30 January 2009


Yes, I'm talking to YOU!

Group ride rules

And tomorrow is Mick's last ride in Columbia. He's moving to KC full-time...no more back and forth. If you aren't doing the RoP/RoG, come and and say goodbye to the old boy.

29 January 2009

Wait...what? or Bacon makes everything better!

My heart hurts looking at this, yet I'm strangely attracted...

28 January 2009

A week of Mondays thus far...

Sweet Baby Jesus...
What the hell is going on this week? I must have a misaligned Chakra, or whatever the hell the non-meat eating hippies call it this week.
Monday was just a crappy day outside and I felt like hammered shit.
Tuesday was a bit better. I rode, but was not motivated at all. I kind of just spun around...well, maybe harder than that, but it definitely wasn't a go fast ride! I was forced to go to Target @ 8 last night since the people were coming to measure for our new cabinets this morning. That was the highlight of my day. I was away from the MTs and there is a lot of ass in Target at night. Are you reading this Doog?
This morning, I took #1 to school and it seems someone painted a large, red bullseye on my truck. Every late-for-work douchebag was out this morning....running red lights, turning in front of me or sliding to a stop behind me at a light. I can avoid the assholes I can see, but I will deliver an epic beating to whomever decides to rear-end me with the boys in the car, and then I will fall on the ground with a back/neck injury. "My neck, my back...my neck and my back..."!
Of course, I'll probably get hit by some immigrant with no insurance...
Here's a tip, if it's 8:58am, and you're supposed to be at work @ 9am...YOU'RE ALREADY FUCKING LATE!!!! Slow down and pay attention! The life you save may be your own!

26 January 2009

Quick hit

2:25 ride time
50 degrees and rain THE ENTIRE RIDE. My clothes weighed @ 12 pounds, my white shoe covers were a very nice shade of grey and I had to take my wheels apart to allow the 4+ ounces of water to escape. Once I quit dropping glasses and solved my wheel issue (always check your QR when swapping wheels!), we had a good, steady, tempo affair! No Meat, No Mula...go figure...! Of course, they would have gotten popped off as soon as we left the Fort anyway.
90km with Il Prof. Felt better than Saturday, but the overcast, 41 degree skies kept everyone home. I was hoping for another ride that forced the tempo a bit. You know what they say, "Wish in one hand..."! I had little motivation to ride, but am glad I did and better for it.

It's supposed to be decent next weekend...Bond is doing the "RoP/RoG" on Saturday. 95 miles of fun...
And speaking of Bond, I had the chance to work on his Madone last night. Whoever built that bike should be banned from the work area of the shop!! EVERY bolt was loose, his Speedplays where about 3 rides from backing themselves out and killing the guy, the cable housings are A)too short and B)not Shimano, and the chain is too short and has a quick link in it! Did I mention it's a Shimano chain? I wonder why it won't shift correctly?
And the Trek 'internal, super-duper, we re-invented the wheel' BB setup is Mickey Mouse at best. It's little more than two MR2437 bearings laid in the frame. All they did was mold the cups into the bottom end of the frame. Big f'in deal! The drive side bearing doesn't even have an external seal on it! Crazy...

23 January 2009

Kinda tired

...and not from riding...
#2 has made the decision that he wants to be an early riser. The latest he's start screeching this week has been 6:15am. It's only 45 minutes sooner than I usually roll out of the rack, but I sleep hard between 5 and 7 in the morning. Oh well, I guess I'll have to watch the re-runs of Jon Stewart in the mornings.
Doog and I rode Tuesday night. HoP loop with a few garages thrown in. It was freaking cold, but bearable. People who complain about the cold here wouldn't know true cold if it bit them in the ass. When you take a deep breath in through your nose and your nostrils stay stuck to your septum...then it's cold. It was more of a screw around loop than anything.
I rode solo last night and it was really nice out. @50 degrees and a nice SW wind. I did the normal HoP loop again, only at a much greater pace. Once I hit the dirt, the pace picked up and stayed high until the end of the trail. The aforementioned SW wind was stiff and gave me a nice headwind for entire length of my interval. A headwind, crushed gravel, and 32c tires make it fun too...
I can tell I pushed harder than usual last night, as my legs are a bit stiff and my knees are sore from pushing a taller gear.
I stomped up Gervais, all the way from the bridge and then cruised through campus, harassing TVH when I passed his house.
I got home in time to see the MTs off to bed...nice!
I'm in the middle of product test as well...Kenda Small Block 8 cross tires...will write it next week. I think the reviews will become a weekly thing. JT is setting me up with some new Serfas stuff and I was given some white Hudz to try on the Dura-Ace shifters.

Saturday- 9am @ the circle
Sunday- 9am @ Outjokin'

21 January 2009

Product review time

So, as you may know, the fine folks @ Serfas asked me to review products for them...and I quickly agreed. JT sent me a pair of their new bibshorts and a full set of brake pads for my cross rig.
The pads are a multi-compound affair. They look very nice, both in the package and on the bike. The packaging itself is superior to other brands out there. A product that is the same price, yet in a more attractive package will always sell better! Anyway, I installed the pads according to the directions, which instructs to do so with NO toe-in! Evidently, the multi-compound setup prevents the horrible howling that is often heard from poorly aligned cantilever pads.
After a few rides on them, I can say that they are all they are cracked up to be. Stopping power is superior to Kool-Stop pads and, as advertised, there is absolutely zero noise from the pads under braking. Even in wet, sloppy conditions, they slowed my big ass down with great haste. Big thumbs up for the pads...no negatives!
Now on to the bibs...
Again, Serfas seems to have actually given thought to the design and fit of a product, unlike many clothing companies. Straight out of the package, the first thing I noticed was the quality of construction. The lycra is both a bit heavier and better quality fabric than a lot of other bibs. They also feature flat-lock, double stitching, which is both more comfortable and makes the bibs last a bit longer. This is important when you are washing your bike stuff a couple of times a week.
I've never ridden a gel chamois pad before, so I was a bit leery, but so far so good. The pad is well shaped and fits very comfortably...no pinching or binding of the nether regions. Even though it's gel, it's pretty minimal and doesn't ride up into the crotch or feel like wearing a full diaper (not that I actually know what that feels like!). The silicone leg grippers do a good job of keeping the shorts where they need to be, even with knee warmers under them.
The straps are just about the perfect width, length and shape. They come up perfectly on the abdomen. Some shorts come up too far (Hincapie) and some, not far enough (Castelli). Much like the porridge in that famous story, these are 'just right'! Makes stopping for the 'break naturel' a bit easier, and since I seem to have the bladder capacity of a toddler, this is a bonus.
The inseam of the shorts is a bit shorter than some others, which is fine by me, but may be a point of contention with some folks. I never understood long inseam shorts anyway. If you want to wear knickers, buy knickers! They aren't tri-shorts by any stretch either! Granted, I have really long femurs, so they will probably fit the vast majority of folks who have normal proportions.
Overall, they are VERY true to size. I wear large bibs from most manufacturers and even XLs from a few (euro companies...skinny, musculature of a veal calf Euros....). These fit perfectly.
The only downside, and this is merely a personal observation, is the fact that they are very plain. They are straight-up, old school, black bibs. They do have two, small, reflective logos on the fronts of the thighs, but that's it. I'm sure that a lot of people LIKE simple and plain. I do too! Maybe the addition of an option to choose colored stitching (white/grey/red/etc.) or even simply sublimating the Serfas logo down the thigh panels wouldn't be a bad thing here. Offer them both ways...with logos or without...
My inner fashionista notwithstanding, these are great shorts, regardless of the cost...and they are far, far less than some brands (cough...Assos...Rapha...Pearl...cough). $90 for a pair of really good bibs is a bargain, and that's a word that usually doesn't enter into the conversation when talking about cycling clothing. Oh, and if it matters to you, they are made in the good old US of A!!! Follow the link over there >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> to get to Serfas' site. They make a bunch of stuff!
I've got some other stuff I'm trying out right now...more reviews to follow!

19 January 2009

Adios, Amiga....

SoPro is leaving for Tejas tomorrow...and from there, she'll be making her way to Europe to mix it up with the EuroDogs. We may change her nickname to SoEuroPro...

Be safe, kick ass and have fun...
Don't be afraid to call or write if you need anything!

See you in the Fall!

18 January 2009


No ride today as it's 38 and raining, and my contract to ride in Europe isn't on the horizon, so I stayed inside and did some much needed bike maintenance.
Yesterday was another story...
We went out @ 1pm in balmy 32 degree weather. It ended up being a PV team ride, +1...SoPro is hard, so she came out too. We meandered out of the Fort, in an effort to warm up a bit, but once we made the turn onto Old Leesburg, it was tempo time. there was no 15 or 20 minutes at SST pace. It was tempo all the way out to Willie Wilson and across 378 to Chaingang. The wind was not in our favor, so it was a nice headwind stretch down into Eastover. I tried to lead SoPro out for the sprint, but ended up leading Coco and Bond to the sign.
We stopped @ the stop in Eastover for all of two minutes and we off again. We rode steady across to Airbase and then Bond went to the front. His coach told him to do a 25' effort @ 330-360 watts...that's not a typo BTW...! We all fell in line behind him and let him pull us to the end. Sitting in wasn't difficult, but I didn't want to interrupt his workout, so we stayed in line until the sprint. I jumped in WAAAAAY too big of a gear and Coco came around me at the end.
Bond, Timberlake and Doog cut across Trotter to get home while the rest of us did the normal Double Homey. We just rode it in and no one bothered to sprint on Shop. It was a damn good ride with a damn good group. There was no complaining or whining or farting around. Everyone took their turn and stayed together.
85km rolled past quickly...2:25 ride time to be exact...
A little violence may be introduced to the program next weekend...

16 January 2009

Night-time is the right time

...for riding the cross bike.
I went out Tuesday night, solo, and did the HoP loop downtown. I rode as hard as is possible up through campus and across downtown. I did manage to time the lights right, so I blew through Main St. like poop through a goose. A very short motorpacing session presented itself at the intersection of Main and River. Some dude on a scoot was beside me at the light and when it went green, I let him go a little and jumped on the draft. I rolled down the hill behind him @ 70kmh+, which is pretty hairy for more than a few reasons.
1) don't know the guy...he could be a lunatic and nail the brakes at any moment
2) it's dark
3) traffic on River Drive
4) cross bike with 700x35c tires does NOT like going that fast
I followed him the the bridge over the river and made my turn into the park. I felt good, so I rode hard SST/interval pace all the way to the very end of the trail. The whole episode, from tip to tail, ended up being almost 15 minutes at a pace that was borderline violent. Tempo on the cross rig makes tempo on the road bike seem easy.
Back up through downtown and home with @ 75 minutes of hard riding under the belt. And if I see those frat douchebags that buzzed me in Shandon again, there will be a beating of epic proportions. I have the tag number and am thinking about running it through the DMV and SLED. Yeah, I can do that...
Last night, Doog and I did the HoP loop again, did some decent tempo work again and added a few parking garages at the end to really make the legs happy. You guys laugh, but standing/climbing a garage from bottom to top is good for you...
We ended with almost two hours last night...it wasn't cold...and if anyone says that it was, well...
My testing period for Serfas began last night as well. I don't think that one ride with any product is enough to form an informed opinion, so I'll continue my protocol and report on the items sent to me in a week or so...the brakes pads DO match my cross bike, so that's a plus... :)
Thanks again to JT @ Serfas!

Oh, and we're riding tomorrow @ 1pm (SHARP) from the Gate. It may be cold, so HTFU!

12 January 2009

Random Monday/Product Review

So it's been a random day...
Went and looked at a house that seemed to good to be true...and it was...nothing says lovin' like the need for $50k in foundation repairs. It was probably for the best since it was around the corner (literally) from Bond's house. I need to up my FTP, but I really don't want to take an ass-whipping more than once a week or so.
Then, I get a random email that simply says, "Product Testing" in the subject line. Of course, these emails usually include some sort of advertisement selling creams to give you a better erection, or something of that general theme. I almost deleted it w/o reading...what a mistake that would have been. The Email was from JT @ Serfas...you know, the bike parts company in Cali...
It seems that JT is a fan of the little pill party I have going on here and graciously offered me the opportunity to be a product tester for Serfas. Am I going to do it you ask? Hells yeah!!!!! I'll review whatever product companies want to send me. I've always been a fan of Serfas stuff anyway, so it's a win/win. Product is on it's way to me as we speak...watch this space for the reviews.
As far as reviews go, I've been meaning to do one of my new Diadora kicks and the email from JT was a gentle reminder...
I got some Diadora ProRacer Carbon road shoes a while back and have been wearing them for about 4 weeks now. I got them from Chain Reaction Cycles in the UK. I like to support Cycle Center, but I got them shipped from the Empire for less than dead cost...so there you go! I've always worn Diadora road shoes and always will. These have done nothing to dissuade me from this belief. They fit perfectly, are light, and are very stiff. Usually, I buy 2 or 3 pair of the same shoe for two reasons. 1) I'll always have a reserve pair and 2) When it comes time to get new shoes, there's no adjustment period to a new fit. The last time I bought shoes was 2004 and I got two pair of the Diadora Carbon Veloce. 5 years on and it was time to get some new ones, so I pulled down on the new Proracer Carbons.
At first, I kind of questioned my decision because they fit quite a bit differently than my old Veloces. They have obviously changed the last they are building these things on. The uppers were stiff and they seemed a smidge too tight. After a few rides, they started to stretch out and feel better. Then came my two week 'camp', which included more than one rain ride. Getting them wet and riding in them made all the difference in the World. I highly suggest soaking your new shoes and then riding in them to mold them to your feet. They now feel like high-dollar, carbon-soled slippers. For me, Diadora is the only way to go! If you have 'normal' feet, you'll see it the same way.

11 January 2009

Weekend Update

As you read in my last post, I took the week off, except for Thursday night. After I rode, I decided to break out the foam roller and give myself a little rub rub. I went after my back and legs for 45 minutes. I can tell you, it works. My back feels better, but my legs have been absolute shite since Thursday night. The roller helped release all of the junk hiding in my legs. I woke up Friday more sore than if I'd ridden 4 hours at tempo.
Saturday was no different. My legs were just not in the game. Stiff, sore and the right IT band felt like I'd been shanked in the exercise yard. Just bad news. I muttled through, but it required much more effort than it should.
Along came Sunday...
I woke feeling oddly good...not great, but waaaay better than Saturday. We headed out through the Semmes gate and headed off down Leesburg towrads Congress. Some residual stiffness quickly worked itself out and I was okay. We rode tempo, never needing to come out of the big ring. We lost a few folks along the way...
As soon as we turned, Coco flatted. The group gathered back up and soldiered on towards Chaingang. SoPro said she had to do an hour @ 180HR, which is nutty to me, but she hit the front and rolled it. From Chaingang to the end of Airbase, we took turns on the front, being wise to keep the pace within SoPro's workout zone. Coco and I would go to the front when she would start to struggle and allow SoPro to recover a bit, yet keep her HR high. It was a quick run down Airbase and it felt pretty good. Again, we lost people along the way...
We just spun in from that point. It was a good ride, good pace and a good group. The legs are feeling the week of inactivity, but the rest will do me good.
After the ride, I went to Doog's house and cut down a tree for him. It was a full day...

09 January 2009

Dark and Windy...yes, please...

So after my previous two weeks of self abuse, I've taken most of this week completely off the bike. I started to get a little itchy yesterday, so I got the cross bike set-up with the lights for a little urban assault.
It was dark and windy last night...and it seemed that the cagers were particularly stupid. Even more so than usual...
I also forgot (probably due to sheer laziness) to put in my contacts and put proper eye protection on my face. Riding in my regular glasses was a big ball of suck. I found myself looking over the lenses...air entered my eyes completely unimpeded and the wind was blowing dust and whatever environmental shit it could find directly into them. I couldn't see a thing by the time I got home. This morning, I awoke to find a sort of meringue accumulated in the corners of my eyes...lovely!

I felt better for going out on the bike though. It's actually pretty nice going out for a ride at night. It heightens your senses and allows you to get rid of some impotent rage by yelling at cars.

Palmetto Velo is also planning a ride through Calhoun County to satisfy our event requirement with USA Cycling. The likely date is February 7th. I'll post more info, the flyer and the route in the coming days.
See you folks in the morning...9am @ the Gate.
Sunday's ride will be Il Prof's normal excursion leaving OutJokin' @ 9am.

06 January 2009

ooooo, I'm suddenly all warm and fuzzy

This excites me in a special, special way....

If it doesn't do the same for you, well...you may need to buy a recumbent or something...!

And SoPro is stepping up HARD!!! Take your shot!

I'm proud of you Casey! You have an obvious talent and are doing what YOU need to do to make the most of it. You'll always have my support, no matter what you do!

04 January 2009

Lake Loop

Not for me and the others, thank you...
If it was DECENT outside, then I'd be riding right now. It's 55 degrees (okay so far...), foggy (@2-300 meters visibility), and pissing rain (okay with that as well...)! The issue is riding around the lake in this weather. With 6 or 8 other folks, it'd be fine. With 80+ people, it holds no romance for me. Hell, we almost got run down last year by asshole drivers in Irmo...and it was a bright, clear, sunny day!!!!
Today is the perfect scenario for getting taken out by...A) some gaper with no handling skills, or B) some fat, redneck in a 10 year old Yukon who is late for, well...nothing...but he's late, so you need to get out of his way!
I don't know if I'll go out today. Doubtful...
Without doing 3+ hours today, I have 26 hours on the bike in the past two weeks! I'm taking it easy this week...maybe 10-ish hours or so.

Edit- Doog and I went out in the rain @ 1. We rode exactly 65 minutes on the cross bikes. It was enough...