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.


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


 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


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...

15 October 2014


I'll ride in all manners of weather. I'll ride in the dark. I will not ride in the dark and rain. Sorry. I value my collarbones, and have had too many concussions in my 44 years. No ridey last night.
Instead, the 12/28 went on the Williams WS28s. The plan is to venture up to Tryon this weekend for a little fun. I'm not fighting the 12/23. Not happenin'.

And it seems the driver of the white truck that harassed us on Sunday got a little visit from Law Enforcement yesterday morning. Rumor has it that he was VERY apologetic about his behavior. Thank you those involved with making his little "visit" happen. Wish I could have been there!

Kona was last weekend, and the Wattie Ink ladies were all there. Maybe this triathlon thing isn't all bad. Our very own Greg Howell races for Wattie Ink. Thankfully, he is NOT in the above photo.

 Festka. Yes please. Custom made in the Czech Repblic. I talked to the guys from Festka at the NAHBS in Charlotte last Winter. Very cool guys who know what they're doing.
Sven. No discs. Let the hand-wringing commence...
Bristol...looking Profi as FUCK!
WWATD? <<<< Click the link. If you're out on the Left Coast, you should really go do the ride. Really...

Trying to decide if I want to ride tonight...probably will...

Get back to work...

13 October 2014


Another weekend blows by without so much as a hello...

Saturday, between 8:30am and 3:00pm was full on.
Soccer @ 9. Blew home at 10. On the bike @ 10:20. Did the full HoP loop at max effort in 57 minutes. Quick shower. Back to the fields for another soccer match @ Noon. Home @ 1:15. Lunch. Then 90 minutes of yardwork. 
A full day.
As for the ride portion, it was okay, except for nearly getting killed twice.
I'm nothing if not a bit self-deprecating, so I'll take the piss for the first incident.
The State Fair is going on, and I just wasn't thinking by riding into the teeth of the Inbred Family Reunion. I should have thought about it before leaving, but I was rushed, and just didn't.
Coming past Williams-Brice, and the first entrance to the Fairgrounds, a family in a clapped out Escalade decided to turn right in front of me. Fortunately, through years of riding in traffic, I saw it coming.
He stopped in the middle of MY lane, and waved me forward. Gee, thanks man, not like I had the fucking right of way!
Only 10 short minutes later, a woman in a VW wagon with a roof rack and a baby seat decided she had to make the turn at Liberty in The Vista before I could get across the intersection. Did I mention I was IN the intersection?
Again, I saw it coming, and locked down the brakes. I wasn't the only one who thought it was a daft maneuver, as the guy standing on the corner looked at me, shook his head, and called her a four-letter word I shall not repeat here.
Thankfully, the rest of the ride was uneventful...
Sunday was a pretty good ride. The group was thin, as folks are evidently afraid of mist.
We rolled out, did the "normal" Swansea loop, and headed back in.
On the way in, we got buzzed and harassed by two dipshits in a pickup truck. Must have been on the way to The Fair.
I got this...
SC Tag # : CZC833
Yeah...it's being sent thru the proper channels in the Lexington County Solicitor's Office as I type this...
Other than that 3 minutes of utter retardation, it was a damn fine ride. 90km fell pretty quickly. It was nice to get back a little earlier than usual too...not that I had anything to do...

Some good Euro action yesterday too :

And the Tour of Beijing is going on too...

I think those are the pros. Hard to tell...

Time to get my Monday going...

10 October 2014


Last weekend flew by...
The week? Not so much...
I know it's perception, but DAMN!

The first Svenness of the season has dropped...

SVENNESS 3.1 from In The Crosshairs on Vimeo.

And from the "I'll take one in a 56cm" File

Lapierre is being distributed in the US by Raleigh now, so...

Uh...I guess we're running Moonshine in this one...426 Hemi with a 4spd and tall gears. The words "Stabbed Rat" come to mind...

Fun ride last night.
I'm out of contacts, as I have "special eyes", I was forced to order new ones. 3 to 5 days. Perfect.
I got out of Service Course @ 5:30, and busted ass to get home before dark. I hit the door, after doing the normal PowerStation loop, @ 7:00. It was dark.
The Darkness is motivation though. Normally, the trip from the front door to the stop sign at the end of The Powerstation takes 55-ish minutes. As I rode though the canopy, through which very little sunlight passes, the pace quickened, and I hit the end of the road in 53 minutes.
If I participated in Strava shenanigans, the KoM would now be far, far out of reach.
A quick trip through Cayce, and up Gervais, then through Five Points and Shandon, brought me back to SC at the very cusp of darkness, and blindness.
And thanks to the asshole who honked at me in Five Points, for riding the speed limit (which is 25mph btw).
And I saw Chief Justice Toal headed to her house on Wheat St. Needless to say, I took another route to avoid getting run down.

Full day of Futbol tomorrow with one match at 9 and another at noon. Probably only do the HoP Loop in between.  Then my afternoon will be filled with clearing the yard of leaves for the first time of the season. I feel a bit like Sisyphus until about Christmas.
Normal ride Sunday morning. 90-100km. No 140km craziness like last weekend. Colonial Center @ 9.

A Target run is on the horizon. Oh joy!  And Happy Birthday to Bond!

The storms are over, and El Sol is out. Go get some sun on your face today!