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: