Monday, December 19, 2011

December 18th never looks so grim.

Long time, no see around these parts. The day to day has been, as they say, one foot in front of the other. The plate has been full and fulfilling my team member obligations to Soulcraft LLC has been rough. I've avoided attending a half a dozen races, and got busted peeing on the side of the trail twice, but to counter that, I've done a boat load of trail work and packed out a metric shit ton of garbage from the woods. To celebrate the karmic and professional balance, Demonika and I went out in the peak of December's wintery bluster and messed some patches of dirt up.
The gods and I thank me.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


SS or with gears? fenders or not? racks or not? options = good for this fat tire road bike.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Tofurky Day!

Yes, Tofurky. Yes, I am a hippie.

But I was thinking today about how thankful I am to have not one, but two glorious steeds to choose from:

Doesn't get much better than that. Unless, of course, I could learn to wheelie like my hubby Andy. That would make life just that little bit better.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Proof is in the Pudding

Without further ado, pictures from the triathlon. It was worth every bit of the five dolla chop (fried chicken with fries) and Belikin Beer afterwards. On the side of the street I might add sitting in a parking lot. Not to mention hanging out in an Esso Gas Station eating candy, ice cream and drinking beers while waiting for the rain to pass. This is Belize!

Before the event, pumping it up. Our team. Breezie ran, Kelly swam, and I cycled. We called ourselves the "Soul Tornadoes". There is a hit song in Belize by Lovaboy called "Slow Tornado", and for the longest time I thought it was "Soul Tornado". Go figure. We happily adopted the name as a team. We are all Peace Corps Volunteers (PCV) serving in Business and Organizational Development Strengthening. The video is pasted below for your viewing pleasure.

Here is the bike I used. We borrowed it from a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer that ironically still lives in Belize. Technically, she is not 'returned' to USA. I flatted 1/4 of the way into my final lap, and carried the bike to the finish line. No tubes. Oh well. Life goes on.

This is Taylor, and this is the bike he started out with. It was also a borrowed bike from another PCV. He also had technical difficulties with his bike and the chain popping off. He ditched the bike, and picked up someone else's bike along the way to finish.

This was our team number. We were excited to have the number.

After we finished. Thank goodness we did.

The entire PCV crew including Taylor, who did the entire triathlon by himself instead of the relay team option. The gal that got us involved, one of the locals and PC staff, did both the relay and the individual. Talk about motivated.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

fun time still

had a great fall here in the middle west. blustery today but not that bad.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Holy Hell. I am racing again!

Yes, that's right folks. It's been since June 2008 that I saddled up to race. Definitely have put in my share of riding miles plus some over the past few years, and now it's time to put the pedal to the medal. In Belize of all places. No public shame.

This will be taking place in Belize City, on a Sunday (November 20th), at 6:30am. And, it's a Super Sprint Triathlon meaning it's shortened. Please don't cringe. I will be competing on a team with two other Peace Corps gals, Kelly and Breezie, who will be doing the swim, and the running respectively. Yours truly will be the cyclist on board. It's 6.6. miles of cycling. The flyer says something like 10km, or something or another.

My training = riding a coaster bike on a daily basis through a village of about 2500 on dirt.

The diet of champions = conch ceviche, tortilla chips, tacos, Chokis Cookies (these are the bomb here - similar to Chips Ahoy, but definitely tastier) especially dipped in milk, ice cream, papaya, bananas, oranges, oatmeal, beans, carrots, broccoli, beets, potatoes, apples, peanut butter, eggs and pancakes. Of course some beers, Cosmos, and maybe a Cuban Cigar since those can be found on the streets around here. No telling what pre-race fair will be the night before or the day of.

My race kit = my Soulcraft shorts for sure, and maybe my jersey. I have a Peace Corps Futbol jersey, and that may go over my Soulcraft jersey. Oh, and the Soulcrafts socks. Probably ribbons in my hair as well. Shoes will probably be flip-flops. Maybe I shouldn't be wearing socks.

My bike = borrowed from a former Peace Corps Volunteer who lives here and races road on occasion. She is in the States right now pursuing pastry chef school in Chicago. Look forward to her return. I could get away with racing my bike that I use here in the village, but was offered this bike, so why not. Hope I remember how to shift!?!

My equipment = Peace Corps issued bike helmet that will definitely sustain any fall should I take a spill. Soulcraft water bottle because 6.6 miles is a long way...

I promise I will post pictures for my next posting. In the meantime, wish us luck!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Even Stan Beaver rides a Dirtbomb.

When Stan's sober alter ego Dan Cheever rolls, it's a beautiful bicycle, but when Stan gets on board, it's a rolling shit show. Speaking of the Dirtbombs and shit shows, WTF, man?

Friday, October 21, 2011

My next door neighbor lubed my chain with EVOO

Since I have been in Belize, approximately a bit over six months, I have borrowed two bikes. I have yet to purchase a bike. Before I left the USA, my plan was to have my Soulcrafts shipped to me. Now that I have arrived at my placement site for the next two years, that plan has to be adjusted. I live on the coast, and there are no paved roads where I live. The population of the village is about 2500, and the main form of transport is the bike. The problem is that rust is rampant here due to the moisture, and the climate. At this point, will not be shipping the Soulcrafts out. Mom did manage to send boxes that I left back in the USA to be shipped when I arrived at my posting, and in one of the boxes is my baby blue Soulcraft hoodie. That will have to do for now.

So, back to the borrowed bikes. The first bike I was lent was a hot pink s/s coaster with a basket. The Peace Corps Volunteer I replaced, had borrowed a bike from one of the other local PCVs, and that PCV was in no hurry to retrieve her bike. I rode that bike right up until the beginning of September. All during this time, I have been shopping around for a bike. One of the challenges is that I can buy a bike in the village, but the shop that sells them, sells them at a premium, which they can. After all, they have to haul the bikes here. I really haven’t found one at the shop I am fond of, and has all the accessories I need such as fenders, basket, and so forth. There is a shop that has the goods, but the challenge would be to haul the bike here on the bus, or find one of the locals with a car that can haul it back. The shop is about 2 hours away from me. I talked the shop owner a couple of days ago, and he said he could leave the bike in the box, but then I am faced with putting the bike together with no bike tools!

In the meantime, after riding first borrowed bike, my landlord has now lent me his bike. He has two cars, and his son lives next door and has plenty of bikes. No basket, and no fenders. There is maybe a trace of paint from the original paint job. The seat has seen it’s better days, as there is no cushion – only the seat molding. Ouch. The seat post is also rusted into the frame, the chain is rusted, and the foam around the handlebars is falling off. Needless to say, I have a bike for now, and it works. My work partner frequently borrows it at work, since he has a car and no bike now. Lucky for me, when he borrows it, he airs up the tires for me. Sometimes I think I should be ashamed to say I am a cyclist since I have let go of what tire pressure means. I know when the tires need air if my bike starts to roll slow. That’s my gauge. Go ahead, sure you are probably cringing as you read this, but there is something simplistic about knowing by tuning into the bike. The tires here are pretty heavy duty anyways.

My next door neighbors also borrow my bike. Yesterday, they borrowed it and brought it back with the tires aired up. Shortly after that, one of them came over and mentioned to me that my chain needed lube, and proceeded to ask if I had any cooking oil. I quickly produced my olive oil. He remarked that it wasn’t “1-2-3” which is vegetable oil and the common brand in the households here. I told him, no it’s olive oil. I don’t think he had probably ever seen nor heard of olive oil before. Really. Shamir then proceeded to lube my chain with the oil. Who in the world would have thought of that? I think it is awesome to be resourceful. Granted this is not a race bike, or even close to it, but what a great call. After my lubing my chain, Shamir looked up at me, and mentioned that he had a tool to work on my chain to make my bike go faster. My chain consistently pops off due to it being stretched out. I have learned how to put the chain back on without having to remove any parts or with any tools. I said okay, and he took my bike away. He came back with a relatively new chain on it, and showed me how fast I could now go on my bike by lifting up the back tire, and cranking the pedals. He then gave me a huge smile!

He also asked me earlier if I wanted to touch the goat he was holding my the horns in the yard. There is a pack of goats that roam freely around my neighborhood. I told him that I would leave him to touching the goat – he looked like he was doing a good job.

While I know I have not been the best at keeping up with the postings, I hope to do better in the future now that I am settling in. Can’t say that I will be doing racing anytime soon unless it’s on my coaster.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

autumn rides

on my first soulcraft. still serves me well.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


I just trimmed out my beloved Dirtbomb with an all-rounder fork from East Coast ner-do-well Chris Igleheart. Damn, Jan. That's a lot of home crafted goodness.



Tuesday, October 4, 2011

we have clearance


700x32 slick in long reach caliper mounted to one badass road bike


segmented fork crown for long reach caliper sexy...

Thursday, September 29, 2011


Director Sporty crafted me another dream come true bike. Grasshopper is the name. Going down the road is game.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Interbike 2011

Upon touching down in Vegas the smart thing to do is ask your cabbie to stop at a liquor store on the way to the hotel. A time honored move that will save you loads. That's Rick. He enjoys single malted Scotch and a cigar to wind down the day.

A couple of trash bags from the housekeeper down the hall, some ice, and we're in business.

The guys at The Hive were kind enough to bring our display down for us.  Dealing with the union guys down there is no walk in the park.  All we had to do was roll our cart a couple hundred feet and we're all set!

That night we had dinner with Paul and his clan.  At some point I came across the reason our country is in so much trouble.  On the right is your standard 16oz whatever.  On the left is the "single serving of diabetes".  Must be at least a gallon.

Wednesday started early with drinks at the bar until 2am.  Then up and ready for all comers by 9am in the convention hall.  We shared with King Cage, Two Fish, Bruce Gordon, and Slipnot.  The coolest 100 square feet at the show.  One of the few places at the show where you could shake hands with the person who actually made the parts on display.  "Hey, when are they going to turn the lights on?"  "Uhm, they are on".  Made for a very intimate setting.

Here with Bruce Gordon himself.  As you can see Bruce gets pretty excited when Interbike rolls around.

Here we have Wes Williams (right) who is credited by many with creating the 29r.  On the far left is JayMac, who was the guy in charge of garment production and purchasing at Swobo 1.0 and 2.0.  The guy in the plaid shirt is some sort of groupie.

On the way out on the last day I spied this about to be boxed up.  A new replica of a mid-eighties Kuwahara.  Got me all nostalgic but for $350 I couldn't pull the trigger.

To top off the week we got to help White Industries pack up their booth which we were more than happy to do considering all they've done for us over the years.  Then they took us to dinner.  Super nice.

Almost forgot to mention the "work" part of the trip.  Standing at the booth all day talking is a picnic.  This other stuff is crushing. Thursday night was the Soulcraft/AHTBM/Ritte/Paved Magazine Party at the Peppermill Fireside Lounge.  Big pressure to look your best and all.  Sometimes a helping hand makes all the difference.  

Here we are delivering a couple $30 six packs to the table.  Yeah, $60 for 12 beers (with tip).  But hey, we were playing host so it was the least we could do.

We recently delivered a Dirtbomb to Evgeni Plushenko.  He was kind enough to show up and say thanks.  Humbling, if not somewhat uncomfortable.

Hurl telling JayMac, "Check out what I just saw in the men's room."

At every party there comes a time when you realize it's time to go.  That you've reached the point of diminishing returns.  This was that point.  See you guys next year.

I think I was in Las Vegas.

It sure seems so, though from what I can remember of it, those may have been mental images from last year.
Or the year before.

As usual, we here in the Soulcraft camp came through with handsome colors.

Have you seen us? We all are incredibly good looking.

The new Soulcraft stems were causing quite a buzz, as was the fact that we even had an official presence at the show for the first time in over a decade.

Of course thanks go to the Interbike organizers for putting us in the one corner of the 900,000,000 square foot exhibition hall with no lights, but that's pretty much just par for the course.

Happy twelfth birthday to us, and there's no need to say it.. We're well aware we don't look a day over ten.

I'm sure Captain Sport Pants will come in here and actually make a post that is a bit more official, and also probably make mention of the fact that I keep referring to 'we', when in fact I don't do jackshit for the betterment of the company. I just like to feel as though I belong.

In closing, I might like to offer a shot of Lanolin from Ritte Racing and Captain Sporty at our annual 'Bike Industry Bottom Dweller Extravaganza'®. We showed Las Vegas just what we were capable of and emerged with a few dollars less in our pockets and not a whole lot smarter.

What happened in Vegas stayed in Vegas, our self respect included.

But 'we're' Soulcraft.

You wouldn't expect anything less.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Barn Burner 104 with Soulcraft buddies

Raced the local Barn Burner 104 miler last weekend on a team with fellow Soulcrafter Leslie Gilmore. We've known each other for a bunch of years, but this is the first time we've ever raced together! It was a bunch of fun, and we earned ourselves some sweet belt buckles.
Leslie's husband Stacy raced, too-his first race ever, about 3 days before his new Soulcraft showed up! I think he'll be doing some more races on his sweet new bike :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Steamboat Springs, ColoRADo

MW on Wyoming Trail 1101. Continental Divide, near Steamboat Springs, CO. Looking into Mt Zirkel Wilderness. Aug 12, 2011.

Great weekend camping and riding with fellow Soulcrafter, MW and other Nebraska buds near Steamboat Springs, CO.

More photos here:

steamboat springs

spent a nice long weekend camping, riding, drinking and making fires. singlespeed and rigid was the mode. scotty took this pic. brother kline and ganz took some nice ones as well.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A visit to the Honeycomb Hideout

Stopped by Hunter Cycles to say hello to Rick and check out his sweet shop. Like us, Rick likes machines.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Mattson 2 playing in SF

Our friends The Mattson 2 are playing this Saturday at Una Pizza Napoletana in San Francisco.  You should check them out, and have some mind blowing pizza while you're at it.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I have friends that make stuff.

As I was going through some off my photos recently, I realized I know a huge array of extraordinarily talented individuals. I know folks with a knack behind a sewing machine, like Cory from Dank Bags who is known far and wide for his c├╝zies, bags and Beernet helmets;

Or there are people who make art, like Jason Jagel

Or hand tooled leather aprons;

Sometimes my friends even make history;

I know musicians, carpenters, writers... and that doesn't begin to touch on the numbers of folks who build bikes. Captain Sporty, Rick the Stick, The Filipino Mafia, Grumpy Bruce, Robio.. The list goes on and on, as would the nicknames.
I even know people whose gift is making an ass out of themselves;

As all of this was occurring to me, I counted myself very lucky to be surrounded by such talent. Now all I need is for some of it to rub off on me.

Blog Archive