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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

chapter 91: count down


(see, I told you.)



I always thought that cross practice got smaller because it got colder. With 60 degree temperatures and our smallest DCCoD turn out this year, I guess that was not the case.

Still we had quite the hardy group with FFA, Monkey, Papa Smurf, Chuck (FIL), The Belgian

(belgian work horse in action)

Work Horse, Dennisbike, Erik, E-town, Slick Rick, Robby, Leo, SpotPaul, and I’m sure I missed someone. The reality is that cross is damn hard, and keeping your rhythm can be very challenging. I did 12 mountain bike races from April 1st-August 18th, I’ve done 12 cross races from Sept 25-now. That speaks to the intensity of this game. Still I admit there was a great sadness that came over me as I realized that after tonight we have just 2 cross practices and 2 races left. For many Reston will end the year, for those of us brave enough, or just stupid enough, we’ll make the trek to Providence to measure our salt against the best of the nation. Either that or just be the most obnoxious group of Katie fans ever. But I digress, just 2 more practices then everyone on the DCCoD will go back to their off season endeavors, I was kinda bummed.

(Tom doing the clark kent in his car after practice. you can thank my slow camera for not getting the full moon shot)

Some will face the weekly challenges of the PWC, some will head to the woods, and as much fun as that is, it’s never the same as cross. Some guys are ready to be done, I’m not sure I am. November was horrible for me for the most part, in the past week I have finally started to ride pain free, started to feel good again, this is very encouraging for me. Is it too little, too late? I’m banking not. Although I will say my legs were pretty shitty tonight at practice.

(after a BRUTAL sunday practice, e-town in oxygen debt totally locked his keys in the car. Here the DCCoD comes to his aide. Cheers erupted as Tom sprung the door open.)

I love cross. Now if I could just get Buddy (the leg breaker), Matt (run Forest), Todd (el presidente), Les (international man of mystery, and John W. (bikeline’s Todd) to get into cross it would be perfect. Oh, btw I’m think next Tuesday when I do my Newark Night Neighborhood stomp of stopping by the Compton’s and doing a little Christmas Caroling.
I think they’d think it was funny. Anyone game?

Jan pulled the so-pro move of the year, showing up at the end of practice to see where we were going to eat. That’s so euro.

respect
fm

Sunday, November 26, 2006

chapter 38: rocket from russia

I headed out to the PA states with Tom today. No, I don’t live in PA but my teammate Zach was promoting, (he was enfugeo in the B race today taking 3rd), and I wanted to keep my competitive rhythm so I rolled with Tom (papa smurf) out to the race. On the
way out I stopped and got a banana. My hands were kind full so I stuffed in my pocket.
I loaded the truck, got changed, bounced around, read emails in the truck, all with the banana, which by now I had forgotten about in my pocket. So following my race, I get
dressed, put on my pants, and feel something in my pocket. Hmmm, What could that
be? I ram my hand into my pants pocket only to find my completely smushed, smashed
and obliterated banana. That’s right I had a pocket full of banana baby and it looked kinda like this:



Please congratulate John Lux; your PA masters State Champion. Luxxy draws one of two reactions from people, “fucking dick” or “I love that guy” Although we don’t always see eye to eye politically, I admit I fall into the “I love the guy” category. You can count on John to give you the straight scoop, no spin. It’s fun to hear him complain sometimes, but you can also count on him to praise a situation when due. He cares about cross and about the scene. I appreciate his honesty and integrity. He works hard and he races hard. I was super stoked for him. I am proud to count him as a friend. Love him or Hate him, he’s a crosser to the core and I admit during our race, (I raced masters today) I was battling for around 10th, I was listening to Ken announce as Luxxy and Pflug were on the back side of the hill fighting it out, and I was probably listening to the final section more than I should have been. I kept thinking in my head, “yeah, yeah Luxxy, yeah, yeah…” If you see ole Luxy, give ‘em a high five.


This is Rob Thomas (the no talent ass clown from matchbox 20):

http://myspace.com/robthomas

This is Rob Thomas (not the no talent ass clown from matchbox 20) but the, DCCoDer, cyclocrosser extraordinaire, and great teammate:

http://myspace.com/seriouslytherealrobthomas

fucking hilarious.

I will admit under normal circumstances I might have said that today’s course had just a hair more asphalt than I like in my cross courses. I might have said that it was a little faster than my usually benefits my riding style. But I’ll also say this, that after last weeks sloth fest, it felt so good to race fast, to make a bike move with momentum, and great velocity. There is something

(hey Petey, do you happen to know what time it is?)

special about standing up out of every corner, and feeling the bike take off like a rocket. Hebe and Zack put together a fantastic loop, lots of turns, a long lap, and sections of the course where you could just roll, and carry so much speed.
I’d jump out of one corner put my head down, look up and have to dive into the next, and then jump again. It was so much fun. So fluid. Damn I needed that badly. I forgot what it was like to feel fast. I was pleased with my race. I did the master’s race today simply because it was earlier and Tom and I could get home sooner. (i.e. more couch time for me) The Carlisle fairgrounds is a great venue and the course super fun. I hope I see it again soon. BTW the old guys are really fast, really fast.

To top off a great day Diane (chunky monkey), Kathleen, Amy (FFA), and Les (international man of mystery) and I all headed out to Longwood gardens to see the lights and festivities. It was pretty damn fun. Les is a huge ice skating fan, and they had a very nice little ice skating show.

The 18 year old girl with low riders and an ass slingshot sitting in front of us was just a little distracting, but not too much. For the record I would have missed that muffin top all together if Monkey hadn’t pointed that out to me. (sorry Tab no pictures this time, I learned my lesson) The night was topped off with a fine plate of crab nachos and some drinks from the Half Moon in Kennett Square. A good time was had by all.

(white gloves muddy day, oh yeah, I'm such a pimp...)



Respect
fm

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

chapter 13: knight rider

Jan is a member of the DCCoD. His real name is Michael, but somewhere along the line he picked up the nick name Jan. (Yan not Jan) This may be due to the fact that Jan is German. He is really damn funny. Jan is a strong rider, who started racing cross this year, and has done quite well. I'm really glad Jan races cross, he is a great guy, and funny as hell. A new member of the DCCoD Jan was a little frustrated by the mud saturday, so much so that at one point he declared his season was over. He asked, "why would you want to come back?" I answered, "because we are crossers, this is what we do."

Saturday Night at Dinner somehow or another the topic of David Hasselholff came up.

Me: so what's the deal with David Hasselholf? Do Germans really go crazy for that guy?

Jan: Fuck David Hasselholf. I hate that fucker. that's such bullshit.

me: what do you mean?

Jan: I swear David Hasselfholf shits his pants and I get 20 emails about it.

me: what?

Jan: at work everytime something comes up in the news about David Hasselholff everyone thinks it's so funny to email it to me. That guy is an ass. His ex-wife said he was a drunk and that he shit himself, when they were getting a divorce and I swear I my email box was filled up about Hasselhoff shitting himself. Besides it's the Australians that really love him, not the Germans.

So there you have it. Australians love him, not the Germans.


Sure enough despite declaring his cross season over, Jan showed up to race Sunday. I asked him, "what gives?" to which he answered, "we are crossers, this is what we do"

If your bike was cleaned during one of the elite races Saturday or Sunday, likelyhood is that Jan helped clean it. He along with many was busting his ass in the pit to keep the bikes rolling.

Remember Jan loves cross but not Hasselholff.

Sunday I didn't suck so bad and managed to keep from swan diving into any puddles. In fact I even lead for the first 1/2 of a lap or so. Imagine that DFL and race lead all in one weekend. Pretty snazzy huh?

Thanks to everyone that worked pit for me, and cheered, and made sure I had a clean bike every lap. That was awesome.

respect
fm

Saturday, November 18, 2006

chapter 95: irving the duck

So at work Friday I get a huge box delivered to me. It is addressed to of course me, and I admit I was wondering what is in this big box. I'm not expecting a delivery. I looked for the return address hoping for some clue. It read, " Biker Dude, the clog factory's address". Hmmmm. that's strange. So I open the box rather cautiously, I mean the unibomber might have turned on clog customer service mangers/cyclocrossers.

In the box I find a duck, dressed as an elf. I have no idea who has sent me this fine duck. He is very nice. And after sharing with my teammates at work with the thought that one of them might have been behind the mystery duck, I elicited only laughter and love for my new duck.
Alas no ducker in that crowd.

I called my wife, perhaps she was the mystery ducker. She laughed hysterically, but is not the culprit. In fact, she was really excited and embraced my duck as a member of the family. I think I'll call him Irving. Yup, that sounds good, Irving the duck.

Mystery Ducker, I know you are out there, it's just a matter of time before I find out who you are...

New Hope Race I

Lap 1

just around the 2nd courner I get tangled up with Dan Conrad and go slamming to the ground in a fit of fury, landing in a nice soft puddle of mud. I get my whits about me and look up to see the race riding quickly away from me. I just went from top 15 to dead last. My first instinct was to just go home. The races were super muddy, super hard on bodies and bikes. But then, well I figured I should at least ride a lap. I admit I was kinda riding with a "fuck it" approach. I made motorcycles sounds "brapp!!!" and High Fived the crowd as I rode through sections. But then, I caught 3 guys, and looked up and there was another group so, I switched back to game mode.

Lap 2-3-4
I just consistently moved forward, tried to keep making ground and kinda hoped that I could eek my way back into some points, not that I'm chasing anything, but I'd love to keep my second row start for the final MAC race. The race was hard, I felt like I ran as much as I rode. But I put my head down, and even danced my way through the barriers the last time through.
I lost an even up sprint with Spanky in a bike throw. I wanted to dispute the photo finish but the offical said there was no photo finish for 24th place. damn. So in the end I got 25th, 1 pt. sweet.

On paper this looks like my worst race all year, in reality I rode pretty well, and I feel pretty good about my last 3 laps, and my race in general. Dan came up to me afterward and apologized, he is a really good kid, I respect the guy, and it wasn't like he tried to take me out. Shit happens, just would have rather it happened somewhere besides the first 3 minutes of the race. Whatever, no blood no foul.

Thanks to Fort James and Spot Paul who worked tireslessly to make sure I had a fresh clean bike every lap, thanks to everyone that cheered for me, and kept encouraging me to keep moving on.

Tomorrow I head back. Not because I love the mud, or thought the venue was really all that great, but because I love cyclocross, and frankly I only have a few more chances to do this until September of next year, I don't want to let this slip away. As I told Jan, "we are cyclocrossers, this is what we do."

respect
fm

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

chapter 40: return to cookie mountain

It was a freakishly warm night at cross practice. I tried to be all euro and go totally over dressed for my warm up laps but quickly returned to toaster to shed 2 layers, and put on a short sleeve jersey. I don't like the course at mystery meeting place X nearly as much as our course at Middle School S. The Middle school has more elevation change, more corners, it's just harder. This new course, while considerably flatter, and considerably faster, has some light, therefore it works great.

One of the benefits of the new course is that it is a faster course, which doesn't usally suit my style, and it promotes more group/pack riding, which again as a single speed mountainbiker during the off-season, isn't my normal forte.

All that said, tonight might have been my favorite practice all year. I believe it certainly was the practice that I rode my best. The efforts went well, my technique was pretty clean. E-town had me working on my opposite side dismounts and remounts. The dismount was going very well, the first remount hit me in a very sensitive area. I have a new bruise forming. It's nice. On one of the efforts, Monkey took the hole shot and lead into the first corner, as we decended upon her like a hive of bees, she proceeded to pimp me and about 5 others in the corner pushing us way out, and taking the best line, as she powered away out of the corner. It was another very proud moment for me. Rob who joined the DCCoD late this year, and is a former cat 2 on the road who frankly was pretty dominate on the road in these parts. If he kicked your ass in a local citzen race this year, don't be too mad, it's not a come back, he's been here for years. Unfortuentatly for all of us, Rob is quickly becoming very skilled on the cross bike, and putting all that fitness and power into making all of our lifes that much tougher. He is making our practices that much harder. Rat Bastard.

After practice many members of the DCCoD rolled down to EL Hefe for some fine mexican food. I had a couple of chicken tacos that were quiet tasty. Sadly, something went horribly wrong as I got home and had to run for the thrown. Two bowls were filled, and many courtesy flushes happened. Yikes.

Someone asked me tonight if I looked at the registration for the races this weekend. I said no, because I know who all is gonna be there. Furthermore, if I look at the list I find myself saying, "yeah that guy can kick my ass, oh yeah him too, and him, he's riding great too..." Truth be told this year if you're in the top 15 of the B race, you can win, that's what has made this pretty damn great this year. I've just been happy to be in the mix.

respect-FM

pictures of monkey from : www.mlkimages.com; and always from www.dennisbike.com

chapter 39: yo mama so fat



mega: "you know marc this is the skinniest I think I have ever seen you..."

respect

m

photo kevin dillard

Sunday, November 12, 2006

chapter 66: the secret window

Lower Allen:

To be brief, I pretty much sucked hind tit all day. If it could go wrong, then it went wrong for me. I have been nursing a somewhat minor injury for a couple of weeks. I took last week pretty much off altogether in the hope of healing up. Well that didn’t happen too much. Wednesday night at cross practice, I had my first bad practice all year. That wasn’t so good. So with that back drop I come to Hebe’s race. I’ll say this I always love the course at Hebe’s, it should suit my strengths, I always have fun here, but unfortunately I have never had a good race here. Saturday went like this.

Off the prologue and first lap had a pretty good start, at the end of the first lap I am hurting, I realize that no matter what Capt. Kirk asks from Scotty the answer is always, “I’m giving her all she’s got” sad point was today that wasn’t too much.

Mentally I question if my injury is keeping me from going, if I should pull the plug. Wes is running around the course cheering for me, telling me to get going, I’m right there. I think I was like 17th or so,

End of the second lap I start to feel a little better, start to drive a bit, I can pick off a couple guys. I see Nystrom just ahead of me, I drill it and start to close in around the back stop, and wham. I hit the ground hard. Never saw it coming. At this point, I am so frustrated I’m ready to pretty much chuck my bike in the woods. Wes is there. He says, dude, get going ride tempo. Your chain is off. Fuck. throw salt on my cut. A group of like 10 or 11 come flying by.

I get back on and start trying to go. Feeling like the beginning of the race all over again.
I’ve got nothing. I see the group; I see the group riding away from me. I switch bikes, I roll a clincher, I switch bikes again, at some point some one told me I was in 30th or something, and I bite the lip and try to move forward. In the final 2 laps I picked off a couple, and came close to Bernie and Chad, but they heard me coming and got clear. I finished up 24th.

At this point, I realize that the window of cross fitness is pretty small, and historically once I crack, my seasons are pretty awful from that point out. So mentally, I’m pretty much ready to pack in the season. My injury still hurts, I clearly lost my edge during my break, and well my window seemed very closed.

Frank Maguire, of State College fame, saw me just suffering out there, and yelled up this which made me laugh out loud in the middle of my misery, “Fatmarc you were faster when you were Fatter!!”

The upside of the day was I got to hang with monkey, the dccOFd and the fort factory team did very well, so despite having a shitty race, it was a pretty damn good day.

On the way home E-town and Diane could tell I was down, they were super supportive. Spanky asked in the Questions of the Week what it means to be an American; my answer is this Spot Paul, E-town and I standing on a picnic table singing the national anthem before the elite race on Saturday.

I had a great meal at Kate’s with Fitzy, E-town, Jan, Rob Thomas (not that no talent ass clown from matchbox 20), Monkey, and I. That was a good time. Fitzy ordered a special side nacho to go. He had a big night of TV planned. The waitress said she could tell Fitzy really wanted nachos, to which he replied, “is it my physique?” Everyone laughed.

Better than Highland Park Race.


I woke up feeling pretty good. In the back of my mind I wanted to make sure that I had a better day today. Regardless of injury or not I needed to find out if today my window was closed, or if I still had something. Nothing like a little pressure before a race right?

Warmed up well, E-town and I followed each others lines and things felt good. On the line, I was scared, maybe more so than I have been all year. The official says, “30 seconds” I love cross, I’m not ready to be done. The official says, “15 seconds” I think to myself, “If you love this then go out and prove your not done, go out and ride like you care, injury no injury, no excuses…”

Bang!!

the gun goes off. I got a really nice start. Lap one finishes up and I am in the group pretty good. We go over the first climb and I’m hurting a bit, I get gapped a little. I hear John Lux yell, at probably the best time ever, “put your head down and get going, do what you do” and I did. Gaps had started to form and I was in the 7-11 spot. I go to the front of the group with Budd, Ray, Princeton dude and I. I punch it a little, and get a little gap, the group catches back on but I’m still riding. This race was a college race too, so some more college guys come by, through the start finish I see 3 to go, Damn I was hoping for 2, need to throttle back just a little. I’m sitting on the back of the group, I’m hurting, but I don’t want to be done. I’d like to say the last 2 laps were magical, that I gapped the group. But this is a cross race, not a fairy tail, truth is for the 2nd time this year Brill caught me with less than 2 to go. I attacked hard, the last half lap trying to get to the group just in front of me which contained Ray, E-town, and Brill. I charged hard, even crashed in the mulch, but I rolled in safely in 14th place. The best 14th fucking place I ever took. Not my best ride, but in the range of my abilities. And at a time when mentally I was pretty much ready to roll over and die, I fought back for another day. My best will still come. I was a very happy fatmarc.

Back at the car, E-town gave a big hug and said welcome back.

Want to give some props to the HVC guys. When Lindstrum came by me, he said, “get my wheel, we’ll move up” I did and we did. He dropped me, but that was cool. Luxy, well, I love that guy. Mealy and Rob screaming for me, too much. These guys aren’t my teammates, but they had good words at the best times.

I can’t say enough about having Wes seemingly everywhere on the course when I was hurting the most, yelling encouragement. James working in the pit for me, saying things that only I get like “slam you hand in the door” or “bite you lip” all the Fort team, all the dccofd. I’m not too sure I would have made it today without all your support. Than you all.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the monkey, who had a great weekend, finished on the lead lap of the C/35+ B Saturday, and just rode super well, and had the pimpest move I have seen all year. On the final lap, coming into the last little paved section before the pit, Diane attacked up to and sat on the girl in front of her wheel. Heidi and I start to cheer for her, and Diane sits up a bit, makes eye contact with us and while shaking her head while giving us the old shush sign.

The woman didn’t realize she had a monkey on her back.

Diane rode that wheel all the way around to the barriers, where she attacked, ran through
And jumped back on opening a gap, and sprinting to take 11th in her race.

Like my main man Jay-Z always says, “ladies are pimps too, go on brush your shoulders off.””

Thanks to everyone for a great weekend. So damn good. My goal was top 15 both days, I figured I could score a top 10 Saturday, you know because the course suits me, and that Highland Park would be a little deeper with NY , NJ and College kids adding to the already deep MAC talent pool. Well, 1 out of 2 ain’t too bad. Right now, I’ll take it for sure.

Respect
fm

Monday, November 6, 2006

chapter 81: bands start up each and everyday.

So it was time for my semi-annual hair cut. Ever since I started working at the clog factory and got out of the banks, much to the delight of monkey, I let my hair grow out a bit. And every 6 months or so, I start to feel a little too dirty, a little too rough, I get a cut.

This time I had 3 inches cut off all the way around. To be honest I was tired of feeling like I just walked out of that movie Dazed and Confused. I was sick of having my hair in my mouth, and in my food, and when the girls at work said, “you should wear a pony tail” well I high tailed it to the sallon.

Me, fucking sensitive pony tail guy !? get the fuck out of here.

But alas, today I was at the ole Harvest Market, which I never frequent, and 2 separate ladies came up to me and asked me if I worked there. I politely declined. Apparently I didn’t get enough hair cut off. Fucking Dirty Hippies.

With 7 weeks until Nationals, and my chances at the MABRA jersey laid up against a tree at the Iron Cross lite, I took this weekend as my final weekend to not race. To rest, and try to heal recover a bit before the final push for nationals. Look I harbor no unrealistic expectations about what I can do in Providence, but result or no result; I want to be sure to bring my best. Part of that was resting this weekend.

Friday started off with me drinking too much, and Saturday I laid on the side of the run up at School A, where we have cross practice, watching FortJames and Diane do laps, while I said to myself, “tequila hangovers suck” and “go babe, you look great!” "I hate tequilla, bastards"

Saturday night went to a small gathering and rode a mechanical bull. That was fun. The party also had huge jumpy, jumps. So of course Monkey and I were all about jumping around in them. There was this little girl jumping near me, she was maybe 5 years old, who by mistake I double jumped, and damn I launched her like 6 ft in the air. I was totally freakin’ out. She landed kept bouncing and laughed her ass off “do it again Mr. Fatmarc”

Sunday was a pretty mellow day, did some shopping washed my bikes, and Diane made cookies. We watched a couple of movies, monster house and Lucky number slevin. Monster house was good cartoon, entertaining. Lucky Number Slevin was pretty punk. I really liked that. Good cast, good twist, a little predictable but nice.

DCCofD had a hell of a weekend with Slick Rick and Lisa, Lisa leading the way, both taking home the MABRA series jerseys. Wes the Conqueror took home the W on Saturday too. The DCCofD was everywhere from New England , Lancaster, Allentown, and yes even Colorado.

In no means can we, the dccofd take credit for the efforts of Joey and Katie last weekend.
Their hard work, their dedication has allowed them to be successful. But I am damn proud to be part of a community, part of a cross practice that helped those two fall in love with cross, and helped be the foundation of where they are now. I’m really big into community, and really I can’t imagine racing cross without the community support, and weekly practice, and camaraderie that we have. So no, we can’t take credit for their results, but fuck yeah, we can be proud of the fact that at one point, we all practiced in the same place. And yeah, they were both on that 2000 MAC Championship team.

Those who can’t be great, live through their friends who are great!

Anyway, I’m gonna rock and roll all night, and party every day.

Respect
Fm

Pictures from this blog where stolen from Jennifer Brown and Mike Brevoort.

Rob Campbell I was sad to hear of your broken collar bone. You are a respected rival, who was having a great season, I look forward to seeing you on the line again soon.

Friday, November 3, 2006

chapter 29: the belgian work horse



This is Dave. I call him the Belgian Work Horse. Dave doesn't know that. I hope he doesn't beat me up for that. I call him this based on his powerful style, and his ability to grind through things. Dave is a hard worker and a relentless racer. He is also a Delaware Cyclocross Coalition of Delaware member since 2005. Dave has perfect attendance at cross practice, and can be counted on to throw down every wednesday night. Dave is a powerful rider, whose 2005 campaign was highlighted with a victory at Fairhill last season. Dave is having a nice year this year too. Dave and the DCCofD. Learn it, Live it, Love it.

respect-fm

these images were stolen from Jan.