Monthly Archives: June 2012

Lance’s Doping Case/Tour de France/Tour of Lawrence Street Sprints

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It seems that the USADA review board recommended unanimously for USADA to move forward with the charges against Lance Armstrong and Company. I think the chances are maybe only 70% that Lance will even defend himself in this hearing. I’m not sure about the others. And I’ll bet you just about anything that Lance will not ask for a public trial. We saw how much good that did for Floyd bringing the public into the mix. I hope this thing doesn’t drag on forever. It makes the process seem more suspect than it already is.

The Tour starts today, obviously. You can go to Cyclingfans.com and watch it live. I think the coverage begins at about 7:15 central time and the last 20 go off around 10 am CST. I’m picking Tony Martin for the win of the prologue today. I know he’s not a short TT specialist, but when you got go nearly 32 mph for 40.68 km like he did at his National Championships a couple weeks ago, then he should be able to get up to that speed for a mere 6.4 km. I hate picking the favorites and I never pick good, so don’t go with me on this. Pick Wiggins or Cancellara if you want a better chance on being right.

The Tour of Lawrence Street Sprints were last night in Lawrence They are getting better and better every year. I didn’t do them even though I had a number. I’m not much up to sprinting ability right now, so it would of been a waste of time. Plus, I wouldn’t of gotten to watch the show. Colton Jarish, Mercy, who won both races at the Tour of Kansas City last weekend won the sprints over some good guys. So, that is 3 in a row for Colton. I think Brad Huff, Jelly Belly, was 3rd, maybe 2nd, I didn’t see the results. But, Colton is much faster than I had thought. I didn’t remember that he finished 2nd last year here to Andrew Dahlheim.

I didn’t even ride one inch yesterday. I’ve been waking up feeling like I’ve been run over by a car every morning this week, so I thought I might try something different. It didn’t work so far yet this morning, but I won’t know for sure until I race at 5:30 tonight. The circuit race is on KU campus and has an unbelievable amount of climbing, nearly 6000 ft., I believe. A 4 mile lap and we do 14 laps. Plus, it is supposed to be about 103 at start time. Should make for a very hard evening. There is a pretty good, well balanced field here, so it should be good bike racing no matter what.

I’m thinking I should go out for a ride this morning, but now that I think about it, I think I’ll just watch the Tour prologue to warm up. Seems like a better choice right at this moment.

Trudi, Bromont, Rita and Bill before the men’s start. But, Bill is race ready with his clinchers and seat bag still attached.

Joseph barely nipping Ben Stover, Tradewind to get into the finals.

We ran into Craig Sparks, the Czar of the street sprints. He said he was pretty happy with how they went this year and it was the first time in 4 years that he was going to be able to sleep afterwards. He told us a story about a girl, who he said had driven “from the moon” or somewhere really far off, and there was no way he could appease her complaints. He sounded like he might have needed some therapy after that year. It went pretty flawlessly this year though.

And Bromont, waiting by the restaurant window patiently, for his normal stroll down Mass. St. in Lawrence.

It’s Really Hot…..So let’s Race

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It is really hot here in Kansas. Actually, I heard it was the hottest spot on the planet today, at 115 degrees in Hill City, but I couldn’t find anything to confirm that on the internet. I’d bet there are hotter places on the planet, just that there aren’t any people/cities/thermometers there to record the temperatures.

Here’s the report for Hill City, Kansas – The report of 115°F (46.1°C) in the current hour at Hill City, Kansas ties yesterday’s all-time June record high temperature. This is the 5th consecutive day of 110°+ temperatures at Hill City. The precipitation so far this month of 0.42″ is only 17% of the June average in this drought-stricken region of the High Plains. Hot and dry conditions are expected to continue through the remainder of the summer.

Boy, that sure sounds like a great forecast.

Anyway, my heat acclamation training was just so/so this week. I made it to Lawrence only once during the heat of the day. I rode just an hour and a half today at 106. I didn’t feel bad pedaling at 20 mph, but whenever I went uphill I got super winded. My Garmin was reading around 113 all day. I think it was because of the heat coming off the asphalt. I took it off my bars and put it lower and it went up a couple degrees in just a minute.

I used to not mind the heat. I didn’t really think about it. One of my first races, I went down to Arkansas City, Kansas, near the Oklahoma border. I was an intermediate, 13-14 Junior, nowadays. My friend, who pretty much got me into bike racing, Ed Bauman, drove Kris and I down there in his VW pickup truck. (Now it’s my VW pickup truck.) Ed is older, so he was racing the 1-2-3 race. Kris raced the junior race.

It was super hot, like hot now here. I got 2nd to David Winbray, who was from Tulsa, I think. He beat me at at least the first two races I did, then I think I beat him a few times until he quit racing pretty early.

Anyway, when Kris and I were done, we went out to find Ed. He was riding by himself, in third place. He wasn’t too good though. He was having what he called, “Charlie horses.” I call them cramps, but whatever you call them, it is horrible. Anyway, he was pretty close to the finish line and he completely cramped up and couldn’t pedal. He eventually came to a hault and fell over. He hit the asphalt before I could get out of the pickup and catch him. When he hit the ground he started screaming madly. I was running over to him, but was barefoot. I just about made it to him, but my feet were burning and I had to run back and jump into the pickup. I don’t remember if Kris or I helped Ed to get going, but he was toast. His skin was all burned from the road.

Anyway, I don’t remember how Ed finished. I’m thinking 3rd still, but don’t quote me on that. We were driving home and it was so, so hot. Kris and I were switching off riding in the back with the wind blowing over us. The cab was unbelievable hot. Ed pulled over in some small town, I thought to get gas, but when I looked up he had stopped at a Dairy Queen. We only had, maybe, $4 with us. I though we were using it for gas, but once we stopped there, the money was gone for cold desserts.

We stressed all the way back to Topeka, running on fumes. Ed ran out of gas right in front of our house. He got on his bike and rode home. That wasn’t that unusual back then. Just the way it always seem to go.

Anyway, the Tour of Lawrence officially starts tonight with street sprints downtown. I think it is only supposed to be 102 today. Tomorrow, the circuit race on the KU campus, which is a very hard course, it’s supposed to be 106. That is going to be ugly. Then a cooling tread for the criterium on Sunday, only 100.

My shoulder is pretty valueless for sprinting, so I’m probably just going to go there and watch. I’m sure the standing around will do me good. It’s going to be another humbling weekend.


I went down to Lawrence for Adam Mills‘ bachelor party. This is just at the very beginning. Matt, on Adam’s right, had just given Adam a huge stack of $1 bills. I don’t know where those ended up, but I’m sure it got ugly. I got feeling weird in my stomach pretty early and ended up just driving home. I ended up painting the living room.

Here's my ride off my Garmin today. Notice the average temperature, shit.

Lost in Translation (I hope)

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I was reading an interview with Frank Schleck at Cyclingnews.com and he was explaining that he’s not going to be so good at the Tour de France because he has too many race days already this year. I don’t know if that is true, but I’d have to respect his view of the situation.

Then they asked him about the USADA investigation into his team director, Johan Bruyneel and he said – “This affair does not concern our team, but dates from the past. I don’t let it make me crazy. “

I have to call bullshit on that answer. I assume when your director can’t participate in the biggest race of the year because of a doping scandal, then it would be of concern. Of major concern I’d think.

But, say Frank doesn’t really think that this “concerns” the current Nissan-Radio Shack team. It’s all in the past? Well, maybe he is forgetting that 4 of the riders, out of 9, that are riding the Tour with him have been following Johan around for years. That would be the definition of past, right? They 4 would be Andreas Klöden, Chris Horner, Haimar Zubeldia, and Yaroslav Popovych. Between these 4, they have probably close to 20 years of seasons with Johan Bruyneel.

So nearly 1/2 the current Tour de France team for Nissan-Radio Shack comes from Bruyneel’s past and Frank says it doesn’t concern the present team. Man, does that guy need some public relations training badly or maybe just some Ginkgo Biloba.


Marc Laroche Photographer

Biggest Danger while Training -Texting

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I’ve had a few close calls recently with cars coming by really close and each time I’m pretty sure that the driver didn’t even see me. Each time the person was texting. I drive on the highways a ton. I can’t believe how many people are swerving across the centerline, or white line, and each time I come by they are messing with their phones.

It is pretty strange to be in a state, such as Texas, where texting is legal and you see and hear ads all the time telling you about how dangerous texting while driving is. But, that being said I am against a law making texting while driving illegal.

The reason for this is that the laws actually increases auto accidents by maybe up to 5%, it depends on what study you look at. I do believe the results though. Instead of having the phone up on the steering wheel where you can look out the windshield, people are holding the phone in their laps and looking down for around 3-5 seconds. This is what is causing the accidents.

Somehow, we as a society, need to figure out a solution to this problem. As cyclists, we should be ultra concerned about the issue. Lots of riders are getting hit by inattentive. texting drivers. It is a worse problem, statistically, than drunken driving accidents. That is nuts.

I admit, I am guilty, I text while driving. Mostly only when it’s legal, but sometimes I’m in a state where I have no idea whether it is legal or not. The same with talking on a cell phone while driving. I was driving up to Shimano last week from San Diego and was on the phone for 30 minutes before I remembered that it is illegal to talk on a cell phone while driving in California. But, while riding on the coast in North County, I see people talking while driving all the time.

I guess someone needs to come up with something that automatically disables a cell phone when it’s in your automobile. And this needs to be mandatory in all vehicles. Other than that, I don’t see a way that people are going to voluntarily abide by the logic and/or laws. The laws aren’t working now and I don’t see any reason they will.

Scott Moninger at the Tour with Phil and Paul

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I just read that fellow Kansan, Wichita native, Scott Moninger will be commentating at the Tour with Phil Liggett, Paul Sherwin and Bob Roll, for NBC. This should be interesting.

I’ve known Scott since he was a wee junior. He has a pretty good perspective on most things involved in the sport. It is going to be fun seeing how he meshes in with these three guys. It’s about time they got some good Midwestern views.

Tour of Lawrence needs Volunteers this Weekend

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The word on the grapevine is that the Tour of Lawrence is short of volunteers for the races this weekend. If your planning to be there, maybe you would consider giving up a little time for just that. The race has pretty great venues, being downtown on Mass. St. and then up on the KU Campus, so it’s not like you’d be standing around on some abandoned corner in the middle of an industrial park. So, if you have a little extra time this weekend, the race and riders will surely appreciate it. Thanks.

Tour of Lawrence 2012
June 29, 30, July 1

Register to volunteer @ http://www.touroflawrence.com/volunteers.php

VOLUNTEER MEETING

Please attend a volunteer orientation meetings to be held:

When: Thursday, June 28, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Where: The Carnegie, 200 W. 9th (NW corner of 9th and Vermont).

The meetings will cover spectator and rider safety, course marshaling duties, schedules and locations. Course maps and additional volunteer registration personnel will be available, so bring a friend and sign them up, too!

Parking is available in the lot on the east side of the 800 block of Vermont.