Thursday, December 30, 2010

One Crack Wednesday and How Cheetahs Pee

Yesterday I enjoyed the super secret pedal rotation fest with the Chief Cheetah. We had about 12  guys and the pace was perfect. I had a great ride except for, wait for it, one steep hill at around mile 45. Every so often the group hits a long hill hard and I just can't hang. This time I remembered young Sean's clever tactic from last Wednesday for hiding weakness. I came down with a stifling bout of hunger. I just could not hammer for one more second without slowing for a tantalizing morsel. Fortunately , the moment was caught by the secret camera man who has been following me for several months.

Hey guys, I'd pull you up this grade but I am just starving.
I would like to note as if it matters, that I was not the last one up the hill, and although the other guy was not really fit enough for the ride in the first place and wound up not finishing, I was at least 30lbs heavier than him. In case you wondered, MarkY Mark was riding and had no problem keeping up with the group up the hill. With his new pro-ride giant bike which has a seat mast instead of a seat post, MarkY just puts out a sail and the wind blows him down the road.

MarkY Mark's new Pro Bike with mast and sail
Actually Marky just gets up those hills because he's damn strong. And let's be clear, I may have gotten cracked, but it was an awfully steep hill. Like this.
Come Climb Me Little Antelope

And this thing kept biting my thighs the whole time.
Hmmm quad, yummy

An interesting thing about cheetahs and the Reverend Lenny that I have observed is that they never eat or drink. If they bring a bottle it is only one and that is just for show; they never take a sip.  They also never eat or  leave their bikes during a store stop. They do however, pee just like the rest of us. Have a loo here at these photos of different members of the peloton at the pee stop.

Antelope at 1 hour Pee Break

Cheetah Pees at 1 Hour Pee Break
So while there are many differences between the species, we both pee in a pretty similar manner. Anyway we finished about 65 miles mostly at 19.8 per big Matt's fancy new Garmin although I hoped MarkY's Cateye rate of 20.2 was closer.

In other news, I have updated the Antelope Survival Standings to reflect BenSee's participation in WBL #1 and I have given 2 points to Jeffey for epic bravery and survival of pain. Evidently he has been off the bike due to some surgery  but I hear he is on the mend. Heal up fast Jeffey.

Tomorrow is WBL#4, 80 miles of hammer in absolutely perfect weather. Who will survive? Who will come home with the pack? I'm ready to roll.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Where'e The Beef?

I now have indisputable proof that all of those citizens who mock my need to be svelter are wrong and that the burning in my thighs when I climb is correct. Despite feeling that the little voice in my head that I define as me is about 9 and thus only 90 lbs and 4 ft 2, I am in fact as large as many fellows who play safety in the NFL. My indisputable proof is even photographic as I was getting my sweet new road shoes precisely fit with my professional bike fitter Grant and he took my picture.
Did someone mention beef?
At this point I assume most people are asking a series of questions such as, "my God is carbon fiber strong enough to hold up all that beef?" and "How does he get his head to turn all the way around like that?" and "Versus really wasted a free  Cervelo R3 with SRAM Red on a guy that heavy?" and "Is this guy totally lying about keeping up with the Cheetahs?" Grant kept trying to point out how well balanced I looked on the bike, but all I could see was enough beef to feed a third world country.

Yes that is a lot of beef to carry around a bicycle and explains my failure to ever make the break away group on Elder Mill Hill. But let's just put this in perspective, sure I'm a big guy, but its not just about size, I'm also middle aged, without any particular talent, and have a middling V02 max at best.  So I am riding on the only thing I possess in great abundance, angst. I ride on pure angst, the Woody Allen of the local Saturday morning peloton, except I can't make movies either.

But I'm willing to get out there. After my super duper pro fit yesterday I braved the chill for 90 minutes of what the Chief Cheetah calls  "pedal rotating." And today I coaxed Duncan out of hibernation for a mellow spin of the off road variety. The trail was mostly dry and it was pretty cool riding through snowy areas.
Here is an action shot Duncan took of me hurtling down the single track like a mad man on fire.
Yeehaw, I got this cycling device up to 8 miles per hour!
Local SORBA president Dave Conway has done an awesome job out at Heritage taking care of the trail, building bridges and creating a multi-user system. For you non off roaders SORBA is the Southern Off Road Biking Association and you can donate to it here. Anyway thanks for all of your hard work Dave, I appreciate you every ride.

Tomorrow is a super secret Cheetah ride at 12pm. Again unless you read this blog or click on the WBL web page, you would never know about this ride. This will be the final tune up before WBL#3 and the continuing Antelope Survival Challenge.


Friday, December 24, 2010

A Cycling WonderLand

Its been a busy week what with pretending to work and readying the house for relatives and what was that other thing...Oh yes, riding my bicycle. Hee hee hee.

The Winter Wednesday WonderRide was awesome. Although several people are expressing astonishment at the idea of leaving work to put in 50+ during the winter we had triple our expected turnout (I only expected Superdraft and myself) . BenSee showed up before heading to NC for a parental sandwich, Ricko was there and we got to meet John and Sean, the father and son team. Sean has hit some kind of genetic lottery because not only is he a fine, 17 year old road racer and cross countrier, he also has more brains than a stuffed zombie after Thanksgiving.

Having recovered from Sunday's 21mph epic with the Cheetah pride and already having accomplished nearly 3 hours of day work (government job, its sweet) I was raring to ride. It was clear sunny but windy with gusts over 20. I must say, however, that I was in good form and broke a mighty wind at the front of the pack despite several helpings of pepto.  The pack wasn't sure if the draft was worth it.  John had evidently been spending way too much time in Thailand lately [work he says, right  (-; work ;-)] and the pace proved too much for him. It was a fairly mellow ride until we headed face first into the hurricane between Maxey's and Crawford, a 7 mile stretched now nicknamed the "wind tunnel of death."  BenSee and I figured if we wore down the little pipsqueack for 40 miles or so we could cook him for dinner on the BobGodfrey hills. Sean was too clever, though.  Half way up the first hill he came down with a sudden bout of hunger and had to slow mid hill to consume a cliff bar. So I would have beaten him up the hill but it didn't really count, cause, well, he was hungry. I plan on remembering this particular technique as I am often quite hungry. We were averaging 19.5 down Wolfskin but the hills and the long ups down Barnett Shoals brought us down 18.5 by the parking lot. A great ride and good to meet new friends and young pups who cycle.

Today, was the super secret X-mas eve pedal fest, known only to those special few who click on the WBL website. Anyone else, well they would never know so, shhhhh. I arrived ready to rock, determined to get over my parking lot intimidation and practice my new Roadie conversation skills. I have been sprinkling my conversations with Italian and French terms like Mocha Cafe Latte, Gruppeto, Gruppo, and Geppetto. We wound up having one of those super mellow rides I had heard from Reverend Lenny happen from time to time. Typically, an antelope can expect treatment like this on a Cheetah ride.
MMM love cracking antelope!

Today though we cruised at peaceful sub 18mph pace enjoying the sunshine and the mild weather. We even took extra pee breaks and a store stop. The Cheetahs were filled with the x-mas spirit,
What a cute little Antelope, let's not crack him today

Given the Christmas spirit that had infected the cheetahs, I took this opportunity to question the Cheetah King regarding the strange language that Cheetah's speak

Now OTB means "On the barrel" which means we will do exactly  a specific distance. Boonen is this guy named Bill, who has gone into semi-retirement after outsprinting me last summer. Now "window open" means....

 I don't want to give all the secret knowledge away in case I might need it later. But it was a great, mellow ride and now its time to wait for old St. Nick to visit tonight.  Have a great Christmas!

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Cheetah Beholder

We've all heard that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Well so is being overweight. This has been a worrisome concept to me ever since MHW, who is an avid RPGer (that is role playing gamer for you non geeks) ,  told me that this is a beholder.
My god but you are a lard ass Antelope Athens!
Now having this beholder examining the size of my ass is certainly going to get my attention. But really, how fast can a beholder ride anyway?

What has me thinking about beholders is a conversation with my lovely Gazelle friend Sandra. If you have already forgotten what a Gazelle is you can review the cycling animal totem at the top of the area Group Ride Calendar. Now Sandra probably doesn't think of herself as a Gazelle because she actually pretends there is some sort of life humans can have outside of cycling. I have heard of such nonsense and believe it may possibly be true when my son one day procreates and makes me a grandfather. Until then, there is cycling, and the stuff you have to do during the day to support the habit.

So Sandra says that she will not ridicule my weight and thinks its ridiculous because I am in fine shape. I have heard this fiction from others, particularly in the non cycling world inhabited by people I call "citizens." Citizens are people who not only are not gazelles or coyotes, they don't do any endurance athletics at all. So when they say "did you ride your bike yesterday?" and you say, "well I did a slow recovery ride, about 25 miles." They then say "My god, 25 miles!" I don't know how you survive!" Like I said, "citizens." So to non cyclists and cyclists who may be a bit more into recreation than sport, I appear to be less than fat.

To your average cheetah, however, I am a chunk of mildly pathetic, middle age meat hanging by a thread on every big hill. Just so you don't think I am overly pessimistic, I want to state that this actually is very good news and great progress. I have graduated from pathetic to mildly pathetic. I realized after riding Sunday with the big boys that I no longer wear diapers in the peloton. In fact, I believe that it wouldn't be bragging to say that I now wear pull ups, and big boy underwear may be a real possibility in the future.

Let me bring you up to date. This Saturday the WBL was cancelled due to fowl weather
Looks pretty fowl out here, better cancel the ride.
So I did some yoga and headed for trainer. I have a new unit of measurement for time on the trainer. I am working through season 2 of True Blood. With no ride on Sat I had enough energy to burn for 2 True Bloods, a unit of time equal to approximately 100 minutes or 3 sex acts between humans and vampires.

On Sunday, the fowl cleared out and so I headed to JJ's for the Single file Sunday ride at 10am. Only the Cheetah Jefe had changed the ride to 12pm. A few other guys and I did a quick 25 miles to warm up and get back for real ride. We get back and I'm thinking, "oh shit, I'm cold, I already feel tired and these guys are going to hammer for 3 hours." It was a moment of truth. Was I going to fight or fold? I decided to fight. I made sure I had my phone had enough charge so I could use the GPS app to get home if I was stranded in the boonies and joined the ride.

It was a thigh burning extravaganza, 60 miles at 21 mph. Relentless. I hardly had time to look up and appreciate the beauty of the countryside around (Stephen) Colbert, Ga home of the iconic talking head on comedy central.  I hung on fairly well in general. Around mile 30 there was a long false flat and I stayed strong but when the road actually flattened the pace kicked up and then I was tired and fighting to deal with the acceleration. I watched the wheel in front of me inching away when a friendly cheetah paw suddenly though gently made contact with my lower back. Those few pounds of pressure are like magic, I was back on the wheel and in my groove. I rasped a hoarse, "thanks dude!" and inwardly blessed this kind cheetah.

I hung tight until around mile 45 when we hit a real hill, not a roller. The grupetto all stood up and started "dancing on the pedals" as it was just too much hill to sit and spin at pace. Unfortunately my dance lasted only 50 yards of a 250 yard hill before I had to sit down, shift into granny and cry in that quiet place deep inside. I will say that there was a guy behind me who seemed to use my surrender as a reason to sit and spin on my wheel. The two of us watched the pack roll away as we struggled up the last of the hill. As we finally crested,  I saw that indeed, in the eyes of the Cheetahs,  I had graduated from  diapers to pull ups. For the second time on a SFSunday ride, the group waited after I cracked on a hill. I believe this means that the group leadership doesn't think I am so pathetic that they should leave me behind when I crack so that I won't be a drag to the ride's pace. And don't doubt, these guys will leave you if you are too slow. So I feel pretty good about this. Maybe I belong?
I also realized that I'm not going to get up the hill with these guys at 190lb. Now, I realize I will never ride like a skinny 25 year old Cat 2, but this was just their steep hill climbing pace, they weren't trying to drop anyone.  I saw a little of what happens when these guys really go when I got cracked again on the traditional sprint zone on Nowhere Rd. All of the sudden they are doing a pace that is just ridiculous. One day, I want to stand up on the pedals and make it up those steep hills with the group.

So while there was no WBL, Sunday was pretty epic. 85 miles, 60 of them at 21mph with SFSS.  Almost a big boy now.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Antelope Survival Standings Are Up: Reverend Lenny Leads!

The Antelope Survival Standings  are up! Just click on the top of the page to see who is surviving, Using the new point system. Lenny is in the lead. He garnered 3 points by starting with pack in WBL1 and completing over 60 miles. In WBL#2 Lenny started with the pack and actually came home just in front of them taking a day long pull in the SAG vehicle. Steveke (Russian for Antelope Athens) is in second with a home with the pack on WBL1 and a 50+ WBL2.

Superdraft is hanging tough. He did the 60+ with Lenny in WBL1 and then did 50+ on WBL2. Wait a minute you say? Why did Superdraft get 2 points if he only did 50 miles? Well Superdraft was dropped a bit early but instead of heading for home and the TV he made sure to finish 50+ alone in the wind. Dude gets 2 points.

We are expecting Marky, Jeffey, and Bengee to make some major showings through the winter.

What about you? Maybe you are an antelope but are not interested in the WBL but you are laying down epic winter rides each weekend! Since WBL is about the spirit of toughness and dedication, the challenge is open to riders who do alternative rides. Just post in the comments or email me at with a description of your ride and a nickname you would like to use. Each week send your epic rides and I will post your points.

Ride hard.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Fat but Fit

Wednesday evening: Weight unknown. I had an unfortunate reading one morning that seemed to indicate I had gained one pound. I blame the Bethinator. She had a holiday thing and kept baking these loafs of pound cake and banana bread. then she goes and puts chocolate chips in the banana bread and sticks it in front of me right out of the oven. I think this was on purpose a plot to re-establish her climbing dominance over me when the Wed rides begin anew in the spring. It probably wouldn't have been so bad if I had just eaten that one loaf of banana bread with melted chocolate chips, but after that I was unbalanced in the sweet department. You know how it goes, you need to keep the sweet vs salt balance just right or your ship could list. So there I was unbalanced with sweet when someone brought some quesadillas and salsa to dip them into. This helped me with my balance but I wound up waddling out of there wishing I was bulimic.

Monday I hit the trainer which is now set up in my garage. My trainer shares the garage with 3 litter boxes and several dessicated furballs. Fortunately, with the extreme cold Fluffy, Mittens, and Lucifer's poops freeze immediately. The garage smells great. I have figured out that I can set up my laptop in front of the bike and have decided to get back into watching True Blood, which for some reason is a lot funnier when your spinning.

Tuesday I rested getting ready for Wednesday's mid week winter mega ride, with JoeF, aka Superdraft. And what a sweet it was. JimK joined us a the courthouse in the balmy 39degree weather but he didn't dress warm enough and so bailed out after 5 miles (or he was intimidated by the hammer we were putting down on New High Shoals hill! you decide!?). The 'draft and I rolled on knocking out 50 miles at 17.5mph with aplomb. I didn't have my blinky light on my bike, so 'draft was kind enough to ride behind me so all the cars could see us. The day was chilly but the wind was not too bad. Every so often little bits of frozen ice like cold particles of pollen pelted us. I felt good, I felt strong. I have a positive mental attitude and am focused on coming home with the pack on Saturday's WBL#3. This one is key because there is no ride the Sat of x-mas so I want to go into the holidays with a strong showing.

As often occurs when I go for long rides with Superdraft, I leave them a wiser, better informed, and more thoughtful cyclist. Among the important decisions I made for my life this afternoon was a revision to the point system for the Antelope WBL Survival Challenge. If you participate  here is how to get points.

4 points-- come home with the pack
3 points--complete entire route, but you get dropped before the end
2 points-- start with the pack and complete at least 60 miles
1 point-- start with the pack and complete at least 50 miles

I will post the standings soon. I hope to see more of the Antelope Herd out there but at the same time, I have to tell you, a lot of these people ride like assholes. Be focused and have good skills. I'm not sure if its because racer types are just so confident and comfortable that they don't worry or what.

In local news, the word on the grapevine is that Marky Mark is getting a new Giant frame at cost to replace the broken one from a crash in WBL#1. Gossip is it may even be an upgrade. Thanks to our cycling friends at Sunshine Cycles for taking care of Marky. We hear that Jeffey will be riding on Saturday and that the good folks at Oconee County Cycling  Organization are planning an epic metric century for next year that never leaves Oconee and is in the shape of a Lion.

That's all I got. Look out for some longish ride coming next week, will get them posted on AthensGABicycling.


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Gynopositive blogging and cycling power

With the help of a comment on yesterday's blog from Kathleen I have had a movement in my consciousness. I must confess that this is not where my movements usually occur. I realized that I had been colonized by the pervasive misogyny of macho posturing purveyed by icons such as SuperMario Cipolllini. These misogynistic icons carve hierarchical boundaries between the sexes and sponsor a form of anti-feminine terrorism toward men in the pro peloton and in society at large. After all, if Mario derides my cycling heroes as too feminine and growing vaginas and thus not real men he is seeking to delude me into thinking that I too must revile culturally constructed "femininity" and constantly police my manhood with the critical eye of Cipo's masculinity project.

Well I have decided that my consciousness will not be colonized and I will not be induced to police my masculinity by Mario or his prescriptions for genital assignments.  Thus I have decided to present a celebration of gynopositive cycling power, reveling in the awesome of great cycling heroines who can hammer without huevos.

Because all of the most powerful heroes in my life are local. I start out with the most awesome examples of gynocycling power, the past 2 Antelope Queens.

Only a short 1/2 year ago, the Bethinator was dominating the Antelope herd in the Antelope World Cup. Elbow to elbow on every sprint she paved the way for Antelopes of both genders to compete together and to leave one another in exhausted masses of protoplasm in the courthouse parking lot.Of course Bethinator went on to take the coveted Antelope Queen title for the Spring World Cup series.
We are not male cyclists and we are not female cyclists. We are just cyclists.

My second moment of celebration goes to this Fall's Antelope Queen, Kathleen F who rightly reminded me that testicles do not a cyclists make and a vagina should not be seen as a negative thing for cyclists. Kathleen rode every single week even riding to the start in the middle of a hurricane to contest the Wed ride.

I am your queen, you will feel my draft.

Our next hero took the WBL lady's only sprint yesterday after 65 miles of hammering at 22 mph then a long hill, Jamie Dinkins took the sprint. Pictures and details may be found here.

Because not all of my cycling heroes are women I actually know or who ride locally I include 3 more. First of all the real heroic Armstrong of cycling: Kristin

Major wins Olympic individual time trial (2008)
World Time Trial Champion (2006, 2009)
Pan American Continental Time Trial Champion (2005)
US National Cycling Champion (2004)
US National Time Trial Champion (2005, 2006, 2007)
Nature Valley Grand Prix (2006, 2007, 2008)
Sea Otter Classic (2005)

Then there is the ageless,  incomparable, and indomitable First Lady of Cycling History, Jeanie Longo:
Olympic Games road race: Gold Medal/Champion (1996); Silver Medal (1992)
Olympic Games time trial: Silver Medal (1996); Bronze Medal (2000)
5x UCI Road Race World Championship: Gold Medal/Champion (1985, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1995)
4x UCI Time Trial World Championship: Gold Medal/Champion (1995, 1996, 1997, 2001)
4x UCI Track World Championship:
Points Race: Gold Medal/Champion (1989)
3 km Pursuit: Gold Medal/Champion (1986, 1988, 1989); Silver Medal (1984, 1985, 1987); Bronze Medal (1981, 1982, 1983)
UCI Mountain Bike Championship: Silver Medal (1993)
15x French Road Race Champion: 1979 to 1989, 1992, 1995, 2006, 2008
9x French Time Trial Champion: 1995, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010
3x Tour Cycliste Feminin / Grande Boucle: 1987, 1988, 1989
2x Women's Challenge: 1991, 1999
Set Hour Record (45.094 km/h) in 2000 in Mexico City (14 years after setting the best hour performance record)1

And although there are many many more cycling women to look up to, last will be a shout out to Rebecca Rusch, the "Queen of Pain."

  • 3-Time 24 Hour Solo Mountain Bike World Champion (2007, 2008, 2009)
  • 24 Hour Team Mountain Bike National Champion (2008, 2009)
  • USA National Marathon Championships, 4th (2008, )
  • Idaho Short Track State Champion (2008)
  • 24 Hour Solo Mountain Bike National Champion (2006)
  • USA Cycling Ultra Endurance Series Winner (2006, 2007. 2009)
  • 24 Hour Solo Mountain Bike National Championships, 2nd (2007)
  • 24 Hours of Moab solo mountain bike race, 2nd (2007)
  • Mountain X-Games Adventure Race, 1st Women’s Team (2007)
  • 24 Hour Orienteering National Champion (2006)
  • 24 Hours of Moab Women’s team, 1st (2005)
  • Raid Gauloises Adventure Racing World Championships, 1st (2003)
  • US Whitewater Rafting National Champion Team (2001 and 2002)
  • Raid Gauloises Expedition Races (2000, 2002, 2003)
  • Eco Challenge Adventure Races (1997-2002)
  • Primal Quest Expedition Races (2002-2006)
  • Sports Illustrated Adventure Racing Team of the Year (2003)
  • Outside Magazine’s Top 20 Female Athletes of the Year (2003)
  • Adventure Sport Magazine’s “Queen of Pain” (2004)
This week I will train like a woman and next Saturday at WBL #3, I plan to ride like a woman. F U Mario!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Brain Food

Thankfully after a chilly 30 mile ride yesterday and a lot of broccoli my weight was back down to 190.

I know you're not supposed to weigh every day, but I think it is motivating. If I fluctuate down, hey its a great day and I can eat well to keep up the trend. If I fluctuate up then I need to up my discipline.

Fortunately, MHW (My Hot Wife) has decided we need to go on the "brain food" diet. I believe she made this decision after I told her that I would be riding 70 miles plus with experienced cyclists every Saturday morning regardless of the weather. I am sorry to say that Count Chocula and peanut butter are not on the list of brain foods. This may explain a number of things about my life given that those were a large part of my diet for the past 40 years. It may take awhile for the brain foods to start affecting me as yesterday, despite my tougher friends declining, I hit the rode in the afternoon for a road ride.

I am convinced that the key to winter fitness is getting a long ride in on Wednesdays. I wish I could do more but it's hard enough with that pesky "day job" thing that keeps wanting to command my attention. As soon as I could get away, I dashed home and began dressing for 38 degree high temperatures. MHW had bought me a fleece baclava which I thought it was time to try out.

Eat me, I am brain food

I mean balaclava
Where is my Cervelo?

I also wore my fleecy new Pearl Izumi tights that I got for half off on a bike shop sale. I just love sales. So I was pretty warm through most of the ride except for my hands and feet which got a bit chilly.

I put in 31 miles at just over 18mph. Less than 1/2 of what Saturday's ride will be. Had to get in before darkness and 5 o'clock traffic which makes me nervous. It was a hard ride. Its always a hard ride when I am alone and ride longer than an hour. I listen to music to try and keep my brain occupied but its just not enough. Some people like to meditate and be alone with their thoughts. They must have better thoughts than me.  Frankly I just as soon not be alone in my head for this lifetime.

If it wasn't for my brain, I probably could have lived a much more normal and fulfilling life. As a teen it was particularly problematic:

Maybe that is why my wife decided we need to eat more brain food. This guy looks pretty fit.

Must leave work, ride bike


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Insulating Blubber

Morning weight is 191.5. Dang its almost back up to 192.

I think I have an explanation. My body, knowing that today I had planned a road ride in the afternoon when the temps will be <40 is desperately trying to hold on to body fat to insulate me from chill. Its going to be cold. Both Superdraft and even the Harvinator have refused to ride due to cold temps. But I am determined- or stupid. By the way here is what I look like in my new kit.

I am insulated for winter weather. let's ride!
I'll let you know how the ride went tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Winter Sucks, A Frame Dies

Morning weight: 190

Great excitement this morning. I have been called a "Fatso" on the comments by Carol. Thanks Carol! Given that Carol is one of the all time nicest people you will every meet this is like someone else saying:

"My god what a lard ass, I want to vomit when I am on your wheel"

Jeffy has begun his assault on sveltitutde per a recent email, by eating chocolate. As a proper friend, I will abuse him thusly.

Jeffy you undisciplined slut, how do you expect to ride like the wind while gorging on sweets? You know that high zoot carbon madone might break if your ass gets any bigger. Some king of the herd you are.

Now for local news.

I heard from Jimmy at Sunshine Cycles that Marky's beautiful carbon Giant frame did not survive its run in with the Tarmac. There will be a graveside ceremony Friday to remember the good times and put ole Giant to rest. Marky, our thoughts are with you during this time of despair. My rusted Cannondale is at your service until you build a new bike.

Online: Briggs Carney, bard of the WBL has posted his ride report. I believe that Jeffey, Superdraft, and myself were vaguely referred to in the highlighted portion below:

Though the forecasted high for the first Saturday of the 2011 other season was a balmy 59 degrees, the mercury actually never topped a frosty 50 degrees. But despite the frosty clime and the gray clouds pressing down from above, spirits soared as both old timers and fledgling Zealots mixed and mingled in a carnival atmosphere.

And now for my morning bitch.
Winter sucks. Its cold and  you can't ride in the daylight after work. I spent 45 minutes on the trainer in the garage yesterday, a room I share with the catlitter. At least  I have found some free podcasted cycling workouts here. Its a good thing I'm not getting paid for my cycling dedication or it might not be so much fun.


Monday, December 6, 2010

Help Jeffey Fight His Obesity

Monday AM pre-poop weight= 190.5. Sweet. I have eaten good (yes I know that's grammatically incorrect) all weekend in part thanks to my wife deciding we are going on a "brain food" diet. Evidently Count Chocula, peanut butter and, cheesecake are not brain foods so I'm not only slightly lighter but my brain may be working better as well.

Unfortunately, I have received no humiliating epithets via email. This is most likely because no one reads this and no one cares. OK, I can accept that, I still have my Mom, my wife, and Mr. Anon. Its not the quantity, its the quality. But actually I have a 4th reader and new participant in the great Antelope weight humiliation challenge: Jeffey!
Oh my God, can you believe the size of my ass?
Jeffey (aka JeffY), winner of the Antelope Fall Classic and current King of the Antelope Herd took a long look in the mirror and realized he was fat. Since the AFC he has been living in the Antelope Palace eating bon bons and recounting his glory days to serving wenches. The results are not pretty. Jeffey is now hitting the scales at a whopping


OMG. It is amazing that he was able to pull that fat ass to Homer and back on Saturday's WBL and come in with the group. Jeffey has defined his target cheetah weight:

Goal: 157lbs

So Jeffey needs your help. Please humiliate him on sight and on this site. Now I know that you might have noticed something like, hey Antelope dude, Jeffey is only an inch or two shorter than you and he is already 24 pounds lighter. Well, actually Jeffey is 5'2"--he has optical illusion cycling shoes that make him look taller, so trust me his is really a fat ass and we need to help this poor schlub lose weight.

Toughen up, Jeffey, put down that pie. You're embarrassing us.

Anyone else ready to join the challenge?


Saturday, December 4, 2010

WBL#1: Crackless in Homer

Morning weight:  Still 192lbs. I got hungry in the middle of the night and had a bowl of cereal. this certainly kept me from seeing 191.5. This is why I need constant ridicule and humilation.

Overnight ridicule?
Anonymous posted: "I thought I was riding my bike behind a truck but it was really you and your ass."

Thanks anon, you have motivated me to eat very carefully today.

By the way have you seen my ass lately? I haven't pet my ass in quite a while

What a day it was. The first official WBL saw dozens of riders congregate at Sunshine in a carnivalesque atmosphere. Several antelope herd members were there, the Reverend, PaulG, Jeffey, MarkY, Superdraft, and BenS. JimK who should have been at the Antelope rides but wasn't was there.  People were psyched to ride.

I wish I had an epic tale of suffering to tell. For sure Briggs Carney will have a pithy and humorous narrative that you won't want to miss and he has posted the vital statistics of the ride: 75 miles at 20.3, though I think it was 20.5 before we went through downtown traffic.3800 feet of elevation gain. Several members of the herd came home with the pack and earned 3 points though I'm not sure I have everyone's  story. For sure, 3 points a piece to:

Now I expected to have tales of suffering and failure, but while it was a tough ride it really was not too bad. In fact, I did not crack at all and kept up on nearly every hill. Once I was chatting too much and didn't concentrate on a hill and lost a few spots but I never really cracked. In fact I was absolutely crackless.

At this point I would like nothing better than to show an image of man with no butt crack or a sealed butt crack with a caption, "crackless just like Antelope Athens." However, when I searched for an appropriate image, well I got some strange things. For example here is a conversation among body builders about the pros and cons of shaving their butt cracks. Here are a few highlights of the postings:
---Ever Shaved Butt Crack or Wanted To? tips?
---How do you do it? Bend over and look in the mirror with a razor and shaving cream? I'm thinking about shaving the crack guyz, I mean I shave my balls and **** and I have one hairy ass crack as I'm sure everyone else does... What do ya'll think?

--done its once Don't do it Itches to hell

----i do because I dont like 1 inch butt hair. downside is no friction and you can sometimes feel your ass cheeks rubbing against each other.
Its nice to know that muscular fellows can share such intimate details of their hygiene with one another. Communication is the key.

The point is that I rode pretty strong and felt pretty good. This is most likely due to the influence of the newest member of my family. I mentioned to just about everyone I knew last summer that I was expecting a baby, a new bicycle bestowed upon me by the Cadillac Leader of the Pack Sweepstakes stork. Yes people actually win those things and somehow I was the lucky one. 4 months after the tour de france, I am cruising on my supersweet Cervelo R3 with SRAM Red. 

"R3! GRRRWLLLL" (uvula cat like sound).

 Here is my baby being built at my local Cervelo dealer in ATL.

Not only does this baby ride like a dream, it makes me dinner, tucks me into bed, and has secretly been sucking body fat out of my midsection (I think that is why I am 192 and not 200). My bike is magic.

I have also been having my fit dialed in by pro fitter, Grant at the Hub. First he measured me and my old bike and gave me the right size to ask for.

Hmm, this Antelope has a rather lengthy top tube!
I highly recommend pro bike fit services for those seeking to make the Antelope to Cheetah, or Gazelle to Antelope transitions, or if you just want to more comfortable and efficient on your bike.

Back to today's ride. A peloton 200 strong took off out of Sunshine towards J-River meandering through familiar roads like Apple Valley and heading towards Homer. It was cool and evidently windy but in the pack you never know. There is quite a cast of characters on these rides. There is a giant man who I think works at Georgia Cycle and has the most coveted profile for drafting in the entire group. There were elite and pro dudes. I saw a skinny young guy in fancy BMC clothing and a high zoot BMC bike, and I thought, "hmmm I wonder if that is Brent Bookwalter, Tour de France finisher." And sure enough I heard someone call him "Brent" so I am nearly convinced I got this one right. I didn't meet him yet, I think he was up front doing things like pulls. I met Eddie O'Dea who is a badass pro mountain biker and super nice guy.  There was a guy in a purple kit with purple woolen looking leggings who I named to myself "Flashdance." Just all kinds and most quite nice.

So I made it to the pee break without incident though the accordion effect of speeding up and slowing down was wearing me a bit as we finally got to the store stop. Some young guy went dumpster diving and came up with uneaten pizzas which he promptly chowed down on and put an extra slice between his seatpost and saddle bag for later. Must be a Euro thing.  When we got back on the road it was cold. Like freezing. I was wanting hills just to get some heat into my body and I couldn't feel my extremities . It took about 45 minutes to warm back up and then we just flew through the open country side on the way back to end up on Nowhere Rd to head back to Athens. It was a perfect ride until just in sight of downtown, 2 or 3 guys crashed just ahead and to the left of me. I was clear of it but these things are always really scary. I found out that Marky was in the crash which is a major bummer. He is OK but his frame might be damaged.

If there were 2, 750 readers of this blog and we all gave Marky just 1$, he could replace his old giant frame with this:
My steadfast readers, Mom, wife, and anon have already pledged, so we are up to 3$. Hang in there Marky and let me know if you want to borrow my old Cannondale.

Anyone up for a ride on Wed?


Friday, December 3, 2010

Is This Blog Dead or What?

Each week I get an email which reminds me what a pathetic blogger I have been. It counts my visitors. Since I so irresponsibly stopped posting in October I have seen that yes, some visitors went a lookin for some bloggin and I have watched it become a desperate trickle.

I I have let my 3 steadfast readers (Mom, my wife, and that anonymous visitor) down. Every day I go  back and forth. Can I make a commitment? If I write a new post can I  be consistent and follow it up regularly?  Do I have enough content? Can I really keep it up everyday? The older you get, the harder it is to keep it up on a daily basis, and though my sense of humor has not evolved one iota since I was 13, I am no longer a spring chicken with content ready to burst several times a day.

Then there is pesky job thing.  I tried to get rid of it. I bought TWO megamillions tickets last week and prepared to become a millionaire. I did not match a single number. Can you believe that? I was going to dedicate my days to training for Cat 5 road races and Sport MTB races with my new live in coach, Chris Carmichael. It just wasn't meant to be. Evidently I am going to have to work for a living.

So is there a way to be a consistent blogger and have a day job and spend as much time as I possibly can on my bike? I'm going to give it a shot. Being an analytical sort I have assessed my previous mistakes and decided I need to make some changes in my approach to blogging:

1. I just can't do so many pictures and use them to try to be funny. It really takes a long time to find them and they take forever to upload.

2. some posts will be short

3. I can't try quite as hard to be funny. I'm just going to have to talk and it may not be funny. This is hard for me as for my whole life I have attempted (with inconsistent success) to be funny. So some posts will simply suck.

4. I am going to ask people to contribute content. Send me text! I will pose questions and requests for conversations and want to include content from others. Unfortunately when I proposed this to my steadfast readers, my Mom said I don't think so and MHW (My Hot Wife) just rolled her eyes. I am awaiting on anonymous to weigh in.

5. I will ripoff ideas from more talented bloggers

6. There may be spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors.

On to the important stuff.

I have survived three rides with the Cheetahs: two next day rides and the Jittery Joes metric century. Tomorrow is the big day WBL #1 and the Antelope  Survival Challenge. I have learned many things from these experiences:

1. I continue to be intimidated as hell in the parking lot and wondering if I am trying to do something way over my head.
2. 20mph average on a ride is doable but very intense. It's like a  race where I have to focus intensely on getting every bit of strength from my body that I can.
3. David Crowe is some sort of wind breaking machine. Let me clarify that. The dude pulls entire rides into vicious head winds, hammering 25mph in situations I couldn't maintain 17mph in.
4. I will be dropped on hills that are too steep or too long, because.....

I am 2 fat.

Oh, I know what you are going to say," no Antel" (short for Antelope, get it?) "you look fine, you don't look fat!" I carry it well and sure, for a non cycling citizen I am probably not obese. But I am not at a reasonable cycling weight especially for someone who wants to climb hills on Cheetah training rides. So we come to my first trick for creating blog content. A massive rip off of Fatcyclist. I am going to post my weight on a regular basis so the internet and all 3 people who may read this will know when I am being an undisciplined fat ass and when I am making progress. My fervent hope is that people will comment or email me with RIDICULE. Please DO NOT send messages of support and encouragement. These things don't help. What I need is shame, humiliation, and embarrassment. We are talking about behavior change here not self-esteem. So I  invite you to contribute degrading comments on my weight.

For example:
--My god, no wonder you're fat ass never won the Elder Mill sprint!
--At least your IQ is a little higher than your BMI
--That big and you can't even sprint?
--I thought clydesdales were supposed to be tall

and so forth. Now I am going to leave my computer and go upstairs and weigh self. Hold on a minute.

OK I'm back, sorry that took so long.


Hell yeh! I was 200 at the doctor 2 weeks ago and then ate T-giving to the point of wanting to puke. so I'm happy. But please don't let that stop you from saying things about my fattitutde. Here are my goals

180lbs--a fine weight for me at 5'11. I may get up some hills. This is probably a fine weight for me to always be at
175 lbs--I haven't seen this weight in 15 years. Maybe I could podium on Elder Mill?
170lbs- I haven't seen this weight in 20 years. I bet I could finish a sport MTB race in the top 10 as long as there aren't too many rocky sections.

In addition to commenting on how humiliated I should be so as to encourage continued good eating behavior, I would be happy to post other people's weights who are also trying to lose.

So I am very excited about tomorrow's ride and hope that many antelopes with excellent pack skills come out so I am less intimidated in the parking lot. I would also appreciate it if some people I am actually stronger than show up so if I get cracked I can have some company. Remember to stand up and hammer after turns and stop signs, keep the gaps tight, and try not to be at the back.

Some other tips from my vast experience as a slow guy:
1. If you get up early enough there is time to poop several times before a ride.
2. Bile can be swallowed
3. Keep your significant other on alert for pickup duty.

Who among the Antelope herd will come home with the Cheetahs after 75 miles at 20mph? It's on! tomorrow (Saturday) at Sunshine downtown at 10am.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Mountain Biking and An Antelope Among the Cheetahs

Even though I promised to publish at least weekly blog posts for my 2 dedicated readers (my wife and my mom) it has been over a week and a half and the blog has been silent . Well I have to admit, after the excitement of the Antelope World Cup, I needed a refractory period to recover. Had there been an internet when I was teenager, I am sure I would have been able to blog several times a day. I was literally bursting with content. As a young man I could have easily blogged once a day. Now, as I approach my middle years, the refractory times between blogs seems to grow ever longer. In fact I am lucky if I can blog twice a week.

I realize there are other guys who are my age but can still blog every day. I totally respect these guys who  must have an extraordinary level of...content. Not everyone is blessed with high levels of content and we just have to make do. Of course it is well known that most women can easily blog about 26 days in a row, and, if they choose could blog several times a day. Most women, however, choose not to blog as much as they are physically able, preferring to blog only if they have some really good content.

Despite my refractory period, I have managed to keep riding regularly and had a great cycling weekend.  Like many avid cyclists, I go “both ways.” Yes, in addition to being a roadie, I mountain bike.  In October, the call of the single track becomes overwhelming, so when a buddy suggested a trip to Western North Carolina- I was ready to go.  I had all the ingredients for a perfect mountain bike weekend: 4.5 inches of suspension front and back (this is my minimum for even a sidewalk), beautiful weather, and a biking buddy with predilection for strippers and  beer. My buddy, who for confidentiality’s sake let’s just call "Haun" has his family and work colleagues fooled into thinking he is a mild mannered, somewhat geeky, and dedicated family man. But get him up in the mountains away from the diapers with some knobby tires and his inner beast erupts.

Single track ,strippers, and Beer, Bring it On!

For those roadies who wonder about mountain biking, you can find an indispensable guide from a talented blogger by clicking here.  The riding and the scenery was beautiful. Here is a view from one of Tsali’s look over points.

Hardly anyone falls off the side of the mountain into that lake. The trails are pretty and fast and mellow actually.

 At night it was a bit nippy and the strippers kept complaining they were cold so we built a roaring fire.

Fires burn upside down in NC

Because I am deeply dedicated to my relationship with MHW (“My Hot Wife”) I was a good boy and neither looked at the strippers below the neck or touched any part of them.  So I am unable to provide any pictures.   From my friend Haun’s description, however, they were true HillBilly beauties. Here is an artist's rendering of them:
You fellers want a lap dance?

Although I can’t provide any pictures of the strippers I can show you a naked and racey  up shot of my mountain bike, from the rear:
Over 4 inches of travel and ready to ride

Three days of mountain biking proved to be great training for the real challenge of the season, preparing to be the last Antelope dropped at the Winter Bike League rides. This past weekend I decided to go to the “Day After Ride” which is the Sunday ride following Single File Saturday (the summer WBL) so I could begin getting used to riding with the Cheetahs. I wanted to make a good impression on the local Cheetahs, so in order to prepare I visited my special advice web site:

I learned that wardrobe is key if you want credibility in fast pelotons.   So I made sure that my high viz, Nashbar jersey was clean. I found that I had other important equipment that would mark me as a fast guy worthy of respect including an adjustable stem, hairy legs, and non-bib shorts. I was looking and feelin fast!

Whose the Fred now baby! Let's ride!
I was a bit nervous in the Jittery Joe’s  parking lot. At first it looked like the ride wasn’t going to happen-- only one other rider was there but he informed me that cheetah rides don’t start until 15 minutes after the posted time and that most cheetahs don’t show up until 14 minutes after. Also cheetahs almost always ride to the start of a ride. I was really learning a lot. Sure enough at 9:14, the head cheetah arrived.

Good morning gentlemen.

He was actually a very nice fellow. I did notice later during the ride that he seemed to have some sort of lower leg deformity. There were lumps growing out of his calves.  I didn’t get a picture while we were riding but they looked kind of like this:

I was worried that this deformity might affect the poor guy’s speed and decided if he had any troubles I would go back and pull him to the group. It turns out those leg lumps are actually muscles and they really help pedal a bike.   I wondered if they were the result of some of those experiments I read about on the internet where someone injects their body with stem cells. If that’s the case, I hope he is being careful. I heard there have been some really bad results with stem cell injections. For example, here is a picture of a woman, who as a young girl had anal stem cells injected in an area above the shoulders:

Overall, I was quite relieved when only 6 people showed for the ride and everyone was over 40. I figured maybe the pace would be mellow. We started out a reasonable pace but the head cheetah really hammers no matter who is in the group. So I grabbed a wheel and prayed for flat terrain. Another interesting thing I learned was that Cheetahs don’t need to eat or drink on rides.  I have to drink a ton, as I am what is known as a “heavy sweater.” Here is a picture of me during a typical winter work day.

So I have had to develop a special system for hydration since I require a gallon bottle of water per hour I ride. Here is my special concept design bottle cage, which I refer to as my "hydration system":

Anyway, with my hi viz jersey, adjustable stem, and gallon jugs nothing could stop me from riding in top form.  It was a beautiful fall morning and with the Cheetah King pulling us through the wind we did 40 miles at a 20 mph average.  Despite a couple of iffy moments, when I cried quietly to myself  , I managed to stay with the pride the whole time.

So I plan to keep on training. Next Saturday the Cheetahs are doing the Jittery Joe’s Fall Classic, an ideal time to try and grab hold of some cheetah wheels and see if Ican do a metric in a 3 hours (saddle time that is, gotta get a banana and a refill at the midway sag). Any antelopes want to join me?

Pedal Hard

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Dateline Watkinsville:
Jeff Y. aka "Jeffy" dominated the final stage of the Antelope Fall Classic. This is only the latest installment in the story of Jeffy, one that I know most of us have been following in the Sunday funnies for decades:

Even at a young age Jeffy was known for really getting around, a wanderlust that would later be translated into cycling

 Yes Jeffy’s OCD would lead him to strange behaviors such as interval training with a heart rate monitor and soon it is alleged that he will be training with a power meter. But none of these things prepared the Antelope herd on Wednesday for Jeffy’s completely new take on sheer elegance.

Do these shorts make the back of my thighs look fast?

Approximately 15 riders got to appreciate the back of Jeffy’s thighs during Wednesday’s  final stage of the 2010 edition of the Antelope Fall Classic. Coming into the final stage BenG and Jeffy were knotted up in 24 to 24 point tie after BenG failed to sign in at last week’s race. Ben was claiming illness.

Dude, seriously I'm just too sick to ride today, Jeffy can have the points

Would it have mattered anyway? On Elder Mill BenG, Jeffy, BenS, and the spring Antelope King, Spinmaster Shiver began gapping the field at the sharp incline on the first climb. Crying for mercy, I was once again almost able to catch the last wheel of the breakaway  group. Then,  10 feet from the top of the hill, I was watching the gap grow and as the breakaway took off without me.

Missed it by that much!
BenG   (let’s call him Benjie, like the fluffy dog from the movies) was marking Jeffy’s back wheel like a lion in new territory or my angry cat on a sweaty jersey left on the floor by the litter box. As they hit the first roller, Benjie launched a blistering attack and when Jeffy countered, Benjie dropped his chain, yelling "wait, wait, your supposed to wait for the yellow jersey!" But Jeffie was gone, following the attacking wheels of BenS and Spin.

The cycling world was immediately abuzz as riders stopped to post to twitter. Should Jeffy have waited? Will the Hide Jersey be tainted by a breach of etiquette? Will it matter if Jeffy’s shorts are found by the UCI to be Lewd and Performance Disturbing Apparel  (LAPDA) resulting in disqualification and a 2 year ban from attending pole dancing class?

As the breakaway rounded the bend to the uphill finish, Jeffy stamped his authority on the peloton with a mighty hoof, taking the line with ease.  With double points he was now 6 points ahead of Benjie.

Damn chain

Back in the pack with the normal humans, Bethany who had been secretly training in the gaps knew she was too far down in the queen competition, but she did have one more chance to assert her dominance over the Antelope Commissioner.   While I was desperately and despondently watching the gap between me and the breakaway grow larger with every wheeze, Bethany came spinning by.

Is that you wheezing Steve? Do you need an inhaler?
Feeling every testicle in my body (unlike other males I have 7) shrivel with the sight, I summoned my last remaining fast twitch muscle fiber to get out of the saddle and grab her wheel.   With 50 yards of flat I was able catch my breath and when there was short downhill I had my chance to use my one awesomely superior trait (I am at least 70 pounds heavier than Bethany) to pass her and establish my own gap. Of course I played it cool.

 Oh hi Bethany, I didn’t know that was you ahead of me, nice ride huh?

Once again I locked up 7th place on the elder Mill sprint. Bethany took the queen of the mountain double sprint points (2).After regrouping on Saxon, the herd picked up speed and sped down Astondale into a pink sunset. The chill in the air, speeding along to beat the sunset, every antelope had that special feeling only cyclists can understand.

(to the tune of Lucy in the Sky) Picture yourself, on a bike on some tarmac…
The GC contenders stayed tight at the front turning on to Bishop and the pace accelerated for the final sprint of the season. I’m sure it was very exciting up at the front but after about .5k at 28mph I had several testicles shrink again and was unable to view the finish. After locking up 7th place once again I was informed that Jeffy  took his 2nd sprint of the day, 6 more points and the coveted hide jersey of the Antelope competition.

After an early attack by Kathleen which  took too much out of her, Karen claimed the woman’s sprint points but Kathleen, coming into today’s stage well ahead in the Queen competition  was ready for her coronation.

After a quick stop in the parking lot we “herded” over to Chops and Hops, a restaurant so cool we’re still trying to figure out how it could actually be in Watkinsville. Over beer and burgers we saw the passing of the crowns as Old royalty passed the torch on to new royalty. Here is the old antelope king, Spinmaster, anointing Jeffy who had changed out of his special shorts lest he get molested by one of the waitresses:

I dub thee King of the Herd!

Long live the King!
This tear inducing ceremony was soon followed by the Queenly coronation of Kathleen by Bethany.

Notable riders included Benjie in second place, Marky in third, and TonyG in fourth. Reverend Lenny contested every stage as kid Valoree and Kathleen. A host of plucky antelopes were honored with “Distinguished Herd Member” medals (cannot be sold on ebay) for their participation.

I know we are all filled with both a sense of afterglow and just a bit sadness now that this journey has ended. But this is really just a beginning.  Over 50 riders, average age in the mid 40's participated in the Classic, many of whom had never averaged 20mph on a ride. Week after week almost everyone came in together in rides that always averaged at least 19.5 and hit as high 20.3. This just proves that wherever an antelope heart beats, there will be the clank of poorly adjusted derailleurs, the hum of hubs spinning down country roads, and the determined wheeze of a rider who is going to get up that grade faster than last week.  This month Antelopes will continue to gather on Wednesdays, they will ride the Sowhatchet Century with the Band of Bostwick Bad Boys (Oct 23), guzzle Terrapin Rye after hammering the Jittery Joe’s Fall Classic, and most importantly continue training for this winter's Survivor: Antelope. Throughout the winter I will report survival rates as Distinguished Herd Members  suck wheel with Athens cycling elite on the Sat WBL rides.

In the meantime check the Antelope Athens Blog for at least once per week posts on the exploits of the Antelopes on roads near you.