I Saw This On the Interwebs and Thought Of You, Part 2

By March 5, 2015 Uncategorized

Snow.  Lots of snow.  And I hate it.

I’m back from CA and not exactly loving life, but I am certainly fired up to get back to riding outside.  In my usual trawling of Facebook and other media I’ve stumbled across some things worth sharing.  Nobody else is likely to care, but if you’re reading this then you share my affliction for geerkery.

Florian Vogel has been a fixture on the Swiss Power squad for a long time but has made the jump to Focus for this season.  In addition to having some pretty sweet tattoos he posted some pics of his race bike for the season.  It looks…racy.  Flat bars, foam grips, and no suspension out back.  This is what he rode to win the season kickoff Sunshine Cup in Cypress earlier this month.



Being from Switzerland he has to deal with some snow, which I think makes some cool ride pics even if it makes training a pain in the ass.  I guess having a new bike helps with that?  This must be his beater as it only has a SID and not the RS1 like the bike above.





And of course Switzerland has some great scenery.  And Vogel has his winter coat in this pic.  And a road bike.  And is color coordinated.  What’s not to love?



The biggest surprise of the week (and I’ve had many big surprises recently- more on that later) is this pic that’s the cover photo for this year’s Gravel Grinder.  I think this is from 2010 but am not certain.  I still ride without gloves it’s over 40, 35 if I’m climbing, maybe 45 if it’s raining.

So there you have it.  I just drew a straight line from one of the best XC racers in the world to myself.  Boom.  We’ll never be mentioned in the same breath again.



Looking Forward

By February 24, 2015 Uncategorized

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The hardest part is getting out the door.

No matter how much time I have it’s always a rush to pack and get ready for a trip.  The longer the trip, the more arduous the process.

It’s amazing because I think that extracting myself from the day-to-day is something many all of us do to some extent when we get out on the bike, or really do anything to commune with nature, zone out, or blow off some steam.  So you’d think stuffing a bike into a well-worn cardboard box would be a pretty easy task considering how many times I’ve done it before.  But no, it’s always a mess, and it always takes longer than I think it should, and I always save it for last.  This actually my first trip with my RSL even though my thoroughly vetted and TSA approved box has seen and survived several adventures.

In many ways packing is like making a change I know I need to make in other parts of my life.  It’s where the idealistic and theoretical turn into real action, and for 2015 that means a month long trip to California to get some mileage in.  And to escape the cold.  And to have fish tacos (those are in no particular order).

Well, as you can tell from the surfboard I made it.  So what’s next?

Riding.  Fish tacos.  See previous paragraph.  But after that it’s likely going to be a run at mountain bike marathon nationals, then reassessing this whole moving to the West Coast routine.

I’m always in a better mood once I arrive at my destination.

And the bike certainly looks better out of the box.

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An Ode to the Shop Vac

By January 15, 2015 Uncategorized



Generally I hate cleaning, and I find vacuums to be clunky, worthless, and frustrating.

We have two household vacuums- our shitty one died, and the second is borrowed.  It too, is a piece of shit.  So with a less-than-appealing dirt pusher and a non-functioning dirt pusher at my disposal I’ve set my bias toward the time-tested broom.  Simple, lightweight, and effective most of the time.  Like all hand tools it always starts, as I like to say.

The problem with the broom is that’s not really good on mixed surfaces, and really it just pushes dirt & dust around.  You know, like both vacuums in the house.  So after amassing a great deal of sawdust downstairs I figured it was time to get a new filter for the wet/dry vac that lives in the basement.

The same wet/dry vac that was submerged for almost three days during the flood, and the same one that could have gotten me electrocuted.  But didn’t.  And it didn’t because in spite of being submerged for so long it was barely wiped off and upright before it was plugged in and put back into service.

So after all of that I threw a new filter, turned it on, and cleaned the entire basement with 4 hp of suction in 5 minutes.  Yeah.  It fucking worked.

It went so well I contemplated how I could rig up some attachment for really cleaning the carpet.

It was…fun.