Tag Archives: chicago

I’ve Got Some Serious

16 Aug

How much serious? This much serious:

Enough serious about the upcoming cross season that not only did I sign up for and complete a cyclocross camp, seriously I did, but I also now have a skinsuit, a very limited edition, very serious skinsuit. Thanks to the fine folks at Revolution especially, one Mr. Stupidbike .

Can you think of anything so serious as skinsuits and cross camp? Didn’t think so, it’s next to impossible.

Not just any cross camp would qualify as serious but a camp put on by pretty much the best cross racer in the Western hemisphere Mr. Jeremy Powers.  You might be asking where JPow’s serious went in the following pic, I think it’s pretty obvious that I took it from him.

I’ve got the bike, I’ve got the skinsuit, I’ve got a few skills (including a super secret JPow hole shot move) but most importantly I’ve got some serious.

Pain In The Hill

11 Aug

I thought the parking garage climbs were a fantastic solution to my mountain dilemma but I’ve had less than stellar results. Too much security or too much traffic or really, just not that steep nor long.

Today on board the community cross bike everything changed. I’ve actually ridden by this hill many times not giving it a lot of thought because its just not that long. I gave it a go and it totally kicked my corn.

And from the top:

20 laps all out and I’m temporarily satisfied and even think I’m ready for Park City Point 2 Point or at least a cross race that has a hill or two.

Trophy Garage

27 Jul

Being mountain starved makes every bike outing a hunt.  I’ve been riding all over the city trying to find a good climb and came across these towers. I pedaled around them a few times and then asked the security dude if I could have a look, he just shook his head no and walked away patting his taser. I’ll be back with donuts.

I did find a garage a couple blocks away with no apparent security and 12 levels of parking spaces.  The first 2 levels were pretty steep leading up to the main parking area.  After tentatively riding to the top, not sure if I was going to get tasered, I headed back down confident I had found a decent mountain and looked forward to pushing it hard on the 2nd effort.

With separate entrances and exits I needed to exit the garage before climb #2.  As I approached the arm blocking the exit flashing lights and sirens started going off.  I was sure I had just won a special prize for being the first to bicycle to the top of the garage.  Instead of waiting around for the prize I decided to reward myself with a dip in lake Michigan.  There’s a good reason all those swimmers I’d seen earlier were wearing wetsuits.

Mountain Hunter

23 Jul

I can’t afford to be a purist here in the Midwest I’ll take my mountains any way I can get them, natural or man made. I’m determined not to lose my climbing legs and in order to accomplish that I need to climb a mountain on a weekly basis. I started my hunt with a visit to Kozy’s Cyclery donwtown on Erie St.

While Brant was a huge help in pointing me towards Calumet Fisheries and Three Floyds he wasn’t sure about any mountains to be had in the area.

After a little recon I spied what may be the tallest parking garage I’ve ever seen, 21-22 stories tall of 100% parking space. It must be 300 feet tall, 5-10 laps up this baby ought to satisfy any mountain climber.

I couldn’t pull the trigger though. Turns out it’s an elevator parking garage, requiring the push of a button to move between floors in your car and impossible to cycle. The hunt continues.

Abode

20 Jul

As hard as we tried we couldn’t get the whole trailer full of crap into our flat so what wouldn’t fit inside we left outside on the curb and overnight it magically found a new home.

I crouched on top of the washing machine to get this picture of the kitchen.

Here’s my favorite room in the house, the tree outside the window makes it feel like I live in a tree house and I’m pretty sure we have about the same square footage as a tree house.

I’m standing in the shower for this picture of the vanity.

And sitting on the toilet to get this picture, I can actually wash my hands without getting off the toilet. On one hand it may be the only sink in the house but on the other hand only 4 of us have to share it and it’s made of freakin marble!

Bike Chicago

14 Jul

I have to admit that one of my biggest fears about moving to Chicago was the lack of any mountains. Now that I’ve been here for a week and a half I am adding hills, inclines and lack of any change in elevation at all to that list. This place is as flat as a pancake for miles and miles in any direction.

I’m not complaining, it turns out that the lack of mountains and hills isn’t necessarily a bad thing. There happens to be miles and miles of pavement. Really technical, obstacle strewn pavement no less. I’m thinking this might be the next Fall Moab destination.

Road Trip

10 Jul

I still can’t get my head around the fact that I live in Chicago. I know I’ve only been here a week but it feels like I’m on vacation and will be heading back to Utah any day. Must be the road trip and 2 weeks off the bike and 2 weeks of road trip food.

Summer is all about road trippin and I-90 is heavy on the trippin. Granted we started on I-80 but things didn’t get trippy and more than a little kitschy til we got to I-90. We left SLC early on June 30th bound for Chicago and headed straight to Rawlins, Wyo. Yeah I’d never heard of Rawlins either. Mile after mile of boarded up motels and restaurants, must be the $30 entry fee to visit the historic Wyoming State Penitentiary. We just asked to use the bathroom and got the whole tour of the place for free. Maybe it’s because of the non-paying bathroom users like us.

We spent the first night at Devils Tower, Wyo. and wondered why we had never been there before. Oh yeah now I remember, it’s a 10 hour drive from home. Actually, totally worth the drive and was hands down our favorite stop of the trip. After Devils Tower you hit I-90 and it’s pretty much non stop kitsch all the way to Chicago, not that that’s a bad thing I happen to like me some good kitsch.

The kitsch starts ramping up in Sturgis, grows and grows through Mount Rushmore nearly reaching a crescendo in Wall, S.D. at the worlds largest drugstore that consumes an entire town. But wait, there is still the Corn Palace in Mitchell, S.D.

Oh thank God, respite in Sioux Falls.

Like I said before, I loves me some good kitsch and Austin MN didn’t let me down. Behold the SPAM museum. Tasha and the girls had never tasted SPAM before so I made the mistake of opening some in the car after we left the museum so we could all have a wif and a taste. After all, the CEO of Hormel proclaimed SPAM “wholesome” in the video we watched at the museum so we were all anxious to give it a try. Pee yew! Catfood. Smells and tastes just like it. Only 1000mg of sodium per serving too! Good thing it has a cool name.

Wisconsin took the top prize as the king of kitsch though with the Wisconsin Dells. Part Disneyland, part Vegas, part really bad David Lynch movie and 100% kitsch. Worth the trip just for the Goody Goody Gum Drop store and their chocolate covered potato chips.

I’ve been too tired to notice any kitsch in Chicago, I’m sure it’s here. We spent the first 3 nights sleeping on the hardwood floors waiting for our truck and the last 4 days trying to cram everything from the truck into those top two windows on the left in the picture below. The moving truck is 3 times longer than our flat is wide, ended up leaving a bunch of stuff on the curb and it magically disappeared.

I’ve got a photo tour of the new house up next. Stay tuned, you’re gonna love my bathroom.