Wednesday, May 30, 2007

10k to go

I was going to ride to the italian coffee shop and watch it, but the internet is FREE
From what I can tell this is the RAI sport channel and it broadcasts the giro, even if the standard cable RAI doesnt (like last year when the president of Italy died or something and they covered that instead.),,Sport^24655,00.html

Thursday, May 24, 2007

4 days of riding with Seniors..

Jennerstown Crit. The race was in Pittsburgh, but it was like a real bike race. There were corners and tactics. Some teams missed the break and then they CHASED! What a weird concept. Ruggs Jared and Brian put the hammer down while I hung on for dear life. Following Jared through turns sucks. Im like "man Im taking this chicane so sweet" until I follow him through it and he pedals the whole way while cornering and holding like 300 watts or something. sick. Ruggs has sweet pics and a sweet write up. Good fun race.

So I took a "job" hosting a group of seniors along the yough river bike trail. It was pretty cool. It was a sleep, bike, eat, bike, eat, sleep, type of deal. It ruled. Observations
- i am never going to wear matching spandex with my significant other.
- i will never tuck a polo shirt into spandex shorts
- the last 20 years of your life are not the golden years
- seniors are like kids; when they ask questions - the answer doest really matter and you can probably just make it up
- somehow people can drink regular and decaf folgers
- teachers get sweet pensions

Ed Krall took a podium spot at the oval. Is it a coincidence that he is also the importer of all things balm?

Saturday, May 19, 2007

The legend of 9er the whiner.

Its been awhile since the dude has even worn spandex, so Ill just keep the stories going. This dude starts working as a messenger and wins an alleycat race. He goes pretty fast. He comes on a group ride on his touring bike and puts the hurt on all of Team Kraynick's. I think he had full fenders on a 27lb bike and I dug deep to drop him on the steep cobbles climbing out of East Pittsburgh (now paved).

A year later we are racing in spandex all the time. We drove like 8 hours to Bristol Mountain Road Race in New York. 30 dollar hotel, right next do a diner that opened at 5 am with 3 dollar pancakes. sweet.

The dude running the race says to the 50(?) or so Cat 3's lined up "umm I guess it doesnt have to be neutral to the first climb... you can solo away out of the parking lot if you want." THE WHINER DOES!

I want to say our road race was 55 miles with like 10 miles of climbing and the whiner totally soloed the whole race. Some guy tried going with him but couldnt hang. Impressive to say the least. I was stoked cause my shifter broke and I was stuck in either 53x12 or 39x12. Not sweet. I still remember some rich kid on a carbon Kuota (forever in my mind as a bike for rich Espoirs).. kept yelling at me for no reason other than he wasnt going to win. What a lamer..

The bummer of the story is when he crashed going 9 mph and broke his femur right at the ball joint. He made the best of the situation and is pretty happy now I would say. Forever a legend to me and anybody he rode with for sure.

Friday, May 18, 2007

The best thing about Cyclocross

Is when you arent in the lead group, unless you are super crazy fast, its not a big deal. That kind of rules. Oh I finished 6:00 down, from Trebon, cool. You finish 6 minutes down in a road race, still trying your hardest, and you feel like you blew it.

All this talk about drugs and cycling brought to my attention Dock Ellis. Pirates pitcher who threw a no hitter in 1970 while tripping on acid. Sweet.

"I was in Los Angeles, and the team was playing in San Diego , but I didn't know it. I had taken LSD..... I thought it was an off-day, that's how come I had it in me. I took the LSD at noon. At 1pm, his girlfriend and trip partner looked at the paper and said, "Dock, you're pitching today."

Monday, May 14, 2007

race driving math.

Race at the lake was cancelled after 10 minutes. 5 hour drive for those dudes.
10 minutes of racing 5 hours total driving. 30 mins of driving for each 1 minute of
bike racing.

Bear Mountain.
14 hours of driving and 4:20 of racing. (4:19 for stubna cause he is so fast). That
is like 3 minutes of driving for each 1 minute of bike racing.

Turner snapped a cable 20 minutes into the race. That is 20 minutes of racing for 14 hours of driving. Despite a neutral bike (orbea with zipp's), his race was pretty much over the second that happened.
that is like 40 minutes of driving for each minute of bike racing.

The results for Bear Mountain are not in, but Im pretty sure that I didnt win.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Resting. Scrapper. Crackhead?

Ok, so Im not riding much this week. No long days. We'll see what happens. This leaves a lot of spare time...
So I am going to put my energy into my "house." Dr. Stubna assisted in loading a truck full of wood panelling and studs to take to the dump. A rockstar provided the truck and some muscle for the trip.
Oddly enough there was a free calender for the town of Milvalle with weird pictures at the bourough building. The zoo (there is no zoo in Milvalle) PNC park (not in Milvalle) and sure enough Mr. Gunnar Shogren was the May calender boy! It was in in his Swashbuckler outfit racing some old dudes, but again, not in Milvalle.

So I had about 40lbs of metal framing for my drop ceilings that I needed to take about 8 blocks to the scrap yard. I put them on the touring bike and started to wheel them down the alley. The Pittsburgh works garbage supervisor guy sees me and asks:
"what are you doing with that?"
"ummm taking it to the scrap place at 33rd"
"you know its illegal to take that right?"
"ummmmm i dont know what you are talking about"
"stealing some body's recyclables is illegal"
"do you think that I would choose to walk 40lbs of metal rods a half mile in a garbage can on a bicycle for 3 dollars?" (ok i muttered something containing all of these ideas but not so smooth)
"there has been reports of recyclables being stolen"
"ummmm yeah... "

So I kept walking and the dude just watched me creep down the alley. The garbage can between my stem and seat, sitting on my top tube. I had one hand on the can and one on the handlebars. It was all downhill so I had to steady the load.
"that is all '10'"
"ummm ok?"
"that is all 10, its not worth anything"
"will you take it for free?"
"yeah. its worth like 4 dollars a truckload"

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

So Ed went and got his bike stolen.

Pittsburghers and the like, please keep an eye out for this.

This bike was stolen from the south side slopes off of 18th street. It belongs to a good friend of mine who works at a bike shop and doesnt have much money. If you see somebody riding this bike, stop them because there are no others in Pittsburgh. Please keep an eye out. It is red at the head tube and white around the body.

Make: Carrera
Model: Mercurio
Wheels: Black Kysriums
Saddle: Black Fizik saddle with a blue stripe down the middle
Descripton: The frame is mostly white, with blue on the seat tube and red on the head tube and fork. It had/has blue handlebar tape too.

Please keep an eye out.If anyone has any info, your help is greatly appreciated.

Ed Krall

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

4 years ago today

Mayday 2003.
Lichtenfels, Germany - Cheb, Czech Republic.

We were awaken early by "the mad baker." Imagine a 300 pound jolly white man with a giant afro driving through a campground honking his horn. He drove around for a minute while honking, stopped, and sold everybody their brutchen (morning bread stuff) out of the back of his van... We sat on a tarp in the grass eating our bread surrounded by Germans in their RV's. A woman approached us and tried out her English, offering us coffee. Awesome.
She talked about her daughter marrying an American GI and how she has been trying to learn English. She was what an American would call fairly fluent, but a European would call "unable to speak the language."

We continued riding East through Bavaria. The countryside turned pretty hilly as the natural border with the Czech Republic became visible.

Mayday: every village we rode through had a Maypole set up with streamers coming down it. The center of each village had their beer tents set up. Drinking was in full swing by noon. There is a German law that says you are allowed to have 1 beer with lunch everyday. They love beer. The first thing people would ask as they talked to us was if we enjoyed the German beer. All that I could say was "I like Radlers."
Radlers are beer and lemon soda mixed together, so you dont get drunk as you ride your bike from beer garden to beer garden. It translates literally to "bike rider."

The steins of beer people drank from were probably close to a quart. Under each tent there were hundreds of people drinking from these giant mugs. There was also delicious cake.
People would stare at us as we pulled into their town and watched them celebrate. We were obviously Americans and we were on bicycles. Most people were in traditional German outfits that we only see Amish people wearing today. There was lots of dancing and singing. I saw a girl no older than 13 drink more beer out of a single stein than I have drank my entire life.

We pedaled through these towns for 80 miles before hitting the Czech border. Cheb is a border town. EU residents drive here for cheap goods and services, bootleg markets and god knows what else. The border guard sneered at us and didnt believe we had cycled there from Amsterdam. Whatever. We got a room in a Hostel and ate in a restaurant for less money than a just plot at a campground in Germany would have cost.

The life of a cyclotourist is pretty awesome.