Monday, May 31, 2010

020: Where do I start?

Well, I guess I have to start by apologizing to Bad Andy and Bad Kat. They came down for a ride this weekend and arrived a little early. I was in the garage tinkering with the bikes, in pretty much just my PJ bottoms.

It was only fortune that their eyes were burnt out of their heads as they got a full blast of my man boobs and belly. Sorry guys, Friends don't blast friends with their man boobs.

After kitting up, Diane and Bad Kat, accompanied by their teammates Heidi and Anne Rock headed out for a three hour tour of fairhill.
Bad Andy and I were joined by Buddy the keg breaker, Michigan Matt, Fort James, Keith (Bobby's boy), Acura Matt, Andy Green, Skin Colored Bianchi John, Rombach the slayer, Fuzzy, Ted Logic and Dennis Bike. We set off for one of our 4 park rides.

These 4 park rides are one of the things that bring out the community. We link together all of the parks between Fairhill, Carpenter, Middlerun and White Clay. We of course throw in a beer stop along the way. The rides are generally pretty epic, and lots of fun.
We usually have 6 or so of these rides a year, but for whatever reason, this year we haven't. Finally, we nailed down our first for 2010. At the end we got just shy of 40 miles in just shy of 4 hours. Up the two final climbs, Romback slayed everyone. Freaking monster.
It was wonderful. Thanks for coming out kids.
Monday was memorial day. It was hot. Diane and I did the amnesty ride. Mark the Shark kept a kind eye on Monkey and kept her out of the wind. We had a great time, thanks to everyone who let us sit in.

Later that day, some kids came over to watch the Fantastic Mr. Fox, and hang out with Tauntaun. It was a nice end to a great weekend.

thanks for reading.


Friday, May 28, 2010

019: blog post no one will read

So last week I took Diane out to her first group ride since her injury. It’s usually a pretty big group of masters dudes on bikes. The group is generally a very diverse crowd and draws a big group. In these parts it’s probably be called a “b” ride. The key factor is that there are lots places to hide from the wind.

Still Diane was pretty nervous about getting in the group. I assured her it would be fine and the group would be huge.

We rolled out of our house, rode 30 minutes or so and met the group. The group was much smaller than normal, may be 10-15 guys. It was a little faster too than in the previous weeks when I had met up with them. I encouraged Diane to get into the pack, and not hang off the back. Diane cautiously worked her way up through the group eventually settling in around 3rd wheel. I rode behind cautiously keeping an eye on her.

I began talking with some guys I knew from the ride. I told one fellow I was there with Diane, and she was coming back from an injury. I commented that I wanted to keep an eye on her in case she got in trouble.

The dude asks, “ is that your girl up there in the front?”

I replied, “ yup, that’s her.”

We crested a hill, Diane was out of her saddle and climbing at near the front of the group as it strung out on the hill. She was hurting, but made it over the climb at the front.

My buddy says to me, “ man, your little girl is doing great, she’s really hanging in there…”

Wait a minute, “ did he just say little girl!?”

I nearly crashed my bike laughing as I realized he thought Diane was my daughter and not my wife.

Diane and I dropped off the ride a few minutes later as it swung near house. She was smiling like a Cheshire cat and laughed out loud when I shared the above story. Diane was tired, but totally stoked about the ride. We’ll be back next week, and maybe try to hang on a little bit longer. Gotta convince Diane to not try and take pulls at the front yet… baby steps…

Have a great weekend.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

018: random type stuff

Farewell Rotten Robert.

Sunday there was a little barbecue down at Rotten Robert’s. It seems that Robert will be leaving us in a few short days. The lure of the mountains of Colorado were too strong, and sadly he’ll be leaving our little community. I will admit to you that I kept Rotten at an arm’s length when I first met the guy. My first reaction was, “who the fuck is the hipster and why is hanging around us?” Later, as I got to know Robert, Diane and I became HUGE fans. I love this guy. I also learned that his goal was always to end up out west. The lot was already cast. At the end of the day, I know have another couch to crash on out west, but our community certainly loses a great guy. Although the nickname that stuck for Robert was Rotten, the truth is that the guy is pretty damn awesome. You’ll be missed.

Frank Zappa Kappa Forever.

Be a better mechanic.
So in the last year, I have been working very hard to learn to be a better bike mechanic, and to do more of my own work on my bikes. I have always been spoiled by having great mechanics work on my stuff, and as a result I became pretty inept. Diane used to laugh when I asked where are the wrenches? But in the last year, I have been working hard to be better at wrenching. I recently read the Bike Snob Book. The thing that stuck with me most was when he said don’t be afraid of working on your bike. Sure, you’ll break something and have to go the shop, but who cares…

So currently, I don’t have an air compressor so as I was trying to set up a new wheel with Stan’s, I flew down to the local gas station with a handful of quarters and the wheel. Try as I might, I failed to get the Stan’s to take. I did however give the folks at the Gas Station, attendants and customers a hell of a show, as I tried to shake, soap, and pet the tire all in the hope of getting the tire to take. One brave customer asked me, “what is that white stuff pouring out of the tire?” without thinking I answered, “Stan’s Goo.”

The customer looked at me perplexed.

I just uttered, softly, “ Stan’s goo, a tire sealant.. aw never mind…”

Musical Stylings.
Picked up a couple of CD’s recently. Normally I’d got the MP3 route, but my current MP3 player doesn’t get along with our lap top too well. So I’ll have to work on that in the future. But I digress, I picked up the new Black Keys, Dead Weather and the LCD sound system. The Black Keys has kinda been dominating my listening. The Dead Weather is right up my alley. Only given the LCD sound system one listen. It’s good, but fighting for listening time right now. I’ll have to throw it in the drive at work and give it it’s proper listening…

Grocery Shopping with Mom Mom.
My grandmother in law lost her license a few weeks ago. Diane and I have been taking her to the grocery store on Fridays. Sometimes, I’d mix in a few beers. Truth is I had a great time shopping with her, it was so much fun. I will say this, I have never seen anyone molest the cabbage in the produce section like my grandmother in law. Last week, she was able to get her license back. Good news is that she is mobile again. Bad news is she doesn’t need my help grocery shopping now.
Ah, life styles of exciting masters bike racer.

Thanks for reading.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

017: Goosebumps

this just gave me goosebumps.

what can I say? I heart Shatner.

turn around bright eyes.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

016: amateur (bike) porn

What's nineteen and a half pounds and get me really excited for something that's still 5 months away?

You guessed it, my new cross bikes. Finally have them all set up to my silly specifications.
They are Fuji cross pros. Full Ultegra shifting and drive train... I did swap out for my wheels, cranks, front chain rings seats and seat posts and brakes. Mostly those changes were personal preference, The stock stuff was fine, but I do have my geeky desires. For the first time this century I'll run front derailers for cross... That's a big change for me.

a few folks have asked, " hey fatmarc, why not build one blingle bike, and use one of your old forts as a pit bike?"

While the idea of that sounds pretty cool , I have to admit that frankly I'm not a blingle bike guy.
All of my bikes are really nice, but there's rarely a part that wouldn't be described as workman like, solid and sensible. dare I say frugal ? My bikes generally don't have that "wow, that's the coolest thing I've ever seen"effect. That's okay, because I also think my bikes reflect my racing style to some extent.
Additionally, as I learned from Slick Rick many years ago, and I truly believe, it is better to have two bikes that are exactly the same, then one bike that is blinged out and a pit bike you dread taking when you need it.
My last cross bikes, the forts, were different colors, but essentially if I rode them blindfolded, I would crash, and then not be able to tell you what bike I was riding. Perfect.

The goal for these builds was the same. They are identical.

I always wanted twins.

I am really excited to put them through their paces...
thanks to Slick Rick at Henry's Bikes for working with me on these...

fatmarc (gleefully)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

015: five corners

Good weekend.
Saturday had a nice group ride out of the house.
We put in a few nice hours over at Fairhill, with some great people: Buddy, Kurtee, Dennisbike, Kristen and Nikki too.
it was fun.

we ran into the Trestle Bridge Posse for a bit too. Nice Kids...

up the final section of the ride, I asked Nikki to push me over the final hill.

seriously, I'm tired. A little help for the fatkid please...
In the afternoon Monkey and I hit the Scottish fair
I was craving haggis the entire ride, what can i say...

The bag pipers are pretty rad too.
After the festival we swung down to Nutter's.
little bit of disapointment as Nutter's was out of bacon.
Out of BACON!?

Monkey wants to learn how to ride rocks. It's something that she had become really scared of, and wants to improve. So we went out to French Creek for a little loop. She did great and we had lots of fun.
I picked up bikesnob's book this weekend. It's interesting at the beginning but starts to putter out a bit. Nice job for a freaking blogger hack.


bag pipes for you:


Thursday, May 13, 2010

014: Just like old times

Dear Web Diary,

This is Peaches:

This is Peaches too.

This is also Peaches.
Yup Peaches in this shot too.
You got it, more Peaches.

This is Peaches's bike. It's steel and real heavy. Peaches rides it fast anyway...eThis is Peaches's Manny van. Complete with 3 car seats.
Peaches felt he wasn't getting the same amount of love as he used to here at the old web diary.

Never let it be said that we don't love Peaches.

This week I haven't been riding. We'll call it a rest week. I haven't been eating well. Lots of bad food, hell I had McDonald's for lunch today. After essentially 4 days off the bike, I was pretty excited to be heading to fairhill to meet a pretty soild group for a ride around the park: Todd, Buddy the keg breaker, Peaches, Acura Matt, Clutch Sanford, Kurtee, Once a week Paul, and Jeffy.

At one point in the ride, Todd who rode inspired tonight, was ripping through a section of single track with Buddy, Peaches and I tight on his wheel. Nose to tail, 4 riders back. In the last 10 years, I wonder how many hundreds of miles I have spent with these guys flying through the trails of our community. After a week of not feeling so motivated and frankly feeling spent, it felt natural to snap back into a familar habit of chasing Todd, Peaches and Buddy around Fairhill. So good for the soul...
Clutch loading up...

thanks for reading.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

013: rainbow bright

Dear Internet Diary,

Diane got a new bathing suit. She’s been trying to keep up the swimming once a week. This is helping her knee to get stronger and she also believes it’s pushing her cardio harder than she can push on the bike right now. It’s making her stronger, and I agree with her logic. Anyway she got this sweet new bathing suit:

She showed it to me and then said, “it looks like a unicorn threw up on it, isn’t it cool!?”

God knows I married the right woman.

I’m at the end of what feels like has been a very good training block. I think I need to recoup a little this week. Monkey is kinda in the same boat. We've been eating take out, and watching netflx. I enjoyed Men who Stare at Goats. Monkey thought it was slow.

Maybe I'll ride a bike today. Maybe I'll do half priced Nachos...

Picked up a couple of tickets to see the Black Keys at the end of July.

I gotta say I’m pretty stoked…

that's all I got: bathing suits, vomiting unicorns, not riding bikes and half priced nachos.

yeah, I am lame


Sunday, May 9, 2010

012: radio silence

Dear Diary,

I haven't been super motivated to blog this week.

Perhaps a little post Granogue depression. More than likely it was time to get back to the business of life with that in the rear view mirror. Did a little riding this week which was needed for my mental fortitude.

Wednesday had a great ride with Buddy, Jeb, Dennis and Peaches. Those guys know how to throw a bike around. I am constantly reminded, that I am last years model... Jeffy says I need to sell my road bike... Maybe some good points to that arguement...
Saturday I did the tour de Chester County and got slapped around a bit. I may have been a little aggressive early and ended up dropped by the end. Jay Jay and Doyle are riding at such a high level right now. Postal knows that damn loop so well, he'll soft pedal a section and rip your heart out on the next. CZ, and Ryan could pull the entire time and not blink. And then there's me, hoping that if I keep up the witty banter and jackassery, they won't leave me for dead on the road.

Sunday, the monkey took it to me as she went for her longest ride since her injury.
About a week ago Jim talked about the independence ride. Not sure if that was what today was for Diane but she was going good. She'll tell you she's got a ways to go, and her fitness is poor, I'm just stoked to be back on the bike with her..

Slipped down to Baltimore today to check out the newest bike shop in town:

Auer Power

Stormin' Norman

Sweet Johnny
Breyla-la and Monk...
after that Monk and I hit the Jellyfish exhibit at the National Aquarium.

kiss my bass
fish eye x2


to wrap it all up, we watched a sweet movie call "it might get loud" with Page, Black and the Edge. So good.

Christmas Card shot? Maybe...

rock out with your bad selves.