Saturday, March 31, 2007



It was a good day of trail maintenance out at the Aquatic Center. I owe everybody an apology. Seems I laid the guilt trip on a bit heavy, since several people apologized in advance to me for not being able to make it. Well, the good news is that the plan is to have a trail day once a month, so this gives everyone multiple opportunities to volunteer your time. The cool thing about it is that you get to learn a lot about how a trail should be layed out and how to repair damage caused by poor design. We even cut about 1000 ft of new trail, built a bridge and repaired several drainage issues to boot! I'll keep you informed on future days. Maybe one day we'll rate a visit from Woodsy the Owl...

Kevin made it back from Oz in one, jetlagged piece. He's plotting his return to the land down under as we speak and has put himself on a strict timeline for making it happen. Seems going out of the country made him realize just how rude and self-involved Americans tend to be. I realized that the other day when a parent tried to beat me through a T-intersection by running a stop sign and almost hitting me on my first day back to bike commuting. I caught up with her at the school and expressed my displeasure. She said,"I thought I had stopped." I replied,"What part of accelerating through the stop sign led you to that conclusion?" I actually have seen people in my neighborhood drive their kids 2 blocks to the neighborhood elementary school! I think Owen is going to have a low opinion of his heartless parents making him walk or ride a bike to school.

I don't know about you, but these little Belgian training races are no satisfaction in lieu of the major classics headed our way in the next two weeks. Boonen won his fourth E3-Prijs Vlandaaren today. See, just doesn't have the ring of "the Hell of the North" now does it? Oh well. I'll leave you with this thought that I saw on another blog:
Kids like to piss their names into the snow. Tom Boonen can piss his name into concrete.

Thursday, March 29, 2007


OK everybody, it's put up or shut up time. Saturday. 10 am. Aquatic Center parking lot. Trail maintenance day. Now before you start pulling the cord to crank up the excuse machine, you can spare an hour or two to come show your support for cycling in Lenoir. It will be embarassing as hell if people from Boone, Hickory and Morganton show up, but Lenoirians (or -ites?) are a big fat no-show! Our burgeoning little cycling community will lose all manner of credibility with the powers that be and our dream of having mtn. bike trails in town will be covered over by soccer fields and baseball/softball diamonds. At the very least, think of the children.... How easy will it be to spark lifelong, healthy, aerobic activity in a kid if you can go to the park and do some actual mtn. biking? Postpone your ride saturday and put in a little time as an investment in our collective, two wheeled future! Please!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Reality check

I went and had myself a stupid, slow speed crash on the group ride tonight. Crossed wheels and I'm slowly falling over; aiming for a nice soft patch of grass. I got a bee in my helmet, shook my head and then you know the rest. Nothing damaged to speak of except I feel like a total fred and I bent the d'ler hanger and scratched up my right Record lever. Oh well...

At school today, we had an amazing guest speaker who came to talk about tobacco. Gruen von Behrens is a nationally known speaker about the evils of tobacco. It was really powerful to see a man ravaged by maxilo-facial cancer and I think it had a profound impact on the students. There were definitely some tears flowing in the audience. He was HIGHLY effective!

If you aren't getting excited for the spring classics, you need to get your head examined. I've just got to figure out where I'm gonna what the damn things. Might have to get cable... or, I could check out the new entertainment center my folks got! That's the ticket. (By the way, if anyone is looking for a Dolby Surround sound system or a DVR, I've got a deal for you! Drop me a line and I'll put you in touch with the necessary parties.) But back to the excitement. Here is the schedule:
April 8th Ronde van Vlaanderen
April 11th Gent - Wevelgem
April 15th Paris - Roubaix
April 21st Liège - Bastogne - Liège
April 22nd Amstel Gold Race
April 25th La Flèche Wallonne
Imagine staring down the barrel of that on your race schedule! I don't know about you, but that would be a pretty intense two weeks for me. Don't forget to check out the sponsor of the red headed step child of the pro peloton to get the odds for winners. I want to see Van Petegem get one more win before he hangs up the cleats...

Please, please, please plan to come help out for Trail Day this saturday at the Aquatic Center, 10 am. And if you are looking for Cycle to Serve info, I linked it over on the sidebar under "Riding in NC".

No word from Kevin or Chuck, but Dangerous Dave Brown will be returning stateside shortly!

This how you look after a 14 hr day and five different airfields. I didn't even make it back to my room before I fell asleep in the chair at our OPS (operations) tent. One of our pilots took this before we went to the chowhall. The only thing missing is the drool pool on the uniform!!
Five days and a wakeup before coming home!!

Take care everybody,

I know what Dave thinks about his military service, but that is for him to share. I think that Afghanistan is our forgotten war. Iraq was something that we had no business doing. It was ill conceived, poorly planned, and wrong. Afghanistan is a different story though. The Taliban really were in control of that country. We dealt with them on diplomatic terms for years and viewed them as the legitimate government of the country. Now, we hear next to nothing about what is happening there and we have done little to help the country find its feet and join the rest of the world. Okay, okay enough soapbox... Let's all wish Dave, and all of his fellow soldiers, a speedy and safe return!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Staying alive

Photo source:

Oscar Freire took Milan-San Remo in a sprint. The guy is either in the mix or touches the floor and puts himself out for the season. I think this is like his 4th comeback from a season ending injury in his career. Check out the race report at one of your favorite cycling news sites. The gist that I got was that there was a whole lot of carnage and mayhem in this one!

Yep, that's a sheared carbon fork. Photo Source:

A big shout out to our favorite cycling restauranteur, Chuck Luddeke, as today was his first day in Spain for a week of road riding and training. Hopefully, he is at a nice bar right now recovering from a beautiful ride!

Got this from Kevin at the World Police and Firemen's Games in Adelaide, Australia:

well, there are not any unfit cops or firemen here is about all i can say. so far i've done a time trial the fastest i've ever done and finished ouside the top five. yesterday's hillclimb was 4.3km up an 8.2% grade, pretty f''in steep. i did it at nearly 17mph, and again, just outside the top five. but i have only been beaten by one guy who isn't an actual professional racer, so i don't feel too bad. in tomorrow's mtb race there's a pro who races for trek whose been in europe and won the shenandoah mountain 100 (a 100 mile mtb race) oh, and he's chris eatough's training partner. i train with my imaginary friend and won a spelling bee in sixth grade. but it's cold and pouring rain so i hope i can do something, spanish dudes absolutely cannot ride in the rain i found out today. wish me luck. on an interesting note: a three time mr. universe is a london cop, how cool is that? not the size of cop most people are used to. i tried to send a picture of this monstrosity, but it did not work. his forearm muscles are bigger than my thighs.

No word from our Luna Cycles war correspondent, Double Down Dave Brown, but I'm sure he is up in the air prepared to drop some love on army soldiers out in Afghanistan. And on that note: Iran taking 15 British soldiers hostage today sure doesn't bode well for peace in the middle east any time soon...

Well, the shop has been crazy all week. Really crazy. Good crazy. I hope this warm weather has brought a rise in our fortune and that this week bodes well for our season. I gotta be straight with you on one thing, the bike business ain't easy! A couple of big reminders: Cycle to Serve metric century on May 12th (you don't want to miss this one!) and the Aquatic Center MTB trail maintenance day next saturday, the 31st at 10am. The more people we can get out there, the more support we can get from the city and the parks and rec dept. to expand the existing trail network in town. Imagine having a full blown mtn. bike trail network in town!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Sometimes you're the squirrel...

I think I have been the nut lately. There is a palpable apprehension that teachers begin to feel at the onset of spring. 8th graders are a more accurate predictor of spring than groundhogs could ever hope to be. When the weather begins to turn warm, students just lose it. With this bit of knowledge, it is my dubious honor to confirm that Spring has indeed sprung...with a vengeance. I have been yelled at by students several times in the past two days and I gotta say I'm ready for a break. Thankfully, it's a work day tomorrow! I find more and more I teach less and less, instead I deal with some seriously stupid crap and deal with ever increasing disrespectful attitudes. What happened to the naturally curious nature of childhood?

Alright, lots on tap this week. Milan-San Remo is this weekend. It is gonna be a crap shoot for sure. All the sprinters are looking to flex their might and power in for the win, but you can never rule out the possibility of someone sticking that traditional attack on the Poggio. Claudio "il diablo" Chiapucci was the last to make it work in '95, I think. Think of it this way: you know how on your local group ride, there is a place that looks like it should be the perfect launch pad to take that final city limit sprint, but it is just a little too far or the run-in is just a little too much of a descent? Then you can imagine the Poggio. You've gotta watch Boonen and Petacchi. Don't forget Pelizotti, Di Luca or "the cricket". And then their is a whole host of guys who have been taking races this season that you've probably never heard of. Then again, MSR is gonna be the first "real" race of the season. Find some coverage and stay tuned.

Next Saturday, the 31st, there will be a trail work day for the Aquatic Center trails. This is the beginning of a major effort to provide a viable mtn. bike trail network in town! Work starts at 9 am at the Aquatic Center. Come dressed for working outside (duh), bring food (water will be provided). The more support we can show at this event, the more open that the parks and rec dept. and the city will be for future endeavors in the cycling vein (like a BMX track for kids...). Please, please, please come out and support this effort!

In other entertainment news: see Blood Diamond. Powerful and depressing, but truly well written and acted! No word from any of our foreign correspondents, but I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

What happened?

I don't know about you guys, but I had a spectacularly bad day today. Really bad. Fortunately, I got to make the tuesday group ride and let the lactic acid wash away all of my troubles. It always amazes me how you can let all of your anger and frustration flow out of you and into the pedals. It never fails that all of that raw, ugly emotion gives way to a placid calm.

Yesterday, I got to go check out a new job prospect. It is a different teaching gig; one that I am really excited about. I can't say much right now for fear of jinxing it, but I do know that it will be a real challenge and that I will have to really up my game.

The ride tonight was really fun. Jeff was picking on me for showing a little bit of off the couch form and I told him that I had been able to lay in a good winter of base resting. I'm thinking that this training method could really take off...

Don't forget: Cycle to Serve Metric Century will be on Saturday, May 12th. This is going to be a really well put together ride with lots of stuff to do besides actually riding! Check out all of the info and register online at Caldwell Rotary Club.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Safety break

Last night was the first quarter Luna Cycles corporate meeting held at our palatial club known as Sledgehammer Charlie's. In keeping with the serious nature of this meeting, we managed to move from the bar to a booth before the first beer had been finished. Many important decisions were made and many stringent policies were written for the coming year. And then, Jeff and I stumbled home...

This morning, Jeff and I headed to the fairgrounds for the 1st Annual Lenoir Safety Fair. We went to help SafeKids fit the helmets they were giving away. We managed to give away all 50 helmets in less than 1 hour! The best part was being able to have my picture taken with various people dressed like animals.
Here's me with Konrad Krawdad:

When I asked Konrad if I could have my picture taken with him, he just shrugged. Lack of enthusiasm is going to kill the whole people in animal suits industry, if you ask me.

Here's me with Buckle Bear:

Buckle Bear was a bit of a sad case. At one point we heard this muffled,"I can't see anything. Where'd the lady go?" Seems the eye holes had fogged up on ol' Buckle Bear and he couldn't see anything. Later, I saw him walking around being led by a handler.

I didn't get my picture taken with the State Farm Bear. That guy has just gotten out of hand since he became a corporate shill. I just gotta keep it real like that...

Our man, Kevin Wilson, has arrived safely in Australia and sends in this report:
holy crap! there's former Kelme pros here and some current belgian pros. todays crit averaged in the mid 30's. the airline lost my bike so i just watched; glad i wasn't getting shelled. i've got it now so it's all good. i couldn't fit both of them in the box and the airline wouldn't allow the weight anyway so i'm rentin a carbon felt from a local shop. i had to bribe him with a luna shirt so there's one of those on his wall now. anyway, wish me luck. or, better yet, wish all the pro guys get sick and i can just race that old guy with the downtube shifters.


Luna Cycles World Domination has begun!

Here's a fresh pic from Afghanistan:

In case your wonderin', that is a forklift load of cyanide being loaded onto a C-130. We have been racking our brains (granted, not a long process) and we can't really come up with any non-nefarious uses for cyanide that the army might have. Jeff remarked that if we had found Hussein with that much cyanide, it could have justified the Iraq invasion for most people. But, we didn't...

Thursday, March 15, 2007

News Flash: "If the piss don't fit, you must acquit!"

I don't really like to pat myself on the back, but I TOLD YOU SO! Check out this latest revelation in the Floyd Landis doping case. More and more, it looks like Landis will get vindication and will clear his name and deal a serious blow to the WADA witch hunt to boot.

I can't say that I feel sorry for Floyd as much as I feel sorry for the pro peloton. It is conceivable that he could be exonerated in time to toe the line at the Tour this year! If he does, I can only imagine the Old Testament-Mennonite fury that he will unleash on the roads of France in the ultimate "F*** You" to the ASO, WADA and UCI. This screw up has cost riders their sponsorships, sunk a startlingly good team (Phonak), and created a great sucking maelstrom of innuendo and finger-pointing. I've said it before and I'll say it again, make a transparent testing protocol that follows it's own rules and procedures and sets itself above reproach through action and deed, not arrogance, and then we'll start to fix the doping problem!

So you want to play rough?

Well, Chris has upped the human observation ante with his latest post on soapy. And Jason has called me out on not mentioning Footis Head in my last post, so I'm gonna bring my A game for the next few posts. I'm not quite ready to talk about Footis (or Jafreakin' or I-washed-windows-in-'Nam), but I do want to share some more tales from the shop, so to speak.

The shop that Brian, Jeff and I all worked at in Fayetteville (and I raced for as a junior) still serves as my bicyce shop archetype. It was located on Bragg Blvd. in a worse for wear, long, narrow, two-story building. The mechanics area was in the back, with most of the mechanics (thankfully) hidden from view. When it rained really hard, the mechanics area would flood and some poor schmuck would get stuck vacuuming water up with a wet vac all day, while everyone else worked on bikes in ankle deep water. We would listen to the most obnoxious music we could find at volumes just below what would piss off the owner. And while we worked on bikes, we would harass each other without mercy, play practical jokes on each other that usually inflicted pain or embarassment, and invented ways to turn shop tools into long range weapons. In short, it was great.

One of the most infamous mechanics was Al Boegli, the head mechanic. Al would cruise in at 10 am sharp (opening time), punch in on the time clock, and announce,"I'm going to Burger King for breakfast. Anybody want anything?" BK was directly across the street and still it would take 45 minutes for Al to go and come back. Al would come back with his food, eat at his work station and then head to the bathroom. 20 to 30 minutes later, Al would emerge and go back to his station. Al would then look through the repair tickets, find a bike he wanted to work on and go upstairs to retrieve it. He would put the bike up in the stand and was break time.

Al would head to the alley in back of the shop, and usually he would smoke and it wasn't tobacco he preferred. Now, well buzzed, Al would be ready to work. Unfortunately it was lunch time, so Al would have to head back to BK. I believe you're starting to get the picture here.

Al was just one such character at the shop. There was the mechanic who lived in a cardboard box in the alley. There was Mike, the owner's brother (and one of the best bike mechanics I've ever worked with), who had a talent for being able to mock any song played by either changing the words on the fly or singing it in some incongruous character's voice, like Elmer Fudd singing David Bowie's "China Girl". He also was downright evil when it came to practical jokes. You had to always be on your guard when he was around. Inevitably, he inspired us to do many things just for the sake of a laugh.

The shop was always open on Christmas Eve so that parents could come pick up bikes for Santa. We would all work, but really it was an all day party and by the early afternoon we were usually fairly intoxicated. Mike started a Christmas tradition at the shop where we would prank call people we knew and pretend to be someone else. Our greatest hope was to not get the person, but to get their answering machine. One such call actually ended up on Jeff's answering machine and it was something like this:
"Booboo, this is Squashfoot. You done sold me some bad s**t. I'm comin' to get you and you better have my money" Click. We also started a competition to see who could find the adult book store in town that sold an inflatable sex doll with the highest weight capacity. I won that one with an inflatable sheep that had a max weight capacity of 350 lbs. Ah, the joys of growing up in Fayetteville...

Like I said, you always had to keep your guard up, even on Christmas eve.

Our man Kevin Wilson is on a plane to Australia right now, probably going squirrelly from being cooped up. He promises to email with pics and a travelogue as soon as he gets an internet connection. We wish you luck, Kevin!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Say what?

If you haven't done so already, check out my man Chris in Tally's new blog. He's a swimmer, but I threw him in the cyclists category on the sidebar because I'm to lazy to make him his own category. Check out his story about Boustrophedon Man.

Since Chris has asserted that swimming pools are the greatest attractor of "nutjobs" in the world, I feel compelled to defend the honor of bike shops across the land by asserting our primacy as a magnet for the not-quite-right. Be it the 6 1/2 ft tall, African-American drag queens that would come to the bike shop in Fayetteville and ask for me by name to our own growing little circle of "bless their hearts" that seem to be steadily flowing to us here in Lenoir, bike shops can really serve as a great vantage for observing the human race. One thing that they all seem to have in common (with few exceptions) is that they all ride old, internally geared 3 speeds. I've never quite figured it out as to why, but have merely documented the trend.

Clare was our customer in Fayetteville. Clare was in her mid 40's, overweight and developmentally delayed. Her family owned the newspaper, so we never worried about being paid for working on her bike, we just did it and they would take care of it later. Clare had a yellow, Schwinn 3 speed with front and rear baskets, two american flags and a license plate that said "Jesus Loves You". She usually came in with flat tires or needed the gearing adjusted, but no matter what the repair, Clare would stand beside you in the mechanic's area and ask you repeatedly in a very sweet, yet firm voice, "Are you sure you know what you're doing?"

You would see Clare out riding all over town, usually downtown and in the historic Hamount area of Fayetteville. This included the infamous Hamont hill, a climb not unlike our own Grandin Rd. climb in nature. This was where our tuesday/thursday group ride would finish with a nice little sprint to the top. I used to go so hard up it that I would literally see spots at the top. One day, I'm driving up Hamont hill and I see Clare standing on the pedals crushing her poor 3 speed up Hamont hill at an astonishing clip. Though a tad overweight, Clare was in pretty good shape and set a pace up the climb that was pretty remarkable. Just goes to show, equipment ain't everything...

Monday, March 12, 2007


The internet, or at least my little connection to it, was being decidedly cantankerous last night. Hence, the brief, almost haiku-like, posting that I dashed off this morning. It is a great day indeed when the cosmos aligns and allows for post-work cycling, and that day, my friends, is upon us. So don't forget: Tuesday/Thursday group rides, 5:30 at the shop. The weekend rides move from 10 am to 9 am for your increased saddle time pleasure.

My weekend was exhausting and exhilirating in many ways. I have a two-week Biology grad class that met for the first time Friday and Saturday. I am in the final year of a 3 year project called the Appalachian Region Math and Science project. Even though my undergrad degree is in biology, I am taking this course as a part of the project. It is more a stubbornness to see the thing through to the bitter end that is keeping me in at this point. It can still be very cool, though and the opportunity to be a student and to be curious is one that I always jump at.

the confocal electron microscope

The highlight of the weekend was getting to visit the Electron Microscopy Lab at Appalachian State University. Dr. Guichuan Hou gave us a tour and fired up the microscopes to show us some really cool images. It is always awe-inspiring to stand in the presence of a million dollars worth of science equipment, but to have a virtuosic demonstration was especially enlightening. There were three different types of electron microscope on display and each has its own unique purpose. The new scanning electron microscopes even allow the imaging of living organisms, something one of our professors wasn't even aware was possible! This, coupled with the flat earth experience of meeting Dr. Hou, really reinforced my committment to dragging my classroom into the 21st century (technologically speaking). One of my classmates really hit the nail on the head when he said that we can't keep educating students for factory work, since there isn't any factory work.

In cycling news, Kevin Wilson heads off for the World Police and Firemen's Games in Adelaide, Australia tomorrow. He should be sending some reports and pictures and I will post them as soon as I get them. Double Down Dave Brown has sent us some scouting photos of possible Afghani course venues for the next Luna Cycles/Lenoir Cyclocross race.

I bet those run-ups might be kinda tough, but it's the unexploded ordinance and Taliban fighters that could really throw some unexpected action into the mix...

Thanks for all of the Rotary Cycle to Serve route map requests. I'll keep sending them as you request 'em. For those of you that have asked, the date is either May 12th or 19th. I can't remember which. I'll confirm and post the definite date when I talk to Bob.

In other news, a spanish court has dismissed the infamous Operacion Puerto case citing lack of evidence. But thanks to the vagaries of cycling justice, the UCI and Pat McQuaid have vowed to not give up in getting to the bottom of this particular quagmire. Riders names are drug through the mud, Ullrich's career is over, various other top names are scattered to the Pro Continental squad winds, while the "evidence" up and Keyser Sozes in a puff of legal smoke. Now the UCI wants all of the teams to pay an extra 30,000 euros in order to up the drug testing ante. Maybe next week the UCI, WADA and the Katzenjammer Kids can join up with the MLB at Mark McGwire's house for an anti-doping summit of epic proportions. Me, I'm just waiting for April and the action of the Ronde van Vlaandren, Gent-Wevelgem and Paris-Roubaix...


Yippeee, time has changed! Tuesday and Thursday group rides start this week. Rides leave at 5:30 until we get a little more daylight in the evening. The saturday and sunday group rides will meet at 9am now.

Now the bad part of this whole deal is that my internal clock doesn't seem to reset quite as easily as all the other clocks in the house. That little fact, coupled with beginning a biology grad class on Friday and Saturday, aren't making this a Monday to look forward to...

Thursday, March 08, 2007

no excuse...

I have been a tad... well, slack, lately in posting. I am coming to the realization that work gets in the way of life. I've got more on my plate than a trucker at a buffet. By the way, speaking of truckers, you may have noticed that I got a good crop of facial hair over the winter. It surprised me how bushy my beard got (and how gray), but now that the weather is warming up, the face warmer had to go. However, I couldn't let such an outstanding crop of facial hair go completely without being a little creative, so I pared it down to a really sweet trucker 'stache (see photo).

Jeff thought I looked like a gay trucker and Golden thought I looked like Derek Smalls from Spinal Tap.

My students didn't really react one way or the other. Now that I'm completely shaved, they seem to miss the 'stache. Oh, well.

On other fronts (literally), Double Down Dave Brown, Luna Cycles Afghan correspondent, sent this photo of his new job as a used Humvee salesman. If you can provide grid coordinates, he delivers!

In other news, Steve Garro of Coconino Cycles was awarded framebuilder of the year at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show. Garro is won of the toughest guys I know. He took me for some of the longest, gnarliest mtn. bike rides I've ever been on when I moved to AZ. My lasting memories of Garro are of him trying to push me outside of the Monte V bar to beat me up when he found out Golden and I were engaged. The other memory is of Steve catching me at a stoplight as we were both riding downtown. He asked me if I wanted to go for a mtn. bike ride that weekend and I said sure. Then he added, "Yeah, nobody wants to do 9 hour mtn. bike rides anymore." I replied with, "I don't think I can ride this weekend..." Big congratulations to Steve!

Finally, Bob Giduz has sent me a great route map of the Rotary Cycle to Serve metric century to be held in May. Email me with "Ride map" in the subject line and I'll send the map PDF along with the cue sheet!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Land of the lazy...

Woohoo, the glamour of race wrenching...

I live in the land of the lazy. At the grocery store this evening, I walked by a parked SUV that had the engine running and no one in the driver's seat. There in the backseat, bathed in the soothing glow of the lcd screen, was a kid watching a movie. I can only presume that the parent was inside shopping. So now our cars are mobile living rooms complete with inefficient gas-powered generator for running such necessary accoutrements as dvd players. Since when has the tv become some sort of life-support system for children? This idiocy, coupled with the apparent Caldwell County translation of "No Parking - Fire Lane" as "Don't Park Here Unless You're Going To Wait in Your Running Car Or You Don't Think You will Be Shopping For Very Long Or You Feel Too Privileged To Have To Park In The Lot With The Unwashed Masses", is enough to make me confrontational if not down right combative. Should I say something? I don't know...

Been a while since I posted. I spent the weekend busting my butt to tile the bathroom and to get 8 self-directed projects ready for my students. I am turning them loose on Geological and Biological evolution. I think they really like it (except for the few who just don't like anything). We'll see how it goes over the next 24 days.

How about Fillipo Pozzatto!?! Who knew Italians could grow blonde afros, but that aside, the guy is showing great form for the classics season. You don't beat Boonen straight up in Belgium by being lucky; you've gotta have skills. Boonen came back Sunday and took Kurne-Brussels-Kurne, but Pozzatto definitely made the impression on the weekend. Stay tuned for classics all month long.

Mark your calendars for Saturday, May 12th. The first annual Caldwell Rotary Tour to Serve charity ride will take place. This ride has it all: Friday night pre-ride meal with live band and a showing of "American Flyers" on the square, then a 10 mile, 42 mile and 62 mile bike ride on Saturday followed by a pot luck post ride lunch. Throw in a t-shirt and you've got yourself a deal for 12 bucks. Not to mention that the route is beautiful and challenging as it winds its way through northern Caldwell County! This will be a nice tune-up for Bridge to Bridge. I'll be putting up more info in the coming days, so check back.

Friday, March 02, 2007

you better recognize!

Tomorrow is the beginning of a magic two months of bike races. Omloop Het Volk kicks off the northern classics season in a big way. While not a true classic (it's about an hour too short) it uses a lot of the same roads and climbs as the Ronde van Vlaandren (Tour of Flanders). Looks like the weather will be wet and cold; a perfect day for hard man bike racing. I'm hoping to see a return to glory of the tannest man in bike racing, Peter Van Petegem. De Peet is tied for the record for most wins at three. He seems to always be a contender in the hard conditions of Belgium.

Current odds from
Boonen 4.50 - duh.
Nuyens 10.00 -
McEwen 12.00 -
Pozzato 13.00 -
Hushovd 13.00 -
Steegmans 16.00 -
Gilbert 18.00 - 2006 winner
Eeckhout 20.00 -
Paolini 20.00
Hoste 20.00 -
O'Grady 22.00
Klier 22.00
Balducci 22.00
Van Heeswijk 22.00
Flecha 22.00
Devolder 22.00
Mattan 25.00
Van Bon 20.00
Eisel 35.00

Notable unmentioned rider: Paolo "the cricket" Bettini. The dude wins whatever he sets his mind to.

I don't know about you, but I'm ready to enjoy the weather with the saturday group ride. Jeff and some of the other Sledge race team members are heading to Greenville for some early season racing. I'm gonna be happy just getting on the bike! I tiled the bathroom-that-wouldn't-die with the help of my Dad yesterday and today. I'm worn out, with parts of my body sore that don't make any sense. The balls of my feet have been numb for a day... It'll be nice to just spin for a couple of hours before the shop opens. See you at 10 am.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

limp wristed


Good ol' George Hincapie managed to break his radius in the TofC and will now sit out the classics. I'd say that pretty much seals it for George ever winning Paris-Roubaix. Sure Gilbert Duclos-Lasalle won Roubaix in '92 at the age of 38 (with front suspension no less!), but George can't have much left in him for the one day races given his late career switch to a climbing/tt/grand tour rider.

Big happy birthday to Tyler Hamilton. His Tinkoff team is doing pretty well for a bunch of inexperienced Russian young guns. It should be an interesting Giro with that crew in the mix. I'm ready for some real racing to start. These "training" races are great for the pros, but they lack a certain amount of "fire in the belly" for the riders. I like watching the races that really inflame the passion of the riders and makes them do superhuman efforts in order to win. The classics are coming soon!

I am up writing at the butt crack of dawn trying to wake up before I paint the bathroom ceiling. Today I'm laying the floor tile with my Dad since I have two days off this week. After that, it is just finishing touches and then I can put this project to bed. I never got in over my head while remodeling the bathroom, but it seemed like every time I went to work on something, I uncovered some half-assed, jackleg engineering job that needed to be torn out and corrected. I hope that I have finally chased all that down...