Monthly Archives: February 2015

Superbowl Sunday

This entry was posted in Fun Stuff on by .

I’m in Seattle today, Superbowl Sunday.  I’m not a crazy football fan.  I can hardly name a player on either team, the Seahawks or Patriots.  But the Superbowl is a different football game.  Especially if you happen to be in Seattle on the day it is being played.

This town is Superbowl crazy.  Everywhere, everyone is nuts about the game today.  Beyond what I could have imaged.

Normally, in Topeka, we go out for a good ride today.  For some reason, we’ve had pretty good weather on Superbowl Sunday historically.  So, we get in a good ride, then meet up at someone’s house and get together to watch the game and eat.  That is what the Superbowl is really about I think . Getting together with friends, eating, watching the special commercials, and finally the game.

That’s not the order here, though.  It’s the game, then the game, and finally the game.

I’m still going out for a long ride hopefully.  Then am going to come back and get warm and watch the game.  Trudi is a crazy sports fan and she’s gonna be glued to the game.  I doubt we’ll go out and watch it in the mayhem of Seattle, but you never know.

I guess Pioneer Square is going to be nuts tonight if the Seahawks win today.  I’d probably wander over there to check it out if that is the case.  I like people watching.

 

This is a photo that Keith Walberg took of the Space Needle a couple days ago.

This is a photo that Keith Walberg took of the Space Needle a couple days ago.

Waiting for luggage last night, everyone is dressed in Seahawk colors.

Waiting for luggage last night, everyone is dressed in Seahawk colors.

 

Even the Walberg's door flies the 12th man logo.

Even the Walberg’s door flies the 12th man logo.

I saw these guys at luggage claim while waiting for my bike.  They are all here trying out for the Seattle Symphony.  I talked to one of them and he said he thought about 150 guys were coming to try out for one slot.  Wow.  Must be a good symphony.

I saw these guys at luggage claim while waiting for my bike. They are all here trying out for the Seattle Symphony. I talked to one of them and he said he thought about 150 guys were coming to try out for one slot. Wow. Must be a good symphony.

This is Inky, who I'm house sitting for.  She is a little shy right now, but we get along good.

This is Inky, who I’m house sitting for. She is a little shy right now, but we get along good.

 

Weekend Sports

This entry was posted in Comments about Cycling on by .

This was a big weekend, all around, for sports.  First, the Cyclocross World Championships.  And then the Superbowl.

I love watching cross, even if it has to be just on the internet.  They do a pretty great job of getting the cameras situated around the course so you can see all the action.

The Elite race was pretty predictable.  I picked the top three, in the correct order.  It wasn’t that hard.  But, I do believe Wout Van Aert when he said he had the legs to compete for the win.  He had a bunch of bad luck and maybe rushed it a bit trying to get back up to the front.

I’m not sure about having barriers that you can bunny hop.  I thought part of the sport was mandatory dismounts.  Mathieu van der Poel won the race, not because he could jump the barriers, but it did allow him some breathing room where he could ride the rest of the course within himself.

The women’s race was super exciting.  I didn’t pick the podium in that race.  I got two out of three, but not in the correct order.  I figured Marianne Vos would just do what she does and smear everyone.  Maybe a little too slick for her, I don’t know.  Maybe her hamstring being hurt?

Anyway, Pauline Ferrand Prevot  was a deserving winner.  It is funny how the reining World Champion on the road, in women’s racing, can double up and win the Cyclocross Worlds.  It isn’t that uncommon with Marianne Vos doing it a few times too.  That would be a real exception for the men.  Maybe Stybar?  Or Van Der Poel when he gets older?  Pascal Richard, a Swiss rider I road with a whole season when I was living in Switzerland, won Cyclocross Worlds and the Olympic Games in Atlanta.  That was a good doubling up.  Not in the same year, though.

Now, the Superbowl.  I’ve already stated that I’m not a huge football fan.  But, come on, that play calling by Seattle on the goal line was regoddamndiculous.  They had 3 more downs to run it, what, 2 yards, with the maybe the best running back in the NFL, Marshawn Lynch .  What was that all about?

I didn’t have any favorite, but I guess I was for Seattle since I’m in Seattle and there would have been some craziness on the streets.  I’m not sure Seattle deserved to be on the goal line.  That catch by Kearse was pretty lucky, so in reality, it should have been 4th and long instead of 1st and goal.

Walking around downtown Seattle last night, after the game, it was a morgue.  Really a lot of pretty unhappy drunk people.  This town is super depressed, rightfully so.  They had that game won and blew it.  For football, that was a pretty good sporting event to watch.

It is supposed to rain the whole next week here in Seattle.  It is raining pretty hard right now.  I took Trudi around yesterday for a couple hours, just touring the city.  It was wet, but not really raining.  I think it usually clears for a few hours sometime during the day.   Today it looks like it might be okay after 1 pm.

It is still sketchy riding around here.  Lots of paint on the roads.  Manhole covers, remnants of leaves.  That isn’t even taking into consideration the cars, pedestrians and other cyclist.  If I lived here, I would be falling all the time for sure.  Hopefully I can manage to be safe the next few days.

 

Trudi riding back towards town yesterday.

Trudi riding back towards town yesterday.

This might be the most dog friendly city I've ever been to.  There were at least 4 dogs in a big Starbucks, on 1st Ave, at all times yesterday.

This might be the most dog friendly city I’ve ever been to. There were at least 4 dogs in a big Starbucks, on 1st Ave, at all times yesterday.

This is the home of Boeing, so I don't know why it surprised me to see air plane fuselages on a train.

This is the home of Boeing, so I don’t know why it surprised me to see air plane fuselages on a train.

I would have liked to see the train moving though.

I would have liked to see the train moving though.

This was a picture out of the Walberg's apartment during the Superbowl yesterday.  It was a ghost town.

This was a picture out of the Walberg’s apartment during the Superbowl yesterday. It was a ghost town.

 

Supposed to Rain

This entry was posted in Just Life on by .

It is supposed to rain real soon.  I’m going to head out and maybe do intervals, yes I said intervals, close to the apartment.  I think I probably need to do some efforts if I’m going to be racing next weekend.  Here are some photos from yesterday in Seattle.

We started the ride yesterday over at Fremont at the Fremont Coffee Company.  Very good coffee.

We started the ride yesterday over at Fremont at the Fremont Coffee Company. Very good coffee.

Before that, we did a 7 miles walk around town.  I didn't start Strava on my phone until have way in and had 3.something miles.  This guy had his tent set up really in the middle of the street.  The building behind the tree is super cool.

Before that, we did a 7 miles walk around town. I didn’t start Strava on my phone until have way in and had 3.something miles. This guy had his tent set up really in the middle of the street. The building behind the tree is super cool.

It was a better neat place to camp.  Not sure that would work in Kansas.  He was gone by the time we walked back by.

It was a better neat place to camp. Not sure that would work in Kansas. He was gone by the time we walked back by.

We walked by the biggest REI store in the world.  I guess their corporate flagship store.  It was enormous.

We walked by the biggest REI store in the world. I guess their corporate flagship store. It was enormous.

The store was so big they had their own park ranger stationed there.

The store was so big they had their own park ranger stationed there.

It had the biggest climbing wall I've ever seen.

It had the biggest climbing wall I’ve ever seen.

These are just some of the snowshoes.  They had a whole other wall.

These are just some of the snowshoes. They had a whole other wall.

 

I didn't know Garneau made snowshoes.

I didn’t know Garneau made snowshoes.

A nice bamboo snowboard.

A nice bamboo snowboard.

Doors to a meeting room in REI.

Doors to a meeting room in REI.

This guy was emptying the trash and when he did it he feed the seagulls.

This guy was emptying the trash and when he did it he feed the seagulls.

They are building like crazy here in Seattle.

They are building like crazy here in Seattle.

The construction workers were lining up to get lunch in a 7-11.  I've never considered eating lunch there.  Most were getting either a slice of pizza or hotdog, along with a Rockstar or other energy drink.  Strange.

The construction workers were lining up to get lunch in a 7-11. I’ve never considered eating lunch there. Most were getting either a slice of pizza or hotdog, along with a Rockstar or other energy drink. Strange.

 

We walked over by the Space Needle, to a Sports bar to watch the KU vs ISU basketball game.  It was the local gathering spot for expatriate KU fans.

We walked over by the Space Needle, to a Sports bar to watch the KU vs ISU basketball game. It was the local gathering spot for expatriate KU fans.

A old friend, and sponsor, Josh Crow came by and sat during the game for a couple hours.  It was great catching up.

A old friend, and sponsor, Josh Crow came by and sat during the game for a couple hours. It was great catching up.

They have a thing about having locks on the bathrooms here in Seattle.  You normally need a code to get in.

They have a thing about having locks on the bathrooms here in Seattle. You normally need a code to get in.

This is climbing off Lake Washington towards the I-90 bike path.  I did a lap of Mercier Island yesterday.  It was wet, but not raining.

This is climbing off Lake Washington towards the I-90 bike path. I did a lap of Mercier Island yesterday. It was wet, but not raining.

 

 

Herbal Supplements – Most likely a Total Fraud

This entry was posted in Important Society Issues on by .

I saw this article on a financial website, Marketwatch, which says that the state of New York’s attorney general office did some scientific DNA tests of herbal supplements and found that over 80% of the supplements sold at Walmart, Walgreens and GNC contained none of the ingredients that were listed on their labels and that a substantial number of the supplements contained NO botanical substance of any kind.  They have been ordered to stop selling the products immediately.

Wow, that seems incredible to me.  The article said that Walmart’s products were the worse.  Go figure.  Only 4% of their products contained DNA from the plants on the labels.  That means that 96% of their products are a complete sham.

You’d think that we, living here in the United States, expect to be buying exactly what is in the bottle and what is in the bottle is exactly what the label says is in the bottle.  It is really a given in today’s society, at least I think it is.  It is elementary.

The article says that instead of Ginseng, Echinacea, etc., the products contained beans, pine, rice, asparagus, wheat and on and on.  Crazy.

I loved the response by GNC

GNC said it stands by the “quality, purity and potency” of its products, which it said it tests using “validated and widely used testing methods.” It criticized the testing methods but said it will comply with the order.

They will none-the-less, “comply with the order”.  That is because they realize they won’t sell any of the stuff because people will realize that what they’ve been buying is beans and rice and not Echinacea or any other herbal supplement.

I’d bet I personally have some of these products in my cabinet.  From friends giving me homeopathic medicines for when I’m feeling bad, etc.  I’ve never really taken many of them though.  I’m glad now.

If this is all true, I think someone should sue the shit out of all these companies.  That is what our civil legal process should be all about.  Punishing people/and or companies, for misleading or completely cheating others.  And this would fall under the completely cheating category.  No doubt about it.

herbalsupplements

 

 

 

New US PRO Riders Group

This entry was posted in Comments about Cycling on by .

I saw a few articles the last couple days about a new group of riders that have gotten together to form an association that is going to be affiliated with the CPA Pro Riders Union, where, I guess, the North American Pros will have a voice in that group.  It is called ANAPRC – Association of North American Professional Road Cyclists.

I’ve seen conflicting membership lists, but Cyclingnews has these guys, Christian Vande Velde as president, Lucas Euser, Brent Bookwalter (BMC), Ted King (Cannondale-Garmin), Tejay van Garderen (BMC), Matthew Busche (Trek Factory Racing) and Peter Stetina (BMC), as the initial board of directors.   I know most of these guys personally and the ones I do know, are good guys for the positions.

If you notice, all these volunteer directors are on Pro Tour Teams, minus Lucas, who rides for United Healthcare, a Pro Continental team.

I think it is a little early to comment much about what this association is going to accomplish,  but I’m not too big  on what I read in  the Velonews and Cyclingnews articles, which lists their current agenda.  On their website, and in the articles, it lists their #1 agenda, and only agenda as of now,  as a weather protocol issue.  It states

Extreme Weather Protocol

I don’t even know how this even got on any agenda of this organization.  If I were to list the top 50 things that North American “Professional” bike riders have issues with, this wouldn’t be on my list.

Historically, cycling is a hard guys sport.  Many of the epic races historically have involved both precipitation and temperatures.  How about Andy (Hampsten) taking over the race lead in the Giro on the Gavia Pass.  I guess we’d just throw that one out and start all over the next day?  And Greg Lemond outsprinting Sean Kelley in the rain at The World Road Championships?  Neutralize that one?  Epic conditions make memorable bike races.

Maybe they should consider a heat rule, so if it’s too hot, maybe over 40 degree C, then the race is neutralized?  The list could go on and on.

I do understand safety concerns.  But, that really is an issue between the UCI and their officials.  The sport has always been dangerous.  Our biggest danger isn’t weather related.  If it is, maybe never start another criterium when the course is wet.  I forgot, UCI Pro Tour riders don’t really race criteriums.  Especially wet ones.

Like I stated above, all the riders listed above on the board are salaried bicycle racers.  Their concerns are obviously different than the majority of North American professional cyclists.  But, there are how many North American riders on Pro Tour teams?  Maybe 20 max.

Nearly all North American professional bike racers are racing on Continental Teams.   And most of these riders  are drawing minimal, if any salary, at all.   This organization probably isn’t going to represent them too well if they don’t move on from the weather protocol and start addressing real concerns of American professional cyclists racing domestically.

Our domestic Pros are more worried about how to get to the next race.  Like, whether they are going to loose their job because they turn 28. (UCI Rule 2.17.005 For continental teams, the majority of the riders must be under the age of 28.)  Or how to pay their rent, or about getting their Di2 rear derailluer replaced after they fall at a local training race, than whether a race they go to will be cancelled at the appropriate time because of weather.

Last year, at Joe Martin, I lined up on the 2nd row of the criterium, the final day. The front row was the top ten in general classicification.  The weather was iffy and it looked like it might rain.  I was checking out the tires of the guys lined up in front of me.  I think all, but one, were on  professional teams, Continental Teams.

The tires were scary.  I mean, sketchy scary.  I don’t think half the guys were riding tubulars.  And more than half the guy’s tires were so worn out that I would hardly have ridden them training.  The guy directly lined up in front of me was riding worn out Contiental Gatorskin tires.  Probably the worse tire you could ride in the rain.    And these were professional riders at a NRC Stage Race.

This is just one example of issues that US Professional riders here have.  I don’t think many are concerned about race cancellations because of weather.  I could be wrong here, but I don’t think so.

I don’t believe that because one stage at the Giro last season was screwed up, makes the subject the number one priority for the new North American Riders Association.

Anyway, this organization is in its infancy.   I’m not even sure I qualify to join.  Hopefully when the elections happen later this season and they get more established, then the group can start addressing real issues that North American Professional riders are having and not be concerned with the CPA agenda or where ever they came up with this weather protocol “problem”.

Andy riding into the pink jersey at the Giro.

Andy riding into the pink jersey at the Giro, in the snow.

 

"Official" poster from the day.  I took this photo at Andy's Frame company yesterday here in Seattle.  I went by to visit Andy's brother, Steve.

“Official” poster from the day. I took this photo at Andy’s Frame company yesterday here in Seattle. I went by to visit Andy’s brother, Steve.

And Greg winning the World Road Championships.

And Greg winning the World Road Championships, in the rain.

George’s Kid Dania Climbing a Ladder Wearing Skis -Don’t try this at Home

This entry was posted in Fun Stuff on by .

Here is a little video that Trudi took of George and Yuliya Welk’s son, Dania, climbing a step ladder, wearing x-country skis, then skiing off the roof.  Skiing off the roof is impressive enough, but somehow getting up the ladder, and then from the ladder to the roof, is cat-like.  Very impressive. (My van in the background.)