Headquarters for the Slender Fungus Cycling Association

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

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Sunday Ride

Pizza and Giggles chilliing In Kirkland,IL

Finally got a chance to do a good ride. Made it out to Belvedere,IL through Genoa. Hit close to the 55 mile mark which is under what I wanted. Riding in the winter is slow so I guess patience, patience. Was on the Salsa Cross and that damn thing is fast. Really responsive and quick accelerating. Anyway,will come back with more soon.


Friday, February 22, 2008

Independent Fabrication, general thoughts

Smooth , clean drivetrain

Rear brake detail

Front brake detail

Flandria Velosport Workshop

Made in USA Gosh darnit!! It is with great pride that I build this fine machine. I have been taking my time with it so I can saviour the fine quality of this machine. It is straight as an arrow, the threads are beautiful and it just seem to click together. Today I string the cables and chain and all I have left is to wrap the bars and take up some strech on the cables. It feels really light and I don't think we left any weak points on it. King Headset, Dura Ace (real) hubs and some good bars and stem. I will be excited to see it out on the gravel, if the ice ever goes away.

Yesterday I was so tired because my soft collar on my gunnar made my post sink a full 4 cms. I couldn't get my leg extended and I was pedaling with my thigh all the time. I will remedy that with a Salsa liplock and that will be that. Live and learn.

The shop today was dead again and it seem like everyone has resigned themselves to 72 degrees and sun. Even the hardcore riders have been bronco busted and are home crying in their wives or girlies laps. You guys are pussies.

Anyway, I guess I should shut up and go program the cateye wireless.



Thursday, February 21, 2008

Day off Ride

Moose Mitts and Studded Tires

I am Dead

Little bit of Gravel

I started thinking about this yesterday as I was driving to the house. Today I had to get out and do 2 hours on the bike. I had decided to put on the studded tires and switch my Titex H-bars to risers so I could use the mitts. After Sunday's crap ride were I froze to death I was ready to give mother nature a clean fight. I experimented with the gravel roads and they were truly "unpassable". Smooth, glazed over ice made it impossible to even ride with the studded tires. Walking was impossible. I stayed on the main road and then saw that that shoulder was clean so I did 22 miles on the gravel part of the road.

My heart rate shot through the roof and I was cursing at myself for being so stupid. Why do I have such ideas? Why not call it a day and wait for warmer weather? I think I don't think. Anyway, I rode 11 miles out and then carried the cross back home with a massive headwind that burned my nose and my legs. I fought it out all the way to make it home exactly in 2 hours with 22 miles in. I rode the gunnar Fixed gear with a 2x1 gearing and Innova 700x45c studded tires.



Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Stop Driving!

I just have to get this out at some point. I have been commuting by the way of the Nissan in the cold months. Truth is I can't wait to do my centurian commute all over again. Over the few past months I have realized how many drivers in our area drive on the expressways with waaay large vehicles and how they punch these animals to go at mach speed.

Many moons ago when my old man taught me to drive he emphasized the light touch on the pedal. If I was coming to a red light I would let go of the gas and "glide" to the light.

This little habits were to save gas and conserve your brakes and engine. See my dad comes from a Mountain Village in Greece, where instant gratification and consumerism are unknown words. You saved, then saved and then when you got the item you cherished it and polished it to last a lifetime.

The insanity on the Highway is getting on my nerves. People are clueless as to why they exist and why they are in such a hurry. Slow down is all I think. So the bottom line is that I want to ride again. They will not appreciate this since the asshole biker will again be in their way.

I am really interested to learn more how cities like Portland and other "Civilized" towns are making these changes. As for I-88 it remains a ribbon of Gluttony. Above is a chart that I will present with kind permission from Kent's Blog.

Now get out and ride your bike. Get a commuter going with wide tires, fenders, a light and some racks to carry Crap.


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Trans Iowa, Ice and solitude.

I Fab Planet X cross bike

I Fab frame, Deda and King.

Handmade in America and proud of it!!!!

The Tranny is coming up and so far January and February have been a wash. It has been a real long time since I have been shut down. Incredible amounts of snow, ice and sub zero temps have all but broken me. I have made some treks out there but it was no party. At some point I guess it will eventually climb into above "freezing" and will have to bust ass. The shop has been completely empty and not even our regulars are coming in. What ever happened to all the fast guys and the hardcore riders? Hey, where are you guys??? In an attempt to get things clear in my head I will say that the talk is bigger than the cranking. So next time you come in and tell me how fast you are and how much you ride::::: Spare me.

It has been a tough winter and we are ready to go for the season. Bikes are built, shop is organized, custom italian frames and bikes are in. Preseason Gunnars are there. We have Garmin, Powertap, Wheels, Clothing, Bianchi is back. We have all what you need. So come on out and start the 2008 Season.

I am currently building a Trans Iowa bike and Pictures are included. Custom Built Independent Fabrication. With Ultegra Sl, Dura Ace wheels, Deda Stem and Bars, Thomson Post, Rolls saddle and turning the whole concoction ar Some Candy Sl pedals. This bike is going to be used a lot, cause I know the owner is possesed.

With much further do, come out, ride, and stop exagerating.



Thursday, February 14, 2008

Tragedy at Northern Illinois University

This is a year that has just started wrong. We had a pal get injured at the start of the year, we lost Sheldon Brown and today a gunman opens fire at our local NIU students. My wife was attending class somewhere else when it all happened. 6 people are dead and many injured. I am so saddened by this.
Unfortunately there is no way to prevent or protect yourself frome such a situation. 25 thousand people roam the campus and it would be impossible to check all bags and screen everyone. This guy loaded his guns , walked in and had a field day.
I really don't know what to think of all this. I was so hurt to just think about what those families are going through right now.
Violence, violence is all we hear and see on the T.V. It is the year 2008 and we are still acting like barbaric people like all this civilization has done nothing to better us. I hope to see something better happen soon. I hope to see an end to the violence in Irag, in Africa, in Asia , in Europe and also in De Kalb, IL.
Whether you are religious or not, take a moment to ask for some peace. Maybe there is a chance that someone will hear you.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Sunday was a wash with temps in the negative area and the winds gusting to over 40 mph. It was a good day to stay in bed and take a long, long sleep. I think I have been overtired for years and sometimes my body tells me to just play dead. 12 hours of sleep and I felt strange, different, lighter. Can rest be good for you? After reading Matt Chester's blog I believe that we over work, ride, train, stress, eat, drink, worrry etc, etc.
It is time to evaluate what summer will be like. Last year I had huge goals of millions of miles spent on the bike. This year I don't want to fall into that routine. I have to work less, go somewhere else, away from my spider hole routine.
I am glad I was not able to ride on Sunday.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Day Off Ride

Me looking half dead

Awesome drifts

Gunnar Ruffian 29er Fixed

Tortureous Great Western Trail

Despite all the snow from yesterday I had to gain the courage to get out and do my hours. I really thought about the conditions and for sure knew that it was best to stay on the deserted roads. They do plow them but do not salt at all. The Gunnar 29er in fixed mode would be the best shot since my Shimano Freewheels tend to freeze up.

Getting to the country roads meant travelling on civilized roads that were plowed and salted.

The cold slush hit my boots and lower part of my tights and if it started to penetrate the party would be over. I was running a 2 to 1 ratio and at times it seemed to high and others too short.

I was also chased by a white male with 4 legs and to my disbelief he would not give up. As he got closer I was starting to imagine his teeth sinking in my fat leg. I kept the bike straight and we sprinted. I hit top speed of 23 mph on ice and my HR monitor was going crazy. Then the fucker loses his footing on the ice and starts to slide. I am imagining falling, fucking up myself, my bike and when all said and done getting bitten. I turned to see him finally gone and I had to stop since I was not breathing anymore.

I ended up doing almost 3 hours of penitence and on the way home I walked 5 miles on churned up snow (snowmobiles) on the Great Western Trail. Burned 2,500 calories in that time.

I smartened up and took a backpack with tools, a full size pump and a nalgene bottle with 1 liter of water. Rode with my Patagonia Puff Jacket, Merino sweater, and patagonia R4 baselayer. I was soaked but all the moisture was off of me. Now I never leave without my Toe Warmers.

Dead and Out,


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Getting Ready for Thursday

So we got blasted again with more snow. Thanks to my mp3 player the drives have been tolerable. Interpol is a band I really like and makes the drive home interesting. Tomorrow I am busting out the 29er and plan to spend a couple hours outside. I was thinking of Sheldon Brown all day and tomorrow I will dedicate my ride to him.

Monday, February 4, 2008

R.I.P. Sheldon Brown

After a long, heavy day I find out that Sheldon Brown has died. This man knew so much about the bicyle. It is with tears that I type this, for he was such an inspiration when it came to difficult repairs and his passion for the bike was genuine. I am so sad.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Winter riding

Aldrich Rd with some visible Gravel

Wondering why I decided to ride

Welcome to Genoa, IL.

I can't wait to hit this place when Open.

Genoa rd. en route to Belvidere, IL.

Awesome truck.

Winter Scene.

Awesome new rd. Whipple Rd.

I knew I had to get out today and work out some demons. I did not have a good week and there was a lot of pressure I had to release. I made sure to overdress because lately I have been underdressing. I also took a geared bike to help out with the bad moments when my legs don't want to go anymore. I headed north and stopped by Genoa and then headed kinda north west towards Belvedere. I then made a uturn and ate 25 miles of headwind and little pellets of Ice cutting up my face and eyes. After what seemed a very long time I hit Pleasant Hill rd and started heading south. I got on Whipple and discovered some beautiful riding. I headed east past Sycamore and then circled back to the house. I had one waterbottle and my idea of stopping for food never happened. Total count for the day is 55 miles, 4.5 hours and an average of 13.5mph.
More snow tonight.
tired as heck and out,