Wednesday, December 30, 2009
While I will not deny that the stereotype of people from New Jersey being assholes or just plain rude exsists for a reason (I just took a long look in the mirror before typing that), but try not to forget about the rest of the Northeast as well. In my humble opinion folks from New York City and the Philly area are just as rude if not ruder than folks from New Jersey. Additionally the terms "Masshole" and "Vermonstor" exists for a reason. It's tough for people from states like New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachussetts, or the DC area to go from being rude to polite at the drop of the hat. So Doug, if you do have a crew from New Jersey who stops in your shop, just take a deep breath, politely remind them that they are on vacation, and that they should relax. And if at the end of the winter all the folks from New Jersey were dicks to you for no good reason, I'll buy you a beer. That way, one Garden State representative will have sent some courtesy your way.
Finally, in what is going to be the last post of 2009, allow me to do some reflection of 2009 on a race by race basis.
SSAZ: good trail, great friends, 70 degrees in January, nuff said
Barking Spider: decent course, big field
Wimmers ICUP: Had Holmes, Doug, The Rev, and Blake not been there, I wouldnt have loved it.
Coyote Classic: HOLY SHIT! I must be kinda fast
24 Hours of Rapelje: Mother Nature put everyone in their place, but great time none the less.
Firecracker 50: Cramps from dehydration suck.
XC Nationals: Rode like shit.
Galena Grinder: Back to feeling fast.
Laramie Enduro: Getting cheered on by the family was great.
Pierre's Hole 100: CRV is now on life support.
SSMT: I'm still surprised that people did what I told them to do, and that I still havent been sued.
Moose Cross: Fun times in Idaho
Rolling Thunder: I bet if I didnt have that car bomb on the second to last lap I would have been on the podium.
MuleCross: The Mules know how to have a good time, and put on a great race.
Big thanks to Hellgate Cyclery and Missoula Bicyle Works for keeping my gear working, Drunkcyclist, and Surly for supporting SSMT, Dejay Fuzzy and Scooby for the race friendship and advice, and probably the biggest thanks to the family for their support.
One last rambling to promote one of the first events of 2010. SSUSA is just around the corner, and this one will be one for the books. 45 miles of desert mountain biking is just what the doctor order to keep your sanity during the winter.
Happy New Year!
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Speaking of bikes, looks like 'ol Cross Reverand Proctor has US cross racing on lockdown. I was hoping that back in November I was gonna get a ring from him saying something along the lines of, "Sure they dont have a SS cross class across the pond, you barely raced cross this year, the last time you had anything that resembled fitness in 09 was back in the beginning of August, but I remember how you helped me after I went down at Mulecross, so pack your bags, cause youre coming to Euro Cross Camp." No such luck, I'm in New Jersey, while the real players are over there in Belgium, where they should be.
That's all I got for now, so Happy Holidays, eat, drink, be merry, drink some more, take a nap, then get up and drink again. My gift to everyone are the links below, enjoy.
Eddy Merckx- Stars and Watercarriers Part 1
Paris Roubaix - Old School Style
Run Run Rudolph
Fatty lived the dream
Friday, December 18, 2009
Old Cannondale tucked into a corner next to the ping pong table and surrounded by deck furniture.
My old MTB shoes I bought back in high school, they still fit
The view from the bike, a post, fake flowers, treadmill, board games, and other random crap shoved into a closet.
When was the last time you saw grip shifters on drop bars?
Keeping the bike secure, McGeyver style
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
It was nice to see that this doctor carrying Actovegin in a medical bag while crossing international lines. For those of you who have never heard of Actovegin, go find a copy of "From Lance to Landis" by David Walsh, and read the epilouge/afterword. It is a quick story of a mountain biker from the states dumping out a quantity of Actovegin, rather than trying to smuggling it across the pond for a pro roadie friend. The pro roadie friend who wasn't named turned out to be Michael Rasmussen, and we all know that he is both 1.) honest, and 2.) completely opposed to doping.
The bigger news from the article was the athletes who have worked with this doctor who could potentially be brought down from this doping scandal. Sure Operation Puerto took out four potential contenders from the 2006 tour, but this could take top athletes from various sports. Tiger Woods was named in the article, and if it turned out he had doped in his career, this would complete the fastest free fall from grace in the history of sport. Last summer the Dara Torres story seemed too good to be true, turns out it may have been. Donavon Bailey was once the "worlds fastest man", and for good measure there were two NFL players thown in the mix as well. I know, people are innocent until proven guilty, but it just seems like it has been so long since an athlete who was named in a potential doping story, and the story turned out to be false. More than anything I just hope that authorities figure out what is going on here sooner rather than later, and get this whole mess cleaned up.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Saturday, December 5, 2009
While home for the holidays, my dad commented that I should write about him more on this site. Granted he didn’t provide any specific reason as to why I should do this other than, “because I said so.” Quick side note, I cannot wait until the day when someone has to do whatever I say because I tell them, “because I said so.” While I have spent plenty of time not listening to my parents back in the day, I will listen to this request. Today is Dad’s birthday, no need to mention his age (if you couldn’t figure it out he’s older than me), so he gets a post dedicated to him. Dad got me in to bikes; he rode when I was growing up, and not knowing any better, I thought riding bikes was a cool thing to do. That’s how it got started, so if anyone hates me for the fact that I love to ride bikes, send your blame and vitriol to my Dad, it’s his fault.
I used to borrow his old gear, even though it didn’t fit perfectly it still was cheaper than buying my own stuff. Now he uses my old gear that I never cleaned out of my basement. Back when I was knee high to a duck, if we rode together he had to go slow and wait for me. Now the tides have turned, I am the stronger rider, but I’m not as nice of guy as he was. Meaning if we were to ride together I’m not sure I would slow down or wait for him. However, Dad is one of the top-notch pit/support folks I have had help me out at races, and is happy to attend bike events with me. He’s helped out at Dawn till Dusk in Gallup a couple of years ago, and got me food and drink at the Laramie Enduro this summer. We’ve enjoyed “Tandemonium” Nights at the T-Town Velodrome, and tipped back beers at the Tour De Fat in years past. Enough of the Hallmark stuff, Dad is a top notch dude, and today is his day, so with that, Dad do whatever you want to today, and eat all the scotty dog licorice your stomach can handle.
Friday, December 4, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Turns out old college friend Courtney was the barkeep/waitress, so it was nice to play some catch up with her. Nothing had changed, still 60 great beers to pick from, and all sorts of food to make the belly happy. Had some Troegs, which is probably my favorite brewery in the state of PA. Sure Yeungling is better known, but the stuff that Troegs makes just tastes better to me.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
I’m taking a page out of Josh Tack’s book today. Since I have not been doing any racing to write about, and minimal motivation has kept me from doing any “writeworthy” rides, I need to find other cycling related topics to ramble on about. As Old Man Winter’s presence becomes more and more apparent (even though it's sunny today), I’m listing off the top 9 of best cyling escapes (with a slant towards MTB) in the US. Take a look, find some plane tickets, and plan a winter escape.
9.) Phoenix, AZ: Great riding, great weather, and halfway decent culture. South Mountain has tons of technical trails, and is literally right out the backdoors of the folks who live south of the city. Other great riding within a drive includes McDowell Mountain, White Tanks, and Black Canyon City. Phoenix has a quality group of mountain bikers, with racing all through the winter, and ASU being nearby also means plenty of cheap booze. Phoenix is one giant parking lot though, so it's high on the list.
8.) Colorado Springs, CO: Can be a crapshoot as far as the weather is concerned. If the weather is good (meaning no snow, and 40s to 50s), and trails are open, you will be smiling. Pros such as Katie Compton, Kelli Emmit, and Alison Dunlap choose this for their winter training grounds, so it obviously doesn’t suck. Famous cycling rant-man Patrick O’Grady lives here as well. Bonus points for Garden of the Gods and The Air Force Academy are nearby as worthwhile things to check out. Just be sure to BYOB.
7.) Albuquerque, NM: Like Colorado Springs, the weather can be a crapshoot, but odds are it will still be better than wherever you are escaping. Great riding in the mountains north of the city, and phenomenal southwestern culture within the city. There’s a university there, so cheap anything is available.
6.) St. George, UT: Gooseberry Mesa is a well known spot to go ride, and proximity to Vegas make this a great place to head once it gets cold. You can spend hours upon hours riding trails, while being treated to spectacular views. The main buzzkill is you are in the heart of Mormon Country, so places will be closed on Sunday, and 3.2 beer will only make you have to pee.
5.) El Paso, TX: I’ve never ridden down in El Paso, but one thing is for sure, they certainly have great winter weather for riding. Current US Singlespeed Champ Jen Wilson, and husband Dave (Brec Epic SS winner) live in El Paso. This summer they told me the riding is great, nice and technical with steep climbs and descents. Juarez is just across the border, so cheap anything is available, just get back to the US before the sun goes down.
4.) Boulder City, NV: If it’s good enough for the Outdoor Interbike Demo, then its good enough for me. Technical desert riding is like a gift from the cycling gods, and this spot has it in spades. Las Vegas is a pretty easy place to get to, so that makes travel easy, plus if you’re lucky you can make some money while down there.
3.) Sedona, AZ: Sedona might get some snow, and can be cold, but it’s referred to as a mountain bike mecca for a reason. The riding is absolutely phenomenal, and there is tons of it. One of the best weekends I spent riding was in Sedona, where a group of 20 or some mountain bikers, rode close to every trail as possible down there. The landscape of Red Rocks makes almost any place you stop of picture worthy vista.
2.) Hawaii: This is pretty simple, Hawaii is just wonderful, and they have mountain biking, so it’s a no brainer. Sure getting a bike between islands is a bitch and will cost you your first born, but if you are spending time in Hawaii from November to March you have no reason to complain. Besides where else can you see an erupting volcano in the morning, and then ride singletrack in the afternoon.
1.) Tucson, AZ: Pros train here in the winter for a reason, it is warm and the riding is great. Starr Pass, The AZ trail, the entire front side of Mt Lemmon, and that is just a start of where to ride. Added bonus of SSUSA being held there this February, and a great cycling community. Cheap burritos and plenty of tequila are a great way to cap off any day of riding, and ladies who populate the U are gorgeous. Any time you can start in town, ride to a trail, then follow that same tail all the way to another county, you are in a special place. If you haven’t ridden in Tucson during the winter you are missing out.
Monday, November 9, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
So here is an idea that I came up with for an event:
Jan 8th 2010 at Midnight:
The departure will take place from Prison Camp (Gordan Hirabayashi) on . We will hike with out our bikes through East Fork Trail to Box Camp Trail. Up Box Camp Trail to Box Camp trail head on Catalina Hwy. Here our bikes will be staged,(with some volunteers that I hope to find, if you know anyone have them get in touch with me).
Get on your bike and head up Catalina Hwy, maybe go to Summerhaven for supplies(dependant upon if the restaurant is open). If you can by pass Summerhaven then it is straight to Red Ridge Tr. Down Red Ridge, up the backside of Charlou Gap, then down to Cherry Tank, through 50 Year Tr, all the way to . Where I hope to have a camp spot reserved, so the night before cars can be parked there and refreshments will be waiting, along with the sign out board, so you and your time can be recorded (if you care).
Only your bike, water bottles on your bike, saddle bag and one gallon of water, can be staged for each person at Box Camp.
Sunrise on the 9th= 7:26am
Sunset on the 9th= 5:37pm
Entry Fee= 0 dollars
Prizes= your survival
Donations excepted for refreshment for the finish.(hard goods must be donated by wednesday the 6th).
I have arranged a shuttle to drop us and our bikes off($15 dollars per person) It will depart from my house at 10pm Friday night. There is enough room for 14 people and 20 bikes. Let me know if you are on board. I'll need your $$ and give you my address.
Pass this on to those you think would be interested. And let me know if you are in. ASAP.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Once talking rocks for two hours with a Va Tech prof, and wondering the halls of the geology building reading posters and papers for an hour, I struck out for North Carolina. The main goal was to drive a good portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway down to Boone, NC and get a bike ride in. The parkway was splendid, full of turns, expansive Appalachain vistas, and little traffic. Reminding myself to slow down, to let everything soak in did the trick, and despite heavy cloud cover for the majority of the drive, I had a big smile on my face at the end. After about three hours of Blue Ridge driving, I was in Boone, and fine folks at a local bike shop, pointed me in the direction of a good bike ride. I headed down the road to the town of Blowing Rock, which was a fitting name, because for the second day in a row, the wind was blowing.