Monday, August 25, 2008

I Spy ...

Up early in the morning, sleeping in the back of the car.

Yellow tape cutting a course through a park.

Cross bikes

This can only mean one thing...

A cross race!

This past weekend we were up in Mass visiting my brother-in-law and sister-in-law. We hung out, played with the kids and the dogs, went to a Grange Fair, had some awesome chicken and corn on the cob, and oh yeah, there was a cross race.

Mmm mmm chicken.

Was great to see Mega.

Marc doing his thing.

Taylor doing some acrobatics on Beth while waiting for Marc to come back around.

Here was a sign at the park. I just thought this was great. Very blunt.

Outdoors At Last!

After over a year of climbing strictly in the gym we've finally made it outside. After our first adventure as we call them, we got hooked and have gotten out as much as we can. Some places are better than others for boldering, but they're always fun.
I learned the hard way that it's best to take off your climbing shoes when not climbing. One day I decided to go exploring, while still in my climbing shoes. I was lazy and didn't feel like taking them off. The whole next week my big toe was killing me. I didn't find this until a couple weeks later when I finally took off the toenail polish. Ah, that's why it hurt so bad.

Wes climbing while still in his sneakers. Yeah, he could climb things and top out in sneakers that we couldn't.

This little boulder was the scourge of our existence for a day and a half. Though it was small, it was smooth with almost no holds. It took a while and I think we all lost some skin on it, but we made it. Yeah!

This is that boulder too. The shot looks way cool. Wes took it. The hold is actually where my right hand is, that little dent. Yup that's it.

Is this awesome or what!

Wes relaxing.

Buddy on a low start.

Rachel climbing the Mojo I think.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Not the Weakest Link

Thanks Kim! I thought I was free of this when Marc told me he had skipped me. Obviously not. Damn! Ok so here it goes...

If you could have any one — and only one — bike in the world, what would it be?
I would have to go with a mtb. That way I could still ride on the road if I really wanted to. It would be miserable, as mtb's are pigs on the road, but hey, it's a lot better than the alternative; a road bike on trails.

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?
I must say I'm pretty happy with the bikes I currently have. I built up my mtb last year and pretty much put on it what I wanted. As well as my cross bike. A road bike is a road bike, so who cares.

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?
Damn, that would really suck. I do have a tendency to ride certain loops over and over, but I can't imagine just one forever. I guess if I had to I'd pick an hour loop from my house riding trails. That way on shorter days I'd be good, and when I wanted a longer ride I could double or triple it. You didn't say I couldn't do it more than once, just the same route. ;-)

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?
Yes, that would be a sick fuck. Plus I want to know how that would be monitored. Am I going to be on surveillance or little spies following me around. And what are the consequences if I stray?

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 ride both and prefer both at different times. All depends on my mood that day.

Have you ever ridden a recumbent? If so, why? If not, describe the circumstances under which you would ride a recumbent. Who's narrow minded now?
No way, they are just ridiculous.

Have you ever raced a triathlon? If so, have you also ever tried strangling yourself with dental floss?
No, it wouldn't be much of a race once I drowned trying to do the swim.

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? Ice cream.
Easy, ice cream. Don't care for it.

What is a question you think this questionnaire should have asked, but has not? Also, answer it.
The better question would be "what would you give up your bicycle for?"
I'm not sure how to answer that. Every time I think of something, it would be even better if I could ride. Of course Marc and my dogs are not an option here.

Can you conceive cycling without racing?
Definitely, I've stopped racing before for years. But racing definitely adds something.

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?
Unfortunately this has happened. I kept my eye on the bear, but only kinda, as I didn't want it to see me looking at it. (like it mattered) Also, I checked behind me for people. There were none, but I was hoping for someone. You don't have to the be the fastest, just not the slowest.

Watch out Kerry, Mega, Gavigan and Elizabeth. Now it's your turn. Have Fun!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Spiderman, Spiderman, Doing what a spider can...

This was the theme song in my head this morning. I ventured out for an early mountain bike ride to try to escape the full heat of the day. It was already extremely humid, but in the woods, it was a little cooler. Being so early I'm pretty sure I was the first one out on the trails as I managed to capture about a million spiderwebs with my arms, body and face. Around each turn was a fresh web for me to catch. I grabbed and swiped at my face trying to pull the tiny threads free. I only managed to see one before actually going right through it. Luckily I did not see one spider that came with all the webs.
My ride turned out great, other than all the icky sticky spiderwebs.

Saturday, July 05, 2008


Yesterday I did my first Time Trial. Marc has been trying to talk me into doing a TT for a few weeks now. Last Friday I finally agreed that I would do one. Then he was on a mission to get me stuff to set me up properly. First came TT bars. So Sunday he hooked them up and we went out for a very wobbly ride. Monday was booties, of course everyone was out, so he ordered me some and they showed up Thursday. Wed he picked up a helmet and skin suit from Ethan that he very kindly agreed to let me borrow. I tried on the skin suit in advance and realized that wasn't going to work, if that was my skin, then I was a Sharpei. So I wore my shorts & jersey. I had briefly stuck the helmet on and it was a little loose, but figured no big deal.

Friday morning we head up. Of course it's raining as I'm heading to NJ to race. It always rains in Jersey if I'm racing, never fails. We get within about 10 miles and get thoroughly lost with no where to ask directions. We try looking it up on our phones, but it's being slow & difficult, so we wake Ethan up and ask him to please tell us where we are. He find us and guides us in. Thanks Ethan! Marc now has less than an hour to get ready. I'm trying to help him, plus get me ready as I start shortly after him. He takes off, I hop on the trainer, trying to get in a rhythm and the dude next to me keeps coming over to ask me questions. First his number is on upside down, so I help him out. Then he can't get his jersey on, so I point out that he pinned his number clean through. Finally I realize I'm running late and have to get up to the starting line. I grab my stuff, throw on the helmet and take off. At this moment is when I realize the extent of the helmet being too big. I had gotten the straps down to it was ok and not wobbly. The probably was that it has a back stabilizer and when I got myself down into TT position, it dug into my neck and threw the helmet forward over my eyes. Crap! No time to do anything about it. Went to the line as they're yelling my number and I take off. Every couple minutes I'm shoving it backwards trying to see more than 5 feet in front of me. Most the time I just left it down and rode blind. Luckily a TT is straight. Puts a whole new meaning on put your head down and go.

Anyway, with mishaps aside, was lots of fun.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


Recently we went to a show in Philly and due to a bad parking spot and poor maneuvering getting back to the car, our usual 1 hour drive home, turned into 2 hours. It sucked!
Last night Marc and I headed up to Hershey, Pa for a show. We've never gone to this venue before and it is a bit of a hike. The last thing we wanted was a repeat of the Philly incident. Unfortunately in trying to avoid one incident, we kinda provoked another one.
After the final song of the encore (I do not believe in leaving early) we took off. Marc led the way, I hung on as he weaved his way through the crowd. Then he noticed a short cut, but we'd have to climb a gate. I didn't hesitate and swung myself over. Unfortunately for me and the guy on the other side it was a little higher than I anticipated and I smashed into him. Luckily he took it well and I kept on my way going under the next one. As we are moving towards the intersection there is a big pile up on one side and far fewer people on the other, so we chose the path of least resistance. As we stand there waiting for the ok to cross, a rent-a-cop is pulling a huge power play with the other side. He's pointing and screaming about to burst a vein, "I'm only going to tell you this once". He was an ass. Anyway, then he starts in on us. He starts screaming at us that there's no way we're crossing there and we have to back track and go the other way around. With the clock ticking, I pipe up and say that's crap, there's a cross walk right here, I'm not going back across. Well a couple teens figured this sounded just great and took off across the street. I figured what the hell and followed. Marc meanwhile is standing there chanting 'asshole' to the guy. It catches on quickly with the crowd. Before I know it, the entire crowd of 100's of people bum rush the guy and the intersection. I look back and I can't see Marc as he did not follow me. But I do see a ton of full out running and chanting 'asshole' coming at me quickly. I keep going, Marc catches up and we high tail it to the car. We were out quickly without incident. Well besides the little riot we kinda started. Ooops.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


I don't really have a fear of heights. Going up is perfectly fine. Coming down however, is another matter.
In movies they show some person hanging on for dear life, fear in their eyes, and their fingers slowly slipping off of whatever they are holding on to and then eventually they end up falling to their death. I always thought as I'm watching, these people are crazy. If I knew I was gonna die I could hold on. It wouldn't matter how bad it hurt, I'd just keep fighting until I was ok just because I'd have too. ha ha ha Yeah it doesn't work that way.
Last week I was at the climbing gym. I decided to go up a bouldering problem that had a particularly high finish. Once up there I froze and couldn't get myself down. Marc was below me telling me to jump, yet I couldn't. I tried to down climb, but the holds were too small and I was fatiguing from the panic. As I stayed up there the worse the panic got and the more my arms fatigued prematurely. Eventually I saw my hands slipping, and even though I knew it wasn't to my death, there was nothing I could do about it. I ended up falling and I was fine, just shaken.
Turns out the movies are right. Your will will only get you so far.

Friday, March 07, 2008

In The Dark

These are some of the things I smelled, heard or saw on last night's urban ride. Most of them are smelt and heard as it was dark and I could pretty much only see Marc's ass.

  • exhaust fumes
  • spring peepers
  • labored breathing
  • wind
  • cigars
  • kids
  • laundry detergent
  • steak
  • bunnies (lots of them)
  • steak (ok we went back past, it smelt too good)
  • beer

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Spring Is Good

Ok, it's not really Spring yet. But things are already starting to get better. Yeah, it's probably a tease, as that's what March is, a big fat tease. But hey I'll take it. I need anything to break the doldrums of January and February. Don't get me wrong, I kept myself busy and I've been able to ride more than most winters as it's been more mild. But it's just not the same as Spring. Something changes as everything comes alive. Though the flower and trees aren't alive yet, people are starting to show signs.
Last night we went to a show in Philly. It was held in a little basement of a church. We saw Jonathan Rice and Matt Costa. It was great. We got there a little late and were way back at the end of the line and the show was General Admission. But once we got in people seemed to have disappeared and we got a fairly good spot. According to Marc they were all in line for the bathroom. Anyway, the show opened with Jonathan Rice, which I've never heard before. He's a one man band. Just him and his acoustic guitar. He was a super laid back hippie, and super funny. Than Matt Costa came on. He was very solid. Apparently from talking to the very talkative and informative girl next to me there is a new album that I didn't know about, so he had a bunch of new material. She kept telling me his line up as it was the same from the Brooklyn show she saw a few nights prior. So yeah, she's scary, she's following him. Anyway, the old songs were great, the new songs were great and way more rocking, to Marc's great pleasure, and he was way more talkative than the last time we saw him 2 years ago. In the middle of one song he started to choke and had to stop and start over. He apologized as he drank his beer to sooth his throat so he could continue. It was funny. I always wondered what would happen or if that ever happened to anyone while performing. In all the years of seeing shows that was the first time I've seen someone choke in the middle of a song. Now I know. Another cool aspect was his crowd was very much on the young side. So that made it much easier for me to see for a change since many of them haven't hit their growth spurt yet. That worked out to my advantage. I hate when I get some big huge 6 ft something guy that always ends up standing right in front of me. That sucks.
All in all it was a great show. Small and intimate, which is a nice change of pace from the giant venues.It was great to get out, even though I had to go to work today on 3 1/2hrs of sleep. I've been a little on edge all day. But it'll be ok. Just took a nap and already feeling better. I'm looking forward to what comes next.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Hammer Time!
Yesterday Marc, Amy and I went on a road ride. It was a beautiful day for February. Sunny and 50 degrees. Yeah, when you see the pictures it doesn't look 50 degrees. That's because when we started out it was only 35. So you have to dress for what it is, not for what it might be. Plus it's colder on the road right?

Marc sporting his spiffy new thermal vest. He loves this thing.

Amy riding by a farm. But don't worry, it didn't stay this flat and boring.

Soon we came across Hammer Time!

So we all got off our bikes and did Hammer Time. Well err ahhh I did.

We even ran into James up by the resevoir.

It was a great day to to be out on the bike. Ahhhh....

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Mishaps and Mayhem

I'm so sore. I rode Rittenhouse with Marc yesterday. After the night ride Thursday I figured this would be a nice easy ride. No stress, middle of the afternoon, fairly flat trail other than lots of roots. Well it turned out I was on my ass more than I was on my bike.
First I was going through a rooty section, loosing momentum, so I tried to lunge forward to push it out. I hit a big rock and it stopped me dead. Well it stopped my bike dead. Me, not so much. I flew about 6 feet in the air over my handlebars and head first onto the ground. I heard a big crack and pain seems to shoot from everywhere. I layed there for a second waiting for the initial shock to subside and realize what was actually hurt. I hit my funny bone, which hurt like hell. I don't know why they call it that, it's never funny. Also tore back my thumbnail, yeah that hurt too. And the loud cracking sound was just my neck cracking, oh and maybe my helmet as I noticed today it's cracked. But after a few minutes I was able to get up and continue on.
A little later I had to dismount over something and when I went to get back on and missed my saddle. This was big ouch #2. I have a beautiful bruise today.
#3 was the best though. I was just about to bonk and Marc asked if I wanted to stop. I said no, there wasn't too much further. We headed down the next section of trail when I came across a stream crossing. All day I had rode across the ice without breaking through. So I took off across this one as well. I got half way and CRACK! My front wheel busted through. I instantly popped out my right foot. Only problem was I fell to the left. I got my foot out and shoved it toward the ground to catch me. And oh it did, only by the time I hit solid ground it was plunged deep through the ice and into the icy water. This is when I panicked. And instead of just waiting, thinking about my next move and I'd only have one foot wet. Instead I quickly pulled my foot back up, which caused me to fall onto the ice. Then I panicked more not wanted to fall through and shot my arm out and deep into the water. Then my knee. It was a mess. Finally I was able to get up, but by now I was drenched in freezing water. At this point I stood up and said, "now I'm done". Marc quickly got me out of the woods and back to the car with heat. Ah heat! I can't wait until warm weather.

Today I rode Middlerun with Marc, Amy, Ted, Dennis, Epi, Elizabeth and Rich. Things went much better. I managed to stay upright all day. Yeah! It was a lot of fun. Thanks guys!

Friday, January 25, 2008

It's Dark Outside

Last night I did my first night ride (that wasn't in a race) in about 10 years. I put it off as long as I could. First my charger was busted. But Marc sent it back and got it fixed. Then my light was lost. But Marc found it. So reluctantly I charged it up and he bugged me until I committed to a ride. Last night was the night.
We headed out right at dusk. So it wasn't so bad due to the residual daylight and Marc riding behind me, which provided even more light. As we rode the sky grew darker and darker, but I was ok. At one point Marc stopped without saying anything and I was riding with my light alone. Though a little panic shot through me for a second, I quickly realized I was still ok.
I'm not going to say I like night riding, or that I enjoy it. But I will say it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Being on trails I knew helped a lot. But overall it was a good experience and one I'm sure I'll have to repeat again and again. Hopefully it'll just keep getting better.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I think I have a problem...

I was putting away laundry today when I found my t-shirt drawer was full. No problem, I thought, I'll just put them in the other drawer. I opened it to find it stuffed to the brim as well. I thought this is crazy, there has to be something in there that shouldn't be. So I began pulling everything out and stacked them up. This is when I realized I have over 30 t-shirts that aren't even my main wearing t-shirts. These are for sleeping, laying around the house, yard work and what not. That's crazy!To make matters worse half my closet is also filled with t-shirts. I have another another 50 or so that I have deemed worthy enough to be hung up and color coded so that I can easily mix and match. And it doesn't stop there. I have a 3rd drawer that is dedicated to just long sleeve t-shirts. I have a problem, this can't be normal.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Last weekend I was out on a group ride. I got myself a bit in trouble a few times and had to be bailed out (pushed). Thanks guys! At one point Amy said I should eat something so she helped me get my Gu out of my back pocket. It was cold so I had thick winter gloves on, which made it hard to have good manual dexterity. I did my best by ripping it open with my teeth and then sucking out the Gu as we were riding. This went ok until I couldn't get the last bit out. At this point I got the bright idea to stick it in my mouth and pull it out to suck it all out. It would have worked fine had I not clamped down to realize that Gu wrappers are metallic, which I quickly realized when it hit my filling. Ugh the pain!

Friday, January 04, 2008

Happy New Year!

It's a beautiful new year. I've been MIA for a while. The holidays were absolutely exhausting. I enjoy them, but I don't know. Sometimes I think they're too much work. Ugh!

We brought in the new year with Ethan, Meg, Jen and Rik. We had a very slow dinner at some cheese and wine place. I'm not so much into wine. But the cheese was good. They had good food too. Towards the end they gave out party favors. We chose horns and noise makers. We had hats and these alien ball things. Marc hates noise makers. So yeah, we made a lot of noise. It was fun.

I've never really been much into making New Year resolutions. Everyone always makes them and shortly breaks them. But this year I decided to make a few.

1. ride more, try to take less breaks. (but oh I love those breaks)
2. loose the 7.5 lbs I gained in Dec.
3. if I can accomplish #2 then work on the other 5 lbs I gained throughout the rest of 2007.
Yeah, I know, they're nothing ground breaking. But hey, they're goals and right now I need some of those. I'm feeling a little lost with my regimented cross season over. I took a huge break and now I'm ready to get going again. Just trying to figure out where I'm headed.

Other than those I'm keeping it simple. Try to have fun with whatever I'm doing, keep working on being more laid back and just enjoy life.
Happy 2008!