Headquarters for the Slender Fungus Cycling Association

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

Saturday, May 29, 2010

NCC-HAC Gravel Metric Invitational

Just a reminder that tomorrow morning The NCC-Hac 100km GRavel invitational will take place.
The ride will start at 9:00 a.m at the Bike Shop in Dekalb, IL. North Central Cyclery on 534 Lincoln Highway.
Bring a Crossbike or a roadbike with Meaty tires. Bring water, food, and sunscreen if you happen to burn.
There will be some Pitstops with water.

Hope everyone has a great ride.


I will be heading towards the driftless zone to meet up with an old friend and will also be spending some time with the wife and daughter.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Local Recon

This is how deep of a blue the sky was tonight.

A beautiful sunset.

Old barn with good lighting

Giugi wanted this photo to look at the lamb

Our coffee plants are in bloom

Nuclear reactors in the setting sun. The steam is colored by the sunset.

Went to problem solve a route the Giggles and I had done a couple years ago. You see Giggles had made a cheat sheet with his fancy ink pen and by the time we went to use it it had disintegrated with the sweat of the 90 degree weather. So needless to say we lost ourselves for a while til we found our way. Those sure were the good old days when we did those assault rides. So I headed out tonight with the little one and did some solitary gravel driving. There wasn't a soul out there and I did see some interesting sights. Took all photos handheld with my canon G11


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Summer Riding

The Wife and I celebrating 8 years of wonderful matrimony on a great gravel ride.

Marlboro Man spotted in Kirkland riding a Magna Pony

The wifey and I on our 35 miler gravel ride

Secret Slender Fungus ride

B Road training grounds right in Sycamore, IL.
Pugsley blending in with weeds and grass.

It has been a great week so far. On Sunday we were on the gravel recon out in the Mt. CArroll area. We rode the Slender Fungus ride on Tuesday night and had some adventures with Mr. Skunky. Wednesday was more weedwacking on the trail I am opening to be able to ride to work almost all off road. Thursday was day off an celebrating our 8th anniversary. Went for a 35 mile gravel grinder with the wife and then went out for lunch. Tonight I went to the trail to cut some more weeds and burn off the 2 bacon strips that were laying on my cheeseburger I had for lunch.


Monday, May 24, 2010

We welcome our new neighbors

Our new neighbors

Another great day of Gravel Recon and Family Time

My Co-pilot giving me directions from the map

We found some incredible roads yesterday.

Le-Aqua-na State park is exactly 90 from our house

Giugi with lots of sand to play with

The Pantani-mobile took us on another adventure in the northwest corner of Il. We headed out to check out Le Aqua Na state park in Lena,Il. A great park with a 40 acre lake with excellent fishing, a beach, trails, and a road that goes all around the lake for running or cycling. The surrounding roads outside the park are rolling hills, gravel, and some really steep hills are to be found also. Upon leaving the park we took Stagecoach rd and ended up in Warren, Il. We then proceeded south on Rte 78 and found some great roads that intersect 78 heading west and also east. This area has huge potential for a gravel ride since the terrain is absolutely amazing. I am working on a video to showcase the area. After an exhausting session of driving we ended up in Lanark, IL and stopped for dinner at a Diner. All in all a very exciting day with the discovery of some great roads. I will be working the maps all week, that's for sure.



Gravel Recon 5/23/2010 from Slender Fungus on Vimeo.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Great Midwest

There is still a lot of thoughts going on in my head as to riding on gravel. Yesterday after we had experienced Giugi ride solo for the first time we took a drive in the Pantani-mobile. We discovered some new roads that we had not been on. We were driving in second gear and truly just enjoying the solitude of the roads and the wonderful countryside. There were a ton of birds, deer and animals getting their feed before dark. We parked over a bridge and the Swallows were just fying all over us as if they were hanging out with us. The midwest is a great place to discover. We love to study the Gazzeeeter maps and discover parks and great gravel roads. Those road trips then get tweeked on the google maps and become routes. I have combed the major part of where I live but there is a lot more to do. I have still to go south, southwest, and Northwest. It is never-ending. I hope to come up with a long, difficult, tiring route for the Flandria 100 so I can show-case our area. I cannot wait to get another chance to also run across the big river and do some gravel in Iowa. What an outstanding place for a bike ride.



Friday, May 21, 2010

A Glorious Day for Giugi

Giugi Riding and the wife running

After almost two years of trying our little daughter finally found that magical balance point and was able to ride her two wheeler. We had just had dinner and my wife donned her running shoes to be able to keep up. She let go and there in front of my eyes the magic happened. She was on her own riding unassisted. I couldn't run with her as I tried to snap the photo with all the zoom I had. 7 years 3 months and 1 day from the day she was born until today. We were all very happy.
We later took her out for ice cream and a drive on some cool gravel roads around our area.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Day off Legbreaker

Cherry Valley Cafe in downtown Cherry Valley

Pizzeria in Downtown Cherry Valley

This gas station saved me: Water, Coke, M+Ms
Monroe Center, IL. Corner of Mulford and rte 72 just a bit west

That wind was making me drool

Prize the wind was bringing over

Entrance to where the singletrack is off Perryville rd. heading north just after the Kishwaukee River bridge.

My un-planned destination. Lots of cars in Rockford. And me on a road bike.

Some of my riding pals. I can always count on them for a ride

Decided to get out on the cheater bike and found myself kinda directionless. The cheater bike happens to be my Cannondale CAAD9. It rides so well it is kinda scary. So when I ride it I feel like I am not really riding. Things are so much harder on the cross bike, so much more resistance that putting on 70 miles is very hard. So I hit old state rd and ended up going northwest til I ended up in Rockford. I kept telling myself that I would have 40 miles of headwind and it would be ok. to suffer like a dog. Why the hell have an easy ride? It was already easy enough riding the Super Mario bike and cruising with that tailwind at around 23 mph. I made it to the beautiful little neighborhood of Cherry Valley then headed for the city sign of Rockford. I then started to go home with the headwind and increasing clouds. The bike was on Drugs, legs were good, head was ok and I just kept thinking about a bunch of stuff. I made it to see the Espensheide Forest Preserve were B-dog and his gang have about 4 miles worth of Singletrack. I know that dont seem much but in this part of the world we have made every effort to chop down every tree so we can feed you guys corn fed Pork.
I headed home and started to acquire the best headache of a long time. It was literally throbbing and felt my helmet was going to explode. I made it home with 72 miles in the pocket and some pretty burny legs. Had some strong french press coffee and with copious amounts of water it started to go away. I always get headaches when I ride in the wind. Have no idea why.

2 waterbottles
1 bottle Perpetuem
2 gu gels
1 mms peanuts
1 12oz coke

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

More northwest Illinois Photos

The wife, meself and my little daughter have been taking sunday trips out towards the Savannah, Mt Carroll, Hanover, Galena area and scoping out possible routes. There is a lot of riding to be done out there and this past weekend was a memorable ride. The area the we live in is nice but completely flat so we like to head west to find a more challenging terrain. Northwest Illinois offers such roads and we are in the process of finding a route that will be completely gravel. This should keep us entertained and busy for the rest of the summer. Maybe at some point we will invite people over for a long leg breaker.

Slender Fungus Cycling Association

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Slender Fungus Sunday Ride

Gumby napping after a long ride and before having to mow the lawn

Gumby finishing the ride. Good job man!

Gumby's Tifosi writing words of encouragement

Slender Fungus hanging out at favorite place: Gas Stations

Ice box in Savannah, IL.

Riding along the Big River.

Taking a break after a long grinder

Riding along a valley

Messmer, a good gravel road with lots of steep hills

taking a break by a picturesque stream.

We were supposed to leave my house at 5 am. but it did not happen. I really hate being late. I awoke, got dressed, loaded on Hellmut's car and away we were. No coffee, no breakfast, and no bathroom. We made it to Lanark, IL in no time and started to pedal. We rode straight west and got a bit off track once into Mt.Carroll. Poor mapping, planning on my part but we soon enough found our way and started to hit the hills on Scenic Bluff and Messmer. This is where we need to be riding to get in shape for T.I.
Hellmut was on a 29er, Gumby on his Fisher and I on the 1x1x29 fixed. I figured it would be a good chance to see how I can do. I did not make two hills all day which were excessively steep. Hellmut made them using the 32x34 gearing on the 29er. We made it all the way to Hanover then headed south to Savannah, took a break at the gas station and then made the long trek back to Lanark. The hills were relentless and the wind was getting stronger and stronger. The ride turned out to be good, and with some refining will be even better. There are many good roads to discover in this area. We will save time and drive to mt carroll instead of Lanark so we can hit the hills quicker.

We ended up riding a total of 72 miles, 20 more than planned. We were tired but had no flats, no mechanicals and nobody had any cramps. Riding time was around 5 hours 20 minutes.



Giro d'Italia

This is how the pros look after riding a stage that included 12km of gravel. Cadel Evans, ex-mountain biker, wins stage 7. good day mate!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Cannondale Road ride

Maybe I will take maps on my camera. Comments??

Road riding, new swift jersey, and music!

What a weird sensation to be out on a road bike. The Cannondale weighs around 18lbs and the only fancy thing on it is the bb30 sram force cranks. It rides really well and it was no problem dealing with the wicked wind. I also wore my new Rapha Swift Jersey since I am kinda done with all the loud ones I enjoyed back in the 90's. I will still wear them since they never wear out but I truly enjoy the Rapha Jerseys for their style, construction, and durability. Did about 50 on the cannondale and did not feel a thing. I am hoping the weather will cooperate so we can get out on Sunday to do the Mt.Carroll area loop. I think we will need to bring the crossbikes to handle the gravel and dirt. Just getting back in the groove of things for the time being. Want to do a lot of riding this season but also spend tons of time with the girls since the bulk of my riding takes place in the dark of the winter. Whatever you are doing, have fun doing it.

Windy floody gravel day. from Slender Fungus on Vimeo.

NCC HAC that Deer

Here is a great video for the ride our shop and the half acre guys are organizing for the last Sunday of May. I think it is awesome.

The Gravel Metric Invitation from OC Imageworks on Vimeo.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Planning on a leg breaker

Giggles I need some help with this one.


Saturday, May 8, 2010

Blustery May night

White industries disc front, eno fixed rear, Race face cranks, look quartz pedals, thomson post, Rolls saddle, Titec h-bars. 29er wheels on a 26er platform. How does it ride? Fantastic.

Hurried home from the bike shop and changed into my Waiter Suit. Rode hard to the restaurant trying not to break a sweat. Arrived to be told that I was being called off. Came home and felt restless and figured the one good thing to do was change again and go ride in the stormy weather. It was really dark and rain threatening and I thought how perfect it would be to ride in it. Another Weekend of foul weather. I saddled up on the 1x1x29 fixed and rode the shoulder all the way to Genoa and back. It felt good to feel the burn in the legs and the pellet water on my face. I got in a solid 25 miles of gravel by the time I got home. This morning the stormy weather continues and I will be out there on the Surly again. I want to add at least 3k on this bike before years end.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Another failed attempt

Secret resting spot of the Slender Fungus. Note the lack of lighting.

We thought about the road bike but it just did not materialize.
Hellmut: Surly Crosscheck Singlespeed
Gumby: Gary Fisher Presidio
Straight Shot: Surly 1x1 29er fixed gear

As Charlie would say: "Can't teach an old dog new tricks"

Tonights ride took us to Kirkland,IL via Motel rd, then grove west , to Church, to Aldrich , to Johnson, to Baseline, to Ault, to Maple, to Pearl and then into Downtown. We had a wicked headwind all the way. My Asthma started to complain so I shot it down with some albuterol and donned the everpresent Craft Balaclava. Gumby was aero-dynamik with his shiny jacket. We left Kirkland after hanging out at the closed gas station and took 72 straight shooting all the way to Genoa. We hit top speeds of over 28mph on the fixed gear. We then took 23 north to lloyd to Brickville back. 3 hours + of saddle time and legs felt great.
have a good one,

Getting back to normal, sort of

63cm Caad 9, with dura Ace 9spd, sram crankarms, King wheels, Michelin Pro Race tires, Salsa Skewers, San Marco Saddle, Nitto Bars, Dura Ace pedals, and yes STI shifting.

I am going to leave the dirt bikes alone for a while, maybe a couple of weeks at the most and start riding my new road bike. Built this up with all used parts except the Force BB30 cranks, the bearings and and 34.9mm front der clamp. It weighs around 18lbs with no gimicky stuff on it. Hellmut and I will attempt some assault rides on road bikes around the Galena area and into Iowa. More to come soon.