Thursday, February 28, 2008

Kona Resurection - Part I

The Kona Mano Mano full suspension is a used bike manufactured in 1999. It came equipped with an XT crankset and derailluers, LX shifters and a Vanilla Float Rock Shox rear shock.

Unfortunately the person I bought it from received the bike from a company that she worked for that manufactured crazy, weird, needless and stupid cranks. Of course a "stupid crank" was installed on the Mano Mano. The good thing was that the bike was waaaay too big for her and instead of riding and abusing it, she let it sit in her garage. The bad part is that the crankset that is literally stuck on my bike is heavy and gay - it is designed to be pedaled both backwards and frontwards - I know, I don't get it either. the other good part is that the bike only cost me 200 bucks...

But I was quite serious in that it is literally stuck on the bike. It won't come off. Doug, the ace mechanic at Penn Cycle in Minnetonka, is in the process of cutting it off. It may be that in the process of getting the bottom bracket removed, the housing may get ruined. We have our fingers crossed, however, it doesn't look good. The future of my Mano Mano is in Doug's hands....wish him luck....

Monday, February 25, 2008


13 miles - Hopkins/MPLS Lakes Route ( computer yet)

AND FIRST RIDE ON POPRAD!!! What a difference between my old 2100 carbon/aluminum and the Poprad cyclocross bike. As soon as I pulled out of the driveway and climbed the hill (with ease I should offer!) I knew I was going to like the Poprad. It was fast, smooth (probably due to the steel frame) and handled great and I actually preferred riding in the dropouts.

During the ride I had to make an expected seat height adjustment because I was in street sneakers when I was fitted to the bike. I also turned the handlebars down a bit because I preferred to have my hands on the flats of the dropouts. I also could get ahold of the brakes and shifters better with the handlebar angle changed slightly. That adjustment did cause me to be bent over sightly more to where I was less comfy and it changed my breathing/performance. I am going to rethink the adjustment in the next few rides.

I labored in thought over taking my new bike out on a day like today - melting snow, road sand and salt does not make a bike a happy camper. But, since it IS a cyclocross bike that will spend a lot of time in the dirt while in my possession, I thought, "what the hell," and here is the result....

...besides completely frozen was a short, but sweet ride...a sign of things to come...goal is 2000+ miles in 2008...!!!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

CRC (Cars-R-Coffins)
3346 Lyndale Ave. S
Minneapolis, MN 55408

Cuppa Joe $1.35
Latte $2.50

I have visited a lot of coffee shops in the Twin Cities and other parts of the country. Cars-R-Coffins (CRC) is hands down the absolutely most innovative shop in the Twin Cities. Until now my favorite coffeeshop has been Websters Bookstore Cafe in State College, Pennsylvania, because of the quality of the coffee (true shadegrown organic fair trade, handpicked from the forests of Columbia) and because of the melding together of coffee and books (and great variety of used and affordable books). CRC may overtake Websters on my all-time favorite list. CRC melds together bikes and coffee...and does it well!
I was thoroughly impressed by the thoughtfullness and cleanliness of the shop. As a man who would prefer that his bikes sleep in the same room as himself, nothing could feel more natural than to drink a cup of Peace Coffee with an old Schwinn, or a custom road bike, hanging above my head.To top it off, you can purchase yourself a bike as easily as a delicious molasses cookie (gotta have one...just like my Gramma Leese would make).

If you hear a lot of those annoying click-click, or persistent squeaks coming from your derailuer, and your brakes are wearing thin, Hurl (the owner) will tune up your bike for a small fee. Come on! Is that cool or what?
The "garage door" opens up in the summer and some cozy tables are set up on the sidewalk, so you can relax after a jut around the lakes on your bomber, while you sip your latte. After Hurl posts the hours on the front door (thats just standard procedure, or so I thought), there will be no qualms about who has the most inventive coffeeshop in the Cities.
DO NOT feel that you cannot stop if you are not a biker. CRC is a great place to visit. After all, I parked my Saturn/coffin outfront for my delicious black coffee. The only thing better would be to get a good book, have a great cup of coffee and get my vintage Trek commuter tuned up in one trip!
I only regret is not stopping sooner!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Biking Podcast Directlory

Go Here:

I am currently podcasting:

  • MTBCast which is a local podcast on mountain biking from Georgia. I probably will cancel my subscription because it is too regional and event oriented and is less informational. Would be good if I lived in the SE, but not Minneapolis (although I did here a good review/praising the 2007 Gary Fisher ExCaliber 29er hardtail, which is where I may put my money next year)
  • The Fredcast which is a road racing podcast with a mixture of bike-centered info and race coverage. I am in the process of listening to the 20 or more podcasts covering last year's Tour De France - very cool and is a good way of keeping up with a race, that even though is one of the world's most competitive, famous and popular sporting events, is very hard to follow with the mainstream news media. Fredcast is well done and very informative. I will be listening weekly after I get finished with the 07 Tour coverage.

Please let me know (and everyone else of course) of any great cycling podcasts that YOU find!!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Fitting a Bike

One of the things I am learning at work is how to fit a person on a road bike. It takes some general knowledge about bike fitting, plus some problem solving skills. I read a few articles to get me started. The most helpful has been an article by Peter White. Mr. White does not believe in measurements in fitting a bike. At this point I agree. Read his article and maybe you will agree also:
Let me know what you think of this article...

Saturday, February 2, 2008

The Tour De France Companion:
A Nuts, Bolts and Spokes Guide to the Greatest Race in the World
by Bob Roll

The author, a tour competitor himself on one of Armstrong's earlier teams, has written a compeling and informative guidebook on many aspects of the Tour De France.

The guide is a quick read and would be recommended, in my humble opinion, for a beginner seeking to follow the tour. The book is broken down into many sections which allows one to go back easily to find, reference and gather info.

The book is highly illustrated so it is fun, not only to read, but to page through. I found the book to be slightly repetative in inspiring anecdotes and in its sappy overdramatic stories, especially about Lance Armstrong and Greg Lemond.
Overall it a great fun read.