Sunday, November 08, 2009

flanderian fantasy?

talk about dedication. or insanity? with gawdawful weather looming for the whole day, most rides in the area were cancelled....most....

since it was the first day of the month, another check mark could go down for the elusive R-12. 5 brave souls showed up to to ride the beautiful (should have been) kerr lake loop.
the bravest was Bryan making his first attempt at a 200k, on a rough day, smiling about his decision here at the start. mike preps his fix
ie, and byron readies for the inevitable..

i was loaded with optimistic illusions of this "shower" ending and having a fair weather day. NOT.. at the first control 25miles in Mike was there and ready to go when we arrived. a quick signing of the cards and a coffee drink and off we went. and off the "iron fixie twins" went! branson and mike were both on fixies and moving well. by 30 miles out they were gone not to be seen again. we forged ahead at a comfy pace and soon were nearing the lake. this is what stuff was looking like out there: wet and messy..

this was the 5th 200K on the serotta this year, it's a wonderful day-bike. I gotta get some clip on fenders! I've never gunked-up a road bike this bad..the roads were covered with leaves and clay and worms too! really toxic conditions, and the fender'd boys were hurtin' too, just not on their backs like me.. here's the obligatory dam shot:by now we're more in heavy mist, and by 70 miles or so it stopped raining on us. fear not tho, we'd stay wet all day. all the gear was soaked and it was too cold and damp to dry out. naturally, everyone out here was swathed in wool. sox, jerseys, and base layers were nothing but the fluffy sheep by-product. it worked like a charm. we tried bags in the shoes at the start and they were fine 'til full of water. so long baggies. this day really tested all the equipment. my favorite bag set-up: acorns front and back. the front had standing water in it. the rear was pummelled with spray all day. my canon was in a ziplock and still got wet! onward. skipwith, boydton, over the lake at clarksville, subway! a sitdown was in order so we enjoyed sandwiches and a seat.
a few miles down the road and we were in stovall lubing the chains while Bryan aquired pain relief for his knees. long, cold days are tough on the joints as any rider will admit.

after riding many,many rides 200K's (or less) off the back I have a strong connection with anyone suffering out on the road. we kept an eye on bryan to make sure he survived and finished this epic day. we made it to the oxford control and got the lights in order. i had pulled the batteries on a blinky that tried to run all day. byron had one not coming on so we traded. mine was working now and we were all lit. back-ups are good. with 10 to go a familiar voice called out from the roadside: Mikey! he said our lighting was quite good. side-bar: I can attest to byron's write-up on the little flashlight on the helmet: amazing! get one and blink the hell out of people on your commutes and find signs on brevets. make a great high beam for fast descents too...

after a couple dips in the road and the "grinder by the dogs" we were smellin' the barn.
arrival at the firehouse was 6:46. 10.5 hrs after departure. not bad for insane conditions. I had suprisingly good legs all day and had plenty left at the end. only problem was not hydrating enough. common error in the cold and rain. took a day or two to get it back..

mike, branson, byron, and myself all tip our cycling caps to bryan tho...
incredible first brevet! hopefully we didn't scar him permanently and he'll join us again soon, or next spring..really dude. it was fun in strange sort of way wasn't it??


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

gotta have it

me thinks this could be theeee saddle for the new bike since I built it to go climbing! whad'ya think?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

marching on

hey everyone.

just a quick note to say hi and mention a couple of milestones..

it's now been a year and a half since giving up booze and I feel pretty good! time is flying and hopefully there is no looking back. being sober has not been a cure-all, but it has been huge factor in what has become an overall lifestyle change...

My weight loss now at 50 pounds! problem: none of my clothes fit. problem? let's go shopping! most of it was old and prob'ly stained with red wine anyway. I will miss a few of my trademark 'bright' shirts in the summer but not the fat I used to cover with 'em..
i'm shooting for 20-25 lbs. more off by spring. gonna be tough in winter but I'm determined. anyone for tennis? I'm looking for some variety to keep it interesting.

Thanks to everyone for the positive encouragement. Your support really is invaluable to me! Special thanks to the family and cycling bros. who push me up the road.

speaking of which; I just finished a new bike to coincide with the times: a Trek CarbonRace 2300. a vintage beauty acquired from Byron's archives to help him make room for a baby boy next month. I built it light to go climbing in the mountains.
i'll take pics tonite and tomorrow on the 100K ride. hopefully B- won't show up with that vintage Lemond, the bike loft is full!

finally, the state fair ends tomorrow and i'm going. stay tuned for pics...

peace and love,

Monday, September 21, 2009

laying low....

hello everyone. it's been awhile since writing but not without thinking of you all.
i've been working hard on the bike and my general health and am pleased to report both seem to be progressing at an acceptable pace worthy of a polka dotted lantern rouge..

I did carry that lantern in on a torrid 200K back in august with a great bunch of riders.
7 of us tackled Al's 200 to siler city and back in temps in upper 90's. plenty of stops and great camaraderie got us back to morrisville in good time. nothing's more motivating than trying to hang with tough cyclers when you are the second to youngest on the ride!!
one of the things I like about a whole day on the bike is, due to the adventurous spirit of these brevets, they are like micro vacations. you go somewhere. away from home and work. just for a day. sometimes exhausting, but rejuvinating at the same time.
i'm ready to go again soon. right now rootbeer calls. stay tuned....

Friday, July 24, 2009

NCBC Summer Rally

Hey everybody. This past sunday was a beautiful day on the bikes for 260 cyclists who came out to enjoy the cameraderie and pay tribute to fallen rider Bruce Rosar.
after a moment of silence, the clicking of cleats and the loud squeels of bruce's trademark squeeky toys sent us on our way! we ground our way up to new hill and beyond with a large group of familiar faces: mike d (RUSA VP) al johnson (local RBA) byron, bryan, and bob erwin are hidden in there too:

10 miles after this shot we were good n' warmed up. time to climb the col du lystra!
It's a good climb and I watched mike and byron get away. again.
the next section was really nice as we made our way to frosty's-a familiar stop on the brevets. this day tho we enjoyed the smilin' face face of branson! killa rider and refreshment dispenser. he volunteered as part of his shenandoah 1200 recovery :-)

from here it was familiar roads and riders as bryan and I had rejoined mike and byron.
next up: bynum ridge, the second big climb, after crossing a nice river and picking up my blinky which was knocked off. photo-op!! byron takes a sip and enjoys the view:

from here we cruised a little grinder, then did the real climb which was nice. a little long and steady. in no time we were dumped onto hwy 64 and made our way to the final rest atop jordan lake. strong crosswinds! a quick cookie and off we went. around the choo-choo and back to the start with everybody riding strong! it was great shakedown for mike d who is now in london, ready to tackle LEL. go mikey!!

apart from the somber occasion of losing bruce, this was a nice ride. thanks to david and the NCBC for a beautiful day...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

really cool fotos of le tour..

here's a great collection of photography from le tour de france.

enjoy! project le tour

ramblings on riding

so far, summer has been good riding. i chose to ride a single speed to work starting late in may and did so for about four or five weeks. i switched to gears for sundays when the crew would come over for longer training rides. it sure makes the light racing bikes fun after grinding a 40 pounder back and forth all week! i rode my bridgestone XO-1 the week before july 4th so i'd be fresh for the firecracker 100. this annual 100K ride is a tradition around here and my guess is about 650-700 riders showed up this year.

here I am with the stylish bryan hoffman and his colnago:

GO! we launched at eight am, and all was well. the police escort the ride out and close the intersections for about 2 miles. this lets everyone get on the road safely and thru the first big descent and climb. another few miles and we're in holly springs, then out into the country for a SWIFT 12 miles to the first stop at about 19 miles. this only took 45 minutes, we were averaging 23 mph..

1st mistake: not staying on the road. I took a quick break and another fast group went by. now i had to solo a while, about 8 miles worth. after picking up some other guys, i pulled in at half-way to fill the bottles and cop a cookie and banana. 120 seconds later I was on the road again and thought i'd found a train to hook-up with. two guys were up front and pulling good, behind me were 5 or 6 hangin' on..after a road change my pullers got away and now i was the engine. I gave it all i had for a mile or so but couldn't bridge up. i sat up and looked in the mirror and my train just shadowed me. no one else wanted to work, but they sure could suck my wheel! I got some help finally, what a relief as I got to sit in a bit cuz it was windy! oh well, soon enough we were at 40 and filling again. my new friend and I worked together most of the way in and picked up a few others along the way. I finished in just over 3 hrs. at 20.2 mph..
this was a personal best but, would have been hotter if i'd just hung in my original group. I WAS HAPPY with my fuel and fluid management tho..learned a bunch from my rando buddies riding this spring. we'll see how it goes this coming weekend at the summer rally. a tough 100K course. just being out there with friends is always fun.
there's nothing i'd rather be doing this summer! my sundays on the bike are the best!!

Monday, June 22, 2009

so long

a milestone in photographic history: kodak retires kodachrome..
bike stuff later this week!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

le cirque!

if you can make it to leesburg VA this weekend, you can ogle a terrific roomful of vintage bikes and memorabilia. always fun for the afficionado and the collector. have look here.

congrats to all who rode the morrisville 600K this past weekend and double nod to those completing a SR!! you cyclers rock!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

long strange trip

just a quick announcement about someting I've been working on for a year:
not drinking. how's it going you ask? well, it's been a year. 4/23/09
35 pounds less of me too. skipping 140 gallons of wine helps alot.. in many ways.
thanks for all the support everybody, lets go for two!!


scorching run to the pottery

4/25/09 morrisville 300K

after what was a smooth, comfortable 200K, I figured 300K was just another 4-5 hrs. and eating and drinking more... wrong..

we'd been enjoying mild early spring weather and out of nowhere, bam! low 90's..
the heat came early and wasn't playin'. but first, let's take it from the top:

I needed 30min. to get to the ride so with 45 to go I topped off the air in my tires.
HHHIIIIISSSSSSS! damnit, the stem pulled right out of the front tube! no time to change,
tick-tock. I ran to my lightspeed, and pulled the front off it as it has strong mavics and the brakes would line up ok..I used a different pump after throwing the silca out back and headed out. I tried to be cool and not go too hard but it was gonna be close..
nope, empty lot. I checked in and Al said they left about 5 min. ago..i took off and he called me back for my control card. now i'm off. hustling. after 6miles I passed gary and sara who were doing a repair (already!). that's all the riders I saw afor a while.
I hammered to frosty's (30miles)thinking everyone would fill bottles because it was warm already. not! frosty's was closed. onward. 20 more miles to snow camp and there they were! problem-fast, hard start. 50 miles on 2 bottles. I would never recover from this. I drank a couple drinks at the store and chased the dozen riders to siler city. at the control we ate and drank more. off they went (again!) and I was stuck at the light.
i rode with one or two riders to seagrove, stopping for more drinks at the halfway.

the highlight of the ride was Dean's fabulous set-up at the turnaround: ice, cold water, gatorade, bananas, fig bars, sunscreen, tires, tools, and chairs! I took full advantage of this, hoping for some rejuvination to come into me. it never really did..
byron and I left for the return and stopped 10 miles out for more fluid. a gallon jug with "RUSA" scribbled on it rested on the newspaper rack. we topped a bottle and put some in our cyling caps ( this feels good,btw). off we went. the heat was oppressive.
with only 5miles back to siler city i faded and byron rolled on. i simply pulled off the road and sat in the grassy shade. after a minute i got another text from my sister who was worried and I said come on out if you can. chuck rolled up, and off I went, feeling a bit better. back in siler city, byron was hanging and we chilled a bit when bob rolled in and dean drove up. we visited a few and I announced I was done. 200 was all I had on this day. a top three high temp horror story for me and one I won't forget soon.

I did learn some important things about fluid and fuel. need alot!
don't leave anything to the morning: should have pumped those tires night before.

coming next: I'll tell you about the Acorn bags i'm running now (300 was first run).
they rock. i'll get some pictures and post soon!


Friday, April 10, 2009

cycling (among other cool sports) on TV!

hey, check this out..although my onscreen guide duplicates the line above it (NBCHD), NBCSD is actually NBC Universal Sports..alternative, olympic, cool stuff. this week is the basque tours. they run it midday and 10 at night!! check their schedule here.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

off and rolling

it's that time of year again. yes, pollen!! that also means the brevets start for the NC randonneurs too. also known around here as 'Al's series', Al Johnson is the RBA and has hosted this set for years. for the second week in a row, the weather was crazy (read rainy and stormy) during the week and cleared by ride time on the weekend! blustery winds at times gave way to tailwinds when we needed them. a cool start saw everyone in warmers and vests but a warm afternoon had us peeling layers on the way back and digging the spring rays! it was a beautiful day to be on the bikes. what makes rando'ing so much fun IS the randonneurs. after the main group (30 something!) divided I spent the first half of the day with byron, branson, teddy, and kurt and victoria from charlotte. branson was getting along nicely on a fixed gear after byron "I can fix that witha zip-tie" morton reattached the front fender stay with; well, a zip-tie..

after seeing the leaders go by with a few miles to the control, I felt we were doing OK..
kurt n victoria left ahead of us and branson suggested a lunch stop at Ye old country store. everyone was game, and besides a tasty snack and friendly service it was nice to sit and chill with the cyclers. an hour passed quickly and with about a gallon of tea in EACH of us, we saddled up to get it done. it rolls pretty good out of snow camp, and after the 'three sisters' and a lively tear across chicken bridge road, Branson claimed he could "smell the barn" so we topped off the bottles at frosty's where a bunch of riders were doing the same. i take a bit of ribbing for MY 'style' but "stylin' Sally" had me beat on this one. (i took her photo w/byron) we non-stopped it from here to the finish at Al's where the 'welcoming committee' was enjoying cold beverages and making everybody feel like a champ! mike D was snapping pics. can't wait to do it again in three weeks for 300K! thanks, to riding buddies big and lil'B and teddy! see ya soon!

rando's r smart. see all that reflective stuf?

fuel, southern style..

mooo....transgender steel bovine

"stylin sally" with byron

the end, fabulous

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

all in a day's work..

here's an amazingly calm description of a 300kilometer day in the saddle.
thanks, big george. MSR by M Barry

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

playing catch up!

i'm back! sorry to be away so long. it's been a bit of a crazy time.

first, I love the serotta bike:it rocks! fabulous ride quality, and the fit may as well be custom. been on some good rides on it and even commuted with it a
few times. ha
d a flat too!

nearly went to Vegas for the PMA convention but, (besides a WEE bit of snow)could not work it out logistically. oh well, photo toys will be there next year in Annaheim!

speaking of toys: Byron and I went to yanceyville last weekend to visit
gilbert,sue, (and moo!) @ north road bicycle. wish they were still in raleigh!
it was a yucky, rainy day and perfect for browsing a bike shop like NR!!

the sunshine was back this week and we managed a nice trainer before a long haul this weekend to get ready for the brevet season which starts next week! 200k on 4/4/9!
here's Byron out on the road near jordan lake:

this sepia toned image was taken with a new canon elph sd780. so far I like it!

you can follow me on twitter: cyclerdood

you'll see some familiar cycling folks i'm following! fun stuf..
got this link from johan:yellow jersey nice lil' story...

see how a pro cycling journalist keeps up with it here:surfing for cycling

been assisting some this past month. shot an amazing house with an impressive photo gallery in it! yes, that is a Sally Mann behind me. wish all jobs were this cool....

whew, that's enough for now. more work, life, n' laughs to come. off to the darkroom.

ps: 11 months and counting, a year without a drink is on the horizon!!


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

keep on spinning

hello friends.. happy new year, happy snow day, and happy new prez.!

These are not the best of times in the U S of A.. as we enter a new age of hopeful optimism, we have to deal with the damage already done. The era of mergers and acquisitions has left an incredible amount of carnage in business of all sizes, but small companies have been hit the hardest. Sure, layoffs are going on in big companies but it still could be you or your neighbor and that sucks. Now it's close to home, NOT on TV. Real. We all want a good deal. Service ain't free. Neither is real estate, payroll, payroll taxes, inventory, electricity, advertising.. that small shop wants your business but they have to make a profit to keep it going, and 10% or so isn't much difference. It also apparently can't keep a high volume "bigbox" afloat either as Circuit City is about to close. Is Best Buy next? where we gonna get our cheap electro-toys when all the principal distributors here are gone? amazon? nice showroom..Wallyworld? not me, they started the whole cheap craze and have killed more biz than anyone: both stores AND manufacturers. We want to save now, but a $29 item that is replaced every couple years compared with a $59-69 item that lasts 10 years or much longer cost less after just 2-3 years! The difference also may be made right here: American goods! quality IS worth it.
shop local, buy local: stimulate YOUR economy by parking your bucks in your neighborhood, it's how the great towns were built. Oh, and that sales tax works wonders too. Schools and infrastructure are not supported when we call NY (or CO) or go online..

why the rant? a group of kind bike folks are outta work here..The Spin Cycle is closing..
more than a seller, they were advocates, fans, supporters, enthusiasts, teachers, and friends and neighbors. with lots of room for egos, and gear snobbery in a field like cycling, one never felt judged at this store. they were just fellow cyclists (they still are!).
here's hoping the whole bunch moves on smoothly. this past weekend was emotional as the store had a 'fire sale' which was like a local cycling convention and reunion. the turnout was huge, and I got to go on day two. I was in the store just a few weeks ago and was amazed at how much was gone after just one day. having a tough time myself in the past week,( my bank account was scammed, then my scooter was stolen!) I caved and 'self-medicated' by purchasing the last Serotta Colorado III from their (rental!) fleet. Hey, a handmade American bike with a full campy gruppo (maintained by Matt) for 5 c-notes? no-brainer. 'lucky 21' will live with me now, and will be my ride for many a happy mile.
can't wait to get out there this weekend and jam on it.. I know all my cycle buds are sad to know a great shop is closing. we'll miss ya and the mother of all rides: the july 4th firecracker!!

here's the gang when i picked up my bike. lots of teary smiles 'round there, almost every bike i own has something on it from this shop, and they sent me out in style, thanks!