I’m doing a cyclocross clinic next Friday night before the UCI races in Louisville. I haven’t raced a cross race this season and am not sure I’m going to be racing one for sure next weekend as of now, but I am going to be doing a skills clinic on Friday before the race at 4 pm on the course. This is the venue where the World Championships were held last February. So if you’re planning to go to the races next weekend, come on by and ride a little and hopefully we’ll all learn something for an hour and 1/2 on Friday. It won’t be too strenuous in case you’re racing Saturday or/and Sunday. It’s free of course. I guess you’re supposed to register though, so you can click here to get to the free registration page at BikeReg.
I flew out to Southern California for the annual Mike Nosco Memorial ride. I’ve done the ride since the inception, so for the past 4 years. This year, once again, the proceeds of the ride are going to benefit Andreas Knickman, my ex-team mate from the Levi’s days, Roy Knickman’s child. If you’re anywhere near the Southern California area, you should come by tomorrow morning and do the ride. If you can’t attend, you can click the link below to donate to Andreas.
Lots of area pros attend. I hope to ride some with Wayne Stetina, from Shimano. He’s bringing me some new road and MTB shoes, which is a plus. It is a great ride, 80 miles with a gazillion (8000 feet) of climbing. I am heading up tonight to stay with my friend, Jimmy Mac, czar of Mountain Bike Action magazine. He lives in Somas, which is near the start in Newbury Park. I don’t get to see Mac anywhere nearly enough, so I’m looking forward to hanging with him and maybe going for a ride. Okay, click here for more information and directions.
I was thinking about riding the Mike Nosco ride on the drive back last night from LA and am still surprised about how enjoyable it can be riding up and down the canyons from the coast highway near Malibu. It seems like LA is just so congested and crowded, but climbing Deer Creek, Mulholland and Latigo, I’m pretty sure that not one car passed me the on any of the three climbs. And this was on a Sunday, late morning. Don’t get me wrong, it was a special circumstance with so my cyclists “hogging” the roads. And on some of the climbs, especially Latigo, there were a ton of motorcycle guys, in leathers, out for their weekend rides. But, considering how the area is surrounded by millions of people, it really is nearly abandoned. (Strava file info.)
It really is like this just about anywhere I’ve ever been. No matter the city, there is always a place to ride. Well, maybe not London. And Sao Paulo Brazil wasn’t too conducive for training either. But here in the US, no matter how big a city is, there are always rides, which is awesome.
And this is one of the big attractions of the sport for me. Being able to see different places at a speed that I can absorb it. Cycling is just the right speed. Running is too slow and the distances aren’t nearly large enough. And driving in a car, you are too removed from the surroundings when you are in an urban environment.
There were so many riders yesterday that I actually didn’t even catch up with a lot of friends that I saw or heard were there, but never ran into. I ended up riding a fair amount of the ride on my own. At the top of Mulholland, I had been climbing with the front group and we stopped at the rest area. My ex team-mate, Thurlow Rogers was a bit behind and just rode right by the rest stop. I wanted to talk to him, so I gulped a Coke down and took off chasing him. I thought he was only a minute or two ahead. But I chased all the way down to the coast, miles along the PCH and finally when I got to Latigo, I came to the conclusion that Thurlow must be somewhere else, because he couldn’t have been going that hard. I never saw him again the whole day.
I’ve never much into the group touring type rides, but this ride is different. I don’t really understand Grand Fondos. I don’t know if they are races or touring events? But I know this ride isn’t a Grand Fonda. It’s just a bunch of guys going out and riding with friends to help out friends.
Lance seems to be emerging back into the public through some media interviews. Not complete candid interviews, but snippets that really skirt the meat. I was reading this interview that Lance did with Cyclingnews.com. It was the same old until I got to this quote-
And I don’t want to just talk about doping. It’s obviously an element but 99 per cent of my career isn’t about doping.
I think he totally believes this. From my perspective, he has a complete warped reality.
I was talking to a friend last week about some of the doping stuff. And he told me he had talked with George Hincappie about Lance. He said that George was “defending” Lance, saying the guy (Lance) trained harder and was more focused than any other rider he’d ever met.
I reminded him of the Outside Magazine article about that guy that was training for Paris-Brest-Paris and started on a systematic doping program. His quote from the article is –
After the EPO kicked in, I rode a 200-miler and I felt strong, fresh, ready to hammer. The next day I easily could have ridden another 200.
So, here’s an “amatuer cylist” training for a long race/tour and he said the recovery is beyond belief. I obviously have never experienced, but have to believe what everyone says.
I would love to get on my bike today in La Jolla and ride the 65 miles over to Mt. Palamar and do a couple repeats and ride home. And I’d love to be able to do it again tomorrow. But, I can’t. But, Lance could. He could go and pre-ride stages of the Tour each year and do repeats on the hardest climbs in the race.
What 1% part of his career is that? What doesn’t George understand about the advantage that gives Lance? If anyone understands, he must, because he was pretty much on the same level. So George must have thought that just because he didn’t have the want to go ride and plan and organize his complete life around one race, that Lance must be so special. It is all about the personal acceptance and the justification of his/their actions. George had this underlying respect of Lance just because he didn’t possess his traits.
I’m curious if these guys wonder often how good of athletes/cyclists they really could have been?
I did the Elfin Forest ride yesterday. I did it backwards a few days ago and was amazed about how much construction they have done out there. I’ve been coming out to San Diego and North County to ride since the early 80’s. Man, even just writing that seems crazy.
The first time I came out here was to do the Tour of Baja. Jimmy Mac, my friend that I stayed with up in Somis, picked me up at the airport and brought me up to Cariff. Mac worked for Husqvarna Motorcycles then I think, but had a pretty loose schedule. He brought me back and took me for a ride up Via De La Valle and up in Rancho Santa Fe. It was beautiful, wonderful. It still is. It hasn’t really changed that much other than a ton more traffic.
We rode on up over Del Dios and I flatted up by Lake Hodges. There was no one there. Not one car passed us. Anyway, North County was the best place I’d ever ridden. It took a while, but eventually the rest of the world discovered it too. Elfin Forest was the same. Now, it is pretty much built up on either end, with a few miles of “old” terrain. It’s fine riding by myself, but in a group it would be a drag.
I don’t understand why I’m so on and off nowadays. Yesterday I felt pretty great considering. My season hasn’t really been a season, so I have no idea one week to the next how I’m going to be going. That isn’t a good thing for a cyclist. I hope to get some overall, general form back over the winter and start off next road season with a good general base. At least that is my hope, and intention.
I have to decide today whether I’m going to race the UCI cross races in Louisville this weekend. If you would have asked me a couple days ago, I would have had to say no. My thumb has been useless and I’ve been pedalling in squares. Not even addressing my shoulder, which is pretty important in cyclocross. But, yesterday, I felt pretty good all day riding. I haven’t done any intensity that would help me out in cross for ages, so I will be humbled, but that shouldn’t really stop me.
I hope to get up to Thyme-In-The-Ranch today in Rancho. It is an awesome bakery. A little expensive, but great none-the-less. I’m heading out early for a ride with Don and Sue. I really should do a few intervals/jumps, but would rather just go ride with my friends. I figure I’ll do more than enough intervals over the weekend, if I race.
This article at Velonews quotes Travis Tygart, CEO at USADA, that a truth commission is imminent and that the “process’ will “happen very soon”. I’m all for it.
But don’t get me wrong here, but the people that step up and admit their involvement in the dark side of the sport are not volunteerily coming in. As far as I can tell, only a hand-ful of riders have come forward, confessed to doping, without having their arms twisted. A couple I can think of are Frankie Andreu and Jérôme Chiotti. These two were the brave ones. The “honest” guys that were sick of lying about their past. From now on, it will be a step removed from their bravery.
I think that Travis Tygart has mostly good intentions. He seems to have taken his stance and picked his friends to try to accomplish this. I personally don’t think it will work as well as hoped.
Until the sanctions are changed, I don’t see any reason that riders will confess or stop using PED’s. This whole discovery about all the past has just shown me that the testing is pretty valuless and the chances of getting caught are very small. Plus, the penalties don’t fit the “crime”. They need to addres this, along with other things, to try to deter athletics from getting “caught up” in doping in sports. It will never completely stop, it’s human nature.