Archive for November, 2009

FOTP in the books

Saturday, November 28th, 2009

That would be the Flight Of The Pigs 2009. The 14th annual, my first, and the best ride I’ve done all year.
Here is the formula. Take Jim and Kim, who just know how to do it up as far as mountain bike rides in PHX go, add old and new friends, the Gnome, warm weather, perfect functioning bicycles, the AZ National trail, Zoe’s, Hoss’ custom silver pins, and beer……and my friends, you have a winner.
But it starts before that…
Did you ever wonder who is the fastest person in a Dharma Wheels jersey? I didn’t think so, but the fact is that Pro rider and AZ state champ Lance Runyan (both MTN and Road) is at the top.
the fact is also that Lance is also super fun to ride with even when you are slow and out of shape like me.
So, we regrouped (this time with Freedom Board Shop riders Branden and Terry) along with many eastern PHX riders at the stroke of 7 for the FOTP’s. The AZ National trail was awesome. Hard, full of difficult spots, but full of trailside wagers and good old fashion competitions – both among riders, and personal competitions just to make it up certain climbs. In the end, whether you made it up the rock face without dabbing, or beat out your buddy, there were smiles and laughter. The trail mellowed, the riders regrouped, and I took a photo with the Gnome.
After completing the National Trail, we rode through Phoenix and had lunch at Zoe’s.
Then to the north of town, for more trail riding, a beer and bacon stop at Hunt’s tomb, and the BBQ at the Wilcox home.
A+. Super fun people, great trails, excellent food, a truly great, epic, all day experience. Oink!

One for Bill.

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

Our friend Bill Thompson died in Moab. 1946-2009.
Bill was one of those guys who did a ton. Great family, rode a bunch, did trail work before there was any organized foundations. Had bikes stashed all over the world. Knew routes by heart in southern France. We’ll miss you buddy. The office and shop are thinking about you and the family. And it was a pleasure to meet Marion yesterday – I hope she digs her smile! All donations go to the mountain trails foundation…and for the celebration monday, everybody was encouraged to bike or rollerski in….awesome.
On a happier note, today is drive to AZ day. But first, packing must be done. Weather looks nice, trails are going to be nice, and the MV is ready for me. Maybe I”ll end up in the LFTT bathroom?
Should be nice, got the MP3 player loaded up. Got books on tape. Kim thinks there may be a lack of Hope in my life based on my choices. The books I chose for the trip are ‘The Audacity of hope” by el presidente, “the anatomy of hope” and “Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance”. Fuck hope, hope won’t pay my student loan/business loan. Only putting teeth and selling custom bikes pays that. On second thought, pulling teeth and FIXING custom bikes pay that.
Hey, I”ll post shit from AZ.

Tailgating is Fun…especially for a cross race

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

I hope you all buried the fun-meter this weekend. Yes, the resorts opened. Yes, at 8:30am on Sunday I began taking out MY ski shit and made it over for an hour of power.
But the real story is how much fun Saturdays Cyclocross Race was.
Bruno has better pics, but here’s the story.
Chris P (Endurance Cycle Service) and I roll into town with the tent, a heater, a 30 pack, a grill, hotdogs….and bacon.
The weather got colder as the day wore on….eventually ending in snow showers. We provided bacon handups after the fist couple of laps (when people got a little tired of turning themselves inside out for 39th place).
Success with the bacon handups, success with the Pabst handups. Except for the 14 year old kit who kept trying to “get a beer for his dad”. We even had hotdog handups as a success in the C’s, the Women and the B’s. The A’s are real serious, and fast, so I’m not too worried about their well being. Chris Fox was, as he provided dollar bill handups…
In International Cross news, my boy JP lights up Belgium.
Alright, time to ski, because everybody in AZ is going to ask if I”ve gone yet….but not before I post this from Tim.

Today is a big day.

Saturday, November 21st, 2009

Well, ever since I joined facebook, it has been easier keeping up with friends. At least I know when the Michigan/OSU game is.
But lets get on the the important stuff.
When you run a super duper cycling team…and a custom shop with pimpin brands, people “ask” you for things and favors. When I was younger and afraid, I’d always say yes. Now, I usually say fuck you and no.
But word trickled down to me through the inner circles about a little cyclist in Michigan who has cancer. His family is celebrating Christmas this weekend…and for all of you who are too hungover or dim to understand what that means, its because he is not going to make it to Christmas. All this little stud wanted was some christmas cards from bicycle teams. So, the DWC Team was more than happy to oblige. Did you still want to bitch about something in your life?
On a happier note, we are starting to get christmas orders at the shop. Let me recommend, for the cyclist in your life, a flask/holder combo or a thermos/holder combo. Here is the flask…
Nothing says, ‘Honey, I don’t care if you get sloshed on your 1 hr snowbike ride’ like a flask of whiskey….mmmmmm…mmmmm…mmmmm.
Speaking of whiskey, Kim, ChrisP and I went to the High West Distillery party yesterday afternoon. What a great place. Fantastic whiskey and fantastic service. The link is here.
ChrisP and Kim at the bar.
and Chris’ sweet Softride. I told you 650B wheels were all the rage.
Alright, time to put the slayer on the IPOD, polish up the viking hat, and get ready for the cyclocros tailgate. Yes, its one of the reasons the shop it booked out until after the new year – becasue nobody will be there today. Hey, come on down to Heber and enjoy the cross race. It’ll be fun. Maybe you’ll see shit like this. If you do, give this guy a wedgie.

And lastly, big Jonny’s legal review of a motorist shooting at a cyclist. Props to JK, your in my corner buddy…and that corner has jello shots.

Also written with Eric, our Tuscon Bike Lawyer. Just makes you glad to be alive, don’t it?

A former Asheville firefighter will spend 120 days in jail for shooting at a bicyclist, narrowly missing his head with a bullet that pierced the man’s helmet.

Charles Alexander Diez, 42, pleaded guilty Thursday to assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, but testified during his sentencing hearing that he only fired a warning shot and didn’t intend to hurt Alan Ray Simons.

“I was the one who felt truly, truly threatened,” Diez told the court. “It was not my intention to shoot him.”

As if that wasn’t enough to get your blood boiling, there is more.

Simons described being confronted by the 17-year Fire Department veteran on the morning of July 26 as he was riding his bike along Tunnel Road with his 4-year-old son in a seat on the back and his wife on another bike.

He said Diez yelled at him from his car, claiming he was putting the boy’s life in danger by riding on the busy roadway.

“We were out for an enjoyable ride, minding our own business,” Simons said. “At any point, he could have left.

“When I got to his door, the gun was pointing at my chest. I turned to walk away, (and) the gun went off. He chose to pull the trigger.”

This is a story many a cyclist can relate to on a very personal level because many of us have been there before. I sounds so goddamn familiar. We’ve lived it for years. You, the cyclist, is out on a ride. A passing motorist takes it upon himself to yell out his car window that you are 1) dangerous, 2) shouldn’t be on a bike, and 3) clearly in the wrong. Cyclist yells back something equally worthless. Tit for tat. Just like we’ve all been through, countless times out on the nation’s roadways. Just like it always goes, right?

This story goes another step further, to a place only some of us have been before. You see, sometimes the motorist stops and wants to fight. I’ve not been in such a punch up myself. But, I have had a guy get out of his car and come at me, wanting to trade blows. More than once. If we haven’t been in a fist fight ourselves, I’m sure you’ve heard stories such as I have from numerous friends and cycling acquaintances about people who have. I could name three or four guys right now that have been in fights with motorists. It happens. A lot.

On this fateful day, Diez stopped his automobile to continue the altercation. It was the first of a series of conscious choice he made. Remember, the car was passing by when this exchange began. Diez most certainly could have just kept on driving. Diez said he “felt threatened.” Well, why then did you stop your car? That big scary cyclist could have been nothing more than a passing memory disappearing in your rearview mirror, save your choice to take it to the next level. Nine time out of ten, in like situations, the motorist just keeps on rolling. Not this time. This time, Diez chose to pull over, he chose to wrap his hand around the grip that firearm, he chose to point his gun at Simon, and he chose fire a round at Simon’s head.

Right in front of the man’s family.

You’d think at this point the motorist has really crossed a line. That he has clearly attempted to kill another man. You might also think that society cannot tolerate such behavior. That this man should be punished for his action, for the choices he made that day, the choices that very nearly left a young boy fatherless.

You might think that, but you’d be wrong.

Police initially charged Diez with attempted first-degree murder after consulting District Attorney Ron Moore. But a grand jury declined to indict him on that charge, instead opting for the lesser assault charge. A first-degree attempted murder conviction requires a trial jury to find the elements of premeditation and deliberation.

Ok, no premeditation and deliberation. I can follow it thus far. Charge what you can get a conviction for. Nothing more, nothing less. (See, See also, The state opted instead to pursue a charge of assault with a deadly weapon.

But, still, four months seems a bit light for shooting a gun at someone’s head and missing that target by an inch. Assault with a deadly weapon is a serious offense, commonly resulting multiple years of incarceration.

The presumptive sentence for someone convicted of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill is 20-39 months under state sentencing guidelines.

Downs ruled that mitigating factors present for sentencing purposes in this case include that Diez has good character, served in the military, supports his family financially, has a positive employment history and has a good support system in the community. The judge found no aggravating factors, and Diez had no criminal record.

Mitigating factors my ass. What is unsaid, but I suggest extremely relevant, is the fact that Mr. Simon’s was 1) a bicyclist, and 2) not killed by that bullet. The fact the Simon rode a bicycle means he is presumptively wrong. Those who ride bicycles do not matter. And, the fact that Simon’s wasn’t killed allows people to think less of what could have happened that day, and concentrate instead on point one – he was a cyclist and they are always wrong.

The six hundred point gorilla in the room is the fact that we’re dealing with a cyclist. No one gives a shit about a cyclist. Not the motorists, not the cops, not the judges, and not the people on the jury. No one. Riding on a busy street with your kid? You’re holding up traffic. You’re dangerous. You’re wrong. You deserve to get yelled at. And if you talk back, you should expect to get dealt with. Harshly.

That is exactly what happened here.

I take my kids for bicycle rides, from time to time, in a trailer I tow behind me. My wife often rides along side on a second bicycle. What this case tells me is the next time we do so; I have to take whatever shit some asshole yells at me out his car window as he drives by. Because, if I don’t just take it like a good little boy, he might pull over, get out of his car, and shoot me right in front of my family. And if he does so, it will be my fault.

Because, clearly, I am a cyclist. And I am wrong.

Oh my, for the first time in 5 years I did something nice.

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

For the first time in 5 years, I took a lunch time ride. Its funny, for the first time in 5 years, we’ve started taking a lunch hour. You may think I’m strange, but let me tell you….at my old office (where I was not the major partner), we took 2 hr lunch breaks. I love you Jeffrey, but, it was too long.
So, then at the new office, the desire to always be available squashed out lunches. Well, we’re booked out until the new year, have 4 custom bikes going this month (normally the slowest month in the bike industry) and its time to take a lunch hour bitches.
Saturday there is a cross race…hopefully it goes like this….

Hey, I can’t copy the little animated thing, so go here and see it. You’ll laugh.
Mr. Smith sent me this…
Top shelf…I was in Playgirl.
Stevil did not send me this….
Or this…
Maybe Santa Cruz is fucked up.
Not as fucked up as MLPS….big props to the dick handup.

Super bad ass shit happening.

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

More badass then Lee Marvin…my idol
We have a new section for the website…the product of the “month”…and by month, I mean whenever the fuck I get to it.
1. Team kits have been ordered. Man, its always harder than it looks. But you people are worth it.
2. Hats (cycling caps) have been ordered. I, for one, am super excited.
3. We for sure are going to have Pugsleyfest….sometime in Jan.. ..We’ll pick a sunny Saturday and round up the Pugsleys in this town for a snow festival. There will be cheap beer, and even cheaper tequila.
4. Just FYI, 100% of the team sponsors I asked to be a part of the team contributed $$$. Seriously, thats freaking awesome.

Another SSCXWC Race Report.

Saturday, November 14th, 2009

Here it is from stumptown…

Results and Aftermath
Written on November 10th, 2009 at 7:47 pm by editor
It was Stumptown, not Bartertown, and Mad Max and Auntie Entity were conspicuous by their absence. But there was a Thunderdome and a battle, and when it was over, Canadian Drew MacKenzie and Seattle’s Kari Studley were the winners of the Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships (SSCXWC).
While finding a winner is the ultimate goal of any competition, the spectacle and zaniness of the event largely overpowered the actual race. Held on the sloppy grounds of Portland International Raceway, with Audis and Porsches racing on the track 50 yards away, the SSCXWC showcased course furniture seen only in sci-fi movies. Well, one movie in particular: Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. The promoters of the race acquired a to scale version of Mad Max’s thunder dome, about 1300 square feet worth, that racers passed through each lap. Three acrobats suspended in harnesses taunted the racers as they snaked through the dome, raining marshmallows and heckles. No one was spared. Spectators climbed the dome to witness the madness and join the heckling.
Elsewhere on the course, racers had to contend with more “traditional” obstacles like barrier sets, muddy, off camber stretches, a football field sized mud bog, a school bus with dancing strippers as a short cut, and barriers with launch ramps. Needless to say, this made for some extended lap times compared to early races run on the regular course.
The race started off with a Braveheart/Le Mans style introduction, complete with a kilted bag pipe player. All 250 racers, men and women, placed their bikes along the center of a large field. Half the racers went to the west side, the other half to east side. After the countdown and the yelp of freedom, racers dashed to find their machines and vie for the all important hole shot. As the racing began so too did Black Sabbath cover band Rat Salad fueling the energy around the Thunderdome.
Portland frame building icon Tony Pereira was the first to the top of the hill winning, somewhat ironically, a Raleigh SSCXWC frameset for his efforts. Matthew Slaven made it around the first lap quickest netting the glory of being the first cross racer to ever ride through the Thunderdome. Following him was a field of outrageously dressed racers; many in Mad Max style costumes, others in frighteningly uncomfortable looking “race kits.” Drew MacKenzie came though donned in his golden speedo from last year’s victory. Barry Wicks rolled around dressed in a sweater vest and what looked like wool britches (as well as a musette full of adult beverages that he happily dispersed to a willing crowd.) Ryan Trebon ran most of the first lap with his dog on a leash. Two racers dressed as though they just walked off the Mad Max movie set raced a single speed Madsen cargo bike, one person pedaling while the other person sat in the cargo bucket waiting to assist on the dismounts.
As more rain and darkness fell, the officials rang the final lap bell and the winners emerged. How the judges could keep track of 250 people on the course at one time wearing all manner of outfits is beyond comprehension. MacKenzie will add another SSCXWC tattoo to his skin. Also, a custom built Pereira Cycles single speed cross bike will look nice next to his Vanilla Speed Wagon from last year. Studley, too, will be graced with an SSCXWC tattoo and will be seen next season riding a custom rig from Spanner Bicycles.
Directly following the finish the second SSCXWC competition began. The battle for race ownership for next year’s edition came down to two cities: Seattle and San Francisco. Naturally, the battle took place in the Thunderdome. Two people entered, one person left. Seattle’s contestant: an energetic man poised for whatever lay in store for him. San Francisco’s contender was an equally ready woman who will be forever known as St. SanFran as she toppled Seattle in a sumo style mud wrestling bout in front of a surly crowd. The day before Seattle was victorious in part one of the hosting battle, a debate moderated by SSCXWC promoters. With the score at one win for each city, the tie breaker came from the race results. Since Kari Studley of Seattle won the women’s race, she also won ownership for Seattle next season.
Truly, Portland gave the race an unforgettable send off. Racers and spectators couldn’t help but smile and laugh, and stories will be told for many weeks to follow. When the race came to fruition three years ago it reminded participants that the essence of this sport is fun through competition. Each year following that mantra has been clear and proud. Seattle certainly has some big shoes to fill but if their performance and enthusiasm this last weekend is any indication, they’ll do just fine.
I”d like to honor Elden, creator of Mo-vember….as in mustache and november.
I think team fatty is in Moab, but you should check out his site here.

One for the weekend…

Saturday, November 14th, 2009

If you have a daughter, tell her NOT to get this tattoo…
I’d like to thank Barry for that one.
And I’d like to thank the other Jonny K, for this one…

I mean, I’ve been checking out this site for years…

A love/hate of technology

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

Some days you eat the bar…some days it eats you.
Finally got a real phone…cell phone that is…and I spent 3 hours trying to print out 10 photos of custom bikes we’ve done at the shop…all to be derailed by the fact that the printer doesn’t like the new ink cartridge. Fuck me.
Hey, big thanks to big jonny for sending in this…..

Another Monday.

Monday, November 9th, 2009

Its cool. I’m ready for the week.
Had to turn my phone off last night as the SSCXWC’s party raged into the night. I need my beauty sleep my friends.
Team party this Thursday…5-7pm