Sunday, July 27, 2008

recognition...

This weekend was a full-blown road riding weekend punctuated by a viewing of The Dark Knight. For the first time since his death, I will now say that it is a real shame Heath Ledger is dead. See the Dark Knight if only for his performance. It made the rest of the movie seem cheap, and it was a decent movie at that.

Anyway, 70 miles, rolling to flat yesterday with a big group of DCCofDers. Today, I woke up super early to beat the heat and thunder to ride the upper 60 miles of the Savage Century. I've done the Savage 75 before, a brutal ride, but it skips the worst hills. Today we rode the area from mile 20 to mile 80 on the map below.


It is a hard ride, very saw-tooth, with very little recovery. The descents are technical enough you can't recover, and the climbs are just brutally steep and relentless. To say the least, dear reader, it is a tough ride, today made worse by a lot of waiting and start - stop action. I hate stop - start action.

So you can imagine my delight when Local Hardman Frostbite Steve agreed that a Wawa milkshake (nectar of the gods) would be the ideal recovery drink after the ride.

Not local hardman Frostbite Steve. Instead pictured is anonymous cute hipster girl sucking a Wawa shake through a straw. Nearly impossible if you set the machine to "most thick".

Anyway, as we're scooping milkshake with spoons while waiting to check out, I see a dude wearing a T-shirt and C3 bike short bibs. I don't recognize the face, but I start chanting, "Booooo C3!! Booooo Charm City!!" The guy sees my Henry's Pink and smiles and I ask if he was up racing the Hibernia Duathlon - he's no crosser I recognize. Indeed he was, his name was Corey, and he's an Auer Goon on a mountain bike.

So after I get his name, he asks, "where have I seen you before?" I say, "Not sure, you're not a crosser, so I don't know." He responds, "Were you hanging out with Fatmarc at Fair Hill??? Yes, that's it!! I knew I recognized you! You're the thong dude!"

I must say, it's nice to be a local legend. It was never going to happen via exploits on the bike. I had to step it up a notch. But my name, or at least my pasty-white ass cheeks will be known.

Friday, July 25, 2008

to the mid-coast...

So the Tough Cookie and I took a little trip to the Mid-Coast. Luck, Wisconsin to be exact, with a short lay-over in Minneapolis. Let me take you, dear reader, on a little photo-journey.

We landed in Minneapolis, where T.C. ate a gigantic cherry.

I forgot water bottles so we stopped at a typical Mid-Coast bike shop.

Riding bikes in Wisconsin taught me two things: it's really flat in Wisonsin,

...and they have some vicious m-f-ing hornets.

Drank some beers and sat by the lake.

Things that make me proud to be an American: an eagle on a Stars and Stripes being pulled on a John Deere in front of a PBR street sign.

Don't even have to go to your local 40+ hot spot to find me some Cougars.

D-Bag Claim.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

bag 'em and tag 'em...

I've been called out of my blissful blog slumber by none other than Faticus and Ms. Dee V. Ous. And although I'd love to post some pictures and highlights from my trip to the Mid-Coast, that will have to be delayed to make time for the chain-blog. Just when my email inbox was safe from chain emails, my Google Reader is now being attacked by chain blog posts. Nonetheless, here goes....

If you could have any one — and only one — bike in the world, what would it be?


Seriously though, probably my road bike. If I'm reduced to nothing more than a lowly bike commuter some day, at least it'd still be functional.

Do you already have that coveted dream bike? If so, is it everything you hoped it would be? If not, are you working toward getting it? If you’re not working toward getting it, why not?

A bike's a bike. The joys of building up / owning a Sp*t Br*nd* 29er taught me that the stuff built for the masses can be less money and less headache.

*Name changed to prevent unfair harm to brand image

If you had to choose one — and only one — bike route to do every day for the rest of your life, what would it be, and why?


That's like the rhetorical question: "If a guy hands you a gun with one bullet, points to your best friend, and says, 'You have to choose - kill your best friend or kill yourself.' What would you do?"

Well, I'd shoot the d-bag asking me to choose.

What kind of sick person would force another person to ride one and only one bike ride to do for the rest of her / his life?


Refer to the previous response.

Do you ride both road and mountain bikes? If both, which do you prefer and why? If only one or the other, why are you so narrow minded?


I'm the jack of all trades, master of none. When it comes down to it, I'll ride anything because I hate riding alone. Sometimes others are riding road, sometimes they're riding mountain. And sometimes they're riding cross bikes which I really hate but it's all anyone does in the autumn around here.

Have you ever ridden a recumbent? If so, why? If not, describe the circumstances under which you would ride a recumbent.


To date, no. But if it meant going over 80 miles per hour on a bike I'd do it. Especially if it had speakers blasting "Danger Zone" (see the fourth video in the link below).


Have you ever raced a triathlon? If so, have you also ever tried strangling yourself with dental floss?


I suck hard enough at riding alone. Why would I want to publicly suck at running and swimming too? I can take a piece of dental floss and suck it up my nose and cough it out my mouth. A talent that makes it look like I'm flossing my throat.

Suppose you were forced to either give up ice cream or bicycles for the rest of your life. Which would you give up, and why?

I'd find the gun from question #2 and shoot the d-bag asking that question.

What is a question you think this questionnaire should have asked, but has not?

Also, answer it.

Do you shave your legs because you ride? Or do you ride because you shave your legs?

My answer: Yes.

You’re riding your bike in the wilderness (if you’re a roadie, you’re on a road, but otherwise the surroundings are quite wilderness-like) and you see a bear. The bear sees you. What do you do?

I make sweet, sweet love to the bear.



Anyone else decides to respond, please put your link in my comment section.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

afternoon nap...

I've never been a napper. I find that naps throw me off and disrupt my sleep-wake cycle. If I am really tired, I usually just tough it out until bed time and then sleep a little better than normally. For this reason, I deal well with jet lag - just tough it out, pretend you've always been in this time zone and voila, you're good to go. But I'll get back to the nap issue in a minute...

The Sport/Expert split with marshall station.

Anyway, I love riding at Fair Hill, some of the finest singletrack in the region. But I ride it so often, I really can't see paying 35 bucks to ride that which I already ride. So when Faticus and the Keg Breaker mentioned this year's evil plan to marshall the Sport/Expert trail split at this year's race, I was in.

The Team.

I guess it wasn't so evil... Honestly the plan was to provide a watering hole for the racers who were racing in 95 degree heat. We had to stay hydrated of course, so [not] beer was a logical choice. And you need some grilled sausage to wash down the beverages. And of course, every watering hole needs a life guard. "Safety first!" was our motto. But boy, that lifeguarding really wore me out.

Hydration.

The watering hole in use.

So all that being said, it's also a rare occasion that I am drinking [not] beer at 10 in the morning. Usually I wait until at least 11:30 to crack open a cold one. And morning drinking seems to be the one thing that cracks my no-nap style. Or maybe it wasn't beer at all, lifeguarding is tough work. Either way, at 4 pm, I was snoozing soundly on the couch.

"Safety first!" Life guarding is tough work.

All pictures courtesy of Faticus and Buddy.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

mexican...

When I first moved to the Center of the Universe (CotU) - New Ark, Delaware - I was excited to learn of a place where one could get "a burrito the size of one's head". This establishment, at the time known as 'PICNIC', offered a lunch-time burrito bar that delivered on that promise. And the price was right - 5.99 got you a Texas-sized burrito and a fountain drink of your choosing. I once held the burrito next to my [rather large] stomach and asked the waitress how she expected this monstrosity to fit inside.

Even the procedure for building one's burrito was incredibly satisfying. One walked in the door to be greeted by an acrylic sneeze guard with a tortilla packing expert behind the counter. On the wall were five tortillas highlighting the choice given in burrito-skin selection - plain flour, roasted garlic and herb, spinach, sun-dried tomato, cheese. There they hung, preserved in lamination, like the rings of the Olympic games, multi-colored and flavored, giving hope to the hungry.

Upon selection of your tortilla, the burrito technician provided further enlightenment on the choices you were given to sate your noshing needs:

Spanish rice or Mexican rice?
Black, Pinto, or Refried beans?
Chicken, steak, pork; pulled or grilled?
Salsa: green, chipotle-orange, pico di gallo, guacamole?
Lettuce, tomatoes, onions, sour cream, cheese?

Any or all of the above to satisfy your growling gut.

Anyway, dear reader, I considered PICNIC to be a well-kept secret. Only a select few, and mostly Mexican or Mexican-American at that (adding to the authenticity of course), seemed to know of the bargain. And when some new proprietors bought PICNIC and renamed it "Sante Fe Grill" I remained unworried because the burrito bar went unchanged.

Well, it turns out that the new proprietors have been the best and worst things to happen to my beloved PICNIC. You see, upon acquisition of their new investment, the owners decided to try for a liquor license. The logic, of course was flawless - after all, what complements an elephant-esque burrito better than a well-mixed margarita?

The new owners seemed to build big on the solid foundation laid by a Wal-Mart shopper sized-burrito bar. The margaritas were fantastic. Delivered in a pint-glass (a FULL pint glass mind you), the frozen 'ritas packed more punch than Evander Holyfield's disembodied ear. Oftentimes, I noted that one ordered the second margarita only to be too drunk to consume it by the time it arrived at the table. On top of that, during happy hour, these MEGA-ritas were only $2.99 in tax-free Delaware dollars.

Begin the downward spiral. Any secret begs to be free - the dirtier the secret the more it screams to be heard. And nothing speaks louder than cheap booze in a college town. The CotU is home to a large state University packed with Jersey flotsam and the less-offensive DE native. It didn't take long for the students to find this gem. Like bloodhounds on the scent of an escaped convict, they slobbered and drooled, clawing their way to a cheap drink. And for a while it seemed like a good thing - a local establishment, locally owned, was getting good business guaranteeing its survival in the kill-or-be-killed world of food service.

However, the sudden influx of capital combined with the obvious opportunity for growth has proved to be PICNIC's Achilles' Heel. Happy Hour, the provider of the bargain-rita, was shaved by an hour on Fridays to take the edge off of the rush. Seating was expanded nearly 100 percent while the now overtaxed kitchen remains unchanged in size. The food quality has dropped significantly as the managerial staff tries to cope with the new supply-and-demand model - sometimes a meal is even missing ingredients as they've "run out for the night".

The reason I bring you this story, dear reader, is as a cautionary tale. You see, even as the food quality has withered, the MEGA-ritas have been a source of constancy. Strong with cheap tequila and thicker than an Old Fashioned Milkshake, their specialty was guarenteed to give you an unforgettable mind and body experience.

Well last night, that last brick in their foundation crumbled. The sting of the wound is still fresh, but I bring forth the story for your sake. After a nice night of climbing at the DRG, some friends and I gathered to relax around some cold pint glasses. Not only was the appearance of our refreshments greatly delayed, but the frozen margaritas arrived as liquid. In addition, mine had some unidentified particles floating around in it. The irony, of course, was that I drank my melta-rita extremely fast only to numb the pain that comes with such a loss. The waiter seemed ambivalent to my woes, and despite the free extra chips he brought in an attempt to rebuy my love... well...

Burn me once, shame on you. Burn me twice... well, we won't get burned again.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

solicitation...

Sorry to pester you, dear reader, with a gratuitous solicitation, but I am in search of the following:

Does anyone have a set of 175 mm mountain bike cranks for use with a square taper bottom bracket?

They don't have to be brand new, just in usable condition. I'm willing to pay a fair price, a little more if you have a 32 or 34 tooth chainring on there in decent condition!

Thanks!

re-todd ride...

Tuesday night in the Newark Metropolitan area typically finds a small group of riders collecting at a church on Polly Drummond Rd. Not by chance, this church butts up against some of the most manicured singletrack in the region. The aim of these riders each week is to carve this non-technical singletrack as fast as possible until, one-by-one, each pair of legs is shot. This ride, dear reader, has been refered to as the "Tuesday Night Titans" in the past. I like to think of it as the Tuesday night Re-Todd ride, as Ex-Presidente Todd is the fearless leader.

Nonetheless, tonight, I found myself lining up with others to chase Ex-Pres around the steamrolled singletrack. This was against my better judgement as I'm fighting some strange sore throat thing (a thing the Dr. said was not strep, not mono, not tonsilitis but likely allergies. So then she gives me a new allergy drug and says try this. And then she prescribes a light round of antibiotics. "I thought you said I wasn't sick Doc?" She says, "it's just in case your inflamed throat is infected." Here's to strengthing the antibiotic-resistant bacteria!). In hopes they'd leave without me, I set about tighting my chain which, in fairness, has been popping off way too often.

Well, they waited. And my chain tension was fine. And it was time to roll. I admit, my legs were feeling ok, though my head wasn't in the ride. Each time I swallow, you see, pain shoots through my throat. Not pleasant, and not good for concentration. And 50 minutes into the ride, this takes its toll as my front wheel finds a nice rut to play in, and goes on its merry way off the outside of a turn. Thigh, meet the cold, hard ground. Shin, meet the bike frame.


My ego is bruised more than anything, and I took it as a sign to go home. When in doubt, leave it out. Now it's time for a little recovery. Don't worry, the Doc prescribed this too: