sometimes you have to stop and smell the chamois butter

Monday, January 31, 2011

diggin' it

Things have a way of fouling up perfectly good days-like poop water percolating up through your driveway.   So the past couple of days have been devoted to curing a rather stinky problem.

A grand amount of shoveling has taken place in the last few days.  I'm sorry to report that it was not to build and sculpt a pump track on the back forty.  It was the mere excavation and filling in of the busted poop-pipe. 

Good times, I tell you.  But not to let the real world outdo the wheel world, I got out for a little pedal out to Bar M and around.   It was a beautimus day to be out, even though it wasn't sunny and perfect.
The bike path is melted off nicely as well as most of Bar M.  It's still a little soft though, and the single-track definitely needs some time.  All in all, it totally kicks ass that I was able to get out today and not turn into a poopsicle.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Saturday spin

Another Bluebird day here in Moab.  This time of year you have to make the best of the good weather, so I took one for the team and went riding, again.  Headed out to Arches through the back door today.  Thank goodness it was so freaking nice out, because the amount of unruly sand I encountered attempted to break my spirit.  But I embraced hiking in carbon soled shoes and shot some photos.  How about that sky.  

Friday, January 28, 2011

friday spin

Friday's temps crept up in the 40's and wanting to do something a little different, I decided to head out Cane Creek rd.  I ended up feeling a pretty decent so I cruised up to the top of Hurrah pass.  It was a spectacular day and I'm glad we got the busted sewage pipe dug up in time for me to pedal for a while.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

what's the view from your bike path

Them there's the La Sal mountains.  They were named so because the founders were sure they were covered in salt.  That's a lot of margaritas.

I like this culvert.  It's a drainage under the bike path on the north side of Arches Natl Park.  From down here there is a cool view down a little canyon.

De Rosa - t.i.c.h.

Iconic frame builder to the stars, Ugo De Rosa was born on 27 January 1934 in Milan, Italy. 
A passion for bicycles that started in his early years, Ugo dabbled in racing in the amateur ranks before realizing that he was more interested in the vehicle itself.  His first job, he worked for his uncle assembling and repairing bikes.  In the early fifties, he opened his own shop dedicated to the manufacturing of racing bicycles.  In 1958 he was approached by Raphael Geminiani, to build a frame for the upcoming Giro d' Italia.  Knowing that a star of the pro peloton astride one of his bikes could quickly bring him credibility, De Rosa delivered.  This was just the beginning of an amazing legacy.  In the early sixties he provided frames for the powerful Faema squad.  Gianni Motta approached him in 1969 to become his frame builder and mechanic for the Sanson team.  Then in 1973 he was approached by none other than Eddy Merckx to build frames and wrench for the legendary Molteni team.  The results were unprecedented as Merckx and his teammates won nearly all the major races including the Tour de France, the Giro d'Italia, Milano-San Remo and the World Championship.  He continued to work for Molteni until Merckx's retirement in 1978.  And as if it weren't enough to have the great Merckx on his bikes, he added Francesco Moser (Filotex, later becoming Sanson) and Roger DeVlaeminck (Sanson) to his roster.
As the 1980's approached, De Rosa's sons started to show interest in the business. The timing could not have been better as the demand for De Rosa bicycles skyrocketed in the eighties as De Rosa had entered new markets for the first time including the United States, Russia, Japan, Belgium, and Germany.  Then in the 90's they begin to explore other frame materials.  Three years were spent on the development of their Titanio frame with fantastic results.  Today the De Rosa family continues to build the finest bicycles they know how to while constantly searching for ways to improve their product.
Here is a quote from Ugo about his history.
"It may happen that the memories of fifty years of a lifetime in cycling build up and become confused with one another. But there are some that are unforgettable for their intensity, emotion and satisfaction. All these memories are linked with champion cyclists. Like Raphäel Geminiani, whom I met in 1958 and who immediately wanted me as a mechanic in his team. Or like Van Looy, the king of fast finishes. Like Gastone Nencini, the never-forgotten “Yellow Cloud”. Or like Gianni Motta, elegant in the saddle. Like Eddy Merckx: a champion par excellence, on the cycle and in life, Eddy was so scrupulous that sometimes he might seem capricious. How many sleepless nights, for Eddy…but how many satisfactions! After that came many more, thanks to Moser, Argentin, Berzin, Gonchar, Vainsteins, Casagrande, Baldato, Pellizzotti...and all those champions who have ridden or are still riding my bicycles. And whom I group together in a symbolic photo to commemorate their and our successes."
So today we celebrate a legendary craftsman of the cycling world.
Buon compleanno Ugo De Rosa!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

what did you just call me?

TOE BAGS.  Not to be confused with Ho-Bag.  Two things, related only by sound.
Here is how I imagine the chorus would go.
Welllll,     i wouldn't stick my toe inna Ho-bag,
but to keep 'em warm,
i'd stick'em in some toe bags
give 'em a try o why would i lie.
So yeah, toe bags for riding, I'd say I'm a big fan.  I've been struggling with foot warmth while riding for many years now.   I discovered these little plastic beauties a few years back.  My toe covers were blown out from walking on them, and I needed a solution stat.  Well low-and-behold after some pontificating, I reached into our ever-overflowing cabinet of plastic bags and containers that we "might need for something" and pulled out a pair of toe sized sacks.  I quickly chewed and swallowed my words about not being able to throw anything away, they didn't taste that good.  I compiled a list of features of the piggy warmers in my mind as I examined them.  Thin, light, cheap, replaceable, recyclable, wind blocking, and the crowning part of the whole toe baggie system, is sometimes you have to finish the yummy contents of the bag in order to use it.  My personal favorite is the pre-ride peanut butter filled malt balls.

  I've been experimenting with the temperature range of these guys.  I just finished a road/dirt ride in 39 degree temps and went double bag.  I stomped around in some snow for a while, getting my heel a little damp, but my toe digits were fine and dandy, even on the downhill over 30mph.  I'm usually pretty happy down to aboot 32 degrees with the double.  Single bag, you might want it to be closer to 50 degrees.  Again they are super thin, so doubling up doesn't cramp your toes style.  And since they are inside your shoes, you don't have to worry about trashing them when you walk around.  You can usually find them in the bulk section of foods at you preferred local market.  I've also seen them on the road at truck-stops/convenience stores.   Give them a shot and hopefully you'll have happy foot digits.

death and birth - t.i.c.h.

Kirkpatick Macmillan, a Scottish blacksmith thought to have invented the first pedal bicycle, died on 26 January 1878.  Inspired by a "hobby horse" passing by his shop, he decided he could produce a wheel that didn't require pushing off the ground with the feet.  He set to work and completed his machine around 1839.  Propelled by a set of connecting rods from crank to wheel,  it was set in motion by a horizontal reciprocation of the pedals.  Made from wood and iron, the machine must have been a beast to ride.  Nevertheless, Macmillan mastered his wheel and took regular jaunts around the countryside.  Wanting to expand his exploits, he made a 68 mile journey, that took him the better part of two days.  Upon his arrival in Glascow, a crowd gathered around his wheel.  Macmillan feeling overwhelmed, fled the crowd and knocked down a little girl in the process.  He was hauled off to jail and later released after he explained the situation and payed a five schilling fine. 
He never thought to patent his idea or cared to make any money from it.  So as you can imagine, his idea was copied in 1846 by Gavin Dalzell.  Dalzell blabbed about his invention so much over the next 50 years, that he is widely credited for it's invention.  Kirkpatrick Macmillan was unaffected by his inventions popularity, preferring to spend his days quietly in the countryside.

Francois Faber, the first foreigner to win the Tour de France, was born on 26 January, 1887.  Nicknamed The Giant of Colombes, for his 6'1", 200 lb stature. After several attempts at the Tour de France, he finally came out the victor in 1909.  The 1909 race- dogged by rain, snow, mud, frost and deeply rutted dirt roads-saw 50 riders drop out in six days.  Faber dominated the race, winning five straight stages (a record that still stands today), and appearing to ride better, the worse the weather got.  In his last and most dramatic stage win of the 1909 TDF,  Faber endured riding through potholes and knee-high water before being blown off his bike by wind twice and getting knocked down by a horse.  Finally, approaching the last kilometer, he broke his chain and had to run the final stretch. 
Faber competed in a total of six TDF's, winning 19 stages as well as taking a victory in the 1913 Paris-Roubaix.
He met his untimely death during the first World War, shortly after receiving a letter that his wife had just given birth to his first child.

Monday, January 24, 2011

ORG to put on your radar
World Bicycle Relief was founded by SRAM Corp. and Trek Bikes in 2005 and supported by many individuals, foundations and corporations.  Their mission is to provide access to independence and livelihood through the power of bicycles.
The idea of the bike being a more efficient means of transport drives World Bicycle Relief.
Simple sustainable mobility in the form of a bicycle multiplies a person’s effort and efficiency with improved access to healthcare, education and economic development, especially when compared to the alternative of walking.
Healthcare: Brings healthcare to patients and patients to healthcare.
Education: Brings educators to the field and students to schools.
Economic development: Sustainable mobility is a fundamental requirement in all economic systems. Bicycles multiply an individual’s efforts by:
  • Bringing goods and services to markets;
  • Enabling workers to get to jobs or find better jobs;
  • Fueling an individual’s entrepreneurial drive – entire businesses can be run off the back of a bike. 

A donation of 134 bucks will provide a single bike, empowering an individual and in turn, helping family and community.  WBR has a great website (most of the info above was copied from it) that outlines everything they've done and all the places they've helped.  Check 'em out!

man shed in photo

Sunday, January 23, 2011

trek 660 - lugged steel affecting and connecting

I just wasn't the same without her.  People could tell.  Something had to be done.  I had a handful of cash from the sale of the aluminum replacement frame.  It felt like blood money.  Like, "hey, I know,  we threw a bag over your girlfriends head and kidnapped her forever, but here's a few bucks to soften the blow."  So I purchased a Quattro Assi to make myself feel better.  It meant "four aces",  but that didn't stop everyone from calling it the ass bike.  Hardy harhar.  Not a full-blown top shelf frame, but nice enough.  It had unique flying buttress lugs, modeled after the buttresses of famed Notre Dame Cathedral.   I suppose the QA was like a transitional girlfriend.  Good enough to be pleasing, but always missing something.
Well that was o.k. because I was about to get bitten by the mountain biking bug.  And after a couple of "boxed" bikes came my next (and perhaps deepest) love, the Fat Chance Yo Eddy.  But that story is for another time, because that frame doesn't have any lugs.
At the same time I was fired up about lugged steel bikes, folks all over town were ordering Paramounts from us because we were a Schwinn shop.  Now this local hair chopper, Rusty Odom (who we called "crusty scrotum" behind his back because it rhymed and we were punkass teenagers), decided to get himself one of those Paramounts.  He rode it for a while and during that time gave one of my buddies the worst mullet hair-cut I've ever seen.  After it sat in his garage for years, he decided to sell the frame/fork and his scissors to a shop-rat kid named Hadji (because he mumbled all the time like Hadji from Johnny Quest).  Well it turns out that Hadji had also owned my Quattro after I became stoked on mountain bikes.  But he crashed it into a car, so he needed the Paramount.  Luckily, Hadji only used it for training and took pretty good care of it.  Then it hung in his parents attic for a while, until I bumped into him during a holiday visit.  He had the frame in his hand and was going to leave it in the shop to sell.  Let me take it and see how she fits, I told him.  The bartering ensued and I ended up getting it for a messenger bag in trade.  He made me promise not to sell it.  Not to worry Hadji.
Now "old yellar" holds the spot where the 660 would be.  All of the old parts from her are now hung on the Paramount.  Bringing together old and new old loves.

hubs and toe clips - t.i.c.h.

First off, I'm blaming the weather.  It got all warm and sunny the past couple of days and it's very distracting.  I've been able to do things like pedal my bike and clean-up dog poo out of the backyard.  Because of all this fun I've been having,  I missed two important birthdays of the sport.
January 22

Way back in the day, like 1889, our boy Henri Pelissier was birthed.  Henri was one of four brothers from Paris, three of which went on to become professional cyclists.  Kinda like the Schlecks, but not really!  Now Henri was skinny as a rail back in his younger years and his friends would call him Ficelle, after the thin french bread (the word also means "string").  A stubborn sombitch, his dad gave him the boot when he was 16 and he vowed to become a pro.   He trained hard and ended up with some 29 career victories.  He took the Paris-Roubaix in 1919&1921, and won the Tour de France in 1923.  His bad temper fueled a long-standing feud with Hernri Desgrange, director of the Tour de France, over crappy pay and rider conditions.  After his retirement, home life was no better, as his wife took her life in despair in 1933.  Then three years later, he cut his mistress on the face during a heated argument.  She proceeded to grab the gun (that his wife had taken her life with no less) and pump five rounds in his ass.  Henri's hot temper was cooled for good.
It's thought that he may be responsible for the esteemed Pelissier hubs.  Or perhaps on of his brothers.  Regardless, the hubs were highly revered for a time.  I can remember an old school weight weenie dude named Laurie "Gram" Grice who had a pair.  "Light as air and smooth as silk."  Thanks Velo-orange for the hub pic.

Now preceding Mr. Pelissier by a few years was another iconic Frenchie.  Eugene Christophe burst out of the womb on 22 January 1885, wearing only a leather toe-strap.  Eugene started 11 TDF's, finished eight, won three stages and got a 2nd and 3rd overall.   He was the first leader of the Tour de France to wear the "maillot jaune" in 1919.  During a historic event in the 1913  Tour de France,  Christophe was descending the Tourmalet when his fork snapped.  After hiking eight miles through the woods, he came upon the next town and found a blacksmith.  Because the rules would allow no outside help, Christophe repaired his own fork and finished the stage.   In the 1910 Milan San-Remo, he earned the nickname "Le Vieux Gaulois" (the old Gaul) after plowing half-frozen through 30 cm of snow to a victory with comfortable lead.   His burliness continues with his 1909-1914, and again in 1921,  reign as French National cyclocross champion.  He is also thought to be one of the forefathers of cyclocross.
AND Christophe is thought to be the inventor of the toe clip.  In 1925 he sold his invention to the Poutrait-Morin company, where he remained Director (and rode his bike to board meetings) until his death in 1970.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

breaking away/little indy 500 - t.i.c.h.

Breaking Away is without a doubt one of the best cycling movies of all time.  I saw it for the first time when I was in high school.  I was chubby, pimply and incredibly enamored with all things cycling.  The scene where Dave Stoller gets in the draft of an 18-wheeler and hits 55 mph before the truck gets pulled by the man, was the coolest thing I had ever seen.  Then there was the scene of Dave hanging with the big Italian team until one of them sticks a pump in his wheel,  and reality set in.  This movie was about much more than cycling.  It was about life and the hardships of growing up.
Dave has a tight little group of homies who are called "Cutters" by the college boys.  Cyril, who is the tall, lanky accident prone one.  Mike, the studly rebel with a good heart buried way down.  Moocher is a small dude who doesn't take shit from anyone.  They all come from similar backgrounds, in that someone in their family was a stone cutter.  Together they wander the streets of Bloomington, picking fights with college boys and swimming in the quarry.  Dave rides his bike everywhere and drives his parents crazy by listening to Italian opera and speaking Italian to them.  He even plays and Italian exchange student to try and lure away the hot girl of the film from her jock boyfriend.  He succeeds for a little while, but then he comes clean and she beats his ass.  The gang starts to crack apart when Mooch announces he is getting married.  Then they find out Cyril is gonna go to college.  Mike is pissed because he seems like the only one with no direction.  Dave himself is considering college.
Then the Little Indy 500 bike race date is approaching.  The boys register as the Cutter's,  hoping this one-last-hurrah will give them pride and bring them closer together.  Knowing that Dave can crush it,they  hope they can rely on that to get themselves some "cred" in town.  Dave gets pissed at some point in the training and walks out.  Then at the last minute he comes to, and the race is on.  Things are going well until Dave eats shit.  They're up against the fence and their lead is dwindling.  They are all cooked and in a last ditch effort Dave gets pissed and has them tape him to his bike.  He gets the eye of the tiger and blows the pants off of the college boys at the line.  What a bitchin' finish!
I could go on for hours about this movie.  The cast did a phenomenal job with the story and I don't think they could have chosen better actors for each part.

Now it turns out that the Little Indy 500 is a big deal on it's on.  The brainchild of Howard S. "Howdy" Wilcox, the Little Indy's first running was announced on January 20, 1951.  It seems as though Howdy was inspired by a 6-day track event near his home.  Being the executive director of Indiana University Foundation,  he was always looking for ways to raise money and a bike race seemed like a great idea.  He put it in the books and it went off with May 12, 1951 with great success.  All of the proceeds go to a fund for working I.U. students.
The race was modeled after the Indy 500 auto race which Wilcox's father had participated in and won in 1919.  Racer's compete in teams of four, in a relay style event that is 200 laps on a quater mile long cinder track.  Thirty-three teams are selected in qualifications trials to compete in the main race.
Special rules for the Little 500 race include:
  1. All riders must use the official Little 500 bike that is provided to them for that year. There can be no toe clips or grips, kick stands, water bottles, air pumps, untaped or unplugged handlebars, or any other add-on accessories.
  2. For the safety of all riders, hard helmets must be worn and buckled at all times, as well as biking gloves.
  3. Each team is required to complete 10 exchanges (5 for the women) during the course of the race.
  4. At the 198th lap (98th for the women), all riders not on the lead lap will be asked to move to the back or exit the pack. This is done so that all teams in contention on their last 2 laps can make their attempt to win the race. Teams which do not comply with this rule are believed to be impeding the progress of another rider and will be given a 5- to 20-second penalty or even disqualification, depending on the severity of the violation.
Little 500 bikes are rather unusual. They are identical, single-speed (46x18), coaster brake racing bicycles with 700c wheels, 28mm tires and flat rubber pedals. The unusual specification originated with the famous AMF Roadmaster bicycles of the 1960s and 1970s, once the sole bicycle type used in the event. There are two different versions of the bike for men and women, with the only difference being frame size. Every year a new version of the specified bicycle type is purchased, with two given to each team. A deposit of $300 must be placed for both bikes. At the end of the season, teams are given the option to keep their race bikes or to return them back to IUSF in exchange for their deposit. Returned former race bikes are kept at the track and rented out to those teams that lack bicycles meeting Little 500 specifications.
A student desiring to participate as a rider in the Little 500...
  1. Must be a full-time undergraduate student enrolled at Indiana University Bloomington Campus during the fall and spring semesters of the year of participation.
  2. Must have a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or better
  3. May only compete up to four times in a five-year period
  4. Must be an amateur
  5. No substance abuse of any type is tolerated. No one enforces this policy, but if caught, the student will not only have to deal with the consequences imposed by the university, but the team will also forfeit its eligibility in the race.
  6. For a team to be eligible, at least one member must attend all race information meetings and turn in the final four cards with the names of the team's riders for that year.
The Little 500 is much more than just the race. There are also several series events associated with the race. These events are held for a few reasons. The first and foremost is for fun. The second reason is so that teams can scout out the competition and get a feel for that year's race field. And the final reason is so that all the members of a team, not just those competing in the actual race itself, can still participate and compete. There are four other series events outside of the race: Qualifications, ITTs, Miss-N-Out, and Team Pursuit.
 The race is still going on to this day with the same rules and regulations.  Very Cool!
Thanks to Indiana U. and Wikipedia for some of that info.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

the bike that started it all

The 1984 Trek 660.  My first two-wheeled love.  Race red lugged 531 frame, italian parts, brooks saddle.  Man she was sweet.  I can remember the first night she spent with me.  It was the beginning of a beautiful relationship.  We would go for long spins in the country.  Exploring the boundaries of wheel and man.  As we grew accustomed to each other, we would go faster and further.  Occasionally she would throw me to the ground, removing some skin, to let me know who was in charge.  Once I left her beside my buddies half-pipe and someone launched a skateboard on to her downtube.  It was painful to watch and I felt as though she had been violated.  She was damaged goods, but still rode fine.  We spent many, many more miles together before her rear dropout cracked.  It was a sad day.  I sent her back to Trek for inspection and I never got to see her again.  They weren't repairing bikes any longer and it got replaced by a god-forsaken aluminum frame.  I can't bare to think of what those bastards did to her.  I daydream about our time together sometimes when I am riding.  If we were still together she would be spending her days here in the dry air of Moab, spinning out her days with upright townie bars and charging down the bike path. 
I think I saw her younger sister on ebay a couple of days ago.  She was just a little too small.  If I ever come across one her twins that has been treated well, I may just have to bring her home.

t.i.c.h. It's a big one!

Remember the times before digital media, when everyone got their news of the day from an actual paper.  No laptop, no ipad or kindle, no booting up and staring at a glowing screen while sipping coffee.  It was just fresh ink on paper with your chosen cup o' the day.  All the news that was fit to print, from local to the other side of the globe.
 Enter a little country called France around the turn of the 20th century.  Interest in cycling was beginning to grow as bikes were becoming more available to the public.  Bicycle races were beginning to pop-up, and newspapers recognized their gaining popularity amongst the populous.  So in order to increase print circulation, the newspapers began to start their own races. 
Le' Velo was a popular French sports paper that was beginning to upset it's advertisers with higher rates.  At the same time there was a division in the country over the "Dreyfus affair".  Le' Velo's editor happened to be on the opposing side of the debate from his publisher, as well as a group of their best advertisers.  Tensions rose from the higher advert prices and the editor, Pierre Giffard, being on the wrong side of the "affair."  Defection from Le Velo was iminent, and finally Compte de Dion, Michelin and Clement pulled out and formed their own paper called L'Auto-Velo. 

As you might guess, this did not sit well with Le' Velo, and they sued the new paper over plagiarism, claiming name infringement.  Le' Velo won the case, forcing the new paper to change the name to L'Auto.  L'Auto, not being the ideal name for a cycling focused paper, put in subheading alerting readers to cycling coverage.  They also decided to print the paper on yellow paper as opposed to Le'Velo's green.
A battle for circulation ensued.   L'Auto was struggling and it's financial backer's were beginning to worry.  L'Auto's editor, Henri Desgrange, with a background in cycle racing and promoting, had hired writer Geo' LeFevre away from Le'Velo to cover cycling.  LeFevre had a grand idea which he pitched to Desgrange.  Why not promote a road race much like the current six-day track races?  Desgrange, after prodding from LeFevre,  gradually embraced the idea and eventually presented it as his own to L'Auto's financial controller, Victor Goddet.  Much to Desgrange's suprise, Goddet approved, recognizing the potential for such great promotional value.
And so, on January 19, 1903, the first running of the Tour de France was announced.  The original schedule called for a five week span, from May31-July 5, to cover the six stages.  The stages would range from 163 to 293 miles, a far cry longer than the current TDF stage.  Unfortunately, with a week to go before the start only 15 riders had signed up.  L'Auto scrambled, shortening and re-scheduling the race to run from July 1-18.  A promise of five francs per day, to the first 50 riders, and a purse of 20,000 francs to the winner was dangled.  Interest grew and a group of 60 riders departed on July 1, 1903 at 3:16 p.m. from the southern outskirts of Paris. 
So today in cycling history, we have a form of media that is quickly dissolving to thank for one of the greatest sporting events to date.

Also of notable mention,  it is my homeboy Ben Hinker's birthday.  He is not rich and famous, but he is known to drag his friends on some epically heinous (yet rewarding) bike rides.  He is as good a friend as anyone could ever hope for and despite his penchant for death-marches, is one of my favorite riding partners!  Viva La Stinky Hinky!  May you have many more my brother.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


On January 18, 1896 a French military officer named Henry Gerard applied for a patent for the first folding bicycle.  Although the credit for the "first" is somewhat debatable, as an American named Michael B Ryan filed a patent two years earlier.  But leave the French to not be outdone.  Captain Gerard had a wealthy French industrialist named Charles Morel in his pocket, whose company bankrolled production.  The bikes were used by the French military for reconnaissance. 
While I can see the value of a folding bike in the city, it doesn't stop me from cringing when I see one.  I just can't help but associate them with clowns and circus freaks for some reason.  Maybe it's the little wheels and the fact that the only thing they do well is fold.  Give it up for the creepy folding bike!

Next up is a couple of birthdays.
Peter Van Petegem is a retired Belgian rider who was born on this date in 1970.  He won the Tour of Flanders  twice, 1999 & 2003 and the Paris Roubaix in 2003.  He also stood on the podium twice during the World Championships.  Way to go Pete-squared!

Also born today in 1979 was Norwegian rider Thor Hushovd.  Aptly nick-named "God of Thunder",  Thor chooses to use his legs instead of a hammer to smash his competitors hopes to bits.  Thor is the first Norwegian to win the World Champion jersey(2010).  He also won  the classic Ghent-Wevelgem in '06.  He is perhaps most notable for his sprinting power, taking the points jersey in the '05 & '09 Tour de France and the '06 Vuelta a Espana.  Today Thor's parents are toasting the fact that their child has not turned out to be a classical oboe player, which just wouldn't have carried the name as well.  Gratulerer med dagen Thor!!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

and also of note

Today winter has finally loosened it's death-grip on Moab and I was able to get out for a pedal.  It felt mighty nice being able to ride outside without old-man-winter's cold stinky breath blasting icicles at me.  I've been cursing the weather for a solid three weeks and searching for my inner-Belgian.  I'm pretty sure my inner-Belgian would rather be pissed drunk on some dark ales, but I've managed to drag him on a few roller sessions. 
But we all know riding outside is much better on your constitution.  And today it allowed me to test drive a couple of new pieces of gear.

Woolistic makes bitchin' old school wool jerseys that, to date, I have been at a loss to find anything negative to say other than purchasing one will make your wallet very sad.  Let us look past the price tag for a moment.   First off, this little beauty is made of wool.  Wool is a natural fiber, it's warm(even when wet), and it doesn't stink after six rides.  And, wool doesn't feel like plastic.  Now let's get to the aesthetics.  I know what you are saying,  jeesums that thing is yelloooo.  Yes it is, but look in the middle.  There it is in big ole letters "WOLF".  Now I ask you, what would instill fear into your fiercest competitor like the word WOLF in their face set on a blood-red background.  Yep, that red stripe ended up on your jersey when you and your new-found fangs were out eviscerating the competition.  And you see those two axes on the sleeve(also drenched in blood), that's just to finish them off and turn their bikes into a piles of mangled carbon.  Let's face it, this jersey is both stylish and menacing.  And to be quite honest, I hope I never do a ride where another person is wearing the WOLF, because things could get quite ugly.
Last up is my new cap.  I made it myself from a pattern I found on the inter-web.  I chopped up a scarf I paid a buck for at the thrift shop, and used a kleenex box for the brim.  It fits real nice, keeps my noggin' warm and it don't look half bad.

t.i.c.h. Jan. 17

Today we give it up for birthday boy Don Myrah, who was born back in '66.
Don's list of accomplishments is full of ass-kicking.  A win at the 1989 Inaugural MTB XC World Championship whilst riding for Tom Ritchey is a good place to start.  He then proceeded to win the Elite Cross Nationals a total of four times, before landing one of two spots on the '96 Olympic MTB team.  Word on the street is that he is back after 10 years of couch surfing, and you guessed it, is throwing down some heat in the 'cross world.  Nice work Don - way to bring that beat back!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

mini dromes

Amidst a bunch of hubbub, the Red Bull Mini Drome Championship was held in London last night.  Heralded as being the "smallest velodrome in the world", I think Red Bull should probably watch their backs and look up some history.

"Circulus" is a 132-foot circumference wooden velodrome that was a senior thesis project by a California art student.  The project was temporarily on display at a library, but has been purchased by Portland Design Works and will be moved to their HQ in Portland.

And our last contender is a photo from back in the day.
Hmm, suspicious. Seems everything old is new again.