Headquarters for the Slender Fungus Cycling Association

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

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Trans Iowa is just around the corner.

Went for a good spin last night. Left the house around 10 pm and rode for 2 hours. I went and did Aldrich hill 5 times and then headed back to Sycamore. The legs are feeling good and the hills are becoming easier. I have managed to do all the training this year and so far, knock on wood, I have stayed healthy. The wife has fed me lots of vegetarian foods, lots of green smoothies. I have stayed away from beer for 4 months, have had ice cream a couple times and have eliminated junk food from my diet.
I will also be attending T.I. 30 lbs lighter than last year. To be exact I was almost 260 lbs last year and now weighing in at 230. Still 3 weeks to go so I will drop so more baggage until then .
I am working on bike issues, postion and I truly regret that my 20 year old Selle San Marco Rolls broke a rail. I bought the same exact saddle but have not succeeded in breaking it in. Luckily I have another old one I will use for the race.
I will be racing on Schwalbe Extreme tires in a 37-622 format. They are folding, grippy, flashy and pricey. They are worth the money and they will work just fine.
Lights will be offered by Dinotte lighting. Made in U.S.A. One headlamp on bars one on helmet, all powered by powerex rechargeables.
One small red blinker. Maybe something sexy from Knog.
Waterbottles will be Zefal magnums which hold 32oz. Almost like the fashionable Nalgene bottles, pre BPA.
Gearing will by 45x34x11x34. Low gears, spinning, spinning .
Hydration will be Carbo-rocket, perpetuem for food, and heed, for a change.
April 1st I will be kicking it into hight gear and then tapering the week before.

Wednesday Night ride
8:30 p.m.
Great Western Trail head
corner of old state rd and airport rd.
Come by if you like.

best to all,

thanks for reading my boring posts


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Had a busy Sunday ahead of me and I tossed around the idea of riding all day on Saturday in my head. I just could not come up with a good idea. Hellmut was nursing a cold, I needed a hard ride in, my wife had tons of school projects to do on Sunday, my daughter needed quality time with dad. So at 10:30pm on Saturday night I figured out that that best thing would be to get ready and ride through the night into Sunday morning. I hurried and got dressed and loaded everything up on the bike. I looked at the wind, it was coming out of the N.E. and that is the general direction I took. I ended up in St. Charles and then headed north to do a loop of the Al Capones route. I then headed back south to St.Charles and took rte 64 home. Got pulled over by a cop around 3:30 am "just to check me out", continued, albeit a bit annoyed, arrived home with 6 hours of riding time. Went straight to bed after a glass of water and a cheese sandwich. Got up at 10 am and continued on with my day like nothing had happened. Got tired around 4:30 a.m., had a headache that I cured with sport beans and nathan electrolyte drink. Wished for a doubleshot can of starbucks and a couple advils at that time. Listened to music, slept on the bike, saw tons of coyotes, got chased in the woods by a lost chihuahua. Got freaked out a couple times. 3 men having breakfast at the parkway at 5:08 a.m. sunday morning. Ellesons's bakery open by 5:13 a.m.
Arrived home, a bit tired, sore neck, frozen feet, frozen face.


Friday, March 26, 2010

Some secrets leaked

German Made Coils tuned for gravel riding

Upright riding position to keep an eye out for the competition

Dual wheel with Mercedes Benz made transmission

Flatbed for Food, endless watersupply and carrying exhausted team mates

Hellmut knowing he now has an edge.

Hellmut has been nursing a cold and I have been taking forced days off the bike. We are ready and those long, cold rides in the middle of the winter are over with.


Monday, March 22, 2010

Route we took to Water Fall Glen, Darien, IL.

Slender Fungus Cycling Association

So we had gotten hounded by Giggles for not doing any real long rides and decided that this Sunday was the day to do it. Hellmut was struggling with a beginning cold that was brought over from Florida as a cheap present from his parents. He balanced on the scale of riding and not riding and as secretary of the Slender Fungus took the right decision to get out and fight those nasty little germs. We left at 4:oo a.m. as required by our Northern friends and found ourselves cruising east bound in darkness, 23 degree weather and a steady snowfall. The snowplows were out again spreading more destructive salt.
Hellmut was silent in the dark as he fought off demons that were telling him to turn around and go home. He fought them hard and once the light came out he started to find a new courage. I felt bad for him and kept wanting him to not get any sicker. We made it to Downers Grove and took a welcome break at the bucks where my sister in law works. We then decided to head south and target Waterfall Glen for some offroad and some good hills.
We rolled south on Cass ave and got into the Forest. Road the muddy section then rolled around the wonderful forest. Went up the Airplane Field then started our long journey home. Had a magnificent tailwind from the N.E.
Our last 20 miles comprised the GWT. Started to feel the ride after the 100 mile mark. Good ride, good experience. No mechanicals, no flats, and Hellmut was happy to have decided to come out instead of laying in bed.

Hours riding: 9 hrs 30 minutes
distance: 120 miles



Sunday, March 21, 2010

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Happy St. Patrick's day to all y'Irish

Creepin' over the I-90 overpass.

Creepin' in the Belvedere Walmart with the amazing Fargo

The everpresent facemask to protect against sudden asthma attacks

Justify Full
Had a hardy conversation over the phone with the Giggles. It was really cool to talk to someone "live". Got fired up and got on the bike around 9:30 pm. Temps were around 45 and it seemed like a decent night. I started with the plan to ride out to Genoa but then I got on Genoa rd and started to feel good. I creeped all the way out to Belvedere when I noticed I was empty on food. I had a Tums and 2 advils and then had to return home. I bonked all the way back and just kept riding harder and harder since the temps were dropping. I had the road to myself and the Fargo with the narrower tires and Chris King wheels felt like it was on drugs. What a super-machine. I will definetely consider riding this machine since it offers a very upright position, has a triple and I can carry enough water for a camel. I got in 50 miles in the dark and I was pumped about it. Arrived home and wrestled the fridge and I won. Slept like a rock and today I can't wait for the famous Wednesday night ride.

Wednesday night Ride @ 8:30 p.m
Meeting at Great Western Trail
corner of oldstate rd and airport rd.
Bring bike, food, lights, extra clothing since
temps will drop for sure. Bring money, extra tubes, pump and tools. Irish Whiskey to celebrate St. Patricks Day!

See you there!!!



Monday, March 15, 2010

Rides, Ideas, Solutions and Funnies

Ari's Cockpit. 2W Blaze, Cateye Microwireless, Dinotte light and Mountain Feedbag. No, my knees do not hit the bag. It is completely out of the way.

Mountain Feedbag.com.

Winter Trees trying to come back to life

The GWT is snow and Ice Free. It is firm. Come out of your Cocoon and ride it.

Dam by Campton Hills Lake

Long Horn Steer. Corner of Burlington and Silver Glen

Buddhist Temple in Hampshire, IL.

The mirror aids in Mutant riding. Ride on the busy road and when cars are a coming you ditch dive out of the way. No cars coming you get to ride Straight Shot style.

Mutant riding.

Hellmut and I rocking the 46toofers on Genoa rd.

Hellmuts's dream home in Belvedere

Monuments for the one's that fought for our freedom. Yeah, thank a vet sometime!

Strange swinging bridge in Belvedere

What the hell time is it??

I am so confused. Hellmut was an hour late to the ride.

Got up really early on Sunday and started the ride at 4 am old time and 5 am new time. By 7 am we were mutating around Belvedere and to be honest there wasn't much going on. We made it to the Bucks and had some much needed heavy coffee. We had worked up a good effort staying into the headwind for almost 3 hours. We cheated all the way back home with a tailwind. Good ride, getting used to riding early, early. Got in about 5.5 hours on the crossbikes. Today got in about 5 hours. Rode up and around Burlington. Did some shoulder work, rode the GWT for about 15 miles, hit the rollers hard. Came home tired. Had Vegetarian Sloppy Joes and some wine. Mountain Feed bag is a welcome addition to my bike. Hey, Made in 'Merica. So is my Dinotte Light. Very happy with it. Also came up with a new term. We welcome the absentee voter. This is the typical guy that tells you what bike to ride, for how long and on what type of surface. He has the innate ability to never show up on any rides that include hardship and suffering. He is the guy that will come in the middle of the winter to "weigh" his bike since he is hard at work on the WWW.Infernet.com looking for deals on closeout carbon parts made in Paraguay, so when the weather gets better he can come to the rides and spank you. Absentee voter we will be waiting for you.

I hope everyone is enjoying the lack of snow and ice as much as I am. I also welcome daylight savings. There is hope.



Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Pain of Decisions

Nitto Noodle Bar, Dura Ace Brake lever, Salsa Tape, Dinotte Light, Planet bike Superflash 2Watts, Nitto Stem, Cateye Microwireless Computer. Still need a cuesheet holder and the Mountain feedbag that will go in the corner of bars and stem.

So for the past months I have been throwing ideas around my head for the big upcoming event. I Still have not decided on a bike and sometimes I wish I just owned one bike. I get convinced on one big then switch to the other one and then run around in circles and lose a lot of sleep. I feel like I have invested a lot of time in this preparation and don't feel like making stupid mistakes. I will continue to monitor the weather and that will dictate the bike, the tires and some other choices.
I have lowered the gearing on my Gunnar Crosshairs. By lowering the front from a 50x34 to a 45x34 I am able to run an 11x34 in back instead of the overgeared 11x26. The low gear of 34x34 will allow me to "spin" up the hills instead of muscling up them like last year. I really dug deep and gave myself cramps in places I did not think cramped up. How about under your shoulder Blades??
I will also be running the Dinotte Light most likely on my handlebar paired with a Planet Bike Superflash 2w model. I do want a helmet light to be able to see where the handlebar mount does not cover, be able to read cue sheets in the dark, do repairs (i hope not) and see street signs and follow chasing dogs teeth in the dark.
I will be riding the Look Quartz pedals since I am slowly growing out of the SPD's. Not enough rotation, lateral and float. I never had problems with shimanos but I want to ride for many more years.
This year will be going with more wool and less polyester, vegetarian jerky, better hydration, no rack , no trunk bag, lighter camera, lighter mp3 player.
Still deciding on tires. Here are some considerations:
Ritchey speedmax 700x32
continental Cyclocross 700x35
Schwalbe Marathon Extreme
Still figuring out nutrition, hydration, cue sheet holder. Open to suggestions.

Tomorrow we ride again and spend more hours thinking of setups.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Wednesday night Ride

Hellmut and Gumby planning an attack

Hellmut's green bird Gunnar

My Bamboo Gunnar Crosshairs. What a Fabu bike!

Three of us. Hellmut, Gumby and myself. A slugfest through the melting snow, limestone and water. Rode back on I.C. Trail rd. with a cheater tailwind. First time in months not arriving home with frozen toes or lungs. Months!
8:30 p.m to 12:30 a.m.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wednesday Night Ride

8:30 p.m.
at the Ari House
Plan for 4-5 hours of outdoor time.
maybe rain, maybe drop in temps,
lights,food, money, tissues for tears, bandaids for blood


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Grinnell, Iowa starting point for Trans Iowa 2010

The town is making lots of effort to welcome all organizers, volunteers and racers.

Slender Fungus double Whammer

Hellmut suffering sleep deprivation at Merrit Prairie

The long, straight strech of Keslinger rd. Right before sunrise

Whiskey stop at 5:30 a.m.

My beloved Carhartt neckwarmer, great for asthma

The Gunnar Crosshairs and the Salsa La Cruz

Ten minutes before departure time.

I rode 27 out of the 28 days of February. It is on the 20th of February that I was attending the Frostbike bicycle show up in Minneapolis. The DBD committee has somehow found out about it and has laid the hammer on me. I am so ashamed and I hope my humble career as an amateur cylist will not come to an abrupt end. This post is in no way an excuse nor do I have the guts to explain myself. I know I have done wrong. What was I thinking? Boy do I regret those drinks with Jay and Hellmut. I fear to find out what the sentence will be.
This past Saturday I worked all day at the Cycle-shoppe and then commuted home by-cycle to continue to work for more hours at the restaurant. I worked from 10 am until 10:30 pm. I ran home and ready-ed myself as the Slender Fungus was meeting at midnight for an allnighter on the cyclo-cross cycles. It was cold and damp and we started at 12:00 a.m. We rode on the slush, snow, mud and water of the GWT all the way to St. Charles, then Geneva, then Batavia. We stopped for coffee around 3am then continued our ride. We went by Johnson's mound then rode on Hughes, and Keslinger. I was really tired since Friday night I had attended a late dinner at the inlaws. I kept myself awake by listening to Techno and doing short shots of Jack Daniel's.
Hellmut was chased by demons and took micro-naps on his bike while he rode on his trusty Gunnar. The more tired I became the more hyper I felt. We walked up the steep hill on Johnson's, then we rode offroad on Merrit Prairie. We finally made it to Dekalb and stopped for a much needed cup of strong coffee at the bucks. We were outside all through the night arriving at 9:00 a.m. at the Ari house. My daugther was watching cartoons, while the wife was still resting in bed.
Monday morning the Slender Fungus met at the Ari house and headed north Towards Belvedere. We rolled into town and stopped for a quick lunch of Tortas at the mexican place. Rolled back with a stiff headwind, and then rode into Knute forest preserve for some b-road training. We rode the loose gravel and severe mud all the way back home.
Sunday 12:00 a.m. til 9:00 a.m.
Monday 10:00 a.m. til 3:30 p.m
Tuesday 2 hrs commute.
I hope to make up for what happened last month. In the meantime we will just keep riding all we can.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Frostbike visit on Feb 19-20th, 2010

Dave Gray's Pugsley

Handspun wheelbuilding area at QBP.

Shock treatment workbench. They service your dead shock here. Great work!

an Honor to have my picture taken with Dave Gray

Every winter we looke foward to our annual pilgramage to Frostbike,which takes place in the international headquarters of Quality Bicycle Parts also known as QBP. We loaded up the Honda Element and took off on Friday the 19th. We made record time thanks to a rocking tailwind and Tobie's excellent drafting skills. We fueled up at the gas station with coke and other nasty foods. All the dieting was out the window at this point. We arrived and cruised around St. Paul and went for some food. We later soaked our frozen bodies in some hot water and had a couple of drinks before bed. Saturday was the grand day where we went to the expo. I had a million questions in my head and made a mad dash to get some stuff out of the way. I met up with the awesome guys at Salsa and got a chance to also talk for a long while with Guitar Ted. I also very much enjoyed my conversation with Dave Gray from Surly Bikes, the main guru behind the Surly Pugsley. His personal rig was there fresh from having raced the gruelling Arrowhead 135. Dave is the coolest guy on earth. I stared at his bike and realized how intricate some of his tinkering was. It was a great pleasure to be able to talk to somebody like him.
At the Salsa booth we were able to see all the new Salsa stuff that will be coming out soon. It is so exciting to see where the bike industry is going. Riding is going to be such a blast! I also visited Portland Design Works, talked at length about lights, racks, and pumps. Had a mini-seminar on all things Edge Composites and was thoroughly impressed. This coming from a guy that doesn't have a great opinion on Carbon Fibers. Also met with Thule racks, Knog,Challenge tires, Continental, Brooks,All City,Maxxis, WTB, Selle San Marco, Deda and many more.
All the QBP employees are so nice and will help and answer all questions. I was so impressed. We had the rare treat to hang out with the guys from Surly. I hefty glass of whiskey refreshed the dry throat and it was cool to chill for a while.
We hit the great pizzeria called Luce and dined on some great food. More drinks at the hotel, and that about was the end. I did purchase a Salsa Cycles Big Mama full suspension 29er complete bike. I will write about it soon. I am now concentrating on my T.I. Bikes and want to stop riding other bikes for the time being. Also Cane creek was awesome in giving us a 110 headset along with the info packet that we received in their seminar. Tons of brochures were also collected.
Surly, Salsa Cycles and Civia make great products and if anyone has questions make sure to give us a call since we know their stuff in depth.

Check out the flickr set from Frostbike



Here is the Flicky link to the Frostbike images


wednesday night riding

Salsa La Cruz beating up the trail, yes there is no kickstand on the bike

Hellmut new mutatig form of entertainment. It's called Lurching.
It entails, hanging out on the side of the rode in the middle of a winter night and as cars pass by you lean over and just stare at them. I think we scared a lot of motorists last night. Took a break here and had a midnight communion of Irish Whiskey and Gels.

Gumby had a busted Truck to fix and was unable to attend the wednesday night festivities. We did ride hard and long in his honor and will be looking foward to riding with him soon. We were on T.I. bikes and hit the GWT and it was a mess. Ice, snow and huges puddles of soft mud underneath. We then rode out to South Elgin, St Charles and then back. Departed at 830 pm from the Ari house and I arrived home at 2:00 a.m. I felt great except for my left leg that after a total of 5.5 hours of saddle time for yesterday was starting to complain. Stopped at the Gas station and some lady told us that once, in the middle of the winter she had seen two riders at 330am on Campton Hills rd. "Those guys were crazy, they were riding in the middle of the fog and ice". I simply replied that it was the Slender Fungus Association going on a mutation ride.
The ride home was crisp and cold. Good riding, legs are getting there, temps are warming up. My only concern is not to get any sickness with my lungs. They hate changes in weather. I should just move to Duluth, Minnesota!