Wednesday, November 29, 2006

ebay Bastages!

Ok, this has happened to me twice now in a week. I am building another road bike shortly and want to get the same pedals that I have on my current road bike. I am using the Shimano 6600 SPD-R type. So I saw a lightly used set of 7700s and placed my bid on them which I thought was a good bid. Well, as usual, I was winning the auction a few hours before the end and then some squatters bid the pedals up at the last minute and got them for a few bucks more than my max. Two days later, I found another pair and placed an even higher maximum bid. Once again some squatter nailed the pedals at the end of the auction for 1 dollar more. I think there should be some rule against these tactics on ebay. I know it is just part of the deal, but I hate being in an auction for days and seeing that I am winning it only to find out when I get home from work that somebody bid it up with 5 minutes left to seal the deal. Anyway, enough of that.

The sun goes down here in Texas right around 6pm. That means no riding during the week unless I am willing to ride at night. I am going to look for a good light so that can be an option, but night riding is just not my bag. So, tonight I ran. I have been running during the week for the past few weeks. It helps my biking for sure, but the problem is that I HATE RUNNING. The only thing that makes it tolerable is my iPod. Tonight I felt mellow and ran to the soundtrack of the Wedding Singer. Nothing like Boy George and the Thompson Twins to get you pumped up.

My buddy Nugget is coming down from Minnesota tomorrow for a weekend of riding. We have a ride planned with some friends this weekend that has become known as the Hill Country 53. Look for pictures on Saturday afternoon.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Am I a Jerk?

So here is a non-bike related post. Am I a jerk? Does the fact that I only laugh at the videos on AFV that involve pain and nut shots make me a jerk? Does the fact that I search Google Videos for footage of bicycle jumps gone bad, peleton crashes, and horrendous downhill accidents make me a jerk? Does the fact that I liked the Alpha Beta guys in "Revenge of the Nerds" and Tommy in "Valley Girl" make me a jerk? Is the fact that one of my favorite movie characters ever is Chet in "Wierd Science" any indication? Does my strong desire to whoop the shit out of Harry Potter make me a jerk? My boss recently suggested that I order The Jerk Sandwich at a restaurant. Could that be an indication? I often wonder. You decide.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Dam Loop on Sunday

Somehow, we managed to turn what should have been a 35 mile ride into a 55 mile ride. It was a great ride though and the weather was superb. The ride consisted of a loop of some of the main highways in Austin. The ride took us from Southwest Austin, up past the Mansfield Dam into the Northwest part of Austin, then back down South on the most direct route, Highway 360. There was one hill along the route that was a real nut buster. The hill coming out of Barton Creek onto 2244 is so steep that I was in danger of tipping over due to my slow accent. I actually had to stop for a minute to let my heart rate come back down. Such is life when you are out of shape. I rode today with Big Cat and two great gals, Sunflower and Martillo. Here are some pictures.

Sunflower and Big Cat ascending a hill.

Here is a familiar site - the back of Big Cat.

Sunflower on the 620.

Martillo on the 620.

Big Cat, Sunflower and Martillo banging out the miles (notice the wheel sucker in the rear).

Friday, November 24, 2006

Friday Ride

Big Cat met me at my house at 9am to do a quick 12 miles while before Mr. P, our boss, was to arrive at 10am. Mr. P just started biking and has not gone more than 7 miles in the past 5 years, so we were in for a slow ride. Big Cat and I cruised on the 12 mile portion of the ride basically doing an out and back on a quiet route South of my house. I still can't hope to stay close to Big Cat on the hills. He just floats away from me. It is good to see him enjoying biking so much since he is fairly new to it himself. The out portion was into the wind, so the ride back was nice and quiet and peaceful. You all know the silence and gear sound associated with a nice tail wind. It can't be beat. We met Mr. P back at my house. Mr. P is actually riding an old bike of mine - a 1991 Cannodale 3.0 which still has 6 speed Suntour on it. It was a great bike, and really it still is. We decided to take Mr. P out for a 13 mile loop which we thought may have been pushing his limits. The ride went well. Mr. P hates the hills, but other than that, he did fine. It was a great day to be out in the Texas Hill Country. The temperature is right at 70 degrees. I am so glad I do not live in CT any longer where the weather is just starting to turn bad. On the home stretch I was doing my best Italian impressions of Dave from Breaking Away. Nobody laughed. I don't get it. I was cracking myself up. Here are a few pictures.

Big Cat as we were heading out this morning.

Mr. P cresting a hill.

My puppy Ender waiting for me to make a move for his Frisbee.

My puppy Valentine scanning the horizon for deer.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Wednesday Ride

I went out with a few guys from work today for a short ride. We ended up doing 21 miles on a mostly flat loop. The wind was kicking from the South though making the out trip a bit of work. It is nice to be able to have an activity outside of work where I can hang out with my co-workers. I think it helps people get to know each other better and that translates into the office. The two guys I rode with today are Mr. S, who is the President of our company and Big Cat, who is a Marketing Manager like me. For a mid 50's dude, Mr. S is in great shape. He just took up cycling a few months ago and is progressing very nicely. I keep joking that he is going to upgrade his ride soon. He certainly has the money to ride whatever he wants. He keeps saying he won't do it, but I know he will. Big Cat is a mid 40's dude, and has only been riding a few months as well. He was a serious runner prior to taking up biking. He has almost ZERO body fat. He has morphed into a very very good biker already. At 6'1" and lanky as hell (172 pounds), he just glides up the hills. I built his bike for him and he seems to be happy with it which is cool. He is the only person on a Rocky Mountain road bike that I have seen in Austin. How did I feel on the ride? Strong at times, and weak at times. I still feel rusty from being off the bike for 3 weeks while I was in Asia. I still have a lot of work to do to get into good shape, but it will come. I forgot my camera today, so I will take some pictures on my next ride.


Monday, November 20, 2006

Latest Road Bike

I wasn't sure what to write for my first post. I always like when people talk about the bikes they ride and show some pictures of them. It helps me create a mental image of the person behind the blog. So I figured a post about my newest bike is as good as any. I had my last road bike for over 15 years (it did not get ridden much for the past 9 or 10), so I felt it was time for a change. How did I decide on the Leader 736R frame? I like the design and the frame got good reviews on I built the bike up with SRAM Force shifters/derailers/cassette/chain. Why did I chose SRAM? I like to be different and wasn't influenced by the Shimano or Campy shift systems because my old bike had down tube shifters. Therefore, I hadn't used the newer Shimano or Campy systems in the past. I bought all of the components including the Mavic Ksyrium SSC SL wheels from, which is right up the road from me. Michael who runs this location lives close by and meets me after work with my goodies when I place an order. The bike runs great and is feels fast (the rider is not so fast most of the time...haha). I love the double tap shifting and have no regrets at all with the SRAM Force system. The wheels are great too and just have a solid feel about them, as well as looking great. I may not have this bike for 15 years, but it will be more than a few years for sure. Being in China/Australia/New Zealand the past 2 weeks has put a damper on my riding. Having a 5 day weekend coming up will be great for catching up on my riding and it looks like the weather is going to be great. Below are some pictures of the bike.


Sunday, November 12, 2006

I am out of the country now and will get this blog up and running next week when I return. I have wanted to create a blog for a while, but have never taken the time. Stop back in about a week and I should have things underway.