Thursday, July 30, 2009

Huck-a-Buck Nostalgia

This year saw me miss the Huck-a-Buck for the first time in several years, and in an effort to assuage the pain of my loss I flipped through the hard drive for a few pre-BCC snaps of Lake Crabtree's greatest event. These are all from the 2005 running of the hucking and the bucking.


From left to right: Ad-rawk, yours truly, Ali, and The Professor. (Note Chris's fly shades.)


My action shots are few, but here's one of Ali sprinting up the last hill.


Pictures of us suffering from the heat, on the other hand, are easy to find.


Somehow Adam seems to have lost the ability to drink by himself. Luckily he had some good friends to help him out.

I'm sorry that I couldn't join you guys on Sunday. It sounds like everyone had a great ride, even despite the heat and having come back from a variety of injuries. Oh, and the new kits look great. Strong work team!

[Edit]

I was also able to dig up The Professor's write-up of the event. Check out the time capsule:

Race Report

Huck-A-Buck

July 17, 2005

Lake Crabtree Park, Raleigh, NC

The Happy Fun Racing folks put on one hell of an event. A mountain bike race closer than any of the road races we did this year is a rare thrill. Even “pops” Adam was able to sneak out and race. And, if you haven’t been down to Crabtree in a while, they’ve cut some new trails and it’s loads of fun.

Okay, here’s the scoop, but first, a disclaimer. My recollection of the race may be a bit skewed for reasons described below, so I invite anyone else who was present to make corrections or clarifications.

John Miles, Adam, Ali, and I cruised down to the course, ready to kick some ass. Upon arrival John and Adam were busy scouting around the parking lot to determine the GhettoBike award. There were a lot of dudes and dudettes there with some trick rides. These two boys were not among them. I think it has to do somewhat with a technological aversion that liberal arts guys have, as opposed to the techno-weenies of RTP.

In any event, the competition came down to Adam and John’s single-speed rigs. Their bikes were head and shoulders above [below] the rest, but it was unclear who actually had the worse bike. You decide: Adam’s old steel Rockhopper, had a rigid front fork, stickers he got from registering it with the collegiate police department, and neon pink highlights. John’s aluminum Trek, also with no front suspension needed a chain-tensioner (unlike adam’s), but was reportedly pieced together with components costing less than the race entry fee. Both bikes did have riser-bars and V-brakes, although John’s were actually hand-me-downs from Adam’s bike.

While John may seem to have won, I remembered that Adam’s bike was actually stolen from him at some point and he actually saw it locked up on the street and was able to get it back (or some such story), giving it mega ghetto points. My bike is a recent single-speed conversion and is nothing special, although it has bar-ends and apparently it is no longer cool to have bar-ends, or so John informed me. Ali steered clear of this whole mess and has a beautiful bicycle with a full set of working gears.

Anyway, there was also a race. They sent Ali and his huge field of geared competitors off first. He suffered from a bad start position but skillfully fought his way up through the ranks and was only hindered by some minor crashes on the loose dirt. The ground was very dry and there were a lot of crashes due to front tires washing out in the dust. I can’t remember what his final place was, but Ali represented in fine style.

The single-speeds were off next. I think we had a field of about 24 people, which is pretty darn impressive. At the start line, they informed us that we had a feed zone where we could enjoy beverages of a refreshing nature. Failure to enjoy said beverages would result in a 3 minute penalty. A 3 minute penalty in a 17 mile race is not a good thing. On the other hand, a refreshing beverage in the middle of each of our three laps is a very good thing. For anyone who is not in North Carolina now, or hasn’t left the confines of their air conditioned lab for the past few weeks, it is hot outside. And nothing refreshes like a cool refreshing beverage on a hot July day. However, strenuous activity and dehydration can really pack a wallop.

So, in addition to these factors, plus the fact that in mountain bike races, you can ride the entire race without seeing most of the people you started with, I don’t have a lot of actual facts to report about the race. I dropped a chain when I was trying to pick up my bike and run past some fallen riders and I had a pretty solid biting of the dust at another point in time, but truth be told, a lot of the later part of the race is kinda a blur. I'm still not sure if whatever they were handing out would be considered "performance enhancing", but I must admit, I think it improved my riding. Perhaps because it suggested that I too could take home a blue ribbon for outstanding achievement. John rocked to a 4th place finish, earning him a large glass suitable for beverages such as milk or juice, I was out of the prizes but happy with my 5th place, and Adam breezed into 10th.

But overall, we weren’t too concerned about our finishing places. It was a fun and casual time and a nice respite from road racing. We got dirty and a little bashed up and may head out to Greensboro this weekend to give it another go. If you are at all interested in trying some mountain bike racing this summer or in the autumn collegiate season, let me know and we’ll make it happen.

Happy riding.

They Call Them Mad Skillz


This photo is definitely for the Professor.

More Bounce to the Ounce (Part Duex)

Not long ago, Pirate posted a report detailing his experiences on a couple of Trek family mountain bikes....the Remedy and the HiFi Pro 29er. Well, I'm not too big of a 29er rider just yet.....but I am a big fan of the 6" travel bike. While my "current" personal bike is a 4" travel 2009 Specialized Epic, I've come to fall in love with the uber efficient longer travel bikes for Colorado. While Pirate's test was on reported tight and technical trails, a majority of my riding here thus far is on trail systems with long climbs and super fast rolling descents with drops and 65' doubles.....(just kidding on the last part).

Anyways, what I am trying to say is that just wait for 2010 and what is coming on suspension technology! Fox's Boost valve on Treks and Yetis are making 6" bikes climb like 4" bikes and descend like DH bikes. Perfect! Specialized has partnered with Fox and Rock Shox to manufacture key shocks and forks for their Pro and S-Works level mountain bikes. (Stay tuned for detailed 2010 Enduro and Stumpjumper FSR reports).

Now the big question for 2010 is which bike is next? The Epic needs a big brother. The video below shows some recent "playing" with one of the contenders.

video

The Silly Season

With the daily drama of the Tour de France behind us, cycling fans have to make due with the intrigue that defines the weeks before riders and teams are able to openly announce their plans for the next season. So we get lots of speculative articles. Where will Contador land? Caisse d'Epargne? Garm*n? Katusha? A new team with formula one sponsors Santander and Renault? What about Wiggins? Will he stay at Garm*n or is he off to a new British squad in the works, SkyTV? And will Lance lure Andy away from his brother to ride for the Shack? It's enough to make my head spin and it's been less than a week.

And then there's this image, which arrived in my in-box on Monday, from Hollywood with only the follow words of explanation: "2010 trek 6.9 with Di2 dura ace."

So, in the spirit of the silly season, I ask: could this image and these words signal the seemingly unthinkable? Could Hollywood, long loyal to the Big S, be considering a switch to Trek for his next ride? We'll have to stay tuned.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Bulletproof helmets?

As I posted on Monday, off-duty firefighter Charles Alexander Diez recently shot at and hit cyclist Alan Simons, who was riding with his 3 year old in a baby seat on the back of his bike. The altercation took place in Asheville, which brings it home to all of you North Carolinians, but it's also getting national attention from biking blogs and various newspapers.

The facts of the case are pretty bizarre: Diez stopped to tell Simons that he was endangering his child by riding on a busy road, but then shot (at) him when Simons turned to walk away. (The irony here is too sweet: "It became necessary to destroy the cyclist in order to save him.") But one point that's gotten a lot of attention is the fact that Diez's bullet went through Simon's helmet, but did not actually hit his head. Someone was living right that day.

Which brings me to today's thought: several people have commented on how this is yet one more reason to wear your helmet, and while I don't disagree with that (despite any number of qualifications I'd like to make to the statement), you should wear it correctly. To wit, this picture from a story about bike helmets:



Dude, push your helmet down! As much as I like the 'jauntily askew' look that you're going for here, it doesn't do a damn thing to protect your forehead, and with it cocked back like that any impact is just going to knock it off your (fashionable, but now cracked) dome.

So, for any poor soul who should stumble across this site looking for information on how to correctly wear a bike helmet, I offer this link to a triathlete who provide both a rationale behind wearing a helmet, as well as a short video about helmet fitting. After all, if you're going to put the silly looking piece of foam on your head, you might as well have the damn thing on in such a way that will render it protective, and not just a questionable fashion accessory.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

HTFU Award: George Hincapie

It turns out that Big George broke his collarbone on crash in Stage 17. He went on to finish the stage, refuse an x-ray, ride the time trial the next day, ride two more stages -- one up Ventoux -- and then finish in Paris.


Check out the story on CyclingNews here (which is also where I stole the photo above). Here's his quote before heading to the starting line the day after his wreck:

"It’s about survival," he said. "I don't know if can even get down in the time trial position. It’s about survival and to get better in the next few days. I rode the last 70km injured yesterday but I was able to ride, I was in pain but I could get out of the saddle. I'm hoping I can do the same in the next few days."

Yeah, he survived all right. Big props to the big guy!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Cyclist Shot in Asheville

Srsly. Shot. With a gun. In front of his wife. And child.


Read the story in the Asheville Citizen-Times here.

I'm sure that there's more to the story than the article reports, but it's hard to image that the facts will look much better when we know them all. In short, the motorist pulled off the road to tell the cyclist that he should be riding with a child in a baby seat. The two got into a 'discussion,' and then when the cyclist turned away the motorist shot him in the head, fortunately missing his actual skull and simply ripping through his helmet. (Note to self: always wear helmet.)

If you read the story above and then scroll down to the bottom of the page, you'll see what might be the most disturbing thing: the readers' comments. It's here where you get a wealth of community opinion that gets very close to -- but never says -- that the cyclist deserved it simply for riding on the road.

After the death of Bruce Rosar in Raleigh earlier this month this is yet one more reason to remember that being safe and sharing the road is literally life-and-death.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Huck-A-Bull


The folks at Happy Fun Racing managed to pick a woefully hot day for the annual Huck-A-Buck race. I've never sweat that much signing a registration waiver. This race is always a well-run and classy event, so we decided to get all dressed up in our fancy new outfits.

Daniel and Ben kicked off the noon races in the men's sport division. Daniel is on the old guy/medium-old guy cusp so they let him choose to ride with the medium-old guys.
Please note the look of determination on Chef D's face. Pure grit. He rode to a solid 25th (although his time would have placed him in the top 10 of the old guy division).

Gentle Ben rode ferociously in his first race after the accident. With a fully-healed elbow, he is well on his way to recovery. His 14th place finish was just a warm-up.


The points leader of the day, however, was Calvin. He took first place in the Clydesdale Division, riding at a blistering 11.3 mph and beating the next competitor by nearly 2 minutes.

Dig if you will his new bicycle. It's enough to make Hollywood weep.

I actually arrived just at the end of Calvin's race so we didn't get any action photos. This one was taken shortly after he finished and he actually looks pretty composed. When he rolled back into the parking lot, I asked, "how'd you feel out there?" "Terrible." I decided not to ask him how he placed, but apparently, for Calvin feeling terrible won't stop him from going fast.

As for me, I continued my string of Triangle Series 2nd place finishes in the singlespeed division. I'm happy with the result, but I gotta figure out how to win one of these. I did end up winning some free tires (29ers, no less!) and a Gary Fisher t-shirt, size 2XL. So, for any big kids out there, drop me a line if you want a gigantic shirt, otherwise, I'm going to turn it into a Gary Fisher Snuggie.

Special thanks to Adam for taking the photos and to our entire BCC cheering section including Rachel and Daniel and Calvin's kids.

Edit:
extra photos from the Interweb:
Daniel gets rad.
Calvin gets mad.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

New Poll: Who's Holding?

So we as a group correctly divined the Contador was going to ride away with the Tour, though I'm not sure anyone would have predicted that he would do so this decisively. Nevertheless, we gets our props.


Now it's time for one of the less savory bits of Tour-spectating, waiting for the proverbial other shoe to drop, which of course always comes in the form of doping revelations. While no one has yet been popped for doping in this race (for the first time in recorded history, I believe), that doesn't mean that it's not going to happen in the next few weeks, a la Floyd in 2006, or Di Luca following the Giro.

So who will it be? Who are we missing? Who is most likely to get caught with a needle in his arm?

One final note, for those of you racing for Huck-a-Buck glory at Lake Crabtree tomorrow, I've heard that Happy Fun Racing will be instituting post-race checks of your biological passports, so make sure you're ready. (Though in this case I think they'd be most likely to throw you out if you weren't on some sort of substance.)

[Edit, 7/28: It looks like the French lab rats are starting to leak that there might be some problems. Read about it on VeloNews.]

Friday, July 24, 2009

today's music video

For everyone keeping track, I forgot to post a music video today. So here is what appears to be exclusive footage, direct from Japan, of Arashiro (in the turquoise Bbox Bouygues jersey), teaming up with Contador (yellow tour leader's jersey ), Hushovd (green points leader's jersey), Menchov (pink Giro leader's jersey), and Cancellara (red Swiss champion's jersey) to fight evil. It's called "Hey Chicken" so we can easily conclude that the evil force is none other than Rasmussen.

Another Top 10

After the unfortunate crash and departure of last-placed rider Kenny Van Hummel, his teammate Fumiyuki Beppu scored another top 10 finish for Skil-Shimano. Podium Cafe apparently could not distinguish between the two Japanese riders and credited the finish to Arashiro, despite the fact they ride for different teams. What can you do?

Also, in a world where cyclists are customizing their equipment with supposedly bad ass pictures of animals or pin-up girls or their entire cycling resume, I did really dig Lance's whimsical Yoshimoto Nara-designed TT bike. I don't think he's actually ridden it, but at least it looks cool. And really, isn't that the most important part of cycling? Answer: yes it is. Sorry Adam.

Which reminds me: look for the launch of our new Linus O-.G. designed BCC kits this Sunday at the Huck-A-Buck mtb race at Lake Crabtree.

On Cycling, Coolness and Agee's Bicycles

As much as I've been enjoying all the music videos, I worry that we're communicating a message. A dangerous, untruthful message. That message is:

cycling is cool



I've long believed that all dignity falls away the moment you swing your leg over a two-wheeler. What's more, that's a good thing. For those of us who have no dignity or coolness to start with, the fact that cycling makes everyone equally uncool is a great liberation. I love my bike the way a thirteen year old girl with no fashion sense loves her Catholic school uniform. Cycling's democracy of uncoolness is one of its greatest strengths.

Now, it's a truism that the absence of a quality makes us minutely sensitive to its remotest presence, and there are some who manage to defy the odds and eke a bit of style out of the sport. The Professor and Ali come to mind as people who make riding a bike look good. Let's just say that some are more cooly uncool than others. For those riders, cycling's essential uncoolness becomes ironic: pink mountain bikes and barfing unicorns and the like. That's all well and good, so long as we don't lose sight of the essential uncoolness. 'Cause if we do, I'm screwed.

As it happens, I was on a road trip yesterday and passed through Richmond, VA. Because I don't have a car kit for my iPod -- not cool enough, natch -- I was surfing the local stations when I heard a radio ad for a bike shop that was so unironically uncool I believe it can single-handedly right the cycling universe. Thanks to the magic of Google, I just found it online. Here it is:



Breathtaking. That Google search also turned up something I didn't expect but wasn't surprised to find, which is that others have noticed Agee's Bicycle ad as well. Specifically, lots of very uncool people. Because Agee's Bicycle forms sort of a zero point of cool, those of us with merely very very little coolness get to feel cool by comparison. It's sort of a coolness holiday for the uncool kids. And that's a lot of fun.

Take this kid, who decided to make his own video for the ad:

Keep pumping those fists, kid, and props for including your sister. It will get better after highschool.

Or maybe not. These guys had the same idea, but they're a little older and had to wear silly t-shirts to give themselves an excuse:

That one probably would have been better if it had ended about 30 seconds earlier. I like that they re-recorded the audio themselves, though.

Finally, my favorite, mostly for its dadaist title, "cereal and milk and agees bicycles."

Ah youth. Ah Agee's Bicycles.

So here's my message:

cycling is uncool, and uncool is fun



Roll on, uncooly.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Radio Shack?

Lance is going to try and bring some commercial appeal to Radio Shack. This will be no small feat:



I wonder what implications this will have for future race radio bans.

Radio Shack definitely could use a image boost. Shacks have kinda gotten a bad rap since the 70s. But it's somehow refreshing to see that Radio Shack hasn't tried to rebrand itself as something cooler like Radio Yurt or El Radio Hacienda. Radio Shack has done for shacks what Pizza Hut has done for huts. (Incidentally, a friend of mine who used to live in Belgium says that "hut" means "hat" over there and that Belgians are confused, based on the name and the logo, why Americans would name a restaurant after a cheesy, doughy fashion accessory.)

Equally odd is the fact that Radio Shack has chosen to keep the word "radio" in their name. Who listens to the radio anymore (other than me)? Or who goes to a Radio Shack to buy transistors or electronic equipment anymore (other than me)? I'm actually more surprised they haven't tried to change their name to Cheap Cell Phone Shack or Crappy Boom Boxes and Television Rabbit Ears Shack or Tiny Electronics Parts Randomly Mixed Up In Bins So Good Luck If You Think You're Ever Going To Find That 250V 2Amp Fuse Shack. I guess some people just can't live without their radio, including Stage 8 winner Luis Leon Sanchez (aka L. L. Cool Sanchez):

Team Radio Shack

Sounds like Lance's new team has a title sponsor....Radio Shack. No word yet on a related story that the Energizer Bunny is rumored to be replacing Alberto Contador and joining the Armstrong/Bruyneel Camp in 2010.



Get the story here.

and here.

http://www.theonion.com/content/news/even_ceo_cant_figure_out_how

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Bringing it Back to Dirt

Ok, so the Tour de France is in full swing, but let's not forget our dirt loving bikes. The videos below contain highlights from last weekend's National Mountain Biking Championships at Sol Vista....just up the road from me in Granby, Colorado. Shaun Palmer even makes an appearance. Think of it as a little pep talk/encouragement for all of you BCC'ers racing at Crabtree's Huck-A-Buck this weekend.

Pro DH Jumps & MTX Practice - 2009 U.S. National Champs from Litter Mag on Vimeo.


Pro Downhill Slowmo - 2009 U.S. National Championships from Litter Mag on Vimeo.


I hope you all make those fresh new kits shine!!

Eurorash Roadtrash

Because I'm sure everyone loved that video by Justice, and because I'm sure everyone hated to see Jens Voigt crash out of the tour on Tuesday, I give to you the perfect blend of French cycling and German Krautrock:



Of course, Kraftwerk could not have known that their hit song would make it into the soundtrack of latest Harry Potter movie for that awesome quidditch game:

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Roadrash vs Eurotrash

Okay, since no jerseys changed hands today in the Tour of the France, here's a French pop band with magic changing jerseys:



Normally, I would not advise that you listen to French dance/pop music. But, when in France, dance like you're getting thrown off a podium. Plus, it's got a Michael Jackson vibe, for whatever that's worth these days.

Actually, I do like this band, and I love t-shirts. I'm even feeling inspired to pull out my old BCC racing T for the Huck-A-Buick this Sunday.

Later, PYTs.

Let's hear it for the boy...

Yeah, let's here it for this man:



[Video taken from the amusing Lanterne Rouge blog.]

There he is, the Tour's real winner: Kenny van Hummel, the clear favorite for the 2009 Lanterne Rouge. Sure, the video above is from a couple of days ago, but it does give a sense of just what kind of riding is going on at the back of the pack. (Or, way off the back, as the case may be.)

For a better look check out this CyclingNews article, in which van Hummel shows himself to be both a competitor and a good sport. Chapeau!

Incredible

Monday, July 20, 2009

TdF Rest Day photo

New Kits


As seen on The Bummer Life, my pal Jason's shop, Halter's Cycles, has a new kit. Words won't do from here on out.

Rock Tour

In lieu of creating my own entertaining posts, I'll just steal entertainment from elsewhere. The Badger's stagetoss gave me an idea for a new schtick of posting music videos that may or may not be related to recent cycling events. Previously we saw Dinosaur Jr shredding the gnar. Here's my nominee for best stagetoss in a music video.



Maybe that hapless Frenchman was just lookin' for love.

Rest Day Predictions

So the picture at the Tour seems to have clarified a bit following yesterday's mountaintop finish. It looks like Contador is clearly the class of the peloton, and after Sunday he's signaled his desire to move beyond his nickname ("The Accountant") and establish himself as the strongest rider in the sport.


We also learned that Lance has lost some of the 'pop' that made him el patron for so many years: when Contador went he was simply unable to follow. Moreover, even with the help of the ever-loyal Kloden, he was only able to minimize his time loss and keep things respectable.

The Schleck brothers, on the other hand, showed both the ability and the desire to chase the big guns. While their team is in no place to challenge the dominance of Astana, they're ready to pick up the gauntlet when it's thrown down.

What else did we learn? What did you think of Contador's attack? There's a new poll, and I think Wednesday's mountain stage and Thursday's time trial still leaves the door open for some, but only a crack.

Personally, I was hoping that Ryder Hesjedal would make mountain bikers everywhere proud by pulling off the flier, but he wasn't even close in his attempt. (And I'm not sure it was ever a real attempt: Adam?) Discuss amongst yourselves.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A little WTF? from The Badger

Nobody messes with The Badger. Nobody.


That pic is from the CyclingNews story, but if you haven't gotten a chance to read Hinault's explication of the detailed strategy by which Astana will be toppled, check out the interview on VeloNews.

Or, if you don't have the time, let me summarize it for you: "Just attack." That's his answer to everything, it seems, from how to deal with podium interlopers, to how to win the Tour, to how to open stuck jars of pickles. My high school football coach would be proud. (While simultaneously deriding the entire sport as sissified.)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Collapse

That was brutal to watch.

The Tour is often analogized to a chess match, with the leading teams building up their strategies against each other. But some days, those strategies aren't being built up, they're being radically torn down. This was one of those days.



So George takes off on a flier and it looks good. Everybody is happy at the thought of seeing the veteran helper end up in yellow at the end of the day. Hooray, what a great story!

Astana wants to see him there too, but not too far in the lead, so they work to limit the gap. And they screw up -- they cut it too close. With the typical blindness of the very, very arrogant, they believe that they and their interests are the only ones on the road, so that if they leave George in the yellow by a few seconds, then that's where it will stay.

Now it's coming to the finish and there's a real conundrum in the pack. Columbia has been running all the finishes so far, but they're stuck between a rock and a hard place: if they do their usual dominant lead in, then they'll erase George's gap and he'll lose the yellow, but if they don't, then Cav might lose sprint points to Thor, who, to Columbia's surprise, managed to regain the green jersey just yesterday.

Here's where Garmin comes in. Jonathan Vaughters and Matty White are some smart dudes, and they realize that Astana has unwittingly moved Columbia into a checkmate position. If Garmin takes over the finish, then it's a triple win for them: 1) it protects Wiggo and CVV, their GC guys, since an uncontrolled finish is a danger, 2) they get to pay back Columbia for all the crap Cav and co. said about them in the Giro, and 3) by paying back Columbia, they send a message to the peloton that even though Garmin is a young team, you don't fuck with them.

And they're sick too. The don't quite erase the gap. Instead, they leave Columbia to do the last kilo, driving the knife into themselves. Columbia is in the weird position of trying to win the sprint as slowly as possible. And Cav, the rookie, blows it spectacularly. He wants to beat Thor by just a tiny bit, but either intentionally or not -- he may have just lost sight of Thor and was weaving because he was looking for him -- he illegally blocks Thor against the barriers and gets relegated.

Now Columbia has lost George's yellow and likely lost Cav's green for the duration, as the relegation leaves Cav way down.

Ka-BOOM!

Moral of the story: don't trust Astana, and don't fuck with Garmin.

Winner: Garmin
Losers: Columbia (big) and Astana

But flat stages are boring.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Can We Cancel the Mountain Stages?

Dear Tour de France,

If the climbers aren't going to race, can we just cancel the mountain stages and replace them with flat ones? All the GC differences are from flat stages anyway. The Garmin-Columbia battles are awesome right now. I think Julian Dean may punch Renshaw, he's so pissed at getting schooled in the lead out. Besides, they look good in their green sunglasses.

Thanks.

Emotion


German-Australian Heinrich Haussler won today's rainy stage at the Tour de France with panache and emotion. Like many, I have been surprised by the emergence of this rider who's had a coming-out party all year at races such as Milan-San Remo and Flanders. I recently watched some of the superb videos available on his Cervelo Test Team site where he featured prominently. Based on what I saw there, I wasn't sure what to make of his combination of laid-back Australian surfer dude and Teutonic aggression but today's show of emotion indicates that Haussler is a rider with class and a genuine commitment to win.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A little bird settled on Brian's shoulder...

And she gave him this piece of advice:

Go West young man and get a big bike:
Make it long of leg and plush in the rough
So you can see what the Rockies are like.
Don't skimp on the gears and make the wheels tough

Cause the hills are tall and the climbs are long.
Throw in some carbon to make it all stiff
And a little dual crown won't do you wrong
For when you throw your big bike on the lift.

Slap on an S and jump in the saddle
Point it down hill and head into battle.



So Brian got himself a bright new bike,
Tightened up his shoes and pulled on his gloves
Headed out west and scaled every height
And never came back, for he was in love.

Bastille Day Let Down


I was planning on riding yesterday to celebrate Bastille Day in high style, but I couldn't find my silk cravat. No ride.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bastille Day

Monday, July 13, 2009

more rest day photography

The tour may have been painful in the 1950s, but it only got more painful in the 80s and 90s.

Rest day photos

So the Col du Tourmalet didn't mean much in yesterday's stage, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't pause a moment to think back on what a grand, majestic, painful hill it is.

Here are a couple of shots from the 1952 Tour de France:


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Colorado Photo of the Day



Yes it is snow.
Yes it is summer.
Yes that is a Trek.
No it is not my Trek.
Please come ride with me.

TdF Rest Day Video- Hollywood in Lights


After bringing you a glimpse of Hollywood's outsized PRO baller lifestyle last week, we're proud to bring you the BCC debut of Hollywood's first all-mountain video for the Big S. Hollywood stars as "Matt Hunter" on this "I am Specialized" downhill run aboard the new 2010 S-works Enduro. Stay tuned: Hollywood rides the Shiv next!

Sunday afternoon reading

After you've digested the sad news that Ali has posted below, take a little deeper drink of cycling journalism with this story from Sports Illustrated's Alexander Wolff. Better than most of SI's (admittedly spotty) cycling coverage, the story attempts to parse the different relationships that the publics of Europe and the United States have to professional cycling. One of the better quotes:


"Are you, gentle American reader, prepared to be baptized into the reality of European pro cycling? Are you ready to go from Cutter to continental, to travel the path that Dave Stohler did in Breaking Away when that Team Cinzano rider jammed a frame pipe into his wheel?"

The story inevitably turns to doping, but rather than trying to condemn the sport's use of banned substances, it does a decent job trying to understand what it is about the European cycling community and its fans that allows for such widespread doping. The story is too short to fully contextualize doping or offer more than a thumbnail sketch of the use of banned substances in the last twenty years, but it does a good job of trying to explain not just the what? but also the why? of the culture.

Take some time to read the whole thing; after all, Monday's a rest day.

Sad News



The "Triangle" area has lost one of its most vocal and knowledgeable cycling safety experts in a crash with a car in Apex, North Carolina. Bruce Rosar, 56, died after being struck by a vehicle while cycling along one of the area's popular routes on Saturday afternoon.

Details of the incident have not been released, but according to the News and Observer, Apex police were looking for anyone who may have witnessed the collision.

According to his biography, Rosar was president of the North Carolina Bicycling Club from 2002-2003 and was a Director of the North Carolina Active Transportation Alliance.

He was also a founding member of the NC Coalition for Bicycle Driving, the Education Officer for the NC Bicycle Club, the elected representative for Region 3 on the League of American Bicyclists Board and a member of the CAMPO Bicycle/Pedestrian Stakeholders Group.

He actively promoted commuting by bicycle as a safe and enjoyable way to get to work, and was active in Raleigh's "Bike to Work Week". He also lectured on bicycle safety to area businesses and taught cycling safety for Triangle Roadway Bicycling and at various bicycle rallies.

Anybody with information on the collision which killed Rosar should call Apex police at (919) 362-6661.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Entourage


Pictured above, Hollywood's personal support vehicle. Not pictured is Hollywood's personal bus.

"I can bunnyhop 360s all day"


Submitted for your amusement: The New York Times visits the "peel sessions" to discover the brave world of fixed-gear freestyle.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

And the Bbox goes.....Win!


Wow! Finally after all of these years of watching Mr. Thomas Voeckler pull some seemingly futile breakaway attempts, the people's champ of France finally pulls in a stage win.

Congrats to Tommy V.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

It's sunny in Seattle...

And the shoprats are angry. Check it HERE.


Angry that you're asking them questions.

Angry that you're stoned.

Angry that you're a hipster douchebag.

Hell, they're just generally ill-tempered.

[Props to Hollywood for the forward.]

Staying Hydrated

As most of you know the temps are soaring in France right now and the peloton is desperately trying to stay hydrated. Perhaps one of those riders is thinking about water in more ways than one. Evidently, Mr. Lance Armstrong's house was recently named Austin, Texas' single largest consumer of agua. The 7 time Tour de France Champ's hacienda slurped down over 330,000 gallons of water in one month.



On a related note, I think my new house is in a nicer neighborhood than Mr. Armstrong's? Check out the house next door. What is that? Tyler Hamilton's Kato Kaelin Pad or something?

Team Sponsorship or is the Professor Hiding Something?



Is The Professor diversifying himself much like this or is he simply trying to ink a new sponsorship deal for BCC?

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Prince of July

The Tour has started, which means people get excited about a week of boring racing before anything interesting happens. It's a long time before someone is finally crowned the King of July, so until then we wait. Okay, so you start with a very short time trial where dudes ride ridiculous bikes. Then, onto the flat stages, where some hapless Frenchmen try some suicidal, day-long breakaway, get reeled-in in the last kilometer or two, and some sprinter who has managed not to crash wins. Some may be disappointed that an American couldn't beat Cav on the Fourth of July, like Washington did to so many British children. At least he likes to make interesting victory salutes.

So the Swiss guy won on the first day, like we figured. But on the second stage, things got a little more interesting (relatively speaking). A Japanese rider, Yukyia Arashiro, pulled-off a 5th place finish. This is not only exciting for me as a half-Japanese-American, but also because I picked this Arashiro on my TDF pool team and this scored me some serious points.

He is also an exciting rider because he's opted to forgo the prerequisite cycling buzzcut or the Euro-mullet and sport a cool, bushy hairdo. Total style. I'm totally cheering for him to pull off a win this tour. The Bbox team will be stoked and I'm sure they'll sell more whatever it is that they sell (I think they're portable beatboxes, since the French and the Japanese have made great advances in human beatbox technology).

And then, today, Skil-Shimano's Fumiuki Beppu scored a 10th place in an elite lead pack. Beppu, seen here on his days with the Discovery Channel team, also knows how to rock a funky coif.


But I don't have cable television and couldn't even watch these boring stages if I wanted to. So why should I spend my Independence Day weekend watching an event so beloved by the freedom-hating French? Instead, I watched Wimbledon. No, never mind that the French actually helped the American revolution against the British. Never mind that American television coverage of le Tour only ever talks about Lance. And never mind that I was actually rooting against the American guy. I watched tennis and I'm happy with my decision. Incidentally, a Swiss guy won that too (both Cancellara and Federer also have impractically floppy hair for sports stars, which I appreciate).

But if the Swiss currently rule the tour and the tennis courts, then it should be noted that Japan is making inroads in both pro cycling as well as tennis...at least, animated tennis. I recently discovered a lesser-known manga/amime series called "The Prince of Tennis" that follows the players of a high school tennis academy in Japan. The series actually isn't very good because it doesn't have the character development (or footnoting) of Infinite Jest's Enfield Tennis Academy
and, compared to typical anime which features weird swordfighting and mystical powers and stuff, there's only so much you can do to make a bunch of tennis matches exciting. The reason I bring this up is to inform you that my name has been usurped (partially, at least):


In some ways, it's kinda cool to see my family name attached to a television character. This probably isn't a big deal to people with last names like Smith and Jones. In other ways, it's kinda weird. What if people judge me based on their perception of this character? Or, what if, somehow, this character has been loosely modeled after me? Or what if life begins to immitate art and I try to start acting like this character and join a high school tennis team? To discover the answers to these questions, I needed to do some extensive research.

According to extensive research, this character is one of the team's co-captains and is described as the mother of the team "because he constantly worries and frets for the team's well-being." I definitely wouldn't describe myself as BCC's mother, especially after the "father" of BCC abandoned us and moved to Colorado with his new wife. But after all of the carpooling and driving two teammates to the emergency room and teaching Pirate how to tie his shoes, I guess I do feel a certain kinship with this character.

It is also noted that "he is also notable for his strange hairstyle (which changes every year)." I have received some criticism from my brother about my own, sometimes strange, hairstyling, based mainly on the fact that I cut my own hair. I am neither proud of this nor ashamed of this. It's just the way I do things now. I cannot, however, abide by the skullcap. Yes, okay, it's much easier to animate a character with a skullcap, rather than bouncy hair. But come on.

Finally, and most importantly, the tv character is part of the tennis team's "'Golden Pair,' a doubles team that made it to Nationals the year before the series takes place." Now for anyone who's spent any time around Durham, you've seen Major's legendary Bronze Pair [picture withheld], which is mighty impressive. But a golden pair, well, in that case, I am very proud to call this character family. I guess I'd better get a new saddle.

Your daily dose of WTF? from the Tour

Srsly, who's he calling? And does he know that his finger isn't a phone?


Somebody get that kid a cellphone so that he can do a TO-esque product placement. Sprinters, I's tells ya...

[Image taken from Velonews.]

He (Alberto Contador) is the leader for now


-Lance Armstrong, after finishing behind 3 of his Astana teammates, including Spaniard Alberto Contador, in the Tour's opening prologue.

Does Armstrong's attentiveness to changing conditions and smart riding, which today propelled him into the break initiated by strong side winds that cause the peleton to form echelons, change overall leadership at Astana? LA now sits in third overall, ahead of his Astana teammates, notably Alberto Contador. For now, indeed.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Who will win the Tour?

Just like it says: who do you think will win the Tour de France? The list at the right is CyclingNews' most recent list of favorites, and voting will be open until next Friday, which is the first day that the riders hit the hills.


Whatcha think?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Haulin Booty, Gettin Paid

I bike commuted to work yesterday without thinking about the dentist appt I had scheduled for 9am. I realized this at 8:50 and called to reschedule. Apparently this was not my first offense so there was a $35 cancellation fee. Not too bad but I told them I could be there in 30min if it wasn't too late. I was a little worried about the time frame because I wasn't rolling on my nifty geared cyclocross turned commuter but on a SS moumtain bike and it ain't geared for the road. Legs spinning like I was trying to take flight, I made it in 20. Hopefully they weren't too offended by my sweatiness stinking up the whole office but I look at it as getting paid $105 per hour to ride my bike. I think I'm ready to turn pro with that kind of income. I rode after work too and ended with about 70mi for the day. Newcastle and Totino's were my post ride refuel. They should get dibs on sponsorship.