is good enough. But really it’s not, that’s a mistake, that’s how you end up with a poorly marked course, and lost riders.

But I digress, as I said every detail, including my decision to not mark legs has to be taken into account. Finally, and perhaps the biggest challenge of promoting is to create customer service. Despite the fact that I hadn’t showered for three days, was slightly hung over, hadn’t slept more than 18 hour in the past three days, We put the race on for the racers and to have fun. I wanted to make sure that I was friendly and energetic, if not fresh smelling, and had fun supporting our friends the racers who we were fortunate enough to have come to our race. I enjoyed this as much as anything. I love seeing so many people I haven't seen in a long time. I enjoyed seeing folks I probably see too much. I loved watching this event come together. Incredibly satisfying.

Okay, I may have lost my cool with one guy, he got my hook of harassing the volunteers, and we got into it, but a half hour later he came up and gave me a big ass hug. So in the end, even that worked out, and frankly I have a respect for the dude. It would have been way easier for him to walk away mad, and been like F- those guys, or worse to punch my geeky ass in the face. It would have been really bad; I'm kind of weak, and not that tough. And I bleed a lot. But in the end, it all worked out. That makes me happy.
(in the above shot slick rick and the dude compare broken hands/wrists. both worked hard for us today)

So with that said here are a couple of stories and experience from promoting the race that I’m gonna take with me.

First the leg marking. Nothing like working with everyone in your community feeling like you have accomplished your goal of putting on a great event to get home and find emails on the Mass list bitching about no leg marking. On this one I took Biddle’s advice, and deleted myself from the group. Now let me address why I decided to not mark legs, and no it wasn’t because we didn’t have enough help. 3 part answer. Email trolls get your pen’s ready. Here it goes, first, I’m allergic to that damn ink in the pens, and my skin gets all nasty when they write on me, next, I hate walking around with black letters on my leg for a week. Oh, you can scrub it, but it doesn’t come off. Finally I submit this, if you are on a hill, and there is a dude in front of you that you can catch, then catch him. Looking at his calf to decide if he is in your class, to make the decision that you want to pass him is lame. If you can get him, then go get him. I would suggest that: if you are challenging for a win, and pass a dude pushing his bike with vomit on his chin, I would guess he’s not the leader. Do you think Travis Sealer was looking for calf marks as he plowed his was through the 30+ and 19-29 classes on his single speed? Nope, he was passing anyone who was in front of him. Sorry kids I may be dead wrong on this, and if that’s the one negative from our race, then so be it, I hate calf marking.

Les Leach – International Man of Mystery , Yatzee Champion, and all around great guy. First and foremost, he wouldn’t let us comp him entry. Les rode an inspired race, finishing up 7th place in the elite class, commenting, “I lead Eatough for a few feet, and then he went away…” After the prizes were handed out, Les walked over to me and stuffed something in my pocket. I thought it was a piece of trash perhaps a doughnut napkin or something. I went to pull it out and it was Les’s prize envelop unopened, cash filled. I said, “hey Les what’s this?” he said, “dude this race was great, thanks for everything the course was awesome. This was just a great day, I already got my prize.” Or something like that. I said, “dude, take your prize, you won’t let me comp your entru, you won’t take a prize, what’s with you man!” Threatened with wrestling with Spot Paul, Les finally took his prize, but promised to purchase a deluxe edition of Yatzee for L-Web’s going away party next week. Les Leach, who already had a special place in my hall of heros, gets my unending respect. Classiest, Nicest, Coolest guy out there.


So for the Sport Race, my parents where marshalling the first road crossing. At the rider’s meeting I asked all the riders to wish my mom a happy mother’s day as they rode through that section. My mom was really stoked. First she said, “I thought the racers were really nice, when 1-2 folks came through and said, Happy Mother’s Day Mrs. V, but then more and more people, and everyone was saying Happy Mother’s day! I knew that you were up to something then.” She further commented that it might have been the most happy mother’s days she has ever gotten in one day. Hats off to all of the Sport racers. Thank you for wishing my mom a happy mother’s day. (in the picture Matt and Bry stuff the bottles with candy for the kids race- w/ Blair they ran the kids race, it was also a success)


So race day was the third consecutive day of my outfit, and well of not showering. I had a good sub shop stink brewing. I felt the manpri’s and zero t-shirt, were complimented by my Hoss trucker cap, which Karl F got for me. Somewhere in the morning Tom McDaniel put electrical tape over my nipples on my shirt. What was funny was all day folks would ask my, what’s up with the electrical tape? I’d just say, “Tom McDaniel…” they’d stop me, look at me knowingly and go, “I get it.” To know Tom is to love Tom.




Diane, the chunky monkey has been riding her bike a lot lately. Well, for the first time in 6 years, she decided to race. I was really proud of her, in the biggest field of women, she has ever raced in, she rode to a 5th place overall, and 3rd place in her age group. She really rode well, I was so proud of her. You know, I’ve been doing Mass races since 2000, and frankly, have just one podium. Diane goes out, and podiums in her first try. Damn. Maybe I need to take 6 years off. See you guys in 2012.


Also of note, Fort James had a great ride, and his first MASS podium taking 3rd place in a stacked single speed class.

This race is tribute to Andrew, and for the racers. For me, the biggest payback was all the folks that came up to me and shook my hand, and said, “this was fantastic” all the folks that came up and thanked me. I never remember that many people thanking me. I really appreciated that. And I want to thank everyone who helped marshalling, mcing, making copies, section leaders, cleaning up,- everyone who made the event possible, thank you so much. All of your hard work, made the race a success. Finally, I want to thank all the racers, even the guys complaining about the leg markings, for coming out. At the end of the day, if it’s not for the racers, who spent $3 a gallon, drive 2 hours, park in a field, and throw their bodies around the trails for 2 hours- there would be no race. As a promoter, I will never lose sight of that fact. Thank you so much for coming to our race.

no pictures stolen for today's blog were harmed. (thanks mbracer, cmh's gallery)

respect
fm

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Granogue is looking really good...


This week has been kinda crazy, last night was the first time I have gotten to ride.
Went out to Granogue with Diane, World Famous Les, L-Web, Spot Paul, and Amy. Course is flowing so good. I think the racers this weekend are really going to have a great time.

Been stressing out a little, with work, and promoting the race, sending out a few paniced final emails, making sure everyone knows what their responcibility will be. Tom Mc was there last night helping to get things set up. I think he enjoys watching me stress, but a the same time offers anything to help. I'll do the same for him at the cross race in the fall.

I'll tell you I am really excited about the support and how our community pulled together to support the event, and make sure this race happens. This will really be a great time.

Fuzzy, Fitzy and Alan the cleaner have done fantastic work on weymouths, it makes the course flow so well. This is gonna be a classic for sure.

After the ride and a mandatory bullshit session in the field afterwards, we went to Moe's on 202 and threw back some mighty fine burritos. I had the triple lindy. Very tastey. I wanted a margarhita but I held back. Busy couple of days a head of me.

hope to see you at Granogue Saturday, (www.racegranogue.com)

well, I'm going to work to give a presentation today that is the culmination of six months of work with my peer group. So yeah, I got that going for me.

respect
fm

weather for saturday:
Few showers. Highs in the low 70s and lows in the mid 50s

perfect conditions for a Classic Northern Delaware Mountain Bike Race...

Monday, May 8, 2006

JEBALICIOUS- THE 2006 12 HOURS OF LODI



Perhaps this comment captures the weekend best for me. “you know I’m used to racing and people cheering for me, “go l web” , or even “ go if chick” , but this weekend for the first time people were cheering for me, “go mom!” “I’m not sure how I feel about that…” LWeb shared with me beaming with pride as we sent Jeb out for his final lap.


This weekend the spot brand whores, with LWeb (independent fabrications), and Jebbagger (Henry’s) in toe headed down to Lodi farms for the 12 hour race. I’ll let buddy the leg breaker tell his story as he and Spot Paul had a great ride in the duo class, and Matt (run forest) and Fitzy put in big efforts of their own in the solo races.

I love Lodi farms. I love this race. I never raced anywhere were I felt like I had the home field advantage like I do at Lodi. I drive 3 hours to race on terrain much like that in my back yard. So very cool. This year LWeb, Jeb and I raced in the single speed trio class.

The start was the mandatory lemans style run. Within our group of riding partners, we have a rule about such starts. The youngest rider has to run. Period.

So ole Jebbager, who is 12, was slotted to run. After Matt (run forest) had to pull him to the front, and get him to stop peeing 2 seconds before the start; he pulled off a great run.

Finishing In the top 20 of 200 runners. Jeb really set the tone for the race from this point on. Finishing his first lap, he came in a group of 4 riders, sprinting for 15th place overall. Needless to say, LWeb and I were stoked.

The competition in the single speed trio class was tough. Old Dominion Brewing Co. and the Quantico Marine SS team would not go away easy. Jeb got in on the first lap in a virtual tie for first place. I went out did a couple of laps and we opened up a 12 minute lead. LWeb rolled out, and we lost a couple of minutes to the Marines. Jeb went out again, and struggled with his lights, and a slow leaking front tire. He still pulled a sub hour lap. Still ODBC and QMSS kept nipping at our heals, and at about the half way point our lead was down to just 4 minutes.

5:59am
I sit in the on deck chairs. I feel like ass. I have vomited, which isn’t unusual for me in these events, and I feel pretty much like death warmed over. Joel (Gwadzilla), comments, “how’s the race going? You look pretty good except for you know the bags under your eyes, and your pale skin.”

A magical thing happens at 6:00, it’s called dawn. And with the dawn comes a rebirth in these races. Although I felt horrible sitting there, and I really struggled for the next quarter of a lap, my stomach, my body, hell my bike really woke up. Everything came together. I put in my next two laps, the later of the two my best lap of the race thus far.

We open up a 17 minute gap. Lauri goes out and does what she does best. Dominate and seal the deal She throws down and the gap is up to 22 minutes. .

Now Jeb was a little down regarding his previous lap, and was introduced to endurance racing gut for the first time. He wasn’t too excited about having to do another lap. That’s where having good older friends like Matt(run forest) and fatmarc comes in. We said in a confidence inspiring way, “get your fucking clothes on kid. You signed up for this, you gotta finish what you started. Get dressed and don’t you give me no lip!” “oh an you gotta do this lap in less than hour.” Okay, maybe it didn’t go like that. But I’m sure in poor jebbagger's tired mind it was kinda like that. I could tell that Jeb was feeling good riding in the sun again as he rode by and he gave us the peace sign, when I expected him to give me the finger.


When he finished his lap, a 56 minute mind you, our lead was extended to 28 minutes. Our victory was all but assured. I went out, and if I soft pedaled I could let Lweb skip her last lap. Yeah, that would be the nice thing to do. Hell I even thought of hanging out by the creek until 11:59 and to get her hopes up high that I won’t make it, and send her out.

But you know, like I said that sun does funny things, and I love this course, it is so much fun. I pulled out everything I had. That final lap for me was my best. I rolled in at 11:30 and sent Lauri out to finish it all up. Lauri did our 13th lap, which was the number of laps each winning team did except for the open duo who did 14.

While Lauri was riding Loretta, a friend of ours from racing came over to me and said, “what are you going to do when they are gone. Aren’t you going to be lost? You and Lauri race everywhere together. People expect to see you racing as a team.” I was kinda speechless. I already have a reputation for crying at these things, I was thinking to myself, jeeze Loretta do you want to bring me to tears right here? Just kick me in the nuts. I’m gonna need therapy.” Loretta is a good soul. I know she meant well, but damn I'm emotionally fragile during these events...

What I failed to capture in this write up with the buzz around the race about jeb’s efforts. There was a rumor that he was eight, to which Jeb kindly correct a few folks, “I’m twelve”. Folks were saying he could fly because he was so light. And at the award ceremony, where they did our class last, Phil, who is an awesome guy, gave Jeb some major props, pointing out that his first lap was a sub hour, with the ½ mile run tacked on.

As we collected our booty, (it’s another word for pirate’s treasure) I looked over at LWeb who beamed with pride as Jeb got a big old salute from the crowd. Someone even yelled out sandbagger which some days is the biggest compliment you can get. I was pretty sure Jeb would do well, and ride consistent laps. I never imagined he would throw down like he did. Truly impressive.

If this was the last time I get to race on a team with Lauri Webber, than I am glad this went down the way it did. I would have been devastated if we didn't need our best effort to win, and if we weren't successful after so many great results together. Not too many people know this but Lauri (and Buddy) were the ones that talked me back to mountain bikes, and why I started racing a single speed. None of this Spot brand whore, fatmarc, single speed silliness would have happened if they didn't talk me down from the road. I have so much respect for Lauri; she truly is one of my favorite people in the world. I joke about her being neurotic, but really, she just covers up mine. Lauri and I have done a lot of 12/24 hour races together. The best races of my life have been as a teammate of Lauri's. I trust her inherently. She is a dear friend. Viva la france my friend, viva la france...
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