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!