27 August 2008

Weekly Roundup August 27

Well the 2008 Summer Olympics are over! WOO HOO! I am so happy, not that I disliked the Olympics, no… I finally get to go to bed before 1:00 or 2:00AM. So, I’d like to off you up a fresh and renewed Weekly Roundup! A day lat, yes, but hopefully worth the wait!

Fat Cyclist: Though I have yet to compete in a race, I can certainly share the pain the Fatty feels, when you legs go Online/Offline. I’ve been there and got that shirt. You feel like a pro for weeks, then suddenly it’s all gone. Your legs just don’t have any more juice in them. Or coming off of a long winter of half assing your training, and then trying that climb that you spent all of the late summer and fall cleaning, only to find that you’re riding it as if were the first time you ever jumped on a bike.

Cozy Beehive: Ron at the Beehive throws together a few interesting articles here. It has information about how Moulton Stops Blogging, Lances Leadville Machine, & A Cycling Injury Checklist. Some of it is just creepy scary, the crashes, and there’s some really cool info on the bike Lance rode in Leadville and how you could get a sweet “semi-custom” Madone from Trek.

Ray’s Racing Adventures: Ray appears to be ready for what is right around the corner. That’s right Cyclocross Is Coming, Thank You Is Not Enough. Why the thank yous? Apparently Ray got a sweet hookup from one of the coolest bike builders, Zak Dieringer. I’ve seen quite a few of Zak’s bikes now, and I have to say, I love how finished they are, and Zak’s attention to details. His work is great. If you want a Dieringer, talk to the guys at Spin and I’m sure someone will be able to get you in contact with him.

Highway Munky: I can’t really comment too much on Munky’s. He’s been on hiatus, but he’s been putting up some cool pictures. Check `em out on Highway Munky’s site.

Harp Rider: Harp also had a nice 1/2 Century and posted quite a pictorial of the ride.

OK< now that you read this, get outside and get a couple rides in this Labor Day weekend. As usual, I’m the Phun Cyclist, you stay classy Cleveland.

26 August 2008

Last Time & Then I Bury It... I Think

OK, so here is the deal. I'm going to add to the whole activism & advocacy thing and then I really just want it to end with this post. I still welcome and encourage comments, however I have to admit I will likely disregard what I just said and add a point or two sown the road regardless what, if anything, is said. The way I feel about things could best be summed up by my boy Gary:
It's going to take effort from both sides to improve the current situation on the roadways. I think cyclists obeying more traffic laws is important, because we have the most to gain or lose!
The bottom line here guys; we're not getting anywhere with anyone by trying to prove we have the bigger stick. All that happens is drivers piss off cyclists, and vice versa. Like it or not it's a lose-lose situation. I also think that Ray has a great point, he said:
Critical mass is to me like peace activists carrying flowers and singing happy songs trying to prove how nice life would be without war or violence, then taking the first opportunity to start yelling obscenities, speaking in tongues and beating the living snot out of anything they can get there hands on...in the name of peace of course.
Critical Mass, in my opinion, has become a cluster... if you get my drift. It's like the idiot in class who hovers his finger in your face saying, "but I'm NOT touching you." You strive to piss people off, and then get mad when they react. Another comment made was from "Kevin Love", I wish Kevin had more to go off of like a blog or something. It was kind of hard to tell where exactly his views came from, but he posted the following:
From original post: "...we are cool with them being on the road, we just want to be able to share it with them."
This "we" definitely does not include myself and many other people here in Toronto.
What finally convinced me to work for a car-free Toronto was the official report of Toronto's Medical Officer of Health that car pollution kills 440 people in Toronto every year and injures another 1,700 people to the extent that they require hospitalization.
This does not include car crashes - that is just the death and injury toll in Toronto from car pollution.
We would not tolerate a terrorist gang that killed 440 people every year and injured 1,700. Why should any less strong measures be taken against car drivers?
This report may be found on the official government website at:
I really wish there was more here, Kevin, as I'm not sure how to take this. It all seems a bit militant to me, to be honest, and I'm not sure that I agree with it if that is the case. Again, by malice and through condescending action we accomplish nothing. We need people to understand cyclists, and respect cyclists, not fuel their hate fires.

25 August 2008

A Weekend Of Phun

So I have to admit that I really want to try and dive into the whole cars and bikes subject just one more time, then bury it. I swear! Actually, more like dive into it, grab it, light it on fire, let it burn out, douse it in gasoline, light it again, sweep the ashes into an airtight jar, and THEN bury it. I just feel like it's getting way old, but people are passionate about it. As for right now, I really don't want that big of a buzz kill.
Friday-My Friday was freaking awesome. I went out to a farm owned by one of my wife's old high school friends. It was an awesome time. The families got together, hung out, played, went on hay rides, played with goats, saw other farm life, and just had a great time. Me being the geek that I am one of my first thoughts driving out there was how cool it would be to be this far out and be able to ride around in a place like this. That was quickly forgotten when I got on the farm. Admittedly I could easily get used to farm living. Save the fact I'm a lazy-ass when it comes to doing housework which probably doesn't lend itself well to farm life, but I could totally get into it. So we hung out, had some primo beers, by the way four words: Sierra Nevada Anniversary Ale. Anniversary is an amazing beer. I love 'em hoppy and this delivers. Anniversary is an IPA that utilizes Cascade hops, as well as Chinook and Two-row pale, Caramel, and Munich malts. It's definitely not for the light beer crowd, and if you like beer with fruit in it, you too may want to skip it. Get it before it's gone! Anyway, we proceeded to Pizzi Cafe where we had some of the most insanely delicious pizza I've had in months. One was hot pepper cheese, tomatoes, garlic, and hot peppers. The second was Italian sausage, bell pepper, banana peppers, onions, and anchovies. We washed it all down with another fave Great Lakes Brewing, Dortmunder. Not overly hopped, not malty, just a subtle flavorful Lager. It goes great with anything really, especially cross races. Ooh, another post? Finished the night off with s'mores by the bonfire, it was super cool.
Saturday was chaos, but I did get a ride in. I got a fairly long ride, that I didn't track miles on, but it was long and hilly. Well, hilly as far as hills around here go. about a three hundred foot elevation change in an up, down, up, down manner. It felt great after indulging a bit Friday night. I have to admit, though, I weighed on Saturday morning and only found a two pound difference from Friday morning. Kevin and I were talking about beer once, and he insists that drinking good, real traditionally brewed beer is more healthful than mass produced. I may have to agree with him, especially since we drank a LOT of really good traditionally brewed beers. Digressing, I'm sure I'll get back to this point in a later post. It was a great ride, during an amazing sunset, most of which happened in an arboretum. Birds everywhere, quite roads, not many cars, no exhaust. Ahhhh, the life. Not to mention it was one of those amazing rides. You know the one; you're out pushing it just over what you feel lie you can actually take. You feel like you just don't have anything left in you. You sit back just long enough to open up your lungs, and breathe deep, and that's when you do it. You jump up on the pedals and just put every single bit of energy into hitting the top of the hill. When you arrive, you grab your bottle, take a few deep breaths, and with legs burning you look down the hill and smile with glee. I'm getting better at this hill thing. I think I'm actually starting to like it.
Sunday was a lot of walking, and a story that would bore the daylights out of you so I'll stop right there. The upside? Weight was one pound back to my sub 185 Friday weigh in. That's right, 185.2 pounds. So, I'm hoping that the walking, with the cycling added from yesterday and the core working today to make up for Friday, I'll start my week in the sub 185 category. I'm anxious for a report from Bluenoser on his weight loss, hint Thomas (wink).
Well, that's all I've got for now. Hope you had a great weekend.

22 August 2008

Long Weekend... On A Farm

Well, as you are reading this I am on a farm enjoying the atmosphere. The weekend will consist of farm stuff, really good home grown food, really good wine and some really good beers. I know the food will be good because they grow it and whatever they don't grow is organic and they know exactly where it came from. I know the wine will be good on account the guy who's farm it is is a wine distributor. The beer, well... I'll be in charge of that and I've got expensive taste. So while I'm gone for the weekend take a minute to enjoy one of my favorite new finds, Yehuda Moon.
Yehuda Moon & The Kickstand Cyclery is a great cycling comic about a commuter cyclist and a roadie that own a bike shop together. There are plot twists galore, which I am not going to touch. The coolest thing for the new reader, in my opinion, is that if you have never read it you get to go back to the beginning and read through all of the past comics. It started 22 January 2008, so you don't have a ton to go back and read, but believe me it is well worth doing. Once you do that, I recommend going back, re-reading each comic with the comments after the comic.
While you're there, don't forget to go to the Patrons Page and donate some money to Rick Smith, the creator who does this out of his love for the bike. Hey, he's even a Cleveland guy... I might just have to try to corner him for an interview.
Anyway, check it out, enjoy, and I'll be back Monday for more Cycling Phun. Enjoy your weekend, I know I will.

21 August 2008

Activism, Advocacy & Cycling

Yesterday I pointed out how I Get Way Too Mad Too Easily At People. A lot of good points were brought up in the comment section, and I don't even want to start to go into it in the comment section. I just don't feel I could do it justice. So the following will be answers, opinions, and agreement on comments from yesterday.
Personally I, and everyone I have ridden with so far, have always managed to stay well within traffic laws. I guess that's might be why I am so anal-retentive about people in cars. We always ride single file unless we are in an area that has wide lanes or easy passing to allow for two deep. Never try and ride three, four, etc. deep. Only "roll" a stop sign where we absolutely can, in the country there's places where there are acres of flat land that you could see cars at a mile and a half away so we may slow and double check than roll. But with that said I have not ridden with anyone yet where we've actually blow stop signs or lights in the city and where there is traffic. I think this is important, since some cyclists have a tendency to disregard traffic laws as though we are immune.
With the previous said, this also does not make it OK, or right for a person in a car to do something dangerous to prove that they have the bigger stick in the fight. I think that people don't truly realize the potential of their automobile as a weapon. Even something as simple as coming down a hill at about twenty or thirty miles per hour and having someone slam on the brakes. You run into the back bumper, putting you over the top of your handlebars and through their back window and crushing your skull. Bottom line is we're in far more danger and I don't think the average person stops to think about it. This makes me feel as though people who would do something maliciously should absolutely be punished to the fullest extent of the law at the first offense, no matter how small it may be.
As for the cyclist, I do think we need to change our ways sometimes. I think sometimes we might come across as militant and that it turns off motorists. An extreme example of this would be Critical Mass. The way they overtake the roads does prove a point, but what point does it prove? People in cars are forced to stop, they get angry, verbal altercations ensue, and nobody wins. I guess I outed myself a bit there. I'm not a huge fan of the Critical Mass tactics. We need to come across a little bit more soft and cuddly to the average motorist. We need them to realize that we are just like them, but we like to get around differently. That we are cool with them being on the road, we just want to be able to share it with them. That we too have a family to get home to. We are all in such a damn hurry in this world, for what? To die of a heart attack at forty because we had to drop five miles per hour behind a cyclist until we could pass him to get home after work? It's just not healthy for anyone.
Well, for what it's worth, that was my last rant on the subject for the week. I'll let it go at that, but I wanted to dialog a bit with the awesome readers who left comments yesterday. Thanks to Jeff and Kathy, Harp, Blue and Yeahdog for your comments. Let's all try to be better cyclists, and work for a greater understanding of what it is that we love so much for the world.

20 August 2008

I Get Way Too Mad Too Easily At People, Or Do I?

First off I just want to start off by mentioning that I will be foregoing the usual Weekly Roundup this week, but rest assured I will have a Roundup for you next Wednesday. There really isn't too much going on, save talk about the Olympics which I just don't really want to get into right now. I guess I'm just burned out on all that is the Michael Phelps Show, formerly known as the Summer Olympics.
With that said I want to take a minute to, sort of, follow up on last weeks Weekly Roundup. In that post I talked about the joy that is riding in some less than bike friendly cities in Cleveland, but I have to admit it seems to be cake compared to what is going on in California. I caught wind of the following video that Gary borrowed from John Prolly's article that was based on an LA Times article. Phew... Or something like that. Anyway, the story goes a bit like this. Two cyclists were put in serious danger, dare I say are lucky to be alive, after a DOCTOR in Los Angeles pulled in front of them slamming on his breaks. The kicker to the story is about three months earlier a third, unrelated cyclist, filed a police report about the doctor in a similar incident and along the same stretch of road. The following video is a brief news snippet.

So once again I'll ask: What the hell is wrong with people? Seriously, what can we do as cyclists to change the world so that instances like this don't continue? What can we do to better peoples view of cyclists? We need to pool our resources and together make a difference. The positive side is there are more people who are using bicycles as a viable means of transportation. Hopefully this will also positively impact the way cyclist are viewed when there are more of us on the road.
I'd love to hear your comments. Also, if you have a good advocacy site please post that in the comments. I'd love to start a list of bicycling advocacy websites.

19 August 2008

Holy Michael Phelps! & Fitness Update

Seriously, they want to test every rider on the tour for drugs but we're not testing this guy? Honestly? Mind you, I'm not saying that I think he was doping, no. I am, however, intimating that we may want to test him to see if he's freakin' bionic. I just don't get it. How could one person be so awesome? Jeez... Anyway, I personally feel that Michael should try the Tour de France. Serious. Get him on a bike, and see what he could do. His level of fitness is unbelievable, his heart beats twice the amount of blood (8 gal/min vs the normal 4 gal/min) as the average man, for goodness sake. I think this guy might give ol' Mellow Johnny (Lance Armstrong for the newbs) a run for his money. Alright, enough of me going gah over Michael, but quickly for the ladies (my wife included)... (Click it and it pops to bigger, don't day I never give you anything)
OK, fitness time. So I had to put the lower body stuff on hold last week due to Totally Cooked my legs on Monday. I don't know what I did, but Monday the side of my thigh was killing me, and rather than do the smart thing and take it easy on the cycling intervals Tuesday I went as hard as I could... and on hills. Wednesday and a good deal of Thursday I could hardly walk, by Friday it was a bit better, but still a LOT of pain, Saturday was tolerable, and I did a lot of walking and by Sunday I did about 25 miles (or so) fairly leisurely and felt OK. The whole time I managed to keep up upper body strength as to not totally blow it, and it must have worked. As of the Monday morning weight here's where I'm at:
Neck: 15.5
Waist: 35
Body Fat: 18! (This is at high goal now)
Weight: 186.0
I'm hoping that with working out a bit today, but still nursing the legs a bit, I will break the 185 mark Wednesday. That is a bit of a goal. Also, taking a trip to a farm this weekend. I know there will be good eating and drinking, so I hope to not totally blow it then. Admittedly, I will allow myself some beers and maybe I'll just need to push harder Saturday and Sunday. I'm anxious to see what Bluenoser is looking like up in Nova Scotia. Cheers, brother! Here's to our health!

18 August 2008

Talk About The Rumored Cross My Heart And Hope To Die Willoughby Cyclocross Spectacular (CMHAHTDWCS)

With only two months to go until the rumored “Spin: Cross My Heart And Hope To Die Willoughby Cyclocross Spectacular” supposedly scheduled for October 18th. I felt it necessary to discuss some typical cross behavior that I did not notice at last years race. If you were there last year, you know it was an awesome race, and had a great draw but there were a few things missing. This year I feel as onlookers we have a certain obligation to the racers that was not fulfilled last year. So, with that said, here are a few things that I propose.
1) I think that, at bare minimum for the spectators, we should organize an unofficial kegs-n-eggs breakfast. Seriously, there’s a great bar in Downtown Willoughby that serves breakfast so why the hell not?
2) I have a fever, and the only cure is cowbell. That’s right, where the heck were the cowbells? We need to get some cowbells there guys.
3) Primes, handups, etc. to the riders. Why weren’t we tipping riders last year? I understand the park likely would freak if we were handing off beers to the rides, but why weren’t we slipping them some singles? (See photos for point of reference) Photo from Lyle Warner's Blog
Photo from Brooke Warner's Blog
I’m sure I will likely think of more things to follow, and welcome any ideas. I think that it would make for a ridiculous cool time for all those in attendance who, like me, won’t be riding this year but want to have a great time watching. Again, let me know if you’d be in and feel free to share your ideas in the comments.

15 August 2008

Totally Cooked

So, and Bluenoser will likely bag on me for this, if you're a regular you know that Bluenoser and I are doing what we (er, I anyway) like to call the Lean Look Challenge. We're basically working out per the book The Lean Look, well at least Bluenoser is. I'm not sure exactly what the heck happened but I'm on day two of skipping out on the Lean Look Challenge. Monday I did day one, week five and it felt really good. I felt spent, but it was a good spent. Tuesday I woke up and it felt like someone took a lead pipe to my quads and hamstring. Stick a fork in them they were done, cooked, kaput, shot, depleted, burnt out, finished,conked out, and overall just not feeling well. I went through the day, doped up a bit on Advil, and banged out the two minute intervals... on hills no less. Anyway, I have a feeling that was a stupid, nay moronic, idea. Wednesday I almost couldn't get out of bed, and today walking and standing is still making me cringe. If I could find a positive side, the weight is still coming off.
My hope is to get back into the strength portion tonight, three minute intervals on Saturday, and a fun but long ride on Sunday. Sidebar: If you're near Cleveland and want to do a fairly fun ride on the Ohio Erie Canal Towpath Trail let me know... the more the merrier.

13 August 2008

Weekly Roundup August 13

Well the 2008 Summer Olympics have started, and I am still of the opinion that we need to test that dang US Swimmer, Phelps, not for drugs, but to see if he’s bionic. Why in the hell can’t I ride like he swims? Just asking… I am plugging along in the weekly roundup, and for some reason my Monday workout had my legs totally busted, cooked, hammered… in massive amounts of discomfort, nay, pain. So I’m going to phone in this weeks Weekly Roundup! A bit of a Leadville theme? Sure, and some Cleveland blogs…

Fat Cyclist: Fatty is in his usual process of a self debriefing process, that I am learning is a part of his annual Leadville 100 Race. I actually look forward to a full week or so of the witty posts, pictures, and stories from the Leadville. This week he started off with a bit of a venomous post, where he hammered Louis, whom knocked him off his bike at the start. Took an apologetic approach, and wound up with his 7 Reasons I Loved Leadville This Year. I can’t wait to see what the next Leadville post will be. Admittedly, this is making me really want to push myself harder to race.

The Wah Report: Jared, Wah, too a minute to chime in to remind us that Lance Armstrong Is No Cyclocrosser. He linked to Super Human Mag where there was a great short video with interviews of Weins and Armstrong and a great pictorial of the race.

Cyclone Cross: This is, admittedly, the last of the “fun” posts. Gary B over at Cyclone Cross shares a brief but thorough list of events that are coming up Soon!. This is a pretty cool list of the Cross events coming up in Cleveland and the Ohio area.

Ray’s Racing Adventures: Alright, I have to be “that guy” and take it to “that place”. If you live in Cleveland, you know that there are quite a few areas where they are slightly less than tolerant of bikes, so long as they have pedals I should add. Places where cops are likely to keep an extra eye on cyclists, not to keep them safe, but to wait for them to blow a stop sign or break a law to get the ticket book out. Places where, unlike the Ohio Law reads, there are local ordinance signs that tell cyclists that they must ride single file. Ray wrote a nice little letter, a Thank You To The Gates Mills Police Officer. Apparently they were out on a training ride, and a cop pulled them over for riding two abreast in a single file city. Ohio Revised code, however allows two abreast:
Ohio Revised Code, 4511.55, paragraph B: Persons riding bicycles or motorcycles upon a roadway shall ride not more than two abreast in a single lane, except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles or motorcycles.

Benjacat: David, of Benjacat, also chimes in on the subject of riding Single File. David brings up some very good, and relevant points about the area where this happened, the conditions which make it unsafe for cars to pass regardless and, again, the State Code trumping the Local Ordinance. It will be very interesting to see if and how this escalates.

Well for now, get out there and ride, just make sure you watch you’re a__ if you plan on riding in the Cleveland area. As usual, I’m the Phun Cyclist, you stay classy Cleveland.

12 August 2008

Freakin' Weight

So I'm going to keep this short and sweet today, and express as much disgust in as little time as possible. Bluenoser and I are doing what we have called the Lean Look Challenge, based on the book The Lean Look. So far so good, with the exception of the fact that this weekend was "Anniversary Weekend Food From Hell Weekend." Friday night we had our tenth anniversary dinner, and appetizer, some drinks, and dessert. Saturday we had a birthday night out because Sunday was my wife's birthday, happy belated birthday honey!, so we had an appetizer, some drinks, and dinner... at about 9:00PM no less. Followed by birthday morning breakfast with the mother-in-law... at IHOP. I know, why she thought "IHOP would be, like, the best place ever to go" is beyond me, but, hey, it's her day, right? So when all was said and done the measurements remain the same, however, I am currently sitting at 193 as of Monday Morning. I have a strong feeling that this is almost all, if not all, water weight, due to sodium intake, or something that I just wouldn't understand even if it were explained to me. BUT! If someone wants explain the fact that I could tack on four or five pounds in a weekend, which I DO know is possible, I will gladly entertain the comments.
So, with that said, phase two of the Lean Look Challenge (From Hell) started today. As of right now my legs are cooked. I have muscles, especially in my legs, that I didn't even know I HAD that hurt. So, Advil, my cup of milk for bedtime protein replenishment, and then I crash for the night.
By the way: Would it be a good Idea to test the Olympic Swimmer Phelps? Not for drugs, mind you, to see if the kid is bionic!

11 August 2008

Proof Positive Mountain Biking Is A Different Beast

That's right folks, just because you've won the Tour de France seven times, doesn't necessarily mean that you're going to school the crew on the dirt tracks. That's not to discredit Lance Armstrong for his level of riding, fitness or anything else for that matter. Lance is awesome, and I think just about anyone out there would agree. It does show two things. One, and Lance said this himself, after not being on a bike in a seven hour race about four years he felt cooked. Also, I think there is a very distinct difference, and distinctly painful difference for that matter, between road and mountain cycling. Lance Armstrong put forth every effort in the Leadville 100 this year, and came in second place to Dave Wiens. Photo from VeloNews.com Wiens, who is a six time Leadville winner, took first place over Armstrong Photo from VeloNews.com with a record time of 6:45:45. Armstrong came in a very strong second at 6:47:41, after a crash in the last few miles. Manuel Prado came in third, more than thirty minutes later, at 7:20:52.
Also, Fat Cyclist gave a great performance finishing the race at 10:06 +/- on his WaltWorks single speed. Congrats on the great race, Fatty. Apparently his shoulder held out for the race, and he felt fantastic. Personally, I think they need to look into the mayo that was taped to his helmet.
Anyway, tomorrow, I'll be back with a look at the Lean Look Challenge for the week. The crew at work is going through a diet challenge of their own and I feel bad, but I'm going to pass on it and continue along the Lean Look program. I've come to the realization that it is far more beneficial to follow that path and gain strength, versus just losing weight. So for now, have a great day, talk to you more tomorrow.

08 August 2008

A Cycling Phun Moment Of Intolerance

Id like to start with a touching, gooey moment. I want to say happy anniversary to my wife of ten years. Honey, I love you, I don't know how in the world you live with me, let alone for ten years, but I love you and Thanks! I've been blessed with so many things over the years, and Andrea is one of those things. OK, no more goo. As Paul Harvey would say, "the rest of the story."
I'm starting a whole new category today, the Cycling Phun Moment Of Intolerance, but you may call it the CPMOI if you ask nicely... OK, you may. Let me take a moment to set up the story and then I will get up on my soapbox and become irate and, likely, a bit demeaning. My wife, who by the way is awesome and have I mentioned as of today is my wife of ten years, was out last night and brought me home a Ohio Sports & Fitness Magazine. I have to say here, I get a kick out of how they Photoshop out all signs of any companies and corporate names. One perfect example of this would be the April 2008 issue. The new nameless bike, now without spokes! can be seen here: OK, now I guess that just sounded like petty bitching, digressing and moving on, sort of.
So my wife brought home the August 2008 issue for me since she knows I love to thumb through it regardless of how I just lambasted the zine. I picked it up and immediately thought, "What the..." Yeah, so the cover of this months issue was crazy, take a look and see if you can tell what is wrong with this cover. Hey that'd make a slick game show: What's Wrong With This Cover?! OK, figure it out, or give up? I'll tell you... admittedly this will be way easier and cooler if you live in or near Cleveland, but just follow along. The first issue, that is a glaring one, in my mind is that anyone who is NOT an idiot and rides a mountain bike would NEVER cruise through a random field with no trail. Besides that fact you are likely to catch a thorn, or hundreds of thorns, in the process. Second is that most mountain bikers have the decency to not tear up trails, let alone random fields. The third thing, much funnier if you know the Cleveland area, is the fact that the lead story on the cover is "The Best Of The Metro Parks Activities That Inspire In And Around Cuyahoga Valley." The truth of the matter is there are almost NO trails in the majority of the Cuyahoga County Metroparks, and there are only four trails "AROUND" the Cuyahoga Valley Park that allow bikes. None of them are mountain bike trails, most are paved, and the only other legal place is streets and parking lots.
Four major bicycle trails occur in and around the Cuyahoga Valley: the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail, the Metro Parks' Bike & Hike Trail, and the All Purpose Trails in Brecksville and Bedford reservations. Recreational bicycling at CVNP is limited to those trails, as well as all roads and parking lots. Bicycling is prohibited on all other trails. -Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Website

Alright, I could go on about the cover but I'll switch gears. I saw what I thought would be a great article on the contents page, It was a picture of a local racer, Shawn Adams, with the title "Team Lake Effects On A Cyclocross Bike." Problem one: It was Shawn, not "Team Lake Effects", and (two) it's Team Lake Effect, not plural. Problem three, and this was a flagrant error in my opinion, is that Shawn was riding what appears to be a Cannondale Scalpel. For those of you who do not know what the Scalpel is, it looks like this: That's right kids, his Cross bike is none other than an XC mountain bike. I went to the article and, as you've already guessed, the picture in the article was also Shawn on the FS XC bike. They even ask in the story, "What's so special about a cyclocross bike?" Interested in the answer? "At first glance, a `cross bike might look like nothing more than a road bike with fat tires" or I guess in this case like a full suspension cross country bike. It will be interesting to see how they follow this. Maybe they'll do a story for next month on single person tandem bikes, or two wheel tricycles.
I hope I wasn't too critical for you folks, wonder if I'll get a response from the OS&F group as to what the hell they were thinking. As for now, I'm taking the weekend off to enjoy an anniversary dinner, likely killing my healthy eating plan, with the wife. Will also likely catch Pineapple Express, and get a Saturday and Sunday ride in. Hopefully. Hope everyone has a good weekend, maybe we'll talk about the Olympics next week, would ya like that? Lemme know. Bye for now.

07 August 2008

Cycling Phun News: Leadville 100

07 August 2008
Cycling Phun Phake News Service
Cycling Phun SAG Wagon At Leadville

As many of you know this Saturday is the famous Leadville 100 Mountain Bike race. This years race will be graced by none other than the seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong. You'd think that would be the big news, right? Not this year. The big news this year is the world premier of the Cycling Phun SAG Wagon. That's right folks Cycling Phun is officially sponsoring a SAG wagon. Don't know what a SAG wagon is? Neither did we, so we took a wild guess and viola! The Cycling Phun SAG Wagon: Service And Gelato! We figured, what the hell are you going to do whilst our service team is changing out a chain ring, or fixing your hydraulic discs? You could be enjoying homemade Gelato from none other than the world famous Gelateria de Parma Italia. This year they will be debuting an extra special Margarita Gelato especially for Fatty, they've heard he really loves the Margarita Shot Blox. We are also currently working out a deal to carry Carbo Rocket as well, but we have been unable to contact the Carbo Rocket representatives. OK, that's a lie, we just forgot to, but we do intend to... and our intentions are good. I promise.
So remember, when your out on the trails at the Leadville, keep an eye open for the CPSAGW (Cycling Phun SAG Wagon-CPSAGW is just so much more trendy... just decided that).

06 August 2008

Weekly Roundup August 6

Well, this weekend is the 2008 Summer Olympics. I for one have cleared my schedule and taken off the next two weeks to make sure I don’t miss a minute of the joy that is sure to be the 2008 Olympics. Yeah, you guessed it, I so don’t care… Anyway, in honor of The Lean Look challenge which is seemingly turning out to be both fun and a success, I have decided that the Roundup too shall be lean. So with that my dear friends, I give you… The Weekly Roundup! This week it’s a theme!

Fat Cyclist: Let me be the first to point out in this theme that there is something I’ve wanted to try for a bit now. I want to try it just so I could say I have, but I feel a problem saying that I’ve rubbed Dave Zabriskie’s nuts, er, DZNuts all over my junk. It just doesn’t seem right. Well, Fatty beat me to it, he Reviewed: Dave Zabriskie’s Nutsand in a hilarious way I might ad.

Harp Rider: Not to be outdone, actually he did it first, so… Harprider chimed in and was Just Trying To Catch Up when he broke into a review of, you guessed it, DZNuts .There must be something in the water, right?

HighwayMunky: Snuck into the theme by writing a quickie about his Bum, Bum, Bum, Bum. Apparently he figured out what I learned early, keeping the bum cool equals keeping the bum happy. Want to keep away saddle sores? Don’t overdo the shorts! Glad to hear you’ve ass-imilated (wah, wah, wahhhhh), Happy riding!

Bluenoser: Alright, a bit off topic but fun none-the-less. Bluenoser has also assimilated, to the ways of the mountain bike. He went out for a spin looking for some old growth forest in Nova Scotia and apparently wound up On The Floor. Looks like a beauty of a place to ride. I’ll get up there someday… I hope. Also remember to check out where Bluenoser is at with HIS Lean Look Challenge, by keeping up with his results on his blog.

Cyclone Cross: Finally a big ol’ Congratulations going out to a brother Cleveland Bike Blogger. Gary managed to pull a third place finish in the Cleveland Triathlon. Way to go man! Congrats!

Well for now, get out there and ride. OK, unless you HAVE to watch the Olympics… even then, just watch the cycling and go ride. As usual, I’m the Phun Cyclist, you stay classy Cleveland.

05 August 2008


OK, while this IS in fact bike related, I'll preface it by saying most of the women reading this might want to tune out. Not because it's bad, or sexist, r anything like that for that matter. but because it's SO totally a guy moment. OK, now that I got that out of the way...
Guys, remember when you saw your first "naughty" picture as a teenager. There was a minute of awkwardness, then you were kinda digging what you saw, then you spent about five days trying to explain it to your friends? Right, so that's how I am with bikes. Is that normal? I see a bike and think, "man... if I had to, I could sell _____ and TOTALLY afford that. I know, I know, I don't NEED it, but man is it sexy. I wonder how different it would ride than my _____ bike. Ughhhhhh."
So imagine my surprise when I walked into Spin and saw this beauty. That's right folks, the `09 Specialized Allez. Mind you, this one is only the base model, but I have to imagine the whole `09 Allez lineup will follow suit in the frame changes. For a reference this is the `07 Allez Elite Double, mine to be exact. You'll notice a few differences. One is the fact that the picture of the `09, take on my phone, sucks big time. The reason behind this is that the camera on my phone, in fact, sucks big time. Two, you'll notice that the `09 Allez frame is approximately 62.74% sexier than the `07 (and `08 for that matter) Frame. A large part of this is due to... Three the top tube, while aluminum, is almost identical to the specialized carbon bikes. Also, I am a huge fan, I guess you could say this is number four, of the finish. It's a matte finish. Almost like a satin Ti (but black) or like a ceramic blasted frame. I'm dying to see how the mid to high end components work out for this bike this year, as the base line leaves a bit to be desired. Not bad, for a base line bike, but base line.
This leads to an interesting proposal to Specialized. I would love to ride the hell out of the `09 Allez. If you guys want to send one out for me to review, I'd forever be indebted to you. Oh, and if you want to send a pair of Arcs I wouldn't complain either. Just a suggestion.

04 August 2008

Weekend Riding & Fitness Recap

So, this weekend was a bit backwards due to inclement weather. Friday was the night of ridiculous storms, so I moved the strength intervals to Friday night and the bike intervals to Saturday morning. The strength portion is going awesome, as is the cycling intervals. The rides are kind of boring, on account they are of a purely utilitarian nation, but I'm still really psyched about them none the less. I've noticed changes already. Not just weight or measurements, but how I feel overall. I actually called my wife Sunday morning after my ride and was beaming at how good it felt. For once I finally felt like I imagine I should feel when I ride.
As far as the ride goes... Saturday I spun around for quite some time on the mountain bike. I did some light trail, but mostly a road based commute. The commute wound up at Spin, which was good on account there was a knocking in the front wheel. Turns out Don at Spin messed with the front wheel and it was, "looser than most I've seen." Pretty sick, no? So he trued up the wheel since I didn't get it tightened when I had it in for the thirty day tune-up so he banged it out real quick, need to get them some brews or something for that, and it rides like a dream. After riding around for a couple hours I did my intervals and was done for the day. Sunday was awesome. Got together with Don from Spin (I'm kinda whoring myself out with all of the Spin name drops, aren't I?!) and hit the Maple Highland Trail in Chardon. Great little trail, I tell you. I only managed to bang out about twenty-five miles before I had to bail on the ride for Church. The cool part of the twenty-five miles is this: I managed to pace Don pretty well (even though I'm pretty sure he was holding back more than a couple of times), I felt really good, no pain, lungs felt pretty great, and I managed to average 17.3 on my computer once all was said and done. Let me postscript that by saying about 7 miles into it I meant to get my computer to time but accidentally erased it. I was at 17.6 Avg, and at the end of end of the ride I was still showing 17.3 Avg., so I'll go with 17.3 Avg. Sure seems as though the Lean Look challenge is paying off.
Well, that's all for now, OH! and measurements for this morning:
190.4 , 15.5 neck, 36 waist, 20% body-fat... by the book.

01 August 2008

Take THAT Bluenoser

So I kind of got lost in the last couple of posts, and I totally forgot to post the best part of the change for the better yesterday. As of Wednesday I too, just like Bluenoser, have broken the 190 mark. Wednesday morning I officially weighed in at 189.6! I know it's not huge, and I realize that just before Thanksgiving I was at 187 or something, but I've been anxious to be out of the 190's again. I'd like to thank God, my parents for believing in me, my wife... my wife (sob) is my rock (if you are a Cleveland Indians fan remember back to Jim Thome's leaving Cleveland speech)... OK, enough of that. It got way too busy anyway. So my next goal, being realistic and all, is to get out of 180's by September 1. Does that seem realistic, too easy, I just don't know. My wife thinks I'm crazy, and I think she might be starting to worry about me.
Well, to be honest, that's all I have for you guys right now. Hopefully I'll have some cool news over the weekend to report, but likely I'll spend the time riding and forget. Saturday morning an "urban assault" ride on the mountain bike on mixed pavement and trails, back to where I got mirror sexed in the leg last week. Hopefully it'll turn out better. Over to Spin to look at toys and stuff, and then out from there wherever the streets take me. Sunday I'm hoping and praying I get a good solid ride in on the road bike. I've been so cheating on my first love with the newer, flashier, hot babe... ie the MTB. and Monday the intervals resume!
Also, coming up real soon; I think it might just be time to give away some more Jimi product! Mike over at Mr Smith got me some more Jimi to give away, now I just need to think of how I'll do it.
Have a great weekend, talk to you sometime tomorrow or Sunday!