30 July 2015

When does school start?

August 17th.
Can't come soon enough. Maybe I'll be able to get some stuff done around here. And not have to listen to the incessant arguing of children.

Fun ride Tuesday, except for the fact that the group can't wait 15 seconds for the stragglers...at pre-determined gathering points.
Everything was peachy until Gator. I let the gap go to stay back, and pull a few stragglers up to the corner. The group decided to turn onto 302, and punch it. Good job guys! Way to look out for the group. Especially the one guy who'd never been on the ride before.
It's bad form to leave people out in the sticks. Period.
JMR and I buried it down 302, and made no dent in the gap. We picked up more than a few that got put out of the bunch.
Other than that, I actually felt okay on the ride, as if some sort of form was coming back. It was a bit cooler, and the rain that fell on us at the end was pretty nice to ride in.
Not a bad ride, other than the shenanigans of a few.
Tonight...we wait at the top of Gator. It's 15...30 seconds at most. It's not going to kill ANYONE'S ride...and it keeps us from looking like dicks to those from out of town.
And headed over TO the ride, I was forced to use Blossom St.  Fecking trains.
Coming down the bridge, by the Compress, I was rolling at 65kmh. That's 40mph in old money. The speed limit is 35.
Some sorority girl tried to pass me, so she could turn on to Huger. I was going OVER the GD speed limit, but she still tried to right hook me. Nice...

 The 2016 Scott Foil. Me likey. Though it looks suspiciously like the new Ridley Noah SL.
The upside of the Ridley? One can use their choice of bar and stem.
Forcing a customer to use a proprietary bar/stem setup smacks of bad business. It's one of the things that really turned me off when I looked at the new Madone 9. Not everyone likes shallow, ergo bars.
I appreciate the tech. I appreciate the design exercise. BUT...doing both for the sake of it (and marketing) is silly.
Bars, stems, lever placement, etc. is key to fit, and highly personal. I understand that there's SOME degree of adjustment built into these new proprietary "aero" front ends, but most people buying the need/want more.
Cervelo allows for choice as well...

Less than 48 hours until vacay. Again...can't come soon enough.
And big thanks to River Runner for having the Yakima bits I needed.





27 July 2015

Hangover

The Tour is over. There were some outstanding individual performances, but the battle for GC was a yawn.
Say what you want about the Armstrong era, but when he won, he WON. The yellow jersey should take the race to people, not sit around and follow wheels.
And speaking of the maillot jaune, shut up about Froome getting yelled at, and spat on. Lance used to show up at the top of the Alpe covered in Dog knows what, and Merckx got punched in 1975, and it ultimately cost him the Tour win.
And Tejay...poor poor Tejay. Always something with that kid. He dropped out with a little chest cold and a headache...while in 3rd. Do we need to mention that Laurens Ten Dam crashed, dislocated his shoulder, popped it back in HIMSELF, then finished the Tour.
Some racers are hard. Some ain't....

Rumor has it that Richie Porte is going to BMC for next year. See ya Tejay. Only a matter of time until you're racing back here in the US.
Speaking of transfers, Alessandro Ballan will be racing for UHC in a matter of weeks, once his doping suspension is over. Will American racing turn into the MLS? A retiring ground for aged pros?

Enough of that....

You know that thing where you don't do any long road rides for a couple of months, then jump right back in the deep end of the pond? Yeah...welcome to my weekend.
Seriously, for whatever reason(s), I have done anything longer than a couple of hours since Mancation.
Saturday, we rolled out through The Swamp, and back in. Standard fare. 80km. Felt pretty good.

As you can see, it was fairly terrible out there. Almost cool in places, and never got what one would call "HOT".
Sunday met me with a tired body. What?
Going out into Lex/Cal felt pretty good. Everything got moving. NICE tailwind into Swansea. JMR led it to the town limit sign, and it was one of those rare occasions when I just needed more gear. Plenty of legs and lungs. It was the 52/12 that let me down. Trying to come around at 60kmh and 115rpm wasn't getting it done. Spin like Froome...I cannot...
We rolled back home, and I ended with 105km. Didn't quite feel as chipper as Saturday. The Boss left with Thing 1 and Thing 2. Thing 3 went down for a snooze, so I closed my eyes for a moment. Or 90 of them...whatever. Semantics. Tomato / Tomatoe.
As the title of this post states, I feel hungover. And the weekend has shown that I need to get back on the bike. My fitness is for shit.
Upside? We passed the spot of Mike's dog incident, and no dog.


Daniel Teklehaimanot laughs at your idea of vascularity.

The ladies raced on the Champs yesterday. It was pretty fun to watch.


And Griepel showed that he's the sprinter this year...


Watch Sagan banging to stay on Kristoff's wheel. Good stuff.

Evidently, Cav was crying after the finish. People were speculating why. He finished 7th, and really was never in the race. Only won a single stage this year.
I would hazard that he was sobbing b/c he knows that his contract is up in about 6 weeks, and a pay cut is on the horizon. It's okay. Save some money, start a Gran Fondo, or a cycling camp on the Isle of Man. Don't feel too bad for the boy. He wakes up next to THIS every morning...
Poor little fella....

Happy Monday. Time to go get some crap done that I've neglected for the last 3 weeks....



24 July 2015

Note to self

Don't tickle it.
If you think you want to futz with your bike, even though it's working 100% properly, just don't. Both of my rides this week were shot squarely in the ass b/c I can't leave well enough alone.
Tuesday, I went down to Service Course, and fooled with the F/D on the Ridley. It had been dropping the chain on the inside on downshifts. Well, the TL;DR version of the story is that i didn't make it any better.
I dropped the chain going up Glenn, couldn't shift it back onto the chainring, and watched the group ride away.
And the saddle on the Ridley has felt lower than the CX bike for some time now. Being the fiddly wanker that I am, I raised it 2.5mm RIGHT before the ride yesterday. If you don't think 2.5mm is much, or makes a difference, go raise your saddle that much.
Riding over, it felt odd. I even got off the bike in the parking lot to lower it, but thought, "Nah...it's 2.5mm...what's the big deal?"
Well, call me The Princess from "The Princess and The Pea" if you like, but it KILLED me.
Rolling on the flats, it was fine, but as soon as the road turned up, I was done.
I've been out of alignment for a week+ (thanks trip to Ohio in the wife's POS car), and raising the saddle just exacerbated the issue.
Being higher made me reach a bit with the already short left leg, and THAT stretched the SI joint, causing shooting pain down my leg. I could roll at 30-35kmh, but anything more than that, requiring ANY kind of power, and it just plain hurt.
I rode home, and even before I came in the house, I put the saddle back to it's RETUL recommended height.
This morning, my back hurts, and my hip is sore.
Speaking of, I should probably head back over to Atlanta for a freshening up on the old fit.
I'm going out to the chiro to get straightened out in about 3 hours. Can't come soon enough.

I'd normally do a little Tour talk now, but to be honest, it's been boring. Other than the climb up the Lacets de Montvernier yesterday, and Sagan being in every break, it's all been pretty BLAH.
Alpe d'Huez is tomorrow, and MIGHT be exciting, but I fear it will be more of the same.

I know I've been a critic of carbon CX bikes, and disc brakes, but the 2016 Ridley X-Trail may have changed my mind.
It brings me back to the "One bike for all" thoughts I had not so long ago. One of these with 11v Di2 would be the Swiss Army knife of bicycles. I need to stay strong...

Mmmmm....coffee brown Baum....
And the next time someone bitches about bicycles/cyclists, send them this :


Gotta get JM ready, and run to Whole Foods before getting cracked and straightened.
Peace...

19 July 2015

The week that was...

So after the road trip last weekend, Monday hit me like a bar of soap, wrapped in a towel.
Fatigue? Sure...a little. Back and legs shot? Oh yeah...
Tuesday sucked. It was WAY harder than it should have been. Just getting the body moving again after that much windshield time was a struggle.
Sit in? Yep. I was easily located...in the back.
Flatted a rear tire just as we turned to run for home. Super.
Thursday was much better, but it was HOT. Told myself I wasn't going to ride hard, and I didn't. Just rolled around.
Friday, The Boss, and 2 of 3 MTs loaded up, and went to Charleston to watch English Premier League side, West Bromwich Albion, take on the Charleston Battery.

Good match. Nice Evening. Worth the trip...even though it was more windshield time, and we got back LATE. (I-26 is a disaster. If you need to go to Charleston, take the back way!)
Slept LATE on Saturday. Rolled out @ 10, and did a couple of hours on the road bike, solo. It was hot as balls.
This morning, Mike and I rolled out @ 9. Here's where my morning went sideways...
Before we even crossed the river, I flatted the rear again. Nothing in the tire. Same location as the flat on Tuesday. It's a rim strip/pump head issue. Plus, the seam of the Vittoria latex tube is RIGHT NEXT to the damn valve! Poor design kids. Methinks that when I pull the head off the valve, it pulls the seam, and weakens it.
We'll see how the seamless latex Challenge tubes  do...
Anyway...
Once fixed, we rolled, and made it to the steel plant, where I flatted again. Cut the Vittoria OC SC. Another tube, a couple of boots, and some CO2, and we turned around to head home.
I should have taken it as a sign from the Cycling Gods to keep my big ass in the house, but NOOOOOO.
I switched shoes, threw the bottles on the Salsa, and headed back out to the Powerstation.
The dirt was heavy, and last night's storm blew branches everywhere, and fell at least three trees. I say at least, b/c I only made it to the third one. I tried to squeeze through a gap, and bump over the trunk, but the trees' limbs had other ideas.
One reached up and snatched the D/A rear mech CLEAN off the bike.

I may have yelled words very similar to Brother Tucker! Did I mention I was in the MIDDLE of the section? The call was made, and I began to walk.

I trekked through the "off limits" section of woods, and came out onto 12th. About a dozen cars passed. Only one stopped. A Miata. Driven by a 250lb lady. To her, I say, Thank You!
The Boss rolled up shortly thereafter, and I loaded up.

Damage Assessment for the day :
(1) Vittoria Open Corsa SC
(2) tubes (one latex, one butyl)
(2) CO2 carts
(1) D/A rear derailleur

Thankfully, the chain and wheel were okay. Even so, it was a $200-250 morning.
Both bikes are sorted, and ready for action. I was forced to use an Ultegra R/D on the CX bike though. I know...slumming...
Time to get on Ebay, and source some tires....and maybe an old XTR short cage.

On the upside this week, I did get a KILLER deal on some new road shoes.
No more flouro. I was an early adopter, and now that the bandwagon is becoming crowded, I'm getting off. Back to the tried and true. And yes, I'm a Diadora whore.
Also picked up a Park Tool DH-1 Dummy hub. Brilliant little piece of machinery.
Holds the chain steady, and the little black cylinder moves back and forth along the blue "axle". Easy peasy. Buy one. Thank me later.
And I'll leave with this...
I have a bad luck day with equipment, yet this chode, who puts flat bars & platforms, on a Fondriest, rides around freely.
Come on Cycling Gods...help a brother out!!!



13 July 2015

1000+ miles

So yeah...I rode 1000+ miles last weekend. Most of it on I-77.
A trip to Ohio and back in less than 50 hours. Yeah...not big fun.
And a note to Chevrolet : The driving position in the Traverse crossover sucks. One sits crooked in the driver's seat. And speaking of the seat, it's a flat, completely non-supportive piece of foam. NO support...ANYWHERE. Obviously built by accountants, not engineers.
But I digress...

Decent ride Thursday, even though it was hot-ish. As I hadn't packed a single thing for our blast to Ohio and back, I rode out with the group on the CX bike, hit the dirt, and came back up through downtown. Nice little spin.
No ridey over the weekend, though the roads in Eastern Ohio, both dirt and paved, would be fairly brilliant to ride on. One would get strong like BULL riding them on a daily basis. There are enough flat sections to roll some speed work for the legs, and plenty of ugly climbs to break them.
And dirt/gravel roads?
I won't mention that the HIGH on Saturday was 82. It was a balmy 61 when I woke up yesterday. Those temps will be seen again here in October...maybe...

BIKE STUFF:

Can someone tell Ochowicw to STFU? He said that the Pro-Conti teams aren't good enough to ride the Tour, and their equipment is second rate.
Really?
I'd ride MTN-Quebeka's Cervelo before I ever thought of throwing a leg over a BMC.
Should we remind him of the little team of crumb-bums that got into the Tour years ago?
Nice mom-jeans Jim...

And this is among the myriad reason Sagan is good for cycling...

And Greipel knows how to do rest day...
Segway-pacing...

Not much else for today. About to get on the floor and see if I can mitigate some of the damage inflicted by Chevrolet...

08 July 2015

Hump

If you haven't caught the Tour over the last couple of days, you've missed some craziness...



Yesterday's cobbled stage was pretty brilliant.
I don't care for Froome, but he grit his teeth, and went WAY outside his comfort zone to hang in yesterday. I can respect that.
I would say the same for Tejay, but as soon as a microphone was in his general vicinity, he whinged like an 8th grade girl who got cut from the cheerleading squad. Muppet.
The whole, "He's American, so you should like him..." is little more than jingoistic bullshit. It's funny that everyone he deals with thinks he's an asshole. Yes...yes they do...
Rumor has it his own FATHER has no explanation for his behavior.
I like dudes who show up, kill it, and are gracious. Example?
Hendy was on the BOTTOM of the pile Monday. No whinging from that guy...

And here's the definition of "team"...
Robert Gesink helping Laurens ten Dam at dinner last night. ten Dam dislocated his shoulder on Monday. Popped it back in, and finished the stage....rode the cobbles yesterday...and is racing today. #Nails

Some badass bikes in the Tour this year too. I could post 20 pictures, or you could just go HERE.

Fun ride last night. It was hot as BALLS, so I sat it the back, and watched the shenanigans. Kind of funny.
No efforts were made. Not a damn was given. 2nd ride on the Ridley in the past three weeks. Those big gears felt weird after pushing around a 48 chainring on the CX bike.
Once back from this weekend's trip North, I really need to get back on the road bike.

Gotta go get cracked and stretched for the trip...and watch the Tour...




06 July 2015

Long Weekend

Friday was a day off for most. Not me...
Instead of riding, I played the part of loving son, and pressure washed my mother's house. Whoever invented vinyl siding should have their man parts removed. Worst shit ever.
After a morning of gunning a year's worth of crud off the house, my hands, arms and back were shredded. I felt like I had lobster claws.
I'd planned on riding Friday afternoon. I took a nap instead. Then we rolled out to LexCo for the Blowfish game, and some fireworks. The attendance, and enthusiasm was great. The new baseball facility is great. Further proving the theory that the new baseball stadium in Columbia will be a rousing failure. People out there won't drive into Columbia. There's just no need. They can watch good baseball, at a nice park, close to home.
But I digress...
The kids were at the Lexington office for the weekend, so I slept in Saturday. Up at 8:30am. Sure, why not...
A little brekkie, then on the CX bike. 2.5 hours. 70km. 5 sections of dirt.
All of the dirt was HEAVY. Not surprising, as it rained about 2 hours before I left. There's yet another tree down on the PowerStation. I'll clear it next time I'm out there.
Mike and I met yesterday for an easy ride around the T/Th Loop. It was quite nice. A little sunshine, one little section of go-fast, and coming home through W. Cola. Another 65km.
AND the Ridley got the call. Second ride on it in the past month. Felt weird at first. Geometry and all that...
The Boss took the kids to do something with her idiot parents, so I had the afternoon to myself.
I watched the Tour, took a nap, fiddled with the road bike, and made shrimp and grits for dinner. Pretty solid day.

Speaking of the Tour...
There was a lot of banter about Cav losing yesterday. People saying he sat up, or quit. Nope! He got BEAT. Period.


Then, as usual, Cav had a sook, and basically said that if one hasn't raced as a pro, one is an imbecile. And he wonders why people think he's such a wanker.

More important than that, Sagan flatted at 12km to go, got a new bike, and chased back on. #Horse. And Cancellara hit 69kmh in the sprint. But everyone is worried about baby Cav...
Greipel won, and got a special green Ridley....
Yes please! I'll need a medium.

Speaking of Fabi...
Jered Gruber took this photo of him after the prologue. Brilliant.

Gotta go. The Tour is on, and they're finishing on the Mur de Huy today. See ya...