Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Mid-week crisis

The last days of school are here, and with it comes the most stressful time in any teacher's life: standardized testing. Take a pressure cooker and put it in a deep-sea decompression chamber, crank both up to "burst" and you will have an idea of what I am talking about. Oh, it's pretty subtle, but infuses every nanometer of nerve below the surface of the skin. Me, I'm pretty blase about the whole thing. Testing is the bare minimum of what you need to know to make it in the world, why aim for the bottom? The real travesty is that now, with "No Child Left Behind" there is no room in the school day to actually teach kids how to think...

I got this festering turd of a magazine called "Road Bike Action Magazine" and I gotta say, I don't think too highly of it. (ed - OK, festering turd is a bit harsh) In their, "2007 Tour de France contenders" article, their top pick is Ivan Basso - whoops! It is edited by none other than Zapata Espinoza, a whiny, self-promoting, overly tattooed and pierced, brown-nosing hack who seems to perpetually crop up in positions of hipster/bro' buddy style patrolling. The magazine is really just a mouthpiece for companies trying to shill products it is low in the actual content department and over-the-top in the "Review" department. Reviews kill me because they can make a product seem like the "it" thing to have, but they offer such a narrow view of what is available that it can ultimately be misleading. I met Zap once at Interbike in Vegas and wasn't very impressed. He seemed overly concerned with seeing and being seen in all the right places. It's just my two cents, but I think we all need to just ride and have fun - everything else is secondary.

We had an interesting ride last night. It started out nice and mellow for about the first 15 miles or so, then on 268, headed towards Setzer's Creek, Cecilio Cruz put in a gut wrenching pull. I, of course, got the ignominous job of pulling through when he was done. I tried gamely to put in the effort, but the fitness just isn't there yet. One thing is for certain, though, now that Cecilio has a new BMC Streetfire (to replace his 20 year old Cannondale) the guy is riding stronger than ever. And that my friends is a very scary thought, indeed. Our newest playmate, The Preacher, is no slouch in the I'm-gonna-rip-your-legs-off department. When he gets on the front and starts to ramp things up, you know you're in for a treat...

Have you been keeping track of all of the ex-Telekom guys admitting to doping in the '90's? Wait a minute - didn't Bjarne Riis win the TdF for Telekom in '96? Oooh, oooh - didn't Jan Ullrich win the TdF for Telekom in '97? Hmmmmmmmmmmmm.....

On to politics of a different sort. You have absolutely, positively got to check out this story about Democratic Presidential hopeful, Dennis Kucinich's, new wife. The word that springs to mind is: huh? But, you have to admit, it does point to some sort of karmic parity in this crazy world...

Keep an eye on the Giro! Luna Cycles foreign correspondent, Chuck Luddeke, is en route to Italy for some first-hand reporting. He will be riding the Zoncolan, so we will be able to get a first hand account of how a mortal rides this climb! I think that "The Killer" is looking really strong, but Gibo is waiting to pounce, if you want my opinion. I'm just glad that one of my favorite riders, Leonardo Piepoli, got a stage win. That climb looked beyond heinous. Guys were just collapsing at the finish. Sorta like me on my morning commute to school...
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