Thursday, December 27, 2007

Happy Birthday Haley!

Today we celebrated Haley's first b-day. Thanks to all the friends and family that made her day tons of fun. Haley's pap-pap made a huge Elmo cake, which was awesome, and we picked up some Elmo cookies at the PA Bakery. Good stuff.

Factor in the gifts from a couple days ago and I think we're in good shape for a few years. Whoever came up with this Elmo thing is a genius. And rich. Thanks again to everyone who came and helped us celebrate. We couldn't have made it through this first year without all the support we get from you. Hebe gets special mention for the handwritten card. Very nice, thanks.

Now we'll see if TLW will sleep tonight with all that sugar she ate today.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


The strawberry wins. Funny, that happens to be one of my least favorite fruits. I don't have a problem eating them as part of a cake or a muffin or something like that, but all by it's lonesome, the strawberry is low on my list. Time for the veggies. This time vote for multiple choices. One footnote in the fruit voting, I forgot The Tomato. Despite it's confusion as a veggie, I don't feel good about adding it to the list. Sorry.

I haven't touched a bike since last Thursday. I feel fatness and lethargy setting in. So far, I don't seem to mind a bit. Although the weather could cooperate a tad and stop being so nice out.

One more week of winter vacation to go. I've been trying to catch up on making DVD's of little Haley's first year. We've taken over 3000 pictures in the past year of which I'm guessing 90% were of TLW. I also have over 5hrs of video to navigate. Fun to look back. It's only been a year but the first one is the busiest for little babies. I would say her walking to crawling ratio is up to approx 40/60 split. She can walk fine but sees crawling as a faster more stable mode of travel still. We'll get there. Then the fun really starts.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Orange you glad I......haven't I heard this before

I think I wrapped up all the gifting loose ends today. Actually, The Legend is still on my gift list. Yo, Hebe, any needs or wants?

Auntie Em and I braved the Crapitol City Mall this afternoon. As full as the parking lot seemed outside, it wasn’t all that bad inside. We breezed through our visit unscathed. Fun times.

Coakley’s wings last night. The best. A pretzel ham & cheese sammy too. Very tastey.

This is my way of breaking the news to The Wifey that there is yet another new bike in the garage. See, I don’t keep my bike stuff a secret. Actually, this is addition by subtraction. I bought a LeMond Zurich frameset but I’m selling my Salsa ‘crosser. I absolutely loved that frame, but, I figured I try to pass it on to the highest bidder while it still might have some value. As opposed trashing it making it my winter roadie/commuter sled. I’d much rather trash a perfectly nice, 2.1lb full carbon LeMond frame. BTW, first impressions of the LeMond; awesome! Very stiff and rigid. Moreso than my Madone. I wouldn’t say uncomfortably stiff but if I were 15lbs heavier that’s exactly what I’d be saying.

Catching up with old high school friends tonight. Our first chance to meet little Katie H. Then it’s a wonderful xmas breakfast Saturday morning. A wonderful xmas turkey Sunday evening. A wonderful xmas ham Monday afternoon. Somewhere in there I’m going to have to fit in a wonderful xmas beer or three. The fridge as it sits right now bears some Guinnesses (guinness’?, guinni’s?, what the hell is the plural of Guinness anyway?), Spaten, Franziskaner, Yuengling. I think we need to get busy.

I need a nap after that trip to the mall. It always takes all my energy. Only three days left to vote for your favorite fruit. How on earth is my favorite fruit, The Orange, in a tie with someone elses favorite fruit, The Kumquat? Who among us has ever eaten a kumquat? Who even knew a kumquat was a fruit. Kinda like a titmouse isn’t even a tit, or a mouse.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

nor'shitter (a pictorial)

Which of these pics doesn't belong. TLW learning to sew.

Friday, December 14, 2007


Sorry for the delay. I’m sure you, my loyal readers, have been beside yourself wondering what’s going on. My apologies.

‘Cross is done for the season. I almost made the Triple C my last event but something was tugging at me to do one more race. I finished up with the final event in the PA CX Series at Wonderland in Lancaster, which doubled as the PA States race as well. I had no real aspirations to crush the competition as I’ve raced the Elite Masters category in the PA Series this season. It was a good learning experience racing the old guys. I have a tremendous amount of respect for these fellas and I hope I at least showed I belong. For the most part these guys have been doing cx longer than any and really have it dialed. At any rate, Wonderland was another serious slop-fest. Lots of running. Refer back to Lehigh/T-town for my thoughts on running. This time was different though. I was doing this race purely and solely because I love ‘cross. I was happy to finish the season healthy and wiser than when I started.

Thoughts on this season. It IS possible to race solidly without ever actually “training”. I rode a fair amount. I made my rides hard when it felt good to go hard. I never felt burned out. I figured out my CyclingPeaks software a little better and used my PowerTap to my advantage. I never rode two hours when I only felt like one and a half. Somehow, it worked out ok.

Also, by not putting expectations on myself to finish top 10 or top 15 or whatever, I took further pressure off myself and just went out and raced as hard as I could and lived with the results, good or bad. Sure, there were times I felt great about things and times I wished I did better. But, as a whole, I’m happy.

Thoughts on next season. Probably take the same approach. I will make every attempt to work on my glaring weakness. I can’t run. I loathe the run. One-third(2) of the races I did involved a serious amount of running. At Lehigh, 4th thru 8th(me) was separated by 1:20. I couldn’t run to save my skin that day. Perhaps a little running in advance of cx season will aid my cause.

I’d like to race a larger number of events next season. I’m still feeling my way in this race scene. It’s crazy to see some of these guys racing from April thru December. I find it hard to focus on 10 weeks. It was awesome to have The Wifey and TLW attend a few of my races. It’s not easy packing up a 10month old and hanging out in a field for 2-3hrs while I do my thing. That should get easier as time goes on.

Enough about that.

Little Haley is doing amazingly well. I declared she was officially walking on Thanksgiving Day and she thanked me by refusing to work on her craft again until a few days ago. She seems to have found her bravery again and is steaming ahead full gas on walking skills. 13 days until Haley officially leaves infancy and hits toddler-ness. One year old. That will be fun.

She has taken a real affection for eating oranges with her dad. I love oranges. When I sit down to eat an orange, it’s not just one orange. Two or three is the norm although years ago I remember eating 6,7, sometimes 8 oranges in a sitting. Love ‘em. Haley will practically crawl up my legs to get a chunk of citrus. She clamors for as much as I’ll give her. Earlier this week she was suffering from a cold so all the vitamin C was doing her some good.

Two more days of work and I’m done for ’07. that will be nice. No plans. Maybe a little shopping. Hang with my two wonderful ladies. I will visit a fast food joint for the first and only time this year. Probably Wendy’s and probably that double patty jalapeno cheddar artery clogger thing. Watch some good xmas movies. Ride a bike or two. No doubt shovel some white shat that’s fallen from the sky.

That’s all.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Ooooooh fffuuuudge.................

Go ahead and guess what explitive I just fired out as this was unfolding? Dummy. Thank you Dennis Smith for being in the right place at the right time.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Lemme tell ya

Hebe ‘Cross has come and gone just like that. As usual I have mixed emotions. After not racing for a month I was expecting the customary shock to the system. We raced 5 laps and I didn’t feel good until 2 to go. My legs came in just around the time Tom McDaniel caught me and some other dude. I was stoked to have McD with me because he’s a big dude with loads of horsepower to shelter and tow me on the flats. Shame is the other dude stacked the barriers and ate shit right in front of me with 1.5 to go. What disappointed me was I wasn’t riding in his line. I was ready to attack him over the barriers on the left but when he lost his footing he clogged the entire left side. I T-boned him good twisting my stem/bars in the process. By the time I straightened my sled and got going again McD was 10 seconds up the road. See-ya. To make matters even testier, I never totally straightened my stem so for the final lap and a half my bars were a tad to the right. I was happy to hold off Moats. He’s been right on my tail at a few races this season but hasn’t quite caught me yet. In the end I finished 15th. Good MAC points. Without the incident I probably would have lost a sprint with McD for 13th. Although 12th was only a couple seconds ahead of him so who knows how it would have worked out if we could have worked together somehow.

What bugs me is when dumb stuff like that happens beyond my control. If I had screwed up on my own would have been easier to swallow. The course was an absolute blast. Very fast and in true Hebe form it was super flowy. You could pedal through just about everything. Fun times. Brewer won the sprint for the win. Good for him. He’s a nice guy and real friendly. On the plus side from my view is although I finished 15th, I was only 2 minutes behind the winning group. For such a fast race I can take satisfaction in that. At Wissy I was 1:40 back and that was all the way back in October when my level of fitness was a tad better. Mike had a nice finish in his race, 4th.

I wanted to stay for the Elite races but due to the impending crap weather for Sunday The Wifey and I decided to get our tree today which didn’t give us much time to work with. Last year when we snagged our tree TLW was still about a month away. This year we got to take her along and let her be part of the choosing process. I think she picked out a nice tree for her first Xmas. Now that it’s officially December I will no longer allow myself to be grumpy about all the holiday talk/music/ads/bullcrappery. With Thanksgiving being a little early this year, quite frankly, November 24th is just silly to be seeing A Christmas Story on TV. And yet, there it was. Silly.

Look at those teeth!

Haley choose her tree

The Wifey agrees

Thursday, November 29, 2007

We Todd Did

HebeCross ’07 hits the fan Saturday. I rolled a couple laps last weekend with The Legend. The course is going to be Fast. With a capital eff. And as a result, will be hard. As in “WTeff, this is hard!” I want to go fast. I will try my hardest to go fast. It’s not even the hard, sharp, little climbs in the course that worry me, it’s all the wide-open dead-flat shite that gets me uptight. I just have to remind myself one more time my season long mantra. No pressure, just have fun. And, this will be a fun race.

I can’t pass up the opportunity to share this video I caught tonight. I nearly shat my pants laughing.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

TLW vs Elwood

Haley has found one of Elwoods toys and started chasing him around the basement whacking the hell out of him any chance he gets. The great part is even though she whips him pretty good he thinks it's playtime and goes right along with it. Hilarious.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Once an Eagle, always an Eagle

What a tremendously fun weekend! The weather was perfect early November crispy cool and sunny. I got to spend a lot of time hanging out with my two favorite ladies.

It all started early Friday morning with a quick drive down to my former high school, The Berm, to participate in their Healthy Living Day. I spent the day as a representative of Holmes Cyclery, and more to the point, cycling as a part of a healthy lifestyle. I was given a classroom to do my thing and any kids who ended up in my classroom were there because they chose to be. There were approx 30 presenters and the kids had to choose 5 topics they’d like to experience. I had about 25 kids in each of my 5 classes, which was awesome because there were only 25 seats. Maybe every presenter had a full class, I don’t know, but I was happy to see a strong interest in cycling.

What worried me was he 40 minutes I had to fill in each class. I wasn’t so much worried about speaking in front of 25 kids, just how to talk about cycling to 15-18yr olds without boring them to death. I spent some time chatting about safety stuff. Helmets, lights, gloves, blah, blah, blah. Then a bit about maintenance. Air pressure, brakes, clean bike, fixing a flat.

I finished up by discussing the wattage/power based training I do. I had my road sled set up on my indoor trainer. I then had Coach Oswald do a minute in the first class to set a wattage benchmark for kids to shoot for. The rest of the day I let kids volunteer to do a minute to get an idea just how hard cycling can be. I was able to take their avg watts divided by their weight in kg to produce a power-to-weight ratio. With that number I was able to show them on a chart just exactly how big of a disparity there is between regular chumps like me and Coach versus, say for instance Mr Armstrong. It was eye-opening. Some little 112lb wrestler had the highest ratio.

So, anyway, it was real cool to spend the day doing that. I had a great time and I hope at least a couple of the kids came away with something enjoyable and positive. I only saw two sleepers, both in the morning. I also got to walk over to the elementary school during my lunch break to hang out with my little nephew DJ. I sat and had lunch with him then played football with him and the other 4th graders during recess. How could I not mention how much fun I had hanging out with my good friend Coach Oswald all day long. I got a behind the scene glimpse at the new athletic facilities still under construction. Pretty nice stuff. Good times. Thanks for setting the day up for me Brian.

The rest of the weekend was spent just chillin here at the ranch. I got my garage cleaned and organized. It was still in summer party mode. Just a lot of clutter for the most part.

Today, I coulda, shoulda raced at Spring Mtn. Man, if I just didn’t have the desire to drive almost 2hrs both ways to do it. It looked like the best field of 35+ the PA Series has had so far. I was sitting 4th in points but that will change for sure. I had it in my mind to do well in the series so I’ll have to stay on top of my game and come up with something special for the Dec 8th States race in Lancaster. On that topic, at this point Beacon isn’t looking like a reality so my next race is looking like Hebe ‘Cross on the 1st of December. That’s a long time between races so I’ll probably chill for a week then try to build again for that first week in December.

TLW is so tantalizingly close to walking. She can now stand for a period of time without falling over so her balance is improving daily. Now it’s coming up with the courage to put one foot in front of the other without hanging on to something. She’s such a wonderful little lady.

Good v evil. Rebel Alliance v Evil Empire. Frickin’ Evil takes it. Dammit.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Hebeween Party

Ummmm, Wow!

Dr. Howie Feltersnatch

I see drunk people

Nascar Nancy & The Grand Wizard
Your most Legendary Host

Hebe and Chepe

Captivated by Nurse Nerdlinger

Gene Hebe? Mike Simmons?

Brokeback Seve & Chef BBP

The Wifey

Kyle Dirt


We are.......oooooops!

What can brown do for me

So I found out a couple things today at the races. Things I already suspected but no doubt confirmed definitively. One; if I have to get off my bike and run more than hurdling a set of barriers, I’m at a distinct disadvantage. Running just flat out hurts me. I suppose that’s something I should work on. Two; on a sloppy, creamy, churned-up, mudder of a course like today where loads of power is necessary, I just ain’t got any.

No worries though. I saw The Fat One after finishing third in his race and his best advice was it’s a fun time, just have fun. I tried. I guess beauty is in the eye of the, man that’s so cliché. Whatever. All things considered, despite the course working me over like a weak little chump, I did find myself bringing 5th-8th back towards me on the last lap.

Hebe crushed all. Nice work man. Now, just take care of The Blaze. R.I.P.?

Speaking of The Legend, a Hebeween Party is on tap this evening. Should be fun.

Friday, October 26, 2007


Haley's first Halloween Trick or Treat night was Thursday night. She had a grand time. Almost as much fun as us big kids had watching her enjoy herself. We mostly hung out on the front porch of Erin's parents house handing out goodies to the little kids. Haley was diggin' all the different costumes. We did take her for a walk to some of the neighboring houses to try her hand at candy grabbing. The first couple she wasn't grasping the concept but by house three she nailed it. That's my girl. She did a fine job snatching all kinds of chocolaty goods for her dad. We also managed to teach TLW to say Boo when she sees a ghost. Pretty funny.

On a seperate note. It's raining biblical proportions right now with a 'cross race set for high noon tomorrow. This WILL be fun. I figure there are two ways to look at it and I'm taking the "Oh yeah, this will be fun" approach. I reserve the right to change my mind when I see the course.

Happy Halloween all.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

(Un)Lucky 13

It’s amazing what a difference a year makes. Racing cross is a hard discipline. I don’t know anybody that would debate that. Whether you finish up front or in the middle or in the back, it’s hard. But, oh how funny it is, that, the closer you are to the front, the easier you can say it is. The suffering, the pain, doesn’t hurt quite as much. The sting doesn’t feel quite as bad.

In one race, Sunday at Wissahickon, I erased all the bad memories from last years races. There is a fine line between putting the work in vs mailing it in. Pride is a huge motivating factor for me. I race against some real fast guys. I know my place. I’m not talented enough to win races at my level. But I know if I truly put the effort in, if I truly put the work in, I can hang in amongst some pretty fast fellas. This season I’ve put in the work and I can say I’m proud of where I was at the end. Sure there were 12 others ahead of me. That’s not the point.

I guess it’s all about expectations. If I expect to race in the top 15 without putting the appropriate time and effort in, well, that’s just going to end badly. My lesson learned from last year is to refuse to put expectations on myself. There are a bunch of goal oriented, goal driven people that just wouldn’t understand that statement. Tough poo. This isn’t my retirement account, it’s bike racing. It’s not Elite Nationals, it’s the B’s or 35+. Putting expectations on myself last year took a lot of fun out of riding. Something I love wasn’t fun anymore. Even the best training rides last year still sucked. No more.

So, now, after a good result, I find myself looking ahead. I wasn’t even considering Beacon. Now, by putting the time and effort in, I’ve earned some MAC points and the right to a better starting spot. Would I be a fool to not take advantage of that? Probably. Would I rather spend November 10th hanging out with The Wifey and TLW? Definitely. Will I expect a result similar to Wissy if I do Beacon? What do you think?

Friday, October 19, 2007

Dinner with TLW

Little Haley has been practicing feeding herself the past few days. It's going pretty well although every once in a while she misses the target right or left by an inch or three. Regardless, she has a grand time doing it.

Granogue was going to be on my plate this weekend but I decided to race Wissy instead so that I could hang out with the Fam Saturday. The Wifey graduated from Messiah College and this weekend is the Homecoming so she wants to go do stuff and check out new buildings and watch Auntie Em play football and whatever else goes on. So, it just seems like a better day to chill. All things equal, I'd rather do Granogue but Wissy probably suits me better anyway.

Halloween is coming up fast. Do you have your costume yet? What are you going to be? I need answers dammit!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The sales guys usually tell me to shut the F* up.

As much as I hated the ‘cross race I did last Sunday in Philly, how could I have known such a cool positive would come out of it. I mean really, a crap course, hot stinky weather, multiple blisters, need I say more? I raced the Masters 35+ race. I finished 8th. Whatever.

So, I head out to do IC Lite Saturday. Unbeknownst to me, the officials do call-ups. Of the top ten from last weeks race only two were in attendance. The Legend gets a call-up. And little ‘ol me gets to line up right next to him. Then Kris Auer lines up right next to me. Damn, two of the fastest Elite masters on either side of me. I know both of those gents would say good luck and do well. It was honor to be there. It was an absolute thrill to ride their wheels for the first two minutes of the race. I’m realistic, I don’t belong up there but it was a tremendous advantage to get on their wheels and let the race stretch out. The course was a blast. I think the ubiquitous spiral of death is just plain silly. Last years IC Lite had a small one. Dumb. Whissy has one. Dumb. However, this years IC Lite had a HUGE spiral. So huge you could totally stay on the gas all the way through it. I was so extremely hooked up tire-wise. With all the swoopy corners the course just flowed so well. The woodsy singletrack had a log which was bunny-hopable. All in all, just a fun time. It didn’t hurt that I hung on for 5th place. I was only approx 20 seconds off the podium. How cool would that have been. It was also great to have The Wifey and The Little Woman cheering me on.

Did I mention as I was doing my final warm-up lap before the race I coast up next to a dude dressed in Gary Fisher digs and a Trek XO-2. I was pretty certain who he was but I chatted briefly with him just to be sure. “Are you racing today”? “Yep” “Cool”. “You”? “Yep”. Blah blah blah. Finally I say my name is Don. He replies, “I’m Keith, good to meet you”. So there you have it. I’m doing a warm-up lap with Keith Bontrager. Friendly dude too.

Today I got out for a nice hard hilly ride. I’m now good and proper sore. A one hour massage awaits me Tuesday morning. Can’t wait.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


Yes, that IS pee and No I did NOT pee on myself.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


I was flipping through some books tonight with Haley. The Wifey usually spends time doing this nearly every day but I was astounded at how quickly she reacted to different pictures and textures and fragrances on the pages. I guess it's pretty typical for kids her age to be little rocket surgeons and also pretty typical for fathers to realize at this point that his little daughter will pass his intelligence before she hits 5. My days are numbered.


Saturday, September 29, 2007

Vegas Vacation

Hebe and I flew out to catch Interbike this week. It’s pretty overwhelming to show up at an event like that and not have a game plan. I was attending more from a kid in a candy store viewpoint rather than official business. Makes the whole thing just a little more palatable. Hebe was able to get some good things done relating to the MAC.

What I was really looking forward to was the Cross Vegas event. Cool venue. It was off The Strip a little ways but a huge amount of people attended so it was pretty crazy during the men’s race. Leech was awesome considering it was his first ‘cross race of the year while practically everyone else ahead of him has raced at least once if not twice last weekend. Factor in the non-Americans and you had a field that could be considered the strongest ever assembled for a ‘cross race on U.S. soil. Unofficially 26th place. Nice racing Ry.

Trebon - Page - Wicks

Leech is in there

Disco Tony

Thursday night before we had to catch our red-eye back home we hung out at the Mandalay Bay for the World Crit Finals. That was real cool too. Cipo raced the Industry Cup and never left 5th wheel the entire time until he ate shit with two to go. Ooops, not how that was meant to go. The men’s race was funt to watch but we had to split before it ended. You can watch all those events online here.

All in all it was a great time. I didn’t even mention the dirt demo, which, given my great ambivalence towards mtb’s, was tremendous to see everyone have road bikes to ride on closed roads. Nice.

We landed in Harrisburg around 9:45am Friday and I was at work by noon. I just didn’t want to use a vacation day and spend it sleeping all day. Unlike Hebe, I did NOT sleep thirteen hours once I did get to bed Friday night but I’m sure if you count lounging on the couch before and after sleeping it was probably close.

Most of all, I really missed my two very lovely women. I did some quick shopping for Haley and I would have liked to get something for Erin but I literally had not one more square inch to store anything. I bought TLW a hoodie from the Paul Frank store and some socks at the Puma store. She’ll be a trendy little woman now.

Hebe and Leech are fun to hang with. Good times.

That’s all.

Saturday, September 15, 2007