31 December 2009

Good Riddance 2009

Well, it's almost over, thank whoever!

For 2010, my resolution is to be a better friend to those who truly are friends. The rest will be re-classified as acqauintances and treated accordingly. I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve and that sleeve is getting rolled up.

As for a laugh to end the year, I give you this...The Ellpitigo !! Feel free to file it under WTF!

We're riding tomorrow (NYD) from the shop @ 1pm and Saturday from Lexington HS @ 10am. Sunday, who knows...it's supposed to be cold, which automatically precludes 90% of folks from showing up for a ride.

Happy New Year folks!

30 December 2009


The 10th Annual Toby Porter day after New Years Day ride (we gotta shorten that...) is approaching quickly...Saturday actually. Be aware that this is a 'multi-surface' affair, meaning that there will be dirt and gravel involved. This will, of course, necessitate larger tires, or completely different bicycles. It will also be a bit too epic and difficult for some, which is fine. This is a ride that's supposed to be fun. If you plan to complain, or deem it beneath your 'training', keep your kilojoules at home.
It's gonna be cold and breezy as well, so plan accordingly.

Last Sunday, Il Prof and I were the only ones to show for the 'group' ride. No matter, as we rode slowly, two abreast for a bit over 2.5 hours. It was quite a pleasant trip through Lower Richland. Nothing is better than a bike ride on a beautiful day.

I went out solo on the Salsa last night. It was a lovely night, albeit a bit chilly. In the 90 minutes I was out, the temp dropped 7 degrees.
I did the normal HoP+ loop. Once I dropped down to the river, the temp seemed to drop immediately. I had no plan to ride with anything remotely resembling effort last night, but I was cold, so the hammer went down. According to the HRM, my little 20 minute effort to warm up was @ 95% of MHR. It stung, but kinda of felt good...pushed out some bad stuff and cleared my mind of the stuff I'd been dealing with all day. I was, in fact, toasty when I finished.
I rolled up Gervais, through campus and home. Good ride...

I also saw something sad up on campus. A LOT of forgotten, forlorn bicycles, shunned by their owners. Some where Wal-Mart junk, while a few were nice, including an older steel frame with Ultegra 600 and CXP30 wheels, as well as a few OLD Schwinn Collegiates. There's a place inside me that wants to go up to campus and rescue the old horses. This begs questions? Which karma is worse? Locking a bike to a rack and forgetting about it, or liberating from it's shackles to live again as a loved conveyance?

Another night ride tonight...

26 December 2009


A couple of days ago, I ranted about the shop not wanting my money. I shot an email to a friend in England who works for Diadora UK, relaying the story. Since she's my hookup for my stellar Diadora road shoes, I figured she may be able to hook me up with a similar discount on a pair of mountain bike shoes, since they are exceedingly hard to find in the US.
In turn, she emailed my rant to her boss. (didn't really plan on that part...)
This afternoon, I got an email from her that Diadora would be sending me a FREE pair of white, size 46 ProTrail Carbon mountain shoes! Kickass!
My friend, who I now owe a kidney (or at least a wet, sloppy kiss on the mouth) if she needs it, looked in her files and saw that I wore their ProRacer carbon shoes. At this point, the wheels in her beautiful, brilliant Italian/English mind started turning. The ProTrails and the ProRacers are ostensibly the same shoe, built on the same last, with the same fit, so she made the decision to send me PTs. See! That's customer fucking service! From this point forward, I will NEVER wear any cycling shoes that do not say Diadora on them, PERIOD!!!!!!!!!!!

I hope the shop doesn't miss my $250...dicks!

Holiday wishes...

I hope everyone had a joyous holiday, regardless of who you pray to when you hit your knees at night.
Santa was very kind to my family, especially the MTs. The living room looked like Toys R Us opened a new facility in my house!
As much as I complain, they are good kids and I love them more than anything on this planet! the H.O., not so much...kidding, of course. I am insanely lucky to have such a beautiful and loving wife, and she doesn't let me forget it!

Now for the riding portion of this post...
I TRIED to get out and meet Bond and JB this morning for a ride in the NE. I left the house in plenty of time to get out there for the 10am roll out. About 1/2 to Bond's house, I felt really good, and was rolling right along at SST when I rolled over a section of steel banding. You know the kind that large, palletized parcels are bound with....
The front tire rolled right over, flipping the banding 90 degrees. The rear tire hit it flush and suffered a fatal laceration. Steel Banding: 1 Conti GP4000s: 0
The tire was cut from bead to bead and rendered useless in .1 seconds.
No booting this one kids!
Of course, I was in a hurry this morning and left my Blackberry on the table, so there was no calling anyone for rescue. I took off my shoes and started to walk home. I probably walked about a mile until a very pleasant old Mexican man stopped and took pity on me. He gave me a ride home, which was completely out of his way. Nicest dude in Columbia right there! I thanked him and gave him the old $20 handshake. Worth every penny!
I feel like riding again, but should probably just stay in the house. It may not be my day!
I'll go out in the morning for a couple of hours!

23 December 2009

An open letter to bike shops...

I've been in the bike business. I know how it works. I realize that you cannot stock every bike, part, or accessory to make customers 100% happy. It's just not good business practice. Conversely, if a customer takes the time to come to your shop, don't treat them like they are jerkoffs, especially if they are good customers who spend copious amounts of cash at your store.
If that customer wants you to order an item, and you know they can pay for it, order the fucking thing! So what if it'll cost $12 to ship it! What's better, eating $12, or not getting a $250 sale?
I tried to go buy a $250 pair of mountain bike shoes this morning. I knew exactly what I wanted, the size and the color. Making the sale required nothing more than a phone call to place the order.
Instead, I got a ration of shit from the staff because they 'just did an order' with the company in question and didn't want to do another one, AND they didn't want to place the item into inventory.
Hey dumbasses, you won't have to keep the item in inventory. Once it shows up on the UPS truck, you make a call and inside of 30 minutes, I'll be there to throw $250 at you. Simple, easy, no fuss, no muss...
Now, I'm going to make a couple of phone calls to friends I have in the industry and get the shoes at a very deep discount (if not free!), and the shop will get jack shit!
It amazes me! Sometimes I think the shops just don't want the money customers are willing to give them. I know it's Christmas and the shops are flush with money from selling kid's bikes, but we'll see how business is in 6 weeks, when the doldrums of February have set in. You guys might just NEED my $250 then!
Oh, as an aside, I'm planning on dropping somewhere North of $5k in the spring on a new road bike. Any guesses where I'll be shopping?

19 December 2009

Saturday tip...(Sunday update)

Here's a tip I'll pass on to my cycling brethren...
When it's 38 degrees, damp, and the wind is blowing, ride AROUND the big body of standing water!!!
About an hour into my little jaunt into the woods this morning, I came to one of the many firebreaks that intersect the trail. The break had been freshly cut, and whoever was operating the grater cut it a bit too deep right where the trail crosses. There's normally water in this particular spot, so I thought nothing of it. I bombed across the break and was promptly hub/BB deep in very muddy, VERY cold water. No choice...ride through and out the other side. Thankfully, I installed the rear fender this morning, so my hiney stayed clean and dry. My feet? Not so much!
I rode one more section of trail and decided that my feet were important to me, so I turned around (avoiding the waterhole) and rode hard to get home.
The last 30 minutes are on the road, so the wind REALLY started cutting through the wet shoe covers. I got home and promptly stripped off my covers, shoes, and socks, revealing some hot pink toe-cicles. Oh, how they hurt and itched when the warm air hit them!
I still got two hours this morning though...
I may actually pull the Ridley out of the ManHole(tm) tomorrow...first time on it in 3-ish weeks. Big gears and skinny tires will feel weird!

Sunday update-
The road bike felt WEIRD this morning, after pushing the cross bike around for the last 3 weeks. I guess 42 and sunny is too cold for folks, so it was just New Guy Steve and I this morning. We did a convoluted version of the old Tuesday loop in an effort to A)stay in the sun and B) out of the headwind. It worked for the most part. I feel bad for the folks who didn't ride, or waited to ride today. It was really nice this morning and only warmed up 6 degrees all day.
Oh well, their loss...we had a good ride and some good conversation. 2:30 ride time and 70km.

Then, the H.O. and I took the MTs to see Santa. We got their 45 minutes before opening and were 2nd in line. I feel bad for the poor schmoes that were 20+ deep! Nothing wastes a Sunday afternoon more than standing in line to see Santa for 2+ hours!

17 December 2009

16 December 2009

Hump Day!

Okay snapperheads...time to the time to HTFU is coming. The 10th Annual Toby Porter New Year's Day ride is approaching. This one will not be for the timid, or the aerobars. Rumor has it that there will be somewhere between 12-15 'Roubaix' sections. TP says that all bikes are welcome, but fat tires are suggested, so figure out if 28s will fit between the stays and brakes and c'mon out. Me? I'll be riding the Salsa with 700x30 Michelin Jet S tires...maybe even something bigger! This is an all-weather event, so if it's wet, you may get dirty!

I rode yesterday...it was slick and dirty on (and off) the roads. Halfway through my ride, I got a call from the MT's school. #2 evidently had a fever, so I put my head down to get home so I could go get him. An 8-minute turnaround, including shower, and I was on my way to pick up the pitiful little fella. He laid around all afternoon. Not often that the little shark stops swimming, so I knew something was amiss. He was mopey all day, then it was like a switch went off. @ 6 p.m., he perked up and was perfectly normal. This morning, he's perfectly fine...no fever...no nothing! Kids are strange little beasts. Personally, I think his weekend caught up with him! Back to school for the little grommet tomorrow!

Who's really shocked that Tiger Woods is a doper? He got on the Barry Bonds program, and started to get big as he got older. Funny how he just got big all of the sudden. Don't tell me you didn't notice! Funny how sharp the double-edged sword can be! Cyclists are impuned daily, and accused of doping, but when Tiger flies a Doctor from Canada to Florida 4x in a year, no one blinks. Did I mention that the Doc just got popped at the border with Canada with HgH and Activegin?
Hey Tiger, you're a scumbag! I mean, you just can't be happy inside. You're a billionaire, the best golfer alive, annd you're married to a supermodel...WTF man? You are the most recognizable athlete on the planet! Did you think that banging every stipper/escort/waitress in Vegas would go unnoticed? Hell, your smoking hot wife has a TWIN sister. A smart man would have worked that angle...if you know what I'm sayin'! Keep that shizz in the family!

It's gonna be cold again this weekend, so the road rides will be non-existent...at least before noon. Since I cannot bring myself to waste the day by waiting that long to ride, I'll probably be getting in the woods on the cross bike. If anyone wants to get in on the fun, let me know.

14 December 2009

Breaking News

Glory Cycles is closing their retail location in Orlando!!! Ward Bates is opening a new shop called 'Winter Park Cycles'. The new shop will open it's doors sometime in early January...likely @ the 10th.
It will be a brick and mortar store only...no online sales.

Give the guys down there a shout. They have a pro staff who all know their stuff!

13 December 2009

And now...Weekend Update

So I ranted a bit on Thursday...
I think the combo of a caffeine deficiency and hitting the ground for the upteenth time this year got me a bit riled up...I still think the RadioShack kits are bone-ugly though!
Friday morning, I went out in the COLD and rode the cross bike for 90 minutes. It was considerably less slick than the days prior, but the cold and wind more than made up for it. I warmed up, quickly, and proceeded to pound out a little 5x5 session. That was followed by an ugly, ugly climb and @ 15 minutes of SST to get me through the Northside. I came home with frozen toes, but the rest of me was pretty comfy. The right clothes are essential in 35 degrees!
Saturday, I knew no one would show for the group ride, so I kitted up and did another 2 hours on the Salsa. I had no real plan, just to ride with some pace and and spend a solid two hours in the saddle. I did the original HoP backwards, and explored some paved streets and trails that looked like they were laid out for a neighborhood that never came to fruition. Lots of possibilities back there! Then, a quick trip through some parking garages and up through campus. It's funny how the college kids are all about being outside when the sun is high in the sky and the air is warm, but whhen it's 35 degrees and the windy is blowing, USC looks like a ghost town. The rest of my day was spent trying not to blow $2500 on that badass 58" plasma @ BestBuy! Believe me when I tell you that I had real trouble deciding whether to drop 2.5 stacks on the flat-screen, or save the cash for my 40th b-day present!
I pissed my entire Sunday away going to a 'family reunion' with the H.O.
It was more like a family free lunch. The majority showed up 5 minutes before the scheduled start time and bugged out after they'd sucked down multiple plates of the finest, non-nutrative southern cooking around. What a joke! First and last for the the kid...first and last! I did placate the H.O. by eating a little bit, but could feel my chest tightening with every bite. There were three kinds of ham, fried chicken and myriad casseroles. Did I mention the preponderance of biscuits produced with love...and lard?
I came home and immediately consumed a Mix1 Anti-Ox. I'm hoping that the drink, a salad and a large apple will be enough to feep my digestive system from attacking itself!
Going to make an effort to ride at least 5 days next week...Peace!

10 December 2009

Thursday news

Wow, the UCI and IOC have confirmed that they both suck...

It seems, in their finite wisdom, that the IOC has taken the recommendation of the UCI and eliminated the pursuit in the Olympics. In an effort to make sure that the playing field is level for both sexes, they killed the 4k pursuit and implemented an 'omnium', basically making track cycling into a decathalon-style competition, on wheels. This was done to increase the number of events for women. I'm all for a level palying field, but what level of competition will there be? Track racing is split up into several disciplines that sometimes just do not overlap. Taylor Phinney is the WC in the pursuit right now, but is he a great 200m sprinter? He's better than you and me, but he's not going to beat Theo Bos or Chris Hoy...just not gonna happen! IMO, it will lead to a watering down of the competition because it will isolate those folks, both male and female, that devote singular focus to their particular discipline.

God forbid that the IOC try to keep some sort of tradition involved in the Olympics. They eliminate sports that have been a part of the games for generations, yet add silly sports. Golf as an Olympic sport...please. Any sport that you can drink while you compete, and have it not affect the flow of the game, nor your ability, is not an Olympic caliber choice! Think they'll have the beer cart girl driving around during the Olympics?

Brad Wiggins is leaving Garmin for Team Sky. Well no shit...! It's been conjecture for months, but anyone who didn't see this one coming needs to adjust the prescription on their rose-colored glasses...(cough...Vaughters...cough...)! He's British, the team is the first British ProTour team...did you think he wasn't going to go? Wake up! Team Sky is owned by Rupert Murdoch. That means deep pockets, so let it go Vaughters! Garmin got paid for Wiggins. It was a trade, just like in other pro sports! JV said that legal action "wouldn't have been good for either side". Really? It wouldn't have been good for you JV. Rupert Murdoch likely pays his barristers a yearly rate that equals Garmin's entire budget.

I showed you the new TeamRadioShack jersey in my last post. Here's the new Madone team bike...

Hey, Lance, get the guy who designed this paint scheme to hack something together for a team strip. I don't like a Trek, but that paint scheme is damn hot and very imaginative. It just doesn't fit with the uber-plain kit...sorry, but that's the hard truth. Mimic the bike design with the same colors and graphics. Do some gray ghost logos on black. Accent with red and white. Hell, I have the picture in my empty head right now! I have the artisitc ability of a capuchin monkey and could knock out a better design.

As for me, I rode in the wind and wet yesterday. I slid out on a wet, leaf covered downhill left, and promptly hit the ground. Fortunately, my big ass took the impact. I got up, brushed off the accumulated gunk, and continued on my happy way. No harm, no foul!


08 December 2009

Quick hit...

Okay, so images of an 'early' version of TeamRadioShack's jersey have been released. For all of the money that Lance and the new team have, you would think that they'd hire a graphic artist to do a proper design.I mean, it's okay, but not a lot of imagination went into the design. Be bold...do something different and edgy. For all of the shit that people give Rock Racing, they have cool kits. Hell, I did our kits last year and they were cooler than Radio Shack's new strip!

And I got a special package from my boys at Mix1 yesterday. A jersey (bibs are on the way), a tshirt, decals and a smattering of flavors. All of the flavors are great. They actually taste like the flavors indicated on the bottle. Shocking, I know...! As opposed to other 'recovery' drinks that taste like wallpaper paste, or the can in which they are contained (cough...Slim-Fast...cough)!

I know that some of you drink Slim-Fast for recovery, but it's been recalled because, well, it can KILL you. Go buy a 4-pack of Mix1 and try it! Surf around on their site...watch the videos...read the info provided...! It's all-natural, tastes really good and you're helping some dudes get a company off the ground! They support cycling, as well as just about every other outdoor activity, so why not support them?

06 December 2009

You do what you can

So Saturday was supposed to be a loss. The shit-for-brains weather guys in this town don't know their collective ass from a hole in the ground. After years in Columbia, you'd think some of them would figure out that Columbia sits in a hole and the weather is affected by it. Rarely does weather from Texas, or the Gulf, make here without changing dramatically. Usually, the whatever-is-coming-this-way weakens, or dissipates completely once it hits Aiken.
What was supposed to be a 45 degree, rainy, shithouse of a day, turned 55 and sunny by 11 a.m.
Instead of riding outside, I chose continue a cycle that's repeating itself much too often these days. I went to the ManHole and rode the trainer. As you all know, I hate that little bastard, but I figured, as long as I was riding it, I should make it count.
A 10 minute warm-up was followed by 1x20 @ 90%...five minutes off. 1x15 @ 92-93%...five minutes off. I should have quit there, but felt good, so the 3rd effort was 1X8 @ 98%...ten minute spin down. For those following along @ home, the 98% number resides somewhere between 180 and 185bpm. And yes, I felt a little pukey for a short while after!
I then decorated the house, set-up the tree, cleaned and tuned the Ridley, and helped the H.O. put the lights on the tree.
The day ended with the GT/Clemson game, which was quite good, although, if Clemson didn't have CJ Spiller, they'd be far less of a team. He carried them on his back last night, turf toe and all.

This morning, I had every intention of going up to the Il Prof ride, but seeing the 35 degree temps, I knew in my heart that no one would show up. Instead, I bundled up and headed out on the cross bike for a two hour thrash. I didn't try to kill it the entire time, but I rode hard enough to have the 'cold-air cough' for the rest of the day. I also found an alternate route that I can add to the original HoP loop. It doesn't add much time or mileage, but throws in a climb that forced me to stand and mash the 38/27 to get up it! I also found some oddball greenspace that may need to be explored one day.

The plan is to finish Christmas shopping tomorrow morning...or I may blow it off and ride!

03 December 2009

I like it when you call me Big Poppa!

Evidently, there's a charity cross race coming up soon in Belge.
Boonen lends even more credence to the fact that he's a fucking BALLER! The S-Works cross bike is no big deal, but rocking a set of Lightweights, is, in fact, bringing it STRONG!
Speaking of bringing it strong, check out TCOTBR's own Ali Goulet on Velonews.

02 December 2009

Hump Day

It's only Wednesday? Jesus, this week has been long already! I have a ripper of a head cold too! I'm not sure exactly HOW I was infected with this virulent strain of crud, but I'll hazard a guess and say that one of the MTs brought it into our home. Have either of them been under the weather? NOPE! The H.O.? NOPE! Meanwhile, I'm coughing up shit that looks like banana pudding. To add insult to injury, it's raining and 48 degrees outside. The MTs may get a dose of the 'sleepy juice' this afternoon! (Kidding! Just in case anyone from DSS is reading this...)

Last night, the H.O. and I went to a double secret holiday party. Can't tell you the who, where, how, but I can tell you that it was fun and we were very appreciative for having been invited. It was nice to put on big boy clothes and have the opportunity to have actual adult conversations that didn't include references to all things toddler related!

I didn't get to ride last night, but made up for it this morning by riding the infernal machine down in The ManHole(tm) for 70 minutes. Sure, it doesn't sound like a long time, but after a 5 minute spin-up, I sat my HR @ 90% and left it there for 60 minutes. It sucked, but my legs actually felt okay. The lungs, well, they protested for the first 15 minutes or so. It felt like I was breathing through a snorkel! I think it was good for me to sweat and cough though. I feel better for the effort.

And the window at Cycle Center has been painted for Christmas again...more proof of my theory that the line between artistic and autistic is, indeed, very fine!