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Monkey Knife Fight

March 12, 2011

Monkey Knife Fight.

Celebrating it’s third year of dishing out the hardest roads in our neck of the woods and raising money to benefit the PA Perimeter Ride Against Cancer, Monkey Knife Fight returns April 3. Come and enjoy a 65 mile bike ride through the rolling hills of Emmaus, PA. Includes 15 miles of dirt roads and 6500 feet of climbing. 13 of the dirt roads will be used for street fighting amongst the participants who wish to. Or just ride it for fun at your own pace. $10 entry. Waiver required. Not a race. Two rest stops, one with water at mile 22 and a Redners Quick Stop convenience store at mile 42ish.

Still not sure if this is the ride ride for you? Check out some highlights of last year’s ride.

Sponsor Spotlight – Clif Bar

March 4, 2011
Everybody knows the story of Clif Bar: the year was 1990 and founder Gary Erickson was out on a 175 mile bike ride. Many miles and many of the “other” energies bar deep into the day, Gary couldn’t muster the will to take another bite of the bland bars he had available. It was in that moment that he realized he could make a better bar, a moment he refers to as “the epiphany.”
 
The rest, as they say, is history. Clif Bar is widely recognized as a leader in the energy bar market, with a comprehensive line that has expanded to far beyond the basic bar. Clif’s dedication is not only to providing the best energy foods with the largest amounts of organic ingredients, but that sense of environmental preservation is clearly demonstrated in their brand new state-of-the-art headquarters in Emeryville, CA. As for their food, well their philosophy is simple: We Love Food.
 
 The members of Team LionOfFlanders have been long time users of Clif products, having been a sponsor our prior team and we continue to use them today. The tried and true standard is the Clif Bar; truly the workhorse of the line and the bar that started it all. It is revered for its organic ingredients, moist texture, and large variety of flavors. My go-to flavor is the chocolate chip peanut crunch. When I need a little caffeine kick, I grab a cool mint chocolate. The Clif Bar is a staple for pre-ride fuel, and mid-ride on longer rides where I need the extra energy.
 
On the bike the choice for me is Shots for ease of use and digestibility. They’re ideal for racing, offering up a quick shot of energy from carbs and electrolytes. I stick with the basic, yet delicious, chocolate or strawberry for the buzz. But my favorite product? Well that just might have to be Bloks. Somewhere between the solid of a bar and the ease of a shot lies Bloks; they’re little bite of gummy goodness with a simple and easy to use package. Training or racing, Bloks always have a place in my jersey pocket. Give me strawberry or lemon lime if I’m feeling dangerous. Looking for a tasty way to recover after that hard day on the bike? Grab a pack of Roks – the chocolate is like little brownie bites – for the most fun way to refuel and give your aching muscles the protein they need to rebuild.
It’s not hard to see why the members of Team LionOFFlanders.com are such big fans of Clif products. For more information, such as a full listing of products and nutritional information, check out their website.
 
Clif’s product range doesn’t end on the bike; the offer a large selection of products such as Z Bars for kids, Mojo bars as a smart snack alternative, and the Builder Protein bar which I’m a big fan of as an afternoon snack at work. I find a Builder bar to be the perfect bar to carry past the post-lunch office slump and to prepare me for my workout when I get home.

Team LionOfFlanders.com Madison

February 1, 2011

The Ritte Van Vlaanderen Bosberg

October 21, 2010

Team LionOfFlanders.com is honored to have partnered up with Ritte Van Vlaanderen as our bike sponsor as they exemplify many of the same ideals which we do (impecable style, focus on drinking, proper perspective on not taking things too seriously), and we were even more excited to receive our Bosberg frames.

The Bosberg, named for the final climb in the Ronde Van Vlaanderen, is a new kid on the block of carbon super bikes but don’t let the company’s infancy fool you; Ritte Van Vlaanderen came out swinging on the playground. The Bosberg is that scrappy kid that transfered in from the other side of town and is not only determined to keep his lunch money, but takes yours too.

Built up from strategic layering of high-modulus carbon, the Bosberg combines all of the features of high-end racing frames into one slick package: an integrated seat mast, BB30, tapered head tube, and carbon dropouts. You can find all of these features in a competitor’s frame, but you’d be hard-pressed to come anywhere close to the price point of the Bosberg frame.

And then there’s the aesthetics; the Bosberg is dead sexy. Team LOF chose the “Euro” paint scheme, a brilliant white frame with subtle powder blue interior accents as homage to the land of cobbles and frites. Finishing touches and attention to detail include small tricolor stripes of the Belgian flag on the fork legs as well as window-paned graphics for the Ritte logo on the downtube, the latter lending a peek at the high quality carbon which the frame is composed of.

There’s no arguing that the appearance of the Bosberg is striking. Right out of the box the frame oozes respect and the sexy, a combination of the aforementioned immaculate paint and aggressive tube shapes. The bottom bracket junction is beefy; it’s an NFL linebacker staring you down, tempting you to just go ahead and give it a try if you think you’re stones are big enough. The head tube is massive, the chainstays could be used as self defence weapons, and the wishbone seatstays are trick. Let us not forget the daunting seatmast; in its uncut state is enough to make any guy self-conscious. All these looks are great, but how do they perform?

I built my Bosberg up with a SRAM Force group, Rotor 3D cranks, Ritchey bars/stem, and a Fizik Arione saddle. I’d be remiss if I did not note that I am running the SRAM BB30 adaptor sleeve, thus not fully taking advantage of the BB30. Some say I’m missing out, and to that I say bullocks. That BB juncture is so beefy that you could put a crankset sculpted out of Play-Doh in there and it would still be stiff.

The Bosberg is amazing to ride. The combination of the integrated seat mast and ginormous BB juncture make it incredibly vertically compliant. This thing literally feels like it has a backbone running from the saddle to the cranks; mash the pedals and you had better be pointing in the direction you want to go because it’s going to launch you forward with authority. There is little to no flex in the drivetrain, undoubtedly as a result of the over-sized boxy chainstays which are tall and narrow coming out of the BB and then taper down to the dropouts. The split wishbone seatstays finish off the rear triangle and the combination of the entire package firmly keeps the rear wheel planted and glued to the asphalt. This thing’s got grips like what…what…what.

The massive head tube and tapered 1 1/8” to 1 1/2” bearings make the Bosberg handle like it was on rails. Point this thing into the apex of a turn and it will track like it’s on rails, carving the most gnar-gnar lines you can throw at it without soiling your chamois. At the same time the handling is not twitchy like some top end race frames can be; it is  more forgiving for small movements and corrections. The head tube on my medium frame is 14cm, which is ½ cm shorter than my Ridley Excalibur and makes for a little more aggressive position which is nice as I always felt the Excalibur’s head tube was a little tall for a race frame.

Make no mistake; the Bosberg is a purebred race frame however it is by no means overly harsh or uncomfortable for long days in the saddle. The layup of the carbon manages to make it rigid without jarring your bones over some rough terrain. The longest ride I’ve logged on mine thus far is only 3 hours, but that included a hard group ride and showed no signs of being uncomfortable to continue on for another hour or two.

The Bosberg is an incredible frame and bang for your buck I doubt you’d be able to find a frame that offers as much or outperforms it for even a fraction of the cost. Ritte claims that a size medium frame with uncut seat mast weighs in at 1000g and the fork with uncut steerer tips the scales at 350g. I have a medium frame and have yet to weigh it but I’ll tell you this: my Bosberg with 32 spoke training wheels is lighter than my Ridley Excalibur with Ksyriums on it. I’ve got to estimate it in the 15.5 lbs range, even less with carbon tubies on it.

To sum things up, the Bosberg is one rad mutha fugga. If you want to get your very own Bosberg go check out the fine folks over at Ritte Van Vlaanderen.

I got a free coffee because my bike was so rad.

Cross is On!

September 16, 2010

Last weekend saw the UCI cyclocross opener in our backyard here in the Lehigh Valley. Naturally, we came out in force with the camper and El Camino for both the racing and spectating. The boss-man Ryan (Of Flanders) Pomajevich took a Top 10 in the masters race despite a few tumbles and the rest of at least tried to look good while suffering.

Thanks to the UCI points, we also got to watch a hell of turnout for the men’s and women’s pro races. Luke Keough won took the men’s title despite still being too young for beer. Cyclocross-favorite Adam Myerson, however, took second after Luke pulled under him in a final corner. And Adam, as we know, loves a good Belgian brew.

Sunday saw the smaller Concrete Crate Cross run by Ray Ignosh. We used almost an identical course, but backwards and with a sprinkling of rain. The moisture turned Saturday’s fast, but unforgiving, course into a smooth a tacky dream. We were rolling around corners like slot cars.

I think we’re all looking forward to the races to come, the laps the hammer, and the beers to drain. Hell yeah, it’s cross season!

Sponsor Spotlight – Oakley

August 4, 2010

 

Team LionOfFlanders.com is proud to have Oakley on board as our eyewear sponsor. Long respected in the industry, Oakley’s Icon logo is the symbol of top quality sunglasses both on and off the bike.

The team chose custom Jawbone glasses to match our team kits, frames, and helmets. The Jawbone utilizes a hanged lower “jawbone” that allows for easy swapping of lenses, and each pair comes with two sets of lenses (of your choice with the custom program).

Personally I chose the vented black irdium lenses, which are the go-to standard for bright and sunny conditions. The vented option does well for on the bike efforts by helping to prevent fogging of lenses. My second choice of lenses was the G30 iridium, vented as well. I love these lenses as they excel in overcast and mixed lighting conditions.  Other favorites of the team are the yellow for the night time racing on the velo on Friday nights, and of course clear for rainy or twilight crits.

Oakley’s HDO (High Definition Optics) is an amazing technology that you literally have to see to believe. On the brightest and clearest of days, the HDO lenses will improve definition via filtering of UV rays and enhancement of contract thus giving you superior clarity.

Not to be neglected, the styling on the Jawbones is downright rad. And that counts for a lot.

So next time you see Team LionOfFlanders.com, make sure to take notice to the dope Oakley Jawbones they’re rocking. And you can get your own custom pair over at Oakley’s website.

Team LionOfFlanders Kits Debut

July 30, 2010

Team LionOfFlanders.com is happy to announce that our new team clothing has finally arrived, and has been debuted on the track as well as a few other events since coming in.

The clothing is by Vermarc and is 100% Belgian quality. We’d like to say another big “Thank You” to all of our sponsors for making the team happen.

The kits have been greeted with good praise, so keep an eye out for them for the rest of the road season and of course as we roll into the cross season!

All photos courtesy of Anthony Skorochod @ cycingcaptured.com -  another big “thanks” to him, too!

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