Monday, May 31, 2010

What Taylor Phinney Is Thinking After His Second Paris-Roubaix U23 Victory

"You...Yes you...third row...six from the left...blonde hair. I'll see you back at the bus."



Though traditionally a Classics racer, the enigmatic and swishy, Stijn Devolder, wins the Tour of Belgium and has to decide whether or not he wants to abandon the Tour de France again this year.


Giro Predictions: How Did I Do?

Mongo went 1 for 3 (.333) on his podium predictions...with an exact third place for Vincenzo Nibali.

The results for the five riders I chose (Two bonus picks) were...Evans(1st)-Finshed 5th...Sastre(2nd)-Finished 8th...Nibali(3rd)-Finished 3rd...Karpets-Finished 14th...Garzelli-DNF


Shut The Hell Up

It seems like the latest trend in Pro cycling is for the under-achieving contenders to claim that their results were hampered by some sort of injury or illness. Though not revealed during the race, only when observers question their performance, these riders manage to turn an excuse into some sort of "gritty" or "heroic" effort..."I'm talkin' to you, C & C Music Factory."


Memorial Day '10: The Remembering

A Terrible Loss

With its magnificent monuments and rolling green sea of headstones, Arlington National Cemetery is one of the most awe-inspiring landmarks in the United States. Annually, tens of thousands of visitors tour the grounds viewing the resting places of the famous, and not so famous, American veterans. On this particular Friday afternoon in March though, there would be no tour buses. Today...Lt. Bruce would be buried a hero.

Lt. Bruce, along with two hundred and forty seven other members of the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army, died in a plane crash in Gander, Newfoundland. They were on their way home from a peace-keeping mission in the Middle East. There were no survivors. Lt. Bruce's body was the last to be identified, and today, the last to be buried.

The Honor Guard, in their dress blues, marched with such synchronization it was as if they were marching as one. Behind them, two impeccable white stallions drew the cart containing the flag-draped coffin of Lt. Bruce. The procession of family and friends followed closely behind as stone-faced soldiers led the way down the winding road toward their final destination. If there was ever beauty in death, it was evident on this day.

When the procession reached the grave-site, the coffin was removed from the cart and placed on a stand next to the family. What followed was a touching and powerful eulogy. The flag on the coffin was then folded with razor-sharp precision on the cadence of the officer in charge. In its customary triangular shape, the flag was respectfully given to the mother of Lt. Bruce and the service closed with the traditional, yet moving, twenty-one-gun salute.

A teary-eyed friend in attendance who had known Lt. Bruce for nearly twenty years silently wished he could speak to him just one more time...But then, that was impossible.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

You Down With LPE?(Yeah You Know Me) Two Smackdowns And A One Inch Staple: The Saturday Ride

Mongo is finally about 99% healthy and ready to get serious about getting serious. I have decided that another hunger strike on the Ben & Jerry's for the month of June is necessary to jumpstart the process. My imported Italian "B-Hammocks" have been fitting a little tight lately.

Along with the anarchy in my diet, Mongo is committed to more mileage. I used to do many more long rides than I do these days. Though the intensity and difficulty of my rides are more frequent now, my foundation has a few cracks in it. Today Mongo planned a strong 50 on LPE.

I stopped by the shop on my way out to chat with "Shady" and "MC-Lean", who is recovering from his peloton-clearing crash at the "Alley Cat" Criterium on Thursday night, and then headed down the Silver Comet Trail. It wasn't long before I was forced to lay down the smack.

Two guys on Treks with super-gay Primal Wear jerseys cruised past me like they were pretending to be serious. I knew of course that they weren't...based solely on the jerseys. The only trouble was that there were two of them and one of me...and they were working together like a couple of Kazakhs on the dope. It took me a while, but I was finally able to drop them. Thank goodness...I could never have looked myself in the mirror if I had lost to the Trek bike/Nashbar short/Primal Wear jersey combo.

The effort took a little more out of me than I had planned, so I turned around at 20 miles rather than 25. I wasn't looking for any more action, but as you know by now, Mongo never backs away from from a "Douchedown".

About six miles from the end, I got passed by "another" Trek. This time it was a TT rig... and it was piloted by an older dude, a lot like Mongo, who I could tell was serious. The reason I could tell was because he looked at me with the same disregard and lack of concern that Mongo uses when I pass people. In his mind, I posed no threat...and that really pissed me off. Nothin' like a taste of your own medicine every once in a while to use as motivation.

I should give myself a little break when I'm on LPE. I should be satisfied that I can handle pretty much any road bike or TT bike on the trail with a seven speed mountain bike, and if I was on the Sub-18 these contests wouldn't be a contest...but I never am.

I had to use every trick in the book to keep up with the TT guy. He had a great aero position on the bike and never let up. I had to maintain 24+ for several miles. I finally got him with some stoplight shenanigans. I faded behind him as we approached an intersection. He slowed down and unclipped as the light was red at the time, but I knew it was about to change so I accelerated.

I timed it perfectly! Mongo hit the intersection at full speed just as the light changed. TT guy didn't know what hit him. I went all out for four miles down in the Speed Bars and never looked back. Good the very end he was only about 100 yards behind me. You don't always have to be the fastest to win.

On the way home, feeling good about myself, I got a flat tire. It turned out to be a big-ass metal staple...and I didn't really recall riding through a construction site. Since I was under a mile from my house and the tire was cut, I decided not to change the tube and just walk the bike home. And guess what happened? Someone actually stopped to see if I wanted a ride. Of the hundred or so cars that passed me, one guy took it upon himself to offer help without being asked.

Of course, Mongo turned down the ride. I was almost home and the guy looked like a child molester...but at least he offered.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Safety Third...Styles Gets A Bike

As a cyclist and a skateboarder, Mongo is always excited to see other people stoked on the things that mean a lot to me. It is a bond of shared appreciation. Skateboarding is about self-expression and individualism, while cycling, which has many facets and layers, is mostly about freedom. When you combine the two activities and lifestyles together, chances are that you'll be a healthy, adventurous, creative, and all around well put together person...and smoke weed!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

There's An Angel In Your Tree

When you think about the names of other people's games

And the way that scores are kept

Look into the eyes of the essence of the prize

And question the source of duress

Monday, May 24, 2010

Tour Of California Haiku

Mick is the winner

DZ and Levi after

Garmin is best team


A Cold Hard Look: The Monday Ride

As I was pedaling along on the cool-down portion of the 23/2300 Hammerfest, chatting with "Lieutenant" Dan, I came to the realization that I've been sucking lately. Though I have been battling some sort of cold/flu for a couple of weeks, and my overall strength has been down, tonight's effort on the 'Fest was poor because of my lack of focus on training.

Mongo made great strides over the Winter and Spring with my commitment to a reasonable diet and of course, my very successful "Cat 5 Domination Training Method"...but I have lost my intensity as the season has gone along.

In a different world, Mongo could get away with just doing base miles, minimal hard training, and then just show up on race day and be competitive. Unfortunately, the crew I roll with is fast and strong...and getting better all the time.

I think some more specific climbing and Criterium training is just what the doctor ordered.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Stanley's Cup

"The intellectual man requires a fine bait; the sots are easily amused. But everybody is drugged with his own frenzy, and the pageant marches at all hours, with music and banner and badge."

(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Where's The Feed Zone?

Mongo took part in his first "Alley Cat" Criterium this past Thursday...and it didn't go too well from a results point of view. The reason for my poor performance was twofold. 1...Mongo was new to the "Alley Cat" Crit series. 2...Everyone else was faster than me.

Mongo did have a lot of fun...and I'm looking forward to improving on last week's results.

"Juice"... Or Juiced?

C'mon Liquigas, haven't you read the headlines lately? The lid is about to blown on doping and you guys are acting like you don't care.

Peter Sagan Wins back to back at the Tour of California, and at the Giro, not only do you win the TTT, but Nibali and Basso have won the last two stages. Basso...really?! It makes you wonder.

I hope you guys are clean and are just responding to Mongo's endorsement, but if not, try not to make it so obvious.


Down Goes Miller: The Streak Is Over...Cab Wins 2010 Protec Pool Party


1. Steve Caballero ($13,000)
2. Chris Miller ($7,000)
3. Lance Mountain ($4,000)
4. Nicky Guererro ($2,000)
5. Duane Peters ($1,000)
6. Eric Nash ($1,000)
7 Tony Mag ($500)
8. Christian Hosoi ($500)
9. Jeff Grosso ($500)
10. Lester Kasai ($500)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Two Stages In A Row...Really?

Peter Sagan makes Mongo think of another young star who burned brightly before crashing... Anyone remember Riccardo Ricco?


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Burning Down The House: This Is Going To Get Good looks like Floyd Landis is about to go all "Jose Canseco" on professional cycling. After years of lying his ass off about doping, Landis has not only admitted to doing it rampantly, but he is prepared to throw a lot of other people under the bus.

Everyone hates a snitch...or at least should, but if Pro cycling is ever going to be clean, it's going to start with a high-profile whistle blower pulling back the curtains and overturning the rocks.

Landis claims he was first introduced to doping by Johan Bruyneel,(Not surprised!) and that he was handed his first round of EPO by none other than Mellow Johnny himself.(Not surprised!)

Floyd Landis is a cheating, lying, weasel...but that doesn't mean that what he's saying now is untrue. He probably has a book coming out, a la Canseco's "Juiced", but hopefully, the end result of this whistle blowing will be a fresh look at the realities of the sport and the comeuppance of the smug and undeserving heroes who have cheated the sport.

I know that Mongo's boy, Greg LeMond, is smiling a little smile right now.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Another Example Of Why Everyone Loves Jens Voigt


What Will $865.00 Get You On Ebay?

"O.G." 1988 Powell-Peralta, Lance Mountain, "Street Crest" deck.

Burning Out His Fuse Up Here Alone

If there was something you didn't know

That made what you did know obsolete

Would you want to Know?

Feigning All The Trials And The Tribulations

"There is no more fatal blunderer than he who consumes the greater part of his life getting his living

(Henry David Thoreau)

Takin' It Like A Man: Surviving The 'Fest

If truth be told, and it is, Mongo probably shouldn't have ridden tonight...but I'm glad I did. We had the largest turnout of the season so far and welcomed the return to the peloton of Mongo's arch-nemesis, "Snow Bunny". Spirits were high coming off a weekend where many team members participated in the Tour De Cure on Sunday...and on the racing circuit on Saturday, podium spots were earned by both "Alp d'Huez" Mike and "Two time defending Hammerfest Champion" Clay.

I'm already looking forward to next week when I won't have a fever, fluid in my lungs, clogged sinuses, and a borderline migraine headache.

Down With The Sickness: Hammerfest Appearance In Jeopardy

Mongo has been under the weather since last Thursday. What I first thought was an offshoot of my allergies, turned out to be an old-fashioned head cold. It's been a while since Mongo has had to deal with this, and as a perennially bad sick person, I'm miserable.

Former Australian tennis legend Harry Hopman once said: "If you are hurt, you don't play...but if you play, you are not hurt." Mongo will have to decide in the next few hours if I am hurt or not.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Phil McCracken

Though controversial when introduced, the new "assless" bibs worn by the Caisse d'Epargne riders have been very popular with the ladies...and the French.


The Voice Of Metal: R.I.P.

"Dio has rocked for a long, long time,
Now it's time for him to pass the torch.
He has songs of wildebeests and angels,
He has soared on the wings of a demon.
It's time to pass the torch,
You're too old to rock, no more rockin' for you.
We're takin' you to a home,
But we will sing a song about you.
And we will make sure that you're very well taken care of.
You'll tell us secrets that you've learned. Raow!
Your sauce will mix with ours,
And we'll make a good goulash baby.
Dio, time to go!
You must give your cape and scepter to me
And a smaller one for KG.
Go! Go! Dio! Dio!"

(Tenacious D)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Cadel Has Earned His Stripes

In one of the best stages of a Grand Tour that Mongo has ever watched live on the computer using two separate audio and video feeds, the "Face Spinnaker" powers to a heroic win in Stage 7 of the Giro over Damiano Cunego and doper, Alvin O'kourov.

Cadel has not backed off since he became World Champion. His style, attitude, and results this year show decisively that he is a man to be taken seriously wherever and whenever he clips in.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Living In Perfect Harmony

It is a very rare occasion in Mongo's adult life that something occurs that makes my anger and adrenaline spike to the point that I become primal and without reason. When this happens, literally any outcome is possible. Luckily for me, I have been an adult for a few years now.

I was almost run over on the Sub-18 today by a big-ass truck that decided to pass me on a short downhill stretch leading up to a stoplight. I had just moved from the shoulder to the middle of the lane before the crest of the hill...and I was going the speed limit...and it was a no passing zone...when he tried to go around me. He didn't see the other car coming up the hill, and had I not swerved to the right, there would have been a head-on collision.

The dude in the truck got trapped at the light and Mongo rolled up on him steaming! "You almost killed me and yourself you stupid motherfucker!". "Blah, blah, blah, asshole... Blah, blah, blah, I have just as much of a right to the road as you...Blah, blah, blah, I don't want to hear shit out of you other than you know you fucked up and you're sorry."

Then he apologized, the light changed, and we both went on our way.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Hard Habit To Break

Mongo has always been a fan of Liquigas. Maybe it was from the early days when I first heard Phil Liggett pronounce the team name as "Leaky Gas" that I was both amused and curious. Through both scandal and success, Liquigas has been one of the top 3-5 Pro Tour teams for years now.

After laying down the smack and winning the TTT, Liquigas propelled star on the rise and "Mongo-predicted-podium-finisher", Vincenzo Nibali, into the Magglio Ordonez...and "Now or never", Ivan Basso, into second place after four stages.

Mongo will be pulling for Nibali for the rest of the Giro. With VDV down and out, Mongo feels good about throwing his "Juice" behind Nibali and Liquigas. In's what Mongo had to say over a year ago.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Bad Weather Haiku

Rained out on Monday

Good thing I rode Saturday

I needed the rest

Monday, May 10, 2010

Friday, May 7, 2010

Let's Do This: Giro Predictions Sure To Go Wrong

1...Cadel Evans

2...Carlos Sastre

3...Vincenzo Nibali

Bonus Pick #1...Vladimir Karpets

Bonus Pick #2...Stefano Garzelli

Thursday, May 6, 2010

We're Not Talking About The Game...We're Talking About Practice

There's something magical about exerting your body to the limits of both survival and and a potential vision quest. Sun blazing, the humidity and temperature above eighty seven, tackling the 23/2300 Hammerfest loop solo..."You got's to do what you got's to do!"

Mongo has been neglecting his hill training since the start of the Hammerfest season. Though I have been putting in some long and fast miles, my climbing has been relegated to Monday nights only...for no other reason than I'm fundamentally lazy. Hopefully, today's ride will jumpstart my re-dedication to my highly successful "Cat 5 Domination" training system.

Mongo rode the circuit as hard as I could, and my average speed at the end was 1.5 mph slower than with the peloton...not too bad considering I was carrying an extra ten pounds of sweat. I'm planning on mixing it up at the Enemy Bike Shop ride for the first time in a month or so this Saturday morning, so we'll see how this extra training pays off.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Dutch Rider

Mongo took advantage of a depleted, bad-weather field and some traffic related tactics to finish third in the Sprint and get his first podium spot of the 23/2300 Hammerfest season.

Dirty, Dirty Girls: The Only Thing I Miss About Rock Racing

The Sunday Ride: We Must Protect This House...Only Not So Much

(Editors note: Mongo fully expected to be spending the entire day today indoors and doing indoor stuff. We have been rained in, Monsoon style, since last night, and the weather report projected that today would be a total washout as well. As it turns out, they were wrong...and Mongo is going to have to do the 23/2300 Hammerfest tonight without the proper mental and pharmaceutical preparations.)

Which leads me back to yesterday and the aforementioned weather situation. Since I thought I wouldn't be Hammerfesting today, Mongo "kitted up" and headed to the Silver Comet Trail looking for some action as well as some solid miles. My intention was to put in 40-50 miles at a 135-145 bpm average heart rate.

About twenty miles in I was bemoaning the fact that no one had challenged me thus far, but since it was extremely windy and I was heading straight into the teeth of it, I was happy with the work out I was getting...then Mongo got passed!

And it was a Cervelo P3 TT "douchemobile"...and he was going fast. Normally, this kind of showdown is right in Mongo's wheelhouse, but when I saw what he was wearing I knew that I was in trouble. It was one of those tank-top, short-short, unitards that are only worn by extremely good triathletes... and homos. This dude was serious and moving along.

Mongo won't draft TT guys. It's not part of their sport and I don't want to give them the satisfaction of telling me so. If I'm going to beat them, it'll be straight up. This time I lost out to physics and possibly a stronger rider.

As we headed into the wind, his speed increased and his TT position never faltered. When I finally dropped off after a few miles, we we going 25 mph uphill into a 20 mph headwind. My body finally shut down. I was beaten fair and square...and it sucked!

On the way home I was forced to take out my aggression on an unsuspecting Quintana Roo. When I hit traffic and slowed down he made the big mistake of trying to pass me. I drafted him mercilessly for a few miles as he tried to increase his speed and drop me, then I came around him and put the hammer down to 28 mph. He had no answer.

Which brings me back to tonight. Mongo left it all out there I'm not expecting much this evening. We'll see!?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A Ticket To The World

"Every violation of truth is not only a sort of suicide in the liar, but is a stab at the health of human society."

(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Worth A Thousand Words

Like I Showed You At The Finish Line, The Fish Was This Big...Where Are The Chicks?

"T-Phin" gettin' it done in the Crit at the Tour of the Gila.


Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Backcountry Is Open For Business

Mongo shredded the hills today...I love skateboarding!

Bonus Coverage: The Friday Ride

It's been an interesting last ten days or so of cycling. Since the "Jack Incident", Mongo has broken a spoke on the Sub-18, had several successful smackdowns on LPE, put in a solid effort at the last 23/2300 Hammerfest, and shadowed two collegiate racers (Georgia Tech) at 26 mph for about ten miles. So far this Spring I've been relatively happy with the fruits of my "Cat 5 Domination" training. As always, my lack of discipline with my diet keeps me from my ultimate performance goals.

Mongo made a rare appearance yesterday at the Smyrna Bicycles Friday Night Ride. Usually I ride LPE, since the pace is slower and and it's more challenging, but I'm still getting used to the gear ratios on the compact cranks so I took the Sub-18.

It was a pretty quick group, with "Boonen" and "MC-Lean" as my competition for the final sprint. But since "Boonen" was racing a Crit today, he didn't mix it up. So Mongo, "MC-Lean", and "Daryl/Darnell/Darell" sorted it out, with the young MC pulling away from me at the end. Mongo's top end speed and sprinting speed were good...but as we all know, it's about how fast you go up.