Monthly Archives: June 2011

Riding in the Heat

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I just got back from a very short, hardly an hour, 20 mile ride and I lost 6 pounds. I wasn’t even going that hard. And, I drank one large water bottle. That is nuts. If this is the case on Saturday, I’m going to have to drink close to a gallon of water an hour just to keep my current weight. I don’t have any idea how many bottles that is, but it sure seems like I’m going to be water logged. The weather is extremely hot. And muggy. This weekend, in Lawrence, is going to be very hard. It is supposed to rain at night and be super hot during the day. Great.

Ben, where are those Ice Vests?

Virtually every roof in my neighborhood is being replaced. These guys have been at it since early this morning. I took this photo leaving to ride at about 4pm. I have no idea how they can function up there.

Pre Tour de France Photos

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Here’s some photos from the Tour behind the scenes.

Trudi taking off on Monday to fly to Belgium.

Collecting stuff has already started.

The local car wash on Thursday afternoon before the race.

The new super stealthy BMC TT bikes for the race.

And the super fast new Bell TT helmets, in my kitchen, before being lugged over to France.

Police Magnet?

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I don’t know if I am putting out a certain pheromone that is attracting police or what, but I have seemed to have more than my share of contact recently. Twice the last two nights.

Last weekend, a neighbor, a block away, had his dog shot and killed, at 3am, during an attempted burglary. Bromont knew the dog. The police took the situation seriously, as they should, and did the forensics, etc. associated with an attempted armed robbery.

So, two nights ago, I took Bromont out for a walk to a park a couple blocks away and a police car came up and asked me what I was doing. I told the officer that I was walking my dog and she seemed okay with the answer, even though I was kind of nervous that I didn’t have him on a lease.

So, last night, around 11:30pm, I was doing the same walk, mainly because the night before, our, sort of, cat, Lilly, came crawling down a tree and walked with us. We hadn’t seen Lilly for nearly two weeks and I thought he was gone for sure. It turns out that he must of just moved in with someone else, because he has gained a ton of weight and seemed healthy. I brought him home, put some revolution for ticks, mites, etc. on him and sent him on his wandering ways.

So, I was just getting to the park and a car, like a Ford Taurus or something pulls up really slowly. I’m not paying too much attention to it until a spot light hits me and I hear this shout, “Hey, what are you doing there?” I said something like “Excuse me?” Right then a Ford Explorer pulls up behind the other car.

So, a police officer gets out of the first car and shouts the same thing again. I say, “Sorry sir, I didn’t realize you were a police officer. I’m just walking my dog.” He comes walking over towards me kind of aggressively and says he doesn’t see any dog or something like that. I whistle and Bromont comes over with his flashy light on his collar blinking. Two more police, a male and female officer have came over and spread out behind me.

The situation stayed too tense for my liking, so I say something like, “Is this how courteous you are normally with your interactions?” Maybe not exactly that, but something implying he was being pretty impolite.

He says something like he came driving by, saw me hiding in the shadows and looked suspicious. I say something like, “Hiding in the shadows, I’m standing under a street light.” He says, “Whatever.”

So, it seems he realizes that I’m what I say I am and starts to leave, but the female officer shines her light into the park at Lilly, who has appeared. I say, “That is my cat Lilly, he is walking with us.”

That simple sentence seemed to set the first guy off again. He comes walking back saying something like he doesn’t have to take this shit. I say, “what shit”. He goes into a rant about mouthing off about the cat, on and on. I say, “Hey, that is my cat and he is walking with us.” It wasn’t meant to be anything other than explaining the cat to the other officer, who was shinning her light at him.

So, then it is, “Do you have any ID on you?” I say no. “Name and address?” I say, Steve. Tilford. Then to my surprise, he says “You’re that world famous mountain bike racer.” I say yes, I ride bikes. He completely changes his demeanor. But, the female cop isn’t so easily convinced. She’s asking me how to spell my name and my birth date, etc. So, one guy wants to talk and the other is still being official police person and is running warrants. The third guy never said a word.

I ask if I can go and he says sure. I walk off and they sit there a bit and eventually drive off.

I don’t really have any problem with the police making sure my neighborhood is safe. But the problem I had with the encounter is after all the identities were established, the tone of the situation never got polite or to a normal conversation. It stayed in the intimidation mode until I was “recognized”.

I think I’m a pretty normal guy. I don’t think there was ever a mistaken identity here, that I was the burglar they were searching for. I am just lucky I’m a white guy that happened to live in the neighborhood. I can’t imagine what I would have encountered if I was a Hispanic or black man just walking to the grocery store down the road. It didn’t go all that well for me.

Extra Income

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I saw a couple articles already this morning about a soigneur that supposedly worked for BMC being arrested with 200 doses of EPO. The first I heard of it was through this link to a Belgium article that I couldn’t read. Now Cyclingnews.com has an article.

I’ve meet nearly everyone that works for the BMC cycling team and have no recollection of any guy named Sven. So, I emailed Trudi and she told me that she hardly knew the guy, but he did part time work for the team. By part time, 3 races in 2 years. That is pretty much not working for the team. But, it is whatever you make of it I guess. Then I saw this on the Innering that shows he has worked for BMC much more.

I have no idea how much 200 doses of EPO is and how many riders it would supply for how long, but it seems like a lot to me. Nothing like the Johan Meseeuw and his 8000 of Aranesp. I’m have no idea of the shelve life of EPO, but that would have supplied a lot of riders for a long time I’d guess.

Anyway, I think it is so wrong that these leeches of the sport can make this extra money supplying PED’s to riders. It seems even more wrong it is ex-Pro riders making extra money by supplying the drugs to the current riders. Screw them all.

Finally the authorities in these countries are finding methods to stop it, through customs. From my experiences at the Brussels airport recently, it is pretty depressing thinking that they are probably catching close to .1% of anything going through that facility. I spent the better part of a week at the airport, in January, and it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to bypass customs at that place. I was pretty much walking in and out of the controlled baggage claim whenever I wanted.

This one hit closer to home since it is related to BMC. Will it ever stop?

Who is Worse?

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Whenever the drug thing comes up in conversation, it truly amazes me how many times eventually someone will say, “Fuck it, we should all just start using drugs.” Then nearly everyone talks excitedly about the prospect of riding that fast. But, when it comes down to the chase, it seems that most of “my guys” just want to beat up on the riders that they perceive as riders that are doping. In this imaginary scenario, they have no desire to use them to ride against their normal guys, just the cheaters.

I think it’s an interesting differential. Get back at the dopers by doping and beating them? I don’t think that makes much sense. It has been happening for decades in Europe and no one seems put out too much by it. Someone wins a bike race and the rest of the guys lose. I don’t think that punishes the doping riders much.

So, in these discussions, it seems to be a consensus, that the riders that are domestically riding and doping are much higher on the moral deviate ladder than the Euros. Especially the foreign guys that come to the United States and take slots on US teams and then whoop up on everyone until they eventually get caught. Or not caught, depending.

I have to agree with the domestic dopers rubbing me the wrong way much more than the Euro riders. When I think of true bike racing pricks, the first name that comes to mind is Ivan Stevic (how about that Driveway Criterium Result in his resume?). That was so obvious that any team that he rode for shouldn’t be allowed to ever have a license again. He raced over here for years and took thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars in prize money away from regular domestic riders. Now he’s racing over in some Eastern Block country, winning races like Tour of Serbia.

Anyway, I’m not sure why guys like Stevic, Kirk O’bee, Nathan O’Neill and such, seem more morally despicable than the Euro guys, including American Euro guys. Maybe it is because I can sort of see the thought process of trying to climb the European peleton ladder and that ladder had no rungs if you didn’t dope.

But, the guys beating up the US domestic riders, that seems to be pure greed. And the arrogance of dictating the races and acting all almighty is so wrong. I guess that since I’m closer to the scene here, is hits closer to home. Maybe RealCyclist.com can sign a two year deal with Roberto Heras now that his doping infraction has been thrown out by Spainish courts. He and Francissco Mancbo would make quite a team and really dominate the NRC calender here in the US.

Whatever the perception, it is everyone’s responsibility to address it. I couldn’t believe when I was looking to see what Ivan Stevic was up to nowadays, how many interviews and articles popped up on google from Velonews, Cyclingnews, etc. touting what a wonder boy Ivan was. This was before the “news” came out that Ivan was in the US racing because he’d been caught it Italy selling doping products. Then he just disappeared and reappeared somewhere else. Our sport sucks in that regard.

Ivan Stevic winning in Georgia, before his issues.

And in China after his reappearance.

Dieting for nothing

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I’m dieting right now. I’m not sure why. I’d usually have a important race down the road that I’d like to be super light for, but not right at this moment. Opposite of Chris Horner, it is super easy for me to loose weight. I just don’t eat anything after 8pm. I’d normally eat a ton of food after that and most of the food eaten at that time is super high in calories. Plus, the weather burns weight too. Anytime it is in the upper 90’s for an extended period, a couple pounds come off.

I’ve never really gotten down to race weight this season. It isn’t a good time to loose weight when you’re trying to gain form. I think I have okay race form, just no way to access it on any type of constant basis. Race weight for me is anything under 160 lbs. That’s about where I am now. I can’t race any lower than the low 150’s. I can get there, but if I want to stay there more than a couple weeks, I always get sick. Plus, I look a thousand times older than I already look, not that it matters.

I’m not drinking any coffee for a little while too. Or wine/alcohol. I don’t drink much alcohol anyway, but coffee is a different story. I’m just wondering if some of the side ache problems I’ve been having is coffee related. It doesn’t seem to be helping the past two days, but it is still too early to tell.

It’s kind of fun playing around with diet and habits every once in a while. I don’t think you can learn things about your body unless you tweek it every so often to see what it is like doing something else.

Busy Week

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The Tour of Kansas City is officially over. Shad Smith won the overall and gets his name on the trophy. I ended up finishing 3rd overall in some weird tie breaking way. I finished a miserable 3rd yesterday in the final race so I guess a 3rd, 6th and 9th = 3rd overall. And by miserable, I mean that I felt miserable most of the day.

I got off the front early with Kent Woermann, Team Colavita/Parisi Coffee and Austin Vinton, Mercy. I felt better before the race and mildly better early, but never got close to going good. I keep getting a super debilitating side ache. Maybe it was a combination of the heat, which was off the charts, and riding lousy.

We stayed together until the end. Kent put in a couple hard digs, but it wasn’t until Austin jumped on the final tailwind uphill that I realized it wasn’t going to be good for me. He put a pretty good gap on me and I couldn’t claw my way back. The finish was downhill a couple hundred meters, so it was over. Kent got shelled a bit, so I sat up and let him get 2nd on the day. He was doing the majority of the work and deserved the result. Austin is getting better and better as the season progresses. He’s gonna be a force to be reckoned with soon.

So that is over. I’m planning on eating a bunch of yogurt and probiotics and see how I feel next weekend at Tour of Lawrence. If you have nothing to do next weekend, you should consider making your way over this way. The race is great. Racing in downtown on Mass. St. doesn’t get any better. And the circuit race on KU campus is the best course I race all year, and close to the hardest. I think we’re doing just 55 miles with something like 9000 ft. of climbing.

I’m taking Trudi to the airport now. She is flying to the Tour de France this afternoon. She is only going to be gone a month, coming back for the Tour of Utah and the new PRO race in Colorado. She begin stressing a bit the last few days trying to get ready. It doesn’t help much that I was racing a 3 day stage race this past weekend. She is carrying some new prototype TT helmets and other stuff, so it is going to be difficult hauling all the stuff around once she lands in Europe.

It’s supposed to be in the upper 90’s most of this week, with a couple days at 100. Plus, we’ve been having thunderstorms each night, so the humidity is nuts. I’ve never been much to get up early and ride in the morning. I might have to rethink that this week.

You can tell it can't be going good when I'm looking at the ground pulling.

The cats are getting full use of the TV room now. Still 5 available. If you know anyone that might want a kitten, I'll figure out a way to get it to them.