Tuesday, February 27, 2007

episode 109: thanks mom and dad.

Roger counting peas at the Henry's.
I got over to my parent's house last night and spent some time with them, that was very nice. You know they really seemed happy, and peaceful. That in term really made me happy. My parents had a rough year last year, my father had cancer and fought hard to get through that.
Thankfully, he is through his chemo and his pet scans indicate that he is in remission. My parents are fucking great. They raised four very individual, very passionate, and opinionated boys. Sometimes we are assholes, but always we were loved, and guided.

As I left their house last night, I felt really good, I enjoyed my stay, and for the first time in a very long time I didn't leave worried about them. I really appreciate all they sacrificed for me, and the guidance and support they gave me growing up. My brothers and I we were pretty rough and tumble, my mom is pretty much a saint for putting up with some of our antics.
When I think about my character and how I turned out, so much of it is directly related to my parents. No I don't mean that in a "i blame everything that is wrong with me" and I'm in therapy kind of way, or in a damn why couldn't I have a mutant lung capacity or giant heart, or long legs capacity" either, although any of those things sure would have made cycling easier for me. But rather , when I look in the mirror I think I turned out okay. I know my folks think I'm okay too. I know they are proud of me. My father told me that last fall, and even though I knew it, damn it meant a lot to hear it.

slick rick (da ruler) takes some measurements on the gay ups truck.

My mother she taught me to be compassionate, she taught me to put others before myself, to be charitable, and to not be afraid to go after what I want. He taught me to be fierce in my work ethic, to not do anything a little bit, to be almost obsessive in my pursuit of my goals. My father is tenacious and hard working, I think he liked being a bit of a maverick in the corporate world which he worked. I used to imagine the BS he had to put up with, and what I dealt with at the brokerage firm as being kinda the same. Anyway, above all I hope my parents know how grateful I am, and how much I appreciate what they have done for my brothers and me.

Rick corrects my position. He is like an artist when he works.

I would also at this time like to thank Tom Mc (den mother) for walking me through lighting my pilot light on my hot water heater. Those that know me well, know that it would be kind to call me not mechanically inclined. Tom patiently walked me through the process, with out me burning myself, or blowing my house up.


Sunday, February 25, 2007

episode 108 : Charlie's cure for frozen junk

step one: Find a magical piece of cloth. Also known as a ratty old towel or a rag.

step two: strategically place said "magical cloth" in affected junk area:

step three: aside from keeping your berries and twigs from freezing, this technique also makes you feel like your name is Johnny Wadd.

Lots of long road miles this weekend. Saturday was lead by Charlie and saw our group wander around towards Strausburg, rolling through some pretty monstrous hills. You had three of what I consider to be the most pure powerful guys I get to ride with around here in Buddy the leg breaker, Jan, and Rob C. (Dr. Destructo). The three of them attacked on one climb, blowing the rest of the group to pieces. From 200 yards back it was very fun to watch. K-man also road well, he is opening up in three weeks, he will do well.

Saturday was another fun group, more long miles, despite E-town's plans we rode a little stronger than base pace. I was pretty jacked up after the previous day's effort, but not enough not to be an instigator from time to time. The loop, the world famous "Queen B" loop is pretty much flat, so you just have time your moves well, and hang on for dear life the rest of the time. Jan again was the primary agitator as I swear that dude got on the front started driving the pace, and kept at it for the duration. Green Trek John continued to rock his 1X9 road bike, the 1 being a 54. I had some pink envy as Nuggy had some mighty sweet pink parts on his ride.

Highlight of the weekend was lunch with Monkey and Jan, where our food was delayed at Iron Hill in Newark, so the manager asked us if we would like free dessert for the delay. Indignantly, I looked at her and responded, "what's my name bitch? Do you know who I am? I 'm fatmarc, get that dessert tray out here now!" or something like that. I had a nice cappuccino crunch ice cream and Jan had a nice key lime cheese cake.

Knowing I would be putting in some long miles this weekend, I joined some kids from the clog factory at Perkins, and partook of a country fried steak meal. I have to admit this was my favorite meal back in my "burlier days". I will also admit that I ate the entire meal, but it ripped through me faster than Sherman through went through Georgia. I admit this meal was much better in theory than actual application.


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

episode 107: frozen junk and stuff

last weekend on the coldest day, I went for a little road ride with E-town and Fil. The ride was good. we had fun, it was really what the doctor ordered.

the only problem was that my junk, well my junk froze. I mean the rest of my body felt good, I had neoprene on my feet, big gloves on my hands, but clearly the two layers of tights I had on, were not enough to protect my junk. You know my twigs and berries, my bait and tackle, my family jewels, my jimmies, my little man, my bishop, my...

well, you get the point, my little pointer was in bad shape. By the time I got home and peeled off the two layers of tights that were covering my banana, my little guy was wind burnt like I couldn't believe. It looked like I just watched a marathon of "the girl next door" (no not the girls next door the trashy VH1 TV show , but the girl next door the trashy movie with Elisha Cuthbert.)

To make matters worse, every time I had to take a leak, my johnson just got kinda irritated, and frankly it stung like hell. Thankfully, a few days later I am happy to report, all is good in the world of my shlong or shlort, which is probably more accurate. My lesson is learned, 2 layers of tights are not enough on a windy day. Maybe someone will make a neoprene junk cover...

Out for a ride today at lunch. I rode past this farmhouse that had 2 huge boxers, both wearing the invisible fence collars. I watched as they eyed me up. I was super stoked they had shock collars on, as I have no form, and frankly in a sprint with a dog right now, I'd probably just lie down on the ground and let the pooch lick my face, either that or let him bite my face off.

Purely out of habit I stand up, and one of the dogs, charges a long his boundary riding along with me. The roads in this area were beautiful not a spec of ice to be found. The yards however are covered in treacherous ice. As sparky was coming to the end of his run, he tried to stop suddenly, and slid just a little further than he should have. I know this because I heard poor sparky give up a little yelp, as I guess he slid through the invisible fence, or reacted in Pavlovian style, expecting to be shocked as he scurried his way back to the yard. Thanks for the the run Sparky, sorry for the shock.

fourteen minutes and counting...


Sunday, February 18, 2007

episode 107: two things

two things:

First no matter what your mother told you, your wife told you, what your grandmother told you, what the fine latina mama feeding you nacho chips told you, wearing a turtle neck is not okay.

Second, I was in a Bookstore looking for book. I wandered into the books on disc area. I saw the bible as read by james earl jones. Seriously this is the first thing that came to mind: Darth Vader is the Voice of God. Hmm, really that's probably okay as all he was trying to do was bring peace to a violent and chaotic universe...

(L-R) wes the conqueror, alan the cleaner, kurtee, buddy the leg breaker, e-town, k-man, and matt (run forest).

By my best estimates, riding up the 5 bridges trail is the best summation of what Newark style of mountain biking is all about. It is a series of quick punchy climbs, followed immediately by tight, twisty, technical trail. Oh you can recover between the quick sometimes steep accents, but if you allow yourself a mental lapse, you will instantly find yourself riding alone, or worse on your ass.

The trail is technical not in that it is strewn with rocks, but that it forces you to ride your bike, forces you to ebb and flow with trail and spill out your soul through the corners, the root laden, or off camber sections are the main agitators, the challenges that remind you of the many times you did not successfully stay with the group, and makes being the instigator driving the pace on this section of this trail so much more appealing.

No one can possibly ride these sections with the fluidity needed, unless they loved it in their soul and in their guts. This is not a workout, it is a celebration of a way of life.

Some will point to White Clay as Newark Mountain biking, I laugh at their folly. White Clay and Middle Run now, is becoming the world's greatest beginner mountain bike trail system. Oh, I am not complaining, as both parks are incredibly fun to ride, and people come from near and far to partake of their splendor.

Both areas certainly demand a skill set of their own that must be developed. Chasing Todd (el presidente) down the Brian English trail at 15 mph, and not dumping it in the woods is an art form at it's best. Staying near Buddy the leg breaker as he just destroys the Judge Morris Estate Trail, is an achievement, and a statement of your abilities as a rider, but these are not what the original architects of this trail system, what Ken Robinson, or Bill Bowen, Steve Matsen, Andrew Mein, or Nick Riddle had intended when they cut in the trail system in these areas.

wes the conqueror does a little belly sliding...

Original Middle Run Trails were challenging not just to go fast, but to clean. Yes, surely to embrace Newark Mountain Biking, I point to the 5 bridges trail, and really all of fairhill as the most purified essence, and last bastion of this classic mountain biking style.

Today we had 8 at 8 heading out for a little tour of the park. Conditions were odd, as the trails were frozen with snow, and at different times you'd go from super hero traction, to sliding out of control. That kept things very interesting. Each one of us at a various times of the day, found ourselves on the ground doing our best Zamboni or yard sale impressions. Thankfully, there were no injuries, and based on conditions, pride was not dented either.

The final climb up five bridges was hard, it would be easier to list the trails we did not ride at fairhill today, than to list the ones we did, to do either would be an exercise in the mundane. As we crested the 5 bridges trail for the last time, I felt tired, my legs had long since sent the message that my day was done, but still here we were, celebrating the day, celebrating the riding style that we were all apart of developing, that we all cherish. 8 practitioners of single track left my house today, to put forth what was easily the most fun ride, the best ride I have done this year, thus far. Thanks for playing along.

Went to Border Cafe this weekend, highlighted by the sign that says, "EAT" this is a coldren of tex mex, and pseudo new orleans style cooking.
Usually crowded, the restaurant was surprisingly calm when Diane and I hit it. I'll admit after my last fish taco experience, my expectations were pretty low, but damn, the fish tacos today were excellent. Once I starting eating one, I didn't want to stop and put it down. Each taco had an interesting hot sauce that just made me smile. Pure joy in my mouth. I may have a new favorite place to get fish tacos. Sorry Deer Park.


Thursday, February 15, 2007

episode 106: a ride less usual

"dude, the trainer sucks. Why don't you pet me instead ?"

So from time to time I use the trainer, and I follow one of those videos that comes along with it. Primarily I have been using, what I'll call "the average joes" version. I did these versions because they use guys that are local to me, many of the jerseys they are wearing are familiar to me, and listening to my boy Troy call out the intervals has always been something I enjoy.

Another thing I like about the "average joe's" videos is that they seem to be placed in some one's garage or greenhouse or something. I totally reminds me of the days when we would pile into the back of wooden wheels and do trainer rides together.

Recently I got my hands on a DVD from another company, we'll call them, "globo gym". This was totally a high prodcution deal. First the set was totally out of a music video, and all the riders were on the same brand bikes, wearing the same kit. totally homogenized. On one level I thought that "globo gym" dvd might be more appealing to the new rider, as it's kinda shiney and new, on the other hand the fella barking out the intervals looks kinda angry, like in a therapy kinda way.

What I did like about the "globo gym" DVD was they focused on keeping the cadence up, not so much pushing a big gear, where as the "average joes" set up gear ratios for you to be in. Conversly, I guess I always liked trying to match Duvall's gear mashing abilities, although I can understand that's not best for everyone. In the end, riding the trainer sucks, you get the work out without the soul, and I'll admit I'll probably use both the "average joes" and the "globo gym", even if in my heart, I'm pulling for the joes. Catch it on the oucho.

in this picture I am peeing.

I was in the grocery store today getting lunch. Which was by the way a nice pepper steak and vegetables over white rice. the Giant across from my work has this Chinese restaurant in the middle of it that is ridiculously good. But I digress, we were just hit by a snow storm, and basically were digging out a bit. So I'm walking out of the store and over the loud speaker I hear, "Attention Giant customers, the weather man is calling for more snow, be sure to stock up on milk and bread!" Dude, we are in southern eastern PA, not Alaska. I swear the weathermen work for the grocery stores.

Buddy through the Sarlac pit like a Jedi.

This week's rides have truly been less ordinary. Tuesday night Titans was in the midst of a snow storm. Todd(el presidente), Once and week Paul and I braved the elements, the storm was falling strong. Something special about riding in the woods in the snow in the dark. Todd and I took turns at the front driving not the pace, but cutting threw the 3 inch deep snow. Paul was at the back with a bunch of smart assed comments, but no work at the front. Damn, he is so smart.

Thursday was actually a ride that I wasn't sure would happen. Especially when I ate shit on the ice getting out of my car. Buddy the leg breaker, E-town and I headed out, kinda of expecting to find trails that were unrideable. Instead we had a treat. The trails were frozen solid. There were sections where hikers had made the tail choppy, I though we would need this for traction, but soon realized this took away from the flow. The bulk of the ride was spent carving from one section of trail to the other, avoiding footprints and flowing the best we could. There was one long section that no one had touched, frozen virgin trail. It was like the first time I carved a snake run on a skateboard. Berm to berm to berm. The smile on my face was ear to ear. Now we weren't setting any land speed records this night, but for a ride we didn't think would happen. I sure as hell wasn't complaining. It was marvelous.

okay, who fouled Buddy? Oh yeah, it was me.



Luxxy and Family you are in our thoughts.
God Speed.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

episode 105: all that you need is in your soul....

For Christmas I got FIL a CTS training DVD.
Since that time I have gotten CTS Spam, oh about once a week. I have asked to be off the list, but no luck yet. Then I started replying sending this message:

"Carmichael is a tool."

Last week I got an email that actually peeked my curiosity. It was titled, "5 foods you should never eat." I opened it and started to read.

1. donuts
2. french fries

click delete. nothing else to see.
that folks was as far as I got, I simply deleted the message. What's next girl scout cookies. Fuck you Chris Carmichael, fuck you. No donuts, no fries- Carmichael is the devil. Clearly evil, has anyone checked his body for the sign, you know like Damien? he is a sick man. Something is really wrong with that.... If they spam me again I'm gonna have to hire a lawyer or something. The copy and paste of a hundred "Carmichael is a tool" clearly isn't getting it done. Thankfully, my coach would never ban donuts or any pastry products.

Had a nice road ride Saturday. It was one of those cold base mile rides that builds fitness and character. I have to tell myself that because my legs felt so bad. The group was : Auer, Morgan, Jan, E-town, K-man, Wes the Conqueror, CZ, Charlie, Dan the man and myself the overweight lover.

my usual view at the back of the pack. I am so in over my head.

Morgan had tremendous gas the entire ride, the kid is just 15, but his gas was stronger than his years. Then he announced that in fact he was the father of Anna Nicole's baby. In addition to being a great kid, with tons of talent, he's got that going for him too. He sited all the recent press as reasoning for forgetting his shoes and delaying our arrival at the school, and thus missing Spot Paul, Lisa Lisa, and Tom (papa smurf). Luckily, e-town hooked him up with some mtb shoes and pedals or Auer and Morgan would have had a long drive for no ride. Mushroom country can be potent to the uninitiated, and Morgan was paid back for his flatulence with a whiff of Chester county's finest. Ah, karma can truly be unkind. All in all a pretty nice ride...

Jan, CZ, Morgan and Auer enjoy the fine Northbrook products that are the namesake of the donut ride.

I was pretty stoked to show up on my 10 year old road bike with some new bling on the front. A nice carbon fork, threadless headset and stem in tow. But of course K-man had to show up with his full carbon Orbea. Someone has always gotta throw the topper. Damn, when will I shine?

Wes the conqueror surveys his minions. "let them eat donuts I say!"

Sunday was off to French Creek, perhaps one of my favorite places to ride. Up the first climb Tedlogic, looking a lot like an angry ewok, crushed it, and then popped a little, Buddy set a nice tempo and I locked in. My legs felt so much better on the mountain bike, almost like warm apple pie. Our group was Buddy the leg breaker, Tedlogic, Bill Doh!, Matt (run forest), and Wes the conqueror. We criss crossed paths of Bob, Kim, Jeff and Gary. They looked to be having a ball too.

TedLogic using the force and making it look easy...

The trails were pretty fantastic, french creek has wonderfully fun rock gardens, and long climbs that require you to pace yourself, and ride smartly. It is an offering of riding foreign to my usual diet of quick climbs and tight twisty trails. All week I thought about cleaning the miller's point climb, I paced myself at the bottom letting Wes, Buddy and Matt ride away. I did my best to stay seated as long as I could and to really keep the hr down. As the trail steepened over the last two kickers, I stood and unleashed as much furry as I could on a cold February morning, which is not really that much, but was enough to clean the entire hill. It's been a while since I did that. I was stoked. Then we rode up a gully, which I always forget about, and then a second hill longer and rockier than the one I obsessed about all week. On that climb I had to stop 2x to keep myself from vomiting. Clearly I had placed my eggs in the wrong basket.

Cannondale's newest project the lefty saddle.

Despite my recent dieting, my saddle rail snapped at the bottom of our first decent, clearly fatmarc's fatass still has some work to do. Following Tom's form, I rode the rest of the ride on on rail until our return to the car and the seat basically fell to pieces. That was pretty lucky.

Matt (run forest) is smooth like Meadowlark Lemon.

On the final decent back to the cars, we had a 5 up going toe to toe, mano a mano, tooth and nail, okay it wasn't that serious but we were ripping the section, it was really fun. Tedlogic was a beast, Buddy the leg breaker, despite proclaiming to be toast kept throwing down. I almost took out Wes in a corner, but by thrusting my leg out and screaming like a small school aged girl I was able to save it and actually stay with the group. Matt (run forest) is simply like butter. I love to follow his line: smooth like silk. smooth like freshly shaved legs, smooth like.. well you get the point. The entire ride was spectacular, but that final section was mighty hard to beat. Riding in the woods, on the edge, bonked out of your minds, racing down a hill with some of your best buddies. It really doesn't get much better than that now does it? I mean maybe if we could do it while eating pastrami, drinking beer, and watching TV at the same time it might be better, but I other wise I don't think so.

more of the same view for me today...

All in all I felt much better in the woods, got to hide behind my technique a little and not have to depend on the raw fitness of the road. Everyone rode very cleanly, except for when I crashed on the ice and did an atomic elbow drop on to the frozen tundra. Thanks kids.

Went to Sante Fe Grill for lunch, also know as "Mexican picnic" on the corner down in Newark. Monkey and I like this place because they have burritos the size of your head that taste great and are pretty damn cheap. This was Wes's first trip. Both Wes and I went with a breakfast burrito. Something about that egg and cheese combination that is pretty much impossible to beat. Can anyone give a better example of a combo? Wes had chorizzo and I had bacon. Perhaps the only way to make egg and cheese better is to add bacon. mmm Good. Diane went with the blacked chicken burrito. These are usually a favorite of mine. Huge and quite tasty. Diane couldn't finish hers. After polishing off mine, I figured it would be glutinous to bat clean up on her plate. Weird Al would not be happy.



Friday, February 9, 2007

episode 104: bionic pain in the ass

Fuck you Bionic Woman. I'm getting ready to stick my foot in your bionic ass. Sleep Rest Beds? Has it gotten that bad? Has it really? I mean with your Bionic ear you can't come up with something better. Last week I stayed in a hotel for a week. The hotel had the sleep rest bed. You know, "what's your sleep number?" Well, at first I was kinda excited about this. I figured I like a firm bed, so I started to up my number. All the way up to number 70. As I laid on the bed and watched the number on the remote move up, I felt the bed become more convex. I felt it getting stiffer, but the bed also formed a little arc. Needless to say I didn't sleep so well on the hillside that my bionic bed created. So the next night I went the exact opposite direction, lowering my sleep number to 25. Now I can't say that the bed was all that much softer, but what it did do was create a concave little burrow in the middle of the mattress. This allowed me to curl up inside of it in a fetal position. Although I didn't sleep so great, at least I could curl up in my little womb each night. Seriously, if hotel floors didn't creep me out, I would have slept on the floor. Bionic Woman, may I recommend the auto shifting bike, or maybe your own line of bionic acne cream, or even maybe a line of knives that cut through cans, but please, please don't mess with the mattress anymore, sleeping on the road is tough enough.

Lizstrong : tough as nails. she too hates the sleep number.

Cold ass week for riding, I'll tell you. Tuesday night Titans was a decidedly base paced ride, as Todd (el presidente) set a steady and smooth pace. His loop was, as usual incredible. Our group: wheelie ted, john (bl Todd),once a week Paul, green trek john, ffa, papa smurf , the aforementioned Todd (el presidente) and yours truly. We would have finished group fully intact, despite the efforts of Tom (papa smurf), who did a triple Lindy, successfully breaking a rail off his seat, but finishing the ride on one rail, but we did have one bonk. FFA bonked hard. To be honest she kinda freaked me out a little. If I wasn't so worried, I would have laughed out loud. It wasn't a slow sneak up on you bonk, but rather an all lights out at once bonk. Clearly out of gas... She was muttering, " I need water, does anyone have any water, I need water..." with a hollow gray look in her eyes. No one had water, because it was all frozen. Scary, but she proceeded to turn the lights back on as she finished up very strongly and really rode quite well. Hell for the first third of the ride she sat on Todd's wheel like her last name was "the leg breaker..."

Thursday Night was more of the same. Todd (el presidente) took point again leading a nice group out of his place including Tom (papa smurf), Jan, Dan the man, E-town, and myself the fat one. We ripped out of Rittenhouse which is in better shape than I have seen in years. I was really happy, because I seemed to have found my grove. Most of the sections that I just blew last week I rode this week. On the trail we picked up Ted Logic's group who started from Newark B-L. This included the aforementioned Ted Logic, FFAmy, John (Bike Line's todd), Neal and Dan. Ted logic immediately spiked the pace a bit, with Todd, Dan the man and FFA contributing. I admit I was a little worried about Tom (papa smurf) and Jan. The rittenhouse trail leaves very little room for error, one miscue and you will end up in the Christina river. Tom almost had such an incident but with his catlike reflexes he was able to grab on to a tree and keep himself from going into the drink. That was pretty damn funny. Tom and Jan rode very well, and a side from Tom's tree bending incident, his technique was spot on. Not too bad for a fella who hasn't ridden at night in four years until this week. Jan commented, "this sure beats the trainer..." yes it does.

Ironhill was fun, I felt like I was on rails hurling myself down fuzzy's trail. Todd (el presidente) got an ice cream headache from going down it so fast. Shortly thereafter, my light died so Tom and I got popped off the group as he lent me his back up. Somewhere in this mess FFA got totally separated. Jan, Tom (papa smurf), E-town and I ended up rolling out together and heading back to Todd's place for some fine tortilla soup. When we got back Todd (el presidente) and Dan the man were already dressed and warming up. The soup was delicious and hit all the right spots after a wonderful ride. I was really happy with my technique tonight. It just seemed to be there, were last week, well not so much.
El Presidente, Papa Smurf and Dan the man enjoy a fine bowl of Tortilla soup. Delicious!

a little disappointment in the fatmarc household folks. Diane (chunky monkey) has been suffering from a pretty nasty cold, which I am doing everything in my power to not catch I might add. So the other night I picked up dinner from the ole deer park. I went for fish tacos. I heart deer park fish tacos.

So I picked up dinner, and I got home, and eh. They just weren't great, a little soggy, not crispy. The rice that is usually outstanding was bland, and tasted like wall paper paste. The flavor of the tacos was good, but not up to snuff. Now, I did of course eat all three, but damn, usually this is one of my favorite meals, and today, well eh. Maybe my expectations where too high. Maybe Joe Pecci was right: The fuck you in the drive thru. I got Diane a chicken wrap which she enjoyed, however I asked for fries, and they gave her chips. hmmm. That's a crime punishable by severe beating. Whenever you have an option of chips or fries, fries should always win. always.


Wednesday, February 7, 2007

episode 103: get a grip

Outted by Mayhew.

Chris is my friend, and a reader of my blog. I have to be honest on my blog I am pretty open about my life. I am after all, a very simple man. However, there are a few
things in this world that I don't share on the blog. Don't be too shocked, I always like to have a couple of surprises up my sleeve. Well, a little while back I was happy to have Chris as a guest, and my guest room also known as the "Amy Suite" as she is the primary occupant of the room, I keep, well I keep my stash. My collection. My magazines, . No not porn, my comic books. Damn, I said it, I read and have a small collection of, yeah, comic books.

When I was a kid, I collected like mad, up until high school, and then my passion for marvel characters remained, but I funnelled my money into other things, like girls, and skateboards, and my car's gas tank. A couple years ago when I hurt my back, I couldn't do much more than lay on the couch and drink beer. So I started reading a book or two. Next thing you know, I have a couple of subscriptions, the guy at the local comic book shop quickly came to know me by name and what titles I was looking for. I even knew when the kid that covers for him works was there and would sell me the next weeks comics early!

But alas, much like the GAP is every one's dirty little fashion secret, reading comics was my little secret. Very few knew, I had taken up the reading and to some extent collecting comics again.

So here we are at the mac banquet, Chris, Karen, Rolf, Zach and Ethan chatting away. With great horror I listen as Chris outs me. "man, you had some great comics man, that wolverine was really good!" How long have you been collecting. I could see the color leave Karen and Rolf's faces. I could see the judgement in Zach's eyes. I could feel the redness in my checks. I had been outed. I am a comic book geek.

Chris trying to be apologetic, realized that I wasn't out, "dude your blog, I thought everyone knew!!" I just smiled and said," yeah, thanks for outing me, man."

Everyone laughed to break the tension a little, all the while knowing my dirty little secret. Please don't judge me too harshly, I was born this way.

Sunday's ride was more of the same, another stacked group of riders including fryberger, nick shaffer, Glenn, Buddy the leg breaker, K-man, and Wes the Conqueror. I was at the front, and tried to set tempo. The trails were frozen and had superhero traction. At home in Fairhill, with no rocks to be found, I felt my flow creep to the surface even if just for a little while. The group was pretty quiet, but I think that was more an effect of the cold than my pace. Wes and I peeled off the group on top of 5 bridges and finished up with some of the DTS boys as we cut through gallagher and back to my home. The last 45 minutes of this ride were filled with constant thoughts of kate's brunch. No not that Kate, but what they hell it's a nice picture. (photo by Josh)

Diane and Wes both had hang over helpers, which consist of eggs, bacon, scrapple and cheese on a light fluffy croissant. Wes went sans scrapple much to my dismay. I went with the steady eddie, breakfast quesidilla, which usually I can't finish, but on this day I had no issues polishing that bitch off. On teh way home we were all full and happy. My only thought was, has my new X-men showed up yet?


Saturday, February 3, 2007

episode 102: I blame e-town.

No, not for Tom (papa smurf) hugging the boobies of the day at Jan's cyclocross world's viewing party, but for my recent text message issue.

You see, I am a 36 year old man, text messaging is something completely foreign to me. E-town would send me these beautifully composed, articulate text messages, and I would take half an hour and reply. "OK" I swore after all that "AAA," damn I need to type a "B" so I'd type again, "AAB" , aw fuck I have too many "A's" I'd never text again. This frustration just kept coming back, finally I said to E-town, don't text me, I just don't have the time to respond to you...

So my cell phone contract was up, and I have been wanting to get my email on my phone for a while, purely for business reasons, and so I got a blackjack. In essence this was like giving a Porsche to a 16 year old. Way too much power.

I was on a week long trip, missing my wife so I quickly composed a text, that was clearly not ready for penthouse forum, but clearly written by a man madly in love with his wife, and missing her, and clearly looking for a little something, something when he comes home. And then, well, I lost the text. I thought I sent it, but it wasn't in my sent messages bin. I couldn't find it in the deleted bin. I called monkey. "did you get a message from me" she replied puzzled, "no why?" I'm sweating bullets. Right next to Monkey in my contact book is a woman I work with named Mary. I'm thinking to myself, "I am so fired, oh I am so fired..."

Hesitantly, I call Mary. "So, Ah Mary, you didn't happen to get a text from me today did you?" Mary, sensing the distress in my voice replies, "no, no I didn't but from the tone of your voice, I'm guessing it was one intended for your wife? Maybe a little raunchy. Damn, I wish I did get that, I would have busted on you forever..."

Feeling much relieved, feeling that I will be able to keep my job. I laughed it off, and thanked Mary for being so kind. I shared the entire story with Monkey and she laughed her ass off. So if your name starts with a "M" and you got a raunchy text from me this week, really sorry, it was intended for the wife.

For the record, I still haven't found it, and I haven't tried to send another text message. I'm back to old school.

Saturday morning was a bit of a clusterfuck for me. To start with Wes and I show up at the JCC for a nice tour of Brandywine with dan the man, les (international man of mystery), Matt( run forest), Buddy the leg breaker, Tom, Slick Rick, E-town, Spot Paul, Bob (young ho), Kurtee, John (TofBL) and I realize that I forgot my front wheel. I figured I was pretty much fucked, but Dan the man and I went back to his place where he lent me his front wheel. That was rad.

Dan the man was king of the day. Riding his cross bike across the rocky, rooty, twisty, snow covered trails of Brandywine, he not only brought a knife to a gun fight, he fucking won the fight. It was amazing.

In the spirit of me using Dan the man's wheel, there was lots of new 29er rubber on the ride, from the new maxxis, the new panaracer to the new specialized. Front wheels were swapped everywhere. You might have thought this was a front wheel demo day. By the end of the ride, slick rick had a hefty list of tires to order in the the shop.

All in all a pretty great ride. My skills are a little rusty, which sucks because they were just starting to come around, when I go and take a week of the bike, and I feel like I'm starting all over again. Oh well, I had a great time, it'll come around by the time I need them. Hell, all rights I shouldn't have been able to do at all, and in the end, I just missed out on a half hour of fun. Thanks Dan. BTW your new girlfriend, Daphne VantopofWilson, is really cute. Good on the bike too.

MAC Prom was Saturday night. It was good to see so many of the crossers one last time before we scatter into our other pursuits. The awards were all handed out, people were dressed up, it was a pretty cool affair. For the third time in my life (2x with Wooden Wheels, and this year with the Fort Factory Team) I was able to drink from the MAC Team Championship Cup. Well, we took the goods this year, but Dieter has the cup packed away in some box somewhere. Come on buddy, get up an hour earlier, you know like 10 in the morning, and dig up that cup. I wanted to do a whole blog series on my days with the cup, you know like how hockey teams pass around the Stanley Cup. In the old wooden wheels days, that's how we rolled.

Anyway, a good time was had by all. I finished the day with a nice piece of apple pie and a scoop of fresh ice cream.


Thursday, February 1, 2007

episode 101: fatmarc's back

I call that a reverse, and low Austin Powers.

Mayhew is a tough coach. First week of my program included polar bear wrestling.I kicked his furry white ass. (the bear not Mayhew).

Thanks to everyone who commented and sent me emails in appreciation of fatmarc. I love my blog, i love to tell stories, i love to write this stuff, but like all things, it must be tempered with balance. I generally pride myself in keeping good balance, and not wasting energy or time on trivial things, or things i don't enjoy in my life. The blog may gotten the better of me for a bit. I'd also conclude that i think much more clearly when i am not on the "don't eat anything that
makes you shit solid" diet.

When i wrote my last entry, i had all intentions of being done. But the reality is this is a passion for me, and happily i will continue.That and Jan won't give me a copy of Katies worlds race if i don't start blogging again.

I am a simple man, i hope you enjoy my simple stories about my life, my wife, our dogs, and the silly shit we do.

I can't say how proud of Katie i am. I remember how stoked i was when she won the u23 nats. Following the worlds i felt my heart rate jump faster than an interval session. Katie said some nice stuff about me getting her into cross but the truth is, great people find their vehicles to shine, Katie is a crosser, and with or without me, and the deer park she'd have found her place. I am so stoked for her.

rode old r-house tonight. This is the trail where I really cut my teeth. Long before I ever rode mountain bikes this was the trail i rode my ten speed on to get to Newark. When Monkey and I had our first apartment we'd ride this trail 3 times a week. It's where I learned to really ride a mountain bike, learned to love roots and cornering, and riding on the edge knowing that if you fuck up, you'll be in the river.
Over the years the trail as changed, logs come and go, sections of trail change, bridges are built and burnt. The one consistent is that it weaves it's way along the banks of the Christina River. E-town, Rob (NTNTACFMB20) and I met up with TedLogic. It felt so good to be on the bike again, despite riding pretty much like a Nancy-boy. My technique was just off, going into some of the dips, I just didn't have it. TedLogic was killing it, smooth like butter and rolling heavy. Luckily his lights died and the pace of the ride settled right down. Despite my ineptitude, I grinned ear to ear, I love this trail. Despite not riding it in a year, I will be riding it again soon. Sucking was never so much fun.