Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Third Wheel: Literally

So...what's been going on?

The Pro cycling season is winding down after a pretty exciting World Championships. Of course, we all know that  Mark "If You 'Aint Ridin' Specialized Then I 'Aint Ridin' On Your Team" Cavendish won in dramatic fashion...proving once again that he is unbeatable if he is placed in the right spot by his teammates. What was great about guys like Mario Cippolini and Robby McEwen in there prime was their ability to win sprints without organized team tactics. To me, though a great talent, Cavendish still needs some more wins like Milan-San Remo.

The UCI is peddling a sham of a World Tour event in the ongoing Tour of Beijing. This event was forced down the throats of teams with veiled threats of reprisals if there were boycotts or opposition. China...really!? I know a billion people there ride bikes that look like early 70's Schwinns, but I'll bet those same people couldn't tell you the difference between a derailleur and a DeRosa. As usual, with corrupt governing bodies in sports, the almighty Yuan factors prominently in the UCI's decision.

Mongo will wait until after all the transfers are complete and the UCI names the Pro Tour teams granted licenses for 2012 before I opine at great length about the state of the game. Let's just say that I'm not too thrilled about the "mega-team" future of Pro Cycling being led by two shady characters whose names rhyme with Johan Bruyneel and Jim Ochowicz. Stay tuned...

I always get a kick out of seeing a guy on a mountain bike sticking it to a group of roadies at their own game. After all, this is exactly how Mongo transitioned from being one of the fastest guys on a mountain bike on the road to being one of the most average guys on a road bike on the road. I feel so proud.

Today at the Cat 6/7 "Enemy Bike Shop" ride Mongo was joined by teammates, "Baby Daddy" Eddie and "I Thought We Were Regrouping" Dan. After taking the win, and my 20th consecutive podium last week, Mongo was looking to "legalize it!" with a win and podium numero dos uno.  Done!!!

Mongo got in a breakaway over the last few kilometres (European for miles) of what was a very fast and spirited ride. Both of my arch nemeses were also in the breakaway. I haven't mentioned them before, but these two guys are always my main competition. They will be referred to from now on as..."Hairy Guy With Beard On Parlee" and "Hairy Guy With Glasses On Colnago". These two, along with Mongo, Eddie, aforementioned guy on mountain bike who came out of nowhere at the end, and a couple of other dudes with some game, all went to the sprint where Mongo seized control and took it to the hizzy.

Though I am riding my third rear wheel in the past two weeks, my fitness and motivation haven't waned. I broke the rim on my American Classic Hurricane...broke two spokes on a warranty, loaner, Oval Concepts...and now I'm riding an old school, Sun/Ultegra with "36" spokes. The stiffness is great but the weight 'aint light. This one will have to see me through until my AC gets built.

There are only a few 23/2300 Hammerfests left this season and Mongo still has some personal goals to achieve before I retire to my Villa on Lake Como for the holidays. As the late, great Al Davis loved to say..."Just win, baby!"

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