Wednesday, December 30, 2009


DEA's post made me think some today about the past 10 years. New Years Eve of 1999 we were with some friends at their condo in Vermont Skiing and enjoying ourselves waiting for the end of the computer age.

We still lived in Ohio at that time and I was still an Assistant County Prosecutor. A year later we moved to New Hampshire. About 5 months after moving my wife went to a women's 5 mile running race and I went along with our young son. I was introduced to this very nice woman who had done the race as well and who has a daughter about the same age as our son who went to the same daycare.

Her husband was not there as he was some sort of cyclist/athlete type. Apparently there was some sort of bike race that same day where not so bright folks ride bikes uphill for 21 miles for the fun of it. I was thinking that this dude must be pretty hard corps and a little too much for me. He arrived a little while later and I was introduced to DEA for the first time.

Wow, how things have changed.

I don't think I would have been able to predict how the past 10 years would have gone and come even close to how they actually played out. Not sure there's much I would like to change, except maybe a few specific crashes and trips to the ER.

Looking forward to the next decade???? I imagine I would do just as poorly guessing where I'll be in 2019 so I think that I should focus on the short term instead. So maybe I need a New Years Resolution to sort of set the agenda and see how I do in keeping to that and being a way to control and decide how things go over at least the short term.

A friend of mine said if you publish your new years resolution that it might make you more apt to stick with it since everyone knows what it was and will guilt you into doing or not doing what you said you would. So with the threat of widespread public humiliation I was thinking of some really good ones, but they were either too hard or too easy or unrealistic or just stupid.

So I am left with the resolution to just be better.

Happy New years


Getting Ready for 2010

Wow, 10 years ago we were all madly planning for the digital world as we knew it to end. So much for that! 1999 ended smoothly and 2000 rolled in and our computers with their MASSIVE 500 megabyte hard drives survived.

At the time I was still in the ski and bike industry and was thinking that I would end up being either a ski or bike rep. At the time I had been talking with Cannondale (they were just getting into the motorcycle and four wheeler business) and had also talked to this place called Seven down in MA. I couldn't be farther from where I thought (well I could but it sounds better to say that I couldn't be) but have ended up right back to where I grew up.

Ten years ago my fleet of personally owned bikes and skis was very small, due to the fact I had a fleet of demo bikes and skis at by beck and call. I do miss that! I also miss weighing 180 lbs without trying. Oh well.

As we shifted from 1999 to 2000 K and I had a 9 month old baby girl and that had meant that the days of K being my daily riding partner had ended.

I'm realizing that in those ten years a lot has changed, but a lot has stayed the same. I'm still a bit of a cycling fanatic. I still go into way too much detail when I try to explain how road cycling is a team sport. I still get all wide eyed when new bike parts end up in my possession. I still love the sensation of riding a bike, and in some ways I think I enjoy it even more as those hours on the trail or road are even more valuable to me.

Now when I go to races I have a three person pit crew. I now go to some races and help my oldest get ready to race. I have also settled into the reality that my "fast" days are behind me- now the battle begins to not get any slower!

Here is to what is ahead in 2010 and to all that has happened in this past decade. What a crazy time it has been.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Post TWAFHGGPT Blahhhhhs

The ride came and it went. I had a blast and I think those who went had a great time as well. But now that it is over I've had a bit of a cycling hangover and haven't touched my bike in almost two weeks. That is a long time for me, especially since ski season hasn't started yet (at least for me).

Part of it is that I've been a bit sick for the last week, but I think not being on the bike has contributed to the icky sickys sticking around longer than usual. It's also the end of the semester at work and things have been busy so I guess there are plenty of excuses for not getting out on two wheels.

Ok enough bitching. The 2010 season is only a couple weeks away from starting. All the big teams are rolling out their new kits and bikes and I'm sitting here with a bag full of TWAF t-shirts from 2006 that are still in their "new" condition. So here is my big idea- I really don't need all these t-shirts, but the inner capitalist in me has a hard time just giving them away. So let's make a deal. Offer up a trade, what you've got and how many TWAF t-shirts you want for it. This will either be very interesting or I'll hear crickets. Time will tell.

I other news Lance isn't building RadioShack around him. Riiiiiighhht, and he was happy riding second fiddle to Alberto last summer, leaving and vowing to come back and go for the win. I miss the days when he just put it out there he was going to France to win, granted that was a a decade ago- but this is Lance we are talking about- the Dick Clark of cycling.

Ok enough out of me, ride on and get your holiday shopping done would'da.


Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Great letter on

(ripped without permission from

How ‘bout we all ride without brakes?

Dear Editors,
My pickup has a standard transmission, and with careful anticipation and shifting technique, I have found that I really don’t need brakes, so I ditched them. I have really good night vision, too, so I don’t turn my headlights on at night. I also note that both my creativity and my driving get better after 2 or 10 beers.

While “The Man” smothers my hipness by trying to criminalize my expressions of individuality, the true surprise stems from the “holier-than-thou” indignation of the other drivers on the road. It’s as if their lack of exemplary shifting skills and uncanny night vision gives them some sense of entitlement to dictate how I drive! What a downer!

Individuality should be valued and we should all have a choice regarding what kind of bikes we ride, but we have a responsibility to minimize risks when that choice has the potential to impact others. Riding in city traffic can be dangerous, and while I concede that most bike-on-car crash scenarios will turn out badly only for the cyclist, it’s not hard to imagine other cars or pedestrians becoming involved just because the cyclist couldn't stop three feet shorter.

I am sure that many riders could ride a fixie safely in traffic, just as I’m sure that many car drivers can drive safely at 180mph, but that said, who would want the speed limit raised to 180mph on the roads of their favorite weekend ride?

Victor Becker
Wellsboro, Pennsylvania

Monday, December 07, 2009


A great day spent out on the gravel of Western Maine. JJ took some photos that either he or I will get posted soon.

The final roll call:

Chris Ames
Mike the Weeble (it just may stick)
Brian Roache aka Ginger Dirty Hippie Boy (not sure that this one will stick)

Mike the Weeble took out the top points for signs and KOM's, however that being said he was on a cross bike racing against SS guys, so on town lines he should have cleaned everyone's clocks- however A1 took a VERY impressive town line win at the end of the ride. Anyone who witnesses the sheer speed at which his legs were turning over in those lime green wind pants must have not known what to think. All I could think was a French Canadian that was OD'ing on amphetamines.

I think we all got at least one sign so nobody got skunked. NK had an "issue" which made it a typical TWAF type of ride. He had to bow out early, something about a Pats game (which we made it back for kick off), I think NK just needs to put in some time on the bike, which he will next summer- as he lives 300 yards away, he'll have no choice.

All in all a great time. Look for video from Mike the Weeble. Of if you are me, hope that you don't!

That's it from here.


Thursday, December 03, 2009

It's the Final Countdown.....

The TWAFHGGPT is set for this Sunday. The weather looks to be cooperating and the grinding will take place.

Questions that have been coming my way:

Road/Cross/Mountain bike? Mountain or cross will work Road- only if you are Michelin Mike, and even that might be dangerous.

Is this a race? No, it's a ride. Nobody will be left to die. It's a fun laid back ride. The weather is looking good so hopefully the pace won't be dictated by a need to stay warm.

Will I get wet? Maybe, but if you are careful and it isn't raining or snowing you should be able to stay dry.

Should I bring a tube? Yes, preferably one that fits you wheel.

What should I bring for afterwards? Whatever you'd like. We'll the the grill ready to roll and there will be SOME beverages of various types- so bring what you'd like.

Is there a sagwagon? Sort of. JJ will ride at the back and push anyone along who doesn't feel like riding.

How long? About 20 miles, about two hours. Or it could be something entirely different.

What should I wear? Clothing. If temps are in the 40's- you'll want warmer gloves and shoe covers of some sort- an old pair of wool socks works well- but they will be sacrificed for the cause. A light wind jacket. A beanie under your helmet. A vest in your pack just in case. Tights.

Do I get a nick name? Oh you very well may.

That's it for now.