Monday, December 08, 2014

Before we look into the mail bag, quick note on the weekend shenanigan's.  Drove up to Truckee on Friday evening with the boy pictured above.  Alpine was kind enough to loop Kangaroo for the ski team this weekend and Jackson got to meet his coach and teammates.  The coach is awesome.  He is super nice and has been skiing and racing for a long time.  Jackson loves his team immediately and based on my interactions with them, they are a chatty bunch.  And that's coming from a guy who knows his way around a good chat.  As the mountain isn't open to the public yet (due to open this coming weekend with some models showing some potential serious storm activity mid week), I was able to get my stuff organized which really means I took my jackets and pants to a shop in town to have them cleaned and weatherproofed.  I did catch a little bit of Jackson skiing when I walked up the hill to see him come down. What a difference a year makes.  He has grown a bit and he has been doing cross fit and the added muscle has him skiing like a man.  I almost didn't recognize him coming down the hill because instead of riding the ski, he is really driving it now and his body position which is naturally neutral, is more aggressive.  My jaw dropped a little bit.  I'm going to have to step up my game or this could be the year that he officially leaves me behind.

Sunday I hung out in the lodge while the boy did his thing and I watched some football.  In addition, I followed my fantasy team live and was pleased with the result.  None other than Griff was this weeks opponent.  There is very little left in this world where I get to compete with Griff, so this'll have to do. 

Finally, yesterday was my oldest brother Tony's birthday.  Got a call from Michael on the way down the hill seeing if we could join for dinner and to toast our brother.  He was serving ribs with various sides, and beer, so how could I resist?  Good food and a wonderful time celebrating a brother gone way too young. 

Good weekend, to be sure.  I'm out of time so I'll reach into the mailbag tomorrow.  Hope you are well and smiling at your riches and spreading kindness to those near and far.  And if you can wish me luck as I try to stave off the boy for one more season, I'd be grateful. 


Johnny GoFast

Sunday, December 07, 2014

So I'm sitting here in the lodge at Alpine Meadows as my boy is skiing with his team.  As the two photos above might suggest, the mullet is gone.  Which can only mean my season is over.  My aspirations of coming back from my calf injury is all but a distant memory now.  I probably could have pulled off getting my leg back in order and developing a little fitness between now and January 9th, but the reality is that it would have taken a monumental effort that would have encroached on fatherly obligations regarding skiing and racing for the boy.  The boy has a race on the January 10th so flying to Texas and back and getting him to his race would have had me turning myself into a pretzel.  I was pretty depressed all week about having to give up the ghost, but it's been both an incredibly great year and ultimately my most frustrating. 

But the reality is, that I started racing cross as a bridge to get me through the fall and into the ski season and now that it's here, I have a lot of good skiing in my future and that makes the pain of calling it a cross season ebb just a bit.  And on a positive note, I learned a ton from my injury and I know what I need to do between now and my next race to prevent something like this from happening again.  Brightness in the future to be true.

Would have preferred to have let the mullet grow out a few more weeks but when people about town are starting to ask, "what's up with John's mullet?" (ahem...Courtney Dettlinger), it's probably time for it to hit the floor.

Hope you are well.  With this new found blogging habit, maybe we should reach in to the mailbag tomorrow and answer a bunch of letters I've gotten over the past week.

Hope you are well and be nice to one another.


Johnny GoneFast

Sunday, November 23, 2014

So here's living proof that I'm serious about training and posting.  That is an actual photo from today's ride as I contemplated life while riding through the vineyards in Livermore.  Averaged 220 watts for three hours with an average heart rate of 130.  Yawn.  Anyway, this ride was dedicated to Aran Watson, dedicated blog reader and fast as crap bike racer.  I think about most of you when I'm out training and it keeps the pressure into the pedals mostly.  Tomorrow I'm supposed to ride easy.  Do you think the Myrah goes easy?  Has Kramer ever taken a day off?  Do you think Brij comes by that smile easy on race day because he takes a day off?  Do the work and reap or not.  It's up to you and me.  I'm choosing pain during the week to make the races what I want them to be.

Totally cool thing happened when I was about 10 minutes from my house.  I'm cranking along, all barn sour and what not, when I pounded through this intersection when I hear the obligatory "road fag" yelled at me by some fat tired slob in a peloton (not sure what a group of Mtb riders is called but certainly not a peloton--maybe critical massholes? but let's go with peloton for sake of brevity).  I chuckled and then realized that the guy doing the yelling was none other than my brother.  Turns out he was just getting done with his ride (mostly legal) up on Diablo.  They were headed to his buddies house and as it turned out, I got invited to join them for a post ride bevy.  The host has a pretty hot wife, so it didn't take me long to re-route and join them.  We caught the end of the Niner game and hilarity ensued.  No wife spottage though.  Post carb load, I made it home with fading light.  Good session and good sensations.  More to follow.  Hope you are well and be excellent to each other.

Johnny GoFast

Saturday, November 22, 2014

So where have you been? Maybe that's a better question for me. Anyway, maybe I've been lost in the fog. Maybe, I've been dealing with a calf injury or a drinking problem or a lack of focus on what matters.

There is no doubt that I love you and I can get back to the excellence that you've come to expect. Today, I got my head kicked in. There is no doubt that I race against the best competition in the country. Maybe in the world. And when you are going well, it's easy to take that for granted. And if you slack, there is always somebody there to take your spot. Chop your line and ride away and leave you wondering why you are going backwards. And in that moment, when things aren't falling your way, it's easy to wonder what the hell is going on. I mean after all, I'm one hell of a big deal. I love racing my bike and I love that no one will ever give you quarter. Go fast or get out of the way.

But I'm tired of getting beat. I'm tired of the competition getting younger and the courses getting tougher and the fact that I can't throw my leg over the top tube and fall into line and get my podium without a fight. I haven't done what it takes to earn what others have taken from me. People have been working and I haven't. Fuck that. New Johnny is coming out. I've got a month and a half and I'm going to get my shit together. Let's look at the assets and liabilities:

-Somewhat disgruntled calf
-Beer habit  

-Calf is healed thanks to Jeff Johnson and Dr. William Workman (who is a kick ass cyclocross racer)
- I can quit beer
-I'm only 185lbs and that shit will come off if I get serious
-Wilcher's girlfriend
-Cal Giant is super supportive
-Kovarus/Wells Fargo haven't kicked me off their team
-I have a kick ass mullet
-Laurel Green
-Court Austin, more than just a bike to the chodes bike exchange pit guy
-Jake at Styx and Stones bike mechanic
-Henry Kramer whom I'm sure will pay me for Iowa
-Hans Kellner and his smile
-Ceasar Chavez because he is the coolest guy on two wheels
-Tim Cannard because he's not
-Because we all want to ride like Scott Chapin
-Because sooner or later somebody will feed Brock Dickey
-For God's sake, can somebody set up a parade for Tom Simpson?
-Country Music

Anyway, I'm fully prepared to blog my journey to Nats and you are coming along. Reluctantly. Sucks to be you but I'm about to get a shit load faster.

Thank you.

Johnny GoFast It's nice to be back

Thursday, January 19, 2012

So I'm a chicken farmer. Not by choice, but more by the mere coincidence that my children like farm animals. We're up to 12 or 14 at this point. Truth be told, I don't know how many we have back there. Sometimes chickens get added, sometimes they get donated to the local roaming predators. I like the eggs and watching the chickens peck about the backyard can be entertaining. Which I guess in the end, makes me a chicken farmer.

This past Sunday, down at the final CCCX race, I was amused to learn that some of the other cross racers were talking about the guy that had a chicken with him out on course. At first I chuckled as they talked about some section of the course near the guy that had the "cock". At first I blew it off but they kept going on about it so finally I asked them what the hell they were talking about. They couldn't believe I hadn't seen the chicken. I'm sure you all know how hard cyclocross racing can be and that sometimes the outer edges of reality fade away into the abyss to be lost forever. So it didn't surprise me at all that I hadn't noticed even something this weird.

But then I'm scrolling through the myriad of photos on Monday, like I obsessively do shortly after checking every result from every race run over the weekend, and I stumble onto this photo. And I recall the conversation with Brock and Brij and I chuckle because how is it that I can't remember the chicken when I practically kissed it?

Anyway, I've missed you all and hope to connect more often. It's not for a lack of content that the blog has gone dark, or even SOPA or PIPA. Just a general lack of enthusiasm for my creative side to do it's thing. I'm working on kicking that to the curb so maybe you'll have something to read. Or maybe not. But know that I miss you all the same.

Johnny GoFast

Thursday, April 21, 2011

So in the background there, you can see the top of Grouse Rock. It's out of bounds at Alpine Meadows. It takes about 30 minutes of traversing and hiking to get to that point. Just so's you know, Alpine has an open policy regarding the boundary line. Basically, you are free to roam, but you are on your own or you will have to incur the cost of an evacuation should you screw up. And it being a back country environment, screw ups are a real threat. But if you're willing to make the hike, and the conditions are stable, the terrain and snow can be a huge reward. On this day, the snow was skiing about boot top. I hiked out there with (from the left) Ken, Derrick and Nellie. I get to ski with those guys every winter. It's the only time I see them as they share the same passion. Shortly after this photo was taken, I received a call from my brother and nephew who had fallen behind during the hike. They assured me that they were on their way so I told my crew to head on down. They almost didn't leave because being out there alone is never a good thing. It was my nephews birthday, and the run down the mountain was one of the best of the year. Worth the hike and worth the wait to ski it with my brother and nephew. Anyway, hope you are well.


Johnny GoFast

Thursday, April 14, 2011

So back in November I had the pleasure of having great legs on the day of District Championships which garnered me the win and the jersey. I've never won anything so naturally I was giddy. So much so, that the dry heaves I was feeling during and right after the race seemed worth it. As it is the biggest win of my rather shallow career, I thought I'd go in style and order me up one of those cool looking districts jerseys. A transcript of my phone call is below. Enjoy.

Voler: Thank you for calling Vo-Lay, this is Colin. How can I help you?

Me: Ummm...sorry Colin, I must have dialed the wrong number. I was trying to get to Vo-ler, the cycling clothes company.

Me now in the process of hanging up...

Voler: No, no, you're in the right spot. It used to be pronounced Vo-ler but the marketing department changed the pronunciation to Vo-Lay in an effort to compete with some of the foreign brands on the scene now.

Me: Oh.

Voler: Anyway, what can I do for you?

Me: I wanted to buy one of those district champions jerseys.

Voler: I'll need your USCF number to verify your request.

Me: 131006.

Voler: I'll have to put you on hold while I check with the data base.

Now on hold listening to a muzak version of Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time" song.

Voler: Mr. Mundelius?

Me: Yes?

Voler: We can't find any record of you winning any races last year.

Me: Look under cyclocross, the tab that reads "Bad ass Cycling Discipline."

Voler: Oh. My apologies. We don't keep the data on Cyclocross but I'll trust you on this one. What size jersey do you need?

Me: Large.

Voler: Okay...I've got you down for a large. Do you want bib shorts to go with that?

Me: (In my head I'm I just want the jersey...but then I start thinking that a jersey/bib combination would look pretty bad ass) Ummm...sure.

Voler: Great. How about a wind jacket as well?

Me: Hadn't even thought of a wind jacket...but I did see the Myrah rocking one the weekend after the race...and if it is bad ass enough for the Myrah...well then maybe I'll look bad ass too) Umm...sure.

Voler: You know what looks awesome? Arm warmers, gloves and a cycling cap all that match.

Me: No shit! Throw 'em in the cart.

Voler: (Now audibly giddy with the unloading of last years dated District Champion's gear--no doubt surrounded by other sales reps all Boiler Room like as he reels in a whale) You said you raced doubt you want a long sleeve jersey.

Me: Does Pinocchio have wooden butt cheeks? Hell yes!

Voler: Some of the better crosser's prefer to race in skinsuits, what kind of racer are you?

Me: The kind that now needs a skin suit. And before you ask, I'll take a short and long sleeve option.

Voler: Great. Tell you what, I'm going to give you a discount normally reserved for our pro's, and due to the size of your order, I'm going to throw in some socks. Shipping is free if you choose ground UPS. (Me now smiling due to all the free crap coming my way and also at the idea that UPS man Kevin Merrigan won't make a dime off of me on my order) Your total is 1,183.95.

Me: (Picking myself up off of the floor...all I can meekly mutter is) Ummm...maybe you can just send the jersey.

Voler: You don't want all the other stuff?

Me: I do. But the team reimbursement is a little thin when it comes to the cyclocross team.

Voler: (Colin now audibly crushed) No problem. I understand. The jersey will go out in the mail tonight. Thank you for calling Vo-lay.

Me: Thank you. Goodbye.

Anyway, that's how it went down, and for a minute there, I was going to look pretty damn pimpin'. Hope you are well and see you out there rolling real soon.

Johnny GoFast