Tuesday, April 26, 2011


On the Amnesty ride Sunday, which was the most Amnesty ride ever, I had to stop to pee. I have it on good reports that someone chirped up, "Faticus stopped to pee, can we slow up?"  which was answered with, "fuck 'em he can catch back on."  Everyone loves Fatmarc. Argh.

Thanks to Garvey who drug my tired fatass back to the group. It would have been a black mark on my season for sure to be dropped from the Amnesty ride.

Granogue is this weekend. Things are coming together very nicely. 175 riders registered as of this morning.
go here.  and register. It's going to be a wonderful weekend of Mountainbike racing and Tomfoolery.

Buy a raffle ticket too. Go here.


Saturday, April 23, 2011

for breyla-la


he learned his eating habits from me.


Friday, April 22, 2011

do it

Granogue is next week. The course is riding in very nicely. Go here and register.

You know you're coming. You know you're gonna have fun. register now:

The Big HERA Raffle is going on too. Go here and buy a ticket.
Help a good cause. Feel good, and maybe win some badass stuff.

get down with your bad-ass self.


Monday, April 18, 2011

Price's Prizes and Buddy's Biscuits...

Dear Readers,

I had a few great days of riding.

Thursday the blue cup with Ted Logic, Les international man of mystery, and Pricey.

I went home and drank a beer that I opened with an opener that Pricey won at Fairhill, and I drank it out
of a waterbottle that he won too.  Thanks Pricey. Victory is so Sweet.

Saturday, I knew it was going to rain so I had to get out early. I called Buddy and Travis (other early risers)
"buddy, we should ride Granogue at 7 to beat the rain tomorrow" I said.
"7:00 is really early..." Buddy said.
"would you do it for a box Buddy Biscuits?" I tempted him.

"Man, 7:00 is really early... but.." Buddy said.
"Would you do it for two  boxes of Buddy Biscuits?" I swung for the fences.

"Pick me up at 6:40!" Buddy said...

Luckily, Travis met us. It was a great ride, I was out of Travis Treats.

A great ride, at a gentleman's pace, we pushed each other, and had fun the entire time.
Seriously, my entire body was destroyed the rest of the weekend.

Can we do it again next week? Please.

Granogue is coming along nicely, a couple of little tweaks to the course really round things out nicely.

This year we coming back with our 10k run, our pre-rides for HERA, the
 DE, MD, PA, NJ  mountain bike time trial state championships all on Saturday.

A full slate of Enduro and Cross Country races Sunday.

Also back this year is the IRON MONKEY. (Run, TT and Enduro)

It will be totally AWESOME. Go Here and Register.


Potter potting
Okay, this is pretty rad.

Watch more video of Defense Soap Dirty Flo Takedown Of The Week on flowrestling.org

watch out for Penn State Wrestlers out there.

thanks for reading.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Spring Classics of the Mid Atlantic Mountain Bike Scene

This is a post where I say I did my first mountain bike race in fall of 1989 and sound really old.
As I was learning the sport and moving up in classes, I began to learn about the flow of the season and the spring classics.

 I remember in the Mid Atlantic there were 3 Mountainbike  races that everyone got up for each year. The Mid Atlantic's Own Spring Classics of Mountainbiking:

1. Wye Mills. Promoted by Tracy Lea. Fast flowy course on what was the family farm I think. Trails were only open for that race. HUGE fields, really fast and competitive. I think they gave away bikes to the winners of the sport class one year.  Really fun race. I actually think it was in the D20 BAR one year... Usually first or second weekend in April I think.
Slick Rick Da Ruler in 2000
2. Iron Master's Classic- the real Michaux race. Once called the world championships of technical riding. I was always amazed at how hard this race was and so early in the season. I still remember cleaning grave yard ridge for the first time. SO RAD.  Tons of rocks, big long climbs, and again everyone was there. Competition was huge. They used to send out a flyer with all the results in all the classes. It was like a bible for the season. I kept those for years. I raced these for 8 years straight. Usually the last weekend in April.
anyone see and cyclocrossers in there?

3. Bike Line at Fairmount Park. Course was not great, but it was in the middle of the city and  the fields were huge. They threw out lots of money at it, and the crowds (people not racing) were huge. I still remember the roar of the crowd as we went through collarbone creek. This was during the sport race.  There were radio ads on Wsyp. I remember listening to Stern and hearing ads for a bike race and being so stoked. Usually came in May, and wrapped up the classics.

Some 10-15 years later none of these races still exists.

So I ask you, what are the new Mountain Bike Classics of the Mid Atlantic?
I've polled a few people and these came up:

International Relay (Mass relay),
Bakers Dozen
Bike Line at Fairhill

What do you think? What are your three?

I didn't think of the International (MASS) relay, but I have to admit I like it.
Baker's is a great race, but the competition isn't that deep normally.
Bikeline Fairhill would make my cut for sure, maybe the toughest, deepest fields all year...
Greenbriar is a great race, but doesn't always get the crowds... Certainly could be on this list..

two things :
1. click on the links. Look at some of the names in the results. How many are still around 10+ years laters... kinda cool...

2. my best results at the Classics: Wye Mills: 5th, Ironmaster's 10th; Fairmount Classic 4th.
that was in the sport class...

Please comment....

This guy is fucking rad:


Sunday, April 10, 2011

six fifty or so...

Saturday morning.

Monkey and I are fully kitted up and standing in our driveway.  We are getting ready to head out and do some openers. I'm feeling a little tight so I kick my leg into the air. I'm not very flexible and the kick doesn't go very high. Monkey taunts me, " dude, I hope you don't have to karate kick anyone soon, you can't even get it as high as my head...."  I take that as a challenge, and try my best karate kick, which of course come no where near as high or near monkey's head.  She laughs at me.

Frustrated I quip, "you're telling me you can kick me in the face? Go for it buddy." Diane steps forward and punter style kicks at my face. She comes centimeters from my chin. I should have been alarmed. I wasn't.

"that's not a Karate Kick, monkey, that's totally cheating. I can kick you in the face punter style." I proceed punter style kick swinging maybe an inch from her nose. "see, I told you so." I barb at her.

Mind you we are standing, in our driveway, fully decked out in our cycling team kit getting ready to go for a bike ride trying to kick each other in the face.  Perfectly normal.

We jump into the car. Silently we back out of the driveway. We turn and look at each other and burst into laughter. "I wonder how many marriages have failed when the couple started trying to see if they could karate kicking each other in the face?" Oh, dear god. We continue to laugh and drive off.

Sunday Fairhill Race:

My race was pretty short this weekend. I got a solid start, was riding well and cut my tire six minutes and fifty seconds into the race. I think I had good legs today, I felt like I had a good ride. It didn't work out so well today. Oh, well we'll try this again soon. I'm trying to be a mountain bike racer. I'll have to try a little harder perhaps.

Monkey on the other hand had a really good ride. She got a good start and battled in the top 10 overall all day. Her field had 31 riders or so. I was really proud of her effort. Monk's been working hard and it showed today. I gave her a hug at the finish  and told her good job. She smiled and said, " I have a lot of work to do."

We smiled, and enjoyed a fine Mexican meal for the afternoon. She had 3 enchiladas and  I had 4 tacos.

Photos by K. Miller

thanks for reading.

fatmarc vanderbacon

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Coffee Jackassery

From time to time I’ll swing by my local Duncan Donuts on the way into the clog factory. While I am not a fan of their donuts, I do find their coffee to be enjoyable.

monkey see, monkey do.
The guys in the drive through, I am certain, have a game going. The young man that takes your order, sees how many times he can say “my friend” while the young man who takes my money and gives me my coffee sees how many times he can say “buddy.” They do a good job, and I can imagine if I was slinging coffee and donuts,

Bad Kat- founding member of the danger scout's posse
I might do similar things. So for instance a typical conversation would look like this:

aero bootie failure on lap 3...
Duncan Dude #1 : “Good morning my friend, How can I help you today my friend?”

Me: “ Medium coffee, light cream, light sugar- thanks”

Duncan Dude #1 : “thank you my friend, that will be $1.50 at the window, have a great day my friend!”

As I roll to the window Duncan Dude #2 kicks it:

Duncan Dude #2; “ Good to see you Buddy! Here’s your order. And here’s your change Buddy.”

Me; “thank you sir”

Duncan Dude #2: “no worries Buddy, you have a great day now”

For those scoring at home Dude #1 wins the exchange 4 my friends to 3 buddys.

they like rocks
These kids are pretty good. However, I’ve been a jackass for 40 years now, and I know how these games are played.

This morning’s exchange went like this:

Duncan Dude #1 : “Good morning my friend, How can I help you today my friend?”

Me: “ My friend, My Buddy- I would love a medium coffee black and strong. Thanks my friend, my Buddy”

Duncan Dude #1: “uh- sure thing, black coffee---- that will be $1.50—please pull around to the window.”

I pull around

Duncan Dude #2: “ My Buddy, That will be $1.50”

Me; “$1.50 it is my Buddy, my friend… Here you go!”

Duncan Dude #2: “ Okay... hmmm ....here’s your coffee!”

Me; “ Thank you so much my buddy, my friend, you have a great day!”

And I drive off.

For those scoring at home:

finishing straight

Duncan Dude #1 has 2 my friends and was shut down.
Duncan Dude #2 has 1 my buddys but nothing more.
I however have 4 my buddys and 4 my friends; plus like in scrabble I get a double word score for the buddy/friend combo- For The Win !

For the record, the coffee was good too.

Alpha Force Team Formation v4.5
I think these guys have a future. I like the way they think.

Thanks for reading.


Sunday, April 3, 2011

Mass Relay: Why I love to race my bike...

Mass Relay, 3:59:25 into the 4 hour event. No riders are permitted to start a lap after 4:00:00.

Although our previous teammates in rotation busted their asses to make sure we both had one last lap, we were in fact racing for nothing except pride and the fight.  Perfect.

Chris and I took off at the same time, and he immediately opened a gap on me on the starting climb.

Chris is faster than I am. He is also a better mountainbiker than I am.

As the opening climb tipped up near it's finish it gets a bit steeper,  Chris's cadence slowed.   I take the opportunity to spin up to him. I latched on to his wheel as we flew down through the woods, and made the turn through the pine forest finishing off the lion's share of climbing that the lap offered.

Chris looks back and knows I am there. I am breathing very hard. I am sure he thinks I'm having a seizure or something.

We descend all the way to the bottom of the course. I think for a second that maybe I should try to get to the front before the river trail. As the field opens up, Chris stands on it, and it's everything I can do to hold it together...
notice the aero booties. Saved 5-10 seconds a lap. For sure.

We make it through the river trail smoothly, passing two super juniors riding with their fathers. On the rooty step up, Chris makes a quick cyclocross dismount and runs up it. I have good momentum, and stick to my plan to ride it, and clean the section. He jokes with me, "you like that cross technique?" I return the comment saying, " yeah , but  I rode it, isn't that a little backwards? I mean, I'm the crosser and you're the mountain biker."  We laugh.

Coming out of the river trail there is another super junior and father. Chris gets around them cleanly, me not so much. I'm trailing him by ten yards. Fuck, I'm losing him.

"Keep at it.. keep working... claw your way back..." I say to myself. My spirits are lifted as we ride by the C3 pit and my teammates cheer for me.

Chris rides by his teammates, and takes a beer feed. "awesome, I think to myself."

this blog is Bad Andy Approved.
however, I am unable to capitalize on the beer feed. In fact I think it made him stronger. I fail to close the gap. I'm a little frustrated.
Monkey had a good day...
We snake around the course and make the big 180 towards the final sections of single track. It's open here, and climbs slightly. This is my last chance to close the gap.
I lift my cadence, and put my head down. I dig deep. I look up just as the trail head opens up. I have made contact. I'm back on Chris's wheel. Chris's wheel is now my bitch. I'm not letting any gap open up.

He is faster than me, but I'm hanging. I have a puncher's chance. That's all I ask for...

The course twists through two more tight single track sections and I stay glued to the wheel. It's like a weird dance or something as I shadow him through these final sections of trail strewn with logs and twists.

The lap concludes with the single track opening up to double track for about 200 yards, then a hard 90 degree turn left around the barn, on gravel, then maybe 15 yards to the line.

Chris and I dump out on to the double track.  I hear the crowd roar. I dive out to the right of Chris trying to get around. He quickly closes the door on me, taking me to the tape. I let up for a second, and counter punch to the left, and slip by him.

For the first time in the lap, I am in front. I roll into the final gravelly corner, I'm going a little too fast I start to slide. "fuck, I'm crashing" as I slide out to the far tape. Chris dives to the inside, as we make the corner and I correct. I start to move to the center and Chris and I get into each other. We are both standing and sprinting. We are still kinda banging into each other...

I see the line, I throw the bike hoping to stretch it out just enough. I think I'm gonna steal this lap. Chris pulls a wheelie, he surges forward as we cross the line.  Chris has beaten me by less than half a wheel.

we roll a few yards, I'm pretty destroyed. Chris and I fist bump, and recognize the 16 minutes we just battled  through. A battle for absolutely nothing, other than pride. the good fight. Leaving it all out there.

Highlight of the day? Hell, that might be the highlight of my season. I've said it once, and I'll say it again, at the end of the day, it really is all about the fight for me. I love the fight... Thanks Chris...

When I rolled back to our team camp site director Auer asked me, " Did you get it?"

motoring Monkey.
I responded, "nope I lost the bike throw when he pulled a wheelie and edged me at the line. It was totally awesome."

Auer smiled and nodded approvingly.  It can be hard to please a tough team director.

That was a freaking awesome day...

Photo Blog:

Blake chillin' like Bob Dylan

I heart the Sturdy Girls (Naomi, the Fabulous M and A-Rock)

Breyla-la really diggin' in...

Monkey railing a corner.
Bad Andy loved my cross bike.

Gunnar would catch me at the end of my first lap.

K-Mill looked very professional in his new team kit. He took the rad pictures of me too.
saw this guy on his back with his skirt around his ankles one time too many this weekend.
Mike Kuhn the host of this most awesome race.
Joe and Monkey stay warm between laps.

nice scarf hipster.

fast guys getting ready to start the run.
Downing getting ready to head out, the Chaos at the pit.
Breyla-la and Bill O'keefe finish up the lap.

that's Ms. Harlow if you're nasty!
Jimmy Rocked.
thanks for reading.

fatmarc vanderbacon