March 3, 2010

busy busy busy.


sorry. we are getting very close to opening the new shop. I will then have plenty of content worth reading.

February 15, 2010

race book

thumbs up

I usually avoid books about competitive cycling, but this was an awesome little read. I have come to learn that Tim Krabbe is a well known chess player, novelist, bicycle racer, journalist and over achiever. he managed to spice up the generally dry, sterile and boring bike racing genre. I think this is the first dutch thing Ive ever liked. rarely do I knowingly encounter things from the netherlands. it has to be the only country that fails to offer up a decent black metal band. Ive discovered lots of places I never knew about through black metal. like the faroe islands, (home of the greatest coat of arms known to man) and every country that shares a border with russia.

February 11, 2010

coveralls work like bibshorts

Im off

Im back


Im done


pugsley in snow (front yard)




February 10, 2010

bike friendly

bernie

yesterday kicked off bike friendly fort worth's mission to make cowtown a nicer place to ride a bike. on the coldest day in recent memory, a dedicated gang of riders got to together to ride to city hall to show support for the new bike fort worth plan. I must confess. the turnout was really damn impressive.


newsworthy

for the first time in texas history, cyclists made the local news. nobody had to die, and lance armstrong was nowhere in sight. just a bunch of commuters and enthusiasts enjoying a leisurely ride, on the coldest damn day of the year.

lindsey & rick

there were lots of notable attendees. aside from the trinity bicycles crew, myself and bernie scheffler. lindsey akey, owner of spiral diner and queen of all things cruelty-free in tarrant county, rick from 1919 hemphill, jeremy schlacter from gallus cycles, and larry kemp dedicated commuter and beer expert all made it out. perhaps even more exciting, I did not recognize half of the riders there.

gallus

if you want better pictures and or information. I suggest you check out fortworthology, or trinity bicycles.

February 4, 2010

poor weather

5/10

I just finished this book. it was ok. there are some great moments, but you have to wade through a lot of nonsense to get to it. actually, it starts out strong and ends strong, so just skip the middle. in highschool I tried really hard to like the talking heads, I even saw david byrne perform at bass hall, most of his music is really good, just not my thing. his movie, true stories, is great though. I suppose I have to give him credit for all his bike advocacy in new york.

Im so sick of the damn rain.


February 3, 2010

social event

awesome

since you probably were not planning on going to church, or riding a bike anyways. I highly reccomend swinging by the great southwest bike swap. I plan on hanging out with gallus cycles and trinity bicycles all day.


January 28, 2010

interview #2

leopoldo

so, nothing interesting has happened since the red river riot. it set the bar way too high. instead of trying to make my own life somewhat entertaining I decided to take advantage of my pal leo, who already has an interesting life. I think we met through our bands. he was in tyrannosaurus-x one of the better power-violence bands in texas. we ended up living in denton tx at the same time and were riding buddies until he left texas. in addition to having citizenship in at least three countries, he holds degrees in several branches of science that I havent even heard of. after travelling the world, and living in mexico he decided to become some sort of sciencey data librarian in seattle.


not creepy

surly cyclist: do you own a car?

leo: Yes, but it hasn't moved in well over 4 months.

how many bikes do you own? what kind? what are they for?

- I own 2 bicycles. I have my ten-speed Ron Cooper with Campy components that was used for longer rides, and I have a Fuji Track Pro fixed that is what I mostly use for commuting here in Seattle.

why no surly?

- I've always thought about having a Steamroller, but I never got around to buying the frame. I have been fantasizing about a Cross-Check, though.

thats very smart of you, where all have you cycled?

- Texas, Washington, Monterrey Mexico, Guadalajara Mexico

where is your favorite place to ride bikes?

- Monterrey was great, but I'm really starting to enjoy the hills here in Seattle. There are a few hills that really bust up my legs, but most of them are manageable and as much fun going up as they are going down.


talent

how is "bike culture" different in mexico?

- I came across a lot of thirty to forty bikers, but very few younger ones. At least in Monterrey, there didn't seem to be much urban cycling solidarity outside of the professional arena. Bicycles as a form of transportation are used really often, but there are no Critical Masses, community bike shops, etc. There are, however, several large groups that do endurance rides out into the surrounding areas, but I didn't participate.

do you have goals as a cyclist?

- Not particularly. There are a few rides I would like to go on, but they're not sedimented enough for me to give details. I'm going to be doing a Seattle to Portland ride in the Spring, if that counts.

what do you miss most about denton?

- Cheap rent, cheap Thai food, inorganic and physical chemistry lecture, and my Ron Cooper.

whats the best music to ride to?

- I try to coordinate it with the weather. Doom/stoner metal gets the job pretty often, so does power violence and shoegaze.

is it "metal" to ride a bike?

- Fuck yeah. Nothing more metal.

I understand you are located near "mountains", what are those like, have you ridden a bike on one?

- I haven't yet, but I plan on making a few nature trips in the very near future. There is a giant park to the West that I need to go explore for a few weekends.  

whats the dumbest thing you ever wore for the sake of riding a bike?

- A helmet.

has your badboy bike status ever scored you points with the ladies?

- Definitely. I don't know if it's the fact that the keep me active, give me something to get excited about, or if they just like that I have at least a little muscle on my legs.

please rate this interview on a scale from one to ten....

- Best interview I've ever been asked to complete. I give it a 9.

any final comments?

- You should come up to Seattle in the summer so we can go explore some of the islands

sure thing, I really owe you one for this interview.

January 24, 2010

recovery and reflection.

biking viking

the red river riot is a vicious man-eating butcher. my everything hurts. my endurance and overall fitness is a joke. I was in better shape in my pubcrawlin viking days. what gives? this time last year I was on top of my game. oh well. one day, I will be fast, oh yes, I will be fast. I will ponder these matters on todays recovery ride.


January 23, 2010

red river riot: ouch

foolish optimism
I took part in the first ever red river riot. a dirt road ramble in the country roads around st jo texas. the poorly maintained dirt roads would have made for an interesting ride all by themselves. the rain made it more interesting than I could handle.

first fifteen

bernie and me got to bar-h ranch around seven in the morning. it was great to see a hundred plus dudes ready to beat themselves up out there in the hills. the first bits were not all that painful. very downhill. reasonably dry. very scenic. that all changed for the remainder of the ride. except the scenery, it stayed nice.

breaktime

the hills got bigger. things got muddy and sloppy. since bernie was on his big dummy I thought it would be cool to bring my pugsley. those tires can carry quite a bit of red clay. almost as much as my beard. Im pretty sure I swallowed may more than my fair share of sandy clay cocktail.

mud collection

after nine hours of punishment I was pooped. this was one of the most satisfying rides I have ever done. I cant wait to do it again next year. probably on my karate monkey though. too bad the rain prevented me from taking more pictures during the ride.

paintjob

back at bar-h ranch, there were good burgers and some awesome beer from ska brewing. the ride had left huge void in my gut, so I topped off in muenster at one of its many texas-german diners. the schnitzel and bratwurst were top notch.

happy camper
hey bernie, thanks for the lift and the coaching. and we all owe kevin lee and spinistry a huge thank you for making this ride happen. I bet this ride becomes quite the attraction in years to come. given the unpredictable nature of texas weather, combined with untamed road conditions, every year should prove to be a very unique ride.

January 18, 2010

busy

drug mountain
sorry gang. life has been eating up all my valuable internet time. drug mountain's record and record release show was received well. I think our fiddle player, nevada hill, did an awesome job on the artwork. my best pal andrew haas was nice enough to open with his ultra sinister band lychgate. a good time was had by all.

classy

as if that wasnt enough excitement for one weekend. I got to celebrate the birth of fort worth's most prominent vegan cyclists and top custom frame builder jeremy 'the dude' shlachter of gallus cycles. somehow he manages to race cyclocross, track, complete a half iron man, and build a lugged touring bike all before he goes into work. how does he do it?

classy
it must be a virtue only a true gentleman can posess. lucky for everybody, the celebration was held at pappa chang. perhaps the most woefully overlooked and undercelebrated of the numerous southside eatery. do yourself a favor and eat some.

brutal
now that all that cool stuff has been taken care of, I can really get down to pedal business. the last few days have been spent knocking the cobwebs off of the pugsley. I forgot how many heads this thing can turn. big tires get people excited. a kid on a bmx bike dropped his jaw and let out an involuntary daaaaaaaayyyymmmm... a big bearded guy that looked like a crab fisherman said "shit, them some big ass tires". I dont care for the attention, but I need to get it in tiptop shape for saturday.

sadistic
this saturday will be the first ever, super brutal, red river riot. it seems I am participating. I somehow let bernie sheffler talk me into it. which makes perfect sense, he always finds the most painful ideas the most appealing. one hundred plus miles of dirt roads and singletrack in and around st jo. the most challenging hills in north texas, and the most punishing off road trail Ive ridden to date. there is no real chance of me finishing. I plan on a having good time anyhow.

January 15, 2010

postride

training

the grey skies kept my ride short today. uni-boy was out today, that was the highpoint of my ride. I said 'hello' but I could not make out what he muttered back. to supplement my sorry ass bike ride I decided to combine my love of arrogant bastard ale, black metal, law and order: criminal intent and 'cycling'.


no gut, no glory.

no matter how many distractions you pile on. nothing can disguise how boring a stationary bike truly is. it makes drinking beer and watching law and order, something I generally enjoy, a real chore. the lack of momentum is an odd feeling. I pretty much felt like I was just flailing my legs in the air for no reason. not getting anywhere. the introduction of an ipod filled with blastbeats perked things up a bit. nothing improves your cadence like a good blastbeat.

January 14, 2010

overcast

the sky has been grey all day. no worries though. my bike is reflective from every angle. thanks to my schwalbe tires and arkel bags. the mist is perfectly tolerable. lets hope it doesnt rain tomorrow. sorry, but thats about all I have to say. the weather has a profound effect on my mood.

January 13, 2010

regular asshole rides a pugsley

JC

this is jc. he is my friend. he is a substitute teacher. he rarely rides a bike. today was his lucky day. mostly because he got to ride my surly pugsley the dopest, fattest tired bike on earth. he doesnt know much about bikes, but I think that makes him a great candidate for my first interview.

surly cyclist: so, jc. how was your bike ride today?

jc: too long. too far. plus I almost died.

sc: ok.

jc: you should sharpen your interviewing skills.

sc: ok. what feature of my awesome pugsley most blew your mind?

jc: the brakes.

sc: yeah, Im a big fan of avid's mechanical disc brake. do you have any fond bicycle related memories?

jc: there was that one time, when we lived in denton. we rode west out of town. vegan leo almost killed a dog with a rock. I had that junk schwinn. and that one time I rode a tall bike.

sc: wow. thanks jc. great interview. best of luck.

JC

January 12, 2010

major taylor

good book
today was nice enough that I brought along a book. I like to punctuate rides with a worthwhile sit-and-read. I found a park bench and finally finished major: a black athlete, a white era, and the fight to be the world's fastest human being. great read. its shameful that so few people, cyclists included have never even heard of major taylor. he was the most famous, and highest earning athlete on the planet. france wanted to adopt him. I cant wrap my head around it. I dont like baseball at all but I know all about jackie robinson. what a shame.
I dont get it.

why the hell is nike making a major taylor shoe? Im confident that major never wore nikes. hopefully it raises major awareness in the collectible shoe and hat community.


I bet his story would make a great inspirational sports movie. regular people might go see it. I mean, nobody plays hockey and everybody saw miracle. do we have to rewatch breaking away everytime we want to watch a bike movie? c'mon.......

January 11, 2010

pleasant day

my hand

first off. I want to retract my statement about longpants. there is no sense in owning something I only need once or twice a year. I gots hot legs. why hide them? actually, my legs are really short for my height. so any pair of pants I get have to be folded up. which makes me think about the fact that I have stumpy legs. something I prefer not to dwell on.

EXTREME!

moving along. as if seeing a unicyclist wasnt exciting enough. I discovered the super secret north richland hills dirt jump. intense, huh? my mind is still blown. I thought those only existed in magazines and mountain dew ads.

DUDE!

please dont let my shortcomings as a photographer fool you. that launch has to be at least six inches high. no records were set, but the karate monkey caught some air. wicked awesome air. with loaded panniers. now that I think of it, maybe I set a record for jumping a loaded bike with drop bars. sick.

January 10, 2010

lengthy day

drug mountain

Sorry. I spent my day at band practice. I squeezed in a meager ride around the neighborhood. Im not proud of that. Our record release show is in a few days. Otherwise I would have busted out a double century. I promise, tomorrow, I'll ride super far.


January 9, 2010

beer run


there are few barriers that can come between me and beer. The lagunitas ipa is my favorite. complex, well balanced. there are plenty of hoppier, stronger beers, but this one I can enjoy all nite. more importantly, on my way to the store I saw a kid riding a unicycle. that kid gets five out of five stars.

January 8, 2010

homesick


I miss my old town. It was cold today. I did manage to find my overalls. Much warmer. Overalls are great for cycling. No constricting waistband. They are pretty much just bibshorts, but pants, and multifunctional.

January 7, 2010

dress for success

31 degrees, feels like 20. Winds from NW at 18mph gusting to 28mph.

This is about the coldest weather I have ever ridden in. I wear this outfit all the time. I have never thought to myself "I should get some long pants". I certainly never considered purchasing cycling-specific cold weather clothes. Holy shit, I was wrong. Could not be wronger. I may only need them five times in the next ten years but it will be worth the investment. I learned several things today:

1. Hooded Sweatshirts are not windproof.

2. Converse are the worst shoes money can buy.

3. Longpants may be more than just a fad.

This reminds of the time when I realized bike shorts served a practical function. Other than making us look stupid, that is. The salsa gloves were awesome. Too bad they dont make them anymore. Maybe surly can make some killer gloves to go with the pugsley?

January 6, 2010

day six: touring on the brain


My pal and local cycling celebrity Bernie Scheffler paid me a visit today. A few years back we went on our first bike tour together along with Chris Hasty, another Fort Worth cycling giant. Despite the awful weather, a good time was had by all. We planned on riding to Enchanted Rock and back but we were forced to take a day off due to a hail storm. My karate monkey was a 1x9 at the time but handled the hill country no problem. For a mountain bike, it makes one hell of a touring bike, nearly as capable as my long haul trucker(rip).



I think come march I better hit the road again. Im getting cabin fever. Ive never ridden east of the metroplex. Maybe the pineywoods? We'll see......

January 5, 2010

roots


Ventured out into civilization today. Parked the bike and went for a walk. Nothing too interesting out there, but I did manage to find a decent cup of coffee. It takes a lot of guts to open a business like that adjacent to a starbucks. Most people dont think twice about where they spend their money. I hope Roots Coffeehouse does well.


Please support your local coffee shop. Support your local everything-else while you are at it.

January 4, 2010

sunny day.


This is as good as it gets. Fast, practical on all surfaces, comfortable over long distances, capable of substantial loads. It is a true pleasure to ride a quality bicycle. The Karate Monkey frameset is perhaps the most versatile in the surly line up. I have run it as a single speed, a cross monster, a commuter and a full on loaded touring bike. It can do a lot of things, and it does them well. With the current build, I can get the groceries, go camping, chew up singletrack and let skinny tire dudes draft off of me. If I had to own only one bike, this would be it.




....and this is my post-ride vice. When its cold enough, I look forward to even the worst cup of coffee. That is my favorite mug by the way. I use it all year.

January 3, 2010

so far so good.


I found this graph floating around the internet. Seems reasonable. This is car country. I wrote an email to the North Richland Hills' Parks and Recreation Department asking for some insight into the cycling infrastructure. Hopefully they can explain to me why a seven lane road is marked as a bike route. Bike routes are supposed to improve cycling conditions, right? Why go to all the trouble of establishing a network that fails to improve anything?


In brighter news. My "NightRider MiNewt Mini-USB" still amazes me. Just a few years ago, a light like this would have cost a whole paycheck, I picked this up for eighty bucks. I really appreciate the lack of features. Its getting harder to find a light with a simple on/off switch. I think this would make a great primay light source for most cyclists. It fills my needs, both utilitarian and recreational.

Sorry. My camera skills are pretty weak. I'll be sure and take a photographer next time I ride in the dark.