21 April 2014

Batting .500

Pretty good in other sports, right?

Saturday was a shite day.  Just miserable.  I went out anyway...if only for a bit.  And it was for no other reason than to get the new shoes figured out.
After a couple of stops/adjustments, and getting drizzled on for the better part of an hour, 'no joy' was called, and I came home.  Sucked...

Sunday, conversely, was pretty frickin' brilliant.
120km.  Roads we'd never been on before.  A stretch of 50km or so in which we never saw a car.
It was a quality 4-ish hours on the bike.  Some didn't show b/c of "the weather", and they missed out.  In 4-6 weeks, people will be wishing for 60 degree cloudy days.

Pretty terrible.  I'm sure those loops of the Fort were fabulous though...
Upon hitting Service Course, I ate, watched a little TV, and had a damn fine nap.  How?
The Boss took Junior Management to her family's Easter gathering.
After waking from the dead, I cleaned the 120km of road detritus from the Noah, and went back to the couch.
Rough day.

Amstel Gold (last 50km)

PhilGil went hard on the last ascent of the Cauberg...and didn't need an aero helmet...

Cosmo's take :

And Phil won the podium chug contest as well!

Tro Bro Leon (looked like a lovely day in rural France)

When did CyclingNews turn into BikeVogue?

 Sometimes, 4 wheels good! Make mine dark gray, please...

And here's something cool that will absolutely BURN through your productivity.  British Pathe has uploaded some 85,000 old newsreel movies to YouTube.  There are quite a few related to cycling.
Bordeaux to Paris (1963)

346 miles!!  And paced behind a derny!!!

Tour of Britain

Good stuff.  You can lost in clicking links.  I did it last night for almost two hours!

And as it usually works after a dreary weekend, it's a big blue sky Monday morning.  Upside?  The Boss went back to work, and Junior Management went back to school.

Time to go to Target...

18 April 2014

Pucker Factor

What is the "Pucker Factor" you ask?
It's the force with which your sphincter slams shut when something alarming occurs, be it on, or off, the bike.
Last night, it was on the bike.
As is my normal M.O., I bunny-hopped the tracks on Old Wire.  Evidently, I achieved a bit more altitude than usual, because upon the tires re-establishing contact with Mother Earth, my bars slipped.  And by slipped, I mean SLIPPED.
I went from my normally sort of high lever position to the old Sean Yates double bend.
From this... 
To this...
...in about 11 nanoseconds.  The sound created was alarming as well. 
I thought about just riding it out, but the fact that it was uncomfortable as hell, and I couldn't ride anywhere but the tops forced me to source a multi-tool from Ricky (Ricky Sox Fence...it's a household name).
20 seconds later, my bars were back in the correct position, and I chased back on, and seemingly through the group.  It seems my adrenaline fueled adjustment causes the pace to be higher on the first climb, thus blowing out a whole lot of folks.  Sorry...(not sorry...)
After that, it was just a good, quick tempo ride.  There were still a couple of passengers, but that didn't dampen spirits. 
All in all, it was a fun ride, including my nearly-blind, no-glasses, run home in waning light. 

 Heinrich must have gotten in trouble...
"But Eddy, I'm not a big coffee drinker..."
"Eh, today, you are big coffee drinker..."
I don't eat red meat, but if Eddy served me a bloody steak, I'd eat the fuck out of it!

 The question is, are there little water bottles stacked inside?
 I know the riders at Roubaix are badasses, but the Mavic Neutral Support guys aren't exactly soft!

 I'm no MTBer, but if I was, I'd want my rig to look a lot like this one! ^^^^^^^^^^^
I'm sort of uncomfortable with my level of want for this bike.  It serves no real purpose, but is completely badass at the same time.
Ritte Snob.  Stainless.  One and done. 

Rides :
Saturday 0900 @ Rosewood  3 hours or so
Sunday 0900 @ Colonial Center  4+ hours  Yes, we're going a bit longer.  Yes, we might be heathens, as it's Easter Sunday.  Bring $ and food.  Out thru the Swamp, on to some new roads to 601, around to Eastover and back in.  Figure it will be 75 miles +/-.

And with that, I tip my chapeau.  Have a good weekend everyone!

16 April 2014

No...no I did not...

Nope...just no...

I didn't ride last night...for myriad reasons.  Motivation was not one of them. 
It rained most of the day, and the wind began howling at just about my scheduled departure time.  I don't know about you fine folks, but I've been wet and/or cold, and battled more than my fair share of wind over the Winter and early Spring. 
AND my bike is clean...
Sorry. Not going out in that.  At this point, if I miss a day, it''s just that...a missed day.

Instead, I went down to Service Course to finish up Il Prof's back-up Ti bike.  Yes, his back-up bike is Ti...
Upon pre-bartape final inspection, I felt a rough spot on the bars.  Closer inspection with a pick revealed this...
Yes, that IS a hole in the bars. Granted, his sweat is borderline weapons-grade, but it drives home a larger point, for all of us.  Change your tape regularly, especially here, in the hot and humid South. 
Where do you think the sweat on your arms runs?  Yeah, down onto your hands, tape, and bars.  Then it all all dries. 
You can sit there and say... "My bars don't look like that!".  You can SAY it, but that doesn't make it true. 
Mine were crusty the last time I changed my tape. 
And when changing tape, inspect your bars closely.  It's not just this particular person, or this particular bar. 
This is a quite common event.
A broken bar on a ride WILL lead to other stuff breaking...like collarbones, helmets, femurs, etc.

 There's one constant over the last 12 Monuments.  Can you figure out what it is?

I think I like this Terpstra guy.  A cap, retro Oakleys, AND Chuck Taylor Converse on the podium?  Dude is okay with me...

Seems the organizers of Brabantse Pijl are either jokers, or assholes. 

I may spin around a little this afternoon.  Blue sky is calling...

14 April 2014


Post-Roubaix hangover...

Here's the last 2.5 of British Eurosport coverage...in HD.  Thanks for nothing NBCSN!

Lots of action, and worth watching the whole thing.  Good show by John Murphy from UHC too!  In the break, but flatted in the Forest.
Or, just watch Cosmo...

One good ride this weekend, and one I wish I could take back...

Let's be clear.  Saturday sucked.  I'm glad I didn't bother to go to Camden for the metric.  Woke up feeling a general malaise, but figured that I'd ride out of it, like we've all done so many times.
Roxy and I met, and both felt like crap.  The 2+ hour ride was entirely more difficult, and less enjoyable than we'd both imagined it would be.  The company was good.  The ride itself...meh.
Then sat in the sun for an hour at #2's futbol match, followed by wandering around the little airshow that was being put on at Owens Field...another hour + on the tarmac.  Yeah...felt like CRAP for the rest of the day.
That being said, seeing a WW2 C-47 land and take off was pretty cool.  And the boys dug it, so I'll take my lumps.
Sunday was the opposite.  Sure, I woke up with a headache, and still felt like shit, but I actually DID feel better as the ride progressed.  A nice loop thru LR with Il Prof and Roxy, on some roads we haven't been on in YEARS.  Big sun in a big blue sky, and again, good company.
3.5 hours later, I was home, and feeling like a new man.  Well, maybe certified pre-owned...
 Just terrible out in the country...
 So much traffic...
And such unattractive, ill-tempered folks...

And not to sound ranty here, but people around here should NEVER complain about riding.  EVER.
The terrain that surrounds Columbia is a resource.  Sure, there are some roads that it's probably better to avoid, but for the most part, riding here is pretty fucking stellar.
It gives one anything they want.  You want to ride in the flats?  Go to LR.  You want hilly?  Go SW of Columbia, out in Lex/Cal.  Or go do a loop of the Lake.  Want to take a summary ass-kicking on pretty fabulous roads?  Go out to Blythewood and ride with JB and HB.
And yes, the loops are all easy to get to, and safer than 90% of rides you do in other Metro areas.
And there are roads around here that we've ridden that we've NEVER seen a car.  NEVER!
Ride and smile people...ride and smile.  See how Roxy is doing it?   ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

See Mother of all that is Good and Pure.  I'm gonna need a moment...

And for a Monday, here's something positive, and uplifting to start your week...watch the whole thing...thank me later...

If this doesn't make one feel a range of emotions, and leave one with a smile and/or a warm fuzzy, then one should make an appointment with a cardiologist.

Have a good Monday.  I have small engine repair on the menu today.  Whooo Hoooo!

11 April 2014


Something to whet your whistle for Sunday...

01 Roubaix

2013 (Full Eurosport coverage)  Arenberg is @ 43:00-ish minutes...

Good photos from CyclingTips and Kristof Ramon of yesterday's recon...

Bike mods for Roubaix...

And it looks like FMB is the tire of choice for almost everyone these days...

Good stuff.  Wade and his boys have it covered this year!

Quite an odd ride last night.  The group got split early, and despite the best efforts of a couple of us, it stayed split.  Honestly, I sort of wish I'd waited on the other group, as several of the folks in the split group didn't know whether to shit, or go blind.  It was a bit maddening, and a bit dangerous at times.
I appreciate everyone who comes out to the ride, but PLEASE learn some paceline, and/or pack skills.
Hate to sound like a broken record, but these things are sometimes key to everyone's safety, and the larger experience.

Lots of racing around tomorrow in Charlotte, and the Tour de Camden is going off at 0900.  It's a big, fun ride thru some really nice countryside.  Supposed to be a perfect day...

80s and sun all weekend.  Go outside and play!

10 April 2014

20 years ago today...

Still ranks as one of the best, if not THE best edition of Roubaix...

Want to ride the smooth path beside the cobbles?  Well...
Section @ Wallers.  Thx to Jered Gruber for the photo.  Sort of puts things into perspective, eh?  LOOKING at this shot makes my shoulder hurt...

09 April 2014

Well, it's here...

The future is upon us, and it's not going to make cycling any better...

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I give you the Garmin Edge 1000

IMO, this is the sort of thing that is slowly choking the life, and enjoyment out of cycling.  I hate to be the Luddite here, but is all of this really NEEDED.
Look, I understand the cycling industry's need to push technology, and to sell customers the "new shit", but will any of this benefit "the ride"?
Be honest...
The only reason to purchase this is to have the newest, and bestest, Garmin.  It's the adult version of trying to outdo your schoolmates on the playground.
"Yeah, well my dad can beat up your dad..."

DCRainmaker has already reviewed the 1000, and gives some insight.  The review also raises questions, and forces some salient points out into the open.

I told you WiFi and Bluetooth were coming.  It's only a short hop to live-chats with your 'coach' during a ride.  And the pros?  They be monitored 24/7 by their Directeurs Sportif.

"Tommeke...Fabian is dropping you!  Why are you only turning 900w...?"

Sorry, but it's too much.  There's just no need for about 75% of the "features" on the 1000.  Christ, it gives "real-time challenge segments".  Live action Strava?  GTFO of here.
It's the "dazzle them with technology (and bullshit) that is becoming far too common in cycling theses days.  The ONLY way this technology will make one faster is by making them lighter...in the wallet...by $600.

And here's the 800-pound gorilla in the corner.  Most of these 'features' are already floating around out there.
Live tracking?  Yeah...Google MyTracks does that, and has for 2+ years.
MyTracks also gives speed, altitude, GPS coordinates, and mapping.
Call and texts? If one uses their smartphone as their computer, as many do, it's right on screen.
Di2 integration? If one has ridden long enough, one doesn't need to look at a screen to know what gear he/she is in.  Sheer minutia of the whole thing is insane.  Does one really need to know that they made 2% less power in their 39/18? 
And the size of the 1000?  BIG.  If you ride less than a 120-130mm stem, it ain't going on there.  May as well put my Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 on the bars.

If you have the money, and want it, then go buy it.  I have no issue with that.
Ask yourself first...
Will it make me a better rider?  And by better, I don't mean bigger, faster, stronger.
The knowledge that comes with years of riding is being pushed to the back, and replaced with the "knowledge" attained for spending $5000 at the shop.
That's not knowledge people... 

All of this tech crammed onto one's bars does little but distract the rider from the task at hand.
Riding the bike.
I don't know about you guys, but I get on my bicycle(s) to go outside, get some sun on my face, and enjoy the day.  And Dog forbid one makes some good friends.  Even on the hardest rides, there's a social aspect to cycling that's dying.
And not to be a dick, but if one is futzing with the their Garmin, or whatever the hell is on their bars, and takes me out, just keep riding.  Odds are, I'll make you eat the damn thing. Then, you can track how it travels through your digestive system.

Junk and I have been chatting about this this morning, and have figured that at some point in the not so distant future, folks will just put on their Oculus headgear, sync up to their laptop, climb onto their Computrainer, and dial up whatever ride...wherever on the planet.  Want to ride the Ventoux?   Ok...clickity, click, click...you're on the Ventoux.
You'll be able to tell who these people are by their distinct lack of tanlines, and inability to ride a straight line.
Of course, at that point, what's to stop having sunlamps in the bike room?
One thing Junk said this morning that I honestly HOPE comes to fruition?  No computer rides.  Or "clean bars" rides.
Nothing to distract.  Turn it all off, and leave it in the house.  Just riiiiiiiide....

Me?  I'll be the crazy old guy that people point at out of their triple-paned, xenon-infused windows, and say, "Look at that crazy, old fucker...riding outside..."

If you agree with me, great.  If not, well that's great too!
As Dennis Miller used to say, "...It's just my opinion, I could be wrong..."