28 November 2008

Thanksgiving Ride

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

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

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

27 November 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

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

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

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

26 November 2008

Thanksgiving Feast '09

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

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

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

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

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

25 November 2008

Be Thankful...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

These are the reasons I am grateful this year.

24 November 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

21 November 2008

A Weekend Moment Of Zen

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

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

Danny Macaskill

Cycling Phun On Phacebook, Er, Facebook

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

19 November 2008

Weekly Roundup November 19, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

18 November 2008

This May Be A First For Me

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

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

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

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

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

17 November 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

16 November 2008

Hey... Just A Heads Up!

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

14 November 2008

Thoughts On Winter

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

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

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

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

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

13 November 2008

Fat Cyclist Has The Coolest Idea EVER!

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

Here's what Fatty has to say:

Here are some interesting facts for you:

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

Team Fat Cyclist: Fighting For Susan

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

No, we will demolish them.

And humiliate them, just for fun.

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

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

12 November 2008

Weekly Roundup November 12, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

11 November 2008

2009 UCI Road Racing Schedule

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

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

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

10 November 2008

A Case For Leaf Blowers

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

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

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

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

09 November 2008

A Quick Followup On The Cyclepassion Calendar

A special Sunday post for you all since I missed out on Friday. Judi had commented that the lovely ladies of the Cyclepassion Calendar might not be cyclists at all.SO, I took to the net to break it down for all of you. Anke and the crew at Cyclepassion came up with some beautiful cyclists who have some quite impressive records on bikes! Don't believe me? Just check out the stars of the 2009 Cyclepassion Calendar!

Sabine Spitz: German cross-country Gold Medal Cyclist 2008

Gunn-Rita Dahle-Flesja: Norwegian cross-country gold medal at the 2004 Olympic Games and is a multiple World Champion. She has won six World Championships and six European championships. Dahle has also won four UCI World Cup XC in a row

Irina Kalentieva: Russian UCI Mountain Bike & Trials World Championships in 2007

Jennifer Hohl: Swiss Champion Elite 2008

Hanka Kupfernagel: German seven consecutive time medalist at the UCI Women's Cyclo-cross World Championships, including three gold medals for 2000, 2001 and 2005; the silver medal in 2002 and 2003; and the bronze medal in 2004.

Steffi Marth: German UCI MTB racer.

Willow Koerber: USA two time World Cup and finished as the top-ranked American in the World Cup series.

So, incase anyone had any question as to whether or not the girls are legit, I hope this sets the record straight for ya! Enjoy!

06 November 2008

Cyclepassion 2009 Calendars Are Out!

All I can say is WOW! I got the info from Anke over at Cyclepassion a short while ago that the 2009 calendar was out, and was anxious to see what awaited me. So quicker than you could possibly imagine I went to the 2009 Cyclepassion Calendar Order Page. Once again the guys over at Cyclepassion hit the mark! Ahhhh, to be an Ergon jersey. The photos this year are crazy hot, as always. I say it like the last few years have sucked, right? My only moment of sorrow was that Niki Gudex wasn't in it this year, but with shots like this... who can complain? Seriously?! What, you think they're not cycling related enough? The girls are riders... and in their jersey's... OK, how about this... See! She's even got her bike with her. So does she... See I told you so.
What, so you went from complaining that you didn't see the cycling connection now YOU WANT ONE!?! Are you for real?! OK, if you go to the 2009 Cyclepassion Calendar Order Page you can order yours there, or I suppose you could keep an eye on the blog and have a chance to win one! Yup, as usual Anke has give me a couple to give away this year! I'm not going to do it this minute, but consider this your tease! Keep watching my blog over the next couple weeks and I'll have your first chance to win one. I'll make sure I give them away in time for you to have 'em incase you want to give one to that special someone for Christmas, Hanukkah, or whatever Holiday it is you may celebrate (Ramahanukwazamas, anyone?). For now enjoy the pictures, check out the Cyclepassion website, and keep an eye out to win your calendar soon!

05 November 2008

Weekly Roundup November 05, 2008

I’m just going to be blatantly honest with you here. I feel like poo! There, I said it! Now, because I feel like poo, this roundup is going to suck a little bit, you have my apologies. Also, one more for the late posting. Now, without further adieu, I give you the Weekly Roundup!

50K Loop NS: Bluenoser seemingly had a great time in his first cross race. He posted a quick recap of the race on03.11.08. Sounded like it was a hell of a good time! Also, seems like you had a good finish. I love how descriptive the post was, really makes it easy to understand the coarse and such. Course seems like it’d be a bit challenging. Also, keep checking in on…
One Brazing Bastard: This is where Bluenoser will be updating you on his frame building project.

Ray’s Racing Adventures: Ray is in the midst of what is seemingly a couple of dilemmas. He has come to the following conclusion, ”What A Snob!”. Ray realized that he is a bit of a bike snob when it comes to his taste in bikes. He is finding it very difficult to just pull the trigger and build a beater commuter bike. Admittedly, I’d be the same way. On a good note he did find a New Sponsor For Team Columbus… Good luck on that one Ray. (wink)

Highwaymunky Blog: Munky is back and he’s starting off this week by Fixing The Broken Bits. That’s right, boys and girls, he is giving us one of his excellent gear reviews. This time around it’s almost entirely gearing. Sprockets, chains, and derailleur to be specific.

Fat Cyclist: Finally I’ll leave it with a plug for Fatty this week. Jump over to Twin Six. They’ve recently started selling the new Fat Cyclist Gear. So jump over there and get some sweet gear. Proceeds will go to help defray some of the cost that Fatty’s wife Susan has incurred in her fight against cancer. WIN Susan!

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

04 November 2008

Get Out And Vote Today

OK, so in an effort to keep politics the heck out of my cycling related blog I will say this as nonpartisan as possible. The bottom line is this, I don't care who your candidate is, or what your stance is on the issues. The differences in opinions are what make the world go 'round. So, make sure you take the time to get out today and make your voice heard. Not to mention it'll give you an opportunity to gloat to your friends who voted differently should your candidate win!

03 November 2008

Can't Wait For Snow

So over the weekend I was excruciatingly busy on Saturday, and came down with a nasty cold Sunday that kept me in bed nearly the entire day trying to get better. I've actually been sick now, to some degree, since the Friday before the cross race, and it's starting to annoy the heck out of me.

So being busy as heck on Saturday had me thinking. I was thinking that it was in the mid 60's and if I weren't coughing up a lung all day I'd have loved to be out hitting the trails. The leaves are AMAZING right now. The air is crisp, but beautiful. I was just so sad. Sunday was bed then breakfast, then bed, then dinner, then bed, then this, then bed. I was equally ticked off.

As a side effect I had a lot of time to think. I was thinking on how I really can't wait for winter. Drop the tire pressure down to, like, thirty PSI and hammer it in the snow. This year they are saying NE Ohio will likely have more snow than average. I am also looking forward to the idea of riding the aforementioned Ohio Eire Canal Trail during winter. The trail is open 24/7/365, so that should prove to be an all new experience.

Finally, I was reminded of the fact that I need to buy lights. After turning the clocks back this morning I came to the realization that while it's getting light at about 6:00 am it's starting to get dark at about 5:00 pm now. THAT sucks. No more riding into work for the time being.

Well, that's about it for now. Hope you had a great weekend, and a great week. Don't forget to get out and vote tomorrow!