Thursday, May 28, 2009

More Wisdom

A few hours mountain climbing turns a rogue and a saint into two roughly equal creatures. Weariness is the shortest path to equality and fraternity—and liberty is finally added by sleep. —Nietzsche

Taken from the Tour Divide Site

Matt Lee's splendid Tour Divide is only a few weeks away from kick-off.

Monday, May 25, 2009


Memorial Day

Memorial Day ride with the Professor in pictures.

The Professor's beautiful Circle A:

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Ride for Clive

Bull City Cycling and McKinney Associates have partnered together for the Ride for Clive event on June 6, 2009, to remember our friend Clive Sweeney, who passed away in a bike accident in June 2008. Please join us.

Friday, May 22, 2009

New Bike/Mystery Owner

Who could this belong to?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Look-y Here

One word: Wow.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Parts is Parts

Bikers are tech-dorks.

There, I said it.

We obsess about grams, tooth-count, alloy material, and tire psi so much that our significant others sometimes question whether or not our love for all things two-wheeled as being above and beyond more important subjects, like, ya know, humans.

Still, much as we may worry about the butting profile of our spokes and bearing quality of our headsets, there's always something to be said for just duct-taping some shit together in the woods, throwing caution to the wind, and just say screw it. Such was the result of my mountain bike ride last Saturday at the SMBA trails north of Albany in Saratoga Springs.

Luckily for me the Ferrous wasn't the victim: as hard as NY trails seem to be on bikes, I've yet to experience any serious failures. I have seen the trails eat parts, clothes, frames, skin, and one collar bone, but I've thus far avoided any real setbacks. Not so my riding partners.

The SMBA trails are akin to a cross between New Light (circa 2003) and Rocky Road, all multiplied by a factor of two: there are lots of different trails, each with its own character and charm, but all strewn with chunky rocks and nothing below 'intermediate' level. These aren't fast trails, for while there isn't much elevation change, they are tight and tech-heavy.

They also eat things. Like skin. And seats.

Brian has kindly let me tag along on a couple rides, some of which lead to disaster, and others to tomfoolery, but none of which have been boring. This last Saturday promised to be an easy two-hour ride with a couple folks, with our tour guide avoiding the rockier trails of the system for the easier ones. We may have hit those, but the difference was negligible. And two hours was more like three, but for a Brian-led expedition that's basically on time.

Most amusing was how Brian decided to rock the ride: after going over the bars maybe two minutes into the trails, scraping himself up and knocking his seat off its rails, he proceeded to finish the ride on some sort of McGrubered-up contraption that looked more like a sex toy than a bike part.

This is that Yankee ingenuity that we hear so much about. At one point I think all six of us were crowded around giving advice on how to best 'fix' his seat with zip-ties, duct-tape, and voodoo.

Needless to say my humanities-educated self stepped aside and let the engineers tackle the matter, as they seemed more competent. Taking the time to reflect quietly on my Walden-like surroundings, I decided my fluffy English-major self would set the moment to verse:

I think that I shall never see
A seat as lovely as B.P.'s:
It's long and black and fits his crack
Just like a glove, or my head its hat.
I think it's sad he's lost his saddle
For now the post his ass must battle
And as we ride this rocky trail
I'm certain it must quite bruise his tail.

The remainder of the ride involved a series of spills, dabs, and near-misses, but since I didn't have my camera to capture them it's basically like they didn't happen. (Or so I learned from the Bones Brigade.) We were all able to finish the ride, though, even Brian, despite being French-tickled all the way home.

This was only my third mountain bike ride of the year and it was good to kick around in the dirt some. I'm learning pretty quickly that lack of practice does not do the body good, that the northeast does have mosquitoes, and that age does not make me wiser or more nimble. Alas and alack. Here's hoping that my future rides are a little more mundane and less abusive.

I hope things are going well down in the Tarheel state!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Thunderstick, ho!

Nobody loves cyclists like Italians love Italian cyclists.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Medieval Mechanic?

So does anyone else find this photo of an Astana mechanic working on a Bontrager tubular disturbing? I sure hope his apron is not covering a Kazah Borat thong suit.

In a related story, Astana is slated to change kits this's hoping that this is the end of Kazah "style" (ie...Borat type fans).

Di Luca Popped for Doping

BREAKING - UCI officials have reported that a routine blood test of Giro leader Danilo "Hollywood" Di Luca has revealed traces of the banned substance "the undead."

Rumors had been circulating ever since the end of stage 4. Immediately after crossing the line in victory, Di Luca was seen to look to a cooler outside the LPR team bus and mutter "Braaaaaaaiins."

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Pro cyclists are different from you and me

"It [cocaine] is everywhere, really everywhere. I really want to say this, not only for me but for all the people that are using it. It's even easier than to drink a cup of coffee." -- Tom Boonen

Hear hear, Tom! I was thinking exactly the same thing this morning. I really hate it when Heather leaves her vials and razor blade out on the kitchen counter and I can't get to the coffee machine.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Ancient Wisdom

I came across this Stoic Aphorism in my reading this morning: "Either a pain is so violent that you cannot bear it (you die right away, and so it is short), or a pain is bearable."

Speculation Nation: Oh, Hollywood!

Regarding the public speculation about his activities and possible new rides Hollywood, speaking in the third person of course, replies, "Perhaps Hollywood is no longer endurance racing and moonlighting on the Super-D circuit of the Mountain States Cup??? Could be?"

Thursday, May 7, 2009

SmartCommute Challenge

Many of us are already commuting, shopping, going to DPAC by bicycle but now we can do so and also support an effort to reduce automobile congestion in the Triangle.

The SmartCommute Challenge is an annual non-profit public service campaign that works to reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality in the Triangle.

From April 15 through May 30, any employee or college student who commutes to work or campus in Wake, Durham, or Orange County can participate. To enter the Challenge, make your online pledge that at least once before May 30 you will carpool, vanpool, bike or walk, ride the bus, or telework (work from home).

Hollywood, Colorado

According to the grapevine Hollywood, now transplanted to the Rocky Mountains, is contemplating a new ride(s). Among the rumoured possibilities: S-Works carbon epic dualie, now-local-for-Hollywood maker Yeti. Yet, these are just the XC rigs. What about Hollywood's downhill machine? Now, there comes news of a lighter version of Yeti's 303.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

a festival of brute force

The previous post about Durham's metal-bending enterprise reminded me of an old Letterman bit. Nothing to do with cycling, but the weather's been crummy and I needed a brief respite from writing and editing.

part 1:

part 2:

I wonder what we could do with the old machinery in Durham.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Cycling the Bull City Slowly

Durham is a city that rewards cycling slowly. One of my favorite pastimes -- and I believe Pirate's, before he Yankeefied -- is to take a slow weekday dusk and ride through downtown. Head down alleys and up parking ramps you've never explored and see what you find. Sometimes you discover that Bulls games are free after the sixth inning. Sometimes you discover "Door 13" in the Creepiest Parking Garage in the South (unofficial title, but those who've rolled through it know what I'm talking about). And sometimes you find a beautiful fragment of Durham's decaying industrial architecture, like this 86-year-old welding shop that I'd somehow missed all these years:

Edit: wow, that parking garage gets even creepier.