Headquarters for the Slender Fungus Cycling Association

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

Thursday, April 28, 2011

TRANS IOWA VERSION # 7, APRIL 23-24,2011 part one

Jay's Gunnar

Ari's Black Mountain Cycles


Dr. Giggles

Mark's mini V brakes.

Mark B. and Jay

Dr. Giggles trying to bridge

Soupy morning Gravels.

Mark B. enjoying every minute of Trans Iowa.

Riders cleaning machines after B-road. I learned from last year and my bike was spotless.

The start at 4 a.m. in Grinell, Iowa

It took me a while to gather my thoughts and to deal with some ailments that I brought back from Iowa. But I am ready to move foward, make this post and start riding again soon. 2011 marks 41 years since I have learned to ride a bicycle. I learned to ride in Jersey City, N.J. while visiting family friends. I finally crashed into a pile of garbage and impaled my leg with a piece of sheet metal that ripped my leg open and filled my white levis jeans with blood. The doctor at the E.R. patiently sewed my leg back together as my dad looked on an talked about how kids end up being such a huge expense. I never let go of the bicycle and it has become and essential part of my existence.
This year marked my 4th attempt at completing Trans Iowa. I had been nervous about the registration and once that was over it became a matter of staying trim and putting in the miles. It helped immensely that I purchased a Surly Pugsley to deal with the relentless winter. I piled on the miles, and stayed away from the beer, ice cream and all other foods that would add weight onto my already large frame. I came really well prepared to Trans Iowa with low weight, 3 thousand miles since january first, 2011, a perfect bike, perfect nutrition.
The planning took place through countless e-mails between Giggles, Jay and I. We worked and re-worked all kinds of details.
Giggles made the trek from N.Y. by car and we all met at my house. We left exactly on time on friday before the race. Bikes were loaded and we headed out to Grinnell with our sights high on a finish. Our Good friend Chi-chard would do support for us so we felt comfortable and secure in throwing ourselves out there and not holding anything back.
Jay rode on a Gunnar Crosshairs, I was aboard a Black Mountain Cycles and Giggles on his custom built Salsa Fargo . We all ran Revelate Designs Bags, and eliminated all excess weight.
We arrived early at the hotel, unloaded, and layed out our stuff, We went to the pool and hot-tub ot relax and calm our nerves. We took a walk to the steakhouse to strech out the the legs after the drive. We had our steaks, met with our old pals and took our packets. Everything was working to perfection. We hit the sack and tried to sleep. It was hard since something we had waited for so long was about to happen in just a couple of hours.
Before long the alarm was blasting and we sprung from our beds.. Cheese Danish and Double shot cans for breakfast. We got dressed, lubed Chamois' and rolled out to the start. I was wearing wool knickers, wool socks, wool undershirt, Bianchi wool jersey and a Craft vest. I was perfect.
We did the roll out and the nerves started to calm inmediately . We hit the gravel and it was a soupy, creamy top layer that was not impossible to ride on but sure enough it was creating some friction. The hills started to arrive and my legs started to burn since I need about 45-50 miles just to warm up. It was terrible to climb on cold legs. I was thankful for the triple and I managed to get going slowly but surely.
We came to the mouth of a B-road and saw the tracks leading directly into it. I quickly dismounted and told Jay to keep his bike off the mud. We pushed and carried and pushed and carried for at least 1 mile, eating up about 30 minutes of precious time. We continued on as we just kept following other riders tracks. At the end of the B-road we stopped to hit our shoes on asphalt and dislodge the mud. We continued straight as we continued to see the leaders tracks. As we summitted a hill we saw the white lights of the leaders coming at us.
That is where I started to get disheartened and noticed we had made a mistake. We should have made a left before the B-road . We followed them as they corrected the mistake and got back on track. At that point Jay and I rode together since getting to the checkpoint was our number one priority.
Jay rode his heart out and covered me all along. He shielded the wind from the front, my side and even gave me some hard pushes to make me get up the hills. I was redlining all the way and loved my triple ever so much. I gobbled gels, and fought cramps with curses and copious amounts of the most excellent Carbo-rocket. Jay would help me up the relentless hills and then I would recover and bomb down the other side. We never gave up and I came to realize how extremely talented my partner was. We were getting close to the checkpoint and as we rolled with a tailwind we noticed a rider coming towards us. We had missed the last turn. A farmer was not amused by the riders going by and spooking the cows so apparently he tore down the flags indicating the turn. I sent Jay off to make the Checkpoint since I was well done and cooked. I kept riding hard just in case we were granted extra minutes for the B-road incident. I arrived to the first checkpoint 5 minutes late. Jay arrived 60 seconds late and Giggles was about 30 minutes behind. We were deeply dissapointed at the news but as good sports came to terms and enjoyed the company of awesome friends, amazing vistas of an incredible State called Iowa and to 2 amazing organizers as in Guitar Ted and David Pals. The volunteers were very friendly and we just had a blast the whole weekend.
We decided to take a ride back to Grinnell and we gathered a group and cruised with a massive tailwind on some awesome county road.
I definetely learned even more this time. I learned to check my cue sheets and not rely on others tracks. I learned to pack even lighter. I learned to not forget my reading glasses and my endurolyte pills.
I would like to congratulate Dennis Grelk on an amazing finish, win, ride! Charlie Farrow for riding to beyond limits. Tim Ek for suffering so much and giving that big smile, Troy Krause, Sean Mailen , John Gorilla for inspiring performances.
I would also like to thank my amazing Slender Fungus team mates, Dr. Giggles and Jay for all your efforts. Thanks to my wife and all kids for supporting me during my rough days and long nights of being away from home riding.

Trans Iowa Version # 7 will be remembered for a long time. It was an amazing experience.

Ari, Dr. Giggles, Jay and Chichard.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Dr. Giggles and I took a short 35 mile ride to Kirkland

Rode the Powerline trail to work on Wednesday

The official vehicle of the Slender Fungus Cycling Association.
Chichard will be driving, Giggles will be at the tower checking the weather and Jaysus and I will be in the back getting wasted on Jamaican Rum.

We wil be leaving around 10 a.m. to meet our fate on the great roads of Iowa. Today is supposed to rain but it will not rain on Saturday or Sunday. It can be done.

Happy Easter and save some chocolate for us!!


We would also like to Thank our Wives and girlfriend for all the support and encouragement while we go out there on Easter weekend to chase this crazy dream of being Trans Iowa finishers. Thank you very much!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Off to Iowa

Is off to the Trans Iowa Version #7. We are getting things ready, tuning bikes, packing and you can expect a good report when we get back.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Joe's simple setup

Everything Joe needs is handled in a Revelate Designs Gas tank and a frame bag. Notice no seatbag or anything else. Clean.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Johan Van Summeren??????

The Slender Fungus Cycling Association has conducted a secret meeting in the middle of the fields, in the middle of night, with the main topic being the hiring of Johan Van Summeren. He is 6'5.5", has an unrelentless desire to ride in the crappiest weather, and will most likely always have his Garmin mounted on his bike so we wouldn't get lost. Since he is only 1.5" inches taller than me we could share machines in a pinch. We will let him settle down after an amazing victory at Paris Roubaix. We congratulate him and wish to ride with his hard ass soon.

Viva the Classic Season!!!!!!

6 days to T.I.
We are bringing guns to hunt some rabbits for Easter breakfast. Who wants to eat powerbars on Easter anyway?

Christos Anestis.

Happy nameday to my mom and my daughter.


Monday, April 11, 2011

Long Sunday on the Saddle

Oak tree off Pearl st.

Werewolf's secret hideout

Heading North on rte 23.

New man in the Service Dept. Specializes in anything you throw at him. Makes mean Tea, Coffee and brings great music to work. B.B. and I are really happy to have him.

Saturday morning ride with T-bone and old friend Dave.
Cold and damp as you can notice by photo.

Sunday was a very very windy day. B.B. and I got out on the Fixies, since we are such f@@@cking hipsters. We rode north to a secret route that we have and ended up somehow behind Walmart in Belvedere. We then rode 30 miles south into a headwind. I dropped B.B off at home after a Metric since he had to attend a Hott birthday party again. I then rode due east to my sister in laws house for a family gathering all the way out to westmont. So I remounted the steamroller and kept riding. My Mileage for the day was 111 miles and around 8 hours of saddle time. My legs were sore, I was sunburned and the chamois-loob had dried up down under so I was kinda raw. Great day on the bike. Today I freewheeled to work and back to loosen up the legs. Trans Iowa is on April 23rd.

Friday, April 8, 2011

No title

Just in case you are interested this will be my bike that I will ride Trans Iowa on . I am awaiting a thomson Setback Seatpost in Silver and have already obtained the White Rolls. Will be running new xtr wheels outfitted with Schwalbe Marathon Extremes in 700x35c with Challenge Latex tubes. Cranks will have 26x36x48 chainwheels and cassette will be 11x34. Shimano pedals, Revelate Designs Tangle bag, Revelate designs Gas tank, Dinotte and Princeton Tec lights. Carborocket and Honeystinger nutrition and also Platypus softbottles for backup. Luxy bars will get Cinelli gel pads for added comfort. Clothing will be mostly wool as in wool knickers by Ibex, wool undershirt, wool jersey. Craft windwest, cannodale rain jacket and wool socks. Pedals and shoes probabley Shimano. Chain lube will be dry lube if dry and wet lube if miserable.

The Great Western Trail is fully open and possible on a fixed gear outfitted with 700x23 tires at 110 p.s.i.

Yes, Mr. and Mrs. Beaver have been busy while you snooze your alarm in the morning. They are constructing the hugest Dam known to mankind and are planning on flooding and regaining Dekalb County to the wilderness once more. Move to higher grounds while you can.

My smarty 8 year old told me that her Pucci Purse was warmer than any of my fancy Mountaineering hats. Much to my disbelief she was proven right and the Slender Fungus will be riding these as hats next year.

On my day off I had the goal of finishing a bottle of Jack Daniel's. I had the luck to watch the highly sofisticated and intelligent movie Talladega Nights and while watching the movie Jack hit me square on and I was out. I awoke to the cold drink dripping on my t-shirt. This is what I havc to do to calm my pre-t.I. jitters. Now if I could only not get sick and if the conditions would remain dry and it wouldn't be windy, or too hilly and not get a bad boil I think I would be able to finish. If I don't finish the wife told me not to come back home as I will enter old age and become intolerable. I hate bikes, I hate riding, and commuting by bike is totally gay. If I don't finish I am trading the Pantani-mobile in for a Camaro and I swear I will riddle this town with donuts and burnouts,



Thursday, April 7, 2011

Day off riding

55 miles on fixed. Just dreaming of riding with my buds in Iowa. I can't wait.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Slender Fungus searching for Gumby

The back of the famous Jacket.

One of our brigade commanders spotted this suspicious Quilt van down in Kentucky. Is Gumby behind the wheel???

Then we headed south and again no cigar.

Where the heck is Gumby??

This is the man the Slender Fungus is looking for.

B.B. and I got out late tonight in search of Gumby. Last time we rode with him he had taken off fast almost breaking our legs. He then turned around and rode into the darkness. We have not seen him since. According to our Slender Fungus Intelligence brigade he has been spotted in some remote Quilt Shows in the areas of Illinois and possibly Iowa. We believe he is doing recon work for the Slender Fungus and is in search of more Gravel goodness. Whatever the case is if you see a rider dressed completely in black with a Gum Trucking jacket, Black Gary Fisher Presidio Cyclo-cross bike be advised to let us know. We need to have a word with him.
If you have any info on his whereabouts please contact the Slender Fungus Cycling Association Headquarters or just call the Bike shop. In any case you will be compensated with a finger of whiskey or a strong cup of coffee.




The more I read about Erik Noren, the more I am liking this dude. I really dig his philosophy on stuff Made in the U.S.A.


Monday, April 4, 2011

Marco Pantani Vive

With Trans Iowa approaching I am thinking about some lost heroes, friends and family. It gives me time to reflect on them and the impact they have had on me. Marco Pantani will forever be my cyling hero. I still watch his videos and always find new images of Il Pirata.


Sunday, April 3, 2011

It's a comin'

On Saturday April 23 @ 4:00 a.m. we will be rolling in our quest to finish what I think is the hardest race in America. We have been training for a really long time and riding in cold, nasty weather has lost it's fun. It is time to dust off the summer stuff and not get cold toes anymore. I feel prepared, the bike is almost ready, some nutrition stuff to still get and a couple more rides to get in. This year I will be riding a different bike than pictured and will be even more conscious of what I carry. Just hoping for some decent weather.