Monday, December 24, 2007

things to watch while on holiday vacation via youtube

Maybe you actually read this while not at work. If so, check out this entertainment.

GIRO 88: this is a link to some footage of the 88 Gavia stage. Watching some of the toughest men on earth cry is hard to do.

Best Commercial Ever? Who knew that Miller was run by Pinko's. This is seriously an amazing television commercial.

Robert Millar documentary from 1985 60 minutes long, documents a great cyclist's career. Pretty cool. This is the first of a bunch, the others are on the right of the screen.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Normal vs Abnormal

Friday night was another cab night. The cab has a computer screen that shows my fares, destinations and all kinds of jazz. Sometimes if there is a road closure or massive congestion, the machine will BEEEEEEEEP and it will flash the information. Friday night it just kept flashing "MANY DRUNK DRIVERS ON THE ROAD TONIGHT, BE VERY CAREFUL!" It is my opinion that there are always too many drunk drivers on the road at 2:30 AM or after a stillers game. Right now I am under the impression, by the number of people going to bars and clubs via their own car and then driving home, that drunk driving is totally normal and maybe even socially acceptable. I often get people in my cab that I would consider to be annoyingly drunk talking about how they didnt drink too much and should have driven. Weird.
Friday night/ Saturday morning at about 2 AM I came across two separate crashes that I would bet dollars to donuts involved drunk people. One had a car crashed into a median and the driver was in the back of a cop car by the time I drove past. No more than 5 miles away I passed another which had the tow truck army already out in full force.

Standing in 48 degree rain 2 hours and 30 minutes into a 4 hour ride while watching somebody fix a flat tire and talking about how "its really not that bad out." Not only saying it, but totally believing it and being happy that it is this warm while you are out for hours riding a bicycle around poop covered country roads all weekend.

Two totally unrelated things. If you do one, it is pretty normal and acceptable (not to mention all that goes with general bar culture.. getting up at noon, random sex, jockockracy, bar fights, etc). The other, people usually cant comprehend what it is and why you would do it. To me, riding 3 abreast on an empty road with 2 good friends is more fun than alcohol, drugs, bars and random hookups could ever be. Maybe Im missing out.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

My 300 dollar Italian shoes.

That is my buddy Matt's joke about his Sidi shoes. He is a total bum, much like me, but its funny that he owns a 300 dollar pair of Italian shoes.

But how about this, my buddy scoot from Bike Pittsburgh showed me: 373 dollar FAKE CYCLING SHOES. Yes they are just stylish "sneakers." So here you go if you are looking to "update your casual wardrobe." Maybe Ill get them when they have the boa mechanism like the Specialized shoes.

Friday was a 6 hour ride with The Chew Man. Tons of NEW ROADS. One of my favorite parts of riding with chew is that he will sit on you for 5 hours, then attack you while you are eating and climbing up a hill at mile 85. Not only that but it is a relentless attack for no reason other than to make you chase him as he crests the climb and gets into his damned aero bars. It seriously takes the guy like 80 miles to warm up.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Geometry and orange pop.

In the past year the Somali's have decided that since I live across the street and have some college experience, that I must be able to tutor them in all high school subjects.

A few months ago, I had to call Dr. Stubna, the math professor, to help me with some Algebra 2 questions. This is after gary, amy and I couldnt figure it out. Stubbs explained it to me pretty easily.

Last night I found myself in a similar situation in their livingroom. Geometry homework. This is where my love for the Somali's comes in. I am always given some sort of orange beverage. This time it was an Orange flavored soda. They only drink orange pop, its like that scene in Joe vs the volcano. They have like 5 gallons of sunny delight on hand at all times. It is my honest belief that they think there are real oranges in it. I dont want to be the person to tell them the truth of it. I mean they all have giant oranges on the label and in the logo, how do you tell them that it is actually just flavored sugar?

Or maybe they wouldnt mind. Because I was also made a sandwich. I have been given the substance "hell ooo uh" before. It seems to consist of vegetable oil, sugar and cloves in a sort of jello consistency. Until last night, I have only seen it eaten as a desert, like a finger food. I was shocked / amazed upon finding out that it can also be put on bread and made into a sandwich. Imagine a jello sandwich.

This is all on top of finding out that it is like a mortal sin to turn down any amenities shown to you. It is considered insanely rude to turn things down. Until finding this out I would always say "no thanks" to things offered me, because they have like a million kids and a fixed income. Why am I going to snatch up Muya's orange crush? Then Amy and I were told that one mother thought we were being rude because we never take any food we are offered.

I wish there was a picture of me eating sugar/oil sandwiches on white bread.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Bad Decisions

Ive made a few.
One was quitting college 80 credits from graduation. Another was stealing thousands of dollars worth of lumber at 4 in the morning when I was 14 years old and deciding to take the scenic route home and getting pulled over by the cops. These are all in the past. I would like to think that with maturity comes the ability to make better judgments. Until yesterday.

Writing a blog about a bike ride is a snoozer. "blah blah we were pedaling along and we are real fast or tough or it was awesome" or whatever. But yesterday was one for the books. My books anyway, it doesnt compare to Danny Chew riding home from Columbus OH in 40 degree rain wearing short sleeves, and numbing his hands for a month afterwards giving him what he claims to be the mental tenacity to win RAAM. No it takes less than that to get into my books.

Lifson and I headed out for a 3 hour ride on what seemed to be a pleasant day. 1.5 hours into the ride, it got really dark and started sprinkling. I was like "lets go right and add another 40 minutes cutting through Northmorland Park." Jake being smart (ask him any questions you might have about "toxic tort law"), says "maybe we should just head left and start towards home."

8 minutes later we are both realizing the severity of the situation. We are out of the county, it is 37 and raining and we are both kind of not dressed for it, because it was 40 and OK when we left.
The stages:
- at first it was comical. "man this sucks"
- 20 minutes later it was zen. "you have to know pain to know comfort" "you must know cold to understand warm"
- 1 hour into a headwind at 22 mph with freezing rain at 35 - 37 degrees it was "dude I think I might stop in at Trizilla and jump in their endless pool"
- 1.5 hours into this hell, I was on the verge of just quitting, I was starting to shake from cold and couldnt open my front door by myself.

Im not trying to be dramatic or sound macho, because it is like bragging about how tough you are after you shoot yourself in the foot, but the pain I felt when the feeling came back into my fingers almost made me vomit from nausea.

Moral of the story:
Sack up babik, krall and turner.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

I bike PGH T-shirts.

Im posting this for the Amy. She enjoys doing crafts and making things. Together we made a few shirts the other year for the handmade arcade. The demand was greater than the supply, and it left a few people wanting more.

Well, this weekend is I made it which is a similar event. Amy is making more shirts and will have them available as well as other crafty stuff.

She will also have more up on her craft website

Blah blah American Apparel t shirts, no slave labor etc.... Money from each shirt will go to Bike Pittsburgh. Buttons and magnets also to be available.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Goodbye to you my friends.

Last weekend of the MAC series. Every year I tell myself not to register for Nationals unless I get UCI points. This weekend was my last shot at it, and the closest that I got was 11th. Talking with Minturn before the race, I predicted 14th or 15th, but enough people flatted to let me move up the ladder. I beat 1 person who I thought would beat me. Its pretty funny that you can look at the Preregistration and pretty much know what place you will get at some of these races.

So what now? Cross season was a whirlwind, racing each weekend for the last 8 or 10 weeks, including some local Mountain bike races and the Dirty Dozen. I guess now its time to sit in a taxi for the next 3 months to save up enough money to do it all again next year.

Cross season highlights.
- 2nd at the Hagarstown race. Nearly won, got out sprinted, good time
- Podium with fast guys at the Taccino cross race
- Awesome freaking team with tons of support. (
- Fast teammates that make people think that I, myself, might actually be fast
- Awesome road trips, lots of driving made fun
- Tons of awesome people in and around each race.
- On the line of each race when you hear the announcer say "On the line are the professional men, these are the best racers in the country!", it always makes me smile and laugh at myself

Cross season lowlights
- Crashing and getting lapped at the first GP in Kentucky
- Forgetting to register for the GP in New Jersey (yes that is the story)
- Never having a good race at Granogue
- Amy not making it to a race due to her part time weekend job.

Anybody who is looking for races the weekend before Nationals should do Bill's race (, which is right near Easton PA. My Dad is coming into town, and having not seen him since July, Im going to hang out in the Burgh and watch the Stillers vs New England.

Also, thank your promoter. I hung out/mooched off of Hebe this weekend during his promoting of the UCI race on Saturday. Even a seasoned vet like him was under a lot of stress and pressure, not just mental, but physical and financial. Everybody should go out of their way to thank promoters, or there might not be any more races.

Monday, November 26, 2007


22 degrees at 8am and 130 people showed up for Danny Chew's Dirty Dozen. A crew that included:
- 2 RAAM finishers (one was 6'8 and riding a "huffy" serotta! badass
- A guy who I used to play with when I was 3, our parents were best friends
- internet douchebags
- hipsters
- bike racers
- at least 2 10,000 dollar bikes
- 3 women!

And a lot of nice people. Nice people include but are not limited to:
- Barb Peterson, the woman who drives the support car. She does it year after year and is so nice. She has nothing to do with cycling, but just enjoys the event.
- Mark Powder, longtime ACA official takes a day and tries to decipher who is scoring points
- Mark Bold, he moto marshaled a non sanctioned event. It was awesome, he would block
some intersections and lead the group on his motorcycle.
- Ryan Mcdermitt's family was nice enough to drive along the event with our stuff in their car
- Billy Kanarek nicest guy ever, donates the pop, loves the event
- Trizilla drove support with water and pop
- Of course, Danny Chew, who hit the 1 million K mark ON the ride. good for him.
Obviously, all of these people make the event what it is.

This is in addition to all of the people who were just there cheering and having fun. I think shorly danny is going to need to charter a bus for people to watch.

Also, Chris Mayhew always gives me training guidance. Actually it is more of nontraining guidance because he tells me when I should rest rather than ride, calling me incorrigible when I try to ride on what should be a rest day. Chris also rode really well.

Saturday answered the question: who is most willing to take a non serious event the most seriously. Answer: me. Dr Stubna put fear into me for the last few months. Too bad he didnt have his powertap so he can compare last year's efforts to this year's.

Current ACA club champion, Jake Lifson FEARS THE DIRTY DOZEN. He has yet to finish it, and refused to start it this year. John Minturn has quit bike racing to become a cycling "enthusiast," which means he drives to races (the DD, the USGP's etc etc), to cheer and heckle. Colin has like laryngitis and finished, scoring points, and a healthy minturn couldnt sak up at all. Also, it was good to see how stoked Babik was breaking away and winning the last hill. All smiles.
Good times, good people.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

it is 22 degrees outside.

how many people will show up to spend 5 hours with dan chew?
My guess is possibly 50. What a world.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The cross team.

So in case you missed the cycling news article, there is a new Cyclocross team out of Western PA. The Ed Krall Racing team has a near all star cast, with the headliner being Chris Horner. Also on the team are Megan Elliot,Stephan Kincaid, Bill Elliston and me (who? wtf? yeah exactly!)
Although the cross season is pretty short, and there have been only a few races together, it is pretty cool. Obviously riding with this class and level of racers is an honor and I got pretty lucky to be able to call myself a part of the team.
More info is at

Also just want to say that the Fuji Pro cross bike has been awesome. The team site has some pictures of Geronimo's bling ride with the deep carbon wheels on it. Im not just saying this because it is the sponsor, it is seriously a really nice bike. I think they do something right by having very little advertising and offering a good product, it brings the price down. They retail for like 1700-1800 bucks, with ultegra and some Dura Ace with ritchey comp stuff. This ranks pretty high in my world of cost to function. Im considering buying one of the Fuji Mountain Bikes next year for some XC racing.

Yes, Ed will rub the sportsbalm on your legs for you if you bring it to him, just tell him Steevo sent you.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Kraynicks is still ruling.

So if you got your recent issue of Stars and Stripes you noticed a bit of Kraynicks podium action in the 20th annual tour de Tama.

"They included Lt. Cmdr. Sean Easley of Atsugi, who captured the Masters title in only his second appearance at the Tour de Tama, finishing in 36:01 to win by a margin of almost two minutes."

Article online.


Friday, November 16, 2007

January 1st. No more honest milk.

Has anybody seen this?

usa today story

the times

Basically on 1.1.08 you wont see "hormone free" or "rbgh free" or "pesticide free" on your milk anymore in PA. Because: "State officials say the labels are confusing and impossible to verify."

This all comes about from Dennis Wolff, Pennsylvania’s agriculture secretary, who is a... a... oh yeah a dairy farmer.

I hate 1984 metaphors, but come on.

Monday, November 12, 2007

bike racing fans exist in america.

So Sunday I am sitting at the SportsBalm tent selling some product for Ed while he is racing when a couple comes up to chat. They ask about the product and are obviously just there to watch the race. I put on my "meeting somebody's parents for the first time, pretend you aren't a loser" game. The woman asks me about bikes, saddles, riding, railtrails, racing, balm, the whole gamut. I give my honest opinion to her, and told her to find a local bike shop that she trusts and support it, because they are also full of advice, and this time of year might just be sitting on their hands waiting for some business.

What was awesome was that she said they drove like 45 minutes to get to the race just to watch. She then tells me that they drove up to watch Univest as well. They will be driving to the USGP next weekend too. They didnt know anybody racing, they didnt know much about cross, but they are just FANS of cycling. They seemed kind of suprised when I told them that I did Univest, and they asked if I was racing the Elite Men, and I laughed and gave my usual "Ill be in the race, yeah."...

Sure enough, every lap when I came by, they were there cheering for me. Real cycling fans. They spent their sunday afternoon driving to a bike race to watch it. Totally crazy. Ill look for them next weekend at the GP for sure.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

what a dumpster outside brings.

What I learned is that you cannot have a dumpster out front and dudes working without neighborhood people stopping by. You have dudes looking for day labor, scrappers looking for metal, guys looking for antiques, etc.

At one point we had like 10 people in the house including:

Ron - Black Cowyboy scrapper. He lived across the street and would take things that we were going to throw away and sell them. He would pretend he was giving them to friends, as if we didnt know that people might want to buy a TV. Ron was around for a few days and helped out a good amount in exchange for junk and scrap. Ron always seemed to be a bit disoriented, getting turned around in the house and not remembering which way the stairs were. Ron almost causes crashes each time he pulls out of his driveway.

John - John is a 53 year old grandfather of 15. He has 1 eye and an eye patch. You think this might slow him down, but if you offer him 50 dollars to clean out the nastiest basement on earth, you will be amazed. The man knows how to stack stuff in a dumpster so there are no air gaps, and has apparently been in "the industry" for longer than I have been alive. That is either depressing or impressive. John put in two good days work, and if I owned a company doing this, I would hire him. Its sad to think that he is my dad's age and willing to work for daily cash pay.

Dennis - 50 something black dude with HUGE dreadlocks. He comes looking for scrap, but immediately finds some junk that he will flea market. We offer it to him at "a fair price," and when he is done he tries leaving without paying. He totally shorts us and acts like he is getting ripped off.

Little Man and Dave - Dave drives by and asks if we have scrap. I tell him yes, but there are 3 others looking for it, and the first to show up, gets it. He comes back 10 minutes later with "little man." Little man is a 40 something year old black midget. He is there to help haul scrap, but apparently cant carry too much. They work together and only take the big stuff. They take most of the stuff from the attic, but stop short of it all because they are tired from walking the stairs. After I walked the stairs like 500 times in a day, I wanted to ask if they were seriously that tired after 3 trips.

Super gay antique dude - This guy walks in and drops "I work for SO AND SO... you need to call us anytime you get place like this so we can check the antiques" I have never heard of the woman and was like "sure dude." At which point my brother remembers his future children's college fund and starts schmoozing with the guy. Apparently his job is to drive around and buy antiques for some billionaire, whose name my brother did recognize. The gay dude had super huge safety glasses on with prescription lenses. Not the army type, but the type you would wear if you were welding or something.

Tyrone - Tyrone lived behind me for a year with his now wife. They are a cool couple and we have a bunch of friends in common. Ty is a 3rd generation scrapper/junkman/fleamarkeer. Tyrone knows the going value of just about any junk, has books of names of artists that could be worth money, and also has a pickup truck. I gave him tons of stuff for 25 - 50% of what he will sell it for. It worked out well for both of us, because I was going to throw most of it away anyhow.

Tyrone's dad - 2nd generation junk guy that mostly deals in antiques now. He knew each piece of junk and how much it was worth, where it was made and how old it was. It was kind of like an antique roadshow of 100 dollar 50 year old furniture. He also knows a person that wants to buy each thing and each thing that he doesnt take. This brings in Charlie and Jimmy.

Charlie and Jimmy were a couple of dudes that we called on Tyrone's dad's recommendation. Jimmy was just paid help, and was totally drunk. Jimmy also knew Ron, the black cowboy, despite the fact that they are like 10 neighborhoods away from eachother. Charlie walked around looking at everything that I DIDNT want to sell to him. He kept asking about the mantles and fixtures, which were going to stay. They took an antique C curve rolltop desk for 30 bucks.


Saturday, November 03, 2007

If you have a truck you make money. Where you been?

So last thursday my brother, the real estate mogul, and I sit down for breakfast before we plan to go mountain biking. He tells me about this house he is going to list. A man lived in it for 35 years and never threw anything away. It needed to be cleaned out because you couldnt see any walls or floors or anything, there was no way to see what type of condition it was in.
"the lawyer said it is going to cost ...."
"Ill do that for that price."

We skip mountain biking and check the place out. Maybe 2000 sq ft house TOTALLY FILLED with junk. We didnt know that the library had a mantle until we cleaned it out. There were paths around the main rooms and things stacked everywhere else.

Friday, Ed convinces me to leave for the USGP and skip out on all of life's responsibilities. Leech picks me up and we roll out. I annoy him on the way down making "business calls" about the permits/dumpsters/fees/applications involved in this. This is my first time and I am still trying to pick up on the jargon.

Saturday and Sunday were USGP. Read cycylingnews if you want to see that stuff. Oh, I was the LAST PERSON to get lapped. Totally bogus. If I hadnt crashed I probably wouldnt have. At least I didnt quit. Leech convinced me to pour rubbing alcohol in the cuts at night. That sucked. Ed Krall did offer to rub sports balm into my legs!

Monday, Justin and I start busting ass and fill up a 30 yard dumpster in about 18 hours. Click Here if you dont know how big 30 yards is. Its the biggest you can get residentially.

The past week left me throwing a man's life away. From what I can tell:
He went to school for journalism. I found the college newspaper articles that he had written. I found an archive of the years best college writing that he was in.

He made a career of the Military. I found all of his old flight jackets, hats, uniforms, etc. I found a certificate that he broke the sound barrier in the 70's, which I imagine was a big deal.

He worked writing for the local paper. I found a box of envelopes with 2 copies of every article he had written labeled with a dates and subjects. This was for a few years, but I think he had a military pension as well as this job.

He then made cross work puzzles for a living. He had at least 50 dictionaries of weird things. Geographical dictionaries, author dictionaries, slang dictionaries, language dictionaries. He had bookshelves filled with just dictionaries of weird origins. I also found boxes and boxes and boxes of crossword puzzle books FILLED. Every puzzle complete. Crazy.

He must have loved burning cd's. He had at least, no lie, 4 - 5000 cd's filled with MP3's. Every genre, any artist you can think of. The weird thing is that he had no decent stereo to play them all on. I think it was an OCD thing.

What do you do with this much stuff? I donated what I could, and the rest will end up in a fill. The man's family came and took a few things, but didnt want anything else.

I have always thought that if you leave something, you have lived a decent life. My brother's thrash metal band put out a few records that might keep them in people's minds for a few decades. As depressing as it is, it seems like all that this man left will be in a landfill in Monroville. All of his money and time spent on a household of stuff is just gone. It made me want to take his camping gear (tons of Titanium backpacking stuff) and just go into the woods for awhile and really think if spending the money I am going to make doing this on hardwood floors in my house is really worth it.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Taxi. For Billet. sex and drugs.

Crazy things in the taxi seem to come in groups. I have mostly been working the airport lately, which means I drive business people going to and from it. Its pretty boring, occasionally somebody will talk to me, and sometimes they are even nice, but it is pretty mundane. The last two days have caught me up on crazy stuff.

Story One:
Monday night I dropped somebody off at a new hotel on the North Side. I look at the computer and see a fare within a minute's drive, but probably in the ghetto. So be it. I take the 20's out of my money box and stuff them in my secret hiding place. It varies, sometimes its a hole in the taxi seat, sometimes an empty coffee cup on the ground. I pull up and two really really drunk guys get in, they are going to Blush, a strip club downtown that a certain somebody bike racer we all know frequents.

Strip clubs like taxis, we bring people to them, usually by them asking which one they should go to. For this they give us five dollars per person we bring in, and apparently let us hang out inside to spend the five dollars. So I follow the guys in to get my kickback, and the one guy is denied because he has a sleeveless shirt on. Picture a giant biker guy with a beard, long hair, and Harley shirt.

Bummer. We go outside, and the biker dude is prepared to have me drive him home and back, probably another 20 bucks of his down the drain. We are approached by some urban fellows trying to bum a cigarette. Biker dude offers to buy the "whitey" off the dude's back. Whiteys are those shirts that the urban guys wear, they are like bed sheets, and as Amy had told me, they wear like 3 of them at once. Biker offers 10 bucks for a whitey, where the urban guy then says "20 for the shirt and these pills," and pulls out some prescription medication. Biker dude talks him down to 15, and they bite the name off of the bottle for the transaction to go through.

I stand in the background wondering if indeed I am going to get my 10 bucks or if these guys are going to go into the alleyway and take all the pills. It all works out, the guys head back into the club and I collect my money. The door guy offers to let me stay for a bit, but I decline. My brother once had guys buy his way into a club and paid for him the whole time. weird.

Story Two:
I get in at 1AM and sleep until 5:45. I crawl back into the car and check the computer. Early morning is awesome for getting trips to the airport. There is a 309 fare on the screen, which is my neighborhood. I book it, hoping best case it is somebody going to the port, worst case somebody going downtown for work. Wrong. West Penn hospital ER going to Homewood. Homewood is basically like the free zone on the wire. Anything goes. There is a park called "milk crate park" where crack heads hang out like zombies. There is actually a bakery and a barber shop in the business district. Maybe half of the properties are empty and anything empty is missing all copper or anything valuable. Awesome.

The fare is a couple, younger than me, ghetto as all get out. She is on the phone the whole time talking about how she got "vicondins." Halfway through the ride she says that she didnt have a voucher, which is basically a free ride home charged to the hospital. This is where I should have confirmed that yes, they actually do intend to pay me money for my time and service.

We pull up to her house and she gets out, leaving the dude in the car. She has to fetch her purse to pay me. Right. Three minutes pass and her boyfriend suddenly has to pee super badly. He keeps telling me that he does and how he doesnt want to pee in my taxi. I tell him that he isnt leaving the cab until I get my money. Minutes pass and 911 is called, the fare is 17 dollars and I have wasted about 30 minutes at this point.

The kid says he is going to get out of the car and to come find him when the cops get there. I tell him not to, and he kind of listens. The whole time I kept my foot on the brake, never taking it out of drive. If I needed to I was ready to floor the 8 cylinder crown victoria into a wall or tree or something. I have a seatbelt and airbag, he doesnt. 17 dollars. I start getting creeped out, because the girl calls her boyfriend and tells him for us to come down and get the money, and she is in pain and cant bring it up, at which point I just start driving around the block at 15 - 20 mph, not letting her boyfriend out of the car. 17 dollars.

Cops show up, and no offense to Denny, Ruggs or Gerry, but they are the typical guys who would have beat me up in high school. I give them the run down, they take the kid down to the house to sort stuff out. I listen to NPR.

Five minutes or so later, the cops come back up and give me a piece of paper.
"This is the kid's information, it checks out."
"uhhh what?"
"What do you think we are going to do? He has no money, do you want us to just beat him up or something? Beat the money out of him?"
"uhh well maybe arrest him or something???"
"We cant even arrest people for dealing crack, and you want us to arrest him for this? You need to learn the law. Take his information to the Magistrate and charge him for theft of services."

How about you do something to the kid so he doesnt think that he can do this whenever he wants? What a waste of time.

Story Three:
After that fiasco I drive some grad students to the airport. Sweet. Some business dudes get into my taxi and decide that it is too dirty for them and get back out. Whatever. I welcome the next fare, a pretty hot lady who is really well dressed with Louis Vitton full luggage. Bling.
As a luggage handler I have come to appreciate different types of bags. You can tell who is shopping at walmart, who travels for a living, and who has something to prove. The nicest yet was a Ducati bag with matching wheeled bag.
So we start rolling on what is going to be a 60 dollar fare to the suburbs. We small talk. She is flying back from the football game Sunday in New York. It was a nice weekend getaway apparently. Then she gets on the cell phone. It is probably illegal for me to record it, but I wish that I had. My brother used to call other cabbies and they would call him to listen when people were talking like she was.
Basically she was like Julia Roberts in pretty woman, but I think more expensive.

Shortly into her conversation I picked up on what she did for a living. She was talking to friends about "appointments," and "how he thinks he can treat me like shit because he is paying me." Fair enough. Then I start wondering how much somebody like that makes, or charges, or how the whole event even works. Where do you find a high class hooker?

The more she divulges on the cell phone, the flirtier she becomes with me, which was weird. "Left here honey." "Right here sweetey." and the final "straight through here" accompanied by an arm touch. So weird. If only those business guys knew how dirty the cab is now. Shudder. Along the way she drops a "he is paying me a thousand dollars a day, but sometimes it aint worth his bullshit." Question answered. New question: How do I become a high class hooker?

Her house was a modest suburban two story with a Nissan car in the driveway. Fifty Five bucks on the meter. She pulls out a stack of hundred dollar bills that had to be the most cash I have ever seen in my life. I thought about the stack of singles you see at the bank that is 100 dollars. This was at least that, probably more (do the math 10,000+). 65 bucks. In any other situation I would have thought this was a good tip. Hot chicks dont tip, every cabbie knows that.

A few more months until I am on weekend duty again.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Hard. Western PA race report

When I talk to people that I dont see much, and they ask "how is bike racing going?" my only response anymore is: "hard." It is the easiest way to summarize it all. Its really hard to climb into a car for 3-5 hours each way to suffer through a race, hoping to maybe pull out a result. Its hard during the race, when you hope for a flat sometimes just to make it all end. Its hard Monday morning to go get a taxi cab and
sit in it for 19 hours just to make some money to go do it all again the following weekend. Then there is the training and bike maintenance and the monthly laundry that I do.

Then there is cross. Hard cannot summarize it. Unholy suffering for 1 hour. 1 hour for the leader, a guy who more than likely is a national champion, probably has gone to worlds, just finished racing 10,000 miles on the road for a pro team etc. 1 hour for him, and if you are lucky enough to not get lapped, it is like 1:06 for you. Awesome.

There is a highlight of every race though. Certain things are memorable and make you smile in retrospect and make the race easier to get through.
- Every cross race the announcer says something like "these are the professional Men" or some such hype up. Sure the guys at the front of the pack, except studs like Leech, are doing it for work, but the other half are probably getting through work each day by looking forward to racing their bike that weekend.
- It is amazing how many people seem to know my name as I go around the course. It makes it a bit easier to suffer through it all, and in exchange during the other races, I of course cheer on anybody whose name I even think that I know.

This weekend, back to back UCI races, was an awesome time to be around friends and awesome teammates. Really good people all around.
Recap of people who live in the Pittsburgh area, which apparently will include Greensburg, and Renfrew. Also people who wish they still live in Pittsburgh. This is from memory, while warming up and stressing out over everything, so if Im way wrong, remember what you are reading and that cyclingnews is also a website.
- Soupie pulled out the 5th place on sunday in the C race. Super secret CCCP (cyclocrosscoliationofpittsburgh) training has paid off!
- turner crashes out saturday and has a chain mishap. Sunday is redemption, taking PUNCHES during the race (or so the announcer claimed), attacking the field like a gazelle, putting it all on the line the last lap, finding some grass to lay in during one turn but still pulling out a 6th place.

- Stubna rides strong enough on saturday to pull out 9thish place. He took sunday off to do secret Dirty Dozen training. He actually baked me brownies to try and fatten me up saturday night. His mental games did not work. I told him that I havent eaten, and will not eat until the Dirty Dozen.

- Nick Fisher brought the pain with the Fu crew and Finished in the 10-20th spot each day. I think his highlight was being in a group of 4 or 5 for saturday's finish, leading out the sprint and winning it.

- Mike Mihalec of Beaver Valley velo showed up and got a top 10. Good ride for a guy that lives near Pittsburgh, but I dont see much of.
Elite Masters

- Big Brian Wzxcxchski rolled tubulars and makes it look like he is just riding around, but still pulls out top 20's. I think Brian gets number 1 fan award for cheering this weekend. He and Nick Fisher might have to compete for it.

- Gorski. The races are like 5 hours too short for him, but he is still managing to dangle off the lead pack in like 11th constantly. Good rides for sure.

- Pfluuger. Gerry works his way though the pack and works his ass off making top 10's. I think he is on par with Fergie as far as advice about tire pressure and components and whatnot. Smooth, but with gears this year apparently.

- miniturn. Minturn enjoyed his last week of call ups. His 1 UCI point expired and he will be in the Scrum soon, which might lead to him sacking up and starting to try. To quote Gorilla Buiscuits "why play for us, if your hearts not in it."

- RUGGS. Saturday was his course, but the razorblades and barbed wire the I put in front of him managed to rip a hole in his tire. He ran like 2 miles to the pit and still almost caught back to my group. If he were greg lemond talking about how many tours that he should have won, Ruggs got a top 20. Sunday Ruggs' inexperience showed I think when he was waiting in line for a bottle neck and me and another dude ran through with our bikes like it was the guy from Texas Chainsaw Massacre It took him like 6 of 100280 laps to catch back on to our group, where he rode through me and tried to grab Bobby Lea's wheel, but couldnt. Sweet first UCI races though.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Danny Chew will hit 1 million Kilometers today.

I called him last week when my taxi had 518,000 miles on it to ask if he remembered when he had just 518 thousand miles. He would have gotten the mileage this weekend, but his frame is cracked and he didnt want to risk being stuck out somewhere far, so I imagine he will complete it today at the oval or something.

Month Of Mud - Moraine State Park
Final race of the series. I had ridden this loop a few years ago with my old boss. It is twisty and rocky, there are berms made of rocks on top of rocks, which have rock gardens on them. There were a few "fitness stretches" connecting all of these rock gardens. On the first lap I seriously wanted to ask a mountain biker if they REALLY think that riding that stuff is fun? I mean they buy bikes with extra suspension so they dont feel the rocks. They buy the tubeless tires (thanks Gary) so they dont get flats on the rocks, and then they make the trails go RIGHT INTO THE ROCKS! I think rock gardens are perpetuated by the suspension industry.

Early race was me hanging onto Rob Spreng of Dirty Harry's wheel. He knew the course or something, because he was killing the dirt singletrack. My usual MO for a mountain bike race was: get away on dirt road climb, get caught on rocky descent. It happened the first lap, but I managed to stick the gap on the second lap.

When I came around on the finishing lap, I heard a collective "awwww." I guess somebody brought a fan club that was let down by me winning. whatever. I also guess that if I can win a mountian bike race on a technical course without suspension, I am no longer a total road weenie? (There should be more courses like the old Sewickley Heights course, which was like a road race on mountain bikes!)

Thanks to Gary and his sweet Niner. A nice bike makes a big difference. My first win of the year, I gave the jazz hands salute, because I still find it hard to take victory salutes seriously.

A few Jet messengers were at the race, which was rad. Larry, who I posted about last year who was hit by the car was never supposed to walk again RACED and finished! They thought it was funny I am a straight edge dude riding these grips?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Gentrify this place please.

Amy's best friend lives in San Francisco and occasionally meets Pittsburghers there.
She always says "oh I vacation in Pittsburgh!" Which any native surely laughs at.

Im sure Dr. Stubna had already read the early edition of the Times by the time I picked up on this, but I thought I would share with all the glory that is "little Somalia."

Speaking of the kids, they all just fasted for like a month and now it is "Eid ul-Fitr." This basically means that the kids didnt eat during the day for the last month, to show their faith and to gain patience. When it is all over, they party hard and EXPECT all friends and family members to give them a dollar at the end. There are like 26 of these kids running around. I saw 2 at the gas station buying cookies. I figured I would cut out the middle man and bake them a cake instead!

Lawrenceville makes the NYT travel section

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Pepsi beats coke.

This is NOT an onion article.You thought the cola wars were dead!

Pepsi man punches out Coke man during delivery
Friday, October 12, 2007
By Torsten Ove, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Pepsi has been trying to best Coke for years in the world-wide cola war, but Pepsi seems to have landed a blow in a hinterlands skirmish recently at a Wal-Mart in Indiana County.

An employee from each company was delivering products to the Wal-Mart on Oakland Avenue in White Township on Monday morning and "apparently bickering back and forth" as they worked, state police said. It's not clear exactly what the bickering was about, but as the Coke employee left the store, the Pepsi guy called him over to the side of the Wal-Mart.

There, police said, he "punched the victim three times in the face," breaking his nose and giving him a black eye.

Police did not identify the Pepsi man except to say he is a "known suspect." Troopers didn't say if charges have been filed, although they characterized the incident as a simple assault, a misdemeanor.

The Coke man, Robert Koscho, 48, of Ebensburg, said Coke told him he wasn't allowed to talk about the case.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

everybody's workin for the weekend. Im full of it.

I heard that song on the radio this week while I was standing up on a ladder installing freaking drywall all week. Yes, after two years of living in this place, we finally decided to make it livable.

Apparently standing on a ladder for a week is good training because I had two of my best races all year this weekend. Quick recaps:

Saturday, Hagerstown MABRA race... All the Studs were in new york racing some guy with rainbow stripes all over his jersey. Wow, Im SOOO bummed that I missed that.
Hebe, the ultimate combination of experienced based knowledge, and fitness (maybe tied with Fergie?) told me to take a bottle, and lent me a cage. Unfortunately we should be doing some Colin/Stubna warming up (ipods and trainers)because Hebe had a little accident while warming up.

Greg Whitwer (I will spell this differently every time until I remember how to) crashed in the turn before the first complete lap, rendering himself out of contention for the "holeshot" prime of 25 bucks. Somehow I ended up with it!!! This was after joking about going to the Jersey cross race that day and racing the C race with a 1 day to win the FREE FRAME they were giving away for the holeshot prime.

Early race was me struggling to hold Gallagher's wheel. I was really intimidated by how freaking fast he was the week before. Real fast. Middle race was no man's land, occasionally catching him and being dropped again. A few times I looked back at the chase group, and saw Hebe on the front slowing it. It was like the hoping for a flat tire feeling, like "man I wish Hebe would let those guys catch me and put me out of my misery." Another Steevo bridged up to me real fast like and we caught Gallagher again. It was sweet going around the course and hearing tons of people cheering for steevo. I felt bad for Gallagher because he probably didnt realize that there was 2x the steevo factor. S squared.
I put in a few attacks the last lap trying to get away. I attacked the hill and after the hill and into the last turn. I put my head down and sprinted (On the hoods I think? USAC downgrade?) Steevo came around me, and it wasnt until he was around that I realized that it was him and not Gallagher. Weird. He was on a borrowed bike.

I took home some cash, and have been LYING, saying that if I won money at a cross race I would buy the "fizzinator" a 56 oz insulated drinking mug. Docsnydes and I are going to both be running for Mayor of Fizz City, it will be a heated battle, but due to his newly limited caffeine intake, I feel I can take him.
However, I just couldnt commit to a 56 oz mug the size of a folgers can. Whatever.

Drive 4 hours home, watch R kelly trapped in the closet (AMAZING... PLEASE WATCH PLEASE!!!) , eat spicy food, sleep a few hours and head for the Month of Mud Brady's Run course.

Again, a few of the Studs are missing (TJ, Evan P, Krimerny?)... Last year after the race, krimerny looked at me and said "thats not a mountain bike" about my rigid 26" tank. Whatever. This year I borrowed G man's Niner Wow, what an awesome bike.
Gorski and a Dirty Harry's dude ride away from me after I dab while in 3rd. I hold on, riding with Babik for awhile, trying to hold Ruggs off before a dude came up and towed me around for awhile. He was on a dual suspension thing, so it was the "get dropped on downhills catch up on uphills thing for awhile."

I hold on for 4th overall, first single. Sweet.
If you want to win, ride a borrowed bike.

Post race:
The GPOA headman calls and offers us tickets in the bling section of the stadium. "uhh so you buy us tons of stuff and pay for our races and stuff and now you want us to have Steelers tickets???" wow. There was a freaking martini bar in our secion!!! 21 - 0 steelers. 15 minute ride home mostly on a bike trail running home from the stadium. City living rules.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Dear Johnturn, I rode your wheel flat for like a mile

Holy longest day ever. Saturday consisted of doing work around the house with Bret. Initiative has been taken to make the house "livable." The Team Kraynick's / Jet messenger construction crew has been stalwart in bringing it together.

Sunday started at 5am to drive to the Ed Sanders memorial cross race. We listened to a lot of rush, and somehow crammed 4 dudes 2 bikes (2 on the roof) and like 5 pairs of wheels into a volvo.
We convinced Soupie to do the B race, not only because we thought that he could, but also so we wouldnt have to be there at 8am. Turner and Mayhew got 3rd and 4th in the B race, and Soupie didnt fall off the back, so they were all pretty stoked.

Before our race, there was a moment of silence for Ed Sanders. From what I gathered, he was on NCVC before he was in an accident and died. What was pretty rad was that Cannondale donates a bike every year (it is the NCVC frame sponsor) for a raffle, and the proceeds go to his son for college. The tickets sold out before the race even began, and they raised 3000 dollars for the third (?) year in a row for his son's college fund. Apparently Ed worked at lili pons, and that is why they have the race there. Pretty awesome.

- The race was crazy fast.
-When I rolled past "the party zone" there were TONS of people screaming and all I could smell was beer. Slick Rick was playing at one point. Cross rules.
- Wes is a stud.
- Somehow Geronimo and I both hit the same rock that was PAINTED ORANGE. Good thing I didnt drive home because the turnpike is littered with orange barrels that would be pretty sweet to take out.
- My pit crew ruled the school with sweet bike exchanges after my flat. Darren from Haymarket bikes totally hooked us up with a front wheel for my last lap. Thanks.
-FREE CYTOMAX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
-If only I could have ridden Minturn's wheel WHILE wearing the dorm sandals that I "stole" from him, that would be SWEET.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Right now do these things: Revenge of the Mormen?

- Put new batteries in that smoke alarm that you know needs them.
- Make sure your homeowners insurance has good fire coverage.

This is the story about my mom's house catching on fire last night. The air conditioning unit in the window caused the fire. Its hard to know what the hell to do when this happens.

The red cross is pretty cool. I called them this morning, and they had a case worker who had already called the hospital to see how my mom was (she had slight burns, but was totally ok)... She gave vouchers to get my mom and sister contacts (when your house burns down you dont grab your glasses or contacts and none of us can see the E at the doctor). The red cross was readily available for so many other things, it was pretty awesome. Luckily we have insurance and credit cards and time and money to do all of this. Some people arent and it is really scary to think that they could feel left alone in such an awful time. The redcross helps prevent this with hotels, medication, clothes, etc. It seems like they do a pretty awesome job too.

Scan your baby pictures now too.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The land of The Wire.

Ok if you havent seen The Wire yet, freaking watch it already.

This summarizes Baltimore: Soupie and I stayed with friends, of friends, of friends. The one girl who lived at the house was waiting for the bus the morning we arrived. She was looking at the schedule posted on the wall of the bus stop. She had to look across a woman to see it.

"what the fuck are you looking at" says the woman.
The girl gives her a dirty look, and looks away.
BOOM BOOM - She is punched TWICE in the face by the woman. She retreats.
Welcome to Baltimore.

Soupie and I drove down Saturday afternoon for the Charm City cross race. We stayed with some kids in a surprisingly clean punk house. We hung with them on their back porch for a few hours. It was like 3 hours of me resisting eating a whole freshly baked dutch apple pie. I survived. Pretty awesome of people to put up strangers on the recommendation of a friend of a friend.

Baltimore - the city without businesses. No strip malls, no coffee shops, no bagel shops. KFCs, hair salons, and gas stations were separated by miles of boarded up houses and an occasional car wash. Breakfast looked bleak. I had some squagels and peanut butter with me and made a breakfast of it. Baltimore - you could starve, so bring your own food. The organizers knew this and provided free water, which was sweet, because soupie's race was literally 5 hours before mine, so I had to stay hydrated in the 85 degree heat.

The race was the best Non UCI race I have ever been to, and possibly one of the best overall. The setting was awesome, the organization was amazing and the course was good.

Soupie got 16th in the C race. Pretty sweet, despite a slight mechanical. Pitting for somebody is easy if they dont need anything!

No hand ups during our race. 85 degrees and dusty. Damn. Minturn crashes super hard in the prolouge. Damn. I think I have strep throat by lap 5 because it is so dry.

I thought of a formula to judge my effort. Its basically how many people I pass vs. how many people pass me. This is after the first 2 laps where people start getting into their grooves. Cross is a lot like chess - opening, middle game, end game. During the middle game Bobby Lea blew past me like I was standing still and clawed his way up to 4th or 5th. Impressive. Greg Witwer did the same. Also impressive. I managed to catch and pass another 2 or so that were going backwards. I guess I about broke even and paced myself pretty well.

End game: Complacent. Battle for 9th place between 3 of us. Geronimo got away and stayed for 8th. I attacked over a hill and couldnt stick it. They chased me down and passed me. I should have tried to attack 1 more time on the hill before the Tree dismount. Oh well.

11th place.

We got lost on the way home and got to see more of lovely Baltimore.

deep purple
GG allin
iron maiden

Thursday, September 20, 2007

When I was 13.

When I was 13, I had an Agnostic Front T shirt. It was from the "one voice" album. My mom told me that she didnt approve, and I basically told her to stuff it. A few laundry cycles later, and the shirt was missing.

Fast forward 15 years. My mom just moved into a new house. This was a big deal for her, because she has MS and doesnt really move much. After moving, she was sitting in a new, messy house waiting for her kids to help her move boxes upstairs, unpack, hang stuff up, etc. No super duper serious amateur bike racer wants to carry boxes up and down stairs, so I naturally avoided her. My brother has this career thing going on (if you want to buy a house, talk to him!) and works like 90 hours a week, so he didnt want to go. My sister only opens boxes of snacks when she has the munchies from smoking tons of weed, which is all hours that she is awake. She is more serious about smoking pot than Stubna is about training (did you see him on the trainer before the Yuasa crit?!?! that guy is serious).

Knock knock. Its the freaking Mormons. Mom befriends the Mormons and puts them to work. Within a week, all of the boxes are unpacked and stuff is hung on the walls. THE MORMONS MOWED THE LAWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Im not advocating this at all, but it is probably one of the funniest things I have heard in awhile. Pretty clever of Sandy.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

So here is the deal....

I was hanging out in "the cage" waiting to pick up a cab. I guess after 9 months of hardly working as a driver, you are in a place to tell people what is up. There was a guy there that was obviously new, something I could empathize with. I asked what he was up to, and he said it was his first day. Trial by fire. I asked if he had gotten the list yet, and he said "what list?" How much do I show this guy? I cant baby him along or he will be eaten alive later, but he seems like the type that will stand here all day.
He is a white dude in his late 30's, glasses, bald, chubby. Probably me in a decade or so. I wonder what happened that he is here now? What in his life led him to yellow taxi when he is supposed to be comfortably making a living and counting his retirement money. Whatever.
"Go ask the dude behind the bulletproof glass 'Do you have anything available?' He will then give you a list of numbers, those are the cab numbers. Go outside and see which one you want. Make sure it turns on, has 4 wheels, the lights work and the dispatch system works."
He laughed. I wasnt joking. I once pulled off the lot with a car with no computer in it. No meter, no dispatch system, no radio. I thought it looked big when I was checking the inside.
"Oh, make sure it has gas too. You can top it off and be reimbursed if its more than 3 gallons." Some guys figure out miles per gallon, and fill up that many miles before they turn in. 16 mpg x 3 gallons = anything less than 48 miles free. That is why I was waiting, somebody I know and trust was turning his cab in. I knew it ran and had a full tank, and only 270,000 miles.
The guy comes back a few minutes later and sits down with the list.
"Did you find something?"
"Yeah, only one started and its filled with garbage."
"Ok, tell the guy behind the glass that you'll take it,and give him a dollar."
New guy walks over there and does it all sans dollar.
"You must want to drive shit cabs forever... you arent ever going to get a good cab that way."
Its true. If you are argumentative or don't tip, the guys in the cage give you a list of shitty cabs, or they just give "your" cab away. I got one last week that way. It was a guy's regular cab that he put into the shop WHEN THE WHEEL FELL OFF. He got a replacement, and they gave me his. He saw me at the airport and tried playing it cool, then got argumentative. He tried scaring me into turning it in, so he could get it back. You never own a cab, you just lease it, but guys do believe they are entitled to the same piece of shit for years on end.
I wonder if the new guy made any money?

Monday, September 10, 2007


I went for the experience, and experience I got. Univest is a UCI 1.2 race. I dont know what this means other than you need to have an "international" license to race it, and if you win you get world ranking points, oh and your bike has to be over the UCI limit.

Turner and I jetted out of town getting to Fred's around 9. This gave us enough time to fiddle with our bikes for 2 hours before going to bed. Fred was sure that the Navigators were playing with their bikes at 10:30 in a dark garage.

Saturday, the bike race. 107 miles. A few KOM's, 150 riders etc etc. The start was awesome, the city was shut down, people were everywhere. In the morning, they had a tourist bike ride and apparently 600 people showed up. This is different than showing up in the middle of Lancaster county and the people who live on the course dont even know that there is a bike race going on that day. There were 2 helicopters above the race all day.

We line up. Im in over my head. Navigators, Slipstream, world champion stripes everywhere. The announcer goes, "these are 200 of the best cyclists in the world!" HA. We head off and the attacks start and go. Minturn IS the break for a second, then some more, then more attacks and the move is gone.

Ill spare the blow by blow but give weekend highlights instead.
- LOTS of different languages spoken .. 17 countries there.
- Navigator next to me dropped his chain on a climb (To think that I was embarrassed
doing this at Mingo when I was a cat 4!!!)
- while bummed out that I go dropped, I rode in with a dude from Hungary (who looked very hungry by the way, maybe weighed like 120). Dude flew to the US just for this race. That will be a quiet trip home with the DS ("no food on plane for him!")
- Kids asked for autographs. HA!
- I got my first handoff crom a moving car. It was the Mexican team. The dude held the bottle for like 1 minute while I "grabbed it," then he slingshotted me back to the pack.
- Apparently what the P R O's do is ride through the pack saying "service" while they have like 90 bottles down their jersey. That is how those dudes get through the pack so quickly and get to the front and give their teammates drink.
- Geronimo is truly a very nice person.
- Chasing on through the caravan is totally insane on winding country roads. The caravan was like 30 cars long.
- Raceing a pro crit with your brakes rubbing is not possible and is not a "recognized mishap"
- stubna is tough. Maybe someday he will win the dirty dozen, because that is way more impressive than riding in with the group at Univest.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

my idea of hell

Is spending 70 hours surrounded by generator light toting randoneurs. They would tell you how your lights arent bright enough, or how your mud flaps should be longer or how you ride too fast, or should not use clip in pedals, or arent patriotic enough, or how you should grow a mustache or something, but Matt apparently likes mental torture and did Brest-Paris-Brest, which is like 1200k or something crazy. This is a few weeks after doing the Ironman Norway, which is apparently the hardest Iron distance Tri that there is. Ill see him this weekend for my Bro's wedding, which should be sweet.
Matt's blog about riding a lot, vegan food and hooking up with girls in my bed when im out of town.

A few years ago I lived on a street in south oakland named "joe hammer square." It was a total dump. I paid 165 dollars a month for a room with like 5 other people living there. One morning I got up and the entire shower was filled with ice cream cones that were found in a dumpster. The girl that lived there, sari, just showered on top of them.

A few months ago they were evicted, like 2 years too late. There was an awesome posting on the website's "for rent" section. It went on to describe how the tenants were "musicians" and "destroyed" the place. It said they were evicted and the place would be cleaned/fixed up and available for rent.

Today's Post-Gazette had a good article titled "Oakland housing takes turn for better."
"As he finished up the walk on Joe Hammer Square, Mr. Nordenberg said the get-tough strategy appears to be working. He said he has seen a "noticeable change" in conditions since last August."
Pretty funny.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

you vs you (five years ago)

Time flies, duh. But sometimes we are reminded of who we were or what we used to be like by shared memories with others. The G man moved into the house with me and amy this week to finish college. We dropped out together and lived in "punk houses" or whatever for a long time, sometimes together.

Memory #1. I didnt grocery shop. I had no food in the house except for a jar of vegenaise and bagels. The bagels came from a dumpster in squirrel hill at Chesapeake bagels, which is now out of business. I would ride there with my BOB trailer on my touring bike and take 2 garbage bags full of bagels. I had a loop of friends that I would deliver some to, and take the rest home. When Amy and I started dating, all I could ever offer her was a bagel.

Now. I love grocery shopping. This week alone, I have been to the strip, whole foods, trader joes, and am about to go to the local farmers market. I love finding deals and eating healthy, good, cheap, food.

Memory #2. I used to not have a bed. I had those foam packing crate things stacked up on top of cardboard and some other stuff. Amy called it "the rat's nest." My room had my bicycles in it, and no door. I am not sure if I had sheets, but winters were spent in a sleeping bag.

Now. Holy yuppiedom. I have to preface it all and say that this thing was free, but... I have a simmons beautyrest mattress. I think it retails for like 1800 dollars. This is stacked on top of a giant hardwood frame that stands like 5 feet tall. The top of the mattress is literally 3.5 feet off the ground. Then there is the matching Ikea pillowcases and sheets with a down comforter in the winter.

The list goes on and on, but the me of 5 years ago would probably spit on me and call me a yuppie or something, which is a shame because I do think that we have a lot in common. I see "the kids" hanging around town and they probably think this about me. I wish that I could have some sort of coolness resume attached to me so I could try and bro down. Like the kid doing the C races that is basically me when I was his age, do I tell him that I was at the firstaus rotten record release, or that I hung out with aaron cometbus at cleveland fest one time?
A take off the Pittsburgh Masters Velo Motto, I will summarize. The older we get, the cooler we were.

Total Jagbag

Mayhew and I were warming up before what came to be the wednesday night pile up, when this guy stopped to share his mind with us.

Him: honk
Us: come no go around us (honestly, no swearing, no fingers nothing)
Him: drives around screaming stuff and pulls over
Me: are you seriously going to fight us?
Him: that is what you want isnt it? riding like that?
mayhew: dude you are wearing sandals
him: put the shoe on the other F'n foot sometime you are going to have to f'n wait for somebody and then you see how it is
us: what?????????

he gets in his car and says f you one more time. sweet
Mayhew snapped a picture.
Im still not sure what this guy was mad about?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Hotel New Hampshire

New Hampshire is far away. Like super far. North Eastern NH is even further, like 15 hours away.
The race math of riding up Mt Washington is bad. Like really bad. It is a mass start hill climb, so the better you do, the worse the race math. You are basically looking at 28 hours of driving for 1:20 of racing.

I wasnt signed up to race, I just cruised up with the Johnsons for the experience of it all, or maybe because I just had nothing else to do.

Action packed.
- Wednesday, leave Pittsburgh at 5 pm
- Thursday, arrive NH at 8 am, ride 50 miles with Turner to the base of the mountain.
- Friday, eat some sweet pancakes, ride 100 miles in 5:20 with 3 passes involved, including the Kancamanagus Pass eat some sweet pasta for dinner
- Saturday is the big day! Turner and I drive up to the top of the mountain to drive the J, and Ed back down. It was the most insane weather I have ever experienced. Im not exaggerating. I opened my car door and couldnt close it again because of the wind. There was about 10 feet of visibility, and the temperature was 34 degrees. The wind was apparently 70 miles per hour.
Race canceled. No seriously, done, over, like not happening. No refund (300 bucks), no anything. Maybe a meek apology. The definition of "not sweet."
So we head back to our rental house and head out for a sweet ride over HURRICANE MOUNTAIN ROAD, which was like 3 miles at 20%. More passes and notches than I can remember. Basically just super beautiful riding. 77 miles.
- Sunday, we woke up and packed and cleaned and rode over bear mountain, then turned around and rode back over bear mountain. Awesome. 67 miles.
Leave NH at 4pm and arrive home at 8am Monday.

So much stuff happened that I dont really remember it all.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Fergie doesnt do well at stage races.

But he will do a cyclocross omnium, and will crush it pretty hard. Rewind for a minute.

Wednesday, Friedman came down to the oval and really put the hurt on us. I was in a move with Ruggs when I turn around and see Friedman coming up to us. He basically towed us around, shredded our legs, I couldnt pull thorugh anymore, but Ruggs had some in the tank left. Then he just dropped back to the field. It was like being behind a motorcycle.

Thursday, Mayhew and I met up with Kirby (former member of Kraynick cycling), who is recovering from a bad crash (bad = life flight). We did Stig's loop (the hardest ride ever) after that. Halfway through we see the sky turn emerald green. It reminded me of when I was in Minnesota and we literally saw a tornado, same color. 3 inches of rain in the 40 minutes led to us riding road bikes as if they were mountain bikes when the rain slowed enough for us to get out from under our cover. Heroic! Middle road had washouts that covered the entire road with softball sized rocks.

Friday I decided to do the cross race in jersey on saturday, because I thought my ribs were feeling a bit better. Cross racing isnt that hard on you is it?

Saturday Soupie and caroline pick me up at 8am for the 6 hour drive to Jersey. We stop at the super sheets and are amazed as usual. We saw the Mayor of Fizz city, I think he removed Docsnides from his mayorship in a coup. He had no sleeves and a 52oz thermos that costs 89 cents to fill up. God bless America.

The cross racing. Soupie's first race, he drops his chain. He still finishes despite having to flip his bike over to unwrap the thing from the square taper. It seemed to be everything short of getting a chain tool out and then pulling the cranks off.

The elite men had like 60 events. I was only signed up for the actual race. There was an elimination thing that worked almost like bmx. There were heats, then quarter finals, then semi finals, then finals. 4 men enter 2 men go on. It was fun to watch, but I thought our race was at 6 and it was actually at like 8:20.

7:30pm the bunnyhopping contest was pretty intense. I tied for 4th at 14". I want another go at 16 inches, I think I can do it if I practice for a few minutes. Doing double barriers is all the more impressive to me now. When I was doing it, the announcer was like "this guy is here all the way from Pittsburgh PA" and then I immediately heard "THE STEELERS SUCK" from a audience member. Awesome.

The race. Not sure how many starters, Im thinking around 25ish. The course was fast and tight, with a few weird rollers, 1 runup/rundown and a set of barriers. Lap times were no more than 1:45. That is crazy fast compared to most cross courses at around 7 minutes. I really thought the shorter lap length would ensure me getting lapped by at least 1 guy.

We're off and Im sitting in a good place, there is a bit of tangle and somebody goes down to my right. We roll the berm pretty smooth and do a lap or two almost as a group with a few stragglers. Maybe 3 laps into it Im sitting 5th wheel, Donahue from Nerac, Mike Cody, Eneas Freye from Target training, Fergie, then myself. Good spot.

Then all of the sudden heading into the runup/rundown somebody is coming up on my left.
My thought process: "I feel good, but I know Im not going to ride away from this lead group, so I will stay where I am and watch attacks. I wont try to go around Fergie because I know he wont let gaps open up, and he will keep it smooth. Who is this passing me? Ill just go back around him on the barriers, what a jagoff."

The Navigator wachtung D Bag behind me's thought process:
"Im going to pass this dude in front of me on the run up... yeah, sweet now Im going to jam my back wheel in front of him so he cant come back around me, because Im passing him on the outside, which is like 5 feet longer... ok now Im going down the rundown and jumping on my bike.... OH MY GOD WHERE DID THESE BARRIERS COME FROM? WERE THEY HERE THE FIRST 500 LAPS THAT I RODE THIS COURSE? OUCH LAYING ON MY FACE HURTS.. ..." and so on.

The vaginator totally stacked it in the barriers, I fell on top of him, which created a gap between me and the 4 leaders mentioned above. I got up and worked my way back through a few guys who passed me while I was down and end up in a 3 man group with an Indy Fab guy and a Verge Test Pilot. I like the verge socks, he was wearing them and I must say they are really stylish. Anyway, the Indyfab guy was all about rubbing elbows and I was all about not crashing twice in a race, which forced me to whine to him about being aggressive. Whatever.

He stacked it in a turn and I didnt really attack but just rode away from him and the verge dude. I was hurting but kept it steady enough for 5th place, just a few seconds off of 4th, who was just a few seconds off of 3rd. I think 1 or 2 more laps, I could have caught them, or maybe I looked just as spent as they did? 1 or 2 more laps and I think I would have gotten lapped as well, so its a tradeoff!

Race was over and after a ride in the ferris wheel for soup and caroline, we hit the road at 1030. 3 hours later, we were back at the super sheets in altoona, and 3 hours after that, it was 5 am and I was laying down to go to sleep.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

The 101..

Last year I saw the Wilderness 101 and thought that it could be something cool to do. I decided this year to go for it, worst case scenario not finish, best case, podium for the Single Speed class.

Mountain bike racing is pretty cool because camping out the night before is socially acceptable and totally condoned! Imagine showing up at the registration for Altoona and asking where people are setting up tents. When I got to the park at about 7pm, there were at least 100 people there already to camp.

I talked to the Butler dudes for awhile before bed. Justin had gotten 9th the year before and gave me a heads up about some of the course. Eric said that there were going to be downhills that I would want to walk.

Some dude walks around with a gong at 5am to get everybody up. I percolated some espresso and had a peanut butter bagel. I talked to gunner about tire pressure, suspension and hydration. He did well the year before.

250 people line up and we are off. It was nice, not like a road race where everybody is jockeying for the first climb. I guess some people woke up and said "Im going for a 12 hour bike ride today." I was hoping for about 9.

On the first climb, the field strung out. I got to tell Tinker that Danny Chew is a big fan of his. Tinker big ringed most of america during RAAM. He didnt go into the little ring until West Virginia.

We were whittled down to a group of like 25 by the first feed, we blew through it and around a gate, up a double track climb. I stuck with the lead group of 8. I was feeling pretty good until the descent. I got dropped hard. This led into some single track with a bunch of rocks and bridges and stuff. I saw Von Leecher and he asked why I was riding a rigid bike. Because it is all that I have.

Out of the single track, Andy Gorski appeared behind me. I thought it was Gerry Pflug for some reason, but he had already flatted. I climbed at my pace, and put some time into Andy before the descent. This seemed to be the formula for the day: Climb a dirty road, descend on SUPER GNARLY single track with tons of rocks.

Andy made the time back on me and we worked together going into Aid station #2. He was riding really well, real smooth. I would draft off of him and pull on all the uphills, otherwise I was pretty much spun out.

We rolled into station number 2 and I filled my bottles, grabbed a few bars and headed out, eating as I started the next dirt climb. Andy had some special drink in his drop bag that made him go fast all day, so he was mixing that together.

After 20 minutes of climbing I ran into Von Leecher again. He dumped ice water on me. It was one of the best feelings ever. He said I was in 7th place. He said there was a technical descent coming up.

This is where the story goes bad. I passed up the turn for the singletrack. I rode right past it. Up until that point, and following that point every turn had caution tape across the road where you had to turn in. I went all the way to the bottom of the hill, didnt see any arrows or signs of a bike race. I knew I had passed it up. Part of me wanted to quit, part wanted to cry, and part was pissed at spending 160 dollars to enter a race and not being given a fair chance at seeing how I would do.
I climbed the 20 minutes back up the hill and turned into the singletrack.

Nate passed me, I flatted, I was frustrated and pissed and pretty much rode the rest of the day to finish. I flatted 2 more times, for a total of 3. I also managed to crash pretty good at one point as well.

During the tour of Ohio, Minturn had a plan to get away and hide, then jump back into the pack and let people think he was away the whole time. As far as I know, Wes thought that I was away. My prediction is that he would have passed me in the singletrack after feed number 3. That stuff was awful. At that point, my upper body was really really hurting. My chest of all things started feeling like I had broken ribs. It hurt to breath really deep, and my arms were just exhausted.

At the begining of the day, when I put my sportsbalm chamois cream on, I thought about how my ass was going to be whooped, but it turns out that I was out of the saddle on 90% of the singletrack. My arms are mad sore today, but my butt feels fine.

When I finally rolled into the finish, not knowing what place/time I was in, I saw Andy Gorski and he had a relieved look on his face. He never passed me, and I didnt finish in front of him, and he was worried about me. That is a good guy. From feed station #2 where I left him, until the end, the only person to beat him was Wes. He ended up 8th I think. Impressive.

Afterward, I ate 3 veggie burgers and hung out with the Western PA/West virginia people. Gunnar called Ibprofin "vitimin I" I must be getting old, because I have taken it maybe 3 times in the last 10 years, 2 of them in the last 2 weeks. I feel like I did when I rode BMX, I constantly have a sore or an ache or a bad this or that. Oh well.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Chocolate Pizza

So my man Haji had a birthday, so we baked him a cake. We took it over to "Little Somalia." Sharfi opened the door to their house and saw the cake. She is about 5 years old, and struggles a bit with English. Her eyes lit up and she said "chocolate pizza!"
Close enough I guess. I think cake is probably one of the first 50 words an American kid learns, so it was funny to see her put words together to come up with an accurate description of a cake without saying the word.

Track racing at the pseudodrome (ghettodrome, washington blvd oval... .. ) Friday night was intense. I continued my longstanding streak of getting my ass handed to me by old dudes when Bob Gottlieb put in a course setting 2:01 standing start 1 mile, compared to my 2:07, and then continued to put the hurt on me out sprinting me every time. I could hardly walk upstairs when I got home. Brutal efforts.

One time local hero Joe Papp made the New York Times today, avid readers such as Dr. Stubna call it just "The Times."
You dont need a login for the NYT anymore

Finally the 19th edition of the Month of Mud has been posted, with the inclusion of the Mammoth Park Cross race, which Pflug puts on and is apparently really an awesome course.

Sept 16 - Mammoth Park, Mammoth, PA - cross
Sept 23 - Bavington State Game Lands, Bavington, PA - atb time trial
Sept 30 - Grove City Memorial Park, Grove City, PA - jungle cross
Oct 7 - Bradys Run Park, Beaver Falls, PA - atb
Oct 14 - Moraine State Park, Portersville, PA - atb

Thursday, July 26, 2007

"Its good to be in New Jersey"

I found this video on Youtube. I remember watching in in reruns in the late 80's. Watching it all again, as well as the "decline of the western civilization" clips on youtube, I now realize how over my head they were. I have always said that I am not a fan of performance art, but this is it at its finest.

Background: John Belushi promised fear the soundtrack to his movie, which the producer or somebody in Hollywood said "no" to. Belushi then gets them on Saturday Night Live. Fear and Belushi insist that all of the dancers (Ian Mckay of minor threat/fugazi, Harley Flanagan of The Cro-mags) are a part of the band or whatever and are NEEDED for the show. SNL refuses. Belushi says he will go on air for the first time in years if SNL allows the dancers.

I guess nothing is shocking anymore, but in 81 I bet this was kind of wild.
Youtube SNL

Monday, July 23, 2007

A wild pack of family dogs....

So Friday, while getting ready for the 4+ hour turnpike ride, I am being a "neb nose" and looking out the windows at the neighbors. Friday is trash day, and I watched the new sketchy neighbor guy, who hangs out with the dude with the house arrest anklet thing on, get a ticket. He watches the cop write him the ticket for parking on the garbage pickup side of the road. He doesnt do anything about it, or try to contest it at all. Ok so four hours later Im waiting for Jared and being nebby and I see this dude flying up the street. My street is so narrow that you cant park on both sides on trash day, hence the ticket he got. Well he clips his bumper on the car across the street and RIPS HIS WHOLE BUMPER OFF. Its like a Nissan Ultima or something, so its a giant chunk of plastic, with the license plate!
Of course he keeps going. It took the dude only a bit longer to ditch the stolen car and return back to the crackhouse across the street than it did for the police to arrive. Though I didnt have my stop snitchin T shirt on or anything, but I wasnt about to get killed over somebody else's car.

Saturday: 70 mile road race. 2 decent climbs per lap. Early move goes with 4 dudes in it, including one of our guys, he gets bit by a dog and is told by the moto marshal to go to the ambulace, we chase and chase and get attacked and get 6th,7th, and 9th. I outsprinted Trdinia for 7th. I guess being happy with that result is the definition of complacent.

I always look at the images that they post of the bike races. I want to buy one for my dad or whatever of me looking fast and cool, or whatever. All I can ever find are pictures of me with my jersey totally unzipped sitting 4th wheel with a hell of a pain face on.
Example 1
Ex 2 - Im even hurting in the feed zone

I think half of the purpose of blogs is to talk smack and make fun of people so here is my shot at it: Sez, dont you work in a bike shop or something? Why did you have the 10-19 cassette on? If times are that tough with the new house and all, I can do an extra night in the cab to help a brother out.

The highlight of sunday was driving to Silver Spring for the crit. I got to listen to weekend edition and totally nailed all but 1 of the Puzzle Master's weekly quiz.

The setup for the crit was awesome. Downtown, streets closed, people lining the courses at outdoor cafe's, kids, families, whole foods, thai restaurants etc. The only bad part was the choppy choppy pavement. I get dressed and do a pretty good warm up for me. The race had 4 750 dollar primes. Yes I typed that right. Only 1 pro there. Sick. They fire the gun. First turn, 1 water bottle already on the ground. Second turn another, rolling toward me, parallel with my front wheel. Perpendicular is ok, you just run it over and hopefully the lid blows off or it is in the drink position and gatoraid or some other crap shoots out of it. Parallel is bad. Im on the ground. My brand new Caad9 is too. We are both OK, as are the Zipps. I just tore some handlebar tape, and the human equivalent of that - some road rash.

Jake Lifson Esq. sacked up big time when he crashed a few laps later, by jumping back into the race with the help of Sram neutral support. My bars and STI's were twisted and I had some blood, so I opted to watch Babik get a pretty sweet 3rd. The officials camera BROKE and the results were contested for like 2 hours. People go apeshit at the oval of a MAR point being wrong and yell at Amy and Nikki. The worst person at this 5000 dollar crit was still nicer to the officials than the worst person I have seen at the oval.

Turnpike, almost home, passed by a porsche doing 90ish. He is weaving in and out of cars, and tries to split two cars up the middle, but one moves right out of his way. He picks it up to probably see triple digits. What a maniac we all think. Its one of those moments when you HOPE a cop is around to see how big of a jerk some driver is. Then we see the state trooper peeling out of his parking spot to pull the dude over. We cheered him on as he passed us. Awesome.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


"that was the best trip up 279 I have ever taken" - ed krall.
The bike leg of the Pittsburgh Triathlon goes right up the HOV lane of the parkway north. We were driving up it and gawking at all of the cyclists, their bikes, their aero positions and the course itself.

I wish the drive to philly was lined with people on TT bikes flogging themselves, it would make the trip out there a lot more fun.

One awesome thing we saw, due to the uphill of the HOV lane, was a man riding out of the saddle, IN THE AERO BARS. How on earth does one do this? It was amazing and scary at the same time.

Some people were impressed when Danny Chew rode 180 miles without food or water, but Rasmussen has taken the yellow jersey without eating for like 3 years.

Everybody in Pittsburgh needs to sign up for the Big Burrito ( email list. They send you a card on your birthday for a free meal at one of their restaurants (up to 30 bucks!!). Needless to say, I classed it up last night at Casbah. Im not into celebrating birthdays, I mean, what is there to celebrate? You were able to breathe, drink, eat, and sleep for a year, wow congrats. Celebrating a birthday is just admitting that you cant really accomplish anything more. This does not include really old people. Driving my cab, some peole would celebrate
as if they made the podium in one of the most brutal national championships.

Sunday, July 08, 2007


."Thunder presented by Ride BMX magazine
Senior year of highschool. The jumps were getting too big and I left BP right after graduation and moved to the city. This was right around when I was quitting riding bmx.
This is pretty much how I spent the preceding 8 years.
The first song is a mix of Eastern and Western PA. The second song is 99% Pittsburgh. These are the trails that we built, we rode, we controlled. I spent at least 20 hours a week there for a good 5 or 6 years. The video shows maybe 60% of the stuff we had in the woods. We built it all with shovels, fueled by iced tea and little debbie snacks.
I used to really be able to ride a bike.
Wingding, Groundchuck, rocco, barspinniak, stieg... this was right around half of the Pittsburgh crew. Barspinniak bought a house and cars and stuff because he was so good.He has since retired.
This was all probably filmed in one day, just a normal day of riding. I dont even remember this video. The previous 5 years we would get somebody from some trails nearly ever week, people would drive across the country just hitting the trails and filming it all.
To think Im afraid of sprinting, but I used to jump these jumps

Google Tour

So two of the best things on earth have come together to form one super best thing.
This is compliments of Kirby, who crashed on his bike pretty hard a few weeks ago.

.2007 route

Google Earth and The tour combine forces. You can download the file and look at each day's stage. Start, finish, climbs and sprints are all labeled. This is a pretty rad way to see the course. I found myself in the past googling climbs to get their exact place and trying to find them to look at them.

Now if somebody could just point out some free streaming video?

Thanks Kirby, get well

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

from lance to landis

This books is good. I got it via "inter library loan" from Bethel Park Library (aka the slums Im from) This is all after a weekend of sweet racing. 2nd raccoon rally and got jared the V at the Indiana 5 points. Snydes did my usual MO of last in the break, but he was there to do it, so I had to do something else. No USCF involvement this weekend baby. Doc Snydes and I drove his new Prius up and averaged 50 miles per gallon. That is pretty freaking sweet. I was the only person in our breakaway that was under the age of 40. Old dudes can be really fast. I remember a few years ago reading the team Torelli website and it said something like "we are old, but we are fast." Well whatever, my blog now says that Im young and slow.
Indiana crit:
Turner: "dude you should have called chew and had him race, its non uscf"
me :"yeah dude that would have ruled"
2 minutes later me: "dude there is chew"
Danny Chew was randomly riding through blairsville and wanted to see why the streets were closed. He thought it might have been a carnival. I told him I would pay his entry fee if he raced. I reminded him of the "I do a double century in the Winter in Pittsburgh and you do a Citizens race" deal we struck. He denied me.
The race was fast, and I was slow. Then I chased, then it was over. Sweet. Jared's deal is that he has to do the Wilderness 101 since Nate came down to help get the V. I might do it as well, but jared MUST do it, or he is like Danny Chew. Break a deal, spin the wheel, as they said on Mad Max.
I sat in on Hodos' spin class on Monday, which was sweet cause its soon to be MY spin class. We'll see how that goes. I did hit the freaking steam room though, and unlike the JCC, there were no old guys spanking each other with towels in it.
I cabbed for 24 hours, on the slowest cab day of the year so far and got 2 trips that were over 200 dollars. Freaking sweet.Some people drive everyday and are lucky to get 2 a year. Crazy
Oh the book, it is good. It pretty much says "everybody is on the dope."
Im going to bed.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

1/2 for the Divide race

The riders in the great divide race have just crossed the great divide basin which is basically 160 miles of desert with nothing around. There was a reseviour that had some water like 100 miles into it. That was nice.

However, they have crossed it and are now in the town of Rawlins, Wyoming. This is their blog post
"And, we're going to find something to drink and think about sleeping arrangments. It's kind of a sketchy place to sleep in the ditch,"

I just want to say that: yes they are riding the thing in like 26 days. However, Matt and I had to sit and hide from a couple of dudes in Rawlins who pulled up in some crappy car and SMOKED CRACK for like 10 minutes in the parkinglot where we threw our bivy sacks.
Im going to have to do a general callout for the racers of the great divide mountain bike route to sack up. I mean you are riding all night in Grizzly country, but you are afraid of some cowboys? come on.

Monday, June 25, 2007


Day 6 used to be a brutal road race. I wish.

Instead we had a 36 mile crit that we finished in 1:15. 29mph. It was stupid fast and just required not crashing to finish, although moving up sucked and a top 10 for me was unobtainable. 23rd on GC.

Oh well, good times, I regret not trying to bridge up to Minturn's move on the hilly day, I was the first person over the climb and got lazy / didnt want to chase a teammate. Also should have been more ready for that finish. Oh well.

Next year hopefully they have a time trial or something to sort out the 25 people tied for 8th place, myself included.

This is kind of zen like fortune cookie type stuff but: A bar with a stage and poles, but not dancers is not a gentleman's club.

Friday, June 22, 2007

T.O.O stage 5.

While Niner the Whiner and Amy were at home building a closet and rewiring my house, I was sitting at a coffee shop and racing my bike.
Man today could have been such a hard course. We only did 4 laps, which I am going to complain about a bit, because we were able to average 27mph with a 1 mile climb. I just wish there would have been more attrition. A & F controlled it, not letting anything get away, and just taking it down to a field sprint. It makes so much sense on their part to do that for the yellow jersey, but it kind of sucks for everybody else, because they have enough strong guys that they can bring just about anything back. They have 10 guys in the field. Oh well, I guess we should have just attacked them more or something.
Johnturn tried riding away from the field, turner was in a break, I attacked on the hill. Etc Etc. I thought I managed a top 20 , but got 26th. The sprint was weird, there was no leadout, no nothing, just kind of a finish. Oh well.

We have had some AWESOME sunsets during our drives home (all races are at like 5 at night, then we eat then we drive home). Tonight's drive involved lots of the Wu Tang Clan. sweet.

Tomorrow is the last day. I am in second to last of my group of dudes who all have the same time. It is filtered by best finish (mine is 26th), sucks. I need a top 10 in a 4 corner flat crit to get a better overall result. Bummer.

Sorry if there are more spelling errors than usual, mac's dont have the built in spellcheckthing on the blogger site. OH WAIT, THERE IS A LINE UNDER SPELLCHECKTHING... hmm?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

stage 4.

A few notes.
- The pinnacle of the tour of ohio - going to 80's night tonight will not happen due to the fact that we are exhausted.
- minturn lent me his ksyriums tonight and they are really fast. I have never ridden a pair. A lot faster than the rolf vector comps
- I painted some dude's ceiling today for 10 dollars at 9am. That is as much as minturn made for a 3 hour race Tuesday
- I told Heckman that Danny Chew asks me after each race that I do if he was there. He beat chew at calvins a few years ago
- Stage races with no pros are pretty sweet. Its not super insane and winning isnt totally out of the question.

Speaking of questions, last night I checked in with the ladylove and described the course to her. I told her that there were 5 KOM's to really emphasize how hard it was. Her response: "how many did you get?"... Im glad that this bike racing thing is the only way that she sets the bar high for me.

So tonight was a 1.2 mile crit, 40 miles, fast and turning with a pretty brutal hill each lap. It was a rad course. It was all residential, and the mayor of the town spoke beforehand. The streets were closed and lined with people watching and cheering. I could smell hamburgers the whole time. It wasnt a brutally fast race, it wasnt terribly hard. With that course it could have been insane, the hill was long and steady. A and F basically didnt let anything go. Good plan, get Heckman the V and the Jersey and the time bonus. They did all pretty easily and successfully.

4 days of racing and I have seen the wind 2 times. Yesterday I attacked through the feedzone to try and bridge up to the break. It was a decent roller and I totally committed. I turned around the only pro in the race chased me down. I wasnt bummed, and was actually kind of honored that a pro deemed some squid cat 2 worth of wasting energy on.
The other wind seeing was tonight when the yellow jersey (dickey dewey) and Heckman were both in a move that had about 10 seconds. I bridged it on the hill, of course only to have the field come up like 3 seconds later. I was ready for a counter attack for sure, but nothing really came.

The rear tubular from the other day is FLAT. That is 3 tubies flatted this year in races. This leaves two options: Ride tufo's that I have had tons of luck with, but they ride like garden hoses. Or deal with flatting vitoria tubulars every other race (kirkwood, no flat. mingo flat, monday tour of ohio no flat, tuesday tour of ohio flat) AWESOME!

Dear Steevo of 2 years ago:
Please follow the advice of the people that you talked to and dont spend money on tubulars. Yes they look cool, yes it is lighter and faster, but is it REALLY worth it in the long run? is it? is it? PS, quit your job now, a brick is going to fall on your head in a few months!

Tomorrow is a circuit race in Yellow Springs. Antioch is closing this year, so it will be neat to see it for the last time. Maybe it will reopen. Maybe I will get a contact high from all the hippies drowning in their sorrows.