Monday, February 28, 2011

Irina Shayk Vs Everti Eagle (11.4 lbs)

Dude...I'm Tired

If repeating an action and expecting different results is a sign of insanity, then what is repeating an action that you know will produce the same results...and those results will always be bad? I'm sure years of therapy could probably get to the bottom of this. Thus is Mongo's dilemma with pizza and cycling.

This past Saturday evening, my body starved for carbs after my "Three-peat" victory, Mongo gorged himself on some sweet, deep-dish pizza. I love pizza, but the older I get, the less pizza loves me. I immediately went into a gluttonous coma and planned on sleeping-in on Sunday and riding later in the day. Unfortunately, I checked my email late and saw that there would be a team ride early in the morning. I knew that I would have a food hangover and my legs would be like syrup, but I got up and went anyway...Bad idea!

I didn't eat before I left...I didn't take any SportLegs...I didn't dope-up on the NO-Xplode...and I felt exactly like I knew I would. And...the ride ended up being all climbing with guys who are stronger than me. One Roctane later, Mongo limped home a beaten man. On the positive side, I am noticeably improving my climbing as my weight drops and my fitness rises.

Today, Mongo tinkered with the bikes in the garage and changed a cassette on the F600...which I then rode for about fifteen miles before calling it a day. It's been a strenuous past ten days on and of the bike...I'm tired!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Upstaged Again...But That's Okay

Mongo has re-focused his 2011 "Cat 5 Domination" training since the first race of the season last Saturday. I have decided to get as much variety and do as many different rides, on the road, dirt, and trainer, as I possibly can. Mongo has already seen some of my efforts pay off in solo rides, team rides, and my continuing domination of the Saturday morning, Cat 6/7, "Enemy Bike Shop" ride.

Today was no different. Mongo won again for the third time in the past three attempts. It was a much sweeter victory this morning as fellow teammate, "Danimal", came across the line in second place and two more members of the famed "Broomwagon Club", an elite sub-group of the SBCT, "Fast" Eddie and "Kaiser" Martin, both put in strong performances. Add to this that it was a beautiful day on a scenic course with lots of hot chicks getting their exercise on, and needless to say, we all had a lot of fun.

Of course, none of this matters! Why is that, you say? Well...on the same day that Mongo sandbagged his way to a meaningless victory in a second-tier group ride, fellow teammates, "MC-Lean" and "Tubular" Tom, were off racing in the most extreme and intense cyclocross race in the Southeast. And they did really well...with a first and fifth overall in the non-pro category. Mongo doesn't mind playing second fiddle to that!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Who's Doing What: A Few Of My Favorites


1: "VDV"...Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Cervelo)
He was fifth at the Tour Of Oman against a good field. Looks fit and healthy, and if he can refrain from crashing out of big races he should have a quality season this year. One last hurrah and a top ten at the Tour de France is not out of the question.

2: "TVG"...Tejay Van Garderen (HTC-Highroad)
He was second at the Volta ao Algarve against the strongest field of the year, so far. This kid is the "real deal"! He is the future of American stage racing. Nothing would surprise me this season, including a Grand Tour podium, but he is still a few years away from his peak.

3: "Shetland Jens Voigt"...Levi Leipheimer (RadioShack)
He was second at the Vuelta A Andalucia against an okay field. Levi can be as good as his tiny little legs and tiny little bike want to be. The trouble is that Mother Nature may have passed him by. If he can hang on the big climbs at the Tour de France, a top seven is still possible.

4: "The Canadian"...Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Cervelo)
He was sixteenth at the Volta ao Algarve. Hasn't ridden much early in the season. He and VDV will get all the GC love from their team at the Grand Tours, so look for him to possibly podium somewhere along the way.

5: "AK47"...Andreas Kloden (RadioShack)
He was fifth at the Volta ao Algarve. Can get top tens in his sleep at any stage race. In Mongo's opinion, if he is uninjured and fit, and not breaking the wind for Contador or Armstrong, Kloden still has an outside shot at the podium in all the big races.

6: "The Other Norwegian"...Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky)
He was second at the Tour of Oman. Quite possibly the best "all around" cyclist in the world. I would be very surprised if he doesn't win one of the "Spring Classics" this year.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Dirty Thirty On The Trainer: Haiku

Alone in my head

Cadence and timing focused

Going nowhere fast

Monday, February 21, 2011

Cleared...Fired...Retired: Pick Two

As far as Mongo is concerned, the Pro Cycling season doesn't begin until it reaches the Northern Hemisphere and passes through the sham of the Tour Of Qatar and the barely respectable, Tour Of Oman. Yes, I know it's warm and the locals have lots of money and chicks and stuff, but I've seen more interesting racing at the local Recumbent Criterium. So...that brings us to the recently completed Volta ao Algarve, the ongoing Vuelta a Andalucia, and the upcoming "Mini-Classics", Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne.

I am looking forward to this season. Mostly because Pro Cycling is in a precarious position. With credibility and sponsorship hard to find and two of it's biggest stars of the past decade plagued with controversy, what happens this year, both on and off the road, will go a long way in determining the future of the sport.

The good news is that the peloton is still full of talent. The bad news is that the bureaucracy is still riddled with greed and corruption. Nobody wants to give up their piece of the pie to facilitate a more efficient, transparent, system. Mongo is still a firm believer that talent always wins out in the end.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

An Excuse To Shave My Legs: Racing Against A World Champion

Mongo didn't want to be too hasty in the assessment of my first Time Trial. I needed to let it all simmer like a good creole gumbo in order for the true flavor to rise to the top. A day removed from the heat of competition, I am able to give an honest recap. As the primary author of this blog, except when my cat, Snacks McGee* decides he has something to say, I will start by talking about me.

Mongo predicted (Here) that my time would be 33:29. That was a realistic, yet aggressive, number based on where I thought I was from a fitness standpoint. Well...My time ended up being 32:26. Not too shabby. I averaged a tad over 22 mph for the almost 12 mile course. Compare that to overall winner, and multiple age-group National and World Champion, Michael Olheiser. He averaged over 29 mph...Crazy!...Most people can barely reach that speed in a short sprint.

Mongo finished 34th out of 93 in the highly contested, and crowded, Cat 5 category. Since most triathletes don't "cat-up", Cat 5 is populated by a great deal of single-purpose TT specialists...which makes it more competitive than a road race or a criterium at the same level. Don't get me wrong, there are still plenty of schmucks like me in there, but I'm actually quite happy and proud of my time. Looking at the numbers...I finished in the top 36% of my category and the top 44% of the entire 280+ field.  On a lighter yet sexist note, Mongo was only beaten by nine of the more than seventy female competitors.

I actually had fun! I didn't think I would. I was prepared, calm, and focused, so all I had to do was ride as hard as I could. When I finished, I knew I had done my best and would be happy with whatever time I posted. Training for this race, especially all the nights spent in the garage on the trainer working on leg speed, has made me a better rider on the road...I gotta be happy about that.

The real studs of the day were teammates, Ian, Clay, Tom, and MC-Lean. All of these guys finished within a minute of each other...which resulted in two Top 10's and a Top 17 in Cat 5, and a fourth from last in Cat 3. (There will be an official announcement next week on the possible revocation of a certain person's Cat 3 license)

A good time was had by all!

(*) Not his real name

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Headlights Pointed At The Wall

"What I must do is all that concerns me, not what people think. This rule,equally arduous in actual and intellectual life, may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness. It is the harder, because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it. It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude."

(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

What Will $1027.00 Get You On Ebay?

1987 G&S Neil Blender "Coffee Break" deck.

On Like Donkey Kong: It All Comes Down To What's Between The Ears And Legs

 we go! Mongo's very first Time Trial, and what is hopefully the beginning of a successful "Cat 5 Domination" racing season, kicks off on Saturday morning. Though the location is harder to find than an underground rave in '97, I'm ready to roll.

Mongo hates talking about himself...ok, not really, but I do want to keep it real for a minute. I challenged myself at the end of November of last year to accomplish a few things by this point. They were, to train hard and ride throughout the Winter, both outside and on the trainer; take my diet seriously, quit the ice-cream, and lose fifteen to twenty pounds. I have accomplished all of these things.

Of course, all of this plus a Marta pass guarantees me nothing but a seat on the train. However, I'm feeling pretty good. Though I've lost about fifteen pounds overall, I've gained about five pounds of muscle. This may or may not be due to a recent delivery from Kazakhstan, but I'm in better shape at this time of year than I ever have been at this point before.

Mongo isn't worried about my result in the TT. As I've said before, this ain't my thing and I don't own a proprietary bicycle. All I know is that I've put in the work all Winter on the hills and the country roads, winning twice on the suburban group ride "B" circuit and holding my own when I mix it up with the big boys, so logic would dictate that I'll probably do pretty well for a man of my advanced years. But as cyclists, we all know that "shit don't always work that way".

Mongo's prediction for the 12 mile course...33:29

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

See Ya...Wouldn't Want To Be Ya


I think this guy is an arrogant, smug, prick, who has hidden for years behind the shield of the Livestrong Foundation and conducted disgraceful "smear campaigns" against any and all who have either opposed him or exposed any details of what can only be described as undeniable proof of doping and the lengths that were taken to lie about it and cover it up. I hope the Feds close the noose and take him down to Chinatown!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Juice Goes On The Road

Though it is undeniable that a mention or support by Mongo usually leads to good things happening to a cyclist or a particular team, up until now, Mongo's reach has remained in the sporting world...Not any more! After several appearances on this blog, including this one, look who just got the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.



If WADA or the UCI don't appeal this travesty to the CAS then Pro Cycling has allowed a loophole into their sport that may never be closed. retarded is it that National governing bodies get to decide the fate of their own athletes? No conflict of interest there!? The Spanish PM Tweets about his opinion of Contador's innocence and "voila"...decision reversed...Contador cleared.

Friday, February 11, 2011

AK47 Update: Nonplussed In Mallorca


Two Weeks After Six Days Ago: Cat 5 Domination Ain't Easy

This artistically framed photo was taken by Mongo himself on Monday mere minutes after I decided not to ride around the barriers and cross the tracks ahead of the oncoming train...Though I had plenty of time and room, every "Murphy's Law" scenario and childhood fear came to mind so I decided to unclip and take random pictures with my phone instead. I was rewarded for my "safety first" attitude with an obnoxiously long and loud horn blast from an overly friendly, and "wavey", train driver (I'm not quite sure what they're called these days).

Since my Prac-TT last Thursday, Mongo has managed four days of outside riding. On Saturday, I rode to the "Enemy Bike Shop" ride and there were literally two other people there. It might have been because it was thirty degrees and wet. We all looked at each other for a while and then rode off in separate directions. I got in some serious climbing and then spent an hour after the ride on the trainer.

On Sunday, I got up very early for the "Smyrna Bicycles Weekly Winter (Until the time change) Sunday Morning Crack O' Dawn" ride. I was really looking forward to riding with the fellas, but I obviously woke up with a case of the stupids because I decided to put on two new tires at the last minute...and proceeded to get two pinch-flats and run out of both tubes and time before the ride started. Instead of packing it in and going back to bed, mostly because I had already dosed up on Sportlegs and embrocation, Mongo saddled up the F600 and did thirty five miles on the trail.

On Monday, with new S-Works rubber safely mounted and a spare tube in tow, Mongo put in a strong solo effort on the 23/2300 Hammerfest loop. Tuesday and Wednesday were trainer only days, but I managed to work on my leg speed while staring at myself in a big mirror.

Today, Mongo randomly ran into "Thanks For Not Calling Me" Tom in the middle of putting in another loop on the Hammerfest course. We took it easy and had a good ride. With only eight days left before my first race of the season, Mongo needs to focus and finish my training strong. I feel good!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Arrogance And Hubris: A Caricature Of A Cliche

Lance Armstrong...Jan Ullrich...Floyd Landis...Alberto Contador...Ivan Basso...Danilo Diluca...Alejandro Valverde...Riccardo Ricco...The list goes on and on...Is anyone surprised?


Feeling My Mortality

In a coincidentally random way, Mongo ran across a couple of articles today concerning two of my skateboarding contemporaries...Tony Hawk and Mark "Gator" Rogowski. Both of these guys are right around my own age, but their lives have taken distinctly different paths since we were all young skateboarders. One of them is a legend but is getting divorced for the third time, while the other was just denied parole for at least another seven years and is serving a potential life sentence for rape and murder.

At one time in the 80's they both had the world in front of them.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I Hate To Say It...I'm Good


I know it's only the middle of February, but Mongo's "Juice" is flowing strong. My officially endorsed favorite team is off to a strong start in 2011. Cameron Meyer won the Tour Down Under, Jack Bobridge set a world record in the Individual Pursuit during a rare appearance on the track, Tyler Farrar won a couple of races in Mallorca, and Heinrich Haussler won Stage 2 and is in GC contention at the Tom Boonen Tour Of Qatar.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

What Is It Good For?

Absolutely nothing...(Though I did see them perform my first weekend of college, during the day, outside, on a double bill with one of my favorite bands of the 80's.)

These guys...on the other hand, kick ass!

It Beats The Alternative: What All The Cool Kids Are Using

"This shit is dope!"...(Mongo Pusher)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

I Came...I Saw...I Practiced

Let me just say right off the bat that I am no longer concerned about my potential performance in the upcoming Tundra Time Trial. Though I have always known my limitations riding a classic, drop-bar race bike on on a rolling, 19.4k TT course against eight thousand dollar speed machines, after today's practice run in race conditions I'm feeling pretty good that I'll be respectable.

Did I mention that the temperature never got much above freezing and that there was pretty much no warm-up after I realized quickly that my first "practice" run was going to be my "only" run?

Mongo was out there today with Cat 5 sandbagger podium hunter, "I'm Coming For You Jason G...Yeah, I Said It !" Tom, who was in full TT regalia, including an expensive bike and an aero helmet. The original plan was to do two runs. The first to practice and get to know the course, and the second to go as hard as possible. Tom did A and B...Mongo only did A.

But in my defense, about a third of the way in I was so cold that I kicked up my effort to about 85% and rode the rest of the course at that pace...12 miles exactly in 34:40. On race day, I am convinced that with proper doping nutrition, a proper warm-up, and the adrenaline of the competition, I will knock 1-3 minutes off of today's run. That's going to put Mongo right in the thick of things in the middle of the Smyrna Bicycles TT peloton. Remember my mantra..."I'm going to beat someone I shouldn't".