Headquarters for the Slender Fungus Cycling Association

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

Monday, October 29, 2007

Gravel Sunday

Taking a break on Gillis Rd.
Cool looking creek
Deep Blue, white gravel and some green
Dork on Bike

Fag on Bike
Solo riding
Dry gravel

Fresh gravel, ready for winter

Gillis rd.

Had a great ride on Sunday. Took the cross bike out and did Rich Rd. then Gillis and went over I39 then head west, then north then came back on Baseline which is also gravel. The wind was pretty fierce since the ground is bare after the harvest. Some rolling hills on Gillis made me strain. I had 2L of water and a powerbar and ended up with 60 and change. I got home really tired and vowed to change out the racing saddle on my cross bike for something more comfy, maybe a Rolls. If I had some riding buddies around here I would like to attempt a night ride on the gravel. I think it would be a lot of fun.

keep riding,


Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Real Bermuda Triangle

Exhausted and taking a break at Bermuda Triangle
The Bermuda Triangle at Night

Now that I have been having a wee bit more time I can finally write this post. The aforementioned spot is located in Fermi Lab in Batavia. As you enter the lab complex from the east and travel west you pass the guard station, go to the second stop and make a right. No matter what time of the year it is you will be encountered with weird winds that make your bike stop.
When heading east towards work this spot always tires me. It is a slight uphill, lots of wind and the old tree is a reminder that it has been sitting there and getting beat up for at least 20 years.
In 1987 I discovered Fermi by accident as I was fresh arrived from Germany. I remember that tree being dead back then and for some reason I have always had this fantasy of setting the fucker on fire. Getting arrested and imprisoned as an enemy combatant has restrained my hands from doing it.
My new addition to mental states has been riding the Bermuda Triangle at night. Last time I went through it was raining and gusting winds were blowing out of the N-NW. As soon as I turned the corner a howling welcome stopped my bike and spooked the hell out of me. I put my head down, lowered the gearing in a sign of respect and pedalled through. I was glad to no be able to see my speedometer. The pale blue light from the niterider were the only signs of relief.
As soon as I left the area the winds became more manageable and I sighed in relief. On to the Fox River trial which is paved and covered with wet leaves. I had no idea where the trail began and where it ended. The wooden bridges where slippery as snot with my narrow road tires. I felt my chain and drivetrain wear, thin out with all the grit grinding away at it. I feel bad for the Heron. In a strange way this Bird bike has been living in the water lately, perhaps it's where it belongs.
I hope next time you go by the bermuda triangle it beats you up.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Driving is totally gay

So after having the shittiest ride of a long time on Monday I finally get the nissan going and drive to work today. Monday was raining as soon as I left the shop and it was a soaker. Rain gear for cycling just plain don't work. I had some handmade wool socks and and some big ass gloves from Bill and was able to sort of keep them extremities warm. Traffic was a nightmare because drivers can;t see when it rains. Maybe they shouldn't drive since they can't see??? Made it to Fermi before 8pm and was stopped by police again to be told they had just changed the rule to 6pm from mid october to mid January. Fuck you I thought as I handed my new Drivers licence over. Next commutes will be even harder since I will detour thru the Prairie path.
I arrived very cold and freaked out since I felt so alone out on the trail. I had some food and drank the gritty water from my ghetto bottles.
Arriving home was a treat and all I wanted was booze and food. I had nightmares about the darkness and about the bermuda triangle in Fermi.
Today I picked up the car and drove to work. I arrived dry, warm and rested. I felt fat and out of shape with just one car commute under my belt. Shit, how I am going to cope with this shit I thought. Tonight I arrived home early and found everyone awake and the house still in action. It was weird. I had dinner and had about 6 hours of riding energy in me still. I am doing laundry and cleaning the garage to burn it off. I also went to Farm and Fleet and bought replacement bulbs for the
I hate cars and still think that driving is totally gay but riding 400 miles a week for ever is not possible. I am still wondering how I am going to cope. There must be a way out......................................
Get out and ride.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Sunday Off

Took Sunday off and went shopping and then went over To Giggles for a homewarming party. It was good to be off my bike and off my feet. Last night at the restaurant we were hopping like mad rabbits. I had burning feet when I got home and said enough is enough. I replaced my drowned mp3 player with a new one which should help on the 40 mile section of the limestrone trail. Tomorrow back to work and see what is up with a lot of stuff. Current brands that I pushed for at the shop and that we have acquired.
and Bianchi is back also
At some point in my life I think this will pay off. For the time being I will continue to economize, not create debt and ride my bike DUI style.
Get out and ride
Man them ribs were good!!!!!
Thanks Giggles and Cheri!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Commuting till the Bone

This week was a tough one. I got the Oldsmobile fixed for the girlies to use and this week hopefully I will have the Nissan so I can take a break from Commuting with the bike. I rode 85 miles on Monday, Tuesday and today Wednesday. Today was the whopper. I have not been getting enough rest or food and going to work today I completely bonked. I took care of eating a lot at work and drinking 15 gallons of water. I took some vitamin packages, ate fruit, a meatball sandwich and some beef fried rice.
The wind has been wreaking havoc in my head and at some points I thought I was going crazy. Today I left work in the rain and it only got worse the darker it got. The wind was blowing like hurrican style but I kept thinking about Pantani and all my other heroes and just kept riding.
I bitched and bitche as I rode until I went by a large house that had the curtains open. Inside the living room sat a man in his wheelchair, by himself , watching T.V.
I got the shivers when I saw that and thought how lucky I was to be riding in the dark, in the rain on my bike.
Once I hit the Great western water trail I found that the whole thing was flooded and the limestone was like Peanut butter. Twenty more miles of that and I arrived home, hosed myself and the bike down and appreciated the warmth of my place.
Riding like that is very raw and at some point I think you start to lose it.
I taking the day off tomorrow,

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Just a note on Riding

Dealing with cars has become one of my worst fears and frustrations. Today Sunday I spent all day trying to get our old olds running again. Thanks to pal Chris the monster is roaming the tar ribbons again. Thanks dude. I am still trying to figure out how I will situate myself to the point where my family will not need the services of the automobile. I have become very apathetic to driving and because of it this fall I will not have a cross season. I cannot justify driving for 2-3 hours with the car to reach some destination and then race for 30 minutes. If I can ride to the race I will do it otherwise I cancel. I think racing in America is very difficult and costly since the distances are so great.
I am committed to commuting and riding out of the garage when possible. I hope to continue the commuting for as long as I can since it has given me a lot of time to think and figure out some stuff. The quote given below is from Ex-Pro Allan Peiper.

"You're confronted with your demons. You release pressure and emotions by riding, but releasing them isn't the same as dealing with them. Once you stop riding you don't have the release any more, and then you have the black hole. It's especially hard for creative personalities: you ride, and you think you're someone, then you stop and you're nobody. All of a sudden you're standing in front of the mirror , looking at yourself and having to deal with the person you are in a new world."

Ditch the car as often as possible and ride the bike.


Friday, October 12, 2007

Friday Grinder

Today was one of those days that I just want to forget. I had a really long day yesterday and woke up today with the thought of riding 52 miles into work. Car driving was not an option because there was no working car available. I bundled up for the brisk 33 degree morning and set out to make it to work. My mind was too blurry to remember water or food so I rode until I bonked like crazy. I stopped at the grocery store and bought some food and then ate a huge apple while riding the rest of the way. It took me a long time to recover and the ride home was a lot better. Food, water, fruit, beer and some cakes were the ticket. I bundled up again at 6 pm and headed out to the vast cornfields of where I live. Riding at night is dangerous only because of asshole drivers. Remove all cars from roads at night and there is no reason not to ride. Being in Fermi at night is safe, riding the fox river trail at night is safe, riding the GREAt western at night is safe. Riding on Warrenville road at night is a fuckin' nighmare on two wheels. I truly despise cars with all my heart. I hate having to drive my car and I hope one day to rid myself of the 4 wheeled beast and live riding, working and shopping with my bike. Until that happens I will continue to hate cars and the assholes that drive them. And no, when you buy that Rolls saddle you cannot return it. You cannot return that 105 front derailleur after using it either.
Sunday 90 miles
Monday 85 miles
Tuesday 85 miles
Wednesday 85 miles
thursday OFF
Friday 85 miles
Total 430 miles
Sunrise on Old State rd. Sycamore, IL
Fabyan Parkway bridge over Fox River
The Campana factory which I alway fantasize as being the Campagnolo factory where I can find Vittorio, Giusseppe, Pietro, Danilo and Company fabricating awesome Campy bling.
Maybe it is a secret Campagnolo factory?????

Keep riding till your butt hurts you a lot, then kick it up a gear and hurt more.
Advice from Dave Smith.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Remembering Marco Pantani on 11-10-2007

Certain things in life are hard for me. One of them has been the premature departure of Marco Pantani. I was in awe of him all the time. I watched him race, be defeated, win, get hurt and then finally getting that phone call from my Brother in Law that he had died. I am still heart broken and when the riding gets tough I look up to him for help. His fans are fanatical as ever for him, they still show up to the grand tours to remember him. Marco will always be a knot in my throat.


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Porteur bike is brazed and ready for Painter

Saw it posted on the blog that my frame is built. Probably has to go to the painters and then will receive it in about another month. Ordered in March so that is not too bad considering that his build time now is about 2 years. Want steel, want American, Want Custom? Wait for 24 months on a Ira Ryan, 36 months for a Vanilla and same aproximate for a Richard Sachs. Can't wait to see the bike. Lots of trips are going to happen on that bike.

Original Porteur from Paris, France

New Ira Ryan Porteur

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Rando #2 and more commuting

Out on Mowers Rd.
Finally hiding from the Sun

Mowers Rd. Very hot and Sunny

Clear Skies

Blue Skies with nice cloud formation

Going home at about mile 70

Gentle rollers

Mandatory break At Casey's
Stillman Valley, IL
So Rando #2 turned out to be another epic ride as far as I am concerned. Rolled out at about 730 from Sycamore and headed west to Stillman valley, then followed the contour of the Rock river on River Rd and took a break at Lowden State Park. Rode into Oregon and then started to head home on Brick rd. Did lots of Gravel and lots of hills. Total mileage for this one was 90 miles. It was an unusually hot day with lots of sun and wind. The ride home was tough and at one point had to hide in the shade for a while. Dr. Giggles was on his reliable Merlin sporting 700x28c Vittoria Randonneur tires. I busted out the Salsa Chili con Crosso and rode a smooth cross tire in the front and a conti top touring in the back. We once more ran out of water even though we opted to use the 1L bottles.
Monday commuted to work and did 85 miles in a severe headwind going home that broke my soul.
Tuesday another 85 miles with a leg breaking headwind out of the northwest.
Wednesday will be riding to work again and then Thursday is my day off.
Hope all this riding pays off and that I will be able to stay in shape to do some dumb enduro stuff in the spring.
Good nite,
Glorious cool morning sun
Rando # 2 is under way

Sunday, October 7, 2007

New commuter Frame

This is the frame that the kind folks at Giant sent over. It is a T-mobile team bike. It is full carbon with a massively engineered head tube. The frame is very light and stiff. Sizing is XL with a whopping 61 cm ctc top tube. This means the damn thing is going to fit like a glove. My intentions are to build it full Duro-Ace 10 spd, with Duro-ace hubs laced to either Maverick or DDT rims. H-bars and stems will be Deda, Saddle most likely a Rolls or Ari-onne and rubber Michelin. The idea behind the bike is to build it light and strong. I plan to ride this thing everywhere, meaning Road, Trail and Gravel.


Thursday, October 4, 2007

Sicko can't say no to this weather Gravel Grinder

I was sick and in bed with Asthma and I just kept feeling worse by the minute. Against all logic I buttered up my cameo,took two large bottles and headed out to get the sun to burn off my disease.
I saw them Black Angus cowsies and thought man you look delicious! The wind was ferocious and yes once they cut the corn it makes a huge difference. I rode north on Pleasant Hill road all the way up to Genoa Rd. I had a tail wind all the way up and did not give a shit about the massive headwind that was waiting for me.

The picture with the barn is the way up Pleasant Hill rd. Some hills that I am finding around where I live and yes they make your legs burn. I ended up doing an easy 30 miles and worked up a good soaking sweat. Got home and showered and had some hot tea and lots of water. I must admit that I felt a millions times better than if I would have stayed in bed.

The bike is medicine,



Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Harvest Time out in the Country

Had a real hard ride this morning since my Asthma has been raging. Been sucking on the inhaler and drinking lots of liquids to stay away from the ER and my doctor. I hate having to take steroids and a bunch of pills. As soon as we get a good freeze going my lungs clear up and my second season of the year starts. I ride really well in the winter and if I can keep my toes warm I am good for a long ride.
As you noticed on the photographs the corn has been harvested and my natural wind deflector has been eliminated. The fields now are WIDE open and there is no hiding anymore. If you do 50 out here you really notice it and you get a good workout if that is what you are looking for.
Today I rode the Bianchi Cross bike all the way to work to see how it would be. To be honest it was tolerable and it was a comfort to have the cross tires on the sloppy 20 miles of trail.
I had to stop a couple of times to control the Asthma and also to have a Bup of Boffee at the Bou-bous.
Work was fine and I had the honor to build a nice Waterford with used parts. I really don't like doing that but hey not everyone has a pound o'hundos in their pocket.
Tomorrow is my day off and it couldn't come at a better time. Everyone in the shop has taken some time off and I think I am fast approaching.
This Sunday is another chance for Rando Riding and I hope Giggles can make it out and that the weather cooperates. We'll see how long I can strech the one car thing. I would love to get thru November but I really doubt I will be able to. Anybody out there with connections to a good used car drop me a line. End of october is a Guitar Ted ride out in IOWA on gravel, 100 miler and I am tempted in doing it. Only problem is that if falls on a Saturday and that is my double shift day. More thoughts tomorrow.
get out and ride your beast.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Winter is coming our way October 2,2007

Hope y'all doing well out there in this crazy world. My Hiatus from the blog world has been caused by a blown up laptop. Thanks to Brad I have a new desktop for the moment and can get some work done. I will be saving the pennies and selling some crap on ebay to buy a new laptop. Once you get hooked on the convenience of a laptop it is hard to sit at a desk and spill the beans.
The season is turning towards the fall and with our move out to the country there is still hundreds of miles to discover. I have huge curiosities about what it is like out here in the winter. I wonder what the gravel roads are like with snow. Do they get plowed? Do they salt them? Will my 29er rock on them? Will I lose my mind riding?
As a lot of you know the kind folks at Giant sent me a T-mobile Giant TCR with a Giant team kit including a jersey and bib shorts. I will slowly build this bike with full dura-ace and see how it handles the "country"
I mostly ride my bianch cross bike out here with Ritchey Speed Max tires. I Sunday I was not able to ride so I went on an investigative trip. We ended up in a town called Stillman Valley and it was great.
I met a lonely rider who was on a great bike: Cervelo R3, the same Paris Roubaix winning machine. He had it decked out in record 10 with zipp wheels and awesome components.
He told me how wonderful it is to ride out there and the shortest ride he does is 75 miles and most of the times he ends up doing a hUndo. Most of the roads are deserted and if you see a car you are tempted to way because you feel so lonely.
This coming Sunday I am dreaming of a long ride out here. So if you are bored of your hamster route come and join me. The hour drive will be worth it.
I have no reports from Interbike because the chump that I am I did not attend. I guess I am not fuckin' cool enough.
Keep riding,
pix #1 Jason and I on my new wheels
pix #2 Riding in the dark
pix #3 Dark , Dark, desolation