Wednesday, January 30, 2008

212: Nothing says love like nachos

Half-priced Nacho Night at the Ole Deer Park Tavern. Nachos clearly were not on par with last week's. Now I have to go back next week to find out if this week was a fluke or last week was a fluke.

Monkey and Breyla-la helped me polish these off.
I appreciated their help.

Then I went home to ride the trainer a bit...

I was worried I might disturb the dog's wrestling match...

Comes to find they weren't bothered very much at all by my silly trainer riding....

My buddy Mark t. Shark is doing the polar bear plunge this weekend to help fund raise for my personal favorite charity, the Special Olympics. Aside from Mark and Mrs. Shark feeding my dogs a ton of Philly soft pretzels at the DccoD Prom, he is a really good guy. Please support him,
and Special Olympics. Donate here:



Sunday, January 27, 2008

211: tolerance

Monkey and I were talking about alcohol tolerance the other night. We both seem to remember some of how that works from 8th grade health class, but still some of it seems a little unclear. You see last year, I basically gave up drinking from January to June. After that time, one beer could give me a pretty nice buzz. Since I started riding better after I started drinking again, I never really gave it up during cross.
Of course all in moderation...

Over the holidays I made the observation that now at dinner, I could have 2 or even 3 beers, and get the same sort of buzz, that just one beer would give me in June. This is were I get a little confused. Basically it takes 2x the beer to get the same buzz that one beer would give me before. Does this mean that my body is processing the alcohol more efficiently now, than in June? Neither Diane and really think that's the case.

I get that it takes more alcohol now coming off of drinking season, to get the same buzz I could get on just one beer in June. But why is that? Not that's really super important, just trying to figure out the logic behind it...

you see since I have this lime tree, which produces just the perfect limes, I was thinking about this a bunch lately, I mean I would hate for a lime to go to waste.

Saturday morning, while Peaches and Buddy the keg breaker were busy chasing the boys around fairhill, Diane and I met up with another group for a little kinder gentler ride.

With the help of Breyla la,

And Dennisbike, I was finally able to clean this log stunt, which had kinda been my nemesis the past few weeks. I was super stoked.

Saturday Night was alright for climbing, as we bouldered our hearts out with tons of new problems at PRG...

Then we met up with some fine folks at Four Dogs for some raucous conversation, including detailed instructions on how to do a no handed goat.

I also part took of some super fine fish tacos.

Sunday morning, I got up early and had planned to hit the trails to get a little ride in before our 8:00am Delaware Cyclocross Coalition of Delaware meeting at Jan's house to test Papa Smurf's new waffle batter, and watch the worlds. I balked on the ride, as the bed was so much warmer at 6:30..

Over at the dccod meeting, totally shit the bed, and we struggled to get consistent coverage. I do believe we are now experts on Lake shoes.
We couldn't get the women's race at all, which was a bummer, but was not as bad, if our favorite crosser was healthy. No worries KC, you'll get them next year ...
During the final lap when the coverage crashed again, I thought Jan was going fly over to and kick their asses. Sadly, it was pretty sad coverage. Jan looked a little like this.
Breyla la, got a sweet new Superfly this weekend, but she thought the white seat that it came with was just a little too much pimpy sweetness for her. But me I thought the bastard son, could benefit from such a cultural experience. Breylaa was kind enough to make a donation to the bastard son reform fund, and help bring around the BS.
Monkey took a long look at my bastard son tonight, and said, "you know, despite being a fisher, and you know having gears, that damn thing just looks like one of your bikes, all your bikes just have a way of being, you know, your bike. What do you think? Maybe he's a little less of a bastard son now a days...

I have a pair of xt cranks in the basement I want to set up on this, and then I think I'll be able to get her sub 24... I can't say I'm in love with her yet, but it's been a fun ride for sure...



Friday, January 25, 2008

210: if you twist and turn...

I’ve always been a fan on Deer Park’s half priced nachos. Wednesday nights never were so cheap and tasty. I’ll admit, as far as nachos go, they were pretty far down on my list of solid nacho trays. Truth is there were really pretty pedestrian as far as nachos go, but hell for half price, how could you pass them up? I am very pleased to report that last weds, we hit the half priced nachos, and holy crap Deer Park has upgraded their Nachos!! Still probably not the best in town, but way better than that McGlynn’s knock off crap they’ve been serving for years. The half price nacho deal is an even greater deal now!! I was so stoked.

How long has it been since bands made albums that were good to listen to. I mean really good. Although I’m a huge fan of MP3’s I have to admit the format has all but killed albums. I mean who buys entire albums anymore? Cherry pick the tracks, pick the hits, pick the one’s you like and bag the filler.

Well, this week I have been on a steady diet of U2’s Unforgettable Fire. This 80’s masterpiece is in my opinion their best work, and each song I listen to I go, “wow, I love that song” and the next one comes “wow, that’s even better”… This album was right before U2 really was captured by the public eye and I can remember as a kid thinking, “this is unlike anything I have ever heard before in my life, this is So much better than the crap I have been listening too…” I know punk rockers always kill U2, “they wish they were the clash” just like most Cyclist I know would say Armstrong is an ego maniacal ass. Regardless, I love this record. Armstrong is a limelight loving punk...

heard the sonic youth cover of the carpenter's superstar this week. I think it's on the Juno soundtrack. cool in a creepy kinda way. Leads me to ask the question who's creepier sonic youth or the carpenters.

Diane and I went out to the frozen trails of Middle Run last night. Diane doesn’t have the best night vision, and even with a helmet light that coal miners would be proud to have, she doesn’t do a ton of night riding. This was a treat for me. We picked our way through the trails, riding them like we were kids again. You know, patient and slow up the hills, and ripping the downs…

Something very pure about that for me. Very pure, like Back in 1991, only our bikes weren’t nearly as cool, and our lights were really bad. Still, I find most things get better, more refined with age, and our riding last night was another example of that. So much fun. So much fun.

anyway, Diane and I have halfers today, we're going for a ride...


Monday, January 21, 2008

209: I want my $2.50

Todd keeps the govt. out of his brain with common household aluminum foil.

So Saturday night E-town, PMP, Buddy the keg breaker, Rachael, Kurtee, Monkey and I went and did a little rock climbing down at DRG. After I walked in I walked towards the climbing area and spotted some cash on the floor. I reached down and picked it up. It was a fiver.

First thought was "sweet ground score" but then I figured I'd ask if anyone had lost it. I turned to the lady at the counter and said, "hey, I found this fiver, I'm gonna give it to you, and if anyone says they lost it, you know give it back to them..."

The hippie behind the counter smiled and her eye's widened with the joy of the 5 spot I just gave her. I said to her following up, "I'll tell you what, if no one claims it by the time I leave, I'll split it with you $2.50 each..." She smiled at me strangely and nodded in agreement.

So I went on about my climbing, and I watched her walk around the bouldering area and she asked if anyone had lost a Lincoln. You know the one she put in her pocket. My fiver. No one , said they had, and I watched her pat my five spot in her pocket.

I go back to climbing for a while and maybe 20 minutes later look up and see the damn dirty hippie with her coat on, and her hippie back pack, walking out the door...


should I chase her into the parking lot? I was connected to the top rope, should I let her go? what would Dirty do?

damn, he'd change his name to big baby jesus and slap her. Me, I just keep on rock climbing.

I think I did the right thing, I tried to be nice and what happens? that damn hippie took off with my 5 dollar bill. Hell, I offered to give her $2.50... Now I'm gonna have to send this guy after her.
buddy takes a whiz...

I'm banking that she needed that 5er way more than I did, and at least I get some good karma out of this deal. Talk about snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory.

Sunday a nice little group of us met to ride the frozen tundra of Fair Hill nature center. The group was Buddy the Keg Breaker, Bobby's Boy Keith G, Todd (ex-pres), Ted Logic, BL Rich, Kurtee, Leo, Bologna Bianchi John, Alan the cleaner, and (i)Paul. The trails were solid and rolled super fast. The frozen ground provided for traction that was likened to riding on sandpaper. Coincidentally, today I felt like I found my flow again, and things just rolled as I maestroed the group around a loop, that I actually hadn't really planned out very much at all. It was a great time, and having Bobby's Boy Keith G down from
Dillsburgh, PA was addition to our ride. I miss having that guy around...

Because it was really freaking cold, Buddy and I cut it a little short, and only got 2:55 of our planned three hour ride. We were both sad to come up so short of our goal, but it is January.

In conversation this weekend it came to light the Kurtee saw Zepplin 3x, and the Who with Keith Moon. Bastard. No wonder he's so much cooler than me.



Saturday, January 19, 2008

208: never cross streams

Okay so I have a couple of hobbies that to the normal average 37 year old man, might seem a little odd, perhaps a little strange. I race bikes and I enjoy reading comic books. So what the fuck is normal anyway? I like that I'm kinda different...

Yeah, okay I get it and as this is a cycling audience, we probably fail to recognize how geeky that hobby is. That's a blog for another day, hell it's probably why this blog exists. But I digress, generally speaking, these two hobbies rarely cross each others paths. Until this week.
As every self respecting comic book nerd knows, Wednesday is the day that the new books hit the newsstand. So if you are like me and following a weekly book, each Wednesday means a quick stop at the comic book shop to pick up the latest entry in whatever saga you are following.
Well this Wednesday Buddy the keg breaker, Wheelie Ted, Breyla-la and I had a nice little ride. Afterwards on the way home I figured I'd stop and pick up my books . See the ride was really cold, so I didn't bother to strip off my layers of lycra for the drive home, and I figured what the hell I'll just run in and get my books...

Err, well I must have broken some kind of super comic book store code or something, as I walked into the store, which was packed because it was Wednesday and all of the comic book geeks like me were there picking up their books, but as soon as I walked in every one of those guys turned on me. They gave me a good look down, and then the stink eye.

I wanted to say, "hey, it's a cycling kit, not a super-hero costume, I just got done exercising, that's something you haven't done since you graduated from high school..." It's not like this is a home made Ironman suit or something..."
but I didn't say a thing- you know, because I didn't want to cause a ruckus, and you know get banned from the comic book store, and you know, not be able to pick up my weekly books.... I just grabbed my comic and made way to the register and got out as fast as I could. Maybe it would have been better if I had on a cape? I can see the headline now "lycra clad cyclist beat down by superhero fans..."

So I like to read about spiderman, and black adam, it's not like I ever went to a trekie convention or something.

I am so pathetic.

Lesson learned, never cross streams. Never allow two of your geeky passions to combine. It's worlds colliding, and only bad things can happen. Like Costanza trying to eat pastrami, have sex and watch TV at the same time. Somethings just aren't meant to be mixed.
This morning saw me rising early and heading off to the bakery for another dozen donuts. We prepared for yet another fun donut ride, or queen monkey ride out of our place this morning. I didn't ride fixie today, because I was a little tired, but Slick Rik and Rotten represented.
As I left the bakery, I said to the kinda cute, yet a little scary greek girl who helped me with my pastry selections this morning, " can I have an apple fritter too?" she responded, "yes sir, in the box with the others?" to which I smiled and said, "nope, that one's for the road..." I am after all the one called faticus.
Thankfully, lots of folks showed up to help Diane and I eat the box of donuts, the group included Rik, DeeDub, LEO, Jay Jay, Rotten, Dennisbike, E-town, Gavigan, Daren, Charlie, Monkey, Papa Smurf, and me. (hope I didn't miss anyone) I guess we did ride for a couple of hours before eating them...


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

207: why do you build me, buttercup...

As a comic book geek there are certain types of shows or series that I try to avoid. My primary rule is avoid "time travel" epics. Why?

Well frankly, every time travel series I have gotten into never has resolution. For example, I thought T2 was outstanding, and would have been a fantastic wrap up to the series. Our protagonist, Jon Connor had saved the world. But, there's still money to be made folks, so the villain, who in theory should never exist, comes back in time to screw things up again. Altering time lines, parallel universes, the rule that you can never contact yourself or you create a rip in the time/space continuum. UGH! The last thing I need in my life, is my geeky hobby providing me with no resolution.

that being said, I did watch the first two episodes of this, against my better judgement:

she is certainly an interesting character. And I was entertained, so against my own rules of geekness, against my own judgment, I'll be back for episode three.

Last night, I roared into the park. Sub freezing temperatures, snow showers all day, all I could think of was frozen hard packed trails. I dreamed of flowing through the woods, and making motorcycles noises as I accelerate out of all the fast frozen corners.

As I drove down the hill, I could see Todd (ex-pres) driving out of the park. He rolled down his window, I had hoped he was gonna tell me how great the trails are. My hopes were quickly dashed, "It's a swamp out there, still really wet, we need another day of frozen temps, we'll have to try again tomorrow" Ouch, that was a kick in the nuts for sure. All day I plowed through work, with the excited thought of riding in the woods tonight...

so I went home and watched the democratic debate. I'll try again tonight...


Monday, January 14, 2008

206: Clydesdale

Saturday the DCCoD had a donut ride out of our house. On the recommendation of Fort James, I picked up a dozen from the local bakery, as there is no donut shop on this route. I mean you can't have a donut ride without donuts.

following a nice ride that was dubbed a fixie ride

but really only had Fitzy and I on fixies, we tore up those fine fresh donuts. Peaches and his boy stopped by to share a donut too. Good times, Good call James.

Sunday, this guy:

lead Lauri and

I around the fun frozen trails of Marsh Creek.

The "bonus loop" was my favorite. The twisty terrain that raced up and down through forrest was incredibly fun. This section reminded me of what Middle Run was before it got all pussified.

The new RIK built wheels finally had the bastard son climbing less like a short bus, and more like, well a bicycle. It was great fun. Bike still turns funny, but it's damn fun to ride.

after the ride Surly Bob, L-Webb and I headed for the MASS promoter's meeting which went pretty well. As the meeting started, I was informed that they are adding a clydesdale class this year. John Miller, said he knew I could make weight, that there was finally a class for fatmarc! everyone laughed. I am faticus after all. It was pretty damn funny.
If they only knew how close to that I am. A couple more beers, a couple more pints of ben and jerry's and you never know, I could be fastest fat guy....

bikes are fun.
Thanks to K-man for sharing some picts from our ride saturday...

Thursday, January 10, 2008

205: soul food

I pulled the bastard son out of the back of the toaster and looked to the skies. The sun had just set, and I was surrounded by darkness, and silence. To the west I could see her coming. A dark black bellowing cloud loomed. I jumped on the saddle of my bike and began to think to myself. "am I gonna make it or am I gonna get rained on?"

While many of my peers and friends have been able to enjoy the unseasonable warm weather, I have not. Tuesday was a comedy of errors as i took my lights to work to charge them and as I rushed out the door to make the ride, proceeded to leave my helmet and light on my desk.

Wednesday monkey and I went to dinner with Jan. Today, Today I was determined to ride.

I headed out the trail, a quick out and back, that's known for it's meandering and small undulations. I mean this was the trail I cut my teeth on, that I did my first mountain biking on, that hell as a twelve year old I'd ride my ten speed on to get to the convenience store on route 896.

Tonight, I was reminded that I am a crosser learning to mountain bike again. I'd have a section where I start to feel good, leaning in and out of corners, only to run into one of the many quick climbs. "I was way over-geared for that one.." I'd think to myself, "I'll have to do better next time..." "Oops, I did it again, still over-geared... gotta figure this out..." Any semblance of flow for me is a distant memory, but still I plowed, and mashed my way through the trail, that was hard packed and fast. So freaking sweet. I remember doing an 18 minute run down one of these passes. I think that was a world record. Tonight, I can barely make it in 28 minutes.

Really, it doesn't matter, I am not a racer anymore, well at least not really, or at least not this spring, I don't have to be here, I'm here because I love this, because I have been like a rat in a cage waiting to get out and ride, and tonight, regardless of my flailing, I am loving this...

I cross cashio mill road and feel the rain drops begin to come down, one short out and back and it's over, should I call it a night and head to the car, or do I push my luck and go for broke? What would you do?

Yup, me too- Go for broke... I push the last section maybe a little harder than I should, I skip a heart beat as I almost put myself in the Christiana river. I make it to the turn around, the rain is starting to pick up the pace, so do I.... I feel the flow coming, I carve the corner, I know there's a quick up coming soon- "FUCK- I'M IN TOO BIG OF A GEAR!!!" I laugh at myself, "sooner of later I'm gonna have to figure out this shifting thing again..."

I finish up the section, finish up my ride, and mother nature starts to really piss down on me. She let me get my ride in, but no way is she letting me walk out of this one totally dry...

That's all right, love reign o'er me. My soul is nourished, life is good.

couple of finishing thoughts:

hot chicks (?) with total douche bag. you know if you are into the stripper/hooker look.

I took this political quiz. You'd never guess who I was most aligned with. where do you fall?

got a really nice note from these guys today. The kind of message that makes your whole month seem good, and reminds you why you do this stuff. I am glad to apart of that family. And if you read their year end report you know who inspired this blog entry. There are some people I am just super happy to be associated with...

donut ride from my house Saturday, I'll get donuts before the ride...


Monday, January 7, 2008


festivities started off with the traditional donut ride.

a nice group of us on the road, on a cold morning some on fixies, some not.

up the 1/5 mile climb, I had one thought on my mind. the fine donuts of north brook. the best I have ever had...
Then it was heartbreak...

The landhope farms on 926 failed to satisfy the need, but fueled the ride home...

Saturday night was the man shindig. A full house, lots of good people lots of laughter
and an overflowing re-cycle bin

the Role of Eddie Griswald will be played by Tom Mc.

Sunday morning out for some more miles. Near the end, Buddy and Ethan dropped their hammer. I found it, and it took everything I had to get back to the homestead. Back at the Ranch, we ate left overs from the prom, and had some sweet, sweet waffles...
Heidi was throwing down with peanut butter and Maple syrup, while John rolled with syrup alone..

it was the perfect ending to a very cool weekend, thanks to everyone that came down, hung out and had a beer or five.

hey check out Diane's new rack!

we are hoping to not scrape this one off the car on the garage...


Friday, January 4, 2008

203: tabula rasa

This if from the 2 man TT Zayne and I did last summer. That's right we rocked it like Eddie would have bitches. okay we got our asses handed to us, but we look cool. Check out the matching white booties... Nothing says pimp like a fatguy in white booties... Zayne's tan was at full force this weekend...

The carbon fork on the bastard son was a great improvement. The karate monkey fork is a good tool, it works, it gets the job done, but immediately you can feel the difference with the switch blade. Using The karate monkey fork is much like an archeologist using a snow shovel to uncover some ancient civilization. Oh, it will work, but the likely scenario is that you just smash your way through, versus being able to pick clean, sexy, smooth lines.
Feedback with the monkey fork is abrupt, while the switch blade just seems to smooth things out a bit. As much as a rigid fork can, it delivers grace in times of friction. The monkey fork is more likely to settle an agrument swinging a 2x4 with "peace maker" written on it, where as the switch blade would make a joke out of the issue and laugh about the entire thing over a beer.
It’s like the difference between buying a fine guitar or picking up something for the kids at old farmers market.

The bastard son is a bike that I am coming to like. I can’t say that I think I’ll ever be in love with the bike the way I loved my old bikes, but it has been very fun learning to ride gears again. The switchblade fork certain accentuates the bike, and helps the handling issues, which I am learning to compensate for. The bike reminds me a lot of my first long term girlfriend. A little heavy, with a personality that I don’t really love. I recognize that clearly it’s not the love of my life. But still, she lets me get to third base pretty easily, and damn I can appreciate a girl that can be obnoxious, and a little dirty. Nope, clearly not the love of a lifetime, but for right now, a hell of a lot of fun.

Rode with Todd (ex-prez but number one in your hearts) on Wednesday night. I spent the better part of the last 12 years chasing Todd around our trail systems. In a group ride, Todd goes the front and hurts people. Someone is gonna get dropped. For a long time that someone was me. It’s no secret that in the past couple of years some of the boys and I have enjoyed turning the screws on Todd once in a while. But Thursday was just Todd and I. Riding one on one with Todd is a different game, a lot of smack talk, talk about the world, and really fun. I enjoyed watching Todd’s lines as we picked our way through the leave covered trails of Iron Hill and a small section of Rittenhouse. My legs felt a little empty, they aren’t quite used to riding consistently yet. My brain and soul are loving it, the legs, well they are still warming up a bit. Todd put together a couple of really solid loops at Iron Hill. It was an awesome time.