Monthly Archives: May 2012

Enough of this Rest

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I’m gonna ride today. I saw the Ortho doctor in Kansas City yesterday and he was great. His name is Lance Synder and he used to play football for KU. A lineman. He didn’t seem anywhere nearly big enough, but said he had lost over 70 lbs. He rode bikes, has a Trek Madone, and was a great guy. He said I had a pretty big separation, but if he were me, he’d just wait it out and see how it heals. He said he can always put it back together at any time. That sounded pretty good to me, so that is what I’m going to do. He put a cortisone shot into it and said I could do just about anything I wanted to now. That was as long as the pain allowed it, which is about nothing right now.

So, I figure I can go out and ride an hour or two. I can’t really imagine doing it at this moment, but I think I can work up enough energy in a couple hours.

I think the biggest problem to riding is going to be my neck. It is super stiff, nearly locked in place. I hate it when I have a hard time glancing over my shoulder looking for cars, etc. But, this is the way it is going to be for a while.

I had a few hours to blow yesterday in Kansas City before I had to pick Trudi up at the airport, so I went by the County Club Plaza and hung. Bromont and I went for a walk by the creek and then I went by the Apple Store to get my phone looked at. There were so many people in there, I thought there was a class being held, but one of the employees said it was just a normal Monday afternoon. I have Apple stock. And it’s increased in price dramactically the last few months. And I’m not usually someone that tells others what to do with their money, but Apple is firing on all cylinders right now. Producing products that virtually everyone in the world wants. They are rewriting the books on stock valuation. I know it seems expensive at $600 per share, but that is just a number. Look at it as 10, $60 shares. Stop by an Apple store and see how they do business. I can’t imagine what could change in the short term that would derail the upward movement of the stock, other than a World incident that puts jitters into all financial investments. Okay, enough of that.

So, I picked Trudi up. She’s pretty happy to be back. She got jacked on luggage fees flying home from Switzerland. She is a Premier United member and should have gotten two free bags, but they said that they changed the program within the last month and she only got 1. So she had to pay for two extra bags coming back. She won’t tell me what the charge was, so it has to be humongous. Man, airlines aren’t our friends anymore.

We stopped at Freestate in Lawrence and had dinner, then walked Bromont around downtown Lawrence. He likes that street. It didn’t seem like that many KU students were out and about.

I am still pretty sleepy all day, so I must of hit my head harder than I thought. (Okay I said it.) I am not sleeping the best, so that too could also have something to do with it. I’m feeling pretty optimistic about the recovery right now obviously. I don’t know what that is, but I don’t see any downside to it. I’ll see how the ride goes today.

Dr. Synder. He is my kind of orthopedic doctor.

He has jerseys hanging all over his office from KU players, Royals, etc. I think he needs a cycling jersey hung up, so I'm going to send him a signed Worlds jersey.

This was the Apple store at the plaza at 3 Monday afternoon. Crazy.

This is a photo I took walking with Bromont down by Brush Creek.

Clover machine, that makes individual cups of high end coffee. I have to admit, it was pretty good.

Bromont was very happy to see Trudi at the airport.

Bromonts favorite driving slot with his favorite human.

Wiggins wants Credible Tour de France Winner – How about skipping Tenerife?

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It seems weird to me that people are doing interviews with riders about whether they would/will be a “credible” Tour winner, if they happened to win in July. Cyclingnews had an article a couple days ago with Bradley Wiggins where he talks about it would be better to win after Cadel than after some other rider that has turned up positive recently.

I had/have no idea what the guy is talking about. Why would it matter who you follow winning the Tour? Doping in sport is bad news for everyone. And especially in cycling, which has obviously had more than its share of problems. But to imply it is better to win the Tour after Cadel than after Contador or Floyd or whoever is silly. If that is true, then Cadel is probably bummed he won the race after Alberto? I don’t think so.

If you want to be credible, maybe you should try to make your actions mimic what you’re saying. In my opinion, in this case, maybe he should start skipping his every other month visit to Tenerife. Yes, he’s doing a two week training stint at high altitude in Tenerife before the Critérium du Dauphiné, which is a 5 week break from racing. These huge gaps in racing are as screwy as thinking he might get some benefit of sitting at altitude for 2 weeks. I think not.

It is the same as Vinokourov praising his Astana team mate Maxim Iglinskiy after he won Liège-Bastogne-Liège. In his explanation to why Iglinskiy didn’t start winning classics until he was 31 he said that Maxim had gone to altitude training camps here and there and he’s motivated again. A few high altitude training camps before April in Europe? Wonder where that could have been? And I guess he wasn’t motivated for the first 10 years of his career, took him until turning 31 to get some motivation.

Last year Vino himself got grilled after his Liège-Bastogne-Liège win. From Cyclingnews- But his latest streak of form — winning at Lìège only two days after he took the mountainous, four-day Giro del Trentino — came as a result of an intense period of altitude training on the massive Mount Teide on the Spanish island of Tenerife. One French sportswriter asked Vinokourov whether he went to Tenerife to be with the infamous Operación Puerto blood-doping doctor Eufemiano Fuentes (who lives there) or Italian trainer Michele Ferrari. It seems training in Tenerife has more to do with winning Liège-Bastogne-Liège than anything else?

Just type Tenerife into google, along with doping/cycling. You’ll have a never ending supply of reading material. The Spanish authorities busted up another doping ring, on that perfect training island, that was involved in selling clenbuterol. Guess that drug is rampant in Spain.

Anyway, if you’re a professional cyclist, and want to be credible, you need to skip the every other month visit to Tenerife. Especially if your a track rider that goes from a best finish of 109th at a Grand Tour to 4th at the ripe age of 29 years old and credits weight loss and special road training as the reasons. The word to describe that would be incredible.

Tenerife, cycling’s own natural EPO producing training spot.

Munch’s ‘Scream’ SOLD – 119.9 Million Dollars

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Yesterday, Munch’s Scream sold for a record for a piece of artwork, $119.9 million dollars. That seems like an incredible amount of money on one hand and really not that much on the other. Money is just like trading beads, or whatever, for something more desired. It is a way that humans have come up with to put a value on different items. Sometimes someone gets way too many beads and uses them for silly purposes. (Not saying this was a silly purpose.) For me it is hard to believe that this piece of art sold for more than any other piece of art in all history. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Find a Friend, During a Race

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I was spectating at Joe Martin on Friday, the day after I jacked up my shoulder, and Bill came riding in after the long road stage over Mt. Gaylor and told me that a junior we ride with, that was riding the 1/2 race, was standing at the side of the road, bonked or cramping or something. He said he was about 20 miles out.

So, Bill wanted to know if I’d seen his mom, who’d driven down to Fayetteville with him. I told him no. Bill had flatted and came up way back. We were kind of wondering what to do when a small group came to the line and the junior was in there. He looked alright, nothing drastically the matter with him.

Anyway, I was talking to his mom on Sunday during the criterium and it turns out that they had an iPhone app, Find my Friends on their phones, and her son had carried his phone with him during the race so she could track him. She got a call from him and was wondering what was going on, since he was 20 miles out. There are conflicting stories whether she drove out and gave him some food or he just got going on his own, but they definitely had communication.

I thought it was so funny, in a strange and humorous way too, that someone would carry an iPhone in their pocket so they could be tracked during the race and then actually use it to call for help. It is the age of modern technology. I guess you have to embrace it or get left behind. Maybe being left behind isn’t so bad. (But, I did download the My my Iphone app though.)

Crashing then and Now

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Crashing bicycles has gotten astronomically more expensive the last decade. I think it is the invasion of carbon into the sport. First the wheels, now nearly all the frames are carbon. Carbon is great for racing. Pretty light, pretty strong. But it is really brittle. Like, just sneeze at it and it catastrophically explodes.

I thought and still think that I got out of crashing last Thursday relatively good. I am not hurt really badly and I thought I didn’t destroy too much equipment, other than my helmet. My wheels, shifters, derailleurs, and frame seem okay. But after checking it out, it was a little more damage than I first thought.

I think when I got my left foot out of the pedal and on the ground, it somehow pushed the cleat through the carbon sole of the shoe. So the Shimano shoes are ruined. The only ding on my bike equipment is my saddle, a Fi’zi:k Arione. Plus my helmet, of course. That really isn’t too bad.

That is until you start adding up the retail cost of the stuff. The shoes are $379 at Colorado Cyclist. The saddle around $150. The same with the helmet. Then add in the skinsuit, the jersey, the gloves and bar tape that is gone. That is close to $900-$1000, plus tax, if you bought it all retail. That is unreal.

I don’t want to go into the “Steve, you’re out of touch with how much cycling equipment costs” thing again. I have admitted, that is somewhat the case sometimes. But, it is completely out of line with what it used to cost for the same items.

I paid $380 for my first racing bicycle. It was a LeJuene and I got it in Kansas City at a bike shop in Crowne Center. It was a 531 frame, all Campagnolo, with tubular tires. I was making about $5 to mow a yard back then. So if you put it into yard mowing terms, it took me about 76 mowed yards to buy the bike. I asked around and most kids around here get $25 to mow the same yard. So, 76 x $25 and you get $1900. That hardly gets you a good set of wheels with tires glued on them, let alone a race bike.

I’m not saying that you can’t get an okay used bike to race on for 2K, but it wouldn’t be comparable to the new, all Campy, LeJuene. I ruined half that much in equipment and didn’t really destroy that much. In lawn mowing terms, between the shoes, helmet, seat, and clothing, it probably would of added up to around 20 lawns when I first started riding. But in today’s dollars, it is closer to 40 lawns. Twice as much work to buy the same replacement stuff. It seems pretty plain and simple that it is just much more expensive to race bicycles now than it used to be.

And I’m not even taking into account the medical costs. It is going to be ridiculous, as all emergency room visits are.

I thought I was doing okay, but then two nights ago and then again last night, I couldn’t get comfortable and slept less than 4 hours. It was just subtle movements that would send a shooting pain into my shoulder. It’s a drag. I have ridden close to 100 miles the past three days. I can’t climb out of my saddle. I try, but it isn’t working. Fabian Cancellara is having the same sort of problem. Here’s his quote- “The broken collarbone was one thing, but the damage around it was greater than expected. The shoulder, ligaments, muscles, everything was lost,” Cancellara said. “After the surgery I was hopeful. The pain quickly disappeared, and within a week I was off medication. Everything was going well, but then I began to feel something in my shoulder. On Monday, I had another scan done, and they found a tear in a ligament.” He goes on to say how jacked up his back feels, etc.

In theory, I don’t have any ligaments attached, so I guess it’s okay to whine a bit. My back is jacked up too. And I’m not even addressing my neck here. It is funny how you compensate when you’re trying to protect something hurt. Anyway, I’m hoping I’m going to be able to ride out of my seat within the next couple weeks. Hopefully sooner, so I’m staying pretty optimistic. I’m so sleepy all day. At least I have a reason for that now that I’m not sleeping at night. I don’t know why it took 6 days before that set in? I hope for that to be done by today.

Guess I’m not going up to Iowa City to race this weekend. That’s a drag. I love the races, the criterium course especially. Plus it is great staying with Jeff Bradley for the weekend. We’ll have to catch up later on I guess.

A hairnet and wool jersey were less expensive way back when. This is a picture of my friends, Jeff Bradley and Mark Gorski at the 1978 Boul-Mich Criterium in Chicago. Jeff went on to race the Tour de France, among other things and Mark won the Olympics in sprinting on the track, among other things.

Giro Starts Saturday

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The Giro starts in a few hours with a 8.7 km time trial. It is going to be on live for nearly 4 hours I think. You can go here and get the links to the streaming video. There will be lots of them.

I’m hoping Taylor Phinney gets the pink jersey today. That would be a feather in his cap for sure and make his mom and dad proud. Anyway, the live coverage starts at 8:30 am midwest time, so 9:30 east coast. If you’re not out on your bike yourself, maybe check it out for a while.