Headquarters for the Slender Fungus Cycling Association

Headquarters for the Slender Fungus Cycling Association
Brewers of Hardy Rides.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

November 28th, 2006

Hi to all, just have too much to talk about. ON past monday we received the p bikes from Italy and on tuesday we got into Ken's Avalanche and cruised to the awesome factory in Waterford Wisconsin. I was on bike overload. So much to see. We were hosted by Dave who kinda runs the show at Waterford. Ex Trek man and boy does this guy love bikes. We also met Mark who is in charge of designing the bikes. We then had a tour of the factory. we saw were the tubing and lugs get picked and mitered. Then the different work stations where frames get put together , then the paint station and finally the inspection and boxing. Waterford also makes Gunnar, Heron and projects for Rivendell Bicycle Works and also welds Some specialty Bmx frames. They have also welded for Salsa Cycles. Man do these guys know STeel. Most impressive was seeing the bikes "Naked" before all the work gets covered by primer and paint. I love the lug work on the Waterfords and the clean tig welding on the gunnars. Anyone interested in an quality american made, tubed, painted frame Contact Dave at Waterford and you will not be dissapointed.
When we got done with the tour we went downtown Waterford to Grannys and had a great lunch of Bacon Cheeseburgers, fries and homemade soup. We also brought back a Gunnar Ruffian 29er and a plum colored Gunnar crosshairs. I am in bike heaven.
Today it was a real mess out and I rode the Gunnar streetdog to Argonne and busted a nut there. It was cold and wet there and the hills really hurt after a while with the 42x16. I definitely have to tone down the gearing and consider a cross tire in the back to replace to top touring. Got home and ate like a lion.
We darted to the Art Institute for Jamie to photograph a painting then Pizza at Pompei to end the day. Finally a great day off. Tonite we expect a snow storm and we will see what happens with it. Iam prepared. Thinking about Lake winter boots, craft jacket and some new warmer gloves.
Tomorrow more on setting up your bike for winter riding. Received Brass bell form RivBike, acme reflectors. Great stuff. Girls like the Ivo lip balm.

Monday, November 27, 2006

November 27th, 2006

Hi to all. Just had a chance to cover some writing after working all day and coming home to a load of chores. Both girls are in bed and snoozing. I forgot to upload my other picture from Turkey day. It is a beaver dwelling that I saw on the way to Sycamore.
Today at work things were chilled. I did feel like shit almost the most of the day. I dont know what it was. Anyway doesn' t matter. Towards the end of the day the Ups lady showed up and we saw the Gita Tape on the Box! Yeaaaaah!!!!! Man we carefully opened that box to find some incredible frames from two italian builders that have theire last names start with P.
Anyway we will talk about these bikes at some other time.
Rode to work on the gunnar fixie and it felt a lot better than my Bianchi Cross bike. I did discover a flat on it and decided to change the crappy thin tire it had with a meaty 700x32c Top Touring. Now I gots meats. Been wondering about a lot of things and the the thing that most bugs me is the lack of time that I have. I don't know why life has become so hectic. I want to be able to ride more and worry less about nonsense. I think the biggest issue is that the area that we live in has become expensive and we are slowly not being able to live here. Perhaps the only solution will be to move to a different part of the country were things are not so caotic.
Anyway, I will be slowly rid myself of the surly hubbed wheels that I own. I don't recommend a bolt on hub on a MTB. I will eventually get philwood hubs for the Ruffian and complete that bike as I like it.
Tomorrow we visit Waterford Precision Cycles in Wisconsin and I hope to come back with some photos.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

November 26th, 2006

Nice time off everything and now it is back to the ratrace. Thanksgiving day was a blast. I started the day by leaving the house at 8 am and heading out towards my father in laws house in Sycamore. The ride is about 50 miles. The sun was out and it was rather mild for the end of November. I rode the trusty Gunnar Fixie. I rode towards Batavia thru Fermi lab and all the while I thought about how cool it was that Jamie had sent me out on the bike. She was to get the girls ready , pack the car and drive all the way there. I felt blessed. I took an old backpack from Billabong with a couple of bananas my inhaler, camera and some water. I was afraid to miss out on this one. Damn , I did not even inflate my tires. I got to Batavia and headed north to Geneva, then St Charles hunting down the Great Western trail which runs along 64 and goes all the way to Sycamore. The trail is flat, straight and gravel. Man if you want to meditate, chill , think, that is the way to go. I kept a good pace since I was targeting 1130 for arrival time. I took two short breaks to strech and shoot some pictures. I took the second break to strech and eat my naners. I was dressed perfect. Shorts, Knee warmers, wool socks, wool undershirt, jersey, windbreaker, my beloved craft balaclava, cotton cap and my windproof gloves. Bike, position, everything was perfect. Ran into Ken in Wasco and said a quick hello and kept booking. I arrived in 3 hrs 20 minutes with no pain..... as if the ride had been too short.
Thankgiving dinner was great and it was cool to hang out with the fam. Friday was work, saturday work and today Sunday we went with JAmie to Argonne and did two good laps of the gravel. My gunnar had a flat so I took the Bianchi. It was really weird riding gears and freewheeling and also the low (conventional) bars on the bianchi felt really strange. The bike also felt loopy. Riding a fixie offroad with a quick steering fork and skinny tires is like cheating. I hope Matt Chester comes back, that dude sure knows a lot about position.

Image #1: The Great Western Trail St Charles to Sycamore
Image#2: Taking a break along the trail
Image#3: Almost two hours on the bike and twenty to go.

Peace to all,

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

November 22nd, 2006

Good day to all! Hope everyone is psyched about the Thanksgiving Holiday. It sure is cool not to have to go to work for a day. Sometimes it makes the hugest difference. Anyway, I was contemplating on doing a 55 mile ride out to my inlaws tomorrow. I really did not know how it was going to go thru with my three commanders at home but the thing is that I got clearance to fly!
I am riding to Geneva, then St Charles and then I am going full gravel mode on the Great Western Trail. I will be riding my fixie and too bad nobody else is going with me. I estimate it is going to take me about 3 hours to get there. I am sending a change of clothes with the car and plan to take a nice hot shower.
I told Bill today about the interview and he agreed to it. I think it is going to be awesome to interview him. Bill is so hard-core it makes us look like twinkies.
Today we received more plastic bikes by Felt. They are nice, light, strong and the new shimano ultegra and dura ace shifters have a much more positive feel to them. Good job Shimano!
Now that we are getting the 07 models in we are going to have bikes everywhere. I am glad we moved some tandems thru e-bay. That sure is a good way to get rid of crap. My latest thing has been to sell crap on ebay to buy new crap. I have almost paid off my Gunnar Ruffian by selling old parts.
Bill passed me an awesome, really heavy 100% wool sweater from REI and also a brand new pair of amfid pearlie tights. Man that guy sure is generous. Thanks a mil Bill. He is also in the works to convert his appalachian crossie to a crossie fixie. The poor guy is hooked on fix. Right now he is commuting on a fix crosscheck. More details later about his rides.
Pegorettis and Pinarellos should be coming in soon. They should have been here already but the forgot to ship them. Damn computers.
I hope tomorrow a bunch of you get a chance to ride. It sure helps my head when I do so. As for now I wish all a good holiday.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

November 21st,2006

An action packed day at the shop after another long night full of chores, papers and late night sleeping. Got up early and finally took a long shower and shaved the grizzlies off my face. Built a couple of high end road bikes and dealt with some customers. The day went by fast and before I knew it it was dark and I was pedaling home. I really miss my early dismissal job and would foward to starting early and leaving early. I get up late and go to bed late and I feel like my day is a mess. Somehow I need to find more time, make changes, do freakin' something. I don't know... would welcome some help.....some comments. Kind of lost.... you know what I mean???
Rode the gunnar street dog again. I had to go with the race face post to get some setback. I did jack my ritchey stem a la Matt chester and I really love the position for riding off road. The only thing is that when you do that you also shorten the cockpit, thus resulting in a long ass custom stem to give you the height and keep the cockpit area open. Matt Chester is a genius and I hope that one day he can build bikes again. I will be the first one in line. I wonder if some other builders will try to imitate his style. I have seen a pryiing mantis crossie by Vulture Cycles that seems to be like a MC.
Today I also received Jamie's awesome Melanzana Wind Bloc Jacket direct from Leadville Colorado. MADE IN THE U.S.A. and next time you buy North Face or any other hardcore mountain wear that is made and China and think you are hardcore..... you really aren't.
Buy less, buy american and support the jobs that make the people in this country pay for rent and food. Corporate support only makes the glutton V.P.s even richer. Been there , done that and regret having to have learned such a bad lesson. I have so far boycotted the following corporations: Walmart, McDonalds and all other chain fast food places, Best Buy and any other big box stores.
Lately I have shopped from Waterford Precision Cycles, Melanzana and Rivendell.
I hope to get in some riding for Thanksgiving. On that day we should all thank our president for the great things he has given us: War, more poverty for low income, a larger deficit, logging in National Forests, Paranoia, Corporate favoritism, Tax breaks for Suv purchases, and the list goes on hasta el infinito.
If you are out there, ride your bike, do something cool, boycott, boycott, boycott

Monday, November 20, 2006

Novemeber 20th, 2006

I did not write yesterday because It was such a busy day. I really don't want to get into any details about it. At 11:30 pm while Jamie was writing her paper I decided to go on a night right with the Gunnar. I got dressed and headed out with the Nite Rider, front and rear flasher. It was really cold and the cars were already covered in frost. I rode towards Hinsdale and then took York Rd. North and grabbed the trail that runs along it. As I crossed 31st street I was happy to be riding on some cool gravel. I took the path all the way past Roosevelt rd and then turned around took 31st west to all the way to Cass and then home. It was a cool ride and I got a chance to release some steam from the hectic day. I don't understand what has happened with the time during the day. All I know is that everything is moving very quickly and I just see sunrise and sunset. I would like to be able to ride with some other people at night but everyone is busy and just plain thinks it is too crazy. Work today was busy and we sold stuff. My second buckle broke and I am still waiting to get new buckles from our rep. This weekend I hope to test out the ruffian 29er and see how it rides. I really like the streetdog and wish I could find and old Cinelli Unicanitor Pista plastic saddle for it. RIght now I am riding a Kashimax bmx saddle and it is really stiff. More tomorrow if time permits.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

November 18th, 2006

Just going to go quick on this one. We had a rough day at the shop dealing with rough customers. It might just be that time of year when a lot of people get into the freak mode. Anyway, I don' want to spend anymore cyberspace on this one. Did not really get a chance to ride this morning. Some lady told me that it was unbelievable that I rode 6 miles a day to work. I really did not want to tell her that last year I was plugging in 45 a day on my Surly steam-pooper. Anyway, I feel like a fatso and because of work, kids and all the crap that is going on riding has falling into the unwanted category. I have made brave attempts at changing this but it has not been easy. I have left the Gunnar at work because now I dont feel like I deserve a new bike. I did sell a bunch of crap to get it but there it is. Tomorrow Jamie is opening at the bucks and Franzi is going on a fieldtrip. That leaves Giugi and me all day. The shellac thing work really well. Two things: Use fresh tape and give it 6 coats and let it dry hard. It is easy to feel it dry but the stuff underneath is still soft. I will go to bed and dream of better riding days. I hope you enjoy the photos

Friday, November 17, 2006

November 17th, 2006

I had to skip yesterday and take a break from the computer screen. Sometimes it is easy to start looking up stuff and get carried away. I was also busy buiding up the Gunnar Ruffian 29er singlespeed. I do have some photos that I will upload so you can get a glimpse of my new dog.
Build was staight on. I can't speak high enough of the guys at Gunnar (Waterford). The process was a breeze, the frame is perfect and everything I wanted was on there. I actually asked for simplicity and they delivered. Regular Bottom Bracket, Horizontal dropouts and no disc mounts, I like my V-Brakes fine enough.
Today was a slow day at the shop and we worked on Fleischkopfs new fixie. We cloth taped and shellaced his bars and they look awesome. Tomorrow I am taking the long way to work.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

November 15th, 2006

Today was one of those awesome days that don't come along too often. At 7am I met fleischkopf and we went for a killer ride. We rode fix all the way to Argonne and then took the fixes on the gravel. Got home at almost 9am had an awesome breakfast and hung out with my girls. At work it was slow and cool to chill out. WE busted out the grill and had brats and chili for lunch. Talk about food coma. I was done for the rest of the day. Around 5 pm Ups showed up with my new Gunnar 29er and it sure was a thrill to yank that dog out of the box. Yellow, vicious straight blade fork, conventional bb, horizontal forks and yes,yes yes no damn disc tabs. I know discs are here to stay but I still can stop pretty well with my xtr vbrakes and paul levers.
After work we fixied over to La Grange to check on some new spin bikes that hopefully I will be servicing. The guy showing the bikes was a meat head and totally burned me saying the bikes needed no maintenance right in front of my boss. I hope someone burns him too and he is out of a job. ├śne thing is to be a fleischkopf but meatheads suck.
The photo above is of two guys I really admire. Grant Petersen with shades and Sheldon Brown, the smartest bike dude alive. Grant is a great innovator and I have a lot of respect for him. Visit www.rivbike.com and www. harriscyclery.com.
Hope all is good in the homefront. Tonight I will dream as to how I will build that Ruffian.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

November 14th, 2006

Today was one of those Gloomy days that if you don't ride or drink several gallons of coffee you are bound to get depressed. I got up early and did a bunch of errands before work. I rode the trusty Gunnar to the grocery store then to the bank and then to work. I am really digging the upright bars on it. Picture tomorrow. This position lets you rest lightly on the bike instead of dropping your weight on the handlebars. Offroad riding is not about aerodynamics. I switched to a narrow cross tire in the front and the rear will follow suit soon also.
The shop was slow and we killed time all day. Inventory gave Peter and I a headache and the few customers we had were a real joy. Bill also stopped by as usual and that was good. As a matter of fact I will be interviewing Bill soon and we will see how you stack up to him.
Tomorrow I am organizing a 7:00 a.m. riding heading south, doing one loop in Argonne and being back in Westmont by 9:00 a.m. I have to instigate something cause I am going crazy. Been selling lots of parts in Ebay and I feel good about my new found minimalist movement. I am down to 10 bikes from the over 30 that I had when I lived at the house. Sure makes moving easier too.
That all for today, Getting up early tomorrow.

Monday, November 13, 2006

November 13th, 2006

Hi y'all. Good riding today at the Water Fall Glenn. We did the reverse loop and finally came to the conclusion that going couter clock wise is harder. I pedaled the Gunnar witn the 42x16 and wish I had an extra tooth in the back and a couple more in my mouth. I am still running the slicks and will be converting to crossies soon. I am thinking about doing my first interview soon. I also want to do a write up about our hispanic friends that ride in the dark.
Argonne was empty today and the weather was kind of chilly. Slight drizzle that sticks to your glasses. The rest of the day was spent running chores like an idiot. Man do I hate driving. The plan is do downsize our belongings and move sowewhere quieter. I am, believe it or not, down to 10 bikes. Yes, you heard right ten bikes.
Eddy Merckx Motorola
Legnano race bike
Mondonico race bike
Heron road bike
Bridgestone RB-T
Gitane Track
Gunnar Fixie
Voo-doo Single Speed mountain Bike
Peugeot px-10 singlespeed
Bianch Cyclocross

But we must add the Gunnar 29er that is still being prepared in Wisconsin. The Gitane Track is going to go to keep it an even 10. The salsa bell lap handlebars worked like a dream. I am hoping to find a Cinelli Plastic Seat somewhere.
Favorite Reads of late
Rivendell Reader
Road Atlas

Peace to all,

Sunday, November 12, 2006

November 12th, 2006

Finally! After a few follies with riding I was able to make it to Water Fall Glen with Jamie. We did 20 miles of the crushed limestone and it really felt good. The first loop was really a warm up and an evaluation as to how much fitness we have lost. Jamie has maintained some fitness from running. I have lost all what I had gained last year from commuting to Chicago and doing 45 miles on the fixie on a daily basis. Man, I was chasing busses last year. Anyway no reason to complain it will all come back. I did set up the Gunnar with more upright bars and today I went ahead and also switched my racing italo bars for some hick Salsa bell laps. These bars are shallower and wider for more torque on the hills. Today I ran a 42x16 and was able to do all the hills. Maybe a 42x17 would allow me to get into the grass. Tires were Michelin 700x30 dynamics. Which are slicks and worked fine, I guess. My plastic bmx saddle is a joy and it is also nice to think that it will not rot if it gets wet.
One layer of wool and a windbreaker. Lots of fat to burn. The trail was busy with runners, hikers, photographers, moutainbikers, roller skiers, and believe or not people training there huskies with sleds ( with wheels). What a busy place.
I will soon start posting more photos of some stuff I have been doing. Tomorrow I will be riding in Water Fall Glenn again. This time I am pulling the burley with Giulietta. See what happens.
The Gunnar Ruffian 29er that I ordered is probable going to show up soon. I am uncertain as to how I am going go build it. This thing is going to be yellow with horizontal fork ends (not drop outs) and a conventional bb. I am not having any disc mounts. I am going to run conventional brakes on it. Interested in Bike art look up Rudi Nadler. Need crazy handlebars look up Jeff JOnes. I loaded an image of my rear wheel. Surly track hub with Salsa Delgado rims, build with dt spokes and running a new surly cog. Tomorrow is another day and I wish all a good one.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

November 11,2006

The image above is My illegitimate son fleischkopf. Sometimes we have special projects at work that require two certified mechanics. We had to tune up a dual suspension Huffy and also make some modifications to a tag a long to make it work
with the huffy. The initial trial was quite dangerous. We rode around hinsdale and this vehicle wiggled like a gummy worm. Fleisckopf could not keep from laughing and called it "the best day of my life".
Tommorow is Sunday and I am praying that no extracurricular stuff shows up. I really need to ride. I am hoping to hit the forest with Jamie and Giugi and get some fresh november air and some miles in the legs.
Last night I checked out art by Rudi Nadler,beautiful frames by Ira Ryan and ultra long distance moutain bike racer Jeff Kerkove. More tomorrow.
Ride on Sunday,if you can

Friday, November 10, 2006

November 10th, 2006

Friday and the inventory at the shop is not ready. For anyone who is interested in opening a shop beware of the million and one parts you are going to have to carry. Our shop is over 50 years old and there is so much stuff that I have had a headache for a week. We closed at 6:00 p.m and saddled up for the ride home. Man was it pouring, Man was is dark. I rode home with shorts and enjoyed the relief. I have been running a Gunnar street dog for a while. I have settled on Mafac cantilevers for brakes and today I mounted a Kashimax BMX saddle which is plastic and does not get soaked like my Rolls. I run surly hubs on salsa delgado rims. I reversed my ritchey stem a al Matt Chester and found a new bike under me. I hope to continue tomorow and for you guys that are still up good night.