Wednesday, July 30, 2008

171: rollergirl

"I'm not a criminal. I didn't steal a car. I didn't sell heroin, or steal an old lady's purse. I helped promote cyclocross races in 1978, and was a founding member of the DCCoD in 1979. I also had giant laser-eyed robot in 1984. I've tried to conquer the world and almost succeeded twelve times and counting. I am the scourge of Mabra cross."


In 1992 I traded my Joey Ramone leather jacket to my friend Nick for these sweet rollers. Some how I thought it was important to learn how to ride them. More important than me looking like a Sheena was a punk rocker kid.
In our first hell hole of an apartment, Diane and I used to set them up in the hallway. Monkey and I didn't pick the rollers up quickly. The patches in the dry wall in that hallway were all the evidence in the world that you'd need of that.
My rollers, now easily over 20 years old, have served us well. A couple of winters ago I was getting in one of my early morning roller rides, one of the cylinders cracked in half. I was thrown to the ground in the basement, but not before ricocheting of the cement block wall. It was 5:30 in the morning. I made such a racket that Monkey ran down to find my sweaty body print on the cold basement floor. Luckily I wasn't hurt.
Slick Rick ordered me another cylinder. It wasn't easy to find, I imagined Buddhist monks in some high Himalaya temple forging my cylinder over an ancient fire.
Although Slick Rick ordered just one cylinder they sent me three. My guess is they were taking up some space on a shelf somewhere, and frankly they just wanted to be ride of these god awful things. I mean they are over 20 years old. Do they even make rollers with cylinders this big anymore?
The extra cylinders were a bonus. So the next time I'm riding in the basement at 5:00 in the morning and I break a cylinder and I find myself violently thrown to the floor, I'll just swap in a new cylinder and get back to my ride.
I don't ride my rollers as much as I did last year. It used to be an hour before work three days a week. Now I find that I only ride them after the boys brutalize me, and I need to spin some lactic acid out of my legs.

My rollers don't roll the smoothest, and the frame actually has quite a bit of rust on them. Still they have a lot of sentimental value to me at this point. One thing is for sure. I've gotten a hell of a lot more miles out of them than I ever did my Joey Ramone leather jacket.
Anne Rock sent me these sweet sturdy girl socks. She doesn't think I'm the scourge of anything.


Sunday, July 27, 2008

170: the velvet rope finally opens up...

"Four years ago, I decided to start calling myself faticus. It's my supervillain name. I chose it from a list they supplied me in the clinic and at the time it seemed like the perfect symbol for my dangerous, sexy new self. A cybernetic cyclocrosser of mystery. Admittedly, I was on a lot of pain killers. "


busy weekend.

First I helped Monkey trim her bush.

Then I did a little work around the hole.

Buddy t. Kegbreaker, Rachael, Monkey and I spent some time at our super secret bouldering spot.

yeah, that overhang totally rules.

Sunday Monkey and I loaded up the car and headed to Carlisle, PA for the 40k and 20k time trials respectively. In 2008, I have done more time trials than mountain bike races. Isn't that weird?

But I digress, with only 54 days until cross season starts, I've been following the coach's orders, working with professor X and of course the director , to try best ready myself.

A few weeks into my training and I can already see some differences.

Lefty and

of course Kevin, you know my trusty sideburns, are really showing some progress.

Oh sure, they have a lot of work to do in the next 54 days, but progress is good.

Lefty, Kevin and I had a solid ride at the time trial today, putting up a 57:42 for the 40K. The course was fast: basically the first 20K you have some rollers, and are always working up a false flat. That hurt a lot. After the turn around it's grip it and rip it as you now have a pretty much slight downhill grade through the same rollers for the final 20K. Strangely, that hurt a lot too. I was pleased with the effort, but pretty also pretty realistic about my result. I didn't make the top 10 fastest times, and I tied for 3rd in the fours. I did how ever get this super sweet shirt:
That's right I'm in the 2008 PA SUB HOUR 40K Club!? Sweet. I like clubs, a little dancing, a refreshing drink now and then. Hangin' with 50, and Jay-Z in the VIP. Timberland was telling me this really funny story about Weezer... Well, I guess you know you had to be there...

Seriously I wasn't sure how today would go, I was super stoked.
Monkey pitched at 36 and some change for her 20k. She wasn't super happy with her ride. She used bad strategy and got herself bogged down in gear on the rollers. Still a solid effort and for just her second tt, it was a good day. I was proud of her.

Another thank you to Slick Rick the ruler for working with me in the wind tunnel. It was great help getting my position down, and best of all, my junk never fell asleep! Sleepy Junk = Bad.
Stopped here on the way home. We had smoothies. They were delicious.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

169: i wish i would have met you...

Driving through the Cecil County Fair today.
One of their theme's this year for the Rodeo is "tough enough to wear pink"
A fund raiser for breast cancer/cancer awareness.
I watched as a couple of 20 year olds or so crossed in front of my car with their "tough enough to wear pink cancer research organization" t-shirts on, whilst smoking a couple of Marlboros.
Irony or Stupidity?

Henry posted this sweet video. Does it get any better than this ? Buddy and Les rule.
My new cross frames :

sweet frame, super light, great geometry, made for cross. unbelievable. Yes Meg, they would still be pigs on the road, and be a knife at a gun fight in the woods.

Wait, those aren't my new frames, that's a water filtration system.
sometimes being grown up sucks...
Half dozen videos from $42
DVD Player to play them $28
Watching a Sunday in Delaware and seeing so many familiar faces: priceless
I find myself in the garage wrenching on my cross bikes. I glimpse over at this:
Man I love that bike. It's just brings joy to me. I have said it before here, but really my love of mountain bike racing is a thing of the past. This bike isn't tied to my identity, it doesn't make me "fatmarc the douche bag brand whore." It just makes me another guy wearing black, riding a black bike. Sometimes it's nice to hide in the crowd, and not be the local jackass.

Maybe I'm just another of Auer's Damned Goons (that's what ADG stands for right?) We are the scourge of Mabra Cross, at least in some's opinion. But I digress, my bike is pretty basic, but all decisively set up to my specifications. It makes me happy. It was the instrument that allowed me to exorcise many a demon this spring. I make no bones that my love affair with mountain bike racing has waned, but my love of this bike, and applying it to do the job it was designed to do: ride trails quickly, and fluidly- is an extreme pleasure.
We had some out of town friends stop over and Monkey and I took them for a little tour of Fairhill. It was a lot of fun. I was picking Mark's brain like crazy. Finally, I said to him" if you get tired of me doing that, just tell me to shut up." He smiled," nah, I love to talk about this stuff."

Not only is he dashing, but also a gentleman.

So pro, always tinkering with their position... (that was for you Jan ;-) )

Grass Track starts soon. My cross bikes are delightful. Really. Now to try and bring my fitness around. I guess I better lay off the high life and nachos huh?

Cross season is bikini season for dudes. I mean, a skin suit is a skin suit. I better stop eating this stuff:

Jebbagger is such a rock star. Except his not at all. Great kid.
Remind me to give him a wedgie next time I see him.
tonight is game night.
Gonna get my Yahtzee on...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

168: tagged

Okay, I hate chain emails as much as the next guy, " pass this email on and you have good luck, stop the chain and you'll get a flat in the next race you do", but I was also the guy who for a year and a half sent out 10 random questions to a list of about 50 people every Friday. That was fun for a while, I admit I sometimes toy with the idea of starting that up again, but alas I have been tagged.

But I digress, Jim is a great guy and he tagged me, so I'm on like donkey kong:

If you could have any one — and only one — bike in the world, what would it be?
I'll be honest it would be my niner emd moutainbike. Here's my reasoning. If I wanted to race cross, I could put cross tires on it and do it, if I want to do some road riding, I could put road tires on it and make that work, If I wanted be single speed, I could make that happen too. I admit it wouldn't be the best tool for cross, or road, but it could be an all around bike.

Reading this blog you might think I'd say " my cross bikes", not the case.

If anyone ever tells you that a cross bike is the best all around bike, tell them if you had a glove you'd smack them. Then proceed to borrow some gloves from Wes, and smack them with the glove.

A cross bike is a pig on the road, and doesn't have the brakes, or the geometry for single track. If someone tells you that riding single track on a cross bike is fun, throw your drink on them and tell them they are liars. Dirty, rotten, fucking liars. Cross bikes are good for one thing, cross. They suck for anything else. That's why they are so cool, they are built for one thing- cross. My Forts don't even have holes for water bottles. Because you don't need them in cross. So fucking punk.

Do you already have that coveted dream bike? If so, is it everything you hoped it would be? If not, are you working toward getting it? If you’re not working toward getting it, why not?

I don't get bike lust that badly, my bikes are all pretty pedestrian by most standards, but they fit my needs. I really like my bikes a lot, but I doubt anyone would call them dream bikes. I don't think I really have dream bikes. I break light stuff, I'm kind of a big guy. A TT bike is on the mind, and sweet road bike like a colanago or something would be cool, but kinda under utilized by a fellow like me. So I ride my basic stuff, and I'm happy about it.

If you had to choose one — and only one — bike route to do every day for the rest of your life, what would it be, and why?

probably some loop in fairhill, but that's really kinda of a stupid question. If I could only ride one route, I'd probably start skateboarding or take up lawn darts or something. The variety of riding is one of the things I love.

What kind of sick person would force another person to ride one and only one bike ride to do for the rest of her / his life?

Maybe the Joker or some one sick like that. Seriously those questions change the entire game for me.

Do you ride both road and mountain bikes? If both, which do you prefer and why? If only one or the other, why are you so narrow minded?

I ride both. Very early on in my start to this sport Andrew impressed upon me the importance of being a well rounded cyclist, not a roadie, not a mountain biker. I kinda pride myself in being able to show up to any ride in our area road or mountain and hang. Racing wise, I'll do some events on the mountain bike, road racing scares me too much. Way too many angry DC lawyers that want to put my punk ass in the ground. I also find folks that ride the road only are poor bike handlers. I've made a cross career out of beating guys stronger than me, who can't turn in the grass. Sorry but it's true.

Have you ever ridden a recumbent? If so, why? If not, describe the circumstances under which you would ride a recumbent.

my contract with twinsix forbids me from practicing black magic and riding recumbent bikes. I think it's just another level of geekiness in this sport. If was so injured that the only way I could continue was to ride a recumbent, I might look at it. I might also take up shuffleboard.

Have you ever raced a triathlon? If so, have you also ever tried strangling yourself with dental floss?

I swim like a brick. I run only when chased by someone holding a weapon. I don't know what dental floss is. I haven't brushed my teeth since I was six. I wear the same underpants I did when I was fourteen, only now they have more stretch marks. They are damn sexy.

Suppose you were forced to either give up ice cream or bicycles for the rest of your life. Which would you give up, and why?

icecream- I could still do water ice, and I think I'm liking that better recently.

What is a question you think this questionnaire should have asked, but has not?
Also, answer it.

Can you conceive cycling without racing?

no, racing keeps me pushing myself to be better each year and to learn. Without that impetus I might take up chia pet herding or start a sea monkey colony.

You’re riding your bike in the wilderness (if you’re a roadie, you’re on a road, but otherwise the surroundings are quite wilderness-like) and you see a bear. The bear sees you. What do you do?

I wrestle the bear to the ground and I bite his ear. He tells me his name is Teddy Ruxpin and he wants to be my friend. I kick him in the ass, show him my headlock and continue on my way.

Now to keep the chain rolling I think I have to "tag" people:

I'm going with the Queen of the Beaners, Ms. DeVious, Rock, Wes T. Conquorer, Rich B , Beth, Rotten and Buddy.

"keeper of chain emails"

Sunday, July 20, 2008

167: Magic Gloves...

Driving to work on Friday I saw a sign that said this:

"Go Green- Use our new Organic Hair Line!"

all I could think of was this:

Looks like the kids had a nice run at National. Highlighted by this:

Super sweet hat Ryan. Is that Art School Standard Issue now a days? I'll miss you during cross but wish you the best.

Old Breyla-la fought her way to a podium finish as well. Good to her! I'll get a picture as soon as I can.

Just got word that Wes won short track today too. I wasn't going to say anything, but he was wearing my gloves when the xc national championship, and you know my gloves when he won short track. Yeah, there pretty special gloves. I'm not saying if you wear my gloves you can win a national championship, I'm just saying.

Here's a picture of my gloves winning the short track national championship:

since my gloves were busy winning national championships, and I've been on a break for a while I figured I should get out with the boys.

The boys who prompty kicked me in the ass. The group was a fine group of DCCoDers: (Papa Smurf, CZ, Iron Mike, Dan DDUB, Jan, Jay-Z,Rich B, E-town as well as Wolfie and Postal Dave).

The loop had lots of hills and I got dropped a lot. It was really hot. E-town didn't want me to show this picture:

I don't know why, it's actually a pretty nice picture.
I saw a lot of this as I was dropped on everyhill today:

And then this one:

Luckily Papa Smurf was there to pace me back to the group:

Behind this smile are the tears of a hurting sad clown.

Oh wait, there go my gloves winning another national championship....

Congrats to KC on having a pretty nice day today as well. I can't say she ever used my gloves. Maybe I'll lend her a pair for worlds next year.



Sunday, July 13, 2008

166: MC5

I vividly remember when I was a kid and still skating. Whenever we'd find a new spot, perhaps a nice set of curbs, or maybe a new industrial park with a sweet bank, we'd hoard it amongst our little group. That new secret spot, was our secret, because we knew that if everyone heard about it, it's likely get busted or closed. Same thing went for finding a new mini ramp. If the kid's parent's realized how much traffic would be jumping their fence to trespass and ride their ramp, no way would they have let little Johnny Ripper build that ramp. Secret Squirrel type stuff...
I have to admit riding was like that for a bit. I remember when Elk Neck first opened up, hell even Middlerun in 1991, was like the magical secret spot. So Rad. It was exactly this same spirit that Buddy found a secret bouldering spot, really freaking local to us. Friday night after work we went and did a little exploring and freaking hit a gold mine. A few hours later as darkness ascended on our little group (Buddy, Rachael, Christian, Monkey and I), we walked out of the woods exhausted and exhilarated. I only freaked out once, but I look forward to getting another shot at actually finishing the problem and not having Rachael pulling me over the top out....
One thing I don't understand... I mean peace loving damn dirty hippies are supposed to love the environment right? I mean earth day everyday right? So why the fuck would you hike into the woods and on beautiful boulders, spray paint peace signs? I mean, perhaps they need to go back to dirty hippy school, but graffiti in nature kinda misses the whole point of being a damn dirty hippy right?

BTW been listening to a bunch of MC5 today. I think they might me be new favorite band. Especially the live stuff. So freaking good.

Fairhill Classic was today. Buddy the Keg Breaker, Rotten Rob, Potty Mount Princess, Eric E and I worked the expert/sport pool stop marshalling station today.

We DID NOT HAVE A BEER STOP. And this is clearly is not beer:

we make this look good:
Rotten and Buddy T. Kegbreaker test the water:
Perfect, and Pete agrees:
Kuhn Dog and Auer were battling on the trail, and splash fighting in the pool.

Big Bush cannonballed in:
Travis, rocking his first expert race, cools off and just wanted to know who the dude in the loin cloth holding his bike was:

Always wash your Peaches!!

Jimmy Z gets refreshed!!

International Man of Mystery, Les Leech double dipped, splashing down on the way in and the way out of South Park. Stay thirsty my friends, stay thirsty.
Nothing like a nice swim on a hot day!
Fergie gets into the act!

The Queen of Rock herself splashed down. I might note she was the only sport rider to splash down, I'm not saying sport riders take themselves too seriously, I'm just saying...

All Hail the Queen of FUCKING Rock! Yeah Anne Rock!!

Rotten and I reload...
People kept trying to grap our saftey devices:
way more of Rotten than you wanted to see.