31 December 2008

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

That is all!
Seriously, I want to wish everyone a very Happy and Prosperous New Year! With that I will commence with the drinking of the Double Bastard,(notice the Spin pint glass! Those guys rule!) and partying with the family! God Bless, and Happy New Year!!
-Don

30 December 2008

In Keeping With The 'Green' Theme From Yesterday, And Staying Timely With The Season

My friends know that I am not the most crazy 'green' person. It's not that I'm into destroying the environment, it's more that I don't buy the 'end of the world as we know it' talk (I feel an R.E.M. reference, I'll let that pass... OK). So, after saying all of that, I'm going to go in a green direction today.

Especially in the cycling world it seems as though many people are so adamant about protecting the environment. I have to admit, I like to ride in the country far more than in heavy traffic. There's something that's just enjoyable about being able to breath while you're riding. Since I've been riding I've been a little more aware of the environment. You notice things more on a bike than in a car. I'm still not crazy about the global warming hype, though, and think Gore is a douche bag (sorry, I like the term... it's a guilty pleasure of mine). There I said it. One thing had me kind of tweaked out the other day, though.

It all started Friday. My wife and I were out shopping the sales, and saw gift wrap on sale really cheep. So we loaded up on it. As I was walking with, what seemed like, about three acres of trees worth of paper it hit me. I turned to my wife and asked a simple question, "With all of the freaking out over the environment, how the hell are we still allowed to buy gift wrap?" This sentence was further brought to life on the drive into work today. Seeing countless mounds of trash awaiting pickup. Boxes and bags, and all of them full to the brim with paper.

I know, it's not about cycling, but seriously. We're so worried about every little thing we do, and it's impact on the environment, how do we let this pass? My suggestion? I don't know. Follow Fatty and use Gift Bags? Maybe the answer is fancy, reusable cloth bags? Eh, whatever. Just wanted to throw this out for you to think about next year for the holidays.

Hope your holidays were, are, great!

29 December 2008

Maybe I'm Down For This Global Warming Thing After All

Before I get into the meat of the post, I've come up with more than I thought I had to dole out as Christmas gifts. So, I'll keep taking emails (you can email me via the link at the top of the right hand side bar that says "you can contact me by clicking here") until I run out of stuff. The rest of you who have already emailed me, I will get the stuff out soon. Probably after the first of the year, though. Also, thank you to all who have left comments or emailed with kind thoughts and words for the holidays!

I know, I said I wasn't going to post until the new year, but I couldn't resist. Odds are I'll post another time or two between now and then as well.

This weekend was long! I was off Wednesday through Sunday, and technically don't have to go back in until Monday January 5, 2009. I say that because I need to get used to saying 2009 or, once again, I'll screw up the date on every contract I touch until March! Anyway, with all that time on my hands I got around to getting back into the swing of something resembling exercise. I kind of 'forgot' that with as busy as I was with work and such. I think I put about five pounds back on over the last week though. Regardless, I'm well on my way, again, to weight loss.

Another thing that was interesting was the weather. Christmas Day and Friday were in the teens. I was, originally, planning a trip to Rays with an old friend, her fiance and brother on Saturday. That fell through on two accounts. First, she was in from out of town and party fowled by leaving her gear at home. Second, it wound up being 65ºf on Saturday... IN CLEVELAND! It was ten degrees warmer here, than it was at my friends in California. Seriously! So with that in mind, I needed to be outside. It sucked just a little bit on account the trails were mud pits, but I was able to ride some 'improved' (read: crushed limestone) trails around the neighborhood. It was wicked good fun throwing on shorts and short sleeves and getting out in the fresh air. If this is global warming, may I'm down for it.

Reality check, anyone? Sunday, temps back down in the thirties, wind gusts up to 58 MPH. Oh well, all good things must come to an end, right? So, back to waiting for a good time to get out on the MTB in the snow, working out indoors, and re-planning a trip to Rays. Well, off to work for now, for a while anyway.

24 December 2008

Merry Christmas!

UPDATE 12/28/2008: I've come up with more than I thought I had to dole out. I'll keep taking emails until I run out of stuff. The rest of you who have already emailed me, I will get the stuff out soon. Probably after the first of the year, though. Thanks for the kind thoughts and words guys!!

Well, it's that time of year. Time for a certain amount of chaos to ensue, but for now a good kind of chaos. I will be making Christmas Eve dinner, Christmas Dinner, New Years Eve dinner and the "getting over the hangover from drinking too much Double Bastard and/or Arrogant Bastard New Years Day Breakfast. Also, the plan is, still, to get out to Ray's this Saturday for some indoor mountain biking. Ray's just might be one of Cleveland's few, if not only, blessings. Anyway it'll likely be nice enough to ride outside, God forbid Ray's somehow falls through.

Anyways, add to that all of the family plans: sledding, toy building, date night with the wife, and it just makes for a lot to do in five days. With that said I will likely not be doing much posting until Monday January 5th. This will however likely change assuming I get out to Ray's, or something earth shattering come up.

I just want to take this opportunity to thank you, in case I'm not here between now and the new year, for reading and commenting. I enjoy writing, though it sometimes feels like self-deprecation, and really dig the fact that I've made some new acquaintances in the process. I seriously would love to figure out a way to get together and ride, outside of any of you who I might run into in Philly.

For now, one last little way of saying thank you. I have some stuff still laying around that I want to give away, Christmas Presents if you will. Here's just a taste...
So, all I want is for you to do is go up to the "you can contact me by clicking here" like at the top of the right hand side bar. Drop me an email with your email address and name, and I will get in touch if you are one of the lucky ones to get a Chrstmas gift. I will take emails through Sunday night so you have through the weekend to email me. Once I figure out everything I have I will lay all of the items out, and one by one I will grab an item, throw all of the names into a hat and force my wife to pick one. She will complain that I am a 'dork' and I will say something inappropriate. She will break down and pick names and I will put that name on the gift and then send it out. Just ask Thom! (Thom: I SWEAR I will get that out to you, like, this week!) I will pick names until I run out of stuff.
The only rule, and I apologize but I'm footing the postage, is that I'll only send to the US and Canada. I feel like a punk for saying that, but the postage to send the calendar to England is more than the calendar costs... sorry. :(

Anyway Thanks again. To all my friends; May you all have a Merry Christmas (or Happy Hanukkah), and Joyous and Prosperous New Year!
Also, Thanks again to Anke from Cyclepassion for the calendars this year, and Mike from Mr Smith for the Jimi's! You guys rock! Also remember, Only a couple days left to get 15% off your entire JIMI purchase! Just go to http://thejimi.com and look around for what you want from the Jimi Store. Throw it all into your basket and fill out all the necessary info like name, address, payment, etc. When you're filling it out, make sure you type 'phun' as the coupon code on the payment page, and you get 15% off! It's just that easy!

Until next year, or until I get antsy to post!

23 December 2008

Tis The Season To Be Green

Hey all. Just wanted to give fair warning, I have some stuff to give away for the Holidays! I will figure out how I'm going to do it and post more on how you could get something TOMORROW! Tomorrow is Christmas Eve, and I want to play Santa! So tomorrow I'll post how you could get your hands on something. Tomorrow. Check back then. Did I mention it's tomorrow?

Also, don't forget about Mike O'Neil and his Jimi offer! Only a couple days left on this bad boy. Mike would like to extend a special offer to all of the Cycling Phun readers through the Holiday! 15% off your entire purchase! So jump online and get one for you, one for dad, another for mom so she isn't jealous, what about the guys at the local bike shop who never charge you to tweak out your bike (give 'em a six pack too, those guys love the suds, usually!), heck go mad and buy a case of these things! They're 15% OFF! Just go to http://thejimi.com and look around for what you want from the Jimi Store. Throw it all into your basket and fill out all the necessary info like name, address, payment, etc. When you're filling it out, make sure you type "phun" as the coupon code on the payment page, and WHAMO! (I just wanted to use the word whamo one more time), 15% off! It's just that easy! These things are seriously cool, one of the best purchases I've ever made!

Alright, for now, check this out!


What better time of year to be a little bit more green than during the red and green season of Christmas? Apparently UPS liked the idea. Recently UPS decided to restart a program of delivering to neighborhoods via bike, and it's been all over the net. What UPS has done is to give temp workers a goal of 25-50 packages on average, and a bike specially fit with their two wheeled trailers. They then drop the days packages at the employees home. The employees load the packages they plan to carry for their first trip and head out to deliver. Once those are done, they come back for another round and repeat until all of the packages for the day have been delivered.

UPS is also providing train for these employees on how to maneuver a bike with a two wheeled trailer, and while carrying up to two hundred pounds.

I can't help but to think that this would be an astounding way to lose a few extra pounds. New dream: I hope they spread this to Cleveland next summer (right), but doubt it as they are currently only doing it in Oregon. As far as the stories? You can read about it all over the net, I liked the Treehugger write-up, and this video hit the spot too!

UPS Delivery By Bike! Salem, Oregon from nwduffer on Vimeo.

22 December 2008

Weekend, Nay Holiday, Blues

The weekend wasn't a total washout, it was only about 80% a washout. I did get to do a few things that were pretty righteous. Friday sucked in SO many ways. Friday was a crazy morning of rain and warm, than cool and ice, cold and snow, more warm and ice, finally cold and snow. It kinda sucked, really. Not to mention that the culmination of the afternoon was freezing cold, and the now rain and slush freezing solid. This left sheets of ice and the tire tracks frozen solid in mini stalagmites all over the roads and parking lots. Again, it just sucked.

Saturday had some promise, not for riding, but it had promise. I woke up at the butt crack of dawn and got out to ring bells for the Salvation Army. Yeah, I was that guy. The one who stood in the mall ringing the bell non-stop. Did that for a bit, saw a ton of people, some who I knew, and got to see a generous side of people. I was amazed to see how much money some people will cram into the small red kettles. VERY cool. Also really enjoyed seeing kids digging through their pockets, or being egged on by mom and dad to go put some change in the kettle. I think it's important to teach kids to give back at an early age. Saturday night turned out amazing as well. Had the annual family Christmas dinner. My family is pretty huge. My moms sister had five kids, they had six, four, two, two, and two respectively. All total I figure there was about thirty-five or forty people total. About eight or ten of them are under the age of ten. I would be more specific, but I keep counting and missing people or having too many. Oh, and I'm too lazy to write down name, so you'll have to deal. OK, so my family is insane! When we get together we are just insane, in a fun way. We all hang out, chase kids, talk and do a white elephant gift exchange. Every year there is an abundance of crap! After all, thats what a white elephant should be about, right? It was four hours that flew by, and I would've been OK if it had been longer. Digressing.

Ugh... This is where it starts falling to pieces. Yeah, it's that time of the year. Holiday season! Woo-freakin'-hoo! I like to consider myself one who, generally, likes the holidays but this is where my fine line gets drawn. I was up early, earlier than I wanted to be, but late enough that going to church wasn't going to be an option. Suck. So I rolled out of bed and realized a shower right out of bed was going to be both a time issue, and futile since I would be cooking like a fiend. So I got our Christmas diner with my father-in-law done, and realized I felt like crap. Yup, a cold. Two weeks without a cold, and now it's back! Double suck. Shower should help. Or not. Had dinner with the in-laws, crashed in my bed for a minute (hour... or so) startled awake, groggy and grumpy. Triple suck. Got dressed and went to Target for drugs, in 30 MPH winds (with higher gusts), about 2ºf temps, and double digit below zero temps with wind chill (as I type this it's 10:00 pm Sunday and it's -22ºf with wind chill right now, in a whiteout), and a full parking lot. Suck to the fourth power (this is where it gets into exponential growth). To top it off Christmas Eve has now been changed no fewer than thirteen times, and it's supposed to be a freezing rain storm anyway, which will make all of the plans useless. Suck to the fourth power. OH! and I ate my own body weight in homemade Christmas cookies. Enter the suck trump card!

So, now I sit here complaining it now dawns on me, Saturday is the trip to Ray's MTB. So I now have five days to recoup for the trip to Ray's. By the way, if you're in Cleveland you should be meeting up with us to MTB at Ray's. Just comment ere, or send me an email through the link at the top of the sidebar on the right. So, original plans on hold, if not DOA, for the Christmas Eve run.

It may sound like I'm complaining, because I was, but it was to set up this point. All of that said, It could be a lot worse. I hate to be a downer, but I want to encourage you to remember just how lucky you were this year. Whether it's your family, your health, the fact that you are in a good place financially, the fact you still have a job, we all have things to be grateful for. Heck, if you could, donate. Donate money, donate time, whatever you can do. Remember that while some people have it better than you, some people have it far worse.

Until tomorrow.

19 December 2008

Weekly Roundup December 19, 2008

OK, so I’m still planning on getting out to ride the weekend after Christmas. Not just anywhere, but to Ray’s Mountain Bike Park. I have a friend, like the little sister I never had, who I lost track of for some years. We just got back in touch with one another, and it seems that her and her beau both mountain bike. They’ll also be in Cleveland for Christmas, sooo… Ray’s it is! Best part is… You’re all welcome to come! So, drop me a line via the “You Can Contact Me By Clicking Here” link, or drop me a comment with a way to get in touch with you and lets chat about how we can make it happen.

This weeks roundup I’ve decided to give some love to some friends that I’ve (regrettably) neglected over the last couple of months, so without further adieu, I give you what’s been giving me my fix in the last week, short and sweet, I give you the Weekly Roundup!

Let’s Rock…: One of my original guilty pleasures had a funny relevant post for me. A post that had Yeahdog Livid! Apparently Chicago is partaking in the hell that is northeast US winter. We’re not far behind you, Lisa! They’re calling for an ice and freezing rain storm overnight and through rush hour tomorrow in Cleveland.

Ray’s Racing Adventures: I haven’t really talked about Ray often this year, but I felt it would be a good time since I have the opportunity to congratulate him on him getting his papers and will be USA Cycling Coaching!! That’s a big step, Ray, and you sound mighty amped over it. Congratulations, and best wishes!

Competitive Cycling: Someone I’ve recently been really enjoying reading up on, though haven’t really mentioned all that much. Groover shares the story of her Last Race Of 2008. I have to admit, Groover, this has me Jealous. I don’t like it that we’re looking forward to ice, snow and single digits, and you are just kicking into summer, over there in Southeast Queensland, Australia. Enjoy some warm rides for me, would ya?

Cozy Beehive: Finally, Ray shared a quickie on a PS3 related note. He risked life and limb to bring us the news that Call Of Duty 4 Has Many Bicycles! I have to admit I’ve always loved C.O.D., this just gives me one more reason. Course I can’t run the bloody game since I’m not running a G5, but…

Also, please remember, I will be riding in the Philly Leg of the LIVESTRONG Challenge. I will be riding in honor of my father who was taken by cancer on Fathers Day 1993, and as a part of Team Fat Cyclist: Fighting for Susan. I have started the journey to reach my goal of raising $2,500 for Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF) and my participation in the 2009 Philadelphia leg of the LIVESTRONG Challenge. If you would like to help and donate to Lance Armstrong Foundation on behalf of my fundraising effort, you can go to my secure LAF Page HERE, and make a secure donation. You can also track how I am doing, and there is a link to donate on the right hand sidebar of this blog. Thank you so much to those who have donated, and in advance to those of you who will! Please check it out! As usual, I’m the Phun Cyclist, you stay classy Cleveland.

18 December 2008

Crazy Week, Weekly Roundup To Come Tomorrow... I Promise!

Let me be the first to be two days late on the Weekly Roundup post. I have had a deluge of work at the office, believe it or not, and just typical holiday chaos. The good side is with that comes family, good health, and great friends, so I really cannot complain. The downside is that things that can wait, have to. So, again, tomorrow I'll do you right with a Weekly roundup.

Also, if you are able and willing to donate to Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF), I will be riding in the Philly Leg of the LIVESTRONG Challenge. I have started the journey to reach my goal of raising $2,500 for LAF and my participation in the 2009 Philadelphia leg of the LIVESTRONG Challenge. If you would like to help and donate to LAF on behalf of my fundraising effort, you can go to my secure LAF Page HERE, and make a secure donation. You can also track how I am doing, and there is a link to donate on the right hand sidebar of this blog. Thank you so much to those family, friends, and strangers who have donated, and in advance to those of you who will!

17 December 2008

Crazy Week Phun: The Two Great Tastes That Are Great Together Edition

Between work and holiday parties things are totally nuts right now. I will try to get a weekly roundup up today, but it will likely be tomorrow. Who I am kidding, that's happening tomorrow.

Also, please remember, I will be riding in the Philly Leg of the LIVESTRONG Challenge. I will be riding in honor of my father who was taken by cancer on Fathers Day 1993, and as a part of Team Fat Cyclist: Fighting for Susan. I have started the journey to reach my goal of raising $2,500 for Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF) and my participation in the 2009 Philadelphia leg of the Lance Armstrong Challenge. If you would like to help and donate to Lance Armstrong Foundation on behalf of my fundraising effort, you can go to my secure LAF Page, and make a secure donation. You can also track how I am doing, and there is a link to donate on the right hand sidebar of this blog. Thank you so much to those who have donated, and in advance to those of you who will!

For now, I'd like to give you two great 'tastes' that taste great together. Cycling and geekdom! Seriously though, this was a pretty cool clip regarding bike drafting. Enjoy!





16 December 2008

Another Installment Of The Hottie Of The Week, And A Great Show To Boot

It's been a while since I've humored Matt with a Hottie Of The Week®! He wanted a "Babe Of The Day", but that would just be crazy. So I gave in, I think the first time was Oct 23, and threw out Niki Gudex as my first Hottie Of The Week®. It's been a while since last I had a Hottie post, so I wanted to throw one in.

I've got a good reason for the Hottie Of The Week that I chose too! Not only is this woman b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l, but she is part of a show that, much like 24, is like crack to me. The show is Fringe. If you haven't seen Fringe, let me try to explain it in a hundred words or less, way less. If X-Files, which to be fair I loved, did a metric sh__-ton of steroids, then did a handful of drugs in hopes of sick creative plot-lines, and then beat the heck out of X-Files just to prove it was stronger. Yeah, that's Fringe. It's all about the paranormal, government conspiracies, crazy mind control, chemical warfare, and so so much more.

OK, I talked it up enough... all that just to get to this: The Hottie Of The Week®! Australian beauty, Anna Torv.


15 December 2008

Weird Weekend Weather

Northeast Ohio is a weird animal. If you live in Cleveland you live by one quote; If you don't like the weather in Cleveland, give it five minutes. An example? OK. Friday night I took a forty-five minute ride to my brother-in-laws birthday party. It took about a hour and a half, or more. It was snowing horribly, and everything was icing over. There were three accidents on the way. Crazy! The saving grace? There was Christmas Ale, Christmas Ale makes it all better. Saturday It was nice. Sun out, cool, breezy, but tolerable. You needed to grab the jacket, but no snow, not too windy. Sunday, about fifty and rain, windy as all get out. To top things off, perfect cold weather. Just got over the coldS I've had since October 19th. Reason I know that, I started the cold the day after the cross race. So, now I have another one, by the way... I blame my wife this time... just for the record.

Anyway, this is just a perfect example of Cleveland. You never know what you're going to get. I am, however, anxiously awaiting the first real snow fall of the year. None of this two to three inch crap. I want the good old Cleveland type of snow! You know, like, two to three feet... at once. Then another two and a half feet the following day. School closed for two or three days, just stay home and work from home. Take a lunch ride, or something. That's what I'm talking about.

Regardless of the weather, I need to get far more serious about the training. This is a bad time of year for so many reasons. This is a crazy time at work, everyone is facing year end, and we are swamped. Every week there are two to three parties for the holiday, this week I have five. Seriously. How the heck can I expect to lose weight with five parties in a week. With weeks like these, I haven't been out on a bike since Thanksgiving now! I just suck. I'm über excited, though, about the holidays! Christmas falls on a Thursday, as does New Years, why is that significant? It means four day weekends! Hopefully, I'll get in a Christmas Eve ride, maybe one on Christmas, the weekend after, and a similar ride schedule New Years weekend. Gives me something cool to look forward to, I suppose.

For now, don't forget about Mike O'Neil and his Jimi offer! Mike would like to extend a special offer to all of the Cycling Phun readers through the Holiday! 15% off your entire purchase! So jump online and get one for you, one for dad, another for mom so she isn't jealous, what about the guys at the local bike shop who never charge you to tweak out your bike (give 'em a six pack too, those guys love the suds, usually!), heck go mad and buy a case of these things! They're 15% OFF! Just go to http://thejimi.com and look around for what you want from the Jimi Store. Throw it all into your basket and fill out all the necessary info like name, address, payment, etc. When you're filling it out, make sure you type "phun" as the coupon code on the payment page, and WHAMO! (I just wanted to use the word whamo again), 15% off! It's just that easy! These things are seriously cool, one of the best purchases I've ever made!

12 December 2008

The Greatest Stocking Stuffer Ever!

If you're like me, and you celebrate Christmas, you are probably about twelve days shy of finishing your Christmas shopping. With that in mind I would like to make a recommendation. Mr Smith, well Mike... but he 'is Mr Smith. That's to say he created, well, never mind. For the sake of this blog post, and to save my wind wandering any further, Mike is one cool guy!

Mike would like to extend a special offer to all of the Cycling Phun readers through the Holiday! What is the offer? how about 15% off your entire purchase! Yup, whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Ramadan, or even Ramahanukwanzmas he'll give you 15% off a Jimi wallet! Heck, why stop there? Get one for you, make you dad a wee bit more hip by getting one for his stocking, another for mom so she isn't jealous, what about the two guys at the local bike shop who never charge you to tweak out your bike (give 'em a six pack too, those guys love the suds, usually!), heck go mad and buy a case of these things! They're 15% OFF!

OK, so here's how to do this. Go to http://thejimi.com and look around for what you want from the Jimi Store. Throw it all into your basket and fill out all the necessary info like name, address, payment, etc. When you're filling it out, make sure you type "phun" as the coupon code on the payment page, and WHAMO! (I just wanted to use the word whamo), 15% off! It's just that easy!

So what are you waiting for?! Get over there and get your stuff ordered so you can have it in time for holiday gifts! Oh, and enjoy changing your life, and the lives of others, with Jimi!


11 December 2008

Quite Possibly The Coolest "Office" Ever! Meet Conjunctured

Merriam-Webster defines the word "conjuncture" as: a combination of circumstances or events usually producing a crisis.
OK, so what the heck does this have to do with anything? It has to do with this. I like to think I am fairly on top of things, and pretty revolutionary in comparison to a good portion of those around me. An example is those I work with. I suggested that we should look into various forms of impromptu advertising, and you would think I suggested smoking crack in the workplace. I suggested things like tying into facebook, blogging, twitter, etc. I got blank stares, snickers, and push-backs. Much like when I suggested that 4/12 weeks are an awesome idea. The point of these things being, I think different. I use an Apple, For God sakes I've worked for Apple. I just think different, and my mind is always firing.

Apparently, so do these guys. The name is Conjunctured. They describe themselves simply as:
The very first Austin coworking space. We’re a growing community of like-minded professionals who have grown tired of working alone and crave the vibe of working in a collaborative and creative space.
As someone who has the ability to work from home, let me tell you... It sucks! Seriously. Sometimes you just need some background noise. Sometimes you just need someone to bounce an idea off of. Sometimes you just need... coffee? Sure, why not. The place is built on a group that used to take over a coffee shop weekly. They got sick of the weekly groove, so a group rented a house and turned it into a shared workspace. Wireless internet, fax, copiers projectors, a coffee bar, the whole sha-bang! People pay $25/day or $250/month for use of the space, and work in open groups, no cubicles here.

This is just one example of where the world is going. The generation that can't take the starched white shirt and tie, the corporate 9-5, the musty cubicles finally has it's own place. Kudos to these guys and gals in Austin who wanted to buck the system. Hopefully if, or when (?!), I get out to Austin to ride, I'll have an opportunity to pop in and visit the peeps at Conjunctured, and see firsthand what they have going on.

10 December 2008

Weekly Roundup December 10, 2008

So cool! The colds are gone, done, over, no more! WOO! So I’m doing what I have to make money before the market dries up right before the new year, and then I ride. I’ll have some time coming with the Christmas holiday and New Years. What does that mean? There’s a GREAT chance to plan a trip to Ray’s Mountain Bike Park. I have a friend, like the little sister I never had, who I lost track of for some years. We just got back in touch with one another, and it seems that her and her beau both mountain bike. They’ll also be in Cleveland for Christmas. Get it? Ray’s! Best part is… You’re all welcome to come! So, drop me a line via the “You Can Contact Me By Clicking Here” link, or drop me a comment with a way to get in touch with you and lets chat about how we can make it happen. OK, without further adieu, I give you what’s been giving me my fix in the last week, short and sweet, I give you the Weekly Roundup!

Bluenoser: My dude Bluenoser is well on his way to going off the deep end for cross! He wrote in his 09.12.08 blog post about how the Provincials went for him. Clearly he forgot that this was his first year trying cross, as he was a bit hard on himself. Bluenoser, er, pot! My name is Kettle… I know.

Travels With A Tin Donkey: It’s been a while, and I hope Sprocketboy can accept my humble apologies. I haven’t forgot about you bro! I am back on the Muesli, like it was crack, as a matter of fact. Can’t eat the stuff without wondering how you’re doing. Anyway, it appears that Sprocketboy had a great time on his Visit To The Pedaling History Bicycle Museum. He stopped at the museum, just outside of Buffalo apparently, and has a great story about the journey, complete with pictures. Hmm, Buffalo is only about three hours from Cleveland, may have to get out there.

Highwaymunky Blog: Munky seems to be having a similar problem to us here in Cleveland. Cold! He also seems to be lacking a certain four letter word. S-n-o-w. Lucky for him. Although snow is a ton of fun. Munky posted a quickie, with pics, about his Fresh Faced Ride. Sounds like it was more of a frozen faced ride.

Fat Cyclist: Fatty had a great little post about Property Value. I know, what does that have to do with cycling? I’m not even going to get into it, but to say you HAVE TO read this! It’s truly awesome, and funny! Oh, and congrats to you, Fatty, on the awesome first week showing for Team Fat Cyclist: Fighting For Susan! LAF must be blown away!

Harp Rider: Harp took a huge step and quit his job at the golf course, as a chef, and is focusing more on his work teaching at the college, as a chef, and his cycling, as a ch… er, just cycling. Also, “Bike Pedalers” will be opening a second store, so he’ll have more hours there as well. Seems as though Harp has had quite A Week. Here’s hoping for all the best for you Harp! Enjoy your new shirt! Oh… Still working on the calendar getting out to you. I PROMISE soon!

Well, that’s it for this week. Don’t forget to get over to Fat Cyclist, and sign up for the LIVESTRONG Challenge. Whether you ride, run, or just support, it’ll be an awesome time, and a chance to win some really cool stuff. GO! Check it out! As usual, I’m the Phun Cyclist, you stay classy Cleveland.

09 December 2008

Too Cool For Words, And By Recommendation Of My Doctor

I wanted to include a quick reminder again. I'll stop doing it daily soon, but for now... I will be riding in the Philly leg of the LIVESTRONG Challenge. I will be riding in memory of my father who was taken by cancer on Fathers Day 1993. I will be riding as a part of Team Fat Cyclist: Fighting for Susan. I'm still quite a way to reaching my goal of raising $2,500 for Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF). In the first week I have managed to get $200 in donations thanks to some awesome people who, by the way, you can see scrolling under the thermometer on the sidebar on the right side. If you would like to help and donate to Lance Armstrong Foundation on behalf of my fundraising effort, you can go to my secure LAF Page, and make a secure donation. You can also track how I am doing, and there is a link to donate on the right hand sidebar of this blog. Thank you so much to those who have donated, and in advance to those of you who will!

I'm going to warn you off the bat, this might be a bit gross to you, but I had to rave about it. If you think gross things are, well, gross, you may want to skip the videos but the links will be OK. So for years now I have had MAJOR sinus issues. Most of them have been in the winter, once everything is closed up, and there is no fresh air. It leads me to believe that it is partly or wholly related to dust. Alas I am not a doctor, so I can't say for sure. However I go to a doctor, and the doctor said, "no more monkeys jumping on the bed!" Uh, sorry... Long story there. Anyway, my doctor told me about something that I should be using. It's called a Neti Pot.Yup! That's it! What you do is rub it, and a little genie pops out... Again, I know... Sorry. It's the mood I'm in. Anyway I'll try and stay on topic from now on.
So, The Neti Pot. Mine wasn't as pretty as that, but it is wicked effective. I bought mine for under $15, it was made by a company called NeilMed, and they are cool in my book because in their two minute forty five second video showing a bunch of allergy sufferers and the like, they fit in a gratuitous guy on a bike. That makes them 82.7% cooler.
I used it one time today, and I have to admit that I already feel a difference. Since using it about three hours ago, I haven't blow my nose once. I usually would be about an eighth the way through a box of tissues by this time on a ordinary night. Not to mention I'd have major drainage in my throat (I warned you, gross). Tonight? Breathing freely! WOO! I can't wait to see if it helps when I'm riding, as that's a HUGE problem when I ride, nasal drip like crazy! Anyway, if you haven't seen a Neti in action, I have the video below. It's actually really cool. Based solely on the first time using it, I have a feeling I will be extremely happy that my doctor recommended it. I'll keep you up on it, but for now, check it out in action!




08 December 2008

Thoughts On Holiday Weight Gain... And Weight Loss

As a quick reminder before the main post: I will be riding in the Philly leg of the LIVESTRONG Challenge. I will be riding in memory of my father who was taken by cancer on Fathers Day 1993, and as a part of Team Fat Cyclist: Fighting for Susan. I'm still a long way to reaching my goal of raising $2,500 for Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF). In the first week I have managed to get $200 in donations thanks to some awesome people who, by the way, you can see scrolling under the thermometer on the sidebar on the right side. If you would like to help and donate to Lance Armstrong Foundation on behalf of my fundraising effort, you can go to my secure LAF Page, and make a secure donation. You can also track how I am doing, and there is a link to donate on the right hand sidebar of this blog. Thank you so much to those who have donated, and in advance to those of you who will!

OK, now that Thanksgiving is over and the left overs have been dealt with now it begins. What begins you ask? "It"! Weight maintenance and weight loss. Example, I have readied the famous "Sprocketboy Muelsi". You may remember that I lost a whopping 7.4 pounds in one week during the Fat Cyclist Get A Grip Weight Loss Challenge because of Sprocketboy's Muesli. I'm also going to be hooking up a Weider smith rack here in the near future, cracking the rollers out (and trying to figure out how the hell to ride 'em well), and watching what I eat (until the Christmas/New Years week), and getting out in the mediocre weather on the mountain bike.

The aforementioned is part of my 2009 goals, but I'm not going to get into that just yet. There will be time enough for that in the coming weeks, once I have my list completed. I would love to hear what you guys are doing to keep in shape. Further I would love to hear what your plans are for 2009. I know Bluenoser has already expressed interest in reviving the Lean Look Challenge. I have to be honest and agree with Bluenoser when I say, I too have slacked off on There Lean Look. I will likely restart the book in the new year. I don't have much to lose, but the principals are what I need to focus on. So, anyone who would be interested in that should let me know. We could do a contest or something, and maybe even start a side blog based on it!

Anyway, hope you all had a great weekend, and that your plans for the holidays are going well. Catch you tomorrow!

05 December 2008

Phun Phor The Weekend - Thank You Prodigy!

As a quick reminder, I will be riding in the Philly Leg of the LIVESTRONG Challenge. I will be riding in honor of my father who was taken by cancer on Fathers Day 1993, and as a part of Team Fat Cyclist: Fighting for Susan. I have started the journey to reach my goal of raising $2,500 for Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF) and my participation in the 2009 Philadelphia leg of the Lance Armstrong Challenge. If you would like to help and donate to Lance Armstrong Foundation on behalf of my fundraising effort, you can go to my secure LAF Page, and make a secure donation. You can also track how I am doing, and there is a link to donate on the right hand sidebar of this blog. Thank you so much to those who have donated, and in advance to those of you who will!

Some of you who truly know me for sometime know of my love for the "party scene" (read that as "rave" to those who were not as in the know) back in the early 90's. I enjoyed the scene, the music, the people, and managed to keep clean and clear of the drugs... Thank God for that. Anyway, I always loved the music. The way you could feel the base, the lights and lasers, and spinning the stuff as well. I had a couple of shows, on a couple of local college stations, and made mixes as often as possible. Never really got deep enough to spin a party, wasn't my style. I never liked the stress of it. One of my favorite bands of all time is, was, and will always be The Prodigy. So, I have to say I was giddy like a school girl to see that they have a new album set to release on 02 March 2009! I know if no one else, Lisa will appreciate this... I hope you do too!

Have a Phun weekend, please donate to my Lance Armstrong fundraising, and enjoy!




04 December 2008

Gratitude And Chaos

First off I want to thank my awesome family! I am $150 closer to my goal of raising $2,500 for Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF) and my participation in the 2009 Philadelphia leg of the Lance Armstrong Challenge. If you would like to help and donate to Lance Armstrong Foundation on behalf of my fundraising effort, you can go to my secure LAF Page, and make a secure donation. You can also track how I am doing, and there is a link to donate on the right hand sidebar of this blog. Thank you so much to those who have donated, and in advance to those of you who will!

OK, I was going to write a post base a bit on why I am so adamant that come hell or high water I will do the LIVESTRONG Challenge this year. Well, to be honest, I am just burnt out! Seriously. I will post something about the LIVESTRONG Challenge next week, or the week after, or maybe early next year. I'm just doing eighty things right now, and, well... This is how it's been:
I am taking a break from work, at home, after working late, at the office, to try and make hay while the sun shines. It has been chaos, I tell you! Do you have any idea how hard it is to find an Electrical Engineer who has FPGA, SPICE, and C Language experience, and further has used Xilinx and Altera products? Ugh... You probably don't, unless you are one, than you know how in demand you are. With that said, and with the chaos of Holiday and the year end deadlines coming down on me like a boulder on Willey Coyote back in the day of Looney Tunes (the original, not the wanna-be junk in the 90's). It's just all left me feeling like... Feeling as though... Well... Like this...


So, please bare with me if I get a bit flighty in the next couple of weeks, and know that I'll turn it around really soon! Thanks!


03 December 2008

Weekly Roundup December 03, 2008

So I think the colds are finally ending, the snow is coming back just in time for some free time thanks to Christmas, and there is a GREAT chance that there will be a trip to Rays Mountain Bike Park. I’m a bit excited at all of the potential fun to be had. For now, Imma keep it short and sweet, and without further adieu, I give you what’s been giving me my fix, I give you the Weekly Roundup!

Bluenoser: Bluenoser had his final cross race of the season, and the bug has seemingly bit him hard! On 30.11.08 he posted a great story regarding how the race went. Complete with pictures and video! Looks like the race was a blast Blue. Maybe in a couple years, after getting the lungs in shape and some training, I’ll get to race with ya.

The Wah Report: Wah? Heh… Wah has too much going on with his cross racing to even start to talk about. Just go to The Wah Report and check out the last week. Hell, check out the last couple weeks. There’s pictures, video, stories, links, hand ups, brews, all kinds of stuff going on there. Just set aside, about, forty five minutes to an hour and check into the blog.

Highwaymunky Blog: So with every major world economy in the toilet, what the heck is a brother, or sister, supposed to do when it comes to buying a new rig? Munky hooks us up with a guide to Surviving The Credit Crunch… No, Wait, Recession… Oh, No, Now It’s A Dep[CENSORED]on. I like it Munky, I really like it! You might just be able to market this!

Harp Rider: Harp got out for, what sounded like, a fun but Cold And Rough ride. As the weather changes so do our habits, right Harp? By the way… The calendar is on it’s way… soon. Promise.

Rays Racing Adventure: Ray has me jealous, as he got out for what sounded like a wicked fun Thanksgiving ride. He got out in West Woods Trail and didn’t even invite me. I really need to find a couple better trails in the area to ride. Should probably think about setting up a winter run too, sometime soon!

Well, that’s it for this week. Don’t forget to get over to Fat Cyclist, and sign up for the LIVESTRONG Challenge. Whether you ride, run, or just support, it’ll be an awesome time, and a chance to win some really cool stuff. GO! Check it out! As usual, I’m the Phun Cyclist, you stay classy Cleveland.

02 December 2008

LiveStrong Challenge - Dates Announced, I'll Be There, You Can Win Stuff From Fatty, Kick Cancers A__! What More Could You Ask For?

That's right! It's that time of year again, and I'm excited! What time of year? Why am I so excited? OK, there are a few reasons, so I'll take 'em one at a time.

First, one of my goals for 2009 is set, and I'm already moving ahead with it. I will be riding in the 2009 Philadelphia leg of the LiveStrong Challenge! If you would like to donate to my fundraising effort for the LiveStrong Challenge you can go to My LiveStrong Challenge Page to make a secure donation by credit card, or find out how to donate by phone or mail. You can also click on the LiveStrong Challenge Thermometer in the sidebar on the right.

Another reason I am excited is that I will be riding as a part of the now famous Team Fat Cyclist: Fighting For Susan. It's a brilliant idea that Fatty put together with the idea of having the largest team, make the most money, and break all LiveStrong Challenge records as a team. You don't have to be a pro rider, or even very good, or even want to ride or run! You too could join the team and raise money for Team Fatty and be a part of history. The easiest way to explain this is to have you go to Join Team Fatty Today (With Some Unbelievably Good Reasons Why). Once you are there you will find all of the info on how you too can join the team, and have a chance to win some really cool swag! You can chose from four LiveStrong Challenge Dates: Seattle, WA (June 21); San Jose, CA (July 12); Philadelphia, PA (Aug 23); and Austin, TX (Oct 23 – 25). Like I said, I will be riding in Philly (as it seems everyone else will, by the looks of Fatty's blog comments).

Well, for now that's all I've got, I need to go and work on My LiveStrong Challenge Page, and getting out some fund raising emails. For now, please go and donate to My LiveStrong Challenge Page, and we'll catch you again tomorrow!

Thanks, in advance, for your consideration!

01 December 2008

Thanksgiving Regret - The Ride: A Not So Good Idea?

So Friday I wrote a nice little post about my Thanksgiving Ride. If you haven't checked it out yet, go to the Friday post, check it out, and then come back here. Trust me, It'll just be easier to understand the rest of this. I'll wait... go.

OK, so we're all on the same page, right? Good. So I got a short ride in on Thanksgiving. It was cold, there was snow, I was breathing hard, the lungs felt like butt! I'm extraordinarily happy that I didn't go into an asthma attack, as I left the inhaler at home (for the record this was a stoopit idea). Anyway, I got home and was feeling the ride in my lungs, but I didn't think about it. I got in the shower and finished the Turkey Day dinner stuff, and went about my business eating and drinking myself into a food and, to a smaller extent, alcohol induced coma! It was, however a really nice Thanksgiving and a great dinner. I don't mean to brag, but I'm a pretty decent cook, and so is the wife.

So I crashed a bit early on account I was going to shop Friday, and I was tired from the days events. I felt like I was going to die the entire night! I woke up countless times, and was just in pain. The lungs haven't felt right since it was cold. Got up early and hit the shower. Weighed myself, a full five pounds high than I was Wednesday, and left to shop with my wife and about twenty-two million insane people. All of whom were extremely nice, and very conversational. It's amazing what you learn about people when you're in line with them for thirty minutes or more. On a positive note here, Im down from what used to be a forty waist to a THIRTY THREE! I haven't worn a thirty three since early in high school! So while I am seemingly stagnating in the middle to high one seventies, my waistline is making me happy.

To finish the long story, I spent the rest of the weekend hanging out. Swam on Saturday, just hung out and enjoyed the rest of the holiday weekend, but the lungs felt tight and hurt pretty much the entire time. Still can't shake the cold 100%, and just feel like crud! Anyone have any suggestions on how to build up lungs? I'd love to hear em. Hope you all had a great weekend too, been enjoying the blogs over the weekend. Keep reading and (for those of you who do) writing!

28 November 2008

Thanksgiving Ride

So after three weeks, and about as many colds, I bit the bullet and got out on the bike for Thanksgiving. Nothing crazy, just some fun manmade trails. The snow was on the ground, and it was cold, but it was wicked fun! It's been a year now since I got out in any type of snow. So, while this wasn't much it was really enjoyable. Here's a quickie for you to enjoy.

I got the fleece on, threw on the PI headband, shades, and hit it. I miss being on a bike, really miss it. But at the same time, it was like I never stopped. OK, so it was only three weeks, but I'm a bit of a drama, er, queen(?!). I got in a mere few miles, but it was a great few miles. Enjoyable.

Got home, got the Thanksgiving Dinner finished, engorged myself on beer cheese, shrimp, turkey, stuffing, cranberry, Fatty's mashed potatoes, homemade cornbread, pumpkin pie, beers, wine, and so much more. I actually ate JUST enough to be full, but not so much to feel ill. It's cool. I still, probably, put on five pounds, I'll report on that later. I had SUCH an awesome time, I just hope everyone out there had as great a day as I did. Oh, and by the way... cold means? Yup, time for the hair to come back. Its sketchy now, but it will be full again soon. Amazing how much warmer facial hair will make you!

27 November 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Not much time yesterday or today to post, please accept my humblest apologies. I do, however, want to take one minute to say a quick thank you for just over a year of helping me enjoy writing Cycling Phun. As anyone who writes a blog, even the self proclaimed 'polished turd of the cycling industry', will tell you; the only time a blog is truly fun to write, is when people are reading it. With that said, thank you to all of the amazing people, all over the world, who read and share comments and stories everyday! I still can't get over seeing all the countries, just today so far: USA, Canada, UK, Italy, Poland, Australia, Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands, Vietnam, Turkey, Japan, Finland, Sweden, Greece, Croatia, France, and New Zealand. It just blows my mind to think that people from all over are reading my mindless drivel, but I love it! Thank you.

Also, as always, I am eternally grateful to have an amazing wife and family. My wife is the coolest, supports everything I do, regardless of how asinine it is, and puts up with my countless, and generally overly expensive, habits. I am truly blessed to have you in my life 'Mrs Phun'!

Finally, really more of a reiteration expounded upon, I'm thankful for all of my friends and acquaintances. I have an amazing, and totally diverse, group of fairly close knit friends. All of which, or most of which anyway, generally get along with one another, and me (?!), for the most part. Whether its the people I works with, who are unbelievably cool, or the 'regulars', the guys and girls I hang at the bar and b**ch about life with, or the amazing people I have the opportunity to ride with and learn from, down to the readers of this who encourage, hold accountable, and make one-another laugh. Thank you! Here's hoping you have a great Thanksgiving, and a truly Blessed Holiday season.

26 November 2008

Thanksgiving Feast '09

I simply cannot wait! Thanksgiving is my favorite time of year, mainly because of the food! Today the fun starts. A half day at the office, followed by an early dinner, followed by Thanksgiving Dinner prep! So what will I be doing this year for the Thanksgiving Feast? Glad you asked...

I will start things off with miscellaneous appetizer pastries, and my world famous beer cheese spread on water crackers. This stuff is the bomb, I only make it for Thanksgiving, for some reason, and I always have a bottle of Christmas Ale with it.

After that its straight to the dinner. This year I will be making a twenty-one pound stuffed turkey, stuffed! That's right, I stuff the bird. Sorry if you think that stuffing a bird is wrong, I'm willing to take the risk. The stuffing is my wife's family recipe, and it's the best stuff on Earth. It's made with bread (duh), celery, onion, parsley, pork, beef, veal, and offal (innards). It is so delicious, and is great sliced thin on a turkey sandwich around 8:00 PM. More on that later. Also, Fatty's Mashed Potatoes, these things are THEE bomb!, sweet potato casserole with marshmallows, green bean casserole, and dinner rolls. The accompanying drink? Christmas Ale

For dessert, we will have pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin pie, anything else that is brought by parents and in-laws, and (yeah, you guessed it) Christmas Ale.

So from my family to yours, have a HAPPY THANKSGIVING, and remember to give thanks for all of life's little blessings!

25 November 2008

Be Thankful...

I wanted to take a minute to post this today, on account I was not sure how many people would be reading the blog during the Thanksgiving Holiday.

That’s right folks, for this week the diet portion of the Lean Look Fitness Challenge is officially on hold! Starting Thursday the engorging on Turkey and other goodies begins. I’ll get to the specifics of that tomorrow in a special Thanksgiving Feast post, but for now generality will abound.

Ever since I was a kid my favorite holiday was Thanksgiving. Partly because I always felt grateful for everything I’ve had. This year is no different. I love the idea of getting together with my family, and most of all I love the food. When I was young I was all about eating enough turkey to keep me full for a minimum of three weeks. As I got older it changed, drastically. Now I don’t mind the eating, nay I LOVE it still, but I enjoy the preparation far more. I love the idea of cooking a huge meal for my family. I love working with my wife to prep food, I love making the food, and I love feeding people. Every year I fight to find friends that have no where to go that I can invite over to share in the feast with us.

So, for a guaranteed one day a year, I put aside all things diet and throw caution to the wind. I allow myself a weekend of eating well, with my amazing family, and great friends.

This year I also came to an amazing conclusion. I have so many things to be grateful for. No matter how bad it seems I can’t help but think “I am doing better than most, and not as well as some.” That’s right, compared to a lot of people I have it really well. I’ve been tested the last year big time, but it could be far worse. I’ve had some hard roads, and I’ve tightened the laces and trekked ahead.

So what about you? What do you have to be thankful for? Health, family, a great job? I want to encourage you to make a list, mental or on paper, of what those things are. Remember to be grateful for them. Remember them this weekend, and keep those less fortunate in your heart and in your prayers. Heck, if you want, feel free to share what you’re thankful for in the comment section.

I’m thankful for my awesome family. They love me for me, no matter how much of an ass I am at times.
I’m thankful for my friends who take the time to ride with me. Who never judge me, who push me to be better without being abusive.
I am grateful to the people who hold me accountable. Who push me to lose weight, get stronger, and ride harder.
I am thankful for you guys. That’s right, if you weren’t here to read this thing, I would have no reason to write it. Thank you for taking the time to read, share comments, and share stories.
Finally, I’m thankful for God. Who, while we might not always like His answer or understand it, always intercedes with Grace and Love. He has made me strong, he has put wonderful people in my life, and he is always there.

These are the reasons I am grateful this year.

24 November 2008

Like Crack, Or As Bad As The High From Riding A Bike

Alright, so I realize that this blog is a cycling related blog but guess what? I have poetic license! That’s right, it’s my blog so I’m going to do what I want to. What do I mean? Simple, 24! I am a GEEK for 24, and since today was “24: Redemption” I am going to geek out on that!

So I have to admit, I don’t know if I could last till 11/01/2009 for more ’24’. Note: by that I mean 11 January 2009. Anyway, after seeing 24 redemption I am so geeked for 24, Season 7, to start in a month and a half! If you haven’t watched 24 so far, this looks like a good season to get addicted, er, start. There are a few warnings though before you go, just, willy nilly watching 24.

Do NOT watch 24 if you have better things to do. Why? It’s simple. 24 is like crack! You watch some of one episode, and next thing you know, your twitching until you get your fix. God forbid you need to Tivo® an episode, you’ll watch the thing the next time you’re in the same room as the TV you Tivo®ed it on. Seroiusly! My wife SWORE, up and down, that she would NEVER get into it. RIIIGHT! She saw, about, eight minutes of it, and is now hooked!

Do NOT watch 24 if you don’t like to talk to your TV. OH yeah, you’ll be talking to the TV as you watch it. Talking, critiquing, screaming at your TV while you watch the show. You become THAT involved in the show. There are few shows that are this addictive. Fringe is also one of those shows… I digress. Fringe is another subject. I will talk about that later, or maybe not. BUT, if you haven’t seen Fringe, I recommend that you let that consume your life, er, check out Fringe also. Great show.

Finally, do NOT watch 24 if you cannot let a TV show completely take over your ever thought, if not soul! Again, the show is roughly as addictive as crack! For real! You will watch a show, and spend every waking moment and thought on the next weeks show. You will want to check out web spoiler sights, blogs, fox.com, and anything else that might be talking about 24 at this time. Heck, if you guys are interest I might consider talking 24 one night a week. Just throwing it out.

Anyway, I have to apologize ahead of time. I will likely interject a few 24 moments into the blog, going forward, once 24 starts in January. Again, if you aren’t watching, let me recommend it to you, and apologize for getting you hooked on it in advance.

21 November 2008

A Weekend Moment Of Zen

Before I get into the Weekend Moment Of Zen, I want to take a minute to pass along a reminder. Cycling Phun now has a group on facebook! Already a couple handfuls of regulars, and some newer faces have joined up. My whole plan for this is simple. A way for regular readers, as well as casual readers to get together and chat. A way for people throwing a leg over a saddle for fun, avid cyclists, and the guys pounding it for the points to get together and talk about riding. A way to share stories, ideas, ask questions, get answers and just have fun. That's really what I've always hoped the blog would be, and that's the kind of community I would love to build. Cycling Phun on facebook, dare I dub it "phunbook"?, is just an extension of that idea, and a good starting point on what I hope Phun can become. So, please feel free to jump over to facebook, and add yourself to the group. It's simple, just go to the Cycling Phun facebook group and click "join this group".

OK, now I want to share a cool video I found. I can only hope I have this kind of control over my bike someday. Now, I give you your Weekend Moment Of Zen.

Danny Macaskill




Cycling Phun On Phacebook, Er, Facebook

Ah the joys of social networking. Taking a page out of the Wah playbook, I have moved Cycling Phun into a whole new realm. After reading through many months, nay, years of The Wah Report, and reading countless articles on the importance of the social marketing and networking scene Cycling Phun now has a group on facebook! I cannot believe it took me this long to do it, but I finally pulled the trigger and set up a group. Already a couple of regulars have joined up. Thanks to Wah (Jared), Miles And Madness (Judi), and Let's Rock... (Lisa) for being the first to jump on board! Bluenoser of 50K Loop NS also joined, but for some reason his info is not showing, hopefully he'll remedy that soon!
My whole plan for this is simple. A way for regular readers, as well as casual readers to get together and chat. A way for people throwing a leg over a saddle for fun, avid cyclists, and the guys pounding it for the points to get together and talk about riding. A way to share stories, ideas, ask questions, get answers and just have fun. That's really what I've always hoped the blog would be, and that's the kind of community I would love to build. Cycling Phun on facebook, dare I dub it "phunbook"?, is just an extension of that idea, and a good starting point on what I hope Phun can become.
So, please feel free to jump over to facebook, and add yourself to the group. It's simple, just go to the Cycling Phun facebook group and click "join this group".
Hope to see you there and, as always, hope you're having Phun!

19 November 2008

Weekly Roundup November 19, 2008

I am so sick of being in various forms of funk. Tuesday turned out to be a good day, but I’ve been in a funk for about a week, or so. Mind you, I’ve been sick but still… What I hate most? I haven’t felt well enough to get out on the bike. So, the blogs have been giving me my much needed fix. Without further adieu, I give you what’s been giving me my fix, I give you the Weekly Roundup!

Flatman: Yea! There are few things I like more than finding yet another new favorite blog! This time around it’s Flatman has come out of nowhere to fill this need. I personally think that Flatmans blog is a bit like mine. He has some really cool articles, most of which are cycling related, some of which are all over the place, but are all really cool and/or somewhat fun! Nice to have found you Flatman.

The Wah Report: Congrats going out to Wah who rocked a solid Silver finish in the MN 35+ Cyclocross States. I would post a more specific story here, but there are a few posts. My recommendation? Get over to The Wah Report and check out the last week. Hell, check out the last couple weeks, Wah is always worth it.

Highwaymunky Blog: HA HA! I don’t mean to laugh atcha Munky, but I couldn’t help but think about my dog stories while reading Autumn Riding. I just want to point out that I love autumn riding because it’s sooo pretty. I hate autumn riding because it makes the asthma act up! The cool air sucks on asthmatic lungs. Sorry you had to kick the dog, but you gotta do what you gotta do to save yourself, right? On the adrenaline side, the time I had a boxer (I think, big vicious dog…) come after me I swear I was hitting mid thirties on an uphill. Stay safe, and keep away from the trail where their at, cool?

Harp Rider: In keeping with the seeming cross theme, the cross bug has now bit Harp as well. It seems as though Harp got a taste of the pain that is Cyclocross at the Cowboy Cup CX Race. Also, congrats Harp, who won the Cyclepassion calendar (after, like, 29 hours)! The Calendar will be in its way posthaste!

Rays Racing Adventure: Finally Ray too seemed to have a hard way to go in The Very Cold The Fields CX Race Of ‘08. I wish I would’ve gone to check out the race, seems like it was a real battle. This is a great fun to read recount of the race, and Ray did, seemingly, very well all things considered.

Well, that’s it for this week. Now that the snow is flying, the cycling gets fun! As usual, I’m the Phun Cyclist, you stay classy Cleveland.

18 November 2008

This May Be A First For Me

I am going to do something here that is in poor blogging fashion. I have NOTHING to say. That might just be a first for me! Seriously, have you ever been here? I've been trying to kick this colds butt for, at least, two weeks now. Every time it starts to clear, I get another one from the office, from friends, what ever the case might be. I've been on my bike exactly three times since Cross My Heart, yeah... like, a month ago. I've become stagnant and I don't know why, but in true "Don Fashion" I have a couple thoughts.

First, and most plausible since this is seemingly a yearly occurrence...
Seasonal Affective Disorder: That's right, the good old winter depression. According to US National Library of Medicine "some people experience a serious mood change when the seasons change. They may sleep too much, have little energy, and crave sweets and starchy foods. They may also feel depressed." The days get shorter,I get groggy, I crave "comfort food" (read that as fattening foods, read that as a biscuit covered in mashed potatoes, smothered in country gravy, topped with country fried chicken, and cheddar cheese. Right, low fat, I know.)

Cutback in Chiropractic: This is as painful to me as it sounds. My Chiropractor, who by the way is thee bomb!, has my back where he wants it to be. So, I'm down to once a week from three times a week now. That has me a bit depressed. If you've never tried chiropractic, it is the best thing on earth! You really have NO idea what you're missing.

Riding: Finally, riding. With the shortened days, comes a slight cutback in outdoor riding. I've already expressed how much I (don't) LOVE riding rollers! When the sun comes up around 8:00AM and goes down at 5:00PM and you work from 8:00AM-after 5:00PM it poses a problem. I need to rethink how I'm going to get a light set up for the MTB, and pray that riding in the dark in snow doesn't get me killed. Also, have you noticed that NOT getting out makes you more tired than pounding out a two or three hour ride? If I ride for a few hours, I'm wired! When I don't get out, I'm useless!

So, there you have it. For not having much to say, I think I actually said quite a bit. Hmmmm, so much for that.

17 November 2008

UPDATED! What Better Way To Start Your Week? A Free Calendar & Beautiful Women!

Hey, OK... So I have a feeling that people might be checking but figuring that someone already snatched up the calendar... They haven't. Furthermore I know SOMEONE out there wants a calendar man! Did I throw you off with a question? I'll throw out a hint to answer the question, ready? I have a big ad for Spin, the LBS, on the right hand sidebar. OK? And the race was exactly a month ago... C'mon! (heh heh heh)
Seriously though, someone just send the answer(s) to me so I can ship this calendar off to you.


Cyclepassion has come through once again! Incase you didn't see the post a couple of weeks ago, I've got a calendar to give away! Thats right, the 2009 Calendars are out, and I'm going to give you, what's likely your first chance, to win one. I'm footing the bill on shipping these bad boys, so I am going to ask a favor. Please keep it to US and Canada... these things are, like, $10 to ship within the US, I don't want to spend as much as the calendar is worth to send it to the UK, or Australia, or something, sorry (puppy dog eyes, and a cute smile).

What does this mean to you? Twelve months of looking at scenes like this...I think you could handle that, right?

So, here's how it goes down. You want the calendar, you need to answer a question. The answer is (almost too easy to find) in this blog somewhere. Be the first to answer the question, and she... will be delivering you your very own Cyclepassion calendar! **OK, that was a lie, but I WILL send you one of your very own calendars to enjoy! So without further adieu, the question:

What is my favorite LBS (Local Bike Shop) that I talk about often in my blog?
Bonus Question (For a Jimi Products Game Shell). What race did they recently (like in the last month) sponsor?

Well there you have it. Click on the contact me at the top right hand of this page, the top of the sidebar, send me your answer, and if your the first to answer it correctly you'll get the calendar. If you don't win you can always order one at 2009 Cyclepassion Calendar Order Page, or just wait and see... Maybe I'll have another one coming up soon! *wink, nudge*

16 November 2008

Hey... Just A Heads Up!

I just wanted to throw out a quick heads up to everyone. Tomorrow I will have a quick giveaway. To make it fair to all involved, and to cover all of the time zones, in the US anyway, I will have the contest positing at 12:00 noon EST! So thats 12:00 PM Eastern, 11:00 AM Central, 10:00 AM Mountain, 9:00 AM Pacific, right? OK. There you have it! So come back MONDAY 11/17 at 12:00PM EST to find out more about the giveaway!

14 November 2008

Thoughts On Winter

With the weather calling for snow, yet again, this weekend I have come to a realization. I have a huge problem with the change in the weather. Mind you, I like the autumn and furthermore I would take that so far as to say that I live for the leaves changing. I love when the humidity clears from the air and it is warm, but not sticky. I like being able to pound a trail, listening to the leaves rustle under mountain bike tires as they get kicked up while bombing down a hill.

I like the winter and the snow that comes with it. There is nothing more pure or majestic than peering out your window and seeing everything blanketed in pure white.

That’s not to say that it’s perfect, however. The problem that I have is in how it messes with my riding. I like to ride, outdoors. I’m not the kind of guy who can motivate myself to enjoy very many things if I have to enjoy them indoors. I am capable of riding rollers a bit, but I hate it. I have a strong feeling that if I had a fluid trainer I would hate that too. It’s just not the same as getting out and catching the scenery. Feeling the breeze, hearing the sounds… I just can’t get into the idea of riding inside.

Luckily there are paths near my home that, while they are not the greatest, will do in a pinch. This comes in very handy in the winter, as the paths are crushed limestone, and hold up really well under snow, while wet, when frozen, etc. Further, people love to walk the trails ALL THE TIME. Why is that important? It packs what snow is there down, and makes it super easy, er as easy as it could be riding on snow and ice, to ride on the snow-covered trails.

Only time will tell what happens this year in Cleveland, as far as the snowfall totals. Rest assured, one way or another I WILL be riding this winter. If I have to throw screws into old tires and put those on my bike for the winter, or if I need to spend time driving out to Ray’s (more on Ray’s to come), I WILL be riding this winter!

13 November 2008

Fat Cyclist Has The Coolest Idea EVER!

So I had a pretty great story to post, and then I wound up reading Fatty's Blog. So here's how today's post is going to play out. I'm going to phone today's in, by way of biting Fatty's post and sharing his COOLEST MOST AWESOME IDEA EVER! Seriously. It's an idea so very brilliant I am a bit envious that I didn't think of it myself. I'm also a bit sad because it's going to dwarf my Cyclepassion Calendar Contest. With that said here is a brief excerpt from Fatty, you'll have to go HERE to read the rest and find out the specifics of the prizes and such. Here's hoping you raise a million, nay, two million... or more! Let's all pull together to help Fatty make this work.

Here's what Fatty has to say:

Here are some interesting facts for you:

Team Dell — you know, the computer guys — had the largest LiveStrong Challenge team ever last year, with more than 260 people in it.
Team Toi raised the most money ever, raising over $350,000 for the LiveStrong Challenge.
Here are my thoughts on both of these records: Pffff.

Team Fat Cyclist: Fighting For Susan

For 2009, I am going to form Team Fat Cyclist: Fighting For Susan for the LiveStrong Challenge, and I want you to join me. If you’re willing to put in some work, together our neighborhood will not simply break these records; we will crush them.

No, we will demolish them.

And humiliate them, just for fun.

Oh, and by the way, by either joining the team or contributing to the team — your choice — you will automatically be entering yourself in raffles to win prizes that will make your head spin.


Want more? It's OK... you can admit you do. Just go HERE and read all about it. Then sign up, and help kick cancers butt!

12 November 2008

Weekly Roundup November 12, 2008

I had a great weekend, can’t say the same for the week, but that’s neither here nor there. I was able for the first time in weeks to get out for a ride, and a stellar ride at that. It was raining, the air was extremely crisp, and the leaves covered the ground like a blanket. It made for a fun ride since the ride was in an old quarry, and the wet leaves covering the wet rocks meant that I couldn’t really see what I was riding into. Now, without further adieu, I give you the Weekly Roundup!

The Wah Report: First off congratulations are in order for Jared Roy, of The Wah Report. Jared came in, in the Bronze In Cyclocross Rider Of The Year 35+, & Crossniacs Top Team. It was a bit vague, but I am assuming that this is for the state of Minnesota, though I’m not one hundred percent sure, maybe Jared will specify in the comments section. Either way, congratulations.

Highwaymunky Blog: Woo hoo! Munky is back fairly regularly now, and this is a good thing! He took a nice little ride, an Epic Ride (OMG I’m In Trouble Ride). Thirty-eight miles as the crow flies, a lot of off road, and a metric crap ton of gear. The pictures, however, are absolutely amazing! Great to have you back in the loop Munky!

50K Loop NS: The cross bug has bit Bluenoser, and there may not be any going back. He seems to have fallen hard for cross racing. He’s already working on modifications to his new bike, and talking about a cross bike for next year. 11.11.08 is a quick run down of his lessons from his recent racing, and his hopes for future races. One Brazing Bastard: Likewise, with Blunoser’s frame building project, as of 07.11.08 he has seemingly decided that the frame to build will be a cross frame. Best wishes on that Bluenoser, and when you’re done with your cross frame, could ya make an extra in a 54?

Ray’s Racing Adventures: Ray was also out in the woods on a single track recently, when he came to a problem that was simply Annoying. Apparently, Ray fell and broke something. No, not a bone, rather a rear derailleur. It seems as though a rogue twig caught the derailleur and popped it off like a bottle cap. Luckily all of my bike have remained in one piece.

Fat Cyclist: Finally this week Fatty paid homage to all of those who were doing Fall Moab. That’s to say he was giving Advice To The Attendees Of Fall Moab This Week. He was not able to be in attendance this year, but he is sharing his years of experience with those who will be there. One of my favorites is the advice he gives regarding Bratwursts. Go ahead, you know you’re curious, check it out for yourself. Oh, and WIN Susan!

Well, that’s it for this week. Keep up the riding, before the snow is too deep to. As usual, I’m the Phun Cyclist, you stay classy Cleveland.

11 November 2008

2009 UCI Road Racing Schedule

First off a quick Happy Veterans day to all of those who have served our country! Thank you so much for everything you have done, we cannot possibly repay you for your sacrifices but I, for one, am eternally grateful!

Once again the UCI road racing schedule is out! I lifted the 2009 schedule from the UCI site, and the season breaks down something like this.
20.01.2009 25.01.2009 Tour Down Under AUS
08.03.2009 15.03.2009 Paris - Nice FRA
11.03.2009 17.03.2009 Tirreno-Adriatico ITA
21.03.2009 21.03.2009 Milano-Sanremo ITA
05.04.2009 05.04.2009 Ronde van Vlaanderen / Tour des Flandres BEL
06.04.2009 11.04.2009 Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco ESP
08.04.2009 08.04.2009 Gent - Wevelgem BEL
12.04.2009 12.04.2009 Paris - Roubaix FRA
19.04.2009 19.04.2009 Amstel Gold Race NED
22.04.2009 22.04.2009 La Flèche Wallonne BEL
26.04.2009 26.04.2009 Liège - Bastogne - Liège BEL
28.04.2009 03.05.2009 Tour de Romandie SUI
09.05.2009 31.05.2009 Giro d'Italia ITA
18.05.2009 24.05.2009 Volta Ciclista a Catalunya ESP
07.06.2009 14.06.2009 Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré FRA
13.06.2009 21.06.2009 Tour de Suisse SUI
04.07.2009 26.07.2009 Tour de France FRA
01.08.2009 01.08.2009 Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian - San Sebastian ESP
02.08.2009 08.08.2009 Tour de Pologne POL
16.08.2009 16.08.2009 Vattenfall Cyclassics GER
19.08.2009 26.08.2009 Tour of Benelux ---
23.08.2009 23.08.2009 GP Ouest France - Plouay FRA
29.08.2009 06.09.2009 Deutschland-Tour GER
29.08.2009 20.09.2009 Vuelta a España ESP
17.10.2009 17.10.2009 Giro di Lombardia ITA

I put the races that I will really enjoy watching in bold, don't know why... just did. I'd also like to catch the Tour of California this year. Would LOVE to be there, but realism says I will NOT be there.
That's about all I have for now. You can check out more at the UCI website.

10 November 2008

A Case For Leaf Blowers

I have to say that, generally speaking, I am with Rick Smith who seemingly has a an inbred hate of leaf blowers. For the most part they annoy the hell out of me but after riding this weekend, the first serious ride in three weeks due to colds and scheduling conflicts, I think I might be able to form a case FOR the infernal things.

I did have an awesome ride, on so many levels. It was about 37ºf outside (just under 3ºc if my math skills are correct) and barely drizzling almost the entire time. The leaves are now down, all of them, which makes for really interesting riding to begin with. Add to that the fact that I was riding in and around a very old quarry. For those of you who might be Mormon, or have interest in the Mormon faith, the park was Chapin Forest Reservation. The significance of Chapin to the Mormon faith is that the city the quarry is in (Kirtland, Ohio) is where Joseph Smith (the founder and first president of the Mormon Church) erected the first Mormon Temple. What is now the Chapin Forest Reservation, was originally where they quarried the stone in 1833 to build the Temple.See, told you so.

Digressing, and back to the point of the story. If you know me you know that I tend to be a little bit befuddled a lot of the time. So a few things I didn't think about in planning out this ride today were these.
- It is almost impossible to see out of glasses once they have been rained on for hours on end.
- It IS in a quarry. You know, where they used to get stone from. Because quarries naturally have a lot of stone, and small stones at that, the stones, are EVERYWHERE.
- The aforementioned stones, when covered by about a thousand acres of wet leaves, are completely impossible to see.
- Because the cut stone out of quarries, there are huge drops where the stone was cut out of. This makes for trails place right along side hundreds of foot drops.
All of this figures into me getting my butt kicked trying to climb. A combination of wet rocks and wet leaves on rocks isn't such a cool situation to be riding on. Just how many leaves, you ask?About that many. I didn't fall there, just lost traction. Where I almost fell was a drop into a cavernous gorge between rock. Didn't get a picture of that, but it's not important. It was, however, the only time I almost fell. The bottom line is this, in the end all of the riding was totally worth it! It's been far too long since I was able to get out for a ride, and I almost forgot how amazing it was. When all was said and done, it was worth it just for views like this,and this.Had it been a clear day I could've seen all the way to Downtown Cleveland, about twenty to twenty-five miles away, but I could settle for this.

Not to mention that through the whole ride, after many laps around the park and many hills later, my legs felt awesome. I felt as though I had been riding all along. My weight is still down, and dropping which might have something to do with it. I just felt awesome, it was almost spiritual. All in all I can't think of a better ride after being off the saddle for dang near a month. It was good to be back on a bike.