Saturday, November 29, 2008
From the NYBMA...
Cranksgiving 10 was the biggest & best New York Cranksgiving ever. With 106 racers, it was New York’s largest alleycat of the year, too. Five different charities were supported: City Harvest, The NYBMF, Nazareth Housing, Hudson Guild, and Saint Mary’s. Over $2000 was collected for City Harvest & The NYBMF. Nazareth Housing & Hudson Guild both received 100 cans of baby food. And St. Mary’s received at least another $1000 in food donations.
The generous donations of our many sponsors allowed prizes to be given out for the top 6 girls & guys, plus top 3 out of town, and a few prizes for the “most generous” people, who dragged in entire turkeys and far more than twice the amount of food they were required to buy. A special thanks goes out to Neighburrito, John & Charlene Roberts, Justin Talent(?), Bushwick Country Club, and Nooka who’s generous gifts allowed us to raise over $2000 in cash.
Great job, Dan and Drew!
Some of the sponsors involved...
Hit the NYBMA Cranksgiving post for links to a bunch of flickr photo sets, but for now you get a video of the start...
...also check the NYBMA for results, with Drew and Dan being the only CT riders other than Hartford Aaron (3rd out-of-town), who seems to show up at everything! (I thought you were, *West* Hartford Aaron??!!?!).
And while we're on the subject of New York, it looks like the Route One Stage Race is being resurrected for the '09 NACCC in Boston, this time heading from NYC to Boston. The Scorchers will be hosting the New Haven portion. Watch out!
Friday, November 28, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
When the original shop first opened, the owner, Matt, said, "My goal is to run myself out of business." He offered repair classes and discounts to just about every single club or organization. His goal was to get everyone to a point of self-sufficiency that they no longer needed the local shop. Matt raced in the 80's during a time when there were cool shops and not-so-cool shops and felt the industry had gone in favor of the not-so-cool. He felt that he could make a small living (read: break even) and promote cycling in a way no one else had done. Matt opened his shop on lower Chapel St., an area local government refers to as, "the outlands".
As his shop grew, he realized people were still willing to pay for repairs. He got them comfortable with the day-to-day maintenance, but they'd still pay a pro to do the big stuff. He hired some certified mechanics and Scorchers Chris S. and Tom O'Hara, two gents well-schooled in the cycle-arts.
Matt's shop donated to every available cause -- even Ghettodrome, our own debacle of a race event -- circles in the IKEA parking lot. Most of our alleycat flyers displayed his logo.
As his shop grew, he realized the need for a satellite, an outpost -- someplace where you could stroll in with a flat and get it fixed then and there. (The lower Chapel location is a far walk from downtown). He opened on Audubon and hired more crew. Unfortunately, the economy has taken a turn for the worse (Matt, feel free to Motherf*ck Mr. Bush for that) and sales are down. The second shop must close.
Quite a few years back, while I was still in college, Matt worked at the local haunt, The Daily Caffe. I used to ride my hand built, no grease in the headset, lowrider bicycle (Mo had a matching one) down to the coffee shop, and Matt would say, "Man, that's cool, but you need a real bike, too." After a jaunt out to Austin, Matt returned and worked at Baybrook Bicycle (Holy Sh!t, Bob, thank god you bought that place!) where he
Matt's shop has a "motto" of, "Turning people onto riders. Riders into cyclists." It ain't bull-shizzle. I was a kid who built plywood-and-spare-tire ramps for my BMX until I made enough money to buy a shovel, and he saw it. He got me back into riding. And when Richie Neagle came along with the fourth or fifth fixie to grace the streets of New Haven since Colonel Pope for me, Matt was all for it. "Never mind the uphill," he said, "you'll motherf*ck the downhill". He was right.
This is by no means an obituary! The original shop is still open, and welcomes your business! The bike nerds we have grown to know and love are still employed, albeit with slightly less hours -- 'tis okay, Mr. Tom "moneypants" O'Hara ;) has moved out West. Keep shopping. Keep cycling. Keep building.
It just sucks that a local guy, with a locals-only dream has suffered because a bunch of wealthy ne'er-do-wells have f*cked the rest of us.
Thanks dude! Thanks for making me who I am today -- even if I don't always get along with you. And happy birthday you f*cker! Pay me back for the thousands of dollars I've spent on bikes since!!!!
Boston, we guarantee you we will not win (oh wait, Raf is going? alright, maybe not).
We guarantee at least one of us will puke.
We guarantee at least one of us will be pissed there's no Root Beer at the afterparty.
We guarantee you'll ask us back.
The same goes for Florida, so long as the Wizard Buggy is fully operational...
They're even doing group travel arrangements!
Monday, November 24, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Al didn't think you'd believe it, so he crashed to prove it to you...
Be prepared for your invite.
In the summer months we have to get almost naked...
...check out a sampling of his photography below, then read his race summary.
Jeez-us, I never realized I was so short (or is Matt just that tall???)
run that hill, shake-boy!
Dougy Fresh, post race, at the Ghostship table
D Fresh coming out of the sand pit...
...then finishing up a round of tennis
Doug while still in 5th
Thanks, Tony for allowing me to steal those pix!
Also, check out the 'Beat Bike Blog for another racer's take on the event.
Okay, okay, if we're going to give back we're going to still have a li'l fun doing it!
CTDrew and Dan Nugent slipped out to the annual Cranksgiving NYC alleycat to show a little love. The basic premise of the event has riders completing a course, in traditional alleycat fashion, but rather than have your manifest signed at each location, each location is a grocery store or bodega, and the manifest is a thanksgiving shopping list. The collected food is then donated to homeless shelters in NYC...
We should have a full race report later, after Nuge and Drew recover from their hangovers -- hey, giving back is hard work!
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Matt & Doug rode in the Cheshire Cyclocross '08 series this morning, hosted by Cheshire Cycle complete with a Ghostship shout-out on their sponsors page.
Doug Jenne -- Vicious Cycles / Ghostship
It was my first time at a cyclocross event, let alone a New England cyclocross event. I can sum up the sport by saying "a bunch of cyclists with head problems ride retarded bikes in places they shouldn't, torturing themselves purely for my enjoyment." It was wild -- I think I've been converted. Who knew standing in 28 degree weather for three hours would be such a good time?!
Matt Lolli of Ghostship fame wore a milkshake costume...
My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard...
Matt came in 16th out of about 40 people in the Cat. 4 / Public division.
Doug raced Cat. 2/3 (The Big Kids) and placed 18th. He had top ten for the first lap, but lost ground during the large grass flat section (hey, whaddya expect, he was runnin' a singlespeed!!!)
We also ran into Tayphoo, a New Haven native and frequenter of alleycats, riding for Sikorsky...
New Haven's chapter of Scorchers have reached new heights -- we hold meetings.
Most recently, we discussed hooking up with the Eastern Collegiate Cycling Conference for some pre-championships debauchery and bringing Goldsprints to New Haven.
Good things to come. Be on the lookout.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
While everyone in bikedom is psyched about their new Obama Bag, the change I can believe in only comes from the Biz...
Thursday, November 13, 2008
I have always been a hater of Lance Armstrong (don't hate the player, hate the game) and felt he was a pompous arse.
Who knew he was cool?
He makes his appearance at 2:13, complete with Mary Bars (and I always thought he was a Sally)
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
This has been an exercise in preemptive chop-busting. Lord knows my time on a bicycle recently could be summed up in a single photograph.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
The race wasn't your typical alleycat. It was about a 10mi loop that consisted of pavement, mountain bike trails, and gravelly foot-paths. The loop went up to a park, over 91, over the Founder's Bridge, into E. Hartford, back down south along the river, more single-track, back onto pavement and eventually over the 5/15 bridge back into Charter Oak Landing. (scroll down to find a link to a map for the race). 2 laps were required. Beginning in Charter Oak landing, we went north from the Gazebo. Once we made it through the parking lot, we wound up on a muddy, rock strewn path. Note-able sections included a narrow alleyway between a building and a huge retaining wall, with sharp rocks hidden under leaves just after...sketchy, leaf covered mountain bike trails, lots of rocky, rooty and fallen tree-branch landmines that tried to pull your wheels out from under you...soaking wet, slick pavement, mud puddles a foot deep (yes I rode though one, and barely made it out...heard Dougy-Fresh laughing as he watched me do it), more dark single-track once the sun set...a freshly scattered patch of leaves with a muddy streak underneath it (where someone cased for sure).
We were pretty much red-lining from the gate (just like a cross race). Good thing one of the organizers rode with us to show us the way...I definitely would have had trouble negotiating the trail sections as they weren't marked very well (event suggestion: maybe some yellow tape next year? more frequent flourescent[sp?] paint markings?) About halfway through the first loop, there were only 4 of us (not including the guy showing us the way). The group split up pretty good at the bridge going over 5/15 back down to Charter Oak Landing. I tried my best to keep up with the 2 front guys but they were making some serious headway. I got to the wooded section after completing my first lap with 2nd place jusssssst about out of sight. Realized I went the wrong way and dallied while trying to pick up the trail. Dougy-Fresh came around a corner and pretty much led me out of the woods. Sat in with him back towards downtown, heard him blow one of his shoe buckles off on a rock or a stick. We made it out of the woods and successfully dodged broken glass on the 91 overpass. Getting back to the the Founder's Bridge, I successfully avoided being squashed by a lady not paying attention (she must have hit her head she jumped so hard when I started talking to her right next to her window). Over the bridge and into East Hartford. Rode with Doug along the paved section and he led me through the woods again (thank you!). Once we were back out onto the pavement I wound up spinning away from him (I was running my cross bike w. gears, Doug was on his singlespeed). Pushed up over the bridge and back down to the finish.
When all was said and done, I took 3rd overall and 4th out of town with Doug not far behind me. A hot shower and warm, dry clothes haven't felt so well earned in a long time! Any time spent riding is a good time, fun was had by all. Thanks to the BeatBike Crew for putting the race on and thanks to the rest of the Scorchers who were there. Drew, I hope you can forgive me for botching the beer hand-up on my second lap. I'll buy you one next time...
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Also, check out the Scorchers shout from the organizers on their blog.
Eric, Raf, Drew taking 9th, 10th, 11th due to DQ's!
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Head over to Gmaps (the "G" stands for "gangsta") and get it!
It looks to be just over 9 miles (it's no New Haven alleycat!) with a couple of familiar routes if you've done Hartford Hardcore before. Remember, the cops get really pissy about those bridges!
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
The crew over at Ghostship has hipped us to a Gentleman's race next Saturday in Hartford. Apparently, "Gentleman's" means no race officials, not Old Tyme guys with curly mustaches on pre-war Iver Johnsons. Alas, it appears to be a good time...
The details (as shamelessly stolen from the Ghostship Blog):
3pm sign up & 3:30 race
the start is at the gazebo at charter oak landing hartford, ct
$5 entry fee
it's off and on road, but nothing so technical that couldn't ride it on a road/track bike.
cash prizes and perhaps some other stuff, too
it's not going to be marshaled, so don't cheat
From South of Hartford, take I-91 North to Exit 27, Airport Rd / Brainard Rd. At the end of the ramp, continue straight onto Murphy Road. Go straight through the next intersection and the park entrance is on your right, under the Charter Oak Bridge.
Drew Deep has offered to transport riders up to Hartford in the team van.