24 April 2017

Sleepy/Rainy Monday

And for once, the gloom and rain is a bit welcome.
I'm tired. I want nothing more than to sit today.
5 days last week. All felt good, and I'm feeling better on the bike, so there's that.
And the new carbon wheels ride really freaking well. I haven't been on carbon wheels since I rendered my Williams obsolete by going to 11v. It's been a year.
I tried to tell myself that my 28mm alu Williams wheels were just as fast as a set of 50mm carbon wheels. I was lying to myself. At 30-ish kmh, there's not a lot of difference. Once the speed ramps up, it's obvious.
Glad I finally came off the nickel, and got a set built. Yeah...BUILT. You can do that.
One doesn't have to go into the LBS and buy a set of wheels whose price is driven by marketing. Shocking, I know...
Gigantex 50mm hoops (23mm wide), Novetec straight pull hubs, & Sapim CX-Ray spokes/nipples. 1430g 635F/795R). <<< I weighed them...
Stiff and fast. Simple, cost effective build. No drama. 25mm Vittoria Corsas w/latex tubes measure right at 27mm.
I would have like to go a bit wide on the hoops, but the silly Noah won't accept rims much wider than 23/24mm. I tried a set of 27mm wide wheels, and the clearance in the fork was @ 1mm per side. Nope. No thanks. Too close.
One does what one must.
4 road rides, and a CX ride went in the book last week. The weather was pretty perfect for all of them.
 The PowerStation is in good nick. Lots of animals out there milling about. Deer, hogs, raccoons, snakes, raptors. Ride the road. Leave them alone. You are a guest. If I find another Gu packet, I will put on my ghillie suit, and hunt you down. Fuckwit.
 Lower Richland is looking pretty green. And someone is actively picking up trash on the sides of the road. Thank you! And to the people who just throw their crap out of the car, you're a bunch of dicks.
Saturday, we were WAY out. Pretty much had it to ourselves for a while. New tarmac. Light winds. No cars. Yes please....
I posted these shots to social media, and a friend commented (sarcastically) that it must be tough to ride here. It's a cross we all bear.
As an aside, we should be very grateful for it. I've ridden all over the country. We live in one of the best places there is for road riding. Remember that next time you want to complain...

In sad news, Michele Scarponi was struck and killed by a van driver last week. And of course, the driver used the old "I didn't see him" defense.
Ride in Peace Michele! And thank you.

Valverde won Fleche and LBL, then stated he'd be giving his winnings to Scarponi's family. All of you who seem to harbor so much hate for Valverde should take note of this. How many others would do such a thing?
Yeah, he got popped for doping. He did his time, came back, and is still kicking ass. It's amusing how much righteous indignation is wasted on Valverde, but not aimed at the rest of the guys who have gotten popped and come back.

I won't bore you with the video of Fleche. It was a fast group ride with a 1km sprint up the Muur de Huy.
There...you know what happened.
LBL was pretty good though...

In happier news, I picked up a new bike for #1.
27.5" wheels. Discs. Decent spec. He's pretty chuffed about it. Oh, and it's a 17" frame. He's 11. FFS.

And as I finish this, the sun is starting to peek through the clouds. It'll probably be pretty nice...right up until I need to go pick up Junior Management at school. Ain't it always the way...

We're done here. Go be frank and properous. (H/T to KK)

17 April 2017

Ride, or fish?

Junior Management was on Spring Break last week, so it was a bit random around here.
I rode Tuesday night. It was fun...until it wasn't. It was slow, so the group was BIG...and squirrely. Once on Gator, CC and I sat up, and rode in together.
Evidently, there was a crash. Hope everyone came out okay, but it's not too surprising. Too much speed, and not enough skill. Nowhere is it written that you must rush to the front when the ride slows.
Stay in line. Watch and listen. Learn how to ride in a pack. Some of us have been doing this for decades, not months...
Some of the speed > skill bunch got to see what fast actually was on Thursday night. The groups got mixed up, and false pride got a bunch of people popped off. By the time we got past Amazon, the group was already down to 8.
Did I mention I was on the CX bike? Knobbies @ 55psi and a 46 chainring? LOLZ.
I bid the group adieu, and headed in on the dirt. I could see the remnants of the bunch...spread out in 1s and 2s all the way down 12th.
It was damn nice out on the dirt. It's in good shape. Pretty fast too.

Corpo got up Friday, and headed to the farm. A little work was done....
...then we decided to drown some crickets...
The body count was 2 smallmouth bass (one flopped out of the bucket & escaped), and a half dozen bream.
JM had a good time. In all of the baiting hooks, taking fish off hooks, and cleaning fish, I didn't eat/drink much.
The plan was to ride Saturday morning, but that quickly got shot in the ass. I woke up at the crack of 9:30, and felt like I'd spent the previous evening face down on the bar. Feeling that poorly was one of the reasons I stopped drinking 16 years ago. Fuck...it was bad.
I drank a lot of water and Skratch, and ate everything that wasn't tied down.
Woke up Sunday, and still felt puny, but I knew I was hydrated and well fed, so I headed to meet The Heathens for Easter Sunday service.
We headed out to Kingville & back. As usual, service at The Church of The Big Ring was good stuff. Good group. Much conversation. Many laughs.
Plus, it was a brilliant day. 65 at the start. 80 at the end. Can't ask for better...except for MAYBE a moment of respite from the wind?
Sunday's reading was from the Gospel of Eddy. Book 53, Chapter 11, verse 110.64
"And so the wind will swirl, tailwinds be not at your back. Thus you shall become like the bull...robust and powerful."

And we end today on a sad note. Friend to many, friend to Columbia cycling, and my friend for 20+ years, Jim Leventis died suddenly last week. He was way too young to go. He was laid to rest today.
If you knew JL, and called him friend, you're better for it. I know I am.
Rest well my friend.

10 April 2017

Not much...and you?

I took last week as an active rest week. Feeling tired and dinged up after a couple of big months.
Rode the CX bike on Tuesday. As usual, my frequently concussed brain forgot that it poured rain on Monday.
Yeah...this was clean when I left Service Course. I are smurt!
Still got a solid two hours. Felt better as the ride progressed, so there's that...
Didn't look at a bike for the rest of the week.
CC, TVH and I did a little CX ride on Saturday morning. It was quite enjoyable. Much fun was had. I think TVH even had fun. His bike got dirty, and he learned that one must keep momentum in the soft stuff lest one falls over.
Full on Arte Johnson-style...
Fortunately, the sand was very soft, and he's pretty close to the ground.
He even got his new CX bike dirty!!
Sunday, The Heathens were but two. I had to be home at a decent time for family stuff, so we did the Tues/Thurs. loop.
That got me home in time to go to the Fireflies game. The Duke got to go out on the field pre-game. He was chuffed.
We got to watch Jesus  Tebow hit a homerun too.
As an aside, you folks that call yourself Fireflies/baseball fans should cheer for EVERY player on the team as hard as you cheer for Tebow. Remember...Tebow is a millionaire. The other guys make @ $400 a week. Tebow is living in a $3000/mo. rental house. The other guys are bunking up 3 & 4 to an apartment.
They deserve your adoration a bit more.

Funny stuff :

I've seen this very scenario before...

Sexy aero things...

I'll take both. My birthday is in two weeks. That gives you time...

Roubaix was yesterday. I did not watch...YET. I know who won, but not how...SO SHUT UP!!

And Boom Boom called it a career...
Merci Tommeke! #Legend

Spring Break for Junior Management this week, so my plan is to appear at the group rides. We all know what happens when one makes plans....
Hopefully see you guys there.

03 April 2017

So yeah...

If you look up "Chamber of Commerce Weekend", last weekend was it.
Perfect weather. Started in the 50s. Ended in the 80s. If one had wishes, and didn't burn one of them for the weather to be like that EVERY DAY...FOREVER, one is a sucker.
Went out Juan Solo on Saturday. Did a little climby. Did a little speedy. Ended up with 2.5 hours and nearly 70km. Not a bad solo jaunt in the perfect weather.
The Heathens rolled out yesterday for an easy spin out over the ridge and back. There were no goals, and no real need to be very serious, so we rode slow, chatted, and even hit the river trails to get back to the 'hood.
Twas a lovely day, and what riding should be about. An enjoyable ride, on a great day, having fun with friends.

Flanders was last weekend too.

PhilGil goes horizon...from 40km+ to go. Old dogs can still hunt.

And Coryn wins a HARD sprint.

The women's race was arguably better....

Short one today, as I really don't have much to yap about. Shocking, I know...
Headed down to Service Course now. Gotta slap a chain on a custom Eriksen. Tough gig...

I'd say #GoOutside, like usual, but this is coming...
Spend this morning making sure you stuff stays dry.

27 March 2017

Eh...you have big happt Monday only...

Decent last week on the bike.
Well, it started out okay, got worse, then ended up okay.
Tuesday, I was as crooked as a hickory stick. (It's an old euphemism, but fitting nonetheless). Felt like I was turning left the entire ride. Legs were decent, but my pedal stroke was a bit notchier than usual.
Took Wednesday off...
Thursday, I went to see Dr. Renick, and got my business cracked and stretched. I was crook-ed. When your physio actually comments on how jacked up you are, you know the visit was much needed.
Friday, I rode just to loosen up. easy peasy. Never ride well right after getting beaten by the good Doctor.
Saturday was a fun ride. Felt good, rode well. Actually had a big tailwind home. It's really nice to glass crank @ 40kmh on the way home.
Saw this train car from the bridge on Saxe Gotha. Had to get a picture, so I went fully into the locker, and raced the train to the level crossing. The shot turned out okay, considering I was slightly hypoxic. Also begs the question, is it art? It's more art than some "art"...
Sunday, a smaller group of Heathens met for a big, fun loop out into Swansea. Twas breezy, but the direction of wind would bode well for the run home...
 We saw mini-horses!!!
As you can see, it's pretty bad out there. You should keep riding in the Fort.

 Got a new kit last week. My friends at Feedback Sports hooked me up with a new jersey. Thanks Katie!
Anyway, it's needs to be said that Primal (yes, the folks who make all of the dopey jerseys that you tend to see on the MS150, or on clearance in the Nashbar catalog) makes VERY, VERY nice high end clothing. The jersey is the "Helix" line. You will be hard-pressed to fine a better fitting jersey, made of nicer materials. Stretchy sleeves, durable zipper, vents built into the back/shoulder, and a correct length.
I needed a new pair of bibs anyway, so I picked up a pair of Primal Helix "Onyx" bibs on a pro-deal. Again, outstanding stuff. Compressive. Proper strap length. Proper inseam length. Great chamois. ZERO issues on yesterday's 3.5 hour jaunt. Never even had to adjust luggage.
Scoff if you must, but I can tell you, they're better than ANY other manufacturer at similar price points. Period!
 Also got some Belgie socks from Mad Alchemy. So fresh. So clean. Style. It's a thing.
 The guys at Festka just keep making nice stuff. This is a Columbus XCr stainless frame. Clean and simple. Met them at the NAHBS a few years ago. They know what they're doing, and will talk to you about frames, materials, and theory for as long as you want to talk about it. I'm leaning towards a metal bike. This one has jumped to the top of the list.
Speaking of things Belgie. Belgie blue Noah. Now complimentary colors/graphics needed. Built for bidness.
Yeah, it has discs. Ignore them They're silly and unnecessary on a road bike. They will not make you a better rider.
Finally, if you don't know about the things in this picture, save me your expertise.

Gonna be nice all week. You should go outside and get it on you!!

22 March 2017

Eh Mario...you has big happt birstday!

Cipo is 50 today.
He had style before you knew about style...

2002 Zolder

That's a proper leadout, BTW.

20 March 2017

Back on the horse

After a couple weeks of relative inactivity...3 days a week...I remounted the horse(s) last week.
I even rode the turbo...WHAAAAT?
Tuesday was a shit morning, and being wet and cold didn't hold much romance, so I rode in Service Course for an hour. Once again, it showed me that I cannot live at any Latitude further North than the one at which we currently reside.
No way in Hell I could ride inside all Winter. I'd be homicidal.
Anyway, after an hour at tempo, some good sweat, and a viewing of 'Road to Roubaix', I climbing off. Of course, as it happens, by the time I got out of the shower, the Sun was out. Whatevs....
Thursday was a CX ride. It was cold. 28F cold. The waterholes on the dirt were frozen. No pictures were taken as I really didn't want to take off my giant gloves. No matter. 2 hours in the book.
Friday was a "not as cold" ride. Plus, the sun was out, and it got warm pretty quickly. Another two hours with a ramping up of effort.
Saturday morning was junk. Dark. Cold. Rain. I went out anyway. Hey...I'll RIDE in the rain, but I won't LEAVE in the rain. Wasn't raining when I left. Got a solid hour before it started.
Once it did start, I had two choices. One was to turn for SC. The other was the finish the loop. Wet either way. Bike dirty either way. Fuck it. Finish the loop.
50 degree rain is fun...sort of.
Same story as Tuesday. Out of the shower. Sun out. Oh well...
Went down Beckham Swamp. Spooky ass road.
Good Heathen ride Sunday. CRAZY wind out in the country. Felt reasonably okay, considering it was the 4th day in a row on the bike. We struggled home together, and got a good 3 hours.
I'm tired today. Legs and back are toast. Legs from riding. Back from TVH trying to knock me off at a light. Only my catlike reflexes kept me from hitting the ground. No harm, no foul.
 Speaking of, he goes pretty well for an old guy. :)
Obligatory product placement shot. Diadora. TwinSix. Ridley. Williams. Vittoria. Stuff that just works.

Stuff :
 McGovern bike from NAHBS. Handbuilt carbon. ALL handbuilt! No pre-made lugs, nor tubes.
 Sagan, Kwiatkowski and Alaphillipe bike throw from MSR. Take a look at Sagan's chain...
Shut. Up. And. Take. My. Money.


Yeah...Peto didn't win, but in a post-race interview, he went all Maximus from "Gladiator".
He said something to the effect of, "...it's not always important to win. It's important to put on a show..."

Okay...get to work...
I need to do the same.