Thursday, November 30, 2006

"Cha Cha Changes"

This whole blog could be an editor's note:

So I'm gonna make a fully legit blog that deals with cycling, triathlon, rock climbing and whatever. But I'm also gonna keep up this blog. Why? Cause this is more of my personal blog where I keep the stupid things that come across my mind. Just call me the Gertrude Stien of blogging. . . . a blog is a blog is a blog. Honestly, I think the personal blog will be the fun blog. We'll see about how this serious blogging stuff works out. I may come running back to this blog.

In other news: I think some beers should have a symbol if they have more than 10% alcohol. This not a complaint. It is just that I would like to know when I'm cracking open a 10%+ alcohol beer. For instance after rock climbing this evening I had a beer with some chips and salsa. I grabbed a Troegg's Mad Elf. It is 11% alcohol. Not exactly what I need to be grabbing at 10:30 pm.

More Rock Climbing

I just got back from the Philly Rock (Climbing) Gym. Frustration was the theme of the evening there. My "suck switch" was turned on, and the dial was cranked way up. The gym was super crowded which leaves me less inspired, and I was really tired. Being out till 1 in the morning and having beers for last night's dinner probably wasn't helping. I stuck to the routes I could do and then made next no progress on the relatively harder routes. Other than progresing through harder and harder routes it is very hard to judge improvement in rock climbing. I'll be back there Sunday night.

At the risk of getting a little too serious, I'll list a few things I know would lead to some definite improvement in my rock climbing abilities.
  1. Sit ups. At times the only thing keeping you on the wall is your core strength. Hanging up side down from an overhang with nothing but your fingers and toes holding on. There is some serious core strength being demonstrated.
  2. Flexability. This is probably one of the most underated things anyone can do to improve fitness.
  3. Lessons. There are somethings that I can't learn unless someone flat out tells me. Also it is great to have someone yelling at you while your going for the next hold.
  4. Arm Strength. Forarms and Tricepts are huge in rock climbing. Popeye would have been one hell of a climber!!! I usually finish the night on the strength wall, trying to improve forearm and hand strength.
  5. Footwork! This is probably what needs the most work for myself. You can have your foot on the correct foot hold, but it will also matter how your foot is on that hold. Just placing it there will not help you get to the next handhold. Pointing your toes. Twisting your foot. Taking care to place your feet correctly definitely helps.
Only 2 of the 5 items had anything specifically to do with rock climbing. Maybe I can work on these at home a little, but first I would have to put down the beer.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Another Bday Poem

I once knew a boy named Andrew
who made funny faces to pooh
his face would turn pink
then something would stink
change his diaper is all we could do

Happy Birthday Andrew!!! Work on those pooh faces son!!!!

Travelling . . .

I'm gonna be out of the office for a few days next week. Heading down to Miami and then to Hollywood (FL). It should be a good time. Who knows maybe I'll learn something?

And in other news . . . I booked my trip to Belgium last night. Thats right kids. I'm going overseas. Hopefully, they're making enough Belgium Ale for me. I should call ahead and make sure they stock up. I gonna try to sample most of the fine Belgium Ale that can't be found here. YEAH!!!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Bouldering Improvement

I hit up the Rock Gym after work. It was nice to see some definite improvement in my bouldering skills. I did several new routes and was able to make somewhat decent attempts at routes that I thought were previously unatainable. These problems are going to be soon within my abilities. My forearms get really pumped because I don't exactly use the most efficient form and I rely alot on my height to get me through problems.

The real negative from rock climbing at the gym is that I am a "death gripper". I grab the handholds with too much force. These leads to an excessive amount of callouses and blisters to appear on my hands the day afterwards. Rough hands are not sexy.

On a side note, Two burritos do not make great pre-rock climbing dinner.


My hibernation period has started. Getting fat is gonna be fun. But don't think that I'm getting fat without a purpose. Oh no. I've rationalized this hibernation. I figure a little physical and mental rest will do my training some good. Think of it as starting with a blank canvas. I need to be a large block of stone that Michealangelo will turn into "The David".

If I'm not working out what will I be doing? Chillin, Livin, whateva. I'm still gonna rock climb, just because I enjoy it and it doesn't really stress me out. I stink at it way too much for me to be concerned with the result. I'll be in Florida for a week, so that will take up a big chunck of my hibernation! If you want party with the Leave The Fan On auther, now is certainly a good time to do it. I may hop in the pool before hibernation ends, but I view hibernation mainly as a break from cycling. Considering I haven't swam in almost a year, I have no need to take a break from that.

When does this hibernation end? I have that scheduled for Dec. 18th. Then I will begin base training for what I hope to be a succesful cycling season. Followed by a return to an Ironman triathlon. I already feel the pain train.

Monday, November 27, 2006


I have 15 minutes to post this blog or I will lose the 30 day blogging challenge!!!

I'm thinking about hiking the entire hosreshoe trail over Christmas break. It is a 130 trail that connects Valley Forge Park to the Appalachain trail in Harrisburg. How many days do you think I can do it in? Do I have any takers on 6 days? That would be 20+ miles per day of hiking.

hmmm, maybe I should actually think these things through before I go post them willy nilly on my blog.

Bienvenido a Miami!

Thats right Kids, I'm going to Miami (South Beach)!!!

What will I being doing there? God only knows at this point, but this time next week I'll be packing my bags. I'm staying a block off of Ocean Drive, so it should be no problem finding somewhere to go. At worst, It rains for the two days I'm there and I sit at a coffee shop drinking coffee and reading. At best, it doesn't rain and I chill on the beach for 2 days.

Anyone been to South Beach? Got any sugestions of places I must see? Let me know!!! Don't be afraid to share. I'll take my camera in case there is anything worth sharing while I'm there.

I figure I'll take in the night life while I'm there, but I'm not sure how much will be going on there considering it will be a Tuesday and Wednesday night. I've been listening to some Dirty Vegas and Paul Oakenfold to get myself pumped.

After my two days on the beach, I'm off to a conference in Hollywood, FL, which should be educational as well as inspirational.

On a lighter note, I'm in full on fat mode. Thats right kids, cut up those gym membership cards with me! (You would think that I would try to get a beach body together for Miami. Forget That!!!) It is time to pack on weight for the winter. I'm even secretly hoping for just a really brutally cold next few weeks. I want nothing but sub 40 degree weather and clouds. Throw in a little snow just for fun. It is time to hibernate. I've got the beer. I've got the chips and salsa and I've got the commitment! I'm getting fat and no one is going to stop me!!!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Who says I can't cook?

I had a whole bottle of salsa last night, and tonight for dinner, I'm having some more chips and salsa!

Longs Peak (part one)

With my increasing interest in mountainering, I felt I would recount my lovely experience with Long's Peak Mtn. For those who don't know Long's Peak is the only 14,000 foot mountain in Rocky Mtn National Park. To summit Long's Peak in one day you will experience a 4,500 foot altitude gain and hike over 16 miles.

With a little coaxing, I had convinced my brother, sister and sister in law to attempt to summit Long's Peak Mtn in one day after 4 days of car camping in Rocky Mtn National Park. We plan to wake up at 3:00 am, and start hiking around 3:30 to summit before any possible afternoon thunderstorms could fall upon us. I am really pumped to summit.

We wake up. Grab our bags. Make sure we have everything and start hiking. Since it is still dark out, we hike via flash light for the first few hours. As we climbed up Longs Peak, I can remember seeing the sun rise over the park, as we worked our way up the mountain. Who knew what sun and the mountain had in store for us later?

After about a few hours of hiking, we were making regular stops to stay hidrated and fuel up on the trail mix and pretzels we had brought with us. Everything seemed to be going very smoothly. At one stop, I noticed that we forgot the 7 peanut butter and jelly sandwhiches that we made the previous night. Our calorie intake is going to be shortened significantly. I remember thinking that we should turn around at that point. Go hang out in Estes Park. Anything but this. Summiting this mountain was not going to take place without those sandwhiches, but my desire to summit kept my mouth shut.

We make it to the timberline. Everyone is fine. Walking up the mountain at a steady pace, we are focused on the goal. We make it to the outhouse that marks the split in the trail from Chasm Lake to the Summit of Long's Peak. We take silly photoes of each other in the outhouse. It seems like it should not be a problem summiting this mountain, even though we still have more than 5 miles from the summit.

As we continue on, I start to feel a little fatigued which quickly turns into very fatigued. It would be a long painful day . My brother notices that I haven't spoken in over 5 minutes. An obvious sign that something is wrong. I eat some trail mix. (At this point it makes me want to gag.) We solider on.

We make it to Boulder Field. It looks exactly like it sounds, a giant field of boulders. We stop. I eat an apple and some pretzels. I am better almost instantly. Amazing what a little salt will do for you. Scrambing over the boulders we make it to the Keyhole. The keyhole is small opening that leads to the other side of the mountain and shows you Glacier Gorge which expands for several thousand feet below. (too be continued.)

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Cross has made it big?

A nice article about cyclocross in the NY Times!!!

Why Limit your breakfast?

Do you limit your breakfast? Do you sit there and eat toast or cereal because a long time ago that is what someone told you, you should be eating for breakfast?

Me? I am not hindered by these inferior thoughts of what breakfast can be. I will always be having my cup of coffee with breakfast. There is no doubt in that, but cereal or toast? You have got to be kidding me. What is wrong with a nice turkey sandwich for breakfast? Especially when that breakfast takes place at around 10 am. I say have a sandwich. Don't be hungary for the next few hours waiting for lunch. Just make your breakfast a little more manly.

Friday, November 24, 2006

What are you listening to?

Want to figure out what you are listening to? Well, if you use Itunes and you should be, then check out your 25 most played playlist or just list your library by play count either does the trick. Here is mine, in order from most played to least.

  • Just Pretend, The Bens
  • New Slang, The Shins
  • Bruised, The Bens
  • Caring is Creepy, The Shins
  • No Right Angles, Ben Lee
  • The Sound of Settling, Death Cab for Cutie
  • Stop!, The Bens
  • No More Shoes, Stephen Malkmus
  • Start Again, Death Cab for Cutie
  • Animal Midnight, Stephen Malkmus
  • Xfire, The Bens
  • Don't Panic, Coldplay
  • Kindling for the Master, Stephen Malkmus
  • Soul Meets Body, Death Cab for Cutie
  • Blacking Out the Friction, Death Cab for Cutie
  • In the Waiting Line, Zero 7
  • Father to a Sister of Thought, Pavement
  • Witch Mountain Bridge, Stephen Malkmus
  • Expo 86, Death Cab for Cutie
  • Young Pilgrim, The Shins
  • Range Life, Pavement
  • Frontward, Pavement
  • Tiny Vessels, Death Cab for Cutie
  • We're All In This Together, Ben Lee
  • Addiction, Kanye West
Why am I crazy for The Bens? Because their EP was the first album I bought off of the Itunes Music Store. Hence it has a really high count on my play list.

Keeping up "The Big Mo!!!"

In these transitional moments, is when I can get in danger of losing "The Big Mo!"

What is "The Big Mo?", momentum!!! Cyclocross season is over for me, with the exception going and watching nationals, and cyclocross worlds. But I still need to maintain my fitness, and keep up the staying fit momentum. If I spend too many days not working out, I'll just get lazy and it will be really hard to get going again.

So what is the next big fitness challenge? The 4.4 mile swim across the Chessapeake is really the next biggest challenge. I have not regularly swam in over a year. So it is going to take some time, to get my form back together and then to build my swim fitness. The most important training is going to take place the next few weeks. Rebuilding my form so that my swim stroke is efficient and quick will help me get through the 4.4 mile swim much quicker. I should probably look up some drills on proper swim form and hip rotation. Fun Stuff. I can't wait to smell like chlorine all winter!!!

Thursday, November 23, 2006


So I was thinking about writting these 2 blogs a day. Thats right kids, you haven't forgotten that I am in the middle of the 30 day blogging challenge. 2 blogs a day. I'm cranking out more crap than you kids can shovel.

I am going to try to find a way to figure out how much I've written without having to go back and count everything. I would love to know exactly how many words I've written, and how many words per blog I average. Stupid stuff like that. I am sure there could even be better stats, like topics versus words written.

I imagine that my averages are fairly low. These blogs don't exactly take me all day to write and most of them are silly. Such as the Turkey Day Hiaku I wrote yesterday.

How am I going to do this? Well, I might have to write a computer program to do it. Uh Oh. Someone might actually be using their degrees. (notice the plural, i'm not bragging i'm just saying.) If I could figure out how to connect to the database that stores all these blogs, I'm sure a few simple queries could generate all the stats my little heart desires. In fact, I would be really surpised if Google didn't offer a simple API to run these queries. That would be kind of sweet, and I could crank out this little project in an hour or two. I'll let you know how it goes.

All rightie, Have a Happy Turkey Day!!!

Cycling Trainers

I am about to purchase a new cycling trainer. I am choosing between the CycleOps Fluid 2 Trainer and the 1 up USA bicycle trainer. Do beleive Consumer Reports has info on cycling trainers? No shit. Unfortunately, I am not about to pay for their precious little report. I've got you people!!!

I see alot people rocking the CycleOps Fluid 2 trainer at races. So obviously it must be a trusted trainer, but my boy Matt rocks the 1 Up USA trainer. He likes it and it seems very reliable. His recomendation means just as much as the horde of people using the CycleOps Trainer.

One big thing the 1 Up USA bicycle trainer has going for it is that is made in the USA as the name would imply. I have read the propoganda from the 1 Up Usa web site. Now the CycleOps webiste is definitely more professional. There is even PhD guy telling me that I will be more competitive through using this trainer. ( I would like to belevie the competitiveness has more to with spirit than with science. Although science always helps. To strengthen my arguement please watch Rocky 4, but I digress.)

I'm sure either trainer would be fine, and I am more torn now having written this. So if you have experience with either trainer let me know. I'ld like to order one this week.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

A little Turkey Hiaku

I love Turkey Day
Mashed Potatoes and Stuffing
Losening my belt

Pre Race Report PA Cyclocross Championship.

Well, this when I would normally post a pre-race report for the PA State Cyclocross Championships, but you won't be finding that here.

Why? Cause I'm too much of a wus to race the B men catagory. Seeing how I am currently getting my ass handed to me in the men C race, how am I going to compete in the men B race? It just ain't gonna happen. The men C race is not really an option for this race because it lasts only 30 minutes and takes place at 9:15 in the morning. Did I mention the race takes place in Carlisle, PA ( a 2 hour drive)? My time is worth more to me than that.

So do I wake up at 5 am to race or do I step up to the plate and race the men's b. As much as I love embarassing myself, the b men race is not really an option, so I am probably going to stay at home and chill. Maybe I'll get some left overs and make myself a nice turkey sandwhich.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Biggest Party Night of the Year?!?!

In the northeast, the night before Thanksgiving has been crowned the biggest party night of the year. So where are we partying?

I might call up some people and see whats going on. But on the other hand, I might just go hit up the climbing wall. Get in some bouldering before I stuff myself with Turkey. Really crowded bars were never really my scene with only a few exceptions.

Cyclocross worlds (here i come)

Thats right kids, I'm planning a trip to see Cyclocross Worlds on January 27 and 28 in Gits, Belgium. It should be a rocking time. Belgium beers, surrounded by a bunch of people who only care about cyclocross, and watching the world championships! BooHay!

There are even a few racers from the MAC Cyclocross series that are going over, so it will be fun to see a few familar places in a foreign land.

But this is where you kids come in!! Anyone out there ever been to Belgium? What to do in Belgium once the race is over? I'm staying in Brugge for 3 nights. I've bought some books but personal accounts are always much better. If you have some suggestions let me know, even if you have only heard or read that such and such is a good time.

But the fun doesn't end there. You wouldn't think that I would just go see worlds and come back here do you?! hellz no. After Cyclocross worlds, I'm spending to 2 nights in Brussells and 3 nights in Paris. Thats right, I'm bolding going where I have never been before! With the last name of Gardiner, I figure I should go see my roots.

I'm not really sure what I'm going to be doing in Brussells or Paris. Once again, suggestions are welcome. I would not be surprised if Belgium turned into a brewery tour. Part of me just wants to hang out and doing nothing. If that makes any sense. Go enjoy some food, talk to some people. Drink some wine. Act like it is no big deal that I am in Paris. I'm sure I'll end up staring at a few paintings when I'm in Paris.

When I figure out exactly what I might be doing I'll let you kids know.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Who did this?

Who put oatmeal in my stout? I didn't ask for oatmeal in my stout, and I really would perfer it not be there!!!

Ahh, the beauty of a shortened work week. Wednesday is the new Friday people, I suggest you prepare accordingly.

All right enough B.S. Lets talk Turkey. In honor of Thanksgiving coming up and I know that my loyal yet finicky readership tends to disapear on the weekends. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. Low stress. None of the present buying that comes with "Chrismahannakwanza". You show up at your relative's place with a strong appetite, and they deliver with some kick ass food. You get drunk off eating too much (some of you may get drunk off just drinking), and then you just make of fun each other for the next few hours. Good times in my book.

In my house, the turkey has become a science. If the kitchen were a lecture hall my father would be the professor. Or perhaps he is the Collin Powell of the kitchen, using overwhelming force to pound the turkey into submission. Either way, his turkies always kick ass.

What kind of sides do we have? Mashed Potatoes. Duh. Stuffing. No Doubt! Cranberry Sauce. You know it!!! Salad. Anything for digestion. Creamed Onions? ( wait one second? )

I don't who in my family is directly responsible for these nasty things ending up on my Thanksgiving table, but they owe me one giant apology. Creamed Onions are just gross man. For those you, who don't know what I maybe talking about I will describe it. Take some onions cook them in a pot with thick cream sauce. Like a cream soup but much more milky. I didn't really do the description justice, but trust me they are heinous. If I am ever in charge of Thanksgiving dinner, they will be stricken from the menu. Replaced with a nice bottle of Chimay!!!

Then we have desserts. Thats right kids, you did leave room for a peice of pumpkin pie or blueberry pie. Thats right, we let you choose. Don't be afraid to ask for peice pumpkin even after the first 3 people asked for pumpkin. There is only one Thanksgiving, and you know that blueberry pie will be back on the dessert plate the next night. And make sure you specify if you want regular or decaff coffee. After eating as much food as I do, you know I need a little caffine to keep my energy going.

One of my other favorite Thanksgiving pastimes is to walk around the house singing Adam Sandler's Thanksgiving song over and over again. How can you not enjoy that song?

Well, have a good Thanksgiving kids!!! Be sure to stay on top of the news here at Leave the Fan On. A pre-race report will be coming up tomorrow or wednesday for the PA state cycloross race.

Some body get me some advil?

Yo yo!!!! I bet you thought this post wasn't going to arrive. (Bubba, I know you were worried.)

Well, I am more than a little sore after this weekend of racing. There is even a nice little bruise on my back from bike pedal hitting me while running. Normally you don't run with the bike that much, so it ain't that big a deal. Next weekend State Championships and then I sit back reflect on the season.

What is the next competition for me to make an ass out myself? Well, I hope to start regularly bouldering at the rock climbing wall, and I plan on doing the cross Cheasapeake Swim next summer. Which means I need to get my fat ass into a pool about 4 times a week. My big mouth has been writting checks it can't cash about that swim.

Since the weather will turn to suck for a while, I am going to probably try to fix my place up a little. I already hear the laughing. Those in the know, know that my condo has been a never ending construction zone for the last 2 years. Who knows maybe this is the few months I fix it all up. For those who don't know, here is the list of things that are not right in my condo.

  • The kitchen sink is broke
  • The wall paper/paint is partially removed from the kitchen
  • The living room and dining room only have primer on them.
  • the hand rail for the stairs is gone.
  • the carpet needs to steam cleaned or replaced
  • hallway only has primer on it
  • 2nd bedroom has whole in wall. (that damn kangaroo!)
  • Bedroom should be painted and wall paper trim should go.
  • Master bathroom has wall paper removed, and has no mirror nor cabinet.
Yeah, I know you are woefully shaking your head. What can I do?, these things happen. Especially when a kangaroo chews a whole in your wall.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Big Ups to Matteis!!!

My boy Matt ran a 3:26 Philly Marathon today!!! As if that wasn't enough, he hoped on a plane a few hours later. That guy will probably have legs made of steel for the next 3 days. Way to be!!!!

Evo Race Report

Well, kids after a night of drinkin' with Johnny D, I go out and have myself another mud filled cross race. The promoters managed to change the course a little to lessen the mud, but seriously it would have taken a miracle to fix the mud.

I definitely imporved on my race, but I was in a world of pain after two laps. I don't think 5 beers does much for your race shape. Oh well, a man cannot live on cycling alone.

The best part of the race itself was the start. It was a few meters then a right turn into a complete mud field. NICE!!! I managed to ride through it the first time, but it was much more efficient to run through it on the rest of the laps. Trying to find the one line that will let me ride my bike is always nice too. I'm a little less successful at that challenge.

All in all, it was great weekend of cross racing. It took me an 20 minutes to get the mud off my bike both days. One race will till I can sit back and get fat. State's next weekend!!!!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Picks of my Bike Post Race

Here are some pics.

That ain't going in my car

There is a derailuer in there somewhere.

Working harder than Nascar in the pits.

Guy's Cross Race Report

I once slept with a girl with a Windy Bush, it gave me a bad case of Pid Cock.

Don't mind me, I'm just a little delerious from the cross race. Well, if you're reading this that must mean you want know about the cross race. Lets start with a little description of the course.
The Course: Flat as a pancake. Two sets of barriers. A section commonly known as the spiral of death (imagine riding in a circle). A nice little section that involves a stream crossing right into a run up. The course was on private land that was farm fields that were mowed down to allow us to ride our bikes. And oh yeah did I mention that there may been some mud on the course?

Yeah, there was some mud on the course. About 12 tons. The course must have been 75% mud.

The Race: So is this where I start listing my excuses? No. I take a position in the middle of the pack for the start. The gun goes off and we all flying down the course into the first turn that takes us into the first path around a field. It wasn't too chaotic, but on the far end of this loop around the field the mud was rediculous!! I was riding through most of it but when I could no longer see the rim of bike, I hopped of the bike to run with it. The however I did notice that my heroic attempt to ride through the mud was not going to go unpunished. In the other corn field, my bike starts to pick up hay. hmmmm. All of the sudden, my bike isn't pedalling anymore. Well, if my bike doesn't pedal, i'm not moving. I hop off to clear mud and grime away from the brakes and deraiulers. Racers go zipping past me. Damn. This pattern will continue for the rest of the race. I hop on ride it for a little while, it stops working or makes me work really hard, and I stop to clean it. After two laps, the mud has gotten so thick and I have lost my patience for it. What do I decide to do? Well, I know I can run, so that is what I do. I ran for probably 50% of the final lap and I didn't lose any places and may have gained at least one. It was a fun race. I managed to not fall over which is a good thing. Ultimately I finished 2nd to last. (at least I beat someone!)

It was good see the cross racers that I haven't seen in two weeks. They are all really cool people. A single speeder ended up winning my race. Way to go Peter!

What was also really impressive was watching the pit section during the Elite Master's Race. They would switch bikes every lap, and there would be about 3 people per bike cleaning it. Amazing!!!

Conclusion: Same course tomorrow. Clean the bike. I should be ready to go get some revenge for todays sorry results.

The Ride Home: So I decide my bike is way too muddy to throw in the back of my car. But my bike rack is sketchy in that it really only tightly holds one side of the fork. Oh Well. I throw the bike up there. Everything is fine until I get to the turnpike construction area. All those bumps are throwing my bike around. Every few minutes, I casually roll down the window. Stick my arm out and tighten the bike rack while driving. I'm sure the people behind me loved seeing that. I had to pee really really bad so there was no time to waste and pull over.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Pre Race Nutrition

Pre-Face: I am not a nutritionist of any kind. So take this advice with a grain of salt. Actually salt ain't that great for you, take it with a nice salad.

Is pre-race nutrition actually important? Yes, but it really varies from person to person. I'll tell you what works well for me. The most important thing is to experiment with what you eat otherwise you may never find what works for you.

THE DAY BEFORE THE RACE is when I start thinking about what I should be eating for the next day of competition. ( Another key factor that has nothing to do with this article is sleep. I find that sleep the night before the day before a race is most critical. For a Saturday race, that would be Thursday night's sleep.) So what do I eat? I am a carb-monster, and I am not very fond of any lactose the day before races. Mornings, I drinks some coffee, and usually a bagel. Nothing too complicated. As a snack I'll have some nuts. Lunch, I usually have a sandwhich or pizza. (I usually get pizza that lacks cheese.) Dinner is when I get really concerned about what I eat. Everything before dinner probably doesn't affect my race too much unless I eat complete crap. Avoid fast food at all costs.

So dinner I cook the night before race is almost always penne past with chicken strips and a few slices of wheat bread. I have an apple a few hours after. I also drink a lot of water.

Now I know what your thinking, "This guy takes this cross shit seriously!" Well, I do, but I'm also a realist. I have strayed from this many a time. I like to think I have a social life. I have had beers the night before a cross race. In fact one my best races this season, I went to Monk's Cafe the night before and had several belgium beers and some mussels. But I knew the day before so I tried to compensate for what I felt was a poor pre-race dinner.

Now the morning of the race is fairly simple. Have a normal breakfast. For myself that entails, a cup of coffee, a glass of "Emergan C" and a bagel. During the drive to the race, I eat a cliff bar the hour before the gun will go off. I also sip gatoraide and water up untill the gun goes off. That is it. There is no need for a water bottle during a cross race, so don't bother putting a bottle cage on your bike!!!

I know some people eat energy gels 10 minutes before the race. This probably a great idea. I have not experimented with this. If you choose to be sure to drink 5 oz of water with it or else you may very well get sick to your stomach during the first lap of the race.

An Honest Assessment . . . .

So, I'm one day away from a full weekend of racing. It is time to look into the mirror and be honest about where my fitness lies. To do this, let me draw an analogy to one of my favorite cyclists.

Anyone remember the news about Jan Ulrich before the 2004 Tour de France? Anyone? Anyone? Beuller?

Well, the big news was how much weight Jan Ulrich gained in the off season. Supposedly he was horribly out of shape. He was somewhere around 14 kilograms overweight!!! In fact, people were posting pictures of him riding the bike with captions like "who ate all the cake? Jan did." It wasn't very pretty. Althought he still finished fourth, so all you Ulrich haters better respect.

So, I'm much like Jan before the 2004 Tour. I ate all cake. In fact my cross bike still needs to be cleaned and put together before the weekend. I haven't riddent that bike in well over a week. I am going to accordingly manage my expectations. Success will involve not falling over, and possibly imporving my technique on Sunday. Anything else is just gravy. (Hmmm, gravy, turkey, stuffing, TURKEY) sorry, i got a little lost thinking about Turkey day.

Hopefully, these races go well. Stay tuned for a full race report possible Saturday afternoon.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

What you need to ask yourself is . . .

Did I read Charles' blog today? And if not, you better have a damn good excuse!!!

I'm in a bit of a rush today so, I'm going to give you all a little teaser as to what might be coming down the blogging pipeline. If you have a topic that you would like me to discuss, leave it in the comments. I promise I'll get to it!

Well, here are some up coming posts that you have to look forward to . .. . . .

  • Weekend Race reports from both Guy's Cross and Evo Cross (sure to be epic).
  • Rock Climbing. (I've got the rock climbing/mountaineering bug really bad.)
  • Pre-race nutrition for cyclo-cross ( per Ravi's suggestion )
  • The Story of Longs Peak! (Yes, I attempted to hike Long's Peak in RMNP.)
  • Planning a Trip to Belgium (this will probably be a series of posts. How, why, where, and when)
  • Should LeaveTheFanOn go legit? (Eh, probably not)
  • Why I hate commuting. (aka. Listen to me piss and moan.)

Outside of these serious topics, I'm sure I'll stumble into topics that are much more fun.

Morning is a time for peace

A lot people I know get up in the morning and rush out the door in half of an hour. I have done that and I can still do it, but I would rather not. My mornings need to be a time of peace and quiet. A little reflection on the day that lays before me, and a little reminissing on the night I just left. I can easily spend 3 hours drinking coffee, reading, and just relaxing into my mornings.

Some people might think I am lazy because of this. They maybe right, but I perfer to think of it as pacing myself.

One of my favorite possesions is a white terry cloth robe. Everyone should have one. You put it on and all of the sudden it becomes an impossiblity to rush out the door. You enter the tranquil state of chillin. You're not rushin, you're chillin.

So take a day to chill in the mornings. Granted weekends are easier than weekdays, but weekdays feel so much better. As you see everyone rush around the parking lot, you can sip your coffee and woefully shake your head. These people have yet to learn the beauty of chilling in the morning.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Dating. (yes, i'm blogging about Dating)

Preface: I received a complaint from one of my loyal blog readers, Bubba, that my blog has recently dealt way too much with physical activity. So, I allowed him to choose the subject of tonight's blog . . . . Dating. Obviously, my experiences with dating don't have much to do with physical activity so he should be quite happy. Without further ado, I present you my dating blog.

What can I say about blogging that hasn't already been said? Not much.

Postface: Bubba also wanted me to relate a story to you about how I once got crabs and had to burn them off. It was a painful experience but I'm a better man for it.

What Bubba doesn't tell you is he got crabs from the same prostitute 3 weeks later.

A very early pre-race weekend report

I just signed up for 2 races this weekend, Boohay!

Guy's Cross race on Saturday and then Evo Cross on Sunday, both in beautiful New Hope, PA. In fact, the course is the same both days, which should be interesting on Sunday because the course will be "ridden down" come Sunday. If I have trouble following lines come Sunday, there just ain't any hope for me.

You would think I that would give you some kind of description of the course here. But I got nothing. I have no info about the course other than where and that there is a creek. However that creek could make things very muddy. It is supposed to rain buckets Thursday night on top of the rain we have had all week. If water collects all over the course it could be a fun weekend of very muddy cross racing!!! How awesome would that be? (I tend to define awesome in strange ways.) I still haven't had the epic cross race where all you see are two eyes poking out from a mud covered face. (for reference) One can only hope for a super muddy course.

How is my fitness? Par for the course. I've been busy trying to plan a trip to Belgium and distracted by other things to get on my bike all too often this week. I don't expect any miracles this weekend. I'll pedal till my lungs jump out of my body and hitchhike back home. It is what I do in cross races.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Burritoes on the brain

I really need to start watching what I eat. (Where did that phrase come from, cause I don't eat with my eye's closed.)

For lunch today, I decided to eat a burrito at BajaFresh. I have a profound love for BajaFresh. and their Burrito Mexicano. It has no dairy products. Which makes it excellent in my book.

Anyways, I decide to go Trader Joe's to get some food. I buy a package of microwavable burritoes among other things. I built up a monster hunger waiting in line, cause right when I got home I threw those bad boys in the microwave. Only minutes later, did I ask myself, "what did I have for lunch today?" (the answer: "Hey dumbass, you ate a burrito for lunch.")

Oh, well. It was a 3 burrito day, and I wonder why I'm slow at my cyclocross races.

Happy Birthday!!!

I would like to wish a Happy Birthday to the occasional Leave The Fan On reader, Elaine!!!
Your present is sitting on my coffee table, which was once your coffee table (a very common trait among my furniture.)

Here is a little Birthday Poem Just for You!!!

I once knew a girl named Elaine,
Who none of the boys could tame.
She then met brother,
and dated no other.
Now, they have Andrew to drive them insane.

Happy Birthday, What What!!!!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Really only 2 weeks left?

Going over to BikeReg, I check out what the rest of the cyclocross season has instore for me.

Wouldn't you know it, I only have 2 weeks of racing left!! Since I don't really like driving more than 2 hours (one way) for any particular race, I have this weekend's races in New Hope, PA and then PA State Championships the next weekend (This involves a two hour drive to Carslile, PA, but I think it is probably worth it.) That would be the end of my season. :(

The MAC Series Championship is held in Reston, VA. I have trouble justifying driving all they way down there for a cross race. Although I would love to halucinate that I could jump into Nationals, I think we all know better.

I actually am a little depressed writting about the end of cross season. I had an incredible time doing the races and won't know what to do with my weekends when they end.

Baby Stuff?

So, I went shopping for a baby gift Saturday afternoon. Standing in the Macy's baby deptartment a woman must have mistaken my disheveled, "I partied way too hard Friday to be here Saturday" look for the "I have no clue what I am doing" look.

She approaches me and asks me if I need help. I reply that I have had some pretty good experience with purchasing baby clothes but thanks. Later we are looking at the same rack of clothes, and I ask her . . .

"Are baby clothes like "I have enough baby clothes and I don't need anymore, or is it, 'I can never have enough baby clothes'?"

She replies asking how old the baby is ? . . . . I tell her ~3.5 months. To which she says, "Never enough baby clothes."

I made my gift decisions accordingly.

As for what went on Friday, lets just say "The Band" got back together. We don't play insturments but we definitely having the drinking and smoking part down.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Indoor Rock Climbing

Yeah, fall is upon us. So it is time to head back indoors and climb it up!

I bouldered for an hour today. Just enough to remind my hands of what a blister is and what callouses are for. I am nowhere near god's gift to rock climbing maybe it is time to take another lesson.

If you are from around the Philly area and want to learn how to climb, check out the Philadelphia Rock Gym. The staff is super friendly and their climbing wall rocks!!

12 Reasons to love Cyclocross

Since I'm not racing this weekend, I write a slightly less poetic version of a love sonet to cyclocross . . .

1) The Chaotic Start. Since a cross race lasts only one hour to 40 minutes, having a good start takes a whole new level of importance. The gun goes off and chaos insues. Most races start on pavement and turn onto grass, and then proceed to a very narrow turn at high speeds. Fun stuff.

2) Off Camber Turns. Being the Cat 5 squirrel, off camber turns add a bit of excitement that I think the more skilled cross rider misses.

3) Falling over endlessly. So this doesn't happen that much anymore. But I must have fallen about half a dozen times at Garnouge this year. The "s" turn on the down hill owned me. I think that race really taught me how to takes lines though, because I stuck around for the pro races. Just watching those guys seemingly "yawn" through the course was a lot of fun.

4) Witenssing live carnage on the course! Since the race is so chaotic, there tends to be a good amount of carnage on the first few laps. Riders flying over handle bars!! Riders eating sand!! All while you try to stay up right. One rider finished Beacon with a set of broken handler bars.

5) The feeling that my lungs are about to jump out of my body. It always happens on the second lap. My lungs explode! It is hard to explain. For the entire second lap, I'm usually so cooked that my lungs ache and I feel a burning in my chest. By the 3rd lap, I'm back to normal. (Maybe I'm just horribly out of shape.)

6) A good excuse to get up at 6:30 am on a Saturday. And if your race is on Sunday, you don't feel bad falling asleep on the couch Sunday afternoon.

7) "Hold your line!!!" The screams from other riders on the course. Now I freely admit not to being the best cross racer. But if you are racing the "C" race, I wouldn't come in with expectations that anyone is gonna hold their line. If it really means that much to you, you should probably quit sandbaggin in the C race or get a quick start and show us which line to follow.

8) Sandbaggin. ( I haven't seen that many sandbaggers this year but I'm too far in the rear to notice.)

9) The Mabsbs email list. If you want to read non-stop cross talk and non-cross talk then you should really join this list. You can easly kill half an hour of your day keeping up with this list.
Another great cross site . . . . is the video podcast CrossTalk.

10) Cross practice. A gathering of 12 like minded cross riders on a Wednesday afternoon, they teach you how to properly dismount, and carry your bike. I can't think of a better way to get muddy on a weekday.

11) The People! Cross riders kick ass. They are very easy going and are there to have a good time. My fellow cross riders make the race very enjoyable. I look forward to every race because of you.

and finally the beer! Drinking in the beer tent at the Wissahikon Cross with all the other riders, enjoying some quality cross racing was a great time.

So there you have it 12 reason, Cyclocross kicks ass. Now grab your bike and go ride!!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

The water polo team warms up with a game of sharks and minows.

Two a Days!!

So, tomorrow it begins!!!

My boy, Ravi, laid down the twice a day blogging challenge for the next 30 days. I told him I would be up for it. That means I will have 60 new blogs for the next 30 days. ( I thought I would do the math for people not so good at it. ) What am I going to blog about? That is a very good question. I have decided to most blog about cyclocross and all things that involve my pathetic attempt to be a cyclist. So stay tuned kids and see how the challenge turns out . . . .

Friday, November 10, 2006

Through the rain a light of hope!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Workin on my man boobs!

In other words, I've been doing pushups.

What am I getting fit for? I really have no idea. I have two definite goals for Summer 07. One is to join a local cycling club and compete regularly. The other is to do the Chesapeake Bay Swim, a 4.4 mile swim across the Chesapeake Bay Swim.

My sub-goal is to not get a speeding ticket driving to the Chesapeake Bay Swim. :)

Another sub-goal maybe to do the Chesapeake Man Ironman Distance Triathlon!!!! Thats right kids, a return to the sport that started it all!

We'll see. As Joel Friel says, "Talk is cheap."

Monday, November 06, 2006

A Poem

I once had a brother named Dave,
who would never remember to bathe.
He grew such a funk,
that with ladies he stunk,
and has not had a date in days.

(There was an altertanate ending to this poem, but I just didn't have the heart to publish it.)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Halloween Pics

Well, apparently my presence scares away the rest of the Big Wheel Biker Gang, cause it was only myself and Johnny D out for Halloween. Johnny D dressed up as Batman, and I was "that 70's guy"

Quotoe of the night, "There is a mask on a horse!"

Photo Album here

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


who knew Halloween after college could be so fuN?!!?!

Pics might follow but they might not.