Wednesday, December 4, 2013


No, I'm not talking about the beer (Although it is delicious.). My title is; Brrrr and theirs is; Brrr.

Totally different.

No, I'm talking about the cold temperatures that have been sweeping this part of the country and appear to be here for a while.  Now I know there are going to be at least a few mid-westerners that are going to chuckle to themselves at our "cute" little cold snap.

"How precious!" I'm sure they will exclaim.

Kind of like we do with Californians and their inability to deal with rain.

But for us Oregonians (Valley dwellers anyway.) this is about as cold as we get.

So in that vain I'm going to tell you what I wear for a dry sub-freezing ride. If it's icy I just sit on the couch, drink beer and think really hard of ways to avoid the trainer...

From head to toes:

  • Helmet.

  • Thermal cap with ear flaps.

  • Glasses

  • Fleece neck gator (Optional: Depending on How Warm You Run.)

  • Embrocation on all the bits of you that tend to get cold (DHWYR). Minus your eyes, nose or your neither regions.

  • Long sleeve base layer

  • Long sleeve jersey

  • Vest (DHWYR).

  • Wind front thermal jacket.

  • Heavy weight thermal wind front bib tights (DHWYR. Just kidding. Don't ride naked please...).

  • Wool cycling socks.

  • Chemical toe warms (Aka: Toe tampons. DHWYR).

  • Cycling shoes with the wind vents in the soles taped off (Make sure your cleats are clear to function correctly.) or a fancy set of cold weather cycling shoes.

  • Defeet Slipstream over socks.

  • Neoprene or fleece lined booties.

  • Thin liner gloves.

  • Thin wind front gloves (DHWYR).

  • Lobster mitts.

I have personally taken this set up down to the mid-teens and been just fine.

There will always be different ways to make riding in the cold temps work for you. The biggest thing I would recommend is making sure your extremities are taken care of (Head, hands and feet.) and if you keep those things warm the rest will generally follow.

Riding a bike in cold weather is a bit like getting ready for extended deep sea diving but once you are out on the road its all worth it.


Thanks for reading.

Rubber side down,

Big E

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Being Thankful

I'm thankful for:

Two legs to pedal with.

The sound of a group riding down the road.

The smell of freshly cut hay fields cooling down from a hot summer day.

An ice cold beer after a long ride.

That completely empty feeling after a race is finished. Like you have no more to give.

The whir that deep dish carbon wheels make.

The sound of my heart in my ears. Telling me that I'm at my threshold.

Knobby tires in dirt.

Talking and laughing with my teammates before and after a race.


Discovering a new road to ride on.

Mastering a skill.

Riding tandem with my wife.

Imparting some wisdom to someone new.

Watching a child get their first bicycle.

Having philosophical discussions at the bike shop.

Rolling out in the rain.

The sound of wind blowing through the pines as I climb.

An espresso at the turn around of a ride.


My team.

That the strongest doesn't always win.


For wind to make me stronger.

For climbing to make me slow down.

For down hills to make me go faster.

A safe wheel in a sketchy group.

My local bike shop.

My friends.

The best group of people anyone could as to ride with.

That I'm always learning.

But Most of all. My wife and kids...

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Rubber side down,

Big E

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


Goals are an interesting thing. In my opinion they are one of the most important things in life to have and yet they aren't necessary. Or at least the necessary that I'm thinking of at the moment. Sure most people have the 'goal' of surviving another day, of putting food on the table and keeping a roof over their head and for some that can be a herculean task. But for people like me that won the lottery of being born in the United States. Being white and male its hard not to feel super spoiled and privileged because, well, I am.

It's like being spoiled and having a really good idea of how spoiled you are but not letting it stop you from complaining. Or perhaps even trying to discover some greater purpose. And I guess that's where the idea of setting goals, working towards them and attaining them comes into play for me.

There are large goals that I've had for a long time. Stuff to do with religion, being a good husband, family and friends, work and enjoyment. But there have been other goals that have more to do with the point of this blog. Ones to do with sport. With cycling. When it comes to those goals it's as though they have been scattered to the four winds. Life has overwhelmed me, beat me down and then tossed me out to the curb on my ear over the past 6 months and I've been trying to dust myself off and find my bearings. Which hasn't been very easy for me. I've always thought of myself as tough and resilient. But dealing with things that life hands you is if nothing else an ego check. Back to my original point...


I want to have the desire to race and race hard again. I want to feel that total exhaustion after a race or a really hard workout that can't be replicated in any other fashion (That I've experienced anyway.) And I want to feel that excitement and that satisfaction of reaching a goal that I have set for myself on the bicycle. Knowing that there wasn't anymore that I could have put out and being totally fine with the outcome. Because I can tell you that those goals. That process is AWESOME. It's part of what keeps me coming back to cycling. Well, that and it's fun.

Now the big trick it to figure out how to get it. I have the sneaking suspicion that it will involve mud, knobby tires, team tents, beer, and good friends.

Here is to having goals everybody.

Rubber side down,

Big E

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Danny MacAskill's New Video

I know it's been forever since I posted here and I know that sharing a video is kinda "cheating". But I don't care. It's an amazing peice of bicycle handling, skill and most important, imagination. Hope you enjoy it.

Thanks for hanging in there kids.

Rubber side down,

Big E

Friday, May 3, 2013

Somethings Change, Some Don't

Me, my Mom, my sister (Yellow cap) and Tootsie the wonder dog.

My Mom died one month ago today...

It still hurts to type that.

She had battled cancer for almost three years. When they diagnosed her they figured she had 3-9 months. I guess that just goes to show what a tough old broad she was.

It's been hard.

And it's been easy.

Sometimes its easy to get lulled into the day to day and forget for awhile. Then something will remind me or a memory will fly into my brain and my heart gets squeezed again. Even if it's just for a moment.

Your probably wondering what this has to do with cycling and that's a fair point.

That has to do with what hasn't changed.

The bicycle.

It's my anchor in a sea of happiness, anger, frustration, sadness and joy.

I did my level best to ride as much as I could without shirking any of my responsibilities.

Sometimes I'd go out thinking that I'd rip peoples legs off only and to go to the front and take one strong pull. Then drift through the group and get spit out the back to ride alone.

Other times it was nice to ride with some people that had no idea what was going on. Talk to people about normal things. Day to day things. Things that were such a welcome distraction at that moment that I wanted to say so...

Things are slowly getting easier.

Then they aren't.

I guess that's just the way it is sometimes...

But I thank God for my wife.

I thank God for my family.

I thank God for my wonderful friends.

And I absolutely thank God for the Bike....

Rubber side down,

Big E

PS~ I can't promise that I'll write here real often in the near future. Even though there have been and are a lot of things in the cycling world to talk about. What I can say is that I haven't given up on the blog. I just needed/need a break. Hope you all can get that. Thanks, you guys are swell....

Friday, March 22, 2013

Spring Hath Sprung

I love lamp.
The weather forecast and cycling go hand in hand. I can't think of the last time I did not look at the weather report before a ride. Maybe its not as big a deal where in an area where you are assured good weather all the time. But in a place like the Pacific Northwest if  you don't it can make for an awesomely crappy ride.

Now that I've been Captain Obvious speaking in generalities I wanted to talk about something specific. Precipitation percentages and what they mean to a cyclist....

This is obviously not from around here. Whens the last time we had an 82 degree day with rain?! I think it was last... never.
Precipitation percentages can confuse people except for when it says 0% or 100% but even that changes when you are looking at an hourly forecast app and things are constantly in flux.

Here is a basic run down.

10% chance or rain- This means that there is no way on God's green earth that it's going to rain. But what it does mean is that there are going to be a few big puffy clouds out there. And if you happen to be on the very tippy top of a mountain or a high mountain pass that one of those puffy clouds floats into. You might feel some moisture on your face and the meteorologist doesn't want you to call them a liar.

20% chance of rain- This means it could rain. But highly unlikely.

As a cyclist you may get a little wet if you happen to ride into one of these passing clouds. But it's not really even worth putting a rain cape on. Because you're going to have to take it off in less than 5 minutes anyway.

30% chance of rain- This is were things start to get a little more interesting. This means that you are more than likely going to get wet. But it will only be for brief period of time. This is where the weather man likes to start using the term "showers". 

Bring a rain jacket and a hat if you're paranoid.

40% chance of rain- We are now fully into the "showers" mode. Really the only difference between 30% and 40% is that the duration of the rain... err, um shower patches will be longer.

This is where I probably would add gloves and booties to the clothing line up depending on the temperature.

50% chance of rain- This is when things go from being described as "showers" to being described as "rain". More than likely it will be raining a greater percentage than it is dry. Think like an hour or two of rain followed by a brief dry period between fronts moving in.

This is were the winter bike with full fenders, a buddy flap, tough wheels and tires comes into play.

60% chance of rain- You are now in the full Pacific Northwest winter wheel house (Say that three times fast...). This is where the term "drizzle" comes around. Usually drizzle is a light rain that comes down consistently for a long period of time.  Any true Oregonian spends from the end of October through the end of June (July 5th is when the unofficial summer of Oregon begins.)in this stuff. Usually the only difference in the time of year is in the air temperature.

By this point you are pretty much decked out in as much clothing and equipment as you are going to be in. From here on out it's really just a matter of the insulation factor more than anything.

70% chance of rain- This is a heavy drizzle or a good consistent rain. There might be a tiny little pause in there somewhere, but not much.

Basically you are going to get wet. And it's just a matter of staying warm on the bike. I've not owned or tested an article of clothing yet that didn't either wet through eventually or create it's own micro climate (Some sort of tropical humid jungle comes to mind.) underneath that gets you just as wet. So it's more important to keep warm without over heating than it is to stay dry.

80% chance of rain- This is full blown rain.  Drizzle is no longer mentioned. Rain makes drizzle its bitch. And really the only thing that changes from here on out is the volume of rain that is coming down from the sky at any given moment.

90% chance of rain- I really think they just have this one so people will feel a little better that it doesn't say 100%. It's exactly the same.

I think the idea is much like the extended forecast. Just look at the ten day forecast some time. They always put a "partly sunny" or "sunny" day out there around day 9 or 10 even if the rest of the days are rainy and glum. I think it's like the proverbial carrot dangled in front of our noses. Just so we continue to have a little hope.

So there is my weather cycling theory. Promise to use it for good and not evil.

Until next time...

Here's two tickets to the gun show.
 Rubber side down,

Big E

Friday, March 8, 2013

Running Sucks...

No offense if you enjoy running.

I know there are some people out there that are totally into sadomasochism too but that doesn't mean I'm going to sign up.

My SSHW and I decided to go on a run.

I could feel my flubber jiggling as I shuffle, shuffle, fwap, fwapped my way down the road.

It's an odd feeling to not be taxed by my heart or breathing but to have placed in my legs hurt that haven't hurt in a long time.

Why did I agree to this again!?

Oh yeah, I wanted too...

I'm pretty sure SSHW is getting tired listening to me wine. 

I want to do this.

But I'm going to need to walk just for a bit...

That's always nice.

Getting lapped by a little kid on a bike.

What is he about 2?

His little legs spinning a cadence that track racers would be proud of.

Constantly reminding me how much I'd rather be on a bike.

The day is sunny at least.

And SSHW looks really nice in running pants.

That's a plus...

I don't know.

Maybe I could keep going.

One more hill.

Sweet baby Jesus!

Thank God we are done.

Rubber side down,

Big E

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Riding Side By Side

On a beautiful sunny day I had the luck to go out on a ride with JP. 

There were no routes that had to be adhered too. There were no intervals that needed to be done. Only some open road, some nice conversation and a pretty day.

While we were riding we cycled side by side (Unless cars were coming of course.). Bar to bar.  As we rolled along the open country roads to the south of my home it got me thinking. To be able to ride like that can really show the Quality of a person.
There are so many type A personalities constantly pushing the pace. Half wheeling (This happens when a person is always a half a wheel length in front of you. And if you try to pull up even with them. They speed up to keep ahead. And so on and so on, until you both are ramping up speed. Sucking the fun square out of what you were trying to do in the first place. Can you tell I'm a little sensitive about it? Yeah, me either.) you to prove a point or measure dicks or whatever the hell it is when people think its a competition.

No. This wasn't one of those times.

We just rode our bicycles.

We conversed about all manner of things. The last club ride. New cars. The best beer. Equipment. Whatever...

I think cycling side by side is a lost art form. People forget its significance. The art of conversation (Especially since cyclists tend to be anti-social.). I met my SSHW that way and she has been the greatest thing in my life. To be able to share an experience while doing something that you both love doing makes it all the more rich.  It's hard to put your finger on it. Or put into words. But it's there and you both know it.

Its just awesome.

Thanks for reminding me JP.

Rubber side down,

Big E

Friday, March 1, 2013


A Cherriot Bus in Salem.
As a cyclist, I ride in traffic every time I throw a leg over my bicycle.  As a human I also notice patterns in behavior.


I know people say stereotypes or profiling is bad. And in some ways I agree. But in a lot of ways I think it's part of our inherent makeup as humans. We are trained to notice patterns as a means of survival. If something tries to kill you once. An alligator, a tiger, an SUV, whatever. You'll be on the look out for something like that again. Noticing those things keep you safe.

But I also want to be clear that these patterns aren't a perfect science. I'm not saying every single one of these observations are true. They just feel true... Got it? Good. Lets move on.

It's hard not to notice how certain drivers and their vehicles seem to fit patterns.
For instance, why are Cherriot bus drivers consistently some of the most aggressive drivers in town, yet school bus drivers are some of the nicest? Is it because one is harped on about safety and the other is told to keep on a schedule (It's rhetorical. But I suspect that's the case.)?

I honestly don't get it.

In over ten years of riding a bicycles in urban and rural environments I can only think of one incident where I felt in danger while riding my bike because of a school bus.
Where if I think of Cherriot's, I couldn't count all the dangerous maneuvers and near misses on all my fingers and toes. It's ridiculous.

How high is your truck and how good can it mud!?
 There are lots of other vehicles that I look out for too.

The jacked up 4x4 pickup truck comes to mind. The pucker factor is always high if you hear the whirring of some Super Swampers coming up behind you on a country road.

Semi trucks are a mixed bag. Some are great. Always giving you extra room when able and passing a reasonable speeds. Other's fly by with about two feet to spare.

I wouldn't mind this set up.
 Any car with a bike rack is usually going to give you a wide birth. Part of the same tribe and all.

Watch out for crazy old people with RV's and no commercial driving experience. Sketchy...
People who drive hybrids really think of themselves as "earth friendly". So when they see you on the road they feel a kinship with you. However beware! They are the leading cause of "smug"  in the major metropolitan areas. Just saying...

Tuner cars will generally fly by you while you're riding and yell something out the window. Its usually hard to tell if its obscenities or encouragement. Or at the very least they stomp on the throttle so their fart pipe blares as they go by. But just like cars with bike racks, they seem to give you a wide birth. My guess is they don't want to dent or scratch their ride if they happen to hit you. Those ground effects don't just pay for themselves you know.

I'm know there are a lot more. But that's fine for now.

I hope you all have a good weekend. Until next time, thanks for reading!

Rubber side down,

Big E

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

You Never Know What You're Gonna Get

That statement is as true for Forrest and the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. as it is for weather and bicycle riding.

The weather was surprisingly nice for our monthly team ride. Sure it was a little windy. Sure it spit on us a little. But all said and told it was a pretty good day to be out on two wheels.

We were scheduled to meet down at the Bike Peddler (One of our sponsor LBS) at 9:30 Saturday morning. I was late... Mostly because I headed out the door later then I had intended. But also because I got a flat about half way there (Doh!).

So as I was speeding down to the shop after I had fixed the flat I was already constructing the apology letter in my brain. Fully expecting to round the corner and find them all gone. I was happily surprised to see everyone still milling around.

There weren't too many people there. But considering the miserable weather the day before I wasn't surprised. It was essentially the Cap Velo board plus two others. Which turned out to be just fine.

So after some grovelling, begging for forgiveness and a new spare tube purchased we discussed the route plan. Which of course was changed (I'm beginning to note a pattern.).  Instead of heading out into the flat lands between us and Silverton we opted for a more northerly, then westerly route. Mostly to go spy on the road race that was being held out at Heiser Farms. Which is exactly what we did.

We watched the racers go by once and looked to each other on what to do next. So we headed over to the foothills and vineyards just west of the race. 

It's amazing how well nice scenery can distract you from the pain you inflict upon yourself sometimes. And this was one of those sometimes...

We steadily rode over the rolling hills taking in the views and the conversation with equal enjoyment.

Sure we went up Brush College Rd. (A hill that strikes fear into fatties such as myself.). But the guys were nice enough to wait for me at the top. And sure they asked if I wanted to go up Gibson Rd. (Probably the only other road in near vicinity that strikes just as much fear into said fatty.) too. Which I promptly responded with a one finger salute. But it was still a lovely time. And really, how could you enjoy those wonderful downhills without suffering up the climbs!? That's just crazy talk...

So all things said and told. It was a surprisingly nice day with an equally lovely bike ride to match.

All good (Now if we could just get more members to show up regardless of weather...).

Thanks for reading!

Rubber side down,

Big E

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Game Of Telephone

When we were kids in school we use to play this game called "Telephone".  The basic premise is that the teacher would whisper a sentence or two into the first kids ear. Then that kid would whisper it to the next  child and so forth and so on until it reaches the final kid in the class. Where upon that kid would have to speak out to the class what sentence they were told. And most of the time it would be a weird mangled mess that didn't even remotely resemble what the teacher whispered to the first child. 

It was mostly a lesson in communication. To convey information accurately. To show how important speaking clearly and knowing what you were told before saying it to someone else.  And also how quickly gossip can no longer resemble the truth.

It's a good lesson.

I was thinking about all this during our local group ride last night. Communication, both verbal and non-verbal, are extremely important. When a communication break down happens, at best someone is going to get their chamois in a bunch. Worst case scenario someone dies...

That's no bueno.

We've had several of these break downs happen lately. Most of them involved someone getting left behind. Which in the grand scheme of things isn't good. But it's not a travesty either. That doesn't mean it should happen. It's just another glitch in the game of telephone that we play during a ride.

Most of the time when someone yells something out everyone starts looking around to the nearest person to tell them what was said. Sometimes that person knows. Other times that person just shrugs their shoulders and then continue looking around before a reason for the yelling is found.

Non-verbal signals are much the same. The person at the front of the group may point out a pot hole or a bunch of glass. But that doesn't mean the person three of four rows back is going too.

It's all in how effectively that message is conveyed to the rest of the people. And unfortunately the message chain only works if everyone plays.

So the next time you're on a group ride try to convey the messages being sent back and forth for the rest of the people. And don't just let it go to voice mail. Practice the game of telephone. Hopefully the message will come across loud and clear.

Thanks for reading!

Rubber side down,

Big E

Monday, February 11, 2013

A Man And His Cave

Over the past several weeks a transformation has taken place. Not from early man to me (That change really hasn't occurred yet.). No, it's from a once gigantic pile of crap in my garage.

Said gigantic pile of crap.
To a much more reasonable pile of crap.

Said smaller pile...
In fact. It's even smaller than this now. But I still have a little bit of a ways to go to call it complete.

A while back I had talked about my big unrealistic Christmas presents that I had been dreaming about. One of those dreams was a kick ass garage.  Well my SSHW heard my cry, and after some number crunching and sexual favors she agreed to finance my dream. Yeah for me!!!

So I got started by tearing everything off the free standing miscellaneous shelves in the garage into a giant pile (Please note first picture.).

Then I called my Pop and we came up with a materials and cut list.

Then I waited for the first of the month (That's what happens when you have fiscal responsibility. Stupid, stupid responsibility.).

After that we got to work...

Pop posing with the partially erected (Huh, I said erect..) shelves.

Part 1: The great wall of shelves completed.

Part 2: The bench.
Hey! Don't make fun of another man's vise. It's what I had. Jerk...

The opposite wall of the garage.
 I didn't show any before pictures of this side. Except if you look behind the gigantic pile of crap in the back ground you can kinda see what it looked like.

Basically  I took two of the large nice shelves from the other side and used them here for all the pantry, sleeping bag, dog food and booze storage. Then shrunk up where I hung the bikes. There are still just as many hooks. But I put them closer together and alternated the direction of the handle bars to get them to fit. It seams to be working nicely. Although I haven't tried to take the bikes on and off a bunch yet. So I may change my tune.

What comes after a bench is built? Why a peg board of course! I think going shopping for this, along with all the little peg board attachments has been the happiest I've ever been shopping for home improvement stuff. It was AWESOME!!!

This is the start. I've gone a little farther than this now. But at least I have all the "vitals" up there for use during the interim.

My Pop also bought me a nice American made (Very important. As the China made ones suck.) Wilton vise. I didn't show any pictures of it mounted yet because I 'm waiting until after the metal top is installed to mount it.

I can't tell you all how super pumped I am to have a somewhat organized and usable man cave. It's enough to almost make this cave man cry (Ugh. No look at Big E when he get emotional...)

I'll have a few more gratuitous pics up in the near future of the completed project.

Rubber side down,

Big E

PS~ I wanted to give a big thank you to my SSHW for giving me "permission" (Inside joke.) and for my Pop for helping me so much with this. I couldn't have done it without either one of you. I love you both tons and tons.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Bonk Is A Four Letter Word

Bonk is a four letter word~

It is really cold and wet out here.

Why do my legs feel so heavy?

My winter bike is so much harder to ride.

I sure wish I put those chemical warmers in my booties before we left.

Just keep turning the pedals...

What is that feeling in the back of my stomach? Hollow. Cavernous.

Seriously!? Where is the buddy flap on that bike?

Nothing like a three and half hour cold shower. With some Belgium toothpaste to keep my breath minty fresh.

What the fuck am I doing here?

Just keep turning the pedals...

Hail!? HAIL!? Now I wish I had my glasses back on.

I'm dying...

That ditch looks as good a place as any to curl up in...

Why are all these people still talking to me!? Smiling even... Can't they tell I'm in the seventh ring of hell!? Leave me alone! I want to die in piece....

Please don't leave me!

Where am I? I haven't recognised the last three turns.

Just keep turning the pedals...

You'll eventually get there.

Work hands, work!

Am I dreaming? This must be a dream...

Just open the Ziploc bag. There is food in there. Tear it with your teeth if you have to. Just get to that sustenance.

Do I know anyone that can pick my up? SSHW? No. The boys? No. You're almost home.

You know the way home. Even at 10 miles an hour its less than an hour.

Just keep turning the pedals...

Has my brain ever been this hazy before?

I have to 'paper boy' up a hill I've gone 17 mph up before. Really?

Thank you God, for these little down hill sections.

Almost home, almost home.

Just keep turning the pedals...

I made it.

Rubber side down,

Big E

Friday, January 25, 2013

Lance Armstrong Thoughts

So with such a shit storm of allegations, hear say, and "reliable sources" floating about the interwebs I want to put some thoughts down before the Big O interview tonight and tomorrow.  I honestly don't know if I'm going to watch the interview. Unless there is some huge revelation that hasn't already been said, I think I'll probably save those 3 hours of my life and do something productive with them. Like dig a drainage ditch, feed the hogs, or watch re-runs of Family Guy and drink beer...

This what I started to write before the two part interview that took place with Oprah last week. After that paragraph I went into a bunch of different thoughts on what I thought he would say versus what I hoped he would say. None of that really matters now. He did it and these are my thoughts about it.

~Oprah did a fair job on the interview.

She obviously did her homework, and she asked most of the questions that people in the know would have asked. I also liked her narrative through out the interview to help explain to the laymen what different things meant and who people were. I thought that was a nice touch. It was classic Oprah when she pressed hard on questions that she felt might evoke an emotional response. Particularly when it pertained to his children. I also got the distinct feeling (SSHW was the first to point it out to me...) that Oprah doesn't like Lance very much. But then again. Anyone but a select few, would probably not have a hard time understanding why. The interview started out very strong. Things got moving quickly with the rapid fire yes or no questions. I liked that. It made me feel like we were really going to get to the meat of the story.

Then it just laid there like a limp dead fish.

And I get the feeling that that is half the reason Lance chose Oprah to tell this story too. She doesn't have the depth of knowledge on the subject matter to come back with probing follow up questions that could really put him in a bind.

~Lance is calculated incarnate.

He doesn't take a dump without a plan. And I'm sure he ran every scenario through his head before the interview. Trying to do what he wanted to do and still control the outcome. But ultimately that was and is his undoing.

~He was filled with nothing but half-truths.

I believe he was honest in a lot of what he said. But I also believe he was dishonest in the things that could potentially hurt him or what's left of his supporters (Former sponsors, confidants or business partners.) from the fleet of lawyers that a massing on his shores. He certainly can't stop all of them. But he his probably trying to limit his loses a bit by keeping quiet or continuing the lying about certain stories. Things like the hospital room with the Andreau's, the 2001 Tour de Suisse alleged positive test cover up or the doping allegations from Comeback 2.0. All those stories have multiple people backing them up. And in some cases physical proof that is just to obvious to ignore.

Sociopath (A person whose behavior is antisocial and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience.) is a word that is being used quiet a bit to describe Lance. I must admit that it appears to be a pretty apt description of him. At least in some ways... I don't think he antisocial at all. If anything I think he feels like he needs the lime-light to help make himself feel special. In fact, I would say his need for unconditional acceptance and a total and complete fear of weakness are what got him into this mess in the first place. The, "Win at all costs" attitude that he talked so much about in the interview. Which leads me to my next epiphany.

~I don't think Lance loves cycling. I think he loved what it got him.

I think that thought, more than anything made me feel sad during the set of interviews. Well, that and his total lack of conscience. But that attribute has been known for a long time to anyone who viewed his words and actions in cycling.

~Lance's narcissism is gigantic.

He showed what seemed like genuine remorse. But only in the way it affected him. He had/has no empathy for anyone else. He can logically see and understand how his actions have effected other people. But it seemed like he could make himself feel bad about it. I think that was probably the biggest surprise to me. With the exception of his own children, he couldn't seem feel how his actions deeply effected other people.

And that is what back fired on him.

~He had such an opportunity to pick this whole thing up and deal with it like a man.

Not partial responsibility. Not half truths. Not half a man. The whole damn thing.

He could have bared all. Shown all the players. All the nastiness. And sure it would have been ugly. Sure it would have gotten worse before it got better.

But to me that's what we need. We need to burn this thing to the ground and see what rises from the ashes. The sport is too dirty. Too corrupt. And Lance might have been a strong enough character in all this to get it done. Had he done that. Had he shown the whole truth. Warts and all. I'd be willing to bet the nation, and probably a good portion of the world would have taken what he said as truth, forgiven him and quite possibly gotten behind him again. To be honest, I might have as well. Even though I am cynical and bitter.

But he didn't.

And that's what was wrong with the interview...

Thanks for reading.

Rubber side down,

Big E

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

It's A Brand New Year

Now that we've all put our aardvark coats away for the holiday season and drank what was left of that killer eggnog your brother makes with lighter fluid. It's time to focus on this year now. The now, that's now and not worry about when the then will be now. You know? Good.

So there are a few of goals for this coming year that have been rattling around in my brain. Some very modest. Others a little more ambitious. But all definitely attainable. They kind of are all over the place (Which is pretty normal for me.) so bare with me. Some may appear to not have a whole lot to do with cycling. But they do have a lot to do with my life. Which in turn, effects my cycling.

So it all counts.

1. Learn to be able to take off and on a vest, jacket and arm warmers while riding no handed.

Riding no handed has never been something I'm super comfortable with.  When I was a teen I did a serious face plant while riding my bike no handed. So I guess maybe it's in my kitchen a little. But I shall prevail!!!

2. To be able to take a whiz while still riding.

Not TheWiz, just a whiz...
I'm sure I'm getting a big, eww from the cheap seats (Hey! Quiet down back there.) but it's something I watched being done (From the cheap seats.) several times during races. And it looks AWESOME! To be able to just glide to the back of the group whole hog over or under your bibs and let it fly is and ultimate bad ass move and no one will convince me otherwise.
3.To always put my wife, children and family first.

Perspective on life is important. And while I do truly love to ride and race my bicycle. It's not how I make my living (I know that's shocking. Should I have had you sit down first? Sorry. There you go... Is that better?). Its just how I do my recreating. Which in my life is 4th or 5th on the list. Still important to me. But certainly not number 1.

4. Loose some weight. Specifically 10-15 lbs.

It's such a cliche thing to put on one of these lists that I almost hate to do it. But its reality. So there you go... Hills would feel a lot better and I might have a chance to hang on to the peloton if I had the weight of a bicycle relieved from my body. I have managed not to gain the prerequisite 7 lbs. over the holidays. So I feel like I'm already ahead of schedule a little bit.

5.To help continue to improve my racing club, Capitol Velo through the next year.

I haven't mentioned it on here yet. But I'm the new president of my local racing club (My plan is working perfectly! First Cap Velo. Next, the WORLD!!!! Muhahaha!). My goals are modest in nature. But I hope that they will help cement the camaraderie of the club and educate our members on all forms of racing (More on all that in the future.).

6. Participate in my first cross country mountain bike race. I've done some mountain bike short track races (Although technically on a cross bike.) in the past and really enjoyed them. So I figure I need to expand my horizons a bit. I've been told they have fat guy categories (clydesdales) so I'll either start there or beginners. It should be a fun time.

So that's it! Not a giant list. But one that has goals that will stretch me out but are certainly attainable.

So here's to a new year. Lets go kick it's ass!

Rubber side down,

Big E