Headquarters for the Slender Fungus Cycling Association

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

Friday, April 26, 2013

Heading West to the Big Dance with big ol' grins on the face.

HEllow everyone!!
WE have finally arrived to this lonnnnng waited day.The Slender Fungus is meeting up at undisclosed location this morning and heading out to Grinnell, Iowa for the 9th edition of Trans Iowa. 
I wish all the riders, specially the rookies, a great ride. Be safe, take care, and stick together. It will be warm and sunny. Drink plenty of liquids and stay cool. I hope you all have fun and enjoy the greatest one day classic in North America. 
Slender Fungus Cycling Association. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Counting down the hours

The battlefields have been frozen, snowed on and morphed by the endless winds of the winter. It has been complete craziness in the midwest as far as weather goes. I have never seen it like this and it nearly took me out a couple of times. But,..........according to the Weather witch doctors the skies will open, the sun will come out and it will be warm and bright. Will we be able to cope with that?? What will we wear. Does anybody own any warm weather clothing anymore? Do you mean I cannot wear my Lake Boots that have  become part of my lower extremities? Will my body thaw like a bag of ground Chuck? 
I have completely changed my outlook and outfit for the coming weekend. I think you should bring some sunscreen to protect that skin that hasn't seen sun in 6 months. I think you should bring more water or at least more containers to get water.  
This is a radical, sudden change to riding conditions. The only person that I know that has any experience in the kind of  weather is Lance Andre, since he lives in Fl. 
Anyway, I hope you sit down and make yourself a listy of things you might need or not. 
My Homie ZG in front and Snake will cover for me while I am gone. 

Some of the things on my mind and list. I write it all down so I don't forget. Analogue

repair stuff. The lighter in case I have to build a fire and wait for help. I will start the fire with the lube.

So, if you have any ideas this is the time to talk about it. I will be leaving early morning and getting dropped off at Gumby's house, also known as the Slender Fungus Headquarters, then he and I will head out to the magestic state of Iowa. I might make one more post tomorrow before leaving, 


Monday, April 22, 2013

Don't let the photo trick you.

As you will see the taller lad has grown up and changed his appearance a bit. Something to do with all the gravel dust that has been hitting his face has induced some kind of chemical reaction and all this weird facial hair has erupted. I told him to cut and shave it all off in order to be more AERO-dynamic and perhaps have a crack at a sub 24 hour T.I.
He insists that it gives him strength like a greek God. I won't argue with that since my ancestors are of that origin. These two guys in the photo will be my team mates. I wish them the best and if you see me in the ditch being attacked by a badger please put me out of my misery. Please don't harm the badger since it would not be his fault that I invaded his privacy.
I also think that we might see sun this Trans Iowa. Be prepared to bring your shades, sunscreen and if you are a male your speedo.
Things will be simpler this year and loads lighter. May the win carry you all to where you want to arrive. Read the cues carefully, watch for cars coming at you. BE POLITE and wave to the people you see. Talk to riders you don't know and encourage them. It will be grand.
There is one person that will be sorely missed and we will be thinking of you the whole way. Specially if we get lost.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Less than a week to go and here we come ready or not!!!


Got a good, good long ride in last Sunday and I feel that is all I have to offer. Feb, March and April were a bust here in the midwest. We had the most wacked out weather I have ever seen. So, no complaining here since we have no control over the situation. I rode as much as I could. I fought off little colds, sore throats and body aches related to the cold weather. My knee got aches that I never had before. 
I just plain think that I need to warm up a bit. I did find comfort in using the Tiger Balm. I loved wearing my Hincapie merino base layer. I loved wearing my Cashmere sweater and the Windstopper jacket I got from Billabong. 
I have 3 bikes ready to go. My prototype is looking ready, my BMC is also ready. My Chili con Cross is in  Singlespeed mode in case the weather goes to pot. 
I will be taking a lot less this year. Less lights, less gear, smaller and less bags. I will rely more on stores and suffer with less. I have been checking the weather and it has varied all over the place. Rain and 50's, Sunny and 60's. It changes and I keep preparing for it. 
I hope it stays nice for a change and that we finally get a break from this. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

training in no mans land.

It has really been against us. But, there is a burning inside that keeps me going outside. My body is never going to thaw out. Last night rode in an atrocious wind that followed the major rain storm that we received. The streets were flooded, debris everywhere. I bet that after TI we will go into a full summer mode.
Had to cut thru this chunnel since the viaduct was under 6' of water. Rode 25 miles at night starting at 10pm.

rode same route at 7am and was greeting with snow on the way to work,

so it goes and we keep going,

Soon, soon,


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Sunday Riding

Met up with Bruce, Ron, and Tom in Naperville and rode out to Sheridan, IL.
Got in a 120 mile ride on the cross bike with the cross tires. Very very windy. Very cold in the morning and as we returned to Naperville the sun was out and other riders were out in Summer clothes while we rolled in full winter gear looking like mutants.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

This winter weather is killing me. Slowly

The red area below my eyes is severe wind burn. This morning we rode in an ice storm with Dashton. 

"The Pile" windproof tights, the shack jersey, windstopper jacket, wool baselayer. I have been wearing this uniform for about 6 months now. I don't even wash it anymore. Pile be gone. 

I shortened and flipped the stem down, added new blue tape. Gunnar is better . Will change tires, chain and cassette with 1 week to go.



Friday, April 5, 2013

Are we done yet???

A common cold night in the midwest. 

The weeks are definitely counting down quick until the big dance of spring happens. I pretty much am riding as much as possible. One thing for sure is that there will be no tapering this year. Since we lost so much training time it will just be another day when we arrive in Grinnell,  Iowa. 
This year I will opt for the Smart water bottles in 1L size. I have purchased smaller smart water bottles and exchanged the drinking caps. I am also planning on leaving behind the gut rotting gels and opting for more Real food. There is a wally-mart in Grinnell and this will be the place to get some sandwich stuff, jerky, nuts and some other supplies before saturday. 
According to the long term prediction Saturday will start off in the upper 30's, go into the high 50's, get a shower in the evening and then Sunday will be partly cloudy. No rain is predicted for friday. Could we have a dry start on Saturday morning?? That would be awesome. 
The prototype has been my main bike and I really don''t want to sway away from it. A week before the race I will install a new chain, 11x34 cassette, 40mm tires, new tubes. Next week I will go on some fully loaded rides. King Keyser has allocated me a waterproof jacket from Patagonia in case it all goes to poop. 
My boss at Hartley's Cycle and Chef at Bistro Monet have been gracious in giving me the weekend off to go destroy myself in the wilderness of Iowa.
I am still playing around with socks, pedals, need new tape on the proto. Wool is my main ingredient as in undershirt, jersey, socks,and buff. Gotan Project will be my come back to life music. Lots of salty foods will keep the cramps away. Carborocket will be my main hydration stuff. I will eat sandwiches. I am not too concerned with lights. I am concerned with lightweight. I would like to get rid of my framebag. It would be easier to shoulder a bike without a bag. Small front rack, small front rack in back??
Any suggestions or comments feel free .



Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The hardest spring training in a long, long time.

This year will mark our 6th outing to the great spring classic known as Trans Iowa. The weather has played havoc will all the riders trying to get ready for this huge endeavor. January was decent and I remember being out in my trusty Mondonico piling on miles before work. Then we had some very wet rides and freezing temps. 
I would have not been out on those rides if if wasn't for my Fungus guys being there. Then February came with a massive sinus infection that left me unable to do anything but ride 6 miles to work and lay on the couch in misery. 
So, then came March. We all had hopes and planned to get "the big miles" that we had planned. Well, March decided to stay way below average. The wind blew incredibly hard from the NE, then the NW, then the N. We were stuck in a cold jetstream and there was no March to talk about. I got out on my bike. I stayed close. I got in a 90 mile ride. I rode the singlespeed. 
So now we are in April and the cold grip will not let go. I have yet to experience a warm night. A night I am looking to get out on a long ride and not freeze. My feet no longer stay warm. I feel like my sinus infection wants to come back. 
Trans Iowa is now, this month, in a few days and there is not preparation enough. Forget the Tapering, the taking days off from training. This is going to be a massive brain battle. Ride hard, bonk, recover, stay focused, ride more, bleed, find riding partners, eat, drink, suffer, suffer, suffer. I don't think many riders will arrive fully prepared. 
This is what Trans Iowa is all about. This is what makes it so hard. This is what breaks you. 
I have been riding the Prototype quite a bit and that will most likely be my bike. I have the fit dialed. Soon I will put a new chain and cassette. I will put on the wide tires for comfort. 

My saddle was off on the level side by less than 1 degree. This made my pelvis rotate foward and strain my knees. Once I figured this out I was golden. I also like the Salsa Cowbelll bars. I have them sitting up high, more than I would normally, but this allows me to sit in the drops all day long. I will be riding either a 40 or 42 mm tire. Last year the chunky gravel just jolted my body into hamburger meat. I learned my lesson. So, I believe that soon the weather will change and we will all feel better. In the meantime bundle up and ride!!!