Saturday, July 29, 2006

Phloyd update

as is seen elsewhere, Floyd is on the offensive in the doping allegation. a couple days ago he was sad; now he's Mad. he appeared on Larry King Live last night, which brought up an interesting point about testoterone. a few days ago all kinds of news reports stated that T was useful in recovery from a hard effort etc. etc. now the claim, according to an Aussie 'expert', is that T is useless except for building muscle, something a chicken-winged cyclist doesn't want to do. there are also anomalies with the positive only on the one day. i don't know. now Floyd's doc, as well as others, are questioning the validity of a 25 yr-old test. sounds very 'Tyler-esque', doesn't it? cyclingnews does a much better job explaining this all than i. i hope he's clean. i hope it's legit. i have my doubts. how can you not?

Friday, July 28, 2006

'Old Time Music

Date: July 28
Mileage: 2
Ride type: Beer Run
Bike: 925
Temp: 75 overcast and wannabe-stormy
July mileage: 290
Year to date: 1028

it was close to time so i had to go get beer. and L had been sitting around all day while his parents fought with his brother, Z. (another story). so L and daddy went for a bike ride, but a good bike ride up to Karem-Deebs, the local Beer Sanctuary. god what a great place. it's listed on a large billboard as "Beer Depot". it's a liquor store, beer depot, deli, and all-round shrine to that which is good. i threw on the Timbuk 2 bag and away L and i went. it's about a mile therenback. when i go to the 'Beer Depot', i buy good beer. in fact, as an older (36) beer consumer, i buy only good beer. that's to say i don't sit around my yard swilling Bud Light and Miller High Life. actually, i like to buy a little expensive beer and a 6pack of cheap ass swill- PBR, FallsCity, etc. this time, there were no 6packs of assbeer, so i ended up with a 4 of Boddingtons (my fav), a 4 of Duvel- a Belgian that unfortunately is watered down for the US crowd, and a single of Guiness. at home i dove into the Guinness and cooking some homemade fajitas with pollo, poblano and red pepper and onion. mostly every time i cook now i get to thinking about 'buying local'. i can't say i did on this trip- excluding some onion which was from the local farmer's market- but along with my semi-regular bike commuting, this is seems to be the next direction to go in. that said, i make a kickass batch of chixandpeppers washed down with some excellent brew.

it got me thinking, and listening, to some new/old tracks. i've mentioned music very little on this blog b/c it's mostly for bikes. but i LOVE, and i mean, LOVE music. in fact, the primary difficulty i have is what music to listen to at the time. last night i went to bed to a Naxos release, a compilation of 'Early Music', which means Middle Ages and early Renaissance. i LOVE this type of music. the Tallis Scholars are a kind of 'crack', never to be put down. in fact it's my fav. i can listen to Renaissance vocal music 24/7, and i mean it! tonight, though, i had the good fortune to listen to a Smithsonian Folkways release, "Mountain Music of Kentucky". i've been bashing the 'Ville lately for being a backwater hickville. no real bikeways. no vision. no forward thinking. the 'Ville has an interesting place in Kentucky, in that it's really a city-state, within the borders but not really Kentucky. 3 of my 4 grandparents, though, are not from Louisville but rather from rural counties in KY, with my Mamaw from Manchester, which is squarely in the mountains. fact is, i love mountain music. i love 'old-time' music. i love authentic music. we have CDs and Albums of 'oldtime' music as well as old, pre-50s blues. i just love it. no, i don't listen to it nonstop. i vacillate between that, opera, classical, jazz, techno. alternative, classic, metal, punk, younameit. i love music in all its forms. tonight, though, i listened to mountain music as it was in 1959 (when it was recorded) and as it had been through the ages. it's a kind of language. and i'm a language guy. yes, i teach Spanish, but really linguistics is where its at. the original sounds of the original people. great stuff. English Ballads and Scottish hymns heard 100, 200, 300 yrs later from mountain folk who never left the hills. Shit Rocks!

OK, beer had taken its toll, as is wont to happen. listen, though, to REAL music. it's what we are.

One of those Days

Date: July 28
Mileage: 10
Ride type: Barrio
Bike: LHT
Temp: 75 overcast and wannabe-stormy
July mileage: 288
Year to date: 1026

after something like 6 rides in 7 days, my riding goes nowhere this week. finally, i jump up to ride this p.m. i go to the Crosscheck b/c it's been raining and that's a good rain bike. back flat tire. mierda. go to LHT. i had fiddled with brakes and fixed flat back tire a week or so ago. get on and ride, cruising the neighborhood. was going to get in 15-20 goofaround miles. mierda. back tire going soft. piss! i thought i had found the entry point for glass or nail in back tire. thought i had cleaned it out. guess not. piss. will have to find bike without flat back tire to ride tomorrow.

Blurbs

while awaiting the decision whether to ride in the rain or not (and whether to bother checking the Phloyd Philes- which i will), i came across some interesting tidbits:

1.

% students attending
public/private schools

73.1/26.90 Louisville
88.4/11.59 N'tl avg.

Money magazine Online, much like that other list that i railed against yesterday, has also ranked places to live (thanks ChrisG). the 'Ville didn't fare much better, but these ## were interesting. we have a HUGE Catholic community in Louisville, one of the largest per capita in the US if i'm not mistaken. henceforth we have significant numbers of students who attend private school. as a public school teach, i find this interesting.

another interesting tidbit, also left over from our Catholic heritage:

Bars
(within 15 miles) 189 Louisville
127 N'tl avg.


gotta love that number!!

really, on mostly every other count, divorce, median income, housing values, you name it, we're down the list. i'm depressed now.

2.
on a HIGH note, Wal-Mart has left Germany. the rising tide is kept at bay. they'll just take over China instead.

3.
some good reading about Peak Oil and Ethanol, Self Sufficiency and the Chicken Battles, and the great Change of American society. i take no credit for finding such interesting reading. i'll credit that mostly to Jim's Oil for is Sissies.

4.
it's raining and i was too damn lazy to ride this a.m. since my big 53-miler on Sunday, i've not been on it once. Monday softball. Tuesday Tres Chicas show at the Rud. (mostly wife's pick, but a really good show. i encourage all if you like harmonies). Wednesday ??. Thursday i did fiddle with bikes, including brakes on LHT and general check of Rans. been to pool every day though. my tan is great!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

livable cities

i'm pissed with my hometown. i've always extolled (2nd time used today) the virtues of the 'Ville. small but large. great neighborhoods. great arts scene. good college sports.

now that there seems to be a war on cyclists (greatly overdramatized, but i'm pissed), i'm now seeing all that's wrong with the 'Ville. Redneck. Bluecollar in a whitecollar world. backwards. country. unresponsive. provincial. we can't even decide whether to build an arena while the other similar cities are filling theirs with pro sports. we can even decide where to build a bridge, much less the other one. we can't decide whether to tear down the I-64 monstrosity (no clue how to spell that one) while other cities have retaken their riverfronts. can't decide to do effing anything.

found a 'Top 10' list via yahoo.com and Forbes magazine. these are the The Best Places for Business and Careers: The Top Ten Metros. i'm no lover of Business, Business, Business, but you know these towns have things going for them- jobs, streetlife, housing, entertainment. you know it. oh, here they are:

best_135x135.jpg The Best Places for Business and Careers: The Top Ten Metros
Forbes.com
Whether you're looking to the north, east, south or west, you've come to the right place if you want to start a business or relocate for a new job. Opportunity is knocking loud and clear at these metro areas. More.

The Best Metros at Forbes.com
1. Albuquerque, NM
2. Raleigh, NC
3. Houston, TX
4. Boise, ID
5. Knoxville, TN
6. Phoenix, AZ
7. Nashville, TN
8. Durham, NC
9. Fayetteville, AR
10. Indianapolis, IN

22. Lexington, KY
83. Louisville, KY



what i'm pissed about is that 3 of those towns are pretty close in size and location to the 'Ville- Knoxville, Nashville and Indy. why isn't Luavull on the list? b/c it's a backwards-ass conservative, smallminded bogpit. you can't escape. i'm a school teacher at the best high school in the state. we have all these students who leave and don't come back, even though they're the brightest and best. why? no 'real' jobs here. no market. no vitality.

more than anything, they hate cyclists. and aren't cyclists the LEADING indicator of a 'Top-10' lifestyle?

**'course this lists sucks ass, huge ass. Houston is one of the worst places in the known world. Boise has no people who aren't white or Basque. Phoenix is full of old people and it's 100degrees there most of the year. and Fayetville, my birthstate of AR, is more hillbilly than KY. i looked at the parameters, and the most important was cost of doing business. KY costs are cheap b/c we're hillbillies and don't know any better.

"outLANDISh"

title stolen from my RoadBikeRider newsletter. unfortunately, this title was given due to Floyd's first mega accomplishment, winning the Tour de France. i'm not sure how they will "out-Landish-ize" the second title, given for his potential disgrace. it is now known that Floyd is the rider listed as testing positive for testosterone after the epic stage into Morzine. it both makes complete sense and none whatsoever. he was empty. he came back. Heroism. Drugs. on one hand, innocent until proven guilty. who knows? bad B sample. some other wack but true excuse. on the other, this sport is poisoned, probably like all other sports, but it is a sport based solely on sponsorship, and therefore at the whims of the "market", the need to be chased. in a typical league, say the NFL or EPL, a rogue state can cause problems, but the brotherhood of owners has an equal and compelling need to cover each other's back from negative press and publicity. they are much more 'in it together', being equals as owners. in the cycling biz, there is no owner but rather competing PR entities who want to one-up the next entity to grab more and more PR. there's no overriding structure. there's no top. compare the drug story versus Cycling and versus Baseball. does anyone think there are fewer drugs used in baseball? if you do, you're a Bush-supporting Republican and the WMDs are in Baghdad. hell no, those 'roid freaks look like a bunch of Michelin men with muscle. BUT baseball's power structure NEEDS those stories to go away, the owners, the players, the union...it's only the press that tries to get the story, but to little avail.

Cycling, on the other hand, seems mired in a kind of clan struggle for the sport- the UCI, the Managers (DS) assoc, the riders' assoc (very small that it is), the Pro-Tour, the ASO and the other Tours, the press, WADA, need i go on? none of these entities seems to work with another for the betterment of either the sport or the pocketbook. no top. free for all!

i don't know. sour grapes. they're a bunch of cheaters and deserve to get caught. i saw that German TV may not televise the future Tour. i can certainly see OLN doing the same (or not doing the same, as it were). but are the Germans serious to think that they're beloved footballers aren't dosing enormous amounts of EPO, stimulants, HGH and the like to be bigger, better footballers? what a ridiculous, naive notion.

if it comes back negative and we have an anomoly, great. if it's positive for doping and he loses the Tour, i will immediately erase my bookmarks of pro cycling, and i will personally write to Floyd the Fraud, or Phloyd the Phony, and demand the $$ back from him that i paid for a t-shirt extolling his inspiration. i hate this.

the 'Ville and the 'Liberal' media

there has been another is a regular series of brouhahas between the Louisville cycling community and the local media. the Courier-Journal has been relatively positive about cycling coverage. the TV stations, and one in particular, have been pretty dismissive, if not nasty. last month WLKY ran a sensationalized story about bicycles on the roads and the frustration they cause drivers. this latest, in fact the 2nd part of the series titled 'War of the Wheels', has an interesting tone, in that the first half of the transcript, including comments from John Boel, who is a reporter and triathlete, are pretty positive. he outlines how drivers pass too closely and don't follow traffic laws concerning giving bicycles rights. the 2nd half, though, goes downhill, at least from the perspective of a cyclist. Let' see:

The investigation also revealed that in two-thirds of the cases, the collisions were the cyclist's fault.

However, the most common error Target 32 found in the reports -- that leads to the most number of crashes -- was what police called "Illegally riding on the sidewalk."

Sweeney cited one of the leading causes of accidents between cyclists and vehicles: rampant disregard of the laws governing bicycling.

Boel said these types of violations were seen all over Louisville throughout the investigation -- cyclists riding five wide and out into the oncoming lanes.

"And we seldom saw anyone use hand signals," said Boel.

Target 32s investigation found that in accidents involving bicycles in Louisville, police said the cyclists were at fault in 66 percent of the incidents. That result is an increase of 6 percent over last year, when Target 32 did a similar study

this is one of those reports that loves to take random numbers and change or distort the context. if so many accidents are caused from cyclists on the sidewalk, then what kind of cyclists are we discussing? somewhere in the blogosphere i saw some clever differentiation used between "lycra cyclists" and "too-poor-to-own-a-car" cyclists, but i can't remember where. nonetheless, "real" cyclists don't use the fucking sidewalk. the Mexican immigrants who can't afford cars use them. the black folks from the west side do the same. the poor whites from the south side doing the same. it would, or maybe could, never happen, but let WLKY-32 and the police differentiate their study to compare the different types of cyclists. that is my first HUGE beef with this bullshit report. the contention is that "real" cyclists- maybe the differentiation is cyclists vs. people using bikes- cause far fewer of these accidents. the 2nd is the obvious tenor and tone problem. in both the July 24th and the July 18th reports, the potential menace presented by cars is introduced early, but the lasting image or sensation presented at the end of each report is the lawlessness of the cyclist, breaking laws, not signaling for fucking Christ sake.

this "War of the Wheels", as explained by 32, was presented somewhat in response to the increased bicycle traffic with gas prices. imagine the 'news' instead presenting a serious of reports on alternatives to driving, on ways to lower gas usage, on the benefits of cyclings, walking, busing. it fucking reeks! it makes me sick! for every 1 cyclist who "blows past every stop sign and every stop light", how many cars do so in the same intersection? for every 1 bicycling accident, how many auto accidents are there?

and what i also find interesting is that, in my travels in the inner-city, that is inside of the first ring road Watterson Expwy, i don't actually feel the menace nearly as much as the reports contend. actually, i don't have that many "menacing" experiences. much of this ire stems from the encroachment of the 'burbs on country roads, traditional bike club roads. there is certainly not enough room for both a Bike, a Volvo, oh and let's say a DumpTruck carrying landfill to/from a new subdivision. in the innercity, i ride much like a car, and i don't have that many probs. maybe i'll be killed this afternoon, but these experiences byinlarge, seem to be impacting those 50-person club rides. DUH! a huge mass of anything in one place will cause issues. a bar near the house has a Thursday-night motorcycle night. it's a huge painintheass for th motorists there. why not do a story there? Fuck 'em. Fuck 'em all.

this kind of BS 'news' sucks ass and makes me want to blow buildings up. OF COURSE, of course, i'm not making a legitimate threat. i just think that a more progressive place, say Minneapolis or Portland- one of those 'modern' cities-, might be 'pro-active' about cyclists and cycling. i'm quite sure there are menacing drivers there, and bike/car accidents. but this sensationalized reporting, instead of making the streets SAFER for all users, makes them much more DANGEROUSfor 1 group, and that group is cyclists.

and this is the city i live in. backwoods, backwater, redneck piece of shit Luavull. fucking steaming pile.

Positive sample

lots of goings ons in the cycling world. the first word is that there was a positive A sample for either testoterone or a stimulant. the world awaits the B sample. it is also the case that Floyd has now skipped two post-Tour criteriums, citing hip problems. please, oh please, don't let it be Floyd. don't let it happend. please let him be smart enough and ethical enough to not have it be him. could there be anything worse? imagine the reprisals. the excuses. the subterfuge.

Vamos a ver.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Withdraw

has begun. No Tour (received my "Go Phloyd!" shirt yesterday). No Wimbledon. No French Open. No World Cup. My basic motivation- Get up...Make coffee...Turn on TV...Watch sporting event- is over. I have a couple weeks and school's back in session. Disco signed Levi. That'll guarantee them at least a 9th place. Good Job!

The Withdraw has begun.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

and again, Floyd


wow, what a roller coaster!! how many hours have i spent glued to the tube? could you script a better Tour the YaL "Year after Lance"? i'm really pleased for Floyd b/c on face value, or on TV face value, he seems like a good guy, honest, humble, direct, entirely non-political or homogonized. it seems like the peloton takes him the same way, hugging Pereiro, seemingly heartfelt congrats from Kloden. to get to the point, he's no Lance. i don't think Lance has many friends left in the peloton, and certainly none from the inner circle.

this is what Big L had to say:

"I was in the car with Johan when Floyd had his bad day. It looked like it was over for him but knowing Floyd the way I do I was not surprised to see him come out fighting. His ride on Thursday was epic. He showed a champions resolve. I look forward to seeing him up on the podium in Paris. If it couldn't be one of my guys from Discovery Channel than I am thrilled to see Floyd continue the success of American cycling." - Lance Armstrong

Not exactly a personal congratulation. he's thrilled to see Floyd boost America. he's not necessarily thrilled for Floyd, as a person, to win. don't know. just sort of icky, IMHO.

i enjoyed this Tour as much as Greg's '89, Lance's '01 and '03. Floyd showed great heart and determination. and he won the race with the most epic stage win of modern times. i hope his hip thang goes well and that he's battling it out with Kloden, Evans and Valverde next year. he may never win again, but he was a worthy winner, and one not listed in Operacion Puerto. good for him.

Jefferson Elf Ride

Date: July 23
Mileage: 53 (+2)
Ride type: Road
Bike: Blueridge
Temp: 75 and perfect
July mileage: 278
Year to date: 1016

Wow, perfect weather today and a great ride, a long ride on this lastdayoftheTour Sunday. after watching a bit of the morning coverage, i got ready to take a good long, steady, slowish ride. i've had several difficult 1-2hr rides, but i haven't pulled off a multi-hour ride in a while. the plan was to go out at a very moderate pace (for me, that means somewhere in the 14-15mph range) and stay away from the bigger gears. i also took 2 full bottles with me and planned to refill on the road. one of my probs this summer has been not drinking enough.

the title refers to the name of a ride in Joe Ward's book "Bicycling around Louisville". this ride takes place in the south and southwestern part of Jefferson Co. this is a region that is more rural and less developed, in fact, the last underdeveloped area in JeffCo. a good bit of my family lives not too far from there (maybe 5miles) in that direction, so i've ridden those roads for many years. they're very much like country roads found away from the city. the Louisville Bicyle Club used to do more rides in that direction, but they're committed any more to either doing rides in the far east of the county or in Southern Indiana. i left from the house and rode for about 50min before i hit the empty rural ones.

i ran across several cyclists today. the first, actually 2, were woman who passed me with both using fanatical cadences. racers? don't know, but they didn't even acknowledge my presence, and this is on a flat road when i was doing 16-17mph. the next was a gentleman out on the empty roads. i waved; he didn't respond. then i ran across the girls again, apparently doing the same loop as i, but in the opposite direction. they didn't acknowledge me. finally, i ran into a group of 4 who were very friendly. sometimes i hate cyclists. they're just not very nice as a whole. and this is not just me. writer/journalist Maynard Hershon, who used to write alot for the now-defunct "Winning" magazine and has several books to his credit (i own both), wrote a couple articles on that fact. they just don't wave much. no wonder we have to fight for cycling rights in the US b/c we can't seem to get along with each other (n)either.

off to the pool, but a successful 53miler, with an average of 14.9mph. very pleased. (and the 2 extra miles are for me and Luke riding to my mom's house and back last night.) i have a couple more weeks of summer before school starts back. i want to get some legs under me so i can make good use of some long fall commutes.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

THE TT

funnily enough, i found the TT a little anti-climatic, although it really wasn't. the two real sensations were of Floyd leading at the first check. The New King! the 2nd is of Floyd seemingly slowing and Pereiro keeping pace. i though Oh S@#T! This CAN'T happen... and it didn't. by the end, Floyd rode well enough, finishing 3rd behind Honchar and Kloden, and Pereiro slowing to 4th, but riding the absolute TT of his life. fact is, Floyd's dominant ride was over the Joux Plane, and not today.

Results from

1 Serguei Gonchar (Ukr) T-Mobile 1.07.45 (50.48 km/h)
2 Andreas Klöden (Ger) T-Mobile 0.41
3 Floyd Landis (USA) Phonak 1.11
4 Oscar Pereiro (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears 2.40
5 Sebastian Lang (Ger) Gerolsteiner 3.18
6 David Zabriskie (USA) Team CSC 3.35
7 Viatscheslav Ekimov (Rus) Discovery Channel 3.41
8 Cadel Evans (Aus) Davitamon-Lotto
9 Bert Grabsch (Ger) Phonak 3.43
10 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Fondital 3.44
11 David Millar (GBr) Saunier Duval 4.01
12 Joost Posthuma (Ned) Rabobank 4.03
13 Marcus Fothen (Ger) Gerolsteiner 4.15
14 Jens Voigt (Ger) Team CSC 4.16
15 Gustav Larsson (Swe) Francaise Des Jeux 4.21
16 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Cofidis 4.32
17 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank 4.33
18 Nicolas Portal (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears 4.35
19 Michael Rogers (Aus) T-Mobile
20 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC 4.42


**notice Sastre moving to 4th with a poor ride. i though Menchov was poor too. Rogers, for that matter, underperformed. Pereiro was the man, in my own opinion. although he shouldn't have been gifted so much time, he rode with more heart throughout the Alps and the final TT than anyone but Floyd.

**top-20 missing a Disco boy except the Old Man. what a terrible Tour, saved only by Popo's stage. a superteam but a distant memory.

**this TT mostly full of specialists, with very few all-rounders here. as previously stated, a Tour of Lieutenants.

**and how 'bout Eki? 40, riding his 15th Tour. a legend. he deserves one other good result before sailing into the sunset. the word is that he was trying to organize a Russian pro team. think he would be an excellent team manager? Hell yes!

**in looking at results, really there were 3 dominant riders- Honchar, Kloden, and Landis, w/ Pereiro stuck in the middle under the spell of the jersey. after that the time gaps are quite substantial.

**i was looking post-facto through the results and noticed that Levi lost 6min again. not as disappointing as George's Tour, but not far off.

**and finally, OLN (Vs. this fall) announced they will produce daily shows for the Tour of California. with Floyd's ability to win that event, and the Tour, it give the TofC real creedence. good for the future of American cycling (i guess).

Mocha Java

Date: July 22
Mileage: 14.5
Ride type: Urban Bike Jog
Bike: LHT
Temp: ??80??
July mileage: 223
Year to date: 961

easy jaunt around the eastern neighborhoods today, mostly to get my legs loose after my death march yesterday. i was also grumpy from my body waking me up too early this a.m., so need to loosen up so as to not be unpleasant to those around me today. decided the goal would be to go get COFFEE. i have some wholebean here, but it gets everywhere when i grind it. i hadn't been to my fav spot- Sunergos- for a while, so off i went on the LHT to #1 ride a bit and #2 get real cafe. i intentionally went slow (12-14mph) for most of trip to make sure and recup. i find the Sunergos paradigm intersting, b/c the owners are deeply and enthusiastically religious, devout holy-roller Christians. it's a group i tend to abhor due to their moralizing, but these guys are very peaceful and humble. Plus they easily make the best coffee in town.

other than that, on the return trip (in a different direction) i opened up a little more as my legs felt better. did another fav routine and beat a bunch of the car traffic down Bardstown; that's where i opened it up to 20-21mph for a bit. saw the guy with the trickout allwhite fixie, but he was up a ways so i couldn't really study it. oh, a cool dude gave the LHT a compliment when i was at Sunergos. that's cool. doesn't happen too often in the 'Ville. it's TREK land you know.

when i got home, i realized that one of my back brake shoes might've been dragging. gonna have to check that out. it's like Lance's brakes over the Galibier in '03. me just like Lance, right on!

Friday, July 21, 2006

More Mercer pics


friend's farm just outside of Dixville, Mercer Co., KY (that's the Litespeed Blueridge leaning against the tree. I still felt alright at this point.)



This is the Chaplin river right across from friend's farm. It runs more shallow here than what i saw later.



a shore-line (or just it be bank-of-the-river) view along the Chaplin River. nasty climb out of this.




i just liked this scene, although the pic doesn't quite capture it. this wyndes along the river a bit, with the grass on the left taller than me or cars. it's a grass tunnel.



This last pic is of a re-created Fort Harrodsburg. remember, it's the oldest (non-Spanish/non-native of which i guess they're none) settlement west of the Appalachians/Alleghanies. it's neat for the boys.

more Floyd

didn't watch the stage today, as i was actually riding. (note sarcasm please)

too bad Levi didn't get the stage. would've been a good consolation for his disappointment from Alpine difficulties.

good couple blurbs at cyclingnews.com abt Floyd's master stage. the first is rider reactions. the second provides some excellent historical context. for this to become truly historical, he must, he MUST, win the TT and win yellow from Pereiro and Sastre. Both are solid but unspectacular riders, and a win by either would prove unsatisfying. a Floyd victory would be historical and meaningful muchmoreso, at least for an American audience.

and finally, i was watching OLN coverage last night of the big stage. the evening feed this time for some reason ended up having Bob and Al on the mike, but seemingly impromptu 'during a commercial'. when Dessel went over the side, Bob, in that great, goofy voice of his, said "God..Damn" in this drawnout, dramatic kinda way. i'm quite sure it wasn't supposed to be on the telecast, but it was some of the best commentating i've heard. the 'Human Side'. Great Stuff!! and later Trautwig, again probably 'off mike', starting practically shrieking something like "do you think he's gonna' do it?", like he was talking to Bob, but like a kid at Christmas. great stuff again.

tomorrow a.m., much coffee and super focus.

Mercer Country found merciless

Date: July 21
Mileage: 30 (27.6 actual)
Ride type: Road
Bike: Blueridge
Temp: 85, muggy
July mileage: 208.5
Year to date: 946.5

the mileage confusion stems from the fact that i popped the computer out for a moment when i rode around a parking lot at a church, and of course, forgot to pop it back on for a few miles. this is a pretty fair guesstimate, if not a little short.

BTW, boy did i take an ass-whooping today. not unlike the country ride i took out of Lexington a few weeks ago, i'm finding that my fitness is not matching my desire to take interesting rides. the good wife and L had to pick Z up from camp in SouthCentralKY, so i made plans for them to drop me off in Harrodsburg for a ride. then they picked me up on the return. i had big plans to get a solid ride on empty roads, building on a little bit of fitness i've gained of late with more regular riding. i also had the goal of going by a farm outside of Dixville, KY, one purchased somewhat recently by a school teacher friend.

to plan the route in an area about which i know nothing whatsoever, i consulted two sources,first my fav Delorme Atlas KY. anyone here who doesn't use the Delorme for your state, you're missing something. they're much closer to the Michelin maps i've used for Europe, more precise, more detailed, really much better allround than those peicesofcrap Rand-McNallys. Now, of course, you techies can use Googlemaps to get the same thing done, and maybe done better. i have nary the dialupspeed or the system oomph to make good use of the Google offerings. as much as anything, i built the ride out of a ride outlined by Joe Ward in his book "Wheeling around the Bluegrass", the "Harrodsburg-Cornishville" ride. one highlight is this old mill found on the banks of the Chaplin river. his book is locally published, so not easy to get. it offers 25 rides the central Bluegrass region of Kentucky. i borrowed part of his, and part of my goal to get to Dixville, a decision that would prove slightly ominous.

i woke up and didn't feel all that well, maybe too much wine, not enough sleep, poor diet (pizza last night, which should've been alright being carbo-heavy). don't know, but i was looking for excuses. yes, i'm lazy, but sometimes my body tells me to lay low. nevertheless, i ventured forth.

this area is not unlike the other rural KY areas i've ridden in this summer- craggy, constantly-rolling, creek to creek to creek riding. climb out of the creek, go down the next. you get the idea. i traversed an area intersected often by the Chaplin River and Dry Creek. though one is a 'river', and the other a 'creek', they seemed about the same size to me. so there was a little flat in there on occassion. i don't know, but i was looking at my watch within the first half hour. the descent down to my friend's farm was thrilling; it would've been the steepest climb of the day. by the end of the first hour i was running out of gas. now the ominous part mentioned above. i remembered from reading Mr. Ward's description that there were "several country stores" on the route. with my energy fading, a country store with some gatorade and a snack would be exactly what i needed. well, apparently, the stores were on the part of the route i didn't take, henceforth, no stores. no energy. and a 1-hour march back to town. oh, and i actually did march- er walk- not once but twice, up nastyass steep hills. i was done.

i sit here at 6.30p.m. in the midst of a big summer lightening storm and i still feel it in my muscles and bones. tough day.



Brewer's Mill (age?)















old cemetary- first person listed 1756-1820
another a "Revolutionary soldier"






**gonna add some more pics later, but connection slowed down. these are good. Harrodsburg was the first permanent settlement west of the Appalachians, which of course excludes native settlements and anything from the Spanish.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

la Historia

la historie ?? is this the french?

all-time modern Tour rides (from recollection)

1. Floyd Landis-'06 stage 17 to Morzine- if the Man wins the Tour- we'll see given the tumult- this will go down, HARD!

2. Greg Lemond-'89 last stage - defeating Laurent Fignon by .08, taking back a minute in only 25K. freakish. don't know the present numbers, but still one of the fastest few TT, and this before EPO and carbon.

3. Greg Lemond-'86 l'Alpe d'Huez stage- finishes arminarm with Hinault- bittersweet. 'Jack' should've buried him on the Alp

4. Lance Armstrong-'01 l'Alpe d'Huez- "the Look", demorilizes Ullrich in the midst of the Alpe. takes 2min by finish.

5. Miguel Indurain- '02 Luxembourg TT- 3min win over De las Cuevas, of all people. defeated Bugno by practically 4min in that one. maybe most dominant TT of all time.

6. Stephen Roche-'87 la Plagne- taking back 1.56 to Delgado in the last 4K to Delgado. do or die. later finishes 2nd to Bernanrd in the last TT to defeat Delgado for good. Oh, this Tour without Lemond, who would've kicked his blimey ass all over the mtn.

**if you notice, several of these are TT. of the mtn stages, Armstrong took 2min on the last climb. Roche took back almost 2min on the last climb. i'm still in disbelief that Floyd has just done something unheard of in the modern peloton, breaking away on the first climb to win the stage, and 5.30 to Sastre and basically 7.00 to the maillot jaune. yes, 'Tricky Dick', 'Chicken', and numerous dward Espanyoles, Colombianos and Italianos have tackled numerous cols to take the 'red peas' jersey, but an overall contender???? again, Holy S@#T!

Holy F@#$%G S@#T


i can't, i CANNOT, believe what i just saw. hate to mimic Bobke, but i am willing to say to myself that today was the greatest day of racing i've ever seen in the Tour. and as i said previously, i've watched since the CBS weekend update shows of Lemond's wins, the nascent ESPN re-cap shows of the '90s, and the all-out barrage of OLN.

when i say "i've watched", i have to throw out the caveat that i didn't watch Lemond's winning '89 ride. i was out with my parents somewhere in eastern Pennsylvania, came home, saw the news, and howled at the moon (er, sun). you can't deny that the '89 Tour was maybe the most exciting ever. today, though, i saw everything save a few minutes of right before the Joux Plane and the lower slopes of said mountain. INCREDIBLE!! These are the kind of rides that haven't happened in the modern Tour, ones where the favorites lose epic times one stage and gain it back later, for example Merckx losing 8.42 to Ocana in the '71 Tour, only to win later when Ocana crashed. or consider Lemond's '86 win. Hinault attacked his teammate and gained 5min into Pau. the next day, he exploded and Lemond took back that time and more to cement his win. when looking at the Indurain/Armstrong stranglehold years, name me one time that either of them attacked before the last climb. Name me one time when they accumulated 5.42 on their direct rivals in one stage. Indurain just used that huge motor to grind everybody in the mountains. Lance certainly was impressive on the climbs, but had that 1 burst on the last climb, grabbing 1 or 2 minutes like clockwork. Floyd loses 8 or so minutes to the favorites one day, and gains most of it back the next. it's just Amazing!

now the whole ball of wax comes down not only to Saturday's TT, but all the intermmediate bonuses along the way. unless Floyd utterly dominates the TT, we could see the GCrs sprinting on Sunday to win the '06 Tour de France.

Overall:
1) Oscar Pereiro, Caisse d'Epargne, Spain, in 80:08:49
2) Carlos Sastre, CSC, Spain, at :12
3) Floyd Landis, Phonak, CSC, at :30
4) Andreas Klöden, T-Mobile, Germany, at 2:29
5) Cadel Evans, Davitamon-Lotto, Australia, at 3:08
6) Denis Menchov, Rabobank, Russia, at 4:14
7) Cyril Dessel, AG2R, France, at 4:24
8) Christophe Moreau, AG2R, France, at 5:45
9) Haimar Zubeldia, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Spain, at 8:16
10) Michael Rogers, T-Mobile, Australia, at 12:13

**notice the absence of Leipheimer.poor guy finished in 38th place today, losing 21min overall and 12min to the clump of favorites. he catapults himself down the standings from 9th to 18th, 22min down. ironically enough, he finished in a group with 3 Disco boys and Chris Horner. Disco's Azevedo managed to keep himself in 19th.

**a good Tour resource that i found today is Welcome to the History of the Tour, sponsored by le Tour itself. it has specific yearly history, plus selections like an alphabetical list of all riders, from specific countries, jerseys, etc. good stuff.

take nothing away, though, from Floyd. i'm at least in agreement with Bobke. today was beyond epic. they throw around 'historical', but if, and that's IF, Floyd wins the Tour, today will be one of the top few rides of all time.

Can He?....Will he?

mierda! as i write, OLN upstairs is showing Floyd in a group of 3- he, Sinkowitz and Halgand- up the road with an advantage of 5.23. he attacked the peloton on the Saises climb (or was it Aravis- I wasn't watching at that point) and bridged up to a big breakaway of 'fat' sprinters and rouleurs. if it finished right now- which it won't-, he would be in the top 5. issues to consider:

**can he maintain anything close to 5.00. logic says he can't. the counterpoint would be that, except for the '1 Bad Day', he was certainly the strongest overall in the race- in the TT, on the Pla d'Beret stage and on the Alpe d'Huez.

**Sinkowitz is an annoyance. there are so many other decent riders who could be of great benefit, but what does Floyd have to deal with? a fly on the wall that is the T-Mobile rider. he'll contribute absolutely nothing whatsoever. it's good stage-race strategy on T-M's part, though, to but a quality rider up the road.

**the valley in between the Colombiere and the Joux Plane. if it were like yesterday, up and down with no bridge terrain, i would have more hope, but apparently there's a long valley section until the final Joux Plane climb. that'll be where Landis will have problems holding off the peloton.

well, gonna go back upstairs and bite my fingernails for the next while. fortunately, i get to take L to a friend's house for a play date at 10.00, so i'll have to watch the end of the stage via TIVO. don't know if i could handle the live feed.

Vive le Tour! Viva el Floyd!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Floyd, Floyd, Floyd

i've been following the Tour since Lemond's '86 win. i've seen the Lemond reign, the Indurain reign, the Armstrong reign. i've seen legitimate one time winners in Roche '87. I've seen sullied 1-time winners in Delgado'88 (Probenicide), Ullrich '97 (Operacion Puerto), and Pantani ('98- too many problems to mention). i also watched the Riis'96 win from a rider that really didn't do much else (save the '97 Amstel Gold) . Oscar Pereiro, present maillot jaune wearer, reminds me most of the latter. Not a King, but a lieutenant. This, in fact, is a Tour of Lieutenants. Valverde becomes Pereiro. Basso becomes Sastre. Ullrich becomes Kloden. Vinokourov becomes...well, his team isn't in the race. Moreau becomes Dessel. It's the most amazing Tour i've seen from that perspective. There is no real strongman, no one (or few) rider to dictate the race. It is a true freeforall. I said just a few days ago that Pereiro was good enough to cause trouble. now, after today's epic stage over the 4 big cols, the Tour is yet again on its head. when i said it, though, i didn't really expect him to give Floyd the trouble that Floyd experienced today. now, if Kloden, Sastre, or Evans (and maybe Menchov) don't take some time out of Pereiro tomorrow on the last Alpine stage, Pereiro will win the '06 Tour. Pereiro finished about 1 minute down of the 'favorites' in the first TT. they cannot expect to take more out; he seems inspired.

as for Floyd, what can you say? total collapse. it hurt to watch it. after 7 years of watching Lance either dominate, or at worst in '03 pull it out, this is more reality. i was impressed that Levi was willing to show some pluck today. didn't work, but a noble effort. oooh, and Disco had a top-20 finisher! Phonak finished only 11th on the Team classification today. seems another teammate or two up there could've stemmed the tide. Wow!



in mentally reviewing 20 yrs of Tours, i can't think of another legitimate Tour winner defalting so badly as Landis did today on the Touissure climb. i challenge my (1 or 2 actual) readers to come up with a comparison from a 'modern' Tour.

Bridgestone RB-1

Date: July 19
Mileage: 16.5
Ride type: Road
Bike: RB-1
Temp: 75, muggy (a.m.)
July mileage: 178.5
Year to date: 916.5

spent some time last night noodling around the net, and came across some Bridgestone pages at Sheldon Brown's website. His overall site is a treasure trove for cyclists of all types, but certainly for those Functionalists, Randonneur, and Rivendell stylists. I bought my Bridgestone RB-1 (yellow scheme) back in the early-to-mid 90's used from a shop employee. He gave me a really nice deal. It was my primary bike for 4 years or so until i was gifted my Litespeed Blueridge. even in the 90s i was looking for something less racy and more functional. i did put quite a few miles on the RB-1, but haven't done so lately given my other options, but do use it for my trainer bike in winter, that is, the few times i ride the rat wheel in winter..

Concerning the RB-1 setup, it's great. It's extremely stable, cornering with ease and assurance. the components package works like clockwork, and the overall fit is excellent. the biggest prob i have right now is that the lowest gear is a 40x23. you heard right, a 47" climbing ratio. that's a gear i just cannot push for climbing now. not at all. one time i tried to get my LBS to set my up with a new freewheel, but they wanted me to get a new wheel built instead. i said "no".

nonetheless, the Sprawls boys were going out again this a.m. for their usual 7.00, so i tagged along, this time on the RB-1. they don't climb much but do hold a steady pace on the flats, so the Bridgestone is great for that. we cruise at about 16-18, but fortunately slow down here or there when needed. might have to load some pics of all these damn bikes at some point.

la Croix de Fer

observations in the middle of the 'Queen Stage'

**T-Mobile has 5, count 'em, 5 riders in the lead group- Rogers, Kloden, Guerini, Kessler, Sinkiwitz

**AG2R has freaking 4, count 'em, 4 in the lead group- Dessel, Moreau, Astarloza, Calzati

**Floyd has a grand total of 1 teammate, Axel, dangling off the back of the group.

**Disco counts 1 rider, Azevedo, as their representative.

Levi attacks and gains a max of 3 minutes. now on the Col d'Mollard, the lead is back to 2min. he'll need as much or more time, plus a crack or two from one of the other favs, to get further up the rankings.

Pereiro and teammate attack on descent of CdF, gaining a smidge of time. up the Mollard you have Caisse d'Espagne and T-Mobile driving the pace. Landis has spent the latter stages of the CdF in the back third of the group, and now on the Mollard he's in a similar spot. as Paul and Phil are asking, as am i, is he playing an Armstrong bluffing game or is he bad? la Toissure will tell (i really love to butcher French spellings and i'm too lazy to look them up right now).

Rasmussen, 'Chicken', will almost certainly get a very nice stage win and the polka-dot jersey. questions to remain.

**can Levi keep the gap to the contenders?
**how actually is Floyd?
**will T-Mobile- or CSC or Caisse d'Espagne- try to blow the race apart on the last climb?

fact is, the gaps among the contenders are only 2 minutes. that's not an Armstrong or an Indurain gap. hell, Pereiro and Dessel are still with the leaders and are maintaining their podium spots. did i not tell you a few days ago that Pereiro might cause the other favs some grief.

and imagine how different this Tour would be with cheaters Basso, Jan, and Vino. the present favs right now look like they're in slow motion.

more to come...

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

'I am Wim Vansevenant'

Date: July 18
Mileage: 18.5
Ride type: Road
Bike: Blueridge
Temp: 90 humid and sunny
July mileage: 162
Year to date: 900

why do you ask? i had a good ride today, average above 15mph for the first time in a while. i really pushed hard for the first 30min. as the heat and conditioning go to me, i backed off a bit, going hard on a couple intervals, but going slow sometimes, especially on the hills. i've related in this blog several times experiences on 'golf course hill' in Seneca Pk. i usually climb that between 9-12mph. today, i looked at the computer and it said 7.5. i decided that Vansevenanat would be a good example of a pasty, pudgy (relative to professional cyclists) flatlander, good motor on the flats, but not worth a damn climbing or in the heat. now, i'm not pasty. really i'm pretty tan. the i can't climb and the heat got to me today a bit. the last 10min i took my helmet off in the neighborhoods.

and an curious extra tidbit abt Vansevenant is that he's the lanterne rougue at the moment. i didn't know that until after i picked his name.

and now to the pool. oh those damn, lazy teachers with their summers off. :-)

l'Alpe d'Huez

GC after today's first alpine stage starts to shape up. Schleck was a good winner. he's 26 and a real upncomer. Floyd, IMHO, looked dominant. yes, i wish he'd led a little more, but it was a more Indurain-like performance, sitting there grinding a good pace, instead of a 'Lance Attacks!' kind of performance. Kloden was certainly 2nd best of the favs, with Sastre- and to a lesser- Levi looking solid. Menchov and Evans not so good. don't know if it's the mtnbike background, but Cadel looked to be climbing quite a bit out of the saddle. that's usually bad form unless the name is 'Lucho' and you're from Colombia. the team that most impresses me is AG2R. these guys are pretty 2nd-class compared to the Discos and T-Mobiles, but they're all over the final results. not great, mind you, but much better than expected. Here is the top-10 from cyclingnews.com

General classification after stage 15

1 Floyd Landis (USA) Phonak 69.00.05 (41.535 km/h)
2 Oscar Pereiro (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears 0.10
3 Cyril Dessel (Fra) AG2R-Prevoyance 2.02
4 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank 2.12
5 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC 2.17
6 Andreas Klöden (Ger) T-Mobile 2.29
7 Cadel Evans (Aus) Davitamon-Lotto 2.56
8 Michael Rogers (Aus) T-Mobile 5.01
9 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Gerolsteiner 6.18
10 Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 6.20


I would think this final 10 is pretty well set, although Pereiro and Dessel maybe would drop some. the other names- Menchov, Sastre, Kloden, Evans, Rogers, Leipheimer, and maybe Zubeldia- have been solid so far in the mountains. i can see them all remaining, barring a breakway that slips in a new name. tomorrow is very large, with the next day taking in the Joux-Plane, so there is still lots of room for movement.

Following are results from the first TT with these 10 listed.

2 Floyd Landis (USA) Phonak 1.00.62
4 Michael Rogers (Aus) T-Mobile 1.23.87 (+23)
8 Andreas Klöden (Ger) T-Mobile 1.43.26 (+43)
9 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank 1.43.90 (+43)
11 Cadel Evans (Aus) Davitamon-Lotto 1.49.39 (+49)
18 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC 2.10.59 (+1.10)
23 Oscar Pereiro (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears 2.40.92 (+1.40)
36 Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 3.31.84 (+2.31)
38 Cyril Dessel (Fra) AG2R-Prevoyance 3.42.11 (+2.42)
96 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Gerolsteiner 6.05.46 (+5.05)
**to lazy to round, BTW


These results are somewhat interesting. Floyd could've added another 30sec w/out bike troubles, but these times are not in the least bit dominant. por otro lado, no one was close enough to take the 2 and 3 minutes necessary to take the jersey that they lack now. Zubeldia had a nasty TT, but in the past has ridden better. Sastre will prob be only mediocre at best; he's much more the climber. of course Levi is the big interest. he should've ridden within a minute or so of Floyd, definitely! extrapolate that kind of result and he's in there with Menchov, Kloden group. Wow! what a way to throw away a Tour podium spot. i think Levi will continue to climb pretty well and stay within the top 10, but not well enough to jump on the podium. he was only stronger than Menchov Evans, but not by much. too bad for him that terrible TT. Floyd looks to have enough form that says he will dominate the last TT, but he first must get through the next two days, and rough ones they will be.

oh, and how 'bout those Discos? if i had the time, i would go back and look at Banesto's fall from grace after Indurain retired. from so high to so low. barely two riders in the top 30, with Georgie not near strong enough to back up the earlier break. and Azevedo must've gone straight back. this team has no heart this year. the Basso rumours are interesting, b/c it certainly looks like this bunch- esp. Popo, Azevedo and George- are going to become GCrs any time soon. 'course, he also looks to be a big cheat.

Floyd looks convincing. Vamos a ver.


Monday, July 17, 2006

Old Pen


had to take Z to camp, taking poor L along for the 4hr+ ride. was going to take ride in el campo, but instead took "scenic drive" to visit 'Pen's Store'. According to literature, it's the oldest continuous family-owned country store in the U.S., established in 1850 or so. it's old, and today it was closed. i would've rather reached it by bike, but the pics will do.



bonus is that the red car in front had a dead battery, so we did our good samaritan act and got them going. i'm pleased with that.




further into our 'scenic drive (actually something like 100yds past 'Old Pen', i ran across this very attractive field of native grasses and wildflowers. don't think the resolution does it justice. very attractive!

Sprawls ride

Date: July 17
Mileage: 16.5
Ride type: Road
Bike: CC
Temp: 75 very humid
July mileage: 143.5
Year to date: 881.5

very straightforward ride with los dos hermanos Sprawls. cruised down to the riverfront. i like these rides b/c those 2 are nice, smart, and intersting to talk to. they're also more fit than i, so they keep me physically honest. we end up averaging abt 15mph, but much of the time we're doing 16-18mph with the slower avg for stopsigns etc. they give me a better workout than by myself. a good moment from this a.m. was on the Beargrass Creek Path, D motioned to us on the right, right next to the creek a pretty good-sized deer, a doe i think. i'm sure it wasn't as big as a Big Buck, but when you're 10ft away from a wild animal that's every bit as big as yourself, you tread lightly. that's certainly the closest i've ever been to one, excluding roadkill.

may do more p.m. miles out in the boonies today; we'll see.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Evangelicals

just read a brief 'news' report from Yahoo abt evangelical megachurches and their "growing impact on the nation's political landscape" and as those that "build a Republican base". i'm not sure how this is news. is this new? has anyone who hasn't had their head firmly stuck up their @#$@ for the last 6 years notknown this? anyone, and i mean anyone, who reads the 'news' must know that evangelical christians and their suburban megachurch counterparts profoundly and enthusiastically support the demogoguery of both their pastors and the 'man of faith' that is their dunce president Shrub II. For these people, policies and decisions aren't what's important; it's 'faith', even if that 'faith' has nothing to do with Jesus' teachings. Read the damn Bible, especially Jesus' New Testament. Tell me how the actions of these people has anything to do with the teachings of Jesus. Where's the humility? Where's the penitence? Where's the compassion? These people are hypocrites and frauds. I am a borderline athiest, but have heard enough of this at church through the years. What I read and what they read and do have very little to do with each other. I hate them. and moreso I hate that they're endeavouring to interject their beliefs into the greater public sphere. They are the Roman Catholic Church of the 15th and 16th centuries, rotten to the core.

sorry. just venting.

Phillipe Gilbert

Cyclesport's "Tour de France" preview issue predicted that today's stage winner might be Phillipe Gilbert, a good allrounder who can get over a climb and sprint too. in today's boistrous stage to Gap, Gilbert in fact finished 156th, last, and lost 32.00 to the winner. i assume he wrecked or had a mechanical, b/c he is a decent rider. but a little humorous irony there.

exciting stage, with the Discos doing major work late in the stage to set up George for a small peloton sprint. didn't work but good to see them active. also , unbeknowst Christian Vandevelde left the peloton late and almost caught the leading two. they were announcing Schleck- for obvious reasons of class- but it would've been supercool to see Christian get the surprise win. didn't happen though.

things get much more interesting with Tuesday's stage: Iseran, Lauteret, and Alpe d'Huez. good stuff there. hope Floyd has the goods.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Miles

you can obviously tell i need to go back to work b/c i keep finding these stupid little factoid/stats projects to fill time with.

i look at the mileage i accumulated in '05 after starting the blog, which was in mid-August. i'm counting that as 5 months, forgetting the early part of August. For that time, fall and early winter, i rode 888 miles. this would include a fair number of 30milers during aug/sept commuting days with 'Lance'. remember him? this also includes an almost lost december, when i was sick for something like 2.5 weeks.

i then looked at my mileage through the end of may of '06, another 5-month span. during winter/spring '06 time i rode only 600 miles. it's that damn tennis. i like it but it really cuts down my commuting days.

i figure in a decent year i might be doing...no more than 1500 miles. that's pretty bad if you look at some of these goons doing mega 6,000mile years. Velocipete has already ridden almost 2000 miles this year. he and i were roughly even through February, when i was getting commuter mileage. the minute- March basically- the tennis started he took off. and even though i haven't done much tennis this summer- hence no excuse- i haven't gotten regular miles. to be honest, i find it boring to go do laps in the park. i either want scenic, empty country roads or i want purpose, a commute, a ride with the boys, a ride to the store or to the coffee joint.

what the big probl has been this summer is #1 the French, #2 the World Cup, #3 Wimbledon, and ahorita #4 the damn Tour. i can't stop!!! maybe i can ride 500miles between the end of the Tour and the start of school on August 11.

Scavenger Hunt

much like this whole past week, i didn't take much of a 'real' ride, but did get some interesting saddle time in, this time with the boys again. L has really taken to getting out, so their mother devised a fun activity for them, a scavenger hunt around the neighborhood, one on which they (we) would have to use the bikes to get from A to B to C. I'll spare the details, but i would say we put close to 5 miles in total, with L certainly taking his longest ride ever. we started the afternoon with a trip to the pool, riding the mounts down there as well, giving us a total of 6 miles for the day.

after spending maybe 1.5 hours at the pool and then doing the Hunt on the fixie with the boys (and 3 hours of gardening before), i'm bushed and have a tiny perspective into a Tri. guess i'll have to go run tonight...no, i don't think so.

Date: July 15
Mileage: 6
Ride type: Barrio Bike Jog with kiddies
Bike: 925 fixie
Temp: 85 humid
July mileage: 127
Year to date: 865

Pereiro

??huh?? i'm beginning to hate this Tour. i've never seen more parity in the peloton. i guess this can be seen as a good thing, but it becomes like the NFL where you begin to not care who wins b/c there are no favorites, no great teams. no great teams in this Tour either. Phonak too weak to defend Floyd's yellow. Rabobank too weak to defeand Menchov's spot. ALL the sprinter's teams to weak to get their guys up into the mix. to be honest, while i'm no fan of Pereiro, i sorta hope he gives some major mierda to Floyd, Menchov, Kloden, et.al. He finished 10th last year, 3.30 down on Floyd. he was helped by scoring some time in a couple breakaways when he wasn't perceived as a danger man. the first was gaining 5.00 on the favorites at the 15th Pla d'Adet stage with his 2nd place to George. the very next stage, 16 Pau he gained another 3.24 on the favs with his stage win. and finally on stage 19 LePuyenVelay he finished 4th in yet another breakaway gaining another 4 minutes.

he'll be a watched man now, especially in the Alps. he did finish 26.00 down on the stage to Pla d'Beret, but now he has much more motivation. i really want Floyd to win, but i think it would be great if he, Menchov, Kloden, and whoever else comes up to have to deal with Pereiro all the way to Paris. Wow! this is certainly different from Sr. Armstrong and his Disco mafia lording over the peloton.

a New Era indeed.

(and did you catch that entirely uncomfortable interview with Tyler in the middle of the coverage? yikes. the news of this supposed 'fax from Haven' looks pretty bad, and i personally was uncomfortable watching him)

Friday, July 14, 2006

Popo and the Rainbow jersey

well well well, the Disco "Save Face and Continue the Notion that Bruyneel is a Genius" campaign has begun. to be fair, they did hold the jersey for a day, something only 6 (count 'em!) other teams have done (oh, the record is 8, from the '87 Tour(i think at least)). but after a closetodisastrous TT and an assured and unmitigated disaster in los Pirineos, it's time for Disco to get something done. and today they did, w/ Popo taking a nice stage win. he won the only way he could with the 2 sprinters- Ballan and Freire- with him. Seems like if Freire had given some help, the trio could've survived for the sprint. alas, Disco's gain. we'll see how they go further (w/out Il Falco or Noval- abandons both today)

on the subject of Freire, i always get riled up at the mention of his three World Championships. pisses me off! i like 'real' champions, especially for the monuments of the sport like the major tours, the monument classics and the WC. Freire has shown to be quite the effective rider when on form- and not injured- but the WCs need NOT be won by an occassional rider who doesn't win much else. here are the WCpions from the last 40 years. Furthermore, I've included their ranking according to CyclingRanking.com's rankings as the first ranking, with the 2nd ranking coming from Cycling4all, a ranking i like better, but only provides the top 200 all-time:

1966 Nürburgring-----Rudi Altig-91/62
1967 Heerlen----------Eddy Merckx-1/1
1968 Imola------------Vittorio Adorni-109/51
1969 Zolder------------Harm Ottenbros-1006/xx
1970 Leicester---------Jean-Pierre Monséré-?
1971 Mendrisio---------Eddy Merckx-1/1
1972 Gap---------------Marino Basso-99/128
1973 Barcelona---------Felice Gimondi-11/7
1974 Montreal----------Eddy Merckx-1/1
1975 Yvoir--------------Hennie Kuiper-58/42
1976 Ostuni-------------Freddy Maertens-24/21
1977 San Cristóbal-------Francesco Moser-4/5
1978 Nürburgring-------Gerrie Knetemann-67/95
1979 Valkenburg--------Jan Raas-61/52
1980 Sallanches---------Bernard Hinault-14/2
1981 Prague-------------Freddy Maertens-24/21
1982 Goodwood---------Giuseppe Saronni-21/19
1983 Altenrhein---------Greg LeMond-89/25
1984 Barcelona----------Claude Criquielion-96/90
1985 Giavera di Montello-Joop Zoetemelk-9/8
1986 Colorado Springs---Moreno Argentin-133/55
1987 Villach--------------Stephen Roche-63/48
1988 Ronse--------------Maurizio Fondriest 62 /76
1989 Chambéry----------Greg LeMond-89/25
1990 Utsunomiya--------Rudy Dhaenens-708/xx
1991 Stuttgart------------Gianni Bugno-66/41
1992 Benidorm------------Gianni Bugno-66/41
1993 Oslo------------------Lance Armstrong-29/15
1994 Agrigento-------------Luc Leblanc-251/xx

1995 Duitama--------------Abraham Olano-119/61
1996 Lugano---------------Johan Museeuw-27/36
1997 San Sebastian---------Laurent Brochard-149/xx
1998 Valkenburg-----------Oskar Camenzind-302/xx
1999 Verona----------------Óscar Freire-199/140
2000 Plouay----------------Romans Vainsteins-388/xx
2001 Lisbon-----------------Óscar Freire-199/140
2002 Zolder/Hasselt--------Mario Cipollini-92/50
2003 Hamilton--------------Igor Astarloa-874/xx
2004 Verona----------------Óscar Freire-199/140
2005 Madrid----------------Tom Boonen-370/345

There are a couple issues with this list. The premise of the Freire argument is that the quality of the WCpions has diminished since 1995, the year the WC was moved from a post-Tour August spot to a late Sept/Oct fall spot. This move allowed the Vuelta to be moved to fall and increase its prestige. hasn't happened. the Vuelta is the 3rd-tier tour. sorry. Here are some issues with the analysis:

1. i'm no statistician, and my powers of analysis are suspect, but...

2. the average (non-mathematical) ranking of "fall WC" is dramatically lower than the 'summer WC' riders.

3. you have to take into account that riders like Boonen, Freire, Astarloa are young, and will be able to improve their rankings.

4. the guy at CycleRankings.com refuses to give his method. specious if you ask me. nonetheless, he's prob some math geek who's better at stats than i. guy at Cycling4all does.

5. just compare the number of top-100 riders in 'summer' vs. the # in 'fall'. Museeuw and Cipo have been worthy winners. i guess Olano won a tour, the cheapened Vuelta. Brochard, Astarloa, Camenzind, and Vainsteins are all complete pretenders. Boonen will win LOTS of races before he's through.

6. Notable absentees from the WC roles include, above all, Sean Kelly (3/3), Roger De Vlaeminck (6/10), Laurent Fignon ( 72/27)and Laurent 'Jaja' Jalabert (12/14), and the latest being Erik Zabel (15/30). There are others like Poulidor, Anquetil, and Rominger who were primarily stage-racers, (if i remember, though, that Rominger won a Lombardy and some other big 1-day race). Indurain can also be mentioned, b/c in '95 he gifted Olano his win, not chasing a teammate late in the race, and he also finished 2nd to Bugno one time.

7. Finally, it seems that the great ones from each generation- Mercxk/Gimondi- Maertens/Kuiper/Moser/Raas/Saronni/Zoetemelk-Lemond/Roche/Argentin- Bugno/Fondriest/Museeuw/Cipollini- have won the Rainbow jersey, but the modern riders need to get with it. On face value modern 'complete' riders- good in both Tours and 1-days like Armstrong, Lemond, Bugno, Gimondi, Merckx-have little chance at a Rainbow jersey in the face of sprinters like Boonen and Freire. This list would include cheaters Ullrich and Basso. Oh well. Times change.

Wow, this was a complete but very intertaining waste of time!

Epic

Date: July 13
Mileage: 4
Ride type: Barrio Bike Jog with kiddies
Bike: Redline SS
Temp: 85 humid
July mileage: 121
Year to date: 859

"Epic" is a bit of a joke. fact is, the kids are starting to get stircrazy from summer break, so finally i dragged them out for a longish (for them) bike ride to burn off some steam. last time we went by LlamaLand. this time we headed for Seneca Pk to take a brief portion of the multi-use trail at the entrance. we then wound our way through Seneca Gds, and over to DouglassBlvd, taking in a couple interesting alleys/streets. from there, finally home through some more alleys. i like the outofway streets for the boys. infact, i used this trip to try to teach some more bike awareness, as L is getting his first real taste off our street, and Z needs to learn more b/c he's older and ready to "break out" into some more independent riding with friends in the barrio. not much mileage for me, but pleasurable and satisfying.

and they were tired afterwards. mission accomplished! (and much moreso than Bush's)

Thursday, July 13, 2006

The Twin Cities

i've noticed while working on my little, humble blog that the Twin Cities are full of bike bloggers. i also listened to our local NPR radio report State of Affairs, with today's topic being Bicycling in Louisville(audio archive) and what is taking place in Luavull. ya' gotta' start somewhere. they discussed a few projects to improve Louisville cycling, all of these included in the mayor's initiative "Bike Louisville". as a regular commuter, i've commented about the general lack of resources and infrastructure here in the 'Ville with respects to cycling, excluding our excellent parks system. it got me thinking 'bout all those blogs in the TC, and what types of services they have. so i got to lookin'. and my am i depressed. untold miles of paths and i assume lined bike lanes, not just in the center city, but spreading out throughout the greater metro area. puta madre i can't begin to compare the facilities there vs. what we have here. no wonder there are more bloggers;, merde , with those facilties there better be more cyclists, and that's with the weather.

a couple of the commentators on the show encouraged listeners to "give them ideas". i'm going to contact each and tell them to hightail it to the TC and look at what a real biking town looks like. but i won't hold my breath.

Looks familiar

yes, i'm either consumed or bored. either way, i looked at the results of the first mountaintopfinish stage in the 2005 Tour and have compared stage results with this year's results and the Disco numbers look pretty damned identical, oh, save one variable, Lance.

2006-----2005
15 Azevedo-------2 Lance
26 Popo----------19 Popo
46 George--------47 George
50 il Falco------48 Azevedo
64 Egoi Martinez-51 Salvodelli
101 Padrnos------70 Beltran
102 Eki----------93 Padrnos
104 Noval--------100 Chechu
148 Chechu-------101 Noval

taking Lance out, these placings are really similar. Hell, Mr. "I'm George and doggoneit, i can DO it" Hincapie is a grand total of one, 1, placing off. and Salvodelli, Il Falco, is one, 1, placing off. and Noval is three, 3, placings off. Chechu is in the 100's. fact is, as healthy on paper as this squad looked, they're not that different a squad according to results. bad first day in the '05 Tour, bad first day in '06 Tour. the difference is that theoretically enough, they had lots of work protecting Lance last year, where this year they're riding a very different kind of race. one of the more bizarre aspects of this year's Tour.

Arrghhh...er...FLOYD!!

at 12.14 right now my frustration of 10.30 has abated a bit, but WHAT a frustrating stage. as with my bike rides, i probably can't remember all of them but in no particular order

> Phil's incapability to recognize who is in what group, which is to say how many times does he start talking about a "view of the leading group" when it's obvious that we're looking at the yellow jersey group and not at the leading group. the yellow jersey is quite apparent and it's been quite apparent that it was dropped .30min ago. he'll also randomly ID riders who are most certainly NOT that rider. i'm an amateur and I can recognize that it's not Kloden but Rogers and it's not Sastre but Schleck. i love Phil and have been listening to him for what is now 20yrs, but c'mon!

> OLN's pinche commerical breaks. yes, i understand that the last part of the last climb will go commercial-free, but from 10.10 to 10.50EST there were 5, count them, 5 full commercial breaks. instead of getting a feel for how the last climb was shaping up, we got 1 minute of Rasmussen and 5 minutes of commercials and 2 minutes of the fading yellow and another 5 minutes of commercials. if i were really anal i would go back through the TIVO and get the actual numbers, but i won't suffice to say frustration abounding. that said, the commercial-free final climb- or part of the final climb- is nice i guess. do like the pinche soccer shows and give us a commercial graphic instead. don't you love, though, how easy it is to gripe about coverage that lasts practically all day. i remember well the 30min highlight shows on ESPN back in the day that i tried to tape, only to find that they were shown not at 12.20a.m., but had moved to 1.30a.m., with me thereby getting iceskating on tape.

> Disco, Disco, Disco, my how the mighty have fallen. i'm still a Disco fan, and i'm still a George fan, but has a "great" team fallen more badly without its leader? T-Mobile ended up eventually going backwards a bit, but they still had Kloden and Rogers ahead of Azevedo, and Sinkowitz ahead of Popo. what, what a comeuppance. what a terrible Tour. and poor George. how do these guys ride in the last group one year- Chechu, Jose, George, etc.- and the next 1 rider barely finishes in the top-20. maybe Bruyneel is not the genius he's made to be. maybe Lance is that much better and these guys are goats.

> where's the beef?, the commentators made the same observation that i had on the Aspin, where's the damn racing? what are the secondary riders thinking? why won't anyone attack? nothing's happening!!!!! the final climb made up for some of that with brilliant performances from Landis, Menchov and Leipheimer, Evans and Sastre, but why not some of these others? the pace wasn't even that high b/c it yet again took so long to pull the leader back. what a bizarre Tour. it's obvious that no single team is nearly close enough to control the race, so a Moreau or a Simoni should get up the road and make these guys chase; i don't think T-Mobile or Phonak can pull them back.

> did i mention the flaccid Disco?

i guess that's it for the moment. what an experience! imagine poor Levi if he had even halved his first TT loss.

follows are the standing according to TourdeFrance2006 Blog

Overall:
1) Floyd Landis, Phonak, USA, 49:18:07
2) Cyril Dessel, AG2R, France, at :08
3) Denis Menchov, Rabobank, Russia, at 1:01
4) Cadel Evans, Davitamon-Lotto, Australia, at 1:17
5) Carlos Sastre, CSC, Spain, at 1:52
6) Andreas Klöden, T-Mobile, Germany, at 2:29
7) Michael Rogers, T-Mobile, Australia, at 3:22
8) Juan Miguel Mercado, Agritubel, Span, at 3:33
9) Christophe Moreau, AG2R, France, at 3:44
10) Marcus Fothen, Gerolsteiner, Germany, at 4:17




**in the middle of the stage, i was saying to myself that the top 3 would be a combo of Kloden, Floyd and Menchov. if my laptop still worked, i would've posted as such, but alas. this stage furthers that notion. Menchov and Floyd seem to be the strongest, maybe by a good measure. Kloden is still in the game. maybe Evans or Sastre can pull off a big Alpine stage. look at that leader board though. all pretenders compared to Lance, Jan, and Ivan. they're all clean, though, right?

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

LlamaLand

Date: July 12
Mileage: 13
Ride type: Barrio Bike Jog, with kiddies
Bike: Redline mtnbike/CC
Temp: 75, humid and damp
July mileage: 117
Year to date: 855

for such short mileage, i had quite the interesting time of wheels today. it poured most of the day, encarcerating the boys until their sheer force of insane will made it such that i had to take action. so...i took them on a bike ride. we will occassionally take these, but with L being now just 7, they're not overly-taxing affairs. this time, to burn off more energy, we need a destination, something to take the edge off and make them freakin' not bounce off the walls. i decided on a spot pretty close to the house, but one with an element not found regularly in the middle of the city, in this case...Llamas.



There's a spot abt 2 miles from the house, along a "creek", or at least what was a creek 50 years ago before channelization (is that a word) creating actual drainage ditches out of original creeks, in this case Beargrass creek, one that plays quite the part in various parts of the city. i've mentioned previously on this blog that i'd run into the llamas. i decided to take the boys over to see them. this would be L's first "adventure" ride, and his newfound age and strength (sorry to be so epic) would be beneficial.

The FIRST surprise was the L almost got run over on a medium busy road. we had a plan- the 3 kids (one a friend) were to cross half the road to a yellow-painted median island. from there, we could cross the 2nd half, the pause necessitated by southerly traffic down a somewhat blind hill. we started across and L threw himself whole-heartedly into the task, not stopping in the 'island', but rather continuing even though there was TRAFFIC coming down the hill. by the grace of good fortune, the cars stopped and let us by. if it were a meth-addled teenie or a soccer mom on her cell, L may have not made it past the first week of his 7th year. it wasn't close, but it wasn't fun either.

we then arrive at the general area of LlamaLand. let me explain. to the left of this pic, one may be able to see the 'creek, nee ditch'. straight ahead is a "path", and to the right the remnants of a fence. i've ridden and jogged along the "path", one that i'm quite sure is a MSD (Metro Sewer District) right-of-way. Mr. LlamaLand has now gated this off, something he had done of the far end of his portion of the "path". last time, i just came through the gate. so, this time i came through the gate, letting Z, L and friend H through. we road further a bit, maybe 20 yds when up ahead we noticed some stirring in the brush. a Llama...in the path! what followed were 2 other llamas. it seems that Mr. Llama farmer has taken the MSD r-o-w and created some extra pasture, and WE were in it! and the 3 llamas start jogging towards us! i wish someone had been there to film our screeches, laughs, squeals etc. as we sprinted back towards the gate, with the llamas trailing in hot pursuit. frankly, they never got within, say, 15 yds of us, but when you are in an enclosure with 1 adult, 2 10-yr.olds and a 7 yr-old, you want to exit asap. we opened the gate and escaped, breathing a sigh of relief the the llamas had stopped "charging" us at a good distance. WOW!!, never been chased by a llama on a bike ride before. i took these pics later, so no llamas in site. i will have some at some point. here's part of the LlamaLand hotel, otherwise known as a natty barn.



we then segued to the next portion of our adventure, finding this is out path. hmm..., a paved path, a "multi-use path". we followed this a short bit, at a length of maybe .1 mile. at the end a bit further, the path extended down the opposite side of the 'creek/ditch'. my camera batteries were dead at this point. i asked a family i'd seen on the path about said structure. seems our local congressional representative, Anne Northrup, has brought yet more pork home to Luavull. i have exactly 0% love for this woman. she's as conservative as they come, voting lockinstep with Shrub II at all times. she wins every election by something like a 51%/49% margin, but then acts as though she'd won a mandate of 95%. And she's the queen of pork; she is very much rewarded for her loyalty. this project is, and will be, a paved path along this 'creek/ditch', which is property that abutts (?) the Louisville Zoo. at first i was quite pleased, a multiuse path along a natural setting, a perfect place for families and kids. but i got thinking further, realizing that this damn path goes NOWHERE. it's pointless. it's hard to find. the starting point will be found on the edge of a busy road that is dangerous for even the heartiest cyclists. the terminus is found in a small subdivision hemmed in by the busy road previously mentioned at the beginning of this (interminable) entry. it will serve very few citizens and has very little purpose, but it is one of those one of those projects that will be held up by Queenie Pork herself as a "Great Leap Forward". this city is so backwards sometimes. it's why Indy and Nashville have beat our asses economically in the last 30 yrs.

oh, and here's a pic of a turtle the ya dicha familia had found in their yard. they were doing a nice thing and returning it to its natural habitat in the 'creek/ditch'.



i got the boys home, went back and took the pics, and then ran some errands on the CrossCheck.

and while i've been loading my pics, i've been playing around with Trento Bike Pages, a clearinghouse for bike tour diaries. check out these sick pics of switzerland. just sick!

Mercado

strange doings at the Tour today. a small break gets a big lead. i picked up the viewing while the peloton was on the Soudet. from that point, they actually lost time up until the descent of the Marie Blanque. what amazed me most was T-Mobile's ineffectiveness. yes, they claimed, and maybe rightly so, that they weren't willing to protect Gonchar's lead. por otro lado, can they actually protect a lead? are they strong enough? i forgot they lost 2 riders from Operacion Puerto, and couldn't replace them. And if you look at Mercado's palmares, he's a pretty competent rider. He's finished 5th and 10th in the Vuelta before, and has won stages in the Tour (04), Dauphine (03), the overall in Semana Catalana (02), the overall at the Vuelta de Burgos (01), an a stage at the Vuelta (01), amongst some smaller races. maybe he won't become a big player, but he's a pretty decent rider to let go like that. i just looked, and and a sign of his climing abilities he finished just 6 seconds off of Menchov at the summit of Arcalis-Andorra, one of the biggest climbs in los Pirineos at last year's Vuelta.

i though the site of Serhiy Honchar (spelling #4) carrying bottles and leading the pacemaking off the Marie Blanque was pretty pathetic. T-Mobile needs to grow some stones and act like a team that is leading the Tour both figuratively and literally. they're substantially in the driver's seat after the TT. They have several possible leaders. And Gonchar has shown himself a morethanadequate big Tour rider, with finishes in the Giro of 6th, 2nd, 8th, 4th, 9th, and 10th at least. no, he hasn't been too big a Tour rider, but the guy's got enough class not to make him fetch bottles while he's in yellow. i said a couple days ago that he wouldn't win, and he won't. but make some other schmuck fetch water instead of the maillot jaune. it's demeaning.

I pray to God(s), ALL of them, that a Disco boy, and moreso Floyd puts the hurting on somebody tomorrow. i don't think i can watch another "I don't really want to win the Tour" display like every American in the race in the TT or today's "Let's wait, see, and be pussies" fest.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

"A Rainbow in the Dark"

there is prob a small, select audience that can hear the appropriate synthesizer part that comes after this chorus, a classic by either Black Sabbath with Ronnie James Dio, or just RJD himself, but NOT the band DIO, circa 1982 or so. who knows if my facts are actually straight?

below is an attempt



to take a picture of this





after a hazy day mostly recuperating from drinking a tad too much of the brewski last night after softball, i jumped forward for a wet and stormy ride this evening after supper. frankly it was pure cabin fever, but what better reason to go out in the rain. after reading and seeing lots of fixies yesterday, i decided to take the (pedestrian and mundane, but not to me) 925 out for a quick neighborhood spin. the inclement weather also gave me the opportunity to try out my new Serfas LED safety light.
I have a couple rechargables, but wanted something easy to install and quick to change from bike to bike, especially for latenight bar runs (i do SO many of those in my old age). short an simple, i cruised the barrio and got wet.

mid-way, though, things got much more interesting. to the Southeast i saw a very groovy rainbow that seemed pretty close to my position. didn't really think anything of it until i got closer to home and saw the other Southwest end of it, running in the general direction of the house. i also noticed that the eastern end of the arco iris headed in the direction of the park, so i knew i had chance to get a little closer. longstoryshort, i found the base of the rainbow over our local smallplane airport, Bowman field. the eastern end was quite bright, one of the brighter i've personally seen. 2nd bonus, i would say that including the western end, maybe 50% of the total rainbow was visible, leaving out the top 50%. and 3rd bonus was that, just north of the eastern end (sorry for all the cardinals) was another rainbow, a double, and just 1 miles from the house. Great stuff.

don't run into those opportunities often, ride, rain, fixie-ing, and finally, great double rainbows. good for me. the small pleasures

Date: July 11
Mileage: 15 (prob shorter, but the rain and all, and i have no comp. on fixie)
Ride type: Barrio Bike Jog
Bike: 925
Temp: 70 and very rainy
July mileage: 104
Year to date: 842
Email to mysurly69@yahoo.com