29 October 2014

Not gonna say it...

There are times, shockingly enough, when I'm right. I know this pains many of you, but it's accurate.

Point one- Ft. Jackson is now closed to visitors, including cyclists. Yeah, I know you pay your taxes, and think that entitles you to have free reign of the Army's largest training facility, but it doesn't.
Military installations are, ostensibly, sovereign nations. They operate under their own set of rules, and within their own confines. Regardless of what you think, letting visitors onto a military base, with little more than a driver's license check, is a HUGE security risk. I could go through a half dozen scenarios of exactly WHY, but you guys watch Homeland, so...
Be glad that we have been allowed to use their base for the last three decades. And please don't whinge that there are no places to ride. Or that roads have cars on them. As Bristol pointed out to someone last night, roads have cars, and the ocean has sharks...
Funny that I've put down 11k+ kms this year so far, and none have been on Fort Jackson. No place to ride...

Point Two- When I speak, and tell other riders things, it's not always to hear my own voice. Case in point?
We had a good ride going last night. Yeah, I broke a spoke going out 12th. Street, but a quick wraparound of the spoke, and opening of rear brakes, and we were on our way.
At the K-Rail on the PowerStation, I yelled, "Soft Sand". Someone crashed anyway...
Then, I was leading down the trail, at a good clip, and imparted upon everyone that they follow my lines. Well, a couple didn't, went on ahead, and at the mudhole, they over-rode their lights, and got to see first hand just how deep the hole is in the middle. (It's deep)

Back to the ride...
Because of the broken spoke, my rear wheel had some character, thus I was forced to open the brake. I can say, will some authority, running front brake only back in the trails really sucks. Crampy hand? Sure. Trail braking? Nope. Brake sounds akin to violating a goose? Most definitely.
And honestly, I was a bit shocked that the wheel didn't get worse as the ride progressed, especially considering it started the evening with 24 spokes, and ended with 23.

The wheel is going to the shop shortly for a new 282mm n/d spoke.

Saw this picture yesterday, and it made me snicker. No, not at the rider. He's out doing his thing. Respect.
It was the caption from the #fauxtographer. "BIG AIR". Really? I think the photog is very easily impressed...

THIS, on the other hand, is BIG AIR...
Mr. Stybar likes to BRAAAAAP.

Two wheels good :
Custom BMW Scrambler. Um, yes please...

And speaking of yes please...
Someone gave Hennessey their new Jag F-Type...



I will be stopping to pick up a few PowerBall tickets while out running errands this morning.

And so ends today's babbling...






27 October 2014

Weekends should really be three days...

Two is just not enough to pack in all of the crap one wants to do. Of course, if one is a lazy sot, then it might be too many...
Saturday was a day of soccer. It began early with team pictures, then progressed into games. I was at the soccer fields from 10:30 until after 2. Doesn't sound like a long time to you? See you next Saturday. I'll ask you the same question...
#1 played well. He's starting to figure it out. It's his first season on the pitch, so the finer points are taking time.
#2 played like scouts from Real Madrid were there watching. 12 saves on 13 shots...one was a ricochet straight of his dome. AND he showed some real aggression, and initiative. For this, he received high praise...and a yellow card.
A player from the other side was on a break. No defense. Just attacker and #2 in goal. The boy came out of goal, rushed the kid on the break, and knowing he couldn't use his hands, as he was out of the box, executed a text book slide tackle.
We're not talking about a normal, kid's soccer tackle either. It was a tackle taken straight from Premier League play.
The kid on the break flew about 10 feet before hitting the ground...in a pile...not moving.
Rarely do cards come out in youth soccer, but #2 got a yellow. Sure, he got the ball, but he definitely got the kid too.
I asked where he learned it, and he said from watching BPL on TV. A sponge, that one...
I told him it was okay. Sometimes, you need to take the man, and the card.

Once home, and Junior Management had left for the Lexington office, I got one the CX bike for a short spin to get the legs going around.
Perfect afternoon, and the PowerStation couldn't be much better right now. 90 easy minutes, and I was back. It was plenty.
Sunday was a fantastic ride, on a Chamber of Commerce day. Big loop out through LexCal, including going UP Big Beaver Creek. And honestly, it's really not a big deal. I sort of liked it in that direction. Then across to Swansea, and back in.
110km for the day...AND tightened up the tanlines...at the end of October. Tell me again how nice it is to ride up North...
Roxy said she hated me for dragging her out that far. Sorry. You buy the ticket, you ride the ride.

 Gotta be a certain age to get the funny in this one...
 The organizers of the Tour really missed it this time.  Can you see it?
 Oh Mario, when do you tease so?
Is it bad that I want the attractive female to get the hell out of the way, so I can see the road?

As an aside, Outspokin' is looking good inside. The remodel is still on going, but the extra space, and the glassed-in fitting area will complete the shop. Good effort guys/gals!

And the word for the the day? #blackfish

25 October 2014

Cramping my style

This "parenting" thing is beginning to cut into my ride time.
Haven't been on the bike since Tuesday due to varying responsibilities. I'm getting itchy.
Between The Boss working a couple of events, and a week that has been filled with U8 and U10 futbol, the bike has been lonely...
I might be able to sneak in a ride this afternoon, as Junior Management is going to the Lexington County office for the evening, and into Sunday. It'll likely be little more than a short spin out through the PowerStation to get the legs going around.
I'll be out in the morning though...

Quick hit on the whole Armstrong/Hincapie Fondo thing...
The fact that Lance doped and lied...yeah...I get that. Do I really give a shit anymore? Nope.

Lance got invited to do the Hincapie Fondo. It's been public knowledge for weeks. Only a few short days ago did USAC and USADA decide to hike up their man pants, and decide to enforce Lance's ban from sanctioned events.
A few things...
IT'S A FUCKING COOKIE RIDE! The only reason it's "sanctioned" under USAC is for the insurance. Period.
The "ban" from the ride has more to do with Travis Tygart's ego than it does Lance, and that's sad.
If USAC is banning Lance from riding, then under USAC's own rules, everyone participating this weekend should be required to by a USAC racing license. What's good for the goose, and all that...
And how, exactly, would they stop him from riding. Free country...open roads.
If I was Lance, I'd have a car take me out of the hotel grounds, to the base of the Watershed. And I'd wait...
When the group came over the last crest before the climb, I'd blend in seemlessly.
Just a dude out for a ride, who met up with some other dudes out on the road.
What's USAC gonna do, hire mercenaries to stop him? Or will Tygart and Betsy link arms, start singing "We Shall Overcome", and block the road?
Bandit the ride Lance. It's cool with me...and most other folks. Or Hincapie, and the organizers of the ride could just tell Tygart to GFY, and ride anyway. That would be even cooler with me.
Maybe USAC and USADA would get the point that they are both ineffectual governing bodies.
And let's be clear about USAC and USADA, they were complicit in all of the doping in the late 90's/early 2000s. They knew. They supported it.
If you doubt this, just use the Google search tab in your browser, and get some education.

And FWIW, I know LA follows me on Twitter, and I've seen some traffic from both Austin, and Aspen, so maybe he visits this little dog-and-pony show.
If that's the case, I throw this out there...
We ride @ 9 on Sunday mornings. Usually 100km or so. You're always welcome to ride with us, and enjoy some SC countryside.

#LetLanceRide

As an aside, how about USAC, USADA, and WADA worry about the guys that are doping NOW, instead of the guys who are retired?
I've said it before, and I'll bang the drum forever...
Cycling is the only sport that will dig up it's dead, and re-hang them in the town square.

Here endeth the rant...



22 October 2014

Le Tour 2015

So the Tour route for next year was announced this morning.
Tourmalet. Alpe d'Huez on the next to last day. Mur de Huy. And cobbles again...
Stage 4 is the longest at 221km, including 7 sections of cobbles, with 6 of them coming in the last 45km.
Froome has already balked. Took about 17 seconds.

And I keep hearing a high-pitched whine. It may be a frequency variance, or it may be Tejay.

Here's an idea for the contenders...
This Winter/Spring, go to the very places the Tour will visit come July. Hell, they gave you a MAP!
Ride the cobbles. A Lot.
Go here :
Not here:
Yes...Mallorca DOES have it's particular advantages...
...but these do not serve to help one win Le Tour.

Fun Night Ride last night. I won't say "Urban" this time, as it wasn't.
A trip out 12th to the PowerStation was the call. The group all rolled as a unit until the trip back in. I was called on to lead, as I know the proper lines to prevent riding into big holes (Charlie), or straight into a mud pit.
And it was a good thing this knowledge somehow remains in my concussion-addled, little, squirrel brain.
About halfway down the road, I felt what I thought was a bead of sweat roll into my eye. I blinked hard a few times, only to blink out the contact lens that had been correcting the vision in my right eye.
Know what makes a ride in the dark fun? Compromised depth perception. I surrendered the lead once on the paved trail. The one-eyed man was not King...
And then about half of the group got separated/lost/whatever. We sat and waited for a while, then it became time to push on. I had to get home...
A quick trip up the hill into Shandon, and that was that...

Time to get the day started...Publix and the shop await...












21 October 2014

Serious time...

I know how not serious this little dirt road off the Information SuperHighway can be. It's by design. Cycling is, and should be, fun.
That's not to say that the data dorks don't have their place. To each his own.
Herein lies the beauty of cycling. There's something for everyone.

One common thread that runs through all of it, however, is the fact that we are all doing the same thing, and all place our very lives in the hands of people in two-ton metal cages every time we roll out of our houses.

It's dangerous stuff, this cycling life.

Two brothers were struck in Charlotte last week. Both are still in the hospital. One is expected to recover. The other is still unconscious, and unresponsive.
The driver simply turned in front of them.

And this hit me, and many others, like a ton of bricks yesterday. I implore you to sit down, and take the time to read it fully.
Then, take the time to pass it along to family, friends, and colleagues. Please remind those who are not cyclists to be vigilant, attentive, and PATIENT when driving. That call or text can wait. The perceived time savings gained by forcing themselves past a cyclist, or group of cyclists, just is not worth the risk to the cyclists, nor themselves.
And remind them to PLEASE not pull out in front of someone on a bike. Cyclists travel at speeds that are low, as compared to a motor vehicle, but easily high enough to strip flesh from bone, and/or kill the cyclist.

I do not know Kennett, nor Adelaide, but Kennett's story that follows is raw, gripping, and truly emotional. What occurred last Saturday in Boulder, could happen to any of us.

Keep your heads on a swivel. Look out for one another.

ADELAIDE



20 October 2014

Been a few days...

Sorry...but the whole "trying to ride" thing, coupled with family time, sometimes makes pecking at the keyboard like a over-caffeinated chicken, hit or miss.
Fun Urban Ride Thursday. Nice easy spin in the dark. 2 hours...no big efforts.
Friday was spent chasing children, and getting my crap together to head to the mountains Saturday morning.
And speaking of, 0430 is WAY too early to wake up unless I'm going on vacation, or the house is on fire. But as I was channeling my inner John Muir, the mountains were calling, so I had to go.
Plus, I was driving, so even if I had felt like it, bailing wasn't an option.
I picked up the crew, and we headed to Tryon to do the Tour de Leaves. I will say though, getting there about an hour early was nice. No rushing around. Plenty of time to get dressed, embro'd up, and on the bike.
110km, 6000+ feet of climbing, and 4 hours later, we were all back at the car. Well, Dean got back first, as one of his aged Michelins decided to fail in a fairly spectacular manner on the decent that leads to Green Cove Springs.
Thankfully, he whoa'd it down, fixed the rupture, and gingerly pedaled himself back to the car.
And yes, it took 4 hours. Seeing that it's October, and there's no podium back at the parking lot, we decided to just ride, and enjoy it. And don't get confused, the loop for the ride is no bullshit. Yeah, I/we could have gone faster/harder, but A) there was no point, and B) it's a harder ride than people think. There are few places that are LONELY, and not the spot to come apart.
There are ups, and downs...no in between.
And why people freak out over Green Cove Springs is a little baffling. Yeah, it's hard. Yeah, it's steep in places. It's short though, and if one has the correct gearing on the bike, or doesn't fuck with the rear derailleur the night before (Taylor), it's really not bad.
If I can drag my big ass up it in a 39/24-28, most can do it. I will say though, a couple of guys passed me on the climb, spinning circus monkey gears, and it looked wonderful. I may pick up a 38 chainring, just for occasions like this...
No compact yet, or "mid-compact" as TVH kept reminding us. Still 110bcd and a 36 chainring my friend...
Honestly, I thought the climb out from the valley, back up to 176, was the hardest climb. It's long, and hits you @ mile 50, right when climbing isn't high on the old "To-Do List".
The descent back into Tryon is getting fun too. Some of the frost heaves are sphincter-tightening when traveling at speed that will strip flesh from bone. Nothing like the bike jumping sideways at 70kmh.
If one hasn't done the Tour de Leaves, put it one of the list. Fun ride...easy to get to...well organized...and beautiful scenery.
A good group met Sunday morning, and spun out into Lower Richland (no hills, thank you very much!), on a Chamber of Commerce day.
Another 80km fell under wheels, and I think that those of us who rode in the mountains the day before felt better than expected.
Bristol and I even hit a dirt road. A really GOOD dirt road. No, I'm not telling you where it is, but you've all likely passed it, and scoffed. I'm sure someone will "discover" it soon enough. #Columbus
Back to Service Course, and quick turnaround, and The Boss and I took Junior Management to The Fair.
Nothing to really report, other than some "Gamecock" roosters truly are ill-tempered fowl. I got too close to one of the cages, and the damn thing came after me. He had ZERO fear.
After a few hours, we were all DONE, and came home for our Silkwood scrubdowns.
Busy weekends seem to be de rigeur lately...

Svenness 3.2

SVENNESS 3.2 from In The Crosshairs on Vimeo.

Valkenburg CX



VanderHoleShot...

 Women's race. Katie Compton crashed on lap one, fell behind, fought back, and won alone. She's badass...period...I hear she bakes a hell of a GF cookie too!



Sorry again...I took NO pictures this weekend. I've gotten out of the habit. Need to start carrying the camera again...

Hope everyone had as good of a weekend as I. Guess I should get my Monday started...



16 October 2014

pequeno

Nice little spin with Bristol last night. Needed to work out the residual stiffness from Tuesday's physio session. Definitely felt better as the ride progressed, and after I hit Service Course. 
The PowerStation was heavy from all of the rain, and one of the washouts is covered with leaves, so I'm fairly confident it will reach up and drag someone to the ground in the very near future.
Got to see the Cola PD hassle a homeless guy who was minding his own damn business, walking up Gervais St. Way to go Barney Fife...you showed him!
I've had two interactions with Columbia PD in the past 72 hours, and the Officers in both instances were complete asshats. These interactions were nothing more than me asking a simple question. Seems the new Chief may not be handling his business like he promised. Either that, or Columbia PD is hiring descendants of Napoleon.
Anywho...I'll probably do the 90 minutes of power tonight. Let the dark chase me a little bit. If I was a smart man, I'd go make sure the road bike shifts properly before heading to the mountains on Saturday. As we know, I've never been accused of being overtly intelligent, so...

CX can be FAB-U-LOUS...
...Crash...2...3...4...and Step...2...3...4...Now JAZZHANDS....

Wiggo got him a motorhome...and I'm in serious WANT...

And cyclists are the problem?


And the running the red thing...
I may have to set up one of my helmets with the camera for a night ride. The sheer number of folks that jump/run lights in Columbia after dark is mind-boggling. But you know, I'm the bigger problem for riding in the dark...

And don't forget about this...
If you can't race, at least come out and support the race. That's what I'ma do...