summer hours

twin plate fork

Originally uploaded by iraryancycles.

i have to admit it has been hard to motivate myself to go to work everyday in a basement shop when the sun is high in the sky and the road bike calls to be ridden. now the days are a little cooler and every time i ride to the shop i see more cross bikes out and about. the murmurs in the racing community about short forest park rides and running intervals are becoming more frequent as the cross season is only about a month away. very excited for it all but more than anything, the impending grey of winter means that i will hole up in the shop and crank out bikes and racks. i always look forward to fall and winter for the increased hermit like productivity along with fewer but tougher epic riding. the rain and cold and maybe a couple snowy rides if you get high enough in the mountains. think gavia pass in the ’88 giro. something gratifying about rides in the dead of winter when you only see one or two other people. i like to think it builds the mental fortitude.
i decided to race last Friday after a early day in the shop with a good amount of productivity under my belt. i figured i would test my fitness with a little twilight criterium racing in the 3’s field. my adopted rule for most racing anymore is that i will only race in races that i can ride to to limit the travel time and expense along with out having to get in a car. the twilight crit was in the north park blocks this year which is flat, rough and tight. 80 people at the line all trying to squeeze into the first 2 corners was a little hairy but i worked my way to the front in 4 laps and took a flier for a couple laps. i felt great. the red-lined heart rate is always what gets me in crits and cross races. after a couple laps on the front and seeing some sketchy crashes right in front of me, i concluded that it would be dumb to crash. this is my normal survival instinct that chimes in in most races. i sat up and rolled towards the back. i hung out in the pack, gaped myself off the group and would sprint back on on the straight away. good training. i was feeling good and riding well when a team Rubicon rider decided to stack it in the corner right in front of me. my humble goal for most races anymore is to have fun and not to crash. i was having a blast but the crash was not up to me. i collected myself and walked to the curb where the unofficial messenger beer garden was and got a beer to go with the blood.
upon closer inspection, my bike was fine with the wheels a little outta whack and some streaks of blood on the fork. i like the way it looks but i would have passed on the matching knee wound on my right leg.
Sunday afternoon and some shop time to finish up Wendy’s city bike and a couple racks that are behind schedule. i am looking forward to the hand-built show in Feb but feel like it is breathing down my neck and fear i will have to pull something outta my ass to get it all together.
just keep pedaling.


4 Responses to “summer hours”

  1. Robert Says:

    So Ira, crashed at the Crit. Remember my last words to you was if you go down take 4 more with you, so how many hit the pavement? Very cool that you took a roll out front, should have stuck it out, less traffic. So as long as you are searching your backside for stuff that is hiding out up there, did you see an orange bike?


    Robert, Noah and Zoe (the you can’t lap me terrier)

    PS: Checked Joel’s PBP finish time and it looks like he made the time cut off. About half the folks I was rooting for did not finish, tough year, crap weather, nasty headwinds, kind of like Iowa, what are they bitchin about? Oh yeah France has vertical gain all over the place. Maybe it will be my sorry ass over there in 2011 if I ever pony of the Cajones and the Dinero.


  2. Wendy Says:


    p.s. I hope your knee heals up soon.

  3. snarkypants Says:

    I also love the hermit-like quality of fall and winter. And ‘cross, of course. I can’t wait for cooler days!
    Heal quickly.

  4. Danielle Says:

    Hey Ira… is one of those “behind schedule” racks mine? I still don’t have the stinkin’ frame, so no worries on your end. I promise I’ll pick out a powdercoat color soon. 🙂

    …and THANKS!

    (and sorry to hear about your knee — heal up soon)

    Danielle 🙂

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