30 December 2007

New Years Wish & 2008 Preview

Hello, all. Just wanted to take a quick minute to say hello as we come up on 2008 and thank everyone for reading and for the awesome comments and emails I've received. I really started taking the blog serious in October. As I do in life I set my sights a bit high a bit early, but I think it's paid off. I feel like there are quite a few regular readers now, and a ton of people dropping by all the time just to check it out. The Feedjit map in the sidebar is showing hits from all over, it blows my mind really, and things are starting to pick up. That's to say, I think people are starting to take it as serious as I do.
So, my question became where do I go from here? I'm a firm believer that if you want it done right you have to do it yourself. I've got some people in mind that I would love to get to help me with the blog and stories, but I've also decided I'm not going to count on others just to keep it going. It's truly a labor of love for me, and I'll do what I have to to keep it interesting for those of you who take the time to read it. Also, I'm working on what I hope will be some really cool surprises in 2008.
Finally, for now, I will be working on getting all of the commenter blogs posted in the side bar. I would truly like this to be more of a community rather just another cycling blog. With all of that said, I would really love any input you have. Your likes, dislikes, stories you want to see, whatever. You can reach me via the "contact me" link at the top of the side bar, and I promise to get back to you quickly. Thanks again and here's hoping a happy and prosperous New Year to everyone of you, and your families. One full of tons of joy and crazy epic rides for all!

21 December 2007

My Christmas Thank You

Where do I even begin? I want to wish everyone out there the most amazing Holiday Season, and a happy and prosperous New Year. This year has been crazy for me. It started in a pretty bad way that managed to work itself out. I went from a very toxic place in life both in the place I was working and from a health and fitness standpoint to a one hundred eighty-degree change. Now I am blessed with a good job that’s getting better with awesome like-minded people I love to be around. Also, and this is something I am arguably more proud of, I managed to lose about forty-five pounds in five months, and achieved a level of health and fitness I would have never thought I could have at the beginning of the year. I have to thank a boatload of people for their help and inspiration in this.

My wife: She has been totally cool in making sure we’re kept in decent food, that’s not going to ruin our progress, I won’t post a picture ‘cause she’d kill me but I do have to say she is losing weight too, and looking wicked hot. Also she keeps putting up with my obsessions, bicycling and the blog included, even though most of them cost me way too much money. Thanks Babe!

Sprocket Boy: Bro, Thank you for your amazing muesli recipe which is obsessed over by everyone I introduce it to. It’s really good stuff, really good.

Fatty: At the risk of sounding really cheesy, I have seldom been so touched and inspired. Your updates of Susan’s battle, and the way it has effected your family both negatively, and maybe more importantly, positively through the generosity and prayers of people is downright inspiring. I can’t help but think I would love to be able to be that strong in life’s situations. Also, you’ve been awesome to keep a bunch of people accountable in their quest for better health. Thank You!

John: OK, in fairness I have to thank John and I have to thank Spin and Don at Spin. These guys are super cool, if you live in Northeast Ohio you owe it to yourself to drop in on Spin Bike Shop and give them the business. After looking around a bit for my new bike and one for the wife, I settled on Spin. I’ve never had such a positive experience, seriously. Fatty talked about LBS (local bike shop), and this is it! They don’t just sell you the bike and bail, they truly care that you’re happy and take care of you long after your purchase. Class act guys, sincerely, thanks!

I can go on and on, but one more extremely important thank you absolutely has to be said. Thank you to everyone who has been reading this, and especially the commenters. I was really unsure if anyone would even give a rip about what I had to say, but then I started to see hits all over the US. Soon hits were all over the US plus Canada, UK, and Australia. Next thing I know add to the mix France, Sweden, Spain, Italy, Taiwan, Germany, Romania, Poland, Mexico, Turkey, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Japan, China, and I’m probably missing another one or two. It means so much to see people coming by to read, to have repeat readers, and to have people commenting. I do it in hopes someone will enjoy it, and hopefully you do. As long as people drop by to read it, I’ll continue to write it. Thank you for reading this, it means so much to me that you take the time out of your day to share a bit of mine.

Well, that’s about it for now. I’ll be taking next week off to be with the family, which means I’ll probably post something anyway but… I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas (or different Holiday of your choosing) and Blessings and prosperity in the New Year. I cant think of a better ending, now, than this; the Specialized “Nutcracker Suite”. It’s really cool, enjoy!
-Don (aka: Phun)

20 December 2007

2008 LIVESTRONG Challenge Dates Released

Official word has now come down from Lance Armstrong foundation on the dates for the 2008 LiveStrong Challenge. The challenge will happen in four cities this year, as follows:
Portland, OR - June 29
Bay Area, CA - July 13
Philadelphia, PA - Aug 24
Austin, TX - Oct 25 - 26
The official release (paraphrased slightly is:
The LIVESTRONG Challenge is the Lance Armstrong Foundation's (LAF) signature fundraising event. This annual series of cycling and running/walking events takes place in cities across the country, enabling anyone to support the LAF's mission to inspire and empower people affected by cancer... We're planning to welcome more than 20,000 participants across the country while raising significant funds for the fight against cancer. In 2007, The LIVESTRONG Challenge raised nearly $9 million dollars, and since inception in 1997, $40 million has been raised for the LAF. For more information, visit www.livestrongchallenge.org.

19 December 2007

Weekly Roundup December 19

My apologies for the steaming pile this blog has been for the last week or so. I just figured I’m really not that funny, so why start now? Truth be told Christmas is now less than a week away and my job is chaos. Everyone, their mom, their Uncle Sal, his sister and so forth want everything done by year end, read: December 21st. That is, for those who haven’t “checked out” so to speak on or about December 14th for the holiday season. I promise I will try harder very soon. With that said, I give you the Weekly Roundup!

Fat Cyclist: This weeks best news; a Susan update. For those of you not following, Susan is amazing, and I encourage you to catch up. On a cycling note, Fatty pays a tribute to Bent022 inMost Awesome Dining Room Makeover. Ever. Everyone seemed to have the same reaction, something like “dining… room… make… over?" Yeah, I know but its so worth it.

Bunny Hop Rockstar: Have to throw some love to the man who hooks me up with the sick gear. Just a quick congrats to John who just inked an Ergon Contract for 2008! Congratulations, John!

50K Loop NS: This weeks post actually had me rolling at first, then I caught myself doing it as I went along. Find Fred is a sort of Where’s Waldo of cycling. You know, the annoying lurp from the books? Red and white striped shirt and Coke (Diet Coke) bottle glasses? Yeah, him… but this is much cooler.

Let’s rock…: Not to be confused with David Bowie “Let’s Dance”, I don’t know what possessed me to go there but I am sorry. Today’s Forecast: Slushy Bike Lanes And A Light Dusting Of Sexual Harassment I don’t know where to start. The “joys” of riding crappy slush filled streets, or the elation of being cat called on your bike? Sadly I will never know the joys of being hollered at by men; at least I could hope I never have that happen.

Bike Snob NYC: I swear this never gets old. Worst Of Craigslist #38-#41 is another journey into the world that is sub-par bicycles on Craigslist. I was going to try to summarize this, but I quickly realized there was just way too much wrong here to even start to summarize. I think BSNYC said it best, when he described it as “NYC’s Cycling Cesspoll.’

Well, for now, a fond farewell. Oh, and I promise to try harder soon, like, by next year.

18 December 2007

Silly Mountain Bikers, Tricks Are For Kids

The video goes back quite a ways, but there are a few reasons I really wanted to use this one.
1) The title is listed as "Cranworks" when it should've been "Crankworks" (Just saying)
2) The song is by a really cool band, "Slow Nerve Action" (Whistler, BC)
3) Slow nerve action is considered the "70's porn funk" genre
4) I still am really trying to hook up a mountain bike, and this is like crack to me
5) I have a friend near Whistler
6) I have friends who ride Whistler
7) I'm really liking saying Whistler
Since seven is luck, I'll stop there as to not bore you. Please enjoy it, whilst I work on the weekly roundup for tomorrow. OH!, and I think I'll throw Matt's favorite in. A Hottie Of The Week®!

17 December 2007

How You Know You Have An Understanding Wife

Let's face it, sometimes guys do stuff that just falls under the classification of asinine. If you're a guy you know what I'm talking about, if you're a woman... you know what I'm talking about as well. As a guy we feel the need to test our boundaries. Kind of like how a three-year-old child says "NO' for the first time to gauge a parents reaction. Not to say that as men we are infantile, just to say that we need a solid baseline for future reference. It may be bringing home that high priced bike and asking what you think before you ride it so if it has to go back your OK. It might be getting the fifty or so inch big screen and not taking it out of the box before you gauge the aforementioned reaction. As a sort of rule, once that baseline is set, generally speaking you do not cross it. At least I would never do such a thing. Ever. Really.
An example of this would be the following. I currently store my bike in my room, next to my bed. I think I actually mentioned this in the past. Anyway, it's next to my bed in our room. Its safe, it's happy, I get to wake up in the morning and look at it and smile. So logic would then say I should leave well enough alone, and leave it in our room, right. I mean, why push the line and have my bike wind up in the garage, with winter temps in the teens, she would get sad, not want me to ride her.
(*Sidebar: All guys ride female bikes. If any of you out there have a problem with this analogy, please feel free to rebut in the comments section. I will have to warn you ahead of time though, you'll have an extremely hard way to go to convince me otherwise. Likewise, all women ride male bikes. Kids are exempt from this as children's bike are sexless. That's just a bit too weird for me)
So like I was saying, why spoil a good thing, right? Why, because I had the bright, but idiotic, idea that the chair-rail shelf thingy® that goes around our entire family room would be a great place to display the bike for winter, since it will be used far less in a half a foot or better of snow.

I thought it looked pretty slick, the wife, not so much. So, the baseline here; the bike is fine in the room. Had I bought the dang trainer it probably would've been OK in the trainer in the family room. Trying to pass it off as a work of art, not going to fly. At least I know where my line is, the bike is still in one piece, and she still sleeps next to me at night. The bike AND my wife, that woman is a saint.

14 December 2007

I Need A Fix

I'm going to start by saying I've never really been an addict. Well, save a few things in no real order: Chubby Hubby, Diet Coke with Lime, Peanut Butter M&M's, Mexican food, Italian food, and Chinese food. Notice a trend? Anyway, I think I might have a problem. It's been more than a month since I've been on a serious ride, and I'm like a fiend for a good long ride. I wake up with my bike next to me (on the floor not in bed, though my wife has made the comment she could sleep in the spare room if I want to sleep with my bike. To be honest, I don't think her tone was a happy one, just sayin') and stare at it in a borderline perverse manner. I've come to the conclusion that the trainer can't happen right now if I want to make a mountain bike happen next spring, and the computer is still shot on the elliptical. Also, it's year end and work is crazy. With that said, willpower is less than great, but I still have the power of muesli. The only downfall is that I'm only losing an average of one to two pounds per week now. A big part of this goes back to, I want to ride in the most unbelievably crazy way. I'm seriously not looking forward to another four to five months of snow and ice. Anyone else out there at this point yet?

13 December 2007

Old School Cycling And Kraftwerk

Ah, the joys of old school techno. Background story here really quick. I was a DJ back in the day, somehow I picked up "Phun", and it stuck with me. Hence Cycling Phun, and Phun and the Phun Cyclist. With that being said, one of my old school favorites of the techno days was Kraftwerk. Nothing says 'wicked cool' like old school Tour de France and Kraftwerk. Enjoy!

12 December 2007

Weekly Roundup December 12

Another week brings cold, followed by rain, snow, cold, rain, cold snow, more snow, rain, an ice storm and finally cold, rain, ice and snow depending on the hour. Whats keeping me going? Surfing blogs, dreaming about a mountain bike early next year, muesli, and Diet Coke with lime, Diet Coke, and Pepsi Max. Here’s what I’ve enjoyed this week!

Fat Cyclist: Everyone has been there once in their life. The point at which you have a mental hiccup and poof you’re laying on the ground trying to figure out what just happened. The Story Of My Crash, In The Form Of A Quiz, is Fatty’s moment. The story is about FC going for a ride and having an awful bail that roached his wrist. To get the full value of the article, read the comments as well. Here’s hoping you feel better soon Fatty!

50K Loop NS: This one was hard for me to decide this week. There were so many good ones to chose from, but I went with Indoor Trainers. The last few from the past week were all a riot, but I figured since this was the most recent it would give you an opportunity to start there and work your way down the list. This post is on the varying types or trainers and a bit of a feature benefit (if you can call it that?!) to each in a humorous way.

Harp Rider: One of many blogs to bring up the nasty, foul four letter word…
S-N-O-W. That’s right this is one of a couple of posts to deal with the problem of massive snowfall, and the inability to ride your bike. 8 Days And Counting is a quickie about the eight day withdraw from cycling.
*Caveat: I know some are saying “you can ride in the snow”, Im just not THAT hardcore I guess.

Travels With A Tin Donkey: Winter (Continued) is yet another post about the sorrow of snow. It truly is that time of year again. Man up and wrap yourself like a mummy, or start the cross training.

I have no witty way to end this thing, so… bye.

11 December 2007

Freakin' Cars Redux, Again.

So In the past I've shared my complaints of motor vehicles in Freakin' Cars or even Freakin' Cars Redux, but today I am going to once again take a quick moment to fulminate on the ignoramuses that I have the misfortune of sharing the road with. I still cannot get over the fact that if you put a person, a body, on a machine like a bike, people suddenly turn into an ass. They forget what (if anything?) they learned in drives education about how to share the road with a bike. We've all heard the horror stories, and frankly I don't really want to hear anymore because I swear I may just stop riding all together if I do. Anyway, my bigger problem here is I've come to the conclusion that people just generally have no idea how the heck to drive.
Example: We recently had an ice storm. This is no big deal, we have about one a month minimum from November through April on average. The problem is that every year, every person completely forgets how to drive in said weather. Then, we have snow, same problem, but exponentially worse dependent on the amount of snow. So traffic is at a standstill at the guy who has four wheel drive, and fails to realize that all four wheels still take a longer amount of time to stop in the aforementioned weather. Cars go careening through peoples yards, turfing them (yes I saw this), and into things like fire hydrants, phone polls, and the like. So it pretty much goes something like this:
Fall - Rain, wet leaves, cold, wind. People hydroplane and slide on leaves.
Winter - Ice and rain cause people to drive like morons, sliding everywhere.
Spring - Rain, torrential rain, and wind. See the results of fall and winter combined with drifting from wind.
Summer - Still have yet to figure it out. The ground is dry, and people still suck. Maybe the UV from the sun ruins their brain?
Moral of the story is, I wish there weren't so many cars.

10 December 2007

Cool Idea #440

Some of you are looking at this right now thinking "where are the other 439?". For you I say, never you mind! Stop being so nosey... Please! I jest, there were no "other 439", I just picked a unmethodical arbitrary number. *I also just realized that "unmethodical arbitrary" is "unnecessarily redundant", just saying.
I had a seriously good laugh the other day. (Sidebar: I’ve learned over the years some people have no idea what that is, sounds and gestures of lively amusement.) Anyway we were discussing various aspects of cycling, what we enjoy about it (see numerous previous posts on this subject), what equipment we like and various other subjects. At that moment I harked back to something that I once saw online. While talking about deep rims, I brought up what might just be my favorite “tool”. While I don’t remember exactly where I first saw it, it’s a really cool idea and hands down thee coolest two words in the homemade bicycle tool genre. The item…
Nipple Poker . That’s right, not only does it make you feel like a naughty 3rd grade private school kid, and chuckle with glee when you say it, but it’s practical as hell and easy to make. Enjoy!

07 December 2007

The Fight Against Cancer & Jon Huntsman

For those of you who regularly follow my blog, you know I have a fairly large (and probably a bit creepy to Fatty) fascination with Fat Cyclist’s Blog. Also, if you know of Fatty’s blog, you know that his wife Susan is fighting cancer, and according to Fatty’s posts she is kicking its ass! What you might not know, on a personal level, is I lost my father to cancer 14 years ago. He was 50 and I was 18. That’s really not so much important, other than to say that when I was young I donated a bit to Hospice, which was a huge help and blessing to my father and family, and more recently to organizations like Lance Armstrong Foundation and such when I have some extra money.
Susan was recently in a hospital for surgery called The Huntsman Cancer Institute. This was the first I had heard of the institute, started by a philanthropist by the name Jon Huntsman in Utah. The reason I mention this is Jon Huntsman was on Glenn Beck (TV show, CNN) Friday evening, and his story is an amazing one. If you are reading this they run the same show three times daily. I know the Eastern Standard Time is 7:00, 9:00, & 12:00; you would have to check CNN for times elsewhere, and also rerun various shows from the week on Saturday and Sunday if you can find it then. It is an awesome story of how Jon Huntsman started with nothing and turned himself into one of the 400 most wealthy people, and now feels it is “(his) DUTY to give back”. He says when you are blessed to get money it is your responsibility to give back, and boy does he ever.
He joked to Glenn that the institute “it’s a Ritz Carlton”, and that when people are “emotionally well served by friends and loved ones and that they be served good foods” they are more likely to strive to fight. They talk about the rooms, which Fatty raved about, and talked about how it’s the family that goes through cancer, not just the patient so it's important for them to have certain comforts as well.
One really cool thing that was mentioned is the fact that for the last six years they do a bike ride that goes 667 miles following route 50. I haven’t been able to find more information about this, but I’ll continue to look and post it if and when I find it. Likewise if you’ve heard of this please post a comment in the comment field.
As a final note, Jon was asked by Glenn “you’re going to die a broke man aren’t you?" His response, “I hope so. I came into this world without anything and I plan to go out without.” In the next 18 months Jon is going to be giving approximately TWO BILLION DOLLARS of his own money to further research and to fund the institute.
Jon, if somehow you read this or hear of this God Bless you brother, thank you for doing what you do, and keep up the amazing work!
I’m going to stop here. I just can’t do the program justice to be honest. I encourage you too try to find it on TV, take the hour out of your life, and watch the show. You’ll have a whole new respect for Jon, for what Susan and family are going through, and for the pains of cancer.
If you are interested in helping in the fight against cancer I’ve some of the organizations you can donate to are listed below. If you have the resources, you could give someone you probably will never meet, one of the best Christmas gifts ever!

Huntsman Cancer Institute
Lance Armstrong Foundation
Susan G Komen

06 December 2007

The Doily Bike

I have to do a sort of disclaimer/apology right off the bat here, actually two. First I'm sorry that I'm posting this at 8:00 PM rather than 8:00 AM, it's been a crazy day. Second if you read Fat Cyclist, this is going to be a bit of an overlap for you. If you haven't read Fat Cyclist this will become comedy gold in no time. Last night (December 5) Fatty posted a story about what might just be the greatest bike in the history of man. I will, from this point forward, refer to said bicycle as "The Doily Bike".
(Photo "borrowed" from the Interbike Delta 7 Press Kit)
Because Fatty being slightly quicker and possibly a skosh funnier than I already pointed out its resemblance to the wonderful toy the Hoberman Sphere, and for that I may not forgive him... but I am also a bit weak, so I probably will. Back to Doily Bike (mental note: need to patent Doily Bike and do something surrounding that in the future), The bike I am referring to is the Delta 7 Arantix Mountain Bike, featuring IsoTruss Technology! (duhn duhn duhhhhn!) I first saw this polished turd (if you will, and you better, it's one of my favorite descriptive terms) in a wrap-up of Interbike. I honestly didn't know what I thought of it at that time, and I still have no idea where they were going with this bad boy. I encourage you to read the post An Open Letter To Delta 7 Sports, Maker Of The Arantix Mountain Bike as well as the comments that follow. As the day has gone on it is turning into quite the beautiful thing. Also, I want to express my sorrow in the fact that I have not seen, what I thought was, the obvious comment (if someone did comment on this, again, sorry). Can you imagine sliding off the seat of this thing and grinding "the goods" across the intricate beauty of a top tube. Anyway, that's my two cents for the day, I'll be back tomorrow, hopefully better, and hopefully sooner, OK before 8:00, around dinner... Bye for now.

05 December 2007

Weekly Roundup December 5

Ah, another week, what’s keeping me going at this point is the fact that we are in December, and thus I am well into my “three weeks to go until a massive amount of off-time” time. I can only hope that northeast Ohio will be gentle and give me at least one day that I can crack the bike out of the house and go for a ride. Also I'd like to take a moment to wish all of my Jewish friends a very Happy Hanukkah which starts today at sundown.

Fat Cyclist: For this week I have to start by saying the following; the week has been full of pretty cool news so far! FC’s wife had surgery that turned out pretty well, and she is doing awesome according to FC. Susan is such a trooper, our thoughts and prayers are with Susan, FC and their families. As far as his blog goes a lot of the posts have been pretty centered around keeping us up on how his wife is doing, and for that I thank you. If you are a regular reader of the blog, I’m sure you’ll agree Elden and family feel as though they are our family. It’s nice to hear how things are going, since there are so many people who care and are praying for them. Also, Elden has posted a sweet article on Christmas. The Third Annual “Christmas Gifts Cyclists Will Actually Like And Use” List, is a thorough list of what to get for the cyclist in your life if you want to keep him/her/it happy. (Sidebar: God it feels good to throw one in! Since I'm sure my wife will see this Fat Cyclist bottles in both colors would be sweet... just saying) Keep up the good work FC & WIN! Susan!

Bunny Hop Rockstar: John is back, and up to no good again. I encourage you to check out the entire blog, and remember to check out this weeks post Dave And Tim Get Blogged. A quick little post introducing you to two new blogs by Ohio riders.

50K Loop NS: This week BlueNoser tackles the ageless question of Fred. What makes a Fred a Fred in Defining Fred.. A pretty in depth look at the Fredian culture and what makes them tick. If you are questioning what a Fred is, you need to check this out.

The Wah Report: A big congratulations goes out to Jared at The Wah Report, who not only just moved out to NC for a great job. but took first place in the NC State Championships, and he and his wife are expecting what they’ve endearingly coined “Chick Wah”. That’s right, any day now they will be having their first child! Congrats to Jared and Family at this awesome time in their life!

Well, that’s all she wrote this week. So until next week (well, I’ll be here tomorrow, but the next roundup will be… you get it), I'm the Phun Cyclist. You stay classy, Cleveland.

04 December 2007

Why Contador Is Sick

There are sometimes that you look at yourself and say I could do better, and sometimes you think you are totally on top of your game. I ask you to view this and tell me if you still think you could hold your own:
That might just be the sickest thing I’ve ever seen in my entire life. It’s labeled as “Best Cycling Save Ever”, but could easily be called “Contador pulls one out of his ___”. I’m just saying. Also, yeah… I know it’s old as hell (reference point: OLN logo) but I was screwing around online and found this bad boy and had to say something.

03 December 2007

Weekend Realization

Not to sound like a whiney little baby, but I sat here most of the weekend feeling like crap. You could pretty much say that we’ve spent the last month passing varied degrees of colds around the household. The weekend sucked for a few reasons, save the fact that I got to spin up for a minute (literally due to biting cold and lack of any proper gear) on a crazy Serotta Fierte Ti (crap, how do I talk my wife into THAT. I rode the thing completely fearless! It was so smooth on the nasty roads, and cornered like a dream. I hate John just a little bit for letting me ride it) with Zipp 303’s (have to say, didn’t have a long enough time to comment on the Zipp’s, but I think I could do without carbon rims), fully dolled up with SRAM (Goal: get good enough to justify the next bike having SRAM out the rear if I could help it). I think I talked about it the rest of the night really. So, Serotta… wanna send me a frame? I promise to ride the hell out of it and I’ll say some super nice things?
OK, seriously. The weekend was me various stages of sick. It wasn’t all bad though. It was actually a bit productive, unless you ask my wife. I spent the weekend doing research on mountain bikes, and figuring out what I have that I can unload for decent profit on ebay. How many of you have been here. “Crap, I really want a _____, if I sell the house, the car, the dog, my…” You know what I’m saying don’t you? So I came to the conclusion that I have a boat-load of vinyl (and discs) from when I used to DJ, a metric sh**-ton of classic/collectable Apple computers and swag (I’ll take bid’s on shirts, shoes, G3 B/W Towers, a couple iMac’s, etc.), as well as a bunch of randomness. So if there’s any Apple fans out there, or if you have a clubbish 12” you’ve been looking for, holler at me. I’ll keep you up on how the bike financing goes.

30 November 2007

T Mobile Says Farewell

So if you are like me you’ve either been busy, living in a box or a bit of both. I wanted to touch base on something that happened a couple of days ago, I just didn’t have the time to.
After 20 years a Cycling dynasty sadly draws to a close. That’s right; yet another team can be added to the lists of teams that now no longer exist. Are the teams bailing on account all the bad press lately? Do they foresee cycling fading into obscurity? Recently Discover was also disbanded and my questions are these:
When will it stop, how many teams are going to pull the plug before all is said and done?
Is this because of all of the doping scandal, and if so will the doping ever end?
And possibly the biggest question, could this or will this lead to an end to professional cycling? If that is possible what will happen to cycling? Is it possible that it could just slowly fade away, go underground, turn into a little know sport that is barely a blip on the radar?
I’d say, personally, any of these questions are legitimate and fairly valid. While I don’t think that it would totally fade away, could it hurt the already light interest that seems to be the case in the US?
I’d love to hear some opinions on this. Hope all of you have a great weekend!

29 November 2007

Cycling Phun Phake News: Spin Lawsuit

29 November 2007
Cycling Phun Phake News Service

Public Notice:

Today let it be announced that the legal representation of Cycling Phun (the blog) will be filing suit by week end against the Spin Bike Shop. The lawsuit states that due to the title of Spin Bike Shops recent Cyclocross race, the Cross My Heart And Hope To Die Willoughby Cyclocross Spectacular (hereafter known as “CMHAHTDWCS”), the owner and editor of Cycling Phun (hereafter known as the “Phun Cyclist”) is currently suffering from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, brought on by the typing of the aforementioned title.
At time of press we were unable to obtain a comment from Spin Bike Shop. The Phun Cyclist said he would have no official comment at his time, he then blurted out the following:
“It hurts man, I mean really hurts. For God’s sake, it’s sixty-four freakin’ characters. Of, course that takes into account spaces, but SIXTY-FOUR! What the heck were they thinking? (mumbles heard under his breath) I mean, hell, it was a good title though… I’m a little jealous I didn’t think of it myself, I mean think of… Hey, are you guys still on the phone? Crap! (Disconnect)”
More on this story as it unfolds.

28 November 2007

Weekly Roundup November 28

First and foremost I want to take a minute today to ask everyone to keep Fatty’s wife Susan in their thoughts today. For those who may not know what I am referring to, Fatty’s wife is going through a serious fight against cancer and is having surgery today. Please take a minute to Pray, send some good karma, or just think about in your own special way Susan. Here’s hoping for all of the best for you and your family guys.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. Mine was great, a little too great, read that as weight gain. Oh well, I’m back on Sprocket Boy’s Muesli (recipe link in this episode of Roundup) so I’m just hoping to drop as much as possible by Christmas to be that much further ahead. I almost got a mountain bike, see yesterdays post, and that bombed miserably. With that I give you my weekly roundup! This week is based on those who responded to my “Blog Experiment Post”. I hope everyone enjoys!

50K Loop NS: I’ve really enjoyed reading this one. The blog is witty and interesting, and my favorite; distracting from real life! Seriously though, I check this bad boy everyday. It’s really funny, and presented in a totally original way, a combination or words and imagery that’s just brilliant. Way to go bluenoser.

Travels With A Tin Donkey: I have a new best friend, Muesli! A best friend that was brought to me by a cyclist / blogger who goes by the name of Sprocket Boy. You to can find his recipe for this wonderful treat in Muesli: A Way Of Life. While you’re there you can read the cool stories of his travels and rides. It’s a really great read, but make sure have some time because it’s addictive.

Let’s Rock: Not a cycling blog per se, but I have to admit it is one of my daily (well, every couple days she posts, so…) distractions. I really enjoy reading the posts. They are thought provoking and insightful. Some posts are serious and touching, and some just fun and playful. They’ve actually been touching on a couple of things from my past recently, that have rekindled great memories. Her most recent post Back To The Grind is about a subject that everyone seems to be speaking of lately... Weight loss, and there is yet another contest attached to this. The proposal is cash money (I love when people say cash money, or ink pen… it just sounds so redundantly beautiful) to the winners.

Harp Rider: His summary of the blog says it all. It’s a day-to-day journal of his mountain bike racing, riding, his quest to be good, and occasional rants. Kind of like my blog but in reverse. I mainly rant. Lot’s of cool posts about his riding lately (it’s getting cold), things related to his occupation (chef: God bless him for being sub-200 Lbs. AND a chef… I’m not and it was a job to drop the Lbs.), and just an all around good read.

Fat Cyclist: Fatty posted a touching (and hysterical) blog about what he is thankful for this year. Gratitude is the Fat Cyclist’s serious and crazy, touching and funny list of gratitude for the past year. Also, Elden has posted his weekly Bike Radar story. The story, Cross Training For Cyclists, explains all you will need to know on how to properly cross train this winter. Two words; freaking riot!

That's all for now, but who knows what next week will bring (maybe I’ll bring back the hottie of the week again, any ideas?), for now thanks for looking, see you all here tomorrow.

27 November 2007

Mountain Bike Story

The mountain bike search continues. I mentioned yesterday that there was a story about mountain bikes that I would share; this is that story. The story is long and sorted, so I will do my best to shorten it slightly while dragging it on long enough to bore the reader to death. I mean I will keep it as short and simple as possible, while maintaining gist.
I received an email the other day that a friend of a friend who knows someone (or something), who is a Tri-athlete, and is selling a Cinder Cone. Right now price isn’t all that important, but it was 300 bucks. OK, so because he runs Tri, it was in pretty sweet shape and only two years old. Long story short, I approached the scenario all-wrong with the old lady. Needless to say I am currently without a mountain bike and the bike aforementioned bike is now sold, gone, kaput, bye-bye (you get it, right?), not mine. In an effort to find a silver lining in this cloud, I fully explained the situation to my wife. Why having a road bike AND a mountain bike is not only a good idea, rather it’s a necessity. How I could run errands in the town off road that I couldn’t ordinarily run on roads, via bicycle. How in doing that it would save money on gas, and give me much needed fitness. How snowy roads on a road bike are a no-no. How (thanks John!) it’s kind of like golf… you need the $300 Driver AND the $100 Putter, different tool for different results. It looks like I’m well on my way to talking her into a new mountain bike fairly soon, unless a really great deal comes along and I jump on that. The best part is it seems like I can pull this off and still remain married! (*Note: If you are not married you can not and will not understand this, please don’t try)
Also I have already canned the trainer that I was ordering, that money will be kicked into the bike, and I will turn to the elliptical for my winter fitness. I am currently also looking into ways to more quickly and efficiently raise funds, and what I can sell to help fund it (sidebar: anyone want to buy some vintage Apple Computers, or related Apple swag? Let me know!). So I’m off to work on mountain bike logistics. Hopefully the biking god’s will be with me.

26 November 2007

Get A Grip: Fatty's Weight Loss Challenge Results

Now that the challenge is officially over, and I know that I’ve placed and not been annihilated in a humiliating fashion I feel it is an appropriate time to comment on Fatty’s Get A Grip weight loss challenge. First off I really thought I didn’t stand a chance, which freaked me out on account it would mean one less planned story this week. Well, I placed third which I am totally happy to hear. That, in itself, brings to light a whole different problem that I will touch on later in this post and finish up tomorrow or later this week. For now the weight loss portion of the story, full results list at the Morning After post of Fatty’s website FatCyclist.com. I will be looking strictly at my results and how I got there. First I would like to throw fat guy love out to sprocketboy for his awe-inspiring Muesli recipe, which he unknowingly posted as a great help to me on his November 24th blog post Muesli: A Way Of Life. The reason I am grateful is not only do I have the single most delicious breakfast as often as I desire (I have it almost every morning for breakfast), but it was also integral to my weight loss. Without further suspense my third place finish consisted of a 7.4 pound drop. My start weight was 195.6 my end weight was 188.2 from Monday November 12th, to Monday the 19th. The way in which I lost this weight was a simple diet plan that I concocted as a bit of an experiment. It seemed as though I could eat the muesli as often as I wanted and still lose weight. So what I did was simple: one cup muesli over a half of a banana for breakfast, one cup muesli over the other half of banana for lunch, and a reasonably healthy dinner. The dinner could be a salad, a serving of lean meat with a couple servings vegetables, very minimal carbs if any. I also drank about three to five 20oz. bottles of water during the workday, and another two to four 24oz. tumblers of water at home each evening. It was enough to keep me going, never tired, and never unbearably hungry. My third place finish was bested by a 7.5, and an even 9.0 pounds, I honestly wasn’t sure my 7.4 would hold up, let alone make the top six to win a set of grips, but it did and first and foremost I am extremely happy that the weight is off. Now that I am at 188, my goal is to drop another eighteen by the time the snow melts in 2008. That would put me at 170, brining me in at a total weight loss of sixty pounds since July, which needless to say I would be extremely happy with. Of course I’d need to buy all new gear as my clothes and gear are already getting way too loose. PedalDork requested a before and after shot of the forty pounds, and if Fatty could do it, so can I... With that I dropped forty pounds since my July weight (and the heaviest I've ever been) of 228 pounds.
This is a good point to introduce my problem that I face. I have just won a pair of really sweet mountain bike grips, and have no mountain bike to currently put them on. Lucky for me Fatty has a very obvious and quite simple solution to this seemingly overwhelming conundrum; all I need to do now is make my wife understand that now that I have sweet grips, I need a mountain bike. SIMPLE! The trick is to do this without getting divorced. More on that later, but for now go and check out Fatty’s site, I’m going to go make some money and look for a mountain bike!

25 November 2007

Three Pound Coffin Nail

** Amendment 11/26/07 - Just for the record as of this morning I was down just under two pounds this morning. This has me wondering if the weight gain was just water or something. **
I was hoping to have posted this sooner, but My mind is still on vacation. For your viewing pleasure, the three pound nail in the coffin that is Thanksgiving weight gain. That's right, when all was said and done, from Wednesday morning (the last time I weighed in) to Sunday morning (the first weigh since Wednesday), I put 3 pounds back on. I owe it largely to Fatty's Mashed Potatoes®, Great Lakes Christmas Ale, My wife's grandmother's stuffing, beer cheese, the fact that my wife "just need(ed) Mexican food last night at 9:30 last night, pumpkin pie, cheesecake, and the nail in the three pound coffin that is Arrogant Bastard Ale. Throw in some slacking on exercise for good (er, uh, bad?) measure and poof! I kind of knew this was going to be a sketchy week, but I was hoping I would be a dead even zero, not a gain of three. Oh well, tomorrow starts the process all over again, the muesli is in the fridge. New goal six off by next Monday (the three I put on plus three).

23 November 2007

Ongoing Blog Experiment

Incase you missed it earlier, and because it's the Friday after Thanksgiving in the States and time today is at a premium, I wanted to pass along that I have a bit of an experiment going on here. What I am trying to do is further create a community here among those who have visited the site. I would love it if I could get you (the person reading this post) to leave at least a first name or nickname, the region of the world you are from, and just a bit about yourself as a comment to this post. Also, if you have a blog or website, please leave a link to that as well in the comments. The way I see it is we all have some similar interests, which is why we would have chose to read this, also, I can’t begin to tell you how many amazing and interesting blogs I have found by clicking links on blogs I regularly read. Some of them you can already find on the sidebar of this blog. My hope is that eventually there will be a close-knit community here that shares stories and ideas with one-another, and assuming you have a blog you may gain a few readers in the process. So go ahead, try it and lets see how it goes. I look forward to seeing how this goes, and will likely add the links to the sidebar as they come in.

22 November 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today being Thanksgiving in the States, I wanted to take a moment to wish all of the readers out there a very Happy Thanksgiving. This year first and foremost I am thankful, as always, for my awesome family. My wife who puts up with me, God only knows why,and our beautiful kids.
I am thankful for all of my amazing friends, you know who you are and why I'm thankful for you. This year especially I have had an amazing year of learning about myself and my friends have been an integral part of that. I have done a lot of soul searching and you have helped.
I am thankful for cycling, and the level of fitness I have achieved, and continue to achieve, because of it. Since July I have dropped forty pounds. Without riding, I would have probably never cared enough to drop the weight, or start eating right. Every hill that kicked my butt was another reason to drop five more pounds. Im about eighteen pounds away from my goal of one-seventy now. My goal is to have that licked by the time the snow melts.
Finally I am thankful for you coming here to read this. I periodically look at the Feedjit feed on the right hand sidebar. I've seen the States, Canada, the UK, Australia, Italy (go Italy! - I'm Italian), Poland, Brazil, France, Germany, Ireland, And I can go on and on. Bottom line is if you wouldn't humor me by coming here to read what I have to say I wouldn't bother doing it. I hope it brings you some joy, or a chuckle, or something to your day. THANK YOU!
That's about it, I hadn't really planned on a post today, but I checked the blog for comments, and thought it was something that should be said! Oh and by the way... *notice the Fatty's Mashed Potatoes®! Thanks Fatty!

21 November 2007

Weekly Roundup November 21

This will likely be the last post for this week, due to the Thanksgiving Holiday. If I come up with something super witty (yeah, right) I will post something Friday, but I would have to say it’s probably not going to happen. With that I give you my weekly roundup!

Fat Cyclist: This week Fatty pulled off what can only be described as a coup. Travis Ott, Fisher / Lemond Brand Manager, Responds To Me is the account of FC getting a deal with Gary Fisher. In an effort to not ruin the story, I will stop here and let you read it for yourself. Also, Elden has posted his weekly Bike Radar story. The story, How To Be A Mountain Bike Purist covers all aspects of what you need to do to maintain your credibility as a mountain biker, and the equipment you should consider switching to.

Bunny Hop Rockstar: I’ve really enjoyed reading this one. The blog, itself, is mainly about training (read that as a subject, of which, I can use all the help I could get) and is from the perspective of a semi-pro cyclist. It’s presented in a serious way that at the same time is witty and enjoyable, with ample information (charts, graphs and the like) to back up and/or better explain the advice.

RocBike: These crazy blokes are busting out a phun game of Bicycle Photo Tag. They started with a picture sent everyone out to find it, first to find the item and return a picture is it. They do the same, repeat, and viola! Bicycle tag! This could turn out to be a blast!

Bike Snob NYC: Well, he’s at it again! Hammering Craigslist (this time country wide) to find the best of the worst in Pista’s! BSNYC Fixed-Gear Apocalypse Watch: The PistaDex Is a brilliant write up on all the crappy Pista’s that people are (still) trying to sell for damn near what they paid for them. I’m still not sure where Bike Snob’s hate, strike that loathing for the Pista comes from, but it sure as hell makes for a good read.

Well, slow week on the home front, so for now I leave you with this; I hope all of you out there, and all of your families have a terrific Thanksgiving. Try not to eat too much, watch your fitness, and I’ll catch you all again on Monday.

20 November 2007

Cycling Phun Blog Experiment

For those of you who know me, and more importantly know my wife, you will understand this. For everyone else I hope this will, likewise, be interesting. After seeing the Feedjit Tracking on the sidebar of the blog, my wife asked me why in the heck people around the world would have any interest in the least reading my blog. I immediately sat there staring at my wife. I couldn’t come up with a thing that would interest anyone to check out what I have to say. It got me to thinking, and being someone who originally went to college with the idea of being a Psychologist (the reason I never finished is long and boring, a story that I hope for your sake I decide never to share) I spent a lot of time thinking. One thing I thought of is to attempt a bit of an experiment. What I hope is the following:
I would love it if I could get you (the person reading this post) to leave at least a first name or nickname, the region of the world you are from, and just a bit about yourself as a comment to this post. Also, if you have a blog or website, please leave a link to that as well in the comments. The way I see it is we all have some similar interests, which is why we would have chose to read this, also, I can’t begin to tell you how many amazing and interesting blogs I have found by clicking links on blogs I regularly read. Some of them you can already find on the sidebar of this blog. My hope is that eventually there will be a close-knit community here that shares stories and ideas with one-another, and assuming you have a blog you may gain a few readers in the process. So go ahead, try it and lets see how it goes. I look forward to seeing how this goes, and will likely add the links to the sidebar as they come in.

19 November 2007

Thanksgiving Feast

As Thanksgiving approaches, I would like to take a moment to share a few things with you. Mainly, what I will be having this Thursday for dinner. Those of you, who know me, know that I like to cook (and eat). But I prefer to cook crazy insane meals, not just simple “dinner”. So, Thanksgiving is one of the times of year I love. The thing that sucks this year is that I am in the midst of serious weight loss, and am (luckily) coming off of Fatty’s Weight Loss Challenge. So what does this mean for my annual Thanksgiving feast? Simple. I am going to feel just horrible about putting the five or so pounds I just lost back on! Really, I will feel bad. Especially since I still have yet to receive my trainer. It is not, however, going to change my original feast plans, which will be the following:
Beer Cheese (my infamous “secret recipe”)
Deviled Eggs (It’s a weird family thing)
Shrimp Cocktail
Veggie Platter (OK, so I don’t want to feel too guilty)
Main Course:
The Turkey (Rubbed with no less than one stick butter)
Stuffing (The wife’s family recipe – was told I die if this one gets out)
Fatty's Famous Mashed Potatoes® (OH MY GOD!)
Green Bean Casserole (Plenty-O-French Fried Onions)
Homemade Cranberry Sauce (One of two recipes, I’ll give both – one contains bourbon)
Sweet Potatoes (With a bag of marshmallows if I can help it)
Pumpkin Pie (And whipped cream, duh)
Turtle Cheesecake
Minimum two pots of coffee (unless other people expect to drink some)
Great Lakes Brewing “Christmas Ale” (One of the best beers ever made)
Plenty of Water (Again, some health)
Followed by a fresh leftover turkey sandwich while near comatose undoubtedly on the couch, and undoubtedly while watching TV.
So, with that being said anyone who might like any recipes for any of the aforementioned items please drop me an EMAIL. I do have to warn you that I am not allowed under any circumstances to give up the family recipe stuffing, but all others I would be happy to share with you. Fatty’s Mashed Potatoes are SO worth the email (thanks for giving the recipe up Fatty!). I’d also like to wish all of the readers a very Happy Thanksgiving, I hope you enjoy the time with your families and/or friends, and expect the diets to start again by Monday!

16 November 2007

It Was Funny, I Am Being Lazy

Todays Bike Snob NYC was freaking hilarious! ...And I was extremely busy and lazy. With that said, I will take the easy way out and just say; If you haven't checked out the Bike Snob NYC blog today, it is so worth it. Todays post is The Indignity Of Commuting By Bicycle: Friday Fun Quiz!, a brilliant array of photo and quiz. Just read it, enjoy it, and I'll be back Monday.
As a quick "by the way" to all of those taking part in the Fatty Weight Loss Challenge. I'm not going to say that I plan on winning, but I am starting to look for a decent lightly used mountain bike to acquire for next year. With that said, just remember, only two more days!! With that...
Have a great weekend!

15 November 2007

Dear (Cr)Abby

Dear Abby,

I've never written to you before, but I need your advice. I have suspected for some time now that my wife is cheating on me. The usual signs; if my phone rings, I pick it up, and the person on the other end hangs up. My wife has been "going out with the girls" a lot recently, although when I ask their names, she always responds, "Just some friends from work; you don't know them." I always try to stay awake to look out for her coming home, but I usually fall asleep. Anyways, I have never approached the subject with my wife. I think deep down, I just didn't want to know the truth, but last night, she went out again, and I really checked on her. Around midnight, I decided to hide in the garage behind my bikes so that I could get a good view of the whole street when she arrived home from her night out with "the girls." When she got out of the car, she was buttoning up her blouse, which
was open, and she took her panties out of her purse and slipped them on.

It was at that moment, crouching behind my Cervelo, when I noticed that the Carbon stem appeared to have a hairline crack right by the handlebar mount.

Is this something I can fix myself, or should I take it back to the
bike shop where I bought it?

*This was pilfered from Bunny Hop Rockstar whom pilfered it from
How To Avoid The Bummer Life® who got it God knows where... Also, this gave me a brilliant idea: I think I'm going to have to start a new weekly/bi-weekly. "Dear Crabby", a forum where people can write in and complain about their bikes, lives, etc. What do you think about that!?

14 November 2007

Cross My Heart And Hope To Die Willoughby Cyclocross Spectacular - The Results Episode

As promised before, I have the results of the Cross My Heart And Hope To Die Willoughby Cyclocross Spectacular. I will give the top three for each category, save women and juniors, and the full results can be found on the Team Spin website. The finishers are as follows:
[ Class – Person – Laps – Time ]
BEGINNER WOMEN – Kelly Mikolajczyk – 3 – 39:19

JUNIORS – Robert Sroka – 3 – 35:17

BEGINNER MEN – Adam Merrimqan – 3 – 21:32
Scott Zubricky – 3 – 31:46
Morgan McIntosh – 3 – 32:21

INTERMEDIATE MEN – Troy Marut – 6 – 53:52
Jason Holloran – 6 – 54:05
Kevin Kimmich – 6 – 1:00:30

INTERMEDIATE MASTERS – Bill Marut – 6 – 53:09
Nate Loman – 6 – 55:54
Derek Wilford – 6 – 56:18

EXPERT WOMEN – Brook Miller – 4 – 43:09
Amanda Hasner – 4 – 48:43
Natalie Fisher – 4 – 49:59

EXPERT MEN – Ryan Gamm – 9 – 1:14:53
Tom Burhz – 9 – 1:15:49
Matt Weeks – 9 – 1:16:48

The race was pretty killer to watch, can’t even begin to wonder what it was like to ride. I have to admit, after watching the race I honestly want to acquire a cross bike for the sole purpose of running through the course a couple of times, just to see what it rides like. Thanks to the guys at Spin for having the event and bringing some excitement to Willoughby, and all the guys and gals that rode in the race for giving us a hell of an event to watch! For now, a couple more pictures. Enjoy!

13 November 2007

Weekly Roundup November 13

In the next day or two I will get to posting the final results for the Cross my Heart and Hope to Die Willoughby Cyclocross Spectacular, but the truth of the matter is right now I don't have them. If you'd like you can make do with fotos (er, photos) for now from yesterdays post. Once the results are posted I will bite them from the website and post them as my own. OK, so not really as my own, but I will post them and give credit where deserved. Also, once again, let me apologize in advance for all of the sidetracks this week (such as what Im doing right now). For now, indulge yourself in the wonder that is, The Weekly Roundup!

Bunny Hop Rockstar: The reason I like Bunny Hop Rockstar is simple. It focuses on something I desperately need, training (that and I have a crazy statistics fetish). There is a whole lot more I need besides training, but this is neither the time, nor place for me to get into that, and if you really are interested contact me and I'll bore you with those details. (Although, I could also use a good helping of accountability, but again training.) The creator of this blog, John, is a purveyor and merchant (if you will) of fine bikes, a racer of said bikes, and a trainer/coach. John is a wealth of knowledge about cycling and training, I on the other hand am a bit outside of my dang mind. With that said check out his blog for a ton of training tips, graphs, pie charts (mmmmm, pie), and the like. Or, follow my lead and take a minute to read Join The Revolution just for the hell of it.

Fat Cyclist: If I didn't know better, I'd say that Fatty (Elden) is trying his damnedest to bag on me here. Wherein I Get Downright Aggressive About Selling Out is one of Fatty's classic faux letters. While Elden is writing this as a bit of fun, I am not to proud to say I will take whatever you care to send my way. You can start with Qudoba (though Chipotle will do as well), Cholula, Peanut Butter M&M's, and I'm willing to go as far as (but not limited to) the limited edition Porsche Boxster S in orange (God I love orange, and Porsche), and everything in between. By the way; my road bike is a 54, I love orange, and carbon fiber looks dead sexy with my eyes. So far his post at Bike Radar is not up, but check over the next few days in their humor category.

RocBike: As quickly as I mentioned Fat Cyclist getting RocBike Review #3, they posted RocBike Review #4, the podcast. This podcast finds Jason Crane interviews Bike Snob NYC. I'm not even going to touch this, outside of saying that its worth the listen. Also, I have a whole new appreciation for Bike Snob NYC.

Hottie Of The Week: God Bless Specialized Bicycles and their marketing team! Also thanks to steephill.tv, where this picture was found. To keep Matt happy since I have to work with him; the return of the hottie of the week, and may I just say, Specialized and their angels campaign is brilliant.

Bike Snob NYC: Worst Of NYC Craigslist Bike Ads SPECIAL EDITION: Craigslist Dream Bike! Takes us on a journey as the Bike Snob delves into the festering sore of the internet that is Craigslist.com to build a bike. That's right, he opens his heart and wallet to find the key components to his very own polished turd that is a Craigslist Bike! He starts with his (and I loosely quote) pink 1/8" track chain, a 1" threaded-to 1/8" threadless stem adapter , and a "One Day at a Time" top tube pad embroidered with randy superintendent Dwayne F. Schneider's mustachioed countenance and the phrase, "How ya doin' there, Ms. Romano?" For more you'll have to read it yourself.

Also, don't forget to get your recipes in for the Thanksgiving Feast! As it says I STILL need all the help I could get. John, you've got to have something healthy to add, right?

That about covers it for this week. I'm the Phun Cyclist. You stay classy, Cleveland.

12 November 2007

Cross My Heart And Hope To Die Willoughby Cyclocross Spectacular

I’ll give all of you a much more in depth review of the Cross My Heart And Hope To Die Willoughby Cyclocross Spectacular tomorrow, but for now I just wanted to touch base on a few quick points, and show off some pictures. I think the appropriate place to start is to give a big shout out to Greg Jackson (owner) and all the guys at Spin for throwing a really cool event. It was put together on pretty short notice from what I understand, but the turnout was (in my humble opinion) great. It’s about damn time the area had a cool event like this, and I can only imagine what next year could be like. The group at Spin is an awesome bunch of guys, that’s to say I have yet to meet one who isn’t personable and patient. This leads to me opening up myself to be bagged on, but I’d appreciate everyone skipping the bagging on Don. They are also all riders, unlike some guys at the local big box sporting goods stores, and have a better understanding of the culture. OK, enough of me stroking the people at Spin, onto the story.
Let me start by saying I’m glad I will be done having to type out “Cross My Heart And Hope To Die Willoughby Cyclocross Spectacular.” I mean, hell, it’s 55 characters long not counting spaces. The guys at Spin are lucky I like them, risking carpal tunnel and all. It was a great day though. As I got into town I was curious to see what I was going to find, I got to the lot and actually had to try to find an open space. Good sign so far. It was a wondrous site really, something I’m just not used to seeing in the area. The parking lot was littered with cars, the cars littered with rooftop racks and the like.

Where the event took place is fairly near (about 20 minute outside of) the area where the Greater Cleveland Triathlon takes place, but it’s just far enough away that if you mentioned the GCT, 90% of the people living in the area would look at you like you were on drugs. Anyway, it’s fairly common to see people riding since the area has a few cities that have some really nice roads for road riding and little or no traffic, but races in the area are nil save the GCT. People came with cross bikes and mountain bikes alike to ride the race, some with full suspension… God I hope they had lockouts. As it was you could see tires spin while riders were really bearing down on some of the hills. I saw a good deal of running on hills, especially in the novice class, which I believe was due to track conditions. The course had its share of hills, turns and was wet to the touch with dew and rain. The air was cold and damp, drizzle on and off, but it didn’t dampen spirits. “The hill” on the course was crazy…
I even caught some of the guys riding expert dragging bikes up after a few laps, the hill is used in the winter for sledding, its just that big. I’m going to have to look into an exact length for the course, but Id say it was a couple mile loop. I got so caught up in watching, taking pictures, having my camera crap out on me, and having my battery die early due to the 40º temps that I forgot to find out the course length. Likewise I lost track of the results, so I’ll have names for you tomorrow.

For now, you’ll just have to make due with some pictures. Until tomorrow…

11 November 2007

Thanksgiving Menu: Still Need Help

Hello one and all, I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend, I am still looking for recipes for my Thanksgiving feast. Thanksgiving is just around he corner, and I need to plan a menu. I'm so completely tired of doing up the usual old standbys that I do every year for Thanksgiving, so I am counting on you guys for help. What Id like to see is everyone send me one of your favorite recipes for a portion of the Thanksgiving feast. So far I only have two new recipes, and I know that you guys have some good, healthy, or good & healthy recipes for me! (I'm still hoping that a certain Fatty will contribute a certain favorite potato(e) or desert recipe for this)
What I want to do is this, take the recipes, see which ones sound the most fitting and delicious and make a master Thanksgiving menu. This way, if everyone is in agreement we can throw together a master menu, and you may even get a few new ideas to try out. So please, get those recipes out to me this week, and I will post the winners Friday the 16th. This should give everyone enough time to shop and prepare their meals just in time for Thanksgiving.
You can reach me by clicking HERE.

09 November 2007

Cleveland Area Cyclocross & Unofficial Kegs And Eggs

I just wanted to add a quick last minute sidebar on the Cross My Heart And Hope To Die Willoughby Cyclocross Spectacular at Todd Field in Downtown Willoughby, Ohio. For those of you who are going to watch it, there is a great breakfast place in the town where the race is taking place. It is up the hill from Todd field, around the corner, and down one block. They serve an amazing breakfast, and have beer starting at 7:00AM. You know what that means... KEGS AND EGGS! That's right, if you're lucky enough to be going to watch the race and not having to worry about being too blasted to actually ride, join in the fun of an unofficial Kegs and Eggs at Burgers and Beer and Breakfast in Downtown Willoughby. Here is the location of Burgers and Beer and Breakfast. The event is at Todd Field, a one to two minute walk around the corner and down a hill.
It looks like it will be a high near 45º F, less than 20% chance of rain. If you go, please be sure to tell them you heard about the event here! Thanks, and hope to see you there!

Cycling, Food, Candy, Repeat

The other day Matt and I were talking at work as I splurged and have a handful of M&M Almond. The conversation went something like:
Matt: What’s that?
Me: M&M Almond
Matt: Hmmm… They make almond?
Me: Yeah, and the only thing better than M&M Almond is…
Both: M&M Peanut Butter.
This planted a seed in my head that I couldn’t get out all day. The following day my wife and I were out shopping, and I felt compelled to share the story over a Peanut Butter Twix, I shared one with the ol’ lady. This promptly started a ridiculously long dialog about how cool candy is. We talked about the wonders that are the Peanut Butter M&M's, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Reese’s Pieces, Twix Peanut Butter… Notice a trend here? So did I. There were a couple of points to be made. The first is simple; peanut butter is my weakness. The second; I hate Halloween. I mean, I like Halloween from the “it’s cool for the kids factor”, but I hate it when I’m trying to be sensible about what I’m eating.
(Pause for a “Don’s ADD Moment Sidebar®”: On Halloween I had a conversation with the wife about the holiday. We spend a great deal of time telling our children to never talk to strangers and never EVER take candy or food from a stranger. Who thought it was a brilliant idea to encourage those same children to dress up so we can’t recognize them, go to strange peoples homes, and BEG for candy? Just a thought.)
OK, so like I was saying. Those of you who have been following along know I’m trying, and succeeding very well thank you, to loose weight. I am equally not looking forward to my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving, and the homemade family recipe stuffing that my wife makes, and the mashed potatoes that are just oozing butter. Get where I’m going. Luckily Fatty is running a contest. I mention it on account you have to pay a small entry fee to Lance Armstrong Foundation to enter, and I REALLY dig LAF and all they do. The contest, Get A Grip is his idea to, sort of, get a jump on the holiday eating. Please read the comments, as there are a couple of regular readers who you can donate through their links. A couple of them are http://austin07.livestrong.org/mlevin and http://portland07.livestrong.org/spete. Fatty encourages this behavior, but make sure you send him a copy of the receipt, and carefully read all of the rules. I for one will be taking advantage of this sweet accountability, and hope you’ll join in as well. Also, the prize is a sweet pair of grips for the 6 people who lose the most weight. While I don’t have a mountain bike just yet, Fat Cyclist points out this is a great opportunity to have an excuse to buy one. He points out that if I have the grips I’ll need the bike to go with. So, to summarize my hopes:
1) this will be a good final push to drop some big pounds before Thanksgiving.
2) I will win a sweet pair of Ergon grips.
3) that will force me to need to buy a mountain bike.
4) I won’t wind up divorced over the whole thing.

08 November 2007

CMHAHTDWCS in Cleveland, Ohio Area Saturday!

I just wanted to take one minute to drop a final reminder of Cross My Heart And Hope To Die Willoughby Cyclocross Spectacular at Todd Field in Downtown Willoughby, Ohio. The event will be this Saturday, and is sponsored by Spin Bike Shop. For more information go to Team Spin. It looks like it will be a high near 50º F, and no snow, but I’m sure it will be a blast. You can click the flyer below to find out more as well. If you ride, please be sure to tell them you heard about it here!

Cycling Phun Phake News: Slipsteam/Chipotle Edition

Cycling Phun News
Team Slipstream-Chipotle announced their 2008 team today. The team consists of such Tour de France greats as Magnus Bäckstedt, Julian Dean, David Millar, Christian Vande Velde and Dave Zabriskie. With a crew like that they felt there would be no problem securing victory in the 2008 season, and went so far as to think of them as “The American Racing Team” since the fall of Discovery. There was, however, one excruciating fatal flaw. What Slipstream-Chipotle did NOT take into account was the simple fact that they are Slipstream-Chipotle, and because of that each rider gained an average of 42.6 pounds. What started out as a killer team has fallen prey to the fat bombs that are the Chipotle Burrito. They went from the top riders in the world, to the heaviest individuals to ever lock into a pedal. When asked how much each rider currently weighs, American team manager Jonathan Vaughters said, “While I won’t comment on individual weight, I will say that the five key riders weigh in at a svelte 998 pounds.” When asked if he thought that was too heavy he replied, “Not at all, I mean, c’mon… That’s, like, under, I mean… It’s… well… It’s not even a thousand. Right?” At which point he yelled, “look, everyone! It’s Lance Armstrong!” Pointed to the back of the room and disappeared from the stage. We are currently trying to track Vaughters down, but as of this morning he was not returning our phone calls.
We, at Cycling Phun, are also looking into a recent rumor of “Team Hardee’s”. The last rumor that we heard on them is that their official riding food is the Hardee’s Monster Burger, and Diet Lime Coke.

07 November 2007

Weekly Roundup November 7

Spin Bike Shop: Last week for this big boy, on account the big race is Saturday. If you haven’t signed up yet, what the heck are you waiting for? If nothing else, remember it’s in a suburb outside of Cleveland… there could be snow! Not to mention so far they are calling for snow mid week!! This could prove to be an absolute blast. Saturday November 10th, Spin will be hosting the Cross my Heart and Hope to Die Willoughby Cyclocross Spectacular at Todd Field in Downtown Willoughby, Ohio. For more information and to register go to the Team Spin site.

Fat Cyclist: I have to admit, I think I might have a bit of a slight “problem”, ya know, like addiction to this site. This weeks favorite for me is Phases Of A Relationship. A classic, comparing our love lives and cycling relationships. That’s to say, our relationships to our rides, not with our riders. Elden “Fatty” Nelson has also been busy with his weekly column at Bike Radar. This week he gives us Innovations For Safer Cycling.

RocBike: Wow, I just realized that going back to my addiction comment, this too has to do with the Fat Cyclist. The guys over at RocBike put out RocBike Review 3, the podcast. This week Jason Crane interviews Fatty from Fat Cyclist (arguably one of the most popular bike blogs on the web) about what Elden (Fatty) has been up to, how the blog started, and how it got to where it is today.

Dirt Diva: This one is interesting, not cycling related, but very cool to keep up with. Take an attractive woman, who is into eating right, and is an ultrarunner, throw in a huge collection of tattoos, shake and serve. What you get a an every day or so blog about her life, her runs, and her diet. Makes for an interesting read, and has great pics taken on her runs.

Bike Snob NYC: Bicycling Marketing: The Inconvenience Truth. Is a great little story about a “completely absurd parody of a parody of a fixed-gear.” I have to admit though, while this had me in tears laughing, I also really dug Worst Of NYC Craigslist: More Sickly-Sweet Gooey Bike Love, where Bike Snob takes a few punches at the socially inept and slightly desperate who are trying to pick up that hottie that they saw on their bike ride.

Also, don't forget to get your recipes in for the Thanksgiving Feast!

That about covers it for this week. Until next time enjoy, and try not to get fired doing it.

05 November 2007

The Four Letter Word

I have to admit, as a person who (for now) rides only road bikes I have very mixed feelings right now. I live in the northeast, so I know exactly what to expect when it comes to weather, right now that means the four letter word... snow. If you take it by the calendar year it goes kind of like this:
You start the year (January) with blistering cold and ridiculous amounts of snow. This could vary between an inch up to two, three or more feet. Through May it gets warmer, but if you caught the Cleveland Indians home opener, you know that snow is inevitable. The home opener was actually called on account of snow this year. So March, April, and to a lesser extent May, are a mix of blistering cold, snow, warmth, rain, slush, mud, potholes (those are always a blast!) and overall crap! May through August are always interesting. A mixture of hot, really hot, really, really hot, and freakin’ ridiculously hot… and humid. We’re talking ninety-eight degrees with ninety plus percent humidity. This means not only is it crazy hot, but you can actually feel moisture in the air. Like a fog that you can’t see, but you can feel it, and the second you get outside your clothes are damp enough to stick to your body. September and October are, in my opinion, thee best! They’re what I like to call “hookie days”. You know, the day that you call off work. “[cough cough] Yeah, it’s [cough] sorry, just me. I’m [sneeze] really sorry, I’m not coming in today though. Yeah, I’ll do the tea thing, and try and make it in tomorrow. OK, see ya. Have a good one.” At which point you drop trou on the PJ’s and crack out the lycra, and grab the bike and go. Days with highs in the mid seventies, no humidity, and the closer you get into October and early November you get this:

That’s right, you get to run trails and back roads that are littered with wonderful color, and have ceilings of brilliant hues. It truly is a moving experience to ride this time of year. Now, November is always touch and go. Mid seventies one day, low thirties the next. Oh! Did I mention there’s always a chance of snow? There is, and December is always good for a hardcore snowfall. There are time everyone goes through canceling Christmas plans just because they are snowed in.
Which leads me to this. It’s November. Yup, that’s what I’m getting at. They’ve officially called for a chance of snow early this week. To further my problem, I still haven’t ordered, let alone, received my trainer yet, but I’m still dropping weight. The problem with that is I want to continue to drop said weight. So, I’m just sitting here mentally preparing for what’s ahead.

04 November 2007

Thanksgiving Menu: I Need Help

Hello one and all, I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend. You're probably asking yourself, To what do I owe a Sunday Cycling Phun post to? Glad you asked. I come to you today in dire need of help. Thanksgiving is just around he corner, and I need to plan a menu. That's where you come in. I'm so completely tired of doing up the usual old standbys that I do every year for Thanksgiving, so I am counting on you guys for help. What Id like to see is everyone send me one of your favorite recipes for a portion of the Thanksgiving feast. (I'm hoping that a certain Fatty will contribute a certain favorite recipe for this) What I want to do is this, take the recipes, see which ones sound the most fitting and delicious and make a master Thanksgiving menu. So please, get those recipes out to me this week, and I will post the winners Friday the 16th. This should give everyone enough time to shop and prepare the meal just in time for Thanksgiving.
You can reach me by clicking HERE.