30 September 2006


Improvements will be a new saddle (Flite Ti Gel) and a lockout rear shock(?)...
It may get Thomson stuff in the near future as well...

A roadie on a 5" travel all-mountain rig...what's the World coming to?

The rules

Thank You!

One bad and one good

It's funny how you can have a ride that completely sucks, you're flat, have zero power and don't want to be out and the very next day feel great and have a ball. I guess it has to do with the company you keep too.
Yesterday, I sucked. I rode the cross bike in the woods and hated every bloody minute of it. 2 hours felt like an eternity.
Today, it was Chip, Robert and myself riding in the woods. We did the long loop thru the trail (about 2:30 door to door). I felt really good and had a good time. There's a huge difference between the cross bike and the full squish unit though!

That will likely be the winter schedule. Saturday will be in the woods for 3 or so hours and Sunday MIGHT find me at the group ride so I can get long miles in my legs. Of course, that's assuming that the tried and true Sunday group ride will continue...and it may be a very large assumption on my part.

28 September 2006


Today, we have lost a dear and true friend...the group ride. That's right, the group ride has passed on to a much better place. The old group ride was becoming much like an old horse. It was lame. It had a good life over the past eleven years. Sure, it had ups and downs, but it was always there. Tuesday was it's final day, as only two of around twenty actually showed up.
The ride was humanely euthanized this morning with a single bullet to the skull.
Hopefully, the spring will bring a rejuvenated group and a new group ride. For now though, we are left to fend for ourselves.
When you think of the group ride, think of it fondly, as it had been a friend to all of us over the past 11 years.

26 September 2006

First ride

Well, on the new dual suspension rig. It rides GOOD. The are a few niggling little things to work out though. I need a longer stem, maybe a 120 or even a 130. I need to figure out the rebound on the rear shock too. I think I need to dial it back, so it rebounds slower. I think that will help eliminate the pogo effect that I felt a few times tonight. I need to move the brake levers too. Other that that, it was a good ride. Climbing on a 5" travel bike isn't all that fun, but then again, climbing on my 17 pound carbon road bike sucks too! I think it's more about my fat ass and less about the bike(s)!
Now when the trail tips down, the fun starts. Speed comes easily and the trail seemed to be shorter than I remember it being. I know the trail we rode tonight like the back of my hand and I still got caught out a few times by carrying too much speed and having a corner sneak up on me. Disc brakes are a good thing. I do need to learn to ride with discs though. The old 'grab a handful of brake lever' isn't the preferred method with dual piston discs. They tended to grab and lock up when my big, meatball paw pulled the lever with too much fervor. Having the front shock compress under braking to about 80 percent of it's travel will open your eyes pretty quickly.
I'll post up a pic of the beast tomorrow.

It was good to do something different too, instead of the group ride. I can see that trips to NC will be made regularly this winter.

24 September 2006

Paolo F'ing Bettini

Bettini wins the World Championship RR. It's about time. Paolo is a true hard man from the old school. No peaking for certain races or skipping other races because they don't suit him! No Sir! He shows up rain, shine, sleet, snow, whatever, and delivers the pain.

Good on you, Paolo!

23 September 2006

Found it

My last 9 am Saturday ride was today. I'm tired of being the only person that bothers to show up for the standing group rides!!!!!

See you in the spring...maybe!

22 September 2006

Hard ride and domestic disputes

Thursday's ride was good. It was quick to be sure. I think the pace is so quick in an effort to outrun darkness. It's DARK at 7:30 now, which is very depressing. We had a big group though. It's funny how that in the middle of summer, we'll get 4 or 6 people, but when the season is basically over, 12-14 show up...wacky.

Last night at about 1 am, the Alabama hillbilly couple next door decided to have a domestic dispute. Slamming doors, screaming at the top on lungs and a fire in the backyard. Yeah, it was a good one, she burned some of his clothes! This is the first time I've called the po-po on them though. We live in a quiet, respectable neighborhood. This isn't a flippin' trailer park. The marked cruisers AND the paddy wagon showed up about 10 minutes after I called. The best part...the guy next door is in Law School. I bet an arrest for criminal domestic violence looks good on a Bar Review application...dumbass. My wife is worried that he'll figure out that I called and come beat on our door. I explained that he's welcome to do so, because anyone that would beat up on a woman is a wuss and needs a beating.

Between the guy knocking on the door claiming to be from the cable company (he wasn't) and the inbred hillbillies next door, I had a full day yesterday.

21 September 2006

The thrill is gone

Is anyone else just burnt right now? I just don't even feel like getting on the bike. To be truthful, I'm feeling pretty lazy all the way around. I haven't ridden since Sunday. My back is jacked up again too. Remember my earlier post about the ceiling fan. Well, that was the culprit...
Jake and I went to the River and walked yesterday and that was enough exercise for me.
I'll probably ride tonight just to get the legs going again. I wanted to go to Greenville to race, but just don't have the motivation to try and get some sort of peak in the next three weeks. The purse is $2000 for my race, so it is tempting...

As an aside, this is an open letter to all cyclists...(especially you Mick!)
DO NOT use WD40 as a lube!! It just breaks everything down and makes your bike very dirty. It also leeches into your D/A bottom bracket and washes the grease out. I spent the better part of 90 minutes cleaning and dismantling a bike yesterday that was one of these victims. The BB now has so much Phil grease in it that it should never click, pop, clunk, squeak, rattle, hum, or otherwise speak.
And clean you bike once in a while. It takes 20 minutes to wipe a bike down completely and lube the chain properly. Granted, I'm way OCD when it comes to this, but damn! A clean bike is a happy bike...

Thursday night ride report will follow tomorrow. If it turns into the swordfight it did last week, I'm sitting up. Chasing der Kaiser at every turn is beginning to be no fun. Oh, how I long for the solitude of the woods. Time change can't come soon enough...

17 September 2006

Some days you're the windshield...

...and some days you're the bug. Well, today, I was a bug that hit the glass. The only problem was that the windshield didn't kill me outright. I was the bug that hits, gets partially immobilized, but doesn't die. I felt like crap when I woke up this morning and probably should have gone back to bed. No one has ever accused me of being smart though, so I got dressed and went to the ride. It was a good group and we did a different loop, which was a really good loop. The problem was the fact that I had no legs, no heart and no lungs. Sometimes a three hour ride seems like it goes by in a hurry. Today wasn't one of those rides. Three hours and almost 60 miles seemed eternal. At one point, I really thought about laying down in a grassy field and getting a nap. If not for the fear of getting eaten alive by fire-ants, I may have...
I would have gone faster if I could have, but the bridge and the engine room were evidently having intercom difficulties. Brain says go, body says 'No habla ingles'.
I got home, showered, ate lunch and went to sleep. And it was one of those deep naps. You know the kind. At one point, I snored/snorted so hard, it woke me up.

Sleep will come easy tonight...

15 September 2006

Outta gas

Last night was a great ride, until...I completely ran out of gas. Of course, we were at the farthest point from the house. It was a 28mph death march pretty much the whole way, which probably lead to the tank going dry a bit sooner than it needed to do so. I could ride 22, but that was about it. Boy, do I feel like a steamy pile today. A near bonk kills me for a day or so. At least I slept last night, which is a 'first time in a long time' scenario.

There will be no riding tomorrow, as my duties as a father will extend into Saturday. I really don't want to ride with the group anyway...
At least it will give me time to do all of the bike repair/maintenance that has been put on the back burner for a while.

13 September 2006

It's raining...again

At least we got to ride last night. It was good ride with good turnout. As much as I enjoy doing the crit, I really don't miss it yet. The course is still torn-up, so we did a truncated version of the old Tuesday ride.
It felt good to do a fast, flattish ride with a group that could actually go fast AND keep a paceline together. I felt really good and never really got into the red zone. You know you are having a good night when you can recover at 40 kmh. I didn't even try to sprint, it seemed kind of pointless.
Hopefully the rain will clear for Thursday night.
My mountain bike is supposed to be here tomorrow...it left Ohio just after midnight. UPS better hustle...just don't hustle too much.

As an aside, my new Shimano R600 wheels ride gooood. They are heavy and not very aero, but they soak up every bump. Definite training wheels for this winter. The K's will get hung up.

10 September 2006

Ever have one of those days...

I just didn't feel up to it today...

I actually felt really crappy all day, so it's probably better that I didn't ride. I did get my ass kicked by a ceiling fan though...
Is it just me or do the cheapo fans come ready to hang while the $200 fans come completely disassembled?

09 September 2006

Back in the woods

We rode in the woods on Fort Jackson for the first time in a long while. All of the driving rain has really chopped up the trail. Riding the super stiff Salsa cross rig played hell on my neck and back. Fortunately, I have a Marzocchi fork for it. That's right, an 80mm travel, 700c fork for the old cross rig. This obviously won't be the race setup, but it'll be nice in the woods. I also have a 5 inch travel full squishy coming...more on that to follow...;) Let's just say I'll be spending more time in the woods this winter. It helped build power for last spring...

Carolina plays Georgia this afternoon. I have to leave the house, lest I watch the game. Everytime I watch Carolina, they play like a junior high school team and get slaughtered.

08 September 2006

Darkness falls and Big George

Last Sunday was an interesting ride. Sometimes it's fun to see the dynamic of old guys attacking each other on a ride. The new, wholly annoying guy Dervin came out and decided that Sunday was his day to go hard. Mike chased and passed him on every hill. I think it was just to let Dervin know that he's not as strong in body as he is in spirit. As we slowed to turn onto to Percival, Dervin takes off again. Chip and I chased him down and pounded him into submission. I think we need to do the Swamp one Sunday and leave him out there...
I did the Caughman Road ride again on Wednesday night. It was good again. It's nice to ride with different people. Their skill levels vary widely, from "holy shit sketchy" to very steady. It was enough to open up the legs and get the HR up a couple of times, but nothing to write home about...

Big ups to George Hincapie for winning the USPro. He and Levi crushed the field like so many walnuts. People complained that the race was boring because they hammered the entire field into quitting. 120 started, 38 finished...
I say that the strong man won, plain and simple. It's a race, the US Championship race no less, not a group ride that has a sprint for the town limit sign.
Good on you for winning GH, now don't fail your piss test...

02 September 2006


Picture this is your mind...

9am, 68 degress, light wind coming from the North, sun shining brightly...are you with me so far?

Now guess how many people showed up for the group ride...wrong! I was the only one who showed. Now granted, it is Labor Day weekend, but jeez, are people so busy and/or lazy not to show up to rides anymore? I went out alone, with the mp3 player planted firmly in my ears and did 2 hours at medium tempo (22-ish). I almost met my demise when Shequanda decided she would go ahead and turn in front of me, while talking on her cell phone. Nevermind the fact that I had the right of way, but this is SC and little facts like right of way are highly subjective. Fortunately, I anticipated her move (commuting in Jacksonville, Florida heightens your ability to sense stupidity), and got on the brakes. I yelled "Thank You" to which she replied with some comment about my being a "cracker". Why yes I am, and thank you for recognizing that fact Captain Obvious. I likely would have thrown a water bottle at her car if she hadn't had her son in the passenger seat. Can't penalize the boy for his mother's stupidity.
I had a good ride though. Hopefully someone will show up in the morning...