Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Liberty and justice for all...

Tour time in 3 days baby. Today we have our Fantasy Tour de France draft at work.

I leave for San Francisco tomorrow for the long long weekend. Upon returning to DE I have two plans: ride my legs into oblivion and move. Hopefully the weather starts to coopererate.

Meanwhile, shit like this scares me - the slope is getting more slippery as far as the loss of our civil liberties:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060628/ap_on_go_co/flag_amendment

"Our country's unique because our dissidents have a voice," said Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, a World War II veteran who lost an arm in the war and was decorated with the Medal of Honor.
"While I take offense at disrespect to the flag," he said, "I nonetheless believe it is my continued duty as a veteran, as an American citizen, and as a United States senator to defend the constitutional right of protesters to use the flag in nonviolent speech."

Sunday, June 25, 2006

LeMond vs. Armstrong

Sadly the relationship between two Tour de France champions has soured. The picture painted by this article:

www.sportsnet.ca/more/article.jsp?content=20060625_160022_4304


is a far cry from the picture below:

Lance and Greg find new meaning for the Rainbow Jersey.

Ironically, everyone on earth knows that both these guys have been doped to the gills for part or all of their careers. It's the sad reality of the pro peloton.

My weekend has been a bust as far as riding bikes is concerned (surprise surprise). We've had the shittiest weather for a week now. Instead of riding I've spent my weekend partying, checking out the Manayunk Arts Festival, doing some indoor climbing, shopping at thrift stores, and starting to pack up my belongings for my upcoming move. Thursday I leave for a week on the Left Coast.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

fuckin a man. fuckin a.

I have not been riding much at all. Between my f-ed up bike, my climbing trip, weather, and more climbing, I have not had two wheels under me in a while.


That all changed today. With the Shit Pig back in working order (sort of) I tried to hang with the fast guys from the area at Fair Hill after work today. I got dropped by the first group after 20 minutes, and Curt and Andrew were willing to hang with me but I left them at the lot after an hour so I wouldn't hold them up. Sad at best.

I'd say the fractional breakdown of my shitty performance is as follows:
  • 25% dehydration combined with the heat and humidity
  • 25% bike issues (see below)
  • 110% form and fitness - i.e. This fatass has not been riding enough.
The bike issues referred to above were a little bit of undergearing - 32x18 is too low for FH when it's dry. But more to the fucking brakes. The calipers are shot from that shit mud fest 2 weeks ago and they will not retract all the way. So my brakes drag, giving my wheels a solid 1.5 rotations when spun freely and sapping every last ounce of energy I could have left over.

I just ordered some 2005 Avid mechanicals to avoid the mystery that is hydraulics. When I get my Hayes Nines off the Shit Pig I'll try to repair them.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Dear Chris King: I love you. Love, Robert

Sometimes I like to wear my drunkcyclist socks to work to remind me who I really am while the man holds me down.


I can't lose sight that by night I am a loud-mouthed, debaucherous, beer-swilling cyclist; and by day I am a loud-mouthed, debaucherous, beer-swilling engineer - and only one of those is really important to me in the long run.

It has just been decided that the Motivator, aka this winter's bank-breaker is getting full King EVERYTHING. This is mostly because my King headset is the only set of bearings left in full working order after Allamuchy. Also, McMaster-Carr is amazing. I ordered new bearings for my rear wheel last night and they were on my desk today around lunchtime. Also have new saddle... just waiting on the bottom bracket and we'll be back in action.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

more casualties

Because of the threatening skies and the errands that needed running today, I still have not ridden a bike since last Thursday. One of the errands was to head over to Bike Line to get a 17 mm cone wrench for my seized-up rear wheel bearings on the single speed steed. Turns out both "sealed" bearings are shot and need to be replaced. Thank god for McMaster-Carr; only a true geek has ordered ABEC bearings from home instead of going to happy hour or riding. Casualties from Allamuchy now include:

Redline saddle, Clif Bars, and Soiled Chamois

A gazillion brake pads

1 bottom bracket, 2 rear wheel bearings (ABEC-1 size 6001) , 1 1/8" singlespeed chain, 1 18 tooth Shimano freewheel.

I should also replace the brake rotor on the front wheel at least, but that is going to wait for now. While I wait for all these god forsaken parts to arrive from various places, I'm going to clean up the fork and hope it doesn't need a rebuild... oh, yeah, I can also only ride road unless someone is kind enough to lend me a singlespeed mountain bike.

Meanwhile the Tour de Suisse is under way while a swirling controversy surrounds Spanish cycling. Liberty Seguros, now Wurth(less) after L.S. pulled sponsorship, may not ride the TdF if the UCI decides to pull their pro tour lisence. Fuck it, I say, the whole peleton's on drugs anyway... even if Discovery denies it like a Lewinsky blowjob.

Contador is up to no good.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

sleep when you're dead

Silas, seen below having any future hopes for political office ruined, has been visiting from San Francisco since Friday.
His presence has decreased the hours on the bike (read: 0 hours on the bike since Thursday) and the hours I've spent getting shut-eye, but has increased my weekly beer intake correspondingly. We managed to get in the typical bullshit sessions that occur when we hang out, some climbing at the gym, and some serious beer consumption in Philly to pregame for the pro race on Sunday (and who did I see racing in the Women's field - none other than Cate McCullough - the same hot, fast chick and former personal tailwind who won the ECCC overall this spring - seriously Cate, major props).

Monday brought a weekend bonus round when Silas and I met up with Amy at Iron Hill where the following questions were answered:
  1. Is it possible for a girl to be 'good from far but far from good', or 'a nasty freak but freakishly nasty'?
  2. What is the CDI (chicks dig it) factor of a Corgi?
  3. Does the 'plus' in 'Christiana Care +' equate to happy endings?
Amy receives her happy ending after 12 O'Muchy.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

y tu mama tambien

Just finished watching Y Tu Mama Tambien. I recommend it - it seems slow at points but then it ends leaving you with a "Holy shit, life just keeps on rolling so enjoy the ride" kind of feeling.

Went for a solid 31 miles on the road today. Meant to be 34 but I missed the turn back onto 100 to go up to 926 when I crossed Route 1 up in PA. Ended up riding on rt 1 for a couple miles; nothing like a US highway to lift the pace a little. I wanted the fuck out of there ASAP. Averaged 20.4 mph out there alone - I was impressed given the state of my bike muscles 3 days ago.

I picked up my Bianchi Pista on Tuesday and I now have it dialed in to where I think I'm going to like it. This leave me very close to finishing the fixed gear city cruiser - I should be able to pick up the last brake component tomorrow. This of course leaves me begging a new question: What do I ride for Cross season???

As I see it, I have 3 options:
  1. Go cheap. I can get a Redline Conquest or Fuji Cross for 700 bucks (I think).
  2. Go expensive. Something like the Van Dessel Gin and Trombones.
  3. Go stupid. Go balls out and get a Vicious Slider.
I really want a Vicious, and the question remains... Do I want the Slider, or do I go cheaper on the cross bike and order a Vicious Motivator over the winter??? I also want a 29er. Where do I put the bucks? I'm tempted to go for the Gin and Trombones and the Motivator, but that just seems stupid. I am open to suggestions.

I really should post some shit about the Dauphine Libere, but just check out cyclingnews.com coverage, especially the photos of the Ventoux stage. Mind boggling landscape. Also noteworthy is Alejandro Valverde's TT helmet. I wasn't sure if he was trying to race or blow away some punks in Robocop 4: Bicyclon's Revenge.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

12 o'Muchy pictures

12 Hours of Allamuchy pictures are up here:
www.forty15.com/photo/allamuchy/index.html

Also, these lyrics are sappy, but I woke up to them on the radio and I think it's insightful:
http://supak.com/sunscreen.htm

Sunday, June 04, 2006

12 Hours of Alla-muddy

JF and I successfully completed the 12 hours of Allamunchy in northern NJ yesterday; that is, we finished and survived, even if our bikes did not.

Lap 1 (RT) - Le Mans style start, the trail is really muddy from the night's rain. I open it up to pass two slower guys on a descent and completely eat shit in this rock garden at the bottom of the valley. My saddle is bent sideways 45 degrees, but I am OK. I finish the lap muddier than I've ever been in a respectable 39 minutes.
Lap 2 (RT) - it starts POURING. The trails turn to rivers, and it's actually a little faster because the soft stuff gets washed away. I flat at the same spot I crashed before and lose 10 minutes changing the flat. I finished riding with the shitty bent saddle and my back is screaming.
Laps 3 and 4 (JF)... I'll see if I can get his accounts later. I meanwhile head over to the SHT (secret Henry's Team) / Spot Brand campsite to visit my pals over there. They have the full circus show going. Generators, electricity, food, hot water. Tom McD is pulling pit duty and hoses me and my bike off. Matt offers me a spare saddle and I swap out. It stops raining.
Laps 5 and 6 (RT) - The trails are turning to peanut butter as the mud dries a little and gets shredded up. I walk more and spend more time clearing mud out of my chain stays. Somewhere during lap 6 my brake pads blow out. Metal on metal time baby. I finish the laps Fred Flintstoning down the hills.
Laps 7 and 8 (JF)... I meanwhile find some used Hayes brake pads (one set) and put in on the front. I have a little left on one pad from the front and back so I put those both in the back.
Laps 9 and 10 (RT) - Even muddier. More walking, more mud bricks in my chain stays. Beginning of lap 10, my brakes blow out again. I finish and my bike is shot. JF takes off and finishes our last 2 laps.

The casualites include almost all of John's bike and the following on mine:
  • 6 Hayes brake pads
  • 2 Hayes brake rotors
  • 1 shimano 18 tooth freewheel
  • 1 chain
  • 1 Redline saddle
  • 1 shimano bottom bracket
  • various component on my Fox Shox Vanilla RLC fork
A lot of teams were demoralized enough, or their bikes were trashed enough that they had to drop out of the race. I am proud that JF and I stuck it out, but I can also say that we couldn't have done it if SHT / Spot hadn't hosted us. I am amazed and filled with admiration for their team. Not only did Matt / Buddy and Marc / Paul tie to win the Men's Duo with 16 laps (compared to our 12), they manage to support, uplift, and work together like only friends can. Congratulations to them and thanks for the support.

Check out Marc's race report at www.fatmarc.com.

Today I helped Tom McD air out the race trailer and EZ UP tents and then we went for a nice easy 35 mile recovery ride.

In other news, the Dauphine Libere has begun and my man Dave Zabriskie took the win in the prologue. I hope he shows some dominance like he did in the Tour last year before his crash in the TTT. 2 more Americans in the top ten: Gorgeous George in 2nd after returning from his Paris-Roubaix crash, and Floyd "NASCAR" Landis in 9th. My money is on Landis or Valverde for the overall win in this thing.

Landis the Mantis has the weirdest TT position.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

May wrap up

First off, this one kind of hit home - be careful out there:

Delaware cyclist killed in hit-and-run

Last Monday in Delaware, USA, a cyclist was involved in a fatal hit-and-run, with state authorities seeking further evidence to identify the driver.

Delaware Online reports that 29 year-old Russell C. Kennedy III of Milford was found by a passer-by at approximately 8:45pm on Mosley Road in the South Bowers area, just west of South Bowers Road. Investigators determined that Kennedy had been riding west on Mosley Road when an eastbound vehicle crossed the centre line and hit him, said Delaware State Police spokesman Cpl. Jeff Oldham.

Moving on into June. The end of May saw a nice 3 day weekend including some sailing, some road biking, some mountain biking, some beer drinking, some slipping and sliding on the world's most expensive slip n' slide (which ended in fun, blood, broken toes, bruises, and concussions).

Judge Morris Estate is one of my favorite flowy-rollercoaster-style rides around here, and it can be said that Brandywine Creek State Park has some boring ass mountain biking, aside from some decent singlespeed hill interval opportunities for this area. Good training for this weekend's 12 Hours of Allamuchy. 600 feet of climbing per 7 mile lap. John Francis and I are going to die.

I never like to come down on anyone that rides a bike. I don't care if its a 78 Schwinn 10-speed, a 94 Huffy Strata, or your overpriced 2006 Trek [piece of crap]. I'm always glad to see someone riding a bike - for fun, transportation, fitness - it's all honey baby. I will say, however, that when 8 out of 10 riders I see on 'mountain biking' trails are wearing tennis shoes, baggy shorts, and a visor on their helmet, I know I am not challenging myself enough. Also, word to the wise: YOU DO NOT NEED REAR SUSPENSION IN DELAWARE. Front suspension alone is probably just for pussies like me.

Speaking of bike tech: the big man Jan has come out with a line of bikes. I do think his marketing strategy is flawed. He seems to be targeting the elite and/or overly-wealthy racer crowd. Come on now, who are we kidding Jan, you'd make a killing in the weekend warrior scene.

State-of-the-art aging software was utilized to create a predictive portrait of Jan Ullrich in 5 years. Note the striking resemblance to Winston Churchill.