Headquarters for the Slender Fungus Cycling Association

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

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Gas is the news

From mighty Moby Dick

To lame white elephant that nobody wants

It sounds retarded but at this point less demand would probably drive prices down. Most of you that read this blog are bike friendly so I ask you to talk to people that insist on driving everywhere to find alternatives.
Today my wife rode to work , then I commuted to work by car, then rode to my second job by bike. We saved almost 20 miles of driving . In the gas crisis of the 70's my dad was offered new Cadillacs at dirt cheap prices. I have a feeling story is about to repeat itself all over again.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Decorah, Iowa Part two.

The short lived vacation was just a teaser and I really hope that someday we can do longer than 3 days. That is just not long enough to destress. Yesterday I rode into work with my pals and got in 102 miles. Lots of wind and a chilly morning. The ride back home was long and had to grind a lot to make the last 10 miles. I hope everyone had a chance to get out this weekend. Remember our veterans and our boys out there fighting.

Dunning Spring

Magpie Coffe shop

Single lane bridge over upper Iowa river

Bridge over Rte 52

Awesome Singletrack 3 minutes out of town

Entrance to Ice cave

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Day off riding.

Heading north on Rte 23

Neat old Barn near Genoa, IL.

Some hills in the distance, near Marengo
I have finally come off my insomnia riding at night and things are looking better. I took rte 23 and tried to make it to Marengo. According to my ILLInois Gazeeter around the Marengo are there are supposed to be some hills. It was a flat ride out there and the wind was blowing fierce off the northeast. I made it to I-90 before I had to turn around. I had to meet my father in law at the Country Store for Butterfly Pork Chop sandwiches at 1 pm. He had been gardening all day and was in need of a hardy lunch.
There is still a lot to investigate in the area that I live. Next week will mark our 1 year anniversary of moving out here and we are really liking it. In all this time the riding has been great and the drivers are patient and friendly. Out in the country they even wave at you and stop and see whether you need help if they see you walking your bike. I really doubt if I really want to move back to a more populated area again. The Ira Ryan is in the works and should be ready soon. It has been a long term project and I hope to put this bike building thing behind me for a while. I still have not yanked the road bike out yet. I hope to do this soon before I spend all summer on the cross bike. I see that gas keeps crawling further up again and again. We are selling more and more commuter bikes and selling lots of baskets, racks and fenders at the shop. Big Suv owners are still hitting the gas pedal hard and perhaps the price of gas has not affected them yet. We are in a crisis and it is time to get serious about driving. Commute as much as possible with the bike.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Decorah Iowa May 18, 19 and 20, 2008

We had to head up to Decorah again since I just cannot get enough of this area. It is truly heaven. This time I was not involved in a race so I could go slow, soak more in, investigate and really have a good time. Riding was excellent, people are friendly and the Guinness at T-Bocks rocks. There is a lot to do if you are an outdoors type person. There is Hiking, Cycling, Fishing, Canoeing, Hunting, Running, etc, etc. We really liked doing some of the routes suggested by the local Bike shop run by Richard. The name of the shop is Oneota River Cycles in Downtown Decorah. Richard sells Niner, Marin, Bianchi, Gunnar and Surly.
29ers are very popular in that region. They handle the Singletrack up in the forests and they are great machines for cruising the gravel roads. Richard also handbuilds wheels so you know it is a serious shop.
We stayed at the super 8 where the rooms are clean and affordable. The walk or ride into town is short and safe. You can ride the road (Montgomery st) or take the sidewalk. T-Bocks is the local hangout. People go Mountain Biking and then grab a brew and some food. Noboby seems to be in a rush. I can't wait to go there again. The wifey baptized her new Rivendell Bleriot on this trip. The 650b wheels with the wide 40mm tires worked excellent on the gravel. The frame is very forgiving and stable on the crazy fast downhills. Buy one!

Here is the first set of photos.

Famous B Roads, Decorah Iowa

Lutheran Church up in the Hills

Roubaix style in Iowa, Sattre Rd.

Oneota River Trail towards Rte. 52
View from Phelps Park

A view from Phelps Park onlooking Upper Iowa River.

Up Quarry Hill Rd.

Along River Rd.

Friday, May 9, 2008

The Bleriot has landed, in one piece

Wifey's Rivendell Bleriot
Pizza on his way to London.

Finally got all the pieces and completed this project. Bike is fantastic and it rides really smooth. Rims are velocity 650b with Rivendell tires. Sugino XD triple with Tange BB square taper. Rear Der is Lx long cage with an 11x32 cog. Brakes are Silver long reach, Bar and stem Nitto, with a STronglight headset holding it all together. Saddle and seapost are hand-me-downs. Next week this baby is going to Decorah to do some good riding.

On another note. Trans Iowa mate and co-worker and friend Pizza is on his way to London. His Bicycle bag arrived today and he packed the Salsa Casserolle and himself in the bag. He says that he does not trust the baggage handlers and wants to keep an eye on his new bike.
Bon Voyage Pizza.


Thursday, May 8, 2008

Time for the road bike??

I am still stuck on my cross bike and I have been for the better part of almost 1/2 a year. Then conditions out here in Sycamore lend themselves for the cross bike. Deserted roads and suddenly the pavement ends and you have gravel. I often wonder whether all that offroad riding has helped in my fitness. ????
I sometimes wonder about getting the road bike out and clicking into my old durace look style pedals. How will it feel not to have Knobbies? How will the lighter weight be?? Is it cheating?? As I ready myself to hit the road on the road I chicken out. The cross bike has the saddle bag on, the pump, the light.
At any rate I will make the transition soon. I sure will feel like riding on a pizza cutter.
Hope you enjoy the photo. Lots more photos uploaded on flikr.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Sunday Riding May 4th, 2008

Mtb timetrail the day we were leaving Decorah

Me in Summer clothing, a rarity

Dr. Giggles getting his Gravel fix for the day.

Crappy gas station in Oregon, IL.

Too picture perfect

After the 5 months of agonizing over Trans Iowa we are starting to settle back in order. I am still going to bed really late and sometimes can't help but do a midnight ride. Never know when you are going to need to get out at midnight with your bike and go somewhere. I had lots of aches and pains after the race and it took my body a good 4 days to recover. I suffered a lot of upper body pain from pulling on the bars so much with the endless uphills.
On Thursday I was able to get out and do my first ride with a jersey and shorts. It felt really weird not having to have all the restriction/control clothing on.
Today the Giggles and I headed out to Oregon, IL. and did our usual 80 mile route. We did lots of gravel and about 40 miles worth of headwind. I now have a massive headache. I always get headaches when I ride into the wind. Any ideas????
The ride back was fast and it was cool to cruise at over 20 mph on the cross bikes with the knobbies. We are excited to get in shape and do it all over again next year.
Steel cross bikes rule. I was on the Bamboo Gunnar Crosshairs and Giggles on his I-Fab Planet X.
Hope y'all had a great weekend.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Trans Iowa 2008 part Two

photo courtesy of K. Steudel

Above picture is of the start at 4:00 a.m on Saturday. On the right side of photo are Ari, Pizza, and Giggles. You will notice that Pizza and I are the only dorks with Wald baskets in the front of our bikes.
Now that the ride is over there is a void. I had been stressing about this race since December of last year. We did have the worst and most dangerous winter for outdoor cycling. We lost tons of days to ice and below average temps. In the end I was happy to see that the three of us made it out there, that nobody caught the flu before hand and that we all made it back in one piece. We also did not have any flats or mechanicals. I did learn a lot from our adventure and at this point I am ready for any weather. I have learned to conquer the darkness also. Dogs will chase and get tired. Humans are the only threat out there, specially when they are boozed up and high.
So.... in the meantime I will have to search and find something to do to fill the void. I know most of those guys in the photo will be at the startup next year.
I know for sure we will be there too.