tick tick tock

38,041 to go.

Then what?


YIKES! Alien Pods have landed.

Very interesting ride last night, just a qwik 2ish hour spin down in Meeshow. Man I'm lucky that I'm able to so easily bang out one hell of a fun loop, within 20-25minutes of my door. Start with about half an hour's worth of primitive deer pathish flow, another 30minutes of climbing fireroad with a singletrack finish and then ride a benchmark ridgline techy trail that dumps you onto a nice chunk of gnar gnarish downhill before spinning a 15minute cool down back to the car. How can I ever complain about where I'm livin'?

Dos at the top of the test track.

Wow, fun, neato. Is about all I can say about that. The couple of sessions tinkering with fit were worth it, duh, the bike felt much nicer thru the woods than it did on Sunday. Rode the way I expected it to, not exactly an earth shattering experience, but I was definitely feeling the big wheeled love once I found her groove. Biggest issue was the changing of two things at once, and figuring out which sensations were due to which change. Being able to coast was actually a big hurdle, not having to pedal thru & over everything was odd, not being able to smoothly roll on/into the power took some getting used to. Made for some odd timing and lots of goofy line adjustments, or at least more than usual. Cornering takes a slightly different approach to conserve the mo', the big wheels require a shift in the balance of steer vs lean equation, but so does not having to pedal thru every corner...... Still need to tinker with the fork, got it close, but feel it could be better. And I'm gonna throw some bigger meat on the front, the Little Albert just doesn't inspire 100% confidence. No real issues with the tire, it hooked up whenever I asked, it's mostly a mental thing, especially after staring down at a Tioga DH for the last 4 years. So, other than needing to relearn a bit of coasty technique, like back pedaling, and getting a feel for lofting the big wheels, I'm pretty damn smitten. Color me happy.



This is one of many pictures that I like, and no, not just because it's of me. Granted, that gives the shot extra depth from my viewpoint, since I know intimitely the point in time that it captures. This pic is from the upper reaches of Logsled, the finishing climb of spring Michaux, it was a beautiful day of racin' in a cold pissy rain. I like the distance of the shot, the riders somewhat insignificant, but detailed enough to read the body language, which says to me, suffering. This is the final kick, those final five minutes of head down, teeth clamped to the bars, million mile stare into the mud, just let this gawd damn climb be over so I can swill beer with my friends effort, which tops off a really really really fun day. I'm looking forward to many more days like this. Days where you ride the edge of catastrophic meltdown, and escape with merely a singed hair or two. Buck got a bunch of other good shots with my camera that day, check 'em out as we count down to that first big test of the year.....

Tonight I'm heading back out to shakedown the Dos a bit more, before I hopefully log some big mileage on her this Sunday. Had her out last Sunday, and that turned into what I kinda expected. Big group thang from Bendersville, Cupcakes in full effect, gentleman's pace tossed out the window. Not the best scenario for shaking down a new rig. My issues started with what I thought was a funky front derailleur cable issue, which turned into a crankset issue upon further inspection. So, I bailed after the first half hour, not wanting to ruin any gear and spun her back out the fireroad to the car. Boogied on home, jumped onto the road fixy and realized how tired I really was from Saturday's effort. Cut that ride short also.

Went down into the shop and tried to swap out the RaceFace crank for the XTR, couldn't remove the RF 'cuz the self extracting cap has gone missing, swell. Went ahead and started swapping around bars and stems. Trying to bring my hands back in and down a bit. Really felt behind the steering on the morning test run, which I suspected would happen with my position having me reach wayyyy out there, little inputs requiring big movement. Got back out around town on some of the urban singletrack stashes in the afternoon. The front end was easier to loft, and she felt much tighter, less loopy, in the turns. Snuck out again last night for a quickie, to reevaluate the changes from Sunday and dropped the stem a smidge more, now I think I'm getting close. Really chomping to get her back out onto the test track, gonna ride one of those favorite loops that you know oh so well, one that tosses everything at you in a neat little two hour package. Tonight should reveal a lot....



Got worked, in a good way. of course. Opened up my climbing account at the Bank of Quiet Places. 50 degree misty, not quite rainy ride, Duffy along for company. Hit Bendersville climb out of his place, that first big lump, then rolled thru the orchards into Gettysburg, that's all those little lumps in the middle. Stopped at the shop as Jay threw new sneakers on his steed, timing was perfect as we avoided a blowing thru shower. Then we figured that rolling up thru the Narrows and back into Michaux would be better than multiple kicks to the teeth thru the orchards near Goodyear, that's the big spike. First time I've ever ridden that climb, it was neat. High point of the day was not having to walk alongside the 40:15 in order to climb Shippensburg Road. 6mph on a road bike hasn't felt like that in a loooooong time. Was fulling expecting to feel tendons ripped from bone and watch my knees turn into quivering jelly like lumps, but none of that happened, and I can still walk this morning. Success!

Another 27,172 pedal strokes in the bank, only 50,340 to go.

Today I ride a bike that coasts, for the first time since Thanksgiving, and it'll be in the woods, which I haven't done since January-ish. Color me psyched.

Big hawk in a tree.



So, three midgets walk into a bar.
They're hangin' out, drinkin'.....

First midget says,
"ya know, I've got small hands.
I think I might have the smallest hands in the world."

Second fella says, "Boy, I've sure got small feet.
I wonder, if I might have the smallest feet in the world?

"Wow, well ain't that something?", says the third, looking down.
"I'm kinda thinkin' that I might have the smallest penis in the world."

So, time passes by, and few months later, the three midgets are hanging out, slurping down some Jameson....And the first midget anounces quite proudly, "Guess what?"


"I got the new World Records book in the mail!"


"Well, I found my name in the book!
I have the world's smallest hands."

"Oh, Let me see that." says the second little dude as he grabs the book.
"Yeehaa! I'm also world famous now, as I'm listed as having the world's smalllllllest feet."

"How bout' you?" they ask the third midget?
"I don't know, I haven't seen the new book yet,
may I page thru yours?" Flipping thru pages, flip flip flip.....

"Well, now that's just bullshit!" he shouts.

"Who the fuck is JAYKOB vonGETTIER????!!!!!!!!"

Record Holder: Jaykob vonGettier
Photo (c)Midget World Record Productions, LLC.

This message brought to you by: FAFDD
{Friends Against Friends Drunk Dialing}

happy thoughts

Trying desperately to get my head out of a gnarly, that's part of life funk....need to focus on pleasant things, so I did some big picture viewing and came up with a schedule of sorts......it's good to have a plan.

Tomi's Programme of Pain and Suffering for '07:

4/8: Harri-Roubaix {fixed}
4/22: Big Bear WVMBA XC
5/6: Spring Michaux 50
5/12-13: VA Fixy Training Camp
5/26-29: il Giro d' Ville
6/3: Hoo-Haa XXC {ss}
6/10: State College Stoopid 50
6/23: Cowbell 12hr in NC {longshot to make this one.}
7/3-7/8: le Tour de 'Burg {fixed}
7/15: Summer Michaux 50
7/28: Lykens 50
8/4: Wilderness 101 {fixed}
8/18: RB Winter 50
9/2: SMT 100 {fixed}
9/16: Fall Michaux 50
9/22: Big Bear WVMBA Ultra

October: BIG FUN!

Other than the designated fixy assaults, sled of choice will be a gametime decision. Looks like a full slate, hope to see ya'll out there.

edit: Got the 'correct' dates for le Tour.


125 minutes

12 hours daylight
12 hours dark
brisk north wind
keeping me honest
goodbye winter
83,232 strokes to reach
the next plain

when do I see you again,
my friend?



So, the Yeti is in a box, just about all ready for the UPS truck and a trip home to CO. The winds of change blew, and I guess you could say that I listened, I guess. I've been pondering the switch to big wheels all winter long. After watching what they can do in the local environs under the likes of Bucky, Jake, Swithers & Mr Camp for the last couple seasons, I've liked what I saw. And while never really feeling 100% fast on the Yeti, I've kinda had doubts that full boing was for me. Yeah, the Yeti carried me to some remarkable results, a couple of token wins and a handful of notable podiums, but I'm not sure that I ever really synced with the ride. Especially w/ my newly matured fixy fixation.

Cadence on a 32/16 @ 10mph, which is a decent singletrack groovin' pace, is 65rpm, 8mph is ~50rpm. I found that the Yeti only feels efficient if you're pedalling her at 80-90rpm, it's like a turbo when you're on top of the gear, especially if you can stay on top of it. But, and this is a big BUT, when you're trying to switch back and forth from fixed/ss to your 'back-up' dualie, there always seems to be a too long spell of re-adaption, like on the order of 1-2 weeks to recalibrate and find that groove. I just can't ride the ss and then jump on the Yeti and immediately feel like like I'm gettin' it, and vice-versa.

Last year, I didn't touch my ss until mid June. Because of focusing on the Big Bear 24hr duo and knowing that I was racing the Yeti, I had to stay with that approach/technique. You really need to ride the different forms of bike differently, especially if you wanna be 'fast racer guy' on one bike or the other, ya know? I'm not talented enough to jump from one to the other and back again. And then, sometime last summer, Travisimo gave me shit about not being able to flow the corners.... "Dude, you need to get back on your singlespeed, cuz you were fucking that shit all up.....what's up with the heavy braking?"

Well, I don't know what it was, but as much as I get heckled by the Cupcakes, that remark struck home......I kinda recall that that grumpy bugger was on a ss that day, hence his troubles following me with my excessive braking and jumping out of the corner to spin her back up to speed approach. Was definitely lacking the ss flow and I knew it, and I really missed it. I finally began to recognize the different approaches required to ride each particular bike fast, and realized that personally, I can't switch back & forth, back & forth, back & forth.

So, during the snow on Friday, I dared to drive down into Michaux, an adventure in itself. I can definitely tell that 99.997% of the local population does not ski, and hence, lacks the skills to get it while the gettin's good......damn those mother fuckers can't drive in snow for shit! Anyway, I picked up the new sled. She's green, with groovey stripes & has big wheels. She's got gears, but can run single once I build up another Eno wheel. She's built with mostly standard fare, a handful of swapped parts from the Yeti, then eventually the XTR crank on her, along with all the fresh shifty bits that were slated for the Yeti. A sweet, sweet ride.

I am so fucking psyched to ride this bike! Big wheels, no sloppy suspension timing to figure out, just 1" to take the edge off if/when needed. Something that should simply GO! when you stand on it. Something that you can crank along in too big of a gear, at too low of a cadence, without an overwhelming penalty. A bike that you can stand on while climbing, and not lose 2/3 of your input. A bike that will flow, and not require me to be in the perfect gear for the perfect cadence for the perfect timing out of a corner or over a log. Something that's always there and consistently there. An awesome backup steed for the DBR fixy. Damn, this really really really makes me happy in pants!

Is this the bike that finally carries me
to a Michaux Monster Series Title?



My first 'fixed' was a lot like this fine specimen, but mine also had the e-brake for those sweet power slides. One of my very first memories of 'racing' was on the same machine, I was 5.

Let's race down the hill!!!!!

The end of said race put me in the hospital. Got high sided over the curb & onto the driveway at the bottom of the hill from my house, didn't make quite make it thru the corner. Remember how it hurt so bad that you couldn't cry? That you couldn't breath? That you just wanted your mommy? I remember Brandon helping me walk back up to my house, I remember making it to the front yard and sort of collapsing..... I remember how cold & raw that fucking stainless steel table that they laid me on for the x-rays was. I don't remember the throwing up, or the passing in & out, or all of those other neat things that go along with what was a pretty serious concussion. I still feel kinda bad for putting my mom thru all that, taking care of her little 5yr old boy who just slammed his noggin off the asphalt. Probably scared her a good bit that day. Thanks mom, for everything.

Will I ever learn?



Just when you think you have everything figured out,
a wrench get tossed into the works.
Is this destiny's cosmic wind calling?
Will I listen?


math geek

Today out on the road, I turned the cranks thru 17,201 revolutions @ an avg cadence of 80 rpm. 177,333 in the legs to date, only 108,688 to go.......

Riding 100 miles on the mtn bike requires 39,061 revs.


couple of historical sites, if you're into that sort of thing:

The Racing Bicycle

Tour History

Sun is out, got lunch in my belly, time to spin some pedals.


laundry list

My work bench, probably as 'clean' as it's been in about 2 years.
Gonna be spending some quality time down in the bat cave, plenty of work to do on the stable. Settled my bike dilema, wasn't quite sure what to do with the Yeti this year; dump a few hundred into a new drivetrain, or part out the frame/fork/wheels and then look into a convertable ss/geared 29er. If you're able to put 2 & 2 together, it's obvious that I'm re-upping with the Yeti. Stinky Pinky is getting a full compliment of new shifty bits. Blingy XTR rings and cups, chain, cassette, cables, housing and eventually a fresh pair of sneakers. The front end needs a fresh set of seals and the rear shock is gonna get re-bushed and possibly sent out to Push for a full overhaul.

I'll never ever ever part with the DBR Ti, gonna ride her 'til she falls apart, literally. And she'll be single dingle for the rest of her existence, probably fixed for the most part. I mean, shit, if you're gonna ride a single, may as well 'keep it real,' ya know? I might, might, set her up with a freewheel for a few rides, like the 50 milers I'll be racing, maybe. Right now, I have no idea how I'll approach the season. I have the fixy quest of course, my big fat goal for the year, and I will fix the 101 and the Hundo again, I've got scores to settle with those courses. Everything else is up in the air, and damn, it always feels good to stand on the podium. Usually my best shot at that is by running gears in the Vet class, the singlespeeders around here are monsters, Bucky, Withers, Matt F, Elk, Topher, Bender, etc, etc. So my approach to the remaining 'normal' races will probably be mood & ego dependent.....but I digress.

The only thing that's really neccesary for the single right now is a new chain. But I went ahead and picked up new pedals, along with fresh bushings & seals for a fork overhaul. Heading out shortly to State College to pick up a set of UST rims, so I'll not be worrying much at all about flats this year. Also have a new front disc on the short list of remaining things I wish for. Really like the feel of the Juicy 7's over the older Hayes that usually adorn the DBR. Need to think about which size rotor to go with though. And maybe a fresh crankset, either a White or Middleburn would be sweet....

The skinny tired critters are simple enough. The Lemond will take fresh cables and bar wrap along with the full douche treatment. Road fixy only needs a front brake cable refresh. Need to start lurking on Ebay for a set of calipers so I can swap the front brake back over to the Lemond. Eventually plan to strip her down bare and throw on a fresh coat of paint once I'm thru my 'base' and the weather is more agreeable. No need to bling out the paint only to trash it during the spring rains and thaw.

hmmm, wonder why I'm always broke?


spring in the air

Looks like I have some work to do.


daily commuter?

I pass this bike on my walk down to the Pub. I'm guessing that in another two weeks or so, it'll be back out on the road again. Might need a bit of lube on the chain though.

It snowed again yesterday, 4-5" of really dry powpow. Couldn't resist and went out to MarshRun w/ Huxley, Bender & Ripple. Nice & easy hour and a half on the skinny sticks, now I can say that I got in a session of 'XC' skiing for the year. It's nice to use all the toys in the chest at least once a year. Felt different to be on skis that actually kick and glide, instead of slogging along doing the plastic tele boot shuffle.

The air was crisp, we finished shortly after dark and the pooches had fun, tails wagging the whole time. For me, it was sort of a bittersweet experience. Huxster is getting old, hate say it, really hate to see it. It's tough to see your bestest buddy of the last 12 years showing those signs of slowing down, it really fucking sucks. I guess it really hit home last night since Ripple came along. Seeing the active difference between the 3ish yr old youngster and my old buddy..... Huxster still thinks she's a pup, has that sparkle in her eyes, a tail that never stops wagging and I know that we have lots and lots and lots of good times yet to share, I just fucking hate it when reality sneaks up and pinches you like that.

That is all, I hate thinking about this shit, much less writing it down.



here we go.....

Long road ahead.

Well, guess I can put all of those knee concerns behind me. Saturday was a classic spring training day, started with temps maybe in the low 40's, bands of cold rain riding the 10-15 NW wind across the valley, Belgians would be proud. Original plan was for a simple 2ish hours light spin out-n-back down to the spillway at Laurel. Swung into Duffy's and picked him up for a portion of the ride, nice to have some company. Jay shared the ride until we got to the church on 34, where he turned back, and I decided to change the script a bit.

My new booties, actually worked great!

Didn't feel like dealing with the Rt 34 traffic, so I hopped across to the backside of Whiskey. For not wanting to deal w/ the traffic, I sure put myself into a hole here. Options at that point were either the punchy-pitchy climb over the back of Whiskey, or a longish rolling detour along the base of the mtn towards Dillsburg. All the gauges still looked good, didn't want to push the fixy over the top w/ my knee, so I headed south for a bit, taking a few more unscripted roller avoidance turns and then finally recognizing where I was when I saw Gameland Rd somewhere south of Dillsburg.

Somewhere south of Dillsburg,
looking at northern Michaux/Whiskey Springs.

Eventually rolled into Franklintown. Man, I haven't ridden that neck of the woods since I lived there well over 10years ago. Checked out the old apartment, still the same, enjoyed some memories and turned north, it was time to head home. Cruised in along the Breeches, saw a few others out enjoying the now 50ish breezy sunshine, stopped for a little pick me up in Boiling Springs and brought it home into a building breeze. Clocked out just shy of 4 hours, 50 few miles, the 40:15 treated me ok, all in all.

How much for that pussy in the window?
White = Good Luck????
Boiling Springs pit stop.

Today I opted for the Cali rockstar start, out the door around noonish. Thought I'd try to catch the heat of the day, forecast calling for mid-hi 30's, passing snow showers with a big fat cherry on top: West winds @ 20-30. It was 32 when I left, then warmed all the way to 33 at 3 o'clock when I got home, the new baggy booties were just enough. It was aaaahhhwesome, why wasn't I skiing???? Woulda been a great day to ride the woods, but that messed up, lingering snowpack in Michaux has those ideas on hold for now. Back out onto the road we went.

The target was another 2ish hour loop, the tried and true staple of out to Newville and back. Attempted to hide from the wind, but can only do so much of that when you're heading directly into it. So I slogged along, into the 30mph snowy maw of the beast, often down in the drops & out of the saddle. Fighting the wind and rollers, barely able to break 10mph at times, it was neat. That wind is much more bearable while sitting on a chair lift.

Only another 500 miles of this,
hopefully w/out the snow:

Got out to Newville, and once again didn't feel like doing the out-n-back type thang. Also wanted to reap some rewards for the 1:20 I spent battling into the wind, so I went with the creek tour option, following the BullsHead and then Big Spring before jumping cross valley to Walnut Bottom. Made the turn at Walnut Bottom and picked up Pine Rd, ohhhhh baby, this is what I was waiting for, gawd damn! Got in a super ni-hi-hi-hiiiiiiice 45 minute session of tailwind assisted fixy silent spin. I absolutely, fucking love rolling it at 20ish, with a touch of feather wind on your cheek, flowing along on Ullr's sweet breath, pedals silenty turning over and over and over.

That's not training.......that's fucking therapy. Punched today's clock at 2:59 plus some seconds, 45ish mile. I'll call it 3hrs even. Definitely took another step in the right direction this wknd.

Interesting weather today, 32deg snow, sun & big wind,
click to enlarge for snow effect.

peace out.



Yes, it's 6:40 (now 7:00, it took me 20 fucking minutes to write this tripe, but idid need to google up an image, that's tuff stuff) on a Friday night, and I am blogging.

Welcome to my life. Another bit of perky news, while riding last night, trying to get the apparently smarter than me Cateye cyclocomputer 4000 Rel. 5.3 to boot up and tell me what time it was, I saw that I had a bit over 400 miles logged into that sucker. Guess that means, that from some time around the Punk Bike, when I managed to 'lose it' and flip to 100% fixed, I've gottne in about half of what I traditionally consider my 'base'. This is the old school of thought. Back when everything you needed to know about getting ready to race a bicycle, and what you needed to know once you were ready to race a bicycle, could be found in the bible of my generation: Eddie B's Bicycle Road Racing.

I loved, no, LOVE this book. But, I lost my copy in the post college transfers.........I swear it's in that box in the closet of my old room at my parents. Right there under my baseball cards. The cards are always there, but never my bible. So much old school wisdom. Before all of this power meter, scientific, lactate threshold bullshit. I mean, god damn, if your weak on rolling rollers into a headwind, then go out into the orchards and smash those fucking headwalls into submisson.

I just lost my train of thought.

Fuck it, just get out and ride your fucking bike.
Train your weakness, play to your strength.
Throw it down against your fellow man, as well as the
chosen route for the day, and against yourself above all
else. Challenge your own fucking expectations and
see it thru. Can't ask for much more than that.
I need another beer.

much peace.

digging out

Back out onto the roads last night. Just a little systems check type spin. Knee felt much much better, could actually tell when I got clipped in. On about the fifth pedal stroke the knee cracked, in a reassuring way. Like the way you get your back cracked, or crack a knuckle, it felt good. Took it as a positive sign, since some swelling or whatever must have gone down enough to allow somewhat free movement in the joint, got things settled back into place. Range of movement was less restricted and after 40 or so minutes, it felt about as normal as I could expect right now.

Rode a short loop out thru Mt Holly, then on towards Bubble town, trying to avoid the known melted snow puddle spots, looks like it'll be a damp wknd on the road this wknd. Even found a bit of that flowiness last night, cruising along outside Mt Holly, on that stretch of road that dips under the tracks. Got into that relaxing, mindless, almost like flying mode for a spell. Gave me a chance to look out at the horizon, and I saw something wayyy out there. Granted, just a little speck on the edge of vision, but I could see some type of shape taking form out there. I guess that first week of July is creeping into range, slowly but surely. Before, it was just an odd, idiotic, Quixotic windmill in my mind.....now I'm just starting to see the circular motion of those big cloth covered fans. Where's my pony?

Oh yeah, if you're gonna post a comment in an attempt to talk trash, at least man up, instead being some little anonymous bitch, bitch.


that's a wrap.

Wellllllll, long story short, tweaked out my knee while skiing Saturday. Nothing too serious, didn't feel anything 'pop', but definitely felt some things stretched beyond normal. Must not have been too bad, since I managed to ski on it for another 5 hours after that goofy fall. By the time I got home though, it had stiffened up quite bit, but never really swelled at all which is a 'good' sign in my mind. Inquired with the good doctor yesterday, he's thinking possible MCL sprain; continue the RICE treatment, take it easy and don't ski on it 'til it's back to 100%.

Looking at the calander, and based on how it's recovering, looks like my ski season is finished. I don't think there'll be much worthwhile schussin' to be had once I'm back to 100%, and after the awesome time we had Saturday, I'm more than content to end the season with a stellar day like that. Now it's time to scratch that itch that's been popping up the last couple weeks. The stable of bikes have been giving me the old evil eye recently, taunting me as I walk out the door with skis in hand. The Feb ride tally is dismal, maybe 5 hours in the saddle, 1 mtn ride a couple weeks ago and 1 road ride Tuesday eve to see how the knee felt. Not too concerned about fitness, put in a bunch of loooong 7ish hour ski tours plus the regular sessions at the lift served 'gym' over the last 6 weeks. Just need to parlay that into something I can use on the bike, pedal stroke was definitely clunky the other night.

So, I got that much needed break from riding with a whirlwind ski season, managed to not damage myself too badly and now I've got a bit of the hunger to start laying down some miles. This knee thing could be a bit of a blessing, nothing like a bit of forced rest & recovery to let all that 'work' on the skis settle into a nice foundation for the season. Still some work to do on the ground level for sure, but I like the way the floorplan is laid out right now. Now I just need to get the steads ready to rumble, that'll be worth a few posts I'm sure, as all my rides seem pretty clapped out right now.....