Monday, August 31, 2009

034: I heart steve nash

Let's say you are Steve Nash.
You are one of the 10 best point guards to ever play basketball in the NBA. Maybe even one of the 5 best. You are in China, on business, you see the kids down the street playing a little ball. I mean b-ball is your love, but you can't just roll up and be like, "hi, I'm Steve Nash, can I get next?" So you do what Steve did ala Woody Harrelson in White Men Can't Jump.

Bravo Steve Nash. Bravo.
Last year I started 21 cross races. I developed a wonderful little routine for pretty much each race.
Okay, at the junkyard race I didn't quite follow the same routine, but junkyard races kinda
throw out everything. Part of that routine included Radiohead and the in Rainbows album.
I admit I haven't listened to the album since cross season last year. When I listened to it this week it I felt myself immediately snapping into race mode. I walked around in race mode, just snapped into it. Kinda creepy, actually...
music association, consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.
I love my cross bikes.
back to the lab tomorrow...

"wow, you fucked that up perfectly."

Sunday, August 30, 2009

033: queen b


Jan and I headed out to one of the staple rides of our community: the Queen B ride.
It was fun. Monkey went and rode very gently on a fire road, that was a little muddier than expected. That was a little hard on the knee. Ouchie...

After the ride we converged on town, where I ate a huge sandwich, and we drank coffee and watched as the masses fully returned to our peaceful college town. Who is worse the crazy new kids or their parents. Ugh...

we should have known better than to go into town.

I have bikes to clean, and despite being injured and unable to race right now, Monkey's bike is far dirtier than mine. How does that work out?

got a good week of work in last week, lets see if I can't rinse and repeat...

btw, my heart rate monitor is now retired. that fucker hasn't told me a single good thing this year, and I'm tired of getting bad news. I'm going back to my Luddite ways...

first set of tubies glued and ready to go. I think I'll play with them at practice this week.
Monkey can't ride her bike, but she can glue my wheels.

practice? we're talking about practice?

“The Dark Side of the Force is the pathway to many abilities some consider to be… Unnatural.”

Friday, August 28, 2009

032: LIZ Strong....

Help my buddy Liz in her fundraising efforts please!! :

Hello and thanks for taking a moment (or two) to read about the raffle I've put together to raise funds for the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

First, a bit about me so you know why this cause means so much to me personally:I was diagnosed with lung cancer on October 24, 2006. I was 26 years old and was an avid runner and skier. I loved spending any and all of my time outside, and as you can imagine, this diagnosis came as quite a shock.

Since then I have undergone chemotherapy, had 2/3 of my right lung removed, and went through radiation and chemo once again. Eight months after my initial treatments and surgeries ended, I was re-diagnosed once again and I've been on chemo for the year and a half since.

Despite the treatments, I still find time to run, ski, rock climb, hike, and ride my bike. I've found a lot of strength through the community offered by the Lance Armstrong Foundation; it teaches us that we are survivors from the moment we are diagnosed, and we form a powerful army against cancer.

The Livestrong Challenges take place all over the country and offer different ways to be involved - from volunteering to riding 100 miles - in order to spread the word about the LAF.

My first year, just six months after surgery, I rode 40 miles. Last year, while on chemo, I rode 100 miles. This year I hope to do the same, only this year, I am traveling to the home of the LAF, Austin, Texas, to do it.

I like to think everyone has given me some strength when I have needed it and this year is no exception.

So, read on to see how you can have a chance to win some great prizes and take part in a good cause all at the same time.

The event: The LizLivestrong Raffle
The dates: now until Friday, October 2 (Livestrong Day)
The goods: [the good part!]-
a daypack from The North Face- a Nuptse Vest from The North Face (www.thenorthface. com)-
a gift card good for one pair of Dansko clogs (
a gift card good for $50 at Trail Creek Outfitters (www.trailcreekoutfi
a sweet pair of cycling sunglasses courtesy of Henry's Bikes (www.henrysbikes. com)-
a new cable set up for your road bike courtesy of Gore RideOn (www.rideoncables. com)- awesome goody bags with tidbits from The North Face, Cannondale, Livestrong, and more

What to do:- go to www.tinyurl. com/lizlivestron g.

It will reroute you to my fundraising website- make a donation.
Here's the breakdown:
1 ticket = $10
3 tickets = $25
7 tickets = $50
10 tickets = $75
15 tickets = $100
25 tickets = $150
35 tickets = $200

once you've made your donation, please send an email to "lizlivestrong@".

You don't have to put anything in the email - I just need a way to get in touch with you when you win!- I will draw the winners and notify them over the weekend of October 2, which is Livestrong Day.

think about making even a $10 additional one for a chance to win. At this time I am trying to raise $2,100 to hit my goal of $5,000 (which I have raised each year so far)

Please let me know if you have any questions! And please join me in a heartfelt thank you to the companies that have made donations thus far. If there is anything you'd like to donate (but not your old clunker, that is a different deal) please send word!
All the best.
Be well and Livestrong,
www.blizzardd. blogspot. com

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

031: random thoughts and stuff

I was out for a little ride this morning trying to spin out the ole legs a little bit. School started today here in Cecil County. I know this because there were kids on every corner waiting for the bus to take them back to school, and just about everyone one of them felt compelled to yell to me, “hey, are you Lance Armstrong?” or “Go Lance you can do it”.
The one kid who didn’t was dressed head to toe in black. He was listening to his (I)pod and rocking out. I could tell he was listening to metal because he was thrashing his head pretty aggressively. As I passed him, I flashed him the metal sign, and commented “Rock”. A look of recognition flashed across his face, and clearly he didn’t expect some lance Armstrong wannabe, dressed in full cycling kit to flash the metal sign, but I did. He smiled a Cheshire smile at me, and reciprocated with an outstretched arm and a metal sign of his own.

Yeah, that didn’t suck.

I will admit that I spend more time looking at old skateboard videos than I should. I haven’t ridden a skateboard in damn near 20 years, but I still enjoy watching it, and feeling the joy. I so enjoy watching what the kids are doing. Molly posted this on her blog a couple days ago, and frankly, I keep coming back to it. It is so beautiful. Awesome to watch. Enjoy.

Should also add that this came across my email box, and damn if that wasn’t some of the nicest stuff anyone had said about me ever.

I am not very fast right now. In fact compared to this time last year, I am substantially slower. This fact doesn’t make me happy and I could mark it up to any number of fair and honest excuses. The reality is that they are all just excuses. I won’t bore you with any list of reasons, other than say there are no excuses. When the gun goes off, I can’t complain about work, or being fat, I have to make my bike go as fast as I can. The reality of the situation is that I know I am faster than what I am bringing to the table right now. I have goals that I want to accomplish this year, I want to be a better racer. Now is the time. I will be better. I have a lot of work to do, and not a lot of time to do it. Back to the Lab.

speaking of the lab, helluva nice group out for practice tonight. Good Mix of riders from C3, Henry's and FSVS. Rotten commented,"we might be the DCCoC3 soon..."

Dr. Collins was ruling the roost, showing why he was 2/3 mac champ last year. Kid Chris is pretty fast too. He did of course take me down in the off camber tonight. It's good to get the first crash out of the way. Thanks to everyone who came out and really pushed me hard tonight. I needed it.

Tacos don't make me any faster but they make me feel better for sure.

"A lesser but still fundamental rule of racing is that you properly enter the event. Anyone who doesn't but still insists on running interferes with the paying customers. "

Sunday, August 23, 2009

030: Cross Clinic

This weekend I had the great opportunity to work as one of the clinicians with the JBV Coaching/Fulcrum coaching cross clinic with JPow. The clinic was 8 hours of cross, we broke up in to groups by ability levels and took time to really break down folks technique and help folks improve.

The bulk of the day Rusty and I worked with the beginner group. After lunch Mayhew had offered me the chance to trade groups, but I have to admit, I was so proud of the folks and had so much fun with them I wanted to keep working with them.

All in all the day was a huge success, I learned a lot, I hope folks learned from me, and it was just a great day. i am already looking forward to next year's clinic.

here are some highlights of the day for me:

-Petra in my group really picking up the dismount/mount technique.
-Becky, a padwon of Nsytrom just killing it. She is going to have a break out season.
-during our off camber section I was chasing JPOW around a section. That in of it self was
awesome, then I tried to go inside around a tight 180, and he totally slammed the door on me hard. I had to put my foot down, he comments, "sorry I had to McCormick you..."
-JPOW is super cool. I was really impressed and am now a fan.
-JPOW called me fat.
-Burritos for lunch.
-Ann Rock with Jimmy in tow. Jimmy was in my group. video

-The passion and dedication that Dan, Mayhew and Rusty put into prepping this thing was just awesome
-the campers were super into it, very focused worked really hard.
-Glenda in my group who said to me, "It's not Linda, but Glenda, like the good witch, after I say that to people they never forget." she's right I won't
- watching JPOW bunny hop barriers never ever gets old.

thanks to everyone the came out the clinic was super fun, thanks for letting be apart of this really great day.

"There's an angel on my shoulder, in my hand a sword of gold
Let me wander in your garden. and the seeds of love Ill sow. you know."

Friday, August 21, 2009

029: team presser

As the 2009 Cross season approaches Charm City Cycling, also known as C3, is excited to announce a new partnership. For 2009 C3 will be working with Athletes Serving Athletes, a 501c3 non-profit organization that enables challenged athletes to experience the thrill of athletic completion. C3- Athletes Serving Athletes ,the 2008 Mid Atlantic Cyclocross Cup Team Champions , returns a strong team and looks again to be amongst the strongest cross programs in the east, if not in the county.

New for this year, C3-Athletes Serving Athletes will be supporting a national level team of four riders as they strive to reach their dreams of national and international success, while providing the team and sponsors additional national exposure. This group will include returning elite racers Andy Wulfkuhle, Laura Van Gilder, Wes Schempf, and joining the program for 2009 will be Dee Dee Winfield. Laura Van Gilder is looking to follow up a sensational rookie cross season that culminated in a 4th place ride at Nationals and a top 20 finish at the world championships. With a year of experience under her belt, Van Gilder, the 2008 MAC Cup Women’s Champion will be looking to make an even bigger splash on the cross scene. Her partners on the elite team bring some impressive palmares of their own: Wulfkuhle is a 2x Pennsylvania Cyclocross State Champion, Schempf in a 2x national podium winner and 3x MAC Cup Champion, Winfield in a Masters National Champion, and a 2006 US Worlds team member.

The quartet of riders are expected to compete in the USGPs, MAC series, and of course the Nationals in December.

Regionally, the team expects to continue to be force and expects to challenge for a second MAC Cup Team Championship, as well as the new MABRA series team title. When asked if he felt the team would be stretched too thin, team director Kris Auer responded, “ Unlike many regional programs who have strong presences during the road and mountainbike seasons, we are primarily a team of dedicated cross racers, this is our season, and no doubt we have our work cut out for us but this is what we love, and what we live to race for.” In addition to competing each weekend throughout the season, members of the C3-Althletes Serving Athletes team will promote the team’s own UCI C2 Race Charm City Cross on September 20. Last year’s edition drew over 500 riders. Outside of the Charm City Cross Race, the team will have members with prominent roles in promotion of the UCI C2 Granogue Cross on October 17, and the Howard County Double Cross on November 21 and 22. “ Our commitment to cyclocross goes beyond just racing, at the core of the team is our goal to help promote, and foster the growth of the sport,” Auer added.

Regionally the team will be lead by cross veterans Chris Nystrom, Jeff Cordisco, Michael Kolb, Heidi Von Teitenburg, Diane Grimm, Elizabeth Harlow, Fatmarc Vettori, Zach Adams, Rich Bilson, Joe Lilibridge, Mark Broadwater as well as juniors Sam O’Keefe and Gunnar Bergy. On the West Coast multiple time US Armed Forces National Champion and 2008 Charm City Cross Champion Michael Gallagher is expected to represent being based out of Portland, OR.

The Riders of C3-Athletes Serving Athletes are very grateful for all the support they receive from their generous sponsors: The Hostetter Agency, Blue Competition Bicycles, Bontrager, Joe’s Bike Shop, The Athlete Development Group, Tifosi, Sock Guy, SRAM, GIRO, Shimano, Verge, Woof Designs, and Barber Electronics.

More information regarding the team can be found at it’s website:

Sunday, August 16, 2009

028: swim, swam, swum

Diane's idea of a swim work out:


My idea of a swim workout:


swim/slide injury:

Bike riding is fun.

"Does Barry Manilow know that you raid his wardrobe?"

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

027: smackdown ride report

My new lust bike:
Sadly I have no need for this bike, I just think it is the coolest thing ever.

Let’s say I threw together a list of the 20 or so toughest guys in our community.

Wilson, Blair Blair, Disco, Jebalicious, Les the international man of mystery, Kaz, Collins, Jan, Lt. Dan, Wiser, Postal, Doyle Rules, Jay Jay, Markland, Johnny Williams, Kid Chris, Keg Breaker, Jedi Master Beckett, douche in show, Green Niner Cleary, Big Time Glen Turner, BL Rich, and CZ

The list was put together based on the slap factor. What that means is that on the rides I have showed up to during the year these are the guys who have slapped me around the most. Further, I should point out that I only do one group ride a week, so it’s very possible you are reading this and are angry that you aren’t on the list. If that’s the case please email me, and I’ll add you. Additionally, if you aren’t on the list and you happen to be on the one group ride I do a week, please don’t put in any extra effort to slap me around more than usual, I have a tough enough time on these rides. Just email me, and I’ll put you on. It’s just something I pulled off the top of my head, and is in no order at all. Also notice, I am not on said list. I am not mad at myself, or insulted. I promised myself I wouldn’t try to kill myself in order to make said list next time I ride. I also get that I am not one of the 20 strongest dudes in our town.

But I digress, The reason I made the list is this: the past two times I have done the ole Tuesday Night Smack down ride, there have been at least a 7-10 of the guys who made my list of fatmarc abusers. Factor in adopted son’s like Wes (the conqueror), John (millertime), or Bilson and it makes for an extra special brutal ride.

The Smackdown ride has 6 defined climbs. Hell, sometimes the sections between the hills are harder than the climbs themselves. It was a lot of fun last night as I made a habit of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. First after Cosart (climb #1) I found myself with a small group off the front sitting on Blair Blair’s wheel, with Wes pulling. At an intersection along the way, we were stoked to have Disco joined us from another route. Yeah, I was pretty much fucked.

Later in the ride it was the same scenario, I was just trying to hold a wheel next thing I know I’m in a little group with Wilson, Blair, and Wes. Unlike VISA, it’s everywhere I don’t want to be.

By far the highlight of the evening for me was finally getting over Mt. Faticus with the group for the first time this year. My name sake climb has been nothing short of a kick in the nuts for me this year. On top of the climb Wiser and I did a little high fiving, and the fatkid endzone dance. Shameful yes, but damn it felt good.

At the end of the night, I made 4/6 climbs with the group this week. I think I may have done better on the Way climb(#6) but I got a cramp in my calf and figured it was best to pull the plug. I also realize that I could do better if I sat in and rode more conservatively too. But fuck that, it’s a training ride, I’d rather turn myself inside out and get dropped on 2 climbs a week. Yeah, I’m lame, and that's the best excuse I got.

As the ramp up for cross continues, I would point out that both the group rides I have done the past 2 weeks, posted their highest average speeds for the year. I’d like to think that I was on the sharp end of those groups for most of the night, and help in some way, even if it was just talking shit, to contribute to those results. Regardless, good riding, good people, lots of silly, sick fun.

"it's my dick, I pick."

Monday, August 10, 2009

026: fun with facial hair

A little known fact about the C3-Athletes Serving Athletes Cyclocross Team is the tough clauses that the boss has all of us agree to be apart of our team. One of the clauses deals with facial hair, and that no member of the team shall have excessive facial hair. You know sort of like the New York Yankees.

Last weekend the boss came up to check on me. I had to clean up.

I went from my initial look: The Geico Caveman:

The Southern Gentleman:

To My personal favorite The Trucker:

Then of course The Law Enforcement Special:

Luckily things went well as we had a good ride and were able to preview the Lums Pond Tri bike course where I think he is competing next week.We had fun doing a couple of efforts and proceeded to half-wheel hell each other all the way home. I was destroyed.

"Do you know what "nemesis" means? A righteous infliction of retribution manifested by an appropriate agent. Personified in this case by me. "

Friday, August 7, 2009

025: perspective

Layla was a bad girl today.


the only exercise that Diane has had any success doing is swimming. She started swimming this week and she wanted me to swim with her. I do my best to be supportive, but I would have rather gone out on my bike. She hadn't really told me that I was supposed to swim with her, so after we got signed up at the Y, I bolted expecting to ride.

Needless to say we had both had different expectation of how the evening would go, perhaps I was being selfish, perhaps she was, maybe it was just bad communication. Neither of us ended up getting what we wanted and we both went to bed pretty sore at each other.

The next morning I read about the passing of Susan, the fatcyclist's wife. I didn't know Susan or Elder, frankly I very loosely followed his blog, but when I put myself in his shoes.... Needless to say I was in the pool with Diane as soon as I could be.

I picked up a pair of goggles, and although I own no speedo, I do expect to be spending more time than I planned in the pool. I'll admit, it was fun, and frankly if the worse thing I have to worry about is missing a bike ride to be swimming laps with my wife, well I'll think I'll work it out.

god speed Susan; good speed Elden

We were helping my grandmother in law move today. I was carrying a box out of her place and over to the car when I noticed her neighbor watching me pretty damn closely. Being the friendly fellow that I am, I said hello.

The neighbor looked at me, paused then returned my greeting, "hey there hippy." He then turned and walked back into his house.

I didn't expect beardfest '09 to quite have that effect. fucking hippies ruining beards. damn dirty hippies .

"you'd be surprised how much we have in common with the boy scounts."

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

024: beardfest '09

beard log day 14

things are going well. beard feels good, coming in nicely. 18 days is usually my breaking point. I feel good about setting a new bar in that area. Additionally, the beard has not been as itchy as say Beardfest '08. Training ugly.

Got out on the cross bike tonight. Running clinchers right now. Had too much air in the front and not enough in the rear. That of course made for interesting cornering. Overall the air pressure is higher just based on the fact that I don't want to pinch flat... Playing with tire pressure is fun.

As you may already know Monkey has a bad bought of the tendinitis. She has been off the bike for 5 weeks now with some slight improvement, but is still unable to ride. She is really frustrated. I feel awful for her. Five weeks ago she was going really good, and frankly had big plans for this season. Now she is worried about having a season at all. It's been tough. She is the person I train with the most, and ride with the most. Attacking this together is really one of the things that has made me really love this sport. I feel awful for her, don't know what else to say about that, other than if you have some magical healing thoughts, send them to Diane's knee. Truth is, there is no magic... just patience...

I saw Mrs. Compton out on a run, while I was riding tonight. Not Miss Compton, but Mrs. Compton. It was great to talk to her, she is such a energetic person. The past few years Monkey and I would see her as we were training on the fire roads of white clay; she has always been a harbinger of good luck for us. let's hope that continues.

to not close on what was kinda of a bummer post, because there is a lot of frustration over here; I totally had my face rocked off at a show in Baltimore Monday Night. Cage the Elephant, Manchester Orchestra and Silver Sun Pickups were the best show I have seen in years. That was a real bright spot for us. These past few years we've been seeing all these damn hippy guys; I forgot what it's like to what a show and get goosebumps because the band is rocking so hard. I felt like I was in college again watching the dude from Cage dive out of the balcony into the crowd. Fucking total rock and roll move... so damn good.

"it goes in one ear and right out other, people talkin' shit, but you know it never bothers me. here's the moral to the story, we don't do it for glory, we don't do it for the money..."

Sunday, August 2, 2009

023: a good day for james bond

Sometimes I get caught up in the culture and the people that make cross great. The romanticism of it might start to get the best of me. This week I headed out to start some cross specific style work, all of those allusions were wiped out almost immediately as I pedaled my machine around the fatcave. At the core of cyclocross is fucking pain. It hurts, it hurts a fucking lot, and my job in the next few weeks, aside from getting down to fighting weight, is to condition myself to become as numb to that pain as I can, or the opposite come to thrive on it, because in less than 50 days, I’m gonna have a whole shit ton of master’s guys do their damnest to put me deep in the hurt locker. I will of course do my best to return the favor. I have a lot of work to do.

I would like to point out that there is no hurt locker in half priced nacho night.

just good smiles and a cheap tastey treat mid week.

got out for the no douche bag ride this morning. The pending storms had our small group on a slightly altered loop. Jan, (i)paul, Lisa Lisa, Charley and myself got a nice couple of hours basically rain free. Up our final climb to the park where we started the skies opened up on poured on us.

Two final thoughts:

1. my beard is coming along very well. At one point I shot a snot rocket that went a little wrong. I thought I got the remainder off of my face, but sadly Lisa Lisa pointed out that it was infact smeared all over my beard. Super sweet. I finally got it cleaned off. If my beard was a spiderweb, then my booger was a fly smeared all over my cheek.

2. Helping my grandmother in law pack up her place. I walk by her neighbor with a box of stuff and say hello. To which he responds, "hello hippy"

Not sure how I feel about that.



"you can not grow a beard in a moment of passion."