Monday, July 27, 2009

Wheels 4 Sale

FMB SSC Sprints 32 cotton casings
I just put in an order for some new Ksyrium tubulars from Brain at  JRA cycles. Need to unload a few I have 2 sets I am looking to sell both built by Molly Cameron at the Veloshop 
in Oregon. Both wheelsets are campy 9/10 speed and only have one season on them...

Wheelset #1 $400
Mavic reflex rims
Campy Record hubs
dt revo spokes black
FMB sprint tubular tires 32mm
Challenge Fango 32s
Wheelset #2 $400
Mavic reflex rims
Campy Record hubs
dt revo spokes black
Challenge Fango tubular tires 32mm
Both wheelsets are in great shape. Both glue jobs are in great shape and ready to roll...if you have any questions fire me an email at

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The slippery slope

Its been about a month riding the sola. What began as a "soft" addiction is teetering dangerously on full on crackhead status. I've never really felt this way about a bike before. Not sure if its the Seven (very likely!) or just the riding (again very likely) but I am hooked on riding dirt bikes in the woods. 

It is kind of awkward as we fast approach cross season and all I can think about is carving through swoopy trails on my sola....I've said it before I pretty much hated mtn biking before the sola. Not sure if things have finally "clicked" or what but I am digging it right now. There is sooo much to love about riding in the woods with a crew of fast and fun dirt riders. For me a lot of it is the diversity. Roadies are pretty much a dime a dozen, same M frames, same boring carbon bikes, blah, blah, blah...ok there are a handful of super cool roadies but in my mind they are crossers who ride the road in the summer and kick my ass in the fall because of it...

Not to steal a page from Rosey but we are going with a LIST!!!! In a month of riding here are some quick thoughts and experiences from Pats Peak and beyond:

1. You can open a beer bottle with a Time Atac pedal!
2. Disc brakes are amazing! When your hands don't feel like they are going to cramp and fall off from trying to brake with canits you can actually concentrate on the riding.
3. There are some super busy and dedicated trail builders around here. I seriously need to join Nemba (eww it sounds so much like Nambla doesn't it?) They rock!
4. Following a skilled rider through sketchy singletrack makes you feel like superman even when that rider is a mother in shorts and a tank top riding in front of her junior son who is racing 24 hrs of Pats Peak. I am not joking. Twice I came through the crazy singletrack at Pats Peak following her wicked smooth lines just shredding until she pulled off and then I proceeded to revert back to my usual bull in a china shop style of smashing into every root and rock on the trail. Goal #1 I must get my flow on!
5. Mud rules! These Indian summers/nice falls are killing me. I got into cross for the mud for gods sake...turns out if you want to ride in the mud its all about the summer and mtn biking!
6. Bontrager Mud X tires are incredible. I have been running them on the Stans Olympic rims Molly built up for me and they hook up better than any tire I have run. The Olympic rims have been great. I am running them with tubes at pretty low pressure (30-32) and haven't had any trouble
7. Tubeless is sooo tantalizing yet daunting. So want to do it but tubed has been working so well I don't see the upside to the risk having stans sealant explode all over my hands and face. It kinda makes my mechanic nervous as well
8. I really need to get over my fear of wood god those things freak me out! Sure it could be the time I was ejected of one in Marin County and did a yard sale down the side of the mtn with the coup de grace being me getting run over by my own cartwheeling bike at the bottom of the that not only hurt the body but the pride.
9. The mosquitos have been laughing at my deet bug spray...we've been getting eaten alive! And for some ungodly reason gnats or flies have been literally burrowing into my
10. Beards rock! Another reason mtn biking rules. Full on hockey playoff beards don't really fly in the roadie circles, on dirt they make you a way my family will sit by while I grow a Viking beard but I so covet one!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Black Mass for Masters Bs

Chillin with C-Todd at Noho after the Masters Bs race dmroth photo

"After much deliberation, the organizers and I have agreed on the new schedule for 2009. 

What you will see in this schedule are some new approaches, and some compromises. Our biggest struggle is trying to accommodate growth and support development categories without compromising elite races. We are aiming for the best of both worlds, but at a time of the year where there are limited hours in the day to work with, it's incredibly difficult." -A.M. re the new Verge schedule

So says the executioner....Sounds very reasonable and yes we all must make compromises in life. There has been so much back and forth regarding this topic on how it affects the 3s that I have resisted weighing in (other than a few tweets and comments on friends blogs) on how this will affect the masters. It is hard to process just how bad I feel about the whole facelift Verge gave itself. Kind of reminds me of a local ice cream shop we had in town. Lines out the door, literally a local meeting spot. Was a real tradition to go downtown on a hot summer night or any night really and get a cookies and cream and hangout. It was a cash cow. Then the owner got it in her head Needham needed Gelatto.

She'd been to Italy and fell in love with the Gelatto. Sure she was making so much money a Brinks truck had to make pick ups every monday morning but hey when a business is successful that is the best time to shake things up right? New Coke was a huge hit right? Maybe not so much. I won't bore you with the details. Suffice it to say she pumped 50k into the new Gelatto store tagged it with an Italian name and no one showed up. No one. Out of business in a year. Ridiculous. But that is business as they say. No one held a gun to her head and said "hey forget this ice cream thing that everyone loves, sell gelatto." Same story with Adam et al at Verge. It is a BUSINESS. They run it how they want period. They "had a problem" they needed to fix. That is hard to believe as in the four years I have been racing Verge races it has grown each year. Fields are big and getting bigger each year (well maybe the elites are shrinking) racing is of a high caliber, so what is broken? Typically a sign a business is doing well is by growth at the bottom right? That's how this whole crazy internet thingy got started remember? 

So what is the big problem they are trying to fix? Is it the sandbagging people have inferred. No way. They could just force upgrades like Obra does. So what is it then? Its a business decision. And probably a bad one. But I digress, this was supposed to be a Post Mortem of the Master Bs which have been in effect killed. Sure they've given up a Masters 4 race as a booby prize with the caveat that if no one shows up they'll cancel it. Consider it cancelled. 30 minutes of racing for $30 no one is showing up. From purely an economic standpoint it makes zero sense. Last year on average the Master Bs had 80 racers. Multiply that by 2 for a double weekend. Then multiply that by $30 a day or $60 for registration. Verge is potentially going to lose $9,600 a weekend. That's not such great economic planning in a recession. Now they probably assume all the Master Bs will roll into the other categories and have at it. That's a big assumption. Especially when you consider in a Borg like fashion how they have multiplied the amount of races by 2 for the season. How many double weekends do they expect us to really be able to afford to race?

The Master Bs were a great category to race in. It split a part the guys whose job it was to race in another lifetime or just were naturally gifted from the regular guys who liked to race. It was competitive but civil. I made real friends in that category and still to this day defend that if you are at the back of the field in any category you are no longer "racing." Below 40th position its just a ride. Especially when you know the 40 guys ahead of you are animals and you have zero chance of getting to that position. It was a true amateur class which is really the whole point of racing. As Fat Mark once said this is Beer League Softball and he is spot on. I'll miss all the characters. I'll miss T-boning Brian and not starting a hockey fight. I'll miss getting heckled by Eyebob, and seeing the joy of C-todd running up a nasty muddy pitch. People were allowed to screw up, aggression was done in a non-pugilistic manner, and sandbagging was self seeding. There was a natural flow to it. If you started winning double weekends you knew it was time to move up no one had to heckle you to do so. Towards the end of the season there were a handful of the alpha A riders who moved "down" into our race. What does that tell you? I welcomed them and don't think they found the racing any less competitive. I do hope a lot of the riders from the master bs move up. Its going to be hard. It will be easier for me as I am a "youngish" 45+. In 45+ I will at least have a fighting chance at the back. My dream of winning a race is dead along with the Master Bs and for that I am pretty bummed. The guys going into 35+ are going to have a harder time. And I bet a lot of them are still 4s on paper. They may not want to become a 3. And I don't blame them. Rant over. I had to get that off my chest. 

Adam probably has a master plan (no pun intended). Elite racing is clearly his windmill. Ok great. Let's build up a cache of riders that can compete at worlds or the world cup...for what exactly? Do you think sponsors will line up to sponsor US cyclo-cross athletes if we win world's? Katie Compton barely got a sponsor this year. Fortune 500 companies could care less about bike racing. This should always be about the masses. In his email he alludes they were considering eliminating the non-elite Maybe he does want to emulate Belgium were it is a pro-only field. I hope he doesn't think people will pay to watch pros race cross in the US, because they don't even stick around to watch them for free. God forbid you compare Cross or cycling to a growth sport like running or triathlon but those should be the business models to emulate not a fantasy league to get a local boy or girl on a podium in europe. USAC doesn't even have the budget to give our best hope ever, Katie Compton, of winning world's with a proper skinsuit.

Rest in piece Master Bs...I'll miss you. Ok only positive from now on. Its off my chest. 45+ As will rock!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

6 Hours of Pats Peak

The Squadra showed up En Masse to race 6 hrs of Pats Peak...OG Hupster Jimbo has the most awesome mountainside home right on the course! Jimbo and his great wife Gwen hosted us in Grand Fashion! What a homefield advantage..Hup Ne had four 2 man 6-hr teams, one 2-person coed 6 hr team and 2 solo 6 hr teams representing the Hup Bleu. Calling it a Hup-a-palooza would not be far off the mark...great food, great friends, A whole fleet of badass Seven bikes and for the level of suffering one of the most fun days I've had even though my body is so broken even my toes hurt. The pain was so bad on lap 4 climbing a brutal pitch that seemed to go on forever that I seriously thought to myself "maybe I should just get my nipple pierced, that would take the pain away" Not good when a 44 year old man starts thinking of "cutting" type behavior to take the pain away from bike racing...

Shake N' Bake drew the lucky 13 race plates
Graham's sweet Rigid single speed his suspension was 2.4 wtb meaty tires. Coolest guy evah and rode like a Viking..he also helped build my sola...

The Lion roared-Hup went 3rd (Yash and Graham), 4th (Steven and Jeff) 5th (Tom and me) and 7th (Jessie and Robert) Kerry and Jimbo won their division and got paid! As did Yash and Graham! Mike and Justin went solo and are gods...our hosts and support/friends/wives/girlfriends were incredible

It was a bit muddy

Steven rocked Blanco and kept it clean!! How did he do that? He has more Pinache in his pinky than I do in my entire body....


Graham and the ramp of doom!!! What a day. So much learned and experienced. I've said it before but I'll say it again I have the coolest team mates on the planet. Graham rode like a Viking god....single speed rigid and he was flying. The solo guys way I could do that. Every lap I would keep hearing "where's Rosey?" They missed you Scott as did we....Kerry once again gave much sage advice to us neophyte wannabe mtn bikers, I didn't know you could hurt your toes this bad but god do they hurt...The squadra is going to have such an incredible cross season. After this much pain in 6-hrs 45 minutes in the red will seem like a cake walk...Saw lots of old friends, met some new ones lots of Fohu incredible...

Friday, July 3, 2009

The Sons (Fathers) of Anarchy

Warning: If you are reading this then this warning is for you. Every word you read of this useless fine print is another second off your life. Don't you have other things to do? Is your life so empty that you honestly can't think of a better way to spend these moments? Or are you so impressed with authority that you give respect and credence to all that claim it? Do you read everything you're supposed to read? Do you think every thing you're supposed to think? Buy what you're told to want? Get out of your apartment. Meet a member of the opposite sex. Stop the excessive shopping and masturbation. Quit your job. Start a fight. Prove you're alive. If you don't claim your humanity you will become a statistic. You have been warned- Tyler.

I "met" Tyler Durden about a year ago. A totally chance meeting. I was picking up pizzas and happened to be wearing a Chris King T-shirt. One thing the east coast does is Pizza. It is everywhere. And local "townie" pizza joints are to suburbanites what pubs or coffee houses are to cool urban hipsters. A townie in full sox regalia kind of grumbled from a booth "hey do you ride mtn bikes 'cause Artie is a real strong mtn biker." Now you have to be real careful with these exchanges in new england. Especially when you don't know anyone in the establishment and wether this is good old masshole heckling or an actual attempt at human interaction. I assumed the best and said yeah I mtn bike a bit. Well that got things rollin' Artie the proprietor of said pizza joint got pretty interested. He kind of spoke to me in a hush tone like he was letting me in on a secret (and he was in spades). "we've been building trails" he tells me. Really? Yeah they are kind of sweet he responds. Do you know the initiation/passage you'd have to go through to get a surfer to tell you about a secret surf spot they discovered? They'd cut off a limb before they let you in on it. Freeriders want to share what they've built/discovered. We exchanged phone #s and played a year long phone tag marathon. It never panned out for some many reasons. Then yesterday I got the was on for Friday the 3rd. Then I received this:
I'll admit to being a bit afraid. As I freely admit I suck as a technical mtn biker. I envisioned riding with a bunch of full face helmet, body armor wearing hucksters...Chipo doesn't do full face helmets or hucking...seriously. But the Sola had really taken my game up a notch so I figured why not just check it out. I hit the Lottery. Seriously. What a cool cat. And the dude is a ninja on the bike. We were a group of 5. I was the only one on a hardtail. But I was on one badass hardtail...riding with these guys is going to kick my mtn bike up to a level I never could have even imagined. Luckily I went into this ride with a couple of weeks on the sola, the epiphany of colins Mtn bike tips 101 and watching Rosey firsthand shred Cutler park. I held my own, there was some crashes, funniest of the bunch was when Ed tried to rock up a sick boulder stalled mid-way fell backwards. His friend the Saint throw his bike in his way to self arrest him, I dove in the way tried to break his fall as best I could but only managed to keep him from hitting his head on a stump. Hilarity ensued. Artie's brand new Juicy brake lever imploded...and even with only a front brake rode out of his mind. I had to keep reminding myself he had no rear brake. It was an incredible display of technical ability.

So I answered the call...the first rule of fight club as we all know is you do not talk about fight club....I'll do my best but these trails are too good and this group of riders is to cool to not share... 

Man, I see in fight club the strongest and smartest men who've ever lived. I see all this potential, and I see squandering. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need. We're the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War's a spiritual war... our Great Depression is our lives. We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off.-Tyler