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.