Monday, June 30, 2008

Jacob's Ladder

Ol' Lightnin' and I just got back from the weekly S.B.A.D.M.V.V.L. Hammerfest...and I think it was our best ride so far.

Mongo figured out that I've been over-training and not giving my old, but still sexy, body enough rest.

By cutting back on my empty miles and focusing on specific riding, I've been able to improve my climbing and reduce my recovery time.

The Fat Lady Has Sung

Was it all worth it?
Goodbye...nice to know you.

Messin' With The Hoff

Though this blog has been going for a little over six months, I only started tracking visitors about three months ago. In that time, Mongo Pusher has been read in twenty three states and fifteen countries around the world. Though not a big deal numbers wise, what surprised me is this...I'm huge in Germany!!
Of all the foreign countries, Deutchland is Mongo's #1 fan. Danke shon!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Primal Scream

Like a cockroach after a nuclear blast, The Crue have emerged from the ruins of rock and roll tattered and beaten...but certainly not dead. Raw and raucous as ever, their music is a constant reminder of why I liked strippers and coke in the first place.

Stanley Park

“Disguised in the eyes of the matter of fact
The message in the understatement lost in a flash of pain
Tears through the years of the spoken not heard
What is the trigger that revolves the chamber?
Lies brought the prize for the latch key kid
Drenched in self-awareness while spitting out venom
Awakened and shaken to the core of reinvention
Pride subdued by wisdom in the end"

Reppin' The Homeland

It seems like every European country held their national TT championships this week. Just a week or so prior to Le Tour, all the winners are getting fitted for a skin suit rocking their country's colors. It's an opportunity for Phil and Bob and Paul to point out on TV that that is in fact Lukasz Bodnar, the Polish TT National Champion, finishing in 87th place.

Up From The Ashes

As I stated very early on in the blog, Mongo is not a big fan of skateboard magazines. As a for-profit business, they have an obligation to highlight the facets of skateboarding that are representing the most interest and generating the most revenue. Unfortunately for Mongo, street-skating and fashion tend to dominate the pages of all the magazines these days.
I love skateboarding in all it's forms, and what these kids can do on the street is amazing...but it's just not my bag. As an old timey skater from the 70's and 80's, vert, park, and tranny skating have always been my thing. Adams, Alva, Mountain, Miller, Grosso, Caballero, Hawk, Hosoi, Way, Burnquist...These are Mongo's influences.
I was pleasantly surprised to read in the August issue (It's June) of Transworld an intelligent and comprehensive look at the state of vert skating through the eyes and words of some of it's most respected practitioners.
Lance Mountain and Danny way particularly, cut through the bullshit of niche skating, and as oracles of the sport they remind us all why we ride.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Freak On A Leash

After taking last Monday off due to a horrendously bad performance the week prior, Mongo re-joined the peleton this week for the Smyrna Bicycles-Alp d'Huez-Mont Ventoux-Vinings Loop-Hammerfest.

I have to say, it was one the most eclectic groups of the season so far. Boonen was there on his tri-cross bike wearing the ugliest shorts ever. Triathlon James was there on his road bike wearing his usual uncomfortably short tri-bib. Young Jimmy was there in his full Blue team kit.(Jimmy rides a Giant) And then there was Gary...

Gary wears normal shorts...but that's where normal ends. Gary rides a carbon fiber Kestrel set up in full TT mode...but with a custom configured drivetrain. It has a single 53T ring up front with a 5 speed, 13-23 cluster in the back. I was sure that there was no way in hell that he was going to be able to haul himself up and over some of the climbs on the loop. I was wrong.
On the steepest hills, everyone is maxed out on their gearing. Either 39/25, 34/25, or 30/23. Gary was riding with a gearing of 53/23. Without going into a Sheldon Brown essay on gear ratios or gear inches, lets break this down a different, simpler way.

If you divide the front chainring number by the cog number you'll get a third number that tells you how many times the rear wheel rotates with every turn of the cranks. Theoretically, the bigger the number the harder it is to pedal. 39/25=1.56...34/25=1.36...30/23=1.30...And finally for Gary...53/23=2.3 Wow! The incremental difference is staggering.

I always knew he was a beast on the flats, but to be able to climb with that setup is amazing.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Prisoners Of Technology

You know by now that among many other vices, Mongo likes to rock while cycling. It shuts me off from the pesky outside world and allows me to get into whatever kind of zone is needed.
My last mp3 player died about three weeks ago...and I didn't hurry to replace it. My thinking was that riding sans tunes would bring me back to the pure essence of cycling.
Man and machine working in harmony, wind in my ears, aware of the elements...yadda, yadda, yadda! Let me just tell you, that shit is overrated.
I heard noises coming from my bikes that I'd never heard before...none of them good.
What followed was three weeks of a meticulously anal search and eliminate mission on all my noises. Though mostly successful, I decided to get a new mp3 player anyway.
I bought this little baby at Best Buy for $59.99. It has 2GB of memory, tons of great functions, a clip on the back, and it's smaller than the picture.
"What's that...I can't hear you."

Where's The Beef?

The Tour de Suisse folded up shop yesterday and added another chapter to what has been a great year, on the road, for pro far.
The only guy who could make Michael Rasmussen look fat, Roman Kreuziger, cruised home on the final stage to edge out AK47 by 49 seconds for the overall win.
Swiss homeboy, Fabian Cancellara, executed another perfect solo breakaway to take the stage win.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Did You Miss It?

Yesterday (June 21st) was National Go Skateboarding Day.
I know Mongo and Andy Mac were out there ripping...were you?

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Revenge...Bandit Style

Roman Kreuziger wins the penultimate stage of the Tour de Suisse, and carries a 49 second overall lead into the final stage on Sunday.
Unfortunately, the person sitting in second is none other than Mongo's guy, Andreas Kloden.
AK47 has done a strong tour,(Top ten in KOM and Points along with second on GC) but it looks like Kreuziger has enough time on him to win...and redeem his second place finish to Kloden at the Tour de Romandie.
I like Liquigas to be a major player when they get their big guns together and head to France.

I Love This Guy

Perhaps the only man in pro cycling who can make a solo breakaway with under 10K to go...and make it stick.
Fabian Cancellara holds off the sprinters by mere seconds to win yesterdays stage.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Mother...If You Wanna Find Hell With Me

Star on the rise and Danzig impersonator, Kim Kirchen, wins Stage 6 of the Tour de Suisse and takes the overall lead.
AK47 puts in a game effort to finish second on the day and move into sixth place on GC.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Shelter From Pigs On The Wing

“ Who am I if I come from nowhere?
An anonymous transaction under the veil of shame.
Who am I if I come from nowhere?
A mistake, bad timing, this is my legacy.
Who am I if I come from nowhere?
A solution, a second chance, I fill the aching void.
Who am I if I come from nowhere?
A simple answer, a lifetime of questions.”

Not So Lucky

Mongo does a great deal of his riding surrounded by Nature. It may seem ironic, because my legend is growing locally as one of the premier "Highway" riders in the state, but Mongo loves some peace and quiet.

The down side to riding with Nature is... Nature itself. Animals, specifically.

Squirrels, Rabbits, Deer, Snakes, Hawks, Owls, Raccoons, Bigfoot...All have come into play at one time or another while Mongo was riding.

My point is this... We are intruding on these unsolicited spectators, so it's our responsibility to make sure we do our best not to harm them.(*)
(*) In good conscience, Mongo has to admit that he has, sadly, committed a Chipmunkicide in his past.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Turns Out Robbie McEwen's A Douchebag

After winning yesterday's stage, McEwen kept everyone at the podium waiting because he was on the phone. Nice!
He was giving an interview to a Belgian media outlet(His team is based in Belgium) even though the rules of the race state that he must give his first interview to Swiss TV. After being informed of this and possible ramifications, McEwen passed the F-bomb around like an eight-ball at one of Tom Boonen's parties.
His disparaging remarks and lack of class have got the mild mannered Swiss up in arms. To add insult to injury...he won again today!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Eyeballs Deep In Muddy Waters

Valverde shaves monobrow and save 43 grams...propels him to victory in the Dauphine.

AK47 and the Russian Mafia have got their hands full with a very strong field at the Tour de Suisse. Mongo's looking at CSC, and one of the Schleck boys, to flex their muscles with a Tour ready team.

Since Mongodamus and Mongo The Greek have basically gone oh for '08, I will now be making my final prediction of the year...unless of course, I get it right.

The winner of the 2008 Tour de France will be...wait for it...CADEL EVANS !

Saturday, June 14, 2008

They're No Jamaican Posse

AK47, with his Russian and Kazakh B-Team goon squad, start the Tour de Suisse today. Let's hope Kloden has recovered from his Giro ailment and makes a run at the podium for G.C.
Back at the Dauphine...Looks like Valverde is probably going to win. Evans and Leiphemer couldn't gain any ground on the second to last stage. The final stage is no cruise, with several steep climbs early, so it 'aint over quite yet.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Is That A Bracelet, Frenchy?

Cyril "The spunky six-cylinder" Dessel does his best Jens Voigt and executes a perfect solo breakaway from the lead group to win today's stage.

The Dauphine Libere, or in English, The Free Dolphin Movement, is really good this year. With only a few stages to go, there are three big contenders in play.

1. Alejandro Valverde...Injury prone, Spanish, Monobrow.

2. Cadel Evans...Wheel sucker, Australian, High-pitched voice.

3. Levi Leipheimer...Short, American, Bald.

Mongo is going to go out on a limb and predict that L.L. will turn it up to a hoe nuvah leval and somehow win this be'atch.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Have Some Coke And A Smile

After already being thrown under the bus by countryman and cyclocross racer Tom Vannoppen for providing him with cocaine,(and getting away with it, I might add) Tom Boonen tests positive himself for the flake.
Sprinting "on a rail" has a whole different meaning.

It's About Time

George Hincapie wins Stage 2 of the Dauphine.

U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Mistook The Nods For An Approval

“Healthy premonitions of the outcome to the game
Sealed dungeons of sanity open slowly to a fragile mind
More now than ever before a foothold has taken in reality
Gather the arsenal of a life lived on the way to Waterloo”

Strauss And Company

Scrappy little gnome, Levi Leipheimer, wins the Prologue of the Dauphine.

Without AK47 in the race, Mongo is a homer for some American cooking. Nothing makes me happier than ice cream...and sticking it to the French.

Levi's a great talent, and without the Tour, this might be his last chance for a European stage race win. I hope he has the legs and Astana works to get him the win.

That being said, Valverde and Evans are also in this race, but they're tuning up for the Tour. Mongo is probably going with Valverde as my TDF "guy", but I'll have to see how his form holds up this week...Stay tuned for my final Mongodamus TDF prediction.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Gotta Have the Funk

Mongo's enemies are mutating.
Today, I had a semi-smackdown with a young, South American lookin' dude on a Discovery Channel Madone...who just happened to be wearing a Rock Racing jersey.
Mongo's opinions on the Rock Racing ownership and the logo and kit design are quite different. I love the kit but question the leadership skills of a fashion designer who is a wannabe, but never was, cyclist.
Anyway, I rolled up on this dude and asked him where he got the jersey while showing him my Rock Racing water bottles.
"Blah, blah, blah, expensive, blah, blah, blah, website, blah, blah, blah, limited edition." What a prick!
After he drafted me for a few miles and never pulled through, I gave White Lightnin' the whip... and we were gone.

Piper At The Gates Of Dawn

He is the Syd Barrett of skateboarding. A mad genius of originality. A scientist, an artist, and simply the best freestyle/street skater of all time. If you don't know who he're lame.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Cell Phone Or Drunk?

I mean on your right...My bad!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Not Sucking Is Better Than Sucking

As you well know by now, Mongo's Monday Smyrna Bicycles group ride has changed from a 30 mile speed run to 25 miles of climbing in the Pyrenees of Vinings, Georgia.

Let me just say that being good at the first is no guarantee you're good at the second.

After eating some humble pie a couple of weeks ago on the new loop, Mongo got serious about some hill training...and it paid off. I have improved a little.

Riding long steep climbs with no more gears left and my muscles burning has become Mongo's personal Vision Quest. I am humbled by the journey...but motivated by the results.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Threw You The Obvious

How do I feel about Alberto Contador winning the Giro d'Italia? Let's see...

He rides for a team funded primarily by a corporate conglomerate from Kazakhstan.(Russian Mafia)

His team leader, Johan Bruyneel, was a major player during the rampant doping years in pro cycling.(Weasel)

The team rides Trek bicycles.(Demon spawn)

Other than that, it was a nice win for what is now the unquestionable star of the peleton. He backed up a sketchy Tour win last year by beating most of the big guns at this year's Giro on short notice. This dude's the real deal.

Mongodamus prediction...Andreas "AK47" Kloden to Rabobank in '09

Audi 5000

AK47 abandons the Giro half way up the Gavia. Turns out he's been sick for a while.