center of the universe

Found: Tomi's Top Secret Training Programme
c. Nov, 2006

Been watching Dicky torture himself over his schedule for the upcoming season. Please Rich, step awayyyy from the crackpipe, seriously. And looking at all that travel he's talkiing about, I realized how lucky I am. From where I'm situated, my season, shit, my whole year is pretty easy to figure out. I've got a full slate of racing & events to blanket an entire year, all disciplines, on some of the best, most demanding terrain, up against some of the fastest ponies on the planet...................all within an easy 3.5hr drive.

I can go hit up some short, sub 2hr, lappitylap roundyround xc races wherever the latest MASS stop is, even an AMBC down in Greenbriar.....but I think you need one of those license things, so I'll probably go get my speed fix at a WVMBA dilly or two instead. Then I guess I'll have to settle for three local 50 milers in Michaux (May-July (100?)-Sept), along with the Stoopid 50 in State College in June. And of course, there are the longer races, the 101 in Coburn in July (edit: oops, August) and the Shenandoah Hundo in September. Or maybe another 24 at Big Bear or possibly Seven Springs, but those both have date conflicts, oh darn.

For the main course I can feast on a Grand Tour or two, another Giro-Tour double? Sure, why not, and I don't even need the help of certain Spanish doctors. Of course, a properly rounded programme must also include a portion of Classiques, for 'training'. So go ahead and mark me down for the Harris-Roubaix in April, Tomi's Birthday Classique a week or so later, possibly some Stokesville-Douthat love in May (if I can work out the Huxley logistics), then call it a wrap with a Fall Classique on Spruce or maybe the Gnarley again when the leaves go psychedelic, and I can never rule out the IronCross until at least a month beforehand. Then there's Oregon, would realllly like to pull that one off. And like any properly dedicated racer, I should have a training camp of sorts. So I'm thinking of maybe a long wknd fixy session, mtn & road sometime in June, recon some Tour stages, or at least relive previous routes, that Committe'e le Tour can be awfully secretive regarding stage details.

And that's all within 3.5 hours drive. Pretty easy, huh?


game on.

WV Sunrise

Damn, just like that, it gets cold, and ski season is officially on. Excellent session at Whitetail last Thursday night with Bender, skiing the ungroomed on Bold D. Then on Saturday ran down to WhiteGrass with Larry for a day of stomping around the hills of WV. Introduced him to the Tomi style tour, which may or may not be anything special. We skied some sketchy shit, poached a run at CV Resort, explored a bit in the Sods, eyed up some lines for the future, skied more sketchy shit, then some more and left it all on the mountain. It took us a bit over six hours to climb the new Elevator to Baldy Steeps & survival ski that glade, then driftline love alllll the way down to Springer shelter, slog over to Canaan, a free lap on the groomed via the lift (sweet bumps), then out to Weiss, poked around Great Eastern, big fun in the Birches then back to Bald where I core shot my skis down the face proper before hooking up w/ the C'ville Gangstas on Springer followed by a final lap down the Main Slope w/ a distraction in Anita's Steeps. Home by 9pm.

Yesterday I slummed on the roadbike for 2+ plus hours. Talk about being worked, felt like I bonked half an hour in. Bumped into Dirtball as he was out looking for a passage by the PennDOT building. Apparently I need to do some exploring in that neck of the woods, Tomi's birthday Classique should be sweet, think of a shuttle ride, but without the shuttle.....


pony up, bitch.

On these nights, where I manage to come up with 3.2 reasons why I don't really need to go out and ride in 27deg greyness that fades to 20deg darkness in the time that it takes for something quick to happen, like open a beer for instance, I sometimes reflect a bit.

I know that this whole deal with fixing the Tour is pretty much a fool's errand, but I'm pretty committed to it. It's the way I am, the way I've always been, pursuing some smudged out footnote of cycling lore. This all started as a wee yung'n, ya know.

During the spring of sixth grade there was a fundraiser, it was a pretty neat gig. You signed up & got yourself a little doner sheet, proceeds to the York County Special Education Association something or other, then went around the neighborhood asking folks to sponser you per mile for however far you could ride from noon 'til four on a Sunday afternoon. There was a little loop laid out around the Middle & High Schools which included the vaunted tennis ball court climb, but luckily we got to descend Frederick Dr, which as a climb, was deemed Hors Catagorie at the time.

I remember a goal of wanting to ride further than anybody I deemed my peer, which was all of the other kids. I loved to ride my bike, and here was a stage upon which to do that. So I rode that blue & gold Z-Rimmed Murray bmxer around that loop I don't know how many times. My pits were quick, just getting my card checked for another lap completed, maybe a sip of water. The number etched in my mind is 35. 35 miles I rode that day, 12yrs old on a bmxer, just rode & rode & rode. Not only did I out distance all the other kids, I had the highest tally of anybody! That day was the first of many insignificant smudges.

I also remember barely being able to walk the next day. My legs were soooooo trashed, my calves were balled up knots, I hobbled around school for the next couple days. Must have been pretty worked over, because the following year as I headed out the door for the second edition, my mom said, "Remember how you felt after last year, please don't do that again...." I heard the motherly concern in her voice, but I left with that shrug of the shoulders that a teen does. I was again worked over the next day, couldn't help it, so it goes.

So it's been a couple days, and I've gotten to the point where I'm mobile, it's time to go collect my donations. Most folks pledged something like a dime or a quarter per mile, $5-10 total, donated to the local special ed program/school, a good cause for sure. Well, I'm doing my collection via bike around the neighborhood and get to one of the last stops. One of the neighborhood's grumpy fucks. You know, that asshole that doesn't like it when your game of kickball or tag expands briefly into his yard, never buys anything from the Scouts, etc, etc..... So, I ring the doorbell, ask him for his pledge and he balks:

"What?!?! You didn't ride that far, no way.
Why, that's like riding the whole way to Park City Mall!"

But mister, you pledged, you said, you owe me......

"No, there's no way.
[Looks out to my bike laying there in the grass]
And you sure didn't ride that far on that bike.....
I'm not paying."

Well, you know what?

fuck you
Fuck you
You never did pay up, you cheap bitch.
You ignorant small minded ass.

When I ask myself "Why?", sometimes this memory jumps to the fore.



she knows what's up:
Jill on endurance

Secret race winning technology, thanks Barry:

oh yeah, is there a blogger 'protocal' if you link to someone?
let me know, please.


"I don't want to win unless I know I've done my best, and the only way I know how to do that is to run out front, flat out until I have nothing left. Winning any other way is chicken-shit. "
---Steve Prefontaine

Just found this quote, those that I've raced with know this is how I roll. '07 should be as fun as ever. And to all you fixy haters, piss off.


my birthday.

I turn 37 on April 16. I like to celebrate a birthday with spectacular bike riding. If you wanna know what 100 miles in Michaux might feel like, keep the April 14-16 timeframe in mind. I've never ridden a mtn bike from my house to Caledonia and back, details pending, pace will be fixed.

This post brought to you by:


It was cold today. Then it started snowing and felt colder. My world famous celebrity bloggerness was questioned. My sanity was questioned regarding the topic of fixing le Tour. Normalness was questioned in general. Managed to not ball it up on the powerline descent, somehow contained the raging fixed wheeled beast and rolled her down onto the runnout with a hoot and a holler. Kay's post ride taco soup was awesome and Ralph's homebrew was tastey.

Additional content for Ralph:

Smile, my bitches:


Ex Girlfriend

Well, some good news I guess. Doesn't look like they ran race league last night at Roundtop, at least it didn't look like it on the live webcams, and they sure as hell weren't skiing out of the start hut, unless they included a minor mandatory air off the wood planks. So, looks like there's still a chance to jump into the fray for a full pull, sweet.

Looked at the forecast last night, knew it was supposed to be a bit chilly, not too big a deal to go out for a road ride with a high temp of 31 being predicted. What sealed the deal for me was getting a bit more detail and noticing the call for winds out of the NW @ 25-35, gusts to 39. That's weather that I don't need to deal with on a bicycle. That's skiing weather! Made plans with Bender to hit Roundtop for early chair, 8am, beat the crowds, figuring it'll get busy judging by Thursday night herd. Into the lineup and caught maybe the 8th chair up the hill, full on man made storm day was in full effect, guns a blazing with lots of little stashes to be found here and there on the hill.

Got my carve working early and felt really really good on the skis. The tele was rock solid and I was sensing a definite need for speed. Nice carvable wind buff and styrofoam in the pockets and along the tight edges. Hucked my meat on this huudge rock drop, skier's right on Exi. At least a full foot drop of semi-mandatory air out of the billy goat rock garden. It was gnar, people were amazed and the babes worshipped me like an Austrian god.

At least that's how good I was feeling on the snow today, refired that flame, found the spark, yadda, yadda. You see, haven't been super psyched to ski this year. After wrapping up last season with balls deep, over the head blower in Tahoe for six straight days, I was having trouble getting up for the season here at home. With the severely delayed and sketchy start and not having a western trip planned, there's no big end of the rainbow pot to strive for this season. I had concerns that my skiing here at home would get stale this year, I feared that with the recalibrated sikter scale, part of the inspiration would be gone.

Talking to Bender today on the lifts, he threw out this wisdom. Tahoe was like fucking a supermodel. That once in forever dream scenario. And little ole 600 some odd foot vertical, 25 minute drive down the country road Ski Roundtop is that kinda cute ex-semi-girlfriend. That chick that you're still friends with and maybe get together with on occasion. It's fun, it's mostly predictable, but maybe there's still something to learn from her, some new trick, despite what you might think.

Well, today we hooked up again and she tickled me in a new spot, it was good. The fire's been relit, time to go get some.


Herding Cats


Second night on snow last night. Opted for the racin' stix over the mid fats, figuring it'd be loud hardpack conditions. Made the right choice and had a blast during the shortish session. Found a groove and laid down some big fat carves, feeling oh so much more in control than I did last week. Got that tele confidence back to let it hang out there, wasn't scared of the speed and embraced it. Must have been doing something right, cuz my legs aren't feeling nearly as torn up as last week. Now they just need to get the 'expert' terrain open, this boy is hungry for something with some pitch to it, or at least some bumps to play in. Looks like Whitetail should be good to go by mid next week.

Tonight is the first night of beer league racin'. Printed out the forms when I got home last night, but still not sure if I'm signing up this year. Runnin' gates followed by Troeg's and pizza is an awesome way to spend a Friday night, but I'm just not sure if I have the inspiration this year. Maybe they'll have to do without the entertainment that an on (sometimes over) the edge snowball of telewhackin' fury provides. Or not, we'll see how the mood is after punching out of work today. peace.



Bike is
blinking l.e.d. trace
while rolling

Tonight was the inauggural ipod ride, a quick spin out on the road. A shake out the cobwebs, get the body workin', watch the sunset from the saddle sort of spin. It was a bit chilly at 33 as I rolled out the door and the super clear cloudless winter sky let the sun linger forever, damn it was nice. The ride was good, the new pod is sweet for jammin' along.

Gotta say that there's something about road riding at night, it's quite addictive. For me, it's about as close as you can get to actually flying. Shut off the lights, embrace the darkness, and just pedal. Just pedal, then pedal and pedal some more. Work all over that pedal stroke, only pulling up, only scraping the bottom, then kicking over the top or flicking the ankle thru the lower half. Use it all. Then settle into that rolling symbiotic cadence, remember to breath and forget that you're attached to the earth that you can't see, thru a bike that you ignore and just pedal and pedal and pedal and pedal and poof.


The bike is gone, and you are flying.


Bucky's Birthday

This guy can ride a bike and makes a hella good pot of chili.
Bucky on Rattlesnake v2.0
Wow, my first bloggity blog ride report!

Today dawned foggy in town, not really rain, but a really dense warm cloud. Loaded up efficiently for a change, threw some ball with the Huxster, then a liesurely drive out to Big Flat, the Luv Shack venue. Today was Bucky's birthday ride. The Cupcake Squadree was in da house, along with special visitors representin' from Philly, we were a dirty dozen at 13 strong. Names? Buck, Travis, Pete, Rich, Churtle, Lee, Duffy, Larry, Harlan, Elk (testing out his hand the proper way), Topher, Keith, me & Mocha the dog.

Started at Big Flat, 10sih sharp in a warm barely spitting sprinkle. Where were those southern chumps?? Skipped 3 mile and rolled out RattleSnake via Lewis Rocks to the Camp Michaux blue blaze and then along whoziwhatsit Baldwin Trail before skipping over to Weitzel's for an inventory check at Cold Spring. Fortunately for us, Mocha the dog sort of bonked at this point, sparing us of my brainstorm to loop up thru Vista before beginning the trek back to Big Flat, you know, it's only like another 30 minutes of trail.....

Basically, we'd been going downhill/downstream for just a smidge over two hours. The direct route to spinning along the biker hiker path between the lakes was a smooth distraction until we saw the 'improvements' being made around Fuller Lake, looks like they're prepping to put in an amusement park of sorts, crazy wrecking of the joint.

We dropped into Community Service trail and I found that fixy zen love pace, no brake, doing it all with my legs shwoopity whoop flow that makes all those terrifyingly sketchy spun out decents worth it. Played around in the Nowhere loop, taking the scenic route over to Woodrow Rd for a slumfest climb back to the top. I cracked, lights went off, buzzers rang & it got a bit quiet as I brought the tailend of the line back up to Lewis Rocks Ridge. We boogied back across to Lewis Rocks, backtracking our path of 3.5 hours ago. Finished by slumming back up to Ridge Rd for a cool headwind spin back to that end of the rainbow pot of hot (thanks Holly!) chili. Chili, beer, chili, bread, cheese, beer & post ride shelled vibe = Worth it.

Ride finished up at about 4.5 hours, we're guessing we covered maybe, mayyyyyyybe 30 miles, probably only 27ish, (100 miles of Michaux w/out filler? hah! people will cry.) I lost count of pedal revolutions, so I can't extrapolate that back out to a distance covered and none of our lame asses run computers. We miss you Jake! It was a sweet 50ish degree warm January day, riding thru a dense cloud, not really quite raining on us. A beautiful inversion morning that I couldn't get a clean picture of, we were on top of the clouds in Michaux! The loam was sticky sweet dark love and the rocks were at times unpredictable. Working on my ninja pedaling skills early, I found myself on the rivet for that superfun stretch across to Rattlesnake proper. It took about ten minutes to come unglued. Luckily my flailing bike didn't take out any of Pete's teeth, that'll teach him to shadow my wheel, then I pulled out the press pass for RattleSnake v2.0, couple quick snap shots:

Churtle showing that Yellow Focus.

He's ALIIIVVVVVE!!!!!, Elk.

Cruisin' the supersecret unknown Biker Hiker Path.

Keith serving his Community Service.

Thanks to everybody for the steady gunnin' ride, just one qwik flat, a broken chain and everybody seemed to tolerate my fixed hoopty ass for another day, get used to it, my bitches. Special thanks to Elk for the BKB schwag, various team sponsers and Buck for the chili along with hosting a great ride.

Happy birthday mang! peace.



because chicks dig fixys

image from the Fixed Gear Gallery


Say it out loud.

Story time, bit of background for ya'll that might not already know. Long story short(ish), some chumps in Harrisonburg wanted to do a group party ride fixy thing at the SMT hundo. Chumps ended up backing out; owee owee, we're weak, my knees hurt, I'm old.....whatevah. I had a sucky summer Michaux race, incredible legs, blew up another derailleur, an hour hike back to the car, drunk by 11am, passed out in the parking lot, Bender got me home, hungover ride back to Big Flat the next day for the car. The following week Chris let me off the volunteer hook at the 101. I guess something else snapped with my derailleur out in the woods of Michaux and I chose to do a 101 mile mtn bike race as my fourth ever fixed gear bicycle ride.

It was the hardest fucking thing I have ever done on a bicycle, period. I went to deep dark places that I don't ever need to revisit for a good long time, it got ugly out there. But then around hour ten, I hit the most blissful piece of singletrack and it was the sweetest god damn no brake Ewok planet cruiser thru the ferns & trees zippity unthinking flow that made everything alright with the world.

Angels sang, it was groovey.

In 2005 I got the dubious honor of being first to ride a ss for the mtn stages of le Tour, last year I was stupid enough to attempt and finish the 101 on a fixy. Then I rode fixed mtn for the remainder of the season until the hundo. Was honorary Rally King at the Philly rally, rode the hundo an hour faster than the 101 (hydration IS important apparently) and then the freewheel was spun back on, rear brake reinstalled and I was riding 'normal' bikes again.

But there was still an itch, Poe's telltale cog. I liked riding the fixed wheel, that cog snickered at me from it's shoebox confines, taunting me, seducing me, snickering. I hadn't ridden my road bike but three or four times for some short recovery spins back in August, and was hungry to roll the skinny tires. Knowing Jay had a fixed roadie hanging in his garage, I asked to borrow it. You know, just to try out the fixed thing on the road, to see how I liked it, get a feel for what's managable, check out the practicality of it. That was back around Thanksgiving, and, well, I now own said bike. Based around a Miele frame that was rescued from the mean streets of Philly by Harlan, this truly is a champion's bike.

Now here we are, been reading everybody's blog as always, maybe more so now that I am also a bloggity blog person, and I'm seeing a lot of thinking and chat about the season. I've seen and can sense the thought of, "oops, now I've gone and said it out loud, now they know......." What races? Where to go? What's my approach gonna be? What are my goals? How? Why?



For me, short and simple...........

I plan to ride/race le Tour de 'burg 100% fixed in 2007.

Then hopefully keep rollin' that flow into the 101 and hundo, unless my body really revolts this time around.

The Stable:


and so it begins.

wow. so this should be an interesting experiment.

This is my new, and first, blog. Don't ask about the title, just tossed that up there cuz that's the mood I was in when I logged in and did all the super fun registration type stuff. So, firstly, just wanna throw out props to those that have gone before: Elk, Dicky, FatMarc, Buddy, Larry, Kerry and every other regular posting bike riding fool that's willing to tell their story and share those smiles and hardships and what it's like to be a 9-5er who still chases those dreams that we've been holding onto since the day those training wheels came off and we came to understand that bicycles are freedom pure and simple.
This, I guess, will be my story. peace.