Monday, May 24, 2010

The End of an Era (in Bamberg)

It was an absolutely beautiful day here in Bamberg and, like good Europeans, the Germans took to the bike paths en masse. Today was the last day I was able to ride since all of our stuff will be shipped tomorrow. I was looking forward to a great ride (which it turned out to be despite some difficulties). It seemed that the route was full of idiots today though: people walking two abreast and taking up the eight foot wide path, single roller bladers doing the same, older riders performing the obligatory weave to-and-fro for no reason, and a douche on a mountain bike who hopped on my wheel - twice. I dropped him once and he had the nut sack to invite himself to my draft again. I was hoping he would have done it a third time; I was prepared to slow way down, get behind him, and use his draft for a while.

I saw a one-legged man riding a recumbent bike and was thoroughly impressed. Of the impressive things I saw today he made the third step of the podium. The top two steps - two one-legged ladies riding regular mountain bikes.

Speaking of being impressed, Manuel Belletti's win in stage 13 of the Giro was great to see. It's good for his team Colnago-CSF, it's great for him since he won right around the corner from home, and it's amazing for cycling. His outpouring of emotions afterwards captured all of the beauty and suffering that is cycling:

Let it out man, let it out.Of course, I'm not totally convinced that he wasn't upset about the race organizer's decision to use 'The Final Countdown' as the awards presentation music. I was hoping to see this guy come out and perform a little:

If you didn't have adult onset diabetes, I wouldn't mind giving you a little sugar.Over on the worst coast, the ATOC has wrapped up with Michael Rogers surviving numerous attacks during the last climb of stage 8 to win the overall yellow jersey. For his efforts he was rewarded with a little bonus of $21,000 that he will proceed to give to the rest of his team:

Do you guys know how many Fosters I can buy with this!Have we seen the end of an era with Levi finishing in third behind Rogers and Dave Z? Um, I'm not sure that three wins by a pro tour rider in a non-pro tour race really defines an era. I'll leave that for the reporters to discuss, but I think that this season has seen the possible beginning of an era of dominance for Liquigas and their young rider Peter Sagan. In addition to his two wins in the ATOC (yeah, I know what I wrote about Levi, I wrote it), he won three stages in Europe earlier in the season. Here he is collecting his large check for winning the points competition at the ATOC:

Um, I don't speak English, how much money is this?And here is him collecting another large check for winning the best young rider competition:

Oh, cinquemila.  That's it?On Saturday Penny and I walked over to Mahr's Bräu and spent some time soaking in the sun and sipping one of Mahr's signature "U" beers (pronounced "oo"). "U" is short for Ungespundet-Hefetrüb (which means yeasty or cloudy). The "U" has a smooth flavor that is a bit malty and goes down quickly. The brewery was actually named the best brewery in the world by Men's Journal in 2005.

So inviting.It's sad to see it go.As I mentioned earlier, Penny and I are shipping our things tomorrow and moving out of the apartment. For the last couple weeks we're in Europe we are traveling to Bucharest, Romania and Israel. Should be exciting and interesting, though the trip to Romania will unfortunately put the kabbash on my watching of the Giro. It happens.

Lastly, to recap my score from BSNYC's May 21st quiz: six out of eight plus the bonus question. I think it's about time to look up Mensa's phone number.

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