Monday, May 31, 2010

et tu, spartacus

if you haven't seen the video yet, check it:

personally, i'm not sure what to make of it. it reminds me of some conspiracy-theory documentaries i've seen that present their theory in a way which leads you to conclude "well, shit, obviously this crazy theory you're proposing is totally true"...but, like, 3 weeks later someone shows you some contradictory evidence that leads you to totally realize that that conspiracy theory, while possibly raising some interesting questions, is mostly rubbish.

however you see it, there is one awesome, hidden cycling component that leads to awesomeness:

in case you missed the flawed but laudable Universal Sports coverage of the "Giro of Italy", Simoni chose to ride his final race--the final stage, which was an ITT--of his long-ass career with this crazy kit underneath his team skinsuit. he actually stopped after the finish line, unzipped his skinsuit to reveal this alternate kit (you could actually see the pink tie while he was racing), hopped on a special pink bike and rolled into the Coliseum in grand style.

a Hollywood moment, if ever i saw one.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

day in pink

did i mention we got shot?

last saturday, actually. north of town on New Sharon Church Road at Terry Road, some punk teenagers in an suv peered out of the window and the next thing i know some piece of junk is ricocheting off my shin and i hear it hitting a bike behind me. Corey exclaims and we stop to see that he's been hit in the leg with a paintball. neon pink.

so, support strict anti-pantball legislation. in fact, if NC legislators can propose crazy laws--like limiting cyclists to riding two abreast, unless in sight of a car, at which point they need to scamper under rocks like detestable little roaches--i propose that we initiate an around-the-clock curfew for all persons under, say, 30. they don't vote and they wreck all our cool shit. so if they're not in school, or working at Cold Stone Creamery, or racing bikes, lock them in the basement.

then local cyclist "Famous" Ray drove by after picking strawberries and gave me one. juicy, like a paintball, but much sweeter. i don't think anyone actually calls him Famous Ray, but i was just thinking about the battles in New York about a number of pizza places claiming to be the Original Ray's or Famous Ray's or some variation on that name.

also, support your local farms.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Wake Up!

Raced the Historic Downtown Wake Forest Criterium this past weekend and received a rude awakening. [pause for laughter.] People say that puns are lazy writing. But that's just a lazy response to a pun. Regardless, I'm a lazy kind of racer--the kind who doesn't mind working hard in races (I actually dislike races where not much is going on enough to make a lot of stupid attacks), but also the kind who can rarely be bothered to actually organize and get himself to a race. So much planning. And the driving. And what if the weather's bad. And so on.

But Wake Forest was too close to disregard and the rainshowers looked like they'd clear up by race time (I was watching the radar until the last minute, still thinking about bailing out). As it turned out, it didn't totally stop raining, although the brunt of the downpour missed historic downtown. So, adding wet roads to a 4-corner, Cat-3/4 crit with one downhill turn gave me reason to worry. After a sketchy start with lots of braking, the field strung out. I still couldn't figure out the line to take through the downhill turn. To quote Cadel Evans on his appraisal of his descending on Monte Grappa, I was "a disgrace".

In addition to manipulating the front end of the bicycle, I wasn't feeling great working the back end either. Not too much snap, so after a test attack, I decided to chill out a bit and observe. I thought I was riding somewhat smart, near the front, efficiently. But at some point 3 or 4 guys opened up a gap, probably right after a prime, and some strong looking dudes from some strong looking teams represented, it looked like a good one. So I chased. Me and one other guy, actually. Caught out in no-man's land for about 4 or 5 laps. We almost bridged up, but I started fading and wasn't getting much help from my bike driving skills. So we ended back in the pack, where I resigned myself to stick it out for the bunch sprint. Second-to-last side was a short uphill stretch, which suited me alright, so I hit the last corner with decent position. Held my position, passed some dudes (including i-Sac from one of the Bike Chain's satellite locations), but out of nowhere got pipped by Bitter Dose's Brendan. I hadn't seen him since the startline. He had ridden a very conservative, but smart race and threw in a solid sprint (not that beating me in a sprint makes you a good sprinter).

9th place overall, which I'm fairly happy with. No cash or fabulous prizes. No upgrade points, so I'm likely destined for yet another season battling it out in the Cat-4s, which, in all seriousness is where I'm realizing that I probably ultimately belong.

Monday, May 24, 2010

just ride

Last year, Clive Sweeney was riding his bicycle in north Durham and was hit and killed by a reckless driver. Clive's is an all-too familiar story of an avid cyclist meeting a tragic end at the hands of a motorist either too distracted, too disrespectful, or frankly too dumb to respect a fellow human's life and well-being. But Clive's story is more than just another cautionary tale of the perils of motorists (note that I did not say the perils of cycling, which is a generally safe and healthy endeavor, but the perils of motorists, who can cause great harm to cyclists, pedestrians, and other motorists if they are not taking seriously their responsibilities as a driver). Clive's is a story of a person. A person with a family. A person with friends. A familiar face beneath a bicycle helmet on the local roadways. A person who is no longer a member of this wonderful community.

And it is for these reasons, these stories, that we would like to invite you to join us for the second annual Ride For Clive, to celebrate the life of someone who loved cycling by, what else, cycling. Saturday, June 5th at 9am at the American Tobacco Campus' Diamond View Park. The route will take along 12 miles of the American Tobacco Trail, a flat, car-free greenway (with several road crossings). Since it's an out-and-back route, you can do as much or as little as the ride, as leisurely as you like (no racing on this one--join us Tuesday evenings at 5:30 at the Bicycle Chain in Durham if you want to go fast).

The ride is free and some light refreshments will be provided by Bull City Cycling and Clive's coworkers at McKinney. Please check out the site that McKinney have set up and RSVP: Ride For Clive.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

BCC Bombshell Dropped Today....

In a stirring string of emails circulated yesterday, BCC stalwart Pirate admitted to having doped en route to completing his PhD over the last 7 seasons. During the time in question, Pirate admitted to using substances such as Coffee, CookOut, Bourbon, and occasionally sausage products.

When reached for comment via text message, a response was simply issued saying "I'm not the only one.....SmAli and the Professor are guilty too!!"

Reports from Durham issued by The Professor and SmAli vehemently deny any allegations of the usage of meat products, claiming "vegetarianism"? However unanswered questions remain as authorities ceased garbage bags from the Professor's luxurious loft apartment and SmAli's historic manor in Watts Hillandale this morning. It has been reported that numerous CookOut milkshake cups and used coffee grounds have been found in SmAli's debris. While shockingly the Professor's recycle bin turned up 7 empty Olympia beer bottles and 4 PBR tall boy cans....crushed (obviously trying to hide them).

It appears that BCC and Dook Cycling have a lot to answer over the coming days......more details can be found here.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Der Kaiser: Don't Call it a Comeback

Get all the news at Jan's myspace. His blog is worth a look for insights into the Pro-tour. Be sure to use your best "Uter" from The Simpsons while reading these posts.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Wishing Everyone a Safe Bike-to-Work Week

Juicy Fruita...

I answered the phone yesteday at work and to my surprise it was a fellow North Kackalacky transplant, Derrick from Chapel Hill lore. Derrick and I met back at Franklin Street Cycles way back around 1999. Oh the good old days. Derrick caught the bug that I caught for Colorado and moved to Fruita with his family a few months back. A bold move.....but one that I am starting to hear more and more these days. You see Derrick didn't just up and move to Fruita, he made a major life change that was fueled by this need for uninhibited and unlimited access to mountain bike bliss. Much like numerous other BCC'ers.....Derrick completed his PhD and was working on a couple of post docs in the world of academia (Go Tar Heels!!).....but as his blog explains:

"After that trip, I went back to my postdoc job in neurobiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, then did another in genetics, only to realize that my love for science wasn't enough to overcome how miserable the indoor activities of science made me feel."

Anyways, fast forward to now and Derrick has begun an ambitious plan of starting a new company called Juicy Fruita. His goal is to first provide "beta" to incoming mountain bikers who are not familiar with local trails, giving them the essential knowledge that will ensure killer rides and keep them out of hypothermia's grips. Colorado is a different beast than hitting up the loops at Crabtree or Chapel Hill North. If you don't come prepared, if you don't respect the might not make it home in one piece. In other words Juicy Fruita will provide you with the knowledge and guidance you need. Currently, Fruita and Grand Junction have been "beta-ized" and Crested Butte is soon to follow. Below are some sample taken from the website.

Juicy Fruita is also working towards offering turnkey trips for anyone wanting to visit the sweetest Colorado singletrack hotbeds. Clients will be able to book a trip that includes everything from rental car, bikes, food, guidance, lodging.....etc.

So there is still hope for all the BCC academia types out there.......ummm....SmAli, Professor, Pirate, Senor Curveship......

Monday, May 17, 2010

Cognitive Dissonance Part 2

From a Performance Bike e-mail I just received:

I don't know what kind of work they're biking to, but I know I want a piece of it.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

tour de high life

...meanwhile, at the High Country Tour du Life

podium for jay?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Giro d'Italia, stage 7

Strada Blanca. Corey, this is for you buddy.

Friday, May 14, 2010

li'l italy

with the tour of italy in full swing, and since this website supports intergalactic peace and understanding, it seems appropriate to counteract the negative stereotypes that americans often use to depict italians by presenting, what else, italians making fun of americans. in particular, the english language. apparently, according to the internet, this video is of an italian comedian singing made-up lyrics composed of sounds that he figured sounded like english. huh? yep. in any event, it is the dopest italian song ever (that's right, fuck you, guiseppi verdi).

Thursday, May 13, 2010

so close...

pack-sprinters are suckers. long live the escape artist!


My first clipless pedals....resurfaced.

Prize to anyone that knows what they are? When they were hot? And to anyone who has cleats or elastomers for them!!!

Cross Training and Foretaste of the Feast to Come...

Snowshoed up to Monarch Crest/Colorado Trail/Continental Divide Trail Junction on Marshall Pass yesterday.....lots of snow needs to melt before Pirate, SmAli and Wicked join me on this in July.

View Larger Map

Funny how the trail was the only part that was covered in snow.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Live action soul crushing

We are famous

Look for me at about 1:45 of the video. I'm pulled over to the right side trying to clean mud out of my eye. Went through a puddle very early on the climb up Black Mountain and had a big chunk of dirt fly up under my glasses and into my eye. You'll see Ben a few seconds later where he pulled over to wait for me. Thanks teamdicky for including us in your 8minute video that you cut down from 10hours. Makes me feel special.

And here's a post race photo courtesy of Bruce and Innes. We shared some suffering with them near the end of the race:

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Man Salt

Today was hot. And North Carolina hot is a special kind of hot. You could crunch the numbers as far as temperature and humidity are concerned but it doesn't seem to really tell the story. Chris, Jay and I headed out in the earlier morning hours to rendezvous with the Chapel Hill P ride and already the mercury was rising. I don't know that it ever got over 85 but between the wind and mugginess it felt like I had concrete in my shoes after just a few miles. I'm sure we're all familiar with what it is like to ride into a head wind (it sucks), but at least it can sometimes provide a cooling sensation (especially when one's jersey is unzipped).

Not today, and the already saturated air made sure that and sweat produced by one's body went nowhere, which brings me to my minor epiphany and bear with my quasi-lame sales pitch.

In our present day awareness of man's impact on the environment it no surprise that responsible consumption is more and more important. Shop at your farmer's market, support you local bike shop and (this is the new part) eat MAN SALT. Seriously, I must have brushed off at least a table spoon or two after three or four hours in the saddle. Where did all that salt end up? Down the drain! Somewhere there's an Indian shedding a single tear while baby seals fist fight.

For real, someone needs to get on this.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

My Soul has been crushed!

PMBAR 2010... I should have know by the race slogan, Crushing Souls since 2003, that I was going to be in for a tough day in the saddle. JD and I prepared as best we could, convincing guys to go out on 4-5 hour rides every weekend, heading to Pisgah to do some recon on the trails and generally speaking riding as much as we could to prepare for the devastation.

While I think all those things helped nothing could have prepared me for the mental and physical battle of wills that would ensue.

JD and I hopped in the car Friday morning pumped up and ready to ride. We zipped down the interstate only to hear a loud crash just before Greensboro...we look back and JD's bike is hanging from the roof of my car. My King Cobra roof rack just disintigrated and JD's bike was holding on by the rear tire strap. You can imagine the degree of freak out that was occuring on I-40.

Luckily, JD's bike was fine aside from a slight adjustment to the headset. My car got a couple of battle scars but nothing considering the potential gravity of the mishap. Unscathed, we pressed on to the mountains that were beckoning our souls.

Upon arrival, we quickly set up camp and slipped out for a quick ride, came back to camp, sucked down a couple of cold beers and called it a night.

Race Day:

6:00 AM: Wake Up call
7:00 AM: Sign In
7:59 AM: Receive the map with 5 checkpoints(riders must hit 4 of 5 to finish...5 checkpoints gets a time reduction of 3 hours)
8:00 AM: Start Riding

We decided to head on up Black Mountain to the first major junction before we open the map up and hopefully avoid some of the inherent log jam that was sure to happen. No such luck, we were able to ride most of it but several very ridable sections required dismounting and quick remounting due to the line of riders in front of us...The mental aspect of the race was now on, we were both getting frustrated with the hike a bike on non-hike a bike sections.

We arrived at the first junction, pulled out the map and designed a rough plan on how to hit 4 checkpoints as quickly as possible. While hindsight is 20-20, I think we made some reasonable decisions and for the most part we didn't get turned around too much.

The first checkpoint was brutal, the second and furthest away could have been a potential disaster. We connected with a couple of hammerheads at the first checkpoint. They were going the same way so we tried, in vain, to stay with them. These guys stopped for water before the 2nd checkpoint while we pressed on so we ended up ahead of them...only to be caught on the climb. We stopped to check the map after an hour of climbing and decided to keep climbing, just then a team came down the mountain and said they had climbed to the top and the checkpoint was not there. As luck would have it, the checkpoint was 50 yards from us...HUGE morale boost!

The 3rd and 4th checkpoints were a bit easier but energy was at an all time low. JD and I at some points we just barley turning the pedals over. Honestly, It was the hardest ride that I have ever done!

After the final checkpoint, we straight up gassed it. We passed 2 teams in the last 45 minutes and bombed the descent on Black Mountain. I came into the finish, my soul officially crushed, body in shambles, dreaming of the token burrito promised at the conclusion of the race.

We navigated the finish line and scampered over to the leader board. At the time, there were 6 teams that got all 5 checkpoints and 5 that had 4 checkpoints. I couldn't believe it...I actually put down the crappy veggie burrito that I was shoving down my throat and just stood there in amazement.

100 teams started the race and we were sitting in 12th place, WOW! Of course some other teams arrived with 5 checkpoints and pushed us down the list. Turns out we ended up in 21st place, personally I am going to exclude the 5 checkpoint people based on the fact that they are freaks of nature, insane, and apparantly have no soul to be crushed!

Either way, it was an amazing event and a bunch of fun.

one month countdown

mark your calendars: this year's memorial Ride For Clive is scheduled for June 5th. details (and updates to that website) will follow shortly.

last year, local cyclist Clive Sweeney was struck and killed by a reckless driver while riding on Pleasant Green Road in Orange County. members of Bull City Cycling, as well as Clive's co-workers at McKinney, started this ride as a celebration of Clive's life and as an effort to help make bicycling in the area safer.

the route departs from the American Tobacco Campus and travels south on the American Tobacco Trail. The trail, a former railroad route, is very flat and except for a couple street crossings, is closed to traffic. The route itself is an out-and-back trip, so for people looking for a shorter option, they can turn around at any point. These factors make the ride great for cruiser bikes, kids, and friendly conversation.

Monday, May 3, 2010

back from the slack attack

i've been slacking.

but not JD and Gentle Ben.
ten hours, one minute.
21st overall at PMBAR
Report to follow?