Headquarters for the Slender Fungus Cycling Association

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

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Snowshoeing with Trapper

Trapper and the Pines

Campton Forest Preserve, Wasco, IL.

Spent a wonderful saturday snowshoeing. Met Trapper at Luau Coffee shop in Wasco, IL then hit the forest preserve and it was spectacular. Hills, Prairie and the snow was just perfect. Did quite a bit of hill work and by the end we were really tired. We hit the subway for some well deserved footlongs and then motored home. It was one of my very unique saturdays that I did not have to work. It felt great and weird at the same time. I went home and played outside with Giugi before I had to go serve at the restaurant. By then my legs were like jello. I am definetly addicted to the snowshoes. Now I don't want the snow to go away.
Hope you all warmed up a bit. Today we hit 35 and I was starting to panic and asfixiate.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A quick note

There are some greats that I think about quite often. Among them is the great Fausto Coppi. I have great respect for this man. He was kind, always looked sharp, even after 7 hours of saddle time and when I ran into a documentary about him on the italian t.v station RAI I sat there and cried. It is these heros that have shaped my love and passion for the bike.
Today I had my last day at Hartley's and in a few days I will start at North Central Cyclery. I will have the opportunity to let out all this pented-up fever that I have in my head. I hope you come out and visit.
I will make an announcement that this summer I will have a century ride going out of my house and all old pals and new pals are invited. The route will include asphalt and gravel so best bring a burly road bike or a cross job.

I just had to get this out,

Tomorrow I am off and will make myself hurt.



Monday, January 26, 2009

Sunday Riding, Monday Shoeing

Giggles this one is for you!

Trapper breaking trail in Comando Mode

Surly Pugs on GWT. About 2 degrees with west winds.
good times.
Oh! 5 psi.

Pugs with angry snowmobiles

Great Western Trail

So yesterday was a hard day with on some single digits to deal with. I made it to the headtrail and then rode the beast for two hours. It was a lot of work despite the snowmobiles having done a pretty good job at packing down the snow. It was bitterly cold and I brought along one of Billabong's old backpacks with extra clothes , food and water wrapped in the clothing so it wouldn't freeze. The ride heading east was enjoyable and then on the way home the sun went down, the wind started digging into my jacket and face. I made it home pretty frozen but satisfied at having defeated the trainer once again.
This morning we met up with Trapper Tom in Oak Brook and did about 1 hour 20minutes of good snowshoeing. We tackled all the hills and on some occasions did repeats. I would go anaerobic on the uphills and then cool down on the downhills. Towards the end I really felt good and by then I had to make it to work. Trapper was on MSR snowshoes and I was on Atlas 30"ers to sustain my weight. We both used ski-poles for upper body workout. It is always a blast to ride or just hang out with Trapper. Thanks!
Hope y'all coping with winter, because this one is a good one just like last year.

Don't give up, just keep going.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Hello to a new bike and goodbye to old friends

Hartley's uniform for Mechanics

My Crew
top Me
back row: L to R : B-dog, Trapper, Noelly, CB, Pete the Meat, Fuji Girl
front row: L to R
the inequivocal Billabong, Pizza Dan

Noel's Cannondale

Ricardo explaining Atomic Physics to a bunch of Yahoos

This past Friday marked the last one at Hartley's. It was a busy day with finishing my last custom bike there. It was bittersweet since I would be eliminating my 104 mile commute but at the same time would be leaving some great friends. Everyone showed up on Friday and I really want to thank you for that. It really meant a lot to me. We always walk into a shop job hoping to make things better and many a times it just does not advance. I am sure one day we will nail it on the head. Noel's bike was the last one to leave my hands from Hartleys. It got built up with Sram Red, Chris King wheels with Red hubs, Deda bars, Aliante Saddle, Conti GP4000s and Cannondale's Si Carbon Cranks. Rims are Dt Swiss and the whole bike came in around 17lbs with no gimmicky components.
Tuesday the 27th will mark my official last day and then I will take a few days off to clear my head and start anew on February the 3rd at North Central Cyclery in Dekalb. We will be attending Frostbike Show up in the Quality Bicyle Parts compound. If you want any info on Surly's Salsa's or anything else let me know because I am going armed with backpack and Cameras.
My new job will be located aronund 6 miles from home. I can ride the bikepath their, I can ride the road and I can ride the powerlines if I want to go offroad. The bikepath is impassible now and I think that will get solved with a burly Pugsley.
On Friday night I spent some future gas money that I am not going to spend in the near future on some Atlas snowshoes. If you havent tried snowshoes give them a shot. When the roads are icy, the trail not rideable, hit the fields on some snowshoes and burn your legs. On Monday Trapper and I are meeting for some snowshoeing.
Next winter projects for 2010 include Cross Country Skis and a Pugsley. Also if someone needs some custom bike build or wheel building let me know.
Until next time I bid farewell to Du Page county!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Some Photos

My Beloved Coffee Plants

Stop 'n' Go Dekalb, IL.

Our ex-house in Westmont, Il.

Crew out for Pizza and Brew for Miroslav's 60th b-day

I took these photos with my new Contax T2. I had them process the film and then trow (not throw) it on a disc. I love Carl Zeiss lenses. I am still learning the camera but I was happy with my first roll.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Wednesday Night and Thursday day

Keslinger rd. All the snow gave me a massive headache since I did not have sunglasses

Peace rd. Shoulder. Ice, gravel, snow and slush.

Got home and was really ansy, (anxy), you know. I guess I had a pretty stressful day at Hartley's. My last day is Tuesday and there is just too much that I want to finish. I am starting to get people in looking for custom bikes and unfortunately I will not be able to help them out. So all that piled up and when I got home I got dressed, put on my massive light( review later) and went out for a solid 2 hours of "shoulder riding". The county has decided to get out the Graders and push the snow as far away from the road as possible. This has made the surface flat and in some cases the gravel peaks through. I rode the NOkian extremes and I was worked by 12:30 am.
Today I went on the Quickbeam with studded tires and also worked myself. It was weird riding in 27 degrees with the sun showing. All in all I am getting out as much as possible. Feb 3rd will be my start date at NCC and I will be riding there.



Tuesday, January 20, 2009

January 20th, 2009

artwork copyright Franny 2009

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sunday riding and more

Giggles' new Jewels. Boing!

I rode that little bare strip for a few miles

Site of the Catastrophe.

My beautiful, recently bought Contax T2

with extra extra sharp Carl Zeiss Lens

Noel's Cannondale waiting for Chris King Wheels

Sram Red

Look Pedals

King Wheels

Aliante Saddle

Deda bars

Thomson Post

Build X Ari

I thought about how to dress all day yesterday for today and I made all the right decisions. I was dressed warm tip to toe and the only problem I had was my tire pressure. I aired my tires before leaving the house but I don't think the presta valve stem were completely closed. Perhaps the 8 degree weather had something to do with that. I was 15 miles out in the fields when riding became harder and harder. I fought the demons against stopping and fiddling around with my tires in cold weather. They one and I came to a skidding stop. I figured to just air up the rear. Took my shiny pump off the frame, worked on the valve and then went to lock it to start pumping. Bam! the pump exploded and out came flying the inner working of such device.
I quickly hoped for co2 cartridges and they were in my bag. I hooked it up and they slowly inflated the tire to around 60 lbs. I thanked my luck and kept riding. In my head I thought about a new pump, 3 cartridges AND a mini pump tucked in my pocket. Things out in the field get ugly really quick. I was able to be outside for nearly 3 hours and I was exhausted when I got home. Surprisingly my feet were warm. I tried my Hydroskins socks paired with Smartwool Adrenaline socks, toe warmers all stuffed inside my lake winter boots.
My hands were hot and toasty in my ragg wool mittens inside my OR expedition mittens. All in all it was great to be outside and getting some exercise. Next time I will air my tires in the house because my garage seems to be too cold .
Tomorrow is my last full week at Hartleys and my driving is coming to an end.
I can't wait,

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Big Announcement to all

Yesterday I put in my two weeks notice at my current position, (Hartley's Cycle), and will have my last day be Tuesday the 27th of January. I will start my new position at North Central Cyclery in Dekalb IL. I will team up with Tobie to bring all the best we can to the cycling community. I will also cut down the use of my car and be able to commute by bike since this position will only be about 6 miles from home instead of 52 of my current job.

I will post all contact info as soon as it becomes possible. It was a blast to work at Hartley's and I will miss all co-workers and good friends that I have and have met there.



Tuesday, January 13, 2009

i love this video

I love this video,


Thursday, January 8, 2009

A really, really cold one for a change

No Shelter in sight. Aldrich Road. Gravel was frozen , dry and rideable

Working on my tan while Quickbeam takes a breather

Everyone tells me that I should go ride in the woods and I understand that. I live out in the middle of Dekalb County, IL and if you know what I mean they grow corn out here. They have left minute patches of forests just to say they didn' t chop ALL the trees down.
Today was 10 whole degrees when I left the house and there was a howler wind clocking at almost 30mph coming out of the west.
It was so cold that it penetrated my Gore Windstopper Jacket and my Windfront Craft Shirt I was wearing. It also cut right through my Craft Storm Tights.
My hands were boiling in thick fleece liners with Eskimo Mitts (with Fur) that I got from Billabong. I was also outfitted with OR (outdoor research) liner balaclava with Windstopper OR outer balaclava. I rode the Quickbeam and I struggled to turn what I thought an easy 42x18.
I rode for a whopping 20 miles with almost 2 hours on the saddle. I think I burned all the Bacon I had for breakfast and more. Serving at the restaurant tonight had my legs feeling like Jello. I kept wondering how to finish the Trans Iowa this year and the only solution I thought up was to keep suffering like a dog. At least my teeth don't hurt anymore.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Another Flandria Build.

Rockhound 26er in Stock Black
Started building this great rig for my good buddy B-dog a little while ago. We are hand selecting each part and taking our time to build it. He has been cruising around on a Rock Tour 29er with the spikey tires in the winter and that setup has been working out great for him. So far I have installed a Chris King headset, Done up the wheels with King Hubs and Dt Swiss rims done 3x with 14 ga.Spokes. Did I ever tell you guys that I love Chris King Components? We are running Kenda Small Block 8 folding tires. Stem, Bars and Seatpost are going to Be Easton. Drivetrain will be Sram with a Truvativ crankshaft to turn pedals. We are deciding on Brakes and they will most likely be the Avid Elixirs. We do have an inside man at Sram that will help us with setup. Can't beat that!!
I am happy to have these builds come up in winter since that keeps me busy and able to make my mortgage. Thank you all for supporting my small effort Called Flandria Velosport.
Today I am celebrating my 46th year of existence and we had a homecooked meal of stuffed shells, salad and some great beer from Bells (amber ale) and some Milk Stout from Colorado.
Best to all of you and if you can get out and ride.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Cold ride on a Sunday

A flock O Geese on the Floodplains of Sycamore, IL.

Tiny Forest in Sycamore.

It was great to get out today and get some real cold air in. I rode the gravel up Peace Rd and went to investigate a small forest in town. I was able to do a couple of loops in there amongst the frozen trail that was also flooded. My bike would ride on the ice and then go through it. My heatrate started to jump and I decided that this place was worth visiting on cold days. It was a delight to get out of the wind and at one point started to feel comfortable. The winds were blasting out of th west. I was comfortable in my great Gore Windstopper jacket with one baselayer and a summer jersey. I had some knickers paired with the great Craft Storm Tights.
My Lake Boots came through once again. Billabong had given me a OR (outdoor research) face mask with Gore windstopper and that was also great.
I rode the gravel on Peace rd all the way and kept feeling the temps drop as the sun was going away. The geese seemed to not mind a bit and were hanging out on the ice.
Hope 2009 is going well so far.
best to all,

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year to all of you. 2009

Scott, Russ, Tobie and the Camera man.
75% Surly on the ride.
Long Haul Trucker
Classic CrossCheck

The long awaited 2009 is finally hear and the guys at North Central Cyclery and I decided to celebrate the new year with a friendly ride. It was really, really cold and the wind was blowing fierce at 25 mph and holding steady. Scott, Russ and Tobie were there and it turned out to be a great ride. We wrestled the wind heading straight into it and then veered to the West to enjoy some nice gravel roads. We took pleasure in then turning North and just sailing back into town. I had a tick under 25 miles on the 1X1 and I was happy. Thanks for the great shop ride guys and I wish we have many more this year.
I am excited for 2009 and I think it will be a great year!