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

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.