Saturday, March 31, 2007

episode 120: coffee

I love coffee. I love to drink it, I love the smell of it, hell I even love to write the word. Something so smooth and flowing about the double ff, double ee... Problem is, I have sleep issues, meaning I have a tough time falling asleep, and a tougher time staying asleep. Ever notice some of the entries from 2:00 am. Yeah, can't sleep.

At the clog factory, they have wonderful coffee, lots of variety, and man it tastes so good. This is a stark contrast from my former employer the brokerage firm, who didn't supply coffee, or even water for their employees. "cost savings" That, however is a blog for another day entirely.

But I digress, as of last October, I was forced to give up on the bean, because, I couldn't sleep, I couldn't function. But surely there was a hole in my heart. In January I decided to have a cup on a particularly cold Sunday morning. It was wonderful. I wanted to bathe in it. I was still hooked. Diane thought to herself, "he never has a second cup at home?" But still, I knew that I couldn't go back to my 4 cup a day habit, if I wanted any sleep.

So I started my weekend obsession with coffee, drinking it only on Saturdays and Sundays. This has worked pretty well for me, until I realized every Sunday night I was up watching the late, late show. Hmmm, have to adjust my coffee days. Now Friday and Saturday, you can find me enjoying Columbia's finest. None of that really has anything to do with anything, other than I really love coffee, and I am looking forward to a cup right now.

With great anticipation I looked forward to kicking off my race season this week. Yeah, it was a road race, but to be honest racing with Tom (papa Smurf), Jan, and E-town, I was looking forward to playing domestique and working hard for the boys. I have had a great few weeks of training, and I really looked forward to this as my pay off:

I packed up my bag:
sweet Twin six socks: check.

Sweet Spot Brand Wool Jersey: check.

Secret Henry's team shorts: check.

My Pink leopard Helmet and my white hand of Saron gloves: check.

DCCoD woolie to represent without helmet head after the race: check.

Then as much as I popped Airborne like pez, a cold struck me down. It became apparent on our Saturday morning mountain bike ride with a killer group (Monkey, FFA, FIL, Jan, E-town, Wheelie Ted) that I couldn't breathe. I had a slight sore throat, and now a full blown head cold.

Still wanting to be the man, I thought I could tough out the race. I've made this mistake before, and just gotten myself sicker. so I called the coach:

And Mayhew told me what in my heart I knew was best, "when in doubt leave it out" and that's what I did, that's why instead of racing at the pine cone with my boys right now I'm here blogging. I feel pretty shitty. I'm popping vitamin C, airborne, and cold advil in a cocktail that makes my pee look like neon.

My hope, is that I can get it together for next week, and you know keep the suck levels turned down as low as possible. Truth is most peoples suck meters go to ten, mine goes to eleven. I'm hoping to not see that eleven this year.

I am looking forward to next weekend and Mike Kuhn's Relay Race. I don't do a ton of Mass races, so I'd like to have a good showing . I love the Marysville course, and I want to ride well at the Mass Relay next weekend. I'm hoping I can turn the suck knob down a bit, and put together a good ride. Great rest week, when I catch a cold. So pass the airborne, the vitamin c tablets, and lets hope we can chase this out of the system by Saturday. Usually it take me 10 days to chase off a cold, hopefully this will work out.

This weekend I had the best chicken fried steak in my life. No not some Denny's slab of meat, but a nice piece of meat, where the meat was the feature, not the gooey gravy sauce. (although I do like the gooey gravy sauce). The meat was adorned with excellent horseradish potatoes and a some nice green beans. I'll admit the steak was so large, I couldn't polish off the vegetables. All this was from specials list at the ole Home Grown in town. It was excellent. One of the best meals I have had in a while for sure.


Thursday, March 29, 2007

episode 119 : four things.

1. Can't get the led out. No not out of my ass, but out of that state of mind, seriously for almost a week I have been listening to a steady diet of Led Zeppelin. Accept no substitutions. It's really been quite magnificent.

2. Fatmarc Splits: 2 pairs of pants in two days. Hear my ass roar. First while climbing, I go for a big long stretch and blow out my favorite pair of pants. The next day while reaching up to open a window at work, I blew right threw a my shorts. Luckily I always keep a back up set of clothes at the office for just such an occasion, and besides you never know when Tom (papa smurf) will stop by. You know this is karma, earlier in the week, 2 people told me how skinny I looked, how fit, the next day I start a run of blowing out pants. beautiful.

3. Finally back in the woods, got our for a nice ride with Monkey, Jan, Rob (not that no talent ass clown from matchbox 20). We rode all of white clay and a couple of nice loops over at middle run. I rode the baby bike, which I still have no affection for, other than it was good to spin. Monkey set a very solid pace and the group flowed well. The trails had superhero traction, and it was simply a wonderful day. 80 degrees sunny. All of the road, and trainer miles had really started to eat away at my brain, this ride, this day reminded me why i do all that stupid shit, just a few moments of nirvana on the bike. It's so good to be alive, just an awesome day.

4. Yoga Fire: been taking a yoga class once a week. Damn I have to tell you every time I come out of there, my legs feel so much better. I try to focus on breathing at the right times, but really the stretching is phenomenal, and I'll be honest I'm not disciplined enough to stretch for an hour a week by myself, but in the class, it just flies by, and of course there's the pose I'm best at, the corpse pose. pure relaxation after 55 minutes of twisting and heavy breathing.



Monday, March 26, 2007

episode 118: shiny pants

After a nice night of climbing 6 of us headed out to grab a bite to eat. Over dinner conversation, Rachael, Buddy the leg breaker's wife, comments in her thick English accent that she has just bought a new set of shiny pants. This revelation was kinda out of the blue, and I could tell that by looking a Buddy he was showing great interest in the new shiny pants. I think to myself , hell, I got get Monkey to get some shiny pants, maybe something like these:

I quietly say to Diane, " honey, you need to get some shiny pants too." In a loving smartassed kinda way. Then I think Rachael realized that everyone at the table, had misunderstood her, as she corrected me saying, "Shiny pans, not pants, you know to cook with." There was a burst of laughter and we continued our meal, and although I was excited for Rachael and her new shiny pans, the idea of Diane getting shiny pants was far more exciting for me than shiny pans.

the next day Wes the Conqueror, FFAmy and I rolled out of fairhill and met up with Matt (run forest) and Ted Logic on the road, as we all met at Charlie's where we found Tom (papa smurf) and the Nature Boy Matt V. Charlie lead us on a little ride around Lancaster county, nothing too strenuous as it was my last weekend of base, and I am having a much anticipated rest week starting immediately after the ride. At one point, Wes looked at me and asked, "why are they yelling BALL SACK?"

Monkey and FFAmy work it out a bit...

I too had heard that call from behind us, "BALL SACK?" I couldn't figure it out, had someone sat on their junk? had someone burst through their shorts? Had someone found a hackeysack on the side of the road? Then a car sped by, and it came to me "cars back, not ball sack." I get it now. there was a small burst of laughter/

At one point in the ride Nature Boy Matt V, says, " everyone is riding really well." Matt V doesn't generally run in the same circles that we do, although it was nice to have him pull us around today. I responded, "we have a lot of work to do" Matt looks at me and says, " can you just take a compliment?" He was right, I promptly thanked him, and followed up with, "Matt you need to understand, we are ingrained in this group to not take compliments, it's part of our culture..."

sweet, sexy new hotness.

That's kinda sad, but I also know that it's the truth. We work hard, even when we are riding our best, which clearly we are not yet, we are not satisfied, we still all desire to push it just a little further ride just a little more, climb just a little better... Sad as that may be, it is what keep this game so damn interesting...

It was a nice little ride. When I got home I found this:

Tom, who drove to the ride, who had pet my dogs, showered in my shower, dressed in my clothes, sleeping on my couch. Luckily , I love this guy.


Saturday, March 24, 2007

episode 117: I'm just a boy with a new haircut.

Maybe it was that I was still reeling from Tom's recent (and solid) blast, "you know fatmarc, if you ever lose your job or become homeless or anything, none of your friends will know from your appearance, so you know be sure to speak up okay?" More likely I think that it was discontent with the winter, or the last month of teasing warm temperature's and only to be blasted back from old man winter, that I decided it was time for a change.

Some how I hoped that if by sheering off some locks, I could help usher in the spring, you know kinda like the rites of spring. So in my effort to drive old man winter away I got a hair cut.
My friend Lauri, who I have known since high school cuts my hair. When I walked in I was greeted with a big hug and the question, "has it been 9 months already?" as Lauri recognized my recent cycle of 1 hair cut every 9 months, you know to cut off the dead ends. I smile and tell her no, and comment how good it is to see her.

old man winter...

Lauri directed me to one of the big breasted shampoo girls. The salon is an odd place, every employee is totally Guccied out, I can't tell if they are going clubbing or working sometimes. I guess they are selling beauty right. But here I am in my manpri's and a black sabbath t-shirt. Yeah, I got some dirty looks. The big haired type never really was my style anyway. But I digress the big breasted shampoo girl takes me by the hand sits me down in the chair and gently helps me sit back. We make small talk, she asks about my hobbies, I say I collect insects. I don't but it really doesn't matter. Instantly she gets quiet, because what would a young hot, beauty school freshness know about collecting insects. This is the desired effect. I don't want to talk, I want to relax in my own odd quietness. So she shampoos my hair. Ah yes...

Lets say that I find this experience itself worth the trip to Salon in of itself. There are few things in this life that I have found to be as decedent as having a young, big breasted woman gently massaging my head, and washing my cares out of my hair. All the while my wonderful wife, she sits just a few feet away in the lobby. Shampoo Girl gently runs her finger through my hair, gently covering all the nooks and crannies that is my skull. I feel her hands at the base of my skull, the firm rubbing is incredibly relaxing. Every trip, it's a different girl, but always the same decedent experience for me.

A lot of guys ask me, "hey hippie, why not just go the barber" my answer, "I ain't seen no buddy named Chopper or Buzz with a Barber shop pole have shampoo girls." It's that simple.

Finally, I get sat down with Lauri, who is such a good soul, and I imagine she must have a tough time fitting into the world of fake beauty that is her trade. She sticks out with a genuineness that the other women don't seem to have. We talk about our families, we talk about school, to be honest I really enjoy seeing her.

In the end I got a lot of hair chopped off. I'm pretty stoked about it, I needed that for a while, I was really tired of shopping for headbands, that would keep my hair out of my face but not look too feminine.

As Diane, my own wonderful siren of hotness, and I walk out, we notice a young worker vacuuming up the hair off the floor. She is using one of those backpack vacuums that looks like something out of Ghost Busters. Her young heaving breasts were almost jumping out of her low cut pink T-shirt. I shot an inquisitive look at Diane and said, "so you think we could get her to clean our place?" I caught a short blunt elbow in the ribs, and a cocky smile from the monkey. Really, the salon is such a decedent place.

fresh new hotness, or Amish attack? you decide.

The deluge of rain continues, silently I joked with Wes the conqueror that the first time I'll get to ride my mountain bike in a month will be Mike Kuhn's MASS relay race. Well, I'm gonna take things into my own hands today, and despite a rainy, misty day, I'm gonna head out on the hills from hell road loop, riding the gay UPS truck (by Spot brand) .

Speaking of the sweet sweetness that is the gay UPS truck, I'm gonna pick me up one of those nice carbon fiber bontrager switchblade forks that all the cool kids are riding now a days. They look sweet, and that has been a secret lust of mine for a little bit. JT bringing back sexy !? I think not, Keith Bontrager's bringing it back with this hot smoothness. Howard is the man on this one for sure.

Rest week in 2 days. 2 hard days.. Then boys and girls, it's game on.
If I can just remember how to handle a bike, I'm think I'm gonna be ready to play.


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

episode 116: streching myself

for about a week I have been wrestling with this problem. How to get my left hand from this hold:

to this hold:

really they weren't that far apart, may be 3 feet, but one was on the underhang and one was above, making the move would be the difference between finishing the problem, and crashing to the ground. I have gotten very good at crashing to the ground.

Still unlike cycling especially on the road bike where I often can find myself trying to solve the problems of the world, when I am climbing, my brain is quite, no chatter, just the few moments of me on the wall, focused on making the next move, solving the next problem. With a crash, I've missed the move again, I pick myself off the crash pad, sit down and think through the problem some more.

Perhaps it's the lack of brain chatter that makes me enjoy climbing, I find it incredibly relaxing and a great compliment to my riding. When not climbing I can often be found lying around the floor, watching far more skilled climbers ply their expertise. That's pretty relaxing too. What kind of of gym encourages you to lay around when not working out. I think the YMCA clearly frowns on that behavior.

Finally, I jump into the problem half way,no sense wasting energy getting to that spot if I can't make the move, and I nail it. Sweet. Finally. I don't bother finishing the problem, just the move, because if I can't start at the beginning, make the grab, and then finish, why does it matter. I've done the move, I know I can do it. I just have to put it together.

I walk away from this section of the bouldering wall, and do a couple of somersaults on the padded floor, I flop on to one of the many crash pads. The floor, the room in many ways reminds me of my many days flopping around the wrestling mats. I admit watching Wes the conqueror stretching today, I had to hold myself back from slapping a cross face cradle on him.

I refrain, I walk back to the problem determined to get it, I start at the beginning, I move up the wall, I get to where I need to make my move, 1..2...3...

with a thump I find myself on the crash pad again. Missed it again. Instead of walking away, almost in anger I climb right back on, my arms are tired, have you seen my arms? I am a cyclist, there's really no gun show here. I make the first couple of grabs, and position myself for the big move, this time I fluidly flow from the early moves right into the one that I have been missing. I make the reach, I make the hold. I have it. I am so stoked, but now have to finish the problem or it's all for naught, I'm tired my tank is empty, it's now or never. A few seconds later, it's all over, I finished it. Sweet. I walk away from the wall slap hands with Buddy the leg breaker, and say, "hell yeah..."

I am in the last week of my base. Rest week next week. These are all good things. This year coach has had me work in some intensity through this period, not too much but just enough to let me know I am alive. I'll admit I'm usually pretty strict about no intensity during base, but I have to say I feel stronger now in March than perhaps ever. I also did a much better job of taking a break after cross, without totally depleting that fitness and having to start totally from scratch again. (my normal modus operandi) It feels weird to feel good this time of year. So I ask myself what's March strength equate to? Well, I'm guessing we'll find out pretty damn soon.

Kuhn's Mass Relay race is coming up soon, and I have to admit I'm really excited for it. We have three team's coming out of our little group (2 Spot Brand- TwinSix teams), so that will be fun. The farm is a really good place to ride, and I have historically done okay over there. Kuhn always comes up with fun, different race ideas, and frankly with the weighting system, I will be surprised if a team a expert men comes away with the cup. Kuhn's a married man, so give him a little sexy time, and register for his race, I know he gets all excited as more team's show up in the registered list. One thing is for sure it's gonna be a fun way to open the season for sure, and it's going to be great seeing so many old friends again. VIVA LA BIKE RACING.

I'll close saying this, I have been doing way too many road miles lately. I am greatly looking forward to getting back in the woods, I mean hell we haven't even done one 4 park ride yet this year. What is that all about? Hopefully things will dry up soon and we can get back to some sweet, sweet single track.



Saturday, March 17, 2007

episode 115: seat of evil

I have always been interested in people's saddle choices, below I showcase a number of my riding buddies choice for ass resting place:
Once a week Paul favors the peeled banana style seat.

tom (papa smurf) swears by the comfort of this saddle.

Todd (el presidente) is an ass hatchet man all the way.

Wes the Conqueror uses the Bontrager rip off ass hatchet.

Matt (run forest) has an ass hatchet on one bike, this my personal favorite, the old ass friend, also known as the flite.Buddy the leg breaker rocks this seat that screams, "ROCK AND ROLL!"
This seat was on Andrew's trails bike, and now lives on my fixie.

I always rock a flite, the white one is my favorite as it screams : P.I.M.P.

Alan the cleaner uses this pave to make even the most difficult trail obstacles look easy.
For my own peace of mind I pulled down the JP blast, if for nothing else I think he got my point, and frankly, I really don't want to be known for spreading negativity, or driving what may be a potientially great rider from our sport. Always be an ambassador, that's what Andrew would drill into me. Always take the high road, I struggle with that sometimes, but I'll work on it. I am after all an opinionated, loudmouth jackass.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

episode 114: angst.

"It is easy to become enthusiastic and fall in love with this for six months or a year, to force yourself into the engine of pain for three years, five years, that's where people can separate themselves."

Today I had to do one of those things as a manager, that you never like to do. It was for the right reasons, and I know it was the right thing, people create their own path make their own decisions. But still, any manager worth their salt cares about their people, and although I have done this more times than I care to admit, and I know I will have to do it again in the future, it's never easy. The day it becomes easy, or I don't care, then it's time for me to stop managing people.

With that backdrop I showed up to what was dubbed "a kinder gentler hills from hell ride, or the hills from heck if you will" I should have fucking known better. Right out the gate Jan, destroyer of dreams, drills it, with Postal Dave in tow. I really should have fucking known better. It's the typical big dick contest right out the door.

Look in of itself, I really don't mind the big dick contest, just on March 14, I don't want to ride like that. Further let me throw this out there, I can't climb for shit, I'm fatmarc not fast climbing marc, but I am pretty smart, I know where and when to do what I can and it works out. So I'm already kinda grumpy, clearly out matched on this ride. Worst of all if a ride is advertised as "kinder and gentler" than damn I expect just a little civility.

So, I'm really grumpy and full of angst, then the ride where I hoped to climb crispy, is well a lot more sharp than I am. So we get on top of a 3 step climb that Postal Dave attacked his guts out on, and I say, "great kinder gentler ride..." Someone from the peanut gallery yelled out, " we are waiting aren't we!?"

Fuck you, Fuck you very much, it was on. I'm not the strongest dude, but I did everything I could to position myself near the front the rest of the ride and help drive the pace. I got dropped on the wall, because I always do, had a nice run at Jan broadrun, dangled on the back of that little goofy neighborhood, then attacked and got clear with Rob (NTNTAMFMB20) on Hopkins.

Matty D, who I have the utmost respect for checked on me to see if I was pissed, and so did Postal, and I said I wasn't even if the scowl on my face said I was. Tom (papa smurf) knew it, The truth is, that none of it really had anything to do with the ride at all. I'm self aware enough to know that.

Anyway as the ride wound up, Postal went to the front and started for the sprint line. I decided I wanted to win the sprint tonight, So I did.

Later, Spencer told me I sprinted to the wrong line, but you know, no one was there when I hit either line, so Fuck it, I won the sprint on the kinder gentler hills from hell ride.

Usually I pride myself in being pretty gracious to the guys I get the ride with, tonight not so much. Sorry for being a prick. I am after all, a bad, bad person.

Afterwards, I caught up with Diane (monkey) and FFAmy who went for a ride of their own. We went to deer park and had half priced nachos from deer park. They really helped easy my surliness. Nothing like melted and cheese on tortilla chips to make you smile.


Monday, March 12, 2007

episode 113 : my first time

When I was 16, I had this girlfriend, we'll say her name was Winona (to protect the innocent of course). We started dating the fall of my junior year, truth be told, it was kind of a weird relationship. Despite "going steady" we barely saw each other during the week, despite going to the same school. We rarely talked on the phone, didn't go out of the way to see each other, really were kinda of cordial. It was kinda strange. Honestly, aside from being killer cute, and a nice girl, I don't remember really having a particular affinity for her. However, what I really liked about her was that we hooked up.

My group of friends at the time were all paired off, and every weekend we'd end up at some one's house in the basement having a make out party. Very slowly the intensity of the make out parties was upped. Winona and I were both rookies, although she was far more aggressive, and had rounded 3rd base with another dude before we started dating. As a horny 16 year old boy, this was a characteristic I found especially attractive. She was a good kid, so was I, we were 16 year olds with hormones full on raging.

Finally, late one December before the big winter dance we were having one of these make out parties at my buddy Ken's place, in a furious thunder of ripping velocro, we were both wearing those cool jimmy z's pants with the velcro waists, it was on. Jimmy Z's made famous by Christian Hosoi were very stylish but not so much for a quicky on the down low in a room with 2 other couples. Luckily they were all in the throws of passion, otherwise it might have been creepy. I don't remember too much after that, I think I kinda blacked out, I do remember it was over pretty damn quickly. Month's later Winona and I would break up after I found out she was no longer into skate guys, but frat guys instead. I think she missed the "your supposed to dump the skate guy before you sleep with the frat guy" rule. No worries, like I said we didn't really have a ton in common. She was a good kid. Life's lesson learned. 20 years later I smile at the entire thing.

Saturday was a different kind of first for me, Bob, Ryan, Kevin, Buddy(the leg breaker), Rob, Scott, Craig, Tom (papa smurf), Matt (run forest), Rob (ntntamfmb20), Fitzy, and Marcus, broke me in all over again. And let me tell you, my ass was so sore afterwards. That's right, it was my first century.

100 miles. I was grateful to have such an accomplished group dragging me around all day. Early on Kevin, who I don't think found a single spot of difficulty today, lead us up a number of difficult climbs. It was reminicent of climbing on Charlies's ride last week, just 50 miles longer. I said this winter that Kevin was the most underrated mtber in our area, I don't think that will be the case too much longer. Finally, after almost 50 miles, we made the turn and things seemed to flatten out as we worked our way home. Buddy the leg breaker really rode strongly today as he seemed to attack climb, after climb. I am also convinced that Marcus feels no physical pain at all as I think he sat on the front for 98 of 100 miles. I admit after 5:55 minutes of what I felt was a hilly century, I was very happy to watch the old PT roll over to 100 miles. Very much like my other "first time" I think I kinda blacked out at that point.

Me, I pretty much held on for dear life the entire ride, which is par for my course this time of year. I am a big fan of all the Bean's guys, their riding group reminds me a lot of our riding group, folks that work very hard, have a lot of fun, and show respect for each other. With so much similarity between our communities, getting Bob from the Bean's organization to join the Mighty Spot Brand Twin Six team is such a bonus for us. He is such a great rider, and fits in very well with our program. I enjoy the interaction between our two groups, it's like some kind of conference or something. Perhaps more importantly as our two groups get to interact together more, in the end I believe both teams get stronger.

Someone certainly has to help me, that's for sure.

After the ride, Monkey, who put in a 3 hour ride of her own, and I hit Border Cafe. We were both totally starving. We split a Chorizo quesidilla , and then she went with some enchaladias, and I had blackened catfish fahitas. There were excellent.


Friday, March 9, 2007

episode 112: some devil

Lady-friend. that's a term I heard for the first time about a year ago. I'm not sure but recently it seems like I have heard it more and more. At first I thought it was a sly way of saying, I'm hooking up with this girl but she is not my girlfriend. I thought calling someone your
"lady" sounded kinda pimpy, in a lady's man, 70's Shaft kinda way. I was clearly never that smooth. Some days I watch Diane sleeping, and I say to myself, the fact that she fell in love with me, and married me, is proof of miracles.

But, I digress, so the year went on and I heard and I read the term in blogs, it the showed up in more and more places. Last fall I read on Molly's blog about Tom (papa smurf) and his "lady- friend", who was Amy (ffa),which if you know our group, know is pretty damn funny.

I've heard rob (ntntamfmb20) use the term, but then again Rob is generally smooth like butter. He clearly says it with more reverence, as in, "I'm going to see my lady-friend tonight." Maybe the term isn't a smooth pimp way of saying friends with benefits, but truly an evolution resulting from the feminist movement. Maybe women started the term. Maybe 20 and 30 something women got tired of being call some one's "girl friend". Maybe it's just someone trying to sound superbad. Luckily for me, my terminology is easy: "wife", as in been with since I was 19, I had enough trouble with "fiancee" ... thank god I'm happily married.

Last night did a little tour of R-house with Rob (ntntamfmb20). Trials were frozen, and in most sections smooth with snow. Still the trail was very rough, lots of debris, and sandy sections from the recent flooding. I should have thought of that, so after one pass, and passing Ted Logic going the other direction, I thought the best of it, and headed out on the road. I did a little tour of Newark, which was fun.

In the final mile riding towards my car on the sidewalk I hear someone yell. "hey! hey you!!!" I think to myself, "great, Americans love their cyclists, I about to catch a raft of shit for something..." The stranger continued, "hey, you better not be rutting up the sidewalk!" I was shocked, I whipped my head around and laughed out loud, as I realized it wasn't a stranger yelling at me, but Mark the Shark, abuser of men, and maestro of the PWC. That was good for a grin all the way back to the car.

No trails, or sidewalks were rutted during the composition of this blog entry.

still a bad, bad man.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

episode 111: a fighter's heart

I am reading a book right now called "a fighter's heart" there were a couple of quotes I wanted to share:

"Apidej is a living legend, the greatest muay Thai fighter of the century. He won seven titles. In muay Thai the better the fighter, the more humble and good the person; and you could feel the goodness, humbleness, and the happiness radiating off of Apidej. He had an infectious laugh, a deep sense of glee and the gentle manner of a life long Buddhist. And yet there was this other side, the fighting side. Apidej would show me how to move, sliding around the ring like a leopard, his eyes dark and serious, his motion effortless, his aura menacing. His eyes would go flat and cold, the naked enmity toward another man in the ring just under the surface."

"It captured the idea that life is born of struggle and striving, that true joy and understanding do not come from comfort and safety; they come from an epiphany born in exhaustion ( and not exhaustion for its own sake). Safety and comfort are mortal danger to the soul."

"You have a specific responsibility to existence, to God if you like, to taste, touch and smell what there is to experience. You have to do everything. If given an option between doing something and not doing it, you have to do it; because you've already done the "not do it" part. This can be juvenile and dangerous, I realize there are a lot of things I have chosen not to do, for a million reasons. I was raised polite. I've never hurt anyone, and I don't take needless risks. The idea is to make it through intact; "safety" is my middle name. But I feel that you owe it to the world to be curious. Somebody asked me if I was looking for something, I am looking for everything."

a nice group tonight at MR. We had daylight for much of the ride, a clear message that despite the bitter cold, spring will be here soon. We all joked that next week, we won't need our coal mining equipment anymore. Todd (el presidente) maestroed the group containing myself, Matt(run forest), Wes the conqueror, Once a week Paul, and Tom (Papa Smurf). Along the route we also saw Fort James.

The trails were frozen and solid, and rutted in some places. Ruts make me angry. Look I'm not IMBA bible beater, and I am long since past my trail spinner guilt, but Amazin' Andrew said it best, "muddy trails aren't fun to ride!" I don't care how self important you are, or how much you have to train , or maybe you figure it'll be just you and it will be okay. Look, if you leave a rut where you rode, you are a fucking idiot, and really you don't get it at all. I hope your muddy ride was terrific, because in the end, you just fuck up the trails for those of us, who do wait to ride when we should and trails are good and soild, and best of all we aren't fucking them up for anyone else. Really, it's just common courtesy, but some people just don't have any respect, and that's why we had to ride rutted trails tonight. If you rode at MR or white clay last weekend, I have one thing to say to you: Fuck you, Fuck you very much. And the reality is, you do know better, you just don't care. I also get, that if you are reading this, you likely do get it, and weren't out there last weekend. They have a sport designed to ride when it's too wet: it's called cyclocross, not lets fuck up the local trail system because I'm selfish and have to ride my mountainbike, on my trail system now. Because you own it, it's not for everyone, just you.

But I digress, the pace was a little crisp tonight, some good natured smack was tossed around, something about "his fatness" not being so fat any more, more of a chubby. I've looked and is not available. Todd (el presidente) rode a couple of truly inspired sections, that left the entire group grasping to hang on, and Todd to comment, "what happened to my group?" Every time I think this will be the year that I whoop that ass, Todd raises the bar. Well done my friend, well done.

back at the parking lot, hugs and high fives were past about. It was a good night.


Sunday, March 4, 2007

episode 110: humping the wind

three lonely Spot whores we be,
missing our teammates Paul, Andrew, Bob and Fitzy...

This morning, after reading Spot Brand's sweet new website, I look out my window and I see Chino, my neighbor's dog running around the yard, like he usually does, only this time, Chino's got a new move. I see Chino obviously fired up, running around, thrusting his pelvis into the air.

I mean at full speed, carving around trees, running as fast has he can, while at the same time thrusting his pelvis and hips violently forward, creating an incredibly odd running snake dog looking dance thing. I've seen my own Riley, especially when Layla went into heat, do his own little hump the air dance; shit when the wind has struck me so I've run around the house doing my own hump, snake, running dance around thing. But today, Chino proved himself to be king of all humping, running, carving, clearly wanting something so bad, that you can't even begin to control it. I stood awestruck for 15 minutes watching as Chino thrashed his way around the front yard.
Matt (run forest) takes a whiz.

Eventually, I called monkey over. "honey! you have to see this" She too was amazed. But offered this, "I've seen you do better" I smirked at her. Hump on Chino, I know how it feels to want something so bad your entire body feels it, Hump on little Chino.

Friday I got a call from Matt (run forest). We talked about the week's ride, which were pretty mellow for me as this was a much needed I mean rest week. Saturday provided a litany of road possibilities. Matt and I are both mountain bikers. We do the road when we need to, and I get the whole "love to ride my bike thing", but without a doubt, for Matt and I, road is a means to an end, a necessary evil, trail riding, trail riding is a religion, it is a passion, it's the most fun you can have on a bike, and Elk Neck is a strange land, far enough away to be special, but yet close enough to be a real possibility.
Buddy the leg breaker through a tight section.

Thing about Elk Neck is this, it's a lot of quick elevation changes, and the soil composition doesn't feel sandy, but it dries out faster than anywhere I have ever ridden. I have been out there when puddles were on the ground here in Fairhill. Bone fucking dry there, bone fucking dry.

The issue is that you never know, and it's a big investment to run down there and find the trails too wet, a drive for naught is the risk.

But again, I digress, Matt's voice lites up a little, "man, I heard it was fine last weekend, with all the snow, We could get Buddy to check with his buddy, Barry who that lives down there..."

from then on I spent my time, anxiously watching my email, waiting for Buddy's message, Elk Neck or road.... Elk Neck used to be the greatest place to ride in the world, a 15 mile loop of tight twisty, rooty, log strewn paradise. A place to hone your bike handling skills, up steep climbs that gave way to picturesque views. Then Ranger Evil came to town, and almost killed Elk Neck all together.
Matt (run forest) rolls thru the forest.

Now there are 3 shorter loops, and although not as expansive as the trail system still used to be, it is still a wonderful place to ride. And as I mentioned before, when it's too wet here, Elk Neck is often a haven of magical dry goodness.

As I hung up the phone I felt a little thrust in my hips. Reminding me of an itch that has for too many weeks now, not been scratched.

Saturday afternoon, after getting this message from Buddy the leg breaker, :

"Elk Neck Sunday- it's on 9:00"

I let loose with my own running, snake, humping dance... Elk Neck is On ! Oh yeah baby, Oh yeah!!! Chino would be proud.

Monkey has been killin' it on the trainer.
Strangely, I find this picture incredibly sexy.

The ride itself was splendid. The final of the three loops was soft, almost spongy but not wet. It just made it a little tougher than we needed. The group was small : Buddy the leg breaker, Matt (run forest), and myself. Having logged hundreds, and hundreds of miles and hours together, we are very comfortable with each others styles, and it showed as the three of us danced through the tight single track today, laughing and joking the entire time. On top of the look out, which is probably the highest point in the park, the winds blew heavily off of the Susquehanna river, but the view as always was worth the long twisting, grinding climb you have to conquer to enjoy the view. At the end of the ride, only smiles could be found on the three of our faces. Our bikes were clean, no mud to be found, the trails were spectacular, and the ride, was simply awesome. Itch scratched.
the boys get ready, Spot and Twin Six Jerseys everywhere.

In cultural news, what's old is new again as I loaded up cd's from Agent Orange, Ned's Atomic Dustbin, Nero, and a Paul Vandyke that the Dude gave me. Also enjoyed a fine meatloaf Friday night from the Cricket Cafe. Great little place, awful coffee, great food. Nice small town cafe feeling. Love that place.

meatloaf, one of my favorites.

In closing, I'll say that I was proud to turn up on the old Velonews again. First, Ms. Compton blamed me for getting her into cross. Maybe some truth in that, next Velonews's site of the day, nega-coach, scroll to the bottom and whose in that picture? yup, yours truly the fatone. I'm guessing the contract and the endorsements will come shortly, they way I'm blowing up on the old Velonews. So When do I get to be the site of the day?