Monday, February 26, 2007

Kaiser roll

photo: Graham Watson Joop Zoetemelk (2nd place in TdF 6 times) follows Lemond up the Puy de Dome.

Jan Ullrich announced his retirement today. An end to a long and sordid story. I prefer the young Jan (kinda like the young Elvis), you know the partying, red porsche crashing, too fat at the beginning of the season Jan. He is much better than this older, worn, beaten also ran who may or may not have been doping, but sure hasn't done much to make us believe he hasn't. I think we have to start realizing that the european court system is a bit different from our own, in that the euros are more guilty til proven innocent than we are (except in our court of public opinion). Let's see: Ullrich consented to DNA testing, then his lawyers tried to block it and failed, and then POW! he's retired. There's something not quite cricket about that series of events, but just like everything else in this whole sordid mess, it isn't clear cut either. Pro cycling is caught in some dime store detective novel of rumor and innuendo and there is no end in sight. Given the current battle between the various race organizers and the Pro Tour, the whole thing is about to implode. Poor, they just want to race...

Got this from Chris in Tally:

Hey dude,

I know you don't like swimming, but please don't assume that anyone who's comfortable in the water is in danger of becoming a triathlageek. Not all those who drink are drunks. Not all who swim, bike, and run are interested in in the athletic version of a three-way.

I might further add that your offspring is likely sensing your dislike for the water (it's pheromonal, trust me) and that's the source of his discomfiture. Let Uncle Aquaman get the lad in a pool and he's soon become a cooing chlorinaholic.

Should the boy ever aspire to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he'll have to be reasonably comfortable in the water. A graduation requirement at Carolina is passing the Red Cross swim test. Other schools that require some sort of swimming competency include
Cornell, Columbia, MIT, Dartmouth, Notre Dame, Davidson College, Swarthmore, and Duke.

Please also note that I don't consider you a lost cause in terms of swimming. If I can ever get my ass there long enough, and can give you some rudimentary coaching, I could turn you into, if not a shark, a mullet.

Yours in aquafilia,


Now let me be really clear: some of my best friends are triathletes and I have nothing against the sport. Cyclists just treat the whole sport of triathlon as a kind of convenient whipping boy. Could be the speedos and singlets that get us started. It is kinda hysterical that cyclists clad in skin tight lycra can feel any sense of macho elitism about anything, but then again, we're a bunch of guys and we can work ourselves into a testosterone induced, chest beating frenzy in just about any situation. Imagine the knock down, drag out fist fights that men have about {insert subject here}. Ego we got, judgement we can be short on... As for me swimming like a mullet, I think I have a better shot of growing one than swimming like one. My aversion to water goes way back. My parents can show you pics (and home movies) of me doing such seriously warped things as taking a bath and wading in the ocean with my shoes on at the age of 4 or so. Hopefully (and I say this with all honesty), Owen will enjoy the water. We plan on taking him swimming as much as possible this summer. And no, I wasn't sending out any "hate swimming" vibe! Given the current state of youth activity levels, I'm going to be exceptionally happy with Owen being athletic in any sense!

Got an email from Double Down Dave Brown, Luna Cycles Afghanistan correspondent:

Hey Everybody!!

Well I have finally arrived in Afghanistan and finally have an internet connection. These are the only email addresses I had for all of you so update me when you can if you have alternate ones that you prefer. So far we have flown 3 times and made things fall from the sky on two occasions. I have plenty of pics so far so but will wait to show them when I get back. I am back on the stationary trainer which sucks, but it is all we have. I was able watch a couple stages of the Tour de Calf. while I rode so that was cool. AFN TV is cool!! Life is good believe it not ... I have a bed and my own little area where there is a small amount of privacy from the rest of my crew (6 on a crew). We eat, sleep, and fly together which is a good thing because we all get along. We also have 11 more crews and maintenance folks here as well. It is kinda cool to see 6 airplanes from Charlotte on the ramp and know that we are running the show until Wyoming shows up to relieve us. This is not a bad place but the difference from being in Kuwait is that sometimes when people leave here, they don't come back. I am talking of the army and the sacrifices they make everyday in their efforts to suppress the Taliban. We mainly drop beans and bullets to the guys on the ground and its really cool seeing the loads go out of the airplane. That is the best part of my job - flying with the ramp and door open at high or low altitude.

Enough about me ... How is everyone? I understand the weather is still crappy and riding I bet has been difficult or at least not as fun. To Jeff and Shawn I hope the shop is doing well and school is good. Race season is approaching and Shelli, are you going to do the Duathlon thing? John, the triathlon thing? I have registered for Valdese and Riverwood with Valdese coming on the weekend after I get back so I'm sure I will suck in that one. I get home on the 6th of APR unless we break somewhere in route. Lets hope not! Feel free to forward this email to the rest of the crew if you want. Chuck, Jack, Mark, Max, Golden, Mike, Bob, (holy cow the list is endless!) to all of you I say hello and hope all is well. The food is great here but it is not pulled pork from the Hammer trust me on that one!! You all take care and I will get back to you soon.

Supreme Air Wing Commander and oh ahhh part-time bike rider,
David "DD" Brown

Having known DD through several deployments, I know how committed he is to the Air National Guard and how much he misses being around his friends when he's deployed. If you get the chance, drop him an email, I know he'll appreciate it.

Just heard on the radio that Barry Bonds is refusing to cooperate in an MLB investigation into steroid abuse in the pro ranks because they won't guarantee that he won't be prosecuted for perjury for his previous statements. Good thing we've got Dick Pound thinking cycling is the dirtiest pro sport in the world...
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