Saturday, October 31, 2009


Maybe its vain, but I LOVE this shot. A little pain (still early in the race I'm guessing) and a bunch of concentration in the front on shot. All pics courtesy of Jason Marcella's Facebook album. Thanks Jason!

Never planned on racing but things worked out with a super cheap build on the Redline cross frame which I never managed to sell and I ended up racing the 3/4, killer B's. Felt good to be out there and the crowds were amazing! I heard so many people cheering for me and others riding through there with Kmax, Kevin, Maxblud even. Pretty cool stuff.

I started out in about the 90's (my race number was 396 and I was in the third to last row starting since I begged my way in to the race the night before at set up) so I wasn't expecting too much out of myself aside from hopefully a solid move up in the final outcome. Since Darren had so enthusiastically encouraged me to race (so he could have a teammate to beat) my single real goal for the race was to beat him. At the line I could see him a number of rows ahead of me but I was still holding on to some hope there.

Alex put in a great final race as a DC resident. Thursday the week after he moved to San Fran. We'll miss him and his ridiculous consistency and smooth riding style. He happens to be a really cool guy on top of that too.

Race started, I nearly bowled Ryan D over at the top of the first grassy climb after he rolled his second tubular for the day and then settled in to try and pick some folks off. I was going along really well and loving the course, though it'd gotten significantly mushy and slower from all the rain the day before. Still the pre-riding on Saturday was huge as I felt totally comfortable with taking inside lines and sticking to it when I knew I could.

Pretty early on I was chasing Mike S from my team and I yo-yo'd a bit behind him before finally coming up with some pop to get by and away. Right after that I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw Darren just a few turns ahead of me. Apparently he'd gone out super hard then blown his back and was going backwards quick. I snuck up on him and coming up the road to the reg area I passed him with a "goochie goochie goo" (I have no idea where that came from...) and got on it to get some seperation. I figured he'd have jumped it and not let me getaway but instead me passing crushed his spirit even more and he fell back quickly. It's ok Darren, I still love ya!

Marc G put himself onto the podium with an awesome effort in the 35+ Masters race! Awesome, oh and was co-promoting the race!

After that I kept riding hard where I could, catching and passing people on the tight and turny sections while gettng dropped on some of the longer straightaways and mushy slow sections. Eventually I caught up to Corey T and said something about the slow mushy stuff. That got him going again and I lost contact there pretty solidly for a bit. Later on though I was battling out on of the straightaways, basically in a full out sprint trying to stay ahead of another guy. That reeled in Corey and put me by him though I dropped off the pace of the other guy pretty hard and fell behind him permanently.

I managed to hold Corey off by just a bit, though had there been another lap he'd certainly have pulled me back in. I did manage to hold off an NCVC guy I'd been back and forth with for most of the race also, with me passing and pulling ahead on the same little technical climb and him getting back a while later through the swampy grass just a bit before the finish. The last lap I didn't let that happen.

Now I'm again pumped to do some more cross. Hopefully next year I can get myself out there and really work it including some actual cross training and practice. That DCCX course is so much FUN!

Matty D put in an awesome effort for 13th in the 3/4 despite promoting and running DCCX!

Working the awards was a lot of fun too. Getting to be in the middle of everything and see all the happy and excited winners. Good stuff! Matty and Marc do an amazing job as race directors and it sounds like for the 3rd year in a row they've put on the top area race. Happy I could be a small part of that for the last 3 years!

Oh and to the woman who took the hand up just past the finish... That was awesome!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Weekend recap

I've been upping my running miles for the last few weeks/months, capping off my build up this past weekend with a 23 miler on the Potomac Heritage Trail. I wasn't breaking any land speed records (my total run time was right around 5 hours), but considering the terrain, my limited knowledge of the trail system and the self supported nature of the run I consider my progress on this one to be pretty good. Most of the trial was pretty rooty and rocky with some sections downright treacherous including some pretty serious rock scrambling up a water fall (Cass actually swam one portion of the scramble while I went up and over some boulders in the way).

In the end I basically covered the entire PHT from Roosevelt Island out to 495 and back with a few somewhat lengthy off-shoots mixed in for good measure. In some trail running advice forums I've been following lately I've seen an abundance of the attitude, "there are 2 types of trail runners; those who have (and continue to) fallen on occasion and those that will." Being as how I'd yet to take a trail running spill I kept my mouth shut so as not to jinx myself.

Saturday's run, turned out to be the one. Ironically enough, it wasn't any of the steep or technical tough spots in the trail that got me. Instead it was simply a damp log with a slightly downhill angle to it that took me by surprise as I planted my full weight on my left foot on top of it. The resulting slam down on my knee was worrisome for a minute but once the initial shock pain went away I was left with what amounted essentially to a skinned knee and maybe a little bruise.

15 miles later I was still going strong with no ill effects aside from the occasional strange look after finishing while stopping in a gas station for a drink and some ice for the bath tub at home.

Sunday an easy ride at Wakefield with Vinny and Chris (Leland) showed me just how tired my dogs really were and Monday's cloudy day saw me stuck in a rut with no motivation to leave the couch aside from a very small bit of bike work in the morning with Brian.

Some semi related tid bits:
-the thompson seatpost on the Jamis is perfect, w/ just the right amount of layback.
-I'm feeling good with wider and lighter FSA XC-190 bars on the Jamis and felt good slipping between tight trees at Wakefield on Sunday's ride.
-The WTB Weirwolf tires are feeling pretty supple, connecting well and definitely feel better on the front end in comparison to the stock ignitor's I've been riding.
-My Hardrock's held up nicely to their longest test yet and while the roots and rocks of the run really put them to the test, they seem to be able to handle the load with minimal forefoot discomfort for me.
-The redline is being built back up, now with my EA-30 riser bar off the Jamis, some flat bar brake levers I had lying around, my spare single speed crank set from the fixed gear I also had lying around, the matching ea30 seat post and wtb saddle from the Jamis (both lighter then the other stuff I had on the bike), new cheapo brake cables and housing and a Forte single speed conversion kit I picked up at Performance. I know I'd never be able to win a cross race on my converted SS with flat bar like Jonathon but at least now I can look somewhat like him (minus the tight skeleton skinsuit and podium candy of course). (Halloween is coming though and facial hair options are being considered).
-The fixed gear is finally mostly back together after nearly a year of languishing in the bike room and shed. Once I get a new spoke installed in the rear wheel (replacing the spoke that has been busted probably for well over 2 years) I will once again have a fully operational 'fixie' though now with much less friendly terrain to ride it on (considering it lived at Aimee's place on Capital Hill up until September).

And that's about it.

This coming weekend I'll be in Florida celebrating my high school buddy's demise... I mean wedding. He mentioned going sky diving the day before the wedding. Said something about making sure God gets the opportunity to correct his mistake if necessary... Not really sure what he means there.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Comes with the territory...
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Running the patomac heritage trail with Cass. Perfect rainy day for a trail run.
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Want to help raise a $Mill for Cancer research?

Start a twitter account and add Drew Carey. I'd say it's worth it no matter what you think about twitter or Carey.

Read up on it here.

Add Carey here.

Heck, it may even make you feel cool. I just made my account two days ago, haven't even posted a single tweet and I already have 28 followers! Man I'm cool!... Tweet. @kmaxtrax

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Never a dull moment

This past weekend was the annual Head of the Ohio regatta up in Pittsburgh, PA. Since it's our home town race, the Duquesne crew team has always used this as our Alumni race as well, and for four of the last five years now I've managed to get up to the race for a reminder of just how painful a 5k race can be in a boat (the exception was last year when the 1/2 IM in New Jersey conflicted with the HOTO, pain was still to be found).

This year's race was looking to be a good one. The day was sunny and fairly warm with highs in the mid-sixties, though the wind was looking like it could pose some issues. After a warm up from the finish up to the start (I already had a couple of large blisters on my feathering hand), we abruptly cooled back off sitting in the chilling wind waiting for our race to start, joking with some other crews (our cox even convinced a bowman from Mercyhurst they'd be disqualified if they didn't get their bow number back on the boat after it fell off and was floating five feet out from the side of the boat. He actually climbed out on the bow to put it back into the number slot on the tip of the bow... I could see the boat breaking underneath him...)

We finally got near the shoot and eventually were heading for the course, the blare of the starting horn and CMU's alumni 8 ramping things up behind us putting us all back in the zone we'd been away from for so long. The next thing you know we hit the remnants of the recent tsunamis and water was crashing over the gunnel's from both sides simultaneously, hitting riggers, oars and anything else that stood in it's way, including Joe's (coxswain) face and open mouth, leaving him spitting and sputtering as we headed down the river.

A few hundred meters in I was thinking to myself how these were by far the worst conditions I'd ever rowed in and I couldn't believe how badly it was going. On the other hand we were walking away from CMU without a problem so we must still have been doing relatively well. Just as Im thinking that I notice a shoe and a shirt float by, just inside the reach of our oars. Then another shoe... Isn't that... Ours??? Teddy's?

Huh, now that's strange, why'd he do that? We going to see him floating by next?

Hundred or so yards further and the water pouring in from behind me filled in the blanks on that one. Teddy's shoe's floated out of the boat, Teddy himself was rowing essentially underwater and the remainder of the boat was quickly joining him. It took a few seconds for everything to happen but soon we were sitting chest deep in the shell floating 6 inches underwater waiting for the officials and rescue boats to load us up and pull the boat back to the boat house. While we were sitting there waiting at least one other boat swamped further down the course and later we heard the remainder of the races were canceled after our Men's Open 8 race.

It was an interesting thing to experience though in retrospect that was the first crew race I (we) ever started that we didn't finish. It hits a lot harder when I thought of it like that. Last year the race was called while the alumni were sitting in the starting area waiting to start so this is two consecutive years with no finish for the alum. What's even worse is we were still walking away from those punks at CMU even with a few hundred extra pounds in our boat, yet they still beat us (with their dead last finish in the race). Ouch... Next year, not only do we finish, but we beat the PANTS off of CMU. You hear that boys? I'm calling you all out!

To bad we swamped so far up river their are no pics of us sinking or sunk... Hopefully soon I'll have some bailing water shots to share. Careful though, I'm warning you now; I'm not wearing a shirt in them.

For all my facebook friends (and associates) out there...


Facebook Phishing Scam

Internet imposters are perfecting the technique of impersonating friends on social networking sites like Facebook, with lucrative results The scam involves a notice appearing on the wall of user profiles as a message from a friend, saying “Hey, I got a new Facebook account. I’m going to delete this one, so add my new profile” then with a link that appears to be a link to the new profile. The actual link goes to a URL on, a domain registered (and who is protected) on Namecheap and hosted at Softlayer that looks identical to the Facebook login page:

Users fooled into resubmitting their Facebook details on this page then have their Facebook accounts hijacked and all of their contacts receive a similar message, propagating the phishing scam. . Victims are losing thousands of dollars. Emotional e-mail pleas sent by imposters, such as “I’m stuck in London and I’ve been robbed, help me,” have become so effective that the FBI last week issued a warning to consumers about social networking sites.

The scam works because personal e-mail and Facebook messages from friends carry with them an air of legitimacy that other Internet communication does not. The impersonators send the message asking for money or account information from your actual account, your photo appears beside the message.

Here’s how to avoid being a victim,

*Never send money to an individual, even a friend, using Western Union unless you are ready to never see it again. There are no security measures in place to protect those who wire money that way, and there’s no way to recover funds send through Western Union that end up in the wrong hands.

*Don’t believe your e-mail, even if it comes from a friend. Any unexpected greeting cards, solicitations, or offers you receive should be treated with complete skepticism. Before you click, call and ask “Did you send this?”

*It’s a good idea to have two e-mail contact addresses on file with Facebook, so you have a better chance of reclaiming a hijacked account if you become a victim. Criminals who hack accounts usually change the password to lock out the rightful owner. Facebook will use the secondary e-mail in an attempt to determine the real owner of the account.

Facebook has also set up a special page to deal with account hacking.

Careful people.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Office pranks IMG00032.jpg

It's fun to play jokes on coworkers. This little plastic roach looks plenty realistic in the shadows. Especially in an office already on edge about roaches. Thank you bar 11.
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