Thursday, November 30, 2006

A fraction of a second

Isaac Galvez died from injuries sustained in a crash on the fifth night of the Gent Six Day. Event director Patrick Sercu said the accident was of the sort that occurred often in cycling.
"It was the kind of crash that could happen any time in track cycling; two riders come into contact riding next to each other," Sercu said, "but this time it was fatal". See V-news.

Eddie Merckx commented:

I was at the event on Wednesday and spoke to Isaac briefly. To hear
that he is now dead is hard to accept. A rider can crash ten times and have nothing happen to him. This time, fate decided otherwise. This must be hard for his family and those close to him. See V-news

The rider also involved in the crash, Belgian Dimitri De Fauw said:

I was sitting in fourth or fifth position in the bunch. Iljo Keisse had just accelerated. We came out of the corner towards the finish when the bunch made a sweeper. I didn't see anything, I didn't hear anything, but suddenly Galvez was there; he had accelerated behind me to start the chase on Iljo. I never saw him coming. We hooked into each other with our handlebars and got catapulted towards the top of the track. It all happened in a fraction of a second. See

It happened in a fraction of a second. A fraction of a second.

We can all relate to that. A recent ad for road ID used the often heard quote "as a rider, it's not if you're going to crash, it's when" to sell their ID tags.

I for one, have had 2 recent crashes. The 1st was being hit by a car 3 seasons ago, the 2nd was in June when the rider in front of me went down- both happened so quickly - one moment riding along, the next sliding along on the ground. 25 mph to 0 in a fraction of a second.

Galvez was going much faster than that and on a bike with essentially no brakes.

I witnessed 2 crashes this season - the muskrat amongst the Turin ride and the rock/Theresa/Andy amongst Judson and at least 2 similar crashes last season. All were scary as hell. You hear the crash first- the sound is unmistakable- nothing else sounds quite like it. Then you look around to see if anyone you know was involved. Then you try to help whoever was hurt. Secretly saying to yourself "thankfully it wasn't me."

As riders, we don't talk about crashing very much. We laugh it off and keep pedalling, kind of a "what doesn't kill us makes us faster" philosophy. Maybe we should. Or at least we should appreciate the things that really matter (besides the bike).

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Go Kris Go- yet again- Cyclocross results

A big shout out to my peeps who continue to race through the cyclocross season.

Jackson Park- 11/12/06

Women's 1/2/3
2. Kris Over, Team Kenda Tire

Men's 45+
2. Josh Mallan, Pony Shop

Men's Pro/1/2
6. Chris Strout, Pony Shop
9. Lou Kohn, 2CC

Men's 4
22. Adam Lund, CEFour
29. Scott Starbuck

For full results go here.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Pinto Alegre

A Brazilian town's give-away of free Viagra results in a much happier town. Apparently 68 men over the age of 60 already had signed up for the program, which was approved by the town's legislature and has been dubbed "Happy Penis," or "Pinto Alegre" in Portuguese.

Maybe this is the key to all of the world's problems- Pinto Alegre creates happy old guys. Happy old guys, having more sex means they have less time to mess with the rest of us. Brings a whole new meaning to the slogan "Make love, not war."

Monday, November 27, 2006

Lemond speaks, but says nothing

Asked to comment on the Floyd Landis affair Greg Lemond recently stated,

He's a good guy. I will keep to myself and respect what he told me, while waiting for the verdict of USADA. This guy's talented, I've known him for five, six years. Of course I have an opinion on this affair. If it turns out that he's guilty, he will really symbolise the tragedy of cycling. This guy had ethics, a good education. If he's positive, then there's not much hope for the others...

What the hell does that mean? Lemond alludes to Landis confiding in him, but Mr. Goody 2 Shoes ain't gonna tell us. Of course he has an opinion, but he's got one on everything. And we all know what they say about opinions.

I guess my problem with Lemond is that he never has anything positive to say about anything or anybody. He could be a good influence, but instead chooses to poison the already bad air.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Ipod heavy rotation

Metallica- Kill 'em all- just put it on last week.

The speed, the guitars... the METAL! I used to listen to these guys in my dorm room- full blast -with a set of Cerwin-Vega speakers- 12 inch woofers Baby!- 10 feet from my face. It is a wonder I can hear at all.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Tattoos of the peleton #7

Missy Giove. Retired downhiller. All around bad-assss! During her career Missy won one World, one Junior World, two World Cup overalls, 14 NORBA and 11 World Cup victories and three NORBA Overall Championships. That's alot of hardwear.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A gift for the cyclist on your Christmas list

Yes, the cycling gnome. His name is "Ted." You can buy him here. Of course, it comes from England- the home of fish and chips and perfectly manicured gardens. Here is a gallery of all kinds of garden gnomes- beer drinking gnoems, fishing gnomes, soccor gnomes etc.

Question: is he riding Campy or Shimano?

Friday, November 17, 2006

Thursday, November 16, 2006

In the News

1% of Internet content is porn. By using Google and other search engines' results, the Feds have determined that 1% of web content is "sexually explicit." 1%!. Only 1%!

Bears in Siberia suffer from insomnia. Apparently the weather has been too warm and the bears have not gone into hibernation. The bears are now roaming around and understandably cranky. But, remember kiddies, global warming is a myth.

Have ProTour license, need team. Manolo Saiz is apparently talking to Tinkoff about using his ProTour license to get the Tinkoff team into the cycling's highest level of competition. This makes a certain amount of insane sense- Tinkoff has signed as many former cheats as they can, if Ullrich had a license, they'd probably sign him too. Saiz has already demonstrated that he can get caught with the goods and get away with it. Sounds like a match made in heaven. Maybe they could have a kit with old time black and white prison bars on it.

China to use mice to test food at 2008 Olympics. The mice will be given milk, alcohol, salad, rice, oil, salt and seasonings 24 hours before they are used in cooking or served to athletes. Chinese authorities contend that the mice would develop an adverse reaction to any food poisoning within 17 hours, sooner than test methods such as bacteria cultures. I have no comment on this one.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Tattoos of the Peleton #6

Gina Hall, former pro, Luna Chix. Mountain biker and Cyclocross racer.

Tattoo is on her right arm just below jersey sleeve.

From a December 14, 2004 interview:

CN: Your tattoos are very distinctive. What's the story behind the design?
GH: I had them done in Berkeley. I wanted to get a tattoo and I really like flowers so I originally got two sunflowers. I added the hummingbird and other stuff later on. I wanted to make it a band that went all the way around the arm so I added flowers that hummingbirds would actually eat - they don't eat sunflowers.
CN: Is it a work in progress? Is it still growing?
GH: No. This is it. It's very painful. It's an addiction, I know. I know that when I first got it I immediately wanted to get more. But it also hurts so much that I think this will probably be it. Maybe one more.

Painful- yes, addictive- yes. I've always wondered why there aren't more tattoos on roadies. Ride for hours and hours, sometimes as fast as we can, causing as much pain as we can to ourselves and those around us. Taking great pleasure in dropping as many people as we can. Then enjoy the endorphins over a cup of java and talk about the ride.

For me tattoos are as much about the pain, the "process" if you will, as they are about the design and the meaning behind the image. It's not about the result, it's about the trip.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Show us the money!

photo: Graham Watson
Anyone else think this is weird? I figured he'd be in red until he retired.

So, Basso signs with Discovery. Apparently he has agreed to provide a DNA sample, which could theoretically be used to clear him in the Puerto scandal, debacle, whatever you want to call it- assuming Spain can get its act together.

V-news reported yesterday that some of the other teams were rather peeved about the signing, claiming that it violated the agreement between the ProTour teams, to refrain from signing any riders implicated in the affair.

"Discovery regards dropping the legal proceedings as the same thing as
being cleared," Ludwig told the Berlin Kurier daily. "What's left of a code
of honor among team managers is questionable - the dumb one here is CSC boss
Bjarne Riis, who dissolved his contract with Basso."
No, the "dumb one" is the rest of us who buy into the idea that any of these guys are clean. Can I ever believe that the next rider I root for is clean? It appears that the tests are beatable (See Frankie Andeau) and according to some in the peleton(See Pedro Horrillo in Cyclesport ) the UCI keeps the allowable limits high enough so that only the dopers who test really high get caught.

Why would Discovery violate the "gentleman's agreement?" Why would the Spanish authorities go public 2 days before the Tour and then do nothing since then? Why would the UCI have higher than necessary limits on the testing?

No one in Europe really wants Spain to continue its investigation because then they would have to deal with the other 150 athletes Fuentes treated- remember only 50 or so were cyclists. So, who were the rest- he said soccer players. Soccer is even bigger than cycling.
Its about the MONEY! This is big time sport in Europe. Its all about the dough. No one is really serious about stopping these practices. Everyone just wants results. Win, win, win.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Friday, November 10, 2006

My new winter sport

Aqua-cycling. Here is the Aqua Bike.

O.K., the web site is in German, so I'm not completely sure what it says. But, you can buy an Aqua Bike for $1,800 here. Looks like a a spinning class under water. Heat that pool up and then I never have to ride in the cold. No more pining for that Assos winter jacket that is sooo warm and has such a slimming effect.

Apparently there is a whole slew of Aqua classes- Aqua Yoga, Aqua Pilates. Aqua Square Dance, Aqua Golf, Aqua Ski... check here to see if your favorite sport is now available under water. You'd have to go to Canada... Those silly Canadians.

Thursday, November 9, 2006

Could I be this nice?

South Africa buried former President P.W. Botha today. Botha, who lived to be 90, was responsible for most of the repression against South African blacks, presiding over some of the worst reprisals against the black majority during 40 years of the country's legalized racial repression(apartheid). He never repented. CNN reported:

Botha steadfastly refused to testify before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which investigated the atrocities of apartheid and offered the possibility of amnesty to those willing to confess their crimes and demonstrate remorse. Botha was seen by many here not only as a symbol of a brutal system of racial repression, but as an example of the white South Africans who never embraced change and tried despite the turn in the tide of history to cling to
their old life of privilege and prejudice.

Both Nelson Mandela, who was imprisoned for 27 years and who Botha kept in prison despite intense international pressure for his release and South Africa's current president, Thabo Mbeki, issued statements calling for conciliation. Mbeki actually attended the funeral.

Could I be that forgiving? Botha ruled over one of the most repressive regime since WWII. I don't think I could say "Yes, he was bad, but we need to look to the future." I think I would say "Good riddance and what right did he have to live to be 90 with so much blood on his hands."

Maybe, though, at a certain point, hate would burn you up. So, you can only look to the future.

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

In the News

Cops sue BK over burgers laced with marijuana. 2 police officers sued Burger King because some employees put marijuana on top of their Whoppers. After eating half of the sandwiches, they realized something was amiss. Note to burger flippers- you can taste pot when you eat it. Note to cops- it took you half a Whopper to realize it- maybe you liked it.

Genesis reunites for tour. But its not about the money says Phil Collins, stating: "I think we are all loaded enough not to worry about where the next million or two is coming from." Must be nice. Hey, Phil, I got a little cycling team that could use some cash.

Scientist treated like an outcast by fellow faculty because he believes in Bigfoot. Apparently he "gets funny looks and the silent treatment from other scientists, and is not invited to share coffee with the other science professors." Not invited for coffee! That's a little drastic don't you think. We don't even exclude the biggest gap-creators in the history of the Judson rides from coffee.

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Get out and vote!

Today is election day and I want to encourage everyone to vote. I don't care who you vote for, I don't care if you're a Republican, a Democrat, whatever- vote. It is not just a right guaranteed by the Constitution, but it is a responsibility of any person living in a democratic society. Our voter turnout is pathetic, Iraqis voted in greater numbers than we do. How can we "export democracy" when our own people don't vote. We bitch and moan about politicians everyday, but if you don't vote, shut the hell up.
There's lots of reasons why you should vote, e.g. people fought and died for this right, but the one that always gets me there is this-
I remember seeing this bumper sticker once:
If the people lead, the leaders will follow.
How true. What do politicians care about? Power. Getting it and keeping it. If the people stood up and demanded change, our leaders would have no choice but to agree. If they didn't, they'd be out of office and would have to find a real job like the rest of us.

Saturday, November 4, 2006

Cool Track Bikes

Check out this cool story at Pez about the bike tech at the velodrome 6-day races.

Narrow chains, tubular tires and all these roadies showing up- Zabel, Bettini...

Look at this eye-candy-

Friday, November 3, 2006

Robin Williams and his ride

Check out Robin Williams on his IF getting ready for a charity ride.

Pez had a short interview with him this week.

A long way from "nanu nanu."

Thursday, November 2, 2006

Go Kris Go - again

Congrats to Kris Overon her win Saturday, October 29, 2006, at the Velo Trocadero Cyclocross Race in Milwaukee.

Here's a good shot of Kris.
Check out Madcross for more pics and info

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

College education ain't what it used to be

Johns Hopkins University has suspended the Sigma Chi fraternity because of a "Halloween in the Hood" party held this past Saturday night that drew protests by black students.

The AP reported :
The invitation to the party, posted on the Web site Facebook, encouraged guests
to wear "regional clothing from our locale" with jewelry including "bling bling
ice ice, grills" and "hoochie hoops." The party, held Saturday night at
the fraternity house, featured a skeleton pirate hanging on a noose.

You'd think someone at this frat would have thought "Hey, guys, maybe this isn't such a good idea...". What's a "hoochie hoop" anyway?