Thursday, July 31, 2008

Geez Louise

It's official...Team Astana is now the NY Yankees of cycling.
For no other reason that could possibly make sense to Mongo other than a ton of money, Andreas Kloden has re-signed with the team for 2009.
Contador is McSmarmy's golden goose...Leipheimer is the American advertising connection...Why would Kloden elect to stay with this team when he could be the #1 rider for anyone else?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Mongo, after hammering the hills for an hour this morning, has come to an unwavering conclusion.

I have neither the genetic makeup nor the mental discipline to ever be a great climber...or give up ice cream.

I am doomed to be nothing more than a hit and miss rolleur.

Run To The Hills...Run For Your Life

“Grey and cold and bittersweet
Etched in stone but eventually worn smooth
Separating the memories from the pain
Clarity heals the wounds of consequence”

Monday, July 28, 2008

Two Tickets To The Gun Show

Mongo was happy to see Gert Steegmans win the final stage of the Tour. In the exclusive, suburban group riding scene, I have often been compared to the man from Belgium.
We're both big guys, ride Specialized bicycles, and date smokin' hot European supermodels...I'm actually only good for two out of three.
Steegmans uses strategy, positioning and power to his advantage. Much like Mongo, he's not a speedster, but given the right opportunity, he can ramp it up and win from the front.

Poncherello And Baker: The Next Generation

"If you guys keep fofonov, we're going to have to pull you over!"

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Train Is Coming

Mongo has seen the future of contest street skating, and it's not Sheckler or's that little 14 year old dude on the left.
His name is Chaz Ortiz, and he has possible legend written all over him...He's that good!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

They Don't Grow 'Em Like This In France

VDV has an ass-kicking Tour and will finish 5th come Sunday.
Garmin-Chipotle and Columbia (Both American teams) go above and beyond their individual expectations.
American pro cycling has a lot to be proud of this year. Let the clowns over in Europe sort out their doping and politics...we're doin' it the right way here in the good ol' US of A.

Turn That Frown Upside Down

It's hard staying angry when you've just won both of the TT's in the Tour de France. Stefan Schumacher, with the craziest shaped head I've ever seen, served notice to Fabian Cancellara that he's not the only speedster with distorted cranial features.

Sastre: The Movie

The newest trend in Hollywood is cycling movies about Spanish dudes, starring Spanish dudes. Coincidentally, a Spaniard is about to win this year's Tour de France.

Unfortunately for Sastre, he looks about twenty years older than he actually is, so a slimmer, ah you say, Antonio Banderas, wouldn't be totally out of the question.

Fortunately for the rest of us, that won't be necessary. Sastre already has a doppelganger who, with the right script, would be willing to strap on a Cervelo. Respected character actor and already skinny...John Turturro.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Is That Skeletor?

Sylvain Chavanel wins Stage 19...and is kinda creepy looking.

VDV needs to turn it up to a hoe nuvah leval tomorrow in the TT if he wants to make the podium on Sunday. Cadel has sucked every wheel dry in France, and now I really don't want him to win. I hope Sastre or Kohl have a huge day and spoil his high-pitched plan.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Droppin' The Kids Off At The Pool

“ Can there be blame in the search for forgiveness?
Will there be peace for the only one at war?
Is it ever too late to forget the past?
Who is responsible for the person I become?”

This 'Aint No Giro D'Italia

Just like Mongo after a few too many trips to the pavement, Damiano "Faux-Hawk" Cunego calls it a day and abandons the Tour. The little prince never really was a factor, but he was riding a respectable race none the less.
Team "Air Drop" took their fifth win of the Tour with Marcus Burghardt...I know, me neither!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Carlito's Way

Carlos "I've been hiding in the peleton hoping nobody would notice me" Sastre wins Stage 17 on L'Alpe d'Huez...and takes over the yellow jersey from teammate Frank Schleck.
Kohl, Evans and Schleck are all within striking distance, but realistically only Evans can make up enough ground in the TT.
VDV is still riding well, and a top five finish is not out of the question.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

It All Comes Down To Alped Ooh Ez

Cyril "Six Cylinder" Dessel wins today. VDV crashes and loses minutes on the lead. CSC is primed to deliver F. Schleck and/or Sastre to the podium in Paris. Cadel needs to grow some balls on L'Alpe d'Huez tomorrow . Watch out for Valverde to salvage some pride and try and win the stage.

They Shoot Cyclists Don't They?

Don't f**k with a wounded Bear! (Or some other analogous large, powerful, hairy, creature)

Mongo took his injured knee and smashed face to the S.B.A.D.M.V.V.L. Hammerfest on Monday. I shouldn't have, but my rep in the barrio was on the line. It was 96 degrees with 200% humidity...and all the ballers were there!

"Give no quarter, Take no quarter"...If you show up to ride, you better be ready to go.

The pain I experienced in my knee during the climbs was so severe that I have probably started in motion a lifetime of knee surgeries. On a brighter note, I am happy to report that not only did I keep up and have a respectable day, but I never view of anyone else.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Guess Who's Back...Shady's Back

This is what he used to look like when he was in his formative years of smarmy weaseldom.
Johan Bruyneel would go on to become the John Gotti of cycling. Savvy and smooth with the public and press, but you just knew by looking at him that he was guilty of something.
Mongo witnessed his smarm in person at the Tour of Georgia this year when I saw him coming out of the Astana bus. We made brief eye contact, and in that fleeting moment, I could tell that he knew that I knew..."You can't handle the truth, Bruyneel!"
My point is this...Teflon Johan is going to be a buzzkill to Mongo for for the rest of the TDF. He's joining the Versus network to add his expert analysis. Give me an effin' break. I guess Floyd Landis and Michael Rasmussen were busy this month.

What Are You Doing?

Team Garmin-Chipotle forgoes the traditional rest day routine of room service, velour sweat-pants, and subtitled Euro-porn...and goes riding. Man, these guys are dedicated!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Where's My Bike...And Why Am I Holding This Tree?

Mongo's chances in the TDF fantasy pool have gone from slim to none. Two of my guys in Stijn Devolder and Oscar Pereiro are out of the race, with Pereiro dropping twelve feet down an embankment and breaking his shoulder in the process.
Mongo is still recovering from his own crash last Thursday, but if the swelling in my knee goes down tomorrow, I'll make a heroic and miraculous return to the S.B.A.D.M.V.V.L. Hammerfest only four days after the fact. Whether or not I can complete the circuit is another story, but my street cred will go through the roof!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

I Jam Noomber Juan

Solid green is never a good look...for anything! Couldn't Rabobank have tossed in a few more shekels for something a bit classier for points leader Oscar Freire? He finally wins a stage and he looks like the Li'l Green Sprout.
Notice who's under his right arm? It's mister same time but not a winner...Gramps Zabel.

Chrissie And The Shark Sittin' In A Tree...

I never liked Greg Norman. Back in the 80's and 90's, when he was Tiger Woods before Tiger was Tiger Woods, he acted like a dick. Sure he had talent, but he wasn't very endearing, and nobody really felt bad for him when he had all those Majors yanked out from under him...It's funny how time changes things.
Norman will start the final round tomorrow as the leader of the British age 53! In what has been a brutal test of weather and nerves, he has played superbly. There's no reason for his great play. He doesn't compete much at all, and his last professional win came over ten years ago. Maybe he's just trying to impress his new chick.
Oh yeah, he married "America's sweetheart", Chris Evert, a little over three weeks ago. Mongo was a big fan of Chrissie back in the day. Her epic matches with manwoman, Martina Navratilova, were always entertaining and she was, and is to this day, pretty hot.
I hope Norman wins tomorrow. He's a multi-gazillionaire who's probably still a dick, but it would be such a great story. He would be the oldest Major champion of all time and it would redeem his historic choke in the '96 Masters... and he's married to Chrissie.

Friday, July 18, 2008

He's Too Fast For A White Boy

Using a new gel product made from 90% synthesized yeyo, Mark Cavendish wins his fourth stage of the Tour for Team "Escobar".

Highway 40 Revisited

“ Stapled between what’s right and what’s wrong
Lost in the scattered papers of importance
Slipping to the bottom of a self-perpetuating pile
Laying prone looking skyward compressed by the words”

Off The Front End Of The Main Field

Yesterday, Mongo had one of the most f***ed up days in my long and glorious solo-ride career...I'm not kidding!

After a nice seven mile warmup over rolling terrain, a bee flew in my helmet and stung me on the head. I pulled over, removed the bee, and then realized that it hurt like shit! Sucking up the pain of cigarette butts being extinguished on my scalp, I rode on.

Stopping for a B&J ice cream bar along the way not only soothed the sting, but I also crossed paths with my opponent for the afternoon. Litespeed/Reynolds carbon aero wheels/Yellow jersey/Douchey and smug. He took off while I was enjoying the ice cream, and got about two minutes on me.

Normally, I'd go into great detail about how I chased him down, battled, and eventually pulled away...not today. Even though all of that did happen, that's not the good part of the story.

Here it is...On the way back home, I got stung twice on the leg at the same time by more bees, lost control of the bike, went off the road, flipped head first over the handlebars, smashed my face into the ground, and for good measure, punctured my left knee on a sharp rock...How was your day?

I look like I was on the losing end of a fight, but it could have been really bad...I'll be back!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Don't Let The Door Hit You On The Way Out

Ricardo Ricco wanted to be just like his idol, Marco Pantani...He got what he wanted by being busted for CERA (a new form of EPO) after his Super Besse stage win.
It really pisses me off that these riders and their handlers are so f***ing stupid, and arrogant, to think that they can get away with it. W.T.F!
We as cyclists, Mongo included, want to believe in heroic performances when we watch our professional counterparts. To a certain extent, we understand the sacrifices and training necessary to perform at a high level, and we are amazed when their abilities far outshine our own.
I'm afraid my rose-colored Oakley's are officially off for good. As a wise man once said..."If it looks like a Duck and acts like a Duck, it's a Doper!"

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

On The Board

I'm sure he probably has some hot sisters, but today an unlikely Norwegian gets CSC-SAXO their first stage win of the Tour.
Kurt-Asle Arvesen wins Stage 11 in a photo finish.
VDV/Scrappy Doo is hanging tough in third on GC.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

One Small Step For Aluminum...One Giant Leap For Fat Guys

Oh yeah!!! Mongo had one of his best rides in a long time this past Monday on the S.B.A.D.M.V.V.L. Hammerfest.

At least ten of the biggest names in suburban group riding were there...and Mongo took all of them to the Hizzy.

It doesn't matter that I was near the back on all the climbs. It doesn't matter that I'm the heaviest rider in the group. It doesn't matter that I ride an aluminum bike and everyone else rides carbon fiber.

What matters is this...Mongo used his savvy veteran skills to launch a successful sprint from the front of the peleton. First is first, baby...I've got a week to gloat!

Monday, July 14, 2008

You Ladies Want To Check Out My Bus?

In the spirit of Andy Hampsten, Greg LeMond, and Davis Phinney, Christian Vandevelde is bringing "Scrappy" back to American pro cycling.
Vandevelde hung comfortably with the top GC contenders all day, and his final push up Hautacam may well be the reason Cadel Evans is in Yellow by only one second over Frank Schleck.
Vandevelde is still in third on GC, but has picked up he's only thirty eight seconds behind Evans. I don't know if VDV can hold on to a podium position all the way to Paris...but I wouldn't bet against him.
U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Arc Of A Diver

“Retracing the source of hopeful ambition
Dispatched to learn through the eyes of strangers
Accepting the weight of mature observation
Valued by the results of anonymous achievement”

I Don't Need No Stinkin' Tour

If he had done better in the Egg Toss and the Three-legged Race, Chris Horner might have made the podium at the Cascade Cycling Classic.

Ricco Suave

Ricardo "The latin-lover cobra" Ricco ate 'em raw like sushi and won Stage 9 going away. He's a GC star on the rise who reminds me of Michael Rasmussen. Hopefully, unlike Rasmussen, he's not on the cheba.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

A Certain Look In The Eye And An Easy Smile

After riding 40 miles, including four 20%+ climbs thrown in for good measure, Mongo stopped by the bike shop and chatted with his buddy Boonen.
He had to gloat about another Cavendish win and his early domination of the cycling pool, but his boy Hushovd fell out of the Green Jersey, and with the mountains coming up, he 'aint gettin' it back. Freire has it for now, but I think Kirchen can reclaim it this week.
Let's talk about the VERSUS commentators...Not Phil, Bob, and Paul...But Frankie Andreu and Robbie Ventura.
To use an NFL analogy, these guys are the sideline reporters of VS's TDF broadcast team. Talent and ability at their vocation aside, here's what I don't understand...
Ventura was the "Personal" coach of Floyd Landis during his 2006 disgraced run at the TDF. Ventura also built a successful coaching business greatly due to the early success of Landis. And oh, did I mention, Ventura was also a professional bike racer on the US Postal Team with, you guessed it, Mellow Johnny himself. This guy's hands are dirty.
Frankie Andreu was a respected American cyclist riding in Europe during the 80's and 90's, and an outspoken anti-doping advocate. Cutting to the chase...He swears that he knows for a fact that MJ doped. He has nothing to gain by lying, and has suffered no legal repercussions.
How the F**k can VS have these two guys working together?!

I've Been There

I feel sorry for Erik Zabel. At sixty five years old, not only is he the oldest man in the peleton, he's still a damn good sprinter. Unfortunately these days, he's only good for a 2nd-7th place finish...but he does get to be in the background of pretty much all sprint finish photos...and his huge head is easily recognizable.
Mark Cavendish, from the Isle of Man (Where, as a kid, Mongo visited via Hovercraft from Great Britain) won his second stage of the Tour. This dude is super-fast in the final meters, and with Team "Eightball", he may have the best lead out team in the TDF.

Friday, July 11, 2008

It's Tricky To Rock A Rhyme...

Manuel "Tricky" Beltran gets busted for EPO from Stage 1 and gets hauled off by the cops.
Liquigas, who has signed former doper Ivan Basso for 2009, now has a potential PR nightmare on their hands.
Mongo does love their kits though...they look fast standing still.
I hope Beltran is a renegade case this year and that professional cycling is finally cleaning itself up. Because if not, and there are more guys busted, then the sport I love deserves everything bad coming to it.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

You've Been In The Pipeline Filling In Time

“ I need to want tomorrow again… to feel the pull of life
There are walls of circumstance around the years I have lost
A chameleon: A sociopath: A renaissance man
I had knowledge without wisdom and expectations unfulfilled
A self-indulgent spectator seeking refuge in my addictions
The eyes of youth and injustice have cleared…what do I do now?”

Too Legit To Quit

Mongo unexpectedly had the day off today, so I had to decide how to spend my time.

Of course, there was Regis & Kelly at 9:00 a.m....Channel surfing between 10:00 and 11:00...The View from 11:00 to 12:00...And that's when I realized I missed the Tour coverage on VS. All I can say is that my cat brought home some sticky catnip...Enough said!

After lunch, and catching up on today's stage on the computer, I realized it was going to I took a short nap.

When I woke up and it still wasn't raining, I knew I had to go riding...Mongo's performance this past week has been terrible. Heat, bad nutrition, stress...have all contributed, but lack of "seat time" is the real culprit.

Mongo hammered the hills in my 'hood for an hour and a half, doing at least twenty climbs in various gear combinations. Since I am a big-ring masher on the flats, when I spin at a high cadence on steep climbs, my heart-rate goes through the roof. Trying these different gearing combinations was very helpful in finding a good balance between cadence and power.

Keep The Shred Alive

The Vans Warped Tour just rolled through the ATL, bringing skateboarding and angst-filled music to the kids.

Of course, Mongo is too old to "appreciate" any of the bands rockin' the festival these days, but anything that combines skateboarding and stickin' it to the can count me in.

His Name Was Ricco, He Wore A Diamond...

...And Mongo forgot to put him on his fantasy team.
Ricco outclimbed all the GC contenders in the final meters for an impressive stage win. Valverde 2nd...Evans 3rd.

Kim Kirchen, Team "40 Keys and a Mule" takes over the lead on GC.

All the contenders are within striking distance, and it continues to be a compelling race, but I am unfortunately regretting my fantasy cycling pool. It's not because I'm not doing well...It's because I'm now looking at every rider on my team as potential points rather than enjoying each stage however it might unfold. "Damn you, Stijn Devolder!"

If I can get Cunego and the Schlecks to step it up, and Zubeldia gets off his ass, I'll be looking good.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Say Hello To My Little Friend

He said he's the fastest man in the peleton...and today he proved it.
Mark Cavendish beats all the big hitters in the first field sprint of the Tour.
Team "Medellin Cartel" is riding like they're serious, and have several guys in GC contention to go along with their speedster.

I'm So Angry...

"Git ot off my vay!"

That's Pretty Cool

Danny Pate's ride for the first TT...U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!
A surprising win on the day for Stefan "The Angry German" Schumacher, who also takes over the lead on GC.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

...And Rock & Roll

Thor Hushovd wins Stage 2 after Pozzato and Cancellara run out of gas. A strong headwind finish suited the long, wind-up style sprinting of the big Viking.
Stage 1 winner and GC leader, Alejandro Valverde, was in the mix as well.
Mongo is very optimistic that this year's Tour will be exciting and competitive all the way through to Paris.

Return Of The King

It looks like Mongo's favorite cyclist, and one time grumpy old man, Greg Lemond, is lightening up a bit. Lemond has returned to the TDF in full capacity for the first time in nearly a decade.

Lemond is perceived as bitter because of his hard-line stance on doping and him questioning Lance Armstrong's achievements. That, along with his financial dispute with Trek, have kept Lemond at the fringe of the sport...where he has been portrayed in a mostly negative light.

As the sport cleans itself up and the shine on Lance Armstrong fades away, Lemond's credibility and legacy will also improve... and he will rightfully return to his place in the pantheon of legendary champions.

Friday, July 4, 2008


Forgoing the Primal Wear inspired Pablo Escobar jersey, Team Columbia unveiled their TDF kits. Sensible and boring...just like the new sponsor.
Mongo and Boonen and Alp d'Huez-Mike went on a Freedom Ride this morning to celebrate Independence Day. Last year, Mongo did a solo century, but today we just busted out a fast 45 at a 20.3 average. I tacked on another six miles before and after for a door to door (with climbs) 51 at 19.2.
I was so frickin tired after getting home that I peeled off all my stuff, dried off, and collapsed in bed for a three hour recovery nap.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Doscientos/ a.k.a./ 2 Hundy

On the eve of our country's 232nd birthday, Mongo is concerned about the future of not only our nation, but the well being of planet Earth. As we move forward through these unstable times, it is important for us all to remove our rose-colored and oil-stained glasses, and get serious about what it will take to solve the "real" problems facing the world.

We Americans will have a choice to make this November...Will our future be now, or will we defer payment for another generation?
Mongo Pusher proudly supports Barack Obama for President.

Scotty's Lament

“ Respect the life that came and went… accept the one that stayed
Across the wall is greener grass… I know it’s not for me
No misunderstandings in pursuit of a feeling
A clear perception of the ways of civilization
Smile now at the wash of overwhelming simplicity
Entertained by the minstrels in a fascinating aside”

Fantasy Cycling...Without Chicks

Mongo just sent in his picks for this years T.D.F. cycling pool.

Using a complicated balance of encyclopedic knowledge and my connections at the P.F.N., (Psychic Friends Network) I have come up with my top twelve picks. To accommodate the scoring system of said pool, the order of the picks might seem a little off, but these are my guys.

1. Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne)

2. Cadel Evans (Lotto)

3. Carlos Sastre (CSC)

4. Damiano Cunego (Lampre)

5. Denis Menchov (Rabobank)

6. Haimar Zubeldia (Euskatel)

7. Andy Schleck (CSC)

8. Oscar Pereiro (Caisse d'Epargne)

9. Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas)

10. Kim Kirchen (Columbia)

11. Frank Schleck (CSC)

12. Stijn Devolder (Quick Step)