Friday, June 27, 2008

Judgment Day

Floyd Landis will get the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) decision on Monday, June 30, 2008.

Practically speaking though, does it matter?

If he loses? Status quo, nothing changes.

If he wins, he's the 2006 Tour winner. BFD. He hasn't raced since. There's no way he will ever be as fast as he was then. Just look at Tyler, no offense, but now he's a super domestique for Rock Racing.

This process should not take 2 years. A PRO cyclist's prime is short enough as it is. Justice delayed is justice denied.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Around the corner

Saturday marked 90 days until the first race of the Chicago Cross Cup- September 21, 2008. I know the schedule is unofficial now, but I believe that is the customary start of the Chicago season.

I raced a Redline Conquest Pro on clinchers last year. The race bike is undergoing some changes, to be faster and lighter.

I am making the jump to tubulars and have the wheels: 2 sets of FSA RD 800s. So my race and pit wheels will both be tubular. My initial idea was get a set of the Mavic Ultimates, but just too much money right now.

I will also probably get a new frame as I felt really big, too big on the Redline. Everything else will probably stay the same although I will probably go to Crank Bros. pedals as they are a team sponsor. My goal is to have the bike finished by mid July.

I thought about getting a full second bike, but I'm not fast enough to justify that.

90 days and then we race like crazy for 3 months. Just around the corner.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Revolution

A very close friend of mine was hit by a car on her bike yesterday. She was heading west on Fullerton at about 7:30 a.m., going through the 6 corners of Lincoln, Halstead and Fullerton. As she got part way through the intersection the light turned yellow. A driver heading east on Fullerton, attempting to turn left (north) onto Halstead, accelerated to beat the light and hit her almost head on.

Thankfully, she's o.k. A bit banged up, on crutches, with some ligament damage to her ankle and foot. Her doctor doesn't think she'll need surgery, but she'll be out of commission for several weeks. Both wheels were trashed and she's not sure about the rest of the bike. I haven't seen it yet, so I don't know. She said she flew about 20 ft. and her helmet had a long scrape in it.

Apparently there were a number of other cyclists who witnessed the incident and gave the cops statements. Sam said she felt bad for the driver because these guys were really going after him, yelling at him that Sam had the right of way all the way. That's just like Sam. To feel bad for the guy that almost killed her.

Sam doesn't race, doesn't ride fast and probably wouldn't even describe herself as a cyclist. Nonetheless, that is exactly what she is. She doesn't own a car. She got an Africa bike last fall to get to and from her Boot Camp fitness class in the early a.m. and to run errands etc. In her own words "I loved my bike, I rode it everywhere." I would have to admit she's more of a "cyclist" then I am.

Sam is the revolution. With soaring gas prices, more and more people are buying bikes to get from point A to point B, from home to Whole Foods to Starbucks and back again. All trips that they would have driven to a year ago. Almost every bike I have sold this season has been to someone looking to get out of their car. This is the revolution. The more normal people who start riding, the better. By normal, I mean not the people who already are converted. We know who we are: we already ride ALOT and deal with drivers and their cars on an already too frequent basis. But this species of rider, like Sam, has not had that experience. When they do, some will stop riding saying it's too dangerous, but some will get pissed off. When that happens, when enough of them get pissed off, maybe we'll see some change on the road.

My thoughts are with you Sam. Get well soon.

Thanks, guys

This is what happens to your bike when you leave it unattended in the bike shop for 5 minutes... your friends put a basket on it.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


I wake up at 4:50. The internal clock is a full 10 minutes ahead of the external. Out the door at 5:15 a.m. Today is a test day. Conant's e-mail simply says:

Once warm do 20 minutes full on - Ragin - As hard as you can. Max it. Last min give it your all stand up and crush it.

I have been doing all of my training on the lakefront but have concluded that it is ill suited for anything longer than a 10 minute effort. It's not the traffic; at 5:30 a.m. there's few people out, it's more the terrain and the fact that you can't get any kind of rhythm established. So, my plan is to warm up to Plaza and then go hard from there. Use Green Bay instead of Sheridan since it is flatter.

I roll up through Rogers Park, south Evanston, Northwestern and up to Plaza. I can count the cars I see on one hand. My only company are a few runners, the newspaper delivery guys and my own thoughts. The to-do list for the rest of the day competing with the focus required for the test: stay in the drops, keep the cadence high... oh shit, I forgot to send that letter out last night, crap. Clear your mind... let the Force flow through your body.

The air is cool, the wind calm. There is no whistle, no starting gun, just my finger pushing the "SET" button on the SRM to start the interval. And I go.

Friday, June 6, 2008

No chains

Have not been writing. Haven't had alot to say. I am pretty disillusioned with the PROS. I read some of the updates on the Giro but I didn't watch a single stage.

Riding alot, working too much and trying to spend all of my other waking hours with the 2 people who matter the most: Tammi and Elora.

On Wednesday night Elora watched me clean my bike and lube the drivetrain. She wanted to know why I was doing every little thing and what every part of the bike was called. I let her move the cranks backwards while I put the lube on the chain. Then we went into the house and washed the grime off of our hands together.

This morning she had a bunch of her matchbox cars in a line. She was "fixing" them before the race. She held each one up in turn and made a buzzing sound and said she was "lubing" the wheels. Then she said "they're only cars, they don't have chains."

It's hard to describe what I felt in that moment, that singular moment. I am often humbled by my 3 year old daughter. More often though I am amazed by the little things of me that pop up in her.

See y'all on the road.