Monday, August 16, 2010

close to the end-o-summer

and i for one am glad to se it go. i've whinged enuf about all the various ways it sucked, so let us say i am looking forward to what comes ahead.

but, one last lookback at a sweet last dad-girl bonding ride, before she heads off to school. fitty one miles ( the luckiest number in bike racing, and my racing age next year when i git back on it . . . . ). beautiful first day of the cool breezes after the insane heat, too. also had 2 most cool unexpected friends stop by, one we hadn't seen in 12 years or so, and another for only months, but too long nonetheless.

so, bye bye girl !! daddy will miss you. we found a favorite ride-spot for a pic - not many door cty non-locals have seen this spot-o-interest - a gate of a most ominous and eerie nature tucked away in a wood of a seriously enchantedish threatening demeanor. i would tell you what is behind it, but i we woulda had to have looked back there to know . . . . . . . and i ain't going and MK damn sure ain't. vampires, most likely. perhaps witches, and possibly both.

Friday, August 6, 2010

there is only one story this week

and that is the uncovering of surfin turf skatepark, in greenfield. i guess a road project took down the old building and LO !! contrary to rumour, the bowls were still entirely intact ( with a couple extensions missing. then, it picked up some press, teevee coverage, and a ton of guys with shovels dug out the smallest bowl.

only to have the powers that be knock the gravel back into it.

at this point the future is uncertain. i hear the roadway is NOT going over the site, so there is hope. this spot should be saved. it was one of the last great skateparks built before the bowlriding bust came ( due to insurance, land values, and other factors ). while small, some of its features were among the best ever built - and the park can hold its own among any mention of the best parks of all time. . . . marina del ray, cherry hill, getaway, you name it. to this day, the construction techniques used are a bit of a lost art, and the transitions and smoothness of the place is not felt in modern offerings.

letters are being written, and support sought with the biggest players in action sports. in cycling terms, this would be like uncovering a velodrome in NYC where major taylor once raced. god. i hope they do not blow this one. it's a one-time chance to restore a legendary and completely irreplaceable spot for everybody.

youtube " santa cruz streets on fire ", and witness. that was almost 20 years ago. this place rules.

Monday, August 2, 2010

what, no unicorns ??

so, with my new firm resolution in mind, i set out for some ridin. a friend noted to me that jesse lalonde kick-started his fitness by winning the duo class at 24-9. i decided on a SLIGHTLY more modest approach to my own comeback effort, however.

above we see a small portion of the famed "bianca strada" of door cty, discovered by russell, and now a staple of every 50 mile ride outta town. i rounded up two suitable training companions, MK ( who has also been slacking off the bike for a year, albeit with far better reasons ) and - just in case MK has gotten back into shape without me knowing and thus likely to crush me - a raw beginner 20 y/o daughter of a friend of ours, who is also a D-1 heptathlete. first order of business was adjusting the heptathlete's new trek into ridable shape after the pathetic - nonexistant, really - job stadium did when they they sold it to her. talkin a saddle height 2 inches too low, etc etc. . . . . . sigh.

anyway, we headed up to see if those butterflies pictured above were still hanging out on the bianca strada, and to peer deep into the surrounding enchanted forest for unicorns. it was a fine ride indeed.

but - lemme just say - i still have no real idea what a heptathlon is . . . . . except to note that whateverthehell it might be, it leaves 20 y/o participants of it in crazy-good shape !! ill-fitting and dorked out trek aside, that girl was hammering. and, once we got her hooked onto the whole wheelsucking thing, she was smiling that smile that comes from experiencing the cool dynamic of a sweet road ride, on sweet roads, with everybody lookin out for each other for the very first time. she and MK are goin out for more this week ( the old man's job is done ).

ironically, after that we entertained the original founder of stadium bike for the eve - and reminiced about the days when that shop ( nowadays it is a store, not a shop ) was the most happenin around by far. how things change . . . . .

Thursday, July 29, 2010

retire, or reinvent

so, the question arises - do i keep this blog goin, or just let it fade away? obvious choice is the latter. but, a couple things have popped up to make me reconsider.

ya know, there is an old joke/sterotype amongst guys who finally realize that they not athletes, but instead old-guy-hobbyist racers. seems like after you reach a certain age, every year there is some guy who is newly divorced, and he's a freaking holy terror. leaned down, eating like a caveman, working out like he is on garmin slipstream, new bikes from the money he stashed from the wife, and pissed off to no end about all the rest of his money the ex got in the settlement. we've all seen him. guys like me - more or cruising along, very happily married, other stuff on our minds . . . . how we gonna compete with newly-divorced-guy ?

then, i have my awful year of riding to look back on. work issues kept me off the bike all spring, and into summer. big trouble getting back on the bike once outta the routine, complete loss of any remotest sense of shape i might have had, and at age 50 the very very real possibilty that once gone - it ain't coming back, period. don't laugh - at my age, it happens.

and now, my beloved strong frame and blacksheep fork might well be toast after being rear-ended on the back of the van.

i think that last thing is the final motherf*cking straw. i'm pissed. that bike is gonna be either fixed by the best tig-welding framebuilder on earth, or i will replace the thing. till then i'll ride on whatever rolls, but i gonna ride. i am gonna look back at this past BS season like recently-divorced-guy does the shafting he took in court. i am gonna saddle up, kimosabe, and ride. when winter comes i will XC ski till i collapse ( my refurbished rollerskiis are on the way . . . ), and i will march-hero next spring like it is 1999.

and i am gonna write about it. give it another year. yeah blogs ar so 2002, but i am lightyears more irrelevant that that on my best day, so who cares? will it be entertaining ?? dunno. but, i have been bouncing around a few cycling topics that seem to resonate ( read, annoy ) some people, and a few that some people actually agree with me on. i'll throw those in too. recently-divorced-guy best get on it, cuz this past season was worse for me, than him - and i was probably a lot worse person than he was to begin with - so next season we can have it out. i imagine i will tick some people off, already have, in fact. don't care.

it's a shame it took some a-hole wrecking one of the coolest bikes around to get my ass moving, but i can get another one, and it'll be just as cool, believe me. and in the meantime, my ass is moving again.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


my strong 29er SS frame is now a wall decoration. probably the blacksheep ti fork, too.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

hiding in plain site

when is the last time you saw a sugino cycloid chainting, in aluminum, in mint shape ?? trick question - unless you have invaded my secret basement vault where i have them stashed in the lab - you very likely have not. here we see the pristine and enigmatic ring monted up, ready for MK to jump back into racing after foolishly frittering away her 18th year doing schoolwork during her freshman year of college. ha !! here comes the pain.

noneof which gets to the heart of the matter - that being . . . .why on earth use a sugino cycloid chainring for ANYTHING, let alone a race-going bicycle ?? well, i have my reasons, and indeed like most of my reasons they are neither shared, understood, nor agreed upon by anybody. i used to tell the child the ring was a secret weapon, but long about age 12 she asked " dad, if our secret weapon was laughed off the face of the earth by everybody 20 years ago . . . . . is it really a secret weapon ??? "

funny kid. gotta admit, kinda smart, too. more like her mother every day.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

well, THAT was cool.

i have been racing mtn bikes more or less consistantly ( this year less . . . ) in WI for over 25 years straight. lookin back - not gonna lie - that year lemond won the TdF and then lined up a month later with us hacks to race the cheq40 in the mud was a pretty good weekend for WI mtn biking. B-U-T this past weekend at mt morris is without question a close runner up.

i think the best part was the story that the ever-classy Mrs Peters was telling. she watched the pro race with a racer outta texas' dad. this race-dad and kid have been hitting the natl race scene. and, the dad was stunned by the turnout of crazy cheeseheads. in particular, he noted that not only were the crowds the biggest and by FAR the loudest of any mtn bike in the country - he had never ever seen the ear-splitting roar that came for every local pro, as they looped around the course. he was dumfounded, and had to ask Mrs Peters " what IS that ?? "

WI is the best state in the usa in which to XC race a mtn bike. always has been, and still is. huge thanx and shout-out to don E, for letting a few more people than us know it. man, i hope he brings it back.

the other funny thing that happened was the look on MK's face, after being duly impressed by the pro racing scene and style when we reminded her of where she comes from. a little over 20 years ago, in the heyday of the sport, her MOTHER - then riding as a regional expert for suntour-ibis - could pretty much hang in the lead pro bunch . . . . . well OK lets say for 2/3rds of the race or so. those were the days !! when the girl asks . . . ." what happened ? ", we get to say - she stopped racing like that to have you. it was cool to see her comprehend what that meant.