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.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

New Bike New Year

It is already tuesday night, and I dont think I have blogged in a few days due to some really busy days. I have been reading some blogs, as I seem to be addicted to them these days. I have also worked on finishing my new bike. I got this baby off of Ebay back in February for $100 . It was broken at the bottom bracket. It was ridden by a multiple time Mid-Atlantic Region state champ, and it cracked due to moisture in the BB. I brought it to Bilinky Cycles right here in Philly. He was able to weld it up and only charged me a shade over $100. He did a great job. Other projects, money and life in general got in the way of me getting this on the road till now. I wanted to have it finished in time for my birthday that was last Friday. Enough of me talking about it, here is the picture of it.
It is built up like this:
Frame: Indy Fab Planet X
Fork: Vicious Cycles road fork
Stem: 3t Mutant
Levers: Shimano
Front Brake: Old school 105 road brake
Rear Brake: XT v-brake
Shifters: Dura Ace Bar Cons
Front Der: Newer XTR
Rear Der: Black 105 Nine Speed
Crank: Black 105 triple
Saddle: Ti Flite
Seat Post: thomson
Bar Salsa Bell Lap
Wheels: Cane Creek Volos
Tires: Specialized Armadillos I didnt really do anything fancy to it besides add an incredibell and use spacers to make the 1 1/8 inch stem work with the 1" fork and frame.

She really flies so far. I have to muck with the fit of it, but for the two bike commutes since I finished it, I have done well.

On another topic...Last week a collegue of mine told me that her former neighbor is going to be the manager of a new bike shop in Cherry Hill, NJ. The shop is actually a new shop addition to Keswick Cycle of Glenside, Pa. I said that he should get me a job...half kidding, as I sort of already have a summer job, but I decided to look into it, since I would love to get back to working at a shop. I put out some feelers and found out the they were hiring. I called the shop and I talked to a manager for a bit before she asked me to send a resume off. After last weekend, I finally got chance to send one out very late on the evening of Memorial Day. The next morning I had an email from the owner of the shop asking me to give hime a ring. I called him up and chatted for a bit. To make a long story short, I went to meet with him at the new shop on saturday for an "interview". the interview consisted of some bikes dudes shooting the shit with some money talk thrown in. I got hired(as I thought I would), and I start on Wednesday at the Glenside shop. I will be working at the Cherry Hill shop once the lights are in, and we can start building some displays and what not.
The OG Keswick is an old Schwinn shop from the 30's that is now a very cutting edge shop that carries some of the major brands, and also specialises in Tri Bikes. The Cherry Hill shop is a former high end Motor Cycle shop that Keswick bought. The place is huge. It will be one of the biggest bike shops I have ever been in. We will have so much storage and work space, it will be amazing. Everything about this place reminds me of when City Bikes opened the Chevy Chase, MD shop. Looking at the city bikes site, I see that my picture is still up there.
This weekend was my birthday, and it was more subduded than other birthdays, but fun nevertheless. On Friday (my birthday) I had field day at school with my kids, which was very nice, as I dont like ot work on my birthday. After work, I took the train home, as I was a bit too lazy and the rain was really about to fall. It would have been nice to get a good ride in on my B-day. After I got home, Jess and I went to go pick up my wedding ring. We went to a shop in Philly called Halloween. It has to be the coolest place ever. It feels like it is straight out of a science fiction/Hobbit movie. Someone def had to go there to find a special key or get a link to a broken map or something. The ring is going to be really cool, and is custom made by the guy. It is also under $100 which is perfect! I would pay $100+ for a headset, but a wedding ring...you have to be crazy I could forget it somewhere. After wedding ring shopping we went to Cherry St for some great vegetarian chineese food from some of our favorite folks in the city. After dinner we headed off to see
an inconvenient truth .
As an Earth science teacher a sort of a greenie, I loved the movie. It is exactly what I have been teaching my students all year long. I can not wait till it is out on DVD, so the studnets can see how great the actual slide show is. Maybe I can get Al Gore to come speak to my students someday! How fucking cool would that be?
After the movie we walked out into a total downpour. The type where you just walk in the rain, because you are going to get as wet running. We were frozen and wet by the time we got home, but were able to change into dry clothes...for a while.
The dog was afraid of the storm and would not go outside to pee. We tried to send her to the basement to do so, but we were stopped by a fountain and flood in our basement. There is some sort of strange hole near the bottom of out steps that backed up and had water shooting up about 6 inches and flooding our basement. Luckily we were able to stop it, and clean up the water, but that was not how I wanted to end my birhtday.
Saturday was spent doing some housework, scoring the job at Keswick, and then the fun really started. Two of our best friends Pete and Colleen were cleaning out some trash they had from some demo work they did in their house. They tried to do the right thing and drop it off at the bulk drop off in Philly, but it was closed when they got there, which left these two with a 16 foot Uhall full of crap and no where legal to put it. This provided us with an impromptu trip out to Norristown to use the dumpster behind my school. Jess and I left the school to go return some things from her shower, while pete and col went back to the city with the UHall. We met up with them later for a Birthday dinner at Azure.
Sunday was another auction, but I didnt find shit I was interested in. Col and Jess did, while pete and I went to get my oil changed and made stupid faces at eachother while trying to stay awake. We went out to eat at Victory. Pete and I split for home, and I finished up my new IF. That gave me a good reason to finally get a bike ride in for the day.