Archive for September, 2009

Iowa City Gallery Walk

Cody has not updated her blog in a while, it is true, but she has been hard at work in her studio lately.  And just what has she been working on you ask?  A handbound anthology of her Awkwardly Put zine!  The great unveiling is this Friday, October 2nd.  Walk on by if you can:

Cody GalleryWalk

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Sweet & Savory

What a day!  I awoke not too hung over after a few Torpedos last night and turned the live coverage of the Men’s World Road Race Championships on the internets.  Sat around and watched for about an hour as the early break powered along.  Was going to ride the Salsa out to Sugarbottom for a lap or two, but at 7:30 it was still 50 degrees

outside, so I changed the plan.  Did a load of laundry and made breakfast.  Cody woke up to the sound and smell of the frying potatoes and made the coffee.  We watched the race as we ate.  Top Iowa City rider Jason McCartney was out there and we kept hoping to catch a glimpse.  No luck on that one.

I got so into watching the race and drinking the coffee with my sweetie that I postponed my knobby ride until after it had all been decided.  Cancellara, I love him, and who am I to second guess, but attacking the selection on the downhill inside 10 miles to go?  Not smart maybe?  So Cadel won, I can’t complain, it was a perfectly timed, really strong attack, but that man needs to work on his victory salutes, here is a handy guide.

photo:  ©Riccardo Scanferla



Okay, so no victory salute for us, but while enjoying the morning I also checked out the Best of the Area awards from the local paper, which were just announced today and what the heck, we got a runner up for Best Bike Shop!  Wowza, I don’t know what else to say except thanks and we will keep doing the best we can.

So with World’s over, breakfast eaten, laundry done and hung, 30th Century Bicycle awarded and the beautiful day in full swing I decided to bag the mountain bike ride totally, and townie the long way to work.  Over the res on the Fuji, a fine ride and a fine day to do it.  Work then, we recovered a stolen bike, somebody came in to sell it, but oh shucks, that is our neighbors bike and don’t you try to deny.  He did not, bike is back home with rightful owner!

After work Cody and I rode home and made some really tasty wraps with bok choi and peppers and tomatoes and garden burgers.  All the while the day was beautiful.  Took down the laundry, took a quick nap on the couch.

Got back out for an evening spin, rode the Salsa around town.  Ran into the Leflers and townied across town with them, talking and laughing.

Got home just after dark, with a nice moonlit glow on everything.  Now to blog, soon to shower and to sleep.  What a great day it was, I can ride the mountain bike tomorrow.

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Seems Like Old Times

Just like the college years.  Group ride*.  Beer.  Shower.  No food in the house.  Quick ride to the store.  Ramen noodles and a can of Indian style something or other.  Ride home.  3 minutes and dinner is served.  No.  Every fork in the house is dirty.  Do the dishes**.  Eat dinner.  Now for a pint of ice cream and off to bed.

*  Good ride.  They went slower this time.  It had rained all day so the B’s were sloppy but passable.  Many crashes and general bufoonery.  I felt pretty good and even went really fast a couple of times.  Only crashed once!

**  In the college days of course I would have only washed one fork, but now I’m a responsible adult so I did them all!

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3 B’s & I’m Out

Did the A ride last night.  Roll out of town was nice and chatty, it was a pretty large group.  We went down Dane Rd and hit the first downhill B that has claimed so many deraillers over the years.  It had rained for the first time in a month or so and the B was slick.  Somebody crashed ahead of me, I piled into the back of the two people that had piled into the crasher.  I did not go down, just full stop and a foot in the mud.  Full chase mode as the ride waits for no one.

Caught back on, feeling a bit winded, back into another B, this one longer and not all downhill.  Was in the happy place right behind the Eppens when I hit some kind of quicksand that sent me sideways and again to full stop, but again I did not crash, did not even put a foot down, but was OTB again.  Made chase slow and steady until pavement.  Car there, stupid cars, lost a bit more time, chased back on with a little help from the Rock.

I knew it was over for me, I was already pooped and we were about to hit another B, and this one with a climb.  Sure enough, pop went the Pickle and I was solo.  Smokin’ Joe came by and taunted me as he flew back up to the group.  I tried to predict the ride and get back in but I guessed wrong, rode back to town by myself, did a couple more efforts just to feel like it was a complete ride and that was it.

Kind of a demoralizing ride, I keep training, if not a lot, and keep hoping I will pick up some form along the way but it just does not seem to be happening.  I will go back tomorrow for another helping, it was nice having had some rain, made the ride more interesting and fun for sure.

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Braking Frames

Ira broke his Ira Ryan riding around in French ditches.  I broke my Ira Ryan, too, but in this case I just mean I put brakes on it.  I am one step closer to a ride-able bike, Ira will have to build himself another.  I bet his is done before mine is…

I finsished a great week of riding yesterday.  A mountain bike ride at Sugarbottom, two College Green group rides, two recovery rides, one gravel spin on the mountain bike and a four hour roll yesterday on the cross bike.  I was hoping for a group ride but it was not to be so I went South over tricounty bridge and then, in a spontaneous moment, pushed on past Riverside to check the condition of the Kalona fourwheeler trails.  I knew not what to expect, the last time I had been through the whole place was a sandy, cruddy, flooded mess.  This time, it was perfect!  Lots of mud, yes, but also lots of sand, yes, but also lots of down trees to hop over, yes, but also thick head high weeds on each side, yes, but it was fun and I declare the trails not just ridable, but required for a group ride in the near future.  The ride home was also good, I pushed a hard tempo the whole way and I must say it was the best I have felt on a long ride in months.  Because I have not taken a long ride in months!

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How Cold Were My Valleys

The chill is there when the gravel roads dip, a reminder of what is to come: burning legs and lungs.  Managed to get a good week of riding in so far.  In addition to the mountain biking I hit both College Green rides and was happy to feel that my rest week was effective.  I  did not feel any faster, really, but I made it through both rides and had a good time doing it.  Mostly.

Now, at home with Duke Ellington playing, a fresh veggie and tofu thai stir fry type thing cooked, and a Dogfish Head 60 minute IPA disappearing I am a happy Steve indeed.

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Sugar Butt

Rode the Bridgestone out to Sugar tonight and tore it up!  It was the predictable slow (32X16) ride out, but it felt good, took about 40 minutes maybe?  Rode all on the south side but for 2 of the blacks, I usually skip them, and was happy to find some new trails.  Still all them roots, can we chop some of them out?  It is starting to feel like Vermont or something.  I am not itching with the poisenous Ivy yet, hope to have missed it all.  I took  brief trip through the north side trails, none of the blacks, more new stuff – and lots of deer!

Probably spent an hour on the trails, and I did not see anyone else.  The 1.5″ rear tire was fun, but likely is not the way to roll…  The ride back was also uneventful but good, I hope to get back out there soon!

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Back On Bridgestone

It is back, the coolest SS mountain bike on planet Earth rides again!

file photo

My poor old friend was put in the back of the shed after the last 2 snowy hundies of the cup o’ dirt saga of 2007 and was plenty rusty and corroded, but it was nothing a new chain, new headset, new hub bearings, new axle nuts and new grips and a parts washer could not take care of.  It is fun to have a bike shop! We went out and rode together for an hour and a half tonight and I gotta tell you, there is no reason to weigh in on the 26 / 29 wheel debate, this bike is just fun to ride.  So I will keep riding it.  Might even do a race if I can get the day off from work?

I will be thinking about the folks up there doing the Vapor Trail 125, which starts in a couple of hours, as I lay down to sleep tonight, and as I wake up tomorrow morning, etc.  Good luck to all and Cully – put the screws to ’em!

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