Friday, January 30, 2009

225: Granogue MTB is May 3, 2009

This is the race bible. Let me know what you think:

And so it has been written, and re-written:

The Escape from Granogue Race is dedicated to the loving memory of our dear friend Andrew Mein. Andrew was a founder of the Wooden Wheels Mountain bike team, a stalwart in the cycling community, a loving husband, a superb trials rider, capable of amazing flatulence, a terrible bass player, an incredible mechanic, and a very good friend.

Andrew was stuck by a car and killed in 1998 while commuting home from work on his favorite bike at the time, a steel fixed gear road bike. Andrew was a hipster 10 years before hipsters knew they were hipsters.

This race is put on not in his memory, but as a celebration of his life, and his vision of mountain bike racing. Andrew believed in fierce and fair competition, and having a great time doing it. Andrew was known for saying, " always be an ambassador for the sport" and for bringing many new racers into the game. Andrew was a fan of punk rock and the community and grass roots nature that came with it. Please join us in this celebration.

Unsportsmanlike conduct will not be tolerated. Volunteer abuse will not be tolerated. This race is a celebration of dear friend, anyone behaving in a manner that rains on our parade or is in direct conflict with the event will be escorted from the estate by Mr. T and the big Russian Guy from Rocky V. Seriously.

Registration opens at 7:00 and will close 30 minutes prior to the start of each race as follows:
Enduro 7:00 to 8:15
Sport 7:00-8:30
Expert and Elite 9:00-10:30
Beginner 11:00-12:30

Kid's race reg anytime before 10:00.Kids race will begin shortly after 10:00. This race is free, but all riders must register at Granogue. Top three finishers will be subject to WADA drug testing.

Gambling on the kids race is not permitted.

Anyone with the cow bracelet from last year still intact needs to contact me prior to pre-reg closing for their free entry into this year's event.

For the record I did not come up with the "Escape from Granogue Name" and I hate it. Anyone who can come up with a better name that we can use in 2010 will receive a complimentary entry for 2010, and your name highlighted in next year's race bible.

Important Rules:

NO PRE-RIDING of the course. This event is held on a private estate. We are grateful that the Dupont's allow us to hold our event. Please do not abuse their hospitality by pre-riding these trails. If you are caught Pre-riding you will be banned from the event. Even if a cousin's brother's sister in law told you it was okay to ride on the estate, you will still be banned if caught riding the course. No we aren't trying to be dicks, but anyone riding the estate in the month prior to the event is automatically associated with our race. Any increased traffic on the estate jeopardizes our event. This celebration is important to us. Please don't jeopardize the future of this event by selfishly poaching the trail system at Granogue and pre-riding.

Bring water. It will be warm on race day. Come prepared. It may be so warm that you might consider swimming in the pond. Please do not. Aside from being disqualified from the race, and escorted from the estate by Dog the Bounty Hunter, all the ponds have an electric field over them, breaking that electrical barrier will result in instant electrocution and you'll likely die.

Seriously the Duponts are really into science and stuff, they have that kind of stuff going on.

Possible Benefit Ride on Sat before the race. Keep returning for updates! Got to work some things out.

NO ALCOHOL ON THE ESTATE. We are a dry race. Please do not bring alcohol onto the estate. This will jeopardize the future of our event. If you are caught imbibing alcohol at the race you will be disqualified. Again, this celebration is very important to us, but help us to keep the event alive and thriving for years to come.

Race registration is $30 via Juniors race for $10 and the kids race if free.There is a $10 late fee for day of registration. $30+$10= $40.

I can hear you now behind the keyboard of your computer:" $40 !! $$40!! What are you guys trying to get rich? $40 for day of mountain bike registration? I remember when you could buy milk for $1, comic books were a nickel and race entries were $15"

The answer is: yes, we are trying to get rich. In case you haven't noticed promoting bicycle races is incredibly lucrative and secretly paying for Tom, Lauri and my secret vacation home in the south of France. Not really. The house is in Fiji.

Save yourself $10, and make our lives easier go ahead and pre-reg. You know you're coming, you know this is a great race, just do it. Pre Reg. All the cool kids are.


REFUNDS: There are no refunds within two weeks of the event. No exceptions.

You can email me, and I will tell you, "I'm sorry we don't offer refunds."

Exception: there are no exceptions. I just said that.

The course is a classic Northern Delaware mountain bike course. It contains many steep difficult climbs, many technical sections containing roots, rocks, logs, the occasional odd object that may cause a puncture, field climbs, a nasty fire road known as "the koppenberg", undulating terrain, a tunnel and many challenging obstacles I cannot possibly explain here. Please come prepared, and always apply the golden rule of mountain biking, "when in doubt, dismount"


Top 3 riders in each beginner class will receive a super sweet MASS medal. We will also have a fun raffle for all beginner riders following their race.

Top 5 riders in the sport, enduro and expert classes will receive a super sweet plaque for their efforts.

Elite Women and Men will compete for COLD HARD CASH.
Pay out schedule as per MASS series Rules.

Elite 40+ women compete for the same cash purse but receive separate points for MASS scoring.

L-Web is a 40+ elite woman, but refuses to race the masters class because she is bad ass.

Beginner Juniors 12 and under will do 1 lap on a shorter course
Beginners will do a 2 laps on a shorter lap
Sports will do 2 full 7 mile laps
Expert and Elites will do 3 full 7 miles laps
Enduros will do as many laps as those sick, sad fools can squeeze into 4 hours.

Because I know you will ask: the beginner loop is 5 miles or so. Trust me it will be long enough and hard enough. If it's not, you probably should be in sport you dirty sandbagger.

We have some nifty prizes and a great course to race on. That being said none of our prizes are worth getting hurt over or taking any additional risks to win.

Sure Lance Armstrong is not taking a salary this year, buy Johan Bruneel is not waiting for you at the finish line with a super sweet contract. The guy near the finish with an accent is Jan.
Trust me, he doesn't have a contract for you.

You might be too sexy for your shirt, but let's have a fun day at the race. Oh and If anyone pulls a Baker, and you know punches anyone, we will press charges to the full extent of the law, and you'll be banned from all Granogue events for life.

This event is put on by not one person, or one program but a community of people who wish to honor a good friend and cherish the opportunity and responsibility to give back to the sport that has given us all so much. Members of the following organizations help to make this event happen: Wooden Wheels, the Secret Henry's Team, Twin-Six, First State Velo Sport, the Delaware Cyclocross Coalition of Delaware,, Buddy and the Keg Breakers, Visit, my family, a few bike liners, Fast Forward Race Productions, and Velo Amis.

We are also extremely proud to be working with the HERA Women's Cancer Foundation as a fundraiser, information center and raffle. Please support them, as they celebrate with us.

Directions to the event:Directions:

Best bet is to use a map program:
2900 Montchanin Road, Wilmington, DE 19807

From Rt. 52 to Center Meeting Road. Right on Rt. 100 then 0.2 miles on left.
From Rt. 202 to Smith's Bridge Rd. then left on Rt. 100 and 0.2 miles on left.

Everything I have said above maybe 100% true, maybe not.

After all of that, if you still have questions please email:

Thank you for joining us on this great day.

Fatmarc Vanderbacon, Tom and LA LA

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

224: passing the time

This is my MP3 player:
It was a gift from my wife for Christmas 5 years ago or so.
It has been one of my most valuable training partners over the past 5 years.
Countless hours in the basement on the rollers or trainer seemed to go by so much faster listening to my MP3 player.

Intervals at my secret training spot, warm ups prior to a race, stealing a moment to myself during an endurance relay all made better by the music in this wonderful machine.

On the hybrid pedal tour riding from Portland to Salt Lake with 12 perfect strangers, the MP3 player was sometimes my only connection to home.

On Road Trips from Florida to Rhode Island, From New Jersey to Kentucky, my MP3 player has helped to count out the miles.

On a daily basis it fills my office with wonderful music.

I haven’t always been gentle with my MP3 player. I crashed hard on it 3 times. Probably dropped it off my desk 20 times. I’ve thrown it into my bag. It’s spent days in a plastic baggy in the pocket of a dirty jersey.

Recently while running on the treadmill at 33, I launched it across the room, and if not for
a passer by's Matrix like reflexes, I might have taken her out.
Currently I have over 1800 songs on my MP3 player.

I was saddened when two weeks ago I realized the battery was no longer holding a change for the 5-8 hours it used to. After last weekend’s mountain bike ride where I scrubbed it against a tree while cutting a corner too tightly I lost the ability to make any musical selections.

Yup, my MP3 player has been stuck on random shuffle for the last week

Good news is that I like almost all the music on my MP3 player, and hearing the Cardigans cover Black Sabbath is a gem, as well as anything from Jay-Z/the Beatles Grey album.

The downside is the Axel Foley Theme and some bad Bon Jovi song seem to repeat way too much.

How the hell did those get on my MP3 player anyway?

After 5 years, and lots of use, I know the end is near for my MP3 player, it will be a sad day when I have to replace it, but I have to say it’s been a good time adding songs, and using for miles of smiles.

Be safe out there folks.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

223: message in a bottle

With the recent up roar over Mr. Armstrong’s bottom bracket message:

I thought it would be interesting to check some of my friends bikes, just to see if they had any
special or motivating messages for 2009.

First was L-Web,
That was nice. Jebalicous and Meghan must really appreciate that.

Speaking of ole Jebalicous, wonder what words of wisdom live on his bottom bracket:

Perhaps that’s the key to being fast: not seeing where you are going.

Next was one of my closest friends, and Reunion Tour teammate Buddy the Keg Breaker:

Followers of Buddy’s know he is rapidly learning the art of home brew, and frankly I look forward to sampling some soon.

Monkey’s message was pretty simple:

Gotta love monkey luv.

Zach and Jake shared a message: That’s Fast Forward Race Productions for those of you that didn’t know…

Breyla-la had perhaps a message that anyone that’s had an injury can understand:
And as for me, will when I flipped over my sexy, sexy black Niner single track ripping machine I
Found this: Well, if the shoe fits… (BTW the second sexy was a little over the top, and really for Blair.)

I had two pretty great mountian bike rides this weekend, with some pretty great folks.

Saturday had a nice group show up at the place and we headed out for almost 3 hours of Fairhill. Dennisbike, Kurtee, Rotten, Slik Rick, Keith (bobby's boy), Meatball, Buddy the keg breaker, Jan, Bad Andy, (i)Paul and myself. I apologize if I lived up to my moniker above. I was worried about the cold and pretty much went up every climb I could find in the first hour. My goal was to try and stay warm. It was a bad choice of trails that ended up flogging all of us. It was a fun ride, but I could have chosen a better loop, and controlled the pace a little better. As promised in the email about the ride, "I will be shattered when we get home." Manual dexterity and regular motor functions are just returning now. This was a pretty super group.

Sunday we met another nice group over at Middlerun and WhiteClay and did a nice 2 hour ride. Harlow, Shawn, JHIII, Bilson, L-Web, John T, Buddy the keg breaker, Jan, Matt (from out of town) , Fort James, Monkey and I. Monkey and Buddy did a much better job leading the group and keeping everyone together. We had a masterful ride.

Lessons learned this day: If you wash Monkey's bike before the ride, and it's below freezing outside, make sure to dry her cables or else her derailleur will freeze.

All in all a pretty wonderful weekend and I am happily enjoying a high life following a pretty nice nap.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

223: splish splash

Last night I rushed home. A snow ride was in the making. I was super stoked to get out.

I finally get home, and rush into the house to kit up and grab my gear.

Monkey exclaims as I walk in the door, “we have a major issue here!” I charge into the kitchen to see soap suds pouring out of our dishwasher.

“What the hell!?” I ask in disbelief. Laughing I ask, “what soap did you use?”
Monkey, clearly a little more stressed, “ the cascade dishwasher soap, I used the dishwasher soap…”

I run up stairs to grab some towels. “are you sure?” I ask.

“Yes, she says” “I know what I used!”

Poking just a bit I comment, “ you know, I’ve never had any trouble with the dishwasher like that…”

A little more defensively, “yes, I used the dishwasher soap!!”

Sympathetically I offer this, “perhaps someone used the wrong soap over the weekend and
the residue caused this small avalanche of suds..”

At this point we have just about every towel we can find in the house on the floor. The suds are finally contained.

Diane offers this, “ you know, I did use a lot of soap on the measuring cup that we stored the bacon grease in.” she continued, “it’s possible I didn’t rinse it all off, or off at all…”

“it only takes a little.” I explain…

we both laugh. After a quick peck on the cheek, I head up the road to meet Jan for a quick ride through snowy single track.

We whisked along the frozen banks of the Christina river. The trail is considerably more raw than Middlerun or Fairhill, but very fun.

This is a trail I rode as a ten year old kid and my huffy bmx bike. As a young adult when I started mountain biking it was the staple of my riding menu.

With so many amazing places to ride here in the center of the universe, this short 5 mile out and back trail gets very little of my attention now a days.

I enjoyed flowing through the corners, and reminisced just a little about how much this trail has changed. There a few sections that in the past I might have dared to try and ride, but as an older wiser man, I know discretion is the better part of valor.
We used to be able to do one length of the trail in under 20 minutes. Tonight it’s over an hour by the time we complete the out and back. Despite the bright white snow on the trail, traction is not an issue this night. The dusting of snow does however offer some unexpected drifts through corners, and obscures some obstacles on the parcours. One of those dips grabs my front wheel and launches me over my bars.

We laugh about it as I comment, “guess my timing isn’t back just yet” I’ve got some dirt on my shoulder can you brush it off for me?

I hope to get back to this little section a joy again soon. Tonight was a magical journey…


Sunday, January 18, 2009

222: DCCoD Prom

this past weekend Monkey and I hosted the 3rd annual DCCoD Prom.

Thanks to everyone who made it out, and for those who missed, we'll try to catch you next year.
I need to thank a few folks who helped pull this off:
Dennis Smith for a great slide show
Jan for setting up the equipment to show the slide show
The Bahnson/Weber and Rotten Robert for housing folks.
Alyssa and Regan for cooking this morning
Everyone that brought such tasty beer and treats for the party
Myles and Tom for mixing up some magical waffle mix.
Mayhew for the fine espresso, and bringing that bad boy all the way from Pittsburgh.
Thanks to everyone who helped cleaned up, hang out, and just have a great time.
We are truly blessed to have the great folks around us that we do...
I am so fucking stoked from this weekend. Such a freakin' good time.
I am utterly exhausted, my dogs are exhausted, monkey is asleep on the couch.

Without further delay The DCCoD Prom in 3 acts:

ACT I: The Party:

the Collins were rockin'

Jeff winced in pain every time an old shot of him, when he was shorter than Diane, came up on the screen.

I will be riding D-town with Bob very soon.

international man of mystery...
the slide show was a crowd favorite.

Lots of great people and conversation

Chicks dig moustaches !

I'm trying to show Hardy where the bathroom is.

E-town was able to relax after a great first semester.

Jake and Alyssa have one last reprieve before heading back to school.
Act II: the ride

33 of us headed out for a group ride on the fine trails of Fairhill. We stayed together with minimum waiting and a wonderful ride was had by all. The trails had SUPERHERO traction and were very fun.

Kid Chris and Myles exchange war stories.

Wes adds air to the tires on the gay UPS and in the background
Kurtee is peeing.
Anne rock made the ride this morning. I think she had fun.I love this shot of Rich...Anne Rock.
Tom makes this look easy.


Monkey at the bottom of 5 bridges...


ACT III: Brunch and Re-Hydration
left over cheesecake, high life and Rock.
Life just doesn't get any better.

Alyssa and Regan started the waffles as we finished up our ride. Thanks so much.


my living room now called the living room presented by

the kitchen was crowded after the ride.


Ninja Don gets some water and Mayhew demonstrates the appropriate
kit for mixing up some fine espresso

waffle line was long...

Monkey and Alyssa.

fatmarc needs food badly.

Rotten is wonderful...

I need to go to lay down now.


Friday, January 16, 2009

221: Adventures...

Pretend for a moment that you are one of the mid-atlantic's best and most storied cylocrossers. We could add that you are the director of the region's strongest and deepest cyclocross team. And since we are pretending, lets just say you weigh 112lbs soaking wet, and that you don't expect to win any arm wrestling contests any time soon.

So naturally, you would plan to do a 120 mile kayak trip starting in the everglades and ending up in the Florida keys. Did I mention this would be a solo trip?

Frankly you'd either be completely insane, or you'd be Kris Auer.

Kris is teaming up with the fine folks at Adventures for the Cure raising money for Extreme Weekend for Children with Diabetes and World Bicycle Relief.

check out more info here.

And while you're at it, why not help out Anne Rock. Go here. read it and leave a sweet comment, so Anne can win a trip.

DCCoD Prom arrangements are coming along very nicely.

we are all excited for a fun weekend ahead. It will be good to see friends, and have some nice bike rides too.

stay warm.

I will admit to you I thought I was over the mountainbike thing. But the past two weeks I have had amazing, and wonderful trail rides. Plus, my bike just feels so dialed in right now. So much fun. I'm really loving my mountian bike right now...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

220: lookin' at my gucci, it's about that time

Found out today that Judd will now be the director of the MABRA cross series. Judd has asked that I be one of the technical advisers for the series. I'm pretty stoked about that. I wonder if that means I can get back on the MABRA cross promoters email list? Just curious.

The weatherman predicted a pretty horrible weekend for riding, but I have to be honest I had a couple of really great rides. Saturday Buddy lead a nice group of us around white clay and middle run.

For the record not a single one of us cleaned this log on this day. But we had fun trying.

Sunday L-Web, Rotten and I had the pleasure of being lead around sections of the d-town trail system by BPand Kim.

Colin told me he thought my bike was beautiful.

I couldn't tell if he was being serious or busting my ass, because last weekend I told him about my super secret crush. No, not Flo from the Progressive Insurance Commercials, although I do love her big tricked out name tags, but the caffeine 29er.I have to admit it's pretty sweet.

Been on FB for a week now. Perhaps not the devil as much as I thought before. I have 147 friends, most of which I know or have spoken to at some point in my life. But for the folks that request my internet friendship that I don't know I use the following protocol:

1. Ask monkey : " Diane who the fuck is Jeremy Powers and why does he want to be my friend?"

2. check "nemesis or victim? have they beaten me, do they race cross, have they been to granogue, did I tell them no to a race refund?"

3. check :" why would some roadie want to be my friend?"

4. google stalk them.

If I can't come up with some realistic connection, or conversation with them at this point, I kinda have to ignore. Yeah, I could change the protocol, but I still feel kinda creepy about the entire facebook thing. It's just a little creepy, but you know then again, so am I. If I have ignored you in error, please leave me a comment and I will reexamine.

I agree with Colin, my bike is damn sexy.



Wednesday, January 7, 2009

219: I know she can, she's my sister Anne

I am a crosser.
As such my training objectives for January are pretty basic:

1. Keep moving.
2. Don’t allow my arteries to clog with gravy.
3. Try to not break any all time weight gain records
4. try to ride a bike once in a while.

This is also the time of year when I do a little running. If you’d like to get a picture of me running, imagine Phoebe from Friends running and you’ll have a pretty good picture. Put me on a treadmill and it’s even worse.

Recently, I was running on the treadmill at work. I stared out flailing around as is my normal move. Finally I started to get into a rhythm my arms pumping, sweat pouring, Belly bouncing, everything was going well.

Unfortunately when pumping my arms I kinda karate chopped my MP3 player headphone cord, which was attached to my MP3 player sitting in the cup holder of the treadmill. My violent arm movement, pulled the wire attached to my MP3 player so violently that I yanked the little music machine out of the cup holder and shot it out behind me and across the room.

If not for the quick matrix like reaction time of one my co-workers, I might have sent her to the hospital. YIKES.

Luckily the MP3 player and my co-worker were uninjured. I on the other hand, couldn’t walk up stairs after my little run on the treadmill…

I put this super hot, sexy, sleek, salsa fork on my bike. I'll admit I have been lusting after it ever since I saw Peaches. Sadly I won't get to ride this bike anytime in the next since the midatlantic has been monsoon country the past two days. Look how sexy it is:
Monkey, Zayne and I had a very fun ride tonight. Well, okay it wasn't fun. It was soulless, but at least I did something.
see objective #1

Riley loves Rollers.



fatmarc vanderbacon

PS: So the fork is so damn sexy...