Wednesday, September 30, 2009

More inspiration

I could literally watch this kid ride all day, then get a quick nap, get up, and watch him ride some more.

He's not human. He's a robot designed to kick ass.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Just some quick comments

1) The UCI has moved to eliminate 2-way radios from the pro peloton. I won't get into all the pros and cons of this move, but there's an article here on VeloNews about how Johan Bruyneel and Bob Stapleton think it's a bad idea. They say riders will be less safe without radios, but the truth is, in my opinion, Bruyneel and Stapleton just fear what will happen if they can't exert complete control over what their riders do on race day. Somewhere Bernard Hinault is chuckling to himself.

2) I'm happy for Cadel Evans. I've always liked him as a rider, even when he's come off as a whiney prick. Full disclosure, Evans is of Welsh descent, and I'm a Welsh robot, so he's been a natural favorite for me. Anyway, it's good to see him come good at the end of the season, and I'd add, not all too surprising that he wins his biggest race, not supported by the sad cast of Silence-Lotto, but rather by the aggressive riding of his countrymen. Note to Silence-Lotto, this guy can win big races if you support him properly.

3) There's talk Astana will lose their ProTour license. Duh. If you're running a show where teams are allowed to go without paying their riders for months at a time (keep in mind this is the very top division of pro cycling) and keep your license, you're running a pretty crappy show. Full disclosure on this one, I want Alberto Contador out of that team, so we can see him race Schleck, Wiggins, Evans, Menchov, Armstrong, et. al. on an even playing field, instead of hamstrung by a crew of cut-rate Kazak cyclists led by unrepentant doper Vinokourov.

4) I find myself plunging deep into fall without the benefit of a single road bike in my collection. What happened? How did I arrive here? And how can I solve this intolerable problem?

Cross Season

So, it's cross season. I've never ridden cross competitively, though my everyday bike is a cross bike, set up fixed for city bombing. I've had it off road, and it's what we, in New England, call "wicked fun."

So in honor of cross season, here's a video I ripped off of the Embrocation blog:

SCHOOL OF CROSS from Dave Christenson on Vimeo.

Monday, September 21, 2009

10 Things I Don't Like

1) When people call their bike a "whip."

2) When the stem and handlebars are referred to as the "cockpit."

3) When people ride track bikes with flip-flops on. DON'T YOU LIKE HAVING TOES?!?!?!?

4) The term "fixie."

5) That Bicycling Magazine puts bikes that cost more than $1500 in their "new riders" review bikes.

6) Single speed mountain bikes.

7) Guys racing Grand Tours to warm up for Worlds. Guys pulling out of Grand Tours to save themselves for Worlds.

8) Race radios.

9) Cyclo-computers.

10) Not having enough money to buy more bikes.

Monday, September 14, 2009


Is there a place called Salvation? And can I ride to it? How far? Century? Double Century? Or a wheel-spinning millennium?

How many saddle sores do I need to get in, and how much lactic acid do I need to be carrying? Is it uphill all the way? Is there a headwind? Will someone pace me? Will the echelons string across road like accordions of mercy and deliver me, just as a hole develops in the heel of my old wool socks?

Will the Earth spin under my wheels, and will all the trees blur into one, tall green spire? Will my chain run dry and my cables stretch thin, on my way to Salvation?

Can you even get there on a carbon fiber horse? I'd best run steel. To be safe.

The sweat soaks all the way out the brim of my cap and the lycra lets hold its grip. The road turns up and disappears, asymptotic in the distance. There's a rasp in my chest and a creaking in my bars, and I used my last spare tube hours ago. It doesn't matter, because the side walls of these thins tires are nearly gone. I've gone sallow in the cheeks, almost gray. I blend into the winter-bleached asphalt, pebbly and rough. And cars swish by, oblivious, the radio on too loud.

I'm near Salvation now. I know I am, but how much further?

How much further?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Friday Video - Julien Dupont

This dude is really a very serious mother fucker. I don't even give half a shit that he ain't pedalin'.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Something I love about bicycles - Part VII


A headhunter is a special kind of commuter, the kind that is very, very competitive, seeking to pass the maximum number of riders during his or her daily commute. It doesn't matter whether the headhunter lives a mile from the office or twenty. Each day they set out to destroy the competition, the college kids on their rusty, old ten-speeds, the mountain bikers riding two inch knobbies on the pavement, the department store bikes and the carbon fiber dreams. The headhunter merely wishes to pass. To pass is to win.

I have been a headhunter. I have vanquished old women with baskets full of flowers. I have derived smug pleasure from passing a lycra-clad roadie and from burning past kids on freestyle BMX bikes. I don't know why. I don't know what I was hoping to accomplish or what I was proving about myself. I've certainly let all that go now.

But I love the headhunter still, even if I put up a little resistance as he tries to pass.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Something I love about bicycles - Part VI


Crashing hurts. The older I get the more it hurts. And because I've been riding a long time, my crashes happen quickly. I don't find myself in slow-motion, "oh-no-what's-going-to-happen?" crashes. I'm riding, and then I'm down. And bleeding.

A good crash reminds me I'm alive. A good crash pegs back my more aggressive tendencies and keeps me safe for months.

Some crashes are funny and help me take myself less seriously. Some crashes put me out of commission for a while, which gives my body a chance to recover, not just from the crash, but also from the daily pounding I give it.

Crashes win you sympathy. And scars.

A crash teaches you where the edges of things are, where you stop and the asphalt starts.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Carnicería masiva

That's Spanish for 'massive carnage.'

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Something I love about bicycles - Part V

I love joggers. Where I ride in the summertime, part of my route anyway, runs up through a park that ribbons along a river, and this particular stretch of urban parkery attracts myriad joggers, many of them college-aged women. And what amuses me about them, other than the obvious gift of youthful svelteness, is their preference for a certain genre of aggressively sloganed t-shirts.

These are shirts that say things like: "No pain, no gain," "Don't mess with me," "Pain is weakness leaving the body," "Only the strong survive," "If you're gonna beat me you better RUN!," etc, etc, etc. They're so earnest, so positive, so playfully A-personality deranged.

I haven't the heart to tell them they'd be faster on a bike.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Daveed Millar

I am generally loathe simply to post a link to content on another site, unless that content is a kick ass video that involves shredding of hot asphalt, slaying of beasts or large animals deficating.

In this instance, however, and in lieu of actually saying something substantive about the Vuelta España, I will direct you here for David Millar's diary entry from yesterday. It made me laugh. It gave me information. It made me laugh again. And then it exposed the raw, human side of pro racing that we so seldom get to see.

Read it. If you like bike racing.

I do.