Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Liege Bastogne Liege

Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) makes it four wins out of four in a stunning 10-day period.

A quick side note: I'd like to shout out Versus a quick WTF about cutting their race coverage by about half when a hockey game and then a college basketball game ran long. Look, I understand that cycling is still a pretty small fringe sport in the United States. I even get that you need to keep your larger audiences happy. But can't you guys cut us a freaking break!? It's not like there is a ton of coverage to begin with (Tour de France excluded.). Maybe just bump a couple of the lame ass fishing show reruns that you have later on in the evening. Then everyone could be happy. Just a thought Versus, just a thought.

So I just got done watching the 2011 Liege Bastogne Liege which was a truly impressive display by one man.  While simultaneously being one of the most tactically inept showings I've seen in a long time by a couple other's.

 And before I really get into this please keep in mind I'm fully aware of the fact that I am armchair quarterbacking here. I know I have no way of really knowing how hard it actually was. Or even how much work I'm sure it took up to that point in the race (Thanks Versus...) that I started watching. I just feel like I need to air this crap out a little. Thanks...

First I'd like to give Philippe Gilbert his due props. The guy was amazing. At no point during the (abbreviated) coverage that I watched did he look under any kind of real pressure. He stayed towards the front of the main pack. And when the Schleck brother's made their move with about 35 k to go he was the only one who instantly answered the call. He looked poised and aggressive the whole time and I must say that when he countered the little attack that Andy made up the final climb. When Philippe passed him on the inside. Waiting a few moments and then just drilling it again. Putting both Frank and Andy in trouble (Andy more so than Frank.). It was an awe inspiring ride. As well as a deserved winner.

Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) launched a fierce attack on the Cote de Saint-Nicholas.

Couple that with his other victories during the last week in the Amstel Gold race and the Fleche Wallone. It is one of the most impressive hat tricks in classics history (I really don't want to be nervous. But I can't help but wonder about the cleanliness of his performances. But I will presume innocence until I hear otherwise.).  So  Chapeau Philippe. I think Fabian Cancellara could maybe use some pointers from you on how to be the marked man and still win.

Now on to the most irritating bit of race tactics I've seen in a long while. I can understand about being tired. I can even understand being out gunned. But to have two, TWO(!?) guys to play off of and not really try anything (With the exception of the afore mentioned "attack".) in the winning break is just pathetic. It was like after that initial attack the Schleck brother's both looked at each other and said. "Oh well, we didn't dislodge him. So I guess we are racing for second and third." I mean WTF!? If I was their DS I would be screaming into their ear pieces that they have got to do something!

Andy Schleck (Leopard Trek) consults with Philippe Gilbert (Omega-Pharma Lotto) on the road to Ans.

I'll give Andy a bit of a break because he is the one that made the initial move and he looked pretty smoked after that. But where the hell was Frank? He either had an incredible poker face hiding his stress or he had plenty more powder to use.

I don't know. It just seems like you should have one attack, let the other one sit on Gilbert's wheel until he dragged them back. Then have the other attack and have the other brother sit on. And just keep doing that until you either run out of road or break him. But to just let him get into your head with one dominant counter attack. Let him dictate the pace up the hills where you know its the only place you have a snowballs chance in hell of getting rid of him. And then not even try on the run into the finish it makes my want to pull my hair out (Well, what's left anyway.)

Okay, I feel a little better. Thanks for letting me get that out of my system.

Rubber side down,

Big E

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Greg Lemond

J, Greg, and Myself at the 2009(?) Interbike trade show.

When I first became conscious of bicycle racing was when a guy named Greg Lemond won something called the Tour de France. I didn't know who he was or even what the race was at that time. But I knew how hard it was to ride my bike fast. And if this Greg guy could go over to some foreign country and beat them on there home turf well then he was pretty cool in my book.

A couple years later when I was riding more and enjoying the freedom that a bike can give a 14 year old. He won another Tour de France. Well, that's all the inspiration I needed. This guy was the man as far as I was concerned. I mean, he was on the cover of Sports Illustrated for crying out loud!

From then on if I was suffering up a climb or out sprinting for city limits signs with friends.  It was Greg Lemond that I wanted to pretend to be.  And this continued on until I discovered cars and girls.

Fast forward to 2003...

I am married, about 50 lbs over weight and having my doctor giving my the long face about my blood pressure and cholesterol. I decided to start doing something about it. I wanted to pick an activity that I enjoyed and could do whenever I had time. So I picked up a bike (Actually my ex-wife and friend's pitched in and got me a new road bike for my birthday.) because I always enjoyed the freedom and fun it provided me.

Of course by this time Greg Lemond had long since retired and Lance Armstrong was well into his reign as the next Merican bad ass. Greg's name would pop up every once in a while in the cycling media but I was surprised to find that he was mostly complaining about Lance and what he perceived as a questionable relationship with a Dr. Micheal Ferrari. I had no idea what any of this stuff was about. But like most people I had drank from the Lance kool aid completely and wondered why Greg would say such things about a fellow Tour champion. I was quickly developing an opinion that Greg was a bitter ex-bad ass that was trying to drop a turd in the punch bowl of the next guy's party.

This opinion of mine continued on for quite some time. Every article that had Greg's name attached to it seemed to have some complaint about Lance or Floyd (Landis. Who appeared to be the next American bad ass in line.).

There was the whole debacle with Trek about the Lemond brand of bicycles (Of which I use to own one. And my wife still does.) Basically Greg was bad mouthing their golden boy Lance and Trek wasn't going to have any of that. So they stopped promoting his brand and let it wither on the vine. This is all allegedly of course.

But there are other examples of Greg popping up in places it just didn't seem to make sense. Even so much as to have him involved in the Landis trial. Which I'm still not totally clear on what the relevancy of Greg's testimony was. Talking about the sexual abuse he endured as a child. While I thought (And still do.) it took a lot of courage to come out to the media with that. I'm still not sure what that had to do with Landis doping or not. Other than maybe Floyd not having the best/professional people working for him (One of his main employees threatened to go public with the Greg's story. And drunkenly called Greg making fun of him. Nice...)

A little side note to the Landis story. After Landis admitted to doping one of the first things I read about it was him apologizing to Lemond about the whole trial affair. Which Greg graciously excepted and pledged his support to Floyd for coming out and telling the truth. Now THAT, is a class act. Makes me all warm and fuzz just thinking about it.

And then there was the whole ambush at Lance's announcement to returning to professional cycling at Interbike. Which I have to admit I still think was kind of a cheap shot. Stealing someone else's lime light for your own agenda doesn't seem like the correct way of going about something. All in all it was hard to think of Greg in a positive light.

But then I started thinking.  Maybe he's doing all this because he genuinely cares about the sport. And then it really hit me.

Greg is right.

Greg's ideas about how to figure out if someone is cheating are square on. Use VO2 max. Use average wattage. There are only so many watts a human can produce that isn't geared up. If they are on the juice the numbers won't lie. He's trying to make people open their eyes to what is real and what's synthetically fabricated.

And all the attacks he made on guys that I perceive (Or perceived.) as innocent have there validity too. When you look at all the information and circumstantial evidence against them. It is completely overwhelming.

I believe now that he's doing all this because of his stature in the sport and because he cares what's happening to it.

While I don't always approve of his methods to get things out there. But I do believe what he says is the direction we should be heading. As a sport we've had our heads stuck in the sand far to long. And to just have the simple understanding that if an effort that an athlete makes is unbelievable. There is probably a good reason.

So my apologies Mr. Lemond. I thought poorly of you for speaking your mind in a public forum. A really hypocritical thing for someone like me to do (Considering where I am airing all this out.). But after being around this sport for a while. And developing my own opinions through all of this. I feel like I have a greater understanding of the what and why you do the things you do.

Rubber side down,

Big E

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Race Report: Icebreaker Crit

This picture has absolutely nothing to do with the race this weekend. I'm lame and forgot my camera. Sorry. I just like the photo. This is Luke giving me my pep talk before the Umpqua Crit last year.

I almost always start getting ready for a race the day before. Usually with cleaning my bike. Inspecting my race wheels. Getting my race bag organized for the following day. And really this race was no different than any other. I did all those things. In fact I was feeling pretty happy about getting everything done and laid out the day before. This is always nice when I have a morning race so that I can sleep in as much as humanly possible (Cuz I'm lazy and such.)

So when I woke up the next morning I was feeling good. I had a sensible breakfast and grabbed a double shot of espresso on the way to the freeway. And as I was headed south I was listening to old Two Johns Podcast episodes (They are by far the most entertaining and enduring cycling related podcast out there. Highly recommended.) All was right with the world. Until...


Another flat tire on my car!

This time it was the front passenger side that flatted (Just FYI. This is a completely different set of tires than what was on the last time this happened. Those tires were my studded snow tires). And when a tire goes flat at 75 (I mean, 65. Yeah, 65 mph...) mph bad things happen. It actually tread started to delaminate from the sidewall. Luckily I was in the slow lane and the shoulder was nice and wide just north of the Junction City exit. So I pulled over quickly, accessed the damage and got to work.

 I think I maybe able to start a new career as a pit crew member for a car race team if this whole bicycle racing thing doesn't work out.  Because the whole change only took me about 5 minutes (With the pathetic tools they give you with the car.). The biggest issue was weather I could make it to the crit in time to have at least a little warm up only going 50 mph (The maximum speed rating for a "donut" spare.) And let me tell you. Going 55 (I mean 50...) on the freeway feels like you're standing still. I swear I think I got passed by an old granny in a walker. I was going half the speed of smell. It was ridiculous. But I eventually made it to the race with about 35 minutes to spare.

I rolled up to the start tent, paid my money to race around in a circle and got to warming up. To my pleasant surprise I had several teammates there. Mike, Win, and Kenny. This was Win and Kenny's first crit race so it was great to see them out there. I personally think that the course that's used (All the crit races in Eugene are held on the same industrial park loop area at the end of the Belt line.) is one of the safest to learn on. Good pavement, three lanes wide, a D-shaped course. You really couldn't ask for a better place to hone your skills. I was glad to see them choose this one to do as their first. Anyway, as we were rolling around the course we talked a little about how each other were feeling, tactics and where to be and where not to be during the course of the race. With about 5 minutes to the start I rolled up to the line.

We had a pretty decent sized field (30+) for the 4/5 race considering how the weather had been and how early it was. I tell you what, I think the early start times are just about enough motivation to want to "Cat Up" all by itself. Looking at the schedule of races in the afternoon looked mighty good to me at that point anyway.

We were given the speech about flats with wheels in, wheels out of the pit area, the prime prizes (I forget what they were.) and what to do if you get dropped out the back of the group.  We had the usual suspects from other teams from the area. Hutch's, Blue Sky and Life Cycle had a few guys there. Just by warming up I could see a couple guys that I was going to mark if they tried to make a break later in the race. I figured especially if some of the local teams got represented in the break they rest might actually let it go (At least that's what I was hoping).

Once the race started it became very obvious very quickly that no one was going to get away without a fight.  It was kind of funny. Within two laps everybody was looking around at someone else to do the work at the front. And whenever anyone tried to make a move it was shut down fast. So I just tried to float in the front half of the pack to stay out of trouble and keep an eye out for any moves that I thought were going to be interesting.

We continued the usual ebb and flow of most 4/5 crit races (I.E. Accelerate then slow way down. Rinse and repeat.) until the prime lap came around with about 13 laps to go. It was obvious that no one was going to let the guys going for the prime have to much leach but I was hoping that maybe myself and Mike might be able to get away in the confusion and team time trial it to the end.

As soon as the guy's going for the prime started to drift back into the pack I used them plus a corner to make my attack. I got a good gap right away and continued to work through the back side of the course. Around the next corner I took a peek to see if anyone (I was hoping Mike would come join me.) was bridging the gap. But no one was really budging. So I continued to go around the next corner and peeked again. The mob was starting to close in on me and unless someone was there to share the workload I didn't feel strong enough to go it alone until the end. And with one more look back it was apparent that my fate was going to be sealed the same as anyone else who tried to make something happen.  A sprint finish it will be...

With 3 or 4 laps to go I was convinced that the race would follow standard protocol. With a couple of the non-sprinter's trying to make a break for it and time trial it in. And that did happen, sort of.  A group of 4 guy's (Mike included.) took off the front. It looked like they were trying to work together so I thought they might have a good shot at it.  But all it takes is one guy not rotating through to disrupt the flow and they go caught as well with about 2 laps left.

I was still feeling pretty good. So I was doing my best to stay in the front third of the group and on the inside of the turns. Cat 4/5 races are practically guaranteed to have a crash in the last lap or two. All these guys get all twitchy and excited. And inevitably someone either bumps each other and freaks out. Or they clip a pedal in a corner and wash out. If your behind or to the outside of them your race is done. Well I didn't end up in either of those scenarios.

 I'm still not real clear on what happened but I think someone grabbed a fist full of brake going into the first corner of the last lap. And three guys in front of me all starting criss crossing (Everybody jump! Jump!) trying to find a place to go. In doing so I went from about 10th wheel to about 25th wheel in a heart beat. Shit! So I was working really hard coming up the inside of the group. In hopes to be in a decent spot before the sprint out of the last corner. Which I sort of succeeded in. I was still making progress in the final sprint but all I could muster was 13th place. Meh. I'm not unhappy. But I know I could have done better. But luck and timing are all part of it too. And I didn't seem to have either one of them on this outing.

Mike came in right in front of me. He did a great job of sticking in the front end of the main field for most of the race.

Win did great as well. I saw him many times accelerating out of the corners like a champ. I'm sure we will be seeing him really mixing it up in the final sprints come later on this summer.

Kenny didn't finish. But I talked to him afterward and he seemed really pumped to get out there and do it again real soon. Which I was glad to here. He's plenty strong enough to be in there. I think with just a bit more experience he'll be whooping up on everyone out there too.

After the race finished it almost instantly started to rain. I headed off to a tire shop in Eugene to get to new tires put on. And become $350.00 poorer in the process. What are you gonna do? I've got to have tires. Feeling crappy about the whole thing I went and drowned my sorrows in some Greek food for lunch (A well known Greek remedy for feeling crappy.)

Next race for me is the Eugene Roubaix. It will be my first time at this race and I'm pretty excited to give it a swing.

Thanks for reading.

Rubber side down,

Big E

Friday, April 15, 2011

Anyone Else Feel Excited!?

I've got the Ice Breaker Criterium tomorrow down in Eugene. Hope to see a lot of racers out in the morning (My race is at 10 am). Of course that's when they are predicting the rain. Meh. What can you do? I'll have a report and hopefully some photographs to throw up here (Electronically, not vomiting.) on Monday.

In the mean time enjoy the erect areo bars. Lord knows I do...

Rubber side down,

Big E

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Thank You Sweet Baby Jesus For Bike Racing!

Van Summeren digs deep on the way to the finish

Sweet baby Jesus, I love great bike racing!

Can I get an amen?!


As epic a pro bike race as there ever was.

The craziness and the spectacle of this race makes it the Superbowl Sunday for all truly hardcore racing fans.
And even though my rain dance didn't work (How long has it been since we had a wet and muddy Roubaix!?). The pro's made great use of the dusty roads out on course.

Some of the odds on favorites were no where to be found while other's were right were you thought they'd be.

Van Summeren while on the attack
Johan Van Summeren eating a little bit of dust. Hope he doesn't get pink eye because of all the cow shit...

Tom Boonen had a long delay when a puncture in the Arenberg forest dropped him out of the front group.
Poor Tom stuck with a jammed chain. Ugh, bike no work. Make Tom mad!
 Poor Tom Boonen having multiple mechanical failures before getting completely screwed in the forest of Arenberg with a jammed chain. I thought it was funny to see poor Tom yelling at a teammate that rode by (I read later on that he told him to continue and he would wait for a team car. But it looked like he was saying, "Hey! What the Fuck!") him standing there with grease all over his hands.

Like wise Sylvain Chavanel had some terrible luck out there too. Touching the floor multiple times. The last crash looked particularly nasty. It was good to see him trying to continue to fight even after all that happening.

Lars Boom was my dark horse pick for the win and I contend had the weather been atrocious he probably would have been in the mix more than he was at the end.  Being in the break for a large portion of the race was really exciting to see though. I bet he wins this thing before he retires. Just a feeling....

Cancellera and Hushovd makred each other closely

But for all intents and purposes it seemed to be  Fabian Cancellara's race to lose (Although isn't that true for just about any classic now a days?). Or at least that's the way it seemed for a good portion of the race. This guy was obviously the strongest individual out there. Watching him start closing the gap to the leaders when they were a minute and half up the road and in less than two kilometers they were only thirty seconds!? Are you freaking kidding me?! I'm gonna be geeking out about that for a while... Such a demonstration of pure power. But he got out maneuvered by Garmin.

I'm not sure that Garmin could have done a more tactically savy race. To have a strong guy like Van Summeren up the road in the break (He's placed top ten twice in Roubaix.).  And Farrar and Hushovd sitting in Cancellara's back pocket. Along with several other teammates there in the mix at various times. I could tell that they were doing the only thing they could do to neutralize Fabian's potency.

And the funny thing to me is that they played almost the exact same card at Flanders last weekend and were totally panned for it. Mostly because it didn't work. But now that they won at Roubaix with it the media is all farting rainbows about it. Meh. Go figure. 

World champion Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo) was not happy at the finish

I did feel bad for Hushovd though. I'm sure Hushovd was pissed with the result too (How could you not be?). Especially when he was really the only guy (Well, Ballan could eventually answer the accelerations.) who could keep up with the Swiss Bear. It was obvious that he was in top form for Roubaix. But when you've got a teammate up the road, unless there are extenuating circumstances, you don't chase them down. His hands were just plain tied.

All in all it was a truly great edition of Paris-Roubaix. The only thing that would have made it even better would have been if it were pissing rain and some gail force winds. But what can you do?

Van Summeren was covered in dust and sweat after his long ride up front

Chapeau Johan. It was a great effort and a deserving win.

Rubber side down,

Big E

Friday, April 8, 2011

UCI To Inforce Rule About Pro's Racing In Local Events

So this is just one more reason that the UCI and Uncle Pat (Mcquaid) are off my Christmas Card List. No, no. You're not going to change my mind on this.

I started to see some activity on some social networks this morning about why UCI have decided to start enforcing a rule that won't allow pro racers to take part in non-USAC sanctioned events.

You can read the whole story at Podium Insight.

This rule effects quite a few races but most noticeably here in Oregon with the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association (OBRA) and in Colorado with the American Cycling Association (ACA). Where virtually all the bike racing is regulated by these Associations. So with that rule enforced except for a hand full of races through out the calendar year you wouldn't see any pro level racers at the events.

This is very similar to the deal in 2009 when BMC wasn't allowed to start a full squad at the Tour of the Gila because of a rule stating that you couldn't have more than 3 world tour (At the time, Pro tour) ranked riders in a lower level UCI event.

Both this "new" Non-USAC rule and the rule they started to enforce in the 2009 Tour of the Gila are examples of the UCI deciding crackdown on pre-existing rules in the US Cycling.

The part I can't figure out is why? Why would they care if a pro racer goes to a local crit to throw down $35 to race around in a circle for an hour?! There are only two reasons I can think of.

The first has to do with not wanting band riders (One's busted for doping or something else.) from still being able to race. But my thing is, who cares!? Why should the UCI or USAC care if a local race promoter allows (Or doesn't allow for that matter.) any racer in their race? It seems to me that on as small of a level that these races are held at it wouldn't effect the UCI or any of the big races in the slightest.

 That goes with the grand fondo part of the rule too. Why on earth should it matter to them weather a pro rides with a bunch of "Fred's" in their yellow windbreakers around the country side? This really just leads me to my second reason.

It's all about money/control (Which lets face it, most of the time they are the same thing.).  They want to strong arm both the small individual races that still want to play. As well as OBRA and ACA to fall into line under their umbrella of power.

I think that perhaps cycling in the USA has just gotten a little to big for the UCI to ignore anymore.  And when you couple that with the USAC trying to stretch away from the UCI with the whole radio issue. That just makes Uncle Pat want to turn the screws all that much more.

The thing is though cycling can survive just fine without the UCI (Sure there would maybe issues with the Olympics. But do you really thing that they won't allow one of the biggest countries in the world to complete because of the UCI's influence? I sincerely doubt it.). But I don't think the UCI can survive without leaching off of cycling. And the way they have treated everyone at the table they better be damn careful. Because I believe if things keep going the way they are going. We're going to see a total mutiny.

So Uncle Pat. Please. Let the pro boy's and girl's race their fucking bicycles. If you're that worried about dopers getting to race. Get rid of the old rule and put in a new one stating that a convicted doper can't race any organized race and call it good (Even though I'd like to see them try to enforce it.). The UCI seems to like to change the rules every other Thursday, right before their afternoon tea anyway. Just put that on the schedule too.

As far as the control thing goes. If there seems to be a problem try a little more diplomatic approach to it. You know, work together. Smile on your brother. Break bread and come to a solution that is a win/win for everybody.

Oh wait. I forgot you don't do that. Never mind....

Rubber side down,

Big E

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Nice Weather Brings Out The Scary Riders

As I believe I've stated before I ride with a group out of  Scott's Cycle a few times a week (Although a lot less these last couple of weeks just because of the move.). And we have a had a couple great rides that have been relatively (For Oregon anyway.) dry lately. This coupled with the time change so it's light out longer has a pretty serious effect on the group's numbers.

On an average winter ride I would say that we have about 20 people start from the bike shop. This includes the different groups (Fast and slow). But those numbers swell up to 60+ riders in the peak of summer which then gets split into three groups usually (Fast, medium, and slow). And along with the increase in numbers also comes an increase in new riders.

Now there are several types of new riders. There are the one's that are slow and out of shape (That was my category when I first started.). There are the strong experienced riders (Most of these guys start heading off with the fast group either immediately or after only a few rides. And then there are the most dangerous type. The fast and inexperienced riders. This is the group that I'd like to talk about today...

What makes this particular group so dangerous is that they are strong enough to try and pull but they don't know where they are going. They want to mix it up in the sprints for stop ahead or city limits signs but don't have the pack riding skills to do it in a safe manner. They treat it like it's the Tuesday night world championships when it's just a group ride. And they also don't take the time to figure out what the etiquette of the group is before they go bounding around like a bull in a china shop.

Please don't get me wrong. I encourage and want new people to ride with the group. I just don't want anyone (The new person included.) to get hurt in the process of learning all this stuff. In fact, if you've read this blog from the beginning then you already know it was the subject of my first post ever. For those of you who haven't read this epic (poorly written and rambling) blog since then the link is right here~


I don't think it would hurt to have a refresher form time to time (Myself included.).

Riding in a group can be a wonderful experience. In fact we probably had one of the best rides of the year last night. We went on a terrific route, weather was decent, good people were out there, and we even managed to have a functional rotating paceline for a while (Gasp! Choke!). That has only happened a few times that I can recall.

But we also had a couple new riders. One did a pretty good job of being in the group. He made some of the traditional rookie mistakes. But I believe with a few more rides he'll be just fine. It was obvious that he was trying hard to be conscientious.

Another guy on the other hand did every sketchy move in the book. Weaving in and out of people in a aggressive twitchy manner. Trying to pull at the front of the group really hard and then shitting the bed after only a minute or so. Trying to compete in the sprints so far out of his comfort zone that he's bobbing up and down on his bike like a monkey humping a coconut. Going over the center line in the road. I'm always amazed by how empowered people feel when they're in a group. It's like common sense flies out the window. Not to dissimilar to someone when they get behind the wheel of a car. And here's the thing. He seems like a really nice guy. He was friendly, talkative, and very pleasant. So it's hard to come up to him and tell him that if he keeps riding like that he's gonna hurt himself and other people.  It really makes it tough.  I don't want to discourage anyone from the group (Well almost anyone.). But when someone is that inherently dangerous somebody has to say something. And a good portion of the time it's me. I know I can be bossy and and opinionated ( Like you couldn't tell.). But I don't want to be a jerk about it. I just want everyone to have a good time.

Except for this next guy.

Let me tell you a small story....

There is a new fellow that rode with us at the end of last summer and got into an accident with several other riders in the group. One of them being a nice lady who was new to cycling. She was the one who caused the pile up. And evidently he damaged his wheel's in the process. Well when all was said and done he was a real jerk and demanded that she replace his wheels.

What a crock of shit! It's call assumed risk ass hat! We don't start all rides telling everyone that you are going to be perfectly safe, that there will be no accidents and no damage to yourself or your property. To think that someone else is responsible for your equipment is ludicrous. That would be like saying that at a bike race that all medical bills and equipment is covered in case of an emergency. If that were the case we would never have another bike race again. The insurance would be to much.

Sorry, I'm ranting.

 Back to the story.

So after this incident. One of the owner's of the shop gave all of them a ride (In a car.) back to the shop. And he never even thanked them! The new lady was never seen again (Which is a real shame.) And the douche bag left not to long after (Good riddance. As far as I was concerned.) Well, he returned last night. 

This got me thinking. Should I say something? Part of me really, really wants to. I'd don't think a person like that should be welcome in the group. While the other part said just to let it go.  I don't know. I still have to think about that one for a while.

 I can tell you one thing for sure. I wouldn't walk across the street to piss on him if he were on fire.

So I guess when all is said and done, everyone should have a good time. Everyone should get a good workout and enjoy a little friendly competition. And  everyone should be conscientious of themselves and each other. And pay for your own shit if it breaks.

Rubber side down,

Big E

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Quotes About The Bicycle

I hope you don't mind a little indulgence today. I was unpacking (and unpacking and unpacking) in our new house and came across my cycling book collection. One of my favorite books is called The Quotable Cyclist.

If there is ever one book that I would recommend to anyone who enjoys cycling or knows someone who enjoys cycling. This is the book. Best bathroom book ever.

So I thought I would throw up a few of my favorites. I hope you like them too...

When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking. -Aurthur Conan Doyle

I don't ride for the money so much, or the fame. I ride for my heart. I'm a soul rider. -Steve Cook

Most bicyclists in New York City obey instinct far more than they obey the traffic laws, which is to say that they run red lights, go the wrong was on one-way streets, violate cross walks, and terrify innocents, because it just seems easier that way. Cycling in the city, and particularly in midtown, is anarchy without malice.- New Yorker

A good rider is intuitive. You can look at the other cyclists and know just how good they are by how they pedal or breathe. -Thurlow Rodgers

If you desire to be groovy and flowing instead of battling and conquering, miles-per-hour is the last equation you want to pay attention to. -Bob Roll

The bicycle riders drank much wine, and were burned and brown by the sun. they did not take the race seriously except among themselves. -Ernest Hemingway

If your crashing a lot, you're just being stupid. -Greg Herbold

Momentum is the only thing you have to show for all your suffering. Don't waste it. -Richard Cunningham

Get a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live.- Mark Twain

If you happen to be getting paid $100,000 to race one year, that's great. If you're paying out of your own pocket the next year, that's not as good, but it's still fun. -Steve Tilford

To travel by bicycle is a humble, nonagressive way to get close to people. It is a way of saying we are passing through with no thought of invasion or conquest, only the simple will to share a part of the road.- Claude Herve

My idea of a good mountain bike ride is one in which speed, time and distance are forgotten. It's supposed to be a renewing experience-one that takes you, not one that pulls you back and reminds you.- Gary Wockner

It doesn't feel heroic to cross the continent (By Bicycle); it feels poetic.- David Abramson

Cleaning a bike's like cleaning a toilet. If you do it regularly, it's fine and easy. If you wait, it's a truly disgusting experience.- Steve Gravenites

The young couple passed us. They rode pedal to pedal and almost arm in arm. The girl rode with her left hand on the boy's right, controlling his handlebar, steering them both. Then he moved his hand around the small of her back. They reminded me of partners in a waltz. The boy lowered his hand to the girl's saddle and leaned to her, and as they rode they whispered. In the often dehumanizing crush of urban China, two bicycles had made space for romance. - Fred Strebeigh

Bicycling is a big part of the future. It has to be. There's something wrong with a society that drives a car to work out at the gym.- Bill Nye

Light. Strong. Cheap. Pick two.- Keith Bontrager

One thing cycling taught me was that if you can achieve something without a struggle it's not going to be satisfying. -Greg Lemond

Rubber side down,

Big E