Headquarters for the Slender Fungus Cycling Association

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

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Just so you know, just in case

This photo took almost 20 years to get to this blog. What you see is 4 of the top mechanics in the whole of fuckin' Chicagoland area. We know each other very well, we seldom ride together and at some point or another we have worked together. I am not allowed to to give out names. One of us is a master wheel builder and will build a set of race wheels with hubs, spoke and rims that will outlast any 6,000 dollar wheel. He has attention to detail that will make you sick. His bike never seems dirty and once in a while some odd thing will appear on it. Respect.
The second guy I am talking about is completely crazy. He will fix Anything. He uses elaborate solutions with epoxy, broomsticks and who knows what else. His bike does not have one company on two parts. He will run you into the ground and then complain that he is old and does not ride as fast as the old days. He never tires and his eyes are full of excitement, full of life. Talk bikes with him and it is like smoking crack. Passion, Passion, respect.
My third suspect is keen with what is going on in Europe. He smells and analizes photos and video clips. Trends are deciphered late at night over copious amounts of wine, gin and beer. Coffee just makes the hands to shakey and sweaty. He will work on any bike and lay on the ground to get the job done. This fucker is a keeper. Know him forever and at this point I really think we are related. I am not shiting you. Loves Campy, loves to ride, loves the shop life.
Fourth suspect is the crazy commuter. Will move to a neighboring state just to get a good commute in. Supposedly the only civilized way to stay away from the coffin and stay in shape. Will work on any difficult project. Specializes in seized parts, repairs that involve possible complete damage to bike. His has no fear. Has built over 1,300 wheels, loves to sell custom bikes that are ridden hard. Has a fetish for coffee, alcohol, shop life and loves to eat good lunches. Steel is his material of choice but will try anything else.
So if all stars align right and you see these four guys walking down the street, make a wish.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Commando Mode

The dark part of the year is fast approaching and it is time to go full commando mode. It will be easier to get hit by cars but at the same time it will be easier to retaliate and hide away in the woods. Remember to not carry any reflective wear, no lights , no reflectors on your pedals. You see them , they don't see you.
After going for the full autumn riding kit of reflective clothing, super blinky lights, nite riders, wheel reflector and so forth I will go the opposite direction. I can spot a fuckin;' rider with a rear blinky about 2 miles down the road. Why can't normal civilians see you? Are they blind people with drivers licenses? So to all those people out there beware that cyclists are still out there. Here are some key recomendations to all drivers.
1) Remove head from ass.
2) Put cell phone away
3) Stop eating and watch where you are going
3) Get your fucking dog off you damn lap
4) Stop watching movies while you drive
5) Read the paper at work or at home, not while you drive
6) Stop text messaging, you need at least one hand to operate vehicle.
7) You car does not drive itself, yet.
8) If you tag a cyclist be kind and stop. He might be hurt.

Keep riding all the time,

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


It is without doubt that the most important thing in the shop this year has been the "crew". I have worked in some pretty prestigious shops in the past but what happened this year was magical. The crew we assembled this year went beyond just being coworkers. WE actually did a lot of work and all became good friends. At some point I don't even now if shop owners are aware of what their crews are up to. People got together for rides, runs, crew members went to the demolition derby, ate, drank, listened to a ton of music.
Yes, the shop was so fuckin' alive I thought the walls were going to explode. To some extent the more sensitive customers picked up on it and became good friends also. Javier, Tyson Chicken and Dr. Giggles have become a staple. They will help us endure the long winter ahead. Our families suffer during the summer because we are a seasonal business. We get to enjoy time off during the fall and the winter. So, I am ready to take a break. I am tired, achy and kinda burned out. To all my friends, whom I cannot live without, My lovely wife, Daughters, and Sons I send out a huge thank you for putting up with my long hours and absence.
To all of you supporting me for Flandria thanks a million. I will be going to see some cross races in the fall. Time to get muddy.
Keep riding,

Monday, August 20, 2007

Flandria Update

Some really great photos of the Downers Grove Criterium are available for viewing at the gallery in www.flandriavelosport.com
Pictures were taken with believe or not FILM. Lots of rain this week so remember to dry your shoes to prevent the fungus eruptus in your feet.
Rode 90 miles today and 40 of which I did with a busted rear wheel. Tomorrow I am riding fixed gear on my newly built Phil wood flip flop 36 hole x 3 on a Velocity DEep v rim.
Running a 42x15 gearing.
Keep on ridin'

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Sunday the 19th of August, 2007

Hi to all,
Today was the big race in Downner Grove. The race was won by a Canadian for the Kelly Team. I will have photos in the next posting as soon as I download them. Rained most of the day and I felt like I was never going to be dry again. As usual the DG race was a golden opportunity to see friends that I don't see during the whole year. This race also marks a pivotal time of the year. As far as I am concerned the summer is over. It is time for cross, saying goodbye to my awesome crew at the shop and it is a time when we slow down and search for more coffee and Tom Waits. This summer was spectacular and I feel like Hartley's has never had such a great crew like we had this year. We sold a shitload of bikes and we did hundreds of repairs. I have anger in me for all the work we did. We built truckloads of kids bikes and entry comfort and mtbs. We got great comments for customers for our kind, express service. We dealt with the crazies with laughter and parody. So now is the time to change plans. Now is time to start looking at 08 and figuring out what the fuck is next. Where do we go? What changes do we make?
Is the formula right? I personally think the shop can always be improved. Our crew needs more motivation and our infrastructure has to improve. We need more tools, better computers and better quality control. We need more meaningful meetings.
Flandria Velosport is always on my mind. Hey, isn't that a song? Today at the races we handed out flyers and that felt good. I have been thinking a lot about a lot of different things and I feel like the shop is definetely the direction I want to go. I read Matt Chester's last entry. www.mattchester.com and he left the bike world only to come back to it. He called himself a "lifer". So from the time I was 5 years old and I saw that coverage of the tour in 1968 I should have just know that I was also going to be a lifer. I live and breath bikes and shop life. I have so much running through my head that when I open the doors it will be great. Our area will have a shop where people can take refuge, where they can meet, where they can find good service and a cup of good espresso. That is what I am thinking about. That is what I am dreaming of.
Good night and ride all you can. Take that fancy bike out in the rain, it needs it.
Above are pictures of DG. Flandrian Flag, racing up the hill, Canadian rider takes home the bacon.


It has been widely accepted by all the cycling community that all bike riders, specially the ones that ride nice bikes, wear jerseys,cycling shorts, sunglasses and helmets are Fags.
It is for this reason that we came up with these T-shirts. We just want to spread some awareness. Even though all cycling people are Fags we still have families, sometimes we are parents of small and big children that need us for support,food and shelter.
With the advent of carbon fiber and light materials we sometimes find ourselves atop of bicycles that weigh a lot less than 20 lbs. To make a comparison that is like a large bag of McDonald's food, probably less that a 12 pack of Schlitz, or a 12 pack of burritos.
So to all you fuckin' drivers that try to kill us out there:



Thursday, August 16, 2007

August 16, 2007

Dear Friends, the days are getting shorter and the kidos are ready for school. It is now time to check out the shit bike, the cross bike, the mtb because if you don't want to regain that blubber you lost over the summer you wills haves to ride into the winter.
Some of the Flatlandia guys are going to be meeting on wednesdays at spring rock park to start doing some cross training. I will be commuting as far into the year as possible. I am truly trying to avoid a car payment and I sincerely don't have the money to buy a used car. I will hold out and save and buy something affordable and used. Besides I like the challenge of the 104 mile commute. Can't wait til it is dark and have to ride solo on the great western trail. Good times. Time to think, relax, listen so some good music and enjoy the wolves, panthers, creeps, thugs and boogie men that hang out in the woods waiting for us.
Flandria Velosport is up and coming and It is amazing how much they want us to open a shop. Check the website for updates and more photos in the gallery.
Hartleys has continued to be busy and I hope the chief loves us more. Sold a Gunnar Sport and a Salsa Chili con Crosso.
More to come. Just keep riding your bike. Dont' make excuses cause in January you will be bitching.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

More Freddy Maertens

A true Champion and so modest. I can't wait to make it to Belgium and shake his hand.
Been riding a lot lately and finding some lost, forgotten form. Rode 85 miles of fixed gear today and had a blast. Rode in with a 42x16 and rode home with a 42x15. I am able to turn the 15 without a problem and keep that bike going well. Very damp and wet on the trail and have been avoiding it till it dries. Hope y'all having a blastful summer. keep riding, ditch the car as often as possible.
Around 248 down from over 270. My long term target weight is to break the 200 mark.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Tour of Elk Grove Village August 11, 2007

Just a really good race with a primo field. The weather was really hot and humid. The pros duked out a time trail in the morning and then did 100k in the afternoon. As much as we ride these guys are just a couple of notches above us. Freddy Rodriguez won Stage two of the event and just minutes after such a hard effort he was interviewing. Glasses helmet, helmet still on, skinsuit fully zipped. What a Pro!
Smiled a lot and was just a gentleman.
Sommeone to learn from. Chris Horner is just this: A BAD ASS.
sorry for the lack of entries. Computer sickness at home.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

A case of the Tuesdays

After so many years of riding, on road, mountain, cross, commuting, fixed gear, you figure an old geaser like me would know how to read a surface. For the second consecutive day I ate dirt. Landed exactly like I landed yesterday on my right side and exploded in pain when my cherry pied hip hit the ground. Man did I curse for a long time. Broke the buckle on the Sidis, my bike is a mess the chain is squeaking. What the hell is going on?? So today I spent over three hours to get to work. At some point my legs were starting to feel tough and I was pushing a bigger gear than I thought going up this hill. Messed up bike, broken shoe, broken body. This my friends is when you start to get in shape. The sad news is that september is around the corner and that is when it all flushes away. Then we start to think about equipment to gain that fitness all over again and by january we are weighing nipples and looking to see if our chains have holes in them. Enjoy the fitness while it lasts. Work was busy and we got a lot done.
Flandria is going well and I have received a lot of good vibes from friends. Our area needs a Pro shop and a place to hang out. That is what we are aiming for. checkout the www.flandriavelosport.com website if you are bored.
I hope not to crash tomorrow. Keep riding as much as possible. Marco Pantani is always remembered.

Monday, August 6, 2007

A case of the mondays

Really really humid riding today with temps high up there and the humidity in the absurd % tage. Had a nasty ass fall on the trial which at my age You really get to feel. I tried to save my trusty old Mavic SSC der and paid with a hefty cherry pie on my hip. The hip is replaceable the derailleur is NOT!
ON the way home I got caught in a nast August storm, complete with the light works, thunder, blind drivers and slick roads. I made it home safe and now i am dealing with bad cramps and a sore body.
Flandria Velosport is gaining momemtum and I really enjoy working on that. I think the project is going well and soon I will have stickers ready to hand out. Visit the gallery and check out the flanders pictures. Those were donated by our new friend from the Belgian Embassy.
The running is going awesome and the weight keeps coming down. I have lots of energy and my asthma is also gettting better. Have layed off the multiple portions and the multi-bottle of beer.
I am excited for the cross season. I do fear the whole doping scandal and hope it does not hit the cross scene. I am ready for anything coming my way.
Keep riding as much as you can. Man in picture is Sven Nys, cross superstar and next month he will be handing out the spankings. Get ready!