Friday, July 9, 2010

Random Thoughts

Way behind on posting and behind on the Blogger Rules of Conduct mandated "random" postings, so here goes.

Weekly Shop Ride - Two Wheel Transit is now doing a weekly shop ride, so every Thursday someone at the shop will be leading a group ride starting about 5.30 pm. It looks like the route will vary, so if you want the details, give the shop a call at 509-747-2231.

Last Team Two Wheel Shop Ride - Team Two Wheel will continue hosting a monthly shop ride on the first Thursday of the month. Our last ride was on July 1. The weather was a bit threatening all day, but it held off for us to get a nice ride in around the Seven Mile loop. The group was pretty quick this time, although we did wait at a couple of strategic spots to re-group so that everyone was together and, I hope, had a good time. Geoff's participation or lack there-of will get a free blog pass today. No really.

Tour de France - The first seven days have flown by. I mentioned this a bit ago, but I hate to see crashes in bike races. These guys train literally for years and most of the time they crash it is through no fault of their own. Someone crashes or an idiot dog owner causes it, but then a bunch of people pile into the problem with no exit. The racing should really be about the talent, the heart and the pharmacology. I would rather leave crashing out of it.

Lance "Killing Machine" Armstrong - At lot of times, when everything is going well, more things go well. It is a version of the line, "the harder I work, the luckier I get." On the other hand, when things go sideways, they are hard to get back together. Stage 3 was Killing Machine's sideways stage. Just like George Hincapie thinking that he is going to win Paris-Roubaix every year just because he is a monster cyclist totally suited for it and has a team that should pull it off, but somehow it goes pear-shaped on him, the same thing happened to Lance on the cobbles. For Lance, who has had very remarkably few flats during his years in the Tour (generally attributed to properly aged tubular tires), he had a flat at the worst possible time and his team had been decimated by the cobbles. Contador caught the group and then get pulled off the front just as Lance was changing wheels. If you saw Lance, though, the dude has power and I think was looking very, very good. He had a team-mate with him for a while, but then Lance did a Cancellara-style ride to bridge up the group in front of him on his own. I don't think that Lance can't outclimb Contador, but don't discount him at any moment. I think he is stronger than he is letting on right now.

Cavendish - Wish I could be happy when his wheels go as fast as his mouth always does, but I just am not. Can't he just "pretend" to be slightly humble? Where is that English sensibility that most UK citizens show? The last sprinter who went just as fast and had a mouth that wouldn't quit was Mario Cippolini. Cippo thought that every women in the world was in love with his Italian style and speed, but he had a lovable rascal charm about his smarm. Cavendish is fast like no body else, but there is only cockiness behind his brashness.

Pettachi - Wow, the fastest dinosaur spotted in an epoch. He was "the man" a few years ago, and always a sprinter whose head could defeat him more easily than other sprinters, but I would not have guessed he would pop off two wins even with the crashes and injuries around him. Any chance Zabel will take the line and pull off another win (or second place?)

Schleck Brothers - I feel bad for Frank and, since I am assuming Lance can't win an Improbably Eight, I hope Andy beats Contador through team tactics and strong climbing. I don't, however, approve of the Blues Brother inspired saddles they ride. Those two bone-thin Luxembourgians bear no more relationship to the Blues Brothers than a hummingbird does to a side of beef. Seriously.

Cadel Evans - How can a man who sounds so much like Jiminy Cricket be so good at pretending to be a hard man? Don't know, but don't count him out of the race yet. He is not a feather-weight climber, but good on any mid-mountain and can uncork some great time trials. I don't get the sense, thought, that Hincapie and Cadel are on the same team, since they don't mention each other, ride near each other or seem to ever be in the same place at the same time. I would like to know that story a bit better.

Personal Training - Speaking of dinosaurs, why don't my aging legs recover the way they did 50 years ago? It is irritating. Consistent and steady improvement instead of burying myself intermittently? Something to consider. When I get older.

Niner EMD - I rode a Niner EMD (EMD stands for "Eat My Dust", by the way) for less than two seasons and liked the bike a lot. I couldn't help myself when a chance for a Gary Fisher Superfly came along but I recently sold the Niner as even I couldn't justify two 29'r hardtails. I was going to write an ode to the Niner EMD, but the check cleared before I had to go to such lengths to sell it. In this case, I sent it out with Dr. C to ride for the weekend and let him decide whether to buy it. Showing that he is both a reader of this blog and a funny guy, here is an excerpt from his e-mail letting me know that he wanted to take the bike (if you haven't, you should refer back to "Simulating Race Conditions" before reading):

I took the Niner EMD out on the trails of Farragut park a few times this weekend, figuring that would be the best place to test it under simulated race conditions. I performed well on it, in fact so well that if I had been participating in an actual race I'm sure I would have won. Not bad for a guy who had never ridden a mountain bike before. Am I awesome or what? I plan to simulate race conditions on it again later today when I go out to the grocery store to pick up some milk.

Clearly, my Niner EMD is going to a good home. It brings a tear to my eye. The top tube says it all though. Words to live by.

From Misc Bike Pics

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