Sunday, May 31, 2009

007: self awareness

Got out to ride with the boys today. Buddy, Peaches, BL Rich, Les (international man of mystery), Kurtee, Leo (dem phucking guys) and Michigan Matt. They were doing a classic 4 park ride, I ended up doing just 2 parks and was totally destroyed.

About 2 hours into the ride we were talking about Niners and their sizing. My niner is about a year old. I'll be honest I have been telling everyone who asks for about a year that I ride a large niner with a 90mm stem to keep the weight balanced.

Today I had just finished saying that my frame was a Large, when Peaches looked at me kinda funny. "you sure man?" he asked. "Of course I'm sure I know what frame I ride." Peaches smiled and commented, " you know there's a "M" on your frame that indicates that in fact you are riding a Medium." He laughed at me.

I looked down and sure enough, I ride a size medium niner. Wow, who knew? I am such an ass.

A little over an hour into our ride we stopped for the traditional re-hydration break. I will admit I usually love to partake in these. However, in the last month or so with a lot of stress abounding in my life I was starting to show some unhealthy drinking habits. Not unhealthy like drinking at work, or going nuts and yelling at Diane, but unhealthy like drinking pretty much everyday. A few weeks ago after a hot ride I slammed a bottle of Chimay after a ride, and did not get a buzz. I also noticed the more stressed I was, the more likely to pop a beer. With my family history, I thought it best to just dry out a little bit.

I have to admit, I like being a "two can sam" or a cheap date. Maybe one of Buddy's sweet home brews with coax me back onto the wagon.

Anyway, even though I didn't do the entire 4 parker today, I was pretty destroyed in the 2 hours or so that I did. Those guys can ride some damn bikes.


Friday, May 29, 2009

006: life rolls on...

The plan called for a hard group ride on Thursday again this week. I was able to sneak out of work a few minutes early and again made an appearance at the Peoples World Championships. Second time in 2 years! Super Sweet.

More good news, I didn't take out anyone on this week's ride.

On the way home from the ride I was doing a little "Clark Kent" in the car. I was running late and needed to get to my parents. As the stop light on 40, I slipped off my bibs.

Then the light turned green. I still didn't have any pants on. I was driving. I had no pants on, bare ass on the seat, junk getting a lot more wind than normal. Although liberating, I feared getting pulled over, or crashing or something while I drove down the road with no pants. To totally keep my junk from getting wind burned, I threw my underwear in my lap. At the light on Old Baltimore Pike, I slipped my pants on, felt a lot less pervy, and made it my folks fully dressed.

totally awesome.


Monday, May 25, 2009

005: Mega Dip


The Mega Dip. The Gravity Cavity. One of the prime features of this week's Iron Hill race. This weekend Diane and I met up with James and we played around on the Iron Hill course. It was really fun.

Now I'm going to sound like an old guy talking about glory days. I remember back in the early 90's, there was no Fairhill, and Middlerun was just getting started, Iron Hill was the mountain bike spot. Pretty much every night at 6:00 you could count on a full parking lot of mountain bikers at Iron Hill. Back then Suspension was just starting to take hold, cantilevers breaks were the best you could get on a mountain bike, and toe clips held your feet to your flat pedals. Oh and there was a tower at Iron Hill too.

The Mega dip was a bit more raw back then. There was a root on one side that if you hit, you were going down. There was really one line into the damn thing. I can remember nights when we'd go to iron hill and ride nothing but the mega dip. It was like nature's own half pipe. We'd go looking for other stepper scarier things to ride down. Oh, there was some blood, and stitches.

what did we know we were young and dumb?


The mega dip was fun this weekend, it's so fast now a days, point and shoot, just let it roll...

very fun.



Friday, May 22, 2009

004: the night I took down Mr. Ying.

In our town there are two sets of hard road rides both falling on Tuesdays and Thursdays and both starting at 5:30. To the north there's the smack-down and piggly wiggly ride. To the south there is the peoples world championships. We used to have one set of rides but all the personalities didn't mesh. The north ride is lead by Mark the Shark; the south by Mr. Ying.

The smack-down tends to be my ride of choice as the ride is closest to my work and the easiest for me to get to. In contrast I haven't made a PWC ride, which is closer to my home, in over a year. Now just between you and me and seriously don't tell anyone, I also tend to go to the smack-down because I am really fond of the ride leader at the smack-down, he talks great trash, strong as shit, gets the idea of the community and frankly after being an all-american tri-guy the fact that he is taking on mountianbike racing makes me respect him even more. But seriously don't tell anyone, I don't want him to get a big head or anything.

I will admit I haven't always gotten on as well with the folks from PWC. These guys were the original gangsters in our area. They are so old school they make me look like a high school freshman walking into the showers in a college lockerroom. They may have not always liked my punky smartass comments jumping in on their fun. I also have to so admit I may have not always tried to go along with the flow down there. Calling someone the "evil emperor" or "Darth Ying" or telling them that they were the Darkside of the force probably didn't ingratiate me to them. All water under the bridge... (i hope)
Today i got out of work early. My original plan was to go north but as I went home first I went to the ride closest to my house. The boys at the PWC were all very kind to me. Hell, Postal Dave, a stalwart of the PWC, invited me to show up for the Saturday ride... That was very nice.

Well, how did I repay their kindness? How did I repay them allowing me to sit in and suck wheel all night? Well, I took out Mr. Ying. In the last ten minutes of the ride I was sucking wheel hanging on for dear life. I focused on the wheel in front of me, not the road around us. The edge of road we raced down turned and dropped off. At the last moment I realized and using my superior cyclocross handling skills, or dumb luck ( I prefer to say superior handling skills), I got over to avoid ditching it in the barley field. Mr. Ying was drafting off of me. I do throw a hell of a draft; like a VW Bug off of a Mack Truck. But I digress, Mr. Ying had no warning and as I narrowing escaped I heard a raucous and looked over to find him was rolling through the barley field and eventually he took a tumble. Fortunately no one was hurt. I won't make that rookie mistake again, I know better than to focus on a wheel. Hopefully they'll let me sit in again at another time in the future. I apologized to Mr. Ying for my mistake. He told me to not worry about it. YIKES that was scary.


Last Tuesday, a number of us geared up in the kit we wore with our Andrew logo on it. We rode up to middle run and had the "three bridges" dedicated to Andrew and his memory. I'll admit it was kind of a heavy moment as we all got ready share our memories of Andrew. Lauri forgot a drill bit so it created a little levity as Jebbagger and James flew home to get what supplies we needed. Over the years since we lost Andrew many of us find ourselves in different places, different teams, different places in our lives. It was nice to reminisce about Andrew at this place with some folks I don't regularly get to see.

Also nice, many folks who couldn't make it out Tuesday sent Andrew stories that we read and were super cool. If you end up out in Middlerun, check out the bridges.Thanks to the DTS for working with us to be able to dedicate this section to the memory of Andrew.
Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

003: Rider Down

The Delaware Cyclocross Coalition of Delaware has lost one of it's own.

I did not know Joe Manning very well. I know Joe came to cross practice. I know that he always offered to help out with the Granogue races. I know that our last correspondence was him apologizing for not being able to be at this year's mountain race, and me telling him that I appreciated all he had done for us, and that I was looking forward to seeing him during cross season.

When Monkey first started racing cross again, she and Joe would often end up training together during the efforts at practice. Joe was very good to Monk. He didn't ride with her in an aggro "I can't get girled" kinda way, but in a "this is fun and hard, by pushing each other we both get better" kinda way. I liked Joe a lot.

He will be missed.

I wrote this is fall of 2006 about Joe:

Joe is a member of the Delaware Cyclocross Coalition of Delaware. Joe comes to practice religiously, he works his ass off. He is a really nice guy. Joe has a really fast start. Two weeks ago, Wes looked at me and said this, "did you see Joe leading up the run up tonight?" Joe is one of the things I love about our cross season, and our cross practices. VIVA LA JOE!

that's all I have to say about that.



Saturday, May 16, 2009

002: ride

Rather serendipitously a group ride broke out of my house Saturday morning.

Now, between you and me, I love having groups ride out of my house. It's always exciting to see who shows up, and as we roll out just seeing all the riders is just rad. Being surrounded my friends as we carve are way through fairhill is just awesome.

nothing warms the soul like a nice group ride.

except for maybe these geese crossing the road...

or the dogs wrestling...


or perhaps the Scottish Games...





yup, nothing warms the soul like a nice fun group ride except for geese, dogs, and the Scottish.



Wednesday, May 13, 2009

no. 1

Diane is funemployed.

I think I'll get a new hat soon. Lord knows my hair is awkward as shit right now.

Maybe I'll even head back to school.
Never thought I’d say that. I hated school.

I am totally the WORST STUDENT EVER.

I wish I was a tough guy. I am not.

I am a passionate/emotional/sometimes angst ridden man. Never mistake that for weakness.

I put suspension on my bike this week. Maybe that is weakness.

Actually it’s because Bilson might borrow it, and I knew he wouldn’t cut the steer tube. So I did.

Actually rode a bike last week. It was fun. Imagine that…

Some Ass clown opened a myspace account in my name. stole a picture of me from Dennis, another of some hairy legged dude’s tattoo. All that I was okay with I mean a bad leg tattoo, the fact that I’m single, That I read steven king, the hairy legs, all that I can live with. When those fucking bastards said I like country music they crossed the line. That cannot be allowed. Fucking country music. If you have a myspace account, please tell the fake me that I am totally a douche, and stealing my identity is not cool.

Country music is the reason for the moral decline in our country. Freakin’ worse than Brittany …

A month ago I had a few big things weighing on me; Thankfully they are all in the rear view now…

I guess it’s time to get back to diggin' my ditch….


Saturday, May 9, 2009

Per Tom's request:

links have been updated and cleaned up...

maybe video didn't kill the radio star...

go twitter yourself, it just sounds so dirty...

slowly I am coming out of the dark...


Monday, May 4, 2009

156: Granogue now even more EPIC !

Friends of Granogue,

Thanks for coming out to support our event in what were EPIC conditions, to say the least. In the weeks leading up to the event, many folks asked us about the weather. My comment was, it always rains just a little bit before Granogue. Well, this year we got a little more than a little.
I need to thank everyone who volunteered to work the event, as many of the races ended up taking double the time they usually do, and most folks who thought they signed up for an hour or two at a marshall station ended up with a Gillian's Island style 3 hour tour... Thank you all.

In all the years that we have done the race, we have never faced full sucky conditions as we did yesterday. We tried to make some decisions regarding the course that deteriorated during the day, to make the racing as fun, as possible. In some cases it worked out fine, in others... Well we certainly learn and get better.

At the end of the day I was warmed by the smiles on faces, even from some of those that threatened to punch me seconds before, The money we were able to help raise for Hera, and frankly that so many of you get the vibe of our race...that so many of you are excited to celebrate the memory of Andrew with us.... It was awesome.

We are also happy to support what we are calling the "granogue bike shop stimulus plan" as we are certain sales on disc brake pads, derailleurs, chains, and bottom brackets at Mid Atlantic Bike Shops will be through the roof this week!

We came home to a number of emails in our boxes asking about results, pictures and what not. Here are some links for your pleasure:

results : (expect shortly)

I also need to point out that the pro men's and pro women's winners were the folks behind our registration tent. I'm not saying that there's a direct link between working the race and winning, but I will take volunteers!

thanks again to the Dupont's for allowing us to play in their front yard and all the programs that helped to make this race happen.

Best to you, see you in October for the cross race!

fatmarc vanderbacon
Lauri (women's pro champion)
Tom (world's oldest junior)