Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Smile From A Veil

“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and to endure the betrayal of false friends. To appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”

(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

A Broken Wheel And Some Singletrack: The Weekend Wrap Up

Mongo broke the rear wheel on my AC Hurricanes last Friday. I have to say that it was a long time coming. These wheels have seen it all. Potholes, railroad tracks, general abuse, and my fat ass have all contributed to the ultimate demise. A lesser set of wheels would have failed a long time ago, so I'm not too mad about the whole thing. As we speak, Mongo has the ball rolling on getting a new rim and the wheel re-laced. In the mean time, Mongo has borrowed a rear wheel from "The Only Good Wheels I Have Are Campy" Tom, and I'm good to go until the new wheel is built.

I didn't actually realize the wheel was broken until mere seconds before I was about to head out on Sunday morning. After a few moments of cursing and disbelief, Mongo decided not to ruin the whole day...so I dusted off the Cannondale, pumped up the tires and the Headshok, and headed out to the local singletrack.

After five fast'ish loops around the course in succession, I was close to passing out. The high intensity, short bursts of power needed on this course do "not" suit Mongo. Add to this the inability to do two of my favorite things on a bike, coast and not pay attention, and my mental focus and physical exertion finally got the best of me. But...I never crashed or put a foot down. Mongo really does have fun on my mountain bike, but I also have the most uncomfortable saddle in the world on it, so I end up paying the price in the taint area for several days afterwards.

Friday, September 23, 2011

For Stacy

I met a girl and she's moving away

Fate brought us together but life got in the way

Sharing ourselves for just a little while

All it took for me to hold on to her smile

If timing is everything then I want to miss a beat

An uncertain future in exchange for lips of sweet

Final Predictions Of 2011 Sure To Go Wrong: World Championships (Elite Men)

Write this down...

1...Peter Sagan

2...Edvald Boasson Hagen

3...Phillipe Gilbert

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Go Ahead And Make It Nineteen

As Fall fast approaches, I find myself rounding into my best shape in almost twenty years. My weight is also the lowest it's been during that same time while sporting an athletic build. I was much skinnier than this at one time, but that was after a particularly bad break up where I sulked and depressed away about forty pounds. Unfortunately, I also lost most of my muscle tone. I remember all too well the gelatinous blob of flesh that was draped over my bones with very little structure. I will gladly fight the good fight of a Ben & Jerry's induced inch of fat around my belly now that I have a strong, solid, core and frame.

Back to my point...I've made a big leap in my performance and consistency on the bike and I don't want to lose it. I can actually see myself dropping another fifteen to twenty pounds and being a serious threat on the road. We're talking Cat 4 domination! But...much like the Detroit Lions, Mongo doesn't have a track record that would instill confidence for long term success. I must prove to myself and those around me that I can do what I've never done before. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Kate Upton Vs BMC TimeMachine TT01


Very Hard To Drink

“One must shed the bad taste of wanting to agree with many. "Good" is no longer good when one's neighbor mouths it. And how should there be a "common good"! The term contradicts itself: whatever can be common always has little value. In the end it must be as it is and always has been: great things remain for the great, abysses for the profound, nuances and shudders for the refined, and, in brief, all that is rare for the rare.”

(Friedrich Nietzsche)

Ten Days Grace: I Almost Had It

It's been a while since Mongo has spent some good, quality time talking about one of my favorite subjects...me.

I used to get much more excited about riding my bikes. Each individual ride, with their unique situations and adventures, would enrich my day and leave me wanting more. But now I seem to be numbing to the simple joy of the ride as my competitive skills increase and my focus on training dominates my agenda. I am becoming one of "those guys"! You know the type...every conversation is about a past performance or an upcoming "epic" training session. Being in the moment and enjoying the present gets lost in this hamster mentality. Mongo is really trying to get back to enjoying the process and not worrying about the results.

That being said, Mongo has been kicking ass on the bike lately. 

Two Saturdays ago, Mongo and "Danimal" represented at the Cat 6/7 "Enemy Bike Shop" ride, where Mongo dazzled once again by taking a gritty solo victory out of a three-man breakaway. This brings Mongo's consecutive podium streak on this ride to an astonishing eighteen.

This past Saturday, Mongo and six of his teammates took their skills to the Cat 1/2/3/4/5 "Enemy Bike Shop" ride. They were..."MC-Lean"/ "Danimal"/ "Tony" Martin/ "Cap'n" Clay/ "Full" Gass/ "Crazy Saddle" Ian. We laughed, we cried, we used bad language, and most importantly, we dominated. This is a fast, 22+ mph average speed ride, and Mongo rode the best I think I ever have on this particular course. It was fun to control a big peloton using team speed and tactics.

The most recent 23/2300 Hammerfests have been encouraging as well. Mongo is getting stronger and faster on the long climbs, and I'm threatening to maybe, actually, possibly, win the Sprint before the season is over. I had my best opportunity for victory thus far at the Hammerfest yesterday, with Ian doing everything he could to drag me to the line before we were both passed and Mongo finished fourth.

Monday, September 12, 2011


If you read between the lines, this article by Andrew Hood at Velonews says it all.

Equal Opportunity: Let's Start Here


Is anyone "really" surprised that 52 year old, Jeannie Longo, might finally be busted for cheating. This woman has been winning World and National championships for thirty years...including well into her late forties and early fifties. We all know that in cycling, that just doesn't happen without "help". An article in Cyclingnews stated that she doesn't own a mobile phone or laptop and prefers a secluded lifestyle with her husband and trainer. Really?...Isn't that convenient!

Monday, September 5, 2011

What Will $1025.00 Get You On Ebay?

"OG" 1987, Schmitt Stix, "Ripsaw" deck.

A Deluxe Apartment In The Sky

Mongo did an hour on the trainer today. Labor Day and bad weather caused the cancellation of the 23/2300 Hammerfest and me riding outside. Both things are disappointing because Mongo has been riding really well the last month or so.

The main difference has been my climbing. Losing about fifteen pounds and training with the weight vest have been the keys to my success. I am able to hang with the fast guys longer on the hills, and my recovery time between hard efforts is getting shorter. This has allowed me to move from the middle-rear of the peloton all the way up to the actual middle of the peloton. For Mongo, this is a big step up.

If Mongo continues to improve and loses a few more pounds, I might even attempt a cyclocross race this fall. 

I've Read This Story Before


If there is one thing that Mongo has learned about the Spanish through cycling, it's that they love winning more than they hate cheating. Contador and his issues aside, it seems like every year at the Vuelta a Espana a second tier Spanish cyclist comes out of nowhere to provide a heroic stage win or place "too high" on the overall GC. Last year it was Ezequial Mosquera, and this year it's Juan Jose Cobo.

Cobo hasn't tested positive for anything (yet), but I am convinced he's a doper. Add to this that the team he rides for, Geox-TMC, is desperate for a good result having been excluded from the TDF. Since their supposed team leaders, Menchov and Sastre, have been sucking as of late, someone else had to step up and represent the team. Cobo went out and won the hardest stage in the Vuelta, Angliru, and now is the race leader.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Memory Layne

"Yeah, hey, I want to travel south this year
I won't, won't prevent safe passage here

Why you act crazy?
Not an act maybe
So close a lady
Shifty eyes, shady

Yeah, hey Yeah, tears that soak a callous heart

Why you act frightened?
I am enlightened
Your weakness builds me, so someday you'll see

I stay away

Why you act crazy?
Not an act maybe
So close a lady
Shifty eyes, shady

I stay away, I stay away, I stay away, I stay away"

(Alice In Chains)

Fat Rich Guys: The New Face Of Pro Cycling?

 In case you haven't noticed, the world of professional cycling is pretty fucked up right now. The economics of the sport have drastically changed, thanks in no small part to years of doping scandals, tainted champions, fan disillusionment, and most importantly, the mass exodus of sponsorship dollars by legitimate companies afraid to attach their names to a potential time-bomb.

What we are left with is a culling of the Pro Tour peloton "herd"...and I'm not sure that's such a bad thing for a viable economic model moving forward. But...right now we are at a crossroads of failing teams, mergers of two existing teams, and deep-pocket ownership by "sportsman" billionaires with shady backgrounds.

Bob Stapleton of the now defunct, HTC-Highroad, is a personally rich man. His net worth is approximately $80 million. His job as leader of the team was to secure sponsorship money and then manage and delegate team operations...not sink his own personal money into the team. When the T-Mobil buyout money dried up and the sponsorship dollars couldn't cover operating expenses, Stapleton did what any smart businessman would do...shut it down.

Andy Rihs, owner of BMC Bicycles and the BMC Racing Team, is a multi-billionaire. Gerry Ryan, primary benefactor of the new Australian team, GreenEdge, is also a billionaire. These guys have the willingness to use personal money to sign the big names and do whatever it takes to dominate the peloton. Other established, corporately financed teams will have to fight harder and harder for the shrinking piece of the pie or be forced to merge, streamline, or even go away like HTC-Highroad...who were the #1 ranked team in the world at the time of their demise.

Garmin with Cervelo...Omega Pharma with Quickstep...Lampre with ISD...RadioShack with Leopard-Trek...all within the last few years. Mongo is all for a smaller, yet stronger, group of teams making up the UCI Pro Tour...but the legitimacy that the sport has been striving for recently can't be undermined by the selfish interests of the bloated, monied, "Wheel Barons".