Wednesday, October 31, 2007

karla kingsley - back from the dead.

happy halloween everybody.

i had the best blog costume ever all planned out, but i didn't have the resources in place to pull it off... oh well. maybe later this week.

so instead, i am going to bring you a (dis)pencer first:

an interview!

so exciting. are you excited? i'm excited.

so, i am gonna interview karla kingsley, some of you may remember her as the one kicking your ass last year.

well, she moved away to california this spring, and has been kicking asses in the bay area ever since. ...and representing littleguyracing as well.

blogger is all f'ed up, so i can't post photos... but the interview is so amazing you probably won't notice.
here we go.

(dis): so, you have relocated to the bay area, (for god-knows-why), but you haven't come crawling back to the midwest yet... so i have to assume things are going well?
i hear the weather may be better in CA, any truth to that?

k: Things are going well in Cali, more specifically in Oaktown, where it's generally in the 60s-70s and sunny, with rain once in a while. It gets pretty foggy over in San Fran, and scorching hot when you go inland from here, but Oakland is perfect. The funny thing is, people here complain more about the weather than they do in the midwest. Seriously. The tempurature falls into the 50s sometimes and people are freaking out about the "winter" and getting out their Pearl Izumi amphib tights and neoprene booties and balaclavas.

Another detail -- so, we all know about "the wave", right? As I recall, SPBRC recently got positive reviews on SR's site for properly executing "the wave". For me, I liked the wave. It was a way to connect with those other kindred spirits out there on bikes, no matter who they were. If not the wave, they would at least get "the nod". But out here, effing hell. There's no way to nod or wave to all these hooligans on two wheels or you would never actually get down to the business of riding your bike. Geez. Still, I try sometimes, when I'm in a good mood.

(dis): and, have you located the best burrito?

k: I won't claim to have found the best because there are oh-so-many more places to visit. But the most spankin burrito I've been exposed to thus far can be found at El Farolito, at 24th and Mission. Definitely not one of those foofy fancy "California Cuisine" type places that are also so delicious. But you wouldn't like it, Spencer, because they use a lot of dead animal.

(dis): ok. so far, you got a few right, and a few wrong. it was a tough opener.
as you can tell, i like to play hardball in my interviews. (and i have done many).

hey, have you been following the racing back in mn at all? we've kinda taken the lack of blogging to mean you had either made some friends, been out biking, or joined a Krishna sect.

k: I can't believe you thought I had made some friends. It's pretty common knowledge that I'm unfriendly and anti-social.

As far as following the racing in Minnesota -- clearly, dispencer, you're not aware of my powers. I know what's going to happen at races in Minnesota before they happen. I know who's going to be on which teams before they even switch. I even have insider knowledge of new teams that may be popping up in the next 2,3, or 5 years. Of course, I know who's going pro. Sometimes I check out the blog-o-sphere to make sure my predictions are spot on. And they are. That's part of the reason I stopped blogging - I don't want to spill the beans on stuff that hasn't happened yet. More important than the racing news, though, is the drama. Wow, I don't know if I've ever seen the level of drama that goes on in the male cycling scene. It doesn't even compare to my days as a sorority girl. Hot damn, as long the fireworks continue every so often, I won't need to look elsewhere for my entertainment.

(dis): amazing! well, with your powers, then you have already heard about all of LGR's awesome suckcess! and how utterly dominating we will be next season! great!

plus, i am so glad someone loves the drama... sometimes it doesn't seem worth it...
oh well. all the best drama is on, these days.

k: Yes, I hear that LGR has had a lot of sucksess, even some podium finishes in California! Wow! I'm sure the team will step it up some more in 2008. I can't wait. Unfortunately, my single LGR kit was absolutely shredded in my crash, which I'm going to take as a sign that it's time for me to move on. I'll be joining an as-yet unannounced CA team next season.

(dis): too bad about the crash, makes the return to jingle cross seem less likely... that sucks.

k: I dislocated my shoulder, in my last crit of the season. So now I'm pretty much washed up and out of shape, although I plan on showing up to a few [cyclocross] races to get hammered on.

(dis): so, how lame is hellyer compared to blaine? totally lame right?
i know.

k: yes! Hellyer compared to Blaine. UGH. Hellyer is made of this funny non-wood material that's barely banked at all. I've heard it referred to as the parking lot. Also, we refer to the freeways out here as "parking lots". Anyway. Blaine is awesome.

(dis): fyi: best burrito, 24th and treat (at balmy alley). cancun is good too, 19th and mission.

k: Yeah. I'll test out your burrito places, but I don't know.

(dis): i'm so sure you will. hey, so, velonews does hot/not, and road magazine does 20 questions... so being far superior as always, the(dis)pencer interview will wrap up with 20 hot/not's.

k: awesome.

california - hot. Let's be honest, I love it out here. But it all could burn in a forest fire anytime. Oh, and the apartment I'm renting lies pretty close to the infamous Hayward fault, which earthquakes in a major way every 140 years -- and last time it happened was 139 years ago. And homes cost a half a million -- IF you want a one-bedroom, or maybe a 2-bedroom in a shitty suburb 40 minutes away from SF.

minnesota - hot. Literally. It gets really hot there in the summer.

the u.p. - not. Definitely don't move there (what makes it cool is lack of people).

Grumpy's NSCx - sooooo beyond hot. unbelievable. a bunch of strapping young dudes putting on a cross race at a velodrome. If you don't go, you suck.

the mission district - way hot.

the haight. - not. well, it's OK, but there's a lot of needles.

piedmont ave./berkley --- you can't put those two on the same line. totally unfair. I refrain from commenting. It's kind of like saying: coffee/birth control -- both are good things, but in a totally different way, and barely related. [i can do whatever i want. -ed.]

yoga - not

hippies in general - not

scars - hot. I try to get two new ones per year.

lycra - so hot.

unicorns - not. sorry. [wtf? -ed.]

iron maiden - not. sorry again.

BART - totally hot.

MUNI - don't know, never done it, biking is ALWAYS faster. I'm gonna say not.

track racing - hot. it's basically like crack. but better (actually I'm not basing that on experiential knowledge). and better for you.

speedfix racing team - hot

cities that smell like urine all the time - not. which cities would those be? Oakland smells like donuts and coffee.

littleguyracing team - hot. hard to even touch them, really. although the hot level might dip now that i'm letting myself be wooed away by the possibility of being able to ride with teammates more than once a year. I bet they can weather it though.

karla kingsley - no comment. I'm way to humble to share my true feelings on this one.

there you have it. give her some comments.

Monday, October 29, 2007

planet unicorn.

i coined the term, "pinwheel of death".

...just so we are clear.

i skipped racing on saturday at the red barn.
it's only the second weekend so far that i have not raced both days.

it was nice to take a day off.

...well not totally off.

i went out to salem hills for some ripping fast laps with big matt.
i was rocking the single speed mtn bike, all decked out with front suspension courtesy of the national champ. thanks buddy, my back never felt so good after a mtn ride!

thought i was going to die holding matts wheel, but really really didn't want to lose it, since it's the first time i've ever been able to even stick with him on any trail, ever.

he says he's out of shape, and i believe him. he is a fast fast guy, but i'll take what i can get.
a day i'll remember; the day i held his wheel off road.

so, sunday was back2school cx in northfield, (if you don't recall last year check my recap).

the race was interesting. say the least.

i had a good start for once! so, that was new.
was maybe 6th or 8th onto the hill, but i lost some spots on it...

you may remember my genius idea to switch over to campy parts this year? well, that carried over to the cx bike as well.

the only problem? well, i only have one cassette.

it's 11-23.

so, after darwin, powderhorn, and northfield, all featuring monster climbs, i am feeling it.
i need to find something before the states, or i am toast.

so, the 38-23 was hurting more everylap, and a front flat on the downhill section put me way back... but i was able to overcome the burning desire to quit, and finished up 20th overall, and 8th in a2.


other notable things;

- i was ahead of adam "squeeky" begman on lap 3, before i flatted. that makes no sense.
- hollywood threw a class a hissy-fit.
- i pooped on the course. during the women's race. amazing.
- i claimed no knowledge of this "super rookie" person, and only paid $20 to race. a $30 savings!
- 61 minutes plus one lap is just mean.
- is rad.

Friday, October 26, 2007

some thoughts.

here are some of my thoughts.

...and by thoughts, i mean, "things you should do immediately".

- bike throw dot com should stop talking about being bigger and better, and start working with swanson the younger, and his amazing results machine, to provide minnesota with a full-fledged bicycle news and results juggernaut. that mcf site is just a message board.

- mn velodrome dot org. wtf is going on? can we put up sob story about how we need some cash or something, so if someone accidentally stumbles across it they might learn something?
is this site just dead?

- speedfixracing dot com rider introductions are piling up. and they are very tactfully worded... i would be pissed if i were some of those reviewed. but that's just me.

- according to rumor, team urkel riders are now out of a job. many of these guys probably gave up on an idea of being a "pro" and whatever a long time ago, and have resigned to racing and riding "for fun".
but, by pulling the plug smithers has let them experience the excitingly uncertain life of a pro cyclist first hand. kudos.

- crossniacs cyclocross racing club/team is also new. their site was neat and had lots of good/useful info, but has degenerated to a race report dump. downgrade! formerly a b-minus, now a flat c. go way back in the history to find some good stuff. let's step it up boys!

- cog magazine is printed up. go get a copy. hopefully i will get a stack of them to give out soon.
i hear that i may get to write an article for the next issue, because they like my stlye of bitchin' and whining. fingers crossed.

- lgr has big big signings this transfer season. big big big. holy crap. big. look out.
we are accepting applications until the 1st of november, so keep that in mind.

- this photo kills me. everytime.

- thedispencer blog-o-rama, has a big big interview in the works, too. look out.

that's all.

please understand while there is a comment section, i don't actually care about your opinion.
you know what they say about opinions.

Monday, October 22, 2007

city mouse, and country mouse.

on the docket this weekend:
darwin cx.
powderhorn cx.

it's always fun doing new courses.

and there were two new ones this weekend!

rolling out to darwin i was hoping for a "flat" course, or something with a lot of spots for recovery, because i knew phorn would be hard... not to be.

darwin was hard.
hard hard.

if you missed this race, you missed something pretty rad.
...and hard. there was no recovery on this course, (for me anyway).

that said, the course was really cool, and super fun to ride. (even if it was kicking my ass).

easily one of the best on the calendar, but they may want to couple it with a different race... unless people really like the super pain-filled weekend. (for the record, i'm ok with it).

as for p-horn;
well, for some reason i woke up sunday morning with the stellar idea that i would rock the a2 race and the ss b race on my ss mountain bike.

so it was to be a triple-dip weekend for me!
(oh crap).

i lined up for the b race, but things were behind schedule, which was a blessing in disguise because i must've punctured in my warm up lap and the wheel went flat flat flat as i was waiting for the gun.

hmmm... what to do?
i didn't feel like harassing the busy reg volunteers for a $5 refund, so i rode back to the car and
grabbed the geared bike and hopped in the very back of the pack as they hit the barriers after the first few seconds of the race.

i had a blast in the big field, and trying to kill every section of the course with no pressure. (i figured i would drop out before the finish, since i was not on a ss, but would be scored like i had been).

anyway, i did half the race and pulled out, but i think i had made my way from 80th or so to 20th or so. not bad.

the a race was a blast too, and i felt comfy having gotten to do a few laps a race pace already.
unfortunately, the triple-dip was trouble on the legs and i hit the wall bad with 3 to go...

i was pretty toasted, but i ground it out to the finish. i lost 4-5 spots that i don't think i would have otherwise, but i still managed to ride that hill every lap!

(i was amazed too, but i kept a poker face).

the important part was that i had a blast, and my whole family came out to watch!
family count:
1 dad, 1 mom, 1 aunt, 2 uncles, 1 grandma.

plus like a million others cheering me on all the way around the course that was super awesome! thanks!
i have no idea who was where, but the shouting definitely helps a lot!
i could feel the love through all the pain. (...and there was a lot of pain).

quite the draw, i saw all the kids out in the park!

b-rad, zito, citygirl, ray, strats, skidsy, amyc, theo/aura, hpe, team leader, homme, caitlyn, hollyhocks, biggmatt, justine, death, baba, and so many more!


Thursday, October 18, 2007

know what i hate?


i'm totally sick of bike wanker drama.

seriously. who cares?

i have gotten tricked into being involved in b.s. in the past. that's my bad.
but i really don't give a crap about this shit.

i've got a lot of other interests and topics to discuss.

you probably don't know shit about me, except for something about bikes.
get to know me.

hi, my name is spencer.

welcome to my blog.

so here's the brief breakdown:

  • i'm 29.
  • i'm a cancer.
  • i was in a grindcore punk band for years. i played bass. we have a 7", and a are on a comp that profane existence put out.
  • i was a part of anti-racist action, a youth based direct action group against all ism's. we got in fist fights with nazi skinheads, kicked fred phelps out of town, and got in pro-lifers faces on january 22nd each year for roe v. wade, and so forth.
  • i was labeled a terrorist by the state of minnesota. that was sweet.
  • i was a bicycle messenger in milwaukee, san francisco, philadelphia, and minneapolis for a grand total of 5 years.
  • i only destroyed 2 otherwise fine track bikes while messengering.
  • i was hit by about 8 cars total in that time.
  • once in sf. once in philly. the rest in mpls.
  • i hate mpls drivers.
  • i have never ridden in critical mass.
  • for about a year to a year and a half i was followed by a private investigator.
  • i took photos of him and his car and posted them everywhere. (he wasn't very good at his job).
  • i was a member of the northstar anarchist collective, part of the federation of revolutionary anarchist collectives.
  • we did alot of cool stuff around the nwa stikes that were going on at the time. i heard some of the buses taking the scabs to "work" got flat tires. strange.
  • i've had a gun in my face more than once.
  • i've never been shot, but i have seen people get shot.
  • i got beat up by the cops on park and lake st. in front of all the drug dealers.
  • i don't drink. never have.
  • i don't smoke. never have.
  • i don't use. never have.
  • i like to party. (go figure).
  • i'd have more tattoo's if i had more money.
  • i work part-time. why would you want to work more than absolutely necessary? work sucks. life is out there, go live it.
  • in that vein, i'm considering moving to the west coast because minnesota sucks, and because i might be missing something exciting while i'm wallowing here.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

more badger cx

results and photos are up at madcross.

i was 14th of 17 finishers. wow, sounds awesome.
without the chain drop, i think i had a top ten sewed up, oh well.

that's bike racing.

i think there were a few dnf's, due to all the mud and mechinacals...
but, no mechnicals for me, (after the chain incident in the first few meters)!
the biggest problem was after i fell over in the mud, my lever and my glove were so slick with mud it was hard to shift or brake for a lap or so until i got it cleared up.
(by wiping mud from my hands all over the kit...)

i moved my cleats just a touch a few weeks ago, and i have had zero incidents with them since, even in this crap:

i didn't feel as bad as i looked...

jesse won. he dealt with that off-camber 180 far better than i.

lot. (for timmy).

Monday, October 15, 2007


that ain't a joke, they will shoot back.

i really love milwaukee.

it is the midwest's hidden gem.

so, it has been a little while since i've had the opportunity to spend some time there... if you didn't know, i lived in milwaukee back in 2000.

me and katrina packed up the car and rolled east on 94 for 5.5 hours to the cream city for k-murders wedding. just in case you are wondering, i am not into weddings. but i'm pretty sure i'd do just about anything for k-murder, so it was no problem.

as a bonus i planned it out so i could hit badger cross in madison on the way back to minneapolis.

friday was a blast, got some thai food downtown, then rolled to riverwest and hit up the river horse's vip room to chill out with the locals and do some catching up. then off to the southside, to cactus club, to see von munz' art show that was opening that night too.

saturday was a full slate of milwaukee awesome, followed by the big event.
we got breakfast, coffee, did some shopping, some more coffeeeee...

and drove over to the big show.
it was pretty sweet, we drove past a couple different groups of people biking along in suits and ties. wonder where they were going?

kevin promised the ceremony would be short and sweet.
it was medium length, but still sweet. i won't hold it against him.
...he did have vegan meals available.

everyone partied down, and it was a great time.
now, the newly re-named, mr. and mrs. sparrow get to fly off to paris.
lucky bastards.

just married.

oh well, i got to drive to madison.

badger cross was sick.
i was diappointed to be missing boom island in mpls, but this event more than made up for it.

it had rained lightly all morning. conditions were very similar to orono cx a few weeks ago.

the course was pretty cool, and woulld have been really fast in dry conditions, but was just thick mud by now, and was a fun challenge the whole time. the first part of the course was on some grassy walking trails, nice and wide, but with the mud most people were fighting for the very edges. then we hit a run up with some logs across it, ridable if you were a bad-ass, but not worth it if you were going to mess it up.

the rest of the course was all kinds of tech, 180 after 180, (some off-camber), and a quick jog through the playground.

the rain held off during the 1/2/3 race, and i lined up in the second row.
i didn't really have a plan going into the race, it had previously been, "follow marko".
but, marko went to ohio for some uci action... damn. since i couldn't convince james to come cxing the other night at the riverhorse, the only lalonde around was jesse.
i didn't think i could hold that wheel, but not knowing anyone else in field, i figured if i was lucky, i could stick it for a bit until things strung out, and be in a decent spot.

the start went really well for about 30m, i was maybe 5th wheel, then i dropped the chain somehow.

the start was a paved road for a ways, so i was hella dropped, but was able to just catch the back end before we hit the mud.
so much for my decent start.

the mud was super tacky, and fun to ride, and the 180's were very very slick.
lots of people were hitting the ground, so i was making up a few spots.

then my wheels slid out too.
boom. i love the soft landings in cross! the crowds were loving the fast guys falling over in the mud, and the atmoshere was a blast.

so after the start, and then the bobble in that 180, i was well out of any fight for good postions, so i rolled around having a good time and trying to catch who ever was in front of me.

the conditions were superfun, and the course was one of the best i've done this year.
tons of fun.



downside? racing for an hour, and then jumping in the car for a 4 hour drive is not fun...

oh well.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

why am i running?


the rest of you are wasting your time, cuz running sucks.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

i don't usually do this...

i'm not one to tout products or services on my site...

...or sharing in general.

but, the first part of this week has been better than usual, and i'm feeling generous.

let's see... since last tuesday i;

did some intervals.
ran at the Y. (dear god...)
did some cx specific workouts.
raced lake rebecca.
thrashed the legs, like usual.

i woke up monday, ready to hobble down the stairs to take the dog out, but to my suprise the legs felt pretty good!

i'm really, really, stoked.

tuesday intervals felt fine too!


(are you ready for it?)

well, after the racing at lake rebecca i treated myself to an hour of massage from tom at body of knowledge!

i know treating your legs halfway decently what your supposed to do...
(meaning doing anything besides nothing about your thrashed legs, which is what i usually do)...

who can find the time for a whole hour of getting your thrashed legs, and throbbing lower back some much needed attention??

not me.

but no more!

i didn't work any massage into my road/track season... i think it was a big mistake.
i'll be making some room for it in the schedule.

so, if life sucks after the double dip cx weekends, i can't recommend body of knowledge enough.

don't be as stupid as me.

Monday, October 08, 2007

rebecca lake, rikki's litte sister.

rikki's got the tv show, but rebecca has just as much drama!

fast and furious was the name of the game.

technical difficulties on a super-fast non-technical course, makes for big gaps in the desire to chase.

to make matters worse, i got super-rookied.
yes. it goes like this:

lap one, feed zone: where is rookie? who knows? oh, there his is! not really prepared, plus he changed outfits like clark kent... didn't see him til it was too late.

lap two, feed zone: now that i know where he's hiding, i ride to the rookie as he holds out my bottle with his weak little hands... pow! it's a pop fly to right field! 0-2 is the count.
thanks sr!

lap three, feed zone: seriously dying for a cool refreshing drink by now, in this record-setting heat, racing for 20 minutes in the dusty dry conditions... ok, concentrate. a bit slower, focus on the bottle, he can't mess this up twice in a row can he? boom! outta the park!
jesus h. christ.
i'd have said a lot more than "you suck!" if my throat wasn't so dry!

lap four, feed zone: i pull the bike over, dead stop. both feet down. a take the bottle from super-rookie's clammy, trembling hand. finally, relief!
then, i proceed to explain the physics behind the bottle hand-up, and how he should consider that this feed zone being just after a fast downhill, with the riders approaching with a good head of speed, would require a decent grip on the cap. not just two spindly fingers on the nozzle...

after the lecture, i jump back in the race.

in brief, my race when like so;
dropped chain, missed bottle, missed bottle, dropped chain, dropped chain, missed bottle.

i didn't bother to stick around for the results.

super rookie on the other hand, had a fantastic race, i think he surprised himself by winning the hole-shot in the b race;

here is a photo of him trying desperately to not shit his pants in excitement.
(it didn't work).

so, with full drawers and bragging rights, sr decided to graciously let the entire field pass him over the course of the race. what a gentleman!

anyways, have fun at spirit mountian and boom island next weekend!
i will be in milwaukee attending k-murder's wedding to ms. murder.
(but i think i can hit a cx race in madison on the way home)!


Saturday, October 06, 2007

urban charm.

i pity those folk that choose to live in the 'burbs.

maybe i'm missing something, but i really don't think i could stand it for more than a few hours...
i am just a city boy, through-and-through.

i need the liveliness, the action, and the interactions, that come with life in the city.

i've always sought out the most interesting neighborhoods i could find... in all the different cities i've lived in or visited. sure sometimes it's a little much... like people getting shot in your front yard, or the cops kicking in your door... but it keeps you on your toes.

i don't know why, but i would freak out, if i tried to hang out in a hammock in the back yard in apple valley... i am not wired for it.

plus, i'd miss all the things life throws out there everyday, like this;

the car on the sidewalk, had hit another car somehow, and then tried to flee-the-scene by busting a u-turn... he didn't quite pull it off, and ended up jumping the curb and crashing into a retaining wall next door to the coffeeshop that i was walking to with the dog.

this is the view from my stoop, about 15 min after... if i only had a douchephone i could have taken a photo while there was still a tom of smoke, not fire trucks, and cool stuff like that.

the whole neighborhood came out to check it out, and my dog, virus, got to mingle with a bunch of other dogs, and a goodtime watching someone else's misery was had by all.

this is virus, she is jealous of snowy's recent internet fame over at lunatic biker;

virus, is that a unicorn?
why yes, yes it is.

Monday, October 01, 2007

sunday, muddy sunday.

where is our mn cross season!?


seriously. wtf.

it is supposed to be 80-90 degrees, and dusty.

what is this rain and mud crap!?

we can't have races in this shit. we'll have to clean our bikes, and change our brake cables.


so, cyclocross weekend #2 came and went this saturday and sunday.
hudson and orono were on the docket, as well as my second double weekend in 2 weeks.

hudson was a stellar event, as usual. the course was tweeked a bit from last year, and although i think i liked riding last years better, this one probably suited me a bit more. there would have been mud sections anyway, but the rain that showered down randomly helped it along.

the event started on the firetruck siren, and was a blast. i am only "ok" at the tech single track stuff but i have been working at it alot more this year than in years past... and although i don't think i made up time there, but i didn't lose a bunch like i used to.

where i did gain ground was in the mud and sand sections. i just tried to hit the mud with as much speed as i could get going and power through it. (i'd have to credit the velodrome for that skill, repeated short bursts of pure power).
and kinda the same thing with the sand, give it as much gas as i could and run them at a good clip.

in the end i came out 10th in the b race. not too shabby.

i thought it was the most fun i'd had on a cx bike, and the most mud i'd probably ever deal with... until i raced orono.

orono was totally insane.
this course was great, and has seen some of my best results in the past. i think it suits me well... so with that in mind i signed up for the a race.
there's gotta be a first for everything.

we had some sopratic rain throughout the morning, and the course turn from mostly grassy, to mostly mud in about one lap of racing.

tech, but not too tech. power sections, fast road sections, and a long run up.
all really good for me. it helped that i didn't even really notice the time difference, (one hour, as opposed to the 45 min i'm used to), basically it was the same as every cross race i've ever done:
i look at the lap card, and it is a few more than i want it to say.
that part doesn't change!

i have been working hard this fall, because the rest of my season has been more-or-less a wash.
i missed a ton of races and training this summer, and my racing and speed has felt about 70% all year... but i'm trying to slavage my season with cx, and actually training for it.
in the past, i've just rolled out the season with cx and rode whatever form i had until it was gone.

i finished up the a race in 15th place overall, and 4th in the a2 class.
i was happy with that. i think i'll stick with this a race thing for a while.

a zillion photos of orono are at skinnyski, there are some seriously awesome photos in there.
check them out!

here's a sample!

after the run up, as the rain was pouring.

matt allen on the "gravel" road.

hear how to win on a single: jesse talks about chuammamamaaagan