Thursday, December 07, 2006

Big Snake with a helmet

On today there was a mention of a biker being stopped in their tracks by a giant snake. Well...if you get there in time, and check out the video. The cyclist is wearing a really bad looking backwards helmet. Just really really bad.

On another helmet note, and I guess a bit late, I had to get a "stand in" helmet when I was up visisting with my parents for the hoilday. I knew it was going to be nice after the storm we had here on the east coast, so I took my cross bike up there, and I knew i would hit the road on Friday. I was all geared up and ready to go, until I could not find my helmet anywhere. I am not one to ride without a helmet, but I am also one not to miss out on a ride. I put my campy cycling cap on, and headed out the door for my ride. I realized that I may have had a helmet in the basement, but it was an older bmx helmet, and I didnt want to rock that one. I knew that Sickler Cycles would be open for me to get a helmet. I rode the three or so miles over there, making sure that I didnt do anything dumb enough to end up eating applesause through a straw for the rest of my life.

I got to the shop, walked in and said give me the cheapest helmet you have asap. The lady looked at me, my bike, and my gear and asked what helmet I had now. I told her that I own two pneumos and an eclipse...but they were back in philly. SHe understood my plight, and got me set up.

I dropped the name of the shop I work at, and talked some shop, and got a trek helmet for cost.

I think it is more or less a cop helmet, but it protected my brain for the day and got me out for a ride. I took some shots while riding to Wilkes Barre .
I dont know why my mouth is looking for bugs in the picture, and I can tell you taht my Specialized glasses go much better with my Giro helmet, but I was surly safe in that cop helmet.

I found out that we have a great trail in the Wilkes Barre area. It is on top of the dike that is keeping the Susquahanna river from flooding all of Kingston, and a few other towns on the West side of the river.

It goes for a few miles, and I saw a few folks using it, which was great. At least I know it is there for the next time I get to go and ride there.

I got to check up on some of the damage from the week before when my hometown was hit pretty hard with flooding, when a dam/flood pipe exploded and let tons of water and debris come down. The very pretty and brand new library in town got hit pretty hard, as well as a doctors office, the phone system, and some otehr businesses.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Nite RIde.

I have never actually gone on a night ride that was not part of a race or something similar. I went by myself last night. It was half in the dark, and half light. I know there are crazies living out in the woods I ride in, so I was sort of spooked riding in the woods in the dark alone, even though it was only 5:30. I think I would like it with more folks joining in. I am a big dude, but suprise can take down almost anything.

A quick shot on the bike with no flash on. I really think I want to get a headlamp. Two lights upfront provided a good amount of light, but I would really love to see where I pointed my head, as where I ride is mostly very twisty and tight.

Last night I also took my jump back into the world of eating animals. I have not really ate meat since sometime back in middle/high school. I had some shake and bake chicken from jess. Today I had tuna at lunch in school, so I guess I am jumpping in face first.

Why make the switch? I have been a vegetarian forever as it feels, and I dont think that my food options are leading my to the best choices there are. Through studying nutrition and what not, do not lead to vegetarianism as the best choice for what I am trying to do as far as fitness gains and what not.

I am sure "Vegan" Rob would disagree with me, but that dude is crazy minus the vegan fueled endurance mountainbiking.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Mens Health.

I am a big fan of Mens Health. I think it is a great mag when I finally take time away from reading about bikes. Always good food, weightlifting, and other work out ideas in there.
The top 100 tech goodies were in the new mens health. I was amazed to see how many bike goodies were in there.
They were:
Crank brothers Power Pump Ultra
Camelback MULE SCIO
Orbea Orca Road Frame
Pearl Isumi MP3 shorts
Smith Optics V Ti Sunglasses
Shimano SH-M300 Mountain Shoes
Selle SMP Strike Composite Saddle
Scott Spark Limitied Mountain Bike
Sram Force Double Tap Shifters

I guess cycling is getting bigger and bigger now when we see this many good bike goodies in a mag like mens health.

Sunday, November 19, 2006


I found it funny when I went to New Hope, Pa for a Cyclocross race and ran into this plate after my entry from yesterday. The race was held on private land. It is nice to see that much uninterupted land in the area of New Hope! The homeowner was pumping a good mix of celtic/highland music, the wind was blowing, and the ground was wet! Good day for cyclocross. I did hear some people complain about the mud, but I dont understand why they would be at or in a cross race if they did not enjoy the mud.

I am def ready to train for next cross season, and will be looking forward to racing next season. I have alot of work to do, but I will make sure I am strong and fit enough to do this type of racing. It will be good for me to get fit, and this is a great reason to do it. Over the winter of riding to work, spring mountain biking and the whole summer of commuting and riding will leave me a great place to have a good cross season. I don't want this to be too picture heavy, but I think I the photos I have of the race speak for themselves. First barrier with the peloton coming.

Not the first mud, but the best mud. The course comes out of a false flat wheat field, back around, into some really technical stuff around a tree, and right into this mud pit. After this pit, you were in the clear for some good sprints, and some pretty flat racing and then back through the start finish. One of the racers near the front. There was a pit spot right here, where many riders dropped off their bike, and ran about 20 yrds, since they were going to hit this barrier shortly after coming out of the pit. These two barriers dropped you off to a sharp uphill turn, through some semi paved flats with switchbacks, back past another pit, and then through the field. Stella really enjoys cyclocross. She is outside, sees other dogs, and I am happy.

One thing I noticed about this race was there were not too many folks that were not racing or cheering on a specific racer there. It is right before a big holiday week, but I sort of expected to see a few more people there. At least those who were there were really into it and quite supportive.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Hardcore Plates

While listing to the Fredcast, Dave mentioned that the folks in my second favorite state in the union are trying to get a cycling friendly license plate. If you are a resident of Colorado, sign the petition to get this thing going! Maybe when I finally move out there, I can get one as well.
Shortly after I left Virginia, one of the groups got together and was able to persuade the folks in Richmond to devlop a share the road plate. Virginia has to have the most personialized plates of any state or commonwealth. Mine said BIKEDRK (bike dork). It as a favorite past time of mine to read them while sitting in traffic in the greater DC area. Last night Jess and I went to see American Hardcore. I grew up in hardcore and punk rock of the early 90s, and some of the bands I looked up to looked up to the bands profiled in the movie. I can not say that I am a huge fan of Black Flag, or Bad Brains, but Minor Threat, The Cro-Mags and some others that were in the movie have helped shape who I am today.

The movie was good, and I enjoyed some of the footage and history. I found out how some of the real history went down, and I also learned where some folks were from, and their backstory. What I didnt like about the movie was how much they talked about Black Flag and Bad Brains. Dont get me wrong, I wasn't there, but Jesus, it seemed like that was all there was when you look at the amount of footage and time devoted to those two bands.

I would really like to see/make a movie about the next part of the Hardcore post 86 to aprox 92-93. Bands like Sick Of It All, Cro-Mags, Project X, Slapshot, Inside Out, Judge, etc. That is more my time, and what I feel, really shaped what we have these days.

I think it was Vinny Stigma or John Joseph, one of the NYHC guys who went off at the end of the film about the current breed of "punk rock" and how it is nothing like their generation.

I the words of Mike Jude, You and your crew would never have made it through the days we hung out in 1982 - Judge, New York Crew

Thursday, November 16, 2006

current TV

no I am not going to rant about the shit that is on every night, but the great channel that is If you are like me and generally hate tv, check this out if you get it on your local boob tube, you will be addicted.

Bike Kitchen

San Fran is a great city for bikes which goes along well with the vibe of the city. THere can not be a better match for San Fran than the bike kitchen. They have been working at this for a long time, and seem to have a great thing going on. They are in the mission district of San Fran. They have folks come in and work on their bikes, and learn new skills. They run a womans night and my favorite, since I am not invited to womans night, is build your own Pannier Construction Class. It costs the price of a good pair of bags, but you get to make your own, and you can make multiples. How cool is that. I would love to learn how to do that. Maybe I can convince Roland from RELoad to take me as an apprentence some day...when ever I have days of free time.

Bicycle Revolutions

It has been a while coming, and I really wanted to do it for a while, but I finally got chance to see my friend Brian's new shop last night.

While I talked to him from the beginning about ideas, and everything and saw him working on cleaning out the old place, I never got chance to stop by since I moved out of that neighborhood. I moved out of that hood about a week before he opened the shop. After that I shortly started working for the shop I am with now, and as everyone in the bike industry knows, spring and summer is crazy time.

With some errands in that neighborhood, and the time to spare, I got to stop by and say hello. He is doing great work with a small space and a nich market. It is way different than the shop he used to work at . It is a nice small shop with a rotating amount of artowrk on the walls, some really cool different stuff you dont find in a typical shop, and a few custom rides on the wall.

As for bikes He carries Redline, Breezer, all of the QBP brands (Surly, Salsa, Etc.), and Uno bikes (sun) from J and B improters, and soon will carry SE bikes(who are doing some rad stuff these days). He also has a litespeed and an Eddy Merckx hanging up for good measure.
The shop at My Space Bicycle Revolutions, 712 S. Fourth St., 215-629-2453.

Just a quick picture of the front window. Looks really cool!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


While looking around the blogosphere, I have come over a ton of people talking about lights recently, as it is that time of year again. I recently got new lights from work, and I wanted to really try them out tonight. They are really just lights to be seen with, not really for seeing too much. I have lights for seeing, but I think they are a bit blinding to folks. Since I live in the city, it is pretty much bright all over.
The lights I got are
cat eye lights that run on two watch batteries (no looking for crazy batteries for cameras or anything) and are turned on by using a magnet. That is on a laynard. It works by using the laynard and the actual light to fasten it the bike, helmet, etc. It is great so that you can attach it to whaever you want as long as it is going to fit.

The fit on the bike was pretty good, as it is tool free, and can go over anything at all. I had to put mine over some cables on the front of my bike. You can see in the front picture that is attached over the cable. The rear is just around the seatpost, but it can go anywhere.
The lights functioned well, and I think if I lived somewhere with less light, I would have seen how bright they actually get. I rode allover downtown, then went to a pretty dark park on my commute. Over all, I am very happy with them. I think I may get a few more pairs for other bikes. They are about $24 for a pair(they come as individuals and white is more expensive than red) from your LBS.

My wife made it big time

While looking over the blogosphere last night, I checked out the Surly Bikes blog, and saw a rant about a bike that my wife helped buy for the company she works for. They are a high end clothing and homegood store, so bikes is not really their thing at all.

I think the bike is cool, and the reactions some folks have about it is down right amazing.

I finally started back to the gym last night. I will be there two days a week, so I can ride the other three. I may step it up to three nights as it gets colder, but we will see. I am a bit sore, but I am looking forward to getting out of work so I can get out and enjoy the warm weather we have been having. My goal is to race a bunch of Mountain and Cyclocross next year. I want to loose a bunch of weight and make it work. My boy Joe did it, and I think I can as well if I get something to look foraward and work for.

The picture above is my bike last year at the stables at valley green on a commute home. I love the fall. I think my bike looks great with that stable as a backdrop.

I have some new lights to check out tonight, and I will post some pictures later from a night ride around the city on my errands to the video store and the costume shop.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election Day

Election day, and I work in a school. So I get the day off! Cool stuff. I wanted to do a bunch of stuff, but it was so nice out, I decided I wanted to go for a ride. I went to Wiss. and decided to go a different way than I usually go. I rode this route over the summer at the poker run. I found some new trails that I have never been on before, and rode some stuff backwards from the way I was used to riding it. Over all a very good fall day on the bike. I felt strong climbing, and moving around in the woods, which is great since I am looking to get stronger in the woods on new terrain so I can race a bit next year, like I used to.

I love my bike, but I would like to ride a full suspension or a 29er off road. Working at the shop lets me "borrow" all sorts of bikes, but I think there is a Specialized Brain Equiped bike in my future. Hopefully by next spring I can get one!
The elections went my way as well. Everyone I voted for won, which I of course thinks is great.

This are some shots from the top of the valley.

Monday, October 23, 2006


I have been to two world championship races, at least five US national champ races, bunches of mountain, road, and courier races but I never made it to a cyclocross race in my life. I guess I always thought there were none around, until I came upon the MAC series. I went down to the far southeastern corner of PA to see some cross action. It was a bit wet, but pretty nice out. I took my dog with me to the race. She had a great time, as there were a few other dogs there, and we were outside!
We made it there for the mens elite race, and since i had a "date" to go mountain biking at the green later in the night, we were only able to stay for one full race and the start of the womans race.

The race had a great feel to it. There were wide open sections on the course, but then some really tight decents, and a "spiral of death" on the course as well. I didnt get down to the spiral, since the dog was a bit to handle while walking around the course. I did take some pictures of some racer bikes that I was drooling over. I really liked the amount of small builders like IF, Sachs, Vanilla, etc. I am into those kinds of bikes, so it is nice to see them in real life. I actually really like to see how people set their bikes up. I keep a mental note of how they set them up, and then I can let my customers know how certain things are done, or trends we are noticing. I dont know if everyone does it, but I am a true dork about it.

I did get chance to see some of the bikes the folks at Wissahickon Cyclerly are making. They had a road bike, a city bike, a 29er, and a cross bike there. Engin Cycles seem to be well made. They are made in Philly, so that is cool with me. The folks at Wiss really love blue.
If you are a record dork like me, is a great animation. The video is all over I don't think it is 100% work safe.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Back on the stick

I have been off this thing for a while and I have been thinking about bringing it back. I read from Gwadz, and a few others everyday, and I really need to get my game back up. Look for more as we go along. A great aspen in Rocky Mountain National Park

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

hot damn

God... I dont remember when I last posted. I guess that was when we had all that rain at the beginning of the month. Damn...I guess I will just start with today.

In philly today it was 100 degrees plus. Crazy shit. I know it is summer and all, but it is hot as hell. I had to work at the shop. We had a great day there. We got a good amount of work done, and also had a good number of customers. Enough customers to keep us busy. I think I got a bike out the door for a customer of mine. I feel like I have been attracting huge riders. In the last few days I have had three customers who were 6 foot 6 or more. I sold one a bike. I have another one coming in for a road bike tomorrow. I hope I can continue selling more bikes. I guess as we get busier and busier, we will sell more bikes. With all of the constuction, and the lack of all of our stock, it has been hard. We have been getting better though, and the sales are showing. I will have to bring my camera over and show you guys some pictures.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


I know many people have it much worse, but this rain has to fucking stop. I am very lucky in that both sides of my commute today were "dry" one side was humid as hell, and the other end was filled with road spray, and almost a crash on some wet, turning tracks. I didnt go down though. I did get caught by some fencing that I didnt notice while leaving my class, and that sent me down. No real cuts or anything, just some bruised pride.

The trails can not be enjoying this weather at all. It is just no good for them at all. Hopefully people will stay off of them for a bit.

I have been taking a class for the last two days, and It is really wearing on my, as I have not really learned anything, and I fell it is a waste of time for me. I only have another day and a half left of it. I am looking forward to the rain ending, and opening up the shop for Saturday(the first day of Le Tour).
Looks like Vinokourov will not make it to the tour this year after his team (Astana-Wurth) was asked to not show up to the start line after some dopping concerns. I guess there are a few others involved as well. I really wish our sport was not so wrapped up in this stuff.

Tyler Hamilton can keep his medal after the "B" sample ws destroyed by the testing lab, allowing him to win his appeal. He is also implicated in the Dr. Fuentez problems.

Jan Ulrich continues to fight demons as he is also implicated in the Spanish and French Newspapers. I cheer for him just to have a good race someday, and to get his life on track.

Lance and Greg are going at eachother again. I wonder who would win in a fight. Greg is a bit more hefty, but I think lance is taller. Maybe we should get them in a battle in the ring. No cycling shoes though. They can be a disadvantage.

Thanks to VeloNews for some of the info.

Saturday, June 24, 2006


Today I was supposed to go to work with Brian and Jordie from Keswick at 8:30 or so. I ended up waiting for Bri till almost 11:30. We went over to the shop and got to cracking on all sorts of projects. but we mostly focused on finishing the mechanics area. We finally got home at around 6:30 or so. Jess and I watched the end of Rudy and then went out to eat at the Oregon Dinner, and picked up some stuff at Target.

If the electricians and the construction guys at the shop can get their act together we will open for the 1st. I just hope we could do it.
I promised some pictures of the new Keswick shop in Cherry Hill, NJ. It is no where near done, but here you go.
This is a view looking towards the back of the shop. There will be 2 dressing rooms on the right side as well as the mechanics area. The left side (where you see the platform) will be the Serotta fit area.
This is also a view towards the back. It shows the counter where there will be two registers. The area under the courigated steel is the upstairs mechanics area. There will be two mechanics in there most of the time.

This is a view towards the front of the shop. The road out front is Route 70E through NJ. Both sides of the yellow walls will be covered with bike racks two high and a few deep along the walls. The big boxes in the middle of the floor are all of the hard wood that is going on the floor. Some of it was laid while I was there today, and it looks really good.
This is a picture of part of the basement looking from the back towards the front. There are about a hundred built bikes already down there. There is tons of space down there. This will be storage for the shop, and a long term repair area. It is great to have so much room to move around.

where'd you go?

I guess I have been too busy for this for a little bit. I am helping to build a new bike shop, as you may have read before. We are taking this from being a poorly thoughtout Motorcycle shop to a really slick bicycle shop. We are well on our way, but 10 hours of construction a day will drive you crazy. I think we will be ready to open on July 1st, at least for a soft opening. I think we are going to have to just kill ourselves to make sure we are reday to go. I envision a few very late nights this week. It is not going to be good as I have a class to attend to for four days as well. I am waiting at my house for brian the owner of the shop to come and pick me up, so we could get the couter area and mechanics bay finished today. We may even try to hang some of the huge bike racks. Maybe I will take my camera and get some pictures for all of you.

Monday, June 19, 2006

The Monday after fathers day was going to be a day on the bike. This will be the official first day of summer for me, as I have had to work each of the days since school has ended. I brought my Single and decided to take it to the top of Bear Creek to see the windmills that were installed up on the mountain in the late winter. I knew there were trails up there, and I wanted to do some exploring. I also wanted to see these windmills up close.
I ride regular trail patterns, but I think I am a true all mountain rider at heart. I like to go on adventures and look for new trails once in a while. The area around my parents house is great for it.
On sunday I went with a drive with my dad because he loves drives in the woods, and I wanted to find a way to get onto the trails that would lead me to these windmills. I found the place, and even a place to park. The parking was a bit scetch since I dont feel comfortable parking my car out in the woods after having my car broken into in the woods a little less than a year ago. I made sure my car was as clean as it would be if I were parking in north Philly, and rode down to the trail head.
The climb up there was pretty brutal as it was on a grassy doubletrack that was filled with baby heads. There was just no way to get any momentum going on the single, so I decided to hoof it up to the top. When I got up there I was rewarded with mill #12 right at the end of the trail. Once I was up there I could feel the wind, and knew they picked the right place. Mill #11 and #12 were on one level pretty much even with eachother, while 10-1 were up on a higher part of the mountain, with an access road leading to each of them. This picture shows how steep the road from #11 and #12 was.

This picture shows a few of the other windmills as they go southwest on the Mountain Ridge. This should give you some scale to see how big the mills are. That is my single speed at the base of one of them. The trail back to the car is off to the right side of the picture.
This is #12 from the ground

I rode along all of them and then onto another powerline trail that continued southwest on the mountain. I decided to turn back and give it another day, as I was out there for over two hours looking around and riding, and I still had some other stuff to attend to in the day. The way back was a nice ride as much of it was downhill, and some of the uphills were a challange, but I got to do it with my single. It is my BMX mountain biking roots I guess.
On the way home on one of the rocky downhills, a rock got the best of my rear tire. Luckily it was only a few hundred yards back to the car. You may be able to see in the picture that it was about a 1" cut in the sidewall of the tire. It was even too close to the car to make a tire boot, so I walked the rest of the way. I was able to add a picture of "trail cars" to my collection.
After I got home and relaxed/showered, etc. I gave Carrie and Ed a call and went down to see them and their new daughter Nora Ann. I have known Carrie since Kindergarten (we even went to prom together) and Ed since I was in Middle School. It was strange to be in their wedding, but seeing their baby is even stranger. It is a great feeling, but still just strange. The world is grabbing me and making me grow up. I am ready for it, but it is a strange feeling.
The baby was asleep, but what do you expect from a 8 day old baby? She finally did wake up and I got to see her cute little smile and her wide open eyes. There will be many more years that I could see her."Grandma" came over and took care of her for a little bit while I got to talk to Carrie and Ed. This is a pic of mommy and baby.
After seeing Mommy, Daddy, and the little one I went home and joined up with my sister and headed down the the nursing home to see my grandmother who is recovering from a stroke. She is doing very well and I am proud of her for being so strong. We got to talk for a while and we talked for a while. I told her about visiting Carrie's baby, and about my trip to the windmills that she could see from her window. She seemed to like to hear from a different person, as I am sure she has talked to her sons and daugters about everything under the sun. One of the nurses came to take my grandmom to play bingo, and my sister and I went home.
I drove back to philly with stella and I later that night. It was a long drive, but I got to talk to my new boss Brian about the shop and I got to stop to buy an EZPass tag as I will travel over the Ben Franklin bridge often for work at the new Keswick shop.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

FathersDay Buddies.

I went home to Pittston late on Saturday night to be home in time to hang out with my dad on Fathers day. The day was spent by going to church, picking up a gift for my dad (good Notre Dame book), eating lunch with my family and my brother in law's family, taking a nap, and going for a ride on the backroads with my dad, sis, and bro-in law.
My dad and I have not always seen eye to eye, but I think we have both grown to understand eachother. We talk about sports and our days. We try not to fight anymore. I encourage him going to the gym and getting out, he makes sure that I am not working too hard or too much.
The drive we went on was exactly what my dad wanted. He loves drives in the woods, and I get to look for new road bike routes, or trails on the side of the road. We went and looked for trail head for my planned trip to see the windmills up close, headed back across the valley and got some soft serve, then went for a drive up to a pretty lake, and back over through the woods. We got to talk about my wedding, the future, global warming, traffic and everything. Just a good time spent with the family.
After we got home, I got a call from my friend Megan and she said that my best friend Kyle was around. I had thought that I missed my chance to see him, as I thought he would have gone home to vegas already, but I was wrong. I got to see him for a while . This was the first time we saw eachother since October. He came home for christmas, but eneded up with a stomach flu and I never got to see him. Next time I will see him will be for my wedding. Here are some pics of Kyle, his Girl Nicole and our friend Meg.

Monday, June 12, 2006

"I don't know too much about...Bling Bling" O. De LaHoya

Another crazy weekend, but fun never the less. I witnessed the quote above very late Saturday night when Oscar De LaHoya was talking about the watch about to be presented to Bernard Hopkins. I, along with a few of my friends worked the Traver Vs. Hopkins fight in Atlantic City on saturday. It was an amazing fight. I am never really into boxing, but this was cool as shit. I think I may actually watch it once in a while. I did get to stand near many celebs including De LaHoya, Mike Jordan, Lavar Arrington, Hector Comacho, the "Lets Get Ready to Rumble" Guy, and a few others.
In the morning i went out for a nice single speed ride at the Belmont Plateau. Jess dropped me off up there and headed for her parents house with the dog. I had to work, so I was going to stay back, but did not want to just sit around the house.
The ride went well, and I felt pretty good out on the trail. SOme of the stuff I really wish I could clear, but it is huge log piles that are on uphills. NO FUN. I might try to ride that part of trail "backwards" someday. It is very technical, so testing my tech skills at high speed would be fun.
I left the trails and headed back to the house. I had to ride my single speed to one of the furthest points in the city from the trails, so I was not moving too quick, but it was nice knowing that I could not go too fast, so I could just sit back and watch the city go by me. After I got home, I did some work around the house while waiting for harry to pick me up.
Harry came for me around 3:45. We were off to AC, not to return till 3:45am Sunday morning.

I woke up late on Sunday, just in time to watch the start of the big Philly race on TV. I watched for a bit and waited for Jess to get home. We went for brunch with Pete and Colleen, and then Pete and I went to the race while the ladies went shopping. Pete and I got there just in time to run into some friends, and watch the end of the race on Lemon Hill. The shop I work for had a tent with a TV and couches showing the race all day. The end had a pretty good wreck. We watched it on TV with about 100 folks looking over eachothers shoulders trying to capture the finish.
The rest of the day was spent in a mixture of riding bikes, playing with our dogs, and eating some dinner with good friends.