Monthly Archives: December 2011


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Yesterday was long. I’m feeling pretty bad. I’m not sure if that is because I spent 3 hours at the dentist again, taking antibiotics for 6 days or racing 3 cyclo-x races, with 2 being pretty epic. Whatever the reason, I’m beat. I rode 3 hours yesterday and didn’t hardly go anywhere. So, I’m going to rest and wait it out I guess and try to catch up on some stuff I’ve been putting off.

I started messing around trying to get another scooter up and running for motor pacing. It went pretty good. I have two more Honda Elite 150 Deluxe scooters. Both are from 1986. I bought one in Minneapolis and one in St. Louis a few years ago. One has 700+ miles and the other a little over 2000. Pretty crazy low mileage for both. Both run. One was missing a gas tank and the rear brake light and a few other parts, but I have most those by now.

The problem is that neither came with a title. So, I have to figure out how to register them and get them retitled. Both the guys I bought them from we not scooter thieves. They just hadn’t had the scooters running forever and didn’t have the titles. I’m not sure how to go about getting a tag, but I’m sure I’ll figure something out.

Today I’m going over to a friends house and starting to put a rubber roof on his porch. It has a tar and gravel roof now, but it is leaking and he wants rubber. I’m not sure how long that will take. It is supposed to rain by Friday, so I’d better be done before then.

Both my cross bikes are pretty hammered from last weekend. I could hardly turn the cranks on one of the Eriksen’s. It turnout out to be a seized up derailluer pulley. It was a Enduro ceramic pulley. I haven’t had very good luck with either their crank bearings for my Trek road bike or these pulleys. They just aren’t sealed good enough to withstand the elements. Too bad, because they are super smooth.

Okay. I’m making sourdough pancakes for breakfast before I head out. I’ve had this sourdough starter for nearly 20 years now. I thought I lost it once, when the jar exploded in the refrigerator when I had been gone for too long, but I’d given some to Catherine. She had never used it and it was just sitting in the back of her refrigerator. I snagged it back and then gave her some more later. The pancakes are more like crepes, really good. Only pure maple syrup of course.

The two scooters. I like it when the headlights pop out when you turn the key.

These is the one I"m making work right. I put a new speedometer cable in last night.

Pretty low mileage.

I had to go and pick up a friend Nan Gatewood and Trudi yesterday. Nan got this piece of glass in a tubeless tire. I've never seen anything this big sticking out of a tire. It obviously didn't seal.

My dentist, Dr. Johnson is a wizard making crowns . Dentistry has really improved in the last 10 years.

I like the long shadows out riding this time of the year.

And the sunsets. Trudi took this out riding with Bromont at sunset yesterday.



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It never ceases to amaze me how unfit I can be doing movements and being in positions I’m not normally in. You’d think with doing cyclo-x, it would be hard to get sore doing any sort of construction. That isn’t the case.

Yesterday I spent most of the day on a tar and gravel porch roof, preparing it to cover it with rigid insulation and then a rubber roof. It isn’t that big of a roof or project. It’s been leaking, mainly along the flashing. That is always the big problem with flat roofs, leaks along the edges. The sides of the house are covered with 100 year old cedar shingles that are about 3 feet long. It was a time consuming effort trying to remove the bottom course without destroying the shingle above. That is what I am paying for today. Laying on my back in an awkward position for hours, sometimes holding a worm-drive circular saw with my arms extended. Plus I have an enormous amount of saw dust lodged in my sinuses.

Whatever, the results are the same, I’m toast. I have to go back and secure the plastic to cover the opening better. It is supposed to rain/snow all night and be pretty cold. I didn’t ride yesterday and am not looking forward to it today. I’m not use to the cold yet this year. The wind is blowing like crazy, plus it is hardly going to be 40. Maybe MTB bikes before it gets too wet. The only problem with that is my left knee is kind of jacked from Jingle Cross, plus going up an down a ladder a million times yesterday didn’t help much.

Last night was the annual Sunflower Bike Shop holiday party in Lawrence. It seemed kind of early to me, but I think it is normally the first Thursday in December, which happened to be the 1st this year. Here’s a post on it I did a couple years ago. The party was great as usual. Lawrence is a much more progressive city than Topeka. I think all the liberal arts college towns in the Midwest are. Sunflower is the perfect gathering spot for a bunch of interesting and fun people. It is nice that Sunflower gets them together at one time during the year. Dan Hughes, czar, has a megaphone and keeps the reins on the party. There is a ton of swag given away. Tons. I never seems to get anything, but I’m never over in the fray when the throwing begins. Anyway, it was a good night.

I’m not racing this weekend. There are two local races in Kansas City, but I think they both use a BMX course for part of the course and it is going to be extremely muddy, plus cold. I haven’t really recovered from last weekend. My equipment sure hasn’t. I need to get on that today.

Old leaky roof.

The flashing and first course of shingles removed.

Sunflower bike shop last night.

Dan Hughes' belt buckle from the Leadville 100 this year.

It not just a bike shop, it's a full on camping/gear store. I loved this movie.

The pads for sleeping on the ground have really improved since I last shopped.

I liked this hard case for packing your banana on the go.

Fear of Seeming Weird Putting People off Cycling

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I saw this article from The Telegraph that reports an academic study was done in England and the number one concern about commuting to work on a bicycle was the fear of seeming weird.

I think it is a valid fear. Cycling does attract an eclectic personality that is usually not mainstream in normal daily activities and thoughts. So, the mainstream people should have a fear of “going over to the dark side”. And peer pressure, even by peers that you don’t know, is an amazing influence on everyday life. It applies a ton to cycling. And bike racing.

I use can sock height as an example. Cycling socks stayed the same length for the longest time. Typical European cycling socks were mainly a thin wool blend and came about 4 inches up your ankle. That stayed the length for the longest time. The sock had to be white and a proper length. I remember Dave Wiens wearing black socks in MTB races in the early nineties. “Wrong length” black socks. I don’t remember anybody giving Dave much grief in person, mainly because Dave was/is such a nice and genuine guy, but I do remember lots of discussions about how geeky the socks were.

Dave keep wearing his socks through the next decade and we all kept the same, mainly, white socks. Eventually the eclectic aspect of our sport took over and the sock length and colors have gone crazy. The Pros started wearing much longer socks, that extend way higher up the leg. It very easily could have gone the other way. But, a true Pro rider, or pro rider lookalike, wouldn’t be caught dead wearing an anklet type, triathlete sock.

That is the whole thing about trends. I think some of the trends in cycling are created by the athletes themselves, but the majority now, is led by the manufactures. Advertising at it best, making us all think that we need to wear knee socks to compete at the level.

Look at the casual MTB riding attire. Super loose, baggy stuff. I have a couple things from Club Ride, but other than that, I don’t really have any trendy MTB clothing to wear on the local California group ride.

It is so hard to keep up with the fashion trends. As a cyclist, it kind of goes against my grain. I like innovation in gear when it is functional. I don’t really care much about the aesthetics. Maybe that is the reason I don’t really care much about being weird in general.

Typical wool cycling sock from the 70's/80's.

Defeet changed the face of socks with the logos knitted into the socks themselves.

Off subject, the kittens finally discovered the dog door, thus the great outside. Squirrels are their fasination now. Rain is pretty interesting to them too.

Bromont and the squirrels have their routine too.

Beaten by a guy in Jeans

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Yesterday’s post got me thinking about how it is so easy to judge a book by its cover. And about how in cycling, it is so important to not allow yourself to do just that.

It got me thinking of the Iceman Cometh MTB race back in 2003. I had won the race 3 times already, but the competition was better with Ryder Hesjedal coming there. I had pretty good form and thought I had a good shot at winning again. The race is held in Traverse City MI, in November, so it wasn’t that unusual that it snowed a bunch the night before, and morning of the race. Enough that they had to postpone the start a couple hours. By the time we started there was maybe 6 inches of snow on the ground. The race is a point to point race, pretty straight forward, with not that much climbing.

When the Pros finally started, we were riding through fresh snow with no tracks. It was all good until we started getting to the parts with short sand pits. They were buried beneath the snow and completely unmarked. I got ahead by a few hundred meters a couple times by myself and then I would hit deep sand and come to a complete stop and have to dismount and run until I found solid footing. In the meantime, the big group that was still together would come blowing by. Towards the end of the race, I put in a big dig and thought I’d made the winning move. But, no, just a few minutes later I was not moving again in deep, snow buried, sand. Before I remounted my bike, Ryder came blowing past me going fast. By the time I got moving again, Ryder was 300 meters ahead. I got caught by another group and then got twisted up in sand once again. I lost all motivation. I realized that the finish wasn’t far enough away to make up the lost ground.

Anyway, I was riding along somewhere in the top 10, when this guy wearing Levi’s catches me from behind. I’d seen the guy at the start, but didn’t realize he was still in our group. When he went by, I completely lost my shit and about 1/2 my speed. I couldn’t believe a guy in jeans was beating me in a race I’d thought I was going to win.

So, I was riding along slowly into the camp ground, where the race finishes, and just a U-turn ahead of me is Ryder. I was super surprised because I had assumed he had won.

We weren’t in contention, so neither of us were going at any pace. When I rolled across the line I asked Ryder what happened and he told me exactly my story. He was ahead and kept hitting deep sand, that he couldn’t see, and finally got so frustrated he just bagged it. And then he said something about the guy wearing jeans and how that was the last straw.

It is incredible how similar our days were. And our mentality. Winning was the only place that mattered. And it wasn’t happening that day.

I guess the moral of this story is that when everything seems to be going badly for you, you have to assume and hope that it is going just as badly for everyone else. And don’t let someone’s clothing choice dictate your opinion of yourself. I don’t anymore.

When I’m in a race like that now, muddy, treacherous, I check out a guy’s tires first to see if he has something on that is going to allow him to be competitive. If not, I dis-regard him. If so, I make sure I see how he pedals, from behind, to see if he has something that is going to make him competitive. That is usually all I have to do. Of course, there are exceptions to these two things, but this covers about 85% of the people I don’t know personally. And if they pass these two observations, then they are on my radar screen and it doesn’t matter if they are wearing speedos, in the snow. That is all because of the guy in the jeans.

Here's the photo. Dave Walker it is. The internet is amazing. I guess I didn't notice him because I wasn't going in the direction of the course most of the time. Thanks Kentaro Inoue for finding this photo.

The start, I’m on the left. Tristan, a couple guys behind me, won the race. I don’t see the guy with jeans, that is even more depressing.

2003 Iceman-Brent Bookwalter, now BMC honch, on far left with Russ Tiles far right.

A light bulb went on after I rehashed the race over and over again. (Nice photo that Keith Walberg took last night at after dinner coffee.)


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I’ve always liked Floyd. I think he is a pretty genuine guy. Upbeat, fun. I almost missed the start of the race the night before the Pro Criterium Championships one year because I ran into Floyd in the coffeeshop before the race and we lost track of time talking about the Tour and him switching to Phonak. I obviously don’t approve of lots of shit the guy has done, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t enjoy having a beer with him and catching up.

I was up in Idyllwild, CA a few week ago and should have made an effort to track him down. I’m sure if I could have, it would have been a most interesting time. Next time I’m up there I’m going to make it a point of trying to catch up with him. Idyllwild isn’t that big of a town, so it couldn’t be that hard.

Anyway, I saw this article last night about how WADA’s current director general said that the allegations that were made by Floyd, that the UCI and the Swiss Lab that tested Lance were corrupt and were bribed, could be true. It is pretty unbelievable the guy would say that. He must have some information that isn’t public.

I haven’t been following the Floyd thing that closely. Maybe nothing new has happened, so I’m up to date. But this is new news. Important news. The UCI, etc. is so fucked up. I can understand weird stuff happening under the radar. Times change and thus, the environment surrounding things that were once overlooked and now aren’t accepted, is much different. But when you get caught with your hand in the cookie jar, don’t lie. You don’t necessarily have to blab your guts out, but you look so stupid and so much more dishonest/corrupt if you lie.

I’d like to know where that lawsuit that the UCI is filing against Floyd is right now. Supposedly it was filed months ago, but the last I heard, Floyd couldn’t find any lawsuit filed against him. Another good rule, don’t make a threat when you have no intention of following up on the threat. If you make a threat, be sure you have the goods to enforce it.

Floyd is now going to try to get into driving race cars. He might have a talent in that, he was incredible good handling his bike on and off-road. I’m not sure what it is about guys that win the Tour wanting to drive race cars? I don’t have much desire to do that, but I never even raced the Tour. I wouldn’t mind riding a really fast motorcycle though. From the video, Floyd looks like he is in training to be a Nascar driver!

Below is a long interview with Floyd. It is pretty interesting. I saw it a while ago. He doesn’t sound like he is making shit up. It all sounds pretty true, but I think time will have to sort most of that out. If you have a little time, maybe just watch it for a bit.

Anyway, it is going to be interesting how the UCI responds to this statement by the David Howman,the director general of WADA. Maybe it going to upset them and then they are going to have to do something really rash, like threaten him with a lawsuit. Scary, scary.

Floyd being Floyd in San Fransico. Tim Johnson is the guy in the Saturn jersey to Floyd's left.