Saturday, April 12, 2014

A bumpy Ride

Tomorrow morning is going to take bike geeking to a whole new level with 
both  Paris-Roubaix  and the first stop on the World Cup.
Red Bull covers the world cup and if you have not gone and watched any of the events that they 
show you are in for a treat.
Not only is the commentary well done, but they make sure to have 
cameras in all the best spots and both men's and women's races are covered start to finish. 
The a few thousand miles away one of if not the best one day classic the Hell of the North..
I love watching this race and am always blown away with the history.
Before I new what the "classics" were I saw images and snippets of video of this  race and just
 remember the dirty faces and crashes and the cobbles being lined with superfans 
pumping their fist for their favorite racers.
Still have not figured out how I will have both races on at the same time.
Should be able have the Roubaix on the computer and then stream from my phone or Kindle to the TV..
Either way it is going to be a morning of coffee and bikes,,, and will be my first day off of one
in a length of time that I can not recall.
My thoughts are take two days off get all things packed and ready to go so
come tuesday morning after we land I can have my bike built and out on the singletrack. 
Bike is in the desert waiting for me took longer than I thought it should which had me in the garage getting the Spot cleaned up in case I needed for the first race of the season. 
As I was cleaning it I found on the seat tube a good size crack in the frame.
About 3/4 around the tube and back to front.
Bike is only 3 years ridden and was one of the last of Spots hand built steel frames here in the USA.
I sent a picture to Garro to see if he thought it could be fixed being steel,, and he responded  not with out replacing the whole seat tube. 
So as of now I need to make sure that the LaMere makes it back in time as I have already signed up for the Iowa race.   So sick and tired of breaking shit,, will be interesting to see if Spot 
does anything to make it better,, this boy still needs to have a single speed hanging in the garage. 
Well that is it few more hours and the desert sun will be on my face.. 
Here is to warmer dazes!!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Psychic Powerless

The new Bike is in a box and on its way to the Valley Of The Sun.
I finally got it 100% together and even tested it out on some hilly roads and 
some choppy crushed gravel trails around the house.
It rode well and I bounced the crap out of it to try to 
get the chain to jump.. Shifted when I should not and again was spot on. 
I know that the rough terrain in the mountains of Arizona will  be the true test. 
After slamming hard on the half pipe last night I thought that I had sent the bike in vain.
I went down on a run of the mill rock to fakie and as I rolled across the 
flat bottom I went splat. 
Shoulder a little sore and wrist pretty worked but have been hitting the ice and ibuprofen
and it seems to be getting a touch better. 
Was able to ride before and after work today and the 
I could feel the wrist but nothing that would stop me from riding. 
What it means more than anything is I need to take it easy on the Sk8Board
and just enjoy the ride while James gets rad and Gleams the Cube. 
I do need to get my hands on a new set of skating shoes as I have blown out my Vans,,
I hope to grab a new pair before we fly out on Tuesday Morning. 

Vacation and riding bikes is going to do me so 
damn good.
I need more than ever to get away from work. I have been put on training duty of not 
only one of our older guys but the new kid who needs so much help. 
But enough about that I do my best to not talk about work or what I do or why I do it this is all supposed to be about fun stuff...........
 I need to ride and ride some more than do It again.
I feel strong
but I just feel like I am hitting the red zone too quick and not able to recover as fast as I would like. Powerless??
I am thinking that the change in climate and some single track will do
do me well. I know that it is a long season but                                                                                                                
but I want to come out of the
        gate swinging,  After a week in the desert I get home and the first race of the
season,,, and as long as I don't burn my self out I should be ready to go..
Now back to the count down of when I get the Hell Out of Here..

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Blood Stains

I have seven work days till I blow this Popsicle stand and head out to the desert. 
This will be the first time really getting to ride the new bike and the 
last bit of training before coming home and hitting up the first race. 
I have been spending a lot of time on this here bike to and from work,, finding the miles when the workload and #dadlife will let me. The miles have been good and from what I can tell 
I think that I am on pace to where I want to be. 
This trip to the desert is going to be timed perfect as we can't ride dirt here yet and I 
need to get use to the way my new Race bike rides. 
Not a whole lot has changed... My Maverick was sent out to Ethan who run  the Flow Zone Suspension  center based out of Denver. He has been working on my forks ever since 
I started riding them some 9 years ago. He found that the whole air side was shot, cleaned and replaced and now more than ever the fork is riding like butter,, I can't wait..
Rock Shock has their new version of one out and it is turning heads in the MTB world..
And I am sure it is going to be good,, if it is half as good as the real deal it is going to change the market for suspension.

The Thomson bars are not brand new they showed at the end of last season and I only raced on them once,, but was able to get some miles on them before the snow fell.. 
After years of 9+ degrees of sweep I am still getting used to flat and more of a straight bar,
I like the position and how low I now am to the front end of the bike. 
The frame LaMare is new this year I wanted to get the newer version that Buzzy had brought in,, it has better cable routing than the first generation and allowed me to pass on my last years bike to one of the young fast kids on the team. 
With the new frame came a BB30 which I now know so much more about... I was super stoked when King sent me a Bottom Bracket for it only to learn that their are BB30's and PFBB30's and so on and so forth,, Unfortunately I wont get to run the super sexy King BB on this rig.
I am however going with out a guide,, and this has me more nervous than anything. 
I am still 9sp somewhat by choice and somewhat because I am dirtbag laborer that can't afford a full new drivetrain. What I have working here is a 36 tooth Raceface Narrow>wide<narrow>Wide
front ring and a Sram short cage XO derailleur.   
I have had the bike out a few times around the hood jumping curbs and finding anything rocky rooty bouncy that I can find. Everyone tells me that it is going to work and so far from my far from scientific testing it is. 
The New Look S-track Pedals have been rock solid so far been running a set on my 
Cross bike and have been totally impressed. 
 Now I just need to get there. Time seems to be going by slow. 
Last things to be done is get the tires set up new sealant and valve stems,,
then break the bike down wrap it tight and get it in a box for shipping. 
Going to send it out on Tuesday,, wanting to see if it will make it to Scottsdale by
that friday.
On the return home I need to have the bike home no later than Friday the  twenty-fifth 
because we are racing the 26th in Decorah Iowa.. Going to be cutting it close. 
Ok time to do some more bike work..
As the Sticker Says Party ON!!

Saturday, March 29, 2014


In somewhere around three weeks this pasty white midwestern drifless long winter soul will be in the sunshine state of Arizona. Seeing as I am going to box up the new bike and 
ship it out there to play and have fun I am trying to make sure that 
I have some kind of fitness so I am not left in the dust of the guys that have been riding since last year at this time. 
This weeks weather was once again not the sunshine and warm weather that we have had in springs past,, to me it has been very unforgiving and mentally taxing.
But what I keep reminding my self is that getting out and dealing with the elements 
will only make the warmer days that much better. 
Monday through Friday I have been out on the All-City hitting the hills on the 
single speed trying to make up for the time lost in February due to the extreme cold.  
I think that it has been working or at least I know that i have been suffering as 
I climb on the way home from work. 
Thursday I wore rain gear knowing that the way home would be wet and it was.. 
37 degrees and cold with a pissing rain,, the good thing was that the Lemond did not let me down and with the 53x21 set up it hauled ass through the wind and parted the puddles like the red sea. 
With the weekend here and the Gunnar all cleaned and tuned the plan for the day was simple.. 
Make my self hurt. 
By the time I got back home from a route with six climbs and shy of three hours in the saddle I was good and wobbly. So wobbly that going to the skate park with the boy found my legs making some questionable movements as I attempted to get rad. 
Came home from that to find Anna at home telling me her bike was broken,,
She snapped the shifter cable cable for the rear,, and this new integrated 105 stuff I can't seem to get a cable to go through,, so to bike shop for her,, Bummer.
Windy tomorrow but almost 60, so it should be another day of hurting my self 
in this kingdom of dirt. 
Hold on tight and make this thing go fast!!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Team Party On

Spring Break is over for the kid,, the whip has been cracked and she is back to school.
I took her back to school via the Twin Cities, so we could go to the 
Team Hollywood Cycles/Girlfiend Team Party.
I left work early Friday to sunny skies no winds and warmer than it has been temps.
The thought of ditching my responsibility and just going riding,, but being a parent gets in the way of all the cool things out in the world. 

The Turn out at the shop was good,, Lots of new faces and a bunch of the old guard was 
present and accounted for.
Jay's shop is like a museum of racing memories and trophies. 
Our 2013 overall victory Plaque was out along with all the other mementos of past racing glory.
Shaking hands and drinking beer I was in my element, we have a family joining the team,, dad and daughter racing for us and their son/brother racing for another one of the local teams,,, Love it dividing the family right down the middle.  
Plans were being made and bike parts being lusted after,, and as the night grew long and 
the younger crowd hit the road the 
music got louder and the party was on!

One of our young local studs is working on build up a new race frame for next year so I went out to the car and pulled out my box of goodness that I picked up on my way out of town.
I explained the reason why any other pedal that he had ever ridden on was not going to
hold up to the awesomeness that is the Look S-Track.
I have my self been riding Looks for the past 4 years  after being on another french brand 
the years before that.

This new pedal is all that it is cracked up to be and more. The simple design along with a beefed up spindle and largest contact surface area,, Power Transfer  and a smooth entry and exit are going to change the way people look at their pedals. 
was good and when I sleep at the Bauers house that means I get the yarn room.
Kelli has  as much money wrapped up in yarn as the rest of us do with bikes and gear.
And with all the soft balls of techno-colored thread it makes sleeping so much more peaceful.
Saturdays plan was to ride and the temps were going to suck even if the sun was shining. 
I headed over to the shop to help clean up as Hwood and the Chucker
worked on a few tunes. And yes we waited for it to warm up.
By the time were were spinning just south of Downtown the temp was only 18 and not sure what the windchill was other than cold. 
We slogged through the wind and cold and made the best of what the day had to bring... Felt good to be riding with the THC crew,, and got me dreaming of warmer days and blazing singletrack.
The Game is on Team time to Roll up to the Line and 
give them the Hell Fire that is 
Team Hollywood Cycles.

Sunday, March 16, 2014


The sun is shining and the air is cold.. It has been a constant battle so far this March with weather and trying to break the cycle of the Polar Vortex.
The one thing that is for sure that after months and months of negative temps all it takes is
some sun and temps at or above 0 to make things feel warm.
Pip and I got shut down by flooding in the marsh yesterday so we could not go to Minnesota, had to change the route and find other roads.
Kids are lazy creatures and can not plan worth a crap.
Sophia came home planning doing a good amount of riding and forgot to bring home a tube or any co2's and I am pretty sure that she did not even bring a bottle with her.
We stopped in to the Blue Heron to grab some supplies,, being winter I have not been into the shop  since sometime last fall. Walking in I was greeted with complements for my Chris King Kindred Spirit write up.  Always nice when you get noticed by the local folks.  We talked bike and all things bike related,, Kevin's little shop is doing well had three bike heading out the door and repairs up the
Back to riding it was cool grey and just enough wind to make you honest,, I feel like under all my layers of riding clothes their is some fitness coming along nicely.
We started out slow due to some of the road being covered with ice,, a few more degrees it would have been water but ice for now.
Out through West Salem we decided to go our separate ways the kid was cold and I wanted more.
Headed the opposite direction than last week going over the cut from the south side and finally
after getting to Mindro and turning to the west I for the first time of the day had the wind at my back.
I opted to not sit on the couch this morning and watch the bike racing going on over in Europe.
Spent the afternoon yesterday watching the US cup and did not getting anything else done.
I really needed to get the Gunnar torn down and cleaned. After breakfast I got started 8 degrees outside and maybe 30 something inside. Pulled the whole thing apart and soaked and scrubbed, re-greased re-cabled and new bar tape. Did not get around to putting the new tires on only due time was running out and I wanted to get out and
Had to dress like I was going xc skiing with the temp only at 14 but the skies were blue bird and the bike was shinning in the sun.  Felt real real good to be on a shifting bike for the first time this year.  I was another day where I could not find the direction of the wind.  It seemed like every time I changed direction so did the wind.
One bike cleaned and ready for use,, now need to get the All-City cleaned and Anna's bike is making some noise so that is the next on the list,, and I hope that most if not all parts get here this week for the Lamere so I can get it up and running so it can be tested before heading to the Desert.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


Yesterday was a planed off day,, other than commuting.. I needed it mondays TT like effort into the wind was a bit of a crusher and I had no desire to sit on the rollers after dinner. 
I have to say that my sleep was some of the best that it has been in a while. 
We splurged a few weeks back a got an I Comfort mattress,, and sleep has been good but last 
night I sunk into that memory foam and did not move until I heard the 
Scorpions Rocking Me like A Hurricane.. 
Deep Sleep. 
I am waiting on a new set of Tires from Vittoria  for my Gunnar a fresh set of 28's, so I am holding off on the mandatory spring cleaning. 
Bike is still dirty from what or when it was last ridden in November and badly needs to have
the cables and housing changed out. 
I love that feeling of fresh cables and housing.... but don't want to get it all cleaned up and subject it to the carnage out on the roads here in the Drifless Region
My All City has been doing all the work for the past 10 days that outside above freezing temps have been in play,, and I am doing my best to keep it happy and clean. 
Will need new break pads sooner than later with all the crap on the roads,, and as soon 
as my BB30 gets here for my new LaMere,,,, King 
is sending along both style of grease injectors so I will be able to do a deep clean and flush the BB with clean grease.. This bike has had a good but tough life ever since it came home back in October.

Today was the first day in a while that I could have gotten away with out fenders... but I am not sure if that was because it was 
just a degree or two above freezing. Once you get out of the City and in to the country the water is less and less. Their are puddles or small lakes in Lacrosse that if you enter you may not come out. 
For the most part I have to say that I felt pretty good today slow up bliss but that is 
what I get trying to push 63 inches this early but I want to get it up to 66+ so I can use it in 
some of the group rides, and not get dropped on the flats due to spinning out. 
Still lots of work to be done,, but happy with what has been done so far and 
as long as it stays dry and some what warmer non negative temps I'll keep my self moving outside. 
The Pip comes home this weekend for spring break and I'll have to take her over to Minnesota and ride some of the endless gravel roads that side of the river,, Nice long climbs and valleys that seem
to never end. I hope she know what she is getting in to.
Time to Dig Deep!