Wednesday, December 31, 2008

FGR's Beer in Review - 2008

Howdy Ho!

I have reached a milestone this week. I have reviewed 100 different beers on my account. I signed on to Ratebeer in Oct 2007 and have done my level best to drink as many different beers as possible. Thanks to establishments like Perfect Pour in Columbia, it's not very hard to drink a different beer every day of the year. However being of the limited income of a working stiff, i cannot afford to drink a 5 dollar bottle of beer every day. So on many days, I drink Yuengling Lager or Sam Adams Hefenweiss. Those two are my favorite everyday beers. Yuengling gets the nod for #1 everyday beer as it costs 20 bucks a case and actually tastes good. However I was at least fortunate enough to enjoy at least 80 to 90 different beers last year. Going over my list there is a definite trend toward beers from Belgium. My favorite styles seem to be Trappist Ales and Saisons. It might seem a bit strange, but there is no real middle ground for me. I favor dark and heavy (Bocks and Quads) or light and citrisy (Wheats and Saisons). My number one favorite is Saison Dupont. I've gone over my rate beer listing and have complied a list of all the beers I've rated at least a 4.0 or higher. 23 total beers got a 4.0 or better. That breaks down to 10 Belgians, followed by 8 German brews, 4 American micros and 1 Dutch brew. I didn't really go out of my way to rate Belgian beer higher, It came down to the law of averages. My purchases over that last 15 months have leaned toward Belgian brews. Of those mostly Saisons and Trappist Ales. This year I will be doing more reviews of American micros. Without further ado here is my top 23 of 2008. The list reads across; Beer name, Brewer (Country), Style and My Ratebeer rating.

1. Saison Dupont Vieille Provision -Dupont Brasserie (Bel)- Saison - 5
2. Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock - Brauerei Aying (Ger)- Doppelbock - 4.6
3. St. Bernardus Abt 12 - St. Bernard Brouwerij (Bel)- Abt/Quadrupel - 4.5
4. Rochefort Trappistes 10 - Brasserie Rochefort (Bel)- Abt/Quadrupel - 4.4
5. Victory Storm King Imperial Stout - Victory Brewing Company (USA)- Imperial Stout - 4.4
6. Schneider Aventinus - Weissbierbrauerei G. Schneider & Sohn (Ger)- Weizen Bock - 4.4
7. Duvel - Brouwerij Moortgat - Belgian Strong Ale (Bel)- 4.4
8. Rochefort Trappistes 8 - Brasserie Rochefort (Bel)- Belgian Strong Ale - 4.3
9. Dupont Avec les Bons Voeux - Dupont Brasserie (Bel)- Saison - 4.3
10. Ommegang Abbey Ale - Brewery Ommegang (USA) - Abbey Dubbel - 4.1
11. Spaten Optimator - Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu (Ger) - Doppelbock - 4.1
12. Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest Märzen - Paulaner Brauerei (Ger) - Oktoberfest/Märzen - 4.1
13. Paulaner Hefeweissbier - Paulaner Brauerei (Ger) - Hefeweizen - 4.1
14. Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier - Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan (Ger) - Hefeweizen - 4.1
15. La Trappe Quadrupel - De Koningshoeven - Abt/Quadrupel (Hol) - 4.1
16. La Moneuse - Brasserie de Blaugies (Bel) - Saison - 4.1
17. Ommegang Three Philosophers - Brewery Ommegang (USA) - Abt/Quadrupel - 4.0
18. Rogue Dead Guy Ale - Rogue Ales (USA) - Heller Bock - 4.0
19. Lindemans Framboise - Brouwerij Lindemans (Bel) - Lambic; Fruit - 4.0
20. Paulaner Salvator - Paulaner Brauerei (Ger) - Doppelbock - 4.0
21. Saison dEpeautre - Brasserie de Blaugies (Bel) - Saison - 4.0
22. Delirium Tremens - Brouwerij Huyghe (Bel) - Belgian Strong Ale - 4.0
23. Spaten Oktoberfest Ur-Märzen - Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu (Ger) - Oktoberfest/Märzen 4.0

There is one glaring omission from the list. Chimay Gran Reserve. I have a bottle I will be opening in about 1 hour to start 2009.

Happy New Years!


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Fatguy Roller Pic of the Week - 12/26/08

Howdy Ho!

Well now, this is a little more current. Taken on Christmas Day.

Now I'm sick and haven't ridden since that picture. I think my 2 hr day out on Wednesday doing cruise intervals may have put the nail in the coffin on a throat thing that I've been trying to stave off all week.

I have made it thru the holidays without too much damage. I may have gained only a pound or two. So far my size 34 jeans still fit comfortably.

This week was supposed to be the last week of Base 3 for me. 12 hrs total. Well that ain't happening. I'll be lucky to get in 7 hrs of that. Next week was supposed to be my rest and reco week, but it's looking like this is my rest and reco week. I'll have to move my 30 min TT test from Saturday to Wednesday so I will be as fresh as I can be for it. If I'm still feeling under the weather by Monday it'll be another rest and reco week for me with 6 hrs on the rollers.

I hate winter.

Bonus photo:

Believe it or not, I actually do workout. Here I am doing my best Eddy face. And I'm really sweating too. All you 45+ Cat 4/5 pukes better watch out next season. LOL!



Fatguy Roller Pic of the Week - 12/19/08

Howdy Ho!

Well better late than never...



Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I Hope I Die Before I Get Old

Reading glasses!

At 45.

Kill me now.


But do bury me with the cool Latitude/ABRT winter hat my wife knitted for me. She is the greatest.

I'll miss her the most.



Sunday, December 14, 2008

First Test of Fitness for 2009 Season

Here it is. My first E-wang chart of the 2009 season. I did this ride yesterday. These tests will pop up every three weeks on my training schedule. This one was a Sub-Threshold 3 mile TT. Not much, I know, but interesting to me none the less. For periodic 3 mile TT testing I use the flattest stretch of road I know in AA County, near my home in Crownsville. It's a stretch of Paxtuent and Conway Roads between Piney Orchard and Crofton. I was surprised to see in my results, viewed using WKO, my avg. speed and avg. watts were as high as what was recorded. The whole test only rated about a 6 to 7 on the perceived exertion scale. I guess that's why they have you do these things on rest and reco weeks. I was pretty fresh to say the least. I've also got a solid 6 weeks of base in right now too. There in I think lies the key. My HR max is 194 and my last tested value for FTP is 265, but that was back in April. I suspect it's higher now. My avg HR for the interval was 4 beats lower than my lowest zone 5a number. The interval called for it to run at 10 beats below, but believe me when I tell you i was not as miserable as if I were doing a 30 min all out test. That's the next test, 3 weeks from now. So in this test I'm only cranking out 85% of max HR. I'm thinking that when I do that next all out test I will find my FTP being closer to 300 watts.

My weight is down another pound to about 205. It's slow going, but it's going.

(Edit 12/15/08) Correction. Weight down to 203 as of this mornings weigh in.



Saturday, December 13, 2008

Fatguy Roller Pic of the Week - 12/12/08

Howdy Ho!

Well here it is 6 weeks into my 2009 training season and I've only managed about 10 lbs off. I feel like maybe I'm 4 lbs behind. I know what the problem is. Too much idle time. I do hate this time of year. The shorter days mean more time lounging on the couch in front of the big screen, which means unnecessary snacking. I wish I could fall asleep really early like my wife does. She's out like a light by 9pm on most days. If I could do that I'd cut out 500 more calories every day.

It's hard to tell if I'm looking fitter than I did 6 weeks ago. I think it shows mostly in my face. My gut is still there. I cant complain too much, my feelings on the road are improving with each ride. I'm getting plenty of rest and I'm not stressed. Each new day I feel like a tightly wound spring. Especially so on this rest and reco week. It's very hard to hold back. But I've got very good discipline and am managing very well so far. Now if only I could get that kinda handle on my extra curricular eating.

I've also managed to keep a hold on my gains with the free weights. This in spite of not lifting a anything more than a beer glass for the last 2 weeks.

In case anyone is really wondering what my routine is here is Wednesdays workout:

Leg Ext: 33x12 50x12
Leg Curl: 33x12 50x12
Squat: 135x12 155x12
Calf Raise: 155x12 155x12
Dead Lift: 135x12 155x12
Bench Press: 95x12 115x12
Bent Row: 70x12 70x12
Seated Mill Press: 70x12 65x6
Triceps Ext: 50x12 50x12
Bicep Curl: 55x12 55x12

Back in 2000, my last real full season where I did anything worth talking about, my squat and dead lift numbers were in the 300+ lbs range. I could probably one rep close to that, but it's too soon to be in the hospital with a wrecked back. I should be up there come April/May.



Friday, December 5, 2008

Fatguy Roller Pic of the Week - 12/05/08

This weeks photo is totally bogus (but was taken today). So is the fact that I have not ridden my Ducati for 2 months. Believe it or not, my training is getting in the way of a good moto ride.

I've been riding outside all week, so the rollers and my motorcycle have not been getting any love. Nor has my weights. For some reason I just don't feel like lifting. So 12 hrs cycling will have to do. Next week is rest and reco, So I'll do some lifting and motorcycle riding then.

As of this morning I'm down to 206.

For what it's worth, i didn't last 4 days until I had to have a beer. Those Spaten Oktoberfest were screaming out to be drank. So I did. And I bought more yesterday. I went to my local to get a 12 of Yuengling (my favorite budget brew) and saw they still have Oktoberfest. So I grabbed a six of that too. Unfortunately in my zeal I didn't realize I picked up Yuengling Light Lager. It's not bad for light beer, but I'll never make that mistake again.

Gimme a shout James! I ready for some drinking. We could do Max's Taproom during the afternoon next week!



Tuesday, December 2, 2008

MABRAcross Champs - Some Photos...And Big Ups to Pete Jensen

Here a link to some very poor photos. The Casio works great when it's sunny out, but not so much when it's overcast. Even in 'sport' mode, the shutter was only doing 1/60 sec.

I'd like to give a shout out to my teammate and great guy Peter Jensen. Pete snagged a silver in the Masters B on Sunday. Pete's the kinda guy who wont blow his own horn, so I'm going to do it for him. He deserved it. I've watched him race by race improve his finishing spots. If he races at Reston next week he should win it if trends are reliable. Congrats Pete!

Also present in the Masters B was teammate Chris Adair. I finally got a decent picture of him. He's a big guy like me. It's great to see him out there suffering like a dog and enjoying himself. My hat's off to you too Chris. Next year I hope to line up at some of these CX races with you guys.

This is my last event working as an official until 2009. It's been a long rookie season for me and I had a great time doing it. The best part is of course all the people I got to meet and seeing some old familiar faces from my first competitive phase back in the 90's. Now it's time to train and get the moto ready for next season.

In early 2009 I'll hope to be taking and passing the B level officials and B level moto exams. As a B I'll have the minimal qualifications to break into working national level events. Even if it's just as a volunteer.

I plan to race allot more than I did this year too. And to do it better than ever before.



Monday, December 1, 2008

Fatguy Roller Pic of the Week - 11/28/08

Well, better late than never. It was a busy week and I never got much free time since my wife had the whole week off from the ice cream factory(Dreyers, where they and she specifically make Haagen Daas). It was a great week. I had off too so we spent a lot of quality time together in spite of me reffing at 3 cross races and doing 12 hours of training during those 10 days.

The payoff?

I'm down 2 more pounds to 207. Woo Hoo! That's 8 pounds from 11/1 to 12/1. I feel great and my clothes make me look like I'm malnourished. I'm shooting for an even 10 from 12/1 to 1/1/08. That will keep me on schedule for 170-175 before my A race, Walkersville Mas 35+ 4/5. While I don't expect to duplicate my old high school buddy, Marc Lefkowitz's win in this years event, where I got dropped on the hill by the barn, I will not be dropped in 2009.

To do this I am swearing off beer and ice cream for a while. I told Dana to not bother ordering ice cream for a while. It'll be tough giving up those pints of Dulce Le Leche, Vanilla Bean and the Dark Chocolate/Chocolate bars on a stick, but a mans got to do what a mans got to do. It'll be Skinny Cow ice cream bars (80 calories per) indefinitely.



Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Non Traditional Thanksgiving at Casa De Fatguy.

Turkey? We don't need no stinkin' turkeys!

Broiled crab cakes, steamed shrimp, homemade skin on fries and a Saison Dupont!

(Hey Dad, looks good eh?)

Oh and I rode my bike today. What a disaster that was.

Lemme recap it for ya:

I woke up later than I wanted, no time to eat or have coffee.
I got my stuff together for the 10am ride.
I left the house 1/2 before ride.
I turned around 2 miles from home to get water bottles and cell phone I forgot.
I left the house again.
I turned around again 2 miles from home to get seat bag and frame pump I forgot.
I ate a Cliff Bar en route and rolled into parking lot 5 min late. But no one left yet. Phew!
We all rolled out. Pace OK for first 1/2 hour.
I got dropped on first big hill. I not sure if they dropped me or if I wanted to get dropped. It's November and I have no desire to be hitting 92% max HR all morning doing the Hills of Crownsville.
I catch up to one other guy who dropped himself for same reasons.
I ride for next 1/2 hr at a nicer pace and chat awhile with my riding buddy.
My chain starts skipping, and doing that autoshift thing, but I ride on.
My chain is skipping on every pedal stoke now and we still have 10 to go to Park & Ride, but I'm 3 miles from my house.
I apologize to my bud and turn off and head home to either get another bike or quit and get my wife to take me to the Park & Ride to pick up Jeep.
I get home. 23 miles done and 1 1/4 hrs in the saddle. 1/2 hr more than was called for on today's workout schedule.
I ask wife to take me to get Jeep.
She says OK and I go get Jeep.

Still, It was a beautiful day for a ride. I lost 2 more pounds this week and I have beer!

Is that a pretty sight or what?



(photos: My crappy cell phone camera)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Fatguy Roller Pic of the Week - 11/21/08

Since the first picture in this series, four Fridays ago, I have dropped five pounds. I don't look much smaller, but I do feel better when I'm riding the bike. Like yesterday for instance. I'm enjoying some time off so I went and geared up for a cold forty degree three hour LSD ride on my TT bike. Aside from having fun going fast with little effort, riding a TT bike is a good choice on a windy day. Very handy bike to be riding when riding directly into a 20 mph head wind. I also rode with my Rudy Project TT helmet too. Again, a great choice on a cold windy day. No vents, half face shield, and ear flaps. As cold and windy as it was, I was very comfortable the whole time.

Base training is going very well. My mileages are not gonna set records, but my training time is significantly higher for a November than any time in my life that I can remember. So long as I can keep it going, I feel I will be going great for next season.

I haven't done any lifting as of today, so I leave it this post with a picture of my curious dog, Sophie. She almost stuck her nose in those front wheel spokes! You'll notice a different front wheel on the bike. What you cant see is there is a different rear wheel too. In the time between both photos I got 2 flats. I can't catch a break I tells ya! Hahaha!

At least my trusty beer fridge didn't let me down. As soon as the hour was up, I reached in to find a that I still had a couple of Spaten Oktoberfest left. Now I only have one left.



(Photos: Me and a tripod mounted Nikon D70. Taken on Wednesday night.)

Monday, November 17, 2008


That's what my trusty doctors office quality analog Health-o-Meter scale read this morning. I'll forget what Kyle's fancy digital scale was reading in the D'ville parking lot after we got done riding for 2 hours on Sunday afternoon.

I was expecting the worst as I dreadfully pulled the scale out into the middle of the bathroom floor. I really expected to see the weight go up, not down. It was a pleasant surprise to see 2 more pounds off from the week before. What ever I'm doing, I need to stick to it. I've lost 4 lbs in about 2 weeks since I started my 2009 season training on Nov 3.

What I've been doing is lots of zone 1, 2 and 3 riding and lifting weights. One the rollers during the week and outside on the weekend. On the dieting side I've been keeping track of food using the meal log feature in Training Peaks. I've been down the dieting path more than once, so using it is nothing new. Staying with it is the hard part. It does get tedious after awhile. In the past, whenever I have used a meal log to track food is when I've lose the most weight consistently. There is something to be said for accountability. It does keep a person honest. To a degree, of course. I can always omit something, but what good is lying to myself? The problem is sticking with the log. I should have done it all year. Maybe the fourth time will be the charm.

Week 3 is a rest week, so I have to eat light. I use the Virtual Coach feature of training peaks also and since I'm over 40, 45 1/2 to be exact, the training cycle reverts to 2 weeks on 1 week rest. I thought this was odd, so when I made my 2008 schedule I lied about my age so it would do the traditional 3 on, 1 off schedule. Looking back over the season and how effective my training was, I have to say I shouldn't have lied about my age. 2 on, 1 off may give the extra recovery time I need to keep from burning out.

On an unrelated note, has gone tits up. Seems they got hacked pretty viciously (from what I've gathered) and they will be down for quite a while. I was 8 beer reviews short of reaching the 100 beer club (not to shabby for being a member for less than 1 year and not turning into a real fat bastid) when they went offline. So I've got to keep track of them somewhere. Well why not here? Here's what I've sampled this week.

Rouge Dead Guy Ale - Awesome deep translucent amber color that was almost pearlesent. Big fluffy, merange like butterscotch head that unfortunately disappeared quickly. Aroma of sweet hops. Crisp and dry on the palate with a nice bitter hop aftertaste that didn't linger longer than necessary. Malt undertones are welcome presence. No trace of grassyness like you get with an over hopped ale or IPA. This is one very well balanced ale. One of the best i've had in a long time. A pleasant surprise for me, as I have avoided buying it for the longest time. I've often dismissed Rogue brews just because the bottles and beer names seemed too gimmicky. I glad I was wrong

Rouge Dry Hopped St. Rouge Red - Its a wonderful red ale. One thing I've noticed about Rogues brews is how great they look in a glass. And this one is no exception. It pours a pretty reddish copper color with a reddish creamy head. The carbonation is pretty high and the bubbles were beautiful as the climbed up the side of the glass. The aroma has a subdued hoppyness and the that carries over to the palate. Unfortunately the taste is average. It's not a bad brew by any stretch but the taste doesn't match up to the appearance. If Rogue could combine the appearance of St Rouge with the knockout taste of Dead Guy, I would be a fan for life.



Thursday, November 13, 2008

Fatguy Roller Pic of the Week - 11/14/09

Well another week goes by and maybe I've lost another pound or so. I feel better, so that's got to count for something. Last week I managed to put in 8 of the scheduled 9 hours of training. I only missed out on a 1 hour ride on Sunday. It was my wife Dana's birthday so we spent all of Sunday together. This coming Sunday is my Dad's birthday. He's in Texas staying with my sister Nancy, husband Kurt and the grand kids, Hank and Bill (Henry and William). I like to call them Hank and Bill 'cause it annoys the heck outta my sister and probably my brother in law too. Kinda funny the sophomoric crap you engage in with your sibling even when your both in your 40's.

Anyway, this ones for you guys. Happy Birthday Dad!

Extra lift pic. This week, the Bench Press.



Monday, November 10, 2008

A Night Out With The Homies

Friday night as I was riding home in the car with my wife, Dana, I get a call from one Lance Lacy at around 4:30pm. He tells me some of us who live with 10 miles of each other were gonna be getting together with spouses and girlfriends for dinner at the Sakura Japanese Steakhouse on Housley Road (near Westfields Mall) in West Annapolis and follow it up with some drinking and fun at Stevie D's house in Millersville. My wife had a long day and didn't want to go, but I was up for it, so long as I got a ride in before. Dana gave me a pass and told me to have lot fun. So after doing a 45 min stint on the rollers, I got dressed, put on the sharp, new Team Latitude polo and headed on over to the restaurant. I got there and everyone except Sue Estes had already arrived. Ali, aka The Wheelsucker, was there sans date too. That's good, so now I wont feel like a total loser being by myself.

L to R: Amanda Wu, Amy Jones, Lance Lacy (partially hidden), Kyle Jones, Sherry Collison (Lance's girlfriend), Ty Wu (mostly hidden) and Ali Meller. Not shown, is me who took the picture.

They seated us pretty quick and took drink orders. I was kind of disappointed at the beer choices so I ordered the old standby, Sam Adams. Mind you they had every Japanese beer and Sake, but I'm not a fan of either.

They seated us a a really large grill horseshoe style. I took and end seat directly facing the Teppanyaki chef so as to get the best opportunity to get my eyebrows singed off. He did warn me...

Amamda, Ty, Sherry and Lance

Kyle, Amy and Ali

Me, and Amanda. Only Sue is missing.

That's Sue on the right.

I ordered the Filet Mignon and Chicken combo with Teppanyaki Shrimp and fried rice appetizers. The chef did all the usual stuff, the egg on the spatula trick and the onion volcano. It was pretty cool to see a Teppanyaki chef work the grill in person versus watching it on The Food Network. The food was excellent. I left nothing on my plate.

After we were done, we all packed into our vehicles and headed to the beer store and then Steve's place. While at the Waterbury there was much discussion about the proper 40 to pick up. I was looking for a 40 of Bass, but ended up with a 24 oz Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Kyle Jones on the other hand went right for the good stuff. We all thought he was getting these for Amy, but he said they were for him. You draw your own conclusions...LOL.

When we all got to Steve's he was out on his back deck blowing off fire crackers and bottle rockets at his neighbors. Seems the party was already going. After tiring of lighting off noisemakers a hasty retreat was made back into Steve's kitchen for some shots of Bourbon. Doetch went all out and picked up a bottle each of Makers Mark and 1792 Ridgemont Reserve. First up was the Ridgemont. I took my shot and slugged it down expecting the burn and gag, but not this time. It was like drinking a shot of ice tea. 1792 is probably the smoothest Bourbon I've ever had. I'm normally a vodka guy, but I will buy this. The Makers Mark was next and it was quite good also, but not nearly as smooth as the Ridgemont. Just to be sure we had another shot of Ridgemont. Did I mention this stuff is really smooth? After this I was ready for a beer so Steve handed me Grolsch to go along with the Sierra Neveda. Needless to say I drank them both and I think there was more Ridgemont too. After awhile things were getting really warm and fuzzy. I also think there was some guitar playing going on too, but I don't think I could call what I was doing guitar playing. It's been 13+ years since I played out with a band, and when I stopped gigging, I pretty much stopped playing for myself too. I've picked it up for longish stints on occasion over the years, but I'm very rusty to say the least and being drunk doesn't help.

All in all we had a great time and around 11 pm we all took off. I live 5 mins away from Steve, so my ride home, while not kosher, was not a big deal.

So now I've learned a few things about my teammates. Outside of racing, they're all great people and lots of fun to hang with. I need to start practicing my guitar on a more regular basis. And lastly I still get hangovers. I didn't do my 3 1/2 hour training ride until 1pm. By then I was able and the weather had cleared up. I did a pretty decent solo ride from the Park & Ride to North Beach and back. Using my TT bike I stayed mostly in zone 1-3 and came in with a nice 18 1/2 mph avg with 2500 feet of elev. gain for 60 miles. Maybe I should drink more often.

One last thing before I forget. There is no such thing as a free lunch when your married. Dana had off work on Sunday and her birthday is tonight. Happy 39 hon!

Even so I spent the whole day with her on Sunday and we went to Stitches 2008. A yarn and knitting expo at the Baltimore Convention Center. I think we actually spent more time at the light rail stops waiting for the damn train then we did at the expo. Still any day I get to spend with my wife is a good day.



(photos: Me-Casio Exilim Z600)

Also posted on the unoffical ABRT Blog.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Fatguy Roller Pic of the Week - 11-07-2008

Another week has gone by and I've managed to do seven hours of training since last weeks picture was taken. Seven hours in one week in November is pretty good considering my track record with off season training. Although I don't look any better, I do feel better and with 2 lifting sessions done for the week I am not nearly as sore as last week.

How about that shot? I took it doing a warm up set of squats. No one ever looks pretty doing squats do they?

My weight on 11/1/08 was 215. Great. This is gonna be much harder than I figured. One of the things I may be doing is skipping club rides until 2009. I've been doing a little reading about base training and I have come to the conclusion that for myself they might be counter productive right now. In the mean time I will more than likely ride with one of the slower groups that meet at Davidsonville or ride by myself. I will definitely be giving Big Jim a call for some winter LSD once he's done racing cross.



Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Umbrella Girl of the Week

It's all over. Formula One crowns its first black champion, Lewis Hamilton. Hammy won it on the last corner of the last race on Sunday in Brazil. Despite the best efforts behind the scenes all season to hand the title to a Ferrari driver, Hammy pulled it off and I hope he walked right up to Max "I like Nazi Hookers" Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone and gave them both big "Fuck Yous!". Well, I'm sure he didn't 'cause he has class. But I don't, so I would have. Congratulations Lewis Hamilton!

In other news - Barrack Obama became our first black President elect.

Almost forgot...This will be the last one. Kyle Jones is back posting bike babes.



(Photo Hamilton:, Photo Umbrella girl: unknown.)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Do people really drink this stuff?

I thought perhaps being a prodigious coffee drinker, I may have sampled pretty much every thing there is to offer coffee wise. I was wrong. Whist being dragged by my wife, Dana, to Big Lots I found a whole end cap of these. 2 bucks for 4. So I grabbed one. I got this at the Lexington Park location, but she dragged me to Glen Burnie too and they had even more of the stuff and also two more coffee flavors. Mocha and Vanilla. They are probably cold now, so maybe they'll be my drink of choice while I workout tonight seeing as they are in the beer fridge next to the rollers.

I'm thinking it must really suck bad. Seeing the organic blessing stamp on it means that Whole Foods couldnt pass this dreck off and Big Lots ended up with a truckload to sell to unsuspecting morons like myself.



(Photo: Me-LG Rumor cell phone camera)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Rockburn CX 2008 Masters B Race Pics

Howdy Ho,

First off, many thanks to LSV and Matt B. for hosting a great event. It went off like clockwork and I think all us on the officiating crew had a good time.

Here are some pics from the 10am Masters B race and a other random shots from the pits. I only had the chance to take a few. Today I was working many places besides the pit. To be a good official, I have to learn all the jobs. My apologies for the quality of the pictures. I was shooting these with a pocket Casio Exilim Z600 and not my camera of choice, my Nikon D70.

Here is the link to the pictures

It's pretty heavy on my ARBT peeps, Pete, Mike, Ali (his first race) and Chris. Also quite a few of other riders I know, Jim, Jon, Shaun, etc.



Friday, October 31, 2008

Fatguy Roller Pic of the Week - 10-31-2008

"Has it been an hour yet?"

I'm going to intro a new feature on my blog today. The Fatguy Roller Pic of the Week. The idea here is to post up a new pic of me riding my rollers to chronicle my weigh loss over the next 16-20 weeks. My first planned peak is Walkersville at the beginning of April. A race I didn't do so well at last year. In 2009, I'd like to be able to finish in the front group of the Mas 35+ 4/5 race instead of riding tempo off the back like I did this year. Prior to this years race I had only been training for 7 weeks and weighed 216 pounds.

In this photo taken last night (10/30/08)I am hovering around 210 lbs. The lightest I got to this year was 198 lbs. My goal for 2009 is 175. I don't think my frame will carry much less than that without looking awful. If I only make it to 185 in the next 20 weeks I'll be happy, but 175 is the goal. Looking at the picture you can see that I am carrying too much upper body mass. Mainly in the gut, the shoulders and upper arms. I'll be working hard this winter to get rid of that.

Once the 20 weeks are up and I didn't fail in my task, I'll throw up a montage animation that shows how I shrank.

Note: I am still sore as hell from lifting weights for the first time this season on Tuesday. I skipped them last night, but still rode the rollers for an hour with some tempo efforts mixed in. After the Saturday group ride I hope to feel well enough to get a session in.

Tonight I'm going to a Halloween party with Dana at her girlfriends house. She's designated driver and I'll be throwing back some Paulaner Salavator. I know some kind of pumpkin ale is the proper Halloween brew, but I'm not a big fan. One another note, I hope everyone else on the team gets hammered tonight too so tomorrow's 3 hr group ride will be sedate.



(Photo: Me-Nikon D70 w/wireless remote)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Down in the Dungeon

One of the things every man needs is a place in the house where he can get away from everyone and everything. Since my house doesn't have a garage yet, that place is in the bowels of the basement where my wife, Dana, and I keep all our years of accumulated flotsam and jetsam. I keep telling her that one day soon I'm gonna get a rollback plopped down on the driveway and we are going to really clean house! The beauty of this setup is that I have everything I need for an extended stay if need be. I also have everything I need to do my winter training too. I have no excuses for why I cant get it done. Here are a couple of pics of where it will all happen. So when I'm kicking ass next season, remember it all began here. If I'm not kicking ass next season, then remember it didn't happen here but it should have.

Here is the view from the general direction of my rollers. I have a a couple old TV's (the 25 incher is hooked to basic cable), some old stereo gear, some newish stereo gear, a VCR and a DVD player. Everything I need to keep me occupied while I grind away on the rollers and *sigh* the trackstand too. I am a pack rat when It comes to bike stuff. I could get rid of half of what you see and I would still have too much.

This is the view looking back toward where I set up my rollers. On the left is the beer fridge and on the right is my free weight workout setup and about 350 lbs of Olympic plates, bars and lots of solid dumbbells. I have a routine that I've been using forever and like it very much. There is nothing exotic about my routines and in a later post, I'll share. The beer fridge doubles as my bulletin board where I put up workouts to follow for the rollers or trainer. The rollers are a set of Performance Travel Trac Technique's. They work quite well and if I put it in a huge gear and spin at 110+ rpm I get enough resistance to do VO2 max intervals. But since it's early, I'll be skipping those for a few months.

Since Tuesday night was cold and windy, I wimped out and worked out down in my little indoor cycling paradise. I started with 35 min on the rollers, then changed shoes and did weights for about 75 min and finished with 15 min cooldown on the rollers. The workout was long enough for me to watch a short movie that I've got from Netflix and had laying around forever, Good Night and Good Luck. The movie was meh at best, but the workout was great. I'm still very sore since it was my first attack of the weights this season. Tonight I'll just doing it all over again. The last Thursday ABRT ride is tonight, but i'm skipping it. Thinking about how to work recoveries in I may change my weight lifting nights to Monday and Thursday. My hard on the bike days will be Tues/Thur. Wednesday will be an endurance type night and Friday will be recovery spins on the rollers. That leaves Saturday for the group ride and Sunday for a 1 1/2 to 2 hour long LSD rides to enjoy the outdoors or an hour on the rollers at night if I have to work a race. I guess we will see how all that works out. My only goal right now is knocking off 25-30 lbs by Feb 1. Totally doable.

Here's one more picture. My squat rack is a real multi-tasking piece of equipment. When not working out it's a perfect hanging rack for all my wet kit. Speaking of, does anyone really need that much kit?

I told you I was a pack rat for cycling gear.



(Photos: Me and my Nikon D70)

Umbrella Girl of the Week - Special Nicky Hayden - Ducati Edition

Sunday was the last MotoGP race of the year. It was also the last race for the 2006 World Champion, homeboy Nicky Hayden, on a Honda. After 3 years of being kicked around like a three legged mangy dog at HRC/Repsol by Puppetmaster Puig and little boy made of wood, Dani Pedrosa, he will be pairing with 2007 World Champion Casey Stoner at Marboro-Ducati. The factory Ducati team will have 2 of the last 3 World Champions taking it to the rest of field next season on the baddest of all MotoGP machines, the Desmosedici. Go Ducati! Go Nicky!

Are you paying attention HRC? This is how you treat a World Champion.

It shouold be noted that on Monday, his first day on the Duc at the first of 2 test days at Valencia, he equalled the fasted lap of outgoing sad sac Marco Melandri. Nicky was also fastest of all the riders who switched to new teams. On day 2, yesterday, he posted the fastest times of all in the wet. Not bad for never having riden a Ducati GP bike or Bridgestones. I think next year is gonna be great!




Tuesday, October 28, 2008

One Week To Go To "Go Time"

Well damn time flies when your having fun doing nothing. As I get closer to my 'official' date for starting my 2009 season training, I find myself getting a little nervous about it all. Will I stick with it or will I be 30 pounds overweight on March 1st? My biggest weakness is staying motivated in the bad weather months. It's always been my biggest weakness and I hate myself for it. Every year it's the same thing. Get fat in winter and waste fair weather months getting in shape just in time for the season to be over. I've got to break this repeating cycle of bullshit behavior. The reason I started doing a blog this year was to keep my head in the game by being accountable to something a little more concrete than a pipe dream of upgrading to Cat 3 (I've been a Cat 4 since 1998) in my head.

It didn't work out so well this season but it's been a better year than the last three previous ones that I wasted trying to put it together. I really love riding and racing a bicycle. I am a very competitive person, ask anyone who knows me real well. The thing is, I am not a winter person. And like many of you I hate the stationary trainer more than anything else. Because of these two mental road blocks I just am not motivated to suffer and sacrifice to get to thru winter training.

The worst part about it is that I know that I have the physical tools to be more than a pass/fail racer. I firmly believe that anyone has the potential to make it to Cat 3. What separates those who are from those who aren't is desire, training, level of commitment and a willingness to make the sacrifices to achieve a goal. So using my own self as a example of shit or get off the pot, I am proclaiming that this is the year that I will break the cycle once and for all and embrace as best I can, Winter Training.

I have all my tools together. My plan for next season is laid out. My bikes are in fairly good working order. My rollers are out and ready to go. My bench, squat rack, and plates are set up and ready to go. I should have my new Polar replacement Wearlink strap this week. I'm ready to go!

It all starts Nov 3.

Wish me luck



Monday, October 27, 2008

Cyclocross - Who opened the asylum doors?

There is a fine line in cycling between being hard and being crazy. Cyclocross blurs that line more than all the other disciplines combined.

I believe he finished the race after riding with no seat for 3 laps.

The more of these I attend, the more I wish I was doing it. I haven't done a cross race since Trek sponsored a weekly series 10+ years ago at Patapsco State park. I remember it being harder than anything else I had done on a bicycle and decided to stick to the road. I may change my mind in 2009.

The fashion statements at yesterday's event (and previous ones too) gave me an idea as to what I would wear next season were I to compete. My motoref zebra stripes and black brain bucket. Of course I would have to find a cheap cyclocross frameset and paint it Corsa Red and label it Ducati. I figure it to be good for a laugh and divert the attention from how much I will suck at cyclocross. One the other hand, It may look perfectly normal to see me in zebra stripes bringing up the rear, just like I do at the crits on my motorcycle.

Shout outs to my Latitude/ABRT teamates, Mike, Pete, Kyle, Chris, Andreas, and Tom. Great job fellas. I hope you could hear me cheering for you.

And to the dood who placed 3rd in the C race. Please get sick behind a bush next time. Big Jim can show you where is proper. The drive by puking you laid at my feet while I was working the pits was just gross.

Oh and one more thing to all; If you gonna hang around in or near the pits drinking beer while I'm working, you better got-damn bring one for me too! I sure would appreciate it.

A BIG BIG shout out to the organizers who didnt fold up the beer tent after the 123 race was over. Speaking for all the officals there, thanks for saving us a brew or two. They were good. Stoudts Pils is one I havnt seen before, but it's hoppy goodness was certainly appreicated on a crisp fall afternoon.


(photo – My LG Razor cell phone)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Umbrella Girl of the Week

Last Sunday was Sepang. Malaysia is not as loose as say Indianapolis, so umbrella girl fashions are a bit more conservative. Still, she is a cutie!

Rossi wins again, and my beloved Ducati team only placed as high as 6th with Stoner. I'd say Mrs. Stoner kinda sums up Ducati's performance.




Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Training Route Test Embed

This map is my route from last nights training ride. This is also a test of the embedding feature of

Click on VIEW FULL

Then once that window is loaded click on VIEW THIS ROUTE IN 3-D MAP to load it into Google Earth

It seems to work. Yeah!



Umbrella Girl of the Week (Formerly Hump Day, but renamed since Kyle already has that)

There was no racing last weekend, so no current grid girls. I found this doing a google search. I'm not a Hentai (Japanese anime porn) fan, but this is pretty dam awesome. I found this on a Honda forum (they didnt have a Honda one, go figure). But hey, Ducati's rule so yeah baby, here you go!



Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Ready to begin anew

It's with no small amount of joy that I've managed to drop about 3 lbs in the last week or so. Riding 5 days out of last 8 will do that I suppose. Now I just hope I can keep the momentum going. My biggest hurdle I feel is going to be fighting the desire to say to heck with it and watch TV. For the next few months I will be doing most of my riding from my office door in west Columbia to take advantage of every minute of daylight available. I have several loops I can do in the area and Ellicott City's hills are a 20 minute ride away.

Sunday was the big end of season ABRT blowout. The day started with a ride from Doetsch's house (that's me, the big dude in the middle), which is about 5 miles from mine. I threw some clothes in a backpack and headed on over for the ride. I made sure to pack my 1 liter beer stein to enjoy the Spaten Oktoberfest that was reported to be on tap. The pace for the ride was predetermined to be slow. Slow being a relative term when talking about a ride with a bunch of hammers. True to their word, it was a good ride and stayed calm. I only had big trouble on St. George Barber and Huntwood Road. Serves me right for leaving the house on a empty stomach. It's serves me even more right for slacking off in August and September and gaining 10 lbs instead of losing 10 lbs. I downed both water bottles and my gel flask, but it wasn't enough to prevent the legs cramps that would keep me from getting dropped on the hills in the last 10 miles of the 35 mile ride. Since it was a no-drop ride, they waited and I got back on. I was OK on the flats, but I had nothing in the tank to get up the short steep rises that are all over central Anne Arundel County. After about 2 hours the ride ended where it started. My only concern was getting to that keg! One thing I know for sure is that beer is a cure for leg cramps. I found this out a couple years ago after a hard and fast Seagull Century ride. The Beer Garden saved my life that day. I never had a single cramp that day or the next. So once we got it tapped it was bottoms up!

Is that a mug or what? I only had one. Honest.

My lovely bride, Dana, came by later after she got off of work from the evil ice cream factory. We both chowed down on the excellent BBQ that was catered by Red, Hot & Blue. I love their food. We've eaten often at the Cape St. Claire location, off Rt-50 before the Bay Bridge. She was tired so we didn't stay long after eating. In fact we kinda scooted out of their with a few goodbyes. On the way home she expressed a craving for a Krispy Kreme donut. I told her to go for it and we went to Glen Burnie and picked up a dozen. She got 9 chocolate creme filled and I got 3 pumpkin spice. I love those. I only ate one and took the other two to work the next day. Once we got home she was sound asleep on the couch by 8 pm.

Today will be the first time I've ridden in the Columbia area in about 4 months. I think the last time was a 3/4 century ride I did with some friends back in early June.

My real program for 2009 begins on November 1st. Right now I'm riding in that period known as a transition. The transition is giving me the chance to get all my gear, goals and routines in order.

Next week I will need to test for FTP. I haven't done a test ride in months. I'm thinking of heading to the Eastern Shore and doing it on the Church Creek TT course. It's not that far from home and it's about as controlled an environment as you can get outdoors. It'll be good to get some hard fast numbers.



Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Hump Day! Indy Rewind

Even though Indy was almost a month ago, it's too good not to share.

I'm sure gonna be sad that the motorcycle racing season is winding down. I may have to follow Australian V8 Supercars to get a podium/umbrella girls fix.

Speaking of OZ, here's one from last weekends event at Phillip Island.

Nice angle Mr. Camera Dood.

Shout out to my favorite scooter jock, Troy Bayliss and the Ducati Xerox team for a 3rd World Superbike Championship. 3rd one on 3rd different Ducati SBK (996, 999, 1098) for Troy. It will be sad to not see him on the grid next season.



(photos from

Monday, October 6, 2008

Where the hell did my summer go?

Howdy Ho!

It's been ages since I've actually wrote anything worth reading. I think that may be due to the fact that I've done nothing worthy of writing about. My fitness took a work/life stress related nosedive at the end of July and by the time I started coming around again, it was too late. Funny how stress can sap the life right out of you. One day I'm flying, the next I'm dragging ass and I cant do a thing about it. For me it felt like being overtrained. Except at the point in time when it hit me, I was not even close to being over trained. In fact I was approaching my planned peak. Since that didn't go well, I abandoned my racing plans for the rest of the season and decided to concentrate on doing as many officiating gigs as possible.

In the last 3 months the only cycling related note of interest I have is that I broke my 10 year old Indy Fab Crown Jewel beyond repair. The seat tube cracked off above the welds at the bottom bracket. I sent pictures to IF and they told me that it's not a warranty issue. And they were right too. Corrosion from the inside killed my bike. I cant bad mouth IF for this. I never took the seat post out as required for regular maintenance. I couldn't. The seat post has been cold welded into my frame for years. Here's a shot of the damage.

It was such a beautiful bike too. Here's a shot of it in it's glory.

IF offered me a great price on a replacement frame. I've decided to take them up on it, but only after I get a new Latitude/ABRT team edition Cannondale CAAD 9 first. There is an order deadline for those and IF doesn't care when I replace my frame. Given the current financial situation, maybe later next year. Hopefully in time for fall 2009 century season.

After breaking the bike, I really kinda lost interest in training. I didn't have a readily available bike to keep on plugging away and I was too busy to finish building up my Trek2100 as TT bike. 2 weeks after I broke to IF, I did get around to it. It turned out pretty nice and it rolls pretty fast for a budget TT build. I didn't spend a whole lot of money on it. Here's a couple of pictures of my low budget rocket.

For my shakedown ride I stuffed myself into a skinsuit and put on my new Rudy Project Syton TT helmet and headed for a 2 mile stretch of flat road not far from my house. I got in a nice warmup getting there and as soon I as arrived I kicked it into high gear. Wow! Aero is frigging fast. With very little effort I was up to 26+ mph. I was surprised at how easy that was. Of course I couldn't hold that for much longer than 4-5 minutes. The lactic acid in my arms was building up quicker than in my legs. Bah! It doesn't matter. I'm hooked. Aero is free speed and speed is fun! I'll be working with this bike all winter.

In the meantime, I've gotten the junior loaner bike from teammate Doug Milikin. Nobody was using it and he insisted. Thanks Doug! It's an old Team Snow Valley steel Lemond, size 56cm, with a Wound-Up straight bladed carbon fork. I've always wondered about those forks. They're not really blades, but tubes. The low down on them is they were the shiznit back in their day. I'd have to agree. They are very stiff and compliant. They are also the ugliest forks ever. The Lemond as given to me had a mish mash of parts and a Campy 9 speed drive train. None of it worked very well, so I stripped it all down and rebuilt it up with Durace 9 speed take-offs from my Trek and my broke IF. I still have plenty more stuff left over for the Cannondale when it arrives, but I may make the upgrade to 10 speed. Depends on money and how work goes over the winter. I did about 70 miles on it last weekend during a camping trip on the Eastern Shore with my wife. It works fine now, but I do miss the carbon K-Force bars that are still on my IF. Even so, I'll be fine with this ride for the next 6 months until the 'Dale shows up.

Now the bad news. My August and September sloth as cost me 12 added pounds. I'm back up to 210 from a low of 198. That was a real eye opener when I stepped on the scale. I knew I was slacking but I didn't think I'd get it back on that fast. Winter training is starting early this year and I will not be slacking. My focus for next season is to be as light as possible and to be able to crank out the watts. Light is relative for me, as I'm never gonna be a flyweight climber. As a large rider I should be able increase my power to weight ratio high enough to hang on the worst climbs MABRA racing has to offer. I plan to focus on road races and time trails next season as a competitor and work the crits and cyclocross races as an official. My goal is to have my 1st peak in time for Walkersville. That gives me 6 full months from now to lose weight and increase power. The weekend riding on the Shore was the kick I needed. I love riding over there. No traffic, shoulders on 90% of the roads and good road surfaces. It may be mostly flat, but wind is the great equalizer out there as the wide open spaces affords very little in the way of shelter from it.

This year I have worked every race I possibly could with the goal of getting as much experience as possible in the shortest time possible. To be quite honest, I had a great time working all those events on the moto. I'm still having a good time working on the ground at cyclocross too. Hopefully I'll have enough events under my belt to qualify for an upgrade to B level official and B level motor ref. My goal as a motor ref is to work the big pro NRC and UCI races on the national calander.

Well that's enough for now. I'll leave it with this last pic from my last moto ref gig of the year, Bobby Philips Turkey day. Look for more and timely posts here as I turn myself into a science experiment once again in my quest of a Cat 3 upgrade while I'm still in my 40's.

I will be bringing back my beer reviews too. I think I've been thru about 40 different brews since the last brew review. Maybe I'll do a mini update just on those.

Ugg that helmet has got to go. It looks like I'm wearing half a bowling ball on my noodle. Time to look into a modular Shoei. My full face Shoei is looking like its been worn all season by Randy DePuniet. It needs replacing.



Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Hump Day! Motegi 2008 edition.

Rizla always has the hottest umbrella girls on the MotoGP grid, or maybe just the hottest outfits. Anyway, who cares, these ladies are smoking.

Congrats to Valention Rossi for winning the 2008 Moto GP Championship.

(photo credit: