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.