Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Bicycle Art Show in Durham

The esteemed Nicomachus has an exciting announcement over on his site today. He's put together a collection of biking-related photographs from Durham past and present, and will exhibit them at the Upfront Gallery on Foster Street March 7th to 28th.

Here's a copy of the announcement:

There's also a great little tag from the website: "Anyone who rides in the Thursday March 6th Critical Mass is invited to a preview of the show following the ride." What do you say we make it a Bull City Cycling event?

Easy B's new ride

Brian's been telling us about his new ride for sometime. He has it picked out: an S-works carbon dualie like the one in the photo. For some reason, he's stalling on pulling the trigger and needs our encouragement. So next time you see him, ask Brian about his new ride.

Monday, February 25, 2008

TX visit and Tyler State Park

I know Pirate feels lonely on here so I won't let him hog the blog. I just got back from a visit to Dallas, TX. I lived there for about six years before moving to NC and this was my first trip back since. We visited friends from several spheres of our lives while residing there. Friends from Trisha's work got Friday and friends we made through church got Sunday but I spent all day Saturday with some of my mountain biking brethren. It's surprising the number of mountain bike trails that exist within the Dallas/ Ft Worth metroplex and there are a couple that are pretty challenging despite the area being very flat in general. There was some recent rain so we actually had to head out of town to the closest trail that would be rideable. Tyler State Park is about two hours east of Dallas but definitely worth the drive. It has around nine miles of trail set in a sandy soiled pine forest with some pretty good rolling hills. Kind of similar to east coast trails and they drain really fast after a rain due to all the sand. We rolled into the parking lot expecting warm weather since there was supposed to be a high of 68F that day. It took a while to get there because at 10AM it was barely breaking 40F. Add in the wind chill and none of us were dressed warm enough. After the switchbacks on loop C we were starting to get warmed up finally. The trail ends with a sustained climb that I hardly remember being that long. After a couple of laps we were really wanting a beer and after realizing that this was a dry county we had to head back to Dallas. I was missing the fine dining at Bone Daddy's so we stopped there for beer can chicken, ginormous country fried steaks, and 32oz Shiner's. That hit the spot and was a good end to a nostalgic day.

Ali may be a cheater, but not like this:

Ali cheats at mountain biking. Sweartagawd. Just ask him. Or Daniel. Or some random dude at Governor's Creek.

But not like this:

The photo is taking from a compilation of photos from classic six-day races found here. It's a great site, but try not to use it to glean race tactics.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sanford Trip

Daniel, Ali, and I loaded up early in the AM (well, not that early, but still) and headed south down to Sanford for some dry trail riding. First we hit San-Lee park and I think that we were all surprised at what a great trail it was. I'd ridden there before, but it had been a few years, and there had been a good deal of work down out there. Most interesting were two brand new portions of the trail that were well planned-out, highly technical, and a real challenge to ride. We did two laps, and on the first go 'round I think we did more scouting (er, walking) than riding, but on the second trip through the rocks we began to pick a line, think ahead a few moves, and actually ride the damn thing.

Daniel was putting on a clinic on the Stumpy, riding so large he fills up the frame:

Ali was smooth, as always:

When those two guys get together there's always trouble:

And away they go!

After two on the San-Lee trails we busted it over to Governor's Creek. Opposite side of town, very different topography. There's not much elevation change, but the trails definitely make use of everything they've got, and they're really fast: great trails to push into the corners and spin for speed. We were going so fast, in fact, that I forgot to stop to take pictures -- sorry!

We did learn that Ali was a cheater -- ask him about it some time. Also that he likes water. But other than a good chainring gouge for Daniel, we were lucky enough to escape without any major injuries. Or dogbites. All-n-all, I think we got in something like four hours, and maybe around twenty miles, though since none of us has either or a computer or a stopwatch, those are just guesses. My legs say it was a lot, though.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Things seen on the trail at New Light

You really never know what you'll see on the trail. Readers beware, these pics are PG-13 in nature.

I'll spare you the more, uh, personal shots.

Me and Major

So after joining Brian and Erin at Dain's to watch the Duke-Carolina game, I decided to roll around town to see the post-victory sights. I ended up down town and had a little sit-down with our friend Major.

He's a good bull with a sympathetic ear.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

New Wheels, New Tires, Old Legs

So I'd finally trashed the wheels on my tried-and-true commuter, the Redline 9*2*5, meaning that I had to get a new set ASAP: el truckadora doesn't have on-campus privileges, nor can I afford the gas that it takes to sport her around D-town. Low on cash and in need of something quickly, I turned to the wonderful world of eBay.

It was my first eBay experience, and I can see why this could get addicting. Still, I came out with a decent set of hoops -- Formula hubs laced with DT Swiss spokes to Velocity Aerohead rims -- at a decent price. I mounted up some fat new rubber -- Specialized Armadillos -- and hit the road yesterday. Due to a light snafu Ali and I missed the mtb night ride and headed to Duke Forest instead.

The wheels and tires performed beautifully. Granted, the tires barely fit in the fenders, and trash constantly and noisily gets stuck in there, but the SUV-like performance more than makes up for that. Wheels look pretty slick, too: as classic as the old silver-on-silver scheme was, I have to say I like the all-black look of the new wheels better. And the high-flange Formulas are just trick.

The Pirate's performance was less than beautiful. Armed with only my commuter light and trying to keep up with Ali and his mountain bike, the forest wasn't the best place for me. Some of those climbs are of decent length and pretty steep, and I was slogging it up a few at what felt like 12 rpm. Whenever we hit the flat stuff or pavement I was in great shape, but my legs can really feel the slow grinds this morning. I'm hoping that this helps me develop some good off-season strength without destroying my knees, by right now it seems to just make the morning commute all the harder.

We ended the ride with a spin through East Durham and a pass by "Wingz & Thingz" on East Main, where it was surprisingly Ali and not me that wanted to stop and sample the local culinary fare. We managed to make it out of the cholesterol trap (lovely, lovely trap that it smelled to be) alive, but it will be hard to avoid the same after a long summer ride.

All and all a good ride, and I couldn't be happier to have commutadora up and running again. Go eBay, I guess.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Kicking it all off

Welcome all ye Durham cyclists to the Blog of Bull City!

Tonight we had our first organizational meeting at the Broad Street Café. There were ten of us in attendance, with a few people sending their regrets. We had representatives from the tri set, hard-core roadies, fat tire fanatics, and dedicated commuters.

We met for almost two hours and discussed any number of things, the most important of which were the team name and our first thoughts on sponsorship. Brian will be able to provide a more detailed account of our five points for next time -- I didn't write them down, unfortunately -- but before we broke we decided to meet in two weeks: February 27th at 7:30.

Roll on!