Sunday, April 15, 2012

It's a dog's life...

'been sick for the past week. Haven't touched the bike since last Sunday... You know, every time i am sick I feel like the world has ended, and I will never ride again. I know I'm totally wrong and exaggerating, but that's how it feels right about now. Tomorrow morning I was supposed to start my cross Israel ride, but I had to postpone it, of course. I don't want to wait too much, otherwise it'll be too close to the Tour Divide. So maybe I'll start this weekend, fingers crossed, I'll be back on the bike by then. Even if I only do 4 days and don't reach Eilat, it'll be a good simulation. Right now I just feel sick. Damn.

Monday, April 9, 2012

oh. my. god.

 the bike is actually ready!! the bags arrived last week, with the big help of scott felter, the Porcelain Rocket heart and soul. they fit perfectly, and seem rugged and light at the same time...
 i've been riding with them in the past few days, and it is soooooooo heavy to ride around like that. i mean, the whole bike only gained around 11 kilograms, but it is not like putting the weight on the rider. having all those extra kg on the bike makes them act like a truck- under steering, hard to accelerate and slower to stop. it does make you feel like an adventurer, and encourages you to take it easy, and enjoy the views. you are not going to go fast anyway...
 the weather has warmed up considerably, and riding early in the morning is a wonderful experience these days. the air is cold, but not too cold, and the light is mellow and soft. every trail is a photo opp.
talk about making sure nothing is sprouting out of your bag... this guy's dreadlocks are actually touching his wheel when he rides...
next week- cross israel in 4 days. sweet.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

home sick...*

* and that means i'm home. sick. bummer... last week i was feeling great, and managed four 150 km rides... the thing is, there's this in between phase of the seasons, when everybody seems to get sick for some reason, and being a full time job rider doesn't help my immune system... so i got to stay at home for the past 4 days.
 i'm feeling better today, and even managed to use my home time well, running around between my sponsors, collecting stuff for the tour divide. i decided to put a 3 litre hydration bag inside the frame bag, and carry a 2 litre hydration pack on my back. it had to be as minimalist as possible, and as comfortable as they come. there was no other choice than CAMELBAK, ofcourse. so i went to the guys at CAMELBAK, and they hooked me up with their Octane XCT pack, which was built with the purpose of minimalist racing in mind. it's light and very comfortable, and it can fold and get into one of my bike bags when out of use. awesome.
 we started taking our goats out of their fenced home, so that they'll eat all of of the green crap that grew in our yard during the winter... they are so cute, are'nt they?
anyway, if everything is fine, i'll be back on the bike this weekend, and go on riding long hours till april 12th or so. after that i'll take a few days off, and go do my race simulation on the 17th, starting in Eilat, and riding 800 km in 4 days, to the Hermon mountain top finish. looking forward to those looooooong hours, alone on the saddle.
it looks like its going to rain any minute now...

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Easy rider...

This week was an easy one, without a lot of riding. I really took it easy, cause I know I'm facing three hard weeks, riding wise. I'm going to try and ride three consecutive days of 7 hour rides, and one rest day, and then another three 7-8 hour days, For three weeks straight... If I take care of my self during these 3 weeks, it should not be a problem. After that I'll take a week off, and then- a race simulation !! The plan is to ride from Eilat to the Hermon mountain, effectively crossing Israel south-north, in about 4 days, carrying all the gear I'm about to take to the tour divide. I think I'll ride the new bike tomorrow on the road to Haifa and back. I don't want it to get dirty...

Monday, March 12, 2012

new bike day..!

 it has been a while since i got a new bike, but this one is special... it's made of the best ingredients i could find, in a quest for the perfect bike for the tour divide. as you know, i've contemplated going for an older TREK chromoly frame, but have not found one, so i went for the aluminium option- an out of the box SuperFly frame. and you know what? it feels exactly like my two other CARBON SuperFly bikes, and thats a mighty good thing in my book.
 i went for a Bontrager RXL aerobars. i've never ever used one of those, and it's kind of scary looking on a svelte mountain bike like this fine example. still cool, though, isn't it?
as you can see, i went for nine speed XO gripshifts, which, in my experience, are the most reliable set of shifters ever produced. oh, and checkout those ERGON GP3 cork grips. they're light and comfy, and have those built in bar-ends... it's like they were made for the tour divide. thank you so much, DAA, for hooking me up with those pretty little things.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

d-day minus 3 months...

 i've been riding like crazy in the past two weeks, and this weekend will be no exception. the plan is to ride 7 hours on friday morning, and then ride 8 more hours on saturday. this will make this week a 45 hour week (including the "dead" hours in the saddle, training other people). these photos are from a little shootout i did for an upcoming article in the channel 5 website. the talented photographer is Dan Levy, my sister's husbend...
anyway- i got my frame this week, and started building it. i put on some RXL aerobars, and it looks plain strange, having a roadie's parapharnelia on my mountainbike...
pictures of the bike will be up, soon.
i've been having some trouble, deciding on the proper method of making the looooooong Tour Divide Q sheets a little shorter. i don't like the way they are now, depndant on the speedometer readings, starting at the very first km of the tour route. let's say i missed a turn, and had to ride 6 more km, by mistake...
now all the readouts of the km on the Q sheets are wrong (!!)
there is a better way of writing it, but it will take forever. i need to pay someone who'll do it for me. any volunteers? thought so...

Sunday, March 4, 2012


I just find it so hard to put on my biking outfit and get out... Take this morning, for instance. It's a beginning of a new week, in which I am supposed to ride four 7 hour rides, and I just find myself dragging my feet, staying at home and writing in my blog. It's cold and wet outside, and I'm bored with the trails and roads on which I ride every flicking ride in my area. I want some action. Some long uphills, some wicked single tracks. Well, it's time to get into the riding suit and go swimming in the rain. Damn weather.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

another day at the office...

 the days are passing by so fast, and its 3 months to my flight, which has already been booked. i'm flying to Calgary, without knowing how the hell i'm getting from the airport to Banff with my huge bike box... hitch-hiking? maybe. anyway, the weather this weekend is horrible, but during the past week i've been packing some great hours in the saddle. i did three 7 hour rides on the mountain bike, plus more than 15 hours of training other people. on friday i'll ride 4 more hours and call it a week.
 you know, spending all these long hours on the bike feel like an actual job. i go out in really early in the morning,  i answer my phone calls while riding, eat my lunch on the fly, and get home just in time to take Ori out of the kindergarden. so, i get to see these wonderful sights while i'm working... what a life.
 the lousy weather makes me feel like a pro even more, in that regardless of the conditions, i put on my spendex, base layer, long sleeve shirt, warm shirt, wind coat and rain coat, and go out swimming, sorry, riding in the biblical rain storms. what keeps me motivated is telling myself that the Tour Divide will be much much harder. what ever gets me out of the comfort of the couch and hot tea, right?
it is amazing to see how the body reacts to the endurance bombardment i throw at it, and how i feel better and better coming back home after 140 km ride, like it was a walk in the park.
i went out to FUNKIER clothing company, and picked out my outfit and clothing for the Tour. i took home their whole shop: jerseys, bibs, long sleeve, vest, you name it- i took it!
the guys at FUNKIER have been sooooo nice, printing all of my sponsors logos on the jerseys, and hooking me up with their top of the line products.
next week- 4 seven hour rides, plus 2 three hour rides, not counting my 18 hours of training other people.
let the games begin.

Friday, February 24, 2012

dream sponsors...

you know, its amazing to see that people and companies are willing to help me fulfill my long time dream, knowing it will benefit them as well...

after months of preparations, things have started to align and fall into place. i'm not talking about the training, which is going rather well, thank you... i'm talking about the sponsors for this amazing journey.
ofcourse, my CTC/TREK ISRAEL sponsors have been there for me for a long time, and they provide the bike, components, shoes and much, much more...
the guys at RUDY PROJECT are helping me, as always, with new shades and helmet, but also financially, which is awesome. thanx Or and Roni.
                        this is my next month test for the magazine...

new sponsors for my Tour Divide quest are here, too, big time...
JOE NO FLATS are providing me with their latest and greatest sealant and lubrication (god knows i'll need a lot of that- no pun intended, huh!), and help me greatly, financially wise, too.
the guys at COLUMBIA (the best camping gear ever) are helping me with an amazing sleeping bag (480 grams !!!), bivy (the cover for the sleeping bag, as i'm not taking a tent), and their best thermal shirts.
          and anothe bike for next month's issue... i smell a shootout!!!

my navigation system will be a TwoNav Aventura, by CompeGPS, which is probably the best navigation system for the real outdoor epic aficionados, given to me by the Israeli importer,Guy, and i thank him for that.
other sponsors include FUNKIER clothing, with their bibs, jerseys and vests and RIDEFOX Israel, with their WTB NANO 29ER tires and (maybe) WTB seat.
still working on a few details for sponsoring, but thats about it.
life is good.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Oh man...

This tour divide journey is so much more than training hard and riding your bike in the Rockies... The planning has begun long ago, and the preparation has been ramping up considerably in the past month or so. The bags have been ordered, the right camping gear has been found (hopefully), the TwoNav GPS is on the way. I ordered the the maps (all 6 of them) and the cue sheets (the route narratives). I'm getting the frame this week, and will build the bike next week. Still working on the plane tickets and booking a room in Banff for the 4 nights prior to the Grand Depart. So much things are running in my head, but at the end it will all come down to a single pedal stroke, heading south, towards the biggest adventure of my life. Easy. Justsome random thoughts, no picture. Deal with it.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

my mind is about to explode...

 i've been searching the web for more details about the tour divide, and the more i see, the more complicated of a task it seems to be. to me it seems that the riding itself is the easiest part of this great adventure. you see, i will not lie to you- i'm not much of an explorer, nor am i an outdoorsy kind of guy. i ride fast, i ride long and  i get better as the conditions get rougher. but i have never been that much of a happy camper (and i mean in the most simple of ways...)
 the tour divide is an epic adventure in that it takes to the limit in so many ways- it tests your soul, body and spirit, and most of all, it tests your will power (no- not wheel power, although it does that, too). the closer it gets, the bigger the challenge looks. i've been writing notes, building the bike, picking the parts and watching youtube videos of the riders and their gear for the tour. crazy stuff...
meanwhile, i ordered the bike bags i'm going to use. i've gone all the way, and bought some custom made bags, fabricated by a guy from Canada named Scott, who makes special bags for special bikes and events. you should check his creations: its awesome.
anyway, i went for the aluminium frame for the race, with a 9 speed drivetrain (i think it'll be more durable), consisted of an XTR 970 cassete, cranks and front der .the shifting will be done via an XO gripshift and rear der. the brakes are the new 988 XTR trail disc system. still thinking about the fork and wheels...
happy trails...

Friday, January 27, 2012

its been a loooong time coming...

 i'm back. again. i know i've been a lousy blogger, but here i am. 5 months to the "tour divide" great adventure, and i'm no where near the shape i need to be in for this kind of epic racing. OK, so i did some long hours in the saddle, but i could not keep it up for longer than 2 weeks straight, as i was too fatigued to go riding again. you know- life, work, a liitle baby running around, a damn cat who doesn't like sleeping at night. so i took a step back, and told myself to take it easy...
 and that's exactly what i've been doing lately. there are two SingleSpeed races coming, and god knows i won't miss those. so i turned it down a notch, hours wise, and put on some short hard workouts. the tour divide training will wait, right? i mean, i have almost 10,000 hours of riding under my belt, so i'll wing it... i'll start riding long hours again in march, with a 5 day simulation in april, with all the gear and the right bike.
which brings me to the next question... since my sponsor is trek, what do you think i should do? go carbon, aluminium, or an older chromoly frame, like the Ferrous? its a big choice, one that has to be made soon. help.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

meanwhile, back home...

 summer is almost gone, and the days are getting shorter. the sunsets are redder (is there such a word?) then ever, and we are trying to make the most of whats left... so we took Ori to the beach. the little angel likes to eat sand. mmm.
 Moran and I are enjoying the time we have together, before i'm all into my next project- training for the TOUR DIVIDE. its still 9 months away, but training for a 20 day epic, 250 km per day kind of race is a little demanding, to say the least, so every moment counts.
ireland is now a distant dream, and the american rockies are on the horizon. oh, but before that- i'm going to Nice, france, in 3 weeks time, to cover the unveiling of SPECIALIZED's 29er bikes for 2012.
its a hard job, but someone has to do it... hard times, i know.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

ireland- afterthoughts...

the world championship is over and gone, and it was a race to remember. after the mud was wiped, i managed to finish 6th overall, and was pleased with the result, but was left with a feeling i could do even better.

it all started with me being israeli, and not reading the time schedule of the race, missing the group warm-up, and effectively, my whole warm-up. now, i'm an older rider (...), and i need my good warm-up. being ireland, it was also about 12-14 degrees, so my body ached even before the le-mans style start. after getting into my groove, which took me the whole long first climb, i found myself in 5th, closing on on the leaders...

and then i sliiped on a long, wet wooden bridge (a beutiful one, at that), and was hurt pretty badly all along my left leg and left wrist. it took me about 2-3 minutes to start riding again, by which time i was passed by 7 riders or so. after getting back on the bike, i was on a mission to catch my spot again, and so i did by the middle of the second lap.

from there on it was smooth sailing towards the finish line, finishing 6th (but being a singlespeed race, they don't care about the finishing order...), and a happy reunion with Moran, Ori, and my parents. this was my little race sum. details and stories about the whole trip will come up soon.

oh, this is a picture from the pre-race party in Limerick, where our little israeli team tried to win the rights to host next year's worlds, but failed... the south africans beat us...

mmm. maybe 2013.

Monday, August 22, 2011

single speed world champs..!

it's been a while since i last packed a bike into a bike case... i missed it. last time was way back in 2008, when i went to the states to travel with my beloved RV.

the bikes have changed since, but so has the person riding them... 3 years ago i was a full time racer, no strings attached, out on my own kind of person. i loved every minute of. today i'm flying with my own family, as a husband and a father, and i'm so much more excited...

my two girls are already packed, and its just a few hours till our flight. my parents are already packed, too, as they can't miss any of my big races... this is the place to thank you, mom and dad, for being there for me, for us... i love you so much.

next post will be from Ireland, with a beer in one hand, and mud on my face. wish me luck!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

random thoughts...

two more bike riders were killed on the road last saturday. another weekend, another road casualty. its such a shame, seeing whole families shattered to pieces... it doesn't surprise anyone any more, as the israeli drivers and infrastacture are both totaly useless, especialy when it comes to taking care of bike riders. people just don't care, and nor do the authorities.

riders will keep getting killed every other weekend, till the day every new road built, will have a separate lane for road cyclists. till that day, we'll just have to keep riding off road... i won't argue with that.

its one week till our flight to ireland, and today i finished my last hard workout- a race simulation in ben-shemen. i found this short course, that has it all- two steep hills, three fast singletracks and one high RPM, two minute spin fest. 3x30 minute simulation were more than enough, considering the 80% humidity.

by the end of the session my jersey was as heavy as my bike, and my legs were as heavy as our family car. conclusion- i'm ready to move to ireland.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

getting ready...

in three weeks time we'll be in Ireland, drinking beer, breathing in the scenery, chasing little leprechauns on the green slopes of the lush, wet hills. so moran and i thought it would be a great idea to go to the temple bar and practice our beer drinking.

we tried different kinds of beers, and i got home on my knees. i think i have to keep working on my drinking abilities. the irish people are not tolerant to weak drinkers like me.

french fries, on the other hand... these i can eat all day long.

got to love that fat.


Friday, July 29, 2011

just cruising...

its an easy week, so i'm trying to use some of the other bikes i keep in my stable, that don't see the light of day as much as i'd like them to. and so i found myself on my vintage carbon road bike (that now only wears one gear...), riding off-road, on some frickin' sandy double tracks.

a 23 mm tire doesn't do sand so well. it was hilariously stupid. 2 days later, there is still sand in my road shoes.

oh, and speaking of great stopping brakes- these are my favourites, by far... the m952 XTR v-brake levers. they have it all: power, modulation (v-brake style), lightness, reach adjustment and looks. will not trade them for the world. yours for one million dollars. huh!

and this is a new segment i like to call : "what was i doing three years ago, around this time...?"
well- exactly 3 years ago, i was on a flight back from the US of A, after spending 5 months on the roads in my RV. this is the last picture i took on US soil, on VENTURA boulevard, an hour before i drove to the airport. a super rare porsche 550 speedster.

that sums LA pretty well, doesn't it?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

single life...

training for the world championship is going well, and this week is an easy one. in the remaining 3 weeks i'll be doing some watt training, mainly 1 and 5 minutes intervals, with race simulations on the weekend.

meanwhile, i'm waking up every morning at 5 am, for three totally different reasons:

1. its hot as hell, so riding in the early morning hours is the only option.

2. the riders i train like to ride early, 'cause they have to go to work afterwards...

3. for some reason, Ori likes to wake up at 4:50 in the morning. mmm.

got these old Avid SL V-brakes for my "keep-it-simple" redline singlespeed. the old brakes were a cheapo TEKTRO, that hardly slowed my bike. these brakes are awesome. i love the simplicity
of V-brakes. they stop like crazy. good.

also, i've started testing this new WTB tire for the magazine. its called BRONSON, and its aimed at the trailbike crowd.

the tread is pretty aggressive, with soft compound and fast middle section. first thoughts? i like it. more details soon... stay tuned.