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Saturday, March 28, 2009

145: the selfish fender

this is my selfish fender:
it keeps your ass dry, but sprays the shit out of everyone else on the ride.

many tried to bat away at my fender today and misalign it, but sure enough it did it's job, and my ass stayed dry. Don't drink the fender haterade.
Friday Diane had some errands to run down in Baltimore .

Being the helpful husband that I am, I programmed the address of where she was going into our handy GPS. As I left for work I noticed that Diane had left the GPS, which I had made sure was charged and programmed for her on the kitchen counter. ( we'll call this foreshadowing.)
Diane tore out of the and made her appointment with no troubles.

Shortly after 9:00 Friday morning, I got a frantic call from my wife as she had become lost on the 895, or the 695, or maybe it was 495 somewhere around Baltimore.

Diane was freaking out just a little bit as she was headed for Washington DC in the prime of rush
hour traffic, in a loaner car that she is not supposed to put more than 100 miles on. Coyly, I advise my wife to hit the “go home” button on the GPS because that would give her directions to get home from where ever she was. It got very silent on the phone other end of the phone.

I continued, “ if only someone somewhere could come up with some type of machine that could give people directions, and could somehow pinpoint where they were if they were lost, and help them get home easily.”

Diane’s response may have included some colorful words that might be appropriate for sailors, or long shoremen. yeah, it was kinda funny.
Needless to say, I helped Diane find her way back to 95 north, and she is now safely home.

dirty rings on my legs after today's ride:


Buddy did an excellent job keeping the group together. A few times Peaches, Slick Rick, Rotten Cousin Bob or I would feel a little froggy at the front. Buddy would roll up to the side and say,"lets keep it together fellas.." Buddy's delivery was very gentle, but somehow was very reminiscent of my father saying," don't you make me pull this car over..." video
If my tempo was starting to inadvertently run up, he'd whisper with a smile to me, "they aren't bulls eyes..." I'd smile at him and assume my position at the back of the pack...
video
Later in the ride buddy would roll up and in his best Ward Cleaver admit, "we could have drilled it there, but that's not the our objective of today..." Hats off to Buddy for keeping the group together and the ride rolling...
video
Thanks everyone for a fun day.
video
Tomorrow, I'm sleeping in...
respect
faticus

Friday, March 27, 2009

144: the open

forty-four is one of my favorite numbers. I am not totally sure why, but I always seem to gravitate towards that number. That's not really important, but then again not much of what I write here often is...

The Open is next week. As it is the off season, and I have been enjoying my leisure time, laying around the house, sleeping in, generally slacking on the bike front, it has been a good off season.

The Open is one of my favorite events all year. The short intense efforts will hurt me, but provide a platform that I can race my bike and not totally destroy myself during the off season. The team aspect of the race is pretty outstanding too.

Winning the Open is one of the goals I would love to accomplish before I die. Two years ago we finished 6th (Bob,Peaches, Buddy and I ), last year despite being the 5th fastest team we finished 17th (E-town, Peaches, Buddy and I ). The weighted lap scoring means it's pretty much wide open to any team to win.

This year I will admit it will be weird doing the open without Buddy and Peaches. But I am very excited with my teammates for this year. Four words: BAD FAT MONKEY KAT.

BAD
FAT
MONKEY
KAT
try and say it without smiling. I dare you. Yes, I know it sounds like some kind of bad Elton John song. Whatever, say it:

BAD
FAT
MONKEY
KAT.

see you at the open. you should register today.
Does this mean I am getting 0ld, I mean hanging out with other married couples and all... just asking?
Dennis Smith was pretty banged up in a mountain bike crash Tuesday night. He suffered a couple of broken vertebrae, and some cracked ribs. Full recovery is expected, but he'll be down for a bit. You should send him some good healing thoughts....
respect
fm

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

243:cookies


Sunday afternoon I was baking cookies. Don’t get too excited they were totally toll house. But I digress, I was baking chocolate chip cookies and next to the cookie pan was what appeared to be a stray chocolate chip. I picked it up and tossed it in my mouth.

Quickly I realized the error of my ways. I noticed Diane’s water bottle from her ride sitting next to the sink, and it had some dirt on the outside of it. The clump of dirt in my mouth, now turning into a little clump of mud, tasted awful, clearly not a chocolate chip. I quickly grabbed my beverage and began to wash out my mouth trying to get the dirt out of my mouth.
Last night I went out to the Smackdown ride. I pretty much got smacked down. Mark the Shark, Doc, Amy and Bruce and John Miller put me in a world of hurt. I got dropped, I fought back, I got dropped again. The circle of life is tough thing.
I clearly have a lot of work to do. Thanks for the beatings folks.
respect.
fatmarc

Sunday, March 22, 2009

242: wake destroyed my bracket

So the local university team held it's road race this weekend. The circuit race pretty much circled around my house. I went out for a little spin just before they had gotten underway. On the way home, all of the intersections had course marshalls. As I would approach they'd jump to action, stopping any traffic, pointing me in the direction of the course.
I speak up, "no! I'm just an old guy, I'm not a college kid, no need to spring into action!" They'd laugh. At the circle the Marshall said, "well, I've got traffic stopped, come on through!"

it made for a nice little finish to the ride, totally rock star.

In a non rock star moment, at the climbing gym as is not unusual on Saturday nights, there was some lucky 12 year old girl having a birthday party, which is always a fun train wreck to watch. I feel for the guys working at the gym, just trying to keep up with all of them, but I digress. I had just come off of problem I probably had no business on, and I crawled back away from the bouldering wall and laid on my back with my eyes shut, arms crossed on my chest and trying to catch my breath.

I opened my eyes and looked up to see three twelve year old looking down at me. the first one said, "I think he fell" the next one said, "Is he hurt?" the third one says, "let's climb over here.." and they took off as quickly as they came.

i laughed to myself.


here are some videos of the dogs drinking water.
video

video

respect

fatmarc

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

241: Magic St.Patrick's Day Pants

Saturday afternoon, I found myself out with the outlaws.
I was sitting next to my grandmother in-law who is a really sweet lady, and over the years we have enjoyed a few frothy beverages together. She is often interested in what I am drinking, and I’m always happy to share what I’m drinking. Saturday this trend continued.
She was drinking this:
I was drinking this: With a wedge of lime. I like to think of it as the poor man’s corona. But I digress.
Grandma was interested in what I was drinking, so I offered her a sip. She took a little swig. And then held the bottle in her hand for a second.
She looks at me and says, “your beer weighs more than mine..”

I smiled and said, “that’s because you’re drinking lite beer!”
She laughed and proceeded to Karate Chop me across the chest.

I responded, “So that’s where Monkey wife learned the chest chop !"
I did the Tuesday Night Smack down ride for the first time this year. Very ouchie.
Doc had a sweet Irish Jersey:

I suffered my guts out all night. Threw up a little of the corn beef and cabbage I had for lunch. That was no good.

It was that rarest, of rare occasion when I could wear my Magic St. Patrick's day pants, which of course make everything alright...

respect.

fatmarc

Saturday, March 14, 2009

240: the german valley girl

Rock and Roll victory salute!?
too rock for this race !?

SOOO 2007...

Don't hate me because I'm beautiful you Garmin Bitches.

Fun weekend of riding. Saturday out with Jan, Rotten and Monkey.

After about 2 hours, Rotten, Jan and I were ready to call it a day. video
Monkey wasn't. She said, "really!? Really !? you guys are bailing out on me?"
We looked at each other and nodded, "yup, yeah, yes- we're done..."
it was pretty funny.
Sunday I met up with the boys for a tour of pretty much everything. The longest ride I have done in like 2 years. I suffered a lot, but it was fun.
for the record, at game night, I won Death Uno 3 times. Yeah, that's how I roll.
respect
fm

Thursday, March 12, 2009

239: lightning in a bottle

Every so often you see a competitor who gets hot at the right time, or seemingly comes out of nowhere and produces their best results. At cross nationals last year Driscoll was an example of this, he got hot at the right time, pulled everything together, and pulled off his first elite national championship podium.
Jon Page’s runner up finish at 2007 World’s surprised almost everyone, and certainly was his best performance. Would anyone have predicted it after a season of injury? I guess not. On a local level, I remember a few years ago at the Hershey race my buddy Alan the cleaner, who had been a steady 3-4 in his class, won the race. He just rode away from his rivals. Again, he always had the ability, but for whatever reason, on that day, he was unbeatable. Outside of cycling and perhaps my favorite example of lightning in a bottle was Jim Valano’s NC State Wolf Pack in the 1983 NCAA tournament. The Wolfpack , a 6 seed, got hot at the end of the season, and upset Houston, a number 1 seed to win the national championship. That run is often heralded as one of the biggest upsets, and best examples of an underdog going all the way. Clearly one of the most surprising runs in NCAA tournament history.

This isn’t to say that Page, Alan the cleaner, Driscoll, or the Wolfpack for that matter hadn’t worked hard, hadn’t been in the thick of things for years, but for whatever reason things all came together at the perfect time, and all of them delivered their best performances when it mattered most, and delivered results that really were unpredicted, and unheralded. Some would say their performances were luck. I scoff at this, and answer with perhaps my favorite mantra, “Luck is the intersection of preparation and opportunity”.

The big challenge for the folks that this happens to is maintain that level of performance, to be continue at a new level. I have always wondered how these folks delt with the day after, or the year after? How do you capture that lightning in a bottle for a second time?
I enjoyed reading about Garzelli who won the 2000 Giro. In an effort to win in 2001, Garzelli followed the exact training regimen from the year before. Every hour, every day, every minute, every climb, every mile. Despite these efforts, Garzelli finished second in 2002. It is these thoughts that have been weighing heavy on my mind of late. When I reflect on recent events, I know that I was certainly fortunate to have a lightning in a bottle moment, and frankly I recognize that trying to re-capture that would be a futile.

Two weeks ago, at half priced nacho night, Monkey and I had perhaps the best plate of Nachos we have ever had. Surprisingly, these came from Deer Park, which is famous for historically average piles a nachos. But on this night, the tray was almost perfect. Every chip covered in cheese, or salsa. There was just enough sour cream, and jalape├▒os that it was perfectly balanced. No, dry chips, and at the end of the night, when all the chips were gone, there was still some tasty treats left, that required a fork finish up. Unheralded, and perfect. Lightning in a bottle!


Sadly, this week we went back hoping for the same. I had visions of the Deer Park Cook, going through EXACTLY the same routine as he did the two weeks before. Getting dressed in specific order, perhaps wearing a lucky bandanna, or having the same pre-work meal a he did two weeks prior. Diane and I went through roughly the same routine we do every week in preparation for ½ price nacho night. Despite all of this preparation, the nachos were good, but not magical. They were typical Deer Park, average nachos.

That’s the thing, lightning in a bottle can’t be predicted, you just have cherish the times when you get to be a part of it…

Respect
fm

Sunday, March 8, 2009

238: heels, sexy underwear, and dishes

Friday night whilst out at dinner we saw this fellow.I called bingo, you know for hipster bingo, based solely on his jacket. However, the jacket could be anti-hipster because it has a derailleur. Hipsters rock the fixes...

Judges can I get a ruling?

No, sweet Meghan has not gone goth...Friday Tom, Jeb, Monkey and I went to see Meghan's school play "a walk in the woods". She played the milky white cow, and was pretty awesome. She still has her milky white cow make up on in this picture. Her death scene was the best I have ever seen. I want to get her to reenact for the blog...

Sunday Jan, Jeb, Tom, RBB and I loaded up and drove up to Bad Kat and Bad Andy's place. From there we rode down to the Lancaster Training Crits. It was pretty fun day.The first race went down like this: Like dorks we all rushed to the line make sure we were up front. I guess this usually isn't as important in crits as it is cross races. The first few laps we drove a steady pace. I was on the rivet. Each of us took turns at taking flyers:Tom on the first lap, RBB on the 13th, Jan 10th, Jeb 5th, and me with two to go. I didn't think mine would stick, but it was one last shot to scatter the 10 or so riders that were left. In the end, Jeb took 3rd, Jan 4th, and me 10th or so... (based off of pictures)

I was probably the best sprinter in our group, but also in the worst shape, so my suicide attack with 2 to go worked great for me. Truth is I'm really in no shape to race, and used as much guile and treachery as possible in the C race. (the classes were a-d). In the B race I pretty much got my ass handed to me. Sometimes, there's no bluffing, either you got it, or you don't. I don't right now. It is after all March.

The second race was much harder, and we all kinda paid for our indiscretions in the first race. Maybe on the 3rd lap a saw a split in the group, at first I dug in deep trying to make it, but I was in a very bad way. Bad Andy drug Jan across the gap. I figured I had 15 guys in my group, I'd still get some work. With 10 to go, I realized my group was gone, it was just the 4 of us. video

I pulled the plug two laps latter. I was shattered, and not really going all that fast at that point. I was a little bummed I came up 8 laps short, but it was still tons of fun. video

these were training races, key word training. Between the two races, I was pretty much destroyed. But smiling... Thanks to my teammates, and friends for a great day...

I do have one saving grace: I might not have had fast legs today, but I did have the fastest feet:

respect
fatmarc

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

237: 21 cross races in 2008

"San Francisco is a big karate town: in 1965 there were roughly seven thousand full-time fee-paying karate students roaming around the Bay Area... but in any active bar you can hear a story about a bartender who "busted up a guy who tried to pull some karate stuff." It hardly matters how many of the stories are true. The point is valid: the difference between survival and wipe-out in a physical crisis is nearly always a matter of conditioned reflexes. A bartender with scar tissue all over his knuckles will hit faster and harder than a karate-trained novice who has never been bloodied. For the same reason, a Hell's Angel who has been over the high side often enough to joke about it will ride a motorcycle with a style and abandon that comes only with painful experience."

-from Hell's Angels
Hunter S. Thompson

respect
fatmarc

Sunday, March 1, 2009

236: HUGE in Ireland...

Saturday morning I woke up and my belly felt fine. No explosion, No eruption, I think I rode out the storm. Still had some odd flatulence, but really that's not all that odd at all.

75% of the Bohson/Webber clan showed up at our place bearing gifts:
So we got all kitted up and worked on Monkey's jigsaw puzzle:
A little later we slipped off to one of my favorite riding spots, Elk Neck. The Elk Neck Loop is about half of what it used to be, but if you don't mind riding a couple of loops twice, it's just amazing. Relentlessly fun trails, constant quick power demanded to get up steep little hills, and constant focus on cornering, roots, and logs. Tight. So freaking Tight. Amazing place, at the end of the ride I was cooked, mentally and physically.

Saturday Night we hit the climbing Gym. We met up with Buddy and Bob.

Bob is one of my favorite people to watch climb. Every move is measured, everything is clean and fluid. In this clip he is skipping holds, he finished the problem on the next try...

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Buddy moves right up this problem...

video

Rachel is waiting for her girls to foal, so she couldn't make it out to climb tonight. We picked up some pizza's and went back to her place to hang out and watch horse TV with her. Speak up if you see an extra hoof sticking out somewhere!

you know I'm not very fast, but my shoes are super sweet....
thanks for reading.
respect
fatmarc