Thursday, September 30, 2010

I Got This One Right

Vuelta a Espana runner-up, Ezequiel Mosquera, tested positive during the race for Hydroxyethyl starch.(I don't know what that is, but it's banned)

Mongo called this less than two weeks ago.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Harder Than The Triple Lindy: Mongo To Attempt Double Loop (46mi/4600ft) On Hammerfest Course Thursday Morning...Stay Tuned

Ruh Roh !!!

(Photo:Daniel Benson/CyclingNews)

Guess who just tested positive for Clenbuterol and has been formally suspended by the UCI pending further investigation? The "Frito Bandito" is claiming food contamination, which just happens to be the same excuse that suspended RadioShack rider, Li Fuyu, used when he was busted earlier this year, but we all know that that is highly unlikely.

Mongo is disappointed but not surprised...I have a feeling that this will end badly and Andy Schleck will assume the same tarnished title that fell on Oscar Pereiro in 2006.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

It Is What It Is: The Fest That Wasn't

As with life, the weather often takes a turn that is unexpected. One minute it could be calm and sunny...and the next minute there could be thirty mile per hour gusts of wind and marble-sized hail pelting your house and car as you make the final adjustments to your bike in the garage wearing your full team kit and preparing for the ride that you were looking forward to all day but now won't happen...Or something like that.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Don't Sleep On Team USA

Tyler Farrar - road race
David Zabriskie - road race, time trial
Jason McCartney - road race
Christian Vande Velde - road race
Danny Pate - road race
Tejay Van Garderen - road race, time trial
Craig Lewis - road race
Ted King - road race
Tom Peterson - road race

Riding With Cars: The If I Get Run Over This Is Probably Why Haiku

One hand on the wheel

The other on a cell phone

I'm not even there

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Overheard In Melbourne: Bettini Style


"Whatsa matta with these fargin stoplights?...I dona stop for nobody!"

Saturday, September 25, 2010

What Will $499.00 And A Season Of Pro Tour Testing Get You?

The Lemond Revolution Trainer...It seems odd that someone didn't market this obvious idea sooner, but Mongo is happy for his boy, GLM. Check out the details here.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I Really Hope This Works

There is a chance, a small chance, that the new Street League Pro Tour will find an audience on TV. That's the only way it's going to make it. You can fill basketball arenas all day with core skateboard fans who will support these contests in person, but the only way to keep top talent, put on a polished production, and present the best face of skateboarding, is if advertisers and sponsors feels it is a product worth supporting.

Mongo finds Rob Dyrdek thoroughly entertaining...and along with his good pal, Steve Berra, they both provide the color and play by play commentary for each event in a way that is appealing to a broad cross-section of casual and die-hard fans.

The events move along at a crisp pace with the seven finalists getting real-time scoring after each trick. Because they know where they stand after each run, the competitors definitely feel the pressure if they don't land a trick and fall behind in points.

This type of skateboarding may not be Mongo's cup of tea, but I appreciate the skills of guys like Scheckler, Ortiz, Malto, Houston, Cole, P-Rod, and Lutzka, and I'm down for anything that paints the sport in a positive light.

Monday, September 20, 2010

You'll Reap The Harvest You Have Sown

"We are always getting ready to live but never living."

(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Jonesing For SportLegs

Mongo did the 23/2300 Hammerfest tonight completely "dope free" for the first time in a long while...and it wasn't so bad.

I dope because I have to, not because I want to. And before you get any ideas that Mongo is hypocritical about being anti-doping on the Pro level but okay with it on the suburban, Cat 3-4-5, group-ride level, let me make one clear distinction. Mongo's doping is not for "performance enhancing". On the is for "sucking reducing".

I gave it all I had tonight and the results were pretty good. I climbed well, for me, and I was in the mix in the Sprint until the final couple hundred metres (European for yards), when I eventually faded to fifth.

Get Used To It America: This Is The Future


Taylor Phinney and Ben King... These two youngsters beat Pro Tour riders Hincapie, Leipheimer, Horner, Cozza, Pate, Bookwalter, Lewis, and McCartney, to win the 2010, US Pro, TT and Road cycling championships.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Cynically Speaking: One Of These Things Is Not Like The Others


Mongo was chatting with his buddy, "Boonen", today about the impending downfall of Mellow Johnny, the large number of rider transfers and team changes, and the probable dissolution of RadioShack more sooner than later, and it got me thinking about how I view Pro Cycling. This is a "three blue-book" question, so I'll narrow my focus to something that bothered me about the podium at this year's Vuelta a Espana.

I am extremely skeptical of "out of the ordinary" performances. I am even more skeptical of these performances by older cyclists...especially if they have no track record of success...I give to you Ezequiel Mosquera.

While the winner and third place finisher in the race, Vincenzo Nibali and Peter Velits, are both 25 years old, runner up, Mosquera, is 35. Velits was the U23 World Road Champion in 2007, and has ridden for a Pro Tour team since 2008, and Nibali's credentials are that of a superstar in the making. Mosquera, on the other hand, has "never" ridden for a Pro Tour team in his entire career...and he finishes second in a Grand Tour?!

What is even more interesting is that even though he's never won anything, anywhere, he seems to be Xacobeo-Galicia's "go-to guy" when it comes to the Vuelta. In the past four years, since joining the team, he has finished 2nd, 5th, 4th, and 5th. That's pretty impressive for anyone, let alone a cyclist on a Continental team who never rides much outside of Spain.

Oh, that's right, he's Spanish!...and the Spanish have a cycling inferiority complex when it comes to the Italians and the they have always been more prone to "look the other way" and encourage improbable, strong performances by one of their own in their own race.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Rosso Corsa: The Friday Ride

Mongo is starting to feel good on the new bike. After a disappointing debut at the 'Fest, I put in a strong forty yesterday, and tonight I was able to do the SBFNR. It was a small but spirited group that included "Boonen", "Black Eric Heiden" Darelle, "Cat 5 Criterium Sensation" Jason, and some other guys.

Mongo made his move with about a mile to go, and actually had a gap that would have won had I not run out of gas. I regrouped at about 500 metres (European for yards) and got on BEH's wheel before launching my final sprint...I lost by a bike-length, but a good time was had by all.

What Will $2300.00 Get You On Ebay?

1983 P.K. Ripper

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Occam's Razor: Mongo Catches A Break

Anyone who's been a cyclist for any length of time has encountered mysterious noises emanating from their bike. And for those of us who pride ourselves on bike maintenance and strong mechanical knowledge of our machines, these ticks and creaks and pings can drive you crazy.

It rarely occurs to most bike mechanics to check the simplest and most logical source of the noise. Why, you might ask? Well...because it "never" is. A bike frame is a virtual sound system for unwanted static. A headset creak could sound like it's coming from the bottom bracket, and a loose seatpost noise you might swear is coming from your spokes. On a well maintained bicycle, it is always assumed that the problem is more elusive.

At the 23/2300 Hammerfest on Monday, when I wasn't struggling not to get dropped, Mongo noticed a clicking that was not only annoying as f**k, but that I was sure was coming from the BB or the chain/chainring interface. It's about time to change out my cassette and chain, so after I eliminated the BB as the problem, I resigned myself to the fact that I'd have to put up with the noise until these components were replaced.

Just for shits and giggles, before I went on my training ride today I greased and re-installed my Look Keo Carbon pedals. And guess what?...The noise is gone! Go figure.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Meanwhile...Back At The Vuelta

Realistically, with only five stages left in the 2010 Vuelta a Espana, there are only three riders with a chance to win. They are..."J-Rod", "V-Nib", and "Fleck". As circumstance would have it, Mongo picked these three guys(among others)to round out the podium in Madrid.

With tomorrow's 46K, flat, TT, it should all start coming together. Nibali is the best TT rider out of all three, and he should end the day with about a 1-2 minute lead over Rodriguez. Schleck could jump Rodriguez with a great ride, but will probably slot in right behind him. I know I've left out Mosquera, who currently sits in third, but we all know he's going nowhere but backwards.

(Epilogue...Looks like Mongo was wrong about Mosquera in the TT)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Return To The Hammerfest: Haiku

The new frame worked great

Mongo's legs and lungs didn't

I need a new chain

Bicycles...Women...Porn: Thanks For Ruining All Of Them For Me

If "Golden Girl", Rue McClanahan, was a steroid-infused, Eastern European, fixed-gear, cycling acrobat.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Shaky Shakedown: The Sunday Ride

It only took Mongo three miles before I realized I wasn't wearing my HR monitor today. Not so bad in the great scheme of cycling...we've all done it before. What was bad was me leaving both of my water bottles at the shop and not realizing this until I was ten miles into the ride.

I had alot on my mind today. I had to work out the kinks on the new bike-build, as well as getting in some much needed training for the resumption of the 23/2300 Hammerfest tomorrow night.

While much of the peloton have been keeping their competitive juices flowing over the past couple of weeks at the Wednesday Night Criterium Series, including "Enough points to be a Cat 3 but sandbagging in Cat 4 so he can win a title belt" MC-Lean(TM), Mongo has been relegated to limited training on LPE.

It was good to get back on a road bike after a few weeks off. The new frame performed well, I guess, and I got in a few smackdowns over my forty mile jaunt. We'll see what happens tomorrow.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

They've All Gone To Look For America

"No way of thinking or doing, however ancient, can be trusted without proof. What everybody echoes or in silence passes by as true today may turn out to be falsehood tomorrow, mere smoke of opinion, which some had trusted for a cloud that would sprinkle fertilizing rain on their fields."

(Henry David Thoreau)

I Like This Guy But...

He's Spanish...and along with the Italians, the Germans, the Russians, the Bruyneel Triangle, and anyone from South America, I'm always suspect in regards to doping.

Add to this that since Joaquin Rodriguez turned Pro in 2001, his teams have been Once, Saunier-Duval, Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears, and Katusha.


Coulda/ Woulda/ Shoulda/ Been A Contender


Injury prone underachiever, Tom Danielson, is having a nice Vuelta all things considered. He's riding strong in the top ten on GC...and this is without any real help in the mountains

Tommy-D needs to look at Chris Horner to see how it's done. There's still room near the top for washed up, American cyclists.

Sub-18 2.0: Aww Yeah!

Here it is boys and girls. Mongo's new frame... replaced for free under warranty by the great Specialized Bicycle Company (I swapped the stock carbon fork with a black, Easton EC 70). This has all worked out well for Mongo.

The Allez Comp is Specialized's top of the line, aluminum, race-geometry frame. In fact, it has the same specs as the carbon Tarmac, except for a ten millimeter taller head-tube and a half a degree slacker rake. As a bonus, this model is outfitted with carbon seatstays and the frame is about 100 grams lighter than my old one...I'm psyched!

Mongo has to give a shout-out to Arno and the gang at S.C.D. Cycles...who have handled both of my Specialized warranty issues over the years with enthusiasm and generosity.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Medicus Of Bottom Brackets

Forget fancy cranks, forget cadence computers and Powertap hubs, Mongo has discovered a sure-fire method for developing a "Pro level" pedaling technique...It's called a worn out, creaky, bottom bracket. (Mongo has finally ridden LPE a little too hard and put her away a little too wet)

Only by using a smooth, rhythmic cadence will the BB not rub on itself and squeak like a sodomized Hamster...embarrassing you so profoundly that you refuse to ride with "other people" until the problem it rectified.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Make The Call And Take It All

If I could do it all again would I do it all again?

The depth of time exchanged in the pages of a magazine

A negative image developed in the bath of chemical clarity

Framed and hung in a gallery of gallows

It Should Look Something Like This

With any luck at all, Mongo's new frame should be here by Thursday and the bike rebuilt and ready to go soon thereafter. And if truth be told, and it is, I'm ready for it to happen. I have experienced what you might call "vintage overexposure" with my exclusive, three week relationship with LPE.

Let's take a walk down "Analogy Lane"...

If you owned a 2010, Mercedes SL600 and a 1972, Hemi 'Cuda then you would have two bad-ass rides...but they are different. One is a modern, state of the art sports car that can be driven every day, the other is a finicky muscle-car meant for weekend driving and special occasions.

If you drove the 'Cuda too often then it would lose it's luster, magic, and intrigue. Shit would start breaking on it and you would sadly come to the conclusion that you'd rather be driving the Benz because the 'Cuda is nothing more than an old piece of crap and not the "classic" you once held in high esteem...No one wants that.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Real Deal Holyfield: Tejay Van Garderen...Tour De France Podium Within Three Years (Guaranteed!)

Flow Ride...Take It Easy

There are not too many things in this life that give Mongo unequivocal joy...fortunately for me, skateboarding is one of them.

Freedom and independence are achieved in different ways at different stages of one's life. For a twelve year old boy who lived in his head, a skateboard provided expression, individuality, an identity, and best of all..."wheels"!

When I ride one of my skateboards now, I immediately feel all that was good about what brought me to it in the first place.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010