Sunday, August 30, 2009


since we're in Philly (well LAST week,anyway)
some Dead Milkmen?

But during the ride THIS was stuck in my head,
all day.

so it's been a week & still no actual riding posts....
sorry, maybe by Tuesday...
staying busy:
regular work, two shows this next weekend,
bicycle coalition meeting, foster dogs going to homes,
kids getting ready for school.....
trying to see if I can make a 'cross race or two,
and I gotta get some tat time...

picked up my relaced wheel at the LBS,
gotta love a shop with a dog,
Scrappy gets his licks in

as much as foster dogs can be annoying,
then they do stuff like this...

Livestrong pics 7

warming up to photobomb
watch out for this guy

xtracycle, not to be confused with xtralight

how do you move hundreds?
beer truck,
respect the beer truck

Livestrong pics 6

Livestrong pics 5

should not require an introduction - Philly Jen!

Livestrong pics 4

Livestrong pics 3

Elden & Jason of

Fatty & a true fatty, yours truely,
I'm gonna put the hurting eyes on two hours of sleep,
or I just aged some more.

Livestrong Pics 2

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Livestrong Pics 1

the first round of randomness
if you don't find yourself,
check back there's about 300 photos.
If you're wearing a black FC jersey, good luck!

The Defining Moment for Jason, what you see here,
while holding Fatty's bike:
-WOW! this is light.
-if I take off on it, will anyone notice?
-crap! what about my bike.
-if I buy one, will the Mrs. know?
* if you see a guy with a 15lb Madone with an xtraCycle bolted onto it,
this is how 'it' happened.

can you find yourself?

ok, how about now?

had nice DC/music/'cross/blogging discussions with Pat (on right)

Fatty has a Posse,
that's undeniable.

Friday, August 28, 2009

geting there...

was probably the hardest part,
not counting the last five miles to the finish.

Yes, like everyone else I was counting down days.
But like everything else in my life, things kind
of pile up at the end, leaving you in the frenzied
rush with the looming "WHAT DID I FORGET".

The bike was cleaned, extra tubes and new tire put on.
The bag was packed, cooler packed, ran through the list:
shoes? bike? helmet? all the stupid stuff I always forget?
DONE! And a day before at that!

But I had to work on Saturday, no getting out of it.
So no Saturday registration, or meet up with Fatties,
the next registration opens Sunday at 5:45.
I finally ride home, load and gas the van, and head out,
and it's 8pm. I estimate a four hour or less drive.
Midnight? There might be some people up, or I at least
get five hours of van sleep.

Problem 1: Rain, and lots of it. Three separate storms
on the way down. I start to question my decision to NOT
bring rain gear. Now I'm following Jersey drivers doing
45 mph with the hazard lights on. Its gonna be a LONG drive.

Problem 2: do you question Mapquest? I know the basic way
to Philly. I rode the first event years ago, and I've driven
past Philly enough times on my way to DC. But the directions
say exit 17, and the Jersey part starts at 57. Is there a
typo? I swear 17 must be Cape May or something. I stop every
ten exits trying to reference a map. Lets not get into NJ
drivers, but I'm not a fan. As I get to 78 and still no exit 17,
then I'm nervous. Thankfully right after the 78/Philly exit,
it pops up. Mapquest is right! Open up the family truckster,
and start flying. It's all good. We'll get in a little late.
202, then 611 north then 202? Ten miles away? Twelve miles go
by, now there's a problem. Where the hell am I?

I pull into a WAWA, don't get me started on that name, I don't
know. But I figure I need to backtrack ten miles and take a
different turn. NOPE! That ten miles turned into 30? According
to the guy at the counter, I need to go about 30 miles south.

"take a left, go to the next light and go right, then go through
a town, take a left, follow that road until you see such and such,
then turn, and it's a couple miles down the road, just watch for
SUCK! I need a large coffee then.
Needless to say, he was right, and by about 1 am I rolled into town.

Now where is the Double Tree?

My plan is to get up at 5:15, do a quick registration, then rush
back to the hotel and do the group ride in.
The hotel has to be close, right?
I drive up and down the Pike, nothing. Sleep time is slipping away.
So I pull into another WAWA.
It's 1 am and it's packed.
So a grab a coffee for the morning,
cold is better than nothing.
Just as I near the register,
the kid in front of me passes out.
Freaking kidding me?
He keeps trying to stand, and then falling.
The drunk stagger is annoying,
beer cans don't come with training wheels,
figure this out before you go out.
So the whole place goes into EMS mode,
cops are called. Awesome.

Fianlly I get someone,
"where's Germantown, the Double Tree?"
"no idea!"

Seriously? It's not a big town, so I'm off to explore again.
Just before 2 am I'm on Germantown, driving around what looks
like an office complex, with signs randomly pointing to

As I round the corner, I SEE BIKE RACKS ON CARS!
And a Win Susan on the back of a truck. And SAG vans.
I circle looking for Jason from, but he
escapes getting a rude awakening at 2am.
So I find a quiet spot (ok, all spots are quiet at this hour).
Take out my contacts, grab the ipod to calm all the coffee
ingested during the drive, and SET EVERY POSSIBLE ALARM CLOCK.
I could totally see myself sleeping until 8am,
and missing the entire ride - THAT'S MY LUCK.

What feels like ten minutes later I hear cars starting.
It's 5am, and the SAG vehicles are pulling out. Time to
get up and going! Pop in the burning contacts, grab the
cold coffee and we're off!

I decide to drive around to where the start line is.
Park in the neighborhood, and walk over. Spend about
fifteen minutes trying to find someone that knows where
registration is. I gotta get this done and get back to the
Double Tree! I'm directed across the parking lot.
"should I drive over there? I'm parked across the street."
"no, you should be ok"

So in my sandals and FC socks I go trekking across the lots.
Did it rain the day before?
Judging by my wet socks, I'ld say yes.
Pull my socks off, and go squishing through the mudfest.

Early registration. So early my camera can't even see straight.

As I walk back to the van, I realise there's NO WAY I'm making
it back to the hotel. I may as well pull around into the parking lot.

By the time I get to the van,
turn around,
get redirected twice,
and finally file into the lot,
it's daylight.
And I still haven't changed.
Fat neked man falling over in a van,
trying to get suited up,
soooooo NOT AWESOME!

Sorry to all the passer bys.

Then begins the 'did you forget?' back and forth to the van.
Seriously just sleep deprived,
thought I put my shorts on backwards,
I could've just checked, but no.
Went back into the van to resuit up,
only to realise I was all good,
after I unsuited. Seriously?

gloves? camera? extra tubes?
back to the van.
back to the van.
water bottle?
back to the van.

technically I was the first Fatty in the lot, 5:20 am.
by the time I was ACTUALLY THERE (ready to ride)?
about ten minutes before Elden & Team Fatty rolled in
from the hotel.
I'm swimming upstream here.

almost caught up...


I got back into town late Sunday.
A heavy rain storm didn't help at all.
Monday morning, up at the crack of dawn.
Dogs need to go out,
feed the animals,
get coffee brewing,
and get myself ready for work.

Jason had mentioned at the end of Sunday,
that Monday felt like a perfect time for a 'sick day'.
Unfortunately (or with my luck, usually) this was not an option.
Tuesday was a big meeting with the boss,
the boss's boss,
and the boss's boss's boss(?).
And Monday was the only day to get EVERYTHING done,
all the junk that wasn't finished the previous week,
which was another reason I didn't get on the road to Philly,
until Saturday at 8pm. Usual.
Monday was a long, long day.
Followed by an equally long Tuesday.

The cherry on my craptastic Tuesday?
At the wrap up of the meeting I say my goodbyes
and get ready to change for the ride home.
Since it's only six miles, and I've already endured the
crappy tights/lycra/cycling shorts/jersey/
comments..... I now rock a T, and my Swobo mancapris/knickers,
and usually top it off with some intentionally obnoxious
argyle socks. And the Sidis. Very NOT Lance.

So my boss turns to the BIG boss and starts in:
"you should see this guy, it's hilarious, he gets all
suited up like Lance Armstrong, looks like a scuba diver,
but with a big helmet, oh man, it's a sight! He rides every
day, rain or snow! Really! You should keep your eyes open
for him out in the parking lot, so you can see for yourself!"

Long akward silent moment,
the three of us in a narrow hallway,
all I can think is 'you fucktard',
I can't even watch The Office or Mad Men,
because I work with the worst boss,
yanked right out of the 70's.

The BIG boss wraps up this craptastic conversation
with a quick:
"That's GREAT! Very commendable to be healthy, and proactive
by commuting. I think it's great you do that! It was a pleasure
meeting you and thank you for your work."

Sweet, I'm outta here for the next two days!

So it's been a great week in other aspects.
The next show at the Gallery is a national juried show,
alot harder to get in.
And it's my twelfth show in a row, if I get selected.
I can submit up to five works,
usually two or three are accepted.
My 'normal' luck - I wouldn't make the show.
Instead all FIVE works were accepted - GREAT!
BUT! I still need to finish them,
and they're due this weekend!
So it's been a long night prepping for the show.

Dogs, better yet, PUPPIES!
Puppies are like other people's little kids,
if those kids were deaf,
and had just eaten a bag of sugar,
and chased it with a Mountain Dew.

So right now we're fostering two puppies,
and since they have very little bladder control,
or are still being house trained,
someone (me) gets to sleep on the couch
so they can go out,
at 2am,
or 4:30 am,

trying to steal my spot.

The other great parts of the week?
PSA test came back below a 1.0,
and winning the wheelset/pedals in Philly!
I have never, NEVER won ANYTHING!
on a dollar lottery ticket, I won two dollars.
So I went right back in, bought TWO dollar tickets,

another time,
in Bendover (Wendover, NV) I won about $40 in the nickel slots,
but that was after loosing who knows how much
in the previous years, and lets NOT count Vegas either.

So when Jen read my fundraising page,
I was just moved. Because that's really all I asked for.
For Christmas, my birthday, our anniversary.
Just donate, cause I firmly believe the two greatest
issues facing me will be cancer and bad drivers.
I just didn't know what to say...
I didn't say anything, which sucks.
I was so choked up. It just felt surreal.
Before I left to Philly,
I thought about all the stuff I could say to Elden,
when I finally met him, I think I said "Hi",
and gave him some stickers.
I'm sooooooo awesome.
But it wasn't a 'star struck' thing,
it was the sheer overwhelming feeling of loss,
of pain and struggles.

Once again,
I was able to stand upright
while putting both feet in my mouth -
a talent that has taken years to master.

I can also put both feet in my mouth,
while riding uphill,
it's awesome!
Stick around and you'll see it.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fatties in Hilladephia

Updates are coming along with photos, hey, maybe even today!

at some point, I thought the term Fatty was implied ironically,
another case of walking into the wrong room, or signing up for
the wrong class (happens alot to me).

and those legs? man, like I showed up to a gun fight
with a sharpened pencil...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

is this the prequel?


I've been outed.
The big goofy guy has been dumped upon blogs,
like the prom date that was a joke.
let's back up and I'll tell you how we got here.

I've always loved bikes. And pretty much anything with wheels,
(a recovered car/motorcycle-holic). Even while skateboarding through
highschool, I still loved bmx, freestyle, mountain and road bikes.
Read: ALL BIKES. Guys at the bike shop hated me...

At the end of college I worked at a shop for six years,
a kid in a candy store. We also sold snowboards, but at the end
it was the mountain bikes. During one summer, the bike kept my
sanity and helped me work through alot of, well, crap.
At one point, after selling my car, my only possessions
(and as far as I'm concerned, necessities) were a futon, my CDs,
three mountain bikes, and a tool chest of bike tools - that's
all a guy needs, along with coffee, good mexican food, and some beer.

Forward a couple years and I've moved out east,
the armpit of New York.
Gotten married, buying a house, doing the life thing, kids,
dogs and cats, and cars that are functional and not cool.
You realise that, sigh, you're not cool. I sold my bikes,
because out here everything is posted/private property.
Riding a bike is not about packing a car and driving for the
same amount of time that you're riding, unless you live near
some EPIC SPOT, like Moab.
Fine then let's drive. But that's not here. And I'm still not
that ENLIGHTENED, yet. And I'm still smoking. Had tried to quit
for years, but you can't quit what you enjoy. And if you enjoy a
coffee or beer, well hell, without a cigarette,
it's like salsa with no chips?!?!

The Tipping Point:
With the third kid on the way. There's a possible problem,
there's the Dr. visit for me, then a referal to a 'specialist'.
A possibility of polyps, and a colonoscopy is required, and I'm
only 34. As with anything, if you don't know, then Google.
Then you start realising the odds, the percentages, before the
procedure you know.
Like laying it all on the line at the Craps table of life.

This was enough to make me quit smoking.
Right there, cold, done.
And I needed to ride. The other thing is I'm a pack-rat
reforming. So I had an 80's bmx/freestyle collectors goldmine
in my attic and basement. It was time to simplify my life
(and get a new bike).
I'm too big and old to ride BMX, what to do? With kids I needed
to be able to open the door and ride, and be back in an hour.
So I got a road bike, got all the things I thought I needed to
'become a roadie'. Signed up for the ADA Diabetes (for my dad),
and obviously read Lance's book, followed the Tour, and eagerly
waited where the first Livestrong Challenge would be in the East.
By the time Philly came I was cleared, nothing cancerous, I was
good to go. I enjoyed the first event and my first time in Philly.
And I was back on a bike, and this time I think it's for life.
And I thought I was done thinking about cancer for a while.

Well, it didn't take a long enough break.
First, Susan, a close family friend died from the chemo
treatment for her breast cancer.
Then it struck WAY too close to home, our Aunt.
A strong woman, who runs a cancer research center, reviews
grants for the NIH. Breast cancer, but it was detected early,
and she went with extremely proactive surgery. I want to say
she won, her hair has grown back and there's very little talk
about 'it'. But there's the gene, BRAC. And the looming question
for my wife and my daughter. I look at her and cannot imagine
being at her bedside, I refuse to think about it. But it's the
elephant in the corner we're not talking about.

Then this last week. I was adopted at birth. So I never had any
family history. And with closed adoptions, well, I never get any.
Went through all the channels - nothing. But two years ago I met
my mom, and sister, and brother, and I'm an uncle (awesome).
That's all really good stuff.
And this last year with the help of my birth mom, we made
contact with my father. He had prostate cancer,
and STRONGLY recommended I get my PSA test done. SHIT.

So I had missed two years of the Livestrong Challenge due to the
usual craziness of family, kids, house, etc. But I'm riding this
one for my Aunt, and hopefully NOT for my wife and little girl.
And Thursday, before the ride, I went in and did my blood work for
the PSA test. Packed my bag, loaded the bike, and thought
'maybe someone will be riding this for me next year'.

Today the simple plain envelope arrived in the mail.
PSA: 0.30 ng/ml NORMAL

I'm in the clear, for now.
It's an emotional draining thing,
and it was an emotional weekend.

Like sitting in the pediatric unit at the hospital,
to have the light shown on that side of humanity,
my heart was more spent than my legs.
What do you say to people?
All I seem to muster is a look, a nod,
'I recognise your pain, but we don't have to talk about it.
because if you cry, I'll cry, and I won't be able to stop'.

Thanks Roadie Mike for a great idea,
thanks Elden for being a great person, and uniter of great people,
and Team Fatty - thank you!