Sunday, August 29, 2010

Non cydling (mostly) post: My awesome son

As my complement of nearly 14 facebook friends all seemed to know, last Wednesday was my birthday. And as my new driver's license photo below demonstrates, I don't look too bad for a guy of 68 but I just can't get away with pretending I'm a 30-something graduate student with college co-eds anymore.

If you see this man, approach with caution, do not attempt to apprehend, he is old and cannot ride a bike very fast.

Anyway, the point is it was my birthday. It was a working day and a Wednesday and the first stage of the Antelope Fall Classic so I didn't have any other plans. Of course the ride was awesome and a nice ride with great people is always the best present I can think of though a new bike wouldn't suck. Spinmaster Shiver even gifted me with a third place on the Elder Mill Sprint. When I came home after the ride that night, however,  I got the real highlight of my birthday-- I have an awesome son.

Probably if you have ever spent any time with me (over 3 minutes)  you know I have a son and he is pretty awesome. He's 21, tall, blue eyes, DIY haute couture, highly intelligent, electric guitar playing, listens to cool bands,  kind to small animals, and has a great idea for an all night Chinese buffet downtown (any venture capitalists out there?). He looks exactly like this:

Hi, I am Nick, most of my good genetics come from my Mom

Sometimes, he looks more like this:

I did get the red sideburns from Dad though.

Now because I didn't get home from the fall classic until after 8PM and Nick has a busy life, I didn't get to see him in person, but I got what I am going to call "the love." First of all, although my parents did remember that I had been born that day about 58 years ago, my favorite present by far was from the young'un:

No, no, not the leather coasters, the super cool time trialist sculpture! Sweet. I love my new sculpture and am still trying to decide which office to keep it at or to just leave it right there in the living room. Clearly a thoughtful gift and I know many of you are thinking what a thoughtful son Steve has. Its kind of like how people feel when they hear an asshole won the lottery. But that's not all, he is not only thoughtful but also funny and practical. My birthday bounty was not over that night. Coming home from the ride, I was pretty much starved and it being my birthday I figured no salad tonight, I was going to gorge on cereal with a spoonful of peanut butter. But wait, what did my awesome son leave me?

Why is this night different from other nights? On this night the son feeds the father.

Oh yeh, baby, deep fried poultry goodness. 45 seconds in the microwave and that sandwich was getting in my belly. Of course a chick fil a being on the salty side of the sugar-salt food balance, I was going to need something sweet. Something from the publix bakery in the fridge caught my eye. Could it be? I approached with great reverence:

Using my powers of deduction which had been  honed over nearly a decade of higher education, I decided, "hey its my birthday today, this must be for me." But just to make sure, I opened the card.

"I got yr canoli right here   -Nick"

Did I mention that he has a great sense of humor? I'm not sure where he gets it from, but the kid cracks me up. Sure enough, Nick had my canoli right there:

Canoli. Sigh. Please click here as you gaze at the canoli.

Like most of life's more intense pleasures it is important to try and eat your canoli slowly and with reverence. With great patience and discipline, nearly 90 seconds later, the canoli and I were one.

Sated, sleepy and ready for bed it had been a nearly perfect evening. But there was one more present. This one was from my "other son" who I must admit, I don't like as much Nick. Nonetheless he left me a present on my birthday too.

No doubt it came from somewhere special inside Mr. Kitty and represented the depth of his feelings for me.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Antelope Fall Classic: Stage 1: Jeff Young dominates the herd

Cycling anyone?

Dry weather, not too hot?                   Check
28 miles of choice Oconee tarmac?     Check
22 riders signed in and ready to ride?  Check

Let's have ourselves an Antelope Fall Classic!

Wednesday, the Antelope Herd was primed and ready to start the points series and spirits were high as  riders signed in at the courthouse parking lot.
I may look like a mild mannered financial advisor, but when I mount my Madone I am Cycleman the Magnificent

A lot of familiar faces were in the herd, the McSpadden twins, Reverend Lenny, Duncan, Tony, 2 Bad Boys from Bostwick (Chuck and Pete), DanT, TomB, Ben and his buddy Vinny, Antelope World Cup winner Spinmaster  Shiver,  Val, Bethinator, Jeff, Mark, and herd queen challenger Kathleen "PedalHo" Miller. New guys Bill and Dave joined the herd and I finally learned the real name of "Triceps Guy."

My name is Bruce, but you can call me "triceps guy."

The general sense of fiesta was interrupted however by the competitive spirits of the female antelopes vying for Queen of the herd. As commissioner I always hope for peaceful parking lot behavior, but I had to intercede when pedalHo and Bethinator's ritual "stare down" almost came to fisticuffs.

You're going down on Elder Mill beeyatch

You can see that their competitive natures were about to boil over. So I put on my special Herd Commissioner referee suit:

Ladies please observe proper pre-peloton etiquette!

As I loooked more carefully around the parking lot I discovered that stare downs were going on all over the place. Antelopes were sizing up the competition and staring down the rider they wanted to crush on Elder Mill.

Stay off my wheel baldy.

Looking pretty fat today you turkey what is it Thanksgiving?

You may have the power on the flats but you're too big to climb, meow

 Even twin brothers were talking smack:

Look Cliff, just because you're my brother don't expect to suck my wheel.

 Before the tension and stress got out of hand I called the group together, went over the rules, and got us rolling. The beautiful evening and the county roads eased the tension, and the new rule of no rotating on Colham Ferry made for a well organized and cooperative herd. In fact never has the herd stayed so tightly packed and organized all the way to the first sprint zone.Here is a picture of us on Watson Mill:

After 45 minutes of peace and cruising at a comfortable  20mph average, however,  it was time to compete. Several course newbies flamed out on the first steep climb of Elder Mill  while others wondered aloud "how long is this sprint?" Big Ben and Jeff Young broke away on the early climb and put 8 seconds onto the first chase group of  Duncan, Tony, and SteveK-- all members of Team Wheeze. Duncan kept the chase pace high then started to crack. Just then the Antelope Herd's reigning King (Spinmaster) jauntily spun up and without panting or wheezing, said "come on guys I'll help you catch them!"
Come on guys, grab my wheel!

This request was accompanied by the awkwardly endearing and ambiguously homoerotic slapping of his right butt cheek that  Spinmaster executes at these times

SteveK, rested from Duncan's pull and unable to resist Spin's butt slapping motion immediately grabbed Spin's wheel but no one else could get on. With Spin's help SteveK cut into the time gap on the leaders but it was too late to catch them. Ben and Jeff duked it out heading towards the line, neck and neck until Ben used some aggressive tactics to cross the line a split second ahead of Jeff.

When the dust had settled, sprint 1 of the Antelope Fall Classic was in the books:
1    Ben    3 points
2.    Jeff    2 points
3    Stevek    1 point

The ride commissioner awarded Spinmaster Shiver, the coveted "Friendly Cheetah Point" for pulling SteveK's butt onto the podium

Steve Shiver      1 "Friendly Cheetah" Point

This type of friendly Cheetah behavior is not unkown in the wild:
Nice little antelope, go on across the sprint line now.

The hotly contested queen of the mountains point came down to a (wo)mano a (wo)mano battle between pedal ho and Bethinator. At the line it was....

Bethany G   1 queen of the mountains point

The herd regrouped after their labors and soft pedaled on Saxon but before long it was time to pick up the pace. Unfortunately some stragglers in the herd were left behind.

Hey, slow down, we're not on yet, hey!

As the bishop sprint loomed ahead, Antelope King-Turned Friendly Cheetah Steve Shiver turned back to bring the stragglers back home.

*****Steve S---one more Friendly Cheetah point

The herd turned onto Old Bishop and no one wanted to pick up the pace until Reverend Lenny commenced an early attack. The chase kicked the herd into a stampede thundering towards the finish line. About half the remaining group survived to the last kilometer as the attacks came fast and furious, with  riders trying to find the right wheel to be in position at the end. At speeds exceeding 33mph the photo finish revealed:

1st. Jeff young    3 points
2nd. Tony Glenn   2 points
3rd  Chuck Plumley   1 point

With a first place, a second place, and a participation point, Jeff Young seized control of the coveted leader's  jersey.

The top of the GC looks as follows

1. Jeff Young   6 points
2. Ben Green   4 points
3. Tony Glenn  3 points
4. Steve Shiver  3 points

For full results and the latest on rides around town please visit AthensGABicycling .

Don't forget to get in your miles this weekend and see you next Wednesday.

Monday, August 23, 2010

MapMyRide - A ride mapped on 08/23/2010 in Watkinsville, GA

MapMyRide - A ride mapped on 08/23/2010 in Watkinsville, GA

Are You an Antelope? Take this quiz!

If you have not spent any time at the web site, you may be wondering what is this Antelope stuff all about?, the brain child of Joe Fox and Ken Sherman is an information clearing house for cycling in the area, and the Google ride calendar makes finding a local ride simple. To help people decided if a ride right for them, AGB created 4 classes of ride:

Cheetah=19+ mph
Antelope=17 to 19 mph
Gazelle=14 to 17 mph
Coyote=11 to 14 mph

Over time, we have discovered that there is more than average speed to traveling with a pack, herd, pride, or girth. So here's a quiz to help you identify if the Antelope Fall Classic, beginning this Wednesday  is right for you.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Spinning in the rain: The Saturday morning ride

In the words of snoopy,

except, it was morning. Saturday-cool, muggy, and threatening rain. The perfect morning to get in some long miles. The usual suspects had gathered. Let me introduce you. There was Tony and Bruce (aka ...the Aviator) who of course rode his bike in from home this morning 900 miles away.

Bruce, "It looks like rain, I better keep it under 1200 miles

Though you may recognize Tony from previous posts that more fully demonstrated is nature:

Hi guys, I'm just back from saving baby seals. Now I'm going to crack you like eggs bitches!

Of course Lenny, our spiritual leader, course setter, and source of pick up lines was ready to go.

You know if you're top tube is aero enough you don't have to pay for a vasectomy

Chris W showed up as we pulled out so I didn't get his picture. Rounding out the group was Joefo and Tom B

They swore at the Hub that this kit would add 1.5mph on the hills

You can't see Tom too well. The camera kept trying to jump away. We love Tom, but, well , this is kind of sad story. You can see Tom is going sleeveless. This happens to many inexperienced riders who begin to get fit and explore the world of endurance. Without proper socialization they may be vulnerable to the dark side. Yes I'm afraid, that Tom is planning on doing ............a triathlon. Before we know it, he'll show up with aeobars and drink from a straw. He may even wear one of those....outfits
Feel the power, of the dark side

We can only hope to set a good example for Tom so he focuses on psychologically healthy pursuits, mainly road cycling, mountain biking, and the occasional commuting. Remember, friends don't let friends run after a bike ride (or swim before one). Help them understand that all of that energy could have been used to ride more.

So in the spirit of mentorship, I introduced Tom to my ass,

Is that you Steve?

Yes, I am proud to share a real picture of my new friend. If you are riding down Colham Ferry towards Lake Oconee, don't forget to pet my ass. It gets lonely out there with just the grass.  He was happy to see me and we continued our bonding.

You've got to admit, I have a sweet little ass. 

But the real story of the ride was the weather. Dark and stormy as we spun through the hills and dales of Morgan county seeking the great oasis of Fairplay Georgia.

We almost stopped in Madison due to lightning and thunder, but the Aviator got a far away look in his one good eye and pronounced, "The road is wet but my chamois is dry. I will ride on." Well, what could we do but follow? Boldly spinning on, our heads held high, eyes squinting against the rooster tail of the wheel in front. Then suddenly the weather broke

and we flew up the Price Mill hills like mountain goats.An awesome day, an awesome ride. 

I hope you got some miles in this weekend because the Antelope Fall Classic is only 3 days away. Tomorrow and Tuesday I will post all the details, including the all new "Are You and Antelope?" Online quiz.


Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Fall Classic Prologue- Taking it like a mamil

As Tony noted last week, it is possible that some cyclists in the Antelope Herd are possibly a species known as “MAMILs:" Middle Age Men in Lycra. Here is a link to the article from the UK:

Evidently some men are buying carbon superbikes instead of sports cars and doing silly things like town line sprints (pretending to be Mark Cavendish) and going to the mountains to conquer classic climbs (Hogpen anyone?).  Hmmm, now I can only think of one guy on a carbon superbike but I won’t make fun of him today because, he’s extremely strong and I need his wheel on the Elder Mill sprint zone. This is kind of what he looks like though:

Gianni Spaghetti layered the tubes on my carbon superbike by hand!

 Interestingly, according to the author of Mamil article, whereas Antelopes spin in thundering  herds (with great dignity I might add), Mamils spin in “girths”


 But let’s talk about Wednesday’s final tune up for the Fall Classic. The excitement was palpable and I counted just under 85 riders (or maybe 15, I actually didn’t count) in the parking lot.   There was a lot of trash talking before the ride. Tony was feeling pretty fit:

Hi guys, I'm just back from saving baby seals. Now I'm going to crack you like eggs bitches!
 Checking out the parking lot, I was certain that we were not in any way a “girth” of “mamils.”

Nope, no girth here.

 I mean those guys don't look much over 30...ish and you just don't find tushie like this on your typical middle age man:

Anyway, it was a great ride. JoeFo (aka “Superdraft”) and I cleverly positioned ourselves at the front and kept the pace humane for the first 12 miles. This may well be the answer to our safety issues on Colham Ferry next week as it kept the herd quiet and orderly amongst the traffic. As usual, Elder Mill Hill hurt and Joefo and I had a contest to see who could pant the loudest while Beast, new fast guy Ben, and I’m sure Mark receded in the distance towards the sprint line. I don’t really know who won because I was busy breathing and trying not to vomit.  

The Bishop sprint was filled with drama as “Triceps Guy”, Beast, and Lenny decided to play chicken with an oncoming car in the last 50 meters (watch that yellow line guys!). If there is a near crash, a panic, or shouting you can be sure Lenny is in the middle of it.

And then that guy f*%ing tried to kill me!
Tony seeing the confusion took charge and blew by the group, taking the win.
Just like an egg, heh heh
Next week its for real.  Tell your friends and clear your calendar. The Antelope Fall Classic is coming to the town!


Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Saturday Morning Ride: Ignoring Steve's Ass and Keeping Wives Happy

Every Saturday morning at 8AM a small group has been getting together at the Watkinsville courthouse for an Antelope-paced ride. I have grown increasingly attached to this ride as it my endurance training for the WBL rides in December and of course, because of the deep and abiding attachment that has been building with what I now refer to as, my Ass. Now I know in my last post I hinted that actual pictures of my Ass may be forthcoming. Unfortunately, after several hundred consecutive rides remembering to take my phone (with camera capacity) the one day I had photography goals, I left it in the car. So I will have to tell this story with fake pictures.

But first, like every good ride, this one had a theme. Its a common theme and one that is almost always driven by faster riders with smaller children. It is the dreaded, "we have to really go, I have to get home, " theme. This can be particularly frightening when da Beast is on the ride, which is rare on the weekends as he has two kids. Mark Y picked up this theme (he's got little kids) and as Mark, like Jeff Y, have apparently been doping lately thus allowing them to keep up with random mountain goats on all the steep climbs, this was going to be a painful ride. If you listen to alot of guys with young kids, if they don't attack every hill they face certain death at home from a spouse. You begin to get an image of what it must be like for them:
You are 5 minutes late! You love that bicycle more than your family!

Of course when you finally meet their spouses in person they are more like this:

I think its really important that you have bike time honey. BTW I'm not anyone's wife on the Antelope Rides, I'm just a random smiling lady from the internet! Hi :-)

So when it came time to pet Steve's ass, no one but me stopped. Imagine, a deep abiding tradition of stopping 23 miles in that has endured nearly 7 weeks was just ignored. Well, I wasn't letting anyone's devotion to family life get in the way of me and my Ass! By the way, here is an image that is reminiscent of my ass.

Just kidding. My ass looks kind of like this:
Hi, I'm Steve's ass, he's the only cyclist that pets me every Saturday. I love him.

This was the week when I was going to let everyone pet my Ass. I thought Lenny in particular was interested in my Ass but that was just him grabbing my seat on a hill. No, the group just rode on. So I scratched his bony noggin for a few minutes by myself. My ass offered to take me up the brutal, short hill just before Lake Oconee if I would share a gel pack with him.

But I decided to take the hill on my own. My ass appeared to understand and I think we left on good terms but he might have been showing me his ass.

Until next week my friend may your grass be tender.