Training, racing, gear, facial hair styles and thoughts from my push to become an elite cyclist.

Monday, February 28, 2011



It's been a rough week.  To cap it all off I broke a ski on Sunday.  These were great skis, and the bases are still pristine.  Goodbye X3's, it didn't last long, but it was fun. 

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Ritchey Swiss Cross

I stumbled upon this picture in Cyclingnews.com's coverage of NAHBS and my heart nearly stopped.  Ritchey is starting to produce production non-folding bikes again and will have two models available, a P-29er and the Swiss Cross.

If memory serves 2005 was the last year that Ritchey frames were available.  One of my regrets was not buying one of last Swiss Cross framesets that they had available.  Looks like I may yet have a chance.  

This model looks super sharp with a Force build kit and the wet red post/wet white stem combo.  Normally I match stem & post if not in brand then at least in color but I have to say that I like this look quite a bit.  I also tend to run the hoods and tape to match, but here's a good example of contrasting them without it looking out of place.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


Unequivocally this is what I miss right now.  I can't wait for spring and being able to ride on the trails again.


Everything else is just a distraction. 

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Lunchbox Has Landed

Yesterday my first shipment of race fuel arrived from GU.  I wanted to call this post something like "It's GU-Mas!" or maybe "OMG-GU!"  Thankfully I was able to refrain.  That could have been embarrassing.  

It was a very heavy box full of Chomps, trademark GU gels and varieties of Brew for exercise and recovery.  Here's a peek into the second layer.

Race food is something that's easy to take for granted, but paying attention to my nutrition has really helped improve my performance.  There is a short list of things I consider my semi-secret weapons, and GU Brew Recovery is one of them.

My spirits were slightly dampened by the state of the box upon its arrival.  Most of the time my packages arrive in pretty good shape, but this one looked like it had suffered unnecessarily at the hands of the delivery company.  Surely these fellows must get packages themselves, and they would want them carefully shepherded while in transit, no?

Fortunately everything in my box is sealed from the elements and made it through the luggage chucking gauntlet unscathed.  GU-Mas will be going ahead as scheduled.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Are You Training for Something?

Like most winter weekends I spent most of my time outdoors last Saturday and Sunday on skis at Trapp's.  Saturday was an interesting day and although it was 24 and sunny at home it was 17, snowy and windy at Trapp's.  That might not sound like a big difference, but it was a little more than I was mentally ready for when I got to the parking lot. 

Fortunately I stay pretty warm while skiing and I brought enough extra layers to stay comfortable.

As I headed out on my first warm up loop I could hear that someone was skiing behind me.  Traffic is common on the flattish loops around the touring center so I didn't think much of it.  When I stopped to take a drink a woman skied up next to me to ask for trail directions.  After some quick recommendations she asked if she could follow me on my route.  She wasn't interested in talking, she just didn’t want to ski alone and didn’t know where to go. 

The snow was surprisingly good given the extreme temperature swings we've had lately, but I took care to avoid the downhills I knew would have icy skied off corners.  She kept pace as we wound our way around the race loop, down Skater's Waltz and across to Aither. 

When we stopped at hilltops or to take off our skis to cross the road we'd spend a minute or two in polite, general conversation.  As we skied into the second hour together we talked more and more about some things we discovered we had in common, which isn't surprising when you consider the general priorities of the endurance community in Northern New England. 

She'd just moved to Vermont with her husband and two daughters and just started a physical therapy office in Essex.  She had a background in mountain biking and road racing.  She also had trouble with depression in the winter and needed to get outside.  We were more alike than she knew.  

At one point she asked "are you training for something?"  I gave my usual polite elevator response along the lines of "I enjoy skiing, but my main focus is endurance mountain bike racing."  At the time I didn't realize how profound her question really was.  Several hours later I was still pondering.
What struck me was that most people I meet on the trail usually ask topical questions like whether or not I'm a racer.  I'd like to think that my skill on skis is what prompts those thoughts, but really it's probably my goofy hats and Swix drink belt.  By design there's usually nothing easily distinguishable about me to say that I'm really a cyclist moonlighting as a skier. 

Her question was deeper than the kind of superficial conversation you'd expect from a first meeting.  I could tell that she had her own stories to tell and her own reasons for getting out to ski.  Talking to some endurance athletes about their training is about as engaging as asking a teenage punk how many ponies his Camaro has under the hood.  Fortunately that wasn't the case here.  

"Are you training for something?"  Long after her simple question and my knee-jerk response I considered my real answer.  Yes, I'm training, but it's not for something, it's for its own sake and its own merits.  It's about the workouts, the fitness, and the journey.  Five years ago I would have given you a different answer, probably with an event name, date, category and target placing.  I could have given her the "yes I'm training for mountain bike racing because I think I want to be a pro before I turn 35 and I have a blog and I'm blogging about what I do to try to be pro and you should read it because I update it a lot and my mom says I'm special."  I didn't.  I'm glad I didn't.

Are you training for something, or are you enjoying the ride?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Moots YBB Decal Replacement

A few weeks ago I posted pictures of the new decal set for my YBB.  After several hours with Carrie's hair dryer...I mean heat gun I was able to remove the decals. 

What I wasn't counting on was the shadow that the decals would leave behind as you can see here.  I had planned on relocating some of the decals for a more distinctive look, but my plans were foiled when I realized that the wear around the decals meant that the pristine decal-covered finish underneath meant that those parts of the frame were going to say "Moots" whether I put a decal there or not.  The positive was that I had an easy reference when applying the new ones over top.

It's slow work peeling decals, and it's best accomplished with the use of heat, fingernails and time.

When I finally got all of the old decals removed I used some nail polish remover...I mean acetone, to clean off the residue.  Nail polish remover...I mean acetone, is nasty stuff and I didn't want it lingering on the frame so I then used rubbing alcohol...I mean cleaning solvent, to remove the...acetone.

I did get slightly creative on some of them.  I left the top tube clear of stickers, but that might change down the road if I opt to apply some of my Pro-35 decals.

The "YBB" was relocated to be on the monostay.  It seemed fitting since that's the key feature that gives the bike it's unique personality.  I also thought it might alleviate the second most frequent question I get when I encounter another rider on the trail.  The first question is usually "is that a Moots?" which is invariably followed up with "is it a YBB?"  At least now I can point to the sticker on the slider, making it double obvious.

Almost all of the decals returned to their normal places with the exception of the "Handmade in the Rockies" on the driveside chainstay.  It's not that I mind that sticker, but it's located half under clear chainstay protector so the part that's exposed gets pretty beat up and grease covered.

You'll notice the massive amounts of snow in the background.  It always amazes me how many bike upgrade pictures are taken in the winter, presumably because that's when most of us in the frigid north need to replace some of our outdoor bike riding time with indoor bike fiddling time. 

It's a poor substitute. 


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Moots Monday- Psycho-X in Winter Regalia- Updated

They're taunting me. 

On the Moots blog you can find this picture taken of the bike path in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

I just saw Jon's response to my comment on the moots blog about this, and it's not an RSL proto but in fact a Psychlo X SL that's been recently redecaled.  I'm not sure whether I feel better or worse about it being an older, discontinued but more exclusive model.  The cool factor is still there for certain and although it's not branded as "race stock" equipment it carries a certain cache much like the older Mavic rims with SSC etched into them.  

Here are my original comments below.  Perhaps I'm so hung up on the new RSL line that I'm projecting them onto every silvery-looking handmade bike that I come across.


They don't call out the bike in the picture, but my suspicion is that it's another shot of an RSL Prototype.  In my mind that's the perfect 'cross bike, and an amazing winter bike.  In some ways owning a bike like that is like buying an Audi S4 for a winter car, but the reality is that the RSL is well suited to rough roads and impervious to rust and corrosion.  Admittedly you could argue that an aluminum frame has a similar resistance to salt and that it's the components that really take the beating.

What's so bad about a new hyped up RSL putting in winter mileage?  On the surface, nothing.  Except that I have a new Mooto X RSL 29 er hardtail on order that's from the first ever production run that's due to arrive in about a month.  Obviously I'm super excited about that bike, but the issue is that I'm already thinking about my Next Next bike.  It's as if my Next bike is already in the rear view mirror.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Competition Report- Chilympiad

Somehow this weekend became almost completely food-focused as I spent several hours in the kitchen.  I also participated in my first competition of the year, but probably not one you'd expect. 

I have been toying with the idea of making my own energy bars for some time.  I'd like to say that I don't like prepackaged food, or that I need to be able to pronounce all of the ingredients in what I eat, but the reality is that most of my interest is rooted in financial necessity. 

Being active 5-6 days a week means that I burn through a lot of training fuel and I try reserve my GU stash for hard workouts and races.  My fondness for tinkering and making things doesn't end in the shop, so I did some online research (seems redundant to say that these days- is there any other kind of research?  Does anybody actually go to the library and use the Dewey Decimal system?) and found some recipes.  Previously I'd tried several recipes for energy bars, but they were all super sweet, very sticky and nearly impossible to eat while riding. 

After some consideration I thought I'd give a more traditional granola bar recipe a try since those are usually less sweet.  I stumbled upon a recipe adapted from the King Arthur Flour cookbook and further made some of my own tweaks.  This is how it came out.

The chocolate covered portion is for recovery bars.  As much as I like chocolate it just doesn't agree with me when I'm doing anything other than sitting down and chewing.  It can also get messy if it warms up inside a jersey pocket.

Overall these were pretty good- not too sweet and with a good mix of fruit and nuts. 

The next item on the agenda was the Chilympiad.  What's a Chilympiad?  It's a  local chili cook-off event hosted in town, and despite the name I don't have to wait 4 years between events.  I was grossly unprepared when I entered in 2009 as I was wholly unaware that I needed marketing materials to support my entry.  I had to borrow some crayons and a paper place mat to scrawl out a hasty sign that didn't put my entry in the best possible position.  It was like missing your pedal at the start when everybody's gunning for the hole shot.

I'm competitive, I'm obsessive  and I tend to over-analyze things.  My friends have joked that I care about four things- my wife, my job, cycling and...cooking chili.  One of those things not like the others?  In fact cooking chili is something I take semi-seriously, and I've entered a variation on an old family recipe in a handful of local competitions. 

I spent Saturday afternoon riding the rollers and cooking my chili.  I've learned that chili is really the best when it's cooked ahead of time and allowed to simmer for a few hours before being eaten.  My roller ride was entirely unimpressive.

Sunday's activities were entirely Chilympiad based.  After my usual weekend cycling internet dabbling I got caffeinated and rounded up my gear to head up to Trapp's.  For a variety of reasons that plan fell apart and I only made it for about 20 minutes before bailing and coming home to ride the rollers instead. 

As my chili cooked away in the Crock Pot I got my materials together and steeled myself for the challenge that lay ahead.  I'm sorry to admit that I was nervous.  It's not like there was a lot on the line, but I had replayed the events of 2009 over and over enough times that I was dedicated to improving this time. 

I arrived early to fill out the requisite entry forms and prepare my entry for judging.  The handmade "chili 5:30" sign out front confirmed that I was in the right place.

Fortunately Carrie and her Dad came along to support my effort, and we were joined later by Margie and Greg.  Those three people form a good portion of our local support network and are always willing to turn out for our often esoteric adventures.  Carrie doesn't have a choice. 

There were a total of 9 entries, and my goal quickly became not finishing 9th.  As the judges mulled their decisions we discussed our picks for who might win.  The youth group from the host church had an entry, and that entry would end up the winner. 

In second place?  Me, winner of the popular vote. 

Friday, February 11, 2011

ByeKyle Simple Strap Review

I hate saddle bags.  While I don't mind them on other people's bikes, on my own they just look clunky saddle-mounted bike luggage.  They just seem to ruin the aesthetic of a clean, simple and purposeful bike. 

Unfortunately function gets in the way, and I'm not such a slave to self-perceived fashion that I'm willing to risk that I won't have any mechanical trouble and therefore skip out on carrying some emergency essentials.  I still need to carry the basics, and when the pockets get full of gels, bars and a spare bottle there's only one place left to carry tools- the bike.  Solution?  Enter the Simple Strap.   

The ByeKyle Simple Strap is one of those rare finds that seems too good to be true.  It's functional, durable, USA made, cost-effective and versatile to be used for a variety of on- and off-bike applications.

The Simple Strap is primarily marketed as a means for mountain bike racers  to carry a tube and/or CO2 canister on their bike.  Sure you can use a bag, but who wants to fumble with that when they're in a hurry on the race course? 

I can remember a picture of Lennie Kristensen on the cover of Velo News after he won Le Tour de VTT, a race that at the time was dubbed as the Tour de France of mountain biking.  The race is still around but has since lost some of its luster.  I vividly recall Lennie's bike had a tube electrical taped to the top of the stem for easy access in the event of a puncture.  One of my first acts of pro mimicry was to tape a tube to my stem for my races in 1997 and 1998. 

The problem with tape is that although it's secure, it's not really that convenient.  If you're wearing full finger gloves it's nearly impossible to quickly unwind or rip the tape to get to your tube.  Once it's undone there's also no way to reuse the tape to carry your blown tube or used CO2.  The Simple Strap changes all of that.

While I considered running my tube Lennie-style on the stem I instead opted for the cleaner under saddle mount.  Some racers just attach it to the seat tube, but I found that it rubbed on my legs too much in that position and didn't feel as secure as I would have liked.   Ultimately the size and setup of your bike will influence where a tube and CO2 fit the best, and I've seen them mounted on both the top and bottom of the stem, on seat posts, saddle rails, or anywhere inside the main triangle.    

With it mounted to the saddle rails it's not only tucked out of the way but also makes for a very tidy setup.  After I figured out the best fit for the tube and Big Air canister I cinched it down and have never had any trouble with it since.  

Previously I'd used ski straps to hold a CO2 and/or tube to my seat post.  While the rubber padding helped keep things from moving around it never quite felt secure enough and when I crashed or transported the bike it would often spin out of place.  The rubber on the Simple Strap is strong enough to keep it from moving around, but it needs to be in contact with your bike to really hold tight.  If there's one instruction to using the simple strap, that's it.

I bought two of these last spring and used one all of last season for every training ride, mid-week world championship and endurance event that I entered.  In previous endurance races I had used a saddle bag to carry two tubes, but last year I stuck with my everyday Simple Strap kit and just kept extra tubes in my drop bags.

For $7 including shipping it's a steal.  I'm so sold on these that I bought a couple more for my new bike and just to keep on hand. 

The simple strap is available in a rainbow of colors and is available online at www.byekyle.com

Does This Mean That I've Arrived?

This week I decided to search for this blog through Google, and I was amazed at what I found.

No longer does my blog show up after a couple pages of 35 mm camera links, but as the first option when you search for "pro 35 blog".
Truth be told, my father-in-law gave me the idea to start searching for pro 35.  He had forgotten the url and was trying to find it, but couldn't.  Since then I've made Google search results a pseudo-benchmark and something to strive for.  

Does this mean that I've arrived, or just that I've been active enough on the interweb to have Google recognize my existence?  Hard to say, but regardless I'm psyched about it.  Earlier this month I passed another milestone- 2,000 unique page views.  Not a huge number, but considering I didn't even start this project until mid-September I'm pretty happy with it.  Hopefully I can keep the momentum going through the season when I have real things to post about like training, racing, my new bike, and so on.  This is a one man, part-time show, but it's been a great creative outlet for my cycling geekitude.  In the process it may have even helped my marriage.  No longer is Carrie inundated with incessant cyclo-centric banter; now it's just intermittent.  

Maybe you've stopped by because you're a bike geek like me and are starved for online cycling content in the wintertime.  Maybe you've stumbled upon these pages because you know me, or have raced with me somewhere along the way.  Maybe you are a closet nordic geek and don't want to admit it to your alpine-centric friends.  Regardless, I appreciate the attention, and thank you for stopping by.  

More to follow...

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Objects of Interest: Assorted Bikes

In the absence of riding outdoors I've had to fill my need for cycling jones with internet pictures of other bikes, other riders and other fun two wheeled endeavors.  The images below are of bikes that I'm currently interested in, and other than the fact that I don't own any of them they don't have much else in common.

This is a '95 Specialized S-Works FSR, courtesy of www.retrobike.co.uk.  When I was first getting into mountain biking in the mid 90's this was the bike I wanted, but thought I'd never have.  It had all of the trimmings of the time- carbon Rock Shox FSX fork, Grip Shift X Ray shifters and White Industries hubs.  Pretty sweet.  This bike was built when almost all high end Specialized models were still made in the US. 

 This cool match up of old and new and comes by way of Skyde bikes out of France.  This particular bike was raced on the European cross country circuit by Ludovic Dubau, current world masters cyclocross champ.  It's an interesting application of titanium and an ISP on a mountain bike.  I'm not sure how well anyone can cut a titanium ISP, but it sure does look cool even if it has obvious drawbacks.  The carbon Reynolds wheels and tubular Dugast Rhino mountain bike tires make this thing look the part of a real dirt-going pasta rocket.

The gearing up front is interesting as well, and if you look closely you'll see it's a 9 speed drivetrain that seems to have only the smaller two chainrings attached.  While that's a common setup for all mountain riding, most elite racers that opt for two chainrings usually drop the smallest, not the biggest.  It would be interesting to see if he's still running this setup this season or if the more widespread 10 speed options make Mr Dubau opt for something more mainstream.   

This Panasonic early 90's replica was also discovered on www.retrobike.co.uk.  In many ways I think the technology that was current in this bike is what many people like to cling to- 8 Speed Dura Ace, box section tubulars and a hand made frame with a simple paint job.  Those are all perfectly respectable things, but bikes have evolved since then.  Still, this is a cool bike, and I think anything pro is cool.  This bike has all of the original trimmings including a San Marco Rolls saddle.  I wouldn't mind one of these for recovery rides on sunny summer days...you know, when all the Miata drivers tool around the back roads getting sunburns on their bald heads. 

I'm not sure who actually manufactured this bike, but the total retro look with white cables and plastic Profile Kages make it a complete package.  

New Englanders will know this one immediately- it's a Spooky Supertouch.  Spooky has been resurrected in the last couple years and has started to make some cool bikes that are legit American-made race sleds at reasonable prices.  They're not super flashy or Euro-cool, but they have a very deliberate feel that is both cost effective and high performance at the same time.  In my early racing days I wanted a Darkside, and the latest incarnation shown below is still a rad race bike that I'd be psyched to own. 

 For some reason I've gotten hung up on the 1 x drivetrain option lately for both cross and mountain bikes.  It doesn't fit with my Vermont geography, nor my preferred riding style of seated spinning, but there's something very pro and purposeful about it that I find appealing.  I'm considering dabbling with one on my new Moots RSL when it arrives, but I doubt I'll be able to push a single ring for any of my endurance events. 

This Mariposa was shown on the Bicycle Specialties website, and to me this bike is a very refined and sophisticated without being stuffy.  The simple but elegant paint on top of a great timeless frame make this a great example of what a bike should be.  It's cool to run 8 speed Campy on a bike if that's what was current when the bike was built.  This is sort of like an older Porsche that isn't quite in step with the latest and greatest on the track, but its heritage and pedigree are unmistakable.  Handmade and (North) American are always a winning combo. 

This is another New England handmade lust magnet courtesy of Mike Zanconato/reposted from Bikerumor.  Mike has been making high end steel bikes for a dedicated and growing fan base like this 'cross bike he'll be showing at NAHBS.  Several guys on the New England CX circuit are running bikes built by Zank, and after seeing some of them up close I can say that I'm impressed.  The welds, fit and finish are superb and the fit is what you'd expect from an artisan.

In my current line of thinking I'll be using my 'cross bike as my early season roadie, and it would kill me to run something so beautiful through that kind of punishment.  Still, Zanconato says that he builds bikes to be ridden.  There's no doubt in mind that this is the perfect weapon for a fast, chattery and technical 'cross course.  If you look closely you'll also see some of Zanconato's custom close ratio chainrings.  The classic lugged steel frame and fork with the Campy 10 speed build kit and Shamal wheels make this a very cool blend of old school craftsmanship and new school technology. 

Man, I can't wait for spring.

Monday, February 7, 2011


The weekend didn't go according to plan. 

It got off to a great start Saturday morning when I awoke to yet more pristine snow and bright sunshine. 

I ran around and gathered my gear.  The overnight low was around 5, but the high temp was supposed to be around freezing, so I loaded a lot of gear into my bag before I left.  This is just for the ski.

Then I had to choose which glasses to wear.  Decisions decisions.  I went with the new Zyons, which are on the bottom of the picture. 
Then I got all of my bike clothes ready.  I had planned to make this ski and outdoor bike ride happen, so I wanted to put myself in the best spot possible to actually do it. 

Then I got my drinks ready.  Again, this is just for the ski. 

I met up with Spinney, friend/coach/ironman triathlete/nutritionist/semi-pro motivational speaker.  The first half of my ski with Spinney was great.  

I got to Trapp's an hour early because I wanted to get warmed up and ski for 3 hours.  The idea of doing the 30k Gatineau Loppet was still rattling around in my head, so I decided I needed to test my legs a bit. 
After 60 solo minutes I met up with Spinney and we headed out.  We decided to ski the Trapp's- Mansfield Touring Ctr connector and hit some of the trails at Mansfield before coming back. 

The last couple of years there has been some discord between Trapp Family Lodge and the Stowe Mountain Resort operated Mansfield Touring Center that has kept the connecting trail from being maintained.  An agreement has been reached and the trail is now open again.

Our plan was to ski together for two hours, yet somehow my preparation meant that I only had 1 small 100 calorie energy bar and about 1.5 hours worth of water, both of which were quickly consumed within the first 20 minutes of skiing with Spinney.  Dammit.

The connector trail has a set of fairly long and steep rollers that make the 5k journey take much longer than you'd expect.  As we got to the top of the last one I could feel that I was running out of steam and that I was about to drop anchor.


This was right before we started back to Trapp's.  

We made a quick pitstop at the lodge, then started to head back to Trapp's.  I was smoked, and even small-ish hills were giving me a lot of trouble.  I ate the last bite of the small granola bar that Spinney had given me and readied myself for the vertical onslaught ahead. 

It wasn't pretty, it definitely wasn't smooth, and I made every effort to block out the little voice of ski coach Jim Fredericks as I bumbled my way up the hills.  "Push your skis out!  Get your weight forward!  Bend at the ankles- don't sit down!"  My goal while climbing became simply to keep snot off my relatively new jacket.  Anything actually related to the act of skiing was too embarrassing to consider.

In spite of myself and my poor planning I made it back to the car and promptly inhaled all of the food I'd brought with me.  My plan was to ski again on Sunday and I had to refuel if I was going to be able to even get out of bed. 

On Sunday morning I met up with fellow Grass Moots racer Jason and we made our way up to Trapp's.  The races that had started on Saturday were still rolling, so we had to take a more interpretive route than normal.  We hit the usual Sugar Road/Telemark/Russell Knoll warmup, but the race course blocked us from being able to head down to Skater's Waltz and across to Ayers.  After crossing the road and taking off our skis almost half a dozen times we finally decided to ski up Parizo to County Road.  

My normal route heads down Skater's Waltz past the pasture where the Highland Cattle chillax.  

After about 90 minutes of mostly skiing we started up Parizo.  Fortunately my revised breakfast and thoughtful fueling plan made the climbing much more tolerable, so much so that I could actually pay some attention to Coach Jim's instruction within my internal monolog.  Thanks, Jim.  

After we crested Parizo we bombed down County Road, then zipped down the steep descent to Russell Knoll.  The steepest section was mostly free of chuckleheads, but I managed to find a couple camped out right in the apex of the turn at the bottom.  We made one more run up Telemark, then headed back to the car after 2.5 hours of solid, endurance pace skiing.

This hillside is where the tourists decided to setup camp.   

The real fun didn't start until I got home.  I'll spare you the details, but basically Carrie and needed to clear some snow off the roof and it took almost 4 hours.  That's 4 hours after skiing when I really just wanted to go inside and take a nap. 

All of this has set the stage for today.  I can summarize my feelings in two words.  Fuck.  Everyone.  Not necessarily everyone, but everyone who's been pissing me off today.  Like my neighbor who clears the snow off of his driveway by blowing it into the road.  Like the guy at the Rental Center who couldn't have been less helpful when I was there to return the shitty overpriced roof rake with the short handle that we picked up yesterday.  Like coworkers who still don't understand a pretty straightforward process right before implementation even after months of discussions.  Like the guy who's been maintaining the salad bar at the local grocery store for 6 months and still hasn't realized the appropriate sizes to cut lettuce, ham and onions respectively. 

But I digress.

I shouldn't be in a bad mood at all.  Overall things went well this weekend.  The only negative is that I didn't get to ride outside in the mild temperatures.  Stupid Hampsten.  Maybe next weekend. 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Hampsten

Maybe this is the weekend that I finally make it happen.  

I read Will Frischkorn's Velo News Fresh 'Korn segment in 2009, and since then I've been preoccupied with the workout he describes in this post. 


When Boulder resident Andy Hampsten was preparing for the Giro, one of his winter workouts was to ride his mountain bike up to the local XC ski center and then go skiing.  The ride was mostly uphill, and on a mountain bike the speeds were low enough to stay warm.  

Trapp's is a reasonable ride away, and it's perched atop a sizable hill.  I happen to have more knobby tires than I know what to do with, and several bikes at my disposal.  The yet-to-be-released Moots Psychlo X RSL would be perfect for this, but I'll have to wait and save for a few more months.  

Winter of 2009/2010 I even put together a beater mountain bike with the express purpose of riding in bad weather.  On my few test rides I hated the bike and sold it shortly after I got it built. 

With any luck this is the weekend that I can make it happen.  It's mainly an issue of lining up the logistics with favorable weather conditions so that I don't freeze on the bike portion.  Making this happen requires a staggering amount of gear, and if I can put it all together I'll be sure to write it up. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Right Now

Most of the US is getting drilled with yet another serious snowstorm so I'll spare you my comments about the obvious.

I did find this satellite image from the NOAA that shows just how intense this storm system is and how much of the country it's affecting.

Still I'd rather be shoveling snow than dodging pipe bombs in Cairo right now.