America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

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

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Stella Azzura retro bar tape

This stuff is harder than it looks to install! The flat top shape of modern bars also means you need to be careful not to "wrap yourself short"..
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Weight = 167

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Friday, February 26, 2010


I guess I could have just spun for 15 minutes and then explained how important it is to slowly ease back into training after missing an entire week with illness.. I don't have time for that and I'm allergic to bullshit.. so my preference is to pick up where I left off, by repeating a very recent workout and trying to detect any residual weakness from having a cold. We're back on track.This was a very common workout for me when indoors:
20:00 WU
1:00 EN 110rpm
1:00 FT 90 rpm
5:00 RI
1:00 EN 110rpm
1:00 FT 90 rpm
15:00 CD
Apologies to those of you who would have preferred to see me thrash myself randomly for 90 minutes without any real structure or purpose, and then judge my workout by the amount of sweat on the floor.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

HasyunUSA and WeeBIKE- now separate websites

During one of my recent late night insomniac episodes, I found the mental fortitude to set up a new retail website to separate the Kid’s Bikes we sell from the Merino Wool Underwear we sell. The wool apparel can still be found at, but the storefront gives very little indication of this, so those who are interested in kid’s bikes, primarily see kid’s bikes.

To make our Google Adwords campaign for wool underwear more effective, it seemed pretty obvious to us that those who want to buy wool are not interested in kid’s bikes, nor are they interested in buying wool from a site where kid’s bikes are featured. For this reason, was born. As simple and plain-jane as this site appears, it is no easy task to get the domain name transferred over and get the merchant account codes, certificates and passwords installed. This Hasyun site took me about 2 hours to create, and it’s automatically populated with everything that I have in my Ebay store, within a minute of launch. This meant that I had to go in and delete all the non-wool items, but this only takes a few minutes. So now you know.

Some of you also know that I am sponsoring the ArcenCiel Racing Team with a combination of merchandise, discounts and cash. The ass-end of their kit is going to look something like this:

It’s an honor to be affiliated with such a classy bunch of masters. I won’t drop names here but the initials of TB, RR, DK, BM et al represent incredibly strong men who ride all winter long and win races regularly. They are also an older group who has an appreciation for wool cycling apparel.

We’ve been in business 2-1/2 years and so far, so good. We haven’t lost any money, and we’re blessed that a lot of our money is sitting tight in the form of inventory. This means growth! Even so, every cent we have made that didn’t go towards purchasing more inventory, has gone towards the support and cash sponsorship of the M1 Racing/ Racing Team. We have been covering nearly all entry fees for our riders and we are probably the only team offering prize-matching- something which a few of our guys have done very well with- our team won six races last season.

All this cash outlay means we are basically running the operation hand to mouth. We recently had to take a loan from a family member so that we could put a deposit down on a home, said loan being in anticipation of my tax return check. Don’t let the 2 retail websites and the 6 blogs fool you: we are not wealthy people. I own a rental property in West Warwick and I rent a condo in East Greenwich so my son can go to a good school. Some very attractively priced FannieMae foreclosures are hitting the market right now and you can pick them up for only 3% down if you get a Homepath mortgage. Go to and you will find everything you need to know, including the listings for your area. It’s free. This is where we found the house we are buying, which is in the Cowesett area of Warwick. Buy on weakness, sell on strength!

There was some point which I needed to make but it’s lost on me at the moment.. Indeed- here it is. It would please us immensely of the racing community which we support could consider reciprocating and maybe thinking about buying some of our Hasyun Wool Underwear or one of our many brands of kid’s bikes. We have sold wool underwear and bikes to people all over the world, but our recent decision NOT to open a brick and mortar retail store was directly linked to the fact that we are selling to people everywhere EXCEPT in New England. I don’t know how any kind of overhead can possibly be supported when the community you live in is not spending any money. We’re nonplussed, but grateful for all of the hundreds of customers which we have in places like UK, Russia, Israel, Australia, Canada and Mexico. Some local sales will make it a lot easier to have enough cash to close on this property which we are trying to buy.

This morning I was flipping through my new Velonews and discovered one of the product promos was for a short sleeve merino wool base layer, by a company called Capo. This “limited edition” item is selling for $80, and from the picture I found of it online, it’s practically see-thru, and no indication is given of exactly how much wool is used to construct it, or where it’s made. As a person engaged in the wool trade, I can tell you that the cost of this piece is probably about $7-10, depending upon the volume. The rest of the $70 mark-up goes to cover overhead, advertising, distribution, fancy web design, freight, customs, packaging, and expensive ads in Velonews. If you detect a little bit of frustration, you are right-on.

We sell a high quality short sleeve merino wool blend base layer for $29.95, plus $2.95 for shipping. Our competition, be it Capo, Ibex or Smartwool, is engaged in some kind of delusional price-point which only the wealthy and ignorant can afford to pay. There is no way that any of the people I train and ride and race with can afford that kind of dough for a paper thin wool undershirt of unknown wool content and unknown origin. That being said, I want to announce that our introductory period for our apparel is ending on February 28th. On March 1st the new price of our 75% merino wool blend short sleeve base layer will be adjusted to $39.95, which is still ½ the price of the boutique brands. For select teams in the New England area, I will be sharing one of two Coupon Codes which can be used at checkout. One will be for 10% off and for teams which I sponsor, it is a LOT more.

We have recently added two types of long underwear for men: black in 75% merino wool blend, and beige in 100% merino wool. Please go to the website and browse the selection: These are both reasonably priced for $38.95 and $39.95, respectively.

Let me tell you what happened to me last night.. Some of you have heard that I’m in the middle of a very nasty chest/head cold. Well last night I was feeling a little better, and I went to bed with my Hasyun Merino Wool base layer as a pajama top, because I had the feeling that it would be a night where I am going to sweat buckets. Four hours later, I awoke to heed nature’s call. Lying on my back, the covers pulled up to my neck, I felt very snug and comfortable. It wasn’t until I threw the covers off of me that I realized that I was lying in a pool of sweat, the sheets, blankets, wool shirt and flannel bottoms all soaked through completely. The important distinction to make though, is that wool retains 70% of it’s insulating properties even after it is soaked through. With any other type of undershirt, I probably would have woken up 3-4 times to change shirts. This means that the wool shirt allowed me to get more rest, and keep warm too. For the record, I have one Hasyun base layer which I bought 3 years ago- and it fits me better and better with each washing. Seems to have a ‘memory’ relative to my body shape. These things are built to last with flat stitched seams using a double knit interlock fabric.

Well I’ve said a lot more here than I expected to, but hopefully you have learned a few things about our business, about the teams we sponsor and where to go find foreclosed homes. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Grandpa got a bath..

I've never owned a bike which was put to such heavy use, as this one.. So yeah I think of it as an old man- but a fit one- like Harrison Ford (he's 67!?) The design of this frame seems a little bit dated, but I am pretty sure that it's as stiff a frame as anything else I can replace it with. I can't get the chain to rub the front derailleur when stomping on the pedals, so I'm thinking it still has a good amount of life left. It needs to because I can't afford a new bike right now.. We're buying a foreclosure from FannieMae and we need every penny for closing. I'm going to throw a pair of Zipp 404 tubulars on it and see how it goes. I have a pair available to me for a great price, and I figure shaving off a pound of rotational weight is going to help me more than a new frameset will. Besides, I don't think I will enjoy obsessing over a new bike's sensitive paint job. This old LOOK has a lot of battle scars already.. kind of the way my knees do..
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Friday, February 19, 2010

PowerTap Crap

This is from last Saturday.. I did not require the device to tell me how much force to apply to the pedals, no, that kind of worked itself out in accordance with the company I was with. I like using the device as a flight data recorder though.. comparing successive weeks and seeing a pattern which indicates success.. Thanks for reading.

Monday, February 15, 2010

best luggage ever

For $2 you get this lightweight and indestructible bag that perfect for whipping bike race stuff into from across the room.. Unless you're the type who wastes their time folding clothing.
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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Thoughts about Coaching

Consider this: On top of racing a bike, you are working a challenging life smothering job and running a home based business and managing a masters racing team and you have a demanding wife and an active six year old son and you rent an expensive condo and own a rental property and you manage a retail website and contribute to five blogs, and from this hurricane of stress you manage to steal 10-15 hours a week for bike practice (a miracle in and of itself)..

Successful self-coaching.. as it relates to a correctly planned training program, with the optimal amount of volume, intensity and rest, is not something you fall ass-backwards into, especially when you don’t have the luxury of riding as much as you want, whenever you want to.. Sound familiar?

It’s not so far fetched that the person described above may not have the brainpower left at the end of the day to figure out the best way to optimize their limited training time. For masters like us, it’s “now or never” time. Masters are chewing through their handlebars in the last 1k2go for their results, rightly so, as they are not getting any younger. Indeed, for those who really want to be successful, the age of 40 is not the time to “wing it” relative to a successful training program, and even if we know how to get to 90% of our potential for success, it’s the last 10% which matters and it’s the last 10% which is the easiest to screw up. Some race results are measured in millimeters. It doesn’t take a very large advantage in form to break from the top 10 of your races into the top 3 of your races. Hire a coach for the correct reasons.

Thanks for reading.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Let you in on a secret:

There is a house for sale on Ives Road in Warwick- happens to be ¼ mile past the main entry to the infamous Goddard Park- a picture perfect little house with all of the features, the price, and the taxes which we were looking for- walking distance to the park and to the beach- front view of a golf course, fenced yard, solid foundation, mature landscape, deck, shed, etc- it was a foreclosure being sold by Fannie Mae- priced $100k less than the previous owners paid for it 2-1/2 years ago- we offered a little bit over the asking price on the 1st day it was on the market.. and lost it to another buyer somehow.

It’s funny how you can attach yourself emotionally to a home that you want, imagine your family’s future in it, even look forward to using your windtrainer in it’s basement, and then *poof*. A bucket of ice water when you are informed that your *above-asking-price* offer wasn’t good enough. Yeah we have a rock solid pre-qual letter in-hand. I should feel blessed and lucky for having the ability to buy a 2nd home but.. instead I’m nonplussed.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

2010 Field Test No 1

If my power data ramblings do not please you, tough luck. I got home from a relatively easy day at work and after horking down a burrito bowl from Chipotle (nothing but rice, black beans, meat and hot salsa) I noticed my resting h.r. was low- as in about 50 while standing up looking in the mirror. Yesterday I took rest- just a light easy spin on my spinning bike. Last Sunday I thought I might try a field test during my indoor training at Providence Bike, but aborted that idea after the 5 minute "blow-out". (280 watts?!) Meaningless to you, I know.. At any rate, I was feeling up to the task tonight, so I just did it. 20:00 warm up, followed by three 1:00 intervals in zone 5, 1:00 apart. Then 5:00 recovery.. Followed by a zone 4+ 20% interval of 5:00 (300w+ this time), then 10:00 recovery, and finally, 20:00 TT. It was a success. (Note: "success" is indicated relative to completion- in years past i am guilty of aborting a couple of field tests simply because fatigue caught up to me about 7-8 minutes into the TT. No such failure on this first try) Anyway, I set a realistic target and hit it hard. By starting out conservatively I was able to really control the intensity in the 2nd 10 minutes. I changed gearing and cadence a few times, and it helped.. The last 2 minutes were eye popping. I actually went a little past 20 minutes to average it up to where I wanted, meaning that I did better than the PT indicates. I'll download in the morning and see what's what. Thanks for reading.
Update: Added below is the 20 minute TT chart from last night, and at the bottom left, find the data from a field test from the same time last winter (1/23/09). Last night's data is on the right.
It pleases me to see that the winter program is bearing some fruit. When you consider that I am 5 pounds lighter this time around, it looks even better from a watts/kg standpoint. Thanks.

1989 UB Classic Criterium

I do not rejoice in finishing 2nd, but laying eyes on this photo for the 1st time, 22 years later, is quite a treat. I call your attention to the larger gap which Ryan Muncy and I opened on the field that day. Facebook made it possible for to re-connect with my old friend and to see myself in a photo finish. Pretty cool I think.
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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Bike for sale: Redline 9-2-5

I paid $450 for this bike and put maybe 500 miles on it.

I don’t know the size, but I’m 5’-9” and it fits me nicely.

Yours for $300.

Moustache bars are not included- I sold them on Ebay.

Yeah- someone paid money for them, go figure.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Weight-lifting with GF/Spouse

Dear wife has been in occasional (diluted) care of a very good trainer at the YMCA. Last night for the first time, we actually hit the Nautilus machines together, taking turns on each respective piece of equipment. I think the biggest difference for her was that I pushed her to do the extra last few reps, where she would have otherwise stopped (because the trainer is usually minding 6-12 other people). Everyone has a different approach, but it’s my belief that if you are doing 15 reps, it’s the last three which really count, and that they should be hard. The other difference is that in areas where strong improvement is needed, a minimum of three sets is ideal, performed consecutively with not more than 1-2 minutes in between. Weights can be adjusted for fatigue, but the last set should be performed to failure, preferably in the range of 8-10 reps. I plan to engage in weightlifting not less than twice a week for the next two months, and do it on a more consistent schedule. It’s been hit or miss so far this winter- some structure will really improve the results. A lot of “junk-lifting” up until now! I’m pressing 320 pounds on the “Nitro-Leg-Press” machine- close to twice my weight. I usually work my way up from 260 in 20 pound increments, meaning that my fourth [fatigued] set is the 320 (12 reps). Does adding mass concern me? Indeed it does, but being stronger is worth it I think. As long as I am mixing it up with stretching, Pilates, Spinning classes, targeted windtrainer workouts and very long weekend rides, I really don’t see how it’s possible for some extra lean mass to slow me down.

This begs the question: why use carbon handlebars if they’re weaker than aluminum ones? I’m still mentally wrapped around that axle, and don’t really know what to tell you! I guess my point is, if I were a pair of handlebars, I’d rather be made from aluminum than from carbon. Thanks for reading.