Thursday, August 23, 2007
Folks keep asking me, “what is this TRON messenger race I keep hearing about?”
First things first, TRON is not a messenger race. I’m not a messenger, never have been. They seem like nice folks. This is a race against a rouge computer program hell bent on ruling the world.
Second thing, watch the movie TRON. The race will be more fun, make more sense, and it will entertain you, I promise.
Third thing, don’t like the race, well win it then and you can do your own thing next year.
Fourth thing, get there a little early, pay attention to what Master Control tells, you and keep the ringer volume on your phone turned up.
I promise you it will be fun if you come, and we’ll talk about it over beers when we all get to the mainframe.
And maybe if we are lucky, this guy will show up:
Monday, August 20, 2007
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Like an a small insurgent faction, the stars and hearts infiltrated the Ore 2 Shore peloton, killed dreams (mostly our own), filled the sky with a black dust cloud, then toasted our efforts with the finest lager in all the land!
The race was long but fast considering the course conditions. Luckily it stayed overcast for the entire race which kept the temps down. The road roll out of Negaunee was fast, but the chorus of accelerating fat tires was a beautiful sound. Still bunched up by the time we got to the Lucy Hill Luge, I was warmed up, and riding my own race. Lyle was up front somewhere, and Djonn just behind. The course between Ishpeming and Negaunee was where the dust was the worst. The rusty, gritty cloud invaded every crevice, making it hard to see and breathe. When we crossed under US41, the race was getting pretty strung out, and I was settling in for a long day.
*It is worth mentioning that although I like the Brooks Swift saddle I'm running, I did learn the meaning of the Phil Ligget phrase "On the Rivet". Ouch.
Sean Dombrowski of Marquette and Djonn joined me after the first aid station. We then found Kevin Smith and the 4 of us worked together for the next 25 miles. Sand was the most common foe we fought against all day. Horrible, wheel sucking sand. I told them it was like the powdered sugar without the donut...
The 2.3 Baby Bear tires actually floated thru most of the sand pits, so I can't complain too much. I saw many folks go down, but I kept it upright.
I finally had to get off the bike to address some back issues about 4 miles from the last aid station. Djonn was already gone, powering away from us on the long paved uphill on County Road 510. When I got off, Smith pushed on, saying if he got off, he wouldn't be able to get back on. Sean D., bless his black heart, stayed with me, and towed my pedaling corpse to the last aid station where Pickens, Laura and the Real Roy Danke were waiting, at mile 40, with a 40 oz of PBR. Upon leaving the aid station for the last 8 miles, Sean D. compared my revival to Popeye eating some spinach.
Indeed, my legs felt new, the back issues seemed to have receded, and we tried to hammer out the last few miles. Coming down around the Sand Pit I passed 7 different folks endo-ing in the steep sand trail. One unlucky fellow took out 2 others...Getting to the little bit of familiar single-track on the NCT felt like coming home.
By the time I crossed the Dead River Bridge, all I could think of was going as hard as I could....which by that point in the race was a pretty weak effort. We got to see Bobke Bear in the woods, for a high 5, at the finish line I was greeted with more beer, some slight rain, and much dust and grit from everywhere on my body.
The couple of mile ride back to the Nordic Bay in the rain washed away little. Finally climbing off the saddle for good back in the room, was the best feeling of all.
Final time 3:52, good for 292 out of 518...thanks to the volunteers who helped along the course, the Real Roy Danke for refreshments, Andy Gregg for the race hookup, the people of Finland and last but not least, to my little flask of Mexican Hammergel.
Monday, August 13, 2007
Sunday after Ore 2 Shore, Matt Calcaterra of Lakeshore Bike once again organized the Gordon Lyon Memorial Ride. Lyon was a older gentleman from the Marquette area who fixed bikes for neighborhood kids, and loved old bikes. He befriended Matt several years ago, but died before he was able to realize his dream of riding his bike around the Marquette city bike path loop. This year was the 7th year of the ride. I expected a dozen or so rides, but there must've been 40 or more all on cruiser bikes. It was an awesome bookend to the weekend. I rode the Pit Bike.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
The gnomes have been busy in the garden, and we're starting to see some crop yeild...the basil smells awesome, and the brocolli will be tasty with dinner tomorrow.
Just got the course report from the locals and its been a very dry summer in the UP. That means it's going to be hot, dry and dusty this year for O2S...47 miles of hot, dry and dusty sounds pretty brutal...but hey, its been a few years so it'll be fun either way. It will be fun to race with some old and new friends, I can't wait!
When I was going to school up there, I did that race the first 2 years they had it. Back then it was just over 40 miles...looking forward to eating at Blue Bike Burrito in Northern Wisco. I'll try to provide a detailed report, good or bad, after this weekend.
Monday, August 06, 2007
I was just down in our basement darkroom/storage area looking for some fabric, and I came across some really old 'zines I had in a box. In the stack was issue #3 of Snowflake that I bought at Tower Records in East Lansing when it was still on Grand River Ave. From the sticker on the cover (still) it looks like it must've been from early 98. Seems like a long time ago. Snowflake was one of the first of many 'zines I collected over the years, and this issue is still one of my favorites.
I've always been drawn to magazines, especially 'zines due to their small size, irrevrent tones, subject matter and layout. I've always admired their DIY ethic. They inspired me to make a few of my own over the years, to live in van while interning for a magazine, and still freelance to this day.
Snowflake came out of Mammoth, California and was a gonzo sex n' ski 'zine. I wasn't really sure what I was reading when I first picked it up, but I liked it because of that, it wasn't like reading an issue of Outside, that is for sure.
There were a bunch of others in the box, including some of my old favorites: Infiltration, Leapfrog and Cars-R-Coffins. Good stuff. There are some newer ones in a different box, but I just haven't come across many I like in a while. I have been getting Lincoln Ve-Low and Urban Velo, but aside from those bike 'zines, its been a bit of a drought...
Sunday, August 05, 2007
Here is a few shots of the new bike Zack built for me. We talked for months about doing something one day, and this is the final product.
The frame is lugged and brazed and has pretty standard angles. I'm especially impressed with ZR's brazing around the head tube/top tube/down tube joint, the seat clamp that is integrated with the top tube, and the heart he cut in the bb shell. HIs passion is evident. Vicious cycles did a sweet job with the paint as well.
I originally wanted to have him make a 29er, but the angles looked pretty crazy because I'm only 5'6, so we thought about other things. About 2 months ago, he suggested doing the 650b (27five) size, so I said why not. After talking with Kirk Pacenti, ZR scored some of the new Baby Bear tires that Pacenti is getting made by Panaracer. They showed up, and their girth and aggressive tread floored both of us! Zack built the rear end around those tires, thinking there is no way I'd put a wider tire on (they are 2.3 inches).
I wanted some flare on the build, for sure, so I asked for some custom options. I love the clean look of top tube cables when they are routed unter the tube, so I asked for that first off. I also wanted to give a not to the Bare Knuckle Brigade, my team, and make the ZR logo pop, so we decided to go with the old english lettering.
I needed the bike for next weekend's Ore 2 Shore 47 mile race next weekend, so I really lit a fire under ZR to get it done, and I think he did a spendid job! I saw that seat clamp on a Jonny Cycle frame last winter, and thought it was pretty sweet, and yes, in reality it is. Very clean. Thats a theme with the whole bike, clean and understated. Though I'm sure the white frame will not be that easy to keep clean.
The ride is equally sweet, but I'll probably cut the bars down a bit, they are so wide I had to wrestle them through some tight trees yesterday at Cam-Rock. The Brooks Swift saddle is great as well, which is a delightful surprise. And of course the XTR bits work flawlessly. (Sorry Ed)
Not sure the weight, probably around 24, but I really don't care. New all black wheels wheels featuring DT Swiss 240 hubs and Velocity Blunt rims coming soon.
Friday, August 03, 2007
Thursday, August 02, 2007
One of the best things about this last weekend was having a "pit bike" around camp with a basket and a nice low gear to cruise around on. It was nice to take the garbage to the dumpster, get firewood, ride to the start tent, or head to the john. No 24 Hour camp is complete with-out one. This Jittery-Joes trike ain't mine, but I like its style.
The 30.4mmx400mm seatpost I ordered from the UK showed up for the new ZR Cycles 27five, I'll finish that build tonight, and get some miles on it this weekend before Ore 2 Shore next week.
damn its hot.