Monday, May 29, 2006

Bored and boring.

Uneventful Sunday and Monday has led me to make a new stencil.


It's on a sweatshirt here: http://www.cafepress.com/forty15.59533218.

Ivan wins the Giro... blah blah blah. I continue to hate Gilberto Simoni. What a douchebag - always making excuses about his losses - from cyclingnews.com:
Basso won the stage after breaking away from Simoni on the final climb. Afterwards, Simoni claimed Basso had broken an agreement between the two that they would stay together so that Simoni could win the stage. The next day, Simoni accused Basso of trying to bribe him.
From the 2005 Giro stage 19, more excuses:
"When I saw Savoldelli couldn’t sustain the rhythm I accelerated," said Simoni after the finish. "I was looking for Rujano help but only Di Luca and I have worked well together. Danilo has done a really great job." But on the last descent, "Danilo had cramps and I was not so well either. It was destiny, after my two wins at the Giro (2001-2003) and my three third places (1999-2000-2004) to take the second place this year. Maybe I could have saved energy on the climb…but I was fighting for the Giro d’Italia!"
Overall though, it was a dull race, ala Lance's glory days. I'm more interested if he can pull off the double. But I would also like to see Jan win the Tour. Or even Floyd, because the French don't hate any American more than a trashy southerner like Landis. I love the molest-ache.

Friday, May 26, 2006

woot! friday...

Going to see X-Men III tonight. Pretty pumped. Got a full weekend planned including:
  • Road ride Sat morning with John F.
  • Sailing with Mike M. and co. Sat afternoon
  • Party Sat evening
  • Riding Sunday
  • Maybe going to see Ween Sunday afternoon
  • Riding on the road Monday I hope
  • Watching the Giro wrap up on OLN Sunday afternoon.
Which brings me to my daily Giro thoughts. Jan Ullrich pulled out today. Big surprise - shit got too steep for the fat boy (don't get me wrong, I love der Kaiser, but the size of his ass makes him an easy target). I do hope he wins the Tour in July, but here is his answer to the Italian Dolomites (mountain range, jackass):
Jens Voigt and Juan Manuel Garate were the two big survivors of today's 20 man breakaway. Jens Voigt (king of attacks, prince of breakaways, definition of hard man, general nice guy, complete badass, and one of my favorite riders) conceded the stage to Garate after showing he was strong enough to contest the sprint. That man is complete class. He gave Garate a shake of hands and a pat on the back with 200 meters to go after an all day breakaway. That to me speaks louder than a stage win. Garate thanked him with a salute at the finish line.
And finally, it sucks to break your collarbone. But John Gadret makes my bike tan - one of my finest features - look like shit:

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Pinching out a blog

The three blogs I regularly read are as follows:
Drunk Cyclist - for reasons that will become blatantly clear if you read it.
Handlebar Sandwich - because my friends Nathan and MJ run the show there.
Fat Marc - because Fat Marc is a Delaware singlespeeder who is way faster than me, and rides with a lot of the local homeboys and girls from the area.

Drunk Cyclist had two splendid links today:
1. a radio show about cyclists who've been hit by cars: www.prx.org/pieces/10524
2. one of the hotter girls I've seen in a while:

Fat Marc has some awesome, hilarious, and deep thought ridden posts. And MJ and Nathan are just two badasses.

Today I rolled out with JB, John "forgotten helmet" Francis, Mike, and Bob. Some other dude was with us on a cannondale prophet, but he tacoed his wheel literally 10 seconds into the ride. Serves him right for riding with gears and suspension. My legs felt like wood today. Serves me right for following hill intervals on my fixed gear with a hilly ride and then a soccer game. Call the WAHmbulance.

The Giro is all but wrapped up in a little pink bow. Ivan managed to open up even more time today in a stage so riddled with bad weather they shaved 13 kilometers off, including the final 5k of the finishing climb. Hard men my ass. Though today's stage was a classic juxtaposition of love vs. hate.
Danielson ponders his man-crush Lance.

Leonardo Piepoli is being chased by an angry Danielson after comments involving the words "American" "sweet potato" and "Lance-shmance". Danielson proceeded to lose to Piepoli.

Dario Cioni propagates the ongoing feud between the French and the Italians. Benoit Poilvet brings a serious grimace of disgust to the face of the snooty Italian.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Birthday Bike

Got a new ride on the way... Henry's Bikes just put in the order for a Bianchi Pista. Yes, I will finally own a real fixed gear bike instead of my cobbled together trek touring frame. Now I need to figure out what is to become of that frame.

Funny shit from the live cyclingnews.com Giro coverage on my birthday's stage:

16:20 CEST
Der Jan finishes off his job with a coke for Scott Davis: "Don't want it" Ullrich shrugs and chugs it down.

That lack of self control is why Jan will always be a fat boy. Not like I'm the pot calling the kettle black or anything.

Been trying to get in lotsa miles on the bike. Mountain ride tomorrow, hill ride yesterday - abbreviated by birthday margaritas and Irish beer and music. Soccer was rough today with a hangover. The years keep coming man, the years just keep coming.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Giro Update

Well I finally caught some Giro action on OLN. Figures the peleton was taking it easy today because of the brutal week ahead. This means that the 11 man breakaway stayed away. At the risk of boring repitition, I'll release another shot of Jan Ullrich, doing what he does best.

Jan's dogs seem to explain a lot.

The stage winner was a real prick. He made 2nd place finisher Francisco Perez Sanchez do all the work. Sanchez formed the breakaway. He broke away from the break with 5 km to go in the stage. Jiminez, the eventual winner, just held on to Sanchez's wheel every chance he got. It'd be the same tactic I would have used, being the slow fuck that I am, but he's a prick for looking so worried about it:

It really looks like the power of the champagne spray is about to blow him over.

Mostly pathetic with a chance of redemption

I really don't like this iffy pseudo-spring / pseudo-summer weather of Delaware. Wake up, a beautiful day, windy as hell, but sunny and inviting. I update my Quicken files and make sure I ain't broke, then throw on my new Gore Bike Wear bibs (comfiest bibs I've ever ridden in), fill up the Gatorade and roll out the front door. The wind is at my back, I'm flying northwest on 52, and up ahead the skies are black and boiling.

I decide, at the very least, to turn around to put my cell phone in a zip lock bag. After I accomplish this the black skies have boiled over my house. A Delaware thunderstorm seems inevitable. OK, so a perfect chance to spin out on the fixed gear - I wouldn't want to subject my road bike to shitty weather. A change of shoes and some air in the tires; I'm out the door again.

Well the skies are still black, I'm home an hour later and I saw maybe 5 rain drops. Fucking ridiculous weather. The wind is insanely shifty. Whatever, at least I hit a couple downhills at insane RPMs and slammed up some climbs. By the way, fuck you weather.com, it still says mostly clear and 10% chance of rain.

Yesterday I got in a nice, slighly hungover mountain bike ride at Middle Run and Judge Morris. It was supposed to continue into White Clay, but the dehydrated legs decided otherwise. The Chestnut Hill loop at Judge Morris is some of the most flowy fun single track around.

Afterwards I went with the roommate to see the Red Sox beat the Phillies at Citizen's Park field. These kids in front of us had a sign that said 'Big Poopi' - an attempt to insult Ortiz (aka Big Poppi). One was straight up latchkey kid white trash and the other was wearing a weird lion mask and kept roaring and doing this thing where it looked like he was trying to pick apples from a tree at record speed. Anyway, they got threatened with ousting from the stadium and calmed down a little.

Had a black and tan at a quiet table at Catherine Rooney's and called it a night. What better way to end my birthday weekend then to watch the Giro on OLN in an hour. Cheers.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Badass

The following pictures from Graham Watson help explain why there should be more TV coverage of pro cycling in the US, and why I have an obsession with the sport. There is more drama, strategy, blood, humanity, and sweat than football, baseball, and basketball combined.

Robbie McEwen Hits 80-90 kph

A crash in stage 12 of the Giro.

Dani Navarro is one of the casualties.

as is Roberto Laiseka (you don't see that in football).

This pretty much sums it up. Thanks Graham, for giving me a small taste of what I truly crave in sports coverage.

Meanwhile Leonardo Piepoli just won stage 13, with Basso taking second in the stage. There will be some badass pictures here I'm sure because Piepoli put all of his 43 seconds into Basso in the final 4 kiloeter rain-soaked descent. Basso is looking like the new Lance - the Giro has only just entered the mountains and he already has 3.5 minutes on his closest rival.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Friday Morning Procrastination...

I should be preparing for a presentation I have to give later today, but it's just not as interesting as catching up on yesterday's time trial in the Giro. And despite constant ridicule, guess who won? The big boy himself: Jan Ullrich.

Here are the secrets behind his success on a PERFECTLY FLAT time trial - the only place where a fatass like Jan (or me) can succeed:

(a) stay hydrated.

(b) cut-away view of Der Kaiser's Keister

John Francis and I went for a 1.5 hour mountain bike ride at Middle Run yesterday. We're trying to fine tune our legs for June 3rd's 12 O'Muchy 12 hour mountain bike race. I've read that the course has 900 feet of climbing over 7 miles, so I dropped my single speed gearing from 32 x 17 to 32 x 18. What a huge difference a tooth makes in my riding. I'm feeling much more suited to the hills now, and I'm in the perfect gear to accelerate out of technical, twisty, or root ridden sections. I doubt I'll go back to the 17.

Plus, the 1/4 inch decrease in my wheelbase means I can cut back and forth faster, right?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Giro Developments

One would think the big news from the peleton is the first Giro stage win by a Lithuanian: Tomas Vaitkus. There were, however, bigger developments in yesterday's stage 9.

Jan "The Stomach" Ullrich's evil streak unveiled:

Basso gets nipple massage therapy:

With a happy ending:

facts adapted from cyclingnews.com - the peleton's tabloid.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Sunday

Basso, in an attempt to burn off his anger about comments pertaining to the not-so-wholesome behavior of his sister, won today's stage of the Giro and took the Maglia Rosa.

Jose Rujano (above) took a flyer in an attempt for the stage, but his spirit was broken by the laughter of the bunch at his elf-like appearance.

Rode a solid 2.5 - 3 hours at Fair Hill on the singlespeed steed today with JB and Cooper, who was a trooper seeing as he doesn't ride anything but trials and was on a borrowed 29er singlespeed. Met the nicest equestrians ever, who didn't get pissy when we almost plowed into them on a descent then had to pass them 500 meters later. Also saw a very irritable woman who dropped her family's 'picnic' which was a couple tubs of the Colonel's best fried chicken (what kind of fucking picnic is that shit) and some mashed potatoes. Her husband was laughing at her, so I decided not to yell out my patented "WAH, a botched picnic! WAH!"

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Well shit...

What a week/end. I just got back from Florida. The sunshine state kicked my pale-non-bike-tan parts with a healthy dose of UVA and UVB rays. It's amazing how bronzed my arms and legs get every year, and how grossly pale I am everywhere else. Now I'm pinker than Serguei Gonchar's jersey:

The similarities end at the pink torso. Another guy of note in this year's Giro is Ivan Basso. First off, he's sitting in a healthy 3rd place overall and can ride with NO HANDS:
More importantly, he's the rider in the pro ranks with the hottest sister:

And just to attract more readers, here she is topless. Sadly I think her boobs are fake:
The results from 12 Hours of Lodi Farm are up, looks like we finished 11 out of 19. Not bad considering we raced one category harder than we had to - click here and look for the Square Wheels in "sport 3".

Gary, from www.eighteenpercent.net, was kind enough to provide me with these two pictures of me at the stream crossing:

Gary's full index:
http://www.pbase.com/gmr2048/12_hours_of_lodi_5_7_2006&page=all

Pictures of the campsite:
http://gallery.halfdimension.com/thumbnails.php?album=5

And my pictures are up here:
http://www.forty15.com/photo/lodifarm/

So I was in Florida for the 86th annual Cordage Institute meeting. It's a bunch of people dedicated to improving rope technology - and moving that industry forward. It was cool on the level that I met some people who have made their passions their work. First off were the brains behind Pigeon Mountain Industries makers of climbing and life safety rope and equipment. Basically a bunch of climbers, spelunkers, and rescue people who wanted to make kickass rope and have made a living out of it. I also met the guy who invented Spinergy's PBO spokes. He's pretty badass - invented the spokes at 14, sold the business to Spinergy a couple years later and grew the business, now he's used the money to start a new non bike-related business. Serious inspiration to live how you want to live and let the pieces fall where they may.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Big Money

Ok, so I'm working on launching a product in the rope industry, not exactly big money, but there are some well-to-do rope companies out there. I'm sitting in a hotel room in Amelia Island Florida, half drunk on the company dime, which is more than I can say about all the rope nerds down in the hotel bar. They are WASTED. I've learned a couple things here:
  1. I NEVER EVER EVER want to own a pair of those gay leather tassely shoes. Only the American guys seem to do it. The Europeans are dressed very smartly.
  2. Button down shirts should not ever have short sleeves. Your options should be polo shirts or long sleeve button downs with the sleeves rolled up.
  3. It is NEVER acceptable to clip your fingernails in public, let alone in the middle of a technical conference while you are talking to people.
  4. Married guys suck when they are away from home... One hot chick and they are back to 15 years old, dick halfway outta the pants, lame macho competition shit.
  5. Calculator watches were cool when I was in Junior high, not when you're a 50 year old in 2006.
  6. Dark bristly hair should not grow on the upper cheek or tip of nose. Pluck or shave that please, and trim your nose hair.
    Shit, I don't mean to be judgemental and all... I hope I can still party like these guys when I'm 50+.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Tuesday

Petacchi is out of the Giro... bummer because now McEwen is gonna mop the floor. I'm still hoping for McGee to pull out the stops and go big. Even if he likes to dress up like Robocop:


We had our second victory in Gore League soccer yesterday, 3-0. I scored our 2nd goal, a long, no-chance kick from just about midfield that mad the top corner. Complete luck and I'm ashamed to say it's my first soccer score in memory.

A little ride with JB out of Newark today. I was still feeling Lodi Farm in my legs at first, but we ran into Aaron Chen's ride and that motivated me. We got in a couple good solid hard efforts in an hour.5 of riding. I thought I was ready to make the full transition to mountain bike until I got another taste of group riding, sprinting, attacking, and pointless flyers off the front of the peleton.

I truly don't understand how anyone could go through life without chasing down their passions daily. Bikes provide so much more than exercise. They provide an outlet, a challenge, an enemy, a friend, a means to meeting new people (mostly awesome). I can't wait to ride a bike again. Tomorrow I leave for Florida for 4 days. No riding, but hopefully my shoulder will feel better.

Still waiting on photos and results for Lodi Farm, but June 3, 12 O'Muchy.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

race report part 1

First off: The Giro has begun. First blood to Savoldelli and McEwan. It's gonna be a good 3 weeks.

Friday after work Chris Mason and I went out with JB to make sure our legs could function when attached to mountain bikes. This was to prepare for our 12 hour race starting at midnight today that ran to noon (today obviously).

The course was a super tight, twisty, technical single-track romp through rolling hills of Fredericksburg VA. There were a lot of roots, bridges, logs, and hairpins, and one stream crossing added strictly as a wet dream for the pro photographer. There were a lot of fast motherfuckers out there. Our team, the Squarewheels (not the Dickies), was comprised of myself, John Francis, and Chris Mason. Our batting order was John, Me, Chris, trading off every lap throughout the night.

Delaware represented, along with our team there was:
-Lauri, Jeff (12 years old and faster than I will ever be - he got a 56 min lap compared to my best of 1:06), and Fat Marc (He's only 12! Mighty Spot Brand Team): 3 person singlespeed class
-Fitzy (Spot Brand Factory Team): solo men class on his crazy custom Spot 3 speed (I think)
-Buddy and Paul (Mighty Mighty Spot Brand Team): duo class
-Matt (Spot Team): singlespeed solo class

Among many delirious thoughts that crossed my mind while racing I can remember the following:

LAP 1 - night lap - 1 hr 12 min
-I hate people on geared bikes because the slow ones spin uphill at ungodly slow rates while I'm trying to churn some butter up the hill, and the fast ones just pass me and crush my brittle spirit.
-I hate trying to clear logs when my handlebars are loose in the stem, and my shoulder is proof.
-I hate single speeds.
-I will never ride anything but a single speed ever again.
-Night riding is amazing.
-HID head lamps attract a lot of moths to your face.

LAP 2 - night to dawn lap - 1 hr 9 min
-Lack of sleep makes racing interesting.
-My relationship with my bike gives me a new understanding of how a wife beater can smack his wife around and she will still claim she loves him - or something like that.
-I should probably ride more than 4 mountain bike rides over 2 months leading to a 12 hour race.
-Night time is silent, and owls can scare the shit out of you.
-Daylight brings some serious motivation, and a lot of bird chirping.

LAP 3 - day lap - 1 hr 6 min
-When the pro photographer shows up your lap time drops.
-The pro photographer makes you crash harder.
-Beer is the most amazing energy drink ever developed.
-Clif Bars and GU seem like a good idea until you are waiting for the handoff from your team mate and the bottom drops out of your duodenum.
-ALWAYS bring spare toilet paper to endurance races.

Photos to follow when the concrete is removed from my legs.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Monday

First off, major props to Cate McCullough, former riding buddy, leg thrasher, and hot chick. She won the overall seasons points competition for the ECCC (eastern collegiate cycling conference). She is headed to nationals. She is my hero. Well done Cate.

As for me, I got worked today at Gore Soccer League, where hacks like me use dumb muscle to injure the other team into a loss. Today I got mine with a nice knee-knee collision which has me limping. We did finally win a game 4-2.

Tomorrow I head to Houston for the Offshore Technology Conference. I'm still a little torn about helping develop a technology that is perpetuating the oil industry, but I guess the switch to alternative fuel sources won't come over night. Gotta have justifications I suppose.

Upon my return, I will be competing in the 8th Annual 12 hours of Lodi Farm mountain bike race. Chris and John will make up the rest of my team: the Dickies. I will be happy to live to blog about it.

finally, a conversation with MJ:

born 2 do d1shes: get this
born 2 do d1shes: i got fucking wasted friday
born 2 do d1shes: or sat rather
born 2 do d1shes: and walking home, i dont remember this, but i pissed on a car and threw a cone at something or another
MTBCrazyMan: hahaha
born 2 do d1shes: and i tried to call one of you in troy
born 2 do d1shes: and i got a random phone
born 2 do d1shes: and left a voicemail, so drunk that i didnt realize i didnt know the guy
born 2 do d1shes: so he calls me sunday
MTBCrazyMan: HAHAHAHA
born 2 do d1shes: i dont recognize the nubmer besides it's a 518
born 2 do d1shes: and he's like you fucking prick
born 2 do d1shes: you pissed onmy car last night
born 2 do d1shes: i'm gonna kick your ass
MTBCrazyMan: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
born 2 do d1shes: mind you i dont remember any of this, but it sounds like something i might do
born 2 do d1shes: i'm like, dude, where you calling from?
born 2 do d1shes: he says NY, i say, well, I'm in delaware
born 2 do d1shes: and his cover was blown
born 2 do d1shes: but he had me sweating for a minute
MTBCrazyMan: nice
born 2 do d1shes: then we had a good laugh
MTBCrazyMan: that is funny