Monthly Archives: October 2016

Grinchness

This entry was posted in Comments about Cycling on by .

The guys at CX Magazine contacted me about using my post on pulling guys at Jingle Cross.  I guess they had a few friends that had the same issues with the start and the 80% rule.  Lots of guys did.

So CX Magazine posted an article with this title –

HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CROSSMAS FOR MASTERS AT JINGLE CROSS – STEVE TILFORD OP-ED – UPDATED

Catchy title, but technically inaccurate.  It is really harmless, but I wanted to clarify if there is any misunderstanding.

The title to my post that they ran was –

Hey USAC – This is Problem

I wasn’t suggesting that Jingle Cross was to blame.  I was posting on my observations from all over the country that the officials, at many cyclocross races, don’t know how to apply correctly the 80% rule.  It isn’t exclusively a Jingle Cross problem, it is a systemic problem that our sport has throughout the nation.

I’ve been going to Jingle Cross nearly since its inception.  It should be an example to what all cyclocross races aspire to achieve.  John Meehan, personally, has carried the torch for this event, along with a ton of help from his posse, so that this event is a go-to race for any serious cross enthusiast.

It is really unbelievable that he has taken his race from a loop around a cross country field in Iowas City, to World Cup level with so much success.  It is the best cyclocross in the US, in my opinion.

Okay, there were a bunch of disgruntled Masters this year in Iowa.  And the race suffers because of that.  Questionable officiating reflects badly on the promoters of sporting events. John understands this, but I have to give him a personal pass.  He was beyond super busy, burning the candle on both ends, trying to juggle all the tasks needed to put on a successful World Cup.  He didn’t ignore the masters, they kind of fell through the cracks.

One thing that this whole mess accomplished is that maybe, just maybe it will bring on change on how they score cyclocross races.  The sport was fine before the 80% rule.  The rule is detrimental to the growth of the sport and needs to be addressed to by USAC.  And this is going to happen, I think.

Both John and USAC responded to the CX Magazine guys –

Update #1: Promoter John Meehan was not aware the 80% rule would be implemented at his event on Friday or Sunday, and told Cyclocross Magazine “We don’t like the 80% rule. It puts officials in a difficult spot, especially with multiple fields on the course, and takes away the fun and competition from the [amateur] participants.” Meehan emphasized he understands that Masters racers are critical to the event’s success, and that with the services and camera of One to Go timing services, accurate results can be achieved without pulling racers, and that will be the goal moving forward.

Update #2: USA Cycling has responded as well, saying, “We understand and appreciate our ’cross community’s concerns regarding the 80% rule. We are reviewing the application of the rule and, in particular, when and how it is implemented. We will have recommendations shortly to address these concerns.

At least the issue is recognized.  I can’t believe it continued from last season to this season.  Or worse, from the Nationals in Bend, years ago, to Austin and Asheville.  It seems many small voices become a big enough voice, that the big voices have to take notice.  That is a good thing in most aspects of society.

The Grinch huge cross fan.  He is out on the course cheering, heckling and dancing.  The Grinch doesn’t steal cross from anyone.  The Grinch is an integral part of US cyclocross.  Let’s not give him a bad rap, it isn’t right.

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Win a Custom Kent Eriksen Titanium Bicycle

This entry was posted in Important Society Issues on by .

I hang out in Cable Wisconsin a ton.  This area is the epicenter of cross country skiing in the US. It is the home of the American Birkebeiner, the largest cross country ski race in the US.  It is also the local where the CXC Ski team does a ton of its training.

The CXC Ski team is a midwest based cross-country ski team that does so much for nordic skiing, they should probably be the de facto governing body of the sport.   They cover all aspects of nordic skiing from grass-roots, to masters, along with an Elite ski team.  So many of the US Olympic Nordic skiers have come up through the CXC program.

Anyway, CXC, and my sponsor, Kent Eriksen are raffling a complete bike to raise money for CXC’s adaptive ski program.   CXC puts a ton of energy and time into this.  They promoted The International Paralymic Nordic World Championships, in Cable, twice now, and dedicate a ton of resources to this program.

Anyway, check out this link to the site where the raffle is.  The raffle ends today, Monday, October 3rd.  The 1st place winner will receive a custom designed, hand crafted, Eriksen titanium road frame built with Shimano Ultegra wheel-set (or similar equivalent) and Shimano Ultegra speed component group (or similar equivalent).  Pretty good way to maybe get the best titanium bicycle frame in the World, plus it is for a really good cause.

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Tucker is in Training

This entry was posted in Fun Stuff on by .

Tucker has spent the majority of the last month romping around the Northwoods.  He is going to be 10 months old in a few days and has really gotten a ton more agile.  I know I haven’t put many Tucker pictures on the past week, so here are a few taken recently.

Tucker and his partner in crime, Hawkeye.

Tucker and his partner in crime, Hawkeye.

He has been swimming a few times a day, even though the water is getting colder.

He has been swimming a few times a day, even though the water is getting colder.

His "I'm not done look."

His “I’m not done look.”

He is pretty skinny even though he is eating twice as much food as normal.

He is pretty skinny even though he is eating twice as much food as normal.

His ribs are showing pretty good.

His ribs are showing pretty good.

I got this Whistler GPS tracker that he is now wearing all the time. It shows his current location on a phone.

I got this Whistler GPS tracker that he is now wearing all the time. It shows his current location on a phone.

Another Dope-head Positive

This entry was posted in Comments about Cycling on by .

I saw that USADA announced that another asshole cyclist was suspended for a technical doping violation.  Shawn D’Aurelio, a KHS rider from Dana Point, refused to give a sample when USADA conducted a “random” test, so he has to sit out 4 years.   Obviously, he was going to be positive or he wouldn’t have done a refusal.

I don’t know Shawn.  I looked around the internet a little bit and nothing special seems to be there.  I guess he would have been a lowly Cat 4 or something without the performance enhancing products he was using.  That is my assumption for all of these guys.  The dude is a coach,  go figure.  If, by chance, you’ve paid this guy some $$$ to coach you, I would demand my money back   .

What really bugs me is that this guy maybe could have been racing with a bunch of friends of mine.  I really don’t know Shawn’s status on the KHS team, but that team is merging with the Elevate Pro Team for 2017 and that means maybe he would have been racing with the newly merged entity.  I know most all the guys on the Elevate Team and am super glad that this dude was caught before they got together.

I often wonder why USADA shows up on a guy’s doorstep? This guy in particular?  It must have been a call USADA them by one, or multiple others.  Or maybe he bought something from Thorfinn Sassquatch and got caught up in the squeeze?  Whatever the case, I’m glad he is out of the competitive part of the sport for the next 4 years.

Seems like this USAC program, Race Clean is doing something.  Maybe it is nothing, I have no idea how many silly amateurs feel the need for speed.  But it does seem like a bunch of guys that wouldn’t normally be on anyone’s radar screen are getting popped.  Whatever the reasons, I applaud them.

Yeah, Happy Birthday Shawn!!!

Yeah, Happy Birthday Shawn!!!

 

TUE’s and Illnesses

This entry was posted in Comments about Cycling on by .

I’m not nearly a smart enough guy to understand all the issues involved with medicine. Especially taking medicine while racing bikes.  I do know it isn’t very fun racing while you are sick, but that is part of the job many times.

And it really doesn’t even matter if you are a professional, where it is really a job or just a guy focusing on any given weekend.  You might have be training for a specific race for a full year, only to come down with some crud the week before.  There is no way you could not start the race.  I’ve done that many times.

And the results are sometimes surprising, which is why doing things out of the box is amazing and sometimes the only way to push the limits of things.

But this TUE thing is ridiculous.   A TUE is a exemption that allows athletes to compete while taking normally banned medicines.  It is also a way for athletes to take substances that enhance performance, without being ill.

Bradley Wiggins can go on the BBC and or do an interview with The London Times and say that he was just trying to stay even or whatever, but everyone, including Bradley, knows that the reason he was taking those triamcinolone injections was to enhance his performance, not to get well, or his his words, ” to cure a medical condition”.

Here’s the deal.  WADA and USADA knows when something is being abused.  They can just look at the number of athletes applying for TUE’s for the same substance and if the number gets ridiculous, then they need to address the problem.  But that doesn’t seem to be the way the process works.  It drags on for years until it gets to a tipping point.

The guys at The Outer Line wrote a piece about TUE’s today.  If you have some extra time, and are interested in the subject, here is a link.  As always, they cover the topic pretty well.  They don’t have a solution, but do address the problem pretty solidly.

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Friday Musings

This entry was posted in Comments about Cycling on by .

I drove from Cable to Topeka yesterday.  I was driving Dennis’ old Dodge pickup, old?  a 2001, and it took a lot of concentration.  Man, does rust do a number on automobiles.  The drive took a ton of concentration and I was beat when I got home around 1 am.  Added to the tension was I was threading thunderstorms all the way from Minneapolis to nearly home, which was close to 8 hours.

There is so much “news” in our sport.

I guess first is that the Tom Danielson “new” doping story has ended.  At least for 4 years. USADA gave Tom a 4 year ban instead of 8 years.  I thought the deal was 4 years for the first doping positive and a lifetime ban for the 2nd, but I must be wrong.   I’ve written enough about my views on Tom.    Tom is going to hang around for a while.  Maybe forever.  (See tweet below.)  I think he views this USADA ruling as a win.  I see it as another example of unfairness.  I don’t think it is a happenstance that a guy that never got caught for doping, other than having to testify about doing it, gets caught up in an accidental ingestion deal.  It stinks.

Ryder Hesjedal is gone too.  He is leaving the door open for maybe racing still, I guess. Cyclingnews did a “last” interview with the guy.  It stunk too.  They threw him softballs and only asked him once about doping, which he really didn’t answer.  Honestly, I would rather have the dude racing at the World Tour level than running into him at some local MTB at Whistler on out riding on Haleakala.

USAC is jumping into the fixed gear road racing category.  I’m not sure this is a good thing for USAC, but the racing looks like a blast.  It kind of reminds me of Fatboy racing on MTBs.  They are starting their sanctioning at the Red Bull Last Stand in San Antonio next weekend.  The promoter of the event is Ravi Rajcooma.  Ravi and I go way back and he was really involved in the Fatboy racing, so he might have gotten the idea from that.  Ravi is a forward thinking guy, so I bet the race is out-of-the- box thinking.

I would like to try some of this racing, but I don’t think I’m very well suited for it.  But, who cares. I have a 1972 Schwinn Paramount track bike that has never been used for anything but roller racing.  I know that bike wouldn’t work for this, but I guess I could go out and ride it a few times to try to understand what it takes.  Probably won’t happen.

I’m thinking about racing a local MTB race this weekend, The Tour de Lizard.   I did this race right after we got Bromont, so it was 12 years ago.  I don’t remember the course much, other than it had some technical sections.  I think it would be a perfect race from my dual suspension bike.  I need to get that out on the trails more this fall.

Okay, my neck and shoulders are wasted from driving tense yesterday.  Maybe that is good training from MTB racing?  Probably not.

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Tucker wasn't very stressed out.  He pretty much slept the whole 12 hours.

Tucker wasn’t very stressed out. He pretty much slept the whole 12 hours.