Monday, June 30, 2008


It's alive!... ALIVE! My crazy project bike, built on what is known as a 69'r format, 26" wheel on the back, with a 700c wheel up front (a.k.a. 29'r). This project was made possible by the Bicycle Swap and Sell that we had here at Carpet Mart a few months ago. I have used so many parts from so many different bikes that I'm not even sure where some of the things came from. Right now I have road slicks on it and have put a big chain-ring on it for the up coming Time Trial in July. I am billing it as "The World's Fastest Mt. Bike!" Which, I suppose, can only be proven false by having "The Worlds Fastest Man" take it out for a ride and disproving it as such! I just love unquantifiable superlatives! For you see, I really am a sort of latter-day Dr. Frankenstein. Feel free to visit my la-BOR-Ra-Tory any time, moo-hah-hah!!!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Smokin' with The Badger

Forest fires are smokin'-out the North state. But for the professional athlete, training must go on ;) Actually, Sunday morning wasn't too bad if you rode north of town so I rode to Shasta Dam with a couple of guys from the Gazzigli camp. We saw quite a few groups out there, everyone looking sharp and fast. What a world, what a beautiful sport. An old guy I have ridden with for over 20 years, told me that he is riding at just about the same speeds and times as he did back in the 70's. That is (according to him) not so much a testament of his ability as it is the ever improving state of the bicycle. I'm out there on my aluminum framed, carbon fiber forked, entry level (1K) road bike, feeling like Eddie Merckx. My buddy says, "Can you imagine what Eddie would have done on a bike like that!?"

Thursday, June 19, 2008

I'd like to thank my fleet.,

Well, as per usual, Wednesday night found me parking my bus up at Benton Airpark, champing at the bit, for my mid-week-bicycle-get-away. I casually walked around to the sliding side door of the vehicle, slid it open and there it was... gone! Now I ask you, how in the world does a guy forget his freakin' bicycle!? Oh sure I've forgotten to bring my helmet, shoes, gloves, and sunglasses and water, but this is flippin' ridiculous! I stood there slack-jawed like some kind o' hillbilly yokel and imagined the guys back at the shop laughing their asses off at the site of me driving away for my Wednesday Night ride, while my bike sat there in the front lobby of the shop like a big neon sign flashing the word, DUMBSHIT, over and over. So I decided to just go home and get a bike from there and ride, rather than face my associates back at work. This morning I asked around to see if anyone noticed and it turns out that when you own as many bikes as I do nobody can keep track anyway!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Father's Day Hillclimb...OUCH!

The Redding Velo's second time-trial, in a series of four, took place on Sunday. Once again they put on a very well run event. I went out like levi leipheimer but finished like Hello Kitty. Dang, that hurt! 5.4 miles, 1100 ft. altitude change. Needless to say, I spent most of Father's Day flat on the floor with my feet up and the fan on, watching the U.S. Open Golf Tourney. I dozed and ate all day then called it a night around 8 P.M. I won a whole box of GU, power gels in the raffle after the ride.
My wife and kids treated me like a king and I had a great time of it! Please come out and participate in the next event in July. They (Redding Velo) say they can handle up 150 entries per event. So far there have only been about 20 for each of the first 2. Come on out and show your support, or can't you handle "The Truth!!!"

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Glutton for Punishment?

There is a Time Trial coming up this Sunday out in the Millville area. A hill climb stage.
I have been out testing a truly ludicrous formula (for this event) in the form of a one-speed Mt. bike. But after last night's road ride out Placer to Ranch land estates and Montgomery Ranch-Texas Springs area (on that bike), I have determined that a one-speed for hill climbing is tantamount to taking out one's dentures and ordering a steak dinner. What could I be thinking?
A few years back when I used to play golf, I'd go out with only a hand full of clubs (5 wood, seven iron, putter) and shoot fairly close to my score with a full bag of clubs. But after last years bicycle fiasco on the Mt. Shasta hill climb (2 hrs.+) on a fixed gear, one-speed, I must really have a short memory to even consider doing this sort of thing to myself ever again. It's like piling misery on top of pain!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Mono-Hopper Revisited.

I read the Sunday article in the paper about converting an old Mt. Bike into a one-speed city cruiser and with that got motivated to work out some of the bugs from the bike project, I call, The Mono-Hopper. Its old eighties geometry does not lend itself to a one-speed format (too long, too relaxed), unfortunately I didn't take this into consideration when I started blindly tearing into it. There really is nothing I can do about that, short of a frame and fork swap... but that's pretty much like changing the handle and head of an old axe and callin' it the same old axe! What I did do was loose the old Tomac type, long, flat stem and flat bars and put on pair of cool, big semi-slick tires. Now it feels like a city cruiser and my original (blurry) vision of the project is closer to taking form.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

'Toon Town

Well another Wednesday night ride to, "The Top Of The world" and another opportunity to slip the surly bonds of earth and escape to my quite place. Last night as I rode I tried to see the world through the eyes of a poet and to create a sort of mental rough draft of beautiful, literary passages, resplendent with rich descriptive floridity. Unfortunately, it all got muddled up by a stupid song from the 80's pop-band, ABC. Yes folks, "When Smokey sings... every thing's good in the world, tonight" must have played in my head 200 times during my ride. Now don't get me wrong, I love all that early MTV stuff, but for cryin' out loud... I'm trying to have a "moment" here!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

No Head in the wind.

I rode out Saturday morning to Sunset Market to try to hook up with Redding Mt. Bike Club. But, as I was running late, I saw that they were already caravaning(What's that you say? You're not familiar with that verb?) out for the trail head...Hornbeck Trail?...Caravaning? Anyway, I dropped in to the river trail via the new Sunset Bridges trail, then went out to the Ribbon Bridge, when suddenly, without any warning, the Magic Theater opened up for business and I went into that semi-nirvanic state where it feels like some old sled dog is pulling my bike along while I sit at a round table discussion, sampling from a huge library of topics ranging from the meaning of life to thoughts of whether all this talk about Mt. Lions is just the governments way of keeping it's citizens out of the great outdoors where expansive thinking can occur. "They want us safely locked in our houses, trembling in front of our televisions!" I screamed out in a Tourette's-like explosion, only then did I see the middle aged couple hiking with their dogs. Another thing I love about cycling is that you get to wear enough safety gear to actually be sort of incognito and you can put distance between you and your embarrassment fairly quickly!