Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Sometimes when you can't get your mind in gear, and the weather outside is shit, it's best to go to the gym, beat the hell out of yourself, and get your life together in a world of iron-clinking pain.  Not that I'm a meathead or anything, but every once in a while, every male needs to satisfy the primal urge to move heavy objects around.  Damn monkey bodies...

Monday, February 27, 2012


I'm smoked.  No energy, all jet lag.  I've gone back and forth to Spain quite a few times now, but never before have I been so tired as this.  I got back Friday, and usually within a day or so I'm back to my normal self.  Not so this time.  Been dragging my ass around all day, and I feel like a zombie right now.  I'm not even sure that this post is making any sense and I feel like my brain is just a big wet noodle.  Hate this feeling.

I'm hoping that with a good night of sleep tonight, as well as some good motivation to get some writing done, I'll be back to "Enthusiastic Dave" by tomorrow.  Either that or I'll just up my caffeine intake.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Total Noob

Checking in from Charles Du Gal Airport in Paris, France...

I am a complete and utter fucking rookie.  I was able to secure a first class ticket on my way back from Spain, and being that I have never, EVER flown anything but coach, I'm totally new to every aspect of this.  I feel like I did the first day of prep school-totally out of my element.  I've tried to dress nice, smile at the right people, and even wore my glasses to try and look the part.  Anyway, I didn't realize this, but there's free food, booze, and coffee in the VIP lounge!  I made the rookie mistake of buying my food downstairs with the other "peasants" (myself being one of the biggest), and brining it upstairs.  Things are great when you spend 20 Euros on a slightly mushy and cold piece of "something French", a bottle of water, and a cookie that could have been made a year ago.  Sweet...   Won't make that mistake again.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Quick Update

I know that I had said I would be posting as regularly as possible while in Spain, but dammit if I haven't been having too much fun to actually sit down and do a post.  I've been able to manage plenty of writing here, but just not getting it on to my blog.  Anyway, just a quick update for now.

I'm going to be heading to a national forest in Malaga tomorrow for what will most likely be the last day of riding that I'll see before I head home on Friday.  The trip has gone entirely too fast.  It's cliche, but I really feel like I just got here.  Ten days is not enough time to get settled, experience the culture, and ride bikes.  Two weeks might have been a bit more appropriate...Next time!

Seen a lot and taken some quick photos, but not nearly enough to show the beauty that is here.  I'll have to let my words and some video (most of which will be shot tomorrow) do the explaining.  I'm looking forward to putting all the wonderful times I've had on this trip into one piece.

As I sit here in a hotel lobby in Antequerra, I'm baffled at what a marvelous invention a laptop is.  I'm literally writing this blog entry thousands of miles from my living room, but it's coming through on the internet just as it would if I were sitting down on my own couch.  Amazing.  Imagine what kind of works the likes of Ernest Hemingway would have produced had he been able to access such a thing.  I can just see him now, sitting in some cafe in a little village, pounding out "The Most Dangerous Season" on his MacBook Pro.  Shocking that there aren't more writers like that now... or are there?

Anyway, don't want to get all carried away philosophically.  Looking forward to tomorrow and what it will bring from a mountain bike standpoint, but I can honestly say that the bike hasn't been the focal point of this trip.  Taking in a different country, experiencing a different culture, and not being afraid to be the foreigner that doesn't speak the language have all been paramount.  Not certain what the future will bring, but I sure am looking forward to more travel, more writing, and more good times.  Jesus, I sound like a cheesy chick flick...

Friday, February 17, 2012

Hola from Spain!

That's all.  Not much to report here other than I got out for my first ride today in Antequerra with my friend an old coach David.  We hit some nice little single track sections and longer fire road climbs and descents.  Not a bad day to start out with!

Tomorrow I'm going to get in an early ride that I'll try to take some photos and video of.  I'll post up when  I get a chance.  After that we're off to a marathon in Savilla and then back to the Antequerra area for the rest of the week.  I should be getting in some great rides and some good footage. I'll post up when I can and as the internet connectivity is available.

Monday, February 13, 2012

T-minus 1 Day

Getting closer...  I'm still stressed, but I think cleaning my apartment over the last few days has helped.  I cleaned like a m-fer.  Even the fridge got cleaned out, and I managed to throw away most of the hundreds of magazines I've accumulated over the past couple years.  I got rid of clothes, bleached my bathroom, got the dust-bunnies out from under the bed, and even managed to reorganize all my bike tools and equipment so that my "bike shop" is no longer the same room as my kitchen.

Packing is going to be the main order of this afternoon.  I still have some quick errands to run; need to get a laptop case, get the car washed (and possibly the oil changed), and head to the bank to make sure I've got enough cash in my accounts and in my pocket for the trip.

I'm looking forward to so many things on this trip.  Seeing good friends, riding beautiful places, and documenting it all on my cameras and in my words.  I'm nervous about my bike getting there when I do, but I'll just have to keep my fingers crossed and hope that the airline folks hold up their end of the bargain when it comes to that.

Disappointingly, I found a small tear in the sidewall of my new Schwalbe Rocket Rons as I was looking over my bike last night.  I know these tires don't have a terribly long lifespan, but dammit if these things went quick!  I only mounted them less than a month ago, and I've only done maybe two rides with them on rocks sharp enough to o anything like this.  I'm planning on leaving them mounted for when I get there, and just riding them until they can't be ridden anymore.  I'm brining three other tires (a Specialized Ground Control, Purgatory, and some other Spesh tire), but they're all bigger volume tires.  I guess I'm just going to have to justify the bigger tires by riding some big rocks and gnarly stuff. :)

Anyway, time to get to work and get the last of everything sorted so I can go and have a blast.  Again, I'll be updating as much as I can with some short video and posts here when I can (internet connections willing), and I'll have a full writeup, article, and longer vids when I get back.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

3 Days and counting

Three more days 'till I leave and the stress hasn't gone away.  I'm not quite sure, but for some reason, this trip is really stressing me out.  It's not so much being there, it's more the actual travel involved.

I've done this particular journey enough that I ought to be a pro by now, the only difference being that this time I'll be connecting a flight through Paris.  I've never been to France (though for some peculiar reason I'd love to live there) and I don't speak a lick of French.  I can usually get by on my terribly bad Spanish, but FRENCH!?  I'm royally screwed if anyone askes me anything more than my name!

The good (or bad depending on how you look at it) news is that I'll have about a 5 hour layover to get to know our French friends.  Maybe we can talk about things like democracy, French fries, and threesomes (I heard they invented that!).  Or, I could really experience the culture, get a baguette, glass of wine, and some brie, sit at a cafe and people watch.  Of course it will be 8:30 AM their time, so maybe it's not quite appropriate to drink.  Or...I could just be the "obnoxious American" they think we all are and be loud and eat a lot.  Yeah, that might be the most fun!

Either way, as long as I (and my bike!) get to Spain safely I'll be happy.  This is going to be a great trip and a great opportunity to spend some time with people I really like and a place that I've been in love with since the first time I was there nearly three years ago.  Good times are ahead for sure!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Plane Ride

Got a little bit of a plane ride ahead of me in about five days time.  Heading to Spain again and I'm pumped.  Looking forward to some mountain biking, some adventure, some beautiful mountain views, and catching up with good friends.

This trip had been in the cards for a bit, but having just booked it yesterday I feel an overwhelming amount of stress over the travel.  I guess I knew I was going in my mind, but now that it's been cemented, it's a little more intimidating.  I've got bags to pack, a bike to get ready, and some money to get sorted before I head over.

I think the biggest worry of mine is the transfer I'll have to make in Paris before continuing on to Malaga.  I'm worried about navigating an airport I've never been to, and I'm worried about the baggage handlers losing and/or trashing my bike in transit.  I've been extremely lucky and never had a delayed or lost bike, so I think I'm just about due for it.  I'm almost certain something will go wrong this time-especially because it's my mountain bike.

I'll be hopefully blogging a bit while I'm there, and in addition, I'll be writing an article and adding some video documenting my time there.  It'll be mostly about mountain biking, but I'm going to be sure to include much about the food, culture, shopping, etc. that this particular part of Spain has to offer.

I'm hoping to catch some cultural events while I'm there as well.  Maybe I ought to read up on some Hemingway during the flight over!

More to come and hopefully as departure Tuesday gets nearer, I'll be a little less stressed!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


During my ride today I had a lot of time to think.  Some people like to ride to music, but I like to ride to my thoughts.  Anyway, I though a lot about my best friend Danny. Danny isn't exactly what you'd think of when you'd think of best friends.  We don't see each other much, and most of the memories we have come from before we were even in high school.  But, every year, without fail, Danny calls or now texts me on my birthday, and every year until now, I never returned his call.

My mother would tell me several times a year that Danny had called to say hi, and that I should get in touch with him, but I never did.  I always meant to, but never once did I ever actual make good on my word.

Rewind to last year.  I was turning thirty, and I wanted to have my then "best friend" Stew and his wife come in for my birthday.  I had spent a lot of time with Stew through high school, and we had grown close, but soon after he was married our relationship fell by the wayside.  He was living in Virginia, and I in New York-not a long trip by any means but he rarely made it to see me.

I had mentioned to him in advance that I wanted him to come and celebrate with me.  Excuses abounded, and eventually he never came through.  As I thought about it, I realized that he had NEVER gone out of his way to see me.  I was always the one to go to him.

Now back to Danny; the guy is a rock.  From the time we were little, Danny has been the most loyal person I've ever known.  He's had some tough turns in his young life, but he always comes through and I know that beyond the shadow of a doubt, if I ever needed anything, he'd be there for me, no questions asked.  I'd even go so far as to say that if I ever decided I wanted to kill someone (not that I would!), and called Danny, the only question he'd ask is "Who's drivin'?"

Danny has taught me the real meaning of a friend.  It's not someone that you see all the time-though that certainly can be the case; it's not someone that tells you what you want to hear-though that can happen too.  A real friend is someone that never forgets.  It's someone that has your back no matter what, and would go to the end of the Earth to help you in a jam.  A real friend is a dude from my old neighborhood named Danny.

So this year, to give back just a little to a person who, whether I acknowledged it or not, has always been my best friend, I'm going to give him a bike.  When he found out how much I rode, Danny was in awe.  He never realized the fun that you could have on a bike, or the fitness you could gain from it.  Everyone that rides knows the feeling of freedom it gives you, and transports you back to that time in your life when you couldn't drive, but could still get where you wanted with pedals and two wheels.  I know Danny wants that again, and I want to make sure he gets it.  No one deserves more to feel happy, fit, and like a kid again.  

Monday, February 6, 2012


Not exactly ringing in my 31st year in style as I've been sick since this past Friday.  It started with a scratchy throat, followed by some nasal discharge, then a headache, and now just a general feeling of shit.  Actually, it really started with that terrible migraine I had last week.  I should have known things weren't all right with my body then... Oh well, it is what it is.

Decided to take the day away from the bike.  Put together a solid week of about 6 rides last week, including some really fun filming.  I'm looking forward to getting a new camera and working some more on the trails, both near and far, so stay tuned for some cool stuff.  I knew that little film degree I got in college would come in handy one day.

Otherwise I've got some cool stuff brewing on the horizon that I'll update as they happen.  Life is what you make of it and I really wanna do a lot with the "second chance" I've given myself.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Thirty One Years

Amazing.  I turn 31 today and I still feel like I'm 15 years old.  Actually, wait-ok, I was fat and had the self esteem of a mud puddle when I was 15, so I guess I feel like I'm 26.  I'm pretty sure that's when I started to come into my own as an adult.

It's funny to look back at the experiences the last thirty years have brought me.  First and foremost I've been an athlete, but I've acted, modeled, fought, and traveled.  I've had a lot of good times and a lot of bad times.  I've found love a couple times, and I've lost it a couple times.  I know what it means to feel positive that I'm on the 'right' track in life, and I know what it means when that comes crashing down.  I've been stressed, and I've been relaxed.  I've felt pain and I've felt joy.  All these things have made me who I am and I wouldn't have changed any of them.

As I look out on what will be the next chapter of my life, I'm happy to know that I'm more settled in my thought, and have the wisdom of some years behind me.  Though life isn't just about analytical thought, a little bit every now and then doesn't hurt.  I will choose to live the next part of my life on my terms.  I will choose to love when I love, hurt when I hurt, smile when I'm happy, and cry when I'm sad.  I make the promise to myself to do whatever I do with my heart, my gut, and my balls.  More than anything I wanna live my life with mud on my clothes, dirt under my nails, and maybe even a little bit of B.O. from a time well had.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Another iPod Video

Got out with the iPod again today.  It's really fun to shoot with a camera that doesn't' have all the bells and whistles as some others.  Not to mention shooting with only the trees and rocks as props to place your camera on.  Maybe I should make some more friends to hold the camera for me.  Anyway, this is the edit from today.  The riding is nothing to write home about, and I couldn't quite get the angles I wanted, but I'm still relatively pleased with what it is.  I'm still getting the hang of editing with iMovie as well, so as time goes on the editing will get better too!  Enjoy!


These guys put some really cool edits together.  This is one of their latest.  Makes me wanna move to Vancouver...

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Limbo Sickness

With my birthday and the Superbowl coming this weekend, the last thing I want is to be sick.  As a matter of fact, the last thing I ever want is to be sick.  Sick sucks.  Sick means no bike riding, and feeling less than great-both of which I can do without ALWAYS.

Yesterday I started getting a tickle in my throat, then it went to my joints and muscles, and this morning I just feel like poop.  Not a ton of poop, but at least that little pile that annoys everyone by the side of a trail.  You didn't quite step in it, but you know that if you had you woulda been pissed.

So the question for today that I ask myself as I sip my coffee is whether or not to ride.  If I'm going to ride I'll have to head out soon as I've got a full day of work and errands ahead, so if I miss the opportunity and feel fine later I'll be a little bummed.

Just realized how funny this whole argument is in my head... It's just one ride!  Why the hell am I so stressed out about it!:)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Be Cool

Had a great ride yesterday despite being unreasonably frustrated within the first 5 minutes.  I had wanted to do some more filming yesterday, and as I haven't yet received a new GoPro HD 2, I set out with my Epic HD Action Cam.  No less than 10 seconds after hitting the button to start recording, "BEEEEEEEEP" right in my ear.  Even though I had taken the time to put BRAND NEW batteries in it before heading to the trail, the "dead battery" signal still rung.  "Ok," I said to myself, "I'll just throw in three new ones and see what happens."  Again, same result.  Like any red blooded male would at this moment, I decided to remedy the situation by slowly detaching the camera from its mount, and slamming it into the nearest rock.  Problem fixed.

Before you get the idea that I'm just some quick tempered ass, I've got to defend myself by saying that this stupid camera has given me nothing but trouble for the entire year (exactly 1 year on Sunday, February 5th) I've owned it.  I've been able to record no more than about 1 hour total of footage, most of which was unusable.  The Epic HD has been, by far and away, the worst electronics purchase I've ever made.  Every time I think about how I could have spent the same money on a GoPro it makes my blood boil.  Live and learn.

Back to the ride: It was a beautiful day to be out on a bike.  The weather is ridiculously warm for this time of year, almost to the point that I want to pinch myself because I think I'm dreaming.  We've had to deal with some pretty harsh winter by Long Island standards the past four years, so I guess we're due for a mild one.  I'm only hoping that the nice weather now doesn't come back to bite us in the butt in March.

Today is going to be a bit of a rest day.  Though I'm not training right now, I'm riding hard.  Seems that it's a little more fun to ride fast than it is to ride slow-who woulda thought!?  So I'll more than likely take it easy to day and hit the weights later this evening.  I still have some work to do in my apartment to finish the "overhaul" I began a few weeks back with the floor.  A new couch needs to be picked up today, and I've gotta make a trip to the Salvation Army with some clothes.  Not enough can be said about what a nice thing it is to have a clean living space.  Clears both the mind and the house.