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He's ok if he's not the fastest on the block, but that doesn't lead him to treat cycling like an adult kickball league as so many do. Cycling is important. It's ok to train for it. It's ok to want to be faster, because that's actually more fun than sucking completely. At the same time, being fast doesn't make you better than anyone else, and he knows that, too.


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Long Miles in August

Dear Readers,

Pretty uneventful weekend. Lots of riding. Good miles and lots of fun. Earlier in the week, Joe let me know that his buddy was coming into town for the weekend, and asked if we could rally up a nice little four park ride. We had a nice group show up and we set out for what was one of my favorite rides of the year...

L-R Joe, who I thought was John, Wilson, Eddie, Slim and Travis (no pink camel back shown).

Kathleen, Jenn (who rode with Monk), Nick and Ron

When you done checking out my rad new earring, that's Joe and David at the front in the background. 
They were the inspiration for this ride... 

Mad Alchemy Sponsor shot, and Joe and Scotty leading out. 
In the far right you can see Monkey and Jenn.

L-R B-F:  Slim, Shane, Dennis, David, Ron, Dave, John, Scotty, Nick, Travis, 
Joe, Eddie and Kathleen missing from this photo are 
Buddy (shoulder injury) and Travis S (marathon training)...
Here's the Strava data:

Sunday morning, I have to admit I was pretty destroyed. I had thoughts of slipping out for a few miles on the road. As Diane and I were drinking coffee she said, "I want to try a 3 parker today, what do you think?"
Now Monk has only gone over 2 hours on the bike a few times since her injury, this was going to be a bigger undertaking, and I was not feeling so fresh.



She did a great time and was crushing my soul  up these two road sections. I was proud of her, as we pulled in the garage just as the skies opened up. She continues to get stronger and get stronger. I'm stoked for her.

All in all a pretty mellow weekend. Miles and Smiles...

thanks for reading.

Best to you.

respect
vanderbacon


Sunday, August 10, 2014

like finding lost sunglasses on top of my head

Dear Readers,

Last weekend, I had an amazing ride with Nick and Jake. Jake was in town for a few days from Colorado, and I was stoked to be able to give him a guided tour around fairhill. I asked him how the trails were, "like home.." he said. "Colorado riding is amazing, but we just don't have singletrack like this..." he continued. I miss riding with Jake. 
Shane starts to rally together the group (Shane, Jimmy V, John Wood, Thayer)
Nick and Jake both seemed to be riding well, and every time I tried to go, I just couldn't. After waiting for me at the top of one of many hills, I said to those guys, "man this humidity is rough, I feel like I'm breathing through a straw..."  They both laughed, "dude, it's not humid at all," Nick said. "damn, I feel like crap..."I commented.

That evening I had to recognize the facts. I hadn't been sleeping well for a couple of weeks. My last couple of intervals were brutal, and really not all that successful. As I planned out my August training/race plan, I wasn't excited about what was to come, but frankly approaching it like something to get through. Work had been stressful, and frankly if I look back I honestly haven't felt good on the bike since Nationals.
Chris Jackson put in the full endurance loop today!
While I was very disappointed to crash out of Nationals, I had worked really hard to have my best form of the year that day. I felt good. And while the bruise on my ass is almost gone, in hind-site that day was my peak, and while initially  I had plans to continue training/racing through August, I know that I cooked myself. I had cracked...

Not totally by choice, I ended up with 5 days off the bike this week. Given how my legs felt, and how tired I was it was for the best. I slept through the night for the first time in weeks Thursday and Friday.
Thayer was out slaying on his rigid 26er single speed today. Watch out in 2 weeks!
This weekend, Shane was kind enough to host two awesome rides around Fairhill. Saturday was the CAT1 course for the upcoming FH race, and Sunday was intended to be the 44 mile endurance course. Shane did a great job of trying to keep the groups together. Saturday, I felt awful- like I had never ridden a bike before. After two hours I sat up and went home, somewhat defeated.  Sunday, was an entirely different story.  I felt great. I'll admit, I was honest about only planning to ride for 2 hours, and I might have been pushing the pace a little. yeah, I know a dick move, and not my normal move, but as I said to Shane (I was second wheel at the time), we can slow down. When I had finally burnt all my matches it was Shane, Nick, Ron, Dr. Phil, Rich and I.  I dropped off the back of the group, and I rolled home. I was totally destroyed but also fully stoked about finally feeling good on the bike again...
Nick, Ron, Phil and Rich- Nick ordering Pizza to pick up at the parking lot.
So the heart of my season is done. Not planning on a cross season this year, which I'll admit is a little weird and leaving me with a little gap in goals. But you know what, I'll figure it out:

Hey now, I want to thank this guy for leading two awesome rides this weekend:
Crappy Picture- Awesome Guy- Thanks for leading two outstanding rides this weekend..
thanks for reading.

respect
vanderbacon

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

I was cited by the UCI this week..

Dear Readers,

Last evening I was in the garage tinkering with the death-mobile, when Diane came to the garage with an opened letter.

"Watcha got there Monk?" I asked.

"You got a letter from the UCI in Switzerland." She replied coyly...

"Whaa?" dread immediately filled my heart. While I have never had a UCI license, I did get into some hot water with a UCI official at Charm City a couple of years ago.  He was screwing up one of our starts, and I tried to explain how we staged the 45+ and 3/4 women. He wasn't happy that I corrected him.

My mind  immediately went to my last run in with UCI. The Philly Pro Race. Anne Rock and I hanging out of a car in the race caravan. We got yelled at by a UCI commissionaire.



"Man, this is not going to be good." I thought to myself.

My feelings of dread, turned to pure joy as I read this:

Yup,  I was reversed fined, as there was a crisp $100 bill in the envelope!

That's right I got a reverse fine from the UCI!

In the end, I really have no idea who or where this came from. It very well could have come from Peter van den Abeele, although based on my experiences with the UCI they don't like to give away money nearly as much as they like to collect it.  I can only guess as the envelope, while addressed from the UCI headquarters in Aigle, Switzerland, was post marked Philly. Whoever sent it, know that the sentiments are greatly appreciated. Thank you so much. An outstanding random act of kindness for sure... My mind is scrambling with ways to pay this forward somehow...

feeling very lucky to apart of this community today...

respect
fatmarc