Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Single Speed Cyclocross World Championship

When Lance Speaks, The World Bows Down...

Ryan Adams - City Rain, City Streets

Prince - Purple Rain

Blame It On The Rain...

Any shortcomings I have today will be blamed on the rain.  That's my defense!  Looks like a cold front is coming in and it is coming with a lot of rain.  I really don't mind rain and I don't mind the cold.  But, when you put the two together, it sucks! 

Yesterday I started my "off season" weight training even though I am still in the middle of CX season.  I got up early and hit the weights at the gym for about 45 minutes and then rode the bike on the trainer for another 45 minutes.  I haven't rode on my new trainer yet even though I've had it for nearly a year.  I've never been a big fan of trainers.  If you want to get a bike workout, ride your damn bike!  Anyhow, I felt like riding the bike and watching a movie at the same time.  So instead of trying to mount my laptop to my handlebars and hit the road, I opted to stay inside the house and watch the movie while on the trainer.  Anyway, riding the trainer and starting back on the weights has me feeling a bit sore.  But that's ok because I can blame it on the rain today.

While I was on the trainer, I watched "The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia".  I must say, this was one disturbing documentary.  The White family is CRAZY!  Drugs, alcohol, more drugs, murder, music, dancing and more murder.  Those are the words that describe the lives of the White family.  You could probably find some similar characters around these parts of Tennessee.  No matter how big or small the White family's shortcomings are, it's all good because, today, they can blame it on the rain!

So, this morning I've got my black coffee in my stomach and I'm feeling all warm inside.  Looking out the window at the weather, I'm not feeling too enthusiastic about leaving the house.  However, I'm working a side job today to make a little money.  Looks like it will be a cold, wet commute into downtown today.  If I don't make it, I'll just blame it on the rain!

Monday, November 29, 2010

I really want a pair of these shoes.

Mission Workshop Rondel Shoes

Rondel SPD Sneaker from Mission Workshop on Vimeo.

August Hunt: Thomas Malthus on surnud, mu arm

Found this video on Urban Velo Blog.  Bike people love music videos with bikes! 

Don't Call Me Shirley...

Hey, whaaaaat?

Yeah, it's Monday.  Time for many to get back to work.  For me, I've already got my morning workout done and I will be relaxing for most of the day!  Living the uneventful, bum life has its perks.  Yes, I will probably head out for an afternoon spin on the bike but most of my morning will be consumed with watching "Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia".  Looks to be a great documentary about Jesco "The Dancing Outlaw" White and his disfunctional family.

And while we're talking about film, the great actor, Leslie Nielson, passed away over the weekend.  For all of you that make it through the cavity search at the airport, make sure your TSA Agent knows, at the very least, to not call you Shirley!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Gone But Not Forgotten...

It's been one hell of a week! I've taken a little time off from blogging to catch up on some other things and celebrate Thanksgiving with the family.

On Saturday November 20th,  a group of us cyclists met in Nashville for a canned food drive on bikes.  We all met at the Nashville Farmers Market and rode out to several local grocery stores to purchase food for the region's hungry.  The ride was a huge success!  In total, our group collected over 400 pounds of food and it was all done by bicycle!

Last weekend, I competed in the second race of the "Cross The Way" cyclocross series. This race was held in my hometown of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. I woke up early Sunday morning and hoped on the CX bike and rode out to The Page Farm for the race. After pre-riding the course, I felt great and was ready for the race ahead. At the start line, we were all called up based on the last race's positions. As always, a lot of shit talking takes place. There were several new faces at this race since it was a TBRA (Tennessee Bicycle Racing Association) points race.

At the start, I got a good jump on the hole shot and was up front throughout the first lap. During the second lap, I fumbled around a couple of turns too fast and got passed by Tony Adair. He had been right on my ass the entire 1st lap and I knew he would make his break at any point. Shortly thereafter, I came around another turn that had some patches of mud. My front tire got sideways and I counter steered in an effort to correct myself. Being a man of big feet, my right foot got in the way of my front wheel causing my wheel to catch and sending me over the handlebars. Several choice words were said (sorry to the parents of the young children watching) and I took a moment to gather my bearings. Once I stood up to get back on the bike, I felt a harsh pain in my left thigh. It felt like I had pulled something. I got on the bike and gave it everything I had to finish the race. My front wheel was warped, causing it to rub the brake really badly during each rotation. Between the pain and the front wheel, it was all I could do to even move the bike. From the time I crashed till the end of the race, I lost 3 positions. That put my to a 5th place finish. At the end of the race, I was met by my friends with a big HTFU (read Nov. 12th's post to understand) and some beers.

After several beers, I was feeling good and back on the bike for the Single Speed race. Again, several new faces showed up to race for points. We have previously had an unwritten rule that if you want to race in the Single Speed CX class, you will need to drink a beer for each lap you complete (during the lap).  During the race, I soon figured out that the one rule of a single speed race is, there are no rules!  While all the others were picking their man and actually racing, Dan Hensley (Owner of Nashville Bicycle Lounge) and I were the only two drunks to cross the finish line.  Needless to say, our finishes were not anything to brag about but we definitely had a lot of fun getting there!  Overall, everyone seemed to have a good race and it couldn't have happened at a better venue!  The Page family were awesome for letting us use their property to race on!

Later in the week, my wife and I packed up her car and headed to East Tennessee to visit family for Thanksgiving. On the way to Knoxville, my wife's car blew a water pump! This was definitely the last thing I wanted to happen while out of town. We had the car towed to a local VW specialist and was quoted nearly $1200 to fix it. There was no way I was gonna pay $1200 for a stupid water pump and timing belt. We then chose the rent a uhaul trailer and my father-in-law towed our car back to Murfreesboro behind his pickup. Luckily, we have a good repair shop in town that will fix the car for a reasonable price. Even though this break down was not wanted, it did bring a new realization to the Thanksgiving holiday. My wife and I are extremely thankful for our families and their help when we were in need!

Now, we're back in the Boro with our lives ahead of us. I'll be back to blogging this week. So, stay tuned for my uneventful posts about the life of Jimmy Deane!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Living The Car-Free Life...

Living the car-free life is great but it has it's moments. I have been car-free for three months now. Actually, I do use a car on occasion. My wife still has her vehicle and we both use it if we go somewhere together. But for the most part, I get around by bike. This lifestyle is not for everyone. If it rains, I ride. If it snows, I ride. If the wind blows, I ride. And when the sun shines, I ride! This has been my choice and I am happy to live with it.

There have been multiple benefits of living without the dependency of an automobile. It's been good for my health, I have saved a little money and I lower my dependency on fossil fuels. This decision has been liberating. There is something to be said about waking up in the morning and heading out on your bike regardless of the weather. When I am riding through traffic, I am happy not to be closed up in a cage with four wheels. Yesterday afternoon, I read all these Facebook posts about my friends being stuck in traffic. For me, I don't have that problem.

The one issue that gets to me is how motorists treat cyclist. On Monday evening, I was heading home (on a bike) from the Rutherford County Bicycle Planning meeting. During this meeting we discussed safety issues in our community and how we can make our community safer for pedestrians. The ironic thing is, I was intentionally run off the road by a motorist on my way home. I was able to catch up with him and took down his plate number (355DZW).

After this incident, I did call our local police department to report this issue. The police told me there wasn't anything that could be done since no damages or injuries were sustained. I was then berated by the police officer because I was NOT riding on the sidewalk. I informed the officer that I have the same right to ride on the road as motorists. She then informed me that I may have the right to do so but that doesn't make it the right thing to do. This really irritated me that my own police department was not looking out for the safety of its citizens. Cyclists have the same rights but also have the same RULES as motorists. If we are obeying those rules when an incident happens, we should be protected by the authorities, not lectured.

I am not asking the world to give up their cars. However, I ask the public to lookout for those who choose to live lives outside of the automobile. We as a community need to learn to coexist with each other. Set aside differences of opinion with your neighbor and go forward. That cyclist may be your child one day. Be careful out there!

And to further your reading, check out how corrupt our country's justice system can be when money rules over justice: Alleged hit-and-run driver may not face felony

Monday, November 15, 2010

Big Bad John...

Some great things in life must be avoided...

Saturday was the Cannonball Alley Cat and Roller Races in Nashville. I had planned to head up that way and make it to the roller races but a change of plans occurred. I ended up at a local honky-tonk bar (I will not explain this any further). From the looks of all the pictures and videos, a good time was had! Murfreesboro's own Tyler Walker won the roller races!

BikeLounge - RollerRaces-150.jpg
photo courtesy of Ryan Green

Sunday afternoon, I decided to head up to Nashville and check out the aftermath of the previous night. I swung by the Nashville Bicycle Lounge with my wife and we kicked it with the shop's owner, Dan Hensley, for a while. If you haven't been to the Nashville Bicycle Lounge, you should check it out. Such a great shop that is dedicated to the everyday cyclist. Dan is nothing but a great shop owner! His philosophy is to make the bike shop a place you would want to come to not only to buy a bike but to sit back and hang out. Every time I visit the shop, a few beers always seem to get consumed as well! From all the beer bottles present in the shop, I could tell the previous evening had been a night of drunkenness!

Dan will work for beer, wine or whiskey

All in all, I wish I had been able to make it to the race but maybe it was good that the world was spared from my roller wrath! Another race should be coming up soon and I am sure I will show my presence. For now, I'm focused on next weekend's cyclocross race. Next weekend's race is going to be brutal! I have ridden the course a few times and it is filled with tight turns, loose corners and plenty of roots, rocks and trees that can be hit if you don't watch yourself!  So, if you're in the mid-state area, swing by and ride or watch the race.

Kurt Page Farm
4395 Shores Road
Murfreesboro, TN

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Cross The Way #1 Race Video

Many of my friends have heard the non-stop discussion from me about Cyclocross.  This is what I live for this year!  I have spent a good part of the year getting ready to lay it all down at the races.  Last month was the first race of the Cross The Way Cyclocross Series.  I raced in both the Cat4's and SS class.  Thankfully, I took the victory in both races.  My finish in those races was my first actual "Sanctioned Race" victories I have had as of yet!  This next weekend is the 2nd race of the series and I'm looking forward to see what is ahead.  This week will include a lot more training and a strict diet.  We'll see what happens next Sunday!

Till then, I thought I'd share a video that was filmed by Harpeth Bicycle's own, Nathan Taylor.  There isn't really any good shots of me as I took the hole shot out the front at the beginning of the race.

Cross the Way CX4 Race #1 from Harpeth Bicycles on Vimeo.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Live Forever...

I was discussing this song with a buddy of mine today.  Such a great song that was wrote and performed by an amazing musician.  I have had the pleasure of seeing Mr. Billy Joe Shaver in concert a couple of times.  It has always been in some small bar.  Before and after the show, Mr. Shaver always walks around talking with everybody and will even sit down and have a beer with you.  How many music legends do you know that will do that?

This one will make you cry, no matter how manly you think you are.

I plucked this video off of "All Hail The Black Market".  This one brought a tear to my eye pretty quickly!  Watch and be thankful for your four legged friends.

Last Minutes with ODEN from phos pictures on Vimeo.

Only the greatest cartoon of all time...

Here's a little something to watch with your Saturday morning coffee!  Enjoy and have a great weekend!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Turkey Day Hangover Mountain Bike Ride (11/27/10)

Come hang out with everyone on the Saturday after Thanksgiving at Raccoon Mountain.  We'll hit the trails around 11am for some of Tennessee's best mountain biking.  Bring your favorite booze and food (watch out for the TVA open container laws).  Anyone's welcome!  If there are too many people, we'll just bust up into groups. 

HTFU and Ride!

There used to be a saying in the bike shop worked at; "Hush the F*** Up and Ride!"  It was always mentioned when someone we knew would come in talking about their bike wasn't fast enough or talking about wanting to make their bike lighter.  The best thing you can do is just ride your bike!

Well, today was one of those days I needed to just take my own advice.  I haven't been riding the road bike very often lately.  All my riding has been consolidated into commuting and what not.  Today, I decided I was long overdue for a good road ride out in the country.  The weather was great and I had some time to kill.  I geared up in my sleeveless jersey (Yeah, in November) and hit the road.  As I always do, I had my Garmin GPS bike computer on the bike.  About eight miles into the ride, I realized I was watching my computer more than I was watching what was going on around me.  I got trapped in over analyzing how fast I was going, what my cadence was, what my elevation accent was, what my heart rate was, etc.  So, for the first time, I just turned off the computer and rode my bike.  As soon as I did so, it was like Zeus was pedaling this rigid machine forward!  Okay, that may be a bit of an exaggeration but I felt as though I was riding harder and faster.  I felt good.  This simple action also allowed me to just enjoy the ride.  I was no longer caught up in analyzing all this data.  That made all the difference. 

I don't know how far I rode.  I'm not sure what my average speed was.  But I do know it was a kick ass ride and I wouldn't trade it for the world!  Next time you find yourself THINKING about riding more than you are actually riding, remember to Hush the F*** Up and Ride!!

Charlie Sheen is Too Damn High! Brought to you by the guy who brought you, The Rent is Too Damn High!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Roky Erickson and The Aliens - Sputnik

Chrome Ivan Rolltop Backpack (A Review)

Living car-free has the demands of a good way to carry your stuff.  A few weeks ago, I went on a search for the perfect bag.  I've been using a messenger bag for the past few years but I just wasn't satisfied with the way it felt when loaded down.  I've always had great respect for bags that are manufactured by Chrome Bags.  I've already got a pair of their shoes and a hip pack.  Both products have been great.  Not to mention, their bags are manufactured in the good ole' U S of A! 

After reviewing several companies (Mission Workshop, Seagull Bags, ReLoad, Timbuk2 and Wig), I finalized my decision with the Chrome Ivan Rolltop Backpack.  Several of the reasons I made this decision were based on pricepoint, function and size.  Chrome was a little more expensive than the Timbuk2 but cheaper than some of the others.  One of the main components of the bag was that it had to be weatherproof.  The Ivan is lined on the inside with a heavy duty truck tarp fabric.  With the bag's main compartment being sealed off by a rolltop, anything inside the main compartment was water tight.  I got a chance to put it to the test in a downpour ride home one afternoon.  Everything stayed dry in all compartments.  My laptop even stayed dry in the laptop sleeve thanks to the rubberized zipper and over flap.

The pack rides very stable on my back regardless of how much is loaded into it.  I have carried up to 50 pounds of groceries just fine.  The only issue I have had has been with the back panel.  There is a foam panel sewn into the back of the pack that tends to fold into a crease at the small of your back.  It hasn't been too uncomfortable.  However, it has been a little annoying as it keeps the pack from resting flush against your back while hunched over on the bike.  I am still waiting to hear back from Chrome regarding any solutions for this.

The organization of the pack is great!  You have two smaller pockets on the outside with a flap to cover the pockets.  These pockets work great for small items such as a u-lock, phone, wallet, tools and such.  There are daisy chains to separate the two pockets.  These are great for attaching your rear bike light or a carabiner.  The Ivan pack also has a laptop sleeve that zips right above the two outside pockets.  The sleeve is big enough to carry my 13 inch MacBook Pro.  I'm not sure if it will fit a laptop much bigger than a 15 inch.  The zipper is rubberized to keep moisture from getting into the sleeve.  The last compartment is the main one.  The main compartment is massive.  I have been able to fit an entire case of Red Bull in it with a hoody and a rain jacket.  The compartment completely lined with the truck top and closed off with a roll top.

Overall, I give the bag one and a half thumbs up.  It would get two thumbs up if the back panel rested flush against my back.  Again, this isn't too big of a deal.  For the price, $180, you really can't beat it.

Loose Nuts Demo

Some friends from Georgia are featured in this video.  Some pretty rad skillz!

Loose Nuts Bike Battle from Killa Kareem on Vimeo.

Cool Video

Cycles of Life - A Cycling Documentary from Johannes Bay on Vimeo.

Sweet Watches...

A friend of mine is selling some pretty sweet watches that he has imported from Europe.  If you're interested in purchasing one, hit me up.  They cost $20 + $5 for shipping.

It's Thursday...Enjoy

These guys are pretty rad!

Four score and...Well, actually it was just seven years ago.

Seven years ago, I was just turning 18 and ready to hit the ground running.  Now, I'm almost 25 and here is the world around me.  So much has changed.  It seems just like yesterday but then again, it seems like a whole other life span of time. 

This week, I had to write a personal statement essay for MTSU's admissions office since my high school GPA was sub-par.  At first, I was ashamed of the task.  You know, I was that kid who goofed off in school and didn't pay attention.  I was the one who mocked those who took school seriously.  Now, I find myself ready to take things serious.

What do I say to the university's admissions board?  Do I bullshit everything and try to make it look like a Hemmingway novel?  Nope, I tell the truth and make it my own.  This is my first chance to defend myself not for who I was but who I am now.  Again, it has been seven years since I left high school.  Being ashamed of this essay was no more.  I am who I am.

These past seven years have been one hell of a trip!  I have hiked part of the Appalachian Trail, traveled around a bit, met one hot woman who eventually said yes to marrying me and now it's time for me to go back to school.  You see, if I would have gone straight to college after high school, I would have probably flunked out.  I wasn't focused on education then.  It was all about living for the day!  Boy am I glad to have taken the other path.  By doing so, I have got a chance to experience reality as an adult.  The experiences I have witnessed through my own life have opened my eyes to new ambitions and set a new foundation of values for who I am. 

So my essay has been turned in and I will simply wait to hear from the admissions board regarding my acceptance.  The next stanza of my life is to soon unfold.  I have not procrastinated.  I have simply allowed things take shape as the should.  Life is about change.  Be open to it or it will be the death of you!

Desert Stone by Turtle Bangs

Great song by an awesome local band!

Tour de Fun

Murfreesboro is an awesome town with a diverse bike community!  You've got roadies, mountain bikers, tri-geeks, fixie riders and commuters.  Several months back, the Tour de Fun was held in the Boro.  Not a race, just a bike ride.  A really big bike ride!  It's always great to see folks out on bikes just having a good time!  I just wish I was living in Murfreesboro when this went down.  I'm hoping another one happens this next year!

Tour de Fun from Ryan Green on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Music City Cycling Cannonball

Check out Music City Cycling for more info

Red Bull Alleycat

Over the weekend, I decided to get back into racing alleycats.  I haven't raced in an alleycat since I was living in Georgia.  Since I've been in the 'Boro for several months, I have had a chance to learn the streets and some of the local dives. 

Several local riders decided to throw Murfreesboro's very first alleycat race!  With the help of Red Bull and a few local bike shops, some nice shwag was up for grabs!  Murfreesboro's finest rolled in on wheels brighter than a bag of Skittles and the Mashers wearing jeans that only your sister could appreciate.  Good times were had before the race, discussing the newest thrash metal bands and fastest routes from checkpoint to checkpoint.  Thanks goes out to MOAB bike shop for hosting all of us dysfunctional young adults!

As the clock struck 1pm, well, we were still waiting to start.  At 1:03pm, we were off to the first checkpoint!  The first checkpoint was only about a mile into the race and was located at the MTSU Quad.  After chugging a bottle of water (seriously?), the next stop was Smoopy's Vintage Bikes were we had to bob for Red Bull Energy Shots.  My mind was in the zone at this point!  Kenny Sharber and Charlie Rose were riding my ass the whole way.  I busted a move down Rutherford Blvd with a constant watch behind me to check out where Kenny was.
I was soon at Pro Cycling where we had to pick a pumpkin from the back of a pickup truck and carry it the finish.  You had to use duct tape to attach it to either your bike or your body.  This was complicated.  I tried to tape the pumpkin to my seat tube on my bike at first.  After trying to pedal for about a mile, I realized this was not going to work.  So, I stopped the bike and untapped the pumpkin.  I moved the pumpkin forward on the bike and re-tapped it to the head tube and top tube of the bike.  This worked out a lot better.  Now I was able to pedal without hitting the pumpkin.

This point in the race, my luck had run out on timing the traffic lights at the intersections.  Luckily traffic wasn't too bad and I was able to make it to the next check point in one piece!  This check point was at Roma Pizzeria where the task at hand was to ride your bike while trying to throw a broom through a hoola-hoop. 

As soon as I threw my broom, Kenny Sharber and Charlie Rose came flying into the parking lot.  I knew they were close behind me and I had to step it up to the last checkpoint.  I busted my ass down some side streets to make my way efficiently to the finish.  10 miles later, I was at Around The Way Dog and was done with the race.  Well, almost done.  The last challenge was to either take a shot of Bailey's and Lime juice or eat a hot wing with some seriously hot sauce.  Thankfully, I chose the "Rubber Cement" mixer.  It didn't taste very good but the affects were short lived in comparison to the hot sauce.  Charlie and Kenny arrived to the finish just moments after I did. 

All in all, it was a great event!  The race organizers did a great job getting everything ready!  After the race, we all stood around comparing our girl jeans and discussing the latest thrash metal bands.  What can I say?  Good times!

Inside a cup of coffee...(This post was conceived while listening to Dr. Dog)

I'm like a coke feign trying to get a fix when it comes to coffee!  As a kid, I never liked coffee.  I couldn't understand what my parents enjoyed about that morning cup of joe.  My dad would be the first to wake up and would run into the kitchen to get the coffee brewing while he took his shower.  At that moment was when the aroma would fill the house and I would be awake.  It was always multiple cups of coffee that got my parents going.

Now I find myself waking up with a hankering for that morning cup of coffee!  Where did it start?  I don't even remember when I first started drinking coffee.  Did I have to acquire a taste for the java?  I honestly don't remember.  All I know now is that it tastes so good!

I like it black!  No sugar, no cream, no flavorings, no ice, no mocha mamasita loco latte frappacappuccino!  Make it black!  I know that drinking coffee doesn't make you a man, but something about additives seem to hurt the masculinity of the beverage.

I also have found myself enjoying the vibe of a local cafe.  Cafe's are kind of like a pub but without all the drunks.  There is always a diverse crowd at your local cafe's.  You've got the hipster with their Macbooks out surfing the web for the newest neon fashion, the business man with his Blackberry permanently attached to his ear, the soccer mom stopping in to get her ice mocha latte with four kids clinging onto her hip and of course there is me.  I just like to sit in the most comfortable seat in the cafe and listen to my music while sipping on my BLACK coffee.

As Bob Dylan said on the album, Desire, "One more cup of coffee before I go."


So, I used to have another blog a few years back that I would update on occasion.  However, I got disinterested in it and let it go.  Now I'm back!  My new blog is going to have more random, uninteresting facts and visuals of my life.  If you want to learn more about me, don't read my blog.