Headquarters for the Slender Fungus Cycling Association

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

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

December 27th, 2006

Hi to all. Hope everybody has recuperated from Christmas and is ready for New Years. Today I woke up very tired and not in the mood for a ride. Could be that all they grey cloud cover has knocked down my resistance a bit. Today work was dead and boring and also we went on the mandatory Bike shop cut the hours bulshit. Its hard enough to survive at what we earn wrenching but when we go into chop hour mode things really start to suck. I have definitely got to get in gear to get some extra work and get rid of some bills. The summer is good, with tons of hours and overtime.
I have still not found a car to replace the civic. If anybody out there has an idea about a car 3-4k in price let me know.
Tomorrow I am getting on my bike to get rid of these head bugs and to think about what I am going to do. Got a bunch of birthdays and a couple of births coming up soon also. All this stuff is just bad timing.
On a happier note we are all healthy and the weather has cooperated inmensely. I have been working hard to shed some weight and get ready for Trans Iowa at the end of April. I should give Bill a call and organize a ride for tomorrow.
have a good one.
photo above of my trusty Gunnar STreetdog on the Great Western Trail. Still running the salsa cross bars before I converted to the Moosemitts. You know my pals thinks the mitts are dorky but when it is freezing and you can ride with fingerless gloves I think that is a luxury. There is no reason to get home with cold fingertips.
enuff said. Moose Mitts rule!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

December 26th, 2006 Post xmas ride

Hope you all had a good xmas and that you received all the presents that you wanted. I received two important gifts. First of all "Zorba the Greek" on DVD. An epic movie which had a huge impact on my upbringing. If you can rent it and watch it. Second I got a good copy of the Koran with English and Arabic text. I have a masters in literature and I want to read this book and learn more about what goes on in the middle-east.
My ride to my mother in laws house was epic to say the least. I covered 50 miles on the fixed gear and did some country riding. I am so pleased to be able to cover such ground at the end of December. I do feel guilty though and think that we should be covered in snow and ice skating or something like that. The wind was out of the north west and was at about 10-15mph and kept me suffering for the first 40 miles. AT that mark I turned left on Hinckley road and headed 10 miles south to Mamas house. With the tailwind I was cruising at 23-25 mph and let me tell you it was really good. I switched to a 42x15 for the road and 42x18 for dirt maneuvers. Rode the moose mitts with fingerless wool ragg gloves. Rode amfib tights with wool undershirt and windbreaker. Craft balaclava, craft hat and my trusty Lake winter boots with woool socks. I was comfy.
Tomorrow going for a quick 20 miler most likely on the fixie.
I'm out,
Photo above on McGirr road on my way to Hinckley rd. I am heading west and the wind is north west 10-15mph. Bleak,bleak.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Hi all, just want to wish everybody on this planet a good holiday season. Whether you are tight white, Hispanic, Black, Iraqi, Afgan, Irani, North, South, EASt,. WEst, AFrica, Comunist, etc,etc. I love all you people. Hopefully for 07 I will read and see less people get killed. Man, hows about hearing some good news for a change. Lets starting getting interested in the O8 election because that is going to be an important one. This is our chance to change this hostile regime that has taken over our country and the world. Why the hell is everyone so hostile? Why are we as american so hostile to one another?
Lately beside getting broadsided the other day I have not had any close encounters with cars while on my bike. Knock on wood.
Pedal reflectors, reflectors on shoes, spoke reflectors, rear light, front flasher, nightrider and lots of defensive playing out there.
I have been really digging the gunnar. I am soooo used to riding the fixed its not even funny. Today I laced some Pasela Tourguards on the bianch cross bike and the bike felt like dookie. I kept trying to stop using my legs and I felt like a crash was about to happen. I will stick to the Gunnar until I lose the mandatory 25 pounds that I want to lose.
The moose mitts have been a saviour and I can't tell you what it is to ride in liners and have toasty hands.
On Christmas day I will attempt another 50 miler to my mother in laws house for the Christ holiday. I will take the Gunnar and pack lots of water. I have noticed that I sweat a lot even in winter and that I dehydrate quite easily.
I hope you all have a good holiday season and if you can squeeze a ride in there.
picture one is me along the Great Western Trail en route to Sycamore Illinois
picture two is the Great Western Trail that goes from St Charles to Sycamore. That day it was soft and really hard to ride on.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

December 21st, 2006 Glad to be alive*

Sorry for the delay in posting. Last Sunday we celebrated Christmas with the family since the inlaws are going away for real xmas. I had the luck to get out there and ride my bike. It is a 55 mile ride and again, like thanksgiving, I was fortunate enough to have decent weather. I rode the gunnar fix this time with a 4x18 combination and let me tell you about spinning all the way. Around the 50 mile mark I was starting to dream of a freewheel. The last 17 miles to Sycamore I took the Great Western Trail which is gravel. Thanks to a lot of rain and above freezing temps the gravel was like playdoh again. Hung out and had a couple Bananas by Mr Beavers territory. Nice ride indeed and all worked out well. Arrived and took a long shower and feasted like a Greek God.
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday started my Trans Iowa training. That means getting up butt early and meeting up with Bill. You see Bill rides everday of the year since he does not own a car and must get to work on bike. He leaves promptly at 5:50 in the morning so you have a dependable source for riding. We have been riding fix for a while and he is a great partner. Some mornings were really cold and the riding was not easy. I rode with him almost to his work and then I branched off onto the bemis trail and headed towards the zoo. These rides turn out shy of 40 miles and this is what I need ride now. I received some moose mitts from Bill as a gift and have converted the Gunnar to riser bars to accomodate these. I will shoot some photos and post soon.
I had some knee issues with my new lake boots and the problem is that I can't get my ball of the foot over the spindle, which is where I like to be. Pushing the cleat all the way foward only allows me to get a cm in front of the axle. I guess I should contact Lake and ask for help. Otherwise the boots are phenomenal and keep your feet toasty.
The ruffian had already some transformations. I switched wheels to Deore XT hubs with mavic 519 toring rims 36hole and WTB nanoraptor 700x44c tires. My bike now weighs in at 24 pounds and I can still lose a pound without going crazy or to carbon.
I have been really excited about riding lately and I feel that 07 will be good . I just want to have the time to get out and clear my head and turn the pedals.
Today we decided to take a drive with the wife and the 3 year old. Going down the road and bam! we get broad sided by an 18 year old who failed to see a huge red stop sign. I banged my head on the driver window and still feel kinda funny. Luckily noboby got really hurt. My car has almost 4k dollars in damage and most likely will not be repaired. If I get a check for 3k I don't know what I will buy and for sure I am going to get stuck buying a new roofrack. So as MC says: "Slow Down" .
I hope someday people will stop using their cell phones, eating, drinking, textmessaging, grooming, applying make up, reading, writing, shuffling thru Ipods, etc etc while they drive. Stop all this nonsense because you are going to kill people.
Tomorrow I will be back on my Gunnar and be able to know how the impact affected me.
Keep well and keep your eyes open. Nobody is watching for you.
I'm out,

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

December 13th, 2006

Hi to all and hope you are well. Yesterday I got caught in a cloud burst and arrrive home so wet I could not go up the stairs. Nothing could stop the rain and I am sure glad I was only 4 miles away from home. This morning I woke up at 5 to do an early ride. I met up with some road riders but was unable to spin the 42x18 fast enough to stay with them. It was 6 am and we were cruising down Burlington at 24 miles per hour. ????????
I turned away from the group and headed south to do some more human miles and try to get into the preserve. Once in the forest the gravel was really soft and It felt like I was riding on Playdoh. I struggled pedal to pedal till I got out of the woods. Todays south wind was bity and I cursed at not having taken the amfib tights that are wind resistant. My lake boots worked flawless. I got home truly wrecked and was really not looking foward to work.
I got rid of my crap tires and finally put on some fresh meats. I went for the true and tried Pasela tourguards in 700x35c. Lots of rubber, lots of air, and man these things run straight. Final mileage for the day 40 miles. Figure I post a pic of me in case we run into each other somewhere. Probably listening to a conversation but thinking about oh.....some phil wood hubs,,,,,sugino cranks, craft crap, frame, oh maybe just riding whenever I feel like it.
I'm out,

Sunday, December 10, 2006

December 10th, 2006 part II

To satisfy the tagging here it goes.

1) Born in colorado, raised in new york and buenos aires
2) Escaped during dictatorship thru Paraguay to come back to ol' USA
3) Bike freak that once had up to 32 bikes.
4) Worked the corporate job for 8 years, quit, wrench at Hartley's Cycles and loving it.
5) I speak German, Spanish, Greek and some English. Always pardon my grammar
6) I built one of the first fixed gears for messengers almost 20 years ago. Got article about singlespeeds in New York Times

I'm out,

December 10th, 2006

No photo today but a good write up on incredible weather. Was very nice this morning and met up with Pete, Michael, Dan and Chris for a roadride. I swear that is a rarity. I wore the new Lake boots and must say they are very warm and comfortable. Also wore some Pearl amfib tights, my cannondale jacket, craft balaclava and hat. I was happy , toasty and not wanting to come home. We did a 30 mile loop know as the fruit loop and it was all done on road. It was a bit windy out of the south and that is what brought the warm weather. It was really fun to go on a road ride with a group. My gunnar perfomed flawless as usual. After the ride ended I decided to ride more. Man, I wasn't done yet! I rode out to naperville and ended up home with 52miles in december on a fix sporting a 42x18. I was so excited I forgot to get tired. Did laundry and hung out with Giugi. Did some garbage picking in the rich neighborhood and then went to the forest for a while. Jamie had to work at Starbucks and had to wake up superearly so she is cashed.
Bill dropped the Moose Mitts over at the shop and I will sport those on the Gunnar Ruffian. I am interested in trying the ERGon grip, so Bluecolnago give me some feedback on them. I see you sport them on the green machine. Hope you all have a happy monday. Chicago is supposed to get great weather this week. Blue Colnago I also noticed that your trails were clear. Didn't you guys get a snow storm like we did. Our trails are solid blocks of ice and unrideable.

Saturday, December 9, 2006

December 9th, 2006

I took the image above specifically for BlueColnago. The build of the bike went o.k. I must point out that the bearings in the headset just sit in the frame. So whoever builds this puppy please put copious grease in there. I was missing the Cannondale specific ferrules for the rear brake and that is why they look so loopy. Wheels were good and true, Mechanical Avids were tedious to set up but came out nice. Shifter was dead on with the sti and 105 rear. Bike looks tough and clean. I did oil all cables with Boeshields T9. Lots of controversy about oiling cables. My pal Miroslav and and I have been wrenching for 20 years. You live in Chicago or the midwest Oil your cables.
Carbon seatpost, no pedals, comfy gelly tape and good gooseneck and bars. I don't know about running the sissy cross levers with the discs. Feels like they screw up the action on the discs. The avids also have a 2.5mm allen bolt where you can increase the tension on the return spring. Buy this bike if you want a go everywhere bike. Paint is flat matte black and the decals are somehow clearcoated.
Tomorrow we get a warmup and will do a roadride on fixies, singles and whatever. Can't ride the woods according to Dr. Roe. because it is a skating rink. Pal Tomas took a good spill on the Ice and I guess he was sporting some Nok's . Can't get our
70's inferno disco star on the tree to work. Changes the bulbs to no avail. Might have to hunt for a new one. Met a good mtb'er today. Runs a Bianchi SASS with a boingy fork. Might hook up to do some track with him. Anybody outthere with any word On transiowa v3????
I'm out and

Friday, December 8, 2006

december 8th, 2006

Hi to all. Hope you are frozen to the bone and that your cheeks hurt like mine do. Been riding to work lately has been a chores. Come on! its only 3 miles and I can't believe that it can get so bad out. I was sporting my craft balaclava and craft storm hat and I was still cold. I received the Lake winter boots and they are outrageous. Really heavy duty, nice closure system, nice leather and a very comfy fit. I wore them all day at work and they felt fine. I rode home with them and I did not feel none of the wind go thru them. More coments on the boots as they get more miles on them. Been riding the Gunnar exclusively.
Sent 20 postcards with the hope to get picked for TransIowa race at the end of april. Man that would be fun to do that. Too bad no body around here wants to go. I think it would be a blast to race out there. Will be riding the Ruffian more often now so If I get picked I will be set on what kinda bike Im going to ride. I am definetely riding One gear. I have not decided to run single or fixed yet.
Bill ordered me some Moose Mitts for winter riding. I will have some pictures up from the lake boots and the mitts soon.
Today we received the awesome Cannondale Cross Disc Bike. Now here is a go anywhere machine. I see the posibilities endless with that bike. You have to see the mud clearance on the front fork to believe it. Sensible stuff on it. NO suspension(thank God) No goofy Cannondale stuff. Alu frame, alu fork, 105 rear , tiagra front, truvativ cranks and Disc-disc brakes.
Im out,

Sunday, December 3, 2006

December 3rd, 2006

Just chilling out in the refrigerator which is where we live now. It was 60 last week until somebody plugged in the freezer and left the door open. What can we do? In the old days it was way winter by now and unfortunately we have gotten spoiled with the mild winters. Hey........wake up it is supposed to be cold in winter. Your stinking cars are warming up the place and that is why we ride deeper into the year. I need to move to a poorer area just to get away from Car bling. I am tired of looking at hummers, suvs, benzes and bmers, then Dick Richard Dickenson rolls down the road in a Bentley coupe to outdo everybody, But wait...........it Dondo Corleone driving the badass Maserati Cuatriporti (four door you single tongue people). I shake my head in desbelief and I feel like getting off my bike and crying for mercy. I rode to work today and my tires were soft and hard at the same time. I had a hard time turning the 42x18 and the 3 miles home seemed like 30.
Shop was dead but ebay saved our hinds for a couple more days. Billabong showed up all snotnosed with a huge grin on his face. He tood his litespeed cross bike and Fixed it with an Eno. STraight bars, Alaska Gauntlets and speedplay frogs. Talk about a cool bike. I did rodeo laps in the shop while Ken looked on. Listened to some Argentinian Music today and drank a whole pot of coffee. Nice relaxing day. I hope Argonne will clear up soon as I would like to move my ass over there for a some laps.
The picture is of my crappy crank on the gunnar. Some old 105 crank 175mm long with a Suntour 42 tooth chainring turning a cheapo sram chain. Works for me. Save your money and buy good bikes. Crap bikes are cool but in the end they are still crap.

Friday, December 1, 2006

December 1st, 2006

I hate to say this but as I look at this date I wonder how the year went by so fast. So many things happened and at such a fast speed that I feel like Elf spinning at a revolving door. Change of job, bike shop, girls at home, repairs, getting rid of bikes. Sometimes my head really hurts. Sometimes I just want to throw the towel in. I am really backed up on phone calls and I know a lot of people out there need repairs. It has been a chore to accomplish these repairs living in the apartment. I can't believe I got suckered into this situation, I can' t believe I am stuck where I am. No garage, no garden, no porch, no efing nothing. Four walls and two flights of stairs. I feel I made a huge mistakes somewhere and all I try to do is patch it up with the tiny baby bandaids.
At some point next year things are going to change like crazy. I will no longer be in the 4 waller, I will have a place for repairs and I will call people when they leave messages. I have been wanting to send photos to my aunt in Greece for about 6 months know.
I need to switch to another topic.
I did ride today in the snow and crap. Wasn't too bad. ON the way home lots more black ice and impatient car drivers. Hello, I am balancing on two wheels dumkopf!!
The shop was dead and we were dead. We listened to album after album and after a while it all sounded the same. Ricardo came to visit and that was cool. Got some music from Argentina on C.D.
Tomorrow Saturday I hope we sell some kids bikes or something. I need to get out of the rut that I am in and do something better. I hope you guys are doing well. For winter riding I did lower my gearing from 42x16 to 42x18. I was going to go with full fenders but I use this bike offroad and it would be a pain.