Sunday, April 29, 2012

Return to Michaux

I have raced in Michaux probably 10 times since I started racing bikes in the early 90's. I'll admit in the past 10 years, I haven't made the trip. Today, I headed out to do the Michaux Maximus 20 miler. When I did my normal google stalking of the registrations it looked like there were 3-4 guys who I knew would likely beat me. Foremost of those was Jason from Eastern Woods Research. Jason handled me pretty easily at Ironhill last year, and previously to that  beat up on some of the local guys that pretty regularly  beat up on me.
I have to be honest, in my past 10 races at Michaux my best results were 2 top tens. This is based a few factors:
1. I suck at point to point races
2. I don't ride rocks all that often and not always so well
3. fatmarc is not the world's greatest climber.

TedLogic joined me for the trip out, which like the last time I came out, turned out to be quite a bit of an adventure. Let me say this, downtown York is beautiful in the morning, and we had at least 25 minutes to get ready to toe the line.
Ted Logic finishes up his race..
So the race started off on a fireroad. TedLogic took off the line, I was a little more conservative in my start. I looked up and TedLogic was clear of the group. I made sure that no one went with me, and bridged up to his wheel. Ted nodded when I made contact, and I felt him ramp up the pace. As the road rolled up TedLogic flicked his elbow looked at me and said, "get out of here Faticus!" I took the lead.

I kinda figured that I'd get reeled in at some point. I focused on riding smoothly through the rocks, and not making any mistakes early. In the back of my head, I knew Jason was coming. I was running scared. I stayed focused on what was in front of me, and never looked back.

About a third into the race, I caught up to Dan also from Eastern Woods Research. Dan was the leader in the Single Speed class. Dan and I would ride the bulk of the race together. I can't speak for Dan, but it was awesome to pace off of him, and keep me honest as the race wore on.
Dan (the pickle)  was awesome to ride with on this day.
As we came through the first road crossing and towards Dead Woman's Hallow climb. Dan pulled up along side of me, and said, "the is a long one, stay steady". Dan crushed it on a single speed. I was impressed.  I'd also point out Lance from Adventures for the cure, who we had passed in the single track with a flat flew by us on this on this bastard long climb. We were about half way through, and I admit I was running scared. As I crested the Dead Woman's Hollow, for the first I thought that I might pull this off... but still he was out there...

On the three mile trail, known for it's big gnarly rocks, I almost launched myself over my bars and onto the to ground. I felt myself going over, and just when I was about over the tipping point, my seat hit me in the ass and the rear wheel went back to the ground. Disaster averted. "keep your head in the game, don't blow this now" I said to myself.

Dan and I continued to pace each other, and drive the pace as we slipped through the trails. At mile 15 or so I started feeling like I was cracking. I took a couple of drinks from my camelback, and focused on staying smooth, Dan was right there and we were still rolling pretty good. But I was getting tired, and I knew he was back there...

We rode past the final road crossing and looked up at our final 2 mile climb that would twist its way back to the finish. I never felt so excited to climb 2 miles. I got a little gap on Dan, and bit my lip, and focused on keeping a good cadence and finishing thing off. I was feeling good again, I could taste it and for the first time today, hell the first time this spring I allowed myself to look back, all the while thinking, "please don't be there, please don't be there..."

He wasn't... I crested the hill, and roll up the finish straight into finishing gates. I'm not sure how, but I had won the Michaux 20 Mile Old Man Race (35+)...
Dan and I after the race..
Yeah, I'm pretty stoked. Wins are hard to come by and this guy doesn't see too many of them, so I'm all smiles today. It's been a pretty crazy spring since I started school. A spring that I didn't expect that I'd really be able to race much at all. I'm riding less than I have in years, and well. It's the strangest thing...Sometimes it's best to not question these things. Lord knows I not gonna...

Buck and Company greeting us at the end !
Great to See Melanie out today!
Great to see Jerry and Todd- 2 guys I've been chasing around for 20 years.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Have you heard about this race?

more info here:

fatmarc vanderbacon

Monday, April 23, 2012

A Good Day...

As long time readers of this blog may ready know I come from a wrestling family. My Parents, spent the better part of 25 years chasing my brothers and I around gyms, getting us to practices and allowing my brothers and I to be successful. My parents became very active in the wrestling community and although  none of us have wrestled in many years, they remain active in the community.

Last Friday my parents were honored at the Delaware Wrestling Hall of Fame for their service over the years. They received a Spirit of Service Award. My Parents didn't know they were getting an award, and certainly didn't know that my brothers and I would all be their to join them for the evening. I gotta say it was a pretty wonderful night. I am super proud.

my favorite parts of this is the first 45 seconds or so...

video can be found here.

As my Father says, "get involved, and have fun."

I'm about to get involved in some homework and try to have some fun.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Cranky Old Man

I had to wear a shirt and tie to the office the other day.

No big deal, a little out of the ordinary, but really I kinda like it once in a while.
I guess the only downer was that I had to wear it to class after work. I mean I guess I could have changed, but it just didn’t seem like a good use of my time.

So I sat in class and one of the younger women came in wearing a Nirvana shirt. She looked over at me and kinda crumbled up her face. Now, I cannot know why she crumbled up her face at that moment that we made eye contact. It is completely possible that she had and itch on her nose. It is possible that she saw the old dude in class and scoffed. It’s possible she saw the old dude in class in a shirt and tie and thought, “he is the man holding us down. He is the devil”

Now I will admit, in my own douchey way, when I saw her wearing a Nirvana T-shirt, I remembered that I had actually owned an original of that T-shirt back in 1993. I had gotten it from Nick Riddle in some sort of T-shirt swap, and in fact traded it to my brother for a sweet cobra commander t-shirt some years later. When I noticed, the younger woman crumbling her face up at me, I’ll admit the first thought that sprung to my head was, “nice shirt, where did you get it, hot topic?”

In full disclosure, I bought a led zep shirt last year. I got it at JCPenny , which is pretty much the same thing, maybe worse.

Since I appear to be in cranky old man mode, I have to say that culturally there are few things I find funnier than young children who throw up gang signs in every picture that is taken of them. Take a picture of a group of kids from the richest, most privileged, best school in the country, and I promise you someone will throw up gang signs.  I’m not sure they know what they are doing, but I always find it amusing.

In that same vein, and perhaps more amusing to me is dudes on bikes that cost maybe a mortgage payment or two giving the finger to photographers at bike races.  Look I admit, I race with a bit a angst. My best training efforts come from dark places. That being said, why in the hell would you want to give the finger to a guy, who on his own time has chosen to come out to a bike race and take pictures. Pictures, I might add that make us all look much more pro than we are.  What's the mindset:  “ I hate that I’m on a sweet ass bike, doing something I love, FUCK YOU!” or better yet, 'FUCK YOU I told you to only take pictures head on! No Profiles! You're making me look Fat!" ... Oh wait... Crap that one landed a little close to home.
Fucking Photographer making me look fat.

Yes, I get that you’re suffering and we're all rad but really? And, yes in the interest of full disclosure I have told hecklers to fuck off before. The Rutgers kids only on the cross team to heckle are lame. There should be a rule that you can't heckle if you are in the Cat 4 race. And no I don't care if you are the Cat 4 champion of the world. But I digress... Why would you hate a photographer...

Who knows maybe their mother ran away with a photographer and they have a life time hatred of the guys. Maybe their father was blinded by flash that is too bright. Maybe someone sprayed acid in their faces with a gag camera? I don’t know.

You know, over the years, I have bought a picture or two from these guys and Monk and I have a few up around the house. I wonder if somewhere someone has a picture of them racing their bike, giving the finger to the photographer hung in their kitchen or maybe living room?

maybe it's their kids throwing up gang signs? Fuck, I'm cranky...

Okay, cranky old guy rant over.

I’m going to try and ride a bike tonight. We’ll see if the legs are down with that program. We’ll see if we can’t turn the cranky old dude stuff back to 8 on the cranky meter.


Sunday, April 15, 2012


Baker's dozen went really well for me this year. I was partnered with Travis and Dennisbike. Course was super dry and superfast. We got an early lead, which it seemed we could never grow to more than 4 minutes, and with the top 5 teams all separated by 12 minutes it made for some good racing. At 6:00pm we finally had stretched our lead to 7 minutes, but you could see the efforts in all of our faces. A little after 8:00 our lead was ten minutes. As I was heading out, Dennis says to me, "we got this, just go out and be solid no need to risk anything. Stay consistent." Dennis has been racing bikes for a long time, he knows how to play this game, and frankly with that bit of advise, I headed out on to what would be my last lap and for the first time felt confident about us bringing this one home. Dennis was super smooth all day, and brought a zen to our team that was pretty rad. All of us are pretty strong night riders, and thankfully that paid dividends as Travis rolled across the line a little after 10:00pm, sealing the deal for us. I gotta be honest, I can't think of anyone I would have wanted to close this thing out more than Travis. He was awesome today.

 I was really stoked to get the win. Frankly, on paper I had us coming in 3rd, but thought that there were easily 6 teams that had the ability to win. While I was pleased that my prognostication was incorrect, I think it did show the depth of the class. While Dennis, Travis and I had not been teammates on one of the relays before, they are both two of my favorite training partners.  Two of my favorite people, teaming with them was rad. I was lucky to have two such strong, and smart teammates. I'm pretty stoked this morning.
Sleeping in the back of the Honda Fit? Yeah it Fits.
Cheers to the Geezers who made this race so freakin' hard: Benny, Paul, Russ(Classic Heavy Metal), Shawnee  Joe, Bill(C3: Crankaholics) , Chris, Shane, Thori,(Juggernaut), Jonathan, Tim, Trevor(Family Bike Shop) and Jay (who slapped me around all cross season), Matt and Steve (AFC- DREAM TEAM).

I was really proud of our entire C3 compound as on the whole we really had a super successful day. This clearly was not my best race report, but I'm still pretty fried, and I have homework to do.
Dennis survey's the compound...

Breyla-la in transition between laps...

Anne rock clearly having a "WTF" moment.

Bike Racing is like Dancing...

Daytime Compound.

me half way through this beast.

Bill O stacked it pretty good on his last lap. 

Neither Bill nor the foliage were injured in the altercation.

Barry was the honey badger of the day.

Shawnee and Joe L. partnered with Bill O, battled for the podium all day.

Jen, Harlow w/ Bad Kat won the women's 3 person. Shawn holds the light.

Anne looking a bit less "WTF"... Bad Kat savors her second victory in 2012!

Gary relaxes after finishing his 14th lap. To answer Caitlyn he is wearing our 14th different kit.

I guess the last thing is Benny da Jewlar, who I've been racing the better part of 20 years, paid me a pretty solid compliments. Frankly, it was unexpected, and really appreciated. When your peers/rivals/friends pay you a compliment, out of the blue, it was kinda icing on the day for me. Class act the Mr. Jewlar. Class Act.

best to you all.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

I love art.

It's probably doesn't suck that my boss sent that to me huh?

rock out with your...


Sunday, April 8, 2012

The International Relay-

Profit= total revenue- total cost.
 The Most Important Unimportant Race All Year. I'll say it, it's probably my favorite race all year long. I have to be honest, I didn't think I'd get to race it this year with school and all. A couple of weeks ago I bumped into my teammate Pricey out on the trail, and he told me that his team needed at fourth. "I'll be your Huckleberry" I said to him quickly. So stoked. Racing is always awesome, and it's great to see folks, and I won't lie I get pumped riding through the camp areas, and everyone is cheering... It's freaking rad. I had a nice battle with Lebair on lap 3. He caught me at the end of the first climb. It took everything in my power to hang with him from the rest of the lap, and then I used old man trickery and deception to slip in front of him at the line. That was fun, thanks for not just destroying me Craig.  Okay, time to photo blog:

teamates on DarthAuer's Evil Care Bear Army: Pricey, Branchow...

breyla-la, Auer and the Evil Care Bear Army's Captain Jake.
Okay the Auer's Evil Care Bear Army didn't do too well by the points...
But we put down some good laps... 
Monkey was teamed with Jenn , Nick an Bob seen here with Wooden Wheel's Tricia.
wonder if the director will fine himself at the end of the month for this obvious uniform violation.
Dan McDermott flying...

My number is 867-5309 maybe we can go see a movie sometime?
What's my Strava Score for that last  lap?
Shawnee hanging it all out at the end of the day...
Team Tall, Dark, Handsome  crosses the line together. 13 laps. Well  Done.

recovery ride sunday:

pictures taken from Jenn Sears and Sandy Reyonlds and my own awful photo stylings.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Another one bites the dust...

4 Saddles in 2 years. I'm gonna start to take this personally. While wicked comfortable, I'm afraid I'm on to the next...

fatmarc destroyer of ti-railed saddles

Friday, April 6, 2012

Sometimes my job is....

Really, really hard.
Sometimes it is really wonderful.

I got called into emergency back up Easter Bunny Duty today.
No children were scarred for life. (I hope).