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.