Sunday, April 26, 2009

Through Hale and Back

dmroth photo from Noho
Cross season started today. How is that possible? It is April and it was like 90 degrees out. Cross season pretty much never stops for me but the actually partaking of cross like activities remains dormant until at least July....not this year. Shaving my legs for Battenkill flipped a switch in my psyche that was impossible to contain. I pulled the Rock Lobster out of the basement still covered in grime from the Forest of Lowellenberg. Replaced the totally demolished kool stop pads, sprayed Beo-shield on all the squeeky bits, inflated the worn down michelin muds and rolled out. 
Did I mention it was 90 degrees out and it was April? Did I mention my legs were still a total disaster still from BK? Hale reservation called me. Come play in the woods...Off I went. Pretty clean mount, no stutter step, click clack bam. Hands just land on the hoods with total muscle memory...incredible how well the Rock Lobster fits me its like a part of me at this point.
Had an awesome ride just rolling through the woods trying to get my ninja skillz back...not even close by the way. And Hale will kill you if you aren't on top of your game. Found two incredible ponds and did full speed beach sand pit transitions...just floating through the sand and then out back onto trail! 

Bike made many a protest. Clearly need to bust it down to a frame and lube everything. Probably need a new bb and who know's what else. But what a day for riding. I am sun burnt, all scratched up like I've been in a catfight but I survived and now have the route dialed for a 2-hr to Hale and back ride that is going to be my bread and butter for the next two months. Running will start as soon as I can actually feel my legs...And the creme de le creme I registered for this That is going to be crazy!

Monday, April 20, 2009

More BK picks

Is there ever too much embro? Kind of shocked my teammates with a little gnarly embro burn...I was hoping for the best but getting a bit panic-y until the sunburn-like embro just worked itself out into a full on PRO embro-sheen
So yeah we are going to go up the road and then we are going to rip their legs off...Really? Really.
Hup Hup Hup. Dave all chill before the storm
Big Tom putting out the P.O.W.E.R.
What a weekend. Still buzzing from it. I have a really good feeling about next cross season....and beyond.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


You know its a Hup type of race when the race plates are Belgian bleu
All the signs where there for a big day on the road for some Hup horse power

It hurt sooo bad but it was such sweet suffering, especially knowing Tom was up the road in groupo selecto! My god why am I smiling? Do I actually enjoy suffering? maybe....

Orders from the D.S. Counting down the dirt sectors and feeds became a mantra to deal with the horrific pain being inflicted upon my legs

What a weekend. Still need to hear how it went for the 4s and our A masters. Our bad news bears 5s did some damage. Big Tom put in an incredible ride for a 5th place against some guys who were no more 5s than I don't know what. When you have $3,000 deep section Edge carbon wheels you are no longer a 5 period. Ronnie got 5th in the under 35+ with no help from us. God I wish he was over 35+ if it was Tom, Ronnie and Markie Mark it would have been a Hup 1,2,3 for sure. Mark took 13th!
Meg and Kerry were awesome as usual. Meg had a great ride and was still fresh enough to make it up the 12% grade to the Hup Haus HQ. I no more could have faced riding my bike back to the house after the race. I would have cried...We even drove past her on the highway...Broke my heart but we were packed full to the gills with bikers and bikes. I tried to drop off the team as fast as I could and roll back down the hill to get her but she was so fresh she was 1/2 way up it before I got to her! Amazing.
Dave and Jeff and Lo were awesome. I hope the 4s were ok. I missed seeing Yash. I so hope he had a good ride. Eli, Mike and Alia were the best hosts evah! It was great seeing Jimbo and his wife, Mike S (get that torch ready brother!), Stephen J and the whole crew. Hup hup...
Quick top ten BK thoughts/lessons learnt
  1. Conti 4-season 25s are the tire for this! No flats, no problems even when the dogs of Hell rolled through us like the end of days.
  2. Pro woman have skills that you just can't even begin to understand until you ride with them
  3. Thanks to all who talked me down leading up to this
  4. Bigger gears for next year...12-27 would have been less soul crushing
  5. Embro burns baby!!!
  6. Never draft another category even if they pass you and then slow down in front of you almost as if they wanted to help you get to the line before falling off your bike with cramps
  7. God bless the Duvel rider from Springfield. Seriously I never would have survived without his work. He was like a Angel sent from Asgard to keep me upright and in one piece
  8. Steel is real, real nice on a crazy hardman and woman ride and my Sycip flat out rocks
  9. Battenkill is the most beautiful event in existence
  10. My teamates are the best!

We had an incredible weekend. True team building. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Living Colour Contest ie., I need to live with the color I pick!

Spec is done on the Sola build! It looks fantastic on paper and I can't wait to see Mike S work his magic flame! Now its color. I am a headcase as usual but what is new. So here are three that I like, obviously I am not buying a sola, a V II and a Axiom race. I am a man of leisure but do not come from old or new money if you know what I mean...the boys at Seven will be wanting answers any day now....

Zac's Sycip Cross bike-gorgeous and has the belgian flag pinstripping!

The Hup blocks are Hott add a little Mapei targets and the Lion will be roaring
Dark blue/Hup blue with white accents...Sporty and classy.

The Godfathers Hup Noir V II is flat out gorgeous!
Black and white race-A solid badass scheme. Only down side is will I get bored with it. 
Perhaps with a few Noir tweaks it could be a winner

Vote early and often as I am clearly incapable of making any decisions on my own. A random bit of swag will be awarded to one lucky do have to vote to be eligible for this prize drawing. Could be anything: An old FMB tubular, maybe some Mad Alchemy embro, or a crappy old pair of shoe covers that don't fit me anymore

Monday, April 13, 2009


Segmented wishbone rear triangle topped with pennies
Brass 10th anniversary Sycip headbadge
Brand new xt cranks
Handbuilt Sycip goodness made in Sonoma, California by 
a true mastercraftsman out of reynolds 853 steel 

Time to swap West coast handbuilt steel love for some East Coast bling....definitely mid-life crisis time. But it could be worse, better to lose it with boutique bikes than Porshes and clubbing right?

So the trusty Sycip is up for sale. This bike has seen a lifetime of riding and is still awesome. Jeremy has a certain mojo that can't really be described as he is such a cool guy and artist. The frame is about 8 years old but in great shape. It has some newer parts and has been adjusted from the Bomber fireroad descender to a bit of a woodsy bike. How did I ever ride with a 130 stem? Swoopy fireroads I guess. A much more east coast 105 has recently been added and she handles like a dream now!

Ok so the low down;

24 lbs of Handbuilt 853 reynolds frame, all the cool Sycip signature bits ie., segmented wishbone rear end with pennies on the caps, 10th anniversary headbadge

Tt effective: 22 3/4"
St: C-C=15" C-T 17"
Cs: 16 3/4"
Bb ht: 11 3/4"
Ht: 4"

The Good;

Brand new Xt cranks, bb, cogsett, chain -put on for 24 hrs of Great Glen last summer
Brand new easton monkey lite riser bar and 105 bontrager stem, new grips
rebuilt wheels. Classic King hubs (original to bike but serviced and in great shape) with newly built Mavic 32 hole X 717 ceramic wheels

The Old but in good shape
Thomson post, king headset, xtr shifters, derailluers, v-brakes, flite saddle, all circa 2000 shifters are triggers.

The Fork
Fox F80RLT-Good solid fork with lockout. 3 years old

So Hup and FoHu price: $700 or best offer...I'll probably post it up on ebay in a few weeks, maybe the NE cross board. Love the bike but need to clear out some room for the new weapon...

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Picking Cavendish for P-R

No hiding my adulation of Cavs at this point. Not at a man-crush perse but pretty much ready to carve out a good spot in my bike room for a shrine to all things Mark Cavendish. So many things would have to go his way for him to win Paris-Roubaix but it just feels right. He is tough as nails and has to have the confidence right now. The biggest emotional hurdle has to be George Hincapie. For all the bad rap he gets for being cocky Cavendish actually seems like a very loyal teammate and if Hincapie is riding well I am sure the team will try and get George the win. My hope is Cavendish is in the front group after the trench of Arenberg and can race for himself.

RETRACTION/Correction: Apparently in an effort to avoid potentially team destroying allegiances on the road Mark Cavendish has been left off the start list of Paris-Roubaix. I for one have shed a few tears about this but am now over it. I have been dying to get the above picture up on the blog for some time so we'll chaulk this little slip up in editorial judgement to over enthusiasm....

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A dose of Vitamin D

I got so much trouble on my mind, refuse to lose, here's your ticket hear the drummer get wicked- PE

With one week until Battenkill I should have been doing hill repeats and doing big blocks of vomit-inducing, chasing back on as PVB calls it. Should have been putting on a new chain, cassette, cables, etc....slap some 25s on blah, blah, blah get my bike ready. Doing all the things that during cross season go off like clockwork. But I am/was losing it..the freakout knob is pushing into the red at 11...aren't we all at this point? At least those of us racing BK.

I did what any good dr would have prescribed and hit the dirt. Cutler was in good shape. Lots of swoopy sections. Worked the teeter totters of planks, laughed as I bounced off of root after root. Dropped in on some crazy downfall etc. Saw a gorgeous red tail hawk and got my mojo back....

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

True Blue or Too Blue?

Hmmm, getting close to color choice. I kinda like the blue on blue.....

Monday, April 6, 2009

Holy Week

ArtCrank 2009 poster from Twinsix
Holy Week began yesterday. Depending upon your view of the cycling universe ie., from an Italian or Belgian perspective the season could have begun back with MSR. Certainly this year's version of Milan san Remo got my blood boiling. Anything and everything related to Mark Cavendish gets me going...that man is the bomb right now. His victory at MSR was insane. Doesn't hurt that he is a small man that wields a big stick among giants....

But for sheer unadulterated worship and reverence nothing beats the week beginning with Flanders or Rhonde and ending with Paris-Roubaix. Fear of a Belgian planet I don't think so. Revering the Belgians resonates with us from New England for so many reasons. Riding in and around Boston and its suburbs is hard. The roads are crap, the drivers are constantly trying to kill you and the weather is brutal. It either hardens you up or spits you out for more humane recreational pursuits like lawn bowling or beer league softball. Trying to emulate the style and panache of Italian riders while living here would be sheer folly. There is a reason we horde embrocation and covet shoe warmers and fetishize cycling caps and wool. I for one refuse to hide indoors on a gerbal wheel when the weather turns ugly. 

I am not a road racer. I am doing a road race in two weeks. For me it is an opportunity to suffer in a form of mass communion with my  breathren. My plan is to work as hard as humanly possible to spring a Noir clad viking or two on their path to glory. It will make me a harder tougher cross racer in a few short months. This I am positive. Road racer? No I don't think so. But a lover of all things to do with the Spring Classics. Oh yes...

Friday, April 3, 2009