Friday Musings

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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.

tdtweet2-copy

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.

 

10 thoughts on “Friday Musings

  1. conrad

    Fixed gear road racing?! You want to subject yourself to that? Why not just race on the track? Its really a shame that track racing isn’t more popular. Its non stop action that you can watch from a beer garden. What could be better? There is a reason that most of the best road sprinters have a track background. Or to put it another way, any road racer that hasn’t done some time on the track is missing an important skill set. I don’t know what the track programs look like at other tracks, but here in Redmond WA you start out by taking a class. When you are deemed ready, you race as a cat 4. When you are deemed ready, the officials upgrade you to a cat 3. Doesn’t matter if you are crushing races. If you are doing stupid, dangerous, or just misguided things, you don’t get an upgrade. As opposed to road or cyclocross, where you upgrade yourself when you have the points.
    Fixed gear road racing, from what I can see, looks like first class cat 5 hipster douchebaggery that people watch for the inevitable hideous pileups. No thanks.

     
    Reply
    1. KrakatoaEastofJava

      Tattoos, mustaches and guys sitting around comparing personal knowledge of the respective “hoppiness” levels of obscure craft beer brands (which are all owned by AB-InBev anyway). Sign me up!

       
      Reply
      1. Bryan Barber

        The definition of craft beer is anything that Budweiser doesn’t own. Hipsters drink only PBR.

         
    2. Emacdo

      Seriously? All those rules? At Red Bull I can just ride without having to know the rules. And what’s with all those stupid lines on the track anyway? What the heck’s a Stayer? I just want to race my really cool fixie.

       
      Reply
  2. KrakatoaEastofJava

    Looks like Tommy D (once again) tried to employ the tactic of a preemptive strike to get ahead of and manage the story:

    “The basis for this reduced ban is unintentional ingestion of DHEA as the result of contamination from a supplement containing Maca root. The manufacturer of this Maca root product also produces a supplement containing DHEA, in the same facility, and this is likely how the contamination occurred,” he said in a statement provided to CyclingTips on Thursday.”

    USADA wasn’t having any of it, though:

    “At no point during USADA’s investigation were we presented with scientific evidence suggesting that Mr. Danielson’s positive test resulted from a contaminated product,” Madden said in a statement Thursday afternoon.”

     
    Reply
    1. Christopher

      Here’s what I find interesting…Phil Gaimon (Mr. Clean Racing) has come out publicly in support of Tom Danielson.

      Gaimon tweeted: “I believe him. He’s my friend.”

       
      Reply
      1. KrakatoaEastofJava

        I taught at a high school for four years. Every so often, I’d hear about – or see – something immoral (or possibly skirting legality) happen… where I thought to myself “Did I just see what I think I saw?”. And then I’d very quickly shake myself out of it, saying to myself: “Nah, they wouldn’t be dumb enough to do something like that. That’s the kind of shit that gets people on the news”.

        This weirdness repeated itself with all kinds of variations. One day, a student came to me and asked a pretty blunt / frank question about a certain teacher’s conduct with other students. The kind of thing I couldn’t sit on. The kind of thing I had to report. So I did. I was thanked and told that this was just a damning and injurious rumor, but my new report would also be investigated immediately. From that point on, it was strictly a management issue. None of my business.

        Then a few months later, our school DID make the news. I went to the cops and told them what I’d reported to management. News to them. Management sat on my info, as they had with all of the other incidents. Why? Dude was a state championship winning coach. Also, right about this time, I discovered a pretty significant equipment theft, perpetrated by a peer of mine. I reported this too. After a few failed “Jedi Mind Tricks” of them telling me what I’d found wasn’t theft, but rather an “inventory control issue”, I came to realize a few things:

        1) It’s really REALLY hard sometimes to believe that people you befriend (or work with) can do really bad things.

        2) Once you finally allow yourself to accept the possibility that people you know / work with can (and DO) do really bad things, it allows you to make a LOT of sense about the weirdness that’s been going on.

        3) Other people don’t want to believe what you’ve told them. Why? “Dude, they wouldn’t do that. That’s the kind of shit that gets people on the news”.

        After I became willing to believe that it was actually possible that I worked in a place that was that morally corrupt, all kinds of previous experiences started to make sense. Things like management telling “little white lies” all the time (about the DUMBEST things), misrepresenting facts, hiring questionable people for jobs that made no sense, etc. I finally realized that I worked in Hazard County, and the boss wore a white suit and cowboy hat and sat in a barber chair at the “Boar’s Head.”

        Phil G. probably knows the guy well. But the guy has already been identified not as a doping addict. Fact is, addicts relapse. Call it what you will: Falling off the wagon, slipping, fucking up, being an asshole or whatever. This isn’t exactly territory he hasn’t explored before. Most “caught” dopers don’t enter into any kind of treatment program. They just continue to deny their problem. When they look back on it as a “performance / greed” thing, and not a long-standing, fucked-up psychological “issue”, I think they have a very strong likelihood of going back to the dark side.

         
  3. JT

    The strong race the road, the fast race the track, the rest race cross…
    Get up to Blaine MN with that Paramount. Talk about life memories… get up to Blaine with that Paramount, you won’t be disappointed.

     
    Reply
  4. jmal

    Definitely do the TdL. Best course in KS imo. Much more technical than Wilson Lake, and equally unique in its own way. Also, it has one of the punchier (though short) climbs in the state at the end of each lap.

     
    Reply

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