I was over on Bicycle Retailer and Industry News looking for a bit of info when I came across this: Mike Ferrentino has become the editor of Bike Magazine. Bike magazine used to be a great magazine years ago, it had a lot of soul. In my opinion it hasn't lived up to those standards for a while. Ferrentino's writing was one of the consistently good things about it and there would be some decent content at times but the overall quality fell off and the thing got quite thin in size. Sad to say, but after subscribing for years, when my subscription ran out sometime in the past year I decided I wasn't renewing. Besides the thin volume, things like the annual magazine of ads masquerading as a "buyer's guide" had turned me off to the point where I decided Bike was getting cut from my subscription line-up. I was trying to cull some of the reading material that was filling my mailbox and this time Bike came on the chopping block.
Ferrentino becoming editor can only be good news for the magazine if they let him do things his way and give him the support he needs (which most likely means budget). I wish him luck and hope he's allowed to put out a mag that he doesn't have to compromise on because of some corporate overlord's interference. I'm taking a $12 gamble and resubscribing.
A few of us were talking about EPO the other day and someone mentioned this article they had read that was in Outside magazine a while back. It was about an amateur cyclist who tried it out just to see what it was like. It was a pretty interesting article, I had already read it but no one else in the group had seen it. So I dug it up online. Check it out.
Everybody knows that many athletes cheat by using performance-enhancing drugs like steroids, testosterone, and EPO. But what is it like to take these banned substances? Do they really help you win? To find out, we sent an amateur cyclist into the back rooms of sports medicine, where he just said yes to the most controversial chemicals in sports.
The riders putting on the Single Speed World Championships have put a bunch of new info on the site covering everything from where to buy beer in town to where to stay. Lots of good stuff which is surely the result of them being bombarded with emails looking for info. And yes, I can confirm that Pennsylvania has some of the strangest alcohol laws I've seen, but they give you all the details so you can stay lubricated. See the info here. And in case you didn't know, the fine shop known as Mt. Nittany Wheelworks is behind this effort so give them your business when you are in town.
Good news on the local trail front, some of the trails at Fairland park were in danger of being lost due to development. After a 5 year battle the developers have pulled out. Austin Steo, the Maryland advocacy director for MORE deserves a ton of credit for this. Not only has he nurtured the trail building there but he's been spearheading the effort to save them. Thanks.
The 24 hours of Big Bear is this weekend. Good luck to everyone riding it. I really wanted to do it but it overlaps with other plans. Lots of locals heading out, look for my teammates from last year in the single speed class riding for The Big Meats and US Postal.
Well, you may have noticed a lot of updates here this week and this entry itself is quite long. Why? Well, I'm leaving you for a week of riding in Crested Butte and Fruita so I wanted to give you a bunch of stuff before I go. I haven't signed up any guest posters this time around since most of them are typing on BikeCentric these days. So go over there for a little reading while I'm gone. And if that bores you, check out the blog of former SS World Champion Marla Streb.
Doubtful I'll get near a computer while I'm away but if I do I'll try to slip in a post or two. Otherwise look for a return on the 26th. Keep the rubber side down while I'm gone.
Little Wheels Keep on Rolling //
Thursday - June 16, 2005
So I've had the chance to have several MTB rides in a row on the Surly 1x1. After spending quite a bit of time on the Kelly 29er it's good to settle in on the 26" wheels and be able to make some comparisons. The verdict: I love them both. They both are both bikes that I feel really have their design nailed down. They both handle a bit different - more on that at a later date when I can spend some time detailing it - but I wouldn't trade either one at this point.
Had a great ride last night, throttled back my effort a bit to roll into the vacation fully recovered and ready for a week or so of straight riding. The rib is 95% healed, which is something I did not think was going to have with the frequency I was reinjuring it. Mixed up last night's ride doing the trails in a few ways we rarely do, hitting a lot of them backwards and in a different order. Made for a good ride. Overall things had dried out good at Avalon. We skipped the farm loop that tends to stay mud for a long time and stayed off of a couple of other trails that tend to hold water. Everything we hit was looking good and the temps had backed off a bit too. Great mid-week ride.
Look out, Leap Frog bike 'zine is back. A real live hard-copy type item with bikes, music and general ranting. Done up old school cut and paste layout style this time around. Email the ed for details on how to get one: email@example.com.
Hot Time, Summer in the City //
Monday - June 13, 2005
It's like someone flipped the switch here and the heat and humidty have roared in. Feels more like August than mid-June. Makes cycling a bit more interesting, feels like you are breathing water.
A good group of us got some street riding in on Saturday, down to the Hampden Honfest. The Clipper City Uber Pils was going down quickly in an attempt to cool down. It was a scorcher with the blacktop radiating heat and little shade. We stuck it out for a good chunk of the day, listening to music, checking out Atomic Books and chowing food. Eventually it was time to remount the bikes and head out. Next up, Brewers Art for some more fine beers at happy hour prices. The basement was nice and cool but much like a dark dungeon on such a bright day. Once happy hour was over we remounted once again to get back before dark and start in on the homebrew kegs. A day full of fixed gears and beer, not a bad way to spend it.
Sunday saw us head to Loch Raven, a pack of 5 single speeders letting loose on the tight and twisty singletrack. The Trossenator was back in action, first time on the dirt in a while, and it was good to have him back. He's been logging mad commuter miles and tons of road miles so he's going strong. Any of you wimps that think you are getting too old hear this: he's 52, his only mountain bike is a single speed and if he comes off the trail and isn't bleeding then he knows he hasn't been riding hard enough. Use him for inspiration.
Great ride with a cool down swim near the end. Water was the perfect temperature. Not a better day for it either.