Headquarters for the Slender Fungus Cycling Association

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

Friday, July 25, 2008

Day off Riding

Shabbona Grove rd.

Howlett rd. Gravel section for about 2 miles

Paw Paw rd heading north. Here be rollers

Windfarm seen from Paw Paw rd.

Clean air, green corn and simple lines

Empty roads on a Thursday morning!!

July 24th is when the road bike officially came out for the first time in the year 2008. I finally muscled enough energy to pump up the tires, switch over the pump from the cross bike, change the saddle bag and get on the thing and ride it.

At first it felt like I was riding a paper clip. Soon enough my back and legs started to remember the fit and position. I was amazed at the instant gain of speed. This is cheating I thought to myself! This is a cheater bike for sure. Mind you I am not talking about no " Carpet Fiber" (thanks G-Ted) bike but an old steel bike with friction shifting and a 7 speed cluster.

It was fun to cover 70 miles in a shorter time. I found some more awesome roads south of Shabbona State park. I ended up in a tiny tiny town called Paw Paw. I also visited Lee and it was cool to find a pop machine since I was out of water. This route is 70 miles long and has some hills, some false flats, lots of nice scenery and is definetely a 3 large bottle ride. I was also amazed to find a wind farm not farm from where I live. Today I re-vamped the Merckx with a longer quilled stem, new cables. Also cleaned and lube the chain and wiped the frame. I also installed a Fizik Aliante Gamma saddle. Mayb this weekend I will ride Eddy again.

Shop is still holding busy and we are doing lots of repairs. Finished building Ryan's Aluminum Cinelli and also built up a very classic looking Austro Daimler.


Monday, July 21, 2008

Sunday Riding

Indian Creek , Shabbona IL

Pure v wtb ultra comfy saddle, good for Rough Roads

As I was commenting to my friend Ricardo saturdays are starting to get to me. I commute over 100 miles, work at the bike shop, then come home, change and then hit the restaurant for some more running around. Come Sunday morning I am a train wreck and with no energy to get out and ride, specially since the bulk of my riding is solo.
Once I catch up with bills I am investing in a new Mp3 player. I had a little Creative Stone and the thing just stopped working after 90 days, coinciding with the expiration of the warranty. I ride out in the country and sometimes it is so desolate that I start to lose my mind. It is a great opportunity to do some deep thinking, do bills, mentally remind myself as to who needs to be emailed, phoned, etc.
On Sunday morning I missed out on meeting my pals and I had huge Chump factor going on. I rode out to Shabbona lake in the hopes of seeing them. I guess they saw me but I did not see them since I was probably in a daze.
I hung out with the guys from North Central Cyclery and they were friendly and we shared jokes and shop stories. I hope to hook up with them and do some good rides. They will be hosting a cyclocross race in Hopkins Park in Dekalb on October 5th.
I have a new saddle on my crosscheck. It was recommended by Chris in Minneapolis. It is a WTB Pure V. It is wider in back as opposed to the endless supplies of Narrow Hatchet Saddles, the nose part is cut out from underneath and allows the plumbing to stay alive. It also is raised in back and that helps in climbing like my old Concor used to do. Overall the Saddle is very comfy and at 60 bucks you can't go wrong. 60 bucks is like 12 fancy Venti Lattes at the 'Bucks.
I also installed a Fisik Alliante Gamma (in White) on my Eddy Merckx. I have not done a lot of miles on it but will give some comments on it soon. If any of you have suggestions on Mp3 players shoot me a comment. I also have Tendenitis on my left wrist from wrenching too hard on a rusted on Pedal. 10 days of 3x a day on Aleve is what the Doc said. This crap better not mess with my riding. I be mad.
Now get out and ride,

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Day off riding

incredible shoulder on Rte 23. 13 miles worth

Casey's for a can of Coke

Preserve rd. before getting rejected by loose dogs.

Grass trail in Shabbona Lake Park

Shabbona State Park

So I finally made it to Shabbona State Park. I discovered a wonderful state park with a really big lake, tons of fishing and lots of grass trails that will be awesome on the 29er. It is exactly 30 miles south of my house and the drive is quick since traffic is minimal. I am so happy to have found this little gem. The ride was hard since it was soo hot. I saw the sweat dripping down my legs and arms and knew that the humidity was super high. On the return I had to stop and take my shoes off to cool off my feet. I did poured water in my shoes to stop my toes from cramping up. It does not help that I spend so many hours on my feet and that I have been needing new sandals and work shoes for the restaurant. Must work on that. The Ira Ryan is an excellent ride and I could not be any happier with it. The thing just glides and on straights I can go a gear higher and stay there. The positioning is perfect and the amount of Bottom Bracket drop makes for a steady machine. I love discovering new places to ride and when the fall comes I will be spending time in Shabonna. They also have a restaurant there where they serve fish. Check it out if you have time. Total mileage for the day: 60 + 5 mile commute to work.



Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A new rig and a gift from old friends.

Eric and Me at the shop
Monster Cross Check

Front Area, Nitto, Dura Ace, Salsa, Profile

Sram SC300 cranks, first experience with outboard bearings. (we'll see)

Over the 4th of July weekend I had the great gift of seeing my best pal Jeff and his family. They were visiting relatives in Wisconsin and made the trip down to Sycamore to see us. It was a trip down memory lane recalling awesome days at the shop and the endless, endless hours of riding that we did together. It has been over 14 years since he moved away and we have missed each other ever since.
Yesterday while working on some crap bike I had Eric walk into the shop and surprise me. He is another one that jumped ship and moved down to Texas to find fortunes and eat big steaks. I feel so good about seeing these guys and knowing that they are doing well in what they do.
This week the shop was out of control. We have sold the shit out of tires, tubes and repairs. People are really starting to feel the effects of high gas prices and they are starting to take action. Our sales of bikes are down but we are making it up by selling accessories and commuter items. I love helping people to ride to work and carry stuff on their bikes. I hope they keep it up.
I did sell an ill fitting Schwinn and purchased a Surly Crosscheck. The Jack of all Trades bike. I built it up with all "I got that" parts that I had laying around. The sucker can accomodate 700x44 wide tires and the bike is a beast. I tripled sprayed it with Frame saver because it will become my winter bike. My Ira Ryan and my Crosshairs will not see salt.
My riding has suffered a bit with all the work at the shop. I am taking all the hours I can since when the winter comes we will start losing them. Tomorrow is my day off and I will be out the door early. We are expecting 90;s with lots of humidity.
Hope you all are doing well,
Build up a commuter bike and save some gas,
The guy next door with the Escalade ESV will thank you,


Monday, July 14, 2008

A late beating

I hope we did not forget that the past winter was a monster. With the winter that passed our shop was dead. I mean dead. The winter kept even the hard core guys at home and in their cars. We missed out on the custom bike sales and the start of our season was very poor. It made the owner really get nervous.
Contrary to the past 50 seasons that the shop has seen we are having a crazy summer. WE are still backed up on repairs, we are selling utility stuff like crazy, we are selling Custom Gunnars and Pinarellos. WE ARE TIRED!
So what I am hoping for is that our population that supports the shop to start getting smart about gas prices. They are not going to drop any time soon and the only solution is to decrease demand, start running errands on bikes and keeping Moby Dick parked at home.
We have done a great job in buying racks, bags, baskets and fenders to accomodate our commuters. I am looking into some new lights and we have also picked up the most excellent Showers Pass jackets.
With this said I would like to anounce a ride for next Sunday. Pizza Dan and I are going to be off. I would like to do a good 80-90 miler around this area and really be able to take a break. Sunday the 20th starting at 800 am. Anyone interested let me know.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Short Steward

This is a ride I did on the 4th of Jooly. It was good with a cool ride going north on Paw-Paw rd.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Here is another Route I am wishing for

I would love to get a small group and do this one. Going to Steward, IL. is a classic.

LEt me know,


Thursday, July 3, 2008

July 3rd, 08

Today the first thing I read on Yahoo is that Petroleum went up to 146 since our reserves are so low and our thirst for the black Martini is unsatiable. We are selling a lot of commuter stuff in the shop and it is just funny to see people coming in asking for it. They are the same people that thought it was so quaint to see the Europeans ride their bikes with fenders and panniers. They rode their bikes because their oil prices have always been high. We here in 'merica have been living a dream in LaLa Land. The huge cars, the long distances, the 5k miles road trips, Suburbia. With the continuing hike in prices we are going to have to start to change. I am spotting smaller cars, scooters, people on bikes, and so forth. This time around I don't think gas will go down to a buck any more, Ever.
On Monday morning I decided to add a bike commute to work. This lessens my gas cost by 12 dollars bring my gas consumption to 30 dollars a week. I loaded up the Ryan and got to work in a fashionable 3 hours. The wind was at my favour, I took the longer route and I arrived, tired, happy and ready to go.
My ride home was hard. I started off in nice weather and once the sun dropped, I got to the country, the temps plummeted. On went the arm warmers and the vest and I was still freezing. I stopped at the dirty gas station and loaded up on Jerky, newtons and some chips. The pizza area was closed down. My last 20 miles were on gravel and the bike handled awesome. I listened to some music and glided through the black tunnel. I hope you all have a great 4th of July.
Get people you know to consider doing small errands on bike. We have to do something about this mess we are in.