Headquarters for the Slender Fungus Cycling Association

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

Monday, May 21, 2007

Dario Pegoretti

How much more can you say about a guy like this. I learned about his condition today and it really ruined my whole day. I woke up with a lousy headache and a bad feeling. Things were not right.I went to work and found out about what was really up with him. The stomach ailment would have been welcome news. I hope that he is receiving good treatment and that he is able to beat his enemy. I have admired his work for many years and after a long time I was able to get his frames in the shop. It was truly a personal challenge and I was really proud to have opened the dealership. To most of our mundane customers they are just decorations. After all they were looking to buy the latest carbon bike with a triple and 6 kilogram wheels. They were looking for the Bento boxes and the clip on aerobars. The Pegorettis and Pinarellos were invisible. Only people that really ride bikes can see them. Only people that don't average 25 miles an hour can starting to calculate how they are going to "lock" in the frame. There is the fear of never getting one.
I learned my lesson when I was in hot pursuit of a Matt Chester. It was a matter of 1,500 dollars for a custom Ti,fixed gear cross wonder machine. I have given him the plastic numbers over the phone. Now, that will never happen and to some extent I do regret it. Small frame builders are a special breed. They work long hours and when the final product is done they really dont make a killing on a frame. They start to burn out when we constantly annoy them with the long waiting times that are associated with dealing with them. The super-anal guy that knows everything, the complainer, etc etc. And all of a sudden I realize how they can just say fuck it all and they turn the torches off and dissapear. I spoke to a gentleman named Ira Ryan. I have ordered a frame from him months ago. When he builds it he will ship. I let the man do his work.
Pegorettis now have a waiting list of over 8 months and not even that is a guarantee. I hope we can all have some power to make him better and that he can get back on track to do the thing he most loves. Building rideable pieces of art.
Thank you,

Saturday, May 12, 2007

The pot that is starting to boil

Sometimes I get the feeling that cycling in this country is just going to start boiling. There is a lot going on more on the underground movement than anything else. Check out some of our frame builders that are turning out an excellent product. Huntercyles website is still under construction but do check out his blog. What a great , great framebuilder. Sometimes I am proud to be an 'merican.
ride hard, eat when you get really hungry, and give some of your shit away.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Shop talk

I just wanted to get this off my chest. In the above photograph we see a perfect sign of a bike shop that does not pay attention to detail,otherwise known as a chump-shop. The small piece of tape that you see on the brake caliper is installed at the factory to protect the brake in shipping, specially when it is not installed. It keeps the arms from hitting each other.It should be removed and the glue cleaned when the bike is assembled and before it hits the showroom.
If I was to walk into a shop and someone showed me a bike with the pesky little tape on the brakes I would politely say thank you and run.
I am sorry but these small details are what make a shop or not. The cables should be cut same length back and front. Cable should not be too short,so some grease monkey like me can actually pull on it when tuning a bike, or too long. The brake cable is not to be used as a curb feeler.
If not sodered the end should be finished with an aluminum tip and crimped several times. My trademark is "4". I can spot the bike I built by this little indicator. The icky little tape gets ickier as it gets older.
Next topic will be accesories.

Monday, May 7, 2007

No more excuses.

We have finally arrived at the time of the year that we have been waiting for for so long. It started back in November when the weather started to turn. Slowly but surely we started to make promises of hitting the rollers and doing all the cross races. As we get older the responsibilities pile on and myself included we really slow down with the riding.
In the golden era of our riding nothing stopped us. We rode to work all winter and yes that was a 20 mile round tripper in the dead of January. We rode modified Moutain bikes to the city on Sundays and the group was always shy of being 20.
Today we don't do that anymore. It is comfy to stay in bed with our warm wives and girlfriends. Snow means shovels, bad traffic but not what am I wearing to ride to work.
We have all struggled with these damn demons and at some point we have to make peace with them. As this season starts I want to make some realistic goals that I will be able to accomplish. I would love to do an assault to Galena, do some nice groups rides, excite some people about cool bikes, watch races, follow the tour, build some more wheels and most important of all teach Giulietta how to ride a bike.
I don't think we can be lethargic anymore. It is time to start shutting the t.v. and the computer down and getting to bed a bit earlier. Time to learn to work the alarm and make the rides.
Have you ever been dissapointed after a ride? Have you ever regretted going out and riding?
As the price of gas climbs towards the clouds see if you can make a dent in your personal consumption. Get milk on your bike, make it to the train with you bike.
This madness has to end at some point.
See you on the road,

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

The last of the Titans

Above is a picture of my last Clement Paris Roubaix Linea Kevlar in my possesion. I have this fantastic tubular mounted on a GP4 mavic, laced by Dt to a Super Record Front hub. I have had this wheel since 1996 when it was given to me by dear friend Colombo.
I like riding this tire with low pressure because it offers the best ride in the world. Unfortunately this tire is no longer made. I am interested in trying the new Vittoria Pave tubulars that come in a great 27mm width. I like big fat tires and have enjoyed the stability they offer and the plushness.
I really don't think that tubulars are inconvenient. Perhaps it just takes a little more interaction with your machine. I like to fiddlle with my bike since it gives me such good service. I give a good tune-up at the start of the season and then once or twice a week I give it a little clean and lube of the chain. This maintains the bike running well without having to do major work on it when you should be riding it. All bikes should be sorted and ready to go by April.
My tubulars are mostly aged and I have never ridden a brand new purchased tire. I have had raging arguments with this theme and I have to admit I have won.
When you buy a brand spanking new tubular you cannot just glue it on and ride it. The rubber is overly gummy and all the crap on the road will just adhere to it and cause a flat.
You select a good tubular and to be honest inexpensive tires are not cheaper in the long run. First of all inspect that it holds air and that it is round. You do this Without glue on a clean and safe tubular rim. The next step is to let the tire streach and age in a basement. I buy tires in november and start riding them in the spring. This time gives the tire time to streach and then age perfectly.
Come spring you glue the tire on and then ride the dickens out of it. Most modern tubulars are not meant to be repaired, but if you are old skool and broke you will find a way to do it. For glueing I like 3 thin coats on the rim , two on the tire and then a thin final coat to get the tire on. Inflate slowly, check for roundness and staightness, inflate to recommended pressure.
When I ride them I keep an eye on the road. I brush the tires, front and rear if I think I ran over something. This applies to expensive clinchers also. When I clean the bike I inspect the tire for cuts. I pull out anything embedded with a scriber.
Glues of preferance include vittoria, panaracer and continental. I have not tried the tapes since the glue has worked for me for so long. Other quality tubulars include the Taj Mahal of them all: Andre Dugast, Veloflex, ex Vittoria Factory, Vittoria, (now thailand), Continental , for durability specially the new Gatorskin tubular. As for the old Clements they will always be on the top of the list.

I hope to see you on the road soon,