Monthly Archives: March 2012

5-hour ENERGY

This entry was posted in Racing on by .
Share

What’s the deal with this 5-hour Energy stuff? I see it everywhere nowadays. I’ve been driving a ton and see it at all the truck stops. And riding it is at the register at nearly every convenience store in the country.

I have a couple cases I’ve gotten from various sources, but have never consumed a bottle. All I know is that whoever owes this company is printing money. I thought RedBull was a good business. This is about 1/10 of the volume of a RedBull and cost about the same I think. Actually, I don’t even know how much it costs. But, any company that has a NASCAR race team is selling product.

I’m more interested because they do sponsor bike racing with their co-sponsorship of the Kenda/5-hour Energy team. I think I should break a bottle out soon and see what all the hype is all about.

Decaf? That would seem to defeat the purpose of this I'd think.

Handmade Truing Stand

This entry was posted in Racing on by .
Share

I finally got around to putting that $15 spoke into the Shimano tubeless wheel. I’ve had a handmade truing stand since I was a junior. A local guy from Nebraska, Fred Galata, made it back in the late 70’s I guess. It is made of aluminum and machined to perfection.

I’d seen the stands before and finally told Fred that I’d take one. I don’t remember how much it was, but Fred brought it down to a race in Oklahoma, maybe Talimena, and the four of us from Kansas had to scrape every penny together we had to buy it. We were driving back North, up by Bartlesville, OK around midnight. I was driving, going pretty fast. I hadn’t seen another car for a while and of course, with my luck it was a cop. He did a U-turn and pulled us over.

He said that we had to pay him $30 on the spot or he was going to arrest me. I told him that we didn’t have any money at all. That we’d just bought a truing stand at a bike race and only had the tank of gas in the car to get back. He asked again if we didn’t have $30 between the 4 of us. I told him no. He then told me to step out or the car. He proceeded to hand cuff me. He said he’d give me one more chance to pay. I told him we would gladly pay him, but we didn’t have any money at all.

So, he put me into the front seat of his car and proceeded to drive the 20 miles back to Bartlesville at 100 mph. Kris and the other two guys I was with thought it was some kind of trick, so they didn’t follow us because he was going so fast.

We we got to the station and he handed me over to another officer. That guy took me back into the jail to lock me up. He unlocked the cell where there was a guy laying on the floor vomiting. He said something about the guy drinking Drano when he went to the bathroom. I told the officer that I didn’t want to get into the cell with him. That I had been speeding, but it didn’t seem like I should be thrown into jail with a guy that is puking. The officer that brought me in heard our whole conversation and told the other officer that I seemed like an okay kid and maybe he should just lock me to the bench in the waiting area. So that is what they did.

Within 15 minutes this guy comes into the station and they tell me he is a bail bondsman. I didn’t know what that was, but he explained that he could pay the police the money and they would release me. But, I had to pay him $100 for him to pay my $30. I told him that seemed unfair and that I could send him the money when I got home tomorrow. He pretty much said, take it or leave it. I took it. The whole thing took maybe an hour. By the time we were done, around 2 am, my guys had finally found where I was. They had driven around town for an hour trying to figure out where I was. The bail guy wanted one of our bikes as collateral for his bond. I told him that was ridiculous and asked him how were we supposed to get it back after we sent him the money. He probably recognized who we were, young, honest kids, because he didn’t really push it. We got home that night right when the sun was rising.

I sent the bail man the money the next day. I think I got it from my dad, because I wouldn’t of had it. He usually wouldn’t of had it either, but we came up with it somehow. I always think of that story whenever I’m using that truing stand.

The stand is mounted on a old Craftsman tool box covered with decals.

Pretty high tech for being 35 + years old.

I bought this stand on eBay a few years ago. I use it mainly for gluing tires.


The dream stand. I’m not sure why I don’t have a Park TS- 2.2 stand like this by now? Huh, Calvin?

Allergies

This entry was posted in Racing on by .
Share

I don’t see the difference between having allergies and just being sick. As far as I’m concerned, the symptoms are the same, so it is pretty much the same thing.

I don’t know why allergies are such a big deal now. I guess people just want something to complain about. It has always been a big deal to athletes. Not that I’m saying that athletes have a right to complain about things more than the general population, but when you make your livelihood from sports and your body doesn’t allow you to perform up to its maximum level, then it seems okay to whine more. Athletes definitely seem to whine more about stupid stuff pertaining to how they feel. I definitely do.

My grandmother lived to 99 years old. I moved in with her when I was 12. She was 81. I never heard here say one word about feeling bad. Not one. She would be sick, break bones, etc. not one complaint.

One time she had fallen down and broke her wrist. She was in her 90’s by then. A week or two later, she asked me if I would look at her back because she was having trouble sleeping and thought maybe something was the matter. She only wore dresses, she never owned a pair of pants. So we unzipped her house dress, looked, and her back was a million shades of black and purple. It was unreal. So, we loaded her up and took her to the doctor. She had broken nearly all the ribs on one side of her back and maybe a couple others. I’ve broken ribs a few times in my life and I think it is one of the most painful bones to break. The healing process is so slow and any movement, laughter, coughing, just breathing exacerbates the pain. Her whole side of ribs were broken, but she never said a peep about pain.

Anyway, I’ve been hearing a ton on the news about how bad the allergies are because of this early spring, blooming throughout the country. I saw down in Georgia, that the pollen counts are at record highs and that they are 6X higher than a really bad year. That would not be a good place from me to be right now. I check out the pollen reports where ever I’m heading. Not that I’m going to avoid going there, but just the knowledge that there is a reason I might feel subpar is good.

The pollen counts here in Kansas are extremely high right now. Mainly tree pollen, which is bad for me. I started taking Zyrtec allergy stuff a couple days ago. I’ve never had much luck with pills for allergies, but at least mentally, I think I’m addressing some of the issue. It might be a long Spring for some of us this year. It is only March.

My grandmother and me.

Tree pollen every morning on the car.

EPO / David Millar / Results

This entry was posted in Racing on by .
Share

David Millar is back in the spotlight, not of his own doing, because WADA ruled that athletes can’t be banned from the Olympics after a positive drug test and that the British Olympic Association is appealing the decision to CAS.

In this article from Cyclingnews.com, this is a quote from Millar – “It [doping] was the difference between going to a race and hoping to win and going to a race and guaranteeing to win,” he said. “The reason I did it is because I knew I could get away with it.”

Finally, someone says it like it is. “Guaranteeing to win” was the quote. I have always hated reading when people say that these oxygen manipulating drugs just make you a little better. They make you so much better the results are unbelievable. That is a fact.

The problem is that David Millar says a lot of stuff. I did a couple posts last year on Millar and his stupid quotes. So, I can’t really use this new statement as prove of my beliefs if I discard most of the previous stuff he has said. Here is a link to a post that has a video of him saying that he didn’t even need to use EPO to win the World TT Championships because he won by so far he would have won without it. Considering how rampant that the drug use was in those days, he kind of contradicts himself because there were lots of other guys using it and he was the guy that won, “guaranteed”.

David goes on to state in the recent article – “People do make mistakes and I think they should be punished. But they should be forgiven and given the opportunity for a second chance. We are human beings. Why should sports men and women get punished harder than people in the normal world?”

David needs to get real here. Punished more than people in the normal world? Does he think that not being able to participate in the Olympics is more punishment than “normal world” people are treated. Wow. I’d love to see the trial of the admitted, serial rapist when the judge is deciding the punishment after the guilty plead and the judge says, “Sir, you’re not going to be allowed to race bicycles in the Olympic games.” I bet the rapist would be devastated with that punishment.

Athletics isn’t a right dude. Personally, I don’t think you should be racing bikes at all, sorry. And for sure, you shouldn’t get a “second chance” to win a medal at the Olympic games. You blew that a long time ago.

David striking a pose, after tossing his bike over the barriers, a few years back, in the Giro when he broke his chain.

Guess the UCI has Nothing Better to Do? – Lawyer Lips

This entry was posted in Racing on by .
Share

I was reading the other day about the UCI making it illegal for Professional teams to be competing in events without the “lawyer lips” on the forks of their bikes.

I’m not even sure where to begin with this. For one, doesn’t the UCI have better things to do that try to make the sport more complicated. I’ll filed more tabs off bikes than I can count. 100’s at a minimum.

Does the UCI realize that racing bicycles aren’t your everyday, run of the mill, bicycles. And that the tabs do nothing but make it much harder to replace a wheel (or put your bike on a car rack). They must realize that virtually every person involved in the sport of bicycle racing, at even the most basic level, realizes that having your front wheel properly attached to you bicycle is really important.

What is this rule for? Protecting us against ourselves. I read that in France it is illegal to file the tabs off your bike. So, in theory, if France teams remove their tabs, then they break French law. Is there someone in France that actually enforces that law? Wow.

There are rumors that everyone is going to be riding new skewers that open wider to clear the tabs, so the tabs are valueless anyway. Boy, that makes a lot of sense.

There better not be a trickle down effect to this rule. I have dozens of forks that would become virtually valueless if the USAC somehow would try to enforce this stupidity.

Here is a link
to the history of lawyer tabs and the proper way to deal with them.

I've personally done this on 100's of forks.

Weekend Roundup

This entry was posted in Racing on by .
Share

I don’t know if anyone out there was following the Redland’s Classic results this past few days. If not, then you would have missed that the same guy won every stage other than the Prologue TT. Patrick Bevin (Bissell Pro Cycling), won all three stages and came within a couple seconds of winning the whole race. I’ve never seen that happen in a race of this caliber. I don’t quite get it. Yesterday stage looks like it was epic, much like the road race in San Dimas it seems. I think that the Sunset Road Race is one of the hardest races of the year. The course is all climbing or descending. Anyway, I can hardly wait to talk to Joseph or something that was racing to hear the story/stories. Patrick must be a ton better than everyone else that was racing this event for this to occur. There is no faking it on the Sunset loop, so he is obviously the real deal.

I think it was pretty interesting the Mark Cavendish couldn’t make it to the finish with the front group in Gent-Wevelgem. It is sort of surprising. Boonen seems to be on a roll, a least for these first two warm-up races. We’ll see how well he is going for Flanders and Roubaix.

And how about Cadel winning Critérium International. He sure seems to have found some form between Tirreno Adriatico and now. He looked like he was climbing really good. He should be a little relieved and feel less pressure now. He had to of been a little concerned.

I’m up in Delavan Wisconsin. The rainy cold weather has been following me through the midwest. It is in the lower 40’s and super windy today. I haven’t ridden for 3 days, but feel a little better today.

I saw an accident on the highway yesterday involving a pickup pulling a horse trailer. There were 5 fire trucks and at least as many police cars there. The pickup was upside down and the horse trailer was on it’s side. They were working on getting to whoever was inside the truck. Maybe 20 guys working. I had to drive by super slowly and could see the horse in the trailer. No one was doing a thing for them. I understand priorities in these situations, but somehow it seems wrong. It has been in the back of my mind since, kind of haunting me. I guess it’s just a bad deal all around.

On a lighter note, KU made it to the Final Four yesterday by beating North Carolina. The game was great, especially if you’re a KU fan. But, it was a good game if you’re just a collegiate basketball fan. The first half was a shootout, with both teams shooting close to 60 percent. It got a little sloppy the 2nd half, but KU pulled away slowly towards the end. It is nice having another week to look forward to the finals. I think it is going to be KU vs. UK in the finals. Kentucky looks pretty great, so I’m not too optimistic for KU to win the tournament, but they have done way more than was ever expected this season, so it is all cake now.

Patrick Bevin's nearly winning everything in Redlands last weekend.

Cadel wearing yellow in France this year.

Tyshawn Taylor played pretty unbelievable, considering he didn't make a 3 point basket during the game, or during the whole NCAA tournament for that matter.

Stomach Something

This entry was posted in Racing on by .
Share

I drove north from Topeka to go up near Chicago and get some new wheels/tires for my van. I had planned on doing a 100km gravel road race here, but Friday I came down with some mild form of stomach crud. I think it was something I ate, but whatever the reason, along with so much rain, I don’t have the energy to do it. I needed to put some bigger tires on my wheels and just feel way under prepared for the whole ordeal.

KU is playing tonight to make it into the final four in the NCAA basketball. They are playing North Carolina. It is strange the relationship that KU and North Carolina basketball share. They almost seem inbred from square one. Their coaching back and forth historically, up until present day. And how they’ve had to play each other recently in the tournament to get to the finals. It’s interesting.

The rain has been following me from Kansas up North. It is perfect in Topeka right now after raining for the last week. Spring I guess. It seems Spring is early throughout the country. That is great for bike riding people, but kind of makes the trees and flowers be a little mixed up.

If you’re up to watching some bike racing from Belgium, click here to get the links to Gent-Wevelgem this morning. Should be a good race to watch, as most of the Belgian races are in the Spring.

New wheels and tires in the back of the van. I didn't have the energy to put them on manually, without pneumatic tools.

Bromont under a Magnolia tree that is mixed up with this warm weather.