Archive | 2013

Like It Or Not


Prior to this past week, there were threats here and there that winter was coming, but it’s now official–despite what the calendar tells us– winter with all its teeth grinding cold and blustery ice and snow is here. I could complain about it, Nay! I WILL complain it about over the coming months, but when you get down to it, there’s nothing any of us can do about it, especially a sub-par blogger and mortal human like me. Winter is here and survival (both mental and physical) is key.

To survive, some will ride fat bikes, some will brave the icy pavement on road bikes and some (like me) will retreat to the woods on snowshoes and cross-country skis (no matter how lackluster their skills), to basements and garages to climb aboard stationary trainers, or to the humid crotch-like stank of the gym. Almost everyone will bitch about it at some time or another. Such is life.

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Drinking Local (In The 989) II


Bell’s beers are brewed here in Michigan, but I wouldn’t say they are exactly local (in the 989) with the brewery located a couple of hours southwest in Kalamazoo County. However they are more local than I had though! It turns out that the 2-row barley used in their Midwestern Pale Ale, Christmas Ale (seen in my fridge drawer above) and Harvest Ale is grown just a few minutes from my house on a farm down in Shepherd, Michigan. A farm that I have no doubt passed at one time or another on my rides. Of course I’ve ridden by so many farms, they all start to look alike.


As you can see, the Shepherd wheat field and farm are both depicted on the labels of the Christmas Ale and the Midwestern Pale Ale. It’s pretty neat to know that beer that I enjoy quite often is made with ingredients grown just minutes from my home. You can see more about the Bell’s Brewery Farm at

By the way, Bells’ Christmas Ale is one of my favorites of the season. It’s unusual in that it doesn’t have all the spices that one comes to expect in a Christmas beer, yet the lack of hops and the malts they use somehow give it a bready, candied toffee/carmel-ish taste that is very Christmasy and reminiscent of a Scottish Ale. I didn’t think I would be into it, since I usually like either BIG hoppy IPAs and Oatmeal and Imperial Stouts, but I am digging it.

Random Cross Scan


Here’s a random scan from the April, 1990 issue of Winning, Bicycle Racing Illustrated magazine. The subsequent over processing in Photoshop was done by me for no reason other than sheer boredom. The race is the 1990 World Cup, the racer in front is Adri van der Poel (I believe). The racer behind looks like he could be related to Jeremy Powers.

Photo credit: Unknown, as it was not listed in the article.

The Nothingness of Dec. 11th

Today was another day on planet Hoth (AKA Michigan). Wind swept frozen snow and ice now covers everything and probably will until June. As per my standard operating procedure, I did not ride outside but did go to the gym for my cardio and strength training. It was pretty uneventful other than seeing one of the many characters I have come to encounter (or make up in my mind based on their appearance alone) each visit… today it was the Lesbian Mafioso.

Who is she? Hell, I don’t know, what I do know is that I spent my first few visits assuming she was a 50-year-old man. I’m not trying to be a dick or rude, I just thought she was a dude with a mullet and a track suit. Turns out he’s a woman, and from what I can tell, based on recently seeing her at the grocery store with her kids, NOT a lesbian (not that there’s anything wrong with that). I also have my doubts that she’s in the Mafia but if you don’t want to be stereotyped as such, don’t drive a Cadillac and wear track suits while looking like a high school gym teacher circa 1989.  How do I creepily know so much about her? Easy, she pulled into the gym parking lot the same time I did one day driving a Cadillac and she always wears track suits.

All this makes me sound like I am nebby, prejudice, judgemental and homophobic doesn’t it? I swear, all this is in jest, not to mention if you would see her, you too would think that she’s a lesbian Good Fella. OK, forget all that, I am grasping at straws for something to write about. I guess I could talk about my past history of not doing stuff or not doing enough to make me a better bike rider or racer? OK, I will…

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It’s About Ned


 I would say that 99.9% of cyclists (including myself) were pretty pissed and disappointed at Specialized and their corporate wankery towards the Cafe Roubaix shop. I am also relieved to see that things are smoothing out and we don’t have to hear about it anymore. I hadn’t even planned on mentioning the whole small shop vs giant bike brand with apparently nothing else to worry about saga, since just about every single cycling media (and pseudo cycling media) outlet already has. BUT, I wanted to repost (for my sake) a little PS piece that I did for a while back and figured I better justify giving Specialized any free positive coverage (fingers are still crossed they don’t sue me for mentioning their name here).

Oh well, this isn’t about the bike anyway, it’s about Ned. Dude was a mountain bike legend no matter who he raced for or what he raced on. Who among us hasn’t at least taken a peek inside his book Mountain Bike Like A Champion while loitering around Barnes & Noble, drinking coffee and not buying anything? Hmm… in hindsight I should have really paid more attention to the chapter on high-speed turns.

More on Ned [HERE].

Photo Source: Winning, Bicycling Illustrated, March 1991
Photo: Neal Palumbo
Text by Tracy Seip
PS Design: Jason Mahokey, XXC Magazine

Um…Sort of Back At it?

I’d like to say that I went on some badass, long winter ride today, but that would be total bullshit. I actually spent the day doing what any unemployed fuckwad would do; shoveling snow, taking Wifey’s car back to the mechanic, doing some grocery shopping, going to the gym and doing the family laundry. Life can end now… I’m sooo OK with that…


On the plus side, I took this photo of Jake The Dog through the glass of the back door as he looked up at me with his snow-covered mush saying “What the fuck dude? Let me in! It’s fucking cold out here!!”

Who knows what excitement tomorrow may hold for me!!


Making Do


In attempts to get my head out of what Wifey so often refers to as The Bell Jar, I forced myself to dawn six layers of gear and go for a ride at Mid today. The result? Well, it was nice to get outside and out of the gym and basement, but the conditions were not all that ideal. It still helped a bit though.

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When In Doubt, Cook Up Chicken


As you may or may not know, I hesitate to call my riding, time on the trainer and in the gym “training.” I suppose it sort of is, but I think of it more as “doing stuff” so as not to get even fatter… and an attempt to get back to just mildly embarrassing myself on the bike next season (oppose to completely embarrassing myself as I did in 2013). Having once again said that disclaimer of my slackness and douchery I can get to the post at hand…

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