Friday, December 29, 2006

chapter 13: more i love you man posts

Outstanding Rider Award.
The Microsoft word dictionary defines "outstanding" as "unusually excellent, and superior to others in the same group or category". I can think of no better word to describe Lisa Vible and her 2006 racing campaign. Now I can not pretend to know all the details of her road season, but based on the stars and bars she picked up with Paul Curley in Pittsburgh, I'm going to assume it went pretty damn well. To follow that up with a sensational cross season, highlighted by the MABRA series championship and the women's 35+ MAC championship. Yeah, that's pretty outstanding. Lisa is a great sport, someone I cherished training with during the cross season. Aside from being the only person in the world who says "dude" more than me, she is always fun to ride with. She took a lot of flack from some of the guys for an interview she did on some website, and Jan named her " BIG DEAL". Although that was funny, it couldn't be further from the truth. Lisa is a friendly, approachable and incredibly humble individual. One of my strongest memories of the cross season was Lisa riding around Granogue with Diane, showing her the lines, and helping her to get the course totally dialed in. Perhaps my favorite memory of the year was at Hagerstown when she kept her pimp hand strong yelling to a wheel sucker, " hey if you're just gonna sit back there all day, I'm just gonna sit up, you gonna do some work or what" 2 laps later Lisa attacked and shed the rat f-ck. A national championship, and 2 series victories, that's palmares that could make a career. Lisa pulled it off in one season. That was beautiful. I hate when they have an outstanding male or outstanding female. How outstanding is it? Fuck that shit, in my cycling family, outstanding is outstanding, and Lisa Lisa is clearly outstanding. Congratulations on a great season Lisa.

Hon ment: Wes the conqueror winning the MAC, Dieter’s nationals…

Tom McDaniel Spike Myself in the Ground Award.
Matt (run forest) is one of the fastest guys in our community. He is a cagy bike handler, smooth descender, and has shown the ability to pull out his best efforts when it is toughest. Unfortunately, this past season Matt was unable convert any of these abilities into the success on the race course, which he is so deserved. Example one: Running of the Bulldogs, with one to go he storms to the lead, only he has to finish after 1:00 to win. His pedal breaks, and he crosses the line at 12:58, unable to continue he has victory snatched from his grasp. Example two: 12 of Lodi, Matt was arguably the strongest rider in the field, he came to the race in fantastic form, and perhaps the fastest I have ever seen him. After three laps he withdraws, falling to a horrible allergy attack and inability to breath on the bike. Example three: Top 5 finish in the bag at Neshaminy expert 30-34 field, and he flats with half a lap to go. And finally the biggest spike yourself in the ground. One week before the 18 hours on the farm, Matt is again finally back to form, killing all of us on our rides, and ready to kill it as part of a four man team with Spot Paul, Buddy (the leg breaker), and Myself. What does he do? He impales himself on the big ring of his bike, opening what has become known as "the leggina" and effectively ending his season. Matt (run forest) congratulations on having your best races this year, on our group rides. Here's wishing you the best of luck in 2007, I hope you have a four leaf clover tucked under you seat, a horse shoe over door, and a lucky #7 tattooed on your back. You are do for a great year, may it happen in '07.

Hon men: Dan the man’s achillies, and aborted cross season

Sportsmanship Award.
Have you ever met someone who loves to ride so much that he makes you want to ride more? Have you ever met someone who makes every ride you go on with him fun, whether that means ripping a piece of single track or stopping for a couple of brews? Have you ever met a rider talented enough to drop everyone, but works hard to make sure everyone stays on? Have you ever met someone who coined terms like "big bird bike" or "baby bike"? I have and I am a better person for it. I guess it was 3 years ago, Delaware gained Maine's favorite son Les Leech and his charming wife Kathleen. Les is a one in a million guy, to look at him, he is unassuming, and to speak with him he is kind and funny, telling incredible stories. I count myself as lucky to be able to ride with him, sections I thought difficult he makes look easy. But his incredible riding prowess aside, this isn't what makes Les special. Every group you pass, Les greets with a smile, every ride I go on is fun, people are always genuinely happy to see the guy. Les brings people together; he reminds the most dedicated racers why riding mountain bikes is so great. My favorite rides this year have been with Les, Kathleen, Diane, Buddy, and Amy getting lost around Fairhill for 2 hours. My favorite game I played this year was death uno at the leech home. I am happy to count him as a friend, and we in the Delaware cycling community are lucky to have him here.

Hon ment: Spot Paul and Buddy (the leg breaker) might be the best team mates on the planet. If you ever get to be their teammate, jump at the chance.

come back of the year
About a year ago I went on a road ride from peoples. It was supposed to be mellow and right out of the parking lot two guys were arguing about tactics or some shit. Truth be told, both were both super cocky and talked like they invented racing. I remember saying to myself, “what a bunch of dicks, that’s why I don’t road race” I didn’t want anything to do with of those tool boxes.

One of those guys was E-town, who was on his bike for the first time in 5 months. I knew E-town years ago when he was a hot shot college kid from New England super cocky, but he didn’t quite know how to make it all fit. He was young and good, and nice, but something never really clicked, it’s hard for me to describe.

This year, E-town made a huge come back as a leader on the road for FSVS. When I started training with him I remember him saying to me,” I love to work for my teammates” I was like, “wow, I wouldn’t have heard this from the old E-town.” In the past E-town would have been described as cocky, self centered, but this year E-town came back to the community, working hard to contribute, he didn’t ask what was in it for him, but what could he do to help. He has assumed a leadership role in the dccod, making sure we all had hotels for nationals as well as collecting money for our sweet, sweet pit. In short, E-town grew up. That was pretty awesome. I can’t even begin to talk about the success he had racing this year after a 3 year lay off of cross, and 5 months of the bike. For whatever reason, E-town gets it now, and even though we don’t own the same kit, I am proud to say he is my teammate. I expect huge things from him in 2007, as he continues to grow and develop his potential. Yeah, he’s still cocky, and had the best mullet anywhere, but I am also glad he’s my good friend.

Hon men: have you met the monkey? How proud am I of her?

rookie of the year
This one is a tie, and to be honest based on stronger facial hair it almost went to Rob Thomas (not the no talent ass clown from MB20), however, it’s a tie based on strong performance by Amazin’ Andrew.
Rob Thomas not a new bike racer had his first cross season this year, after borrowing one of Fitzy’s bikes for a practice he was hooked. He worked his ass off, and put together one hell of a season in the c class. Top 5’s in both of the mabra and mac, with a trip to Taiwan in the middle, resulting in a couple of missed races. He traveled to NY over thanksgiving, racing in the B class and finishing with a top 10 ride. Awesome stuff, great guy, proud to be on the dccod with the kid. When he first got his Henry’s kit, he smiled like a Cheshire cat. I was happy to witness it. And his roommate is a stripper. (so sweet) Next year he’ll be in the B’s, I expect big things from him. Rob was the inspiration for my nationals trucker ‘stache.

Tied with Amazing Andrew, who is a very accomplished mtb racer, and after battling a year of travel to Sweden, texas, the south pole, and injuries I know he didn’t put together the mtb season he wanted, so he invested in a cross bike. All Andrew managed to do was go out and out suffer the bulk of his competitors each week. I remember after Granogue Andrew telling me how hard it was , how awful he felt and then how much fun he was having. In just his first year of cross, Andrew was successful in finishing 2nd in the MAC 55+ class, racing against a number of riders with far more cross experience (Nuzio (tough dude), national champions rob lea, as well as Joe saling) Andrew is one of my favorite people in the world for his frank and honest assessment of things, I was super proud to have him in the DCCoD, and stoked to have him racing cross. I love that he is own our Spot Brand/Twin Six team. Next year, one more step in the rankings okay?

Kerry Combs nicest person I met this year
If I offered this award last year it would have gone to Steve Shultz, formerly off IF now Titus. The endurance master is a super good guy, I’m always excited to see him.
The winner hands down is Besty Shogren- have you met Betsy? Never a kinder, more genuine person have I met. Every race I did this year, she asked me "do you need me to pit for you?" Betsy a pro mountain bike, national champion on the road offering to pit for me. I have to admit it was pretty cool to have her hand off a bike to me. Besty is the glue that helps keep the FORT Factory team together, anytime I had a bad race, or was a little grumpy a word from Besty seemed to make everything okay. When I’d cheer for her during her race, she’d look up at me and say. “hi marc” and go back to laying the smack down. I am so impressed with how kind and thoughtful she is. I am proud to ride on the same team as her. Besides, she wears great clogs. You know Kerry and Besty were gonna have a wrestling match to decide who was going to win the award for being the nicest person, but they were each holding the door for each other, and neither would enter the gym to actually wrestle for it. In the end, it was called a draw, the award was named after Combsie and Betsy got the nod for 2006.

Hon men: spanky, greg lindstrum, matt Ferrari, susan gerlak, ben yoder, rob lamb, mary fetrow, kim dubeck, bad kat, bad andy, dan from hvb, roger at henry’s , zach

Dangerous Dan Award for Disorderly conduct:
Jamie (the world’s foremost expert on rip currents). If you have ever hung out with him you know what I’m talking about. One night after consuming a few frothy beverages, I donned a Gore-Tex rain jacket and pants. I looked something like the Gordon’s fisherman. Jamie screamed something to that effect and proceeded to hose me down with a full bottle of beer. I was horrified, as I didn’t own the suit, and laughing my ass off at the same time. This is just one example or the many things that went on that I can’t write about. I will miss Jamie when he moves back to California. He is a super good guy.

Hon ment: FFA, John Williams (the Todd of Bike Line)

best team effort
Twelve of muchy with Buddy (the leg breaker) , Spot paul and matt (run forest) . These are my favorite guys to do team races with. We have done so many over the years that we just know each other and know our routine. I know with all of these guys, that we will give our best, and no matter what leave it all on the course. In this event we had two duo teams. We kinda said the plan was to stay together and work over the other teams. I think everyone says that and at one point of another over 12 hours things happen, and teams get separated. Not this day. Although my teammate was Paul, although the way it worked out Matt and I rode the entire race together, pushing each other, when one of us was tired we motivated the other, when our bikes broke, we waited for each other. It was truly a thing of beauty. Buddy and Paul functioned the exact same way. Buddy and Paul consummate team players, both are probably underrated as riders, and on teams, they just seem to elevate their game like nothing I have seen. On this day, while Tom was busy molesting our women, the four of us rode perhaps our best race all year. At the finishe the promoters didn't know what to do when the four of us all finished together. "we only have 2 awards" we calmly replied, 'it's okay, we share really well"

hon men: FORT Frames team (we rule), howard brown from bike line finally getting his MASS Championship, and the beans guys who just seem to get it.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

chapter 08: heart of a lion

the best award I ever won was the Michael Maahs Memorial award. This was established at my highschool for the wrestler displaying the heart of a champion. Mike Maahs was a wrestler at the school who was on the team long before I ever dreamed about wrestling. As I understand the story, Mike was fun loving kid, who like any other high school kid would get himself into some trouble from time to time. He was admired by his friends, and as I understand it a pretty funny dude. Mike's senior year found him in a spot of trouble as he was academically ineligable for the bulk of the wrestling season. It would have been easy at this point to just walk away, and call it a career, graduate and party like mad. But this would not be Mike's path.

Mike came back with just three weeks remaining in the season. Mike was a tough wrestler, but clearly his conditioning would be suspect. In the upcoming conference tournament Mike would need a top 4 finish to qualify for the state tournament. Mike refused to give up. He fought, he scrapped, he stalled, he held on, but he kept winning. Mike wrestled every match like it was his last, ever minute counted, in essense it was, losing meant the end of the line. Mike was crafty, but after missing the bulk of the season, despite a poor seeding in the tournament and with very little poorly conditioning Mike displayed the heart of a champion, and finished 3rd in the conference, earning the his coveted invitation to the state tournament. The summer after graduation Mike was in a car accident and was killed.

When I look at my friends, the dccod, I would have to give my Mike Maahs award for heart of a champion to Slick Rick. He is modest and would never tell anyone this story, but I was there it is true. A week before Charm City a bunch of us were out doing some cross drills sprinting around a field and what not. With just one effort to go, Rick got tangled up with a couple of riders and was thrown violently to the ground. The end result, was Rick on the ground for 20 minutes, a pair of shattered rudy projects, and a couple broken ribs.

The week coming up to Charm City Rick had trouble walking around the shop. I felt horrible for him, he didn't look like he could move, how the hell would he race. At cross practice, Rick was killing it. I asked him, "are you okay" and with a shotgun smile he said to me, "show no weakness, no mention of this anywhere okay." I agreed. The morning of Charm City everyone in the dccod was excited, but everyone was watching our boy Slick Rick too. And what did he do? he won, he capitalized on an early crash and with kutney rode away, eventually winning. And the next week at Lilipons, yup ribs still broken, and another win. Hagerstown, yup, another win. Iron Cross Lite, yup put that w in the bank. I remember Luxxy saying to me, "we were all together, I knew where rick was gonna go, I think we all did, but damn no one could stop him..." Heart of a Champion.

Now one could say winning makes you a champion, I would disagree. If that was the case guys like Iverson and Owens would be champions, but they are not. In my mind in addition to winning, a champion makes those around him better. The DccoD would not exist without Slick Rick. Not many know this, as it is often referred to as the cult of rick or the white hand of saron in DccoD circles, but Slick Rick is the one that has taught all of us cross. At practice, Slick Rick has the plan, I just shout it out. Slick Rick is the one helping folks improve their technique. Through his work at Henry's bike shop, (continueing the efforts of droopy) he has created a cyclocross hub where we can go and talk cross, get cross stuff, and have a base of operations.

Rick is modest, and will probably beat me up for this entry, but the guy is the real deal. Without him and his support there is no Dccod. I believe that. Rick has pushed and guided me the past two years, and undoubtly made me a better crosser. How many others has he helped? countless. I am proud to count myself in the cult of rick, the white hand of saron. Heart of a Champion indeed.

thanks slick rick.


Tuesday, December 26, 2006

chapter (T)SIX : ubiquitous harmonizing or pictures of me with other people's kids

STAR LOG: Tuesday December 26.

I had visions of jumping in on the Tuesday Night Titans tonight, but also more rain, and warm temperatures have put the kibosh on that. Christmas has come and gone. It's over. It came so quickly this year, and then it was over. I ate too much, I drank too much, I acted the fool just a little. Saw all my family. That was cool. I was excited to see my father hand out packages. Kids everywhere, running, screaming, singing, wrestling, it was great. Justin has a heck of a bear hug. I appreciate that. wow I'm kinda tired. My niece Taylor was scared of me. Which prompted the nick name change from Uncle Shaggy to Uncle Scary. Kudos to my brother for that move.

Christmas eve saw Diane and I out on the mountain bikes. We had a lot of fun. White clay was a little soft, not in a muddy kind of way but in a spongy kinda way. After a pack of JARs came by I wasn't worried. This was the first time that either of us had been on a mountain bike since August. It was interesting. My Spot brand bike was beautiful and ready for action. I, however was not. Wow, I admit the bike felt funny under me. A couple of observations:

1. If you thought my bars on the cross bike were wide you ain't seen nothing yet. I'll have to give it a couple of weeks but I am considering trimming my mtb bars just a bit.

2. Suspension really works. The Reba fork has much more travel than the Fort Carbon on my cross bikes, even when I have it locked out. That extra movement when standing was freaking me out for sure.

3. Off Camber on a cross course is different than Off Camber on a mountain bike trail.

4. Unlike cross brakes that aren't really designed to stop you, but rather scrub your speed, disc breaks work exponentially better, and if you grab a fist full of them they will stop you quite abruptly, sometimes leading to your body being thrown violently to the ground. I have to learn the touch of those again soon.

Diane and I almost stacked it up a couple of times, but overall had a really good time. When I got home I made some modifications to my mtb to help my transition back into the single track world. The rigid fork will make the biggest difference in helping me to find my way again. Diane and I marveled at the new skills trail, but we were scared to walk it, much less ride that stuff. I'm not sure when I'm back up to speed I'll want to try that stuff. Wow.

The appropriation committee has green lighted the purchase of a new ride. I need a new training tool. I think Diane is just tired of me riding around behind her singing, "I want my baby bike, baby bike, baby bike..." No not baby as in a kid, but baby as in "I'm going for a ride with my baby..." She has asked that I wait until the new year. Patience is tough, but it'll be worth the wait.

I am looking forward to trying to not get too fat, and to keep some good miles in my legs. Man, the single track was fun, I am excited to get into fairhill, and elk neck, and ride my fixie again. This is the season.


Sunday, December 24, 2006

chapter 52: cross training

These are my wrestling shoes. Yeah I liked the pink back then. In a past life I coached a wrestling team. My teams were pretty good, with the help of a lot of good people. I come from a long line of wrestlers. I was never very good but my brothers, they were some bad dudes. I was much better as a coach. My youngest brother he is an assistant coach at the school where I used to run things. That’s kinda neat. With Skinny Craig in town, the three of us converged upon my brother’s wrestling practice. As could be assumed we started thumping on each other. Well mostly they thumped on me.

Skinny Craig is a technician, he makes no mistakes, I thought I had him with a sweet as ankle pick; the dude rolled through and stuck me on my back. Bryan was just a brute we had some good hand fighting but he was ready for all the trickery I would throw at him. Yup, right to my back. I did however cause Craig to bleed so I have that going for me. Craig and Bryan were not quite a conditioned as I was and Craig bolted for the door after one pass to make sure he didn’t hurl. I might have scored on him in that one just because he was tired. A couple of the kids from the team would jump in, That was cool, so at least I got to slap someone around. My garbage moves still work on them.

At the end of practice we played a little mat ball which was really fun. Basically rugby
on a two wrestling mat long field. No tackling, lots of ball movement. I spent the bulk of the time playing defense, and holding down any of the other team’s attackers and showing them my cross face. That was really fun, but my shoulder and neck really hurt
this morning.

happy christmas.


Thursday, December 21, 2006

chapter 73: Doppleganger

so to get cultivate a look that ends up like this:

you know one that Harshman described as "designed to scare small children" , it took me roughly 3 weeks of beard farming, and then about an hour of precise shaving. Now I had felt strongly that the trucker 'stache would provide me the karma I would need for a great ride at nationals. Alas, it only gave me a good ride. For next year I'm gonna have to elevate my facial hair karma for sure. Now as nationals came to a close, I shaved, and cleaned up my face all together. No one was happier than Diane who enjoys me a little scruffy, but is no fan of my full on wooly beard, and certainly had no place for my moustache in her heart. However I was a little concerned last night when she said, "sweetie you know I hated that beard, but I have to admit, your face, well I'm really not used to it now, it looks odd to me, I mean not bad, but I'm just not used to it at this point." Hmmm, not too sure how I should feel about that. My wife my companion since I was 19 doesn't recognize my face. Truth be told, my face looked a little funny to me too after not really seeing it for a month. Consider this my entry in the superbowl of facial hair.


Monday, December 18, 2006

chapter 81: stockhouse14

When you return from an event such as the 2006 Cyclocross National Championships you are filled with an enormous rush of memories, experiences and emotion. In one weekend you experience suffering, defeat, pride, glory, comedy, gratefulness, and love.

(morgan ripping the jelly belly bowl... Rode a very nice race)

No not the kind of love someone finds at the Crank Brothers after party, but the kind of love that permeates a community. In this blog, I will try to convey some of my experiences from the past weekend.

Thursday afternoon the DccoD, C3, Fort Frames Team, and lots of members of other Mid-Atlantic teams lead by the pure love of Suzy Gerlach, and the logistical genius of Tom (papa smurf) and Spot Paul, convened and erected what would become our tent city, warm up hub

(tammy- one of the founders of cross in our region)

and sanctuary for the weekend. Set up concluded around 1:30, and everyone began to kit up. We were tired from travel, anxious about racing, and super
excited to taste what Tom Stevens had cooked up for us.

This moment, might be the memory that sticks most closely to my heart.
A huge group of the Mid-Atlantic rallies together as we talked smack, and joke about the

(monkey and mega)

warm weather. We were ready to ride, and no way, no how would we wait until 2:00 for the course to open. With a yell, “Mid Atlantic Attack!” we jumped onto the course and took off. We were flying, ripping through the corners, and a group of say 30 of us. Despite being in the car my legs felt great, the course was wicked fast, nice technical sections incredibly fun. I looked around me, and saw my peers, Morgan, Zach, Harshman, Nystrom; I saw Hebe, Long, Auer, Fred, Stephen, Lisa, Paul, Greg, Yozell, Stephen, Bernie it was awesome. The course at this point was still empty, except for us, flying around tougher, enjoying our bikes, ripping. As we cruised through the start finish and the first corner, someone asked “is the course open?” Auer defiantly responded, “who’s gonna stop us !?”
(Dieter give E-town some racing stripes, no hebe is not pooping)

In front of us the course was clear, but behind us, more and more people filled in and began to ride. After two laps of ripping around the course I stopped to look up. People were everywhere, hundreds of

(Mark and Katie )

them all riding the course. It was awesome. I’m not sure that any posse rode with the vigor, and passion that we did.

(spike product's number 1 fan, Zach Adams; very nice race for zach)

And for me that moment of community, or fun of riding was the best. For me this is memory I will cherish from this weekend.

(the compound- We comped Syd, I'll expect teh team Fugi check in the mail? Was that over the line? )

Pretty much got smoked. I won a 5 up sprint for 61st place. Yeah that hurt. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t thoroughly disappointed with my result. I came in planning on finishing in the thirties, but feeling as strong as I have all year, felt a 20’s wasn’t out of the question. Hmm, guess I over estimated my abilities just a wee bit.
(the cuban place was awesome.

The truth of the matter is this, I am not fast. Fast is not my style, it’s not my forte. I muck, I grind, I suffer, and I push myself as deep into the pain cave as I can, but I am not fast. The course this weekend and the unseasonably warm weather, well that came together to make a very fast race. I raced my heart out, perhaps I put my eggs in the wrong basket, and perhaps I should have entered the 35+ B race. But that wasn’t my plan, and truth be told there wasn’t anything I would have done differently in my race. I raced as hard as I could, I did my best, and I left everything I had on the course. Shit, I won a sprint. I threw up. In my mind I knew that the National Championship would be the hardest race of my season, and you know, I pushed myself, I killed myself, and I got 61st.

If I thought that I did things poorly, I would have entered Sunday’s race. Truth is though; I left my heart, everything I had on the course Friday. I 100% did the best that I could that day.

After my race, E-town hugged me told me how proud he was of me, Luxy put his arm around me and told me to keep my head up. Slick Rick told me I had nothing to be ashamed of, that I was in the most stacked field here, and I raced great. Looking at the 61st, I didn’t feel great. Zach told me 61st out of 180 is top 3rd, to cheer up. Tom (papa smurf) said, “you have an hour to sulk, then get some beer and snap out of it). I appreciated all the hugs and support. It meant a lot to me.

Monkey told me later she was counting back to me mid race, and was like “65, 66, 67 –fuck he’s not gonna be happy tonight…” I thought that was pretty funny.

Can’t say how proud I was to be a part of the Mid-Atlantic to get to share so many victories, and experiences with folks. Special props to our Juniors, they are playing a game that really is a master’s obsession, and all of them did so well. Zach, Morgan, Sam and Tyler, I was super proud of all of you. I owe Morgan an apology as my potty mouth got me in a little trouble. I ran along side of him up one of the rises during his race, cheering and it got the best of me as I yelled, “you kill those motherfuckers Morgan!!”

That clearly is a party foul during a junior race. I was lucky on 2 accounts here, first that with my trucker moustache and slightly hung over state, I looked pretty damn scary, so no one said anything to me, and second I didn’t scream it into the megaphone I was carrying. Zach wasn’t so lucky as I stalked him around the course with the megaphone, lovingly called the heckletron 3000.


The second memory that I will cherish coming out of this Nationals was I guess a Mid Atlantic Tradition following Nationals, that this was the first time I was privy too. All the Sunday night stay overs were gathered in the lobby, and we spent some time sharing laughter and experiences from the season. Heartfelt toasts were made, props were given, stories were told. It was all I could do to keep the tears back when Tammy came into the room from the hospital. I won’t say too my more than that because I don’t want to spoil the secret tradition. I will say thank you to all my peers in the Mid Atlantic Brother/ Sisterhood.

You know as I sit here, typing this, I just can’t believe it’s over. The 2007 cross season has been my best ever, and maybe the most fun ever. It saw monkey start racing again, and you can’t imagine how much I loved watching her race again, I loved the brotherhood I felt in the killer B’s, and watching Wes and Ryan, the Mid Atlantic’s #1 ambiguously gay couple, and being the mid Atlantic’s #2 ambiguously gay couple with E-town, drinking Chimay with 20 of your closest racing friends, chasing Amy, following the gospel of Dan, the white hand of Saron, the Cult of Rick, Cheering for Deiter, IRON MIKE CONNAIR, Spot Paul and LISA LISA, SUZY GERLACH I HEART YOU, Dave Troop the Belgian work horse, lindstrum wins by one little point, Mayhew keeps getting stronger, Sponging up every last word that Gunnar, Fergie and Yozell speak, hugging JD, screaming for wolverine, joking with Auer, High fiving Jimbo and Ferrari, chamois time with Bernie, making Katie and Mark take the sofa, the HVB guys, Combsie keep your pimp hand strong!! Rob Lyons, looking at Britney’s beaver with Greg, watching Tom (papa smurf) turn himself inside out and never once look at the results, the Monday morning conference call from Luxy, pitting for Yozells, laughing with Jan, admiring the rock star that is MEGA, Wednesday night cross practice, hanging with Betsy the nicest woman in the world, EL HEFE, Jeff Cordisco, COME BACK NEXT YEAR KARL, Zach Adams you are better than you believe, the routine, getting pit coaching from FORTJAMES, cheering for jay and Jeff, being apart for the fort frames factory team, and the MOTHER FUCKING DELAWARE CYCLOCROSS COALITION OF DELAWARE or the DCCoD for those who don’t know. And let it be said none of this would happen for me without the love and support of my wife. Let me not forget to pimp FORT FRAMES, TWIN SIX, SPOT BRAND, AND HENRY’S BIKES who all keep me going with super cool stuff. With great pride I sing the praise of the 2006 cross season, with great sadness that I acknowledge that this season is coming over. Katie you better kill those women over there. Just because I didn’t mention you doesn’t mean I don’t love you, it just means I’m not in love with you. Not really, I mean I do love you, and I’m not in love with you but I really need to wrap this up and so I am, sorry if I shouldn’t have missed you. God Speed. Have a great off season, and a great holiday. See you at Charm City.

huge respect
your whore.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

chapter 21: grandma funk

5:30 am. The alarm is blarring time to get up and do some work. Pull up my warm tights.
Grab my bag, load my bike in the toaster and I'm off.

6:00 I am I am rolling out of the parking lot and racinging through the darkness that still surrounds me. The fire break is wide, and I can hear the water of the christina river racing below me. I'll stay to the right of the dirt path just to insure I don't go swimming this morning. I pedal along, and propell the bike foward. so simple, you pedal it moves forward. The sun is slowly peaking over the horizon, but it's still dark in the woods. I can't see the trail in the darkness, but I know this
loop very well. I feel so fast right now. It's amazing. Perhaps more amazing is that I carve through corners, around ruts, around the section of
trail I know is rocky, all the while crusing with very little visibility and have not been violently thrown to the ground. Playing it by trail knowledge, feel and luck. Somedays I feel like such a jedi.

At the pasture trail, a nice winding loop of grass trail that the state keeps trimmed to a golf green length, I pick up the tempo a bit. Thinking about
my cross season, I feel the smile stretch across my face. I think about this weekend, the trail points upwards, and I stand on it. I am still amazed at how nice my cross bikes are. As I throw down the power the bike just launches up the rise. I turn the corner, the trail flattens out, and I sit down. I'm breathing heavily.
I calm myself down a bit. "easy boy, keep the legs loose and open"

The sun is finally up. I feel it's warmth bringing this wonderful little section of Carpenter State Park to life. The trails meanders around the field and rolls downwards widening before coming the forest's edge, and a hard, tight fast 90 degree turn. "no brakes, no brakes, no brakes, " I say to myself, riding in my drops, I stick my right leg out, taking the corner from the outside, speeding through the apex and coming out of the corner I push the outside edge of the trail, while clipping my foot back in, standing up and sprinting. Butter, that was smooth like butter, Damn that was fun...

I start a second loop, man I feel pretty good. No longer do I feel the chill of the cold morning, between my brisk ride, and bright sun rising above me I am hot. I jump off the bike, switch foot style. I repeat 5x. Pretty smooth I must say. I am so stoked I learned that, gotta remeber to thank e-town for pusing me to learn that. Wonder if I'll get to use it this weekend. that would be rad. I glance at my watch. Damn it, I'd really like just one more loop around but ...

7:10am. Time to start working my way back to the car, back to work, back to reality. I cruise up the dirt road back to the parking lot. In the dry creek bed to my right there is a pack of deer runnign parrell but just ahead of me. I stand up and give it some gas. I pull alongside the small heard. Realizing that they can't just acceleate away from me, they scatter... That was awesome. I put my hand on the tops, and ease up the gearing. I glide for a bit. Gliding is nice. I spin my way back to the truck. Today is going to be a great day.

top 5 things I like about having a beard:

1. when I look in the mirror I look like my dad. (that's pretty cool)
2. warm face on cold morning rides
3. cool moisture that forms in wiskers while riding
4. less preparation time in the morning
5. that rugged mountain man look that is so popular now

top 5 things I hate about having a beard:

1. when I look in the mirror I look like my dad. (it's freaking me out a bit)
2. itchy, scratchy, can't get close to my wife too prickly
3. finding last nights dinner in my whiskers while riding
4. having to use more shampoo on my face
5. The rugged mountain man look is only popular in West Virgina.


Saturday, December 9, 2006

chapter 11: all I ever wanted was to be a wooly muffler on your naked neck.

For all intents and purposes today was the final Delaware Cyclocross Coalition of Delaware Practice of the year. It was a good day as the group of DCCoDers included: Slick Rick, E-town, Leo, DennisBike, Tom (papa smurf), Lisa Lisa, Spot Paul, Conair, Dave (the Belgium work horse), and the Dan the man (hope I didn't miss anyone). Joining us from Baltimore's own C3 or ADG I'm or is it Joe's (sorry guys I can't remember you team name) were Auer, Heidi, Morgan and Miles. Also joining us was Team Snow Valley's own Harshman.

The "getting to know you Laps" were fun as the course was probably faster than anytime I can remember this year. That was cool. We settled into doing some efforts to keep sharp and make final tweaks to our technique as we all prep for the Nationals next week. It was fun.

just before practice got going, Tom (papa smurf) presented me a super sweet set of pink rudy projects to match my helmet. The case was signed by some of the members of the DCCoD. Tom said it was in appreciation for all the work I did for the DCCOD this year. Aside from the occasional email or Julie McCoy duties, I'm not sure what I did, but frankly, I was flattered. It is an honor to be a part of the DCCoD.

As we were winding down and playing in the barriers, yeah I'm still trying to clean up that nasty switch footed dismount (which is pretty okay) and remount (which is just horrible) Dan the man, came over and told me he was impressed with how well I rode today. Dan does three things well ride, read the news and screw, he's done one of those things today, wanna guess what's next? But I digress, I was very flattered by his comments.

Huh, imagine that flattery before practice, flattery after practice. That's pretty damn good day in my book.

After practice a group of us stopped down at the cafe napoli to refuel a bit. I started with a Caesar salad that tasted great, despite a bit too much dressing. Miles and I split an artichoke, tomato, and garlic pizza. It was divine. I let Miles take the 2 left over pieces home, I spent the afternoon thinking about that pizza, and smacking myself in the forehead repeating "stupid, stupid, stupid."

you know I don't have a great starting position for next week, but I feel good, I'm riding well. I'm excited to give my best whatever happens out there, I'm gonna leave my best out on the course Friday. I keep hearing the stones in my head "you can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you might find you get what you need...."

Tom sporting the assos kit that screams, "I'm papa smurf hear me roar!" I gotta tell you as much as we liked this on the cross course, the waitresses at the cafe thought it was even hotter.

this was on Spot Paul's truck. Lisa Lisa had placed it on his top tube, and Paul pulled out his bike for practice Wednesday and was like WTF... That was funny.

Truthfully, there has never been a more gracious champion than Spot Paul. I so proud of him, and happy for him. That's exactly what I was thinking as he pimped Auer and I in a corner today. Or wait did he chop us? whatever...
Hey Chris tell me how fat is fatmarc's ass?

The Auer mobile loading up after a very good practice. I was stoked all our guests could join our fun little ride at School S. Next stop providence.