Saturday, November 29, 2008

Cranksgiving update

I posted the spokecards earlier, but now we have results...

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!

Stolen Campy Rides Faster

Cranksgiving Spokecards are up

Finally got Dan's spokecard from Cranksgiving for the spokecard gallery scanned. Here ya go...

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thursday, November 27, 2008

What are you thankful for?

file under: do not try this at home

What are you thankful for?

If you're one anonymous cyclist, you're thankful that your ride home along the highway was rather uneventful...

Leo turns 75

Rudy's. 3pm. Sunday.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Moment Of Silence

It saddens us to learn that The Devil's Gear, one of New Haven's coolest bike shops, is closing their satellite location on Audubon Street.
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 conned me into buying my first mountain bike. I rode it for a month before I decided to take it to White's Woods in Litchfield (yeah, yeah, yeah, lame-o trails, i know). I mentioned Mo might come up and he loaned me another bike for her. A weekend later I had paid off her bike -- she needed one that bad.
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!!!!

Down Til We're Underground

Boston, are you ready... be Scorched?


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

Even more cyclocross pics

Tony Tyrant posted even more of his pictures from the Cheshire Cyclocross event. Check them out here.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Heated Polo, Ghettodrome on it's way?

New Haven's Scorchers like to play bike polo. They like to race in circles. Now they've found a place to do it in the winter months. Heat and Shelter. Two essentials, eh?
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...

Another way to waste time on the interwebs

Damn the guys at Swobo!!!
Damn them for showing me this site.

More Cheshire Cyclocross Pics

Tony Tyrant posted some additional Cheshire Cyclocross pix on his "normal" blog...

...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.

Scorchers Give Back

See?!?! We're not just hooligans!
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...

riders wait their turn to donate the collected food

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

Scorchers on their way to Cranksgiving

While Matt & Doug were torturing themselves for my enjoyment, Drew and the Nuge were on their way to the annual Cranksgiving Alleycat in NYC. We should have a race report later...

Drew dreaming of post-race turkeys

Cheshire Cyclocross '08

This post should've been titled, "Matt Lolli And Doug Jenne Have Serious Mental Health Issues". Unfortunately, that didn't fit.
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...

gettin' official, having meetings

...Hi. My name is Matt and I'm a bicycle addict.

Hi, Matt

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.

More Al pix surface

Plates are the new spokecards...

pics from pandalicia.
sorry, Drew, for cutting you in half...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Al turned 21.... 6.
I nancied out and missed it. From the looks of a couple of Alicia's pics, I missed out on a good time. (Sorry, Al)

Hopefully she'll post more of 'em. At least then I can live vicariously through the magic of the interwebs...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

April Fool's Race, Philly

RELoad Bags are once again putting on the April Fool's Race in Philly. Early as it is, it looks like we're getting a small contingent of Scorchers together to represent Connecticut down there.

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


Okay, the Fix-Push shit was funny, and I was about to get off the ol' YouTube when I found this.
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)

Fix Push

Some people say track bikes are the new skateboards...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

One man sweatshop overworked!

Amazingly, the one-man sweatshop. a.k.a. Matt from Ghostship found some free time recently. He used it to ride a bicycle. For proof, he made a video of the event...

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.

Old Fliers

In the name of historical preservation, we've begun uploading old race fliers to the interwebs. As more become available, we'll throw 'em up here. All events have been attended by Scorchers.

Check back often.
View the gallery of old fliers.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Monday, November 10, 2008

Eel Race Report

Yeah, so the Eel race happened. On Saturday. It was wet, muddy, and generally gross conditions for a race. Still, not a bad turn-out in spite of the weather. I rolled up to the rest of the Scorcher's crew, complete with fireworks, beer, crowns and Optimus Prime. It looked to be an epic race from the start. Registration, beer consumption and home-made number plates happened. Somewhere in all of this, Scorcher Dougy-Fresh came through.

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

EEL -- quick recap

Matt placed 3rd overall, 1st out of town. Dougy-fresh rocked 4th overall. It was great to see the rest of the crew lined up, giving me hell as I came past the start/finish for my second lap. The couse was NOT suited to track bikes AT ALL. If you had a mtn bike or a cross bike, those were the moves. I'll post a race report on the blog soon. Good to see everyone.
--from ghostship

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

EEL route leaked!

We've got the route for the EEL!
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

Upcoming race with Ghostship

Yowzers! It's the first ever Scorchers' Blog upcoming race notification! So exciting!!!

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.

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