Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I'm Too Old For This Shit

I guess it was just a matter of time. In fact, it's been so long that I can't actually remember the last time it happened. I was overdue. No...I'm not talking about being with a live, human, woman...I'm talking about the ol' high-speed cycling crash.

As far as crashes go, this one was a very manly, aggressive crash. Mongo's homie, Rahsaan Bahati, would be proud. I took a 90 degree left-hand turn at 24+ mph on a wide line that I don't usually take. Mongo was jockeying for position with the "Danimal" on the final turn of the Sprint at last night's 23/2300 Hammerfest when I took a chance on a dangerous move by going deep into the corner...bad idea!

Mongo went from "oh shit, this could get sketchy" to "why am I in a ditch and in a lot of pain?" in about one second. It was crazy...and over as soon as it started. Luckily, Mongo didn't take any of his boys down with him and my bike only has superficial damage.

My body, on the other hand, is jacked! Cuts, bruises, road rash, and muscle pain are all making their presence known. What sucks is that up to that point Mongo was having a good ride.

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Full Izumi: Specialized Edition

Of the many witty sayings and trademarks that Mongo has created over the years, one that I get great enjoyment out of saying is "The Full Izumi". What it basically means is that you are kitted out from head to toe in one particular cycling brand. I could have used any brand to make my point, but "Full Izumi" rolls off the tongue a little easier than "Full Assos" or "Full super-dorky Primal Wear".

Anyway, since last Monday's embarrassing abandonment of the 23/2300 Hammerfest, Mongo has had three days of serious training...seventy five percent of which were spent in Zone 2 on the HR monitor. Add to this the recent podiums by teammates, "Soon To Be Cat 3" MC-Lean and "Clydesdale" Dan, and my motivation has never been higher.

I am looking forward to seeing how all of this plays out tonight.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Hey Belgium...I Know The Euro Is Down But Those Are The Crappiest Medals I've Seen This Side Of A Band Competition

Continuing his recent winning ways and peaking at the right time, Stijn Devolder wins the Belgian National Championship road race and gets to share the podium with his genetically engineered children.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Blends With Uncertain Ends

"The greater part of what my neighbors call good I believe in my soul to be bad, and if I repent of anything, it is very likely to be my good behavior. What demon possessed me that I behaved so well?"

(Henry David Thoreau)

Careful With The Hoof

The new "Goat-Pack" from North Face...Who says you can't take a meal and some lovin' with you wherever you go!?

Resting On My Laurels...Not So Much

"It never gets easier, you just go faster."
(Greg Lemond*)

"It never gets easier, but you sure as hell can get slower."
(Mongo Pusher)

I came to the realization today that even though there are minor, legitimate excuses for my poor riding as of late, the main reason is that I stopped giving that extra effort needed to maintain a relatively high level of competitiveness. I was in better shape in February, coming out of a winter of dedicated training, than I am now in the heart of racing season. That ain't the way it's supposed to be.

So...today Mongo got back to work. The first order of business is to drop some weight and lose some fat. This requires disciplined riding in a HR zone between 125-140. No exceptions...no smackdowns.

After stopping by the shop and chatting with "Soon to be Cat 3" MC-Lean and "Soon to be Cat 3" Shady, Mongo hit the S.C.T. near dusk and put in an enjoyable 42 miles smack dab in the middle of my targeted HR. I've got some work to do to get back to where I need to be, but I'm sick of struggling and I'm not f***ing around with my diet anymore..."I'll Be Back!"

* (Greatest American Professional Cyclist)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Something Must Be Wrong With Me

For only the second time in recent memory, Mongo was forced to abandon the 23/2300 Hammerfest. The first time was due to illness and respiratory problems, which is acceptable, but tonight's embarrassment was because of dead legs.

I don't know what's up...but I've had no snap in my legs for a while now. My lungs are good, my hydration is good, my nutrition is "ok", but my performances lately have been well below my expectations. I can only think that I've been overdoing my training in the heat of the day and that I'm not getting enough rest. At least I hope that's it...It would really suck if I've hit the wall and have to start acting, and cycling, my age.

Tonight I hopefully kept my "Man Card" by at least completing the two major climbs on the ride before loosening my bra and limping home.

Get On Your Board And Ride

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Huh... Didn't See That Coming

In what seemed to have more re-shuffling than a cheaters poker game, the final stage TT in the Tour de Suisse shook up the leaderboard and made it rain...with Fleck coming out of the pack to claim the overall title and Mellow Johnny somehow coming in second.

As it turned out, everyone who was in first through fifth place going into the stage decided just not to show up. Robert Gesink was the worst off, going from leading the race to finishing fifth. And it's not as if Schleck and Mellow Johnny put in blistering times. They finished eleventh and thirteenth....Potential GC contenders in the TDF like AK47, LBM, StEvolder, and DZ Nutz, all had better times.

Mellow Johnny's last two results and next race: Do you see a trend?: Tour of Luxembourg-3rd/ Tour of Switzerland-2nd/ Tour de France-(Ha, ha...are you f***ing kidding me? Not gonna happen!)


What Will $655.00 Get You On Ebay?

Circa 1979, Kryptonics 3rd Generation wheels with the original packaging, sticker, and paperwork.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Serious As A Heart Attack

It is being reported that Kim Kirchen has been placed in a medically-induced coma after an apparent heart attack.

First of all, he's thirty one years old...Second of all, "a medically-induced coma"! WTF is going on here?

Mongo does wish him well and hopes he recovers, that goes without saying, but lets look at a few things.

Kirchen rode for Fassa Bortolo and T-Mobile (Two of the most disgraced teams in Pro cycling history because of doping scandals) leading up to his successful years with Columbia. When his performances plummeted in 2009, he jumped ship from a reputable team to a shady team in Katusha.

A pro level, racer buddy of Mongo once told me that a side effect of improperly taken EPO was that it thickened the blood...putting undue pressure on the heart, arteries, and surrounding blood vessels.

Unless Kirchen is genetically predisposed to a condition that "could" cause a heart attack, Mongo is more inclined to look for more sinister reasons. Remember...31 years old...shady past...been sucking for two years...I'm just sayin'.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

First Of All...I Said On Your Left

"Dude...my shit better not be broken. Do you know how hard it is to get Campy 11 Speed out here!?"

Anatomy Of A Prototype: Robert Gesink


Height...6' 1"


Look for him on the podium at the Tour de France.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Here Comes Carnage

In a rare display of nationalistic vengeance not seen very often on the Pro Tour level, British subject, Mark Cavendish, takes out the two "Krauts", I mean Germans, Ciolek and Haussler, who were his closest competitors, and starts a chain reaction crash of epic proportions.


Monday, June 14, 2010

Smoker At 17...Killer At 25

"Eloquence is the power to translate a truth into language perfectly intelligible to the person to whom you speak."

(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Well...That Sucked

Mongo had a disappointing 23/2300 Hammerfest tonight. It was hot...the pace was fast...and I had nothing.

Enough Already With The Vuvuzelas

It couldn't have been any hotter yesterday. The heat index in the sun was above 100 degrees and the humidity index in my chamois peaked out at "swampy".

After showing some improvement on the 23/2300 Hammerfest last Monday, Mongo knew what he had to do...get back to basics. So on Thursday and Friday I put in 80 miles on LPE, including a practice run on the MNR loop. Riding heavy and in the blistering heat was what Mongo needed to get back on track. I had several Trek-induced smackdowns, and really worked on cadence and pedal speed with LPE's compact gearing.

Knowing that I'd be back on the Sub-18 tonight for the 'Fest, Mongo took her out yesterday in the life-threatening heat for a final training ride...and I was presented early on with a moral/ ethical/ douchebagical dilemma.

What do you do when you chase someone down for ten minutes only to realize that the person you caught is a hot chick and she's really fast? As I rolled into her slipstream with my HR at 171, Mongo had to make a quick decision...Do I draft her and let myself recover? Do I pull along side and make some cool, yet not creepy, small talk? Do I suck it up an blow by her because "I ain't followin' no girl"?

In the end, Mongo did all three...but I couldn't shake her. We ended up working together for about ten miles until an "old-school douchebag" on a Litespeed decided to crash the party and ruin my blossoming romance. Of course...it was on!

Mongo doled out the punishment on the uphills and drafted mercilessly on the flats and downhills, eventually crushing the spirit of the party crasher...and unfortunately losing my girl in the process.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Every Good Story Has A Comeback

After a violent, stitch-inducing crash a couple of weeks ago, young star on the rise and party animal, MC-Lean, redeems himself by winning the Criterium and coming in second in the Road Race at The Georgia Cup Series in Rome.

In his final race in Georgia before moving on to steeper slopes and hairier women in Colorado, "Alp d'Huez" Mike powered his way to a second place podium spot in the TT..."Mike, I promise to always hold my line...Good Luck!" (M.P.)

TT stalwart and diesel engine, "Crazylegs Boonen", put in his usual solid ride and "Clydesdaled" his way to a podium-annex spot in fourth. The performance of the day may go to the "lady" of the Smyrna Bicycles Cycling Team...and no, I'm not talking about "Snow Bunny", who has inexplicably retired from cycling once again... I'm talking about "I beat Dan by six seconds" Kinga. A personal best and a win in her class.

Congratulations to all team members who participated...including "I lost to Kinga by six seconds" Dan.

U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!: TVG Gets Third In The Dauphine With A Little Help From The Best GC Rider On Radio Shack

"I've suffered a lot," said Van Garderen to Le Dauphiné newspaper. "But Horner helped me a lot in the climb up to l'Alpe d'Huez. He didn't have any reason for doing it, except that we're both American. It was really nice of him."...Tejay Vangarderen

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Watts Going On?

Forced to leave his electric motor at home because of its incompatibility with the aero frame on his TT bike, Fabian Cancellara used "old-fashioned" methods to win the opening Prologue of the Tour of Switzerland.


Friday, June 11, 2010

Hey Kids...It's Alp d'Huez

Tomorrow's penultimate stage in the Criterium du Dauphine is going to answer many questions. Has the "Frito Bandito" been sandbagging and just been waiting for Alp d'Huez to put down the hammer and show his climbing pedigree? Can Tejay Vangarderen hang tough on this historic climb and stay in GC contention? Where has Chris Horner been and is he ready for the mountains of the Tour de France? Has Jani Brajkovic done all the dope he can possibly do without his heart exploding as he tries not to get dropped and retain a glimmer of hope for a final podium spot?...Let's see what you've got!


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Getting Back The Mojo

After my beatdown at the Enemy Bike Shop ride on Saturday and my overall poor performance on the bike over the last couple of weeks, Mongo was looking for something positive to get me out of my funk. I was hoping that a moderate 40 on LPE would be just what the doctor ordered. I saddled up on Sunday morning and headed for the S.C.T.

I really wasn't feeling it at first. My legs were dead from the day before, and I just wanted a couple of hours of solid spinning and cadence work. It was hot as hell and I wasn't in the mood for any smackdowns. Of course, I got passed...by a Trek.

Unless you ride for Radio Shack and are in full team kit, if you ride a Trek and pass me, Mongo will kill himself to beat you. Fortunately, most Trek riders are poseurs and smacking them down is usually just a formality. When I'm on LPE though, these altercations can become extended and exhausting before my inevitable victory.

Four miles of hammering in the Speed Bars put an end to my challenger and I was feeling pretty good about my day's efforts...when I got jumped by a dude on a recumbent. Are you kidding me? It was one of those fast deals with 700c wheels and a mini fairing...and I couldn't catch him. But he is now officially on Mongo's "list".

Mongo was feeling pretty good going into the 23/2300 Hammerfest on Monday. I was well rested and looking to redeem myself. I warmed up for an hour prior to the ride and was properly hydrated and nourished...no excuses!

I rode pretty well. The group was smaller than normal and was missing some of it's elite-level riders, but the pace was fast and spirited and the ride was contested all the way around. Mongo climbed adequately (Thanks to my "Cat 5 Domination" interval hill training), and I pulled out a "legit" fourth or fifth in the Sprint. I think I'm headed back in the right direction.

Monday, June 7, 2010

He's The Real Deal Already

The future is looking pretty good for American pro cycling. With all the focus lately on Taylor Phinney, it's easy to overlook Tejay Van Garderen. Currently sitting in second place at the Criterium du Dauphine behind Alberto Contador, TVG has proven already this year that he is a GC star on the rise. There's a surprisingly weak field at this year's race, so Mongo is thinking that a podium finish from the twenty one year old isn't out of the question.


Everyone Knows It's Rear Wheel First

This Song Is Over

Mellow Johnny sends a strong message to his old rival and recent Giro d'Italia winner, Ivan Basso, about what to expect from him at the Tour de France this year...by finishing third behind "nobody" and Frank Schleck at the Tour of Luxembourg.


Saturday, June 5, 2010

Too Much Lockin'...Not Enough Poppin'

Mongo took his overworked and under-rested self to the Enemy Bike Shop ride this morning. It was bad enough that it was 80 degrees by nine am, but I really wasn't prepared for the Cat 3 pace of the forty-man peloton. I got stuck near the back most of the day and yo-yo'd up the climbs. All in all, I toughed it out and didn't finish last...but that was it for the "good" news. Mongo has some work to do.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Phantom Fears And Kindness That Can Kill

"There is no value in life except what you choose to place upon it, and no happiness in any place except what you bring to it yourself."

(Henry David Thoreau)

Interval Hill Training: Cutting To The Chase

It's been raining in Mongo's neck of the woods for what seems like a couple of weeks now. Based on this and my work schedule, my time on the bike has been cut back dramatically. Mongo's waistline and peace of mind have been the victims in this sedentary stretch.

Because my windows of opportunity between thunderstorms and rain have been short, I have been forced to venture into what has traditionally been skateboarding territory in the neighborhoods surrounding my own and do what I like doing least...which is climb steep hills as fast as I can over and over.

Mongo has created a ten mile loop, with five miles of going up on slopes with a grade ranging from seven to twenty percent, that I can complete it in a little under an hour. My HR maxes out at 170, and my average HR for the loop is just under 140...and I'm sweating more profusely than my usual profuse sweating. It really feels like I'm getting a much better workout than an average, two hour, forty mile ride on the road. Plus, my abs are getting a much needed, P90x-style boot camp.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

What Will $1627.00 Get You On Ebay?

One of the rarest decks of all time....1978 Kryptonics 1st Generation. Foam core/ Glass wrap/ P-Tex base/ Undrilled...Mint!

The Zapruder Film Of Cycling

Little did Mongo know that back in April when I questioned Fabian Cancellara's improbable two week double, with Flanders and Roubaix, that there might be another reason for his super-human performances other than the traditional doping methods. As it turns out, he might have had an engine in his bike...seriously!

I don't normally pay much heed to conspiracy theories of any kind. They tend to be championed by people who spend more time on the computer than participating in life. That being said, it doesn't mean that they are all wrong. I would never have thought it possible to wrap my head around the idea that a professional cyclist would have the balls to put an electric motor in his bike with the intention of deceiving and cheating...but then again, this is Pro cycling and anything is possible.

Check out this video here and then ask yourself..."Is this within the realm of possibility?"