Headquarters for the Slender Fungus Cycling Association

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

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Power of Steel

Greetings and salutations to all you guys and gals living in the Ice Age of the midwest. Don't dispair as another warmup is on its way. Dust off the HR monitors and inflate them Tubulars cause its riding time again! I noticed the other day that I have run around 50 bikes thru my legs so far. Of all of them I remember one of them not being steel. It was my old cannondale. That was before anyone had thought or dreamt of words like butting, oversizing, thinning out and so far. The ride on this monster was painful. I could literally feel everything on the road, down to the color paint on the stripes. The wheelbase was short, the ride hard and also no room for bigger tires to take some of the shock away.
All the rest of my bikes have been steel. Some of them really crap, some of them broke, (after 50,000 miles) and the rest you can imagine. I have finally downsized my stable of horses to 10 bikes. 10 bikes, like 10 fingers, like 10 toes, 10.
All of the bikes are steel. The bike pictured above is an incredible Pegoretti Marcelo that belongs to my wife. Steel has still an appeal to many people that really know bikes.
Aluminum and Carbon bikes have really no soul in them and for some reason I cannot become enamoured with them. I understand that they are light, that this, that that, blah, blah, blah. I still find it fascinating to see someone cut the tubes and weld or braze the whole thing together. I think this month the American Handmade Show took place in California or somewhere in the west. Next time you are thinking about a new frame give steel a checkout. We have seen nice bikes come with cheap Chinese made forks, heavy seatposts made with cheap aluminum wrapped in a thin layer of Carbon. Pick up that light looking carbon bike and put it on a scale.
Just a thought,

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

February 20th, 2007

Today was Giulietta's birthday and my girl turned 4. Since it was during the middle of the week we decided to stay home, cook a nice meal and down some Stellas. I can't believe she is already 4 and that she is going to school with the bus every day. When did all this happen?
I am also been amazed by the intensity of the Bicycle movement in America. There is so much going on that I cannot even strech my arms big enough to give you an idea. I have been linking and hyperlinking to so many cool Blogs. I have run into so many interesting frame builders. My latest two are Ira Ryan and Pereira Cycles. Check them out on the web. YOu will be amazed at the amount of work these guys put into their frames. We are rapidly surpassing the europeans with our quality, handmade frames.
Vanilla Cycles, Hunter cycles, Rivendell, Ira Ryan, Pereira, Mariposa, Serrotta, Richard Sachs and the list goes on and on. I am just very proud of this situation and I try to promote it as much as I can. I am currently selling stuff on ebay to buy an IRa Ryan Porteur Frame, fork and rack. Check it out on the website. I will let you know how that project unfolds. I just need to have a bike that I can carry stuff on, no joke.
Bobke Stut had and awesome photo of legendary rider Alphonse Goosens and if you want to see what a real tough guy looks like google him and find out. It will make you feel ashamed of complaining about anything to do with your bike or the weather. We are sissies.
I hope all is well and for now I have a date with miss Stella Artois, my belgian girlie.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

When all racers stay indoors.

Meet Billabong, aka William Noll. Commuter extraordinaire, teacher, VietNam vet and the nicest guy on the planet. I was lucky to meet Bill when I started working at Hartley's. Bill is kind of a legend around where we live. You see, this guy rides all the time and except for the nasty crashes that he has encountered nothing keeps him from riding to work everyday. Bill is a teacher at Proviso and takes care of Special Needs kids. Bill has toured the U.S. by bike , has worked for Outward Bound and has been physically active all his life. The picture above is of Bill leaving the shop. HE brought us a coffee roll and stopped by to warm up and look for any new blingy parts that had arrived.
Todays ride was an old trek 7000 equipped with nokian studded tires, moosemitts and panniers with raincovers. Bill has so much gear and he is always prepared for any weather. When on a ride with Bill, he carries extra tubes, power gels and whatever you need. His daily commute is around 30miles and when the weather is nice he does an extra 15 tagged onto the commute.
Today we had blizzard conditions and it snowed all day. The temperatures hovered in the teens and we had winds with gusts up to 40mph. They plow trucks just could not keep the roads clean. Thousands of flights were cancelled in Chicago and the highway system was slow as molasses. I closed shop today at 6pm and mounted my Ruffian 29er with studded tires and got home at 620 pm. I enjoyed the ride, did not fall and got a good workout plowing thru the white stuff. I am thankful to work close to home and not having to be stuck on a highway for hours.
My bridgestone Rbt is on ebay and if I sell that and some more stuff I am ordering a Ira Ryan Porteur frame. Punch him up in google and check out the loot.
Can't say enough about my lake boots and my Ruffian. The Quickbeam is waiting for spring weather.
careful out there,

Monday, February 12, 2007

February 12th, 2007

Hi to All: Just wanted to mention what a slow time of the year the shop is. What happens to people that they don't think of shopping for a bike in the winter? We are just hanging out, drinking coffee, and dying to talk to somebody. We have had some astute customers and man have they lucked out. I just got decking out a Gunnar Ruffian Singlespeed. We went thru all the details and this bike is going to be so nice.
At home I have been digging out all the old crap and systematically been putting it on ebay. I have promised myself that the only cash I will spend on bike crap is the one generated from sales en ebay. Sell a bunch of useless crap and get a new thomson post. More crap and get a pair of titec hbars and so on.
That crap that you have in the bins in the basement is CASH. Its cool to help out a pal that needs to get a bike going but otherwise get rid of it.
MY next big bike project is to sell more bike junk, old cameras, watches and buy an Ira Ryan Porteur bike. I want a bike with those steel front racks. I need something where I can carry my heavy toolbox and my oils and supplies. I hate having to ask to borrow a car for some repairs that I do.
This porteur bike will allow me to carry all the crap that I want and it will also be a unique bike. Below is a list of my existing bikes. Keep in mind that the list was 32 deep and now it is only 11

I am proud of getting rid of so many bikes. A couple more from this list will go in order to score the Ira Ryan. Today the weather broke a bit and I did not die going to work It was actually tolerable. On Sunday we went on a road ride and we froze to death. Hope march will come soon.
More tomorrow.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

February, 11th, 2007

In a much better mood today. Had the meeting at 8am with the new team. It is called Flatlandia, since we live on a pool table over here. Bunch of guys that have kids but want to get in shape and do some racing, have good rides and have some fun while we are at it. Lots of talent from road racing, track, triathlon, and cyclocross. I will keep everyone posted on this. Our jerseys look kinda the old Flandria jersey from the Freddy Maertens time. I rode this morning and my thighs and hands were stinging. It was 2below zero. I was glad to walk into the coffee shop and warm up for an hour before I went out again for dosage number two. Then went to work where everyone came out of the woodwork to see me and ask me a million questions. Hey do something and stop hanging out at the shop in the winter. We need our vacation time before the season starts!!
Rode the Quickbeam which I layed down on the way to work. Rode the sidewalk with the snow covering it and when I came off the sidewalk onto the bonedry road to make a right I totally ate ground. My Pasela road tires were covered in snow and when I turned I slid on the snow on them!! What the f88k Chuck! The worst part is that I landed on my right side and had my folding knife clipped into my Wranglers. I got big nasty bruise. I was so pissed I just got up and kept riding.
Following the shop I ran home changed and went to the restaurant to work on tables. Night went by and made a decent buck. I want to be debt free this year and Im motivated.
Need some sleep. Tomorrow Im on the road with Dr. Roe. Riding the Ruffian and definitely going with the Moose MItts. I don't care how dorky they are. I need my pinky for picking my nose.
The boy in the picture is my son Alexander. He turned 14 years old on February 9th. He lives in Berlin and I miss him a lot.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

FEbrurarary, 7th 2007

I don't know if I spelled the month right but I guess I does not matter since it is a short one. The warm weather that we all bragged about has come to a freezing halt and nobody is riding bikes except the freaks and the mexicans. Freaks like my pal Bill and myself that have no feeling when it comes to cold. That and the dumb amount of money that we spend on Lake boot, 15 different types of gloves, undershirts, a holy collection of balaclavas,lights, and the endless amounts of hours spent getting all the effing salt of the bikes.
My second category of riders that ride in the "Danger Zone" are my fellow mexicans. They are out in crappy jackets with hoodies as insulation, walmart gloves, black busboy pants, black kitchen shoes and a long ass scarf that wraps their whole head. These guys ride all the time and they go unnoticed. I think they are the most hardcore commuters in all of America. They ride because they have to. They ride dual suspension huffys that weigh around 40 lbs, Saggy ass suspension systems, rusty chains, and about 15lbs of air pressure in the tires.
They never have lights and in case you didn't know a few of them get killed every year. HUm... the kind of news that just does not get published. These guys ride home after working 12-16 hour days picking up your dirty dishes, serving you coffee and doing all the dirty work at the restaurant. They clean the bathrooms, help in the kitchen, jump to everyones demand, get yelled at by snobby waiters and when all this shit is said and done, they mount their bikes and ride in the dark. I Fuckin' love this country.
So one day when you see one of these guys walking home with a flat, be a man and stop to give help. I can guarantee you that they will not bite you.
I finally got that out the way. Feeling good.
Next item I have a new niece and she is absolutely gorgeous. She has Greek, Argentinian, Hungarian blood and her name is
Pita Andonopoulos. She was born on February 2, 2007 one day after my moms birthday. I am very proud of her.
The shop has been dead like doorknob or however the dumb saying goes. Doing some projects and waiting for the Tsunami to hit in March.
That is when we get all the homo-jockos (thanks for the phrase Pete) that ride an average of 25mph. I can't stand them. This year I plan on rounding them up and getting my boys in shape to give them a royal spanking. I have been waiting for years to do this.
Man, lots of venting today.
Getting parts for the wifes Pegoretti. So far the loot includes: Thomson silver seatpost 29.4mm, Chorus 2006 Silver cranks, Chorus square taper BB, Chorus Silver front derailleur.
I am hunting for record Silver hubs.
Going with DT silver rims, silver spokes, Nitto silver stem, Silver bars, Carbon shifter Chorus, Chorus der. NOBODY WILL CONVINCE ME THAT A BLACK PAINTED HUB IS COOL.
Once upon a time Cannondale had a cheesy ass bike called "Black lightning" and I always said how much that bike sucked.
ONe last note. Start checking weight on some Prefab wheels. There are a lot of those wheels that look cool but they are boat anchors.
Deda has an awesome stem and bar combo in "Silver" that costs a fortune. Is silver the next in color?????????????????????
I better go for now,