Saturday, July 31, 2010

Hop Garlands

Delivered some hop garlands to the local brewery by bike and soaked up some fresh air in the patio. Hop vine infused summer breezes laiden with nearby rain, barleywine for him peche for her. My entire hop crop is “presold” for one of their IPAs this fall.



Recycled hop carrier:



Wolf in a box:


Art supplies out of boxes, new sketchbook having it’s cover painted and made it’s first journey in the panniers.


done enough:


Friday, July 30, 2010

Pulling the Past Forward

via Chris Piascik

sweet pic by msoini:

Bike crush:

"...I’m doing it for its own sake, for the value inherent in the act itself. " 

Pure Awesome:

Pencil Vs Camera!

" ….if it could become more universal, the pretentious nonsense that passes for the serious business of the world would dissolve into laughter " via j.pap flickr 


re-inspired by this artist to re-awaken my creativity and dust off the sketchbook….


Thursday, July 29, 2010

43.9 @ 19.5 max 34.3

Mileage is from yesterday, decided to use it as today's title since I've been using my titles as a way to roughly tally ride totals at a glance. I didn’t write the ride up last night, I'm conflicted about web logging my negative experiences on the bike. Mainly since my mom tends to read this pile and I don't want to upset her. This is part of a larger thing that needs to continue to get talked about and have the current momentum modified. They're called the mean streets for a reason and I'd like to participate in being part of the change that makes cycling possible for anyone who wants to. As it sits, it feels like a gamble with one's life to ride a bicycle on the roads in this area.


Suffering with allergies and feeling a bit fatigued I debated skipping the ride as I have many times in the past. On every occasion I've felt that way I was so glad I sucked it up and made the ride. I'm enriched by the experiences in ways I can't put to words.

Numbers for the group were low, maybe 14.... likely concerns over temps in the 90's with storms approaching from the west won out over desires to ride.


Pace started relaxed but quickly reached brisk, prompting commentary from my line-mate Shunk which began a line of conversation that eventually covered the topic of the marauding motorist that nearly took us out earlier this year on the very same road.
Since my brain has an amazing ability to protect itself I've managed to erase the exact spot but shortly after we were marauded by a driver in a light sage green Grand Marquis at a high rate of speed. He passed so close and fast that the entire group reacted with surprise prompting comments like, "That was almost exactly like last time". I immediately got tingly, numb, and fought off the videos playing in my head since I once again clearly witnessed the event. I checked my 7, got clear of the wheel behind and went to the back trying to decide if I finish the ride or go home, and tried to calm myself down.
Not sure if it would have made a difference but cars approaching from the rear were not being called and I was growing agitated and vocal about this fact not 5 mins before being marauded. Part of my calming process was to set up vigilant awareness off the back. I eventually rejoined the comfort of the group but drained of most of my energy and desire to ride. I could feel it leaving like someone pulled the drain plug from a sink. Not sure if it was coincidence but the rider who was closest to being struck turned back, alone, a few miles later.


Talking to a few ride mates about it during the ride helped some, their relaxed cant-get-me-down attitudes are certainly infectious.


The wisdom of internets memes help too:

Couple quotes on a reddit thread were especially appropriate:

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world." –Gandhi

"Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." - Bill Watterson

Thomas fresh back from Africa off the front:


As a result of my continuing proximity to aggressive-towards-cyclists-motorists, thoughts and discussion with other cyclists have prompted me to decide to declare a DNR and ask that my family not place me on any artificial means of life or life support. The idea of me being creamed by a motorist and killed is slightly less horrifying than turning my family into caregivers snarled in the medical and legal system.
The DNR discussions then led me to discover Tibetian Sky Burial, an immediate return to nature. (caution: graphic pics) Hopefully, funeral arrangements wont need to be made for this Ironman triathlete. This touring cyclist in Canada was not so lucky. This one is apparently machette-proof. Geesh. Really?

On a lighter note, I ejoyed these pics of the past

And got to wander around on lunch today:

you are beautiful like a moon

whole heapa' win

how venezulan graffiti artsits see us

periodic table of beer styles

periodic table of irrational nonsense

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Coalescence of Clarity


Passed this guy who looked to be heading off or back from a morning ride and commented I wished I was going where he was going since I was off to work. We chit-chatted and he cheerfully agreed to his picture being posted on the blog but I forgot to tell him the address in addition to promptly forgetting his name. I’m slow but persistent.

We did some FLAB riding (Full Lane Arterial Biking) down a two lane in one direction road with me taking the left side and him dodging parked cars and hugging the curb as we went. I got buzzed a few times by seemingly irritated drivers who were reluctant to use the clear left lane. More and more I'm a fan of separate biking infrastructure for cross-town routes like they have in Copenhagen.  Being passed closely from behind, on a two lane in one direction road with a clear left lane, puts a certain frame of reference on one's mortality that feels really cheapened, with no real end in sight.

Wandering around on my bike during lunch I found some of what I’ve been looking for:


The kids are back and jumping their bikes off stuff:



art in the wild

“In an alternate universe, I wouldn't have to keep my distance for fear that you would break my heart....... “

Monday, July 26, 2010

Push/Pull Iterations

Hurry up and wait.




Three wheel motions:



the genius controls the chaos


Love is like a waterpark... 

I guess this is usually how it works.

We rule you, we fool you.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

53.6 @ 19.3 max 31.5

Temps finishing in low 80’s and winds from the SW @ 10. Decent group of 16 or so with several new faces and a few familiars making return visits.



There was a Willier, a Waterford, a custom NYC Bikes and this Cannondale among the group today:


It almost looked like it might strom at some point, the camera made this one look darker than it was:


Rocket fuel: PB&J on wheat. I’d have left that on the road halfway home had I tried to scarf it down.


The group quickly shattered on the way home with Martin, a visiting pro triathlete Ryan Giulianio and another visiting racer who’s name I forgot(sorry) delivering a brutal pace.


Martin and Scott turned off to head back to Meadowbrook while the rest of the group headed to the westside.


I left enough in the tank to make a good run at the Windsor stop ahead sign but pretty much gassed myself and watched  these guys float off into the distance.


Another good ride in the books. Makes a nice shocking contrast to the efforts the pro peloton put out for the TDF, amazing.

Carbohydrates activated brain areas involved with rewards and muscle activity with mouth swishing only. So when I cant drink my maltomix anymore I can swish and spit to trick the engine room for moar pwr.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

46.9 @ 20.4 Max. 37.8

Soggy group of 12 braved the chance of storms for another solid training ride to the west. Several big guns in attendance meant the pace was solid going out and just silly towards the end. Wet roads to start but stayed dry the rest of the ride. Lined up next to Shunky meant I had an earful of some of the funniest ride commentary I get to hear. I hear Razzle Dazzle (absent, cant sit?) popped off an epic 210 miler winning the Fat Ass race and was seeing purple spider monkeys getting off the bike. Nutty, especially from a wild-assed crit rider who did his first century this February. Congrats !


Think Martin said he got 138 @ 22 avg for Saturday’s effort, probably wasn’t even tired.


I lined up behind Sean for the sprint effort and somehow became the leadout for Stone an French (max speed) and watched them power off into the distance. Frenchy thanked me later for the leadout which is always a good feeling.

No anger in these bellies:


Pace proved a little much for Rob and I. We joined forces for a solid tempo ride back to town including a signature wrong turn by me.


Sunset was extra pretty and thought the flash killed the shot but it seems to have pretty much worked:



Campus hipster bike from the lunch ride:


From the Dept. of Race Bikes I’d Glady Flog:


Losing sucks but you don’t have to be a dick about it.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Big Jay’s Fat Ass 12 Hour


Group of 20, 66° and no wind to start, 84° and 8 from the S for finishing.


Knowing there’s no way I’m making it 12 hours and the relatively open format, run-what-cha-brung attitude of the race I set this event as an attempt to break my PR 100 mile time. Last year I finished in 4:34 behind a very fast ultra rider named Larry.

This year’s route is changed a bit due to construction, making each lap 27.7 with ~ 540’ elevation. Looks like I did 83.7 @ 21.3 max 30.3 in 2:52 for 2010.



Pace was pretty relaxed from the start and with thoughts of my PR possibilities dwindling I proceed to ride off the front in an invisible aerobar position and tried to set the cruise control at 80-ish% effort. 

After being reeled back in I punched off the front a few times and finally got one to stick when Martin and Luke joined me. The common thread among us; none were going the full 12 hours. But as usual, in this group, I’m outgunned.

Martin visited the potty after lap 2 and Luke and I, cracking from effort and poor training?, continued on with a semi-relaxed pace. After a few miles and no sign of Martin we resume pace-making tempo and didn’t see him again till he passed us so fast I was unable to produce a big enough effort to hold his wheel. I started seeing spots and gave up. I felt partially responsible for Luke being cooked and wasn’t in much better shape so I dropped back to gain a workmate against the increasing winds and enjoy some conversation for what I was certain would be my last lap.


The man, the myth and razzle’s new ride(envy):


Yes Jay, I know I went way too hard in the beginning:


I think had I been feeling better and actually did some training I would have had the energy/desire for the 4th lap. There was very little possibly of me feeling like anything but a steaming pile had I embarked on the third lap. There is still debate whether or not I have bike racer DNA. Today I had bitten off plenty to chew.


This is how I want to feel all the time minus the fatigue of 80+ @ 20+:


Favorite parts of the ride:

As I’m going off the front for a third time, stopping for a stop sign, putting a foot down in front of a cop and then told I didn’t have to stop while he chuckled at me.

Martin blowing by us at full steam and swearing I heard a turbo noise.

Not cracking to pieces all over the road, and having just enough fluid to get me in.

Following all the arrows this time and not needing my  “Hey Dummy“ turnaround arrow that Jay painted special for me, at the turn I missed last year.

Big thanks go out to Jay, the volunteers and my lovely pit crew for the support and pictures.


Pic from last night before the batch of gel: