Headquarters for the Slender Fungus Cycling Association

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

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Flandria Velosport


Had another fantastic day and out of the blue met the director in charge of business of the Flandrian region of Belgium. I guess all this is just supposed to be. Riding to work and back was very hard,specially since I chose to singlespeed 100 miles on a really hot and humid day. I ran out of water and food on the way back and called in for a ride home. Very long and stressy day at work and busy as hell to say the least. I guess as a shop owner that is what you want. My Gunnar was running great with the phil wood, deep v, acs freewheel combo. Churned about 18-20 mph on it. I think for the reminder of the summer I might bump up the front from a 42t to a 44t like buddy Johnny used to do. I am freakin tired right now and I hope I will be able to sleep. Photo from Rock River, Oregon Il, just 33 miles west from Sycamore.
Keep riding,
Ari

Monday, July 30, 2007

BONER GETS A HAIRDO



Crew member Boner gets hairdo by Snake. Sometimes Snake comes up with strange ideas. Today he was thinking that Boner might have a knack for being a reporter on T.V. Anyway for the time being Boner is working on bikes, trying to race, just joined Flatlandia Racing team and might finish high school.
I rode to work and back and then took crew member Franny for a crueling run. This year is my year to stop procrastinating and get some goals done. Chris Malo, our old boss, told us to "change our mindsets" and that is what I am fucking doing. I am changing my mindset, crosstraining and trying to take my friends job away from him. Heck I might even take the bosses store away from him.
Flandria Velosport is going crazy. Getting some awesome posters framed, getting stickers made, drawing some plans, talk, more talk, and more talk. This shit is boiling in my blood and I know its what I want to do for a long time.
Everybody make a point of getting out this week and riding till your ass goes numb.
Tomorrow I might do the hundo on the singlespeed. Want to get the spin back in dee legs,
Ari
Ari

Friday, July 27, 2007

Flandria Velosport


The latest update on Flandria. Brad had the business cards made and they turned out really nice. Staples was able to spell my name right and that for me is a won battle. I also found an old Flandria poster that is going to be framed and I think it will look great. I am really excited about this project because it has been twirling in my head for a long time. There is a lot of planning and thinking going on. I have luckily run into some right people and that is really promising. The shop will start out of my garage and at first we will offer repairs and wheel building. In a couple of years I want to have a physical location with frames, clothing and the whole chalupa. The shop will be small and cater to people who ride and people who want to ride. The ideas that have resulted from the brainstorming are amazing and as this ideas become more solid I will post. Everyone pardon my ingles, cause I know it sometimes wrong.
Hope to see you all at the Downers Grove races.
Ari

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Ass kicking day




Rode into work today to what turned out the be the longest day of the year. I don't want to get into the details of it because I will get the recurring migraine. On the way to work I spotted the leaning silo of sycamore, Pictured also is Crew member Snake having to take his shirt off to battle that little pink bike. Some of these bikes require muscle to get them axle nuts off. The pictur with the moon depicts what it looked like riding home. I made it home by 930 pm in complete darkness. Out in the country you can't ride with "city lights" cause they don't exist. I had a small cateye led light that worked rather well. On the led lights they seem to work better the darker it is. If there is extraneous light from other sources they seem to get lost. Ditched the Power Gels and got home using two Black Plums and a bag of carrots donated by Squirrel. Didn't feel jacked up from the caffeine in the Gels. Two large glasses of ice water and out I was.
Keep riding,
Ari

Monday, July 23, 2007

Crew member Franny becomes Biathlete


Crew member Franny takes up shooting a shotgun to complement riding her Zeus fixed gear bike.
She says that Shooting relieves the tension that comes from not being able to coast for extended periods of time. The only negative to this new sport is the black and blue shoulder from the kickback. In the background is her coach giving her valuable pointers. She is already brainstorming how to weld a bracket to carry her weapon.
Ari,
her dad

Pizza Dan at it Again!


Our talented Pizza Dan has expanded his enterprises to include Taffy. He has opened business in some undisclosed location near a beach where he fetches the salt water by hand and then converts it into a delicious treat.
When we find out more about this little venture we will post and let you know.
Lots of work at the shop and a lot of loose ends to tie up. Rode into work today and felt very tired. Rode home and then started my running regime. See how it all works out. New Creative Stone mp3 player is great. Very light and good sound.
good nite,
Ari

Sunday, July 22, 2007

IN DA RAIN 1971

HYPOCRISY, HYPOCRISY

ow
After somebody that I know wrote something about triathlons he has gone out and bought himself a sweet Giant tri bike and joined the troops. Mind you that he is just standing on the bike but the face of determination is present. We talked about the tri thing and my opinion is that it makes people feel "heroic" Us regular road riders continue to just be a "bunch of fags". Yes, I know we can't swim and we can't run.
Anyway hope to not lose many of my friends to the "Trinity Sport" For all the rest of you bike fags out there may the roads be wide, the beer cans that rednecks throw at you empty and the insults short and sweet.
I'll be on the road tomorrow so don't run me over.
No Cars Go,
Ari

Saturday, July 21, 2007

post midnight post

After leaving the house this morning I have finally arrived at 12:15 to the house. I guess I am beat, but I still have some energy to crack a beer and post some thoughts. I cannot believe in the cost of operating my car. I really hate to drive and basically I have narrowed my commutes to the shop to Friday and Saturday. I am trying to ride monday,tuesday and wundsday. This gives me about 312miles of riding and it saves me about 50 bucks. At over 325 a gallon driving is idiotic. I remember filling the old civic with about 10 and driving all week. It is the continious up in the prices that makes me feel that not only am I not catching up but that slowly I am sinking.
We have cut a lot of unnecessary expenses away to stay afloat. Debt just helps to sink you in the sand. Kinda like the cement shoes of the good old days. So without much more to say about this get rid of debt, throw shit out and ride your damn bike as much as possible.
The shop has been doing really well lately. I am happy with the progress and we have been able to communicate a bit better. I realize that when someone does something wrong, they have to be told. It is the only way to improve. Some crap 08 bikes are starting to trickle in.
Wow! How fuckin' amazing!
Flandria Velosport is slowly moving foward. Working more and more on the site and just waiting for dem customers to come on by.
We are in the works to attend the Fair in Boone County, Il with the crew. If you are reading this start planning.
Matrix is riding a Cannondale, Pete the Meat is on a caad 9, boner is on a Cannondale. Unless you do real carbon, like Pinheadarello or Cunego forget about throwing your hard earned bananas on a cheap carbon bike. Stay away from Cheap carbon components. They break and you get splinters in your ass.
Cameo cream of choice continues to be the Assos Cream
Elite has good products for embrocation, shower gels
King Keyser has put out a jersey,bib short; we have not. Shame.
Riding alone a lot.
No Cars Go,
ari

Friday, July 20, 2007

It's all about Passion

And that is what I am looking for in the bike shop. At some point in my life I started to realize that the most important part of a shop is the passion that the employees emanates. This is what consumers feel and realize when they come in. I am not trying to say that the guy that comes in for a presta adapter cannot realize this. When an employee is committed to the shop that is an aura that will make the shop shine, that will atract the serious cyclist.
It is important for more senior employees to show this to the young ones and make their eyes open. The cycling world is a never ending enigma, full of mysteries and anecdotes. I thank the older dudes at work for trying to convey this message. Because at the shop we should talk bikes, not cars, not ball sports.
Keep riding,
Ari

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Monday, July 16, 2007

YouTube - The Arcade Fire- "Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)"

YouTube - The Arcade Fire- "Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)"

Monday july 16 post #2 for today

Did another megacommute this morning and afternoon. Had a rough weekend at the restaurant and Sunday I was dead to the world. It took me until 230 pm. on Sunday to come alive. Went to bed kinda late again on Sunday and was up way too late on Monday. Had to get suited up and just jump on my bike to make it to work. If I had a car I would have had coffee, showered, gone to the bathroom and done some more stuff. I always pick the hard way when it comes to doing things. Today I rode the Mondonico with the Spinaci bars. I did not see a benefit to the bars since my arrival time was 3hours and 18 minutes. A far cry from my fixed gear ride of 2 hours 46. Maybe one gear is going to be the final choice with this commuting thing. The ride home was very relaxing and again I had to opt for the Arcade Fire to do the trail part of almost 20 miles. I rode in the rain and watched the clouds change shapes in the sky. The music destressed me and made me fall in love all over again. Rode the Heron back home and fell in love with the pedaling, the soft noise of the michelins against the gravel, the tingly sensation of the gravel collecting on my legs. I rode and dreamt of good things, I dreamt of positive things, of no cars, no traffic and people that are cool. My mind wandered like it used to do before, in the old days of carefree living. I was glad to not have driven today. I was glad to be on the trail, in the rain, on my bike and listening to "No cars go"
a.

The crew at it again.




The crew was out in Sycamore, Il to witness one of the greatest events, Demolition Derby.
Event took place at the Sycamore Speedway. Snake,Ari,Pete the meat, Squirrel,Franny,Alex,Kazumi,Jamie,Mauri and Pizza Dan attended. We had a hell of a time, drank some good Miller High Life and then went out for Diner food afterwards. This was no Corporate Picnic but a real good time. I will remember that night for a long time. The speedway was on the complete opposite side of the spectrum with what we do. We were just a bunch of bike dorks with shaved legs.
Ari

Sunday, July 15, 2007

King Kelly, another one of my Heroes


After reading so many magazines and following the sport for so long I have ammassed a bunch of riders that I really like and to some extent have had huge impact on my personal life. In this case I am talking about Sean Kelly. He rode as a neo-pro for Freddy Maertens Flandria team and then went on to become one of the most talented and Respected rider in the peleton. The son of Potatoe farmers in Ireland perhaps the bike was a good way to get away from the fields. To some extent I think Sean did not like nice weather. It was in the foulest, coldest and wettest that he excelled. He mostly liked to ride the Vitus 979 with a full Mavic SSC grouppo. Rims were SSC and he also rode the Mavic quill pedals. Most people critized his cramped up position which in his long career never changed. To those critics I say to go get a bike and ride like he did.
To this day I cannot help to think about Kelly specially when I am having a hard ride on the bike. On my Heron I am still turning that ssc derailleur that was fabricated back in the late 70's. I sometimes have a hard time moving foward and finding new heroes in the cycling world.
Tommorow is Monday and yet another week is flying by.
Get out and ride if you can,
Ari
Beth thanks a million for such an awesome photograph. The pain in the face is evident, but you know King Kelly is not about to give up..
time to go to bed

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Every ShopOwners Dream Come True


It is not very usual for shops to come to the point where they amass "the dream team"
Well,let me tell you that we have done that at Hartley's.
The snobby, grumpy, complainy crew that once dominated the shop has slowly gone away, fizzled like warm Coke.
Today we have a crew that works together, Mechanics that can solve ANY problem thrown to them. So without much more to say I congratulate this group of people for what they are. I will do whatever it takes to keep this momentum going like it is now.
Now fuckin' get out and ride and stay away from dem damn cars.
Ari

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Monsoons in July




Got a real taste of riding the great western trail when its wet. I have destroyed my bike and at this point it is not going to change. For the type of riding that I am doing I think a sturdy steel frame is the ticket. I rode through the swamp this morning and had to dismount several times to get over the fallen trees. Yesterday Dekalb received 4 inches of water and today it rained/stormed again. The corn is almost 6 feet high when it should be knee high at this point. Had an inspiring ride home today. Headwind, cool after storm temperatures, sunshine, gravel and digital music, mainly Arcade Fire. Pictures are my Waterfor built Heron on the GWT, then the gravel road which is part of Old State Road. Come out and ride with me.
I guarantee a smile on your face.
Ari

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Just in case


Just in case anyone gets lost out in the corn fields I post this picture so you know what we look like. Found an extremely rare Flandria poster on ebay and also a really cool Bianchi one. Somebody donated a very nice top for my workbench with cubby holes and an electrical outlet. All I have to do is make some legs and ready. I have decided to mount most of my tools on pegboard and then have wire shelves for the small parts bins. Lot of work to do and regular work and the restaurant are kicking my ass.
Tomorrow I will ride in to rest my head and body. It feels good to get on the bike when you have troubles. Also all ailments and pains seem to fade. I had some obnoxious pain in my knee and back in the winter that I though were serious. I just came to realize that I had totally forgotten about these pains since the weather got nice. Sorry for all grammatical errors and typos. I just type as fast as possible before hitting the sack. I have not watched the tour yet. I have a bad taste in my mouth.
Hey if you are bored, take a kid out for a ride. We need more juniors out there. Teach them how to ride and how to take care of themselves. Us old farts should be doing that.
Ari

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Three Monsters of the Bike. Circa 1977


I ran across this picture on the internet and whoever snapped it may you cherish that strip of negative all your life. I cannot think of a more fearsome trio than Merckx,De Vlaeminck and Freddy Maertens. We all know how tough Sean Kelly was and still is. When he first signed on with Freddy Maertens team he supposedly went out on a training ride with Freddy. Freddy rode him so hard that he made Sean Kelly toss his cookies. Roger was an exceptional rider and know as "the gypsy" He had incredible talents on the bike and would like to goof off by riding wheelies on his Gios Torino. Merckx became a legend and Roger went on to coach some great stars in cyclocross. Freddy on the other hand made a lot of bad decisions and ended up working in a museum and nearly broke. It is when I see pictures like this that it makes my blood boil. I want Flandria Velosport to carry on this energy and to be able to transmit this passion for the bike.
ride,
Ari

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Flandria King: Freddy Maertens

Getting a taste of it.


On Sunday there was no car available for me. So I suited up, lubed my cameo and rode into work. I hooked a partial ride on the way home and ended up with a 85 miles. On Monday there was no car again so I went the length of the sausage and piled another 104 miles. Same situation on Tuesday. Between the three days there was almost 3 centuries. I felt stronger every day, though the trail was starting to fatigue me mentally. I did start to use my i-river and listened to both Fire and Funeral from the Arcade Fire. The Chamois butt cream is useless. It dissapears within 25 miles and your cameo turns to sandpaper. My precious container of Assos Cameo cream is a lifesaver. With clean shorts everyday I have eluded the obnoxious boil syndrome. Also when I arrive to work I wash all my clothes and let them dry out in the sun. Hygene is sometimes a neat thing.
Lately I have left my ultra modern Scandium/Carbon fork Salsa at home. Cross bikes suck on the road. I have been riding my Waterford built Heron. 531 tubing with Mavic components and fat Michelins in 700x25mm. The bike accelerades, rolls, and climbs like it should. I am running a 52x42 in the front with a 13x25 duro-ace Freewheel in the back.
The fifty plus miles cost 3 bottles of water and one or two gels. Same for the ride home. Cars, so far, have been civilized and a small bell has been helpful on the trail. I have also noticed that once I get out in the country the temperature drops and it is really comfortable.
I don't know how long this type of riding is going to last and what I am going to do for a car. I am still dealing with weight issues. I started this year with 270 pounds and my last weigh in has been 259. My weight during my Cross times was 197, so if I can come close to those numbers I would feel good. It would also give me the chance to use some of my old jerseys. I will start cutting wood for the workbench this week. Flandria Velosport business cards are printed. Big thanks to Brad for all the web work. No clue how he does it.
Must sleep,
Ari

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Eight years later, finally

It has been eight years since i first toyed with the idea of starting my own shop. I was in class during my grad years when I started to doodle some ideas of how I would want the shop to be and what it would stand for. Buddy Brad is my main guy with the web thing since I have no idea. I fix bikes, and build wheels.
If you are interested in taking a look check out www.flandriavelosport.com
As all this develops I will keep you posted. I will be doing repairs and building wheels for the start and will see where that goes.
ari