Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The 3 inch mustache

I am currently growing a three inch mustache, a mustache so small you can only see it from 3 inches from my face.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Veggie Challenge Continued

The Vegetarian Challenge is still going strong.

I feasted on some veggie burgers tonight.

In cycling news, the base training has started. Nothing serious. Just spinning indoors.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Vegetarian Update

Day 4 of the Vegetarian challenge. No cheating and no I have not had Spaghetti every night. Eating plenty of veggies and feeling fine.

What did I really give up when I took on this challenge? Here is what I figure I've lost:
  • Wawa Turkey Hoagies
  • Horsham Pizza Cheesesteak
  • Pork Chops
  • Chicken Parm Pizza
So the Vegetarian Challenge should not be a problem.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Base Training

Got a simple 30 mile ride in today. Just cruising down the Schuylkill River Trail.

The NY Times had a great article about consistency, specificity in training and how it affects an athlete's physiology.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Vegetarian Challenge

I am a fan of Tim Ferriss' blog and book.

The Four Hour Work Week.

His blog is all about lifestyle design and challenging the status quo. In the spirit of that I going Vegetarian from Sunday Nov. 25th to Dec. 24th.

I know its nothing Earth shattering but it should be fun.

In a similar vein, I have fallen in love with all things salsa. As a result, I have started also making my own salsa. It is a closer to Pico de Gallo than salsa at the but far more fresher and lots more spice.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Pavement Single

A quality Pavement Single for you all . . . .

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Granogue and Wissahickon Weekend

My goal for the weekend was not too get lapped and failure is a feeling I am familar with, even before this weekend. Thats right racing B's was tough going.

Granogue: My focus for this race was to be smooth and try to crank the pace when I could. I am a roadie so I consider this course fairly technical. My start was "ok" considering I was in the rear and I was fairly smooth the first two laps. However, once I got tired and everything begins to hurt, my abilities to sink like a rock. I had slipped back a little too much and was trying to catch a group of 3 infront of me. I was about 10 bikes lengths behind them when two of them just quit. They rode into the pits and never came back. The 3rd quit about half lap later. Well, I aint quiting so I finished up the race.

Wissahickon: This race was just painful. Too hot. Too fast. I felt like puking at 2 laps into the race. There is nowhere to rest and recover during the race. You constantly need to be pushing it. My bro and sister came out to the race. I told them didn't need to cheer for me when I was in last place, cause no one likes cheering for a loser. (just ask an Eagle's fan) The highlight of this race was someone in the second row of the start rolled a tubular 5 feet into the race. Huge pile up that everyone had to ride around. I saw some guy running with a completely taco'd tire.

Chilling with the team during the other races was fun. and in conclusion Pro's are very fast. You can read cyclingnews if you want read about Johnson and Powers beating up on the Elite Mens field.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

MAC Cyclocross Begins!

Thats right kids, time for some real cross racing.

Granogue and then Wissahickon. I'm kinda pumped. Not as fit as I was hoping, but things have been busy. I'm a little scared of Granogue, cause last year that race kicked my ass.

I was faced with the decision of having to choose between racing the B category or racing the C category. I decided it was time to step up and 'B' a man, besides who likes racing early in the morning anyway.

My goal for the races are nice and simple. Don't get lapped. I have no delusions of grandeur, but I do want to keep things respectable.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Bucks County Covered Bridge Ride

Sunday morning, Dr. J and I went to the Bucks County Covered Bridge Ride. It was an hour drive to middle of nowhere Bucks County PA. We get out of the car at 8 am, and it occurs to me. It is 36 degrees outside. It was COLD, but the high today was supposed to be 69 in Philadelphia.

I took stock of what I had to wear. I had leg warmers, arm warmers, polypropolene layer, and a wind jacket. For some reason, I didn't think that was enough. We sign up and I grab a cup of coffee. I'm still freezing. I tell Dr. J that I am hanging in the car until it warms up. At 8:30 I decide to stop being a wus and get on my bike and ride wearing every piece of clothing I had.

I have not done a lot of these organized group rides. I go on group rides but with other cyclists that race or ride a ton. The average rec cyclist is not someone I ride next to everyday. There were certainly a few times when I was concerned about people riding a bit goofy. The other thing that amazed me was that no one called out cars. No one called out turns. No one talked about change of pace. I took it upon myself to call out cars and turns when near crowds. I would say "Hi" to people as I passed them. It felt like the right thing to do.

The ride itself was 63 hilly miles of fun. Lots of great scenery. 6 covered bridges and rest stops along the way. I never ate so much during a ride in my life. All in all the ride was GREAT!

Here is a little link to the Bucks County Covered Bridge Ride.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Racing Commuter Style

I would like to coin a new cycling term called racing commuter style.

Commuter Style would refer to riding your race bike to the race. Doing the race on the bike you rode there and riding back home, hence commuter style. I'm not talking about racing on a commuter bike, but a legitmate road bike. Don't get me confused with those crazies in London.

So last weekend I rode to my first cyclocross race of the season did the race and yes I did it commuter style. It was a 30+ mile ride to the race and it was alot of fun. I got but kicked in the race, but I ended up getting 70+ miles by the end of the day.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Recycle your running shoes

If you are anything like me, you have plenty of reasons to drink. But this post has nothing to do with that.

If you are anything like me, you may have the running shoe build up. I currently have 7 pairs of running shoes in my closet. Some over 2+ years old. Yes those boxes have running shoes in them.

You can recycle running shoes!!!
Nike seems to have a good program, but I am certain you can have any running store recycle them for you.

So go recycle those shoes when you are done running in them. They will turn in them into a basketball court.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

What would David Lee Roth Do?

When you are lost in indecision, I suggest you ask yourself one simple question.

What would David Lee Roth do?

You will have your answer.

Yes, The Van Halen in Philadelphia was awesome.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Park Bike Repair Website

I've begun fixing the cross bike for the season (yes I know I am behind schedule). I came across this website and I love it. It is excellent for all things bike repair.

Park Tool Repair

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

100on100, Running 100 miles in Vermont

Long time no blog. yada yada yada . . .

Put in a strong 30 minute run last night. Running at night is great. Nice cool. Everything looks different. I can say it gets me in shape for Cyclo-cross.

More importantly I am preparing my legs for the beating they are sure to be taking this weekend. I have joined a team for the 100on100. I am part of a 5 person relay team to run a 100 miles on route 100 in Vermont. It should be a really good time. Hopefully, I'll have some nice pics.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Peace a Pizza

These slices are huge!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Sunset Sprint Triathlon Race Report

On Saturday July 14th, I got up at the ass crack of dawn and headed down to Bridgeton NJ to compete in the Sunset Sprint Triathlon. The Sunset Sprint Triathlon consists of a 800 meter swim, 16 mile bike, and a 5k run. This was my first triathlon in 2 years, my coming out of retirement race.

I went down there with "the Good Doctor" and "the boss man". The good doctor was doing her first Triathlon and "the boss man" was doing the duathlon. We threw everything into the Boss Man's minivan and headed to the race. We got there, signed all the papers and proceeded to get ready. I am pumped. Moment of Truth Time Baby!!!

But before the Moment of Truth, we need to walk from where you park the car to the transistion area, which is about 1/2 a mile away. By the time, we got to the transition area, I heard someone shout 10 minutes till wave 1 goes. Thats Me!!! I set up my transition area like it is old news and roll to the beach.

The water was a balmy 84 degrees. No wetsuits! The gun goes off and we go running into the water. I hadn't swam since the Cheasapeake Bay Swim, so my swimming form was off. WAY OFF! I was swimming like a horse. I swam in 14:36. Not exactly fast. But the swim never matters in a triathlon.

Transition 1 went Smooth like Colt 45 Double Malt. 1:23.

Out on the bike. This where I was prepared to hear the lamenations of the women. I wanted a fast bike split. I sprinted out of the transition area, hopped on the bike and I was off. I stayed tucked in my bars and started hunting people down. The first half of the bike I passed people at a steady rate. It was great to pass guys on Cervelo P2's with full areo disc wheel set up. By the second half I could tell I may have burned my candle a little too much in the start, cause I was starting to fade. I ended up averaging 21.4 mph for a 44:49 bike split. This was the 23rd fastest bike split. Not too bad I guess. The bike course was flat as a pancake (minus a false flat here and there) and a full aero-set up was a HUGE advantage for the tri-geeks racing today. I perfer a more rolling time trial course that keeps people honest.

Transition 2. Smooth like Butter. (with the exception that I ran past my transition spot) 1:31

I start running. Well not really. More like jogging. I didn't start running till 1 mile into run. The course had a few off road sections. Not very hilly but not completely flat. I ran it in for a 22:56 5k. Not exactly a stellar 5k. I was not in the mood to hop in my pain cave during the run. I told myself if someone in my age group passes me then I will have to turn it on. Otherwise, I'm chilling. No one passed me so I chilled.

Final time: 1:25:13.

Well, all this work got me 28th overall out of 170 and more importantly 3rd in my age group. I ended up getting the Second place age group trophy cause the 1st place guy got 2nd overall.

So many people chill through transitions, but I refuse. The clock is always ticking, and putting a minute into your potential competition can be huge by the end of a sprint triathlon. My transitition times helped earn me a extra placing, without it I may have been 3rd in my age group.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Allentown Criterium

Ever had a race go so bad, that if your bike flew off the bike roof rack on the way home, you wouldn't have stopped to get the bike.

I probably wouldn't have even hit the brakes.

[Editor's Note] Thanks to Matteis for telling to me to get over myself by informing that maybe Triathlon, BBQ and Beers Saturday, Criterium Sunday is not a recipie for success.

Friday, July 13, 2007


I want to ride my bicycle!

A nice hole in my bike saddle

Either my ass got fat or that saddle just can't handle the increased mileage? Yes that is a picture of my Bianchi Gel Selli Italia bicycle saddle. My perfered saddle bit the dust when I bit the dust at the Syracuse Criterium earlier this year. I think it is time for a new saddle?

Ok, who is the prankster that put areobars on my bars? Um, I'm that prankster. Thats right kids, I'm coming out of triathlon retirement tomorrow. I will be competing in the beautiful Sunset Sprint Triathlon of Bridgeton, NJ. It has a 800 meter swim, 16 mile bike and 5k run. A coworker of mine is also doing it so I am looking forward to taking his pride.

I was at the Thursday night crit yesterday and had the following exchange with a fellow cycling aquantance.

Me: You racing this weekend?
He: Yeah, I'm doing Millport on Saturday, and Allentown on Sunday. You?
Me: Doing Allentown, Doing a Triathlon on Saturday so I can't do Millport.
He: You do triathlons?
Me: Not really.
He: You swim?
Me: I know how to swim. I figure it will a time trial surrounded by a swim and a run.
(laughs, end scene)

So I lied a little . . . yeah I know how to swim. Yeah, I've done a few triathlons.

One thing I have learned is never tell serious cyclists you are a triathlete. They will automatically make alot of assumptions about how you ride in a pack and how you handle a bike. Most of these assumptions are 100% correct, but I feel after doing a season of cyclo-cross and road cycling that I have shed my triathlon roots.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

New Cycling Helmet

Yes, that is a cycling helmet to the right.
Yes, it is the weirdest helmet you ever seen.
Yes, it would hotter than the surface of the sun inside that thing.

Want to earn 5 bucks?

Take a pic of you wearing it to your local criterium.

Read more here

Who is watching the Tour de France?

Who is watching the Tour de France?

Before we answer this question lets think back to a week ago. The Tour de France was 2 days away and the general attitude was:

"Who cares?"

"I'm not going to watch the Tour."

"They are all a bunch of dopers."

Everyone was sour grapes over last years tour. And why? Doping allegations turned everybody off causing world wide shrinkage in the phallus of competitive cycling. I'm not going to argue that dopers don't suck, but I'm asking you to put your memory of the doping aside. Do that and all of the sudden last year's Tour was the more exciting than your first experience with aerosol containers.

I cannot get behind the movement to ignore the 2007 Tour de France. The Tour de France still has the excitement of previous years. If not more so. Lance Armstrong is no longer available to crush the competition. Who knows who is going to win?

Levi? (Snicker, Snicker)

Vino or Kloden? ( Ten bucks says they get in fight over who is leading Astana before the Tour hits Paris. I could see them attacking each other on the climbs.)

Pereiro? (Was last year a fluke?)

So lets all take our little blue pill for competitive cycling. Get back the excitement you had on prom night. You are missing a great Tour de France.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Meetin' Floyd

It ain't every day you meet a winner of the Tour de France. Floyd was at the Chester County Bookseller pimpin' his book and answering questions.

I expected him to talk but he wanted to answer anyone's questions.

Some highlight questions were . .
"What do you think of Greg Lemond?"
He gave a pretty safe answer. He is a great cyclist but I don't know him well.

"What advice would you give to get better at cycling?" He gave the classic answer, Ride your bike more.

The best question was if Levi wins the tour will he be caught for doping? There was no correct answer to the question. He laughed and said he didn't know how to answer that.

When I got to meet him, I invited him out to the Thursday night Criterium. He said we would probably crash him. Admitting the squirrely nature of the ride, I agreed and wished him the best of luck.

He seems like a really nice guy, especially since he should be angry at the world right now.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Brownstown Race Report

The riders should have asked me, "how I would like my own ass served to me?" before the beginning of the race. I would have replied, "over easy"

I got my own ass handed to me. It was embarrassing. My legs felt like pooh. My legs still feel like pooh and it is now Monday night. Anyways, I think it was from the increase in training and not being peaked fitness wise for the race at all.

I'll be racing again next weekend.

Thursday, June 28, 2007


You hear that? Thats money in the bank friend. No not the kind of money that will buy me anything. But that kind of money that will get me plenty of Tuna.

What the hell am I talking about?

Just finished another 4 days of training. I put in close to 120 miles by getting a 50 miler on Wednesday and then riding out to the Thursday night crit.

A few highlights from the crit:
  • When I get to the crit some 4 year old girl on a pink huffy with training wheels, toes up to the line. She headbutted me on lap four. (ok that didn't really happen.)
  • Some dood blew a snot rocket mid pack. Needless to say I fell victim to his little rocket attack. Couldn't he move out into the wind for 10 seconds and blow snot elsewhere.
  • Riding in the first 20 riders is much easier than riding in the last 20 riders.
  • I was sucking the wind of some Crit Monkey when he runs over a water bottle. That woke me up. For just a split second, I thought for sure we were going down. Luckily he was a good heavy crit monkey (perhaps baboon) and that bottle squirted out from his wheel and shot to the left.
  • Hung on for 29 of 30 laps. Died at the end. What can you do?
  • Looked up from finishing the crit, only to see a dark impending cloud of doom to the Northwest. How did that get there? Storms come from the east. I had a nice time trial home from the crit to avoid getting rained on. The tail wind in some sections sent me flying. I was dead tired, but I was a dry dead tired when I got home.
  • I need to think of something else to eat for dinner besides pasta and a protein shake. Anyone got ideas?
I pop my Cat. 4 cherry this weekend. Brownstone Road Race. Boohay!!!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Who goes to Hooters for the wings?

apparently someone

Editors Note: This pick is from the work fridge. Or the science experiment as some call it. I was grossed out that someone actually felt the need to reheat food from hooters.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Two beer Qu . . . you know the rest

There has been some riding going on here kids.

Over 190 miles this week. Getting work done.

I think all this riding may have lowered my tolerance quite a bit this weekend. I had a few beers, two to be exact. I was more than buzzed. I was stumbling.

Then the next day

After a 50 mile ride, I cooked up my favorite post ride treat. New York Strip steak, some veggie sides, and two Lionshead beers. Buzzed once again. The buzz would be expected if I was downing bottles of Chimay, but Lionshead is a light beer.

I guess this is a great reason to get on my ride on.

In case you don't know. . . . Lionshead is one of the best beers money can buy when low on cash. 10 bucks for a case and none of the oh crap I'm gonna die cause I just had too much Bud feeling.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Did I really just ride that much?

Guess who is a Cat. 4? This guy. Boohay baby! Boohay!

To get in shape for the next month of racing, I managed to do 120 miles in the last 4 days. Don't beleive me? Here we go . . .

Monday: 30 miles on the river trail. Ran into a friend of mine from racing this season. It was good passing the time on the bike with somebody.

Tuesday: 20 miles. Did some hill repeats. 4 minutes up the hill, 2 minutes down. Rinse, Wash, Repeat. Ended the ride on the rollers to avoid threatening storms. Yes, my vagina is deep and cavernous.

Wednesday: 30 miles around town. Nothing serious. Just some active recovery from the hills.

Thursday: 45 miles. I road out to the Great Valley Criterium. As I was riding easy, my teamates caught me who were riding to it. We ended up hammering over to the Crit and got there half an hour early. No worries about warming up.

The Crit started well. It was very windy. There were times when people in the front could not stretch out the field. I managed to get my fat ass up to the front for a lap and a half, but I was pegged after that. I dropped to the back and gave myself a lap. When I hopped on the field I road in the mid pack and let other people work for the rest of the ride.

Cruised on home with my teammates. It was a great day. Looking forward to a day off tomorrow.

No racing this weekend just riding. I'll break my Cat 4 cherry next weekend.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Much Better Cycling Blogs

I appreciate that you visit this blog. Maybe this is your first vist, maybe you are one of the few the proud, the regular readers. (all 4 of you)

Well here are some much better cycling blogs for your reading pleasure . . .

1) Mud and Cowbells is a great cyclo-cross focused blog. Occasionally straying into all things professional cycling and mountain biking. He has some well stated opinions and gives you some insight into cycling scene in Colorado. A must read for myself.

2) Belgium Knee Warmers is another fine blog. Much in the same vein as Mud and Cowbells just a little more road cycling focused. I have just regularly started reading this blog and I love it.

3) Gewilli a great cycling blog. He covers a lot of different aspects of cycling and goes into topics of riding that I find helpful.

4) DrunkCyclist. Do I need to say more? Oh, Big Jonny got rid of the porn so I am almost certain that site is safe for work. Enjoy.

Another fine thing about all of these blogs is that each has a great blog roll. If you want to find other great cycling blogs just click on any of their links. Chances are you will strike some cycling blog gold.

I should post a little honorable mention to a teammate's blog that just got started. Al, a very talented Cat. 2 cyclist for Human Zoom, started his blog, Bridging The Gap, a few weeks ago. If you want to feel slow hit it up.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Got more itches . . .

I've decided I don't ride enough . . .

I'm not talking about training rides. Although one could easily argue I need to be doing more of that.

I want to be ride to work. I want to ride to my friends place for a little barbecue. I want ride to the bar, throw down too many beers and walk home. Wake up in the morning and remember that I left my bike at the bar. Run back to the bar and ride back home. I want to ride to the grocery store. I want to ride all over town cause shit, I got nothing else to do son.

Needless to say there will be more riding in the next few months. I will start to explore ways of integrating the bike. Unfortunately, my suburban highway surrounded condo does not lend itself to the cruising lifestyle.

This may sound blasphemous to some readers of this blog but I don't own a mountain bike. But I've got the itch. Thinking about getting a Cannondale. Probably something I could race a little.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Chesapeake Bay Swim

So I haven't blogged much about this but several months ago I signed up for the Great Chesapeake Bay Swim, a 4.4 mile open water swim across the Chesapeake Bay. The swim took place today . . .

A little back story . . . I didn't really train for this. I did a few 2500+ meter swims a few weeks ago, but then I got sick and crashed on my bike. This ruined any training I had going. I did two 1000 meter workouts to get a feel for the water last week. Not one to back down . . . I shrug my shoulders and head down to Anapolis, MD to get this done.

The morning of the race, we (me and my lady friend) get off the shuttle bus that takes you to the race start. It is overcast skies and spitting rain. I keep repeating how I hope the sun shows up. We have 1.5 hours till race start. We chill out on grass after picking up the race packets. Before we know it has stopped raining, and it is time for the pre-swim talk.

The pre-swim talk was very important because this where everyone learns about what the currents are doing. This is key. Today the current was taking us out to the ocean until 11:15 and then it was a slack tide turning into a current that pushes you into the bay. My wave (the slow wave) starts at 9:30, so timing which side of the race "course" you swam on would be determined by your pace.

The course consists of 500 meters to a set of buoys then you swim under the south bound Bay Bridge. You swim between the two bridges for most of the race. With 600 meters to go you swim under the North Bound Bridge and swim to the shore.

I have the wet-suit on and I am in full triathlon mode. I'm goofing off, doing stupid dances and jokes to occupy my mind before the race. I head over to the start beach before my wave begins and joke with people about the water being cold (it was 73, far from cold) and how I don't like to get wet. The start was a running start into the water. My mind was in full triathlon mode that this point. (Let's do work!)

The gun goes off, and I walk into the water (very un-tri style). If it were a triathlon, I would have jumped in the water like Randy Macho Man Savage jumping in a wrestling ring. Well, it turned out the first half a mile was like wrestle-mainia anyway. I was swimming around, under and over people. When the turn was made into the bridges, I stayed close to the South bound bridge. This resulted into a scrum with other swimmers everytime we came across another pylon. At one point I put my hand on another swimmers shoulders and just pushed him off me. There was no point of him trying to swim on top of me and I felt it was the nicest thing I could do. In Tri-mode I would have kicked him for good measure.

After the wrestling is over, everyone finds their pace and thing settle. Before I know it I see the first mile marker. I try to focus on just keeping my pace and not getting too tired. I notice I am swimming in the middle of the two bridges, so I start to swim towards the South Bound bridge. The current must have been working, because despite swimming in that direction, my general location in the channel never changed.

Mile 2 came and gone. It felt fairly long. I told myself just another half hour to get mile 3 behind me. This seemed to take another very long time. I just kept swimming. While swimming, I would entertain myself by singing in my head or just imagining being done. Mostly I just focused on my form, the current and trying to feel good.

Finally I reached mile 3. A little after the 3rd mile marker was the second food boat. I decided to grab on to the boat and stretch my shoulders. They were definitely a little soar. I stretch a bit and keep swimming. The 4th mile marker came up way too quickly and that is because it was placed poorly. I start swimming with a purpose thinking I'm close to the end. At this point my shoulders felt like two hot irons were in each of them. With each stroke, my arms were crying. Screw it. I was almost done. Well, this almost done feeling lasted for about 40 minutes.

The biggest tease is seeing the shore very close and then crossing under the North bound bridge and seeing the finish about 600 meters away. My form was completely destroyed and my shoulders ached. This section was shallow enough to almost walk it in. I stopped a few times to stretch but I swam it in.

Coming out of the water, everyone cheers for you. Awesome. Someone get me a beer!

So . . . 2 hours and 21 minutes later I managed to finish the cross Chesapeake Bay Swim. My lady friend finished in 1 hour and 41 minutes. (I'll be worried when she cycles faster than me.)

It was a lot of fun. I think they should have created a race category based on who trained the least and got the fastest time. I am almost certain I won that category.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Weekend Races . . .

Two fairly big races this weekend.

1) The Mount Penn Road Race. It consists of a 3 mile loop. (road race?, more like circuit race). Up Mount Penn, Down Mount Penn. Repeat. It should be a good time.

2) Habitat for Humanity Race. This one is a little tougher to describe. Another 3 mile loop only it contains a nice descent into a turn. Followed by a turn onto a very narrow bridge. Followed by a climb ending with a 180 degree turn. The course applies the pain in large doses.

So I did half Thursday night Crit last night. About half way through my wrist hurt so bad, it was hard to concentrate on riding the bike. Luckily it was a right turn crit and my left wrist is the problem. I think I can still race, so we'll see how these races go.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

More from Syracuse

My teammate and I were at The Dinosaur Bar, a great BBQ hut in Syracuse after the Crit. Here I am all bandaged up and he had scars on his face from a crash 4 weeks ago. The waitress looks at us and says . . ."Did you two get in a fight?"

I tell her, "Nope. just racing our bikes."

She replies, "Boys will be boys."

Yes we will.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Syracuse Race Report

What up yall? Everyone have a good Memorial Day weekend? Excellent. I travelled on up to Syracuse with a teammate of mine to race the Syracuse Stage Race. That's right, my first stage race. Here is how things went down.

The Syracuse race was awesome. It was scored based on points. Which gave each event relevance.

(Editors note: If you want to read the interesting section skip to Sunday.)

Saturday morning was the 30 mile Road Race. 1 loop with ~1.7 mile climb about half way through and a ~.3 mile up hill finish to top things off. Flashback to earlier that week. My allergies had grabbed a hold of my body and were not letting go. As a result, I road my bike on Thursday for about 20 miles. That's it. Not exactly maintaining the fitness. . . . . I ride with the pack on the course and try to climb with the leaders. Well that lasts about half way up the climb and I pop. I cruise the rest of the way. I figure it will be a long weekend, and there is no need to bake myself in the wind. I spin it on in for an amazing 42 place. Awesome.

Saturday afternoon: The one mile TT. Yep you read that right. It had about 7 turns and a ramp off a curb too! My lack research on the TT course layout resulted in a less than stellar performance. I would have liked to have the result back, cause I really felt I could have done much better. I did 2:37 which put about 33rd for the TT. No worries, the crit is all mine.

Sunday morning: 15 lap criterium.

A little back story: My cycling results have had me in the dumps lately. I know that I may have had some bad luck, but at the same time I did not feel that I did anything to proactively have a positive result. Too often I just cruise in the back, talk to fellow riders and wait for the crash to happen and hope it ain't me involved. I felt I need to throw on the game face and get a top ten result. Something that represents the abilities that I know I have.

Crit Course Description: A beautiful "no corner" crit. The course had a little 'S' turn going up a power hill followed by a sweeping left turn down the hill into a rough section of pavement. After that you are back at the start/finish and two turns away from the 'S'. Nothing that should cause anyone too many worries. Best of all there was rumors of a beer preem.

With my less than stellar results in the road race and TT, allergies or no allergies, I felt this criterium was for me. Here is where my result would be made. . .

At the start of the crit the announcer grabs the mic and ask the riders to raise their hands if it is their first criterium. A few raise their hands. All he says is, "Be Careful." Way to put the fear of god in them. Excellent.

The criterium starts! It is fast from the gun and I am loving it. The first three laps did not string out the pack but the pace was fast enough that group was not riding any larger than 3 wide. I could tell that this pace would weed out riders and that is always a good thing. I am hanging in the rear of the group, doing what I normally do. However I had no worries about maintaining with this pace because of my work with the Thursday Great Valley Crit was still harder than this race.

Then the beer preem comes. All of the sudden the pace goes up even higher. No I didn't win the beer, however I loved the faster pace. I made a few moves around slower riders knowing that riding any fewer than 10 back or so could now get me in trouble. I'm riding great and feeling awesome.

Before I know it. We have 6 laps to go and I am sitting among the front 15 riders. I am feeling good. I hear my teammate cheering for me and I don't want to disappoint him. I felt that this would be my day if I stayed smart. I drank some fluid in preparation for the last 3 laps to be very fast. I didn't want an empty engine when I needed to work.

At 2 laps to go, 3 riders break off the front. Riders in the front of the pack look at each other. Someone yells from the back, "time to work boys". He must have gotten annoyed cause he came around us in the front and bridged the gap for the group. I managed to hop on his wheel as he went. I am now sitting in the top 4 riders. One lap to go . . . I am where I should be . . . let the chaos begin.

We zip through the start/finish. The pace is fast, but I am not on the rivet just riding hard. Coming out of the second turn, two riders directly to my right crash. All I think is. . . there it is . . . the crash that starts the sprint. I look up to see maybe 8 guys in front of me. We power up the climb. It doesn't seem like anyone is really behind us. We are hammering down the hill. I start thinking about positioning myself to pass a few people before the line and get myself the top ten finish I wanted. I hop on a wheel.

Just then the rider in front of me bumps the rider to his left. The pavement is very rough in this section and he goes down. There is nowhere for me to go. Two thoughts go through my mind as I see the guy in front of me crash and realize I cannot avoid him. The first thought was one of extreme disappointment. I had just road what I thought was going to be the perfect criterium race, and this jerk took it from me. The second thought was much more immediate, BRACE FOR IMPACT!!!

My front wheel hits him and I proceed fly through the air. I curl up in a ball and wait for the . . .THUD! I get up. Road rash on my hip elbow and shoulder, and my wrist really aches. All I can think about is how I need to finish. Maybe I can still get a top ten. Why did this bastard crash in front of me? A very kind lady walks over to help me. She asks, "Am I ok" and tells me to walk off the course. I tell her, I need to finish the race. I grab my bike and in my confusion start to hop on. Someone straightens my saddle as he sees me getting on the bike. I ride off to the finish line with a face of disgust. I cross the finish line in 27th place. Merry Christmas.

So here am I looking a little bit more like a hamburger than anyone really ever wants. I don't feel that bad about my result anymore. I was strong enough to ride with everyone and I cannot control every rider on the course. Every decision I made during the race was a correct one.

There are more races this coming weekend . . . See you there.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

A univerisal truth?

Every cyclist you ever rooted for is a doper. How depressing . . .

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Whats up yall?

I got a question. How come every shirt sold in America is made for a man who is approximately one and half my size? Why? I don't remember looking like a giant kite every coming into style? What gives?

Someone please find Uncle Charles a fitted shirt store!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Sunday . . .

Hey kids, what up? I have a question for all of you. Am I training for a half ironman? No. Good, I didn't think I was but if you asked me what I did today you might think otherwise.

Today, I got up. Ate some breakfast. (coffee and an everything bagel covered in Nutella). Then I went to the pool and swam 2500 meters in the outdoor 50 meter pool. I am making a rather hurried attempt to be prepared for the 4.4 mile Bay Swim.

After that . . . I went home, had some lunch and rested. Then I figured it was way too nice outside to not ride my bike. My inner voice was not going to let me lay on the couch the rest of the day. So what do I do? I did this. . . .

This ended up being a little 50 mile ride through some great farm country in pickering valley. Unfortunately my bike did not feel like shifting into the lowest gear. This became a problem when climbing, which was often because this ride was anything but flat. Traffic was almost none until I decided I was tired and hungry. Once that occured I decided to take route 401 home. I normally would never ride on Route 401 on purpose but I was desparate for my couch.

Around mile 36 I felt very very bonky. This should not be a surprise, considering I took only a water and a gatoraide with me. There is no greater feeling on a long ride than being low on sugar and seeing a WaWa appear over the hill. It is amazing!!! I bought 2 gatoraides, a Tastykake Junior Pound Cake and a Cliff Bar. Tastykakes are the best because the sugar enters my system almost immediately. I bought 2 gatoraides because I was not sure of how long the ride would last. ( I only consumed one.)

So I might be a little tired in the morning. Thats all right though. Its Monday and who wants to be awake for that?

Monday, April 30, 2007

Time for a blog?

Yes, I would say I'm a little past due kids. Sorry about that, April has turned me into a busy little bear who also struggles with an extreme bought of laziness.

This may sound like a contradiction but it isn't. You can be busy and still be lazy, or at least I somehow manage. When I am lazy, I don't just mean a little down time. I shut down everything. Blogging, working out, concentrating on my fitness. everything.

I'm trying to shed the laziness this week. The busy month of April is behind me and I can concentrate again.

So what have I been up to? . . .

  • Well, Vegas was 3 weeks ago. But still very much in alive in my heart. A certain T-Pain song comes to mind.
  • Lower Providence Criterium was two weeks ago. Tons of fun. I was off the front for a lap in my effort to grab some T.V. time. Then I went to the middle of pack to recover. Sure enough a crash happens at two laps to go. Good News: I moved around it despite being two riders behind it. Bad News: Everyone in front of it saw that as the chance to sprint away from the rest of the field. I finished 29th.
  • Travelled to Florida for a wedding and a little relaxation. I went water skiing for the very first time. It is awesome and a lot of fun. Definitely do it if you get a chance.
  • I severely need to start swimming for the cross Chesapeake Bay Swim. I've got a month and a half. DOH!!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Where does all the money go?

Beers, bikes and boobs.

The first and the last are obvious considering where I spent my weekend. Yeah, Vegas!!! But a bike?!?! Thats right kids, I've been holding back details.

The crash from the Pineconce Circuit race totalled my Bianchi. (There was a large crack in the top tube.) However, I lucked out. The team had a frame in my size so I purchased it and they are throwing my components on a lovely new Cannondale CAAD 9 frame. I pick up the new frame today along with a new set of Bontrager Race X Lites.

I'll post some picks of both bikes in a few days.

Monday, April 16, 2007

"A Man Returns From Vegas" News at Eleven

All right kids, gather round and let me tell you about everything that I did in Las Vegas this weekend.

PSYCHE!!!! What do you think I'm crazy? Whatever pops in your imagination will no doubt surpass any stories I tell.

I would like to declare a new term. Earlier you may have read about my Parisian Hangover, which was induced by time change and too much espresso in Paris. Well, here it is to no ones suprise, The Las Vegas Hangover.

What causes the Vegas Hangover? Well, I'm sure the cause is different for everybody who leaves Las Vegas, but it feels no different from a regular hangover and generally last 12 hours from the time in which your plane (which was most certainly a red eye flight) lands.

In other news . . . man loses money at the craps table. . . and gravity still holds everything to the earth.

Finally, I almost died driving home from the airport at 2:30 am on Monday morning. The Northeaster was in full affect. The cross winds were incredible. I need to give some props to the captain for landing the plane, because that could not have been easy.

Actually, let me rewind the tape.

I decided not to fill up my gas tank before driving to the airport because I saw that my tank had 57 miles left in the tank and the trip to the Phily airport from my place is ~25 miles. No need to fill up. I drive to the airport and park the car with 30 miles of gas left in the tank. When the plan lands I hop in my car and start driving home. 30 miles of gas, No problem. I did not realize that the cross winds were going to be as bad as they were. My car was being blown across the high way at times. This of course affects fuel efficiency. I'm 5 miles from home and the car says 0 miles of gas are left. Great. So now besides the rain, winds, and what appears to be snow, I might run out of gas. AWESOME!!!

As I pull onto the on ramp for route 202, my car starts sliding all over the road. Apparently the ramp had iced over. My car head right for the barrier. I thought for sure it was going to hit it. I managed to slow the car down enough to grab control of it. All of 202 was ice. My car was swerving through two lanes, I just put on the hazard lights and kept driving. I could not slow down too much either because I didn't want to run out of gas! It was not pleasurable.

Luckily, I made it home with the car running on fumes. More importantly, I didn't hit anything.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Las Vegas!!!


Ummm, yeah, I'll be in Vegas for the weekend. Don't wait up for me.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

One Last Note On Jan

What Up? Long time, yada yada yada, No post. My apologizes. I know some of you out there were wondering when the next update was coming.

By now I am sure you have all heard the news about Jan Ullrich. If not, I feel bad being the one breaking it to you but his DNA matched that of a bag of blood found in Dr. Fuentes' fridge. You can read about it here.

When I read the news at work, I nearly started crying. I definetly put my head down for a few minutes. I am a sentimental guy. I like to beleive that my heroes are honest hard working people who have the extraordinary talents and maximized them through hard work. So now when I watch the 2003 Tour de France on DvD and I see Jan stomping through the time trial, I have trouble feeling good for him. I wonder? Was he doping? Is that why he won? It sucks.

So for while after reading the news, I wasn't sure how I should feel about the whole thing. I ignored it. But then I read this. Jan denies the whole thing. WTF? how? I don't like when a hero gets caught cheating. I hate it when the same "hero" calls me an idiot. PezCyclingNews said it best. They said that he needs to keep his mouth shut and not talk anymore. I agree.

I would have felt much better if he just admitted to it. Something to the tune of, "I cheated. I wanted badly to go out a champion in 2006. I regret it deeply." No one can blame Jan for wanting to win after coming in 2nd for so many years. It makes him more human. Almost as human as cheating.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Pinecone Road Race

Whats up kids? I'm introducing a new feature on Leave The Fan On. We ( I ) will call it the Tuesday Top Ten. That's right, I'm gonna make some stupid list of ten things, and you're gonna realize how stupid my blog really is. With out further a do . . . .

Tuesday's Top Ten:

10 Reasons the Cat 5 Pinecone Road Race should have been called the Pinecone Crash Fest.

  1. The first lap! The first lap was like riding my trainer to a Coach Troy Jacobson DvD. Every fifteen seconds we would speed up then be all over our brakes to slow it down. Fortunately this behaviour stopped after first lap and the pace settled into something a little smoother.
  2. Despite a somewhat hard right hand turn on the course, there were no crashes during the turns of the Cat. 5 Road Race. That's right all the crashes took place during the straight wide open roads.
  3. It felt like riding in the worlds longest criterium. The pace was not really hard enough to put anyone into serious pain, so the group remained together the entire time. I felt like I was riding in a criterium for 42 miles.
  4. "thunk, thunk, thunk, thunk, pffft" There is very specific noise that is made when to wheels touch each other. During the second lap, I thought to myself to move up near the front of the pack. No sooner did I move up then I heard the specific noise of two wheels touching behind me. A fellow racer pulls up next to me and calmly states, "rider down." At that moment I thought luck was on my side.
  5. 43 of 75 racers officially finished the Cat. 5 Road Race. I would take a guess that 10% of the starters were out of shape and got pulled from the race. I am willing to say that the rest were DNF due to a crash.
  6. Seeing the carnage at the ambulance. I walked past the ambulance when I finished the race. One guy's hand was gushing blood. I looked closely to see if the all fingers were accounted for. I think they were. One guy had left his team kit on the pavement from his thigh to his shoulder. Another claimed that his shoulder hurt so bad that he could not remove his jersey to have the medic look at it. The medic told him he would have to cut open his jersey if that was the case.
  7. Really learning that riding in the front 15 is where I want to race my bike in the pack.
  8. Never say "Keep the rubber side down" during a race. You will crash, and deservingly so.
  9. The giant hole section on the course created chaos. On the back stretch of the loop, the course went on a back road that had lots of pot holes and water damage. It was rideable but no one wanted to risk the flat. Which meant that the entire field would squeeze onto about 1/3 of the road. After the first few laps, everyone got used to it.
  10. I was involved in my first crash of the season!!!

So the crash . . . . It was the second to last lap of 7 on a flat course. I was stoked because I was in the middle front of the pack and I figured I could hold on for the sprint finish. I felt good. Then all hell breaks loose . . . .

There is some screaming in the front of the pack. Hmmm. No one screams near the front? I see a rider sitting up. Why is a rider sitting up? He pulls over to the left side of the road. For a second I think that everything will be fine. I am on the right side and all the rider has to do is control himself because the yellow line rule was in effect. He has the room he needs to calm down and relax. But oh no, he couldn't do that. . . He goes flying to the right side of the road. Everyone slams on the brakes. One poor rider skids his bike 90 degrees to the pack. Now everyone is really screwed. The rider to my front left is pulling right. Bad idea?!?!

Before I know what happens I am air born. Luckily the last thing I did was pull to the right, which put my airborne trajectory torwards the grass!! I do a complete forward flip. At one point during my flight, I open my eye's only to have my handle bars hit me in the face. I land on my back in the grass. I stand up. The first thought in my head is . . . "Can I catch the group?" Luckily, no serious injuries we sustained by me. I don't think other's were so lucky. One fellow was laid on the pavement. Another rider is screaming at him that he should never be allowed to race again. I don't have time to deal with that B.S.

I look at my bike. Hmmm. It seems to have gotten the worst part of the crash. I put the chain back on only to see that both wheels are horribly out of true. The rear wheel travels about an inch left to right as it spins. I did the last lap and a half because I wanted to be an official finisher, but my race was over. Somehow I finished ahead of people? who knows?

The sprint finish must have been chaotic, because I say three riders at the side of road. None of them had smiles on their faces. Ahh, I guess this is how Cat. 5 races go.

Finally, I would like to make one thing very clear. I know that this post may come off very negative about the race, but this race was a lot of FUN! I had a great time (yes, despite crashing.) Hanging out with teammates and racing with them is great.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Kirkwood Race Report

How was the weekend kids? I got some race reports for you! This is Kirkwood's Race Report.

Earlier I said think of this race as Strasburg Part Duex, and I think that description hits the nail on the head. A seven mile loop that consisted of rolling hills for the first half followed by steady risers to the finish. Cat 5. does 3 laps. The corners were fairly clean with exception of gravel here and there. None of the corners were all that tricky with the exception of possibly the downhill into a sharp left hand turn, but even that corner was manageable.

I get to the race with an hour till start time. I ride over to the registration tent and proceed to wait 15 minutes in the registration line. This is rarely a time kill. I think I just got to the tent at the absolute worst time. After getting the race kit on, I had about 10 minutes to warm up before it was time to ride over to the start finish area.

This of course is the big joke that gets played on racers. We wait 20 minutes for the previous race to finish. Granted the organizers have no way of knowing how fast or slow the previous race is going to be ridden, so I don't hold them too responsible. We all wait in the cold air for the race to finish. Wondering exactly why I even bothered warming up?

Someone yells out instructions as always and the race begins. The pace is nice and gentle in the beginning. Everyone is chilled. There is the regular sprinting out of the turns. All the fun stuff of a Cat 5 road race. I'm thinking that I should be able to finish with the pack.

There was a close call to me crashing. Coming out of one of the turns, I start sprinting because that is what the group has been doing. Apparently the group didn't feel like sprinting too much this time because I am on top of the guy in front of me. With my hands on the hoods of my bars, I ended up giving a little pat on the hiney. If my hands were not on the hoods, I would have probably went down cause his ass would have pushed my bars in one direction or another. I pull off to the left a little to avoid taking him and myself down. A second later I jokingly ask him if he wants to play grab ass. He laughed.

At some point during the first lap, I went from riding in the middle of the pack to riding in the back of pack. How did this happen? Because about 8 guys peeled off the back.

Finally, coming up the risers of the 2nd lap, There are some serious efforts being made. I know it is time for me to do work. A gap open up between me and the pack. I know I need to close this gap. I don't. I ride behind the group for about 2 miles trying needlessly to catch back on. I finish the race all by myself. No sprint to the finish.

So where is the weakness kids? What do I lack? Coach Matt pointed it out to me. Anaerobic power output! The short power climbs are my weakness. How to ride them efficiently and recover from them is currently my kryptonite! So over the next two weeks, I think I'll be focusing on trying to improve my anaerobic power.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Internet vs. Real Life

Need proof that the Internet differs from real life . . .

On MySpace multiple women are begging me to be their friend so I can see videos of their deliciously naked bodies.

In Real Life this doesn't happen so much. (but if it did, I know I wouldn't mind.)

The Double Dip this weekend!

Whats up kids? I'm doing a double dip this weekend.

Saturday we have Kirkwood Road Race. Think of it as Strasburg part duex. Another rolling course, and this time it is a seven mile loop.

Sunday we have the Pinecone Road Race. Flat as a pancake. I've heard you use 3 different gears. 6 mile loops. That race is 40 miles!! Should be fun.

Neither race is nearly as epic as the Koppenberg.

The goal for both these races is to sit in the pack and finish in the group. I know I'm not setting the bar very high, but I want some training miles at race pace. There is no need to try to go off the front to only be shot out the back a few minutes later.

Tonight we have the most fun someone can have on 2 wheels. The Thursday night Criterium in Great Valley.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Who wants to retire? This guy!!!

How are we all doing? Well, I hope.

Earlier this evening I was discussing with someone that I was worried that I might not be able to retire early. This concern tends to stress me out from time to time. I was attempting to garner some sympathy for my plite. Anyways, after this discussion the person threw a simple question my way . . .

"What do you think you will do first, Grow up or Retire?"

I replied retire. Who wants to grow up? Thats no fun.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Welcome to my Sunday

Welcome to my Sunday, Kids. As a well deserved punishment for my lack of climbing prowess during the Strasburg Road Race, I decided some hill work was in order. So I did a 60 mile route that took me through some of the more serious hills in the western suburbs of philly.

This ride took from me Devon to Downingtown and back through Valley Forge. I got a late start to the day and so the punishment was also handed out from me with love to me. In other words, I was riding solo. Sometime during the ride, I specifically wondered if there was something wrong with me that I felt that such a ride was really necessary. This thought a occured to me at multiple times while going up YellowSprings Road in Great Valley. Lets take a closer look at some of the hill sections.

For the appetizer we have a little climb into Paoli. . . . Nothing too bad

After a few miles we get to Downingtown. I breeze through my old high school parking lot and start to do what used to be a run during my cross country days and proceed to add on a little more just for fun.

There are few hill getting out of D-town and getting over to Lionville, but really worth mentioning. Cause once we get to Great Valley, we have the lovely Yellow Springs road.

Finally I went up Cassat Ave just to get more work done before calling it a day. What amuses me is that a few years ago I used to consider the ride to D-town and back a fairly serious ride. However on Sunday, I added on additional miles to the basic ride from the very beginning but I never felt like I was going long enough. Which is a great feeling, because you start to feel like you can ride forever.

Strasburg Race Report

Whats up yall? Yeah this race report is a few days late . . .

Being in the 2nd round of the Cat. 5 race meant that my start time for Strasburg was 11:49 pm. Jeez, I felt like a cat 1 rider being able to get up at 8 am and not having to worry about rushing out the door to race. I had some coffee, took a shower, read a little and then packed the car and went off to race.

An hour later I'm at the race. I register and put on the work clothes. Thankfully, Sean had a Human Zoom / Pabst Blue Ribbon jersey for me to wear. I set up my bike and do about 30 minutes of warm up on the trainer. This is actually the first time I warmed up on a trainer before a race. Which helped a hell of a lot or so I felt. After warming up I head down to the race start and proceed to stand around for 15 minutes waiting for our race to start. Ah well, so much for the warm up.

We all get in a group at the start finish and we are off! I was suspecting that the first 20 minutes of this race would be very very fast. People trying to show off at their first race of the season. I was prepared for pain! Instead what I got was a pleasent group ride through the Lancaster country side. I'm relaxed. Talking to people. Having a good old time.

The course a 5 mile loop full of rolling power climbs. Some nice decents and no real serious turns. Really nice. I notice that my power climbing just isn't there. I seem to loose a few places in the group during some of the climbs. Nothing serious though, I'm not too concerned.

After 2 laps, the pace has gotten a little more serious. The original field of ~40 is already a meager 20 or so. My legs feel good, but the hills have me concerned. So I start thinking maybe I should try climbing in the small chain ring. (When has thinking ever paid off in my benefit?) Well, I shift down for a climb and I'm dropped like the fat man that I am. I proceed to ride the third lap just off the group unable to catch back up. How frustrating is that feeling? You know you have the fitness you just made a stupid mistake.

I eventually get caught by a few riders that were "working together" after getting dropped. I hop on with them to finish the fourth lap. Of course, they all start playing cat and mouse games. I can understand, but seriously we are going to cat and mouse each other for ~20th place? Who cares? Well aparently I did. The finishing mile is a power climb followed by a swooping downhill into the finish line. After one member of the group lost his chain (poor bastard), I towed the other guy through a false flat to the bottom of this climb. I know that once we get there he is going to try and throw down the hammer. The first one over the hill is the first one to the finish. He goes around me. After letting him suck my wheel for over a mile there is no way I'm giving him 20th. I shift. I get right on his wheel. I don't wait for him to slow down. I just pull right on past him and pedal hard. By the time I'm at the top I don't even see him. I cruise downhill for 22nd place.

So what did I learn . . . .

1) A power climb is just that a power climb. Dont shift down. Suck it up and feel the pain for a few seconds or ride in the back. WAY BACK!!

2) Riding in the front is a lot easier than riding in the back or even the middle. I spent some time near the front but I also spent a good amount of time in the middle and rear. The front was definitely easier and a little more relaxing.

3) I did not reach my goal of just simply finishing with the pack. This was more than acheivable for this race. Minus that stupid mistake.

4) Bring more calories. I ran out of fluids during the 3rd lap. What the hell was I thinking not filling my water bottle less than halfway.

Next weekend ? Pinecone Road Race on Sunday and possibly Kirkwood on Saturday.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Who says you can't go home again?

How you doing kids? The weekend is almost here. Awesome!

Guess what Thursday was the start of? Everybody's favorite business park criterium race. Thats right the Great Valley Criterium race started this week, and there was a decent showing of the regular participants especially for the middle of March.

How did the race go down for this fat man? Well, as usual I get in my 1 lap warm up, because somehow I always get there late. We gather. Some dood shouts instructions . . . "stay on the right" . . . blah blah blah . . . "be courteous to drivers" . . . . blah blah blah . . . ."don't get buck naked in the parking lot". . blah blah blah . . "complaints about peeing in the woods" . . . blah blah blah. And we are off!!!

The pace of the first two laps were moderate, but the third lap is supposed to be the sprint. It was, and by the end of the 4th lap, I am off the back. Doh!!! The penalty for not warming up at all.

I do a lap, and use the small hill in the loop to catch back on. This time I catch on for 5 laps before I'm out the back again. (wash rinse repeat) I do a few laps by myself and then I notice that the group as split in two. Sweetness.

I hop on the "B" group. I have no trouble hanging in this pack. I'm sucking wheel and just have a good ol time for a while. Somehow from following the wheel in front of me, I end up at the front of the "B" group about 10 seconds before the "A" group catches us. I was screwed. The entire "B" group hops on their draft. I didn't react soon enough and I was spent. I'm off the back again. I soft pedal for a few laps and call it a day. I'm race ready for Saturday!!!

So what else did I notice . . . .

1) Did Team Environmental Alliance go semi-pro, cause if they did then Team Iron Hill Brewery sucked up their masters riders. Basically Team Iron Hill Brewery (which also picked up a nice Comcast sponsorship) rode in the front and threw down the entire time. Actually there was an Iron Hill rider on his time trial bike "motor pacing" the entire field in the front!!!

2) I wasn't the worst squirell out there. I used to brake through the turns. (For those that don't know . . . there really aren't any turns. It is as close to an oval as a crit can get.) Maybe all that time on the rollers actually improved my handling and of course a season of cyclo-cross!

3) I missed Rennie and Matties. It just ain't the same when I don't have my friends there to laugh at me.

4) Looking forward to next Thursday all ready. Boohay!!!

Monday, March 19, 2007

The Goose is Good (Top 5 Drinks)

The Goose is very good! Add a little tonic. You've got yourself a Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas yall!!!

All Right here we go kids, I hope you have your ID ready. Cause anyone under twenty-one, this post just ain't for you. Here are my top ten drinks and why I might be drinking them.

5) Light beers. I know this is a category of beer but hear me out. I don't really put different light beers in there own sections. Miller Lite, Coors Light, PBR, Primus are all the same. In that category of light mass produced beers that go down pretty quick, but usually make my stomach feel sick before I would get a good buzz going.
So when do I reach for one of theses fine beers? Really warm summer days or say it is early in the evening but you might be a little ahead of the rest of the crowd. You want to order a drink but want sober up a little. Order one of these bad boys and let the rest of your entourage catch up with you.

4) Vodka and Tonic. There are two kinds of vodka in my life, Sky Vodka and Grey Goose Vodka. Grey Goose is the sponsor of tonights post, so be sure to get your bad ass a goose and tonic when are out. Sky vodka is good but it burns when it goes down.
When do I reach for a vodka tonic? When I want to relax and enjoy the fruits of my labor, or when social problems of the opposite sex creep into my life. A good vodka tonic helps me sort the situation in my mind. I am not picky about my tonic, so long as it has FIZZ. Those six packs of small bottles of tonic are a savior to the single man!

4b) Gin and Tonic. Thats right a gin and tonic is just as handy as Vodka Tonic. Tanqueray is my gin. There is no other gin except for Gordon's Dry Gin. Here a quick tip a fellow gin drinker gave me once. Say you are low on the dough. . . and you don't want to throw money into drinking gin and tonics at home. If you are planning on enjoying more than one gin and tonic, then you might want to splurge on the first gin and tonic and use Tanqueray. However on the second gin and tonic you probably won't notice that you are using Gordon's Dry gin. So save yourself some cash and use that for the rest of the evening. You won't notice until the morning. I promise.
When do I reach for a Gin and Tonic? I guess when I am out of Vodka. or maybe I reach for a Vodka tonic when I am out of Gin. Either way.

3) White Wine. I must say that white wine is my newly discovered buzz. Whenever I'm drinking a white wine, I get a nice healthy buzz with almost no effort. Its great. Pino, Chardonay, Saviogn Blanc, whatever. Fill my glass up, cause I'll put that sucker down. And if you haven't seen the movie Sideways. Go order that up on Netflix.
When do I reach for a white wine? Social occasions with friends? When I want to drink and eat, but I am not in the mood for beer? When the occasion is a little more formal?

2) Premium Beers. Some people will consider this the beer snob section. I love micro-brews. Even medium sized brewers. Luckily the Philadelphia area has some great local brewers. Victory, Yards, Stoudts, and Dogfishhead are all superb beers and close to Philly. Magic Hat is another fine brewer from Vermont. The seasonal beers that these brewers produce are some of the best beers you can buy. Go get yourself a variety case and find a bad beer. You can't.
When do I reach for a premium beer? Every morning. Kidding!!! Happy hours.

1 ) Belgium Ales. Far and away my favorite type of beer. Very strong, sometimes fruity, sometimes sour. Always excellent. Chimay, Ommegang, and Duvel. Just to name a few of the most popular brands. This section deserves its own section. Did I mention I went to Belgium to watch Cyclocross and drink their beers? Grab yourself a Belgium Ale and expand your mind, because these beers will slap you out of your beer rut!
When do I reach for a Belgium Ale? Unfortunately they are strong enough and expensive enough that they cannot always be reached for. But when you are surrounded by fellow belgium ale lovers, there is rarely anything better.

Honorable Mentions:
I am giving an honorable mention to a drink near and dear to my heart. Stoli and Red Bull. You want to live fast and feel like you are going to die quicker? Drink these all night! Three words . . . . Vegas baby, Vegas.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Sure to be losing my mind . . .

After contemplating putting up a blog post about how I've been trying to grow facial hair for the last week, I decided it is time to get back to the basics. The basics being cycling. Unfortunately, the weather doesn't want to cooperate.

The first cycling race of the season was going to be Saturday, the Strasburg Road Race ™ ! A 5.5 mile circuit to be done 4 times. 22 miles of Category 5 road race excitement. Strap on your safety belts because this could get sketchy. There is a little hill right at the start along with a little decent as the circuit continues.

The weather called for snow and ice Friday, and it devilvered. I got the cyclo-cross bike all lubed up and ready go. I figured the wider tires would have given me a tacticle advantage in the race to be the last one to crash on the ice covered roads. Fortunately, the promoter decided to post pone the race till next week. Which works fine with me, because Saturday's high was 38 degrees and my naughty bits don't enjoy being frost bitten.

The other downside to all this crap weather. I am back on the indoor trainer. After getting outside and riding for 2 hours on a week day (last Tuesday was 65 degrees), the cycling trainer tortures my mind. Its better than dying while riding in the middle of the road.

Next weekend the first road race kids of the season goes down!!! It is time to get pumped.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Explaining the Obvious

So, the challenge was thrown down. Now I need to explain the obvious, so we can get on with blogging about cycling and how fat I am.

I was once asked what the title of this blog meant. I wish I was making that up, but it really did happen. So without further explanation here we go . .

I was sitting at my desk one April afternoon, and I decided I needed to start blogging. Having heard of Blogger, I figured it was just as good as any blog site. Plus it is run by Google, so I figured it had all the goodness Google is know for.

I started filling out the form online, and then I came across the page where it asked me what I wanted my subdomain name to be. . . . in other words http:/( fill in the blank ) I had to fill in the blank. This seemed like a very important decision. It had to be something that adequately described what one might find on my blog, yet also leave some mystery so people were encouraged to visit. This decision might take some time. So, I go where any man goes to think clearly . . . .

The bathroom!!!

After spending some quality time debating my options. I finish my business in the bathroom. I wash up and turn the light and fan off as I leave. Then in that instant . . . . sniff, sniff . . . . wait a second I better Leave The Fan On. And a blog was born.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

If adulthood were a class . .

Quick story before the post. I'm in a ski shop last Friday. This girl I know (knew) turns to me and says, "Hey Snake!!!". I reply, "Hi, my real name is Charles." To which she replies with what might very well be the most homosexual statement anyone has ever said to me . . .

"But your friend Bubba calls you Snake, right?"

Me: "yes."

Ok, now that I got that off my chest on with the post. Did you realize that your weekend was only 47 hours?!?! I want my hour back, and I don't want to have to wait till the fall to get it. Why should my weekend have to suffer?

What is even worse? I don't know where you live but here in Devon, PA, it is going to be sunny and 65 degrees (F). Thats right kids?! Perfect cycling weather. Throw a few water bottles on the bike and go ride!!! That is pretty much all my mind can think about right now. I don't want to drive to work and sit inside a blue cubicle wondering about all the fun I could be having. I figure when I'm done riding I could cook some barbeque and then take a nap. It would be great way to spend the day.

What am I getting at? I am almost positive that if adulthood were a class I would be getting a "D". I'm not failing, cause I do have a job and all that good stuff. But all my thoughts constantly subvert what every normal person would consider success in adulthood. I have never grown up enough to just suck it up and go work without thinking that there are much more enjoyable ways to spend my day. Everyone else I see has no problem going to work and ignoring the absolute beautiful weather outside. How is it possible that I am the only one?

Friday, March 09, 2007

More Random Notes

Well that last post involved more idiocy than anything. And this post is going to be complete random crap that is not neccesarily tied to anything. Don't worry someday this blog will have a purpose. . . .

Random Crap #1) I'm trying to set up a more legit blog through private hosting yada yada yada . . . but apparently the hosting company I chose didn't want to set things up at 12 at night. Go figure? Last time I checked computers were really good at automating things and doing tasks at odd hours of the night when no one is really up. Shit, they don't even complain about it. But what do I know? I figure there might be some problems with browsers not behaving properly depending on how the DNS servers update across the country. Leave The Fan On readers are all over baby!!!

Random Crap #2)Want to improve your mood while going to work. Listen to one of your all time favorite albums on the drive in. An album where you know almost every word to every song, or at least think you do. Choose one of those albums. I have a nice half hour commute. I listened to Pavement's Brighten The Corners album today. Wow. I almost didn't mind walking into the building.

Random Crap #3)Only a few readers of this blog will know the signifigance of this event. A little back story for the others. I bought a condo 4 years ago this April. The kitchen faucet has not worked properly for almost 2 of those years. It was really funny at first. There was a small hole at the bottom of the faucet so when you turn it on water sprays all over the user. It was a cheap laugh at another's expense. However the hole slowly got worse. More or less making the faucet unuseable. This of course gets mildly embarassing when you invite people over and forget that your faucet doesn't work. You may wonder how you forget such a thing. "Forget" maybe the wrong word. I think I just got used to it and so it didn't occur to me as being a problem. (That last sentence can be attributed to a lot of things.)

Random Crap #4)If my fitness for the week was the stock market then the stock market would be down. I just didn't get the workouts in I wanted. Between work and being tired from efforts this weekend, I didn't have it in me. However, I was invited cross country skiing this weekend. Hopefully I don't drink so much that my fitness gains are none.

Random Crap #5)I am currently trying to bring back the Penny Loafer. I'm not talking about rocking Penny Loafers with pleated kahki dockers and a polo shirt. Cause if I was than you would have my permission to kick my ass. I'm talking about rocking Penny Loafers with a decent pair of denim jeans and no socks. Make sure you stick some shiny pennies in those shoes too.

Thursday, March 08, 2007


Whatup kids? The house of leave the fan on is under going a face lift. I hope this doesn't affect things for more than a few days. Unfortunately if I will be out of town this weekend to undo the maddness I am about to create. Bear with me, in a week, more blogging greatness. I promise.

Work and Working Out

How is everybody doing? Is it me or this the longest week ever? I needed two beers just to get me through Tuesday, but thats me.

I've noticed a pattern in my workouts lately. If I have a productive day at work where I feel I got somethings done and progress on whatever project I happen to be working on has been made, I can come home and do an awesome workout no problem.

On the other hand, if my day at work was incredibily frustrating the chances of me getting in a workout at all are minimal at best. For instance, yesterday I did not hop on my bike till 9pm because it took me a few hours to get work out of my system. I still managed a little badass workout for 9 pm, but still it would have been nice to get it done by 9pm. (The workout was 40 minutes in zone 2, which I figure for me is somewhere around a 160 heartrate. I finished up with some work on the rollers to make the workout a good 90 minutes.)

Years ago, I used to be really good at separating work and fitness. I would roll home from work, hop on the bike. One would not affect the other. Do I care more now about work? Do I care less about my fitness? I don't think either of those is the case. Maybe I'm just suffering from an early onset of male menopause at the old age 28.

The solution maybe as simple as working out in the morning before work. Call it a pre-emptive strike on my fitness! or perhaps I make it my mission to get home from work and know exactly what I'm doing fitness-wise. Become a man on a mission when I get home. (Early morning exercise isnt really my bag.)

Some of you maybe wondering when am I going to race, because the first races of the season are this weekend. Well good news for you kids, my first race is next weekend! more on that after the break.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Show Me the Money

I got a new addiction . . . . Trail Mix. I can't get enough of it. Almonds, Walnuts, Cashews, Cranberries. Hmmm . . So good. I'm getting fat like a squirrel in the winter off that stuff.

So, in case all you kids haven't heard, the Mega Millions Jackpot is up to 337 million dollars. Thats right!!! You know that I got in on that. A couple of co-workers and I decided to team up our bills and buy a bunch of tickets. So tomorrow I fully expect to be approximately 14.7 million dollars richer after taxes. Don't worry, I'll keep blogging. In case you haven't noticed this blog doesn't exactly pay the bills in anyway whatsoever.

There is new motivational book called The Secret which is all about focusing energy towards what you want through wishing it to be and visualizing it. It could also be known as the Laws of Attraction. (or so thats what the T.V. told me it was about). I figure we can try that on a giant scale.

Anyone who reads this tonight, I want you to envision me winning one tenth of 337 million dollars for at least 10 minutes tonight. If you do that, I'm sure that the power of millions (or more like half a dozen) people imagining me winning 337 million dollars will make it come true. Now how good would you feel about me winning all that cash. And with all that cash, imagine how much trail mix, I could buy. A whole lot of trail mix. yummy.

I found a new blog today that I absolutely fell in love with . . . It is blog awesomeness. Especially the Slacker at Work section. Priceless.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Someone pass me a doughnut

Everyone glad to be back at work? Lets leave it at that . . . .

I made good on my goal of 7 hours of riding this weekend. I'm sure you were all at that edge of your seats. I did 50 miles on Saturday and 65 miles on Sunday. Boohay!!!

I got back from the my ride on Sunday and decided to hop on a scale. It said 160 lbs. I concluded that the scale was light by (at least) 10 lbs. I'm not that skinny (yet).

Although that has got me thinking. I eat a ton while on the bike. In fact, I am almost certain that I eat a lot more than anyone else I ride with while eating. During both of t rides this weekend, I drank 275 calories of lemon lime gatorade and ate 2 clif bars. I don't see anyone else that I ride with scarfing down food like a starving man. What is my problem?

Worst of all, I don't see any solution to this. You want to climb that hill; you have got to put some fuel in the tank. My machine don't run on air. I need sugar!!! Lots and lots of sugar!!!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Case of the Itches

I gotta say "Yo" to anyone visiting this blog from the DrunkCyclist (Not that safe for you working folks wait till you are home with the kids to visit). This blog really isn't anywhere near as cool as what Big Jonny's got going on, but you are welcome to read. I got some pics from Cross Worlds. All right, now that everyone feels at home, on to the post . . .

I've got a case of the itches so bad, my itches have itches. What kind of itches are they . . .

1) Gots to buy a bike!!! why? First of all if you are the kind of person to think "Why should I buy a bike?" Perhaps you should find another blog to read. (may I suggest Don't Date Him Girl cause that is the kind of lame blog you would be into if you ask this question.)

My TT bike is an 11 year old Cannondale with 650 wheels. It got me through an Ironman, but its time to put it out to pasture. I'm hoping to turn it into a single speed once I get a replacement. Cervelo makes some very nice potential replacements. Used bikes are nice too. They tend to cost less.

2) Vegas Baby Vegas. I got go to Vegas. Vegas rocks!!! If you have never been, go. It doesn't matter what you are into, cause Vegas has it. Reading about the NBA Allstar game in Vegas gave me this itch. Unfortunately, this directly conflicts with the financial plan of buying a bike. VEGAS!!!

I was in the Mandalay Bay a year ago. It was fantastic. I think I need to stop talking about it or I might start crying tears of joy.

3) Swimming. If anything is really making me itch it is this. Chlorine is a killer. It kills my beautiful long locks of hair. It drys my skin to the point of pain, but I love swimming. It is a good thing that I love swimming too, cause getting in shape for the 4.4 mile Chesapeake Bay Swim requires lots of pool time. My fitness isn't quiet their for the 4.4 mile swim, but I have till June 10th. No worries.

4) Cycling. All I seem to be doing these days is riding my bike. This of course is a good thing. The weather is supposed to be in the upper 40's this weekend!!! WHAT!?!?! I want to get 7 hours on the bike this weekend cause the cycling trainer got old 2 weeks ago. I look forward to riding my rollers to break up the workout. You know that things are bad when I enjoy riding rollers. So what are you doing reading this blog still . . . . go ride!!!

5) The weekend. I got the weekend itch bad. . . . someone get me a beer.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Bad Pool Karma

Whats up kids? Everyone groovy? Looking forward to the weekend? Thats right, we are almost there!!! Now go grab yourself a cold one.

I go to the pool after work today and had another experience of instant bad pool karma. I only brought it upon myself. Here is how Karma handed down the punishment I deserved.

I hop in the pool my set is as follows:

300 warm up (easy)
1000 form (5 x 100 form, 100 stroke)
1500 (3 x 300 pull, 100 kick, 100 free)
100 (4 x 25 free fast)
200 cool down (easy)

Voila, 3100!!!

Halfway through my 1000 form a woman on the pool deck asks me if I am going to be doing kick the entire time. I wasn't sure exactly how much of a jerk I wanted to be. I should have responded, "Yes, I am doing 3000 kick today, tomorrow I will be doing 3000 butterfly. It is a new swim workout plan called super distance sets." Instead, I quickly yell to her my entire workout and keep going. Here is my issue . . . .

If you have to ask me, what I'm doing before you hop in my pool lane. You best find another lane. Trust me, swimmers that ask, always mess your workout.

Wisely, or so I think, she hops in the other pool lane. I may have been rude, but everything worked out. She is swimming, and I keep doing my workout. Until pool karma came along. . .

I'm now doing the first 300 pull in my 1500 and suprise, someone joined my lane. No worries. They seem to be going fast (at least that first 50 was fast). However this swimmer's second 50 wasn't even a legitimate stroke. It was some squid like back stroke (think breast stroke, upside down). Needless to say I spent the next 1000 either passing or turning around before the wall. Pool karma had got me. If I was nice the first lady that asked me about my workout, I may not have gotten stuck with the squid stroker.

All in all I the Karma punishment fit the crime. I still got a good swim workout in but I needed to be reminded that it pays to be nice to people. Lesson learned.

Monday, February 26, 2007

A tear for Jan

I'm sure you have all read the news . . . . if not go here, here and here. But then you get jerks like this guy.

Jan Ullrich retired from professional cycling. I think I shed a tear when I first read the news flash on cycling news. He was a great cyclist! You can't argue with that. He won the Tour de France and finished second 5 other times. Most of all he did things his way. When everyone was hopping on the high-cadence spinning craze to get through time trials or over mountains, he was still pumping through his big gears!

Yeah, he partied a bit too much. Getting busted for taking "e" or whatever it was certainly didn't help his position with the more elitist among the cycling crowd. Oddly, that only made me like him more. Some say he was waisting his talent. Perhaps. But life is all about balance and I've been known to enjoy a PBR after a race. He was still able to compete at the highest level and everyman needs to find their own balance in life.

Worst of all this last year just seemed to me like complete bull shit. Some jerks in Spain write a report with a few cyclists names on it. They have evidence but they don't want to use it. A year later some riders are competing some are stuck without a team contract. I beleive Jan got it much worse than Floyd in some respects. At least there was a test that came back positive with Floyd (however flawed that test maybe is a completely different blog post all together). Jan had no test. He was just covered by a cloud of suspicion. This cloud ended his career. It is a shame for cycling and I feel rather sad for Jan.

Remember the 2006 Tour de France? Remember how exciting it was? Imagine if Jan was there too? Imagine the kind of battle it could have been . . . we will never know.

Yo yo!!!

All right, I took a bit of a blogging vacation, and one of my readers was mildly upset. So what did I do on my blogging vacation. . . .

1) There is this thing called a bicycle and I have been riding it. Last week I put in 3 hours through snow squals. Yesterday, I put in 4 hours through the just plain cold. But It feels good.

2) I may have had a beer or two since I last blogged. Ok. So thats a lie. I went to beer tasting. Ommegang, Victory, Magic Hat, and Troeggs were all there. I guess it was a beer tasting for people who drink Coor's Light all day cause I only think I had a few beers that were new to me. It was still a great time. It was held at World Cafe Live, which seems like it would be a great venue for a concert.

3) Started swimming again. Did you know I signed up for 4.4 mile swim in June? The Chesapeake Bay Swim. I don't think I've ever been concerned about my ability to finish a race, but I can honestly tell you this event has me very concerned. My big mouth may have talked me into a hole (about beating former Div. 1 Swimmers by 10 minutes) but I've got bigger problems if I don't even make it to the finish line. I swimming 3000 tonight. Anyone care to join me.

4) Back to cycling for a second. I have never ridden this much before in Febuary which gives me hope that come May, I might actually have some fitness. I also have no climbing power?!?! I don't know what happened. I get dropped like a fat man every time the group ride goes up hill. This is very, very bad. As a result, I may hit the weight room for two months to build some leg strength.

5) I've also been riding the indoor trainer so much, I think I've developed a man crush on Coach Troy. Can you blame me?

All right, go get youself some Spinervals DvDs.

Well, I'll get back on the blogging train.