Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Wicked Mike Passed this along........

This will be us next week......

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

MTBing, injured knees and sore backs...

What up Fella's,

Been a while since my last blog...this working thing is not as cool as everyone keeps saying!

Anyway, Daniel "Dirty Harry" (or Hairy as he should be referred to...)Schurr and I headed out for the first MTB ride since Huck-A-Buck. In case you hadn't heard or didn't read the blog, he and I were pretty beat up as a result of the days escapades. I suffered from back spasms and Daniel got crashed out by another rider on the third lap and suffered a blow to his knee. As a result, he has been hobbling around for the last week.

Nevertheless, fearlessly, we headed to Crabtree to overcome our woes and get some redemption for our misfortune at the race. I led out the race course loop at Crabtree, taking it fairly easy...it was one of those interesting rides where I was feeling pretty good and had to keep telling myself to chill out. You know, coach myself into conserving so that I wouldn't re-injure the back.

I think most of us can understand that if the legs feel good the ego tends to take over and before you know it you are absolutely flying. So, all in all we did ok and took it pretty easy, at least at Crabtree.

Feeling pretty good, we headed over to 286 for a quick loop before we called it quits. Daniel was leading out a solid tempo when I hear the hiss of air rapidly exiting my tubeless tires. I somehow snapped off my valve stem, first time for me with that mechanical mishap. At the same time, it seized the lock ring so I couldn't remove the remainder of the valve stem to put in the antiquated tube into the more sophisticated and refined tubeless rim. It was actually,kinda funny, we were sitting there sweating like crazy fidgeting with this thing for about 20 minutes until another rider stopped by and remedied the situation in about 15 seconds. He looked at us with a smirk and said " You just didn't twist hard enough". My response was.."kinda like the Peanut Butter Jar, huh, we just loosened it up for ya."

We all had a pretty good laugh about it and went our own way. At this point the sun was setting and we still had about 45 minutes left to ride. Daniel dropped the hammer and we kicked it on out...so much for the easy ride.

That being said, the back feels better every day. Hoping to pop off another ride this week.

Until then, thanks for reading.

Ben

Monday, July 28, 2008

I'm so excited that I just can't hide it.....because I'm about to go to Crested Butte, Colorado!!!!

This trip has been in the works for over a year. I am sooooo stoked. Wicked Mike, Ali and myself are going to rip the Rockies for 11 days. The plan is to have daily blog posts, photos, and maybe some video for your viewing enjoyment.

Crested Butte check it out:


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Monday, July 21, 2008

The Genr'l heads to the pump track

As Chris indicated, he and I both recently purchased cruiser BMX bikes (with 24" wheels as opposed to the standard 20" rims). Since BMX bikes are the very pinnacle of cool, and the Dukes of Hazard are like the coolness pinnacle's pinnacle, the DK General Lee in Hazard County Orange was basically the only choice for us.

We've spent some time learning some of the basics on the streets of Durham over the past few weeks. It might be an exaggeration to say that we're masters of the shred at this point, but we're getting better, and by last Thursday we thought it was time to try the Genr'l on the dirt. After a few miles on the mountain bikes with JD, Dave, and Ben, we convinced the guys to head over to Crabtree, where we traded the 29ers for 24s and hit the pump track.

It's safe to say that the experience was (almost) everything that I'd hoped it would be. The Genr'l is undoubtedly faster on the pump track, despite weighing over thirty pounds and sporting tires that could generously be described as sketchy. We weren't able to quite manual the rhythm sections like the pros, but even in our short stay I think we were able to get considerably better.

Of course we insisted that others get in on the action. I wasn't able to get a good picture of Ben on the little bike (it looked like some sort of clown bike, needless to say), but JD was happy to pose with the orange wonder.


We weren't the only ones into bermed track fun: it was a big night at Lake Crabtree, and JD figured out how to use my camera to capture a video of the action. (Note to self: always hand over the hardware to the computer guy.)

video

So we weren't exactly flying around the track, but after JD and the rest of the crew left Chris and I did stay to work on our skills a little longer, and we were looking a little stronger by the end of the night. Pros? Of course not. As good as most 14-year-olds? No. But closer.

Huck-a-Buck Photo Essay

Daniel's wife Suzanne was nice enough to get some pictures of the BCC crew at yesterday's race, and I've uploaded them into the following slideshow. Unfortunately some of the tastier bits were not memorialized on film (Dave's wreck, Daniel's huck-up-chuck, and Ben lying by the side of the trail), but the rest of the pics are great. Thanks Suzanne!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Buck, It Has Been Hucked

That's right ladies and gentlemen, the 2008 edition of the Happy Fun Racing's Huck-a-Buck cross-country mountain biking race was this morning at the Lake Crabtree trails. And while the ranks of BCC racers were thinned due to family obligations, working at the jobby-job, and the infamous case of the Mr. Potato-hand injury, there were still five of us able to proudly pull on the yellow of our new kits and give things a go.

I wish I could say that things went off without a hitch. The trails were in good shape, so that was not an excuse, nor was the high heat and swamp-like humidity (really, would you expect anything less from central NC in July?), and the HFR boys always put on a good show, but I think it's safe to say that the BCC racers felt wounds of a thousand paper cuts. (Cue good excuses in 5... 4... )

Brian (aka Hollywood) and Ben (aka B-Swad) lined up for the four laps of the expert race. Brian let us know that he started off the morning by puking before even leaving the house, so he was already in a calorie deficit. True, Brian always throws up at least once on any decent ride, but even so it probably still figures into his performance. Having gotten the stomach problems out of the way early, however, Brian said that he felt as fast today as any day in recent memory, and was pleased with the way that he was able to push the Stumpy around the tight corners of Lake Crabtree. When this man is on, he's on!

Ben, on the other hand, was racing expert against the (semi-)pros for the first time. Still, I have no doubt that he would have acquitted himself handsomely, had he not be waylaid by a shooting back spasm during the race. He said that the twinge was so severe, in fact, that at one point during the race he had to lie down beside the trail for some ten minutes in order to calm his nerves down enough to keep riding. Any lesser man (myself included) would have happily pulled out of the race at this point, but Ben -- masochist that he is -- decided that he would pedal it on home despite the pain. His placing may not end up looking that good, but given that his back was giving him enough pain that he visibly had trouble swinging his leg over the seat at the end, we'll chalk this up as a 'win' anyway.

Daniel was the lone BCCer in a friggin' enormous sport class. This was one of the largest categories I've ever seen at a cross-country race, and I can't imagine how crowded the first lap must have been with all of the lycra-clad bodies rubbing up against one another on the trail. I'm not sure how Daniel's race was, other than the fact that he was the only BCCer to ride hard enough that he had to throw up after the race. Super. Cool. Personally, that's an automatic 'win' in my book, as it shows your capacity to push yourself to your body's very limits, but Daniel's two daughters didn't seem to agree, proclaiming his feat 'gross.' Kids these days, what with their inability to respect the stomach ailments of their elders...

(On a side note, Daniel's daughters were easily the team's loudest fans, and their cheers each lap were a great incentive to keep going. Thanks!)

Dave and I were both in the highly-contested single-speed category. Similar to last year, the HFRers were unable to provide us with mid-race beverages, meaning whatever skills that we'd honed in the bars of Durham (shout out to our sponsors at the Joyce and Alivia's here) was rendered moot. Dave had also done a little extra training the night before while celebrating his girlfriend's impending move to Maryland (congrats on Johns Hopkins Sarah!), meaning that he spent the minutes before the race contemplating a pre-race boot, and -- like me -- swearing off the uncouth practice known as 'warming up.'

However, that didn't stop him from dragging his Bianchi to the front when the gun sounded. Nor did it keep someone from throwing an angry 'bow into his side as he tried to enter the trail. Much to my dismay, the race started with Dave -- certainly one of the best bike handlers in the area -- spread eagle on the turf before me. As if that wasn't enough, not a quarter mile later he went down again when an over-eager racer ran into him from behind (I heard his yelp through the woods). Smarting from the first rather hard fall, and miffed at the discourtesy in what is otherwise a very friendly race, he made up time throughout the next two laps for a respectable finish.

This was to be my last race in the Triangle, and on a course on which I've previously had some success. However, as packing books doesn't count as training, and no amount of dissertating helps you push your bike at high speeds, I had to settle for respectability in my race. I was able to avoid the carnage that engulfed Dave, but the fairy tale win-(or even place)-in-my-last-race was not to be. C'est la vie.

Truly, the Hucking and the Bucking is always a good time. I saw guys out there in jeans (oh, the chafing that must have ensued!), one dude pushing a 42x18 gear (sweartagawd), a great turn out in all of the categories, and another highly impressive performance by Duke alum Alex Hawkins in the single speed category: really, without the absent Chris to give him some competition, the Hawk is putting on a clinic, with the rest of us just spectators.

All things told I think we acquitted the new kits nicely, if perhaps not quite as successfully as we would have like. Next up: the Race at the Reactor for most, and a moving truck north for yours truly.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Professor's Circle A

Chris posted a link to the final shots of his new 'cross bike below, but the thing looks so sweet I think it's worth putting a couple of shots on our page, too. To review, Circle A is the company that's doing the work, and if you want to see the full portfolio of his build click here.

Forkin' sweet:


Luggety-lug-lugs:


The headbadge:


Classic panel cool:


*All pictures shamelessly stolen from the Circle A site -- thanks guys!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Professor of Smooth gets even smoother

And no, I'm not talking about his (our?) newfound BMX skills. Exciting though the General Lees are (and yes, pics are coming), Chris has an even more exciting bike in the works -- and being worked on -- all custom-like.

Check out the sweet, sweet love at Circle A Cycles. And I mean it: Chris's bike gets front page billing on the blog, and you get to see the tubing as it slowly emerges as the Professor's fastest new ride.

Be sure that you click the "slideshow" button as it will guide you through Chris's bike as it comes into being. With all due credit to the photogs at Circle A, I stole one pic to give you a little taste:


I promise that the pics on their blog only get better from here. There's no word on what the paint scheme will look like... Chris?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Rad II

Oh, hello. Did I mention that el Pirate and I got bmx bikes? It's true. I haven't owned a bmx bike since probably 1985, which was probably the year that Li'l Dave was born, so needless to say, I don't know what the hell I'm doing. That being said, bmx bikes are fun. They're like riding Ali's mountain bike but smaller, heavier, and featuring platform pedals. And while I'm sure the only thing more exciting about reading about my exploits in a Cat 4 road race is reading about tricks I tried, but failed to do on a bmx bike, I will save those tales for another time. Instead, I'll outline my program for success. Since a lot of talented professional cyclists come from a bmx background, I think I can learn some skills that translate to other forms of cycling (and possibly some life-lessons, too). Therefore, I've set the following goals (in no particular order):
1) Learn to bunnyhop. It'd be cool on a bmx bike but would be really fun to break out in a cyclocross race.
2) Learn to corner. While mountain biking, I like to brake a lot in the middle of corners. This is supposedly not cool and bmxing should help me to stop.
3) Not die.
4) Not get beat up by punk kids. I've been road biking for years and have been made fun of by everyone from kids to the elderly, so ridicule doesn't much faze me anymore. But if a bunch of teenagers see a poser (me) on a bmx bike, there is a chance that they'll decide that I am not cool and should be informed of this not with words, but with their fists. As mentioned, I road bike a lot and have a weak upper body so, yes, kids could beat me up.
5) Watch a double feature of "Rad" and "BMX Bandits".
6) Acquire more bikes. The catch is to acquire new bikes with very specific characteristics such that no current bike I own would quite work, therefore making the new bike a necessity.
7) Not injure myself in a way that would prevent me from other forms of cycling.
8) Not tell my mother that I've bought a bmx bike and have been riding it around downtown Durham at night.
9) Not have to tell my mother that I've injured myself on a bmx bike I had been riding around downtown Durham at night.
10) Never use the term "shreddin' the gnar".
11) Blog sparingly about shreddin' the gnar.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

TFKT's GrassRoots Bike Shop is up and running!

Never ones to let the grass grow underneath their feet (punny!), our partner Trips for Kids - Triangle and their fearless leader Andrea have their new, community-driven bike shop open for business. GrassRoots Bikes is not your regular bike shop: rather than focusing on profit, they're committed to the community, and will funnel any revenue back into the shop and Trips for Kids.


As if the cause weren't enough, they're also carrying some great boutique brands that you can't get at your average shop. Steel lovers will rejoice at the sight of Soma Fabrications and Surly on the roster, while BMX and 'cross freaks can get their hands on Redline. Perhaps most exciting is the fact that GrassRoots will be carrying the sweet-riding 29er steel of Vassago. Not only can I attest to the big-wheeled loveliness of the Jabberwocky, but they're approved by none other than the Professor himself, seen rolling here in full Jabber style:


Ah, yes, the sweet poetry of the Professor of Smooth ripping up the pump track in short-bus style: truly an example of the Kantian sublime if there ever was one (on two wheels, at least).

They'll also be carrying White Industries and the ubiquitous Park Tools, for those of you who need to get your bling or wrench on (respectively), as well as the usual array of hard-to-find parts and must-have accessories. In short, they're a fully functioning bike shop, albeit a super cool one.

This is certainly something for both our team and the community to be excited about, and congrats go to Andrea and the rest of the dedicated Trips for Kids crew -- not to mention our own Dave Bryan -- for making this happen.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Bicycle Friendly Communities

The League of American Bicyclists awards Bicycle Friendly Community awards to municipalities across the country each year. Our neighbor Carrboro is the currently a Bronze Level Community. NBC national news did a story last night on the prime time news about the ground bicycles are gaining as a transportation option. Check it out.

Hollywood's New Ride

Loyal readers will recall that Hollywood announced his plans to purchase a new mountain bike at the end of the season earlier this year. After Sauser's win at mountain bike world's H. told me that the 2009 Specialized Epic would be his chariot. But at other times, our star has indicated acting on his long held preference for hardtails. In the spirit of the Professor's query, it's time for the readers to decide Hollywood's new ride. Specialized rolled out its 2009 models this week and Hollywood is among many things, a Specialized man. What will it be friends? The 21 lbs carbon Epic dualie? The 19 lbs carbon Stumpjumper, billed the "new hardtail for hardcore riders"? Who is more hardcore than Hollywood?

Hollywood, Alabama (Part Two)

The geography lesson:


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No leprechaun sightings.....sorry.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

NHTSA Bicycle Safety Tips For Adults

Found this great video on Youtube.com about adult bicycle safety. Wanted to share it with all our readers. Here it is.


Thanks for watching. Hope you learned something, or if you know someone who might benifit, pass it along.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

independence

Fourth of July ride, Chapel Hill Trails. Ben and I drove down Tobacco Road to meet up with Dave and Linus for some mountain biking. Ben and I tried to do some warm up riding, but kept getting lost on the trails, looping back on ourselves. Like the Blair Witch Project, but without the video camera and the screaming. Also no witches. Luckily we soon met up with a crew of Chapel Hill luminaries who led us on a great group ride. It was hot, in the mid-90s, and while BCC style is all about team kits (okay, Dave was still rockin' the sleeveless t-shirt and baggy shorts) Chapel Hill style is all about tattoos, body piercings, and shirtless style. Mountain biking with a Camelbak and no shirt sounds kinda, well, chaffey for my tastes, but whatever keeps you kool, right? (I didn't take a camera, so I'll spare you pictures.)

Truth be told, this is what I love about mountain biking. There is still so much room for individuality and personal style. While roadies push for conformity (take this style guide, for example), in mountain biking anything goes, as long as it goes. Out of the dozen or so riders we had out yesterday, we had:
geared vs singlespeed
steel vs carbon fiber
29ers vs 26ers
shirts vs skins
bibshorts vs baggies
tubes vs tubeless
long-travel suspension vs fully rigid
clipless vs platform pedals
bottles vs camelbaks
energy gel vs beef jerky
hung-over vs not hung-over.
Which styles won? None. Everyone's set-up enabled them to ride like they wanted. Does form follow function? Does function follow form? Who knows. Just get out and ride.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Hollywood, Alabama

Brian (the man known to some as "Hollywood") has gone back home to Alabama for the weekend. Want to know what he's doing?

Another Cyclist Hit by car....

Raleigh cyclist says she was hit by car intentionally. Here is a link to the report. http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/3138484/ . It's hard to believe that some one would try to 'door' a cyclist. I ask why, why would someone do something like this? I think I would rather take my chances with bears in the wild then ride some of the roads around here. Lets keep our heads on a swivel and not give drivers the satisfaction. Enough said.