Friday, June 25, 2010

I Love U Bandit Queen

A lot has happened since my last post - here I will condense all happenings to those that are essential (in addition to shortening the time I spend typing this post, not covering the last few weeks in detail allows me blog fodder for weeks to come).

Israel was quite amazing. Here are a few pictures that I have specially selected for today's post:

For all of your grinding needs.
I suppose that the suit is necessary since plastic would most likely melt in a nuclear catastrophe.
I'm digging the rear suspension, but I'm intrigued by the joystick.
Sunrise over Jordan.
Floating in the Dead Sea.For those of you who are observant, you can see that I'm perusing a copy of Men's Journal with Lance Armstrong on the cover. I don't read a ton and being over in Europe for the last five years has me a little behind on my knowledge of American magazine literature, but in what I've read over the last few months it appears that the American media is in love with Lance. Don't get me wrong, on my best day after training for years I wouldn't be able to finish a TdF stage within the time limit, let alone win seven Tours in a row (after recovering from cancer), but in the eyes (and words) of many a media outlet Lance can do no wrong. I'm not sure if this has trickled down to American cycling fans or if it has trickled up to the media (it makes business sense to print articles praising athletes fans love and want to read positive articles about).

On a more broad cycling theme let's discuss social contract theory (heretofore known as theory). At its very basic, the theory states that individuals give up certain liberties to reap the benefits of being a part of a society, namely convenience. While many don't want to believe it, this theory pertains to cyclists as well. For the convenience of not having to create roads or maintain said roads, cyclists have to give up certain liberties - namely the ability to pick and choose which laws to follow. If you want to be taken seriously as a vehicle, which many cycling blog authors claim, then you should be subject to the rules and regulations that govern other vehicles. Of course there are idiots who don't think so, like a San Francisco native in this article who thinks that it's ok to cycle and text (though of course it is too dangerous for pedestrians to text while walking). Then there is this wonder from across the pond in dear ole England that claims they ran into a child at full speed with their bike and caused no harm. It makes one wonder what "full speed" means. I sure hope that if I were riding at full speed a child would at least fear being hit by me. Here you'll find a blogger who understands the idea that laws apply to everyone, though his smugness in his description as a "part-time driver" makes me wish he were struck by a cyclist at "full speed." These are only three examples of the many takes on the theory when it comes to cycling and driving. I can't give you any facts or statistics to back up my next statement, but I have a feeling (unfortunately) that most cyclists are in the "I don't have to follow the rules of the road" camp.

A while back I had Floyd occupying all spots on the DB podium. I want to clear up that he earned those spots for doping and then lying about it for four years, not for accusing other riders of doping. Sure, you don't tell on your buddy at school when he illegally parks in a teachers only spot, but knowingly letting professional riders earn money for cheating is far worse than being called a rat or breaking any imaginery "code of silence" between riders. So, big ups to Floyd (though I doubt his motives were purely altruistic) and here's to hoping that USA Cycling takes his accusations seriously and conducts a thorough investigation. We don't need a witch hunt, but professional cyclists should understand that doping won't be tolerated and that accusations will be handled appropriately.

Speaking of the DB podium, a story I read on one of the websites I frequent had a link to D. Dowd Muska's website with this gem of an article. This guy makes the competition for this week's podium a race for second. It's like Usain Bolt, Kevin James, and Rush Limbaugh in a foot race, the only real unknown is which of the two (James or Limbaugh) will have a heart attack first. For this week's DB race though, the race for second was narrowly won by an Israeli security guard employed by the US State Department. Stacy, as Penny and I referred to her as, amassed a trio of DB victories: she yelled at me for sitting on a metal barrier, unplugged the fan that was being used to cool Americans waiting to enter the embassy (it was easily 98 degrees around 10:45 am and there was about three feet of shade), and denied American citizens access to American soil. Of course all of this could be explained by the fact that her training most likely consisted of multiple PowerPoint presentations that totaled roughly two hours but were reported as taking 40. Her transgressions easily outdistanced the Customs and Border Protection Agency's Officer Siggs at the Wichita Airport. Her major offense was telling us that we (Penny and me) had failed to do our job and understand Kansas law as it pertains to importing wine for personal use. She lectured us on how her job was to enforce federal and state laws and that we had to provide her with a "permission slip" from the state of Kansas allowing us to bring in the wine we shipped from Germany. She quoted Kansas law saying we were authorized one gallon of wine. Penny did some research to discover that we could bring in as much wine as we wanted, we would just have to pay taxes on all of it above one gallon. So we spent a whopping $11.30 on taxes and picked up our wine. In numerical order, here's this week's podium:

25 June DB Podium:
1. D. Dowd Muska
2. "Stacy"
3. Officer Siggs

Here's to hoping your weekend is sunny and that all of your rides are at "full speed."


  1. I could blog about this post.

    1. You said it'd be short but it was not.
    2. I bet the Spanish media has a pretty high opinion of Contador. Your point about the benjamins is right on in my opinion.
    3. Regarding dickhead cyclists, here's something I often considered yelling at any pair of idiots riding side by side down the road: "Share the road with cars!" I couldn't agree more with you here
    4. What does DB stand for? I have a guess, but I'm not certain.
    Kind Regards,

  2. I said I would condense things, not keep it short. And for those inquiring minds DB means douche bag.