Monthly Archives: July 2012

5 Testifying against Lance?

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A Dutch newspaper has reported that the 4 guys that didn’t “want to” ride the Olympics, are now going to be suspended for 6 months after the Vuelta. The four guys are George Hincapie, Levi Leipheimer, Christian Vande Velde, Dave Zabriskie, plus Jonathan Vaughters. Here’s the article at Cyclingnews.com.

Nearly all the riders aren’t talking to the media about the report. Jonathan Vaughters called the reported ban “completely untrue.” I wonder if that is going to come back and bite him later on down the road? I guess since 3 of the 5 guys are now on the Garmin Team, and he’s the big boss, he needs to try to get through the Tour before it all goes down. He did reissue his current team’s stance on doping. Thanks Jonathan, that is what we want to know.

Here’s Levi’s quote from Cyclingnews – Quizzed whether he had made any kind of deal with USADA in return for a six-month suspension, as has been alleged in De Telegraaf, Leipheimer said: “Again, I can’t say anything. I’m not going to comment. Beyond that I’m here in the Tour with Quick Step and that’s all I can say.” This response pretty much confirms something is up. At least Levi, although sounding pretty stupid, isn’t willing to lie at this point.

I can’t believe, watching the Tour coverage right now, how Paul Sherwin is suggesting liable and that these fabricated stories always come up during the Tour. Both Paul and Phil have been towing the party line for way too many years. They probably should just let the facts sort themselves out.

Anyway, it’s going to get way more convoluted in the days and weeks ahead. Maybe Lance and Johan could just clear this up themselves. I very much doubt they will.

The most tested athlete in sports, Lance. Guess that might not be enough?

MTB bikin’ during the Tour

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I’ve only been up in Cable Wisconsin for a couple days and it seems like a week. It is very easy to get into a routine up here, which is really a non routine, with no agenda. That is pretty great.

July 4th we nearly slept through the 4th of July parade in Cable, since we were swimming at 1 am, we barely made it to Cable by 11 am. After the parade, they have a BBQ, which is completely home cooked food. I had to have a brat, but what I was really into was pie. An incredible amount of homemade pie that was nearly 1/4 pie a piece. For $2.

We went out for a couple hour road ride afterward. 40 miles and I think maybe 2 cars, total, passed us the whole time. That was when the county was swarmed with people from all over for the festivities. It is an amazing place to ride road bikes

Then yesterday, after swimming again, we went out and rode MTB bikes on the new singletrack from Boedecker Rd. down to OO. It is great, as usual. The guys that build new trails up here are experts and the single track flows like a stream. We turned around and rode it back up North, hooked up to the Chequamegon course and rode over the high point, then the Birkie Trail and back to Cable.

I hadn’t ridden my MTB bike for a while and was mildly amazed how much different it is that pedaling a road bike. You end up pulling up a ton more on the backstroke than you do riding road. I was mainly trying to check out my shoulder to see if it could function off-road. I’d have to give it a 6 or 7 out of 10 for usage. It is kind of sore, but not nearly as sore as my crotch. 3 hours of MTB riding and I feel like I’ve never sat on a bike seat before in my life. I actually woke up way too early this morning because of it. Pretty usual.

But, that isn’t enough reason not to go back out and ride all day again today. I think we’re going to ride the single track all the way down to Hayward, get a coffee and ride it back. That should be around 70 miles of riding, with 50 something of that single track. My butt is going to hate me big time.

Here are some picture from the last couple days –

A racy shot of Catherine following Bill into the warm water. Trudi is in the background. The water is so warm the top 12 inches. It then gets progressively colder. 6 feet under it is icy.

This is some of the parade in Cable. These are the girls from the Rivers Eatery, my favorite pizza place in the world.

The Brick House Coffeshop always has a good group of dancers. Pretty fun.

Yuri, czar of CXC ski team, never resting. He’s trying to talk Trudi into coming back next weekend for a MTB race he’s promoting. Trudi hasn’t had the Tour off in years. I don’t think she’s missin’ it much at all.

The pie table at the Cable picnic.

It is Wisconsin, so they make sure you can coat the complete ear of corn with butter.

It looks like Gary Crandell, Mr. Chequamegon, is going to go for Catherine’s lunch.

This guy had it all going on. 4 ears of corn, a brat, plus a pitcher. What more could you ask for on the 4th?

Riding here behind Bill and Jeff Bradley. Nearly the whole ride was under tree cover.

Hawkeye, Dennis’ dog, had no interest in watching Greipel win the stage yesterday at the Tour.

The single track here is groomed beyond imagination. Here is Catherine riding by one of the artsy rock placements on the trail.

Following the Tour de France though the Ages

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I saw a comment yesterday from my friend Rod Lake about how cool it is that we have so many options now to follow the Tour and cycling in general. I couldn’t agree more. I’ve personally witnessed this evolution since the, almost embarrassingly to admit, the early 70’s.

When I was in junior high, my brother and I used to go to the Topeka Public Library and look at the London Times, to see how Eddy Merckx was doing at the Tour. The deal was that the library didn’t get the paper until close to 3 weeks after the race. So, we’d be reading the play by play in August when the race was already over.

Then later in the 70’s, early 80’s, it was absolutely necessary to be in Boulder during the Tour because the Daily Camera wrote a daily article on the Tour. During this same time, CBS would do an hour recap on the weekends of the weeks events at the Tour. Usually it was a 45 minute travel show on France and 7 minute bike race recap.

Sometime later in the 80’s, Velonews started the day of, coverage, with Bob Roll doing a recorded phone recap that you had to dial an 900, pay by minute number, and then listen to the results of the race. That was the first you could get the results the same day.

Soon after that the daily TV coverage started, it was never guaranteed that any channel was, for sure, going to cover the race until right before the event. Traveling to races, the hotels were always chosen by if they had Versus or whoever was doing the event.

Now we can get it a zillion places on the internet, in about any language you can imagine. Plus, the NBC sports is advertising that they are covering the Tour until 2023 I think. Man, that is a pretty long contract for a sporting event.

I’ve been following the Tour for a very long time. I’m on the fence about a lot of “progressions” this information super highway has created. But, the Tour coverage is definitely a huge plus and A-okay with me.

The best there ever was.

Eddy Merckx joke-

There was a super Cat. 5 out training one day and he hit a pot hole, flipped over the bars and that was it. Upon awaking he had no idea where he was. All of a sudden he realized he was at the Pearly Gates and Saint Peter was there. He said welcome and you’re not going to believe the “training facilities” we have for you. Heaven is a bike racer’s dream.

St. Peter proceeds to show the Cat. 5 rider around. There is a exercise physiology lab. You can race everyday of the week, road, criterium or time trial. There is a training ride leaving every hour, 24 hours a day that goes any speed you like. And the food is unreal, a buffet with fresh juices, anything you could imagine.

The rider is ecstatic. St. Peter takes the rider over to show off the new indoor velodrome. There is a rider hauling around the track and then the Cat. 5 realizes who it is. He says to St. Peter, “Man, I had no idea that Eddy Merckx had died.” Saint Peter replies, “No, that is God, he just thinks he’s Eddy Merckx.”

No Reason for a Road Bike

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I can’t see any reason to have a road bike up here in Cable right now, other than maybe for crotch recovery purposes. The MTB riding here, on single track is unparalleled. I think I’ve been needing a break from road riding, mainly because of the extremely hot temperatures, and MTB riding seems to have done that. Not that the temperatures have been hot the last two days, barely in 80’s.

We’ve ridden over 10 hours of MTB riding, mostly on singletrack, and it is all super. Today we rode over to Rock Lake and did the 12 mile loop. It was rated difficult, but wasn’t close to as technical as the white trail at Clinton, near Lawrence. It was fun though. My shoulder and hand are pretty much done for a little while, so a 3 day stint off-road is about all I can handle now.

We rode back through Cable, where the CXC team was having a roller ski sprint race in downtown. I’ve never really seen a roller ski race, so it was pretty interesting to watch. Both the elite men’s and women’s race were really close and came down to nearly a ski throw.

Anyway, we’re heading back to Topeka today, after doing the 10 o’clock Sunday ride a River Brook. They usually have a good crowd and I haven’t seen too many people here I know, so it is a good time to say hi. I’m not looking much forward to the 10 hour drive home, but it is unavoidable. I sort of thought of going over to Lake Geneva and doing a couple days of Superweek, but Catherine needs to get to work tomorrow and can’t take any days off. Maybe I’ll head back up there in a couple days and ride a few races. I feel alright riding, so racing would be good.

Here are some pictures of the last couple days-

We were so wasted when we got to Hayward, Bill and Catherine got really small so they could share a chair.

We had to go to the Marketplace and buy some Vaseline to make it back up to Dennis’.

This was part of the Rock Lake trail. It was great.

We were riding back into wicked headwind and I noticed that the draft was pretty horrible. Bill is on a 29’r here and you’ll notice that there is nearly a complete body length between him and Catherine. It is even worse with two 29’r s.

We met John Leighton, another one of those behind the scenes guys, who had spent over 10 hours the previous two days clearing the Rock Lake Trail from the blow down. He’s carrying a Stihl MS192 in his backpack.

Some of the girls starting the roller ski race in downtown Cable.

The elite men’s finish. The winner, Doug DeBold, CXC, wondered if he was professional now that he had won $150. I guess it was the first money he had won as a skier. It is crazy how much different the sport is than racing bikes. I’d won more than that after 2 or 3 races when I was 14. One sport where the pay is less.

My friend, Pete Caron and Mick, owner of The Rivers Eatery, talking during the ski race. Pete went to KU with me one semester and then worked as a mechanic Levi’s Professional Team when I rode for them. He does construction up in the Cable area now.

And here is Beth, Mick’s wife, on her new 29’r MTB bike. She said she got it so she could keep up with her daughters on singletrack. Good luck with that!

Bromont finally made it down to the lake when we were swimming. He is usually tearing around in the woods somewhere and goes swimming on his own. Here he’s swimming out to meet Trudi.

Bill was pretty hungry after riding off-road for 3 hours this afternoon, but this turkey sandwich at the Angry Minnow was too enormous even for his appetite.

After dinner, we went up to the Seeley Highlands and saw Dr. Jim Mullen. He did a bunch of active release on my shoulder and neck and showed me a bunch of tricks for unbinding my bound up muscles from crashing. I felt a million times better after just a little bit.

I took this picture in Hayward last night at around 9:40. It stays light up here really late.

Bradley Wiggins

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Most everyone following the Tour has already heard or seen Bradley Wiggins having a rant over being questioned about doping in the Tour. If you haven’t, here it is.

The question – “There was some chatter in the Twitter-sphere about the comparison between Sky and US Postal.” The, the biting question – “I’m wondering your reaction. And, what do you say to the cynics who say you have to be doped up to win the Tour de France?”

The answer – “Honestly they’re just fucking wankers. I can’t be doing with people like that,” Wiggins said. “It justifies their own bone idleness… because they can’t ever imagine applying themselves to anything in their lives.

“And it’s easy for them to sit under a pseudonym on Twitter and write that kind of shit rather than get off their arses and apply themselves and work hard at something and achieve something.”

I guess Bradley is a little tired of the same old accusations that have been going on since……..1997 or so. It is my belief when you voluntarily participate in a sport that has historically been riddled with doping scandals, including a huge one occurring currently, then if you’re going to do a press conference, you’d have to assume that you’re going to be ask questions concerning doping. Especially if you’re winning the most important race of the season. Maybe he got up on the wrong side of the bed, I don’t know. Here’s a pretty good analysis of the situation at Podium Cafe.

Glad to see that Christian Vande Velde has finally come out publicly and said something pertinent about doping.