Category Archives: Comments about Cycling

Not So Great

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Hi guys.  I finally opened my computer to try to write a post, so bare with me.  I’m not so cognizant for very long periods, so I kind of loose focus, or thought process pretty easily right now.

It’s been 8 days since I crashed and smashed my skull. I can’t seem to understand if it has only been a day or two or a month.  It has been neither, but the time is moving so slowly, even though I don’t remember a lot of it.

I haven’t really talked to Jack or Kris,, the two guys that didn’t fall with Bill and I, so I’m not exactly sure what happened.  I know I hit a dog and then Bill ran into me from behind.  We were towards the end of an evening training ride, so were going pretty quickly, over 30 mph.  I don’t think I hit the brakes at all, so I guess all my forward speed was transferred to the ground.  I don’t remember anything.  I do remember asking Bill if he was okay when we were in the ambulance, going to the hospital, but I don’t remember what he said back.

I was in intensive care for the first day or two and don’t have any recollection of that either. Stacie, my friend and an orthopedic surgeon, from Louisville, got on a plane and flew to Topeka. She slept in my room with me for two days and was really the biggest part of me improving quickly, even though to me, it  seems, I’m still at square one.

My skull if pretty fractured.  I have taken a bunch of CAT scans and am not really sure exactly where it is broken.  I know my skull is fracture on the top, but again behind the right ear.  So, the pressure in my head if really high, thus, pretty crazy headaches continually.  I’ve never experienced headaches like this.  It is barely survivable.

I was in the hospital until Tuesday or Wednesday, I’m not sure.  Bill was there for 3 days.   He broke a bunch of ribs and collapsed his lung, which needed to be reinflated.  He came by and visited when he was leaving.

I didn’t really sleep or eat in the hospital.  I think I ate a bowl of oatmeal, some mashed potatoes, and that was it for 5 days.  I was sleeping maybe an hour a night.  These super sharp headaches pretty much limited any chance of sleeping at all.

I was home for a day and then had to go back to the emergency room again.  I spend 1/2 a day at the hospital, more CAT scans, blood tests, etc.  I was doing alright, I guess.  The pressure is acceptable and headaches are about the same.    I went to the ear, nose, and throat doctor yesterday and he said that I have a bunch of blood behind my eardrums, that should leave as the swelling goes away.  I pretty much can’t hear at all out of my left ear, some out of my right.

I’ve been sleeping a couple hours a night the last two nights.  I have over 700 emails, which I can’t really read.  My right eye is really cloudy, from back pressure, so I’m waiting for that to work a bit better before trying to answer the email.   I had a flight to go out to LA this weekend to hang with my friend Seth Davidson, who is doing the South Bay Cycling Awards tonight.  I’m bumming I’m missing that.  Plus, Berryman MTB Epic is going on right now South of St. Louis.  It’s a bad time to be out of commission.

Okay, that is about it from here.  Supposedly I can’t ride my bike for over 4 weeks.   It was originally 8 weeks, but I negotiated it in half.  We’ll see how how that goes.  I can barely walk, I’m really wobbly.  This might be slow going for a while.

Back at the hospital.

Back at the hospital.

Getting my hearing checked.  I couldn't hear shit.

Getting my hearing checked. I couldn’t hear shit.

The put a bunch of staples in.  I'm not sure when those or getting removed.

The put a bunch of staples in. I’m not sure when those or getting removed.


Bus Rides

This entry was posted in Comments about Cycling on by .

On the post I did a couple days ago, on list of things I don’t like, I was pondering about including taking buses.  I couldn’t do it.  I don’t mind buses.  Actually, I sort of like taking buses. I like watching the world go by at a car’s speed, being a little higher than a normal automobile.   I say that, but I haven’t done it since I could afford not to.

I think the last time I took a bus was way, way back when I was staying semi-permanently at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.  I didn’t have a car and mass transportation was the only way I could get around alone.

I was going back, from Topeka to Colorado Springs.  The bus left Topeka pretty late in the evening, to WIchita, where I changed buses, then to  Pueblo and Colorado Springs, through Southwestern Kansas and Southeastern Colorado.

There were a bunch of Harley motorcycle guys, minus motorcycles, waiting in Wichita for the Colorado Springs bus.  They were trying to pick up a girl, who was receptive, so there was a lot of beer drinking going on.

We all loaded on the bus, I had my own row,  At the very last minute, a couple police officers brought this guy to the bus.  He was handcuffed and talked to himself.  They took the handcuffs off and loaded him on the bus.

My luck, the guy walks down the aisle and sits right behind me.  And then he proceeds to talk to himself constantly.

I was trying to sleep, but was pretty interested in his personal conversation.  He was saying crazy shit over and over again.

We’d been moving a few hours, so it was really late, the middle of the night, maybe around 2 or 3 am, when the guy started saying he was going to “do it” over and over.  I was sort of asleep, but he grabbed my seat to stand up and woke me.

He stood up and started walking towards the front of the bus, saying “do it”.   I was wondering where he was going since the bathroom was at the back.  He walked straight up to the front and, with no hesitation, jumped on the driver’s back.  I couldn’t believe it.

I don’t think bus drivers had to wear seat belts back then because they both fell to the floor, in the stairwell by the door.  I couldn’t really see it, but after it was over, I learned the guy that was sitting behind the driver reached over and grabbed the steering wheel.  The bus slowly slowed to a stop.

The Harley guys were at the back of the bus, having their way with their new friend, but when this all started, they were on it.  Right when the bus stopped, a couple of them were nearly to the front.  Somehow the door opened and everything was outside.  They had this guy, I couldn’t see it, but I could hear and feel it as they proceeded to smash the guy’s face into the side of the bus.

Pretty soon we were all outside, in the middle of nowhere, Eastern Colorado.  It was so dark. Everyone started smoking, including the bus driver, who seems more like one of the Harley guys now, even though he was wearing his bus driver outfit.

I used the time to wander off and pee.  I couldn’t believe how many stars were in the sky.  I could hear someone smash the guys head against the side of the bus every once in a while.  He wasn’t very docile, even though his face was hamburger.

The bus driver used his radio and called ahead to the next town.  When we got to this small town, there were some sheriffs waiting for us.  Like I said, all this didn’t slow the crazy guy down much, he was mad.

They handcuffed him again and were talking to him, when all of a sudden, he takes off running down the main street, which was abandoned.  One of the sheriffs sort of laughs and takes off jogging after the guy, who wasn’t really running, more like stumbling.

The sheriff pulled out his billy club and when he gets behind the guy, he wacked him across the back of his head.  That was it, he was out.  He was laying flat on his face, in the middle of Main St.  The sheriff just casually walked back to get his car.  The crazy guy wasn’t moving.

We all got back into the bus, and drove past the unconscious guy in the street,headed to Pueblo.

This really didn’t sour me to riding buses, I just moved up the economic ladder a tad, so avoided them.  I still took an occasional train, but I think that was my last cross-country bus trip.

I like trains better than buses, and I like buses in Europe or South American way better than buses in the US. I say that, but haven’t taken a bus for long time, so maybe I’m off here.  I should try it again.

This is what a bus looked like back then.

This is what a bus looked like back then.


Sunday is TTT Worlds

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Tomorrow morning, fairly early, is the start of the UCI World Championships in Dohan, Qatar.  At around 7 am EST, the women’s TTT is going to be going on.  Then later on after that, at around 8:20, the men teams will start.  Unless you subscribe to the UCI channel or something, you can click here and there is a list on the right side that shows different options.   The course looks a little tight.  Should be good.



Bikes that You Can’t Fix

This entry was posted in Comments about Cycling on by .

Do you ever think that bikes are getting way too complicated?  I do.  One that that nags at me, nearly all the time, in the back of my mind, is having bikes that might be impossible to fix on the fly.

This is post mainly is focused on my dual suspension MTB, but you could imagine any of your bikes that you don’t have the ability to fix yourself.

I don’t really ride this bike as much as I should and don’t actually understand it completely .  It isn’t like it is foreign to me, but I don’t look at it like Brad Bingham does, the guy who designed and helps build with Kent Eriksen.

But, I’ve see it when I’m hanging with Vincent too.  He has been having shock issues, which is my concern too, and when that happens, especially at a race, it sucks.

Vincent blew out his fork on Cannondale at the Growler in Gunnison and couldn’t finish the event.  Then he had the same problem with his tandem fork.  He got it rebuilt a couple times and finally, I think, he got a new fork completely.

I’m having the same problems with my fork and shock on my bike.  I only have about 500 miles on the bike, thus them.  Both are warrantied for a year and they are still in warranty, but the hassle of sending them in seems big.  I called Fox and they said I need to get a receipt of the “purchase”.

This isn’t a normal thing for me.  I fix my stuff normally.  And if I don’t think something is repairable at a race, I usually carry a spare one with me, so if I do have a problem, I can replace it.

I don’t know if this is a problem with Fox stuff or not.  I don’t hang around the MTB scene enough to know if this is a common problem or that maybe both the shock and fork are bombproof and I just am an outlier.  I do know my rear shock is losing pressure and there is oil coming out the air valve when I pump it up, which to me, seems wrong.  I can’t imagine a design where the oil and air aren’t separated.

I do know that I want to ride/race this bike this fall and it would be really a hassle if it is out of commission for a month.  I wonder what the turn around time on repair is?

I guess I’m just experiencing an issue that many other riders experience all the time.  Like trying to glue on cross tires or rebuilding a wheel or something.  But I know how to do those things and nearly everything else concerning the bikes I ride.  Maybe I just need to go online and learn how to fix these myself.  I’ve never rebuilt a shock, so have no idea whether I need special tools or what.  It seems like it is a no-brainer just sending them in to get fixed, but I really don’t like other people working on my bikes.  Not unless I know the other people and trust their work. Funny how that is.




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.


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.


TUE’s and Illnesses

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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.




Another Dope-head Positive

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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!!!