Thursday, June 29, 2006

Selling Out?

So I have this little blog. On it I detail my cycling life and other goofy stuff that I get myself into. I’ve had the Blog for almost 2 years, and within the 30+, guys who wear pink, or girls who like to guys in pink, ride single speeds, and dress like a 17Year old skateboarders, like clogs, cyclocross, and racing a bike for longer than 4 hours crowd, I have a pretty good following. So last night I got an email from a company called Accelorade. They make endurance racing nutrition products. So anyway, they want to send me a bunch of free product, new flavors and they want me to test them out. Here’s the stickler, they want me to talk about them on my blog, and comment honestly whether I think they work for me, and if I like the flavor. This is where it creates a crisis for me. I rarely talk about nutrition products that I use on the blog. More often it’s about something I ate that I puked up during a race. I don’t do product tests. I talk about riding, my wife and my dogs. So if I agree to try the Products and do a write up, am I selling out? Am I pimping out my blog? Will I be crumbling to the power of the man? Will I soil the pure nature of ? On one hand I say, hell, it’s my blog, I built it. If someone wants to hook me up then why the hell not? On the other hand, I say, who the hell am I? I’m just some dude, I work a real job like everyone else, why would anyone care what I say about a product? If you want to suck like me try this ! Then I say, I should take the product and do the man’s dance. What’s the issue? I think I’m gonna do it. Maybe not. Dude why is this so hard ? So tell me, am I totally selling out or is this okay?


Wednesday, June 28, 2006

like waking up from a long nap....

It’s darkest before the dawn, and after 5 consecutive days of rain, nothing was more beautiful than waking to a bright, warm sunny morning. The rain glistened brightly off of the grass in the front yard, and everything seemed to be alive again, all the colors seemed more vivid, more vibrant. The animals too seemed to enjoy the reprieve in the deluge, as I saw rabbits, and groundhogs poking out of the wilderness of my suburban landscape as if to say, “hello morning how the hell are you.” Perhaps I was a bit optimistic, but it looks like the worst of the rains are behind us, and we are looking at the potential of a beautiful weekend. Nothing makes you appreciate beautiful weather like 5 days of dreary dark rain.

I packed my road bike into the car this morning, hoping to escape from the prison of the trainer or rollers. Yeah, you can get a workout with those tools, but there’s just no soul. All the work, with none of the reward. No flow, No harmony, None of the magic that riding a bike brings for me. It’s almost like Britney Spear’s singing a classic Rolling Stones tune, yeah the song is good, but the delivery sucks. Is there any feeling, anything at all behind it? Or is she just reciting memorized words that yet another song writer has written for her. Does she know who killed the Kennedys? Does she know who stuck around St. Petersburg? Who held a General’s rank? I think not. It may be a few days before the trails are dry enough to ride, but the beautiful warm sun, it works like the Lazarus pit bringing me back to life. The vision of ripping single-track this weekend is enough to keep me going.

My wife she is a Dave Mathews fan. Me, not so much, but being as my wife is a Dave Mathews fan, last night was my 5th time seeing Dave. Last night he was awesome. Even for a non fan like me, he was awesome. I typically don’t go for all that hippy shit, and walking through the parking lot, I felt very old, as I saw more f-ed up young kids, and scantily clad I might add. Let me say this, if your 15 year old was at the Dave show last night, chances are they were drunk or stoned. I however, was not. There were lots of people who were there to see the show, and some, like the strippers who stood next to me, who were there to be the show. I didn’t know whether to stuff some singles in their shorts, or to ask for a beer out of that huge endless sack they carried as a purse. My favorite comment of the night came from woman sitting behind me to the strippers standing next to us dancing and grinding on her boyfriend. “It’s great that you date a mentally challenged guy and all, but if you spill that beer on me, I’m gonna punch you in your bitch ass face.” Ah, 2006 the summer of love. But I digress; the show as I said was incredible. Dave and company lay it all out on the line. They promise to deliver an experience, and they do. Hell, I found myself singing along in sections, and even getting my groove on at times, you know in the sad, old skateboarder, not moving my feet while I dance kinda way. The highlight for me was when he played “proudest monkey”, I love that song. A very late, but very fun and entertaining night.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Weddings, Birthday Parties- Oh My...

The weekend wrapped up much like all of last week: wicked busy. After a week of long days at work, and no riding, I was ready to get out in the worst way Saturday morning.

The Rain Gods looked to dampen my party, but alas the DTS would not be deterred and the poker run was on. Due to tight schedule I knew I had to get out early, and miss the Todd, el presidente group. I heard Jay Jay rode inspired.

Buddy the leg breaker... Posted by Picasa

Buddy the leg breaker showed up at my place at 7:30 and rolled out with me. We set a nice tempo, and passed a few groups that got out before us. The conditions were pure swamp ass, hot and humid enough to make you wonder whether it would be more beneficial to have gills or lungs. After about 20 miles my amphibious nature was no longer in question, as time became short, Buddy kindly agreed to pull up just a little early to allow me to get home on time. Thanks Buddy.

Following the poker run, I headed to my SIL and my nephew’s 3rd birthday party. These are always fun especially because I’m the uncle that teaches your kid the things you really don’t want them to know. Today Jake got a bunch of water guns; everyone’s parent’s said no water guns in the house. But the kids, they knew, and quickly took them to Diane and I. Jake would look up at us with his big blue eyes and say, Uncle Marc, Aunt Di, will you give me some water. And we’d reply with a big smile, “you know we will!” Before you knew it there was a full blown indoor water gun war breaking out. That was pretty fun.

Unfortunately time was tight and we had to run before I could teach Jake to shoot people in the crotch so it looks like they peed themselves. I’ll save that for next time.

My Family. Mom, Pop, Brothers and Wives.
no one was harmed in taking this photo... Posted by Picasa

Saturday afternoon, I met up with my entire family as we went to the wedding of the kid Mike D, who grew up next to us. That was a fun time. It's rare my entire family gets together. Over the years my brothers and I have developed a reputation for being a little rowdy, perhaps a little over the top at times. At dinner this one lady came over and said, "what is this, the Vettoris being so mellow, I expected you guys to be going crazy!" I was kinda like, what did you expect us to do burn down the building? We might be a little rambunctious but we certainly have manners. Anyway, she was kinda kooky.

Dan the man... This picture just makes me smile... Posted by Picasa

Later on we did some dancing, Bry busted out a really mean air guitar. Craig and I shared our theory of dancing. You take the white guy two step, and then add a wrestling take down, such as an arm drag, duck under, or shrug, and then you can dance. Expect our “if you can wrestle you can dance video to come soon.” When Mike D, the groom stopped by our table I said to him, “so mike you’re married. Damn dude, I didn’t even know you were sick.” He started laughing loudly. That’s not my line, I stole it from Todd, but it’s still a really good one. It was fun night.

Billy V : bad , bad man... Posted by Picasa

Sunday was a lazy day. I felt a little hung over from the night before, not so much from drinking as much as lack of sleep. I finally got motivated enough to go for a road ride, as scattered showers kept the trails too wet to ride. When I was about an hour out the skies opened up and poured on me; I started to sing a little Cult, I wailed like Ian Astbury, "I love the rain, here she comes again, here come the rain” I didn’t really mind. Biddle used to call these days “the Belgium”; I like to think of them as Dan Gable days. These are day when I train hard thinking about my competition sitting at home on the couch eating Ben and Jerry’s. I’ll admit my competition is probably smarter than me. Anyway, it felt hella good to get my legs spun out. Downloaded some Twilight Singers stuff this weekend, Greg Dulli has one of the best voices in the world.

Delaware State Championship TT Pictures Stolen from;


Thursday, June 22, 2006

Envy, Maturity, Stupidity, Obsessive, Gluttony...

Been thinking about this a lot lately. Not sucking ass at fairhill again, but cross. half way through my mountain bike season, and I'll be honest, I've found my thoughts wandering to cross. I Start looking at the calendar. Starting to dream of goals. Still have half a mountain bike season to go. Still have goal to accomplish. But still cross is so fun... Envy?

I haven't ridden one bit this week. Usually I would get pretty stressed out about it, but this week, work is crazy. We have our national sales meeting, and that dominating my time. In the past I would get up even more ridiculously early than normal to squeeze in a couple of hours here or there, but then I'd drag ass the rest of the day. Can't do it this week, need my A game at work, and so I've been cool about it. That's kinda weird, but I do what I can do. Maturity?

I was talking to someone and they said that I had a great system for team endurance events, and that we seemed to always do well. What was my secret. I replied this, "get teammates that are faster than you. It's worked really well for me." don't tell anyone. In that same vein I signed up for my first solo endurance event at Kuhn's farm. It's 6 hours, and despite my lack of riding this week, I am looking forward to it. I get that my role in endurance races has historically to be a good teammate, and pacing is really an issue for me, but I am excited to try a different challenge. So yeah, I'm gonna try a new longer event, and I prepare for by not riding. Stupidity?

I am looking forward to a nice ride Saturday am, although I might have to rock earlier than the Spot Boys due to and afternoon wedding. We'll see how it goes. I haven't done a full poker run in 2 years. I want the full monty this weekend. Obsessive?

Well, got to run, heading out for a dinner with the reps and folks from work. It should be a good time. The food is always outstanding, and plenty of it. This will be fun. I love being full. Gluttony?


Sunday, June 18, 2006

Play Do Hippo.

Diane and I love Bike Bingo... Posted by Picasa

I saw an interview with Perry Farrell the other night. He commented that he thought that it was so difficult to find good new music out there. The interviewer asked why, and he said frankly downloading was killing it. Farrell continued to say that record companies recognize that most folks 19-35 aren’t buying music but downloading it. The record companies saw this so they stopped putting their money into bands that would appeal to this age group. That meant that they need to find a new market who would buy their music. They did, teeny bopper girls, younger than 18. That’s why we see seemingly 1000 Britney Spears knockoffs, and why a Disney musical can be the top selling DVD for months at a time. Farrell continued to say that there are good musicians out there, and all it takes is one gangly dude to realize that he can get chicks by playing guitar loud and fast, that rock and roll would live on, with or without the record companies support. I kinda liked that...

It was great to have Keith down for the day... Posted by Picasa

Slick Rick had like 4 IC's... Posted by Picasa

picnic time... Posted by Picasa

When you're a Shark, you're a shark for life. Posted by Picasa

Lisa gets ready to enter the pain cave. Posted by Picasa

Saturday was a good day. Had a killer ride 3 park ride planned. Really nice group showed up at my place at 8:00am for a 4 hour tour hitting Fairhill, White Clay and Middlerun. The group consisted of Matty (run forest), Buddy the leg breaker, Elk, Les international man of mystery, Keith G (bobby’s boy), Slick Rick, Shawn Withers, and Kurtee. The ride flowed swimmingly. Buddy was glued to my wheel, and Matty to his. We carved out a fun, and flowing loop through Fairhill, and on into the Delaware Trail Systems. Elk was properly stocked with Chicken wings, and some Iron City Ale. At the farthest point out Elk developed a small frame separation issue. We tried to milk it and ride it back, that didn’t work out as things were getting worse. So a small group of us made a Bee line back to my place, got a car and went back for the boys. That was a tough break, literally. Both times Elk has come down for one of my multi-park tours he’s had ride ending mechanical. That’s a bummer, sorry dude.

Nick rode fast. Posted by Picasa

This guy was playing grab ass with me all night... Posted by Picasa

Saturday night we loaded up the cars and went to WC for the Iron Hill Twilight Criterium. That was fun, we drank some beers, heckled some racers. Nick looked really good. Lisa V is freaking incredible. I enjoyed the race, but I will admit although I appreciated Dan the Man’s inside commentary on the race, I enjoyed cheering for him even more last year. Dan is one of my hometown heroes. I am greatly looking forward to next year, and getting to Cheer for Dan the man again. Following the race we headed down to Half Moon in Kennett Square for some fine crab nachos and some frothy beverages. It was really good to see Dan the Man out and about.

Tom helps Diane get a better view... Posted by Picasa

dinner for 10? Posted by Picasa

Sunday Am, I woke up pretty shattered. Spot Paul and I headed over to Fairhill and met up with Todd (el presidente). We did a nice section of the race course and saw lots of folks including Amazin’ Andrew, a big ole group of fellas from Bean’s, Topher, Jamie H, Kid Chris, and Vahey. It was swamp ass hot today, I polished off my camelback 2 hours into the ride, and called it a day, heading home feeling a little tired, a lot sore, but feeling really good. It was a really good ride, and a great way to close out the week.

Well, grass still needs to be cut; I better get to it….


side burns kill. Posted by Picasa

Friday, June 16, 2006

Topher takes Stage 6 of the Tour De Swiss...

"ullrich is a chump, I left him for dead on the final climb."

Topher finishing a lap at the 12 hours of lodi farm, training for the Tour de Swiss...

Lust or Love ?

Ah yes, the White Industries ENO cranks. The subject of my lusting for a couple of years now. Many mountain bike guys go for the fresh hot new product each year. Me, I’ve never been much of a tech weenie. I want stuff that is aesthetically pleasing, durable as hell, and that doesn’t weigh a ton. But these cranks, they say something to me. They are so simple, so smooth and clean, almost perfect. Smooth lines, light weight, once set up they look so clean. Secretly, I’ve had my eye on these cranks for years. They are so practical, so sexy, so clean, such simple technology. They are just beautiful. They give me goose bumps.

But still, I couldn’t see putting down the coin for something I really didn’t need. The frugal part of me just wouldn’t let me do it. So from a distance, I had a quiet crush on the White Industries ENO crank set. Then last week, sadly my old trusty Race Face cranks broke. After 6 years, they have served me well. What do you know, one door closes, and another opens. And now as sadly I burry my cracked Race Face Cranks, I happily start my new relationship with my ENO cranks. Please to meet you ENO, you with your smooth lines, fine machining, and reliable technology. You complete me. I can’t wait to get these set up on my bike…

And as for my new part lust: The Bontrager Carbon Fiber Switch Blade Fork… So sexy, hey can I get your number, you know in case my current fork breaks up with me or something…


Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Lime Tree and Tuesday Night Titans

You see I have this lime tree. My in laws they gave it to my wife for her birthday a year ago or so, and well it produces these really perfect limes. My problem is what do you do with limes? Well, you drink them in a Corona. Yeah, I know Corona is swill, Buddy the leg breaker has nightmares thinking about me drinking the shit, but you see I have this lime tree. What else am I gonna do? Les, international man of mystery has recommended that I try the high life with the lime, but the gas station on the corner doesn't have high life, just Corona, and you see I have this perfect little lime tree, that produces these perfect limes, that well, they make the usually skunk assed Corona taste just fine...
Posted by Picasa

Riley, you know my dog, woke up this morning not feeling so good. Usually he and Layla have a battle royal of wrestling and tear through the house like George Bush through a gay marriage. But not this morning. Riley was really lethargic, and didn't want to play, and followed us both around wanting some extra love. This was the exact behavior he displayed last year just before getting really sick, and had to have lots of surgery, and well Diane and I were pretty freaked out. I was pretty relieved to get this message on my voice mail from Diane, " well, Riley looks much better, much more energy than this morning, but I'm still afraid his intestine might be getting jammed up again, until I see him take a shit, I'm still gonna be worried. I have the dogs out, I'm just watching them, Okay, here we go, Riley is sniffing, he's walking in a circle, he's squatting, oh yeah, we got dog shit, things are passing, I think he was just having a rough morning. So anyway, you have a good ride, and I'll see you tonight." Great just what I needed, blow by blow from my wife, a voicemail on my work phone, over a minute long detailing my dog taking a shit. Wow. I don't think that can ever be topped.

Tuesday Night Titians this week was in my opinion the fastest all year. Todd (el presidente) set a brutal pace all night, and never seemed to let up. Hot on his wheel were Buddy the leg breaker, Matty (run forest), Jay Jay, Once a week Paul, Biddle (ty domi of cross), Les international man of mystery, Fort James, Slick Rick, Green Trek Jon, Amazin� Andrew fresh from Sweden and me. Todd (el presidente) rode inspired tonight, on the Judge he with small group in toe, opened a small gap on Fort James, Les, and I. We joked about catching Todd on the climb, but it was a big effort to bridge back to that group. With Buddy the leg breaker on Todd's wheel, this was gonna be a super fast ride. After the judge Les got a phone call, and all I heard was "I'm not in the office right now..." Next thing I knew Les had to roll, he was bummed. So were we. We made a b- line to white clay, where we flew through the skills trail; this time I successfully cleaned the rock garden where I jammed my junk a couple weeks ago. Green Trek Jon on his gray single speed, was the man this night, as he kept having to stop to make quick repairs, I'd say to myself this is the last time we'll see that dude, and then "bam" he'd be right there again. The dude is riding so good. Coming down Shock and Awe, Todd (el presidente) opened up a gap and was able to get away from the group. That was sick, we were flying. For the record, I was behind Biddle (ty domi of cross) and he was like butter. I didn't even bother picking my own line because his was so good, I just did what he did. It was killer. Again, I was suffering bad, and kept telling myself, hang on for one more section, and then call it a night. Finally we made it to the border trail. The l'ape de d'huez of Newark, Delaware it ain't really that long, but wtf we live in Delware. Buddy and Matt convienitently bailed just before the climb, leaving me second wheel to Todd (they had been out for 3 hours already). I slipped up the left side of Todd and set what I thought was a strong pace. My goal was to get over the top, and try to stay seated the entire time. Just before the first steep section Slick Rick attacked up my left, as we hit the steep, Green Trek John came around and quickly bridged to Slick. I felt like I was going backwards, and expected to be passes in mass, but I wasn't. Slick Rick and Green Trek John quickly put 45 seconds into me. All day I talked about following them when they attacked, but when it came time to belly up to the bar, it just wasn't there. Kudos to them. They rocked it At the top as is started to flatten out Jay Jay, came up on my wheel, I offered to let him pass, he kindly refused. That was hard. Not state college hard, but still very hard. After this, Todd (el presidente) moved back to the front, and ripped the down. Up the final climbs I could pretty much tell he was blown. On a couple of climbs I could have attacked him, but as hard as he worked tonight, as good as he rode, it would have been, well, disrespectful. I tucked in behind him. If you live in Northern Delaware and you ride a single speed, you should thank Todd, whether you know it or not, It's probably because of him. Thanks for making my life better Todd. We rolled into the parking lot at the Pike Creek Baptist Church and called it a night. Me, I was thinking about this lime tree I have and how good this fine Corona was gonna taste.

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Marsh Creek Race- a really good day...

Diane before her race... Posted by Picasa

The course was not very single speed friendly. Little single track, and lots of flat wide open fireroads. There were two decent climbs, but for the most part this was a flattish non technical loop. This is not an excuse just a fact. This race was low key, super fun and super cool. My goal for the day was pretty simple: finish a race that is shorter than 4 hours. I haven’t had so much luck with that thus far this season. Here’s how it went down.

Old Dude (35-44) podium. Me , Thayer, Rob ... Posted by Picasa

Lap 1:
Buddy the leg breaker goes to the front off the gun and leads the pack over the first climb. I slip around making my move and briefly seize the lead. Thayer (Bike Line) comes around me shortly there after in one of the open sections, and attacks. Up the second climb I get very close to Thayer, Rob (beans) passes me, but I quickly pass back.

19-34 podium. Matty , Kevin Fryberger , Matt Vahey Posted by Picasa

Lap 2:
Thayer realizes that I’m getting time on him in the hills, but in the flat open stuff, I’m vulnerable. He takes advantage. Great tactical move on his part. Still end of the lap, I again get close on the climb, Rob comes around me, I pass him back at the top of the long climb on the backside.

Matt (run forest) was all about the pizza , but didn't eat too much as he had a big dinner waiting at home. Posted by Picasa

Lap 3:
My plan is simple try to stay close enough to Thayer to make a last lap, last climb attack where I hope I can steal this race. Thayer has got a good plan too. Destroy me flats and win the race. His plan is better than mine. Over the last climb I see Rob, but I have a little more gap than last time, he doesn’t pass me, I attack.

Lap 4:
I guess Thayer’s plan is working, I haven’t seen him, I’m worried that Rob may jump me on the long flat railroad bed, that I'm beginning to think must be at least half the length of this lap. I’m spinning so fast my knees are hitting my chin.

Rachael was down with pizza too. Posted by Picasa

Lap 5:
Still feeling good, keep the pace up and finish up just under a minute behind Thayer. He had a great plan, executed and took the win. He played me like a 2 dollar kazoo. Well done. He then kicks me in the balls by saying, “yeah, I haven’t been training much, just commuting to work.” Thanks dude, not enough to beat me, but now you have to ruin my theory of training? Great, I’ve been killing myself, and the key is to just ride to work. Who knew? Rob comes in shortly after me to take third. Rolf (BL) was fourth, and Buddy the leg breaker who gave me a hell of a lead out on the first lap finished 5th. We did 19 miles in about 1:30. That was fun.

Buddy the leg breaker went for a post race chicken cheese steak...

In the young buck class (19-13) Vahey and Fryberger (super good guy) battled the entire race with Fryberger pulling it out at the end. Matty (run forest) rounded out the podium in third place. Diane rolled up with us, went to enter the beginner race saw it was only 4 miles, and decided to do the sport race which was 12. She finished 4th out of 5, and was a little bummed. In the end, I think she’ll learn from this, she got a hell of a better work out, and she rode well. Most importantly, she had fun, and she continues to get stronger. Posted by Picasa