31 August 2007

But all I need is a 10 speed cassette...

For those of you who actually have been checking up and reading along, you know that I was going to do a post on Wednesday that somehow got HORRIBLY sidetracked, and turned into an ADD induced mess. For that I'd like to take a minute to apologize. I'm sorry; really, truly, heartfelt sorry to put you through that hell.
I have only one thing to say, or rather do... SIGH! So I had a brilliant, but obviously and severely under thought plan. My current bike, the Specialized Allez Elite Double ( which, by the way I absolutely LOVE! and I'm not just saying that. Specialized, feel free to send me ANYTHING you'd like, and I'd be happy to test it, abuse it, review it and talk it up) which means the cassette in the back wheel, which came standard, is a nine speed. Sidetrack, I was reading The Wah Report and saw Jared auctioning a sweet brand new ten speed cassette. In my moment of brilliance, but not clarity, I thought, HEY! I could make that bad boy a ten couldn't I? The short answer is this: SURE, you could do whatever you'd like. This is where my the clarity kicks me in the butt. So, I'm going to buy the cassette and swap em... wait, if I swap the cassette I'll need a ten speed chain. OK, oh... and that would change the derailleur, and probably hanger. Ooh, new chain and new front rings, new levers, your getting the idea here right? For anyone who hasn't picked up the idea of what I'm talking about:
1) This might not be the best story (or blog?) for you at the moment.
2) This means instant divorce.
3) This means my dream of a 'project mountain bike' is now way out of the equation, and...
4) About a grand later I can do it.
Now, I guess that's not bad. But having just got back into cycling and buying the Allez Elite, I only spent a couple hundred more for the bike then I would be paying for the upgrade. So, I guess the moral of the story for now is this; I need to bribe people to read the blog, to go to the companies, to get them to send me stuff to give away, to get more readers, to get more stuff in exchange for adds, so I can test it out and write reviews. Ugh, It's going to be a long year... isn't it?

29 August 2007

A momentary rant, and some cool new blog links.

Alright, there's two issues here. The first issue is that I am totally and completely brain dead today, the second is I am totally lazy everyday. For some reason it never effects me when I ride, just when I have to do something that seems work related. I wonder if there's a drug for that? They've got 'em for everything else now, right? I mean depression, ADD, weight loss, acid reflux, etc. I think I might have just found a third thing to add to the list, speaking of ADD... I tend to zone a bit more often then I care to think about, surprisingly that doesn't effect my riding either. Notice a trend here anyone? If it were up to me Id spend a quarter of my day riding, a quarter being the family man, and the following half would be broken down into four hours computer time and eight sleep. Yup, that would be perfect. Now I know what I have to do. I need to find a quick fix way to become independently wealthy! Yes, I need to get so rich that I can afford to do only that which I enjoy doing. Any suggestions?
See after that whole story I've completely got sidetracked from the story I wanted to tell. This started out , OK so the truth is it only started out this way in my mind, as a story about what a pain in the butt it would be to make one seemingly easy upgrade to my bike. Now Im actually just sitting here debating whether it would all be lost in the previously aforementioned paragraph. Yeah, I'm pretty sure it would, and once again I'm lazy. With that said I think I will change the title, come back to the original story another time, and just touch on the second part of the title.
In case you haven't noticed; on the bottom right I have started a list of my favorite cycling blogs. I will be adding to it over time, I actually have a few more to add right now but I really enjoy the two I have up there and don't want to detract from them for the time being. The first is "The Wah Report"*. It's a pretty sweet blog mainly about road cycling and cyclocross, but he also includes just enough distractions to make it interesting and new a couple time a day. The second is "The Fat Cyclist"*. Great little blog here! It's a serious, but fun and humorous look into road and mountain biking. Fatty himself is a riot, and its an extremely well put together blog, updated every day or so. Please, check em out, and enjoy.

*Please Note: Cycling Phun was in no way compensated for the mention of either blog.

27 August 2007

I've decided why it is I ride.

This weekend I went on a trail ride with a friend from a local bike shop. We rode on a path he turned me onto. I’m used to riding roads, and seeing cars. I’m also used to some of the local trails. You know what I mean, people, dogs, other bikes, crosswalks, etc. But today would be different; today I would realize a big part of why I was so insistent about taking up riding again.
It was a beautiful morning; a mist was just rising as the sun started to break. It was about sixty degrees or so, and the humidity was there but low. I took my bike out of the car, put the wheel on, and checked everything out. There was silence, to be honest almost eerie silence. I could here bees flying around my rear bumper, kind of silence. I looked around and took in the surroundings. I did a few laps around the lot just to warm up, and right after he showed up we left.
I was riding along, and it was amazing. The wind was whistling through my helmet straps, but it was just quiet enough to allow me to hear the birds and insects. The sun was just breaking through the canopy of the trees lining the trail. I came upon a covered bridge, followed immediately by a second. As I continued to ride I noticed breaks; a small field, a farm complete with the farm dog, an old stone processing plant, they just kept coming and I suddenly fell back about 50-100 feet as I got wrapped up in a cornfield. I started thinking back to what I passed by today; the covered bridges, the farm, the giant machinery of the processing plant against the blue sky. It hit me; I ride to be one with all of it. I ride for my health. I ride because I can. My friend might have said it best when he pointed out, we’re moving through all of it, on our machines, under our control, our power.
It was the single most meaningful ride I’ve had so far. For the first time it wasn’t about how fast am I going to go, how far, will I be able to keep up? It was about me, on a bike, on the road, not thinking, just pedaling, spinning faster, and forgetting everything. It reminded me why I started cycling again.

24 August 2007

Big Fat Congratulations!

In lieu of today's normal article, I wanted to take a minute to throw out some love. Big fat congratulations go out to the Fat Cyclist, his wife Susan and the close knit group of friends that ride with him. To read the full story on this head over to the Fat Cyclist website ( http://fatcyclist.com ). The brief story is Susan, the wife of fat cyclist, was diagnosed with cancer and is now undergoing her treatments. The guys who ride for, or rather with, Fatty have all been wearing jersey's (which are available for sale with proceeds benefiting Lane Armstrong Foundation through his blog). The jersey has now made the cover and inside page of Bicycling magazine! Way to go Fatty, here's hoping for all of the best in your effort to fight the good fight!

20 August 2007

Being Courteous On The Road... Or Trail.

So many of my friends know of a blog that I find very informative, well written and above all hilarious-The Fat Cyclist (http://www.fatcyclist.com). The reason I mention this is that (being somewhat of a newbie-that's to say reintroducing myself to cycling after far too long of a hiatus) is there was a post today that really got me to thinking. One part in particular really made me curious as to whether or not I am actually cycling correctly, and it seemed to really get the troops going on the subject. The following is said excerpt:

"I called out 'on your right' which, apparently, where she’s from, means, 'Veer suddenly to your right immediately!'
Which she did, sending me into a ditch, over my bar, and into the sagebrush."

People have taken all sorts of sides on this. The point received some interesting responses:

"I’ve never understood calling out “on your left” or “on your right” when overtaking a rider going a lot slower
than you are. Now, I suppose it is different when mountain biking, but on the road, I’ve found it safer to
pass in silence. Sometimes I say “hold your line.” But it seems to me that “on your left” is greeted with a
swerve to the left around seventy five percent of the time. I prefer to pass several feet to the side and so
quickly that I’m past before the person even fully understands that I’m there."


"I am a newbie road cyclist and would find it very disconcerting if anyone were to shout something at me
from behind. The convention on the roads in France is to do as you suggested, pass slower riders as
quickly as possible giving them plenty of space. There’s no calling out other than the odd “Bonjour” or a
few words of encouragement if someone’s labouring. On the odd occasion I have managed to overtake
someone ( 1point for a mountain bike, 3 points for a road bike, 5 points for road bike and club jersey,
500 points for a pro-cyclist - plenty of them out training on the Cote d’Azur), I too have followed this convention."

OK, so just to get my sarcasm (I have a habit of being sarcastic and having a broken filter between brain and mouth), I would like to point out that we are not in France, and thank GOD! First off, after said hiatus there is NO way Im climbing ANY of those hills... yet. Second the bakery is way too tempting. Sorry, off track. As I have already mentioned it has been a minute or two since I rode (OK, so I used to ride BMX-dirt trails, jumps and the like-and some road when road bikes were simply called 10, 12, 21 etc speed… I am more of a restart). Anyway, I have ALWAYS been of the belief that “On the left/right” means I coming up, and fast, and if you don’t move you’re gonna get creamed! Seriously. The bad side of that is it also meant IM going to get creamed, more likely then not, and that there will be a beating with a hand pump or stick, rock, or pieces of debris of the similar size when all was said and done. (Just my two cents). The reason I say this is that I think most riders are not of the Prima Donna variety. I started off never saying hello or waving at a pass to riders (not sure of the etiquette) and (where I live anyway) got waves and hello’s all of the time. It’s almost like “a jeep thing” (© Diamler Chrysler, please don't sue me) where I am. Everyone understands we have our zones, but we are cordial and above all courteous. Maybe I am just naive, or old school, or, well I don't know. But any help on that you are willing to offer up on this subject would be greatly appreciated.

18 August 2007

Welcome... enjoy your visit.

OK, so here's the deal. In an effort to be completely honest with you this may go down in flames before it starts. I hope to have this thing fully up and going (hopefully people will help by posting comments - hint) by the end of the month. My intention is that we will get some regulars who will share stories and the like, and eventually (again, hopefully) I will talk some people into sponsoring some giveaways. Id like to get some people to donate some product for giveaways in return for plugs on the site. To do this I need people to subscribe to the blog to justify to the companies why I deserve products. Another goal is to get together people in their respective areas to go on rides. I would like to ideally have rides where as a group we are getting sponsors to ride and donate the proceeds to charities, but again that is a ways off. For now please join up, leave comments, tell your friends and drop the name of the site to Fat Cyclist (http://www.fatcyclist.com) on account it's a GREAT site, and I long for mine to be like his. ENJOY! and have phun.