Archive for May, 2008

I Believe Kansas Is The Sunflower State

Its been awhile, thanks for your patience.  I don’t have much to report that has been going on.

A stool I sat on is featured in the article on framebuilders in the July issue of Bicycling magazine.  It is in Ira’s shop.  He is in the picture, too, the article is about him and his kind.  When I was a young shaved-legger I wanted to try and get on the cover with some sort of mocked up ironic shot of me getting dropped from a group ride.  I never took the time so this may be as close as I ever get.

I have a job again.  I started working at Geoff’s Local Motion Bike & Ski.  This is the last chance shop for me in this town, if it doesn’t work out I am going to have to move.

Dirty Kanza is this Saturday.  I am ready, my bike is probably ready.  It looks like this:

Here is the other side:

Things of note.  Basically the same bike as always.  Race wheels, new tires.  That pump strap went undefeated in long distance gravel road races last year, claiming the coveted first pump strap across the line title at both the trans iowa and the kanza.  The rear derailleur cable is brand new and appears sound.  Brian and I are taking off tomorrow.  The weather is forecast to be a tad too hot for my liking down there in Kansas but what can you do?

Our cold frame is working, spinach and lettuce are up and we even got a salad out of them tender baby greens the other night.

There you have it, I am looking forward to the weekend and also looking forward to it being over!


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Writing Wrong

I have been spending lots of my unemployed time reading The Amazing Adventures Of Kavalier & Clay and snuffling and sneezing and coughing. The book is great, the sickness or allergy or whatever it is? Not so much. I had hoped to do a long ride this week to test the Kanza set up but that aint happening when I feel like this which is okay because the bike is not even together yet. Jeesh.

When I was replacing the chain and small ring I realized that the cartridge bb was, in the parlance of our times, screwed. How can this be, 5 years of slogging through the best gravel and muck the midwest can offer and that is all it has?!?!?!? I thought I would order up a new one lickety-split but how was I to know that they are out of stock everywhere? I have some options but none that make me happy 10 days before a 200 mile gravel ride, any help you can offer (Your NOS Shimano 7700 Octalink V1 68/118.5, delivered, would sure be nice. Hint. Hint.) is appreciated. Serious replies only.

***Update from the porch, the 109.5 from the Fuji fits & the chainring clears, we can all rest easy!  Why oh why have I been lugging around them extra 9mm of spindle all these years!***

In other news, our garden and yard are finding their grove, thanks to Cody and my mom. Cody has been in charge of seed starts and look at em grow!

She also loaded up our cold frame with lettuce and spinach and look how happy they are in their little house!

My folks were out last weekend to visit and my mom was happy to work in the yard, she dug out this nice patch of Hosta which had been buried in weeds, thanks mom!

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Self Unemployed

I have no job now. The sorority girls of Iowa City will have to find someone else to grill their cheese. I resigned my position at Fin and Feather as well for a multitude of reasons. I have a few options for the future, some sweet and others savory. Stay tuned to see what I wind up doing, I may go into business as a guest blog updater.

Bike to Work Week has finally ended, no more meetings! The whole week went well and while I love the work I have done for this noble cause I am probably not going to help with the organizing next year. For three years now our yard has been a study in potential and I think with extra spring time free time I can help its potential to be realized. Plus I would like more time to ride and I have plenty of volunteer outlets already.

This past week was a great week of riding. I did both group rides, the Mayor’s ride, a lovely one hour spin with Cody, a pie race that I rode to and from and a nice mountain bike ride at Sugar yesterday with John and a few other people we saw out there. There is lots of water covering trails but what is available to ride is in really good shape. I rolled on the Salsa and boy do I have some work to do on that set-up! I just put it in the shed and forgot about it after Ouachita but I am looking forward to some good rides this summer. The race on Saturday morning went well, ATLAS got in the break and those of us left behind did an okay job of controlling things. Top ten felt much better than the top 30 from the weekend before and the ride out and back in beautiful weather iced the pie.

My folks were in town this past weekend so we entertained them with a trip out to Fae Ridge Farm and Cody’s show and we watched King Corn, too. If you have not seen this movie you should. A couple of major points. Quit eating cows! Stop! Cease! Now! Also, pay attention to the ingredients of what you eat! And stop driving cars for Pete’s sake! Ethanol is a scam and cars in general are bad so just stop already!

Back to happier things. I got my pro deal from nuun so I now have waterbottles and stickers and 9 tubes of their fizzy little electrolyte tabs in 3 flavors. Thank you nuun! I like that stuff.

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Bike to Work Week 2008

For the past few years I have been helping to organize the local Bike to Work Week events.  It has been fun, there is a lot of work and months of meetings but when the events happen it is always a good time to be there and the folks that participate always love it.  Here are a few pictures I took of the breakfasts that kick off the week, Monday at College Green Park and today at Kinnick Stadium.

The events were very well attended both days with 100+ people being served over the 2 hour period, groups would come in and go out while some of us spent almost the whole time there.  It is amazing to think of the space requirements to do a breakfast for automotive commuters, this is such a tiny area to serve so many and the grass does not even get trampled.  Its good living!

Here our local USCF rep shows off his hot Italian fold up bike.

I rode my 1 SPEED FUJI and brought along my own table and chair.  This set up worked well on the way there but on the way back not so much.  I don’t know why.  I took this stuff along to sell Iowa Bike Coalition Raffle tickets.  It was just like the good old days when I used to sell meat raffle tickets (doesn’t that sound enticing!) for the boy scouts so I could go to summer camp.  I had my own handmade sign that was all red white and blue and I would sit at my table in front of Jewel for hours asking folks if they wanted to buy a ticket for a chance to win a side of beef or a turkey.  I digress…

Tomorrow night is the big event, the Mayor’s ride!  Meet at Chauncy Swan Park (across from city hall) starting at 5:15, we will roll to the Coralville New Pi at around 5:45.  Free bike lights to the first 150 people, free food at the Coop.  Always a good ride and the weather looks great so I do hope to see you there.

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My fashion adviser is constantly reporting on his weblog where in the world his readers are when they are reading. He has some little program or meter or something that lets him know when someone in Iowa City or even the White House has visited his web orphanage. At first I thought he was making this up but he assured me was not so there you have it. The fine folks of wordpress, wherever they are, do let me see what people like you type into search engines that lead you here. Sometimes there is some funny stuff, here is todays searches and thanks for stopping by, however you find this place.

ira ryan racing frame 2
nitto 105 2
the big lebowski el duderino 1
tarik giddy up 1
smoking a joint 1
monster kanza 1
stay out of trees 1
four wheeler races 1
“standing indian shelter” appalachian tr 1
townie frame bag cup holder 1

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Hit The Links

Friday night we had a Bike Library Steering Committee meeting. We drank some fine Love and Hoppiness beer from Rogue brewery and when our work was done most everyone there came back to our house for a fire and more beer. It was a nice night, it got really cold, there was some rowdy talk regarding such racy topics as Iowa Public Radio and the makeup of the Iowa City City Council in 1997. Scandalous!

Saturday morning I went and did my first paved road race in 14 months or so. It was a pie race and the team had a good group there. The brutally honest race report is that I bridged to the early break and then got dropped from it. Immediately following I was caught by the field and they dropped me, too.

Saturday afternoon I volunteered two hours at the Bike Library for Rental Bench. I spent

my time affixing clever and encouraging signs to inoperable bikes that look mostly fine so I can lock them to racks around town for Bike to Work Week. John stopped by to find wheels for his special lady friend’s bike so I made him help.

I gussied up the display windows for the big week ahead and closed the place down so

I could go help Cody put the finishing touches on her show because the opening reception was that night.

It was not a mad scramble but a steady poaching that saw everything in place right at 6pm as the first people arrived. I have been authorized by the artist to show a few teaser pictures of the installation here to help create buzz about the show, check her official website for the official recap soon.




It was a great time and about everyone we know came and it was great to see you all! Post reception we found ourselves at the Fox Head once again as the rain poured down outside in the company of John and other friends. Ol’ 20¢ was up to his usual tricks and did his best to corrupt us and I did leave with a commuter mug full of Pabst but I did not puke in the sink, and neither did Cody!

Today was a bit quieter as you might have expected, I put the Bike to Work Week bikes around town at strategic bike racks and worked five hours at Fin and Feather. Laundry, dishes, blog post and to bed with me. Looks like a nice week ahead with the wrap up (for real this time) of my sorority cook career and much cycle advocacy before my parents come to town next weekend.

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On Your Mark

From this photo the educated eye can clearly discern that Jason means business in the Giro. Grand Tours are seldom won at the team presentations, but they can be lost. A three week stage race is not a thing to take lightly and even the strongest of riders must carefully budget their energies if they hope to excel in the arduous weeks ahead. This is the very highest level of competition and as such heads are shaved and toenails clipped to increase aerodynamics and save weight as any advantage is sought. The most determined and savvy riders will even eschew a seemingly mundane and easy task such as holding up a bike. They know it for what it is, a drain on precious caloric reserves when they are needed most. So too the raising of an arm or even two as part of a publicity stunt. Nay(!) say the serious players, their arms will go up when victory is achieved and not before!

photo from cyclingnews

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