Headquarters for the Slender Fungus Cycling Association

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

Friday, March 28, 2008

Soda Stereo------Rock Argentino

Being half Argentinian and having lived there is the reason I also love Argentinian Rock music. One of my favorite bands---------Soda Stereo.


Bamboo Gunnar off Assembly Line.

Gunnar Crosshairs. Made 'n' 'merica

Nitto Stem, Cane creek headset, Silver hanger

Sugino Compact Cranks, INTERNAL BEARINGS

Dura Ace 9 spd Downtubies

Deore XT reverse pull Short Cage Derailleur

I finally made the push to get this beast done. Frame and fork made in Waterford Wisconsin. I love the work those guys do. Their bikes are meant to be ridden. I had a bit of problems to spec this machine out. I wanted it to be durable with no crappy parts that would let me down. I wanted to stay away from external bearings since I have been replacing a lot of them on customers bikes. The sugino compacts were hard to come by. I am running a sealed cartridge shimano. Chainrings are 50x34. Rear Derailleur is XT reverse pull and with the downtube shifters it works great. Hubs are xt with Mavic touring rims covered in Schwalbe Marathon Racers in 700x35c. Brakes are TRP Eurox and they feel like my old mafacs. Headset is a better quality Cane Creek. Nitto threadless stem that is NOT black. Bars are Nitto Noodles with Dura ACe brake levers. This bike is built tough and will be my Trans Iowa bike. It weighs 23 something with no light parts on it.

Hope you likes,


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Day Off Ride

Half frozen with 20+ miles to go.
I successfully got frostbite on 8 of my 10 fingers. I was out today on the Salsa cross bike and headed west to do some miles for the Trans Iowa. I did check the weather and it called for temps in the high 30's with some scattered flakes. Well at about 25 miles out I decided to bag it and start coming back home. I had eluded the wind since it was on my tail all the way out. As soon as I u-turned her it started to snow. Flake here, flake there. After 1 mile of head down into a severe headwind it started to dump. Fuck the weather forecast. Out here there is no forecast and from now and ever I will carry a backpack with survival gear.
My Showers Pass jacket was excellent but I could have used another insulating layer. I regretted not having a hat with a bill since the snow has burned my eyes. I am bloodshot. The slush and snow penetrated the Lake boots and I went 25 miles with wet feet. The drama of the day was getting my hands soaked to were they were burning. I cried and could not find a way to make them stop hurting. I scoured the ditches for help. I eventually found some dirty plastic that I wiped on my tights and cut in half. I wrapped my hands in it and rode home. Jamie had to peel the plastic and the gloves off to reveal white tipped digits.
All these years of riding and this is the first time EVER that I have suffered so much. I should have had my Pogies and my OR snow mitts today. Live and learn. Hello????? This is March 27th, 2008 and I have burny fingers.
I was so relieved to not have had any mechanicals. Now I must get showered and go serve at the Restaurant.
Free Tibet and stop buying Chinese Crap at Wal*Mart.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Presenting Dengue Fever

Happy Easter to all you out there.
Free Tibet,

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Day off Ride

Gurler rd, heading West

Leftover Ice

Dead end of Gurler rd.

Gurler and Woodlawn.

Did a completely different ride today and it worked. Headed in towards De Kalb and then found Gurler road which took me out to the fields. Some gentle rollers and plenty of soft gravel. Ended up in Holcomb, IL and then started heading home. Ride total was a mere 50 miles. Felt cold the whole ride since it was only 38 degrees with strong winds from the North. Rode the Salsa Scandium. Came home, showered and went to work at the restaurant. I be tired now.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Yashica T4 Super Weatherproof

I know it looks like another point and shooter. The special part about this camera is the Carl Zeiss lens that came on it. Yashica had also produced some awesome and really desirable cameras under the Contax name. I will go over a couple of models that I own in the near future.
The Yashica T4 was a wonder. It has a superscope which allows you to take photos without looking through the camera. This was specially important when I took all the homeless people in Chicago. I would stand next to them and pretend to fiddle with my camera and take the photo. This made for some great candid shots and I really don't think I hurt anyone.
The camera was no longer made because Carl Zeiss was not able to provide the lens and keep the camera under a certain pricepoint. I purchased mine from a Pawn shop for 50 bucks. Currently on ebay they sell over 300 bucks. Photos are very sharp with some vignetting when there is blue sky. Another classic camera that has become a collectible.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Tour de France

Kraftwerk-------------->>>>>>>>> Tour de France

After a long winter I am starting to dream of warm weather, road bikes, shorts, Jerseys, Hot humid days, The Tour de France, epic rides out in the country.......................................

Friday, March 14, 2008


I was rummaging through my camera bags the other day and realized I had a few gems in my collection. I have not used my film cameras in a long time and somehow I felt bad about it. I used to live with a film camera in my pocket or bag at ALL times. It gave way to my awesome Olympus Stylus digital. I got lazy with the snap-snap-snap-delete-delete and upload, download.
I think what we lose in digital cameras is the time to think the picture, frame it, compose it and then execute it. I remember taking fewer but much better pictures in the old days. The Lomo in the photo is a marvel. It can expose up to 2 minutes, you can manipulate the film speed, and the lens is super sharp. Handy, compact and a really good feel to it. It is a fragile, cheaply made Russian camera but I will never let it go. I will eventually get a scanner and post some of the shots taken with this camera on the flicker website. I have started to shoot film again and it feels good. It's like forgoing your STI for friction.I will post some other cameras as I clean and get them ready.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Gravel Update

Tomorrow's weapon of choice

After a 6 hour dentist ordeal I feel like I can think straight again. I root canal is harder than riding a hundo in the gravel for sure. I got home and collapsed in bed and took the rest of the day off. I had some french press coffee and then took a nice nap in my new heavy, superwarm comforter. After dinner we went on a survey trip with wifey in the Nissan. The gravel is ice free and it seems pretty well drained. So tomorrow, if I awake pain free, I will be out there pounding the limestone.

The spring weather is around the corner and I know the Typhoon will soon hit the bike shop. I think we are ready. We will have longer hours for retail and this year since I have the car I will be going in early and leaving early.

Hope to ride with somebody soon,


More dental work tomorrow. I also need a new canister of Albuterol.


Monday, March 10, 2008


X-man early morning

A while ago I spotted Xman. It was early morning and the sun was just starting to come out. I was armed with my trusty Fed-5 camera and the shutter was cocked and ready to go. I would take the early train and try to capture some early shadows and soft colors against the buildings in the city. X-man appeared out of nowhere. He was dressed in full gear with his white Air Jordans and White pants. He was aboard a super-fast Giant with barend shifters on the ends of bullhorns. He was ready for another day of battle.
I asked permission to take his Photo and I knew I only had one shot. I guessed the aperture and speed since I had no meter. I took the shot and hoped for the best. The result is a blessing. If you ever spot X-man you know you have seen the best there is.

Dedicated to Strangelife

I know you will understand the meaning of this. We have finally figured out Zip-tie Man,

Friday, March 7, 2008

Steel, lugs and a bit of Sanity

Lugs at Waterford Precision Cycles, Wisconsin
A very long time ago, when I lived in Argentina, I was offered a lugged, steel delivery bike by my father. He bought me this used piece of beast thinking I could not break it and it would allow me to get around. We lived in poverty and were under military dictatorship so the old french Porteur bike was a blessing. It weighed a lot and it had big balloony tires. I rode this thing from 1974 until my departure in 1982. Eight years of cruising the streets of Buenos Aires on the beast. I used it to haul wood on it, bricks, groceries, my mom's propane tank for the kitchen stove, car wheels, you name it.
As I arrived to the Great States of America I was in shock to see all things new and shiny. To this day I have had a rough time getting used to the materialism that abounds around me. I have always loved to ride "shit" bikes. My longtime pal is testament to that. After spending so many years in the industry I have always come back to Steel. The material is magical. My father is a mechanical engineer and he swears by it.
Todays steel alloys are incredible. The are light, strong and extremely durable. Steel is pretty, steel is flexible and does not fail catastrophically. Today I worked on an Italian wonder bike in Aluminum and Carbon. The oddsized seatpost is done in Carbon fiber and it is seized in there. I never had that problem on my old french bike.
So if you think that steel is dead think again. Steel is coming back strong and the bikes that are being built are b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l. Will your carbon bike hold value in 20 years? I kinda think it won't. Will it be cool? I don't think so.
Consider steel as an option. Consult your Local Bike Shop (LBS) and see what they have to say.
Just a thought.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

No relief in Sight

Gravel coming back to life

So I kept on watching the temperature and finally I decided it was not going to get any better. I had 23 degrees with a wind out of the nw at about 10-15mph. I dressed warm with amfib tights, leg warmers, wool, more wool, patagonia, toe warmers, moosemitts and a whole lot more. I forced myself out there for 2 1/2 hours and I was not happy. The headwind slowed me down to about 10 mph and the only break I found was being on some mushy gravel. Wherever the sun shines the gravel has been cleared but anywhere where there is a tree or even a post and the sun does not hit it is ice. I am hoping this crap will end soon. I don't want to think about all this clothing any more. I rode the salsa cross bike and tried out a Specialized fancy saddle. Felt good. Still not done building my Gunnar crosshairs. Need brakes, levers, downtube shifters, bars, front and rear Der.
Time for tea,

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Commuting for everyone.

Bike commuter in NYC.

We have finally surpassed that magic number of 100 bucks. Yes a barrell of crude oil is over that mark and with that a lot of americans are going to start hurting. Long gone are the days were we just pumped and did not worry about it. A large Suv with a tank of 40 gallons cost over 120 dollars to fill. I think a lot of these guzzlers will go to People that have shorter commutes and the long distance travellers will eventually have to opt for cheaper options. I know a lot of commuters are hitting up the trains and the buses and with cities like Portland, Seattle, Madison the greatest mechanical device of all time has been the latest sensation.

That would be the bicycle. The fixie thing is still out there and it has morphed into another subculture thing with bunnyhops and flippy handlebars. There is no mistake that the fixie with no brakes, no fenders, no rack, narrrow tires is not the best of commuters.

The new townies and Rando bikes sport all the forementioned ammenities and make riding easy, clean and enjoyable. A couple of our customers have pledged to draw a five mile radius around there house and accomplish all those commutes by bike. He is sporting an 8 spd Bianchi Milano and the mrs. a Giant Transend Dx. Both bikes equipped with fenders, lights, and racks with Grocery Panniers by Jandd.

So when you don't have to pull out Moby Dick, hop on the bike and set yourself free. Get a Cushy saddle, platform pedals and ride with plain clothes. A survey done in England said that Motorists give more space to "Civilians" than they do the guy decked out in full Lycra regalia.

Supposedly 4 dollars by Summer. But Bush did not know about that.

Go Figure,


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Bone chiling commute

The terribly unpassable Great Western Trail

I opted not to ride on Sunday because it was warm (50 degrees) and sunny. I have had the experience of getting really sick when that first day of warmth finally arrived. One time I rode 135 miles on a day like that and it later transformed into chronic Bronchitis for a period of 4 months. No thanks.

Today I went to recover my car from the Restaurant which was a 27 mile ride. I knew it was siberian cold all over again. Dressed superwarm, Lake boots, toe warmers and went at it. I rode 27 miles into the headwind of 20 mph and completely exhausted myself. The only motivating factor was the warmth of my little Nissan and a good dosage of NPR radio. Almost two hours later I arrived and drove off to work.

The Trans Iowa is fast approaching and so far the weather has been horrific. I suppose a lot of participants are on the same boat.

I hope so,