America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

America's #1 Balance Bike Destination
America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Got lemons? Make lemonade.

Realizing too late that you used poor judgment is either a defeat or an opportunity. Your hero prefers the latter, as should you. We traveled to Rochester this weekend, and the only bike stuff I brought were:
Winter hat (Rochester is cold)
Two bibs (for Spinning at the Y)
Two ss jerseys (above)
Spd shoes (above above)
Multitool (this was a lucky stowaway)
One base layer (I like to wear as outerwear)
Obviously no bike, pumps, jacket, socks, leg warmers, helmet, spare tubes/levers, powertap, hrm, or other necessities.
As it turned out, the whole reason why I left all that stuff behind- the weather report predicting freezing rain, sleet and snow for Friday and Saturday- was pretty nearly completely wrong. Friday morning's bright sunny weather made my skin crawl. About 9:30 I went out to Starbucks for a large Pike Place (I refuse to say the word "grande")- which happens to be right next door to Park Ave Bike, managed by the inimitable Jonah D, who I went to high school with. The shop was closed but upon hearing his name and recognizing me from my FB profile, he started towards the door. The former Cannondale rep was now managing the most successful bike shop in Rochester, and upon hearing of my poor judgment, he glanced towards a fresh-out-of-the-box 56 cm Specialized Tarmac 'test bike' and said "here you go". What would YOU do??
As happy as a tornado in a trailer park, I drove up to the house with my coffee in hand and my red-headed mistress secured to the roof. The look on future ex wife's face clearly indicated another severe use of poor judgment, but forgiveness is easier to get than permission, and before she had a chance to call her attorney and take 1/2 our stuff, I kitted up with improvised apparel and got the hell out of dodge. In spite of the 35 degree coldness, the first three hours were exquisite, and if not for the freezing rain, sleet and snow which drenched me in the beginning of the 4th hour, it would have been another 85 miler as in the past 3 weekends. I had to settle for a little less, but it was a slightly higher intensity than usual due to being alone the whole time.
The following morning I had the pleasure of meeting up with the GVCC "endurance ride" (as many of the 30 strong group reminded me after the first few rollers). I was President of this club back in 1989. As you can imagine, I was on a short leash with a choker this morning. After traversing part of the old Mendon GVCC road race course in a group heavily populated with fixies, cross bikes and fenders, I peeled off and headed back north towards Pittsford to keep my promise of being home by noon. Besides I also had a demo bike to return and some flowers to buy.. I'm still working on the flowers part..
Poor judgment-0, Murat-1.
Thanks for reading.
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Phoenix Arizona: nice place to read about

The single most impressive thing about Phoenix Arizona is the Rental Car Terminal. Intelligent design has a special place in my heart. The thing that brought me down was the emptiness. Phoenix is a lonely city- all dressed up and waiting for a party to happen, it seems, and everyone is a no-show. The glimmering mini skyscrapers seem to be populated only by the palm trees which surround them. It's a scene out of Grand Theft Auto if I ever saw one. The boring flat landscape is made interesting with shiny hollow trophies of an era which probably ended a little after Y2K and the bottom falling out of tech stocks. I'm well aware of the mountains, canyons and natural beauty that is beyond the perfectly linear matrix of streets, and I begin to wonder if maybe that's where everyone went. Severe time limits prevented me from finding a bike to rent and from exploring the roads for hours like I wanted to. Shit, I only put 30 miles on my rental car for that matter. Phoenix has an abundance of billboards. Some one is getting very rich selling space to all the corporations who pine for your attention. I detest them, almost as much as the car dealer ads on the radio.. You know, the loud ones that sound like you're listening to the preview of an epic movie, followed by a fast talker who reads all the fine print of that zero down zero interest deal that ends tomorrow.. Car dealers are slime, just like billboard owners. One is engaged in noise pollution, the other in sight pollution. Way to make an ugly place uglier Phoenix! I did not turn on my car radio, for reasons I just described.. But you can't close your eyes while driving. I lied there's something else I liked about Phoenix- the Metro running up and down Central Ave is a slick set-up. There's even a car where bicyclists can hang their bikes from the ceiling- a nice touch but one which I can't understand. The climate is near perfect and the roads are perfectly smooth and flat. Why bother jumping on a tram when you're already on your bike in the first place?
The Convention Center is a LEED Silver certified building which is respectable.. LEED and Green construction practices were frequent topics discussed at the trade show I attended in Phoenix. A speaker in one of the workshops I attended said something pretty dramatic:
"In 20 years, 1/3 of the jobs available today will be gone, and 1/2 of them will be replaced by Green-collar jobs". My profession engages me in the construction and renovation of high performance green schools. This is stuff I care about. Furnishing $5 million hi-rise condos on Beacon Street with expensive and exotic woodwork does not turn my crank. Furnishing a public educational facility with responsibly forested, locally harvested and low VOC emitting woodwork, does interest me, immensely.
I will board my flight here in Detroit shortly. My new Blackberry 8900 is junk- I'm trading up to a BOLD. Time to play some Word Mole. Thanks for reading.
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

New job = New Bike Commute

For the past five years I was lucky to have an 8 mile bike ride to work. (I used to take the long way home of course..) Now my bike commute is 26 miles each way and I fear that it may be a bit too much, especially in the mornings. This is going to be hard to do more than once a week. I need to leave the house at 6:00 am in order to get there at a reasonable hour, and the logistics of clean clothing, grooming failures and odor control really make it harder than you might think. I rode this route home tonight for the first time and noticed that it was always a very gradual downhill with a tailwind, going north to south. Tomorrow morning it will be colder, it will be uphill and it will be into the wind. What better way to start the day than with a challenging 90 minutes of straining yourself while a backpack humps your torso and every driver acts like they wish you were dead? It will be a relief to reach the bike path tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Gewilli's commute is what, 3 miles? with an over-population of phreds whose primary training goal each year is to avoid being passed by anyone on the bike path? the East Bay bike path is narrow, bumpy, covered in bird shit, and always smells like low tide..The Blackstone Bike Path is stunning. I've seen all five paths in Rhode Island and Blackstone is by far the most scenic, interesting, and beautiful of them all. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Looking to sponsor a few good teams

Dear wife and I are slowly but surely growing a couple of small businesses:
WeeBike and another project that is soon to be off the ground. We are going to be the USA distribution arm of a company in Turkey which manufactures WOOL base layers and undergarments of all types. The company is called HASYUN, which translates literally into Pure Wool. We're also negotiating with a sports apparel manufacturer in Turkey for possible introduction of a line of custom racing apparel- bib shorts, jerseys, jackets etc, under the M1 Racing Brand that we have made popular in New England over the past couple of years.
We're looking for a few teams which are looking for sponsors. Cash, merchandise or a combination of the two can be offered depending upon the situation of the teams which are interested. If your team is about to pull the trigger on ordering new apparel for 2010, please reach out to me via e-mail:

Sunday, November 01, 2009


I'm pleased because even though I crashed heavily two times at today's Canton Cup Cyclocross Race, your hero never quit, he avoided being lapped and even caught four people and sprinted past a fifth right at the finish line. My son Reis pulled a similar result in his kid's race for 6 and 7 year olds. He went right off into the weeds on the first slick muddy turn and was dead last.. until he got back on the bike, chased down and passed two kids and finished fourth. Mommy for her part, put up with all the pissing, moaning, whining and bullshit that Reis and I could dish out, all day long, before patiently painting Reis' face like Spider Man so we could all go trick-or-treating. It takes a strong woman to handle a couple of selfish crybabies like Reis and I.. but the knife cuts two ways and we'll leave it at that! Finishing my first cyclo-cross race on the same lap as the leaders feels pretty good. So does catching and passing people and looking back to see the gap on them open steadily. A taste of that could light my fire to try even harder to do well.. Usually I just use cyclocross as a means to keep fitness sharp until January when the road training officially begins. Another home run from today that I'm absolutely beaming about: I found my Powertap bike computer. It was lost in mid September and I've looked everywhere for it, even in the place where it was found: the pocket of my brown camouflage shorts. I've repeatedly fondled these shorts and others over the past weeks, hoping to feel the little device from outside. Well today I said fuck-it and shoved my hand into the pocket for once and [curse your slim profile, Powertap] there it was. I came running down the stairs almost naked to report the search and rescue to Ebru. She thought I found a million dollars, I think she was disappointed. So it goes- I finally finished a race at Canton, on the 3rd try. My doors were blown off [even worse] on the 1st try and again a couple of years ago when I dragged my poor father to the race with me. He froze his balls off watching me pathetically try to ride a bike for 2 laps.. I don't think he was too impressed with me that day.. Maybe today makes up for it. Maybe finding the Powertap was payback for determination. Maybe this should be the last sentence of this story. Thanks for reading.