Monday, December 13, 2010

Back from the Dead, or One Last LSAT Done

With the last two months being devoted to this past weekend's LSAT, I've had little time to post. I still had time to head down the High Noon Saloon for some trivia night and beer, but at the present time my camera's whereabouts are unknown so I am unable to post pictures. Never fear, tomorrow night brings another chance to consume some libations which I will do my best to document.

Once I get back on track, I'll be back to my original posting schedule of Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Future Looks Scary

As I was surfing through webpages last night, I made my way over to the Army's homepage to read about SSG Giunta - the most recent Congressional Medal of Honor recipient:

Pretty amazing stuff.If you haven't heard about what SSG Giunta did the night he earned the MOH, you owe it to yourself to check it out. As his company commander said, it was like the stories you hear about Audie Murphy during WWII. While I was scanning the homepage, my eye was caught by this:

Classic.The following is a conversation I can see occurring at Fort Campbell in the near future:

Front Desk Attendant: "Can I help you?"

Private Young: "I'm here to check in for my appointment."

FDA: "Ok, last four please." (The Army uses the last four of your social security number to identify your medical files. This was done even before they went all digtal.)

Young: "1234."

FDA: "Ok, Private...Young. Hmmm, I thought you would have looked more like this."

It doesn't affect the service Private Young will receive (that will always be underwhelming, no matter how much digtalization occurs), but it still isn't correct.

One up, one down. I guess that makes everything all even.

On to stories where things do not look to be all even. Italy is getting involved in the ongoing investigation concerning alleged doping on the USPS Team. We'll see when the paperwork is wrapped up what this large-scale revels. This, combined with WADA announcing that they can find no evidence to support AC's claim that his steak was tainted, makes this off-season an interesting one. Granted, this is the first time I have taken any interest in what goes on during the cycling off-season, but an investigation into doping by the current TdF champion and a multi-government backed investigation into doping charges against the greatest TdF rider ever is, in my humble opinion, pretty significant.

Ok, I'm off. Enjoy the weekend.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Law, the Law of Averages, and an Average Beer

Got this video from Mr. Hoovis. There was another Danny MacAskill movie that made it's way through the various portals of the internet a few months back; this one is very similar in that it contains video evidence of Danny doing some crazy tricks off of pretty much anything he sees. For my money, I think this video is better due mainly to the scenery in which he rides. I miss Europe.

On to news from the home front. Another Tuesday brought another trivia night down at The High Noon Saloon. Did you know that Dorothy's slippers in the book version of the Wizard of Oz were silver but changed to ruby red because they showed up better that way in technicolor? Yeah, neither did we. We went on to win one round, keeping our average above .333, which is our new goal. During the course of said trivia I started and finished a glass of the saloon's Raspberry Wheat beer:

You can see the raspberry influence on the color.I tried this beer during the beer tasting a couple of us went to for my dirty thirty, but due to lingering sickness I did not give it a fair shake. To remedy my earlier transgression, I sidled up the our table and promptly ordered the raspberry wheat, fully knowing that there are other beers on the menu that I enjoy. My experience last night wasn't mind-blowing, either good or bad, and when all was said and done I realized that there is a place in the world of beer drinking for a raspberry wheat beer.

Its raspberry flavor wasn't overpowering, but it made its presence known; being a fan of raspberries, the flavor was pretty good - not too sweet and not too fruity. As far as the wheat beer goes, it did not compare to the wheat beers I've grown accustomed to in Germany - the ones where you order another beer as the drink to your wheat beer meal. If asked, I would place this beer in the category of "when the time is right." How will you know when the time is right? You just will, you just will.

In a story similar to the one I posted a few days ago concerning a Spanish DB who is suing a family for the damages their son's body caused to his Audi, a man in Connecticut is suing a family for allowing their son to ride without a helmet. Oh yeah, this man hit and killed the child. It appears that Velonews decided to provide the whole story, in that this man's suit is a countersuit to one from the parents of the boy who was killed. The story that was run yesterday failed to mention that.

As you can see here in section 14-286d.(b):

(b) No child fifteen years of age or under shall operate a bicycle on the traveled portion of any highway unless such child is wearing protective headgear which conforms to the minimum specifications established by the American National Standards Institute or the Snell Memorial Foundation’s Standard for Protective Headgear for Use in Bicycling. Failure to comply with this section shall not be a violation or an offense. Failure to wear protective headgear as required by this subsection shall not be considered to be contributory negligence on the part of the parent or the child nor shall such failure be admissible in any civil action.

So while you have to wear a helmet, it isn't a punishable offense and the fact that a child didn't wear one is not admissible in any civil action claiming contributory negligence on the part of the parents. I wonder if Mr. Weaving looked at the cycling laws before bringing his suit (he apparently is representing himself).

I whole-heartedly disagree with anything Mr. Weaving is attempting to do (I really don't think a helmet would have saved the kid after being hit by an automobile driving at 80 mph), but I do think all children should wear helmets when operating bicycles. If you're having trouble convincing your kids helmets are good, just show them that Danny MacAskill wears one.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Can't See the Forest for the Trees, or When Complacency Becomes Second Nature

I was unable to post last Friday due to my visit to Washburn University School of Law's open house. I noticed an older crowd of potential applicants versus those I saw at KU and Vanderbilt, which in some ways is a positive. The open house was informative and well run. I was very interested to hear that the LL.M. (masters of law) program Washburn has in conjunction with the University of Maastricht has never had all four student slots filled. Of course being away from Penny for a year isn't all that appealing. We'll see where the future will lead us and then I'll make my decision at that time.

Sometimes when you are so enmeshed in a culture, you fail to see the importance and significance of that culture. You begin to take things for granted, no matter how interesting, important, or exciting that culture may be. I'm sure Ben Roethlisberger takes for granted that he'll never be convicted of sexual assault, or that Contador takes for granted that his threats to retire mean something to anyone other than those that earn money off him. This was the case for me over the weekend, save for the sexual assault or money being made off me. I know it's belated, but I want to thank all the veterans of this country for the sacrifices you have made.

With this in mind, I'll share some pictures I took of the Veteran's Day Parade held last Thursday here in Leavenworth.

The parade commenced with a grand ceremony overseen by the parade's grand marshal:

The guy on the Segway, not the dog.Of course, being in Kansas, the parade featured its fair share of motorized bicycles:

Check the boot knife!

Where is her helmet!?There were clowns:

I want you, to get into my windowless van!Just because you can, doesn't mean you should. And a pony-riding dog:

Both animals seems very nonplussed, leading me to be very nonplussed.There you have it. I hope that you enjoyed your weekend and had the opportunity to thank a veteran for their service.

Our regular programming will return Wednesday.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Irresponsible People: Cars and Cows

Let's start today with an amazing story I was alerted to by a commenter on BSNYC's Wednesday post. Sure, an Audi A8 is a sweet automobile, but suing the family of the kid you killed because his body did damage to your car?! And on top of that, what kind of rental car did he choose that cost him 6,000 Euros? Ah, the Spanish.

Speaking of the Spanish, the UCI has asked the Spanish Cycling Federation to open a disciplinary hearing against embattled Tour de France champion Alberto Contador. While that isn't surprising or unexpected, the story that Velonews published the day after was. Ok, maybe it isn't that unbelievable. The Spanish Cycling Federation President will not decide the outcome of the case, but his public support for Contador can't hurt.

Yesterday's BSNYC post discussed a recent case in Colorado where a rich dude in a Mercedes Benz ran over a doctor who was riding his bike. As seems to be standard procedure for douche bags, the rich dude fled the scene, stopped at a Pizza Hut a couple miles up the road, and called for a tow truck to take care of his damaged car. BSNYC goes on to point out one of the defense's arguments - that the driver possibly suffered from undiagnosed sleep apnea. This situation seems to be exactly what Mercedes Benz has been working towards:

Disclaimer: safety features will not save you from yourself.If you can't read what I've highlighted, it says, "Distronic plus radar cruise control is no substitute for active driving involvement." Of course it is, at least that is how MB tries to sell it in their commercials. I can't find the commercial online, but the one I have in mind shows a bunch of people making statements such as, "I didn't know the car in front of me stopped short." Or, "I didn't know I was drifting into the other lane." And, "I was asleep and the system woke me up, thank goodness I only hit one cyclist."

To finish up today why don't we talk about something that is more enjoyable - beer. As promised, I remembered to bring my camera to The High Noon Saloon last night and managed to snap a few pictures of the Stampede Stout I took pleasure in drinking:

Now that's dark.As you can plainly see, the stout is very dark. It has a nice flavor with hints of cocoa and coffee. The ending is a bit hoppy, but unlike an IPA, the hoppiness is tempered by the myriad flavors working together.

While partaking in my beer, Penny and managed to win one of three trivia rounds, dropping our overall record to below .500. It's upsetting to say the least, but I've decided to look at our record more like a batting average, meaning that at over .400, we're doing just fine. We'll see if Contador does as well over the next few months.

Monday, November 8, 2010

It was a busy last few days. My visit to Vanderbilt went well. Right now I don't have the numbers to gain admission, but I think if I can bring my LSAT score up a couple points I'll have a decent chance.

While in Nashville, I ate at the Blackstone Brewery. On Friday they had six beers on tap, four ales and two porters. Being unable to decide on one, I ordered up a sampler and tried them all:

Mmmm, beer.In addition to the beer I enjoyed a delicious steak. I was a little upset that there were no stouts, but I was pleasantly surprised at the American Pale Ale. As expected though, the IPA was not to my liking.

Sticking with the college atmosphere, Penny and I traveled to KU on Saturday to watch the game against Colorado:

Big 12 football at it's worst.After three quarters it was less a football game and more, how you say, an ass whooping. With Colorado up 45-17 following an early fourth quarter touchdown, Penny and I decided to leave and walk around campus. Before we reached the parking lot the stadium erupted in cheer as KU scored. By the time we reached Penny's sister's apartment the game had ended and KU had won. Ridiculous. Once we stopped kicking ourselves for leaving what turned out to be an amazing game, we headed to The 23rd Street Brewery for dinner. To wash down my calzone, I ordered a Crimson Phog Irish Red Ale:

Nice color and taste, but nothing special.Let me first discuss the lack of an ending to the beer. Trust me, I finished it. Apparently I was affected enough after half a beer that I was unable to properly work my camera. I remember taking more pictures, but I somehow failed to actually take them.

The beer was clean tasting, but it wasn't anything special. What I mean by that is that I enjoyed drinking it, but it easily drifted into the background and didn't demand my attention with each sip.

I removed the swingarm and engine from the frame yesterday, leaving only the triple clamp left. I need a 30mm socket to loosen the bolt, but I don't think buying one is worth it since this is probably the only time I'll use it. Hopefully Penny's dad has one that I can borrow. Once done with that I'll have all winter to put the bike back together.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Moss Followed me to Nashville

Hanging out in Nashville for the next two days. Tomorrow I visit Vanderbilt's Law School.

I hope to walk by sign most days for the next three years.I am really looking forward to it as Vandy is my first choice. Speaking with an old professor who now works at Vandy informed me that there is an international law brief tomorrow for first year students, which works out well for me since the program I am interested in is international law.

I know this blog is supposed to be about bikes, beer, and alliteration. I haven't ridden in a while due to studying for the LSAT (which I have immersed myself in all over again due to my horrendous showing in October). That combined with the end of the race season really puts a damper on the bike side of the blog. The beer side you ask about? I have been frequenting High Noon Saloon over the last few weeks where Penny and I are rocking a 4-4 record during trivia night. A .500 record might not sound impressive, but no other team has won more than 2 rounds since we've started playing. Anyway, the reason I haven't been posting pictures of the beer is that I haven't been bringing my camera during our nights out. Dumb, I know, but it's the truth. Starting next week you can expect some beer pictures.

I'm off to work on my law school applications. I guess if I end up at another law school and have to walk by that school's sign each day I'll still be better off that this guy:

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween Scares

With Halloween officially over, let's recap the weekend that was.

Friday night Penny and I went to an "adult" party a few blocks from our house. It had a good vibe and plenty of beer. Unfortunately, it also had two guys in grass skirts that felt the need to spend the entire evening attempting to grind on everyone and everything. Luckily the fuzz showed up to handle the situation:

Lt. Dangle laying down the law.Once the popo straightened (perhaps that's not the most appropriate word to describe it) things out, the first of what I assume to be the oft quoted 'three bad things' happened - I received an email with my LSAT score. Based on the score and the percentile, it looks like I will be attending law school here.

The second bad thing is, what I think, a tear in my rotator cuff. You hear about it on TV with pitchers, but I never realized how often the rotator cuff is used throughout the day. I have an appointment today to get it looked at and diagnosed by a doctor.

Back to the parties. Saturday night held another "adult" party for Penny and me. This one was about the same except the grass skirts were replaced by a skin tight dress. This party was more low-key; so low-key in fact that Penny and I took off early.

Waking up Sunday, I awaited for the third installment of whatever the trio of crap had planned for me. Penny and I piled into the car and headed east to watch the Chiefs play the woeful Bills in the game of football. For $25 tickets, we really couldn't have asked for a better game. With seconds remaining in overtime, the Chiefs kicked a field goal to win it 13-10:

It only took 75 minutes, but the Chiefs finally beat the winless Bills.Upon our arrival back home, Penny and I prepped for the ensuing onslaught of trick-or-treaters. To our surprise, no candy hungry kids stopped by, leaving us with a bowl full of chocolate. I'm not sure if the lack of trick-or-treaters is the third part of my horror trilogy, but if so I guess sometimes there are silver linings.


Friday, October 29, 2010

Dirty Bike Part II

Spent a good chunk of yesterday taking the fork legs off. It really shouldn't have been so hard; each leg is held in the triple clamp by four bolts. Loosen those four bolts and slide the fork out, pretty simple right?

Almost ready to take the engine and transmission out and redo the frame. That is the goal before it gets too cold since the paint stripper and paint should be used when it's still warm out.

I've banged up my knuckles a couple times - the usual. Luckily I haven't done anything so bad I ended up like this:

Ruff break dog.My interview with the Vandy grad went well. Turns out the gentlemen who I spoke with is very connected to the law school and the Vanderbilt community in general. He highly suggested that I visit the school and take a tour, saying the admissions department takes kindly to those who show enough interest in the program to visit in person. So next Wednesday I fly to Nashville. Hopefully my LSAT results on Monday are competitive, and that combined with my experience and visit put me over the top and I earn admission to Vandy's Law School.

With Halloween falling on Sunday this year, the entire weekend can be devoted to parties. Tonight Penny and I head to a neighbor's place to partake in some festivities. Tomorrow we'll go to Penny's aunt's house for some food and then possibly on to an "adult party". Sunday we drop the costumes and enjoy the Chiefs game at Arrowhead Stadium.

All in all it should be a fun, if not draining, weekend. Enjoy the candy and be sure to check your apples for razors.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Cancellara Wishes he had a Motor like This

I went out a week ago to ride a nice, easy 17 miles. About 400 meters into it I crashed, scraped up my knuckles, and bent my derailer hanger. Clearly the rust that has attacked my simple cycling skills is powerful. The down time between my rides has been filled with my other bike:

Still in one piece.It doesn't run, most likely because it needed a new spark plug. But, since I don't have a lot to do each day, I decided that I needed to tear it down to the frame:

Basic body part removal.
Concrete bricks!  No subframe.
Check the new bike stand.  No rear tire.The plan is to strip it down to the frame, repaint the frame and possibly the swingarm, and then put it all back together with some new plastic. It might take a while, but I hope to get it done in time to ride it next summer.

I attended an open house at KU Law last Friday. Tomorrow night I have an interview with a Vanderbilt University Law School graduate. I know that this interview won't make or break my application, but it will give me a first hand account of what Vandy is looking for.

Until next time I leave you with this:

It's all good.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Race of the Falling Italians

Saturday brought us the final major race of the season, the Giro de Lombardia, known affectionately to most Americans as the Tour of Lombardy. Also known to those 'in the know' as the Race of the Falling Leaves due to the amount of leaves on the roads. To stick it to the peloton one last time, the weather was less than perfect:

It can't be as fun as he makes it look.Of course that didn't seem to stop Grandpa Horner from exhibiting his usual 'smile'. Having recently hit the big 3-O myself and already feeling 'old', I can only assume Horner's smile is hiding the aching of his joints.

After his amazing run last fall and his recent victory at the Tour of Piedmont on Thursday, Philippe Gilbert was clearly this year's favorite. He was marked by Vuelta winner Vincenzo Nibali until Nibali attempted a new, untested descending method:

Insert baseball joke here.From the results I gather that Nibali will not be trying that technique again. Notice the leaves? See what I'm talking about now?

In the end it was Gilbert and diminutive Italian Michele Scarponi, that is until Gilbert got tired of the company and simply rode away from Scarponi:

The speed bump got him.It didn't hurt Gilbert's break that Scarponi missed a shift, but that's racing. At least he didn't throw a chain. At the finish line Gilbert celebrated his back-to-back Lombardy wins alone:

Very impressive.Gilbert's win wasn't the only storyline from the race; world champion Thor Hushovd raced in his rainbow jersey. Despite not planning to race after the world championships, his win there changed his mind so he could 'honor the rainbow jersey':

Nice colorway coordination Thor.I enjoy watching Thor race, but he seems to have fallen into the same trap that has been ensnaring many riders recently, namely color coordinating their gear with their specialty jersey. I hate to tell the big Norwegian this, but wearing rainbow striped Jawbones is doing nothing but honoring the almighty (insert local currency here).

I hope you enjoyed the racing season as much as I did. We saw a lot of things: Landis admitted doping, Lance denied doping, Alberto was caught with and illegal substance in his blood and denied doping, and as expected Fabian won the world TT again. Of course there were other things that happened, but I don't care enough to type them.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Return from the Void

As I mentioned last post, I have been in and out of town. While my travels aren't yet over, I have managed to find some time to resume posting.

My most recent trip took me to New Hampshire (via Connecticut) for a friend's wedding. I arrived in town Thursday afternoon and went out to dinner with my brother and his family. On the way we noticed this New England super hero:

It was mid-September and cool.Our collective amazement was summed up when my nephew said something along the lines of, "He's riding naked". His lack of clothing aside, he was also riding on a very busy street. I'm not one to argue that as a cyclist he doesn't have a claim to the road as well, but I know that I wouldn't ride there. Maybe by not putting myself in a situation where I'm surrounded by crazy drivers on their way home from work makes me less of a champion of cyclists' rights, but I'd rather take up that battle with something other than my life.

The following morning after picking another out-of-town guest up at the airport, we headed north to NH. I've been to Vermont a good amount and I always just assumed NH was the same (I went to NH as a young buck and don't remember much about it except smacking my shin against the family mini-van's doorway). In the end my assumption held true for the geography, but not so much the people. Ok, it held true for them as well - dirty hippies. The scenery was beautiful:

Silver Cascades or something cheesy like that.And the businesses were creative:

I wouldn't feel clean after using one of those machines.The wedding was nice, though I had to struggle through it with what I thought was food poisoning. Turns out the constant departures from my bed to the bathroom were caused by some bug that hit my brother's family and coworkers. In my weakened state I must have picked up another bug because I was down for about four days versus the 8-12 hours everyone else was affected.

Upon my return to Kansas, preparations were made for my 'Dirty Thirty' celebration:

It was funfetti cake.I gathered from my in-laws that the 'Dirty Thirty' was supposed to be a night of drunken abandon. Unfortunately, the sickness I endured was still messing with my stomach and as soon as I drank one beer I felt full and bloated. That did not bode well for the Saturday evening beer-tasting at the Carnegie Arts Center we attended. There were some really good beers there, but again each sip filled me up and I was unable to take full advantage of the offerings. To round out the birfday weekend, a few friends took Penny and me to the new IHOP for breakfast. We were deflated to learn that the grand opening was set for this morning; we were a day early.

So to sum it up the last few weeks started with sickness and ended with sadness, but I guess it could have been worse.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Away We Go (Again)

Yesterday's rest day in the Vuelta allowed me to head out on a ride in the early morning. After a healthy breakfast of Frosted Mini-Wheats, I departed the house and headed off into the unknown world of Kansas county roads. Twenty miles later I had no idea where my journey had taken me. I was hungry, tired, and worried that I wouldn't get a chance to head to the recycling plant like Penny asked (easily my biggest worry). Eventually I guessed correctly and was heading back into town and a delicious lunch of more Mini-Wheats.

I'm not a huge fan of TTs. I enjoy riding them because it is a good measure of physical and metal stamina and the drained feeling you get afterwards makes you feel like you've accomplished something. What I don't enjoy about them is watching them. The excitement you get from road stages is nonexistent in TTs. With that said, I had the TT going today while I tended to other matters. In the end HTC-Columbia's Peter Velits won, defeating reigning world champ Fabian Cancellara:

Spartacus third!  What is the world coming to?Velits is obviously the day's biggest winner. The biggest loser? This guy. A-Rod is not competing in the Vuelta though, so I would have to go with another Rodriguez. After finishing over six minutes down on the stage, Rodriguez is now over three minutes down on GC:

Tommy D representing.It appears like Liquigas might wrap up their second Grand Tour this year. I would much rather see Ezequiel Mosquera from Xacobeo-Galicia stand on the top step of the podium. The idea of a Pro Continental Team winning a Grand Tour is pretty cool.

As I mentioned Monday I am heading out of town tomorrow and therefore the chance of a Friday post is slim. I'll be spending the weekend between CT and NH for a friend's wedding. I'll see friends I haven't seen in years, so I'm looking forward to what craziness may transpire. Enjoy the rest of your week and the end of the Vuelta.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Back to the Beer

It's been a while since I've posted about beer. I am here today to remedy that situation. A friend brought over a sixer of Annie's Amber Ale from The High Noon Saloon here in town.

Not too shabby.Yes, I am drinking out of a Mason Ball jar. Yes, I am drinking before noon.

As you can see, the ale is a very nice Amber color. It has a clean taste that allows the flavor of the malt to come through. Though not overpowering, each sip ends with a bit of hops. I truly believe that the can has taken away some of the flavor as I've had Annie's Ale from the tap, but for a camping trip or some tailgating, I would much rather have a sixer of this than one from the large breweries.

Not only has it been a while since I've posted about beer, it's been a while since I've posted period. I had to jet out East last minute at the beginning of the month, resulting in a few missed posts. I will be on the road this weekend as well as the first two weekends in October. So for the next three weeks posting will be non-existent at worst and spotty at best. Don’t worry though, anything I do post will contain the same poor quality you have come to expect.

Now on to the bikes. With all the travel, I've watched much less of the Vuelta than I've wanted. Add to that the fact that I don't have NBC Universal Sports and the internet was being dumb Saturday, I've seen four stages over the last week and a half. Never fear though, if you are in the same boat as me I'm here to get you filled in and up to speed.

Mark Cavendish won stage 13, solidifying his hold on the green jersey. To show his excitement at once again riding away from the field, Cav bunny-hopped the finishing line:

See, BMX skills easily translate to road racing skills.Watching the last few kilometers on YouTube makes it easier to see. After the stage, Cav accused Tyler Farrar and Wouter Weylandt of working together to prevent him from earning points during an intermediate sprint. If that was a driving force behind his celebratory hop, I think an endo would have been a bigger slap in the face (as well as having historical significance).

In stage 14, race leader Igor Antón crashed and had to abandon, leaving Liquigas rider Vincenzo Nibali in the lead. I unfortunately did not see any of the race changing carnage as the website I usually watch races on decided to show snooker.

Stage 15 provided the riders with a perfect day for racing:


What made it even more beautiful was that I was watching the broadcast of the Spanish channel tdp, so every time the commentators got excited all I could think of was this:

Is that wrong of me? Maybe, but it's true.

In addition to the colorful and melodic commentators, the stage provided excitement as Carlos Barredo escaped from the break to claim the stage victory:

You'd never know from this happy picture the darkness that sleeps within.To celebrate his win he smashed a front wheel into the face of second place finisher Nico Sijmens. Barredo ‘brushed himself off’ four times while crossing the finish line. He may be feeling like a pimp, but I’m not sure he’s doing it correctly. Must be something lost in translation.

This morning (or afternoon if you want to get technical and talk about the time zone the race occurred in), Rodriguez recaptured the leader's jersey as Nibali struggled up the final climb. Fränk Schleck was probably the biggest winner on the day though, riding himself into fourth on the GC, a mere 2:16 back. Mikel Nieve from Euskatel-Euskadi gave the orange a big boost after the loss of Antón by winning stage 16:

Good on him.I hope you enjoy the inset of Mikel's smiling face. I figured to offset the beer at the beginning of the post I'd do something a little artsy at the end. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Goodbyes, See-yas, and Cav-whos?

We have a lot to get to today, so let's just dive right in.

Two-time TdF winner Laurent Fignon recently passed away. Fignon won the 1983 and 1984 editions of the TdF and lost the 1989 edition to Greg Lemond by 8 seconds. One of the best cycling quotes of all time came from Fignon when he was recognized on the street. The gentleman said, "Ah, I remember you: you're the guy who lost the Tour by eight seconds." to which Fignon replied, "No monsieur, I'm the guy who won it twice." I never saw him race, but the combination of his wild hair and wire-rimmed glasses most likely made for an incredible viewing experience.

In news of the current grand tour (if the TdF is THE grand tour, then the Giro is its evil little brother and the Vuelta is the kid who used to be the Tour's stepson), Belgian sensation Phillippe Gilbert (pronounced Fill-eep Jill-bare) won the race's third stage to claim the camiseta roja:

Very reminiscent of a classic.During his post win interview, Gilbert was asked how the race went, to which he answered, "It was hot, but at the end I just picked the pace up and everyone else just fell off. Pretty standard really."

Cancellara isn't the only one whose part machine.Like just about every other stage, a break formed during stage four. It contained four riders, including Team Milram's Dominik Roels. At just over six feet tall and 165 pounds, Roels is one of the 'heftier' members of the pro peloton. While he may be fun at Oktoberfest and probably always gets tabbed to play Santa at team Christmas parties, his extra weight was not to his advantage when the road titled upwards:

Guys, wait up!Those professional cyclists, always leaving the fat kids behind. Speaking of being left behind, the end of the stage presented the riders with gradients as steep as 27%:

Yeah, it only says 23, but even that is still damn steep.In the end, Igor Antón from Euskaltel-Euskadi took the stage win, but in bigger news that seemed to be overlooked by all the major news media was the mechanical Andy Schleck had that allowed Antón victory:

Come on guys, wait up!Clearly AS is struggling to get his bike repaired so that he can chase back and limit his losses. Where has all the sportsmanship that used to prevail in the peloton gone?

Today's stage was long, hot, and perfect for a sprint finish. With Bernhard Eisel out for HTC-Columbia, Cavendish was without his lead-out man and punched it about 100 meters too far away and was passed by America. And by America I mean Garmin-Transitions rider Tyler Farrar:

All you shavers lick my goatee.Asked afterwards if defeating Cavendish (who by the way has now suffered two defeats at the hands of other sprinters in this year's Vuelta) will provide motivation, Farrar responded that winning is all the motivation he needs. That and the fact that next year he'll have former Tour and Vuelta points competition winner Thor Hushovd on his team. I'm sure as a sprinter, getting word that your boss just hired another prominent and proven sprinter, you'd do what you could to prove your worth as well.

Stevil over at AHTBM posted today that the AHTBM kits are shipped off. Since I read that I have been camped out on the front porch awaiting the delivery man.

Enjoy the week's midsection.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Emergency Update

So I guess I didn't see the crash, but it happened. Fortunately this time VdV was able to spring right back up and continue racing.

On a related note, I was wrong about the commentator yesterday. Turns out it's not Carlton Kirby, but David Harmon. Doesn't really matter his name, he's still an idiot.

Monday, August 30, 2010

VdV Crashes Out of Vuelta

That is what I thought I was going to be writing this morning. Apparently it is also what everyone's favorite Eurosport commentator, Carlton Kirby, thought as well. During the TTT, Carlton gave VdV a strong chance of success as long as he stays away from crashing. But despite his recent history, the American GC contender everyone wants to support made it through the opening TTT and first road stage. Speaking of the TTT and crashing, VdV's head-butting receiving teammate, Julian Dean, did crash. Perhaps he knew what the course had in store for him as he made the decision prior to forgo an aero helmet and instead wear a normal helmet:

An aero helmet wouldn't allow him to defend himself in a head butt war.Team Garmin-Transitions would end up 17 seconds back of eventual stage winner HTC-Columbia. Saxo Bank finished a bit higher, which makes sense since they brought their "World Champion and Countries No One Really Cares About" TT team:

I bet they planned this order to show off for the cameras.It's like the UN, it looks nice, thinks it carries weight, and has a bunch of colors, but in the end it falls short.

The TTT was a time for reunions as well as goodbyes. We saw the reunification of the two most well known Luxembourgers of all time, the Brothers Schleck:

As long as Fränk doesn't crash he should do well.As well as the last (third this year and 23rd overall) grand tour for Carlos 'Carl' Sastre as a Cervelo Test Team rider (also the team's last grand tour since it will fold at the end of this year and merge with Garmin):

The face of a man who just wants to race.The biggest story from the TTT though is the starting house. I understand that professional riders get perks that we recreational riders can only dream about, but when the Vuelta organizers hire nine attractive women to hold the riders' bikes prior to the start it has gone too far. During our club rides I get the honor of being held by the shop owner's son, a far cry from the hotties seen in Sevilla:

Perks of the pro peloton.I wonder if the riders suffered from ASHFS (After Start House Fart Syndrome) shortly after the stage started.

After HTC-Columbia won the TTT, it was almost accepted that Cav would win the following stage and therefore continue to hold the new red leader's jersey, or camiseta roja. With the peloton together under the flamme rouge, or bandera roja in Spanish, it looked like the scene we have seen 15 times over the last three TdFs - HTC leading out Cav for a stage win. In the American camp there was hope that Tyler Fair-rah would live up to the hype and defeat the Manx Missile, but in the end it was Belarus rider Yauheni Hutarovich from FdJ:

The Vuelta is full of surprises.Who is Yauheni Hutarovich you ask? I have no idea, though he is a two-time national champ as well as a five-time stage winner this year.

In other, more personal bike news, I am selling my mountain bike. If you know anyone who is in the market for one let me know. I am asking $1100 for a Stevens S9 Elite with Shimano Deore XT components:

To end this Monday's post I'll put up this this picture:

I wonder who else is for sale at Macy's.I guess I'll have to figure out something else to purchase my friend for his wedding.