Monday, December 31, 2007

202: new years revolutions

1. take more pictures of Diane

2. have more pictures of the two of us together

3. wear a shirt and tie more often

4. train less ride more

5. no single speed mountainbiking

6. black is the new pink

7. but pink is still dead sexy.

8. learn to top rope
9. boulder somewhere without a roof
10. trim my nose hair
11. do more days with Special Olympics this year.
12. wrestle the dogs more.
13. heckle bike racers at Fairhill mtb races

14. stop eating loaded french fries
15. read more books
16. get an article published in embrocation magazine and cyclocross magazine
17.commute to work at least 4x a month

18. try track racing (that's (i)paul 2nd wheel)

19. recycle more

20.stay better in touch with my friends.

21.back to 170 by Feb 15
22. stop drinking soda

23. race cross in New England again (the mother land); not chase mac points...
24. not get sucked into the same “idiots riding when trails too wet” arguments I get each year.
25. help put on best Granogue races ever this year
26. improve my foot massage skills (and I can rub some mother fucking feet)


Sunday, December 30, 2007

201: gotta walk before you can run

Apparently, if you don't drink shitty beer that you only drank in college because it was cheap, you can't be a man.

I'm guessing that the pink invasion wouldn't go over so well with that crowd. Guess I'll never be a real man. darn. I mean, it is brewed with a man's taste in mind.

Not that I have any real aspirations for the spring season, in fact I plan to race a pretty scaled back schedule next spring, but I am happy to say that I got out on the bike the past four days in a row. That was putting the FU back in fun, as Todd would say. That was the first time I put four days of pretty solid rides in the bank in a long time. You might even say my goals include becoming a better rider versus a better racer.

Today, I met Les (international man of mystery), E-town and Peaches out at Brandywine. It was splendid. I've been riding Brandywine for close to 15 years. I have to be honest, in the past two weeks I've ridden here with Les and ridden trails I didn't know existed. Les is really an amazing ride leader, and puts together loops, that are so much fun. Despite the fact that the group spent most of the day waiting on me, he smiles and just rolls on. Les makes it look so easy. I'm pretty lucky to get to ride with him....

The rock gardens at B-wine are still amongst my favorite trails to ride. It's not that long, but really tests your technical skills. Les and Peaches made it look easy. The past couple of weeks I really struggled in these sections.

Buddy told me, "dude, they are a lot easier with suspension..." problem is I clearly remember cleaning them with a rigid fork. I know I can do it, but I don't have the flow, the skill or the rhythm yet. I yearn to feel cocky in the rocks again, to feel like I am smooth and flow through those sections, not on the total verge of destruction. Hands down, Brandywine is the most fun place to ride in Delaware. In my heart is hasn't yet surpassed Fairhill, but I'll also admit it's really two totally different riding styles. Still, I am confident my skills will come back around. I'll be back to Brandywine in the next week or two...

Sometimes when you head out on a ride with a hangover, things come around and you have a great ride. That didn't work out so well for peaches today. Peaches was pretty creamed by the time we got done.

I guess peaches should have been drinking more of the beast...

riding bikes is fun. Today was super dooper.

check it,
the bastard son has had some work done on the front end.
kinda like a nose job, but with more carbon...

PMP (potty mouth princess) rocking out.

monkey, you know being a monkey.


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

200: if you want to destroy my sweater...

It was a very sweater Christmas for me.

the first urban hipster sweater. (i.e. so ugly it's cool)

the second urban hipster sweater. (with a hood how can you go wrong)

the Freddie Kruger sweater.

and my all time favorite, the sweater vest. (nothing scares away the chicks like a sweater vest)

gonna go ride the rollers for a bit. Not because I'm training, not because I like them, but because I got a ton of new sweaters with horizontal stripes, and since the scale keeps going up, I better do something before I explode like a tick!

I did get out for a nice fixed gear ride last weekend. I have to admit I love my fixed gear.

My brother was in town last weekend, coupled with my other two brothers, I got to hang out with all the nieces and nephews, we took 5 of them rock climbing Saturday morning. 5 kids, all 5 and under... Kevin at the gym is a saint, it was a total blast, and the kids had fun too.

hoping the weather breaks soon so I can go mountain biking again, that's a lot of fun.

anyway. Keep the hope alive, hope for a dry or at least frozen weekend...


Saturday, December 22, 2007

199: push the edge, but don't fall over it...

the downward spiral continues...

a week of no exercise, charging through our sales meeting, and feastivus, and Christmas preparation. Monday night it was a few beers with the Canadian reps, then it was beers with Brey la la and a nice little buzz. Thursday night was dinner with E-town and the Potty Mouth Princess. Diane had to drive home. Each night, I push the limits of my consumption just a bit further...

Last night, My brother in town a bottle of Chimay and two empty six packs later, I remember that my tolerance isn't that good. I wake this morning with a killer headache. Probably could have done with out those last 2-3 Stout's abbey style ales.

we gathered around and watched Superbad last night. Freakin' love that movie. It prompted the question, who do you most relate to in the movie?

Evan? Seth? McLovin'?

I'm clearly Evan, although right now I'm feeling really Seth...

Portland, OR is Monkey and my favorite city. The past week has been all Portland weather. 50 dark and damp. Not that I have the time to do anything right now, but I'm really not motivated to head out on the road, I want to ride trails. I could settle for sometime on the fixed gear as well. I think I'm gonna ride my fixie on the amnesty ride this year. We'll see.

Good news is today is the first day I got on the scale and hadn't gained another pound! So yeah, I got that going for me. We got our nieces and nephews some cool gifts, I can't wait for them to open them all up.

expanding my horizons.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

198: rocker belt.

I got a sweet new belt this week from hipsters R us. (also known as urban outfitters) It's my new rocker belt.
it's black and has white eagles and flowers embossed on it. Buddy said it looks more like my Kennett Square belt, but trust me it's a rocker belt. I even have my own song I sing about it.

In the highest pitch voice I can come up with I sing, "rocker belt, rocker belt way cooler than I am, I'm a hipster, and I have a rocker belt- YEAH!!!"
sweet huh.

Saturday morning I ventured out on the mountain bike around the wonderful trails of Brandywine. The trails were in great shape, with the only mud we ran into right at the end crossing a field. The noon sun had brought about a little thaw. Les, international man of mystery, lead bologna bianchi John, Buddy the keg breaker, Peaches and myself around and awesome loop. It was my longest ride in quite sometime, and there were moments when the boys had to really wait for me, but all in all the ride was spectacular. Les makes pimpin' look so easy. Don't tell anyone, but I'm really enjoying trail riding again. nice.

I have to give some props to the KCCX folks for their work with the blog. I'll admit I have checked the results pretty much real time all weekend. I'm totally freaking out as I waiting to see how our brothers and sisters make out in their races. The midatlantic really had a strong showing this year, C-3/DCCoD even stronger. It's nice to have friend who are fast.

finally I'll share this email from the DCCoD email group:

"Jeb is all smiles and has slept with the Jersey under his pillow every night. There is no way that he could have done this with out all the DCCOD lovin.
thanks, Lauri"

that's awesome.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

197: funniest ever...

Monday night after a spirited night of climbing, Buddy the keg breaker, Rotten, Rachael, Monkey and I settled down for a nice meal and a couple of ales. During the course of the meal we started talking about teh funniest movies we have ever seen. We settled on these three for our group:

1. Caddyshack
2. Old School
3. Animal House

Others that got consideration but couldn't get the endorsement of everyone included dumb and dumber, Christmas Vacation, Superbad, Knocked up, and American pie.

What did we miss?
Sunday night after showering I walked naked into the bed room and dropped my towel in front of monkey. "take a good look honey, this is as good as it gets. It's all down hill from here..." Somebody hand me another pint of ben and jerry's.

pictures from today came from jandmscott.
thank you.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

196: sixteen

Friday night was the reindeer run down in town. This is a run put on by Mark the shark and it benefits the special Olympics. Fort James got me involved with the DE special Olympics a few years ago, and I'll admit it one of the parts of the game I love the most.

As Fort James and Mark the Shark both hold a special place in the hearts of the Delaware Cyclocross Coalition of Delaware members, there were plenty of us on hand running and volunteering.
Monkey, Rotten Rob, Super Liz, Megan (potty mouth princess), and Brey la la all ran.

My job was working with Alan the cleaner, Reston (son of the cleaner), Jay-Z, E-town, and Jan at the finish line, keeping folks in line and in finishing order as they tore their race tags and passed them on to the Jay and Jan at the end of the line. E-town demonstrated his sidewalk linebacker skills taking out one gentleman twice his size who was trying to run up the line and advance his position after the race was complete. Stay in line, give the kind German your tag and no one gets hurt. Here Liz shows how it's done.

Following the run, the DCCoD convened upon homegrown for an important meeting. It was good to see the White hand of Saron and the (soon to be) bride of Saron to make the meeting as well. Rotten said it perhaps best, "it's a little odd that it took a 5k run to get this many of the DccoDers together again." It was a good point, as the season has wained, dinners after practice have gone by the wayside largely. Sad, but true.
Good news is that not a single drop of Chimay was in the house by the time everyone left.

Long live the DCCoD.

Sunday was the final cross race of the mid-atlantic season. To make a long story short, Sven Nystrom and I got clear pretty early, and were able to keep the gap and working together ended up with us crossing the line together arms raised. So yeah, that was a pretty damn good day for us.Highlight of the race included:

- officials adding an extra lap with 2 to go. We were feeling pretty good up to that point, and were chatting a bit, then we saw the extra card, and we got really quiet at that point. That extra lap really, really hurt. Some days it's good to have dig a little more.

- Sven's awesome wife telling him not to be a nice guy. She gave me a big hug at dinner and we laughed about it. At the end of the day Chris is one of the guys I respect the most, and I am really proud to have him as a teammate. His work ethic, and more importantly how he studies the sport, studies the course, is really second to none. It was an honor to ride with him, and I knew that we'd for sure finish together as teammates. We rode as teammates, and we'd finish that way. Today was clearly one of the highlights of my year. It's always great to have awesome teammates.

- As Chris and I came through the pavilion area, my favorite announcer says, "Teammates Fatmarc and Sven Nystrom, both from C3. How can you tell them apart? Let me tell you, Chris is tall, and lean, and very handsome- fatmarc is not." Chris and I cracked up as I muttered, "nice, really freaking nice..." Somedays it's good to be heckled by the announcer... That might have been the funniest thing he's said the entire time he has been announcing cross.
- As E-town finished up his final lap in the elite race, my belly swelled with pride as the same announcer nailed it saying, "that's E-town finishing up a very good ride, and putting yet another C3 rider on the podium.." Some days it's good to be apart of the evil empire.

after the race, many of the C3 teammates got together at a local watering hole for some fine grub. We presented Jon Hostetter ( the 2nd), a gift showing our appreciation for his support of the team. Class Act all the way, and one of my favorite people to work pit with for sure.

It was also awesome to meet Bernie's wife and awesome son Sean. So freaking cute.

Well, race fans, cross 2007 is done for me. Today was my 16th race, and although I can't believe cross is over, I am also looking forward to Ben and Jerry's, to sleeping in, and to getting back on the mountain bike.
sometimes I have to remind myself that this is really all beer league softball. Perhaps taken to a little crazier level, but really beer league softball. In ten years, no one will remember who did what in what race, but the people you meet, the people we have in this community, those relationships, they are the real prize from cross. They will stay with us forever.

That being said, I was super stoked to get a win today!

Tomorrow the bikes get washed for the last time, and thrown in the basement, I instantly gain 15lbs, and I will have a difficult time trying to keep up with Buddy the keg breaker and Peaches again. Fixed gear donut rides anyone?


Wednesday, December 5, 2007

195: so busted

Cross practice takes place about 40 minutes from my place of work. I get off at 5:00. In order to make it to practice on time, I have to leave a little early. For pretty much all of this cross season, I have been slipping out of work 10 minutes early on Wednesdays to make it to practice on time. My line of thinking is this:

1. my boss is cool
2. her office is on the opposite end of the building
3. I more than have the time in
4. better to ask for forgiveness than permission?

So tonight, the final DCCoD practice of 2007, the practice after Tuesday night's mtb ride, my 4th since July, which saw me hanging on for dear life with Todd, Buddy the keg breaker, Peaches, Paul, Jay Jay, and Dan DUB leading the way.
Truth is, I had all intentions of blowing off cross practice tonight, I mean for all intents and purposes, my season is over right? Reluctantly this morning, I loaded up the toaster with my bike, and my bag. Then it happened, it started snowing...

First I got the email from E-town:
"are we still on..."
I replied, "you know it..."
10 minutes later from Jan
"cross practice happening tonight"
I replied, "game on baby!!"

I called Tom (papa smurf)
"we are still a go right?"
he replied, "what are you a short timer? bailing on the season early? You know it's a go..."

The snow continued, at 4:30 I told my peer that I was bolting at 4:45, she said she had my back. 4:40 hits and I shut down my computer. I put on my coat, grab my bag and make my move. As I walk out of my office, one of my guys Nate says, "hey Marc can you help me out."
I reply, " sure" as I turn the corner to Nate's desk, I see my boss who is standing at Nate's desk.
It's pretty clear, I'm headed out as I am totally bundled up, and have my bag over my shoulder. She smiles at me and says," Nate needs your help..." I reply, "sure" and I help Nate, and hit then door.
I mean, I'm already busted, why be late and busted...
So close to the perfect crime. Almost and entire season of dipping out just a bit early for practice, and it figures I get busted on the last night. Just like the time I was busted night riding in a state park, the last night before day light savings time started.
I gotta say though, it was so worth it, as JayZ, Jan, Tom (Papa Smurf), E-town, L-Web, young Jeffery B, and I cruised about recreation area z. The snow had turned our practice course into a new slippery, off camber, sliding playground, as we took turns leading the group through the every growing powder. There was no structured efforts tonight, just a bunch of friends carving throw the snow.
On the run up, I lead the group, as I shuffled up the hill with Tom (papa smurf) and E-town, both much better runners than I chasing.
I looked up for a second, and saw a million snow flakes falling on me. In the light of the street post on top of the hill, I felt for a moment as if I was inside some little snow globe, and some ratty assed 9 year old was shaking the shit out of my world. I looked back at my bike, set it down jumped on and snapped back to reality as I went from leading the group, to starring at the asses of my compatriots.
An hour passes, and we mellow out a bit. The last practice of the year has been a successful one, and a blast for sure. Was it worth getting busted? I'll find out in the morning...
I love cross.