Thursday, April 20, 2006

Plan your work, work your plan

So in the beautiful sunshine today i felt the need for another 4 hour jaunt. I ended up on some roads I have never been on, or it has been a great while. My journeys took me down to my alma mater, The Berm. Bermudian Springs High School. The institution of higher learning, where there were more people in FFA & FHA than college prep. BTW, FFA is Future Farmers of America & FHA is Future Homemakers of America. I am giggling as I type that. Yessiree boys and girls, I could not make that shit up.
On to my title. As I stopped at the BERM to fill my water bottles, I noticed my friend and Berm teacher, Brian Oswald. Brian is in the weight room, so I yell down the hall to get his attention. He comes down, we chat, and he says "Greenholt is in there lifting, you should go say hi."
Russ Greenholt started at the Berm back in '83, I believe, when I was a Junior. He started not as a teacher, but as a football coach and STAP (in-school suspension) supervisor. He never taught while I was at the Berm. Later on he obviously finished up his teaching degree/accreditation and taught. He then moved to an Asst. Principal, and now he is the Principal. I knew all of this, and it never ceases to amaze me how wrong I was about this fine gentleman after my brief time with him while at the Berm.
We did the pleasantries of how each other are doing, he asked about Big Boy Pullin', etc... I then said, "You run this place now don't you." He was always a humble dude, from my recollection, and said that he has been the principal for the last three years. I congratulated him on his achievement and how I felt it was awesome. He did not stop there, however. He told me that he is now working through his Doctorate, and has two years to go. He is in an off-site program from Immaculata with 14 other administrators who are local. It sounds like a great program where local administrators with the same goals and passion for education get together to achieve their Doctoral degree.
He obviously had a plan and he has worked it for 23 years now. That is dedication.
If, in 1983, someone would have said Russ Greenholt would be the principal of the Berm and have his doctorate 25 years later I would have laughed at them. This brings me to my point, finally. Russ Greenholt is someone you should model yourself or your children to be like. He started at the entry level of the education ladder, and has never settled for the next step that he has achieved. Now at the top, he is striving for yet even more.
My hat is off to you, Russ Greenholt.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Feaster, rides & Mt Joy

So, I had some extra time this week, so I decided to get in some longer rides. I need to do some Turkey Hill prep, so Tuesady & Thursday were rolling 75 milers. Felt decent each day, was bummed when my POS PT pooped out. We will see, tomorrow, if they warranty the issue.
I was not going to race this weekend, but Ames was cool with it and Jared & Steevo were making another monster drive. I figured I would get in some more miles and help the lad.
Mt Joy coursa was cool. Very windy with a long false flat & a steep, short climb. Nine laps fr 51 miles. First few laps were people drilling it and people going out the back. The MG-GPOA mafia were all present in the top 15 on the climb. Coming in to three to go I witnessed the worst high-speed crash I have ever seen. A stupid crossing of wheels at 33 mph and wham a guy was slammed to the ground, damn near head first. The nasty sound of that and squealing brakes and mangling bikes was horrible. I was just to the right of it and made it through. The was basically the race as the field was split w/ two off the front and maybe two dozen of us making it through with six laps to go. Round and round with hard accelerations up the steep pitch. A group of four w/ Butts & Benitez kust roll off to 45 seconds. The Steve May rolls off. I go to the front to bring it back for the boys, but no other team helps. I ride steady for half a lap and bring back May and lower the gap to the group of four to 20 seconds. Up the pitch for the sixth time and Jared, Steevo & I are all still there. Then it happens on the wicked fast descent. I nail a rock. I am hoping and praying I am not flat. Well, thirty seconds late at 35+ mph my rear clincher goes down and I am swervy wervy. My day is done as the wheel van is no where to be seen.
The next lap Joe Whitman somehow rolls off and gets a 50 second lead on MG-GPOA group. The group of four up ahead starts to monkey around & JW catches them. By the end, JW rolls through them for third. Big talent there. Once he learns better tactics (like he showed today), he will be awesome. Jared follows a Mike Miller move and takes the third group sprint for 8th. Steevo rolls slightly after that.
On another note, I am so glad I ride for a team where I like all the riders and have great respect for them. I say this after I try to mediate a near fist fight betweem two Alliance teammates, mid-race. Long story short Bill Short misinterpreted a smart move by Ramon and screams at him in front of the field and the finish line spectators. Ramon wanted to fight right there. Ramon finished the race and promptly quit Team AE. He will be a thorn in their side all year. I guarantee, from knowing Ramon, he will make it his mission to ruin their races.
It goes to show that good teams are made up of greast people. Mike Miller said it to me during the race, "too many chiefs."
Ahh Feaster. I shoved so much food it was almost obscene. Beautiful.
Weel I am going to finsh watching Amstel Gold and enjoy a relaxing day after a hard week of riding and general stress.
Bye all, have a great Easter.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Karma, or ...and tonight I met Gene

Today was a well needed easy day on the bike and the mind. A lot of stuff running rampant in my cluttered little noggin. After two days of racing, a nice easy 90 minute spin was well needed. A slap in the Ipod and go. The tunes were incredible tonight. Werewolves of London, Folsom Prison Blues, Lucky Man, Heroes, Everyday, By my side, After the goldrush, Somebody to love. It put me in such a mellow mood, it was perfect for a recovery ride. 200 Watt ceiling, JRA.
If you can sing to your tunes on your Ipod, you are going the perfect speed for recovery. There were probably 6 or 7 people I passed who just gave me wierd looks as I was riding and singing. It was the type of ride that was good for the legs, mind and soul.
Ahh the soul, that almost leads me to Gene, but not quite yet. The Karma patrol struck before that as I met the man who feeds the wild cats. There is this rusted out back end of a pick-up/trailer that acts as a shelter for 4 or 5 wild cats, that I pass on most of my rides. I always notice the cats have full paper plates filled with cat food. I always wondered who did this. Tonight I met him. As I ride up this little rise he is walking to his car with these huge buckets of cat food. He smiles and says, " Ain't life always uphill?" I reply, yeah sometimes it feels that way. I thought to myself that I should have stopped and said hello, and commended him on his helping the cats. So I roll along for a while and hit the daily double of emotional songs. Heroes and Somebody to love. This is right after I had just heard By my side, twice. I am rolling, just enjoying the ride, yes actually ENJOYING pedalling a bike. Like it was my Western Flyer from 30 years ago. Then I hit the homestretch and I MET GENE. Gene, to me is an institution. If you travel Space Highway, you know of Gene. Gene is the dude with the feathered 1970's poofy mullet. Gene is also the dude who walked his Doberman everyday for 4 or 5 miles. We always gave each other a friendly wave and a smile. Probably thinking that the other was a nut for being outside doing what we were doing.While I was bundled up putting in base he was there. When it was 95 and humid he was there. A man and his dog enjoying each other.Unfortunately someone hit and killed gene's Doberman a few weeks ago. Tonight was the first time that I saw Gene walking in the 3 or 4 weeks since the death of his dog. As I rolled along the Karma police got to me. I stopped and told Gene how sorry I was that his dog was dead. He was definitely taken back that I stopped to say hello and express my heartfelt sorrow. He was very nice and very thankful. We spoke a bit about his dog, and what happened that day. Gene was not angry, and he had every right, since the f'ing coward that killed his dog never stopped anywhere to see who the owner is. Gene said his dog was great in the house and on a leash, but nature took over when a door was left open. It was an unfortunate accident, like a lot of things in life. You can be going along enjoying yourself, and in the flash of an eye, your world can change. As we were done talking, he extends his hand and said, "my name is Gene, it was nice to meet you, thanks for thinking about my dog."
We each put in our ear phones and continued on in our respective ways. I can not help but think that today, Karma was on my side.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Visions of Cross Nats danced through my head

They were not good visions either. Cross Nats, worst conditions ever on a bike. Bar none.
Philly two-day was this weekend. Here is a VERY brief synopsis. My desire to write race reports has waned. Plus 44 laps and shit runs together.
Saturday was 41, windy and raining. I was not liking this. To add insult to injury, my trainer finally broke when I was 1 minute into warming up. No warm-up, nasty weather and 51 miles. Blech. The whole was basically there. Jared freakin' rocked. Dude is awesome. Everyone was in breaks, and was really active.
Sunday was a tropical 55 and Sunny. Lemon Hill course, which is wicked fun. Lots of attacks and a big group of ten sticks with Colin & Fred in it. Then with 6 or 7 to go, they somehow get pulled back. G, Jared and I are near the front and Mark Light comes from way back with a rippin' attack. Hacker smartly follows and we now have a guy in a break, so we chill. Hacker stays off, there was no doubting that by us. We get ready to set up a leadout and Colin attacks and dangles for 2 laps. We can not chase and at one to go the field swallow the front and G, Jared & I reposition. G is so smart & fast, he takes 2nd in the field sprint doing the leadout. Jared is not far behind that & I not far off Jared.
What a success, as Jared beats Gui N. and takes the omnium. Hacker's move gives him second. Stephan's sprint lands him in 5th. Stubna ends up in the last money at 10th. Colin, Steevo & I are somewhere probably around 12-15th. Good weekend for the team. The guys are flying. Now it is time for me to actually start doing structured training. I have held off due to a long cross season. Now it is time to pay the piper.
Eric's b-day was Saturday & I interloped on a gathering at his place and crashed there. Thanks again Jules and Eric. Ames was at a scrap-fest Saturday making some cool pages of her Cape May vaca & KB's 30th. Sunday she took "the girls" to a gym play party for one of her ex-coworkers son's b-day. I would have loved to have seen that.
No posts lately as I have been generally uninspired or do not feel like writing about stuff. We shall see.
Blah, blah blah

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

You might be a racer...(dork)

If you stare in amazement as you see hair on a teammates legs
If you take TP into the woods like it is standard operating procedure
If you have more wheels in your car than on your car
If a large part of your self-esteem is based on how fast you can pedal a bike
If you think you made out even if your split is less than the entry fee
If you like the feel of Noxema on your chamois
If you have begged a place to crash the day before a race
If you drive 400 miles in a weekend to ride your bike 110 miles
If you have taken a premature exit to the woods during a race
If you think a towel is a changing room
If you think vaseline doubles as leg warmers
If your bike(s) are worth more than your car(s)
If you no longer ride your bike for the fun of it
If you come up with more excuses for poor performance than a NASCAR racer
If you think you are a more interesting person because you race