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Falling in Love Again.

I'm a faithless bike whole.

I flit from one pretty frame to the next, casting aside the tried and true for another shapely bit of carbon, rarely finding the lasting connection that will keep me from wandering.

The exception to this has been my Madone 5.2 Pro. I bought it on a whim, a used frame off of Craigslist. The price was reasonable, and although I already had more than enough completely serviceable bikes, I really liked the way it looked. I built it up, and from the first ride I was hooked. It responded how I thought a bike should, but didn't beat me up on longer rides. I'd long shied from Treks and Madones in particular because, Lance. However, this particular bike spoke to me in a way that even today sets the standard all other bikes I ride are measured against.

I finally got to ride the bike after a a long and frustrating day at work. Events conspired to keep me longer than planned, killing my intended after-work stress relief ride. I walked outside into a beautiful …

Musical Chairs.

As I was tripping over stuff in the garage and finding new excuses to buy stuff on eBay, I also made a note to do something about my Storck. As I mentioned Monday, Fathers Day was when I got around to starting the project. I could have followed my usual pattern of waiting until the last possible moment, which would have been a cold day in October. I probably would have been all kitted up before I realized that the bike was in pieces, and another bike would have been called into service. The Storck likely would have spent the winter on a pile of old wheel boxes while the replacement bike took the trainer abuse. Instead, I decided to get ahead of it and swap drivetrains with a couple hours of my precious free time.

I haven't ridden it on the road in almost a year, since the day its chain slipped off of the big ring and I was thrown over the handlebars. On the flight home TSA put a nice dent in the downtube that shaded in the cloud hanging over that particular bike, and I started cast…

Mid-Season Delusion Reset.

I'm one of those guys that has a certain over-inflated perception of myself and my abilities. I have this concept of where I fit in the big scheme of things which may or may not have any basis in reality. Inevitably I run into something or a series of somethings that cause me to re-assess. This year, thanks to nearly a month off the bike and a couple SoCal criteriums, my delusions are in a state of flux.

Swimming in a small pond, you never really know where stand among the larger population of fish. Occasionally you'll get a rider that competes outside, giving you a slight sense of perspective, but you never really know until you line up yourself and see how it goes.

On the surface, my results out in the great big world are anything but encouraging. Seventh in a Cat 5 crit and 5th in a Cat 4/5 crit aren't ProTour-level finishes. However, once I put them into context, they didn't look so bad. I can look at this from a couple directions:
I was cooked. Days of walking (gasp!…

Off The Wagon.

I'd been good for the last four or five days. I went to the meetings, made lists of all I was thankful for, and tried to occupy myself with meaningful pursuits. But then I couldn't restrain my urges any longer.

I got back on eBay.

The first time was for new (to me) pedals. I usually stay away from top-tier components, because they typically cost twice as much as the next tier down and last half as long. So, I had Shimano 105 pedals on most of my bikes and a set of Ultegras as my extra-special set. They pretty much worked as advertised, and I abused the crap out of them.

Then I bought my first set of Dura Ace pedals. These were the 7800 models. Actually, they were thrown in with my Madone 5.2 Pro frame, so I didn't actually buy them. The plastic inserts were worn, but $10 later they were as good as new (and pre-scuffed for extra street cred). They clipped in a lot easier, so I slapped them on my race bike. They actually had an advantage over the lower-tier pedals, in they had…

Time Served.

As a newly-minted SoCal USAC Cat 5 with two whole sanctioned crits under my belt, I now feel it is my right, my honor-bound duty to comment on Kayle LeoGrande. 

For those of you who don't know who he is, here's a pretty good summary.  The TL:DR version is that he was domestic pro busted for doping, and the investigation following that bunny trail eventually helped bring down Lance. Great, we're done with that guy, right?

Nope. A while back a SoCal Masters team stacked with heavy hitters, Team Surf City Cyclery/Sterling BMW, picked up Kayle because, as their Facebook page proclaimed, "It's all about fun and representing our sponsors!" And winning. Lots and lots of winning. Don't care how. Winning.

Well, everyone deserves a second chance, don't they?

I'm not so sure.

I kinda think once you're busted for "hi-test" PEDs like EPO, human growth hormone, or testosterone (without a TUE), you probably shouldn't be playing in the amateur ranks…

Fathers Day

Saturday the wife allowed me to drive all the way up to Palmer for a group ride. Two hours round trip for what was advertised as a 90 minute ride. I'm not right in the head, although in my defense I got to ride some new roads and added on an extra hour to loop around the Bodenburg road race course. Still, it wasn't exactly a logical choice. Few things related to this sport are.

Yesterday was Fathers Day. I woke up early and contemplated going for a ride. I rolled over and fell back asleep for a couple hours. When I woke up, I went to the store for doughnuts and other bad things and sat down with my youngest to see who could smear the most chocolate around our mouths. He won.

The wife and I went to the grocery store and stocked up on stuff for the week. I had every intention of going out for a ride when we got home. It was an absolutely beautiful day. Instead I took a nap. When I woke up, it was already time for dinner. No riding for me.

Instead, I wrenched a bit on the Storck, st…

Fit Moron.

I play around with my bike fit from time to time. Some times it's something minor like saddle angle or cleat positioning. Other times it's different stems, handlebars, seatpost offset, or other components. Sometimes it's completely intentional, other times it's "gosh, that sure is pretty" and I don't care how it feels.

I've always thought of myself as a 56cm frame kind of guy. That's what has traditionally worked for me, with minimal toe overlap and a comfortable balance fore-aft. Because 100mm stems usually come with 56cm frames, that's usually my starting point. Whatever handlebars I happen to throw on there (and what looks pretty) and a suitable seatpost finish out the fit. Then I just deal with the results or sell the bike as being "wrong for me".

My Russian titanium bike has really opened up my eyes in more ways than one.

I threw it together with a lot of parts I had on-hand. Parts I had laying around but never used because they di…