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.