Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Snowwwwww Day

After a ton of snow overnight, I woke up with high hopes. After rolling out of bed at 7:45 this morning, I saw an email from KSU. My eyes got wide with excitement. My heart raced as my eyes began to scan through the letters on the screen: "Due to inclement weather:..."

Those are the 4 sweetest words I've ever laid eyes on. In an excited rush, I continued to read: "* Ashtabula Campus has canceled morning classes (through noon). Staff report.

* Geauga Campus and Twinsburg Center have canceled morning classes (through noon). Staff report.

* Tuscarawas Campus has canceled classes all day. Staff report.

YOU HAVE TO BE KIDDING ME KENT STATE UNIVERSITY. You close all the regional campuses and keep the main campus open. What have I done to deserve this punishment?

So grudgingly, I suited up and got everything ready for the commute in. I realized that I had two options.

a) Take side streets in. They'd be unplowed, but I'd significantly lower my chances of being hit by a driver that lost control.

b) Take a main road in. They'd be in much better shape than side streets, but my ass getting ran over significantly increases.

I chose option A. Bad choice.

It'd It normally takes ten minutes to ride into work. It took me 45 minutes today. The roads were so bad that I ended up pushing my bike most of the way. On the plus side it got my heart rate going pretty immediately.

So after making it to campus alive, albeit a bit sweaty and out of breath. I get to my first class at 9:30, only 15 minutes late. Half way through class, someone gets a campus advisory text message. Classes are cancelled effective 11am. Great. All that work for nothing.

So after class, I bundled back up, turned on the Planet Bike Superflash, (which I fully reccomend for anyone and everyone, by the way) and continued the trek home.

I decided to take the main roads, in hopes that it was less treacherous than the side streets. I took 59 to S. Water, and while they were better than the side streets, they weren't too great by any means. Thank goodness everyone gave me enough space, because I figured I'd slide out and get run over or something shitty like that.

I think I want to win the lottery, so I can buy studded tires, and a Pugsley. That'd rule.

So after reading all this stuff, you get rewarded with some bonus content, a snow bike check.

It's a old-ass GT MTB, with the freehub welded to make it a fixed gear, built up with parts I found in the depths of my basement and Eddy's dumpster. Nothing notable about it, besides the super comfy Brooks. Grand total cost, probably $50.

And here's one of me looking thrilled to be outside. Note the Ski goggles and the Marc Jacobs combat boots, worth approximately ten times the bike. High fashion matters when you're riding a dumpster bike to class, heh.

So time to do some productive stuff today. Continue overhauling my Long Haul Trucker, and put 45 minutes in on the rollers.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Winter's Wrath

Not too much going on today, spent some quality time with the girlfriend. Got some really good Thai food at Thai Gourmet, right across the street from Eddy's Bike Shop.I was about to stop in to see if there was anything I wanted to pick up for the rides, but I realized with my recent $230(!!!) electric bill I probably should hold off. Plus I'm more of a Century Cycles kinda guy anyway.

So lack of motivation aside, I spent a half hour on the rollers today just to keep the legs loose. I put a longer stem on my Cross Check and I think I like it, 0 degree rise and 110mm in length. So time to get a more permanent replacement.

The last item on the agenda for the day was putting my Long Haul Trucker on the repair stand for some long overdue maintenance, as the pictures show. This, folks, is what happens if you don't hose down your bike after 2 weeks of an Ohio winter commute. Yikes!

It sucks to see probably my favorite bike out of the whole stable get beat to shit by winter, but the good thing is after a bit of wax and Phil's lube, it should be back in business.

Time to get some sleep, as I've got class from 9:15am to 8:30pm tomorrow with no breaks. Oh joy.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Escape from work

After being stuck in work all day, consistently checking my weather widget to see the temperature climbing, I was able to escape at two.

After the short ride home, I realized that I needed to make some food. While office coffee may be vital to getting me through a work day, three cups on an empty stomach had me feeling a little queasy.

So after taking care of the snack situation with some barley and mushrooms, I got my bike ready for its first voyage off the rollers in a long while.

Here she is in her winter trim:

So after hitting the road, I decided to take a loop up and around Lake Rockwell, one of the many country-esque roads surrounding the Kent area. It was nice to get some miles in on the fixed gear and try to work on my pedal stroke a bit. Which I realized has become a bit bothersome.

Not trying to be an analytical camera nerd, but I set my camera up on a tripod and filmed myself riding my rollers for like 15 minutes. Took the footage into Final Cut Pro, and slowed it way down to like 20%. I discovered that I wasn't flattening my foot out enough on my downstroke, and was pointing my toes wayyyy too much on my upstroke. So these base miles are a great opportunity to work on this sorta stuff.

So that aside, the ride was pretty mellow. There are some all right rolling hills in the area to give a little bit of variety to the ride. Most of it looked like this:

Which isn't too bad, I figured the bumpy road provided me some good training for cross, and I know I need it, because Robert seems to be working pretty hard to be in top shape for this season, so I should get off my butt and not have him embarrass me too badly this fall :D

After I had enough, I turned back around at Infirmary road and started to finish up the loop. FInishing it out, I was a stretch of Lake Rockwell that I think is my favorite stretch of road in the Kent area. Just twisty and turny enough, and FAST!

So after Lake Rockwell and navigating a busy intersection at 43, I was on Ravenna Rd. After hanging a Left onto Hudson Dr. I was home free back into Kent.

I decided to throw in a mini hill on Graham Rd, just to see if I had some juice in my legs. Lucky I did, and made it back in one piece.

Here's the aftermath of my nice weather cruise, plenty of road crap all over the bike.

So today is going to be spent relubing all the necessary bits, and giving my frame a coat of wax. Probably 45 minutes or so on the rollers just to loosen up my legs and watch the Simpsons.

So the vitals for the ride:
• 23.32 miles
• Total time 1:26
• Average speed of 16.8
• Max speed of 31.4 @ 42-17 fixed = a max cadence of 158, which was pretty fun for hamster leg status.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Stuck at work

I'm going insane. It's 42 degrees out and I'm at work until 2pm.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Hopefully I can get out, go home, grab a bite to eat, and get maybe 20 or 30 miles in before it gets dark. Hopefully I'll have a ride report if all goes to plan.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Commute 2

This was yesterday's commute, and to think I was scared at 1 degree.

The good news is that I picked up a set of rollers of Craigslist. 45 minutes on those today, and safe to say, my pedal stroke need some work.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

My commute

This is the reason I haven't been riding lately. Saving my commute into work, which seems to be a bit chilly this morning.

I am picking up a set or rollers on Friday, and I think a Garmin 305, so I might be taking this whole training thing somewhat seriously. Who'd a thunk it?

Thursday, January 8, 2009


Ray's was a pretty good time. Fuzz won the high bunnyhop contest at 40 inches. My rusty self got out on 36 inches. Embarrassing.

Two Pictures: A poorly timed cancan and flip that around and you've got a nacnac. Who would have thunk that wearing all black leads to a crappy autoexposure. Oh well.


This weather has been a killer as far as me actually doing any bikin' which sucks. I've been trying to figure out what rides and races I'm going to do, but I don't know if I can take this seriously enough to actually train or whatever, so we'll see if it actually happens. I'd like to try an endurance MTB event, so maybe the Mohican 100k may be a good start. I just sort of googled some training plans, and they look all right, excluding lifting weights. 

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Black Metal Cleanin'

If I ever get my mom to read the blog she'll be proud of this post. I finally got bored enough on my seemingly never ending winter break that I did something drastic. 

I cleaned up my work area, which was pretty much looked like a F5 shitnado blew through, leaving the twisted wreckage of old bike parts, greasy paper towels and old, musty smelling coffee cups. 


And the much improved after:

This took a good freaking while to do and I was listening to some awesome jams to expedite the process a bit. 

First up was Integrity's always classic Humanity is the Devil. 

I forgot how good this album is. I grew up on Cleveo hardcore, and this was a staple. Pretty much the brootal shred that Integrity is known for. 

Album number two that I was getting down upon is one of my biggest suprises of 2008; Darkthrone - Dark Thrones and Black Flags.

Pretty interesting thought that a black metal band made my favorite punk rock album of the year, but it seems like Darkthrone is departing from their more traditional black metal style and letting their punk influences come through. 

So with all these good jams going I had the productivity juices pumping throughout my veins. Next up was fixing my little brother's bike. It was pretty simple, the only real time consuming thing was truing his long neglected wheel. Peep the picture. 

This wheel endeavor was awesome because it gave me good reason to put in some quality time with my expensive-ass truing stand, which has in all honesty been collecting dust. It also helped me brush up on my skills which as stated before have been a bit underutilized. 

I'm off to Ray's with the doggs today, so I'm sure I'll have some flicks and potentially a video of myself getting the bmx shred on. I should probably focus on getting someone to read this instead. Time to hit up the blogosphere (please kill me for saying blogosphere.)

Friday, January 2, 2009

Good Weather Continues

Rode by the parents' house today.

  • 32.98 miles
  • 1 hour 48 minutes
  • 17.9 mph average
Full ride report to come.

Here it is:

After dropping Michelle off at Valley View so she could catch a movie with her family, I headed back to my parents' house in North Royalton. 

After talking with the family and with a delicious sandwich compliments of mom in my stomach I was off. Fleet Foxes' self titled album was on myPod and I was feeling ok, all thought I think I need myself some shoe covers.

I cruised down State, and hung a right on the Valley parkway, westbound.

I wish I would have brought my camera. I always seem to forget how beautiful the area is. Depending on how the job market looks after I graduate in the spring, I may not be in NE Ohio for much longer, and I can safely say that the park system is one of the things I'm going to miss most about the area. Dang beautiful. 

So the ride wasn't anything too spectacular on my end. I was having some dink issues with my Terry Dragonfly saddle, so I got sick of fiddlin' with fit and put my Brooks B17 on immediately after the ride. But the pace was pretty all right, which I can pretty much attribute to the ride being entirely downhill. 

So going through NR, Strongsville, and Berea. When I eventually got to the East Branch of the Rocky River, my toes were freezing and I decided to hit it homeward bound style. 

The gradually uphill ride back east was not as fun feeling as the ride downhill, but I'm not too surprised about that. I seriously need to work on some hill climbing, as the hill between Bennett and Ridge was a killer. I thought I was going to die when I finally got my slightly-overweight ass up to the top.

All in all a pretty deece cruise.