Headquarters for the Slender Fungus Cycling Association

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

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Memorial Night Ride

I watched the herds of riders all day long as they basked in the sun enjoying the day. I had committed my holiday to hanging out with family and getting the most out of it. Family was in from out of town and I just felt weird to get suited up and leave them. So late at night I got dressed and mounted up on the Steamroller and got in about 35 miles. It was humid as all get go. So I was just wearing a lycra jersey and shorts. It was weird to ride in the jungle like climate since it had been such a long time. Midway thru my ride on the Creepy trail I got rained on real good. I slipped my little Canon in a plastic bag and continued pedalling. It felt good to ride. I had been feeling so full and bloated from eating so much. At first the legs felt heavy but as the ride went on they got better and better. I saw nobody out there. I had the whole place to myself. I arrived home around 1am, showered, then went straight to bed. I hit the pillow and started dreaming. I 
dreamt  of longer rides with friends. I dreamt of a summer that never ends. 
Hope you had a great holiday weekend. 

The creepy trail was dark and foggy. 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Back to what we used to be

Night Riding

Yeah, a long time ago Hellmut and I used to spend countless hours riding at night. Most people look at us with fright as we explain it is the best time of the day to ride. 
Last night, and many before that we have been getting out for rides that start no earlier than 9 pm. You saddle up on a sturdy bike with sturdy tires and you hit the road. In my case I have two lights, some reflective tape on my frame and a Planet bike Turbo rear light. 
We own the night since most of the population is asleep getting rested for another shift at the office. We cruise down streets that are deserted. We roll thru intersections with ease. We ride two abreast and spend endless hours chatting and joking. The miles seem to pass by flying since one cannot see computers. We don't care about zones, Watts, power or anything else. All we care about is being outside. 
This past winter was so brutal and we don't want to be cooped up anymore.  So the roads are empty, the traffic is low, the air is cleaner since there isn't as much traffic. We only wonder what's keeping you in?????

The Zoo trail is freshly paved and empty

Sheltering during a storm

Blasting down 47th street eastbound.  

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Slender Fungus will be sending members up there to participate in this weekend's gravel activities
Weather is supposed to be cold and damp but character will prevail. 
Good luck!
We will be thinking of you. 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Good Bye Jay

Today is the day that had been rolling around my head for quite a while. 
Our friend, Slender Fungus member is moving out to California. We met up last night and finally said our farewells. 
I will post more photos soon. 
Good Bye Cookie. May our paths cross soon. 
It will be hard not having you around. 
Really hard. 
Cookie and I. Friends for life. 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Slender Fungus J.D. Drifter 150

To all persons of gravel riding:
The Slender Fungus Cycling Association 
happy to announce 
J.D. Drifter 150. 
this ride will take place in the Jo Daviess county in North Western IL. 
Date is set for June 29th.
Start time is 5:00 a.m. 
All details are available in the below link. 
Jakey La Cruz has been working on the route. 
The route will consist of gravel, pavement and some other surfaces. We suggest a rugged bicycle equipped with lights, food, and water. 
We will provide cue sheets, maps and this 
is for sure a NO DROP ride. We start and finish together. If you cannot finish then you are responsible to get yourself back to where you wanna be. 
Please contact us if you are interested in coming. 
Thank you for reading. 
Here is the link to Jakey La Cruz's blog with all the info you need. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Trans Iowa V10, 2014 Epilogue

So we made it back to the illustrious state of Illinois. 2 hours after  V10 had ended the skies opened up for good and a heavy, steady, windy rain chased us all the way back home. Gumby was driving whiteknuckle all the way as huge clouds of spray from trucks blocked his view. Despite the new tires the Durango would find a way to hydroplane. This kept Gumby on edge as he brought us closer and closer home. Jakey La Cruz and L. Perfecto were in the back seats passed out. They were like soldiers that had fought their toughtest battle. We stopped at a gas station for a rest and Ice Cream. Agatha's legs were like noodles and she needed to be guided so she wouldn't fall over. A soft serve cone brought a smile to her face.  We all arrived home fine and got some much needed rest. Then we called and emailed eachother since we amazed at what had happened. We couldn't get over it. We received lots of nice emails from dear friends. 
Almost a week later and my body, mind and heart are still adjusting to what happened during V10. It was an exceptional, amazing weekend. I was so happy to see everyone. I was so happy to meet new people. I was so happy with my crew. They voluteered, raced, suffered, laughed and cried. We hit the lowest, lowest with the bad weather and me having to U-turn shortly after the start. We carried through and came on top. I am so proud of Jay, Agatha, Jake and Derek for finishing and being so strong. 
Giggles, I dearly miss that you are so far away and I cherished the time we were together. Chad thanks for joining us and being who you are. Dave A. you put in a strong effort for being a rookie. I hope we ride again soon. 
There is so much more to say that I will share these thoughts and ideas on a ride with you. I hope this continues. I hope to be closer and see everyone more often. You are important to me. 
Thanks to my Wife Jamie, my Kids and everyone that puts up with my cycling stuff. Thanks to Guitar Ted for making all this happen. You have truly made a huge impact in our lives. Thanks again to all the wonderful volunteers, Grinnell, Iowa for providing us with the best gravel roads in the World! I am so happy, so rich, so satisfied. 
Best to all of you, 
Slender Fungus Cycling Association. 
Two mechanics that love gravel. 

The Slender Fungus 2014

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Trans Iowa V10, 2014 Part 2

G.T and I returned to the barn and I was freezing. We were dead tired since we had pulled another allnighter. Old guys are not that good in pulling allnighters anymore but this was a good excuse to do so. I sat in the truck and was glad to crank up the heat.  I kept staring up towards the hill in case I would spot a rider. After a while we spotted Gleason that came blazing down the hill like he had just started the race. A very long time after that we spotted La Cava then another rider the the two pack of Troy Krause and my fellow Slender Fungus friend Derek Weider. I was so happy to see him roll in. He looked so strong on the bike. I greeted him and patted him on the back many a times. He dismounted off his bike and his legs were still going in circles. I helped him walk up towards the bike. He seemed like a robot with poor coordination. A beer brought him back to life. Some ramen noodles gave him warmth. But he still had that raw look on his face, the blood shot eyes. We sent him over to the hotel for shower and rest. 
I remained at the barn to wait for the others.  L. Perfecto, Jakey la Cruz and Cookie, (Gravel Jesus) were still out there. I worried intensely over them since the minutes dripped along like molasses. I kept walking from the barn to the road and back. I kept stretching my neck towards the hill. Giggles and I caught up. I spoke some more to Rob. People had come to the barn to hang out, the fire was rekindled. There was coffee, there was food. The vibe was full of energy and suddenly Guitar Ted and I were not tired again. We had ridden Trans Iowa in a different way. 
Around 12:30 p.m. I started to panic  in a bad way since it struck me that my crew had only an hour and a half to finish. I couldn't get any info as to where they were. 1 pm came around and I was in sweat mode. I started to hav bad thoughts. I wondered how they would handle a bad puncture, a broken chain. I wished that Agatha was not alone. I thought about broken derailleurs. What if cookie snapped his chain really bad. 
Within a few minutes I glanced up the hill and I spotted a red top. The rider was very tall and I instantly knew it was Jakey. I then spotted the green crosscheck and I knew Agatha was there, then another green bike behind and sure it was Cookie. I then proceeded to lose my mind. My chest tightened as I felt any enourmous pressure build in my head. The tears poured out as my crew made the last turn towards the barn. I ran to hug them and congratulate them. They had accomplished the impossible. Agatha had finished together with Sarah Cooper to tie for 1st place. Jakey had finished as rookie and Cookie had accomplished his goal of being the first to finish V8 on geared, V9 singlespeed and V10 fixed. 
I cried as I embraced each one of them. I was so proud of them and kept being in disbelief as to what had just happened. It was one of the greatest moments of my life. 
I thanked everyone of them for doing what they had done. I thanked everyone of them for being who they are. All that work had paid off in such an inmense way. I was and still am on the highest of all cloud 9s out there. 
Hanging out in the barn. 

Good Friend Rob hanging out at the barn

Riders coming down the reroute during the storm. 

Bonk King and T.J took over manning the reroute while GT and I took off . 

We caught Gleason in the middle of nowhere. He was hammering. He looked fresh , strong and to me like a winner. 

The lead group led by my boy the Blue Demon. Close behind is Troy Krause. 

Back to the barn and the skies lighten up. 

Guitar Ted could stand whle I sat in the truck tired and cold since I had given my jacket to TJ

Guitar Ted greets Gleason as V10 winner. 

Paul La Cava coming in 2nd. 

Chris greeted by his wife. She was so relieved to see him. 

The Bule Demon ties for 4th with Troy Krause . Troy rolled a 42x18 to win the singlespeed division., 

I am overwhelmed seeing my crew come in.
Photos credit to Dr. Giggles. 

Guitar and I shot after pulling a allnighter.
Photo credit Dr. Giggles. 

Hiding my tears
Photo Dr. Giggles. 

Gravel Jesus
photo Dr. Giggles

L. Perfecto
photo Dr. Giggles. 

Jakey La Cruz
Photo Dr. Giggles. 

Blue Demon
photo Dr. Giggles. 
three of my 4 finishers
photo dr. Giggles 

Friday, May 2, 2014

Trans Iowa V10, 2014 Part 1

Well, this is going to be tough to put into words since it turned out to be one of the greatest Trans Iowas of all time. We had spent all winter training with The Blue Demon, Jakey la Cruz, Agatha and Dave on some pretty harsh conditions. I think the winter this year was brutal and it really took a toll on any long mileage that we had planned. However, we got out there and did our work. Slow but steady we had gotten into pretty good shape. Some longer rides happened towards the end of March and beginning of April. Our bikes were tuned, stradegy worked out and we finally loaded the cars and headed to the Godly state of Iowa. We met up at my old house in Sycamore and Gypsy Caravaned out there. There were a few Green Bikes to make sure the Slender Fungus was present. 
The meat up went well. We met up with old and new friends and stuffed our bellies with as many calories as possible. We hit up the Wally-mart for any possible last minute items. Charlie Farrow was stopped by a self Checkout and waited to be rescued by a clerk. She later told him to go back where he came from. I really think she believed me when I told her Charlie lived in a Cave. Boy did we laugh about that. 
Race day came quick and we rolled down to the start. Gumby on his Fargo, Bonk King on his Pugsley and the rest of us on our T.I. bikes. 
Shortly after the start at mile 7 my Trans Iowa V10 ended. My injury that I obtained on March 23rd flared up. With a knot in my throat I told Agatha I was turning around. The Red blinkies quickly dissapeared and I felt I was left in a cosmic void. I put on my mp3 player and relaxed making back to the hotel. I slept for quite a while until my friends came to take me out for food. 
I spent the rest of TI as a spectator as I watched from the "other" side. I spent a lot of time in the Barn. Got a chance to talk to Rob, whose family allowed us to use the Barn as a finish. Late at night TJ and I were informed that a big detour had happened. GT was stuck out in the fields making sure the riders would see the changes. He needed to be relieved. So we hopped on Gumby's Durango with Bonk King, TJ and I. We drove for what seemed eternity. 
On a very, very long stretch of road we spotted what we were sure was a bike light. Indeed it was Gerald, from Germany, throwing in the towel and trying to get back to Grinnell. We took him in and told him a big storm was coming Iowa style. He rode with us and we chatted and cracked jokes. He was cold and tired but was happy to hang out with the American weirdos. 
We met up with GT after TJ could not find the right intersection. We went down some steep dirt roads into darkness that I thought would swallow us. 
I was relieved to find GT. He was standing on a corner in the middle of God's Country. Lightning was all around him and it was a very surreal image. Lightning bolts were coming down vertically, horizontally and in different colors probably due to the dust in the air. What a crazy freak show! TJ and Bonk King manned the corner and GT, Gerald and I packed into the Truck with no name. WE drove back to Grinnell to drop Gerald off. I had intended to also go back to the hotel to sleep. But my adrenaline was on overload and I stayed with GT. We headed over to the barn but everyone was passed out. We started backtracking to find the leaders. In the meantime the lightning was making short moments feel like daylight. I wondered how frightnend the riders would be. I wished they would all be safe. I worried about Agatha, Jakey, Derek and Jay. 
We finally intersected Gleason, the leader, and he looked strong and focused. Derek,Troy Krause, La Cava and company were behind for many miles. I was happy to see Derek in his robot mode,in shorts just pounding against the wind. He seemed super-human and his legs looked Huge. 
We got done with that part and came back to the barn. 
More tomorrow. Sorry for the large print. Eyes not so good this morning. 
Gotta go make the doughnuts!

Green bikes loaded. 

L to R. Dave,Gravel Jesus,Giggles,Blue Demon, Agatha,Ari,Gumby,Bonk King
on ground Jakey La Cruz. Invisible TJ taking the picture

Gumby's Durango

GT and volunteers checking in riders

Strong Slender Fungus presence

Super fans and volunteers Gumby, Tj and bonk king

Bike setup for TI. 

Jay and Giggles pre race early saturday morning

Race morning 

Jakey la Cruz and Agatha