Sunday, October 31, 2010

If You Can't Handle The Pressure Then Get The F— Out Of The Kitchen

This is one for the much-neglected early rising readers of Big Bikes...or for the vampires (like me) who are still up past midnight on a Sunday. I can't quite figure out how to make the podcast go live and have the link not go dead after a little while without publishing immediately. This only precludes me from pretending that I got up and wrote this crap at 5AM like some Dicky. I also can't figure out how to get the podcast to work without creating a link field and screwing up the whole linked title thing. And I know how you guys love the linked titles so you can just share links to Big Bikes posts all over the place like a bunch of crazy people.

OK wait, maybe I did figure it out...I'm a genius, or not, we'll see. I'll try this "enclosure link" business and see if it works, and being the over-sharer that I am, I will show my work here regardless of the outcome. Peter had the suggestion that I go straight to video, and I tried...I won't share what I tried to do with the video stuff, but it didn't work out. But it would be great if I could work out the video thing, because, at least in my defective mind, it is easier to deal with video than audio. So look for the video later in the week, all you really need to know is that Peter is going to be sorry he requested it.

In today's episode, Ultra Endure Guy drops some major science, real heavy stuff man. Check it out.

"Put Yourself On The Edge Of Yourself" Ultra Endure Guy Part III

Oh, and if you missed out on the controversy I started over on Bike Rumor (just because I made fun of dudes with yellow Hummers and told people to steal air out of their tires...what?), then I suppose you could check that out. Make sure to read all the angry comments. I don't think they get me over there like you people do.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Podcast Experiment #2: Some People Need To Chill

I was going to try to hold off on utilizing my new found audio POWER, maybe metering the podcasts out at a rate of one per week; but I just couldn't do it. Last night, when I recorded the first of my Ultra Endure Guy "podcasts" (I'm still not sure if it is technically a podcast until I get it into itunes...a step that is evading me right now) I went a little nuts, recording maybe five blog post readings in all. And there are more in the works.

I assure you, Ultra Endure Guy is real, he lives in California, and I have no idea why I felt that a Boston townie accent was the appropriate voice for him...I guess it's an attitude thing.

I really hope he:

a.) Has a sense of humor


b.) Doesn't feel like using up his frequent flier miles coming to Boston to kill me

In this episode Ultra Endure Guy rules the Serotta forum with an iron fist and sucks womens' cogs "like no other."

"I took some shit today for a classified ad on the Serotta forum today"
Ultra Endure Guy Part Two

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Podcast Experiment: Success Or Failure, You Decide

Hey, here we go with the crazy two post a day thing! Look out! This is my first experiment with Podcasting. It seems to have worked, although I have no idea if I have done everything exactly right. It was more complicated than I thought, not really as easy as recording some audio on my ipod Nano and uploading it to the blog. There are many steps involved, some of which make no sense to me, but if I can figure it out, so can you, so can a six-year-old, and so can a brain-damaged gerbil.

I have no idea if what I have done here is legal, I have no doubt that it is not right, but if reading content from the blog of someone a funny voice is wrong, then I don't want to be right! Here it is:

Ultra Endure Guy Podcast

If this type of thing works for you, I'd be happy to take requests for other blogs you might want me to read content from in a weird voice. And if it doesn't work for you, well, I'll just go choke on a big bowl full of di—didegridoos.

I swear I was going to say "didgeridoos;" even if "a big bowl full of didgeridoos" makes zero sense.

I Give Up And I Give You This

I think I've figured it out...

I've gone into a form of seasonal depression which has been exacerbated by my failure to attend SSWC10 in New Zealand. I know there was some talk way back in February of my attendance at the event. Feeble attempts were made to raise funds...none of it amounted to much, and my delusion that I could work some of my new-found "media-cred" into a free pass to New Zealand did not pan out in any way. Then it got all kind of quiet on the subject around here. Reality set in a while ago, I knew I wasn't going and I came to grim acceptance of that fact. It's not like I was suffering in the getting to go cool places and do cool shit department, what, with Breck and High Cascades, and Pisgah...Lumberjack even. SSWC10NZ just didn't make it into the budget. It shouldn't feel bad though: neither did health insurance, dental work, or eating vegetables regularly. (State of Massachusetts, if you are reading this, that part about the health insurance was totally a JOKE. Now don't fine me because I can't afford to pay for health insurance.)

What does the above photo have to do with any of this? Absolutely nothing. It's from my Granoge trip. Rosey and I had to share a leaking aero bed, during the night it deflated and I rolled onto the floor. Instead of waking up everyone in the house, including the baby, by re-inflating it; I opted to sleep on a small couch which was small and hard as a bus station bench. It was incredibly restful. Especially when I got my legs jammed under the arm rest — nothing like waking up to the feeling of two of your limbs being trapped by an unknown assailant, however inanimate he may be.

So I'm not entertaining today, but you know who is? Chandler Delinks. I just happened upon his blog last night. Of course it took me a while to figure who exactly I was reading, so I could tell you definitively who the CycloWhat? blog belongs to. I found his "Shut Up Milne" post particularly funny. The dude does not hold back, he makes me look like a nice guy, a guy who doesn't take nearly enough of a piss out of his friends, friends like Rooter. Delinks interview, via Gmail Chat, with Rooter is hilarious. I will try to be more entertaining tomorrow, in the meantime you should go check out Chandler's site.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

While We're On The Subject of Starbucks And Its Sucking Big Time

At one point, a couple years back, I read a blog post by Fat Cyclist wherein he outlined the way to blog properly (if you want 20,000+ hits per day). He basically rehashed what he said at a "Web 2.0 Panel" at Interbike. It was educational and game-changing for me. My Googlin' mojo is weak right now and I can't seem to find the post, but I'm sure you can if you have more patience and skill than I do (which is more than likely the case). The reason why I bring this up is because one of Fatty's rules had something to do with not blogging more than once a day. Up until now I have pretty much adhered to this rule, but now...I don't know what it is, maybe it's the stuff I've been doing for Bikerumor, but I'm starting to feel OK about posting more than once a day. Shorter, less ambitious posts might suit my short little span of attention anyway.

Like I said, anyway....

This relates to last Friday's post, it's a poem that my MOM sent over. Yes, my mom. (You might recall from previous posts that my mom is awesome.) It's about Starbucks and it's really good.

Your Punishment in Hell

by Gary Leising

Someone will douse a cobra in gasoline,
light the sucker, and shove it headfirst
down your throat. It'll speed straight
through your esophagus, unfurl
its hood to fill your stomach
then begin to strike and strike and strike
and strike and strike: fangs pierce
your stomach, venom pours in,
the little burn of incipient ulcers
grows quick, paralysis sets in.
Your lungs stop before your brain,
before your hand, which lifts
to your mouth the plastic-lidded
paper cup holding the caramel
macchiato cappuccino with a double
shot of espresso and frothed soy milk
topped with two shakes of cinnamon
and no, NO (yes, you said no twice)
sugar that was made for you
slowly, while I, already running late,
waited behind you for a simple,
already-made black coffee.
You will lose all motion before
that drink reaches your mouth,
but you recover and the drink,
strangely, has vanished, and barrista
and cobra-douser-slash-lighter do it all again
and again. I know this because,
for my angry impatience,
I am behind you in line in hell
forever, the pot of black coffee
behind the counter steaming,
turning, I know, bitter.

"Your Punishment in Hell" by Gary Leising from Fastened to a Dying Animal. © Pudding House Press, 2010. Reprinted withOUT permission.

Getting The Blood Off The Chicken Suit

I feel bad for all you early risers who used to read the posts I scheduled to go up at 6 AM. Of course, on most occasions, I wrote those things at 1 AM during a bout of insomnia, but whatever. I spent any blogging time I might have had tonight putting together an extra-special Halloween post for Bike Rumor. So that's where the action is today. At least you have something to read while you eat your Boo Berry cereal.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Better Sort-Of-Something Late Than Absolutely-Nothing-Never

Being in the middle of a severe content drought here at the Big Bikes, I was going to resort to posting a piece I did for NEMBA Singletracks in the spring that would have been accessible only to card-carrying NEMBA "membahs," but that can wait 'til tomorrow. Instead I am cutting and pasting a comment Zen left on Friday's post (very ambitious of me, I know). He re-worked the lyrics of the 1985 Murray Head song, "One Night In Bangkok" into "One Night In Starbucks." It's more clever than anything I was planning on writing today.

I remember the release of the song "One Night In Bangkok," but it was really just one of those background noise sort of songs in the eighties (from my perspective anyway). I never listened to the lyrics until Zen drew my attention to them, and I was like "What the hell? It was a pop song about chess? Lady Gaga couldn't even pull off a song about chess." Murray makes all these comparisons between the seedy underbelly of Bangkok and the secret world of high-level makes no sense as content for a pop song. Of course, back in 1985, there was no Googling of things, so if I had happened to tune into the lyrics of Murray Head's song I would have been left scratching my (I guess I have to say) head (even though it sounds stupid coming so soon after the name "Murray Head" in a sentence). Now, in 2010, my head-scratching only lasted...wait, that just reminded me of another horrible, pun-related writing mistake I made in my review last week of the Trek Scratch Air 9 on Bike Rumor, I said:

"finally I nabbed a bike I had been itching to ride for a while: the Scratch Air 9."

When I re-read that post I found all sorts of stupid typos, but the thing that elicited the biggest audible UGH! was that unintentional pun. The little comments battle over the naming of the bike and how Trek is ripping off Niner by calling their bike a "Scratch Air 9" when Niner has model called an "Air 9" is pretty funny too. Classic angry, anonymous internet snarkiness at its best.

As I was saying before I so rudely interrupted myself...

Now, in 2010, my head-scratching only lasted a few seconds before I Googled "One Night In Bangkok" and found out that it was actually a song written for a play called Chess, that was written by ex-members of ABBA about chess. Which makes Murray's choice of lyrical content slightly less bizarre and more just lame.

One Night In Starbucks

by Zen of Cycling

Starbucks, Davis Square Cambridge
And the city don't know what the city is getting
The creme de la creme of the Tufts world in a
Show with everything but Thom Parsons
Time flies -- doesn't seem a minute
Since the Diesel Cafe had all the Thom Fans in it
All change -- don't you know that when you
Play at this level there's no ordinary venue
It's Porter -- or the Inman Square -- or Medford -- or -- or this place!

One night in Starbucks and the world's your oyster
The bums are angry but the wifi's free
You'll find a tufts kid typing in oblivion
And if you're lucky the barrista's clean
I can feel the mad bum sliding up to me

One town's very like another
When your head's down over your pieces, brother

It's a drag, it's a bore, it's really such a pity
To be typing at the board, not riding thru the city

Whaddya mean? Ya seen one crowded, polluted, stinking town --

latte, light, warm and sweet
Some are brewed as a as a vanilla treat

Get Chai'd! You're talking to a student
Whose every move's among the purest
I get my kicks above the waistline, sunshine

One night in Starbucks makes a hard man humble
Not much between despair and ecstasy
One night with Big Bikes and the tough guys tumble
Can't be too careful with your company
I can feel the mad bum walking next to me

Dicky, gonna be the witness
To the ultimate test of cerebral fitness
This grips me more than would a
custom 29r or parties with IMBA
And thank God I'm only watching the bum -- recording him --
I don't see you guys rating
The kind of post I'm contemplating
I'd let you watch, I would invite you
But the text we use would not excite you
So you better go back to your bikes, your helmets, your Single Track Trails --

One night in Starbucks and the world's your oyster
The bums are angry but the wifi's free
You'll find a tufts kid typing in oblivion
A little flesh, a little road rash, please
I can feel a mad bum sliding up to me
One night in Starbucks makes a hard man humble
Not much between despair and ecstasy
One night with Big Bikes and the tough guys tumble
Can't be too careful with your company
I can feel the mad bum walking next to me

Friday, October 22, 2010

One Night At Starbucks

Sometimes when I have work to do and I'm having trouble working at the house, I head down to the Starbucks in Davis Square to get down to serious business. I feel lame doing this, but I have my reasons. The Starbucks is right across from the wicked awesome Diesel Cafe, but I don't want to go to the Diesel because there is a high likelihood that I will run into someone I know and, even if I don't, that the people hanging out in there will be more interesting than the work I have to do on the computer. (That, and they charge for Wi-Fi last time I checked.) So I go to the lame Starbucks across the street and hang out with the Tufts kids, and we all sit there with our laptops, clacking away, our faces all pale and alien from the light of our screens.

I recorded the above video the other night while I was down there. That's the great thing about the Flip Mino, I just set it on the table and let it roll while this crazy dude stormed around the place ranting and raving. Many of the other patrons were completely freaked out, especially the dude whose table the nutter slammed his fist on when he says "Should I read a book?" But me, I was secretly kind of siding with the deranged man. I felt like a douche for being in the Starbucks in the first place and he was saying things that I was thinking...very loudly and with a foul odor about him. I wanted to whisper to him "I'm not like these other people, I'm just hiding out here, I'm really a lot more like you than you'd ever imagine...and I'm on Facebook, not Myspace by the way. Nobody goes on Myspace anymore except for pedophiles and bands."

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Weird Beard

You must be wondering what the hell is going on over here at the Big Bikes, well shoot...I don't really know. I am definitely spread a little thin on the inner-nets these days. In fact, today I am spreading thinly right over to the IBC blog, where I did a little write up about the kids bike rodeo I worked yesterday. It is actually pretty silly. Maybe too silly. I incorporate a story about my stupid beard, it's great. So ya, the stupid beard, "what's with that you non-blogging-regularly- douche-bag?" You ask. It's for Halloween, but I'm not sure how exactly it is going to be utilized yet. There are options:

I could go with C. Everett Koop, even though that costume is probably going to be as popular as Lady Gaga and Snooki from Jersey Shore this year.

It might not read well unless I dye my beard white, so that might be out.

I could go with Captain Ahab. I would look forward to going around talking like Gregory Peck all night. If I went this route, I'm afraid I'd go nuts and try to transform my bike into a white whale.

Too ambitious maybe.

Then there's the obvious, Abraham Lincoln thing. Yawn! Although I may have a twist that would make this costume viable. And no, it doesn't involve bullet wounds.

I could go more obscure and dress up as miniature Curtis Inglis. No one would get this one and I really only threw it out there as an entertaining aside for BB readers (that's what we're going to call Big Bikes from now on, because god knows I got no time to spell it out). I've always thought that there's nothing lamer than dressing up as someone you know. It only works if you're going to the same party as that person and if that party is the only place you're going. Too many times I've heard "It's great, I even colored in half my front tooth with Sharpie to make it look like I have a gap in my teeth JUST LIKE HE DOES, it's amazing!" Yes, amazing, next time do us all a favor and go out as Snooki.

Really what I should do is go out as the celebrity I most resemble: The Leprechaun.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Video, Rodeos, and The Zombie Plague

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At the moment I'm still working on getting all the Granogue footage sorted out for Cyclingdirt. I still have to, I say have to, edit vids of the Elite Masters and the Elite Women from day two. The Elite Men day two vid IS up. Somehow I managed to capture the back-and-forth, one-on-one battle for the win between Jesse Anthony and Swiss U23 rider, Valentin Scherz. Valentin overcame what looked to be an insurmountable gap and then Anthony flipped the script, taking it right down to the line to win by a quarter wheel.

I did take a little break to go over and talk about goats on Bike Rumor.

Now I have to take a bigger break and take the frickin' T (that's the subway for you non-Boston folk) over to Newton to get the IBC van for a bike rodeo I'm working tomorrow AM in Needham. I never miss a chance to hog tie and brand children while getting paid. I usually try to avoid the train at all costs, I feel like riding the train is how people get sick, but since I'm the one who's sick right now...screw it, I'll be like patient zero for whatever Zombie-Flu-Plague I'm carrying.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Something Stronger Than Coffee

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The flower-power Pedro's Sprinter van piloted by Dave Wilcox dropped me off at my house at about 1:30Am last night. I went down to Delaware for the Granogue cross races sick and sleep-deprived and only "improved" on that position. I ran on nothing but Dunkin Donuts and Coca Cola all weekend long. On Sunday morning I said to Dave, "Now I understand why doctors do so many drugs. I just have to talk to people today, if I had to perform surgery on someone...I would need something stronger than coffee."

All the interviews are up on Cyclingdirt. Of course there's also Pete Bradhshaw's helmet-cam video from day one (above). He was so inspired by the wearing of the camera that he went right to the front of the race on lap one, all the riders parted like the red sea for him and the rider whose wheel he was holding, it was kind of amazing.

I'll have helmet-cam stuff from Wilcox and highlight videos from both days up later today.

Friday, October 15, 2010

There's Something I've Been Meaning To Tell You

When I was in fifth grade my parents had another child. A couple weeks after IT was born my mom came to pick me up at school with IT in tow. My teacher, Mr. Bishop, seemed shocked when he saw my mom holding a relatively newborn baby, "Thom how come you didn't tell us you have a new baby brother?" "It didn't occur to me" I replied, but in fifth grade-speak it probably came out more like "Um...I dunno."

And that's kind of how I feel right now. I have entirely failed to mention the fact that I will be going down to Delaware to cover the big weekend of cross racing at Granogue for Cyclingdirt. I was going to be going down with the guys from Embrocation in their new Sprinter-type van, but due to an insurance snafu, the van is not going to be street legal in time. Instead I will be bumming a ride with the dudes from Pedro's. This will mark the first time that I have covered an event that I am not racing in as well. I will be doing my best Colt impression all weekend long, I even have his semi-legit, big HD camera, but shit...I better get some lifts in my Vans.

And hey, if you aren't checking my totally sweet Twitter feed or my Facebook status updates like the other three people who read this thing, I wrote a little something about a nutty IF Single-Speed with a Niner fork made special for SSWCs over on the Bike Rumor.

I'm feelin' a little under the weather, so I am going to crash instead of staying up babbling, but we'll have lots to talk about Monday...or Tuesday.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Two For The Earlier Risers Club

No writing of the blog post at 1 AM so you early risers can read it 6 AM, not tonight. Who knows, I may post something more real later on but for now I offer you this...or these:

So go read that stuff and come back later for the quiz.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Columbus Was A Dick, But My Mom Is Awesome

For the past, I'm gonna say three...ya three years, that sounds good, my family and I have spent Columbus day weekend up in East Burke Vermont riding the Kingdom Trails. This mountain bike-themed getaway is entirely my mom's idea. She's over sixty now and she's been riding since she got her first mountain bike at IBC back in the early nineties. We rent an apartment from the the super-nice folks at the Village Inn of East Burke, Loraine and George. The apartment is actually attached to Loraine and George's son's restaurant, Willy's. It used to be that the only game in town food-wise in East Burke was the River Garden Cafe or The Pub Outback, one of which is mediocre and over-priced and the other of which is downright horrible at any price. You can try both and decide which is which. Or better yet, just eat at Willy's because it's amazing.

My niece Lyla says hello to George's bird dogs at The Village Inn

Of course the Tamarack Grill ain't too shabby either, although it's a very different vibe from Willy's. Willy's is rather high end, while the Tamarack is more very-edible pub food. Just watch out for the ever-present old-as-Hell-drunk-as-Hell dude with the GUN seated at the end of the bar. He's cool, just don't piss him off.

Nephew Noah uses the bike wash at the Inn

When I say "my family and I," I'm talking about ELEVEN people. That's eleven people using one bathroom for three days. There's your reality show idea. Screw Jersey Shore; we got East Burke Bathroom. "Hey everyone...guys! I'm taking a shower, does anyone need to get in here first?" (Three people get up simultaneously).

Brother Brad on an $8400 Remedy 9.9 demo

Something I realize every time the non-serious mountain bikers in my family come out to ride is this: I am the least talented natural athlete in my family. My sister gets on a bike once or twice a year and rides like she used to win World Cups. My brother Brad is a ninja with preternatural balance. My brother James was kind of the sleeper, he doesn't usually get out on the trails with us, but this time he did and wow! He would just see me do things and then he would do them. It really makes no sense why my siblings are all such great natural bike handlers. Man, it took me years to get where they're at right out of the gate. It took a whole lot of lonely, frustrating rides on my too-big orange Rockhopper to get to where I'm at.

James: maybe the power is in the bandanna.

And then there's my wife who's made leaps and bounds with her riding prowess over just this past year. She's more on my arc — lots of hard work to offset lack of natural talent. I can't believe the stuff she rides now.

If you're ever taking beginner type folks out in the NEK the best trail to take them on is Vast. It has lots of off-shoots if you want to get all crazy but otherwise it's a scenic straight shot with very little climbing. I'll maybe do a proper "how to ride the Kingdom post" at some point in an attempt to prevent people, people like Rooter, from doing insane things, things like riding UP Moose Alley.

Speaking of riding up things you shouldn't...

I have to wonder, do directional arrows on trails lose something in translation? Do they mean something different in French-Canadian? Because I ran into a whole lot of Quebecois riding up trails that only work in one direction and are simply dangerous to ride in reverse. UP Webs? Are you sérieux? Go die. But please do it somewhere else, don't make me kill you as I ride down a trail that no one in their right mind would ever ride UP. That's what you have to understand about Columbus day weekend in the NEK: it's also Canadian Thanksgiving so the place is overrun with the people who live in America's hat. They move in packs of fifteen or twenty and form blockades at all trail heads and manage to make highway-wide fire-roads impassable. "Hmm, I wonder where the turn for Sugar Hill is? Oh, there it is, it's right there where those twenty people are standing and talking in weird-French."

Most mornings involved a little warm up at the pump track with Noah. He's made a lot of progress too. He's standing when he climbs now and looking where he wants the bike to go; not where it happens to be going at the moment. Next year we'll have him out on the trails for real.

And Lyla...well she presents more of a challenge in the riding bikes department. It's OK though, she has other talents. She knows way more Ke$ha lyrics than I do for instance. And it's not like I don't know Ke$ha lyrics.

It might be the weekend for made-up Canadian Thanksgiving and American genocidal-slave-trader-appreciation-day but for the past few Columbus day weekends I've been given a good reason to feel thankful and to reflect on just how rad my family is.

Things get a little but blurry in the hot tub after a few Dark & Stormy's

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Six Ps and Wicked Ride

I know this is an entirely weak way to start the week, but I am going to blatantly divert you over to the Embrocation Cycling Journal site to read Matt Roy's write up about his harrowing trip to Puerto Rico to "Check over 20 pre-assembled bikes" for an Orbea product launch/Opening of an Adventure Park. It's insane and awesome. He talks about the Six Ps (Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance) and employs Rooter as an example of the Piss-poor performance bit. It'll leave you wishing that Matt would quit his wicked-smart-guy lab job and start blogging full time.

And here's one for the calendar: NEMBA Wicked Ride of The East at Harold Parker on October 31st (click the link for details). If you've never ridden HP, this is the way to do it — with a 25 mile marked loop and chili and barbecue waiting for you when you're done. Wild horses wielding fire hoses and tazers couldn't keep me away.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Night Weasels Cometh: The Videos

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I stayed up 'til 2AM editing this thing, and I'm leaving for the Kingdom Trails in about an hour, so what I'm going to write about today is how I stayed up 'til 2AM editing this thing because I have no time for anything else.

Sounds like George "Not The Evil-Moron" W will be up there as well. We'll be demoing BIKES on Saturday AM at East Burke Sports, so come and play with us if you're in the neighborhood.

Oh, and all the post-race interviews for Der Nacht Wiesels Kommen-eth are up on Cyclingdirt.

I'll have a whole lot to say about the 2011 Trek Bikes when I get back from Vermont. See you then.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Bike Stuff For Sale on Craigslist

Sadly all I have for you today are links to my Craigslist fire sale, I'm busy trying to get the Cyclingdirt vids for the Night Weasels up (oh, the Imovie icon is a-hoppin', I gotta jam).

Buy all my stuff until I don't have any more stuff too sell and then maybe I'll shut up.


Doug is very disturbed that I am selling my Breck skewers...
I guess I'm just not that sentimental. I get no more attached to my stuff than I do to food.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Before We Knew How To Ride Bikes

My buddy Andy sent this over, it's a downhill video from 92-94, back when dudes rode bikes with 0 to 60mm of front suspension travel. It is also, apparently, from a time before people knew how to ride bikes. It's mostly footage of crashes and the crashes are for no good reason. I love the guys who blast down the rutted ski hill section with no consideration for the fact that they are going to have to to take a hard left-hand corner at the bottom. You sit there watching riders flip over their bars and taco their front wheels going "Hmm, maybe that's harder than it looks." But then in the next sequence, when they're simply trying to ride down a set of not-very-steep-at-all stairs, you go "No...these crackheads have no idea how to ride bikes." Of course these same inept, human cannonballs would have no trouble cleaning the same two sections on a modern bicycle with a slack head angle and 8 inches of travel.

And speaking of videos that I'm sure you are not going to watch because you're at work...

I did a little harsh-as-hell review of two new cycling films over on the Bike Rumor last night. It might hurt the directors' feelings, but they hurt my eyes and ears with the trailers for their awful films.

"Both films are sure to be cheesier than David Hasselhoff playing a private concert at a fondue party in Wisconsin, BUT...."

BUT what? I'm going to use a Bike Rumor trick and make you click MORE to find out.

Oh dude, the Night Weasels is a-gonna be gnarly tonight! It's raining Ligers and obese Great Danes out there.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Trek Demos, NEMBA-Fest, and Horrible Hill Climbs For Good Causes

This morning most of my blogging power is being diverted over to the Bike Rumor, got a couple things I'm working on for them.
I did a post yesterday about the Embrocation Cycling Journal/Cinelli Ram 2 custom bar (with some silliness). And I wrote a thing late last night that I thought might push the boundaries of the site's family-friendly content. It's about Fisher-Price toys attacking the genitals of small children. Sounds weird, but it's true and it's better than anything I'm going to write here today, I tell you what.

The photo of the Single-Speed above? That's what I've been doing for the past week: riding my single-speed right out my door and loving it. I can clean stuff on that bike that I have never cleaned on any other bike. I think it's part unicorn.

In the NEWS.

Wednesday night of course we have the Night Weasels in Shrewsbury.

This weekend I'll be up at The Kingdom Trails if anyone wants to meet up for a ride. Trek Demo-guy Dave O' will be up there Saturday at East Burke Sports with a whole fleet of Trek bikes, including carbon Remedies. Info on that:

Demo in the Kingdom

East Burke, VT
Sat. Oct 9th, 2010 @ 10:00 am—3:00 pm

Come by and ride some of the best trails that New England (some say North America)has to offer and while your at it, try out some of the new 2011 full suspension Treks or some Fisher Collection 29ers!


Kingdom trails
route 114
East Burke, VT
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For more info on this great place go to We'll be set up on the East Burke Sports parking lot.

On Monday, that would be Columbus day (not Memorial day, thanks Zen), there's the RDJ Memorial Hill Climb up the gnarly Prospect Hill in Waltham. I won't be around and I don't own a road bike, but if I were and I did, I would be there to hurl myself against that stupid climb like a chickadee against a clean kitchen window. It's a short effort, great training for cross. Really.

Here's a little preview video:

This coming weekend is also NEMBA-Fest up at Bear Brook in New Hampshire. Demo-Dave will be there with the 2011 Treks and there'll be a bunch more demo-bikes available from companies like:

Kona Bicycles, Scott USA, Rocky Mountain Bicycles, Six Six One, Raceface, Kali, Nema, Exposure Lights, Foes, Banchee, MisfitPsycles and more.

There are going to be skills clinics, group rides, night rides, and all sorts of other good stuff. Go HERE for more info.

Apparently there's some big, weird cross-festival going on in Providence as well. Not that there's anything wrong with that sort of thing.

OK, back to "work."

Monday, October 04, 2010

Not It

Once, back when I was a stupid kid living in Boulder, after a long night of partying, I thought it would be a great idea to pick up a cooler full of empty beer and liquor bottles, raise it right up, high over my head and slam it on the floor. My logic: the cooler would stay latched and its fragile contents would shatter inside, it would be f—ing brilliant! But it wasn't really. Mainly because the cooler didn't stay latched, it exploded open, spewing shattered glass all over the carpet. A half-conscious hippy who was lying on the floor with his greasy head resting on the bottom step of a staircase slurred: "Not it!"

And that, is what this post is destined to be — thoughts and ideas scattered all over the place. I'm going to start with a sort of "what I did this past weekend" section and then move into a NEWS section, there's so much stuff coming up right now. Here we go...

Saturday was pretty action packed. In the morning I lead a kids ride at NEMBA's National Take A Kid Mountain Biking Day. It was rad. I had some real rippers in my crew, GB NEMBA president Adam Glick's son Sam was one of the more impressive riders.

Check him out cleaning a sick rock-lunge move above. I'll have a full write up and the whole photo sequence of Sam's move up on the International Bike blog sometime this week.

I got out for a little post kids ride spin. I've been enjoying riding around The Fells, basically my back yard. There are actually a lot of similarities between the trails of Pisgah and Massachusetts. Only difference is the total lack of extended climbing or protracted descending in Mass. That, and we don't have rhododendron groves like they do. The bruise I got on my ass from the above bobble is deep and causing bio-mechanical disruption. I sat down on the pointiest rock I could find from about three feet up. It was great.

Saturday night we did a little bicycle pub crawl down to Harpoon's Octoberfest. OK, not much of a crawl...we stopped at exactly one bar because we were running late. We got to Harpoon an hour before last call. At that point there were hundreds of people lurching down the street like zombies, heading away from Harpoon. There were police everywhere, they were trying to coral the inebriated masses into shuttles. It's always good to show up to the party just as martial law has been declared.

Octoberfest is one of those things people get really excited about and then, once they get there, they go "what the hell am I doing here?" You pay $20 to get in, which gets you one beer ticket. Then you have to wait in long lines to pay bar prices for beer (unless you've got a sweet hook up like I do). Then you stand in a beer and puke covered parking lot drinking your beer while listening to horrible music and repeatedly getting bumped into by glassy-eyed, drooling dudes who want to fight anything that moves. It's awesome.

That said, I will no doubt get bamboozled into going to the thing next year.

Sunday I made it up to Gloucester for the big cyclocross race. I did more walking around and talking to people than I did actual race-watching, which is usually the case at these sort of events.

I talked to local frame builder Matt Budd about getting together to ride the mountain bikes and his crazy shifter mounts.

I did get some spectating in. Seeing Tim Johnson win at his "hometown throwdown" is always nice.

And now...
Here's The NEWS:

Some of you may have noticed that I began contributing to Bike Rumor last week. It's a challenge, I can't just go over there and talk weird like I do over here. I have to throw some facts in there as well. I do try to bring my "voice" into the stuff though. Here's a list of the posts I've done thus far:

The Ergon thing and the G-Force thing have a good amount of silliness in them. Definitely more silliness than I have going on here today, that's for sure. I've been shamelessly bugging all of my "industry insider" friends for hot tips. If you, Big Bikes reader-person, have anything you think I should write about, hit me at wellonabigbikeya at the gmails with the dot com.

In an attempt to be more inter-netty, I have re-joined the Twitter. My handle is "BigBikesThom" because some undeserving prick had already taken BigBikes. I was shocked to find that Twitter has a blog. I wish I could think of a good analogy for what that's like. Is it more like a kangaroo wearing a front-facing fanny pack or buying the Cliff Notes for a book only to find they are longer than the book itself? Or is it nothing like either of those things? We'll never know.

So you can follow me on the Twitters but I'm not sure where you'll be following me to. If I could find that scene from Animal House where the dude grabs the marching band leader's baton and leads the band into a dead-end alley on Youtube, I would link to it. Because that would be very accurately illustrative of people following me on Twitter.

If you live under a rock (you obviously don't live under the same rock I do, otherwise we probably would have bumped into each other at some point) there is a f—ing massive cyclocross race this Wednesday NIGHT up in Shrewsbury, MA: The Night Weasels Cometh. It's brought to you by some of the same people as The Ice Weasels Cometh, along with some different people. My only real involvement with the thing was the doodling of the above logo. I went to art school, I used to know how to draw, I don't know what happened. I'll also be covering it for Cyclingdirt. Hey, I gotta earn my FREE, sexy Crossresults kit somehow.

Alright, that's all the news that will fit today, I got a couple more things but they can wait until tomorrow or the next day or the next day.

Friday, October 01, 2010

At Least I'm Consistent

Consistently a douche!

I know I've spent the entire week re-directing you to the 29er Crew blog for the Pisgah Mountain Bike Stage Race Reports. Well, I hate to do this to you...wait a second, no I don't, I love to do it. I'm like a re-directing Marque De Sade over here and I'm going to re-direct you to the International Bike blog for my write ups about a couple things:

The Kids Bike Donation I worked on with Nicole Freedman and Mayor Menino over in Roxbury. That was fun.


The post about further preparation of kids bikes in the scary attic of IBC. It involves Embrocation Cycling Journal, Vampires, Raiders of The Lost Ark, and other things that are scary. Not that Embrocation Cycling Journal is scary. Well, the price of an issue is scary, but not like crap your pants scary. Not like Raiders Of The Lost Ark face-melting scary, not like that.

It is time for the computer to go away for the night, I have stared at it far too long today pursuing more legitimate on-line pursuits that I will hopefully be able to talk about soon.

Alright, one more thing...

I will be down at The Fells Saturday morning, leading rides NEMBA's Take A Kid Mountain Biking Day while representing my sponsor International Bicycle Center. I think I'm doing the 10 and 11 AM rides, so come on down if you're semi-local.

And annuver fing...

I'll be up at The Gran Prix of Gloucester this Sunday drinking the beer and watching the cross. If you haven't come up to Stage Fort Park to watch this race, I highly recommend you do so. It is an amazing venue and the racing is always INSANE.