Saturday, December 29, 2007

God bless Rock and Roll

I think these guys were one of the first cassettes I bought as a wee lad back in the day. Actually, I think the first tape was Quiet Riot but my brother had TS and I do remember listening to that many a time. I remember being at a couple of parties in college listening to them and we would jump off the couch, air guitar stylie. When we landed, the impact would make the CD player skip. Ahhh, good times. Good times. I guess that's saying something when you can overlay a christmas carol over a 1980s hair band rock tune.
Then again, I guess it can go both ways. Sabbatum, an Estonian medieval music group covered some Black Sabbath tunes, like War Pigs. All in Latin and on medieval instruments. Pretty crazy.

Unfortunately, I've spent the last hour trying to figure out how to post audio to the blog with no success, so I give up. for now.

Sunday, December 23, 2007


I made some huge progress over the last couple days, at the expense of a day on the bike in 60 degree, sunny weather. Small price to pay so I don't have to take a day off the bike in Jan or Feb. Anyway, with the help of my buddy Matt, we wrecked shop and got all 560 square feet of the flooring laid down. Small bonus was that I got to return some unused flooring to reduce total expense of the project. We all know what that means... MORE BIKE PARTS!!! We spent a total of about 20 hours each. Time well spent, for sure. Once I get back from the whole fam damily on Wednesday, I'll spend some time putting the quarter round trim down to finish out the project. I may actually get done before Feruary!
So here are a few pics of what's happened so far.
ceiling paint. new paint should be obvious.

Bachelor priorities (TV and satellite hooked up) and the pile of nasty carpet and padding removed:

Start of the floor:

Finished flooring, ready for trim work:

More later, once I get things arranged a bit better and start laying down the trim work.

-the ATM

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Wish you were here!

Yet another day in paradise! How can you not want want to ride that?!?

I did a solo ride today that was supposed to focus on leg speed snaps into corners to simulate race pace without all the extra effort. I started out thinking the snow would make it too treacherous but quickly threw caution into the wind since it was too damned fun going a little faster. As per SOP, I looked for opportunities to "work on technique"

It wasn't too easy to get up to speed on the flatter sections with all the snow plowing I was doing with 15psi in my tires, but I didn't really care. Temperature was hovering around 30, which was just about ideal. This was confirmed on the return trip looking at my tracks. Pretty much no bleed through of mud, save for a few sections.
I ended the day with only a handful of mishaps that amounted to a little snow on my jersey. no broken or bruised body parts. That tells me I was trying just hard enough. I did get loads of exercise on line selection since there were plenty of rocks and branches hidden under the snow.

yep. That's all for now.

-the ATM

Saturday, December 15, 2007

No Pressure

No pressure was the phrase of the day. I accidentally took this entire week off the bike, mainly to get stuff done around the house so I'm not still working on the mother of all projects in February. I did that last year and don't want a repeat. Anyway, I heard a few friends were going to ride at Brown County State Park on the fantasmalactic MTB trails at 10a for the first snow ride of the year. Count me in.
I really had no agenda for the day, other than to have a sweet-FA ride. Mission accomplished. I led into the single track and for the first 30 or so minutes and was digging the trails and being the first one to cut tracks into the fresh snow. Not being one to hog all the fun, I pulled over after a bit to share the wealth. Jeff pulled through and looked to be having just as much fun as I was.
As is often the case, Jeff and I have a bit of a rivalry for who leads from after stopping. I made sure to straight arm him as we started so I could kick up some snow on him with my rear tire. I wasn't quite as smooth as I should have been when I did, tho, since I drilled my knee on my shifter and bent it just enough to not allow multi-gear shifts for the rest of the ride. Oh well, he ate snow and we had a laugh.
Back to pressure, or lack of anyway...I started out just below 30 psi, and was not getting the traction I wanted. I think I let air out about 3 times over the course of the day, and ended up somewhere around 20. Not bad for a fatty like me.
We ended the ride at one of the hippie joints (er, bad word choice... let's try establishment) apres' ride for some coffee, food and conversation. I loaded up on a black bean burger and a pile of hummus, so I took care of the post-ride protein needs soundly.
I don't have a jersey pocket friendly camera, so I left it at home. I did do my customary first-snow-of-the-year donuts and laid down a few sweet ones after I remembered to turn off the damned traction control. A mobile phone pic had to suffice. Homer Simpson would be proud.

Ok, so back to painting.

-the ATM

Monday, December 10, 2007

Boom shakalaka!

Sunday's race conditions were a little worse than last week's. It was raining pretty much all day leading up to the start, nevermind the week leading up to it. Motivation was low to get out there to test tire pressure and get warmed up, but I did have motivation to test out some flat out billboard pimpness in the form of a set of Easton Tempest II wheels.
Sick doesn't even begin to describe these wheels. Having 34c Challenge Grifo tires made it all the better. As if previous posts didn't make it clear enough, I rescind any negative comment ever made about tubies, cost be damned.

Anyway, with about 25 minutes to start time, I jumped out on the course. Hoo boy, was it nasty. I chose a false flat (~2% at most) to determine tire pressures, and was nervous about 23 psi but traction was the order of the day.
After dispensing with the guys that were driving their bikes - you know, steering and counter steering from every small change, I settled in. It was a definite powerman's course since there were at least two sections where it was faster to run on pan flat ground!

I ended up oh so close to the podium, but did not deserve... I was some 30 or so seconds off that pace in 4th place. At least I did a good enough job of representing those dope wheels, plus I got the result I was looking for for damned near the entire season. My best result of the season in the most miserable conditions of the season... and I was rockin' the belgian knee warmers. My blend for the day was Pre Ride Oil and Medium Embrocation, both from Qoleum. It worked. I had nary a problem... at least until about an hour after the race.
I had some pretty uncontrollable shivers that lasted for at least 30 minutes, but I think that was more a result of 4 hours of sleep with a little dash of cold weather thrown into the mix.


Sunday, December 2, 2007

More Euro cross

So today was another epic cross day. Weather report was fairly promising in that it promised rain.
So let it be written, so let it be done.
The course was reasonable early on during the preride, but I was struggling with tire pressure (damned clinchers). The last attempt was a bit too low, ending up with 20psi front and rear. bottoming out my rim on small sticks was a bad sign.
Anyway, I bumped up the psi before the race and was pretty comfortable with where I ended up. Missed my pedal, dammit. First time of the year and of course it's with a good grid position. There were plenty of corners that were slick, but no really big issues. Definitely several occasions to slide both wheels coming out of a corner. Pretty fun, actually. It started to rain around halfway through and I was having an enjoyable ride. I wasn't making up enough time, though, and ended up a little worse than I wanted but felt good about my ride.
Changing in the rain was not fun. Having about a cup of mud on my chamois was also not fun. Hopefully I'll find some pics on the web soon. Until then, here's a Brookside pic also in the mud, so imagine me in a Ridley skinsuit with about the same mud content.


Saturday, December 1, 2007


I pretty much go from project to project with little relief, and those projects vary in difficulty/length randomly. Sometimes, they're easy, like changing from summer wheels/tires:

to winter wheels/tires:

But sometimes they are a bit more difficult which is pretty much where I'm at with my home improvement project for the winter. Since I spend alot of time on my bikes in the summer, I am smart enough not to start a project on the house. The funny thing is that I still spend a ton of time on the bikes in the winter, but I think it's a nice way to think about other things than just riding bikes. The theory is that this pays into the motivation bank come summer when there is no excuse not to be on a bike.
Anyhoo, my winter project on the house this year started out as a flooring replacement job. Rather than keep using carpet, I wanted the durability and cleanliness of hardwood flooring. A side benefit is that I can do the work myself and save some bux for bike stuff. Funny how that works out... As I was surveying the project, I decided I should paint the walls, too since I could be a little sloppier on the painting without dripping on the floor to worry about. Then while talking to my mom, she pointed out how dismal my ceilings were and I should paint those, as well. Sure, why not?!?
So now I'm about a month into it, and I'm almost done with the drywall prep work. Matching surfaces when installing new sheet rock is no small feat. Since you're pretty much adding around a 16th of an inch of drywall mud at a time, days go by, not hours. If I was a drywall contractor, I'm sure I'd be better but I'll stick to my day job engineering stuff.
and have started pulling carpet. Wow, that shit was nasty and well overdue for replacement. Once I'm done with the not-so-small task of painting about 1000 square feet of ceiling, and way more sf of walls, I'll be ready to throw down the floor:
Yep, that's about 650 sf of floor cued up, ready for placement. Sweet.

As this has become quite a book, I'll finally get around to posting some pics of my sweet (formerly) new CX rig a little later. Stay tuned.

the ATM