Thursday, February 28, 2008

Orange County is Lame.... (OC Cyclists Not Included in Lameness)

I'm a poor investigative journalist. It turns out most of the articles I had quoted were from 2007. It's still bad though. Read more!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

L.A. Bike Master Plan Meeting Round 1

Tonight I went to the Los Angeles Bike Master Plan Meeting in the Valley. It was in Van Nuys, on Van Nuys Blvd on what could be argued by many to be the most bike unfriendly street in the valley but hey, at least there is a Bike Master Plan meeting. I would say there were a total of 40-50 people in attendance, including folks in suits, people in every day clothing, and folks in clothing modified for commuting. There seemed to be a good diverse group of bike commuters and mixed commuters and there was some good discussion regarding both, without there being a lot of tangent discussion...

The actual presentation was given by a dude from Alta planning named Brett. Alta is the consulting firm that is working with the city on the bike master plan, and has given a really basic frame work with some ideas and direction and that's about it. This series of meetings is only part 1, a planning and discussion phase which will lead to more this summer and fall. One thing that wasn't real clear was when actual implementation would take place. The presentation really just consisted of defining the three types of bikeways which include bike paths, bike lanes and bike routes. It also discussed options for improving these bikeways, adding bikeways and converting current motor travel/parking lanes into bikeways. Included in this discussion was also issues that getting in the way of doing those things. They showed a bunch of slides with pictures of roads that had been converted. There were some great examples of "Sharrows" or roads that are single lane, and have signage and markings indicating that the FULL lane is to be shared with cyclists.

One issue that Brett seemed to note was imperative was closing all the "Gaps". Anyone who rides in L.A. knows what the gaps are. These are areas where there is no connection between bike routes, lanes or paths. Regarding this, an interesting fact is that in L.A. city there are only about 350 miles of bikeways to the more than 7,360 miles of road. That's a pretty lame number. Less than .5% of the roads in Los Angeles are bikeways. What was missing was any sort of discussion in the presentation about Education, whether it be rider or driver education. It was brought up later by a number of audience members but I really thought that should have been a component built into the presentation. The presentation was definitely just about the infrastructure.

Over all I thought the meeting was enlightening, and that it showed that there is some commitment on the part of the city to get things rolling. I talked with a few city officials after the meeting and they seemed to be very committed to greater bicycle integration into the total commuting picture. There definitely seems to be some issues with how much money is alloted to L.A. county, and then how much of that goes to bicycle integration, but the folks I talked to let me know that you should go to to find information on who to write to say "Hey, we need greater bike integration!". I took the liberty of finding the page for you so you don't have too. Hear is the page for the Link for the Board Members. Now you have no excuse, go and write them.

After I had talked to the city officials I made my way back over to the maps. They had maps laid out on tables with high lighters and pens so you could mark your favorite routes and leave comments. The valley maps were covered in notes.

And these guys had a lot to do with that. They are guys who live and work in the valley, guys who commute and ride for recreation. Boom, just like that you have "Utility" and "Recreation" covered.

If I was going to create a "Valley Bicycle Commuter Advisory Board" in this whole process these are the guys I would want on that board. Between the four of them they had intimate knowledge of pretty much the entire valley floor.

The point that I thought was most important, and a point that I think city planners need to think about the most is that it behooves them to not only create greater infrastructure for existing cyclists, but also to do more to promote cycling as a valid, nay "the Preferred" form of transportation in Los Angeles. Bottom line is we have too many cars on the road, we have a public transportation system that fails at best, and we have crumbling roads and bridges with little federal and state money to maintain and repair them. Bicycle Commuting does everyone right. It takes the strain of heavy cars off the roads, thus putting less pressure on them. It also helps to reduce the amount of CO2 we put into the atmosphere, since bicycles are zero emission. So essentially by spending a fraction of what the government spends on fighter plane we could create infrastructure, education and promotion that would kill two of Los Angeles' biggest problems. If you want to get involved you can start here: LA Bike Master Plan Public Involvement Page. My recommendation is to take the survey. TAKE IT!
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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Thanks Fatty McFakenger, Thanks for helping the Cause...Oh Wait.

Normally when I use phrases like this it's because I'm talking to, or about some motorist who did something stupid like cut me off or hit a cyclist or something like that. But unfortunately this time I'm talking about one of our own. Yes, this total asswad was a cyclist if you want to call him that.

This douchebag, this fucking guy, this cigarette smoking, fat fucking slob wannabe punk rock fakenger on his flat bar fixed gear.

"I'm so cool and indie punk, I'm such a non-conformist I'm going to get a fixed gear and pimp it out with some trick velocity rims and some flat mountain bars and cut them all short and then pop some Oury grips on them, because I'm such an individual and that's totally not trendy for city dwelling punk rockers with mohawks and tattoos and ear plugs"

What a dummy. Anyway... As I'm sitting by my car putting some stuff away I see this dude roll up on a four way intersection in a mall parking lot (A MALL PARKING LOT, if there were ever a location where idiot motorists congregate to NOT pay attention it's in a mall parking lot, so be aware) complete with lines of cars coming from all directions, some with blinkers on. Instead of pulling a skid stop (like most true messengers know how to do) or rolling up slowly Fatty McFakenger decides to just blow through it. So when the dude in the car who was trying to turn turns into fatty's line, fatty McFakenger gets his panties in a wad so far up his fat ass that he starts flyin' off the handle at the driver. I don't know for sure, but last time I checked, stop means stop, not go real fast.

After Fatty McFakenger took off I could see the different drivers shaking their head. Great. You know what that means, I'm sure he was thinking "Fucking pricks on bicycles, they're always running red lights and causing trouble" I'm so stoked that I'm going to get lumped in the same group with that guy. That guy just undid all the work that cyclists like me do to try and get better relationships between drivers and cyclists. So thanks fatty, you fucking dipshit, thanks for fucking everything up that I've been working on.

Now, I'm not a shining example of roadway etiquette, nor a perfect law abiding citizen. I've been known to pull a California stop at an intersection and even blatantly disregard stop signs if there is no traffic. Despite all of that I know when I'm wrong, and in an effort the smooth relations between cars and cyclists I try to be respectful of the rules of the road, but assertive of my rights to the road when I'm sharing it with cars. When a car almost hits me (or does) I try to be as polite as possible when making them aware of their mistake. Rolling up on a driver screaming and cussing at them at the top of your lungs always feels like the right thing to do (and probably is, since they did completely disregard you and almost hit your ass) but in my experience it only makes the driver extremely defensive, and usually results in a shouting match that gets nothing resolved. I've found however if you roll up on drivers and politely say, "Hey, you almost hit me back there, please be more aware and watch what your doing" they tend to be a bit more understanding, and are usually apologetic. Now, I have run into folks who get pissed and respond with "You need to get off the fucking road" to which I politely respond with a key to their door.
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Friday, February 22, 2008

Tour of California Individual Time Trial, Solvang

I'm not a journalist, or a sports writer, so don't expect some long ass race report documenting the overall outcome of todays race. What I am is a blogger with a smart ass attitude, a sizable vocabulary and a keen, observant eye who writes about all things cycling. So instead of a lengthy and boring synopsis of today's racing statistics I'll give you the low down on what I thought was important...

First of all Levi won, that is an important stat so I'll include it. He beat out Fabian Cancellara by more than a minute to solidify his dominance on this race yet again. In the process he beat out the World time trial champion, Britain's TT Champ and perennial winner of "Raddest guy in the peloton" and American TT champ Dave Zabriskie. How Levi does it I don't know, but I think it has something to do with him being built low to the ground for speed, and his ability to dig deep, real deep; past the pain and suffering, all the way to the bottom right corner where they pack the glory.

Other than that it was 105 dudes on funny looking bikes with hilarious helmets, shorts that fit too tight, Abel Skeivers and Wind Mills. There were however some highlights worth talking about over and over again. I drove up with my friend Scott who was the Yellow Jersey Presenter. I don't get to see Scott a lot because he's a busy guy and he lives kind of far away, so that's Highlight #1. Highlight #2 is pictured below.

That is Dominique Rollen's left foot, clad in nothing less than the most Ultra and Euro podium footwear ever. Rollen isn't even European, He's Canadian!

Highlight #3 was nothing short of the awesomest awesomeness ever. I have friends that have gone through some shit. Not like Scott though. Scott was Diagnosed with a particularly nasty type of Cancer (Hodgkin's Lymphoma) at a particularly nasty time (Stage 4) and it was found in a particularly nasty part of the body (the whole part pretty much). So Scott has been through the gamut. Through that, and not shortly after treatment he managed to get out of the hospital and get himself onto his heavy ass Bianchi 10 speed from 1983. He rode that thing with me for an entire season in the big ring, because he usually couldn't get it to shift down to the little one. When he got fed up with his shifting problem he fixed it by buying a new bike. Scott presented the Yellow Jersey. That was Highlight #3, but by far the best highlight. Oh wait, no... this was the best highlight.

Actually, the best highlight was Dominique Rollen. That guy is a monster. I don't know how he did it but he managed to hold it together today and be a reasonably pleasant guy despite the amount of suffering he endured yesterday. What makes me a fan is the fact that here was a guy who could easily accept his jerseys (that's right, most aggressive and points), roll back to the team bus and crash out and no one would give a crap since he rode the highlight reel ride of the tour yesterday. But he didn't roll out. After throwing his flowers into the crowd he hung out in the green area, gave an interveiw, talked with some other folks, posed for pictures, posed for more pictures, posed for pictures with children, and then posed for pictures with my friend Matt. The whole time he was all smiles, cordial and polite.

That's it folks. The weather was great, the rain stayed away (for the most part) and it was an exciting day at the races! See you all tomorrow after stage 6!
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Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Support, Representin', Keeping it real... what ever you want to call it, there are a lot of people preaching it and about 5 people actually doing it. I hear it day in and day out, especially in L.A., about how everyone is keeping it real, or representin' or whatever. The truth is no one is...

Cycling is at a fork in the road. On one side you have teams doing everything they can to win the favor of the stupid jackasses in charge of the ASO and the UCI, and never knowing who to please more turns it into a ridiculous circus. On the other side you have teams doing what they want, following the rules as they are written and handling their business. You have sponsors that have been scared away and you have sponsors like Adidas who have stayed their ground and continued to support the sport despite all the negative publicity. And then you have down to the roots, unsolicited love for the sport. Small business owners who live and breath each local race, each event like the riders who pay 20 dollars to line up. These are the business owners who, outside of cycling, fight for every dollar that comes their way. These are the guys who give money to teams as much for the love of the road as the possible extra $500 in revenue their sponsorship MIGHT generate.

I'm all for supporting companies that support cycling. I wear Adidas cycling shoes and I drink Sierra Nevada Beer. I don't make fun of Kazakhstan any more and I have toyed with the idea of buying a Rock & Republic T-shirt (the only article of clothing they make that I could afford). I don't care what teams or clubs a company supports, as long as they support my sport. So tonight I went to Scarantino's Italian Inn, A Bearclaw sponsor. I love the Bearclaw guys, they keep things real serious. And by serious I mean completely insane.

I'm all about shameless plugs. If you pay me, or send me free stuff, or feed me or buy me something I'll write nice things about you and your organization. That's why Exxon will never get a nice post since half of my earning's every year go to pay for their fucking gas. But I digress. Tonight I went to Scarantino's in Pasadena to watch Stage 3 of the tour of California. I ate some food and drank some beer, and asked the owner to comp my meal in exchange for a favorable write up. Jesse shot me down like a drunken frat boy at lesbian bar, but regardless, It was fucking awesome.

For those of you that don't know, Scarantino's is a cozy Italian restaurant located on Colorado Blvd. between Allan and Sierra Madre in Pasadena. It's on the North side of the street and they have a nice distressed wooden sign. During the spring, summer and early fall, Jesse (the owner, I think) has committed to showing all cycling that is on VS. I would assume that if there were cycling not on VS, but on some other channel that he would show that too, but currently VS is all we have. Scarantino's isn't a big chain, thus the food isn't crap. From a cyclists point of view (and the point of view of someone who knows a thing or 14 about food), they cook the pasta right (Al Dente), the Calamari is the best ever, and the beer selection includes such incredible selections as Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout and Ayinger's Dopplebock, while avoiding the typical crap (Fat Tire was the only American Beer I remember seeing on the menu) that gets shoved down restaurant owner's throat's by the big distributors. Aside from being the only place in the L.A. Basin that has promised to show everything cycling, the food makes it worth the trip from Burbank; and those who know me and my disdain for car bound travel will attest that this is saying a lot.

For my 12 regular readers, I recommend you go here. The food is reasonably priced, the beer and wine selection is great, and if you go when there is cycling on VS, it will be on the TV. So go. Go to Scarantino's. Go now... right now!
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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Goverment Coverup: PAA San Dimas Race Simulation Causes Tear in Time Space Fabric, Hysteria Engulfs Region.

I apologize for this report arriving so late. I've been held captive for the past 72 hours in a secret government bunker while Army scientists have been interrogating me regarding a certain "event" that took place this past weekend in Southern California. What follows is an account of the event. ...

In what was the strangest turn of events in the history of PAA training rides, or in the history of the universe for that matter, the PAA San Dimas Stage Race Race Simulation Training Ride tore the fabric of space time this past Saturday. The tear caused utter pandemonium and panic among club members on the ride through out various locations in the San Gabriel Valley. In what could only be described as a “Philadelphia Experiment-ish” occurrence, PAA riders of various categories found themselves transported from one location to the next in often unthinkably short amounts of time. Many members of the club were later examined and interviewed by doctors, scientists, physicists and other leading minds in the area of relativity to try and shine some light on this occurrence.

The details of this Event are highly classified government secrets as the department of national security can only assume that if this was to be replicated by the break away government of Fredistan that it would spell utter destruction for the planet on a much more immediate time table than digging away at it with a spoon. Despite it's classified nature, some details have been released while others have been leaked to me by officials close to the investigation.

The first indicators of Space/Time abnormalities became apparent at code name “Encanto” Park, where large numbers of the Pasadena Athletic Association had amassed for the PAA San Dimas Stage Race Race Simulation Training Ride. It was completely unknown to the anyone in the club, including the organizing member, Coach Rick Babington, that such a large collection of CAT 4/5 racers determined to work together as a team in upcoming competitions utterly defies not only standard cycling club logic, but also the laws of physics itself. “CAT 4 racers typically only look out for themselves, so to have such a highly organized group determined to work for the greater good of the squad just slaps in the face of the natural order of the universe” commented chief investigator Randolph Gonzalez III, a Nobel Prize winning Physics Professor at Yale who was flown in when the tear was discovered. “ To then have such a well organized CAT 5 team, well, that's just... It's not wonder!” continued Gonzalez.

Some in the conspiracy community have put forward a theory that the tear in the fabric of Space/Time was actually caused by PAA Member "Chris'" handle bars. This theory had more fuel thrown on it when the above picture surfaced. This image, taken at the moment of the alleged second tear in Space/Time was happening seems to indicate that the tear happened due to the extreme yellowness of the handlebars. Rogue Scientist Adolph Von Pettermaneshevitz supports this belief, "Handlebars should never be so yellow, it simply shouldn't happen in nature. Is the sun that yellow? I think not."

Many in the Scientific community are calling for heavy sanctions against the PAA CAT 4/5 and even Pro & 1/2/3 teams stating that “The organizers should have known that such a disregard for the natural order would have resulted in potentially earth shattering disasters”.

When reached for comments, CAT 4/5 Captain Jerry Sanders stated with loud defiance “PAA cannot be held responsible for having such well managed, organized and unified teams. The riders work together on their own accord, What are we supposed to do, tell them to stop? Yea right!! You try standing in front of the Blue and Red train and tell it to stop!”.

Despite numerous phone messages being left, USA Cycling has not commented on the events of last weekend.

The Tear in the Space/Time Continuum occurred after the members of PAA arrived at a secret training location. The tear became apparent on the road code named “GMR”. Many in the Conspiracy communities believe this to be Glendora Mountain Raod, however government scientists have remained tight lipped on the exact wear abouts of this secret road. Witness to the event spoke in terrified horror of PAA riders “Disappearing” on the lower slopes of “GMR” only to reappear mere moments later at the top of the road. Enrique O'Masterson, a local who lives not far from the base of “GMR” witnessed the event. “It was unlike anything I'd ever seen before. First there was this group of bicycle riders all dressed in red and blue with a crazy angry looking bull on their shirts, then one by one the disappeared! I saw them all moments later at the top of the road. I couldn't believe my eyes so I got my binoculars and it was them! Standing on top of the mountain, laughing so loud we could here them all they way down here! Laughing all crazy like they were some kinds of demon gods or something! My daughter hasn't spoken a word since!!!”

Many Scientists are now speculating that there might have actually been a second tear, that occurred later at a location codenamed "Bonelli" Where the PAA members where later spotted. Witness recount seeing smaller sub-groups of the PAA club disappearing and reappearing momentarily, only to disappear again, then reappear, being thrust out of some kind of wrinkle in space time at incredible velocities.

Leading Scientists also credit this tear in Space Time with other seemingly unthinkable events in cycling.

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Century Etiquette

Now, I may know a lot of things, but there are things that some would debate me on. I'm not widely considered an expert on things other than my pesto. I decided for this blog to consult someone who no one could argue with. A man with palmares that are unmatched. That's right, the man from the land of French fries, Eddy Merckx is going to be giving you the one two on this shit, because that's how important it is...

Hello, I'm Eddy Merckx, and I'm here to talk to you about road etiquette. You don't get to respond, you don't get to argue. You want to know why? Five Giro's, Five Tours and a Vuelta... that's why. Let me tell you about cycling. It's a gentleman's sport. We look out for each other on the road. We work together for the same end and when we get to the finish line may the best man win. That is the way it has always been and that is the way it will always be.

Century rides are just a little different, since well, it's not a race. Corey told me about his experience at the Tour de Palm Springs, and how he watched as people cut in the line, cutting other riders off to get the best wheel. You want to know where the best wheel is? It's in that picture. You see anyone on that wheel? No. Why? because I rode them all off it. You know why? Because I'm the best. You don't get to argue with the best, you just get to sit and listen like children to a scolding, or bed time story...whichever you prefer.

Hey Mr. HealthNet superfan, with your full on HealthNet Kit and your HealthNet Cannondale, and your old, obviously not healthnet physique; if the pack passes you, don't just cut in when you feel like it, you let the entire group pass, and then jump on the back. Remember, it's not a race, it's just a ride. If you're strong enough to work your way up to the front then great, but since you weren't you got ridden off the back. You have a problem with that? Maybe you should consult my 5 Liege-Bastogne-Liege trophies.

Tandems are something special on a 100 mile ride. You should respect them. They will pull you forever on the flats, and give you the opportunity to coast at speeds you only dream of on even the slightest of downhills. Therefore if there are multiple tandems in a group, let them stay in a group. Don't cut the tandem line. They can't slow as fast as a single rider, and they usually have a system. Don't cut the tandem line. You disagree? Oh, that's cool, here's someone who wants to talk to you, It's the 4 world championships I won, one of which when I was an amateur.

If you happen to grab someone's wheel, let them know. Riding someone's wheel is like sitting down with them for a nice dinner, you just don't do it without shaking hands. And if you decide to ride their wheel, when you take off around them and leave them to continue working in the wind you better thank them. Remember, you feel better and rested because of the work they did. What's that? you aren't sure if you should listen to me? Maybe you should ask my good friend Milan-San Remo, which I won 7 times. That not enough? How about you check in with my 3 Paris-Roubaix wins or my 17 six day races titles.

You get the picture? I've won more races than any other person, ever. If someone has one more than me, they weren't as important as the races I've won. If I say something about cycling, you should listen, because I'm the fucking boss.

Well... You heard the man, I can't argue with that so neither should you.

*Eddy Merckx didn't really write that. It was written by a enigmatic super fan who happens to know quite a bit about cycling.

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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Tour de Palm Springs

And just like that there were 13.

2 months and 2 centuries down, with 13 more rides to go...

The Tour de Palm Springs was a pretty big success. Not only did I finish it, which is required for what I'm doing, but I completed a sub goal that I had of doing it in less than 5 hours, 4:58:11 to be exact.

For those of you who aren't familiar, the Tour De Palm Springs is a Century ride that starts and finishes in Palm Springs, and that takes you through some absolutely beautiful sections of the Southern California's deserts. The ride is one of the Largest, and with no rider cap, it gets bigger every year. I heard there were 9,000 people this year. One annoying side effect of this is it attracts some real dumb asses, Like the guy in the black Chevy Avalanche with bikes in the back, who not only almost clipped Joseph with his mirror, but then almost right hooked him turning onto Farrell st. Real nice buddy, way to watch out for your people. There were a lot of dummies on this ride, but the ride itself, was awesome.

Joseph and I left Los Angeles around 1 p.m. and drove to Cathedral City, where his family has a condo, our home base for the ride. We'd operate our mad plan out of this location. We arrived, brought our bikes in, got organized, and then rolled out the check in at the registration place in Palm Springs. We drove, to check the mileage and determine if it would be reasonable to ride there in the A.M. We checked in, said hi to some friends, walked around and looked at the different booths and then went to take advantage of the Pasta Dinner. A couple years back the Pasta dinner was managed by the organization. It was pretty good. This year it was handled by the Macaroni Grill. The pasta was something like a Penne Bolognase, only not as good. The pasta was over cooked, and they only gave you two, smallish scoops. It was all you can eat, but with only two scoops, Both Joseph and I had to make multiple trips to the service table to get more pasta. I ate 4 or 5 plates, I think Joseph had 8. The bread and the caeser salad was good though. The highlight of the trip was came later that night. We got back to the condo and found a tube of toothpaste that was older than Joseph. I promised him I wouldn't let that go, so here it is. The toothpaste older than Joseph! Thanks to Bernie for leaving his good toothpaste with us!

Joseph, Ryan and I Rolled from the Cathedral Condo at about 6:00 a.m. It was dark and cold, not to cold, maybe around 45 degrees, so cold enough to need warmers. We rode the 5 miles or so to the start and got there around 6:30. We rolled around and looked for breakfast. I found a Starbucks and got some bagels and brought them back for the guys. We waited for David, my friend from Portland to show up. David was in town for his teams training camp, and had just closed out the week with 550 miles and 50,000 ft of climbing. I wasn't sure what he meant by take it easy, but I later learned that David's "Taking it easy" was my Haulin' balls.

David, Joseph, Ryan and I bullied our way to the front of the start by slipping between the local high school's Color Guard and Orchestra. We were on our way. David set the early pace. My heart rate was immediately up at 170, we were passing people like nothing, and we ended up leading a HUGE group of people out with the help of some guys from Simple Green. This lasted until we crossed the I-10 freeway. At that point I couldn't hold the pace. David and I slowed up a bit. I was still way high in the zones, but David even admitted that he had overestimated his recovery from the previous week, at this point we were doing 18 mph up a 5% grade. We had lost Ryan, and Joseph had gone off the front. David and I stopped at the first SAG stop as we had discussed it with Joseph that we would meet back up there. Right when we got the the SAG I ran into John from Anaheim. He was with Veloce Santiago group, 12 in total, 10 of which were paired up on tandems. I've written about tandems before, about how great they are to be with on long rides. This was no different. 5 tandems created the "Train of Awesomeness". There is nothing quite like coasting down the road at 42 miles an hour. Along the way we picked up other riders who gladly latched on. One of those guys was Gene from PAA. It's always good to see other club members. It was during this high speed coast that we ran into the first of the many dumb asses that we'd run into. We passed this guy decked out in a complete HealthNet kit, on a HealthNet Cannondale and everything. As the tandems were passing him, he shot into the line, cutting one of them off (don't ever cut the tandem line) and then was rubbing elbows with the stoker on another. The Stoker put her hand on the guy and gave him a little nudge, and he flew off the handle. David brought it to my attention that any real pro wouldn't have cut the line like that, wouldn't have flew off the handle like that, and then wouldn't have tried to fight for the tandems wheel like that after the fact. Obviously this guy wasn't a pro, but instead a major tool dressed up like a pro for whatever reason. After the unrelenting pace of the group spit that guy off the back we rolled to the 3rd SAG stop, skipping number 2 and dropping a few other Know-it-all -wanna-be-pace-line-generals in the process. It was during this time that Gene took a fall, scraping his knee and elbow pretty bad. Apparently it was caused by a buddy, I think another PAA member. And the 4/5 guys wonder why I don't race... I keed.

We took a nice long break at SAG 3, listened to the high school jazz band's rendition of "Come Sail Away", and ate some bananas and PB&Js. We talked about what we've run across thus far, and gave Joseph an update. He caught back up with us somehow at somepoint between sag 1 and 3. I took sometime to catch up with John and Kevin (Planet Ultra X-mas Century) and took pictures of the Tandem teams, (catching some shenanigans by accident) and then rolled out. After SAG 3 we ran into another dumb ass trying to railroad his way into the Tandem line. Joseph started to get a little antsy so he jumped off the front, taking myself, David, and the dumb ass with him. We managed to stay off the front all the way to the next SAG stop. There wasn't a lot that happened during this time frame worth talking about other than the fact that we managed to lose touch with the dumb ass after the SAG. The Tandems met us at this SAG and we rolled out again like a big happy family. A big happy family that's lost. That's right, we got lost. But what would a century ride be without a little being lost. That's just what happens. We rolled through some neighborhoods and got back on track after about 2 miles.

We were now in the last 20 miles. We were setting a good pace, but kept getting stalled by the stop lights. The pace was hectic, and on one of the last rollers leading to SAG 5 I blew up. I couldn't do it anymore. I had lost sight of David and Joseph and pulled into SAG 5. I got some water, ate and rolled out quickly as I saw Gene and John roll by. I caught them at the next light and rolled with them to the finish. The final 10 miles was pretty miles was pretty uneventful, a lot of cramping, and a Santiago Tandem team on the side of the road with a flat. Oh, and I didn't get a patch...again, but instead got a medal, a medal I'm so excited about that it's still in my car.

This ride was fast. Fast and unforgiving. The problem with these fast and unforgiving rides is that I forget to eat, or drink or anything that I'm supposed to do when I'm riding long fast rides and then I blow up. So all those lessons I learned at the X-mas Century, yea... well, I learned them all over again. I did learn something cool about Google Earth and KML though, thanks to Ryan.

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Friday, February 8, 2008

It Ain't All Bad...

In fact sometimes it's good. News broke the other day that Mayor Daley of Chicago Illinois has implemented some new fines for drivers. These fines pertain specifically to motorists who abuse and harass cyclists. there are fines now for right hooking a cyclist, left hooking a cyclist, and passing with less than 3 ft. you can click here to get the full story from the post. Here's a quick portion:

"Daley, an avid rider, said he personally has been involved in unhappy encounters with motorists, providing them with "a few choice words" and "salutes" that he said were delivered "in the Chicago way.""

I had no Idea that Mayor Daley was an avid cyclist. I know a few "Avid" cyclists who are prominent figures in American culture who do very little to raise awareness, so I think it's great that he's standing up for his people. This alone makes me think pretty highly of him. What makes me think even more highly of him is the fact that he makes reference to "Choice words" and "Salutes". I think it's great that this high level public servant isn't above showing a little crass. I wonder what he means by "The Chicago Way"? I wonder if it's anything like the "L.A. Way", which I'm not to fond of as it's hard to carry a 9mm in your jersey pocket.

What I love even more is the grocery list of idiot comments that follow the article. I love how people hide behind the internet and say things like "yea I'm a cyclist but you cyclists are jackasses who do nothing but slow up traffic and run red lights, but I'm an avid cyclist" yada yada. Yea fucking right you're a cyclist. My personal favorite was the guy who said "If cyclists want to share the road, they can share the cost by paying the 40 dollar license plate registration". $40 dollar plate regestration??? I thought Chicago was expensive, like New York or San Francisco? what do you drive a fucking '78 gremlin? And just so you know cyclist do share the cost you moron, they're called taxes, and last time I checked folks payed them regardless of their mode of transportation, or if they have kids that go to public schools, or whether or not they support the war. So we do pay for those roads, And we'll be glad to share them with you if you just stop acting like such a dickhead.

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Sunday, February 3, 2008

Pick up Your Effin Trash

2 weeks ago I was riding the secret slopes and I saw something that really pissed me off. I had just hopped the gate and was heading up the first climb and I happened to look over to my right. You know what I saw? Trash. But not just any trash, cycling trash. I found a crumpled, half eaten Powergel. Goddammit. Of all the fucking trash that I see on the road I fucking hate seeing trash that is from someone who, I'm sure, professes to all their friends how much they love the outdoors...

I never litter, and I'm super OCD about keeping my jersey clean too. That makes me an authority on stuff, which means I get to tell you what to do. I understand why guys don't stuff half eaten gels in their jersey, because it gets all sticky and nasty in your pockets. But really that crap washes out, so whatever. I also understand because sometimes you're all worked up and training hard, but come on. I know what the prizes are going to be in that CAT 5 race so I wouldn't put to much into those intervals. Really neither of those two reasons are any excuse to dump your trash all over the road, so I don't want to hear it. What do they say? Excuses are like what? That's what I thought. I, personally have a system for not littering, and keeping the sticky mess from getting all gross in my pockets. Remember? I'm not an authority for nothing.

I'm sharing it with you, you better get with the system or I'm going to start picking up all your fucking gel packs and drop them off on your desk at work. So for your benefit, here's the system, in pictures!

Obviously, first you are going to open and eat your gel. I can eat and ride at the same time, it's a reasonably easy skill to master, if you can't ride and eat at the same time, don't try on a training ride. If you can eat and ride at the same time, you should be able to do the following steps:

Completely finish the packet like so. Make sure to eat all of it, since you need to get all those calories. Mmmm... that's tasty

Once you've eaten all the gel, take the top and roll it into the gel packet. Roll the packet starting from the open side, to keep it from leaking. This will help keep things clean. It's like rolling a blunt, only different.

Tuck the packet up into your shorts. You're shorts are going to get dirty anyway so do it. Don't be a sissy. Also, gel's are water based so even if some gel leaks it will wash out.It's like that time you stuck a sock roll in your shorts to impress that girl, only this time you you're not being a chump.

Yea! Now things are right where they are supposed to be. Your trash isn't out in the nature that you are trying to enjoy. Good job! You did something good for someone other than yourself this time!

Now like I said earlier, I know how important training is and all that stuff, but lets be realistic. Like you can't stop for a minute to eat and put stuff away the right way. If you're not a complete douche bag I'm sure you see what I'm saying here. This will help reduce your footprint on the environment, and it will make you feel better about yourself since you're doing the right thing.

Now, have a good ride you jerk.
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Saturday, February 2, 2008

Month in Review

Ahh January. January is the month that gets the ball rolling. January is the month where we actually try to get our resolutions going but usually falter. This January was no different, thing have gotten rolling pretty nicely. Here's a quick rundown of the high lights...

15 Rides up and rolling
The Stagecoach Century is done and over with, training is rolling along nicely. Including Stagecoach, I've ridden 400 miles in January. I've figured out what they mean by "Peaking" now, as the past two weekends of riding has been pretty difficult. Before that though I felt awesome. This weekend... not so much.

Pro Tour up and Running
The lamest organization in cycling since, well, since ever, the pro tour is up and racing. There's been some races with some results in some different places. you can click here
and browse around to find more information on it. Velonews is a pretty good at delivering the straight and narrow.

Motorists are still insensitive
For the 15 people in America who didn't read my blog on the 24th some chick hit and killed a cyclist, then laughed about it over the phone. Then another driver hit and killed a cyclist and sued the victim's family for the damages the victim's body did to his car. Lame.

January Poll results are in
The poll for January is closed. The question was "Should motorists who hit/kill cyclists be prosecuted in criminal court?" The results were 29 to 7 yes. I figured it would be about that, or possibly even more lopsided towards yes due to what my readers are into, which is primarily cycling. The new poll is up, Answer it!

February is upon us
That's right. It's February. There's some stuff going on, you know like rides and stuff. You should get out and do things.

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