02 September 2014

Nothing like easing back in...

So after the longest continuous break I've taken in 2014 (six days), I got re-acquainted with the bike(s) this weekend.
Saturday - 2 hours on the CX bike out thru the PowerStation a couple of times. The first 30 minutes was really odd. They say one never forgets how to ride a bike, and that's probably true, but after a week off, the legs tend to wonder what the hell you're doing to them.
Highlights?
The dirt is in fantastic shape. It was shielded from the flesh burning sun/heat that we've experienced as of late. And I saw a rattlesnake that was large enough to take down small deer.
Well, I saw his body. The tail and head were on opposite sides of the trail, hidden by the underbrush. He was large...
Sunday - a good group met for the usual ride. The decision was made to do an easy 80km or so, as Monday was Labor Day, and we'd planned to do the Flat 50, including the commute to and from the meeting point.
Well, the best laid plans...yada yada...
It turned into a 105km ride out thru Cal/Lex. And it was harder than it should have been, as I was dragging a dying albatross behind me.
The hub new Williams WS28 rear wheel decided to begin ingesting itself about an hour into the ride. Once home, the hub felt like someone smashed all of the bearings into a not-so-fine powder. Emails have been sent...
After a quick turnaround, the entirety of Corpo went to the pool...
Monday - A few of us met @ 7:15 (too GD early), and wandered out to the Labor Day Flat 50. (80km, since I go by kilometers...)
Charlie and I kept tabs on things until we got to the Swamp. The whole group rode 30-34kmh, together, and fun was had by all. Once out of the Swamp...well...
All hell broke loose, and the ride averaged damn near 40kmh until we got to Eastover. Honestly, it was fun, albeit a bit dodgy at times...and it was silly.
Once out of the store stop, the lead group pressed on at high speed, while the bulk of the group rode in together...at 30-34kmh.
Once back, and bottles filled for the umpteenth time, the four of us rolled the 15km back to the 'hood. 
Yeah...I went to the pool again...
Another day, another Metric.  110km for Monday, and 265km for the weekend. I'm tired...
Now for my editorial :
These Flat 50 rides that Becky is nice enough to organize have gotten out of control.
I understand people's innate need for competition, but there's a time, and a place. These rides aren't it.
Big, fast-ish group rides are really fun, but they shouldn't turn into road races.
The first one we attended was a 30-35kmh affair. Everyone stayed together. Those who were strong did the work. Those who were not as strong, rode the wave. This is the way the Flat 50 should be.
The ride has devolved since then...
There are folks out there who aren't interested in biting their stems for 2.5 hours. The group should stay together, both for safety's sake, and for the camaraderie gained by riding with folks you normally wouldn't ride with.
 Words to this effect will be spoken at the next Flat 50.
If this makes me the asshole, so be it. I've been the asshole before...what's another day?


Donhou Stainless with visible brass brazing. You are now on my list...

 Two of my favorites from Eurobike
 Caterham will only build 73 of these. Even if you don't have to ask the price, you probably cannot afford it.
And this Cinelli piqued my attention. Purple has been missing from bikes...

And Rapha released their "Lightweight Climbing Shoe". Let it be known, to man and beast alike, if you show up to a ride with these, I will ridicule you...OPENLY.

And this is why one, unless a PRO, should run mechanical on a CX bike. I wonder if, when the derailleur sheared off, it sounded like $100 bills tearing? And notice the crank? Yeah, that's a Quarq.  Nothing like fucking up your $2000 crank in the mud.

Fourth ride in as many days tonight. Ride time has moved up to 6pm. See you there...



29 August 2014

What's the life of a cyclist worth?

Well, if you're riding LEGALLY in California, it appears that your life is worth NOTHING.

Remember the LA County Deputy that struck and killed a cyclist back in December of 2013...WHILE responding to an email on the computer in his squad car?

It seems that the LA County Sheriff's Department will NOT be filing charges against the Deputy, as fucking around with a laptop, thus driving distracted, is "within the scope of his duties...".  What the ever loving fuck?
 I guess the texts that Deputy Woods sent his wife immediately before he ran down the cyclist were official business too?!?

Another person murdered by Law Enforcement. They just got a little more creative this time.

Here's the Facebook page of the Lost Hills Division of the LASD. Their Twitter account is @LASDHQ . Light 'em up...

Want to get really pissed?  Here's the DA's "Charge Evaluation Worksheet" for the incident.
Just another example of Law Enforcement circling the wagons to protect one of their own.

I hate to be political, or sound militant, but this shit has to stop. If those who are tasked with our protection brush off the killing of a cyclist, then what chance do we have with the general population?
Look out for yourself. Protect yourself.  Ride with a camera, still or video. Get plate numbers. Call the police. Be a pain in the ass!
And most of all, KNOW THE LAW!! Put it in your phone, or print off a small copy and keep it somewhere on your person, or bicycle.

I can tell you, with some degree of certainty, that LEOs don't know the Law as it pertains to bicycles.
We had a run-in a few years ago with a Richland County Deputy who told us to ride single-file.
Well, NO! Riding two-abreast is legal. I stated this fact, and he got pissed off, and stopped his vehicle dead in the middle of Airbase Rd. Now you tell me, which of these things is more dangerous?
He demanded my ID, and began to read me the riot act.  When he was done coughing and spitting, I asked him to go to his in-car laptop, and look up SC 56-5-3430. Begrudgingly, he did so. After about 5 minutes, he returned, and threw my ID at me. Well, I missed the catch, and it fell to the ground.
I asked him to pick it up and hand it to me, as I had shown him the same courtesy when he'd initially requested the ID.  He approached me with anger, and I explained that our entire encounter was being recorded.
It was funny how his demeanor changed once he was aware that his face, voice, and behavior were now secure in my Contour HD camera.
He picked up my ID, handed it to me, and without another word, walked back to his cruiser, and drove away.
I still have the video in the bowels of my laptop. You never know...

Be safe out there people. Look out for each other. Whether you like a person in your riding group or not doesn't matter. We are all a part of the same family.







27 August 2014

No ridey

No ridey last night, as I was tasked with child care.
The Boss was receiving yet another award from some advertising professionals group, so I hung out with the fellas, played some math flash cards, a little Jenga, and a rousing game of hide and seek in the house.
It didn't suck...

It was a nice night for a ride though...
Oh well, the end of the week is coming, and Monday is Labor Day, which means a nice 4 day stack is on the horizon...


Ah...Richard Sachs...
The man who speaks of himself in third person, and won't put bottle bosses on his CX bikes b/c the are superfluous and inelegant. Nothing says elegant like strips of innertube and some pipe clamps, eh Richie?

Ridley intro'd the new Noah SL yesterday. Lighter, stiffer, and "faster".  Don't know about all that marketing driven stuff, but it looks damn cool.  Also looks a lot like the new Pinarello Dogma F8...
Just saying....
And after seeing this...
And also seeing that it's a bit more than $2k for the frameset (as shown), I'm having a crisis...
Do I go carbon again? Do I spend 2x the $ and go stainless?
There's hand-wringing going on here people...

I'm also still have feelings for the Rose Xeon.  Which can be had for $3500 complete (at today's USD/Euro rates...) with Ultegra Di2...

Wheels are turning....

Ok...enough fluff. Get back to work. I actually have productive-type things to do today as well.  Shocking, I know...





25 August 2014

You see, what had happened was...

So we ventured up to Clinton on Saturday morning for Flight of The Dove. Did I mention that getting up at 4:45am is GD early?
The Beast scooped up everyone, and their belongings, and we made it in plenty of time.
And as it usually happens at these things, I found myself on the wrong side of the assembly point for the start.
Out of the parking lot, we were already watching the lead group round the turn. Super.
Instead of just finding a group to ride with, I buried myself, 3 minutes into the ride, and chased for the next 20 minutes.
The bridge was made in the next little town, but the effort was too much, and I just couldn't get over the first climb with the group.
The next 40 minutes was spent riding stupidly, and entirely too hard.
Burning matches...
A nice group assembled at mile 30 or so, and rode together well until the mile 40 rest stop.
Once back on the bike, the day was over.
I might have made it another 3 miles until I went all Sonoran Desert...
And that was that...
Goodbye group...goodbye decent ride.
Survival mode kicked in, and the next hour and change was spent just keeping the pedals turning over.
I caught a guy who was doing the 50 mile route, and we limped back into town together.  Broken...
3:12:xx according to the clock on the stem. Not horrible, but a whopping 27 minutes slower than last year.
And to add insult to injury, I flatted about a mile from the finish. Not changing that one...ride it in...
Everyone finishing looked a bit smashed. Of course, it was 95 degrees...
No matter.
FotD is a great ride, and supports a great local cause. I'll be back next year for number 10.
Once back at Service Course, I drink 2.5 liters of water, another Coke, and ate two burritos.  After a lengthy nap, I ate a cupcake.  Only then did anything resembling life return...
Four of us met Sunday morning, and knocked down another 80-ish km out thru the flats. The first hour was a battle for all, but once rolling, we all started to feel a bit better, and a good ride was had by all.  It was needed...
It was a good weekend of riding, even if a bit of it was really terrible...

 Oh, isn't that nice. The folks in Colorado made a crown for the Princess.
Spain doesn't even PLAY when it comes to podium girls. Other races need to seriously up their game.
And I know it's a Trek, but Sven's new whip for this CX season is smooooth. Built for action.
And I thought my next bike would be made of metal...then this happened...

And a cool video from the Tour of Colorado USA Pro Challenge...


Railing on dirt. I know people who won't go around flat, dry, asphalt corners that hard.

Alright people, back to work...










22 August 2014

And people wonder...

Folks wonder why the top American riders aren't well liked, nor highly respected in Europe.

After the whinging of Stage 2, Tejay looked like someone pee'd on his Corn Flakes on the podium.  

And then yesterday, Tom "I served my suspension in the off-season" Danielson went out of his way to do this to a fan...

Vaughters made him apologize on Twitter.  

Good job guys.  Way to fly the flag...

Bristol and I met at the group ride last night on our CX bikes.  Plan was to roll out 12th with the group, then ride the dirt. We did just that...sort of...
Once to the turn at Saxe Gotha, whomever has appointed themselves 'ride leader' decided the entire bunch needed to turn, and avoid the bridge construction.
I wonder how easy it was to get the 40-ish people across HWY 321?  
That way is more dangerous than the 'normal' or 'backwards' routes ever thought about being.  I don't like to cross there when there are 6-8 of us on Sunday morning, much less with 40...right after work...
That variation of the route needs to be forgotten...
The two of us had a nice ride. Easy spin around and home with a solid two hours.  It was just too hot to go out and prostrate one's self last night.  It was cool(er) down by the river...in the shade...

Had a nice run in with some Chi Psi Frat Bros on the way to the ride. They were invited to exit the vehicle, but declined...as usual. I wonder if the driver is curious how I found him this morning. Not hard to get a license plate run...even a NJ tag.  
 
Flight of The Dove is tomorrow in Clinton. If you've never done it, you should. Fast, fun, and well organized. We knocked down the metric in 2:45 last year...FWIW.  
Hope to see you there...

 
 


20 August 2014

USA Cycling...(facepalm)

So the Tour of Colorado USA Pro Challenge is going on. It was rainy yesterday, and they had to traverse a dirt section.
I think you can all guess what happened next.



So the racers ALL covered the muddy and sloppy dirt section w/o issue, only to have the idiots from USA Cycling stop them, and neutralize the race ONCE THEY GOT BACK ON THE TARMAC! Oh, did I mention they were 8km from the finish?
The riders were understandably pissed off. And you can see Tejay vanWhingeren gesticulating and exclaiming that the race should have been neutralized earlier.

The race shouldn't have been neutralized AT ALL!  Yeah, it rained. Yeah, it got chilly. Yeah, the road was muddy.  Don't like it? Get a fucking job, and sit in a cubical all day.
Most of us would give our left (insert appendage here) to race over those roads.

USA Cycling's explanation was that the UCI and the organizers made the decision. Uh, bullshit!
That's a USA Cycling Official. You can tell by his khaki pants, and the blue cotton-poly blend dress shirt.

Thanks goodness USA Cycling doesn't run races in Europe, or one of the best stages of the Giro EVER would have been neutralized...



Moving on...

Fun ride last night. We went the regular way, as the bridge can now be crossed. Sure, every had to get off, and take two or three steps, but it's MUCH safer than running the loop backwards with such a big group.
Nothing of real interest happened. No yelling. No stupid riding. There was a fixie kid on a single speed with one brake, but he was quickly dispatched.
Once on 302, it was easy to see that the sky over Columbia was DARK, and flashes of lightning were popping in the distance.
I had a flashback to that Thursday night a few Summers ago when the weather went completely sideways on us in a few short minutes.
Riding in hail and wind sucks.
Fortunately, the skies were kind.

It was good to see Ricky out as well. I think we needed to see him as much as he needed to be there.

Eye Candy : Parlee

And if you haven't seen it, Slaying the Badger...



Basso having a WTF? moment in Colorado as he passes Lance...
It's Wednesday...you're halfway there...

18 August 2014

Back to it....

The grind that is...
School started today. For some, it's a day of emotions and histrionics. In this house, it's a day of quiet rejoicing. After two + months of children driving me batshit, they're gone for most of the day.
Well, 2 of the 3 are gone.  And let's be honest, #3 is pretty easy to get along with as long as he has a cup of juice, and some Pepperidge Farm Goldfish.
They were complete pains in the ass yesterday though. I chalk it up to nervous energy.  They knew school was looming...

Anyway, a couple of good rides were had this weekend...
Saturday was a solo CX affair out to The PowerStation.  It's in damn fine shape right now, especially considering all of the rain that has fallen over the past few weeks. 

 Cutting thru the new part of the Timmerman Trail is worth it just for the bridges...
The woods are slowly fixing the damage done by decades of rednecks in pickup trucks. I must admit, my imagination was still in high gear on Saturday morning. My run in with the feline in Florida made every branch snap, and crushed-under-tire leaf seem like an imminent attack. Settle yourself boy...
I rode up thru campus as well. Dumb.
It was move-in day for the dorms. Talk about taking one's life in one's hands....

A nice group met Sunday for The Heathen Ride. H/T to Big John's wife for the moniker.
A deviation of the loop occurred too. A road not ridden before lead to the split point for the group. A few wanted to go hard, so they went one way. The rest wanted to go long, so we went the other. Cool with me. I just like having a good-sized bunch roll out together on Sunday morning.
The "long" group ended up in Swansea, and rolled back over the ridge into Cola. I hit Service Course with 95km, which was more than enough after a week of vacation.
And the road bike felt really odd after a solid week of riding the CX bike. Different geos and all that...
 Roxy made an appearance too...After a month at the SC Criminal Justice Academy, or as she calls it, 'Sleepaway Camp with Guns'...
Only 8 weeks to go...
And as it's clear to see, it was terrible out there yesterday...

It was also clear that lazing about on the beach, and eating pound after pound of Gulf shrimp did little for my fitness level. It's cool though, as no pro teams are watching me, and my views last week didn't exactly suck.


Gonna be hot this week. Heat indexes well into triple digits. If you must go outside to play in the afternoon, be careful. 105+ is nothing to play with...