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Friday

My Centurion Pre-Ride: Sep. 2012


My Pre - Centurion ride.

My coaches Ed Veal and Mike Mandel had asked me to do the Centurion Ride for 2012, but I knew I did not have the kilometres in my legs for such an event but definitely would attend the "PRE-Centurion" ride held a week before with them. I never went beyond the 120km mark in my life and this would be a good test for me. It was a nervous end of the week building up to that morning. I met up with the group early Sunday morning and we headed off. Here's how it unfolded from my perspective.

I just haven't figured out why I'm not entirely gung ho happy with my pre Centurion ride. I tried to take the positive out of it, but am struggling with it. I've reached a new limit in myself, yes, but part of me is still gutted at the experience. The Centurion ride took me to another level and gave me a greater understanding of my thresholds, and I learnt even more about my body, my recovery and my future in this sport. I honestly think, this time NEXT YEAR , I will be a different rider. I was astounded at how much I was fighting with my mind and my body.

From the 90k mark, I was literally fighting HUGELY with my mind versus my legs. I began to cramp really badly. I can't believe how much my body was pulling from the resources. From water to food. I was going back and forth with this inner conflict of trying to block out the pain. I honestly did not think I could block out the pain for that long ??? And I recovered from the cramping. I managed to block out that pain and continue. More fighting to grab that wheel. More concentration of focusing on the echelon formations. I could hear my coach Ed Veal barking orders about grabbing that wheel, paying attention to the echelon and the wind direction. It was hard enough trying to concentrate on my body's suffering and now I had to block that out to shield myself from the wind. More drinkning and eating regularly helped me recover. But the mind games I was playing was like an 1800's Civil War battlefield and the battlefield got more intense. I guess the Civil War thoughts came from seeing the old barns and old houses along the route. This inner battle continued right until the 20km remaining mark.

With 20kms remaining, we stopped at the stop sign and my coach mentioned the car support would be gone at this point. My mind was really struggling with decision. I looked down at my Garmin with 20kms remaining, after we stopped at this stop sign. It read 175km.Wow! The most km's I've ever ridden on a bike. But I can go on ?????? Fuck it , I have to go on ! Damn it have to go on !!!! I don't spend all this time riding every day to stop here ????? There was a Hungarian chap who was far behind me. He and Mike spoke and he got into the car. I was not going down like that. I had one more fight in me! I had one more 1800's Civil war battle to fight !. On the other hand, what the hell was I thinking I could continue ??? The pain coming down my thighs, my inner thighs, my calves, my soreness in my hands, my forearms, my triceps, my neck was unbearable. Now with all that. Was I f**cking crazy ??? Was it a dumb move ??? I don't know ? Its something I will be thinking and debating for months to come for sure.

So of course, Simon takes a huge DEEP DIVE into a PAIN CAVE he never went to before. How stupid can he be ??? And I exploded into pieces on the battlefield this time. My body felt like I was shattered into pieces. Like a civil war soldier who got out numbered three to one. I got this image of someone sticking a bayonet in my thigh, then another one in my hamstring, then a final bayonet in my inner thigh. This was a pain cave visit I have never been to and man was it ever the most brutal to endure. I kept saying to myself, I recovered from bad cramping, I can do this.. I recovered from bad cramping I can do this.. etc. etc.. But my hamstrings just barked back along with my thighs and I could not even turn a pedal over. I couldn't believe it ??? Nothing registering down there ?? So I said, "Okay, let's try this again ?? Boom , Ouch! nothing.. Okay.. let's try this again Boom ! nothing!! Even more pain.. I had drank a TON of more water leading up to this. Why can't i block out the pain now ????

Was I emptying an already empty tank ? I had nothing within 1-2 kms in of the remaining 20kms. I waved the car. I just couldn't block out the pain this time. I sat in the car next to the Hungarian, and hid my feelings, I was gutted. I failed again just like in Spain. Of course my body is loving it, as a huge relief overcame me physically, but my mind woud not let go how downtrodden I felt. The pain had stopped. But I was gutted, just gutted. I hate that feeling. I will debate if it was stupid move or not, in the months and years to come no doubt. The remaining 20km were filled with heavy winds and rolling hills. So it wasn't an easy ride back to basecamp.

My mind took me well beyond the realms of my body as I kept asking more and more from my body. Yes, an accomplishment and a personal best. But big deal ? I still couldn't finish the ride in the end ? I felt gutted and it wasn't a pleasant drive home as I had a hard time dealing with finishing in the car once again and it hasn't been a good day thinking about it. But time will heal the wounds and I will rise from the battlefield and pick up the pieces of my broken mind and body and will test it again. Am I happy ? No, as I didn't finish the ride with the group. If I was happy about it, that would mean I'm okay with finishing 2nd . or 3rd, or 4th but I"m not complacent. To me I failed and I will now work towards better results. I let and old lady with the "yappy annoying mouth" beat me. GRRrrr.!!!! It has been another eye opening experience and I will continue to see what 2013 will bring.

As a result I'm filled with a million thoughts and emotions.. Anytime I pull my right leg back while sitting in my chair , I have a fear in the back of my mind, of that "bubble" cramp is going to appear. I do know that I got knocked down, I came up back swinging. I got knocked down again, hard this time, but I'll come back swinging. Just need some more time to deal with it.. The next time though, I'll be planning on delivering the Real Deal Knockout blow. Its coming.. stay tuned..

2012 Vuelta - My thoughts


I am so happy to see Alberto Contador win his home race. The Vuelta has by far been the most exciting tour this 2012 season. The relentless attacking by Contador made for a great Vuelta. I honestly thought like many people, that Rodriguez would still win. After all, Rodriguez was hungry for a grand tour victory as he let his Giro slip away to Ryder Hesjedal.

In stage 3 I thought Contador's relentless attacking was a bit much. He was trying to rid himself of Chris Froome. However, in the forthcoming days, Froome did crack and continued to crack on every summit finish. I felt sorry for Froome. The man who nursed Wiggo up every mountain pass to Bradley's boring tour win was left with nothing but more suffering once again.
Froome's demise, would prove a new threat to the red jersy, Joaquim Rodriguez.

But on stage 17 to Fuente Dé, Rodriguez’s lead dissolved after he and his team totally collapsed. I could not believe it ? Contador in a 51 kilometre long-distance attack obliterate Rodriguez' lead and took over the red jersey. This has to go down as one of the most memorable attacks in recent Grand Tour history. Nobody expected it, it was not really planned, but on a stage that seemed designed for a boring breakaway to succeed, Contador turned the race upside down ! In doing so, he clinched the stage win and the lead.

The Vuelta had some killer climbs. Bolla del Mundo , resort of Jaca, and the Collada de la Gallina which saw the mountain climbs at 20-25%. Unbelievable. Makes me want to go back to Spain.

A great , great race.

-Simon

Tuesday

My take on the Contador Case


First and foremost I am a huge Contador fan and I am sad for him and sad for the sport. We have this poor man taking the fall for the sport so to speak, while that Texan is smiling. A sad day for our sport in general.

So here are the facts as I saw them:

Clenbuterol is used pre-season /mid-season before peak to aid weight loss. Clenbuterol is a YES/NO drug. It is just not meant to be there at all. It's not like testosterone where the body produces it and a lab needs to determine whether the level is normal for the body. If clenbuterol is there, that is a failed test no questions asked. CAS and the spanish gov't tried to put a different spin on it. In the end, they failed miserably in doing so. This was a slam dunk case that should have been decided months ago.

The initial lab report also mentioned plasticizers in the blood. This specific type of chemical, called a plasticizer, is found in plastic IV bags. Evidence of that chemical in an athlete’s urine means one thing, the athlete has performed a blood transfusion to boost endurance. Furthermore, a test performed on at least one of Contador’s urine samples from the 2010 Tour revealed levels of this plasticizer chemical eight times higher than the minimum amount, which clearly signifies doping. Contadors tests did find evidence of blood doping, expert witnesses noticed clear differences between his blood passport in 2010 and that from 2007.

Where does the Clenbuterol come in ? clenbuterol probably occurred because Contador transfused his own blood on that day, and that the stored blood he had used already had clenbuterol in it. I believe, the minute trace of clenbuterol came from a contaminated needle during a blood transfusion, not from contaminated meat as the Spanish gov't tried to pursuade WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) to accept. I don't believe the theory of the "tainted supplement" as with most professional cyclists, all supplements are checked out repeatedly before being approved. He got caught and that is life ? I think he needs a new needle supplier come end of the year :-)

So on a more positive note, the good news is that we'll see him return in August 2012 when the ban is over. As I mentioned, I feel bad he is the scapegoat for the sport. This is PR nightmare for cycling. I feel bad for Bjarne Riis and the entire Saxobank squad as now Riis has to let his No. 1 charge go. Contador is no longer able to race, the contract between him and the Saxo Bank team must be suspended and could be terminated depending on what Alberto decides to do come August 2012. I'm sure other teams would love to sign him as well. After the Tour de France, this year, expect the "Contador sweepstakes" to take place.


This was a slam dunk case from the start, that should have been decided months ago. Anyone who's been in the sport a long time, knows it’s impossible to win the Tour de France without doping. Riders think they can get away with doping because most of the time they do. How do you explain riders who doped and came second to the texan ? Now I'm sure the doctors overseeing the Schleck brothers are going to be even more diligent than ever.

Impressed with Team SpiderTech and Cyclesport Mgmt.




Actual pro team clothing (not replica) at a fraction of the price ?

I was in the market for another pair of bib shorts and the usual suspects were simply costing me well over my bugdet. I could not justify spending $250-$300 plus taxes on a pair of bib shorts. It got me thinking, do all pro teams where bib shorts that cost this much ? No they don't.

So I remembered this fire sale that Team Spidertech was having back in November so I decided to go onto their site. I am thoroughly impressed with Team SpiderTech and Cyclesport Management as they allow us the 'public' to purchase actual team clothing their pro riders wear.

For those of you who don't know this team, this outfit, this is Steve Bauer's professional continental team. You can also buy their Argon bikes, and accessories as well. In my 25 years of being in this sport, I have never had the opportunity to buy exact clothing worn by the pros. Yes, I mean the actual clothing team SpiderTech wear on their 6-7+ hour rides.

I emailed a gentleman by the name of Matt and he emailed me back very promptly. I was surprised to receive such high level of customer service. I ordered on Monday and my bib shorts arrived on Tuesday. How's that for service ? Now I can get actual quality pro team clothing for a fraction of the cost, with excellent customer service and next day delivery. That's hard to beat. So for $110 taxes included, included shipping I get to wear what the pros wear.

The only downside is, (yes there is a downside) that this Apple fanatic, will have Blackberry on his lower thigh. But i'm willing to put my differences aside on this as I know it supports Steve Bauer.

Friday

Michael Barry in the Cav Lead Out Train

I can't wait to see Michael Barry charging in the lead out train for Cavendish ! Go Michael ! Go Cav ! Go Sky !


Wednesday

Cycling and my regiment of Dieting

As a cyclist one of my hardest battles to face is dieting. Many of us are trying to improve our "Power to Weight" Ratio. In the last 2 years I'm happy to report that I finally see light at the end of the tunnel. I am hovering at 151lbs (68kg) and I have just a little more to go.

Two years ago, before I got back into cycling, I weighed 175-177lbs (80kg). My metabolism is extremely slow at 41 years of age, so a night of bad eating affects me greatly. It hasn't been easy and is a daily battle.

What I would like to pass to you, is to acknowledge that what works for one person, will not necessarily work for the other. You really have to embrace the lifestyle change if you want to maintain a healthy cyclist body.

I have tried many different paths and finally found one that is working for me.

Along with the typical healthy fruits and veggie eating that we all are supposed to do. You know the typical "diet and exercise" blah, blah, blah, that people keep repeating. I found a few little tricks in my diet that I think have made the difference and have finally given me the reduction I wanted.

1. I cut out refined sugar and only consumer organic sugar. Cutting out eating refined sugar in almost every form was the key for me. As sugar is stored fat.
2.I now drink carbonated water with all meals. I find the carbonation fills me up allowing me to reduce my portions. So I consider it my portion control agent :-)
3.I substitued celery for carrots. Carrots are bad !!! Yes they are, TOO MUCH SUGAR.
4. Every month I do a cleanse. Yes, I cleanse but a specific one that works for me. I drink a special organic tea with built in laxatives. So any residual stored fat from that little bit of junk food I consume every now and then, is out of my system.
5. Instead of going to bed hungry, I will down a few rice cakes with the carbonated water.

So as I mentioned, along with all the typical nutrionist babble, I found those 4-5 things are really helping me shed the pounds. I have finally reached the level where I can "train more and eat less" and shed some pounds and not "bonk."

I've adopted a "Living of Lance" lifestyle for 2012 and so far so good !


Monday

Team BMC, Too many chiefs for the Classics ?



So I'm thinking about how stacked of a lineup Team BMC is, for the classics this year ? Its been a while since I've seen such a "top heavy" team with the likes of Gilbert, Hushovd and Hincapie. You can be pretty sure when those three jerseys line up at the start of any classics race, there will be a level of intimidation for other teams.

So who's going to work for who ? What will be the team meetings like ? I can't wait to see it all unfold in weeks to come.

Hushovd has already shown his selfish ways when he was with Garmin and past teams. I'm not a fan of his especially how he rode in last year's Roubaix expecting the team to rally for him, and then expecting Cancellara to tow him to the line. Good for you Fabian!

Gilbert has also shown some selfish riding but at least he attained classic wins to his repertoire. We just won't ask Greipel what he thinks.

And then there is Big George. Will "the greatest team mate" be just that, come April 8 when the battle on the cobbles commences ?

So many questions to answer. If George has the ability to go for the win, I don't see him stopping to help ? That goes about the same for Gilbert and Thor. But , if everything goes sour, and the finger pointing begins after Roubaix, how will that unsettling energy in the team bus be controlled for the support of Cadel in the months to come for the Tour ?

In the mix of it all, is the young american Taylor Phinney, who's George's roommate at the moment. He carries great promise as the next big thing. He's hungry to help, but who will he sacrifice for ? I'm sure he's influenced by George at the moment. Will he be the perfect teammate for the others ?

And then after all the classics drama are out of the way, the big red BMC machine has to get organized to support Cadel for the tour. I'll discuss later in the year with another post. For now, bring on the classics. I can't wait !!

More Reason to love Shimano and Di2

My Rapha Cross 3/4 Bib Shorts - Perfect Solution


This off season I was experiencing knee/joint soreness from the cold air. At times I would put leg warmers on as they were a lighter option. I was tempted to dawn my Rapha deep winter tights, but they were just a bit too thick.

So the perfect solution for me were the Rapha Cross 3/4 Bib shorts. I picked up a pair of these bibs and the extra material over my knees allows me to ride pain free once again. Interestingly in that, the Cytech chamois is the same one used in Assos' F.I.Mille shorts, known for its supreme comfort. So I'm enjoying the both of best worlds.

Due to the versatility I think I these will replace my tights and leg warmers ? I see myself getting a lot of wear out of them.

Slate, I'm really a Zach/JPow look alike now. ;-)

Wednesday

Look -Polar Pedal based power meter - A little too late in the game


Look and Polar are finally ready to ship the world’s second pedal-based power meter, the Look KeO Power.

As the name suggests, the system is based around a Look KeO pedal, combining data from 16 pedal-axle strain gauges and an externally mounted Polar P5 accelerometer and sensor setup to calculate power. The system will cost $2,200.

Pedal-based power meters provide a solution to practical problems posed by crank-based or hub-based meters — SRM, Quarq, Power2Max, and Powertap all included. Most importantly, they are easier to install and move between bikes than a crank-based system, and they don’t limit wheel choice as a hub-based system does.

Pedal-based meters can also provide a data set not available from a crank-based or hub-based power meter: left vs. right power. This helps identify deficiencies and allow those deficiencies to be corrected.

This is about the only selling feature they have.

The Look KeO Power will only be compatible with Polar CS500 and CS600 series head units, at least at first.

I don't know if this is a good move, but we all know LOOK's reputation in the peloton. The jury is still out on Polar's rebirth in the pro peloton. I say pro peloton because at over $2,000 dollars I don't think the weekend warriors are going to spend that much. So I think this is another problem Polar will face. They are pricing themselves out of the market.


What about those riders who enjoy Speedplay pedals with SRM or Powertap ?

How is Look going to change those who are currently riding dura ace or speedplay ? Again, a steep uphill battle they face.

I think its a little too late in the game for Polar. Garmin came in and pushed them right out with a superior Edge series product years ago. I think Polar have a steep uphill climb to regain market share in cycling again. By pairing itself with Look seems to be a last desperate attempt to get back into cycling.

I don't know any cyclist who's opting for a polar cs500 or cs600 in today's world ?

Polar reminds me of RIM, they had their day, did not invest in innovation, rested on their laurels, and have now become yesterday's news.

Friday

Cycling when you're sick is Tough

As my title states, cycling when you're sick is tough and trying to do it while recovering is just as difficult. I just spent the last 2 days and nights with a bug I caught that had me puking at night, making my system completed depleted. In my recovery, my throat is sore from the heaving and I'm weaker than ever. Any quick and sudden movements render me "light headed" and I have to sit back down. I really don't know how the pros get sick during a GT and finish the race. Wow ? I just spent 1 hour on the bike into day 3 and could barely muster up the strength to turn over the pedals. I am still feeling weak. My appetite is slowly coming back along with my strength, but at this moment i guess I will cut it back so I don't drain my tank completely.

Monday

Being part of the Real Deal Family

In my return to cycling, I had reached a fork in the road. I spent many hours asking myself, had I become a person who was "interested" in this sport ? Or was I “committed" to this sport. It took me a while along with some soul searching. Days, led to weeks, weeks led to months as I pondered "Am I committed, or am I just interested ?" I had been at the "interested" level and experienced common to most as "plateau-ing." I wanted something to get me over the "hump." I knew I wanted to improve, but coming from the old school, I was confused over today's cycling training methods. I never heard of "tempo," nor pushing big gears in the winter months. I was always told to use a fix gear and stay on my small chain ring and spin for December and January. As you know, a lot has changed in training methods. I was debating about joining a local cycling club/team for a long while, but a team simply gave me a Sunday ride with a group with little room for real development or improvement. I wanted something more than just once a week casual conversation, and then as the pace increased, to get dropped off the back. After speaking with Ed Veal a few times, we met and discussed my goals. It wasn't a "sales pitch," it was simply allowing myself to embrace a totally new philosophy about this sport that I didn't know existed. Coming from the mid 80's, "LeMond" mentality of cycling, I did have a base of which to work off of, but I knew I would face a steep learning curve. I embraced Ed's philosophy and am proud to say I am officially under the guidance of not only himself, but of his partner Mike Mandel as well.
Many of you asked, how different is this from a personal trainer ? How do they differ from a personal trainer ?
Simple, they themselves are currently riding and trying to get better and share their wealth, knowledge and experience. I have found the majority of personal trainers feel they have reached their peak, and don't really get involved in the sport as heavily as they could. So their perception and perspectives becomes a lot different in what they pass along to you the client. This is not the case with Ed and Mike. They are currently working just as hard , and struggling to become better cyclists. They are not relying on their morals and their reputation.
Ed and Mike's philosophy gives me the structure I require. They are the ones, who I rely on to recognize barriers standing in my path, and help me get through them. They encourage and support me almost on a daily basis. Being 41 years old, I thought I knew myself ? I actually don't know myself as well as I thought. Ed and Mike have taught me more about myself and made me realize a potential I thought I never had. I think they are brilliant men. How these guys divide themselves up for all of us ? I don't know ? It's simply magic.
Are you one of those cyclists who are struggling to improve ? Do you go out on Sunday rides, hoping to receive more guidance and input from other riders, but never get it ? If so, then I would seriously recommend, changing your thinking and going the route of a coach. I did not think my life would turn out this way, where I would be seeking a coach and mentoring at 41 years of age ? But I have, and continue to learn more about myself through this new journey. I continue to push the barrier and its NOT EASY. It requires dedication and a lot of hard work Its a complete lifestyle change. Are you ready to make that change ? Along with my very supportive wife, thank you Ed and Mike, as you have transformed our lives for the better.

A Couple of Rapha Poster Boys

Sunday

Bruyneel addresses the challenges of 2012

I'm so glad Johan has spoken about the time trialing in the 2012 tour. I for one, am sick of hearing about it and he addresses it here and will no doubt have Andy and Frank ready. I think the world is going to be surprised for what he has in store for the peloton.

Wednesday

Rapha you seeing this ?

I think this is really cool of Castelli to do. Its something I thought Rapha would be the first to do with the classic softshell. Hmm ? I wonder if I can take the drill to my classic softshell now ? heh heh .. Dont' think so.

Part of a Saxobank Train - Chris Juul-Jensen

I really hope Bjarne's strategy works out. He's suffered a barrage of comments including one from his own star Alberto Contador about the lack of depth their 2012 team have. Contador and many out there, think these young riders can't support him in the GT's ? However, I beg to differ. I think stacking the deck with young hungry riders wanting to "prove themselves" may prove to be a better option. I think they will make the best domestiques. These guys are so hungry for success that they will not bat an eye to sacrifice for Contador. I hope to see a "Saxobank Train" with one of these 4-5 young chargers taking the front. One of these "hungry" young riders is Chris Juul-Jensen.

Good Luck Michael Barry for 2012

I am here to wish Michael Barry a great 2012 season. He has a pivotal role this year, as the team is divided in supporting Cavendish for the sprints, Flecha, Eisel, Stannard, and Thomas for the Classics, and of course Wiggins in the mountains. I can't wait to watch his specific "domestique" role and how it all unfolds. Good luck Michael. I hope to see you very shortly :-)

Tuesday

Contador and Hernandez Training in the Snow

This kind of riding in the winter makes little sense to me ? I can only hope that they experienced a "sudden" snow covered road in their training as their bikes and bodies appear to be ill equipped for this ride.

My Favourite 2012 Kit so far - Omega Pharma Quick Step

So far this is my favourite new kit for 2012. As well, we may have to get used to seeing it up front as I'm predicting Tony Martin to have an even better year. Can't wait for the season to start.

New Year, 2012 New Kit, Saxobank

I prefer the black and white of Saxobank. It will be difficult to see them in this "deep blue" , but I'm sure I will get used to them. I really like the Tarmac's and Venge's paint scheme though.

Wednesday

Rapha Condor Sharp - Behind the Scenes

A partial behind the scenes look at the Rapha Condor Sharp 2011 team during a race. Interesting mix of powder, water and coke given to the riders by their soigneur. Gonna try that.

Lincoln GP 2011 - Rapha Condor Sharp - Chasing the Team from Condor Cycles on Vimeo.

Rapha Vid

I can't imagine how beautiful , spectacular and tranquil it must have been for the Rapha riders cresting the summit. Wow!

Galibier – Who Are You? from RAPHA on Vimeo.

Cycling in the Como Region.

Tour of Lombardy and Lake Como Italy. Thomson Bike Tours from lukazfilms on Vimeo.

Bella Lake Como

Lake Como from Matt Daly on Vimeo.

Bella Toscano

If you love Italy half of much as I do, then you'll enjoy this video.

Bella Toscana from Gunther Machu on Vimeo.

A Great Video of Venezia

Around Venezia from Icam on Vimeo.

Juan Antonio Flecha winter training back in the day.

I don't know if this was a wise move ? Looks like no traction and little visibility. I think an indoor trainer would have provided a better workout ?

Cervelo sold to Dutch conglomerate PON

This came at a surprise, but Cervelo have been taken over by PON. PON, a Dutch company, owns, 40 percent of the Dutch auto leasing market. In striking this financing deal, Cervelo inserts PON as a replacement for an existing finance partner. The Dutch company is also familiar with the bicycle market. It owns Derby Cycle AG, the parent company of Raleigh Bicycles. Under the Derby umbrella PON owns, among others, the bike brands Raleigh and Focus. PON separately acquired Dutch bike brand Gazelle. None of these brands PON now owns sport a headbadge equal in polish to Cervelo. While Raleigh was a well-respected pro bike brand in ages past, and Focus has endeavored to become one, Cervelo would certainly be the jewel in the crown, if high-end is the metric. There are many fearing that a PON ownership would mean a dumbing down of the brand, it's extremely unlikely that PON would downscale what would be the "Porsche" among the bicycle brands they would now own. The PON company understands the multi-tiered strategy, having a long history selling the sorts of German cars that form these tiers: Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche.

Greg LeMond 1989 Tour de France

This is one of the greatest photos I've seen since that historic day back in '89. I believe this day, Greg LeMond changed cycling forever. It was the first day anyone seen these funny triathlete's handlebars used in the tour. Lemond had done the work to prepare his bike for the race against the clock. He had done wind-tunnel testing and perfected his riding position. He used an aerodynamic helmet, in a time when most racers didn't ever wear a helmet, along with an aerodynamic bike that had a disc rear wheel. He had beaten an overly confident Fignon who shunned the modern technology available to him and left his famous ponytail flapping in the wind along with his hopes of a third yellow jersey. In the most dramatic final day in Tour history, LeMond gave his all and took 58 seconds off the race leader to win his second yellow jersey by the narrowest of margins. No one thought that he would be able to gain enough time in the 24.5 km. He pushed a gear of 54 x 12 to a Tour de France time trial record average speed of 54.545 kmh

2011 Tour de France Galibier Stage - Nice photo

2012 TIME bike - Hotness !

2012 Katusha's Focus.. Hotness !

Thursday

The House that Todd Built

As I sit here and write this, I have a hollow empty feeling inside. It is a day that will change my life forever. Out of the blue today, my co-worker , long time colleague, and good friend announced his resignation today. Due to his signing with a competitor, he has to leave immediately instead of the normal two weeks notice. I sit here utterly gutted and tremendously saddened. I will miss him dearly. The thought of no more morning rituals, no more morning emails, no more comical "guy talk," has left me sad and depressed. I feel all alone here at work now as he was the only one I trusted, the only one I could bounce ideas off of. He was my confidant. He kept a comical way about him. Our day to day banter was what sit-coms were made of. He kept my sanity when things got rough. He supported me when others didn't. When you work this closely as we did, on a daily basis Monday to Friday, you can not help but develop a tight bond. We had built a rapport not only on the job, but in the hockey dressing room and on the ice as well. He was more than co-worker. He was my friend. Our bond grew stronger as the years went by as he was the smartest, and most trustworthy out of our fledgling team. I will certainly feel his abscence more than the others. I miss my co-worker and my friend Todd Heaney.

Colnago-CSF Bardiani 2012 Bike.

Italian-based continental outfit Colnago-CSF Bardiani has revealed its bike for 2012. And boy is it hot ! Colnago w Campy is just wow !

Interesting tidbit about Team Sky's 2011 Vuelta a Espana

Sky’s gear choice on the Angliru 2011


In this past year's Vuelta a España, I've learned an interesting story on the famed Angliru climb about Team Sky getting it wrong ? Its a climb that is steeper than the Zoncolan ? Possibly steeper @ 23 percent in some parts. When it came to gearing for the climb up the Angliru, Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome struggled with overgearing.

Part of this was due to a lack of preparation, and part of it was due to equipment choices by two of its top riders, Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome. The team’s use of Osymetric chainrings made it impossible to achieve gearing similar to stage (and eventual overall) winner Juanjo Cobo. Cobo rode a 34×32 (28.3 gear inches) setup, and while both Froome and Wiggins also rode a 32-tooth cog, they matched it with a 38-tooth chainring. The resulting 31.6 gear inches wasn’t quite low enough for the British pair.

Because of the exaggerated shape of the Osymetric rings, the smallest size that will fit on a
110mm (compact) crank is 38. At top dead center, Osymetric claims its 38 feels like a 35, but
between 1 and 5 o’clock it feels more like a 41-tooth ring.

Behind the Scences of HTC-Highroad Mechanics

The Mechanic Diaries from BrakeThrough Media on Vimeo.

A great vid on Garmin Cervelo and our great sport.

Tuesday

The Coolest Commercial I've seen in a while

This is one of the coolest concepts I've seen in a long time. Instead of these ridiculous "flash mobs" I'd like see a trend in these "Night Bikes" continue to grow.

A Dogma w Campy EPS wow !


I would love to have this ! Super hot bike.

A Smoking Hot S-Works !

This gents bike is just off the hook!

Saxobank-Sungard Training Camp displaying new Danish Talent

Riis plans towards future by bringing five Danish amateurs to training camp



I really like this move by Bjarne. It gives the young guys a chance to see how the big boys ride and see where they stack up. And you never know, it could produce some surprises ? I like this approach for the other reason that the young guys are hungrier than the pros, so they may prove greater support for Contador for the GT's ? Of course if they have the miles in their legs ?

The young charges come from 3 teams, Glud & Marstrand LRØ continental team, Team TRE-FOR and Team Concordia Forsikring

Michael Valgren Andersen
Nicki Østergaard
Jesper Hansen
Asbjørn Kragh Andersen
Nicola Aistrup

So keep your eye on these young Danish chargers as some day you might hear their names more frequently.

Monday

Galaxy Nexus will be the one for me !

My first attempt in the world of Android was a complete bust when I used the Samsung Galaxy S II. However, after using a Galaxy Vibrant S and carefully testing Gingerbread, along with getting used to the Android world as a whole, I think the Galaxy Nexus with ice cream sandwich is going to make my 3rd attempt at Android, a permanent one. I am very excited about this phone.

Contador can pull off the win in 2012.


Contador can pull off the win in 2012.

I still believe Contador can beat the likes of Cadel, Wiggins and the Schlecks in next year's tour. I think Bjarne having one solo leader among virtual nobody domestiques, really helps the squad as opposed to the what the other big teams have done.

I know its way too early to tell, but so far I think if Contador is cleared of his CAS charges, he'll be the favourite going into the tour. I think Team Sky will have spread themselves too thin to support both Cavendish on the flats and Wiggins in the mountains.

As much as I love Johan Bruyneel, I think the time trialing will once again be the factor in Andy's downfall and he may have to settle for a Giro win if he rides it and ramp up for the 2013 tour.

If Contador is fresh, I don't think Cadel will be able to hold his attacks in the mountains. As well, Alberto can time trial, so Cadel won't be able to make up time in that manner either.

Again, its way too early to predict. Come the Tour du Suisse and the Dauphine , will we have a real indication of who's on form or not. I just can't wait to get there already!

Bruyneelism Pt. 3

Johan on the sport of professional cycling as a business and of the UCI; I tend to agree with him on this.


"I think professional sports have reached a level that has come to the point of sporting events being a business. And I see that cycling is quite a bit behind, compared to other successful sports, and that’s probably due to the nature of our sport. We have certain limitations: we don’t own stadiums, we run cycling on the road, cycling is for free, which is also the beauty of the sport. But if I look at the evolution of other sports, and how popular they are, and I look at cycling and see how we are struggling, that we are advancing by baby steps and struggling, I think there are other ways professional cycling can be organised.

I’m not talking about breaking away; a breakaway league is something that was named by the UCI itself. But I think there should definitely be talks about new initiatives and implicating all the main parties. Just now it’s basically one organisation dictating everything, and everybody has to follow everything they say. So, if it was up to me, I’d like to see these things change, but I’m just me so it will probably never happen. It’s very simple, I’m talking from my perspective and about “professional” cycling. Let’s specify that because cycling as a whole is very complex and there are a lot of different categories and other disciplines. There is BMX, woman’s cycling, there’s all kinds of cycling. But professional road cycling is something that should be seen as a separate entity within the UCI. I think the UCI is definitely an organisation that has shown that they are the organising body that can rule the sport, so they should rule professional cycling.

The business aspect of the sport should be done differently. There are a lot of different ideas about that, but it’s very simple. If you see how we are struggling to find sponsorship year after year and how we are being challenged about renewing sponsors, it’s because at the end what do we have to offer? We don’t have a lot more to offer than what’s on the calendar, races like the Tour de France is all very good, but it could be a lot better. I think we should start to see professional teams as franchises that can survive for a lot of year like you have in football. You have (I know more about Spanish football) Madrid, Barcelona and all those strong clubs around Europe. "

Bruyneelism Pt. 2

"2011 was everybody against Fabian, and everybody against Leopard, so it was difficult."

Bruyneelism Pt. 1

"In general, change is something that frightens people, you get out of your
little comfort zone, but I think change is good. If you keep doing the same
thing for years and years, you keep getting the same result. If you don’t
try anything new, you won’t get any better"

Rapha saved my butt again !



Rapha saved my butt again in the literal sense this time, as their Chamois cream helped me heal a current rash of saddle sores. It goes on a little thinner than other brands, and makes it prescence known in a more subtle less "cold" manner. But still gives the protection you need. As well, unlike all the brands I've tried, Rapha's has a fantastic aroma. Smells of rosemary or pine. So the next time you finger paint your bibs, you may want to do it Rapha Style ?

Premium Rush Trailer - Won't be doing us cyclists any favours

Premium Rush looks like the combination of QuickSilver and the Transporter. Unfortunately, it looks like it won't be doing cyclists nor couriers any favours. It may spawn a bunch of "wannabe's" similar to what Fast n Furious did with the after market sport compact scene.

Cervelo BTP - Giro D'Italia

Oh how I miss BTP films !

Inside Team BMC - 2011 TTT

Inside Team BMC - Stage 2 Tour de France Team Time Trial 2011

Team Astana's Team Time Trial during the 2011 Tour

Interesting Video on Team Astana during the 2011 Tour

Tuesday

Colombian cycling back on the rise. Lucho must be proud!

Colombian cycling back on the rise.

Almost three full decades after Colombian riders started their eighties blitz on the Tour de France, beginning a time when riders such as Lucho Herrera and Fabio Parra were amongst the most feared climbers in the sport, the country has moved a step closer to fielding another team in Grand Tours. The Colombia Coldeportes Pro Continental team is a full colombian team including former Tour de France yellow jersey wearer Victor Hugo Peña and the 2008 under 23 world road race champion Fabio Duarte. The sponsored bikes are from Bianchi and I really like the colour scheme reflecting the country's flag. Its very tastefully done. Too bad they didn't have the budget for the Oltre's, but still a nice choice.

Rapha Focus Boys in Action


Very cool shot of the Rapha Focus boys in action.

The Specialized-Lululemon Women's pro team 2012


The Specialized-Lululemon Women's pro team has officially been unveiled. Team owner Kristy Scrymgeour (left) talks about the team's goals for 2012 with riders (l-r) Chloe Hosking of New Zealand, Canadian champ Clara Hughes, and American Amber Neben. Unfortunately, they have one of the ugliest kits (unlike Lululemon) I've seen in a long time.

Monday

Pedala con i Campioni - Ride with Champions

Pedala con i Campioni - Ride with Champions




Brinzio, Varese, a region about 1 hour west of Como held their annual Ride with Champions day. "Pedala con i Campioni." Two thousand cyclists got a chance to ride with the likes of Ivan Basso, Oscar Freire Gomez, Luca Paolini, Giorgia Bronzini, Noemi Cantele , Valentina Carretta, Fabio Felline, Massimo Codol, Edoardo Girardi, Luca Zanasca, and Roberto Damiani. This was the 12th edition of this ride. Its held every December 8. Its a casual 45km ride that takes the riders through a beautiful backdrop of northern italian roads. Afterwards, autograph signing and photos opps were available. Overall, it looked like a chilly Gran Fondo ride, but its a little more specific in that its specifically for "giving back" to the local Italian Cycling Clubs. Its great to see the pros give back to the local italian cycling clubs. I wonder if bicisport from Lenno participated ?