Headquarters for the Slender Fungus Cycling Association

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

Friday, October 31, 2008


Legnano Slx with 8spd Ergo

Lloyd road on a road bike

Me in Belvedere, IL. Cyclotouring

Kishwaukee river in Belvedere

Murals in Belvedere


Delicious Lattes

Had a couple hilacious rides on day off and sunday past. On thursday I was out in the middle of nowhere and shot some decent video. 20+ miles later, pretty close to home I realized video camera had become free from h-bars. In a rant of curse words I u-turned the ship and off we went in hunt of precious video camera. After retracing my ride on opposite side of road I saw, at a distance, small black object. I was excited to find the electronic gizmo, until I opened the bag and saw a newish camera with its guts blown out, like road kill. Not even the chip was saved by the car or truck that ran it over.
Sunday was a uncommon road ride on the Legnano. Too much hanging out at said Rapha site. Road bike, specially the steel ones, can be pretty tough. I did appreciate the low rolling resistance on the 700x23s. Road to Belvedere solo, again, and stopped for lunch at a wonderful little mexican restaurant. Ate my food, drank my mexican Coca cola and watched some Soccer. Did a Euro-pian century also know as 100kms. Real centuries are of the american variety and they are 160kms. Europians are weak.
This thursday I voted early, cashed my 1 gallon jar of coins, dropped the pantanimobile for more work and went to the dentist for more pain in my mouth and wallet.
I have also been busy loading pixs onto my Flickr Pro account and organizing them. Get in there and check them out.
Stupid fucking plates I have seen on the highway while commuting with the pantani-mobile:


To all three of you guys may someone steal your vehicles and dump them in a lake. You need to stop inhaling the carpet fumes of your cubicles. Whatever.

On a brighter note. I am almost done building the wife a Surly Big Dummy. There were some real challenges to the build but in the end it all went well. The guys up at Surly are a bunch of smart asses when it comes to bikes. Ummm, maybe it has to do with the fact that they actually ride bikes.
I will post pictures of said creature soon. I test rode it today and it is a blast to ride. The frame, because of design and length is very comfortable and the handling is dead on.
Sunday I, we family will be attending the cyclocross race out in St. Charlies. Hope to see y'all there.


Blue: I am there buddy. I would like to hook up with you for a ride and beers. Maybe one day.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Motivation, motivation, motivation

I started to think about this the other day and it started to bug me a lot. I figured that if I started to hit the keyboard that I might be able to dislodge something out of it.
Last year was a magical year for all of us. We were riding high and mighty at the shop. We had lots of motivation and energy. We went on rides all the time and the mood was right. This year has been kind of like a booger.
I think the current financial situation, linked with high gas prices, fear, paranoia, war, Iraq-n , Afganistan, the elections, have smashed us into the ground.
Last year I had no car and my commuting was astronomical. I was on the Heron and rode day in and day out punching out centuries. Sometimes up to 4 of them a week. On Sundays I went for the long ride.
This year has been a wash. I purchased the Nissan Pantani-mobile and my commuting has been steadily absent. Last week was an exception and I did ride 453 miles. It left me exhausted and I am still recovering.

Moving out to Sycamore has also made a lot of changes. I am 52 miles away from all my riding buddies. So there is no blame there as to being able to hook up for rides.
What I am trying to figure out is how to recover 2007???? How do we recover that motivation??? Is one year ago that far away???? Do we age that much and get tired that much in a matter of months?? Do I need a carbon Fiber bike??
So these are the things that I will think about tomorrow as I roll on the gravel. It will be a good time to get some crap out of my head. Trans Iowa is approaching and I want to be fit. If you have some ideas or comments feel free to post. How do the Pros stay motivated day in and day out??? Do I need steroids? Do I need to go to a Spa??



Tuesday, October 21, 2008


I finally saved enough pennies to upgrade to a Pro account on Flickr! I will be posting tons of pictures. I wish I had a scanner to scan some hard copy stuff that is just priceless.



Trapper Tom, Hawthorne Woods, Il Cross

Tom @ Dekalb,Il Cross race

My Cup of Tea, misty Gravel

Monster Gunnar Crosshairs on Woodlawn Rd.

After last week's Red ASS I decided to take a couple of days off. Last week with all the forced bike commuting I had no time to do anything. This week I will make a commute to work and also get out on Thursday to ride with pal Tobie.

The weather is starting to change and again this morning we had some hefty frost. In a way I like that since it is killing all the allergens that drive me crazy. I am breathing better and getting some fitness back after my disastrous September. This week I plan to do inventory at home and get rid of busted cycling clothes and make a list of items I need to get to stay alive in winter. The addition of the Rockhopper will be good since that will be my shit weather bike. Nokians, Fenders and lots of lube will keep me going. I cannot afford to lose training days since the Trans Iowa appears out of nowhere. I still remember the hills and the never ending roads. I need to go there with all the fitness I can muster.

I am also thinking about how to configure the bike and which bike to take this time around. I went with the small rack and basket last year but sometimes I thought it made the bike handle like a truck. Carrying anthing in my backpack is useless since I cannot reach. I also have trouble reaching into my jersey pockets because of all the years of mountain biking and cross racing. Too many falls have limited my reach.

I think less crap and more water and items that are useful will be the key. I am also working on nutrition and am trying to figure out how many calories I need to consume per hours. In the 140 miles of riding I did last year I burned out 8900 calories.

On another topic I will be selling my Giant TCR T-mobile frame soon. It is an XL size and it is mint, never built. I thought of trying out carbon fiber but I never got the courage to go ahead with the idea. Riding out by my house the roads are really bumpy and rough. I have tried to take my road bikes out but I always end up riding them on dirt roads. We have such a lack of street signs so it is easy to get lost.

I hope everyone is having a good fall and a good Cross season.



Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sunday Riding

Just a general recap and a reminder to myself that cars suck really bad. I had to spend a bunch of money on the Pantani-mobile and it still needs more work and it needs an oil change and new wipers and the back seat is full of grease since I haul my nasty bikes there. Today was a hard ride since the wind was blowing really hard. I had intentions of getting up butt early but working a double shift on saturday and haven ridden all week made me really tired. I did ride faster every day and that felt good.
Today I passed by Tobie's house and dropped off a wheel and I went to explore Twombly road. I realized soon enough that NONE of the crossroads had signs So I had no idea where I was. I did get a good scare from a doberman, but luckily I realized he was "invincible-fenced". What the hell happens when the transmitter on his collar runs out of battery? Will he eat me and mutilate my face? Do I stand a chance?
I rolled 50 miles today on the Gunnar Crosshairs and it felt good not to have the Backpack on carrying all my stuff for work.
In the evening we celebrated my father in law's birthday and it was good to relax. The corn is being harvested so no more natural barriers for a while. I wish I could find some riding partners so I would not have to talk to myself like a crazy head.
Monday 80
Tuesday 80
Wednesday 104
Thursday 36
Friday 104
Saturday 4
Sunday 45
Total for week 453

A short video to show the amount of pounding the bikes take out here where I live. The light, carboney bikes I think would start to have problems after a while.



Thursday, October 16, 2008

Day off Riding and last night' s monster commute.

My reverse latte, also know as morning black and tan.
Froth milk, pour the liquidy milk first, then add espresso gently, then add froth on top. Enjoy!

All this week has been car-less for the household. There is some sense of peace and quiet and less fumes around the driveway. It is weird. It was a good opportunity to get out of the post Bronchial September and kick in some Meat Grinder style training for Trans Iowa.

Monday rode the Surly Singlespeed: 80 miles

Tuesday rode the Surly Singlespeed: 80 miles

Wednesday Gunnar Crosshairs : 104 miles

Thursay Gunnar Crosshairs 36 miles

Tomorrow I shall saddle up again and attempt another commute to work. Wednesday was a hard ride since I left the shop in complete darkness and had one to many near misses. Some of the manuveurs that I made must of looked funny since I had to completely distort to avoid the metal and plastic of the moving car. I cursed a lot to the dead people that drove the cars. Get buried so you don't have to drive anymore.

I took a way off the beaten route afterwards to stay away from the Zombies. I rode thru Lisle and Naperville like I did a couple of winters ago with Giggles. I then took Iroquois ave to Washington st. Took the sidewalk all the way to Warrenvill rd then snuck through Fermi Lab at night. I had some slippery moments on the Fox river trail since it was dusted with wet , slimy leaves. I also had my front wheel ride in a long crevass til I got angry and pulled it out to save my ass.
The Great Western Trail by then was saturated and the last 20 miles of my ride were the hardest. I loaded up on Caffeine at the 'Bucks and chopped away at the mileage. I listened to The Wedding Present and churned my chain and limestone away. All of a sudden I had the light behind me and for a moment I thought a car was on the trail. I was mistaken. It turned out to be the Full moon breaking through the clouds and lighting up the fields.
I was happy to be home. The hot shower was a luxury, so where the dry clothes, the warm food and the meaty glass of wine.
Todays ride consisted of discovery of a new road in Dekalb called Twombley. I also found some small singletrack in the woods at hopkins park which will be key in the winter.
Tomorrow more riding in the forecast along with cold temps and cold water called rain. Noel if you are out there come over for malted beverages, Mr and Mrs Giggles same, B-Dog show face.



Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Commuting, Theft and More

Great Western Trail 20 miles of gravel

Origin 8 propulsion Bars.

Surly in Singlespeed Format.

The Pantani-mobile is at Chris' Automotive getting new Femurs, (tie Rods) and will be out of commision for a while. You see Chris is old Skool and will fix the car at his pace. Chris is kinda like Todd from Beavis and Butthead. He smokes, decided to close Saturday and Sunday and is always working on his beloved 1968 Pontiac Firebird. But if you are lucky to be accepted at his shop you will get fine work and a fair price. I always pay more for the repair and also show up with beer. Try doing that at your local Midas or Firestone place.

So Monday i decided to ride the re-converted Surly Cross check into work. I rode a Solid 80 miles on the singlespeed turning a semi-light gear of 42x18. I decided to go single and low for a while to eliminate the over 40 years old and fat syndrome of turning bigger and bigger gears.

On Tuesday I also turned in another 80 miles and my legs started to feel better. I rode into work and on the way back I hitched a ride in Geneva from my awesome father-in-law Giusseppe.

We bitched and complained about the economy and the prices of food and we laughed all the way home. I made sure to line the seat in his car with newspaper since my cha-mo-is was covered in Bag Balm.

The Surly rides better singlespeed and does not need all the derailers and so. I also purchased a set of Origin 8 Propulsion bars from North Central Cyclery and have really enjoyed the flared drop setup.

On a negative note. I sold a tube to some loser who supposedly only had 5 dollars. He then asked for a bag and then my boss was there hanging out until he got an important phone call. My boss went into the office and I was building a shit ass 300 dollar bike that was due. I heard the dinger at the door and had a funny feeling. Sure enough I quickly realized the loser dude had saddled up on a 3,500 dollar Cannondale and fled. I quickly told my boss and he went hunting around trying to catch the thief. He came back empty handed. I hope the son of a dog burns in hell and that his crack pipe blows up in his face. I was really pissed. I am sending notes out and will be checking ebay and craigslist.

Tomorrow is another commute since the Pantani-mobile is still at Chris's.



Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Sunday Races and Monday Commute

Monday commute

Campton preserve area

Night riding, thanks for the jersey Tobie

Zee Cockpit of the Ira Ryan

Smooth rolling King Hubs and Vittoria Tires

Flatandian Jason M.

Brian chasing

Tobie: Organizer, Racer, Manager, Chop Owner

I have good Latte Skills, thanks to my Dear Wife

The Flintstone Brothers getting in each other way.

The races in Dekalb, Hosted by North Central Cyclery and Half Acre Cycling Club were a hit. The course was laid out perfectly and it offered lots of grass tracks, many turns, a good twister dismount, off camber section and a really burning uphill section. The riders were also able to flush out lactic acid and try to catch each other on a short paved section.

Tobie worked and stressed a lot to make things happen. He was there at 5:30 a.m. to start the festivities. I was amazed at how the 4a's and 4b's had huge fields. It was so different from when I raced cross in the early nineties. I hope the sport keeps growing.

It was grand not having to work and being able to see friends that I had not seen in a long time. Cross racing is so friendly and people are a lot more laid back.

The amount of nice bikes was also a treat. We saw Ridleys, Sevens, Surlys, Voodoos, Ritcheys, Treks, Fujis, any brand that you could imagine. A good time was had by all. Thanks to the organizers and all whom attended the race. Good Job!!

On Monday, yours truly rode into work to see where the healing body is at. I had the impossible headwind all the way to work. I fought and fought and 4 hours later I was at work. My knees felt like plastic bags filled with Sand. The return home was a lot better but I was really toast. I was able to dislodge some more rubbery phlem (spelling??, English not my mother language) from my lungs. I don't think I am 100 % yet. I rode 104 miles and the mind was cleared.

Our shop has been STILL busy and stressing me out. We are still selling bikes and taking tons of repairs in. We have people wanting more and more commuter stuff all the time. I think the economy and the price of gas has really hurt the american citizen and he and she are starting to rethink things over.

For 2009 I see an increase in sales in clothing, accesories, lights, and more repairs. I see a decline in sales for high end.

Tomorrow is my day off and I plan on riding some.

I hope you can do the same,


Saturday, October 4, 2008

Saturday Update

So today wer were busy at the shop again. What else is new?? I sold another Gunnar Crosshairs and Pizza sold a 3k Cannondale frameset that we will build up with the new Campagnolo Super Record 11 speed with SRM cranks. Go figure.

I was glad to have help today as Japanese boy was there along with Pizza, Billabong, Franny and the boss. I did have some frost on the car this morning and I suspect that the evil allergens will start to die and I will once again come alive.

I have been waking up very tired in the morning, like I was run over by a truck style. I think this sickness really got me good this time. I hope to start riding lightly tomorrow again. I did ride a trainer at work for 10 minutes the other day and it felt good.

Tomorrow is the race in Dekalb which is race #2 in the Chicago Cross Cup. I will be there at some point and hope to see lots of you there.

I have been riding the Ira Ryan everyday to pick up the wife at school and to go to the restaurant. I really love that bike and the more I ride it the more I like it. I want to put some pimp fenders on it and change out the seatpost for a thomson and upgrade the brake to Paul.

The bike is Divine in its manners, comfort, looks, everything. At this point I am considering to sell off bikes I don't ride and order up another one.

Billabong and I have been very big fans of Moosemitts for riding in the winter. No glove will keep you as warm and dry as a pair of these. Most riders don't use them because they look dorky.

Last winter I left home on a cloudy day and rode out to the middle of nowhere. I had taken the crossbike with the dropbars and had left home with a good pair of gloves on. I had my wool undershirt , wool Merino sweater and my Showers Pass Elite 2.0 jacket. I was feeling good.

On my return, with 25 miles to go it started to snow. Within a couple of miles my gloves started to soak through, then they started to get wet, then the wetness started to get cold. After a few more miles my hands started to freeze and after that my hands went numb and I had really bad pain. My jacket had no warming pockets and I had nothing and nowhere to hide my hands.

I kept riding and saw nothing but snow and old corn stalks. Then by some miracle I saw a large piece of plastic that had snagged on a sign. I jumped off my bike and went for it. I tore the plastic in half and went on to wrap my hands with the dirty plastic.

After a couple of miles I felt the warmth being trapped in the contraption. I arrived home and my wife unwrapped my hands as she shook her hands. I had gotten a bit of frostbite on all my digits and my fingertips were chalk white.

The moral of the story is to protect yourself in the coming months. Three days ago I discovered a site that makes moosemitts for road bikes. I could not for the life of me remember the site but today I found it:::: http://barmitts.com/

Off to the races tomorrow!!!!


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Day Off Not riding.

Decorah, Iowa..........someday

Today I finally started to feel better. It could have something do with with the fact that the temps out here in the fields have been dipping into the 30's at night. So today I drove the misses to school, took care of the tire rotation on the Pantani-mobile, visited Tobie and talked shop and then went to serve at the restaurant. My total mileage for the day was 4 miles on the Quickbeam fixed.

Last time I had a respiratory issue was a few years back when John W. and I decided to do a long ride in the early spring. I was a bit underdressed but feeling feisty AND cocky. We rode our brains off and I remember being on the Eddy Merckx Motorola that day and rocking out the big ring. We were churning at 30 mph on the gravel. I felt the cold spring air infiltrate through my upper body. We clocked in 130 miles that day and almost rode into Wisconsin.

I was later diagnosed with bronchitis. It did not go away and turned into Chronic Bronchitis which stayed with me for over 4 months.

Nowadays I always overdress and keep my chest warm. I cannot handle cold in the lung area. So tomorrow if i decide to ride in I will dress super-warm.

Hope you are well.


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Another new Routine

Night riding.

It seems like the wife and I always run into some new routine. Since the end of july her car has been disabled and sitting in the drive. So we fixed her up a commuter bike with fenders, front basket, and rear rack and she has been commuting close to 20 miles a day. She also transfered to the Starbucks close to campus so after class she just goes and works there. I get home around 830 and when she works till 10 or 1030 I go and pick her up. I like riding at night and it has been a treat to get out and ride after working all day and driving for 3 hours. Detours makes some great bags and she has been experimenting with one of them. This week we will go ahead and get bag #2 so she can carry all her books, work clothes, shoes and whatever else she needs.

She has seen in increase in fitness and has been arriving at home more relaxed after a long day.

We also bought her a Showers Pass Double Century Jacket that is not too thick and acts like a nice windbreaker also.

Commuting is good,