Monday, June 29, 2015

Excuses for bailing on Tuesday Night Worlds in July

Excuses for bailing on Tuesday Night Worlds in July

Check all that apply:

Lethargy
Nagging Torry Ridge injury
95 degrees of hot on the asphalt at 6 pm
Two July Full Moons
Women's World Cup Schedule
Too Lazy to take the 32's off my road bike
Aiming to peak in February
Peaking in July
Already peaked
Bud Light Lime
Bugs
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
The Fringe Loop at Blue Ridge School
Fitness
Lack of Fitness
One dimensional bike fitness
Sunburn
Too many cars
Not enough cars
Will Leet's drivetrain scares the shit out of me
Hammocks
Toddler tantrums
Fishing
Trailwork
Creek swimming
Things that make you go hmmmm...
Lack of goals
Blackberry pickin'
Bears
Sherando
8 speed drivetrain revival
Searching for my spirit animal
Mechums hill
Training for SM100
Not training for SM100
Disc brakes have no business on road bikes
Road bikes don't brake fast enough
Recommitting to Singlespeeding
Recommititng to gravel road riding
Recommitting to not being committed to anything
Committee Meetings
Failure to yield at stop signs
Scared of Will Leet's calves
Spicy Brown Mustard
Poor Hydration
Over Hydrated
LT too low
STD too high
High
Depressed
Ran out of pickles
Failure of the dual party political system
Summer Reading
Tanning
Jorts
Fruit Tarts
Ice Cream
Social justice
Social injustice
Social Media
Not getting Mark's emails
Jersey too small
Legs too big
Legs too small
Watching The Tour
Not watching the fucking Tour this year
Wheels not true enough to race on
Wheels are too nice to race on
Carbon
Work too busy
Unemployed
Working on chipping and putting
Chicks
Gotta cut the grass
Coaching Lacrosse
Coaching Baseball
Coaching your mom
Crashed last week
Crashed last month
Crashed last year
Crashing tomorrow
Angry motorists
Bad road manners
Can't draft
Won't draft
Won't take a pull
Can't take a pull
Dropped on the ride there
Lost
Bike stolen
Fear that bike will be stolen
Fear of Will Leet's skin suit
Fear!
Eric Fletcher won't talk to me
It's like he's a different person when he puts his helmet on
A ride too fast
B ride too fast
C ride too fast
A ride too long
C ride not long enough
Avoiding wheel overlaps
Not enough wheel overlapping
Racing Bryan Park instead
Not into racing
Not into road
Not into bikes anymore
other ________________________


Up, up, up.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Inclusion


"Love is about all the changes you make and not just three small words."  - Frank Turner

Equality and inclusion when it comes to LOVE: now legal in all 50 states.
For shits and giggles, here's the link to said revelation on Fox News: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/06/26/supreme-court-same-sex-couples-can-marry-in-all-50-states/.
Because Fox News is having a bit of a down week, and they could use all the traffic they can get, I imagine.

Mind you, we're still talking about an abomination in the eyes of the Lord according to most modern, outdated religious texts, but fuck it, we will take what we can get for now, and it's been a good week, so let's not get greedy.

As a bike blogger, the link that I'm trying to make between the federal legalization of same sex marriage and riding is pretty obscure. Ditto that for the legalization of Marijuana.  Ditto that for universal health care.  Even if politics is not a pendulum, at the very least, these things come and go, and it's hard to feel too settled in with all of this newfound inclusiveness and tolerance and taking care of each other for fear that, soon enough, the rug will be yanked out from under us, like 26er tires or 8 speed drivetrains.  Nothing's ever quite good enough - at least not for long - and that's fine.

But listen to that Frank Turner bit a few times on this fine Friday, go for a big, hard ride in the rain with your best friends, drink a beer or two, and consider the nature of inclusion for a moment.  That ride you just went on, riding a $5,000 mountain bike, with your mid-to-upper class heterosexual white friends, is pretty representative of our sport which, try as it may, is still way, way short on the kind of diversity and inclusiveness that I think most of us would profess to subscribe to.
Camping out at the Giro D'Ville with all the best people I know.  Except for the black ones, gay ones, and people without $200 to blow on recreation.  Wait, What? 

Ask yourself a tough question, and prepare to not be super comfortable with the honest answer, because you might not like what you have to say: Why don't you ride bikes with someone who is gay?

A vote for equality is one thing.  Bravo supreme court.  Thanks for not completely fucking that up.  But an email that says, hey, come ride with us, is where the change actually happens.

The world is different now.
But are we?

Up, up, up.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Exposed

Stomach cramps, double flat with only one spare tube, stormed on, nearly struck by lightning, bridge was out, snake infested river portage, drink driving hill people on blind curves, feral dogs, and of course there was no fucking toilet paper.
First ride I've felt truly alive on in about 10 years.  

Up, up, up.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Wadsworths (Plural)

So, I stumbled upon this.  

http://trainwithnathan.com/bio.cfm
An imposter Wadsworth?
As you can imagine, upon seeing this website, I was like "who the fuck is this clown?"  

Seriously.  Some punk bitch claiming to be a Wadsworth, and he's - gasp - a runner? Oh HELL no.  There can only be one.  It's like Highlander, but with enormous legs.
Then, upon closer inspection, I discovered that...no, wait, this clown can ride.  He finished Dirty Kanza this year (in a total mudfest) in 14:24.  By my rationale then, he's no punk bitch.  

Then, to compound my confusion, I saw how our Wadsworth got hosed down by his own gears at Mohican, and holy shit, it's like I don't even know who I am anymore.  The world no longer makes sense.  

So, fuck it...I say let's let 'em fight it out to see who is the real Wad. 

So I sent this dude an email pretty much proposing just that.  I was nice about it.  Respectful.  I may have made up the part about Gordon calling him a complete no-talent buttfuck, but I stand behind that decision as I want to drive this to a speedy conclusion.  I just gotta know.  

May the best Wad win.

As a devoted member of the media, I will keep you, the masses, apprised of Nathan's response.  

Up, up, up.  

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Motors

In 2004 I had a condo in Boulder county, and my downstairs neighbor was some kind of pro roadie, or retired pro roadie, or ex semi pro, or whatever retired-ex-half-neo-pro status half of the cyclists in Boulder claim, but he was pretty unique in that he was combative and accusational about the status of doping in pro cycling.  At the time, it came across as just jealousy - that he was the odd man out and hadn't quite made it.  But over time, much of what he said then has turned out to be true.  In particular, he swore up and down that Armstrong, Hincapie, Hesjedal, and others were doped.  None of that was public at the time.  But as it turned out, he was right.

What in the name of fuck is that on your face?
Poignantly, he also said he knew for a fact that racers were using motors on their bikes.  Again, this was in like 2004.  and at that time this sounded like crazy talk - just a jaded ex-pro that didn't quite make the cut.  The reality, it would seem, is anything but.

The UCI's recent report and crackdown on doping, and in particular motorized doping, takes me back to 2004 when this guy was ranting and raving on the sidewalk in front of our condos about the whole fraud of the thing.  Funny that in the same conversation, he named Hesjedal as a doper.  Which, of course, he was.

In September of last year, that's just 8 months ago, the whole Hesjedal motorized doping thing came to light at the Vuelta (or half light I guess you might say) - and, once again, it looked like Hesjedal was going to finally go down in flames as a cheater.  For whatever reason, that didn't pan out.  And I'm not going to use this blog as a place to debate the conspiracy theory or the physics of motorized doping, nor do I wish to beat the mostly dead horse that is Ryder Hesjedal, but I will link you to the footage and the discussion on the matter and - you know - make your own conclusions.

I'm only about half-interested in whether Hesjedal was using a motor in his bike that day.  I mean, if it's true then I'd like to know that he did it and see him booted for good.  Again, the UCI's recent report is pretty telling, and I don't think they'd be memorializing their policy for banning riders and fining teams for motorized doping unless it was actually a problem.  What I'm more interested in is that, in September 2014, people were really surprised and sort of in disbelief that motors might exist in the pro peloton; but no one was surprised in the least that Hesjedal might be cheating.  No, indeed, if there was one guy who would be doing it - it was Hesjedal.

And yet, here we are 8 months later, the Giro D'Italia is kicking off, Hesjedal's integrity is now only more questionable with the recent legitimization of motorized doping, and Hesjedal is not only in the race - but he's the stated and protected team leader for our U.S. team, Cannondale.  I keep thinking I'm going to wake up and justice will have been served, but no, there he is.  Again, I have no idea if there was actually a motor in his bike or not - but given his dubious history and complete disconnect from reality, it's just hard to wrap ones mind around continuing to let this guy be the face of your team.  Velonews runs about an article per week on Ryder, his commentary on the Giro and the status of the race, etc.  That's normal - he's the team leader - if media coverage is what you provide, then talk to him you must.  But, Jesus, it's just not that plausible.  Why does anyone care what the fuck Ryder has to say?  Give me Joe D. or Ben King or any of the up and comers on the team that are grinding it out, every day, trying to make it clean - and I'll read, and support, and watch the race, and root my ass off - and more important to the future of the sport, I'll buy it.  But Hesjedal, motorized doping or not, is a part of the past that pro cycling would be better off forgetting, because no one is buying that shit any more.

And for certain, no one is buying those sunglasses.
I think an interesting nuance of motorized doping vs normal blood doping is what the effect will be when a rider is finally caught doing it.  With blood doping, the team - and certainly the team sponsors - can cry foul right alongside the rest of the public, and say they had nothing to do with it, and admonish the rider as the sole perpetrator in the destruction of the sport and blah blah blah.  Fuck that guy.  It's HIS blood, after all.  But in motorized doping - where that motor will be seen as a cheating component of the bike itself - the brand name on the bike will suffer.  Not that Cannonade will have actually had anything to do with it - no indeed, I imagine you can install your own motor in the same sort of way you might install a dropper post (though with better cable routing, I presume.)  But impressions will be impressions, and most people won't want to buy a road bike that - when they show up at their local group ride - their buddies give them shit about the motor.  And in a sport that is now largely supported by the major bike brands themselves (Trek Factory Racing, Cannondale-Garmin, Specialized's enormous investment in multiple teams, etc) - it will be the death knell of the sport as a professional endeavor when even the bike brands most invested in the success of it can't save face.

In a timely way, the iniquities of the Patriots and Tom Brady make for a great parallel to all of this.  4 games and $1million, plus they lose some draft picks.  That's a pretty stern punishment, as far as the NFL goes, and it's worth noting I suppose that the Pats are repeat offenders in a very familiar marginal-gains kind of way.  I mean, shit, it's just a little air in the football, right?  How much difference could that really make?  They BLEW OUT the Colts, 45 - 7.  Similarly, that's part of the argument against the existence of motors in cycling's pro ranks - that it would be tough to hide something that really only produces a tiny gain in performance, so why do it?  But, as we've seen in Team Sky's gigantic, motorized, marginal gains Richie Porte Mobile, every little bit counts.  I don't think a motor in a hub that could produce an extra 5 watts for 30 seconds when it counts is insignificant, and if you think pros aren't willing to cheat to get it then review the history of sports in general.

It's like watching a UFO sighting captured on shaky home video.  It's hard to tell, right?  Science and experts discredit the thing outright.


But you know what you saw.

Up, up, up.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

The W's


Qwadsworth: winning races faster than I can create hastily photoshopped memes of him winning races.  So, too, it might be said for local roadie superstar turned calf model, Will Leet.  And let me tell you - I put minimal time and effort into those memes - so this is really saying something about the speed with which these dudes are racking up the W's.


Tertiary side note: I hereby copyright the band name "The W's."
Can I do that?  As a frame of reference for your legal guidance, I have no musical talent whatsoever.  So maybe I can just buy it, sit on it like I'm some kind of domain name investor, and wait until a great band comes along and says, "hey, we'd like to buy that name from you because, fuck you, that's our name."

www.thews.com

You'll have to talk to Thews sheet metal in Pendleton, Oregon, whoever you are.

Do I actually have any bike-relevant content to share this week?  I'm sort of losing track.  I've been riding a lot, so that's worth mention I guess.  In an effort to, once per year, take Keenan on a night ride through the fringe where he would have been better served with a snorkel than a bike, I did that again.  It's amazing what 1 inch of rain from a thunderstorm looks like when it's actually on the ground.  I'm talking, like, 5 feet of water or whatever, trees floating down the river and what not.  Full moon socked away behind the cumulonimbus, nowhere to be found.  Maybe next time.

Also, I've been training.  Some of that is just via our local standard of physical fitness assessment and self-loathing, Tuesday Night Worlds.  Other parts or my elite training regimen require more weighted resistance, some of which I acquired as a birthday present that I couldn't be more excited about unless it had rocket propulsion (which it sort of does.)

But generally speaking, I've been riding, and on the tedious pendulum of streaky dad fitness, I'm as far in the fit direction as I have been in quite some time.  Plus, I've got a posse of thugs to back me up.
The nature of mutability, entropy, and dad fitness being what they are, it's all downhill from here.  And not the good kind downhill.

At any moment, I'll have the flu, or a work travel road show, or a blown back, or baseball to coach, or (insert dad responsibility here) and I'll go back to zero, just like we all do, because that's the very nature of our come-and-go inadequacy: The W's don't just stick around.

To always resume the process from the ground up up up.