Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Monday, October 4, 2010
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Outside, it’s damp, wet and windy. A reminder of what lies ahead. The cicadas were wrong, we did not have a freeze in Sept. Hopefully the wooly worms are right. Their stripes are indicating a mild to average winter.
Last time on the trainer was Feb 28. Seven months off the trainer is not so bad. Weather today is forcing me to the basement. Oh well..
Friday, September 24, 2010
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Friday, September 10, 2010
Thursday, September 9, 2010
After a crappy start of the year, and a brutal February, we got a thaw late in the month of Feb. In fact, I haven't been on the trainer since Feb 24. Nothing but road miles since then. And thirty pounds lighter.
Now come the time to pull out the winter riding gear. This morning's ride was the coolest I've seen since May as it was 48 degree when I rolled out. But it was a beautiful day, with really deep blue skies!
Last year, after having been unemployed all summer, I was totally burnt out. This year is different. I'm feeling more motivated and more energized than I was two months ago. With the cooler weather coming up, I've got to make sure I keep it up. I've worked too hard to get where I am now
Monday, August 30, 2010
…..but I wasn’t ready for the return of the heat!
Guess I better not complain. It’s not going to be long before I will be complaining about the cold, and will be digging around the basement in pursuit of my cold weather riding gear.
I have extra motivation this year. I’m down to 160, I’ve worked hard to get there. I’ve got to stay there.
Year to date
Sunday, August 29, 2010
It truly was an amazing weekend.
Those Hocking Hills are tough, and I thought they would never end on the way back to Columbus! But it was worth every pedal stroke, as was the over 5000 miles I have pedaled this year getting ready for this event. The suffering I experience pales in comparison to suffering experienced by cancer victims and their families. And the signs posted along Sterner road served as a reminder as I battled that hill.
I've been riding over 20 year, recreationally and competitively, so it was easy to think about "my ride" and overlook the real purpose. I was able to catch up with old friends. I made many new friends. I enjoyed riding through the beautiful Hocking Hills (much easier to say that today, even though it still feels like my legs are somewhere on a road in Hocking County). Good times!
But, we all had a story and a reason to be riding. And we shared those reasons with each other. Most were gut wrenching and I found myself teary eye on many occasions. I rode along side a lady from out of state who lost her mother at the James last year during the Pelotonia weekend. She came back to ride the 180 miles. One of many stories.
The crowds along the road served as a reminder of our mission. The true reality and the reason hits hard when someone offers to shake your hand and say “Thank you for riding. I am a survivor” or Thank you for riding, I lost my mother to cancer”.
Total rider count was 4047, and it is estimated that over $8 million will be raised.
Unfortunately there was a tragic death on Saturday. Please keep the family of Michelle Kazlausky in your thoughts and prayers.
I also found out the a very close friend and training partner lost his battle to malanoma on Tuesday night. I talked to him on Saturday after my ride, and told him that I would call him on Sunday. Sorry to say, I didn't. Made for a very tough week.
At the start. I’m in the bright pink jersey that cant be missed. Limited Brands..than you! This was during the national anthem. See how many have their helmets off? Sorry, that’s disrespectful. There was actually a twit in front of me that was on his Iphone, and continued to yack during the rollout. GOTFP!!!!!!
I’ve lived in Ohio for 10 years and have been to the Hocking Hills only once. Beautiful country! Killer Hills!
Here is the link for the combined two day ride.
I arrived at registration at about 2:30 PM. Check in was not a problem for me. I’m glad I got there when I did, I heard there was some really long delays later in the day
Got checked in, had a few Muscle Milks, and a few Amstel Lights. The weather was great. It was a great day!
We met at 5:30 for a group picture of the Limited Brands Peloton.
Group pic was done, went to Level to have dinner with David and a friend.
I had intentions of getting a good nights rest, but that didn’t work out. I was too excited! I finally got to sleep about 2:00 AM. I was up at 4:30 to make sure I got the start in time to get a good start position as close to the front as possible. Over 4000 riders were going to be riding so I wanted to be poised for a prime spot.
SATURDAY- Columbus to Athens- 104 miles
Got to the start at 5:30, and was able to get near the front for a great starting position
A word about the jersey. We definitely stood out. And there were lots of comments made. Primarily positive. My only objection was the sizing. Mine fit like a toe sack.. I’m a medium but needed a small. Regardless of the design, considering what Limited Brands did for us, if they wanted me to wear a pushup bra and lace panties, I would have done so. THANK YOU LIMITED BRANDS!!!!
Wheels rolled at 7AM-
I felt great from the start, and was glad to get out on the road as fast as I did. I started to push it hard to stay with the lead group but by the the we got to Neal Ave I decided it was a stupid move on my part. I still had 100 miles to go!
I did catch on with a good group who maintained a steady 18-20 pace thru town and all the way to the first rest stop. They made the stop, I felt good and kept rolling. From that point most of my riding all the way to Athens was all solo.
The weather that day really wasn’t that bad. Mostly cloudy, in the 70’s. The forecast called for partly cloudy skies, with afternoon storms in Athens. When I left the house, the radar did show storms on the Indiana/Ohio that needed watching. From my sight, looking to the east and south, I didn’t see any problems with weather. Good thing I never looked over my shoulder!
I got to the Amanda (40 miles) feeling good, but I needed a stop to top of my water bottles and grab a quick bite. The next stop was at the bottom of Starner Hill, and I didn't want to stop and then go into an immediate climb.
Once leaving Amanda, we get into the hills, which was a brief sign of thing to come..Starner Hill!
Starner Hill…Part 1
Heard about it, was hoping what I heard was exaggerated. But it wasn’t! Got to the bottom of the hill (pic above) and thought “I didn’t train for this” And the climb wasn’t made an easier my chip seal two weeks ago.
First part of the climb was not that bad. The road leveled off for a bit, then came part two. It was tougher, and longer. Almost didn't make it. Finally, it leveled off for a bit longer, then you could see Part 3 ahead. It didn’t look that bad, until you started the climb. Once committed there was no stopping.
I have to admit, this was the first time during the ride that I got emotional. People had come out, posted signs along side the road “I”m suffering so you don’t have to” and others to the effect. While I was catching my breath, I said to myself “I’ve got to do this..no walking allowed”
Shortly after we got past the hill, there was an unofficial rest stop set up by a local family. Cold water, bananas, homemade treats! Topped off my water bottles. Just what I needed. From that rest stop it was 48 miles to Athens! Don’t know who you were….but you guys rocked!
Got to Logan and rode on past the rest stop. Logan was a mess. One traffic marshall, who was clueless and was making sure the big trucks with wide mirrors got to Wal-Mart. We did hear horns blowing, but it was not in support of the ride. It was more like “get out of our town”
As soon as we got out of Logan, my left leg starting cramping and I went into survival mode. I came this far, I was going to finish if it took me another five hours to do. About 20 miles out, I started getting my legs. About the same time the Nelsonville hill was in view. Wasn’t expecting that one, but I made it up really well considering the way I had felt.
From that point it was downhill and flats! I actually had my best ride of the day in the last 12 miles. I was really proud of what I was doing and the fact that I was having a better ride than I expected!
Got to Athens about 1:15 ( give or take a few minutes). Gotta say, the volunteers in Athens were great. As soon as I was off my bike..cold water, someone grabbed my bike to take it to checkin, and before I could finish my water, my bag was at my feet! I was in my dorm less than 15 minutes after arrival. Hot shower..yes! And Limited Brands left BBW Aromotherapy Orange Ginger body wash and shampoo. Thanks again LB!
By the time I got changed, and to the food tent (I mean beer tent!) the heavens opened and it poured, and poured.
Had lots to eat, hydrated, and was dead to the world by 9PM..in party town Athens, OH.
Day 1 profile:
DAY 2- Athens to Slate Run Metro Park, 80 miles
I woke up at about 4:30. Legs were screaming. I had a feeling I was going to be in for long day!
We woke up at 5:30, got our bikes, got our spot in the chute, and off to a breakfast of cold, stale bagels and peanut butter thanks to Bob Evans. They did have scrambled eggs and bacon but I thought I would pass on that.
It had rained some overnight, meaning wet roads to start. The first 12 miles were on the bike trail, so we were sent out in waves. It was a easy ride for the most part, which meant I was able to find my legs, and I was feeling great by the time I got to Nelsonville.
Once again, we had to deal with Logan, but at least they weren’t trying to get to Wal-Mart. Still heard horns blowing, again, not in support.
Overall, I felt a lot better on Sunday. But I thought those hills would never end. It actually seemed like we had more hills on Sunday, but my Garmin said otherwise. The hills to the west of Amanda really surprised me..short and steep and they kept coming,I was really surprised at the
I did make one stop in Logan and topped off my water bottles. The next stop was in Amanda. I got there, felt good and continued on.
I had decided that Sunday would be my day to push it, I had a goal to be in by 12PM. I finished at high noon!
Day 2 route profile:
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Sorry I had to pass the 5000 mile mark quietly.
This has been one of my best training years in over 15 years. My work schedule has worked out perfect. (For now…it wont be so great in the winter). That being said, I think I really am in the best shape I’ve been in for as many years. The only difference, 15 years ago I weighed 150. I’m down 30 pounds of so from the beginning of the year, down to 160, give or take a pound or two.
Now I need to carry this motivation over into the offseason.
Less than two days away!
I’ve trained hard, I’m ready. The physical challenge will be rewarding, but the real reward will be riding for the cause. I’m not going into this ride to see how fast I can ride, but rather to savor the experience with the knowledge that I’m doing something worth while while doing something I enjoy
Pelotonia is a grassroots bike tour with one goal: to end cancer. It is a cycling experience that will take place August 20th-22nd. The ride will span two days and I will be riding 180 miles as a proud member of the Limited Brands Peloton.
The decision to participate in Pelotonia was easy. Cycling has always been a huge part of my life, and this will allow me to combine an activity that I love with a cause that is close to my heart .
This ride is my small effort to assist in the battle against cancer. I'm dedicating this effort to family, friends, children of friends, and colleagues who have faced the challenge or who are now facing the challenge that a cancer diagnosis brings. Their courage is my inspiration
We have all been touched by cancer. We have all lost family, friends, and colleagues. We all know someone who has been affected by cancer. With your support, you will help improve lives through innovations in research with the ultimate goal of winning the war against cancer. I would love to have your support. This truly is a unique opportunity to be a part of something special.
Please help me in my fundraising goal. Every donation makes a difference. 100% of every donation will fund essential research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute.
As the Midwest's first and Ohio's only freestanding cancer hospital and research institute, The James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute is one of only 40 centers in the United States designated by the National Cancer Institute as a Comprehensive Cancer Center. The James is a national leader in creating and testing new therapies based on scientific research, many of which are offered nowhere else in the world.
Last year more than $4.5 million raised by the 2,265 cyclists who participated went directly to cancer research at the James. Think of this as a donation directly to The James. Please consider supporting my effort and this great cause. Currently 4,031 riders have registered!
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Monday, June 7, 2010
Saturday’s forecast was calling for squall line to move thru the area at 8am, They were correct. This was the same system that produced the tornado that killed seven near Toledo.
The storm moved thru quickly, but behind it was still west to nw winds, 20 gusting to 30 MPH.
Start times were delayed forty five minutes. I felt really good, much better than expected considering the way I had been feeling . I got off to a really strong start. About 11 miles out, we made that right turn and hit the headwind.
My time was 1:08. Definitely would have liked a better time, but honestly, still better than I expected. Had it not been for the wind, I’m sure I could have set a PR for the course
Friday, May 21, 2010
Floyd was a cheat. No denying that, and I think the majority felt the same. Those who didn’t may have contributed to the Floyd Fairness Fun. Money wasted, they won’t get that back. Which is one of things that makes Floyd a bigger cheat. He knew he was guilty.
So what were his motives over all of the years, and why produce what could be the smoking gun now? Maybe he is looking for a book deal (which I’m sure he will get). I think it comes down to the fact that he knew he was a scapegoat, he was penalized and will not race at the top level again. In the meantime, some of the other cheats have rock star status and are heroes to countless number of people.
Not only was Floyd a cheat, but I think we can agree most of the peloton were cheat. Sorry to say. I do suspect the names mentioned were cheats, although I will continue to give some of them the benefit of the doubt hoping they are innocent (George, DZ)
I’ve always felt there was a smoking gun out there would implicate others. Is this it? Possibly. The only thing I feel that could keep this from being that smoking gun is what is Floyd’s lack of credibility. He should not have taken money from people who naively believed in him, and he should not have waited this long. And let’s not forget the fraudulent book.
I would like to see Landis provide details on who he was buying from. It would be at least one positive thing to come from this if those contacts led to more contacts and another big portion of the cycling doping syndicate could be compromised.
To my mind Floyd has made very specific allegations which Armstrong hasn’t very specifically denied.
If Lance had of walked away and let it be at the end of '05, this may have not come up. But he returned, larger than life, larger than cycling. No man is bigger than the sport. If Landis had been the first to talk, it probably would have been dismissed based on his character. But others have spoken, and others will speak..
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Floyd speaks. How much is truth, how much is lies? What is his motivation? Based on his history, can we really believe him.
Hopefully mostly lies, but I’m afraid there may be more truth to the allegations. At least he admitted it.
How many remember the Floyd Fairness Fund?
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Pelotonia is a grassroots bike tour with one goal: to end cancer. It is a cycling experience that will take place August 20th-22nd. I will be riding 180 miles to Athens, and back.
I am asking for your help in reaching my fundraising goal. Large or small, every donation makes a difference. Every dollar raised by Pelotonia and its riders goes directly to fund cancer research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute. Last year, in it's first year, Pelotonia raised over $4.5 million.
We all know someone who has been affected by cancer. By supporting Pelotonia and me, you will help improve lives through innovations in research with the ultimate goal of winning the war against cancer. I would love to have your support. This truly is a unique opportunity to be a part of something special.
When you follow the link below, you will find my personal rider profile and a simple and secure way to make any size donation you wish.
Think of this as a donation not to me, or Pelotonia, but directly to The James. Please consider supporting my effort and this great cause. Here is the link to my rider profile: http://www.pelotonia.org/ride/riders_profile.jsp?MemberID=1356
I’ve put the following events on my race calendar, provided the weather will cooperate and let me ride again.
Tour de Grandview (even though they are not having a Master’s Race)
All leading up to the Pelotonia.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Friday, March 26, 2010
The minute you buy a new bike you will find it on special somewhere else the next day.
As soon as you tell yourself you are improving some old guy on a lead bike with down tube shifters will pass you like you were standing still
The days you are feeling great your mates just want a recovery ride on beach rd
The days you are feeling crap your mates want to do 1 in 20 repeats.
You will always find a jersey or something hanging around just after the wash has finished.
You will fall flat on your face walking in cleats one day (i personally save it for out the front of the racer cafe)
You always get the email with the discount code for PBK or Wiggle just after you have hit checkout on your order
The more expensive the acessory the more chance it has of being dropped, lost or sat on the first day you get it (e.g Jawbones left on the roof of the car that were 12 hrs old)
You will put your bike on the roof of the car, you will remember not to go in or out of the garage, but you will get to where you are going and then visualise the front wheel you have left sitting in the garage
You will drive into your garage with your bike on your roofrack at some stage in your life. Guaranteed.
When you go into a bikeshop with intentions to buy some handlebar tape you’ll come out at least $300 poorer every time.
You will always be home from a ride 30mins later than you told your wife. ("I had a flat")
When building a bike from parts you bought over the internet there will always be a piece that doesn’t fit.
The day you have an unplanned epic wet, windy, cold ride you’ll have big social engagement that evening.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Like a good prostitute, the SLT-01 secretly laughs at my abilities but it gives me its best every time we go out, and it boosts my self esteem at the same time. Can't ask for better than that.
It was really cool taking it into the bike shop for adjustments, and being asked “ What can we do for this bad boy?”
Monday, March 15, 2010
Forty days of training, fourteen of these have been road ride. .
I have to admit, while my first ride on the BMC was amazing, the WOW factor wasnt as great as I thought it was going to be. I did see the HUGE difference that I expected.
Yesterday, the roads were sloppy so I pulled out the Fuji. From my very first pedal stroke, I realized the difference. It’s like comparing a Caddy to a Yugo! Amazing how much a difference two pounds can make. And how much better the BMC handles rough roads.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Triva...BMC, who has done a great job portraying itself as the quintessential road brand, actually started out as Bob's Mountain Company.
I've always been a bit puzzled by BMCs. I can remember the first time I saw the frame and that if was fugly!
But I've read the reviews, and in the case of this bike, the deal was what sold me. It was a deal I could not pass up. If I had I would be kicking myself for eternity.
I've only put 43 miles on the bike, so this may be a bit premature, but all I can say at this point is WOW! The more I ride it, the more I want it.
Amazing bike. Light, fast, and comfortable. Stiff and alive, and handles rough roughs great. The bike feels like it would move by itself. I may even has a sprint now! Every bit of energy applied to the pedals is transformed into forward motion. It hasnt seem much climbing, but I feel it's going to be incredible on the hills. (It’s screaming “Take me to the Hocking Hills”!) Bike is stable and predictable.
Another plus..it gets attention. This is not your Dad's bike. I'm not riding the same bike everyone else is. I’ve come to enjoy its head turning capability and emotion that stirs within me every time I see it. It’s nice being the centre of attention, even though it’s not me, but the bike!
In the past, I've always said it's the machine and not the motor. Well, I thinking differently now (maybe I'm trying to justify the money spent, but hey, it was a steal! And after all the years and miles, I think I was deserving)
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
there’s a fine line between what the snobbery of cycledom considers to be wanker and what’s considered PRO. If there’s one thing I know it’s how to look PRO. Having the look is key. If you don’t have the look, I’m not going to let you have the wheel I’m sitting on. Let us start from the bottom up outlining the basic rules of how to dress PRO.
Not PRO: Thou shall refrain from wearing mountain bike shoes unless one is racing cyclocross in Belgium. Nothing will relegate one to the back of the pack quicker than wearing a set of mtb shoes on a bunch ride.
PRO: One shall only consider wearing white shoes. However, the better one gets, the more obnoxious one’s shoes can be. If done carefully, one can disguise lack of ability and fitness with a loud set of shoes.
Not PRO: Thou shall never wear socks that are low cut, dirty, non-cycling specific, any color other than white. Socks are paramount.
PRO: High-cuff (12cm, no more no less) Capoforma socks are only to be worn. Preferably brand new every time one rides.
Photo by fyxomatosis
Not PRO: Skins or any other compression garment underneath one’s shorts are strictly forbidden. These are not meant to keep one warm and demonstrates one paid $140 for some tight pants with no understanding what they’re for.
PRO: Though shall use embrocation in place of leg warmers whenever physically possible. When not possible one’s leg warmers must match perfectly with shorts.
Not PRO: Thou shall n0t wear plain black shorts unless racing for Rapha Condor. In addition, any shorts without a bib are strongly frowned upon and demonstrate one’s noobness.
PRO: One shall wear superb quality shorts that make a statement one’s commitment the roadie image. Again, do not consider wearing anything except for bibs.
Not PRO: Yellow, Green, Pink, Pokadot, World Champ, etc are strictly forbidden for everyday use. ProTour replica jerseys are also not permitted unless one is Gerro or equivalent stature. Cutoff arms are largely disproved upon unless one is of Italian descent or has worthy deltiods. Tanlines are PRO and are a statement of one’s level of commitment to being PRO.
PRO: PRO-approved jerseys can be acquired from Campagnolo, Santini, Rapha, Capofroma or an obscure Belgian team one raced for over the summer. Under no circumstances will anything other than full zip jerseys be worn.
Not PRO: Loose fitting armwarmers or long sleeved undergarments are not PRO. This clearly demonstrates one does not appreciate proper layering techniques.
PRO: One’s armwarmers shall be a perfect match with thy jersey. Tight fit is key. If caught in a dilemma, armwarmers are better being too short than too long.
Not PRO: Thou shall not don a helmet exceeding 3 years old and below $200. Subtle differences in helmets can make them look either cheap or PRO. $200 is that threshold. Visors and magpie diverting tie-wraps are automatic exclusion from the PRO Beach Road peloton. Helmet shall be worn over forehead 2cm above eyebrow, not tilted back.
PRO: If in any doubt – WHITE. One cannot faulter with a $200+ Giro or Bell helmet. Hideous are Metz helmets. One’s cycling experience is displayed by the way one wears thy helmet. Give heed to this small detail that is paramount to the PRO look.
Not PRO: One who dons a baseball cap underneath thy helmet shall incur a hefty penalty. Proper cycling caps shall’nt be worn backwards. And unti Marco Pantani comes back from the dead, thy bandanna shall never arise.
PRO: Cap is only to be worn when armwarmers (at minimum) are called for. 35 degree weather does not warrant the use of a cap. For locally PRO-made caps checkout Rocketfuel
Not PRO: Casual-wear sunglasses or anything with a wire frame is highly unacceptable.
PRO: Oakley Jawbones and Radar are PRO. One cannot falter with any of these. Occasional models of Rudy Project are satisfactory and Giro are starting to become cool.
If you catch me violating any of these rules please pull me aside and politely tell me. As snobby road cyclists we have all signed up to a commitment and obligation to make each other look and feel PRO.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Below are the 13 most important rules to remember. Some will actually improve your riding, others will simply make you look good and the rest are just down right snobbish.
Helmets. Face it, helmets just aren’t cool. Nothing looks more pro than the tour rider cruising down the boulevard wearing nothing but a broken-in cycling cap. However, concussions and drooling out the side of your mouth are really lame, so wear your helmet. But for heaven’s sake, take it off when you walk into the coffee shop! Are you afraid of slipping and hitting your head on the counter? When worn, the helmet should be tilted as far forward on your head as possible and never at an angle. Cockeyed helmets are a sure sign of an amateur.
To look cool, take off the helmet and slip on your cycling cap the moment you arrive at your destination. To look Euro-cool, make sure to always wear your sunglasses on the outside of your helmet straps so the television cameras can see the brand logo on the ear pieces. And please, no neon colored helmets! White is the only acceptable helmet color.
Legs. We’ve all been asked a million times, why do cyclists shave their legs? Our answers range from aerodynamics to massage to wound care. But we all know the real reason. It makes us look smooth (in more way than one)! So whip out the shaving cream and the Bic and mow the lawn.
For the ultimate in cool, roll up the cuffs of your shorts for that extra 1/4 inch of tanning space. To look Euro-cool, always wear a pair of the ultra-cool Pez cycling socks. And please, no gym socks!
The Kit. Your jersey must match your shorts, which must match your arm warmers, which must match your socks. But under no circumstances should a replica pro team kit or a national/world champion kit be worn unless you’ve earned it. The only acceptable team kit is your own club kit. Retro wool kits are sometimes acceptable, but even that is iffy.
To look cool if you don’t belong to a club or a team, wear a stock Castelli or Assos kit but don’t mix and match. To be Euro-cool, wear the kit of an obscure European amateur team, but only if you have a story about how you spent the winter riding with them in Majorca to go along with it. Please, no century jerseys (I’m going to take some heat on that one), nothing with cartoon characters on it and never, under any circumstances, go jersey-less. Especially if you are wearing bibs.
* And a special note for women. As much as the guys on the group ride might like it, a jog-bra is not an acceptable substitute for a jersey. Wear the bra, but please throw a jersey on over it. It’s hot. You’re hot. But shorts and a jog-bra is just not.
iPods. I should say MP3 players, but let’s face it, an iPod is the only cool on-board music system. Of course legally, I have to recommend against wearing headphones out on the road, but since you’re going to do it anyway, here are a few guidelines. Never wear headphones on a group ride. Headphones on a group ride say two things. 1) You people are good enough to ride with, but not good enough to talk to or even listen to and 2) I’m not concerned with my own safety and I’m even less concerned with YOUR safety. There’s no faster way to become disliked by a group of cyclist than by showing up on a group ride with headphones, even if the music is off.
To look cool, remember that the smaller the headphone, the better. No 1985 walkman ear muff headphones please. Ear buds are the only acceptable iPod accessory. To look Euro-cool, make sure you are listening to an obscure independent British punk rocker or electronic group. And please, no Kraftwerk!
Clipping out. Hard to believe, but this one actually deserves its own paragraph. One of the easiest ways to determine the experience level of a cyclist is to see how early they clip out before coming to a stop. A novice rider will clip out as much as a block before a stop sign or red light. A real beginner will clip out a block before a green light, just on the off chance that it might turn red by the time they get to it.
To look cool, let the bike come to a full stop before clipping out. To look Eurocool, never clip out. Track stands are the only acceptable way to wait at a red light. And please, no basket-clips and no mountain bike shoes on the road bike! Wearing sneakers or mountain bike shoes on the road indicates that you intend to spend more time with your feet on the ground than in the pedals. You’re a cyclist, darn it, not a pedestrian!
The Friday Ride Hero. Although getting dropped on the hard Saturday group ride isn’t cool, there are actually more ways to look un-cool on the easy Friday recovery ride. The best way to look un-cool is by pushing the pace over 19 mph or by doing your intervals off the front of the ride. Friday rides are for recovery and socializing. You’re not going to impress anyone by ramping up the pace. Unfortunately, messing up the pace is just as easy to do on the hard group ride and this is where things get really complicated. Sprinting at the wrong moment, setting the wrong pace up a climb or pushing the tempo at the wrong time can draw just as much scorn as pushing the pace on a recovery ride. Get to know the etiquette of a group ride by doing it at least two or three times before even thinking about getting to the front.
To look cool, show up to the Friday ride with a cup of coffee from an independent bohemian coffee shop and sip on it throughout the ride. To look Euro-cool, skip the coffee and blueberry muffin after the ride in favor of an espresso and a croissant. And please, never order any drink that has whip cream spilling out over the top of the cup. You didn’t ride hard enough to burn off 20 grams of fat and 600 calories.
Group Ride Etiquette. Have you ever seen a pro team on a training ride? Side by side, shoulder to shoulder, quietly zipping along. Then, there is the club ride. You actually hear it before you see it. Slowing! Right Side! Stopping! Rolling! Hole! Then you see it. 25 riders spread out over an entire city block, three, sometimes four, wide. Weaving, swarming cars, running stop signs. Keep your group ride cool with the following four rules of thumb. 1) Never ride more than two abreast. 2) Never allow more than six inches distance between your front wheel to the rear wheel of the rider in front of you. 3) Maintain a distance, no more than 12 inches from your shoulder to the shoulder of the rider next to you. 4) It only takes one person to call things out. This should be the person at the front of the pack. Ideally, a little point of the hand is all it takes to indicate obstructions or turns. It shouldn’t take two dozen people yelling at the top of their lungs to make a ride run smoothly.
To look cool, keep the group tight, wheel to wheel and shoulder to shoulder. To look Euro-cool, only ride with other cyclist wearing the exact same kit. If this is not possible, make sure there are no more than three different kits in the pack and that there are at least three riders wearing each kit. And please, never swarm cars at stop lights or steer a large group of riders through a red light. It’s just not cool.
Carbon Wheels. Carbon wheels are for racing! Never under any circumstances should they be brought out on a training ride. Training wheels should be strong and heavy with lots and lots of spokes. Carbon wheels say to the group, I’m not strong enough to do this ride without my $2,000 feather weight wheels. If you have the money to tear up a carbon wheel set on the road, then you’d be better off spending it on a coach who will get you fit enough to keep up with the group ride on regular training wheels.
To be cool, ride with Bontrager flat proof tubes. They’re about four-times as heavy as regular tubes and they just about double your rolling resistance. To be Euro-cool, don’t tell anyone you’re riding with them. It’s enough to know for yourself that you can keep up with those weenies even on a 22-pound bike. And please, no deep dish carbon clinchers. Carbon wheels are race wheels and clinchers are for training. Tubulars are the only way to go on your carbons.
Ornaments and Accessories. This one is simple. No stuffed animals or figurines mounted to your handlebars no matter what it signifies to you. No mirrors on your helmet or your glasses. No reflector strips taped to your bike. No giant flashing lights (LEDs are ok).
To look cool, ride without a saddle bag. Put one small tube, a tiny pump and a tire lever in your middle back pocket. To look Euro-cool, ride without a saddle bag and with nothing in your pockets. This is cool because it means you must have a team car following you with all your supplies. And please, don’t plaster the stickers that came with your shoes or your glasses all over your bike unless your sponsorship contract with those companies specifically dictates that you must.
Cat 4 Marks. Otherwise known as a chain tattoo, this is what we called them back in the day before Category 5 existed. Nothing gives away a rookie faster than a black streak of grease on their calf. The experienced rider can actually get through an entire ride without rubbing up and down on their dirty chain.
To look cool, CLEAN YOUR CHAIN! To look Euro-cool, take your chain off once a week and soak it in degreaser along with the bearings from your bottom bracket and your headset (you old timers know what I’m talking about). And please, it’s one thing to get grease on your leg. It’s another thing to get it on your hands, your jersey, your face!
Shorts. MEN: there are many rules regarding shorts. First of all, they don’t exist. Forget about them. The only acceptable garments to wear are bibs, no exceptions. But please, throw out your bibs when they start to wear out. Enough anatomy is revealed by the skin tight Lycra, we don’t need to see a transparent butt panel. And this may seem obvious, but the jersey goes over the bibs!
To look cool, wear bibs, enough said. To look Euro cool, wear bib knickers or even bib tights. And please, don’t wear underwear under your shorts!
How to Dress for Weather. If the temperature is below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, you must wear knees or better yet, full leg warmers. If you go out of the house in 50 degree weather with bare legs, it doesn’t mean you’re tough, it just means you’re an idiot. In the summer, no matter how hot it gets, you must never wear a sleeveless jersey. Tan lines are the proud mark of a real cyclist. If you must get some additional ventilation, cut a vertical line along the inside seam of your sleeve with a pair of scissors. Not only will this help you stay cool, but it says, “my sponsors give me so many jerseys, I don’t mind wrecking one.”
To look cool, if you need to keep the sweat out of your eyes, wear a cycling cap, not a sweat band or a bandana. To look Euro-cool, just don’t sweat. And please, no arm warmers with a sleeveless jersey!
When to Dress. Believe it or not there are a whole bunch of rules regarding when to get dressed for a race or a ride. In general, the less time you spend in your chamois, the cooler. If you are riding to the start, you should get dressed just before you leave the house. Don’t eat breakfast or walk the dog in the morning in your full kit! The neighbours think you’re goofy enough for cycling as it is! If you are driving to the start and it is less than a 45 minute trip, it is ok to wear your bibs under a pair of regular shorts, but not your jersey or your gloves and especially not your helmet. Also, make sure the suspenders on your bibs are hanging down, (preferably on the outside of your street shorts) and not over your shoulders. If it is longer than a 45 minute drive to the start, you must bring all your cycling gear in a cycling specific duffle bag such as a Specialized or Rudy Project bag. Brown paper bags or shopping bags are never acceptable.
To look cool, wrap a towel around your waist when you change. Changing skirts are practical, but not very cool. To look Euro-cool, make sure it’s a white, thread bare towel taken from the cheap motel room that you and five teammates crammed into at your last stage race. And please, no bare butts in the parking lot. Once again, we see enough through the skin tight Lycra.
Once last time, if you can’t ride good, you might as well look good. And please remember, I don’t write these rules, I only live by them.
Sunday, February 28, 2010
On it’s way!
Pulled the trigger and ordered this baby yesterday.
I hesitated. But this was WAY too good of a deal to pass up thanks to Competitive Cycling, I didn’t know when it would end…and I knew that if I let it pass me by , I would forever kick my butt.
A sub 17 pound bike. Carbon frame. Sram. Sweet!
I’ve always tried to tell myself it’s not the machine, it’s the motor. As a budget cyclist, I’ve always tried to tell myself that. Now I can tell myself otherwise!
I’m still a budget cyclists, but I was able to find a dream machine in my budget,
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
This has made it’s round on the internet, but with Classics beginning soon, it’s worth another visit
***** -THE OFFICIAL EURO CYCLIST CODE OF CONDUCT- *****
Created by Dom Guiver and Mike Flavell
1. Image and style shall be the primary concerns of the Euro Cyclist. When suffering, one must focus first on maintaining a cool, even composure and second on performance. Winning races is an added talent, and only counts if said Euro Cyclist wins with appropriate style.
2. Training shall be based solely on feel, while racing shall be guided by sensations and instinct: that is to say, “soul.” The Euro Cyclist will never accept tried or tested scientific training methods.
3. The Euro Cyclist shall NEVER, under any circumstances, wear plain black spandex bibs (shorts, regardless of colour are BANNED) or ANY team kit
containing non-prominent logos. Shorts will extend approximately 2/3rds of the way down the upper leg and will contain a compression band at the bottom (distinct in colour). In NO CONDITION shall they extend any further!
4. Legs shall be SHAVED year-round. ABSOLUTELY NO EXCEPTIONS. Certain hair removal creams are endorsed only on a case-by-case basis. One shall never show up to a race (be it large or small) with ANY amount of stubble visible on one’s legs.
5. A prominent line where one’s kit ends and where one’s deep tan begins is essential to one's image. Artificial tanning is BANNED. The tan shall reflect the level of training commitment.
6. The socks of the Euro Cyclist shall extend to within two (2) cm. of the main bulge of the calf muscle, and shall never extend further than one (1) cm. past said primary calf muscle bulge. All socks SHALL BE WHITE in colour with prominent logo placement.
7. Cycling shoes shall contain at least 80% white!
The following exceptions apply:
i) Colour combinations such as world cup stripes or Olympic gold for which the title has been EARNED.
ii) Shoes which are custom-made for specific riders by companies endorsed by this group. These shoes shall be accessible to the particular cyclist only, and shall follow the preceding rules.
8. If white cycling shoes are not available where the Euro Cyclist resides, white booties (or “shoe covers”) with prominent logos shall ALWAYS be worn. When booties are worn, socks shall protrude approximately seven (7) cm. above the ankle, and shall always protrude at a minimum one (1) cm. from any booties worn.
9. One’s bike frame shall contain between two (2) and four (4) colours IN ADDITION TO WHITE. All colours are acceptable as long as they combine tastefully and elegantly. In addition, wheel selection must also match frame and fork. [<<<sounds like the fixter code to me ]
10. One shall race only on Campagnolo Boras or Lightweights. Fulcrum Racing One, Corima Aero+ or Zipp (404 or 202) wheelsets are considered stylish enough to be used as training wheels ONLY. Irregardless, ceramic bearings shall be used at ALL TIMES on both training and race bikes.
11. ALL wheels shall be equipped with tubulars, regardless of one’s ability in gluing them.
12. Ridiculously stylish eyewear (see endorsed products list) is to be worn AT ALL TIMES without exception. Glasses are to be worn over helmet straps at all times.
13. Hair shall be kept neatly short, and matching helmet shall be worn (again with prominent logo placement). The helmet shall be predominantly white. Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES shall a clashing helmet colour be worn with one’s euro kit. Helmets are not to be worn when venturing indoors AT ANY TIME. It is, however, acceptable to wear one’s helmet while outdoors on a patio (see rule 34).
14. In certain RARE cases, it shall be deemed acceptable to have long hair. In this event, hair shall be neatly slicked back in a severely euro style, and helmet SHALL NOT be worn. It is IMPERATIVE that rule 12 is followed in these special instances.
15. When riding, sans helmet (with short hair), a team issue cycling cap (white in colour), shall be worn. The bill shall remain in the downward position at all times. The cycling cap may be worn forwards or backwards to coincide with the specifics of one’s current hairstyle. During spring training, cycling toques shall be worn at all times in place of caps.
16. Kits must always be freshly washed, and one shall ALWAYS have applied a subtle quantity of eau de toilette (or “cologne”). It is, AT ALL TIMES FORBIDDEN to ride in an unwashed kit. This is severely detrimental to one’s image.
17. Saddles shall be white in colour ONLY and shall be manufactured in Italy or France. Exceptions may be made in the following cases:
i) Saddles containing World Cup Stripes or Olympic Gold when it is EARNED
ii) Italian flag colour combo when rider is ITALIAN (born in Italy)
18. Handlebar tape is required to be cork as well as WHITE IN COLOUR. Bar tape shall be kept in pristine white condition. This state shall be achieved either through daily cleansing or through frequent replacement. These jobs must NEVER be performed by the cyclist as one must maintain one’s image.
19. All stems must be a minimum of 120mm long and of a rise no higher than -10 degrees. Stems shall be positioned no more than 0.5cm above the top of the headtube. ALL stems shall ALWAYS be oversized, made out of ALUMINUM, and airbrushed in kit/frame colours. In certain cases (Mario Cipollini) it is advised that one airbrush a buxom young woman onto the top of one’s stem.
20. The Euro Cyclist shall ALWAYS have liniment applied to his legs before appearing in public.
21. Facial hair shall be restricted to (at a maximum) a goatee, [hipster much?] and even this is discouraged. Moustaches, beards, and any combination thereof are EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED in all instances. Stubble is, however, advisable in virtually ALL euro-situations. It is important to note that this DOES NOT apply to the legs.
22. Campagnolo shall be THE ONLY acceptable component and it is hereby deemed superior to ANY Shimano product in ALL circumstances and situations. The Euro Cyclist is expected to have nothing less than an ENTIRE campy gruppo. Crank substitutions are NOT permitted. There is, however, a case by case exception for SRAM Red.
23. One shall NEVER, under any circumstances, acknowledge the presence of a cyclist riding a bike costing less than 2000€ in ANY public place. This may be severely detrimental to one’s image. If such a situation cannot be helped, it is CRITICAL that the Euro Cyclist regard his “acquaintance” with a patrician mixture of disdain and SEVERE condescension.[LOL]
24. One shall NEVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE, associate with triathletes. This cannot be overemphasized! It is FORBIDDEN to have any number inked onto one’s body before a race.
25. Any physical activity other than cycling is STRONGLY FROWNED UPON. This includes any form of running or swimming and their derivatives (this includes walking). The ONLY TWO other sports with a recognized degree of euro are: cross-country skiing and long track speed skating.
26. Mountain bike gloves are FORBIDDEN in all instances. Cycling gloves shall be slick, white (in accordance with kit), and have minimal padding. Padding will be beige or white in colour. Wearing NO GLOVES is entirely acceptable and encouraged. In the case of a Euro Cyclist wearing a leader’s jersey special gloves shall be made to match the colour of the jersey while simultaneously blending the colours of the team kit.
27. In a circumstance where any cyclist (or TRIATHLETE) ever displays aggression or disrespect towards a Euro Cyclist, he is required to ride up uncomfortably close to his foe and slap them in the face with his team issue gloves.
28. In the event a motorist disturbs one’s ride: one shall proceed to ride up beside the car, form a clenched fist and bang the boot of the car while doing one’s best to sound irritated in Italian. Wild arm and head gesticulations are strongly encouraged to help enhance the apparent rage. It is permitted to throw a bottle, if the perpetrator was a commissaire on a motorbike.
29. One shall NEVER rearrange one’s package while riding. Adjustments regarding seating/hanging comfort are to be done in private in order to preserve image.
30. ABSOLUTELY NO FORM of seatbag, frame pump, mud guard or mirror shall come within two (2) metres of one’s bike.
31. Gearing shall be restricted to a titanium Campy Record 11-23 cassette with a ABSOLUTE MINIMUM of 42-53 up front. One must never be seen pedaling at a cadence greater than 90 rpm in order not to detract from one’s calm/smooth factor, or “Suplesse.” The use of 25-toothed cog is acceptable for severely mountainous training situations.
32. ALL BIKES shall feature personalized nameplates next to one’s home country’s flag, located on the top-tube within ten (10) cm. of the seat-tube ON THE DRIVE SIDE ONLY.
33. Pedals MUST be either Look or Time. No other pedals are to be considered. As always, ANY form of Shimano product is STRICTLY FORBIDDEN.
34. Espresso is a NECESSITY and as such it must be consumed normale or ristretto on a patio (preferably in Italy) in full kit; All other coffee shall be brewed strong and taken BLACK. The only milk permitted may appear frothed on top (if at all). The euro cyclist shall, if possible, develop a fondness for the triple ristretto. For extra Euro, consider ordering inconvenient multiples (e.g. a triple or more). The irony of increasing the number of shots pulled while simultaneously decreasing the volume per shot will enhance the experience for all parties involved. Sugar is FROWNED UPON, and in all cases SWEETENERS ARE BANNED.
35. All podium shots (“pictures”) shall be taken while wearing one’s team kit and appropriately matching casual euro shoes (such as Pumas). Socks shall remain within the guidelines above. One is expected to display an appropriate degree of bulge while receiving kisses/trophies. The bulge may vary according to the outlandishness/impracticality of the victory prize (e.g. livestock and/or enormous cheese wheels).
36. All pre- and post-race activity SHALL be conducted under a gazebo (this includes massages, interviews, seductions, and looking fantastic) leaving one in reasonable distance of the Euro-sun to top up one’s enviable tanlines and pose for photos.
37. Post-race, one shall be tied to one's mobile phone, receiving endless calls from:
i. One’s attractive girlfriend, or
ii. Important ad executives concerning modeling contracts. This shall be done under the protection of the post race gazebo.
38. Team bikes will be built up so that they violate the UCI weight limit in order that weights might be attached to the frame to demonstrate its superiority and lightness.
39. Motivational music during training shall consist of late 90s trance or progressive house, hereby known as 'euro beats.' NO EXCEPTIONS.
40. Water Bottles shall be referred to solely as "Bidons" and shall have a volume NOT EXCEEDING 500ml. Bidons shall always match team/kit colours. It is NOT ACCEPTABLE in ANY CIRCUMSTANCE to leave one’s bidons on the bike for more than ten (10) minutes post-ride OR while transporting bikes via bike rack.
41. Naked black ALL CARBON water bottle cages (manufactured by ELITE CAGES) shall be used on ALL BIKES. Exceptions include:
i) Special edition 24k gold cages, acceptable in certain cases such as photo shoots, prologues or where colour coordination dictates (e.g. gold cage with Olympic gold/white team kit).
42. A gold pendant on a very long, thin chain bearing some form of religious icon is STRONGLY recommended for mountain races.
43. While soloing in for a victory, one shall ensure that one’s jersey is FULLY ZIPPED and ALIGNED so that all title sponsors are clearly visible. One shall then smile and flex one’s arms while pointing sky-wards. The projection of one’s fatigue is EXPLICITLY FORBIDDEN IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES.
44. When appearing in a photo spread for a sponsor’s products, the Euro Cyclist has the option of appearing fully nude, in team kit, or in a full Brioni three-piece suit (nothing else). Smiling is PROHIBITED in these instances.
45. When appearing in documentaries, one must be seen walking around the hotel in one’s kit at all times. It is also recommended that one constantly be eating something in front of the cameras.
46. When asked "how are you?" while riding one must proceed with one of the following...
i. Complain about coming off a sickness
ii. Explain that one is peaking for bigger races later in the season
iii. Mention that this is a "recovery ride"
iv. Explain that one is at the tail end of one’s daily six (6) hour training ride
47. If one feels the urge to relieve oneself during a race, one shall gracefully meander to the back of the pack, seat oneself sideways on the saddle, and pee into the sunflowers. It is the DUTY of the Euro Cyclist to ensure that no camera crew catches the act, for it could be severely detrimental to one’s image. Under no circumstances shall one dismount from his bike in order to urinate.
48. When climbing anything with a gradient above twenty (20) percent OR lasting greater than four (4) kilometers, the Euro Cyclist shall fully unzip his jersey and let it flutter freely in the wind.
49. When dropping out of a race, one shall avoid the embarrassment of entering the official broomwagon and shall instead wait for the team vehicle. When asked the reason for dropping out, one shall cite mechanical problems or oncoming sickness in order to avoid any negative speculation in regards to one’s fitness.
50. If in doubt, the euro cyclist shall mention in an interview that his pollen allergies are acting up, and that he’s not sure that he’ll win the Giro this year. In this situation he must note that the sensations are otherwise good, and that he will eventually win a beautiful stage.
51. Team-building motivational camps shall be held annually in the off-season. These are to place team members in as ridiculous a setting as possible. Photos shall be widely reproduced to demonstrate team cohesion.
52. During the pre-race medical checks, star riders of each team are strongly advised to play doctor with each other while shirtless. Photos taken must strive to be as HOMO-EROTIC AS POSSIBLE.
53. In order to avoid the harsh European winter, one shall:
i. Flee to the warmer climates of Mallorca/South Africa/Canary Islands/etc.
ii. “Train the mind, body and soul” with Kreitler-brand rollers
54. In the event of a crash, regardless of the gravity of an injury the Euro Cyclist shall mummify himself in fishnet gauze. The act of gauzing oneself (in order to continue racing while injured) is looked upon with respect by other Euro Cyclists as a statement of commitment and of strength of character. One shall use white gauze to bandage injuries; however, world cup striped gauze and/or national colors may be used in addition to white in select circumstances.
55. No form of large or obtrusive tattoo shall be printed onto the skin anywhere on the body. Small, discreet tattoos of the Virgin Mary or Olympic rings (assuming one has participated in Olympic games) no larger than three (3) cm. by three cm. shall be considered tasteful if AND ONLY IF located out of sight while one wears regular kit.
56. If a rider’s sponsors do not make quality parts, then the rider shall buy better parts and superimpose his sponsor’s stickers over them (e.g. Quickstep's past rebranding of Time products as Specialized).
57. No rider shall wear any shorts with any type of hole showing skin below unless said hole and or opening was from a recent crash DURING that training session and/or race. Wearing ripped shorts is allowed ONLY while one is struggling to the finish and/or to the correct place to wait for the team car to take one out of the race.
58. When cresting the summit of a climb the Euro Cyclist will sit up, zip his jersey, and reach into his pocket for a snack while simultaneously looking back to see who will be accompanying him on the descent. Note that while coasting to allow another rider to catch up (in order to work together on the way down) is allowed, coasting in order to rest is FORBIDDEN.
59. The Euro Cyclist shall own a sizeable parrot and will ensure that he is seen walking around photo shoots with it perched either upon his casually outstretched index finger or upon his shoulder. Hair should be slicked back for maximal effect. The parrot should either be white or it should contain three (3) or more colors found within the World cup stripes. One must always smile when pictured with the parrot. The parrot should speak fluent Italian. In certain cases it is deemed advisable that the Euro Cyclist possess, in place of a parrot, SEVERAL young pumas.
60. The Euro Cyclist shall never ride deep carbon wheels with aluminum braking surfaces, with the exceptions of Mavic wheels and the Ghibli disc. Aluminum braking surfaces detract from the seamless transition of black carbon to black tire that makes the Euro cyclist look so devilish upon his race wheels. Deep carbon wheels shall have prominent decals upon them UNLESS they originate from Carbonsports in Germany.
61. When the Euro Cyclist wins a race or a grand tour he shall stylishly uncork the bottle of champagne and spray it around the podium. If the rider is ravenous, slightly overweight and German he shall place the opening of the champagne bottle close to his mouth and drink (heavily) with puffed out cheeks and a smile. If the rider is truly Euro he will take the ENTIRE bottle of champagne in his arms and parade about the finish area with it. Champagne bottles must be COMICALLY OVERSIZED. One should spray the podium girls. Especially if they are dressed in white.
62. At the finish of a Grand Tour the Euro cyclist shall celebrate by cycling around the finish area decked out in team kit and proper Euro casual footwear. If married, the Euro cyclist shall have his child in his arms. The toddler may rest upon his handlebars, or in the event that the Euro cyclist achieves a podium spot, accompany the rider onto the podium. The child should have its own victory salute that will be used in conjunction with that of his/her father. In some cases the child is permitted to wear an entirely-too-large team jersey. This rule shall be upheld by ALL riders save for Mario Cipollini, who would be unable to comply due to the sheer number of offspring he has fathered courting supermodels over the past two decades.
63. It is highly recommended that the Euro cyclist utilize any opportunity to humorously don equipment that failed during the demonstration of superior physical strength. This serves the dual purpose of mocking one's sponsor and, in addition, providing a public display of why said rider did not finish the race on the podium. Breaking equipment due to power output is generally the best way to finish a race outside of winning it. If no spectators are present, the Euro cyclist shall prominently wear the broken equipment during all post race interviews. If the Euro cyclist suffers more then two mechanical failures of similar nature in rapid succession, throwing a petulant tantrum is strongly suggested.
Sunday, January 3, 2010
Friday, January 1, 2010
Another year comes to an end. It's been a mixed year, lifetime memories and challenges. I end the year appreciative of having a great job, appreciative of the support of my partner, friends, and family. No resolutions (they would be broken anyway), just hope that all of my friends who are still unemployed finds employment soon. 2010 will be a better year!
Unemployment did has some perks..miles for the year 6793!