Friday, August 31, 2007

Coolest Thing I've Seen In A While

Holy Cow! Way to go Cannondale! Check this thing out!

I hope I can ride one of these at Dirt Demo at Interbike...

Shimano's New Carbon Crank for Dura Ace

Shimano shows their new carbon crank for Dura Ace at Eurobike (in Europe, duh). Lighter than everything else, supposedly. Check it out here.

It's purty. It says Dura Ace on it. People will buy it. Woo hoo. I wonder how many people will get on a bike that haven't ridden in a long time because of this RAD new carbon crank...

Oh wait, none...

Thursday, August 30, 2007

A Big Day For All...

My beautiful, wonderful, smart, amazing little girl started school today. Her first day of Kindergarten. I can't believe it. Susan said it and I remember talking about it like it would never come. We moved in to our house and NEVER thought that we would still be here when Emma started school. And here we are.

She RAN to the bus stop with the kids of our neighbors with Mommy and Daddy walking behind with coffee and camera in hand. We waited a short 5 minutes, she queued up and off she went.

Jeremy and Susan were way more upset than Emma. She just couldn't wait to get on that big yellow bus.

And off she went. My big girl.

I wonder how long it took for her to get in trouble with the teacher...

Not to be outdone, Jeremy, through his tears, decided to ride his bike all the way to daycare. 'I'm gonna wear my hemmet,' he said. 'And daddy wayea ya hemmet, too!' Back to the house, on his new pirate bike and off we went. He rode that bike the entire seven-tenths of a mile, through the woods. You should have seen the look on that little sucker's face. He was so proud. Not as proud as me...

I'm getting ready for the biggest ride of the year for me. I LOVE the SM100. I talk about it all year. If I have never talked to you before, I'll probably bring up the SM100 in my first conversation with you. It's what I base my whole year around. I decided to get the team to race the entire Granny Gear 24hr series to get better at the SM100 and improve my time. It's a few days away and I can't even think about it. These moments in the lives of my kids are so important that they FAR AND AWAY eclipse the most important part of my individual life. I can't wait to see everyone and ride those sweet friggin trails but I just can't get there. I haven't even come CLOSE to start my preparations.

And, of course, my wife wins another award at work. Duh. I'm always happy for her but only surprised that she isn't recognized MORE for all of her ass-kicking.

I'm a lucky guy. Dumb, and lucky.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Allamuchy Attack and Whistler

Mr Sexy himself, Pat, raced 24hrs of Allamuchy in NJ this past weekend. Rumors of rain and storms abound. I don't buy it... Looks dry to me!

Nice work babycakes! Way to represent for DC! I hope you rode that lap while screaming 'TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION!'

Oh, also, Big Fella got back from Whistler. 'If only we had this stuff locally,' he said... Yeah, no kidding. Tell that to the last two years of my life!

I hope that helmet made it on that pretty head before hitting the trails! Looking good big guy!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Excuse Me, Mr Overend...

So I called Ned this afternoon and it went a little something like this...

'Hey Ned, it's Mike.'

'Hey Mike.'

'You busy this weekend? Floyd announced he's racing the SM100.'

'Yeah, I heard that. 100 miles is kinda far...'

Thursday, August 23, 2007

See You There, Floyd!

Landis to Shenandoah Mountain 100

Floyd Landis at the Leadville100
Photo ©: Wesley & Garrett Geer
(Click for larger image)

August 22, 2007
Contact: Chris Scott
Shenandoah Mountain Touring
Phone: 540.434.2087

2006 Tour de France Winner, Floyd Landis to Contest Shenandoah Mountain 100
Harrisonburg, VA - Chris Scott and Shenandoah Mountain Touring are pleased to announce 2006 Tour de France winner Floyd Landis will be on hand to race the
Shenandoah Mountain 100. "I am honored to be invited to be part of the Shenandoah
Mountain 100 event. I look forward to racing on the challenging course they have put
together since it includes the kind of technical trail riding that first got me hooked on
mountain bike racing," said 2006 Tour de France Champion Floyd Landis. The event,
to be held Sunday September 2nd, 2007, is a 100-mile single-day mountain bike race
in the George Washington National Forest outside of Harrisonburg, VA. With 14,000
feet of climbing - and descending - the SM100 is the premier endurance event on the East
Coast and is the final event in the NEU MTB Series. Six time 24 HR Solo World Champion
Chris Eatough (Trek/ Volkswagen) has chosen this event over the 24 HR Worlds in 2007,
"because he wants to be where the competition is" said Eatough from Utah as he finalized
his preperation for this weekends Endurance 100 event in Park City. Eatough is trying
to take the Series Championship from his friend, last years series Champion,
Harlan Price (Independent Fabrication).

Chris Scott, promoter of the event and owner of Shenandoah Mountain Touring, said
'I'm pretty stoked that Floyd Landis has decided to return to his mountain biking
roots and show up for the SM100. I've been dogging him for close to a year. All of
the competitors will welcome Floyd with open arms.' It was was very unfortunate that
Floyd could not represent with the #1 plate in the Tour this year. We are really
excited that he will have the chance to sport the #1 in the Shenandoah.

Floyd will have to contend with hours of climbing on steep dirt trails, narrow 30
mph descents and stream crossings, all while staying on his bike and watching his
nutrition. Chris Scott expects the 100 miles will take Floyd around 7 1/2 hours.
The 9th running of the event should see a full field of 450 mountain bikers set out
from Stokesville, Virginia at dawn to complete 100 miles of gravel roads and narrow,
rocky single track. 'If he's really on his game, he could beat the course record set by
Jeremiah Bishop last year of 7 hours 15 minutes,' says Scott.

'It's great that Floyd Landis will be here to race in Harrisonburg,' says event
sponsor and Harrisonburg local Thomas Jenkins from Shenandoah Bicycle Company. 'I
haven't raced against Floyd for 10 years and I ride these trails all the time. Riding
with Floyd will be something special, and I'll be gunning for him.'

'It's such a great event, I'm not surprised that Floyd decided to race the SM100 after
Scott Scudamore and I put the heat on him,' said Michael Klasmeier from event sponsor
City Bikes in Washington, DC. 'Klasmeier gave Landis the invitation at The National
Bike Summit in Washington, DC. Floyd was a keynote speaker giving a talk to bicycle
advocacy leaders on Capital Hill. Floyd considered attending the event, but joked that
he would attend only if the promoters guaranteed it would not rain. Scott Scudamore, the
Washington DC Area IMBA rep and long time MORE member had previously put
the screws to Floyd about attending the event in January while being the MC at the first
Floyd Fairness Fund City Hall style gathering at the Arlington Cinema N' Draft House.
Now it looks like he has a clear slate for the weekend and he is stepping up.

For more details on the Shenandoah Mountain 100 or Shenandoah Mountain Touring,
check out

08 Masi Stuff

Tim over at Masi gave me the big 'No' when I asked him if I could show y'all some of the new product. Of course, I checked BR&IN this morning and there is a bunch of stuff about the bikes.

SOOoooooooo. Let the steel-lovin' begin!

I think my favorite is the Soulville. The bike speaks for itself. Love it? You should. $800-ish for a RAD bike with an inter-8spd rear hub and roller cam rear brake. Fenders, the MASI leather saddle and no front brake make this thing a style MONSTER! I know that this bike will come and go fast so you can bet your sweet Aunt Mary that we'll be ordering a lot of these and early. If Tim doesn't make more of these bikes for 09 as well, I'm going to have to punch him square in the face. This thing ROCKS!

The new Speciale Commuter is another hot little ride. Box crown on the fork, fixed/free in the back (comes with both cogs, I believe), brakes, lower gear than the regular fixed stuff. Great little bike. Not a lot of money either. Around $700 with semi-horizontal dropouts and a derailleur hanger should you ever decide to ride this bike some other way (1x?, double or triple). It's got plenty of room for fatter tires and a great color. Tim is overworked at Masi, for sure!

And finally, our sub $1k steel, boxed-crown Speciale CX. You can race on it, do some touring, cruise town, do long road rides, whatever! Check out that sexy cork-colored tape! And that hot panel paint job. Canti brakes, rack and fender mounts, plenty of room for fatty tires. This will be another hit with the boys and girls of DC. Love it.

I don't think there are any other shops in DC (or even CLOSE to DC) with these bikes around. I can't imagine why Masi isn't getting more attention. These things are priced right, they look GREAT and they have some real heritage. Whatever. I guess I can't complain that City Bikes is the only shop smart enough to carry these bikes.

The rest of the line is really nice too. Carbon road starting around $1900, some really good-looking flat-bar stuff as well as the aluminum/carbon road bikes from $1200 to $2k. That stuff keeps them competitive with some of the big companies out there, but I think this is the stuff that really allows Masi to shine.

Let me know if you want one of these. I wouldn't expect to see them until later this year. I'm working on getting specific delivery info from Timmy asap. Who knows when their website will be up so hit them (or me) with questions about the other bikes, I'm happy to help.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Emma's Milestone, Jeremy's Ride

My baby girl lost her first tooth. I would have guessed that it would be from falling on her face after jumping off of the top of the jungle gym or racing her brother around the block on her 'gooter' (scooter) or her doggy bike. Nope, she was across the street playing with Reina and Alex with Jeremy, eating lunch.

Susan and I heard the screams and headed out the front door. She had the tooth in the cup and showed it off as a big game hunter would after bagging an elephant or something. She's been so excited. The Tooth Fairy brought her a little certificate of congratulations and a solid buck. She's so happy that she got something, she didn't care what it was.

Jeremy has been rocking his new Hotwalk everywhere. It's basically a bike with no pedals or chain so that he can learn to balance on tw0-wheels without training wheels. He took it off a curb the first day. He really enjoys it but he's wearing through his Crocs pretty quickly as they are his brakes.

The SM100 is coming up in less than two weeks. I'm excited. There is a ton of chatter on the MORE site. People are pretty nervous and excited. I'm no expert but many first-timers are over-thinking it. I wish everyone well. It's such a great event. Chris really has taken the time to make this event special. It's so much fun, it's not even a race anymore!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

More About Full Suspension Than You Wanted to Know

Can be found at the new site from Specialized here.

Enjoy. Let me know what you think. It's pretty hot stuff.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Don't Trust Me (I'm Spoiled)

As I work through my day and think about stuff that would be interesting to write about, I am constantly reminded of why you shouldn't trust me. I mean, I write mostly about bike stuff and there is almost constant reference to events I'm attending, visits from industry types whose job it is to influence me to support them and products that I ride and love from sponsors of the mtn bike race team that I'm on... That is sponsored by my employer...

For instance, in the last two weeks, I have received an invite to a pre-Interbike event with SRAM that is intended to make me feel special and love SRAM AND I just got an email from somebody at Specialized to show up for a dealer event in NC (at Pisgah) to check out the 08 product (again) and provide feedback in a more intimate setting to Sloan, Chamberlain, JoeBuck and Mick. 'More intimate' doesn't mean I'll be wearing lingerie or anything... That I know of...

It's such a twisted web that I can't imagine that anyone takes me at all seriously. And then I remember how expensive all of the stuff I have was... I have paid for almost every part on my bike. I have gotten a few free tires from WTB, but only because they sponsor the team and they sponsor the team because I LOVE their tires and I asked them to. I ride a Specialized bike even though they didn't give me a deal on it. I have a few free pairs of shoes from Spec'd dealer events, but I bought a pair before they gave me any. Pedals? My tenure at Speedplay was a decade ago now and I have bought WAY more pedals than the one pair I was given.

So, maybe I'm not so bad after all. And then I think about what kind of advice I give people...

If you ask me about mtn bikes, I'll offer you an Sworks Enduro ($7k). Road bikes? How about a Moots VaMoots SL 6/4 Ti frame with Dura Ace for $6500. Bike for around town? Nothing beats a Jamis Coda Elite at $1300... Boy am I skewed... Oh, you want a hardtail? Sworks carbon hardtail for $5500. I'm dangerous with your wallet...

I've drilled myself pretty deep into this goofy industry but you can rest assured that I'll be honest. No matter what, I won't ride stuff that sucks, free or not. I spent A LOT of time criticizing people that spend countless hours designing and refining bikes. Most of them don't like me. I don't want anything to compromise my ride because that is the most important centering aspect of my life. Riding allows me the ability to be a good father, husband and employee. If I couldn't ride, I'd be a homicidal maniac. If I get injured, watch for me on the news...

Ride on...

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

24 Hours of Killington Race Report

I don't know why I call these things 'Race Reports' as the actual race is usually the least fun part of the weekend...

After finalizing our travel plans, I rose early on Friday morning to finish packing and get some coffee made. I hadn't packed the car yet as I was expecting Kent 'Chewbaake' Baake to show up around 6:30am. I actually got out of bed when the alarm went off at 6am instead of hitting the snooze button a dozen times and waiting for the 'I'm on my way' cell phone call to actually start getting ready.

We had some Thule drama when my trusty (hardly) V2 rack exploded when trying to mount Kent's spare bike to the rack which resulted in a quick replacement with a Rocky Mount that I had laying around. Of course the end of the Thule bar as all buckle-rusted which made it really hard to get that bike tray on there. 7:45am and I already had a sweaty shirt.

We left at around 8am and met up with JoFo and MattyD on the road. We both cruised through Baltimore at about the same time and they caught up to us a few miles before our arranged coffee stop at the Chesapeake House on I95. It was a 'Sea of Humanity' and we had a bit of a line to contend with but we made it out alive with our caffeine juice.

We made good time and had little traffic to contend with. We rolled into scenic Rutland, VT, around dinnertime and found Killington shortly thereafter. We got our race stuff from Laird, surveyed the start/finish and headed up to the land of team camping. The camping was up in the overflow parking area which was all crushed gravel. Great for level-camping, but not super soft. We got a spot right next to the streetlight (good idea) and the toilets (REALLY good idea).

We hit dinner at a local establishment and Kent proceeded to do the usual of ordering WAY too much food, which we pretty-much threw down our throats AND THEN we ordered dessert. We spent the usual five minutes discussion strategy, which is to say we decided the order for the race lineup. Sorry, that's about all we usually do. We walked out of the restaurant to a nice rainbow that had served as a reminder of the rain but also as a subtle reminder of hope for good conditions.

Back at the camp site, I offered and the boys accepted some hot 'Talladega Nights' action. We watched the movie, I fell asleep in the magic chair and everyone laughed. The next morning, Bruce (the announcer) asked Kent about the race and Kent says 'If you ain't first, you're last.' I laughed my ass off. He later thought better of it and was worried that people would think we were arrogant but I reassured him that it was just funny. It was funny. We aren't arrogant. We won so that made it more funny...

Rain threatened most of Friday and Saturday through the afternoon. We had spells of rain Friday night and Saturday morning until around 11am or so. We were worried. We had heard stories of hub-deep mud in sections of the course. We prepared for a real slog through the muck. We were all pretty nervous and excited about the coming 24 hours.

JoFo got suited up after the racer's meeting at the start/finish and we all rolled down to watch the beginning of the race. No rain. No sun, but no rain. Ominous clouds stretched out from the top of the mountain over our heads, reminding us to stay humble.

After one lap, Joe had us in a solid, respectable 12th place. He was top 10 or so in the run and hit the course pretty hard. None of us were familiar with the course and there were various reports of poor course-marking causing JoFo to do a double-take here and there, making sure he was on course. We were stoked and the race was on. JoFo hollered a few instructions to Kent on his way to a super-fast lap, moving us into 6th. I mounted an hour later and came back in from a good lap. We were now in 3rd place overall. MattyD ran out of the transition area when I got back and rode us into 1st overall. There we stayed until the race ended.

I used my cell phone as my timing device. Some day I'll get a watch. A few times, I picked up the mobile and noticed 'new txt message' on the display. Susan and the kids colored a few signs and Susan used her phone to send me pics of the kids holding up 'Congrat-u-lations' (on three lines) and 'Good Luck Daddy.' There's nothing more motivating and heart-warming. It really gave me a sense of ease and relaxation knowing that my family would still be proud of me, win or lose.

The weather was perfect. It never got below the 50s at night. Besides shorts and a short-sleeved jersey, I only wore my loose knickers on one lap, the weather was that consistent. I missed one transition by about 2 minutes, Kent missed one by about 3, both because people turned in faster-than-expected laps. It was a great problem to have and we stressed about my mistake but were in a position to laugh about Kent's on Sunday morning. Neither would matter as we won by two laps.

I rode my (sponsor) WTB tires again. They hooked up AGAIN! I'm sick and tired of loving these tires. I ran Exiwolf 2.1 front and rear. This is classic East Coast riding at its best. The rooty, rocky trails were tight and there was little room for error if you wanted to stay on the bike. It was all about setting up, holding on and repeating. Sometimes the technical parts came one after another in quick succession. Sometimes there were a few bike lengths between them. No matter what, good lap times meant good riding.

After Joe decided to go out for his sixth lap (!), Kent and MattyD drafty me to head up to the end of the course for snacks, beers and pictures. We hiked up through the woods and got some good pics, hollering at all of the riders that came through. After JoFo cruised through, we went down to the start/finish and handed him a beer. We celebrated our two-lap win and, mostly, that Joe decided to go out for a lap that was pure fun. That's how we wanted to ride and that's how we ended up winning. We don't have to win to have fun but winning sometimes adds to the fun. This time, it made it more fun, winning strong and happy with our #1 man and City Bikes co-Captain JoFo rocking out for a final lap even though we had the race in the bag. Two laps is a real win...

After the lasagne dinner, courtesy of Laird and Granny Gear, we drove to MattyD's family compound in Cow Hampshire. After stopping for grillables and a few growlers of beer, we got to the house and I promptly fell asleep. The boys walked the short distance to the pier and jumped in the lake. They made dinner of steak, sweet and white potatoes and shells and sauce. Total post-race boys meal. A few beverages and we were all in bed early. We drove back in 8.5 uneventful hours. Little to no traffic. Luck.

This represents the last of the (planned) 24 Hour races for us with Granny Gear. Laird has been gracious, positive, inspirational and we feel like he personally cares if we have fun or not. He takes race promotion pretty seriously and the professionalism really shows through his staff. Laird invented the format and he really has it dialed. Laird and Granny Gear are always relaxed in their haste, serious about fun and things run on time. Many thanks and my hat is off to Laird and all of the staff and volunteers involved with Granny Gear.

So, we are currently in first place for the National Points Series, but that might change. We are considering Landahl and Moab so we still might have some racing to do. The SM100 is just around the corner so let's get ready to head to Harrisonburg...

Thanks to Chewbaake, MattyD and JoFo for another great race. I'm very lucky to be able to hang with you guys.

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