Saturday, March 31, 2007


Music is such a huge part of my life and I never post about it. I have lived, like many of you, with a running soundtrack. Dave Matthews, 311, Sex Pistols, Misfits, Dead Kennedys, Dead Milkmen, Tribe Called Quest, Public Enemy, Beastie Boys, Billie Holiday, Cake, Charlie Mingus, The Clash, The Cult, The Cure, Metallica, De La Soul, Descendants,U2, Joy Division, Miles Davis, Digable Planets, Massive Attack, Janes Addiction, Rage, Kyuss, Hendrix, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Specials, Steely Dan, Ramones, Sly Stone, Smiths, Johnny Cash, Beatles... I loves me some music. This stuff created me as much as anything else I went through in my formative years.

Since my 'heavy consumer' years of spending half of every paycheck on cds, I have tried to branch out. Recently, I started listening to Queens of the Stone Age (new Kyuss), Arcade Fire, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, KT Tunstall, Jeff Buckley, Thievery Coporation, Yo La Tengo... Some stuff I heard of years ago and was just too busy with other stuff to get into. Tom Waits, Stereolab, Gorillaz, John Legend, Amerie, Hooverphonic, Baby Mammoth, Death Cab for Cutie, Guster, Oysterhead, Pink Martini, Buzzcocks... If you don't listen to ALL of these bands, you should. I've gots me a pretty diverse musical interest so I KNOW there is something here you haven't heard and should check out. I've got over 700 albums (which ain't THAT much) in my Winamp and I am constantly re-discovering stuff.

I am always asking people about bands they are listening to or new music they are into and it's actually quite rare that people have anything NEW they are listening to. Martin is one of the few people that regularly have new music to foist on me. Michael is another one. Once we reach our 20s, a lot of people have their musical stuff set. It's hard to keep moving forward and I'm in my 30s. I'm constantly looking for new music so if you have ideas and input, PLEASE send it along.

Get out there and find some new music you like. Services like Pandora help you figure out what you like and they play what they THINK you'll like as well. That's pretty cool.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

New Masi Speciale Cross 08 Pics

I love Tim. Ok, maybe love is a bit strong of a word. Here are the new double-secret spy photos of one of the new Masi bikes for 2008. Speciale Cross (name might change). Steel cross bike, rad steel fork, rad paint job, not so great pics.

The bike should be around $1200 or so (no way that's gonna be right). It's rad. Tim has got a great eye for this stuff and I LOVE the colors and the fork. LOOK AT THAT DAMN FORK! Nice work Tim.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

WABA Auction Round-Up

I'm not feeling super-prolific this evening. It was a beautiful location, right in Georgetown on the waterfront. People I know had too much to drink and you know who you are. Shame on you.

I got outbid on two (TWO!) Floyd pieces (a signed jersey and poster) because I'm broke. I'm trying to get an audience with his TourWinningness when we are out in San Diego for 24hrs of Vail Lake in a few weeks but I won't hold my breath. It would be rad though. Rest assured that I'll go through his trash if I find out where he lives and then he'll HAVE to invite me in. That ALWAYS works, right?

Here's the highlights: you'll just have to figure it out... Me and Joel (my pet yeti), Sarah and Katie, me, Frank, Michael, MattyD and Sarah. Frank and Michael playing playing straight guy/funny guy, We've got Dancin, Drinkin Shawny, oh, whatever. Pretty people, Swedish Embassy, auction stuff, drinky.

There were plenty of dirty cyclists there to keep the event legit. Others of us took our monthly shower a bit early and managed to find some clean clothes for the evening. Others took the time to actually PLAN what they were going to wear and were looking fabulous. I did get a complement from somebody on my 7 year old tie. No, 8 years old. Lars and Karen bought it for me for their wedding. Boy, was THAT a long time ago... I didn't even have an email address yet. Ah, the good old days. Anonymity...

Man these pictures are messed up. I have no idea on Earth how the layout will look. I ran into a lot of people at the event that I haven't seen in a while. Oh, there's a pic of me and Bill in here somewhere as well. I saw Mary but didn't talk at her. I know she was there. THERE'S NO HIDING!

Thanks to Eric, Jeff and the rest of the staff for putting on another great event. This was our fifth or sixth and they are always fun. We usually buy stuff but didn't manage to win ANYTHING! I suck.

Monday, March 26, 2007

LeBron and Cannondale?

Oh yeah. No kidding. Nice cycling/training mention... From

Thank You John Burke and Trek

I'm not a fan of the bikes but you gotta love the man's vision. From BR&IN. This is a huge shift for the industry and could double the number of people riding bikes in the US in the next 10 years...
Trek's John Burke Tells Industry that Advocacy Is the Future

MARCH 26, 2007 -- TAIPEI, Taiwan (BRAIN)--Trek's president John Burke told Taiwan's leading manufacturers they must shift a portion of their marketing and research budgets toward advocacy and promote the bicycle as a solution to fast-emerging worldwide problems.

Burke, speaking before a meeting of Taiwan’s A-Team, said a convergence of global issues positions the industry as a solution to obesity, traffic congestion, urbanization and air pollution.

Several factors, such as the rise of obesity levels in the United States and the escalating medical costs in Western Europe, make this a critical time to push cycling forward as a solution. “The U.S. is a microcosm of what is going on and the U.S. government can’t solve it. This is an epidemic,” he said.

Burke said that over the past 20 years the industry has focused on product innovation and marketing, but now it’s time for the industry to shift that focus over the next 20 years. “The bicycle industry is sitting at a place in history where we are at a crossroads,” he said, adding that bicycle advocates are the industry’s unsung heroes.

Burke urged the industry’s leaders to work harder to create a more bicycle-friendly world, to get involved with government leaders and to take greater responsibility for promoting cycling in their home markets. “The industry should try and change the world,” he said.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Sorry Spec'd, Can't Wait - 29'er Update

I'm pretty sure there's an Epic in there, based on some info I got last year...
Specialized To Launch Mountain Bikes with 29-Inch Wheels
News to be released this week on the Specialized Riders Club site
March 21, 2007, Morgan Hill, CA

Trusted Dealer,

Amid a great deal of rumor and speculation, we would like to formally announce to our trusted dealers that the 2008 Specialized product lineup will include a number of mountain bike models with 29-inch wheels. We wanted to tell you first; this information will be confirmed publicly later this week. Please keep this information confidential until then.

We could have introduced bikes with 29-inch wheels with our 2007 line, but to do so would've meant a rush to market that we were not comfortable with. We would never introduce a bike or other product until it absolutely lives up to the Specialized name; to do so would risk our reputation and your livelihood. Brandon Sloan and the rest of our mountain bike development team carefully studied, refined and improved every element of the 29" wheel platform. A rigorous product development cycle, including test riding by longtime Specialized racer and product developer Ned Overend, will ensure that our 29-inch wheeled bikes will be the best in the market. We are certain that we've created bikes that live up to the Specialized name.

We will reveal the exact models, pricing, specs, frame material and other details when we officially launch the product line. To generate buzz, we'll be releasing the first public mention of our 29-inch wheeled bikes on the Specialized Riders Club website, The Riders Club is filled with passionate riders from around the country and is the perfect place to start spreading the word and building excitement for this important new line of bikes.

Are your weekly shop rides on the Riders Club website? If not, email and we'll get you set up with everything you need to get involved!

Watch the Riders Club site later this week for the story and exclusive pictures!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Shenandoah Mountain 100 Registration Open!

I just got this email from Chris Scott:

Happy Spring Equinox to all!! (yes, it is actually tonight at 8:08 PM EST!)

The Wilderness 101 - Aug 4th ------ Shenandoah Mountain 100 - Sept 2nd has registration going for the Wilderness 101 and for the SM100
Snail mail entry forms are available on the website. Both events are part of the NUE Series for 2007 with the SM100 being the series finals yet again. (NUE = the new name for the National Ultra Endurance Series)

New for 2007 is a group training partnership in the DC area with The Bike Lane and Principle Fitness for the SM100. Training starts April 1st - info can be found on the Bike Lane's website - Thanks Anne Mader and Eric Sorensen!!

We have been working on a few other project for 2007 as well. The Mt. Nittany Wheelworks boys are hell bent on the Stooooopid 50 idea. Why?, because there is so much more sweet singletrack closer to State College that the 101 doesn't even touch. It looks like we are going to make that one fly on June 10 - more info to follow in the next week. And if you thought that was iffy.... then the Woodstock, NY Catskill 50 project is full on dreamy. But we are chasing that one down too! Once the snow melts we will know more - June 30th anyone?? - keep that date open!!

Thanks to everyone who helped make the 2006 events so much fun!! - volunteers, racers, and sponsors!!

See ya soon,

Chris Scott
Shenandoah Mountain Touring, LLC.
IMBA State Representative - Virginia

Monday, March 19, 2007

Another (Road) Race Report

Trade Zone #3 (for me) was a great day.

Let me back up... a few people have mentioned that I neglected to report on the finish of the past races. I didn't know what to say. After having thought about it I realized that the finish was the worst part. Not only because I was physically unable to do anything close to actually contesting the race, but because that had nothing to do with the experience for me. I ride my bike to ride my bike. Racing is just another bike ride with people I don't know that costs money to enter. I enjoy the riding.

And now, the 18 March race.

After hollering about the race for a few weeks, I managed to coax some of my fellow City Bikes/ team members to come out. Scardaville, MattyD and JoFo made the trip out to Kasa de Klasmeier for coffee and a 12 mile warm-up ride to the race. The boys were on time, the coffee was hot and the weather was COLD! I'm talking freezy-headache cold.

We were on the road at around 9:40 for the 10:30 race. Not too much time to mess around but not pressing. We had a solid Easterly wind that fronted as we rode. Wind does that. It was a good pace to get down there, pretty cold, but MattyD and I pulled most of the way down.

We lined up with the 30 or so other racers. Small field this week as there was a big race at U of MD later in the afternoon. We had over 80 last week. I had mentioned to the boys that I wanted to relax a bit more than I did the previous races but that we should all generally stay towards the front. Everybody was feeling the same. After the start and the upwind leg, I found myself near the front and ended up pulling through to lead through the start finish on the first lap. So much for relaxing.

After talking myself back into the pack, I relaxed for a few laps. I managed to find a good wind-shadow spot on every turn, pretty much, and got out of the pre-turn slowdown regime that helped me conserve energy.

The rest of the race is all about MattyD, Scardaville and JoFo. First off, you can't put mtn bikers in a pack and expect them to not want to lead. And lead we did. I think we lead or were close to the front or bridged on most of the laps. We all had steady, hard headwind pulls. Scardaville and JoFo pulled back a few 'breaks' on that leg. That wasn't easy. I went WELL away on lap 12 after mis-understanding a request from JoFo. I was at the finish line and looked back to see the pack just coming around the corner, about 40 bike-lengths back. Everybody at the start/finish looked at me like I was crazy. Or stupid. It was both, of course.

We all organized as best as we could for most of the race. Every time I looked around, there was a City Bikes jersey ahead of me unless I was at the front which is when there was at least one close behind me. I got some crucial pulls from the boys after coming off the front after hard pulls and I think I managed to be there for them in a few spots as well. All in all, we were all pretty strong, pretty smart and aggressive. It was a lot of fun, super-hard and a great (COLD!) day.

After the race, we hung out and a couple of people stopped to say 'good race' and 'way to work.' It was nice to be recognized as working hard even if we weren't actually doing anything structured. We kept the pace high and the pressure on. It was fun. We got back on the bikes and started to roll north on 301 with a pretty nasty headwind. We weren't hauling ass but I got a request for a 'back way' out of the wind. I pulled off at Gov. Bridge Rd and we got a solid 20mph tailwind, which was nice. We relaxed on the low-traffic road. As we came down to the bridge, I noticed a bit of water on the road. How about 10 inches of water! Also, a pair of jersey barriers pushed up against the bridge. Whoops. I didn't see any signs. Oh well, I rode through the water and everything was fine. The boys followed as I hopped the barriers, crossed the bridge and moved some caution tape. We laughed. It's nice to have a vehicle you can throw over your shoulder.

Most of the ride back was at least wind-neutral, if not helpful. However, the last 5 miles on St. Stephens Church Rd was a bit rough. JoFo and Scardaville were cold, tired and cramping. I was out of fuel, to be sure as I'm sure MattyD was but we managed to make it back to the house by 1pm. We were spent.

The boys were in a hurry to split but we managed to throw down guacamole, crackers, chips, sodas, carrots, hummus and rice. The final total was 59.8 miles with a race-max speed of 34.5 mph. It was a great day and largely represents the end of my racing season. I'll rock the RFK Crit that Bega puts on, but that's probably it for me. It's fun. I'll probably do it again next year for training. Thanks to Steve and Bike Doctor for putting it on. Here's hoping we can do a crit in downtown Annapolis next year!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Bike Summit Senate Reception: No Floyd

I promised some hot Floyd action. I brought my camera, I got there early, I opened the bar early (not sure of the relevance there but I thought you'd be proud) and staged myself with a clear view of the front door. About an hour into it, I asked Todd when he was showing up and he told me that he was 'held up' in Rep. Henry Waxman's office. I talked to Richard from Speedplay and he mentioned that they were talking about USADA investigation stuff. Good for Floyd.

This year, the Congressional reception was held on the Senate side over in the Russell building. I got there early and met up with Scudamore to catch up before spending the rest of the night catching up with all the random attendees. The security was lax, the room was beautiful and the attire was formal.

I didn't take a lot of pics, but I got some good ones. I got local Harrisonburg Mafia boys Thomas Jenkins (Shenandoah Bicycle Company) and Chris Scott (IMBA VA Rep, MtnTouring and SM100 guy) flashing East Coast mountain biking gang signs. I saw a few minutes of Chris on an IMBA panel regarding alternative wilderness designations. It was early enough in the evening that I'm sure Thomas was making a face, he's not actually trashed... that I know of.

On the left is the new ED at IMBA Mike van Abel and Laird 'Mr Happy' Knight. Mike has a full plate at IMBA. From my limited vantage point, it looks like they are aiming in some new directions and changing some operating procedures. We're all watching. Laird really is Mr Happy. He must be made of pure energy to be able to run multiple 24 hour events all over the US. He's a true mountain biker and has to be one of the coolest, nicest guys I have ever met. I don't know how he's managed to start and continue to lead the world of 24hr racing. Just amazing.

Next up is the dream-team of (L to R) IMBA DC rep Scott 'the Stud' Scudamore, young lady I don't know, Phil Koopman (City Bikes owner), my dumb ass and Laird Knight (GrannyGear productions, Mountain Bike Hall of Fame member, inventor of 24hr racing). Eric Gilliland (WABA ED) gets props for taking the picture. He was too busy running around for me to get a shot of him. It's like trying to take a picture of a bullet in flight...

On the left is Johnny-boy Burke (President of Trek) and my other girlfriend Amanda 'Hugginkiss' Eichstaedt (League Board President, general funnygirl). It was Johns birthday yesterday (45! I don't believe it) and as a good Wisconsin boy he managed to choke down a few beverages. I would be worried if he didn't. John's another great person in the industry and he has made it a point to make every Bike Summit that the League has put on. He's a visionary, to be sure, and he said he talked to Lance last week and everything is good with him... I was worried... Amanda is another pure rider. She operates a super-bike-friendly B&B in NorCal out near Point Reyes. The Bear Valley Inn is the place to go if you want to ride and experience wine and water in NorCal. Check it, bring your bike. Her humble hubby is working on qualifying for Paris-Brest-Paris on a FIXIE! He's a great guy. Nuts, for sure, but great nonetheless.

Here's Darren in mid-blink and Phil eating. He never gets to eat. Poor guy. Darren's gonna hate this picture. Don't worry, honey, I have more! We were lucky that we had BOTH kinds of beer at the reception: Bud AND Bud Light. I'm not scared and I managed to pull through. No light beers crossed my lips. I had to define some way to declare victory...

Here's one of our attractive and supportive hosts, League staff member Todd 'Old' McDonald. Todd is 6'7" of cycling wonder. Last year he wrenched for the Tour d'Afrique. He has great stories of rebuilding a suspension fork in the bush of Africa. His favorite tool on the trip was a rock. Now THAT'S what I call a mechanic. Tall, well-traveled, snappy dresser... no wonder he's a staff favorite. Did I mention that he's tall? I don't know how he does it...

This is me and Johnny Burke. I wished him a Happy Birthday and he wanted somebody to take a picture. At least he wore a tie and shaved. He's really bringing up the average in this shot. It was raining and I still managed to instinctively grab my shades on the way out of the house AND keep them on my head the whole night. I'm a classy guy, make no mistake. Next year I'll wear a tie again. Seriously.

Here's another great local dream-team shot. Jeff Dalik from Bike Doctor - Linthicum, Scott 'Still the Stud' Scudamore and Chris Scott. Everybody relax - Scud is drinking water. He's got to win the XTerra races AGAIN! What an inspiration. I know for a fact that this guy is made of pure energy. He's like 138 years old now and still getting around without a walker or adult training wheels. Wow. These three guys do quite a bit for mountain bikers in the MD-DC-VA area. If you ever see them, just thank them. They get nothing out of it but personal satisfaction and less time to ride. It always amazes me that so many of us are willing to ride LESS so that others can ride MORE. Hey, maybe we should use that as the new MORE tag line. Good-looking guys too, eh?

Our last pic is of big Maurice Tierney from Dirt Rag and Adrian Montgomery from ScottUSA. I don't really know 'em but it's always fun to take pictures of Maurice. He just got done flipping me the bird when I got this shot. Dirt Rag just lost their Editor Michael Browne to Trek USA. Maurice mentioned how surprised he was that people took them serious enough to hire someone from the Dirt Rag ranks. Ever the self-depricator, he enjoys underestimating his magazine and its influence on the fat-tired community. I also have to remind him that we have met about a dozen times over the years even though he looks at me like I've got two heads every time I talk to him. Hell, Laird had to introduce me to him in the halls of the ITC at the beginning of the Summit. So it goes. I look forward to meeting him again for the first time at the Granny Gear races...

Thanks for coming out to the event. If you've never been, it's a great event. It's reinvigorating and inspiring, at least. There is plenty of actual policy work going on as well, but I enjoy the conversations. I'll go again in 08.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Mr Floyd Landis

Showed up a lunch today at an event I was attending. I got to ask him a questions about the SM100 and shook his hand. Pics tomorrow, hopefully with both of us with drinks in our hands.


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The BikeCar Movie

Go here and do what you will. BikeCar and snowboarding? I'm looking for the on-board bong. Pretty cool.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Granny Gear 24 National Series in ON!

Congrats to Laird and Granny Gear for landing some solid sponsorships for 2007. This will make our attempt at a national series title in the Expert class that much more fun and meaningful! Toyota FJ Cruiser and EAS are making sure we can all race a national series. While I'm not in the market for some big-ass SUV, Toyota is on my short-list for a new car next year.

Click through to those links and support Granny Gear!

I got my tickets, I found out what the course is like and now I just have to talk the rest of the crew to follow suit! Here's hoping I'm not out there by myself! Where you at JoFo, Kent, MattyD... I'm getting excited.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

My First Road Race

I don't know how short I can keep this, but I managed to race in my first road race last weekend. The Trade Zone series sponsored by the Bike Doctor crew is put on about 12 miles (ok, EXACTLY 12 miles) from my front door. Jonathan from Family Bikes lives around the corner from me and we had his family over for dinner on Saturday night. We both dismissed going to the race despite proud stories of races past.

So, when I got a cup of coffee in me after the kids had breakfast, I looked at the clock... 9:15. I thought 'Hmmm, that gives me 15 minutes to get ready and a solid, slow hour to ride down there... I'll call Jonathan.' So I call him and he's getting ready and says he'll be ready and I should meet him at his front door. After running it by Susan and asking her to bring the kids down, I FINALLY get out the door for the 10:30 am race at 9:55. I call Jonathan as I push the bike out the front door.

If I was smart (I'm not), I would have jumped in the car and drove to pick Jonathan up. Since I'm not smart, I HAMMERED over to his house. I was running late. Jonathan was just stepping out the front door when I got over there. We didn't even say anything but 'damn, it's windy' and we started around the parkway.

It's a scenic 10 miles down route 3 to rte 301 to the race venue. We had half the time we wanted and twice the headwind. We traded pulls and got down there pretty quickly. We rounded the corner and the field was lined up and the official had her hands in the air preparing to start the race. Jonathan and I yelled at Ernest and Steve from BikeDr and they held the race. Lori pinned on our numbers, I literally handed Steve a blank check, we rolled over to the line and they started the race. I didn't even come to a complete stop and we were off.

Nothing like racing to get over your fears of racing.

The wind was fierce, the goofyass roadies were sketchy on the bikes and I was having fun. I managed to pull a few half-laps on the front and ended up in the middle of the pack or the back, depending on how I entered or left a turn. I found the wind shadow for each leg and basically used the time between turns to jockey for prime position. 20 1.25m laps.

I got yelled at a few times when avoiding others and coming off my line. I realized that I could have done better had I, oh, you know, paid attention. I didn't. At all. I was riding and having fun. Jonathan cramped at the top of the hill before the finish and I dropped back to see if he was ok. He recovered and I looked ahead and realized that we were on the last lap. I didn't even know the race was over! That would NEVER happen in a mtn bike race.

So, for $12 I'll go out there again. If weather permits, I'll be there the next two Sundays and try to pay a bit more attention. Actually, what I'll do is sit back, relax and just hammer the last few laps out in front, if possible. Who knows. It was fun. It's something that I wanted to do and this format was a lot easier than a REAL road race. So, actually, this was my first criterium. I'm glad I tried something new. I'm also glad that I am a mtn biker at heart. People take this road racing stuff pretty seriously... I think that's what makes it more fun for me...

Seven in the House

It's here! Finally... The new Demo 7. Isn't she pretty? 1.5 Totem up front, business in the rear. This thing is light (kinda), nimble and HOT!

That new Gamut chainguide is dialed. The seatpost is uncut (looks funny), the tires are big, the pedals are platform. I LOVE the argyle. This is a love/hate bike, to be sure.

All this damn snow really sucks. It never stays cold enough for long enough to get a lot of track in, you have to wait it out. Now that we got another inch, it would be great IF it wasn't going to be above freezing again tomorrow. Oh well, soon, my pet...

I only got to ride this thing for a few runs at Northstar last year at the Specialized event but I remember it fondly. Rock Shox continues to go off with the Totem representing the most exciting new platform I've seen in a while. It comes in 1 1/8", but I can't imagine running it that way. 40mm stanchions, lots of adjustability, super-stiff laterally and torsionally, Maxle 20mm thru tool-free wheel removal.

Here's some hot Totem action. The fork even comes with a spare sticker pack so you can channel your inner twelve year old (or just give 'em to YOUR twelve year old).

This bike would make a great East Coast DH bike. You could ride it most of the year on most trails with lighter tires then just bolt on the big meat for race day. The Totem is the Solo Air version so you can adjust your pressure THEN you have your low speed compression, high speed compression, rebound AND gate. If you can't find a happy place with this fork, stick to your road bike. All that adjustability in a light weight 7" travel package that tests stiffer than the Rock Shox Boxxer in torsion and deflection. And those 40mm stanchions actually make DH tires look reasonable. Pair that up with some Fox DHX 5.0 action in the rear and you get bottom-out and pro-pedal settings to get the bike where you want it. I'm a big fan of the Avid Juicy 7 brakes as well and the Demo 7 rocks the 8" rotors, front and rear.

It's amazing how all of these bikes come in medium and that just happens to be my size! How the hell does that always happen?! Specialized Demo Days are coming up soon. There's a mess of bikes to ride on their nickel, including Enduro SL, carbon Epics, Tarmacs, Stumpjumpers and more. Snoop around, rumor has it there are some mid-week options for riding as well.

See y'all out there soon.

Monday, March 05, 2007

New Bike

But not for me. Here's Big Mike's 61cm Tarmac SL. It's just over 15lbs with those not-so-light wheels. Damn it's purty. He's been waiting for this since September. He's got a stable of nice bikes so the fact that he is already in love with this one after one ride says a lot. Look for him in the Master's races in the DC area and GET OUT OF THE WAY!

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