Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Message for Doug Dale, and 2009 Reflection

It looks like the Old Man Coffee Chronicles powered by Doug Dale is back up an running. In his most recent post he calls out folks from New Jersey stating, "I just hope the folks from Jersey stay out east, they tend to be quite rude. No offense if you're from Jersey, I'd be mad if I lived there too." Lets get one misconception out of the way, people in New Jersey are not mad about the fact that they live in New Jersey, they are pissed that soo many other people live there, which leads to crowding, and bad vibes. Think of it like using an elevator. Using one by yourself or with a friend is just fine, you can either enjoy the peace and quiet alone, or bullshit with a friend. When you are forced to share that same elevator with six other people so you cant move, whatever mood you are in goes to hell. One the passengers hasnt taken a shower since the Clinton presidency, another guy wants to hum along with the shitty music, a third person cant seem to stop farting, the fourth guy is busy talking on a cell phone while wiping the snot from their nose one their sleeve, and they are all in the way of you getting off of the elevator at the floor of your choice, you wouldn't be the happiest person around. That is what New Jersey is like, a whole lot of different people crammed into a small space just breeds rudeness.

While I will not deny that the stereotype of people from New Jersey being assholes or just plain rude exsists for a reason (I just took a long look in the mirror before typing that), but try not to forget about the rest of the Northeast as well. In my humble opinion folks from New York City and the Philly area are just as rude if not ruder than folks from New Jersey. Additionally the terms "Masshole" and "Vermonstor" exists for a reason. It's tough for people from states like New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachussetts, or the DC area to go from being rude to polite at the drop of the hat. So Doug, if you do have a crew from New Jersey who stops in your shop, just take a deep breath, politely remind them that they are on vacation, and that they should relax. And if at the end of the winter all the folks from New Jersey were dicks to you for no good reason, I'll buy you a beer. That way, one Garden State representative will have sent some courtesy your way.

Finally, in what is going to be the last post of 2009, allow me to do some reflection of 2009 on a race by race basis.

SSAZ: good trail, great friends, 70 degrees in January, nuff said
Barking Spider: decent course, big field
Wimmers ICUP: Had Holmes, Doug, The Rev, and Blake not been there, I wouldnt have loved it.
Coyote Classic: HOLY SHIT! I must be kinda fast
24 Hours of Rapelje: Mother Nature put everyone in their place, but great time none the less.
Firecracker 50: Cramps from dehydration suck.
XC Nationals: Rode like shit.
Galena Grinder: Back to feeling fast.
Laramie Enduro: Getting cheered on by the family was great.
Pierre's Hole 100: CRV is now on life support.
SSMT: I'm still surprised that people did what I told them to do, and that I still havent been sued.
Moose Cross: Fun times in Idaho
Rolling Thunder: I bet if I didnt have that car bomb on the second to last lap I would have been on the podium.
MuleCross: The Mules know how to have a good time, and put on a great race.
Big thanks to Hellgate Cyclery and Missoula Bicyle Works for keeping my gear working, Drunkcyclist, and Surly for supporting SSMT, Dejay Fuzzy and Scooby for the race friendship and advice, and probably the biggest thanks to the family for their support.

One last rambling to promote one of the first events of 2010. SSUSA is just around the corner, and this one will be one for the books. 45 miles of desert mountain biking is just what the doctor order to keep your sanity during the winter.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Not Over Yet

Did one of my favorite things last night, watch the Giants beat up on an NFC East team last night, while drinking Troegs, and bullshitting with an old friend. Big Blue flat out spanked the Skins last night, and kept their playoff hopes alive. The Skins looked like a high school JV team out there, but everyone in the world will be hoping for them to rally next week against the Cowboys. Sure it might seems pathetic to devote a whole bunch of energy to various football teams, but bikes are not the priority this time of year, the NFC East playoff race is. Im just happy I'm not stuck rooting for the Seahawks, like other bike racers from the Big Sky.

Speaking of bikes, looks like 'ol Cross Reverand Proctor has US cross racing on lockdown. I was hoping that back in November I was gonna get a ring from him saying something along the lines of, "Sure they dont have a SS cross class across the pond, you barely raced cross this year, the last time you had anything that resembled fitness in 09 was back in the beginning of August, but I remember how you helped me after I went down at Mulecross, so pack your bags, cause youre coming to Euro Cross Camp." No such luck, I'm in New Jersey, while the real players are over there in Belgium, where they should be.

That's all I got for now, so Happy Holidays, eat, drink, be merry, drink some more, take a nap, then get up and drink again. My gift to everyone are the links below, enjoy.

Eddy Merckx- Stars and Watercarriers Part 1
Paris Roubaix - Old School Style
Run Run Rudolph
Fatty lived the dream

Friday, December 18, 2009

Trainer Rides - NJ style

Back in the Derty Jerz for the Holidays, meaning exercise either comes in the form of trail running over in the Reservation, or riding my dads bike on the trainer in the basement. I have little desire to run in the reservation, despite the fact that it would provide a nice dose of Vitamin D. Alas, that means I get to rock out on the trainer in the basement. Lucky for me Dad and I are similar enough in feet size and height that I can get away with using his bike, and shoes, so all I had to bring was a pair of shorts and some shirts. The good news is that I can bring down a laptop, set it up on the ping pong table and keep my brain occupied. Big thanks to Big Jonny for posting up "The Impossible Hour" about Ole Ritter chasing the hour record, that was some good stuff. Here is what riding a trainer in my parents basement, using borrowed gear is like.

Old Cannondale tucked into a corner next to the ping pong table and surrounded by deck furniture.

My old MTB shoes I bought back in high school, they still fit

The view from the bike, a post, fake flowers, treadmill, board games, and other random crap shoved into a closet.

When was the last time you saw grip shifters on drop bars?

Keeping the bike secure, McGeyver style

My motivation, 21 year old Scotch

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Dope Show, It Never Ends

Cracked open the Times yesterday, and while reading the sports section came across this article. Looks like with the right people coming forward to name names, this could turn into the Canadian version of Operation Puerto. The good news is that it there was no mention of any cyclists working with this "Icehole" (an asshole from somewhere cold). The bad news is that athletes are still cheating, and some doctors will do anything to help them. Any time I read about a doctor who is perscribing HGH to people over 40, only so they can slow the effects of aging, it seem fishy to me. Odds are if this doctor is willing to give a rich guy/gal steroids for the right amount of money, they would probably be willing to give athletes steroids as well.

It was nice to see that this doctor carrying Actovegin in a medical bag while crossing international lines. For those of you who have never heard of Actovegin, go find a copy of "From Lance to Landis" by David Walsh, and read the epilouge/afterword. It is a quick story of a mountain biker from the states dumping out a quantity of Actovegin, rather than trying to smuggling it across the pond for a pro roadie friend. The pro roadie friend who wasn't named turned out to be Michael Rasmussen, and we all know that he is both 1.) honest, and 2.) completely opposed to doping.

The bigger news from the article was the athletes who have worked with this doctor who could potentially be brought down from this doping scandal. Sure Operation Puerto took out four potential contenders from the 2006 tour, but this could take top athletes from various sports. Tiger Woods was named in the article, and if it turned out he had doped in his career, this would complete the fastest free fall from grace in the history of sport. Last summer the Dara Torres story seemed too good to be true, turns out it may have been. Donavon Bailey was once the "worlds fastest man", and for good measure there were two NFL players thown in the mix as well. I know, people are innocent until proven guilty, but it just seems like it has been so long since an athlete who was named in a potential doping story, and the story turned out to be false. More than anything I just hope that authorities figure out what is going on here sooner rather than later, and get this whole mess cleaned up.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

I Called It

Cyclocross Nationals is going on in full force out in Bend. For all the good news and updates head over to CXMagazine, or The Home of the Ram. In the last post I predicted Skyler Trujillo would wind up on the podium in his Junior race. Sure enough he did just that, good work Skyler! It seems like the MT folks have been doing a great job as well. So tip your cap, then a beer to folks like Radley, Gallego, Doll, Frykman, Dowd, Gonzalez, Longmire, etc etc. Someone who I had never heard of won the singlespeed division ahead of former doper Chris Sheppard. Good to see a Canadian racing in the US National Championship race, because that makes a lot of sense.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Weekly Cycling News and Ramblings

It might only be Tuesday, but it seems like it's already been a busy week as far as cycling related news in the states. The first, is the Scott Tredo, who basically kept a national race series going in the US last year, has cut his ties to USA Cycling and all of the red-tape bullshit the UCI requires. This both sucks, and is great. It sucks because, at the end of 2008, it didnt look like there was going to be a national series. Then Tredo stepped up, put a series together, (which was focused on every rider, not just the pros), and saved the day. Without him, there may have not been a national series last year. It is great, because it shows USA Cycling, that the vast majority of the riders and racers they claim the represent dont give a flying fuck about UCI points, and just want the races to be affordable, have quality courses, and most importantly FUN.

USA Cycling wanted the PRO XT series last year to be UCI sanctioned, so that pro riders could get UCI points, which determines things like starting positions at World Cups, Olympics, and World Championships. In order to meet the requirements of the UCI, too much was being asked of the promoters (financially included), and this was getting passed onto racers. Essentially, with so few racers actually caring about or trying to earn UCI points, it seemed unfair to pass the cost onto them, so that an event would have UCI points available. Excuse me while I allow the blood to flow back to my head, a promotor of a major mountain bike series, seems to care more about the average joe racers, then the pros. Sure it sucks that our US pros might not be able to race here in the states and get those UCI points, but plenty of those are available in Europe. And with all due respect to the US pro racers, I dont think that going to Europe for an extended period of time to race mountain bikes is a bad way to spend a few months.

The other USA Cycling news is that one again, Sol Vista Resort in Granby will host Mountain Bike National Championships. Not to keep complaining, but it would be nice USA Cycling didn't host Nationals at the same venue for two years in a row. While Sol Vista did a good job of hosting the event, I don't think that the venue could be described as "stellar". I understand that there are a number of factors that need to be considered when selecting a venue for Nationals, but can't we spice it up a little. What about somewhere in the Southern Appalachains, the Pacific Northwest, or Pennsylvania? How about they choose a Nationals venue in the manner that the Tour chooses locations for a stage to start and finish. Get all ski resorts to apply saying why their venue would be the best choice, then visit the locations, cut the list down to five, then maybe let the racers who pay their annual fees vote for the venue of their choice. Bring the power back to the people!

For those of you who like raffles, bikes, and supporting charities, head on over to Fatty's page. The back story, last week Fatty wrote a snarky letter to Johan over at Radio Shack stating why he should be on the new team. Johan laid out a challenge to raise money, and it has kept getting more out of control. If you donate to the charities, you get entered to win a raffle with prizes that include, a Gary Fisher Superfly, signed Trek Madone, or a Trip to the final stage of the Tour de France. I'm not Lance's or Johan's biggest fan, but everything about this is "win-win". Money is getting raised for quality charities, Fatty (who is one of the kinder folks I've had the pleasure of riding with) gets to go to Tucson, and people can win some sweet prizes. Donate for your chance.

Finally, Oregon has become the US capitol of cross for the past ten days. Last weekend was the finally USGP races in Portland, and plenty of the MT crowd went and threw down. This weekend will be National Championships in Bend, and once again plenty of MT folks we be flying the Big Sky cap over there. Best of luck to the racers like Curry, Radley, Campbell, Doll, Fiore, Frykman, and others. I will make one prediction, and that is in the the mens junior race, Skylar Trujillo of Fort Collins, Co will end up on the podium. Kid's been invited to both the US Euro camps for CX and MTB, and even though he is 16 already has a win in Europe under his belt. Dude is crazy fast, so remember that name, cause you might be hearing it for some years to come. Follow it all at the home of the ram.

Link Dump:

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Happy Birthday Dad

While home for the holidays, my dad commented that I should write about him more on this site. Granted he didn’t provide any specific reason as to why I should do this other than, “because I said so.” Quick side note, I cannot wait until the day when someone has to do whatever I say because I tell them, “because I said so.” While I have spent plenty of time not listening to my parents back in the day, I will listen to this request. Today is Dad’s birthday, no need to mention his age (if you couldn’t figure it out he’s older than me), so he gets a post dedicated to him. Dad got me in to bikes; he rode when I was growing up, and not knowing any better, I thought riding bikes was a cool thing to do. That’s how it got started, so if anyone hates me for the fact that I love to ride bikes, send your blame and vitriol to my Dad, it’s his fault.

I used to borrow his old gear, even though it didn’t fit perfectly it still was cheaper than buying my own stuff. Now he uses my old gear that I never cleaned out of my basement. Back when I was knee high to a duck, if we rode together he had to go slow and wait for me. Now the tides have turned, I am the stronger rider, but I’m not as nice of guy as he was. Meaning if we were to ride together I’m not sure I would slow down or wait for him. However, Dad is one of the top-notch pit/support folks I have had help me out at races, and is happy to attend bike events with me. He’s helped out at Dawn till Dusk in Gallup a couple of years ago, and got me food and drink at the Laramie Enduro this summer. We’ve enjoyed “Tandemonium” Nights at the T-Town Velodrome, and tipped back beers at the Tour De Fat in years past. Enough of the Hallmark stuff, Dad is a top notch dude, and today is his day, so with that, Dad do whatever you want to today, and eat all the scotty dog licorice your stomach can handle.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Yes We Did!

USA Cycling actually listened to what their members said, and made a worthwhile change! They will now be awarding a stars and bars jersey to the male and singlespeed winner of the Marathon National Championships. This year at the Firecracker the combo of Dejay, Jake, and self used a old tee-shirt and large sharpie marker, to create a "winners jersey" (and somehow no one passed out from the fumes). It also looks like no more championships jerseys will be awarded to Cat 2 or 3 level mountain bikers, and there was some changes made to age groups. I'm just spit ballin' here, but I did make these suggestions back in July so that USA Cycling would have more money to support their racers competing in the marathon world championships. Excuse my while I pat myself on the back. I guess I can't be too pissed at Kelly Lusk anymore.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Join the Posse

This is taking off faster than the Gewiss team at the 94 Fleche Wallonne.