Monday, March 26, 2012


Last Thursday Night's ride was a beauty. We missed the rain, picked up some light mud, and had a good roll. Here Tony views one of  rainbows that were all over us ...

In front of us, and behind us ...

We were so enthralled with the rainbows we were singing along for the rest of the ride. Tony said he thought it was the perfect way to prepare for the upcoming Barry Ruby in two days time.

Yes, just imagine Tony and yours truly, Surly Bastard riding along signing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" down soggy and sentimental back roads.  It's not as strange as you think. I have a photo of a young Judy Garland taped to the stem of my training bike. Sure I do.

Was Scott Walburn just trying to lighten his bike by a few grams to make it easier up for the climbs? Seems like losing the pedal is a tough way to go, but then Scott's a tough guy.

So Barry Ruby is come and gone and once again I've missed it. But then some people who thought they were going to make the race apparently missed it as well. While I don't have any photos of the event since all of the photos I can see have one of these ™ of one of these ® or one of these ©, I was able to grab the above photo of Scott Walburn's bike 15 minutes before the race, as posted by Scott on a thing called Face Book. Tough luck Scott.


While some blogs have described Barry Ruby in terms of BRX = BLOOD BATH, so far I haven't heard any reports of any crashes or carnage, such as were reported last year. For those who have forgotten, here's a report from one of Cycling Dirt's favorite racers, Garth Proser. Why they wanted Garth shot at the end of every Barry Ruby interview, I have no idea. Here's Prosser from last year after having his arm chopped completely off in a Barry Ruby related accident. From what I've heard the arm has grown back. Just in time for him to be shot at the end of every Cycling Dirt Interview. (Also, late breaking news, The Michigan Scene has posted up a load of BRX videos including an interview with one of our favorite Bastardettes, Amy Stauffer, who took the Women's Barry Ruby Championship! Congrats Amy!)


While thankfully there were no reports of serious injuries from last weekend's race, we still have some reports of hospitalized Bastards, and friends of Bastards, over the last few days, weeks, and months. The first of these was a strange and obsequious Face Book post by Brian, the Brain Krause. You may know him from the Village Bike shop, or from his antics on tandems in local cyclocross races. To my horror, here's the last time I saw Brian on the internets ...

Where's the white hose going and what's it doing down there Brian? Everyone thinks you should be smiling with all that hi-tech suction attached to your junk. Why no happy face? Hope the grafting when well.

What I have learned so far about the above operation is that Brian had an additional set of legs grafted onto his butt so he could ride a tandem without the need of another rider - like Jeff Jacobi. I guess Brian doesn't want to share the bike with anymore since he went out an got him some extra "legs." Talk about it being all about you Brian ...

Ryan took his daughter with him to the ER. He cracked up while she threw-up, I guess.

I was also horrified to see this photo when it popped up on the Internets. Ryan Allen, a frequent Crazy Bastard,  also hit the ER and a hospital bed this winter as a result of "mushrooming" on a dirt road ride.


Thankfully using Crazy Bastard science and technology, we have been able to heal both of these riders so they ride again - and better than ever.

TUESDAY RIDE: Not how the rides will continue though I must say that I still like riding some dirt for a change - but many of you may have already migrated, like ducks and geese flying north for the summer, to the pavement. In any case I won't be there for the ride this Tuesday. I'll let you know about Thursday. Maybe we will have an urban ride, or a "near downtown" road ride launch during the week.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


Julie Boonen (Tom's sister) getting down to the skin on last Tuesday's ride.

Crazy warm weather has us peeling and paring down our riding kits like never before in the month of March. Last night, while trying to hang on to Big Mac's wheel on a little cross country jaunt, I think I got a sunburn. Not to mention a "bonk" a "ruptured quad" a "dry throat" and  an unusual desire to be sitting at a table in an air-conditioned restaurant enjoying Whine-Down Wednesday.

In March we're used to seeing outfits like this on the Crazy Bastard rides.

But instead the ride staging in the parking lot has been looking more like this.

Big Kahuna shows off what we should be wearing right now - and what was appropriate attire just a few weeks ago.

Now the rides are literally becoming "a handful" when it comes to showing it all. Yeah this is happening, for sure.
Tonight I wouldn't be surprised to see the Stradelli Cycle gal roll up for a "quick loop." Looks like the perfect Barry Ruby outfit, to me, doesn't it?

This could be tonight's ride. Though I'm thinking the paint could be a little hot. And look, those women don't have any helmets on! The shame.

 The real question is (and you can see Julie Boonen looking all serious here while I ask) is what Julie will be wearing, or won't be wearing on tonight's ride.

My guess, with the direction things are heading, is probably something like this.

Plan on rolling out at 6 from Townsend. See you cycle-fashionistas there.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Dramatic changes in the season effect the habits (and mindset) of dogs and cyclists. What do I do now? Zone 1 or 3? Intervals or miles? Couch or bark at the window. Think I'll do some more junk miles and lay on the couch.

Well times are a changing. We've not only did the "spring forward" with our clocks, we've also done it with our seasons and the weather and have jumped from mid-March to the beginning of July just like that. As a result my dog doesn't know what to do with herself. She doesn't know if it's summer, spring, summer's over and it's time to go hunting or what. Also, many cyclists are confused as well. The road races have no idea what to do - as in what zone to ride in. Do they need miles or sprint intervals? Also, should we continue dirt road rides? Or abandon the winter ride practice in favor of small tires for the road, or the fatter tire for the trail.

While photos of superstar German mountain bikers like Hanna Klein may give you an urge to "jump on that fat tire" it could be too early for you to get out there an shag those trails.

 Yeah, hit that unexpected wet spot and what have you got? A knot on your head.

There are also many dangers lurking on trails that haven't been cleared by the local trail-clearing organizations. Like this giant snake stuck in the guy's fork. Wheel suck? No, snake suck ...

Road riding in weather that's out of character also has its dangers. There are a lot of "sudden" distractions out there, so look out!

Urban rides can also be a lot of fun. Like the time we rolled into the Chicken dance. Woot! Woot!

Unfortunately, ride around town long enough, say during Saint Patrick's day downtown and there's a good chance you're going to see stuff like this. 

Yes, Betty has located a box of hammers with her inquisitive nose. Usually I'd equate this to a Mountain Bike Box of Brains but this year it's cutting across all riding categories.

Lately, whether it has been on the road, dirt, or city streets the skills and thoughtfulness of a small percentage of riders I've been rolling I'd have to equate to a "box of hammers." I'd say you know who you are, but I'm thinking that you don't know who you are by the way you ride.

Well it's still a relatively free country, and until the Black Helicopters drop ropes in the backyard we're all free to choose what kind of riding we want to do. Or even how stupidly we want to ride. Oh wait, Slayer just called and the BLACK HELICOPTERS ARE ON THEIR WAY! Guess we're all rolling dirt tonight.

Here's a quick water color I just brushed up of the Black Helicopters circling the house. I changed the color of the house to yellow (that's how I'm feeling) and put the garage on the wrong side (the warm weather has me all turned around), but what the hell, it's over anyway.

Here's the poster that Slayer has nailed to the wall over his bed. Just so he doesn't ever forget that they're coming. And I guess they are ...

In honor of the Black Helicopters coming, I'm whipping my hair into a Black Helicopter "Doo" like this one, which will act as a helmet. I'm just thinking I'm a little short on hair, but will have it ready for tonight. I can stick the headlamp in the front, pretty easy.

Black Helicopters or not, tonight I'm going to choose to roll out of Townsend Park a little after 6 for nice long, but casual ride. We may not need lights, and we should have some (lights) on hand, in case we need them. For the Barry Ruby Taper-mongers, this should be good. Let us know if you're coming. Or not.

Saturday, March 17, 2012


Great setting sun behind the group. Wait you can't see shit! Oh, usual. Thanks iPhone, crap camera. Anyway the group still looks like they're having fun.

Thursday night's small Crazy Bastard ride (seen above). Dennis the Masher (dude watching you mash those pedals makes my knees ache), Jazzy Redline Jeff, Cupcake, and Dan the Dancake. Beautiful weather, but where were all the Barry Ruby Training Riders on this gorgeous Thursday night? Don't tell me they're tapering ... Seem so unlike them, doesn't it? As you can see Cupcake is rocking her new Irish Spring green kit. What you can't see are the sweet new Sidi's she's rocking. I got a close-up of them later on that night.

I thought these were weird. I mean blue doesn't really go with that Priority Health green, does it? I mean it's light green and this is really BLUE!

In other Crazy Bastard News I've got a lot of post to post, but haven't had time. Working away and riding as much as possible while the weather is so sweet, there just haven't been enough hours in the day or dark in the night. Thankfully, I've been receiving a number of few from you Crazy Bastards out there that make for instant posts.

The first one is of the Farmer's kids training hard for the rest of their lives as kick as bike racers and riders. Here's five year old Molly V, hauling her 7 year old brother Jake in a Burley at warp speed. I hope this plays, it's freakin' hilarious. Is that girl strong, or what?

Another video from Crazy Bastard Flying Bats (Craig R) that's right up our collective Bastardly-Alley. Hey it's warm out, I need some water. This stuff looks like it will quench my thirst with style. Enjoy and see you all next week, Tuesday as we say farewell, well almost, to the Barry Ruby people.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Just one of several beers consumed over the last week while grabbing quick rides around the city. This one was at the Pyramid Scheme, smack downtown, yesterday. $2.50 for Belgium style beer at Happy Hour, not bad.

Like any habitual cyclist I've always have a bunch of excuses ready for practically any occasion. "I haven't been riding enough. I've been riding too much. I've got saddle sores. My bike tan isn't right, it doesn't match the length of my bibs. I pulled a (insert muscle, ligament or tendon here). My wife left the EPO out of the fridge and it all went bad. There's a carbon shortage, how can I ride? The 1,000 spokes I ordered to build the team's wheels haven't come in yet. My coach says I need to (insert appropriate coach direction here: recovery week, interval week, Zone 3 riding, Zone 1 riding, hill repeats, sprint repeats, send him or her a check today). I didn't bring enough GU packs I think I'm going to bonk. I forgot to carb load this week and I'm know I'm going to bonk. I went to stick myself in the thigh with a syringe, took my eyes off the road, hit a pothole, missed my thigh and slammed it into the top-tube, so I'm like, NOT GOOD today. I put my training on hold until I can an electronic-shift, hydraulic brake, carbon bike that weighs under 13 pounds is a reality."

Two that didn't make excuses. Cupcake and Nancy riding the Barry Ruby course this weekend. This looks like the very last of the cold weather - at least for now.

Well here's my excuse for the week:  I have missed several organized rides, including our own ride on Tuesday, because of too much work and not enough time. With the wonderful weather, however, I couldn't resist breaking away for several blasts around the city and up the trail. Early in the week, the weather was so nice I couldn't help myself and I rocked the SS for a change.

If you're riding an SS the best place to stop for a cold one would be Founders.

It was great riding that day, unfortunately mother nature turned on me right after my Founder's stop.

Strange looking clouds, and blue buildings. What did it all mean?

What it meant was that I was about to get my ass soaked to the skin. Welcome, early spring drenching. Glad I got you out of the way.

In addition to my various urban assaults, I was also able to blast up the trail to Rockford on several occasions, once with Adam and Sarah McIntyre.

Sarah' McIntyre's feeble attempt at carb loading on a trail ride this week through Rockford. This is a gelato at Grill 111. I just hope her team doesn't find out and fine her.

The best thing about riding through Rockford. Good things to eat. The bad thing about riding through Rockford. Good things to eat. Yesterday, with warm-warm weather I ventured out on the road bike for a longer-than-usual blast. After running into a few friends including Chris Boer, some other East Hills Riders, and Dave H, I meandered around until the sun was almost down.

The parting shot at the end of the ride last night.

I'm hoping tonight to break away for a ride in the country, but not sure if everyone is up for it - I didn't get a report on whether the roads were dry or not. Anyway, if it's an Urban or Rural ride, I think I've finally got the right bike for any job - it's my "No Excuses" bike. All I want to know who's going to lead me out? And if you do, let me know when you're going to "sit up" or I will literally cut you a new one.
No more of that "on your left shit." I'm coming through. Straight through.

Post up if you'd like to ride through the city or out at Townsend at 6. Now I'm back to playing catch-up. I guess my first thought is Townsend and some dirt. But let us know what you'd like.

Monday, March 12, 2012


You never know what you'll see on a Crazy Bastard Urban Ride. We ran into these girls along the way last Thursday night. They were on their way to Margo's Birthday Party at the Winchester. I think the gal on the right is Sheri Versluis, the Farmer's Wife. Looks like she's buying her riding kit at the same place as Julie Boonen.

Too chicken for another soggy mud ride on Thursday, a few of us opted for an urban ride which essentially eliminates mud but keeps the potholes in the riding equation. It also adds pedestrians and cars, something that we rarely see in the dark woods along the usual Crazy Bastard route, so there's more fun and weirdness right there. So we met up at Founders and headed out, with Big Kahuna, Amy S, Steve B, Cupcake aka Laura M, and your faithful ride recorder, ont the dangerous and bizarre streets of our "bike friendly ....." excuse me I had to laugh, city, of Grand Rapids

Cupcake leads the cheering of the huge crowds that greeted us as our Crazy Bastard Urban Ride rolled through town. 

Cheering for us? Not really, nobody cared about us, actually. They just wanted us out of the way most of the time. What you're seeing above was the Chicken Dance (some contest to see how many people can be made to look ridiculous at once), and we just happened to be riding by. It was a great way for Amy S and Cupcake to warm up. As you can see ...

A little chicken wiggle to the left.

A little chicken to the right.

A little get-down chicken wiggle, tonight, and you'll feel real nice!

After the Chicken Dance we again had to stop, this time to wish Margo Burian a happy birthday. she was celebrating at the Winchester with some of those friends that we ran into on our way.

Margo celebrates her birthday with members of the Crazy Bastard Urban Ride™. I think she said she was 26 or 27, but I can't be sure. Post your best guess in the comments below.

While the ride was a lot of fun, it's sure not like having the whole road to yourself, as we do all fall and winter long on the usual CB routes out of Townsend. As the ride progressed, and the vehicles came closer and closer, as the lights flashed and the horns honked, I had horrible visions that looked a lot like these old bicycling cartoons ...

The lesson here – Grata buses and bus drivers ... approach with extreme caution. They are not your friend when you're on a bicycle.

Okay, same thing goes for grabbing a car, truck or bus for an easy ride. Don't do it - unless you're a hipster, and then it's okay. It's not like you're an endangered species or anything like that, right?

Oh yeah, look out for that truck, dumbass.

I don't know about the transcendence part, but I'll like to learn enough to not-get-mowed-down by that family from Kentwood that's looking for a parking spot.

Bike Snob NYC has another book on the way. This one looks like it was made for anyone that wants to go on an Urban Crazy Bastard Ride - like that's ever going to happen again. Anyway I don't think we should go on another ride until everyone has read this book, studied the "danger cartoons" and is prepared to take a three-hour test on urban riding skills. If we all pass then we'll be riding like these super-cool  hipsters from Norway on fixies in the video below. Notice near the end of the video they leave town and head out into the countryside. Good idea. And great soundtrack and video. Watch it an learn watcher and learners - with the rain coming down right now, another ride on the hard stuff might be in order.

FTT edit #3 from Thomas Larsen Røed on Vimeo.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


Satellites orbiting high above the earth's surface have detected heavy concentrations of carbon fibre bicycles on the roads of Barry County. Yes - it's Barry Ruby training time.

 Here you can see the movements of the bikes. The clusters represent teams. The singular notations indicate people that are lost.

Looks tough, doesn't it? And this is only the training that went on this weekend!

By using heat imaging we can also detect more than just the movement of the cyclists over the Barry Ruby Course. If you look closely enough you can see glowing images. Those would be meth labs.

While scoping or racing the Barry Ruby course, you may occassionally see sights like this. This isn't a feed or medical station, so don't stop, this is just an impromptu, roadside meth lab. You can tell because it's so messy, bikers lay out the GU and water bottle in a more orderly fashion.

If you see people like this wandering the course don't immediately assume that they are course marshals unless they are wearing an official Barry Ruby "I'm An Official & Not a Meth Head" shirt. And make sure if they have a whistle there isn't smoke coming out of it when they "blow it."

One last shot of Barry Ruby practice from this weekend ... from high above the earth (again) ...

 For the parting shot we used the latest in telescopic technology ...

And we even used never before seen (or heard) long distance listening devices to record what was happening down in Barry Ruby Land.

The images and information were then downloaded (all the way from outer space) to the sophisticated and technologically advanced Crazy Bastard nerve center ...

The downloaded data was then crunched and analyzed by our crack Crazy Bastard analysts. Here's what this grumpy-guy Crazy Bastard analyst discovered ...

"Hey, where the @#$% are you guys!" we could hear Julie say all the way from outer space and back again. "I need to getting rolling to cool off. I've got too many clothes on. Let's go!

That's right -  it was just our adorable Julie "Boonen" in her black riding suit, tennis shoes and all, waiting at the top of the hill for the rest of her entourage to catch up. We may have spent millions in research and technology, but I, for one, think it was worth it. Hope you had a great ride today, Barry Ruby Riders!