It's been a while since I've cut loose with a full-on ramblin' post. So go grab a beer, or other bevvy of choice, and hang on...
Ivan Basso- You have got to be kidding me! No... really! "I know it's hard to believe, but trust me- all my previous wins were done clean... I was going to cheat with all that blood... but I got caught before I actually cheated. I know it was wrong, but..." (Not an actual quote, so please don't come suing my broke bike nerd ass.) Seriously? Really? On top of it, Bruyneel says that he's really disappointed that Basso lied to him. Umm... really? No sh@t Sherlock! I am trying to believe that he/ Discovery didn't know what the outcome would be if the investigation in the Puerto case continued... but I'm having a really hard time. No... really, I am.
Floyd Landis- Floyd's arbitration hearing has gone from pretty good, to ok, to not so good, to downright freakin bizarre. Now-former manager Will Geoghegan makes incredibly stupid phone call to Greg LeMond to try and intimidate him the night before he is to take the stand as a witness for the other side. Ok... that alone is one of the stupidest things I think I have ever heard. Really, this puts him in a league of nearly his own on the jackass/ idiot lists. What a dumbass! But... poor Floyd... I love you brother and want to believe the very best about you... but how do you not fire the asshole the second you know he did something so stupid? You find out what he did, just minutes/ few hours after the fact and then you don't do anything about it and try to hope it just goes away? Really? Man, that was a bad, bad move. Prior to this bombshell, I was totally in the "I am waiting for the evidence" camp. Now, I am terribly frightened for Floyd. Even if he is innocent of the doping charges, it is safe to say that his days of racing are likely over. With this ugly circus, which many believed would highlight a shitty anti- doping system, what team would want to sign him? This really does screw Floyd's chances pretty badly. Unless the anti-doping folks do something even dumber (dumberest), there's pretty much nothing to do but wish Floyd a great post-cycling career. Like I said, I love ya' buddy... but, man, that was a pretty stupid thing. That said, I'll still happily buy you a beer if I ever get the chance.
Thursday was the bike industry bike to work Industry Cup Challenge- sponsored by Specialized. Haro had it's best turn out yet, with 17-18 of 26 employees riding in to the office. Me, I rode in and back myself. First time since I've been with the company too... since I live 40 miles from work. So my commute was a whopping 80 miles. Heck, I used to ride 80 miles a day nearly every day when I was seriously racing, but those days are long since gone. I was riding super strong, for me, on the way in to work- making it in less than 2 hours (and that's with all the lights and stops). However, the ride home was a totally different story... taking me more like 2 hours and just shy of 45 minutes. I bonked, blew up, cramped, fell apart at the seams and generally stunk to high hell. It was almost laughable, except that I could find the energy to make any noise. There is one good climb on the way home (Torrey Pines, for you locals) and I was nearly swerving up the hill in the bike lane. I love the climb too- it's one of my favorites- but my legs were simply ca-flooey. I saw the Care Bears, Smokey the Bear and that duck from the Aflac commercials. One of them, I'm not sure which because I was totally hallucinating at the time, encouraged me to keep pushing on the pedals so I wouldn't fall over and have the little old lady on the old touring bike run over me. Thanks for the words of inspiration, who ever you were/ are. All that whining aside, I'd love to find a way to do that more often than every 2+ years. It's actually a really great ride and I have always had a soft spot for early morning rides. All those years of hard training early in the morning made a mark on me.
As much as it freaks me out to admit, it is time to create the next Masi catalog. I've already begun putting some ideas down. I'm sketching out what and how I want to say all the things that will hopefully entice all of you who have not already purchased a Masi to realize that you simply must have one. (You know you want one... or a new one.) If you've got great ideas, suggestions, requests, or whatnot... lemme know. Let me just say that you are going to like what you see... I promise. Really.
A&F Pro Development team- I love my team! These guys just keep rocking! Not only did Mark Hekman win Athens Twilight, but he held on to win the overall for the Southeast Crits race series. Sweet! I mean... super sweet! These guys then went on to roll strong at the Joe Martin stage race. Mark finished a very respectable 18th overall- not bad for a guy who is a crit specialist. The team rode strong in support of Mark, since he is clearly on a roll. It isn't a win, but it is another strong performance from a team that keeps on fighting it out with the biggest domestic teams in the US. Way to go guys!
Saturday afternoon I got out for a little ride. Just an hour to spin the legs loose after a hard Thursday. I didn't ride on Friday because I had a very super top secret meeting with Shimano. I could tell you, but... you know the drill. Special warm and fuzzy thanks to our man Daniel and his Shimano credit card... sushi is so yummy. I guess this makes me something of a whore, since our very good friend from SRAM, Brian Billington, visited just the week before and went for a ride with us and then went to lunch with us. Jeesh... I guess I am a slut. Anyway, to my point... on my ride, I stopped by Adams Avenue Bicycles to visit with my good friend Andrew Lee. Andrew and all the guys at Adams are just amazing guys. I love'em... in a totally normal, bike nerd way.
Andrew and his crew are some of the finest mechanics around this town, which is part of why I stopped by to see them. I had a technical issue to ask them about my drivetrain- for some reason, no matter what I do, the chain skips on the 11t cog. It never skips anywhere else. The shifting is totally perfect on every other gear. No skips, no nothing. The lockring for the cassette is the proper one for an 11t cassette, so the chain isn't hitting that. If you shift up the cogset slightly, you can see grease marks on the integrated spacer for the cog, indicating that the chain side plates are hitting the spacer. It is a general theory that this is why the chain is skipping- if I apply hard pedaling force, the chain slips over the 11t cog, as if the chain isn't grabbing the teeth. It's weird... excluding Daniel and Brian, anybody got any ideas? The cogset, though a few years old, has only seen a few rides and the 11t is nearly virgin since I haven't been able to ride in it. You guys at Campy got any ideas?
Ok... I think I'm done for now. Maybe...