Monday, November 28, 2011


One of the things that I love about cross is the intensity of the season. Racing pretty much every weekend from Early September through December. Very rarely is a cross season defined by one race, one event, but much more so when looking back over the entirety of all the races in a season. A bad race, is quickly erased the next day or next week with a "redemption" ride. Series points reflect a riders consistency, and ability to manage different conditions, and the grind of racing week in and week out. I love that grind.

In very few cases, can one race define a season, but certainly Nationals, and for me the State Championships are races that while may not define the entire season, but certainly help to emphasize the story of the season.

So with that, and frankly not knowing what my legs would feel like; not sure my skin suit wouldn't just explode off of me after days of consuming massive quantities, I went into Taneytown with lots of hope and ambition.  Taneytown has always been a good venue for me, and with the right conditions who knows, I might just beat crossresults.


I lined up on the third row, and by some stroke of luck the field parted like the red sea and I was able to hurl myself into the top 10.  My teammates and I spent a lot of time pre-riding, and discussing tactics regarding the heavy mud sections. Let me say that I really enjoy this time with my teammates, it's one of those times i really look forward to, and helps me get ready to race. Jay LAZER "BEAM", talked about running sections saving power and at least trying to keep the bike clean. That Jay Lazer is fast, and smart, and hell I'll say it damn good looking too.

But, I digress I held on to the lead group as long as I could and at the end of the second lap I found myself in a group with Gwadz and Johan. Third lap I bobbled the remount up the run up, and they gaped me a bit. I chased hard, even had hope of bringing them back on the last lap as I got really close to Johan, but it was just enough to hold me off. End of the day I had a solid ride, beat cross results, finished up just outside the top 10 and walked away with a Bronze Medal for 40-44. Yeah, I was pretty stoked.
Who's got 2 thumbs and a Bronze State Medal? This Guy that's who.
The sun shines on every dog's ass once in a while...

The State Championship weekends are always a big deal for me, and I definitely get myself up for them. Hats off to Tracey Lea and her crew for putting on a great show. Thanks to my teammates for their help sussing out the course, and Sam for pitting for me!

Is it wrong to wear my State Medal to work? Just checkin...

thanks for reading.


photos from Galen Wallace and Jen Riskus

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What's Bigger Potter or Gloucester?

Ask Richard Fries:

thanks to Henry J for the rad clip


(happy thanksgiving)

Monday, November 21, 2011


Somewhere along the line Diane and I made the decision to drive up and back to Long Island from Fairhill Maryland for the SUPER Cup of Cyclocross weekend.
Bad Kat shows how to make money in crosses races...

We’ll file this one under the “happy wife, happy life” category. With that set up, L-Web piled into the Honda fit with Monk and I as we headed off to long island for Saturday’s racing.
Dennis Looks smashing in orange... Pictures from my I(phone).

For those scoring at home, we had 5 bikes, wheels, three people, a trainer, and 3 cycling bags stuffed full of clothes, comfortably in the Honda fit. Honda Fit=LOVE.
Lauri with great technique, not that "i love you man" shit her kid Jeffy does.

The courses at The SUUUPER Cup of Cross in  Long Island are really fast, and really fun. Open flat out sections that find me searching for a wheel to suck, and lots of hard tight corners.  Triple F: Fast, Flowy and Fun.

Saturday’s race saw me get into a nice group with Benny the Jewlar, Krueger, Johan with the Chad chasing hard. The middle two laps I felt a little flat. Todd and Johan got clear from us and Ben and I worked together pretty well. I think Ben and I each wanted the other one to drag us around. We might train together too much.

Final two laps, we are starting to claw Johan back, when the junior party came through. Johan is strong and smart, and he grabbed some junior wheel to stay clear of us. Chad was getting a little closer than I wanted him on the final lap, and I went to the front and drilled it, leading into the final barriers just 100 meters from the finish. I had a clear shot to the finish, I decided to bobble my remount and open the door for Ben, who was happy to come into my house, sit in my chair, drink my beer, and pet my dog. I lost the sprint by half a wheel, with one foot clipped in. Fuck. Good on you Benny.

Is it better to lose a sprint to a stranger, or a dude you train with every week? Not sure I know yet.
Monkey had a good day, pulling down 11th both days.

Drive home was pretty spectacular because Diane and Laurie refused to eat at the rest stop, so we wandered off the turnpike for 50 minutes, ignoring GPS and Apple Food Aps, to get totally freaking lost, and end up eating at Wendy’s. Freaking Wendy’s. At least the frosty was good. Sometimes when it’s spiraling out of control, it’s just best to paddle out and ride the wave to the end. “cowabunga!”
Does this photo make my butt look big?

Sunday was a race of anger for me. End of the first lap, I’m sitting inside the top 15 or so. We are lined up pretty much head to toe. The dude just in front of me imploded over a small curb, and as we get gaped off the race, my front wheel hits his chain ring, or something as I try to squirt around him, and my tire goes flat pretty instantly. I watch the rest of the race pretty much ride away from me. I get my B bike, and proceed to ride a solo, angry ride, picking up a spot or two, bridging up to Howard, only to lose him at the end of the final lap. My legs were pretty good Sunday, so I was kinda grumpy about this one…

I refused to leave the turnpike for food on the way home.
What's Missing from this picture? Fatfreaking Marc, that's what's missing!

Don’t tell Diane, that despite all the driving, It was really nice to sleep in my bed Saturday night… Fun weekend of racing, despite feeling like I left some stuff on the table.

0-1-1 against Crossresults this weekend.
8-6-3 for the season

Thanks for reading.

Pictures from; Appletans; and my crappy I(phone)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Carrie Fisher was right...

Star Wars is totally better than Star Trek...

I mean the new Star Trek Movie was okay...

Just sayin...

geeky? yes. I'm crosser what did you expect.

thanks for reading.


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Fairhill and Beard Endorsements

Masters Racers working the Pit after our races..
The last month or so of my life has been pretty much the weirdest ever. One of the odder things to come out of that is the fact that now I have a beard. In the past I have set out to grow a beard and done well, but for whatever reason, this one is my best effort, and it was never intended.

My theory is that when it got to the stage were canoodling would be impacted, you know because Monkey doesn't love cuddling with a porcupine, She got sick. So no canoodling was happening, and thus, my beard was able to flourish.
Beard Endorser

I have also noticed that Dudes generally appreciate other Dudes strong facial hair. I've never had so many of my dude friends say "beard looks great man..." On the other hand, I find most women hate my beard. It's like Krypotnite for the ladies. I walk by old friends, and I see the look of contempt on their faces, "don't even come near me with that thing!"
Hot Beard Action

Now Mrs. Vanderbacon has been pretty quiet on the entire beard thing. That was until yesterday as she is starting to feel better, and with any luck canoodling will commence shortly! Attempting to sway the  vote to a positive for the beard, I sought out and received some  endorsements of my beard from some other awesome women. Deidre, CC, Theresa, and Michelle. Michelle, did qualify her endorsement, "Visually it looks good, but I just have to look at it, I don't want Monkey to be mad at me!"  No worries, while I certainly appreciate the endorsements, Monkey might not yet be sold....  We may have a canoodling vs beard issues soon. I think we all know how that one ends up...
Beard Endorser

Oh, and hey I did a cross race Saturday.  I got a good start, maybe a bit of an over start, but it kind of unfolded that way, and I did my damnest to stay on Fergies wheel for the better part of two laps. I kinda got gapped off at that point and a nice chase group of 10 or so reeled me in a bit. With two to go found myself in a group with Mark P, Wilson from VA, and Johan. I had a master plan to win the group, and as I started to execute my plan going into one to go, I realized they all had master plans of their own, and apparently they were executing much better than I. Still a good ride, solid result in the MAC, and generally speaking I felt good to day on the bike.
Michelle and Team Bike Therapy: Beard Endorsers

Congrats to the FSVS crew for a really fun course and race this weekend.

8-5-2 vs. crossresults this year.

thanks for reading.


Photos from 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Jeff took these...

pretty nice shots, makes me look like I know what I'm doing or something.

that is all.


Monday, November 7, 2011

Northhampton: CycleSmart International...

Blake ripping though the barriers
Blake and Monkey warm up




Odin is pretty cute, wait until he's 170lbs

Junior Identification Program

Potter likes cute

me looking at wheels all day...

Taylor= Junior Identification Part 2
The North Hampton- Cycle Smart International, might be my favorite weekend of cross. For one, other than racing, and supporting my friends and teammates, I have no other responsibilities. The level of competition is wicked high, the courses are generally super balanced and very fun, and the weather always seems to be amazing. Add in the fact that my brother and his wife are kind enough to host a motley crew of racers from the mid atlantic, and it ends up being just a great time. Every year.

This year, it was a much needed get away…

I was pleased with my races both days. Amazingly, despite the bulk of the course being under 18inches of snow a week before the event, the course was bone dry and wicked fast. The top section remained technical with tight turns and off camber sections, while the lower course was full on pedal to the medal racing. I swear the lower level was faster than I remembered it ever being. The course encouraged pack riding and I did a lot of that this weekend. I was happy with both of my races, although Sunday’s result was 10 spots better. What was the difference?

Saturday about 50 feet into what I thought was a good start, the dude in front of me locked up the brakes, and I slammed my junk on my stem, and had to put my foot down while the field sped away from me. I tried to stay cool, but really I’m not good enough that I can spot anyone any space, and especially at the CSI. The lower sections of the course were so fast all I can remember was starring a wheels, and jumping out of every corner. Again, while I wasn’t super stoked about my result Saturday, I was really happy with my effort, and how I moved up into my final group, and raced those guys to the line.

Sunday was the best cross I think I have ridden this year. I hung on wheels in the fast sections, worked to move up in the top technical section. On the final lap up top I got a little ambitious and laid it down trying to make one more pass; I bounced up quickly, and held my spot at the finish… It was a really good day…

Saturday after my race, I had forgotten my recovery drink. Blake offered me a bottle of chocolate milk. I was still cooling down a bit, and had just won a sprint at the line, so my body felt a little worked over, I take the milk and I chug down the whole bottle. My stomach was really not happy, as I finished off the last drop. I hand the bottle back to Blake saying, “you know, I’m not sure that’s gonna stay down, I better spin some more.”

Blake, with eyes as big a saucers looks at me and says, “ I never meant for you to slam the bottle like it was a shot… “ She smiled fully expecting me to hurl chocolate milk everywhere. I spun down, and luckily kept it down…

One of my favorite things about racing with Skinny Craig this year, has been going out and pre-riding the course together. We take a couple of laps, talk about lines, carve corners, talk shit. It was this weekend, as I was struggling to follow Craig through a couple of corners, that I had a realization. The Dude is a better bike handler than I am. It was rad, he showed me a couple of lines I couldn’t figure out, and I raced them all day. Craig did his first Cat 3 races this weekend, and he did well. I really proud of him…

Lots of other great stuff going on this weekend. Thanks again to Craig and Beth for hosting our crew, and thanks to everyone who came, it was an amazing weekend…

Thanks to Benny da Jewlar, Dish, Blake, Travis, Bad Kat, Bad Andy, LVG, Tom, L-Web, Jeffy, and Gunnar for joining us on this fantastic voyage...

Thanks for reading