Headquarters for the Slender Fungus Cycling Association

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

Monday, April 30, 2007

The Calmest moment of the week

We were able to get a small threesome for sunday's ride. Lots of talk going on, lots of parts ordering and upgrading but when it comes time to roll..... ain't nothing happening. I can only rely on the old dogs to make it out and go strech thee legs with me. Peter explaining some Karate shit to Dr. Giggles. I am in back trying to spot a Pheasant. Afraid Fermi willl be developed one day. That would really blow.
On Saturday worked all day at the shop and then served tables till late at night. This past sunday was one of the first sundays I could not shake the restaurant out of my legs. I also blame all the beer I have been drinking. Yes I had doo-doo legs the whole ride. So starting today I will stay away from the froth and also go invest in some new shoes. It's not easy to find shoes when you wear steamliners in size 15. Thank god Sidi came to my rescue because squeezing into those 48s was getting painful. I think it is true that when you get old, your feet get wider and bigger, you get shorter and strange hair grows in strange places. I found my first ear hair.
Today I got out and did 22 miles by thyself and cursed at how bad traffic is. I did not have any incidents but was amazed at the amount of cars out on the road. Lots of cars had only one passenger in them. They were roaring down the road and I played Greek roulette a couple of times trying to cross a couple of roads. Pretty soon I will drag my rollers out on the driveway and ride on them for a couple of hours because traffic will not allow me to be on the road.
How can we solve this problem? What can we do to stop this craziness?? My friend Ricardo is creating a commuter program at Brookefield Zoo. As soon as I find out the details I will post.
Trafffic has shut down our old routes little by little and I feel like I am being squeezed. Trying to fight against so many cars is dangerous and pointless. I hope we pull out of Iraq and our gas goes to 25 dollars a gallon. Maybe then we will cut down on driving, we will car pool and we will walk our fat brats to school. Yes a handful of bikes at the rack and a wrap around the block of Suvs and minivans dropping off "the children".
I try to do my part by riding to work and doing 90% of my errands by bike. I don't need a pat on the shoulder but those fuckers with the big cars will be riding with me one day and will realize that I don' t have a DUI.
Until then may the price of the car nectar reach the heavens, because I plain don't give a damn.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The next Fausto Coppi

Let me introduce to you my brother in law. His name is Francesco Pascolini and he is in 5th grade. He is tall and lanky and has an appetite like a termite. WE will be moving out toward Sycamore and he is very excited. His dad, my father in law, works all the time and Francesco has a lot of down time. I will be introducing him into bikes this summer and hopefully he will find it interesting.
I am doing this in the hope to inspire some young person into riding. You see when we work at the shop we have the little kiddies coming in for their little bikes and then we have some teenagers that get the moutain bike to ride to the park and back. It is so difficult to get kids to ride bikes. Belgium has a scary good junior program and they pump new riders like there is no tomorrow. Niels Albert is their new star and he has already spanked Sven Nys.
So, when you are bored,take a kid our for a ride. Pump his tires, make'm wear a helmet and adjust the saddle,you know how to do that. Figure out the limit that the child can go so you don't discourage him or her. Do something to make cycling grow in this country. I am so tired of dealing with old weirdos that want to go fast.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

When all hell breaks out

We have been waiting for the big hit to come but the weather has deterred our customers. I have been in the cycling industry for over 17 years and I am still trying to figure out why it is so weather related. By now I expect almost all american housholds to own a computer, cell phone, blackberry, dinkleberry whatever. There is no way in hell that you can't look up the weather. If it is supposed to rain on friday and be sunny on saturday why must you all come in on Saturday???? If we are in April are you not going to be alive until June?? The best time to come to the shop is on the weedays and when the weather is bad. Today it rained and it would have been a perfect time to come and pick our brains. You could have scored all the info and then purchased your crap from Nashbar via your Blue Toothless piece that is surgically inserted on the side of your head. Hey remember when Frankenstein came out and we made fun of him for his bolts. Guess what??
Anyway, I can feel the tension building and if it continues like this the mechanics are going to get mean. Expect short answers, rolling of the eyes and when you leave roaring laughter. As for the behave customers you will receive our greasy shirts off our backs. It is easy to buy us with a pound of Espresso or a 6-xer. Next time you go and get a on-the-spotter give the grease monkeys something.
We are like caged animals.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Bicycle Specialties Crew

This post goes without a photo since there is no electronic data available yet. I was thinking today that the mayority of my friends have moved away and I have not seen them for a very long time. There was this era when we lived close to each other and life was simple and fun. We all followed our dreams, careers and jobs and moved away little by little. For us poor saps that stayed behind things have never been the same. You have never been replaced and there always is this yearning of seeing you again.
Today I saw some photos that I have not seen in a while and got some cold shivers when I thought about how time has gone by. Some of the bikes and parts still exist and are still functioning. I saw myself thinner, and with more black than grey hair. I started to wonder if it would ever be possible to assemble the old crew again. We have people in Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Texas and who knows where else.
This past Sunday I was able to ride with Ballak, Miroslav, Pete,and new pal Michael Roe. It was a special treat and really enjoyed it. I guess that at the time we never thought about this stuff. It is when you spend enough years without seeing someone that it starts to sting a little.
As I navigate thru the battle of the real estate world I will be moving 56 miles west to contribute even more to the absence. I hope to stay in contact with everyone and at some point would like to make visits a more feasible thing.
To all I wish you the best,

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Never say never

Today we finally got out with the crew and cleaned out the carburators. Man did that feel good. It was warm,sunny and my legs felt good despite a brutal beating at the shop and restaurant on Saturday. I managed to break a spoke on my rear wheel on mile 4 and I just remembered how the pros were able to ride such a wheel for miles on end. I must admit that I don't like most prebuilt wheels. My 32 holer with a mavic mach2cd2 was a generous donation from Pete. Even though one of the 32 spokes broke, the 31 remaining were able to get the job done. Got in the 100k that I wanted.
I have been cleaning house with old crappy bikes and I am pretty convinced that I will not be buying any more bikes any time soon. I was checking out the Kalavinkas from Japan and I don't know if there is a more handsome track bike than this fine example from Tokio. The frames are carefully made by hand and painted beautiful colors that examplify the taste for style that eminates from Japan. I really lust for such a track bike. Fortunately Kalavinkas are really backed up in production and they are no longer taking orders till they catch up. Carbon is dying, carbon is dying a slow death. Steel will be the new material and all the rage in the coming years. Check and see that most STEEL manufacturers are backed up for months. Rivendell at one point was running 24 months, Vanilla Cycles is over 2 years, Ira Ryan is running over 4 months, etc, etc.
I rode my Legnano SLX today and really enjoyed this fine machine. It climbed, accelarated and kept me comfy for the whole ride,despite the busted rear wheel. I got home and brought the bike in the apartment and looked at it with admiration.
I really doubt I will ever give up steel. Now will I wait for that waiting list for the Kalavinkas to emerge again. YOu bet!
go ride, the winter is over.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Somebody out there help Tom Boonen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How can a pro of the caliber of Tom Boonen have problems with his bike???? If any of you have read Belgium Knee Warmers you will see that Tornado Tom is riding a modified piece of crap Specialized Langster Fixed gear wannabe Messenger bike. The aluminum frame is the only one they could alter the geometry on and that is what they settled on. Remember that carbon usually comes in xs,s,m,l,xl and if you don't fit any of these perfectly you are out of luck.
Can anyone out there imagine Merckx, Hinault, Indurain, Lemond, Armstrong, Pantani, Virenque etc, etc, etc riding a Langster??
Tom Boonen must be the coolest, most Pro guy in the peloton for being so patient. Any of the above guys would have thrown a shit fit on National T.v.
I hope the Specialized sponsorship is over soon and we see Tom on the most Bling, Prada fitting, gold dusted, nubile bike in the world. Dario??? Dario........are you out there?????


April 9th, 2007

I finally have given up on a lot of old stuff. I rode my 300 dollar Bridgestone for over 10 years. Raced it, trained on it, did the family rides and pulled a trailer. Cheap steel, thumbshifters, quill, straight bars and cantis.
At some point I started to realize that this stuff would never wear out and I asked myself what was the point of riding this equipment into eternity??? That is when I started to really attack my old stable and renew with some modern stuff. I did not want to give up reliability for something that broke. Heavy for light. 21 speeds for 30 speeds. All I wanted to do is update the rides. My mb5 was a cheap bike and it did its job well. Yesterday I rode my Gunnar 29er for 3 hours. Singlespeed, Jones bars by titec, singlespeed, xtr vbrakes, Paul levers, steel frame, steel fork and no shifter mechanisms in sight. My position on this bike is dead on, the top tube is perfect. The bars are wonderful. My bridgestone weighed 28 lbs and this weighs 25lbs. The 700c format rolls on tarmac as welll as dirt.
I know for sure that this bike will go another 15 years of service. I have built it with deore xt hubs and mavic rims. Chainring is stainless steel. I have no weak links on this thing just like the mb5.
So, when you look at that old bike.. and it is just a production bike..... pass it down, get a new bike that fits and you like. You only live once and nobody will give you an award for riding junk.
thanks mb-5

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Day of Anastasia, Pascuala, Pascolini

To all my family members related to the Easter holiday may you live long and healthy lives.
Today was a long and enjoyful day. I most likely don't make such comments unless I really mean them. I awoke at 430 this morning to take Jamie to work. The 'bucks had to open at 530 am on Easter Sunday just in case some rich inept person was not able to operate their expensive Cuisnart coffee maker. I went back home and crashed again till 730 and woke up for my ritual sunday ride. It was cold and I must admit my thick wool hiking socks did not keep my toes warm. MY hands were cold too and at some point I was getting annoyed with the weather. Since it was a holy holiday I tried to keep my mouth clean. We rode out to the woods with Roe and has a blast. We sought out some old trails and except for some hard core runners we had the place to ourselves. The dudes with the full body armour and full boingy bikes were not out today. Got home exhausted and got ready for the visit to the inlaws. I really like my inlaws and I am fortunate to have Giusseppe as my wife's dad. He is just an awesome guy. We had a great dinner and we got to watch the Tour of Flanders on the telly. What a luxury!! Alessandro Ballan took the win and I really admired the form these guys have. I wish we could go back in time and get the gang out again. Kids, practice this, church, lawns, chores, shopping have all interfered with out cycling outings. Many times we stay up too late and don't want to get up early. But the greatest thing is to get up, ride, and come home feeling good.
The bug is starting to set in again. And at some point I hope to convince others to do the same. A little change in weather could also help to solve this.
Till then try to get out. Explore old routes, go offroad, stop and have lunch, take some photos, walk your bike.
Can't wait for Roubaix.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Mission Accomplished

Sort of a impossible time lately with the onslaught of the new season at the shop. We are going gangbuster style and have been really busy. I have gotten myself involved in one too many custom projects and have been a bit stressed. Anyway the good news is that I feel a lot better after the tri flow thing. My throat still bugs me but I think it will get better. The wife's Pegoretti is done and Pete lent me his wheels so she could ride it. The wife was very happy to ride it and it looks really nice. Shifting and setup was dead on and the king headset was perfect, as always. The white saddle is the new Selle San Marco Aspide Glamour. Which is a girl saddle that does not look like a girl saddle. Terry Butterfly saddles might be comfy but they look like butt. Loose the butterfly, please.
Speedplay light action pedals good for beginners and light riders that don't have tree trunks for legs. Beautiful stem and bars thanks to deda. Stem is Zero 100 gunmetal polish and bars newton gunmetal also.
Will build wheels with Chorus silver hubs with ambrosio evolution rims. Tires will be vittoria open corsa cx in white.
Italian bike for an italian girl.
Rode my first 100k yesterday on my 25pound quickbeam. Very windy and left home with no food or money. I also forgot to pump my tires. Caught a lot of wind with the fenders and rack.
be back soon with more dumbness.
Don't drink oil.