20 February 2017

Easy...

"Easy peasy, lemon squeezy" pretty much describes my last week on the bike.
I was a bit snapped after back to back metrics two weekends ago, so I just pedaled last week.
Tuesday : A whopping 1:15 on the bike...never out of the small ring.
Thursday : I had a brainfart, and didn't think about the rain that fell Wednesday night. Felt pretty good on the CX bike until I got to The PowerStation. It was wet and heavy. Not a lot of fun. 90 minutes and home. All I really cared to do.
 Saturday : Dean and I met and meandered around LR for three hours. Slowly. It was fine, and worked out the kinks.
Sunday : The Heathens met and did a hilly-ish LR loop. We hit some roads that I hadn't been on a YEARS. And that's no fabrication, nor embellishment. We went all the way out Leesburg Rd. to Congress. I want to say that the last time I did this, a former pro & DS went down in front of me in the turn, and I crashed on top of him, destroying his frame.
I'd forgotten how far out Leesburg one must go to get to Congress. As TVH and I took turns keeping pace, the phrase, "I think the turn is over the next rise..." was uttered no less than a half dozen times.
And I must have a little bit of fitness, as Leesburg wasn't hard, and Congress seemed shorter. Weird.
We cut down across the country, and ended up on the normal Hopkins loop.
 As you can clearly see, it was a horrendous day. I mean, I had to wear armwarmers for the first hour!!
And as Dean & I came to the tracks, this big fella was crossing the road. We stopped, and I helped him across. He was a BIG boy. Shell the size of a salad plate, and probably tipping out at 8-9 pounds. He seemed camera shy once I placed him back on the ground.

We fought the headwind on the way home. Big fun. No matter. That's the shit that makes you strong. Another metric in the book. That makes 3 in 8 days.
Thankfully, I went to the physio this morning. It was needed.
Gonna be nice this week. Many kms will be had...

Speaking of The Heathens, probationary member TG has injured hisself playing soccer. Knee injury...same thing that I did...playing soccer. Hate to say "I told you so...", but I MAY have mentioned it previously. No ridey for him for a while.

Stuff and things....
 When more than one rider had panache. Know these guys? No? You know the rest...
 Cannondale Evo. My thoughts are leaning this direction. Fortunately, I know a guy in Pa. who can hook me up. No reason to buy one from a yob here in town.
And SOMEONE needs to bring these into the US. PLEASE!  Factorbikes.com 
Sexy Mfer...

Ok kids...it's gonna be nice all week. 70s and 80s. Go outside and get it on you!!
























































14 February 2017

Grazie Marco...



Riposare in pace....

13 February 2017

Ooooof....

So yeah, the wind that has been kicking our collective ass for the past 6 weeks was out over the weekend.
Saturday and Sunday were both big km days, yet felt even bigger thanks to the "breeze".
Calling it a "breeze" is akin to calling Trump an idiot, but I digress.
Nothing says big fun like coming out of the trees and having the crosswind grab your front wheel, and push you 5' off your line.
Il Prof (Ret.) is back from his snowbird stretch in AZ, so he was back with us on Saturday morning.
Basic flat loop, but once we turned at the GMart, it was headwind home. They said it was 8-10mph. I don't know who "they" are, but I hope "they" trip, fall, and hit their heads. 8-10mph my ass!
Sometimes you just need to get on the front, and drive it home. So I did.
Once home, we loaded up and went out to look at new GMC pickup trucks. Actually, it was more of a quest to figure out what COLOR truck we're going to get.
I was present, but I got a little distracted...
This picture cannot even begin to portray the actual color of this Z06....

Sunday, The Heathens were back together.
The run out across the ridge, and into Swansea was a fight. Brutal head/cross winds. Once we turned for home though, It was tail to cross/tail all the way home. Mmmm...tail winds...
90km+ both days. To be honest, I rode around the 'wood for a few minutes yesterday so I could get the clean metric. OCD is a MFer.
Plus, it was 75 degrees and sunny. 20 more minutes isn't gonna cause a divorce....

I'm a little wrecked this morning. First back-to-back long days in a good while. Felt good & rode well, but I'm really sleepy this morning.

Things to look at:
We talked about this yesterday. Only Cipo could get away with changing clothes in the bunch.

 It was pretty fair out there on Friday morning too! FYI, if you ride The Powerstation, the far end, out to Eastman, is closed beyond the RR crossing. And by closed, I mean that there's no more road. For now at least. I'ma check again tomorrow morning.
 I'm no tri-bike fan, but this is a sexy beast.
And speaking of, Baum still does some of the best paint. And they're made of metal...

Found a design for when I finally lose my shit, and go full hermit in the mountains...
Might need this to get there...

And I know everyone is all "aero this" and "aero that" when it comes to cycling gear, but remember one thing...
Cycling didn't invent aero...

And with that, get back to work! Be sure to get outside today though. Fresh air is good for you!

07 February 2017

Off the bike is a good thing...

Corpo loaded up last Thursday and headed to the the NC mountains. Nothing more than a lazy trip, and some QT with the family.
We rented a little house on the side of the mountain in Waynesville, NC. Cool little town, and a perfect basecamp for adventures.
Friday morning, we rolled out, and headed UP into the high mountains...into Great Smoky Mountain NP. All the way to the top, and Newfound Gap. 5046' above sea level, if you're playing at home.
Twas cloudy, windy, and cold. The views were still pretty damn good.
The plan was no plan, and as Gatlinburg was 15 miles down the backside of the mountain, we headed down.
Glad we did, as we got to see the destruction caused by the December fires. The fires were arson, and HORRIBLE. It served as a lesson for the boys of what NOT to do.
Glad I went to Gatlinburg. Glad I never have to go again. The words "tourist trap" come to mind.
Coming back across the NP, we passed an "Elk Crossing" sign.
Hey...wouldn't that be cool?
Not 5 minutes later...
There were two dozen good sized elk just hanging out in & around the playground of the elementary school in Cherokee. Pretty cool...
Back to the house...big fire in the fireplace, and dinner.
Saturday, we fiddled around in the morning, then went snow tubing. If you've never been, GO! You don't need kids. It was big fun. And it was proof that people of all shapes, sizes, colors and nationalities can do something together, and have a good time!
The small kid, barely visible in the tube is #3. The spinning kid is #1. They had more fun than should be allowed.
Post tubing, we headed over to Soco Falls, and hiked down to the water. That lasted about 45 seconds, as the spray was REALLY cold.
Yes...that's ice!
On the way back, we stopped at a little market and got fresh trout. Yeah...it was good.
Another big fire, and a viewing of "Harry and The Hendersons".
(Pro-tip : Take your Amazon Fire TV Stick with you. If you have WiFi, you have quality TV.)

Up and on the road back early Sunday morning. We decided to take the back way. 276 all the way down into Greenville.
If you want a 45 mile ride that will break your legs, take your bike to Waynesville, and ride to Brevard. The valley road is rolling. Once into Pisgah National Forest, things go up. I cannot emphasize the following enough...
The are sections of the climb to the BRP that would make Contador and Quintana wonder what the F was going on! 10%? Yep. 12%? Uh-huh. 15%? Oh...yes. The steepest section was right at 20%!! And it wasn't short.
It was fine with 400hp under foot. You will NOT catch my big ass riding it.
Nice lunch @ Mayberry's in Brevard, then up to Caesar's Head.
It was a bit hazy, but still...as always...a spectacular view.
Only saw a few folks riding...
Thru Greenville, and back on the boring highway.
It was a great weekend. Much needed, and enjoyed by all.
Sometimes, one should just put the bike away, and go somewhere with family. It makes things better.

Now, I DID ride this morning. Easy 1:45. Just turning the pedals over to loosen up. No plan other than to feel the sun and wind on my face.

Happy Tuesday kids! Gonna be nice this weekend. I expect to see folks on the bike!!

30 January 2017

Breezy

Hey...thanks jetstream! We'd all forgotten what it was to struggle.
Every ride last week was getting kicked in the teeth by the wind.
Saturday & Sunday were both chilly & windy. Felt pretty good Saturday on the trip out around The Swamp.
Speaking of, things are returning to normal out in LR.

This was taken shortly after the 2015 Flood...
The entirety of the lake was drained in short order after the road/dam gave way.
Little more than a year later, it has pretty much returned to normal...
Told you it was a decent day Saturday.
80km fell pretty easily, wind notwithstanding. Returned to an empty Service Course. The Boss was gone for the weekend, & Junior Management was at the LexCo office.
Ate lunch, cleaned the bike, and napped the rest of the afternoon. Rough...

TVH and I rolled out Sunday morning. It seems a few of The Heathens have misplaced their bikes.
The headwind was brutal. Dead out of the West. Of course, once we turned for home, it was like having one of those motors in the BB. 40-60kmh...just rolling...
2.5 more hours.
Back to SC, made BBQ, and napped.
Everyone returned @ 4pm, and may weekend of solitude ended without ceremony.

Press is out about all of the new team bikes. IDC. This is still the best looking bike of the last 5 years or so.
 And please, remember that people rode dirt roads before any of us thought about riding dirt roads. If you don't know, now you know...

A few rides planned this week, then Corpo is headed to the mountains for the weekend.
Enjoy Monday, before it's outlawed.


25 January 2017

Winter?

Of course, I've probably just jinxed all of us.
It's been warm, so bike time has been plentiful. Not always dry, but warm. Hey...I'll take 60+ degrees and wet over sunny and 35 every day.
Yes, it does play hell with the drivetrain, but that shit is consumable.
Last week was a little lighter.
Did a long road ride on Tuesday. It was perfect outside. A little climbing, and a little speedwork. Both on the same road. How, you ask?
Well, when a little gray pitbull pops out of the woods, and starts chasing you, you go faster. It's REALLY fun on a 5-6% climb where one is usually just looking for a rhythm.
Big ring, and stomping on uphill @ 40kmh for 500m is FUN. REALLY FUN.
Same section on the way back was taken at 60-65kmh. The little fucker never moved out of the yard.
Had to skip Thursday, as #2 was a little under the weather. No big deal. Lotto-Belisol isn't watching me.
Then, the rain...
Well, let's start with the fog...
Saturday morning was FOGGY. Seemed like a bad idea about 15 minutes into the ride. Visibility was MAYBE 250m in places. The back of the CX bike looked like an alien shuttle craft. Blinking red lights everywhere.
There was a town here when I left...

Out on the PowerStation, it was creepy. Like, "Ruh Roh Raggy", Scooby Doo creepy. Very still. VERY quiet. And foggy.
The road was in good shape though, so I went a bit faster than normal. My inner 8 year old was chatting in my ear.
At the end, I found this...
Come on people! This is why we can't have nice things. There's a reason the gate and barriers are there. Some dumbass decided to ignore it. It's been fixed, but dammit, go play in your big, dumb trucks somewhere else.
I ALMOST made it back to SC before the rain. Almost.
Woke up late Sunday. Watched Hoogerheide. And then the rain stopped.
On the bike.
The Powerstation was HEAVY. And they'd just graded the far end, so it was mush. About 200m into it, I had to make a decision. Stop, put a foot down, thus getting a shoe muddy, and turn around, or keep slogging.
I chose B.

This was AFTER the chunky stuff had fallen off.
Still got back with 2 hours. I'll take that.
Well, 3 hours if one counts the hour spent with the hose, bucket and sponges/brushes.

Little road spin in the wind yesterday. Special thanks to the peckerhead who broke an entire 6-pack of empty Heineken bottles under the 26 overpass. My 2.5 week old Vittoria now has a boot, and a glob of ShoeGoo on it. Pricks....
Yesterday was also the first day in kneewarmers for about 3 weeks. In January. Tell me again how nice it is where you live.

If you cannot identify ALL 3 guys in this photo, well...you know...
Gotta wonder what point The Pirate is making here?

"And remember, disc brakes WILL make you a better descender!" #AlternativeFacts

Gonna be nice this weekend. Go outside and play...

16 January 2017

Two weeks in a row

Last week was the second week in a row of 5 days on the bike. And another 4 days in a row.
Tuesday was CRAZY cold in the morning, but as I have the proper clothing hanging about, I kitted up, and went out.
It was 27F when I left. The dirt on the PowerStation was frozen...and were the puddles.
The call for less pressure in the Clements was a good one.
Still got a good 2 hours on the bike. Thanks to Giordana for Roubaix Knickers and a Windtex jacket. The jacket is so good, I only wore a baselayer under it!! And sweat THROUGH the baselayer!!
You can ride outside people! Buying the proper clothing is no more expensive than buying a stupid fucking trainer!
The rest of the week (Th, F, Sa, Su) were all road rides. All in shorts and all ended in short sleeves. Gotta love the weather in SC. Below freezing Tuesday. 80 on Friday. Headache? What headache?
Th/Fri were solo jaunts, as I'm unencumbered by "work".
I had a good roll going Thursday, but when I got to the level crossing @ Dixiana, the train was blocking the road...and had ZERO intention of moving. I turned around, and backtracked, but it was like the flow was gone. Still got 2+ hours, but it felt disrupted.
Made up for it Friday. Felt good. Rolled over the gear. Nearly a no-chain day. 2 hours was no problem.
Probably a bit mental as well. The new Vittoria Corsa G rubber got installed.
On the 23mm wide hoops, the 25c tires measure an honest 27mm. And they're REALLY round. I had to play with the pressure a bit over the course of those two rides, but figured out that 95-98(F) and 100-104(R) is the pocket. They are the standard for clinchers right now. They feel "fast", are crazy comfortable, and turn like a cheetah chasing prey.
I have about 10 hours on the set, so wear is unknown. I'll write a complete review in the coming weeks. Bet you can't WAIT!!
And let's not forget...
The blonde sidewalls just look GOOD!! And run latex tubes in them. Running good tires and shit tubes is just silly.
TVH and I went out Sat/Sun. He was breaking in his new Madone 9 w/SRAM eTap. Pretty cool bike.
His fit was a little off, but we stopped to fiddle with it. Seat still needs to go back @ 5mm and up @ 5mm.
And personally, methinks he needs a longer stem.
After 20+ years of ride Campag, it was fun to watch him reach for the thumb button...over and over and over...
I shouldn't say much. After 20+ years on Shimano, I'm confident I would have blown more than a few (dozen) shifts too. Old dogs must sometimes learn new tricks.
Both days were near perfect. If you didn't show up to ride...well....
No ridey today. I need to source some chainrings for the Ridley, and some pedals for the Salsa. I got some new CX shoes from Diadora, and realized that I don't have any pedals that'll work. D'oh!!
And Junior Management is out of school for MLK Day...
I guess DSS has an issue with leaving 3 children home alone for hours at a time.

Mmmm...bikes...
 Focus. Just clean and simple.
 The new Colnago Aero bike. Yeah...I'd rock that. Change nothing.
 Sagan's "training" bike @ TdU. Where does the subwoofer go?
 And TVH and I talked about these bikes yesterday. Cannondales are just simple and clean. Square frames & two triangles. Sadly, I cannot make a Cannondale fit properly. 56 is too small and 58 is too big. Plus, I'll never buy a bike (or anything else) from the local dealer, even if they started to make a 57 again.

Funnies....

 I thought the second coming would be a bit more...theatrical...
Yeah...this is just funny...

Back to the bike tomorrow. Hopefully we'll see TayTay and JMR this weekend. I think they both still ride...
Now, I need to go to the LexCo office and help hang a giant mirror. The fun never ends.