Food, Pow, Yupster?

How food controls my world. I love it, it loves me and lucky for me metabolism of the young keeps thee skinny. Thanksgiving is such a great holiday, just eat and drink then binge on pie. Hurray!

This years bird day went down smooth enough but not without some general shinaniganry. Rebecca was up at crack of dawn getting her space in the kitchen all dialed. I was then up early to pack the goods to go to mommas house and then to carry on further north after the feast to a second friday thanksgiving in washington. Things were running smoothly, rebecca wrapped up the cooking and hit the road early to help out her mom. Myself and the roommates were ploding around and still packing to hit the road. We were packed and ready to go, with plenty of time to get to the feed early enough to socialize and mingle with the fam. Only problem is when I roll, I roll in a car older than me. The old diesel Selma was having a crabby holiday. Old Selma is a sweet 82 Datsun maxima thats been converted to run on Wasted Veggie oil. Selma was giving us some grief and would not fire up. So a couple hours of sweating it, pulling shit apart and a massive jump start and we were down to the wire to make it to the feed on time. Suddenly my good family points were disappearing by the second, but somehow we got there before hot food was on the table, few!

So after the stress factor was wiped away I gorged on some great grub with some hilarious folks. Then we commenced to eat pie and play music for a couple hours. It was perfect. But the night was only young, so my 1 roomate Amac and I hit the road and got the old grease wagon going north. Running on waste we hauled all the way to little tiny almost not on the map Glacier WA.

Glacier WA is not anywhere you really want to live, unless skiing at mt baker runs in your blood. Fortunately all my friends have pow skiing in their blood. So for thanksgiving number 2 there was a huge helping of powder skiing, good grub, and some time on the trainer. It was perfect. Some how all my mates were in town up there, it dumped a foot of snow, and there was enough abundace to last for the next day too. So Saturday we packed lunches of left overs, the clouds cleared and another foot of snow awaited. Touring in the deep snow was in order so some pretty epic trail breaking went up, then some even more epic skiing went down. Then there was more trainer time. Oh the joys of too many hobbies.

With the pow skiing fix quenched, Amac and I returned to the home land. This week has been rather uneventful. Some time spent in the garden, collecting wasted veggie oil from the chinese place down the street, filter the said oil, and a  bit of work to the chicken coop. Sprinkle all that with the last bits of training for these next 2 weekends and bam now I’m in portland.

I’ve spent the last couple days with the bike race millionaires club of G Wolff, James, Kabush, and Dusty. We’ve been eating good grub, sipping portland high end coffee and discussing the merits of killing hipsters, only to discover the potentially more dangerous yupster. Those whose coffee is worth more than their t-shirt and whose pants cost more than an I-pod. Hurray american consumerism and the corporate ladder.

Oh glorious home

I’m so happy I live in oregon and with such cool people. Enough so I thought I’d just plop down another blog post, seems I’m improving at this a little bit.

It seems my predictions from the last post all came true in the span of a week, but I dont attribute it to me but rather to the dopest start to my week ever. I got off the airplane to get picked up by my long time buddy, Casey who I had not seen since well before going to New Zealand. It was a great way to be welcomed back. In my absence my most wonderful Ladyfriend Rebecca planned a surprise  birthday party. Coconut chicken,dance parties and playing my mandolin (plus some wine) went down full stop.

Still amping on the birthday magic I made it out to the forrest for some great mountain biking. Trails were a bit on the wet side, but they were super exciting and were almost desert like compared to fort collins. I’ve been taking my roomate out on some forest missions and its been really cool to see him light up with the adrenaline rush, plus watching him crash is so worth my time.

The rest of the week was filled with some other awesome stuff as well. I got to meet with the real estate lady and ask all these questions about property. Plus I’ve been able to work with rebecca a little bit more on where we want to live and what the little rules are about buying country property. There was also this amazing show that was a mix of authentic west african folk and new orleans funk. Ivan Neville and Yousupha Sedibe layed down an amazing set and I have not danced that hard in a while.

All of this must have been perfect prep for Saturday even though dancing till 1am before a race is not always primo I was well fired up for the Oregon state champs. Since I’m now a resident of this fine state I thought I should go out and really give’r and try and claim fastest man in oregon. But that would be just lying because Trebon and Craig are OR folks there just other side of the mountains so bike race play time was just a wee bit too far for them.  On a great course, with lots of mud, crazy off cambers and good elevation changes I just had one of those days where everything clicks. I made it to the front and then just went hard and nailed all the technical bits. It appears now I am the champion of oregon, or more specifically the rainy side of oregon.

This huge epic mega victory was fallowed up with the best kind of celebration, Champaign, but not the standard kind. I’m talking about that kind that falls from the sky when winter finally shows up, champaign pow snow, and on sunday we drank it in. Slogged up the hill a few times and raced back down to make the first turns of the year. It was incredibly fun, then we came back down to the valley and I went for a bike ride, that was nice too.

This week is all about food though. Potlucks at the hippy commune and Thanksgiving with Rebecca’s family are taking up lots of time. Plus we have house guests so the dinners these past couple nights have been grand scale. Our garden is pumping out the winter salad mix too. So as long as I manage to ride my bike and not get fat with this kind of momentum of awesomeness I might bloody win a USGP. A little unlikely yes, but if I can just check mushroom hunting off the list then I’ll at least have a chance.

 

East to the West, Middle to Best

Well I suck at blogging, bad, like a limbless man trying to master Karate. According to the steve Fisher it’s been 25 days and if I don’t make another the internet may collapse. So to save the precious interwebs and maybe give all other professional cyclist hope that they may find its end I happily present the idiocracy of my life.

After settling into the migratory October home of Delaware at the house of Tom McDaniel things started to perk up, we found trails. The Monday after granouge Steve, Jeff Bahnson, and I made our way out to white clay to shred the forest on the not so shred bikes. It was most enjoyable, especially watching steve poops himself trying to ride the teeter totter on the skills course. A serious couple of days of bike building, course break downing, ice cream eating, laundry doing, and internerding we were locked and loaded to head to PA and find the Bill. The Bill, also known as Bill Elliston, or long flowing locks of masters domination was our 4th compatriot for the trip to Louisville. What would be a pretty epic drive in most circumstances for “pro” bike racers was made luxury travel because we took Tom’s Crafter airstream combo. The Crafter is a sprinter, but pimped out by an anal retentive attention to detail oriented single (spatula) man to include bike racks, a bed, camping pads, wireless internet, gps and many snacks. So after having my feet up all day and using the internet on the interstate we made it to Louisville.

The venue in Louisville was new for this year and will apparently be where they’re going to host worlds. Its cool that they have a dedicated park to cross, but its not cool that it hadn’t rained and that the lap was only 5 minutes long. In the continuing trend of summer cross short sleeve skin suits were dawned, lbs of dust were consumed, and 1 super steep hill was climbed in every conceivable way eleventy trillion times. I managed to hold my own in Saturday’s dirt crit managing to be in the group racing for 11th, only to loose the group and get 15th a trend I’m look to start avoiding. Sunday was a much bloodier affair, literally in my pants. After maybe my best first couple of laps of a USGP, I was involved in a crash in the sand pit, well less of a crash and more of an abrupt halt. Another riders bard went thru my rear wheel in the sand and at a result I slammed my willy (not to be confused with above mentioned bill) into my stem. Such force was rammed into my nether region that blood was drawn and one of my testes got an ego complex and decided to try and take on the grapefruit.

After a painful ride back to Deleware and a few days of cowboy walkin things started to settle back into normal. Had a couple great rides into rural PA and the fall colors were in full effect. Nature is pretty good at making pretty things. Then there was the amazing discovery of what to do while resting, consume copious amounts of Parks and Recreation. I’m not one for television generally, but this program is brilliant possibly better than the office and rivaling Flight of the Conchords. There was also some bike matches on the weekend in NJ. Saturday was very very good, I was in the sprint for the win with the Swiss Cheese, but lost the bike throw. Sunday was one of my favorite races HPCX. A course that requires much bike driving, some finesse, plus a good climbing skills. I missed the front group but slayed myself all afternoon chasing hard and whittling our group down to 4, only once again to loose the group to finish 5th on the day.

By this point I was pretty cracked on the east coast with too many people and lack of recycling, so I headed home. Arriving back in Oregon I found my house had been taken over by naked hippies, oh wait that’s just my roommates. It was awesome to go home and work in the garden, visit the woods with big trees, have a potluck, go camping, and maybe most importantly go mountain biking. I’m fairly positive my success at life in general is due to squishing thru the forest at high speeds on 2 wheels. All of life’s troubles, emails, bad form, crappy racing, and blog entries just simply don’t matter when that little ribbon of trail pulls you downward. There was even some good cx happenings too. The muddiest cross crusade I can remember for a while went down, and I went down in it making my bike a single speed for the day leaving me to enjoy the magic that is the Cross Crusade. Plus our first night time cx practice with lights was had due to the silly time change.

Fully refreshed and rained on I took another trip on the big metal bird out to the original home land Colorado. Its been a few years since I’ve been back for cross race but this USGP weekend was a gem. I got to stay with the sister and her husband and they made excellent hosts. Steve Fisher once again joined me for small man team travel tactics. We got his bikes together proper fast as to enjoy this new card game called hand and foot. Its played with 4 decks of cards and gets pretty intense especially with Steve’s extreme cockiness and rude heckling. After getting rocked at cards, it was time to not get rocked at a bike race. The course in FoCo was amazing and since winter cross decided to finally come out we got to have a real mudder weekend. Saturday was one of those races where being most out of control was the way to go fast, and I really enjoy this. So with my best call up of the year I managed to botch it and drop my chain on the first transition to dirt. This made for a long day, but I put in some killer mid race lap times to get all the way up to 13th, just to loose the group again and finish 16th (I need to fix this recurring theme). Sunday was much of the same lameness, this time I had a mechanical just after the pit on lap 2 but was sitting pretty in about 13th when it happened. I didn’t have the fight to claw my way back up there so I wound up 20th. A bit frustrating to have some good form and good call up only to not put together good races. This may well turn around for me soon though.

I’m back on the germ tube now headed to the best coast once again. No more travel on these crazy things this season. Portland USGP and Nats are going to be bangin and I want to be in the mix. So it looks like its time to go shred the forest, make the first pow turns of the year, harvest some lettuce from my garden, and go mushroom hunting. Hurray home, just the recipe for faster spando circles in Dec

Taming the Jungle

Man Life is good, busy but good

Some stizuf has most certainly happened since LA. Reporting back home feels so amazing these days. The crash pad for this season is dope and the lovely lady is still happy to see me when I return from trips. I like her, maybe she reads this and will like this picture. Maybe not and now all you inter-stockers think I’m emo and soft and not “hard core”. Well apples dont have hard cores so stuff it.

Any way I had a good stint back in Oregon to reclaim my soul from the City of Angels. It was awesome, I succeeded in most of my intentions. Much time was spent playing in the garden of awesome, which now has the trailer of awesomeness in it too.  Been dialing in the plans on what to do with that beast and even had a chance to go scope a possible property to drop that sucker on in Oakridge, OR

Speaking of Oakridge, I did manage to make it out there not only for property investigation, but also much MTB slay brap drift shred gnar steeze action too. Oakridge has some of the best riding ever and I explored some new trails this go around and found some amazing ancient forests. The forest makes me feel better, much better, especially when there is a ribbon of super man dirt flowing thru trees and a sea of moss. For any locals out there, you must combine the Larson Creek, Larson Rock figure 8 for mucho pain and mucho grande pleasure.

Oh there was also a bike match in Oregon too. You might have heard of it, the cross crusade, just 1400 people riding around on a sunday, no big thing. I love crusades, they are sweet. The scene is still all about fun and pain and mud. Rainer is about an hour north of Portland, but the folks came out in droves. I was uber pumped for the sloppy conditions and Old man Sheppard and I duked it out to the end. I just cant bloody win one of these things no matter how hard I try people with kids just get it done. There was some decent velonews coverage here :  http://velonews.competitor.com/2010/10/news/chris-sheppard-wendy-williams-win-cross-crusade-no-2-in-rainier_145797

plus this photo

Other things that went down at home was a bit of music playing, house organization, general bike nerdum, and prep for the eastern journey. Included in the prep though was bike cleaning and I found out our green house is also perfect for high speed bike drying.

In standard form I procrastinated enough to have to squeeze in just a few more things before getting on the plane to go to Tom’s House (if you dont know Tom, you dont know squat, but in case you dont he is the most absurdly awesome owner of America’s only crafter TRUCK, promoter of Granouge, and my only friend who wears smurf pants) . So in route to the airport I picked up a cell phone and a razor, apparently 2 necessary items for a traveling business man. Both have come in handy.

The phone was used first, for I was delayed but used its magic powers to call Steve Fisher a joyus albeit small Rad Racer who is my house mate here at toms for a few weeks. He rallied for a 2 am airport run, then picked up every other sucka that stayed at Toms for the Granouge weekend. Airport ninja might be powers, but Steve is the airport ace.

The racing at Granouge is always hard and technical. I like, generally lots, to the moon if its muddy. Last year, mostly in part to the mud I had a go-er here, but this year I stepped it up I think. Best ride of the year so far on Saturday pulling the podium off and giving it with Justin Lindeen (most underated fast guy out there right now by the way) to end up 3rd. Sunday was also good, but had to settle for a 5th spot. Helped my self to some UCI points and if all goes according to plan I’ll be getting top ten in Louisville one day. Thats what I keep telling myself and that I’m a big deal, and that more icecream makes me faster, and that tubular glue is good for me.

Oh there is some great coverage of the race over on cycling dirt. Plus the paparazi was all over me this weekend. 3 interviews, I’m huge in deleware:

Granogue Day Two Adam McGrath Post-Race

Granogue Day One Adam McGrath Post-Race

One last photo that explains why I love granouge, off camber cornering.

One thing that I have noticed on this right coast, is lots more people give me crap about looking homeless. I have pathetic facial hair, its funny, but boy do I get a hard time for it. I’ve also not been shaving my legs either, apparently this combined with my face makes me look just too much like a bum. So in order to be still considered adiquite for sleeping inside that razor I picked up came in handy. I had to mow down the jungle that my hairy legs had turned into. Now that I’m smooth, aero and more white people will think I’m an albino bum.

 

Easy Peazy Lemon Squeezy

Newt

Too Much Plastic and Recycled Air

Some times I’m just not sure how I convince myself to do some of the stupid things I do. Most of the time its because something good, ugly, or slightly disfigured comes out of it. This past weeks really silly ideas were to buy a last minute plane ticket to LA to chase UCI points (stupid), forget that it goes left right left when walking (stupider), consuming too many berries before any sort of appointment (stupedist).

So after a painful weekend of adjusting the suck nob, I decided 5th row starts are not going to get me anywhere. I winged the idea of going to SoCal in Wisconsin, got the Focus boys to drive my bikes there, and bada-boom I’ve committed myself to going. That seems pretty strait forward, but somehow I managed to forget that spending time in the tin tube with wings makes me sad, racing when its 95 deegrees makes me really sad, and LA makes me want to blow things up then cry. Why on earth did I agree to that, oh right I was hoping something besides me would come out disfigured.

But alas the story would not be complete with out the other crappy idea I had during the week leading up to the tin tube trip to my personal hell. In the spirit of trying to become a better athlete, I thought I should try and sort out why I was getting a sour left knee after running. I decided to start at the chiropractor, usally a good place for this sort of thing, but a bad place to have really bad gas and to have to poo like no other. I started my day with a huge amount of berry consumption. I love berries, but berries make me gassy. So at a place where a big ass dude bends and squishes you when your gassy, well there one perfect word for it: Awkward

Friday finally rolled around and I joined up with The Boobs (Sean Babcock, he’s kinda a big deal) and we headed south to the land where everything is fake, wrapped in plastic, and its so disturbing outside everywhere inside is filled with recycled air. We managed to get it together enough to drive our soft lime green focus to our great host hosing, but only after battling some LA traffic. Our hosts were awesome and had 2 little ones obsessed with Nerf guns. Every night it was a warzone, the bear and I vrs them. High quality non bike entertainment.

But we did come down to LA with a mission, race bikes in circles, hopefully faster than most of the others and get some UCI points. That mission was accomplished, but not well, not gracefully and not with out a little disfigurement. Some how on Sunday at the run up on the second lap I decided that walking and the general sequence of left right left was not longer for me and I stuffed into the wee stair’s. What was I thinking, and for not thinking I’ve been left with a very ugly bloody knee. So I swqeeked in there for some points, but didnt race very fast. I’m not sure why really, just didnt have it, no excuses just no legs. Maybe its just the fact that LA hate me.

Incredible highlights from the weekend include: Seeing a car do a nose wheelie, In-n-out milkshake with fries, and Sean’s quote at the airport this morning after eating a doughnut at the gas station “after that doughnut I feel like I need a shower”

Now I’m in the airport, waiting to breath in some more recycled air. Plan include running away to the forest to recover from LA, getting fast by riding mountainbikes, alot and winning a cross crusade.

Hurray Oregon

Newt

Rain, Pain, Sunshine and Grass

Its official the season is no longer fresh. This post is actually probably about 5 years off the back by now, with all that fresh material and hype out there these days. What ever though, I’ll drop some knowledge on the world oh cross from the eyes that gaze about 5 ft 2 in off the ground.

My season is usually prepared by being way to buisy, building downhill wheels, and flying in last minute to vegas underprepared and undertrained. Not this year though, this years pre season training consisted of getting buff diggin out grass, scavaging trash and hauling a 1972 silver streak trailer to the casa. All that is secret code for making a huge garden and getting rid of about 80 percent of our yard with shovels. Building a greenhouse out of trash and windows and plasic and what not, plus building a kitchen counter out of wood found in the garage rafters and moving free couches with bikes

moving couches is real man intervals

Plus the silver streak needed a move from idaho to oregon so we trucked the 1972 36 ft 9000lb beast further west. So perfect prep for the season.

The hype took its real first form with a trip north from eugene to the mecca that is Seattle. Seattle is the first big city that I’ve been to since NZ and it was a shocker, but on the positive side it drew a crowd to the showing of Brian Vernors “The Cyclocross Meeting”. It was awesome to raise some funds for the Rad Racing NW program and to see familiar faces and catch up with Folks.

From there is was the rain fest, pain fest that was Star Crossed and Rad Racing GP. But before my super indepth, exactly what gear and how I shot past rider 34 in corner 5 on lap7 I should mention I had super pimptasticly slambamin host housing with Ian Crane and his momma, they made my weekend easy peazy lemon squeezy. Ian was pit boss and momma extended the mom magic my direction with awesome meals and good conversation. Star crossed was fast, really wet and silly rainy. It was awesome I paired up with Steve Fisher and together we are THE 2 smallest pros in the cross field, so we road around together combining to almost make one rider. Unfortunately racing nerves and a 8pm start had me all wacked out and I failed to eat enough and I found out I still have a secret parachute on my bike, and let me tell you once you pull the parachute its pretty hard to go fast. Sunday was a different story with things turning to normal race times and some sun shine. It was looking to be a peanutbutter bike destroying weekend when this happend during the womens race:

Thats rain sucka

Peanut butter, when to grease, and bike driving was the new name of the game. I generally like bike driving and was mixing it up with the K-bomb, wicks, Jake wells, and the like. So a solid ride for me. I started to fall apart in the end but snuck in there for 10th and that oh so valuable UCI point. As borat would say “Great Success”

The week was spent as far away from vegas as possible and wrapped up in my comfy little oregon world. I’m pretty sure Vegas is actually something you can be deadly allergic to, and I may well have that disease. Any way it was awesome to be home and plant some 200+ plants in the garden and keep fixing up the shop in my house. Plus our awesome hippy neighbors had us for a potluck and we played music well into the eve. Its cool having people over the fence that dont suck. Also my sweet new bi-weekly column on cxmagazine.com is up now. You can check that here:

http://www.cxmagazine.com/doing-the-newtron-spandex-dance-column-adam-mcgrath

Got on another tin tube with loud hairdryers attached and teamed up with the stripper canadian (check out his cycling dirt interview from sunday USGP #2), the old boss man Gary Wolff, and the new me at team maxxis James. Good crowd and folks I like traveling with. Besides lots of Hotel time at USGP’s good coffee goes down well with rental car powerslides and burnout and Belgian beer before bed.

The racing front at USGP’s these days is deep, and when the sun shines and its all grass its funkin fast. So my average call ups and terrible start on Saturday made for a great day of flogging myself and getting 20th. Sunday way heaps better, with a halfway decent start, I made the second group and we were racing for 12th but of course I cant sprint or go fast on flat grass so I was 16th, but at least I felt like I was worth something out there today and doing my sponsors and myself some pride. I guess I was on the live coverage a bit today and there is a pretty funny interview discussing the sadness that is my facial hair Saturday post race. The video is here:

http://www.cyclingdirt.org/coverage/237635-USGP-Planet-Bike-Cup/video/357480-Adam-McGrath-Post-USGP-1-Madison

Well thats it from the Super 8 Sun prarie. I should go to bed silly west coast time. Maybe more cereal and yogurt will help.

Newt

Its Really that Time, Time for the Business Suit

Nationals felt like yesterday, ok not really. A whole slew of things has happened since then but none of them are relevant because its the season of mud, and running rideable bikes, and the all important skin suit. Its time for Cross, hurray!

The website is now up and blogging about this seasons missions is on the radar. First news is the new title sponsor for the season, Feedback Sports, makers of fanastico not plastico, bike stands. I’m pumped to be working with them this year as well as all my returning sponsors from last season.

Have to run, I hope everyone is ready for some good times this year and I’m looking forward to some suffering.

Newt