Thursday, January 31, 2008

Pedaling's Cool and All, But,...

One great thing about spending time riding with guys who have bicycles that cost more than my car is that cool stuff like the Harley Cross Bones in the pic above all of a sudden look like an incredible deal. People who know me also know that big fat Harleys aren't exactly my thing. I ride a Sportster for it's bare bones no-nonsense tooth rattling design. But ya know what, this new bike Willie G. just debuted at the Viper Room in LA hits me where I live. I'm a sucker for fat front tires, the lack of bitch seat. It just says "I ride alone" so don't effin eff with me.

Yeah yeah, purists may say it's a poser bike. It is. Factory and Custom should never be seen in the same sentence, but I don't care. I like it.

Looking Forward to the Weekend.

I have a weather gadget in the right column of this blog because I think anyone who rides, bicycles or motorcycles generally keeps a pretty tight handle on what's gonna happen outside for their next ride. I have to say, looking at the current radar map shows some nasty things happening to the west and north of us, so I'm hoping the weather guys are right when they say this is all going to clear out for the weekend.

It is kinda rough looking outside my office and seeing sunny skies though. Imagining all the pros, wanna be pros, trust fund babies, and just plain lucky ones out there working over the mitocondria in their legs and generally just lovin life. Ah well, maybe I should turn buddhist for the chance I can have days like this off in my next life.

Oh, hey, on another note, I hear the Slipstream Chipotle guys are training with Garmin 705's. Anyone up for hijacking a couple scrawny cyclists and taking their toys?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Ice Ice Baby! Left Nut of the Week.

My Left Nut of the Week is going to something I ran across in my travels on the web. I've always admired the simplicity of track bikes and this one, no,... THIS ONE is a stunner. Vanilla makes some sweet bikes but there's something so right about this I could look at it for hours. So pretty.

My iPod is Dying.

It seems my iPod Gen 3 is about on it's last legs finally. It's been a loyal companion, but now it's charge doesn't last long enough to get through one song of Sweatin to the Oldies. What am I gonna do? I got this one as a gift from an old company I used to work for. I guess I could change the battery, kick it old skool. Ah well, maybe if I can pull in some more freelance work on the side.

Tonight's Workout: 1 hour: 5 minutes on the trainer in the kitchen. That's about all there is to it. Tomorrow I'll be doing intervals. 3 minutes on, 2 minutes spin, repeat until passing out.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

4 lbs. 4 measly lbs.

Over the weekend I learned something quite interesting (to me) back home in PA. My youngest brother is now only 4lbs. lighter than me. That's gotta be the closest in weight we've been since,... hmmmm. I was in college. Now to be fair, he did just get married, and we all know the effect that has on guys.

Bro, if you are reading this, you know what this means. It's Smackdown time! I'm not stoppin the weight loss thing until I'm deep into the 150's. I'm hoping it makes me faster on the bike as an added benefit. Anyway, I'm just saying this for motivation since I passed a McDonald's today and those golden arches were calling out to me.

Tonight's Training: 2+ miles on the track warmup. 35 minutes on the bike spinning like hell. 25 minutes rowing. 31 minutes on the elliptical.

Total time: 2 hours, 2005 Calories Burned.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Craving Espresso

I love coffee. Every morning before work I stop by Java Journeys here in Owings Mills to get my morning fix. It really helps me get through the day. I had a coffee maker at home, but it made cold coffee, I hate that, so I rarely used it. Well, all that changed this weekend when I got a new Italian (ofcourse) stove top espresso maker from my wife. The one in the picture above. I couldn't wait to get up this morning and try it out. It turns out that it makes excellent espresso. Highly recommended.

Tonight's Training: 1 hour: 5 minutes on the trainer again. Incredibly boring, even with the iPod stuck in my ears I find myself looking at the clock to see when the misery is over.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Mmmmmm Beer.

The Family and I drove up to Pennsylvania this weekend so I could put a new power steering pump on the car. I was getting tennis elbow from driving all week with no power steering at all.  I could overlook such a luxury, but my wife didn't think the benefit of an upper body workout was a good enough excuse to not fix the thing.

My brother had plans though when we got in the door at my parents. He wanted to go to the opening of a new brew pub in Berwick, PA called One Guy Brewing Company. So my dad, my brother and I piled in the car and went off to have a few beers, putting off working on the car until later is ALWAYS a good thing, especially for a cold beer. The beer was actually quite good and we enjoyed it. The tapping of the 1st Keg was really cool. My brother got a pic of the keg tapping so I'll post that when I get a copy of it.

I finally got the new, well, junkyard take-off, power steering pump on today around 3:30, filled it up with power steering fluid and it was still making a racket. We thought maybe it wasn't that after all and we basically just wasted our time. Turns out, once all the air got out of the lines the power steering smoothed out and it's as good as new now. Yippeeeee!  

We're all back home in Maryland now and I just finished my Sunday night Tour de Kitchen. Here's the lowdown.

Today's Training: 1 hour: 5 minutes. no intervals, just hammering away the whole time. Tomorrow is to the gym and back into the routine.  I wish I had my bike with me, and no power steering pump to put on because the weather was cold but nice all weekend. Overall though, a good time, especially the beer and seeing family.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Friday Night: Do People Still Go Out?

While on the trainer tonight, listening to the Techno Sweat Free Workout Podcast, (Don't Laugh) I thought back to my carefree living days and how much I looked forward to Friday Nights. Fridays just don't do anything for me anymore. I gotta do something about that. Anyway, just a thought that ran through my head while on the mind numbing trainer sitting in my kitchen.

Tonights Workout: 1 hour: 5 minutes total. 2x20 minute intervals at a tough pace, no power meter, with a 5 minute rest between, the rest of the time spinning with a heart rate of between 135-150.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I Repeat, Riding Inside is Terrible.

1 hr, 5 minutes on the trainer tonight listening to the Fredcast. Terrible! Not the Fredcast, being stuck inside. That's all I'm gonna say.

Molteni: Left Nut of the Week.

What more can I say really? Anyone who's ever lined up on the starting line should recognize the Great Eddy Merckx and his Orange Molteni Jersey. I'm giving my left nut of the week for this classic winter wool trainer from Vintage Velos. A Classic.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Stuck Inside Sucks.

I stayed home tonight and did 1 hour, 5 minutes on the bike. Nothing major, threw in a few sprints and out of the saddle stuff. I can't wait for a longer daylight hours so I can hit the road before work, or after.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Late Night Bill?

What an embarrassment this guy is. I can't believe I voted for him once. Glad I didn't twice. Looks at watch, dozes off, probably late for a date with some hottie. This to me just shows how much he really "cares" about pretty much anything, except himself.

Monday, January 21, 2008

A Visit to the Bike Shop.

It was really quiet at work today as it's MLK day and everyone was supposed to have the day off. I called it a day early so I went over to the bike shop to browse around, buy a new tube, and generally just waste some time. Bike shops are always happy places it seems. I could see myself spending my days lacing wheels, adjusting derailleurs, sweeping floors and talking to customers I think. I came to a few conclusions also. Yellow bikes look fast, white bikes look even faster. Red bikes look kinda heavy and slow to me. Black and Grey bikes always look cool.

Today's Workout: 2 miles on the track to warm up, 45 minutes on the bike, about 10 minutes on the concept 2, 30 minutes on the elliptical.

Totals: 115 minutes and 1700 Calories Burned. Felt good, but today was an easy day. Tomorrow I'm gonna do intervals.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

A Couple Days Off Does Wonders Sometimes.

I was starting to feel a little pain in my left knee over the last week or so of riding/working out in the gym. The thing is, when I'm on the bike on the road there's no pain whatsoever. It's just when I'm on the elliptical at the gym where I start to feel it.  I can't wait for the weather to break and the daylight hours to get longer so I can spend much more time on the bike.  Two jobs, wife and kids puts a damper on things sometimes. I'm not complaining  though. I'll take it where I can. I took a few days off and today I felt great.

Today's Workout: 2 miles on the track warmup, 45 minutes on the bike, including three sets of 6 minutes at threshold with 3 minute rest between. 10 minutes on the Concept 2 rowing machine, 30 minutes on the Elliptical, yeah I know, knees. 

Totals: 115 minutes and 2025 Calories 

Friday, January 18, 2008

Cipo's Back: Has Big Balls.

Well, now it looks like Michael Ball is gonna help out with Cipollini's tax problem. Word is Cipo was last seen getting out of an Escalade and entering a tattoo parlor in South Central LA to get suited up for the upcoming season. More later when TLR learns more.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Left Nut of the Week.

I'm giving my Left Nut of the Week to the Zipp's VumaQuad Crankset. I haven't read much on it, or even seen one in person, but I want one anyway. ABEC 5, ABEC 7, and Grade 2 Balls in the BB. Gotta love it, not to mention they're black which would look great on my bike. Actually, they cost more than my bike did. Doh! Ahh to dream.

Stay tuned for next week's Left Nut of the Week. I'm supposed to give them on Thursday, but I'm gonna be really busy tomorrow so,...

CNN at the Gym.

CNN is a pretty lame news network, but I must say, Lou Dobbs isn't so bad. That's what I watched at the gym tonight for my workout. After the intervals last night, I took it easy tonight. I'm feeling tired but good right now. Now, onto the breakdown.

Today's Workout: Ran on the track for 30 minutes, lost count of laps, 45 minutes on the bike spinning, except for 3 one minute up-tempo to work the legs a bit. 15 minutes on the Concept 2 rowing machine, 20 minutes on the Elliptical. I'm convinced that the elliptical isn't good for my knees and I'll be cutting back on it and upping my time on the bike both indoor and on the road from now on I think.

Totals: 110 minutes: 1700 Calories Burned. Oh, and I weighed myself. I'm at 176lbs, at least 10lbs. more to go. 160lbs would be nice, but I'm not counting on it. 148 used to be my ideal racing weight, but I doubt I'll ever get that low again.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Stationary Hills.

Today's Workout: 30 minutes fast walk warm-up. Bike, hill intervals. 4 sets at 2 minutes HIGH tension and 85rpm with 3 minutes of rest between, these things are tough. for the rest of the time 90-95rpm spinning, 220-240 watts average. 10 minutes Concept 2 rowing to wait for the elliptical. 30 minutes on the Elliptical and 630cals.

Totals: 120 minutes and 1700 Calories Burned.

The Plan: Gotta Have a Plan.

I was over reading Kyle's Pedalnaround Blog earlier and saw that he's now in his "Base 4" training phase for 2008. That got me to wondering about my own plan for 2008 and what I have to do. I've been reading Chris Carmichael's book on training and using it as a guide for my own 2008 plan. I believe that like all plans, we have to allow wiggle room to adjust here and there when when stuff happens; weather, family, work, you know the drill.

Another nice thing about having a plan and training log is that you have a frame of reference for how you're doing, compared to the plan itself, and last year, if you kept a log. I guess this is all obvious stuff, but I'll admit I never had a plan in the past, or a log for that matter. I just winged it going into the season with alot of miles, hills, some sprints here and there etc,... I guess the most important thing about the plan is that it keeps you focused.

Oh well, just a thought.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Miserable Weather, Back to the Gym.

The Girls didn't feel like going to the gym tonight (Too Cold Dad!) with me so I was all alone to fend for myself, which isn't so bad sometimes because I can get in and out quicker that way. It looks like the New Years Resolution Crowd is starting to thin, as I was able to get a treadmill (watch tv) over heading to the track. That Gladiator show was on with Hulk Hogan. The women on it looked pretty hot helping the time pass quickly. The treadmill for warm-up has the added benefit of Calorie Count/Elevation/Incline/Speed/Time for those who like to keep track of numbers. I do. Come February 1, I'll ease back on everything except the cycling, which will take the place of rowing/elliptical/treadmill work. That's the plan anyway.

Today's Workout: 30 minutes warm-up on the treadmill, 2 miles, 250 Calories. 35 minutes on the bike, I went pretty hard today, 660Cals for the first 30 minutes at 22mph avg. and 730 Calories total. 8 minutes rowing on the Concept 2, 90 Calories. 30 minutes and 630 Calories on the Elliptical.

Totals: 105 minutes. 1700 Calories Burned.

La Course en Tête / The Greatest Show on Earth.

Now that I have my very own blog, I thought I'd mention a pair of videos that every cyclist must have in their collection. Luckily you can get both of them on one DVD.

For an American that got into cycling after Eddy Merckx retired and moved on to making bicycles, I don't believe I had ever fully appreciated what he was/is to cycling before I sat down to watch these two incredible documentaries. Sure, I had read about all the victories thinking he must have been the greatest of all time. Yes, I've seen video clips of him discussing his line of bikes at Interbike as a charismatic and knowledgeable older business man. I've read his quotes on practically every new cycling scandal that hits. But now, watching the videos, of the man himself, in his prime, pedaling up mountain passes, racing hard, training, giving his daughter a ride on the top tube of his orange bike, eating even, it's inspiring. He really comes across as a larger than life character. I suppose many of his contemporaries in the peloton felt that way also, making it even harder to beat him.

La Course en Tête gives you an inside look at Merckx's life in cycling and his home life while The Greatest Show on Earth follows the 1974 Giro d'Italia. Both are fantastic period pieces that made me believe that Merckx's time may have been the golden era of professional cycling. An interesting point worth noting is that Merckx had his own Performance Enhancing Drugs Scandal back then and how it's mentioned in the Documentary. Cycling seems like it's always been at the forefront of that battle.

Highly recommended for any cyclist, and great for helping you through the cold winter months of indoor training.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Flat Tire Ride.

I got up early today because it's supposed to rain/snow later. I was feeling a bit tired from yesterday's ride, but tired in a good way. Finally got on the road by 10:45 and sure enough, I could feel today was gonna be a long slow day, just spin and enjoy the scenery. About 15 miles in a couple guys caught me on a hill, one was from the Chesapeake Wheelmen from the jersey he had on. I followed them for about a mile before they turned right. I'm proud of myself for resisting the urge to smoke them up that hill and just letting them pass. At about the 25 mile point I hit something really nasty in the road because it took a big chunk of rubber out of my rear tire and I flatted. It's been a really long time since that's happened so I guess I was due.

Anyway, It still felt good to get out and ride before the storm hits. Still feeling really sluggish on the hills, but I have noticed that on the rollers I was able to power my way over them a bit better. I wouldn't say I'm getting in any kind of shape yet, but still, something clicked for the first time, even though today was all about going slow. Overall a good ride, except for the flat.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Hills are Alive!,...

...with the sound of me wheeezing. Ok I'm not a singer, but that describes today's ride quite nicely. I headed west towards Frederick, Maryland into some really nice farm country. I thoroughly enjoyed the scenery as today was just a nice somewhat easy ride. I finally hit some climbs, short ones, but enough to feel the burn. Along the way, I spotted probably 6-8 other riders all heading in the other direction which is always nice.

Totals: 2 hours, 39 miles, some hills finally. Felt really good. If tomorrow is decent, I'm gonna try to go a bit further.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Ten Points: A Book Review.

Spoiler Alert: I won't spoil it for you.

I read an excerpt from this book by Bill Strickland of Bicycling Magazine last year and was hooked so I ran out and bought a copy. 

Ten Points is an Autobiographical look into the mind of a guy who's love for racing far surpasses his talent. He's a self professed fastest of the slow guys type of rider who's glimpses into the greatness of others in contrast to his own mediocrity is extremely entertaining. You see, he races in what is one of America's hotbeds of cycling where many National and World Champions live, Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley. As you can imagine, the learning experiences along the way and Strickland's genuine talent as a writer throw you right into the heat of the peloton.

Ten Points is much more than that though. Cycling and racing for Strickland are ways of balancing what always were and still are very complicated human experiences. Family, being a son, a husband, a father, friend and competitor are deftly interweaved by Strickland into what I found to be a book I just couldn't put down.  It's a good one and I highly recommend it to anyone who rides.

P.S. I wouldn't want to run into Animal near the end of a race!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Pimp my Ride.

I just got a pic from a friend in Malaysia. He builds up these pimped out MTB's to ride some of the coolest trails and scenery you'd ever wanna see. I think if I lived over there, I'd be doing a lot more MTB riding also, as the drivers and roads are BAAAAAHHHHD, or so I hear.

Getting in Line

Tonight I headed over to the gym with the girls and it's still crowded with the New Year's Resolution crowd. I think it's great and all that they are trying, but now there's a line for the only two bikes they have with power meters. In the meantime, I extended my stretching and warm-up to 45 minutes, mostly at the insistence of my older daughter. I wish I was as flexible as her. In fact, she's taken to doing the Frankenstein stiff man walk when she sees me struggling to touch my toes. I have to admit though, I miss the company when they don't come to the gym with me even though it must be incredibly boring for them.

Today's Workout: 15 minutes stretching, 30 minutes FAST walk on the track to warm up, 45 minutes on the bike, I felt really good after yesterday's rest and did 650 calories for the first 30 minutes and spun a bit easier but still kinda hard the last 15. 17.5 miles total, I got kicked off the bike after that by some guy, 30 minutes and 640 calories on the elliptical.

I'm really hoping the weekend is dry enough to get some real miles in out on the road.

Left Nut of the Week.

I think I'm going to start a new TLR feature called "Left Nut of the Week." What would I give to have a particular bicycling product that I'll probably never be able to afford, or am too cheap to buy. As the very first, and in honor of my blog segment title, I'm going give my Left Nut of the Week to Lance Armstrong's Trek Taxi Madone.  This thing looks as fast as a Pakistani cab driver whooshing me off to the Met to see Macbeth.

Yellow black and white almost always looks fast. Come back next week to see what my Left Nut of the Week will be.

Rocky and You: Some Random Thoughts.

First off let me say that I loved the Rocky movies. The first one especially, the second and last ones almost as much. The rest, not so much but still,... Everyone of course knows what happens in the Rocky movies, but there's one thing about them in particular that popped into my mind this morning that I feel everyone who's ever competed can surely relate.

Rocky was the ultimate underdog. Imagine for a moment, as a cyclist, you are invited to compete in the Commerce Bank Philadelphia International Championship in oh say,... 10 months. After the initial panic attacks, would you even consider the challenge, or would you just blow it off saying there's no way you'd humiliate yourself in such a way? Alright, wiseguys in the crowd, it would be fun to hang onto the back end of the peloton until you get to The Wall on the first lap, drop out and party with the inebriated masses like it's 1999.

Seriously though, it doesn't have to be the big Philly Race, or Apollo Creed. It could be a race on your calendar that you want to do well in, maybe even daring to dream of winning. It could be a smaller goal, like hanging with the lead group til the end, not getting dropped. It could be losing 20lbs so you look good in a bathing suit. The point I'm trying to make is you need to have the courage to have that dream and just try. I know it's a cliché, but the journey is what counts, not the destination. After all, what is the ultimate destination for all of us? It's what we do between now and then that really counts.

Rocky, stepping into the ring, had no idea what kind of fighting shape he was in to take on Apollo. What he did know,... at the top of those steps at the Philly Museum, was that he had poured his heart into the endeavor. He had won (raised arms and all) even before getting into the ring. Now get your ass out there and ride.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Rest Day Blues.

Today I'm taking my first rest day in about 3 weeks and am feeling that I really need it. I know rest is good, but after such a long productive run of training it's still tough to come down from it all. It is January after-all and there's a long time between now and where I wanna go. There is definitely no overtraining going on, in fact, I doubt one could call what I do training. Could be just spinning my wheels, but I did feel a bit out of sorts at work today. So, it's kick back, grab the remote, surf the tv, surf the web, and think about getting back on the bike tomorrow.

Sore Legs.

Just sitting here during lunch break when I decided to run down the hall for a coffee. I just noticed, my legs are SORE! It must be a combination of the lifting I did at the gym, the intervals on the bike I did last night, and all the sitting I did this morning here at work. Didn't leave my desk all morning.

I wonder if maybe I outta do and easy 30-45 minutes on the bike each morning to spin away this soreness. hmmmmmmmm.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Girlie TIghts: Product Review!

Alright, I know what you are thinking. Girlie Tights? Let me explain. About a week ago I made a trip over to Performance Bike Shop not far from my house to look for a new pair of gloves and thermal tights so I could ride during the winter. Being a cheapskate, I used to wear long johns and sweats this time of year but it was right after Christmas, splurge on something nice for myself right? Besides, I have a Performance Member Card and can get an additional 10% off the "already marked down prices."

So I'm browsing around and spot these thermal tights with Chamois in size M, try them on. NICE FIT! I think to myself. I like the zipper up the bottom that helps when putting them on and everything. Damn I look good, thinking to myself there in the dressing room. Sold!

Well, last Saturday rolls around. I wake up late, the weather is beautiful, make some pancakes for the family while thinking, it's time to break out my new tights for a much needed ride.

I'm out there enjoying my ride, all the while thinking, why the hell didn't I buy these years ago? In fact, I love my new thermal tights with chamois and decide maybe I'll even write a review for TLR (the long ride) to share my revelation.

I'm sitting there at lunch break today, browsing for my spiffy new thermal tights with chamois and can't seem to find them anywhere. Hmmmmm, I gotta run home and get a model number off the tag and do a search. That's when I find out the thermal tights with chamois aren't in the men's clothing section. They are in fact, Women's Thermal Tights with Chamois! Oh great, I bought women's tights that I have fallen in love with.

Good thing nobody reads this blog or I'd probably get some ribbing over this.

My Scoring System: Women's Thermal Tights with Chamois, by
  • Workmanship - 6/10, I did hear a slight tearing sound when I tried putting them on without first unzipping the cool zipper on one ankle. time will tell how they last.
  • Price - 8/10, They were on sale, I splurged, and am "A Member"
  • Fit - 10/10, I look mahvelous.
  • Style - 7/10, They aren't flashy, but it's what's inside the tights that counts.
Overall Score: 31 out a possible TLR Score of 40.

Would I buy them again? Not on your life, but hey, nobody reads this blog anyway so I'm gonna keep them and wear them proudly.

New Year's Resolution Crowd.

I went to the gym after work tonight to work out and it was wall to wall people. So many good intentions; running, walking, crawling, lifting, pushups, this machine, that machine. I wonder how long it will all last. It's been this way since New Year's Day.

Today's Workout: 30 minutes fast walk, I do this to wind down after a long day at work for the most part, and to ease my way into my workout. 35 minutes on the bike, Interval Day. 1 minute 105-110RPM hard and fast, 4 minute rest between at 90-95RPM one notch down on the tension, I didn't check wattage tonight, repeat this 5 times. 10 minutes hard rowing while I wait for the elliptical machines to clear out. 30 minutes on the elliptical. Done. It's a pretty uncomplicated workout but after I'm done I'm wobbly. Especially after the intervals.

Total Calories Burned: 1650 (Ofcourse, this is based on what the machines say, can't be trusted)

Ahhhh Copenhagen.

If you are a male and breathing you're gonna love this site. Oh how I wish the cycling culture in the good'ol USA was anywhere near this.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Well, Rock and Republic's Michael Ball seems to have a way of injecting himself into the spotlight of professional bicycle racing. A little history. Michael Ball, founder of the fashion label Rock and Republic and avid fan of the sport, decided in 2007 that he would start a bicycle racing team. Not any old cycling team mind you, but a tattooed bunch of hooligan looking dudes from the LA area. I have to admit, I think his ability as a designer and cheerleader for his brand are stellar. I like his stuff alot. It's got attitude.

His team has had some success around the USA Pro Criterium Circuit with a bunch of wins, "win or you're fired!" or some such thing was said, and for 2008 he's upped the ante with some huge signings, Victor Hugo Peña, Oscar Sevilla and Santiago Botero, along with Operation Puerto beleaguered Tyler Hamilton. He's also talked to Cycling Rock Star and former world champion Super Mario Cippolini and even Floyd Landis about some sort of role with his team. Like I said earlier, the guy knows how to make a scene.

Last week's departure of longtime Armstrong Domestique and all round good guy Frankie Andreu from Rock Racing was something many, including myself had seen coming. Some of the things Ball said regarding his role, "I don't know what the traditional role of the Director Sportif is" and hiring riders without Frankie even being emailed the good news probably made it difficult for Frankie to continue. Can't say I blame him.

Now, my first gut reaction to Ball's actions was one of disgust for a guy that seems to be a media hound egomaniac. But after thinking about it awhile, I'm going to take a softer stance on him to see how this whole thing shakes out. He does genuinely seem to be about giving guys a second chance. In a sport where the riders have no union, and questionable drug tests can basically end a career, someone does need to stand up and support the rider. After all, Landis is basically blowing every cent he's earned as a professional rider to defend himself against what obviously was some shoddy work performed by a French drug testing lab. There are drug problems in cycling, along with every other sport that need to be addressed. To think there are clean guys racing against blood boosted testosterone laden steroid filled riders makes my blood boil.

But then, guilty until proven innocent leaves a bad taste in my mouth and Ball may be onto something here. One thing for certain, he's shaking things up and has deep enough pockets to do so. Let's hope something good comes of it.

UPDATE: There have been some new developments in this whole fiasco and my respect for Ball is wearing thin, but I'm still chalking it up the P.T. Barnum Show Biz nonsense and with any publicity being good publicity. Very entertaining also.

Monday, January 07, 2008

70° and Stuck Inside.

You know normally I'm not one to complain about the card I've been dealt in life, but when you look outside your office and it's sunny and 70° in January it's just so unfair wahhhhhh.

Today's workout (inside): 5 minute stretch, 25 minute fast walk on track, 35 minutes on the stationary bike (12.5 miles/650 calories), 10 minutes rowing, 15 minutes on the elliptical machine. Sucks, yeah I know.

My Other Ride.

Ever since I saw, actually heard then saw, a Harley for the first time as a kid I wanted one. It doesn't hurt that my dad had great stories of his Bike when he was a single guy back in the late 1950's. I ordered it in the summer of 1992 from Vreeland's and it was delivered on a cool cloudy day in November, I remember that day like it was yesterday. There are some crazy stories that have never been told that only this bike and I know. There is a saying that some Harley riders know that goes something like this; If I have to explain, you wouldn't understand.

I'm convinced there's no better way to see the world than with two wheels under you, whether it's on a bicycle or motorcycle.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

These Guys Are Fast.

I was browsing YouTube and ran into the Dutch Cyclocross Championships video. Amazing.

Passing People is Always Fun.

Today the weather was unseasonably warm so I took the bike out for a couple hours ride. I did the same loop from yesterday as a lot of it is fairly traffic free and thankfully there aren't too many hills. I really need to work on my climbing though because every little rise feels like I'm on the Alp D'Huez. It's kinda early in the season so I'm not that worried yet. If I'm still climbing like this in March I'm going to be really worried.

Anyway, I rode out around Liberty Dam, then out through who-knows-where into Howard County. After a stop to adjust my front derailleur, it's so damn finicky and started rubbing again, the real fun started. I made a turn and started up this hill when way up ahead I noticed another rider plugging away. I wasn't feeling so great myself, it was uphill and it is January, but I figured I'd catch him soon enough. As I got closer, I started to wonder if maybe it was a woman so I picked up the pace in order to blow by fast enough to demoralize the poor rider.

I was feeling pretty good about myself at this point as whoever it was didn't seem to have enough gas in the tank, or the desire, to keep me from passing. I came up along side and noticed it was a guy probably in his 60's, saying hi to him as I sped past, getting out of the saddle, standing on the pedals now,...

I was sooooo much hoping it was a younger guy, but hey, a pass is a pass right? Always Fun.

Today's Ride: 1hr:45min, easy with some out of the seat harder up the hills. 35 miles total. then went and did some lifting at the gym and took the girls swimming.