David was a punk

I was a punk rocker. In a band called Blue. For about 12 years. That’s me on the left. We were opening for the Butthole Surfers in Columbus Ohio, I think it was June 22, 1985. Anybody can play punk rock, and it goes great with beer. Just like cyclocross.


tubeless ready or not

Going Tubeless
Last year I gave going tubeless a shot. Conventional wheels. Bontrager Race X-Lites, with a spoke tape, rim strip, Maxxis Raze Tires and Stan’s tire sealant. I’ve had good luck on my mountain bike running this type of set-up, so why not for cross? Well it worked OK. The tires were prone to burp every once in a while, when taking on a good size rock or root. Letting out a spit of the tire sealant, but still holding air. No problem for cross country training rides through the trails and roads I ride from my house. After a dozen rides or so I felt it was time to put them to the test of a race. Pre-riding the Iron Cross Light course, I hammered into some of the grass corners and could feel the tire sticking to the grass and bending, I increased the speed and sure enough they stuck so well that it ripped the tire off the rim, instantly flat. Prognoses, to weak of a tire bead and side wall.
I gave up on them.
This year I am giving it another shot. I’m trying out the new Piranha, one of Hutchinson Tubeless cross Tires. Running the same set-up, Bontrager Race X-lite wheels, nylon spoke tape, rim strip, and Stan’s tire sealant. They went on the rims quick, and grabbed right away with a blast of air from my compressor. The tire seems to be made a different way, a side wall section and a tread section. The side walls are short and stiff; the treads are smooth in the center, with bigger knobs on the edges to bite into corners. I got a couple of rides in on them with the pressure up in the 50’s lbs. They have great acceleration and good feel of consistent traction, just a little harsh at that much pressure. Yesterday I rode them at 33 lbs, and was hitting the rim on some of the bigger bumps; seem so far like a great set-up for faster dry days. Will try to run them at the low 40’s lbs. If these ride nice for the next few rides I’m going to order the Bulldogs, the bigger treaded tire, I think running this tire at lower pressure will be where the tubeless will make the biggest difference. Could be a great traction, fast mud tire.


Out on the Cross

Out on the Cross.
I was out getting in some easy miles today on my cross bike. I decided to checked out the trail that Lower Merion is working on. The trail starts at the old Bala Cynwyd train station, runs along the bluff that over looks Manayunk, and dumps you on Belmont Ave at Rock Hill Rd. The trail is short and scenic, plus I can link it to my big cross loop.


The Headless Buddah

The Headless Buddha

For many years I have ridden past this Buddha. He lost his head a few months ago. Gone.
There are always gifts laid out on the table. I always give a wave and a nod to the Buddha. I don't know why, I don't know anything about him, and I am not at all religious. I always wonder, if I was bonking or thirsty, could I grab an orange and a drink of water? Could he give me focus and insight, a inner strength I could use? Some kind of magical powers? Not much more than that.
When I first heard that someone took his head, I expected his statue and shrine to be removed. I was quite happy to see him on my next ride, despite being headless. Somehow now I feel more connected to him. He endures on, and when I look at him, I see the body and form, his gold cape. I see air where his stone head was, and in the air I see ideas and thoughts. My mind automatically puts a vague head on him. Its like someone took a stopper off a bottle and all the contents are aromatically flowing out into the air, and into my mind. Now as I ride past, I slow and nod to him, and my mind wonders and fills with many interesting and new ideas.