Monday, October 29, 2007

Progold Lubricants

I am very happy to have on-board, as our second official sponsor, Progold Lubricants - who specifically make Prolink Chain Lube.

I have been a loyal user for years and love the stuff. I get ribbed from people for keeping my bike so clean - and my chain is probably the most important part of the bike to keep the cleanest.

Team Big Ring Racing will be turning clean and smooth this upcoming race season with the help of Progold!

Thanks so much Van and all the staff at Progold!

Doing a Latex tube order

For those who've know me for awhile, I've always been a huge tubeless promoter. It started with UST rubber and then I switched to converted non-UST for better weight and tire options. While the benefits were amazing (more control, traction, comfort, and rolling efficiency) it was a bit of a PITA to setup and maintain.

As much as I loved the 26" tubeless options, I wanted to move to 700/29 realm for a few years. One of the reasons I didn't switch sooner is due to the lack of reliable tubeless options. Sure Stan's made 29er rims but they only supported wire bead (=heavy) tires and there were zero reliable CX options. Another quiet, but supposedly viable, option were latex tubes.

Marketing blurb: Endurance and performance The natural elasticity of Aircomp Latex tubes can actually improve efficiency by reducing rolling resistance. Latex has a remarkably high modulus of elongation (700%!), giving it outstanding resistance to punctures and pinch flats. It's the perfect complement to today's high-performance wheels and tyres. The Aircomp Latex weighs just 130 grams (C4 MTB version), making it one of the lightest tubes available. As with any high-performance product, latex tubes require regular maintenance; be sure to check your air pressure before every ride.

Fast forward 1 year and I've been riding their 700cc and 26" tubes on my CX and MTB for the past year and have been very pleased. Up until a month ago I ran about 4000 km w/o a single flat - and we're talking 35psi on the 32mm CX tire and 24f-26r psi on the RIGID 29er 2.2" tire (I'm 185lbs BTW). Naturally I kept pushing to find their limit and only after really denting the rim did I manage to pinch flat them (24psi in the rear on Outback). Fixing latex is hard to do (although I did find some regular pre-glued patches at MEC that seem to work well) so while using a temporary rubber tube I repeatedly flatted at pressures 4-5 psi higher even though I wouldn't feel the tire bottom out.

I still think tubeless is better for 26" rigs simply for it's self sealing abilities (not guaranteed but still better than rubber tubes), but for those of you who are sticking to tubes and are looking at big races this up coming season, I would strongly recommend that you at least try latex tubes. They are well worth the small price premium for gains in efficiency and flat resiliance. They also strech quite a bit making for a useable tire range that is much larger than the advertised size (ie: fat 29er tires). The two negatives are they they will bleed 2-3 psi overnight so you will have to reinflate every day (good practice to chech anyways), and the other is that the valve stem is not threaded and so there's no nut to keep it in place when you're pumping etc.

I'd like to get a couple of back-up tubes (and some for Riley) and know that several of you have been interested in getting some yourself to try. I found a Cdn site that will sell them for $9.59 ea which is the lowest price I've every seen. I'll wait until the end of this week to order so if anyone else is interested we can do one bulk order. Let me know.


Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Vegan Vagabond is back on the air...brace yourself!

Hi there! I'm not so new to blogging. In fact, like (The Original) Big Ring, I can't seem to shut up when in cyberspace...

Speaking of Big Ring, that reminds me. Kari, you can find Craig's rectangles here, here, here and here! One of those is actually Lenny's rectangle but I just wanted to be thorough.

All you need to know about me, is that like the rest of the team, I also love to ride. Probably too much. I can't seem to get off my bike seat long enough to get anything else done. Oh well, if it lets me hang out with the likes of these guys, than who am I to complain?

Anyway thanks to Craig & Mark for getting us all together. We're going to have a lot of fun with this. Go Big Ring Racing!

Oh I almost forgot, I want to congratulate Peter on the new pipes he's acquired since being at the gym the past three week. When I saw him recently, they were bursting through his shirt sleeves. It was truly impressive. (Craig: mandatory steriod testing for team members?)

FUN, Fun, fun!

Well I gues it's time to post a little something about this skinny guy on the team (sorry Craig, not you!).

I also love to ride! I like all kinds of riding but I prefer to mountain bike. I do some road stuff on my el cheapo road ride but I only do it to make me a better mtber or because the trails are wet or to get from A to B! I've been riding for about 4 years now and I seem to get more passionate about it as time goes by. I guess it's not just a passing thing! I'm hoping to ride for a long looooong time, I'm already old (as some seem to remind me, right Tanya?) but maybe this will keep me young?? My favorite kind of riding is technical singletrack but it doesn't seem to love me back! :-o

I've never been a fitness buff.., I used to golf a lot and if there was a cart involved I was all over that like a fly on chit! Golf was really just an excuse to get out with the boys for a few pops. I used to play 100 rounds/year. This year I golfed once and that was in an office tournament. So where did I spend all my time..?

Like the rest of the team I ride for fun!! To me the fitness benefits that come from riding are just a bonus... not to mention all of those sexah scars that I am accumulating!

Just like Kari this is my first ever blog attempt, that's kind of sad really since I am employed as a computer geek.

As for the rectangles I've been trying to use this photoshop product but after creating the rectangle all that is left is my eyebrows..? Is that how this is supposed to work?


Saturday, October 27, 2007

Where's the rectangles???

Well - this is my initiation to the 21st century. I've never blogged before - ok stop snickering... I'm trying to reveal my personal secrets. While I'm on a roll - I might as well admit that the only reason I've joined the Blog is to check out the rectangles on the naked gear review! Ooops did I say that outloud?

I guess the other reason is that I thought it would be great to benefit from Craig's hard work of putting this team together.

That's really all you need to know about me... OK - one more thing I love to mountain bike - because I love to mountain bike. I'm really that simple.

Thanks for having me on board!


Friday, October 26, 2007

Blog attempt!

Ok, here is me trying to blog. So, what do I say, uh... Well, I got a haircut today because I can't let Fritz be the only handsome one. I also went to the gym because I hear Peter is getting buffed! So about me:

  • I ride for fun, I race for fun and I always have fun doing it!
  • I broke my femur (down Penguin) on "Friday the 13th" (Aug. 2004)!
  • After 9 weeks, I was pedalling again (some sort of record according to my surgeon).
  • When Damon Allen played for Ottawa, I was mistaken for him often.

As you can see, I am much better looking.

One thing Damon and I have in common is we are the same age - 43- and we still think we can play.

One day I saw Damon at the Vancouver airport, and he stared at me for a long time as I walked by. He must have been thinking, "that must that Gilles dude people keep mistaking me for"!

I drive a station wagon big enough to carry the entire BRR team! Her name is Gretchen!

Here is an interesting fact about the men in my family and life threating injuries:
  • my grandfather was shot in WWII and fell down a cliff and lived to tell about it;
  • my dad was hit by a javelin in the head (yes! it stuck there!) while officiating a track meet and lived to tell about it;
  • my older brother had a head-to-hed collision with a car... he was on a motorcycle! The car was a write-off and so was the bike and you guessed it, he lived to tell about it;
  • my femur - also considered life-threating and I'm still round.
Ok, I've said enough.


fritZman introduction

As one of the new BRR teammates I thought I'd get the ball rolling and start blogging.

So here's ten things you probably never knew but always wondered about the fritZman

  1. Real name is Francois.
  2. I'm always trying to improve my ride so bikes/setup typically change frequently

  3. I'm not an exhibitionist, nor do I like to use blog sites to satisfy my fetishes

  4. I emphasize the 'Z' in fritZman to pay homage to my 2 seater family car - a Nissan 350Z

  5. I like to think that you can force any car to be practical once you rig a 2" receiver (and ultimately a bike rack) to its bumper

  6. I like to race/push the limit of vehicles, be it racing my car (two time Ottawa champion and 3rd at Cdn Nationals) or my bike (which is often more scary than racing cars).

  7. My current bike setup is a 29er aluminum hardtail with 4" fork and 1x9 drivetrain

  8. Some say (when they're really drunk) that I (kind of) look like Vin Diesel

  9. I'm not as wealthy, nor am I as good of an actor as Vin Diesel (if that's saying much)

  10. However, I like to think I'm just as handsome and muscular as Vin Diesel and that's what chicks dig most eh?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Coming Together

"I love it when a plan comes together"
- Hannibal of the A-Team (George Peppard in real life)

I've been working my ass off pulling this team thing together - sponsorship letters, e-mails, phone calls, contacts, recruiting the fun'nest team money can buy, late nights, losing sleep, etc. It's starting to become all worth it.

All the responses that I got back to day were all positive. People are excited and ready to roll for next year's race season. Still waiting to hear back from a few.

The coolest news is we've probably got the youngest, capable mtn bike rider/racer in all of Ottawa: Fritz's young fella, Riley! He's our "Littlest Big Ring".

Welcome aboard Riley! Hope this is the beginning of a long relationship for you and the bike!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Two more generous sponsorship offers presented to us in the past couple of days. I don't want to spill the beans just yet . . . . okay, just a hint: first one has something to do with nutrition, the second has something to do with 29 inches.
Enough said. Stay tunned.


Just today our recruitment drive began with riders being contacted with an offer to ride for Big Ring Racing. We are sure that we'll be receiving positives from what's to be the most funnest mtn bike team in Ottawa.
Recruitment today, world domination tomorrow!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Crank Brothers

I am very happy to say that Crank Brothers has come on board as our first official sponsor for Big Ring Racing's 2008 season.

Thanks so much Jason and all the staff at Crank Brothers!

Chico Racing Three Day Stage Race

There was a rumor going around that Chico Racing was organizing a three day stage race for September '08 in Ontario. Chico broke silence today on and confirmed plans for the race to be held. Only details were that it was most likely going to start in Haliburton and end at Buckwallow and that each day would be roughly between 80-100 kms of riding.

This is good news for BIG RING RACING members who I am sure will be out in force to have fun, practice their intimidation tactics, pick on the sick and elderly and cause general mischief. Good times!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

BC on the Horizon

Since we've registered for the BC Bike Race, every now and then we get an update or e-mail. Each time I open them I get a little shiver of excitement that goes down my spine. Only eight more months of anticipation!

In other news, the sponsorship is under-way. Companies are being contacted - exciting times, exciting times!

Monday, October 15, 2007


Lots happening . . . . potential team members are being contacted later this week with invites to join BIG RING RACING and final preparations are taking place toward the lead up to our sponsorship blitz.

We are targeting companies whose products we have used, trust, rely on and believe in. What's the point in asking for support from a company that you don't use. BIG RING RACING will offer promotional opportunities for our sponsors via our blog, online forums and of course the most important, word of mouth backed up with tangible demonstration of the products.

This is an exciting time and the beginning of a great cycling team!

Stay tunned.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


I bet the only two people who have actually seen this new blog are Kark and I. The new team has not been released yet . . . . waiting for the right time and riders. Things are in motion - e-mails being sent to potential sponsors, local bike shops being approached, riders being invited on board, bugs worked out of the master plan.

All for what?

A bike team based on fun.