Sunday, February 28, 2010
This is what thosands of birds looks like
Beautiful Sunday afternoon for a ride, and thats what I did. Met up with Matt and Dave from the shop and we went on a cruise around town exploring the new bike paths and putting some miles on the bikes. We stopped at Matt's house for a water and food refill and saw his mustang in person...looks pretty awesome. I then cruised home around the lake like I have been doing and saw thousands of birds swarming around the lake. My girlfriend and I had noticed this days earlier and it is a crazy site. Literally thousands of birds circling and sitting in the lake...you can hear them from miles away. So, 35 miles for the day....about 110 miles for the week. Happy with that. Here's the breakdown.
Tuesday night - 1:00 hour on the rollers
Wednesday - 20 mile commute
Thursday - 25 mile road ride
Saturday - 25 mile commute / ride
Sunday - 35 mile chiller
Now, I need to do a ton of laundry and start the routine all over again.
Saturday, February 27, 2010
The route home, some gentle hills and turns
West Lake Shore Dr.
Commuted into work again today. It feels great to be putting some miles on the bikes and stretching the legs out. I have been doing a commuter loop around lake Springfield and so far it has been really cool with little traffic, nice gentle hills, and some cool roads. 70 miles for the week so far and gonna ride tomorrow and hopefully get the total over 100 miles for the week. I believe 42 degrees out tomorrow so hopefully that should feel nice and warm with a little sunshine compared to what we are used to. Get on your bikes.
Friday, February 26, 2010
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Megan will laugh at me
The commute this morning started with 4 degree windchills and temperatures not much higher. The hands were immediately cold and the wind was howling. The mariachi remained stable and will be my winter bike for the remainder of the cold weather. The temps are supposed to be in the 40's this weekend so that will be awesome. To comment on some awesome products: the Polar insulated water bottles do really well in cold weather and supposedly warm weather (who rides in that?), the headsweats fleece lined beanie was remarkably warm in the frigid temperatures, and if you don't ride a Brooks saddle you should. The work day flew by as laughs were shared by Mateo and I, and the temperature warmed to an astounding 9 degrees with windchill for the ride home. The ride was good, legs felt worked, had a tailwind, and I stayed warm for the majority. A warm shower felt great....and my girlfriend brought me home some awesome pasta and garlic bread, and will laugh at the picture of the mariachi because she thinks I take way too many pictures of my bikes....which, I have a counter question...can you ever really take too many pictures of your bike?? Keep your cocksickles warm.
Monday, February 22, 2010
Cool Salsa Photography
Pizza LUCE....best pizza in the world.
The scratch and dent haul of 2010
Drinking whiskey with the Surly guys
QBP wheel builder spokes
Salsa skewer orgy
The Rohloff internals....I honestly don't even know
Sick Ridley Cross
Scratch and Denter
All-City SS Cross
Dave's Arrowhead 135 Pug setup
Salsa's new adventure line
Frostbike 2010 has come and gone. As usual February means frostbike time. I drove to DeKalb to meet up with the NCC boys and we hit the road around 1 pm. Tobie slayed the roads and we made it to St. Paul in about 5 hours...where we explored grand street and got some italian food for dinner. We made it to the hotel and within five minutes we were in the hot tub relaxing from the long drive and stress/cold of the winter training rides. A drink of whiskey was shared at the bar and we headed to bed for the early start on saturday. The next morning we got up and rolling and arrived to QBP headquarters around 8 am. The anticipation of the scratch and dent sale was felt with everyone waiting in the crowd. The doors opened at 8:30 am and the rush began to see what was available. I grabbed a box of 8 nitto noodle bars for the NCC boys while Tobie grabed a Salsa Dos Niner and Ari grabbed a Salsa Big Mama. The deals were amazing and the men were pleased. The wandering started shortly after and we gradually made our way through the show. The wonderful people at QBP and all of the vendors were extremely nice, helpful, and knowledgeable. The men at Surly invited us up to their office to have some drinks and hangout. The evening started with the Surly guys giving us throwing stars to throw at a book shelf in their office. They poured us glasses of Maker's Mark and we toasted to a great weekend. We got to tour the QBP factory on our own and explore the dream builder, shock treatment, and wheel house area. Later in the evening we made our way to Pizza Luce with Scott from Salvagetti (the shop phil works at). Laughs, stories, and pizza was shared over dinner including a mashed potato pizza which might be the most delicious pizza I have ever eaten. We headed back to the hotel with full stomachs and let the digestion process start while chillin in the hot tub. We happened to talk with the owner of DZ-nuts (chamois cream). He was a pretty cool guy and we got to learn a lot about his product. Free drinks at the bar were provided from our new friends at Knog...which have completely re-done some of the frog lights and come up with some pretty cool locks, the weiner, the foot long, and the kilbasa....pretty funny company. Sunday morning we headed to the Cane Creek seminar and each recieved free 110 headsets ($150 retail), so that was really nice of those guys to give us their product to try. The fizik seminar was horrible despite making a nice product, we wrapped up with questions for vendors and after Tobie won almost every raffle in the place, hit the road. As usual the drive back was much longer than the drive up and to keep with yearly tradition, the car was full to the brim with bike parts and brochures. Thanks to Tobie, Ari, and Russ for a great weekend, many laughs, and for being "cooool". All the best.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Ari and I at One on One in Minneapolis
Walkin to QBP
Frostbike 2010 is this weekend. This will be my 5th year at the event and am looking forward to seeing the new products and asking many questions to the vendors, maybe attend a seminar here or there. Heading to DeKalb tomorrow night, leaving friday afternoon for MN with the safARI, t-boner, and hellllllmut (aka russkle). Looking forward to a great weekend with some good friends. Hope to get to see Joel while in MN and hit up the yearly Pizza Luce...can't wait!
Saturday, February 13, 2010
This morning I decided to commute to work because the rollers have gotten to my head and I needed to get out on the road. I put the time pedals on the Salsa Mariachi and got rolling. The temperature was about 18 degrees when I left home and I was suprised to find a heavy fog in the air when I left. The freezing fog brought a lot of moisture to my clothes and within the first mile my hands, under two pairs of gloves, were freezing. 5 jerseys and 3 layers of shorts and pants kept the body warm, my hat was pulled down over my hood as far as I could get it, and a fleece neck-liner kept the air warm going to my lungs. The roads were plowed and to my surprise the trail was in good condition as well. Six hours of work flew by with some repairs to do and a visit from the girl friend with some cookies for the shop guys...how sweet!...literally, the cookies were awesome. The ride home was excellent with temperatures a little warmer and some daylight still in the sky. I passed some mountain bikers riding the other way on the trail and said whats up to those guys. Cool to see some other people out riding in the cold down here. I absolutely love my single speed 29'er Salsa Mariachi. The steel is so comfortable on the bike, the 2:1 gear ratio is perfect for the terrain around here and for some long gravel rides, and to this day I don't think there is a more comfortable set up than the Titec H-Bar and Ergon grips, you just don't get better than that. Needless to say, I have a smile on my face right now after the beautiful ride home, thought of riding the El Mar again tomorrow with Mateo on the frozen trails with his Singular, and also looking forward to a fire and some delicious food tomorrow evening. Hope all is well. Peace.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Custom Painted Industry 9's
DA rear wheel
DA carbon wrapped rim, red nips
So, since I have worked at the new shop Wheel Fast....we have seen a lot of high end action. Seriously...all I have been working on are high end builds, custom frames, building wheels, working on the newest of the new components, it has been awesome. Sadly I was told that this was unusual for the shop....but it has been pretty cool to work on this really nice stuff. Recently, we got in a set of industry nine mountain wheels with a custom green paint job to match the green cannondale frame. The rear hub on these wheels has a lot of pauls in it, maybe even more than the Chris King hubs. You can honestly not find a single spot on the rear hub body with any play...unreal. Another cool aspect of the industry nines are the spokes. The spokes for these thread into the hub directly and have the spoke nipple built into the spoke. Also, a set of the new Dura-Ace road tubeless clincher wheels. These are carbon wrapped aluminum rims that form an ultra tight seal with the bead of the tire. The tires we used were Specialized road tubeless tires and the bead was REALLY tight....pumped up to 90 psi felt like 120 psi, it was crazy. All together for the wheels, skewers, and tires they weighed in at 5 lbs....crazy light! The design of the rear hub body was also really cool. Enjoy.
The Phil Wood eccentric BB is awesome on the gryphon. The Mr. Whirly cranks came in for Matt's gryphon and they fit beautifully on the bike. The black paint job and BB cups matched the other black components on the bike. This crankset is an extremely versatile piece of engineering. There are three different spindle lengths, many different spider options, and will fit just about any bike that you can think of. We got these puppies working with a 110 BCD 10 speed rings with more of a mountain style setup on the singular. Matt has a 48/34 in the front and i think a 12-36 in the back. Think about that for a second....thats a 34/36 gear ratio for the lowest gear....way past 1:1, that will get you up anything you want to climb in the midwest for sure (Ari still rockin the 34/34 for T.I. ?) If you know of someone with crank problems fitting on the bike, tell them one thing....Surly Mr. Whirly. Ohhh Yeaaaaa.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Once again the snow is upon us. The commuting has been put on hold for another week or so. Last night the midwest was hammered with snow. I know my friends in DeKalb will be taking this opportunity for a great GWT training ride with the studded tires. Riding the rollers 4 days a week has been painful but necessary for the spring training. Here are some rad photos I took of the snow storm.
Monday, February 8, 2010
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Matt with the happy/cheesy smile
Phil Wood BB
Matt (aka the bossman) just ordered his dream-machine. He has been wanting the perfect bike to "do it all" for a long time. And the Singular Gryphon is the perfect bike for the job. In the past year or so there has been a huge push for the 29'er road/gravel bikes and freeroader style riding. The gryphon has an eccentric bottom bracket to accommodate single speed setups, 1x9's, and (hopefully) a full range of gears. I say hopefully because we are currently struggling to find Matt cranks that will work with 110 spacing and a ten speed chainring with mountain bike crank setup. Matt's FSA road cranks rubbed on the frame and did not have a lot of clearance. We ended up ordering some Surly Mr. Whirly cranks to see if they will solve our problems and get Matt rolling. He has a beautiful bike with cream, green, and red color schemes and lacking in carbon (except maybe a 5 mm spacer) which I fully support with this kind of bike. I imagine the bike is going to ride great and suite Matt's needs for going anywhere and doing anything. Check out Singular's full line of bikes and some more info on the company. Enjoy.
On Wednesday I ended up getting all bundled up and making the commute to the shop. The round trip commute is about 20 miles (10 there, 10 back) and is half bike path, half road. The bike path runs along a railroad track and is nicely paved. Also, there are some mountain bike trails directly off of the bike path that I look forward to exploring as the weather warms up. The bike path also hits a couple cool spots next to a lake and through some cool wooded areas. Hopefully, when the weather breaks I will be commuting 5 days a week.
Monday, February 1, 2010
Bike friendly roads
Thirty degrees felt warm
Sunday I got out for about two hours on the Casseroll and cruised around, it was sunny and the thirty degree weather seemed decently warm compared to what we have been having down here. The legs felt pretty sore when I was done and just felt good to be outside riding instead of the boring hours on the rollers.