Monthly Archives: May 2010

Magical Shoulder Tape

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Both my shoulders are all jacked up. I’ve crashed so many times on each of them that it is mildly amazing that they even move at all. My right shoulder has been pretty bad lately. In December, I went through Salt Lake City and saw Eric Heiden. He gave me a cortisone injection and it worked unbelievably well for the past 4 months. Until now. I am waking up all through the night dozens of times. I can’t lift my arm to put on a shirt. And on my bike, it is painful when I stand.

Trudi had a shoulder injury in Europe and another soigneur from the BMC team taped it. And it worked. So, yesterday she convinced me to have it taped. There are quite a few different ways to tape it. Kinesio tape is the only tape that sticks for the duration. Anyway, I’m about one day into the “experiment” and I’m happy to say that I’m mildly pleased. I don’t understand it. I really don’t. It doesn’t seem like it is doing that much support. But it is less painful. And riding yesterday, it was 90% pain free. Sleeping is better. Not super, but better. Anyone know the real reason this works?

Are cyclists nuts?

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Ben Day (Fly V Australia, NRC points leader) is either unaffected by grossness or doesn’t care about his health or something I don’t understand. You should read this Velonews article about his tapeworm experience. Let me tell you. If I pull a 3-4 foot worm out of my butt, I call 911. I don’t casually go out on a training ride and act as nothing has happened. And I don’t wait until I spend a night with a fever and chills on the toilet before calling my “team doctor” asking him what to do. I’m at the emergency room with the thing in a zip lock bag.

It kind of reminds me of watching Lance on Letterman or Leno talking about his testicular cancer discovery from way back. I don’t remember it exactly, but it was something like he said that when he woke, one of his testicles was the size of a grapefruit. And he waited a while and eventually called his neighbor, who was a doctor, to ask about it. Letterman, or whoever, said something like, “wow, if I wake up in the morning with a testicle the size of a grapefruit, I call an ambulance.” Then he asked Lance what he was thinking. And Lance’s answer was that no one likes going to the doctor.

I don’t get it. Especially in Ben Day’s case. I’ve had some pretty weird medical stuff happen to me over the years. In a lot of different countries. And I avoid hospitals and doctors for as long as possible when these medical problems occur. But, this is pretty cut and dry. 4 foot worm out of butt. Go to the hospital. Or better yet, the Center for Disease Control. Don’t wait until tomorrow. Now. And don’t train first.

P.S. You can check out Ben’s personal perspective in comments below. Glad he feels “human” again. Hopefully he’s going full speed by next week in Joe Martin. It is hard to believe he could be riding as fast as he has been this year. It could be ugly for the rest of us the remainder of the season.

P.P.S. You can sign up for the tapeworm/hookworm therapy here. Pretty creepy.

Hard Core

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To continue the theme from yesterday about cyclist’s personalities, I was thinking about other circumstances that involved riders that I couldn’t comprehend. The first that comes to mind was from a while back, in the 90’s, with Missy Giove.

I was at Mt. Snow Vermont at the NORBA National. I think it was also a World Cup that year. We had done the cross country on Saturday and the downhill was on Sunday. Trudi was managing the Schwinn Team and Elladee Brown was riding for them. She finished the run and was 3rd. Missy was one of the last riders to start and she never came down. She had either flatted or crashed. So, Elladee was on the podium. A great result, plus, it was going to be pretty good bonus money from Schwinn. She had flight to catch that evening and had to go to the Albany airport. She asked me if I would get her prize check and make sure everything was okay. I said sure.

So, I went out for a short ride and came back in an hour or so. When I went to get the prize money, I was shocked to find that Elladee was 4th now. And Missy was 2nd. I had watched the race and Missy didn’t finish. I found the head official and was told that Missy had crashed badly on her run. Then she got up to get back on her bike and was riding the wrong direction on the course. A paramedic grabbed her and told her to stop. She tried to convince the paramedic to let her go, but she had landed on her face and was pretty messed up. Anyway, she went down to the start finish line and protested to the officials that she wasn’t allowed to continue and they gave her a reride. I had never heard of it before, but the results were final and there wasn’t anything I could do about it. I felt pretty badly that I’d let Elladee down.

The next morning, I had an early flight out of Albany myself. It is something like an hour and a half from Mt. Snow to the airport. So, I was down in the parking lot of the condo at 5 am loading up. Here comes Missy driving up soaking wet. I didn’t have a clue what she had been up to. She came over and in her normal amped Missy talk, started describing her all night cliff diving activity. I couldn’t take my eyes off her face. She had landed face first in the ground during the race and had broken off the majority of her front teeth. Like almost all of them. And it looked like she had be beaten to a pulp.

I have thought about this a few times over the years when I think that I am doing something hard core or just trying to get through a painful situation. When I fall and chip my teeth, it is super depressing. Let alone, knock all my teeth out. Here is Missy. She does just that very thing and then demands another ride in a downhill World Cup race, finishes 2nd, and then goes quarry diving all night. I’ll never get it.

Missy with her dried Piranha. She always went big on and off the bike.

Criterium Racing, a Contact Sport?

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You need to check out the photo below. It is of the altercation between Jake Keough and Rahsaan Bahti at the Dana Point criterium a couple weeks ago. You can find it live here on Insidecycling.TV.

The video seems pretty self explanatory. Cut and dry. I guess there seems to be some ongoing debate on whether it is fair to use a video to judge the altercation. I think we are lucky to have such good footage.

Anyway, I wasn’t at the race and this is probably the end result of an ongoing saga. But, it can’t be allowed. I’ve heard rumors about what happened. Bumping, threats, etc.. from earlier races. But, it really doesn’t matter the cause. There is no excuse. I don’t really know Jake Keough. I’ve not had much contact with him. But, he needs to have a “time out”. A pretty long one at that. Probably for the rest of the season. I don’t know about Rahsaan’s penalty. Most of what he did, other than throw his glasses into the field, wasn’t caught on video.

I’d heard lots of people defending Keough’s aggression justifying it by saying that there needs to be an etiquette respecting the leadout train of United Healthcare and that Rahsaan wasn’t doing that. From my perspective, that is bullshit. This tempo riding to control criterium racing has to stop. There is no place for it here.

There are a lot of things that are going wrong in American criterium racing now. But, by far, the worst problem is the introduction of contact. Somewhere down the line it became somewhat accepted to take your hands off the bars to touch someone. A tap to say, “I’m here”. That progressed into pushing. Usually towards the end of the race. The last couple laps. It is so dangerous. Head butting and elbows are both included in this. It is just wrong.

The leadouts that these teams are doing now are not really leadouts. Look how many laps out that the United Healthcare Team tried to control the race. It can start with 15 laps to go. It is insane.

The normal tactics are this. A team will put all 8 guys on the front and rotate. But, they aren’t going fast. Probably less than 30 mph. Usually not even as fast as the race was going previously. So, the rest of the field is jammed up behind these guys jamming on their brakes before each corner and then having to jump after. A full on interval session multiple times a lap. It is very ugly and dangerous. And the mass at the front keeps the other teams from getting together and getting organized.

Just because a Pro team puts all its riders at the front, especially during a criterium, doesn’t mean that the other riders have to “respect” their tactics. I say just the opposite. If they want to put all their riders on the front and stay there, then they have to back that up and accomplish that by riding fast. Really fast.

If these teams would go to the front when they have the ability to go fast and ride fast, then the whole problem would not occur. A good example is the St. Paul Criterium during Nature Valley last year. Bissell put their whole team at the front the entire race and rode “slow” chopping the field every corner. Then Colivita took over with a lap and a half to go and rode 60kph and there was virtually no one left to sprint. I finished 10th that day and was probably 300 meters behind the winner. That is what a leadout is supposed to be. Something going fast enough that guys like me can’t get involved in the leadout because it is going way too fast.

So, I don’t know who from USAC is going to address the problem. Normally the riders take care of problems like this. But, most the riders now have never experienced anything but what has been going on. I’ve talked to a few people that might have the power, but no one seems to think it is that big of a deal. Maybe they should come to one of these criteriums first hand, especially during a stage race, when the teams are trying to control the field for the GC leader, and witness it first hand. Or, maybe there just needs to be more cameras in the field to “catch” the altercations on video. I don’t know. But, it isn’t going to get any better unless it is addressed quickly and sternly.



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I’ve been eating a ton of salad recently. Part of the reason is because some mixed greens that were planted last fall, finally came up early this spring. It is only May and some of it has already started to go to seed. The other part of it is that I’m just craving more fresh vegetables and fruit.

Why is it that when the temperature is warm you feel like eating salad more? And when it is cold you don’t? It is kind of the same when you race in cold weather, you tend to want to get your calories from eating and when it’s hot out, you do it through drinking. I’ve never quite understood those urges.

Winter hibernating lettuce for the Spring.

Joe Martin/Video Camera

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I’m leaving for Joe Martin Stage Race later this afternoon. 4 days. I like the town of Fayetteville. I like the race in general. The terrain is pretty suited from my riding. The first day is just a 2 mile uphill TT. That sets the stage for the rest of the race. Field sprints. I’m not looking forward to that, but I need the race miles for sure. There is always the hope of it being different this year. Maybe the lack of radio in the field will switch it up some.

Somehow last night walking with Bromont, I seemed to have twisted my ankle. I don’t really remember the action, but it is definitely sprained. Usually these types of things don’t transfer to the bike. Guess I’ll see.

I have a new video camera coming and I’m going to video the races. I’ve been thinking of doing this for a couple years. Mainly for cyclo-X. The camera is so small, that it isn’t much of a problem to carry it. I think it would work the best on a helmet, but I’m not sure that is going to happen this weekend. Plus, I’ll have to edit the footage, which might take some time too. Hopefully it will be kind of fun and will give an inner glimpse into the action.

In Fayetteville Arkansas

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Got to town not that late, but now it seems to be late. Not sure why that always happens. The TT is tomorrow at 2pm. So, sleep, eat breakfast, ride, shower, drive, get numbers, pre-ride the course, then race. Seems like a lot of energy for a 2.5 mile race. I wish they had the TT on the last day. That would make the other days more interesting. It’s always interesting to me, but it would be more interesting for the general fan. Okay. Guess I should think about going to bed. Big day tomorrow.

Stay tuned for result and maybe some video.