30 September 2008

Please Vote For JIMI on Forbes Magazine Website!

Mike O'Neill dropped me a line today to let me know that Mr Smith (maker o my FAVORITE wallet ever - The Jimi had some great news about their company. Apparently Forbes Magazine picked Mr Smith as a semi-finalists in their national small business competition, and they now have a chance at winning $100K to help us crack through to bigger markets.

Voting is now open to the public, but VOTING ENDS TUESDAY!! The public will pick the top 5, and those companies go to New York to present their business plans to a full panel of experts. So Mr Smith needs all the votes they can get! Plus,like I said, it’s crunch time: they were bouncing around the top slots, but they've dropped a bit and, again, voting ends tomorrow - Tuesday.

Here’s the link, if you would be so kind to vote: http://boost08.perfectprize.com/voting/

They're five down on the left on that page (just look for Mike O'Neill and his handsome mug) - when you see it, just click the box and vote. One piece is that Forbes sends you a confirmation email that you need to click for your vote to register, and some people have said that ends up in their junk mail, so please check.

Also please don’t be shy... forward this link! - Friends, family, enemies, neighbors, people you want to impress, work mates, bloggers, EVERYBODY! – it could make all the difference, as we’re right down to the wire.

Also, keep watch, I'm going to be giving more JIMI stuff away soon!

29 September 2008

Ohio Erie Canal Towpath Ride

My sunday started early, I was out at 8:00am hammering the first five miles interval style. I would've probably gone out slightly sooner, but it was still a wee bit dark. (note to self: Need to get lights. Dang it, why didn't you get the Light & Motion set you saw on Chainlove) Anyway, Sunday started a bit cold, but it warmed up in no time. (not to self II: I am, however, glad that I brought the PI armwarmers) OK, I'll try to keep the side notes to a minimum.

So after the five mile ride we started out down to Peninsula, our ultimate destination, about another 13 miles out. The ride was great, and the camera was acting up. (note to self III: Camera before lights?) This proves to be a bad combination for several reasons. The first of which is, who the heck wants to stop when you are having a great time. The second is, there's really no reason to stop when your camera is in various stages of sucking. Back to the ride...

The leaves were starting to change, there was just a slight faint cool bite in the air, the perfect start to autumn.
Ahhhh, the joy of the change of seasons in the northeast. It really makes for a nice backdrop. THIS is thee reason I stayed in Ohio when I had chances to move over the years.

Getting back to my original point, we were on the 13 mile leg out to Peninsula where we would stop and get lunch. There's a great joint called Winking Lizard, which would be our choice for lunch. If you ever wind up in the Cleveland area, check one of their locations out. They have great food. It's bar food, but delicious bar food and the kicker? The kicker is they have, like, 150 beers either in bottles or on tap. (note to self IV: Next time you ride, either eat more than a Clif Bar for breakfast, or take it easy on the beer) So "a beer" turned into a 22 oz. Great Lakes Oktoberfest, turned into two Oktoberfests, and a great Blue Cheese Mushroom Burger.

After lunch part of the group was talking about taking the train back, others were talking about riding back, I figured the equivalent of four beers on an only recently full stomach, mostly with beer, would probably make riding fun. Thank God for bar food. It really took the edge off of what could've become a sketchy ride. Yeah, you see, the problem that presented itself was that the train was, like, three hours out, and there was no way we were going to wait.

So we hopped the path back. I dropped the camera at some point and, guess what? Yup, the camera started to work. This is one of the many great sights that you catch on the ride. It's the Route 82 Bridge. Much higher and bigger than it looks. OH! and by the way, if you can make out the sign in this picture... Yup, that's what you think it is. A deer crossing sign. Now I know deer jump, but c'mon! Santa and the reindeer must fly low through here?

Alright, I've rambled enough. The ride was great, but there is one thing left, and that's this... That's right, a side trail. Ohio Erie Canal is a 20+ mile ride one way. It also has an off shoot called the Buckeye Trail and the Valley Trail. It takes you out further east, apparently. Why do I mention this. I think we might need another ride before the snow falls. If you think you'd be interested let me know and I'll start a list.

Anyway, we all had a great time. Wish you could've been there.

27 September 2008


I just wanted to remind any and all readers who are in, may find themselves in, or might want to take a trip to the Cleveland area THIS SUNDAY! LIKE TOMORROW! Myself and a few friends will be doing a ride along the Ohio Erie Canal Towpath next Sunday, September 28, at 9:00AM. We will ride from the Rockside station at 7900 Old Rockside Rd., Independence, OH 44131 at 9:00am. It will be a 15 mile trail (paved, and packed crushed limestone, I've seen people do road bikes, I prefer something more burly) south to Peninsula, where we will take a break for lunch and, very likely, a couple of beers. If you want to ride back, you can take the 15 mile trail back north to Rockside. If you don't want to, or enjoy a couple too many beers, you can hop a ride on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. The Scenic railroad will allow you to ride aboard the train for only $2, one way, with a bike. The usual fare is $15, so this is a deal, and ordinarily you can't bring your bike.

If you are interested in coming, comment here, or contact me via the "contact me" button on the top of the right hand sidebar. I'll get with you on directions and the like.

26 September 2008

Is Greg LeMond For Real?

So I am going to do something, I would like to think, I rarely do. I am going to be blunt. Now I am usually honest, but I am not usually brash. Today, I'm going to be brash.

Greg LeMond seems like THE biggest douche-bag! Seriously, where the heck does he get off pulling a stunt like he did today? From all accounts, and in the interest of honesty I was not there I only have accounts to go by, he was over the top rude at today's Lance Armstrong news conference. Admittedly I love Lance and the Lance Armstrong Foundation. I love all he does, and they do for the fight against cancer and maybe that's why I was so passionate about my disgust for what I read about LeMond.

It seems, again from all accounts, that Mr LeMond had a bit of an issue behaving as an adult. By the sounds of the press conference today, it sounded like LeMond had a problem behaving like a poorly behaved eight year old, but I digress. According to Fat Cyclist
Greg Lemond was in the front row, and jumped in with the first question, and then wouldn’t shut up. He tried to turn this conference into an ad-hoc trial / referendum. It was stupid and obnoxious, and it wasn’t the right time for that kind of ambush.

Now, I love Fatty, but I thought maybe he was exaggerating a bit for the article. So I jumped ship over to VeloNews where I found more on our foul tempered friend Greg. I can't even drop a quote from VeloNews due to the length, and they published only the facts. I encourage you to go over to their link and read it.

Anyway, I just can't get over the audacity of Greg making a spectacle of what should've been a great day for Lance, a great day for LAF, and above all a great day to tighten the shoe straps (as it were) and go forward to kick cancers ass. After all, Greg, this is only partially about Lance. There is a bigger beast here, and that beast is cancer. A beast I pray you never have to fight. LeMond, and everyone in his camp, should be hanging their heads in shame over what happened today. I would say apologies are certainly in order, we'll see if they ever come.

25 September 2008

Cycling Phun Phake News: Armstrong ASTANAshes The World! (Wah Wah Wahhhhh)

25 September 2008
Cycling Phun Phake News Service

First off let me start by saying I kill me, Astana-shes... heh heh heh.

Amid massive applause when announcing he would be coming out of retirement, Lance Armstrong confirmed Wednesday that he would be joining Kazakhstan's Astana for his competitive comeback. When news of this broke Borat, who was in the audience for the event, was quoted as saying, “niiiice.”

Armstrong said in a New York press conference that he will be starting with the Tour Down Under in Australia, and that he WILL BE competing in the 2009 Tour de France, a race that he has won seven times. He also pointed out interest in the Giro d'Italia.

Apparently Don Catlin, the anti-doping scientist, will run an independent monitoring program that Armstrong said will prove that he is not doping during his comeback attempt. Catlin pointed out that while a lot of guys know how to get around doping, so does he.

When asked if he will win number eight, Armstrong pointed out that he is old. OK, in his words, "Honestly, I don't know. I've been off the bike three years. … I'll be nearly 38 years old. … So I honestly don't know. I will try to be as prepared as possible. I don't know that that equals victory. ... I have a fair bit of confidence, but I don't have that kind of confidence, yet."

Armstrong also pointed out that, while he cannot control what Contador does, he thinks that Alberto Contador should consider staying with Astana. To which Contador was heard saying while pretending to cough from the back, “Bull sh__.” Armstrong looked around and then continued that there is room enough on the team for himself, Alberto, Levi Leipheimer and the “Let Levi Ride campaign. He pointed out that Contador is crazy fast right now, and quite possibly faster than Lance is right now.

Armstrong pointed out that if Astana is not invited to the Tour there’s not much that he could do since it’s there event and they get to pick who they want in. After that he was caught mumbling something about dating girls about half his age and riding something different, whatever that means.

Michael Bloomberg joined Armstrong on stage saying that he expected another tour victory, quipping, "What's so hard? It's like riding a bicycle."

Armstrong said that he will ride the Tour Down Under, the Tour de France and the Leadville Trail 100 (he joked that Leadville organizers don't know yet, and asked that the press not tell them). Armstrong said he hadn't ruled out riding the Giro d'Italia, but did note that 2009 will be the 100th Giro and that Italy is a country where the Livestrong campaign could have a great effect, not to mention he "also like(s) Italian food."

Rumors also abound that he will compete in Cross Vegas, just ask Wah, and that he will participate in some cross events this fall, but nothing solid was said about this. Nor was there anything said about whether he would continue beyond 2009. Lance pointed out is is possible, but reminded everyone, once again, that he was old.

**Some excerpts from VeloNews were used in the creation of this article

24 September 2008

Weekly Roundup September 24, 2008

It’s been a progressively better week this week. Things have been markedly better at work. My life took a bit of an upswing in general, actually. I think I’m going to pull the trigger and say that I owe it to riding into work on Friday! So now I want to try and get a ride into work in more often. Not to mention it gives me an excuse to start thinking about a dedicated commuter bike to add to the quiver. Then again, that might result in divorce if I’m not careful. OH! As an aside, I think I’m still interested in the half-cocked idea of a cycling trip to Nova Scotia next year. Anyone in? Anyway, without further adieu, I give you the Weekly Roundup!

50K Loop NS: Bluenoser had, what sounds to be, an amazing ride over the weekend. On 21.09.08 he posted a great follow up on it. Apparently I also missed the memo on “Beat The Hell Out Of Lance Armstrong Week”. Why do I say that? Bluenoser took a shot, albeit a funny one, at Lance. Not only did Bluenoser, but also…

Cozy Beehive: Ron took a shot at Lance this week too. This shot had me thinking though, and admittedly I need to spend more time looking into this, but Ron posted his quick view of the Financial Health Of The LiveStrong Foundation. Again, I really need to look into it further, but it seems two things really stand out here. One, the $5,391,455 more than they took in. Two, the CEO Mitchell Stoller took a whopping $311,423 paycheck. A better than DOUBLE the average salary of the top 5000 CEO’s of NON-PROFIT organizations. Say it ain’t so?! I need to look into this.

Highway Munky: Highway Munky had what looks to be a really sweet Early Morning Epic. You could check out a quick story and Great pictures on that post.
Also, he had a great review of some equipment, including some sweet Flats I may have to look into for the MTB.

Fat Cyclist: Finally this week Fatty makes me jealous. Fatty will be spending the week at the infamous Interbike in Nevada. You can follow his journeys on his website, Fat Cyclist – http://fatcyclist.com. The first two of his week long journey are up now.

Don’t forget about the ride this Sunday, September 28th at 10:00am. The ride will leave from the Ohio Erie Canal, Independence, Ohio (just outside of Cleveland proper). Check out more info at This Post. As usual, I’m the Phun Cyclist, you stay classy Cleveland.

23 September 2008

Interbike 2008

So it's that time of year again. Time for the infamous Interbike. For those of you who might not know what Interbike is let me sum this up for you. Interbike is the bike orgy of conventions. It starts off Monday and Tuesday with a two day outdoor demo period. Bike companies bring out the newest and best. The big guns, and let industry insiders abuse them out in Bootleg Canyon, Boulder City, NV. Then Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday it moves to Vegas in side the Sands where (apparently) just about every cycling related company pedals their wares in, I just like to say this, an orgy of bicycle related bliss. I'm not sure, but I think it is, in fact, so sinfully good that if you are a Catholic you have to go to confession immediately after the show. Just saying.

If you've been reading for a while you remember my half cocked Interbike 2007 plan. The plan was to buy a bike shop just in time to have everything in place so that I hire people to run it, and be important enough to be at Interbike this year. Yeah, you guessed it, didn't work. There were some problems, not the first of which was realizing I would have to PAY for a bike shop in order to open it. Pretty much just fell the heck apart after that, and by fell apart I mean caught fire and crashed, then blew up, had a gas tanker crash into it, that blew up, was just starting to burn out when it was hit by lightning, flared up again, and... well, you get the point, right?

So, the bottom line is I am not a "qualified buyer", Heck, I'm not even a buyer. Well, I buy things, but not for the cycling industry. I can't afford to buy a bike shop to become a buyer for the bicycle industry. Bottom line; if anyone could figure out a way to get me into the 2009 Interbike, please let me know. Until then I guess I'll just have to live vicariously through the posting of the one and only Fat Cyclist who, according to his post yesterday is likely pulling into Nevada at any moment. Yeah, Fatty, I'm a bit jealous. Enjoy the ride (pun intended) and have some fun for the rest of us, cool?

22 September 2008

Change Is Good

So I ended the week on a serious down note. For that, I am sorry. I don't mean to whine and complain, but this blog is a bit about the life of the cyclist, as well as the bikes of the cyclist, etc. With that said, it was a way for me to vent. I thank you for your continued reading and comments.

OK, with that out of the way, Friday way amazing! I finally got around to riding to work. I've had obstacles every time I've tried to ride, thus far, and I was NOT going to have any of that this time. Come hell or high water I WAS going to ride to work today. I actually did (ahem) "round" can the golf game, just to be able to do it. After all, can't carry clubs on a bike, could you?

I got up at my normal time, knowing I would likely be about thirty minutes later than usual. I was totally OK with that. I started the day out with muesli, SprocketBoy's own recipe. What a delicious way to start the morning. Had everything loaded up to go. Grabbed the gear, bottles and headed out the door. A couple deep breaths and I was on my way.

The route is nine miles. Nine amazing, tree lined, winding, hilly, miles past farms, parks, and lots of open acreage. Eventually, at the tale end, it empties into a bit of a bustling city, but that's just the last half mile to a mile. The weather was just slightly less than stellar, but it was nice. It was in the sixties, the clouds few, and the sun felt great! Animals abounded; birds, squirrels, chipmunks, frogs, deer, it was amazing, and it's unreal the things you miss flying down the road in a car.

I got to work in under thirty minutes, putting me there ten before I thought I might and about twenty five sooner than I figured I likely would. That was with traffic lights and all. It was, like, a religious experience. All was just down right perfect with the world. Work was less annoying, I got done more in the time I was there Friday than I had the entire rest of the week. It was like all I needed was that slight change to break the monotony of the everyday and get me back on track. I cut out of work a little after 4:00, pretty average for a Friday, and hit the road back home. Again, a whole new perspective. I saw things I had never seen before drive. I stopped to look at things, I stopped to talk to people I know, I just enjoyed myself. It was great.

I totally need to do this more often. If you've never done something like this before I suggest that you get out and do it. I think everyone could use the change of scenery. It helps break the routineness of the everyday. Here's to many good rides!

Also, remember. Sunday, September 28th at 10:00am we're riding the Ohio Erie Canal trail. Anyone who is in Cleveland, will be in Cleveland, or is willing to come out to Cleveland is welcome. Just drop me a comment or contact me via the "contact me" button in the upper right hand corner on the sidebar.

20 September 2008

Next Sunday 9/28, 10:00am Ride In The Cleveland Area

I just wanted to throw out an open invite to readers who are in, or may find themselves in, the Cleveland area next Sunday. Myself and a few friends will be doing a ride along the Ohio Erie Canal Towpath next Sunday, September 28, at 10:00AM. We will ride from the Rockside station at 7900 Old Rockside Rd., Independence, OH 44131 at about 10:00am. It will be a 20 mile trail (paved, and packed crushed limestone, I've seen people do road bikes, I prefer something more burly) south to Akron, where we will take a break for lunch and, very likely, a couple of beers. If you want to ride back, you can take the 20 mile trail back north to Rockside. If you don't want to, or enjoy a couple too many beers, you can hop a ride on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. The Scenic railroad will allow you to ride aboard the train for only $2, one way, with a bike. The usual fare is $15, so this is a deal, and ordinarily you can't bring your bike.

If you are interested in coming, comment here, or contact me via the "contact me" button on the top of the right hand sidebar. I'll get with you on directions and the like.

Also, crazy half cocked idea that I will touch on more soon. Bluenoser said something that got me going off on a crazy thought. We should try and figure out a way to have a once a year blogger ride. We could jump around cities, one city every summer, so that any bloggers who would like could get together and ride together. Like I said, I'll touch on this more in the future.

19 September 2008

Something Has To Change

OK, last time, I promise! I would love to ask a favor again. As I mentioned yesterday and the day before, I added a link to the right hand sidebar called “people I dig because they follow my blog”. If you are one of the regulars, just started reading but like my blog and will keep reading it, read my blog but question why, or just generally want to publicize your profile and blog a little bit more please click on the link embedded in there that allows you to be a “follower”. It will post your profile thumbnail in the sidebar allowing quick access to your profile and hence your blog.

So I am still in the funk. I had a great day at work, but it's still being stifled by the funk. I should be pushing hard right now, I should be kicking some ass! I should be setting the example. I should be stepping up. I should be taking the bull by the... Horns, taking the bull by the horns. I should be THE man to catch. Get the point? I've been a slacking so of a...

As you guys know, I regularly read quite a few blogs. I follow Wah quite often and he's been posting about the success of his career at Risdall. It gets me thinking, it gets me just cocky enough to think, "why can't that be me? What am I doing that is hampering my success like this?". I read something from Highway Munky where he talked about Matthew 7:12; "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you." Now I have conviction! Now I'm just pissed. Now it all makes sense!

It's not what can I do to be a success, it's what am I NOT DOING to be a success. It's, why the hell are you making excuses and not just doing everything in your power to make it work! I think it's all starting to make sense. Really. Oh, and for the record, Munky, it's not coincidence!

So, tomorrow. Tomorrow was going to be a bit of a slack day. Come in, get some work done, blow off a bit for lunch, come back, probably half-ass the end of the day a bit, do some cleaning, and cut out early. Some of the guys decided they were going golfing, change of plans, go to lunch and slack off starting at noon. Hmmmm, virtually NO ONE will be in the office. Hmmmm. It's going to be 70-75º and sunny tomorrow. Perfect weather for...

OK, change of plans. Hell with all of it. I get up early, I ride in to work, I put in my morning hours, meetings and all. Lunch, maybe I'll bring something to eat... ooorrr maybe I'll do a quick 4 mile loop and get a stellar salad. Yeah. Come back, and bust my rear the rest of the day. Lead by example. Don't tell the new guys how awesome you are, or what you can do, because if you can't SHOW them talk is just that. what good is a ten thousand dollar month if you can't replicate it? Show them, show everyone what it takes. Show them that you can be on top. Talk is cheep, actions are what matter.

If this doesn't get me out of the "phunk" I don't know what it's going to take.

18 September 2008

Funk, And I Don't Mean Parliament Funkadelic

OK, first I would love to ask a favor again. As I mentioned yesterday, I added a link to the right hand sidebar called “people I dig because they follow my blog”. If you are one of the regulars, just started reading but like my blog and will keep reading it, read my blog but question why, or just generally want to publicize your profile and blog a little bit more please click on the link embedded in there that allows you to be a “follower”. It will post your profile thumbnail in the sidebar allowing quick access to your profile and hence your blog.

So a while back I complained that Things Could Only Get Better. Once again, I am in the midst of, what I like to call, a "stoopid funk", er, phunk? Anyway, I'm back into a weird funk that is effecting my work, my riding, my family, and I just can't figure it out. I really wish I knew what was the root of the problem, so I could address it, kick it's butt, be done with it, and go on with life.

I really should complain and whine, I mean, I got a ride in today. Mind you, due to the amount of light right now it was only a ten mile ride. I guess I should be happy there too since it was a ten mile ride on pavement and trails, and it took me just under 45 minutes which puts me at about 15 MPH. I'm still loosing weigh, albeit a bit slower now, and inches. I still get my exercise in. I should be happy so why am I being a miserable douche?! I just don't get it. I guess I just thought that I would be below 180 pounds by now, but I'm just below and around (depends on the day) 185 pounds. I guess I thought, read that as hoped, I would be comfortable with the idea of doing a race this year, I'm totally not comfortable with where I am at in regards to being able to race, and race well. Finally I think I thought that I'd be way further along in my progress at work. Chalk all of these things up as I'm just unsure of myself. Sucks, no?

At this point the only thing that keeps playing through my mind is that Sunday September 28th a group of us are meeting at the Ohio Erie Canal Trail for a 40 mile trail ride. We'll start at Rockside Road in Independence and follow the 20 mile ride South to Akron. In Akron we're going to break for lunch, and a couple beers. Assuming a couple of beers stays a couple of beers the plan is some of the pack might ride back, anyone who doesn't want to, or can't, ride back could hop the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railway Train back for $2.00. It's part of their "Bike Aboard!" program, a $2.00 fair one way when you board with your bike. Save about $13 off their usual $15 fair. For the record, if anyone is in the Cleveland area and wants in on this, just contact me via my "contact me" link in the upper RIGHT hand corner of the RIGHT hand sidebar. (Yes, Andy, RIGHT. Thanks for the catch yesterday!) It's a classic case of the more the merrier.

Well, for now I think I'm going to workout a bit, and crash. Thanks for letting me vent a bit. Hopefully tomorrow will be more upbeat.

17 September 2008

Weekly Roundup September 17, 2008

OK, first I would love to ask a favor if you wouldn’t mind. I added a link to the right hand sidebar called “people I dig because they follow my blog”. If you are one of the regulars, just started reading but like my blog and will keep reading it, read my blog but question why, or just generally want to publicize your profile and blog a little bit more please click on the link embedded in there that allows you to be a “follower”. It will post your profile thumbnail in the sidebar allowing access to your profile and hence your blog.

I am, still, in the midst of chaos. Mostly the “making the kind of money I need to support my hobbies” type of chaos. I’m still doing OK with my weight loss, but I still need to focus on the structure aspect of the Lean Look workouts. I am getting some exercise in, and loosing weight and inches. Bluenoser seems to be doing very well also, I think I might have to plan a cycling trip to Nova Scotia next year. Anyone in? Anyway, without further adieu, I give you the Weekly Roundup!

Competitive Cycling: I have a new joy in my life! I’ve really been getting into another blog lately, Competitive Cycling. It was made all the better by the fact that Groover’s most recent post was near to my heart. She posted about how she was Making Piroggies. The way to a mans heart! Like I said, I’ve been enjoying the blog, and just wanted to share.

Cozy Beehive: Ron’s witty humor had me going a couple times in this post. An example of this could be seen in the first line of the post. The story is surrounding a topic that Ron loves to report on, parts failure in the cycling industry. Specifically, the Ax-Lightness Daedalus Seatpost Failure. In reading quite a few of these now, and seeing everything from seatposts, to forks, wheels, and so much more, I have to wonder if the weight savings is really worth the price paid?

Fat Cyclist: This week Fatty breaks the awesome, important news in the Exclusive: Lance Armstrong Returns To Professional Racing (Plus Insider Reactions. The FCFNS (Fat Cyclist Fake News Service) gets the exclusive story from Lance in regards to his return to cycling. He also gets the scoop from Astana, Greg LeMond, Christian Prudhomme, and even OLN (er) VS… Well, Al Trautwig anyway.

OK, That’s all I have for now. Hopefully the weather will hold so I could get a ride in the next couple of days. Also hoping to get out for the Saturday Dr Myles Coburn Memorial ride. Anyone here going? Hope to see a lot of people there. As usual, I’m the Phun Cyclist, you stay classy Cleveland.

15 September 2008

Ride For Miles - Memorial Ride, Cleveland, Ohio 09/20/2008

Those of you who live in the Northeast Ohio area probably remember hearing the story of Miles Coburn, 58, of Cleveland Heights. He was hit by an sport utility vehicle back on August 16th while biking on Ohio 44 (Ravenna Road) near Music Street in Newbury Township (Geauga County). He died later that afternoon after being Life Flighted MetroHealth Medical Center.

Coburn, was a John Carroll University biology professor, was said to have a passion for the environment and biked about 5,000 miles annually encouraging others to do likewise, according to family and friends who often rode with him. To honor Miles Coburn, his family friends and colleagues will hold a memorial ride for him Saturday, September 20 at 10:00 am leaving from John Carroll University. The following is from the home page for the ride:

The Ride For Miles is being held to honor the life and work of Miles Coburn. It will be held 10:00am Saturday, September 20 -- three days before his birthday. The route is about 15 miles and includes some small rolling hills. Riders of all levels of ability are encouraged to participate. The Ride For Miles is free to all participants. Donations to support the cost of the ride and the work of Miles Coburn are most welcome.

Mapped out this fifteen mile route figures in at about 740 ft. min., 1230 ft. max, with 676 ft. ascending and 643 ft. descending. Check out this map from Map My Ride for a better idea, or you could just check out a rough (and unofficial) map of the ride at Map My Ride directly.

For more information, including how to register, visit www.rideformiles.org.

12 September 2008

Lance Armstrong Is Back! OMG!!1

*Note: For those of you who don't know me, or l33t speak I have a disclaimer. I am a bit of a nerd. Bikes, computers, whatever. I meant to do "OMG!!1" (Oh My Gosh!! and the final is "1". An exclamation after accidentally dropping the shift key... but I dropped it intentionally. OK, now on to the post.

In case you haven't heard, Lance Armstrong is once again taking the bull by the horns. Doug Ulman, LAF President released the following on Tuesday, September 9th.

We wanted you to be the first to know – it's true.

There are times in life when the game changes, when you look at the world differently and you know you must do what's right.

So, once again, Lance is changing the game. Today, it's still not about the bike. It's about people, their families and friends fighting the greatest fight of their lives – both in the U.S. and around the world. It's about straight and open talk about cancer, breaking the silence and eliminating the stigma and discrimination survivors experience. It's about a moral obligation to fight this disease no matter who or where it strikes with everything we've got.

The LIVESTRONG Army's commitment and dedication has started a movement to change cancer policy, research funding and access to care – a fight we must all commit to continue. We cannot stop now. We must increase our efforts and work to make cancer not only a national priority, but a global priority as well. Together, we can help inspire and empower the millions of people affected by cancer worldwide.

Now more than ever, we need you to join us. Whether you make a gift, join the LIVESTRONG Army or consider the presidential candidates' cancer plans before you vote, you will make an important impact on the future of cancer.

Read the official statement or watch a video message to the LIVESTRONG Army from Lance in his own words.

Thank you for all you do to support our efforts.

So there is a reason that I didn't jump all over the chance to write something first thing Tuesday night to post for Wednesday morning. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about the news. That's to say, I'm not sure I'm excited that Lance has gone back to racing. He's won the Tour de France a brain melting SEVEN times. No one in history has ever done it before, AND he did it after he was diagnosed and treated with brain, lung, liver and testicular cancer! I'd argue that the guy must be bionic, superhuman even. With that said, I wonder what he could do to top it. He went out so on top of his game he has come to, in my opinion, a scary place. From here one of two things happens. You rocket right back to the top and blow everybody's mind, or you crash and burn in a painful ball of fire.

I have to believe being away from his passion, racing, is just killing him. We've seen how it can be when he is out of his element, ie: Leadville. I just hope he can make it happen once again. The alternative would just be such a huge disappointment.

I'm anxious to here what you guys have to say about it.

11 September 2008

A Computer Geek Aside

For those of you who know me, you know that I am a bike geek. I get geeked over all the cool stuff, I twitch when I don't ride, and so on and so forth. What those of you who know me WELL know is that I am also a bit of a computer geek. More importantly, I am gah over my Apples, yes I meant plural... No I won't go into it because when I mention the vintage Apple Computers my wife gets a bit upset and starts reminding me that we don't have as much room as I seem to think we do.
Digressing, this brings me to an interesting aside. This coming Saturday, September 13th at 10:00AM Apple will be grand opening their Crocker Park location on Cleveland's west side. For those of you who know what an Apple grand opening is about, I hope to see you there. Comment here if you're going, I'd love to meet you. For those of you who don't get it, it is SO worth it, and a ton of fun. I recommend that you get out there and see what it's all about.

Photos "borrowed" from the unofficial site applestore-crockerpark.com

10 September 2008

Weekly Roundup September 10, 2008

Where to start? I am, still, in the midst of chaos. Things are crazy and getting crazier by the day, or so it seems. So what’s the one saving grace to all of this? At this point chaos, likely, means money. I’m still doing OK with my weight loss, though admittedly I’ve all but forgot the structure aspect of the Lean Look workouts. I can’t complain, though, as I am getting exercise in, and loosing weight and inches. The bad part of that? I haven’t had a THING that fits me. I’m in dire need of new everything. From suits, to slacks, to shirts, to jerseys, to Lycra shorts, not even my wedding ring as a matter of fact! To be completely honest, the only thing that does still fit is my shoes. I guess that’s a good problem to have though. Anyway, without further adieu, I give you the Weekly Roundup!

Cozy Beehive: I’m going to call Ron out here and go on record as saying the following. If you make me spit water on my display again, and if it dies when I do, I will be billing you. Seriously, though. Ron posted a hysterical, and truly accurate, Evil Training Phrasebook. This is a wealth of knowledge into the mind of, I think, every cyclist. Everything from “I’m outta shape”, to “It’s not that hilly”, to “It’s not that far”. You have to read it to appreciate it, but I recommend you don’t read it anywhere where laughing your head off will land you in hot water.

50K Loop NS: Bluenoser got Back To The Tracks in his latest post. The rail trails for those who missed the reference. He recently posted about his homemade Gary Fisher SS and has got it out on the trails of Nova Scotia. I have to admit, Bluenoser, between your stories and the pictures I really want to get up north and ride with you sometime.

Fat Cyclist: So, as any good bike geek should know by now, Shimano has been releasing more and more info surrounding their Dura-Ace Di2 electronic shifting group. Fatty is introducing his An Open Letter To Shimano: My Idea For An Ad For Dura-Ace Di2. He has graciously agreed to write the commercials for Shimano, surrounding their new Dura-Ace Di2 equipment.

Ray’s Racing Adventures: Ray has, apparently, imported four Electric Bicycles. I have to admit, I’m between “Cool! No way, that’s awesome” and “Uh, OK… but why?” So I have to hope and pray that he with further delve into the exact story and reasons why. But I have to admit, Ray, the one you’re showing here looks pretty cool. Dare I say a great commuter for those who might have a hard time commuting by leg power?

Highway Munky: As a reminder, Munky just jumped ship from Blogger to Wordpress. Well, he did it a while back, I just remembered it might be a good idea to link to the new site over at Wordpress. So get over to Highway Munky at his new site on Wordpress and check out his newest posts, and the archives, there.

OK, now that you read this, get outside and get a couple rides in before summer is over, haven’t you been reading? Don’t you know what’s around the corner? Enjoy it while it lasts, right? As usual, I’m the Phun Cyclist, you stay classy Cleveland.

09 September 2008

And So It Starts...

With a weekend like this we have to come to the inevitable conclusion, cold weather is just around the corner. Examples of this; The cross season has started with the Spin Euphoria 'Cross series has started. The Spin Cross My Heart And Hope To Die Willoughby Cyclocross Spectacular is (supposedly?!) just around the corner. Oh, and leaves are starting to change, it's getting chilly (especially at night) with day temps maxing out in the sixties, and with the cold comes this: Yup nights by the fire-bowl, bonfires, and (my favorite) clambakes.
Along with the change of weather, comes a change of riding gear. Throw the shorts and short sleeves back in the back of the closet to make way for the knickers, tights, long sleeves, warmers and jackets. Not to mention the road bike gives way to the cross bike, mountain bike, ss mountain bike, Pugsley ( I just love the Pugsley... I have issues that way), and the like. Which also reminds me, with the mountain bike comes things like: and the marathon cleaning sessions with the mud flying.
While there is a certain amount of anticipation for the season there is also a certain amount of anxiousness knowing that right after the cross season, er, autumn come the inevitable: I think I'm going to need to get a single speed for the winter, I hear they're great for riding in the snow.

08 September 2008

Weather And The Weekend

I can't take it. Temperatures are in the sixties during the day; misty, cold, useless rain abounds and does no good. All it is good for is to make the air suck, and get you wet and cold. Not to mention it makes the joints feel like... well, you get the point, it just sucks. So Friday I did manage to get a nice ride in. It was still in the seventies Friday, the sun was going down but sunset around here is about 8:00 now. Yeah, that sucks too. It was nice though. Roads were calm as people were heading off to pre high school football game dinner, and than off to the high school to watch the game. The leaves just barely changing. A good portion of the bugs are starting to die off for the autumn. It was just cool, no pun intended, which is good.
Why, you may ask, was that good? Because the rest of the weekend kind of sucked. Saturday and Sunday rain. When it did clear Sunday it was kind of nice for about two hours, and then the cold temps rolled in. Suddenly it hit me; this is all going to change, and quick, really soon. No more getting thirty or so miles, pouring sweat and just feeling exhilarated beyond belief. I don't know what it is about the summer, I just love riding in the heat. I may have to get out to Phoenix or something for the winter. Anyway, I'm sub 185 now, can't wait to weigh and measure tomorrow to see how that goes.
As far as riding, I did get in a Saturday run, even though it was raining. It made it cold as hell, but it was kind of fun. I've been riding the hard tail mountain bike quite a bit more than the road bike. I don't know why, really, but I think it might be something to do with less work than having to get all of my gear on to go for a ride. I usually don't go all crazy suiting up, just Lycra, shorts and a shirt or free-ride jersey. I ride flat pedals so I don't need cleated shoes (I think I just made up that word). You know, laziness and comfort. Anyway, I tried an experiment riding the whole day in big ring and five, for those of you who either are not paying attention, or more likely are not geeks, that would be 42x17. The reason for this is I figure it is pretty darn close to what a lot of stock single speeds are set at (best I could find a 42x16 avg). Some of you can tell where this is going, for those of you not as geeked as I am; I'm itching to buy (or try to acquire parts) for a single speed. I know, I just bought two bikes in the last year, and the wife's, and I still have to rebuild the old school Dyno BMX but I've been riding more now than anytime in the last fifteen or so years. Seriously, I really want to try a single speed. Like this sweet Soma I saw a messenger rocking the other day in Downtown Cleveland: So I guess the bottom line is I have to start rummaging Craigslist, ebay, the Spin cheep parts bin, friends, relatives, and anyone else I can to find parts, and build up a single on the cheep. Who knows, this could be fun. By the way, Bluenoser, I'm holding you partially responsible for this due to your Gary Fisher build up in your 09/02/2008 post. Just saying. The rest of the blame to the messenger, dang it.

04 September 2008

Weekly Roundup September 4, 2008

I have to admit that in the chaos of things over the last week, I’ve found my training slipping a bit. I’ve still been getting in (most of my) exercising and riding, but it’s been a bit choppy and not necessarily complete, if you get my drift. Yes, I mean I’ve been a bit of a slack. To my credit, though, I have been loosing weight and inches, so that’s not all bad. Without further adieu, and so as to not bore you, I give you the Weekly Roundup!

50K Loop NS: Bluenoser shares a bit on what he’s been up to, and it seems we are very much in the same boat. He and I both are buried alive in work, and all kinds of other crap. It seems as though, from his phrasing, that he too is trying his darndest to get in his workouts and intervals. I can’t wait to hear where Bluenoser is at on his weight loss, but for the time being take a minute to read his post from 2008/09/08. It describes things slowing down, and time for riding opening up. He also shares how these rides were taken on a homemade single speed ala a Keith Bontrager article explaining how to beg, borrow, barter and buy your way to a single speed bike. Some great picts too, BN!

Fat Cyclist: It’s so very hard to figure out when to take Fatty serious or not. I think that this is one of those times that we can assume he might (I know, really sure, right?) actually be serious. Regardless, it looks like Fatty will (not?!) be a part of a (real?!) panel at Interbike. He took a minute to give a quick Preview Of (his) Contribution To The Interbike Web 2.0 Social Media Panel.

Cozy Beehive: Ron had me rolling, and spitting water, when I read his Open Letter to Günter Mai: Getting Closer To Sub-7. Günter has apparently spent upwards of the national debt to put together a sub-seven pound bike. OK, so it’s still 7.04, but darn it, he almost there! Reading about it, too, on light-bikes.com is a riot.

Highway Munky: Finally, a quick note on Highway Munky and his site. He took a quick jump over to Wordpress from Blogger. Also a bunch of posts going back to November 2007 are there as well. Also, as a side note, for those of you who pay more attention than the average person, Cycling Phun has a home at Wordpress as well. I’m keeping it in Blogger for now, but just in case.

OK, now that you read this, get outside and get a couple rides in before summer is over. Enjoy it while it lasts, right? As usual, I’m the Phun Cyclist, you stay classy Cleveland.

03 September 2008

New Langsters Are Out

So I often have a problem with the filter between my brain and my mouth. With that said I'll attempt, my damnedest, to keep this fairly clean and tolerable. I was going to take picts of the bike at Spin, but I found them and yanked the pictures from The Bicycle Escapes blog. I hope they don't mind.
So this year Specialized added three new Langsters to the family; Tokyo, San Francisco, and Las Vegas. So I guess a good place to start would be the one of three that I actually found pretty tolerable. The Langster Tokyo is actually kind of bad ass. I saw it in the window at Spin, and from a distance I thought they got some crazy Calfee Bamboo bike or something. Once I got closer I saw the Japanese character on the top tube. I have to admit, I could see myself rocking a bike that looked like this. It was well put together from an aesthetic standpoint, I'm still not 100% sure what the components were on it though. Unfortunately that's where my positives end.
The San Francisco is atrocious. It's a nightmare. It looks like something that should be hanging under a black light at Spencer Gifts. It totally looks like they made a men's bike with feminine details. Finally, the polished turd of the `09 Langsters; The Vague Ass, er, Vegas. I just can't get into this thing. Where to start? Gaudy gold "Vegas influenced(?!)" accessories. Poker ships, dice, and cards on the seat tube and down tube. It looks like something a comic book character should be riding.
I know I'm being hugely critical here, and I hope I don't turn people off, but for as cool as the Langsters of past have been, these three this year just disappointed me. I guess if the Tokyo were the only one I could tolerate it, but the group as a whole was a step down in my opinion. I am anxious to see if they still have the Seattle, New York, Boston, London, & Chicago carried over, and to see what they look like. Admittedly, I could seriously get into the `08 Langster, or the `08 Langster Boston.

02 September 2008

What A Way To End Summer!

First off, I want to take a minute to apologize for not being on top of posting the last few days. It has been chaotic in my world. Not bad chaotic, but chaotic. Likely, that is all you will ever hear on the subject, but I apologize. Likewise, I might miss a day this week, and if I DO happen to miss a day in the next day or two, I would like to take the opportunity to apologize in advance. I will make no further apologies and, again, will likely make no mention of the issue(s) surrounding my absence. Thank you for your understanding and continued reading.
I have one thing to say about this weekend: What a way to "officially end summer!" It was gorgeous in Cleveland this weekend. Mid-eighties all weekend, and three days to boot! Saturday was just a lot of getting things done around the house, and I had a wedding to attend with the wife Saturday night. Why do I mention that? I'm proud, there I said it. I ate well, for being at a wedding and having hoards of food and libations at my disposal. I had a couple of Vodka Tonics, and a small bit of cake for dessert. Again, I was happy with that, and netted a flat zero for weight gain. OH! I did work out Saturday.
Sunday I got a hand from Thom at Spin figuring why the tire on my wife's 2008 Specialized Crossroads keeps blowing out. Especially since it has been in storage almost since she, er, I got it for her. I think we figured it out. A burr on the spoke poking through the rim strip. By the way, the Crossroads is for sale. She put about eight miles on it, and I've put less than two. If you're interested send me an email via the contact me in the upper right hand sidebar and we can chat about it. Digressing and returning to my weekend. I finished off Sunday evening by getting my intervals in, and taking a few extra miles before it got too dark to be out on the road. Note: I still need to get lights.
Monday was the BOMB! I woke up, had a great breakfast to start. Jumped on the road bike and took off for a Labor Day ride with Don, from Spin. If I've never mentioned it before, I'm a dork over Don's bike. It's a bare naked Ti Serotta Fierté, and I just love the old school bar tape on it! We got in about sixteen miles by my computer. It looked kind of like this: Minimum elevation 696, maximum 1112, 535 ascent, 538 descent. I tacked on a few more myself to bring it up to the twenty-five mile mark. It was an excellent ride. Again, mid-eighties, sun out, almost no cars on the road, leisurely pace (average fourteen MPH), and I felt good. How could you feel anything but good with views like this: Seriously, I mean, its majestic. By the way; yes we were high enough and the trees were low enough that we were looking over the tops of hundreds, and likely thousands, year old trees that are, the Lord only knows, how high. I cleaned all the hills, legs felt good, breathing felt good. It was just a great day. The kind that has me daydreaming of the same ride in the fall with the leaves on the ground, hopefully not wet leaves though. I spent the afternoon swimming, and than came home an did my magic on the grill. Oh, and I did have a couple of those, Sierra Nevada 2008 Summerfest Lager's, just a suggestion to Sierra Nevada; if you would like to consider sending me some beer or gear for the mentions, I would happily take it and become your shill.
Well, that brings me to now. Now I sit here watching news, typing this, and reflecting. Reflecting on how, with Labor Day being the unofficial end of summer, I could handle this if it's the unofficial end of summer.