Sunday, December 30, 2007

five feet high and rising...

have you ever had the feeling that you are up to your neck in water, and some one just keeps tossing bucketful after bucketful on your head?

that's kinda like what it's like being the sponsorship guy at lgr... they just keep pouring in.
and the best part is, they are all really awesome!

i mean, we've had masi, and they are simply amazing.
but this last month we have added ritchey components/forks/wheels/saddles, a truely great company that makes some really swanky stuff and manages to keep it affordable. pretty much a perfect fit for us.

and now, we got word that the team will be powered by sram in 2008! sweet.
(including their tt stuff!)

these 3, masi/sram/ritchey, are like what i would ride if i could pick and choose my parts. how awesome is that that they just happen to all sponsor lgr!?

add that to our returning sponsors; bell helmets, conti tires, and we've really got the complete package.

don't sleep, lgr is on fire. i am glad our hard work is starting to really pay off. no one said starting a team would be easy, but boy are the small victories like this so much sweeter.

recruiting is over and our team orders are in, but our womens team is always hiring... just fyi.

here's hoping you are as happy with your team as i am with mine!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

i'm back!

what a week!

i thought last week was tough... but this was the big one.

the holiday crunch, plus i got totally and completely beaten into the ground by a sickness.
it's still lingering, but it's at least under control now.

thurday, i couldn't get out of bed until 4pm... and even then i only made it as far as the couch.

anyway, the week is over, and i am back.

i bet strats thinks i am blowing off her tag, but it's not true; i was just delirious for a few days.

so, i was tagged once before, by tuffy of all people. hilarity ensued.

this time, well, we'll see, but i doubt it.

five things you never knew about (dis):
  1. i've managed to make it to cat 3 on the road without hitting the pavement. i think that is special. i attribute my success to my amazing bike handling skills acquired from bike messengering. ...but maybe i'm just lucky. ...or maybe i don't take enough chances...
  2. i don't knock on wood. i do buy into karma to some extent, but if i say something that would deserve a knock on wood, well, i rather face it head on then try to prevent it with voodoo.
  3. i became a vegetarian in 1994. never looked back. my girlfriend at the time was one, and convinced me that it was a good idea. the relationship lasted 3 months. she was eating meat as soon as 6 months later.
  4. i honestly think that by now there is espresso flowing through my veins, where the blood should be.
  5. i like to collect accessories. belts, scarves, hats, gloves... i have so many of each of those things it's scary. cologne too. i have even more belt buckles than belts....
    it's worse with cycling gear. dear god.
i'm not tagging anyone else. because i've never been allowed to play in any of those reindeer games.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

taking the good with the bad.

the last week has had quite a few ups and downs.

i apologise for not being a better virtual friend via the blog, but i have been dealing with all of this.

[in actuality, the (dis)pencer is not sorry for the lack of updates. he just says that to appear as though he gives a rats ass what you think. -ed.]

let's start;

for whatever reason the holiday season has been quite slow at my work, and i found out thursday that they need to cut one of my shifts. ugh.
also, due to financials they cannot continue to sponsor lgr this season. double ugh.
cons; 1, pros; 0

saturday night i hooked up with big matt, and we went to the varsity to see a friends band play. it was their record release show, and they had gotten a nice write-up in the city pages. so it was packed. sold out. we couldn't get in. boo.
cons; 2, pros; 0

after failing to get into the show we decided to go to the sponsors bar in ne mpls, and salvage the evening. it was not too crowded, and we had some good conversation. i don't get to kick it with matt as much as i should.
cons; 2, pros; 1

then super rookie showed up, unexpectedly.
cons; 3, pros; 1

but hotpinkevil was with him.
cons; 3, pros; 2

after receiving an insider tip, i took a close look at my road bike, and discovered a decent sized crack in the non-drive chainstay, and a smaller one on the drive side chainstay. ugh.
my cold cold heart almost broke right there.
cons; 4, pros; 2

after a brief chat with lgr's most awesome sponsor, and masi guru, masi guy; i was all set up with a brand spanking new frame! holy crap.
cons; 4, pros; 3

...then he informed me that it was going to be the full carbon 3vc model!
i was literally speechless for a few days, as love and happiness, and bunnies, and crap like that spewed from me.
(hence the silent treatment on the blog. seriously, you would have barfed. i was way too happy).
cons; 4, pros; 4

then, sunday night i went to the wu-tang concert at first ave, with katrina and los.
we were invited by method man to the after-party at the chambers hotel, but we already had plans so we just told him to call us next time he was in town.
cons; 4, pros; 5

monday i had to start riding the trainer for real.
cons; 5, pros; 5

tuesday katrina had her wallet stolen. no cash in it, but all the other stuff you don't want to lose.
boy that sucked. still does...
cons; 6, pros; 5

wednesday lgr was (yes, again) written up in a major media publication.
sometimes i am just floored by how rad we are.
cons; 6, pros; 6

so after a roller coaster week, i guess technically i broke even.

but, things are looking good into the future, i am looking forward to some big changes in the following months. and most importantly, i am looking forward to my totally bitchin' new frame!!

thanks so much masi bicycles! and masi guy!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

off season.

things i forget about during the racing season:

  • sleeping in is so sweet.
  • winter is colder than i remember.
  • i was supposed to save money so i could upgrade the bikes over the off season.
  • the gym hurts way worse than racing bikes.
  • when no one has anything to blog about... the internet gets boring quick.
  • everyone will argue about the velodrome like they are gonna care when it gets warm again.
  • i still need to be in shape for stuporbowl, the most important race on my calendar.
  • i wanted to buy a quieter trainer.
  • i have no excuses to get out of house work.
  • i dislike most winter sports. they are cold.
  • i forget to move somewhere warm before it's too late.

since, i too have next to nothing to say; here is a photo dump.
a picture is worth a thousand words, remember.


bastard cat, and lazy dog.

(dis) as southpark kid. (bored, see?)

los knows how to gross out the ladies.

remember me?

Thursday, December 06, 2007

hi dad.

my dad's birthday was this last tuesday.

he came out and watched his first bike race in 2006, at the capitol crit.
i got dropped, and pulled.
but i guess he still had a good time.

he started coming out to the velodrome to watch the racing soon after.
that's when i was fast. so that worked out well.

i think he enjoyed it, because for 2007, not only did he come out to the velodrome and watch... he became a uscf official.

you have probably seen him at the races. now you can say hi.

he's pretty rad.

he was there when skibby lit his own ass on fire at the state cx.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

THE FIX IS IN: Coast To Coast, Nobody's Coasting

by: (dis). [oh yes, i did.]

You may have noticed that a new type of bicycle is taking over the downtown area. At first glance, it looks like a racing bicycle of the sort that Lance Armstrong used to win the Tour de France. However, a closer look will reveal that it lacks the shifting mechanisms that are technically referred to as “gears.” It may even be lacking the stopping devices mechanics and gear-heads call “brakes.” If you’ve seen, hit, or been hit by one of these bicycles recently, then you’ve encountered the hottest thing in bikes today—“fixed-gears,” otherwise known as “fixies.”

The most important difference between fixies and regular bikes is that fixies don’t let you coast. Why wouldn’t you want to coast, you may ask? “It’s like a zen thing,” explained Tyler Denniston, an American Apparel sales clerk, filmmaker, graduate student, and fixed-gear aficionado. “You feel totally connected to the bike. It’s like taking the stairs versus riding an escalator.”

Okay, but what about the part about not having brakes? While some fixed-gear riders do use brakes, others eschew them and instead slow their bikes by locking their legs and skidding. Andrew Frye, a bartender, filmmaker, musician,
and fixed-gear aficionado explained, “It forces you to pay more attention and to stay a step ahead while you’re riding. Instead of playing my iPod at full blast and only looking a car or two ahead, I keep the volume lower and look all the way to the next intersection. I feel much more like an integral part of what’s going on around me. It’s like a zen thing. You feel totally connected to the bike.”

Fixed-gear bicycles are nothing new. In fact, they’ve been around since at least 1986, when Kevin Bacon famously rode one in the film “Quicksilver.” That movie, about a person who delivers documents to companies for money, singlehandedly created the bicycle courier industry. Those couriers, called “messengers,” rode fixed-gear bicycles, bathed infrequently, and carried voluminous shoulder bags just like their idol Mr. Bacon did, and in turn were the inspiration behind fixed-gear craze of today.

Part of the appeal of the fixed-gear bicycle to young people is undoubtedly its minimalism. State-of-the-art carbon fiber road racing bicycles with complicated gear-changing systems can cost thousands of dollars, whereas fixed-gear bicycles with handmade frames, top-end parts and colorful wheels and tires cost just a few thousand dollars. “The fact is, you just don’t need all those gears,” explained Kevin Schaeffer, an advertising copywriter, woodworker, filmmaker, and fixed-gear enthusiast. “Eddy Merckx won the Tour de France in the 80s like six times on a fixed-gear. All that other stuff is just marketing.”

And it’s not just 20-somethings who are joining the revolution either. Older, experienced cyclists are also re-discovering the joyous simplicity of cycling thanks to fixed-gears. “I love it,” said Darrin Homme, a lawyer, father of four, Porsche club of America member, and recent fixed-gear convert. “It reminds me of why I got into cycling in the first place. I recently converted my titanium Serotta to a fixed-gear. My knees hurt, my thighs ache, and I’m experiencing more penile numbness than usual, but according to my SRM I’m putting out more watts at lactate threshold, which makes it worth it. Plus, it’s a zen thing. You feel totally connected to the bike. All that other stuff is just marketing.”

It’s safe to say at this point that an entire culture has grown around the fixed-gear bicycle. At One by Coffins, a downtown bicycle shop that specializes in fixed-gears, owner Jay Hurl sells not only the latest in bicycles and parts but also a complete line of fixed-gear specific clothing that allows riders both male and female to easily adopt the young Audrey Hepburn look that is currently in vogue. And while Jay can’t sell you a brake, he can sell you a $50 t-shirt with the shop’s logo on it. One by Coffins also promotes fixed-gear-specific contests which feature events like skidding, track-standing, and other competitions focused entirely on slowing or simply not riding the bicycle. Hurl explains that shops like his embody the future of bicycle retail, and says that his customers are looking for something different. In fact, he says fixed-gears may just be the future of cycling.

“All that carbon fiber and gear stuff is just marketing,” One by Coffins customer, Gene O. told me. “Fausto Coppi won the Giro d’Italia like six times in the ‘70s on a fixed-gear bike, and I think people want to get back to that simplicity. It’s like a zen thing. You feel totally connected to the bike.”

Saturday, December 01, 2007

sight seeing.

me and los decided to pack our bags and head out to milwaukee this weekend, for brunch and bike racing.

milwaukee is about a 5 hour drive.

shortly after a pre-drive breakfast at the blb, it had really started to come down, (the snow did. do i have to spell everything out for you?), and it was looking like driving would be treacherous.

...and after spending a few hours on 94 we decided to pull off for a pitstop in st. paul.

st. paul is a great little town between minneapolis and milwaukee, and i think we found the one cafe there.
you know, the one all the locals go to. they really made us feel like we were close to home.

it was super. if, for some reason, you find yourself in st. paul, i'd recommend stopping there.

here is a handy link. enjoy.

(fyi: we didn't make it to milwaukee).