24 July 2014

Things and stuff...

So Tuesday night was interesting.
Lots of people lacking in group ride skills, getting talked to like a small, dull child on how to execute the ride...by a guy who doesn't even do the whole ride, and riding with legs that were little more than hollow meat sticks.
Yeah...good times...
At least I didn't have a flat.
Can't be there tonight, as the Boss made plans for me.
Make sure you guys have your ride buddy...

So there's another new thing coming down the pike.  Little wheel bikes.  I'm conflicted. Do I loathe these things, or do I want one?

 This one, I sort of want. It would be a ripping townie bike...
 And a Ti IF with Campy stuff and HED wheels.  I'm really torn...
 Pippo is taking the flouro thing next level.
Jack Bauer showing how to begin an endo if you so much as run over a squirrel turd. Can't WAIT until this starts showing up on group rides.

BikeRadar has actually had some good stuff during the Tour this year...

Weird Tech





And it seems racism has reared it's ugly head in the peloton after Albasini allegedly hurled an insult @ Kevin Reza from Europcar.
Doubtful that Reza would make this stuff up, and the Italians aren't exactly known for their tolerance in other sporting arenas.
Let's be clear. There's no place for this crap.  Albasini should be tossed, regardless of his denials and apologies.
He, and his team, both readily admit that Albasini said something to Reza, but deny that it was the racial epithet Reza claims. The apology stunk of the usual "but I have black friends" stuff.
Reza took the high road, and came out looking even more #pro. I like that guy. He has a nose for the front, and you'll see him near the front on the Champs. He finished 7th there last year BTW....

OK...time to watch the Tour. They're descending the Tourmalet...headed for Hautacam...
Makes my legs and back hurt thinking about it...

21 July 2014

Not words...

 The Alps are so unattractive...
I'm all for women riding and racing, but cry me a river. I guess the argument here is that a 24 year old 10-day women's race should have equal prize money as the biggest race on the planet. Yeah, the women should make more money, no one argues that point, but the comparison here is apples to fungo bats.

Col d'Izoard descent. Not for the weak-willed...


Demare had to go...


Road.cc runs a pretty tight ship.  Here's a link to all of their "Tour Tech" articles...

2014 Megavalanche. File under "Shit I'm never going to do..."
2014 Megavalanche - Alpe d'Huez - GoPro full run with Thibaut Ruffin from riding addiction on Vimeo.

Kaia seems to know this trail...
Bryan and Kaia from Foxwood Films on Vimeo.

And to finish...
 There are none more green...
 It was calling to me...
And from Sunday...the wounded soldier...

And not to bring anyone down, but James Garner died over the weekend. Many of my formative years were spent enjoying his impressive body of work.  He was 86. 
And BTW, the stunt driving? Yeah, that was really him...


J-Turn for the win...

Now go watch The Great Escape and Grand Prix!!!


20 July 2014

words....

The new loop for the Tuesday/Thursday ride is pretty damn good. Two issues though.
People rushing the front when the pace slackens, only to be in the way when the pace picks back up. DON'T DO THAT SHIT!! 
It's dangerous for everyone, and it's limited to just TWO people doing it at this point. I can say, with a degree of certainty, that if this stupidity takes me down, expect two things.
1) A beating
2) Writing a check to replace my broken shit.

The Saturday plan was to leave "downtown" and go meet the Lexington crew for a Lake loop.  0500 wake ups suck, period. It's dark. No one looks outside, so when the time came to load up, and make the rounds to pick up Il Prof and TVH, the moisture falling from the sky was noticed.
A quick peak at the radar, and it was decided to bail, and go back to bed.
Up @ 0900...that was nice...and a quick call to TVH.  He was headed out to ride. I told him I'd meet him wherever, so he called Il Prof, and the mad scramble was on.
Roughly 15 minutes passed between phone call, and bailing out of the house.
The three of us met, and knocked down 45 miles with little drama, on what turned out to be a nice morning.
I returned to an empty house, ate a little bit, and went back to sleep.
Saturday was a good day...

Which brings us to today.
I don't know what was going on, but I think the Gods of Cycling wanted me to stay home, and told me so throughout the ride.
Rolled out of the driveway...rode a block...rear flat.
Ran home and changed it with a tube that I truly did question when I installed it, but it was all I had, so in the tire it went.
Already late. Made a call to tell the group as much...
Hauled ASS to the spot, only to get caught by a train.  F*CK! Made the turn to go around Train #1, only to get caught by Train #2.  Come on guys...
Finally met the group after Train #2 let me go by...
Made it out of town, and started the "ride" portion of the ride, only for the aforementioned suspect tube to let go.  Flat #2 of the morning.
Quick change, and gone. 
The next 2.5 hours were uneventful. Hell, we even missed one of the fastest Strava sections by FOUR seconds!  Dammit...
Rolled back into town, came to a red light and KAPOW! Complete blowout of Tube #2, and destruction of a Vittoria Open Corsa CX. Flat #3, and time to walk...
Fortunately, JMR big ringed it to his truck and came back to get me. Big thanks my friend!
SO let's count : 2 trains, 3 flats, one dead high $ tire, 55 miles, and overall, a damn good time.
Whatever bad cycling Karma I had following me should have been taken care of by that ride alone.
To be sure, I will say a little prayer to Coppi, Anqetil, Pantani, et al. before I hit the sheets.

Didn't watch the Tour at all this weekend.  Checked results, and went "Hmmmmm...."
Rest day #2 tomorrow, then into the Alps. It's gonna get interesting for the remaining podium spots...

10pm Sunday. Time to hit the rack...

16 July 2014

Well...that was fun?

So the SCDOT is replacing a bridge on the Tues/Thurs loop, so a "new" loop was devised. Seems it's the normal loop backwards, but with a few changes.
Last night, we decided to try to keep the group together, so everyone could see the new loop firsthand.
Yeah, that shit lasted until South Congaree...and the two bobos on the ride decided to work together, and create a split.  No, it wasn't a split by the normal definition. It was a split created by a complete lack of handling skills, spatial awareness, and regard for others.
One moron followed the other, and swept dead left, through the middle of the group. I grabbed a handful of brake to keep from getting chopped, thus slowing down the back half of the bunch, and the gap was there.
I had decided that I wasn't going to ride hard, as Monday was a chiro/physio day, but the show of stupidity irritated me to the point that I got on the front, set a pace that those who were affected could manage, and started to reel in the split.
If not for the Camry that tried to kill us, the group would have come together.
As it happened, once on the backside of Glenn, the passengers on the front bunch exploded, and were caught anyway, and the group came back together at the bottom.
Once all together, the rest of the ride was quite nice. The pace was high enough that the aforementioned bobos couldn't even venture near the front, thus everyone was safe for the remainder of the trip home.
The "new" backwards loop seems harder, yet the speeds seem higher.  Who knows?  Don't ask me, I just work here...

 Katusha's aero Canyon is not unattractive...
 And Griepel's retro Noah... #woof
 Yet another photo that proves Jered Gruber is a pretty damn brilliant photographer.
The Tour route...as a London Underground map.  Wouldn't mind having this to frame and hang...
Speaking of Le Tour, after many a crash, Andrew Talansky fell off the pace today, obviously injured.  The extent of the injury isn't known yet, but dude was clearly suffering.  He got off at one point, and had a long conversation with Robbie Hunter, himself once a hardman of the Eurodog persuasion.
After this conversation, AT climbed back on his bike, eyes full of tears, and battled like a fucking Spartan...alone...for the next hour...followed only by his team car, and the voiture balai.
Fans along the road waited, and cheered just as hard as they would have if he'd been off the front.
Fans at the finish stayed, and banged on the boards as if the stage was coming to a bunch gallop for the win.
The time cut was 37 minutes and change.  He made it with just a couple of minutes to spare. 
His nickname is 'The Pitbull". I don't know how well that fits, but I do know that Talansky is is hard as they come.  As we used to say, that guy is "nails"...
Mad respect.




14 July 2014

Holy sh*t...

So yeah...the Tour went all sorts of sideways today. 
The race was blown apart from jump.  Groups everywhere.  Rain.  Horror movie fog...and this...
So Contador was trying to make up time today...on a rain soaked decent...and came to a bit of grief.  It seems El Pistolero shellaced a hole at 70+kmh, and his Tarmac just sort of...well, exploded.
Bert went OTB, and hit the ground at speeds high enough to tear flesh from bone...and unfortunately, that's what happened. 
Contador remounted, and attempted to fight on, but had to abandon 10km later.  Shortly thereafter, news broke that he'd broken his tibia in the crash.  Not a big fan of old Bertie, but that's a tough sonabitch!
Now, let's examine...
Which makes/made more sense?  Making the effort on Stage 5, and NOT losing the 3 minutes on the cobbles, or risking everything on a rainy decent @ 75kmh?
Look, I'm no DS, and I'm rarely accused of being smart, but my innate horse sense tells me that going harder on the cobbles was the plan of action.  Just sayin'...

And after Gallopin grabbed yellow yesterday, Ridley worked all night, and hand delivered this to Lotto Belisol's mechanics @ 0430 this morning. 

He lost yellow today, but DAMN did that frame turn out right!!

OK...enough Tour...I won't post any more spoilers....

Big bike fun this weekend. 
Easy CX ride on Saturday to get the legs going around.  2 hours.  Nothing but looking at the sights. 
 Most of the Powerstation is in the canopy these days...
Riding into the tunnel...
I got back to Service Course to meet my family, all in their swimwear.  Seems they were headed to the pool w/o me.  Thanks guys.  Love you too.
I got on the ladder, scraped paint, and caulked all of the new moulding on the house.  Big fun.  GD ladder makes my feet hurt.

Sunday met the group with a BEAUTIFUL morning. And we had a big, jovial group.  Instead of Lex/Cal, we decided to roll into Lower Richland.

As you can see, it was terrible.
We introduced a few in the group to some roads they've never seen, which is always cool.
And the colors out in the country were pretty brilliant...
We cut across the country, and rolled back into town with a tick over 70 miles.  Not a bad way to spend a Sunday morning. 
You should have been there. 
Big fun was had by all. It was more than likely the best Sunday ride we've had in a long while. 

My Ridley is a mess...and I'm going to get cracked and stretched shortly.
 Hope everyone's Monday is going swimmingly...






11 July 2014

More like it...

After Tuesday's debacle, last night was better.  The plan was to do ZERO work, nor make any sort of effort.  I stuck to plan.
Nice ride.  It wasn't terribly hot, but the humidity was somewhere near Amazonian levels.  Welcome to Summer...
And I know I've said it before, but the Williams WS28 wheels just ride so well.  I switched back after 10 days of riding the carbon wheels, and to be honest, I notice no real difference in speed.
They ARE stiffer than the carbon wheels though.  4 spokes per wheel does that for you. And they're WAY more comfy.  Wide rims and all that...

And for the money, they really can't be beaten...

Peto don't need no steenking mechanic...

Stage 5 from Cyclocosm

How The Race Was Won - Tour de France 2014 - Stage 5 from Cosmo Catalano on Vimeo.

My friend Hunter's Mercian. #Proper

Stage is winding down...time to watch...





10 July 2014

A quick recap...

I LOATHE the word "epic", as it's over-used.  Every ride in the rain isn't "epic".

Yesterday's stage?  Yeah...it was pretty fucking epic. 

Rain...mud...cobbles...and more whinging than should really be allowed...


Conditions were poor.  Sep ain't care...

Fabi ain't care...
Contador cared...and lost 2:30 to Nibali...who just ain't care...
Nibali went all Merckx yesterday, and kicked everyone's ass. 

And let's not forget who won the stage...

A former CX World Champion won a stage over the cobbles?  A hardman of the North?  You don't say...

Which bring us to our larger point...
A Grand Tour winner, especially at Le Tour, should be an all-around rider.  The Tour covers FRANCE, not just the flat TT roads, nor the climbs.  There are cobbles in France.  There should be cobbles in the Tour.
Nibali channeled his inner Merckx yesterday.  He sucked up the conditions, stayed at the front, and put time into ALL of his competition. 
The rest of the GC guys?  Not so much.  Contador even had the balls to say that staying upright was his main objective.  He's now almost 3 minutes down.  Good luck with that Bert.
The best was the absolute whinging by Tejay.  He sounded like a 7th grade girl who's friends left her at the dance.  It was embarrassing, and I...among others, lost a lot of respect for him yesterday.
He blamed the cobbles for his crash...even though he crashed BEFORE the group reached them,  He also blamed tire pressures...?  What?  Lower pressures HELP in the wet you muppet!
Here's an idea...
Instead of hiding in Mallorca in the Spring, riding in the sunshine, take your whingey ass to Northern France, and maybe learn a little bit...and get some HARD. 
Not all bike races are run in the 75 degree sunshine.
Or, and here's a random thought,get a CX bike.  Ride it off road.  Learn how the bike moves.  Shocking, I know...
What Would Merckx Do?

Speaking of embarrassing...Froome really needs some fucking training wheels...
And he was the ONLY rider who quit yesterday. Brailsford is probably punching himself in the nuts for not bringing Wiggins to the Tour...

And another rainy, crosswind day today...
Crashes have already happened, and the splits are all over the place.
You know, like every year...