Headquarters for the Slender Fungus Cycling Association

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

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Are we ready for a change?????

Once upon a time it used to snow.



It used to be that the summer time we would cook in the back room of the bike shop. We greeted sweaty riders as they told us of their exploits on the tarmac. We nodded our heads and gave them on the spot tune ups so they could continue on their mission. As the leaves would turn we would lose the recreational riders.
As the temps dipped we would lose the fast guys. You see,they don't own any winter riding gear and only ride when it's warm. So little by little they dissapeared to be replaced by the hard-core commuters looking for lights, fenders and wet lube.
So, after all the warm weather dissapears, us poor mechanics are left to ride in the dark and cold. How can we motivate for this? We tend to hide in woods where the wind is a bit cut by the trees, we bundle up with wool and windstopper and we take a little flask of good whisky. It isn't easy to ride like this but it is all we get.
 
So, this Sunday if all the stars align I will go out for a long one. It needs to be done.
 
 
Get out if you can,
 
Ari 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Found Pictures

6:30 a.m. Fresh arrived from a straight 260 mile ride. It would take months to get his eyes straight again.    

The infamous Gypsy Caravan. Never to be duplicated again.

Charlie Farrow and Tim EK. DBD's hard men share a tear and a beer.

My loyal, loyal Gumby.

The original Gypsy Caravan.

My son left, then Bonk King, wifey behind me and dorkus in CRC kit.

Giggles, Cookie, Dorkus line up at T.I.
Lots more found pictures on this missing little hard drive thingy.

Ari

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Support the Support the Support

Cookie, Giggles and me-self are still thankful for the amazing support we received from Gumby and T.J. at last years Trans Iowa event. Our Friendship is solid and despite being faraway and full of commitments we do get a chance to see eachother and hang out. We were so glad to have arranged schedules and have met last time in the glorious state of Iowa. I know who my friends are and keep them close at heart.
Today we drove out to Campton Hills to see T.J. race cross on his Pugsley. As usual, the 4b field was packed to the gills with riders and there was a lot of Halloween costumes out there. The race went off and it was amazing to see T.J. race elbow to elbow on his almost 40lbs monster bike. The Husker Du tires almost took the lives of a couple of Newbies but they were smart enough to get the hell out of the way because T.J. was not slowing down.
It was a beautiful day for cross racing. It was clear, windy and crisp. We stayed there for a while and then headed to finish some errands. Congrats to a fine finish and I hope we can ride together soon.
I am trying to organize a ride from St. Charles heading north on the Fox river trail to Wisconsin and back in a day. We will ride cross bikes or whatever else you want. No drop rule, stops for Coffee and lunch. Dress warm and toasty! Target Date is November 10th. Also we are looking to hit Iowa for Mission #4 for Gravel. Ride could be 85miles or longer. Cookie and I have died on the 85milers so far. Keep in touch and don't let your meat loaf,

Best,


video
Ari

Friday, October 26, 2012

Ira Ryan Cycles Porteur

Early Production Model Porteur with recently added Panaracer Ribmo-S white tires.

Next will be Silver Chainrings and a silver Deralleur.      





Just taking a little break from the Singlespeed 29er. I put on some Panaracer Ribmo-S 700x28 tires on my Porteur and rode into work today. What a different feeling bike. I really enjoy riding this beauty around but I am spoiled with riding gravel in Iowa. I can't wait for the next mission. 

best, 
Ari 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Rocking October.

The weather for this month has been incredible. So, we have been taking advantage of it as much as possible. Are we heading for another mild winter? Will it snow at all this year? Will our snowshoes collect even more dust in the garage? At any rate I just wanted to mention that we will attempt  Iowa Mission #4 in November. I hope that we can organize another ride like we just did. I hope more people will join us and enjoy the amazing landscape.
Last night we loaded up the bikes with the wife and headed north to the Prairie Path. It was 70 degrees when we left at 9 Pm to start our ride. We rode the trail and enjoyed the warmth and the bright moon that was out. I rode my Gunnar Ruffian SS while wifey was on her All City Spacehorse.
Trail conditions were perfect and we really enjoyed being out.
This weekend we are planning on riding  around the Dekalb County Area. If you have any ideas let me know. I will be direct calling you on the phone starting today.
On a different note I am saddened how the whole road racing scene is a mess. The more I hear about it the more I want to hide out in the country. That is too bad greed took over.
Hope you can get out.
My 9 year old with her Gypsy Boots at Whole Foods.

Riding the "Path" last night. Though we did not Reveal it. Ha-Ha-Ha!!


STill one of my favorite hills of all time. The Bonecrusher.


This is my gang.


This is the kind of support Cookie and I could have used on Sunday
Ari

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

It's the end of the season??????????????

It has come to my attention that many cyclists have already called it quits for this year. I mean they are packing it up and not riding out doors anymore. As a matter of fact they are already coming into our shop and buying indoor trainers, blocks, mats and trainer specific tires.
I am just bewildered by this behavior. The Slender Fungus had one of the best rides this past Sunday. As a matter of fact our season is just starting. We are hitting up the beautiful gravel roads. The countryside is exploding in wild, deep colors. The shadows are long, the light rich, the fields beautiful . Why would you want to call it quits now???
We can't wait to put on some wool shirts, some leg warmers, carry a flask of whiskey to share. We can't wait to try out some new lights. Every year they get brighter and cheaper. Hello?????????? Are you still there?
And then there is this amazing world known as modern clothing. Fabrics like Windstopper, Goretex, fleece.  Stuff that is now light and keeps you warm without being bulky at all. Stuff that washes easily and lasts for years.
And last but not least the exploding field of Fat Bikes. Adorned with some nice flat pedals and some insulated hiking boots they will take you through the winter.
Pogies will protect you hands, and I guarantee you will have a shitload of fun out there.
So, please...... Don't pack it in yet.

We have just begun,

Ari
Slender Fungus Cycling Association.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Iowa Mission #3 accomplished with desired effects.

Saturday night I was absorbed by a very special film that my cousin talked about. I stayed up very late watching America America. I checked the clock after being mesmorized by this film and the needles indicated 1am in the morning. I soon realized that I had to get up at 4am to meet the Slender Fungus at undisclosed location on the wonderful state of Iowa. 
I closed my eyes and in an instant the alarm started to beep. I jumped out of bed with fear of falling asleep again. I made coffee, ate toast, threw my stuff in the car, bike in the back of the Bu-bu and I was on my way. It took a long-long time for he sun to come out. I arrived around 7:30 am for th scheduled 8:00 a.m Start. I got ready and the rest of the crew started to show up:
Cookie (on his Mariachi Steel singlespeed)
Bonk King (Titus Ti Mountain bike)
T.J.  ( All City Spacehorse)
Gumby (Gary Fisher Presidio)
Rob   (Custom Salsa Vaya)
Self  (Salsa Selma singlespeed)

We made off after some blessings and we started to cruise down a two laner that would put us on gravel. We enjoyed each others company and got caught up with all the happenings.  I had mapped out a ride and made a couple of mistakes but soon enough got back on track. 
At the middle point we all assembled and Bonk King started the 20 mile trek back to the truck.  Gumby and T.J. peeled off after a little while also. They had a 50 miler in mind and had accomplished that. 
Cookie, Rob and self headed north and this is where the large hills were. The Singlespeed started to wear on us and the hills got tougher. We did some hiking up some steep hills, Walked up a mud road where we found a surprised cyclist. 
Rob later called it a day at a town we came into. Cookie and I continued with our plan to do 85 miles on the singlespeeds. This section is where I started to Bonk and Bonk and Bonk and Cramp and wanting to barf and Bonk. 
I died and came back, died and came back. My partner started to run out of gas. We walked the hills and laughed of how trashed we were feeling. Nothing brought us back to life. No stinking gels, no water, no elite. 
I called out all systems down, complete failure. So we scraped up our egos and finally made the last hill. Everything was hurting me at this point. My hands were cramping trying to hold the handlebars. I dreamt of my Black Mountain Cycles with its shiny triple, my Salsa Scandium with a compact. I cursed my heavy 29er tires I picked out of garbage. 
We made it back to the car, changed and hit a Subway for food. We cruised home and still felt the cramps crawling in our legs. 
The ride was fantastic. That was our target and we achieved it. We destroyed ourselves and learned a lot. We were lucky to have such a group. Kudos to Rob for driving from Springfield, IL to ride with us. Bonk King, you rock. T.J. and Gumby: I was really happy to see the Rango roll up with you guys. I deeply thank my beautiful wife for sending me out there. 

best, 
Ari 
Our little bike gang.

left to right. Cookie, Gumby,T.J.,Self, Rob

Cookie Singlespeeding to Heaven.

The Map said: Bituminous Road. At any rate it sucked the blood out of us.

Just in case you are into pretty sights.
Slender Fungus Cycling Association 
 These are our numbers off our cheap cyclo-computers:
85 miles for distance
11.7 mph for average
7 hours 16 minutes for ride time. 
46 mph my Max (singlespeed 29er)
No heartrate, no stinking zones, Watts unknown.
We just Bonked Hard!
 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Remembering the Fruit Loop 2012

It was a while back that the Slender Fungus had the idea of doing a bone breaking ride through out the upper northwest corner of IL. We all congregated at my previous address in Sycamore IL and we departed heading westbound at 4 am sharp. I was lucky to have a bunch of good friends along and also my Son and Daughter. We saw the sun come out and then the relentless heat that beat us down all day. Some riders peeled off and ended the day with long distances and tiredness. My Son and daugther made it to Savanna. Cookie, Paul, B.B.., The Llama, Self made it to Galena, had some much needed food and lots of liquids. By then I had been cramping for about 6 hours. The hills around the Galena area turned our legs to hamburger meat. We arrived at our most northern point almost to Wisconsin. We came down and rode through Apple River Canyon in the dark. We had route 78 to ourselves since the torrential rains had washed most of the road to pieces. Paul was becoming delirious before we hit Mt. Carroll. He was picked up by his lovely significant other around midnight. The Llama fell asleep on a picknic bench at t DQ. He later re-located and spent the night in a display Shed at the hardware store on the corner of rte 64 and 78. Cookie, BB and I departed Mt. Carroll with still a very long way to go til home. We arrived at Mt. Morris and hit the gas station for weak coffee. We then rode through Oregon. We continued in the middle of the night on 64 stopping every so often for a break.
We arrived home around 630 am and completed exhausted. The rest is history. We rode around 260 miles and loved every minute of it.
Good Memories.

Fruit loop. Daughter, cookie, bonk king, son, bb


Son, bb, llama down a beautiful gravel road.


taking a break and trying to cool off.


one of my favorite photos of all time. We are so small compared to nature.


Son and daughter. Son on Fargo, daughter on Croscheck. They had a great day with 90 miles.


The LLama, rode a tall gear all day.


Another heat break. It was almost 100 degrees and very humid that day.


The Llama sleeping on a table.


Cookie reaching exhaustion point in Mt. Morris IL. We still had around 45 miles to go.

Heading home in complet darkness. B.B rode strong all day. I died a million times and kept coming back for more.
Ari

Iowa here we come again

The Slender Fungus Iowa Expedition #3 




We are going to Iowa this coming Sunday. IF you wish to tag along please get in touch with meself or with Jay. 
Start Time will Be 8 am at undisclosed location. We will have a shortish ride of 50-60 miles and then continue on for 80-100 depending on how our wounds are behaving. 
We suggest cyclocross bikes, 29ers, Vayas. Bikes with at least a 700x35 c tire. Bring food, water, warm clothes and a jacket. Please check the weather and prepare accordingly. We do not have a sag wagon to hand you food and warmth. Roads will be bumpy, dusty and there will be a lot of very steep hills. 


Any questions, 
Get in touch with us. 

Best 


Ari 

President Slender Fungus

Monday, October 15, 2012

Everyone Crashes.

Cookie had a crash with a Canine. Over the bars, sprained limbs, twisted bars, scratched components, sore body.
I failed to come unclipped and crashed against a curb gaining an ostrich sized egg on my lower leg. An old lady asked me if I was o.k. It happened right in front of where I work. Rusty SPD pedals. Totallly my fault.  So when the Slender Fungus decides to crash we crash all together, like group crash. You know.
Eat it and beat it.
To better days,

Ari 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

A Guarantee and Promise at the same time.

Just wanted to put this out there. With the advent of the smartphones, I-Pad, and whatever other instant gratification devices I have noticed that certain blogs have been forgotten. I know that the whole world is on Facebook and it has been hard not to get on it. For this decision I have been put aside from some acquaintances. They spend the whole communicating and chatting on their phones. It would be crazy to think of actually calling someone and "talk".  I have made over 700 postings on this blog since the beginning. I like to talk about riding, equipment or sometimes to throw  an idea out there. So for the time being I will not be leaving my beloved blog.  You can count on checking in and finding a post. As long as Blogger exists you can find me here. 
Thanks for reading, 
Ari 

The Italian Stallion has arrived to Hartleys

As most of you know I am not a big fan of Carbon Fibers. I know that they are strong, light,racey, light, and more light. I just don't care for such construction. I am aware that Carbon Fibers will not go away and at some point they will take over the world. I guess working as a mechanic I see all the things that go wrong. Mainly a lot of creaking, popping and noise making. These repairs are losers for us since it takes a long time to find where the noise comes from and we never get compensated enough for our time. I despise a lot of bikes with internal routing. I don't think you should take the bike apart, have surgical hooks and a headlamp to replace your stupid derailleur cable. I also despise all the new Bottom bracket standards that each company uses and pushes. All those bearings don't last and get shitty. A Chris King Bottom bracket in an english shell is priceless. 
However, 
Yesterday arrived a box with words in Italian. Chris' new Colnago C59 had finally arrived. We carefully opened the box and unveiled a montruous Colnago. This bike is lugged carbon, has internal ridges for strength and safety, the fork is incredible and the bike should ride like magic. At close to 6k retail I will NEVER have one but will get a chance to test ride it once done. I am very impressed with this frame and it is like nothing I have seen before. Congrat to Chris for getting the most of the most of Carbons. If you desire such a pony let us know. We can get you hooked up.
Ari






Ari 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Some Cool new stuff at the Shop

Thanks for stopping by again. I hope I did not offend anyone with my last post. Sometimes that stuff has to come out and after all it is a blog where you get to just right what comes to mind. As you might have guessed the Slender Fungus is very happy that it is getting colder and also that it is getting darker. We love this time of the year because we start thinking of Trans Iowa, gravel grinding and just having a bit more time with family and friends. 
I ran into some cool products this week. Our awesome Showers Pass rep flew in from Bike Glamour Capital (Portland, Oregon) to show us some new jackets and raingear. We are fortunate to have them since we have lots of commuters going up and down the metra train tracks. They offer great design, awesome quality and have the best service. Yes, you get to talk to Live people in America. 
I then went on ranting about lights since a fellow from Sycamore got killed a few days ago. I never want to hear that anyone is riding at night without lights. Not worth the money, the loss. Period. 
I brought in a bunch of Super Flash Turbos and the amazing Nite Rider Cherry Bomb. 
The Cherry Bomb is Brighter than the Turbo. We tested both lights today. 
Showers Pass Hydration System. Middle point and front point are magnetic. Front has string and will self retract.

42 oz of liquid. So two large bottles plus two on frame equals 80+ oz of liquid on bike. Not bad, not bad

Another view of this great product. Notice zipper. That opens and takes your repair kit.

View from Right Side.

Veleau from Showers Pass.  

Schwalbe Mondial. They Unfortunately got rid of the Extreme, a great Trans Iowa tire and replaced it with the mondial. 

simiar to extreme but the middle has more of a center ridge.

Salsa Wanderlust rack to be fitted on custom Salsa Vaya. A great rack but will not fit all bikes.

These seem burlier than the previous ones. They are stainless, hold well and don't yuck up your bottles.

The badass Cherry Bomb. This thing is very bright.

One dozen Super Flash Turbos waiting to be sold in a couple days.  I test all the lights before they are sold.
I then was able to see an awesome water carrier that mounts below the seat and delivers water to the front of the bike. It is sold by Showers Pass and we can get them for you. It carries 42 oz of liquid, is built very awesome and below the container there is room for a tube, tools, inflator and tire levers. 


So these are some items that I get excited about. 
Thanks for reading and hope we can ride soon, 

Fat is that, 

Ari 
Slender Fungus Cycling Association. 

Next extensive training ride scheduled for the weekend after this one coming up. 
Stay tuned for details.