Headquarters for the Slender Fungus Cycling Association

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

Monday, September 24, 2007

Gravel Grinder Sunday---Rando #1 Sunday 23,2007

Long overdue post. Reason is that my laptop blew up and I was trying to get it to come to life again. It is not going to happen. In the meantime I will be saving some dough to buy a new one. Kinda like lost one of my limbs because I was very used to it and it worked very well until it died on me.
I have been riding a LOT. Jamie started at NIU and is working and toting Giugi around so my car used has been limited to Saturdays. AT first I was kinda happy about it because I could saturate riding. Right now I am tired but still feeling great. I have been riding around 400 miles per week and that is really getting me in shape. I have noticed the difference in endurance and the lost of weight meens going uphills a bit easier. The last couple of days I have been riding the Quickbeam singlespeed turning a 42x16. It gives me a top speed of under 20mph and it is not hard to ride into the wind. I have zip tied a basket and throw a duffle bag inthere and away I go. I can no longer tolerate having a messenger bag or backpack. Photos of Quickbeam will be posted soon.
This past Sunday was the official Rando #1. Dr Giggles and I rolled out of Sycamore and rode out to Oregon, IL and back. Our total mileage was 85 miles. WE rode mostly on Gravel for about 60 miles and the rest was on pavement. Lots of rolers specially on the way back. We had a tailwind going weset and then a headwind on the way home. It was extremely sunny and warm and the sun was bitey. We ran out of water with about an hour to go.
I was on my bianch cross bike and Dr. Giggles on a merlin with Vittoria Randonneur tires in 700x28c. I ran Ritchey speedmax at 700x35c. I also broke two spokes on some junk wheels I was running.
A truly phonemal ride, with great topography, weather conditions and a good riding partner. Must hit the sack because I'm riding to work tomorrow again.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Tough Commute

Did 83 miles today after a hard Gravel Grinder yesterday. The ride home was something else. It started raining as soon as I left the shop. It got dark right away and I felt stupid for bitching about hot summer days. I made it to Warrenville and got sick of dealing with dumb drivers. I took the Prairie path and hid in the darkness of the path. I rode all the way up the fox river and then cut thru Geneva and st charles to catch the Great western. I was covered in limestone, but the mp3 player was kicking it with Arcade Fire. I was feeling good despite being soaked. I rode and rode and felt nothing. I was relaxed in the darkness. My niterider worked flawless. The GWT was flooded and it was only a guess as to how deep certain sections were. No flats, no crashes, no mechanicals. Had some soup, tea, wine and a burger for dinner. My bike and shoes are drying and hopefully tomorrow will be another day in the saddle. Riding is Great!!
Get out,
If I see you out at night i will scare you!!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Gravel Grinder Sunday

Worked late last night at the restaurant and we were slammed. I served 14 tables and lots of stress in the kitchen. I slept late since I was up writing,reading and thinking a ton about friends whom I have not seen in a while. The idea of Flandria also keeps me awake. It is like a big puzzle that I am trying to figure out. Today I started my ride late and went out west on rte 64. I turned right on Malta rd. then left on Mowers rd which is all gravel. I rode forever on it and then turned arounda and headed back home. My back wheel came completely loose and I had to pull over and retension the whole thing. I used a Ritchey multitool and in matter of 5 minutes the wheel was nice and tight and away we went. The wheels I rode today are some hand me downs made by Alex wheels. I hate prebuilt and the only way I ride them is if they are free. The Ritchey tires in 700x35c were awesome on the gravel and rode well on pavement.
All in all I got in about 60 miles and I was not even tired when I got home. Jamie came home from work and wanted to get out and ride. Sure, Let's go I said. So I latch on the Burley, load my 45 pound 4 year old and went and did another 15 miles. The second ride hurt more than the first.
Todays weather was spectacular and out in the fields the sky was dark blue. The breeze was refreshing and the sun was warm and it felt really good. I really felt like I was riding on air. Too bad nobody made it out to do this ride. It was top 10.
Maybe next week.

Friday, September 7, 2007


One of my greatest dissapointments was to see Matt Chester hang up his torch and stop making his incredible frames. I continued checking his outdated website for a long, long time. The other day I had the shock to see that he is leaving Idaho, moving to Canada and is taking up the torch again. He welds titanium but has absolutely nothing to do with Merlin, Litespeed, Serrotta or any other of those companies. Matt Chester bikes are special and when he starts taking orders in '08 I will try to get a frame from him. Check him out at http://mattchester.blogspot.com/
My Ira Ryan Frame has been welded. Ira is working on making the fork and the Porteur front rack. Then it goes to the painters. I might see that frame by the end of october. I have ordered it in March. Instant gratification visit a Trek Store, Target or Walmart. Otherwise order a custom frame from a guy that lives 2,000 miles away, send him a check for 1k and just put in the back of your mind. Not for OCD riders.

Day of Rest, at least for the legs

Today I awoke at 5:30 a.m. and my legs were still burning from Wednesdays ride. After a long week of riding and no much sleeping I kinda concluded that it was time to take a break and let my legs and bike get back to normal.
The riding has been phenomenal. The Trail is dry,dusty and fast which helps out a lot. I can't believe I spend 40 miles on the damn thing. It is pressing to start thinking about lights. Rear blinkers are a no brainer but when it comes to the front that's a whole different story.
What really helps on the trail is the fact that it is soooo dark. Led lights are bright when you look at them. They are poor performers when paired with extraneous lights such as street, cars, stores whatever. When you ride somewhere really dark they are actually pretty bright. I rode home with a small cateye with 3 leds and 2aaa batteries.
I am going to test some niteriders and see what I end up with. I will give the Niterider Minewt serious consideration based on size and long battery life. I don't need to light up a football field.
I am also posting a photo of the greatest Track hub for road. Man, I have tried them all and I always go back to Phil. Real track hubs such as DA and Campy are made for the track not the road. Sure they will work but are really not designed for use on the road.
I have two Wheels built with Phil Flip-flop hubs with Velocity DEep V rims in a 36hole 3x pattern. Never touch them, never true them, never worry about them. Theyh are top performers and worth every dollar. And hey, they made in 'merica,right in sunny California. Stop getting the Lattes and save up for the good hubs. Last pair I had were hand me downs from the early seventies and I got over 40,0000 miles on them before they exploded and were unrepairable.
The shop has been crazy busy and we are short handed. I wish bosses would understand that because our school help is back in class does not mean the season is over.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Epic Day

I woke up super-early since I had to take Giugi to my inlaws. Hooked up the Heron at 6 am and rode over. Then I timetrialled to work since I didn't want to be late again. Boss was no fond of me getting there when the store was already full of people. Worked all day in a store that does not seem to be slowing down. Keep fuckin' riding is what I have to say. We were shorthanded all day and at some point I was starting to look foward to my day off. I was offered a ride but refused cause I was having major mental issues that I had to iron out. I figured a good 52 mile ride mostly in the dark would take care of that business. I rode really heavy because i was tired and my timbuk2 bag was packed to the gills with clothes, cameras, fruit and all kinds of junk. Must clean bag out. By the time I made it to Warrenville it was getting dark so fuck it I took the Prairie Path. It was dry and fast and I enjoy cruising at 18mph on the limestone. Trans Iowa v4 here I come.
Made it to the Fox River and got infested with bugs. I had a paper towel over my mouth and nostril to keep the fuckers out. There were billions of bugs out from the heavy rains. Ran through Batavia, Geneva and then took the GWT which was like riding in a black hole. Fuck was it dark. My dinky Cateye light performed well and I was able to keep a 15-16mph average over the trail. I listened to Mono,formica blues and to some other crap on my mp3 player. Once I got to the sycamore speedway i veered off the trail and took old state road. It was So fuckin' dark and lonely. I really enjoyed how isolated i felt and all the stress from the shop just melted away. Fuck customers. I stopped at the liguor store and got two heineken and one fat tire bombers. I am still drinking them and thinking about that damn ride in the dark. My Heron rocks, I had to take my socks off because the nylon in my Sock Guy socks was burning my feet. My legs felt really strong towards the end. Time to get a brighter light and a new Mp3 player. I dumped my Creative with my jersey and shorts in a 5 gallon bucket with water and soap. After 5 hours of soaking the Creative still works. I can't change the albums, control volume or shut it off without resetting it. Man,that thing is tough.
Keep riding,
one photo of the awesome, dry trail in the morning, second picture me riding inthe dark
total mileage for the day. 110 miles. No entry fees required.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Late to work

The labor day weekend was good. I needed a break from the shop and some time to think about some new stuff. Had a fuckin' great ride with Dr. Giggles from Sycamore to Belvedere and back. It is so cool to ride in the country with no cars on a perfect day. with no clouds, lotsa sunshine and a refreshingn wind. I will remember this ride for a long time. Last night I was up late thinking, drinking, and something else inking. Got up late and timetrialled to work. I don't like that very much. So tonight I am getting organized and hope to start the day in a different manner.
Take advantage of the weather and ride your asses off. It is not going to last for much longer. I hate indoor trainers.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Crucial Crew

This crew member is the one that puts up with all my dementia. She works, goes to college, takes care of the house, the girls, cooks and so on and so on. One top of all that she has to take into account all my dreaming that I do. All the ideas that I have and all the ones that do not come into fruition. At some point I would like to take her on a long vacation and not talk bikes at all. It is now at the tender age of 44 that I have dug deep into my meat and bones and come to the realization that Bicycles will be a forever part in my life and livilyhood. It is a hard, long path but one that I will take with much pleasure. Included in the equation will be the need to go out and ride on a daily basis. With these commutes I have been able to learn a shitload about the bike, about position, nutrition and just normal wear and tear on both rider and cycle. During all this my better half has been there. I send a deep thank you to her and hope to bother you a lot more for a lot longer.
Pedal to the Metal,