Wednesday, April 30, 2008


I'm rather happy to have BKW as a reference. Time and again he(they) is able to put succinctly into words what I'd like to say:

"There is no mistaking the way form satisfies. But the best lessons we learn come in those moments when the outcome isn’t certain. They come in the day’s great challenge when we muster, moments that may have occurred kilometers before the ending. Sitting up in triumph isn’t the victory. Living the PROgram is the victory."

Full article here: The PROgram

Monday, April 28, 2008

Two for two

I could really get used to this winning thing. This was a double good weekend because not only did I win, but also got several laps of pre-riding on the course which will be the same as the season opener for the Indiana MTB race series next weekend. I hope the trail stays the same because it was absolutely dialed in.
This was also the first time of riding my complete race setup, wheels and all. Um, yeah, it's nice.

The weekend started a little early as I had to leave work at noon so as to make a scheduled bike fit up in Fort Fun. Results were good, not many changes save for a saddle swap. You see, this hombre has child bearing hips and a wider saddle is supposed to help better support and cure the hip roll I have. This also meant ponying up a saddle for my road bike to achieve the same result, so it started out to be an expensive weekend. Not so nice. Also not so nice is that the shop only had a black saddle for the MTB so I lose a bit of the white hotness.
Performance increase as a result? That, however, is nice.

Friday night found me in a hometown local restaurant for my brother's birthday. Good times as we flipped through family photos of my brother, sister and I growing up. Blizard of '82? Every kid's snow day dream! Power Mullet from high school? You know it! I don't have a digipic of my mullet then, but I do have one from 2002, when I rocked one for old times' sake for 24 hours:
I got a pretty funny look when I asked the hairdresser to cut from my ears forward. She asked if I lost a bet. I didn't. Anyway a deal was struck that I wouldn't tell anyone who cut my hair so long as she would cut the rest off the next day. Hence a 24 hour mullet.

Anyhoo, Saturday morning was spent helping my dad lay some paver stones in his back yard. Now I'm no Roger Cook (landscaper on This Old House) but I can lay pavers square and level just fine. After lunch and hanging out with the other half of the fam for a while, I headed out to the race course to help set up and get in a lap or two. Job done, we retired to the RV and watched part of "Into the Wild" until we all cashed out.

Woke up on race day, finished the setup at the start line then got in a pre-ride lap. Retreated back to the RV to hide for the next few hours to get some food and throw my legs up.
Parenthetically, I'll take this opportunity to extol the virtues of having a mobile living room. A nice couch to lay on and prop up your legs, plenty of room in the fridge, and a nice break room to take care of pre-race business. To quote Ferris Bueller, "It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up." Well said, Ferris. Well said.
OK, so about 45 minutes before race time I kitted up, got a quick warm up in, then headed to the start line.
Earlier in the day, Don (race promoter) rode a lap in 37:44 then proceeded to offer up a $50 prieme if anyone could better his time. I took that challenge on my way to victory with a 36:59.

I did have to laugh. In a typical race, spectators cheer you on regardless of who you are. Occasionally, however, you run into fans who have a clear favorite, which does not include you. I came up on a group of people towards the end of the lap at a small punch climb that had a large fell tree 2/3 of the way up it. Provided you maintain momentum, it's not super difficult but it can catch you if you're not careful. As I cleaned it, I saw at least 3 people's faces with a look of spite for me. Not one cheer. I even noticed one person who looked to have a rather expensive SLR camera who I assumed to be an event photographer put the camera down! I was crushed.
Not really.

The weekend was capped off by what else? Mexican.

Life is good.

-the ATM

Sunday, April 20, 2008

I REALLY must rate

First, On Wednesday I got to hit the trails on one of the best days of the year so far:
The trail is here...

and then later you take a left...
Ah, yes, I'm on a sweet trail

So the ride was great and I felt great, plus we ate Mexican afterwards. Good times.

On top of that, I got to feel like a baller on Thursday. A quick 50 minute flight on the company Jet is much better than a 4 hour drive.

Way better. The crapper had more expensive fixtures than my house did. Note the padded toilet seat. On top of that, the Blue Angels were at the airport practicing for an upcoming air show, so we got to watch them for an hour while they did their aerial maneuvers. Again, pretty sweet.

Completely unrelated to rating well with the Make Andy Feel Like He Rates Gods, I did a few circuit races on Saturday and got a pretty good result. Took 5th in the 3s after throwing down a few flyers and otherwise contributing the race. This is in sharp contrast to several guys in the race that did not show their face at the front of the race until about a lap to go. I suppose if you wanted to get a cheap result it's a reasonable tactic, but fuck sake, it's a 3s race. At some point you're going to have to pay the piper by working at the front. I'll take working my ass off all day over that shit any day. Pussies. I still beat 'em. Maybe a solid training plan is a better approach to getting good results...
For the 1/2/3s race, I wasn't figuring on finishing based on my previous paragraph's diatribe. Silly me. Not that I had anything left in the tank when I was done, but I did finish both races, and I contributed in both so I walk away content with my efforts. Plus I got to rock my sweet gold Campy Shamals. Always a plus.
Of course I paid for it today, and my 2:30h ride on the MTB was not in the top 5 for all time best feeling rides, but a not-good day on the bike is better than a good day at work, no?

Lastly, I framed and hung the last of my posters on my living room wall.

This completes the remodel of my house, and I have to say I quite like it. A bit more of a classy art flavor while not having the "what does this piece of art say to you?" feel.

with that, I'm out.

-the ATM

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Um, yeah.

Who has two thumbs and gets to ride his mountain bike on the trails?
This guy.

I'm like a kid on Christmas eve... can't wait! 3 days of no rain should make my favorite trail, Gnaw Bone Camp, awesome.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Good luck

Forgot to include in my last post....

Good luck to Isaac and Mike at Little 500.

Also saw that Ryan's DG women's team won the Ladies' Little 500. He got quite a bit of face time on as a result. Kudos to the DG team!


Friday, April 11, 2008

Why I drive a wagon and other niceties...

Why do I drive a wagon?
So that when I'm not hauling ass on my bike, I can haul stuff in my car. The above is most of the parts of my [former] Rush. I'd have to say it was worth the effort to part it out instead of selling it as a complete bike.

It was also recently discovered that I have made an impression on certain good-to-know people...
Look at those beautiful socks in all their high cuff glory. I suppose I'm making a bigger deal of it than it is but it's my blog, and I can brag if I want.
And yeah, I like SRAM.

Tonight was sweet. I got to rewrap my road bike with some new bar tape, and put the old tape on my MTB rig. The Fizik chalk tape is much easier to keep clean than the Deda, and I think gives a better tactile feel with the bike. Plus it's white.
If only we could have 3 days of no rain so that the trails would avail themselves to me, I might actually get to ride my bike offroad.

I'm out.

-the ATM

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


So I found myself needing to be in Peoria, IL for work for a few days so I decided to schedule it around a local group ride. Yeah, work revolves around my personal life. That's right.
Anyway, I pulled up the weather and it was a 90% chance of rain. I'm getting used to this riding in the rain thing. It no longer affects me. I swung by the LBS to patronize them as they are both a C'dale and a Specialized dealer, but also to see if the local ride was still on given the rain. Consensus? No ride.
Well, I'm not one to back out so I kitted up and took along my cape. It threatened a bit with a little bit of spitting, but then with around 30 minutes left on the ride, it flat let go. I could barely keep my eyes open from the pelting of the rain. On top of that, the wonderful headwind on the way out turned in to a wonderful headwind on the way back, too. Awesome. I'm convinced there is a universal headwind with my name on it.

The ride itself was pretty good for being in the middle of nowhere. Straight roads for miles and miles. And this is coming from a brotha who normally rides in Central Southern Indiana. Unfortunately, no pics because I didn't want to frag my new camera. So all in all, 38 miles in just over 2:15. Ah, good ride..

-the ATM

Monday, April 7, 2008

A week of funk

Last week sucked. Work was doing it's best to break my spirit. Good thing it only partially succeeded, which was easily remedied by two awesome days of rides/races and generally getting crap done around the house.

Come to think of it, riding cures most everything.

On the home front, I took off the Proletariat/snow wheels off my car and put the summer tires.

Man, it looks so much better that way.
I say Proletariat because, as my friend Matt said, they look like most of the euro government cars... Alas, I'll be getting hubcaps next year so no fender flags for me, unless they were Belgian - then it'd be cool.
Maybe some spinner hubcaps...

Saturday was pretty cool. Sunny and maybe 50 so I did some yard work to act like I want a green lawn this year. We'll see how that turns out, but I'm not holding my breath.
I also got most of my Rush parts listed on eBay so as to fund my CX bikes, which is nice.

Sunday rocked. Did a spring series road race outside of Cincy. As Chris C pointed out, we got Roadhouse'd. Not that they even have a B team, but their A team was in full effect. With no other strong teams, Roadhouse just kept drilling it until a group of about 4 plus one other guy got up the road. It seemed like there were several motivated guys mid-race so we mounted a chase for a few laps. We couldn't get anything really put together so that was a busted effort.
On the positive side, I had a great time in the race, result notwithstanding. And I got my first burn lines to mark my short level for the rest of the year. Sweet.

Speaking of Belgium, did anyone see Angel Gomez remove the fork from his bike? Yikes... totally missed the flagger warning of danger I guess.

Life is good. And with that, I'm out.

-the ATM