Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Vegas, the journey to here.

So it was a pretty eventful day yesterday. I made it to Vegas with really no problems.

View from my room.
















To get here was a fun time. I left Memphis a little before lunch and put the hammer down on the interstate. It was clear, dry, sunny, and awesome. I did run into a ton of police officers so I couldn't drive 90 or anything but still made good time. On the way to my friend's house to park for free, I was slightly misguided and drove a little more than I needed to. Oh well. At the airport the lady at the xray machine chewed me out for not sending my computer through solo but I smiled, apologized, and proceeded on about my ways. I get to the gate and the only spot with open seats has some crazy Mennonite family who is crunching pretzels into the floor and running around barefoot. (They might have not been Mennonite, but they were extremely religious and crazy.) The kids were jumping on the seats and causing a huge ruckus. One little boy had three fingers stuck in his mouth drooling and having a huge coughing fit. I generally don't mind kids but this was more of a total family creep-out.The mom was giving me funny looks, the dad kept talking about how one time a gander of geese was caught in an airplane engine. I wanted to stick a writing pen through my gauged ear and tell the kids that tattoos are rad.

I flew into Denver chasing a 2 inch strip of sunset and amazed at the cool sight of the moon rising over the cloud cover. It was a cool site. I chatted with a nice guy on my flight from Denver to Vegas and arrived unscathed. I chatted it up with a lady who works for Saris on my walk/train ride from my terminal to the baggage claim. My friends picked me up at the baggage claim and we headed to the strip. I was completely overwhelmed and was asked "is there anything you have wanted to do?" and my answer was "You just plucked me out of Tipton County and dropped me on the Vegas strip".

Besides being completely dazzled, seeing two weddings after midnight, and realizing that this trip was pretty awesome already. I crawled into bed at 1am Vegas time, which is 3am Memphis time, which is officially 5 hours past my bed time.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

prelude to interbike

On my side of things lately I have been mingling the line between hectic and lazy. There are a ton of new cool things going on in my little corner of the world. I will begin at the beginning: I moved into a house where I am really close to our Cordova location of work. My dog has a yard to play in, other dogs to play with, and a pair of cats that terrorize him and try to burn up his seemingly unlimited supply of energy.

The weather has been great and the weather has been much more agreeable over the last two weeks, you can actually go for a ride without dripping sweat from every square of your body in the first 2 miles. I have converted my mountain bike back to a regular handlebar, single speed mountain bike. The Cannondale CAAD10 has been proving to be a great bike for the road, but only when I ride it.

This year a friend offered me the great opportunity to join him and his lovely lady at Interbike to help with their booth. This is what I will be hustling and bustling all week long, shaking hands, hustling shirts, serving booze, giving people an idea of how amazing the one off skinsuit from FUCancer looks, and generally just enjoying myself.

We will be hanging out at Booth #1048 and having a good time. Want to stop by? Please do. Remember a ton of this merchandise goes to helping more people. Soft shirts, good causes, and great style. That's right, I'll see you there.
Do you dare?


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My Month of July

I am going to try to summarize my months of June & July into just a few words. Long, full, and tiring. I had been living in Midtown in the same apartment for the last two years. I had graduated from the UofM and was moving on to things like working in a bike shop. The area wasn't great for riding my bike from, the rent was a little steep to swing by myself, and with student loan repayment beginning I decided to seek shelter in the upstairs of a friends home. I spent most of June trying to ride a little bit and pack up my apartment. This was the first time of moving as an adult and I had accumulated a ton of crap.

When I began my push to move I decided to make a few piles of stuff that would help me move more efficiently. The piles included Trash, Donate, Sell, Treasure.

I threw away a lot of stuff mercilessly. There were things I just didn't need. Things I didn't want. Things I had no use for. I donated some stuff to the goodwill that was useable but not worth keeping around because I didn't see myself using it again. I had some stuff good enbough to sell but wouldn't be used again, and a few items I absolutely treasured.

Once I knew I was moving I began moving stuff pretty regularly between my days off and evenings. I began situating things before I moved in and tried to stay tidy. Rather than completely piling it all in at once I would take boxes over, unpack them, and then take those boxes back to the apartment to start over. That worked great until the last big dig and I had to pile it up anyways. Here we are 5 weeks later and some boxes are still just sitting idly.

I did sell some things that I wanted to get ride of in order to make space and money. It was refreshing and labor intensive.

I had house sat here a good bit over the last year or so and Marley was well accustomed to the other animals and the yard situation. I can say overall I think Marley is excited about having a yard to play in. He has also made good friends with one of the cats and they will fight and play. Marley has even nearly taught the big dog Turbo how to play tug o war with a rope.

The moral of the story is things have been going well, just busy. I have been working a good bit in order to help keep things at working rolling smoothly and evenly. I have been trying hard to ride more (which is still hit n miss). I am pretty fired up about cyclocross season and looking forward to seeing Cross Vegas while out at Interbike. More on Interbike to come tomorrow after the store meeting.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Long time no blob.

Yes blob. Because a real blog would be updated regularly and have good content. I have neither of those things so I have a blob. A splotch of unidentifiable garbage on the internet, much akin to an electronic booger.


Just the tip.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

SALE SALE SALE!!!!

54cm Alum/Carbon Frame, Carbon fork - $300

54cm Ti, made in 'Merica! Full Dura-Ace 10spd. 1'' steerer tube fork - $1200

Aliante Saddle - straight rails and only one tiny wear spot on nose

$25 or trade for a racier saddle, Arione or SLR type.

Renn Multisport 650c rear wheel, clincher, skewer included.

Shimano freehub, one lil ding at the end of my finger. $250

Monday, July 11, 2011

Dude, give me a break.

Over the last few months I have been learning a lot about living. Think strippers, blow, and a wild car ride with a guy duct taped in the trunk. . . wait. Scratch that. My life isn't a Three-6 song. I have been making bicycles work, riding my bike more than ever, racing it a little bit, and trying to make it.

Speaking of making it. At the end of July I will be moving out of my apartment that I have lived in for a little over two years. It is odd to try and imagine packing my life into boxes and squeeze into the upstairs of an ever so generous couple, Ryan and Andrea. I often wonder what the place will be called. I have referred to it as a compound a few times and think the name could stick. I often daydream about an every man(and woman) for him(or her)self attempt to get out the door to ride, battling one another with embrocation to the eyes and fighting over the air pump, finding cleat covers tubular cemented into place. . . all for the town line sprint championships.

Over the last 12 months I have had loads of envy. I previously thought that everyone else got all the cool opportunities. People were getting off easy. Or some people are just lucky. But then I decided to make myself the lucky one. I have realized that life is what you make it, for the most part.

Today I was riding my rollers, clicking along, and I got the first double drip. When sweat drips off your nose and is quickly followed by another drip. It is almost an out-of-rhythm drip. This is pretty uncommon for me. I don't know if I am just not a heavy sweater, possibly I am not fully hydrated, or something. Anyways, I started really sweating, pretty early into my "easy" ride. I immediately thought of a guy on MB/BPC team Joe. Joe has been a pretty big motivating factor for me wanting to get fast. He is fast. He can make people hurt. He is able to ride with Bryant Funston and have fun. I was standing around after Joe raced a crit one day and Aaron Parker says "I wish I was fast still, I just don't have the time to train". Joe's jaw dropped. He was still standing over his bike and his son was saying "hey daddy" and trying to use the downtube as a step to climb up to Joe. Joe looked at Aaron, said "Dude give me a break" and that was that.

What is the moral of this whole post, what is it all about? My roller workout today was boss. Over the last few months riding more consistently (even still shoddy consistency, but more steady on the bike) I have had a ton of more fun riding my bike. Being faster is addictive. 3 months ago I was saying I wanted to be as fast as people X,Y,Z. I have realized it isn't about being faster than someone else really. I need to ride until I am as fast as I can be.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Not What You Were Expecting

Rewind a year and I had a girlfriend who lived with me. Everything was peachy and great and sometimes we cooked breakfast together and shared cinnamon rolls. Today I was cooking some cinnamon rolls. I realized that there was no one to share them with. NO ONE TO SHARE THEM WITH!!!!111!













So I decided to eat the whole pan like a boss.













Happy Friday everybody.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Decaf by Default.

I wrote this last night but my blog simply refused to be pushed to the world wise interwebz:

Today is an off day from the bike and is weird feeling. I have been pretty tired all day, even though I slept like a kitten last night. I woke up feeling pretty good, made breakfast and ate while reading Velonews, and decided to go roll around in the bed because I didn't have to leave for work anytime soon.


Throughout the course of the day I didn't drink enough water. Not nearly enough. I feel all dried out, hot, and lethargic. Possibly I did drink enough water, because I have been making "Bear Soda" all day long. Part of it may be because I shaved my hair off yesterday to rid myself of the bleached spots in my hair. It was cool for the 5 or whatever days it lasted but I am just not cool enough to take a ton of funny looks every day. Anyways, my head always feels funny for a while with all of the sensations on my scalp. Maybe it's a combination of that and the fact I am a total softie. Who knows?

As I write this I am sitting at my soon-to-be-for-sale kitchen table and eating cereal. I feel like I could eat an entire box of cereal. I have been trying to eat a healthier diet that includes more fruits and vegetables in order to help counterbalance my increase in training. My idea is that if I eat terribly and ride a tiny bit and barely get dropped I'm stupid. If I begin eating much healthier foods (good) and begin to ride my bike really hard (bad for my body in some ways) then I should feel overall the same. In reality it isn't working that way. I am eating better some of the time but the toll of riding my bike consistently is pretty big. A friend once told me "If being fast was easy everyone would do it."

Boom. If it was easy everyone would do it. Now you know.

Fast Forward to this morning and I get up, clean up a little bit, and start my water to make coffee in the french press. I go sit in the shower until the hot water runs out. Water in the kettle is boiling so I get my coffee grinder out, reach for my coffee. . . . reach for my coffee?!!?!? There wasn't any. All the coffee was already consumed. There is coffee at the store. There is coffee at the coffee shop. But not in my kitchen.

Nothing that is easy is good and nothing that is good is easy.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Black and White? Nah Brah Totally Gray.

I should one day publish an entire blog post about things my dad says. He is full of great and witty comments for just about any situation. I have used some examples in the past, will in this moment, and will long into the future.

*person in fancy car is in the way when you are driving, holds you up by not using a turn signal*
"I'm glad I can't afford a ___________, those damn things don't even have blinkers. Hell even the S-10 had blinkers." The S-10 was a 1982 Chevy S-10 single cab pickup truck that had about a billion miles on it and was a stick shift. I learned to drive a stick in that truck.

Over the years I have yet to figure out if I am the way that I am because I work hard. I would give credit to my wonderful parents, grandparents, and older sister for dealing with me during my wee years. I could say that they were/are great in teaching me how to work hard and produce good work. On the other hand I could say they allowed me to become an arrogant, hard headed, self righteous bastard who believes everything should be perfect. When things aren't perfect I go all bat dung crazy and freak out on people who aren't doing what they should be doing to make thing perfect. I ignorantly believe that everyone can perform on a certain level of brain level that allows them to not totally suck at everything.

The reality is nothing is black or white and I most certainly fall into a weird mixture of arrogant, self righteous, hard working bastard who is personally bat dung crazy.

In other not so new news, I will be moving out of my apartment in the near future. I'm going to be living "all the way out there" if you ask a Midtown person.   I plan to use a bunk bed/multiple sleeping options approach that will allow me to sleep in either a hammock or a bed, with the hammock being set up bunk bed style over the bed. I wonder if me or marley would enjoy sleeping in a hammock? Even the ability to go to bed and chill in the hammock and read for a while and then when ready to sleep crawl into a cool bed and go to sleep. I am looking forward to that very much. Also Marley will have a yard to play in, there is better road riding out there, and my commute to work will be far enough to justify wearing a chamois. Total win across all fronts.

Sorry for my total lack of pictures. I suck at that. Maybe some will come tomorrow as I attempt to take over the world. My day off includes riding, shopping for the shop, shopping at the shop, and rebuilding an Industry Nine wheel with a more reliable and rider weight appropriate Arch rim.

You should turn on your Pandora Radio and create a station using The Eagles as the jumping block.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Good, Bad, and the Putty

So I have had some good, some bad, and in the extremely near future will have some putty as well.

The good: I raced the Smif & Nieces Omnium. It was a grand time. I didn't die in the circuit race even though the pace was pretty hard, one guy snapped off a fork, and it was 700 degrees. I placed 7th in under 40 cat 5. That night was the time trial so I outfitted my cross bike with a Zipp 404 front and 808 rear tubular wheel. I dropped my chain before I started, rolled out with one foot clipped in and proceeded to channel my rage into a 2nd place finish. The next day in the crit I was a protected person due to my Omnium standings but pretty much ran out of gas on the last 1/2 of the last lap. My life story. Ended up 3rd under 40 Cat 5 in TN for the State Crit medal, and 3rd overall under 40 for the Omnium.

The bad: student loan repayment begins very soon. I am going to move out of my apartment and start living in a multi family home. The monthly savings is very near the monthly payment of loan.

(Anyone need a kitchen table and chairs that will be available for pickup at the end of July, free if you get it.)

The putty will come as I patch the holes in the walls and prepare to HTFU and get my 16 mile, one way, commute on to go to Union.

No pics from the weekend really, Cat 5's go last and all the photographers are drunk by the time we race.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Surely it's Surly.

In my quest to be a loud mouth jerk I always said skinny bars on mountain bikes sucked. It goes back to my days of bmx, when I rode big bars. I rode big bars when big bars were just coming out. I liked my bars big because they felt better. Anyways.

I was riding a Niner 710mm flat bar. I made the comment that skinny bars suck. Joel, my boss, said they don't. He offereed to let me ride a Crank Brothers bar that is a mere 600mm wide. Ok I'm game. No big deal. I'll try it. The first time I rode it, I was using a Powertap wheel and was more being a jerk, applying some pedal power, and giving it a whirl. I rode the CB bar to Arkansas this last weekend and it sucked. I didn't like the width, or straightness. I had been fascinated with the idea of a bendy bar. I know some people love them. The bastard child of a drop bar, a mustache bar, and an otter.

My reasoning went something like this:
The Niner bar has some good bend, I like the Niner bar.
The Bontrager big sweep I just put on the Schwinn I ride to work feels great too.
The super bendy Surly One Bar is even more bend-tabulous than either of those.
If the bar has too much bend-tabulous action for single track fun I could always run it on the Schwinn on the Surly CrossDresser.

I ordered it. (before I knew ORAMM was full and I should have been spending my money on other stuff)

Boom. The bend is great looking, the drop is deep, and I want to ride it badly. I need to recable the rear brake and the shifter, but really the current length will work to make sure this bar is actually living on this bike before I go buying up all the housing and stuff and setting it up.

Inferior bar is inferior

Lonely stem and a snoopy puppy

Looking fun.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Self Served Life Lesson, A La Mode Of Course

Some times you have to learn as you live. People say you can learn from others, from reading books, all that stuff. They are mostly wrong. You have to learn most life lessons by screwing up yourself. There are some areas where this doesn't apply:
Experimenting with meth
Driving your car wasted to see if you can do it
Touching a burning blow torch to test your "asbestos fingers"
Trying to punch a train off the tracks

We all know the outcome of those things is really bad. Really bad. However, some people my age don't know jack when it comes to putting their crap in order and making things happen. For instance I was going to use ORAMM as my "A" race for the 2011 season. I have been more consistent with my fitness and working towards being faster. I was hoping for an even more impressive result than last year where I showed up and sorta did great given my fitness and stuff. Reality check. Boom. Registration is full. All of the sudden dudes are offering entry fee, transfer fee, plus 100 bucks. Wow. Thats like 1/2 of one of my paychecks. Before driving 10 hours, making hotel/camping reservations, and eating. Hmm. Time to face the cold hard facts. I don't have the money for entry fee, let alone all the other jazz. That means all that would go on my credit card. For what would hopefully be less than 6 hours 30 minutes on race course.

Totally not going to happen. I am going to skip ORAMM and not put myself in debt. It sucks. I should have registered while entry fee was cheap back in February. I should have asked for entry for my birthday in February. However what would suck more? Paying 14% interest on entry fees, travel, lodging and food for a silly race. That is stupid. The bike I want retails for$2150. I should save money towards buying a new bike. A road bike. So I don't have to race road on a cross bike with a set of road tires and a neg 30 degree stem. (it sure is fun to drop guys on carbon bikes/wheels though).

The moral of this blog post? If I had drank less beer in the last 5.5 months, I could be registered for ORAMM.  But I didn't. So instead I will skip the hassle of hussling for an entry and realize that I need to do better in the future. This is a life lesson moment.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Open Letter to Bob Roll:

I recently read Bob Roll's book titled "Bobke II". This book is in my opinion one of the most encouraging things I have read so far. I say this because Bob Roll was never that fast. I am not discrediting him as a rider in any way. But when at pro caliber races he didn't just show up and just destroy everyone. The thing is at every bike race there are between 2 and 2,000 people lined up to race. What Bob's book highlighted was when he was happy with the small victories of not getting dropped too bad, or too quickly, or hanging in there til it was all flat tires then still having a good time. The book showed me that even though I am coming around and trying to not be too serious while still being serious, I still have a long ways to loosen up before the fun really begins.

So to Bob Roll, if you ever happen upon this, which is unlikely. Thanks. For chronicling how you lived life and had a great time. I will being doing my best to hit some of those things on the bucket list he has left his readers to ponder. I'm marking my calendar with some serious plans for the future.

Also, in super cool news, I have an opportunity so cool that I shouldn't talk about it because if it doesn't happen everyone will be sad. But let's just say there is a chance that in the next few months I could do some really cool things that leave me a good ole 'merican shit-ton of stuff to write about.

This weekend I am racing the Smith and Nephew Omnium. A little disappointed in the 9.2 mile Cat 5 Circuit race but I'm not putting on the race. And no one is making me race. So I should just STFU and get ready to go have fun. The following week I plan to head to Nashville to race the Hamilton Creek 50 mile mountain bike race. I have some fun parts coming for the Felt Nine Race to hopefully complete the geared bike awesomeness that it is.

And for the record guys and gals. . . . I love chocolate milk. I don't think there is much time I would turn it down as long as I wasn't riding. So maybe in the future instead of beer, a mid-afternoon donut and milk drop would be pretty awesome.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Mountain Biking and Road Racing, maybe not in that order.

Over the last few weeks I have been getting back on the bike and getting into the swing of things again. I raced Syllamo's Revenge with more "training" than ever before, but I need to put the spurs to myself (kinda kinky huh) and really get in better habits of riding my bike more than 4 hours a week. I did pretty well over the last 8 days by doing some duration and some intensity and need to start throwing in consistency. I still have to trick myself into riding in different ways than most. It usually involves a ton of profanities and a cue sheet written on a sheet of high quality paper.

I have realized that my last week's exploration ride was truly an epic adventure. I just took off with a few bottles full of water, pockets full of gu, and my iPhone in case things got too squirrely before the light got too low. With that said I have a few different long rides that I plan to attempt over the coming weeks. I want to ride to places I have never been and maybe even end up somewhere I didn't know existed. I'm itching to do a century on the Bob Roll Plan: Wake up, eat breakfast, ride a century, do a shot and chase it with a Guinness. Nap til' 8. Eat a burger. Go to bed.

The road roll-out on the knobby tires this morning was brutal. I raced hard on the road yesterday. I guess that should come first, but it's not. My legs were feeling like they had been filled with lead and then encased in plaster. For the second time my Fizik Aliante saddle felt terrible. Like three rounds of tingly numbness trying to set into my pieces' parts (thanks Pirate for that line. I love it). It was hard to find my rythym, I didn't think I was as hungry as I was. I guess racing yesterday took it out of me. I was physically hurting so I was mentally weak. Things got slimy and I let a little muddy hike-a-bike ruin my fun for a little while. Then I choked down a bar, zipped my mouth shut, and tried to climb out of the "being a whiney ass" and into the "this is a bike ride, its fun" mindset. It sorta worked. For pictures from today's ride go here.

Saturday was the Circue Da Vaccuum race. It was out on the Long Road race loop which is a fast paced, windy, slightly rolling with one hill course. The Cat 4's and Cat 5's got split so the BPC presence in my race was killed. Richard Murphy, Randy, and Richard Patterson joined me in the 5's. The first 3 laps were prime laps, so the race started hot. 3 guys from two teams went off the front and things got ugly. The teams sat up and blocked so they started gapping and I thought "shit, we aren't moving" and went to the front. I baited the guys to start chasing their team mates for a while, till one Vaccuum yelled to another "Stop pulling when your own team is off the front." Le Duh. I just kept going to the front and making people go faster. I didn't want to roll along at a 17mph pace for 40 miles. At the end of lap 1 the gap was 20 seconds. Richard M and I went to the front and made it hurt. We went faster. Vaccuums tried blocking and parking. Some harsh words were exchanged at one point. End of lap 2 the time gap was 2 minutes and 20 seconds. WTF? Seriously. We put together a better effort but some people wouldn't pull, some teams wouldn't pull, and the race was falling apart in front of me. I got stressed out.

I overlapped wheels with a guy and almost went down but luckily didn't.  Adrenaline junky. I kept wanting to go fast. I started bonking. One hour, 12 minutes with no food. SHEEEEEEEIT!!! I ate a gu. In retrospect I should have just eaten 2 at once and gotten it over with. I came back, but knew I wasn't going to to into the last lap fresh to sprint for 4th. There were guys missing from the race who I wanted to disappear. The field seemed to be slimming down. When certain guys were at the front it was a single file suffer fest. I was sitting off the back for a minute. I talked some mad crap to myself and closed the 3 bike length gap so I could draft to the hill. A few laps later, taking pulls each lap, I knew my matches were getting numbered. So I decided to burn 'em while I had 'em. When the 3 laps sign came out I knew I needed to keep all the team guys drafting. People didn't want to rotate through and let Murphy rest so I went from back and let him sit on my wheel for a while. One of the Circue Da Vaccuums popped out of the break away group and we swallowed him up. I put in a super hard launch at the beginning of the last lap to make the pace go up and then promptly popped. I lost the group as they went by and eventually pedaled in the last lap solo. This was similar to my hero effort I made at the Jackson race but this time it landed Richard Murphy on the podium. Was my work what did it? Not 100% but I feel like I did my part.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Ride to the Middle of Nowhere.

Andrea told me to ride to the middle of nowhere as my ride plan for today. It was summed up like this "Ride to the middle of nowhere. Act like riding is your job tomorrow. Eat a big breakfast and plan to eat lunch on your ride." *Gulp* I was scared. She told me "Go to Arkansas" and I figured, ah what the heck, I have never ridden across state lines. Might as well get that knocked out tomorrow. I did some homework on google maps and realized I could easily ride backroads to West Memphis and hopefully find a good place to eat. I made a cue sheet, preloaded my jersey, and figured out how to carry three tubes in an Awesome Strap Race, and went to bed.

I woke up and felt like crap. I didn't really want to ride. I was whining. A whole lot. I decided to not ride. LOL jk jk. I realized it was hot, I need to get used to the heat. It was my day off. My jersey was loaded. All I had to do was get dressed and roll out the door. Seriously. I did.

My route took me through parts of Memphis I hadn't seen before and over the I-55 bridge on the sidewalk. Once over the river I became very confused by no trespassing signs, standing water, and an urge to generally be an idiot (which turned out pretty cool). I went the opposite way I was supposed to go, almost got stuck in some mud with my road tires and shoes. I felt silly. Riding a cross bike, in a road set up, when I very much needed cross stuff. Grrrrr. I rode around and realized things weren't adding up. It seemed this exit of I-55 was just to go to a chemical plant of some sort. The people at the Security Hut of Big Chemical Nasty Smelling Place had no information on how to help me find my way. I rode around a bit more, explored a gravel road, and then realized what may be going on. I used my iFun to pull up the map, and sure enough. The road I needed to take was underwater. But it was just in one spot. I leave my shade of the overpass and sprint back down to where I started. This water looks bad. But the road looks good afterwards. So I look around, find a spot that doesn't seem too deep and ratchet pedal across to keep my shoes dry.

The road was gravel. Deep gravel. I followed it until it was annoyingly deep, hard to ride, and generally more grrr. I really wanted cross tires. Or mountain tires. Or a baja truck. But not 700x23s with 100psi in them. The other problem was putting a carbon soled shoe on gravel is much like wearing white sneakers in winter. You are just asking for trouble. Rather than continuing to beat up my sorer-by-the-minute wrist and potentially fall, I rode out to the river, ate a bar, took a picture, and rode back to Memphis. The labor of keeping things upright on the gravel plus the fact I rode a good deal of stuff off the beaten path to not walk in my road shoes and slip and die equaled I was more tired than I realized.

I crossed into Memphis with 25 miles in me and decided to go to Shelby Forest.  I could ride straight to the General Store, get a coldcut sandwich, and head out to the boat ramp before heading home. I was pooped by the time I got to the store. I ate a bologna and cheddar on wheat, drank a Coke and a Mountain Dew, and refilled all my bottles. I crept away from the store and worked on warming up slow to not leave lunch surprise in the side ditch. I eventaully ramped it up to a good steady effort, made the turn around at the river, and started back. I decided to ease up a bit before Jackson Hill in order to hit it fresh. I stayed in the saddle, recovered in the middle, and went over the top. I decided to put the spurs to it and see how long I could maintain a decent effort out the top and beyond. I kept rolling along, shifting, and bumping my heart rate up 2-3 beats. This went on for another 20 minutes. I finally popped, hung my head in shame, and faced the wind on the way back to Memphis.

I started hating life, running low on water, and generally sucking it up. I was having a hard time keeping the pedals turning and my head screwed on straight. I got some super skanky window waitress on Beale to fill up one of my bottles so I could make it home.

I rounded out the day with 2 states, 1 minor map mishap, 1 iPhone Maps save the day, some fun gravel, 1 hard effort that made me zapped, and 84 miles. Not shabby for a Tuesday.

I came home, made a recovery drink, started the bath, and hopped in. I drank my recovery drink and a bottle of water in the bath. I was hoping taking a cool shower would help stop any sunburn that was trying to finish set in, help me stop sweating (allowing my shower to be effective as well as rehydration to be more effective too), and relax. I shaved from neck to toes (just kidding. . . . I shave my toes). Then I took a quick, warm shower to knock the chill out.

My friend picked me up and we went to eat El Porton and catch up, but my stomach wasn't right so I barely ate. (For the record I am eating my leftovers now). When I came home I grabbed Marley and the long board and headed out for what could hopefully turn into our nightly shred session. He really enjoys running long with me while I scoot down the street.


Impassible Backwater? Merely a Puddle!




Wrong side of the river, still happy.


And the water said "Road be gone"


















I put Marley away and needed to run to Walgreens for toothpaste and thread. I almost grabbed the bike. Blegh, no mas bicicleta. I thought about the Fucus. Really, drive less than 2 miles? No way. I took the long board. It took me 8 minutes to get there and probably 10-12 to get back. I didn't time my way back. I was only gone a total of 28 minutes though. The way back was a little more uphill and I just carried it part of the way. Still a blast, definitely way better tha driving the car. While I am terrible at efficiently going places or not looking dumb on it, I don't care. It's fun.


 video

Monday, June 6, 2011

Time to Reflect

I started working on bicycles a  very long time ago. It all started like this: I was a kid whose dad was a carpenter. My dad literally could fix anything on your home. From the foundation to shingles and everything in between, he could fix it. My dad and my Papa actually owned a construction business, McCulley Construction.When they built the homes they would also build the cabinets that went in them. I stayed at home with my Granny before I was old enough to go to school. I learned to cook, how to be the #1 taste tester, and being a skinny ass kid I learned that trips to the grocery store in July means taking a jacket. After I started school my dad made my lunch every morning (my mom left a little earlier than my dad) and sucking all the air out of my ziploc with my sandwich. I would throw a fit saying "No Daddy, don't suck it, don't suck my sandwich". I never will remember why I thought it was bad he kept my sandwiches fresh.

As a 12 year old kid I remember helping dig the footing of a house in scorching heat making mad money for a kid my age. My dad would make me keep my shirt on so I wouldn't sunburn and wouldn't let me work too long. I would push mow and weed eat our 1 acre yard every week to keep the grass cut. If I needed to buy bike parts my parents NEVER bought them for me. My dad might have a brush pile that needed hauled off with the tractor, a truck to wash, a patio that needed swept out, or a big bucket of change that needed to be rolled in exchange for 1/2 the nickels. Always something. It was good. It was easy to appreciate my stuff because I got it. I never cried because my bike wasn't the newest and nicest and daddy didn't buy me nicer stuff. I knew a kid like that. I hated that kid. He was a punk. He still is. Racing bmx I always used affordable and durable stuff. I still have a pair of shoes I bought in July of 2003. I bought them a little big and they still fit today. I wear them on trips to Kroger and small stuff like that.

In high school I had a seasonal job working at a fireworks stand. My attention to detail, ability to sweat, and general attitude of "working when at work" made me a given hire every season. I had hours on the first day of cracking open the 18 wheeler trailer that served as our off season storage and always was around when the doors were locked for the last time of the season. I even did a summer season of pulling night shift security where I stayed there at night and gaurded the tent. It was an extremely profitable summer.

During high school I tried working in a kitchen but it didn't work out. The place was filthy, stinky, and just flat out gross. They always knew what part of the kitchen needed to be cleaned the most to pass health inspection. I remember I was the first person to clean the pizza oven in the 12 months they had been serving pizzas. I eventually quit. I started doing chores for pocket money til I graduated.

My first year of college I was a useless slouch. I didn't really work.

After my first year I went to see Hal on Highland about a used bike. I was interested in getting into road biking. I remember my first few rides being amazed that I could cover a great distance on the road with so little effort. I did a five mile road ride. I was super excited. I remember being giddy. My mom needed to run some errands in Memphis and I came out with her to get some new tires for my road bike. Mine were crap. I walked into Bikes Plus and they had a help needed sign. I told them my background, my understanding of bikes, and then I brought a resume back the next day. They hired me. It was all fun and great after that.

Steve, Glenn and Karen were really great at being nurturing and caring people. They worked around my school schedule, encouraged me to do well and helped me learn. Glenn taught me a ton about work, life, and showed me how easy it was to be happy being happy working on bikes.

I eventually moved over to RB's Cyclery to work with an awesome crew of guys. David Lyle taught me how to use a hammer to finish breaking broken crap so I could get on with fixing the bike. I remember the day he looked at me and said "I'm not showing you how to wrap bars again, you should know". Ten minutes later I had it figured out without using a crutch. David Evans showed me how to be a perfectionist. He wanted everything perfect every time. It was good. He taught me the way to glue tubulars, and appreciate gluing tubulars. To this day I have had a 100% success rate.We were rolling and kicking ass and taking AmEx. It was good. David Lyle helped place a displaced puppy who needed a good home. You all know him as Marley. I will always owe him a beer for hooking me up with who is now my best bud.

Things at RB's changed over time. For a short time Rod and I were in the shop, grinding it out everyday alone, making things happen. Sometimes we worked together, sometimes against one another. We were both passionate guys. We might gripe and bitch at each other for 10 minutes, then 20 minutes later be all cool and gravy again. Regardless of what anyone has ever said, will say, or thinks I loved working with Rod. We understood each other. Over time the Franklin shop got rolling and Rod moved away. Things didn't click like they did before and ultimately things worked out in what seemed like a crappy way. It was what it was, and things are working out now.

I had graduated and was sitting at the corner of "do I want to go to grad school" and "will working at a shop work out for me". I had only been single for 3 months, had no job, and no real ties to Memphis. It was a crazy time. I thought about packing my car with as much stuff as it would hold and running away to Colorado. I believed that I had a duty to Memphis. People always said that Memphis was a shitty place to live, shitty place to ride, shitty place to ___________. Well haters gonna hate and I thought I should stick around and try to become a banging mechanic here in town.

I started at Outdoors, Inc on January 3rd. I remember my first day of working being apprehensive about going to the new shop and trying to fit in. Its 5 months later and everyday I still feel the same. Sometimes I lose track of the fact that I am doing something that is really awesome. I work on bikes everyday. A friend put it into perspective that I am a pro mechanic. I am a mechanic. It is my profession. I am not doing this to pass the time til the next thing comes along. It is what I want to do. With that said I realized I needed to get my head wrapped around things correctly and try to make this fun like it should be.

I can remember one day being super pissed off because there was a ton of service on the schedule and the Union Ave store had flooded. Water seeped under the foundation on the bike shop side and it stunk. It stunk like we were a bike shop by day and a pasture for a huge herd of cats by night. I was showing our always on call handyman where the water was coming through and how there had been an excessive amount of leaves and trash between the parking lot and building in the drainage area where it seemed some homeless people had been hoarding stuff. I was walking up this ditch in pouring down rain and a baby bird landed on my foot, hopped around a bit, then fluttered off. That bird didn't give a shit if my shop was flooded, he didn't care if it was raining, if it was so windy that the trees were whipping around and creaking. He was being a bird. My foot was just there. He didn't have a breakdown over something as trivial as a pair of giants trampling through his home. Nope, because that's not how birds roll.

The next eye opening experience was Syllamo's Revenge weekend. I had 3 days in a row off to go race my bike with some really supportive and caring friends. The race weekend just worked out for me. I went really fast and had a great time. I had been getting faster at the encouragement and support of my friends. My parents didn't seem to freak out when I told them I wasn't going to pursue teaching at the current time, but just keep working in a bike shop. The day after the race I had a terrible time in the car on the way home. Sometimes after super hard training weekends I just feel like death in the car. It's not from the hangover, its different. My whole body revolts and hates me. Well we drove home and I took a recovery ride on my Schwinn fixed gear that has a slightly bent frame and no brakes. I was rolling down the greenline wearing jeans and a flannel shirt, cruising along just spinning and realized my rolling speed was amazing. I was cruising my fixed gear bike the same speed I would have been working to ride my geared cross bike with slicks 2 years prior. I had finally started working on being a better biker and it was paying off. I could do well in races.

I raced the Syllamo race on a demo bike from Outdoors, Inc. I have a pair of trail running shoes I got for a great deal with some hookup from the rep. A coworker traded a wheelset for a 12 pack of beer when I built my Schwinn. I have a network of great and supportive people to help me have fun in life.

Today I took home the demo longboard and taught Marley how to run beside me while I skateboard. It was super easy. He stepped under the wheel once and let his foot get ran over and then didn't get too close again.

This isn't intended to come across as a post that says I am freaking awesome. It's more of a way of saying where I have been, how I need to keep my act together, and make sure I keep enjoying myself and having fun doing something I happen to be halfway decent at.

Where am I headed? My short term plan is to keep doing what I'm doing. Riding my bike and trying to get faster, working with Outdoors, Inc bike shop to help it evolve, and having fun. Hopefully I'll keep having fun with what I am doing and will become a better, more proficient bike mechanic who can help the Memphis bike community ride bikes and have fun.

I have had a blast working in bike shops for the last 4 years, I hope to enjoy many more.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Not Wolverine, Not Spiderman. Just Matt.


All the bar tape are belong to beavers.




















We have enough tape, in enough styles and colors to meet the needs of anyone. Unless you want leather. In that case you would probably bitch about the near triple digit retail price and grumble about how 8 speed shifters are the best.

Almost doom for SuperFlossy 5k




















I can't remember if I posted this one or not, but if this large tree had fallen another 25 yards south, the race couldn't have happened. It was really neat to see that the power God gravity at work that let's things like this happen.

The first shipment of Niner Bikes




















I was standing in the D.C. talking with Joel about the ways to go with the launch party when suddenly there pretty red boxes in the bay, waiting to get tagged and sent to our various locations . . . like Union, Cordova, and my trunk. . . lol jk jk.

In really new news, I peeled and recovered a Fizik Arione Saddle on Thursday night. It had been an intense  day, a full blown ball busting day of fixing bikes and making people happy. It ended with a 12 pack of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale being dropped off by an ever-so-lovely BPC lady. The extra treat was getting to work on her super boss bike and make her mind at ease. 

I came home, ate a snack, drank a beer and decided to peel that foam and nonsense off. A trip to Michaels, some suede and glue, and 3 more beers later I had made a saddle recovered "Like a boss" but a friend told me it looked like a questionable pork chop in pictures. Is that a cop out? No. It's suede. Pics don't do it justice. You will see it in person if you come to watch cyclo crunk. Tomorrow morning I will ride it for the first time, just plastic and leather. Grundel Buster? Please. I hung my balls up over 2 years ago and haven't seen them since.


Pretty old picture of Marley
















It's not a blog without some Gnar Mar action.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Avoiding Tornadoes.

So the tornadoes tried to attack Memphis for the "too-many-eth" time tonight. I came home from work and chilled in my apartment, which is on the second floor, until the bad storm got close to my part of town. Marley and I then went and hung out in PetCo to be in a nice, solid, ground level building if doom and gloom did descend on the intersection of Orange Mound and The UofM. Disaster was avoided, I bought him a new rope toy that was on super closeout and a few dog treats from the dog treat buffet.

Atleast tomorrow has potential.

PS, while talking with an old friend on Facebook chat she said "you know i know this is off subject but i'm glad i'm not one of those people who don't have necks" So if you fall into that category, you are stuck ugly. Sorry for you.

And of course a little Marley in the blog because he is awesome. And cute.


Marley in bed.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Matt McCulley VS Syllamo Part 3

Part 1 - Syllamo wins, I was totally broken for a few weeks after the race. I had never done anything like it and it took me forever to recover. Total time 7:47
Part 2 - Syllamo fought harder than me and still won. I ended up broken during the race and for about a week afterwards. Took 6:57 that year.
Part 3 - epicness ensued. I almost didn't get in to the race. I forgot about registration and Ryan and Andrea came to the rescue like usual. They have a sneaky way of finding stuff that I want that forces me into servitude of house sitting, cleaning gutters, washing bikes, all the normal stuff that guys my age are always ready to do for grilled chicken and PBR.
I knew from the beginning that I was going to do the 50 mile race. I had unfinished business with that race. I had a score to settle. I felt that I needed to go back and show that path over some hills who is boss. I stayed on the bike more than usual this winter but in my mind not nearly enough.

Real race rundown:
Friday I woke up at 4:00am in order to get my stuff packed, my apartment clean, and get to Ryan's house in order to get going to Arkansas. We make it through the flood zones of endless mosquito heaven without getting any diseases or having any trouble. Once there we poked around, messed with bikes, walked some dogs, and loaded up to go do a shake out ride. I had done some stupid tire choice in the week leading up to the race but it was all going to work out. My front tire choice #1 was misplaced somewhere in my 1000 square foot apartment? My rear tire idea of using something minimal in order to prevent mud clog kinda backfired.... (Nevegals and huge Conti MTN Kings are dumb. They are just super heavy slicks because they load with mud) The WTB Vulpine with side knobs and a center tread of file knobs was sorta dumb to bring. . . but I didn't want to buy any tires because I really didn't want anything in particular. Whatever. It was going to be a long day anyways. We went and cleaned up, got our race packets, and went to dinner. We tried to deliver some tires to Amanda Carey but it didn't work out. Went back to the cabin with my head feeling crazy and my stomach garbage. It was about the time I would normally be getting off work so I got Marley and went out for a long walk with him to try and clear my head. I told myself I had everything I needed to hit my target time, just needed to keep it cool and make it happen. Before bed everything was prepped, I stayed sober, and sleep came easy because I had been up since 4am.

Race morning was actually calm. I just woke up, coffee was already made, made breakfast. Ryan and I made it to the race in time to see Andrea start, which was pretty cool. I changed and got on my bike to start warming up. I think some guy thought I was retarded as I turned up the fire road climb on my SS, seated, with a Red Bull in one hand. I climbed about 50 yards up the road in order to remind myself of what it was going to be like and then turned back down towards the start. The pre race meeting was long, I never got fully warmed up and it cooled me down. I rolled to the start and some old guy with white hair looked at me on my SS, with Zebra print glasses, and started muttering. The firey 23 year old lashed out: "YEAH BUD, I am a huge idiot. Riding all these hills and slick rocks sucks on SS. In my 100 or so miles of preride it sucked but I figured I'd waste my time and race it anyways."  The old guy gave a very uncomfortable chuckle and kept his dentures closed for the rest of the time we sat at the start. Once the race started it was awesome. I knew I wasn't warmed up so I hopped on a wheel on the pavement and just held on. A lot of the people who big ringed the pavement were going to be little ringing the climb. They would be going backwards as the climb hit the 2nd half. My plan worked. I sat on some guys wheel and just stared at his hub. His pink Chris King Hub. If I hadn't been dying I would have known it was a Memphis guy, Paul Hart. I pulled up beside him at some point and said "you are going a great pace, thanks for the wheel" and we realize we know each other. I watched a guy get off his bike, pick up his rear tire and pedal the bike so it would go to granny gear then get back on. I decided it was time to copy the Grizzlies and "Grit Grind SS." By the top of the climb I had gotten warmed up and was sitting on the back of the front group. I mean that as in the lump of people who had their act together and weren't racing to finish. Some guy flatted and split me off the group a bit. I caught back up with Paul and realized I was flatting too. Damn. Really? Shit. I passed one guy who was changing a flat and pulled over up the trail far enough to be out of talking distance and hit my tubeless with CO2. I heard it leaking. I let gravity and Stan's do what it could. I heard it seal the hole. Awesome. More CO2. I limp/hammer to the aid station 1

At aid station 1 I get my tire aired up with a floor pump to 30 psi. I pounded some PBJ and went out to destroy the green trail. Things were fun and awesome. When I came back by the aid to hit the orange people were cheering and it was good. I got pumped. Then things got dark. Really dark. The trail is relentless and my hand/wrist that I had sprained 8 days prior started to hurt. I was holding the bar crooked so I was twisting my back crooked. Back pain came at mile "Way too early".  Then the dark thoughts came. The modified Grizz saying popped back in my head. Grit Grind SS. Blah no thats dumb. It takes hear to ride a SS, so I could Grit Grind Heart. But no. This race is an unforgiving and uncaring, heartless skank bag. I could quit, finish in 15 hours, whatever. It wouldn't care. It would still be sitting there. A stupid little hill with a path on it with a few pieces of gravel in there. I started giving myself post race crap talking I would hear if I didn't do well. Things like "I thought you rode more to get ready this year" or "I guess SS wasn't any faster huh bud?" or "Why bother trying to do a serious race when you won't bother to seriously train"

Huh, during this time my pace picked up, the sand fell out of my man-gina, and it was time to do work. I hit Aid #2 and began destroying myself. Andrea had told me to attack at Aid #2 and kill myself. I popped in and out with a number call out and PBJ stealing. I saw some people on geared bikes heading up the two track that leads to the real climbing. I put my head down, chewed my sandwich, and caught them. I passed them on the climb by not getting off the second time they wanted to hike a bike. I told myself it was my time to shine, drop those guys, and ride my own race. I did. It worked. A 19 year old and I rode together for a while but he was fitter than I and too chatty. I let him drop me so I could go back to doing my own thing.

Aid #3 had a customer standing in the parking lot, so I never unstraddled my bike. I just called out my number, 3 times, gradded a sandwich, told the volunteers they were awesome, and went out to kill the red trail and myself at the same time. I rode with the womens winner for a little while. No one was really passing me or anything on the red trail this year. Not huge packs of people passing me while I death marched. A guy caught me from behind and told me he was on pace to hit 5:45. I decided I would die trying to drop him in order to beat his pace. It worked. I crossed the line with a finish time of 5:37.

I feel like I am becoming a real biker finally, having enough fitness to put my body into the pain cave. Over the next few months I plan to really focus on getting ready for ORAMM 2011. Hopefully I will do well again this year, as the course seemed to suit me well.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wooden Nickels, Athletic Tape, and Death Stares

So fast forwarding through my week of stupidity that leads up to Syllamo as of Wednesday night. . .go!
Sprain my wrist being a 23 year old asshole. Get all super down, get talked shit to, realize I have no choice but to race and not be a total ninny. I am still planning to race the SIR9 and run it single speed but I added my suspension fork. I built a new wheelset and decided to race some tires I have never test ridden in the mountains also. I broke the top headset cup when I did a pre-race shakedown on the bike the other night. I jumped the from the street onto the grass over the curb and landed softly enough to not hurt my recently sprained wrist, but hard enough to shear the headset cup off the sleeve that inserts into the frame. WTF mate?

Tomorrow morning I am going to add the correct not-so-ninny-tastic gear for Syllamo's Revenge 50 miler, ride it a minute, and use my awesome new toaster oven to make breakfast for myself and the hooker that just showed up at my place. More realistically I will fix the bike, ride the bike, and share my breakfast not with a nonexistent lady of the evening, but with gnarly marley who is so cute.

I got an unwarranted death stare this week from a customer. I am being vague for job security. Let's say don't start no shit won't be no shit.

I plan to race hard enough this weekend that I don't even want to get drunk. Also, looking to set a course PR and not have an ounce of energy left in my body in order to raise a beer to my lips.

Next week I plan to come home, build my Felt as a 1x9 for more fun riding to/from the trails in town than spinning like stupid on the SS on the road, and selling a couple of nice road bikes that are small enough to fit the average sized guy (54cm stuff).

Sorry that I am slacking on my picture game. I have been doing other things than uploading pictures. Like not uploading pictures. I don't have the equipment to take awesome pictures but I haven't even taken any cool ones lately.

Need anything else? Didn't think so.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Health & Fitness Weekend Warrior

Name: Matt McCulley


Age: 23

Occupation: Outdoors Inc. Bike Mechanic

Sport: Cycling with a focus on endurance mountain biking and cyclocross

Family: A 3 year old Jack Russell Terrier – Marley.

Recent Events: Super Flossy 5000 – which was a 50 mile road race with about 12 miles of gravel.

Fav Accomplishment: Racing Off Road Assault at Mount Mitchell (ORAMM) in 2010. It is 62 miles with 10,000 feet of climbing. I hit my target time and felt good at the end.

Why Biking: I was never into ball sports when I was a kid. I raced BMX from age 11-17. At 19 I missed being on a bike and got into bikes that are intended to go further and faster.

Likes: Going fast, riding with the Marx and Bensdorf/BPC team, going out on a solo ride to Shelby Forest on my weekday off and getting some brownies from the Shelby Forest General Store as a mid-ride snack. Simple stuff.

Dislikes: Cold weather – I am way too skinny to deal with that, flat tires, when people act like people in spandex have a contagious disease.

Motivation: Hands down my number one motivator is Andrea Wilson. She will call me out when I am being lazy and talks down to me like I am stupid. Then I have to buck up and prove her wrong. Her encouragement led to my joining of Build, Peak, Compete –which is the subsidiary team of the elite road team Marx and Bensdorf. Any time I ride with the team I have to work extra hard just to keep up.

Obstacles: My biggest obstacle is a general lack of structure that is caused by my laziness. I struggle to keep focus in order to train consistently.

Upcoming: I will race Syllamo’s Revenge and later this summer race ORAMM along with a few other mountain and road events.

Tips: Always have fun. I ride to have fun and keep myself sane.

Where do you train: I really just train by road riding in Memphis. Occasionally I head to Arkansas to ride some big hills and rocks.

Nutrition: A bagel sandwich made with eggs, cheese, cream cheese, and hot sauce for breakfast. On the bike I eat Honey Stinger Waffles, Clif Bars, and Gu.

Fav Restaurant: R.P. Tracks, hands down. I can walk over from my apartment and eat anything on the menu with sweet potato fries on the side and a couple of beers – perfect. It’s all delicious, everytime.

Fav Retail Store: Outdoors Inc? Okay, somewhere I don’t work : Lowe’s. They sell all the tools and stuff that aren’t bike specific that mechanics love.

Gear: Niner S.I.R. 9 bike – I have the luxury of riding one of those this season for my mountain bike racing. I like Camelbak products for hydration. Fi’zi:k Saddles have worked well for me for the last 18 months or so. Giro Helmets fit my head really well and the Ionos is really well ventilated and comfortable for the 7-8 hour days on the bike. Swiftwick Socks are my go-to socks for everyday use on and off the bike. Shimano shoes work great also. I can’t wait until I have my own Stan’s No Tubes wheelset to ride – I have been borrowing a friends extra set for big weekends.

Drive: A 2002 Ford Focus Hatchback with a Thule roof rack to haul my bikes, but lately I have been riding a Schwinn Traveller nearly as old as me to work 4 days a week.

Music: I definitely listen to music on solo rides. I am a huge fan of Memphis rap, so I keep Three 6 Mafia, Project Pat and Lil Wyte on my iPhone.

One Thing You May Not Know About Me: I have one pair of toes that are webbed….but sadly no I don’t swim any faster.

Vices: After a ride there is nothing as refreshing as baking a two Totinos Party Pizzas and drinking a few Miller Lites.

Quotes: A friend of mine told me “Teach people until there isn’t an I don’t know how and you will be left with I don’t want to.” I use that philosophy every day.

That was the whole interview. You can catch what was published in Memphis Health and Fitness along with a sweet photo that was taken by Chris Fitzgerald of cultnoir.com

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Tiger Lane Crit

Good Racing, Bad Glasses.

I worked a half day Tuesday and Wednesday. This meant I had lots of time to get ready to go to the crit and race hard. It worked out pretty well for all but a little bit.

Monday I had done some 10 minute intervals on the trainer and my warmup had felt sorta off and hard. I did sweat more than any boy should sweat before 7am but in the long run it was all good. Tuesday afternoon I went out on the bike to try and get another short hard ride in. I left the house and wandered to Mud Island in order to do some 3 minute intervals. My plan was to do my intervals into the headwind and my recoveries back down the other direction. It worked out pretty well. . . . except that I had to pass two cars. Everyone was driving slow and stupid and looking at the Mighty Mississipi. Those with faint hearts, skip this next part.

I was doing my on interval and going about 25mph up the island. The Toyota Corolla in front of me at 18mph was obviously a problem. So I passed him and hammered up the road because it was all clear in front of him. Well dipshit feels he needs to pass me back out of spite only to get about 2 more car lengths up the road. I didn't flip him off, I didn't chase him after my interval was over. But that guy is a dick. And Karma exists.

Tangent over.

Tiger Lane Crit. I rode over to start my warm up, signed in, and got going. I did the trade pinning numbers on with Frank, petted his dog a bit, and then finished warming up. The Cat 5 race had tons of Circles and Red Ants with 2 BPC guys including myself. Richard and I were hanging around waiting for the second half of the race to start getting down. I noticed when we were at 12 minutes in an started moving up hard. I had been staying near the front half but at this point I decided to get on the front. I never hit the front, but kept trying to find wheels to ride. I ended up being 2nd wheel with 2 laps to go. 4-5 wheel with one lap to go. Last time we went into the headwind and hammered it was just a tiny bit more than I could do and instantly got popped.

Moral of the story? Riding once a week ain't gonna cut it.

Beer was drank, ugly sunglasses were worn. Went to The Deli and continued drinking.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Less Charlie Sheen, More Photos

I love gluing tubular tires.




Marley is cute like always.



Even Marley knows cancer sucks.






You don't find rocks in Memphis.

Or waterfalls.


Thanks to Cara Notestine for the shirt.


















I finally have home internet so I feel like I will be able to set up a better system and get some blog regularity back. Until then settle for the much classier Rich Dillen with his custom bikes and home-made sleeveless jerseys or check out Andrea's blog where you can find stories about how she is super tough bad ass shit and totally rad.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Story To Tell

First and Firstly, I was going to add a bunch of pictures, but my camera is momentarily MIA. Fiddlesticks.


I haven’t been updating my blog because I have been super busy. I grew some facial hair that didn’t get the seal of approval, I made some poor choices, made some good choices, glued more tubulars (again, one of my favorite things to do in the bike shop), fixed bikes, destroyed some bike wheels (link to andreas blog) made some people pretty mad, did some foolish things that turned out to make me super happy, started commuting by bike, pretty much quit training and decided to ride for fun, set my goals high for an upcoming race (I know it doesn’t make sense but I felt a mid-season implosion coming on), worked some inventory days at Union and Cordova, rode my bike, and wrote some ridiculously long run on sentences.


Also I do not have the internet at home, so my slightly updated plan is to write my blog in the comfort of my living room while playing fetch with my awesome Marley. There is a Starbucks on my way to work at Union and I can stop in with my sweet fixie on the patio, pull out my netbook, text on my iPhone, and drink my own coffee from my Stanley Thermos. And I ride past Urban Outfitters on my way in. I’M SOOO HIIIIIIIIIIIIIIP!!!!!!!!

So my neck beard did not get the seal of approval from a certain someone who I made mad. People learn from one another and sometimes grow apart. I’m sorry for whatever and everything.

Fast forward to March, Mustache March to be exact, and I decided I would bring back my necky as an attempt to fit in at work. I was feeling insecure with my lack of facial follicle sprouts. Fast forward to a couple of weeks later and I decided to not shave my neck beard until after Syllamos Revenge. I am still racing the 50 miler. The person who was willing to switch with me received notice he was accepted to Leadville. While I could probably still switch with someone and get into the 125K, I am attacking from the line and not letting up until I see some lower numbers on the time board at the finish. Nutrition and fitness are the best that they have ever been. With a possible recon ride on the schedule for next month, along with a road race in Jackson, TN and some serious miles planned to be logged I feel like I can achieve my goal. I am also in the neighborhood of 90 miles there so far for the year, with hopefully over 60 this coming trip, I am going to have a better knowledge of the trail system.

I know I am going to race single speed. I know I am going to race it on the SIR9. I need a bike that is dependably SS and has no parts to rip off. I have not decided whether or not to race rigid. I have a Reba I could slap on the bike and make it all soff and fast downhill. I just don’t know at this point. I plan to take the SIR9 rigid and see how all that suspension corrected and sexy painted to match steel rides on the ripping fast decents. Also the bike matches the Outdoors kit. I plan to race in my BPC kit, it has done me well so far. But we now have socks from Swiftwick with the beaver logo on the back of the ankle. Those are coming with me for sure. I just wish the beaver was holding a baseball bat. For the fear factor.

I have been working on my general life skills of being an adult and paying my bills, not being a drunkard, not missing work, and being an overall responsible young lad. The cool part is in the long run it seems like being 23 and responsible is way more fun that ending up 30 and being an irresponsible and generally annoying human being. Yes I am stepping on toes. My dad has a great phrase for everything. When someone steps on his foot and apologizes he will laugh and tell them “It’s ok, I’ll walk on the bottoms and you walk on the tops.” What I’m saying is my dad absolutely kicks ass and also, he is so tough bear grills* wouldn’t fuck with him. My dad is coming up again.

In the same vein of being an acceptable human being, I have decided to no longer be a giant douche and make other people all pissy just because my life is momentarily all pissy.

Certain other aspects of my life have been extra difficult lately. I have been fighting with the fact that sometimes other human beings just generally suck. And by sometimes I mean most of the time. So I have decided that I will have to accept this fact and just suck it up. So I have been. It has spilled over and I have been doing less well in other areas, hence the lack of dedication to the bike and other areas of life, such as general tidiness of my apartment. Imagine a bachelor pad. Make it less gross, but just untidy. Boom, Winning, you blinked and in a nanosecond you were inside my apartment. And you saw me typing this blog. Naked. Yeah. You just pictured me naked.

I got to trouble shoot a pretty cool problem at work the other day and it made me happy once I realized the correct way to fix it. I was all excited that I figured out a problem of incompatibility between two expensive and separately designed items. *

Quite the contrary I had a new-clear meltdown over a seemingly trivial thing that same day. Sad panda.

I have been riding mainly single speed, and I have only ridden a geared mountain bike once all year and not even on the trail. I like single speeding it. It is fun, hard, and way gnar. I used it to commute to Cordova the other day with the intention of leaving early and raging some Wolf River Trails on the way home with and exceptionally heavy TimBuk2 bag on my shoulder. Alas I was not able to leave early as the day was as hectic as it was long. On a lighter note I was able to stack big faced washingtons and have enough fun with a set of cruiser fenders to make your brain bleed. On the way home I had my very first commuter battle. I was heading south, a dude on a road bike was heading north. He turned west on the side street. I new I was turning west, but he had a 100 yard lead + 5-10 seconds. I was stuck just up from the street at a light. Light turned green and it was on….I hammered the SS mountain until I thought I was going to die and when I finally caught him (which was way harder than I thought) I rang my bell at him, threw my hand signal, and imploded as I turned south again. It was all on my usual ride home. He didn’t know I didn’t have gears. I knew. My heart rate knew. Spinning the mountain tires with 30psi at WFO* is no easy task. I need more practice like that. So I have been doing that type of thing. 1 minute SS sprints. Ow.

I am not Dickey, I haven’t gotten any new custom bikes to show you. I haven’t sold my car. I haven’t bitched about my bike being heavy while I pound carbo loaded beer and eat Peanut M&M’s. So what I don’t get is why Dickey would drive to a race out of town and waste all of this whole weekend, but somehow claim he didn’t have time to dial in his setup and change tires etc etc etc. Seriously? You have time to race but not time to get ready to race? Unprofessional professional cyclist for sure.

Charlie Sheen might be nearly done going bat shit crazy, but the jokes stemming from him are far from over. I was doing a check with the other store on the phone. I was on hold and my fellow employee comes back on and says “Sorry we didn’t have that” and I told them “boom, losing” in a very quiet and monotone voice. It was pretty awesome. So right now, this whole paragraph is losing. Yeah, losing. If I had known how much it would have sucked before I started writing it I wouldn’t have bothered, but now it’s like a train wreck I can’t look away from.

So I have rambled on about some things that will be going on in the near future, happened in the recent past, and what not. I said my dad would make another appearance, Now enter Johnny – my dad has another saying that always sticks in my head and I am forced to think of from time to time “That shit don’t flush” I mean think that over. What is worse that a nasty sit down session? Plunging it. No one wants to plunge. My dad also used to be a fur trapper. He would trap mink, otter, beaver, skunk, anything in order to sell the hide to a man with a tannery and earn extra income. He said once he skinned a beaver that had been in a kill trap, underwater. This beaver had been underwater for at the least 2-3 hours, at the most 12ish hours (he ran his traps morning and night). When he skinned it he found fleas living on the beaver. The hair/fur of a beaver is so oily it is water tight at the surface of the skin. The beaver’s skin is never actually in contact with the water which is a great way to stay warm. But think of the fleas. Life doesn’t seem too bad now does it?
If you clicked the beaver link, you just found the new, more annoying rick roll. Get on it.

*’s #1 – Who would take deodorant advice from a dude who drinks his own piss. Is degree’s motto “such a cover-up, you can’t tell this dude drinks his own piss!

#2 Yes, yes indeed I was tooting my own horn.

#3 Wide Fucking Open. Best when used with modes of transport with wheels and mechanical advantage such as cars, atvs, bikes, or gas powered scooters. If on foot a more applicable phrase would be “Running so fast you could only see asses and elbows”