Saturday, January 30, 2010

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Its my rock and roll fantasy

$4 airport coffee

Sunrise at 10,000 feet

Reunited with my new baby

It's like the Stewart State Forest of the desert, only faster. Much faster

Rainy day in Tucson was not gonna get me down today. Getting off the plane at noon than sprinting for my mom's house (no time for lunch mom), building my bike and getting in a ride all before dark. Seems like a tall order but that's just the way it is. I don't like to waste not even one day out here. She understands.
Sure it was only 50* and raining but compared to what happened back on the mountain this morning I was fortunate.
I laugh at desert rain. It's like "oh the streets a little wet" and "the sun isn't out" makes for a shitty day for a Tucson native. For a Jersey boy, It's perfect...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Oh, it's a big pretty white plane with red stripes, curtains in the windows and wheels and it looks like a big Tylenol.

There's no reason to become alarmed, and we hope you'll enjoy the rest of your flight. By the way, is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane?

Striker, listen, and you listen close: flying a plane is no different than riding a bicycle, just a lot harder to put baseball cards in the spokes.

See you in Tucson......

Thursday, January 21, 2010

-Stoopid plans 2010-

After much thought (about 10 minutes) I have set my schedule for 2010.
There are a number of changes from the past years plans.
You may notice the endurance theme later in the year. This is because the shorter races in the past have burned me out by August, why fight it? Long races are fun, too.
Most of the races I picked were picked because of field size. I purposely left some races out (even though the courses are fun) because they just don't pull large enough fields. This in no way is a knock on anyone or any particular series, I just like the bigger fields better.
At the time I'm writing this I will be putting my toe on the line in about a week. January 30th is the earliest in the year I've ever started racing and there is no better place to start than Arizona...
Check back sometime in July to see if I'm still as enthusiastic.

White Tanks 1/30
Branchbrook #1 3/6
Branchbrook #2 3/13
Michaux Mash 3/14
Johnny Cake #1 3/20
Johnny Cake #2 3/27
Fairhill 4/11 or Hop Brook Dam 4/10
Fat Tire classic 4/18
Single Speed a Palozza 4/25
High Point Hill Climb 5/1 ????
Wawayanda Spring Cleaning 5/2
Iron Hill 5/23 or Winsted Woods 5/23
Mohican 100 6/5
Bulldog Rump (AMBC)7/11
Fair Hill Classic 7/18
Darkhorse 40 8/1
Wildcat Epic 8/7 8/8
Shenandoah 100 9/5
Vermont 50 9/26
A little inside joke or a riddle if you will:

"sand bagger alert:
sport single speed is meant for SPORT riders....competing in the 8 day absa cape epic in South Africa (on a rigid SS), well that's a bit beyond the grasp of a sport racer, I think everyone will agree.....nobody likes a sand bagger."

Who is this comment author speaking of?
What race are they talking about?
Ice cold PBR for correct answers....
50 lashings for incorrect ones....

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Niner One Nine build

2010 race rig, Thanks to the boys of Dark Horse cycles for the sponsorship and support.

Niner one nine SS frame
Niner carbon fork
Shimano XT crankset
Shimano XTR pedals
Thomson stem
Thomson post
Thomson seatpost collar (sweetness)
Hope hubs SS/trials edition (steel freehub body)
Stans ZTR 355 and Arch combo
Ignitor front Karma rear (subject to change, depending on conditions)
Origin 8 carbon bars
Avid Juicy 7 brakes

19.2 LBS

Been testing out the new race rig the last few weekends...
Just a few things of note...

Dropped a pound and a half off the Stumpjumper for a weigh in of 19.2 and this was without really trying. Lighter parts were available and I'm sure I could have cracked 18.5 without much effort but with me durability is often a issue so I went with the tried and true setup. The bike rides light and accelerates well.

I always felt like the Stumpjumper steered like a truck. Switchbacks were a bit of a chore requiring lots of energy wasting body english. The handling is a little quicker than the Specialized but in a good way. The Niner is not twitchy by any means, I wouldn't want anyone to think that. It's handling lies somewhere between my old Vicious Cycles monolith (nervous 26er) and the Spec. Just right. Switchbacks are now a breeze.

Riding trials type stuff as well as jumping logs is a matter of timing and proper angle on the approach. I have noticed this bike is balanced better (more to the center) than the Spec. That requires a small adjustment in my wheelie hop but I'm confident that one or two urban shredding sessions will cure me of that. Riding super technical trails will take a little getting used to. I believe a stable bike is better technically, That being said this is a race rig (designed to go fast) not a trail bike so trade offs will be made.

I've yet to let it go in any corners mostly due to ice and snow but have noticed that the bike seems to stay under you a little more. I'm not sure why this is but suspect it has to do with the rider being more centered on the bike. Arizona is all about cornering and with the Ignitor up front and the Karma on the rear I'm fairly confident there won't be much adjustment needed in order to go fast.

At the current time my bike is on its way to Tucson Via Fed-Ex so no pictures are available. If you need to see the machine catch me at an upcoming event. I may even let you take a spin....

...Damn, this kit makes me look sexy...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

*-The Official Rules of the Euro Cyclist-*

Rule# 25. Any physical activity other than cycling is STRONGLY FROWNED UPON. This includes any form of running or swimming and their derivatives (this includes walking). The ONLY TWO other sports with a recognized degree of euro are: cross-country skiing and long track speed skating.

Sustained 40mph winds and temps in the teens forced me to break rule #25 this weekend.
On the other hand, rule #2 strongly states that "Training shall be based solely on feel, while racing shall be guided by sensations and instinct: that is to say, “soul.” The Euro Cyclist will never accept tried or tested scientific training methods." Guess I could interpret that as a little cross training is OK?