Saturday, May 31, 2008

ch-ch-check it out.

Just sending some more love over to the web show 'The Bicyclist'. Still a great show and it seems that someone on their crew stumbled onto our site. The show is now available on iTunes for FREE. Yep, nothing, nada for a quick laugh and an enjoyable show. Although streaming it off the sight isn't bad either... just throwing out options.

I apologize for the lack of posts and for what feels like utter confusion on my end. This last week at the shop has taken just about everything out of me, hopefully a ride tonight and a little Founders is just the ticket.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


In doing my normal rounds before going to bed of the news websites I stumbled onto this article from CNN by Kate Taylor:

iReporters change lifestyles to dodge hefty gas bills

(CNN) -- As rising gas prices leave drivers with ever-heftier tabs at the pump, Americans have started looking for ways to reduce the drain on their budget. For some, transitioning away from a one-person, one-car lifestyle has proved rewarding.

Twenty-two-year-old Janaki Purushe bought her bike, which she rides to work every day, for $100.

Janaki Purushe, a 22-year-old genetic researcher living in Rockville, Maryland, bikes just about everywhere she goes. "When I had the opportunity to finally plan my own life after I graduated college," Purushe explains, "I took into consideration where I was going to shop, where my friends live, where my boyfriend lives, and I definitely tried to plan the location of my home around where I was going."

Now, although she still has a car, Purushe bikes to work every day. It's a 10-mile round-trip commute, and she carries a change of clothes for when she gets to the office. She says she loves it. "When I'm riding my bike, I really pay attention to what's around me, and the weather's been great. I feel like I'm getting more out of my days."

Purushe also enjoys biking to the grocery store, and the bank. She admits that such convenience came at the price of living in a costlier part of town, but maintains that by not driving, she's made up for the extra expense.

"I know I'm lucky to be able to bike everywhere," she says.

The Department of Transportation said Monday it had seen the sharpest monthly drop in driving since it began keeping records. In March, Americans drove 11 billion fewer miles than in March of 2007.

When rising gas prices coincided with a baby on the way for Lucas and Naomi Smith, they knew they had to make some quick changes help keep life affordable. The first move the Smiths made was to sell one of their cars. Between insurance, gas and the depreciation of the car's value, Lucas Smith says the couple saves about $350 a month. Are gas prices changing your life?

Another benefit of sharing the car is that the Smiths, Herndon, Virginia, residents, now spend more time together, in the car and at home.

"We have to plan out our weeks," Smith explains, "When are you going to pick me up? What days am I going to work later? It actually facilitates conversation."

In making room in the budget for the baby, the Smiths each also gave up their cell phones and cable TV. Smith thinks the change has been nice.

"We've found that there's just such an emphasis on having things, that you don't realize there's a stress cost, the cost of maintaining those things. Although it seems like you have less convenience," he explains, "you also have less stress."

Besides a drop in stress, the money the couple has saved will allow Naomi Smith to stay home with their new baby.

If he had all the money in world Smith says the one thing he might do differently is buy a fun car. "There's something different about having a fun car than having an efficient car," he muses.

Bethany Dietz of Baltimore, Maryland, is the stay-at-home Mom of two daughters, ages 1 and 3. Dietz says her husband works 20 miles from home, so his gas tank gets first priority. "If I stay home all week with the kids," Dietz says, "so be it -- it saves us on gas."

Dietz waits until Friday, when her 3-year-old goes to school, to run all of her errands. The rest of the week, she and her daughters don't really go out.

Although she doesn't mind not driving, Dietz says, "It can get kind of hairy sometimes because my daughter's 3 years old and she likes to go out and do things. She gets a little stir crazy."

Dietz says the family's gas bill is encroaching onto the food budget. "You just have to make the choice," Dietz explains, to conserve money on gas in order to afford food.

With respect to the gas prices that show no sign of leveling, Dietz says, "I see a lot more complications in the future."

I don't know but the whole article just made me smile. Am I alone in this?

new header?

So I got a little bored tonight and put together a new header real fast. Call it a Geoff inspired piece. Thoughts? I'll wait to change the side bar before I hear from you.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Reason Number 1:

Now, I don't know if there really are that many reasons why it sucks to work at a shop, nor do I want to say that working at a shop is epically different than any other specialty retailers... it is really more of an over statement on my part as to why it's difficult to work at a shop. Many people know this but working at any retailer that you also greatly love the product often the pay check doesn't make it out the door very far.

One of the many reasons for this is simply that we work everyday with goods that we'd really like to have of our own, even if we have some thing very similar, although I'm started to think that this feeling is ingrained in us Americans at a very young age which is not a good thing by any means. Well, today at the shop we got in a few of the urban bikes from Trek. Which of course, just by their very nature are up my alley. IN [intentional capitalization for added emphases] particular, the Soho S.

To start out it has two things going for it... it's Kerkove Nation Black along with being equipped with a flip flop hub for both fixie or SS. The geometry is amazing, and set up proper with bolt on wheels. The only thing it is missing for me would be Ergon Grips, Surly chain tensioner and an Inform saddle.

Now, fortunately I have talked some sense into myself and I won't be getting this bike anytime soon. I have to send some things to Bottke first and then we'll reevaluate.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Going out on top

The knee that I complained about in the past has proven to be my undoing. I rested it for a two full weeks and followed RICE to the letter of the law even throwing in lots of stretching. Yesterday was my first attempt at riding, and with a weekend of racing ahead wanted just stretch the legs and try one or two bursts to see how my knee responded. The entire time I rode I felt good, the knee continued to feel good and felt its best at the end of the ride. At home I stretched and iced it again popped my nightly allotment of ibuprofen and called it a night thinking I was back on top and recovering well. To my dismay I woke up before my alarm to a lot of tightness and pain in my knee, WTF. After a few panicked minutes I got dressed and began making the needed calls to see a Doc. It now seems likely that I have a torn meniscus and could be off the bike for 2+ months depending on when the potential surgery happens. I have an MRI Tuesday morning to determine the extent of the damage and find out if it is the meniscus or if I am just some giant wuss. I hope to continue to contribute to the blog, just not in an I'm riding context. Good luck to A.Lo land Brian. I will keep the blog updated on what happens. Big weekend in the MIscene with TdL and Gaslight.

Friday, May 16, 2008


So this is what happens when I've had a long day at work, ate only a powerbar, 2 monster energy drinks and 2 packs of mini donuts all day, sitting around the house bored, and getting a sweet pair of gloves. Digital cameras can just be bad, but hey I've got a new profile pick now!

Knog stuff is typically pretty sweet looking if anything, I'll let you know how they hold up... too bad they are more for the colder days.

...and thus why it's the devils sauce.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

DZ Days and DZ Nuts

DZ days I am taking it very easy and feel like I am in a second off season. Healing up the knee has kept me off of the bike since last Tuesday, and I am quite possibly going crazy after going out to Grattan to watch the local training series/world championships of the greater Grand Rapids area. It was the first road race I have been to since September and I forgot how much I love the whole scene. Just hearing the whoosh of the pack fly by on the first lap brought on goose bumps, I love the sound of deep wheels at 25+ mph. It looked like tough night out there as both fields blew to pieces with chase groups all over the track. The knee seems to be healing up well and isn't really bugging me I just am not going to take any chances. As excited as I am about getting back at it I am even more excited that shortly after I get back on the bike this will be released. Getting my fitness back will probably require some longer rides and what better way to remain comfortable than using the latest Dave Zabriskie cycling tool. I thought it was a joke at first but upon inspection I found that it appears to be legit and I predict it will be a hit for no other reason than Dave's personality coupled with the product name I will give it a shot. Not really the reason you buy a product that is supposed to protect sensitive areas during long rides, but oh well.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A little love for Red.

So this past Saturday night was spent with my one and only, Red. Yeah, some might find that mildly depressing but heck, what are you going to do? She needed a bit of love. As some of you remember I decided to see how much damage a curb could do to a bike. Well, a broken frame and a thrashed front rim later I thought that was it. But after getting Red all up and running I soon realized that her old handlebars weren't just right. The impact tweaked the bars just enough that I was afraid of random failure occurring while on a ride. Seeing that it's a fixie I didn't want to risk it.

Here's a picture of the old bars. If you look closely you can see that the right side of the bars are in just a bit more than the left side. They are also a hair closer.
Careful kids, Red's showing her unmentionables... remember you were forewarned...
All was going well with the install until I tried to transfer over the brake. The bar comes out a bit longer than the old bar so I was unable to mount up the lever and was forced to do some thinking as to what my next move would be.
I toyed around with this idea, seeing that this was the only way I found to mount the lever... but then remembered some thing.

So what I'm left with now is this... Sure it's pretty and simple. But I don't know if I trust myself running brakeless, maybe I still have doubts about things since my crash [although having a brake wouldn't have changed anything in that case]. Another problem being that I am still unable to skid. I actually took Red out for a spin today and attempted to try. Getting up to speed all I was able to do was stop in my normal distance of a few feet, no skid.

I guess the 'what if's' are running through my head. Geoff has got a lever I'll try but I might modify it. We'll see.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

a preview of the next few posts

Now, as always I must apologize for my lack of posts as of late... I've hit a bit of a snag in life as of late which has just taken a lot of out of me where I'm continually exhausted. It's affected quite a few things, just one of those being the amount of time on the bike. So all I have for you today is a bit of a preview of the next few posts for me:

_ gloating over last months 'victory' for the April Challenge
_ a rant on working a booth
_ Red has got a set of bars and might be going brakeless
_ a little love being sent to Bottke
_ Mileage update.

But for now I leave you with this... the next wave for all you hipsters... fixed pushed boarding. werd.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Fort Custer Stampede

This is just a cut and paste from

This past weekend was the second race in the Michigan Championship Point Series, the Fort Custer Stampede. Saturday started out nice, but by time the shop closed it was gray and rainy and preriding the course was out of the question. I settled on spinning around on some dirt roads on the old rig to open up a little bit and make sure my legs were loose, then called it a night early. I woke up to a beautiful day on Sunday with highs in the low 70’s and only a cloud or two in the sky it was a perfect day to race. I got to the Fort early enough to sneak in a quick lap before the elites took off, but didn’t dare ride the finish as the elites were on course and all the tape was up. The Expert/Elite SS class goes off in front of the sport riders meaning I had a long time to start so I got out of my chamois for a bit and just relaxed. After a good warm up I got to the line with a bit early and felt more relaxed than normal and joked around with Eric Tompkins and Joe Lee a bit, as we joked around about who would lead things out. As predicted Eric took the hole shot and I snuck past Joe as he struggled to get clipped in to claim second wheel, and we were off. I looked back before the first little rise in the course and saw a stretched out pack with gaps already forming and decided to take over pace setting for Eric and attacked separating Joe, Eric, Gus, and me from all other chasers. On the first steep uphill I took a bit trickier line and Eric clipped a pedal following I hit the gas and it was down to me and Gus. Lap one consisted mainly of spinning like crazy bumping over the numerous log piles and hitting the hills just hard enough to keep myself up front. The course was extremely fast is a blast to ride. It consists of a few Michigan hills that are loose, short, and steep, a bit of twisty turny stuff, a lot of fast bermed corners, and a stream crossing. Going into the second lap I decided to see what would happen with Gus in front and let him by to do a little work, not much changed as we kept our gap on Eric with Joe a bit further back. After the water crossing I took over hoping that I could keep the pace high enough that Gus wouldn’t be able to get around me, and it almost worked. I hadn’t ridden the finish in my preride and came into the 2nd to last turn spinning out with Gus still on my wheel, I completely forgot the corner was there and was in my roadie tuck, hands in the center of the bars leaned over and had to tap the brakes going into the corner giving Gus the leverage to go inside me on the corner and hold me off for the win as I rolled across the line overlapping his wheel but not quite good enough for first, Eric came in about 45 seconds later with Joe a bit back from him. Another 2nd isn’t bad as it puts me in the drivers seat for the CPS. Unfortunately I am now left with a lot of what ifs, I know I could have ridden harder, but counted on my ability to finish strong to win it for me. So close.


Saturday, May 3, 2008

No Excuses

I knew I would get into trouble with this one. This seems like a week of excuses, the big one being my knee needs to heal. About three weeks back I banged it up pretty good and ever since it has been giving me problems. I finally decided this week I was going to look at the big picture and only ride a couple of days just to keep the driving and riding miles even. I actually find it annoying to get in my car every morning and drive to work. What is worse is not being able to ride home. Butterworth Drive isn't all that scenic, but it has become a relaxing spin home especially now that my commute seems to be in sync with a herd of deer that cross the road and hang out in a field a couple miles into the ride. My knee is healing and feels ten times better than last Sunday when I didn't dare ride more than 10 miles due to the pain and irritation it was causing. Hopefully next week the mileage will begin to creep up again so that I can get this behind me and concentrate on parking the car more often. It would also be nice to not loose some of the best form I have had in my life as well, but oh well hopefully it at least sticks around as a base. Speaking of no excuses A.Lo took down the prize for no trips under two miles, if you would like ask him how he more or less stole the poster from a good Samaritan just trying to make sure his friends got home safe, haha. Congrats on the win and closing the gap in mileage, I'll be back.


Bicycle Safety - 50's style.

Thanks BikeSnob... do I really need to waste my time responding to this?

Thursday, May 1, 2008

The BIG Challenge

After a morning of debating challenging, a few text messages between myself and Brian [who's the big 2-1 today]... Geoff and I have decided to take the plunge and plan on attempting to take part in next years Trans Iowa. Granted, there hasn't been word if the event will take place for sure next year or when the dates of said event are or registration is a good 10 months away.

With all that said, training must start now. No excuses. Brian needs a bit of a push to do it, but I've got some time to work on that.

Thoughts? Insights? Suggestions?