Monday, August 4, 2014

Get Ready For A Hectic End of Non Race Season Schedule

Get your riding/partying non race shoes on, here is what the MRC has in store for you in the month of August -

Saturday 8/23 - Chinaman 100k (aka Kenny Chin 100K)
Beautiful scenery
Only one climb (yeah it is about 10 miles long)
A death defying descent (see the Gran Fondo KoM, Braveheart, show off his gravitational skills)
Espresso stop at Grace - ah duh, this is the MRC
A BBQ to rival all BBQs hosted by the infamous Top Chef
Hot tub heaven on Mr & Mrs Top Chef's back deck

Saturday 8/30 - Red Neck Roubaix
Venture to the home state of Jerry Sandusky for some amazing gravel grinding
A rare appearance by the one and only Mayor
Yet another MRC BBQ
Beer, beer and moar beer

Saturday 9/20 - Beer Cross
The non race responsible for all this insanity
A party like no other party
Water ballon gauntlet
Run through the barn party pit stop
Beer, beer, beer and even moar beer
A massive celebration as Braveheart joins the "Fuck You 50s"

Keep you eyeballs glued to this blog and your Facebook pages for moar details, these are events that if you miss you will want to inflict maximum pain on yourself for being so stooped.

Save The Date & Hide The Children - This Is One You Don't Want To Miss

And if you missed it here are some of the antics that went down at last year's season ending non race -

Gran Fondo - Powered By Excitement

Hello there rabid fangirls and loyalistas of the NECS, once again we are rather tardy in bringing what is sure to be a spellbinding non race report from the 6th annual NECS/MRC Gran Fondo but there is good reason. So infamous is our event in the close knit world of non racing that coverage of the event was spearheaded by these two characters.
The influential friends and bank accounts of the MRC were able to convince NBC Sports to leave the reporting duties of that second tier race, the Tour de France, in the capable hands of Bobkie and Christian and once the final circuits of the Champs were done the following non race report was quickly penned.
Arriving at NECS HQ all the riders were greeted by our official mascot, Towelie, who wanted to make sure that nobody forgot to bring a towel for the post ride BBQ. So inspired were the MRC board of directors that there was a super secret board meeting being held behind these very doors as the paparazzi were snapping shots. And this was no ordinary board meeting, the very direction of the remaining non race series was being discussed over red leafed lettuce and Beekman 1802 blaak cheese (from the Amsterdam store).
Full up with the required provisions the board came out to the shareholders meeting and quickly assessed that this was the perfect group for the days rolling terrain where the pack would put in a hard day of non racing.
After pleasantries were passed among the peleton and the first of the rollers appeared it was if the dogs had been unleashed and immediately our beloved Braveheart was dancing on the pedals up the climb to Trapps bridge. Top Chef and C-Dubbs looked at each other, turned to Makers Mark and commented that it was going to be a hard day of non racing. Clearly Braveheart was laying down the foundations for a run at the polka dot jersey. In no time most were on the rivet and early signs of the troubles to come emerged as riders were tailed off the back on the final ramp up to the bridge.
#Gran Fondo Selfie
Due to the torrid pace we arrived at the High Falls "feed zone" in record time before the crowds had an opportunity to congregate on the roadside and cheer on the warriors of the asphalt. As with all MRC non races the "musettes" consisted of pastries and single or double espressos. Like panting dogs in the heat of August drinking any liquid around the challengers for the Lantern Rouge stepped up (with the pace Braveheart was setting that was most of us) and went for the triple espressos.
The Newest MRC Endorsed Espresso Station
Top Chef - Zen Master of the Espresso
Makers Mark Getting Her Espresso
Fired up on the high octane beans of goodness we passed the infamous ice caves of Rosendale where even on the hottest days of summer the flow of cold air is so fierce everyone was blastin nips as we rode by.
Revived by the cooling powers of the mighty caves Braveheart continued riding on courage as he assaulted the climb up the Keator Ave climb and continued the blazing a lonely trail up front on the run down Springtown Road. With Dubbs drilling it at the front of the chasing pack, Makers Mark knows a good wheel and was right on me like a fly on shit making sure everyone was going forward as one in an attempt to chase down Braveheart.
Powered by excitement, Braveheart continued drilling it all the way down Brunswick Road to the base of the feared Shaft Road climb. Sucking his wheel the whole way Dubbs had planned on making his move for glory as everyone turned onto Shaft but right away Braveheart was going full gas for the summit. Slowly clawing back to his rear wheel Dubbs received "the look" and was dropped, right there we all knew we were racing for second place and there was no stopping the crazed Scotsman. With Obamador guiding Long Lost Rich to the summit Braveheart sealed the KoM with two seconds and a first.
With the group wilting under the Scotsman's brutal pace our new "Patron of the Peleton" guided us back to HQ where rounds of the Peruvian beer drinking game Sapos commenced. 
And moar NECS/MRC branded swag was handed out to ensure maximum enjoyment of the ice cold beers. It was at this point that Braveheart learned that the pain one dishes out to win the KoM does come full circle. This year the prize for winning the KoM was a choice - a game of roshambo with the non race organizer or chug two pints (which Braveheart quickly and happily consumed).
Remember gone are the painfests of past Gran Fondos and despite the Scotsman putting the hurt on everyone during the climbs this truly was a kinder and gentler Fondo. Keep that in mind and make sure to have this one on the calendar next year.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

#Gran Fondo

#Time to shit or get off the pot
#Harden The Fuck Up
#These brave warriors have Superior Attitude Superior State of Mind
#Top Chef
#The Rose (as in wine) Queen
# Earl The Pearl
#Cathy "Makers Mark"
#Turbo Boost
#Rich Long
#Frank D
#Not Over 40
#John D

#9:00 Rollout
#668 Sand Hill Rd in Gardiner
#Six Pack entry
#Surprise finish
#Outdoor shower
#Gran Fondo Grand Prize

#Instant Gran Fondo winner if you tread water here for 30 minutes.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Roll Call

Okay you losers, here is the list of intelligent people that know where their bread is buttered (Bread Alone) and where the espresso will be poured (High Falls Coffee Shop)…don't be a loser and miss this incredible non event -
Top Chef
Mrs Top Chef (aka Rose Queen)
Rich L
Turbo Boost
Earl the Pearl
Mrs Earl (aka Cathy, aka Makers Mark Queen)

Get signed up, for a six pack of beer you can't beat it.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

ATTENTION! Line Up, Sign Up & Reenlist Today - It's Gran Fondo Time

Alright you maggots, it's time to drop and give me 60. I don't care if it's 60 miles, 60 pushups or 60 ounces of beer, just bring a 6 pack and let me know by email, text or blog comment if you are in so we have a head count. Don't forget there will be a valuable door prize for everyone that does make it and a Gran Fondo of a prize for the overall non winner.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

MRC Non Racer Pulled From Gran Fondo

In a bizarre incident, police stopped and arrested a Latin American rider while he was leading Spain’s most prestigious gran fondo, the Quebrantahuesos event, across the Pyrénées on Saturday.
Señor Agua Caliente had won the first two editions of Beer Cross and was dipping his wick in a first try the popular event but was yanked from the race 30km from the finish by agents from Spain’s Guardia Civil when he was poised to win yet another growler of fine crafted beer.
According to reports in the Spanish media, the presence of Señor Agua Caliente raised the ire of event organizers. Caliente had been banned for life in recumbent crit racing for doping infractions, and also had previously served a ban as a pro partier when showed up for a non race in a chicken suit.
The Spanish daily MARCA reported that organizers did not invite Caliente to compete, but he reportedly earned a spot in the 205km gran fondo by lottery. When event officials saw that he was in position to win as one of a leading pair of riders, police intervened to remove him from the race about 30km from the finish line.
Event officials cited their “right of admission” to rationalize their dramatic step to remove Caliente, who created a polemic among the Spanish cycling community when he was allowed to race last year and won the elite event.
According to a report on the Spanish wire service EFE, agents tried three times to stop Caliente during the event. When he was finally detained in the town of Hoz de Jaca, he was later transported to a local bar and served countless pitchers to weigh down his wooden leg and hinder his chances of escaping.
More than 10,000 cyclists participated in the event over the weekend, including former pros Miguel Indurain and Abraham Olano.
For more in depth dirt on this spectacular event make sure to be at the non starting line 7/12 for a 9:00 roll.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Moar Gran Fondo Updates

The mark of a truly great rider is the ability to focus on the task at hand no matter what the level of adversity. As you can see from this shot there are MRCistas that are taking the Gran Fondo almost as serious as some of the jerks that actually dope for these type of events.
So serious is this event viewed on the East Coast circuit that Velonews recently pulled Andrew Hood off the Tour de Suisse coverage and flew him all the way in from Europe to get the inside skinny on just what makes this event so spectacular.

VN: C-Dubbs, do you mind just going with Dubbs?

Dubbs: No problem Andrew, we are pretty laid back here at the MRC/NECS

VN: Your Fondo is going on right as the TdF pushes into the high mountains for the first time, do you see this as drawing interest and participation away from the event?

Dubbs: Not really, we offer the opportunity for our riders to get high in the mountains as well, uh I mean get into the high mountains (of the Catskills). It really is all a matter of preference, french roast coffee and red wine or kick ass on-the-course espressos and the finest micro brewed craft beers. Hell we don't have any tolerance for that Euro kind of shit, unless of course it is a Colnago. C'mon, which would you rather do, wheelchair quarterback a climb in the Alps with Phil Liggett or get on board a man train along the Wallkill river powered by excitement and a cooler full of beers at the end. Besides we don't have random drug testing, only random drug taking.

VN: Your comments tend to make one think this is a fast and loose event with anything going.

Dubbs: Not quite, we run a tight ship. With a steep 6 pack entry fee everyone is expected to consume some mind altering substance along the ride. To ensure a good time for all there will be the super secret cooler stop.

VN: Prudhomme is able to bring in top teams such as Sky, Tinkoff and Garmin and their top riders. Who do you have and how do you manage to get them here rather then France?

Dubbs: Top teams, from what I hear the ethics can be a bit questionable and those "marginal gains" come in the form of TUEs and Tramadol. We have most of the New East Coast Syndicate, MRC and a smattering of the kings of the non race peleton, Team Seagal. I fully expect to see the first half dominated by the likes of Braveheart who will put on a display of powered by excitement that would make Marcel Kittel's power meter jealous. Hopefully MacGyver will be there pulling the man train down Springtown Road.

VN: Teams work together to get their leader to the line with the lowest overall time to secure the Malliot Jaune, just what is the focus at your Gran Fondo?

Dubbs: We take a different approach with the winner being based on most and not least only this year it will be the highest overall score in our post ride playoff which will also mean the most booze consumed by the winner. (looking at his watch) Andrew I really have to get going to fine tune some of the logistics for the event. I can tell you this, Saturday 7/12 with a rollout at 9:00am from Casa de C-Dubbs (668 Sand Hill Road, Gardiner) followed up with a great BBQ. Showers will be available on premises so don't forget to bring a towel.

Dark Horse 628 Challenge

Well fellow worshipers of the NECS/MRC, it has been awhile since I have been in a state of mind where I could put fingers to keyboard and write something that was truly meaningless but entertaining. The Dark Horse 628 challenge has provided that fodder for me so here it goes.

You will recall in the last post, Time To Roll A Fatty, that due to a sudden economic upturn in the life of C-Dubbs, a persistent plying of beers by the Mayor to get me into a drunken stupor, and not having fallen or crashed on the test ride, decided that what better way to participate in the 628 Challenge/Scavenger Hunt on the trails of Stewart State Forest then on a fatty – enter the Towelie bike. As excited as a child on Cxmas morning.

I arrived early at Dark Horse to finalize the set up and raid the kegerator for a couple of rounds of some fine craft brewed yeasty malted beverages to ensure optimal navigation and bike handling skills on the trail. A few Montauk Brewery Summer Pale Ales later and I was assured that the odds of getting lost were going to be slim as my teammate, Muttonchops, came equipped with a map.
With such reassurance and the carefree attitude that comes from several beers, we did a bit of team building by hanging around the kegerator and pouring a few more cans of liquid courage down our throats. We lubricated and feeling the new bike fasties we were as sure a bet as California Chrome.
Using a technique learned from the great NJ Transit conductor, Mike “The Calf” Montebano, and to combat Infantile Tom syndrome at the first stop on Ridge Rd I punched all stops on the ticket. Crossing the great swamp the fatties put up such a big wake we caught this shot of the Stewart wildlife.
Pulling up to the turn for the dump at Major Mike we held a quick team meeting and determined that with our superior attitude (of having fun) and superior state of mind (due to a lot of scripture reading) our mere presence in the vicinity of the hole puncher was as sure a thing a actually getting to the sight. Such profound insight enabled us to flip the bird and rail some awesome single track. It was on the Campground Trail that I first discovered that with 4.6” wide tires at 8 psi you can pull some awesome moves that rival Vin Diesel in The Fast & The Furious Tokyo Drifts. Plowing up the climb to the Ranger Station as everyone was passing us going the opposite direction that we had indeed made the correct choice – f*#k the direct route, railing some hardpacked single track was the right call.
After a brief Micro G teleconference where (the rest of the MRC Board was unavailable) is was down the Orchard Trail before a spin by the Beaver Pond, at least we got within a ¼ mile which was close enough for government work, before passing the base of Washboard Hill and racking up yet another hole punch. From there it was a direct fatty roll up Baron Road to the Umbrella Factory and then onto the old steps on Barron Road and onward to Dark Horse Cycles. Pulling across the line in second MacGyver was up in arms not believing that a fatty could have possibly completed the course that fast and he was right. But who cares, we didn’t claim to have finished and in the spirit of NECS/MRC non racing Muttonchops and I were the absolute winners based solely on the great time and awesome trails we rode compared to the dirt roads everyone else rolled. Following the ride we were once again treated to an amazors BBQ hosted by the Mayor & his better half and the Raveinator & his better half. Along with the turf and surf spread there was a bit of crooning with the Makers Mark bottle by the ladies and we want to give a special welcome to a new member – Cathy the Maker’s Mark Queen.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Time To Roll A Fatty

Well it is the first month that the Wicked Witch of the North is no longer screeching at me with a voice that is worse than fingernails dragged down a blackboard and sucking money out of my wallet. And what better way to enjoy the peace and quiet after 21 years of torture then to roll a nice big fatty. So off to Dark Horse Cycles where after a casual Sunday morning road ride and the Mayor plying me with fine yeasty malted beverages I had just enough of a buzz to take a spin and lay down the plastic and pick up a Specialized Fatboy.
What does this mean for all you devout followers, well later this year we will be hosting the first NECS/MRC off road non race - Roll A Fatty. So stay tuned for moar details on what will certainly be another top quality event.
Speaking of high quality events put a circle on your calendar for 7/12 when Gran Fondo will roll out of the Casa de C-Dubbs for a 60 mile journey around the East side of the ridge. 6 pack entry fee, surprise challenge to determine the non winner and of course a riverside BBQ hosted by Mrs. C-Dubbs. Details will be fast in furious in the coming weeks so stay tuned.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Condensed Version Of May

Alright I admit, I have been a lazy mofo and frankly the dribble that pours out of my brain cells and onto this blog just hasn't been dribbling, in fact it has been a downright case of brain fade. Still caught in this death spiral and realizing that all of the action of May is getting to the point where Alzheimer's is going to prevent anyone from ever knowing the true story here it is in the most condensed version ever.
  • Casey Ryback comes to town
    • Beer
    • Moar Beer
    • Imported stash of fine STL craft beers invades my fridge
    • Moar Beer
    • Moar Beer
    • No upper deckers (amazing)
  • 5 Borough Bike Tour
    • Cool & Cloudy
    • Healthy helping of Lebanese black cheese for breakfast
    • Flask full of Hudson Valley Baby Bourbon
    • 26" singlespeed
    • Beth, Mona, Seth & 32,000 of my closest riding buddies
    • Moar carnage in one day then in 10 yrs of mtb racing
    • Backboards, neck braces, lots of blood
    • Woman screaming as she crashes, now ex-boyfriend yelling "Ah come on Honey"
    • Ferry ride home
  • Bear Mountain Beatdown
    • Obamafear thins the ranks to 3 hardcores
    • Climbing, climbing, climbing and moar climbing
    • If the choice was between going down or up the course always went up
    • Scoped part of that back alley event - NY Gran Fondo (course was for sissies)
    • Tour of West Point
    • Fact of the day - Custer changed uniforms with a dead corporal so his balls wouldn't end up on Chief Sitting Bull's teepee mantle
    • Finished up Mountain Road the steep way to earn big beers
  • Obamabeatdown
    • State Trooper riding buddy
    • Attacked by a car
    • Lots of road rash, scabs and a few broken ribs
    • Discovering the pleasure of hospital morphine
    • On the road to recovery
  • Gran Fondo Scouting Ride
    • Kinder & gentler
    • 60 miles
    • 3500' climbing
    • Espresso and beer stops reconnoitered
And that's it for now, stayed tuned for moar posting on the upcoming original NECS/MRC non race - Gran Fondo

Monday, May 19, 2014

Tentative 2014 Non Race Series Schedule

While we are still recovering from the Bear Mountain Beatdown a quick post for the tentative dates of the summer of non racing. All dates are subject to the whim and fancy of the organizer so stay tuned for  moar details -

Gran Fondo - 7/12
Big Indian Scalping - 7/26
Chinaman 100 - 8/23
Redneck Roubaix - 8/31
Beer Cross - 9/13

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Time To Report For Duty


NECS warriors, Mission Bear Mountain Beatdown will take place this weekend. You are ordered to report for duty at 0900 hours. Equipment should include a battle hardened taint, superior attitude and superior state of mind.
Date - 5/17
Place - 45 Quaker Avenue, Cornwall
AT EASE!!!!!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Game On - Bear Mountain Beatdown

The official  NECS/MRC non-race season kicks off in 10 days on Saturday 5/17 with the much feared El Obamador pain session, The Bear Mountain Beatdown. So far this season your esteemed author has managed to do a minimal of riding and a maximum of partying (thanks to Coach's visit to NYC) resulting in a gravitational shift that should prove to be quite challenging over the climbs (with the summit of Mt Kohler being the extent of this season's climbing). I can assure you if being a voyeur of pain and suffering gets your rocks off come and watch me inflict the maximum amount of suffering upon myself in the shortest amount of time.

Time and starting location will be released in the coming days so stay tuned. And remember this ride will leave you feeling like our furry friend at the end of this clip.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Cragsmoor Bandit Non Race

The NECS/MRC non race season kicked off this past weekend with our first MTB oriented ride – Boyd’s Pain Train. The sudden switch does not represent a change in the core philosophy of the NECS/MRC (if we start having recumbent non races that is another thing), just a realignment with the priorities of our core troops. With Singlespeed-a-Palooza just a month away everyone is looking to maximize the skill sets and inflict maximum pain and suffering  that go along with no shifters.
With spring just days away and the weekend starting out with a mild 50 degree day we opted for the “I’m With Stupid” approach and elected to roll out on Sunday when the temps were a sperm bank storage levels of below 20F. As you can see from this picture our Man O’Steel had no problems with serving it up in the subfreezing conditions.
And the crazed one, Mr. Monte, can be seen here discussing the benefits of a 32x15 setup for a day that includes a 5 mile climb. I recall Not Over Forty mumbling something about lacking the man parts to handle that as he looked dejectedly at the ground.
Having slathered enough emBROcation on my body to fry an egg we set off for the rendezvous with young Boyd, the brain trust (of should that be lack of brain trust) on this day of infamy. Lucky for Man O’Steel we met up with young Boyd at his house where M O’S swapped his summer weight gloves for ones designed for the cold winter. Immediately the earth pointed up and the suffering began in earnest (at least it seemed that way) and after cresting the ridge summit on some unmarked dirt roads it was down the backside for a case of wind chill induced frostbite. Just to add a bit of excitement the previous day’s melt off was well represented with patches of black ice that had most doing an impersonation of a moving tripod. We even made a run past Michael Vick’s dog fighting camp where a pair of pit bulls encouraged everyone to take additional risks on the descent.
Once at the bottom we formed up into a one geared man train and spun our way to the heart of Ellenville and Aroma Thyme, the end point of the Big Indian Scalping
With memories of Aroma Thyme fading like the winter sun the man train headed up the lower slopes of 52. Not having ridden on the road or climbed more than a staircase in the past 5 months this was clearly shaping up as a stupid decision on my part. Man O’Steel and Mr. Happy accelerated away and missed the turn up Self Inflicted Pain Street while the rest of us made the ill fated decision to veer left and immediately start a steeper climb. About half way up, Monte being Monte and Obamador always wanting to take a turn if it means going uphill, the two departed up a steep climb despite calls from the troops to stop. We all had a good chuckle seeing the sign off to one side – Dead End. SIP St is a nice 4-5 mile climb that is primarily hard packed and packs a lot of steep pitches that make you want to cry for mommy and cry for her I did. Especially the final 20+ degree pitch to the summit.
A brief tour of the parking lot at Cragsmoor ice caves and it was a 5 mile downhill arctic blast that left the remnants of my water bottle frozen and Obamador’s ears redder then a commie. All survived, mission accomplished with 28.5 miles and 3100' of climbing. Stay tuned for updates on the Bear Mountain Beatdown.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Bandit Non-Race This Sunday - Boyd's Pain Train

Sorry for the last minute notification but there is a bandit non race on Sunday, Boyd's Pain Train. All I know is it's singlespeeds,
pitches up to 16-18% and sustained climbs of 4 to 5 miles with pitches from 7%-14% and the creator has described as VERY PAINFUL. Now if you don't have sand in the nether regions we will look forward to seeing you in some preseason agony, or as we like to think of it as an early season prep for the upcoming Bear Mountain Beatdown.
GPS to the dirt lot at  by 10:00am -
3601 Route 52
Pine Bush, NY
(corner of Weeds Road & Route 52)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Game On - 2014 Non Race Season

Just letting everyone know the NECS/MRC is still alive and well. Continuing on the metric theme of the Chinaman 100k this year's Gran Fondo has adopted the metric standard and will also be 100k with a very kind and gentle 3200' of climbing. No KOM, no sprint points, just plain simple fun on the east side of the ridge. Here you go -

Friday, January 3, 2014

Is The End The Beginning Or Is The Beginning The End?

Where to begin? Well maybe it is better to begin where it ends and the end begins right in my own backyard. After a winter of heavy drug abuse beating down Lyme’s
the cool spring temps and raging hormones had me feeling frisky in the saddle and ready to revisit the good old ultra pain cave.
And what better way is there to blow the dust off the old bike then with a El Obamador inspired thrashing – The Bear Mountain Beatdown. This classic MRC ride is the cycling equivalent of the Farmer’s Almanac, giving a preseason look into just how much Jan Ulrich pastry eating one has been up to over the winter.
Being on point with the Marine Corp contingent (Brian Man O’Steel & El Obamador) proved to be rather painful but was a good reference that all had not been lost over the past 8 months of treatments. Struggling over the passes the reward at the end made it all worthwhile and appropriately summed up what the day was like.
Feeling manly from survival training on the BMBD it was off to the Wildcat 100, a dirty century held right in my backyard. Signing up was mistake number 1, riding it on a cold rainy day was mistake number 2 and thinking the organizer would properly mark the course was mistake number 3. Cold, wet and thoroughly marinated in a lactic acid sauce by the time I reached the summit of Minnewaska State Park it was a call to Mrs C-Dubbs to come save my sorry ass from this miserable event and park it on the sofa with a hot rum toddy. At long last it looked like the streak of 18 straight completed dirty centuries had come to an end, it wasn’t until the next day when I found out the less than obvious course markings had resulted in a race closer to 90 miles – streak intact! Lesson learned……like Roberto Duran, NO MAS for these races.
With the racing page having been turned and a kinder/gentler C-Dubbs on the bike, the annual Gran Fondo changed from the leg burning multi-mile climb event to a more scenic tour of Ulster/Sullivan counties. There continued to be outbreaks of sandinmymanginaitis in the NECS ranks but we also welcomed our newest female member to the pack – Yo Bike Chick. The new route also included the addition of the Jack & Luna’s espresso stop and the all time new favorite of the NECS/MRC – Grace Espresso. With everyone shaking from the second round of doubles Yo Bike Chick, along with 2 time defending Beer Cx champ Senior Agua Calinete, and C-Dubbs handled the sweep duties to ensure everyone made it back to Casa de C-Dubbs for the post ride BBQ.
Now throwing in the towel on the dirty centuries didn’t have all that much of an impact on my desire to inflict maximum carnage on myself, only this year it was on the road rather than trail. With two marquee events (Death Ride & D2R2) coming in the next 6 weeks and a total implosion in the final miles of the Gran Fondo, it was time to step up to the plate and swing for the fences – Big Indian Scalping. For those not in the know this short video gives one a taste of what the day’s event was really like (and it was so hard that even the Man O’Steel and El Obamador passed on the final climb for early beers)
Big Indian is a ride so brutal that on a good day might have enough riders to go to your second hand to count them but in most cases if you finish you are assured a podium place. This year was no different with me being the Wall St meat in a Marine Corp sandwich – i.e. Man O’Steel and El O really put the hurt on me all day long. The climbs (such as Glade Hill) offer up extended sections of 15+ degree pitches that made you want to trade places with this pig
The highlight of the ride is the Big Indian climb, 13 up and 13 down, and the down is really tasty.
Jacked on Bread Alone espresso the pain train revved up for the reverse Peakamoose climb where I featured the rare double axel dismount at the bottom of the final 20 degree pitch. I mean seriously, WTF am I doing to myself? To add just that little extra hurt El O took us up Red Hill Road and while I cursed him on the way up the way down was a flowing speedway where we blew by a State Trooper and didn’t get a ticket. Game on for the Death Ride.

Death - the cessation of all biological functions that sustain a living organism.
Ride - to transport oneself by sitting on and directing a horse, later also a bicycle etc.
Death Ride – transporting oneself by bicycle to finish where one started while attempting to cause cessation of all bodily functions.

As much as you don’t want to admit it, deep down we all have that primal desire to ride the equivalent of a Grand Tour mountain stage. A quick flight to Lake Tahoe, some nicely thinned out summit air (8700’+) and a taint hardened by miles of El Obamador suffering and you are ready for California’s one and only Death Ride. After a 5:30am start, 5 mountain passes, beers with the Wild Women of Ebbetts Pass (before and after the pass),
several elliptical and recumbent bicycles later I must quote Top Chef “I finished and there is no reason to ever do that again”.
Next it was time for an exclusive Obamador D2R2 training camp only this time we were going nuclear on the Nwodtaeb Niatnuom Raeb, a mainly reverse course of the Bear Mountain Beatdown and with the newest NECS member Paul U-235. This is a guy that rides down to NYC on a whim, does a few laps of the Central Park and rides back home – all on a Cx bike with knobbies. Attempting to mirror this with on 40mm tires and under 80 lbs of pressure was a bad choice. By the time we pierced the Eruv and entered Kiryas Joel I had suffered so much I was ready to trade in the spandex for a Torah and orthodox wife to make it all end. Sadly the community wanted nothing to do with me and I was banished to Bear Mountain State Park and with a small amount of goading I stupidly agreed to a summit assault. 88 miles, 8500’ of climbing and it was on the sofa with cold beers aplenty.
The move from racing to riding culminated with the D2R2 where I set about keeping up with El O and Turbo Boost, the newest and youngest member of the NECS (folding during this ride was not an option, nothing would be worse than to take a beating at the hands of a 14 year old). One of the fantastic things about D2R2 is the mix of old and new school riding attire/bikes. You have to tip your helmet to these guys riding in wool sweaters, Nantucket reds and penny loafers
Add to the mix no course markers and only the cue sheets you had made up (NOT!) and it was going to be an interesting day on the bike. Was the climbing, hell yes, probably 35-40 different hills with one hitting just over 40% grade on the GPS – could barely walk up that sucker. Having spent a leisurely day touring the backwoods of Massachusetts and Vermont we miss judged the time and had to cut off the last climb to make it back before sunset as we were sans lights (and I don’t think I would have wanted to try and find my way around the course in the dark). Looks like I have some unfinished business and will be back next year.
With the end of the summer tradition (read that to be partying) reigns supreme at the NECS/MRC. Past seasons have seen the fall leaves giving way to the Chinaman 100 and the first potential snows blanketing the Beer Cross course. This year due to musical commitments made while under the influence of numerous hoppy IPAs our own Top Chef had to move the Chinaman to late September. Braveheart quickly stepped in and established as an end of summer non race to maximize on the sunlight for a long warm day of partying. Based on the success of this year’s event you can miss your wedding or your child’s birth but you don’t want to miss this extravaganza. A snapped derailleur, middle finger outfit, taunting of the water balloon gauntlet and 40 minute run around the course (how I didn’t puke my guts out after that is another story) my cycling career was complete as I was knighted winner of Beer Cx by Sir Braveheart of Stone Ridge.
The Chinaman 100 closed out a season with the initiation of a series of new members to the ranks – Remora (first class wheel sucker), Dude (the MRC ambassador to surfing) and our favorite name – Stoned Gibert
Along with the new members Mrs Top Chef aka The Rose Queen, thrilled the crowds with a first time participation in this fall classic. And a Top Chef event can only be a Top Chef event when the post ride BBQ gets going, and as you can see from this shot we feasted like kings!
Final confirmation that my racing days are over came in the form of a government shutdown. Willing to take one for the team (Team Seagal/Clouds of Jenkem), I headed West for the Ozark fall classic – Burnin’ At The Bluff only thanks to the infants in Washington the weekend turned into a fantastic sampling of the Ozark’s finest singletrack. The highlights of the weekend were the sunset ride to the summit of Johnson Mountain and a swim session in Council Bluff lake during the race.
So where does all of this mean for 2014? Not much more then having fun on the bike, riding with my amigos, the NECS/MRC non race series, D2R2 and of course Burnin At The Bluff. If I don’t see you on the road/trails this year your not having fun…..keep’em flying.