Entries in blogs (23)
Chocolate, Waffles & 'Cross: Bye-bye, Belgium
It’s rather comical how meticulously I pack my bikes and gear for a big race trip, such as this recent adventure to Belgium. Everything is cleaned, wrapped, folded, and hermetically sealed, then put in its perfect place.
However, on the return leg of trips such as this one, it’s a different story.
I just finished packing my bikes and gear for the long trip back to the States following my last cyclocross race of the 2007-08 season, and basically it looks as though a bomb exploded in my bike case and duffel bag. I pity the person at airport security who inspects my duffel bag, which has been stuffed to the gills with dirty cycling clothes, wet socks and muddy shoes. At the end of an epic week of slogging through thick Belgian mud, my luggage weighs about 10 pounds more than when I left. Although, it might have something to do with all the Belgian chocolate I am bringing home.
While in Belgium, I was able to finally hook up with the man behind CTodd,TV, Mr. C Todd himself! Great to meet and hang home boy! You can see some videos and read some of his perspectives on the race here.
So check out our boys at Team Raats. These guys are CORE 'crossers from The Netherlands and our boy Edwin (below in light blue) took 3rd in our race on Saturday at Mol. Oh, he wears previous Masters stripes too, kids.
So Edwin and some other Raats guys got our beer on today with us in the pits and shared stories after our race and they are totally looking forward to going to Cross Vegas! Look out Chris G. The Dutch are coming!
I'm going to have to hire a bunch of UC Boulder interns to translate my crappy blog into native languages...This is a typical snapshot of today of the distribution by country of those who love cross like me visiting my daily diatribes. Sincerely, welcome new readers. I am trying not to bore you....
My blogging home girl Rebecca Wellons is ALREADY IN BELGIUM. Jealous. She's got some great blog post action so read up on the invasion of Americans we are sending over to dethrone and neutralize the Belgian stronghold on our sport. OK, maybe our so called invasion is more like the "Balloon Bomb" invasion of the Pacific Coast of the US in Double-ya Double-ya Two and less a frontal assault. To have an effect, we need to be all Pagey-like and live there I guess and ultimately take 'em out guerrilla style.
Rebecca is staying in the same location as the one Brandon Kurt and I will be at in a few weeks time. I think Rebecca and crew's racing schedule will be done by the time we get there but send her some blog comments to bring it to the Belgies!
Tenacity, Jason. That's what makes you unstoppable. Check out the gap you've closed on Radio Freddy since posting my initial 'lens' into the sites traffic sources via Google Analytics. Nice fortitude, homes.
I'm out here in a balmy SF for the day. Gotta get my work on out here at the Mother Ship. My run this AM was pleasant given the gorgeous weather. Back home: More pow pow. And yes, my big toes are STILL numb. What the _ _ _ _?!?! They are a bit better each day but this is scary. I can not imagine what those Everest climber freaks experience.
I fire up the PC this AM and check out the KC results. NICE JOB MATTY! It's awesome to see how many CO folks are at Nats. Indeed the geography makes it a bit easier for CO folks to get to KC, but I want to run some data to see the demographics after Sunday. It is insane to see this type of growth in the sport. 1900 competitors last year, 2000+ this year.
Speaking of demographics and data, I've been using Google Analytics to provide me with some visibility into who reads my shitty blog. As a data guy, it's sick what you get for free. Some major enterprises I've worked with do not even have this level of data to get a lens into where and how interested people are coming to them from.
Radio Freddy, you will be happy to see that you are the No. 1 reference link into M & C. Rad. It's interesting to see how long people stay (about 2 minutes) which is not quite as long as the average length of time a porno is viewed before it is stopped (about 4.5 minutes) so maybe I need some further bike porn or something to keep people hooked. HA!
Not so shocking is the geographic info. CO is the region where people are from viewing M & C. Probably just due to word of mouth. I need me some advertising or something in those other regions! What up, Wyoming, Arkansas and Mississippi?? What? No cross there? C'mon!
November 28th, my faithful M & C readers, this blog celebrates its one year anniversary. Man, what the _ _ _ _ happened to the year!? Where has it gone?!?! I was checking in on Radio Freddy's a few days ago and noticed his beautiful site's one year anniversary which reminded me to look back in the annals for that very first post. Holy crappola! November 28th 2006!
What M & C is, is nothing more that an electronic scratchpad I wanted to start as a personal journal. That's what blogs are, right? So I made it into sort of a day to day thing documenting my experiences on quasi daily basis of what being a husband, daddy, worker and bike racer is about from the balance perspective....with the intent that come hell or high water, I would get my ass to Belgium...going to church so to speak...to experience what 'cross really is.....or maybe I know what it is and want to know from where it came. Whatever the case, more often than not, it was a place to digitally scream to something. Unfortunately you are all the victims of my rants and absolute psychoticness.
But, crazy psycho episodic rants aside, EVERY single good thing in my life from the time I was 5 years old derived from bikes, cross included and hopefully this Belgium goal a continuing extension of it. Literally, everything is linked together through bikes for the last 30+ years in this sort of beautiful unfolding tale that I am also enamored with when I reflect on it:
- Learn how to ride a bike at Ted Stoica's 4th birthday party, 1975
- Get my own bike in kindergarten that year and begin my obsession.
- Create a bike gang of 5-8 year olds. We are the Thunderbirds.
- Start dirt jumping with the T-birds Evil Kneivel style in elementary school
- Learn to race BMX (decently) and ride ramps (badly) in middle school in the early 80's and gt my first racing license (an NBL license if you remember that!). Eddie Fiola is my hero.
- Learn dad gets job transfer summer before I start high school in mid 80's. Parents bribe me with a Shogun racing 10 speed because this guy Greg Lemond is doing things over there in Europe and "10 speed bike racing" is getting cool.
- The Shogun gathers dust while I revert back to my GT Pro Performer and start riding around the streets of NJ and BMX again becomes a proxy for meeting new peeps
- Race more, jump more meet absolutely CORE people.
- Go to college in the late 80's and learn about this thing called 'mountain biking'. I learn its a big BMX bike.
- Drink incredible amounts of Piels and Gennesee Light and get fat.
- Get inspired by Chris by senior year to go and ride ride ride
- Graduate and flounder and move to Cape Cod, get my own MTB and ride every day. No shirt, no helmet, Hi-Tech hiking boots. I get tan and get back to some fitness.
- Finally get embarrassed enough that I need to get a job, move back from the Cape and find one in NYC. I slave all week and blow out the weekends up and down the East Coast racing MTB's
- Grow the obsession. Start buying magazines with pretty pictures of radsters in CA riding insane MTB's reading them cover to cover on the subway to and from work and.
- Start using this thing called the internet in the mid 90's and find this bike guy in CA called "Rock Lobster" and get info on his bikes.
- Get obsessed with Rock Lobster and Bontrager bikes and decide California is the place I ought to be so I loaded up the truck and I move to Beverly...er ah...SF
- Move to SF, buy a Rock Lobster (actually many...) and find Mecca in Marin and Santa Cruz and meet a group of people who are literally family now...with no less than THREE marriages spawned by our group meeting an connecting
- Then meet my beautiful (now) wife. We ride into the proverbial sunset....
- Race more, work more, grow more and learn of something called 'cross in 96.
- Meet the most amazing bike freaks and they become brothers and sisters.
- Cross more. Including wearing a dress while doing so.
- Procreate and yield two little Irishmen.
- Decide that Boulder might be a better place to raise them thar kids (that being the guise for a better 'cross scene) and we made a decision in a weekend and move.
- Meet the most amazing bike freaks and they too become brothers and sisters...
So Belgium. Now do you see? It's like No. 25 on this growing list of things that have so expanded and enriched my life and those around me. It also was a goal to help me laser focus on something during this year...a year I KNEW would be turbulent and it materialized that way. Remember that scene in Star Wars (the original one....not the computer animated shit), when Luke is in the X Wing and needs to drop that bomb in that tunnel to blow up the Death Star and the commander over his head set is shouting "Stay on target...stay on target...". Well, that's what Belgium has been. Belgium (or the promise of getting my act together to go was that little control tower voice helping me to push day by day...for bad or for worse. Creating new channels in the universe and exposing me to what I hope will be the truth about our sport.
I will be sure to blog it.
Thanks for reading. Thank you my beautiful wife for this experience.
Brandon and Taro got last minute entries to the La Ruta de los Conquistadores. Good luck with your remaining 'cross season Brandon for when you come back witha water borne parasite. Ha! kidding... but, ahhh, I'm not kidding.
If you are interested, Jason Sager is showing how much of a blogger he really is with truly excellent nightly coverage from his suffer fest down there in Costa Rica land. To quote Jason: "Pictures are the new text...". Spoken like a true Web 2.0 kind of guy. (Note to Sager: I've got to give you my copy of Wikinomics boy. You're on to something here....).
Follow Sager and crew's adventures through the mud here.