Bad Ideas Turned Good

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As I mentioned the other day, my buddy at the shop lent me his Trek Farley* last week to ride for a few days and see what I thought. I did a lap on singletrack last Saturday and thought it felt a bit harsh compared to my Pugsley and made the pre-mature decision to shelve any ideas of considering one in the future,. Then I got to thinking: whether I buy one or not, I think my assessment was a bit rash and not all that fair, given that while I have ridden my Pugsley on singletrack, I have only done so for 10-12 miles just to mix things up after I’ve done a “real” lap or two on my Superfly, or when conditions were shit.

I’ve loved the Pugs in the snow and on the deep sand ORV trails, so I figured I should give the Farely another go before I return it this week, and ride it on surface that would be more akin to what I would actually use a fat bike on. The trouble is (thank God!), there is no snow on the ground and this week won’t really allow for me to head north to those ORV trails. So I had an idea– I would use the Farley for my dirt road ride today. Afterall, some of those roads are pretty sandy and pretty shit. . . It was a bad idea; sort of.

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Let’s Go!

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The ushering out of summer is done. Well, almost done. Now it’s on to fall and my Second Season.

The past few days have brought me nearly 60 miles of singletrack (twelve of which were on a borrowed fat bike). I have to say, for a big-boned, has-been, mid-pack racer type who enjoys beer a bit too much (and pizza, pasta and cheese even more) I am happy with that. Sure, there were days in the past that I would do more than that in one afternoon; these are not those days.

My only real goal going into the fall is to get as many miles as I can in while looking for work (I think the miles will be easier to get than the job). If I can even get 8 to 10 hours a week of riding in, while being good bout my eating and liquid refreshments, I think I’ll be happy enough. It would be nice to lose some fat off my man-hams, but I’m not going to hold my breath for that.

This fall–unlike last fall and winter–I am forgoing the gym. Yes, yes, I know, I mentioned (too) many times last year about how going to the gym helped me gain strength, added muscle, got me out of the house, etc., etc., Well, it seems (from looking at my “training” records) that my time at the gym fell off significantly after I purchased the Pugsley and realized, yet again, that being outside is way more fun than being in a gym, even if it is lacking the numbers of spandex-clad lady-types.

Fall may not officially start for another twenty days, but in my world it has.

Later.

Photo: by me. It was the lone photo taken during the second of two, 14-ish mile laps on Sunday.

Photo Dump

Because I’m lazy and a bit tired from riding in the rain and humidity for two days, AND from watching DVRed football for the past few hours (soccer, NOT fucking throw-ball) while drinking a few beers I am going to just photo dump the past two days. Let out your collective moans now…

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Loyalty and Such

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I do 99% of my riding on my own, so I often find myself pondering a variety of things as a roll along the trails and roads: personal issues, what I’m having for lunch, why I see so many panties along the road, and of course, bike stuff. My most recent “bike stuff” thought (not to be confused with my “butt stuff” thoughts) was about the strange beast that is brand loyalty in the cycling community and how it weighs versus supporting one’s local bike shop.

None of the following thoughts apply that much to riders who wrench on their own bikes; for them, building a frame up is as easy as ordering it off the Net or direct from the builder or manufacturer, riding the hell out of it and servicing it themselves. What I am thinking applies more to someone like myself: someone who can do some minor maintenance, but for bike builds, serious fixes, or the want of having a repair done right, by someone who actually knows what the hell they are doing, knows the local bike shop is the place to go (OR to a friend’s garage who has all the tools, digs working on bikes and is happy(ish) do it for few dollars or a six-pack or two).

And so my thoughts…

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Neffness IX

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How could I not post a photo giving props to our my [current] favorite big haired, flat billed hat wearing, super fast XCO racing, lady-type Jolanda Neff for winning her third UCI XCO race of the year on Sunday in Méribel, France, AND celebrating her overall Women’s UCI Mountain Bike World Cup series title???

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A Sad End to a Season

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Sad news from the world of UCI XCO racing

20-year-old Dutch XCO racer, and current under-23 European cyclocross champion, Annefleur Kalvenhaar died Saturday as the result of injuries sustained during qualifying rounds of Friday’s XC Eliminator race in Méribel, France. It is reported that the Focus XC Team racer crashed off on a wooden bridge and landed awkwardly on her head. She was taken to a nearby hospital, then transferred by helicopter to an intensive care unit in Grenoble where she sadly passed away on Saturday.

The web site mpora.com reports that the bridge used during the XC events had been used by cyclists and pedestrians alike throughout the weekend without incident and that the crash appears to have been a freak accident. All in all, an extremely sad way to draw the 2014 XCO series to a close and a horrible loss for the world of cycling, not to mention Kalvenhaar’s friends and family.

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Trying Out New Habits

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Old habits are hard to break; like limiting myself to riding during daytime hours since I left my (cash paying) job in March of 2009. I mentioned this a couple of weeks ago, but it’s funny how true it really is and what other habits–good and bad–have come to replace a post-work ride on a weekday evening.

Let me say, this blog post was NOT supposed to be this long, it was just supposed to be a few photos from last night’s ride, but then I got thinking, wandered more than a bit off track and found myself “on the couch.” The short story is that I had a great ride on Wednesday evening (as illustrated above), the long story below is to be filed under Too Much Information or Never Has So Much Thought Gone Into Deciding To Go For a Fucking Ride. I don’t encourage you to read on, but do so if you wish.

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A Weekend of Dirtz

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My plan for Saturday morning was this: get up, drink 2 to 14 cups of Bust Ass Coffee, eat some sort of lame breakfast, watch football (YES!!!) and then head out to ride some singletrack north of town. All of that was on course to happen until I checked the radar on Weather-dot-look-at-all-these-ads-and lame human interest videos-dot-com and saw that my trails appeared to be getting pissed down on with rain by the uncontrollable, loose bladder of Ma Nature.

Plan B was activated.

Plan B was to grab the El Mariachi and head out for a couple of hours or so of pavement and dirt roads. Obviously not my first choice (made fucking obvious by the fact that it’s Plan B, NOT Plan A. But dirt is dirt, miles are miles, calories burnt are calories burnt and a fat, crap cyclist is a fat, crap cyclist).

Upon fetching the El Mariachi (my current “go-to” gravel road bike that is really just a hardtail mountain bike) from the Not-So-Stankment®, I realized that in a raging fit of laziness [surprised?] I failed to rinse the bike off after Tuesday’s muddy dirt road ride. No big, I sort of like riding around with what amounts to an extra 2 to 5 pounds of dried cement on my frame. What’s a few extra pounds of dried cement on my bike when I’m already sporting at least 15 extra pounds of beer, pizza and general fuck-up-ness around my ever broadening and bouncing midriff??? Nothing!

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