Monday, March 30, 2009

Alpacalypse Now Haiku

It is what it is

How's that working out for you?

Maybe tomorrow

Podium: Big Willy Style*

(*) Upon further review...Fourth.

Maybe Not So Much

Mongo just read that static stretching prior to any intense cycling can reduce power output by up to 30%...Holy S**t!
I have "always" stretched before riding. It's just something I never thought about otherwise.
I'm going no-stretch for the 23/2300 Hammerfest tonight to see if I can tell a difference.
Hopefully, I won't pull a hammy.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Power To The People

"In 1930, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, in an effort to alleviate the effects of the... Anyone? Anyone?... the Great Depression, passed the... Anyone? Anyone? The tariff bill? The Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act? Which, anyone? Raised or lowered?... raised tariffs, in an effort to collect more revenue for the federal government. Did it work? Anyone? Anyone know the effects? It did not work, and the United States sank deeper into the Great Depression. Today we have a similar debate over this. Anyone know what this is? Class? Anyone? Anyone? Anyone seen this before? The Laffer Curve. Anyone know what this says? It says that at this point on the revenue curve, you will get exactly the same amount of revenue as at this point. This is very controversial. Does anyone know what Vice President Bush called this in 1980? Anyone? Something-d-o-o economics. "Voodoo" economics."
(Ben Stein: Ferris Bueller's Day Off)

Five Time Champ

Don't get me wrong, Mongo loves him some Jens Voigt. He is everything I aspire to be as a cyclist. Tough minded, always attacking, never outclassed, and one of the most respected members of the Pro peleton.

That being said...The Criterium International ain't what it used to be!

Not many top riders show up after Castilla y Leon and before Flanders...and the ones that are there use it as training for their real efforts down the road. Winning anything five times as a professional cyclist is a great achievement, but this is the only GC podium Jens is going to see in a stage race.

Mongo is happy, however, to see another homie (Danny Pate) on the podium. 2009 has been, and will continue to be, a very strong year for American cycling.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Don't Choke On The Cheese

LBM wins the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon by sixteen seconds over El Pistolero.
I'm actually more impressed with Dave Zabriskie finishing on the podium in third. He's set his sights on becoming a more complete cyclist and regular GC contender.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I Prefer A Shaved Dromedary

"We are as much informed of a writer's genius by what he selects as by what he originates."
(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

I Won't Prevent Safe Passage Here

"Surrounded by smug conformity

Disguised in commercial rebellion

Engaged to random simplicity

Preserved through noble intention"

My Future's So Bright...

...I gotta wear shades!

World Champion in the Individual Pursuit...Taylor "I got genes like a mofo" Phinney.

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

Exit Planet Dust

Why is everyone sleeping on Carlos Sastre for the Tour?

The new Cervelo Test Team has already proven that they can run with the big boys. If Sastre can return to his usual, strong mid-season form, and this balanced squad performs well in the mountains, then they have a real chance at beating the Chemical Brothers at their own game.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Politics Of Dancing

Seemingly one step ahead of the Federales in the ongoing Operacion Puerto investigation, for now, Rogaine Al wins Stage 3 of Castilla y Leon...The top ten on GC remains unchanged.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Good Clean Fun

It feels good to be able to talk about positive things involving American cycling and riders that I don't hate on Astana.

Scrappy Shetland Pony, Li'l Bronze Medalist, wins the 28.2k TT at Castilla y Leon and takes the overall lead on GC by sixteen seconds over Frito Bandito.

Mongo endorsed powerhouse, Garmin-Slipstream, has three riders in the top ten on GC.

Z-man (3rd)...Tommy D (9th)...Vandownbytheriver (10th)

Monday, March 23, 2009

No Sex In The Champagne Room

"Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it."
(Henry David Thoreau)

Arch Nemesis

Watch your back, Snow Bunny!

A Game Of Inches

I wish I had a good excuse. I wish that there was a product I could buy that would change my situation. I wish there was an easy way.

The fact of the matter is that cycling for Mongo has become a metaphor for life. Is it enough just to get by...or am I willing to make the sacrifices and the effort needed to accomplish greater things?

For a big man, I am a strong cyclist. In the world of strong cyclists, I am a big man.

To be an accomplished rider you must be able to climb well and recover quickly. Whatever strengths you have on the flats mean nothing if you can't climb.

For a big man, I'm a fairly strong climber. In the world of strong climbers, I suck!

I need to lose twenty pounds and do more specific interval hill training...Do I have it in me?

Isn't That Convenient

In a brilliant yet unexpected move, Mellow Johnny breaks his collarbone during Stage 1 of Castilla y Leon.
Now he has a documented, medical reason for any "sucking" yet to come...and a standby excuse for not racing the Tour.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Peace Sells...But Who's Buying?

If you like your Metal fast and fierce like it's 1988...then be prepared to rock!
This is Mongo's new favorite album.

The Hero...The Rockstar...The Gentleman

Another fantastic photo pinched from here.

Uh Oh...Should've Used Wellgo

I have now broken two Look Keo cleats, including one today, over the last couple of months. Not from walking on them, I use the covers, but instead while unclipping.
In the 3-4 years that I've been using Keo pedals, this is a problem I never encountered until recently.
Hopefully it's just a bad coincidence, because now it's in my head and every time I ride I'm too focused on not breaking the cleat when I unclip.
If I break another cleat for no reason, this is going to happen...Look pedals go on eBay/ Mongo switches to Speedplay.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Fat Lady Is Warming Up


Nobody believes me, but I still say MJ will "not" start the 2009 Tour de France.

Isn't Irony Ironic

It's been quite some time since Mongo has gone down on his skateboard. It had been so long that I actually mentioned that very fact to someone a couple of weeks ago...Obviously, you know what's coming.

This morning, I had a high-speed board-jump to body-varial to attempted run-out to fluffy-grass Colt Seevers tuck and roll.

The thing is...this very crash happened this exact same way in the exact place a couple of years ago. It was also after I was feeling particularly overconfident on my skateboard.

I'm feeling a little "tweaked" in some of my old-man joints, but at least it wasn't asphalt.

M****r F****r!

The man with the worst teeth in Pro cycling, but also the fastest sprinter in the world, wins Milan-San Remo.

Mongo's prediction, Heinrich Haussler, had it won when he surprised all the sprinters and jumped early. There was only one man with the jets to catch him...and he did.

In what can only be described as impressive, Cavendish launched after Haussler, eventually caught his wheel, and amazingly edged him at the line in a photo-finish.
Let's hope Cavendish doesn't get all douchebaggy like Robbie McEwen now that he's "the man".

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Milan-San Remo Predictions

1. Heinrich Haussler

2. Vincenzo Nibali

3. Stuart O'Grady

We Are The Kudzu Of Skateboarding

Look here for some footage of... "The Godfather".

How Do They Find Me?

"Enough is enough! I have had it with these motherf***ing Yellow Jackets on this motherf***ing trail!"
(Mongo L. Jackson)

Bunny Hopping

Up until a couple of days ago, the weather in Mongo's neck of the woods has been rainy, cold, and crappy. I've only been able to ride once since the inaugural 23/2300 Hammerfest on March 9th.

This past Monday's ride was rained out, so my second ride in ten days was yesterday. It also happened to be a very serious shop ride in enemy territory. Mongo was one of five Smyrna Bicycles riders to go across town and crash the party. The peleton was made up of a diverse group of talent numbering between forty and fifty riders.

Knowing my current level of fitness was key for me in preparing for the ride. I realized that I was completely overmatched...but instead of worrying about it, I just started doping heavily 24 hours prior to the event. Hey, it worked for "The Pirate".

Let's just say I ended up doing my part for the team during the first 15 miles. I was always around the top five, driving the peleton, breaking the wind for my team, and as it turned out later, everyone else. I was a regular Yaroslav Popovych.

Unfortunately, after one too many climbs, I was dropped by the lead group with about five miles to go. Fortunately, the rest of the guys picked up the slack and took it to the "Hizzy". Had it not been for a badly timed red light, the SBCT would have swept the podium...Mongo limped home a minute or two behind the action.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Birthday Haiku

Life waits for no one

Temporarily postponed

Another year gone

AK47 Update

Podium (3rd) at Tirreno-Adriatico
A disappointing finish in my opinion.

Monday, March 16, 2009

What's The Price Of Originality?

Apparently...$1475.00 (Plus shipping) on Ebay.
1984/ Powell-Peralta/ Mike McGill/ Skull & Snake (Pro model)
BTW...You can get the same re-issue deck for under $100.00

Sunday, March 15, 2009

She Was Such A Naughty Nanny

"Every man is a consumer, and ought to be a producer. He is by constitution expensive, and needs to be rich."
(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Random Rider

One of the many reasons why the Mongo-endorsed, Garmin-Slipstream team is going to give Astana, Saxo, and Caisse d'Epargne all they can handle during the Grand Tours.
Canadian...Ryder Hesjedal.

Three Sided Circle

"I consider skateboarding an art form, a lifestyle, and a sport.”
(Tony Hawk)

Paris-Nice Podium Eyebrowfest

Just Getting Started

After some well deserved juice from Mongo himself, AK47 goes out and lays a "whuppin'" on the field in the 30k TT. He wins by 20 seconds over Stijn Devolder (Who I like), and leads on GC by six seconds with two stages to go. He won this puppy back in 2007, so there's no reason to believe he can't do it again. Tomorrow's penultimate, long, mountain stage will decide the race.
Kloden always seems to roll with the Kazakh, Goon Squad, Astana B-Team. Everyone's name ends in a "V" or a "Y". Except, of course, for Gregory Rast...who is Swiss. This must come in handy any time a mediator is needed between the German leader and the Russian domestiques.
I think these guys, Kloden included, like being the black sheep of Astana, and will do what it takes to get the win.
With Contador choking away Paris-Nice and Mellow Johnny not scaring anyone yet, AK47 and LBM might ruin Bruyneel's wet dream later this Summer.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Search For Double Chin

"Reunited, and it feels so good
Reunited, 'cause we understood
There's one perfect fit
And, sugar, this one is it
We both are so excited
'Cause we're reunited
Hey, hey"
(Peaches & Herb)

AK47 Update

Currently in a huge group of riders tied for 5th place at Tirreno-Adriatico. He is 25 seconds off the lead. When asked about his form so far this Spring, Kloden replied, "Eees Goot!"

We've Done It Before...

...And we can do it again!
Scrappy American, and Garmin-Slipstream rider, Tyler Farrar, strikes a blow against the British Empire by "Tea-Bagging" Mark Cavendish in a legit field sprint at Tirreno-Adriatico. BTW...Boonen, McEwen, and Hushovd were also there.
U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!

What The Hell Do I Know?!

After proclaiming yesterday that El Bandito had essentially wrapped up Paris-Nice, though there were two stages left, it turns out I may have spoken too soon.

Spanish cycling star on the rise and burgeoning rapper, L.L. Cool 'Chez, "puts his hands in the air like he just don't care", wins Stage 7, and leads Paris-Nice by over a minute. Contador is now in fourth. He has to pass Fleck and Sylvania, and then make up almost two minutes on Sanchez in the final stage if he hopes to win.

Let's see what happens...I'm not betting against him.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Okay...Now It's Over

The Bandito wins Stage 6 (Li'l Ventoux) and takes control of the race with only two stages remaining.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I Don't Think So Frenchy

After finishing dead last two stages ago, Jeremy Roy (Francaise de Jeux) wins Stage 5 in a three man breakaway. also happens to be his first professional win since he turned Pro in 2003.
Now he beats a world class field two days after his last place debacle?!


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

That's My Boy

VDV wins Stage 4 of Paris-Nice like a a solo breakaway!

He's still the best American cyclist in the world...Yeah, even better than him.

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

Monday, March 9, 2009

If Only They Didn't Ride Cervelos

Heinrich Haussler is only four fingers away from what could have been a very awkward moment for the young German.

There Is No Pain You Are Receding

The inaugural 23/2300 Hammerfest (Miles/Feet Climbed) was a lot of fun. Though Mongo was near the back on all climbs, I rode fairly aggressively all day and did my share up front...I feel pretty good about where I'm at right now.

Mongo is motivated by personal improvement. The reality is that I ride with some super-strong dudes who demonstrate a great deal more self discipline in their training than I do. I punish my body with counterproductive substances and hope for a zero sum with all my riding. If I eliminated the anchors, who knows what might happen? This is my own personal cycling Albatross.

My point is this...I tried the product pictured above for the first time today...and the sh*t works! Check it out at your local bike shop.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

A Lead Role In A Cage

"Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them."
(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Hammerfest Haiku

Fast out on Sunday

I start believing my hype

Monday...not so much

Aw, C'mon...Really?!

Get used to it boys...the Bandito ain't messin' around this year. I assure you, Mellow Johnny wants no part of this action.
BTW...For you VDV haters out there, the reason he finished 142nd is because he crashed. Mongo's team, Garmin-Slipstream, continues to be a strong force in every race they enter.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Possibly The Greatest Jersey Ever

The winner of Paris-Nice will be one of these guys.
1. Wheelsucker
2. Vandownbytheriver
3. Frito Bandito
4. Sideburns McSpain
5. Roman Candle
6. Sylvainia
7. Fleck

Friday, March 6, 2009

Mongo's Ride For '09

FRAME...Specialized Allez Sport Aluminum (58cm)
FORK...Easton EC70 (Carbon fiber)
SEATPOST...Specialized Pave (Carbon fiber)
HANDLEBAR...Specialized S-Works (Carbon fiber)
SADDLE...Specialized Phenom Pro
SHIFTERS...Shimano Ultegra (9 speed)
BRAKES...Shimano 105
F. DERAILLEUR...Shimano Ultegra
R. DERAILLEUR...Shimano Ultegra
CRANKS...Shimano 105 Triple (52/42/30)
CASSETTE...Shimano Ultegra (12-25)
WHEELS...Mavic Ksyrium Equipe
TIRES...Specialized S-Works
PEDALS...Look Keo Carbon
TOTAL WEIGHT...19.4lbs w/pedals
(I have a two to three pound disadvantage with everyone I ride with that has a carbon fiber frame)

Diver Down

This coming weekend and the following Monday represents the official and unofficial beginning of the 2009 cycling season for Mongo and the UCI Pro Tour. For the pros, they have Paris-Nice starting on Sunday...and for Mongo, Monday marks the first Smyrna Bicycles Front Derailleur Covered Bridge Twelve Gap Hammerfest of the season...and I am most certainly not ready for it.
All one has to do is look at the above Biorhythm chart to see that Mongo is doomed. It's my "actual" chart for 03/09/09...the day of the Hammerfest. My readings are bottoming out faster than a Madoff ponzi scheme. Though I'm not much of a conspiracy theorist, there are three things in which I firmly believe. They are, in no particular order, the Chupacabra...Ghost ships...and Biorhythms.