27 May 2015

Spirited...

Last night, dark skies to the West scared off a good many folks. Good thing we go South.
The bunch who rode saddled up, and headed off into clearing skies at a pace that was a bit higher than normal.
The pace stayed nigher than normal for pretty much the entire ride, including the run into South Congaree at 60+ kmh. 3 of us got away for a little bit, but sat up to let the remaining bunch reassemble. Always nice when someone from the back rolls to the front to push the pace while the group sorts itself out...but I digress...
A quick run in, and ride back to the house ended my little, unintentional ride block. 4 days in a row...5 days out of 6. 365km. I'll take it.
Now for a couple of days off, an adjustment at the physio, and a short drive to Pa.
Mancation 2015 begins in less than 69 hours...

Shenanigans...

The bike shop circuit stopped in Monte Carlo last weekend...
 Cipo Nuke TT bike...
 Carbon from the boys at Festka. BTW...they make their own. Each carbon frame has around 700 meters of carbon strand.
And this one is new on me. Carbon lugs with ti tubes. Interesting, and I'm sure, very inexpensive...

Two wheels good....

And How NOT to do a drivetrain clean on a bike...
I mean, seriously...if this is how one "cleans" one's bike, then...

As a side note...
If the group is riding a double, rotating paceline, after pulling though, and getting in the left line, keep the pace high. Don't pull over and throw out the anchor. Slow down 2-3-4 kmh, not 10! It hangs out the person/people behind you in the left (slow) line. It's harder to accelerate onto the back of the right line when they pass you. 

Time to go to Whole Foods...

26 May 2015

Just a little...

Saturday : CX bike. 50km spin. The far end of The PowerStation is loose, mostly due to logging activities.
The end by Eastman is being logged so that 12th St. can be extended through to 176. The section between the far K-Rail and the washout is being logged by the property owner. I'm guessing because the pines that were planted long ago are now mature, and worth money.
Just be aware of the activity out there.
Sunday : Road. 75km out Pine Plain, up the hill to Sandy Run, and back into town. Just a nice, casual ride on a Chamber of Commerce day.
Monday : Becky's Memorial Day Flat Fun 80km. As usual, a gaggle of us downtown folks, plus one intrepid Lexington soul, met at 0730, and rode to the ride.
HUGE group yesterday. Somewhere near 100 showed up. All shapes, sizes, and ability levels. It was pretty cool to see.
The group rolled, en masse, to The Swamp for the first stop. after a break naturel, and bottle fill (separate things), the shenanigans started. It was actually controlled this year, and pretty fun. A nice stretch of 40-50kmh, on really shitty roads. Made me glad I ride 25c Vittorias.
Once we turned towards Eastover, I shellaced a baby-head-sized divot in the pavement, and could have sworn my rear tire was going down. I sat up. Evidently, the only thing going soft was my brain.
From Eastover back to the park, we had a nice group of 20 or so, and traded turns at 33-40kmh the whole way. It was pleasant.
Bottles were filled (again), pleasantries were exchanged, and we rode back into town. I hit the 'hood with 106km, so I spun the block until it was an even 110. OCD.
Our Lexington compatriot, JMR, gets the Hardman of the Day Award. He knocked down 200km. Yes...TWO HUNDRED KILOMETERS. That's 126 miles in old money.
Quick numbers :
200km
3900 feet of climbing
7 hours and 25 minutes
28kmh average
4900 calories
About half of it was solo. STUD.

We'll see how everyone's tired legs feel tonight.

National Champs were in Chattanooga yesterday.
FULL coverage :


The men's race was one for the hardmen. I was cool with any of those guys winning...except for Horner.

Ali Tetrick has a couple of ouchies from yesterday.
And evidently, the prize for winning the men's race was a baby...
Let's see if Trek Factory Racing can design a National Champ jersey for Busche that doesn't look like a semi-custom job from Voler. Remember the angry midget's NC jersey?

We'll close with a lesson in style from Mr. Coppi...

Have a good Tuesday! I need to run around this morning and start getting my poop in a group for Mancation 2015.



22 May 2015

Disjointed

That's the best descriptor I can find for last night's ride.
It was fouled up from the beginning, and pretty much stayed fouled up.
The group got split at a light, and those made the split forgot that there were others on the ride.
It happened again at Old Wire, and yet again at the 321 crossover.
From that point, there was a lot of chasing (from a very few), and a whole lot of silly behavior (from many).
After no one bothered to roll slowly at the top of Gator, and wait for the group to gather, I took the bit firmly in my teeth, climbed into the Hurt Locker, and closed the door behind me.
A 10 minute plus pull, at 50kmh+, later, and three of us got back on. The shit hurt.
After Tech, I sat up. The ride was silly, and looked like it was about to get sillier.

Not every ride can be great...

Speaking of, Becky is doing her ride at Caughman Road Park on Monday (Memorial Day) morning. 0830 rollout. Last year's Memorial Day Ride was great. Everyone stayed together, and we rolled right along at 33-35kmh...for the entire loop. When we needed to gather up, we did.
The Labor Day ride was a clusterfuck. Too many people riding WELL over their heads, and creating danger for everyone. And let's not mention those who bailed out of the store stop, forgetting the rest of the group, and rode like wankers for the rest of the ride.
I will say this now, and will likely say it again Monday morning...
The group WILL stay together. The group WILL look out for each other. The ride WILL NOT turn into a dick measuring contest. It's a ride to foster a little bit good spirit within the diverse Columbia/Midlands cycling community.
We will go 30-35kmh. Sure, there will be a couple of fast spots, but we'll gather up and ride together after they conclude.
If this doesn't appeal to you, or you feel the need to whip out your junk, please stay home. If the urge overcomes you, and you should choose to act like a numpty, I will chase you down, and embarrass you in front of God and everyone.
Try me...
This is a great ride, on a great loop, and an opportunity to ride with folks one normally wouldn't ride with, as well as fostering some good feelings of community.
Don't fuck it up...

(Rant Over)

Anyone that wants to ride over to Caughman Road Park, we are meeting at 0730 at Owens Field Airport. Ride over, do the ride, and ride home. Right at 110km total.

National Road and TT Champs are this weekend in Chattanooga. Here's a preview of the TT course, courtesy of VW, Tanner Foust, and Tim Johnson...



Gotta jet...
I have an afternoon of running around ahead of me...





20 May 2015

And so it begins....

We got our first little taste of the heat and humidity last night. Welcome to Summer!
The ride went out SLOOOW, and steadily picked up pace as we went. I can say with some degree of certainty that the trip up Gator was one of the fastest in a long while. The run down 302 was about the same, as three of us got clear coming to the airport.
Kudos to Morgan for staying in until that point, and taking her licks. She's a beast. Give me a solid 6 months, and I could turn her into a bike racer that would put the HURT on women's fields...and the dudes on the group rides...
And of course, when we sat up for the group to reassemble, the survivalists rushed the front, and tried to push the pace through the airport, only to disappear a short time later.
As usual, our favorite donkey attacked at the sprint, and "won". It's quite funny to watch. Nevermind the fact he was dropped...twice...only to get back on when we waited. Wanker...
Again, as it's been the last few rides, it was fun. Hard enough when it needed to be...

The Giro...
Richie Porte is in the main group, and in GC contention. He gets a flat. Simon Clarke, who rides for Orica (a different team), is mates with Richie. Simon is also WAY out of contention. Simon stops, and gives his mate his wheel. The UCI frowns on this, and docks Porte 2 minutes, taking him out of the GC fight, and fines him 200 Swiss Francs.
Meanwhile, Astana...you know...the team that had FIVE doping positives in the past few months, but got to keep their license, sends their "B Team" to the Giro, and has three guys in the top five on GC.
The UCI has no issue with this, but cracks Porte and Clarke on the knuckles for good sportsmanship.
Yeah, that shit makes perfect sense...

Speaking of the Giro, Ashley and Jered Gruber posted a rest-day adventure. They do it better. Period.

And while we're talking about things Italian...


 Mancation 2015 is ten days away...

I'm no expert, but this can only end badly...

And on the cool bike radar, there's a Bridge on the rides these days. It's the house brand of the guys up at Glory Cycles. Pretty damn nice, and seems to be a fair deal as well.

And on a much sadder note, we suffered a loss here at SUAGR HQ.
My nearly 97 year old grandmother passed quietly this morning. She'd been under hospice care for the last couple of months.
She was the best grandma, and great grandma, a kid could ever ask for. I was insanely lucky to have her, and forever grateful that my kids were afforded the opportunity to know her.
She saw, and lived through, myriad changes during her time on this big blue marble. All were taken in stride. She did things that people only read about in books. Again, all were done with the quiet reserve present in people of her generation.
She was always there for me, and always on my side.
It was my supreme honor to be her grandson.

18 May 2015

Eventful (A day of donkeys)

As mentioned Friday, U10 futbol ended Saturday. After Junior Management's team took their weekly shellacing, I jumped on the CX bike, and headed out. No plan...just ride.
Out 12th, around to Eastman, thru the woods on the double secret new trail, PowerStation, Gervais, 'hood, home.
Saturday was pretty normal until I got to the head of the PowerStation. I heard a deep, mechanical noise, then the crashing of fauna. There was a feller/buncher lurking in the woods, taking down a BIG hardwood tree.
Fortunately, it fell BESIDE me, and not ON me.
Once to the washout, I tried to unclip to hike-a-bike across, but I couldn't get out of my right pedal. Hmmm...
I aimed for the low side of the wash, and kept riding. It seems one CAN ride it when given proper motivation. Honestly, it wasn't bad. with a little raking and shoveling, it would be a nice traverse. May have to get on that....
I stopped on the other side, and forced my foot from the pedal, only to find that the attachment of my cleat was tenuous, at best. No phillips screwdriver...F it...keep going...
Once to the boat landing, I turned in, in the hopes that someone was A) around, and B) had a screwdriver.
Big thanks to the dude that dug around in his truck, and found one for me. A quick 3 minute fix, and I was on my way. I hope karma smiled on him by putting a bunch of fish in his boat.
As an aside, if anyone wants has the urge to assault the Strava KoM for the Powerstation, now would be the time. It's in really good shape, and it's FAST.
Sunday was thin, as about half of the regular Heathens are Assaulting (or being assaulted by) Mt. Mitchell today. No matter...we rode on.
Beautiful morning, a good group, and no one got taken out by a yard dog. Although, upon cutting across to Hwy. 6, heading to Swansea, we did get chased, and brayed at by a donkey. Yeah...I said donkey. He ran across the pasture, hollering at us the whole time. Couldn't tell if he was mad, or just saying hello...
Once out of Swansea, we passed the donkey farm. There were many, many mini donkeys, including a couple of foals. They were fluffy.
And of course, I didn't take the camera with me...
A trip across LexCo, and we were home. 105km in the big sunshine.

Sagan won the Tour of California...by an inch...literally...
He needed the time bonus from 3rd to win. He beat Farrar by the width of a tubular. Superior bike throw as well...
After his Saturday performance on Mt. Baldy, he deserved the win. Talk about burying oneself...



And then Tinkov pulls this nonsense... (LINK) Sometimes (most of the time), I wonder if Oleg understands...

The Czech boys at Festka have dome it again...
Yeah...that's nice...

Methinks Ritchey missed the point with the new "Classic" bars...
73mm reach, and 128mm drop isn't "classic". Just ask the fine folks at Deda, who stopped making the Newton Deep, only to start production again b/c Euro Pros wanted them. They're now the "Zero100 Deep". 92mm reach and 142mm drop says "classic" to me...

And finally...two wheels good...
Triumph Tiger done right...

Have a productive Monday. I'm going to do my best NOT to...

15 May 2015

You know...FUN...

Last night was fun. No one wanted to go especially hard, so it was more of a "tempo" affair.
Sort of just rolled...and rololololololol'd...
Even though The Jackass met us after we'd already done 2/3 of the ride, it was still fun.
I started to gaffaw when we were running into South Congaree at 55kmh. I came around the group, and KL tried to match my pace. He did, but when I looked over, the vein in the side of his neck was as big as my thumb. Careful Kev, you're getting up there in age...don't want to stroke out. LOL.
Then The Jackass started his shenanigans. Pretty easy to ride off the front at 32kmh...from a stoplight...ain't it? We let him hang out there, then once the line was back up to speed, we passed. The Ass in The Lion's Skin tried to force his way into line. Sorry bro...enjoy getting shuffled...
The he went after the sprint...alone...again...pretty easy when you haven't done most of the ride. He has supplanted our old friend Mick (who we all like quite a bit) as the new King of the uncontested sprint point. We LOL'd more.

Methinks I need to start contesting that final sprint a bit more. Only gone after it twice all year, and blew him out both times.
And the weather was perfect. 80 degrees, low humidity, and no wind...in mid-May? Ok...sure...

Ugly finish in the Giro yesterday...


Good win for Griepel, but the accident was caused by some spectator wanting to get a little TOO close to the action. Colli (Fantini Vini) hit the guys giant camera lens at 60kmh, shattering his humerus, and taking down Contador in the process. Contador dislocated his shoulder, which is bad, and quite painful, but given the choice of that, or a broken collarbone (or separated AC), I'd take the dislocation everyday. And yes...I've had all three.

Speaking of finish line crashes...


The very definition of the old racing adage of "Never Lift..."

Hey, Columbia...you're screwing up...
Check out the Chester Valley Trail, up in Pa.
I'm going to ride it when I'm up there on Mancation in a couple of weeks. Down to the trail, across to Valley Forge, back through the countryside to Pa. Service Course.
It's what happens when municipalities cooperate, and use resources to build things for the benefit of residents. Unlike here, where the Mayor & City Council are running a $35M boondoggle, er...I mean, baseball stadium, up our collective asses.
Of course, a MUT doesn't put any money in Mayor Benjamin's off-shore accounts.

Hey...do you guys have any tubular hoops laying around?

Last day of U10 futbol tomorrow. I truly support Junior Management playing, but it's been the longest 8 weeks of my life. I guess I'll go hit The PowerStation after...

Enjoy your Friday, and go outside to play this weekend!!

13 May 2015

Yeah so...

Last night was quick...well...after it wasn't...
We went out 12th with the speed of a herd of migratory tortoises. Once across 176, things picked up, and stayed up until we hit the neighborhood.
What began with upwards of 30 came home with 8.
I don't know much, but I know that the run down 302 stung. It was...spirited...
And it was WAY smoother than usual. Weird how fast = smooth sometimes...

And speaking of smooth, it was truly nice was having a new BB in the Ridley. Thanks to VCRC for the smoothness. Having a BB that actually spun freely was nice. Once the ride began, it became increasingly clear that the old Enduro BB had been roached for a long time.
Feel free to poo-poo this, and say that BBs don't matter, but they do. Quality and smoothness is tangible.
I ride VCRC BBs in both bikes. They're great, affordable, and they last. What more does one need?

Where is this, and when do we leave?

Hincapie's boys kicked ass in Cali yesterday. People are surprised. Me? Nope. They've been quietly knocking the bigger teams down a few pegs all Spring.



And the Giro is already a slugfest...



One thing though....
Can we talk about Richie Porte for a moment? Dude is rolling around Italy in a rock star motorhome/tour bus...

I hope the UCI, WADA, and La Polizia are stopping by for cursory inspections....

Gotta go...Junior Management gets out of school shortly...