Thursday, January 25, 2007


Screw Pro Cycling. For reasons why, just read any cycling publication. I still love the racing tho, and I'll be glued to the screen for Roubaix and the Tour, but screw that whole organization. Following the amateur scene just seems so much more honest to me today.

That being said, I'm stoked for the new season. Totally pumped. That'll last until I get shelled the first time, but hey, right now it feels good. I put up some new 20' numbers last week, 368W going up Fox Hollow. Given that last year I was at about 330-340, and my 5' at 400-410, this is pretty huge for me. I'm really hoping the 5' and 2' power will get up there as well, and maybe I'll actually be able to climb for once. I'll never be a true mountain goat but maybe there is hope for a plywood podium somewhere in OR this year after all.

If it comes to a sprint I'm still totally screwed. I can't break 1000W to save my life. Most couch potatoes can at least do that. There is but one hope: the suicide breakaway. My trademark race move. Get off the front somewhere about 60-90min from the finish and TT to the line.

This season is going to hurt.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Dessel wins tour

Or something like that. Now they're trying to say Peireiro was all doped up, too. You know, I'm sue Kloeden was on andro (way too strong), Sastre was on the EPO (climbed like a banshee at the end of stage 17, chasing "testosterone Flyod"), Evans was on HGH (did you see his recovery to win Romandie? Puh-lease), and of course Menchov was on something (trust a Russian to race clean? Don't you remember the 80's? Yeah, thought so).

So, Cyril Dessel really won the tour. A true French champion. And he was denied glory in Paris by all those doped up foreigners. You know what? The Tour should be an all French affair. I mean, those are the only clean riders out there, so if you just discounted all the dopers from the peloton, the whole GC would be all French anyways, so why not cut to the chase.

Pro cycling is in shambles. Riders accused get banned from races regardless of guilt or innocence, yet the for-profit companies running cycling (UCI, ASO, Unipublic, Pro Teams and Sponsors, etc) have zero reason to actually encourage riders to be clean - they just don't want them to get caught. It's not sport, it's ad revenue. So they don't even care to shorten stages because it would be less of a show. Teams and sponsors want their paid riders to race as much as possible - and to win as much as possible. No wins, no logo display, no money, no team. For races - no amazing feats, no drama, no fans, no money, no races.

Riders need a union. That's the only way this is going to get fixed. A real union. Where the riders can sit down and refuse to ride until there's a real agreement - only so many races required per rider per year, accountability at WADA and the UCI, clear rules and agreements to outcome of doping tests if they aren't followed, agreements to punishments for riders who dope, agreements on the maximum length of a stage, stage race, road race, etc, etc, etc. And there needs to be legal protection for riders if they do walk out and refuse to ride. The threat of a strike is a very powerful force. Right now, Cycling is where Labor was in about1870. Now, after all those struggles, we have a 40hr workweek, overtime pay, and weekends.


I was going to write about some local riding now that its sunny and not freezing, but I'm out of gas.

Quick Link Dump:

Help, I'm Surrounded by Jerks (how appropriate)
I wish Art would have written about pro cycling, how sad.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Spin Time.

I hate trainers. My new year's resolution was to ride the damn thing as little as possible, going outside whenever humanly possible, even in the cruddiest of weather. That idea, however, completely disregarded the possibility of ice. There is just nothing to be done these days but to turn on HBO and set up the torture machine and try and forget what I'm doing. 'Cause I'm not this guy. And I'm just not that nuts. If fitness suffers a little bit at the expense of maintaining sanity, well, that's OK with me. Hopefully it'll go back to raining soon.

Speaking of pain. Can coffee reduce workout pain? How bitchin' would that be? I wonder how many cups I'd have to hit before riding the training to not notice the total suckiness of the whole affair?

I don't think there's enough coffee in the house to offset the torture of riding a damn trainer on a damn sunday, when I should be frolicking outside for 3 or 4 hours or however damn long I feel like it. Winter sucks.

Maybe I'll keep building the cross bike, watching the news, surfing the net, and finding reasons to avoid working out. I'll call it a mental health day.

Problem is, it might turn into a mental health week, according to the weather forecast... .

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Yeah baby, yeah. Tho it's greener than the picture makes it look, its not a washed out color at all.
Of course, since it's not built, I can't ride it. Today would have been a great day for it, after a few days of high 40's and dry, sunny rides, it's 34 and snowing heavily. Wet crap. Which is why I hereby declare January to be the month of the Fixed Gear. Full fenders and heavy duty tires. I haven't ridden yet today and as I watch the wet junk come down, I can't believe I have to ride in this crap. It's just not right. What happened to "at least it's not snowing"? Hell, I wore a short sleeved jersey on Monday! With armwarmers, sure.
Well, I was thinking about how it was going to suck to ride in the snow. And screwing around on the net, I read the latest Pez and now I feel like an ass. So out I go, weather be damned.

Friday, January 5, 2007

4 flights, 7 boarding passes, 5 airplanes.

The trip from hell is over.

My first flight was calm. We even got in almost on time. Then, Air France sat on the tarmac fixing a mechanical for an hour in Paris, then didnt make up any of the time over the Atlantic (an 8hr flight) so I missed my connection in Newark and got to spend the night there. Someone also kindly cut a big hole in the side of the bike box I was bringing back (dad gave me his xc full squish specialized... nice). Customs lent me some tape to close it back up. If there is anything missing or if the frame is damaged, I don't know. I would have had to open the whole thing on the spot to make a claim. The next morning, Delta kindly refused to check my box back into the system until I ponied up $100 for oversize baggage. Never mind that if my plane hadnt been late, seeing that it was already checked through to Eugene from Geneva, they would have been perfectly happy to handle it for me. So they promptly took my money and landed me in Salt Lake 30 min late for a connection I had had 35min to make. Luckily, that plane was delayed too due to snow and I ran from one straight on to the other. We proceeded to sit on the ground waiting for de-icing for 2hrs, ran low on fuel in the process, so they sent us back to the gate and cancelled the flight. Pandemonium in the airport. When I finally got to customer service, I asked to just get sent to Portland since I didnt want to wait in the airport until the next day's flight to Eugene. Erin drove up to PDX, picked me up, and I was home a mere 24hrs after I was supposed to first arrive. My luggage, of course, is still in Salt Lake (I think). Or perhaps in Portland, no-one knows. Delta doesnt have a flight from PDX to EUG, and so, even tho they supposedly routed my luggage to follow me, and lost it, and told me they would deliver it to my door down here, I don't have any faith that I will ever see any of it again. Call me a cynic. It's just been one of those trips. I'm just glad I finally made it back to Oregon. And that they would get me within driving distance of my actual destination. The way things were going, even a flight to Pendleton would have been fine by me. It would sure beat a night in an airport.

I'll never fly Delta or Air France again if I can help it. The service was simply the worst I've ever experienced.

The worst part is, not only was yesterday a wash for riding, but my good bike shoes are still in Salt Lake. I was looking forward to a nice ride to loosen up and get back into the swing of things. Probably a fixed gear spin somewhere relatively mellow.

Now, courtesy of Doug-Doug-Doug:

Disturbing Picuture of the Day #1

titled, Bettini's Wood

Disturbing Picture of the Day #2

titled, Boonen's Revenge

Monday, January 1, 2007


Some people really know how to celebrate. I love the French.

Me, I planned on celebrating with a little spin around the French countryside, maybe try and find someplace open on new year's day for bread or coffee or some such, an adventure which, given the propensity for closing at every possible opportunity or whif of a holiday around here, meant I might have easily been looking at a new year's day century ride instead of a nice easy 20k spin. The weather gods had other ideas. It's still warm, around 48F (20degrees higher than just a few days ago), just pissing down rain. Oh well. Maybe a new year's drive to a coffee shop is more in order. Or maybe a new year's saunter into the kitchen to make espresso. Followed by a new year's nap and a new year's movie marathon. It's January at last - the base miles will still be ok if left alone for a few days, right? Right?

January. My favorite month (almost). The miles and hours counts start from zero, the new racing license comes in, and I start feeling competitive again. For once this year the scale is on my side as well, last year, tho I ended up light and pretty fit, started off well on the heavy side. I'm 4lbs lighter now than the Cherry Pie last year - hopefully this is a good sign. Hopefully I can get my ass in gear and not waste time during racing season trying to get to a fighting weight.

I suppose that that means the two croissants I had this morning were a bad idea. I guess I'm going for that new year's ride after all.