Headquarters for the Slender Fungus Cycling Association

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

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Carlyle Brewing Company, Rockford, IL.

The Carlyle

On Monday we decided to take a trip out to Rockford, IL. and try to discover some localish treasures. We took Giugi to the Kid's Discovery Center and she has a blast there. Then afterwards we were guided to the Carlyle Brewing Company right in Downtown Rockford. the atmosphere is super-quiet and believe it or not there is no annoying T.Vs.
They brew all kinds of beer there. They were Freshly out of the Stout so we tried the Scottish Ale and it was fantastic. Sorry you were not there Giggles and Charlie. The wife and I kicked some back while Giugi ate Pizza and homemade warm pretzels. Then we took the long way home and hit some great Gravel Roads while the Pantani-mobile just floated over the stuff.
A great time and not too far from home. We would like to try out the Coronado Theatre, The Burpee Natural Museum and a great Italian Restaurant called Maria's.

Pain Free Ride

Flooded Kishwaukee River

1x1 on initial Gravel Grinder
Note antique Rock Shox Post
Next change will include longer stem

Today I celebrated two things. First was my initial ride after having gone to the oral Surgeon. For the past year I have been riding and living with a lot of pain in my mouth. A poor insurance system and a lack of funds kept me from taking care of business. I was also a bit afraid of having to deal with such a catastrophe in my mouth. My dear wife took it into her hands to end the procrastination and made the appointment for Dec 24th. I suffered like never before and I am still getting used to the temporary bridge aka "The flipper". So today I saddled up on my new bike and decided to not return home before I had whipped 30 miles into those cranks. I rode out in the fields and fought the terrible winds of winter. I went to the food coop for Tempeh, brown rice, some organic soy sauce. Then I went to visit the blokes at NCC.
While at the shop I realized that after entering the store and being there for a while in the warm are that my frozen mouth did not hurt. I was fuckin' pain free!! Pain free!! So I really enjoyed my stay and then boogied home with a 25mph tail wind that took me home in a jiffy. I arrived home and again NO Pain!!
So while I ride this I am grateful to my dear wife for getting this stubborn mediterranean into the doctors office. As to the Surly, it just plain rode beautiful. I will change out the 110 mm stem for a 120 or 130 mm since I feel scrunched up. I also love the 180mm cranks on the bike. My new Craft Storm Tights were great. It was a new experience riding tights that did not have massived crashed induced holes in them.
Miles for the day: 30.
Pain for the day : 0

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Fresh Build @ Flandria Velosport

Lots of sun this afternoon

Paul rear hub. Paul= Made in 'merica =Good

Front end of Classic 1X1

Pure cycling pleasure.

In a desperation to keep myself busy I have completed another build. I had a great Voodoo Cycles singlespeed that never fit right. So it will go up for sale and in its place I built up a great Surly 1X1.
What a great machine. I takes monstrous tires, since the Michelin 26x2.0 seem like road tires on it. I built it up by chasing all threads, facing and tapping the BB shell , facing the headtube. Then for 3 long days I frame saved the whole thing. Then I took a dremel and took all the paint off the rear fork ends (mistakingly also known as track drop outs) so the rear wheel would bolt on to metal and not paint.
Installed Chris King headset and spacers in Gold. Truvativ stem and bars, Deore Xt v-brake levers. Marinovative V-brakes, which are incredible and no longer available. Front wheel is a Cane Creek Crono while rear wheel is built around a Custom Red Paul Singlespeed hub on a Mavic Rim. Bottom Bracket is Shimano Square taper with Race Face Forged 110mm bolt pattern 180mm Cranks. Chainring is Specialized with Spot Chainguard. I already changed the seatpost, saddle and Grips to Rock Shox seatpost, WTB Pure V Camo sadddle and Ergon Grips.
Tires are Michelin. Blue: We can now do Team Lime Green Surly!! Are you up for it??
Hope you likey,
Visit North Central Cyclery for all the Surly bikes including the 2009 frames and completes that are trickling in. They are 3 Pirate flag dealers and to note the only 3 pirate flag dealers in Illinois!!
Support your Local Bicycle Shop

Friday, December 26, 2008

Another Flandria Velosport Build

Custom Gunnar Ruffian 29er Single Speed
This beauty is riding around Syracuse N.Y. and is one of my favorite MTBs.
I used King Components for the headset and hubs. Cranks are converted Sugino XD with Surly stainless chainrings. Brakes are reliable and easy maintenance Avid BB7's. Rims are Dt Swiss.
STem and seatpost by Mr. Thomson. Bars by Easton and currently riding studded tires. Pedals are Crank Bros. Candy Sl's. Pogies produced by Parts unlimited. The baby blue color was a color of the month that Gunnar offered. Their Stock colors are Black, Blue, Red, Yellow, Silver.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Elusive Salsa Cycles Fargo Lands in Flandria

This is the bike that will carry Dr. Giggles in the Trans Iowa in 2009. It has not been easy to get these frames since production is limited for the time being. The frame arrived from a small shop in Vermont to the Flandria Velosport headquarters. We are deciding on colors and components and will slowly start to build it. It has every imaginable braze on. Frame material is Steeel and it will accomodate 29" wheels. Can't wait to start on it.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas to everyone, I mean everyone

Less than an hour after Oral Surgeon

This Christmas salutation extends to all my family in Argentina, Greece, Germany, Italy, Paraguay and to all my family and friends in the United States of America. I hope that 2009 is really good to all of us. We had a lot of hardship for 2008 and I hope that with a new President in office and a new government that we will be able to bounce back. I am most grateful for my wife since she ran such a tight ship this year and we were able to stay afloat on all our bills. My daughter Franny got accepted to Kendall College and she will be pursing a degree in Culinary Arts. I dream of her opening a restaurant some day and me checking in coats with a shirt buttoned all the way to the top. My little daughter Giugi is doing great and her funny antics always gives us joy.

I just got back fro the oral surgeon and I got 4 bad teeth pulled. I am in a lot of pain but I had to take care of this. I procrastinated with this for over two years. I rode in the winter and when I got home I would be in pain because of the temperature change. This went on and on. Now I can start rebuilding my mouth and rid myself of the pain. Soon it will be time to seriously start training for Trans Iowa. If it keeps snowing I will purchase a pair of snowshoes. I have to be outside.

I wish everyone a good holiday and when you have some time shoot me a note. I always miss you guys out there.

B.K and M.K. I send you guys a huge hug.

Who is out there Plowing through the snows of 2008 onboard a fine machine called Rosinante?????????


Monday, December 15, 2008

Day off riding

Abandoned Farm on Rte 23 going south.

Thursday was a do or die situation since winter decided to take a break and climb up to the 40's. I saddle up with my new Fuji, complete with exposed cables, first generation white and red look pedals and a whopping 7 speeds in back controlled by a minute aluminum lever located on the downtube. I struggled against the wind heading south since the report said 25-40 mph winds with gusts of up to 50 mph. Hummmmm? sounds like what it was in the Trans Iowa earlier this year. I made to the 20 mile mark and turned a hard u-turn to sail Northbound like a big fat boat with huge sails full of air. I enjoyed every minute on the Fuji and was glad to have clocked the magical number of 40 in December. I met my Father in Law for coffee at the 'Bucks and then hit the liguor store for a 1/2 pint of Jackie D.
After coming home from the restaurant I started my tooth incident which finally, at 3:30 am made me cry. It broke me. I was tired and just wanted to sleep and I was not allowed. Luckily at 430 am I found some strong painkillers and knocked myself out completely. I am getting said loser tooth pulled on the 24th of December so I can miss out on all the great food that we are planning.
I guess it could be worse.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Alternative Cycling

I ran into this video and I am dedicating it to Dr. Giggles and Two Wheel Spot. I know how much we like this kind of stuff.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Confession

The most influential movie/ book of my life. I saw this when I was a kid back in the 70's and I swear I cried the whole movie. I cried because Zorba was so full of life and I could feel the intense energy he was giving off in his performance. It has carried me through the most difficult times of my life. Watch this movie when you are not able to go out and ride.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Winter time,

Surly 1X1 ready to Roll.

Riding Peace Rd trail to Dekalb

Tobie's Pugsley copulating with Rockhopper

Another Snowride at midnight
I have been really enjoying the studded tires. My next step is to sell more junk on ebay and once the Paypal account is up to par start on a Pugsley Project. I will be living out here in the fields for a while and I know I will be using the bike. I am just trying to buy myself some freedom and sanity for getting couped up in the house. I will only ride the Kreitlers when it is the end of the world.
As you can see above I got the Surly 1x1 done. The bike got built with almost all used parts. New parts included were cane creek headset, chain and rear fender. I can build fancy I can build frugal. You name it.
I have a Voo Doo cycles single speed mountain bike that has been roaming around my garage. It is a size 20" and it is too small for me. I am going to take the parts off and ebay the frame. With that money I will throw all the parts on a Surly 1x1. Next I have a Surly Crosscheck which is a 60cm and that is too small also . That is going to go on ebay and with those funds I hope to start by buying a Surly Pugsley.
Winter is a good time for projects, cleaning the garage, catching up with friends and family and winter riding.
Hope you are doing well.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Rage on Winter.

A Surly 1x1 that Flandria Velosport is Building

The Rockhopper at night with New Nokians. GRIP!

Every year it seems like I am more and more commited to ride in the winter. It is a matter of getting organized and thinking ahead. There are some essentials that are necessary to get the job done. The latest component to enter my winter arsenal are the Nokian Extreme 294's. Yes they have 294 studs and a very aggressive tread pattern. I mounted those on to a trusty old Specialized Rockhopper that kinda came my way. I was out the other night with snow and ice on the trail. I was able to ride through and do the complete 8 miles in under 2 hours. I never once lost traction and it is also very helpful to have a triple in the front to create all the torque you need.

Lately I have also been riding exclusively with my Gore Jacket. It has zippered arms that come off and turn the thing into a vest. I don't know where all the moisture goes since I always arrive home dry and comfortable. Tonight it is snowing again and it is one of those nights where the lights bounce off the low clouds and light up everything. I will be out chasing ghosts.


Monday, December 1, 2008

Sunday Riding

Great Western Trail in Snow Storm

The Gunnar after 5.5 hours of Abuse
I started off by riding really slow since my back is not 100% yet. After the nasty crash I have been trying to take it easy as to fully recover and resume normal intensity. I was out for almost 6 hours yesterday and it felt great. I rode the GWT first by myself and then met up with the Guys from North Central Cyclery for some riding along the powerlines. It snowed pretty much all day and the wind was fierce. I was very well dressed with the following:
Craft Windfront turtleneck
Gore Winstopper Jacket
Light merino wool Vest
Craft balaclava
Rapha summer hat
Uvex Helmet
Riding shorts
amfib tights
wool socks
lake winter boots
ski gloves
I could have been outside all since since my back started to losen up at around the 4 hour mark. When I got home I mounted the Nokian Extremes on the Rockhopper for tonights ride. I expect all the snow from yesterday and today to have turned into ice. Full report on the Nokians soon.

Friday, November 28, 2008

General Update.

Giulietta and her new Big Dummy

Coals are ready

Dr. Giggles and Dorkus Enormus with refurbished Merckx

Team Motorola with Columbus TSX tubing

Hope everyone had a good holiday. I started the day off by going on a very cold ride. The temps were hovering around 18 degrees when I left and I was happy to see the sun out. I had anticipated to do a 7 hour ride that day but my back was not cooperating and cut the ride down to 3 hours. I was wanting to do a write up about some horrific crash I had but have not come around it. Needless to say it has been about 3 weeks and I am babying this thing back to order
On other news you will be surprised to learn that I installed a power-tap on the Gunnar Crosshairs. The whole setup was free and I really needed to learn how to set it up and be able to explain the features it has. Too many numbers and too much info if you ask me. For 2009 I need to learn the following::
How to use a Cell Phone
How to Text message
How to use a GPS
How to use the GARMIN.

I know this sounds silly to you but I come from a different era. I come from 5 speed freewheels, downtube shifters and toe clips and straps.
The Merckx that you see in the photos is a Merckx Motorola that I brought back to life. I had Waterford custom build me a fork using a Henry James crownn and slender fork blades. The bike is built using Campy 10 speed , Rolls Titanio Saddle, DT rims, Vittoria Tires and 3TTT stem and bars.

Tonight its out on the bike again for some back relief.



Monday, November 24, 2008



Thursday, November 20, 2008

Monday, November 17, 2008

Staying close to home

The powerline trail Bethany to Pleasant rd. Sycamore>>>Dekalb

In preparation for the winter I have been investigating all areas that have some trees and are located close to my residence. Last year was my first winter in this area and I was foolish to venture out in the fields when the weather can change on the drop of a dime. One time I flatted and my co2 cartridges froze. So did I once I was on my 5 mile of walking towards the house. Lucky for me a gentleman of a farmer picked me up in his truck and blasted the heating to bring me back to life. My second disaster ride came when I ventured out west and got caught in a freak winter storm and soaked my gloves through.
I had frostbite on all my fingers and they hurt for a while. I am glad to have found some plastic that had snagged on some barbed wire. I wrapped said plastic and rode home like a Big Dummy.
This year I am taking a different approach. I have found some unfinished trail that can take me from Bethany rd. in an angle all the way to Dekalb and dump me right on Pleasant street. The trail is all offroad following the powerlines. Twice already I have been doing a lot of cleaning and trimming of bushes. Yesterday I spent 3 hours there and when I was done I took a break and had some whiskey out of my Surly Flask. I felt good. I am working on my 29er gearing and after talking to my pal at Sram I will go ahead and replace the 34x17 with a 34x18. On traditional 26ers the starting combo is a 2x1 but since 29ers have bigger wheels you have to up that a bit. I think the 18 in the back is going to be the ticket. I am also going to try to mess around with some tubeless stuff to lessen my rolling resistance.
My new powerline trail will be good to hide in the winter. Once it snow I will tackle it with some Nokian Extremes on the Rockhopper. There is also a sub-loop to be done that is 1 mile long. 100 loops= 100 miles. Do it!!
I have also set up the kreitler rollers upstairs at the shop. They have a fork holder, there is a fan, music and windows that open. Anyone interested give me a call.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Trans Iowa Version #2

This is what happens when it rains in Iowa.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Big Dummy is Finished

So I ebayed the great T-mobile carbon frame and in exchange I bought a Surly Big Dummy for the girls. I never have warmed up to carbon and I have too much respect for steel frame builders to go cheat on them. The big Dummy will open big possibilities for us. We can haul Giulietta and groceries without worries. I had a 230 lb rider in the back and the bike handled great. It is smooth, easy handling and verry comfortable. It is built with Surly front disc, rear shimano xt hub. 36 and 3 x wheels on Salsa Gordo rims. Cranks are Sugino triple and der are shimano. Thomson stem and a bunch of good used parts. Thanks Giggles for the Stem and shifters. It sucks that you are leaving.
Now I have to figure a way to bring it home. 52 miles on a 16" frame. I think I can do it. Maybe I will pack a 6er or PBR in the bags.

Campton Cross Nov 2, 2008 Part II

Pony Shop versus Sram

Rock Lobster Team rider. Watch out for this Kid, he is fast!

A glorious day for racing and spectating.

I can officially claim that the past Sunday of Nov 2nd was the last day of summer. It was warm and we all enjoyed hanging out, kids playing in the playground and everyone being able to race in short sleeves. I wasn't able to make it out to Northbrook IL this weekend due to injury and long distance in the car. Campton Cross was memorable.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Sunday racing and family fun

So Sunday turned out to be one of those spectacular days. We were smart to pack up lunches, folding chairs and a big thermos of hot tea and headed over to the races. The course came by the playground so the kids had a chance to play there while we watched the races. The weather was perfect and it was a great opportunity to see all my friends. I took some photos and shot some short videos with my digital point and shooter. I miss the little samsung thingy. It comes in handy with this stuff. I am coming to the realization that it is not worth riding on Sundays. I will go on shorter rides since nobody comes out this way. I don't feel like spending my whole day out in the fields by myself. I have decided to shorten my Sunday riding and commit to one obligatory commute to work a week plus whatever else type a riding comes my way. I have also been toying with the idea of driving to Wasco and then riding the rest of the way to work. That would give me a Euro-pian Century opposed to the 'merican century which are the ones that really count.
I hope you enjoy the photos and videos.


Friday, October 31, 2008


Legnano Slx with 8spd Ergo

Lloyd road on a road bike

Me in Belvedere, IL. Cyclotouring

Kishwaukee river in Belvedere

Murals in Belvedere


Delicious Lattes

Had a couple hilacious rides on day off and sunday past. On thursday I was out in the middle of nowhere and shot some decent video. 20+ miles later, pretty close to home I realized video camera had become free from h-bars. In a rant of curse words I u-turned the ship and off we went in hunt of precious video camera. After retracing my ride on opposite side of road I saw, at a distance, small black object. I was excited to find the electronic gizmo, until I opened the bag and saw a newish camera with its guts blown out, like road kill. Not even the chip was saved by the car or truck that ran it over.
Sunday was a uncommon road ride on the Legnano. Too much hanging out at said Rapha site. Road bike, specially the steel ones, can be pretty tough. I did appreciate the low rolling resistance on the 700x23s. Road to Belvedere solo, again, and stopped for lunch at a wonderful little mexican restaurant. Ate my food, drank my mexican Coca cola and watched some Soccer. Did a Euro-pian century also know as 100kms. Real centuries are of the american variety and they are 160kms. Europians are weak.
This thursday I voted early, cashed my 1 gallon jar of coins, dropped the pantanimobile for more work and went to the dentist for more pain in my mouth and wallet.
I have also been busy loading pixs onto my Flickr Pro account and organizing them. Get in there and check them out.
Stupid fucking plates I have seen on the highway while commuting with the pantani-mobile:


To all three of you guys may someone steal your vehicles and dump them in a lake. You need to stop inhaling the carpet fumes of your cubicles. Whatever.

On a brighter note. I am almost done building the wife a Surly Big Dummy. There were some real challenges to the build but in the end it all went well. The guys up at Surly are a bunch of smart asses when it comes to bikes. Ummm, maybe it has to do with the fact that they actually ride bikes.
I will post pictures of said creature soon. I test rode it today and it is a blast to ride. The frame, because of design and length is very comfortable and the handling is dead on.
Sunday I, we family will be attending the cyclocross race out in St. Charlies. Hope to see y'all there.


Blue: I am there buddy. I would like to hook up with you for a ride and beers. Maybe one day.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Motivation, motivation, motivation

I started to think about this the other day and it started to bug me a lot. I figured that if I started to hit the keyboard that I might be able to dislodge something out of it.
Last year was a magical year for all of us. We were riding high and mighty at the shop. We had lots of motivation and energy. We went on rides all the time and the mood was right. This year has been kind of like a booger.
I think the current financial situation, linked with high gas prices, fear, paranoia, war, Iraq-n , Afganistan, the elections, have smashed us into the ground.
Last year I had no car and my commuting was astronomical. I was on the Heron and rode day in and day out punching out centuries. Sometimes up to 4 of them a week. On Sundays I went for the long ride.
This year has been a wash. I purchased the Nissan Pantani-mobile and my commuting has been steadily absent. Last week was an exception and I did ride 453 miles. It left me exhausted and I am still recovering.

Moving out to Sycamore has also made a lot of changes. I am 52 miles away from all my riding buddies. So there is no blame there as to being able to hook up for rides.
What I am trying to figure out is how to recover 2007???? How do we recover that motivation??? Is one year ago that far away???? Do we age that much and get tired that much in a matter of months?? Do I need a carbon Fiber bike??
So these are the things that I will think about tomorrow as I roll on the gravel. It will be a good time to get some crap out of my head. Trans Iowa is approaching and I want to be fit. If you have some ideas or comments feel free to post. How do the Pros stay motivated day in and day out??? Do I need steroids? Do I need to go to a Spa??



Tuesday, October 21, 2008


I finally saved enough pennies to upgrade to a Pro account on Flickr! I will be posting tons of pictures. I wish I had a scanner to scan some hard copy stuff that is just priceless.



Trapper Tom, Hawthorne Woods, Il Cross

Tom @ Dekalb,Il Cross race

My Cup of Tea, misty Gravel

Monster Gunnar Crosshairs on Woodlawn Rd.

After last week's Red ASS I decided to take a couple of days off. Last week with all the forced bike commuting I had no time to do anything. This week I will make a commute to work and also get out on Thursday to ride with pal Tobie.

The weather is starting to change and again this morning we had some hefty frost. In a way I like that since it is killing all the allergens that drive me crazy. I am breathing better and getting some fitness back after my disastrous September. This week I plan to do inventory at home and get rid of busted cycling clothes and make a list of items I need to get to stay alive in winter. The addition of the Rockhopper will be good since that will be my shit weather bike. Nokians, Fenders and lots of lube will keep me going. I cannot afford to lose training days since the Trans Iowa appears out of nowhere. I still remember the hills and the never ending roads. I need to go there with all the fitness I can muster.

I am also thinking about how to configure the bike and which bike to take this time around. I went with the small rack and basket last year but sometimes I thought it made the bike handle like a truck. Carrying anthing in my backpack is useless since I cannot reach. I also have trouble reaching into my jersey pockets because of all the years of mountain biking and cross racing. Too many falls have limited my reach.

I think less crap and more water and items that are useful will be the key. I am also working on nutrition and am trying to figure out how many calories I need to consume per hours. In the 140 miles of riding I did last year I burned out 8900 calories.

On another topic I will be selling my Giant TCR T-mobile frame soon. It is an XL size and it is mint, never built. I thought of trying out carbon fiber but I never got the courage to go ahead with the idea. Riding out by my house the roads are really bumpy and rough. I have tried to take my road bikes out but I always end up riding them on dirt roads. We have such a lack of street signs so it is easy to get lost.

I hope everyone is having a good fall and a good Cross season.