Headquarters for the Slender Fungus Cycling Association

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

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sunday Riding and finally the first Century for the Year

The beautiful Sunrise in Woodstock, IL.
Hellmut and Smokey Mike

The first rays of the morning

Riding in the dark

Our start time this morning
An exceptional ride today. We met at the Ari house at 4am and headed north into a steep headwind. We figured to be smart and struggle against the wind gods and pay the price for an easy ride home with the wind at out backs. Rode straight north on rte 23 then took collins rd towards Woodstock. Went to Smokey Mike's Parents house for soup and coffee. We arrived their at 7:10a.m. and Mike's mom had food ready for us. The soup and toast was sooo good. We refueled, got the feeling back in our toes and headed back home. The ride home was great. We were able to strech the legs a bit on some smooth roads and also liked rolling with that great tailwind. Hellmut was riding his Surly Crosscheck with 700x42c tires, I was cruising the Rivendell Quickbeam Singlespeed and Mike was on his dad's vintage Trek road bike. Everyone rode steel and fat tires. At around 9:10 a.m we stopped for a break and took comunion in the form of a Pinky's worth of Irish whiskey (hey, st. Pats is coming up) and a gel. Warmed the blood and got some energy. The soup was still holding but the little break was great. We suffered no mechanicals, no flats and no issues with cars. Lots of lights and mean looking mutants keep them at bay. By the time I got home I had 85 miles and then around 9:30 p.m. I suited up and returned to the streets looking for that 100 miler. Hellmut had continued on to finish the century this morning. We also got in our time to allocate todays riding into a DBD category.
Tomorrow is March 1st and the time is perfect to get out and make yourself bleed.

Friday, February 26, 2010

The reason for my absence

Last thursday I finalized building a bike I have been thinking about for a long time. I had taken advice from many places but mainly fellow ultraman Charlie Farrow and Surly's own Dave Gray. I waited for the new Pugsley frame and once the 22" size showed up on the screen I snagged it. I had to venture into Ebayland to find the adventure fork to replace the stock Pugs fork which comes with offset and takes a 135mm rear hub. Next came trying to get the rims. I settled for the xc front rim drilled symmetrical and the rear assymetrical. I used a Dt swiss built Edco Racer hub Disc in front and a standard shimano Xt. disc rear.

I opted for the Surly Mr. Whirly crank since I studied them in depth and got to learn them well.

175mm arms, 58/94 spider, 22 granny inner, 32 middle and salsa ring dinger on the outside. 100mm spindle, surly bearings , steel chainring bolts.

I then used an economical 11-32 8 spd sram cassette, 8 spd chain, no front derailleur, Suntour xc pro thumbshifter. Brake levers are shimano xt, control tech stem, titec titanium bars, ergon grips, bb 7 avid disc brakes. The new Larry tires which are amazing. I am now using a cane creek thudbuster on a turbomatic saddle. Now riding old 747spd pedals. headset is cane creek s3 . The ride is amazing and I instantly fell in love with the bike. On friday we were leaving for frostbike and here is what happened in the first week of ownership.

friday 2hrs.

saturday frostbike minneapolis minnesota

Sunday 2 hrs

Monday 2 hrs

tuesday 2hrs

wednesay 5.5 hrs

thursday 2 hrs

friday 2hrs

I have the positioned superdialed, the gearing is perfect, and the bike is a winner. I learned at Frostbike that the large marge rims will accept Maxxis Hookworm tires in 26x2.5". Once the snow goes away the bike will handle the mud and once we enter dry season I will switch the tires.

This bike will enable me to stay outdoors and ride all winter. This bike brings freedom!!



Next post long overdue is frostbike with lots of photos.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Sunday and Monday Riding

Working hard at it.

Dead animal in river

Last night's driving snow

New Surly Pugsley, just incredible.

Last nights arrival time, 1:35 a.m.

New machine at work

Last night's street situation

Last night's departure time 11:15 p.m. (just for my records)

Got home late on Sunday after driving for a very long time from Minneapolis. We attended the yearly Frostbike show up at QBP. I have tons of photos and a complete write up about that. I still have to let some stuff sink in before I can spit them out. After arriving home last night I wanted to get out and ride. My legs were stiff and the pending date of T.I. were haunting my head. After chatting with the wife for a while she went off to do more homework for her classes and I slipped into some more uncomfortable and set out in a snow storm on the new Pugsley. The snow was driving and nothing was plowed. I followed car tracks on abandoned streets and got in some solid riding. I was spent when I got home. Showered ate something and then laid down and went into a full on coma.
This morning I woke up, had massive amounts of coffee and a bucket of oatmeal and set off on the Pugsley again. You see this bike is addicting. I want to make some comments about it soon. I got in another 3 hours and again drained the life out of myself. I later went grocery shopping and I finally convinced myself that the Specialized prostate popper needed some cleaning and de-rusting. Never disrespect a bike. I am now nursing a tootheache with some whiskey and will be planning a visit to a dentist soon.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Wednesday Night Riding

We met at the Ari house and rolled out to Kirkland at 830 pm. Had a nice headwind all the way out there. Took a break at the closing gas station and then rolled back with a cheating tailwind. Rode all the way down baseline to 23 then took lloyd to brickville then back through sycamore to the starting point. My two reliable partners were there and I was very thankful for that. This weekend we will be up in Minnesota attending Frostbike and will be looking foward to be back on the bike soon. A bit of a scratch on the back of the throat is developing so I will be addressing that issue fast.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sunday Ride

It sure was a crisp one this morning. I left the house with clear skies, a strong wind out of the west and the temps hanging around 11 degrees. I dressed up and refused to let the cold deter me from riding. Hellmut was off to hang around the skyscrapers so I did a solo ride up to route 72, giving me a quick 20 mile ride. I felt really good on the Quickbeam and I rode out of the saddle for extended periods. That is the fitness gained from all the miles on the studded tires. It was a relief to roll on smooth tires and a much lighter bike. I have promised myself that I will ride every day in February and I have a goal of reaching 1,000 miles for the month. I am standing around 350 so far.
Tomorrow is another sub 20 day, but the sun will be out.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Wednesday Night Riding

Post office warm up

Putting in the time and miles

My homemade neckgaiter from a Carhartt hat, it rocks.
Louis Garneau Helmet cover. My beloved Thermos with Turkish Black Tea with lots of sugar
lightweight Patagonia backpack.

Our wednesday night ride was interrupted when a shimano crankarm decided to split in half and make things impossible. We walked back to the truck in a frosty night and bid our Slender Fungus member farewell. We continued on Airport road and were not talking too much. I had learned my lesson from the last time and kept my mouth shut and kept breathing through my neckwarmer to keep my lungs from freezing. We rode down to rte 38 made a left and a quick right on Hinckley. My intentions were to hang a right on Gurler and head back to town. Hellmut was hell bound and did not hear my "Right Turn" and he continued pedalling south surrounded by complete darkness with only the superflash indicating a strange life form. I thought for a second that he might have been seeking some solitude and headed home. After a while I felt wrong and kept looking back for the new dinotte light to shine signalling he had noticed me turning. It did not happen and I became colder and colder. My clothes were soaked through since I was working so hard to turn the studded tires at 20 Psi. My fingers started to lose feeling so did my toes. I jumped off the bike and started to do the walk to get some circulation going. I decided to go into town and do a warm up.
I ended up at the Dekalb Postoffice and I was happy to pull on the lobby door and find it open. I took my boots off, my jacket off and started to feel better. Had some tea, whiskey, chips and water. I added a wool vest and stuffed myself with all the newspaper I found in the trash. I used two large Target bags to wrap my feet. I looked like a ball of garbage. I made the decision to confront the freezing chill and made it home around 12:30 a.m. My very patient wife was still up and told me to call Hellmut since he was worried about me. It was a relief to be home and stop freezing.
The next morning I suited up and rode to work. I have figured out that one can climatize to this weather. Moisture control is key. OR (outdoor research) stuff is off the hook. Lake boots are amazing. Riding without Moosemitts is silly. Helmet covers are dorky but keep the wind out.
Wool is a blessing from Nature. If you don't own at least 20 lbs worth of it you are missing out.
Jameson Irish Whiskey stops freezing teeth and won't burn your stomach. Toe warmers work best when you let them expose to air for 30 minutes while you get ready. Nokian Extreme tires are the king of the winter. Craft stuff is serious, Louis Garneau is wonderful, Sony Mp3 players keep the demons away. Casio watches with the light button keep your sanity.
My latest addition has been a Rock Shox Revelation fork. It keeps the ice bumps from braking my neck muscles. I have better control over bag terrain. I have a remote lockout when I am on the road. My specialized rockhopper weighs 33 lbs and it is the best training machine for Trans Iowa. I am also enjoying my Suntour XC Pro pedals with the XL Powerstraps.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

R.I.P Franco Ballerini

Franco Ballerini died this past sunday co-piloting a rally car in Tuscany region of Italy. Winner of Paris Roubaix in 1998, part of the great Mapei team, he also was the National Coach for the Italian cyling team. He will be missed.


Amazing commute

16" Surly Big Dummy for a 6'4" dude

So I had forgotten the hock-pocker with the studded tires at the shop and paid little attention to the forcast. By this morning the trail was covered in snow. I sent the little one and the wife off to their respective schools and then realized I had no ride to work . The Pantani-mobile has no working wipers at the time and with the snow I did not want to get into a car crash. I quickly mounted some knobby tires and also attached a snow shovel with an 8lbs weight to clear the trail a bit. Needless to say the extra boat anchor made me sweat another 10lbs off before making to work. I quickly realized I had no pants to wear at work since they had all migrated home. Luckily my father in law showed up and gave me a ride to the sports store. I bought some Columbia River Shorts on clearance and the clerk was wondering why I was shopping for shorts in the middle of a snow storm. Hellmut carted my hock-pocker home with his brand new Honday and I rode the Big Dummy in the middle of a blizard. It became harder and harder to drag the snow device and I gave up with 1 mile to go. My legs were on fire.
Tomorrow will be another adventure getting to work and back. I think the wednesday night ride will become a snowshoe event since it is impossible to ride.


Monday, February 8, 2010

Monday the 8th day of February

Looking wrecked after today's singlespeed-mania.

No joke that I went out and beat myself good today. I got on the Rivendell Quickbeam and did 50 miles on it. I rode out to South Elgin with a stiff wind all the way. I romped around Campton Hills doing some hill work and then ended up on Randall rd. I made a deposit in my bank and then boogied home with a sweet tailwind. The temps kept dropping in anticipation of a big snowstorm that we are supposed to get. I was dressed perfectly though my toes were a bit chilly. I should have doubled up on the toe warmers. My camera died in the cold and I rode the whole ride sans food. I wanted to see what it felt like to ride the last 50 miles of a big ride without nourishment. It is doable and only limited by the mind. Legs are feeling strong and I rode out of the saddle for long periods without tiring. I have a feeling we will be back on studded tires for a while again. I am installing cleats and new Look Quartz pedals on my T. I. bike. Will see how those work.
Total for today 50 miles
Total riding time 4 hours
Cold and windy.



Sunday, February 7, 2010

Strange cat on abandoned pickup truck

The new ped/bike bridge over Randall rd and Silver Glen rd in South Elgin

Abandoned Latrine in Secret Slender Fungus Association Woods

Wednesday night's amazing freezing Fog

Today' s ride

Secret Location

Clear waters running

Today's off road session

today' s Gravel Session

Wednesday Night's incredibly hard ride. Gumby's New Presidio. Check it.

This was a hard week of riding. On Sunday we rode hard all the way to Belvedere and back. Monday took me to south Elgin and back solo. Wednesday was the night ride. We decided to go to Kirkland. Nearly froze to death with the damp freezing fog. Rode a well deserved 40 miles that night. Commuted on Tuesday, Wednesday, thursday, friday and Saturday. Today we started the week with another good 45 miler out to kirkland and back. Did some woods riding and it felt great. Rode the Salsa La Cruz and it really rode well. Hellmut came back with a bloody Muzzle. We are starting to get a bit tired of all the winter gear and dealing with the cold but we are determined and are sticking to our guns. Tomorrow we are getting another snow dump so we will be out wednesday night with the Pokey tires fighting for trail space with the slednecks.
I hope you are enjoying the cold as much as we are.