Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Post Winter Solstice

Badger 29er with Ritchey Speedmax Pro CX tires = pretty quick on gravels. Kinda nice to be running gears again for a bit. Tailwinds are nice. I keep finding myself in the 40x12. Might have to get something bigger than a 40T. Tried the tubeless bit with the cross tires but just couldn't get a good seal. Prolly due to my crappy job cutting the valve hole on the new yellow rim tape and the fact that it usually helps to have warmer weather to get a good seal. Guess I'll have to wait a bit to get that working.

Looking forward to getting ahold of some of the new 29er treads out there. That Kenda Nevegal looks nice, but then so does the Panaracer Rampage, WTB Wiefwolf, Specialized Resolution, and Michelin XC.

Made it into the Ouachita Challenge. A few didn't, bummer. Registration filled super fast this year. I wonder when all these other ultra 100 events open up and if they have rider caps. I'm definitely looking forward to this season, bunch of new events and trails to explore, stacked new team for the mtb stuff(wish I could elaborate here but it hasn't been officially cleared yet. Lets just say that I am merely a bench warmer on this team, lots of talent).

Christmas was good. Couple good rides, some much needed articles of clothing, and one of the coolest movies I've seen in awhile: The Fastest Indian. Burt Monroe was one amazing cat. Maybe a bit crude in his methods, but meticulous and unrelenting. Reminds me alot of some of the great HPV builders I've met in my exploits. And I'm afraid I see alot of the same in my own shop, I just haven't taken to sleeping out there(yet). The sound of the moto in this movie re-awakens the motorhead in me. I'm sure I'll get back to the non-hpv stuff eventually. One obcession at a time.

  • Finished up the fork for next liner. Nice tight fit on the 451 SA drum wheel, milled the crown to end up with about an 1/8th of an inch clearance from tire to crown. Real nice. Next, I suppose I get to rethink what I'm building and who I'm building it for. My original plans have been put on hold for a multitude of reasons which made for a pretty crappy Monday last week. IE: back to the drawing board. But thats not all bad, means I get to work on a new shell design, and I won't have to figure out who the hell the thing belongs to when I'm finished. Sounds like I just answered my own question. I'll be building the next liner to fit me. It will be dual 451, fwd, dual drum brake, 15deg seat angle, really friggen low and about half the size of the Cuda. Anybody know where to get Dibond around here?

  • I did a century in the Cuda last Saturday. 4hours. 15miles of gravel. Yep, gravel roads in a streamliner at about 25mph with a good 10-20mph South crosswind. Actually wasn't too bad. The gravels in Western IL are actually better than some of the "paved" roads over there.

  • Other news: I paid off my last credit card, YAY! Now all I have left is the Cuda and the Suby to pay off. Cuda should go quick, I hope.

  • New recommended music:
  • Radiodread: Radiohead Rasta, nuff said.
  • Brandi Carlile: wow
  • Linda Ronstadt and Ann Savoy's Adieu False Heart: Beautiful. A little sad if you listen too closely.
  • East Village Opera Company: high power rock and roll opera
  • Any James Brown you can get your hands on: respect


Tuesday, December 12, 2006


So I was tagged by Amanda. Normally chain mail goes in the trash, but it is Amanda's 20th birthday so .... i suppose it's the thought that counts. Six interesting things you may not know about me, hmm.

1) I have a somewhat obsessive personality, with very few compulsive influences. Everything I do is typically thought over many times whether it be purchases, hobbies, or life in general. When I am interested in something I explore every facet of it. With these traits I can attribute most of my success(cycling) and failure(relationships).

2) I've been on wheels nearly since birth. In my early childhood I spent a year or two recovering from having my legs crushed in a farm accident by pedaling around the house on a tricycle. I started riding atvs when I was 12 and was bored with that by highschool when I picked up my first real bike, a 1979 Raliegh Gran Prix. First century(on the gravel roads around my house) when I was 16.

3)I have broken three bike frames and three separate forks in the last 15 months, yet I have never knocked a wheel out of true more than 1/4". One of those frames was the 1979 Raliegh during a cross race last year. I miss that bike.

4)I used to be easily mistaken for a hippie. My first vehicle was a 1966 VW microbus with a 1/4" of finger paint on it(I still have it) and my hair was down to my waist. However I have never done any drugs, took one year to explore alcohol and found it repulsive(aside from its moral negatives), and never had a grade lower than a B- (aside from band, skipped the individual practices, too shy) and made Deans list 3 out of 4 semesters while acquiring my associates in precision machining.

5)I own five VWs, a Suburu, enough parts to assemble at least three more VWs, 4 mtbs, two road bikes, and two streamlined recumbents. Half of my uprights are single speeds.

6) I couldn't swim until two years ago and I still can't tread water. I decided I should learn about a year after buying my kayak when I decided I would like to try a few triathlons.

There you go, that was really more than six things, but I told you I was obsessive.
Now go tag yourself.


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Welcome to winter

So, it decided to be winter now. Two weeks ago i did a night ride in shorts, today I ordered a set of Lake winter boots and Craft Lobster gloves. More shopping for wool and windstopper yet to come.

The snow is nice to see, if not somewhat ironic(I sold my snowmobile last year, hence snow this year). I'm thinking about buying some CX skis, but I wouldn't want to scare the snow away.

This fall's racing has been somewhat of a bust for me. I think I left my fitness in September, I just hope its waiting for me in March, maybe i can sneak some in February. In the mean time I've been doing the fixie-cross bit. Still good with the barrier sections, but man am I dieing on the runups. Time for a cardio overhaul this winter.

Next season is going to be a little different. Back to my roots, grow a few new ones.

So far on the calendar:
Feb 17/18 Sebring 24hour RAAM Qualifier on the bent
feb 25th Landal hmbcs #1
End Of March Ouachita Challenge
April 14/15 Crowderfest

May 7, 6 hours of Platte River
May 19th dirty KANZA
June 3rd Landal
July 4th Firecracker 50
End of July Wilderness 101

august 18th Landal 6/12
August 25th Endurance 100
September 1st S + M 100
the rest of the mtb100 series
Maybe the Laramie Enduro
and some other assorted ultras

Hope to do some sweet riding in new places. Maybe meet a few folks. Spend some time with old friends.

And then there's the HPRA series
and UMCA events on the bent.
Unfaired recumbent hour record.
Finish building a few more bents for myself and others.
Organize the Hawkeye Downs HPRA again this year, coordinated with the Velomobile gathering in CR.
Hope to find a little time for another state crossing or two, a
good brevet or two, maybe even a little touring if I find the opportunity.

Many long miles into the wind to be had this winter. The story of my midwest roots lie therein.


Friday, November 17, 2006

Checklist revisited

NorthEast IA, sweet views. First snow. Thanks Lee and Andrea!

To do list:
Heal these stupid ribs. -3weeks off the bike did the trick. Now where'd I put my fitness?
Pay off the last credit card this winter. -winter's not over yet, heck it hasn't even started snowing yet. Progress is being made.
Take a crack at the unfaired hour this fall.-yea, note the two previous items on the list. Track rental is expensive.
Buy an SRM crankset-somehow...this still needs to happen...somehow...
Buy a highracer.-as much as I would love to buy an Aero, I think I'm going to have to settle for building one.
Train for the real hour attempt next year.-in progress, from base level.
Finish scouting and noting the IA West-East UMCA record attempt route-check, sh92, rough.
Notify UMCA, find and official, set up the crew, and set a record with the Cuda.-check(pending UMCA approval) Not fast enough though.
Build a frame jig.-check, yea check it out, sweet.

Build a couple Gritters copies. -gettin components together, gotta work on the brazing skills so I don't smoke that high zoot thinwall tube though. On the search for SA drum brakes.
Rebuild the Zoteliner frame and shell subframe. -practice, here ya go. 16' of 2" x.049 should be showing up early next week along with some 1/16th brass and some decent flux(used powder flux and 1/8brass for the last one. No wonder I was burnin tubes)
Finish the shell. -need to order some small tube to redo the shell subframe, then<-
Play with Vivak windsheilds/bubbles.Stock up on Vivak, Dibond, Choroplast, Zotefoam, Steel tubing, fiberglass and epoxy. -looks like I need to find a sign shop sponsorship. Need more funds. Dear Santa, please bring me a roll of Vivak, a bunch of thinwall 4130, and some Zotefoam.....wha?..right.
Build a back to back tandem. And a shell for it. -well at least I've got the jig to do it.
Stop falling over. -just falling in a different way. but not a new way.


wish I could find no truth in this skit

no matter which way you read it

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

UMCA IA West -East record attempt

275miles at 25.6mph
2-3mph NW winds, gusting to 10mph
10,979feet of climbing
56deg avg temp
27.6mph moving avg

New UMCA faired recumbent IA West to East state crossing record(pending certification of the Ultra Marathon Cycling Association)

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Hmm...nice shape

To do list:
Heal these stupid ribs.
Pay off the last credit card this winter.
Take a crack at the unfaired hour this fall.
Buy an SRM crankset
Buy a highracer.
Train for the real hour attempt next year.
Finish scouting and noting the IA West-East UMCA record attempt route
Notify UMCA, find and official, set up the crew, and set a record with the Cuda.
Build a frame jig.
Build a couple Gritters copies.
Rebuild the Zoteliner frame and shell subframe. Finish the shell.
Play with Vivak windsheilds/bubbles.
Stock up on Vivak, Dibond, Choroplast, Zotefoam, Steel tubing, fiberglass and epoxy.
Build a back to back tandem. And a shell for it.
Stop falling over.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Time warp

Things I haven't posted about but should have:
Heartland MTB series, friggin awsome!
A week and a half in Colorado, granny gear fun! Really.
Lisa and Jeremy had their first born, Reed Sievers!
HPRA wins at Northbrook and Kenosha, suprise! Really?
Iowa Games RR, sandbagging as a cat3.
Cordova 40K 54:53, slow. Damn corner.
Loomis mtb, 2nd expert.
Still killing the Oval, even when not expecting to.
Elkhart 12K 15:41, slow again.
Target: UMCA record book.

Maybe someday

Monday, June 12, 2006


Another fun year at the Waterford raceway. This year a premier 50 mile hpv race was scheduled on Sunday instead of the shorter lap races of the past. The 200foot flying sprint, hillclimb/coastdown, Kilo, and 12lap race made up Saturday's events. The thought was to draw out the serious competitors eager for the bigger race, unfortunately only a handful of us made it out. Truly a shame as this course is a blast.

Once again I'm racing a borrowed bike, many thanks to Rick Gritters for loaning me his #4 race bike. Its nice to be in the same slipstream as my competition. I've come to the realization that I just don't have the free resources mid-season to build, so the projects will have to wait til this fall.

Saturday's events went well with placing strongly in the top three in every event, finishing second overall in Stock class. The twelve lap race was a good indicator for races to come, with a four bike paceline for the majority of the race. A little strange having to use USCF tactics during an HPRA race, as they are not typically pack racing venues. And just like a USCF race I did too much work and lost 1st and 2nd to the sprint.

Sunday's race was a little different as well. Sean asked if I was going to do anything stupid like go hard from the start, well someone had to, and since Frank couldn't make it, well... Seemed to work pretty well. I just kept my pace high for the duration, hit the hill hard every time, and squeezed every inch out of the track that I could. Warren caught up to me after several laps and we shared the work load best we could, but eventually the hill took its toll on Warren. Sean was trying to conserve his energy from the start and payed for it by being gapped off quite a bit right off the line. Before Warren popped Sean was slowly catching up, but afterwards they both slid way back. Had the race been a couple laps longer I would have lapped them both as they were only about 100 feet ahead of me at the finish. Too bad Northbrook doesn't have a hill.

FAST 50 Results
(1) Rick Gritters, Age40-55, Streamliner, 36laps, 30.29mph, 51.16miles
(2) John Simon, Age40-55, Streamliner, 36laps, 30.18mph, 51.16miles
(3) Dennis Grelk,Age39under, Stock, 31laps, 25.84mph, 44.06miles
(4) Sean Costin, Age40-55, Stock, 30laps, 25.13mph, 42.64miles
(5) Warren Beauchamp, Age40-55, Stock, 30laps, 25.13mph, 42.64miles
(6) Dave Balfour, Age40-55, Streamliner, 30laps, 24.87mph, 42.64miles
(7) Tony Leland, Age40-55, Streamliner, 30laps, 24.87mph, 42.64miles
(8) Jeff Hunn, Age40-55, Stock, 29laps, 23.63mph, 41.21miles
(9) Mike Mowett, Age39under, SuperStreet, 28laps, 23.41mph, 39.79mile
(10) Rich Sadler, Age56over, SuperStreet, 27laps, 21.90mph, 38.37mile
(11) Paul Pancella, Age40-55, Stock, 25laps, 20.41mph, 35.53miles
(12) Paul Bruneau, Age39under, SuperStock, 24laps, 19.86mph, 34.11mile
(13) Bruce Gordon, Age56over, SuperStreet, 23laps, 19.51mph, 34.11mile
(14) Wally Kiehler, Age40-55, SuperStreet, 23laps, 22.98mph, 32.69mile
(15) Jim Iwaskow, Age40-55, Stock, 23laps, 18.61mph, 32.69miles
(16) Bill Frey, Age56over, SuperStreet, 21laps, 16.87mph, 29.85miles
(17) Maria Castrejon, Women, SuperStock, 16laps, 13.03mph, 22.74miles

Anyway, this wasn't the full test I was expecting without Frank and Alan present, but it was an encouraging result. Especially considering that I was racing with a bruised hip and ribs from last weeks mtb race, and about 500miles training on a bent this year(368 of that being at the Sebring 24h). So maybe I'll get a few more miles in before Northbrook, and hopefully we'll get a few more fast people to race against.
See ya in July.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Storms brewing

So my race seasons are in swing.
So far:
24th overall 24 hour finisher and age group course record at the Sebring 24 hour RAAM qualifier, liner testing. (I can do better than this, sheesh)
4th place finish expert level XC mtb race
3rd place finish 6hour XC mtb race
32 place of 150 at the Ouachita Challenge mtb enduro(7,000feet of climbing, 60 miles, 1 broken frame)
4th place cat 4 RR finish

Tomorrow starts the full effort sprint training at our local Night at the Oval series at Hawkeye Downs Raceway. I'll be double checking my course setups for the HPRA race this September, ironing out a few details. You can check that out at my race site: www.midwesthpv.blogspot.com

Wednesday will be my first TT of the year. I'm definitely stronger now than I was last year at this time, but how much?

Will I be able to keep up with super Rick, Alan, Frank, Sean, Mike? Guess we'll find out soon enough.

Still working on equipement, light and low is the goal. Sounded simple enough. More details on that latr. Dang carbon shortage.

Thursday, February 23, 2006


So I competed in the Sebring 24 Hour RAAM Qualifier in my homebuilt streamlined recumbent on February 18-19 in Sebring, Florida. This road event started at 6:30 am with three 3.7mile laps on the Sebring International Road course, followed by an 89mile out and back long day loop, then laps on the 12 mile short day loop till dark, then they move you onto the track again to do 3.7 mile laps until 6:30am the next morning. The RAAM Qualifier is a non drafting category, in order to qualify for RAAM you must complete 450miles in a 24 hour non drafting race. Not that I have any intentions of doing RAAM.

So that was pretty fun.

I guess I lapped the field during the three starting laps on the track and then held a one mile lead till the turn around on the long loop at 48 miles out. Averaged well above 25mph on the way out. Then the sun came out and I fried. My support vehicle didn't catch up until after I had made my first lap on the short day loop, this means I cooked the whole way back on the long loop with the windsheild on and my camelback on my chest at about 17mph. I ditched them as soon as I got to the second checkpoint, but all my food was still in the support vehicle. I made twelve laps on the short day loop, two less than the leaders. It was not exactly a flat course, I was using all 9 gears on the day loops. However, the hilly sections were where I seemed to catch the most people. They would coast down the hills where I would be winding up the momentum to shoot over the next one.When nightfall finally came thats when the real fun began. Hot laps on the Sebring International Road Course, in the dark, wee! It cooled down enough for me to put the windshield back on, and my speeds came back up. The HID lit the corners and straights up quite well. All was well other than the fact that I couldn't stay awake. 27mph for three laps and 15mph on the next as I swerved all over. Still had some of the fastest lap times though, just couldn't stay in the bike as long as the leaders. Darnit.

Not my fastest, but I spent more time building the bike/fairing/trailer than training so thats about what I expected. Good amount of streamliner training here, bike handles good, and I finished. No crashes, although I did fall over twice. I weighed the bike today. 55lbs dry. No wonder those little hills hurt....still. Deep tissue massages are darn painfull, but they work. Time to build something lighter. Time to start training for Ouichita.

All times include stops
366.7 miles in 23:49:57
First 101.5 miles in 4:24:45
3rd fastest 3.7 mile night loop at 8:45
24th of 79 overall 24 hour finisher16th of 41 overall RAAM Qualifiers(nondrafting)5th of 8 overall recumbent RAAM Qualifiers

Jim Kern won the 24hour event overall on a Bacchetta recumbent with a new course record of 516 miles. The Bacchetta people were my best cheerleaders, great folks.

Finishing placings here and splits here

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Times up

Dave Balfour and I will be leaving for the Sebring 24 Hour (www.bikesebring.org)in Sebring Florida tonight, along with Dave's girlfriend Becky and my parents as support crew. You can check out the track here http://www.na-motorsports.com/Tracks/FL/Sebring.html The videos give you a pretty good idea what I'll be riding around all night. Should be pretty fun.

The trailer is tested, loaded, and ready to go. Graphics came out well.

My streamliner is functioning now, finally. Worked through a few bugs in poor chainline and draggy components, as well as a few ground clearance issues. Scrapped the dolly wheels when they bent at the end of a test ride, better off without the added complications and weight anyway. No Rotor cranks for now, replaced the Primos with Comp Pools, new chain and derailieur, eliminated the chain rub, the bike is much faster now.

The shell isn't as pretty as is it was, now that it has holes carved in it for a dolly wheel system that is no longer being used, and now it has foot holes in the bottom for starting and stopping. I hacked the top off to make it more streetable for the Sebring 24 hour, as the all the daytime riding will be on public roadways. I would say the bike now fits into the HPRAs Superstreet category better than the Streamliner category, but it was built for ultra events and that seems like the better route to go for that.

I did my first streamlined ride last Saturday. About 75 miles in 3 1/2 hours. Hilly route, 12-14mph winds gusting to 22mph. Kinda like a cross between sailing and bobsledding, pretty fun. The thing just coasts forever and 30mph is rediculously easy to hold on the flats. My current gearing has me spinning out at 37mph and grinding the steep hills at 9mph, fine setup for my local river valley riding. I should gear it up for flat course racing but I figure I'll leave it this way for the 24 hour. If I finish the race averaging above 25mph I will be more than happy, especially considering the number of long rides I have done in preparation.

It'll be fun scaring people on the night loop. I should be moving considerably faster than most people and the HID lighting may have them looking for a car to pass them. Lucky for them it's only a Twinkie on wheels.

So lets see if I can break 500miles in 24hours, eh?

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Getting closer

Well at least I've ridden the Tour Quickly a couple of times now. I've got to get a good distance ride in on it sometime this week to make sure all is well and fix that annoying chain to fender rattle, otherwise so far so good. The trailer is finished and functions quite nicely. A little heavier than I was hoping, but so is the bike. The car seems to pull it just fine and hey, it matches...sorta.

Nose is on and reinforced, using Pex tubing as reinforcement. Two hoops and lateral reinforcement bars on the sides. Now how to make the the front wheel turn without ruining the aerodynamics, hiding the jockey wheels, mounting the tail, and woking on lights.
Front pex reinforcement tube.
Pinstripeing with Plastidip. Sticks to Zote, flexes, doesn't rub off immediately.
Epoxy painting the frame.

Recommended reading: Hoerner's Fluid Dynamics, Tamai's The Leading Edge, The Paterek Bicycle Framebuilding Manual. Masses of knowledge in an understandable format.

Secret weapons: 12Ah 14.8v polymer Lithium Ion battery, tiny superlight 13W Metal halide helmet light, all the bits and pieces to wire up the bike with flashers ect.
Inside the trailer. Home away from home, eh? I don't have any daytime pics of the outside yet, just happy to have it finished at this point.
So my friend Dave Balfour, his friend Becky, and I attended the 2006 HPRA race directors meeting last Saturday. I am now officially directing an HPRA race at Hawkeye Downs Speedway September 16-17, 2006. And now I've got to work out the details...coming soon....Warren :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Tour Quickly

Okay, so I finally got my butt in gear and brazed a bike together. Wasn't sure what to build, but I wanted a test mule for front wheel drive, rear wheel drive, different seat angles/positions, handlbar configs, ect,ect. I needed something cushy for ultra endurance events that would fit inside my foamshell, and turn around on a two lane road for time trials. And I needed to build it pretty quick and easy, since I'm just practicing up on my brazing. I'd never seen an ultra low long wheelbase so thats what I settled on.

The design:
73" long wheelbase
dual 406 wheels with room for tires 2.1 and smaller
135mm spacing on both ends for various drivetrain setups
5.5" seat height at 25-40 degrees
80 degree HT angle with about 2" trail
Remote steering with about 7" of tiller
Using a single front ring, step up pulley to raise my final gearing, and a short cage rear der with a wide range cassette in hilly areas /close range for typical race venues.

I used .049"thick 1" square tubing as my main frame tubes to help simplify layout and speed the build process. Not the light option, but it sure makes mitres easy. I triangulated the crap out of the front of the frame to help counter pedaling forces and ran the main tubes under the seat side by side to maintain vertical compliance while countering lateral movement as well. A bit of triangulation on the seat braces also to eliminate lateral movements.

I used dual steering rods to keep them under tension at all times. I'm not a real fan of indirect steering, but a three foo long tiller doesn't work too well in a shell. And I don't like trusting small steering rods under compression, so a little redundancy eases my mind.

It ends up looking like a really low version of a Tour Easy, hence the name Tour Quickly. The fenders were a late night addition, stolen from an old Stingray clone. Lowrider, eh? They are really there to keep the tires from rubbing the shell and avoid spray of course.

Believe it or not I can turn this bike around on a 10' wide lane. It turns real sharp, this was a bit of a suprise. With a little practice I should be able to whip it around real quick for TTs

The ride is very cushy as planned, maybe too cushy. I don't have enough ride time on it yet to truly tell.

Weight. I'm scared to weigh it. Just trying to keep it lighter than the Varna with the shell at this point. Lots of tubes and big brazed fillits means lots of weight.

The bike seemed rediculously long until I put the shell on it, then it's not too bad. The wheels are all the way to the ends of the shell. This puts the spare room within the shell closer to me, which is a good thing for ultra endurance where I will be carrying water bladders, food, and lighting systems.

As you might have noticed from the earlier pictures, I'm using a dual dolly wheel setup. I figure I don't want to be having to think about which side the dolly is on at the Nth hour, and they're set wide to keep me from just flipping on over anyway. Might be handy in heavy winds as well. The controls for these are still in the build phase. I know they work good when deployed and good when retracted, hopefully they work good while deploying and retracting :)

I've also got a fair bit of work to do on shell attachment, hope to finish that up this coming weekend.

These are pictures of my handy dandy fixture table at work. Nice chunk of scrap from the shop.

Here's my good friend and racing competition Rick Gritters of Pella, IA welding up my fork. Prolly the strongest part of this bike.

Another good friend, Richard(Deke) Gosen of Decorah, IA. He operates Oneota River Cycles in Decorah, great shop. Deke is my parts source and wheel man. He also puts on some the greatest mtb races in IA.

A note about the wheels on this bike. They are the nicest things on it. DT 240S disc cassette hubs, laced to Velocity Aeroheat rims with single butted 14/15 ga DT Comp spokes. Nice, light, fast, stiff, bling.
Trying out the huge Primo Comet HD tires in the pics. 406 2.1"110psi smooth tread just like the normal Comet, only bigger and beefier.

The seat I'm using is a Dave Balfour special. Very nice carbon hardshell, lightest part on the bike. Step one of conquering the world.

Anyway thats all for now. Back to building.