Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Long Road

We all know the transition from one season to the next can be rough. The cold hampers ones motivation. The time off from racing can extend more then was intended and become an issue. There is the shorter daylight hours which demand one look at the wind trainer longer then a passing "you suck" thought and consider mounting the iron maiden. Soo lets see ....too long resting, too cold, and shorter days coupled with multi family events where the contest is to overfeed the most. One can easily understand why it is possible for someone to lose focus.
The upside of this, break in the cycle, is possibly better relations with loved ones and a more well deserved paycheck. Hypotheticals. I also believe this is a good time to decide on how your goals as a cyclist compare with the goals of the bunch you have linked up with over the past year or season (or whatever length of time really) .
If something feels forced it probably is. For example. I was interested in a new team to ride for in 2009 and The Bike Rack ( the shop not the team) seemed to be an appropriate business to try to strike up an arrangement with. I sent a letter stating goals and results and my desire to captain an elite team basicly...or try to begin one. I was unaware ,at the time, that the shop did not run the team and that they would be a seperate entity to deal with. (the team) Soo even though the shop was down,.. there was still the club which came off with a less then stoked perspective. I was circumnavigating usual routes and toes were stepped on I guess. Or whatever. My perspective ? Just trying to piece together something. theirs ? who is this clown.
Lets leave behind 2008 nostalgia and onto 2009 before thats in the past too. (as most readers realize I did race on the Bike Racks team last year so a treaty was drawn for a minute) Its December 2009 and almost over.( I did garner some NRC results..or procritseries points .. ) The DVR team is undecided. They have entangling red tape which is hard to see over. The shop is being patient but the idea is for me to push them. (the club to decide on something) At this point I am frustrated because the feeling of a forced relationship has not dissippated but rather grown. The two promising newly upgraded cat twos on the team/club went onto another squad and more help.
The bottom line here is help. We all need help. There is nothing wrong with asking for help. Unless you circumnavigate the powers that be.
( I will dig around for a good pic for this post..no promises but taking suggestions) Haymarket is booked. I have no idea where the restructuring of harley has led but it seems to still exist. (not an option 4 me) Jared suggested Richmond Pro but that is far away and seems like much volunteer time if possible. Kelly..? umm not sure but Baltimore aint close for training rides neither. Rick Norton is a hammer and he would be good to ride with again. ( Pedro, Nima, Rick, and me raced together on Evolution) Maybe Bear Dog llc will have to be a club and get sponsors who are positive 100 percent where their interests lie. I cant understand any reason why a team/club would want to isolate themselves to a certain category realm unless they are simply clandestine or reclusive. Spitefull could never be the case.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Is It War or Am I Just a Pussycat


Ok,...first before I do the cross post I wanna post a comment or two on another issue...poaching riders from other teams. The Battley guys are losing juice from one sponsor and reforming under another money endorser....cool good for em...They are a large group with overall dominance in the road racing scene here and also a player in national scale events. Not a surprise they got another sponsor. But one annoyance is my hearing of their trying to dislodge our up n comers who have proved their abilities and moved to 2 status. Now the Speculators have crossed lines and made offers ..or so I have heard. This is annoying to me. This core of riders does not need any more on their side. LAME. If these two teammates of mine on the Bike Rack, or just one moves, then thats on them and the pull can be strong. But, it seems early in the game for this miniscule roster to be pecked at by the powers that be.I have not pressed for facts but I am not impressed if this is true...Trying to build a small elite squad is tuff in such an environment.
Small ventilation process there. Ok Granogue...Faster pussycat!!!...Well..I dunno ? I was givin it all she had Scotty ! The Granogue cyclocross event was a new one on me. I was in the middle of the bunch at the start. I knew this to be foreboding with 100 plus entries participating. That I was there at all was good because the google directions were off ..no doubt . I was pinned and overdressed..stressed and anxious to get it over with....really. I saw very little enthusiasm in me at the idea of slogging in mud. There I was though.Pop and its off. Sprint sppeed hurtling towards rain and pain. I give way often in these few intial turns in the mud. Not good but tryin to meter the pain and not hit the trough below. Sortin and thinnin of the race ensues and I am losing ground...not very in shape and movement restricted by surplus gear...LAME. I was wishing for more gears for spinning and much more tread ...you know like a mountain bike...really. Right soo that insight out of the way...I was dropping like Herbie the Love Bug on a bad day. The mud weighed the bike down like carrying an eighty pound bag of sand but more cumbersome over steep mud . slicing the incline with my feet angled for vertical traction. At this point are you wondering if I am still describing a supposedly semi road racing event..Like it might have some bearing if you race on the road as a cat one ? In other words I should not be a cat two in cross or this event was unusual in its vast sea of torment or both I dunno.The wisdom of wearing less dawned on me...but vaseline and shorts in weather like that...44 degrees with rain and wind , seeemed like madness. OK, so I wore too much and I paid the price for this overdressing mistake. Up this really steep climb with a tower atop it like trying to seige a fort, I was being really bogged down by my rain gear...and shades and rain coat. At the start this other rider asked me if I was really going to race in my pants..I said I was not feeling well already and didnt want pneumonia.Later into the race I uderstood his curiosity as I said screw it. I want these dead weight pants off and so I stopped and rid myself of them. This cost me the few competitors left I was against as they went by. I went up that tower climb and the descent from that height is tuff as hell. An off camber rutted steep drop. Where the spectators line up with beer like vikings and hoot and howl at the fallen. Racers who hit the deck and raise thunder with their attempts at glory. mud laden..slipping and sliding down and continuing on persued by the jests and roar of the gallery. Nice.
later the first, second, and third place guys went by at around the same time as my rear deraileur went up into the back wheels spokes. I was done for the day with twisted metal to carry back to the car. Fun Stuff.
I spent a long time in the heated truck awed by guys with hatch back open as a sort of awning and showering with water from containers. I was like ...?/@!no way crazy. Cold beer maybe but more cold water and all the time still exposed...OK soo no arctic polar bear here...sorry.
I did go spectate though and also got some great chicken noodle soup that was real thick. Another booth/tent was the Dogfish one. The free samples were like 8oz of dogfish ale..60 min but you could choose.. pretty sweet. So to watch Ryan Trebon and his boy on Kona Brad Wicks roll away ( or slide ...run...maneuver) each with a huge gap pretty quick, was impressive. Trebon was away from Wicks and Wicks was away from the chase groups by far, respectively. The field was staggered in chase . Bunches of twos, threes, and larger went by. Jared Nieters and his teammate in the front groups close to top ten. Last I saw of jared he was near tenth position and looked to be in good shape. His Junior teammate having been passed by Nieters eventually and J Nieters was on the move. Serious attrition factor here. experience a must. Dave fuentes was in my race or the elite 123 35/45 plus field and he did much better then me, but no idea how he fared. He had on a skinsuit from the bike Lane...maybe some cross help from them. Good for him he is a nice guy who obviously gets huge results on the road . Has not done bad in cross either. Ryan Dewald was in the Harley kit. Doing well in his UCI elite mens event.holdin like twentieth and seemed to be having fun as he always does. cool dude. Anyway ...good stuff out there and Kudos to all participants, Volunteers, and even the mud,...THANKS
MUCH RESPECT to those who can rock in this mayhem. Photos will be adde dsoon to this post but gotta figger it out...camera to computer and so on...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Haines Point and Clara Barton rides (thrs.)

I have not been on the Haines Point noon ride in a while and today I got a chance to do it. The ride had the usual suspects and some unrecognizables as well. The basic layout was the same with Chuck pedaling away after the sprint section and a couple going with him until the race bridges or doesnt,..but yeah Hutchison is always the power that the rest attempt to thwart..normally unsuccesfully. Twice I went away with the Ca. Harley rider (Chuck) and we drilled it till caught. The second time I was away with him he bridges the back of a station wagon and starts to draft the car. We were Hammerin' till the car pulled away thankfully. Caught again though. The field was strong. Well the ride gets done and Harry (dont know last name) mentions theres another ride leaving and we should go. We roll out with maybe eight or nine heading to Clara Barton via Rock Creek , Whitehurst and Canal rd. One rider being the mayor and his brother, I believe.(both of their bikes had Fenty on the top tube..I want mine to have my name but I will settle for it simply functioning properly though) But this means theres a moto officer in tow..pretty cool bc we did some strolling at intersections and all was simpatico..So onto Clara and the pace was no joke. The ride gets to McArthur and we head further and lose a couple in the process. We climb Old Anglers and I try to be chill on the hill but Adrien Fenty and two others start to get away,...I am like sorry Harry the gloves are off. I jam it into gear and bridge The Mayor but two others have gone further up. I take a nice pull and close it some and then El Executive leader comes through and takes a strong pull...Im like damn this dude can ride his bicycle for rizzle. We come VERY close to pulling the 145 pounders in but 172(me) waited too long and I felt the pain ..oww. Soo.. at the top the chief says lets drop into the park (great falls md. side) this surprised me since this means more climbing but down we went. Back up my legs were feeling this second ride taking its toll. I rode with Mr. Fenty and the same two clawed away and we sorta clawed em back. OK the ride went to beach dr from there(River rd.) via some back roads and so on. The pace in the park was no stroll and up the climb on Ross dr. I swear the Mayor was trying to drop yours truly but I hung in there and stayed on. The bottom line is dont picture the ride as I did which was some sorta goofing chatting chillin pace as opposed to the reality which was come along but bring your race face.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Monday blahs

I dont know. Is it the heat. Is it my recent and inexplicable swollen eyelid( sounds strange but I visit the eye doctor tomorrow,...fun ! ) Possibly it is the lame ass results in the last two races..though I know I have done zero riding lately soo ...I dont know. Maybe I just want to let out a big public WAAAA oh also Easton rear wheel bearings have been making soo much noise I simply didnt really try yesterday ( Page Valley )because I couldnt handle the thought of listening to my bike for 63 more miles ( or more comments from annoyed/concerned riders)....Mechanicals this year have been over the top compared to other seasons. Anyway, I hope alls well with everyone and that this read hasnt been too painfull. public whine officially concluded. WAAA ok now its official.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Lost River Rocked


There was fun 4 everyone and more nature then one could shake a stick at. I was late and got some warm up but not enough for the attack pace set early,...I was like whatever,...hills are tuff and to go soo fast soo early will pop many and I will just reel in the dropped guys and create a strong chase ,...which sorta worked out but the race stopped for us one lap short,...but the gap was big and who knows..fun stuff and free west Va rocks for the yard patio or aquarium yes poaching rocks did not happen...? soo the race was tuff,.. i was dropped in first lap and Rugg crashed ,..lame soo the Rugg bridged me and another rider pretty fast ,like a lap later. after dropping chain/over bar incident,....hate when this occurs..(.at least Rugg was safe on a climb with less speed and danger then messenger days when a droppped chain could mean death)The group was established in our individual contribution capacities...ie climbers climbed , descenders went down faster and time trialers went hard on everywhere and so on... Rugg, Paul Lingerman NCVC, Ramone Benitez Immediate, Brian Fouche ABRT and another in yellow( Dallas sponsor ?) worked well together We all had good times I believe. Thx to all who helped make it happen,..NICE

Friday, July 17, 2009

IRON HILL POST


THE Iron Hill Twilight Criterium is a an awesome race. It is in West Chester Pa. and the course is pretty wide and fast. The start for this year had a 250 $ prime on the first lap which Evan Fader got. Next lap was 100 $ which Evan got. Nice,..CHA CHING He went on further a few more and when he was caught Russ Langley went for the counter and was gone ..(.apparently)as I was about two thirds of the race further back. He went and Tom Soladay went in persuit after him ,Dave Fuentes and others in tow...about seven guys broke and started a chase. Soo in the field I was riding ok and the pace was tough, but things were going ok, and then the non drive crank loosened up and I was riding with one crank arm on my shoe but not the bike ,....lame ( it was a process of sense of movement to definite loose crank then off completely...) went to pit just before cut off and jumped in with like 7 to go. The front was easy to obtain and I held my spot pretty well but the laps began to take their toll and I was not as active to the front in the last three but I got thirtieth and last in the money which was cool since I have seen too many just out of the money results this year. Herculian riding on the part of the Muscle Langley and also fantaastic prime hunting Mr. Fader,...so for now see ya. ( i got 50 $ for 30th btw) OH right how did Russ fare ? He got third ...his incredible effort could only be topped by T.o. Solladay MT Khaki second place and the badass Luca Damiana on Colavitas uber powerhouse...( hope nothings misspelled..)but really! see ya..

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Poolesville and Reston weekend

This weekend, the two events which are pretty popular, went off very well. The Maryland road race was sorta small in attendance. No DC velo numbers and not many Immediate team riders evident. Small field but strong riders were there and Harley had a solid group. The Richmond pro Guys were out there also. Maybe 45 starters 55 ? not sure,..Race goes off and after a couple laps the 123 event at poolesville has been greatly reduced. There was some attacking at the usual spot at the top of the hill after exiting the gravel section..and this attacking by Harley created the selection. Many malfunctions, flats, and crashes also dropped the numbers. My crank arm was loose and I was doing the biopace thing. Jose went solo and Richmond had the numbers with three remaining in the whittled field to respond but instead he vanished on the herizon. Russ goes a lap later and this jump was bridged by , at first, two more than three more and the remaining chase group gets soo splintered up and discumbobulated that suddenly the race is hell...its me and two guys that failed to get across and we were driving it to change that. Me Steve Black NCVC and Steve Gordon DLP caught in the wrong place with a thirty second gap from the seven ahead with 1 more ( Jose ) up ahead of them,...Soo we dont reconnect and eventually NCVC attacks a couple times and succeeds to get away and mr Gordan drops me and goes with Mr Black up the road. I had a delightfull last lap riding solo and really appreciating my carbon Easton cranks which were swinging multiple directions simultaneously..annoying but something I should have addressed prior to that sat. rode in and got some applause from team riders. eleventh place and red lantern ,...moto right behind me 4 ten miles pulling the caravan.
Reston I was with new cranks and new pedals too. The clip in was terrible at start soo I went way back from gun. I got back up to front but not fun. I was persuing much and chasing more then I wanted to. I eased off a degree from chasing and let the race determine the races results.. or sumpin...soo I held position nicely thru event and towards end Jay moglia was near me and he was helpfull at two to go in that he prodded me some to stay closer to the front. Bell lap and I was in good position maybe 6 th. Around descent up small rise and two corners to go three Richmond Pros swing by and this I should have fought off more..into the last turn third Rich. pro skitters rear wheel barely staying upright. He recovers remarkably fast and I was not forced too much to slow or swing around though and The Sprint was long and I was pushing too hard a gear..it felt like an eternity and not sure how I wasnt passed by more then Mason haymes ( hope spelled it right..Natures trail or sumpin) soo yeah he passed me on the straight fast and I got ninth...Jay placed 10 th and rode a fine race he did. I am not disappointed with my spot and I am moving the right direction.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Wash. co. could not do

I was sorta on the fence and not sure bout wash county and I was confirmed by my indecision as the guy who would not be there....at the crack of dawn when work issues were demanding and I was plain old run down somewhat. Sometimes when you dont decide, wel actually you have...or life has with the inexhorable rotation of the clock. Yes ,..the Restononian and the Poolesvillian are creeping up to us..again. Pave and Gravel. Classic stuff and the promise of pain...nice. At least some things in life are guarenteed. Soo no Murad results that I can find ...guess I rocked a twelth. Evan Fader went for the pre corner launch and went backward through the field and me and Ken Young got snagged behind him before the jump around was safe and secure blah blah long sprint and happy to get pretty close to top ten,..

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Race ave, Pa and High Bridge, New Jersey events

The Pa. event was a good race and I will return for that one. The participants were strong and included Chad Gerlach, J. Sundt and Jittery Joes riders.( Kelly had many riders) The start went off fast and attacks were reeled in. There was not many lulls and it stayed together until eventually Rick Norton and another Kelly guy got up the road. Chad went across and some others joined making about six up the road. The sprint came around and I got a lil swarmed but still placed 14 th ...not bad considering that Kyle wamsley only placed a couple spots ahead of me. In Jersey the hill was steep and the top has a really nasty and demanding ruff ass path where you ride / attempt to stay on. The descent is fast and one should take care around one fast ass turn where I almost lost the back end when in pursuit I lost contact with back tire to road and the back end was roostering all over the place..but caught grip just in time. Soo I made the selection except for six who went away. Good size steep hills and Jittery and Kelly representation equates to me not chasing too many things and allowing a move to go...so the teams will chill and the laps tick by smoother. Got to one to go and our group of maybe 14 are at the top of the climb when I feel the rear tire going bounce on the road. Losing pressure...not surprised with the nasty surface. So with a flat I roll in for twenty second and two out of the money...thats racing. No pictures 4 u.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Blade Runner

You realize at one point that you are able and equipped to deal with the pressures that life throws at you in the everyday world and also in the extremes of racing. You go into it( racing,..) with a sort of apprehension every time but you know you have been fine every time in the past. A year comes along though that is out of whack with the stuff you have seen in the past. Not that the past has been mundane. Various mechanicals, lack of suppurt concerning high tech crap ,...and just basic some hard races.
I have been a cat one forever and the scene for us is sorta bleak in that if you cant get on a big local team then you have to contend with some smaller one that cant get in the big races sometimes,..I was not annoyed with this too much until recently but now it has become more of a trend. ( more races requiring invites or credentials of at leasat 4 cat ones ) I am now concerned about the future of small possible teams that can be contenders ? Should they be content to wait to get their ranks strong enuff to be recognized,..? If you really want to ge there are you willing to deal with girlfriends that dont understand the obligation,..the road rash ,..the obligations and time consumption, and possible addictive ties. ?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Risky Business

I am normally pretty courteous and cautious when racing since I realize that staying upright is the only way to get across the finish line and win some money. Sounds nice and also has a hidden agenda. This does not mean that I will always move aside when someone wants to pressure me to let them out. This was the case on Saturday. I was riding pretty close to the front and sorta to the left side of the field and I am pretty sure it was a Kenda guy on my right,he decides suddenly that he had to get out. If the left of me was not occupied with at least a couple rows of guys to that side I could have easily let slim out. If it was not soo crammed at the time approaching the bell it would have been easy to move some to let him over. I was against being soo kind as to open the door and instead I accellerated to keep him lined up with my right side. I was irritated by his pushiness and I said "what are you just gonna force your way out ?" Thinking there was really nowhere to go and this little twerp is getting annoying. The next thing I know dude just accellerates again and turns into me. I moved as far left as I could without taking out the guys to my left and slims rear skewer skewed my frickin' two spokes on the front wheel and thus causing me to have to pull out. I was beside myself and walked across the parking lot with the rim rubbing the fork. I watched the finish and sat down totally pissed off and seriously contemplated getting some back and finding that whole team to sort out which desperate pro among them it was. I believe the next thing I would have done if slim had any lip than he would have really found out how much that prize money was worth. I am admitting in this post some involvement in why it was to a small degree my fault...but it was certainly a lame move on his part to be soo nasty since the course provides a lot of places to advance. I am still boggled but the bottom line is thats racing though it has been a while since I have been this amazed by another persons stupidity on a bicycle. Oh well,...the day was lame and pros can be lame. Lame Lame lame. I some times dont get it. I think next time I will just let any rider go wherever he wants because some will simply take everyones life in their hands in order to get in the money. Thanks for the lesson. Anyway that was enuff for me for a weekend and I bagged the thoughts of any further races for a few days.

Monday, May 18, 2009

THE RACE GODS



I had a fun race weekend. The race gods frowned on me sorta with mechanical problems Saturday combined with lack of fitness at Wilmington that spelled time to pull out at six to go. The after party was where it was at though, and I was hard to convince to leave the scene. I did though and I got to the Patterson Park race I.E Bike Jam and we started and for once I got a good position. The race was fast but from the git I could tell I was gonna do better then last year where I was dropped at 19 to go..but it was my first race all year for 08" so i was ok with it then ...sorta.
Soo the race would compress here and there this year and string out elsewhere but it was not a difficulty. I was not really flying but I felt confident. I got to around seven to go and I was not anywhere near the redline that yesterday was creating. I am sure the bike jumping gears at Wilmington didnt help but I dont know it was a harder event regardless. I made it to the bell lap at Pulaski (MD.) and I was happy that the typical crash was to the side of me and not in front of me. This often happens in a race that did not stress too many engines too long. Around the top side of the curve and into the turn though some knucklehead decides he was done with pedaling and actually clipped out his right foot as though he was pulling into the pit and instantly creates a gap..I said what the fuck and was instantly assigned to the task of getting aroung his bitch ass and working to close the gap. Now I understand being gapped because of the pace getting high but this was obvious bullshit. Who does that there ? I was very taxed to catch on and this was the spot i was using to move up in earlier laps and I was counting on it here. Soo, OK I bridge, I regain composure and we go around the lower circle. I am winding up on a Mountain Khakhi wheel and then I am boxed in with a guy who stops pedaling in front of me and two riders on either side...Jared goes by on my left and I jump around on that side to get 33rd. I was boggled at the weird and unfortunate last lap antics and I kept milling it over Sunday night actually losing sleep and trying to tell myself thats racing but still very irritated about how my racing has gone this year but trying to stay positive. Cheers !

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Awakening and Work ( fun n dollars)


Remember the statue "The Awakening" and it's cool location on the tip of Haines Point? The above photo is not of the awakening but I shot this statue in Germany (Kahrlsru or sumpin) I realize that the Haines Point one is still around but simply relocated to another location...the "National Harbor" which is really sorta out of the way and not convenient for most people. A nice place and worth the visit if you plan on spending some money, especially, but its earlier location was better as a DC accessable item and hang out. Which is exactly what I did late at night as a teen to impress a girl and bail on my own keg party, I have two other brothers so they were always shared mayhem events anyway. Yeah,.. big digression from todays ride to Hains Point. It was harder to get there today thanks to heavy headwinds then to ride once there. There was little going on and the few I saw were doing spinning and chatting. Soo I went home ..back to McLean.
Work has gotten in the way of trying to get some better miles to get ready for the weekends Grand prix and the bike jam on Sunday. I could use a teammate or two who rode in or around my category to help give some motivation and some ride sharing...as well as training together with. Gets lame now that it is the second year with nobody to ride with...WAH. I guess you make your bed and so on. next year things might change,..who knows and its still early for this season sorta. Work is going well and more lawn contracts are coming along as well as the more satisfying work of creating mulch beds and constructing rock walls to contain new plantings and so on. I love seeing the results of all the new rain as far as growth of plantings and seed development.. Blah blah so at least i have that going for me. ( that was a reference to the movie Caddyshack when Bill Murray recalls a trip to India and he was given a prayer by the Dahli Lahma..or sumpin like that.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Fort Richie and Work


These photos are great. I believe the Sheldon Church Ruins are among the best American artifacts of archeaology that are still standing ...period. Circa 1845 this church remains are in the little lowcountry indian area of Yemessee SC.( hope I spelled it right...great area ) The parish was burned by the Brits during the Revolutionary war and again by the Federalists in the Civil war. Restored in the thirties and awesome today.(tombs all around in very well loved shape ) I went to college interested in architecture but settled on landscaping...maybe I will at least get a associates in varied interests...?
Fort Richie is a very interesting place and the cascade, Md. location is very nice and inspires me to get my 27 ft. RV up there to ride some nice miles and fish. The hills look great for riding and there seems to be plenty for liz and the Bear dog to do as far as hiking and stream romping. Very nice to get to an area soo close and yet soo seemingly far removed.
Liz and I collected some spanish moss from the road trip to SC, NC, And Georgia and I gathered some road rash as memorabilia. Also those darn mosquitos are ravenous bout that time. Ya"ll see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button...I liked that movie and it sorta seems to have some ties to my life in a weird way...you figger.
That race though was ok but it is tiring to ride among the power struggle that is MABRA and their battle for supremacy. The position is not new in that I have never been on the ruling team. Now there is two teams that are the obvious ones to win and the rest gather the scraps. If I were to say which is stronger I would say it is Harley Davidson...this is hopefully not a statement that is overstating the obvious though. Both are pretty stacked with contenders. I dont mind the dynamics because I figger whatever dont kill you...
Work is to be spoken of also.. The gentleman who is the VP of the team NCVC has contracted our landscaping services and I am ever soo gratefull. I grew up very close to Westlawn dr. where his house is. I was happy to do work around the old stomping grounds. It is also rewarding to bring back a garden and a flower bed from overgrown to renewed and a new license on life. I enjoy landscaping and also the satisfaction of providing smiles and good views without the pain of the glimpse at the wallet...or soo I hope. I am indebted to the cycling community in at least two ways...I get some income and I get some life lessons in humility. We all procure the best from each other and sometimes the worst also...but its in the decision of its partition and ramification that the strong flourish.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Final Speed Week Report

The Spartanburg race was another hairy event full of bumping,shouting, and some crashes. It is hair raising and nervewracking stuff. The last ten came along after hitting the pit for a wheel. I was riding well but the field was very active in the last five and the speed was starting to wear me some. Around two left and I was far enough up front but at one to go there was a serious acceleration and so a hole opened up in front of me and I was on Frank Traviesos wheel at 3 turns to go and he was last nights winner. I was just hoping to stay with him but he punched it on the back stretch and that was all I saw of him. The last two turns were dealt with ok because the race was strung out but I got 36th and Frank got 29th utilizing his powerfull kick but he was also caught off guard by the last lap split . The Dilworth crit was a course that I knew was not gonna work 4 me. The hill at the one end ran all the way up the backside to the start/stop. The race began and I was getting passed on every ascent to the finish...I knew this was gonna be tough. The rain began and the turn at the bottom thers was a crash midfield. The split caused a frantic effort in the second half and I was pegged and I knew it was over as I pushed it to the point where I decided to simply ride by my own. Naturally the group in front of me eased at the top and I tried to close the gap just because I had gotten some recovery. It was to no avail but I did get real close. So I rode solo and some came from behind some came from the front and it was a sort of hodge podge of individuals as I simply kept a steady determined pace. I was not trying to hammer but just go steady and try to finish upright. Riders came and were either dropped by my or simply pulled out. There were many riders who crashed or droped out or both. I was lapped...I was soaking..I was interested in only staying upright and finishing. Todays race was going to determine if I would finish the series and the future was looking like I was gonna skip the 5 h r. To Ga. And then drive11 hrs back monday...anyway ...the field came through of like 35 guys out of the start of maybe 120..who knows but the field was greatly diminished. I got out of the way but did a few laps in 5his group. The corner was done badly by many and the braking and sprinting made it much more difficult then my line solo...so that's the way I ended up finishing.. Solo except for a Jittery guy who sprinted around me after riding my wheel the last lap..I was wondering if he was gonna pull such a heroic move

Friday, May 1, 2009

Walterboro

Soo the fourth speed week race has come and gone and I was able to get in the money. The race was more 2 my liking in that the backside was more open and long therefore allowing time to close gaps and reshuffle b4 going into another funnel. I was 30 th place ...last in the money and ecstatic. I have been having a tuff time with this series and I am gratefull to have been some sort of a factor at least in my mind. The protest period passed and I collected the 55 clams and left. Later talking to Mark Light he said I was listed as 31 st and I was surprised. I am on my way to Spartanburg and I did see online that I am indeed slotted at 31st with a 44 th overall in the series...in the team overall I am 18 th and Rock racing is 19 th...obviously the one guy Cesar or sumpin did only one or two events as opposed 2 my 4 events but the bike rack will overlook this glaring point count detail just cause it will never happen again most likely...Well.. oh how bout details on the race ? Well it was nice bc it was less technical and I felt like I was breathing easier and mo capable to stay on wheels and to continue to pedal after people would grab breaks thus enabling upward movement into the front ...a crucial element if you want to be anywhere near the front at the end where the ramp in speed is prohibitive of place change by much if any. So if they want to get my payout back b cof a mistake f. Then oh well but I did wait for protest period to end and they did give me the check...anyway I have been getting stronger but the weight for has not dropped 4 s@it which makes me wonder if every scale I get on is simply trying 2 piss me off. Last year I was able to start at 185 and drop through the 170s and settle just under 170 most of the time..now I am steady at 180 and frustrated..I ain't going on jenny craig and just need more miles I figger ?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Two down in the South

Well I guess I gotta post sumpin bout first cuppla days of the speed week series. Tom Buzas was right bout the Athens crowd and the drinking but his warning bout possible beer bottles being thrown on the course did not happen thankfully. There was a massive crowd and many were consuming and getting their swerve on. Good time for all there cept a professor that day did kill his wife and two others earlier thus a manhunt was in progress just off the course. Not fun for them...serious stuff. Unlike racing which is fun n games right. So yeah ...stacked field and there was a stunt moto guy doing trix 4 the crowd so much delay with call ups n shennanigans. Nervous waiting. The race starts and two corners in a crash causes a chase which was a great beginning...the race seemed to stretch out to a vanishing point with it being dark and a 150 rider field. I moved up some and got passed some. The counter read 43 and starting to feel it. At around 35 I was thinking at least get to the 20s fore bagging it. I was caught behind a rider down and went into his rear wheel and tried to hop but only went over the bars ...so I got a scratch on the nose and restarted with like 15 others. Down into the 20 sumpin lap to go I was closing small gaps and they were serious efforts. The teens went by and I was just counting each lap as a victory and just telling myself to do one more...7 to go and I was last guy ..at round 4 to go I moved up a lil and rode Evan Faders wheel awhile cause he was not hopping out the saddle on the backside climb and his wheel was less stressfull to follow... 2 laps left and speed really pamped up and more gaps 2 close...bell lap and I hopped around some spent guys and realized a tiny gap had opened up and I was no longer in the field sprint but I finished 56th and I finished. Historic Roswell was fast and narrow but we had daylight and smaller crowd. The last stretch was out of the saddle out the corner every time and narrow backside was lot of bunching up. Perfect for teams to set up moves and block. The race went by faster though and I was able to ride big name wheels and stay closer t the action. The cramps came and went. I got to 5 laps left and movad up more. At what I thought was. 2 to go I was in perfect position and at the mistaken bell I shot by many and would have had a topt en in the field sprint. But after crossing the line I was astonished the race kept pedalling on...a guy beside me asked me wasn't that the last lap? I was shocked but realized some error was made as I was being passed on both sides...the real last lap on the backside was madness and much bumping and pushing...very nervewracking but out of the last corner and out the saddle. I tried to give it another push but it was weak and I landed 54th I believe...oh and yesterdays crash messed with frnt deraileur so it fell to small ring in middle of race causins some tension and words. I worked it out last night at the room in Beaufort and today is the race I look forward to the most down here cause this town is where I really started to train 4 racing and where I livad and went to college. Hello Beaufort . Alaskan crab legs last night and hopefully good race legs tonight !

Sunday, April 19, 2009

broken bike


crash replacement cost 1900 $ not sure if that is a reduced price or just the same as to buy new with a nice name....lame deal and trek will never get my money again...bammas. I thought they would ask for 500 $ or sumpin reasonable. I like the Giant and it performed well today.
Columbia is always a great workout and nice and wide so it is a user friendly course. I got a forty $ dollar prime in the 35 plus and 8 th place which landed 25 $...the prime was at three to go and I kept going hoping to get a split going but to no avail. I was riding relentlessly in the 123 just to get my fitness up for the upcoming speed week series and to try to reel back the move up the road but blocking by dc velo and LSV proved to be too much ..oh and also Immediate mortgage. Harley was left out for the second day in a row...pretty unusual but the large majority is up at battenkill so thus an explanation for that. Hipp and Fuentes proved though that they do pretty well as the smaller contingent and Dave got fifth I believe in the 123 with much work put in and three up the road...no lame sprinter sitting in for them today. Josh had a great weekend with a fifth or fourth ? yesterday ( plus they won ) and a win today...and at their own race which is always nice. He spoiled the two LSV guys efforts to counter him and the stronger guy won.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Ready or Not ( photo #1 worried #2 resigned )



Well...so I have been remiss in my duty to put a post up ? This post is about the future and present. Presently I am still trying to get this new bike fit for me. The new bike has this ( Giant advanced TCR ) ...has this seatpost that has to be cut at your desired height. The hacksawing of the frame for me required about 15 or 16 measurements of the same distance ..( old seat height on Madonne ) compared to the new frame where the cut should be made..once the clamp is inserted into the cut seat mast it adds 1 and a half in. so this compounded my nervous measurements and multiple checks before I actually cut the damn thing. Old school and not wanting to screw up made for a very nervous build for me. Busy week it has been and really struggling with the juggling of bills, overdrafts, and job supervising and estimating..plus registering for events . Riding was not accomplished at all besides down the street and back up after the bike was assembled around ten pm.
Thus the post title....ready or not. Olly olly in come free. Is it too late to post a photo of the broken frame of three races back or four ? maybe.. but I still might get around to it...bad mojo dough. I am going down to Speed week in Ga. and S Carolina and N Carolina. I went to college In SC and my bro lives in NC so I will have a somewhat nearby base camp. Good to get away.. Syn fit crit today was sorta frustrating bc the race split in half and it was too many DC Velo guys up there and too many Richmond Pro. So none of them would work if a split went from the break on the pretense that they didnt have to. If left behind and chasing.. none of them would work to bridge on the pretense that they did not have to. The two Battley riders( Hipp and Fuentes ) were outnumbered but they played their cards well and maybe won the group sprint for third, but they could not contain the race like usual after multiple moves went and came back...some I was in and some I helped bridge. Maybe around ten laps left, J. Meidhoff went away and was never seen again..a few laps later a Richmond Pro went off solo also and was gone up the road...too much looking around and too much team tactics. Thats of course if neither of those teams were yours. But the group sprint was fast and there was Ken Young and Craig Dodson and Josh and Immediate had Githens and Pete Custer and the two harley sprinters and Van Dessel and kelly and and and ,...you get the picture. I got fourteenth..I got some bills paid..I got some work lined up..READY OR NOT...going down south..but there is Columbia menana..ciao. (Dog in shot was in Dupont circle.. guys name in photo is Spencer.)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

OUT WITH THE OLD IN WITH THE NEW TWO

Fuck ...the time for me is never good to buy a new bike ...but now is the time. I could post a photo and maybe I will, but imagine a frame broken in half along the down tube and also another complete break just below the top tube down the head tube. The new one will be a Giant advanced sls or sumpin its cool...the bike.. and the price 4 me is sweet...much less than the crash replacement from trek....soo ...bout last weekends racing ? life is tough and so is racing thats why I do it..it keeps me reminded of the basics...stay upright...stay humble...and be nice and kick ass. I try, at least, to do all of the above. See you on the course of life ... :)

Friday, March 27, 2009

OUT WITH THE OLD



The new season begins in two days for me with the Jeff. cup race. I have seen this race change courses so often but the last few years have remained unchanging. The old routes were more difficult. I remember racing against Eric Saunders and Jon Hamblen years ago before they went pro. Jon went to the navigators and Eric went to Europe for a while and came back to join Kodak/Sierra nevada. Both guys are cool dudes and jon is now with Time and Saunders is the team organizer i believe and jason Snow has hung it up for the most part I believe and is managing the Time crew. I gotta call Mark Light and get the scoop sussed out. Anywho...this post is more intended to highlight the new kit and plug in the new team.
The last few days have been real busy for me with all the new contracts getting honored and the completion of another shed project and powerwashing, pruning, mulching,...jobs. Not any riding but I will ride Friday at the point and do some tomorrow to get ready some for sundays intro race.
Soo yeah,...I am stoked to be with THE BIKE RACK WASH. DC ...the owners are very cool. The new kit is gonna be sweet with the BEAR DOG LANDSCAPING LLC logo on it and also the changes in the design will be tight. The guys on the team are amped to get under way with racing this year and that is good motivation for me. I have lately been in a sort of slump as far as various problems and hurdles but persevere I will. Like the little choo choo going up that mountain...I know I can I know I can...sort of thing. Right ...out with the Bike Lane ( though I was appreciative of their support..Adam especially thx) In with the new though.. The Bike rack. Mercenary Schmidty. In the photo it shows me getting swallowed by the field in the ING 123 race. I had just finished the masters race in which I was solo for maybe 12 laps and the field in that one was about ten feet behind me as I crossed the line..my teammate nima came through me and got third I got fourth and Ramone one with the help of mark Warno. ( who was also my teammate till mid season when he went to Immediate mortgage. So in the last lap a route one guy went to the front and i was on his wheel the whole last lap. He spilled in the last turn and there I was suddenly on the front with way too far to hold off the fresh field behind me..I gave it the old school effort and got pretty far till the sprinters came through me and I lost seven spots in about thirty feet. Bo lee got me by a bike throw for the last guy to go by me. damn...but at least I was still in the money.

Monday, March 23, 2009

THATS COOL...

Can he do that..can he say that ? Yeah he can do that.. You might wonder what the hell...where the hell is chris going ? I am referring to the amazing and glorious results of a simple ride. The effects that a simple display of fitness can have, on an otherwise sorta mediocre level of talent, that engenders super arrogance. I have always wondered about what it is that enamours me to this sport ?
I do not think it is the jock mentality or the clean cut personna that many illustrate or the silver spoon class that seems to fill many categories. I think the thing I can relate to is the tuff man wins thing. I was born and raised on this sort of thinking. Not by mom and not by any other adult but by my brothers and our friends and enemys. We got in fights, we all scrapped and we all survived ..for the most part. Most of my friends were scrappers and we all knew each others abilities. So among us we knew who not to tangle with..or who you could test the waters with.
Enough about the fun of high school and onto the current life concerning bicycles and racing with them. The fitness aspect of racing crits is important. The fitness aspect also takes a back seat if you have no nuts, or if your female, than you are a cautious rider. The logic being that if your fast; then what does it matter if your also fast to hit the brakes: and fast to create explanations about other guys that got in the way... See the problem well in advance and dont be part of it. Experience also pays in dividends in that you can see where you best let the knuckleheads spar around you and stay away and ease the throttle. The speed thing gets muted if your on the pavement or relegated to the back because of fear. Fear has a great place though and the term is replaced with common sense and talent...talent to stay upright and get to the last lap. In a fight this applies also because it has similarities. If you hold back and get hit first the catchup game is on...if you go first too early then maybe you could have avoided having to break away too early and the whole thing maybe could have been finessed better...all about reading the game and the other players...
The intended purpose of training is that your supposed to pull your punches yet still get a workout in, and this fine line can be hard to achieve. Sparring with new guys can be frustrating, in that to them they have too much to prove, and thus can be dangerous to be around. Maybe taking it too seriously. Racing is more like a gang fight where training is like a sparring match. In sparring you want to similate the real thing but not to the point of serious injury or jeapordizing ones capability to perform for the real deal.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

BACK IN THE DAY


Back in the early days of my introduction into cycling I was doing university educating in South Carolina. I was a bored guy with a girlfriend all the way across the state. She was at the main campus and I was still in the satellite campus in Beaufort South Carolina. This was a drag and it eventually led to my first big 140 mile solo run out of the lowcountry and into the agricultural land of cotton and kudzu. She was worth every stroke...of the pedals..to go there. I was on a mission.
Her name was Josephine Iacavidou..she was from the birthplace of Aphrodite and the also the stoic Zenon..I believe. ( to enlarge the piture above just click on it n drop down..shoulda been put in better ) The island in the middle of the meditteranean known as Cyprus. ( greek ) Her father went to war against the invading Turks in 74' and has not been seen since. The policy of the Turkish army was to keep the captured Cypriot men prisoner and reintegrate them eventually into their society and make them marry a Turkish women. The island was split into two and the division is known as the green line. Josephine was given a scholarship for two reasons from the govt. of her homeland. First she had a father who fought for their freedom....secondly she was a straight A student. I benefited from getting to know her in that she was a great tutor for my lame algebra skills. Plus she was awesome as a person and great to look at.
Soo I went on the road and travelled past yamasee ( the name of a marshland indian tribe ) and past many big plantations. I never rode that far before and I was carefull to go easy to not fry myself. I eventually passed many towns and small country hamlets until I finally got into the suburbs that mark Columbia S.C.. I was a nuisance for the dorm because I slept in the dorms lounge on the sofa and the girls in their pajamas probably felt awkward with a guy there. Oh well...it was worth the trip and after the weekend I rode back. I did the trip a couple more times and grew more confident. With that confidence came mistakes. I got caught with 40 miles to go still, once, and it was too dark to continue. I stopped at a remote country store where some hunters were gathered. I asked how far I had to go and told them why I was soo stupid to be stranded this far away from anywhere . They passed the bottle some more, joked some, and one of them gave me a ride to where there were at least city lights. These guys were real southern and they showed me some southern hospitality. Gave me a camouflauge jacket and all. That could have been a real bad situation. Not sure if its better to be stranded in the middle of nowhere or in a magalopolis. At least in the woods you can make a fire but no money in the city, and cold, means you have to break a law for room and board. A new teammate said I should put this story up...thx for the suggestion Grayson.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Another Lost River write up...


I have heard the phrase "stay the course" but this weekend I was not applying that phrase. I was pretty motivated to go out and ride with the new team to get to know them better and also log some miles. I was also aware of the weather forecast but I did not phisically respond well to the, at least ten degree temperature difference. The first day, Friday, we did a pretty short 35 miles and it worked out fine except for many mechanicals. The next day there was a slight rain that was picking up very slowly and combined with the cold made things uncomfortable. Our team was going to do two rides that day : one for everyone and one for the stronger portion of the group. I was not feeling well by the end of the first ride and felt more drained then usual so I opted to not do the second ride. I slept and read a book and the precipitation got a little worst. My sleep was sorta a mix of some solid sleep and some waking to cold sweats. I must have overworked this week and been unaware of some bug that was not fully worked out or sumpin.
Soo ultimately I was somewhat humbled by looking out the window and not participating as much as I wanted but oh well. The last day it was drizzling even more and I was not stoked at all to do more then one lap of the proposed race course that willl be the Lost River Classic course.
The hills on this ten mile loop are tough. The race will be excellent for climbers and for the not soo great climbers it will be painfull, but a good workout and an opportunity to lose some weight. If you know the Page valley race then it will be found to be comparable but, in my opinion, somewhat more difficult. The Page course gradually winds up the first climb as opposed to the WVA climbs which dont have as much mercy in the respect that they have a more consistent pitch. Granted the page valley second climb is brutally steep but it is shorter and the top is visible which always helps as opposed to climbs which you think might be done and then you see another leg to do. The Lost River race will become an instant classic and it will be viewed as epic. This area is in need of more diversity as far as races and this one will certainly provide that. Tired of industrial parks and the sitting in of the ever present crits we have ? This is what you have been waiting for then. The area alone makes for a great weekend and an excellent way to escape the urban/suburban sprawl. It is amazing how fast one escapes the commercial mess we live in and finds themselves able to relax in the Lost River area. It is my recommendation to not rush out and back but to enjoy the weekend there or maybe even make it a three day vacation.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Stranger in a Strange Land

I went to California around 2003 after a bad couple of years in the district. I was dumped by the girlfriend Kristy and started to live somewhat wild staying in the car and on couches.
Working as a messenger. The next thing that happened was getting hit by a car and being put in the hospital. The injury involved being hit from the back by a cabbie. He lied about what happened and he got another cabbie to lie about what happened also, to be a witness. I remember this fucking asshole, towelhead, getting out of his car angry with me because I was enraged enough, and in hindsight stupid enough, to kick his sacred crown vic. This was after he hit me driving away from the gas pump at twenty third and M st. and looking out of only his right hand passenger window as he floored it to the sidewalk and myself, as I was entering the crossing. I went down the ramp and attempted to evade this complete dick as he was completely not looking and going way to fast. I was hit while I was going down the ramp off the sidewalk and onto the road. The angle of the ramp meant that when he hit me from behind I was sent for big hang time. I remember, post adrenaline, The sound of my leg breaking and it was like when you intentionally snap a good size limb for firewood.
The cabbie was able to create his LIE right in front of me and talk arabic to his other unsympathetic coherts and when I was carted off to the hospital the female black cop came up to my bed and presented me with a District of Columbia traffic violation. ( nice..one foolish lazy DC cop and no chance for a lawsuit for a broke bastard like me..ok I met dad once.. :) The foreigner told the ambivilant policewoman that I kicked his cab as he was waiting at the sidewalk for me to pass. My leg was broken into "cornflakes" ( doctors proffessional assessment of the severity ) and required an orthopaedist thirteen screws and a rod the length of my calf to gather the result of my ...inability to control my "social disorder". ( BS )
Soo that was a bitter incident which rendered me pretty helpless. The surgery itself was set for two weeks post incident. This meant having a cast to allow swelling to reduce. This also meant every time I moved that leg the bits and pieces would grind and protest and I could feel the movement of the various pieces shifting. I was living on my brothers couch for a couple weeks and I was and I am gratefull for his help. ( though he never visits..)
Anyway, lets move forward and away from that fun. I was always blind to the lies and deceit of Kristy and I was back and forth with her and her BS until she left for good around 2003. It was the epic year when lance was crashing and still winning,..and I was crashing and losing. ( or at least thats the year I think ) I left for California to never come back. I went to Laguna Beach. It is a fancy Southern part of the west coast with many tourists and also quite a mix of locals too. The soul of the town industry is art and tourism. ( a pair of twins named Samara and Gabby moved there from Great falls, Va. who r old friends ) I found a few places to camp including a cave of sandstone in a canyon. I got a job as a construction laborer by just walking onto the site and getting sympathy from a nice foreman. I was not doing well though, even in paradise. people seemed distant and distracted. Insincere and preoccupied. Maybe those adjectives were really my own but I did ride my bike. I was not fully recovered but I was determined to not let the naysayers win. There were some including my own mother who told me I would probably have to forget about racing. I was maybe like Forrest Gump...confused, angry and needed time to think.
Soo the job at Monarch bay was wrapping up and I was not prospering there anyway so I packed up and headed off to LA in search of better pay and more importantly someone to maybe call a friend or to hang out with. The twins were involved with their own lives and the art people were not my sort. I was broke and the messenger bag was really loaded. I mean a set of Ksyrium wheels and much camping stuff. I slept under a beach in a really industrial part of long beach and a kind homeless guy, as opposed to me, lent me a blanket because I was sorta short. I felt for him BC he was whooping and coughing all night in his tent and I could hear his pain all night from a dozen yards away.
I rolled into the worst slums of any town I have ever seen. Made the worst parts of Baltimore look like a nice scenic getaway. I think it was Compton...not sure. I am sure I was interested in moving along quickly and worried for the first time ever about being jumped in broad daylight. Trust me, I have been plenty of places and this was the most bum infested, hood crowded, used car parking lot of an area I have seen.
I eventually, after literally hundreds of blocks of slums, started to see high rises and suits. I was never happier to see suits. I had spent my last dollar on a double cheese and I wanted to barter my wheels for some food money. I asked a commuter about where the messengers were to be found. He said "fourth and Flower". I was off. It turns out that it was like mecca. Weed wafting and guys who bought some of the stupid cycling shit I had and suddenly I had fifteen dollars and a route to Venice beach where I could crash. I slept on the beach under a lifeguard station for a couple weeks and evantually got a messenger job at 1st Legal. Like a Quick messenger service in DC. LIL lower rates but more work. I crashed some( slept ) at Jonas'es in Venice also and it worked out ok for a while but things were real tough there and I would never suggest going out there as ill prepared as I was...and as fucked up as I was mentally either. I am all growned up now. :) ( some of the stuff I got into I wont talk of here but not swift, lucky to be around stuff )

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

GAMJAMS REVIEWS: THE RACE WHEELS I WANT

The german wheels Lightweight brand seem very nice. These deep sectional wheels have been in the market the longest and are preferred by the pros ...or so it seems but the cost I don't know...I am sure it is real high. I just bought a pair of Easton EC90 aeros which are deep section carbon rims and for me that is sufficiant for that dream . Good times ..ciao oh and yeah tubulars of course.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

AUDIOSLAVE

Be Yourself thats all you can do...the lyrics go that way... and of course its true.. but music brings life...life to power, and willingness to deal with pain. Desire results in Motivation. When you see an attack ( or hear it more ).. and you realize it seems strong.. so whats the choice ? wait for someone to choose to be themself or ...do you grab your testes?/ So is that your goal to hope to be dragged around... to the last lap...? ( if so it might pan out in the local fray but no way in the honest bigger class..)
Drafting another riders wheel is really what I am focusing on here. We all know the power in the local field and our own power to a degree also. It is important to feel your oats and test your drive. Say to yourself fuck the end game lets do the my game...maybe play the Audioslave tune in your head as you roll..( sometimes the end is the biggest problem as far as gettin the end game result ? )
So onto my next thought ...once you have the Audioslave mentallity on point ...lets go beyond the local little league and onto NRC where theres some speed consistently throughout. No 26 to 29 pace variation just plain frickin fast and no need to record what happened..just did you stay on ? So what are you listening to in your head ?....your heart ? Barry Mannilow ? or are you rockin like Dokken ( just a phrase ..hate Dokken) Like Audioslave ?) the real core of this article is the ability to really grab a draft and get in the tuck . Get it like its yours and dont say hey here you go to anyone..be yourself.

Friday, March 6, 2009

THE RUFF NEWS



About ten years ago I was telling my teammate Zach Browne that we needed to do some weekly time trialing in order to maintain some idea of our fitness and to record the data. I made a flyer with some cutouts and creativity ( thanx Eddy for your permission )Zach was sorta reluctant because he is the kinda guy who is always busy... He agreed though, thankfully, and actually showed up most of the time, at least initially. I figured the weekly training regimen did not need to be real long but that the hills would substitute nicely. ( MR. Browne was the guy I got to the front so he could do his amazing sprint ...unless a break got away and I would cover it ) the Ross Dr. loop came to mind because of its proximity and its available BBQ pits.
The burden of carrying chicken parts, water gallons, and beer was a minor drawback to bring about spectators and participants. ( friends make it memorable and provide so it can go on with a sense of fun...man it got fun..) The realization of how to actually get to know ones ability and to realize affective ways to overcome parts of the course through post conversation and/or simply doing it stronger became apparent. ( sorta like dude you have to use the big ring, on certain points and sections..)
It was just a training thing I never thought that it would still be around to this day and I am really happy that it draws people to the awesome outdoors that the Rock Creek provides. I remember one year where the messenger world championships came to DC and the crowd there filled a big field and I was soo stoked...I wanted to ride the course but instead showed out of towners the course...it was awesome and I believe it was the largest presence that field has ever seen... Another excellent reason to leave the Dupont circle scene and venture into the woods. Right now there is a low no. of people who actually do the time trial though I believe the party, barBQ essence of it is still going strong and on any given( every other ) wednesday there will be someone to record your time on the RUFF NEWS loop. Instructions can be gotten on the loop which is about 5 miles. We had two loops back in the day for variety one was 5 miles another was 3.9 miles.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

cyclocross

I got out for some night riding yesterday and it was a good time. The trails are clearly visible as a dark line in the otherwise pure white lit by the moon. It was nice to get out the cross bike for some snow riding. I went along the river and up and down some hills which were pretty steep so I walked a section or two but it was worth it. I got another chance to remind myself why I bought a cross bike. I am glad we got some snow.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

eighties, ramps, and flatland







My years in Falls Church as a freestyler and bmx guy were fun. Aside from a broken arm from going over the backside of an eight ft. quarter pipe at Randy fugates ( the ramp was painted in the black and white checkered pattern of original vans)no not vans as in a vehicle: shoes. My first quality bmx bike was a Skyway (chrome) with acs graphite hoops (red) with GT hubs. Could not afford three piece profile cranks but something decent is on it. The trick with me in the blue jacket is not that special. I got better though and sorta gained skill. The halfpipe was more intense so that was the direction I moved towards and away from the trails and jumps. More sustained hang time on the pipe. Int the picture where I was catching air I was wearing my favorite shorts: Birdwells. ( cool nylon Swim trunks at the time ) Note confidence as far as no top where some might have been decked out in armpads and full sleeve. Lame..the sign on the top reads troopers beware.. Rusty on the lookout. ( a harmless dog that was owned by the ramp owner my good friend Rob H.; ( wanna say Hartford ) I cant remember his last name now ...it will appear as the cloud drifts away ) The one that prohibits my historic recall. ( troopers was an insult to guys that sucked on the ramp and occupied too much of our privacy and ramp time )
Anyway ,..we had a trick team that would perform shows at various events like fairs, parades, and any event they would allow us to set up up the mobile quarter pipe ( towed on rear of station wagon ) as well as the trick ramp which is not curved just a 35 degree short ramp ..we would perform not for money but to meet the ladies. Fame also.
The freestyle bike I moved to beyond the Skyway was a Hutch Trick Star which was a lavender frame ( cool then I swear: eighties color ) red skyway 2 mags and white GT trick bars. Yes the cables had the potts modification so bars could rotate multiple times without winding around headtube. I met Mr. Hutch at a trick show sponsored by Rockville Bmx...the big shop everyone in the know went to. Those guys were paid and they rocked.
High school daze and the bike gathered dust eventually. Eventually took too much space in closet and lost to history. A shame they are pretty prized these days.
The first year at FCHS was not stellar. I passed one class barely with a D and that was Home Economics ( again Chics and possible snacks ) Shop did not appeal to me...call me a fag..I will live. Soo yeah one D and five fantastic F s. Nice. Off to summer school. Fuck that sucked. Oakton was to be my summer school for four more glamorous years. Price of hangin out. Serious dazed and confused or just absent.
I showed up around third period, the day of photos for the year book, and went to the auditorium to get it over with. The scene for yearbook photos in the auditorium is funny. Everyone is all dressed up like they are going to court; and I am totally clueless in raggedy clothes. The photographer could not let me be shot like I was. They had a cardboard sorta facade which looks like a tie and white shirt and they lent me a black coat. That is why I was smiling so authentically because I was probably baked and just laughing.
I could not believe I was voted best hair. I think no guys are seriously gonna ponder who they think should get voted best hair so they just put down what makes them laugh or nothing at all and maybe the ladies loved my curly locks. Ozzy, Metallica, Panterra, Dio, ...you get the idea. I liked it loud. Broader interests now. Moving forward in time.
The photo of the Burritto bunch is shot outside Jays Jersey house where across the street there was a golf course. Jay was a young up and coming golf pro in high school who lost interest thank god. We were there for a race in Point Pleasant, NJ and it was a fast pro race. That town is very nice with a decent shore and huge victorians. Jersey nightlife is soo different then here with the Italians sporting the big gold necklaces and open hairy chest (on the gents mostly) ...and the big hair of the women and glossy lipstick bright red. This was not the eighties but the nineties. Anyway...Jason Stevenson is the tall guy who was recently injured in a bike/car interface in the district so I thought I would dig up a shot with him in it.
Also Shane Greg and Sandra and another photo of Zache "DOO DOO" Browne and Sandras jeep. ( Sandra and I were married for eight months thankfully it was not death do us part )

Saturday, February 21, 2009

demo and construction





I have a neighborhood client for whom I am providing a landscape change on the front of the house for now. I started and created a new mulch bed or two. I also proposed a much larger change that included trees, stone walls, and shrubs on which they agreed to. The next day they said their new idea was to focus on the back first and to start with the demolition of the current shed. the pre-existing shed was vine covered and failing as far as being watertight. the new one after some deliberating would be the same rather small 8' by 6' but with a gable roof as opposed to the slightly sloped flat roof the old one had. Also the materials would be vertical cedar siding and faux slate shingles. These materials are about as high end as possible. The entry also was to be a wooden multi paned door which could not be bought with a pre constructed frame thus adding to the labor hours and complexity. The entry design also included another smaller gable over the door for looks and more weather protection.the new storage spot would include a window which could be opened and of the double paned vacuum sealed variety.
I went at the old shed and demolished it in a day. The proposed time for the construction was put at a week. A roofer friend of mine said I was off right there and that it would probably be longer. I was hopefull and eager to have some work in February. After a week I was not done. The seventh day came and the door frame was giving me trouble.( in the photo the right side is not finished and therefore not symmetrical.. which if I get final photos up one can see its even ) I got it hung but the time on it alone was twice what i thought it would be. Eighth day and still just felt paper on the roof. The wood trim and soffits were also some detail work that put me behind schedule. Ninth day and the shingles were halfway done and projected time looking to be way off. Also the projected material costs were a lot higher then anticipated. At this point I was driven to get done and I did on day no. ten but the learning experience as far as using expensive wood and fancy tiles was invaluable. The door framing I also now will be more wary of. The client came in with around $5600 total costs and thats after I dropped a good piece of the extended labor costs in acknowledgement of my mistaken projections.
The client and I are moving forward with further plans as far as actual landscaping, but both parties will be more cautious as far as cost assesments. The shed is the best on the block though and I am proud of it. Considering it has been a while since the last construction job. I said I wanted to talk about the job some so there.
No racing going on right now but the ten oclock today was fast and I was satisfied with that performance, also. Immediate Mortgage was a presence today with maybe three or four members and similar amount of Team HD riders. good fun. :)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentines day ten oclock

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The last time I was out on a Saturday to ride I was a little too ambitious and I had already put in too many miles that week..So I went to do the seven oclock for the first time and also the ten oclock. It was a good workout..and it was also a humbling experience. I was done after Esworthy and after turning onto River rd. I went up halfway with the group and that was it for me. I drifted off and rode in. But of course there was yet another rider who was either dropped or simply suffered a mechanical who came through me and i jumped on...just to realize that it was only a matter of time till he was going to force me to fade off again. That is always fun. It does replicate racing in that you can sometimes claw back into a group or individual just to get dropped again. Well ...I have never really known what or how to describe racing and or training on days like these..which is pretty often. To say it is fun is to say it is fun to go to the dentists in my humble opinion. Somehow though there is a sense of satisfaction especially afterwards. Also maybe if fun can be synonymous with exhilerating and the thrill or endorphine rush of a sprint or a near catastrophe..( sometimes )well it is fun.
Cupids holiday was thankfully somewhat less difficult but still a good training ride. Only Jose of the Harley bunch was there and the ever present james Wagner in the yellow...also a guy I dont know the name of who sports a pro shop sponsorship jersey. ( he is the guy who came through after I was dropped a couple weeks earlier and said see ya ) There was a Jorje..( its George in english I think ) from the Artemis crew. Most of the regulars like the dude who has the belgian wool jersey( red white and blue ) A strong non racer. The usual appearance of Simon Walker and Steve Barrie after the halfway point ( onto River rd ) Justin Omalley was also along for the duration. Now that I have bored whoever is reading I will say it is nice to get into the park with the front and it is also ominous because I aware of all the players that were not present. This season seems as though it will be very fast and D20 is as good as any district to hone the criterium skills. Actually better then most . So I guess I should be gratefull for the everpresent available hammers to keep me in shape. THX Chris ( I will be working Sunday and sorta unhappy to miss the trade zone but I also like the idea of letting the frenzied first couple get sorted out and come in with some of that energy spent )

Thursday, February 12, 2009

British times

The history of phrases and gestures is hazy and often a mystery. The often said phrase son of a gun is an interesting one because it seems soo harmless and innocent compared to todays descriptive and maybe vulgar ones today. Actually the phrase comes about from a criminal being sentenced to labor on a ship of war to carry out his sentence ...and when that craft was in shore it would not allow the prisoners to go to harbor, but instead the vessel would bring certain parties to bring some harmony to the human cargo. The parties in question were actually whores and the criminals and the hired painted ladies would go below deck to entertain themselves, the most private locations were between the gun stalls or cannons and there sex would take place. Thus the coinage or product came about. Son of a gun ; A whore and a criminals byproduct or procreation. Nice
When you hear the phrase; on the wagon: you are maybe only thinking he is gonna stop drinking , this being the volition of choice. Actually the phrase comes from the British sentence of death whereas the guilty party is given his last choice of final wish and often the preference was a last drink. Therefore the wagon would stop at the bar and the patron would make his request as to his choice libation and after its consumption the tender might ask whats next. The accused and convicted would have no choice but to reply that he was on the wagon. ( which meant he was off to the gallows pole)
Nice....Soo moving on...this applies to recent fun...the gesture of raising the middle finger is actually dated back to Roman times and in those days the finger was one of phallic reference. The person that you applied it to was the person that you were metaphisically screwing an regardless of sex it was the supreme insult. The Romans were actually very colorfull in their ability to articulate.
In more modern times like 1415 there was an English king ( Edward the 5th ? )who wanted France and occupation and he sent 10000 soldiers to do some damage. This story has many details. To shorten ..the English were better prepared with better munitions and better soldiers. These guys were happy to fight and knew how to.. Also skilled in the use of the English longbow. The French rallied as the English moved across their terrain and threatened their land. They gathered a much larger force but less ,by far, skilled. The battle at last was fronted and faced at Abercort ? The outnumbered English the night before were threatened by the French with promises of bow fingers being removed and their ultimate ability to inflinct damage on the French forever removeved across the battle line. The French feared the English longbow made of resilient Yew wood that had amazing distance and the archers could loose six per minute. The longbow is plucked with two bowfingers ; the middle and top and the wood is from an English Yew. The phrase fuck you therefore comes from the amazing victory of the English on the battlefield where maybe 8000 French died, thus ending many noble lines, vs. the loss of about 500 English. Pluck Yew was adapted to simpler Anglicized term fuck you as a cocky reference to the survivors defiance to insurmountable odds, yet coming out on top with all capabilities in order. Roger that ? A cool photo I will find for this post soon.

Monday, February 2, 2009

the original Trade Zone plus a posse of messengers







The Trade Zone has moved around..as we all have. The course used to , at one point, have a u-turn in it. This shot shows the break, in 94', moving up the hill with yours truly taking a pull and the main field approaching the turnaround. No they are not going the wrong way. The u-turn course is rarely seen these days. Norfolk used to have one, it was mercifull in that it went around a a wide median thus not so tight and one could carry speed thru easier. Trade Zone is approaching so I thought this was an appropriate photo. Osborne ( is there a u in super d's name ?) is sporting the unattached look and another big threat in that move was Chris Henry in the red n white behind Dave. I remember one classic comment on his part to Zach in which he called us small fry..made Doo Doo angry.



The next shot is of the old bunch at the fastest track in the world..for nascar.( location: Bristol, Tenn. ) But it was a trip to race on with the steep banks. The Burrito kit can still be seen on the rare occassion donned by the Australian Shane downtown doing deliveries. That guy can keep his stuff for years. That race was part of a stage race that started with a road race and later in the day a TT up a mountain. In the first stage only a couple miles into the race this guy in the field overlapped a wheel in front of him. Chucklehead went careening across the middle of the bunch ..so the pileup put me on my ass. I got up sorta checked the bike and went to catch up. 9 I.E. I put the chain back on ) The bike went forward half a stroke and the chain fell off again which meant I went over the bars and onto the asphalt again. Frick and frack I was done with the fun. A bent chain ring was the issue. The titanium frame also cracked at the seat post weld.
I was starting to really not like this race and the name of the event was The Rainbow Classic or something sorta questionable. Between the road race and the TT I was applying hose clamps and hammering the ring. ( this drew attention ..style points ) I did manage to get a third in the TT probably due to fresh legs..I will take it though. But the bike was running pretty bad to say the least. In the photo one can see the hose clamp around the seat clamp area. Never buy a bike with no name from a sketchy source out of eastern Europe...built out of refuse aerospace titanium from Russia or somewhere. I was young and naive..but just trying to have fun at a discount.


The motley crue of messengers are from Toronto and England and then theres me the yankee with the bike held aloft. The Pyrenees were awesome. There are castle ruins, little villages nestled in remote mountainous places and great vino not to mention the lamb. All very affordable. Good times. I crushed the freak in the sign by dropping him going up to the French border. He got my first place though by bridging up to me in the last lap in a 100 lap race and disappointed I was. This was in a lil race in Toronto a year or two earlier... on a wooden figure eight track. ( it was somehow satisfying to see him sit down and refuse to go further up the lon climb :) Definitely another story, but he got 1500 Canadian dollars and I came away in second with no cash but I did win a Kona mtn. bike. ( Fishbone played and I managed to get some beer ) The bike was large schwag to take back to the US which I managed to sell later.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

WEEKENDS OUT OF THE CITY







The life of most full time messengers is somewhat perilous. The life of most full time messengers is a life where you are the master of your daily choices, yet there is common threads linking each other and the down time is often spent together talking and waiting for work or just glad to be off work. The scene of many assembled for a sort of group therapy is somewhat routine. The routine becomes a problem in the eyes of "upstanding" citizens and a source of action for the police.



I am on this subject because I was wondering about the ultimate benefit of racing bicycles besides the ability to stave off aging phisically thru exercise. There is another benefit besides that of the dipping into the fountain of youth, and that is the benefit of staying out of trouble.



Trouble comes in many forms. The most common for messengers involve fights, disorderly conduct in general, and other infractions which are against the law. The recognition that it will hurt to participate in a race with only four hours of sleep will, or should, result in getting a more standard quantity of rest the night before; and maybe even a couple of nights in a row.



Mainstream racers with a career are somewhat the opposite in that for them it is their way to cut loose a little. The wife is nagging and the kids are wanting to get their demands fulfilled, but this is the career guys way to cut loose a little and take a chance. To live a little and take a risk in the pack. To go run wild some and then get back in the routine hopefully without the order being lost at home. All this breaking away done within legal parameters of course. The cost of the race and fuel is not really a concern.



In summary the career person and the messenger often have two large seperating factors. One is that for the messenger: the race itself does not really pose that much risk compared to the daily life in live traffic weekdays, but keeps the individual from possible negative consequences stemming from late nights. As opposed to the salary rider who is taking a risk leaving the nest and relative safety, to go carouse in a race. Secondly, the delivery person in the summer often gets less pay than other times of the year and spends it out and about, thus it does put a burden on the budget unless he or she is thrifty...soo the prize purse does matter and those pennies are very important to get back. ( I call them dollars but I guess it is a matter of perspective) OK ,..Soo out of trouble or in trouble. Worried about the gas and entry or simply aloof as far as those trivial matters go. Different strokes ..same race. ( PHOTO INFO )



Global Gutz was a time trial race in which every city in the world could hold their own race and the format was provided online...the race was to be as flat as possible and thirteen miles long. There was to be five checkpoints thru or along the course..the best time for each city gets posted and the best time among the worlds cities compared and a winner selected. 2002 there was somewhere only like 680 entries and I won by 45 seconds I believe. Flight money was given to go to Copenhagen and compete in another messenger race : the messenger world championships...another story spins off from there but anyway. the dupont circle scene of messengers is pretty old and couriers do not congregate there anymore bc Dupont Circle neighborhood assoc. cracked down and got the police to put the heat on. I guess most can recognize the furry freak as myself.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

U st criterium











The photo here is of a post race celebration moment. The location was 14th and U st. and the year was 1994. I was working as a messenger and so was my teammate Zach wearing the green shirt. I won the 1,2,3 and mr. Zach Browne got third. Dave Osborne won the field sprint for second. I got away from the breakaway of maybe four riders who either got tired or lost faith in the move. It was a Doug Willier course involving one of his classic u-turn layouts.
I went on later in the year to win the road race stage at Altoona as a cat 3. The next and final stage, the criterium, was where I hoped to move up from second overall to first. I was given the most aggressive jersey. ( the white jersey, red helmet in photo ) Fate had another plan and mother nature provided the rain. On the final lap I was in about seventh spot and we got to the bottom of the hill with a couple of turns to go before the sprint.
Just around the corner there was a crash up ahead. Also looming was a monster telephone pole right on the edge of the curb just before the crash. The option of going around the crash was canceled due to centrifugal force. A quick reaction, to the choice of either piling into the riders on the asphalt or aborting into the curb, took place. The response cleared me of the pole but I was on my ass on the sidewalk. I jumped back onto the bike and finished for tenth, which moved me down to third overall.
This year was like deja vue. In one of the first laps of the Pro-cat 1 race a Harley guy slid out on the plywood grate cover. A Colavita rider and myself piled into him. Me and the guy in red got back in after the cracked rear carbon wheel was changed with a Zipp stand in, and they adjusted his out of place lever. Cant say what happened to the HD rider.
In the last last lap the guy in front of me overcooked the turn. He kept the bike upright but stopped pedaling in order to find his balance. Since I had to wait a few pedal strokes a few others behind me passed around and I placed twentieth. Next year at The International, as I believe it is now called, will be a stage race again thus drawing a much larger Pro field. I believe the twentieth spot will be much harder to obtain in 2009 because of this. Call me Nostradamus.