Saturday, March 31, 2012

White Clay Creek Preserve, PA

Dear Fatmarc Readers,

Those of us how have been riding in the area for 20+ years probably spent sometime riding some of the fun single track trails in the White Clay Preserve in Pennsylvania. I have fond memories of riding what at that time was called the tree trail and looping around Landenberg, PA. Then they were closed. Made Illegal.

We lost access to those trails, many years ago.

In recent years, the Trail Spinners have seen some movement and the possibility of getting access to trails in the White Clay Preserve. Well, it would appear that some shady business may have gone down regarding the board that advises decisions regarding the White Clay Perserve Access. What was at one point a board represented by a number of different user groups, it would appear that now it's been disbanded and reformed with board members who are all anti-multi-use trails, and anti-bike.

The Trail Spinners are arguing that in due process has not been followed, and has moved to have the new board ruled not recognized.

So here's what we are asking :

If you can please attend the meeting Monday Night @ 7:30 at the friends meeting house 300 London Tract Rd. This will be a pivotal meeting determining board that advises the white clay creek preserve on policy. The goal is to make sure that the board accurately reflects user groups.

Look, I'm not opposed to keeping an area from becoming a "destination" to ride.
Anyway, I promise no more politics on this blog.



Thursday, March 29, 2012

thursday night ride....

game on...

Tim C, Jimmy V, Thayer the Slayer,, Kurtee, Sanford, LEO, Ted Logic, McCloskey, Bill Pipes, Pricey, Chris Jackson and Joe B...

Slapped me around pretty good tonight. Good Fun.

A quick drink before getting back to it...

16.3 miles, 1400ft of climbing, 10.3 average... It was rad...


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I work out.

got a new black wind vest.
Team order didn't have wind vests this spring. Understandable sourcing issues. I needed a lighter vest. Team edition next year.
I got a new black wind vest.
I work out.
hopefully no team uniform fine in the mail at the end of the month. It's still a black vest.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

choosing your hills

Got my first test back. It was a solid score I was pleased with it. On one problem I saw I lost a point for with a notation that said "formula". This despite me having written  TT=TR-TC... I asked the professor about it. He stated he was looking to see us put the values into the formula. It's all about building on skills.

Now, clearly I didn't agree. I had the formula written right there, and I had the right answer. BUT, this professor is awesome. And while he is not a bad looking man, I wouldn't rate him as HOT PROFESSOR on, I would and will rate him very highly as a teacher.  He does a great job breaking down the material, is patient and helps everyone understand that it all builds on each other. Not only that, he's put up with my multiple email questions, and me pulling him aside at break. Fuck, it's a point, in the scheme of things, small cookies. Not the hill, I want to die on.

At the break, I see one of my peers, who I believe is much more math skilled than I, and much closer to finishing her program must have had a similar remark on her paper. She however, decided to take a different tact rolling with the, "you know I could have done the entire thing in my head!? I only wrote down anything for grading purposes!" Perhaps she was not displaying grace in times of friction. OUCH.

At the end of class, the Professor, who again I think is totally awesome said the he had a number of folks ask him about the scoring of that problem, and that he would give back any points taken if a formula was written.Bonus! He continued the goal is to make sure that we are building on what we learn, and his goal was to make sure we understood and demonstrated how we got the correct answer.

While I was happy to take back a point, I also gotta say, that point would be worth it. This guy is good.

got write a paper or two this week. game on.


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Return of the Titans

When I started riding mountain bikes, and you know trying to get fast, there was a Tuesday Night ride known only as Todd's ride or the fast ride. Guys would come out, and frankly I remember my first couple of times out, I got my doors blown off. It became known in our community as the Tuesday Night Titans.
Bobby's Boy Keith Goulet and Todd the Maestro getting ready to unleash hell.

People got dropped. I am quite sure that Todd took great pleasure in dropping people. I can remember the first couple of years I did this ride, getting dropped. "shit, I only made it 45 minutes this week... Maybe next week I'll hang for 50." I have vivid memories of the first couple of times I actually finished the ride with the group. And when finally after probably 5 years of trying, I could show up and with some certainty expect to finish the ride with the group.
quick catch of the breath for a flat change circa 2005

 Hell the first time I could turn the screws a little on Todd might be one of  my proudest moments on a bike.  A lot of really good riders came out of that ride. I am proud to have cut my teeth chasing Todd through the woods of Middlerun.
The maestro dreaming of ways to rip off my legs.

This year is a different year for me. The Red Cup ride, which is frankly my favorite ride every week, isn't happening on Thursdays. So with the help of Chris Jackson and Jim Vetterlein, I've been heading up a fast paced, training ride on Thursdays out of Fairhill. Two weeks in, and we are starting to get a nice group of consistent faces. The ride is hard, hell after trying to throw the kitchen sink at Nick Sear's last week, I could barely walk up stairs on Friday. But I digress, the ride is hard, people do get dropped, people do pull up.
Once a week Paul, still a regular on the Tuesday night ride. That hat not so much.

While not the intent, it is a hard ride, and I want everyone to get what they need out of the ride, and have fun. All the while, making sure folks can get back to the lot safely. Perhaps exhausted, hopefully motivated to comeback and push it a bit further the next week, but safe.
Peaches, Buddy and Fatme all cut our teeth on the TNT ride...

I'm really excited with the group, so far a super solid mix of guys who have been slapping me around for years, and a number of guys I haven't historically ridden with, but bring some punch to the ride. It's a great group, and I hope has the potential to become a ride that attracts the best and the brightest, and the up and coming from our community.

Yup out the gate,folks are getting to learn each other's riding style, and frankly the first 20 minutes have been a great sorting out process, but once things have been getting settled we've been rolling along nicely. The group has been about 10 riders strong or so. About a third of the group is guys who are racing on the expert level, and the other 2/3 are strong sport riders or as I like to call them "dirty fucking sandbaggers". My goal is to help the "dirty fucking sandbaggers" make the next step, and transition to the expert class with success.

More exciting for me, is that just a couple of weeks in, word about our ride is starting to spread. I've got folks reaching out to me saying, " I hear you got a good ride going down there, I'm gonna make it out next week!" That makes me really stoked. So will this ride ever replace the Tuesday Night Titans? I doubt it. But, I'll keep showing up and try to throw the kitchen sink at whoever is willing to follow me around for 1:45 at Fairhill...

Stava has certainly taken off in this area, and I'm happy to say that both of our rides resulted in a number of new KOM's and most importantly everyone putting in their best times on segments out there. To me the benefit of chasing Nick, Dennis, Tim and Peaches over hills and through the wood is pretty  obvious, looking at the data, further cements the facts: the ride is fast, we are pushing each other. win-win.
Data doesn't lie: 6 of the 10 fastest times on this segment were during our ride last week....

Thanks to everyone who has been coming out, let's keep this thing rocking and rolling...

fatmarc vanderbacon

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Testing, Testing...

Had my first test last night.
I have been studying really hard, and was prepared.
I told myself to stay cool, I worked hard I knew the material. I got this.

Sitting at my desk, I was pretty mellow.  I know this stuff. I like to work hard, and when all else fails, I fall back to : I've done my work, I am prepared. Dan Gable type stuff. I know this.

The professor puts the test in front of  me. I immediately feel my hr spike. I'm sitting at my desk, looking at the paper in front of me, and I swear that I feel the blood pumping through my body. I see white spots. I'm sweating, and from my experiences as a bike racer, I know I don't do my best thinking in oxygen debt.

"Deep breaths dude, deep breaths." I think my heart rate comes down to about 160 beats per minute. Am I taking a test or doing an  interval? "settle down buddy, settle down" I settle in and start reviewing the problems. I immediately go to the problem that the professor said would be the hardest. I crush it. Then slowly, I just try to focus on the work. One at a time. Just like at the kitchen table. I know this stuff. Step by Step Heart rate starts to feel normal.

I'm sure I did well. I'm sure I made some mistakes,but I'll get better. What I really hope is that next week, when the professor puts down the exam, I can keep my heart rate from blasting off the chart. Back to the work, lots of problems to work before next week....  Worst case scenario, I know to bring an extra t-shirt for after the test.

Great, not only am I the oldest guy in the class, I'm the oldest  sweaty guy in the class.

fatmarc vanderbacon

Sunday, March 18, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Pants

St. Patrick Day Shorts

St. Patrick's Day Shorts in action...


Buddy, Monkey and I spun around Middle Run...  Love riding with  Buddy.

Look who we ran into today? Todd perhaps the happiest MTBER in the world today.

Studied much more this week than I rode. At the wonderful age of 15 I pretty much decided that I wouldn't need math in my life that much. So I worked really hard to fortify my math foundation this week. Is it wrong if a 41 year old dude is working on math blaster? It's coming together nicely, and I feel  pretty good about it.  First test tomorrow night, if I can remember that 8+3 doesn't equal 12, I think I'll do well. Just gotta get into my grove.

I got slapped around a bit out on the road on Saturday. Even though I'm not really racing this year, I'm working hard to keep riding, and keep working the craft that is being a cyclist. Yeah, that sounds douchey, and being a student is definitely taking priority over being a cyclist, but a week in, I really enjoyed the challenge of trying to balance being a student, and working the craft. Let's hope week 2 goes as well.

That and if I Flag my test, my bikes may end up in the basement all together...

thanks for reading.


Friday, March 16, 2012

leading a bike ride...

With the thanks of Jimmy V and Chris J. , I lead my first trail spinner ride last night. I hope to see this ride grow and that all of us can become stronger riders and have some fun on that ride. It was a mighty group of local riders, and chasing the shadows we managed 15 miles. I was pretty spent after the ride, and pretty stoked.  If you're local and looking for fast paced, what I think is a good training ride, come one out. 

Check: Ride on Washington is going to be at Twenty20 on Monday night. I can't go because of school. Can you go for me?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Mathy, Mathy, Mathy...

So it started.

I'm in grad school. It's pretty rad. For a historically crappy student, I enjoyed it.
Check the Stars and Bars on Nancy's Jersey- Respect.

 My class was on the third floor. I took the stairs. Walking up the stairs, I suddenly remembered the panic of riding the bus to freshman year at Glasgow High. I was pretty sure I was gonna be killed before 6th period. I remembered the panic my first day of college sitting in Professor Dilley's Philosophy 105 class waiting for his lecture to start. As I walked up the stairs to the classroom my heart rate must have been as high as it has in any of my interval workouts.

 one thought came to my head.

 "what the fuck was I thinking..."
required self portrait.
 As I sat in class, the first guy into the room, I watched the other students come in. I was clearly the oldest person in the class. A little weird. I'm the old guy in your college class. Ouch.

 A couple of young bucks I work with asked, "dude, did anyone think you were the professor?"

 Rat Bastards. we all laughed.
Monkey and Gwen...

Class was good. I was totally engaged. I was into it, I was lost, I was found. I left class totally stoked. Stoked and exhausted.  Done more Math problems in the last 24 hours than I have done in 20 years. I have some cracks in my foundation to fill, but I dig it. We'll see how the quiz goes next week...


Saturday, March 10, 2012

henry on my shoulder

I am a recovered single speeder.
Almost 6 years now.

When I first started with gears I rode in the big ring all the time. (42) never came out. It was bad. It was the process, learning to ride gears again. After years of watching Kurtee, and Garvey, spin past me on the climbs I started working on my spin.

Higher cadence. Keep the legs loose. Be patient on the climbs, don't mash. Stay seated...

Last year, that worked really well for me. I was pretty happy with my efforts, and my spin. The (38) is my new favorite big ring.

This year, I've done my best to maintain the fruits of my efforts. I've tried my damnest to stay in my smaller gears, and keep the cadence up. But something has been different this year. I feel like 3/4 of the way up a climb, I sticking with the program. I am spinning, I am be patient... And then it happens.

It's as if I have a little Henry Rollins on my shoulder who just screams in my ear.

"FUCK IT STAND UP AND GO!" It's fucking Henry Rollins! Yelling in my fucking ear. I have to go.

I find myself dumping down a gear or two and jumping out of the saddle. Hands on the bar ends, mashing the fuck out of my gear. I often get to the top and can't pedal. Anytime that I might have gained I quickly give back trying to recover and get back to my normal cadence.

Single Speed Relapse? Strava? Anger Management Issues? I need therapy.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Freshen Up...

I think Chip would call this a little white sex...

Hydro-disc brakes too.

Potter approved!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Accidental Group ride

Okay,  we  didn't really plan a group ride today. Monkey wanted to do the Port Deposit Loop, and I asked her is she wanted me to put out a note, and see if anyone wanted to tag along with us. Monkey declined saying, " that would be fun but I'm really just starting to put somethings together, I don't want to jam anyone up."  Which was cool.
A Clear Uniform Violation, I know the fine from the director will be in the mail in the morning.

Late Saturday afternoon Peaches put a note out to the "rides of the week" list:

TO: Rides of the week
From: Peaches
Anyone have any ride plans for tomorrow? This is the Rides of the Week List. Anyone? Beuller? Beuller?
I responded, what I thought was just to Peaches, but it went to the entire group. 
Next thing I knew, my jackassery had a nice group of folks looking to join us for our loop. Diane was a little nervous, but as we got going she settled in and we had a great ride. I have to admit, I was happy to have some other wheels to hide behind.

Joining Monk and I was Buddy the Kegbreaker, Kurtee, Ted Logic, and Dennisbike.  Despite being his fault this turned into a group ride, Peaches stiffed us.
I stopped to pee and saw this. It made me want to watch Aquateenhungerforce and get a milkshake.

Holy Double Take.

A good day for sure.

Being the 4th of March there were a lot of really white shins showing today.

Of note, and perhaps very important. There were six riders today. One had black handle bar tape. One had blue handlebar tape. One had yellow handlebar tape. Three had white handle bar tape. For some reason, this is important. Not sure why.

Vanderbacon, Fat, M.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

All the Radness a Guy can Handle...

We went to the Banff Film Festival World Tour last night. Pretty Amazing stuff. Let me say, I hate skiing. But I have to admit this segment blew me away. It's beautiful and freaking rad. I'm stoked I found it on the internerds, because I've watched it 3x now... no wait 4... worth a few minutes of your life for sure...
JP Auclair Street Segment (from All.I.Can.) from Sherpas Cinema on Vimeo.

Vanderbacon,Fat, M.

Friday, March 2, 2012

I wonder...

riding this morning and a nice woman from Oxford, PA taking her trash out, cheered to me, "Go Lance!". That was totally awesome. I wonder what caused her to cheer for me and call me Lance?

I further surmise that since Lance is so beloved, she must have really been sending me good vibes. What an awesome way to start a Friday!

I wonder if any other cyclists out there have ever been called "Lance" by a non cyclist while riding by...

perhaps she was a lance mountain fan:

perhaps I should be grateful she didn't throw the trash at me.

Good Day. I said good day.