Monday, September 29, 2008

On the DL

Brought Kaibab home from the vet today. He's been there all week since he blew both of his rear ACL's last weekend. He had his first reconstruction surgery on Friday and he seems to be doing pretty well. He is on some pretty strong drugs as far as I can tell from the glassy eyes with the blown pupils. He's all highed up on something...

This period of forced immobility is going to be he perfect time to put ol' Kaibab on a diet. For those of you who aren't familiar with Kaibab, he is rounding portly and making a beeline for obese with his sights set on trapped inside the house huge. He's just hard-wired to eat as much as he can get into his mouth since he was abandoned on the Navajo Reservation as a puppy. The stories about everything he has eaten are legend in my circle of friends, but suffice it to say, when as a puppy I caught him eating a Coke can, I decided then and there that I would never rush him to the vet over him eating something he shouldn't. Now that may sound cruel, but he is still very much alive and kicking and he has eaten more than his fair share of disgustingly unpalatable and downright "what made you think that was something to eat?" stuff.

So now we embark on the big push to rediscover the slim and trim Kaibab that we once took on epic mountain bike rides and trail runs. I'm sure he is still there buried underneath all of that pudge.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sloppy seconds

My attitude for today was to just see what happened. I lined up, the official said,"Riders ready!", everyone hunched forward, the whistle blew and we were off. I banged bars with the guys on either side of me for several pedal strokes, but the entire time I was thinking, "Look for the holes... Find the holes..." I squirted through and out of the group, getting the hole shot. From then on I just concentrated on keeping the pressure on and staying in the lead group.

For some reason, everything came together and I had a phenomenal race, finishing 2nd. Jeff finished 2nd in the Masters race. Bob Pugh had a strong race, but I'm not sure of his placing. Scott Staley raced for his first cyclocross race today. Chris Behrmann was racing with the big boys in the Pro 1,2,3 class. Howard Hesterberg did both the Masters and the CX4 races! I'll update with their placings as soon as I hear from the fellas!

Now I'm gonna pass out.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Eve of 'cross

Like a lot of the people around these parts, I get as giddy as a little girl getting her first set of RealTree overalls when opening day of the season comes. Unlike a lot of the people around these parts, my season doesn't involve freezing your butt off out in the elements while wearing ridiculous looking clothing in order to kill a defenseless animal. Okay, so my season doesn't involve the killing a defenseless animal part, but everything else is pretty spot on.

Tomorrow marks the preseason opener of the NC 'cross season. The race is at the tried and true Salisbury venue. Due to the inordinate amount of soaking, misting rain the course should be good and muddy. Perfect 'cross conditions. Now only if the temperature will drop and stay down, it will be proper 'cross conditions. I think that long days of walking and standing, coupled with a higher than average daily intake of alcohol over the course of our time spent in Vegas should prove to be a formidable preparation for tomorrow's race.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Vegas Industry Cup race underway.

video

women's race in progress

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The notorious turn claims another one.

heading to the crit

Vegas Crit!

I believe we will be moseying on down to the USA Crit finals here shortly. Stay tuned.

Luna Cycles shop kits!



Here is the almost final version of the Luna Cycles shop kit. No pricing yet, but let us know if you want one. They should be available by the beginning of December, just in time for CX Nationals!

A whole heap o'BMC mtn. bikes

fuji tri/tt bike

Luna Cycles kits!

Now taking pre--orders!

It's all about clothing

Gary from Sugoi translates our incoherent rambling into art.

Wake up

I'm in the dark waiting for everybody else to wake up, so we can start the day. I need breakfast, preferable something big and greasy. Brian's horse snoring woke me up about 2 hours ago, so I just got up and stayed up.

'Cross Vegas is not a great race to spectate at. It's pretty easy to lose sight of the big picture and then it just becomes guys on bikes whizzing past. It is, however, a great place to run into all kinds of people that you know and haven't seen in a while. Today should prove to be more of the same on that front.

Today is appointment day, so we will be hustling around doing bidness like the wheelers and dealers that we aren't. I'll also be grabbing every poster I can get my hands on and hopefully getting some autographs. I'm still hunting for Phil Ligget's autograph. I got get his soon while he still remembers his name...

Brian Fox...the lost recordings.

videoTurn volume to 11!

this town smells like a big cigarette

Lance still ain't in it!

video

Trebon controls it!

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Kabush attacks!

5th lap!

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4th lap of 'cross vegas!

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2nd lap!

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Opening lap of the men''s race

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Lance Armstrong in the house !

3 to go!

video

'Cross Vegas Women's race

videoopening lap barrier action!

Gene o!

crazy vegas cabbies

videovegas cab drivwrs are totally willing to sacrifice the lives of pedestrians and other drivers in order to get you wherever you are going as fast as possible.

Chuck keeps it real.

don valverde's bike

personal space

Notice how everybody tries to spread out while waiting to board a flight. inevitably, you have to sit beside someone. the guy I sat down beside promptly got up and moved. Does that mean I look shifty or even dangerous?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Vegas Experiment

Tomorrow afternoon, I land in Vegas. I am mentally and physically prepared for the mental and physical test that is Interbike. It is always risky to plan your season around one big event, but like Armstrong and Evans, Ullrich and some other guy who only raced to win the Tour de France but I can't remember his name right now, I feel my time has come.

I will be (hopefully) live blogging throughout the entire trip via cell phone in an attempt to bring you to Vegas with me. This could be an epic fail, but I have faith.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Post B2B

A long, tough weekend and I didn't even ride in the Bridge to Bridge.

To everyone who participated in the event this year: Thank you for the graciousness that you took the news of the last moment route change with and the understanding for the tough situation that the organizers of the event found themselves in at the eleventh hour.

To the Caldwell County Chamber of Commerce: You are to be commended for pushing through and making the ride happen despite monumental obstacles. Rick Rasch deserves much applause for middle of the night course marking, Deborah Ashley for working the phones to negotiate all of the myriad details, and Melissa Eastman for handling her trial by fire as the new ride director with grace and aplomb.

Please keep all of the Caldwell County Sheriff's Department in your thoughts as they search for the man responsible for the death of their fellow deputy. May a peaceful end come to this horrific series of events.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Unretirement

Now that Armstrong let the cat out of the bag, no self respecting retired pro cyclist is going to sit idly by and watch LA get all the glory. Michael Boogerd and Joseba Beloki are both considering returning to the peloton. But Jan Ullrich has issued an emphatic, if not muffled, "Nein!" when the question was posed to him while consuming his weight in schnitzel.

Up next will be the unretirement of the Merckx's. When questioned about who would ride for whom, Eddy stated, "Axel knows he should be honored to fetch waterbottles for me. I won 5 Tours, he never even won a stage. He rides as a domestique or not at all!" Neither Axel Merckx nor Axel Rose could be reached for comment.

But the fun shan't stop there. With the powering on of the Large Hadron Collider, the very fabric of the space-time continuum is now called into question. Preliminary reports indicate that Fausto Coppi and Jacques Anquetil have both been spotted swirling around in the ether and are in negotiations with several big teams in anticipation of staging comebacks.

Rumors of a return to the peloton by Miguel "Big Mig" Indurain have proven to be unfounded. Indurain has been determined unfit to return to racing by software technicians who have been unable to update the firmware in his CPU and have found that most of his joints are completely fused from neglect while he has been in storage. They did not rule out building a completely new Indurain v2.0 at some future date.

Lastly, Le Blaireau, Bernard Hinault may have to lay off the bread and cheese for a while if he hopes of even spotting his ideal riding weight on the distant horizon. But never fear, last reports indicate that Laurent Fignon no longer sports the pony tail that cost him the 1989 TdF by 8 seconds and that when convinced of the superior performance advantages of an aero helmet, he will be unstoppable!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Other cycling news



Lost in the shuffle of all of the comings and going and reemergences of cycling's top stars, there was a story of the unfortunate passing of a man living the dream of riding as a way of life.

From Cyclingnews.com:

Ian Hibell, legendary adventurer and rough-stuff cyclist, was knocked off his bike and killed in late August, aged 74, whilst riding on the Athens-Salonika highway. Although reported as a case of hit and run, the car's number was taken and the driver later arrested.

Ian Hibell was best known for his cycle treks to little-visited corners of the world in an age when such places really were the back of beyond for westerners; Antarctica, the Amazon, the Sahara and remote Indonesian islands. This incredible man was credited with one the first (possibly the first) true non-motorised crossing of Colombia's Atrato swamp and Panama's notoriously marsh ridden Darien Gap as part of a Trans-American journey. To this day there remains no road connection between Colombia and Panama.

He left a secure job in Devon in 1963, determined to see more of the world, and spent much of the rest of his life cycle touring, often in extreme climate and terrain. His initial idea of a two-year tour turned into ten-year odyssey. Marathon cross-globe treks included Cape Horn to Alaska and a trans-Amazonian journey. His travel anecdotes included over-curious elephants and lions as well as the more friendly interest of a Dyak headman in Borneo and an Eskimo.

Custom bikes were another reason why the intrepid traveler garnered interest from throughout the cycling community and beyond. Ian didn't rely on retro-fit pannier racks but insisted that racks be welded onto his Argos frames.

He was honoured by the League of American Wheelmen (now League of American Bicyclists) and by the CTC for his 'trail-blazing' tenacity. Invited to address Yale University, he subsequently lectured on both sides of the Atlantic. His book 'Into Remote Places' recounts many of his cycling exploits.


What a life. It is a thing to envy, the life of adventure. Imagine just chucking it all and taking off on a ride and never finishing it. Just one long ride to wherever in the world you end up that day... Beats punching a time clock.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Stop the presses

The whole world seems to be all atwitter with the confirmation of earlier rumors that Lance Armstrong will be returning to the pro peloton. Could this be the return of a living legend? Or a way of firmly setting his legacy of being a phenomenal and clean athlete.

This comeback is pretty much a no-win situation for Armstrong. For him to prove that he won 7 Tours drug-free, and firmly erase doubt about his past, he will have to win the Tour de France. Anything less and a cacophony of naysayers will steadily point their fingers at him and cry "J'accuse!" at the top of their lungs. This is a shark jump of epic proportions and we are all in on the ground floor.

It is truly audacious, but I don't think it is the best idea. Sure, Trek are probably sacrificing every virgin they can get their hands on in an effort to get this deal done and in the books. Oakley reps are probably holding them down for 'em... There isn't much to gain from this kind of comeback, but there is much to lose. Remember Michael Jordan retiring and playing pro baseball? Remember him playing for the Wizards? Sometimes the competitive urge whispers in your ear and you've got to ignore it.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Oh the things we'll do out of love...

The first cyclocross practice session is tomorrow at 4:30 at the Rotary Soccer complex on Zack's Fork Rd. Bring a bike (obvious) and your running shoes (onerous, perhaps) so that we can ride and then do a nice trail run. For most cyclists, running is akin to non-elective surgery: you don't want to do it unless you really have to, it's painful and you feel pretty crappy afterward.

But love knows no bounds. While getting a Tasmanian Devil waving a Confederate Flag tattoo at the urging of some girl you barely know, but looks cute while your drunk, isn't exactly the foundation for a rock solid relationship, mixing running in with your cycling is the ideal foundation for a strong 'cross season. Think of running as a benign tumor that bulges out of the side of your head. Sure, it isn't hurting you and your just fine without the surgery, but imagine how much of an improvement it'll be to get it removed. Just as a road bike frame will not collapse the second its wheels touch dirt, your spindly cycling legs will not be crushed into dust by the repeated impact of heel on Terra firma.

In other news: while my bike still hovers at the 16 lb 2 oz mark, Jeff has remarkably shaved a significant amount of weight off of his new 'cross bike and now has it down below 15 lbs! Weighing in at a remarkable 14 lbs 50 ozs, he may finally be up to bunny hopping the barriers!

In addition to running and riding, don't forget to be doing some upper body workouts as well. Those cowbells get heavier and heavier as the laps go by and you don't want to enter the season unable to adequately ring on the run ups! My coach has me on a strict regimen of 12 oz curls and while they are dastardly in difficulty, I marshal through knowing that the season awaits!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Tyler

Tyler Hamilton is the new USPRO National Champion. Let that sink in a little. Cyclists seem to fall into two camps over the guy either loving him or loathing him with very few people in between those opinions. While no one has even remotely hinted at caring what I might think about the situation, I'll jump right in and give my two cents worth anyway.

Tyler tested positive, was found guilty of a doping violation, and served a two year suspension plus a further two year banishment to the kids table after that. When he signed with Michael Ball and Rock Racing it seemed like some horrible Vegas sideshow of a comeback, destined for some kind of spectacular "Where are they now?" type of flame out. And then with the signing of other convicted dopers, coupled with Ball's over the top "look at me, look at me!" persona was just a "Jerry Springer is our new director sportif" announcement away from a complete fruit salad.

The Tour of California shadow tour didn't allay these fears. Content with spectacle over substance, I was afraid that Ball was in cycling for all the wrong reasons and was going to do more damage than any had imagined. Little by little, the hype machine wound down and the riders spoke with their legs and not their mouths. Hamilton's performance at the USPRO Championships spoke much more than even Michael Ball could have done.

The fact of the matter is that Hamilton has served his suspension and is back in accordance with the rules of the sport. Now it seems like that isn't good enough. Now people want some weepy, Oprah moment where he admits to everything, wails he is sorry and begs for forgiveness. This only brings closure to the voyeur inside us who secretly enjoys the trainwreck of innuendo and quasi-objective scientific testing data that lands someone in the powerful clutches of WADA and USADA. Innocent or not, the guy has done his time and deserves to find his place in the sport once again.

For comparison, I would like to refresh memories of David Millar, convicted doper turned anti-drug advocate. Millar was allowed to return to the top end of the sport directly from his two year suspension, unlike Hamilton who was convicted after Millar. Hamilton's is a much tougher road to comeback on. That alone deserves respect. Mistakes in the past do not make for evil futures and it is up to Hamilton to plot his own future wisely.

Monday, September 01, 2008

an experiment

I'm conducting a little blogging experiment in the hopes of providing some real time posts while things are actually happening. I got out and did a trail run/mtn bike ride today. I''m trainig for the dark mtn. offroad duathlon next month. Running and then riding was a new sensation for the legs. That coupled with the fact that my mind kept wandering off on tangents, made for an interesting day. Hope you had a great Labor Day... now get back to work!