Tuesday, June 30, 2009

015: return to tuesday night titans

Tonight for the first time in 2009, i returned to the Tuesday night titans. I'll admit as local strongman, after local strong man showed up in the parking lot of zingos, I was pretty certain my return would be very short lived.

The group was: Todd (the godfather), Peaches, Once a week Paul, Green Niner John, Michigan Matt, Best in Show (Matt), Leo (dozfuckinguys), Nick K, dude in the foreground I don't know, and myself. (hope I didn't miss anyone).

Through the judge, Todd cut up the trail with surgical precision. In my head I was saying to myself, "no brakes, no brakes..." I rarely ride the judge anymore, too much foot traffic, but tonight it appeared that with a early thunderstorm passing through the walkers were staying home, and Todd and company could fly through the twisty and undulating single track with a devil may care abandon.

We crossed into the middle run and white clay sections. As I stayed mentally focused on not wasting energy, and riding smart, I was telling myself, "I trust my no tread, fast rolling tires, I trust these fast rolling no treat tires..." A couple of two wheel drifts were enough to dissuade me from pushing the edge any more than needed.

when chasing these guys:with these guys on your ass, I'll admit I was questioning my tire selection.

in the end I'm guessing it worked out.

In this video you can see Michigan Matt giving the V all she can handle. If you listen carefully you can hear his Stan's blowing it's load.


About 2 hours into the ride, we crossed the three bridges we recently dedicated to Andrew. Todd, Peaches and I began to talk about Drew a bit. Peaches didn't know Andrew as Todd and I did. We talked about our memories of that time. After a few minutes of this, I asked if we could go back to the conversation of who the biggest asshole on the ride was. The boys happily obliged

On the way out of the park and up the church drive climb, I thought it would be a good idea to try and escape and climb away from Green Niner John. He was on his single speed. I could see in the shadows he was closing in on me, I'd look into the shadow, shift into a harder gear, pull away a bit, I'd look at the shadow again, he'd be gaining again, I'd shift into yet another harder gear hoping to escape. No such luck. At the top of the hill I barely held him off, maxing out for the night. Green Niner John looked at me, and with no distress, asked , "so you racing fairhill?" As I threw up in my mouth a little, and barely held off full cardiac arrest, I just smiled back at him, unable to respond.

He followed up, "when's the first cross race?" I blurted out all I could, "90 days, I obviously have a lot of work to do..."

All in all a great ride. It was really fun, and I was stoked, I appreciate the boys letting me hang out tonight.

Great new race this weekend here. You should go. what else are you going to do? watch porn on a borrowed lap top?
that's just lame.

In my last post I referenced Amy trying to crush herself early in the first lap of the race. Here are some sweet shots of where she tried to impale herself.

and the blair witch version.

if that's how my 9 hour race started, I'd been drinking 45 minutes in. just sayin'


"just as he's about ready to cut it up she said, wait a minute honey, I'm gonna add it up..."

Sunday, June 28, 2009

014: bacon, tofu, and jerk

Everything hurts.

I guess that is somewhat to be expected. As a member of the C3 powered by bacon, tofu and jerk (3 man masters) team. I am pretty worked. I love racing at Marysville, I love the ideas and heart Mike Kuhn comes up with and makes happen at the farm. Thanks to Mike, his family, the visit pa team, and everyone that worked hard to make this rad weekend happen. That being said in all of the endurance team racing I have done, I don't think I remember a more challenging course that we raced on this weekend. It was relentless, but awesome and fun.

For those who haven't figured it out fatmarc = bacon, tofu = auer, jerk = jan.

Did i mention I am totally wrecked?

What follows will be my endless ramblings, and experiences from the race. This will likely get long. Get a cup of coffee and enjoy a little fatmarc time...

NIGHT Team Time Trial.
The night time trial during the Marysville race has always been one of my all time favorite events. This year added a new twist with the team time trial. Now this would present somewhat of a challenge for our team as Jan, Auer and I have distinctly different styles of mountain biking. We finally decided on an order and figured we'd stick to it for the entire course. I would lead to show Jan the lines, Auer would follow in case we boggled, and Auer is the strongest of us so if he got jammed by the slinky effect, he could chase back on. Sometimes it sucks being the strongest.

We took off strongly, and hit the woods. A big log jammed us up a bit, but we were talking to each other and were able to calm ourselves down, and get back to our flow. We were moving along at a very nice clip. Then it happened. Jan's light died. Later talking to Bill Gentile I would explain that we lost a light during the ttt. He asked if it was one of his, I replied no way, it was a lights and motion, which I lovingly refer to as the "50/50" light, as in every time I race at night there is a "50/50" chance that the light will work. Bill laughed his ass off. video

But I digress, when Jan's light died, I figured we were done. Jan stated, "keep going we can do this, keep me on your wheel, Auer stay close." From there on in it was like my favorite Speed racer episode, you know the one where Speed goes blind in a crash and Racer X has to give instructions as to speed so he can drive:

"180 degree corner"
"quick up coming"
"big log"
"big log that you could break your collar bone on"

The final field opened up and we raced across the line. Truth is we were stoked. Clearly we would have been better off with all our lights, but once down a light it really made us work together and focus. When the results were posted we were even more stoked as we took the 3 man masters class. Overall 3 man teams we were second by just :30. Not to shabby for a team with just 2 lights!

Fast Forward Juniors
Just wanted to gives some props to the FFJD team who we camped with this weekend. Zach has really put together a super group. Now I probably dropped too many f-bombs; told an inappropriate story of two; I did my best to not walk around the campsite naked. No juniors were hurt during the camping at the FFJD/C3 compound. It was really wonderful to get to hang out with such a great group: Jake, Gunnar, Kyle, Jenny, Madison, and of course C3's own Sam the hammer who is used to our hi-jinx. Can't forget Don, one of the programs senior juniors.

Perhaps the best line of the weekend from the compound was this exchange:

Gunnar, "so how cold are the showers?"

Jan, "about 1/2 an inch..."

I also need to point out what a great group of parents; supportive and cool. I want to start a Randy Bergy Fan Club; dude is super clutch.

12 hours on the Farm.

So despite the code which says the youngest rider starts off the race, which would have been me, we decided to send Auer first. Our reasoning was simple, Auer is a triathlete, and a pretty good runner. His effort had him to the bikes second and not breathing hard at all following the Lemans style start. Similar efforts by me would have resulted in cardiac arrest, and certain doom.

Our plan was pretty simple, don't try to set the world on fire, go out put in consistent hard laps and let the cards land as they May. Auer ignored this to some point putting in 2 of his laps in sub 50 minute times. Jan and I kept our laps in the 50-53 range for the most part. Our plan worked pretty well; at 3:00 we had a 9 minute lead. By 5:00 we had grown it to 16 minutes. When I started my 5th and final lap at a little past 8:00, I hit the course determined to get Jan out for a 5th lap, and with the knowledge that we had built up our lead to just shy of a half hour. Although I did come up just 2 minutes short of getting Jan out for that 5th lap, he did have to kit up and sweat it out a bit for the count down. I was a little heart broken as I turned the final corner and saw all zeros on the timing clock; but that was pretty short lived as Matt put a beer in my hand and we celebrated our victory a little bit.

perfect photo bomb of Jake who did 9 laps ...

I'll be honest I knew we had a rock solid team, I also knew that if we rode cleanly, and stuck to our guns we'd have some success this weekend. I wasn't sure it would end up as well as it ended up, but hell I don't see W's too often, I'm not going to complain. The Lowe Riders are a great team, and those guys really kept us honest. Props to them. I know they have had a lot of success in the MASS XC series this year, and should I decide to return to XC next season, I fully expect those boys will be slapping me around pretty well out there.

Wes has gas:

Kuhn and company did a great job of putting up preems all day. They would offer a preem for whoever came in closest to a given hour, if two teams were headed out at the same time they offer a preem for whoever won the lap. Fun, cool stuff like that. I won a preem when I came in closest to 1:00 as I rolled through on Carolyn Popovich's wheel, showing her the respect she deserves by not jumping her at the line. Following her in made me the closest to 1:00 and gave me the prize. Showing respect is always proper. A big Win for me as I picked up a number of Beef Cake supplements that I am sure will help push me over the edge and finally make the Clydesdale class.

I was on the losing end of said preem when Gunnar, Kyle and I headed out at the same time. Those little bastards ganged up on me on the first climb and slapped me around pretty good. By the grace of god I was able to get back around Kyle, but Gunnar took that one. Be kind to juniors and how do they repay you? by slapping you around, UGH !

Perhaps my favorite was the lightest bike contest. Anyone who knows Jan knows that this was a contest that he had to win. With a twinkle in his eye that I thought was reserved for small children at Christmas time, Jan pulled the REBA off his bike between laps, returning his carbon fork to his set up, and set off for the weigh-in : 19.2 lbs was the winning weight. Jan's reward: a sweet bike scale, and the ever lasting knowledge the he truly is the world's biggest weight weenie.

this guy kept half wheeling me.
First and foremost to my wife, who finished her vampire novel this weekend (not twilight), and made sure our team stayed on track. She made sure we ate, and I always had food waiting for me between laps. She was just clutch. We have something of a life less ordinary, and without her I know none of this would be possible. Thanks for everything.where all the magic takes place:

Thanks to my friends and sponsors: C3-athletes serving athletes, Henry's Bikes, Howard at Newark Bike Line.

Thanks to my great coach Chris Mayhew. I was sick and off the bike the first 14 days of the month, and frankly wasn't sure what I would be bringing to the table. Chris does a great job preparing me. He did a wonderful job of making sure I remembered how to ride a bike, but also make sure I was pretty fresh coming into the weekend. Those that follow fatmarc.com know that Chris and I have been working together for a few years now. Without a doubt in my mind, Chris has helped me improve as a cyclist, and any success I've had is in part a product of the energy he has dedicated and direction he has given to me. Thanks man.

Thanks to my clutch teammate Kris and Jan. A little over a week ago, I was in a really bad way, and gave these guys the option to opt out of the race. They wouldn't let me. This was something we had planned for a long time, and we were going to see this through to the end. I am truly lucky to be apart of such an awesome program such as C3-Athletes serving Athletes. That is not directed at just Jan and Auer, but all of my homies in Black.

Auer says welcome to the gun show:


To my friend Breyla-la who had a pretty disastrous ride in her comeback event a few weeks ago, and I know she was in that deep dark place that all racers get to from time to time: "this is fun!? Why the fuck am I doing this!?" But Amy dug in, she really showed some moxy and has put in two really good rides and two great results in the past couple of weeks. I don't know that she could have had tried to have more issues early in her race this weekend, but she never gave up, kept fighting to the end, and finished a well deserved 2nd on the day. Nice to see you with mojo again Amy; good on you.

thanks for reading. I'm going to pop some vitamin I, and take a hot bath.



nikki's rat tail

"I don't think i can play any other way but all out... i enjoy the game so much because I'm putting so much into it."

Sunday, June 21, 2009

013: 10 things to do on a rainy weekend

10. Exchange emails with Mike Kuhn and talk about his awesome race. You should register.
9. Watch Diane make a quilt.
8. Follow on the Internet as my Time Trial Helmet makes it into the top 20 overall on GC in the Giro de New Jersey. (Nice job DDub)
7. Eat waterice with Zach.
6. Get double carded by a woman while buying Tom beer at a packie in Newark.
"I can't believe you are almost 40!" (she was totally hitting on me...)
5. Re-build your old single speed.
4. Ride Rollers in the Garage.


3. Get Tickets to see Silversun Pick Ups and Cage the Elephant !

2. Watch Monkey and Bad Kat ruling the sand pit in Ohio.

1. sit outside of Panera on main street with Monkey, Jan and Rotten and offer gymnastic style scoring to residents as they parallel park. Sharing scores with drivers and offering rounds of applause for efforts well done.



"i am only angry for the first 180 minutes of a ride, then it's all smiles."

Friday, June 19, 2009

012: rollin' with my homies

Had a pretty fun ride this week. Meghan and I got off the front.

we had to wait for these punks:

Diane had some work to do; Lauri was her carrot or rabbit depending on your point of view.

Is it wrong to cheer during and effort?

This helmet test is the best video today:
Ah the love of a sister for her brother.

providence 2006.



"you know everyone says Mike Tyson is such a bad guy, you know, I think he's kind of a sweetheart."

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

011: the ice cream headache theorem

I have been wrought with sinus issues this spring. First I experienced allergies. Man, what have I been missing out on all these years! Next of course a sinus infection that put on my back for quite sometime.

In recent days as I have struggled back to health and the finer things in life, you know like Rita's water ice, I am experiencing the dreaded brain freeze much more frequently. There was a time in my life when I could easily handle a large water ice with no ice cream headache issues at all.

That was before this spring.

With all my sinus issues this spring, it seems I can't enjoy more than three heaping spoonfuls of fruity, tasty happiness in my mouth without being crippled by the pain of a brain freeze.

My theory is this: my sinuses have become so much more sensitive and worked over the past few months that I have become super susceptible to brain freeze now. I'll have to have Rita's at least once a day to continue testing my theory.
This theory might rank up there with the Rotten-Faticus sex in the shower hypnosis. That theory says simply that the idea of sex in the shower is actually better than actual application. Not saying I'd turn down sex in the shower, but that it's never as great as you think it would be. That scientific debate is of course for another day...

Last night was the Joe Manning ride at Middlerun. I didn't go. For some reason I thought it was last week when I was sick, and then I had made plans to go to Baltimore, and then it turned out the ride was last night. I made the decision to not bail on Baltimore. I may have botched that one. I did have a great ride down in Loch Raven.

Jan, also known in some parts as the Silver Fox,and I loaded up the toaster and went down to Joe's Bike Shop

where we met Auer

and Bad Andy.

Hey look there's Sweet Johnny:

Auer took lead what I will call a brisk loop around Loch Raven. The First section was very flat and rooty. The trail was super twisty. Although we were not passing each other, the trail had a number of options when logs or other trail features appears, so along with some good natured smack, it was fun to see who would take what line through a particular section. I was smiling ear to ear.

The next section of trail turned up, and I was quickly reminded that I am not yet 100%. On a great day, it's hard to climb with this crew, on this day, I knew I had to back off just a bit and not over do it. So the boys had to wait a few seconds on top of the 2 long climbs. The ride back in totally ripped, as I know was starting to crack and cramp a little, but the flow of the trail, and race against darkness as the sun set kept us honest all the way back to the car.

Auer and Bad Andy looked somewhat unfazed after the ride. Jan was stoic as usual. I was pretty much destroyed. That was a fast ride. I felt good, I felt awful, but it was awesome. Have to get back to Lock Raven again soon.

Bad Andy was the only person on the ride with black gloves, everyone else wore white.
one week until the MASS weekend. This could get ugly.
BTW, no superflys were broken during this ride.

"whether you think you can, or you think you can't, you're right"

Sunday, June 14, 2009

010: the mend.

Saturday after a nice ride, Jan, Monkey and I sat outside of the local coffee house enjoying an overpriced, yet still tasty drink. We watched the cougars descend upon town, and placed bets on whether a group of folks walking up the street would go into Starbucks or Hollywood tans.


Yeah, we were bastards but the people watching was awesome and it was a beautiful day. We had just finished a beautiful ride. What's a fatmarc to do?

I watched as a car pulled up, and a young kid got out. He waived good by to his father, reached into the back of the car and picked up his guitar. The kid proceeded to walk over the sidewalk, set his hat down on the ground and start playing.

We sat for the better part of an hour talking shit about the world, burn notice, how much I hate Seinfield, and of course cyclocross.

The kid sat across the street playing guitar, singing to the anyone and everyone who walked on by. Ballsy kid, talented too. When he played this, I was really stoked.

Totally impressive. Totally cool.

I wish I was that cool.



"We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths. We're always exploring and experimenting."

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

009: leaky face

Sadly, I am still sick.

In a perfect world I would have been able to stay home the past two days and further rest and recuperate. In a perfect world, I would not have just moved into a new position at the clog factory, and the woman who the bulk of responsibilities I will be taking on would not be leaving the clog factory in less than 10 days.

In a perfect world, I would not need to spend as much time with her as I can to find a clue, and generally figure out what the hell I'm supposed to do as the new "employee relations manager"

Since we don't live in a perfect world, I have been living in a haze of cold medicine, antibiotics and coffee to make it through the last couple of days at the clog shop.


Today, I was scheduled for a meeting with an outside vendor, pretty important to just all of the employees in our company. About an hour or so before the meeting I was busy reviewing a report when I looked down and realized that my nose, which has lost all sense of feeling, and has become a cannon for snot, was leaking blood all down the front of my shirt and on to my pants.

Realizing the time, and my now blood covered shirt, I panicked about how the hell I was going to make this meeting with vendor. I envision Jason Vorhees walking into a meeting with a new vendor. "Hi, I'm fatmarc, the new guy, I just got done slaughtering some small animals, let me shake your hand!"

I can't be the new guy showing up with a blood covered shirt.

I grab my nose, stop the bleeding, and call Monkey. She gives me instructions to get the blood out. I head to the bathroom, strip off my shirt and begin scrubbing the blood off of my shirt.

One of the guys from the warehouse comes into the bathroom as I'm standing there shirtless, scrubbing away at the blood, and trying to get it cleaned up.

He was unfazed. He says to me, "hey man, what's going on?"

Me a little frantic, " uh, howdy, little blood problem here..."

He seems to notice that I'm not wearing a shirt and in fact washing it in the sink.

He offers up, "you can scrub it, but CSI can still find the dna..."

He dives into a stall to drop a load, or text his girlfriend.

I think to myself, "great either he thinks the new HR guy just killed somebody at lunch or that I have a huge coke problem, freaking brilliant." I get the blood out, and rush to try and get my shirt dry. I tell the fellow in the stall to have a great afternoon as I walk out of the bathroom.

Shirt dried, No blood to be seen for the meeting with the vendor. Meeting went well.

not a perfect world, but damn today, I'll fucking take it.

got a new round of drugs to start on to try and clear up whatever sinus/allergy/swineflu I have going on. We see how that works out. Someday I might even ride a bike again.


"Thanks for coming, please stay for the end credits, if you're wondering who the best boy is, it's somebody's nephew, um, don't forget to validate your parking, and to all you good people in the Midwest, sorry we said fuck so much. "

Sunday, June 7, 2009

008: reboot

Here is what I have seen and done over the past week:

Yup, pretty much laid on my back, choked on my own snot and stared at the ceiling.

A week ago I had just finished a strong ride with the boys, come off a really good block of training and was very confident as Diane and I were preparing for the 6 hours of Patapsco. Dare I say, I was starting to ride with strength and swagger for the first time since the Baker's dozen.
Diane and I don't race too much in the spring these days, so the 5 or so events we do seem to gain importance. They are place makers in our build up for the cross season.

Last Sunday when I first fell ill, I figured I'd be fine by Wednesday, I was wrong.

Thursday when I woke up with the my new Barry White voice still intact, sexy to the ladies, but not so much for cycling, I knew I was out for the weekend, and spent another day on my back.

Graciously, Breyla-la agreed to take my spot, so Monkey could still race. Sweet. Sadly the race was rained out, and the rain date is... Yup, the same day as the Granogue Cross race, so now I'm tasked with trying to sell our entry. Supersweet...
Let me say I was at my surliest on Thursday, and it was no mistake Monkey had to escape the house to get away from me on this magical day. I am no good at being sick.

This week in my cold medicine drugged haze I dreamed about peperoni pizza, I dreamed I was racing cross, I dreamed about main street, and skateboarding, and drinking some funny drinks.

Most of all, I just want to be healthy again. I want to go to work. I want to ride my bike...


This morning I noticed that our lime tree has a number of blooms, a number of potential limes.
Diane commented, "I've never seen so many little limes."
I replied, "that's God telling me he wants me to start drinking beer again monk."

we'll see when I get healthy again...

with just about 100 days until cross season, it's time for me to get healthy and stop fucking around with this thing. This has not been the spring build up that I would have liked for my cross season. Time to make this happen is now...

first thing: get healthy...

"Whatever comes our way, whatever battle we have raging inside us, we always have a choice. My friend taught me that. He chose to be the best of himself. It's the choices that make us who we are, and we can always choose to do what's right. "