Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Read the interview at BIKEPORTLAND.ORG
N1ck doesn't like it. He's entitled to his [wrong] opinion.
I just picture myself riding this thing over the post apocalyptic ruins of a city, without even having to get out of the saddle.
..oh, and I'm wearing robot pants when I do it.
Monday, February 26, 2007
This time it was the axles. You know, those big hardened 14mm chunks of steel holding your cartridge bearings in place. Yeah. Mine were too long. Like, 6 threads too long. THE HORROR! Amazing how much weight you save when you dremel (I verb words) off those 6 extra threads.
I haven't weighed the axle ends yet, but I'd imagine I've saved something like 100grams. Seriously. Thats going to make me hop like 70% higher for sure.
Oh, and I filed and painted the cut axle ends to prevent rust. That should be a given. Even Drillium mods can be done without being ghetto.
Saturday, February 24, 2007
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Zoobomb badass challenge, Start the games.
7 hours in a car will do strange things to a person.
It will make you want to ride your bike straight up a mountain in the middle of the night, in order to be the first to light an Olympic torch. It will make you get lost at the top of that mountain and ride around radio towers and cemeteries while yelling 'ZOOBOMB!?!?' into the cold air trying to find the torch lighting ceremony. Your lungs are burning, your legs are ripping apart. You see a familiar motorbike, you keep gaining altitude, through the fog. To the top.
Note that the end of the race is at the 5.8km mark.
At least I'm not the only Canadian to get lost on this mountain. Jeff managed to end up in Beaverton, and didn't get home until 5am, after checking every quadrant of Portland for his billet's house.
From the park at the top, we did a 'family bomb' with EVERYONE riding down at once. This was hilarious, as I was taken out by Simon's bike within the first 200m during a massive minibike pileup. I think he clipped Morgan's rear tryke wheel before going down. As soon as I hit the ground I went to fetal position and awaited the impending wheels. We all ended up with mini tire tracks all over our bodies. I'm not too badly rashed, but Simon took it in the face. I'm just glad he borrowed my helmet before the event.
Tired, and cold, we hit Voodoo Donuts where I had one that bore a striking resemblance to my last sprocket (hail Satan). Riding the sugar train late into the night, Shantastic led us over the Broadway drawbridge (no stopping or the Pepper will get ya) to Cap'n Fun's pad.
Organic Fair trade served in strange mugs and salsa containers met sleep filled eyes, under the North Portland sun. Bikes and chariots were tuned on Skidmore. A posse descended to the Undernook mostly via the bike routes, doing a quick mississippibomb along the way.
Slowly they came. The Dropouts, the Dead babies, the Sprockettes, the MC3, a film crew, and of course all of ZOOBOMB arrived at the undernook for breakfast. Dan managed the grille like he was a robot from Franz Bakery. He also had the smarts to bring case upon case of PBR to be sold. Let the games begin! A simulated Project-Bon's breakfast, consisting of speed-over eggs, hashbrown brickage, Avocrabo and PBR had me in the mood to get my hoon on. Morgman too. 540's and Project-Dorifto. The guy from Crankmychain took an interest in us, so that was fun. No Project interviews yet, mind you.
Drag races, in drag, dragging on cigarettes, and dragging a sled. Hilarious. Then the Chariot Whiplash. This made me cry I was laughing so hard. I didn't compete in these events, but had fun spectating, trying out Dead Baby bikes, and working on artistic cycling moves on minibikes. Sorry about crashing your Pink Pussy Rhiannon =D
After the events were over, we made a slow mass North along the waterfront through the Port-land. We hit a remote 7-11, and hundreds of bikers politely lined up to deplete their supply of alcohol. I got the last three sparks, but they were sugar free. The aspartame does make it taste kind of funny. Funnier than energy beer normally tastes.
Ahh, drunk in the sun. Where are we going?
After passing the Coast Guard property we hit a cul-de-sac where we were led down a path. I was at the front and inquired where this path led.
"Pirate town" someone said.
I guess the EPA lists this as a 'superfund' site due to the environmental damage from having industry here for so long. Derelict warehouses, obsolete piers, slippery ladders, holes in the ground. I started to feel bad about scoffing at the use of 'post apocalyptic' to describe the chariot battles earlier. This really fit the bill.
I did some exploring, skidded through the warehouses, and climbed the roof of what would soon become a violent battleground. Slowly I watched the convoy of deathcycles and chariots roll in. Cheers were shouted, horns were sounded. Tensions were high. No one knew quite what to expect. Before the battle I tried jumping the railroad tracks, and pinch flatted my back tire, denting the wheel too. I had brought a tube, but didn't feel like going through the hassle of removing the wheel/brake, and so I patched it and got the kittenchopper back together.
Out on the Pier, I met Cupcake, who wanted me to help him find wood to fashion a ramp to jump into the water. I declined his Cupcake challenge, unsure of what pilings and bacterial cultures awaited in the water 40' below.
The next half hour was a blurred roar. I've never seen such violence take place in the name of fun. Grown adults hitting each other with blunt objects. The crowd was screaming, empty beer cans were thrown at the gladiators. [As a side note, I don't think anyone was actually hurt during this event] When the dust settled, there was one gladiator left. Lost boy Jeff, who looked remarkably composed in his disheveled toga.
Cupcake then announced that he was starting his challenge. There’s a good shot of him flying towards the river on one of the flickr sites. As things wound down, someone mentioned that the Pepper were on their way down the road from the university [Possibly because Rabbit tried to jump on a passing train], so we mounted our steeds and started clearing out. We passed single occupant squad car after single occupant squad car. Must be a lonely job.
One would think that a simple roll out of the university would be okay after such an epic battle.. but no.
Someone went down on the bike lane. Our parties were split up and much confusion ensued. Who was hurt, who was waiting for who.. Where were Haley and Nick? I went back and found them, working on Haley's bike in the flashing lights of the fire truck. It seems her dropout had opened up due to the funky coaster brake washer setup. I BMX-tool'ed it back into shape on the curb, and got it rolling again, albeit without brakes. As well, Morgan flatted a tryke wheel, and was gangsta leanin to keep it movin.
Once the confusion was quelled, zoobomb Shawn directed us to a Mexican Restaurant out on Alberta and 20th. Pretty decent place, and the football match on the tele was in Espanola. Our next mission was to find Sparks, before the meetup to ride to the secret party spot. No problem. A corner store that had not been ransacked by bikers was found. I purchased Sparks Black, as I'm such a discerning Sparks connoisseur.
Thanks to Simon, we got to try the lower level bike path on the Steel Bridge, en route to the meetup spot. Pretty clever use of architecture if you ask me. Once we were there on the promenade, I let a few more Dead Babies try out my bike. It was then that I realized why my seat felt uncomfortable. Those heavyweights were bending my seat post!
Once again the Pepper showed up to monitor us (which everyone in Portland was completely used to), so we made our roll to the party spot. An emptied bike shop entitled 'The Recyclery'. If you were an animal, what kind would you be? A sleepy cat for sure. Curled up in a ball off stage. I've never really had a thing for furries, they're the deviants that even creep me out. Having said that, the animal themed fashion show was still pretty hot. Following that were performances by the Sprockettes and then Show me the Pink. I've got footage I should probably Youtube.
Riding home from the party was an adventure as well. Rhiannon and I found the Franz Bakery, where you can see the remarkable throughput of bread their machines are capable of, through large plate glass windows. We then met up with Turbo and his girlfriend, who led us back North under Lloyd centre, and up 14th to Gabe's.
Much slower. My hip hurts, my knees hurt, my calves hurt. I make the coffee and rouse the troops. We miss the Hostel brunch. Dang. Gabe and Shannon direct us to go eat on Belmont. I grab some Hookworms from Pol. We hit the Paradox.
We run into Cupcake on the bike route, and he asks us if we want to see something crazy. Coming from the guy who just jumped off a 40' high pier into questionable water, I couldn't resist. YES! We want to see something crazy. He walked us back to his and Dogeye’s place, where we saw the sweet Mad Maxx’d Ducati laid out in pieces on the ground. The steerer tube was sheared at the fork crown, but the frame looked okay. Sweet Cuppin Cakes then pointed at the gas tank.
"See that dent?"
"Oh Dear God."
Dogeye then leaned out the window and explained the accident. Upon impact with a car his junk was crammed into the gas tank. He provided the evidence. That image does not need to be documented to be remembered. I still want a motorcycle though.
We got to the games and I was already feeling beat. "I should have trained more on this sled" I thought, as I swapped the good tires on, to replace the bulging corded stroller tires I had been skidding through. This day is a bit hazy. I wasn't drunk or anything, but I just kind of zoned out and watched the action. I tried out the harness, and tested the sturdiness of the ramp.. but that’s about it. Then I went for coffee at Tiny's. There was about 5 bikes out front. 3 of which were ghetto single speeded. Is this what a Vancouver bike rack will look like in a year? Probably not.
I couldn't take the trip to Freegeek and more socializing, so I went back to Gabe's for a nap. Rhiannon gave me a wonderful massage that put me right out. I awoke with just enough time before the race to load up the car with the bikes.
Geared up and ready to roll, we waited at the Pile. I was nervous, I'll admit. Maxxed up for the first time, hanging my bike on a hook..
How many Zoobombers can you fit on the Max?
At the top Rev. Phil gave us a briefing, and then we headed to the road to start the race. The mini class was to go last, so I rode up the hill a bit to warm myself up. I lined up at the start, foot on crank, ready to push. A count down from ten, then we hit it. I blasted out from the gate in about 5th place, and quickly muscled my way up to third.
Getting up beside Gabe I gave him a quick 'Sup G fresh?!' greeting to let him know I was going to have fun with him on the way down. I turned on my front blinkie so he would see me flashing in his peripheral the whole way. This is where it got fast. I guess Gabe is used to spinning those short cranks, because they were a blur. I mimed his body language around each corner, snaking his line, and got my sprint on at the same times he did. His tuck style was tight though, and I couldn't compete with that lack of frontal area, even with my hands on the cross bar.
I was in second now. I just have to stick on him, then attack after the last sharp corner. Which one was it? Aren't we near the bottom?
We did the last big right hander and Gabe started to hammer. SHIT! that was the one! I was sprinting as fast as my 175s with BMX flats would allow, and had almost caught up by the time we hit the crosswalk.
Second place. Not bad for my second Bomb ever.
This was probably the happiest I had been all weekend, as I was just relieved to survive the race. The events of the weekend spun in my head over and over. Is this much free fun really possible?
We headed back up the Max to do the Kingston bomb.. which was the route I originally took up the mountain on Friday. That was a pleasant slow roll to Legoland. The site of the final Minibike games. We were all pretty faded, and had to accept the fact that we couldn't stay in Portland forever. It was best to roll out then.
The trip back was pretty good too. I drove until my eyes decided not to focus, then handed over driving duties to Morgan while I passed out in the back cuddling Haley. Rhiannon did a bang up job of not letting Morgan doze off, despite her babbling about hexidecimal notation.
"Oh.. flashing lights. Morgan is getting a ticket" I thought as I woke up.. Morgan was confident he wasn't speeding though. I think it may have had something to do with my winter tires being the wrong diameter, and knocking the speedo off a bit. Either way, the trooper just ran our tags and let us go off into the night..
..and before I knew it we were back in Canadia.
Back to life, back to reality.
I would like to thank EVERYONE who helped make this weekend possible. If you are ever in Vancouver, I will strive to show you the best time on two wheels I can.
Thank you so much, Zoobomb.
I didn't include many pictures or videos in this post, as there are already a billion of them floating about on the net.
Here are some handy links:
Nag Mike's Flickr
..and Simon's youtube footage:
I need a weekend off.
St Valentines race on the kittenchopper? Think I can place?
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Monday, February 19, 2007
“Zoolander”: A rider incapable of executing a left turn in traffic.
"Ridin' dirty": Helmetless, lightless, plateless, drunk, on the sidewalk. Picture us rollin', they hatin'.
“Vicenzan salute”: A smooth, fluid downshift via extended middle finger. HeyFixie, indeed.
"The five words": "She might not be gay." Give'r.
“Catastrophic failure”: See above. Also, “Lyle's crankset.” See here for our previous definition. Metal fatigue is some real shit.
“Ricer”: MSJS. Main St. Jitensha Shinkokai. Fashion-fixie.
“Ricer flyby”: Wheelsucking and passing someone who clearly has no interest in a spot of the dirty-dirty at the moment.
"Walter Mitty": Grey hair, MEC rain jacket, rearview mirrors, panniers, pinning it.
“n+1”: A simple equation for determining the correct number of bicycles you should own, where “n” represents the number of bicycles you currently own.
“Cynicism”: This gong show going down in front of the 885 Georgia peanut gallery on a slow day.
So while we're on the subject of definitions, I think that there's an a important distinction to be made between public art and corporate frippery in the Chuck Palahniuk vein. A few Midnight Masses ago while cruising the Coal Harbour seawall, I remember chatting with someone – don't recall who it was - who advocated the subversion and stencilling of the bland and inoffensive, but damned if I don't have a weak spot for those 8-bit Dig Dug-lookin' worms thereabouts. Shit, some of those Coal Harbour installations even look rideable, and that's word to Gassy Jack rollbacks.
The Kountdown Klock itself may be a rhapsody in beige, but despite its aseptic neo-Ericksonian brushed-metal and wood construction (HAY WEST COAST ARCHITECTURE HAY), it definitely qualifies as offensive to the higher sensibilities. Provocative, even; a giant middle finger to social and fiscal responsibility, and a garish Indiglo violation of public space that consequently requires a 24/7 security guard for the next three years to keep the plebes from violating it right the fuck back. Is Omega going to be picking up that tab as well?
For that matter, who gets stuck with the VPD's overtime bill? Po was rollin' deeper than next weekend's prize list, but despite the ring of blue steel surrounding the VAG, the antipovitivista crowd still managed to clown the VPD, hard. Son got close enough to play KRS-1 to some VANOC flack's PM Dawn and scream out something that sounded suspiciously like “FUCK COURIERS!” before the mic got cut and “The Bridge is Over” was replaced with something that sounded suspiciously like a Chad Kroeger side project.
Bland and inoffensive, indeed. I threw up a black fist of solidarity every time I rolled by the kids with the cammy fatigues and Warrior Society flag. Project-B: bikebloggin' from unceded Coast Salish First Nations land.
So after an otherwise uneventful week, Camilo hit me up on the Blackberry Friday afternoon as I was getting off, and convinced me to come back to the Alberni liquor store and grab a couple or six pre-race beers before his dash4cash was scheduled to go off. I e-heckled Sascha about missing out on it, but he'd had the good sense to get out of the core before the rain started. Also, Flat Friday is a cruel mistress with sharp talons.
Only Sue, and Elaine and Alex from fixedvan ended up rolling through, and the event was thus called on account of pho and general disinterest. I got to indulge my narrow-bar/small-frame fetish aboard Elaine's neapolitan delight while she hit Kingsgate, and ended up crashing out early at the purple house.
Project Breakfast was scheduled to go ahead on Saturday regardless of whether Lyle and Morgan were here for me to flail on them or not, so Skylar and I kept up the fine tradition of flailage and didn't meet up til the afternoon. Midnight marauders Matty and Jen scored a table ahead of us at Hipstery Jim's while they were enroute to the Bike Expo:
“You figure it's gonna be all XTR up in there and shit?”
“Yeah, pretty brosive.”
Skylar finally showed up at the purple house with FRABRO Shack Ryan and his new pretty bike, and now I'm all messed up about having so much fun on Ryan's – dare I say trendy - ghetto-brakeless BMX with a 20.8” top tube, micro gearing, integrated headtube, press-fit BB, and thin grips. And the colour scheme matches my house. And up in this crib, we do admire a well-coordinated and purposeful build. Handguns is boutique, the shotties is doofy:
We bumped into the always-gregarious NikCee and fixedvan Duncan at the 12th Ave banks and were heartened to see that Jer's on the mend as well. Nik and Morgan will be co-sponsoring the DFL booby-prize next weekend, and I half expect that the Olmo will spontaneously combust between my legs before the first checkpoint.
There's a new addition to the stable, on that note. It's amazing what a six-pack will get you these days.
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
I was just riding along...
No really, I was. I was trying to sprint across Clark Dr. in a gap against the flashing green light. Apparently the tensile strength of my chain is greater than the torque strength of a 5 year old tubular chromoly BMX crank.
Component failures like this are terrible, because they happen only when you are exerting maximum force on your machine. Its very hard for the human body to react quickly when conditions (such as having a crank under your foot) suddenly change.
I reacted only after my groin area had hit the seat post and I was still being dragged into the intersection by the momentum of my 42 lb bike.
I will continue to react by upgrading the cranks to some free ones from Ride On, and putting a bigger chainring on the bike. Obviously a bigger chainring will not help me put any LESS torque on the cranks, but it WILL help me find the next weak link in my drivetrain.
Monday, February 12, 2007
Sunday, February 11, 2007
The Winterbee's more intimate setting and lack of scheduling conflicts helped facilitate a well-attended and highly interactive anti-theft discussion, and it was heartening to see more than a few new faces coming out and participating in the community along with the usual gang of hoodlums. Lyle hasn't been getting much sleep lately, so Ifny and I took the lead, and I probably looked pretty hyphy while gesticulating around trying to explain the difference between pin and disc keyways. Forums like these can get bogged down in anecdote-sharing, but Ifny did a great job moderating the discussion and keeping us on-topic, and we managed to get through the most relevant material without playing too deep into overtime. Hopefully we managed to prevent a theft or two, especially of that pretty little neapolitan-liveried fixie on street-narrow Syntace bullhorns, and we also took away a few great ideas for the next revision of the manual, which incidentally could really use a permanent host for the .pdf version.
Before Kelly could get into the demon whiskey and start cursing me out again, I skipped out on the Gateway Sucks party and the Brickhouse as well, and was in bed by 11pm. I also left Lyle and Morgan to their movie date today, which left me to hold down the blogosphere for the day. You never blog alone.
Finally back to work tomorrow. Another dump, another dollar. Still pretty worn out, but just happy to be riding again nonetheless.
Friday, February 09, 2007
"NOW DROP THAT GODDAMNED SILLY LITTLE BICYCLE AND COME TO ATTENNNN-HUT, MAGGOT! FROM NOW ON, THE FIRST AND LAST WORDS OUT OF YOUR FILTHY SEWERS WILL BE "SIR." I CAN'T HEAR YOU! NOW PICK UP THAT BICYCLE AND YOU CYCLOCROSS IT UP TO THE TOP OF THIS HILL AND REPORT TO ME, MAGGOT! SHOW ME YOUR WAR FACE! YOU CALL THAT A WAR FACE? LET ME SEE YOUR REAL WAR FACE! NOW DROP THAT BICYCLE, ROLL DOWN THAT HILL, AND REPORT TO THE NORTH CORNER OF THE PLAYGROUND! FASTER! I WILL KICK YOU DOWN THAT GODDAMNED HILL, MAGGOT! I WILL KICK YOU INTO NEXT TUESDAY! I WILL KICK A FUCKING HOLE IN YOUR THROAT! SO HELP ME GOD I WILL KICK YOU BACK TO THE LAST CHECKPOINT AND MAKE YOU APOLOGIZE TO YOUR LAST TRAINING UNIT! MOVE IT! MOVE IT MOVE IT!"...and so on. After running the playground obstacle course and doing a shot, recruits were then required to report to Sgt. Kavanaugh for push-ups and Christ-knows-what-else kind of abuse, then they had to crawl back up the hill to their bicycles and report back to me:
"HAVE WE BROKEN YOU YET, MAGGOT? ARE WE READY TO MAKE A SOLDIER OUT OF YOU? ARE YOU FIT TO SERVE MY BELOVED CORPS? THEN WHY ARE YOU NOT CRYING? THEREFORE, WE MUST MAKE YOU CRY! BITE THIS ONION, SOLDIER!"And so our little maggots earned their maps, and spread their dewy new wings into the night and towards the party. Lyle was the first one in, and got an onion-bye because he was down with the program and cried on demand. Nick B was hot on Lyle's wheel and appeared to be suffering from mild shell-shock. Morgan fucking TRYKED it into third.
And then there was Ifny. Last time around, she was the hottest one out of the gate and never let up. This time, though, the race face was gone. Broken. Homegirl walked the field back in September, but the Winterbee spam queen could muster no better than 4th. I didn't have the heart to go too rough on her, and NikCee was grinning too bloody hard for me to slow him down too much as well. About halfway through the peloton, my throat was getting raw, and seeing as how we had more than enough Canadian Club to last us through, it was time to start passing it around.
Things started getting dirty and blurry. They always do. Leanne had me beating a hasty retreat back up to my parade podium after I dared contradict her orders in front of a recruit. Camilo managed to embarass the entire profession of bicycle messengering, take me out while rolling down the hill, and then tried to gnaw his way through the recruit in front of him on the way back up. James earned the nickname "Private Joker." I threatened to keep some Portlander at the checkpoint until he died. One saucy little number gave as good as she got and spat the onion out in our faces, and Brandon and I started running out of ammo, which meant that the onions we'd been pelting the recruits with would have to be found and recycled. Our recovery mission netted several viable specimens, and we gave them a quick wipedown before handing them off to the latecomers.
At some point Leanne took the bottle away from me and we decamped for the rendezvous point/party bunker. Bhangra, dancehall, 'ettes, cl'ettes, etc's, bikegirl-crushes, free drink tickets from Morgan, mini-circle of death (my apologies for being a complete fucking hoon), cameo appearances by the Purple House, Pedal Play made enough cream to keep them choppin' through the spring, and Morgan got to be "that guy" with his shirt off all night long.
Wendell's back in town and he's into the sauce again. Apparently this blog is worth something on the order of $564, which is almost enough money to cover the KillHlimber's rear wheel. At this rate, we can hopefully sell this shit out to Giant in a year or so and retire. Project-B: monetizin' r contentz, replaced by botz.
Why settle for a snack when you can get the full meal deal? More Ian Schwartz poached from The Come Up:
Ain't no freecoaster on the dessert cart, son:
...like I can taste anything anyway. After fighting off the Dirty Biker Bronchitis, I got dropped by the stomach flu this week, went from 40ish hours of riding down to about two, and I'm going all Bart of Darkness up in this bitch. To hell with bikecrushes, time for a date with La Maraca Negra.
Pray for dry.
First of all, the Margaret Charles Chopper Collective (MC3) will be having their monthly ride this evening. Meet at the Gazebo at 6:30 to get your freakbike on. This ride will finish at a Costume Party, show up for details. Bring a costume (like a walrus mask). Be fun or die.
Throughout the weekend will be the Winter Bee. Come down, attend a workshop, tune up that filthy ride. I'm doing two workshops on Saturday. Brakes and Security.
Sunday afternoon, if you're not still fixin' your bike, you should go see You Never Bike Alone. Its a documentary on Vancouver's Critical Mass rides.
Time: Sunday 11th February, 2pm (doors open 1pm)
Venue: Pacific Cinematheque, 1131 Howe Street, downtown Vancouver
Tickets: $8 ($6 for Moving Pictures members)
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
For those that don't know, a powerdisk is an adapter plate used to put a road chainring onto a BMX crankarm.
See Vintage BMX post with many Power Disks
If I can find this in time, I will be running 52/12 gearing for the zoobomb.
On 16" wheels, that's 69 Gear inches... which is pretty much what I run on my fixie for daily commuting... and everyone knows how fun it is to turn a big gear.
I just spoke with Don from Ride On, and he's going to try to scare me one up =D I'm also going to talk with him about ditching the shocks, and putting on some triple crown chopper forks..
..of course, that might require more than the alleykitten prize money..
Oh.. and check this out for a 3 o'lock snack:
Monday, February 05, 2007
Okay.. so where to start..
When you last heard from me, I was as hyped as could be, exploding with energy, at the thought of the race. I'm not even sure why I was so excited. I don't get nearly as excited about regular alleycats. I guess I just saw this as more fun, less messenger bravado.
Morgan and I rolled to Victory square for 5:30. There we met up with Members of the MC3, RAD, Kablamo, and a whole bunch of other cyclists. We hung out there for a couple hours actually, as we were still waiting on the Portlanders to arrive in their Biodiesel bus. We received confirmation that they were on their way via text, so the start of the race was postponed.
I saw a couple old faces at Victory square too. I wasn't expecting them so in a way it was kind of nice. Everyone grew antsy. Some were cold. Mini laps started being run around the statue at the square. Everyone took a spin on the Projekt-B kittenchopper.
Jackie and I get our war faces on:
..and another shot of Jackie's hot ride:
Average wheel diameter of 15":
Nick B's Kuwahara has mags AND a handlebar for a seatpost:
Haley's modded mini:
Nigel's Ultramini (big ring, handlebar post):
Ifny (Alleykitten queen) is ready for action:
There is a 'best dressed' contest, and a mini footdown derby while we wait. I practice standard rituals to calm my nerves. I absolutely cannot wait to get into traffic. Finally, the Portlanders arrive, and we rejoice! They find bus parking, and we all line up for the start of the race. I guess its about 7:30 at this point. The Pre-race tension is now very high. Everyone is super hyped and ready to roll.
We get our maps to the first checkpoint, and this is where things start to become a blur...
On your marks, get set.. .and GO!
[I'll try to recall the events of the race in Chronological order, as they went screaming through my head]
Mini traffic BLASTS on to Hastings street, heading westbound. We stop a BMW in its tracks.I accelerate past a lot of people, and see my only real competition. Nick B.
I time the light at Hastings and Homer, riding the yellow line to get around a bus and car that are stopped. I reel in Nick, getting a feel for his top speed. I think he's got some RPM on me with the shorter cranks, and all the track racing experience. Also, his bike probably weighs a third of mine... but I've got a bigger gear. We exchange pleasantries as I pass him, ..and I decide not to check him to the curb.
Okay.. I'm heading to the underground at Burrard/Cordova.. I can handle this..
The light at Seymour is red and there are cars coming through, so I go right with them and merge over to the left lane. I start to second guess myself. This is a bad move. I just lost a bunch of altitude. I scream past the taxis waiting at the lights in front of Waterfront station, and blow the following two lights to get to the ramp. As I go down the cut that takes me underground that self doubt creeps in again.. What if I've already past the checkpoint?.. I'm going too fast down this ramp!
I see the bikers around the bend, lock up the rear, and report for Beer Prime duty.
Fuck yeah! Winning back our own beer! ..and this means I'm in the lead.
I do a shot, and possibly some pushups? I cant remember. but I got a new mission.
Upsidedown church in coal harbour.. I know where that is.. But why do I have to run up the stairs? wouldn't the ramp be faster? Not wanting to miss anything, I run up the stairs, and see 3-button-Lefttennant-pastor Maitland reading scripture. I address him as Sir and try to understand what the Mini Bike army is Offical doing (Sir! This is engrish sir! What is the Mini Bike army official doing SIR?!) Maitland tries not to laugh, and continues reading scripture aloud. I realize his gig is to stall people. I say fuck it, grab a MiniBikeArmy pin, and head back to Checkpoint #1, taking the ramp and getting my skid on past some racers heading out to see Maitland.
Back at checkpoint #1 there is a small crowd of racers, doing their shots. I confirm the purpose of the minibike army is to distract racers through nonsensical scripture and distribute buttons. They ask me what colour his bible was.. Red? good.
New map from Adam.. somewhere in the west end. I'll go down Burrard and read it as I go.
I must have lost some time here, going south on Burrard. I worried that I should have doubled back and gone west once I got to street level. Too late now. Just hustle. Robson/Burrard is always a treat, and I time it close enough to blast through the intersection as the yellow turns pink. I've got a pedestrian buffer here, so I'm not worried about getting killed.
Where do I turn.. Haro? wheres that? Around the Paramount? I better go West.. As it turns out, I take the street that becomes Haro, though it probably added a few meters to trip.
..who's there when I arrive? its Nick B.. eating Gruel.
Sgt. Skylar is a Sadistic fucker, and makes us privates sit down and eat two heaping spoonfuls of gruel from our open hands. After that, we may take a War card from the garden, and our new map.
I leave at the same time as Nick and go North back to Robson. I think about how I should have taken ALL of the war cards I saw... apparently I'm no good at cheating. It seems I'm going to somewhere near the art gallery.
Approaching Robson and Burrard, this time I have to stop. I wait at the front of line, ready to go.. scanning around me to look for Nick. Perpendicular Yellow means its time to go! I stop a hesitant left turner and sprint past the megastore towards the gallery.
Crossing Thurlow I'm hit with the bottleneck of Robson traffic, so I ride the yellow line again, and cut as hard left as my long wheelbase will allow. I narrowly make it through the gap in front of a slow moving compact car and hop the curb towards the Gallery's South steps. As I roll past the entrance I scan down the stairs to the ice rink to see if they're there.. Nope..
I see the checkpoint across the street.. thankfully there is no traffic so I cross mid block, to report for duty with the lovely CorporAlicia. She whips me with my own riding crop, and sends me underground to search for Army men in an envelope. I hit the ramp with the quickness, veer right, then slow my roll.
All low light and peripheral scanners are on max now. No traffic to distract me here.. I'll find these envelopes.. Anything that catches my eye becomes a target.. but its all trash. I continue searching south.. until I catch up with some Bigwheelers.. its Kati, Kim and Simon. I politely ask WTF SIR!?!?! Kati tells me to go back to the first pillar.
As I do this, I find Nick.. we're searching the area together, and find a sketchy dude who tells us where to find more pylons. I SAID I'M LOOKING FOR ARMY MEN! I sift through more garbage. My scanners failed. I failed to look up to the right height. I overturn pylons. The envelope was in front of me the whole time. I grab my army man, note that Nick is looking in the other direction, and I take off.
Morgan has passed the pillar and is descending too far.. so I quietly tell him to double back and look on the pillar. I see him turn a quick tryke-180 in my peripheral. Surely that will tip Nick off.
At the south end of the underground, I see Sascha. They take my army man, and give me the next map.
I'm going to Beatty street at Dunsmuir. I can handle that.
Nelson to Granville street crosswalk skid, scaring pedestrians and cutting off a taxi. Through the one way at Smithe, gapping traffic. I pass cars on Granville.. oh yeah, they let cars on granville now. Hitting Robson, I go right, on the side of at turning car.. I get in front, and take the left lane. I make my left onto Seymour, and stick to the door zone of the leftmost parked cars until I find a gap to move right. I work it up the hill and get on Georgia. There I start to claim the lane, but realize how slow traffic is going.. There are the big wheelers! Kati, Kim, and Simon appear stationary to me at the Library as I pass them, splitting the left and centre lane down Georgia as fast as my gearing will allow. They yell something at me. .. I hope they're not my next checkpoint. I would hate to have to wait for them.
I fall in behind a black F-350 that is making the left turn at Beatty. A cop is blowing his whistle.. there must be a game on. I grab his bumper and he accelerates hard up Beatty. Skitching seems dicey here, because this guy seems like he could be looking for somewhere to park his truck. He pulls me right up to the tank, where I disengage, and hop the crub, reporting to Major Aiyana for my next mission..
They make me do 20 pushups...which was no problem.. my helmet touched the ground on each one. Then the hard part, I have to raise my bike over head while they take a photo. I scream at Aiyana. SIR DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH MY BIKE WEIGHS SIR?!?! Then.. I have to climb the tank, straddle the barrel, and kiss the kitten (not at the same time).. I then slide down the front of the tank and recieve my next map.
National and Quebec.. Shit. Viaduct or tinseltown!?!?!
I choose viaduct, hoping that I might skitch on a truck. As I roll out west, claiming the right lane, I sort through my pockets to find the maps.. I should have thrown out the old ones before, as this made for some confusion. Someone honks at me from behind.. and with one map in my mouth, I crumple the other map and throw it at his car. He continues honking and buzzes past me. Changing lanes isn't so hard now is it?
Down the ramp and into a big skid in between a truck and the jersey barrier. I double back and go east to Quebec. The light just changes in my favour and I hit it to National.
Fuck. No bikers. I search around the parking lot.
Nick B arrives (surprise), and he cannot find them either. Thinking that the parking lot is a terrible place for a checkpoint, I head in to the playground, booting it across the grass, hopping into the mulch, dropping the bike and reporting for duty with Sgt Leanne. She tells me to take my bike around the slide and report to Colonel N1ck.
"Private you are going to cyclocross that tank up the hill to come address me!"
Shit. This thing weighs a tonne right now. I cannot run up the hill. I just make sure my footing is stable on the wet grass.
Dumping the bike and my bag, I roll down the hill to the obstacle course. I try to jettison myself into the air each roll to not only minimize the grass stains, but to get more distance per revolution and not disorient myself. Through the gauntlet and the maze house.. which I could barely get my shoulders through. There Sgt Leanne makes me do another 20 pushups in the mud, and drink a shot.. I cannot recall which order those were in.. then crawl back up the hill towards N1ck.
N1ck - "Have you had enough yet Private?!!"
me (blubbering) - "SIR YES SIR LIFES NOT FAIR AND I WANT MY MOMMY SIR!"
N1ck - "Get out of my sight, maggot!"
I mount my tank for the last time and blast down the embankment I just hiked up, and make an all out sprint for the finish.. Too scared to look back and see Nick, I just hammer.
I report to Simon at 108W 1st.. and thats it. I'm done. 35 minutes.
Apparently my crying routine at the last checkpoint saved me from having to eat a raw onion. I'm pretty stoked about that.
I then went in and started scrubbing the grease paint that Skylar had so liberally applied to my face. Industrial kitchen degreaser works well, but it hell on the pours. At the party I got my trickcycle on, attempted drifts for Sailor's camera, track stand tricks on Morgan's bike, and some minibike derby action. I worked at the bar for a bit too, and it was fun getting people trashed.
There was an awards ceremony, where I received a dope modded mini frame from Skylar, and a cute as nails trophy from KTJ. I also took the cash... which should come in handy modifying the kittenchopper for zoobomb duty in a couple of weeks.
I gave the Beer to the Portlander's simply because I already had more than enough booze, and they made such an effort to get out here.. DID I MENTION THE BUS IS BIODIESEL! BRILLIANT!
I should also mention that there were performances by 2 of the Sprockettes:
Brakes (featuring Little Woo):
..and Brakes featuring some B:C:Clettes in a dance off:
..and headlining were Victoria's Velo Vixens. OMG.
I guess I maintained a good level of drunk all evening, because I wasn't too far gone by the time my energy reserves were depleted. Rhiannon on the other hand was a saucy drunk bitch, but that made for good times as well.
Seriously fun weekend all around...and as a bonus, My Gmail is now giving me Kitten related advertising:
Shut Down Bonsai Kitten - peta2.com - You can help shut them down by signing the petition now!
Sunday, February 04, 2007
Saturday, February 03, 2007
Y'all best be worried.
PROJ3KT-B reppin' all over the place today at OPERATION MEOW and BIKES INSIDE!
Haley, NickB and I got our mini-training on Thursday.
We did a good 10km of minicore action. Mini-drops, mini-jumps, minice, mini-pipez, we're ready for whatever mini-shit you hit us with.
Everyones been warnin' me bout the checkpoints too.
Talkin' smack, sayin' how we are gonna get mini-worked. I'm not scared. Bring it on. I've done basic training at C.F.B. Duncan biatches! Field combat exercises, target practice, pushups in the mud, wilderness survival, climbing rope, all that shit. My gun is clean and ready to fire.
Morgan has also been training for tonights fixie trick comp.
Just a bit of what is in store:
N1ck has been up in Skidgate mall, workin' the liquor store to hooks everyone up with some Pilz-Cube^3 action for Checkpoint #1 PROJ3KT-B33R PR1M3Z!!!1.
I've been coffee-wrenching on the PROj3KT-B TEAM VEHIKILLZ all mownin' SO YOU KNOW WE SERIOUS!
TOP SECRET SPY SHOT:
If ya don't know whats goin on in this pic, then you gonna find out at the race.
LATEST UPDATE 14:35:
N1ck: Word from Lauren is that the Rev forgot his ID and they had to drop him from the peloton. Portland crew is in Seattle, might be delayed.
LETS HOPE THE ZOOBOMB CREW CAN BOMB THROUGH THE BORDER TO BATTLE OUR MINIBIKE ARMY ON CANADIAN SOIL!
Be @ Victory Square (Cambie/Hastings) today, at 17:30 for all the action!
Thursday, February 01, 2007
I was just arriving to work, gliding along the smooth pavement of the industrial park, as I approached the factory. My work has two entrances to the parking lot, along the North side of the road. Since I'm heading East, as I arrive I have to make a left turn into one of the entrances. Normally the first entrance still has the gate closed when I arrive as its still early (and dark).
This morning I saw that it was half open.
(Let me first mention a bit about the gates. THey're only to stop automotive traffic. Its just two horizontal poles, about 10cm in diameter, and 4m long each. They have some triangulation near the hinges at the edges of the entrance to hold them level, and the two poles join in the centre when the gate is locked. They swing open like dutch doors.)
So back to the bike.. I'm making my left turn, towards the first, half open gate. Its open in the direction of travel of people leaving the parking lot. There is a Honda about to be driven out the open part. (lots of people drop off their spouses and head out of the lot at 7am)
My initial plan is to make my turn and get off the street, stopping in front of the closed gate while he goes through, then scoot in behind him.
That plan changed rather suddenly.
As the Honda exited the parking lot, he hit the very end of the closed gate with the A pillar of his car, just at the edge of the windshield. I heard the *Crack* of his glass and let out a little smirk.
"Sweet! he just broke his window while knocking the gate open for me!" I thought, as I went from braking to accelerating to get into the lot through the now fully open gate.
Only through impeccable timing was I able to manage the next part.
The gate swung all the way open, hit its end of travel ..and bounced back. It must have been lubricated recently because I didn't hear it stealthily swinging back towards me.
Just as I was about to pass the now stopped Honda, the very end of the pole (10cm diameter) hit my right thigh, and stopped my body. Completley knocking me off my bike.
I fell to the ground and the driver of the car got out to see if I was okay. I was laughing more than anything, and said I was alright. I then limped through the parking lot and into work.
Once in the shower, I saw that I'm starting to get a big round bruise on my thigh. I guess it would have been much worse if I got it in the pelvic bone or the junk, but still this charlie horse sucks.
Kira needed risers on her Peugeot as she felt she didn't have enough control with the drops, and wanted something wider and more upright. So we met up at OCB and got the neccessary items, just an aluminum riser bar and levers. I had cables and and grips.
Once at my place we got to work.
I showed her how her brakes work, and how to thread the cables into the MTB levers and set it all up.
Everything went pretty smoothly, and I even had new cable housing to replace the beiging white stuff she had on her bike. We also dremel modded her fender so it would clear her 27" tires, and used nyloc nuts to hold the stays down.
She's quite thrilled with the result:
As well, Morgan came over to join the riser bar army, and mounted some up to his track bike.
..with matching yellow grips. Is this what they call the 'San Fran' treatment? I want a mission style burrito.
Morgan then proceeded to work on his track stand variations in my apartment while I got to work on my Bianchi.
It had been developing a mystery creaking sound over the past week, and it was really starting to bug me. Before Tuesday's Heyfixie ride I checked the crank spindle bolt, the chainring bolts, and swapped different pedals on. The sound persisted.
That meant the only two possible things left were the bottom bracket or the chain.
I measured the chain, and it looked like it was under 1/16" out (over 12 links), which is still classified as 'good' to most people. However I noticed it was starting to leave impressions on my relatively new chainring.
For yesterday's commute I flipped the wheel over to my harder gear, and payed close attention to the sound. It was still there, but not as bad. Phew.. its not the bottom bracket. I picked up another 510HX chain on my way home.
I put my last chain on November 15th, along with the pretty gold ring.. so that means my chain only lasted 1700km in winter conditions. I guess it didn't help that I pretty much stopped using my brake around that time as well.
As an added measure last night, I also rotated my chainring. This should even out the tooth wear from where I mash and skid, hopefully prolonging the life of both my chain and ring.
My drivetrain is as quiet as can be now. Also my wheel is as slammed as it can be, without popping out of the front of the dropouts.
The drawback to having such a smooth drivetrain is that I can actually feel how bad my rear bearings are getting. I've got the replacement Nachi 6000-2NSE cartridges already (Thanks Rhiannon <3).. but they're not helping me out sitting in my bag.
-Figuring out how to cleanly mount fenders on R's Bianchi (no eyelettes!)
-Taping R's bars
-Replacing my cartridge bearings
-Putting a solid axle/tensioners in/on the kitten chopper (BEFORE RACEDAY!)