30 January 2015

It's always something...

Tuesday, I nearly got carried off by a pterodactyl.
Last night, well...we'll get to that...

Let's just say, the ride was fun. On the run out on The Powerstation, Henry commented that the County had run the motor grader over the still-open, far end of the road. Okay...no big deal...
We forged ahead.
The dirt is in good knick. Firm. Hard-packed. Smooth. And pretty fast.
Oh, and when you get to the washout, and fine the newly filled in section, thank Henry for taking time out of his day yesterday to go out and work for a couple of hours to make it passable.
Of course, it helps that he works for SCANA, and has a key to the gate.
Can't bomb through it at full speed, but it's definitely rideable, and much.

Anyway, once out to the far end, we were met with a road that resembled Koksijde...

Yeah, the County ran the grader, and turn the road into a soft, squishy sandpit. Ironically, the two "roadies" in the group were the only two to ride the entire section all the way to Eastman.
Plenty of stops, and a few folks fell over. Let the bike move under you people...loose arms...
KL said "F it", and turned around to wait for us at the gate. Wuss....
Id like to think my superior skills, and new Clement LAS rubber kept me upright...
A photo posted by MM (@mminsc) on

As a reward for riding the whole section, my drivetrain sounds like sand was pouring onto it...because sand WAS poured onto it.

And the title of today's nonsense? RS was leading thru the branch chicane...I was second wheel. He ran over a good sized stick, and it kicked straight up in the air, and into my face. I saw it coming. I could do nothing. Felt good.

If any Columbusers want to work on their sandpit skills, now is the time. Give it a good, soaking rain, and a few dozen cars rolling thru, and it'll be smooth and fast again.

Yes...Merci Roubaix! Indeed...

Speaking of Roubaix, the 2015 route was announced. 253km, and 53km of cobbles...
April 12th. NBCSN will be streaming it live, so figure out your HDMI cables, and direct streaming to your SMART TV. You have some time...

Time to get the day started. Gotta go get cracked and stretched.

28 January 2015

Hunter. Or Hunted?

Nice, sedate night ride last night. It was chilly, but felt pretty nice. Cold night air is good for you, no matter what your grandmother says...
We rolled out with a larger than normal "A" group, which was cool. It warms my little Grinch-like heart to see all of those lights bombing around in the woods.
Easy peasy out to the gate, then back in. Ricky and I hung back until the washout, then I sort of rolled to the front. I don't mind riding in the back, except when coming to a technical spot, or a hazard, mainly because you are at the will of the guys in front of you.
I went into the mudhole first, and saw something large and gray enter my upper peripheral vision. I instinctively ducked, and might have let out a little squeal.
THIS flew about a foot from my head...
I only saw a wing, and the tail, but the consensus was that he was a big fella. Audubon says they feed on small mammals, which I definitely am NOT, but the hunting behavior was spot on...

"Hunts by night or day, perhaps most at dawn and dusk. Seeks prey by watching from perch, also by flying low through forest; may hover before dropping to clutch prey in talons."

Seems that's exactly what happened....

It was good two hours on the bike, as usual. And I didn't lose a contact. WhoooHoooo!!

(what the hell happened to my Font...?)

And in Lance news, Armstrong's attorneys subpoena'd Frankie. Betsy had a small aneurysm, and yapped (as she does) to anyone who would listen. There's a word Frankie needs to add to his vocabulary.

  1. involved with others in an illegal activity or wrongdoing.

You guys were there Frankie (and Betsy). You knew....


Not ugly. Not inexpensive either....

Speaking of...
How about a stainless Merckx frameset, built with SR and Boras, to celebrate Eddy's 70th birthday? 

Only 70 will be made. 69 for public consumption. Eddy gets #1...DUH! Price for entry? $17,500.
The Boss said I could get a new, steel frameset. I showed her the VN article, and said I'd made my choice. This was her reaction...
So much for the support...

Dirt, switchback climb out of the valley. Only problem? It's in Ethiopia...
(and now the Font switches back to normal...on it's own. Ghost in The Machine)

Have a happy Wednesday. After lunch, the weekend is on the downhill...

27 January 2015

We've located the problem...

Technology is ruining your ride...

(Reprinted from BikeRadar)

You know you're a modern roadie when…

20.    You return from an epic ride to find your GPS didn’t record and it feels like you just wasted your day and energy.
-Use of the word "epic" automatically renders this entry moot.
19.    Your gears stopped working… because of a dead battery.
-Cables always work, and even on the extremely rare occasion a cable fails, a stick can be wedged into a derailleur to find a gear.
18.    Your first ride of 2015 was on 2 January. All the achievable Strava KOMs were already taken. 
17.    You work out indoors on windy days because your aerodynamic frame and wheels are just too scary outside.
-Or go out and learn to handle your bike.
16.    A rest day is when your GPS is turned off.
- I. Can't. Even.
15.   You can't train indoors because your computer has a virus.
-The word "train" automatically renders this entry moot.
14.    You’re involved in a crash and you get X-rays… of your bike for insurance purposes. The sore ribs go ignored.
- Sadly, we all know of this occurring.
13.   You see someone wearing a tiger-print skinsuit and your first thought is ‘brave’.
-Unless your name starts with Cipo and ends with -llini, You sound be made fun of, relentlessly...PERIOD. 
12.    A car hits you because they didn’t see your ‘murdered-out’ bike and matching kit. Luckily, you caught the whole thing in HD video.
-I have a camera. I think the battery is dead.
11.  Your brakes are leaking oil.
-If this happens, causing you to be late, you will get left behind. Same if it happens while out.
10.  Your power meter keeps cutting out – you decide it’s pointless to ride like this.
-Or just tape over the screen for the whole ride.
9.    Distracted by your GPS, you hit the back of a car. (Perhaps using your Garmin while riding is no different to drivers texting?)
-If this happens, you will get left behind.
8.   It’s wet outside, so you wonder if you should just ride your cyclocross bike on the road today?
-Unless it's down, road rides get the road bike.
7. You get a flat and find neither you nor anyone in your group has a 60/80mm valve tube. You call a cab/your spouse, delete the file off your GPS and pretend the ride never happened.
-Always have a long valve tube. Long works in short. Not the other way around.
6. Your heart rate/cadence/speed or power sensor malfunctions and picks up the data of a young-gun riding past. You immediately screen-shot the effort. 
5. You can’t operate your bike computer because the touchscreen doesn’t work with thegloves you’re wearing.
-If this is the case, you are riding with the incorrect computer.
4. You have a Gran Fondo coming up, but can’t decide whether to use 50/34, 52/36 or 53/39 gearing on the front. And the rear cassette is a whole other drama! 
-Facepalm v.2
3. You're sitting at the lights and go to push off – you shift for a gear but nothing happens. You quickly hear the laughter of your mate riding off and look down to find you’ve been unplugged.
-Someone in that scenario is a dick. Might be more than one person...
2. Fixing a bottom bracket creak is no longer a matter of reaching for a wrench and grease. It now requires a hammer, a cup remover, a headset press, a new bottom bracket and a whole bunch of Loc-tite.
-Nope. an 8mm and a BB wrench. Thanks.
1. Your crankset tells you not to quit your day job.
-A VERY limited few on this big, blue marble should EVER quit their day job. Know what I'm sayin'?

26 January 2015


Sometimes, the Gods look down from the mountain, and send you enough signs that indicate you should have just stayed home.
Saturday was one of those days.
Yeah...it stopped raining, but it was still quite unpleasant. 40. Damp. Windy. Cloudy.
I decided to go out anyway.
Felt like crap. Forged ahead in the hopes that the bad stuff would get pushed out. The only thing that got pushed out was the tube through a destroyed Clement LAS.
On the 12th St. bridge, I hit a wheel weight from a tractor-trailer tire. Front tire hit it, and flipped it up. Rear tire hit it flush. The large hunk of steel-encased lead laced the tire all the way to the bead.
RIP rear LAS. You were a good tire...

No booting it. Called The Boss for pickup. She couldn't figure out where I was until I told her to turn left at the Krispy Kreme. Figures...
I rode for a grand total of 30 minutes. The Boss told me to switch bikes and go back out.
No thanks. It's a sign to stay home...

And this sort of brings me to a larger point, and ties into the whole Columbia "WalkBike" thing.
I was riding on the shoulder Saturday morning, just as I was a few weeks ago when I ran over the meth pipe.
Riding on the shoulder, and in bike lanes, is fine and well...if they're clean. All of the detritus from the road gets pushed to the sides, where drivers expect us to ride. Well, the two "cut tire rides" cost me $150 (at retail) because I chose to ride on the shoulder.
Part of proper, and safe, cycling and pedestrian infrastructure is making sure that surfaces provided are free of obstacles, and the danger they present.
The powers that be claim they want to provide safe roads on which to ride, but the bike lanes are always full of garbage, and the SCDOT ground the "drunk bumps" into the road, thus eliminating use of the white line/shoulder, forcing us into the lane.
Sounds like lip service to me...
Columbia, and our Mayor-who-sits-on-High, has to have committees and meeting after meeting to make the City friendly to non-vehicle transport, but a $35 Million baseball stadium gets pushed through w/o so much as a "Hey...how are ya?"

Anywho...Sunday met The Heathens with cool temps, but a BIG sun. It was quite pleasant. One of those ride days that if one complained about the weather, and being on the bike, one should just sell their shit.
A modified trip out to Swansea, up around the Ricky extension, and back in on Fish Hatchery. Speaking of, FH has become a pave section. Hey, LexCo, there are only so many times you can throw a shovelful of asphalt into a hole.
Know why we ride out in the lane? Go drive down Fish Hatchery Rd.
Back thru the airport, WeCola, and USC.
We said the ride would be shorter than last week's 117km, and it was. I got home with 108. ;)
It was a borderline perfect day to ride. If you missed it, you missed it.

And along the same vein, this is an open note to those living in the NE. That sound you hear is people in the Southeast laughing AT you...
...not WITH you. And please, don't get any ideas about moving South. We have enough of you already...

Taylor Phinney's little sister is gonna be PISSED. That skinsuit is going to be all kinds of stretched out when she gets it back...

Staying with things Pearl Izumi, the 2015 road shoe looks sessy. Too bad no one in town will bring in anything other than what their bike suppliers provide.

Hoogerheide was yesterday. Last stop before Worlds...


If the video won't load due to Country restrictions, download the Hola app onto your chosen device. It gets around these sort of things what shocking ease. Thank me later...

Okay...get on with your Monday. I need to go to Whole Foods...

23 January 2015


Another really fun night ride last night. All the way out to Eastman and back in on The Powerstation. I lost yet anther contact. It's really fun trying to ride with any sort of pace, at night, in the pitch black dark, with one good eye.
Thank Dog that I've ridden that loop more than everyone else in town combined, and have the majority of it committed to memory.
I did overcook a turn though. Too much speed. Not enough vision. Might be time to order a pair of clear Oakleys to ride in. Contacts are pissing me off...
Watching HC disappear into the washout was nice too. which brings us to this...

Pro-Tip : Make sure you can get out of your pedals before attempting a CX dismount.

Couldn't have felt good, as any sort of soft dirt to land on has since been washed away.
And a big shoutout goes to the new girl on the ride last night. As we passed the "B" group, she let out a spectacular belch. I mean, truly impressive. Don't know you, but I like you!

And special thanks to the wanker in the Hyundai who decided to attempt a left turn in front of me at the corner of Gervais and Assembly. I guess the 3000-ish lumens shining in his eyes wasn't enough...
No matter. It was a solid 2 hours on the bike, on a pretty pleasant evening.

Two wheels good...

A stripper Ducati 750? Shut up and take my money...

Uh...how'd Roy get thru THAT?

Here's the last 10km. They were hauling ASS...

Steele Von Hoff has a serious kick. And likely the best name for a sprinter...
As for the crash, Lawson Craddock broke his sternum...HIS STERNUM!!!  Bet that's fun...

Time to get my day started. The Post Office and Publix are calling...

22 January 2015


The 'roo is highly protective of his KoMs

21 January 2015


Don't know about you folks, but my internal calendar is all kinds of screwed up from having a long weekend.
I thought yesterday was Monday, thus forgot to plug in my lights until about 4:30. Nothing gives one that secure feeling like leaving for a 2 hour night ride with less than a full battery charge.
Things to be glad for yesterday :
1) Running dual lights on the front. One light crapped out last night.
2) Feeling a little bit tired, and not riding on the front. Henry got to the big washout first, carrying entirely too much speed.
He got there, saw that it now resembles a chasm, and executed an emergency bunny-hop. Well, no so much a bunny-hop, as I think the bike left the ground as a direct result of the vacuum created by his sphincter slamming closed.
Everyone else dismounted and walked it, including yours truly, and you know if I get off, it's not passable.
It was nice of the "B" group to poach the private property again. Like I've said before, if they wanted people back there, that giant, orange, custom-fabbed gate wouldn't be locked to a giant steel post, and have barbed-wire around it.
The answer? "No one is back there..."
Well, no one is at the bank at night either. Doesn't mean you can let yourself in....

Back in through the trails, up onto campus, into the 'hood, and home. 2:15 on the bike is a pretty nice way to spend an evening. Did I mention it was in the 60s? And I rode in shorts?

And special thanks to the cranky old biddy who yelled at us for using the MUT...thru the woods...at night. Such a delicate flower. God forbid she share...like an adult.

Rapha, and pretty much everything it stands for, is daft. I do, however, have feelings for this frameset. Make mine the same, but leave off the Rapha logos. Thanks.

On your left....

And like Dean, I think my next bike will be metal. I'm leaning towards this ^^^^^^^^^^^^. Genesis OS 853. 44mm headtube. OS downtube and BB shell. $1400 F/F. Not a bad deal.
Or just sell out completely, and get the 953 Stainless version....
It's shiny. And twice the money. Did I mention it's shiny?
The money "saved" by going 853 just bought the 11v group. I'm no economist, but...

High 60s again today. Take your lunch outside.