Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Hincapie in the red, white and blue

From the Discovery training camp. Complete with custom paint job. Kind of looks like my very first 10-speed bike, a Schwinn, with a commerative Bicentennial (1976) paint job and seat.

Johnny Rotten

Born John Lydon, in London on January 31, 1956.

Lead singer for the Sex Pistols and Public Image Ltd. Some argue that he and the Sex Pistols started "punk" rock. I don't know about that, but they were certainly at the front.


I recently read his autobiography "Rotten - No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs." A difficult read as it is more of a free flowing description of his life as opposed to a coherent story. But, maybe that's how his life is/was. He is very bitter... hostile to other bands of the time, particularly The Clash. It probably doesn't help that he and the other members of the Sex Pistols were ripped off during their brief, but profitable career.


Lydon wrote the lyrics to "God Save the Queen." He later explained: "You don't write a song like 'God Save The Queen' because you hate the English race. You write a song like that because you love them, and you're sick of seeing them mistreated."


The song was a hit, but caused so much controversy that at one point Lydon was attacked in the streets by an angry mob. He described the attack in his book. He was knocked down, kicked, stabbed in his left hand and leg. Because of those injuries he cannot make a fist properly with his left hand and has to play guitar right-handed even though he is left-handed.


God Save the Queen

God save the queen
her fascist regime
It made you a moron
a potential H bomb!

God save the queen
she ain't no human being
There is no future
in englands dreaming

Don't be told what you want
don't be told what you need
Theres no future,
no future,
no future for you.

God save the queen,
we mean it man (God save window leen)
We love our queen.
God saves (God save... human beings)

God save the queen
cos tourists are money
And our figurehead
is not what she seems

Oh God save history
God save your mad parade
Oh lord God have mercy
All crimes are paid

When there's no future
How can there be sin
We're the flowers
in the dustbin
We're the poison
in your human machine
We're the future,
your future

God save the queen
we mean it man
There is no future
in England's dreaming

No future
No future for you
No future for me

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Primal Scream #2

In a comment to my original primal scream post, Chris wrote:

In the MTB ranks, there seems to be a lot less of an acceptance that "this is just the way it has to be" to be successful. Witness Meirhaeghe's return: guys went out last year *just* to kick his ass into 6th or 7th place, not to win.
Meirhaeghe tested positive for EPO at the Mont Saint Anne race in Canada in June 2004 and then admitted his doping offence openly. When Meirhaeghe returned after a 15 month suspension, he was ostracized by some in the mtb peloton.

At the 2006 MTB Worlds, cyclingnews reported:

There was a battle going on all race between Thomas Frischknecht (Switzerland) and Filip Meirhaeghe (Belgium). Frischknecht has been vocal in his disapproval of the return of Meirhaeghe to competition after a suspension for EPO, and was determined to beat the Belgian (which he did, for sixth).

In fact, Frischknecht had some help, as American Jeremiah Bishop, who finished 8th, said that he "treated the first two laps like a short track to get up there. It was important to get to
the front as quickly as possible. once I got up to Frischy, I tried to do what I could to help him beat Meirhaeghe."

Chris raises a good point. There does seem to be at least some acceptance in the road peloton. Take a look at doperssuck.com where there are several mountain bike racers who display their "Dopers suck" t-shirts when they make it onto the podium. Not so in the euro-road peloton.

Maybe it is the history of doping in the euro peloton. This is hardly a recent phenomenon, the use of drugs etc. is well documented going back at least 50 years. Maybe it's the money involved- certainly, road racing is more profitable than mtb racing- look at the exodus of mtb riders to the road. They can make more money on the road. More money- more at stake- more incentive to dope.

If road racers did not accept doping, maybe you would see them refuse to work in a break with someone like Meirhaeghe. I suppose Meirhaeghe has paid his "debt to society", i.e. he served his suspension, but it would be nice to see the euro-peloton react the same way the mtb racers did - a little peer pressure might go a long way.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Tattoos of the Peloton #14 - Sacha White

Photo ©: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com

Sacha White of Vanilla Bicycles of Portland OR. Matching wrist tattoos of his head badges. Maker of cross, road, mtb, track and commuter steel frames. Some very nice work. Check out his web-page.






Saturday, January 27, 2007

Primal Scream


UAURRGGHH! That's my primal scream and my reaction to the stories at velonews and cyclingnews.com about the Lefevere allegations in Belgium. As I've said before, I am so over this crap.


Doping is not just limited to road cycling, see Filip Meirhaeghe. And it's not limited to just cycling. See B. Bonds etc. Cycling just tests more and has more stringent penalties. Recently the NFL and its players' union just agreed to change their anti-doping rules by adding EPO to the list of tested for substances and increasing the number of players on each team that can be tested at each game from 7 to 10. Only 10. The UCI and WADA can test a whole cycling team at any race basically anytime they wish. This problem is not just limited to cycling- it is a problem for all sports.

The question now though is where do we go from here? By "we" I mean the sport itself: the riders, managers and fans, everyone.

For some fans it might be easy to walk (or ride) away and not pay attention, but I cannot do that. I live for cycling. The bike has always meant freedom to me. When I was a kid the bike was my means of getting away- even if it was on a heavy Schwinn Varsity. Now at 40, the bike is my means of seeking peace. It is as much my sport as it is the PROS.

Here's some ideas- not all of these are new or my own-


The PROS, i.e. the riders, managers, doctors etc.- those that make money from the sport need to wise up quick. Races are dying (Vuelta a Murcia), sponsors are pulling out (Phonak, Liberty Seguros). They need to be reminded that they are LUCKY! They make their living from riding a bicycle. If they do not realize how fortunate they are, then they don't deserve it.

Maybe the only solution is to do DNA testing and blood profiling of the riders, despite the privacy concerns. Make no mistake, privacy rights matter. It is what keeps us from living in a totalitarian society. But, now with the current state of affairs, a rider's privacy rights need to give way to the right of the rest of us to know that there is a level, clean playing field.


That said, with those tests must come real accountability for the testers- that means air tight testing procedures and no more leaks to the press see Landis and Perreiro. It also means speedy resolution of hearings- why has Landis' case not been arbitrated yet. I haven't seen anything that would suggest that Landis has asked for continuances. So what's the problem? Maybe USADA and WADA don't want the crappy testing procedures to be aired publicly.

The team management should also suffer. If Basso doped, and there is only circumstantial evidence at best, to suggest that he did, you can't tell me that Riis didn't know about it. Especially, given both of their statements regarding how much time they spent together last season preparing for the Giro/Tour combo. And if he didn't know, he should have.

No more outside doctors or coaches and team doctors and coaches should be listed and certified by the UCI. One of your riders tests positive, you're gone.


Riders- you test positive and this assumes the tests are valid- gone for life- unless you give up the who, when, where and how you did it, then a 2 year ban. Why is it o.k. for a rider to admit they took something and not have to tell us how they got the drugs and how they evaded the tests etc.


Like the NFL, the UCI should have a list of approved supplements i.e. you can't use one that's not on the list.


We cannot ignore the current state of affairs. IF all cycling fans start talking and demanding change maybe there will be change. There is an old saying:


If the people lead, the leaders will follow.


Please, start talking. See fellow bloggers radio freddy and cstrout's own recent primal screams.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Good Luck to Team USA

The World Cyclocross Championships are in Belgium this weekend. Organizers reported that two weeks before the championships, almost 10,000 tickets were sold. 10,000! At 25 euros apiece for the elite races (about $32).

Team USA
Jonathan Page
Tristan Schouten
Eric Tonkin
Ryan Trebon
Barry Wicks

Kerry Barnholt
Katie Compton
Rhonda Mazza
Christine Vardaros
Deidre Winfield

Jamey Driscoll
Charles Tobias Marzot
aniel Neyens
Chance Noble

Nick Keough
Carson Miller
Danny Summerhill
Jerome Townsend
Sean Worsech

Tristan Schouten has a great blog entry detailing his most recent training rides with some of the other US riders, including riding the Koppenberg!

PEZ has a great cross World's history primer here.

Liquigas Cannondale System6


Thursday, January 25, 2007

Functional Art Becomes Just Art













Remember these? The Ringle peace sign cable hangers. When I first started mountain biking in 1989, these were all the rage as was any anodized aluminum. Now they are being made into necklaces that can be purchased for $24.95 here. I always thought these were pretty cool, but could never really justify the price. As V-brakes and eventually disc brakes took over this type of bling was no longer needed. Apparently though, the "artist" discovered that there was still a market on eaby for these as bike parts and they are almost all gone. In fact, s/he reports that only blue and black are left.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The (Cowardly?) Lion of Flanders

Cyclingnews.com reported that Johan Museeuw resigned from his position as Quick Step-Innergetic's public relations officer after stating that he had not been "100 per cent honest" during the final year of his cycling career. Cyclingnews stated that this is "generally being interpreted as an admission to doping."

Museeuw stated:

I wanted to end my career in style, that's why I did things which were wrong. During the preparation of some important races I didn't always play the game 100 per cent honest.

He was suspended for 2 years in 2004 on the basis of telephone calls with an ex-veterinarian which disclosed a course of doping.


Museeuw was a true Classics hard man having won Flanders, Paris-Roubaix and Amstel Gold.
Palmares

Ronde van Vlaanderen 1993, 1995, 1998
Paris-Roubaix 1996, 2000, 2002
Züri-Metzgete 1991, 1995
Paris-Tours 1993
HEW Cyclassics 2002
Amstel Gold 1994
Brabantse Pijl 1996, 1998, 2000
Het Volk 2000, 2003
E3 Prijs Vlaanderen 1992, 1998
Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne 1994, 1997
World Cup 1995, 1996
Belgian Champion 1992, 1996.

He was the World Champion in 1996. Wikipedia reported that he was the only rider to win both the World Cup and the World Championship in the same year.


So, how does this "admission" affect his legacy? Once revered in his home country of Belgium, it has been reported that since the doping suspension, his popularity has dropped. He now faces a criminal trial in Belgium. Questions will always linger about whether he doped before his last year.


I desperately want to believe that when I watch a race, the riders are clean- mano a mano, but that seems to be increasingly difficult to do.


Nonetheless, I will remember Musseeuw like in the photo above-

in April,
in the rain
mud on his face and in his hair
hands and arms numb from the cobbles
and the Flag of Flanders flying above him.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

ADD


Thought about riding outside this past weekend, but too cold on Saturday and too snowy/wet on Sunday.

2 days, 4 hours on the trainer.

The laptop on cycling.tv, the TV on ESPN or FSC and the IPod.

1 college basketball game, Michigan over Purdue. Yeah, Go Blue!

1 soccer match, Arsenal v. Man U, missed Man. U's goal but saw both of Arsenal's. One, an almost impossible shot from the far left off of an equally almost impossible pass. The second, a great header in the 92nd minute to win it 2-1.


The last 2 sets of Roddick's match at the Aussie Open, trying to give the match to Ancic.

An hour of the 7th stage of the Dauphine Libere. Stuart O'Grady (CSC) left the group at 14 km and wasn't caught until 2km before the finish line. Thor Hushovd took the sprint for the win.

An hour of Liege-Bastogne-Liege.


Metallica "Kill Em All" and "Justice"
RHCP "Californication"

Watching the snow fall.

After hearing about the diversions I used for my indoor training at Sunday dinner, a friend commented "Sounds like adult ADD."

Monday, January 22, 2007

Refused


Radio Freddy at BKW turned me onto these guys. I am completely blown away. It is metal, harcore with a little jazz, rock, techno and folk thrown in, without being any one of these things. Although it is heavy guitar dominated.
Pushing the boundaries of what "punk" was, would and could be called.
You can listen to a couple of MP3's here.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

The Hammer Drops


A friend e-mailed me this photo recently.
The peloton, flying. Single file, snaky line, everyone in their drops.

Joe Strummer - redemption song

Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros - Redemption Song.

Thanks to Baughb for the link.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Bapa fast

It's 5:40 a.m. and I'm on the trainer. I lock the cats in the front bedroom, so they don't wake up Tammi and Elora.

It takes me a little while to get the legs warm, but soon I'm spinning.

At around 6 a.m. Tammi wakes up, gets in the shower and then starts breakfast. I start single leg drills to the sounds of the Chili Peppers.

At 6:20 Elora wakes up. She runs into the room with Tammi and the dog close behind. I turn off the iPod to hear Elora say "Bapa, bike?" I nod and say, "Good morning Elora, yes Papa's on the bike."

She smiles and says "Eworwa, up." I think we were pretty cruel giving a kid a name with an "l" and an "r" in it, as they appear to be the 2 hardest letters in the alphabet to pronounce.

Tammi picks her up and hands her to me. I set her on my lap with her legs on top of mine and then I pedal. Her legs kind of flop around a little bit, but they move with mine.

After about 15 seconds, she says "Bapa, un, un" which basically means to go faster, so I pedal a little bit faster and she laughs. She says "un, un" again, and I pedal a bit faster. After about almost a minute she laughs and says "Bapa fast, Bapa fast."

Darlin' if only that were true.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Quick Step Rolls

Pez reported Quick Step rolling on the Roval Rapid Star wheels:


The team is trying them, some riders like them, some are thinking about it and others just said NO! They are very rigid, nice on a smooth road, but perhaps a little unforgiving of rough surfaces, they are trying different tire combinations etc.


Maybe they'll do a combo gold and rainbow version for Bettini. Apparently Specialized is doing a special paint job for him.




Not to be outdone, Tom Boonen added the rainbow stripes to his kit- I don't think I've ever seen a past year's champ add the stripes to the shorts though.

The question though is, with all these great one day racers, can Quick Step work together to make sure someone on the team wins? More on that later.

Photos: Pez.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Greatest


Muhammad Ali, born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr, on anuary 17, 1942.

Gold medalist at the Rome Olympics in 1960.

He refused to serve in the Army during Viet Nam stating:
I ain't got no quarrel with those Vietcong.
and
No Vietcong ever called me "N*****"
Near the end of 1967, the professional boxing commission took away his title and prohbited from boxing. He was also convicted for refusing induction into the army and sentenced him to five years in prison. Ali appealed the conviction and in late 1971 the US Supreme Court reversed his conviction.


He was the heavyweight champion for an unprecedented third times.

I always liked about Ali was his mouth. He used it to proclaim that he was "the Greatest." He used to get into his opponents heads, mess with their minds. You could say it was how he stayed focused, by trying to un-focus his opposition.

In Ali's case he backed up his mouth with his fists, compiling a record of 56-5, 37 by knock-out.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Doomed...

20 degrees. The high today is 20 degrees. This, after 3 days of rain and rainy snow. Since I don't and never will get paid to ride, I generally don't risk getting sick by riding outside in the cold and wet. So, armed with cycling.tv, the iPod and NFL playoffs, it was off to the trainer for me.

Wait for Elora to go down for her nap at noon and then had a 2-3 hour window.

Set cycling.tv to run whatever their running at the time- that way you don't have to click on the next race- you just let it keep streaming. Over Saturday and Sunday I saw parts of 2006 editions of Fleche Wallone, Amstel Gold, Liege and Paris Roubaix. The Classics. If that got boring, the Bears were on the TV.

The iPod alone is only good for about an hour.

4 hours over 2 days, 1 Bears game, parts of 4 or 5 races and it's only January! I'm doomed.

Monday, January 15, 2007

MLK

Martin Luther King was born on January 15, 1929, assassinated April 4, 1968. In 1964, he became the youngest person to be awarded the Noble Peace Prize.

I have read some of his writings, including "Why We Can't Wait", a collection of essays and letters. Some very powerful stuff.

More than 250,000 people heard him speak in D.C. when he gave his "I Have a Dream" speech. In a day when we seem to be devoid of leaders we can believe in, I think it is important to remember his words:


I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor's lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will
be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

****

And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.

Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.

Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!
Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California!
But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!
Let freedom ring from every hill and every molehill of Mississippi.

From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Long Live Il Pirata


Marco Pantani. January 13, 1970 - February 14, 2004.


A pure climber, Giro winner, Tour winner- both in the same year, 1998. Then in 1999, he was kicked out of the Giro for having ahigh hematocrit level. He never seemed to recover from that. He had flashes of brilliance, but never the consistency needed to win another stage race. In 2003, he was treated for depression and in early 2004 he died from cocaine poisoning.


I like to remember him as in this photo- going UP, out of the saddle, bald head shining in the sun! When the road turned upward, he would attack and he attacked the best, Armstrong, Indurain, Ullrich.



When I think about Pantani I always feel a sense of loss, that there could have been much more.

After Pantani's death, Miguel Indurain was quoted as saying:

He got people hooked on the sport. There may be riders who have achieved more than him, but they never succeeded in drawing in the fans like he did.

Palmares

1994
2 stages, Giro d'Italia

1995
2 stages, Tour de France
1 stage, Tour of Switzerland

1997
2 stages, Tour de France

1998
Tour de France
2 stages, Tour de France
Giro d'Italia
KoM, Giro d'Italia
2 stages, Giro d'Italia

1999
4 stages, Giro d'Italia

2000
2 stages, Tour de France

Photo: Graham Watson.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Tattoos of the Peloton #13

Phillippe Gaumont- rider in front, tattoo on lower right arm. Confessed doper.


He has published a book, Prisonnier du dopage, recalling his rather sordid existence as a professional cyclist in the Cofidis team. In it, he goes into detail describing his own doping and recreational drug taking practices, and those of several of the other members of the team. Gaumont ended his career in 2004 after he was arrested by police in relation to the Cofidis affair, which implicated a number of riders and soigneurs in doping practices.


"I swallowed anything that might make me go faster. At one stage, after 10 years, I couldn't imagine riding a bike without it." Gaumont described how he took Pot Belge in the winter of 1994-1995, then went onto taking amphetamines to do post-Tour criteriums. "They [the foreign riders in Cofidis in 1997] only used illegal products to improve their performances. We French not only did dope, but what's more, we regularly got high on amphetamines and Pot Belge." Gaumont added that before the 1998 Tour de France, he and several of the team's riders [including foreigners] were prepared by an Italian doctor, and packages containing EPO and growth hormones, along with instructions of how to use them, was sent to them. See cyclingnews.com.


"Pot Belge" is a mixture of heroin, cocaine, amphetamines and caffeine.


“I have admitted to taking illegal substances. What cyclist could say anything to the contrary?" and that the riders “are victims of a rotten system." Gaumont also claimed that 90% of professional cyclists currently used or past used performance-enhancing drugs. PEZ

Daily Peloton does not like him viewing him with "outright contempt" and stating that he "proved several times throughout his career that he is not to be trusted."

Photo: Daily Peloton

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Dee Dee Dee


The Surreal Life- Professional Cycling Style

UCI president Pat McQuaid was recently quoted as saying:

There is a clash going on at the moment between two cultures. The Anglo-Saxon culture and what I might call the 'Mafia' Western European culture [meaning Belgium, France, Italy and Spain - ed.]. The Western European culture has to some extent, I won't say condoned doping, but because of their culture in life, the way they deal with everything else in life, they accept certain practices. The Anglo-Saxon cultures, which would be the Netherlands, Germany, England, Denmark, are the complete opposite. They have a completely different approach to the doping problem. I feel that it's very important that at the end of the day, the Anglo-Saxon approach wins out. If it doesn't, then the sport is doomed.

What? What? Isn't Millar English? He doped. Jan- German- they won't let him race because he supposedly doped.

In response, Italian cycling federation president Renato Di Rocco was quoted as saying:

First of all, I would like to say that I find the French progress against doping very profound and valid. We will look to follow that example. As to the Anglo-Saxon model cited by McQuaid, we will try to stay away as much as we can from the Australian or the Canadian models - they, too, are Anglo-Saxon.

What was that? The French? Did he miss the whole Cofidis trial a couple of months ago? French team, many French riders. What the hell did Australia and Canada do to him?

This thing is not limited to a certain nationality. Pull your heads out of your asses and fix this crap before you kill our sport.

I don't care about the UCI.
I don't care about the Pro Tour.
I don't care about the organizers inability to invite their home-not-always-the-best teams to their home races-

I want to see clean riders racing against quality fields at good races. Is it really that hard? Battles like this through the press are at best comical, at worst they reveal how stupid these people can be and how little they seem to care.
Neither "side" is right. The Pro Tour only makes sense if there is some type of consequence for performing poorly, like relegation in soccer. Why do all the Pro Tour teams have to do all of the races? A team like Quick Step has no interest in doing every single stage race. The big tours need the UCI and the teams. Isn't there enough money to go around?

To borrow a quote from Carlos Mencia: "Dee Dee Dee."
Quotes from cyclingnews.com.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Another birthday- Bernard Thévenet

Bernard Thevenet, born January 10, 1948. Pictured here when he won stage 18 of the Tour de France on La Mongie on July 14, 1970. Eddy Merckx won his second of five Tour victories that year.

Thévenet won 2 Tours, 1975 and 1977. His victory in 1975 ended Merckx's 5 Tour win reign, where Merckx finished 2nd.

He was once asked whether it was hard being a racing cyclist; his reply was that being a French farmer was harder.
Palmares

1970
1 stage, Tour de France
1971
1 stage, Tour de France
1972
Tour of Romandy
2 stages, Tour de France
1973
2 stages, Tour de France
1 stage, Vuelta a España
1974
Tour of Catalonia
Criterium Nationale
1975
Tour de France
2 stages, Tour de France
Dauphiné - Libéré
1976
Dauphiné - Libéré
1977
Tour de France
1 stage, Tour de France
Photo: Cyclingnews.com.

Glory Days


Naked Raygun has reunited and will be playing the HOB in April. Hot damn! Hot damn! Hot damn!

I remember seeing these guys when I was in high school at Tuts, a club that used to be on the 2nd floor at the corner of Shefield and Belmont and at the Cubby Bear, before lights at Wrigley and when it was a small one room bar.
The Cubs games would end and the daytime Cubs crowd would be replaced by all these kids in ripped up jeans etc. waiting to get in to the all ages shows. Talk about a clash of sub-cultures!
Songs like Surf Combat, Gear and Rat Patrol. Ain't gonna miss this one.

Tix go onsale on January 13, 2007- anyone else down for this!

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

A fortune on every roof

The race caravan at the start of a stage at Giro 2005 - by Vincent Gee from the reader submitted photo contest at Velonews. Gee is a Discovery Channel Team mechanic.

PEZ interviewed Discovery mechanic, Alan Butler, at the 2006 Giro. His response to the question: how much stuff do you have in the truck?

We have nine riders in the race, each has a race bike and a spare, except for Paolo who has two spares, then there are:- the time trial bikes and the spare time trial bikes, that makes 37 complete bikes. - 61 pairs of wheels and nine spare rear disc wheels. - five spare frames and five complete spare group sets- 20 pairs of handlebars. - nine turbo trainers for warning-up on, plus all the tools and race food. Oh, and there’s the espresso machine!” PEZ

So that's:

37 complete bikes
131 wheels (61 sets of wheels and 9 disc wheels)
5 frames
5 gruppos
20 bars
9 trainers

For Discovery alone-

At 22 teams in the Giro, assuming they travel with the same load as Discovery, that would be:

814 complete bikes
2,882 wheels
110 extra frames and gruppos
100 sets of bars
198 trainers

And don't forget the cars- 2 or 3 for each team, the neutral support and the race officials.

Oh yeah, and the espresso machine!

Monday, January 8, 2007

Happy Birthday Jacques!

Jacques Anquetil. January 8, 1934 - November 18, 1987. He was the first racer to win four Tours in successive years, the first to have won the Tour altogether five times and the first to win all 3 grand tours (Giro, Tour and Vuelta). He won some Classics as well, including Liege-Bastogne-Liege.

Known for his time trialing ability and for staying up all night before races drinking and playing cards, he claimed that his sole aim was to make money in cycling.

Major Wins:

Tour de France (1957, 1961, 1962, 1963 and 1964)
Giro d'Italia (1960, 1964)
Vuelta a España (1963)
Super Prestige Pernod International (1961, 1963, 1965, 1966)
Grand Prix des Nations (1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1961, 1965, 1966)
Liège-Bastogne-Liège (1966)
Gent-Wevelgem (1964)
Bordeaux-Paris (1965)
Dauphiné Libéré(1963, 1965)
Vuelta al País Vasco (1969)
Four Days of Dunkirk (1958, 1959)

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Truth is a Defense

In law, defamation is the communication of a statement that makes a factual claim that may harm the reputation of someone else, whether an individual or business etc. Basically there are 2 types of defamation, depending upon the method of publication. If the statement is published in some fleeting form, as by spoken words it is called slander. But, if the statement is published in more permanent form, for example in written words then it is considered libel.
The best defense to a defamation lawsuit is by proving that the alleged defamatory statement was true.

This morning I was defamed, slandered really. While riding home after our weekly team ride this morning, a guy driving a large Jeep rolled down his window and yelled:
BIKE GEEKS!
I looked at Ed and said "Did he just yell BIKE GEEKS at us?" To which Ed responded, "Yeah I think he did."


For a minute I tried to think of some kind of witty retort along the lines of "Yeah, fat ass, well..." but then the legal training kicked in and I thought, it's TRUE. I can't deny it. I am a bike geek.


Let's see, consider the evidence:

Exhibit 1: Most of my waking hours are spent either on the bike, thinking about being on the bike or talking about bikes and cycling.

Question: Isn't it true that every Saturday and Sunday you leave the house on your bicycle and ride 60 or so miles?
Answer: (Me) Yes.
Question: Then you go to a coffee shop.
Answer : Yes.
Question: While there, you drink coffee?
Answer: Of course.
Question: And what do you talk about?
Answer: Well, lots of things.
Question: Really, isn't it true that you talk about the ride you just finished.
Answer: Yes.
Question: And, about your bikes?
Answer: Yes.
Question: And, then you talk about what new carbony thing you might put on your bike?
Answer: Yes.
Question: And what the pros might be doing in some race in Europe?
Answer: Yes.
Question: And all of this conversation is with the guys you just spent 3 hours riding with? It's safe to say that your entire conversation is about bikes? Your honor, (with a smirk) no further questions.

Exhibit 2: All of the magazines I receive have to do with bikes. I can see opposing counsel handing me stack after stack of decade old magazines!

Exhibit 3: All of my vacation time is used to ride bikes.

Exhibit 4: Most of my disposable income goes towards bikes, wheels (hell yes wheels!), parts to make the bike lighter and/or go faster and other cycling related items.

Any jury in the world would have to agree, BIKE GEEK.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Tattoos... well not exactly of the peloton #12


As much as I love Cannondale... I still wouldn't get it inked on my body.

Friday, January 5, 2007

Green digital says 5:20 a.m.


I struggle
these mornings when the moon
like the cats, is awake,
MEOWING.

The cats trip me
as is their nature.

But, I must RIDE
as is my nature.

I crawl to the bathroom
to crap
to blow the snot from my radiator induced
too-dry and full-up-to my eyes sinuses
and put in my contacts.

To the living room where
the BIKE
is already ready
put on the sidis,
heart rate monitor,
iPod.

I climb on the BIKE
and PEDAL

squares
squares
squares
squares

And then,
as the blood begins to
FLOW

circles
circles
circle faster
faster circles

I hit RHYTHM
but the moon is still there
like the cats, awake
taunting me
as is its nature.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Eki


Viatcheslav Vladimirovich Ekimov, born 2/2/66. Retired last year at the age of 40.


<< Pictured here when he raced for Panosonic and was in his early 20s. Even then, the mullet was present.

15 Tour finishes, tying for second most.


3 Olympic medals (2 gold, 1 silver)





Pro since 1990.

Teams:
2005-: Discovery Channel
2000-2004: US Postal Service-Berry Floor
1999: Amica Chips
1997-1998: Postal Service
1996: Rabobank
1995: Novell
1994: Word-Perfect
1993: Novemail-Histor
1990-1992: Panasonic


Palmares:
2005: 1st Stage 4 Driedaagse van De Panne
2004: 1st Stage 4 Tour de France, 2nd Tour du Languedoc-Roussillon
2003: 1st Tour of Holland
2000: 1st GP Eddy Merckx, Olympic time-trial gold medal
1997: 2 stages Dauphiné Libéré (Le Pun en Velay, Bedarrides)
1996: 1st stage Tour of Switzerland (Will)
1994: 1st overall Tour du Pont
1993:GP Heusden
1991: 1 stage Tour de France (Macon)

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

And Now For My Next Trick or Nothing Up My Sleeve

Artistic cycling. Fixed gear bikes. Riders (artists) perform tricks for points.


Then there is also cycle ball. The ball is moved with either the front wheel or the back wheel of the bike. A player may not kick the ball with his feet.



UCI rules for cycle ball and artistic cycling.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

iPod Heavy Rotation

Red Hot Chili Peppers "Californication." This is a great album, all the way through. I've been a fan of the Chili Peppers for years and I am amazed that they are still able to turn out quality tunes, both lyrically and musically.

From "Easily":

Easily let's get carried away
Easily let's get married today
Shao Lin shouted a rose
From his throat
Everything must go
A lickin' stick is thicker
When you break it to show
Everything must go

From "Californication":

Space may be the final frontier
But it's made in a Hollywood basement
Cobain can you hear the spheres
Singing songs off station to station
And Alderon's not far away
It's Californication

You got to love the Star Wars reference!


Metallica, "Kill 'em All." Still. It is my favorite disc for intervals.

Black Flag, "Damaged." See previous post.

Monday, January 1, 2007

Only One Resolution... To Go Faster


New Year's means different things to different people. For some it is an opportunity to drink themselves stupid, for college football fans, it is the last immersion in a sport that no one else in the world plays.


For me it is usually a time of reflection, a time to appreciate what I have. I count myself as being lucky. I am healthy and better yet I have the ability to ride. Almost as much as I want. For sure, there are demands of family and work, but the rides are self-fulfilling: outside demands make it harder to ride so each ride is more fulfilling and at the same time each ride enables me to better handle those outside demands.


So I am thankful for:

--my wife, Tammi, who understands the almost drug addiction like passion I have for cycling

--my daughter, Elora, who makes me laugh, cry and challenges me in ways I never thought possible

--the friends who share my passion and let me ride with them

--the rest of my family who do not pretend to comprehend my need to ride, but still listen to my endless ramblings about all things cycling.



At the same time, though, it is a time of looking forward to the new year. Many people make resolutions on New Years: to do things differently, or better or the always faithful- go to the gym more often.

For cyclists though, it runs deeper. At this point, your season(s) are generally over and the preparation for the next season has begun. Goals are set; training plans developed. Last year's data analysed, race results and miles ridden tallied.


I have but one resolution this year... and that is to go faster. Go faster! In everything you do. Whether it is cycling, work, family or something else. By this I mean to pursue excellence, to strive to be the best at each thing I do.
Although, faster on the bike would be cool!