A couple of pics

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“Shout out to the Tav” – Shawn Foley in the Cat 6 Chismes interview with the Foley brothers.

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Blaise’s commuter parked along side my road bike in Astoria Tavern.

Winter is knocking on the door and I have to pick and choose the days I get to go and really ride. You see, the way my knees are set up, I just can’t bang out in this weather and not feel the consequences. So I get in where I fit in, if I can ride the rollers and listen to records for new samples, I’m good.

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Tight quarters.

Been putting in a bunch of work with Gabe and Jason making the Cat 6 Chismes podcast episodes. Anthony Firetto reworked the logo for us and it looks great. So great in fact, Gabe got it tattooed on the back of his calf.

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Moments before getting inked at Sepelio Tattoo on Roosevelt and 88th st in Queens.

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Lining it up.

That’s all I got for now, but stay tuned for the giant end of year photo dump post!

 

Peace!

The Good Time Sprints

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Cat 6 out here, trying to bring some balance to the force! Good Time Sprints ahead.

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Goldsprints will be raced on house bikes with the use of fork stands. Everyone will use the toe straps provided, it’s not like you’re racing for money guys.

Come hang out and have fun doing Gold Sprints for fun. No entree fee to spectate or race, with a free happy hour provided by Rockaway Brewing Co!

As far as bang for your buck goes, you can’t beat it. Hope to see everyone there!

Peace

 

My Music (beats dawg, beats)

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I’ve been sharing quite a bit of the cycling part of my life but today I wanted to share some of my music. I make beats and rap also. I feel funny saying it because it’s been so long, but it’s like riding a bike, you never forget. The rapping will come with time, hopefully I can get myself to record something before Christmas. Till then you have a couple of quickies to rock with. Data Savage, the title of this sampler, is another project I’m working on but that’s a secret. For now you’ll just have to settle for some tunes.

 

Peace

Supercross Cup Day 1

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This is when you know it’s real. Photo by Diana Diroy

Well, that was fun! After hearing about the Supercross Cup from a sales rep at my old shop,  I realized I would be out of the bike shop in time for the race — there was nothing to it but to do it. So, I did it. I registered for both Saturday and Sunday to go play in the grass/mud.After the scenic drive out to Rockland Community college I got dressed, set my bike up and was ready to rock. As soon as I got my number I noticed a familiar face behind the registration table, Mr. Alan Atwood, who I recognized from the Twilight Series at the Kissena velodrome. If you read my last post you already know the race predictor had me as the #1, and that put me on the front of the line come race day. Next thing I know I can hear Alan saying into his radio, “Your number one qualifier is here, he’s making his way to the starting line right now.” This somehow made me want to puke. When I was younger I would get extremely anxious before competitive sporting events, to the point I would feel sick. I’ve come a long way and only get slightly nervous, if at all, but that did the trick. I checked the time and had about fifteen minutes before the start of the race. I tried to give the course a run through, but it was so big with so many climbs and corners I didn’t get to run the full course just the beginning and maybe the final 200 meters.

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First row VIP treatment. Photo by Diana Diroy

So, there I was, lined up on the first row of the 4/5 mens race with race day jitters and all. “Any last questions? 30 seconds….. 10 seconds… Wait for the whistle..”

The whistle blew and we were off!

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Lots and lots of climbing. Photo by Diana Diroy

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This is a screengrab from the video of me crashing into the gentleman on the left of the frame. Video by Diana Diroy

Low and behold, I got into the first turn with the hole shot. I’m off the front by a very small margin and making moves. I think this is a terrible place to be unless you’re familiar with the course. If you know where you are and have an idea as to where to exert and conserve your energy you’ll be good. In this scenario, I had no clue what laid ahead. All I knew was I had a minimum of 35 minutes in front of me and it was not going to be easy. A quarter of the way into the first lap I had a rude awakening: I was coming down a nice size descent which ended with an off camber left turn. Coming in WAY TOO HOT. There was nothing I could do to recover at this point. I was riding the hell out of my brakes and even let my rear tire skid for a second, but couldn’t get the bike to a manageable speed for the upcoming turn. I ended up locking up both brakes and doing a power slide of sorts under the tape and off the course. Now, I’m not new to crashing on bicycles but this was a much different experience. Both tires began to drift out from under me and I was on an incline. There was nothing I could do at this point and started to slide on my side down the hill. I, of course, came to a stop and got it together in a hurry. Huge shout out to the spectators down by that turn. I remember someone yelling, “You got this! You’re still in it! Get back in there!” I think by the time I was back on the course I’d given up about five or six spots. It all happened in the blink of an eye.

 

A lap and a half later and I’m still in the same group but maybe 2/3 positions back and I’m now running on fumes. Cyclocross in it’s purest form is a battle of attrition. If I’d started further back in the pack this is where I’d begin to pass big groups of riders because this is where people start to crack. You can see the pain and agony in their faces. It’s a tough discipline. I was in the back, but I was in the back of the chase group. There were two guys waaaaaaaay off the front, clearly the dudes who belonged in the first row at our start. Then there was a group of maybe 8 of us behind them with a little space between each. Here I know I’m getting weak, but I still see two or three positions I think I have a shot at. If I don’t make any mistakes and keep the bike rubber side down, I should be able to make a couple of passes in the last two laps. While plotting my next move the guy in front of me went down with no warning. Right in the middle of the line! I had no choice but to run into him and take a fall myself. At this moment, I knew there was no more higher positions to be had. I was beat and just went down again! Good news was when I looked behind me I couldn’t see anyone for a long way so there was no immediate pressure. I took eighth overall at the first day of this years 4/5 race. It was a great time and as always a huge learning experience. Much love to all the race organizers and all the rad people who came out to partake in the festivities.

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There was no sprint at the end of this race. I took eighth and you can’t see anyone behind me for a while. Photo by Diana Diroy

If you’re wondering what happened to me on Sunday, my parents were arriving that night and I still had some errands to take care of before they got in. With it raining overnight I knew the course was going to be 10x more difficult and tiring so I had to opt out. It looked like a great time and next year I’ll definitely plan accordingly. Till then, enjoy the ride.

 

Peace

Supercross Cup Predictor

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I’ve been looking forward to this weekend for a while now. I’m racing both days of the Supercross Cup and my parents arrive Sunday evening. As if this wasn’t enough to cause some kind of angst, the cross results race predictor caught a bug and has me predicted to win.

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I looked up how this works and I should be predicted at 56th or something… Pretty sure there’s a glitch in the Matrix.

 

 

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The pressure is mad real out here!

I didn’t even know this existed, until a friend of mine texted me I was predicted to win. I thought he was talking gambling odds to be honest. Then I looked it up and to my surprise the algorithm was indeed playing favorites. Well, if that’s the case and somehow the race organizers line us up by this predictor, I’ll take whatever kind of bone they’re gonna throw me.

Cyclocross is the most fun I can have on a bike these days. If anyone wants to get out to Cunningham and shred, hit me up! It’s practically my backyard.

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Peace

 

 

Bike Stop Retirement

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This photo was taken from the roof of my old apartment which was above the bicycle shop I used to manage. I think this photograph vividly portrays the high points of that entire situation. It effectively encapsulates the feeling of literally sitting on top of the world… “with hemorrhoids” as Rodney Dangerfield used to say. Now don’t get me wrong, I was living it up for a while and had you asked me about how my life was going 2 years into managing the shop, I would have said AMAZING! But then slowly things began to change. Change is undoubtedly expected, but how you deal with change will ultimately determine your character. I always subscribed to the ‘do what you love and you’ll never work a day in you life’ saying, and I suppose I still do. Though now I see it a little differently, especially being that close to owning my own business… and not owning a business. There is a clear line where on one side you have people who are content and happy. They may complain but in the end their happy with where they are. They either make enough money or have found peace with their living situation or quality of life. Now, everything is on a sliding scale. What one person finds to be tolerable someone else may find completely out of the question. Both of these people can be the same person, as you grown, learn and change you may realize the things that brought you happiness no longer do. I’ve loved cycling and bicycles since I was about five years old, and love them just as much if not more now. Yet still, work is work and I was essentially a supervisor in a retail/service environment. I had to own the store without being the owner of the store. Feeling as though I’d accomplished so much, when in actuality, I’d been so far removed from that which I love so dearly.

I love riding bicycles. I love meeting people who ride bicycles. I love going out for rides and using my bicycle to enhance my instinctive travels on the paths of rhythm.

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I think Tom may have snapped this one in front of the shop.

So there I was, on top of the world, and yet still was very unhappy. The only thing I could imagine was bringing me down was my inability to nurture relationships outside of work due to time constraints. Oh, it’s your birthday this weekend? Sorry I have to work. Getting a cabin upstate with the homies for memorial day? Sorry, I have to work. There’s a cyclocross race in Kissena? Can’t I have to work. This began to take a toll on my mental health. I could feel it. When you begin to resent work, there’s a problem and I wasn’t willing to continue to live like that.

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Rough draft of my logo which I made on my Iphone

So, here I am! Unemployed (for the moment) and LOVING IT! I’ve been able to ride/train on bicycle almost every day. Watch Football! Wow, it’s been a LONG time since I’ve been able to watch some football and the Raiders are coincidentally killing it!  My parents arrive in four days and will be staying with my wife and I for almost a week. Life is pretty amazing right now. I’ll be flying to the Philippines on Christmas and spending some time out there as well as Bali. I’m planning on getting myself into some kind of work routine when I get back from Asia in late January. As for now I’m going to continue to work on all my independent projects. I’ll keep working with Gabe and Jason on Cat 6 Chismes. With all my newly found freedom the world may even get a glimpse of my bike shop sitcom “12 Daze of Summer.”

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Screen grab from my Emmy nominated performance as “Ernie” in 12 Daze of Summer

This has all been very interesting. I feel very alive and will continue to put my best foot forward and seek out meaningful work over then next couple of months. I’m extremely confident that I will be able to find a healthy compromise in the coming year and continue to learn and grow. For now cycling gear, music (I might even jump behind the mic), photos, podcasts, racing, buttons, I’ve got plenty going on to keep me busy while I’m out of “work”. I have time and will be around, hit me up if you’re down to pedal! I’m also going to be racing the Supercross Cup both days this coming weekend and it’s been a while so wish me luck!

That’s all for now, I hit Cunningham two days ago and then river road to the Filling Station that afternoon. Today I was supposed to ride out to the Filling Station with Shawn and caught a flat almost as soon as we got on the 9W. The lesson? Don’t be a pendejo, bring your pinhead key!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hahaha, all good! A bad day on the bike is still better than a good day on the clock.

Peace!

 

New (used) Bike Day/Interbike

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Quite possibly one of the best days known to man. If you’re reading this I’m sure you can agree. Few things compare to the feeling of a new ride. Especially when you’ve done a bunch of geometric research which brought you to your new acquisition. Being the owner (past and present) a LOT of bicycles, I’d almost consider myself an expert on new bike day. It’s a hell of a feeling. The amount of satisfaction can’t be captured with mere words.

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Curtis Low//

Well, the track season is officially over and of course I wish I’d raced more. I was only able to partake in 4 weeks of the Twilight Series at Kissena after changing my work schedule. Better to have raced and lost, than never have raced at all? Well, I took first one week and second twice with one fourth place finish respectively. Hey man, moving from cat 6 to cat 5 was hard enough, and I suppose now that I’ve completed my four inaugural races, next season I’ll have to make that leap to category 4. It’s really funny for me to think that I’ve been living in NYC for 7 years and have only now really started to delve into competitive cycling.

 

I rode the Caad 10 for a little less than 2 years. The bike was great for my needs at the time. But when I stated to think about racing I wanted an actual track bike, not a road bike with track drop outs. So, when this Low popped up for sale at a great price I had to jump on it. From the moment I took it on that first test ride, I knew this was the one. Not to mention handmade in the good old U S of A.

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Laced my rear Zipp Firecrest to a track hub just so I can be a H.O.E.

 

As I mentioned, track is over. I sold off the Caad and some spare parts to fund the Low and broke even, it’s almost as if I traded the Caad 10 for the Low. Fair enough.

I think this where I’m supposed to mention “cross is here?”

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This photo is from the first time I rode cross at Cunningham. Note the metal toe clips, 48t chain ring, carbon seat post, and road stem. The bars moved, I broke a strap, and potentially took some life off my knees with that street bike gear set up.

I’ve been riding a CInelli Mash SSCX for the past 2 years. I’ve even gone as far as to say, “If I could only keep one 700c bike this would be the one. Boy did I lie. Well, kinda. I really loved that bike. When I first built it up, It was a fixed gear with street tires and no brakes. Zero toe overlap combined with with the aluminum carbon combo meant a light bike that I could get loose on without worrying much. Then I threw dirt tires on it and fell in love with Cunningham parks MTB trails. This pic is from the first time I rode the bike out in Cunningham park. So naive. Hahaha, I actually did alright other than breaking a toe cage and eventually destroying these wheels. (editors note: the wheels were actually great for trail riding but they couldn’t handle me crashing while trying to jump actual doubles) The trails are technical enough that the bikes nibble nature felt like an advantage. Not to mention the trails never gets too gnarly so 700’s make for a great time. Long story long, after racing that bike I felt like I could benefit from a couple of gears in a race environment. I could hold my own with the mountain bikes at Cunningham, but I started to think about the coming cross season and what gears could do for me.

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Farewell Coco Cinelli, may those who are graced by your service appreciate you as I did.

Back when I was in San Diego I was working at an Independent Fabrications dealer. These bikes were amazing, and they had the price tags to prove it. I always thought the titanium models were beautiful. This was before I had any sort of interest in riding adult bicycles. I was still enthralled with BMX for she was my first love and my captivation was unwavering. I’m just saying the ti frames looked cool. Their pain jobs were also pretty sweet. The three quarter joints got this classic look and I can’t help but feel some type of way. After months of searching one presented itself and I knew I had to make a move. Used bikes that fit and are in good condition are pretty hard to come by. That has of course become much easier now with apps where you can create alerts for certain search phrases. So I got on my Arslan ish and made moves.

Meet Rosie:

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Rosie in the woods

1 1/8th steer tube, external headset, with an english bottom bracket and cantilever brake mounts. Not exactly the easiest bike to find! I’ve been riding my road wheels while waiting for the parts to lace my cross joints. Ohhh, the life of a bicycle enthusiast.

 

I started this post some time ago and I never got around to finishing it. I just turned on my 9 year old laptop and logged in. I’ve been meaning to post the changes to the stable but now this post just doubled with life.

I’ve since gone to Interbike.
My flight to Las Vegas was great! 5:40 out of JFK to get scooped at the terminal by Christian. I of course got there on time but the bag check played my bike box extra hard. It wasn’t really a problem other than all time they made me wait while they figured out where the box was. Eventually we were able to leave the airport and hit the A&W. You already knew, we threw down.This was my third time attending the Interbike show, but my first time checking out Dirt Demo. Overall I was the loving the concept, show up and trade you ID for whatever bike you would like to take in the dirt. Great, right? Right. Absolutely. 100%

Estorga said top 5 straight up

Big Body Chris said he wanted to try out these bikes make out of wood, so we did. Mine broke.End of story.

I felt bad terrible for breaking this beautiful piece of art. But why would you let a cyclist ride it?

What’s more important is that I bruised my ribs. Have you ever done that shit? I’ve had a lot of injuries in my days, and I’ll be the first to say, bruised/broken ribs is absolutely terrible b. This the type of shit you wish on your enemies. Don’t die, exist in perpetual pain. I’m just kidding, but it was pretty bad for a minute. I love when I tell someone and completely understand because it’s happened to them. I feel like I was just writing the recovery post yesterday and now I’m writing about another injury. This year’s been interesting on the bike. I guess that’s a chill segue into Cross Vegas.
Cross Vegas, will make you work. I watched it in the faces of the men and women who did it beside me. Wheeling and Dealing, a race for industry employees. Racing on a world cup course, excellent.

Views from the starting line.

Because of the rib ordeal I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to “compete” the next day and even considered selling my entry to someone else. Within hours of the start Body pulled up in the whip n we was out to CV. We arrived right after registration closed but still had time to get my number and line up for the start. #178. When I say we were deep, I mean, we were DEEEEEEEEP

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Paint scheme

My mans JC was in the same row, but had a technical issue with his bike after one lap. Anywho, (as young Jean would say) I finished the race #77. Couldn’t be happier with my performance. Some of the faces I seen after the second lap were priceless and clear indicators that this race was in fact for everybody.

 

Young TCB Gawd

The show was chill, per usual.

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Body dippin’ on the strip

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Dat Ritchey doe

Here’s a quick Interbike gallery.

Well, I guess that puts me back here in New York.

Back to the grind.

Be sure and check out the Cat 6 Podcast if you haven’t already. I do all the production hwile my homies Gabe Electronica & Bucketz do the interviewing.

That’s all folks!

Peace World!

 

Getting back on the Horse

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Other than removing and replacing the handlebars and stem on my bmx bike, I haven’t touched it since the day I broke my arm. It’s literally been sitting the whole time, and now Andy is set to arrive in NYC this evening.IMG_5391Well, I’m as ready for an all night street ride as I’ll ever be, B. Since getting my cast off, I’ve done lots of riding both on and off road as well as registered with the USAC in order to race for the rest of the year. Getting back on the horse has been something I’ve yet to take on. So tonight it is! I’ve been anticipating the moment I go for my first bunny hop. My bmx is the heaviest bike I own, as well as the one that requires the most use of my recovering elbow. I guess you could say I’m nervous? Last week I started physical therapy and my therapist was astonished by my range of motion and lack of pain..IMG_5120Both of which I attribute to cycling. I’ve literally rode to recovery. If you’re in NYC and want to shred some bmx tonight hit me on the hip.

If you haven’t already, be sure and check out the Cat 6 Chismes podcast!

Le Christian

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Skuurt!

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And just like that, homie was out.

I met Christian while he was working at Dutch express I believe. He was the first city courier that lived locally and was a regular at the shop. He would come in on his way home from a long day, hang around the shop, ask a million questions and relay tales from his daily experiences in the city. Being from Arizona and myself from California, we’d always go on NYC taco hating tirades. The more I hung out with Christian, the more I realized we had in common. We’re both gear heads. When he told about the music equipment he sold before moving out to New York I was blown away. He had to free up funds and cut baggage, so he did. After relocating, he added bicycles to his obsession, then camera equipment. Since we both love music, bicycles, and photography, it’s easy to see how the geekery developed.

Christian left NYC this morning after a pretty solid tenure. He went from working from working on the streets as a messenger (all because of his love for the movie “Quicksilver”), to dispatching messengers, then managing a messenger company. Basically the American Dream via bicycle. Before he was “Big Body Chris,” he was Le Christian, aka the Weekender. Riding somewhere between 70-100 miles a day kept him super fit (see first image). Once he got that office job and met his now fiancé, homie started packing on the pounds. Last summer we rode out to Philadelphia pretty much on a whim. Just the two of us on a fantastic voyage. We arrived, ate cheese steaks, (from both Gino’s and Pat’s back to back) had a few beers and then took the bolt bus back to the city. I know that he completely understood my level of fulfillment as we’d spoke about the ride for some tie leading up to it. It was such a great day! If you’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting Chris you know he’s very animated, at some point we were riding past a firework warehouse and he starts screaming, “we have to stop!” Needless to say we filled our bags with roman candles and bottle rockets.
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Damn, I could go on and on about all the funny stories we’ve shared. I know I have a friend for life in Christian and got homies back at the drop of a dime. Friends, coworkers, collaborators (be on the look out for that Vicious Circus EP!), and riding partners are only a few of the titles we share. I can’t wait to meet up with him out in the Bay Area and show him what REAL tacos are all about!!!

I wish you and Liz nothing but the best wherever life takes you homie.
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Be well brother.