Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
From the book CITY OF THIEVES by David Benioff
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Like seeing a yeti, or messing with bigfoot. I was out on a nice saturday afternoon ride
we heard that dah dum........dah dum......... dah dum, dah dum, dah dum, dah dum, dah dum....
Nope not a shark, or Loch Nessie, it was the return of da' Godfather. Folks he's out there, tanned and training.
Monday, September 7, 2009
Herculaneum - III (Clean Feed)
Fred Hersch/Pocket Orchestra - Live At The Jazz Standard (Palmetto)
Jim Hobbs/The Fully Celebrated - Drunk On The Blood Of The Holy Ones (AUM)
Jon Irabagon /Mike Pride - I Don’t Hear Nothin’ But The Blues (Loyal Label)
Jonas Kullhammar/Osgood/Vågan - Andratx Live (Moserobie)
Joe Lovano/Us Five - Folk Art (Blue Note)
Tony Malaby - Paloma Recio (New World)
Nicole Mitchell's Black Earth Strings - Renegades (Delmark)
Joe Morris - Wildlife (AUM)
John Patitucci - Rememberance (Concord)
Bobby Selvaggio - Modern Times (Arabesque)
Andy Sheppard - Movements In Colour (ECM)
Ted Sirota/Rebel Souls - Seize The Time (NAIM)
Tyshawn Sorey - Koan (482 Music)
Fly - Sky & Country (ECM)
Vandermark/Guy/Sanders - Fox Fire (Maya)
Friday, September 4, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Riders who train double super-secret, so much that we didn’t see them all year: Pascale and Jim Burkhart.
Riders too nice to leave you for dead on a Tuesday night:
Bruce Pij and Dale Swartz.
Cyclist whose bike makes more noise than their body: Marco Pantani
Cyclist who couldn't find the washing machine cuz it is in storage: Dave Ames
Rider most likely to chase down any AND ALL breakaways:
Rider voted as director for any ‘tour of the whine’ country: Amy McNeal.
Rider most likely NOT to upgrade again in 2010: Farmer John
Rider most likely to ride a bike wearing kevlar and a gun:
Best road racer that show up for just 1 race per year: (tie) Mike Rea and Jay Allred.
Rider most likely to be mistaken for a sausage casing: (winner 2 years running):
cyclist who made the greatest leap forward towards new technology: Frank Seebode (who left steel bikes and 7-speed downtube shifting behind).
The fireman award to the cyclist(s) most aware of the fire up the road:
Tom Will & Scott-on-a-Scott
The Mario Andretti award for the cyclist who most unnecessarily pushes the pace: Scott-on-a-Scott
The 'Where's Waldo ' award 2009 goes to: Jeff 'Nacho' Jackson
Cyclist who is least likely to have the proper tool to fix a roadside mechanical: Butch (though he does get bonus points for helping the cute chick in distress on that one thursday ride out by Ostrander)
The reason Tom Will had to retire from his teaching position
Friday, August 21, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
George will probably be in for a few more days and he is suffering without the Versus channel. So if you are watching the Tour de France and someone crashes, be the first caller to George's room and win a pair of Beehive socks.
The good news is that with the absence of our gimpy friend, the tuesday night rides are guaranteed to start at 6pm sharp.
Note: if you are watching a rebroadcast of the race at 3am, please don't call.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Cadillac George and I were discussing next year’s team kit yesterday, and of course the possibilities of new colors, sponsors, and design were part of the talk. We both like the idea of a mascot like the cow we had a few years ago or icon. Something to make our presence memorable.
For a team like “A World Of Pain” the obvious Big Lebowski reference of ‘the dude’ might be nice. But after yesterday, I’m thinking we just take Conti’s X-rays and use them for our logo. You’ve heard about the masters race yesterday by now, Conti makes the break staying away the last 10 out of a total 12 laps with the eventual winner. After lapping a bonehead Dayton rider (anyone want to remind us what fat bastard lying Scotsman is now Team Dayton’s sponsor?) who had no business getting into the sprint to the finish, George got tangled up with him after he lost control of his bike (Dayton, not George). I came around the wreck on my way to the finish, saw my paisan and just stopped pedaling. He was getting the neck brace, back board, had one shoe on - one off, and plenty of road rash.
Not a pretty sight.
I collected shoes, my bike, his helmet, glasses, his twisted bike (not the new Torelli - lucky call there), wheels (and I didn’t learn until I got home someone else‘s wheels) and drove to the hospital.
Here’s the AWOP part, since we drove 2 cars, the discussion at the ER was whether George was going to get pain meds. Because if he was to get the meds, he couldn’t drive home and we would have to come back later and pick up his car. George diagnosed himself as having a broken collarbone. His fourth! 1-2-3-FOUR!, yeah, you have two collarbones, and I think he now has 2 breaks each side. Routine x-rays were taken and after about 2 hours got the results. Conti keeps telling the nurse or doctors the pain isn’t bad. We talked about next year and the team, training, how soon he was back on his bike after the other breaks. At this point, the plan was a sling and we go watch Andy race.
The doctor comes back in with with the film and an odd look on his face. He can hardly believe Conti has 6 broken ribs, the collarbone, and a broken scapula. Doc says he has never really seen someone who had these injuries and no complaints. Real Tyler Hamilton (ride with a broken collarbone) stuff here. Boing! No really boing. He has to be taken to OSU hospital for trauma care and possibly surgery. Room 1010 Rhodes Tower.
And he keeps telling the nurse or doctors the pain isn’t bad. “Sure” they say as they give him his first injection of morphine, just like this in some bad Vietnam flick. OK, everybody go into their own personal Walter Sobchak imitation, I’m thinking, “Has the whole world gone crazy? Am I the only one around here who gives a shit about the rules? Mark it zero! ,” or “Fuck the tournament? All right, I can see you don't want to be cheered up here, Dude. Come on Donny, let's go get us a lane.”
My point is, that I am nominating Conti’s image for our World of Pain team kit 2010. It was going to be Matrka’s punctured lung, or a dog running into the road. But now I’m thinking we should talk about George’s face printed on our shorts so that when riders follow us they see, not our asses, but George’s face.
Maybe that didn’t come out quite right...
Friday, July 10, 2009
That's her, Mrs. "Suitcase of Courage" herself, descends as they say, "like a rock."
The ride started like every other with some trash talk and flexing of the big guns. We were supposed to cover some big elevation changes, possibly go through a couple of storms and end up back at the parking lot.
Andy said something about "taking it easy and skipping the BIG climbs." Yep, that did it, Mel called us names and rode out of the lot before Tom could get any chamois creme in place, she was yelling something in French. Mike had studied Spanish in high school, but thought she was saying something about us being 'candy-asses.' Needless to say, we gave chase.
As we topped 6,ooo feet things got a bit sketchy. I think it I was way beyond lactate threshold and not thinking right or it might have been the mushrooms they added to our pizza the night before. Then there was a fast downhill and a road construction flagger. I think I saw Jan Ullrich (with a huge brautwurst in hand) calling me to the edge of the road. Funny because Tom had the very same vision. He acted on it, I kept things upright, at least I think I did.The rescue dogs found Tom at 4,000 feet, sorry about the pictures, but there was no time to get a proper shot.Tom is amazingly back on his bike, ala Tommy Simpson at Ventoux 1967, with no time to spare as the storms were coming in and we had to catch Mel before she got back to the van and left us all up here on the mountain. Mike and Andy volunteered to sheppard us (more like sherpa us) down the switchbacks and through the gauntlet of crazed Germans cycling fans. Sure we caught Mel, and we got to the finish, but at what cost? I ask you, at WHAT COST?
Monday, June 29, 2009
Sure 35 years old might be a category called called Masters, that is, if you were also holding an elite U-23 race. Some of the riders we raced were young enough to be our children! But who is complaining? Great venue, great course, only thing missing was Pascale's underwear dance.
Short story to tell: the rude young ones nailed it from the gun, you would have thought it was going to be 1 lap instead of 18. MSY had the fortune of getting a flat, he was out midway. Conti towed me around for multiple laps before dropping me. I just couldn't hang on to the pace and dutifully reserved my dignity (sure you did) by finishing last. Not last, if you count all the other grey beards that were slamming trunks and pulling out of the parking lot while we struggled to the finish.
Thanks to Jeff Jackson for coming to sign autographs, The Tingler for videography, and Mel for almost giving us a push up the hill.
Friday, June 26, 2009
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
I once began my race reports with a standard line, "you shoulda' been there." Lately, I'm thinking I'd change it to "You should have 'F-ing' been there, damnit!"
No really, remember we have a Team, and teammates who signed on to race. I had no designs on winning this race of 50 miles and 5 times up the nasty hill in the heat an afternoon in June, but my mates Cadillac G, Luca Brasi, and Brian-Mr. "when can I upgrade and get away from these Cat. 5 squirrels?" were signed up, so I signed up...
Now a few snapshots from Caesar's Creek:
-Big fields, new faces and there's a tall fit guy on a $6,000 Cervelo speaking German in the parking lot, hee hee, "I wonder who's gonna be racing Jan Ulrich?" He pins on his number and it starts with '4' what! He's in my race...It's gonna be a long day boys.
-And it was a long day, various racers dropped from cramping in the heat. Mighty Scott Young who led our big Cat. 4 race up the hill for the first 3 laps was overtaken by cramps the last time up and I actually saw him riding backwards and screaming
-Mr. Sausage (who apparently no longer races) is now a referee...and, might I say those vertical stripes are quite slimming
-Our friend Cameraman Dave Tingler was there making another documedtary. Why is is that once a video camera is present, people go all Jerry Springer on each other? Iowa Josh kept wiggling his finger in my face and doing the blackgirl neck saying things I cannot repeat here.
-Gimme-an-upgrade Brian barely got off the start line before a cat. 5 dupe wrecked him in the feed zone.
-I survived the climbs the first 4 times up, the 5th and final, my legs said 'no way' and I followed the pack, which was whittled to half by the last lap to the finish. I'm not saying the beers cooling in the car had anything to do with me out sprinting some guy for 20th.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
1 week post crash and I'm feeling (little) better. The soreness that I had from hitting the pavement at 23mph remains. It feels like a really really tough workout, but my recovery isn't taking the same path as a hard workout. I tried pushing the pace tuesday night, but I popped way too fast. More healing needed.
The body does have a mechanism to heal itself, and it entails sleep and more sleep. My new intervals have been stretches of REM, rapid eye movement sprints....
Strange how cloudy the brain can get with a concussion. My attention to tasks has been short, reading difficult. Not that anyone would ever say that I am a patient person, but I've not been able to concentrate for long stretches...
Dog update: Mr. Pickett (the owner) says the dog is fine...I plan to roll by is the rain stops and take a look myself.
Bike update: front wheel toast, saddle trashed, derailleur hanger bent, and some noise in the front end, will test this soon.
Clothes update: helmet, jersey and shorts trashed (lucky it was my "TEAM #O##" bibs)
Thursday, June 4, 2009
This spring, actually these past 12 months, remind us, not that we (anyone) needs to be reminded, just how fragile this existence is. On the heels of a couple tragedies, I hit the pavement during Tuesday night’s training ride. Events have told us that friends and loved ones are here one moment and gone, kind of like all my General Motors’ stock, the next.
Ask any roadie about crashes and he/she will show you either where their collarbone once was or some patch of skin that has been rubbed off so many times that it is no longer capable of holding pigment. Conti has three times the breaks of Lance and remember Matrka’s ribs being introduced (rather abruptly) to the insides of his lung last year?
‘Gone in an instant’ continues to be the theme in my mind as I reflect over the events of Tuesday. It was a windy-looks-like-a thunderstorm kind of night. What started with a group of 15 behind Beehive Books got whittled down to just a few roadies escheloned clear across the road coming out of Prospect. I’ve learned a few things over the years about training/racing and know enough to follow a steady wheel, and Tuesday I was tucked safely behind farmer John and Scott-on-a-Scott. I prefer either Andy, Rea 2.o, or Conti’s wheel as they are the steadiest roadies I’ve ever met, but Mike and Andy weren’t there Tuesday and I got out of synch with Da’Godfather after an attack (that I started) just before Prospect.
I had just finished my pull up front and was drifting back to the rear. Maybe it was the wind, but I didn’t hear the shouts of “dog.” And I didn’t see the…bam I hit him broadside and was in freefall over my bars. Maybe a good thing that I didn’t have time to tense up, landing first on my head (helmet destroyed), then back and hip followed. Things went black then the stars came out, “hello Angelina, where’s Brad?,” and I think I saw Bunny from the Big Lebowski…
As I lay there, I couldn’t move my leg and it felt like my hip was broken. Ah, the immobility was due to my right foot being still clipped into my pedal. “Somebody unclips me, WAIT, if this leg is broken it’s really gonna hurt.” OK, nothing broken, I unclip (actually somebody did it for me) and I sat in the road for the next 10 minutes. Farmer John went off to make compost out of the dog (never caught him) and pound on the owner’s door. As the riders we dropped came rolling up, the looks on their faces were, I can say, less than reassuring. Maybe they were still thinking about Larry, Mike, or their own mortality as it relates to bicycles. But the ‘not again’ ghost was hovering nearby.
I know a couple posts ago that I wrote there are no other groups I’d rather be riding with through rain, cold, and crashes, but this is hitting a little too close to home!
Four hours later, I’m back from the ER, cleaning wounds and trying to find a comfortable position to try to sleep in. I’m out of the state RR and crit championships this weekend. A couple trips to the chiropractor and I’m actually feeling worse…sore neck and that old man shuffle walk.
Wait, it’s Thursday night. I’m thinking I’ll just do a little spin out of town with the regulars and see how my legs feel.
btw. those that want to see pics of my raw and skinless ass, please send $10 cash and I'll mail you them in an unmarked envelope.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
I took a break from racing this past weekend to vacation (while Mel worked) in New
York, or the city, as it is known in, …er, the city. All our past visits to NY found Mel and me wandering over to Central Park to see the dogs play and watch the cyclists go round and round the 6 mile loop. We pointed out brokers on their $10,000 bikes and hipsters on fixies.
This year while Mel did her thing, I rented a road bike and had a tour of the island. First impression; Central Park blows. Either you are dodging inline skaters, aggressive mommies with strollers or fending off those brokers, their Colnagos & Assos kit. I did 2 laps of the park, spinning my 25 pound Schwinn
($6/hr from Liberty Cycles) around joggers and spaced-out
tourists. It seems the hardcore roadies ride early in the a.m., by noon all I was left with were the square-pedaling-handlebar-above-the-saddle racers. But they all still wanted to race me. As I spun up the little (I’m talking little by flat central Ohio standards) rollers, I would get these 2 or 3 guys jumping on my wheel and eventually passing me on a downhill only to be caught as I spun (spun!) up the next roller. I had to get out of the park.
Now, the bike paths on the Hudson river was another thing all together. Folks seemed to understand they walked on one side and we cycled on the other. I was able to ride up, beyond Spanish Harlem, past Fort Tryon into almost wilderness on a path. Very cool sightseeing, past an aircraft carrier and Columbia University, turn left and I’m spinning through Harlem back into Central Park. Very cool. I’m now on the East River riding past the Empire State building, under the Brooklyn Bridge down to see lady Liberty and ground zero. Sometimes you forget NY is an island AND a port. But there it is, nature and boaters, sea kayaks, and a few super model wannabes sporting their stuff. All very cool, and all very accessible by bicycle.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
With the recent news of the passing of our cycling buddy Larry Allen hovering above the proceedings yesterday at Mid-Ohio, Cadillac George and I discussed the topic of our own mortality on the drive up to Lexington. Larry at age 55, was much too young to be checking out of this earthly motel. While George had known Larry for years, I’d met him about 4 years ago, had ridden locally with him, and even joined him on one of the epic Boone, NC rides a few years ago. While he was a big guy (a former University of Colorado football player) he never shied away from riding with “you skinny ass bikers” as he reminded me just last tuesday night. You might have known that he was training to ride the famed mountains of France next month, and he certainly was riding strong as I felt his presence when he took his turn pulling our little peloton.
There is no explanation as to why he won’t get to ride the mountains with Chet and Mike, and I don’t really believe there is a grand design involved here. We are born, just as we race. Some win a few races here and there, others are destined to be pack filler. It is really of no significance if you win or lose, race or stay home on your sofa. History will forget who lapped or got lapped this past season.
What will endure is that I (and you) have an imprint made on our souls by the time (and hours and miles) spent riding with Larry Allen and ALL those in this group we've called Breakaway or COBC or A World of Pain, etc. Riders that we have suffered with in the cold, the rain, and the heat, driven to the ER with, and explained how to restart training after broken collarbones. The same friend you've lent an understanding ear when they explain just why they are quitting the sport, for the 3rd time.
Few outside our cadre understand this bond. Even some selfish former teammates don’t understand this bond, nor do some shop owners.
We gave Larry a few cheers yesterday while racing. Assembled were the aforementioned Conti, along with the return of Jaybone. I saw Chairman Fred, Man of Gawd Dan T., new Brian, and freshly back from this year's Boone training camp but not very fresh were Luca Brasi (Dave Chambers) and mighty Scott Young. Here’s to Bruce Almighty’s 1st race of the year and Big Scott on a Scott’s first race! Farmer John raced 2/3/4 and I am waiting for a report, but when we pulled out of the lot he had made the break.
The race story was overshadowed by Larry’s passing, so I’ll simply report I finished 3rd (again) racing in a survival mode.
Note: we voted beer to be the perfect recovery drink and plan to have some (very cold) bottles at all upcoming races.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
I know what you’re thinking, but that’s not Chairman Fred at the start of Friday night’s criterium.
We met in Yellow Springs, Ohio for the 2 day stage race and the turnout of World of Pain riders was woeful. The flat 4-corner crit found only Cadillac George and me teeing it up. Of course when you do a masters race there is the possibility of racing everyone from Frankie Andreau to Gus Comstock. We had a Cat. 2 from Ft. Wayne and a couple of Team Dayton guys born in the 1940s. After a couple of Cheech-N-Chong Antioch tokes we were off. The Cat. 2 guy goes off the front and the Dayton geezers off the back (we lapped them a coupla times during the race). Work and worked some more to bring the Cat. 2 dude back and we go round-n-round. He takes a couple more flyers to test the corners, but is always reeled back in. Last lap, and of course he goes again, Conti does the hard work getting me back up on his wheel and I come around a few folks for 3rd. I’m not complaining, except now I’ve got the munchies...
The combined 2/3/4 race was a nice field with our own Farmer John opening up his crit season. Ask him when you see him how he did. I hear he missed the 3 man break, but won the pack sprint for 4th. Mighty fine result after he hit on the Bob Marley cigarette that was passed in the wheel pit.
So we figure that Saturday’s race will be better attended by our team, knowing that the Antioch gold was freely distributed. And we heard the winner was promised a free piercing!
What! It’s only Conti and me again. This time for a 44 mile road race that included 4 times up ‘Devil’s Backbone.’ We were in another Masters field (no Cat. 2 but we had Tym on the starting line). First time up and its gruppo compacto. Can’t say the same for the 2nd time. Tym turns the screws and we are off the back. George and I chased for an entire lap, but had to give up the ghost. OK, we worked some more, climb, fight wind, turn for home and Conti cramps up, I take 5th and we politely decline to eat the mushrooms the guy is offering in the parking lot.....
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Saturday (end of April) and we are racing in 85 degree temperatures. What? Yes eighty plus five! And this is ONLY the third time I’ve ridden without knee warmers so far this year...
short recap for the attention deficit out there:
Chairman Fred is back racing
Fred is off the back
ok, he’s back on
Fred tells us he’s dropping out in the penultimate lap
we convince him to ride on
Fred is down (minor road rash)
ok, he’s back on
Fred is off the back
ok, he’s back on
...AND THEN HE KILLS US ALL IN THE SPRINT!
Longer version: We swoop down on the annual Granville race around the rain, farm fertilizer and manure, and potholes only to find the hottest April day in history with winds blowing a steady 18 mph, gusting to Wizard of Oz force. I find Cadillac George has arrived early and ‘who’s the scholar’ Andy Will has also arrived without a jersey, shorts and socks, Diaper Dan Tinderholt, DJ T-Will, Mighty Scott Young, and Chairman Fred have arrived. Rumors circulate about Rea-Rea upgrading to 3.o and reuniting with team jellyroll (somebody say it ain’t so).
It is a scheduled 5 laps or 35 miles, no problem I’ve got two bottles. The masters race is joined by Tym and we spin out hitting the wind at the start finnish, bam...this is gonna hurt. No problem with the wind at our backs we do an easy 35 mph until we have to make that inevitable turn back into the breeze. We make the mistake of cooperation and everyone pulls through, enough turns at Tym’s speeds and a few of us are no longer there. Damn, I find myself riding in a three man break with Tym and Scott. Again I make the mistake of trading turns with the former pro and bye-bye break. Scott hangs a little longer but soon he is popped too. I roll a half lap alone waiting for a nice chat with the remains of the peloton but find only George and Fred motoring behind me. The 30 mph on the back is coupled with the 10 mph front. And it kinda wears a man down. Chairman Fred is struggling, we wait up and pull him along. His grandchildren pass us bottles to drink and dump on out heads (yeah, in April!) and we ride on.
The crash happens when the sweaty one moves left at 8 mph to blow his Roman nose, I swerve and Fred does the wheel scrape before he hit the deck. Not moving we roll back to check on him...road rash and cramping he’s OK, and we tow Fred around for another lap and a half.
You what happens next, he drops the hammer in the sprint and takes us. Note to self: make Fred do plenty of work next week...
Sunday, April 5, 2009
The scheduled 3 laps of ten miles for the masters was combined with the cat. 4/5 race and we (Spartan Spirit, Tom ‘papa’ Will, and I) line up alongside mighty Scott Young, Honda Brian, Tym T and 4 other old guys. You know it is a masters race when the riders leave the start to take ‘one more leak’ before the gun...
Joining the festivities were Farmer John and Mr. 4% Dan Rhule in the cat. 3 and American Taliban (except he’s graduating soon so he’s got the haircut and shave thing going on) running in the Cat. 1/2/3.
The course kinda goes up, up, and up - very gently, before a seriously fast downhill into a right turn and 500 meter to the finish. The 4/5 factor added up to a very lumpy race that saw too many accelerations and way too many slow parts. But in the end the ordeal averaged 21 mph with my speed-o-meter registering 45 mph on the decent.
First lap had the aforementioned fast/slow/fast/slow rhumba, followed by that downhill where T. Will did his best Industrial Workers of the World, i.e. Wobblies move - wrestling the steering wheel almost into a 40 mph derma-abrasion treatment. Second lap and a few moves were made by the strong men, Conti and I followed wheels, not letting anything get away. Same with the third lap. A couple times Tym made his patented move, I jumped to follow, but he didn’t maintain. And we are all together.
On the downhill, Tym told me to grab his wheel and he would take me to the corner and 500 meters to go. And down we flew 50 x 11 - I hit the turn, but got caught behind a large yellow rider which messed my momentum. Reconfigured the sprint and maintained my position for 5th(?) overall and 1st of the masters.