Headquarters for the Slender Fungus Cycling Association

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

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Trans Iowa 2008

Ready to roll
Mile 100.
in the distance another downhill
Uphills in Iowa
So for all the people that come to the midwest and say there are no hills you need to visit the North-east corner of Iowa. What a beautiful place it is.
We left on Friday early from Sycamore, Il to make it to the meeting at Tbocks in Decorah, Iowa. There we received the cue sheets and all the warnings and advice. We ate, went back to the motel, readied ourselves and tried to sleep for a couple hours.
We had been tracking the weather and it was to be cold, and windy.
Cold= 24 degrees
Windy= 20-30 mph with gusts of over 40mph.
Our first checkpoint was to be at mile 109. With the severe winds and the incredible amount of hills it all but destroyed the whole field. I rode at 4 mph on the headwind, 10 mph with the cross and 25-30 mph on the tailwind sections.
The hills were conquered on the 34 x 26 with full power being applied to the pedals. It was hard to find the right group to ride with. Most people became demoralized with the wind and could not make the required 11 mph to make the first checkpoint. Time was ticking away and at that point I decided to go for it solo. I rode and rode and kept a close eye on the watch. Incredibly I was running out of time and finally missed the first checkpoint. I was gassed, out of water, my legs were cramping and I was angry.
I tried to call for a ride back to Decorah but the celly had no reception. I decided to ride back with some other riders and again we raged against the wind. We made it to west hudson where we were lifted and brought back. My total mileage turned out to be 132. The race was cut from 345 to 250 because of dangerous flooding and even more dangerous road conditions.
As I rode, I thought I would never do it again. I finished the ride, got to the hotel and already started thinking of next year. I arrived home and was happy to see my girls. My first nights were strange. I could not sleep, I had this savage feeling. Last night I suited up and left the house at 10:30 pm for a long night right.
I have been thinking about this race for months and now it will take time to get it out of my head. I learned a whole lot about this type of riding. I met some wonderful people and realized how nice it is to just ride a bike.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Silver Parts

Forged, Satin Polishing, Reliable

On some bikes it is imperative to have silver parts. It has been incresingly difficult to find them and obtain them. Nitto has been making parts for a long time and I was able to locate the Dynamic post and a beautiful silver stem that landed on my Gunnar. Silver parts make a bike look classy and light. I recognize that a carbon bike with carbon wheels will look better with all black. Black to me looks cheap and heavy.

Just a thought, just an opinion.


Monday, April 14, 2008

Monday night Cycling april 14th, 2008

I thought that it would be a little warm outside to do some equipment testing. As usual I was wrong. I installed my new Crank Bros Acid pedals along with my Lake mtb shoes. I had to get new shoes because when you are loaded with a size 15 shoe they don't last as long. Must be the weight and leverage that make the soles flex like my wife's flip flops.
I had some creaking in the bb area and I suspect it is the interface of the pedals with the cranks. I also tested out the Cateye el410 mounted on the helmet. It was a treat to have a light that you can point and shooot with. I still don't did the wish, swooshy noice of the water in the camelbak. I feel like I am drowning. Any thoughts??
I rode with a cotton t-shirt, cotton socks, no booties, My whitey-tightey undies with tights and cargo cotton shorts.
Do yourself a favor: Don't wear cotton when it is cold. I thanked my Merino Wool sweater for the warmness.
I left the house before 10 and got back before midnight. I don't mind the darness. Lots of interesting things going on.
I hope it warms up a bit soon.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Sunday Riding April 13th ,,,,,2008

Tiny forest off Baseline road, Genoa, IL

Hi to all,

Rode out this morning into a demonic wind coming out of the north. I was in full winter regalia, including Lake Boots, balaclava, wind tights and thick, thick gloves. I rode almost 30 miles due north to avoid last weekends 40 mile into the headwind deathmarch. I was out on the bambo bike and the position on it seems to be dialed in perfect. I came blazing due South with a tailwind that was going thru me and sending chills up and down my body. I started to lose feeling on the tip of my toes and that's when the cursing started.

I hope nobody heard me. I took refuge in a tiny forest and did some of the minute singletrack I found there. I did warm up and it was nice to not hear the wind through my ears. With 13 days to go until Trans Iowa this winter has been the most uncooperative yet.

At this point I am looking foward to getting this crap over with and get on with my summer.

Is it worth it????



Friday, April 11, 2008

Ira Ryan Cycles Porteur

Pink Chris King Headset Installed

Lower cup and fork crown detail

The holes are for the Porteur Rack

Limited Edition Cap 2008

I installed the headset and also received the Chris King Cross version hubs. They will be laced to silver mavic a719 rims in a 36 hole drilling. I also found a Campagnolo seat binder bolt that fit just perfect.

Been really busy at the shop and it makes me happy. Will be getting some good help next week from Chris Pelvic and Mad dog Brad. I can't wait to start working with dem two Bozos. Off to put all the tools away.


Thursday, April 10, 2008


So far this season has been all about riding in harsh conditions. I look at a lot of images and envy those riders in shorts and jerseys. Today was an impossible day to be on the bike. Temps held steady all day at 38 degrees and the rain poured all day long. The wind blew in a crazed whirlwind.

I decided to take the day off and settle some chores at home. I got my watches fixed. I found stuff that I had been looking for a long time. I went and bought socks. I had lots of coffee. I like suffering, though sometimes it really tires me.

The Trans Iowa will be an epic ride of suffering. The long rains are sure to soak the gravel and I highly doubt it will be dry and dusty by months end. I will be ready. Below is an excerpt from

"The Rider" from Tim Krabbe:

"In 1919, Brussels-Amiens was won by a rider who rode the last forty kilometers with a flat front tire. Talk about suffering! He arrived at 11:30 at night, with a ninety minute lead on the only two riders who finished the race. That day had been like night, trees had whipped back and forth, farmers were blown back into their barns, there were hailstones, bomb craters from the war, crossroads where the gendarmes had run away and riders had to climb onto one another's shoulders to wipe clean the muddied road signs."

That's what I call epic times!!


Sunday, April 6, 2008

Sunday Ride

Brick road coming out of Rock river Valley. One of the steepest hills I know of.

Farming of hay and Atoms

Riding into a headwind for 40 miles

All the Gravel you could ever wish for

I left this morning with the intention of making it to the Rock river in Oregon,IL. I had a nice tailwind head out all the way. I took the long route and ended up making the 33 mile distance to over 40 miles. I took a quick break at the gas station and headed back. I had a monumental task of battling the wind for over 3 hours. I drank all my gatorade, water, and luckily I had packed a monster power bar with protein in it and covered in dark chocolate. That is what got me home. I really was so sick of the headwind. The sun was warm but the air riding over the fields was cold. I had wind tights, wool socks (with cold feet), wool undershirt, jersey and a Hincapie windproof jacket. Balaclava and hat. I did many an intervals when I got chased by dogs. It kinda sucked riding solo since I could not draft off anyone. My total mileage for the day was 85 miles. I burned 5300 calories.