Tuesday, August 31, 2010

You Want Some Of This?

"Truth is handsomer than the affectation of love. Your goodness must have some edge to it, else it is none."

(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

The Final Climb


Even though he was French...and one of the main rivals of Mongo's boy, Greg Lemond, I always admired Laurent Fignon. A two-time Tour de France winner, he was the thinking man's racer, and he wasn't shady like another French rider of the era whose name rhymes with Bernard Hinault.

Monday, August 30, 2010

What The Hell Is Special Purpose?

Mongo doesn't like to blow his own horn...Ok, maybe I do...but tonight I had one of my best rides of the entire year...and no one was there to revel in my awesomeness.

I had a twenty minute head start on the rest of the 23/2300 Hammerfest peloton, but I rode like they were always thirty seconds behind me. Mongo always rides faster when I'm being chased rather than chasing someone, so I never let up for the entire circuit.

I fully expected to be caught eventually, with all the steep climbs and the fact that I was on a 24 pound mountain bike with a power-sucking front fork, but it never happened. In fact, I waited at the rendezvous point for "over" twenty minutes before pedaling home solo.

I don't quite know what this all means, probably nothing, but I really enjoyed the challenge and the effort.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Sunday Ride: Haiku

Took it to the trail

Rolling on my seven speed

Doing time sublime

When Life Gives You Lemons...Make An Arnold Palmer

This is what LPE would look like if she was a sleek Italian vixen. This super-rare Colnago was going for about seven G's on Ebay...I'll take five hundy, right now, for LPE.

Moving on...

Mongo has a plan lined up for the 23/2300 Hammerfest tomorrow night. Since there's no way I could keep up with the peloton on LPE, I have initiated a challenge to the rest of the group. Mongo will have a twenty minute head start...and everyone will try to catch me. Even with that lead, I have my doubts on whether I'll make it to the end without being caught.

Under The Lights: It's The Vuelta


Mongo needs to get his Pro Cycling juices flowing again. I've been in a bit of a funk since the Tour de France. After all, the Vuelta a Espana is a Grand Tour...isn't it? Of course it is, I think, although it would probably be considered the red-headed stepchild of the three.

All the big guns are here except Contador, Evans, and The Shack, and the less-severe climbs should bring more riders into the picture for GC contention. That being said, Mongo would be very surprised if the podium didn't look something like this.

1...Frank/Andy Schleck 2...Someone from Liquigas 3...Menchov/Rodriguez/Van Garderen

Friday, August 27, 2010

That Was Fun: The Friday Night Ride

It looks like Mongo is going to get a new frame, "gratis", from the great Specialized Bicycle Company...so I'm pretty happy about that. In the mean time, I'm down with LPE.

It was a strong turnout tonight at the SBFNR. Most of the usual suspects were there plus a dude on a Masi with a rear fender and a Brooks saddle. The pace was moderate on the way out and fast on the way home...with several attacks reeled in before the final sprint. Mongo was in the mix most of the way but I didn't have the legs to cover the final move and faded down the stretch.

Garmin-Cervelo...The Perfect Storm Of Douchey

Mongo is already looking forward to the potential world-class smugness that is sure to emanate from "Preppy McSideburns" and "Baldy McCanadian" next year as these two teams combine forces. As much as I like Haussler and Hushovd, and would love to see them on an American team, the idea of VDV riding a Cervelo just ain't right.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Ain't That A Bitch!?

After a successful return to the 23/2300 Hammerfest peloton on Monday night, where my efforts and results were in the range of what I was looking for after my prolonged layoff, Mongo pedaled home feeling pretty good about the day's effort. I knew that another week of training hard would put me right back in the middle of the pack...where my ice-cream habit allows me to comfortably exist.

All of these good thoughts changed when I hung up the Sub-18 in my garage and noticed that...that...that...my m***er f****ng frame was cracked! Are you kidding me!? Right at the weld where the top-tube meets the seat-tube. It's been a good run, but Mongo is getting a new frame whether I like it or not.

The best case scenario is that Specialized (THE GREATEST BIKE COMPANY IN THE WORLD), will warranty the frame and send me a new one for free. Since they did this once already for me a few years ago, I might be out o' luck. The next best option would be to offer me a different frame super cheap. I would step up to a Tarmac if the price was right.

The ball will start rolling on all of this tomorrow, but in the meantime, Mongo will be forced to ride LPE exclusively. Watch out people...a few weeks of training heavy, then getting a new carbon frame, might all lead to a few surprises in the peloton upon my return.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Day Late...Twenty Miles Short...A Flat Tire: The Sunday Ride

Well...I guess Mongo should be happy with my accelerated "Cat 5 Domination" training this week. I have essentially painted myself into a corner with all my whining and excuses, and now I am obligated to perform well tomorrow night at the 23/2300 Hammerfest.

I had hoped to get in a strong 120 miles of training over the three days I had available this week, but I was only able to get in a hundy due to rain on Saturday morning. Mongo used to semi-happily ride in the rain all the time..."not no mo'!" My anal retentiveness won't allow me to enjoy the ride when I know what a pain in the ass it will be to clean the bike later.

Mongo took out LPE this afternoon for a brisk 40 at about 135 avg HR. I've been mixing intervals into my rides to simulate climbing, but my main purpose this week was to put miles back onto my legs and taint. But as you know by now, Mongo cant resist a good smackdown.

Today it was a P3 and a Transition, and it lasted about fifteen miles. Mongo had to stay in the Speed Bars most of the way to hang with these TT bikes, but we averaged a tad over 22 for the run. They constantly tried to drop me and were stunned that a dude on a Mt. bike was hanging with them, but by the end I managed to strike up some non-douchey conversation and we all happily rolled in together.

Mongo stopped by the shop on the way home and saw something that no one has actually seen in years...both owners working at the shop...at the same time...together! It was a rarer sighting than a Chupacabra or a good looking female triathlete. After about an hour of lurking and chatting with the fellas, Mongo pedaled the three miles back to the house...But not before getting a slow leak in my rear tire and riding home at about 30 psi.

Bitte Noch Ein Jahr

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Winds After The Blast

There may come a time in the long ago when memories disengage

Wait for me there in the shade of passing dreams and undiscovered history

As the fire cools to ember in the hearth of stone seclusion

What Will $35000.00 Get You On Ebay?

Colnago/Ferrari Tandem Mountain Bike

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Silly Season Continues

Well it looks like the "Li'l Bronze Medalist" is continuing his late Summer tour of the "What the f**k are you doing here?" races. First he shows up in Colorado and beats down the knobby crowd at the Leadville Trail 100, and now he's flying the Mellow Johnny's/RadioShack colors at the Tour of Utah. (Which is actually more of an Omnium)

Since the rest of his Shack teammates are either about to get indicted, looking for work elsewhere, or laying low, Levi is doing this one solo...And after a win in Stage 2, he has lead on GC.

As much as I hate to say it, Leipheimer is "done" as a contender on the UCI Pro Tour. Time, age, and scandal have finally caught up with him. Even if the Gerolsteiner allegations are never proven, the TDF this year showed that he can't climb with the top guys anymore. I guess he now needs to make his hay on the Continental circuit.


Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Half A Century Later

Mongo did what he needed to do today. Fifty miles on the SCT at an 18.2 avg pace. I did intervals along the way, including out of the saddle sprints, and at least twenty miles in the 130-140 "fat burning", HR zone. I actually felt pretty good.

Mongo is going to ride the Hammerfest course on Saturday morning and another forty miles on Sunday. This will give me approximately 120 miles of varied training this week. I should be good to go for Monday night.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I Woke Up In A Soho Doorway

"Compliments and flattery often excite my contempt by the pretension they imply; for who is he that assumes to flatter me? To compliment often implies an assumption of superiority in the complimenter. It is, in fact, a subtle detraction."

(Henry David Thoreau)

We Forward In This Generation

I've Got Five Days To Get Back In Shape

Mongo has received valuable insight over the past couple of days from various knowledgeable sources concerning my recent performances, or lack thereof, on the bike. Though opinions vary on the medical consequences of my depleted training, the one thing that everyone can agree on is that Mongo is acting like a big pussy.

Just the same way that "Pimpin' ain't easy", cycling at a fairly high level also ain't easy. It requires commitment, consistency, and a lot of hard work. Mongo has done none of this lately, so I need to STFU and get out there and do it. I'm in for 50 tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

This Ain't No Joke

Mongo is in a serious cycling slump. Over the past few weeks I have ridden a total of three times with a combined mileage of about fifty...And believe me, it shows!

Considering I normally put in around 150 miles per week just to keep myself in the middle-rear of my local peloton, this minuscule effort has brought about catastrophic results.

This past Sunday I took out LPE for a "comeback" ride of about 40 miles. After about 20 miles, and being smacked down by two tri-douches who normally couldn't carry my chamois, I went home beaten and disgusted.

I really don't know why I even attempted to do the 23/2300 Hammerfest on Monday night. After all, nothing about my recent effort and training pointed to me being successful. I think the fact that I skipped the week before due to the same lack of preparedness made me determined to give it a go...Bad idea!

Only a few miles into the ride my HR was through the roof. At a point in the course where my HR is usually around 155, it was at 175...and we hadn't even started the first serious climb. I knew that pushing on would only lead to misery, so I was forced to abandon the ride. That really sucked and pissed me off.

I know what I've got to do... The answer is simple but the process will be hard.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Where Aging Tour De France Podium Finishers Go To Sandbag

"Shetland Jens Voigt" wins the Leadville Trail 100 over some actual legitimate competition...and in the process sets a new course record.

Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski, Todd Wells, Dave Wiens, and Jeremiah Bishop rounded out the top five.


Burnout...Really?: Just Admit It Already

"A few days ago, I was diagnosed with burnout, that will probably need a longer treatment. In order to ensure complete recovery, I will therefore stop all public appearances in the next few months."

(Jan Ullrich)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I've Always Wanted To Ride In Ireland

Taken inside an empty dream

Living through a repeating code

Drained by the thought of what might have been

Bound together with the twine of life

Do You Remember When Cheating Used To Be A Bad Thing?


Fresh off a two year ban for EPO and a strong season riding for the Continental team, Flaminia, former superstar, Riccardo "The Garter Snake" Ricco, is now one of the hottest commodities on the transfer market. Apparently he is so confident in his future that he coughed up $75K out of his own pocket to buy out his Flaminia contract.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What Will $300.00 Get You On Ebay?

1978 Hobie Competition fiberglass board with Bennett trucks and Road-Rider wheels.

This exact setup was Mongo's second ever board...I have distinct memories as a young punk, coming back from boarding school on holiday, riding this baby most of the way through Miami International Airport...Good times!

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Search For Doctor Cornelius

"Take your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape!"

(Charlton Heston)

Only In America

Mongo prefers the Sasha Grey DP Edition.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Takin' It To The Street: Mongo Goes Goofy

I haven't been on a bike since Monday. Though I had planned on capitalizing on my improved performance at the 23/2300 Hammerfest by getting in a strong week of training, the weather hasn't cooperated. In fact, every opportunity I've had to get out has been thwarted by rain.

So...Mongo got a new skateboard..."modern style" (8"x 30"/Double kick/Mucho concave/139 Alu trucks/52mm 90A wheels). Don't ask me why, but I'm glad I did. Mongo's been getting lazy with his "skillz" on the Alva, with it's smooth and stable chassis, so it's been fun feeling my safety threatened every time I step on the new board.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Over Pieces Of The Ground

"Every mind must make its choice between truth and repose. It cannot have both."

(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

I Don't Like Where This Story Is Going

Alberto Contador's Pro cycling history:

2004-2006 (Once/Liberty Seguros)
..."Operation Puerto"

2007-2009 (Discovery Channel/Astana)
..."Bruyneel Triangle"

2010 (Astana)
..."Alvin O'kourov"

2011 (Saxo Bank-Sungard)
..."Bjarne (I was stripped of my TDF win in '96 for doping) Riis"

Monday, August 2, 2010

If The Heat Doesn't Get You...

It was so humid tonight on the 23/2300 Hammerfest that Mongo...(Fill in the Match Game answer here). On the plus side, the temperature was in the 80's. It's been consistently pushing 95 degrees for weeks now, so this was a nice change. On the down side, the humidity was over 100% and caused me to inadvertently drink more salt water than the time I got drunk and played "Bobbing for Clams" on the beach in Key West. There are no clams in Key West...if you know what I mean.

The ride went pretty well and I was satisfied with my improved performance. I was even in the ideal position in the Sprint coming out of the last corner (Where Mongo crashed a few weeks ago). Unfortunately, I had nothing left in my legs and faded to seventh.

The Weekend Wrap Up

I think Mongo has finally gotten his renegade eating habits under control...for now. After weeks of bitching about my bad performances on the hills of the Hammerfest, I finally realized that insufficient training combined with my "goat-like" consumption of anything in front of me were to blame for my recent sucking.

Last Monday's 'Fest was rained out due to...rain...and about 1000 lightning strikes recorded in the area. I was kind of happy because I was probably headed into another sub-par performance. That gave me a week to get my shit together. Actually, only three days of riding, but who's counting?

I made a plan using my highly successful, "Cat 5 Domination" training method...A medium paced 50 miles on Thursday, a fast paced 40 miles on Saturday, and a recovery pace 30 miles on Sunday. All of these were accomplished in a heat index above 100 degrees.

Much like the recent World Cup spirited in the resurgence of backyard soccer, over-acting, and Vuvuzelas, the Tour de France reminded many a douchebag that they had a Litespeed/Serotta/Cervelo/Trek/Colnago collecting dust in their basement/garage. The past couple of weekends have seen an overflow of these "Assos" coming out of the woodwork.

Saturday, on Mongo's fast day, it was "on" from the get go. I had to dispatch of at least five pretenders before I got to my biggest and final challenge...which happened to be a legit, tri-geek on an Orbea. With ten miles to go, he passed me at about 25 mph when I was recovering from my last smackdown. I thought for a second about not chasing, but I couldn't let him go.

It was touch and go most of the way, with both of us going back and forth. Mongo won't draft a TT bike if he's not drafting me. It's sort of an unwritten code I have even though I love to draft. Instead, I'll do my left quarter panel position where I'm not in the slipstream but I'm still close enough that he sees me almost next to him. It can be unnerving for the person being chased.

I had nothing left with about a mile to go so I had to make a decision. Either roll in together, or make a final breakaway. I chose to attack. I backed off, shifted gears, got out of the saddle, and took off. I did the final 500 metres at close to 30 mph and took it by about ten seconds.

Let's hope all this good mojo and training will yield some positive results tonight.

X Games = Video Games

I think that I'm finally too old to "really" enjoy the X Games. Oh, I appreciate the skill and talent it takes to excel in all the disciplines, but it just seems like they're trying to legitimize gimmicks and stunts into actual sports. Except for skateboarding.

The "Big Air" contests on the Megaramp are truly gnarly, and the "Street" competitions showcase the amazing tech-tricks, but it was the "Skate Park" display by both the young guns and the legends that thrilled Mongo.

I'd like to hope that this is the way skateboarding in general is going. Modern "Parks" incorporate the best elements of street, vert, and pool skating in one arena. I think it best identifies the best all around rider. The future looks bright, with accomplished rippers barely in the middle of their teens, but it's Mongo's contemporaries that still get me excited.

The "Legends" Park final was a who's who of the pioneers of the sport. I'd watch these guys put on grip tape... nevermind shredding a pool. This is how they finished...1. Christian Hosoi 2. Chris Miller 3. Steve Caballero 4. Lance Mountain 5. Jeff Grosso