Headquarters for the Slender Fungus Cycling Association

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

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

MKS Gripking pedal AKA Lambda

The great Gunnar Ruffian SS 29er

Back to the old routine of not being able to sleep. I think I was just too overtired with all the work that is going on in the shop. Of course we lost our summer help since they go back to high school and college. The amount of customers and repairs has not diminished and we are severely shorthanded.

Last night I was freakin' out and after much debate I saddled up on the 29er and left the house around 11;30 pm. I got back around 2:30 am and was beat. I hit the sack and woke up at 8 am with my bad bachache gone. I did make a midnight run to walgreens and picked up some Aleve gel caps. Those suckers do work.

I think I killed my back in Decorah. Too much driving, sleeping in soft Super 8 beds, and also mashing up those monster hills on a cross bike that could have used a few more teeth in the back.

It was a blast to get back on the 29er and for convenience I mounted up some great MKS Gripking pedals. These platform pedals are great. Last night I rode in some Merrell hiking shoes and tonight in my Granola boy Chaco sandals. I love the hop on and go ability of these pedals.

I also have a lot of stuff going on and Noel will understand what I am talking about. We need to hook up on Friday and have some brews. Are you up for it??
I hope to get the gang back on the road and have some great rides this fall. Snake is starting to build up a Gunnar Crosshairs and hopefully we will see him out here sometime. The shop hours will soon change and this will make a big difference. It will also be great to be closed on Sundays.
Keep riding and stay in touch,

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Decorah # Three

Off Hesper rd, going North, near Minnesota border

Mauri going up towards Whitetail Rd. Yes, he made it.

Iowa is not flat

Toward Bluffton, road demolished by floods. The chunky part is where the road used to be.

Off Madison Road going west

Hesper rd. going north. Arguably the best road I have ridden. Just Fantastic.

Haven't done any posting lately since we ran away to Decorah Iowa for a few days. After my initial trip to the mecca of riding in april I went back in May and now in August. We went with the whole family and it turned out to be a lot of fun. I did have to rent a van since it was 6 of us with luggage and two cross bikes. This time I took the Salsa Scandium to try it out and it actually worked out great.

I did find some new routes and some of the hills were very tough. I ran a 38x48 in the front with a 12x25 in the back. I hit a lot of hills where I used the low gear and wanted something lower. Some of the rides I did turned my legs to cheese and would come back completely exhausted.

We did a lot of walking , hit Dunning spring a few times, enjoyed brews at T-Bocks, had lots of coffee at The Magpie and did some healthy eating at the Coop.

I just can't believe some of the roads in the area. I had no driver issues and it was weird having people wave and be friendly on the roads. My 11 year old son had a blast riding my wife's Interloc and was totally hooked. He told me he thought his legs were hairy and was thinking of shaving.

I visited Richard at Oneota Cycles and met Ben at Decorah Cycles. Both shops were friendly and offered routes to check out. We also looked at some homes in the area and are planning to move there in the future. A more relaxed atmosphere. Lots of hills, Singletrack, fishing, camping, good schools and a small town feel. Coming back was hard and we are already planning a short trip for the fall. We will also go there in the winter to check it out too.

Back to normal, hectic schedule. For the time being, more training and planning for Trans Iowa.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wednesday Update.

A fantastic day to be on the bike. Check out the Dew.

Well finally got to do the test I wanted to for a long time. On Sunday I rode the Ira Ryan into work and back and clocked in 110 miles. The ride was fantastic and really enjoyed the bike. Well mannered, glove like fit, smooth, just perfect.

On Monday I rode the Surly Crosscheck with front and rear racks, lights, Pannier. Very stable but also very heavy. Alway lost momentum when there was a change of grade or came to a stop.

I bike to ride all day and go out in them middle of nowhere but not a bike to get anywhere fast.

I noticed a decrease in average speed with this bike. Also the frame is not forgiving and I was tired compared to the Ira Ryan.

Today I clocked in 110 miles on the Salsa Chili con Crosso. This bike is oversized Scandium with a premium Reynolds carbon fork. Acceleration was instantaneous. Climbing was easier. and the new WTB saddle from Pizza was actually pretty comfortable. Not all saddles fit everybody.

For the Trans Iowa for next year I will upgrade certain parts of the Salsa and ride it. I am thinking of upgrading to a Thomson post, new bars and stem and changing the cranks out for a compact drive. I do like the 50x34 for the low gears the 34 offers. I will also have Billabong build me a new set of Chris King wheels, since tonight I broke a spoke on the old DA wheels that I have.

A new MP3 player will be key for training alone in the dark on the trail. I am looking at Sony to avoidk the monopoly of Apple.

We are leaving for Decorah Iowa soon and I can't wait. I love Iowa.



Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sunday Riding and great news!!

Today I decided to ride into work so I woke up early, rode the wife into work and came back home to get ready. We left the house at 5 am and made it to the bucks by 5:10. About the same time that it take to drive. Oh, I forgot. The wifes cars has no brakes so she has been commuting everywhere. Not a bad thing. Maybe when the weather turns we will decide to get them fixed again. Fuck cars.
I was out the door around 630 and I rode the Great Western Trail. It was cleared from all the downed trees but with all the rain the gravel was like Peanut butter. I made time on the Ira Ryan and met up with Pizza and Snake in St charles. It was a glorious morning to the point that I did not like it. It was crystal clear, not a cloud in the sky and the temps were perfect. I like shitty weather.
We rode to Downers Grove and stopped by the Snake Palace for some great Breakfast. Snake's Mom made us Fried Pork Rinds, Potatoes and Beans with Warm Tortillas. It hit the spot and we thanked her a lot for such good food.
We opened shop and already had a line. I hate when customers wait outside for us to open and come in right away. Be cool, come to the shop 15 minutes after open. We have to change, make coffee, take a piss. You know.
We were busy for a Sunday and the day flew by. At 4 pm we saddled up and I was accompanied by Pizza and Scott Money on his new Crosscheck. Pizza flatted and Money took the opportunity to light up a fag. I laughed my ass off and shot my legs. WTF I thought. This is a fucking great day and I have to post it so I can read it in the future and laugh again.
I rode the rest of the way home high on sport beans and Arcade Fire playing on my MP3 player.
The trail had dried up and the Ira was riding on rails.
The best part of this fucking great day was the announcement of th Trans Iowa for 2009!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am alive, I have a purpose for the rest of the year, it is time to rack up centuries, order parts, prepare, prepare, dream. I don't know what it is about that race but it is me.
Monday 110 miles,
tuesday off
wednesday 20 miles
thursday 40 miles
friday off
saturday off
sunday 110 miles

I am starting program on Monday.
get out and ride and stop complaining,


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Monday commute to work.

I woke up at 3:45 to ride with the wife to her work. Our 1990 olds needs brakes so it is a good excuse to ride and save up the money to get it fixed. I was back home super-early and made some meaty coffee and had breakfast. It had been a while since I rode into work and I was ready for it. I decided on riding the Surly Crosscheck so I could get it dialed in with the new saddle and riding position. I was off and riding by 5:40 am and I felt good. I rode on the Great Western Trail and it felt great to be riding and thinking that I would save aproximately 12 dollars in gas and tolls.
I almost made it to Wasco when I turn around and during this whole time a major storm had been brewing behind my back. What a bitch I thought. The idea of all these changes that were to happen did not sink in right away. The sun went away, it turned to night and the temps dropped to cold.
I made it to a coffee shop and took shelter. 1 hour later I was back on the bike and now riding thru pudding like gravel and getting wet. I started to dry slowly once on the road and I was looking foward to continuing my commute. I was midway through Fermi lab when I look back and another wave of storms is approaching. There was a LOT of lightning and I could hear the wifeys voice telling me to get off the road. Open field, steel bike= Bad Idea.
I was wet again and made it to a gas station. By now I was soaked again and could not go in the quickmart since the air conditioning was on full blast. I sat under the shelter from the gas pumps and watched all the people coming and going. The amount of crap they they bought for breakfast was amazing. Gallons and gallons of pop in the early morning, Hot dogs, doughnuts. I was truly shocked.
Two hours later I roll out, yes two hours of lightning. Get back on track and realize it is fuckin super late. The search party is probably out at the shop and I have a ton of shit to do. I made it to the shop over 6 hours after I left the house.
At 6:40 pm I roll out and am heading home. I make it to Warrenville and the sirens are going off like crazy. I go to the fire station and the fireman tells me there is a tornado warning. I go to another gas station and endure another 2 hours of hanging out. The power goes off , the power comes on, the power goes off and so on. I am pissed and tired. I guzzle some pepsi and eat my food.
I figure to make it to Geneva so I can get a lift from my father in law. After transversing Fermi in the pitch black I make it to his work and everyone is gone. At this point it is almost 10 pm.
This feeling of serenity overtakes me and I know I have to go all the way home by my means. I felt lucky to not have a cell phone.
I get on the Great Western Trail and it is a swamp. It is flooded and there is downed trees all the length of almost 20 miles. I ride, I dismount, I ride and dismount. Over and over again. I shove myself through downed trees while dragging the Surly like a dead animal. There is so many downed trees that I start thinking I will get home and there willl be no home. Over two hours later I make to the other end after taking a fast fall on some slimy limestone. I slide for about 25 feet and I can feel the little rocks grind my hip area.
I am out of the trail and keep thinking about the bats the followed me, the flashes of light high up in the air. The cobwebs around the whole front of my bike. The saddle did not matter, the length of my stem was unimportant, nothing mattered at that point. I had had the best ride in a long while. I was so high I was not tired.
I drank my hammer nutrition Recoverite, ate some food and hit the shower. I stayed awake until 2 am and then slept like a downed tree.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Day Off Riding Thursday and Sunday

Maurizio hitting the gravel

Taking a break at mile 8.

On my day off ride I had a special guest. No other than Maurizio, my son, all the way from Berlin,Germany. We set out to do some riding. We outfitted him with the wife's Interloc, Jersey and cap. We went out and did close to 17 miles and I figured for an 11 year old that was pretty good. On the way back we got chased by a bad storm and with a stormy tailwind we were flying. As soon as we got in the garage it started to pour and we were glad to be home. My Son Alex is also in Town and the boys will be spending the month of August with us. It has always been difficult to spend time with them since their visit always coincides with the season at the bike shop. Maybe I should switch to a ski store.

The supposed 80's and Sunny. NOT!
The Revamped Eddy Merckx Motorola

Today Sunday the 3 I rode the wife into work at 530 am then came home and had a chunky cup of greek coffee and toast. I saddled up on the Eddy Merckx after seeing it hang for over two years. I made some key changes to it. I got rid of the impossible racer stem that looked good but at age 45 was not happening. I also replaced the saddle I pooched for the Ira Ryan. I bought one of the Fisik Aliante Gammas in White and it worked really well. The saddle is wide enough and it has a sweet flat spot in the back part of it. I think it will be a new favorite saddle. I am sure the Selle San Marco Rolls will be gone soon. I read the forecast early morning and it called for sunny and 80's. Out in the fields it was a different story. I was heading west and sure enough the skies darkened and I saw lightning. I returned home and called it a day. I did get in a solid 3 hour ride and it was weird being on a road bike. Did you guys know they are faster then Cross bikes and 29ers ??

Anyway I hope you all got out and did some pedaling.