Monday, December 28, 2009


An iPhone /iTouch app called iCols shown one the Italian Cycling Journal. Pretty cool except it does cost $3.99. Livin' on the college cheap doesn't allow me to get this just yet.

I would like to get a better idea of what Euopean mountains are like.

Maybe one day riding some of them for myself will give me a good idea...

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Emerging Style

There seems to be a trend, a fad, a bandwagon if you will of style and chic demand for the everyday cyclists of our world. Taken from "Cycle Chic From Copenhagen - The Original. Streetstyle and Bike Advocacy in High Heels," these pictures show a bit of what I am referring to.

These ladies know how to dress, how to ride, and how to look good doing it.

Briefly browsing the blog let me see into a culture, society, world that see bicycles in a pure and balanced form. At least they would have me think of it that way.

Then it kind of hit me. In Copenhagen, these women and men ride as a way of life and their bikes are uniquely theirs. They have their own style, and are not the investments many in America view their bikes to be... like me.

Sure some clothes and styles of cycling have come out of necessity, but there are now designer clothing lines coming from this growing culture. Seen here at VeloCulture, Beauty and the Bike, and here at Interbike 2009; bike fashion is becoming a hit all over the globe. Sure it will be a while before America catches the fever in an epidemic form, but it is on the way.

I hope to get a few pics of my school's chic cyclists to share!

What a lovely world it would be to see more of these beautiful bike rides about! No?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

20 & Forcing Onward

I'm an aspiring cyclist. Simple as that. When I see a guy like Ted King, who is only 26 and going into his second year of pro racing, I can't say that that is at all unheard of, but I'm dumbfounded. He began racing at age 20. My age. And he has been able to work his way through all of the racing levels to riding and finishing the Giro in 5 years. Am I the only one that is stunned by this?

He sure doesn't seem to put off the air of a boastful, cocky young-gun, but I think that's remarkable. I don't really care much for him as a rider at this point at least. I haven't heard talk about him ever being a gc rider in a grand tour, but what about him and his racing afforded him to be at the top level of cycling in 5 years? I don't know what he did in his high school or college years before he got on the bike. I don't think the guy is doping. I just want to know how I can do that. I want to get to that level. Right?

Enough drooling. This talk is making me sick. Who knows where I'll be in 4-5 years. My birthday is January 18th and I will be turning 21. I have consented to the very likely probability that I will never get up to that level of pro racing. I don't think I'll ever get above a Cat2 racer. Just fact. Self-pity aside, I am just being realistic. I love cycling, but unless this training really pays off and I become a force this next season, I don't think I will ever be on such a fast track to the pro peleton as T.King.

I also know cycling and racing improvement is a process with a lot of sacrifice and time. I got me a beautiful bike and a growing passion for the sport. I respect those who have been able to ascend to the top, except the cowardly dopers. I just want to have fun on these 2-wheel princesses and put myself and, whenever possible, put those around me in as much pain as I can. I'll be a force yet.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Bella è bella.

I took her out for the first outside ride today and she is magnificent. I know I've had her for a while, but let's not forget that whole pedal debacle and that weather in Indiana has been less than ideal for bike riding. I'm not going to be an apologist. I'm glad I waited. Although, I do wish I could have taken her out for the first time in a more ceremonious manner. But then it donned on me... Fairfax, Va is expecting 14-20 inches of snow tomorrow. It was only 33 degrees out and not particularly windy compared to Indiana, Pa. With all this in mind I took her out and she showed me a good time. Completely worth the money. Her name is Bella meaning beautiful in Italian. That was what I came up with and it stuck.

Man is she fast. I must admit, being noticeable lighter, she does not accelerate quite as fast as my old bike did on the downhill, but her acceleration on the uphill more than makes up for it (and that's where it counts). The handling on the bike is much better too. I almost had my front and rear wheels washed out from under me at different occasions to no fault of the bike, but my choice of line through some turns and braking. Allow me to reiterate, this was my first outside ride with her so handling, shifting, and braking are different. Thus, I need to get used to it all. I don't think it will take long tho.

The comfort and feeling I have on this bike is something I am really excited about. There was a noticeable difference in cornering and ease of shifting. This bike is such a step up from my old one. Not to mention the Fizik Arione saddle I got for this was well worth the extra cash! I love this bike and am looking forward to continued training (trainer riding) on this through the winter months coming to race in the spring.

Today is my sister's bday and I was supposed to go to Florida and visit my family down there that I haven't seen in over a year. Unfortunately, this 14-20 inches of snow coming is probably going to hinder the trip. Guess I won't have an excuse for a break in my training program...

Saturday, December 12, 2009


The wait was worth it. Having to wait for suitable pedals to be able to ride this beautiful purchase was terribly worth it. Well, at least in the sense that I was not about to return the thing just because I couldn't get old pedals off the old bike, but let's just entertain the idea that it was worth the wait. Though, I didn't really seem to have much of a choice in the matter.

Moving on. This bike is a smooth, swift, sleek bicycle. However, my riding is just more of the same. I am still on the trainer and working hard to keep up on my training program. The inclimate weather is making it easy to want to be inside to ride tho. I cannot see this bike's first outside anywhere in the near future, but I know it will be quite exciting when it comes. I hope to have lost a bit of weight by that time too. I am feeling well in control of that aspect of my preparation and training. I am hovering around 175 right now. Come he spring racing season I do wish to be under 170. The hallenge will lie in maintaining that and maintaining my cycling energy.

But I won't jump the gun. I am not going to worry too much about my weight. It will flow as it will. I can only do so much. Right now I only have to worry about sticking to my training plan and having faith that it will pay off.

Sure, I have the right Ike now, but that will only go so far. I want to be a stronger, smarter, more focussed cyclist. - More on that later.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Let's get real.

This ride is a serious step up. SRAM Rival components, Fizik Arione saddle, [Mavic] Aksium Race wheelset with bladed spokes, Continental, Ultra Race tires, compact 50/34 cassette with 11-26 - 10 speed rear, hollow pin chain, hollow bottom bracket, carbon seat post, carbon stem, Scott Addict R3.
I do know this is not the highest end as far as components and parts go, but this is an entirely different bike than the one I have owned before. I love it.

But back to reality, this bike needs new pedals and the ones on my old bike are not coming without a fight. I was able to get my left pedal off, but the right one is STUCK! I suppose my old bike knows that it is being replaced. I can't blame her for not wanting to let go. Thus, I am going to probably have to leave those T-Mobile pink pedals on her. Doesn't matter now anyway. I have already purchased pedals off eBay. Not sure if that was the most responsible thing to do, but I know I can wait for them to arrive and put them on my new Scott Addict.

Forgive my ranting.

Patience is a virtue. I know I can wait for something I want. No matter how close or far away she is from me. Believe that. And I think she's worth it.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Looking big in my small world.

There's a lot I feel I should be blogging about. Though I know only two people will at least see that I have posted anything, I shouldn't let that stop me. Tomorrow could be a big day for me. This weekend regardless will be big for me, and for this blog's sake, my cycling. I will be purchasing a 2010 Scott Addict R3 with all SRam Rival components.

But let me take a moment and update you on what I've been doing since my last posting...
^ That. A lot of that. Simple riding on my trainer in heart rate zones 1 and 2... and above that when I'm feeling naughty for a minute or two.

I know it may not look too interesting/fun/respectable/noteworthy. I know I may seem to be wasting "valuable" days where I could be riding outdoors, but I trust myself. I know I will be stronger for this. No doubt. I really don't care how the weather is outside. I know what I am doing on my bike and what I am putting my body through.

Another comment on that photo there.... That was taken as I was riding it for a free basic fitting at Big Bang Bikes who is now the bike shop sponsoring IUP Cycling. Today may be the last day I will seriously be on that bike you see up there. She is a first love. I might keep her around after all. We'll see.

This will be my new love. Not sure what I'll name her, but I have a few ideas. Again, the 105 component set you see crapping up that bike will be replaced by SRam Rival. Should make it weigh around 15-16lbs... I hope?!
This bike is going to cost me a lot. It's a big purchase in my small college world. I am thankful to Big Bang Bikes for providing such an amazing deal for it. I know it isn't the nicest/lightest/most expensive/ most beautiful ride, but I do know I am in college and this bike will take me over the hills for the next few years. I am very fortunate to be able to do this and afford this.

Until next post.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Keeping Up.

I've been off the bike for most of my preparation phase training. I'll say that I've been enjoying my training, but it is tough. I suppose what is prompting me to write all this is a tough day today in the gym.

My cross training consists mainly of seated row and specific lifts. It isn't too extravagant, but I'm hoping that the efforts all together will help my cycling in the spring.

Not much else to say, here. Hopefully I will be more prompt with writing my posts here when I'm more excited. However, I did watch the last 20-30 km of Il Giro di Lombardia this morning! That was a blast. The racing was awesome. Attacks sprung out the whole time and there was some real sacrifice for glory by some of the riders.

Looking forward to more training and sacrifice of my own.

Monday, October 5, 2009

On a Whim.

Yesterday, on a whim, I signed up to ride my bike in a 2-day charity event. I registered for the National MS Society's Virginia Ocean to Bay Ride 2010!

I say on a whim because a great friend from back home, Marissa, and I were just talking about how my cycling has progressed and she mentioned how saw someone cycling with a National MS Society jersey on and said she immediately thought of me. I then told her how I have always wanted to ride in a charity event, but never thought too much about which one or how I would raise the money. So instead of just leaving it there having only talked about me wanting to ride one, I went on the event's site and signed up and registered to ride! Any anxious feelings about how I will fundraise should be the last thing in my mind when debating whether or not to ride for such a great cause.

The event is being held on June 5-6 (plenty of time for me to acquire a minimum of only $250). It will ride from Cape Charles on Saturday, riders will camp at Camp Silver Beach, and return to Cape Charles on Sunday. The event is 75 miles each day with an option to ride 25 more miles each day (Which I will surely opt to do) for a total, for me of 200 miles in the two-day event! This will truly be an experience for me!

Not only have I never ridden 100 miles in a day, I have surely not done 200 miles in two. Also, I will be riding in honor of Marissa's close friend, Casey Sawyer, who suffers from MS. I know I will have a blast and will be doing what little I can to benefit a great event, charity, and cause!

It is a long way from now, but I am happy to have something so good to look forward to. It will certainly be a challenge, but I know I can do it with the support and thoughts of those who I will be helping. - Believe me when I say, "No trophy needed for this ride."

Saturday, October 3, 2009

A Few About Me and That Bike of Mine!

My Raleigh '08 Supercourse and I have been through a lot together. First time I rode her she kicked me ass and make me want to throw up! I was a quite out of shape then too, mind you.

This photo was taken of me the morning after the hardest and first road race I have ever ridden in. I just realized I have a rear flat just before my crit.

I will hate to see this bike go. This is where I trained a little bit last year. - close quarters.

Here we are for all to see at IUP Day. -Posing with Norm.

This last photo here is where my bike and I held on for our first podium spot together.

Although I have a long way to go with my cycling, my bike has been my loyal friend through it all. I may have to part ways with her soon, I will always love this bike.

Friday, October 2, 2009

What to do?

So my beloved bicycle was never perfect. I know that. Yet, the chance to get a new frame for free, really upgrade everything about that bike and maybe dipping into a different discipline of road cycling intrigues me.

New frame for free, you say? Yessir! The laminate has begun to lift and separate on my top-tube from the carbon fiber underneath it has sworn to protect. There is actually a 1 cm in diameter hole in the laminate exposing the carbon fiber to the elements! I know, the bike may still never collapse on me, but if it does.... ..... I do not want it to be because of this exposed carbon. In any case, after phoning the bicycle shop I purchased this '08 Raleigh Supercourse from in May 2008, they told me that I need only to take the bicycle in to a Raleigh dealer and they should be able to handle the bike through to Raleigh and replace it. The dilemma ensues.

Ideally, I would hope that Raleigh could just send me a new frame (for free mind you) and I would be able to keep the frame I have, free to do with it what I wish. From there, I would wish to sell it to a friend (or foe... exposed to the elements and all) and buy myself a new bicycle with much upgraded parts. But, there has been a curveball thrown my way.

I was offered a price on a TT frame with dura ace and ultegra components and aero helmet by a newly acquired friend. The price (I will keep to myself) was an undeniable deal. Only problem is, after all is said and done, I will still have to buy a new (or well maintained, used) wheelset, cassette, chain, adequate tires, tubes, skewers, possibly pedals, possibly seat, skin suit, bootie covers, and any other expense that may pop up. Whether or not I have to purchase everything I have just listed, the point is, these things could add up to a lot and quickly. Trust me, I would love to start tearing it up on a TT bike, but alternatives and first loves do surround me.

Road cycling is what I do right now. Yes, tt-ing is the older brother of road cycling, but he's the much cooler older brother with the sweet, expensive ride. I am a cat-5 cyclist. I imagine I will cat-up during next year, but as it stands, I don't need a tt bike just yet. All that aside, I feel as though I have not fully explained my possibilities about my current road bicycle. My willingness and eagerness to spend money on a tt bike made me realize, if I do not need a tt bike, I could use that money for my road bike.

There is really not much wrong with the bike. If Raleigh, for some reason does not feel that I deserve a new frame for free, I will just look to sell my road bike and buy a new Raleigh or (the only other company I would consider) a Scott bicycle. If that endeavor does not seem too beneficial to me, (not sure right now why it wouldn't, but for my ocd, overthinking's sake) OR if Raleigh does send me a free frame I will simply purchase an overhaul of components to completely upgrade my bicycle and riding.

All this thought about me being on the market for a new bicycle is exciting! Sure, I may not need a new bicycle, but I have the money and willingness to spend it on my passion. Some of this is out of my control right now, but I will soon have options. If IUP Cycling can become sponsored by a bicycle shop, I will look to get a deal on a road bicycle and components. If Raleigh come through, I could still use a sponsorship to get deals on the components I wish to buy. Ugh. Enough. I hope you are not too confused by my thought processes. These kinds of things... as you'll see roll through my mind.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Training Planage

 Well, here I am lookin' to draft and construct my annual training program from today through one year from now. Easier said than done. 

In Joe Friel's book "The Cyclist's Training Bible 4th Edition," there is, to say the least, an elaborate process for drafting and constructing this annual training plan. I am just beginning to understand all if the elements that are plugged in this plan. With all of the effort I am putting into it, I cannot see how or why one would want to stray from it. Anyway, I can't speak much to it seeing as how I cannot complete my training program yet. 

There are a lot of variables that are restricting me from simply putting everything down. Any races I wil want to add to my plan, whether I wish to peak for them or not, at this point are not in the calendars to be planned for. I am told I should just look at last year's dates, but those cannot always be trusted. From those, I can plan my peak, build, and base periods. Without them I can only speculate. 

But without this planned draft, (that will probably be changed anyway) I will not have anywhere to start from. I have time to work things out and finalize where I need to put my training. I am off the bike and officially in my "transition" period right now for the next week. After this week I will begin my "preparation" period and will hit the gym. Boom, son.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Email I just sent to the people that lost my trophy.

Hi. This is John Churan. I am emailing you wondering if you all have  
sent my 3rd place trophy that was misplaced during the award ceremony  
for the road race II. Pleas email me back with any further directions  
or clarifications needed to get me that trophy. Thank you.

Race watching.

So here I am in Ohio hanging out with Brewer, Brian, and Duane watching Brewer and Brian ride their cyclocross bikes through the rain and junk. I got nothing else better to do this weekend. I suppose I could have ridden my bike or "hung out" with some people back in Indiana, but I'm good here. I need to imerse myself in cycling and get used to traveling for it. I plan to start my transition period from this weekend and I really need to construct my training program to work through the winter. Within that training prgram I intend to lose weight and come out weighing 160 or less. Can't wait.

Not sure what else to post at this point. I gotta get up early tomorrow morning and drive with Brewer and Brian to their Month of Mud race in Pittaburgh. 5 am if I heard them correctly. I can't wait to race in the spring with a new body. Hahah. Lame. I'm gonna work hard for it. Get me my trophy.