Resurrection! The Pegoretti has risen.

February 14, 2014
She is Risen

She is Risen: 1999 Pegoretti retored by Waterford and the Yellow Jersey

Gee, I guess it’s been awhile. Something about finishing up two new books while getting flogged by deanlets and deanlings resulted in me neglecting this blog. I did manage to get in an OK set of races last year, 12 on the road and 6 cross races. And, I did several big events like Tulsa Tough, Tour de Grove, Derby City, and Gateway. I even picked up a little money in one race, and witnessed Uncle Gary’s resurrection as well! Gary not only came back to race last year, but he was racing to win, which he did on several occasions.

But, the really exciting event has been bringing the Pegoretti back from the dead. The Peg was my first real race bike and the best thing I ever bought in my life. But, I abused it, bad. And, it had some bad luck with a rock going through the seatstays. Something was amiss, but then I eliminated one of the noises by changing the wheels and thought that maybe she was still salvageable. So, I boxed her up and sent her to Johanna at Waterford Precision Bikes for a full restore and repaint. A few weeks later Johanna called. Not good news. My initial perceptions were confirmed, the top tube was compromised. I told her to send it back to me and I’d hang it on the wall…..A few days later she called me back and said that the Yellow Jersey guy, Andrew Musi, from Madison could splice in a new Columbus Air top tube, not cheap, but it’d be fixed. Awesome, I said, go for it. A few weeks later Johanna called back and said that the seat stays are also toast (no surprise), and that it would be more to get those replaced (but Yellow Jersey could do it). At this point, I’m already in the bag, so what the hell! Well, Andrew did and awesome job!

Maestro Yellow Jersey saved the Pegoretti

Maestro Yellow Jersey saved the Pegoretti

The top tube and seat stays are Columbus Air, which is a nice new superlight steel. Originally, this was all Deda Zero 18MCDV6, which is an excellent pairing. Between the weather and vacations and stuff, it took awhile to get the finished product back in my hands. But, it looks perfect. I’m setting it back up with the steel fork, which I raced from 1999-2001 before losing some weight with a Reynolds Ouzo Pro, mostly new stuff, but keeping the old school vibe with a NOS Record Crank, original record ti brakes and chorus front der, and record ti seat post. I have some new Chorus for the rear mech and the shifters, and I’ll put on the Miche-Open Pro’s which are fairly new. Should be a nice training bike for a long time.

Given all of the snow and the cinders, I’m not in a hurry to ride on the roads on road tires anytime soon. Choak at Carbondale Cycles is ordering up the headset and bottom bracket and anything else I don’t have, and I suspect he’ll have it back to me in a few weeks. I think I’m skipping Froze Toes, unless it’s warm. I have an unfortunate number of professional travel commitments related to the book, but I’ll definitely be at hillsboro (where I hope to not flat out like last year, when the wheel truck just went straight past me and I had to wait for the sag following the 1-2 race—and I was in the lead group!).

And of course, the Jeff Williams Painting of the Pegoretti:

Sitting atop the Steinway upright.....

Sitting atop the Steinway upright…..


2013 Cyclocross World Championships!

February 4, 2013
The KFC Bucketheads Cheer for Katie Compton and Katrina Nash

The KFC Bucketheads Cheer for Katie Compton and Katrina Nash

The Heckawee crew loaded up the Mystery Machine at an obscene hour to spectate at the Cyclocross World Championships in Louisville. Flooding on the Ohio forced the organizers to move the Women’s and Men’s finals from Sunday to Saturday, putting the women at 11am……and we lose an hour going from Carbondale. So, we packed up our KFC buckets and drove off into the eventual sunrise. Heckawee Chief Reimbold was in rare form and we managed to make it to Louisville before the end of the Juniors—Dutch boy Matti van der Poel was a decisive victor, and American Logan Owen just missed the podium after a mechanical (an interesting theme…which will recur). The main event for us KFC Bucketheads (Chief, Molteni, Gary M, Dave, and Flavia along with me) was the Women. We had a prime spot on the infield fence in view of the limestone run up, the scary descents and climbs, and the crazy off camber of death—all of which were quite familiar since we’ve raced that course several times in the last few years. The floodwaters were seeping up in the infield, and it was really clear that the organizers made a strong move—the entire course was underwater by the next day.  The first site was of Vos pounding through the woods, already putting 5 seconds on second….and Compton was way back after having a chain-drop or chainring shifting issue (hmmmmmm). Next lap, Vos has 11 seconds) but second place biffed the “easy” off camber turn while Vos charged on, effortlessly riding everything. Compton was gradually moving up, but the race was over–barring an extreme crash or mechanical. By Lap 3 I had Vos at 50 seconds coming into the trees, and the Bucketheads were worried that Compton might give up and not even medal. But, she didn’t. She clawed back to the front group and picked her way past a series of great women, Sanne Van Passen (who has a nasty faceplant near us), Lucie Chainel-Lefevre, Eva Lechner, and Katerina Nash. Nash had a biff and lost third coming through our section, and had cleat problems and had to run the “ride up” only then she dropped a chain in the final sprint and tried to run for the medal, but lost to Chainel. Chain drop….hmmmmm.

I don’t give a fuck about the u-23. Some dutch boy won. They don’t let the women race u-23 (and if they did, American Katlin Antonneau would have won—she was 10th in the women’s). So, Dave and Flavia and I took our buckets to the beer Tent. The only major organizational failing of the event was that the organizers were completely unprepared to sell beer, food, and merchandise. No official merchandise was available (one booth near the Start, sold out before Compton finished), and the one beer tent was pathetic. We waited in line with a bunch of old Dutch and Belgian fans—“this would not happen in Europe, they would have at least three tents this size—said the diminuitive yet animated Dutchwoman.” Fun bunch though, I really loved seeing the Euros. Chief, Molteni, and Gary went back to the Mystery Machine to load up on beer and sandwiches.

Sven Nys passes the Bucketheads on the last lap!

Sven Nys passes the Bucketheads on the last lap! (Steve Tilford Photo)

We were a little confused about what to do for the finale. The infield allowed a lot of views, but not the direct contact of the interior of the pit—but the water was rising and the crowds were increasing and we lost our fence spot. So, we opted to remain in the interior and move back and forth between the sand pit and the flat section (near the Jumbotron—which gave awesome coverage of the nasty stuff). Frenchmen Mourey made an awesome early bid with several others in tow (including the American, Page). No Belgians in the initial break! Then, Page dumped his chain and couldn’t get it back on. Mourey dropped all of the rest in sequence (Weislaben, Taramarcke, Bina, and Simunek), and then Dave’s man Pawels led the chase for Belgium and went straight past Mourey and began to pull a gap…..and then he dropped his chain and couldn’t get it out……hmmmmmm……Next thing you know—it’s my man Klaas on the front and putting in a very serious dig that obliterates Albert, Wellens, and Van Der Haar….only there is this guy named Sven Nys on his wheel. Klaas fought like hell, but made a few very small errors in the closing lap, and that was it. Sven Nys won only his second world championship in Louisville. Belgium rejoiced. They don’t even count Albert as one of theirs, so they think that a Belgian hasn’t won since Vervecken in 2007. And, Bart Wellens narrowly missed a medal as well–he had an Awesome finishing lap.

Heckawee had an awesome time at Proof, then went our separate ways in the Morning—with the Western tribe hitting French Lick for some mountain biking in the snow.  And we left LJ, our honorary Buckethead.

LJ is a Buckethead

LJ is a Buckethead—Dipweed Buckethead Photo

Best Purchase of 2012: Gunnar Crosshairs and TRP Euro X Alloy Brakes

December 6, 2012


If you don’t have a Gunnar Crosshairs, you need one. I’ve been racing and training on the Crosshairs since 2004, and it is an awesome bike. The superlight OS steel frame is perfect for the bumps and bruises of cross, and especially for those long dirt and gravel rides which might throw in some singletrack. For racing, some people like to lose a pound or so and get a flat top tube, but my race bike comes in around 17lbs—which is a bit hard to improve on without going all Lennard Zinn. This year I added the new TRP Euro X alloy brakes on both my new race bike and Alison’s new crosshairs. These are really nice brakes, with all the cool adjustment nobs that used to come on their $400 variety—only for closer to $100—and about the same weight. They already saved my ass. I finally had my new race bike built up for the Bubba at Faust, but I had Choak at Carbondale Cycles set it up on my Mavic Ksyriums, which are my pit wheels. But, my old trust Mavic Cosmic Carbones are quite a bit wider. I knew this and thought I had readjusted the night before the race—-only I had the Campy brake release out. So, I get to the race and my back brake is locked. No worries. A few fiddles with the adjustment and I was ready to race. Having that extra adjustment capacity is HUGE for cross, where you may be ch.anging to several different wheels, and it’s becoming more and more important in general with the new wide-stance tubulars coming out from several manufacturers.

I have to say I lust after Alison’s setup. She’s always been a Shimano person, but made the leap to SRAM. I set her up with a Rival compact mix with an X-9 mtb rear derailleur and an X-0 11-36 cassette. So, she has a 34-36 and a 50-11—more range than almost any triple!  She went with the steel fork, which is awesome. There is nothing like bombing dirt and gravel on a steel fork, and the braking is much better as well. I’m often tempted to race my training bike with the steel fork on bumpy courses with off-camber descents.

Worst Purchase of 2012: Sigma BC 1909 Computer and HRM

November 22, 2012

Ich bin ein Berliner!

Just in time for Black Friday, my first installment of the 2012 product review summaries. On the bottom, I was somewhat hard pressed to think of a bad thing I had purchased this year, only then my computer fritzed….and then another one….and so did Molteni’s of the same model. The Sigma BC 1909 cpmputer and heart rate monitor, which also has cadence, which I didn’t want in the first place.

The problem with this product is mostly that it tries to do too much in terms of potential output, and most of that is stupid shit. All I want is current HR, Speed, Time, and maybe a few other things, but  not much. Cadence? Why? Calorie calculators? Split times? What is that crap? Anybody who wants all of that shit is going to get a real power gauge and hoo ha…and they’ll still suck.  The Sigma gives a huge amount of information, and it complicates the operation and makes it likely that someone like me sends it into a different mode and puking out calorie burning averages in French. Winter gloves make sending it into weird output modes even more likely.  But, overall reliability was also just flat bad. I had a speed sensing unit go bad, and Molteni had a HR belt stop working in less than a year. I was using this to replace a nice simple Cateye setup that lasted nearly a decade, so I wasn’t very pleased.

On the happy side, I did get to do some cross racing in Louisville at the future worlds course! It was a fun time with Chief Reimbold, Berto, Molteni, and Dave. We didn’t get to hit Proof, but we did manage to have martinis at midnight with the Nuns on the Bus, who were in our hotel. I’m probably done with racing for the season, unless I sneak out for the last Bubba, but it wasn’t a horrible year. I’m definitely going to spectate at Cyclocross Worlds in Louisville. It’ll be my only chance to see Sven Nys and Bart Wellens (hopefully), and Katie Compton should become the first American to win Worlds. I plan to drink heavily and wear a Kentucky Fried Chicken bucket on my head.

Alton Cross and the Return of Uncle Gary…..

October 15, 2012

Big Bob brought us a present!

Cross season is off with a Bang. I managed to hit two of the races produced by the Wild Trak bunch, and I was very impressed with both. But, gotta thank Bob Santarelli for making the race and bringing down Uncle Gary! He’s up and about, but gimping and still recovering. But, he’s coming back!
I had a pretty good race at Gordon Moore, Robo and I went back and forth, but he dropped me in the end for the last podium slot in the masters race. Frank Brummer and Big Bob were also up in the mix. I was glad to be up there racing, instead of just trying to finish. I hope to get in two more races before Louisville. Gotta do Derby Cup!
Had huge fun last Friday with Dave Neis coming to town for a psycho ride. As usual, before we finished the temperature dropped by 20 degrees and it started to rain…and I had a flat. But, wow, the new trail at Cedar Lake is awesome, even on cross bikes.

Stay tuned for the best and worst purchases of 2012…..

Evil Mike Catches the action at Gordon Moore

Evil Mike Catches the action at Gordon Moore

It’s Cross Season: Rock Springs Start up….

September 10, 2012



Ok, sorry. I don’t know why this always happens, but Summer is my downfall. I never get in any racing, and the last half of the road season is basically lost on me. I didn’t even bother to show up for Gateway after having a shitty week, a hangover, and an attitude problem. But, my focus then was that I’d start cross early.

I’ve started running recently just a bit, and will continue. I have a tough time with running because I run too fast for my conditioning. Since I’m fit and have the glide, it’s hard not to lock into what I would have done ten years ago….when my marathon pace was 6:45. I can document this unlike Paul Ryan. But, I found that it really isn’t a good idea to bust out 4 miles at 7:00 when you haven’t run in a few years.

But, today I did the SuperPrestige at Rock Springs, and it was cool. I was glad that I did the 40+, since that way I avoided the giant wooden tit of death. Dennis K took the race by the horns from the start. I assume he won…I didn’t check the results. Darrell Bratton was hammering up there somewhere near podium. And, great to see Bob Santarelli up there in a cross race!

I just got a couple of new pair or Sidi road and MTB shoes. Reviews will follow.

Big shout out to Uncle Gary as he continues his recovery. He’s got a long way to go. But, I think he’ll continue to improve. I really do.

And, I still haven’t been able to hook up with Jeff Williams to get my Peg painting. The thing is awesome!




Uncle Gary not quite home….

July 15, 2012


Ah, well. Looks like Uncle Gary is turning in a bit more time up in the Northlands. I hope he’s heading to Springfield soon!


Uncle Gary Doering Down at Superweek

July 12, 2012

Lookin' good in green!
Well, that was a brief Superweek for Team Mack. After a wonderful and successful Morton Criterium, Gary was all excited to get on with Superweek. He really put a lot of effort into both Morton and the Superweek series, and he was geared up to do well and have fun. But, that went down in turn 4 of the first round of Master’s action. Reports are sketchy down here in So Ill, but it wasn’t good. Gary broke the same femur he broke in 2004 (I think), and there is a bunch of metal up there. It sounds like the preliminary indications are very good, though he does now have another 14 inches of metal in his right leg.

So, get well soon, Gary!

State Championships and Superweek!

June 24, 2012

The Talented Ms. Rengel captures the malaise…..

And absolute shitstorm at work is not boding well for anything. I did manage to do some racing, ignoring my impending doom. First, though, I was out West in Tulsa doing nothing then in Santa Fe. Santa Fe was nice, and I got a really cool Cinelli Cross bike from Mellow Velo and managed to ride the Pacheco Canyon loop twice! Nice bike, set up with 105. A bit heavy, with an aero downtube, but the crosstube is flat and the frame was really nice and stable on some very tough stuff. By far the best one that I’ve used to tackle Pacheco.

After that, I jumped right into the Mo State Chumps at St. Genevieve. I was feeling pretty good despite having a seized pedal….but I hit the limit on the second of the three climbs and used the last lap for fun and games and to talk dirty to Evan Wykes and Gary Dyer who were off the front on the 50+. Great job by Rob Landes to take the race in the 40+. I’m not surprised at all, and was a bit bummed that he got nipped at O’Fallon. We had three guys from Mack, with Darrell Bratton, Brian Grant, and me on the line. But, with guys like Rob and David Stone, we were struggling to try to create favorable splits, and it never really happened. Ah well….It could have been worse, I could have gotten heat stroke and crashed into a three-wheeled Harley and become a quadriplegic.

Big news up north is that Uncle Gary and Team Mack Racing are putting in the big effort for Superweek, not just for us racing, but for making the series a really cool and worthwhile event. I’ve been contacting people all around the country to make sure that you guys on the big Old Fart Teams come on up to Superweek to toe the line with some of the best in the nation. It should be a really fun Masters series, and Team Mack will be chipping in for jerseys and prize money. More details to follow!



Champaign to O’Fallon… to beer…..all good.

May 24, 2012

Elizabeth Rangel catches the action before my implosion…..


Absolute chaos in the real world has hindered my racing and blogging. Ah well.  So it goes again. I got the new American Classic 58 Tubulars mounted up with some Conti Competitions and have been out racing some. I managed to get to Champaign for the 4-corner 35+ race. Druber does an awesome job with that race, and the competition level is always very high. I almost never get to do both races, and couldn’t this year. Early May is just a suck ass slot for the real world. In academe, we have graduation (which totally took me out of the Grove thing) and finals……Ah well. I was having a great race in Champaign until I wasn’t. I managed to hang in and cover all of the covers of the breaks, and then I found myself in the winning break with 12 laps to go….with 8 laps to go I was off the back. After the race, everyone said the same thing to me “So, how’d you finish in the break?” Uh, didn’t you see that blue streak heading backwards? Sam Gulotta took home 9th for Mack, but Uncle Gary was suffering from his home improvement injuries….and I was off the back….Bellville was similar, as I recall.

I did better in O’Fallon. I knew it was going to be a good day when Anthony Dust brought me a sack of poop before the race. I wasn’t feeling very good at the time, but there’s something about dog poop when you’re hungover…..I remained out of it at the first of the race, which  was bad. I had to sprint across several splits in the first 30 minutes, and I was huffed from one of those when the break went. Kudos to Gateway and Big Shark for their teamwork in the pack. In half a lap the break had 20 seconds. Sam and I both were in breaks to seal up a top 10, but we got caught, and neither of us had anything left for the sprint for 5th. Dave Cummings took that in a bunch sprint that included Tracy Smith, Gary Dyer, Bernd Faust, and other usual suspects.  Dave’s a great guy and he raced really well for his teammate Alan Christinal who was up in the break. Chris Harre is really looking strong and took the overall, and the vernerable Evan Wykes was on the podium as well. And, free beer at O’Fallon, what’s not to love!

Congrats to Dave Neis and Flavia Sancier who are tying the knot repeatedly for the next few weeks. Oooooh…..Congratulations indeed!