Monday, November 24, 2008


Well the cyclocross scene is almost over in this area, and I'm just starting to really enjoy it. Yesterday a few of us went to the Spring Mountain cross race just outside of Green Lane. The race was supposed to be at Spring Mountain, however when the temp reaches a certain level the snow machines automatically turn on, blowing snow all over the already staked and taped course.

The guys at Philadelphia Cyclismo and Cadence Cycles did a great job on such short notice at moving the venue to the Upper Salford Park just outside of Schwenksville. They put together a very fast flat course with tons of turns, mud bug, a steep ridable hill followed by an off camber switchback, and a set of barriers.

I decided to pre-register for both the B and C races. The C race started at 10:15ish with about 40 racers. At the start we were informed that there would be a preme for the first person to the barriers (Jamie Bockes). Jamie went out pretty hard and kept battling back and forth with 2nd place - ending up in first! I chased Plunkett the whole time, and he had put some time on me throughout the race, but I caught up to him by the end but couldn't sprint him for 3rd place. So I ended up in 4th place - my best cyclocross finish yet.

I was contemplating not doing the B race, however after Vegan Rob showed up - after riding from Nazareth to the venue. I figured I might as well do the B race since it was Rob's first cross race. I got to the line after finishing the first race with about 30 seconds to spare, but with no Rob in sight. The whistle blew and we were off, still no Rob - I yelled to Topher to let Rob know he's missing his race. About 30 seconds later I see him motoring along catching up to us.

There were definitely a few times throughout my race I contemplated dropping out, however I had such a cheering/heckling section I just couldn't do it. I finished the race in 14th place, just behing Rob. The pace was very quick in both races, just longer in the B race. This was my first day of doing both races.

Next up for me is Phillipsburg cross on Sunday Dec 7th. Then I think that is it for the season then? Hope everyone has good Thanksgiving!


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Mercer Cup Mudfest 2008..

This past weekend was the Mercer Cup USGP Cyclocross race in Trenton, NJ. I attended only the Sunday mudfest, although a few friends were slinging mud on Saturday as well.

Our race started about 30 minutes late as there was a course re-route from the previous days racing. The called us up by the order of registration which I thought would have went well for me but I guess I reg'd later that I thought. Bill Strickland ended up with a front row spot! I was somewhere in the last 3rd or so, with Mark Taylor about a half mile back chillin' on the dock.

I tried to ride as much as possible but that still proved to be a lot of running/walking. Though I swear I've seen the old people in the mall speed-walking faster than we were trudging through peanut butter like mud. Here's a pic of me trying to ride right through some of the other "runners". It probably helped that I had Bowman yelling at me to ride it out, not sure which was faster.

I ended up riding pretty well, and place 27th out of 79 riders, with Taylor coming in 29th after starting further back than I. Damn he's fast on that SS Indy Fab.

The rest of the day was spent drinking, eating, and some cheering/heckling. Pete was gonna get into a fight with Ryan "Rusty Trumbone" Trebon, but Rusty backed down, guess he saw the mullet and got scared.

Next week is the Spring Mount race near Philly, I hope to make that race. See you all there.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


I managed to skip an entire month of blogging. I haven't really had anything to talk about, been riding some, working a lot, and eating even more.

My wife and I have been going through a troublesome time, our 6 year old yellow lab Duke, passed away on Saturday from cancer. He was having issues on Tuesday of last week keeping food and water down, so we took him into the vet where they kept him overnight. After some x-rays, blood tests and $600 later, we were told that he was anemic (sp?) and had a lot of mast cells in his blood (cancer indicator)

We were told to take him to Dr. Ann Jeglum in Chalfant, PA for a bone marrow biopsy, which turned out OK, with low count of the mast cells that were found in his blood. After speaking with Dr. Jeglum, she informed us that his spleen was very enlarged and would require an ultrasound to determine what was going on, as well as a blood transfusion to get his red blood cell count up. There was a potential to have to remove his spleen.

Fast forward to Thursday morning, Dr. Jeglum called my cell and told me that Duke had to have his spleen removed right away or he would die, because there was a 6 cm mass (a little smaller than a tennis ball) had ruptured and was bleeding into his stomach. So we made the decision to have this $2500 required surgery with the hopes that the mast cell hadn't spread and/or caused any more tumors.

Friday morning we went and picked him up from the surgery center to transfer him to Dr. Jeglum's office in West Chester, he was moving really slow and not really perking up the way they wanted him to. He was however happy to see us, which was nice to see some resemblance of our Duke. We had a really difficult time getting him into the car, and an even harder time getting him out of the car. We got a stretcher and loaded him onto it to get him into the office, after he was checked out by Dr. Jeglum, she met with us to give us an update. If he gets through the recovery of the splenectomy, we would attempt to treat the cancer with steroids and possibly chemotherapy.

Saturday morning I called off from work and headed down to visit him at the vet. We got to the office and hung out in the waiting room for the doctor to take us back. A few minutes later we heard a pretty loud howl, hoping it wasn't Duke. The doctor came out to bring us back and as soon as we got to him he was arresting. That was a terrible site, as well as seeing the brain reaction causing his head to move while we were standing over him.

I know this probably wasn't the post anyone wanted to read and I certainly didn't want to write about it. But I figured if you see me out and about, and didn't quite understand why I might not be myself, you'd at least know why. Sorry for long sad story. Thank you to all my friends and family for their support during this trying time.

Trying to keep my mind off things, I got to ride two days in a row at Salisbury. Saturday late afternoon I did a loop on the SS 29'er, and about a minute into the ride I was kinda spacing out and ran my front tire right into a stump just of the trail sending me about 15 feet down the trail face first. I got up and brushed myself off with no "real" injuries, and headed back out to ride awhile. I realize a few minutes later that I had dropped my water bottle in the crash, so I had to right back up to get it. At that point I almost just rode back to the car and headed home, however I grabbed my bottle and went back out to do the normal loop.

I was out there for awhile before I even saw another rider, as I went up the switchback climb I caught up to John Eoiro (sp?) a local MASS racer that I had met once or twice before. We finished the ride together and grabbed some good mexican food at La Lupina in Bethlehem, near Lehigh. I was cool to just chill and shoot the breeze about riding and racing with someone else who shares our love for racing, and it kept my mind off emotions.

Sunday I headed back out to Sals and did a double loop at Sals. I put in about 4 hours total with probably a bit over 3 hours ride time. Lots of riders out there, and lots of flats. Turns out Dan K. had 4 flats throughout the day, I was able to escape with only one. However, that one did ruin a brand new Maxxis Crossmark tire, at least for tubeless use - with about an inch long gash in the tread. By the end of the ride my right knee was starting to hurt again from a crash 2 weeks ago on the new rocky switchback downhill at Sals.

I'll try to keep posting a little more regularly moving forward. See you all on the trails!