Thursday, June 19, 2014

Readings

Inevitably, he said, "What is the meaning of this?"
It is the precise question and the precise wording thereof that has been put to the atmosphere on such occasions by an incredible variety of men since humanity was invented. It is not recorded that it has ever been asked for any purpose other than dignified effect.

Page 387 paragraph 3
The Foundation Trilogy
Isaac Asimov


Wednesday, April 30, 2014

I guess this is a thing now.



Former pros doing fix a flat videos... At least this one isn't uncomfortable to watch.


 
How to Fix a Flat from 9W magazine on Vimeo.


                                                                       **UPDATE**

Another former pro and a actual bike mechanic/shop owner Geneo from One On One Bicycle Studio in MPLS:





And then there is the greatest flat fix video ever made, and my personal favorite, from Golden Saddle Cyclery in LA. I don't know who the "star" is but I like her.


 
Panty Raid: "How to Fix a Flat" from Panty Raid on Vimeo.

Monday, April 14, 2014

What was I saying about Mondays....

Oh yeah... that they are weird...
And then this happened:

HA!
Gotta pay the bills somehow I guess.


Its Monday. Lets get weird.

Its Monday and I feel weird.
Maybe its because I haven't been on the bike yet.
Or because it rained all day yesterday & today is 34 ("feels like" 24), windy and there is snow on the ground.
Or I'm thinking about how my lady is leaving me alone tomorrow for a week while she plays in Tennessee.
Or its all the coffee I've been sucking down this morning.
Who knows.
What I do know is that I need to get my taxes mailed and find a postcard to send for Gravel Worlds.
So I guess at some point I will have to venture outside.
Blah.
Normally this wouldn't be an issue but have I mentioned that it snowed?
Yeah... a couple days ago I was riding in shorts and short sleeves.
Whatever.

So weird....
Here is some visual weirdness for you.
Enjoy:




A co-worker told me about this one via Tracko and The Radavist (formerly Prolly is not Probably):



It has some American Psycho feel to it which reminded me of this which I thought was awesome:



And since all those fellas have beards... (and since my lady is leaving town):



Yeah Monday is being weird.
Guess I should get something done.
Maybe lunch.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Monday Music

Oh hell to the mother f'n yeah!
Pre ride tunes.
Enjoy. I know I am.


Monday, March 31, 2014

Playing catch up.

*This post I started the draft on a year ago about the Renegade Gents Race. The 2014 edition of the race is coming up this weekend and I'll be riding it again.

Welp, now that I live in Iowa (more on that later if you didn't know) it just makes sense that I:

1) Get a "fat" bike (well as soon as the Surly Krampus becomes available)
2) Ride some gravel events
And since currently #2 is much easily accomplished than #1 I did the Bike Iowa dot Com Renegade Gents Race on Saturday April 6th.
I had originally considered bringing a team up from KC to do the event. But then my life changed dramatically and I moved to Des Moines, IA to be with my lady, SFW, full time... 3 weeks before the weekend of the event.
I moved to a new town, into a new house & started a new job. Needless to say things got pretty hectic for a bit and the idea of doing the Gents Race kind of went on the back burner.
A week before the event I got asked if I could sub on a team (one I later learned the "internet famous" Guitar Ted was on) for a friend who was potentially going to pull out due to injury.
However, Bob turned out to be OK.
At that point I already had the day off and was getting excited at the possibility of doing the event. So the mad scramble to find a team began.
I found one.
Team Fry Guy (or Steve Fry Incorporated  how its listed in the results), headed up by fellow Bike World employee (he works at West while I am at the Urbandale location) Steve Fry.
He had assembled a mixed group of people for the event and I was added to the roster.

Team Fry Guy at the finish!
 Sam, Fry, yours truly, Loren & Amy at the finish
 Notice that Loren is wearing a Gravel Worlds Champion jersey...

I had never met any of my team until that morning and we only had about 5 minutes for introductions at the sign in at Kyle's Bikes before we had to get moving a mile or so down the road to the start.
The start was staggered based off  skill level etc. We were to start at 8:42 AM which meant when we got to the actual start we were about 10 minutes late.
Oops.

Once we got rolling I discovered pretty quickly that my excitement to ride the 65+ miles hard wasn't gonna work for all of us.
Although Loren and Steve could match my pace Amy, not having much gravel riding experience, rode cautiously in the sometimes surprisingly sandy terrain & Sam, on 29er (a sweet carbon Orbea), just couldn't match our pace.
Not wanting make my new teammates hate me by pushing the pace or by simply riding away, I had to reign myself in a few times over the course of the day.
Although I really felt I could ride faster on the pancake flat, yet windy course, its was after all a team event

Mechanically issues plagued Sam all day. Mostly a slowly leaking tubeless rear tire
Unfortunately he didn't realize he had a leak until just before the start and wasn't equipped with enough C02 or even a pump. Meaning many stops over the course of the day to C02 or pump up his tire with gear that luckily a couple of us had. 
The tire issue led to a bit of humor the first time we pumped it up.
After checking in (late) at the start line and before we got into the gravel we stopped to top off Sam's tire. Fry whipped out his pump and got to pumping. Unfortunately he didn't consider that this style of pump threads onto the valve stem and when he unthreaded it he inadvertently also unthreaded Sam's valve stem from the rim.
Woosh! All the air escaped the tire.
We all stood there for a minute dumbfounded. Then we kind of giggled making comments about how it was gonna be a long day considering that we hadn't really even got started.   
But in the end it was a good day. Long but good.
We all rode hard and had a good time. Passing the miles chatting about this and that or just lost in our own thoughts.





 The check point at the 1/2 mark was full of teams all chatting and refueling with food, beer or what have you.
Squirrel  was even walking around passing out strips of bacon.
Mmmm.... Bacon!

1/2 way mark. Having fun. Head winds suck.

Back onto the gravel we rode with a few teams briefly before they either rode away from us or us away from them.
By the end we were all getting tired and not only was Sam's rear tire leakage still an issue but he was fighting some leg cramps.
I dropped back to try and pull him along stopping frequently to let him stretch while I pumped some more air into his tire.



But we all made it to the finish together with smiles on our faces.
Beers, high fives & hugs went around our group.
We said our goodbyes and I found my ride back to DSM waiting for me.





Good times. I'll do it again next year*.

*And I will on April 5th.


 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday Films. Now with lots of linkage!

Saw this recently on Trackosaurusrex



Oh man... am I ready for some dry dirt.
My SSCX got a over haul this winter and it needs to get out!
New bar (Salsa Cowbell 2), stem (Bontrager), headset (Chris King of course), wheels (Surly/Phil Wood laced to HED Belgium Plus hoops), cranks (SRAM) & chain ring (Surly)
I ditched the orange Chris King headset, so the Nature Boy is all black & white with silver bits (Paul cantis). (no pics yet. sorry)
Gotta get it out.

Speaking of CX bike up grades...
The geared CX, All-City Macho Man, got a touch of an update as well.
It now sports a orange Chris King headset to go with the Amigo Orange Paul Mini-Moto brakes.
How's that for a cool colorway?
I'm thinking it needs a Salsa Cowbell 2 bar as well. Cause its oh so comfy.
The Macho has a new set of wheels on the way as well.
Just days before the CIRREM (report on that coming soon, well I hope so. Granted I wasn't expecting to do this post so we'll see what happens) I discovered cracks in the rims.
Not good. Not good at all.
So I moved my Mavic Aksium over to it from my Colnago.
Looks pretty hot. Yeah?
But its only temporary.
At some point I'll have my set of old school XTR hubs laced into another set of HED Belgium Plus rims to go back on it.
Also planning to re-space the XTR hubs down from 135 to 132.5 or 130 since, not being disc hubs, I doubt they will ever be used on a MTN rig again.

Since we are talking about bike upgrades....
The Colnago got some love this winter too.
*Damn zeke. No wonder you are always broke!*
I've wanted a straight legged steel road fork for the Colnago since I acquired it from a customer back in KC at Midwest Cyclery.
I'd searched and searched and could find nothing 1" that wasn't raked for track use or didn't cost $400.
Then it dawned on me... War Axe Bicycles makes forks.
Even better, I know those guys!
I contacted Sam and he was eager to build my desired fork.
A few months later it arrived.
Its tits.



Currently the Colnago sports a set of Bontrager RXL wheels that are on loan/demos from Bike World.
They are nice wheels. So nice I wanna set.
And I'd probably have some if I hadn't just missed out on the 50% off  wholesale for Trek University ninjas deal.
Ah well. I ain't got no money (as shown above).
The Mavic's will be back on there soon enough.

OK. That about covers it for this post.
There is more to talk about: my first year in Des Moines, gravel racing & the new racing team that I joined.
But that will have to wait for a different day.

Have a good weekend!






Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I don't wanna sound like I've drank the Kool-Aid but...




Trek having the best of the best in Cyclocross on their bikes says something.


 





And the 2014 Factory Team looks promising as well.


 

That being said.. don't go thinking you'll find me riding Trek.
(Its a no money issue not a anti Trek issue)
Unless, of course, I score a classic steel frame from somewhere (although I'd prefer a classic Bontrager)
Or some (clearly) insane person provides me a Boone or a Madone.
Project One versions of course.
After all, when a (clearly) insane person is providing you with a free bike of this caliber, you pull out all the stops.
You aren't paying for it. Granted you probably will in some fashion or another.
The provider is (clearly) insane after all.

Besides....
My stable is pretty full*and if I need anything I need to up date some of my components.
Replace a shifter or two.
Chains
Bartape
Tires
Ah... The little things...


*(even if the bike owner formula is n+1... But don't tell my lady I said that)


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

CIRREM preview. Kinda.



*This post started out as an email to the CIRREM founder, KC. In the process of cutting and pasting parts from the email to the blog it got all screwy (looks fine here all kinds of weird on my end). Instead of rewriting it in its entritey (I could try but it would never get published) I am going as is.*

Although the 2014 edition of the CIRREM sold out 30 minutes after registration opened I managed to get on the waiting list.
A week or so later there was an opening and I ponied up the $$ and I was in.

When I moved to Iowa in March '13 I wanted to put gravel riding and racing in my life. 

And I've done just that (The Renegade Gents Race and the Iowa Spring Classic from Cumming - drafts for both posts on both were written. I should proof and post them)

With the CIRREM I fear I have bitten off more than I can chew.


 

                                


Sunday I set out on the bike with the intent to ride the complete CIRREM course.
It didn't work out that way. 
Woo.. it was brutal.
I did most of the north west loop. 
Hilly greasy gravel.
I missed bits of the actual course due to wrong turns.
But I definitely got a taste of what is in store February 22nd.


Bombing down the hill on Old Portland Ave from the North McDonald cemetery the greasy gravel made me super nervous and the truck coming up the hill and fish tailing because it was so slick didn't not help.

                       

I got to the bottom and thought how happy I was that I wouldn't have to ride up it. 
But a missed turn while coming back south on N River Trail meant that I had to do just that.
 Ended up walking the last bit. 

I bailed off the gravel when N River Trail hit Cumming Road.
I rode the pave back to the Cumming Tap (probably not much shorter than sticking with the route but it was smoother) . Had a recovery beer and called in the "team car" for pick up.
I was cooked.




In hindsight I should have ridden a different bike. Although the Colnago with 28c tires is great on gravel a cyclocross bike with  knobby tires and a more up right position would have more comfortable, in the long run,  for that slick hilly terrain.

Fun all the same. Brutal but fun.
CIRREM is gonna hurt.

The actual CIRREM route: http://connect.garmin.course/6

What I acutally rode : http://www.strava.com/activities/105978453

A few photos in no particular order: