30 November 2009


Carolina should start scouting this kid NOW!

Pursuit AND a huge hit!

29 November 2009

Nice winter pace ride

It was a perfect day outside, especially when you take into consideration that it's November 29th!! 45 degrees when we left and 60+ when we rolled in 3-1/2 hours later. I still cannot understand how people don't ride on days like today...we only had 5 this morning.

We meandered out through LR, into the Swamp and back in on Airbase. A nice, easy 100km at 30kmh.

It was good to ride with DL this morning too. I may roll out to Dutch Fork and ride with those guys in the near future. A change of scenery is always a good thing. We came up with a novel idea...

I know everyone is stuck in their own staid little routines, but there needs to be a ride in Columbia that folks from every corner of town show up for, especially in winter. I'm not saying that it has to be a weekly traveling circus, but a big ride once in a while would be fun (remember that?) and would foster a little more of a 'community' in Columbia.

Last week, a liittle bird broke some news about the Toby J. Porter Annual New Years' Ride. It seems that this year's edition may be a 'multi-surface' affair. Not quite sure exactly what that means, but I'm betting tires wider than 23c will be advantageous! There are a plethora of dirt roads out around the lake! Don't be scared buttercups, a little dirt and rough stuff is good for you. Big gears and a high-ish pace will get you to the other end w/o drama!

28 November 2009

Gobble, gobble

Even though the weather was, well, gray, 7 intrepid souls rolled out @ 7:30 Thanksgiving morning. Back in the day, we used to have a huge T-day ride, but children and family responsibilities put the kibosh on it years ago. For the last four or five years, I've just gone out on the cross bike and either done a BIG urban assault loop, or banged around in the woods. It was nice to ride with people in the middle of the week!

To say that it was foggy would be the understatement of the month. Visibility was about 100m and the moisture was just settling on arm and kneewarmers.

As it normally happens, the fog and low clouds stayed with us for our entire 3:15 on the bike. Only when I rolled my big ass into the yard did I see blue sky. By the time I'd showered and gotten dressed, it was beautiful outside...

The entire corporation, all four of us, rolled out to the hell hole that is Lexington for a pleasant Thanksgiving lunch at my mom's house. A wonderful smoked turkey, all the fixins and pumpkin pie followed. Sleep came easy shortly thereafter...

Friday, I did a 90 miute spin on the cross bike and came home to an empty house. The H.O. and MTs headed to Chesterfield for a couple of days...sweeeet!

This morning, I chose to sleep in since I knew no one would bother to show up for the group ride. It's been anorexic lately anyway, and the 38 degree temps wouldn't exactly help that situation. The plan was to ride the cross bike again, but I bailed. Instead, I raked, blew, mowed and cursed at the leaves for an hour and a half. Cross training!

On the bike again tomorrow...9:00 at Outspokin'. 60 miles...winter pace...be there...!

Oh, and I have seen the future...his name is Thibaut Nys and he's 6! That's right, Sven Nys' son!

25 November 2009

When did we move to Portland?

I'm not one to complain about the weather, especially since we live in SC, where it never really gets too cold...or too anything, for that matter. I am getting a bit weary of the days like we've had since Sunday. 50 degrees and dreary is fine to ride in, but just sucks the life clean out of a brother. I need some sunshine on my face!

I went out last night and rode the cross bike for 2 hours. Dry when I left...light drizzle started 15 minutes in...real drizzle for the next hour...and light rain to finish off the evening. Wonder why my throat hurts this morning? It beat the hell out of riding the trainer though!

I was perusing Ebay last, looking for nothing in particular, and found a guy selling stuff who understands marketing. Eyes on the product baby...make it sell!

Somebody needs to put this guy in their marketing department, 'cuz he's a bright one!

Ride in the morning @ 730 from Outspokin'...be there!

23 November 2009

I guess I needed rest...

I rode a whopping three times last week. After a great Tuesday ride, I went downhill in a hurry. The rest of the week, I felt like hammered shit, so I just stayed off the bike until Friday.
Even when I did get back on the bike, I felt bad. I rode the cross bike for 90 minutes Friday morning, doing nothing more than farting around downtown. No efforts, no nothing...just spinning my legs around.
Bond invited me to a double secret Saturday morning ride, so I went, still feeling pretty flat and empty. Gary Smith, of Fox News fame, Bond, NCA (National Champion Aaron) and I went out for a couple of hours. Did I mention we left at 7:30? I'm wired differently than some. I like to ride early, but 7:30 is EARLY! Gary had to do a couple of 30 minute efforts, so we just sat in while he turned himself inside out.
In the middle of his second effort, my urge to stop for a break naturel far outweighed pretty much anything ellse on the planet, so I stopped and watered the flora. I didn't want to disrupt Gary, ot the other guys, so I didn't even bother to yell. I knew they'd sit up after his effort...
I chased, was picked up by Bond and we rode back to NCA and Gary.
It was a good ride, and it was nice to be home by 10am, but I just felt bad when I got home. It didn't get better as the day progressed.
I awoke Sunday and decided that the bike would stay in The ManHole(tm) for the day.
The H.O. and I loaded up the MTs and headed to Ikea in Charlotte instead. Huge place, a lot of cool stuff and quite a good in-house cafe. Felt lucky that we got out only dropping a Franklin!

I'm feeling better today and plan on doing the Tri-City ride again tomorrow night...maybe even do a double tomorrow.
Turkey Day ride @ 7:30 on Thursday. Meet @ Outspokin'. I don't know the route, as it isn't my ride. C'mon out, do 3 hours early and feel no guilt later when you're throwing that 2nd, or 5th, slice of pie down your neck!
Friday ride too, if anyone wants to go out. Probably @ 9 or so...3 hours...no real plan...I'll send an email as well...

Peace...Hope everyone has a good Monday!

18 November 2009

Fun, fun, fun

So I did another really fun ride last night.

Tri-City Schwinn is long gone, but the night ride remains. 30+ folks met behind the strip center on 12th Street in Cayce last night @ 6:30. That's right, I said 30+! No racers, no egos, no pretense, no testosterone driven ass-sniffing, just a bunch of folks who like to ride. It about the purity of the ride. Other than being safe, nothing was really taken all that seriously, kinda the way riding should be...

We rode through the Avenues, down to the river trail. The trail wasn't open, per se, but we still, somehow, made it to the end of trail. I won't say that we snuck around a couple of gates, but certain things may, or may not, have occured that allowed us access to parts of the trail...just sayin'! We traversed all of the river trail, went up into Governer's Hill, through downtown, the State House and campus. At this point, I peeled off and headed home. I ended up with 2.5 hours on the bike. Not many miles, but a lot of smiles! Wow, that last statement was borderline...

I did get a good effort last night though. I didn't want to be late, as I was instructed the ride left AT 6:30. I blew out of the house @ 6:02 and made it to the meeting spot @ 6:18. 16 minutes from Rosewood to Cayce/West Cola on 38c tires is no mean feat. If I recall correctly, the dots were blue.

The H.O. is out of town, so I'm forced to ride in the morning. Oh, how I HATE riding in the sunshine...(can you feel the cynicism?)

The weather outside is supposed to be iffy this weekend, but I'll be out anyway. Are you listening Wiseman?

Oh, and if you think your bike is light, it isn't...

11.7 pounds complete...

17 November 2009

Yes please....

New body Camaro turned into the iconic Trans-Am...screaming chicken and all! I'll take it!

15 November 2009

Ah...that's the weather we've missed!

What a glorious weekend!! As our favorite over-educated hillibilly would say, "It's beautiful!"
Yesterday, we rolled out into LR in 60 degrees and sun. Not much exciting happened on the ride. We rolled around into Eastover and back the normal way. I felt like crap for pretty much the entire ride. The feelings just weren't there after being off the bike for a week, and off the ROAD bike for almost two weeks. No issues with pace or pulling through, just issues with comfort on the bike after a little layoff. The day more than made up for it! 3 hours and 90km in the bright, warm sun was NICE!
The H.O. and I spent the afternoon looking for houses in Blythewood, which led to the revelation that we're probably going to move out there when the time comes. More house for the $, good schools and it's not Lexington! I'd rather take several dozen shots to the nuts than live in that festering shithole.
A nice dinner @ Carabba's and some shopping made sleep come early and easy.
This morning, it was even nicer! Warmer and almost zero wind. The irony? No one bothered to show up for the standing 'Il Prof' ride...other than Il Prof and yours truly. No worries though! We rolled out Bluff, meandered around the long way through the Swamp and back in. Another 3 hours and 90km in 65 degrees and sun. We rode two up for the entire ride and conversations ranged from HDTV to the tenement in Beijing that his son calls home to why people ride their bikes.
I felt much better sitting on the bike today though. It wasn't a totally foreign feeling like Saturday. Back to back long rides on the weekend are goooood, plus...
I REALLY like having fresh tanlines from weekend rides, especially in November!

Off the bike tomorrow, but my cross-training will consist of raking leaves for most of the morning!

13 November 2009

The tide is high

I rode outside today! The bad wing got taped up, boxer style, and I got on the cross bike for a tour of downtown and the over-flowing river. No plan today, other than getting some fresh air, trying out the injured wrist and checking out the flooding. And flooding there be...
The dam out at the end of the the canal had just a little bit of overflow! The walkway shown is the end of the fish run. No fishies getting upstream today!
This is part of the trail that goes under the River Drive bridge. I ran into a guy from the USGS down there who was taking flow measurements. In the middle of the river, under the bridge, the flow was 36,000 cu. ft per SECOND!!! You can see the top of a guide sign in the picture. It's @ 4 feet tall and normally about 4-6 above the level of the river, on the side of the trail.

This in on the Cayce side. Believe it or not, this is a high spot on the river trail! The water was right at 3 feet deep on the walkway pictured. By the looks of the water line on the trail where I was standing, the water level had dropped about a foot or so.

This walkway goes over one of the truly low/swampy spots of the trail. I've ridden this part dozens of times and NEVER seen more than a foot of water here. This portion is elevated and approximately 8-10 feet of the dry ground in the spot shown in the picture!

I made an effort to wind around to the far side of the trail to grab some shots of the old locks and the other portion of elevated trail, but the gate was closed and locked. Climbing an 8 foot fence in cycling clothes, while shouldering a cyclocross bike, next to a roaring river didn't seem like a horribly intelligent thing to do, so I headed home. I got a nice 90 minute spin and saw the river higher than I'd seen it in my 20 years in Columbia. I'd be interested in seeing the Swamp, but seeing as I have an aversion to large snakes and alligators, I'll just assume the water is high!

I think I see blue sky and sunshine...weird!

11 November 2009

Have I mentioned...

...that I hate the trainer?
The weather wasn't as biblical as the worthless 'meteorologists' in town predicted, but I wasn't about to go outside in the wet and risk sliding out and crashing on an already bunged up wing, so I swallowed my hatred for riding indoors and hit the ManHole(tm) for an hour on the turbo this morning.
The trainer has it's place, but I just can't fathom how in the hell folks ride it for more than 90 minutes or so. That's my absolute limit!
I popped in the 2004 Tour and set my HR @ 170...60 minutes later, I was soaked...the bike was soaked...the floor was soaked, and my spirit was somehow diminished. Riding the trainer is a double-edged sword. Even though I hold it in such low esteem, I know that it's an effective way to get a fast, focused workout. I know for a fact that I wouldn't have ridden that hard outside, in the wet, this morning.
The positive from the ride? Watching the 2004 Tour. I'm a Lance homer. Sure, I know a lot of folks bash him and call him a doper, but haters are as haters do. The one thing that you can't discount is the fact that Ekimov and Hincapie flat fucking KILLED the other teams in Stage 3 of the 2004 Tour, when they got to the cobbled sections. If you don't like that, then you just don't like anything!

Peace...gotta go to Target with the fam!

08 November 2009


Well, I get a few days of forced rest.
I schlepped up to Charlotte yesterday to do the 35+/45+ masters cyclocross race @ Veterans Park. Great course, well laid out and pretty fun.
We had a huge field...about 35 in 35+ and probably more in 45+.
I got a BAD start, but had 45 minutes to move up, or so I thought. About 20 minutes in, I had gained about a dozen spots and was sitting somewhere around 12th, about 30 seconds off the lead bunch of 6.
Entering the tougher part of the course, I tried to move around a couple of guys to have a clear shot at the downhill, but chose a really bad line. Now for some math...
Wet grass + off camber + downhill + too much speed + a bad line = M2 in a wrist immobilizer for 7-10 days!
Yep, the front wheel just went away and I went down. It wasn't hard crash, but my left arm somehow got pinned under my chest and bent my wrist in, towards my forearm. I knew it was jacked, but jumped up and continued on. After another 1/2 lap, the pain was too much to bear. I couldn't hold, or pull, on the bars and every bump shot a lightning bolt of pain through my body.
Done and done!
I packed up and headed home, injured and dejected. I called my personal Doc and told him I was inbound. After a wrist/hand X-Ray, and a lot of poking and squeezing, I was told that nothing was broken. Pretty much all of the ligaments in my left wrist are strained though, which makes it about as useful as actually being broken.
I guess I'll be off the bike for a few days. Of course, it's 60 degrees and sunny, with zero wind today...F&%#$R!
To add insult to injury, the buckle broke off my shoe in the crash...super!
I think it's time for some new MTB shoes anyway. My M221s are 4 years old and smell like a stray dog that's been living inside of the turkey vulture's carcass...

No riding until Thursday, so I'll do a couple of reviews early in the week. DZ-Nuts chamois creme and the MagicShine 900 light...stay tuned! Maybe I'll try to run...

06 November 2009

Friday commentary

I think all that frequent this place realize that I'm not a big fan of ball and stick sports. Out of all sports that involve throwing or catching, I dislike baseball the least. Sure, I still think that the vast majority of MLB players are di-anabol eating wankers, but every so often, I'll watch a baseball game. It's OK on TV, but actually quite fun to go to the park, especially a minor league park.

Anyway, Philadelphia just lost* the World Series to the Jankees. Let it be known from here to eternity...I HATE THE JANKEES! They are anti-thesis to what the game of baseball should be. Sure, maybe I'm a bit of a luddite. I quite enjoy watching the old documentaries about baseball with video sourced from decades gone by. A team was a team. The guys lived in the neighborhood. They didn't jet in for game day, and then catch another jet after the game to go home to their $7 million dollar, 12, 000 square foot, homage to too much money and bad taste.

I spent many formative years in the Philly 'burbs, and went to more baseball, football, basketball and hockey games than I care to remember, so I have a bit of nostalgia and love for those teams.

I watched the WS with rapt attention and was highly bummed when the Jankees took the series 4-2. The Phillies look, and play, like a TEAM. The Jankees look, and play, like a collection a high priced mercenaries, which is what they are...did I mention the Jankees payroll is $200 million!!!! That's $200,000,000! Eight fucking zeros people...

Again, Philadelphia sports teams have fans that don't exactly fit any mold, and can be huge douchebags, but they're homers. They aren't bandwagon jumpers or fair-weather fans. They come out in all sorts of horrendous climatic events and are there for the team, be it the Eagles, Phillies, Sixers, or Flyers. If the team sucks, they boo, jeer, and are generally nasty. If the team is good, they cheer with reckless abandon, but they are always there! Asses in the seats, beer in hand! It's endearing in a sick and twisted sort of way.

Yankees fans, well....they're New Jorkers...need I say more?

04 November 2009

Domestic duties call

So the H.O. is in NYC for a 'conference'. I'm talking to her on the phone as I write this and she's done nothing remotely resembling work, but she's walked the length of W. 34St. in Chelsea, hitting all of the stores. I have a sneaking suspicion that this 'all-day conference' with last until shortly after lunch, then our credit rating will take a small hit! I, of course, will receive no spoils from this 'trip'.
I'm single-parenting the boys, which is really nothing new. I would have enjoyed the trip to NYC, but my mother has to work for a living and it seems that my in-laws were 'too busy' to watch their grand-children. Did I mention the fact that they're both retired? Used pudding cups are more useful...

Anywho, I took Monday off the bike, went out last night in the dark and then spun my legs around early this morning.
Last night was a full moon, but it's still DAMN dark out in the middle of Ft. Jackson. I'd planned on just sort of riding, but felt remarkably good, so I pushed a little bit. I ended up doing a convoluted tour of the base that lasted nearly two hours. I was HORRIBLY over-dressed for a hard-ish ride in 60 degree temps and just couldn't figure out what to un-zip, remove, leave on, etc., so I just accepted that I would sweat like a mule for a while. The MagicShine 900 light was superb! I've used it enough now to have formulated an opinion, so I'll be doing a review in the next week or so.
This morning, I went out to the HoP2 loop and tried to make myself vomit. (10) 30/30s will, in fact, help remind one of the Kashi GoLean Crunch one had for breakfast. It wasn't a full body heave, but just enough to discern exactly which 7 grains they use to achieve the cereal's taste and texture. An hour on the bike and I was home. I returned the Salsa to it's cross/race form, went to the shop to hang out for a while and then started my dealings with the MTs.
Fortunately, I have good children who actually listen, so it's not all bad!
The H.O. is to return tomorrow night, LATE, so riding tomorrow is out of the question, unless I leave the boys here alone. Somehow, I think DSS would take issue with this, so a rest day it is.
I'll spin around Friday morning and try to loosen things up for Saturday. Drogalis (nickname pending) and I are leaving EARLY to go up and get our cross on...we'll see how that goes...

Colini out...(figure out that reference!)

03 November 2009

Monday review

Well, it's that time of year...time has changed and the temps are dropping. What do you do when/if you don't feel like pulling on knee warmers, or the temps will go up during the course of your ride? Slap on some embrocation, that's what you do!

I've tried a few different formulas over the years, some worked better than others, but hadn't found anything worth recommending to others...until now.

I tripped over Mad Alchemy after reading a review on the old BKW website. After reading all of Padraig's reviews, I went to Mad Alchemy's site and read of their propaganda. Let's just say that it's not a product that's made by some faceless, greedy, soul-less corporation. It's made by ONE guy...in his house! All of MA's products are 100% natural, meaning there's no bad stuff or preservatives to harm your skin, or the environment.

After brushing up on all of the different styles of embro they offer, I decided to pull down on the Cold Weather Warming in Medium Heat. MA makes three different levels of heat in this particular style, so I figured the medium would be the best choice for all-around use in SC, where a 50 degree day can either feel really warm and nice, or ass-biting cold. I made my order on a Monday night and had my little package of warmth delivered, from Massachusetts, on Thursday. In keeping with the theme, it came in a little, brown, hand-addressed box. Inside that box was a brown, recycleable plastic jar. No frills, no extraneous packaging...nice!
Now that I've ridden it several times, in widely varying conditions and temperatures, I can honestly say that it's GOOD stuff! It smells almost edible, and seeing that it's all-natural, it very well may be. The beauty of it is the consistency. It's not watery, nor is it peanut butter thick. Because of this 'just right' smoothness, it isn't messy, goes on easily, and gives good coverage. All you need to cover your knee, and the connective tissue around your knee, is a little blob, about the size of a pistachio (in shell). Slap it on and massage it in well. The warmth will start shortly thereafter. And it looks PRO on your legs. A slight tint and sheen are evident when rocking it.
I've ridden with it on my legs about 6 times at this point and could FEEL the difference, especially last Sunday in the 55 degree rain. It seems to excel in the wet. It actually felt warmer once I was soaked...maybe that's the idea! Once home and in the shower, it washes off easily with soap and water. There's no greasy feeling or residue. The warm feeling remains for a little while though, which isn't always a bad thing after a cold ride!
It can also be used on other parts of the body...it works WELL on stiff backs! And yes, I speak from experience on this one!
There's a time and place for kneewarmers, but if it's between 50-60 degrees, the embro is the way to go.
It ain't cheap($22 shipped for 4 ounces), but as with all things cycling, the cost is relative. If you ride a top-shelf road/tri/cross/mountain bike, $22 bucks on something that works, and increases comfort levels, shouldn't really be a concern!
Buy some, save the planet, be more comfortable on the bike and support the little guy!

01 November 2009

Post #666 (run away...run away...)

Well, if you missed Bond's Halloweener ride, you missed a good 110km loop through the country, North of Blythewood. The weather was borderline for the rollout, but got better as the ride progressed. A low, hanging fog followed us for the first hour or so, but cleared off. It never rained and the winds were light, but the humidity kept the roads nice and wet. This fact, coupled with the rural nature of the ride, made for a messy bike and kit. On the upside, the new Tide Stain Booster bombs work really well on cycling clothes! It was a really fun ride with a good group a guys. I really need to go out there to ride more often, for several reasons, with the biggest being that it will make me stronger on the bike.
We never really went all that hard, yet still averaged 33.5kmh for the 110km. It was just steady, for 3:15.
I got home, hit the mix1 (which if you don't know about, you should!) and spent a solid hour wiping road schmaltz and red clay mud off the bike. I also had to give the Ridley a fresh dose of handlebar tape, as the old tape was sullied by a rather large bird with an affinity for some sort of black berries, while attached to the roof rack on the ride home.
This morning, it was the same sort of day, with the added bonus of a light to moderate drizzle. I flatly refused to pull the Ridley out of the Manhole(tm), as it was fresh and clean, so I swapped road pedals and skinnies onto the Salsa, kitted up in my new TBR stuff, slapped on the
Mad Alchemy and headed out.
To say the ride was thin this morning would be generous...it was Kate Moss! Mrs. FK turned around before even making it to the meeting spot, so four of us rolled. That 4 became 3 about 2km later when TVH turned and headed home. FK and I turned off about an hour later and headed home, while Il Prof decided to stay out in the soup. More power to him!
I wasn't miserable or cold, just not quite in the mindset to wallow around in 55 degrees and drizzle for three hours. I ended up with 2 hours, just shy of 60km, and a realization. I really like riding the cross bike on the road during the winter. It fits just like the Ridley, yet isn't as twitchy, isn't as harsh and I don't mind getting it filthy. Everyone should have a cross bike...it's like a Swiss Army knife with wheels!

I have a couple of reviews to post up next week...DZNuts, Mad Alchemy, MagicShine light...stay tuned!