Thursday, April 22, 2010


Shiny new toy last weekend! So I've mostly been in the garage building up team bikes... and riding a bit. Only a bit though, since literally as soon as I took the bike out of the stand on Saturday, it started pouring down rain. It was hardly a nice day to begin with.

Oh well... at least Saturday was Bonnie's birthday celebration, so we were heading off to the Roller Dolls roller derby match. Jessica was feeling artistic and made an awesome sign for the occasion;

And even better, the sign and the group ended up on the video screen several times;

Later on "Nacho-Dumptruck" was up in the stands and took some time for a photo with Seth;

Sunday the sun was actually out, and it was a nice day for a change! I was able to start getting rid of my "knee-warmer tan" and went out to the Louisville Crit. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring my legs along, so the race mostly sucked.

After a busy weekend, and some hiking on Monday, Tayler was wiped-out and ready to catch up on her sleep!

Typical Springtime in Colorado... 75 degrees one day, socked-in with rain the next day, thunderstorms, hail, more sunshine, 60+mph winds, and now snow down to 7000 feet in the forecast, along with tornados and golfball size hail in the plains, for the next couple days. There was some crazy hail on the way home last night, and then we had thunderstorms rolling through until at least 1.30am. Crazy.

But I don't care... it's time to blow town for a few days...

Thursday, April 15, 2010


I was playing with some bike parts (as usual) last night, and the "industry" is just making me insane. I mean with all the different sponsors, sponsoring all the different riders how often do the manufacturers actually ask people what works, or what they'd like to see changed? I mean, isn't that a big reason manufacturerrs would want to sponsor riders and teams? Granted, too many riders have less of an idea of what they want, or how they'd change a product, and the manufacturers don't listen anyway. I've definitely given feedback during the development of new products in my time, as well as feedback on how existing products could be improved.

And yet almost ZERO times is the advice taken. But you know, it's also related to the fact that a lot of manufacturers don't really care, or do want to pay to make the changes or they just go to the Taipei show. There they can shop around for components, and determine which one has the best margins, while still providing enough room for their brand decals that they put on the product before blathering on about how they "developed" this ground breaking new product. Don't get me wrong, Taiwan makes some incredible products, and actually have manufacturing techniques that are impossible here. It's when you claim you developed a product, when you really just picked a SKU# out of a catalog and had your decals applied, that makes me nuts.

Sorry, just ranting after some ridiculous products, and some trips to local bike shops looking for products that should be commonplace.

Though, if you actually listened to some customers, you'd end up with products like this phenomenal computer mount, fabricated by a customer of Jesse's.

Definitely the best computer mount of all time. I mean, how do you not love a computer mount that includes soldering? Thanks for making sure to take pictures Jesse!

In the meantime, the bits and pieces for the team bikes are starting to show up, and maybe, sometime soon, the team will be on shiny new aero road bikes!

Monday, April 12, 2010


This weekend seemed impossibly short. Saturday I hit Rise and Shine for some morning fueling, before bouncing over to Brighton for some crit racing. The pro race was bound to be ridiculous, with a shit-ton of money on the line, and lots of heavies in town. Since I wasn't planning on racing Sunday, I figured I might as well double up and do the 35+ race as well. It the first official time I lined up for a 35+ race on the road, and I got carded for it as well.

The course was flat, pretty open, and you could see the entire thing, even from the course, so getting away was going to be tough. Even more so with the steadily increasing wind. I tried though... about 196 times to no avail. Once I got away solid, though unfortunately took no one with me, so it was short-lived. Then I pulled a Boonen, and was in the wrong spot when Paulie finally went, and we were left with an unorganized chase. Swallowed up in the sprint, by all the guys that didn't do anything for most of the race, and that was that. Oh well, it was fun to attack and cover and counter for 55 minutes. The pro race was about as ridiculous as expected, and after getting hung out by people coming off, and closing 5 gaps, it was finally too much and the wind won. Oh well. The team had a good showing, getting Lance up to the break, even though we initially missed it, and we took 5th and 11th, in a stacked field.


Holy shit... is that my motorcycle... OUTSIDE!?!? It is! And I managed to (finally) get a ride in. A decent one too, sucking in 125miles of mostly twisty roads. I took my lunch break and hit Jessica's play down at the Denver Vic, and on the way home took in more twisties. Though it was a tough day... spring means "squid season" and there was plenty of nonsense going on.

Gross... (it's been said to not be true since this story, but...) wouldn't this be so perfectly ridiculous!? I'd still remember how awesome it was to hear that Nirvana had a second album coming out, and staying up late to see the premier of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" on 120 minutes, and then beginning to loathe them and the endless replays on pop radio a few months later...
...while all the sparkly, emotional Twilight fans would run out to buy albums from this "classic band called Nirvana". I hear the dude from the Foo Fighters really digs Nirvana - I think he and Curt might have both dated Courtney Love or something...

Speaking of ridiculous, how about if you spent $5k on a frame... and it was half a pound, a whopping 25% heavier than the manufacturer tells you it will be?

The world of bike wheels can be a funny place. I noticed yesterday, in this picture of Pozzato (looking awesome in that black kit), that he was running what appears to be Campagnolo Hyperon carbon wheels at Roubaix.

All the more shocking that he managed to take a solid 7th place, without 3 or 4 years of endless print and online articles and stories about designing a carbon rim that could survive Roubaix, like some other companies.

And speaking of wheels, did you happen to read this? Specifically the part about a particular wheel-building company at the bottom of the story? The article goes on about how the guy measures and records the tension of every single spoke, in the wheels he builds, and contains a picture from one of the builds. I've gotta say, while I haven't ridden or seen his wheels, I'm quite shocked at the variance of spoke tensions in his wheels. I mean the front one pictured, has a difference of 18kgf from one side to the other. That's no small number, we're talking a difference of 19%! And the tension between individual spokes is even worse; take the rear for example, there's a 23kgf difference between the highest and lowest spoke tension on the drive side... a full 21% difference!

I'm not convinced truing a wheel to a lateral run-out of .25mm is worth having a 21% difference in individual spoke tension. And yes, I of course measure the tension of each and every spoke in my wheels. It takes a bit longer and sometimes you have to compromise a bit to find that happy median between trueness, roundness and equal tension, but that invested time means a more consistent wheel.

I don't want to sound like I'm beating the guy up though, just throwing out an opinion. I mean, if you want to trash someone, then pick on this annoying little fuck, who just seems to get more and more annoying. I don't think it will be too long before he just starts to fade away and no one will care.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Wheels, Huffing and Strip Clubs

Spring means new bike toys. Lately it's been wheels. I build up this sweet set for a friend, using the 30mm KinLin rims in white, Sapim CX-ray spokes, and the new C4 Ceramic hubs. A perfect crit wheelset! A bit aero, and just 1450grams, plus they just plain look pimpy.

The only problem with those wheels, is that I built them after gluing 9 PAIRS of tubulars... so I'm quite certain I lost some brain cells with that job! A bunch of the wheels are for the team bikes, and they look pretty sexy all thrown together in the same room.

I glued up my TT wheels as well, including a sweet new front TT wheel from Easton that I spent all winter lusting over. Of course, I haven't gotten to ride it yet, but it sure looks fast... and skinny!

Another pic from CultCross, going over one of the two bridges on course, taken by Dan Davis, who did a phenomenal job with the pics for the day.

Speaking of CultCross again, there was a great article in CX-Magazine where LG was interviewed on the race. Specifically how difficult things can be for a true grassroots race organizer, and on just what a cool, low-key, all about fun atmosphere that a race like CultCross has.

Last night was my first trip out for the BusStop ride, and I felt "pretty good" considering the completely random amount of riding I've been able to do lately. Of course, I was pissed after we got past Hygiene, and the group decided it was worth risking life and limb (and being "those cyclists" that very understandably piss off motorists) by not just taking up the shoulder and the entire lane, but crossing over the yellow line as well... all to not come out of the draft. Ugh. So as usual when that bullshit goes down, I took my toys and went off on my own. As it usually does, it meant riding 10 miles home in an incessant headwind, making me question my desire to ride the bike... but at least I wasn't part of that nonsense.

The weather looks good for this weekend. Doing some crit racing in Brighton tomorrow, and then avoiding the Roubaix at all costs - a promise I made to myself many years ago.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Cult Cross Rocks

Last weekend I (finally) cleaned up the cross bikes, threw them in the car and pointed everything West. It was time for the beginning of cyclocross season! Probably my favorite spring race, it was time for third edition of Cult Cross in Eagle. Friday evening it was cold, yet the sun was out in Eagle, and I made it out early enough to stop and stretch my legs for a few laps on the course. I also needed to make sure my legs still would turn in circles, since I had been sick, and had approximately zero miles in my legs. Uh oh. The course was looking pretty awesome though! An awesome mix of fast, leg-sapping grass, technical sections, rocky downhills, bridges, and whoop-dees. It was looking pretty sweet!

After just a teaser of some riding, I jumped back in the car and continued on, since I was spending the weekend with Harry and Danielle... and now Nate! Yep, a new little boy for those two. I say "little", but at almost 3 weeks, I think the boy is nearly as big as me already!

Saturday morning it was chilly and "moist" in New Castle, but gotta be sunny in Eagle, right? Actually, the weather really wasn't too bad, though it was very windy, and definitely colder. Brr. First up, the single speed race.

It went pretty well considering I hadn't been on the bike, and definitely hadn't riden the SS cross bike at all! I also definitely didn't feel "awesome" so was happy to follow wheels for the first 2 laps, before attacking a bit. I wanted to just get a gap, and hopefully hold it, floating at that level of going just hard enough to not destroy myself in the process. It worked pretty well, and I held on for the win.

Though predictably, it was getting colder with more wind in time for the Open race, including the occasional snow squall blowing through every 25 minutes or so;

Sick, tired and freezing cold is never a good start for me in a race, but the course and the atmosphere was just way too fun to say no. So we started the race in another miserable squall. I mostly just rode around in that race, trying to remember that I had a bike with gears, until the second snow squall came through, and I was nearly ejected off my bike by the wind at that point. I was doing more harm than good to the ol' body, so I bailed on the race, cheered for a minute or two, and then hit off for a warm shower and a nap.

Once again, another awesome race put on by LG! Incredible crowd of people, all there to race, have fun, and enjoy all the suffering of cyclocross in the spring. With all the people that "live" for cyclocross out there, there should be more of them at this race. No one cares if you're at the top of your fitness, it shouldn't matter that it's not fall... don't waste your time on LSD rides, take the short drive to a cool little town and push that heartrate up.

I can only hope that LG is already planning for next year. I know I am.

The rest of the weekend was pretty cool, chilled with the Bergers, and then back early on Sunday for a Zombie-Jeebus dinner with the family.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Don't be a Fool

I hate April Fools Day... it would be fine, if it weren't for all the retarded websites and "newspapers" that find it necessary to write "comical" fake stories to trick their readers. Then of course there are the forums all over the interwebz where people either a. believe the stories, or b.) feel the need to repost the stories, as if the other people on any given forum, aren't reading the same news-sources. Though this year, I'm really torn, trying to figure out whether the Velosnooze article about David Millar actually winning the overall at De Panne. - I'm guessing it's real, because otherwise I imagine there would have been a story about Millar tossing his bike, or stopping at the finish line in protest.

Last Friday was our "Spring Break", a total of one freebie day off work. But that's okay, I took advantage, and went up to Eldora for some snowboarding for the day. Unfortunately Jessica had to work, so it was just me all day. But I got in 4.5hrs nonstop, and I had some fresh snow to play with. That was pretty fun, maybe I'll actually go again.

Saturday I hung out at home, until it was time to go out with the boys and hit up Arenacross at the Colesium. I wasn't thinking, and missed that the crowd watching was pretty much second only to a WWF match! Unfortunately, my camera battery was beat! Bummer. But the racing was pretty entertaining, along with an endless stream of people-watching.

Sunday was "sick-day" and I barely managed to get off the couch, even for enough food and drink to sustain myself. The snow was melting pretty good early this week though, and I think we had one of the best "roof-curls" ever.

Yesterday was Neo's 9th birthday though! Tayler's is close enough too, so for the last two years, we've just combined them, and made a fun trip for the whole family. It's not often that Tayler gets to come down to town, so she has a blast. And was quite well behaved in Pet Smart. Neo picked out a frisbee and a football, and then we were back in the car to head over to Dairy Queen.

Neo about to chomp his cone...

Last year was Tayler's first cone, and it took forever to convince her that it was tasty, and that she was allowed to actually eat it. Not so this time, as I think it was gone in 4 giant bites!

That Tayler... she just plain cracks me up.

Tomorrow I'm off to New Castle to visit the Bergers, and Nate, the new little nephew! Should be awesome. Plus I'll be racing the Cult Cross race, the sweetest cross race of the year! I cleaned the cross bikes Tuesday night, and it was almost a bummer - it felt like I was getting them ready for a fresh season of cross races. I guess... the CultCross races, ARE the first cyclocross races of the year!

So really, if you're thinking of racing at all... bail on that goofy Koppenberg race, and come out to support one of the coolest races all season. Everything would be perfect... if I just wasn't still sick, and probably getting ready to completely stink up the race course on Saturday. Totally dissapointing, because I'd love to ride well at such a sweet race! Not to mention the potential mud, is quite likely to destroy what little power I have. Better put a short gear on the SS.