30 October 2008

Coming Clean About My Infidelity

I think I might be in the doghouse a bit. It’s a problem I probably wouldn’t normally speak of like this, I mean on a blog and in quite so public a forum, but I’m really in a quandary. You see, my lady found out I was cheating. Well, I don’t know that she “found out” as much as it was an educated guess on her part. Apparently there were some pretty blatant signs I was unknowingly throwing out, and had no idea. Maybe that was for the better, I just hope I can be forgiven.

I guess it started about eight months ago. I started coming home from work and was right out the door as fast as I could change. She would sit, alone and neglected. I’d roll in as the sun fell, take a quick shower, then off to bed. Wake up, off to work, and the day repeats itself. It was still cold outside, not much she and I could do together, so no real thought went into it.

As the weather broke, however, you could see a change. It got nicer out, and she felt increasingly more forsaken. I can’t say why she wasn’t good enough; I guess maybe I just wanted a change. Maybe I just got spoiled at how well I really had it. Maybe I took her for granted. All I knew is my girlfriend was making me believe I was happy, but I know I truly wasn’t.

Fast forward to present day. It was the weekend, and she finally had the courage to call me out. I looked over at her. I could see it as she sat there in front of the window, leaning against the wall. I could see she felt cheep, used, in need of something I clearly had not been giving her for a while. I don’t know, maybe it was just something different that caught my attention. Maybe I just wasn’t sensitive to her needs. Maybe I’m just that typical guy who can’t commit to one woman.

As I sat there and felt bad for neglecting her, and in the same thought I was thinking about a third girl that I saw. I was out for the day, just shopping around and ran into her. Now I have my first love, the girlfriend, and a third that I simply cannot get out of my head. What the heck is wrong with me? Why can't I just be happy with one woman? Can anyone help?

I need to get out on the road bike again, before it’s too cold and too late.

29 October 2008

Thoughts And Prayers Are With Fat Cyclist And His Family

I'll try to be funny again tomorrow, but today I just can't bring myself to be funny. I want to do a weekly roundup, but it's just not in me. I read Fat Cyclist today at lunch, and just got a sick feeling. If you've ever had someone close to you go through cancer, you know just how much it totally sucks. If you've had that person go terminal you know it sucks beyond anything you can ever imagine. It is a very surreal thing. Right now Fatty is just working on Getting The Ending Right.

Please take a minute to think of Susan, Elden, their four children, and all of their family. Whether it's a Prayer, a kind thought on his blog, or just spending time appreciating all of life's little blessings and thinking on what Susan and her family are going through right now. Send Prayers, love, good karma, whatever you feel appropriate.

God Bless and
WIN Susan!

28 October 2008

I Need To Find A Cheep, Or Nearly Free Preferably, Bike To Ruin

If you read this blog with any regularity, and pay extremely (read as overly) close attention you have likely noticed something. I would really like to try single speed. Eventually I would likely enjoy trying fixed, but for now I would just like getting used to single speed, and working on the mechanics of my riding without the worries of killing myself with a fixed.

Wah recently posted a Ghetto Single Speed Set-Up, so needless to say I've been surfing around YouTube to find single speed conversions. Not only did I find where to get the conversions, but I found I also found a cool place that sells the kits. Mind you, this guy is overseas, but I'm sure I could find similar in the states. So, maybe I'll have to find a really cheep bike, and go at making a single speed. That would make three projects for the winter.
1) Rehab the Dyno Pro Compe Team Model
2) Make a single speed.
3) Drink beer (this will make sense when you see the video)

Enjoy the video, I really did, catch you tomorrow!

27 October 2008

Seemingly Wasted Weekend

I have to give a quick disclaimer here. This post, today, is going to be ALL OVER the place. It's really going to be a slew of thoughts that have been streaming through my mind for some time now, submitted for your approval. I guess they're really not submitted for your approval since I'm, no offense to anyone, not really looking for approval as much as I'm just sharing for the sake of the blog and accountability. So, I apologize in advance for this, but please just deal with it today, and I promise to try harder tomorrow.

You ever have one of those days, or I guess weekends, that you feel just useless? That was me, and that was this weekend. May I also point out that I have been unusually hard on myself recently? Anyway, spent the good part of last week (since Sunday to be specific) being sick, and am still trying to get over it. I don't think I will. I think I might be perpetually sick the rest of the fall and winter now.

I did get on the bike enough to ride around a one mile loop and coughed my ass off the whole time. Between work and weather I just hope this week opens up... a little. I know I have three, and possibly a fourth, meetings this week after my normal work hours. Which means that I will only be awake during daylight while I am at work. I will wake up at dawn for work, and get home once the sun has set.

This brings to light an interesting problem... oh, God, no pun intended... I swear! I need to get a light kit. Any suggestions would be a huge help, but I'm thinking Light & Motion, likely Stella. It's reasons like this that I am working insane hours lately. I have overly expensive hobbies and habits.

I am hugely excited, as I have been thinking about re-prioritizing my life, and I think I know what and where I need to make changes. If you've been reading you know that this started last year with weight loss. Pretty much all of 2008 was dedicated to weight loss, for 2009, you ask? I'm not ready to pull the trigger on giving away what '09 will bring just yet, but I know I want to step it up.

Well, I could go on but I'd likely start to bore. So for now, I hope you had a good weekend. I also hope you got more riding in than I did, and that we can ALL get some good rides in here soon.

23 October 2008

Like Porn For Cyclists II

So you may remember that I was talking about how crazy the hill in the course was for the Cross My Heart And Hope To Die Willoughby Cyclocross Spectacular. So I took a quick video for you guys of the hill, here you go.

It's like porn for cyclists, isn't it. Hope this gets Bluenoser excited and motivated for his four race series.

22 October 2008

Weekly roundup October 22, 2008

Well another Cross My Heart race has come and gone. The only thing that remains are memories, pictures and matted down grass where the race was. Now I know what needs to be done for next year, and admittedly I have a LONG winter ahead of me to do it. What are you doing to get ready for ’09? What, you think you have all the time in the world or something? Before you know it temps will drop like a lead weight, snow will fall in some of your backyards, and before you know it you’ll be knee deep in the holidays. Better watch out! Now, without further adieu, I give you the Weekly Roundup!

Ray’s Racing Adventures: Ray had a lot to say about his experience in the Spin Cyclocross Race. Ray was looking pretty good at the race, what I saw of his racing. I will admit I did not see a lot of the A’s racing on account my being bad only got exacerbated by the fact that half way through the A race. It was just a rough day all around. Anyway, I must also admit I loved Rays new(er) SS Cross bike. The Dieringer is hot, Ray!

50K Loop NS: Bluenoser seems to have been bitten by a very familiar bug. In his 20.10.08 post Bluenoser shares how he and Al agreed to do a cross race, one that was the final in a four race series, in December. Bluenoser has decided that’s not good enough, he needs to do all four! Good luck with the training and races! I can’t wait to hear how they go. Also…
One Brazing Bastard: AKA Bluenoser is keeping us waiting since 16.10.08 to hear about his funny torch story, as well as about his new frame building project.

Cozy Beehive: Ron is continuing his grand tour riding. This week he is partaking in Adventures Closer To Home: A Little Deeper Into Allegany Country, and once again the pictures are gorgeous. 50 miles, and 4400 feet of climbing in 43ºf (6ºc) weather later this is what you get. There’s not a whole lot to read, but with photographs like this who needs to read?

Fat Cyclist: I’ll leave it with Fatty, this week, who shares A Farewell To [His] Left Pinky. This is awesome. We’ve all been there. What would you be willing to give up for _____. In this case Fatty comes to the conclusion that he has a problem breaking from familiarity and tradition. What he debates at the conclusion of his blog is this; would you rather give up your favorite ride, or one of your fingers. Get it? Also, Fatty shares the excitements of his familiar rides, including the 24 Hours Of MOAB.

Well, that’s it for this week. Keep checking in if you think you could ride in Cleveland on the 26th. As usual, I’m the Phun Cyclist, you stay classy Cleveland.

21 October 2008

Cross My Heart And Hope To Die Willoughby Cyclocross Spectacular - A Quick Wrap Up (WITH PICTURES!)

So, you know how I fared at the race, but today I want to talk a minute about the awesome course that Greg and the rest of the crew at Spin set up. Here's Greg with a little pre-race check of the course.

The course seemed to be much more technically thought out over last year. I'm sure everyone was thrilled out of their minds to see that the hill that I've dubbed "The Hill O' Pain" played a huge part again this year. There was a barrier at the bottom of the hill like last year,and the hill proved to be a royal pain for the class A guys (B&C only went to the half way point). The previous picture of the hill was at lap two... (Click a picture to pop it out bigger)

As far as additions, there was and addition that proved to be chaos.They added a set of switchbacks that were just nuts. You climbed a hill on a forty-five degree angle (off-camber climbs?) with two very quick switches. You started by climbing up at the forty-five degree angle.After that you did a 180º switch back down, and then another 180º switch back up.

There was a second hill that was added (I didn't get a good shot of it, but Ray had a sweet shot of it). The thing looked like you were about to ride into a wall! The A Class blew up it, a good portion of the rest of the group didn't know what the hell to think. People were test riding it all morning just to make their minds up, as to how they would handle it. Yet another addition was the mud pit.Ahhhh, the mud pit. All I can say is, boys love mud. It was the only puddle, let alone mud pit on the whole field... and it became a part of the race. The thing was pretty torn up, too, by the start of Class A. But it was a ton of fun.

Finally there was also an abundance of grass, some sand (ball field sand), random dirt, ruts, roots, the infamous fallen tree across the trail (which, for the second year I didn't think to shoot a picture of), and your fair share of racing on pavement, which made for some decent attacks.The pavement did, however seem to be kept at a minimum this year, as the upper lot they used got "repaved" with loose stone, er, old pavement that was ground from a nearby road resurfacing project.

Well, that about sums up the race this year. OH! and my buddy John did manage to pull out one decent action shot of me!
I was coming out of the woods where the mud pit ran along the river. Well, hope you enjoyed, I'll likely post results Thursday if they are available. Also, I'm going to be getting the pictures up on my Flickr, so be sure to check that out. I've got some up now, and will be adding more as I go through them.

20 October 2008

Redefining The Word "Sucked", And Life Lessons

OK, so I'm going to say this then I am going to drop it like it's hot...
My performance at the Cross My Heart And Hope To Die Willoughby Cyclocross Spectacular S-U-C-K-E-D, SUCKED! There it is said, and done. OK, fine, I'll explain more deeply. As in, "I wasn't even going to post that I did the race, I was just going to try to pretend it never happened" bad. As in, "I was originally going to wear my Spin Bike Shop jersey and now I'm glad I didn't. Had I they likely would have been so mad that I wore the jersey and sucked so badly that they wouldn't allow me in the shop ever again" bad. As in, "the juniors group collectively kicked my ass" bad. As in, "a DNF for the thirty minute race, yeah thirty minutes, and I still sucked" bad. It was especially awful since I felt like I was doing well in the before race practicing. Mind you, I was not actually racing in the before race practice so of course it felt good. To add insult to injury, or maybe injury to insult, I wound up in an asthma attack. I sucked about four puffs off of my inhaler and I still couldn't pull out of it. Overall the race was a huge disappointment, or was it?

OK, so that out of the way I spent a good deal of time wanting to just freaking unleash on someone. You see, one of the intricacies of Don is this; I am extremely hard on myself a good majority of the time. My buddy Morgan has actually called me out on countess occasions as to just how self-deprecating, nay, self-loathing I am (I'm not sure but you might have picked that up in the first paragraph). I have come to the conclusion in recent years that he is, in fact, correct. The other side of the coin in this situation is that there are other things I hate; I hate being in the spotlight, I hate failure, and I hate starting something that doesn't get finished. With all of these things said, and with the realization of a DNF on the race I have sat and run through it (over, and over, and over, and over...) all day yesterday and all day today and have some to some realizations and conclusions that I want to share.

First, and in my mind maybe most importantly, is that I actually signed up for, and started the race. I DID punk out and drop the race, but I actually started it, and did so frightened out of my mind that I would punk out but did so anyway. Why do I think this is important? It helps my ego to think... OK, so I was kidding there. I think it's important because "old Don" just would not have done it. "Old Don" would have just thrown in the towel and said something like, "You know, there's so many other guys doing the race, I don't even stand a chance. I mean, why bother if I'm not going to place?" This time around I set what was, in my mind, a realistic goal. I said that my goal for the race would be to finish. Now, while that didn't happen, and BELIEVE me when I say the anger welling up in me was fairly intense, I did go through with it. That in itself was very different from my norm. Alright, enough of the "gooey psych wanna be" crap. I know my feelings and such, and don't think I need to elaborate further.

Second, getting away from the emotional, I had some serious mechanical issues. Mainly, the mechanics of my racing SUCKED! On this I could probably write a book, but I'll concentrate on a few of the obvious things. I started at the back, about four feet off the last guys back wheel, my shifting was sloppy as hell, my dismount/remount sucked, and lastly for now (maybe most importantly) I didn't pace myself. I felt like I needed to catch the guy in front of me, did I mention that I started WAY too far behind to begin with? I tried to kill it up the hill, rather than just making it up the hill which cause me to slip repeatedly running up the hill, OH! and the c class was only going half way up. I slipped on a few dismounts (didn't fall, but needed to catch my balance to run), caught my chamois on the seat two or three times on my remount, and bashed the jewels on one of the remounts. To say it was horribly sloppy would make it look like I did a great job.

Lastly, and this conclusion was actually something that echoed in my mind for a good portion of the day yesterday. Thom, over at Spin, made a great point. It was something to the effect of, you'll never ride as hard by yourself, or with friends, as you will in a race. When I thought about it he had a good point. I've never HAD to pace myself. I've never worried about shifting, climbing, racing. I've never done it, it was foreign to me. He also pointed out that I did start the race and, while he couldn't possibly know it, that was a big step in me gaining some self confidence. It was something I said I would do and followed through on regardless of the consequences. For me that was very uncomfortable, but much needed.

So, I guess the bottom line is this: for as much as I was disappointed in myself, for as much as I wanted to just die after the DNF, it wasn't a total loss. I actually came a long way yesterday. A long way from my old self, and now I know what's up. I need to work on my training. I need to work on my health. Finally, I need to keep up my self-confidence.

To all of the people, you know who you are, who either pushed me to do the race, or pissed me off as a motivational tool to do the race, thank you! It wound up being a learning experience for me. Painful for the ego, but positive to the soul no doubt.

Tomorrow, I promise to be more upbeat. I'll have pictures from the race, and I'll have results when they are available.

17 October 2008

TOMORROW! - Cleveland Area Cross - Cross My Heart And Hope To Die Willoughby Cyclocross Spectacular - UPDATED

That's right kids, it's tomorrow! The 2009 Cross My Heart And Hope To Die Willoughby Cyclocross Spectacular (CMHAHTDWCS) is tomorrow, Saturday October 18th. Cyclocross, again, returns to Willoughby, Ohio as Spin Bike Shop brings back the, second annual, Cross My Heart And Hope To Die Willoughby Cyclocross Spectacular. The registration for the event will be from 11:00 am - 1:15.
Novice/JRs group will start at 12:00 noon and will run thirty minutes.
Intermediate Men/Women Open at 12:45 for forty-five minutes.
Expert/40+ Open at 1:45 for one hour.

Entry is $20 and you'll need a USCF or NORBA licence. One day permits to be had for another $10 USCF permit pending.

If you need more information on the race you can find it one of sixty two places. You can Visit:
Spin Bike Shop
Team Spin or HERE for a PDF of the specifics of the race.
For the official flier Spin/Second Sole Multisport Team site, or just go HERE to acess the actual PDF with a map to Todd Field in Willoughby.

Remember to bring some cash to throw at the riders, and your cowbells and horns, and prepare to be rowdy! Hope to see you at the race!

UPDATED 13:44:11 10/17/2008 - Just wanted to throw out that, for reasons which I will not currently go into at this time, the kegs and eggs at Burgers & Beer & Breakfast will not be happening. I don't think there was interest in it, but I will not be doing a kegs and eggs. If you would like to, please have a beer for me. More to come tonight, keep checking back.

16 October 2008

Pros And Cons And A Hard Look At Racing

So I made a very hard decision over the last couple of days. Since Sunday I have VERY seriously been considering what I would do regarding this weekend. In case you never read this blog (ever), missed the last couple of days, or were living in a proverbial box the last few days; I am, of course, referring to the Cross My Heart And Hope To Die Willoughby Cyclocross Spectacular. I Rode out to the venue on Sunday and did one fairly solid lap around the course, and felt like someone had just kicked my butt. I took a bit of a ride after that, and went back to try to bang out another lap. The second time around I botched the heck out of it. A couple of bad starts, a bad dismount, a bad remount (missing a remount hurts like hell, by the way), and then realizing the flaw in having platforms on the mountain bike. All of these things just seemed to pile up and psych me out.

Sunday night I started preparing the story for Monday (I do them the night before, It's 10:00 pm on Wednesday for example) and I kept thinking about what I could do to prepare to race Saturday. I'm really not crazy about the idea of riding a cross race on a mountain bike, but I've seen it done. Heck, the women's winner last year was on a MTB. I thought about clipless pedals, I have them on the road bike (I don't want a debate on why SPD pedals shouldn't be on a road bike, OK?!); I could just pull the clipless off the road bike and throw them on the MTB! Yeah!, that would work! Oh, but I don't have a MTB shoe. Hmmm... OK, new problem.

Monday I couldn't focus all morning. I would work a bit, have a brilliant idea on how I could rock out at the race, and then come to a conclusion (read this as "punked out") on why it wouldn't be feasible. This continued, pretty much, all day Monday, and even resulted in cross dreams. Tuesday I got up, jumped in the shower, and was still thinking about it. At some point Tuesday morning I just knew it wasn't going to happen. I had dismissed the entire idea of doing the race.

With that said, I also started to feel bad. I started to analyze why I wasn't doing it. Did I punk out because I couldn't man up enough to bite the bullet and just do it? Did I have a rational reason, or set of reasons, for not doing the race. Was I too worried about my performance and ego to just do the race and have fun with it? I'll probably never know. What I do know is that this means that my first race will be, bare minimum, in 2009.

Bluenoser brought up a good point. His point was, "You'll know when you're ready to race Phun." So my question is this, how? When was it that you just knew you were ready to race?

15 October 2008

Weekly roundup October 15, 2008

Wow, I can’t believe it’s already been a year since the first Cross My Heart And Hope To Die Willoughby Cyclocross Spectacular but it has, and the second annual CMHAHTDWCS is THIS SATURDAY! I am at a weird and hard place on this, which I’ll delve into more tomorrow. But, for now, without droning on, and without further adieu, I give you the Weekly Roundup!

50K Loop NS: Happy Thanksgiving to Bluenoser and to all or our good neighbors to the north. This week in Bluenosers 13.10.08 post he wishes everyone in Canada a Happy Thanksgiving. He also took a moment to share what I already know; Mike from Mr Smith Inc, the maker of the Jimi Wallet is one of the coolest guys, with one of the coolest products. Finally, he shared a story of his trip around NS (Nova Scotia if you’re new to Phun) with Al and the gang. I know I keep saying it, but I think you’re going to see me riding MS in ’09.
One Brazing Bastard: Is where Bluennoser is sharing his story of his first frame build up. 08.10.08 was a great post about one of his inspirations and an explanation that things will pick up once his book arrives. You have to read this, it’s a great start to what I’m sure will be a heck of an epic story.

Cozy Beehive: Ron posted a couple of really great stories this week. They started a ride South Of Chattarugus, Into Bradford, PA on the first day and wound up taking a Tour Of Bradford, PA Into Alleghany State Park, NY on the second day. These posts are great breakdowns or their rides complete with maps, elevations and pictures. I may have to stop on the way back from Nova Scotia next year.

Ray’s Racing Adventures: A little closer to home, in the Cleveland area, Ray got out and got some training in on the mountain bike. There was something he felt was odd about it, though, seemed like No Pain, Yes Gain if that makes any sense. Take a minute to read it, and it will. I have no excuse for not having met, let alone having not rode with Ray. He lives in roughly the same city for goodness sake.

Travels With A Tin Donkey: I’ve been neglecting posting about one of my tried and true favorite blogs. Sprocketboy tours big time cycling all over the world, it seems. Also, he’ll always have a special place in my heart for my beloved Muesli. That’s right, my favorite Muesli recipe came from none other that Sprocketboy! This week he gives us a peak at Keeping Fit In 2009. Coming off of Thanksgiving he put aside the pumpkin pie for some serious training. He’s all set with his trainer, a new computer, and the basement is decked out for the winter. He also has an interesting snippet from the Economist that talks about obesity and the exercise market to come in 2009. I know that one of my big fears is what I’m going to do to lose, let alone, maintain going into Thanksgiving and trough New Years.

Well, that’s about all I’ve got this week. Don't forget about cross in Cleveland this Saturday, comment or message me (via the contact me button at the upper right hand of the sidebar) if you want to do breakfast beforehand or just need more info. Also keep checking in if you think you could ride in Cleveland on the 26th. As usual, I’m the Phun Cyclist, you stay classy Cleveland.

14 October 2008

Amazing Weekend, Realizations, And Cross

What can I say? Cleveland is freakin' beautiful in autumn! Seriously. It's now mid October and the leaves are nearing their peak. What this means is that the monotony in the trees is changed. No more green, green, green, green, OH! Roadkill! Green, green... Nope, autumn is amazing. Every tree a different color, the air is crisp and cool, and all seems right with the world.
With that in mind I decided to ride in, again, Friday to work. Note to self: Cover your ears, dude! It certainly was crisp, to say the least. But it was gorgeous, how gorgeous was it? About like this... Yup, it makes you happy to be on your way to work. I headed out, it was about 50ºf, so it was long sleeves in all the way. Luckily I thought ahead to have clothes at work, the ride home should be warmer. On the way I saw deer, birds, the apple orchard FULL of apples (I wanted one SO bad, but I'm not one for left handing 'em), OH! and the traffic control device. If you've never seen these, its a giant trailer that has an LCD readout, and a radar gun to tell you how fast you are going. I was doing 20MPH on the flat on my MTB. Didn't get a picture though. I also got an amazing complement. Our Administrative goddess (if you knew what crap we piled on her daily, you'd know why I say goddess) said to me, "you know? You really are a totally different person when you ride to work. You're happy." Hmmm, you know, now that I think about it, what the hell? Seriously, how am I when I DON'T ride? Ouch. Anyway, what's NOT to be happy about? I got to ride in, I feel good, I'm totally awake and alert, I got to enjoy the sights, and I get to ride home! What could be better?

The ride home was almost spiritual, it was about 70ºf the sun was out, and there was a hint of an autumn breeze. Shorts and short sleeves for sure. I played around for a bit, you know... take the long way home. I did go by the orchard again, man I need an apple when I get home. Rode a couple of country roads, some crushed stone, got in a couple monster hills just for good measure, and got home just as the sun was about to completely set.

Saturday was a wasted day. I did some work from home, got out and cleaned the yard in preparation to rake about 2 acres worth of leaves, had dinner and crashed out. But Sunday was a different story.

Sunday woke up, kinda late for me, and headed out to Church. Once Church was over thought it was way too nice to waste on yard work. So I changed, like quick, grabbed the camera , the bike and headed out the door. Hit the trails into town. Into town turned out to be a trek out to Todd Field. Yes, THEE Todd Field. The Todd Field where CMHAHTDWCS is being held on Saturday. Coincidence? I think not. So after a hell of a ride out to Todd, I did a lap around (roughly) what was the course last year. Let me just say, it was a bitch! The hill, yeah, as bad as it looks. One lap about did me in. I took a minute to go over to Spin and hung there for a minute and wound up sucked into a conversation on why I should try the race. I jumped back on the bike again, and after botching the crap out of a second run around the course I needed to call it a day and head back... Things to get done. Bottom line is this; I think I might have come to the conclusion that I am NOT ready for it this year, especially not on a Rockhopper. If I had some time to try it out on a cross bike, and got comfortable with that maybe, but I don't know about the situation as it sits. Though my wife, Thom at Spin, and a couple of my closest buddies all think I should man the heck up and go for it, I keep feeling like I'll be better off waiting until next year when I'm better prepared mentally and (more importantly?) physically for it.

Well all was not lost, I honestly thought I'd never be able to get one lap in and was pleasantly surprised with how it turned out. So now I think I need to take some time to set some goals for next year. I think I have an idea of what they'll look like, and I'll likely start blogging about them in the next month or so. For now, I know what I need to do. Keep up pushing myself, and step it up, like, big time!

13 October 2008

Spin Bike Shop Presents: 2008 Cross My Heart And Hope To Die Willoughby Cyclocross Spectacular

It's that time of year again in Cleveland. There is a bit of a nip in the air, the leaves are changing, and a bunch of psychopaths are readying themselves for thirty minutes to an hour in hell. That's right, kids! It's time once again for the Cross My Heart And Hope To Die Willoughby Cyclocross Spectacular (CMHAHTDWCS). Last year was an amazing race. Great turnout, technical course, hill that made people wish they were dead, what more could you ask for? Well, it's all happening again, this Saturday!

Saturday October 18th cyclocross, again, returns to Willoughby, Ohio as Spin Bike Shop brings back the Cross My Heart And Hope To Die Willoughby Cyclocross Spectacular. (I just love typing that) The registration for the event will be from 11:00 am - 1:15.
Novice/JRs group will start at 12:00 noon and will run thirty minutes.
Intermediate Men/Women Open at 12:45 for forty-five minutes.
Expert/40+ Open at 1:45 for one hour.

Entry is $20 and you'll need a USCF or NORBA licence. One day permits to be had for another $10 USCF permit pending.

If you need more information on the race you can find it one of sixty two places. You can Visit:
Spin Bike Shop
Team Spin or HERE for a PDF of the specifics of the race.
For the official flier Spin/Second Sole Multisport Team site, or just go HERE to acess the actual PDF with a map to Todd Field in Willoughby.

So with all of this said, I will not be racing again this year... nowhere near ready for that. I will however be there enjoying the race. Likewise, if anyone in the area will be watching and would like o do an old school keg's and eggs breakfast, throw a comment in the comments. Burgers & Beer & Breakfast a one minute walk from Todd field where the race is being held) opens at 7:30 am and serves, not only, breakfast at 7:30. They also start serving beer at 7:30 which lends itself perfectly to Keg's and Eggs! So, if you're going to the race anyway, why don't we plan on getting there early and having breakfast. You don't have to drink if you don't want to, it just seems appropriate at a cross event.

That is all for now. Hope to see you at the race!

09 October 2008

Sunday, October 26th Ride In The Cleveland Area

Once again I just wanted to throw out an open invite to readers who are in, or may find themselves in, the Cleveland area Sunday October 26th. Myself and a few friends will be doing a ride along the Ohio Erie Canal Towpath Sunday, October 26. Bring your cameras, as the leaves should be changing, and it should make for great photo ops.

We will have three locations to leave from, so distance and time will vary. The long ride will leave from the Rockside station at 7900 Old Rockside Rd., Independence, OH 44131. I'm guessing we'll leave at about 10:00am and go south bound on the 20 mile trail (paved, and packed crushed limestone, I've seen people do road bikes, I prefer something more burly) south toward Akron. We will stop off to pick up more riders along the way and take a break for lunch and, very likely, a couple of beers at the Winking Lizard in Peninsula. If you want to ride back, you can take the trail back north to Rockside. Total distance will be from about 10-40 miles depending where you start and if you finish the trip riding or on the train.

Oh, yeah! If you don't want to ride back, want to have a cool train ride, or just 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.

08 October 2008

Weekly roundup October 08, 2008

So I am once again anticipating riding the Ohio Erie Canal Towpath! Once again I plan on getting there über early to get an interval ride in. The date is going to be Sunday October 26th, the time will be later than last, as it will likely be about 40ºf at 10:00am if I’m lucky. There are some things that kind of suck about the northeast, but I promise the views and pictures will be well worth it! Also we’re still talking about starting up autumn lunch runs to Lake Erie and back at work, look like that’ll start next week. Anyway, without further adieu, I give you the Weekly Roundup!

50K Loop NS: Bluenoser officially launched a new blog. You may remember that he felt like Somethings Wrong… last week. Well, he’s officially started up the new blog, One Brazing Bastard. This blog will be devoted to him building up his first bike frame! He will still post the usual stuff, like, 05.10.08 over at 50K Loop NS as well. Can’t wait to see how the frame build goes. It’s something I want to try someday.

Fat Cyclist: Fatty had an awesome one on one session with Doug Ulman this week, and shared his Q&A With Doug Ulman, President Of The Lance Armstrong Foundation. He had a great array of questions for Doug surrounding Lances return to racing, how if will effect LAF and their 3 goals and the Global Cancer Initiative, and then Katherine, a LAF representative, preceded to go through the comments section and answer reader questions that they asked. Proving once again that the Lance Armstrong Foundation is on class act. One that I recommend anyone looking to donate to a worthy cause look into!

Cozy Beehive: Ron just had a really sweet story last week. Apparently, or so rumor has it, Kurt is working on the Kurt Kinetic 911 Trainer: Kinetic Energy To Stored Power. What does this mean? Apparently it means that we are going to turn human beings into something like hamsters. Alright, seriously… It means that you’ll be able to ride, store generated power and then use the stored power (about 1000 watts per 2 hours of riding) to power items, up to an “average house for about a half day.” Right, they don’t live in my house. It would be interesting to see what materializes.

Miles And Madness: Judi, over at Miles and Madness, got in Lots Of Miles. She brings up a great point too; autumn is upon us, and so is climate change. For her that’s not so bad… 80-60 up north however… Going from 70-80 in the mornings to 30’s and frost in, like, a week. Looks like it was a fun ride though. Also, pretty cool how Dominic helps the town kids with their bikes. Kudos on that!

Well, that’s about all I’ve got this week. Keep checking in if you think you could ride in Cleveland on the 26th. As usual, I’m the Phun Cyclist, you stay classy Cleveland.

07 October 2008

Last Chance To Win The Cycling Trip Of A Lifetime!

I put this in the Weekly Roundup this past Wednesday, but I thought it was so cool, and it has gotten so much cooler, that I had to post something about it again. My apologies to Fatty for taking so long to do it. File this amazing opportunity under “Holy Crap!” Fat Cyclist in cooperation with Brad Stratton, who hooked a an AMAZING opportunity with, Ciclismo Classico is having what might be the coolest contest EVER! Fatty is giving away a chance to Fight Cancer, Win A Cycling Trip To Italy! No sh__!! You think that's cool, right? Well, it gets better, Maybe You'd Rather Go See The Tour de France? Seriously, now you can choose either the Maratona dles Dolomites or the Tour de France if you are the lucky winner of Fatty's contest, and you'll be rocking your new Fat Cyclist jersey on the trip, and get to choose one of three styles of Minnehaha Classic Canvas Bags. OK, so only one person could win the trip BUT there's always second place. This is a cool second too. Second gets you a LiveStrong jersey in your size, a Fat Cyclist Jersey your size, and your choice one of the three styles of Minnehaha Classic Canvas Bags. Third Still gets a Fat Cyclist jersey and the bag!

The kicker to this whole deal is a chance to win only costs you FIVE BUCKS! Seriously! Five bucks could get you a, nearly, $5000 trip! The catch is you have until the end of Tuesday to get entered, so go to Fat Cyclist right now and enter!

At last check (21:15 EST 10/06/2008) they were at $15.076! An unbelievable amount of money. We've got 24 hours to help get that up to $20,000 and to win a sick trip to boot! So go, do it now, and while your at it DIGG this story... Keep it in the loop so they can raise a ton of money for Lance Armstrong Foundation!

WIN! Susan!!

06 October 2008

Weekend Of Debauchery

I wish I had something better to report but, unfortunately, this weekend turned out to be just that... A weekend of debauchery! OK, I guess it wasn't really debaucherous (I think I just made that word up), on account it was really just a weekend of binge drinking, and since the definition of debauchery is... Never mind that.

Friday night I had a much needed date with the wife which, of course, resulted in beer and nachos. To be fair, I had worked out Friday, so it offset about 1/8 of the nachos and beer. But, they were really good nachos. Cheese, cheese sauce, taco flavored meat, green onions, tomato, and jalapeños. God it was good. It was my dinner, so I only felt kind of bad.

Saturday I got together with one of my great friends to chill out, watch the THEE Ohio State University football game (they won), shoot the breeze, and have some beers... to the final tune of 115oz of Great Lakes Dortmunder. True, this may have been a wee bit excessive, but it was enjoyable. Also had a burger and a few fries. The burger was the bomb!

Sunday was a day of relaxation and a lot of walking around enjoying the few final nice days of autumn, ending in a nice fire and some good ol' fashioned marshmallow roasting! Ahhhh, there is nothing like a warm fire on a low fifty degree night. It was relaxing.

The bottom line of the weekend comes down to this. I was allowing myself to have an off weekend this weekend on account I finally hit the 180 mark. I've been bouncing around 180+/- now for about a couple of weeks, so it'll be interesting to see what Monday is like. That also means ten more to go to the goal of 170! At this point I just want to hit the 170 mark by year end. I think it's a doable goal. So, a new week starts and now back to eating better and working out more.

02 October 2008

"It's My Birthday!" Said The Blog

Wow, I simply cannot believe it! Wednesday October 1, 2008 was the official first birthday of Cycling Phun, the blog. There are so many feelings going through my mind surrounding the blog. There are so many reasons why I do the blog. There are so many people who I've never met face to face, yet I feel as though they are friends I've known personally for years. I hope, and it might be a dream, that someday I will get to meet some if not all of you. Your kind thoughts and words keep me writing almost everyday.

First off, I want to share a minute on the concept. I've been asked, "Why fun?" and it's a good question. Phun came about years ago when I was a DJ. A comment was made about my music that I was spinning and someone said something about me being "fun" and there was a reference to DJ Fun, and I blurted out, "Yeah, but it's with a 'PH'." Ever since, I was DJ Phun. Phun just stuck, and it seemed an appropriate moniker for the blog.

The reason I do it is a bit complex. One component of the blog is that it acts as an outlet to engage in mindless drivel about cycling, and a way to do it without boring my wife into a coma. Another reason I do it is admittedly a bit selfish, I think. I think the internet is an amazing tool to share thoughts, words, feelings, a way to leave a legacy. Mind you I am, at times, a bit embarrassed at the thought of the, again sometimes, shoddy legacy it might become. I would love for my family to one day be able to look back at what I've done, enjoyed, thought, felt, and get an idea about what makes me, me. Finally I do it for the social aspect of it. I enjoy the community that has sprouted up here. It's a small community right now, but there are regulars, and new visitors everyday. We share thoughts and comments and have a great time. I would love for this blog to get as big as Fat Cyclist's, but as long as people keep coming, reading, and enjoying what I'm doing I'll be here.

As far as my friends, wow. There are so many people who I've had the opportunity to meet, not face to face, but on the blog. People who have left comments, emailed me, chatted with me, or won a contest and we've had some sort of contact that way. I've had a couple of companies so far who have agreed to help with swag for contests and who I've put up ads for based on their generosity. The out pouring of help to get up and rolling has been awesome, I cannot thank you all enough. Again, without your kind words and favor I would not be able, nor would I want to do this blog. I have hopes to further reach out to readers, and companies, to further this blog and make it as enjoyable for the reader as possible.

One thing that I've mentioned, kind of in passing so far, that is a bit of a dream of mine is an idea that I had while talking to Bluenoser is to have a "blogger ride" in the next year or two. I would love to throw out an open invitation to all of the cycling bloggers, and see if we can get a group of riders out every year to a different location. Can you imagine one year we ride the Cleveland area, the next year Bluenoser takes us around the 50K Loop in Nova Scotia, maybe the following year Harp hosts a tour of Lincoln, NE, etc. How awesome would that be? The whole idea started when I mentioned, kind of tongue-in-cheek but also kind of seriously, to Bluenoser that I would LOVE to come up to Nova Scotia and ride the loop with him. His answer was, "I like your Idea of a ride up here and I have lots of room. A late fall ride would be good... the roads are empty and the weather is cool in the evenings but great in the days. Lets throw it out there and see what happens?" This is the amazing community that is starting.

Once again I would love to try a bit of an experiment that I've done in the past. If you read this, please take a minute to post your name (or alias), where you are reading from, and )if you have a blog) a link to your blog in the comments. Allow other people who may read this blog, but may not have seen yours just yet, the opportunity of finding your blog and enjoying your writing. So far there is a small, I think, close knit group that always reads each others blogs, and comments on them regularly. I want to take a quick minute to say thanks to those who fit this category, you guys are the best! You keep me motivated, inspired, and have kept me accountable on my weight loss project, training and generally with what goes on in my cycling life, and in this blog. Those people are:
The "Cleveland Crew":
Bunny Hop Rockstar Thanks for the tips and fittings!
Cyclone Cross Thanks for the rack!
Ray's Racing Adventures Hope we'll get to race sometime.
My motivational crew, and those holding me accountable in my weight loss and pushing me to ride better:
50K Loop NS Bluenoser for motivation & accountability to lose pounds!
Travels With A Tin Donkey For the awesome Muesli recipe.
Fat Cylist For his weight loss challenges, inspiration and sharing his life.
Harp Rider for giving me crap when I needed it to try harder.
Miles And Madness For, also, giving me crap to work harder.
Let's Rock... For motivation while she too lost weight.
The Wah Report Jared for reminding me when I need to HTFU.
Finally, just generally people who make my day a bit brighter by allowing us to share in their stories, I check these every day:
Cozy Beehive
The Tales Of Little Red Riding Hood
Competitive Cycling
Cycling Paradise
Finally, the people who keep me on the road, and writing about it:
Spin Bike Shop Don, John, Brian, and Thom you guys are awesome!
Jimi Mike, awesome product! Thanks for giving me the chance to get the word out for you!
Cyclepassion Anke, Thanks for being the first contest, I love your calendars!
Yehuda Moon & The Kickstand Cyclery Rick, your comic is amazing!
I apologize if I left anyone out, I don't think I did. You guys are the best, and I grateful for having met you!

Well, I think I went on log enough, so what better way to end this than to give some stuff away! I still have some Jimi stuff to give away! So, if you're interested, be one of the first six people to contact me via the "contact me" link in the upper right hand sidebar. I do have to limit it to people within the US and Canada, as I am paying postage on these things and to send it overseas and it's twice the value of the Jimi Wallet to ship it overseas to boot.

Thanks again, keep riding, and always have Phun!

01 October 2008

Weekly Roundup October 01, 2008

Crazy, that is the only way I could think of to describe it. I can't get over the fact that I have been at it, officially, a year today! That's right, October 1, 2007 was the official launch of Cycling Phun. It's been quite cool, really. I will have more on the first birthday of the official launch tomorrow. Come back tomorrow for the reading, stay for the festivities and give-aways. But for now back to business.

So I spent an entire week somewhere between the joy of riding to work, and the anticipation of riding the Ohio Erie Canal Towpath this past Sunday. The ride was well worth it. I took the time to get there über early to get an interval ride in and while in the unusually cold temps it was painful, it was also well worth it. There is talk about starting up lunch runs during autumn at work, I could only hope this comes true. I think Sunday lit a spark under some butts to get out and pedal! Anyway, without further adieu, I give you the Weekly Roundup!

50K Loop NS: Bluenoser has officially gone and done it. He’s decided that Somethings Wrong… What, you may ask is his answer? To go completely outside of his mind! No, not really. Rather it is something that I long to someday, hopefully soon, have the time to accomplish myself. Fab his own frame! Best wishes on the frame build, Bluenoser. Hopefully Harp, Ron, and I (and maybe more) will get out there and have a chance to hop on and try the bike out ourselves.

Cozy Beehive: Ron resurrected a thought that I had written on a while back on, what I like to call, The Doily Bike. I personally think I blocked out my story out of my mind, on account I wanted to forget about the bike. Alas, Ron has resurrected the story of, what HE calls and I’ve heard called before, The Cheese Grater. That’s right, he’s once again looking from an engineering standpoint at The Delta7Iso Truss Bike Still Falling Short. Ahhhh, this bike may never go away.

Competitive Cycling: Groover had a nice little story to share of her training in Australia. Ahh, Australia… Another place I’d love to visit. I should post about where I want to visit and why someday, er, week. Whatever. Groover was On Top Of The World, explaining her journeys down under. I think it had to do with the coffee, the elixir of the Gods. Some great photos on her blog too!

Harp Rider: I was over at Harps place, and noticed that he posted the Manawa MTB Mayhem Race Report. Sounds, and looks like it was a fun as heck ride, congratulations on the third place! Yeah, I bet you’ll take it! Finishing top three is always slick.

Fat Cyclist: Finally file this one under “Holy Crap!” Fat Cyclist in cooperation with Brad Stratton, who hooked a an AMAZING opportunity with, Ciclismo Classico is having what might be the coolest contest EVER! Fatty is giving away a chance to Fight Cancer, Win A Cycling Trip To Italy! No sh__!! I’m not a hundred percent sure, but I think this might be the coolest contest I’ve ever seen. Partly because it involves cycling, partly because it involves Italy, and mainly because they are going to raise some CRAZY bank for the Lance Armstrong Foundation to fight cancer. Fatty… You, Brad, and Ciclismo Classico rule!

That’s all for now. If it stops raining in the next few days I need to get out and ride, I suggest you do the same. As usual, I’m the Phun Cyclist, you stay classy Cleveland.