29 June 2015

Juan Solo

I've decided that weekend rides will be solo affairs from here on out. I can get out, get my ride done...whatever the plan, and be done. No having to worry about what anyone else is doing.
This was the exact outcome of the weekend, and both rides were pretty damn great.
Saturday - 2.5 hours on the CX bike. Two big loops around The PowerStation, the one through the North side. Two loops around the dirt you ask? Well...
Certain things in life one just doesn't mess with, as one will always lose. Trains are high on this list...
Weather was warm, but pretty damn perfect.
I did get yelled at on Gervais.
Some jackhole yelled at me from his car. Evidently, even with the width of the street, and the smooth flowing traffic, I was "holding him up".
I caught, and passed his car at every light.
At the intersection of Harden and Devine, I caught him again. I looked over, and waved. He said something unintelligible, but I'm sure smart and topical.
I told him he should get a bike, as it was just as fast to get across town, and he'd be less of a fat ass.
His wife laughed. I win.
Sunday was a bit of the same, but it was far cooler outside. Cloudy and a few sprinkles of rain. I felt pretty okay, so I did a little effort.
The PowerStation was heavy from the storms on Saturday night, but the effort was there.
And you're welcome everyone. The storms blew down a couple of big trees. I cleared a path through both. Enjoy.
Welcome to the Jungle.
I've GOT to stop watching that "Finding Bigfoot" show. My inner 8 year old was fucking with me.

As discussed earlier, the quest for a new bike has begun. I love my Salsa. It's ten years old, has been refinished multiple times, but is always ready for whatever I throw at it. Upon seeing two of Salsa's offerings for 2016, I am intrigued...
The Cutthroat
It's meant as more of a loaded.touring/adventure rig. The geometry is suspension corrected. Probably be pretty cool with a Lefty on it...
The Warbird
More my speed. I could probably even live with the SRAM stuff, as the hydro levers are big enough for my meathooks. Needs a double crank though...
Was also offered a pretty silly deal on a Santa Cruz Stigmata...
Of the three though, the Warbird speaks to me...

The Tour starts this week, and in his quest to be the most boring white man on the planet, Vaughters introduced Garmin's new jersey.
I suddenly feel the urge to put on some plus fours, and go hit a bucket of balls. Maybe cycling IS the new golf...
And when people bitch that we don't ride in the bike lane, show them this picture.

Ok...have a productive Monday.......
Watch these first...

25 June 2015

(Title goes here)

No ridey on Tuesday. The Boss had a work event, and it was a bit stormy.
I hung out with Junior Management, which lately, has been more fun anyway.
Supposed to be decent this weekend. Cooler. Maybe I'll get on the bike....

Tour news :

No Kittel.
Froome found some form...and missed a couple of tests.
Tejay can't seem to shut the fuck up.
A report about doping is released.

You know...same old stuff.

Mass start downhill?

My friend Eryn's dog is a funny fellow...

Not much else going on. Sorry. This isn't pee-wee soccer. Not all of these posts can be winners.

22 June 2015


I rode last weekend, but didn't do much else...
Saturday and Sunday were the same rides. Up early...on the bike...home.
Both went out, and around, The PowerStation, up through Town, and home.
2 hours. No fuss. No muss.
Did I mention that the entirety of The PowerStation is under the canopy...in the shade? Yeah...that take a bit of the sting out of the hellish days we've been experiencing lately.
I rolled back into Service Course @ 11:15am yesterday. It was already 92F.

A little lunch, some lazing about, and Corpo loaded up and went to the pool. It was quite nice, even if the pool temp was equivalent to tepid bathwater. No matter. Junior Management loved it, and that's all that matters.

And I started thinking, which we all know can be a dangerous action for me...
I never go out solo on the road bike any more. Like NEVER! If I go out solo, it's on the CX bike. Usually a combo of some road, but mostly dirt.
Then the 40w bulb started buzzing above my head. Why not get rid of the road bike, and build a super light, semi-trick CX bike?
It would be as light, if not lighter, than the Noah, and have the ability to do whatever I ask it to do.
Dirt? Put the knobbies on. Road? Switch wheels (and pedals, if need be), and I'm good to go.
At the moment, I'm leaning towards a Trek Boone with Ultegra Di2. Cantilever brakes.
Not a bad set-up...

Our friend Boyd put together a little ride in the mountains for July 11th. 100+km. 5000+ feet of climbing. Oh, did I mention that 35+km of the ride is on dirt/gravel roads? It's also been advertised as a "no drop" affair. Be aware though, some heavy hitters will likely be in attendance. "No drop" may not mean what you think it means...
He said that tires needed would be AT LEAST 25mm. HAHAHAHA! If you can wedge a 30mm tire into your road bike, do it. If not, slam a 30-35mm tire on your CX bike.
Challenge makes a good 30mm road tire, as well as a couple fast rolling "grinder" tires.
Compass sells a few BIG volume road/gravel tires.
If it was ME, I'd pick up some of the 32mm Compass Stampede Pass tires.
Unfortunately, it won't be me this time around, as I'll be in Ohio to deliver my grandmother to her final resting place.

I should probably go down a turn on the AC in Service Course, as I actually need to do some work on the Ridley. No...not tearing it down. Not yet, at least...

Tomorrow night, I'm likely going to do the "out with the group...home on the dirt" ride. Feel free to join in, and stay (kind of) out of the heat.

19 June 2015

Safe mode

You know...that thing where you start to come apart for no good reason.
Left the house last night...felt bad.
Rode over to the ride...felt bad.
Did the first half of the ride...felt bad.
After we hit Gator, the powerplant clicked into Safe Mode, and I limped home.
It wasn't hot. I was plenty hydrated, and had eaten enough. The body just clocked out, and that was that. Not a bonk...not even close. Just a work stoppage.
Still got 2 hours on the bike.

Looks like Peter Sagan is finding some form right before the Tour...

Cav got blown off the wheel coming to the last corner. Poppin' Fresh, and Etixx-QuickStep, better get their shit together in the next couple of weeks. Cav might win a stage or two, but his goal of the green jersey is a pipe dream.

Mavic introduced "gravel" wheels. $1250 for a 1600+ gram wheelset. Not to be a naysayer, but merely pointing out facts...
One could EASILY buy/build TWO sets of wheels that are stronger, and lighter, than the Mavics, for less than $1250. EASILY. And yes...with disc hubs....

As usual, Bob Mionske clears the air, and gets it right. And yes, the 'you don't pay taxes' argument gets thrown around A LOT. Let's be perfectly clear...
Cycling is NOT an inexpensive hobby. Bikes, shoes, helmets, kits, food...not cheap. I feel fairly confident that the guy on the $8000 carbon wonder bike, wearing $400 shoes, and $300 worth of kit has paid his fair share into the kitty.
If anything, cyclists likely pay MORE simply based on the salary required to ride around on $10k worth of bike and kit. We all own cars, and most of us are homeowners. We pay...

Cav is rolling around on this monstrosity at the Tour de Suisse. Good to see that the company that sues everyone else for designs has "borrowed" some ideas from Parlee (front end) and BMC (rear triangle).
And the faired fork on the SpecialEd? Yeah, it's not "legal" under the terms set for bikes by the UCI, but then again, as we've seen in the past, the UCI's rules can be...shall we say..."fluid".

By the way, the red Parlee shown above was stolen out of it's owner's garage on Wednesday afternoon. He lives in Chicago, and bought the bike from Velosmith. If anyone comes across the bike, please call the guys at Velosmith!

And with that...Happy Friday! Enjoy your weekend. Go outside and play.

17 June 2015


At least it's a moist heat...
Instead of going out, and killing myself yesterday, only to come home and lay prostrate on my new grass. I chose a different path. Yes, I left with the VERY small group, but at the end of 12th. St., I headed for the relative coolness of The Powerstation.
I can say, with some degree of certainty, that it was 10-12-15 degrees cooler back under the canopy. Hell, in the low lying section, it almost felt cool. You know...if low-90s can be considered "cool".
12th. St. was a good time on 33c knobbies with 55psi. Did I mention the "big" ring on the CX bike is a 48? Yeah. It was work.
I may do the same thing on Thursday, if the heat index is 137 degrees again. Feel free to join me...

Eh...you have big happy 70th birstday Eddy!!
And I remind you, Merckx released 70 stainless, Columbus XCr tubed, bikes in honor of Eddy's 70th birthday. Well...69 bikes. Eddy got #1.
Only $17,500. I hear there are a few left...you know...in case you're looking for that perfect Father's Day gift for me.
Speaking of steel Merckx frames, a friend of mine picked this up over the weekend...
Telekom Merckx MAX. Farging bastidge!! He knows it's my white whale too. Just turn the blade...
Honestly, it had to be a hard find, as he has the body proportions of a shaved sasquatch. 63cm. Makes finding a 56 or 57cm seem easy. Seems I need to begin my search anew...

Another hot one today. I'll be escaping the heat by taking two members of Junior Management to see Jurassic World.
Rough gig...

15 June 2015

Wait...I forgot...

Sorry...lots going on around here...no post late last week. I'm sure you were all crestfallen...

Thursday ride Bullet points :
-Group separated at the FIRST light.
-We rolled SLOWLY, and waited. They caught...eventually.
-I had a pressure regulation issue. Changed it quickly. Half the group, including a few we waited on, decided NOT to wait.
-6 guys waited.
-We chased, and caught the non-waiters.
-TOWSNBN hid, as per his m.o., then sprinted at the end.
-We're laughing AT you, not WITH you.

I woke up Saturday, and decided that a short-ish ride on the CX bike would be the best option. Junior Management was at the Lexington Office, so I had the chance to knock out a couple of house projects without interruption.
A quick ride out around Eastman, then back in on The PowerStation was the ticket. 2 hours, and I was back. The floor in the back room is now 100% again.
Sunday, I really had no urge to ride long, and a construction project was looming, so I did the same ride as Saturday. It was WAY hotter yesterday. The heat was just rolling off the pavement out at the end of 12th St.
On the dirt, and in the shade, it was almost pleasant. Almost. It was still toasty...
No matter. I felt pretty good, and the dirt is in good nick, so the power went down.
Be glad I don't participate in Strava shenanigans, as the KoM on The PowerStation would now be solidly mine.
The KoM is 8:10. I went 7:52 yesterday, INCLUDING a dismount/run/re-mount thru the washout, and a trip into the ditch to get around a downed tree. And to be honest...and I mean perfectly honest...I could have gone harder. I figure I lost 20-25 seconds with the two obstacles. Ruminate on that....
There's a minute lurking in that 8:10 KoM...easy...
Once back, 65 feet of 4x4x8 lumber was put down, and plated together, to form the new walkway down to Service Course. It's cool...it was only 93 degrees in the shade.
I'm stiff this morning. The whole mid-40s thing is over-rated. Where's the Aleve?

Froome won Dauphine yesterday. Funny how Senor Elbows has NO form all year, goes to Tenerife to train "at altitude", comes back and wins the Tour tune up race. Hmmm...curious...
Tejay finished second, then had a good cry...
Speaking of Froome, does he remind anyone else of the "coffee aliens" from 'Men in Black'?


 Max tubed custom with Campag, Enve, and Rotor? 56.5cm TT please...
And it's a real shame Norco can't be had here. That's a tasty looking rig...except for the FSA cranks. Of course, I DO know a guy that could get me one. Sometimes, it's good to know a Canadian or two...

LOOK? I'm LOOKing! So much to LOOK at....

It's Monday. It's supposed to be 101F today. I'm staying inside.

10 June 2015

Does not equate...

ManCation consisted of a lot of riding, with a lot of climbing. This does not equate to leg speed. Smashing a 39/28 on a bunch of uphills, in 60 degree temps, will not help you when it's time to go 50kmh in the hot and humid Wx of SC.
The legs were heavy last night. HEAVY.
It was a good ride nonetheless. The groups got all fouled up again. No bother. It was good to get on the bike.
Nice to see that certain people from a certain shop showed up last night, even after they have summarily shit on the Tri-City ride for the past few YEARS. Hypocrites. Feel free not to come back...

I keep returning to Hampsten. There's GOT to be a reason...

Maglia ROSA from Matthew J. Clark on Vimeo.

Bike porn :
 New Argonaut custom carbon...
 Prototype Trek Madone. Full aero AND the IsoSpeed decoupler rear end for a bit of comfort. You have my attention...
 Where's this road, and when do we leave?
Someone is cornering the market on Deltas. They look cool, and are a feat of (over)engineering. Just don't plan on stopping...

Off to the chiro this morning to get re-set. I don't think nearly 20 hours in The Beast was very good for my legs and back either.

And if you're feeling adventurous, or just feel the need for a good ass-kicking, Boyd's Birthday Ride is Saturday in Greenville. It leaves Hotel Domestique @ 0900 sharp. 65 miles. 5500 feet of climbing. Several dirt sections. Many pros and ex-pros will be in attendance.

07 June 2015

And so it ends...

I put The Beast in the breeze yesterday a little after 7am. 644 miles, and 8:55 later, I pulled back into Service Course.
That drive has become far more mentally taxing than physical. Driver's tests should really be much harder, and the penalties for using a mobile device while driving should be on par with drunk driving. There were two VERY near misses on the road yesterday. Both would have collected me, and untold other cars. Both were due to the driver using a mobile device while trying to negotiate traffic.
Other than that, it was pretty uneventful...
The Beast like to have the cruise set at about 80mph. It just stretches it's legs, and runs. Hell, between Charlotte, and Service Course, the flow of traffic was WELL over 80. I was getting getting passed like an old man with his blinker on...
I may have slept for 11 hours last night...

As I mentioned earlier, the loop I found up there is fairly brilliant. Just about a perfect loop. There are myriad ways to make it longer, shorter, or add climbing. Unfortunately, making it flatter isn't an option. A flat ride just ain't happening up there.
And the scenery is above average...
Lots of restored mid-19th century farmhouses. (This one's for sale...)
 See that ridgeline? Yeah...I climbed over (and back) more than once last week.
Empty farm roads
And, I must say, for all of the aggro that flows through the veins of people that live in the Northeast, drivers were actually quite polite, patient, and conscientious.
I know!! I was shocked too!
I never got honked at, buzzed, nor yelled at. People waited until the road was clear...EVERY time. Hell, I had to make a left at a pretty major intersection (took a wrong turn), and a giant dumptruck blocked traffic so I could turn! It was bit a surreal...
It was a good week, but I'm glad to be home with The Boss, and Junior Management.
No ridey today. I'm tired, and REALLY need to go down to Servizio Corsa to clean the accumulated Yankee grime of the bike.

Wildlife sightings : Deer, cows, goats, rabbits, and more chipmunks than I think I've seen EVER. Oh, and one BIG rat snake.

Thanks to my hosts for putting up with me for the week. Sorry I broke the toilet...

02 June 2015

ManCation 2015

Yarp...I'm up here in Yankee-land.
Left EARLY Saturday morning...up 77 and 81 to Pa. Pretty uneventful trip, thankfully. But a question popped up? At what point in life does a 9 hour trip in the car become really GD long? I used to do this trip 3 or 4 times a year...like it was nothing. Saturday felt like it sort of went on forever....
No matter. The weather was good, and traffic wasn't terrible. Beats the hell out of driving up I-95 through Richmond/DC/Baltimore.
Got up Sunday, kitted up and headed out. I had a little bit of a plan, but you know how plans go.
Didn't really get punched in the mouth, but I missed a turn, which took me on a different route than I had mapped out. Oh well. It felt like a normal Sunday ride with Dean. "Hey...where does this road go?"

 When I hit the Powerball....
Rt.282. Look!! The rumble strips are in the MIDDLE of the road...where they belong!
As you can see, it's fairly terrible here. I ended up with right at 39 miles and 2900ft. of climbing. It ain't flat in SE Pa. Plenty of 10-12% pitches, and one that was was a miserable 17%. If you come this way, bring a compact. What the climbs lack in length, they make up for in steepness.

So yeah...the "day-after-a-long-car-ride" easy spin plan was shot in the hiney.
Yesterday, it was rainy and gray. CX bike it is. I headed over to Marsh Creek State Park to hit the service roads, and a few of the easier sections of singletrack. Again...missed a turn, and a ended up on a few trails that were CLEARLY not designed for 35c tires. I'm a better-than-most bike handler, but there were more than a few sections that were WELL outside my skillset. 
Really? A rocky, rooty, creek crossing that went UP about 6 feet. Erm...nope! Good thing I had the toe spikes.
About 90% of the trails were great. Smooth, flowy, nice ups and downs. The other 10% required dismounting, so I took it as an opportunity to practice some CX skills. Off-Run-On. Worked pretty well until I rounded a corner on the bike, and slipped off the completely superfluous boardwalk. Landed squarely on a big root, & BOOM! Rear flat.
Time for a nice little walk in the woods. Hiked about a mile to a gravel road, and changed the tube. 
As I had no more spares, I skipped the rest of the singletrack, and finished up on the gravel and MUT. Another fun 2 hours, though my ankles and knees are a bit unhappy with me this morning. Running is bad for you.
The remainder of my day was filled with a trip to Whole Foods, and a nap. ManCation.
The plan today was to get up, and get on the road bike for about 3 hours. It's 51 degrees, the wind is blowing, and it's pissing rain. It's June! Get your shit together Pennsylvania!! I brought a baselayer and a vest, but no armwarmers. 
There's an LBS around the corner, so I guess I'll hike over there and see what they have. The only problem is the fact that they don't open until 11. EVERY DAY. Oh, and they're also going out of business. I don't have an MBA from The Darla Moore School of Business, but methinks there may be a correlation.

I guess today will be my 'rest' day.  Or I'll go out later for a bit. Whatever. I'm on ManCation...gotta be fluid.