cyclofiend.com - peripheral thoughts & notes

September 2007
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Drat of the Week
Filed under: photos, cyclocross
Posted by: The Cyclofiend @ 11:20 am

Went out last evening to see if the calf muscle would put up with cx dismounts. It handled the dismounts ok, but seized up like a home built two-stroke engine running on straight gasoline when I kept running. 

Which means no Lion of Fairfax this year.

Which means that laying off running for a week didn’t fix it.  It did feel better in its failure than it did a week or so ago, so if there’s a bit of non-oncoming-train-in-the-tunnel light, that’s it.

With a bit of an inquiry to Dr. Internette, it has been diagnosed as a tweaked (torn, pulled, strained, ganked) soleus muscle. I’ve come to the conclusion that laying off running for two weeks and cycling for maybe one might get things right.  The “R” component of RICE - the component I have not been actually engaging.  I’m mentally preparing to not ride for two weeks, though.  Dropping the heel while cycling seemed to make it cranky on the way back last night. So, sadly, riding is out for a bit.

Which means no SFR Mixed-Terrain Ride this weekend, either.

Maybe I can finally work through the deferred maintenence issues on the bikes, which will make them happy.

ref: 1, 2, 3, 4

What bugs me is that I’d been feeling reasonably good on the trail work, and before the soleus-interuptus, running was feeling efficient. Ah well.  It’ll just feel that much better when I can do it.

Oh well, at least the turkeys came by to visit while I was shaking my head and complaining…

And the bike is patient…

CX Impact
Filed under: cyclocross
Posted by: The Cyclofiend @ 2:29 pm

This was posted from Tom Simpson to the NCNCA and Bay Area Cyclocross lists -
(please direct any comments to him, not me…)

San Francisco Cyclocross Crisis!

We’re not flying under the radar anymore

Folks, if you love ‘cross racing in San Francisco, please heed the
following request - because every future event (possibly even 2007)
in SF Parks depends upon your cooperation.

The SF Park/Rec. Dept. has had a number of calls from residents near
McLaren Park as well as Golden Gate Park. What’s their beef? Riders
have been practicing on the Crocker-Amazon run-up and playfields and
GG Park has seen significant trail use near the Polo Fields course.

Park/Rec grants permits only for course set-up day and the event
itself - they figure their parks can absorb that much impact just
once a year. But the continuous training activities in the last month
have really caught their attention - and that means we have a very
serious potential to lose legitimate access to all SF Parks for

What can we do?
* Stop all training in these 2 parks
* If you know of trail markings or course directional materials,
please remove them from McLaren and Crocker-Amazon playfields and GG
Park Polo Field areas.

We are guests in these parks. We used to be able to stay under the
radar when ‘cross was less visable and less popular - that’s no
longer the case. The sport has grown to the point where we can’t take
over public facilies ad hoc - we risk losing the permitted race
courses that have been very tough to obtain - and we’ll get chased
out by Park Rangers.


Tom Simpson - Pilarcitos Cyclesports
Alec Simpson - Pilarcitos Cyclesports
Paule Bates - Roaring Mouse

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This Fall’s First Night Ride
Filed under: general, rides
Posted by: The Cyclofiend @ 6:21 pm

Had the first longer nighttime ride last evening.  Full day at work, followed by an evening meeting with non-cycling folks. Knew that the meeting would run through dinner time, but it took longer and then morphed into an interesting political discussion, so I didn’t get back onto the road until just about 9 pm.

The first reaction of others is one which frequently pops up, “Do you want a ride?”  This voices the inherent assumption that I’m riding for a reason other than I want to.  It’s common, and marginally understandable.  To many folks, not driving means giving something up.  It’s not the case, of course, but you don’t want to brush those offers off too rudely (and there may be a future time of rain, cold and weariness when I do accept), so I thank them, politely decline and say, “it’s such a beautiful evening.  The moon is almost full and it’s a nice warm night.  It will be wonderful.” 

And it was, by the way. Stunningly so.

Which led to, “Do you have lights?” I smile and assure them I do, voicing “I’m not a freakin’ id-jit, y’know!” in my head. This is not their fault either. “Bright ones,” I add. They have no way of knowing that my main light is probably brighter than their car’s. They also aren’t used to seeing the average recreational, gram-counting, team-kit-wearing, oh-so-serious rider with a headlamp on their bar, making the  bike….hmmm…what’s that phrase?…”useful.”

And that became a two part harmony of  “How do you go? Not on the roads? What about the crazy drivers?” Here I have to be a little careful, lest I unwittingly insult them by including by inference with poor drivers.  So I sound confident but supply little actual content, assure them I do have a known route and there’s little traffic.  They say goodbyes with a little worry around their eyes and I throw on some kneewarmers and call my wife to let her know I’m running late. Then I’m away into the night.

I have to drop down a moderately longish hill, with virtually no overhead lights.  Here, the biggest danger is spooking a well-fatted deer, and I look for the telltale blips of green - eyes reflected in the long range beam of the Niterider 15w. Once past their typical foraging areas, I notch the light down a bit and let the reflections of moonlight grow in intensity. Reaching the flat I ride for several miles before an approaching car creates a cyclist shadow.  It’s quickly off center to my right, so I know that the car has seen my trusty old VistaLite LED rear light, bounced back a bit more from my reflective surfaces and given me more than an adequate amount of room.  So far, we’re the only two people cruising on this Monday night.

It’s a shame, because the conditions are perfect - cool enough to be toasty warm with a light top and wind vest, plus the aforementioned warmers. I’m running the Dawes, and the fixed gear spin seems smoother and easier.  Might be picking up a tailwind. The last right I did was the Sunday’s CX trail ride on the Quickbeam, where I spent a fair amount of time getting bounced around and breathing hard. So, this was like buttah…

I work my way up the urban “flat route”, and see a few more cars as I roll through the towns. Most restaurants are closed for the day, and others are already sprucing up for tomorrow, picking up stuff outside and seeing if they can get out the door early tonight. Outside of one of the few real bars, a solitary woman stares off into the distance and smokes a cigarette and some lazy jukebox warbling leaks out through the open door. Seems like a sad way to spend the night, but that’s just my inference.

Then all that’s behind me, and I’m cruising up through neighborhoods, flickering glows of football and another Ken Burns documentary seem to be a consistent thread. Slipping silently through the dark on this wonderous night has an almost illicit feeling to it.  I hear birds and bats, the distant hum of traffic and the hiss of my tires.  It seems both directly connected and wonderously apart.

A light catches me downtown, and I have to wait for cross traffic before peeling away for one last little climb.  Up ahead another blinkie appears, the red dot dancing a bit and hiding behind parked cars more than I’d feel safe doing. As it grows closer, I realize it’s off-center as well - one of those single LED barend plugs.  Within light-shadow range, I flap my hand over the bulb, so they realize I’m approaching.  I say, “hey there” upon reaching them, but get no response.  Going past I look over and give a head nod, but it doesn’t even seem to warrant a look. Under a striped knit cap, there may be the white trace of a couple of earbuds, so there ya go.  Other rhythms on the brain, maybe.

The rest of the ride rolls nicely. The crazed drivers are not to be found this evening.  In fact, few drivers in total during a 45 minute jaunt. Thank goodness for spectacle team sports and public television.  I arrive home tired from the day, but invigorated by the ride. My two “girls” wait impatiently while I shower and then agitate for an evening walk, so I get to enjoy the moonlight once again before bed.

Two Random Thoughts From the Next Morning -

The crows are beginning to actively harvest for winter, along with most of the other animals.  But, the crows - superbly smart birds - have been plucking walnuts from the local trees and dropping them into the roadway.  If they are bored, they try this several times, hoping to crack the shell.  If they are patient, a morning commuter will drive over them and they drop down in a bunch to enjoy the spoils.  They seem to do this in waves, and as I walk the dog in the cool of the early morning, you can hear them retreat to the tallest trees, chatter and caw, then find a nice tree over the roadway to begin the game again.

How hard is it to make bread tall enough so that it sticks up out of the toaster after it has popped?  I mean, I’m not always hovering around the toaster as breakfast comes together in the morning.  I may poke my head in from the other room or may whisk by it on the way inside from taking the dogs out back.  If the bread is tall enough - and on my current loaf it is not - it bobs up over the contour of the chrome and I know that it is ready. On the other hand, this means that I have an opinion about toast.  This, I find mildly unsettling.

Good News for Monday
Filed under: general
Posted by: The Cyclofiend @ 8:42 am

Couple o’ numerical reports:

Scott (LFoaB) is about to drop through the 260’s. He has lost just over 240 pounds. In about 10 pounds, he will weigh what he lost.

Beth H. (bikelovejones) got the tally for the GYGIG ride - she raised over $3600 for Crohn’s (and other) research.

Fan-freakin’ tastic!

I love it when Mondays start out with good news.

Homeric Adventures
Filed under: rides, photos, bike tech
Posted by: The Cyclofiend @ 10:36 pm

It’s dusty now, waiting for tomorrow’s ride. And I’m still thinking about last week’s loop. A. Homer Hilsen did pretty much everything I’d hoped and then a bit more.  That photo up above was from  just about the high point of last week’s ride - transitioning from Bobcat to Marincello fire road above Mill Valley in the Marin Headlands. I think this bike has a lot more to teach me.

Back when I used to spend too much money on albums, some theorizing was bound to enuse. Some records sounded good from the first time you played them,  and others were a little more tangential - teasing a bit, but not revealing everything upon the first listening. Many times, the good-outta-the-sleeve stuff wouldn’t really retain my interest - maybe I got it because of a single song (back when you couldn’t just download this week’s hit) and that was really all the artist had to say, and the intensity of the specific response waned with time. The good stuff that stuck with you always had more layers, more depth, and asked only for deeper attention.

It’s probably bending the metaphor a bit, but that’s more or less where I see the Hilsen.

At this point, there’s only one data point - the first real ride last weekend. A bit after I’d posted about picking the bike up, JimG had emailed, hoping to get a glimpse of it, and we firmed up plans to join up with Carlos for an easy mixed terrain ramble. On Saturday morning, I wrangled the dogs, filled water bottles and set off towards the Golden Gate Bridge. I arrived a few minutes late, and hung out with the ever-punctual Carlos for a while, catching up a bit as we hadn’t ridden together for too long. JimG rolled up soon afterwards, politely ooohing and ahhing and snapping a few closeup photos.

We headed up Conzulman, found our way to the trails and dropped down toward the old rifle range. I was a little tentative here and there as I felt out the bike’s handling on looser topography. No problems. In fact, it almost felt a little too stable - coaxing me to let it really run.  I held back though, no point in getting in over my head on the first downhill.

Regrouping at the bottom, the trail edged upward and I had the most curious experience - being able to talk while climbing.  Indeed, just having other people around me as the incline increased was different.  As observed elsewhere, single speed or fixed-gear climbing tends to force its own momentum upon you, and much of the time, you end up honoring that to the exclusion of those riding with you - you end up either faster or slower. On the Hilsen, I could move the barend shifters and quicker than you could say “Jack Brown”, there was an appropriate gear at my disposal which kept me among the trio. 

Although, that wasn’t entirely pain free either.  I’ve spent a few hours riding fixed-gear, and the range of ratios now available to me didn’t quite match up with my muscle memory or prep.  Pushing a big gear had become a new experience, as new as the seated and spinning technique on hills. Actually ended up a bit sore from it.  But, I do think that’ll fix itself a bit as I get used to the whole gear choice bidness. By the end of the ride, I was actually making solid and immediate shifts on the Silver levers. 

The balance of the bike was pretty amazing.  It felt really familiar and seemed to gobble up the miles quite happily.  It didn’t care whether the route was on dirt, trail or road. I guess I could go on about all of that, but it just handled really well. And I expect it to reveal more on repeated listenings.

We hung out more than normal and spent a bit of time talking here and there, as none of us seemed intent on getting anywhere too terribly quickly. I finally realized that it was approaching the time I’d said I’d return, and so peeled off and headed homeward.

There are more miles to cover, certainly, but this was a great way to start. 

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Homeric Proportions
Filed under: rides, photos, bike tech
Posted by: The Cyclofiend @ 10:52 pm

A saddle and pedal-less A. Homer Hilsen stood before me.  Not technically mine, as we hadn’t yet retreated to the office to settle finances, but clearly mine-to-be as it had my name on it. Mark whisked the paper away and Keven wandered back to the warehouse to nab a saddle while I stood there and kinda vibrated like a giddy schoolgirl on Red Bull. The bike was beautiful, and my eyes found subtle touches throughout which made the Hilsen such a stunner.

The lugs, of course.
But a couple things which aren’t immediately apparent from the photos you generally see (and I’ll have to hunker down with a decent camera to record them)
- Asymmetrical sweeps - similar to the Legolas, the headtube lugs have a flourish to them which I really like.
- Contrasting band - There’s a thin indent near the top and bottom of the headtube which has been masked and painted in white.
- A multitude of windows - The lugs themselves had been opened up in several areas and again contrast-painted.  Many of them are non-obvious, and you don’t notice them until you look from odd angles. Really nice.

The finish.
- The blue is sublime. Deeper than the common Rambouillet color, and it seems to have a fine richness in the light.
- The style of type used on the decals just bowls me over.  Really love the look of it.
- White contrasting panels.  A ridiculous amount of masking and extra work in the finish.  Plus they contrasted the front dropout spears.

Then I took a step back, and most obvious thing about the bike occurred to me…
- Proportional Clearance -  The AHH wore a  brand spankin’ new pair of Jack Brown tires, which are big puffy things that look like they want to roll forever.  The Silver brakes have a uniquely decent reach.  The AHH frame has a stance that gives it a roomy fit.  When you look at these things individually, there’s a tendancy to see them as big, long and lanky, respectively. Fitted together, everything seems perfectly in tune. In fact, I did hear music when I looked at the bike.

Hovering back towards the bike again, I began to notice the build. 
If you’ll permit a bit of a digression… The base fact is that I haven’t taken delivery of a “built” bike in about 12 years or so. I don’t profess to have anything other than basic mechanical chops, and I’m reasonably slow with a wrench, but it’s been a while since someone else built up my bike.  I’m not persnickity about it, well… actually, I probably am. It’s just been part of the way all my recent bikes have been made ready to ride, whether dumpster ressurection or outta-da-box. Maybe it seems a little bit decadant to have someone else build the bike up.  But….(insert low whistle here)…   Looking at the quality of the work could make me pretty danged spoiled.  Not a stray glob of grease or a cable out of proportion, bars smartly dressed and finished with what looked to be a lazer-aligned twine wrap at the top center. It was awesome.  Thanks Mark.  Beautiful work.

Which meant I needed to get some breeze in my hair and bugs in my teeth - Keven brought out a nice honey B-17, after gently helping me come back to my senses from ti-railed version lust.  Saddle on, pedals from the car, seatpost lowered and it was time to see what all the shouting was about.

It wanted to ride. It also let me coast. Moving the levers seemed to make things either easier or more difficult to pedal. Curious…

We added some bits to the purchase pile - some cages and such  - before settling up and getting ready to head off. Had a bit of a chance to chat before the gotta-get-back bug hit.  Everyone was several notches past helpful, and seemed as excited as I was. GP took a moment away from another Hilsen he was putting some finishing touches on, and I thanked him again for designing a bike like that.  There’s so many “me-too” bikes out there these days, and in my opinion takes a bit of foresight and fortitude to pursue something different.

Grant said that it needed a kickstand. I had to admit that he’s probably correct in the long term, but for now, my plan was not to be standing the Hilsen anywhere when I could be riding it.

I zipped through the rest of work constraints as quickly as possible, and took it out for a position tweak road loop. The bicycle itself felt very similar to what I like about the Quickbeam - stable and responsive.  One thing that I always forget about is the descending ability of the QB - since a lot of the non-epic descents take place in fixed-gear mode, I don’t really push the envelope with the full outside-leg-down technique.  But, when I flop the wheel, I’m always realizing that it loves to track. Since the Hilsen came with the whole coastable/shiftinating system, I can pretend I’m Paolo Savoldelli whenever the urge strikes me.

Between the design of the bike and the full-body-squeeze of the Jack Brown tires, it just seemed like I was well within what the bike will do.  Got to push the big gear with help of a tailwind, and even enjoyed the headwind return leg.  Of course, I couldn’t resist another glam shot or two before finishing up…

good stuff.

Homeric Riding - Prologue
Filed under: rides, photos, bike tech
Posted by: The Cyclofiend @ 8:01 am

Ludere quo velis birota permittit aggrestis

- Quote from the A. Homer Hilsen headbadge, which I’m guessing means something along the line of:
“To allow aggressive play with a bicycle”  Though if that’s laughably, woefully inaccurate, please feel free to correct my Latin.

Regardless.  I’ve never had to look up words that appeared on my headbadge before. I think it’s cool.

It’s also possible that this is the first bicycle where I owned the coinpurse first. Actually, it’s the only bicycle I have which has a coinpurse counerpart. Old A. Homer made it to 78, according to the inscription, which is pretty impressive from that era. It would have been pretty incredible to have lived through the first bicycle boom, to be sure, not to mention the array of other occurences, events and struggles which took place in that time.

Lucky for us that A. Homer Hilsen had such an effect upon bicycle designs - or at least approaches to bicycle designs - that his philanthropic, far-ranging wheelman ways inspired the bicycle that bears his name. For it is through the bicycle that he remains a healer today.

Or at least on last Saturday. I haven’t ridden yet today.

As the photographically caught mitosis example demonstrated, I managed to split into two parts, get my work done and zip over to RBWHQ&L to pick up my A. Homer Hilsen. I’d been trying to ignore the fact that it was close, that Toyo had been posted photos of the frames, and that Keven had indicated it would be arriving in late August/early September. As much fun as the Quickbeam is, running one gear on some of the local trails can be a bit punishing, especially when you like leaving it in fixed mode. Besides, the QB was getting antsy to ditch the racks and bottle cages, slap on some knibblies and get ready for cross season.

The salient facts are dispersed through earlier entries, but basically my Lemond CX bike went lame a day before my first race last year, and the Quickbeam got its chance to go to the show. It wasn’t always easy, but it was fun. So, when the warranty replacement frame came from the fine folks in WaterlooWis, it never got built up. The spirit of Tarik appeared during a ride and intoned “Pedal Faster” and I got hooked on riding CX on a one-geared bike.

Meanwhile, my old open-wheeled racer was getting cobwebby and dusty. When a friend asked for advice about upgrading their own ride, we both came to a mutually satisfactory conclusion about what to do. It went to him, he’s happy as a clam and the only bike I’ve got left that has derailleurs is a mountain bike which doesn’t get ridden all that much. One of the concerns I’ve had is in doing a “fleche”, where a team of riders engages in a one-way brevet-style randon to a set destination. Riding a fixed-gear (the QB) means your momentum is different, an it’s easy to become separated from geared/coastable riders. That’s not a big deal on a day ride, when you’re regrouping and casual.  But, a fleche is more of  a team effort, and it seemed that it might place uneccesary pressure on things to be the only one thumping away on a single cog.

I was kinda thinking about a Legolas to replace the Lemond as a CX bike, but the more I rode the Quickbeam, the less intense that desire became.  Of course, I was thinking (based on Veronica’s bike, as an example) of setting it up more brevet style.  Then it could be used for longer rides, but wouldn’t be afraid of our Mixed-Terrain outings.

All that got pretty messed up by Grant, of course. Earlier this year, I’d found myself in the RBW neck of the forest, and popped by to pick up some small stuff. Grant had been working with a customer, sending him out on various models.  As I walked up, he pushed a blue bike my way and said, “Give it a try…”  Thus began my first interaction with A. Homer Hilsen.  About 20 minutes later, I was reluctantly back at the roll up door, holding the bike at arms length, repeating the phrase, “Now, that’s interesting…”

It had big tire clearance. It felt nicely responsive. It had gears. It had mid-fork and mid-chainstay braze ons. It had the stability that I really liked in the Quickbeam. 

I’ll be honest.  Upon first reading about the Hilsen, it didn’t quite make sense to me. But, after a ride (admittedly a short one) and looking at the design choices, it was pretty clear that it was well equipped for anything I wanted to throw at it. It just made sense. 

Which is why, a number of months later, I giddily watched Mark wheel my new Hilsen out into the daylight…

Coming soon - the first rides…

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A Graphic Example of Cognitive Dissonance
Filed under: general
Posted by: The Cyclofiend @ 7:31 am

Thanks to John at RBW for capturing this so exactly…

An Attempt At Perspective
Filed under: general, rides
Posted by: The Cyclofiend @ 8:59 am

Short and bizzy-bizzy week last week, followed by an all day class on Saturday, so suddenly it’s Monday again with only one “good” ride in the tank… Plus, my calf annoyance morphed into a full-blown yew-h’ain’t-gonna-be-runnin’-no-more-boy chewyness on Thursday, and I pulled up lame.

bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch… maybe a bit more coffee will help.

The calf thing is a little weird, but it’s been bugging me for a while. I felt something go a tad twingy on one of the mixed terrain rides a couple months ago, and never really, y’know, dealt with it. So, now, I’m finally treating it like an “injury” - icing and massaging, stretching and trying to avoid that horrible athlete-idiot move of doing too much, too fast, or trying to push it a little further to see if it hurts when I do this. We’ll see how it goes.  It vexes me just a bit because the running was starting to feel pretty comfortable, and the local CX race is only a few weeks off.

But, the fact is I did manage to put in a decent loop on Sunday - not brevet decent, but far enough to take some time and hard enough here and there to breathe heavily. I keep saying this will be the “last” week for the road-style Quickbeam, but no word yet on the Hilsen, so fixed-gear driven smooth tires still meet the concrete, and the appendages of front rack, bags and bottle holders remain in place.

For whatever reason, though the pencam was onboard, I didn’t feel the need to take any pictures. So, this one from a previous ride will have to suffice.

The rides have just started to take on the hint of fall, after a bit of a dry and hot couple of weeks. My route scribed a lazy local meander, choosing a minimum of climbs and following the connections of towns that run through the various valleys of the county.  Arm/knee warmers and a wool jersey, under a thin wind vest. Overhead haze from the fires combined with  over-achieving coastal fog and made things bright, but softened. Humming along for an hour or so, I finally took a short break off of the Mill Valley Bike Path, in the secret rest room that has indoor bike parking. On the way out, a few other riders were gathered outside, and as I threaded past them, one asked, “How do you like your Quickbeam?”

Now, you probably already know that I like my Quickbeam.  As of today, over 200 of my Flickr photos are tagged with Quickbeam (which, frighteningly enough, is more than half of the all  the photos on Flickr tagged with Quickbeam). Although - unlike my dog - I do not carry photos of it in my wallet, I am perfectly capable of holding forth on this subject for way too long. But, they say that awareness is the greatest agent for change, and I rein things in a bit, alluding to its comfort and versatility in direct sentances.  He asks me about some specific features, and I try to answer his questions with only a few arcing digressions of flowery exuberance. For some reason, I become convinced that the bike is set up with six gears, but correct myself quickly.

About then, he says, “I don’t agree with everything that Grant has said…” before pinching my Pasela 32’s and saying that big tires make some sense.  But, it seemed like there was a bit of an edge to the first statement, and it stays with me as we head off in different directions.  I find myself considering why it was he had to clarify that point, although it occurs to me even less of a clarification by stating it.  What doesn’t he agree with - bike fit? clothing? frame materials? lugs? water? food? running up hills with your bike? S24O’s? versatile designs? fork rake and trail? helmets?  Maybe the “Tips for Happy Riding”?

There’s a pretty broad spectrum of topics which Readers and Catalogs have touched upon, and I find myself thinking how unnecessary it was to specify disagreement before citing a helpful example.  To me, the whole of the topic was saying that you found the change to large tires helpful. Qualifying it seemed a bit odd.

I’d bet that Grant doesn’t necessarily agree with everything Grant has said.  Do we expect certain people to say the “right” thing every time they put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard? How long does it have to remain “correct”? Will it float up in the future as an error, and if so, does that in any way undercut the veracity of an unrelated,  more curent idea?  Worse yet, these things get balled up into a massive construct, and our society seems to force us to AGREE with the whole deal, or deride it in its entirety as looney and wrong.

It’s rare that folks take the time to make subtle points. In my reading, I’ve never really noticed that GP said, “you have to do it this way…” and indeed, he seems to go out of his way to couch things carefully, to present them as possibilities, rather than absolutes. To me, the importance of those ideas are the fact they are being presented at all.

Plenty of people will tell you that you need clip-in pedals, integrated headsets, vertically compliant carbon chainstays and any number of other gee-gaws that may have some technical importance under a specific set of circumstances, but probably don’t matter for the bulk of the folks doing most of the riding.

It is - and I can’t really stress the importance enough - up to you to find the balance that matters.  Take the things you want. Use clipless pedals and bar-end shifters, Brooks saddles and high-tech shorts. Find the refinements which help your riding - whether they came 50 years ago or last month. Use ‘em and enjoy.

Maybe that’s what he meant, and it just came out clumsy. Or I just heard it with the wrong perspective.

Rolling further along the path, seeing rider after rider on carbon compacts, it struck me  - the important thing to me is that someone is clearly saying things that aren’t mainstream. There’s always plenty of pressure to have the newest, lastest, greatest, but too little emphasis on what actually has value.

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Sunday Diversion
Filed under: general
Posted by: The Cyclofiend @ 7:45 am

I blame beth for this Sunday AM distraction…

NerdTests.com says I'm an Uber Cool History / Lit Geek.  What are you?  Click here!

okey-dokey, (snort), I’m going to go ride my bicycle now….

Cap’n! We’re Listing!
Filed under: general, pencams, brevets
Posted by: The Cyclofiend @ 2:26 pm

List, listy, listering…Once again, I find myself with a bunch of odds and ends that would be padded paragraphs or a succession of bullet point items - as they tend to block up the actual writing-entries, which has been light of late. So, here they are:

- PBP photos and reports. If you haven’t seen the reports, it was a thumper of a ride. Rain and cool temps contributed to the highest attrition rate in recent memory (one report said since the ’30’s…!).  Lots of good folks prepped for this and then got the red card.  In no particular order:

Jared’s Photos
Rob Hawk’s PBP Photos - Bikes of Paris & PBP photos
Ed Felker’s Bleriot at PBP Report
Jon Muellner’s PBP Report
Campy Only’s Eric Norris Report
SIR’s Flickr Photos

I know there’s more, but these are to get ya started…  The next one is in 2011, so get riding!

- I find myself one bike down these days, as what started as a quick conversation about road bikes turned into me selling my open-wheeled racer.  It was smart-light and a fine riding bike, but I’d been out on it something like 3 times in the last couple years. I did pull the spotless-and-new SOBA bars off of it though…

- The Pencam SD has died unceremoniously…

I guess it didn’t take too kindly to the last bounce off the pavement. (Innards photo was from the exploratory surgery, not the fall itself…).  It lasted about a year, and something in the shutter/switching seems to have gone piffle. It will turn on, won’t react to the shutter (or the microswitch) being pressed, and then will not turn itself off. I was worried after I had to snap it back together during the Marin Century. Since I’ve got a couple SD cards, I’ve already ordered a replacement with no memory installed.

- Hilsen, oh Hilsen, oh where is my Hilsen?  Just wondering. Not that I’ve actually picked up the phone and followed up to find out.  And it is to have a few non-stock bits, so it’s not a straight-forward build. There’s been enough other distractions of late to prevent really enjoying it yet, but I’m starting to clear that tunnel…

- The all-singing, all-dancing Rivendell website means that they can post new product photos pretty seamlessly, so the result may be that the Cyclofiend RBW page will have less photos like that.  It will continue to be where things Rivendell get aggregated (in addition to the RBW Owners Bunch on Googlegroups), and I’ll try to find photos, links and other Riv-in-the-news type stuff.  If you see something like that, send it my way, eh?

- Lion of Fairfax CX race on September 29th. The logo really cracks me up.  Last year, this was the White’s Hill School CX race, and came about a month later. This year, it’s part of the new “Nor Cal Cup Series” which picks one race from a bunch of scattered promoters and has a points thing. They say they’ve reworked the course (which was long) and will be giving a “mediocre” prize for the mid-pack finisher in each race. It’s something to aim for…

- Been running still. Suprised myself the other day by cracking off some incline repeats and not falling into a gibbering, quivering heap afterwards. It doesn’t mean that I’ll be anything approaching competitive, but it will hopefully make me look less like a waddling waterfowl on the hoof-it bits.  Then again, my right calf keeps turning into hardwood at odd moments, so I may be doing the Herman Munster gait imitation…

- On the other hand, I haven’t been riding much on the trails. Rolling downhill on new fireroads and singletracky bits is not an equivilent. Gotta get them knibblies slapped onto the Quickbeam.

Anyway, that’s sorta it right now.  Other longer missives to follow.

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