Archive | August, 2013

Ridley X-Night / #crossiscoming

28 Aug

A few weeks back we had the pleasure of someone making our car a bit more aero… and by more aero I mean someone using a pry bar to take off the roof rack. Life in the city. Fast forward a bit and I needed to figure out a way to get multiple bikes to races, especially since cyclocross season starts in less than two weeks. I opted to go the hitch route as I didn’t want to get another rack stolen and fuel efficiency. I picked up a class 1 1 ¼” hitch for the car for ~$125. The install on these things aren’t super easy but waaaaay easier than they use to be 10 years ago. There is no drilling needed as they use very cleaver fishing wire to route the bolts through the subframe which will most likely take up the majority of the time depending on the setup. I will say I had to dremel a few under-carriage plastic parts to fit around the hitch itself. Either way I was able to get it done in an hour or so, by myself, on the side of our street.

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Next up was actually finding a rack.  I live for finding ‘deals’ on forums/craigslist/what-have-you and was able to find a new Thule 4 bike rack for under $100. I scooped it up on the way home a night and strapped it on my bag trying not to take out any pedestrians/side mirrors.  They claim 2 bikes only but when your bikes are ~20lbs, its not a worry as youre way under the max 200lb tongue allowable.

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Now that I got the transportation of bikes dialed in again, next was buying another bike of course… Like usual, a deal popped up I couldn’t pass and now I own a plastic cross bike.  it’s a 2012 Ridley X-Night and its stupid stiff.  It seriously sprints better than my carbon roadie, its amazing.  I’ve been putting as many road miles on her to get use to the geometry.

 

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Unfortunately theres been a lot of conflict in the city cross scene and we lost our old cx course.  A slew of people went out and put in some work to create a new course.  Unfortunately it’s a little late to start practicing but either way it needs to get built for Single Speed Cyclocross Worlds (#SSCXWC13 if you will) which will be here at the end of the year.

 

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Veggie Wing Tour 2013

20 Aug

Ive been slacking on making this post…

Last weekend I put on ‘Wings, Dings, and Things,’ a soon to be annual veggie wing crawl via bikes.  The goal was to eat a bunch of wings that aren’t real wings, drink a bunch of beer along the way, and hang out with buds.  I think all the goals were accomplished.

Stop 1: Cedar Point Bar and Kitchen (2370 E. Norris St)

First up Cedar Point in Fishtown for food and drinks.  Their wings are on the crispier side and are topped with fried brussels sprouts which seams weird but are amazing.  Then again fried anything is great.  I did find out they have half price wings during their weekly weeday happy hour.

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Stop 2: Blackbird (507 S 6th St) www.blackbirdpizzeria.com/

Next up was Blackbird, an all vegan pizza shop.  They make their seitan in house which is amazingly good about a year ago which are great, BUT they wont do a regular buffalo jawn which is a bit frustrating.  My new move is to get said wings dry, and then add the redhot that they have on the counter.  They were excellent.  We ate outside and enjoyed some Sly Fox Route 113 IPA.  I think a few people even threw down on the bball court.

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Stop 3:  Pizza.Wings.Steaks (3233 Powelton Ave)

It is a newer establishment in University City.  I found out about this place not too long ago and added it to the route to span the city a bit more.  They do a homemade seitan, then bread it, and then fry so the wings are more like something you would get at Hooters.  I think this stop put most of us in the pain cave as we ordered way too many rounds.  They were good, just super filling.

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Stop 4: Belgium Café (2047 Green St.)
Then to the Art Museum area for Belgium café, which has had their wings on the menu for a long time.  They use more of a BBQ sauce but they are still always good.  They also have an amazing beer list so we hung out in drank for a bit trying to get our hunger back up.

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Stop 5:  The Abbaye (637 N. 3rd St)

The final stop of the tour was The Abbaye in Northern Liberties.  They have pretty good wings but their homemade seitan seem to change every time im there.  The price to portion ratio makes me rarely order them but they are good.  Most of us had our fill of wings so we mostly drank until late that night.

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Camp by Bike – French Creek

12 Aug

Saturday morning I woke up early and packed my panniers to get ready for an overnight cycle camping trip to French Creek State Park. I threw a rear rack on my cross rig using 4x P-clips and loaded her down. We assembled at the Art Museum with a 9:00 9:30am roll out. The route is pretty easy from the city… Take the SRT all the way out past Valley Forge, jump on the Perkiomen Trail to Phoenixville, then take 23 to St. Peters then into French Creek State Park. Its just under 50miles each way which makes it a pretty perfect day trip type of ride.

Strava Jawn / Directions

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Photo Cred: Andrew

 

 

We cruised out via West River to the SRT and chatted it up.  The weather was beautiful and everyone was in a good mood.  Its nice have a ~20mile flat rail-trail path that leads out of the city for things like this.  No maps are needed, no stressing about cars, just easy riding.  We got to the end of the trail and picked up Bridge St going into Phenoxville.  Stop 1 of the tour was at Sly Fox Brewing for beer, and a little food.  A few others who don’t live in the city joined us here as well.  After pounding 4 pitchers we got back on the road a little tipsier than before.  For some reason the semi-intoxicated riding turned into a race and people got dropped 🙂

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I kept the speed mellow and proceeded to help get our group lost / add 10miles and ~1000ft of climbing… for some people this wasn’t a good thing and morale was a bit low.  We eventually made it to the camp site and get ready to get our food on.  After eating, setting up camp, making a fire, then eating again, we hung out into the wee hours of the morning drinking a few cases and bottle of bourbon.

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The camp site was really nice.  Id never been camping there before but they have restrooms and showers which makes life pretty easy.  You do have to register a camp ground (2-days minimum) a bit in advance as they seem to fill up quickly in the summer months.  It seemed to mostly be families which was nice to see minus the 7:30am wakeup call of little kids screaming.  I had a couple things to do back in the city so after some breakfast and hanging, I hit the road solo and giddied up back to the city.  Another solid weekend.

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Down the shore

5 Aug

This weekend the lady, Blake and myself rode down to Ventnor City, NJ (right south of Atlantic City) for some fun and sun at the beach. We left late afternoon Friday and started the 70+ mile ride ‘down the shore.’ Traffic was definitely a lot heavier on the back roads on a Friday around 5pm unfortunately but nothing too too bad. About half way in we stopped at one of the many NJ farm stands and destroyed a thing of blueberries and basket of peaches. The farmstand stops make the beach ride so so good. We got to the beach a bit after dark and went straight to dinner for some tomato pies. After slews of food and a couple brews we hit the sack.

Beach route Strava

Philly to Ventnor City, NJ

Ventnor City, NJ to Philly

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The next day it was a bit dreary out but we had lots to get done.  We relaxed a bit and eventually rode to grab some food.  Next on the agenda was hitting the beach up even though it was pretty overcast.  Eventually we rode down to Ocean City, NJ to grab some food and take a walk on the board walk.  The original place we were going was closed but we made it to the The Bashful Banana Cafe for some food and a banana whip.  After 1 dessert we headed back over the bridge to Ventnor City and grabbed a secondary dessert before going to the bar for a quick brew.

 

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The next morning we grabbed a bagel and hit the road.  It was a bit slow going as I got sick Saturday somehow and felt super achy plus the added 10-15mph constant headwind.  We made a stop at a farm stand for more fruit and one at Wawa to refill water bottles and eventually made it back to the city.  It was the first time the lady had ever ridden to the beach (or even more than 60 miles) let alone ridding there and back.  She crushed it putting in 160mi over the weekend.

 

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Even though we were a bit exhausted we made some quick food then walked around the 2nd St festival to meet up with friends and get some food.  Another solid weekend!  Just need to get over this cold now.

 

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