Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Don't Be "That Guy"

Well, I finally cracked and bought new wheels. Not only did I buy wheels, but I bought the very wheels I like to make fun of when racing. You know, the wheels ridden by some out of shape Cat 4 who's hopelessly dropped from the pack on the latest sub 1000 gram frame.

My new mission . . . to live up to these wheels. I'd like to think I'm up to the task but time will tell. My current wheels are great for training but way too flexy for sprints. At 130 something pounds, I'm not exactly shredding the pavement when I bust out my sprint, but I need all of the help I can get. Lately when I sprint I constantly feel like I'm getting a flat tire. That can't be efficient. Think about it, that could be the difference between 18th and 19th place. The guy that comes in 18th place gets mobbed at the supermarket, free dinner at the local bistro, all the latte's he can drink, free frames for life. The guy that comes in 19th, he gets nothing. He gets to empty the port o john after the race. These wheels are going to catapult me to greater levels of mediocrity.

In my quest for new wheels I went straight to Paul at Syracuse Bicycle, and a leftover set of 2008 404's were just what I was looking for. Aero, light, and I finally get to try gluing tubulars. They're currently stretching. Hopefully tomorrow the gluing begins. Hopefully Sunday I don't get dropped. If I do, I will officially have become "that guy." Feel free to laugh, run me into a ditch, or simply be a wheel sucker, because I'll deserve it. If I crack the top 18, please don't mob me in the supermarket. I'll still be a regular guy. A regular guy with free latte's that is.

Friday, April 24, 2009

91 days 'til 'cross, 91 days 'til 'cross

.... yes, only 91 days 'til 'cross. Yikes, I gotta start cleaning off the mud from last fall, get a new chain, new cables, new BB, clean the damn cassettes, new tires, new bar tape. Wow, I really better get going cause I still gotta do all that crap for my road rig too (and road season started 2 weeks ago). Hmmm, I guess I should start running a little, watch the Cycle-Smart DVD again and practice dismounts/re-mounts. Gotta be true, says so right there at Bike Reg. Vermont here I come .... roadtrip with the Humperdog, some maple syrup, Ben & Jerry's, maybe a rally and CX... sweet. And the cool thing, there's a freakin CX race at the NJ State Fair the following weekend. Ahh, fried dough, the Midway, botox'd NJ milfs in halter tops and CX, now that's what I'm talkin about.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Rants ... Winners, The Bos, Obamanomics, Depressed

Winners: The Ommegangsters placed 1-2 recently in Bloomfield -- great news for the team! Damn, now you set a precedent.

The Bos: Probably not malicious but questionable tactics & actions. As a cyclodork, I've read every other person's "take" on the Theo Bos crash & watched the slo-mo vid a bunch of times. Basically the dude effed up in my little world of marginal reality. A. Myerson (fresh off B'kill) had one of the better commentaries on his blog about it.

Obamanomics: Probably not malicious but questionable tactics & actions.....Directing the cabinet to cut $100 million ... ha, ha, ha, ha.... A trillion+ dollar budget and gonna cut $100 mill? Sorry, I was paying attention to the semantics and math. Yes, $100 mill is alot .. to you & me - but not Uncle Sam when we're talking trillions. Let's look at it this way:

$1 trillion = $1,000,000,000,000
$100 million = $100,000,000

So $100 mill is 1/10,000 of a trillion or 0.01% of a trillion (if I did my math right). Now if I asked you to cut 0.01% from your annual household budget, as an average American, you'd be giving up the approximate equivalent of a freakin Starbucks Latte --- ooh what a BIG sacrifice.

Depression: Probably not malicious but questionable tactics & actions -- knowingly taking a banned substance? -- I'm kinda bummed over Tyler -- some might be pissed but I' just find it sad -- maybe a subconcious plea for help hoping he'd be caught?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Better Than Underoos?

My parents were pretty tight with a buck when I was growing up. Frivolous purchases weren't an option, so I never really got the chance to own a sweet set of Spiderman Underoos. The closest I got was a set of Johnny Bench underwear. They were pretty much tighty whities with red piping and a number 5. For those unfamiliar with Johnny Bench, he was a catcher for the Cincinnati Reds back in the day. My grandparents lived in southern Ohio, so he was something of a hero back when Cincinnati could win a World Series. As one would imagine, I was pleased with the gesture, but the reality of running around the house in Johnny Bench underwear was a little uninspiring. Destined to spend the first 18 years of my life in tighty whities, my first shot at being a super hero was a pair of La Vie Claire cycling shorts. It was circa 1987, Greg Lemond was the closest thing I had to a hero, and Performance Bike had a set of knock off shorts. Those were the days. 35 miles was an epic ride, I wore the same shorts almost every day, I never performed any sort of bike maintenance, and I wore said tighty whities under my shorts every time I rode. Ignorance is bliss I guess.

Fast forward 22 years and I'm in the parking lot of Syracuse Bicycle picking up my new team kits. Three sets of bibs and jerseys, one light jacket, a cap, and one sweet superheroesque long sleeved skinsuit for CX. I washed them as soon as I got home, and modeled them for my wife the next morning before work. I can't say she was inspired, but she humored me at least. A 135lb grown man in lycra at 6:30 in the morning really couldn't be inspiring now that I reflect on the moment.

I'm sure the novelty will wear off after a couple thousand miles, but I'm still pretty excited to suit up and ride. Maybe Champion Systems should include a free cape with every skinsuit. *Telephone booth not included.

Here's a pic of the kit from a recent race. As you might guess, I'm the skinny one.

Monday, April 13, 2009


subliminal note .... start the cash register noise from "Money" by Pink Floyd here as you read this ..... end subliminal note

Maybe all this depressing economy talk has me paying more attention. I was looking over some upcoming races and noted a trend for registration fees to be at the $30 mark for a single day, fairly standard, no frills, regional road race. Now I'm wondering ... holy crap, did I pay that much last year? .... am I willing to pay that this year? If I stay home, get in a good 2-3 hours of riding, I'll probably have two or three extra $20's in my pocket with which I can buy some wonderful Belgian style recovery beverage (did someone say Ommegang?) and might have enough for a CX tire.... just "don't give me that do goody good bullshit"

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Ready to Race

Saturday is the Check Your Legs race. Since I haven't raced since CX season, I'm more than ready to go. Ready to go is a relative term, but whether I'm genuinely ready or not is irrelevant. I need to race. At this point all work and no play are making it tough to stay motivated. The Syracuse weather isn't helping any. Last Thursday I rode in shorts for the first time this year. Sunday, there was snow on the shoulder of the road and fresh salt to eat up what was left of my drive train. Just when I think it's safe to convert to the summer bike full time . . .

I have a good mind to start burning all of the old bike tires in my basement. Maybe that'll keep global warming on the fast track. Then again I don't want to hasten the demise of the polar bear. I guess riding the winter bike is ok for a little longer.

On a brighter note, tomorrow night our local sponsor, Syracuse Bicycle, is kicking off their new Cervelo line. There will be free beer, and it'll be Ommegang, our other local sponsor. That probably won't help much in my preparation for Saturday's race, but my liver survived CX season, so I think I'll live. I'll also get to pick up my new team kits. Mmmmm new kits. Last years kits have held up well, but I'm ready to introduce my junk to a new kit. We went with the race cut. I hope they don't make me look fat.

In addition to the yo yo weather pattern work has been insane. By the time I got home tonight I was running out of time to hit up the trainer. I may have hit a new low when I actually rode the trainer in black work socks to save time changing socks. There needs to be a balance, but this week work is winning the fight. Maybe a little forced rest will pay dividends on Saturday. That's the glass half full approach anyway. Black socks. Very sexy. Luckily my old lady met a friend for dinner and didn't need to winess the black sock debocal.

If you're around town, get to Syracuse Bicycle tomorrow night, have an Ommegang and drool on a Cervelo. I'd suggest getting hammered, stealing a P3 and doing your best imitation of Fabian Cancellara on Erie Blvd. RSVP with Trish . . . here's a link:

Word to your moms.

Friday, April 3, 2009


Wow, Just watched "The Express". Freakin great movie. Makes you think, makes you smile (especially if you root for SU) and might make you a little misty-eyed when it ends. If you are a movie buff, 3 of 5 stars, if you like football, 4 of 5 stars, if you are a movie buff, like football and are an Orange fan, definite 5 outta 5. If you like CX, well, that don't exactly factor in but it's still a kick ass movie -- rent or buy it ASAP (especially if you find it hard to believe Syracuse was a football powerhouse once upon a time). Bonus .. a bit 'o history and a bit 'o something to think about as our current Pres was about 2 yrs old when Ernie was the man! 44 baby, 44!