Thursday, January 29, 2009

It Hurts So Good

I love my bike team, more than you love yours;

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Subaru - Vista Auto Group Cycling

2009 continues to tick along, and we are getting closer and closer to the first race of they year! The winter always seems long, but before you know it, we'll be back in the usual cycle of bike racing from one weekend to the next. Things are continuing to shape up nicely for the new team I'll be racing with this year. The sponsor list is really close to being official and all that, not to mention the website... right now there are about 4 in production, as we determine which way we are going with our artistic endevours. So I'll wait to post a link for a day or two while we sort things out.

In the meantime, you can check out the new bike frames... and wait impatiently with me, for them to show up! Ibis Cycles is our bike sponsor, and I can't wait to get my hands on the new frames! Especially with the team-only, custom paint job they are doing for us.

Louis Garneau will be sponsoring us on the clothing side of things. The kits are currently in production, so hopefully we'll have some fresh new duds to wear soon! LG is also working to outfit us with helmets, time trial helmets and shoes.

Throw in a top-end drivetrain, TRP Brakes, Aerus Components, Shimano wheels, Fizik saddles and bar tape, Speedplay pedals, and Cateye computers... and that picture above is looking much more like a full-on bike! But only just "barely" it seems, as the preliminary builds, are showing the team bike to weigh in at well under 14lbs., out of the box, and ready to roll with pedals, computer and water bottle cages!

Also to be released soon, is the official roster of the team. A much smaller team than I was on last year, but it's shaping up to still be a pretty lethal combination of riders. Often times being small, quiet and underestimated is a good place to be in the peloton.

Stay tuned for more updates on the team, our incredible sponsors, and the equipment we'll be using this year. In the meantime I should probably go home and climb on the trainer.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Riding the trainer this weekend, got a bit more shiny... I picked up a new cassette and chain, to replace the worn out chain, and add some more gearing selections to the stockpile.

Saturday night, a group of us were off to the Pepsi Center to catch a game of indoor lacrosse. The Mammoth were playing Edmonton, and since Bonnie is from that "part of France" it was a good game to hit up. I hadn't realized, but I think there was also a Star Trek convention somewhere in the Pepsi Center on the same night, since this chick was dressed up, and sort of reminded me of my shiny new cassette and chain... or a interstellar jump suit... with matching boots.

Making our way to our seats, Craig made some scientific observations on why Americans are so fat. There was no waiting, and plenty of room to walk up the stairs, while the majority of people were waiting in line for their chance to be "escalated" to the second floor.

We came to a game last year, the same one actually, but this year they had kicked things up a bit for the opening introductions. Cheerleaders, light show, pyrotechnics, and a whole gang of Harley's revving up their engines, for the home team.

Pretty soon it was "game-on!"

Good seats for people watching;

But we were on the opposite side of the field from the hot tub girls;

At the half time, like last year, it was time for the WingBowl Finals during halftime! The man to beat was "Big Sexy". He was big, but I'm not so sure about the sexy part. In fact, Big Sexy started to not look so good during the battle;

And soon enough, Big Sexy was sending his wings the wrong way;

Somehow, he was still declared the winner. But I'm calling "bullshit" on this one. Since when do you get to win an eating contest, if you start to puke up what you ate, immediately after the end of the contest. I say the other competitors were ripped off. But I'm not too upset, I mean, we got to watch some gross dude in a speedo, puke in front of 40,000 people.

With people puking, and calls for cowbells, indoor lacrosse can be a lot like cyclocross races!

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Return of Winter

As fully expected, winter has returned. Since I don't get to ride outdoors as much this time of year, it's usually bike maintenance, new bike bits, and working on bikes that keeps me on the proper side of the balancing act referred to as "sanity".

Some might argue that Cyclocross season is a long time away... but as far as I'm concerned, it's just about to start! The first races on the calendar so far, again this year, is the awesome Cult Cross Series! Be there, or be square. And with any luck, I'll get the new frame that I have on order, in time for the races. Not just so I can show off the shiny new steed, but I don't know if I could handle getting a new cross bike and not getting to race it until September! Horror! Anyway... look at this beauty, the Ibis Hakkalugi!

This bike is going to be "weird"... with 9 more gears than "The Hulk Bike" has... like a lazy-man's bike or something. I'm planning to run the SRAM Force groupo on it, so I converted the crankset over to a single ring set up, using a nice stiff 42T Race Face chainring, and one of the sweet, super light, BBG chainguards. I'll run an N'Gear chain stopper on the inboard side to keep things in place.

One of the best parts of the single ring set up is that it means more projects for me! I mean, you'd be crazy to not take 37grams or so of shifter-guts out of the left hand shift/brake lever!


Starting to come apart;

Definitely, apart;

"Much" lighter now!

Now I know how to take apart SRAM shifters. The pretty cool part, is that it should be fairly easy to put the guts back in, when I get bored and decide it would be pretty cool to run double rings up front. That will likely be the trend next year, as all the Euro-pros are running double rings. I'll never be cool at this rate.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Gobble, Gobble!

On the way down the mountain this morning, I rounded the corner, and came face to face with a family of wild turkeys. Out east, I am used to seeing pheasants all the time. And I've seen some turkeys... probably these guys, along Magnolia from time to time. But today was the best look I got at them. I stopped and opened the door for a picture, and they nearly came right up to me.

All I could think of was the last turkey I saw... frozen, sitting on the counter before Thanksgiving dinner. These guys were much cuter... and taller, and had heads...

Wait a minute... are they chasing me!? Objects in mirror may be closer than they appear;

Those guys were feeling stubborn and they were still in the area, hours later. Jessica said she saw them too, hanging in the middle of the road, when she came down.

The weather was even more insanely nice today! So I snuck out for another lunchtime ride. Stretched it a bit, and got up both Flagstaff, and the bottom portion of Sunshine. It was so warm that I only had to do shorts and a short sleeve jersey. Didn't even add clothes for the descending. I have a bad feeling that we will soon have to pay big-time for the past 5 days of nice weather!

That's a lot of skin showing for late January! And the bike tan is at 0.5%... I imagine my legs are about as pasty as those turkeys would be if you plucked them and put them in your freezer.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Goodbye Busheviks!

Okay... the inauguration is over, it's official, Barack Obama is now President Barack Obama. That means you can take those damned election stickers off your car. No one cares who you voted for, and more importantly; don't be that person annoying me in the lead-up to the 2016 election that still has their "Obama-Biden '08" decals fading on their back bumper.

Insanely gorgeous weather in Colorado continues - while the parents in South Carolina alerted me today that the high temp for them today was 33 degrees, with snow even! Really nice here though... 60+ degrees, not a cloud in the sky, and almost zero wind today. I wasn't about to miss the opportunity to ride today, after a nice little rest yesterday. So I snuck out for a lunch ride, and hit up Super-Flagstaff.

I got to wear shorts, but my hat and my long-sleeved jersey were actually a bit too much clothing on the climb! Awesome.

Being a cube-monkey pretty much sucks. But I mean, it could be WAY worse. I might not be able to escape for my lunch rides, or I could be stuck in the city somewhere. Instead, this was the view today, less than 40 minutes of riding/climbing directly from my "cell";

I love looking back down the other direction... you can see my office 2000 feet below, seemingly worlds away.

Tomorrow is supposed to be more of the same, maybe even warmer. Hopefully I can get out again, but in the meantime, the fact that this won't last, is firmly planted in my sub-conscious. No doubt helped by the forecast, which is currently calling for snow at the end of the week.


Good three-day weekend is all wrapped up. Friday we started things off with some dinner at the Denver Aquarium. It was Britt's birthday, so Jessica and I, met up with Brittainy and Jesse for some tasty fish, and over-priced, overly sweet, alcoholic drinks in collectible glasses. As usual, it was pretty darn good, and there is always something so "special" about admiring the fish in the giant tank... while you eat their unlucky cousins.

The birthday girl;

Oooohhh.... Barracuda!

Saturday I took my time getting started, easing into the weekend, with a hippy-muffin and some coffee in Ned. But couldn't deny the incredible weather, so hit out on a ride that was mostly along Peak-to-Peak highway! And not even with that much clothing. Sometimes, here in Colorado, winter sure does suck. But other times, it's January 17th, and your riding comfortably above 9000 feet, on dry roads, with sun and not a single cloud in the sky!

Sunday I was up a bit earlier, and rode down in Golden with Walker. We went up towards Evergreen, on a pretty similar route to last weekend. This time though, we hit straight through Evergreen along the parkway, and it was a lot drier, a lot warmer (I was in shorts!) and much less windy!

We also hit the Tin Star for mid-ride snacks again. This time though... they had a new surprise, Fritter-bites! Just the right size (as evidenced by Craig's hand, inserted for scale), as sometimes the full-size fritters are a bit too much when you have lots of miles still planned.

Sunday the weather was amazing again, and I had off from work for MLK day. Sadly, Jessica had to work, so I was left to my own mischievous ways. So I started sawing holes in the exterior walls of the house. But for good reason... new dryer vent. Along with a whole bunch of other chores that I normally can't do because it's too cold, or too dark this time of year. Sadly, I didn't remember to take any real pictures of the construction.

I did however catch a picture of this great couple on Saturday evening. You have to love the couple with nearly matching technical wear... coming out of REI... putting their new purchases in their Subaru Outback... and then heading over to Wahoo's for fish tacos.

Seriously... I didn't make any of that up. Except maybe the fish tacos, I'm not really sure, they seemed way too predictable and not interesting enough to stalk quite that long.

Friday, January 16, 2009

A Welcome 3-Day Weekend

It's Friday again... and none too soon. Even better, coming up is scheduled a 3-day weekend! And even better than that, it's looking like the weather might be good enough for 3 days of riding outdoors.

Well the introduction of the TF109, Toyota's car for the 2009 Formula 1 season wasn't nearly as "cinematic" as it sounded like it was going to be. But still, the car is pretty good looking.

But today... today was the introduction of McLaren Mercedes MP4-24. I know I'm a bit biased, but even with the new regulations, apparently aimed at making the cars less-attractive, I think the new McLaren is pretty damned good looking! Let's hope it's fast as well.

While we had the introduction of those two new cars, we had the exit of two big stars. Ricardo Montalban passed away this week... but I think we all know the Wrath of Kahn will live on forever. And who doesn't dream of a vacation at Fantasy Island?

Patrick McGoohan also passed away this week. I wasn't as familiar with him; I have seen a couple episodes of "Secret Agent" before, and had heard of "The Prisoner" before, but hadn't gotten to watch it. No worries, AMC now as all the episodes online, so I can catch up, since there doesn't seem to be a single thing on television anymore, anyway.

AMC is even making a remake of "The Prisoner", which is more proof that if you are ever a famous star, don't let them make a movie about you, or a remake of your most famous show, since you will likely die. How many times has that happened!?

About the only thing I've been looking forward to on television, is tonight's premiere of The Final Episodes of Battle Star Galactica. Finally.

I also finished up another set of wheels this week. I haven't gotten word on the actual weights yet, but they should be under 800 grams... for the PAIR! Extralite hubs, Pillar titanium spokes, and Edge 1.24 rims - crazy!

I could dream of a set of wheels like this for myself... but I don't climb nearly fast enough!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Expensive Racing

With only 72 days left until the first Formula 1 showdown of 2009, the car manufacturers have started to debut their new cars! This comes with mixed feelings for some (myself included) since most of the regulation changes for the new year, are quite visible to everyone. And specifically... they really detract from the cars, especially considering how they seem to have grown more and more beautiful the past couple seasons. I mean check out the Ferrari F2008 from last season;

Compared to the Ferrari F60 for this season;

The new regulations require a lower and wider front wing, a taller and narrower rear wing, slick tires, and the removal of all the little extra aero bits around the side pods, and including the barge boards. Kind of reminds me of the UCI and their archaic rules that eliminated all the cool looking aero framesets. Something about the front view of the F60 looks very menacing though!

Next up is Toyota, introducing their new TF109 car in another 36 hours or so. Pretty cool idea (and adhering to the new cost cutting rules for the sport), they are introducing the car "cinema-style", with a video premier, rather than the usual media circus. Should be the perfect entertainment while I drink my coffee on Thursday morning. And then on Friday, the McLaren MP4-25 is scheduled to have it's cover ripped off, for all to see!

Speaking of expensive racing... congrats to Matt Shriver for being chosen for the US Worlds Cyclocross Team!

Too bad that since it's "just" cyclocross, he'll have to foot the bill for travel and expenses, all on his own, with no help from his "National Federation". Maybe instead of sending me 2 or 3 junk emails a day, about all the work they do for me, and how awesome they are; they could flip some coin for the small number of cyclocross racers at the elite level. Normally you could say, "Damn! It's the World Championships! I'll find a way to pay!" That's one thing for the normal working Joe, but Matt's a domestic pro, not the highest tax bracket, and I shudder to see what percentage of his annual income a trip to Europe would be.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Toxic Weekend

Here we are back to Monday already... the weekend is already in the books. Friday was a relaxing evening at home with the Misses, with plans to head out on a ride with Mr. Rubin on Saturday. Matt M. also joined us for a little ride out of Golden. It was cold, but less windy than I expected, so we set off to see how high would could get before hitting snow-covered roads. Good to head up Lookout, since I hadn't been up the climb in awhile, but I could also tell that it was definitely cold out. Usual story of the legs feeling quite "blah", even climbing. At the top, I was already cold and not having fun, but at least we were outside riding and, even though I knew getting there was going to be an adventure, there was the promise of a stop in Evergreen at the Tin Star for donuts.

The road near the buffaloes was snow-covered and icy. But riding roads like that (at least when you're going UP) always makes you feel tough!

Funny that we saw some elk, but no buffalo along the road. Kerr Gulch wasn't bad, but climbing back up the canyon to Evergreen, the road definitely had snow. That's okay... only about 2 miles till fritter-time.

Delicious as always, and the warmth of the donut shop tried luring us into staying, but it was time to go. Evergreen Parkway always seems like a good idea, but then you quickly realize that it's all up hill... both ways... in the wind... and on Saturday the shoulder was covered most of the time in a good inch or two of snow and slush. Most of the time that was fine, except that one huge gust that got the better of me! It pushed me into the snow and ice, where I could no longer steer, and settled in for a nice ride into the snow covered bank, and down the hill a ways before it stopped. Those cyclocross handling skills come in handy more often than you think!

Sunday sure seemed colder, and definitely had more wind, so I stuck close to home. I had stuff to do around the house, especially since I never seem to be home in the daylight this time of year. So I had to check out which trees were sacrificed to The Anemoi already this year. But I also had some time to work on a trick new set of wheels, while watching one of the "finer" cinematic creations of our time... The Toxic Avenger.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


Happily, even though just last night, the house was literally shaking with 80mph winds, things calmed down a good bit this morning. And the skies pretty clear, and showing off some good color in the clouds.

"Lucky" since I was hoping it would give the firefighters a chance to get a handle on the fires that were burning just North of Boulder. By this morning, they were getting a better handle on things, and had worked hard to protect most of the structures. Luckily, while burning a pretty large area, it was a lot of grass lands and not a heavily populated area.

Greg has some good pictures over here, as he was one of the unlucky ones that had to be evacuated. Living in an area that is prone to wildfires, and knowing how quickly they can spread, the ol' heart always skips a beat when you hear about a new fire in the area. You can stay up to date on the situation over at the Boulder County website.

The luck continued in that the decreased wind, and warmer temps, meant that I was able to plan ahead and sneak out for a lunchtime bike ride. It was the first time in a month, I had ridden outside without leg warmers, so that was awesome! Clear skies, but the wind was definitely still there, and picking up during the ride.

But like I said, no leg warmers, no gloves... I didn't even need my new embrocation; the Mad Alchemy Uber Secret Formula embrocation. It's made a bit warmer than their mellow level, but also includes a lovely hazelnut and coffee aroma... it's downright hard to not spread it on toast!

Heck! It was so nice, I didn't even have to rush out and pick up the Cordarounds capri pants made specifically for commuting. Not only because I have ordered Jessica to pull the plug on me if I ever mention "going shopping for capris", but also ones that cost $90. And I'm quite certain the legs on ALL of my pants will fold upwards if need be, and can even be secured by one of those reflective velcro strappy things... in my choice of colors for just $1.99.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

About Time to Start

Man... good thing my New Year Resolution wasn't to blog more often... I've been slacking in this new year. But really, it's more a matter of there just not being too much excitement at the moment.

Two quick pictures left over from the South Carolina trip; The first is the new Krispy Kreme coffee mug that I couldn't resist picking up. Primarily because it's a full 20oz., heavy porcelain one, that will make the drab cubicle feel that little bit more comfortable.

On our approach to Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, on the way home, I snapped this picture. I don't know Dallas at all, and while the lights made it look all sparkly and fun, the only real reason I snapped this picture, was the cool green building. I don't even know what building it is... all I do know, is that it's in the background of what seems to be 85% of the episodes of the show Cheaters... so, it's kinda like seeing a part of history... or something.

New Years Eve was pretty mellow for us. Jessica and I had been so busy, we made the decision to bail on all plans, and just go home. Jesse and Brit had a somewhat similar idea, and we convinced them to come up and do nothing with us. We just grabbed a big ol' pile of sushi, some beer and champagne, and headed home. Wasted the night away playing Little Big Planet... one strange, yet fun and HIGHLY addicting game! The beer we got, Odell's Extra Special Red, was sadly not nearly as enjoyable, and not that "extra special". Bummer.

Other than that, I've been busy building up some special request wheels for a friend of mine. Not just ordinary wheels, but some sick, sick, weight-weenie stuff! The first set was built with Extralite hubs, Sapim CX-Ray spokes, and Edge 1.68 rims. These hubs are silly-expensive, but for insanely light hubs, I think they get my vote for their overall design. They built up well, and didn't have too many crazy ideas of ways to sacrifice reliability and performance purely for weight loss.

The second set used a set of Tune hubs, CX-Ray spokes, and the newest Edge 1.68 rims.

These crazy things... now keep in mind that they use a 68mm deep section fully aero rim... weighed in at a crazy 1084grams for the PAIR. Just sick. No doubt helped by the Tune Mig 45 front hub, which wasn't my favorite hub to build with, but it's definitely crazy light.

I've built several sets of the Edge rims up now. And while I still don't really agree with the internal nipples, and the difficulty they create when you are lacing the wheel, they build up incredibly well for such light rims. And they seem really, really stiff. Of course, they're far from cheap, but I've definitely used more expensive, less impressive rims.

Just wait till you see the wheelset that's in the queue right now...

Santa's visit this year, made me all the more happy that I'm not a vegetarian. I mean, it's WAY more fun to cook animals on your new rotisserie than it is a bunch of silly vegetables!

Anyone have a good rotisserie recipe? I do have one for "beer can chicken" which looked pretty intriguing. Let's grill!