World’s Weekend (Finally)

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I’m not trained for this bike racing spectating.  It has really only been 3 days and I’m hurt.  There seems to be a ton of walking, standing and talking involved in this endeavor.  I’ve been getting out on my bike for at least a couple hours every morning, late, but that doesn’t seem to help.  By the time I’m back, usually close to midnight, my legs are throbbing.

That being said, it is super fun.  I have run into tons of people I haven’t seen in decades. Yesterday I saw Eddie B., John Trotter, a guy I used to race as I junior, and had dinner with Drew Dedo, a  team mate from the SRC/Michael’s Cyclery era.  Plus countless other people.

I hadn’t seen Eddie maybe since the mid-nineties.  He said he is 72 and raises organic stuff.  I knew he lives near Ramona, CA and he invited me to come by and stay.  I know some of you guys are going to go ape shit over Eddie, but I think I know Eddie better than most of you and the guy isn’t the original godfather of doping, so just drop it.

The short story is that Eddie and a couple clown doctors came up with a harebrained plan of blood doping, right before the 1984 Olympics.  It is amazing that they didn’t kill a rider.  But the “practice” wasn’t banned and doping wasn’t the same then as it is now.   No one officially broke the rules and no one lost a medal.  But, looking back for the current mindset, it was all fucked up.

I’ve known Eddie since I was 17 and have had a ton of disagreement with him, but nothing over doping.  It is funny how people tend to forget the bad parts of a relationship and remember the good.  Anyway, I like the guy and he might be the reason that I got the opportunity to race my bike all over the world.

The junior women crashed it again yesterday.  They finished 1-2 in the time trial and repeated those same results in the road race.  The course stayed dry for them, so that was awesome.

The U23’s weren’t so lucky.  Nearly, but on the last lap, it started raining just enough.  The course got slick and guys started falling the last half of the race.  Kevin Ledanois, from France, made a calculated move at the top of Libby Hill and rode unreal to the line.  Kevin is the son of a sport director for BMC.  He made it to the line a couple bike lengths ahead of an Italian.  Then another French guy, then another Italian.  The whole race really played out the last 4 kms.

The junior men are lined up now.  It isn’t raining, but the roads are wet.  It is going to be one of those days on the bike for these guys.  Most of them probably don’t have a ton of experience in these conditions, so it will be interesting.

Last night we watched the start of the Brompton race, then walked over to the 23rd street climb to watch them go up it.  The Brompton bikes only have a maximum of 6 gears, so climbing the cobbles wet, was a challenge.  The first few guys made it, then the walking started.  Plus, they were doing a grand fondo type ride on the course for anyone that paid $100 or more.

When those guys started up, it was Battle of the Bulge.  I guess there were 1300 guys that entered the tour, (do the math) so after a bit, it was a log jam on 23rd street.  90% of the riders were walking in their cleats.  It was so entertaining listening to what guys were saying walking up.  They were walking on the sides and trying to leave the middle clear for people riding, but that didn’t really pan out.  Pretty soon nearly everyone walked.  I saw Chris DiStefano, from Rapha and he saw me in the dark. He said that this was the most dangerous thing he had ever done on a bike, and that is saying something for him.  It look that way.

The front of the “tour” was hauling.  Like race hauling.  I’m not positive, but sort of sure that George Hincapie was leading the line up the hill the first time.  At least it looked like  George in a Hincapie kit.  I’m not sure what to think about that.  Maybe he just paid his $100 and thought he’d get in a few hot laps on the course?

After, we walked down to Shockoe Bottom and met up with Drew and his wife for dinner.  It was super catching up.  For some reason, early friendships seem more vivid in memories than current.  That didn’t really come out right, but that is the best I can do right now.  Anyway, we stayed out late and it was good.

I’m thinking about running some today.  Just thinking, probably not doing.  Since I’ve been doing so much walking, the next step is running.  I’m worried that if I run, I won’t be able to stand during the Elite men’s race tomorrow.  That would probably be true.   I might have to put it off for a couple more days.  Or maybe just run a couple miles today.  I don’t really have any way to clean my bike, if I ride in the rain, so I’m hesitant to go out.

Okay, enough of this.  The junior men started and I’d like to watch some of that race.

Eddie, Trudi and I.

Eddie, Trudi and I.

Picture from Wednesday watching Rohan Dennis finish.

Picture from Wednesday watching Rohan Dennis finish.

The TTT presentation. Trudi is on the right and must be interested in something else and is looking off into the distance.

The TTT presentation. Trudi is on the left and must be interested in something else and is looking off into the distance.

Carnage of the 23rd Street cobbles last night in the rain.

Carnage of the 23rd Street cobbles last night in the rain.



Even McDonalds is flying the colors here in Richmond.

Even McDonalds is flying the colors here in Richmond.


22 thoughts on “World’s Weekend (Finally)

  1. euro

    Big George didn’t pay a penny to ride in this event. They probably paid him. He is the biggest hypocrit in PRO cycling other than Lance.

  2. H Luce

    You invented a couple words: mid-nighties and hairbrain. Mid-nighties is an obvious misspelling, but it could have some interesting descriptive uses – either to activities late at night or to an article of clothing. On the other hand, hairbrain doesn’t seem like a misspelling at all; the original word is “harebrained”, relating to the mental capacities of the rabbit-like animal known as a hare, which were regarded as not very great. The image this word evokes is of a head filled with hair instead of brains, with rather less mental capacity than a hare’s brain.

    I’m surprised that your spell-checker isn’t picking up on these neologisms.

  3. H Luce

    This is similar to Ernest Hemingway’s memory of a name of a popular hymn he sang in church in his childhood: “Gladly, the Cross I’d Bear” which he remembered as “Gladly, the cross-eyed bear”; to him, Gladly seemed like a likely name for a cross-eyed bear.

  4. Skippy

    ” He said that this was the most dangerous thing he had ever done on a bike, and that is saying something for him. It look that way.”

    Beats me why anyone would think that riding around the ” Closed Circuit ” amongst a bunch of others paying $135 would have ” Bragging Rights “?

    Standing at the workplace Warer Cooler , telling colleagues that you were gulled into shelling out that amount of money would have then wondering about your sanity ? Guess you got to ride with Trudi ?

    The TTT Preso Photo shows Alain Pieper in the background , last time i saw him was in KitzBuhel at the Austria Rundfahrt in July .

    Ponferrada was a lot more relaxed and the rain did put in the odd appearance but there were no cobbles to cause angst .

  5. George Romonoyske

    Just noticing some rather big tires on the women’s bikes. Maybe 25-27. Wonder what pressure they’re running.

  6. Big B

    Tilly, champion systems offers a longer leg length option on the bibs… You need to check that box to get rid of the short shorts!

  7. bob

    “I know some of you guys are going to go ape shit over Eddie, but I think I know Eddie better than most of you and the guy isn’t the original godfather of doping, so just drop it.”

    You’re such an insane hypocrite.

    “I totally know that doper pioneer, personally, so it’s ok guys!”

    You are one out of touch hypocritical cycling hobo.

    Keep defending the dopers you know personally. Never let a foul word about BMC or Och pass your lips!

  8. Steve Tilford Post author

    bob- If you feel like you personally have such insight about Eddie or the BMC team, I’d be happy to allow you to have an day and you can post about all you knowledge here in front of all my/your peers. All you have to do is sign your real name. Just let me know. You know how to reach me.

  9. James

    You bet it was “it was all fucked up.” As you said, they could have killed someone. Rules or not.

    Ok how about some Eddie B stories. For example, how did he impact you? Where did you disagree? You can tell from his book he was ‘my way or the highway’ sort. Old school East Euro beast.

  10. WC

    Bob, you might start with the troubles that Tyler and Floyd had when riding for Phonak. Phonak had the same Rihs/Ochowicz management team and BMC bikes as the current BMC team. The low hanging fruit.

  11. Ivan Stevic

    You tell him geezer. What are you weighing these days? A buck 40 with 2 bad wings and a broken hip? Bring it, more than willing to take my chances. I will try not to sneeze and break something else

  12. L

    Hey guys – this is a cycling blog, not some test of religious piety. I grew up in San Diego. Dr. Becker (of Floyd Landis fame) was my neighbor in Mission Hills who – besides being a doper and a doping doctor – was an enormous prick. Way back in the day, as a cat 1 and a guy who aspired to be a pro, I rode with Landis and Becker and the SDBC crew a ton. I raced with our gracious host in Oregon and NorCal throughout the 90s. If anyone has a beef with Eddie B, I’d be a prime candidate. But, at the same time, I understand Steve’s reluctance to throw Eddie B completely under the bus. Eddie B was a european-style doper: He doped his riders in a half-assed, utterly non-scientific way and did it half-heartedly. Was he corrupt? Yes. But, he was also responsible for creating an entire generation of cyclists in the US who (like me) were clean and who were introduced to cycling as a real sport because he was such a compelling and interesting personality.

    Was he instrumental in creating a “doping culture” in US Cycling. Not really. Blame Carmichael and Ochowicz and Weisel and Armstrong and his crew for that sin.

    I guess my larger point is this: Chill the F out. Steve provides a nice service for us readers. I enjoy his stories, his insight and the memories his stories evoke. If you don’t like that he’s not a fire-breathing critic of the exact same people you are, in exactly the same way you are…and you can’t handle that without turning into freakin’ caricature of a sociopathic moron, do us all a favor and stop reading the blog.

  13. bob

    The point is that Steve prides himself on being an anti-doper, specifically croons that HE was the first one to complain about dopers WAY back (before STI levers, you know?), and to do it publicly.

    He has a whole victim complex he has built. “Woe is me, if only there weren’t so many dopers stealing my prize monies, I would be recognized as a true champion! Curses to you, Tommy D and Ivan S. and Lance! CURSES!”

    But, it turns out that Steve is just a huge hypocrite, in bed with Och, BMC, and Eddie B. because they had coffee 5 times. Steve, IDGAF if you know someone personally, they are still judged by their public actions and private actions that have come to light, you dum dum.

    L – I honestly don’t care that much one way or the other about dopers. It’s the righteous victim-mentality pick and choose the good dopers vs. the bad dopers hypocrisy that I can’t stomach.


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