Wednesday, March 31, 2010

First Trail Party, Hump Day Thoughts

Last night, as the brainchild of Mr. Civilian Cyclist (Horan), would be a gathering to celebrate the first day of riding trails in Missoula. Heard about it from Mr. MTCX post Speedwagon, but with the weather being annoying the number who might show was in jeopardy. At 5 it was just a group of 5 including self, Jeff, Betsy, Mr. MTCX, and Forrest. Horan wanted to ride, but was too busy squeezing limes for margaritas, and cooking beans. To make up for this he let me pour myself a finger worth of 10 year old scotch, plain. No complaints there from me, and as far as I was concerned we could have just ridden around the block and I would have been happy.
The ride was quite mellow, with just a quick trip up sawmill, then back down the same way. It was nice to Radley throw down some ass-kicking style rolling down the singletrack, dude deserved to be on the cover of some glossy magazine with those moves. Upon return, Horan hooked us up with margaritas that when combined with my dehydration resulted in a quick feeling of the buzz. A trip was made for some Tecate, I won a 17 dollar bet due to my knowledge of Dancing With The Stars (i am pathetic), food was consumed, and good times were had. Big thanks to Horan for putting that together, I just hope the folks at SRAM know how to party as well as Horan.

Now with it being "Hump Day" today, I will spend some time, giving my two cents about various stories related to the world of cycling and beyond. Enjoy or don't, agree or don't, I'm not all that concerned, I'm just typing away right now.

Team Sky is letting the racers pick their Tour squad: To me this is kinda as odd as a teacher letting students decide their own grades. It's an idea that is great in theory and all, but lets face it when jobs and money get factored into the equation, some of the worse character traits of the racers on Team Sky will surface. It makes me think of what was rumored to have gone down before the road race world championships. The team from Australia needed to decide who they would ride for. If the racers had their way Cadel Evans would have gotten no support because he is a dick and everyone on the team hated him. Well the team director put his foot down and said, they would race for Cadel, because he was the strongest, badda bing badda boom, we all know what happens next. Team directors are there for a reason, to direct, racers are there for a reason, to race, let's try to keep it that way.

Cav's gonna race in Cali: Not too surprised about this one, team has a title sponsor from the US, and they ride on bikes who is based out of the US. Plus I'm sure Cav already knows how to pick up the ladies in Europe where cyclists are gods (don't forget how much those Italians love sprinters too). Maybe he is looking for the challenge of trying to land himself some stuck up California girls where they might not have a thing for cyclists to begin with. Remember the sign of a true champion is always looking for a newer tougher challenge to accomplish.

Classics buzzkill for Haussler, and Boasson Hagen: No matter how strong you are, injuries happen, and they screw things up. I remember back in 2007 when I was feeling like a big shot after my performance at the AZ state championships, I thought I was gonna kill it at the Whiskey 50 a few weeks later. Well the night before I had a few too many with friends in downtown Prescott, and felt like shit the next morning at the start line (kinda like getting injured, just self-inflicted). It took my a solid hour of the race to sweat out all the residual booze in my system, and I missed my sub 5 hour goal.

Sucks to be McNabb: Nothing to do with cycling, but as someone who hails from that neck of the woods I've been following this story. I don't think I've ever seen a football player who has been that good, and elevated a team as much as McNabb has done for Philly, then will most likely get royally screwed by that organization. He's getting passed over for a puppy killer, and a career backup, I just hope whatever team he winds up on doesn't play the Giants, because McNabb is gonna be on a mission this season.

Yankees pitcher uses both hands: I've never seen anything like this, the closest would be Jim Abbot who managed to pitch even though he only had one hand. The kid can pitch with either his right or left hand, has a special glove with six finger slots, and the umpires created a new rule just for him. That is awesome, and it makes me wish Mike and the Mad Dog were still on the air together, because the back and forth banter between the two about this would be off the charts on the comedy scale.

That's all I got, the next posts will be coming from Chicago.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

College and Spring Break

While it's been a while since I have been a college student, in a shade under five months I will have re-entered this world. Came a across some reading material this morning that got me thinking about the whole college thing, the role bikes played for my first go around, and the role they will play in the second shot. The background goes a little something like this: I graduated from Lafayette College in Easton, PA in May 2006 with a B.S. in Geology. While in college I primarily played rugby, lived in a fraternity house for two years with some of the greatest people I know, and mountain biking (still stupidly riding with gears) was something I did by myself to get away from school stuff. I mountain biked in places like Jacobsburg Park, Chimney Rock, and Round Valley, where roots and rocks were wet and kept you on yer toes. I was on a 2001 Kona Pahoehoe (perfect for a geo major), with tiny wheels, and baggy shorts were the norm.

Smash cut to August 2010, where I will start working on my masters in Geology at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO. I will not be playing rugby, living in a fraternity house, and will probably be riding a lot more for different reasons. I also doubt I will be side tracked from going on a bike ride by my buddy Little John tempting me with a cooler of cold Nat Light, and a viewing of Baseketball. Bike choice will be the big wheeled rigid singlespeed Niner that has become like a third leg for me over the years. Still haven't done enough riding in Fort Collins to know what the trails will be like, but folks like Kerkove, Fuzzy, and Jake have assured me that MTB in the Front Range is as good as you have heard.

Fittingly, over at the VeloSnooze this am, there was a nice little article about collegiate racing (written by someone on the CSU team none the less). Lafayette never had a cycling team (or club for that matter), and as a result, the other Lafayette person I wound up riding the most with was one of my geology professors. Senior year I thought about starting up the club to try and get money to race, but in the end enough of the motivation just wasnt there. Well I've been kicked around the idea of maybe giving the whole collegiate racing thing a go at CSU. Holmes has been pushing me to do it, telling me to just go out and race the geared class on the SS, and see what happens. Over the past couple of years catching glimpses of the UM team prep for their season, head out on training rides, and do the whole race weekend thing, has got me feeling like I may just give it a try down at CSU.

The second bit of reading material came from the fine folks over at Dirt Rag, detailing their escape from the PA cold to get some dirt miles in down in Georgia. Those folks are much smarter than I had ever given them credit. I had heard of the Mulberry Gap area in Georgia as a great MTB spot from Dejay and Miss Wicki, who spent some time there in 2008 or sometime in the past three years, and Ohio Rob has written and spoken a bunch about how good the riding is down there. North Georgia is one of the spots on the list of spots I want to just go to and spend a week exploring and riding a bike (also Western NC, Arkansas, NH/VT/ME combo). Looks like they got plenty of riding and good times in. In retrospect I wonder if a Spring Break like this in college might have been a little better than my choice senior year when we headed to Myrle Beach, SC for the week. Sure drinking cheap hooch in a hot tub, while laughing with friend six weeks before graduating from college is a right of passage, but a week of sweet singletrack might have given that a run for its money. Looks like I might have two more Spring Breaks to put that theory to the test.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Things to Do, Worlds to Save

That title couldnt be further from the truth, I really only have one world to save. Time to do some calculations, thinking, and rambling through this world. The big calculation is the next race/adventure to go on. Hinted at this with yesterdays post, and believe me I understand that in the grand scheme of life the decision that I face is quite trivial. Last week I had made some tenetive plans to spend the weekend of April 10, heading down to Boise to race the Barking Spider. Got a college friend who lives in town, so free lodging wasnt a problem, the drive down there is one of my favorites in the state of Idaho, and I got some unfinished business at this race last year (missed out on first by 30 seconds or so). Those plans got tossed around the spin cycle when post Speedwagon had a missed call from none other than Mr. Birtch. He mentioned that weekend he was planning to head over to the Dawn Til Dusk race in Gallup, NM racing in the duo class and was in need of a partner.

Racing solo at 2007 Dawn Til Dusk
Sure driving to Northern New Mexico is a little different than driving to Boise from Missoula, but Dawn Til Dusk is just one of those races. Anytime a MTB race promoter says that the course is "entirly singletrack", they are lying to try and get more people to show up and line their own pockets with the green. Not Dawn Til Dusk, there is about 50 yards worth of double track, and that is in the transition area (to allow for teams to trade off riders), the rest is wonderful desert singletrack. It's just one of those races with one of those vibes. Dejay also made it seem that after hitting up Dawn Til Dusk, we could just cruise on over to Sea Otter for the race the next weekend. It's times like these that I had a credit card with a higher limit, and an interest rate below 0.1%. So yeah, thats what I got to figure out, go do another multi week MTB road trip with a good friend with one race that I love and another race that I've always wanted to do, or head onto Boise for a long weekend with scent of blood in the nostrils.

Chicago weather forecast

In other news, had to check out the Chicago weather for the big SRAM trip I got starting later this week. If you still don't think that there is some sort of fucked up climate change going on with the planet, take a look at this weather forecast for Chicago, under no circumstances should Chicago be this warm at this time of year. But at the same time, it should make my life as product tester a lot easier. It also looks like while I'm gone Missoula will be getting some much needed moisture, which makes me happy for two reasons 1.) it's needed, and 2.) I won't be around to deal with it. I like precipitation when it takes place while I'm asleep or somewhere else, kinda like visits from people you can't stand.

Missoula weather I'll be missing

In the wide wide world of road bikes, doper extrordinarie, Michael Rasmussen basically said that all the trouble he had would have never happened if he had changed his nationality to Mexican in 2005. I got to agree with him, if he had changed his nationality, he would have been governed by whatever official doping organization exists in Mexico, which is probably on the same level of honesty as the guys who enforce drinking age laws at fraternity parties in college. Let's not forget this is the same guy who back in 2005 was willing to inject himself with calf's blood to try and get a leg up on the competition. I got an idea for folks who get busted doping, tell them they can get a shorter suspension if they promise to keep their mouth shut for the rest of their racing career. If they talk, they get the boot from the sport, Rasmussen would be the first to go, and I'd be happy to actually give him the kick in the ass.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Speedwagon Report

Pre-rollout meeting

Got the first race of the year out of the way, and with good results. Made the journey Saturday morning, and by the time we were rolling out there were about 30 or so of us on the road. Seeley gave one great piece of final advice to all, "If you plan on suing me I don't have a lot of money", the true sign of a great race. Anyway, the neutralish rollout took place, then before the gravel got hit, attacks and whatnot took place. Remember I have no idea of what is supposed to be done during these road races, I just pedal as hard as the legs will go. Eventually there was a break, and once we hit the gravel I was right at the back of the pack. I switched myself over to the left side of the road, and did what I could to pass folks.


After the first section, I found myself with a group of five or so, containing none other than Jesse Doll. We pedaled then somehow when it switched to gravel I got myself a gap, and just kept chasing the three people I could see ahead of me. Eventually Jesse and some other guy caught me. Jesse and I took turns riding with our noses into the wind, but our third rider wanted none of this he just hung in the back. My assholeness took over and starting cursing a blue streak at him. Had I known that he was the dude who was kind enough to offer up his house for the start and finish I would have been nicer. Anyway spent a bunch of time chasing down Jesse, making up a bunch of time on the main climb.


We made it to the turn around together, where I was sitting in 6th with Doll in 7th. I guess the climbing gods were smiling on me cause I managed to get in front of Jesse again on the series of climbs after the turn around spot. Right there I was in the worst possible position, no sight of the three ahead of me, and with J Doll no more than 30 seconds back. Dude's got a motor on him, and I figured it was only a matter of time before he caught my SS ass. It was that time, get scared, get pumped, get moving. Did the TT of my life on that gravel, with my own personal Flanders soundtrack yellin' in my ears (Hot Water Music for those who care). Destroyed my knees on that final climb to finish in 6th.

Alex checks with "the yellow coach monitor" to see if he is allowed to pedal harder

Once all was said and done it was time for grub, drinks, and awards. Seeley took the boys W, with Sara taking it for the ladies, and I got some love for doing it without gears. Pipo scored a six pack for getting four flats, and all were counted as winners in my eyes. After bellies were full, and goodbyes were said, we headed our seperate ways. Now its time to get down to business, its MTB time, classics season be damned, dirt is open, and my love. Got some decisions to make too, go back to Boise to shoot for the top spot at Barking Spider, or head on south to join forces with a friend for one of my favorite races.

Singletrack in the Snake

Friday, March 26, 2010

Fry Daze

Yeah the title sums up how I feel right about now, my brain has been fried, and I stumbling along in a daze, call it my 99 problems if you will. Can ya blame me though, still riding high about my Chicago trip, and with college basketball on last night, what better reason to head out to somewhere on the town for a drink or twelve. Let's not forget I'm in the middle of my most serious training plan and pre-race workouts in my life, meaning recovery booze is quite mandatory. Think what you may, but lets face it there is only one way to train for the wonderful world of mountain bike race, ride hard, eat lots, wash everything down with some cheap hooch, then top it all off with a mouthful of tums at bedtime so everything works together to result in out of this world leg strength.

It's a simple equation: the sum of hours ridden plus calories of food consumed multiplied by drinks consumed raised to the power of number of mouthfuls of tums eaten equals total wattage output. For example if yesterday I rode 2.5 hours, ate about 2500 calories, drank six beers and a glass of whiskey, then had a mouthful of tums, means I will be able to put out about 17,000 watts out on the bike today. Convoluted? Yes. True? You better believe it. Try it out for size, then write me a thank you e-mail, feel free to send my blank checks as a sign of your gratitude as well.

Thoughts from last evening include: Syracuse crapped the bed, cause apparently they think that double digit turnovers equals a win. West Virginia won, but couldn't make a layup to save their life, they better fix that if they plan to go any further (and make me not look like a jackass for picking them to win it all). The Little Red Engine that No Longer Could (i.e. Cornell) did what was expected, they got beat by a better team. Good for Cornell to get some other press other than being the alma matter of the fourth funniest character on The Office, now go back to being the academic dregs of the Ivy League. Xavier had me loving them, bombing threes to keep their chances alive, plus their mascot is a Musketeer (not sure if its based on the candy bar or an actual Musketeer). Yeah they lost, but it takes balls the size of watermelons to put those shots up. As for tonight, I hope Duke loses, because only people who went to Duke actually like Duke. I'll jump on the Tennessee bandwagon cause they offered to have my grad school baby. Saint Mary's and Northern Iowa better show up, or I won't believe in "underdogs" again.

As for things actually associated to bikes, the dirt rides are beginning here in The Garden City. Got some trails clear for riding, which is good, skinny tires makes me a go crazy. General rule of thumb for bike tires (and jeans for that matter), the skinnier they are, the suckier they are. With that said, skinny tires will be used this weekend for Speedwagon. I'm excited for some good times, even better chili, and the possibility of getting lucky at the Grey Wolf on the way home. Some Mules look to be getting to town later this evening, resulting in some good times I'm sure.
Continuing on the Mule Front, if you haven't already heard, Cory Hardy has been winning beauty contests in Thailand, which makes me wonder just how ugly the people in Thailand really are (or if Cory has finally decided to not talk). No longer does he rock the burly chops and four dollar gas station sunglasses, instead replacing them with a clean shaven look, and some sort of dress looking piece of clothing. Word is that Cory will be returning home to Montana soon, meaning that all college parties in the greater Bozeman area will no longer be safe from his presence.

Pulled that little dandy you see above from Mr. Dicky's site, where he is rambling on and on about his "new jerseys". Guess what Dicky, you are right about New Jersey having sluts, just like every other state in the union (maybe not Utah, although I'm sure in MormanLand the criteria to be considered a slut is wide and varied). Even though I haven't called NJ "home" for about 8 years now, I still get quite defensive when people make fun of it. Despite Dicky's bashing on the great state where I was raised (and where I got my MTB start), I got no hard feelings towards him for a few reasons. 1.) The mustache I had earlier this month was much more badass than his mustache 2.) He sounds exactly like my cousin Matthew, and 3.) I'm pretty sure I drank a bunch of his beer at SSWC08. So yeah, New Jersey's got sluts, but hey at least it takes a freshly waxed Camero (IROC-Z of course), to take em back to the sac. And with that last gem of a thought, I'm gonna call it a weekend. I will try to remember to take a camera up to the Speedwagon, but I make no guarantees. Happy weekend.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Quick Fix, and Big Plans

No I'm not talking about the type of fix that a junkie needs, but rather fixing something I screwed up. Don't be surprised it happens on a fairly regular basis. Yesterday I said that registration and the start of the The Speedwagon Classic would be at Matt Seeley's house. That's how it was last year, and since his email to me didn't mention anything about the change, I figured thats how things were gonna stay. Thanks to none other than Mr. MTCX, I got the proper link for all the race info. If you see that guy buy him a beer for me, cause I'm to cheap, and only buy drinks for myself. If that link doesn't work, then just drive your ass up to Polson early Saturday morning, hang out on the side of the highway by the WalMart once you enter town, and hold up a sign that says "I need directions to the Speedwagon start", and you should be okay.

Now about these big plans, it looks like this little "self-pity pill party" (borrowed from Big Jonny) that I call SSMT, has lead to big things for me. Unless you have been living under a rock you are well aware that the fine folks over at SRAM have come out with a new 2x10 drivetrain (and other components) for us MTB folk, called "XX". Now plenty of people have gotten excited about this, but I am not one of them, gears are too complicated for me, so I ignore them. With this combination of stupidity/hatred of gears and my ability to type these random thoughts on this page, has led to me getting one of the greatest offers in the world.
New XX crankset and BB

I opened up my seldom checked SSMT email account, and had this email from the folks over at SRAM.
"Dear Andrew,
Many of us in the SRAM office have been following your blog for a while now, and have found it both pathetic and humorous. While we are excited for the launch of our new XX drivetrain to the public, we know that the both pro-level racers, and racers with deep pockets will love our new XX drivetrain, no matter what. We however think that if we can get someone who has no ability to work with a geared drivetrain, to both figure it out and fall in love with our product, we will know that we have produced one of the best products for the market. As a result we would like for you to join us next week in Chicago to test out out the XX drivetrain and additional components for a few days. We will cover all of your expenses for the trip, and hope to hear back from you with your response soon."


I read this email, and basically thought to myself that while these guys are really nice, they still dont realize that I literally cannot figure out a geared drivetrain. Regardless a free trip to Chicago (I was born just north of chicago, and my sister lives there) to try out new bike goodies, that some orthodontist in Salt Lake City who races on a Superfly in the Sport class has been drooling over for some time now, is something I couldn't pass up. After checking the Cubs schedule, and learning where the Man V. Food Chicago Challenge was, I wrote back.

XX trigger shifters

"SRAM dudes,
Thanks for the offer, which I hope to take you up on. However, I do have some conditions that you must meet in order for this trip to happen.
1.) I want to attempt the Man V. Food Challenge at Lucky's in Wrigleyville, you must front the money for this, and cheer me on when I attempt it while in town.
2.) The Cubs will start their season Monday April 5, 2010. We must watch the game near Wrigley Field, and you must pick up my bar tab (I promise to only drink Olde Style).
3.) I want to screen any of your single male employees between the ages of 25 and 35, to pick someone who will take my sister on a date, she needs to date a bike guy.
If you meet these terms, just tell me when my flight is."

Stupidly they took the bait, and I will be heading to Chicago next week to test out the new XX drivetrain. Whoever thought that randomly spewing my thoughts onto a blog throw my keyboard would result in something so awesome? I will provide pictures and updates from the entire journey, in hopes of generating even more jealously.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Saturday kicks off the racing season as far as I'm concerned (along the lines of races I actually care about, and therefore are the only races that count as races) with the Speedwagon Classic. Did this one last year with the Mules, and despite two flats, walking a mile, begging some dude for his rear wheel, and being really hungover at the start, this was a great time. Registration starts at 10:30 at Matt Seeley's house (I dont know the address, but I'm sure you can ask around and figure it out, plus Polson is not that big), the gun will go off at noon. Get ready for some good times, and jokingly Seeley has told me that we may have an SS prize (which I told him he didnt have to do, due to me being the sole SSer who will show). Hoping some members of the Mules will head on over Friday night for some good times before heading up to the race on Saturday, except for Cory who is still in Thailand learning how to sew, which will allow him to open up a clothing company called "Flamboyant" when he gets back stateside (this is true, I dont have the time or the energy to make shit up anymore).

On a more somber level, one of the Cape Epic racers passed away on Tuesday. James Williamson was a former 24 hour solo world champion, and at the age of 26, he was unable to be awoken by his teammate Tuesday morning in South Africa. According to the Cape Epic website, this is something that was completely out of the blue, with no complaints coming from James or his teammate following Monday's stage. This sucks, and I'm sure plenty of thoughts. prayers, and sympathy will be sent his family's way in Australia.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Back on the Up and Up

Been a few days since a post due to a combination of things like spotty internet connections, plenty of college basketball, and general laziness. Oh well, not much to do about it, just get to spewing some stuff out when I can (meaning now). I guess the big cycling to do this weekend was all about Milan-Sanremo (no offense to you Montana road racers). I royally screwed the pooch thinking Sunday was race day. Fast forward to getting on line late Saturday to see that the race was already in the books. Oh well, worse things in the world have happened. For all the talk about Cavendish being unbeatable in a sprint for the next five years, Friere showed us why he can never be counted out...of anything. That guy is like an old pair of well worn jeans. Yeah you might forget about them for a while, but once you toss em back on again, you remember why they are great. It seems like Friere will be mixing it up in sprints for a couple more years, and I got no qualms with that.

On the MTB side of things, the Cape Epic kicked off down in South Africa. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I really dig the whole stage race MTB setup, and even though this might be my own stupidity, any race where you are riding through parts populated with lions, cheetahs, and other scary animals, that race (and the racers competing for that matter) are bad ass. Stateside, big time MTB (or at least the MTB I care about), will be kicking off down in Arkansas with the Quachita Challenge. Something like 60 miles of tech singletrack (in Arkansas!) is right up my alley. This race is gonna go under my "one of these days when I have a whole bunch of green to go along with my free time, I'll head on over to this race" category of races. Good luck to Kerkove, and Sonya from the mean green team, and Ohio Rob (if he is still planning on hitting this up).

On the Montana side of things, road racing started on Saturday, and when the race started I was right where I belonged, watching the NCAA tournament. There are few things in life that I am certain of, one of them is that I have no place in road racing, and I'm quite comfortable with that. So while Brian, Curry, and Frank were working it in a breakaway, I was watching William and Mary treat Villanova as kindly as the Gimp treat Ving Rhames in Pulp Fiction. I did make it out to the venue in time for everyone to be getting ready to head back to town. Made the trip with Curry (2x), Eric, Julie, and other Bozeman folks. We caught up on what was going on in our respective lives, and enjoyed the warm weather. Once back in town it was time for pizza and beer. We talked about next weekends possible plans involving the Speedwagon up on Polson.

On the NCAA tournament side, here is my take on things. First I could care less about Kansas losing in the second round and dicking over my brackett, they beat Lehigh in the first round and that is all I care about. Villanova crapped the bed, and reminded me why I should never trust athletic team who is from the Philly region. Georgetown, had burned me yet again, I hate them. Big thanks to Syracuse, and West Virginia for still remembering that they are good teams from a great conference and playing like that. I hope Duke loses in their next game. I really wish people would get off the Cornell bandwagon, and if I see an "Ithica is Gorges" t-shirt during one of their games, I might lose it. Gus Johnson is a great basketball announcer, even if he refers to Gonzaga as a whole as "The Zags". So that is all I got, hope this provides a welcome distraction on your Monday.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Tony Kornheiser is a Jackass

(Note: Since the below events took place, Lance Armstrong got in touch with Tony Kornheiser and they planned to chat about the whole bike and car debate on some liveblog. That took place while I was writing the post, although I did bot become aware of it until after I first published this post (my timing blows), still everything below is relevent, and you should still tell ESPN that Kornheiser is a dick).

Up until reading this story I had no problems with Tony Kornheiser. His commentary on Monday Night Football was decent (better than that skidmark known as Dennis Miller), and his PTI podcast on ESPN was a good enough way to waste 25 minutes and get caught up on the world of sports. But now he has turned into a bad caricature of a grumpy old man. It started a few weeks ago when on air he chimed in with his two cents about how his co-worker Hannah Storm looked like a go-go dancer. Fresh off of his suspension, Kornheiser continued acting the part of the crusty old man when he reacted to news about how part of Pennsylvania Ave in DC would be used in the future only for 1.)Presidential Inaguarations, and 2.) for pedestrians, and cyclist.

Kornheiser and his jackass radio co-hosts start going off about how much they hate cyclists, don't want them on the road, and to top it all off advocated "running"them over. Now I'm not positive, one of his co-hosts who has plenty of stupid commentary himself sounded like Ryan Russillo (who does and NBA podcast and is on the Scott Van Pelt Show on ESPNRadio, I know this because I listened to his words of wisdom for the NCAA tournie, and my brakcett is now in the shitter, what an asshole). Anyway here are a couple of quotes from the radio show (with my response thrown in for good measure):

"the roads were made for automobiles" (Kornheiser) - they were made for both cars and bicycles, fuck off
"this will be dominated like Beijing with hundreds of thousands of bicyclists" (Kornheiser) - If you get 100,000 people on bikes in DC, I would drop dead from the shock
"its all you can do to not run them down like Wyl E. Coyote" (Kornheiser) - Last I checked the Coyote always sucked at running down the Roadrunner, so go ahead try to be like the Coyote, you will probably hurt yourself, once again, Fuck Off
"gotta look at their filthy package ... bulging" (Other guy) - Thanks for taking the time to look at my balls, but you should probably pay more attention to the road
"i dont take my car and ride on the sidewalk" (Kornheiser) - I bet after you go on a drinking binge after getting fired from ESPN for saying this shit, you might drive your car onto a sidewalk
"they are crunchy granola and they want us to save the world" (Other Guy) - i dont eat granola, i eat pizza and drink beer, and as far as saving the world, I think its too far gone.
"they dare you to run them down" (Kornheiser) - Last I checked there isn't a jersey produced that says "I dare you to run me down" on it. FUCK OFF
"so you tap them, im not saying kill them, just tap them" (Kornheiser) - I once had a driver "tap" me, and trust me, if i hadn't been strapped down to a stretcher, I would have tried to beat the ever living shit out of the drive. "Tapping" someone with a car is not pleasent, that is like say "just clip their wing" with that 9 mm handgun.
"if your not rubbing your not racing" (Kornheiser) - thanks for quoting days of Thunder, I hope you choke while trying to drink a Mello Yellow, please Go Fuck Yourself.
"tell them to take METRO, we have a subway system that works" (Other Guy) - I've been on the DC metro, I prefer my bike
"i dont think i own it, i own it, i have a large powerful car compared to your bike" (Kornheiser) - Wow, the only thing missing from this sentence is some sort of racial slur to put Kornheiser into the "totally bat shit crazy" category, GO FUCK YOURSELF, THEN FUCK OFF!!!!

Feel free to listen to the entire rant by clicking this link, just be warned, you might want to have something that you can throw nearby. Now since 2005 I have had a wish that Lance Armstrong would have just rode off into the sunset doing nothing but raising money for his various cancer charities, and plowing his way through blonde celebrities. That never happened, but Lance stuck it to Kornheiser and ESPN on this one. He used his world famous Twitter account to let all of his followers now how to let the powers that be tell ESPN what a douche Kornheiser is. I never thought I'd say this, but thanks for getting this out to the masses Lance. I will cheer for you for one day of a race this year where I promise not to think about all the EPO you most likely used as a way of saying thanks.

Contact ESPN 980 (the Washington station Kornheiser spews his bullshit on)

So please click the link above and tell ESPN that Kornheiser needs to take a little more time off to get his head on straight. The other wrinkle here is that with the current DC mayor (a cyclist himself) trying to get the 2012 Giro to start in DC, will this incident give DC the appearance of not being cycling friendly, resulting in the Giro organizers ducking out of the deal? I doubt that the Giro would change their plans based on some idiot's rant on a radio show, but you never know with these thing today. Well I'm off to show off my "bulging package" in some "shiny shorts", and "dare a car to run me over" during my bike ride, I just hope Kornheiser is still in DC and no where near Montana.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Red Hook Criterium

I love crits and velodrome racing for some questionable reasons. It's the best type of racing to see a whole bunch of action without using a ton of energy. If you have ever been to a velodrome to witness some racing you know what I'm talking about. Grab a beer, then either sit down or lean on a railing and watch the action (and wait for the crashes). You only need to move to get more beer or take a leak, and you can see everything at all times (even folks warming up and cooling down). Same kinda goes with crits, you all the actions happens right in front of you. Yeah cross is kinda like that, but more walking may be involved.

Anyway, despite the fact that I'm not a huge fan of what Brooklyn has become (and that kid from Brooklyn who was at the same new years party as me was a huge dick), they got themselves a bitching race going on this weekend. Basically take an alley cat race and a velodrome race, make them have sex, and The Red Hook Criterium is their love child, a brakeless crit. It all takes place under the lights, late at night, and with a fair quantity of beer. I wish I could be there, instead I am taking other steps to get some sort of coverage for the followers of SSMT. First, told my buddy's Flounder, Gus, and Steve about it (they all ride bikes to some degree), and am hoping they will go there, get drunk, take pictures, and provide me with some sort of feedback. Second, I'm gonna tell the folks, hope they can stay up that late in Brooklyn, and maybe go check it out. Hopefully I will get lucky both parties will go, then my drunken college friends will try to get my parents to drive them back to NYC, I would never hear the end of that one.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Who Doesn't Like Free Toys

The folks over at SylvanSports have come up with a big contest where a ton of free outdoor gear is up for grabs. I got to say I like the concept they are using about rather than just signing up to win toys in a raffle, you actually have to work to get them. Not a bad idea, check it out, register if you want to, then see if you can figure out where the prize is located. With that, don't forget two things that you should do today 1.) TTTT up in the Rattlesnake 2.) Fill out those NCAA bracket, let office productivity stop!, and I hope that Kansas FUCKING DESTROYS Lehigh, those people suck.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Carbo Loading

Screw pasta, oatmeal, and all that other food that is "good" for you, a tallboy of PBR is enough fuel for me.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Race Across The Sky Recap

No more reflection, just a quick recap of the Race Across The Sky. For me it started Thursday afternoon when Mr. MTCX asked me to help him and Rebecca to unload all of the goodies which were going to be raffled off later that evening. When I saw the multiple cases of PBR pounders, I knew the evening would be good. After getting work done the next move was the group ride to Turah followed by the Marshall Mountain Hill Climb Challenge. We all meet, and the group sized doubles once Bryce goes to collect the UofM team. All the while I take the time to enjoy a Pabst, nothing like that pre-ride fuel.

The ride gets going, easy pace, plenty of chatting, no one trying to show off how fast they are that week. One stop to let everyone catch up (and to take a piss in my case), then we head back towards town, all getting ready for the hill climb. At the bottom, layers are shed, and we all line up, Radley says go, and all are off. I got the hole shot, and sure enough after less than 30 seconds a group of Radley, Bryce, Agner, Tyler, JDoll, and someone else scream pass. I figure I'm getting set for a day of chasing them. Not the case, I keep em close enough, and by once the road turns up for good, I get by Radley. I get to watch Tyler sneak up on Agner and Bryce, then see Tyler and Agner duke it out. In the final sections I take advantage of my big gear to pass Bryce for 3rd. Agner took the win for the boys, and Campbell for the gals, kudos to them, I hope the enjoyed the champagne.

Get back to town, shower, change, then head to Big Sky for food, brew, and conversation. Lots of folks who I had never seen before are down there, but I still get plenty of food and beer in me. Head on over for the movie, which turns out to be pretty good, even though I knew how it ended. Wish there had been more concentration on Rebecca vs. Amanda battle for the womens top spot, some love for the SS folk, and some talk about the Lance last minute worker bee controversey. All in all a good movie, and good night, and I got myself a spot to crash down in Sun Valley when I go to defend my Grinder title. Good times. Happy Weekend.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

More Doping, More Rambling, Some Reflection

While this was not the an exact duplication of how my morning started (although I wish it had been), things got off pretty well. Woke up, caught up on college b-ball, read about college b-ball from the 1999-2000 Patriot League season, ate chow, then hopped on the bike. The commute downtown in order to pump my veins full of hot, black goodness the rest of the world refers to as coffee, did not include shorts, or a topless women, but nonetheless went just fine. Cracked open the computer to ingest and digest all that stuff that I usually look at on the internets, and came across that picture. That bundle of sunshine came from Judi over at the DC fronts who is slowly become one of my favorite cycling women who I have never met. So yeah after checking that out and having a chuckle I figured this day would be a good one, and might even result in my not getting anywhere close to pissed off over some trivial bullshit.

Then I headed over to the CyclingSnooze to catch up on all things bikes, because for one reason or another the folks over at ESPN have failed to start up their coverage of the Spring Cycling campaign. Check the top five headlines over there, 1.) Columbian Marching Powder Boonen got himself a win over in Italia. Good for him, granted I have zero Belgian blood pumping through my veins, but during time of the year I wish I did. 2.) Contadork wins a climbing stage at Paris-Nice. File this one under "no shit". I like anyone who goes out and does anything with a chip on their shoulder, because let's face it holding grudges and trying to prove people wrong has lead to some of the best discoveries/inventions/performances/fill in the blank throughout history. I am no scholar about road racing but I do know this, you take the best (arguably) stage racer (long or short) in the world, then have him thinking that he doesnt get enough respect, the end result will be a bunch of people getting their collective asses stomped into the ground.

The third headline was where my day went south, the top two boys (I refer to them as boys because their actions warrant that designation), from U23 Cross Worlds had tested positive for EPO. Few things piss me off more than still having to read about doping stories, and when it involves the ones who took first and second in a race (who are brothers and did it at Worlds none the less), it makes me wish they had Johnny Walker down here at The Break. No Johnny Walker so instead I hoist my middle fingers to these pricks, and begin to calm down. While I have benifitted from getting a second chance a bunch of times, I have still yet to steal a world championship from anyone. Time for someone to get made an example of, second chances be damned, just hand out a lifetime ban to one or both of these assholes.

Thing got better once I went over to Hail the Black Market, while Stevil doesnt have the undisputed best cycling related writing ability that BikeSnobNYC has, he is pretty close, and does it will less words, and more photos. Caught a glimpse of that gem, and once again I thought that i had a.) been born on the wrong continent, and b.) during the wrong decade. That's the kind of cycling I can wrap my head around, gearless, faces covered in grime, occasional wine breaks taken, and old men in suits sharing the same road. So with that, the first cup of coffee had been drained, Elliot just popped in and shared some of his morning treats, and I was not pissed off anymore.

Now onto shit that is actually my own original thoughts. This is my 100th post, and I have something that resembles a feeling of pride. I started this poor excuse for a blog, to simply post information about a bike race I was gonna put on. Well I never had too much information to post on a regular basis, and it morphed into ride/race/adventure/life reports, a spot for me to vent about things, and a way for the folks to keep tabs on the real happenings of my life. So with that time for some reflection, since that first post, I have completed a full MTB race season, lost a job, put on a race, drove across the country in a car that was always three seconds away from falling apart, figured out the next step of my "life", drove back across the country, took a standardized test, applies to grad school, spent time with old college friends, spent time with old mountain bike friends, got accepted to grad schools, and grew the greatest mustache in the history of my facial hair. So yeah, shit starts somewhere, there is a journey where you learn lessons, and get to somewhere new, and get to start a new journey. Cliche? Sure, but hey, cliches are there cause they're true.

Might as well take some time to reflect on the whole cycling things, seeing as though this is a cycling related regurgitation. Got the above picture from the 2007 version of SSAZ, taken by Dejay. I had only been "racing bikes" for a few months at this point, didn't know many bike folks, and had just been worked over like a load of laundry climbing Reddington Road. I spent a bunch of time sucking down that PBR, eating chips, and trying to get to know folks. Back then it was steel frame and suspension, hydration packs full of my "Boy Scout Be Prepared" gear, sweatbands on my wrist, and GPS mounted on the handlebar. I looked like a rookie because I was, and boy did I have a bunch to learn.

Now this was from the 2010 version of SSUSA/SSAZ. I'm back on Reddington, this time riding in the top 5, and feeling really good. I don't stop to enjoy the beer, just throw it in the jersey pocket, and save it for a fast chug during the next descent. Bike is now Scandium and totally rigid, I've upgraded from one sweatbands to two, and they are halfway up my forearms, no need for the GPS, I know where I'm going this time, and I only carry what I can stuff into my jersey pockets. Yeah things have changed, I might have gotten faster, fitter, and all that stuff you can gauge yourself by. But I'd rather gauge myself by the fact that in the three years between the two pictures I had made a bunch of friends in the SS/MTB community. Back then I basically knew Scooby (who is still one of the greatest people in the AZ MTB community). Now that list has expanded to include a bunch of great people (from a bunch of great places), so I guess this cycling thing I have focused on has been worthwhile.

Enough of this sappy end of the year sorority meeting shit, I just read that Alex Rodriguez is gonna meet with federal folks about his involvement with the Canadian Doctor who is under investigation for giving out HGH like Halloween Candy. The steam is starting to come out of my ears, and I am wondering why they don't have Johnny Walker here. Happy Thursday, thanks for reading, I need a drink.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

News Time

Not much doing for myself right about now, playing the waiting games with some grad schools, and trying to ride. I was banking on getting out on the MTB for some good old fashion SS time, checking out what the trail situation is Pattee was. Well thanks to the old glassy eyed women who was giving the Census test on Monday, by the time I got back from Florence, the weather had turned, and the MTB ride got put on hold. The rain turned to snow during Monday night, and now trail time has been pushed back for a while. Maybe I'll just go back down to Tucson for a couple weeks. Here's the good stuff thats going on in the world of cycling, with my thoughts attached. I promise that I got something that resembles actual content in the works.

Race Across The Sky and Marshall Hill Climb - I'm pumped for tomorrow evening, it will be good times for sure.
Harlan reflects - Can't think of anyone else who has given as much to the sport of MTB for basically no money and the chance to just race. Big ups and good luck to Harlan on his new adventures in life and racing. Totally agree with him that people need to learn about the MTB available in PA, but I am not jazzed about his plan to go try to win Marathon Nationals then burn the Stars and Stripes jersey that we fought to get.
CyclePassion - I like attractive women, I like women who ride bikes, I like women who get photographed not wearing a lot of clothing. This calender combines all three of those.
Floyd's got a team - Why the fuck can't this guy just go back to Pennsylvania? Now he's gonna be some sort of mentor.
Another Doper gets a Second Chance - The only logical place to get a job after spending some time in the clink is with a WNBA team.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Just when You Thought You Had Seen It All

File this one under the "are you fucking kidding me?" section. Yes us bike folk will sacrifice our pride and wear goofy clothing and accesories all in the name of riding bikes, but I just can't wrap my head around this one. When did the water bottle cage go out of style?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Forgive Me Father For I Have Sinned

Yeah, I did something that I havent done in a while, not really by choice, more of necessity. I went on a longer ride on a geared road bike. I felt like Larry Craig in an airport bathroom stall. I can't really remember the last time I actually enjoyed a geared road ride, but I needed to remind myself what it was like. Out of nowhere last night before heading out to carbo load I heard the air escaping from my front tire on the Snake. Didn't have a spare tube, and couldnt think of any shop that would be open on Sunday. With no MTB open, I had to go over to the dark side, and I wasnt too thrilled about. I did my best to get out of town hopefully without being spotted by anyone who would be expecting to see me without gears. The bike gods frowned upon my decision to ride with the aid of gears, and punished me with making me feel like shit for the final hour and half of pedaling. First thing tomorrow, that flat is getting fixed, and I will be stocking up on tubes to make sure this doesnt happen again.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

One Tough Race

We all could go on and on about how we have done some tough race, ride, event, fill in the blank. Sorry folks I think the folks duking it out up at the Iditarod Trail Invitational, probably take the cake. For whatever reason using sled dogs to travel 1000 miles in Alaska in February and March wasn't tough enough, so some folks decided to do it on bikes, foot, or ski. Basically these folks have really blurred the lines between super tough and super stupid, and your jaw just drops when you follow it. If you got the free time for the next couple of days, go ahead and keep checking the current standings/results right here. Personally I'm hoping both Jay and Tracy Petervary both complete the race, and do well. What can I say I got a soft spot for people who I drank Dale's Pale Ale with after the Saturday Awards at Moose Cross.

Below is the picture of my mustache I promised earlier. So far the reviews have been mostly negative. Mom, Dad, and Sister all think I look stupid, but at least Elliot that it was a nice mustache. Ignore my huge nose.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Mustache March, and TTTT

Its March, which means if you are a guy and can grow facial hair, its time for a mustache. Keep those excuses to yourself, and just grab a razor and get creative. I got mine taken care of Sunday night, but can't get my grubby paws on the picture just yet. When I do it will be posted. March in Missoula also means the start of the Taco Tuesday Time Trial (TTTT), even though I think last year the TT took place on Wednesday. This is chance to break out the TT gear, and see where you rank against the rest of the folks in Missoula. Big ups to Mr. MTCX for putting it on, that guy bleeds bikes. I just hope I'm not the only one drinking shitty beer at Elliot's house this year after the TT.