Wednesday, November 29, 2006

new CX team

Sven Nys goes without a chamois in wet races because he fears the soggy pad will weigh too much.

Weight weenie, eff him.

Bart Wellens kicked a spectator during a race.

Bad ass pirate move, but eff him as well.

Sven Vanthourenhout is the man. Sure he is relatively unknown, but he is racing for the all-new Sunweb-Projob 'cross team. See below, 'nuff said:

"I'm not Sven, I just play a topless one in body paint at team presentations."

Plus their team name is fun to rhyme.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

fat and sassy

Of course a reference to Don Hertzfeldt, who sadly won't let you watch movies on his site anymore. Go here instead: http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docId=4576021287651691024&hl=en.

Anyway, just finished unpacking, doing laundry, and all the shit that follows a good trip somewhere. In this case I visited the Laudon clan in Rhode Island. They are in many ways a "family jr." to me and it was really good to see them all, especially two of my best friends.

We, of course, ate a lot of food and drank a lot of booze. But other highlights included some gym climbing, touring the Newport Storm brewery (and drinking a lot of their delicious beer for free), seeing the new Bond movie, visiting the Griffin Mfg factory - the Laudon family business, and playing a lot of cards. Of course with booze comes a little card game known as Asshole. For those not familiar, it is a game in which alcohol is combined with luck and hierarchical rules created on the fly to make others drink more or look like a dope. There were small children present, so we called it Butthead, but of course my antics led to a new name for the game: 'Robert'.

The highlight here was when Jenny said to Silas about his particularly shitty hand: "Man you really took it in the Robert." Nothing but love.

Anyway, I miss my friends, but no Thanksgiving with the Thomas clan has me excited to see them over Christmas. As for the bike, I have one more race this season in Reston on Sunday. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out, as I have been off the bike for a week or so now, and I will miss practice Wednesday due to an overnight trip to Houston (shittiest city in North America). Oh well...

I can't wait to start getting back to long rides and base miles. Change of pace, burning of more holiday calories.

much love

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Fakesgiving and NY State CX Champs

Drove up to Troy NY last Thursday night to visit lots of friends and do a little cross racing. I called in sick Friday morning, unconvincingly at best, and still managed to get some work done from my favorite coffee shop in the world on Friday.

But back to Thursday.... I knew I was in for a world of PBR hurt because I was chillin' with MJ, Sam, Nate, and Justin. MJ and I once invented our own game of "PBR Darts", so first on the agenda was a 30-rack of the golden beer of the gods, a dart board, and some darts. We played with some new rules, some old, but the end result was the same: drunken fun. Then those fuckers stole my phone and made some people in my phone book very uncomfortable. Good times.

MJ and the rules.

One rule of PBR Darts pertains to the storage of empty cans.

Friday I did some work, some slacklining, visited the old work study area and then headed down to Will and Steph's house to see the old Haus crew. The normal course of events led to the creation of this:
myspace.com/seriouslytherealrobthomas
in response to this:
myspace.com/robthomas
and much laughter ensued.

Saturday was the annual Fakesgiving - a potluck event involving way too much food, never enough booze, board games, walks around Troy, Mortal Challenge, and great people. I miss those mofos every day we're apart.

Sunday I raced in the Men's B category of the NY State Cross Championships. My first B race, and I finished 8th out 27 - only 1.5 minutes behind the winner! It was awesome - a real mud fest on what would have otherwise been a flat out roadie course. Rosie, Ola, Will, Steph, Rachel, and Danny were all there yelling for me which fucking ruled. I saw some old friendly faces from the NY bike scene. And Will took some awesome pictures.

A great weekend with great people, and thanks to E-town for not outing me on the sick day.

No bike until after Thanksgiving, which will be in Newport RI with the Laudon family. More great people I look forward to seeing!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Best. Practice. Ever.

Reposted from the DCCofD email list... this is why I love the Coalition. From Jan:

Fellow DCCoDers:

let me be the first to thank everyone for last night's practice. Although it wasn't even clear whether I could make it out there (it's obviously not Rabbit season), I'm glad I could get a lift from RobThomas (no, not that talentless ....) one of the safest drivers around - he's currently ranked number two behind Amy.

We unloaded the bikes and glided over the fresh clean pastures of the park. It was beautiful. The stars sparkled, the moon illuminated even the most obscure spots of the loop, the air was warm and fresh, not even a whiff of dog poop, especially not in the corner at the lamp post. It just seemed to me that the riding was completely effortless last night.

But the love went beyond the riding. The members of the DCCoD all pooled their various talents to share with the others. Lisa (of Mabra championship fame) gave some helpful tips on how todeal with the paparazzi that keep following her around after the interview. Afterwards she signed autographs for everyone that had something to write on (it looks great next to that Calvin Klein stitching on the briefs ;) ).

Matt Neugewhat? held a brief clinic on courteous, friendly conversation in the parking lot, and how to defuse tense situations with eastern spiritualism, before heading off in his environmentally clean zero emission vehicle (I swear, the air smelled better coming out of that tail pipe).

Marc, yet again, surprised us by having dropped at least another five pounds since last week, (you didn't think it was possible) and explained to everyone the secret to lasting weight loss while still eating belgian chocolate.

Gunky Monkey aka the Chuck Norris of the small chainring, let it all out last night. She got a front row call-up, gunned it from the start, and got the holeshot, leaving everyone else in her dust and the realization that the true killer-Bs are estrogen powered.

Tom McDaniel offered free water heater inspections to everyone who would help paint flowers and/or pink flamingos on theBigGreenTruck(TM). Finger paint was spread around and to the sound ofScott McKenzie we spread the love. The night was over all too soon, and as the sun rose in the east, we shared a bottle of tanning lotion in a vain effort to become as goodlooking and fast as the incredible Wes.

Thank you all, Jan



Jan in his element

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Resting up...

Got the estimate on the damage to my car today... $1300 dollars. My deductable is $1000, so I'm on the fence as to whether or not to claim it. Either way, looks like the planned bike pimping I was going to do is now back burner material. Still I'm lucky I can afford these things... life could be a lot worse.

I took yesterday and today off the bike and off of climbing. I felt like just bumming around and eating some Ben and Jerry's Frozen Yogurt. I did both of those things. Tomorrow is cross practice and I will be motivated for that.

I moved up to 4th in the MAC standings after this weekend... Sadly I will only race one of the remaining 3 races... so here's to hoping the other top dudes will be chillin' out as well. I'll be racing in Reston in 2 weeks, but I fear it'll be too little, too late to move up any further.

Thanks to all of my friends for listening to my sob story with the car. It is seriously my dream to live carless one day. One day...

I have a new crush: Daphny Van Den Brand. I need a euro-cross name to impress her.
Also see: Graham's View.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Predator-Lotto!

This just in (OK it was a week ago):
www.cyclingnews.com/news.php?id=news/2006/nov06/nov08news

Predator-Lotto would have been way cooler than Predictor-Lotto.

Robbie McEwen uses his new-found powers to
trim teammate Cadel Evans' ridiculous eyebrows.

Highland Park Cross Report

Drove up north of Trenton today for the Highland Park CX race. I was motivated to do well to improve my weekend which has been up and down, and to earn some more MAC points, even though I'll only be doing 1 of the 3 remaining MAC races. The weather report was grim, supposed to rain all day, so I prepared for the muddiest of conditions.

The DCCofD caravan roller up there in nothing but fog and arrived without rain. I chamois-up and hit the course for 3 preride laps. The course was really fun, with a nasty uphill after the start that was in nothing but soft semimud grass. This led to a short descent, into a super muddy uphill chicane section that almost everyone ended up running, then continued in an asphalt climb to the descent section. The course twisted around down hill into another flat mud pit and then some straight-away sections into some mulch. Then the barriers - pretty fast ones - and back to the start.

I prerode the course with singlespeeder and worthy opponent Peter Dalkner of Trophy Bikes. He won yesterday's race so we were both hoping to work together with our used legs to podium again.

The race begins with a mass start of the Master Bs and the Men's C racers together. One C guy must have slipped away among the Bs because we never knew this guy was gone. Peter and I get the front pretty quick and are in the top 10 overall. We work together for the first two laps and pass a fair amount of the Bs in front of us - except Paul I who kicked ass, was never caught, and won. We are leading together when another guy sneaks around us and just keeps on going - we can't close the gap for the life of us.

I lose Peter's wheel in the 3rd lap on the climb, and I never manage to bridge back up. I'm thinking "OK, ride smart, ride your own race, you have 3rd at least clinched if you don't blow up." Our nice start had given us a comfortable lead so I motored home about 30 seconds behind Peter. Of course I never realized that one dude was never behind us, so 4th place it was (after a slight scoring snafu). Peter rode really well, and we should both move up in the overall MAC standings.

I do not know how much of the DCCofD did today: I left early to get home and start dealing with insurance crap... But I know Paul I won the Master Bs, and E-town and fatmarc both had top 15 (I think) performances in the Killer Bs.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Cars R Coffins

You'd think my 3rd place finish at the Lower Allen Classic cross race today would be the highlight of my weekend so far... Sadly the car accident on the way home is the most memorable and frustrating part of my day.

After we got back to Newark from the race in Harrisburg area, E-town, Fatmarc, Diane, Fitzy, Jan and I went to Klondike Kate's for some eats. Good times were had by all, and then I headed back to Fitzy's place to pick up my car from the day's carpool. Heading home from Fitzy's to my place, I got into a fender bender. Here's how it went down:

I'm sitting at a red light in the farthest left straight lane, and there's a car next to me in the left turn lane. Suddenly the car's passenger door flys open and I see a pair of legs trying to exit the vehicle. The driver, an angry looking guy, grabs the passenger in a headlock/chokehold while her legs are still hanging out of the car. Their left turn signal turns green and he tears off with the lady's legs still hanging out of the car. I was so shocked and flustered and confused and cyclocross-brained that I just pressed the gas while the cars to my left cruised forward. Of course, my light is still red, and the oncoming guy has a left turn signal in front of me. So I slam on my brakes, but it is too late and the middle of my bumper gets an intimate look at this dude's right front bumper.

Thankfully it was low speed. Everyone was safe, the airbags didn't go off, and it just looks like some body damage to both cars. The state popo was a real dick about the whole thing - took like 45 minutes to show up, is filled with some kind of attitude (like either me or the other driver wanted to be there) and then he gives me a summons for disregarding a red light. $104.50 on top of my $1000 deductable. Salt n' lemon in the wound. I don't even want to know how much my insurance will go up. So much for a completely squeaky clean driving record and nice, new maintenance free car.

I don't know what to do about the summons. Should I contest it??? The accident is going to rack up my insurance enough as it is.

Race report:

Felt awesome when I got out of bed this morning. I was ready to race and I was excited the whole way up to Harrisburg. Line up at the start, decent position, and the gun goes off. We tear off on the prologue loop and I move up through the front of the field into the top 8. The course is super technical, damp, and off camber for the first half, and I manage to pick off all of the contenders except Peter who was racing super-strong on his singlespeed. He's a fast man. I'm sitting in second until someone bridges up to me with 3 laps to go. He attacks me, and I cover the jump and just sit on his wheel. He is stronger in the climbs but I am attacking in every turn because I can see he is weak there. He gets around me again and I decide to sit on his wheel.

With a lap and a half to go, I push a little too hard through an off camber turn and lay the bike down. I'm up and riding in no time, but it was all the other dude needed to attack. He put in 100 meters right there and that was the race. 1st to a super-strong Peter who did nothing but increase his lead the whole race, 2nd to the guy on the Specialized, and 3rd to me. I'll take it. Until tomorrow, much love.

P.S. the DCCofD rocked out hard today as well... I don't know exact results, but they will appear.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

My apartment smells like rich mahogany

A little worried about my mom - waiting on some med. test results - and on a friend I heard was just diagnosed with cancer... They are on my mind and I am confident and hoping for the best possible outcomes in both situations. But it is still unsettling.

That aside... good day. week. life. The election yesterday worked out perfectly in every way. I guess Virginia's senate seat is still unofficial, but Jim Webb seems to have 7,000 votes on incumbant George Allen... 1/3 of a percent of the vote is going to decide this race. But it is going to swing control of the Senate - and of Congress as a whole - to the Dems. I love it. And then, icing on the cake - Rumsfeld is resigning! I love seeing the GOPers already chopping each other's fingers off. PASS THE BUCK! SHIFT THE BLAME!! Let's just hope the new guy, former CIA head who probably condones torture, is not any worse.

Cross practice was a lot of fun tonight. I was considering not going, because of some pressing work due tomorrow, but I went. 36 hours of steady rain could only mean a mudfest. My first 2 efforts felt really bad, the remnants of yesterday's run were clogging up my legs. But I started to warm up for the final 3 efforts, and aside from the golf ball chunks of mud in my eyes, I really enjoyed sliding around in the muck.


I also concentrated hard on improving my remount tonight. Wes and I had joked at Race Pace on Sunday about how god-damn clunky I am getting back on the bike. It's really true. Rather than gracefully swinging my leg around and over the bike and merely setting my butt on the saddle, I feel the need to launch myself into orbit before crashing onto the saddle. Really pretty amusing to watch:

And better yet, Jan told me at practice that I'm officially 2nd overall in points in the final standings of the MABRAcross series! I haven't seen it yet, but that's a pretty satisfying finish to my debut cross season. I owe it to the DCCofD.

Now it's back to work... I promised I'd never bring work home with me... and here I am.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

votes and bros

Voted today. Walked into the ballot box with the thought that 1 or 2 repubs would get my vote - I like to think that as a Liberal, Democratic-party-registered dude, I am thoughtful enough to pick a good candidate regardless of party - and Mike Castle was not by any means a bad choice. But I walked into that box, saw that goddamn stupid fat elephant, and put all my Xs in the column with the donkey. Just the sight of that Pachyderm brought back so many negative thoughts and turned my stomach. I couldn't do it. Swing the ax and kill the GOP baby.

Anyway, this is why I love my brother. I sold him my old roof rack system for cheap to offset the cost of my new bike rack. He sent me the check today with this letter:

Hey Bobbie:
Here is the money for the rack! Please do not use it in the following ways:
  1. for hoes
  2. for E.D. meds
  3. for your heroin addiction
  4. on my girlfriend
  5. for gay sex
  6. for sex with horses
  7. on masturbation tools
Anyway, I hope you enjoy this money! I love you bro!

Bear
Eric: I make no promises.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

weekend

Pretty good weekend all things considered. Went up to Go Vertical on Friday night for some indoor climbing with Julie, Timmy, and Rachel. 3 days in 1 week has got to be good for the forearms. Then I made the mistake of going out in Wilmington with Dave from work. I got way too loaded and blew half my stomach into the toilet at the end of the night. Needless to say, half of Saturday was shot, and I think the boozin' had some negative effects on the old legs at the race today.

Fun race, down in Sykesville MD, the DCCofD caravan left the Iron Skillet at 6.30 am. We got to the venue really early and scoped out the course - a fast grass/asphalt blend with 3 short, steep ass-kickers followed by a grindy false flat, a steep run-up with a barrier, and a lot of straightaways. I had an awesome start, spending the first two laps solo off the front before the legs started cramping (residuals from Friday night I'm guessing). I ended up holding on for 4th, and the guy who took 3rd can kiss my ass. He sat on my wheel for 3 laps and attacked with 200 meters to go. Commendable, smart racing - but he didn't have to come rub it in my face after the race and then mention he normally races B-Men but "was feeling a little sick today." Sandbagging son-of-a-bitch. Thanks for the cheers DCCofD.

DCCofD representin':
Matt N. rode really well to take 2nd in our race (C-Men).
Blair and Rick took 2 and 3 in the Master's race - with Rick taking the win in the MABRA series jersey.
Lisa Vible took 2nd in the A-Women to win the MABRA series jersey.
Mike Connair raced in 2 races because he likes to suffer more than me.

Now for some videos:



2 more:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H63FivObTLM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3EXbVfYHizQ

much love.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Time may change me...

but hopefully it'll change this blog.

Taiwan was cool - a real whirlwind tour.
San Francisco was cooler, great friends and good beer.
Lots of travel, but back on the cross bike and glad for that fact.

Hopefully a real update Saturday, and maybe a revamping of the webpage... I don't like the current deal.

much love,
robert aka rhomas aka rob thomas aka rt