Monday, March 31, 2008

News from the Great White North

Up to the minute report rolling in from our ground troop and embedded reporter at the Rocktober Challenge venue in RB Winter State Park and Bald Eagle State Forest.

It appears that the surge is working and we're getting closer and closer to clearing the remaining vestiges of unnavigable singletrack...


From somewhere in the deep PA wilderness...

..........George Hackenbush created singletrack.

Stony Hollow - cleared out and rideable.
Old Tram - cut out those 2 trees (the ground shook when they fell)
South Bear Creek - FUN TRAIL!!!! Heim and I cleared all logs off of the trail. A leaf blower is a must in our opinion. It would be a wickedly fast trail if it were wind blown.

You will have to navigate a stream crossing before heading back up the mountain.

Let me know if there is anything else up there. Planning on riding the 1st loop in the near future.



Fausto and Hackenbush - as they say back home --- yinzers rawk!!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Calling Ms. Toeclips and some stuff on Rocktober

Ry will have a whole bunch of new stuff up on HSC in the near future regarding May's Rocktober Challenge. I know this because I just finished updating it all and if he doesn't want the cat to keep vomiting in his room he'll have to get the info up on the site.

Actually, this isn't a real good threat as the cat just cleans up after himself most times anyway. Don't follow? The cat likes "pre-digested" meals. Still not getting it? He eats his own puke. Yummy. At least there isn't much to clean up.

Enough about our cat's regurgitative exploits.

On the Rocktober note, I'll be headed up that way (to RB Winter) a few times between the running of the US Open Relay next weekend and Rocktober to do some trail maintenance. If'n any of you would like to earn some credits toward a Rocktober entry and want to accompany me (or meet me there) drop a note and let me know and we'll have a good ol time cutting back that laurel.

Below is an almost completely useless image of the map of the Rocktober course. If you get out a magnifying glass you can probably make out that there are colors and lines on the map. We will be riding trails that are noted by those lines. There are other colors that make it look like there are ridges on the map. These are ridges. We'll ride over a bunch of them. I think we'll be able to get this up in a .pdf version up on as soon as Ry makes his way back to HSC HQ here in Center Valley from his third home in NYC. Yellow = loop 1, Orange = loop 2, Green = loop 3. (If you click on the map it should get a lot bigger and that will help...)

Anyone know how to get hold of Alice B Toeclips? I tried blogging her back on one blog, but that didn't seem to work and I can't get her email address from her blog to open for me at home because I don't know squat about making Outlook work here since its all synced up for work and stuff. I bet there are some instructions some where that probably tell me how to do such a thing, but like I'm going to read something as useless as the help information that comes with this computer.

Never mind, I just left a comment on her blog, that oughta do it. Forget I said anything.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Weekend update

Gottta start by thanking the people who stood up and took credit for the anonymous emails I published for your enjoyment. They apologized and I appreciate it. I was annoyed because of the anonymity bit, but that's it there was nothing else in it. Hopefully some of this stuff comes across with a bit of humor as its intended.

Spent Sunday working at RB Winter with the team and some guest help in the form of Mike Faust and Heim. We're getting the trails in shape for the Rocktober Challenge in May and things look pretty darn good so far. The new course is going to be way painful but beautiful.

RB was supposed to be the wrap up to a team training weekend in State College. I was supposed to be in State College all weekend - had time off from work and everything - and then wasted it all by getting sick on Thursday and not going up til Sunday AM. I'm still bummed as I was really looking forward to the weekend with the team and it sounds like they had a great time riding together. Wes, Ray, Nancy, and I did get out on the RB Winter network a bit today and that was peachy. With my job I find it very difficult to get out with these guys and I hardly raced at all in '07 so it would have been great fun to spend the weekend hitting those wonderful trails in Rothrock with 'em. Ah well, next time I guess.

I did get to ride the new Cannondale Scalpel on the rocks at RB and to quote Ferris, it is so choice. I've been jonesin' for full suspension since we switched from Cannondale the last time and I'm very pleased to be back on what is definitely one of the best handling XC bikes available. We're on Old Tram today and I'm just floating though it like I've not been able to do for two years. Yea, there are some places where you don't need full suspension, but I mostly prefer to ride places where you do. I'm not quite the weight weenie the other guys are so Ray or Hebe will probably come up with the lightest version of this thing, but every time I pick mine up I can't believe its suspended on both ends. Stay tuned to Hebe's blog to see just how light one of these can be.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Fun with email

I so don't have time to post this, but I thought yinzers would get a kick out of some emails I received regarding the team relay. More honestly, I thought I'd get a kick out of posting them here and you could like it or not -I don't care that much. As posted here previously, the cost of the relay has gone up - $10/person more than last year if you pre-reg and if you have to wait until the day of the race it goes up to $20/person because you're being a pain in my ass. Seriously, its not like it increases my costs to have you reg day of, but if you all do that stuff ahead of time everything in much smoother come race day. Pre-reg'ing makes it so I don't have to take my already overworked family and volunteers and spread them thinner by putting more of them on registration duty. So, it may not cost more, but its a hell of a lot easier if you take a few minutes and pre-reg and you're rewarded for it by not getting stuck with the extra fee.

I digress. Here are those emails and my responses. I love being a race promoter.

Note: I really appreciate that these folks manned up and didn't sign their names because it definitely shows maturity and takes major balls to complain about something anonymously.

----------------------- Email #1 --------------------------------

On Tue, Mar 18, 2008 at 6:17 PM, wrote:
EVENT NAME: US Open MTB Team Relay
EVENT DATE: 4/6/2008

Why are your entry fees so exorbitant?

Pronunciation: \-tənt\
Function: adjective
1 : not coming within the scope of the law
2 : exceeding the customary or appropriate limits in intensity, quality,
amount, or size

------------ Response ---------------------


Wow, I'm pretty impressed, it seems Sesame Street is really upping their selections when it comes to introducing children to new vocabulary. Your mommy is probably quite proud of you and don't get me wrong, she should be - that's a BIG word!! I bet you even got a gold star didn't you?!?! What a good boy!! I certainly appreciate you sharing this with me as I don't have much time to watch children's shows these days.

How big is GTRider?? This big!!! How big is GTRider??

Not very really.

Thanks for writing,

---------------------------- Email #2 -----------------------------

EVENT NAME: US Open MTB Team Relay
EVENT DATE: 4/6/2008

why do your entry fees go beyond what is right or decent?

----------------------- Response --------------------------------

Dear Ravaged,

That's pretty awesome that you can set up an email address that says what you are.

Here are some more you should add to your list:

I have a solution for you, just give your mom a call and see if she can foot the bill for you. Again. I mean she's already covering your rent, utilities, and food and while living in the basement with bead curtains for doors may not seem that great I'm sure that I'll be paying you to come to the event as soon as you go pro. Then you'll get the last laugh. Just convince your mom that going to the race will be fun and it can take the place of your "dinner and a movie" weekly excursions, I'm sure she'll go for it.

Thanks and looking forward to meeting your mom,

-------------------------Email #3 ---------------------------------

EVENT NAME: US Open MTB Team Relay
EVENT DATE: 4/6/2008

why do all your events have such outrageous entry fees?

----------------------Response -------------------------------------

(This was actually the first of the three and I actually responded nicely to this one...yep, I can now and then.)

Dear Sweatshopking

Only because that's what it costs to run them.

Last year we had less than $500 left after running the Relay and this year we are bringing in chip timing that will cost us $1000-$1500 because people asked for lap times for every racer. The Rocktober Challenge lost money last year -- now, I gave out prizes over 50 places deep (and they were pretty good prizes) and fed everyone darn good food after the race and maybe I shouldn't have, but that's what I want at my races and people appreciate it. Literally everyone who did that race got to pick something off the prize table. Its plain and simple - if I don't at least cover these costs then the races don't happen. You might disagree with this next part, but I feel I ought to make at least a little money because they take an awful lot of time and effort and they take time away from my family and my riding and all sorts of other things I could be doing. I put on really good events that I feel are some of the best around - and there are a lot of people that concur - but it costs a lot to do so.



Okay, so I actually didn't reply directly to the first two, only the last one, which was actually the first one in order of arrival in my inbox. These don't deserve responses, but they do deserve to be posted on my blog so that I have some sort of content for this half the month and so I can respond here in my little world.

Why don't they deserve direct responses? First because he/she/they are too damn wussified to leave a name with the complaint. Second because they could all well be the same person and I'm guessing are since at least two of the addresses are lame fake ones. In fact, I'm guessing that this person is also greatly mourning the death of Gygax and has set up a shrine in his honor and that his MMORPG character has led to this
since he must spend way too much time starting at a computer screen to figure out how to set up fake lame email addresses. (Kenny, if this is you I'm going to kick your ass.)

If $30/person is really too much you probably shouldn't be racing a bike. If it's breaking your bank then I bet you and your imaginary dates have hella fun at taco bell so you can keep the bill low and save on tips. Spending thousands in travel expenses to and from races and thousands more in time in training and racing when you could be working and earning money makes zero sense when $30 is such a burden. The thousands you've spent on your bike are probably keeping you from eating what with your level of poverty, but I'm sure the XTR cranks, XO shifters, and new stans wheels you bought so you can drag your out of shape undertrained slow ass around the course on a 16.24 lb bike are definitely worth it. Particularly since you can't afford to race it now.

Okay, so here's the thing. The relay is a great event, it is definitely fun, and IMO its worth $30 or more/person. If you really feel like its too much then vote with your feet and don't show up. If not enough people show I'll have to revamp it and probably scale it back for next year so that I cut costs and maybe then I'd drop it back to $20/person, but you wouldn't get the timing and other awards and stuff. I'm willing to do what people want. Racers last year told me they wanted individual lap times so here we are.

Making real suggestions and offering constructive criticism is always not only accepted, but encouraged. Actually trying to help improve the event with thoughtful feedback makes you someone a promoter respects and appreciates. Being a complete f'ing ass and sending immature and whiny emails that you are too chickenshit to sign only makes you a douche.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Relay Rassin'

Ry is still working hard on the website and it will be up soon, but here's the scoop on the US Open Relay that kicks off the MASS next month. There is very little that has changed except that I've cut the points in half that are awarded for each lap...instead of 8 its now 4 (see how that whole half thing worked? Pretty slick, no?).

In my very unscientific and completely unverified reworking of the points for this year I just plugged everything from last year into a spreadsheet, messed with the lap points, and viola! new points scheme that is sure to make some of you happy and piss a bunch more of you off. Either way, this should make things much tighter and more exciting right to the end and that's the whole point because it ain't about who wins this as much as its about who has the most fun and how rich I get off promoting it. A few hundred more races promoted and I'll be a thousandaire!! And Kris said this was a big #*@*ing waste of my time. Pfff, shows you what she knows.

That being said, I am sticking it to you all with higher prices on the relay this year. The extra dough is going toward some of those other prizes I mentioned in the last post and the chip timing - which you all will appreciate in the end because it will be cool to have your split times and see all the race laps so don't whine too much about the $$.

I was going to save the money and get some potato chips (probably kettle cooked, they are my favorite!!) and have you tape them to your helmets for the race and say I had chip timing and charge you a lot more, but one or two of you probably would have figured out the chips didn't really help with the timing and a few others would have eaten the chips and still been scored and then the whole cover is blown, so instead its real timing chips for you. Yay.

Now, who wants to chip in on a crowd prime for the fastest lap?