Monday, August 31, 2009

The End Of The Line

"That which we persist in doing becomes easier, not that the task itself has become easier, but that our ability to perform it has improved."
(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

W.N.I.D.?: T.S.R.: Rained Out

Mongo has had a tough go of it on the bike since last Monday's Hammerfest. The weather, along with my work schedule, has only allowed me about seventy miles in the saddle. Luckily, I went out early Saturday morning just in case it was going to rain yesterday...and it did.

Tonight is the final 23/2300 Hammerfest of the Summer season. The weather is clear, and there are still positions up for grabs, so Mongo is expecting a huge turnout. It has been an extremely enjoyable Summer of "Festing". My fitness and skill levels are at an all time high, so I'm planning on seeing this last one out with a bang...Stay tuned for the race report!

The Stink Is Gone: "Slappy" Wins

At least the National Champion's jersey won't smell like doping, shame, and embarrassment for the next twelve months.

(Photo:Jon Devich/CyclingNews)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Not Exactly The Toughest Field

Am I the only one who finds it statistically baffling, as well as fairly amusing, that the top three finishers in the US Cycling Pro TT Championships are named Zabriskie, Zirbel, and Zwizanski ?

(Photo:Trish Albert/CyclingNews)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Last Minute Predictions

1. Schleck(A)
2. Valverde
3. Sanchez
4. Basso
5. Evans
6. Kreuziger
7. Schleck(F)
8. Devolder
9. Gesink
10. Vinokourov

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Commercializing The Stoke

Check this out with the volume up...Pretty smooth!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Live Or Memorex

"We do not enjoy poetry unless we know it to be poetry."
(Henry David Thoreau)

And When At Last The Work Is Done

"Open your eyes and smell the night

Embrace the clouds below your feet

Surround yourself with overflowing emptiness

Dissolve the rust on stainless steel"

Monday, August 24, 2009

I'm Embarrassed For The Riders

Michael Ball is the "Michael Ball" of cycling.

(Photo:John Devich/CyclingNews)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

What's New In Douchey?: The Sunday Ride

Mongo doesn't like repeating the hard of hearing, or on this blog. Originality is a Dragon that I am constantly chasing.

That being said, I do enjoy the chronic "what?" ling of my boy, Andreas Kloden in a humorous and soap opera-y fashion. Up until now, I have never felt the need for another episodic post, but the array of characters I deal with every Sunday makes me want to explore the weekend douche varietal.

Today, Mongo put in an easy 42 miles at about a 17.5 mph pace. I can't be exactly sure of the stats because my computer stopped working about twenty times during the ride. Too many damn batteries to worry about...pick-ups, head unit, HR monitor. Anyway, that problem has since been resolved.

As I was close to the end of the ride and thinking to myself how uneventful it had been, with no smackdowns or pursuits of any kind, I saw him! At first, I truly couldn't believe my eyes...this could not be happening. No one would be doing what this guy was doing unless there was an emergency or...he was the biggest dick in the world!

Pedaling towards me was a grey-haired gentleman on an 80's era road bike with a Nashbar-style matching kit along with mt. bike shoes and pedals. I see this kind of getup all the time, so by itself it wouldn't normally warrant more than a smirk. Here's the payoff...

This m***** f***** was sitting up in the saddle, no hands on the bar, and...wait for it...wait for it...reading a book!!!

I'm Rich

Hear ye, Hear ye...The debt has been paid!

Mongo's arch nemesis, formally known as "Snow Bunny", and currently known as "No Money", will now be referred to once again as "Snow Bunny".

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Rubber Or Bareback ?

Is there any more of a buzz-kill than getting a flat tire on a solo ride. Sure, you have a tube and a Co2 cartridge, but once you've replaced the tube and pumped up the tire...then what?
You can either continue the ride with no spare or air and risk getting stranded with another flat, or you can turn around and go home unsatisfied like Mongo did today.

What Really Killed The Dinosaurs


For the most part, Mongo has always been a Shimano man. There was that brief period in the 70's when I experimented with Suntour and Dia-Compe, but I can't remember much and I served my time.

What about Campagnolo, you might ask? Mongo thinks of Campy like I think about a Ferrari. Though it would be sweet to own one, I can't afford the I would never be able to enjoy it without worrying about the cost of replacing a part.

This brings me to my new best friend...SRAM. Their cassettes and chains are fully compatible with my Ultegra shifters and derailleurs...and at approximately two thirds the cost of their Shimano counterparts, they are also lighter.

Friday, August 21, 2009

I Was So Much Older Then

"Re-examine all that you have been told... dismiss that which insults your soul."
(Walt Whitman)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Until Further Notice

The nickname of Mongo's arch nemesis has been changed. Due to non payment of wagered funds, he will now be referred to on this blog as..."No Money"!

In Restless Dreams I Walked Alone

After a three-hour, complete breakdown, cleaning, and rebuilding of my bottom bracket and shell, Mongo is once again running silent and deep. This, along with my new cassette and chain, should assure smooth riding for Mongo for at least a few thousand miles.

AK47 Update: Scheiss...Es Ist Defekt

AK breaks his wrist in a crash during the second stage of the Eneco Tour...Vuelta in jeopardy!

Let's Not Get Carried Away

Don't get me wrong...Mongo likes him some Tyler Farrar. He's had a couple of nice wins this week at the Eneco Tour against a fairly strong field of sprinters. Unfortunately, the "Pink Bianchi" in the room is that the field does not include Mark Cavendish.

I truly believe that TF is the real deal and has the potential to be great. What he needs to do to achieve that goal is to figure out a way to level the field against Cavendish. Until then, he can only be the second best sprinter in the world.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

How Much Does Cool Cost ?

$610.00 (+ Shipping) on Ebay

Steve Caballero's personal board ridden at the 2009 ProTec Pool Party. Notice the rare, propeller-skull logo on the deck.

Steve is "The Man"...and one of Mongo's skateboarding heroes.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sad But True

Mongo has managed to work himself up into such a lather that I am having trouble focusing. My m***** f****** road bike has developed a "bad" creak in the bottom bracket area. I won't be able to get to it until Thursday...and it's killing me!

I had a strong 23/2300 Hammerfest on Monday, but the constant noise hindered my I was constantly focusing on the industrial complex inhabiting my cranks.

Mongo is OCD when it comes to my bikes. Until this problem is resolved, nothing else in my life will be as important.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

In Worlds I've Never Been

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

What's New In Douchey?: The Sunday Ride

Mongo had a great ride today. I went out fairly early to beat the bad weather, put in 35 miles at a 19+ average, and had a few satisfying smackdown wins. More importantly though, I came across a new breed of poseur.

1. Black steel road bike with a smattering of cnc gold "bling" all over.
2. Looks like a fixie but actually has a derailleur and cassette with the single gold chainring.
3. Deep-dish gold rims.
4. Brooks saddle "and" saddle bag.
5. Full Assos kit.
6. Marco Pantani bandana.(No helmet)
7. White SIDI's
8. Steel water bottle
9. Slow
10. What a maroon!

Dominating The B Ride: Shameful Or "Awesome!" ?

There is a question that can be phrased many different ways but, at it's core, reveals who we are as individuals. Would you rather be the best player on the AND-1 "Mix Tape" the fifth-man on the bench for the Los Angeles Lakers? Think about it...

Though it would be entertaining to explore Mongo's streetball roots in the mean streets of Miami, and how I got the nickname "Set Shot of Tequila", I must move on to the subject at hand.

This past Friday, Mongo showed up again for the moderate-paced group ride at the shop. At its inception, the ride was meant to be social and easy going, but as is the case when a bunch of cyclists come together, people want to test themselves and each other. Though none of the riders in this bunch could hang at the Monday Hammerfest, they always find it necessary to test the stronger riders who are there just to get in a quick Mongo!

Mongo was joined on Friday by teammate, and soon to be two-time defending Hammerfest Champion, "Sweet Georgia" Clay, along with fellow team members and shop owners, Tom "Boonen" and "Doo doo" Brown...and about ten other boys and girls.

Cutting to the chase of what is becoming a boring story, there was an attack with about three miles to go from which Clay and I pulled away at the end and won easily. My point is this...Mongo finds no joy in sandbagging!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

AK47 Update: All About The Benjamins(Deutschmarks)

"Waat eez deese Rahdeo Zhak?"

How We Rise To The Height Of Our Halo

"Every human has four endowments- self awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom... The power to choose, to respond, to change."
(Stephen Covey)

Bass...How Low Can You Go ?

Mongo is always amazed each Monday at the 23/2300 Hammerfest. What gets my attention, as the peloton of 20+ rolls out each week, is the variety and volume of noises coming from many of the bikes.

I'm talking carbon fiber, Dura-Ace, Record, Titanium, ceramic bearings, custom of the line bikes owned by racers, enthusiasts, and shop owners alike.

Worn chains and cassettes, lack of lubrication, improperly adjusted hubs, old bottom brackets...there is no shortage of sources and excuses for the racket. There is a particular section of the ride where it goes from steep downhill to steep uphill with very little transition. The popping, pinging, creaking, and rattling, is so loud and annoying that it reminds me of the time I was forced to sit in the second row at a Blue Man Group show.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Miles To Go Before I Sleep

As I am sure is the case with most cyclists, when Mongo discusses my mileage with non-cyclists, they are both amazed and a little leery by what I tell them. To someone who only rides around the neighborhood or park, forty, sixty, or a hundred miles seems like an impossibility...But as we all know, these numbers come and go as our skill and fitness levels improve over time.

I say all of this because when I rolled into my driveway at the end of my forty mile, "Stop F***ing Around And Get Your S**t Together" ride yesterday, and scrolled through the various readouts on my Vic 20, analog, friction-powered, computer, I noticed that my perpetual odometer read exactly 10,000 miles.

In the last nineteen months, Mongo has pedaled the width of the United States more than three times...That's pretty cool.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Ride The Whims Of Your Mind

I find myself fascinated and mesmerized by this photograph of Alexander Vinokourov. I pinched it a while back from a cute young lady who writes a solid cycling blog. There is so much symbolism going on, in both the profound and the ridiculous, that it could take an entire Art History lecture to dissect the layers.

Mongo's Week In Cycling: The Sucking

For nearly seven days now, Mongo has been feeling out of whack! I'm pretty sure it's because of over-exertion, under-hydration, and the late arrival of the brutal Summer heat...but the possibility still exists, and I am investigating, that someone slipped me a slow-acting, timed-release, energy-sapping, "Roofie".

Though I am unsure on exactly why one of the bevy of European Supermodels that I hang out with would drug me, because I'm always up for a romp, the effects on my cycling have been profound.

Monday's 23/2300 Hammerfest had the potential to be a good ride for Mongo. All the big guns were there, and I thought I was feeling ok. After the first climb, I knew this was not the case. It didn't help that during the ride the peloton suffered five flat tires, a bent chain, and a broken cleat...which resulted in multiple stoppages and cold muscles. I wish I could blame these things for my poor performance, but I knew they were just adding insult to injury. I was feeling so out of kilter, that I decided to lead out the Sprint portion of the 'Fest a mere mile and a half from the line. Obviously...that didn't work!

My next day on the bike was Thursday. I decided to do a solo 45 at a medium pace to get my legs back under me. I still felt developed a sweet creak in my bottom bracket. Mongo freakin' hates random bike noises! I pride myself on keeping my fleet well tuned and maintained...and quiet. As you can imagine, feeling like s**t and listening to distressed metal on every downstroke did not make for an enjoyable ride. On a positive note, that night Mongo had a nice meal, watched a movie, and had hot, sweaty, sex with a really cool chick...which made me feel even worse on Friday.

Yesterday afternoon Mongo went up to the shop and fixed my noise problem. Though I was still feeling crappy, I decided to do the Friday Ride. This is intended to be an easy, social ride for beginners and newcomers to group riding. It's a twenty mile loop on the Silver Comet Trail that's supposed to be at a 15-17 mph average. Of course, this didn't happen. The only people that showed up were stronger riders, and after the first dude on a Cervelo TT bike passed was on! I believe I finished the ride with a 19.56 mph average.

After I limped another three miles home, I showered, had a quick bite, and went to bed at 9:45. I haven't gone to bed that early, with the intention of sleeping, in I don't know how long. Anyway, today I woke up feeling well rested but still very weak. I think I'm going to take the day off the bike and do a little cruising on the skateboard instead. Tomorrow I'll be back taking on the "weekend warriors" and "parking lot poseurs" in preparation for Monday's Hammerfest.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

In Discord And Rhyme

"So behave that the odor of your actions may enhance the general sweetness of the atmosphere, that when we behold or scent a flower, we may not be reminded how inconsistent your deeds are with it; for all odor is but one form of advertisement of a moral quality, and if fair actions had not been performed, the lily would not smell sweet. The foul slime stands for the sloth and vice of man, the decay of humanity; the fragrant flower that springs from it, for the purity and courage which are immortal."
(Henry David Thoreau)

AK47 Update: Crackin' The Top Ten

UCI World Ranking

1. Contador
2. Schleck(A)
3. Kreuziger
4. Cavendish
5. Valverde
6. Kloden
7. Evans
8. Menchov
9. Haussler
10. Hushovd

Monday, August 3, 2009

What's The Hardest Thing About Rollerblading ?

...Telling your parents that you're Gay!

It Only Took Fourteen Years

Christian Hosoi was scheduled to compete in the very first X-Games way back in 1995...The only problem was, he never showed up. At that time, he and Tony Hawk were the faces and names of skateboarding, but only Hawk went on to reap the financial benefits that exploded with X-Games glory.

This past Sunday, Christian Hosoi finally competed in his first X-Games...and he won! Granted, it was the "Legends" park competition, but he was competing against the best of his contemporaries. Chris Miller was second...Lance Mountain was third...and Steve Caballero was fourth.

Ironically, Tony Hawk, who has retired from competition, was in the announcer's booth. I think everyone would love to see Hawk and Hosoi battle one more time.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

It's No Hoverboard But...


X Games...On The Edge Of Being Cool

What the hell was I watching this weekend? It certainly wasn't a competition featuring the best action-sports athletes in the world. Instead, it was part Joey Chitwood, part Evel Knievel, part Ringling Brothers...with a little bit of legitimate competition thrown in as to not make a total mockery out of this mockery.

Skateboarding and BMX are legit! Rally Racing And Moto X are not!(They are both populated with "has beens" and "never were's") Freestyle Motocross, in all its forms, and anything on the Mega Ramp, are bad-ass and gnarly, but they are more spectacle than contest.

Maybe I'm old and missing the point and everyone is cool with this watered down, made for TV form of vanilla-fied, extreme sports...but I'm not!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Do You Know Me ?

I'm the guy in real life who was portrayed by Angelina Jolie's first husband in the movie about me.

Oh Yeah...This Happened

Carlos Barredo, of the "crumbling" Team Quick Step, wins Clasica San Sebastian in a sprint over Roman Kreuziger.

Everyone else in this strong field, including pre-race favorite, Alejandro Valverde, was seven seconds back.


So I Turned Myself To Face Me

Ch-Ch-Ch Changes!