Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Toasty Fingers Part 2

Rode this am 12 degrees, -4 with the wind chill and I was toasty warm!  I ordered some for the shop so I'll have them in next week if anyone wants to see them.  Below is my home made version of toe covers for the size 50 lake boots!  Just pull an old pair of shoe covers up as high as possible, then cut them off, worked pretty well.  Happy New year.  

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Toasty Fingers

Everyone who rides with me knows my hands and feet are ALWAYS cold.  A bad case of frost bite left me with fingers and toes that get cold fast and won't warm back up.  I am embarrassed to tell you how many different pairs of gloves I own, much less have owned, in the past 5 years trying to keep them warm.  I have tried everything, including lobster gloves with chemical heating packs in the fingers.  These gloves are by far the warmest thing I have ever used.
These are heated gloves made by Venture, the name makes me laugh because it reminds me of the cheap department store from years back, but these aren't too cheap.  They have a lithium ion battery pack that sits in each glove and is rechargeable in about four hours.  Depending on power settings Max, High, Med, and low the battery lasts between 2-10 hours.  Having cold hands normally I of course put them right to Max on a ride into the wind 25 degree temps.   I was shocked when 15 minutes in my hands were too hot, turned  down to high, another 15 minutes still too warm, turned down to medium.... perfect.  The reason I think they work so well is that they heat so that the finger tips are the hottest, then cooler as they work down toward your palms, just the opposite of how your fingers are.
They come up high on your arm and have two different adjustment points at the cuff and midpoint. 
One of the better things for me about these is if you do get cold they ramp up hot enough that they'll snap you back to comfortable quickly, that's the benefit of not having to run them on the highest setting to be comfortable.  If you have to stop and change a flat on a 20 degree day, you can pop these to max and get comfortable again quickly.  They are expensive but when I go through close to 100 of those little chemical warmers in a  year, these seem like a much better alternative for the environment.   When you add it all up they pay for themselves in two seasons.  I'm looking into carrying them at the shop if you are interested drop me an email.

Monday, December 29, 2008

What now

I got a call today from a rep who is sending me a new cyclocross frame to "try out".  As awesome as that was the best part was him saying "wait you aren't still racing cross?  Doesn't the season go until February up there?"  Ha... i freaking wish.  If it did I wouldn't be wondering what to write about, missing my friends, and organizing my "cross" book marks, into cross parts, cross races, cross training, cross riders, and cross news.  Although that sounds really fun it wasn't that exciting although it is quite efficient now.  

It would be awesome to still be racing, but the hard part as one of the USA cycling officials who was in today told me, is finding someone who wants to stand out in the cold all day and officiate or host a race in this weather.  People are doing it though, just saw this recently,  they are still racing in Virginia, and so is North Carolina, they have five races in January/February.  Maybe I need a road trip.  

All that people talk leads me to think about how I can contribute more to the Chicago Cup.  We've talked about hosting a race and are meeting with people to figure out if we can use our ultimate venue, that would be great.  If that doesn't work out I want to help out with the Cup in some other way, whether that is sponsor prizes, prize money, volunteer to help set up a race with another club, something else.  The series has grown so much and everyone has done so much work to make it all happen.  I want to help out next year in some capacity to keep it all rolling.  

I am excited for next season and can't wait to see what is possible.  New teams?  more races? new venues? better courses?  I have to say that this year everyone who put on a Chicago Cup race really stepped their game up a notch.  The favorites by the poll were Northbrook, Woodstock, Montrose, and Dekalb.  So three out of the four were new venues!  It's pretty cool to have new places to race not to mention new courses every year.

We don't have any more races to do this winter but follow these US riders who are in Belgium duking it out with the old guard.  Molly, Brian Matter, Troy wells, J Powers, and if you're really feeling down read this from Greg's trip to Belgium for Master's Worlds 2008, because I'm going sooner than later.  I am obsessed.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Custom Hats

Just in time for Christmas!  Custom hats are here!  $25.00.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Cart Horse

What's that saying "don't put the cart before the horse"?  Oh well screw that.  The first piece of Custom 09 "Team Pony Shop" cross bikes.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Night Cross race

Preliminary schedule for 2009 race....Coolest thing I saw Jingle Cross Night Race???

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

National Champion


Monday, December 15, 2008


Well the season is over!  Boo!  As you can see below while I should have been riding in KC I was taking my bikes apart at the gold old Pony.  Too many things added up for me, and after 12 sundays in a row, my daughter looked me and doubt set in.  I had a great weekend at home with the family.  I had a wonderful season and the family and my bike need a break.  The frame is on the way in to be refinished, back to new I hope....
Nationals sounded like a blast, still can't find too many photos, but I stole this one below from Mike's site.  He has a good recap of his racing this weekend, had an awesome ride, even with trouble to finish on the podium of the D1 race.  Brian had a good ride in the masters race.  And Devon is our new Colligate D2 National champion.  What impresses about Devon is that she raced the elite race 1 hour after her win in the colligate race, and was riding in 8th for most of the race!  
We have lots in store for 09 and I look forward to keeping the team going for years to come.  It has truly been a pleasure working with everyone.  

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Katie Switches to Shimano

Katie Compton Swaps to Shimano from her Campagnolo just days before the National Championships.  That's a baller move but I'm sure she's psyched to get some new goods on the bike.  I wonder if she was running Shimano Cassettes before or if she had to swap out all the freehub bodies on her current wheels?  That's a lot of work, plus all the bikes in Europe have to be swapped out for Shimano 7900 as well...Photo by, Brad Kaminski. 

Thursday, December 11, 2008


We have Cannondales, Redline conquest and conquest pros, and Giant cyclocross bikes all on sale.  Limited to what is in stock, 15% off!  This is a good time to get your wife, brother, sister, friend, or co-worker into the sport for cheap!  Maybe a holiday gift??   We also have gift cards available, if your significant other wants to buy you a cool present, they can call or email me and I'll send the card to them....Cheers!  

Montrose Photos

Photos provided by a Pony Shop neighbor, Karl.  Thanks much!  

Monday, December 8, 2008

Tire Choices

Rhynos are not thornproof...

Sunday, December 7, 2008


What a fantastic race we had today.  The course design by Chris Dimick of Turin was great, he showed off how much of the park we haven't used in the past today.  There really are probably 10 uci level courses possible at Montrose.  The weather once again didn't disappoint.  I want to say thank you to everyone on The Pony Shop team, all the racers out on the course, the race directors, officials, our shop sponsors, the sponsors of The Chicago Cyclocross Cup, and especially my and all of the families who support us to come out and race around having so much fun.  This has truly been a fantastic season, the cup has grown, and seeing more people out having so much fun has been awesome.

My race today didn't go as planned.  I needed to be stellar today to win, and I took chances I shouldn't have, which led to a mechanical and any shot I had at the podium.  I did a bit of running and chased back a few spots after getting a spare bike.  The only mechanical all year, figures it's on the biggest day of the year!  Our racers were all over the place today out there in force.  Here's what I remember/know.  Brian Conant 1st place Gold! in the 40+, me 7th, mark Feary 9th, Mike S 5th(flatted while out front and ran half a lap, sounds familiar??), Luca Lenzi 3rd (bronze medal in for Pro 1/2), Devon 1st (gold baby!), aspen? Carolyn? Jack 4th, Cliff 4th, Sam? I'm sorry I should have written these down!  

Overall what a great day!  Thank you to everyone who came out today to cheer the team on, I heard you the whole race, sorry I couldn't deliver the W...

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Good Luck!

Good luck to everyone tomorrow at Montrose!  This has been such a great year, I'm already looking forward to 2009!

Montrose 07

Friday, December 5, 2008

Practice Ride

What is that saying "train like you race" or something like that.  Mark and I figured in our wee little heads that it would be a good idea to go out this am at five o'clock and ride for an hour to let the lungs acclimate to the cold temps.  Well that's kind of like how the riders in the 50's used to smoke to acclimate their lungs to the bad air quality, it hurts!  Everything is icy as hell along the lake.  

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Chicago Cyclocross Finals #10

The 10th race in the Chicago Cyclocross Cup is this Sunday at Montrose Harbor. It's been a great season and I'm sure the championship course will not disappoint. New this race is chip timing... please bring a credit card with you to registration.  The Chips will be a leg band, so no need to worry about the chip in the event you need to pit and swap bikes.  The weather on the other hand is something to worry about....brrrrr...I can't wait.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Jingle Videos

Tire Choices

Matt Pacocha from Velonews just posted a great article about tire choice.  Funny because after last week in the Iowa slop the subject has come up a lot.  He's promised a more in depth look at the tires he's ridden this season coming soon.  If you have favorite combinations email them to me lou(at) and I'll post them up here.  No time like the present to plot next season's tire budget!  I'll go first, wish list.

1.  Mavic Carbone Ultimates with 32 Challenge Griffos 
2.  Mavic R-Sys with 34 FMB SSC Sprints
3.  Mavic Ksyrium SL or ES's with 32 DuGast Rhynos

I have no tire brand loyalty, obviously.  Really curious if anyone has a season on the Challenge Fango?  


Sorry mike couldn't help myself, you're a style icon.

Monday, December 1, 2008

JP jumps ship

Jonathan Page no longer on Ridley bikes, has switched to Blue for the remainder of the season.  I never quite understand how this end of the industry works.   Ridley is a sponsor of the Planet Bike Team,  the majority of the team is riding beautiful custom painted X-nights or X-fires.  They were out in force at Jingle Cross last weekend, and let me say The Planet Bike Team has set the bar high in terms of professionalism and having nice approachable riders.  Bob has done a great job with his team and all their sponsors.  How is it that JP can decide to just break his contract with Ridley and pick up a new bike sponsor?  I'm guessing he has a different deal than the rest of the team, but it still seems like a very unprofessional thing to do, especially when just days later you are trash talking Ridley whose bikes the rest of your team is still currently riding. 

more jingle

Steve Tillford's Trek.  (Thanks julie)
Todd Well's GT
Jack's Redline post race Sunday, more snow than mud in the am.
Aspen after the 2/3 race.

Jack after 3rd in the 4 race!

Ben's Rock Lobster
Sherer's C-Dale
We had 12 wheels in the back of our car!
Pam and Isaac watching over the heard.  Isaac's specialized in the foreground.