Thursday, June 28, 2007
Today was a very welcome day off from flat tires, tune ups, crazy customers and that damn phone that drills my head. Went for a easy 20 mile ride on a deserted farm road. Rode ten miles out and back and did not break a sweat. Came home, changed and went over to the inlaws to help in the garden. Once done with the dirt action, we went home and took Route 64 out to the town of Oregon, near the Rock River. Had dinner in a diner, then went and checked out an awesome state park that overlooks the river. We saw lots of Hawks circling in the river valley. Took the little one to some falls and had to drag her out and into the car. She did not want to leave at no cost. The drive was 34 miles and we arrived home in 39 minutes. No cars in sight, no traffic lights, no traffic jams. I am loving the country. We discovered lots of hills in Oregon and some of them pretty steep. I am thinking of driving out there and taking my road bike to do some cool riding. Fishing is tempting as is doing some camping at the state park.
Tomorrow is friday and I know I am riding into work and that we are going to have a great day. Picture of sunset taken behind our driveway.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Left really early to work to beat the heat. No chance. Once I rolled down the driveway my lycra jersey was already getting damp. I thought about taking some new route and exploring a bit since I left so early. I ended up making a whopping 20 mile mistake today. I arrived late to work and I really think I was delirious. Too much heat, way too much humidity. I felt really warm but at the same time I was getting the chills. Breathing was not easy and I some point I just thought of getting off my bike and walking. I was releaved to arrive to work and sit on a stool. It took me an hour to compose my self and to be able to think straight. The picture above is of a little general store in Kanevill, Il. It used to be our old stomping grounds back in the day. We used to ride here routinely. Nowadays nobody has time to dedicate to coming all the way out here. Family,Kids and all the other obligations make us dream of these old rides.
I haven't told you guys but during all these really hot days we have not had air in the shop. Our little shop area gets no ventilation and today was specially bad. We had to go into hot pant mode and D.A. shot this picture of us. Today we got a new unit in and starting tomorrow we promise to be more productive. Good crew at the shop. Our shop is snob free and everyone that works there really makes is enjoyable.
Now get out and ride you bike till you soak that cameo.
Friday, June 22, 2007
Today was a crazy day but the spirits were high as hell and everyone had a blast. Whether the boss knows it or not we have a great crew at the shop and at times I remember that crazy assembly of great players called the Chicago Bulls. My buddy Pete wrote about how our reps have become cheap bastards and he is right. On the other hand we have a handful of customers that absolutely love us.They feed us and keep our little fridge bursting with hops. I must give my warm thanks to those people. Our shop is slowly becoming a Mecca and that is the goal that we are aiming for. We still have some kinks to work out with the young help but I think they will get there and little by little we will have met our goals. The picture above is the paint scheme that I chose for my Ira Ryan Porteur. I ordered the frame some months back and expect it in a few more. Can't be in a hurry when you order from a framebuilder. The paint scheme is the Faema team for whom Eddy Merckx rode for.
Tomorrow if all goes right I am riding to work then riding back out to serve tables at the restaurant. Hope I don't stink too bad.
Stop bitching and keep riding.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Today I came to realize how impossible it would have been to make it through the Trans Iowa race. With my spotty rides in the winter there is no way I would have made it through the 325 miles of continuous riding on gravel.
I am learning my lesson now that it takes a lot of riding to complete such events. Ira Ryan, the winner, does a century once a week, always. He rides a road bike on nasty climbs in Oregon, and he is 20 years younger than I am.
For the time being I have been doing some long commutes to work and I have piled on 9 centuries for June so far. I have to work on getting better pedals and a better saddle. My Arionne might work for Cunego and Simoni but my large American Ass is not happy with it.
I switched to a Gatorskin 700x23 in front and a top touring conti in back with 700x32.
Been consuming 6 large bottles of water and about 4 Hammer Nutrition Gels. Sometimes I stop for coffee and sometimes I eat some fruit. I never have breakfast before riding.
I will post a picture of my Salsa soon.
Good riding to all.
Picture of GWT on way home. Tomorrow is the longest day of the year. Get out and ride.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
I left with Jamie to drop her off at her new work. Rode down Peace rd and then went towards DeKalb to the Starbucks. Her commute to work is only 3 miles and she will be riding her bike to work as often as possible. After dropping her off I went back towards Sycamore and took the GWT,(Great Western Trail). I had a tailwind all the way to work and by the time I arrived I had ridden 60 miles. Going home was a total different story. I struggled with a stiff head wind all the way. I hid as much as possible, rode close to the curb, turned my body in weird angles, anything to fight the big, strong hand of God. I was glad to be back on the trail, and somehow sheltered from the wind. Almost 18 miles from St. Charles to Sycamore and most of the trail is gravel. My cross bike works perfect on the surface. Had two gels, a power bar and 3 large bottles of water to get home. I fought the wind for 52 miles and got home in 3 hours and 10 minutes. A long,hot shower with some Elite shower gel was the ticket along with some recovery drink. I have to take advantage of the weather because I will long for these 110 miles commutes once the winter comes.
I took the picture while refueling on the way home.
Friday, June 1, 2007
Finally got done with all the work. Today was my first official commute to work. It is something that I just had to get out of my system. Rode the Quickbeam fixed gear on the way in. Churned the 42x16 all the way and clocked 50 miles to the shop. I did part of the ride on the Great Western Trail which is gravel and the rest was on the road. Final timing was 3 hours and 10 minutes.
The way home was a completely different story. I decided to ride the Salsa Cross bike for the first time. It all started well but my legs did not like the bike change at all. I made it to Fermi and out of fermi when the sky turned black, the wind went crazy and we went from 80+ degrees to the 60's in a matter of a few minutes. A man saw me wrestling the wind and offered his dry garage. He was checking the storm out. It all blew over in 20 minutes and I was on my way. I met Joe the tow truck guy de-stressing on his trek navigator along the fox river. He had caught a slow leak and was wisely riding it to his car.
I finally made it back to the Great Western when I realized that my brand new Durace crank on the right was coming lose. A quick mental check told me I did not have an 8mm allen to tighten them. There was no way to fix the problem so for the next 20 miles I kicked them new cranks and rode them. The GW was literally a river and I rode all 16 miles of it in the water. It got really late and very dark and I navigated by the reflexion on the water. The trail seemed like an eternal hole that never ended. The salsa, the cranks and my self were getting beat to a pulp. I was lucky to have a hammer nutrition gel and some water to get me home. I made it into town and arrive home dead. I left the shop before 6 and arrived at home before 10 . I had clocked 100 miles just to go to work.
Tomorrow I am driving.