Headquarters for the Slender Fungus Cycling Association

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

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Holy Moly

Gravel road coated in fresh snow

Monster Schwinn taking a rest, note Moosemitts.

Today was the day that I had selected to make myself suffer. It had been a while since I mounted my bike outside since we are getting the worst winter in a long time. I mounted the newly built rear wheel on my Schwinn monster bike. I got rid of the rear brake since I never use it and the front was also useless since I mounted an aero rim and the canti pads were hitting the spokes. I rolled out with my redwing boots on the flats and my Northface goretex jacket since we were getting dumped. I made it out to the gravel roads and I found a rhythm and was having a good time. My boots were working well and the thrift store merino sweater with the smartwool undershirts were the ticket. I rode out an hour and then made the U-turn and then things happened. At a distance someone decided to let loose of their German Shepherd. I figured with the snow he could easily catch me so I u-turned again and decided to take busy Annie Glidden home. After hearing about G-Pickle getting it from a dog I chickened out.

As soon as I turned my rear wheel went flat. I cursed myself for not finding a frame pump for the schwinn. My co2 cartridge would freeze and by now the snow was coming down hard. I started to walk and after 5 miles I was coming to some houses were I would take shelter and attempt a flat repair. As I got close to the houses a kind man in a pickup truck stopped and insisted that I take a ride home.

He understood what I was doing but reassured me the weather would get better and I would have better days to ride in. I came home and discovered a 2 mm long minute wire embedded in the tire. This was a discarded tire I got out of the garbage and obviously we did not spend a lot of time looking for this little wire.

Wire out, new tube and I am ready to attack February. Must wear second pair of socks, take frame pump and be ready.



Thursday, January 24, 2008

Cabin Fever at its best

Neatly trimmed tubes Bleriot BB

Bleriot BB, Simple Cable Guides

No joke, this morning's reading -10

My Palm tree decides to give fruit in this weather

Massive clearance despite 650bx41c

Clearance on Chainstay Area

Clearance on Fork. This is how it should be.

Been hit with some really cold weather as of late. This is the week where riding outdoors is nearly impossible. I realize that having a forest nearby would help and that going out in the fields would be suicidal at best. The roads out here are plowed at best and thankfully they don't salt the crap out of them. Maybe they don't want to turn all the rivers and streams into salt water environments. I don't know. In a way this has been helpful because I have been sleeping in, resting, doing stuff at home and doing some minor bike work. This will give me a chance to catch up on paperwork and make some plans for the summer. Good time to catch up with friends and family that seem so distant.

Hope all is well,


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Another Rivendell Bike invades our house

Rivendell Bleriot Headbadge

Seat tube image

Front detail, Lugs, brass, steel


This year we plan on doing some camping trips out towards the Rock River. I will be building up the Ira Ryan Porteur and the Jamie will be riding the Bleriot. It is our first 650b wheeled bike and we'll see how that goes. So far I have installed a Stronglight headset and the looong reach brakes designed by Grant Petersen and executed excellently by Tektro. Bike will have drops, barend shifters and velocity rims with shimano hubs. Rear Der will be shimano, cranks sugino and the rest I don't know yet. I slaved too much at the shop last year and I promise not to do the same in 08. Been riding fix lately to get my spin back. Built up another schwinn and pixs will follow.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Quickbeam Addiction

My 2AA Cateye

Reflection off Basket

The horizon with a star,somewhere

I had to get out tonight to hit the fields in completer darkness. I rode the Quicbeam which seems to be the perfect bike for nightriding in january. I had a 2AA cateye and my minewt. I shut the lights off and realized I was riding in a black hole. Small lights are very effective when you ride in darkness since stray light does not rob your lumens. It was really cold out there and I struggled to get in a measly 20 miles. Gravel is starting to freeze. Might be a good ride on Sunday.
I go for hot tea and something sweet.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Day off ride January 10, 2008

40 degrees in Jan, confused Geese

Flooded Kishwaukee River

Wet, soupy, soft gravel

Break in Kirkland, fenders a must

High flying confederate flag.

Gravel grinder hill with headwind.

So once again what was intended as a soft pedal ride after yesterdays 50 mile commute to work turned out to be a death march. I left the house and could not resist hitting the gravel roads. I got cocky with the strong tailwind and was winding up the 42x16 pretty good. I reach Kirkland a bit tired and had a drink. The quickbeam was the perfect bike to ride with the fenders. I do have to work on mudflaps to keep my shoes and shins drier. The ride home was a different manner. I had the worst headwind and the gravel was a true torture. I really felt the pain in my back since I was not able to make any difference by standing on the pedals. I took no food with me which was a mistake and the water I drank just gave me more stomach acid. I was glad to get home and swallow a pot of pasta. The quickbeam needs a lower gear and perhaps some cyclocross tires. Ran a michelin pro 700x25 in front and a conti contact in 700x28 in back.

Vote in O8,


Sunday, January 6, 2008

Post birthday ride.

Pizza Dan Grinding

Pushing H.R.

lots power, no speed,

Heroe of the day

David on 23mm tires AKA "the floater"

Morning Fog

break at the "boobs"

Giggles, Pizza, Big Dork

Almost 60 degress in January??
Watch Al Gore Movie

Had a great ride today with the gang. We were out in the fields and had a blast riding the thawed gravel roads. We really did not think of riding gravel since most of use were on road tires. But once you start, you can't stop. The ride today was gruelling since the gravel was way saturated and thawed. The water has not had a chance to drain and on some sections were were riding at 4 mph. Not enough food, not enough water but a really good ride for january. Jamie cooked us lunch with some great Rigatoni Putanesca and fresh salad. We drank buckets of watere and had some great espresso. A truly fine day. The afternoon was spent at the inlaws eating more food, some vino and watching Food Network. Us restaurant guys can't get enough of the food. Just under 5 hours of riding time with a mileage of 50 miles +-. Wet gravel does slow you down.
Get out if you can,

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Nickel and Dimed and Al Gore

Al Gore movie

I had a couple of days off and received this book from Franny. I started reading it and could not stop. So much of this book is so true that you owe it to yourself to get it and read the damn thing. I also finally got a chance to watche Al Gore's movie on Global Warming. It would be senseless to make comments on this blog about it since most readers here are cyclists and are aware of what is going on. It the gluttons with the Mc Mansions and the 14 ton SUVS that need the wake up call. I hope at some point these issues start to become more obvious and that we get out of our blind consumerism and start caring about what is important. In Berlin, Germany old cars that are not certified to be Gas Efficient are not allowed in the city. All energy efficient cars have a special sticker and if you don't have on on your 1981 Buick you cannot drive it in the city limits. After you get done reading Nickel and Dimed make sure to tip the waitress at your diner well because her livelihood depends on it.


Wednesday, January 2, 2008

New Year's Ride

10 degrees, 25 mph winds welcome 08

Jamie says we live in Siberia

Hope you all had a good New Year's and that by now your hangovers are getting better. We were very busy at the restaurant and the drive home in the snow was a true voyage. On New Years I got out with the monster bike and did 1.5 hours with the studded tires. When I got home my brain was frozen and I couldnt remember the code to get into the garage. Winds were fierce out of the west and not even my expedition quality North Face Gore Tex jacket could keep it out. Head was cold, torso cold, hands warm with the Mitts and my Vasque hiking boots kept my feet ok. I Admire those guys up in Alaska.
There is so much to think about for 2008. The thing that most intrigues me is the elections in November. I can't wait. I hope that this time the american public will get out and help themselves to a good, new president. This year will see my daugther in Kindergarten and that will be good for her. She needs to go to school and get some energy out. Lots of ideas, lots of plans and might as well start executing them because nowadays the years go by in a flash. I want to do the long commutes again, go bicycle camping with the wife, camping with the kids and use my car as little as possible. Good luck to everyone out there. Ride your bikes, vote, drive less.