30 April 2014

A quick tip

If you are reading this, and weigh 180 pounds (as I do), or more, and it's a humid 85 degree evening, leave the GD baselayer at home.
After rolling out last night, and going up the first climb like someone lit me on fire, I started to get hot. 
Fortunately, the descent @ 55-60kmh helped to alleviate the building heat in the engine room.
Unfortunately, there was another climb right around the corner.  About halfway up, and feeling strangely fine, a wave of hot washed over me like a wave.  HR jumped from 150 to dead max, and that was that...
Could I have stayed on?  Likely.  Would I have felt like hammered shit for the rest of the night.  Likely.  Am I wise enough to sit up, and make an effort to bring the diesel back to normal operating temps?  Yep...sure am.
I pedaled slowly, and waited for the second group. 
The rest of the ride was pretty good.  Just sort of rolled in, watching Sean scrabble for wheels so he didn't have to so much as sniff the breeze.  It's gone from ridiculous to quite entertaining.  Nothing truly changes after 20 years I suppose...

And don't listen to those who say a light baselayer will help you keep cooler.  It's a lie.  I don't care how thin and/or technical a fabric may be, it's still another layer of clothing on your body. 
And if you NEED the baselayer on an 80+ degree day, you are likely built like one of those little dogs that shakes and pisses a lot. 

A little pro bike porn...

 Possibly my favorite bike in the bunch...
 A Giant that's not silly-compact?  Me likey...
And Lapierre is making some good looking stuff these days.  Too bad one can't get one here in 'Murica.
And speaking of hard to get whips, the Movistar Canyon ain't ugly...

The Salsa CX refurb is chugging along.  All three accent colors have been laid down.  Just need to put a little clear over the flouro yellow, then re-tape the whole thing in preparation for the satin black.  Decals are here, and the new parts are inbound.  The old D/A 7800 will be cleaned and put back into service because, A) I own it, and B) The shit still just WORKS.
My new alu wheels were completed and shipped yesterday.  The ROL Race SLs have served faithfully for the past five years, and will be moved down the bench, onto the Salsa.
They will be replaced by a set of Williams WS28s.  Yes, I jumped on the wide wheel bandwagon.  23mm wide and 28mm deep.  When paired with Vittoria OC CX rubber, and some latex tube, it should be a pretty sublime ride.  These have a few more spokes, so hopefully they will be stiffer, and robust.
I've had good luck with my carbon Williams.  Hopefully, these will be just as good.  A full review will follow...

And now that I'm thinking about it, I need to order some tubes...
Have a good Wednesday...and keep your head down.  They say some weather is coming...

29 April 2014

Huevos Mas Grande

Try to kick this guy in the balls, and you'll break your foot...

28 April 2014


If one could take the weather, put it into a replication machine, and simply punch out beautiful days, this past weekend could be used as the prototype.
60 in the morning, rising to a dry, slightly breezy 85 in the afternoon.  Sure, I'll take every day just like that.
Where do I sign?
Saturday was one of those days that a 3-4 hour ride just wasn't going to happen.  Too much going on.
In lieu of that fact, I went Juan Solo, and did the Tues/Thurs loop backwards.  Let me be the first to assure you that it's tougher in the counter clockwise direction.
That 50kmh run down 302 that everyone seems to enjoy?  Yeah, it's a climb all the way out.
Gotta say though, I quite liked the loop in that direction.  It was...different...
Upon return to Service Course, I talked a client off the ledge.  Man...people get inside their own heads too much.
Then it was a trip to Owens to watch what seemed to be the unending U8 Futbol match.  This was followed by replacing all of the molding on the back of the house, replacing some shingles, and scraping paint.
Welcome to This Old House.
Sunday was another glorious weather day.
The bunch met @ 9, and did a nice loop out past Starbucks, around to Swansea and back.  100km fell under wheels without much drama.
 As one can see, it was terrible out there...
 The post pee-pee chase...
Big bike...little bike...
And we had an addition to the normal group as well.  Morgan joined us yesterday.  She's a relative noob, but she's strong like bull, and rides a straighter line than some who have ridden in the group for years.  It was quite nice to have two females on the ride yesterday.  Even nicer was the fact they are both good riders, and pleasant people.

Post ride, I laid down the graphics on the CX frame, and got the first bit of color applied.  Taping off graphics isn't physical work, but it's labor intensive.  Now I know why those custom paint jobs on high end bikes cost hundreds of dollars, if not more.
I'm doing relatively simple graphics, and a total of four colors, and the initial taping took nearly two hours.
Hopefully the rest will go a bit more quickly...

LBL was yesterday...

Don't get me wrong, I loves me some Euro on Euro action, but this edition of LBL was a bit of a yawner...
And I'm wondering if Dan Martin caught his stupid Garmin Vector power pedal pod in the corner...causing him to low-side.
Nothing like hanging something off the crankarm, and trying to pedal thru a corner...

Cav won the first stage in Turkey...and got bananas...
So many for this one...
Cav will NEVER cramp again.
Cav wins a bunch sprint.
That's gonna be a HUGE loaf of banana bread.
"The prize is a bunch of bananas as big as me?  Bullshit..."

And this guy...
Look up the word "serious" in the dictionary.  There's a picture of him.  An aero carbon prothesis?  Just bolt the cleat on the bottom and let's roll.

It's Monday, and there are errands to be run before the weather turns to Portland later today.  Enjoy the day...

24 April 2014


So yesterday, I turned 44.  44!  I honestly didn't think I'd make it this far.  I'm sure a lot of my family and friends didn't either.

While I had a decent day, it was tempered a bit by loss.
One friend buried his father yesterday, on what would have been his dad's 67th birthday.
I.D. Porter was one of the kindest, nicest, most genuine people I've ever known.  It was my honor and privilege to have known him.
I.D. was struck down by that bastard Cancer.  
Evidently his service on Tuesday night was standing room only.  That says a lot about the man he was in life.
Another friend lost his mother yesterday.
Don't know any specifics, but I know the loss.

May they both Rest in Peace.

So yeah, it was a pretty good day for me, but we'll call it a push...

That being said, I took some frustrations out on the Salsa frame yesterday.  Pretty amazing what an orbital sander, and some chemical stripper can accomplish.

The remaining paint has been treated a second time, and has bubbled nicely.  The wire wheel will take care of what's left.  Who knows, there may be some color on the old horse by the end of the weekend.
I need to get it buttoned up, as a dirt ride is looming on the horizon.  As of today, I have 30 day to finish painting, and build it back up.
And the fact that I need to get it done so I can go ride in inclement weather, as I have become averse to cleaning the Ridley after wet rides.  Who the hell said a white frame was a good idea?

Which brings us to Tuesday.  No ridey.  Sure, it was wet/rainy, but warm, and that usually means a CX bike ride, but as I spent a solid hour cleaning the Noah on Sunday, I wasn't pulling it out.
I'll leave my response to Tracy Morgan...

Fleche was yesterday.  It's just a hard race, period.

And what's sad is the fact that the 'fauxperts' went crazy on Twitter, calling Valverde a doper, and the 'fans' at the podium actually booed him.  WTF people?
If one is going to constantly bitch and moan about doping, and still say one is a 'fan', then one should stop following cycling.  Of course, a lot of these people have only followed cycling for a short time, and have absolutely NO frame of reference.
Let's not forget that God himself, Eddy Merckx got popped for doping more than once, and even thrown out of the Giro for it.  And even those who rest on Mount Olympus used dope.
Anquetil and Coppi admitted it. 

The fact that these very same 'fauxperts' LOVE Garmin (run by a doper), and OPQS (remnants of the Mapei structure, and still employ a Doctor related to doping cases) makes me laugh in their general direction.
Get over yourselves people.  You aren't as smart as you think you are...

Remember Tro Bro Leon?  Yeah...Jered Gruber went, and took some pictures that make calling them brilliant an understatement.
And how is this race not more famous?  Dirt, farm fields...and racing through a culvert pipe?  WHAT?
Flip thru his shots.  Thank me later...

And so ends another waste of your productivity...
The sky is blue.  The air is warm.  Go outside and play.

21 April 2014

Batting .500

Pretty good in other sports, right?

Saturday was a shite day.  Just miserable.  I went out anyway...if only for a bit.  And it was for no other reason than to get the new shoes figured out.
After a couple of stops/adjustments, and getting drizzled on for the better part of an hour, 'no joy' was called, and I came home.  Sucked...

Sunday, conversely, was pretty frickin' brilliant.
120km.  Roads we'd never been on before.  A stretch of 50km or so in which we never saw a car.
It was a quality 4-ish hours on the bike.  Some didn't show b/c of "the weather", and they missed out.  In 4-6 weeks, people will be wishing for 60 degree cloudy days.

Pretty terrible.  I'm sure those loops of the Fort were fabulous though...
Upon hitting Service Course, I ate, watched a little TV, and had a damn fine nap.  How?
The Boss took Junior Management to her family's Easter gathering.
After waking from the dead, I cleaned the 120km of road detritus from the Noah, and went back to the couch.
Rough day.

Amstel Gold (last 50km)

PhilGil went hard on the last ascent of the Cauberg...and didn't need an aero helmet...

Cosmo's take :

And Phil won the podium chug contest as well!

Tro Bro Leon (looked like a lovely day in rural France)

When did CyclingNews turn into BikeVogue?

 Sometimes, 4 wheels good! Make mine dark gray, please...

And here's something cool that will absolutely BURN through your productivity.  British Pathe has uploaded some 85,000 old newsreel movies to YouTube.  There are quite a few related to cycling.
Bordeaux to Paris (1963)

346 miles!!  And paced behind a derny!!!

Tour of Britain

Good stuff.  You can lost in clicking links.  I did it last night for almost two hours!

And as it usually works after a dreary weekend, it's a big blue sky Monday morning.  Upside?  The Boss went back to work, and Junior Management went back to school.

Time to go to Target...

18 April 2014

Pucker Factor

What is the "Pucker Factor" you ask?
It's the force with which your sphincter slams shut when something alarming occurs, be it on, or off, the bike.
Last night, it was on the bike.
As is my normal M.O., I bunny-hopped the tracks on Old Wire.  Evidently, I achieved a bit more altitude than usual, because upon the tires re-establishing contact with Mother Earth, my bars slipped.  And by slipped, I mean SLIPPED.
I went from my normally sort of high lever position to the old Sean Yates double bend.
From this... 
To this...
...in about 11 nanoseconds.  The sound created was alarming as well. 
I thought about just riding it out, but the fact that it was uncomfortable as hell, and I couldn't ride anywhere but the tops forced me to source a multi-tool from Ricky (Ricky Sox Fence...it's a household name).
20 seconds later, my bars were back in the correct position, and I chased back on, and seemingly through the group.  It seems my adrenaline fueled adjustment causes the pace to be higher on the first climb, thus blowing out a whole lot of folks.  Sorry...(not sorry...)
After that, it was just a good, quick tempo ride.  There were still a couple of passengers, but that didn't dampen spirits. 
All in all, it was a fun ride, including my nearly-blind, no-glasses, run home in waning light. 

 Heinrich must have gotten in trouble...
"But Eddy, I'm not a big coffee drinker..."
"Eh, today, you are big coffee drinker..."
I don't eat red meat, but if Eddy served me a bloody steak, I'd eat the fuck out of it!

 The question is, are there little water bottles stacked inside?
 I know the riders at Roubaix are badasses, but the Mavic Neutral Support guys aren't exactly soft!

 I'm no MTBer, but if I was, I'd want my rig to look a lot like this one! ^^^^^^^^^^^
I'm sort of uncomfortable with my level of want for this bike.  It serves no real purpose, but is completely badass at the same time.
Ritte Snob.  Stainless.  One and done. 

Rides :
Saturday 0900 @ Rosewood  3 hours or so
Sunday 0900 @ Colonial Center  4+ hours  Yes, we're going a bit longer.  Yes, we might be heathens, as it's Easter Sunday.  Bring $ and food.  Out thru the Swamp, on to some new roads to 601, around to Eastover and back in.  Figure it will be 75 miles +/-.

And with that, I tip my chapeau.  Have a good weekend everyone!

16 April 2014

No...no I did not...

Nope...just no...

I didn't ride last night...for myriad reasons.  Motivation was not one of them. 
It rained most of the day, and the wind began howling at just about my scheduled departure time.  I don't know about you fine folks, but I've been wet and/or cold, and battled more than my fair share of wind over the Winter and early Spring. 
AND my bike is clean...
Sorry. Not going out in that.  At this point, if I miss a day, it''s just that...a missed day.

Instead, I went down to Service Course to finish up Il Prof's back-up Ti bike.  Yes, his back-up bike is Ti...
Upon pre-bartape final inspection, I felt a rough spot on the bars.  Closer inspection with a pick revealed this...
Yes, that IS a hole in the bars. Granted, his sweat is borderline weapons-grade, but it drives home a larger point, for all of us.  Change your tape regularly, especially here, in the hot and humid South. 
Where do you think the sweat on your arms runs?  Yeah, down onto your hands, tape, and bars.  Then it all all dries. 
You can sit there and say... "My bars don't look like that!".  You can SAY it, but that doesn't make it true. 
Mine were crusty the last time I changed my tape. 
And when changing tape, inspect your bars closely.  It's not just this particular person, or this particular bar. 
This is a quite common event.
A broken bar on a ride WILL lead to other stuff breaking...like collarbones, helmets, femurs, etc.

 There's one constant over the last 12 Monuments.  Can you figure out what it is?

I think I like this Terpstra guy.  A cap, retro Oakleys, AND Chuck Taylor Converse on the podium?  Dude is okay with me...

Seems the organizers of Brabantse Pijl are either jokers, or assholes. 

I may spin around a little this afternoon.  Blue sky is calling...

14 April 2014


Post-Roubaix hangover...

Here's the last 2.5 of British Eurosport coverage...in HD.  Thanks for nothing NBCSN!

Lots of action, and worth watching the whole thing.  Good show by John Murphy from UHC too!  In the break, but flatted in the Forest.
Or, just watch Cosmo...

One good ride this weekend, and one I wish I could take back...

Let's be clear.  Saturday sucked.  I'm glad I didn't bother to go to Camden for the metric.  Woke up feeling a general malaise, but figured that I'd ride out of it, like we've all done so many times.
Roxy and I met, and both felt like crap.  The 2+ hour ride was entirely more difficult, and less enjoyable than we'd both imagined it would be.  The company was good.  The ride itself...meh.
Then sat in the sun for an hour at #2's futbol match, followed by wandering around the little airshow that was being put on at Owens Field...another hour + on the tarmac.  Yeah...felt like CRAP for the rest of the day.
That being said, seeing a WW2 C-47 land and take off was pretty cool.  And the boys dug it, so I'll take my lumps.
Sunday was the opposite.  Sure, I woke up with a headache, and still felt like shit, but I actually DID feel better as the ride progressed.  A nice loop thru LR with Il Prof and Roxy, on some roads we haven't been on in YEARS.  Big sun in a big blue sky, and again, good company.
3.5 hours later, I was home, and feeling like a new man.  Well, maybe certified pre-owned...
 Just terrible out in the country...
 So much traffic...
And such unattractive, ill-tempered folks...

And not to sound ranty here, but people around here should NEVER complain about riding.  EVER.
The terrain that surrounds Columbia is a resource.  Sure, there are some roads that it's probably better to avoid, but for the most part, riding here is pretty fucking stellar.
It gives one anything they want.  You want to ride in the flats?  Go to LR.  You want hilly?  Go SW of Columbia, out in Lex/Cal.  Or go do a loop of the Lake.  Want to take a summary ass-kicking on pretty fabulous roads?  Go out to Blythewood and ride with JB and HB.
And yes, the loops are all easy to get to, and safer than 90% of rides you do in other Metro areas.
And there are roads around here that we've ridden that we've NEVER seen a car.  NEVER!
Ride and smile people...ride and smile.  See how Roxy is doing it?   ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

See Mother of all that is Good and Pure.  I'm gonna need a moment...

And for a Monday, here's something positive, and uplifting to start your week...watch the whole thing...thank me later...

If this doesn't make one feel a range of emotions, and leave one with a smile and/or a warm fuzzy, then one should make an appointment with a cardiologist.

Have a good Monday.  I have small engine repair on the menu today.  Whooo Hoooo!

11 April 2014


Something to whet your whistle for Sunday...

01 Roubaix

2013 (Full Eurosport coverage)  Arenberg is @ 43:00-ish minutes...

Good photos from CyclingTips and Kristof Ramon of yesterday's recon...

Bike mods for Roubaix...

And it looks like FMB is the tire of choice for almost everyone these days...

Good stuff.  Wade and his boys have it covered this year!

Quite an odd ride last night.  The group got split early, and despite the best efforts of a couple of us, it stayed split.  Honestly, I sort of wish I'd waited on the other group, as several of the folks in the split group didn't know whether to shit, or go blind.  It was a bit maddening, and a bit dangerous at times.
I appreciate everyone who comes out to the ride, but PLEASE learn some paceline, and/or pack skills.
Hate to sound like a broken record, but these things are sometimes key to everyone's safety, and the larger experience.

Lots of racing around tomorrow in Charlotte, and the Tour de Camden is going off at 0900.  It's a big, fun ride thru some really nice countryside.  Supposed to be a perfect day...

80s and sun all weekend.  Go outside and play!

10 April 2014

20 years ago today...

Still ranks as one of the best, if not THE best edition of Roubaix...

Want to ride the smooth path beside the cobbles?  Well...
Section @ Wallers.  Thx to Jered Gruber for the photo.  Sort of puts things into perspective, eh?  LOOKING at this shot makes my shoulder hurt...

09 April 2014

Well, it's here...

The future is upon us, and it's not going to make cycling any better...

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I give you the Garmin Edge 1000

IMO, this is the sort of thing that is slowly choking the life, and enjoyment out of cycling.  I hate to be the Luddite here, but is all of this really NEEDED.
Look, I understand the cycling industry's need to push technology, and to sell customers the "new shit", but will any of this benefit "the ride"?
Be honest...
The only reason to purchase this is to have the newest, and bestest, Garmin.  It's the adult version of trying to outdo your schoolmates on the playground.
"Yeah, well my dad can beat up your dad..."

DCRainmaker has already reviewed the 1000, and gives some insight.  The review also raises questions, and forces some salient points out into the open.

I told you WiFi and Bluetooth were coming.  It's only a short hop to live-chats with your 'coach' during a ride.  And the pros?  They be monitored 24/7 by their Directeurs Sportif.

"Tommeke...Fabian is dropping you!  Why are you only turning 900w...?"

Sorry, but it's too much.  There's just no need for about 75% of the "features" on the 1000.  Christ, it gives "real-time challenge segments".  Live action Strava?  GTFO of here.
It's the "dazzle them with technology (and bullshit) that is becoming far too common in cycling theses days.  The ONLY way this technology will make one faster is by making them lighter...in the wallet...by $600.

And here's the 800-pound gorilla in the corner.  Most of these 'features' are already floating around out there.
Live tracking?  Yeah...Google MyTracks does that, and has for 2+ years.
MyTracks also gives speed, altitude, GPS coordinates, and mapping.
Call and texts? If one uses their smartphone as their computer, as many do, it's right on screen.
Di2 integration? If one has ridden long enough, one doesn't need to look at a screen to know what gear he/she is in.  Sheer minutia of the whole thing is insane.  Does one really need to know that they made 2% less power in their 39/18? 
And the size of the 1000?  BIG.  If you ride less than a 120-130mm stem, it ain't going on there.  May as well put my Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 on the bars.

If you have the money, and want it, then go buy it.  I have no issue with that.
Ask yourself first...
Will it make me a better rider?  And by better, I don't mean bigger, faster, stronger.
The knowledge that comes with years of riding is being pushed to the back, and replaced with the "knowledge" attained for spending $5000 at the shop.
That's not knowledge people... 

All of this tech crammed onto one's bars does little but distract the rider from the task at hand.
Riding the bike.
I don't know about you guys, but I get on my bicycle(s) to go outside, get some sun on my face, and enjoy the day.  And Dog forbid one makes some good friends.  Even on the hardest rides, there's a social aspect to cycling that's dying.
And not to be a dick, but if one is futzing with the their Garmin, or whatever the hell is on their bars, and takes me out, just keep riding.  Odds are, I'll make you eat the damn thing. Then, you can track how it travels through your digestive system.

Junk and I have been chatting about this this morning, and have figured that at some point in the not so distant future, folks will just put on their Oculus headgear, sync up to their laptop, climb onto their Computrainer, and dial up whatever ride...wherever on the planet.  Want to ride the Ventoux?   Ok...clickity, click, click...you're on the Ventoux.
You'll be able to tell who these people are by their distinct lack of tanlines, and inability to ride a straight line.
Of course, at that point, what's to stop having sunlamps in the bike room?
One thing Junk said this morning that I honestly HOPE comes to fruition?  No computer rides.  Or "clean bars" rides.
Nothing to distract.  Turn it all off, and leave it in the house.  Just riiiiiiiide....

Me?  I'll be the crazy old guy that people point at out of their triple-paned, xenon-infused windows, and say, "Look at that crazy, old fucker...riding outside..."

If you agree with me, great.  If not, well that's great too!
As Dennis Miller used to say, "...It's just my opinion, I could be wrong..."

08 April 2014


Roubaix is coming...

 Is it bad to do a little rain dance?
 I need one of these signs...
This is from yesterday via Trek Factory Racing.  The first cobbled section is looking GOOD!
Ride Roubaix they said...it'll be fun they said...
See this kid...yeah, he knows more about Roubaix than 99% of the Twitter "experts".
Dry cobbles are slippy too!
Speaking of slippy.  Seems there's a moss issue...

I'm starting to get a warm and fuzzy about Sunday. 

07 April 2014

Flanders...Short Attention Span Theater


...led to this...

Here's the breakdown...

Thanks Cosmo!