30 June 2011

Ladies and gentlemen...Marketing by Cervelo

90 seconds saving over 100km? Wow...I think I'm gonna go take pictures of my Ridley and put it on Ebay. Screw light weight, ride quality and pulchritude!

Jesus...the S5 is ugly and just looks unfinished...

29 June 2011

NC races....

France Chav wins solo...

Belgium Gilbert is a carrier of the Black Card!

Netherlands Ligthart takes the sprint from Tankink

Looking for other vids....

Crashing is hard

As the title states, crashing is hard. Sure, when you're 17 and hit the ground, you can pop up, finish the ride strong, go home and wash out the wounds, yet be perfectly fine the next day.
When you're over 40, hitting the ground takes a lot out of you.
Folks have asked exactly HOW I hurt my back...well, here's your answer...

Last Saturday, in the muddy mayhem that was my solo ride, I did, in fact, hit the ground with anger. Old State was SLICK in a few spots. I rolled through the first couple of spots of snotlike, Lexington County, red clay mud with aplomb. Big ring, + some speed + pedal hard = cleared mud section. This equation had always worked in the past. Well, as usually happens when I try to do higher math, failure is always an option.
I hit the section in question, proceeded to execute a text book tank-slapper to high side, and hit the rocky, wet, muddy ground at high speed. The angles in question were both acute, and obtuse at the same time.

I sat on the hard, not so cold, ground for a moment, just to make sure there were no bones protruding from skin. Once bi-pedal, I realized that my back was not happy with the circumstance. I rode another hour, but should have taken my dumbass directly back to Service Course.

Once, home, I knew my riding would be curtailed for a while. The skeleton seems to have made it through unscathed, but I'm severely stoved up. Bike is fine, just a bit muddier for it, but it seems that I'll be buying a new Giro helmet. My back-up/CX helmet did not survive the impact. Saved my head, but goes into the collection of retired buckets. Maybe the new Giro Aeon...?

As the days pass, I'm feeling better, and will try to throw a leg over the top tube tomorrow.

Happy Hump Day!

26 June 2011

Sunday pic post

Advertising finally tells the truth?
I'll take it, if I must....
Who says NYers are stupid?
Um, yes please! Click on the pic for the HUGE version. Amazing...
Doping schematic. Very eye opening, if it doesn't make you cross-eyeded!

Nothing much to say today. My back is shredded. I moved furniture for the H.O. Friday night, and seemed to have strained my back...again! I rode for 2.5 hours yesterday and came to the realization that another week off the bike is called for. I try not to get all depressed about the whole situation, but it's hard on days like today. Freaking perfect outside...
Looks like the 4th of July ride in Tryon is out. I've said it before...I just don't think I'm meant to do that ride!
And as it normally works, Junior Mgmt. is going to VBS in the mornings next week. Guess I'll get to lay around in peace...

24 June 2011

Friday video dump

Servizio Corse Strade Bianche - Chapter I from 341PRODUCTION on Vimeo.

Both videos made by Gianmarco Dodesini Valsecchi.

And if appreciate bicycles, design, or any marriage of the two. Click this link and get your geek on. (Firefly Bicycles)

Back on the horse tomorrow. I've recovered (sort of) from the trip to Pa. All of the riding during my man-cation, both two and four wheeled, just soaked me for the past week. A lot of lazing about seems to have done the trick.

22 June 2011

I think I saw a hyena...

It's been Africa hot in Columbia the last few days. I know that it's hot in other places around the US, but Columbia is a different kind of heat. Sort of like brands of hot sauce offer different flavors and heat.
See, Columbia is a geographic wonder. We sit in this nice little hole, dead in the middle of the state. There are parts of Columbia that are less than 200 feet above sea level. This hole creates it's own weather, and gives our humble little city a bit of inversion. The junk weather just sits here and marinates, like beef stew, thus making it hotter and more humid than most other places.
The air stagnates, the wind stops blowing and it becomes quite unpleasant.

Last night, instead of trying to prostrate myself at the TNWC, I rolled out towards W.Cola on the CX bike. I figured hitting the dirt would be better b/c most of it was in the shade. On the way out, I met Il Prof on his way to the Tri-City ride, so we rode out there together. Upon leaving with them, Kempy and I got caught yapping and missed the light. Once out to 12th St., the chase was on. Kempy was on his tri bike with 404s, and I was on the Jericho with knobbies. Following his wheel at 40kmh+ was not easy, and sounded a bit like a monster truck rolling down the pavement. When we caught, he rode straight past the bunch, and I sat up and just rode with them until my turn onto the dirt.
Old State was dry, loose, and rough last night, but it was ALL shaded, and about 10-15 degrees cooler than the road. Not bad.
A bit of effort blew some garbage out, which was nice. However, the last 15-20 minutes of the ride was quite slow. No matter what you do on the bike, if it's done in 105+ temps, it sucks the life clean out of you!

Now...news you can use...

Ultegra Di2 is coming...to my house.
The Shack announces it's (senior) Tour roster. Horner expected to play the part of domestique, yet still finish higher than the angry midget.
Soler seems to be out of the woods. Good on you mate! Dude is a class bike racer!
Riis confirms Saxo Bank will be around as sponsor for 2012. Team will be known as "Team Saxo Bank p/b Omaha Steaks"
Speaking of class riders...Ted King everyone!

19 June 2011

Hey...I-95, this is what I think of you...

Jesu Christo...
A trip that should take @ 9 hours, if everything lines up, took 11 hours yesterday. We, and I say we because everyone on I-95 thru DC yesterday was in the same suck-u-ation, sat in traffic south of DC for 90 full minutes. I turned the truck off for 23 minutes at one point. Yeah, I timed it...nothing much else to do at that point.
It's morbid, and a bit twisted, but I really expected an accident of epic proportions to be the cause of the back-up, but NOOOOOOOO, there was nothing, other than poor traffic engineering.

Once it opened up, I would have gone hammer down, but the truck isn't very happy over 80, AND the bikes were on the back, so I set the cruise at 77 and let it roll until the low fuel light came on. After a fuel stop, for both the truck and me, I pointed it into the wind and headed home. A positive? The restaurant in the truck stop was a Five Guys...

The final cockpunch? I-20 in Camden, no more than 30 minutes from home, I hit the leading edge of the storm and ate huge rain drops, hail, and horrifying crosswinds.

Next time, if I take the bikes, I'm going 77 to 81, through the mountains...

17 June 2011

Riding here does NOT suck!

A protected trout stream that ran next to the best road I pedaled my happy ass on all week.

The views are spectacular. This is from inside Valley Forge. Long climb up through the park to get here, but the view and descent were worth it!

We had a little reunion of sorts last night. It was one of those reunions where you only see the people from high school that you actually liked, and still like! Big fun was had by all. Booze flowed like water, two kinds of BBQ, and plenty of laughs! Ingredients for a good evening!
LV spilled a full glass of red wine...no big deal, right? Well, the hostess with the mostest doesn't take kindly to spills in her new house. Fortunately, she was in another room! LV (the spillor), our friend Mike, and I attacked the spill like a NASCAR pitcrew. Joe Gibbs Racing doesn't have SHIT on us. Inside of 20 seconds, the spill, and any evidence that it ever happened, disappeared. I know it's sort of a location joke (you had to be there), but it was freaking brilliant!

Good rides this week! Back in the truck for another 10 hour beating tomorrow!


16 June 2011

Pics from yesterday

Not bad views around the lake. I got lost on the trails for about 45 minutes. Not for nothin', but trail markers really wouldn't hurt out there!
A couple more loops around today, then off to check out the new shop that opened around the corner from where I'm staying....

15 June 2011

Told you so...

It took a few days, but that weasel-y little fucker Papp left a comment...
Go away Joe...no one gives a good GD what you think. You have an issue with perception. It's this perception that makes you believe that you are the great savior of cycling. If it makes you sleep better at night, then it's your issue to deal with. The fact that you yap like a purse-dog to anyone that will listen makes it everyone else's. I'm no head-shrinker, but serious mental health advice may be what's needed for you. Your 'notoriety' is what it is because you've acted like a douche, not because you've suddenly found the straight and narrow.

STFU and just slide into anonymity, where you have lived your whole life, and where you belong.

Now, onto the rest of our show...

Thor won the TdS stage yesterday, then promptly showed off his ''whiteman's overbite". Nice! The finish was NOT easy, yet he hauled his big sprinter body to the finish. Take note of this as the Tour approaches...

Change in locations today. Leaving Philly and moving to the 'burbs. Mapped out some good loops through the country. Just found my damn camera, so I'll upload some photos later...

Have a good Wednesday!

13 June 2011

When good trips good bad...

So I blew out of Cola Saturday morning, WAAAAY before the rooster cracked open his beady little eyes. Set the cruise at 74mph, and left it there. Made the halfway point 30 minutes faster than last time I did this trip.
Gas-n-Go in Emporia, Va.
Back in breeze....
Hauled ass and was absolutely killing it until I hit the outskirts of DC. 35 miles to make it through DC took 1:17. At one point, I got OUT of the car, on I-95, and stretched for a few minutes. Traffic was stopped!!! My pal Gary posted on Twitter after I'd tweeted my plight, "DC is the place where making good time goes to die..."
After making safely out of the Thunderdome, ass began of be hauled again. If you aren't going 11mph on that part of I-95, you'd better be going 80mph. This pace was maintained until about 3 miles from the Delaware border.
Traffic backed up, and then proceeded at what could only be described as, ''at a crippled snail's pace''. Lo and behold, two jackasses, in too big of a fucking hurry, tried to hit the same lane at the toll plaza at the same time. If you know anything about physics, then you know how this worked out. Two cars wedged between the concrete barriers at the toll plaza will, in fact, cause issues.
Once beyond the festival of dumbassery, the final 30 minutes went by quickly.
A trip that was on plan to take just over 9 hours wound up sucking 10.5 hours out of my soul.

I rode yesterday to get rid of the stiffness in my legs, and MAN is it fucking hilly here. I'm glad I slapped the 11-28 on the bike. the 11 isn't needed, but the 28 was my friend yesterday. There are three climbs with 5 miles of the house that are Camp Old Indian-esque. Big fun for the fat guy!

Another road ride today. 2 hours or so. Can't do much more than that where I'm staying right now...not a lot of open spaces...

Dinner in South Philly tonight with a couple of short-listers...


10 June 2011

Joe Papp strikes again...

It seems that little cock-gobbler Joe Papp has claimed another victim. Sure, Phil Zajicek got popped for doping, but he got the death sentence because of a fucking snitch. A snitch who is FAR worse on the grand scale of doping offenses than even Armstrong, Clenbutador and Veinokourov.

I'd like to see the sport rid of the dopers, but not like this. Revamp the system! Make punishments harsher. Instead of a two year ban, throw the bums the hell out of the sport. Don't start throwing people out of the sport because a convicted, drug-dealing, felon cuts a deal to save his own smarmy hide.
And yes, there's a difference between what Phil Z, and MANY others have done, or might be still doing, and Papp. Papp was a doper, who set up a BUSINESS selling dope, ergo, he's no better than the douchebag mixing a batch of meth out in Lexington County. Both are drug dealers, PERIOD!
The meth cooker goes to jail, and can't get out. Papp snitched out everyone he knows to the USADA, and will probably get a walk. Equity...nope! They are the same person though...

Here's a better idea...
Papp misses his family in Cuba? Buy him a plane ticket, and send his ass to be with them! Life in Cuba is probably harder than prison anyway, except for the whole 'holding the pocket' thing!

I'm sure this will illicit a response from Mr. Papp, as he probably sits around all day Googling his name to see what people are saying about him, and that's fine. He'll say he's trying to save the sport. Bullshit! He's trying to save himself from being used as a sex toy in prison!

And on that note, I'm out! Mancation(tm) starts tomorrow. I'm heading North to hang out with some of the people on my short list, ride my bike through the beautiful Pennsylvania countryside, and relax. There will be updates next week...mostly pictures. I found some good loops to hit while I'm away...

Back in SC in a week or so...Peace!

07 June 2011

(insert post title here)

I'd be down for this sort of thing if I thought it wouldn't cripple my 41 year old ass!

No TNWC for me tonight. I woke up this morning some serious sinus stuff going on. Fortunately, my friend in high/low places, Dr. JB, was kind enough to call in a RX for me last time I was sick, and he added a refill...SWEEEEET! I'm now on a cocktail of OTC and RX meds to kill whatever is trying to grow within my head.
Man-cation(tm) begins Saturday, and that takes precedent over riding around in circles for an hour. I looked back on my log yesterday, and over the last four weeks, I've spent 50.5 hours in the saddle. 12/12/16/10.5 = a rest week with a touch of head cold.

Lots of stuff to do in the next few days before heading to Yankee-Land...

06 June 2011

News you can use...or not...whatever...

Will someone PLEASE give this fucking guy the Breaking Away 'Team Cinzano' treatment? If you don't know what that is, watch the movie! NO SPRINTS!

Rasmussen won Philly. No, not that douche, the one who rides for HTC. Would have been nice to watch it...computer or TV. Comcast had it, but only in certain markets, and Direct TV. Good jobs guys, way to embrace the intarwebs...

Coverage of USPros was on Versus last Sunday. What a pile of shit! 12 minutes of racing with 48 minutes of BS promos and commercials. Oh, and the footage that did make it to air looked like Eastern European porn...shot on a Blackberry...with a dirty lens.

On the woman front, Tiff Cromwell leaves Lotto-Honda and heads to greener pastures. 'Not the right fit' was one of her reasons for departing. She must have gotten one of Liz Hatch's jerseys...

WADA advises Clenbutador to skip Le Tour. Cites the lack of quality beef cattle in France...and the fact that Bertie is a tool!

Good ride thru Calhoun County yesterday. The consensus was that those who refuse to ride out that way just don't know what they're missing. Good roads, actual terrain changes, low traffic, myriad loops between 45 and 90 miles...on second thought, nevermind, it's terrible out there...stay on Ft. Jackson...

TNWC tomorrow...6:30 at the spot. Let's have a big group this week!

04 June 2011

Good rides with a good guy and a review

So Rahsaan Bahati has been in town for the last few days. I met him Thursday morning...a friend of a friend sort of thing. He was in town for some meetings concerning his foundation, and neglected to bring a bike. So using my considerable juice (wink, wink), I lined up a whip, pedals, shoes, etc., for him to use while here. After some quality hours with Rahsaan, both on, and off, the bike, I can tell you that he's one of the nicest and most gracious guys that I've ever had the pleasure to meet. Some of his past antics have given him sort of a bad rap in the cycling world, but all of that's completely unfounded. He's a competitor. If you don't have a touch of asshole in you, a competitor, you are not!
He showed on Thursday night, and again this morning for the 8 a.m. ride. It was much appreciated by all in attendance. I think the juniors got a kick out of it!
We did a nice, double paceline tempo ride thru LR this morning. 85km in 2:25 on a beautiful SC summer morning!

And now, on to the show...
Zipp 404 Firecrest Full carbon clinchers

$2500-ish for 1550-ish grams. Seems a little exorbitant to me, even before riding them, especially when you consider that wheels in the same weight class can cost hundreds, if not thousands less.
Let's hit the high spots...
Speed- Yeah, they're GD fast! The hoops themselves aren't terribly heavy, so the whole 'rotational weight' issue is pretty moot. Even climbing, the weight isn't at all noticeable. At an average pace they roll well, but once at speed, say 38-40kmh+, the 404FC wheels just haul ass. The 58mm cross section does not hurt in these instances.
Stiffness- Even with the low spoke count (16f/20r), they seem to have plenty of lateral stiffness, even under my big ass. Climbing, as well as coming out of corners, they seem to jump forward when power is applied. Tall rims, semi-high flange hubs and short spokes contribute to all of this. On the vertical plane, they are pretty damn comfy...more on this in a moment...
Setup- As far as putting on tubes, tires and a cassette goes, situation normal. Here's where things gets hinky. Because of the width of the rim, which is 26.5mm for those who are to lazy to click the link, one must tinker with the brakes. I ride Mavic SSC binders, which, even at their widest, would not accommodate the width of the rim. I was forced to replace my NEW SwissStop Yellows with a set of 1/2 thickness Yellows, so there would be enough clearance. Not terribly difficult, but a slight pain in the ass. For someone without technical ability around the bike, this would be better left to the dudes in the service department at the shop.
Ride Quality- Yeah, I said they were comfy before, and they are, as long as you remember that the width of the rim dictates lower tire pressures. The width effectively gives your tires, regardless of what they are, more volume, thus, lower pressures are necessary. I didn't think about this on my first ride, so I jacked in my normal 120psi. The ride was rough and twitchy.
The next few rides, I backed it down to 105, and the ride was sublime. Speed was not affected. Cornering may have actually been approved, when considering that the lower pressures allowed the tires to flex a bit more.
Negatives- Price! For the $2500, you can buy an assortment of Boyd, Williams or ROL wheels. The marketing wags @ Zipp will tell you that the 404s are more aero, but wind direction/speed dictates aero, so again...moot point.
The 404FCs are horrid in a crosswind. Even under my beefy 185 pounds, they tend to sail when struck with gusts. Not a pleasant feeling when traveling at speeds that would strip the flesh from your bones if you hit the deck. Last Thursday, we had a strong head/cross wind, and I felt like I almost needed to tack into the wind.
And I'm going to go against some others and say that the braking was good, not great...about the same as my Williams carbon clinchers. No carbon wheels brake well in the wet, and these are no different. Even with the Zipp's new braking surface, the braking is poor at best when wet, even with the Yellows.

Yeah, they're pretty nice wheels, but the negatives outweigh the positives for me. If someone was GIVING me the wheels, I'd take them, but for the $, I think I'll pass.
What would be great is if they were @ $1000 less, and they came in the 303 rim depth. You listening Zipp?

Sunday ride...tomorrow @ Outspokin...9 a.m.

03 June 2011

Again, with THAT word...

As was discussed last winter, the word "epic" has become so overused and bastardized that it's merely a shell of it's former self.
Well, last night, a ride that went from pretty fun in the Vietnam-esque heat and humidity of Columbia, turned into a battle with the elements. As is said in Columbia all too often, if you don't like the weather, wait 30 minutes...
The skies began to darken about 45 minutes into our ride, but "hey, it'll pass" was uttered by more than one person. The turn was made on Dixie extension, which is, for my non-Columbia, SC readers, the road leads to the furthest point out into Fort Jackson Army Training Base you can ride a road bike. Yeah, we rode all the way out last night.
Upon, turning back towards town (and facing West), it was noticed that the skies ahead were very dark. The pace went up, in the thinking that we could beat the storm. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Sorry, I just made myself laugh...
The rain started about 5 minutes later...then the lightning...then the wind. The rain went from drops to 'biblical' in the course of about 800m. Visibility went to MAYBE 50m, the wind was gusting, thus blowing the rain sideways. It stayed this way until we got into the center of the Fort, then the temperature PLUNGED. And by plunged, I'm talking dropping 25-30 degrees! It was COLD at the traffic circle. With this cold, the final cherry was placed on this oh-so-damp sundae of misery...HAIL! Marble-sized hail began to fall! The answer to your next question is, YES, that shit stings went it hits you.
We all made it home in what was an actual lull in the mayhem. It was still raining, but about 15 minutes after I hit the door, all hell broke loose again! My yard, and neighborhood for that matter, looks like Godzilla rolled down and shook the trees. Branches are everywhere, which means my children have some work to do in the backyard this morning!
The ride was maybe borderline EPIC, but it was definitely hectic for a long while!

As an aside, it seems the new rim shape on the Zipp 404 FC wheels is very efficient at slicing through both flowing water, and deep standing water. And regardless of what other reviews you may read about them, the braking is NO better in the rain. I think I actually sped up at one point when I applied the binders.

Oh, and Rahsaan Bahati is in town. If you see him, say hello! We hung out yesterday for a long while, on and off the bike. He's very cool, very mellow and just a good guy. He'll be riding with us Saturday morning, so get to the circle @ 8 a.m.!!
Apologies to him for nearly drowning him last night! His exact text to me after the ride was "Dude, that was uncalled for...soaked..."

01 June 2011

Wednesday morning quickie

...and who doesn't like a quickie in the morning?

Rujano is using every neck muscle in his tiny little body to keep from turning his head! You can almost hear his thoughts..."No mire Jose...no mire...!" It reminds me of the pictures you see of the dog with a treat balanced on his nose.

And yet another example of proper skinsuit fit...

The TNWC went off last night. About 20 masochists left the line together in 97 degree heat. It was just brutal. The usual ebb and flow was there, but the swings in pace were much larger than usual. Two or three laps at 45kmh would be followed by two laps at 30-32kmh.
Two chain drops for me last night...one on the short chute, that cost me yet another lap, and the second on the backstretch, at 50kmh, after running through one of the 'repaired' strips. A new f/d will be ordered today. Tired of nearly blowing out my hip when the chain falls onto the 39 at speed!
TobyS escaped with 2 to go, and the group watched it. Personally, I'm quite surprised that he was let go. It's not like he's A)fast, or B)done it before!

Yet another trip to the Surgeon for me this morning. 3 months post-op...
The Surgeon who did my procedure(s) makes his real money doing bariatric/weight loss surgeries, so even at my 185 pounds, I get big stinkeye from the other folks in the waiting room. Nice to be the skinny guy in the room for once!

Welcome to summer everyone!