Friday, February 22, 2013


I would not classify myself as a long term goal setter. They are just to hard to accomplish with everyday life. You set yourself up to get a big punch in the gut most of the time and then you feel guilty about something that was never attainable from the start. Aim low, finish high-my motto. I mean, I am 45-not that I am saying that is old, but  you never know when the legs will start to head south and you will be forced to make some adjustments in your riding style. So long term goals aint for me brotha. I do have a few cycling goals that I really do try to accomplish each year, though; not many but enough to keep from disappointment.

The first one is to try and stick to a training plan. That has really only happened once, and that would be this year so far. I have been putting in a lot of endurance miles and really concentrating on keeping my heart rate in the proper zones; so far, so good.

The second goal is to finish in the top 5 in every race. Now, funny thing is as I have gotten older, this has become "easier." Now I am not saying that it is easier physically so much as it is mentally, but racing against people half your age requires some adjustments to the way I have thought and acted about racing in general. My main goal during each race is not necessarily to beat a certain individual, but to better my times from the previous year(s) races. If I can accomplish that, I know I will finish well. Now, I have been getting faster after I turned 40 and taking some good chunks of time from year to year; how long this will last... who knows.

The last goal and most important for me is not letting my nerves get the best of me. I will try to say this without sounding arrogant, but I consider myself a pretty fast rider. I am certainly not the fastest, but I can hang with some pretty fast people. Anyway, "how am I gonna do" or "I am super nervous about who I am racing against," never fails to enter my daily thought patterns at least a few days before a race. I have yet to conquer this goal. I may have to conjure up some secret formulated drink that takes away butterfly's and replaces them with some teen angst mixed with a little Henry Rollins and a dash of zippity do da just for good luck.

So, remember to aim low and you will always finish better than you thought.

Monday, February 18, 2013

I have a Problem

Yes, I have a serious problem; I love to ride my bike(s). Problem you say, that isnt a problem. You would be correct in saying so. No, my real problem is wanting more bikes so I can love to ride my bike(s) even more. Working at a shop does not make it any easier either. Saturday I succumbed to my desires once again. My friend Daniel had a Redline Flight Monocog 29er frame that just happened to my size. Of course it is another steel ride. I ended up trading my Fox fork for it; the Singlespeed Moron only goes rigid. It seems that you can never have enough horses in the stable. I outfitted this one with some extra stuff laying around; RXL wheels, Stylo OCT crank Elixer CR brakes and of course a Cane Creek 100 headset (as with every bike I own). All told comes in at 22.5 lbs. The top tube comes in 2 inches shorter than my Ferrous or my Superfly ss's, so I mounted a 120mm stem-never thought I would ever use one of those again, but it worked out nicely.

I took it out for a short ride on sunday and was really blown away on how quick this bike is. I attribute most of it to the short wheelbase. Look closely and you can see how close the rear wheel is to the seat tube. I could really feel how quick it was when mashing on the pedals; it just moved. I got this bike to be my "beater" bike. You know, the bike that you dont care if something happens to it? I dont have one of those and it looks like that will continue. This rides to nice to be that bike. The only issue I had (caught it before my actual ride) was when applying the rear brake, the torque from the brake would cause the wheel to hit the left chain stay. My remedy was to take a nut and bolt and place it in the gap between the sliders and the frame and POOF, problem solved. I know this should not happen, but I got it second hand.

If you are looking for a pretty nice frame, give this one a look. This one is a 2009, so I assume the sliding dropouts are fixed on the current models. Pretty funny how things work out. My first SS was a Flight monocog 26er ss in the non ferrous version.

So my problem doesnt seem to have a cure. I tried more cowbell, but that just made me dance. I tried listening to The Cure, but that just made me sad in a good way. So, I will continue to ride and collect. Look at it this way, the more I collect, the more ideas you will have for purchases. Think of me as a free ss consultant.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Catching up with my previous passion

Well, I decided to break out the drawing utensils and put them to the test. I havent done a pencil illustration in about 15 years. So how better to throw an anniversary party than to do a quick portrait of my oldest daughter. Well, this was drawn from a photo when she was 9. Portraits are the most difficult when they are family members just because you know every shape and curve and any deviation from that sticks out like a soar thumb.

Freehand drawings are super difficult because you have nothing to go by other than your eyes and being able to transfer that without anything but, well your eyes. I dont ever use projectors or grids or anything. Anyway, off to visit the sandman and dream of another day where I draw something else...maybe someday.

Monday, February 4, 2013

I thought I was done with School?

I am 45 years old, 3 kids a wife and work full time...time to go back to school. Well, not that kind of school. I have been to Park Tool School and recently to level 1 fit school.

It has been a great experience to go to some of the different vendors such as Sram, Cane Creek, Park Tool, FSA, Fox and Mavic. They all offer unique and not so unique products. It was a great opportunity to catch up with some of the people behind the products, too. Ed at Sram is one of the best out there for sure; just a great guy to sit and chat with.

Getting a chance to rebuild Fox and Rock Shox forks to keep the skills sharp makes for a great opportunity to share and learn knowledge from and with others. Of course, you cant discount the schwag either. T-shirts and hats from Sram and a very cool headset toolkit from Cane Creek. I love seminars...

Today I spent time with Richard Schwinn from Waterford/Gunnar and Chris Nurre from Fit Kit Systems. Lots of knowledge and lots of numbers! I love numbers! I got a chance to meet some cool people from all over the country and swap stories and just good ole fashioned bike banter. I got a free fitting myself and was dialed in pretty close. My saddle height was 5-8 mm off, so not bad. So, I am an official Level 1 graduate. I am going back next year to finish level 2 and 3.

It has been a good year so far in every aspect of my life. Cant wait to see what comes down the road next. Hopefully it isnt a truck driving on the wrong side of the road.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Loyalty...and it isnt mans best friend

What could be better; my logo design at the shop I work for (a tad bit different, but what better advertisement than this) on the back of Ralph's calf.

Ralph is a super nice guy that has bought a few custom bikes from our shop including a Gunnar and Waterford, and some others as well. I have to say that this is THE DEFINITIVE example of customer loyalty without question. I havent yet decided to get my skin poked and stuck by the one thing I fear most, but this makes me feel the dark powers within urging me to take the leap...nah.

This is how you know you are doing things right at any shop. I wanted to tease him and say that  "Wow Ralph, that is freikin' awesome, but what is Sanitation Jello?" Anyway, it is a good thing that he got it on his calf; he is the kind of guy that would be just crazy enough to get it on his arse, and that would be a picture you would not see here.

You Rock Ralph, but this doesnt mean you get free stuff!