Tuesday, July 30, 2013

I'M OUT (with links)

805am Packed and ready to roll.
Its been a long time since I took off. Today I leave at 2pm. Be back late Thursday
And I have finally decided where to go.

Tomorrow morn I will be on the Bear Skin Trail. 
Thats a nice easy fun trail. Very scenic. A good ride for me and the wife.
Along with that ride we will be drinking coffee all morning, some beer at nite and eat at many nice restaurants.

But then, Thursday morn, its game on at the Raven Trails.
Will have to lay down a hot lap with the Superfly. Then after a nice lunch at a nice restaurant it will be time to work our way back home.

A very short mini vacation but I'll take what I can get. Every little bit helps.

I might have time to write something as I will have the netbook with me. But maybe not.



Monday, July 29, 2013


file foto. Not that sunny today.
I think I used this pic before. Whatever.
Fairly uneventful weekend. Cold temps had me shuffle my schedule around all weekend. Saturday never made it to what could have been my last road group ride of the summer.

It was 51 degrees at ride time and I just did not feel like heading down to the basement for my fall riding stuff. 

So I waited an extra hour and headed out solo. After 5 miles I turned back freezing my ass off.
So then I waited until 2pm and found some arm warmers somewhere. Put those on and rode about 30 miles. Still was cold but tolerable. Here in town it did not hit 60 degrees Saturday. Northern parts of the State had record lows for July. Almost in the 30's.

Sunday I had planned to ride up to my mom in Green Bay but ditched it. Too cold. Headwind. Rain. Just a crappy day. I did get in a 25 miler in the morn tho. Both rides were the last rides in the Felt F1. Its a great bike and I would not hesitate to get another. Especially with the DA Di2.
But as in all my bikes. Time to move on.
Its MTB and cross bike time.

This week Ive decided to take a few days off and will be headed north somewhere late Tuesday thru Thursday.

The crappy weather has slowed the store a bit so not much ordering to do. I'll spend the day working ahead in the paperwork dept so my desk is not that painful to see when I get back Friday morn.
Maybe a quick cross bike ride tomorrow morn, then Im off.


Friday, July 26, 2013



Im doing much better at scheduling my time of late. In about a half an hour Im out on a two hour ride. That will make 3 out of 4 days. Im much happier when I get my ride time. Even if its all solo. 
As I mentioned in the last post, the Felt F1 is going away and I decided to ride it all weekend.
Tomorrow is the group ride that will push me to my limits. I prep for that as I would any other race.

Im trying something different this week. Off come the aero wheels and Im running a set of DuraAce C24's. A carbon climbing wheel. Since I have the worst time on hills I thought these would give these a shot in the arm. I believe they are the lightest wheelset I have ever used.
I can use all the help I can get going up. Will see.

Sunday morn Im off to my moms at around 8am. Its 75 miles. I was bouncing between my tour bike and the F1 and chose the road bike. It should make the milage easy to do. This will be my longest ride of the summer by 15 miles. In looking forward to it.

Today Im in the store early (like ever day) and soon will prep for a nice ride. Starting the day with some coffee on the beach, followed up by a ride is always a good day regardless of what else happens.

Have a good weekend. Weather is awesome.


Thursday, July 25, 2013


Fatbike stuff: is happening so fast. Now 9zero7 has introduced a full carbon fatbike. Since Im already a dealer I must admit that trumps the Trek fatty. Products in this type of bike are coming out so fast now I need to step back and wait until all options are out before I make a decision on what Im riding\racing this winter.

Riding stuff: Almost 5 hours in saddle in the last two days. Making up for a crappy last week. This weekend (but its only Thursday) I plan on hitting the group ride on Saturday morn. The huge effort needed is good for me. Then, on Sunday, the family is scheduled to visit my mom and Ive made the decision to ride up her house in Green Bay. Its about 75 miles from door to door. I planned on using the Trucker tour bike but now I just might use the F1. That most likely will be my last ride on that bike as its future has been decided and its leaving next week.

Leaving me without a road bike for a bit as I will wait to get a high end carbon cross bike in about two weeks and use that on the road to finish the summer. Its cross\MTB time anyway.

I should really use the tour bike on Sunday. I am planning my summer vacation tour, no destination set yet but looks like the middle of August (ish). I have not sat on my tour bike on about 10 months.
Its about time I do.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013


So far, today is starting off right. 830am
This weekend was my weekend to work. And even tho I could find the time to ride, I didnt look for it.

Its nuts how fast the riding can grind to a halt  I was hitting over 10 hours per week. In the last 7 days I have had 45 minutes. And only myself to blame.

Last week it was hot. And even tho Im a big guy, heat does not affect me as much on the bike as you would think. But when I work all weekend I get in a pretty crabby mindset.

That crabby mindset kills my motivation and keeps me off the bike. Both Saturday and Sunday I brought a bike home with me after work. On Saturday I even unloaded it and aired the tires. Only to walk in the house and never come out. I will try my hardest to stop this soon. No riding Monday.
Mondays are ordering days. Didn't even have time to type here.

However, this morn is glorious. And as soon as someone else gets here Im out on a two hour road ride. And my mindset from the weekend has worn off as Im pumped to get on the bike. I have my route already planned in my head and Im going to be able to hit my happy place twice in one day.

I hope this is another beginning to some serious riding. Putting last week behind me.


Friday, July 19, 2013


Of late I'm trying to simplify my life. And here's one way.
Shoes and pedals.
I just ditched the Speedplay pedals and Speedplay specific Sidi road shoes. Got ride of all my Crank Bros pedals.

Now, I have one shoe to rule them all. And switched to Shimano SPD.

On the left in the pic is my Ultegra road pedal for the F1. In the middle is my XTR for the Superfly. On the right is the lower end M520 with wings for the cross and the fat bike (I have two sets).
And the shoe is a Sidi Drako. A MTB shoe.

Will I get laughed off my Felt F1 roadie? I don't think so. In the past, I larger pedal platform was the way to go on the road. But today with these near $500 shoes with the soles made of million dollar carbon theres no way your going to flex them. So with the shoes being so damn expensive Ive decided to now only own one. Road bike, MTB, cross bike and fat bike.
One shoe to rule them all. And its a good shoe.

Last nite I rode the local trails and decided to ride the 9zero7 fatbike. Maybe for the last time as have a ton of Trek Farleys headed my way in 6 weeks. My fatbike is not a hipster fatbike. Its a racing bike with carbon everywhere. While it is fun to ride that bike, I wished I would have had the Superfly. I had a ton of air in the tires and struggled with all the roots and rocks with the bars being ripped out of my hands several times. At my age I need suspension. Lots of it. So... I guess its the MTB for the rest of the summer. My Felt F1 is close to heading out the door soon too so I will be without a road bike for a few weeks.
So that means time to hit the woods.

I will do so.
Have a great weekend.


Thursday, July 18, 2013


Very hazy and hot. Have not rode yet all week but I do plan on some woods tonite. Its almost 100 degrees today and Im riding my fatbike.

 Its leaked out that the big players in the bike world are coming out with fatbikes, including Trek. Saw a pic yesterday. Its nice. Mid level components. Think I'll order a bunch.

But in a way this takes those bikes to a level above the mentality of the genre. Mass produced bikes from the big three ruin everything some may say. I guess I can see their point. You no longer need to go to some bike shop and have then rattle off issues like "rear stay width" and ask if you want Rolling Darrels or Marge Lites.
For me, a Trek dealer, it makes this fatbike thing so much easier. The bikes are now cookie cutter and I just put one or two on the floor and sell them like any bike. In the past, with say, 9zero7's, one had to try and price out a bike with specific specs and since every bike was build out it was so hard to compare apples to apples with other dealers who may have spec'd the bike a bit cheaper. Now I can floorplan the bikes under Treks dealer terms. No building, no figuring out what spec level to use.
Just click the mouse and the next day they are here.
I like simple. Of course Surly is still that way. You can still order a complete bike with them. And I still do.

In the past 12 months, fatbikes really became the new fixxies and all the cool guys were riding them. You head farther north like in the U.P. of MI and people commute on them. Year round. People still walk in the store just to see the bike with the fat tires. I think thats going to fade a bit as they become more and more main stream. Dealers who know nothing about them will have them on their floor. The fatbike hipsters will resist this trend for as long as they can. They will insist their choice of bike is still obscure and weird. When in fact it will no longer be when everyone has them. Ive been telling everyone in our group that at some point, you will all have one. Now its easier to do that. 

There are some losers here. Having the big 3 manufacturers jump in all at once will of course hurt the little guy. How can it not? While Im sure many true blue fatbike fans will stand by their man, I believe a company like 9zero7, which I am also a dealer, will take a hit. Others too. Sadly, some may disappear. Some dealers will lose out too.

Up till now, if you wanted a fatbike you needed to go to a dealer who knew what they were doing with those bikes. Ride them. Race them. Build them. Sell them. Ive done all of the above but there are many dealers who were in it a lot deeper than I. Those guys will lose. Now, you can walk into a store who has never rode, stocked or built a fatbike and buy a very nice bike very easy.

I can think of one dealer who does not carry any of the big three and sells a ton of fatbikes. Now three dealers in his town will carry nice ones. By default. But that's progress I guess.
The winner here is the consumer. A ton of options now available. You can still stay a fatbike hipster. You can still get your Moonlander. Thats still a cool bike. Pugsly too.
Just don't look down your nose at me when I show up with a Trek. Cuz most likely thats what I will be riding this fall.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013


A year ago I knew this was going to happen. When the USADA took Armstrong down there was no turning back. While in the back of my mind I knew there was a chance Lance doped, dragging it thru the mud years after really was not the right thing to do.

Sure it made some USADA officers famous. But the aftermath was not worth the price cycling paid. My opinion was and is that nothing good came from busting Lance. It was just too late.

And done the wrong way. All the US riders who got hand slapped. Some retired. Some racing in the tour today. What about all the foreign riders that were on Postal\Discovery? What about those guys?
Nothing. They all must have rode clean? Only the US guys doped? That whole thing was just wrong in so many ways. All to get one guy who was doing things the same way many others did it. Anyway... fast forward a little more than a year....

And we got Chris Froome. Who, as it seems, is heads above the rest. That ride the other day looked Armstrongish. I was told that when the doping left the peloton the fields would be tight. No one man could pull away on his own. With so many devoted and talented athletes how could one man pull up a mountain so much faster. And be able to bust out a TT the same week.
And so the allegations begin. Nobody believes he's not doping. And that, my friends is what I was talking about a year ago. Now no one can have a good day without finger pointing. Very sad.

But if history proves, looking at all the heroic rides of the past, there is a chance he's doping. And by just knowing there's a chance has ruined the image of cycling.
We all know the "test me if you want" means nothing. And Sky's "come in and look at everything we have" means nothing. It just means they have done their diligence in cleaning things up. Fact is, doping is harder than in the Armstrong days but if you know what your doing, can still be done. And by just knowing that has ruined the image of cycling.

So you can accuse just by his superman efforts. And I really hope he's not. And if he is, I just dont want to know.


Monday, July 15, 2013


Another perfect weather weekend. Another successful training ride for me Saturday (group ride). I only got dropped (by myself) once and was down to one push uphill. Thats an improvement for me. I did get dropped again later but was with a group of 6 or 7. It was a good ride.

Except a few miles to go and I hit a huge pothole in the road. Almost took me down. Bounced both water bottles out of the cages and cut my rear tire down. Thats a bummer. I had maybe two hundred miles on that tire. I threw in another tube and it got me home. Thats the second tire I cut this summer. Good thing I can buy them a bit cheaper.

Sunday was once again MTB day in our local woods. Pretty much was scouting for this years WORS race and have the course set in stone. Now we just have to have a few trail work days to get it in shape. But another two hours in the saddle in the woods in the sun.

The store was way busy this weekend. I found another great part time guy so Ive been enjoying the weekends off. I love coming into a empty store on Monday. Looks like almost 10 bikes off the floor since Friday.
Which now I have my work cut out and I spend most of the day filling the store back up. Time to order!

Today is a off day for riding as planned. Tomorrow will be right back on. Not sure when my next race is going to be but Im looking around for a fun one back up north. Those one day, stand alone, point to points are so fun. Hopefully I can do a couple more this summer.


Friday, July 12, 2013



Today was one of those have some coffee and hang on the beach kind of morning. Its been a while since. Of late the mornings have been filled with errands and stuff to do before the store opens.
Or, like yesterday, a bike ride. Spent more time on the new MTB and even had thoughts of racing this weekend but thats out. Soon tho.....

Last nite we had a MTB club meeting. Im now heading up out MTB race in Oct. Ive done so before, maybe 5 or 6 years ago so I know the drill. That, along with my cross race in Sept will have me busy with race director stuff.

Its a lot of work, and more or less a thankless job. But I consider it kinda fun and enjoy helping to put on a good day of bike racing. As the days go by I'll get more and more into it.

Tomorrow I'm going to try my hand at the group road ride like last week. Hoping I can hang on for dear life, maybe get a little help and hang in. As mentioned, its really training for me. And needed.

Other than that I plan on riding my MTB also this weekend. Now that I have my demo bike I'll be in the woods a lot more. In fact, Im putting the demo Felt F1 roadie for sale next week. Its time to move on.

The weather is great so get outside this weekend.


Wednesday, July 10, 2013


So yesterday I got a small backlash on the post. Totally understandable.

Some thought I was bragging about riding expensive bikes. I was not. I know a lot of people who ride expensive bikes that do not own a bike shop. Their bikes are just as good as the ones I ride.

Several comments were just buy a bike and shut up. Thats a valid point.

In fact, I do own a Long Haul Disc Trucker. Its the bike that used on my trip up to Northern Wisco last July in the 100 degree heat. So... theres a memory.
And the bike is mine. Not for sale. Its got one memory.
And then in the next breath I say: Its not for sale today, but will be when I get the new CoMotion touring bike next month.
Thats not true. But it could be. 

Owning a bike store, buying a bike is very hard. You can do it for sure. But it does not make sense  Here's a very expensive bike... I can buy it for $5000.00 (retails for a lot more) or you can just demo it and sell it off demo terms.
Choose wisely.
Im not going to dwell on this here. In a nutshell, all Im sayin' is that my old bikes I had back before I had the store were just as cool as the ones I demo today.
Especially the Sledgehammer.

I'll kinda morph this into another thought in the same genre.

Its stuff like this that one need to be careful with. Taking a hobby that you are passionate about and making it your job or business can be tricky. It you are not careful you can ruin that passion in a hurry. Ive seen it done. Once your hobby becomes work its all over. I know a lot of long time store owners\employees than no longer ride and have not for years. Very sad.

I have felt that coming on. Several times. When your working here in the store 12 hours a day for many days in a row you need something to pull you back. Back to reality.
Its very easy to forget why you took on this huge responsibility of store ownership.
And I can tell you its not the money.
Its so much more than that.

When I get that way all I have to do it look on top of the fridge, in my office and see the Sledgehammer and it all comes back in a hurry. I remember why Im here. I remember how lucky I am to have even had the opportunity to do this. And sometimes all it takes is writing a blog post about it (with or without negative feedback) to help me realize my position here.
So yeah... I'll continue to ride expensive bikes that are not mine. Then look up at the Sledgehammer and smile. And maybe post about it. Again.

The store is ready to open. As soon as the guys get here Im out on a ride.


Tuesday, July 9, 2013


The day it died. Seat tube broke next to shock.
I didn't always ride new bikes all the time. I didn't always have $10k bikes to ride as I please. I didn't always own a bike shop.

But I always had cool bikes that did my best to make them my own. I miss that. I miss having my own bike. Sure, I ride cool bikes but they're not mine. Im just borrowing, or renting until the real owner comes along someday.

Case in point. 

My 2001 Trek Fuel 98. I did buy it new in 2001. I forgot how much ($2100.00?) it cost. I had it a long time. Three wheelsets. Three drivelines. Pictured here, the only thing left stock was the seatpost.

After becoming completely obsessed with the movie Napoleon Dynamite I decided to change my Fuel to the Sledgehammer. It turned out pretty good. And became the stuff legends are made of.
You would not believe the call outs I had at a race when I was riding that thing. It was constant. 

I had way more fun racing that bike than any carbon science fiction race machine any bike manufacturer can make today. Not even close.

resting place today

And thats my point. I miss owning a bike that I can make my own. In my book, all the Superfly SL 9.9s in the world do not have half the swagger the Sledgehammer did. And never will. Even if they have a custom paint job.

I know its hard for most of you to understand this as I roll out another ten thousand dollar bike.

But I cant attach any memories to those bikes. I cant look at any of those feather weight race machines and say "remember when?". I don't have them long enough. Demo'd and gone.

Now... as I look at my Sledgehammer, as its sitting on top the fridge in my office, I remember specific rides with specific friends. I remember at least five specific races almost 10 years ago. And more.
I could go on and on.
I remember that day the Sledgehammer died (cracked seat tube). I remember where I was. I remember walking out of the woods alone and I remember how sad I was knowing it was gone. I did not even try to warranty it as I would never give it up. Striped it. Sold all the components. Hung it up.

I cannot count how many times I have recited this clip.

Notice when Pedro hits the jump there are three bricks under, when Napoleon tries it theres two. Classic.
When you watch a movie a thousand times you notice shit like that.

So while you all look at my bikes with envy, I look at all yours with a different kind of envy. It saddens me to know I will never own a bike that will not accrue any of my life's history.
But among all the carbon I do have two. The Sledgehammer and my old cross bike Pinky. I keep them close and see them everyday.
 I would not trade those bikes for the world. Ditching those bikes would be ditching a part of my life. A part of who I am.

Im glad I still have them.


Monday, July 8, 2013


Another weekend with some good riding. Road on Saturday and the woods on Sunday.

Saturday had me on the official Saturday group. For the first time this summer. Its always a tough time for me. But its needed as I almost never push myself that hard alone.

Got dropped a few times but kept my head down and always either got pulled back or they waited. I use this ride every summer to test my fitness and it seems Im getting a bit better. A couple more efforts like this and I'll be in better shape to do a some more MTB races.

Speaking of, Sunday was the first ride on the 2014 Superfly 9.9SL. And it was awesome  Remember back when I said the aluminum bike was just as good? It is not. The carbon bike is faster. Almost seems more so then just the weight difference  Which is really only a bit over two pounds. Maybe two pounds makes a faster bike. The weight of the carbon bike is at the higher side of 21 pounds. Thats nuts!

After some adjustments I settled into the bike quickly. Trek is just on top of their game with the offering of Project One's here. This bike is a 2014 and will be my bike the rest of this year and most of 2014. Then for sale.

On the other side of things its crazy how expensive this stuff is. Im sure its justifiable in some way or form but a $10k MTB is crazy! I would, however, have no issues selling one. Its just weird how much these bikes are. Not just Trek or Felt. Many others too.

On the other side of that (or back to the first side) these bikes are amazing machines that are light years ahead of just three years ago. And I know Im going to enjoy the heck out of mine for at least a year.

Until I get the next one....


Friday, July 5, 2013


File Foto

Its a warm summer morning here. Bikes are everywhere. The remnants of yesterday's 4th celebration is everywhere. In the form of garbage. Tons of city employees combing the beach. Picking up.
We spent the day on the deck of the store, which is a prime spot in the expensive real estate area.

Its started Wednesday nite with the Venetian boat parade. Again, all from the comfort of the store deck. Then again Thursday for the fireworks. Both late nights for me.

I did manage a road ride on the 4th. For the first time this summer I joined the group thinking it was going to be a easy ride but they headed west for the hills and that leaves me out. Me, and couple other guys decided to ditch the hilly ride (after we could not see the group anymore) and went our own way which was fine by me.

The three of us had a great ride of almost 60 miles and over 3.5 hours. Sun was out, it was warm and before we got back I called out that this was the best ride of the summer for me. And that was before Brian bought us all a ice cream cone when we were done.
A great ride.

Today its back to biz as there is 20 bikes to build and get on the floor before the weekend. Also my new Superfly to build, and the Felt F! needs a 500 mile check up too. And of course the scheduled repairs. Not enough time in the day. There will be four workstands going here today.

Tomorrow I have the store once again staffed to operate without me and I will once again give the road group one more shot. Usually, the Saturday routes have not been west so way less climbing. Lets see how I do with that.
I'll let you know Monday.
Have a good weekend.


Wednesday, July 3, 2013


New sign!
Every once in awhile I kinda blow a fuse. Too much work and not enough play.

So Im going to take it a bit slower and smell the roses a bit more.

The store is super busy and i can afford some extra help. Hired a third part timer.

I just got my project Superfly (pics soon) and Im going to ride it a lot.
And maybe slow done on this blog a bit too. Ive said that before.

But really, Im going to spend more time out of the store for awhile. And that means riding more. And that means posting about riding more.
I guess I would not mind that.

Have a great Holiday. Next post maybe friday.


Tuesday, July 2, 2013


Dura Ace C50's
I don't do a lot of this. Maybe I should do more. But overall I try to keep business off this personal blog. For the most part.

Lets talk about the Dura Ace C50 clinchers. Only available with an aluminum braking surface. (The tubular rim is all carbon).

Now, I love cool wheels. I demo several sets a year. Eastons, Bontragers and Dura Ace this summer.

I really like these wheels and heres why.

They are of Dura Ace quality. Bearings and hubs are high end stuff. Very good. Many people see a full carbon wheel and look at the rim. I look at the hub. Thats where all the business is conducted. These wheels are on par with any hub I have used. Period.

Moving on. Many companies have a carbon wheel with aluminum braking surface. Its their cheaper wheel. Usually  its a aluminum rim with a carbon "fairing" on it. Its the red headed stepchild of the carbon wheel world.
Not so here.
Instead of taking a aluminum rim and making it a fake carbon wheel, this wheel is full carbon first, aluminum surface second. The braking surface is added to the carbon rim instead of the other way around.
Then, add in the fact its of D3 technology  That means its wider than a normal wheel. The aero effects are that of a rim much deeper the 50mm. The Bontragers also have this. The Eastons I ran did not. I can feel the difference over 20mph. For real.

Sure the wheels are a bit heavier. Grams. No biggie. But here is what seals the deal for me.
The aluminum braking surface is just so much better braking than carbon.  And that true with any wheel. Being a bigger guy I noticed the difference immediately. And I was more comfortable in my ability to stop with these. 

Now Ive never rode off a cliff due to carbon wheels, but I did have to plan ahead a bit more. With the aluminum surface, I can brake with one less finger on the lever. That's a plus. Also, no million dollar brake pads needed. Like any aluminum rim they can go from bike to bike easy. These would be nice for both the road bike and cross bike.

I will always ride full carbon wheels. In the past I would have never considered the fake carbon wheel with a fairing.  But I think (since these wheels are sold) I will get me another set of these Dura Ace wheels for keeps. Very versatile. And plenty fast.


Monday, July 1, 2013


Sunday ride #1
Sunday ride #2

Had a good weekend as far as riding.
Sunday pulled off a double.

Had the MTB at home so Sunday morn I grabbed it and rode from my house to the local trails. Its not very far. Less than a 10 minute ride.
The 29in wheels with a semi-slick tires actually roll pretty good on the street.
I hit the woods and spent some time planning two race courses.
First is my cross race in Sept.
Second is our clubs MTB race in Oct.

Im in charge of both so I spent an hour on each, riding and planning and scheming. I pretty much have the basic ideas in my head. I just need to get them out.

After an enjoyable ride in the woods I rode over to the store, changed shoes and grabbed the F1. And put another couple of hours on it before riding back home. A fun day for sure and over three hours total in the saddle. Fitness is returning.

Im feeling pretty good of late (on the bike) and hope to start racing soon. Another couple weeks yet. Just a few more pounds to lose to get back into (Clyde) racing weight.

My racing schedule includes only a few WORS races, but more of the fall classic one day races. Such as Ore to Shore etc. Lots of fun. And I get out of town to do those which is a plus for me.
Just gatta stay in the saddle ongoing. Im ready to hit some of the road group rides which is a interval fest for me. Really, for a bigger guy like me I need to treat those rides like races. The effort is about the same.
Bring it on.