Sunday, September 30, 2007

176: noodle brain.

Thursday night, I had hoped Friday would bring a peaceful evening. The weekend had me looking at my first double cross weekend of the year, with Saturday's hillbilly hustle, and Sunday's Ed Sander's Memorial. But alas, we found some kind of cyst on Riley's shoulder, so Friday night was bust ass out of work and get Riley into the car and off to the Vet. An hour and a half later, and my wallet a Franklin lighter, we were on our way home, appears to just be a fatty cyst but we sent it out for further analysis, and will know more at the end of the week.

Saturday I met up with Fitzy and we headed over to the Hill Billy Hustle. Super fun race, Tight technical sections and then some just fast wide open sections. Smaller race, #2 in the new jersey series. Had a good ride. Patrick and I got clear early, but kinda fumbled around each other, we tried hard to work together but didn't pull it off. In the end we let Gabrielle catch us then drop us as he took the win. Good to Him. Fitzy had a nice ride too finishing 15th...

Sunday was the Ed Sanders race. Didn't feel great, didn't sleep well. To be honest I was a little nervous because Mayhew was going to be here. I mean last time he showed up to a race I did, it was pretty ugly, I was really embarrassed. Mayhew does a lot of hard work for me, gives me a lot of attention, I want to put my best foot forward, you know?

Mayhew's training couch must be working pretty well, he took 4th today...

The coalition met at the Iron Skillet at 6:30am, and we were off. Rotten Rob, rode with monkey and I.

Any way the long and the short of my race was this: I got into a break with Nystrom, my friend and teammate, and Jan, my friend who I train with all the time. The three of us rode well together and we did the dance for most of the race. My legs came around and I felt really good going into two to go. I had to change bikes starting the last lap, had a real clean change (thanks Lisa, Lisa and Diane), but Nystrom and Jan had a small gap, and 4th place rider Ron from PVC, bridged up to me during the change. Basically, I wasn't gonna pull him up to my teammate, and my training partner- my friends, and so I sat back and watched Nystrom and Jan duke it out. Jan made a strong attack, Nystrom covered and made a big move of his own and ended up taking the win. I was super stoked for Nystrom. Hell, I was super stoked for Jan who had a hell of good ride too. I finished third, and we finished with a big ole group hug.
Jan and I hit the deck pretty hard on the first lap, as some douche bag made a section that was ridable during the pre-ride, unrideable for our race, and we came into it hot and ready to attack.
Jan and I were promptly thrown over our bars and on to our asses. Luckily my wrist isn't too swollen this morning. Nothing that a little splinting and some advil can't help/ Can't wait to see that video on U-tube. Best of all, as Jan and I are on the ground, i hear him yell, "you assholes!" Totally classic. Seriously, that wasn't the smartest thing I ever saw on a cross course. A little dangerous. Still a great race, hats off to NCVC, Rob and Erik... Maybe we'll throw rattlesnakes on the C men at Granogue. I mean that will make great video. Wonder if Tom will let that fly...

I won't tell too many other stories from today, I'm sure they'll turn up soon enough, other then to say, the DCCoD rode very well, C3 had another strong day too. Monkey is riding the best cross of her life, and just looked rock solid today. I am super proud of her. She's been working so hard. I'll let her tell her story about her dalliance with Soupie. I gotta say, 2 weeks into my season, and not really knowing what to expect I'm very pleased with how I am riding. I have more work to do before the MAC starts, but I have to admit, I wouldn't have dreamed my season would have started as strongly as it has, especially after a pretty big meltdown this summer. But you know what, I'm cool with that, the last two weeks have been pretty killer. Some thing a guy works up to for years, and that's pretty cool.

Thanks for your support.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

175: easy come; easy go.

Tuesday was my 8th wedding anniversary. I was pretty stoked, I have a great wife, she's totally my best friend, and our wedding day was truly the best day of my life. It was awesome.

Tuesday morning, this lovely woman forgot was that today was our anniversary. Honestly, I didn't care, because everyday is pretty great, and it's fun to recognize the special days, but I'm also smart enough to know having a wife like Diane, a friendship like ours, a relationship like ours, everyday is special.
But, still she totally forgot. I knew this because as she kissed me good bye to leave for work she didn't say anything. I evilly chuckled to myself. I knew and she didn't.

During the day, I called her and left her a number of messages, almost baiting her to see if she remembered. She didn't.
Finally, I got her on the phone. I asked her if she knew what today was. She says , "yeah the 25th... Oh crap..."

So I let her off the hook, and said, "happy anniversary baby!" She was shocked and couldn't believe she forgot. She apologized, and we talked for a bit, you know good moo moo stuff. We're cool like that.
best of all. I have a get out of jail for free card! In the world of social injustices, and gender inequity, if a man forgets his anniversary he's dead man walking, if a woman forgets, the man gets a get out jail free card.

What's the card for? Anytime the woman gets mad about something that the man couldn't avoid doing, because instinctual man code drove him to do it, and the man finds himself in hot water.

But alas, I now have one in the bank! Does it get any better than this!?

I get home from work, get a nice hug and kiss and we head out for a great little ride and have a bunch of fun together. Does it get any better? A great anniversary ride, plus I have a get out of jail for free card! One of the best anniversary gifts ever! I'm totally stoked.

So we get home from our ride, and I start cooking some dinner. Diane never eats my cooking. She tells me how tired she is, and that she is going to shower and hit the bed. I finish making the dinner, and promptly eat it. All of it.

Diane comes down stairs, and into the kitchen just as I take the last bite. "So where is mine?" she asks. I look at her in disbelief. I respond," What do you mean where's yours? you never eat my cooking." She is visibly angry and says, "I told you how hungry I was.. I told you it looked good, you ate the entire thing!? what the fuck?"

I scramble, "i can make you something else." "never mind" , she grumbles and storms upstairs slamming our bed room door.

I think to myself, "how did this just go so horribly wrong?" we were having a great day. I was having great fun making fun of her for forgetting our anniversary. I have a get out of jail for free card. I shout, " I have a get out jail for free card!" Fully shocked that I have had to use it so quickly, and second, further shocked that there's no response. I shout at again, "get out of jail free card!"

Fuck. Easy come and easy go. I blew that one pretty good.
Instant Karma is a bitch. At least I got a kiss good by this morning.


picture stolen from

Sunday, September 23, 2007

174: never saw that one coming.

Charm City Cross. My team's race. Raking the park all afternoon Saturday, at the park in the dark setting stakes Sunday morning. Old hat for me. Being part of the community. I have my hand in three cross races this year. I love this stuff. Plus it's important to me to give back to something I love so much.

Saturday night, I got a note from Jim, it basically said, "be better than you were yesterday."
That was my goal for today. I felt strangely calmed, inspired and very zen in a weird way.

A funny thing happened at the race today. Something that hadn't happened to me ever before. I fucking won my race today. I can say it, I can type it, hell I got to walk to the top of the podium, but I'm still not too sure how that happened. Just know, I'm smiling ear to ear right now.

This is how it went down. (at least in my mind)
The race takes off. (I)Paul gets the hole shot, Tom (papa smurf) with Sven Nystrum in tow, lead me around the prologue loop. Tom stacks it, breaking his handle bars. Sven and I get a little gap. I encourage him to push it. We are joined by our teammates Bernie, Disco Jeff, Kelly Cline, Roger Masse, Rich from Fort and a dude from human zoom. I pull through around the backside and promptly lay it down as I am going way to aggressive in the corner. Disco Jeff says to me, "stay cool, pick it up, you're fine, lets keep going..." He comes around me.

We run over the top of the run up together. I'm a little panicked from laying it down, but things are going well. Then Jeff lays it down. Kelly speaks up, "I'm guessing the C3 guys have too much air in their tires." We all laugh.
There's a prime at the end of the first lap, the human zoom guy attacks, I counter and take the lead through the barriers. I'm not willing to sacrifice my race for a prime. Still I have a ten yard gap, I stand on it and get the prime, then I notice I have about 30 yards.
Instinctively, I punch it. I figure I'll get brought back, but I'm on a break may as well give it my all.

A lap later I'm still out by myself. Out in the open around the ball fields, I take a look back, kinda wondering when I was gonna get caught. I see Roger Masse at the front, and a train of black sitting on his wheel- blocking. It was my team Disco Jeff, Bernie and Sven Nystrom. My team rules!!

I say to myself, "self, your teammates are killing themselves, sacrificing their own races, the least you can do is your best" I stood on the pedals.

The race kinda went on like this for a couple of laps. I stood coming out of every corner, I was aggressive, I just keep pushing kept thinking, with my teammates working so hard, I didn't, I wouldn't let them down.

Really at this point, I hadn't really entertained any thoughts of winning, I kinda figured, I still get brought back at some point.

And then I saw the 2 to go sign on the lap cards. "shit, I said to myself, that's weird, I've never won a race less than 12 hours, without a teammate. hmmm I might just pull this off..." I start to be a little more conservative. I have about 30 seconds, my teammates are working their asses off for me, don't get sloppy in a corner now."
I roll by the pit, Diane yells, "dude, you look smooth, keep it rolling." I finish the lap. One to go. Are you kidding me. one to go. what is my fatal flaw? will my chain break? I never win. I'm not that guy. Ethan is yelling at me, "keep it steady he says, keep it steady..."

Through the sand I'm sloppy, run too much. "don't get cocky" I say to myself. Through the fields I look back, it's pretty wide open. I hear rotten rob and fitzy cheering for me. I start to smile. Over the run up I pass Pat from evo. He tells me to stop over for a beer afterwards. I really like Pat.
Through the pits, and the enormity of what is going on starts to hit me. I'm gonna fucking win this race.

Finally, I turn on to the road the final stretch. My teammates have blocked everyone, I'm standing and riding, and I see the finish, no one between that final line and me. The waterworks start flowing. I can't believe this is happening. I zip up my skin suit, and pump my fist in the air as I cross the line crying like a baby. "holy shit, holy shit, I just won!" I thrust my arms up in victory. I really can't believe it. I can't believe I just rode that race.

I get off my bike and greet my teammates as they finish high fiving them, first Bernie, then Chris, and then Jeff. 1st-4th What a great day for the home team!
I turn and E-town is there, he gives me a huge hug, I'm really crying now. He starts to cry, so I try and pull it together. I tell him to get ready for his race (which coincidentally he wins).
Monkey comes running over from the pit, I hug her, I'm crying pretty much out of control now.
Diane tells me how proud she is of me, and what a great ride I had. I just can't believe it. I won.
wow. that was weird, and totally unexpected, and I can't thank my teammates enough for working so hard for me, for being so selfless. really I can't put it into words. So I'll just say thank you so much to Bernie, Chris and Jeff.
I'm still kinda jacked up over this entire deal, I just can't believe it, so I just say, wow, that was so unexpected, and made for a pretty great weekend. Fuck yeah, I won a cross race.
thanks to my coach, thanks to slick rik for his teachings, thanks to the Gerlacks for housing us, and feeding us, and Morgan for letting us have his room, and Auer for bringing me on board, and to the DccofD for kicking my ass week in and week out at the practice that shall not be talked about. And while I'm here, thanks to my parents for making me passionate, and pretty much borderline obsessive. Thanks to my monkey, without you, none of this is nearly as fun, or nearly as good.

And as a bonus I got work the little Belgium race! That was pretty damn sweet too. Nystrum laid out an evil loop, and was great keeping this rolling. It was was awesome for the kids, parents, everyone. Megs (the potty mouthed princess) kept score it, it was perfect.

Today was pretty much the best day of my bike racing life.
so fucking sweet.
Thanks for reading.
thanks everyone.

Friday, September 21, 2007

173: ramble on. anxious like christmas eve.

This weekend marks the start of official start of cross in the Mid Atlantic.

I can't believe it's starting already. what took so long?

I am anxious. I might puke. Today. My mind is racing a million miles an hour. I need to spit all this out.

I am stoked to pick up my new kit, to have the walking talking Johnny Cash Blues, to help promote our team race, to meet our team sponsors, to maybe be a little less of a walking freakshow, and more focused on being a good cross racer and teammate.! is as strong and focused, balanced, and hungry as any team I have ever been on. Much like the Spot/Twin Six team, there is very good chemistry here. I feel at home. There is a grounding in grassroots, a desire to support the greater community, but also a competitiveness, a chip on the shoulder, something to prove. Bad men and women wear black.

I've been working for this for all year. Cross season, something I couldn't be suited worse for, but something I love more than any type of racing. Time to belly up to the bar boys. Talk or Walk? I feel like a walk.

I've done my best to steer clear of the "confirmed riders" list for the race. Last night I couldn't avoid it. That's deep. Lots of riders, that's good for the team, maybe not so for me.

Serious ballers in my class. I count at least 12 guys who have beaten me regularly. There are 11 DCCoDers who slap me around practice every week in the class alone. Then there are the other 70 riders. Who in there has been having the secret squirrel training run of a life time? . Who in there is ready to shock the world? Who in there will smack us all around?

I feel my HR skip up a beat or two. I calm myself thinking, "dude, you can only control what you do, don't worry about anyone else." But then again I'm not really racing against anyone else am I? At the end of the day, this is to see how far I can push myself. How bad I want this, how much drive, how hard am I really trying? How much I love this. This is fun.

I am ready, I have been riding well. This is going to be a great season.

Still, doubt creeps into my head. Preseason concerns, "my back is a little sore", "is my throat scratchy?" Maybe I'll just take on lawn darts. Maybe I'll just harden the fuck up.

I had a pretty poor spring season by my accounts. But cross is where I have put my eggs. Will the basket hold up ? Have I worked hard enough? Having not raced since July, how much can I suffer? Has this all finally passed me by?

I stop, and I smile. I look at my black DCCoD bracelet. "NOT DEAD YET" it reads. Your damn right I'm not dead yet, I haven't begun to fight. I love this stuff, I love this challenge. It will be great to see so many friends this weekend that I haven't seen for a while. The event will be fun. I will ride well. The Delaware Cyclocross Coalition of Delaware will RAGE. I have worked hard following the teachings of Mayhew, and the lessons of the white hand of saron.

Coaching plan for today said: ride for an hour, wash your bikes, make sure you have new handlebar tape, make sure your sideburns are up to snuff. Be ready to rock. Oh YEAH!

I love cross. Charm City here I come, ready or not. I'm going for a quick spin.

see you all Sunday.


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

172: accidental commando

A rainbow of colors last weekend, all fade to black this weekend.

picture stolen from here.

Somewhere along the line, I learned that “going commando” basically meant wearing no underwear. Being somewhat adventurous, there was a time in my life that I went commando quite often. Reality was that I wasn’t being adventurous, or even trying to be sexy, so much as my underwear were dirty and rather than wash them or wear dirty underwear, I just went commando.

The past month has been a flurry of hard days at work, and hard days on the bike. I have worked hard to raise my intensity levels with the hopes of building a nice cross season. With the hard bike days, and hard off the bike days, I hadn’t been sleeping so well. Burning the candle at both ends if you well. Well, finally Sunday night, I finally slept like a rock. I slept like I hadn’t slept in weeks. Finally, I woke up to the blaring of my alarm; I realized I had to be to work in 30 minutes.

I gathered my things, threw on some clothes and headed out. The entire drive to work I felt like I forgot something, perhaps I left the iron on. No, I had a t-shirt on today. Did I crate the boys? Yup, I remember chasing Riley out of Layla’s crate and into his. I just feel weird like something is not 100% right, like I forgot something.

Finally, I get to work, stop to use the bathroom, and I realize. In my rush to get dressed and out of the house, I forgot my underwear. I was an accidental commando. An unplanned freeballer.

From Van Wilder:
Ryan: “glad you made it.”
Tara: “sorry I’m late. I was having a hard time deciding what underwear to wear.”
Ryan: “really!? What did you decide on?”
Tara: “none”

For a film that was a little ahead of it’s time, try this: The Long Kiss Good Night. One of my personal favorites. Bourne Identity before Bourne was born. Samuel Jackson and Geena Davis. Superbad ass.

Got the B bike back from Rik tonight. He gave it his magic touch, a blessing from the white hand of saron, which is necessary for me to comfortably race a bike. Finally, equipment wise everything is coming together, I am so stoked.

Looking forward to the weekend, so jealous of Mega, and Kerry and anyone else who has their opener behind them.

For the record, slept like a rock last night. My dog makes a great personal heater when Diane isn’t sharing the blanket.

Monkey and I have become super germaphobs as sick people are everywhere at work, and we are trying to get into cross with out getting sick. Extra vitamins, 2 airbournes a day... Will these sick folks stay home! I can't afford to be sick now!

What to see what I did with the last few weeks of July? Check it out here.
Play the trailer.


Monday, September 17, 2007

171: a quiet sunday

You know I never said I was the fattestmarc, just fatmarc. I'm not complaining about my physique, it is what it is. I see the guys I race against, I am easily the most girthy of any of them. I choose to wear a skinsuit because that's part of the cross culture, and they are bad ass. Generally, I avoid the skinsuit like the plague, but during cross, it's all part of the game. I like the game.

My previous comments were not complaints so much as recognize that I understand the bikini season stress. I also kinda say screw it. Additionally, dudes who would normally never wear a skinsuit, bust that thing out for cross like it's nothing. It's an amazing thing. I'm not complaining, conversely I own it. I also find that it's always okay to make fun of yourself. That's kinda what I do here.
Sunday was nice, hung out with the DELAWARE CYCLOCROSS COALITION OF DELAWARE, did a little grass track racing:

took 2 seconds off my 600m tt from last week. So yeah, I have that going for me.

Then we went to lunch with the outlaws, celebrating my sister in law's Birthday.

Diane and I played with the boys a bit, and then took them down through Community Day at the university. We saw a dinosaur, got some footballs and played bouncy bounce...

We saw an old friend Amanda, who saw us and said, "man you two have been busy!" Diane looked at each other and laughed, singing a little Amy Winehouse, "No. No. No!"

It was a pretty good day, but man those boys tired me out. Thanks to Auer, Sam the Hammer, Frank, and Meg for stopping down for our grass track final this week. That was cool, even if Auer's white shorts showed off too much male camel toe. Camel toe must have helped, he won the omnium.

Peaches slipped back to the dark side just a little today. During a 10 lap race, I looked over my shoulder and there he was on his SPOT BRAND 29er, smiling at me. His barrier work (we keep a set on the infield) was a little rusty, but he's not that far from coming back ...
Is canoodling the official to get more omnium points legal?


Saturday, September 15, 2007

170: you're a 25 year old white, organ donor from Hawaii

About a week out from the season opener. Thought it was time to take the test. Cross season means skin suits. Bikini season for big boys like me. I stretched it on. It was tight, I had a tough time breathing. I felt like a contortionist I tried to get the top over my shoulders. I needed Diane's help. closest I have ever been to a straight jacket. Seriously. Finally, I got it on.

I'm afraid if I breath too hard it might just explode off of me.
I'm thinking of launching a new product. skin suit lube for the overweight fellas like me who need help sliding into one. Maybe I can get the sports balm guys to get behind me...
Headed out for a ride after work, did some sprints with a guy who claims to not be riding well right now. I think he took me on over half of the efforts. fucking bastard. Or is that rotten bastard.

RULE #4 of the Dccod is that you can't take a compliment on your riding. Anytime someone tells you that you did well, or you are riding well you have to reply with one of the following:

1. "I don't know, I feel really bad, suffering a lot..."
2. "I still have a lot of work to do..."
3. "It's a long season, I hope I can pull it together..."

Hit the old home grown with Breyla-la-la, Wheelie Ted, Rotten, and Diane. A couple of drinks to help wash away the stresses of the week, a very tasty pumpkin ale from dog fish head. Nice sante fe cobb salad too.

On the way out and up the street we saw many drunk kids. Welcome back U of D.

One kid looked at us and said, " high five" Breyla-la-la gave him the high five and he tried his best move:
Do you know my name?" Monkey and Breyla-la-la answer simultaneously, " no way!!!" and start laughing at the drunk kid.
Rotten and I follow up, me first, "your name is Mclovin!!" the kid looks at us puzzled. Rotten continues, "you are a 25 year old, white organ donor from Hawaii!!"
We all burst into laughter as the kid stood confused, and feeling I'm sure a little violated. It was pretty good. He spoke up, "my name is Kevin!" Rob and I continued, "MCLOVIN!"

"B" bike is almost built up. I'll see slik rik on Monday for his final touches and that bad boy will be ready to roll.

Woke up to an email box full of folks, registering for Nationals last night. Ah, I missed the first race of the year. Sounds like the brothers and sisters of the DCCoD did well though...
One week until I try to squeeze myself into a skin suit again. If the lube doesn't work out, How about a giant shoe horn to get my fat ass into that thing...

what kind of sport squeezes big boys into lycra? much less something called a skin suit.

you think she got hammered, wait until you see me. holy hell. And I think she looked fine, but I'm not going to start on our country's unhealthy obsession with skinny, nor do I want to really defend someone who is getting killed for being fat, when she made her millions being a skank, exploiting the salacious. Thank God there's not pop princess of cross.


Thursday, September 13, 2007

169: the funny thing about my back Jules...

Up early in the morning dressed in black. Don't ask why but I'm down in a suit and tie. They killed a homie that went to school with, damn, life ain't shit to fool with... err sorry, too much gangster rap lately. Actually I was up early headed out to get a work out in. I know Mayhew hates when I do work outs early in the morning, but with how crazy works been, I gotta get 'em in when I can.

It was still dark as I headed up the double track trail the runs along the Christina River through White Clay State park. Through the darkness I saw a beautiful white heron flying above the river. It was really a peaceful and serene moment. Then I almost rode my bike off the bank and into the creek, as I was watching the beautiful bird hover above the softly churning water, and I wasn’t watching were the hell I was going. It was still dark the trail looked like it was right there. So I looked up the trail, actually paid attention, stood on the pedals and took off to start my work out.

Cross practice this week was nice. A few folks came out; we rode around a soccer field. (i)Paul tried rocking 20lbs of pressure, and ended up doing a Pete Rose slide. Jeb try to see how hard he could lean it in a corner, and laid it down in a very bad place. A hard charging Tom ran over his nice new bike, which is now pretty much destroyed. In a very sad way that was funny. I think story has a happy ending. Jeb was keeping his pimp hand strong last night. I have a some bruises from said hand.

Kelly came down from Philly to give us some old school coaching, and had some great tips to help me clean up my technique. Sweet. Tough Cookie came down and gave us some inspiration. She rules. And Fuck it looked like she has a pretty damn kick ass time.

During the efforts I didn’t feel so sporty, but battled in with the group, and despite not feeling like I had a lot of energy, or could put down what I wanted, I battled hard and still had a really good work out. I did have to do some pimping in the corners, and use all of my fatpowers on the stair run up.

and then we feasted. The real story was how there was too many of us for the old El Hefe, so they had to open their new wing a little earlier than expected, and let us christen the place. "set up tables?" you got it.

you know how the dccod rolls.
Chika Chika Yeah !

only rotten can pull of the mandana.

is there any wonder Wednesday is my favorite night of the week?


Jan has his best run up technique. ever.
When I can no longer hide behind technique, Jan will own my sorry ass.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

168: Mclovin lives here.

At the end of grass track Sunday:

"so I have a half naked woman waiting for me in my bed, and I'm standing around waiting to do a 4 lap TT on a grass track. fuck that, I'm ought of here."
from the crowd:
"Can I come with you? "
Also from the crowd:
"can I watch?"

perhaps the most brilliant line I have ever heard in a movie:

"you know you don't want to suck dick at fucking pussy."

freakin' outstanding.

see this. I did on Rotten's recommendation. It was awesome. It'll make you laugh your ass off, and remind you how painful high school was. So painful in a familar, squirm in your seat funny kind of way. Rules. All I wonder if Mega and Fitzy see these guys in school? Bad Andy and Suki teach elementary so they aren't totally screwed up yet. well, maybe. Damn, I wouldn't go back to high school for a million dollars.
And if you live near Philly and like 90's alt music, listen to this.
first time I have listened to radio consistently since stern went to XM.
I may give up everything else and become a full time grass track racer.
somewhere (i)Paul is smiling very intensely right now.

Friday, September 7, 2007

167: pimpy white tape

Since recently falling in love with my new road bike, and the position on it is just perfect, I made the call to switch out my old ginormous salsa cross bars, to a nice Ritchey Bar. Slick Rik has been trying to talk me into switching to a more traditional bar for a couple of years now, and C3-Sollay teammates E-town and Morgan busted on my monster bars all last season. Truth is, I finally got comfortable on a more traditional bar, the position is correct, I'm gonna rock with it.
While installing new bars, I took the opportunity to add some new pimpy white tape, which looks damn fine if I don't say so myself. It's "gel tape" which I have to admit might be a bit more padding than I like, but it was a quick pick up and this is what they had. I have this weird manual dexterity thing, went back to even when I was skating, I could never pull off my biggest moves if I was wearing gloves. I hate wearing gloves now, and avoid it unless it's cold. I'm a little worried the "gel tape" will take away too much of that feed back. We'll see.
In other boring equipment news, I will be able to rock another cross max frame this year. Last
cross season, I figured out pretty quickly that I liked the all aluminum cross max frame far more than the top of the line max carbon. However, riding for the Fort Factory team I felt it was my responsibility to ride what the team was riding, and represent the product the director wanted to show. The max carbon treated me well, and I had some great races on that bike. But the truth is I just always liked the feel of the cross max better, and after brokering a trade, now I'll be able to rock two aluminum frames this fall. Yeah, exciting for me, probably nobody else. Anyway, that box of parts represents my second bike now. I better get cracking and get that thing together soon.
Monkey and I are meeting up with Jan, Rotten, and E-town for a little work at the fatcave this morning. Should hurt a lot, but be fun. You know how that goes. More grass track with (i)Paul sunday. He may be on to something. Have you registered yet?

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

166: the grind

Inherently, this time of the year, the blog gets a little stale. I mean, cross training, how fucking interesting can that be? A bunch of geeks in Lycra riding around a soccer field. There's not a magnificent single track trail, with incredible views, and fast carving trails, or technical trails that when you finally clean them you feel like king of the world.

Cross is a bunch of folks turning themselves inside out all the while riding around a soccer field. The premise couldn't sound anything less exciting. I have heard the argument that cross is just an excuse to keep riding when it's too nasty to mountain bike, or too nasty to head out on the roads. I reject that. Cross is the season, and what I get geeked up for more than anything.

Cross is pure. Cross is cathartic. Like no other type of racing I have done, or trained for do I find myself looking into my soul and asking, how much faster can I push this. Short succinct efforts driving yourself deep into the pain cave. In preparation for mountain biking I could never convince myself to do what I easily cajole myself to do for cross.

Despite the mind numbing, drool inducing efforts and racing, a direct product of the intensity of the sport, I find myself thinking, scheming, planing my move the entire time. Being a bit of a hefty boy, I know I can't out climb the little guys, gotta attack in them in the open, I don't have as much power as the roadies, gotta attack them in the corners. As the laps wind down, the goal becomes how can I win this group? Can I beat everyone in a sprint? Do I need to do something before the final 200 m? The entire race, the entire effort there's always a dude or twenty just ahead of me that if I can come with one more burst I can get to, and another twenty dudes behind me thinking the same thing about me.

And while it might seem like training for cross, you know riding around a soccer field is the most horribly boring thing to do. In it's simplicity, in it's most basic form, this piece of training is so seductive, and so wonderful. Go out, go hard, go puke, go home. Screw the view, this about getting faster, suffering more on a bike. I, for one am not offended by that.

I am a simple man perhaps this is the part of cross I love most. This simplicity that fits into my sad somewhat bohemian way of life. I am not the brightest man, and perhaps the pure routine of cross racing keeps me coming. I read somewhere that, "consistency is the hobgoblin on little minds..."

The grind. The season. The routine. I love it.
Perhaps the single greatest advantage offered by the Delaware Cyclocross Coalition of Delaware is that while many are left to suffer and train in solitude, we pull together with a pretty tight knit group, go out and drill ourselves, pushing harder than you do in a race at times, and then turn around eat a plate of fish tacos, and talk shit about what went down at practice.

The practice is so good, that there have been years when I didn't toe the line at a cross race, but I didn't miss practice either. Like the jam car on your slot car racing track, I faticus was always in the middle of the effort where I probably should have been. It's that great. It's that much fun. We now have a jam car that wears a championship jersey. Yeah boy!

So in advance, I apologize for the next three months, if my stories are repetitious, or don't have the normal level of jackass that the rest of the year has. It's not that I'm not having fun, it's that I'm busy racing, resting, training, and racing again. I live for this stuff. Yes, I'm rambling, I have a belly full of fish tacos and beer. It probably all makes sense now.

18 days until the opener...

Viva La Cyclocross


Saturday, September 1, 2007

164: be wary of those who believe in a neat little world, 'cause you know that's just fucking crazy.

if you see this on your TV..

Run like hell.
Headed out to Park Y today for a little grass track racing.

Slick Rik (semi-retired) was looking dead sexy in his pink shorts and MABRA championship jersey.

the grass track races a were fast and furious and good efforts for sure. The races were close and a ton of fun. Good transition type stuff for cross.

You figure 30 yard straights, big ole corners, close racing, it was too much fun...
I think I was red lined the entire time.

(i)Paul on his Spot Brand single speed teaches L-Web and Jeb the finer points of the game.
Jeb would win the miss and out race today.
E-town was a little Blue today for the first time, but was able to take the omnium. Surpringly, no one said, "I can't believe E-town won the omnium..."

While at Park Y Ted Logic, Gwen and their boys showed up to hit the playground. Teague reminds us that the playground is serious business:

Breyla-la-la is out at seven springs doing the 24hr race. Here, we all enjoy some drinks during our stay in Utah. This has nothing to do with this post, I just like the picture.