29 December 2009

A Sad Day On The Horizon

It is truly a sad day... Why, you ask? Because the LBS (local bike store) has seen the end of an era. The east side Cleveland location of Spin Bike Shop will close tomorrow, December 30th. The Lakewood location will remain open, but alas Willoughby shall be no longer.

If you're in the NE Ohio area, they have some really sweet deals going on through tomorrow. Thank you, guys, for all that you have done! If it weren't for the Willoughby Spin crew I likely would not have embraced cycling, or this blog, or any sort of anything resembling fitness. You (the Spin crew) are going to be missed in Willoughby.

25 December 2009

Merry Christmas!

OK, so I have clearly failed in my attempt to get SOMETHING posted by now, but alas my life will not allow. So, for now I would like to wish all of my readers a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

I will be posting a quickie over the weekend, and I will be, God willing, slightly more regular starting very soon.

Thanks for your continued comments, and support over the last year, and I hope for 2010 to be a little bit more sane!

Don

20 December 2009

Twenty Days Later

Yeah, I suck. What can I say. My life is on indefinite hold and chaotic all at the same time. Make sense? No? OK, let me try to explain here. I work HR (recruiting, benefits, etc - full scale HR) for a living, the economy sucks (expletive deleted) with a straw, because of this my job sucks hard. With that in mind I've been picking up side jobs where I can, and doing what I need to, dig? likewise the ol' lady picked up something. It all helps to get by, but it suck big time when you're trying to hold a weight loss plan, or something resembling normality. Hence the posting has suffered.

As far as the weight loss? Yeah, that has suffered too. Just when I thought I was turning a corner, BOOM! It all blew up again. So, I have been less than perfect at the whole working out scene, and forget eating well. I mean, I guess I have been eating OK, but not like I should. I have managed to keep constant at just either side of 192, but I want to be at 170, so...

Lastly, for today, I am thinking about ditching the rollers in lieu of a trainer. I just can't concentrate in my home enough to ride 'em. A trainer would be SO much easier. So if anyone is interested in trading a trainer for rollers, buying a set of rollers, or something along these lines, please message me at the "contact me" button on the upper right hand corner.

30 November 2009

World Of Hurt

Well, after about eight months, plus or minus, of chaos in my life, and putting aside the workouts I have (kind of) started back into it. Tonight was day one of muscle building exercise. Let me start by saying I can't believe how far you can fall in a short amount of time. I felt so great early this year with my rides. Legs felt great, lungs felt great, just full of piss and vigor. Now, not so much. Add to the slow down, OK near halt, of almost all activity a great deal of stagnation and I am in a world of pain tonight.

I started in on the muscle building where I left off in, like, March-ish... Yeah, not the best idea I've had in a wile. After knocking it back a few steps I got through the workout, and am sitting here aching in places that I forgot existed. I will say this, it is a good kind of hurt. You know the kind; your muscles burn, they get tense and sore... but you sit back with a big smile.

So, from here on out the plan is to do some muscle building to get back into the swing every other day. Once I am getting back into the swing, I'll add in some intervals, until by the start of 2010 I am back into the full swing of The Lean Look: Burn Fat, Tone Muscles and Transform Your Body in Twelve Weeks Using the Secrets of Professional Athletes by Paul Goldberg and Matthew Fitzgerald. GOD! I just love to say the full title, it's just so freaking long. (Sidebar: Paul and Matthew should hook me up for how much I've pimped the book on this blog now, don'tcha think? - hint, wink)

Anyway, I lost fifty or so pounds and put ten or so back in the last six months. Just imagine where I can go from here. My next ideal weight, for 2010, is 170. There I said it, it's official. Once I hit 170, I'll see how I look and feel and decide from there how much further I want to go, or whether I need a different muscle building program, whatever.

Also, I would love to start a serious ride once a week from May (unless April is really nice in 2010) through September (unless October is really nice in 2010). Once a week, after work (or on a weekend day), whatever it takes. if you're in the Cleveland area, I'd love for you to be a part of it. If not, maybe I'll finally bite the bullet and join the Cleveland Touring Club. Who knows? They're a great group of guys and gals, it could be a lot of fun.

Bottom line, I need to get back to where I was, build from there, and get better. Physically, mentally, emotionally.

26 November 2009

Thanksgiving and Fitness

Heh, heh, heh... I had to title it that. I know, you think the two have nothing to do with each other, right? Couldn't be more wrong. So, first off, I'd like to take a minute to wish all of the stateside readers a very Happy Thanksgiving. I am thankful for all of my readers around the world, and would certainly be in a different place right now without you guys. You give me a reason to write, hold me (and one-another) accountable, and inspire me. Thank you for taking the time to check my little ol' blog!

As far as the link from fitness to Thanksgiving? Well, it's pretty simple, really. You get out of your body what you put into it. Fill it with a bunch of crap and you get, you guessed it, crap! Fill it with good wholesome things, you get power, strength, energy, and the like. So, this year I cut way back on my Thanksgiving intake. I had a few beers, but cut the food way back. I ate mostly turkey. Good, lean, protein. I did have some stuffing, about a tablespoon of mashed potatoes, a tablespoon of green bean casserole (not as good as straight green beans, but...), and a table spoon of sweet potatoes. I also had minimal in the way of desert. Just enough to taste it.

You see, the key in watching what you what you eat is not to starve yourself. Rather it's to think out what you're taking in, maximize the healthy portions, and limit the "less than healthy" junk. As an example, one thing that I did early on was to take my favorite foods and modify them. I LOVE burgers, but burgers could be murder on a diet. Buns, cheese, bacon, mayo, and on, and on, and... You get it. I took my favorite burgers and turned them into something special. I took the best and lowest fat meat that I could find and I fried them up. I sautéed mushrooms, onions, and peppers and put those on top, then sprinkled some blue cheese crumbles on top. The blue cheese, being so strong, was flavorful with a minimal amount. I served it with a healthy salad, with some raw nuts (extra protein and good fats) and veggies.

Get the point? It's all about modifying the input. Of course you still need to exercise, and whatnot, but watching what you eat sure goes a long way.

23 November 2009

Weight Loss Week Two

So this whole "not having a computer at my disposal" crap is killing me! When I have the time to get out a post, I don't have to computer to do it. With that said, this weeks weight loss post will, still, be a bit lame.
As you probably know by now; myself, Bluenoser, Munky, Clyde, Lily, and Trio have all agreed to do something for the time being about some extra weight in our lives. My first week started at a 193 weigh-in on Monday of last week. This week I was still at the same 193 as of Sunday morning, and forgot to weigh on Monday. I have started some very minimal exercise, but have not had the opportunity to get out on the bike as I said I would.

I am, however, back on the Muesli Diet. Last time I did Muesli I lost a ton of weight. It was Sprocketboy's Muesli that he recommended. I started Muesli-fest today, Monday.

Going into Thanksgiving on Thursday I plan on cutting back food, and no beer except on Thursday. I also need to pull out the workout routine I was doing out of "Lean Look". For anyone looking to drop a few pounds, I highly recommend this book.

Would love to hear what you're doing, if you're trying to keep the pounds off during the holidays. Leave me a comment, and check back soon!

Cheers, for now!

18 November 2009

The First Week Of Weight Loss. So Far, Uh, So Far?

Well... Hello to Bluenoser, Munky, Clyde, Lily, and Trio. Where to begin? So the first week started at a 193 weigh-in on Monday. Since then, two thirteen plus hour work days have given way to poor eating, lack of exercise and being completely wasted-tired by the time I got home. So the bottom line is as of Wednesday morning, still a not-so-svelte 193.

I did not manage, due to time and lack of planning, to get my muesli made, so I have not kicked back on the Muesli Diet. For those of you who may be new or not remember, I lost a ton of weight through exercise and a diet of Sprocketboy's Muesli. I will be going back to Muesli starting Monday.

I also hope to get a, roughly, twenty-five mile ride in on Saturday and a shorter fun ride, mountain bike, on Sunday. I will also be getting back in the habit of doing some of the "Lean Look" exercises.

How about you guys? Also, anyone else who is interested in joining else on the fun, feel free to jump in. Just leave your info in the comments section.

Cheers, for now!

11 November 2009

Calling Out To The Fitness Geeks

OK, OK, OK... So it's been a hot minute since I've posted regularly. Likewise since I've seriously been turning cranks. Furthermore an eternity since I've had any serious level of fitness. I have a feeling that is all about to change. Recently I have been stressing out, and have been at home a lot more often. One major problem with that comes the serious problem of grazing. If you are not familiar with grazing, let me explain. You walk past the kitchen, do a double-take, go into the kitchen. Once in the kitchen you take ice cream, crush cookies on top, keep looking, grab the whipped cream and throw a dollop on, then move that concoction on a brownie that you warmed in the microwave, and finally cover it with chocolate. Disclaimer: I haven't done this, it was just an example I got carried away with... But now that I think of it, I wonder how much of it I have here...

Digressing... So I have a serious problem being in my home, for extended periods, stressing out, and around food. With all of that said, I have gained about 10 pounds in the last three months or so. I am officially back into the 190 range, and need to drop back to the sub 180 range. The lowest I have been in the last two years has been 180, so I think that will become my new goal. With all of the holiday's coming up, and all of the engorging that will occur, my goal will be to drop to 180 lbs by year end. Anyone on board with me?

Here's what we'll do... I don't have the time or money to do a prize this time around, and since we're publicly embarrassing Don; I still owe Bluenoser his prizes from last December. My suggestion is accountability. Set a fitness and/or weight loss goal for year end, and push for it. I don't care what you are eating, I don't care what your exercise is, so long as you're growing toward your goal. If you're not reaching the goal I will ride you, like my Rockhopper, until you do. Likewise, I'll expect that you do the same. Anyone up for it? Drop me a comment and lets get cracking. We start Monday! Hope I could get 3-5 of you to get on board, I'm sure that I can at LEAST count on Bluenoser, right? C'mon, it'll be fun, and we'll all be a bit better for it going into 2010.

09 November 2009

I SO Want To Try This

There are so many different things in life that I just want to try to say that I've done them. THIS is one of them. I've always wanted to try to unicycle. While I was watching TV today, I saw something really cool, more on that tomorrow, and it got me to thinking.

Have any of you guys ever tried the one wheeled wonder? I would love advice, then just need to find someone with a unicycle that would let me try it out... I totally don't care enough to buy one...

05 November 2009

Ugh...

Just in case you were curious how slow it has been around here, as if you couldn't tell by the current state of the blog, I wanted to just keep you all in the loop (vent) about what's been going on. I am still sans my main computer, business is still way down, and I haven't turned a crank in well over two months now. Just to reiterate, if anyone out there has a power supply for a 1.42DP G4 Mirror Doorthat you could give up really cheep, or free!... preferably free, please message me. A college career might depend on it. Yeah, I still need to recover the wifes colleg work from it, and the clock is ticking. I've been that crazy.

As far as riding, I would LOVE to do a Black Friday ride in Cleveland I was thinking maybe of the Ohio Erie Canal Toe Path Trail for a leisurely ride. Cleveland south, and back. Likewise, it'll probably pause on the way back at the Winking Lizard for a few beers and a late lunch. Any takers? I need to get one good ride in this year, and this could be it.

29 October 2009

Weekly roundup October 29, 2009

The aforementioned G4 Power Supply go boom story is still effecting what I can and cannot do. I have had almost no time, it seems, to my computer since I am now forced to share it with my wife who is in college. That, combined with the ridiculous amount of work I’ve been doing, and the added house work with said wife in said college… Ugh. I actually was debating which is likely to happen first; lose my freaking mind or have a massive heart attack. No kidding. So, for now I’m going to get out what I can. please enjoy a Weekly Roundup, and my apologies for keeping you hanging… I’ll try to get better about keeping current here.

Fat Cyclist: I’m just going to leave Fatty at this; check out Fat Cyclist’s Blog! Fatty has been writing about the awesome Austin LiveStrong Challenge, and the Ride For The Roses. Congratulations Fatty on having the record for most money raised by a team at more than three-quarters of a million dollars! WOW! I guess if we must be exact $773,874.30… Give or take a few bucks. That’s a LOT of cancer fighting, and a lot of people being helped. Check out his blog, the last week is pictures of the Austin events, stories, videos, and pictures of the Team Fatty members who were able to make it out to Austin. Congratulations Fatty on doing a wonderful thing. God bless, man!

HighwayMunky: My buddy across the pond the HighwayMunky has me worried lately. First he posts a blog about the pros and cons of wearing a helmet now this, Slipping The Traffic. That’s right, he’s taken to the risky behavior of playing dogems with the metal monsters on the road. PLEASE Munky! Please be careful man. I have, however, decided by reading his blog that I really need to get to England and ride. It sounds awesome and beautiful. By the way, Munky… Arm warmers are AWESOME!

50K Loop NS: Poor Bluenoser’s cross season seems to be over before it started. He took a header before, and apparently it was pretty damn bad. Well, now apparently it’s official, It’s Over. Yup, the fat lady has sung, and he’s calling it dead. Sorry bout the shoulder, Blue… I’ve been there YEARS ago. When I rode dirt BMX I was on pavement and went over the bars… It sucks. I hope you’re better soon!

Harp Rider: There are two reasons I am posting about Harp this week… One is I, too, Need More Singletrack. I think I might not remember how to ride, it’s been so long. The second reason is that he MIGHT just be more geeked out on Kevin Smith than I. Way to go, Harp! Hope you get at least one more epic ride, before the white stuff.

Cozy Beehive: Finally, today, Ron touches on a subject near and dear to my heart. Mainly, Velo Taboo: Wearing Underwear Inside Shorts. I had a friend who was talking about lycra, and was asking how I could wear them without underwear. First off, I wear boxers… Yeah, big baggy pants under tight? Second, I had a friend wear tighty-whities under jeans for a 25 miler… He called me, nearly in tears, because he had blisters from the rubbing. This is a GREAT point, Ron! Keep up the good work.

Well, that’s all I have for this week. Snow will be here soon, ride while you can! I’m the Phun Cyclist, stay classy Cleveland.

15 October 2009

Time, Time, Time... Where Has It Gone? Where Can I Get More

So you may have noticed that I've been kinda MIA lately. I promise that I will be here, I've just been consumed by "the new project." By that I mean The Art Of Brew. That's right! It's been a long time coming but my brewing confidante, Thomas, and I have officially launched the craft brew blog.It's long been a passion of mine, and I have been wanting to get it out for some time. Well, now is that time. I found the right person who had a very similar idea, and similar passion and, as they say, the rest is history!

We still have a few kinks to work out, but the site is live, and we've started to populate! Please take a minute to stop by, check it out and let us know what you think. We'll be opening up to comments very soon. I will also still be here, doing Phun, so keep checking back here as well.

CHEERS!

12 October 2009

Spin Bike Shop Presents: The 2009 Cross My Heart And Hope To Die Willoughby Cyclocross Spectacular!

It's that time of year again in Cleveland. There is a chill 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 17th 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.
A's (Novice/JRs) group will start at 12:00 noon and will run thirty minutes.
B's (Intermediate Men/Women Open) at 12:45 for forty-five minutes.
C's (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, or go HERE to acess the actual PDF with a map to Todd Field in Willoughby.


Sadly, this year I will not be at the race, I will be covering the Fat Head's 1st Annual IPA Fest for The Art Of Brew. I will, however post a listing of the results from the race, so stay tuned!

08 October 2009

Weekly roundup October 09, 2009

So I have to admit. I’m burned out this week. The final straw in the week was the G4 (see yesterday’s post) going BOOM! So, for now, I’ll let you you enjoy a Weekly Roundup, and I’m going to try to source a 360w Mac power supply.

Fat Cyclist: Mad props going out to none other than the Fat Cyclist! Fatty wrote An Open Letter To [Himself] About 24 Hours Of MOAB. A great race deserves a great post. Along with a full “to-do” list, list of things he’ll need for the race, and as always that typical Fat Cyclist humor. Best of luck Fatty, and happy riding! Kick some butt.

HighwayMunky: The HighwayMunky posted a great thought on the pros and cons of wearing a helmet when cycling. It covers it from a whole new perspective though. ”To Wear, Or Not To Wear, That Is The Question”, covers the legal side of helmet use. So many focus on the health or annoyance factor, I think this might be the first time I’ve seen it from a legal perspective. Nice one Munky!

50K Loop NS: Bluenoser go to meet one of his longtime blog friends, none other than Bikes Gone Wild in a regular East Meets West event. Keep up with Bluenoser, as he’s going to be starting year two of his Cyclocross addiction shortly.

Ray’s Racing Adventures: Finally, today, Ray. First off, thanks to Ray for the link from his blog. Promise I’ll not make you regret throwing it on your blog, man. Mind you, I need to ride more so as to be more relevant, but… Ray left a post about Photo Credits, Blogs, And A Little Story . The photo credits are, well, photo credits. The blog portion is about Cleveland blogs, did I say thanks? The little story? About cross… a cool story about cross, seemingly true to form, and passionate. It really gets across the beauty and hell that is cross.

Well, that’s all I have for this week. Get the hell out and ride before the snow hits. The leaves are changing already! Phun Cyclist, stay classy Cleveland.

07 October 2009

Wednesday Randomness

Ugh... I am going to apologize right now for the lack of posting that is going on and that is sure to come. I woke up yesterday morning to my baby, read that as 1.42DP G4 Mirror Door, has bit it.Total... unadulterated... sadness. I actually feel worse for my wife than I do for me. For me it might as well be a big toy, for the wife... Her college career. Yeah; Epic sucks! So, I would like to use this time right now to say that I will get posts in as quickly as possible, but there may be a lag time. Example, tomorrows post will likely be around dinner time. Further, and more important in my mind, if anyone has a mirror door with a 360w power supply that they need to get rid of; I could use your power supply or the entire unit for parts.

Alright, I need to bail from this right now. I will throw together a Weekly Roundup tomorrow. For today I will leave you with the entire idea behind my blog. Courtesy of none other than Target. I love Target. They have had some great boxers recently, and I promise you this was not staged. I walked down the isle to run straight into an end cap. This is what I found.
That's right, beer & bikes, the epitome of Cycling Phun. Have a goodnight, all, catch you tomorrow!

05 October 2009

Everybody Else Is Doing It

You all know where this is going, right? Drugs! Everyone else is doing... OK, I'm kidding. But it almost sounds like drugs the way people talk about it. Of course, as you've likely guessed, I am talking about cross! That's right, cyclocross has swept the nation. People everywhere, it seems, are getting these road bikes on steroids, and getting out in the ungodly weather to abuse themselves. This should serve as an explanation of cross to those who are new to the cycling world.

What cross is, is an opportunity to abuse yourself far beyond anything you could possibly imagine. The bikes look like a road bike, but the tires look like a hybrid tire. They are 700c but wider, like a mtb tire. The goal is simple; be the first to cross the line without getting killed. Simple enough, right? Have I mentioned that the courses can combine any number of the following; paved course, grass, dirt, sand, water, mud-pits, switch-backs, hills, stairs, and foot to foot and a half tall barriers? I'm probably missing something there too, that you are allowed to call me out on. Further, the only time to race cross is about September to about December or January. Yup! That means cold, rain, snow, sleet, and generally disastrous weather.

So why do people do it? Call 'em crazy, call 'em hardcore, you'd be right! These are the die hards. To do a cross race you have to be in shape. Likewise, if you do a few of these you have to maintain fitness. It just comes from pushing yourself so hard. The spectators aren't far from this either. That's half the fun. People ringing cowbells, drinking beers, handing beers off to riders as they fly by, passing off dollars to the riders, and generally going rasp yelling. The only thing I can say is if you've never been to a cross race, you need to get to one this fall. You race> Try your hands on a cross race. Use a cross bike or a light weight HT mtb and try it out this year. They're amazing!

01 October 2009

The Perfect Combination Of Bike And Beer

This may be the perfect combination of bike and beer. You've seen Saturday Night Live "On A Boat", right? Now the crazy cool guys over at New Belgium put together "On A Bike"! Arguably the perfect combination of bike and beer.




30 September 2009

Weekly Roundup September 30, 2009

I have been so busy with life I cannot begin to tell you. As you’ve probably read, the new blog launches on Monday, October 12th. A collaboration between me and Thomas, my partner in brewing. I also have been working two, well two and a half, jobs, a couple of things I volunteer for, and have even had time to hurt myself (more on this tomorrow). For now, I’ll let you you enjoy a Weekly Roundup. A special Cross Edition!

50K Loop NS: If you’re a regular here, I’m sure you’ve seen the 50K before. Well, Bluenoser got bit by the cross bug last year, and now The Build is on! That’s right, BN’s newest steed has arrived, and is built up for cross. A great story with some cool photos of Bluenosers Trek Cross bike. Have fun and be safe, BN!

Ray’s Racing Adventures: Ray, another great Cleveland blogger and racer, reports on what I am pretty sure was the second cross race of the year in Cleveland. From what Ray has to say is was One Hard Ass Race. I have to admit, from his report, this race sounded fun as hell, but I’m still NEVER doing a cross race again. It looked like the perfect mess of grass, dirt, mud, rain and pain… Just what makes a Cleveland Cross year!

Miles And Madness: Even Judi and Dominic are getting into it and wonderin What The Hell Was I waiting For?. Judi and Dominic got out for the first time on their new toys, and for their first ever cross race. The story is great, but the real treat here is the awesome pictorial. Looks like you guys had fun!

HighwayMunky: Finally, the HighwayMunky IS alive! He’s doing well, wait… Oh Dear!, maybe not?! Just kidding. But the story is great. It’s about a race of sorts that he kinda lost. I won’t say anything else, you have to read it!

Well, that’s all I have for this week. Get the hell out and ride before the snow hits! Phun Cyclist, stay classy Cleveland.

28 September 2009

A New Venture

For those who read regularly, you know I have dropped a few hints about some things to come. One of those things is a new blog that I've created with a very dear friend. Thomas and I have started The Art Of Brew. Right now we are in the final process of getting the site up and running, but we are a mere two weeks out from the bad boy going live.
I will continue to blog here about cycling and most, if not all, of the beer posts will be going to The Art Of Brew. I would love to see all of my regulars that I have grown to become attached to to join me over at The Art Of Brew, and would love to hear your comments.

You can also keep up with what's on tap at The Art Of Brew's Twitter site.

25 September 2009

Cleveland Beer Week

For those f you who are regular readers of the blog you know a few things. One, I like to ride my bike, and had a great chance to finally get out and ride late this week. Two, I am a die hard Clevelander. I've had the opportunity to leave before, and just cannot imagine living anywhere else right now. Finally, three... I LOVE good craft beer and home brewing.

With the later in mind, er the second and third I suppose, if you you want to be more accurate I want to take a minute to push a breakthrough event in Cleveland. October 16th-24th Cleveland will celebrate, for the first time ever, Cleveland Beer Week.clevelandbeerweek.org
Throughout the city events will be going on to promote craft beer and beer culture in Cleveland, Ohio.

Too many companies to mention here, too many venues to mention, too many times to mention... Get the point? If you need info on what events are going on where, you can check out the Cleveland Beer Week Calendar. This is going to be HUGE! Cleveland's own local breweries will be teaming up with national craft brewing companies to promote the craft brew industry and the passion that comes along with it. It will bring in the likes of Greg Koch of Stone Brewing in CA, Jim Cline of Rogue Brewing, Chris Trogner of Troëgs, and many, many more.

Cycling and beer have, for years, gone hand in hand. So break out the fixie, road bike, commuter, whatever and get out to the venues to sample some amazing creations. For more information you can check out Cleveland Beer Week. There you can find out about the Cleveland Beer Week (a not-for-profit, collaborative celebration to raise awareness of and education for the strong American and imported craft brew industry, while promoting patronage at local establishments. Also all proceeds from the Grand Reception, "Brewzilla" on Saturday, October 24th will be donated to the Malone Scholarship Fund which is managed by the Cleveland Scholarship Program.), event info (times, dates, ticket prices, etc), and everything you need to enjoy this monumental Cleveland area event.

24 September 2009

Need To Fix The Mountain Weapon

So ever since I blew the chain off the mountain bike it has never shifted quite right. Mind you, it is coming up on a year now, I think I really should attempt to do something about it, and I have JUST the answer. OK, background. I am broke-ass right now. I have an LBS (Spin Bike Shop) that I L-O-V-E, LOVE! But being broke-ass I can't afford to go in and have it reworked right now. So, I've been riding 'er like she was a single speed. I have it in third up front and sixth in the back and I crush the cranks when I hit a hill. Very seldom do I shift anymore, on the MTB any way. I actually forgot I could shift the thing once or twice.

OK, so on to getting the thing fixed. With not having Spin as an option it hit me like a bolt of lightning. Bicycle Tutor! I saw the sight about a year or so ago, and have almost forgot about it. What is it, you ask? Bicycle Tutor is about do it yourself, simple repairs, on a budget. Everything from how to assemble a bike, to basic tune ups, to repacking bearings, to how to adjust derailleurs! HAHA! Go figure... Just what I need.

The best part? Alex Ramon, a wrench out of various bike shops over the years, has set up the videos for anyone to be able to check them out and do the repairs yourself. Even cooler, Alex made the videos available for download for $1.99 each, or $25 for ALL of them. Not just the 43 that he has available now though, oh no! The 43 that are out now PLUS what ever videos that he adds in the future will also be yours.

Now, I just need to scrounge up $25, down load these bad boys, and I should be well on my way to getting the mountain weapon nailed for some cool fall rides. After all, isn't fall the best time to be on a mtb?

22 September 2009

It's That Time Of Year Again... THEE Time Of Year... Cyclepassion 2010 Calendars Are Out!

Fall is just around the corner, and I know you're looking for something positive with the cold weather coming. I think I've got just the thing for you. I got the info from Anke over at Cyclepassion that the 2010 calendars are out, and was anxious to see what awaited me. So quicker than you could possibly imagine I went to the 2010 Cyclepassion Calendar Order Page to check out the goods.
Once again Anke and the guys over at Cyclepassion hit the mark with a beautiful, classy, well put together work of art.
Ahhhh, to be a sprocket... The photos this year are insanely hot, as always, right?All the photos are of beautiful women in the cycling world...
DAMN! That's where my bar tape went? Ehhh, OK...
Ahhhh, to be a cyclist.
I know what you're thinking... YOU WANT ONE! Serious?! OK, all you need to do is go to the 2010 Cyclepassion Calendar Order Page. From there you can order the 2010 calendar, posters, or even the 2006, 2007, 2008, or 2009 calendars. Heck, you can even get a sweet deal if you order multiple years for the great pictures! For now enjoy the pictures, and check out the Cyclepassion website, until you get yours in the mail.

21 September 2009

More Cool Stuff From Specialized... Sort Of

Hey all. I apologize for taking a freakin' week to get something posted up here. It has been a crazy week full of way too much, nothing good, to get into here. So I stopped at Spin Bike Shop this weekend. As a quick aside, they JUST updated their website with a sweet, very easy to follow website at SpinBikeShop.com> Check it out, they've got info on what they're carrying now, events that are coming up, info on special things coming at the shop, shop rides, sale info & ebay auction info, and much much more. I could easily make an entire post about all the stuff they have going on with their website. OH! As a last note, Spin: Cross Your Heart And Hope To Die Willoughby Cyclocross Spectacular (SCYHAHTDWCS) is coming up October 17th! Check the site for more on that too!

On to the post... So, while I was at Spin I came across a "new" line of bikes that I really found myself getting into. The line is a kind of urban, metro, commuter, hipster line of bikes. The styling is awesome, the colors are subdued and very natural, and the accessories rock. Take, for example, the Live.It comes with a Shimano internal shift hub, standard or disc brakes, and a front rack with a wooden bottom for carrying up to 25k worth of what you need. Models come in $580-$1550.

Need more? How about the Haul?Similar idea as the Live, but this bad boy comes with a rear mount rack that can take 50k, and built in front and rear lights. The light power is generated as you ride, so while they won't throw a ton of light, you're sure to be seen on early and late commutes to and from wherever you need to be. At $660-$1,100 they'll pay for themselves in gas savings.

Less practicality, more hip you say? The Roll is for you!A flat bar, single speed, hipster/messenger style bike. I don't see your local bike messengers sucking these up, but for someone who wants a great single speed starter bike, this bad boy tops out at just over $800! $610-$830 to be exact. This might just have to be the next bike I add, when I get the cash to make it happen.

Two more round out the new line. The Carmel and Vienna are more straight forward
respectively. These are more typical hybrid bikes. Straight forward gearing, with just the basic bells and whistles to get around. Carmel will cost ya between $330-$550 for the base (26" wheels) or the Carmel 700 (700c wheels), and the Vienna goes from $400-$880.

These are still made by Specialized with all of the quality of Specialized, but are being marketed under a new name badge, Globe Bikes. Check 'em out at your local dealer that carries Specialized products. I can't wait to get on one of these and check 'em out. You ridden one yet? Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

14 September 2009

Danny MacAskill - Still Blowing My Mind

So, as you may have read, I used to ride BMX. I was WAY more into dirt and jumps than freestyle, but I always LOVED freestyle, and the freestyle crowed. So you can imagine how blown away I was to see another video collaboration of Danny MacAskill. The kid is INSANE sick! I don't even want to know how he does what he does, though I bet it MIGHT have something to do with selling his soul. Enjoy!




11 September 2009

Never Forget

I'm not usually very serious, or political. At least I'm not on this blog. Those of you who know me on a more personal level know a different side. I did want to say something today though. There are some things in life that, once burned to memory, can never be forgotten. Today, is a sad memory of one of the most horrifying days in US history.
A day to remember what happened to us as a country, and a day to more forward to becoming a better place. Where were you eight years ago this morning?

10 September 2009

Yehuda Moon: Back And Better Than Ever

Yup folks, Yehuda Moon And The Kickstand Cyclery crew are back, and better than ever! After a short hiatus in the woods, Yehuda is back on his Van Sweringen, pounding the pavement, and causing his usual trouble.Yeah, we've all been there, right?

I have a special place in my heart for the strip as Rick Smith, Yehuda's creator, is from Shaker Heights, a suburb of Cleveland, and places a lot of Cleveland based inside info and jokes in the strip. I would like to encourage all to got to Yehuda Moon, check out the strip, and donate if you like it. Rick -puts the strip out, out of love and, hey! Everyone's gotta eat, right? Seriously, Rick puts it out, out of love and the goodness of his heart, so please consider supporting him!

08 September 2009

New Langsters Are Out (Déjà Vu?)

So I still really want to get a single speed/fixie. It's something I've been wanting to do for about a year now. You may remember that last year I posted a blog stating that The New Langsters Are Out. I talked about how I really liked the Langster, but then flipped it and railed on the bike because I thought the '09 designs were pretty lame. Not this year! Now, it's time for the 2010 Langster, and once again Specialized has changed up the lineup of cities they are paying tribute to. I yanked the pictures directly from the Specialized website, and am hoping that they don't sue the crap out of me. Did I mention that every one of the three bikes I've bought in the last two years have been Specialized?

So this year Specialized added three new Langsters to the Quiver; L.A., Moscow, and a steel setup. So I guess I'll start with L.A.
Why start there? It's my least favorite of the three. Before you think I'm being critical, I really do NOT like the white tires. Yeah that's about it. Outside of that, I think it's style is reminiscent of part Independent Fabrication, and part Twin Six. Very cool. I'd ride it, but I'd change the rubber out first.

Next up I'll take on the Moscow. The faux Russian writing, and the star and sickle seem a bit over the top for me, but a very clean design, and pretty nice and classic looking.

Finally, the newest of the Langster lineup isn't a city at all. The newest of the Langster lineup is a Steel Langster!
That's right, boys and girls, a VERY classic looking steel frame and fork set up. This thing reminds me of the Peugeot my dad rode from the late 70's/early 80's. This might be one of the hotter, retro bikes I've seen in a while. I actually saw this on the Specialized website, and just stared. There may be nicer, more expensive models out there, but this is the SS/Fixie I'd drop my cash on.

How much cash? Funny you'd ask. The Steel starts at $440 for the frameset (red and naked steel) $660 fully built, a base Langster is available for $720 (black like my soul), the two city models are $770 and the S-Works frameset version is $990. For more info check out the Specialized Langster Page.

03 September 2009

Riding Is Good

How true it is. I got out on the bike for a very quick ten mile spin, and was amazed how good I felt. I was a little bit out of practice, but I pulled out the mountain toy and hit a series of paved roads, followed by crushed limestone trails, followed by paved roads, followed by crushed limestone trails, follow... Oh, sorry. You get the idea, right? It was a local spin, around the neighborhood, but it was like the first time I had seen parts of it. I wasn't trying to kill it like I used to. I wasn't doing intervals or anything I was just enjoying the time on the bike. Seeing things in the neighborhood that I didn't previously know existed.

I felt the ride a bit more than I would have liked, but I've been stressed and have not been sleeping. I have a feeling that played into it. I realized I hadn't been shifting at all. I would be pedaling along and hit a hill, jump out of the saddle and power through it. I didn't think, I just rode. I looked down at my gearing to see where I was, knowing that I hadn't been up or down shifting. I was in the big ring on the front, and sixth gear in the back (eight ring cassette), which I have to admit I was pretty psyched about.

It's a great feeling. Just you and the road, great sunsets, animals running around, nature all around you. It makes you remember that there are good things in life. It makes you one with those things. It reminds you where your place is. A time to get into your own head and contemplate, and a time to leave that all behind and dump the crap from your head for a brief period in time. Ah yes... Riding IS good.

01 September 2009

Gaining Fitness Takes Time, Losing Fitness... Not So Much

I would pay to find out the answer to the following: Why is it so #@&$ing hard, and time consuming to gain fitness, but losing fitness can happen, seemingly, overnight? Seriously? I can't be the only person to notice this. I worked like hell to get into something resembling fit. In about four months of working two jobs, having to stay home with the kids while the wife is at work/school, etc, etc, and not having the time to be as on top of the working out it has all but gone to pot.

I'm not going to say that I am a slob fat-ass like I was before, but I was nearing the lean stage heading toward cut. Now I am in the not lean stage, heading away from cut. I haven't gotten "fat" yet, I just have noticed a loss in muscle and a gain in fat for a zero net gain/loss. The problem, if you know the whole fat/muscle gig, is that muscle weighs about twice that of fat. So for me staying around the 180 mark, I am getting a bit more squishy at 180 than I was just this past March.

Not to mention, having been off the bike for about a month, I can't get over how quickly you get cooked. I did a ten or so run, before I lost sunlight, and I felt every hill that I climbed. I think part of it goes along with the loss of fitness. So, bottom line is I think we need to have another Lean Look Challenge or something. Would anyone else be in? I'd like to see a minimum of three to five people, nothing crazy, just keep people accountable, and I'll work on a prize for the winner.

Drop me a line, or hit me up in comments if you're interested.

31 August 2009

Hincapie Takes The Win At USA Pro Championship in Greenville, SC

After narrowly being beaten out of a first place finish in Stage 20 at the 2009 Tour de France George Hincapie shows everyone how it's done with a win over the weekend at the USA Cycling Pro Championship in Greenville, South Carolina. Hincapie won this, his third, title for Team Columbia-HTC after

Hincapie was part of an eight man breakaway, that became a three man break away that formed late in the race. Andrew Bajadali came in second to Hincapie with Jeff Louder, Brent Bookwalter, and Matthew Busche rounding out the top five.

A lot of good was done too, with Greenville Hospital System and USA Cycling Professional Championships hosting a ride Sunday with benefits going to the The Lance Armstrong Foundation and the Greenville Hospital Oncology Research Institute. $120,000 was raised and presented after the pro race.

27 August 2009

Weekly Roundup August 27, 2009

You’ve been reading, so you know that things are not going the way I had planned on life going. However, have you ever noticed that things always happen to put things in perspective. I could seriously bitch about how things are going, how my job is in the can right now, etc, etc, etc… But the bottom line is this. We have to count our blessings, rather than dwell on the negative. So, while I count you enjoy a Weekly Roundup.

Cyclone Cross: Gary is back at it with the Cyclone Cross blog. Right now [He] Need[s] Your Help! A good friend of his is riding the inaugural Pelotonia and in need of donations for the ride to help fight cancer. I am passionate as hell about the fight against cancer, and this stays local to Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute. You can find out more about the cause, and the young lady riding the event. OH! Bonus: Gary has agreed to match the single largest donation, up to $1000! Way to go Gary, you’re a class act!

Ray’s Racing Adventures: Ray, another great Cleveland blogger, has a Repost About Climbing Area Hills. Admittedly this is far more relevant if you live in the Cleveland area, but the advice is universal. A great way to keep yourself going in your summer fitness mode, and to get stronger on the hills.

Let’s Rock…: I feel like I’ve dropped the ball on the great blog that is Let’s Rock…. Further, Lisa has hit a point that is SO relevant in my life right now that I couldn’t resist. You see, she has started making her To Do list. It reminds me very much of mine, minus about 5,500 things. Heh heh, I love catching up with Let’s Rock…!

Fat Cyclist: Finally, Fat Cyclist has had a great week so far. Touching on the 2010 Fat Cyclist Jerseys (And Much More) On Pre-Order Now!, to his 2009 LiveStrong Philadelphia Report: Day 1 and 2009 LiveStrong Philadelphia Report: Day 2. These are all great stories, and are making me extremely bummed that I had to can the Philly trip. Fight Like Susan!

Well, that’s all I have for this week. Get the hell outside and ride while it’s still nice! Phun Cyclist, out like Seacrest.

26 August 2009

A Novel Idea, In My Humble Opinion

With all of the freaking money that the government is throwing around lately, $3 trillion here another $3 trillion there $4 trillion for this that and the other, I think I may have come up with a novel idea to save a metric crap ton of money, and make the world a better place to live. Why hasn't the government started to funnel money into people buying bikes?

Seriously, let's think about this. Everyone is so strung out on the whole green thing. Doesn't get much greener than a bike, does it? There is a big push for better eating habits and more exercise, check and check! You get the exercise, you're bound to start living healthier all the way around. Fewer traffic problems, do I seriously need to even address this one? Fewer cars = less congestion. I can go on and on, but I think you get where I am going right?

So... I ask again, why isn't the government funneling money into people buying bikes?

24 August 2009

The Winds Of Change

There comes a time in everyones life where change is inevitable. Sometimes you crave it, sometimes you loathe it, sometimes it happens and there is indifference, but regardless of how it happens or the outcome it is inevitable. This blog has had a bit of change in the last six months or so. Some have liked it, some haven't, but it was inevitable. Change in my life reflected in my blog. The change you've seen will be continued in a new blog in the future, more to follow on that soon, but I don't plan on letting Cycling Phun go anywhere, not just yet anyway. I am, however, curious who is still out there reading. I see the hits and such, and have my ideas of who is reading, but I don't know for sure.

Another change is healthfulness. Where I work there is a young lady in an attached office that works out religiously in a shared common warehouse. I have not been following my regimen. I've realized that my lethargic nature lately is, likely, due in large part to my lack of exercise, and the lack of time for getting a serious ride in. I'm in the process of revamping my life to better allow for that again as well. It's been tough to man up and make time with changes in work schedules, giving up the YMCA membership to save money, etc, etc, etc, but I am realizing I need to man up and make it happen again.

The weekend was melancholy to say the least, but that changes this week. No more excuses, make the time, get it done. That's how it's going to have to be. Changes that may put off some people in my life, but this time it's about me. It's for the best, for my benefit, for the benefit of my family. Selfish, maybe. Necessary, definitely. What will I ask of you? Hang in there, keep reading, keep me accountable, and do something for your self while you're at it.

21 August 2009

A Message To Team Fat Cyclist Philly

Hey all! Sorry the posts have been sparse, but things have been CRAZY around here. I'll explain more about that next week, but for now I wanted to send some love to Fatty and the rest of Team Fatty Philly. As you've read I regretfully will not be making it out to Philadelphia for the Livestrong Challenge, but I wanted you to know that I am thinking about you guys and praying for a happy and safe Livestrong Challenge for all of you.

Some facts: Philly is now at 197 registered members raising a total of $267,150.66! That means that so far Philly raised more than second place Seattle at (112 members) $151,473.40, Austin at (162 members) $128,282.37 (still two months to go here, though), and San Jose (81 members) $69,440.90. Now the even more awesome news there is Elden (Fatty) and the rest of the team, all 552 members (holy cow!) have raised $616,347.33 to date. Double freakin' holy cow!!

Elden you have TOTALLY rocked the house with Team Fat Cyclist, you totally rule! I continue to pray for you and your family and wish all of the best for you. Same goes for everyone riding in Philly. Payers & Blessings to you all, and God speed!

Finally, Elden, can't wait to see the 2010 Fat Cyclist Gear! I'm still hoping this year will mean Fat Cyclist fishnet half shirts in bright pink!

19 August 2009

When Life Gets In The Way

This post is going to suck. It's going to suck for so many reasons. I hate to be typing the words, I hate everything about it. I feel pain, disgust, rage, shame, and so much more. For those of you who don't know, I signed up for the LiveStrong Challenge to do it for my dad. I went into it full bore, I trained throughout the winter, I made it a part of me.

Since the time I signed on for that, I lost a handful of things in my life that played with my head. Among them were an untimely loss of a family member, and my grand mother, and a good deal of pay. It's amazing how much the US economy will take a crap on a position within a company that specializes in HR. The fact that I have not received a paycheck this year is actually a positve note when you look at the fact that I still have a job, and health benefits, etc.

With all of that said, I need to have work done to my car to make it safely drivable, I need money to get to Philly, stay in Philly, eat in Philly and still feed my family. the bottom line is this: Philly is totally out of the books. The LiveStrong Challenge is out for this boy. I cannot begin to express how I feel right now. I feel as though I let those of you who donated, myself, Fatty, and most of all my father down.

Thank you to those of you who donated to Lance Armstrong Foundation. I am so sorry if you feel let down by my not riding in the Challenge this year, and hope you might understand the predicament I am facing. If there is any redeeming quality to this story, you have helped a lot of people who are suffering through a horrible time, and have helped a great cause. Thank you. On behalf of myself, as I am sure on behalf of Team Fat Cyclist, and the memory of my father.

17 August 2009

Lance Takes Leadville

In what can only be described as a thumping, Lance Armstrong beat six-time Leadville winner Dave Wiens. Not only did Lance win, he crushed the course record by better than fifteen minutes... On a flat for roughly the last ten miles of the race. The final results of Leadville shape up like this:
2009 Leadville 100 MTB Race results:
1. Lance Armstrong 06:28:51
2. Dave Wiens 06:57:02
3. Matt Shriver 07:09:48
4. Alex Grant 08:10:54
5. Len Zanni 07:11:21
6. Max Taam 07:16:56
7. Travis Brown 07:22:05
8. Manuel Prado 07:35:27
9. Mike Hogan 07:35:35
10. Jason Tullous 07:35:47
I guess if you have to lose a race, Lance is the guy you want to lose it to, no?

On a sad note, Fatty Crashed Out for his first DNF ever. By the looks of things, it seems like he's lucky to be alive. Here's hoping you feel better soon, Fatty!

14 August 2009

Never Doubt Thomas

I've noticed, by tracking readership, that I have a lot of readers in and around the Greater Cleveland area. Also, it's been a couple of weeks since I had a beer review. for these two reasons I wanted to do a beer review. Not just any beer review, you see, but a review of a local beer from a local brewery. If you live in, or around, the Cleveland area odds are you've tried Willoughby Brewing Company. If you haven't tried them in a while, let me recommend that you get out there and try them ASAP. Their food has always been great, but with a recent change in Head Brewer and the addition of a new Assistant Brewer their beers have improved exponentially.

The beers have gone from, like, six mediocre standbys to about eight beers, about half of which are constantly changing. Beers like Peanut Butter Cup Porter, Mad Cow Milk Stout, Norther Trail Nut Brown, and too many more to mention. The brew I am reviewing today is a beer that, as the story goes, is the recipe and namesake of the Assistant Brewer, Thomas. The beer is an amazing, bold, Imperial IPA, that is marvelously balanced. It is so well balanced, in fact, that even if you're not a hop head you're sure to love it. As I sipped my snifter (the only beer Willoughby Brewing serves in a snifter right now, due to ABV) of nectar, I looked around the room and noticed that at least one person at nearly every table in the bar, likewise, had a snifter in their hands. Not a bad showing for a first time beer.

Well, without further adieu, Doubting Thomas Double IPA.
APPEARANCE: A bright copper colored brew, bordering on a dark rusty orange. A small yellow to slightly greenish/yellow head off the tap that dissipated quickly leaving a nice amount of lacing on the glass.

AROMA: First and foremost is grapefruit or grapefruit rind, a strong hop presence.

FLAVOR: My first reaction ruby red grapefruit, a slight grapefruit rind, definitely citrus. There is a slight malt character hidden in there, but this really showcases the hops.

PALATE: A full bodied beer with an amazingly smooth and extremely clean taste. It’s almost a touch sweet, like ruby red grapefruit would be, with a lightly crisp, dare I say a hint dry, finish. For the ABV the alcohol heat is well hidden, borderline non-existent. For all of the hops in this beer, twenty pounds for ten barrels if I remember, it’s extremely well balanced and doesn’t blow you pallet out.

NOTES: I could session this beer all summer if it weren’t for the extremely well hidden 8.0% ABV. There is seriously nearly no alcohol heat, and the little that I picked up was only after the beer started to warm up a bit. Even then, the heat was well hidden which was enjoyable for a “big beer”. It is tapped a little on the light side of carbonation, I think, which enhanced the flavor in my opinion. Just a touch of sweetness, lots of citrus flavor, and extremely clean.
By the way, these guys pour sick pints! This is the Mad Cow Milk Stout-On Nitro-but check out how full it is! Have a great weekend, get in a ride, and grab a cold one. If you're in Northeast Ohio, head out to Willoughby and try a Doubting Thomas for yourself.

13 August 2009

Performance Beats Fixie Anytime (Eat Your Heart Out BSNYC)

This might be the funniest sh__ ever. I had one of "those days" and needed something to bring me some joy, this has done that. There are so many things that could be said for this, just watch and you'll get it.


12 August 2009

The Joys Of Trying Something New

The weekend was crazy. It was busy, I was sick, wife had to work, I had work to do, but I did have time for some new experiences. I knew right away that there was no way I was going to ride. I was sick, Saturday was cold and rainy, Sunday was 90º+ with about 90% humidity it was just a bad weekend. So I did what, I think, anyone would do. I cooked.

Crazy stuff first... Saturday was chilly outside, and it was still cool to have the windows open. Actually, almost a bit chilly to have them open, but I digress. So, I had no problem cranking the oven up and making some homemade pizza. Pepperoni, Mushroom Onion, Pepperoni Mushroom Onion, Pepperoni Olive, Olive Mushroom Onion, the combinations were crazy. I did them in thirds and made a few. Good times, great pizza, a few beers, and a happy wife.

I knew it was going to be 90º+ on Sunday, so I decided I needed to make a food appropriate for the weather. Chili! That's right, a huge Crock-Pot of chili. OH! With Habeñero Hot Sauce. Yup, nothing says better food for a hot day like chili! Funny thing about it, we weren't having dinner at home. We were grilling out with some friends, and having the most amazing chicken marinaded with Sioux Z Wow. If you have never had Sioux Z, you need to find this stuff. I would whore myself out doing anything for about five gallons of the stuff. I think I might be willing to do shots of this stuff.

Finally the highlight to my weekend. I, for the first time in the history of Don, made jelly! Not just any jelly, no way, Jalapenño Jelly! If you've never had Jalapeño Jelly, I don't even know where to start. It's a divine combination of subtle heat, and sweet pepper goodness. Simple; sugar, cider vinegar, jalapeños, pectin, and about an hour of work. The taste is pure heaven on a good cracker, and is made only more complex and delicious atop a small cracker with a light spread of cream cheese.
All in all I'd call it a pretty good weekend.

11 August 2009

This Just In: Sahquille O'Neal Must Be INSANE

First, sorry for the missed post on Monday, it's been a crazy weekend. Saturday was the eleventh anniversary of my marriage to the most amazing woman on earth! So we celebrated with dinner (which turned out disastrous, but still fun). I then took Saturday off to get sick. Sunday was craziness early on, and dinner with friends at night and working on a bit of a side project (which will come to light eventually). All wrapping up today (Monday) with me taking a sick day, yeah still sick, and spending the day with my wife for her birthday. Hope all y'all understand.

Well if you haven't heard already, or are a bit behind the times when it comes to technologies like Twitter, Facebook and the like, let me be the first to tell you. Shaquille O'Neal has officially gone way off the deep end! Shaq apparently Tweeted "I challenge u to a race any time any place, it's time someone challenged u" to Lance Armstrong. Since that time Lance, and his crew at Mellow Johnny's, have been bagging on Shaq. With Tweets like (Lance) "Hey @the_real_shaq, you don't want none of this...", and (Mellow Johnny's) "We ordered a bolt of lycra for Shaq RT @lancearmstrong: Hey @the_real_shaq, you don't want none of this.." This is just great! I would love to see Shaq race Lance.

On a side note: I hope Shaq can do something in Cleveland this year. Seems like a 'great idea'. Sign the guy on the way out of his prime. Only time will tell, and Lebron can't do it all on his own.

07 August 2009

Fatty: "Fight Like Susan"

After losing my father to cancer 16 years ago now, I can tell you this much; knowing something is inevitable doesn't make it easier to accept. This was the first thing that came to mind after reading the news from Elden today.
Susan died tonight (August 5) at 7:25pm. It was a hard, long day, and Susan fought right to the end, for much longer than anyone would have thought she could.
I was away from the computer for a bit, and didn't get a chance to see it until dinnertime today. I just wanted to take a minute to thank Elden for the community he has brought together, and for all of the amazing things Susan, Elden and their family have done. If you read his blog, you know they have opened their lives and hearts to every reader. Because of that the legacy that Susan now leaves in the caring hands of Elden will shine brilliant for an eternity. The good that they have done to fight this wretched disease will long go on to help countless people "FIGHT LIKE SUSAN" as Elden points out. You can read more at Fat Cyclist, and at Fatty's post, Don't Say She Lost.

She didn't Fatty! The prayers and thoughts of myself, and my family are with you and your family at this time of horrendous loss. May God's healing hands bless and comfort you.

06 August 2009

Weekly Roundup August 6, 2009

I’ll be totally honest with you hear. Deadlines at work 1 are approaching quickly, and things aren’t as peachy as were hoped. Work 2 is still looming, but there is money to be had. Work 3 has been put on hold, indefinitely. Oh, and there is side project which has gone previously unmentioned, and will remain that way. With all of that said, I have no time to breathe, much less do anything of consequence right now. However, I do want to give you a Weekly Roundup.

Harp Rider: Harp will get us started by pointing out the fact that It’s Always Something. I know, seems that way, don’t it?! It does bring to light an interesting point that I was pondering a week ago today, while on a ride with Rich. I hit a “Ball Buster” of a pothole due to a passing car, and thought to myself, “Self: How the hell does a carbon fork not give under such circumstances?” If I had to guess Ron might have an answer.

Cozy Beehive: Ron might usually have the answer, but not this week. This week he touched on another subject from last Thursday’s ride, The Rate Of Climbing Uphill Explained. I have to admit to getting 2/3 of the way through this before bailing on it. It was hugely fascinating and very informative, as all of Ron’s posts are, but (1) I was drinking and had no patience, and (2) I HATE math. I do, however recommend the read, as it is super cool. OK, and to not be a total tool I’ll go back and reread it too!

Miles And Madness: I’ve really been getting into Judi’s posts on her training for Iron Man. This week she points out that You Might Be Training For Iron Man When… Seriously, I had to put it up just because she looks slightly awkwardly uncomfortable in the picture. But her wit and humor come through in her go to list of things that might give away that you are, indeed, training for Iron Man. I won’t give any away, you have to check it out yourself!

Fat Cyclist: Finally, I don’t know how the hell Fatty does it, but there is another raffle going on. This time? This time it’s Fight Cancer, Win An Orbea Orca With Shimano Di2 Build. Seriously, a $9600 PRO bike for raising money to fight cancer. God bless the fat man! Check it out, do something good, maybe win a dream bike!

Well, that’s all I have for this week. Get the heck out and ride before summer is over! Phun Cyclist, out like Seacrest.

04 August 2009

A Quick Apology & Getting Totally Spoiled Again

For those of you who don't know, I have been all sorts of crazy busy lately. I've been pulling a few jobs to make money, and the wife took a second shift to make money. This has seriously cut into my time for things like, but not limited to:
- working out
- riding (virtually at all)
- caring
- exercise in general
- getting my bathroom finished
- trying to NOT be a complete tool
- sleeping
Needless to say I have been a sheer joy to deal with. References are available upon request, but include my wife, family, co-workers, the other co-workers, friends (especially ones who have seen me after a couple of drinks), and generally anyone who has "gotten in my way". Yeah. I've pretty much been a raging ass! Please consider this my public apology, and please allow for our friendship/relationship to continue. Thank you in advanced for your understanding.

Now that I got that out of the way, I feel totally spoiled again. I mentioned before that my wife took one for the team and got a second shift position to pull in some cash. That is, I guess a half truth at this point. You see she did, and up until very recently was working at least five days a week second shift. This was admittedly screwing both of our schedules, and lives, up a ton! I do, however, have to profess my undying love to her for this, as she is amazingly understanding and supportive. She left the second shift position for a much cooler, more appropriate (for her background) first shift position. This is wicked cool as it has changed her outlook, and given me a bit more free-time in the slight lag between job one and job two.

One of the things this has helped greatly is my riding. in the last week, I got to ride four whole times!! I think that's the more than I've ridden all summer combined! OK, that's an exaggeration, but you get my point. I got out on some crushed limestone trails, and felt great! I did do something I swore I never would, though, I wore an iPod. I had my right earbud in and left one out to hear people and such, and it worked well. It kept me motivated, and I honestly don't remember a time that I wasn't turning cranks on the whole ride. I just thought about the music and keeping track of my surroundings, and kept turning. It was almost religious. I feel so amazing, and so spoiled. Downfall: I'm sure it will all end soon when my wife goes back to work. Oh well, in case it does I will enjoy it while I can. It was an awesome ride, on a gorgeous Cleveland day...Did I mention almost religious?

03 August 2009

Finally An Opportunity To Ride

After many weeks of having to put off a ride, I finally got in a serious ride. It wasn't crazy long, or anything, but it was so much fun and very much needed. This is how it goes. Thursday I finally had the opportunity to ride into work. No rain, decent weather, fog-but who cares. I took the ten mile ride in about a half hour, at an average of seventeen miles per hour. It felt so good to get out, and turn cranks to work. The entire day was a pleasure for me. It's amazing how the simplest of days can effect your mood for the day. All the little crap that usually pisses me off? Nothing. Simply nothing could ruin my afternoon.

So, 5:00 p.m. rolls around. I shut down the system, grab all the clothing, change, and am ready to head out the door. I warmed up my legs walking and riding, and at 5:30 out the door for a ride. We didn't do anything crazy, but 5:30 was a bit late of a start. We got in twenty-five miles, at about sixteen miles per hour. I wouldn't say we went crazy hammering, but it seemed like a good pace, and we were able to get a good ride in and chat a bit, catch up on how life is going. Got back and was able to catch a beer, and finish catching up. All in all it was a great day.

I did pay attention to a few things, and think I might be on to something. I was having an issue pacing my buddy Rich. I was riding pretty hard and in my 17th gear on an incline. I looked down at his back wheel, and saw he was geared about four or five up on his back rings. This is not the first time someone has said something about my choice of gears. I think I might ride in to high of a gear for too long. I think I need to find a good cadence and worry less about the chain ring I am in.

I was busy working all weekend, didn't get to ride. I am going to pay closer attention to what my gear choices are going forward, though, and see if that make a difference. Like I said, it's not the first time I noticed this. I also noticed that while climbing hills on dirt if I go too low, I spin the back wheel. Any one have any advice on gear ratio? Hope you guys got a killer ride in this weekend!

31 July 2009

Beer Review : Stone 13th Anniversary


Just got back from a ride, and I'm feeling the fact that I have been putting off the riding and working out in lieu of work. I mean, I have to do what I have to do but I haven't exactly been going out of my way to make time to ride or work out. I have been getting better about the core exercise, so I guess that's a start, but I could be doing more.

With that in mind, because it's a weekend, and because I just had an amazing beer, I will give you a beer review for the weekend. This weekend, another Stone. I feel like I've done a bunch of Stone Brewing beers, but I also think that they are very much warranted. The guys over at Stone Brewing are putting out some beers that are just blowing my freaking mind! The latest of them is Stone 13th Anniversary Ale. This is the latest in their Anniversary line, they put out one every year, and when they're gone, they're gone. This year they did a monstrous Imperial/Double Red Ale unlike any other. To start off, they used four pounds of hops per barrel in brewing this big boy, and it shows. In classic Stone fashion it's available in limited tap and across the country in 22oz bottles, which is how I had it. Let me tell you, at 9.5% you need to be ready for this beer. Check out my notes, then go to your local beverage shop, that sells craft brews, and buy one for yourself.
APPEARANCE: A dark beautiful ruby red color that borders on a rusty red. A thick, two finger tan head, that dissipates into a beautiful lacing that hugs the side of the glass gently sliding down with each drink.

AROMA: From the second you pop the cap, you smell the hops in this big Imperial Double Red Ale. The first note is a very heavy citrus, nay grapefruit, scent. I am guessing this is from the Chinook Hops in the brew, but it could also be the Centennial that are used in the dry hopping. There is also just a hint of pine in there. The beer has a smell that can only be described as resiny, (forgive me) ‘dank’ and beautiful.

FLAVOR: BIG! This beer is all about the hops, and has just a touch of an alcohol heat. The first thing I notice is the wonderful hoppy grapefruit/grapefruit rind flavor of the hops come through. There is slightest malt finish to it that is, in my mind, almost as if it were an afterthought.

PALATE: There is no doubt that this is a full-bodied beer, and definitely not for the beginner, or those into ‘fizzy yellow beers’ as Stone would say. There is a good deal of carbonation to it, which I noticed from the pour, but it is not overly carbonated. It has a slight but very noticeable heat to it, which isn’t surprising to me at 9.5%. The heat does seem to become more noticeable the further I get into the second half of the bottle, and the closer it gets to room temperature.

NOTES: I am a total hop-head. A freak for the beautiful bitterness that can only come from Humulus lupulus, the hop plant. This definitely delivers. For this special release, Stone hopped the brew at four pounds of hops per barrel, more hops per barrel than any other beer they’ve produced. As mentioned it is a big 9.5%, which you can feel. I was getting a warmth from this beer half way through the 22 oz. bottle. It is available as a limited release in 22oz. bottles, and (very) limited tap. I would love to find this on tap somewhere just for the comparison. The 13th Anniversary Ale was released 06/29/2009, and is available while supplies last, so you have to get it when you see it. I was going to buy a few to cellar, but wrote Stone after seeing a note on the label, “Do not cellar. Enjoy in 2009.” When I received word back from Stone, this is apparently because the flavor profile cannot be guaranteed to last. They did not say it, but I am willing to throw out the guess that it is due to the amount of hops they are using in the beer, and the fact that the hop character is bound to mellow over time. All this said, I will be sad when I get the last drink of the final bottle of Stone 13th Anniversary. This was yet another great brew from the guys at Stone.

Well, that's it for now. Fair warning, if you're into the beer thing, I will be going to the Stan Hywet Blues & Brews tasting next Saturday August 8, from 2:00-6:00 pm. So come Monday the 10th, I will be writing a review of the event, and likely have some fresh beer reviews in the near future. Have a great weekend, and CHEERS!

30 July 2009

Weekly Roundup July 30, 2009

I had a meeting that went late after work on Tuesday, and generally write the posts the day before. Example, right now it’s Wednesday night and I’m writing the Thursday post. That’s how they go live at midnight every night. So, you can, kind of, gauge how busy I’ve been by when I miss a post. Just a weird bit of insight into the life of the guy known as “Phun”. Also, I am debating what to do. I have a GREAT beer review that I’m dying to get up, but I am riding to work, and then doing a ride after. So, Friday will be a surprise to you, and I may (pretty likely) have a Saturday post as well. Thank you all once again this week for stopping in and reading! It was fun to keep track of the Tour de France, even though some of the posts were a bit short, and I have been able to have some good discussion regarding the tour with both some readers, and some of my friends. With that in mind, I want to give you a Weekly Roundup.

Travels With A Tin Donkey: Speaking of the TdF, Sprocketboy shares a throwback to the Tour with a look at a real “weapon”, Fabian’s Time Trial Frame: The Shiv. It never ceases to amaze me how absolutely sick the new technology is getting. Seeing this Specialized frame reminds me why I am such a fan of Specialized. I have bought a few bikes in the last couple years, all of the Specialized, and for reasons like this SICK piece of weaponry.

50K Loop NS: I’m just going to throw out the suggestion that Bluenoser should change the name of his blog, right now, to “One Sick Sh__”. Hahaha, I’m only kidding BN. You see, he has set his mind to do the insane, and insanely cool, but it has him (and the rest of his readers I’m sure) asking What The Fork?. I’m going to hold back from getting too into it, as to not ruin the story. The bottom line is (1) EPIC freaking riding to take place, (2) Life changing events to occur, and (3) I am jealous. Best wishes to you , BN, keep us updated!

Miles And Madness: Ah yes, it is that time of year again. A time for everyone to start their training for the big races, and to start thinking about Iron Man races and Judi is no exception. Judi got out and took aPeak At Iron Man Louisville. Apparently the acupuncture that she has been undergoing has done wonders too! The crazy back pain that she was feeling? Gone! Just further proof that between acupuncture and (My favorite) chiropractic, holistic medicine is the way to go, and the wave of the future.

Competitive Cycling Groover, out in Oz, is also getting her training on, and she brings up a great point, Alberto Makes It Look SO Easy! I couldn’t agree more. I have a ride home from work that is a mere ten miles. It is ten miles long, but ends with (about) miles six through nine in 400 feet of climbing +/- and the hills are about 5-10% grades if I take one route, and 19% if I take the other route. This is assuming the calculator I was using holds true and map my ride are correct. Admittedly, I take the first. Regardless, the hills in my hood are pretty constant, and it leaves me feeling like a failure, after seeing the guys on the TdF looking like they’re going out for a Sunday ride. Great read, Groover, keep up the good work, and I’ll keep banging out the hills till I can clear ‘em like the pros.

Fat Cyclist: Finally, I wanted to drop a line to Elden and the Fat Cyclist community. Things have been rough for Fatty’s (Elden) wife Susan, and he’s been keeping the “extended family” of blog readers updated on how she has been doing. According to Elden, Susan is in an ugly place with her fight with cancer. Please, go check out his blog, and leave Elden, Susan, and family a word of encouragement in the comments section. Then get over to his Lance Armstrong Foundation page and donate to LAF. It’s linked in the sidebar of his blog. As always, sending Love and Prayers from Cleveland!

Well, that’s all I have for this week. Today, I ride in to work, so psyched! Remember to be thankful for all you have, and say a prayer for those struggling right now. Phun Cyclist, out.