Headquarters for the Slender Fungus Cycling Association

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

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

"Blends" "Blends" "Blends"

Jamie on her Rivendell Bleriot with 650bx44 tires.
Decorah, Iowa 2008

It has been a while since we have been lookin for the above term. A "Blend" is a type of ride that incorporates riding on Pavement and also on dirt. This type of riding challenges the rider with more than one type of surface and in most cases as one uses a road bike you will acquire some better handling skills and strength. The road bike is not a fragil piece of machinery. Remember that all those Madones, Cervelos, Merlins and other candy bikes are ridden hard at such races as Paris-Roubaix and the spring classics.
Ever since I moved out to DE Kalb county I have taken to riding this style of ride and I am pretty much hooked on them. Each one is an adventure in itself.
My Cyclocross bike is equipped with Marathon Racers in 700x35c. These tires can handle all conditions. I have also ridden my legnano with Michelin 700x25c Pro Race tires. My other bike of choice is the Quickbeam with 700x28c top touring tires.
In any case the Flandria 100 Ride in August will definetely be a "Blend" ride and I hope to help out anyone that needs some help setting up a bike.
Don't be afraid of getting your bike dirty since soap, warm water and a splash of Dawn will get you spanking clean again. I would like to add that we plan on giving out cue sheets and perhaps small printed maps to all riders. You may also use your Garmins if you are so sofisticated.
At some point in July we will firm up the amount of riders so we can do some printing. I will be working double shift on Saturday so the ride will for sure take place on Sunday.
Any questions let me know.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

QBP's Frostbike February 2009

Tobie and Joel at Pizza Luce, No flash

Pizza Luce

The incredible, incredible Salsa Fargo.
Giggles notice the tektro levers

Squirrel and Dorkus Maximus

One On One Studio, Minneapolis
Bike shop at 11:00 p.m. Saturday Night

Cronological order of the Bianch Single Speed

Jay looking lost and confused

Snowing in Minneapolis, of course

The Trombon Player Mr. Mark S.

The Sheraton in Minneapolis

Tobie, Jay and I made the hike up to the wonderful city of Minneapolis to Attend Frostbike 2009. We were lucky to have dry roads and little traffic as we headed north and made record time. We stayed at the Sheraton Hotel and we were very comfortable there. We also attended the seminars in the same place so it was good not having to move around too much. QBP fed us and watered us a plenty. It was a good opportunity for me to get away from the mundane world of my work area and open the mind a bit. I met wonderful people and gained a lot of insight. I brought back a lot of ideas and a renewed freshness that I had needed for a long time.
I was pleasantly surprised to meet my old pal Mark from the old days at the CBOT. I also was able to chat a while with Guitar Ted , met G-Pickle and Cody. WE ended up one night at Gene-O's ONe on one Studio in Minneapolis and that was a great visit. I ran into Squirrel and we had a photo opportunity.
The Expo at the QBP headquarters was grand and it was a great opportunity to meet a lot of vendors and as a million questions that i had floating in my head. I met with the guys from Salsa, Surly and Civia. I also checked out some great Ridley frames which QBP will start to carry soon.
All in all the visit was way beyond what I had expected. The employees at QBP, the people from minneapolis were all great and showed us great hospitality. I was surprised to see such a big bike culture and also had never seen so many beards under one roof.
I would like to visit this great town again in the spring or summer and spend some time riding around and discovering more of it.
This coming Sunday the wife and I are heading down to Indianopolis for the North American Handmade Bike show. That also will be Grand!


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Nasty Commute and Wheel Building

Fargo with done wheels and headset

Rear Wheel, King and Dt. only the best.

My horrendous ride home. Ugh!

My new digs at North Central Cylery, Dekalb, IL.

Sorry for the large print but my eyes are burning. I rode into work today and it was kinda rainy but mild. We worked all day and had a chilled day. Got some projects done and as it was getting closer to leaving some flakes started to fall. By the time we left we were in a winter storm and riding on a very icey surface. I made the right towards the trail and things got worse. I was underdressed for what I was riding in and of course on my Ira Ryan with the slick tires. I had taken that bike to work to measure up some fenders
The wind was blowing fierce and the tame snow flakes got angry at me and made me hurt. My face was burning despite the balaclava and winter hat. My gloves felt useless since all my digits were frozen solid. I wanted to walk but I was underdressed. I wanted to break down and throw up but did not want to stop. I felt hypothermic and I just kept riding.
I finally made it home after 1hour and 15 minutes. My total distance travelled was 6 miles. I arrived and it took me a long while to get my senses back. Dinner, Tea, and just finished building the rear wheel for Gigggle's Salsa Fargo.
Speaking of Salsa Cycles tomorrow we are off to QBP (Quality Bike Parts) in Minneapolis to attend Frostbike.
Hope to see some of you there.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Today's ride.

Oregon, IL.

Oregon, IL.

That loop has left me wiped out and it was really good to get out there and gauge how much fat has to come off. I had decent strength in the legs but felt like I was towing an airstream trailer behind me. I was saddened to see Lowden State Park closed. The signs were up warning that going in was tresspassing. Thank you Mr. EX Gov Blago.

I hope our new governor will make everyone happy in that area by opening up the park. It is a great place to camp, go there for a picnic, Go see the statue of Blackhawk and a great goal for us leaving from Sycamore. There is a wall where it is most pleasant to take a break in the summer.

Today the ride was cold and some of the hills got me working pretty good. I would warm up on the uphills and then hit 35mph on the downhills and feel that cold air go right through me. There were some slick spots where the sun don' shine and one had to watch it there.

I later took a road trip to Byron (cause I have never been there) and found more hilly roads. It looks like that whole area has decent hills. I wish we did. Had a sandwich at the local subway and then headed out to Mt. Morris to complete my day of "Me". I had some chocolate and listened to NPR on the way home and I could still feel the Jell-0 in my legs. I hope next time I go there and start the ride its not in the teens.


Hilly Oregon, IL loop courtesy of Brian C.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Fargo with Soft Voice (Sotto Voce)

Dr. Giggles' Trans Iowa Monster is coming to life!

Initial build of the Fargo. Chris King headset is first in order. Rims and spokes have arrived and will build wheels this week. The new King headsets are fabulous, gorgeous, fantastic and I am totally in love with them.


Century Update.

I am thinking that the Century will take place sometime in August. Of course it will be on a Sunday since out here we don't work on such a day. The ride for sure will include Asphalt, Gravel (quite a bit of it), Hills, long moments of no car action, cornfields, Hawks, Dogs, hills, and Gas Stations as rest stops. The loop will most likely go towards the west and touch Oregon, IL where the hills will be waiting for you.

Riders will be advised to be prepared with tubes, pumps and such. We will solidify such details in the future. Each rider will receive a map of some sort since a lot of the sign posts out in the country do not exist. You can use a GPS, map, compass, pouring sand or which ever method you like. We will Not mark the course and we will not have sag wagons. This is an informal gathering of riders. There will be no rest stops with cookies and ice cold Gatorade. The whole point of this ride is to be self sufficient.Fancy time trail bikes with 18mm tires will most likely not make this ride. Some bike ideas will be given in the future. More to come and oh by the way I am going to name this ride:

Flandria 100

questions and so forth let me know.

Time for a Recess

Yesterday was a long day. We had a great day at the shop and I later went to the restaurant to deal with Valentine's day. It was great that we were fully booked and our little restaurant handled 130 people which is huge for us.

Today I decided to take it easy and did not even make it outside the door. I read, organized a bit in the garage and hung out with Giugi since she is dealing with a bout of flu.

I plan on hitting the bike tomorrow and get some good riding in. Lots of projects for this week and a trip to Minneapolis to Frostbike. I Hope to you some of you there.


Monday, February 9, 2009

Monday on the Ruffian 29er

10 miles from Home.

My 4 hour mission that I had planned.

Nice looking gravel that sucks your tires in

A welcome surprise

Bushwacked thru leftover 2' deep drifts on this great trail

A hidden secret

I met up with Tobie for a while and we rode into the wind because out here those are the mountains. I went to Starbucks to visit the Mrs. and have a Vanilla Latte. Stop Laughing because I like those. Then I head north with a nice tailwind and ended up in this marsh thing. I guess the trail was part of a railroad track that existed a long time ago. The station foundations are still there and the town of Wilkinson was planned but never built. I rode, pushed my bike and carried my bike through the deep drifts.
Then I took the long way home and continued north on Glidden to Aldrich. I rode, walked and pushed for 4 hours and I was happy to realize I had leftover empanadas in the garage. Three of those and I was feeling better. I rode the ruffian 29er pushing a 34x18 gear. I drank some Gatorade endurance and actually the stuff was pretty good. I held out without eating anything during the ride just to see how long I could go without bonking.
Time for coffee and the hose to wash a couple of bikes.

First week of work and Sunday Riding.

Old State Rd. heading east on Sunday

Winter Trainer, Commuter Extraordinaire

Saturday Morning Ride before work.

It was a busy week with it being my first at North Central Cyclery. It will take a while to get situated and learn where everything is and how everything works. It was a blast to be there and I am really liking it. I did not drive all week and that was a good feeling. I was hoping to get in about 10 hours of riding this past week and I was able to accomplish that. The Quickbeam has been my main bike of choice since I got it outfitted with bags, lights and fenders. I am running a 42x16 gearing and it works just fine.
Yesterday Sunday I decided to make a quick ride before going out to WEstmont to visit my brother. I took Old state rd and punched in another 20 miles thus completing my 10 hours of riding for the week. At this time of the year I don't really care about mileage. The other day I rode the Pugsley in an incredible display of wind and it took me 1 hour to cover 6 miles. I did toss cookies by the way also.
I hope you are all doing well and that winter is also giving you a break. Today we have above freezing temps with high winds and dark clouds. I will go out and ride but bring rain gear with me.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Snowshoeing and Biking ( I love that word)

First commute. Quickbeam and salt

Yesterday, the wife and I doing hill repeats

Yesterday we hit the fields with the wife and did a solid hour + of the snowshoes. I am feeling the benefits in the legs and arms and some of that old blubber is starting to melt, like the icebergs.
Today was my first day at the new job and it was very exciting to get that going after the long wait. I think it will be a blast to work with Tobie and the rest of the gang.
If you get a chance come out and visit us. It would be grand to show you around and while you are at it you can get lunch across the street at McDonald's. If you are thristy we do have a bar next door. Convenient or what?
Today I rode to work on the Quickbeam and it was bitey cold. The humidity must have been up because it was kinda bone chilling. With the commute and ride to the Bucks and back I was able to clock in 20 miles on the singlspeed.
Tomorrow I will comence to do repairs and do some more planning for the fast approaching season. We will have rides, camping trips, a picnic, a trip to Minnesota and much more. I am situated at about 6 miles from the shop. I have a bike trail, road and a grass trail along the powelines that can take me to work.
Ride to work on dry, warm days can be 20 minutes. It takes 10 minutes to drive the pantani-mobile to work. I can also ride the gravel shoulder on Peace rd. when the bike trail is covered in snow.
So, for now thats it. I do think that I froze my eye again the other night. I was in the open fields and had just my prescription glasses on. I felt the freezing winding burn my eyes and now it has been bugging me for a couple days. I did have frostbite on my cornea about 15 years ago in the same situation.
We'll see how it opens up tomorrow morning.

Got to go the screen is killing me!


Sunday, February 1, 2009

Arrowhead 135 Starting Feb 2, 2009

'nuff Said

To all participants of this winter epic I would like to wish you all the best luck.
I know what all the preparation of body and equipment must have meant. All the sleepless nights wondering how to stay warm and dry.
So, I tip my hat to you brave souls and wish that your bikes float through the snow and that you have a great time. Charlie, Dennis I will be thinking of you tomorrow.