Thursday, February 16, 2012


Not too long after the race, a rumor went around that the winner had tested positive. Velonews confirmed it, but USADA didn't release the final suspension (probably due to B-sample testing & other procedures) for quite a while. Some said he tested positive for weed. I was guessing something like DHEA, or Geranium Oil. The guy's apology sounded like maybe he thought it was unintentional - and I was feeling sympathetic, pending details. There's lots of bad shit hidden in supplement and convenience store energy drinks. And what was the positive test finally for? It was for Efaproxiral.

That's not weed, motherfucker. It's a fucking cancer drug. That shit doesn't contaminate your Rock Star, your whey protein, or your sushi. Efaproxiral has apparently been around the doping circles for a while, and is also known as RSR13. While the Wikipedia article says it hasn't been proven to enhance performance in humans, PubMed has a little article outline describing detection methods saying it has been proven to raise VO2. There's a reason they give that shit to cancer patients: those folks are usually anemic, damaged by disease and heavy-handed treatment, and need a boost just to function.

So I got beaten by a real, solid doper. The for-real, needles-in-the-ass kind. Cheater, thief, and for all I know stealer-of-girl-scout-cookies.

So I got 4th. 6 guys went to the line, I crossed 5th, 1rst was struck from the books, I move up a spot. Justice done? No. I got cheated, as did others, and there's no fixing it.

You can take the doper out of the results, but you can't take him out of the race.

Three of us went over the crest of Awbrey Butte together in the finale of that race, with the rest of the field good and dropped. That included the doper. I attacked the other two, and when I got brought back there were 5 guys on my wheel, not 2. The other 3 came back from being dropped, not something you usually expect. But it could happen. The doper played a role in getting them back. Take him out of the race, and it's 2 chasers. That makes a big difference, in bike racing. Take him out of the race, and it's 3 to the line, not 6. Maybe the other 2 catch me anyways, maybe they don't. Maybe the Oregon guys, Scott and myself, go 2-3 instead of 5-6. Maybe we go 1-2, or 1-3. There's no way to know, but it wouldn't be the same finish.
In my head, I know that it's impossible to play that game. You have to take the results as they are, asterix and all.

So there I stand: cheated. USA Cycling cancelled the category for next year. By the time I'm eligible for the next one up, I'll have kids. There's no second chance.

Fuck the dopers.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Boom goes the bicycle

A moment of distraction, a slight drift, a parked vehicle. Boom goes the bicycle.

Total damage: destroyed right Campagnolo Veloce shifter body,  cracked and bent right fork leg, smashed helmet, torn jacket, scuffed saddle.

Oh, and a short trip to the hospital for some x-rays, confirming no broken bones but nasty deep bruising and a shoulder that is immobile for the time being.

I'm just glad this was the winter bike, and it's January, so there's lots of time to fix it.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Portland, you need this

Leather beer can cage holding a pint of PBR. It'll match your leather ear plugs and bird tatoos as you strut your car-free stuff... except during the 152 days of rain, when you drive like everyone else.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

PDX Love/Hate

I complain a lot about moving to Portland. It's a big city and I'm a small city guy. It's not as bad as Seattle, San Francisco, or any other big west coast city, but it's still a big city. The riding is good - for a big city. Which means that compared to Eugene or Corvallis (or even Salem), it pretty much sucks. The bike commuting is decent - except that it's soaking wet in the winter and the sheer size of the city makes biking from, say, Sellwood to NW PDX just a miserable affair. You may not get run over, but you'll be riding for a good long while.

The racing culture up here is strange as well. Portland is well known for being a bike Mecca - and it really is. There are bikes everywhere. There are more bike shops than you can shake a stick at, and there are thousands of riders who kit up every weekend in their best team kit and go pile on the miles. But at the same time, there's this really weird sort of vibe to it - it's clique-ish, kind of stuck-up and a touch inauthentic.

Here's a little list of my likes/dislikes with Portland cycling:

Like: Bike friendly coffee shops. Like the Ugly Mug in Sellwood, on my way home - just lean the bike against the window and go inside. Or Marsee Baking, where I have wheeled my cross bike inside while getting a bagel and coffee.

Dislike: Coffee shop rides all winter. OK, one or two are nice, but you won't find fitness at 15mph all winter while talking about racing. I miss the CSC rides in Eugene - hard endurance and race up the hills if you want to. So I go ride above conversation pace alone.

Like: Plenty of other people to ride with.

Dislike: No real open group rides, like CSC. It's all just team rides, emails every week coordinating events, negotiating pace, etc. In Eugene, it's just a matter of deciding if I'm going to the 8:30 Sat/Sun CSC ride or not, and seeing who shows up. No BS. Anyone who wants to ride hard can, and anyone who wants to sit in can. All are welcome. That doesn't exist in PDX, and they are slower for it.

Like: Races are closer.

Dislike: Portlanders still don't like to travel. Dorks. OBRA Championships had less than 30 guys this year.

Like: I always get a team to show up at PIR. Biggest OBRA race I ever did: PIR, with 120 guys. Wait... considering the above, that's kind of lame.

Dislike: PIR. Seriously, people, get over it. Y'all take some stupid risks considering it's the second-widest race course in the US (20 man pile-ups on a Tuesday night? Really?). You guys also treat it like a championship race, which it isn't. There's some serious negative racing out there. It's a Tuesday. It's for training. Ride your balls off, people. It'll make you faster for when you go race out of the city limits... oh wait, you don't.

Like: Saltzman road gravel climb.

Dislike: Everyone's obsession with gravel, Flanders, and talking about how Belgian it is to ride in the rain. No, it's not. It's Portland. And Belgians don't have bird tatoos on their necks, so get over it and go ride somewhere you won't find yourself changing a flat in 38F rain. You're not Belgium, Portland.

Like: Skyline road. The easiest way to get into "real" riding (i.e. not braking for lights ever minute)

Dislike: Skyline road. It's the easiest way out of town but I seem to ride it so damn much that it gets old. I want five more Skylines, going out in multiple directions.

Like: Springwater Corridor. OK, so I live right off of the corridor, but this is a pretty sweet trail that takes you straight out of town or along the water north and south. It's a relatively quick way out - except of course that it's like 12 miles until you are out of the city, and even then there's traffic.

Dislike: Sellwood Bridge. Just google it, along with the word "collapse". Bloody stupid, and you have to ride on the narrow sidewalk or dodge traffic.

Like: My team. Good guys. Funny. Race hard. No excuses.

Dislike: Rapha. Not the team, the company and everything it stands for. It's like W+K decided to design a bike company. Get. Over. Yourselves. Black shorts and pink stripes never made anyone faster. And stop talking about coffee like you have a fetish - we all like the juice, etc etc, go ride your bike.

Like: JVA, aka "Jen Voigt's Army", and more specifically this: since it's the anti-Rapha. This is awesome.

That'll do it for now. I've got to kit up and strap some lights on for the half-hour-plus commute home. Because Portland is awesome like that. But it at least gives me some time to consider how I'm going to crush all fools at PIR next season. Maybe I'll tell the wife that the commute was "epic" and "Belgian" before chugging some beers and drifting off into sleep, dreaming of birds who make fair-trade espresso.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Sigh. For as wet as Western Oregon is, I had it better in Eugene. Looks like a short window of opportunity is coming up - commute time.