Monthly Archives: March 2013

Bummer

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I can’t say yesterday was close to a good day. I had been waiting around Vail for the past two weeks to have this follow-up, two week appointment with the surgeon. I was hoping that the guys at PT would tell the doctor, or the doctor would see himself that my arm is doing stellar, thus accelerating the whole process.

But, that wasn’t to be. My doctor wasn’t even at the appointment, the fellow that had been at the surgery met me and pretty much just gave me a physical therapy protocol that I was told the day after the operation.

So, that means, 4 more weeks of having my arm tied to my side, then I can start riding inside (which I’m already doing) and if everything goes according to the standard plan, he told me 3 to 4 months before I can compete again.

I can’t really comment on the whole day, publicly, right now. I need to get a physical therapist at home now. I’m going to wait for a referral from the head guy here, Dirk, before I decide. Dirk, and Brooke, and the other PT people were the highlight of the experience so far. Seems like the hands on people have the most knowledge sometimes, but since this is all new to me, I’m not really sure what to think right now.

Plus, this sinus thing has moved into my chest, so I slept about 2 hours the last 2 nights. I’m not sure I’ve been so miserable in recent memory. And I don’t really care much right now. And yes, this is all considered whining.

The upside to yesterday was, even though I felt like shit, Trudi and I walked over to the Burton US Open snowboarding competition at Gold Peak and made our way up to the half pipe to watch the first qualifying runs, between doctors appointments.

It definitely wasn’t the smartest thing to be doing with my arm in a sling and a huge risk if I fell down. The hill was so steep and so slick that it was incredibly hard to get up the half pipe. Coming down was much worse. I think if I did that 3 times, I would have destroyed my shoulder operation at least once. Luckily, that didn’t happen, but I wasn’t in control of my footing at anytime.

Once up there, it was incredible. I don’t quite understand how this sport got to this point, but the pipe is so huge and these guys are flying so high. There were a bunch of 13 and 14 year old kids from Japan and Australia. I didn’t hear the announcers saying an age over 20, but I know that some of the guys were. I think Shawn White qualified 2nd, and he’s “old” in this sport.

Anyway, it is super cool. I think the winner of the half pipe gets $45000 for this competition. That is more than most total prize lists of the biggest bike races in the country. Man, sport is fickle the way the wealth is spread.

We’re heading back down to Denver today to give Vincent back his dog and spend the night. Then back to Kansas on Saturday. I think there is still a lot of snow on the ground there, not that it really matters to me. Funny how that is.

After getting all the bandages off at the doctor's office.

After getting all the bandages off at the doctor’s office.

This was between runs.  The snow patrol guys go down the pipe to smooth out the ruts.  Looks how small they look compared to the structure.

This was between runs. The snow patrol guys go down the pipe to smooth out the ruts. Looks how small they look compared to the structure.

It is amazing what great photos you can get with just an iPhone.

It is amazing what great photos you can get with just an iPhone.

Here's Trudi intently watching.

Here’s Trudi intently watching.

We were nearly at the bottom of the half pipe and the guys were way over our heads when they came out.

We were nearly at the bottom of the half pipe and the guys were way over our heads when they came out.

This guy came up a little short, right in front of us.  There was a big wind from the West, so alot of guys were getting blown over and had problems on our side. I don't think this worked out well for him, but don't really remember.

This guy came up a little short, right in front of us. There was a big wind from the West, so alot of guys were getting blown over and had problems on our side. I don’t think this worked out well for him, but don’t really remember.

This is the middle jump for the slopestyle competition.  It is so huge.  I would love to see that too.

This is the middle jump for the slopestyle competition. It is so huge. I would love to see that too.

Bromont is going to miss his buddy Jack.

Bromont is going to miss his buddy Jack.

Doping Panel/Suspension Over Today for the “Heroes”

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I watched most of the doping panel from Yale on Thursday. I thought that it was pretty interesting, but nothing new was revealed. I was disappointed that they didn’t let Floyd talk a little more. The question about how clean the peloton is now kept making its way into the fray, but it never got around to Floyd. But Jonathan made sure that he kept stressing, through charts, etc. how clean the peloton is nowadays. He seemed to have an agenda.

Travis Tygart kept stressing that as long as all the guys came in and told the truth that they would be treated fairly. The 6 month suspension was the result of this? More than fairly in my opinion. There is zero percent chance that you can convince me that all these guys decided independently to all quit doping at the same time. And less than zero percent chance that Levi quit in 2006, then started again in July of 2007, then done again. Click here for his wiki page. He gets to keep his National Road Championship, the Tour of Switzerland, a bronze medal in the Olympics, etc. To me it seems like if we are confessing, then it needs to be truthful.

And back to Jonathan. I’m sorry, but I’m not going with his premiss that the peloton is clean. I don’t doubt that it has less riders that are on a systematic program, but his assertions are not true. I truly think that Jonathan has good intentions here, but I hate the way he misleads and just outright lies about certain points. I’m sorry, but I’m not going with it.

If we go back to the Tour de France when the Dutch paper broke the story about all the riders working the deal and only getting a 6 month suspension of the winter, Jonathan comes out and tweets, “Regarding the Dutch media report: no 6mos (sic) suspensions have been given to any member of Slipstream Sports. Today or at any future date.” It turns out the report was absolutely correct, or maybe they just made a very lucky guess?

During the panel discussion he was explaining about his team and was saying that he has some riders that have doped, but regretted it, and also said, and I think this is nearly an exact quote, “We have some young riders that have never been exposed to doping.”

How absurd is that? It is impossible. If he has riders on his Pro Tour team, of course they are exposed to doping. I have no idea who is the youngest guy riding for Garmin, but he has to be in his early 20’s at least. And has to have been racing bicycles for years, many years. Just by being a member of the Garmin team, he is “exposed” to doping. Maybe Jonathan doesn’t know the definition of the word exposed. Well here it is-

ex·pose (k-spz)
tr.v. ex·posed, ex·pos·ing, ex·pos·es
1.
a. To subject or allow to be subjected to an action, influence, or condition: exposed themselves to disease; exposed their children to classical music.
b. To subject (a photographic film, for example) to the action of light.
c. To deprive of shelter or protection; lay open to danger or harm: troops that were exposed to gunfire.
2. To make visible: Cleaning exposed the grain of the wood. See Synonyms at show.
3.
a. To make known (something discreditable).
b. To reveal the guilt or wrongdoing of: expose a criminal.
4. To engage in indecent exposure of (oneself).

As far as I can tell, every competitive bicycle racer in the world is exposed to doping under one or more of the definitions of the word above. So, saying he has riders that have never be exposed is just plain wrong.

I understand Jonathan’s position somewhat. But for these guys to be here at Yale, supposedly to tell the truth and to discuss, honestly, the problem of the doping in the sport of cycling, I don’t think that this was the proper place to be spewing his agenda.

Anyway, the 6 month suspensions are over for Christian Vande Velde, Dave Zabriskie, and Tom Danielson, all Garmin, plus Levis, who all “came clean” and testified against Lance. Boy, they sure paid a high price for their years of cheating.

The discussion was interesting, but not very revealing in my opinion.

The discussion was interesting, but not very revealing in my opinion.

Back in Topeka

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Yesterday we drove the 7 hours from Denver back to Topeka. The new 75 mph speed limit sure makes the trip quick. I’m not sure why the speed limits in other states aren’t faster. Illinois for example. Other than Chicago, most of that state is pretty rural and the speed limit is 65. Nearly all the states surrounding Kansas have a speed limit of at least 70 mph on interstate highways.

Staying the night with Vincent, Lisa and Pascal is always interesting. Their house is a little like ours, something sort of interesting going on at all times it seems. Jack and Bromont had to say goodbye to each other for a bit. It was a little sad. Lisa injected my finger with some cortisone, so I can put off the $6000+ Vail price, hand surgery for a while. I hope to spend more time in Colorado this season. I miss those guys.

KU was playing their next to last conference basketball game against West Virginia yesterday afternoon. I still have no idea why West Virginia is in the Big 12. It made the time pass pretty quickly.

It is still real winter in Kansas. At least it seems like it because there is a ton of snow on the ground. It is left over from last weeks dumping, so there it must of been pretty ugly here for a few days then. The local training races have already started with Spring Fling Criterium Series yesterday and the Perry Road Races today. Seems early, but I am so out of the loop that last week I could not of told you what day of the week it was or come close to naming the date.

My arm has been getting progressively sorer the last few days. I started taking pain medication again. Just one going to bed and one super early morning. It takes the edge off just enough. I think it is aching so much because of the lack of use. I can’t believe how quickly it is disappearing into nothing. You wouldn’t think that just a little of two weeks of non use of a muscle would do that.

I don’t think I’m going to make it over to Perry to watch the races today, even though it would be nice to get outside. I should go over there and walk a lap. It’s a little over 5 miles. Maybe if I can get a couple hours more sleep, I can gulp down some DayQuil, and head over there for a stroll.

Pascal was helping his dad put a new chain on his bike.  He made sure he had gloves on too.

Pascal was helping his dad put a new chain on his bike. He made sure he had gloves on too.

Trudi, Jack and Bromont hanging out before leaving yesterday.

Trudi, Jack and Bromont hanging out before leaving yesterday.

Lisa feeding the chickens in their backyard.

Lisa feeding the chickens in their backyard.

Bromont nearly ate one of these guys last summer, but now doesn't even pay any attention to them.

Bromont nearly ate one of these guys last summer, but now doesn’t even pay any attention to them.

Lisa washed her hands pretty good, after the chicken feeding, before she injected my finger.

Lisa washed her hands pretty good, after the chicken feeding, before she injected my finger.

I'm jealous of this dog's ability to sleep.

I’m jealous of this dog’s ability to sleep.

Our backyard this morning.  It's gonna be awhile before this all melts.

Our backyard this morning. It’s gonna be awhile before this all melts.

Paris-Nice Prologue

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Results

1 Damien Gaudin (Fra) Team Europcar 0:03:37
2 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:00:01
3 Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
4 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Blanco 0:00:02
5 Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) FDJ
6 Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:00:03
7 Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack Leopard
8 Borut Bozic (Slo) Astana Pro Team
9 Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Team Europcar 0:00:04
10 Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro Team 0:00:05

paris-nice-2013-300x145

What Bike Racin’ is Really About

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I went over to watch the local Perry Road Race yesterday and thought I’d post on it, but then saw this post about the final day down in the Dominican Republic by Alex Osborn. I just stole this post off his Facebook page. I’ve known Alex for a long time. I hadn’t seen him, or really thought about him for quite a while, but then ran into him last year in Vail for the Coor’s Classic Reunion and really enjoyed catching up. I was a little surprised when I saw that he was heading down to the Dominican Republic for a long stage race in February and decided to check up on how it went. I read the post below and it resonated with me. I’ve had so many life and race experiences, nearly exactly as described below. I appreciate and realize that it takes years of observation and learning to be able to understand what is actually happening. This is a great description of just a glance into what Alex experienced yesterday racing. It is an example of a good reason to love this sport. Enjoy.

Vuelta Independencia 2013 Day 8

I am so glad this is not my day job! So glad! Today was the final day circuit race around the Santo Domingo Botanical gardens. A beautiful spot, but a brutal, rolling, pot hole filled course with very few rest spots. I was determined to finish but felt like any effort by the field and I would be dropped. So I got even angrier at my pet riders. The Intessa shrimp, the Acosisa Giant, and number 34. Number 34 has it in for me. And today was no different. There is a fast descent on the back side and early in the race the Giant comes bombing down the left side, and I move over a little to the right to give him space when some rider has decided to come to a stop in the middle of the pack in front of me and I look and of course it is number 34. And the shrimp (sorry but when a guy never lets you in to the line out of the wind you learn not to like him) he is again not letting me in. I guess they never got the memo about giving the Patrocinador some relief so he might finish.

There are lots of attempts to get a break going, but they never get more than 30 seconds. The pace is brutal but after 8 days of this you get used to running on fumes and you gauge that a hard effort that might last a quarter lap is very, very hard but if you hold it and don’t open any gaps then the 7 previous days of racing won’t be wasted. And it will end. It might go for a half lap instead of a quarter, but they will ease up.

My two teammates both had mechanicals. First Jonaton got a rear flat. But we didn’t have enough wheels in the follow vehicle for him, and there is no neutral support. Then Mikool’s shifter failed and he couldn’t shift out of his highest gear. Jonaton was devastated. And he was frustrated that we couldn’t even provide him with a simple wheel change to be able to finish the biggest race of his life so far. I end up being the only one from our team to finish (the B team that is – all A team members finish). I get 47th for the day because a fair number of people suffer the fate of Jonaton and either have mechanicals or can’t follow the pace.

The last break is reeled in 2 laps from the finish and a young Dutch rider wins.

I reflect on this race: The only thing I ever wanted to be at 17 was a pro bike racer like Eddy Merckx. And I tried hard for 6 years. And I married young like Eddy, everything like Eddy, and I accomplished a lot as a racer but after those 6 years I decided I was going to face what I saw as reality. That I didn’t quite have the talent, that there was not enough money in cycling and it was too risky a venture. And I had a new baby on the way. What I want to do now is to change reality. The reality of being in a sport with no money, the reality of being poor, the reality of the genes you are born with, the sad reality of a sport in decline from scandal after scandal.

And I have to tell you that I saw something incredible in this race. After the first two days I couldn’t even look Ismael in the eyes. He was a man who came in as the odds on favorite and within 20 minutes of the start of the Vuelta had apparently lost all hope of winning. That was an accepted fact. We assigned a new team leader. But Ismael never believed in that fact, that reality that we were all so comfortable in. On the third day he attacked early and rode an infernal pace to be caught and passed only 2 kilometers from the line. What a stupid move. I mean you have to be frank. he burned all his matches or lighted all his candles or whatever and did that on a flat day when the next two days were the two hardest of the race! Any cycling manual will say this is exactly not what to do. This is an unrealistic move. So the next day Ismael attacks again and gets 2nd. The next day he takes 4 minutes out of the field solo to the hill town of Costanza. And then day 6A he attacks on a flat day and gets another 4 minutes. And he brings his deficit down to a few minutes and his placing up to fourth. And he wins King Of the Mountains. And it is just pure, relentless, aggression that gets him this. That and a whole life devoted to cycling. That changed the realistic outcome. Ismael showed me in this race that you can change reality. You have to want it, and you have to believe, and then you have to go out there and just plain change it.

I hope you can help me start doing this. If you are riding in the Fast Freddie Gran Fondo then you are already helping. If you have any old racing bike parts that are lying around doing nothing and you want a kid athlete to love and appreciate that bike part then email me and I will come pick it up and make sure it gets a home.

By the way: The officials took pity on all the riders that were dropped or had mechanical’s and gave them all a finishing time 2:00 minutes slower than the pack. This meant we had three finishers 69th, 71st and 72nd. Viva los tres Negros!

The picture of complete fatigue,the best kind of fatigue.

The picture of complete fatigue,the best kind of fatigue.

Settling In

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I’ve been back in Kansas for a couple days. It is still winter here, but that is going to switch pretty quickly. It is supposed to be in the 60’s on Thursday. I haven’t really gotten back into the swing of things. It is gonna be 3 weeks tomorrow, so in theory, after another 3-5 weeks I can maybe start thinking about riding some. That seems like forever at this point.

I’ve been watching Paris-Nice every morning. You can go here to check out the links. It should be interesting after today’s flat stage. There is still 35 kms. left in today’s race. And Tirreno-Adriatico starts tomorrow, so then it will be dueling, morning bike racing.

I am thinking about jumping the gun a little on the schedule. I have been to physical therapy yet back home, so I don’t really know where I’m at concerning that. But, as far as I can tell, as soon as this tendon is healed back onto the bone, I plan to be riding my bike.

It is surprising to me how restricted ones life is without use of your right arm. It makes most physical projects out of reach. I’m going to have to use my imagination big time to come up with some projects to fill the time.

I have a ton of projects that I’ve love to dig into. The problem is every single one of them involves two arms. I’ll figure it out.

Yesterday I had someone wash the van. It was the first time in my life that I’ve done that. I did have a “free” car wash certificate that I received in the mail for my birthday. I ended up paying $15 for an upgrade, under body wash. I’m not sure what they use on the roads in Colorado, but it isn’t salt, and it is messier than nearly anything I’ve seen. I went to Colorado with the accepted fact that my windshield was going to be cracked. They use such huge rocks on the roads and I’ve seen Vincent’s windshield on his van every spring. I only got one big rock hit, but that was enough. I’ll probably wait a couple months before getting it replaced.

I’ve started walking some. It is pretty boring walking around Topeka. Actually, it isn’t really that boring, but it is going to be nearly impossible for me to walk out of my cycling range, and I’ve ridden every road, sidewalk, trail, etc. anywhere near my house 1000’s of times.

Sorry about the boring post, but that might be my life for a while. I’m still lacking sleep, so my mind is running on low octane.

There was a great turn out at the local training series last Sunday.

There was a great turn out at the local training series last Sunday.

Nothing like using piles of snow to keep your spare wheels upright.

Nothing like using piles of snow to keep your spare wheels upright.

My team mates from Tradewind Energy, Brian and Kent rode away in the 1-2 race and finished in that order.

My team mates from Tradewind Energy, Brian and Kent rode away in the 1-2 race and finished in that order.

This is Jack Mason.  He is promoting the Perry Series this year.   Jack started racing kind of late, late 20's, but has turned out to be a pretty good bike racer and puts a ton of extra time and energy back into the sport.

This is Jack Mason. He is promoting the Perry Series this year. Jack started racing kind of late, late 20’s, but has turned out to be a pretty good bike racer and puts a ton of extra time and energy back into the sport.

Trudi rode the 25 miles over to the race.  Her bike barely fit into the Insight.

Trudi rode the 25 miles over to the race. Her bike barely fit into the Insight.

My free coupon.

My free coupon.

And dirty van.

And dirty van.