Archive for April, 2009


dugans007I have not been spending much time over here at my personal blog lately.  Sorry.  Most of my effort has been on the shop opening so I have not had much to report on me.  I have been digging through my piles of bike stuff trying to find the stuff that should be in a bike shop.  Stuff I forgot I had.  It is fun.  I ran across this Dugan’s matchbook, anybody else out there have fond memories of that bar?

In vaguely related news, my favorite Iowa band ever is coming to town on June 26th!  They stopped touring years ago and I thought I would never see them again, but they have been again been playing shows here and there.  The last time they were here I missed it because I had made a commitment to ride 100 miles in the snow the next day and I thought rock and or roll would hurt my chances of success.  So I must keep the calender clear, dust off the combat boots, grow my hair out, get some cutoff overalls, find a Dead Bikemen t-shirt and party like it’s 1991.


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Iowa City is a party town. Yet I was still surprised this morning, as I rode to the shop, to find a beer bong in the street.  I rode by it shaking my head and weeping for the future but then I heard a faint shouting, as if carried on the wind.  It was the voice of Tarik saying ARE YOU MAD!  GO GET THAT THING – TAKE A PICTURE OF IT – PUT IT ON THE INTERNET – JEESH, DO I HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING?

stp82061So I swung back around and rescued BOBO II from an unknown fate.  I don’t know if I was most surprised that I had never found a beer bong before in this town, or that no one had yet picked it up as it was 8:30 and the churches were already well in session.

It is a fine funnel, and the hose clamp will surely come in handy around the shop once it has been disinfected.

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Oh Yeah

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You Cannot Race If…

Your house is not in order.  That is conventional bike racer wisdom, folks.  I am not trying to race, just do the group rides, and apparently I can not even do that right now.  I did win the group ride tonight.

It is a confusing time in my life, between opening 30th Century Bicycle and having a new bike to build.  My training is erratic.  My bike is heavy with heavy tires and a fender.  The Ira should be together soon, I am thinking about it at least, and have a parts order going for it.  But for now I am on the LeMond, which has carried me so selflessly and ably for so long.  I got dropped hard on the College Green ride on Tuesday.  I have never been dropped so fast on an Iowa City group ride.  It made me sad.  And mad.  Tonight the tone of the ride was a bit different and I was having a good time, talking with a UofI racer and when the going got going I shifted to the big ring and the chain jumped right off the outside and wrappped around the bottom of the crank and chainsucked right up into rear derailler stretching territory.  I tried to work it out at speed but it was useless, so rather than bust the hell out of my whole set up I stopped and fixed it.  20 seconds and I was back on my way but I was far enough off the back that it was over for me.  So, astute comprehender, how then did I come to win the ride?  Well, let me tell ya.  I soldiered out into the wind to the West Branch T and rode back in solo and then with another fellow who’s name I did not catch.  We rolled along expecting to be caught and began to think that the group must have turned the supposed out and back format into a loop somehow.  Mysterious…

Then, as we were coming up the last hill on Newport I looked back and there they were!  I took off fast and held off the hard chargers for the win, which I celebrated in grand tour stage winning style.  I am, actually, still celebrating now!

Some may debate the legitimacy of my victory, but for me it is done, and there is nothing more to say.

See you next week.

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Knobby Knews

I got my rejection letter from Chequamegon.  How could they do this to me!  I make that race what it is, er…  Something.  No, it’s okay.  What with getting 30th Century open already dominating my time I probably should be happy to think this will be a year of no racing.  Still made me sad, though.  I might try the essay contest if the shop is rockin’ but I might try something different this year.  Maybe the O2S if I have not missed the entry deadline already.  Or that Iowa 24 hour mountain bike race.  We will see.

I spent the weekend riding mountain bikes with Brian.  Not the whole weekend, we were both watching the live streaming of the Ronde Sunday morning, but we got out both days.  We stayed in town and checked out the local singletrack.  Most of it was very underwater last year, but now it is back.  Lots of sand, downed trees, a missing bridge, etc.  We did some trail maintenance and every trip through was better than the one before.  The sand sections were entertaining.  A trip with a shovel and a pruner will do wonders.  We were out for 2 hours both days!

Also this weekend past, the Ouachita Challenge again punished the mind and body while rewarding the spirit of those taking part.

Local bearded biker Adam put down his crustacean  and Coors and went the distance in the 80 miler, calling it “terrible” and “the worst experience of my life“.  Sounds like he will be back next year.  I hope to return and take another crack at the 60 miler and being as our shop carries Niner,  I think I will be on a S.I.R. 9 like this one, but with gears.

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I have been digging through my piles of accumulated crap.  I am trying to pick out the bike shop relevant ones so I can start storing them down there and free up some valuable elbow room around our house.

invitato002Here is my official INVITATO to Tirreno-Adriatico, 2001.  I was over in Italy for three weeks with my girlfriend and after a few days of riding in Tuscany we angled down to Sorrento to check out the Euro Pro scene and ride the Amalfi Coast.  It was pretty cool.  Of course!  We walked into the race HQ and said (in perfect English, er, pretty good American) that we wanted to watch the race.  So the nice man gave us the bike race equivilent of all access backstage passes.  Once we figured out what these meant we could go anywhere!  Bonus pink cord, too.  When you see that tower full of officials and photo finish equipment at the finish line of Giro stages?  I’ve been in that!  Watched Biago Conte take the sprint of the first stage from the upper deck.  It was funny, having no idea what was going on.  No jumbo-tron, nobody with a radio to tell us what was happening as they did their big loops – just a thundering pack and a Saeco jerseyed rider raising an arm as they flew by.  It was still awesome.

mcnews003Anybody else out there remember Midwest Cycling News?  Back when top riders still used SCOTT drop-ins, and Al Gore had not yet started up the internets, this was how we found out where races would be.  And the following month, who had won them.  Or who had got eighth on May 11th in the cat 3 Wisconsin State Crit Championship held in a beautiful industrial park in Pewaukee.  This cover is a classic – picture from the Alpine Valley stage of SuperWeek, I think from the year before as that race goes in July.  No need to guess who won that day.

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