Archive for October, 2010

morgantown cyclocross abra

Oct 30th and 31st are going to have some crazy, fun, and great races going on.

Oct 30

Marilla Cyclocross – APCXS # 4

Marilla Park, Morgantown, West Virginia

Information / Register On-line

Oct 31

WVU Cycling Cyclocross – APCXS # 5

White Park, Morgantown, West Virginia

More Information /Register On-line

These events are going to be a lot of fun, and have some pretty decent numbers attending. Both races suggest dressing up in your best Halloween costume!

Photos from last year:

morgantown cyclocross tandem

Cross Tandem! 😮

morgantown cyclocross gunnar betsy shogren

Local Yokels being dirty

cyclocross morgantown beer wench

Beer Wench?

cyclocross morgantown yee haw

Yee Haw!

morgantown cyclocross mud

Did someone say mud?

Photos courtesy of: Nature’s Essence Photography

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chilly weather, cold weather, bringing bikes indoors, bikes inside, bicycle Business and Economy cycling indoor bike storage Met Office Recreation and Sports Shopping Sports Temperature

While I do not follow my own rules to an exact science, I do tend to follow them as a general sense of rule.

For example, once the weather becomes inhospitable enough for me (when shorts are becoming less of an option for daily wearing), I tend to bring all of my bicycles indoors like you would a cat or dog for the winter months. This is never a specific day marked on my calendar, but usually within a two-week grace period. I doubt leaving the bikes in the garage vs. home all winter does a significant amount of benefit to them, but at least they are safe indoors~

Anyone else bring their bikes from the garage to indoors during the winter months?

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alain delon the hitman le samourai the samurai

While having my coffee and reading my email this morning, I receive a phone call from my LBS. It is the owner, Matt. He is speaking as if what he has to say is urgent; “Three tri-guys from the town over just bought Madones, and are now talking smack. They invited us over to their stomping grounds for a… gentleman’s ride.”  Mark explains how he and his employee went on a century ride the day before, and still feel like toast. “Andrew, come with us and show those Ironman wannabes what Rule 42 really means. We could use your help.” At this point, I had late night flashbacks of Alain Delon in Le Samouraï, imagining me being a contract killer… but on a bike. Yes, my guns were for hire.

I was pumped. It’s getting to that time of the season where the legs are peaking, and rides are showing who took the time to train. Like Jean Reno’s character in The Professional, I took time to prepare and polish my guns, before use. Lunch time; I decided the leftover steak in the fridge could wait, and had a bowl of zucchini and pasta. Up until the minute we departed, I was checking my blood sugar on the hour, every hour [yes, diabeetus]. Nothing was overlooked. I wanted to be able to dish out enough pain that these tri-guys would be scared straight and never wear wetsuits on a bike again.

My body was prepared; now to do some maintenance on the steed… I made sure that the bike’s summer filth was removed, and shone according to my very discerning eyes. The drivetrain was as quiet as a mouse, shifted as calm as a Hindu cow, and as fast as Di2 possibly could. The bike spoke for itself by the silence that filled the garage. It was ready.

Our crew of three met at Matt’s shop, and departed to the meeting point given to us by the tri-guys. Once there, we were greeted by three men in sleeveless jerseys and one of them even had a double carbon bottle cage setup behind their saddle, eventhough there were already two cages on his bike. This was embarrassing. I felt like I was in the presence of something wrong. Something very wrong… These tri-guys just ride for better splits in their little swim, ride, run game. There was no feeling these so called cyclists honored the the way of a grimpeur, and I felt the obligation to fix that. I’m sure these wetsuit-wearing cycling poseurs had names, but I never took the time to listen to their greetings. I performed one last gun check in the parking lot, and we rolled out.

Our group set the tempo first by laying the hammer down. This trio of tri-guys kept up fairly well, and to my surprise, they could hold a line. *Gasp* We were coming up on the first climb. Quadbottle jumps off the back of the pack, and goes for the peak of the hill. I look at Matt, and ask him if I should make a response. He calmly says no, as we summit. What was directly in store for us left Matt and his employee attempting to shift into their lower chainring. Benched, false flat… Here, the climbing truly began. Matt gave a knod, and set me off of the leash like a dog chasing a car. My cadence was at the perfect tempo, and my stroke looked like Anquetil himself was pedaling. I was in the zone, and nothing could stop me. Quadbottle’s other friends came after me, and eventually caught up. They were a little more adept at this non-aero bar riding than I thought. I wouldn’t goof up and misjudge them again.

I brought the guns to the party for a reason, and here I was, getting ready to fire. The pain was brought with magnificent exuberance as I climb a couple hundred meters. I meet up with the ringleader of the three on the next to last hill, and see he is maxing out his gears. I ride past him, and look upon his face turn three different kinds of ugly. He grits his teeth, frowns, and shakes the dripping sweat coming off of his helmet. The feeling of passing someone with ease, and having gears to spare is a wonderful experience. Knowing you could be pedaling easier, but not needing to, all while those behind you are suffering… It is a beautiful thing.

Someone must have entered a cheat-code for infinite ammo, because the tri-guys were hurting, and my guns were still firing with no problem. I made it to the end of the ride with a few minutes until the next rider could be seen. It was a great moment; not only was I able to represent my LBS and town with honor, but also showed these tri-geeks what cycling is about. My buds were proud of me, and I was still feeling strong. Their training ride turned into a breeding ground of turf rivalry, and tough learning; they let me go off the front, knowing I was genuinely nearly peaking.

There was no one around me. I had slain them all. All that was left was to get home, give the legs a break, and enjoy some fine dinner. I didn’t stop exuding greatness until the Velomihottie laid the dinner plate in front of me while I kicked back in the La-Z-Boy. Just as I started to indulge on the steamed dumplings, I received a call; it was Matt. He stated, “Good work, you killed them all.” Apparently the tri-guys phoned Matt and wondered if this is how every gentleman’s ride unveils.  With a straight tone, Matt replied, “Of course, what do you think we are? Triathletes?

the hitman

In the end, I was hired to lay down the law, and teach these weenies a little something about riding a bicycle, and I did just that.

My reward? A new nickname: The Hitman

*Note: This post is a piece of quasi-fiction~

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trainer winter riding, trainer, winter riding, bicycle trainer

This picture is is very important. In three months, this exact location will be a crime scene. My motivation for cycling will be murdered here, and lie dead until Spring.

Any cyclists know this punishment. It is no more difficult than the steepest hills, but hurts so much more just because the action is happening indoors. There is nothing as bad as the trainer. If your friend says he enjoys riding his trainer, he is a liar.

I can only think of three things worse than the trainer:

  • Jogging
  • Stationary exercise bikes
  • Exercising on anything made by Tony Little


What about you guys? When are you going to start your routine of masochism? I wish you the best of luck, while we envy those in Florida or Anaheim together…

Don’t forget to check this out: http://www.thesufferfest.com/bike-torture-chamber/

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Last Wednesday, someone donated three older bicycles to me. They were grungy, and felt like they had a major film layer of coal or sap or some kind of odd mix of the two; as if they were in someone’s basement for forty years. Well, to my surprise, they were in pretty decent shape. The tires were not dry-rotted and held air. I thought, “Hey, this will be a good project to work on!” as I looked them over. The main problems were to update the brake cables, housing, bar tape, and clean up the components.

ross bicycles, allentown, pa, pennsylvania, road bike, classic brakes, drop bar, american made road bike

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I used a lot of steel wool and Simple Green to remove the gunk from the frames, and even more steel wool to polish the rims, and any other chromed parts that started to have rust blemishes. Hard work (2+ hrs, each), but the shine was totally worth it.

ross bicycles, allentown, pa, pennsylvania, road bike, classic brakes, drop bar, american made road bike

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ross bicycles, allentown, pa, pennsylvania, road bike, classic brakes, drop bar, american made road bike

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ross bicycles, allentown, pa, pennsylvania, road bike, classic brakes, drop bar, american made road bike

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ross bicycles, allentown, pa, pennsylvania, road bike, classic brakes, drop bar, american made road bike

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I ended up repacking all of the bearings on the hubs and headset, and luckily didn’t have to pull the bottom brackets… I don’t even think I have the tools needed to pull a one piece crank from the frame… *Pfew*

The gearing on two of the road bikes were massive. like a 44/53 tooth chainring. We are in West Virginia, not Florida… On a cruising-style road bike, there is no reason for such huge gear combination. The cables in these two bikes were also rusted, and I didn’t want to spend close to $20 replacing cables, let alone housing. I had an idea… Why not just make the bikes a single speed bicycle by toying with the limit screw on the rear derailleur?

Brilliant! Since these bikes are meant for town cruising, a 44/18 gear ratio is fantastic. I’m sure whoever I sell these bikes to are not going to go try out all of the local hills, so having them not have to worry about shifting or derailleur adjustment will just make their life easier too. The bikes also looked a lot nicer with two less bunches of housing on them. Very Chic~

montgomery ward, open road, classic road bike, vintage road bike

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The cruiser bicycle had a seized seatpost. I hate when this happens. It also kept the seat in place with one of those old, outdated clamp-on seat clamps that also clamp to the tube at the same time… Ugh… Why? Eventually I got it to move around, and get it to a very generalized height. Good enough. I hate seized seatposts… Ugh… I even hate saying seized seatposts…

Murray, nassau, cruiser bike

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So luckily enough, in between running errands, hanging out with friends, and going on a small ride, I was able to clean up and restore three bicycles over the weekend. I have about three or so hours worth of labor on each one, but I am not trying to become rich by selling old bikes; I just want people to afford and enjoy some pedal powered activities…

If you know anyone who wants a classic bike, let them know I have a couple for sale!

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