Free Your Mind, And Your Legs Will Follow

Monday, April 30, 2012


Im tired. VERY tired. The muscles are sore....still having some numbness in a few fingers. Trying to drink as much water as possible to flush the system and rehydrate. Still trying to think how the hell Mr. Jeremy Kershaw and I did it. We stayed strong and we finished the mammoth known as Trans Iowa. Full recap to come shortly....for now, more food and more rest.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Trans Iowa - Pre Race

This Trans Iowa feels like a very different race than last year. I feel more knowledgeable about the whole experience and learned from last year. I know better on what to pack and what not to pack...know the terrain better and feel like I trained a little bit better this year. I didn't have as many "long" rides this year compared to last year. Around this time last year I had already done a 162 mile ride, and many 100+ rides. This year I have just as many miles but was more consistent about riding. Doing a 70 mile ride one day and a 60 mile ride the next. Riding all through the month of March and commuting all year round I have about 2800 miles going into the monster named Trans Iowa. My fitness feels is just a matter or taming the inner demons that might be the struggle. "Get your head right"

This year seems like a different beast. Last year it was raining a week straight before the race. This left the course totally soaked even though later in the day on Saturday the gravel dried up and those who had past the 1st checkpoint were able to gain a tail wind and some dry...yet hilly terrain. Many were able to finish last year. This year there is a 60% chance of rain scheduled for Friday during the day, a chance of rain Friday night into Saturday morning....freezing temperatures during the evening close to 33-35 degrees with winds out of the NW 15-25 mph. This provides an interesting question regarding the clothing situation. What do you wear....toe warmers, shoe covers, full tights, a heavy jacket?? I'm going to be bringing everything with me in order to test the waters friday night and see what the temperature feels like and gauge it from there...

Also, this year the Slender Fungus plans on relying more so on the convenience stores along the well as maybe the "secret checkpoint"...(because I think it might be a food stop) for our nutrition. Last year we carried a lot more food and water than we needed to and ended up with heavy bikes for 5 hours into checkpoint 1. This burned up the legs....when there really was no reason to do so....we could've refueled at checkpoint why bring all of the extra weight. I am bringing a camelbak type setup just incase at the last minute I decide to carry some water along the route on my back. This would be a simple and easy solution to carrying extra clothing and food when I am used to commuting with a backpack as it is so I know that my body is used to it.

More than anything about this race I love training for it....I love talking with Ari and Giggles about it all winter. Pushing my body into the cold temperatures of the winter commutes just to harden myself up for the spring classic. I love thinking about little details about the race....even though some simple ones are often over looked...and I'm sure I am over looking some of them. This makes this race even tougher because in a sense we are throwing all of our eggs into one basket. This is the biggest race of the year for the Slender Fungus. So, in this sense there can be no failure. Ari and Giggles have to work all throughout the night on thrusday night into friday morning just to get to Grinnell from Syracuse, NY...get a little rest, do all of the pre-race events, then sleep for 4-5 hours if lucky...and then try and conquer a true mammoth of a race! This is a lot on our plates! But, we didn't sign up to back off so easy....we are here to finish this thing! Rain, snow, shine....we will be riding and we will have our sights on finishing this race. I look forward to seeing my good friends!

Yes, its going to be hell out there. There are probably going to be situations and encounters that we weren't planning on... but hell thats life and you have to deal with it. Its all part of this race. You need to be prepared for anything and everything which makes getting ready for this race all the harder. In this sense we are ok. Ari and Giggles are seasoned vets of this race. I have learned a lot from them, as well as other finishers and vets of this race. Thanks to the great DBD for the encouragement and advice on this one. I look forward to riding with Sir Mallory and Mr. Kershaw of Duluth, MN. Iowa is a special meeting place for some very unique of them being the great Guitar Ted. Thanks to him we have another year of riding this great race. We all owe him a great thanks for giving up his own time and money to make this event possible for us riders. Thank you GT and see the rest of you out in IA!

- JB, Slender Fungus

Monday, April 23, 2012

A word of encouragement

 While speaking of the weather this weekend in Iowa

A wise man once said......

"The wind will caress us like our first lover's embrace.  The roads will be Goldilocks just right...ain't that a stinking bitch.  The gravel will sing to us like a choir of angels as our tires spin along clean smooth lines.  The farm doggies will smile and fall back asleep as we pass by.  Our bikes will perform flawlessly.  The road food will taste like a 10-course gourmet meal at Delmonico's in New Orleans.  Our bodies and minds will never tire.  There will be no inner demons, no cramps, no knee pain, no fear, no loathing, no doubts. We will not lose our way."

Thank you Dr. Giggles, it will be a true honor to ride with you this weekend....its been to long my friend. 

S L E N D E R   F U N G U S       gettin under yer skin

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sunday Training Ride

The bonk king taking a rest and eating some salt

The Gunnar very close to its TI setup, adding waterbottle cages of course. Going with King Cages instead of the salsa cages

awesome trail

great day for a ride

Headed up to genoa city and  the Wisconsin border

Bobo cruisin the gravel

The bonk king

Went out for a great training ride today. Hit some massive hills in Bull Valley and then loaded all my weight into the frame and seatbags to get an idea of how the bike is going to handle all loaded up. It felt great. The legs were feeling good and Ron, Bonk, and Bob headed up to the WI border on the prarie path and got some miles in. I ended the day with 75 miles and the legs are feeling strong. We just need the weather to hold of out for next weekend and give it hell. Bring it on baby! Full TI post coming in the next day or so. In the meantime the next two days will be spent riding lightly, wednesday is a celebratory day for me and another year of my life, and Thursday will either take the day off or ride lightly. Pack up thursday night and leave early thursday morning with TJ and hopefully Gumby for the gravel roads of Iowa. 

- JB

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

SFCA Tool Line

So custom. The new Slender Fungus line of bicycle tools. Now available in Deer Hunter Orange. Thanks Mike!

Find more Bike Ride in Woodstock, IL

The group ride I went on today along with my 13 mile commute from woodstock this morning. First, "fast" group ride of the year and was fast! There are some very talented riders up here fooooo shoooooooooooo. Had chinese food for dinner, now I'm drinking a Grainbelt provided from my buddy blackbelt bonk king baggio. Cheers!

- Cookie

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Just a few new things

Charlie Farrow's map holder for TI, I have been experimenting with setups.....anyone else racing have any tips? Im thinking just a ziploc or something simple

The gunnar got a cleanin'. Full overhaul of all of the king hubs and BB, new cassette, chain, brake pads, tires, tubes, bar tape, handlebars, stem, pedals, cleats....and going to be doing different bottle cages other than the salsa cages because you cant get the bottle in at an angle when you are using a frame bag like I plan to at TI

This is a 56cm....I could probably use a 58cm

The new rig. All-City Mr. Pink

Great ride over in Barrington Hills with Bob and Blackbelt Mike. Thanks Mike for the grainbelt...a true buddy!

The front end. Deda newton deep drop traditional bend bars, Thomson Stem, King headset, Sram brake levers, Tektro 538 brakes, lizard skins tape.

The drivetrain is a Sram Red bb30 crank, ultegra chain, look keo 2 max pedals, ultegra front derailleur, dura-ace 7800 rear derailleur, dura-ace downtube shifters, sram 11-26 cassette that I had laying around. I have a Campy chorus seatpost, rolls saddle from my buddy ryan hooked up, some handbuild Chris King wheels, conti 4000 tires

Great shot of Ari....excited to see my good friend in 2 weeks!

The Dr. Giggles. Man, myth, legend....hes gonna be grinning ear to ear like this when he crosses the finish line this year on the new lynskey. Yea baby!

Another pic of the new all-city, very excited for this bike!

Will have a full TI post in the next week with how the training is coming and other updates, only 2 weeks until the big show!

- JB

Monday, April 9, 2012

TI Setup

As per tradition I post goofy pictures of possible Trans Iowa setups....this is the latest....and possibly the greatest.

Saturday, April 7, 2012


Blackbelt Mike and Autism Awareness day....45 miles with him, then 40 after with the racers last weekend.

Gasping for air on a saturday with some mexican food....I can't believe how busy we are

Some fancy cars outside of my apartment

Tour of Flanders get together at the boss' house

New bike for me...

Awesome Gunnar I built with the new Shimano CX70

All is well with me....very very busy at the shop and with training. My goals have been nearly reached for the past three months:

Jan Goal: 500 miles Actual miles: 500

Feb Goal: 800 miles Actual miles: 730

March Goal: 1000 miles Actual miles: 990

Feel good about my mileage and training for trans iowa this year. Have been riding nearly every day as my car has not been working and I am going to sell it and go carless for a while. Took a very light week on the bike this week to let the legs regroup and feel normal again. Next two weeks will be hammering and then another easy week before the big show. Also, bought myself a new bikey...the all-city mr. pink. This bike is awesome and affordable. I had all the parts just needed to get a frame. Its going to be a mix of campy, shimano, and sram and have downtube shifters on it with a sram red bb30 crank....what a freak bike!!! Ill post pictures when its all done, I heard the thing rides awesome. Making final preparations and thoughts for trans iowa. Got all new brake pads, tires, chain, cassette, bar tape, and pedals for the gunnar along with a full overhaul the bike should be flawless. Will be training on the hills in the next two weeks and torturing the legs to prepare, maybe a 150 mile ride fully loaded with gear and some night rides are in order to test the equipment a couple more times. Hope everyone is riding their bikes and smiling. Enjoy this weekend, and happy easter to everyone!

- JB