Saturday, May 21, 2011

TTT anyone?

Have I told you how much I hate Time Trials?  I do, I hate TT because I am not fast.  Andy and I should have a beer and talk about how much the TT sucks, how it is not for little guys like us, and on and on about the crazy bikes stupid hot helmets.  Not to mention the suits that lets everyone know what you are packin'.  What's that you say?  Light riders can TT?  No way.  Tejay Vangarderen?  Oh, well he dosen't count he's freaking out-of-this-world awesome.

Ok, so all I've got is a big ol' pile of ___.  -Excuses, excuses excuses.  I don't actively go out and do TT, I will only do them if they are local and if I don't have an excuse not to do it.  Because I hate the TT.  TT is a discipline that takes balls, and a willingness to put your body into a place that most people will never enter on their own.  The pain cave is nice compared to the depths that one must go when racing the clock.  Pain, Hurt, Dig, Effort, Exert, Destroy, Break, Deep.  I don't like to hurt, well not like that.

I have two teammates that have made the TT their drink of choice, and we recently had the chance to participate in a Team TT.  I was fortunate enough to be the third in the team of 3.  None of us have ever done a TTT so we went boldly where we had not been, we got in two practice runs this week leading up the the race today.  Not a lot of prep work, but these guys are steady wheels and a lot of fun to be with on rides.  Our first ride together went great and I had the best time riding with these guys.  Working together in rhythm like a precision machine is a feeling close to being in a breakaway trying to grow the gap.  It's fun.  Painful, but fun.

I had an absolute blast riding with my teammates on our training rides and then in the race today.  Having teammates to share the workload and to go through the pain together makes the TTT special.  We only had to have two riders finish, but we were not going to drop anyone.  We started together and we were going to finish together.  Did it hurt our result?  Doesn't matter.  What matters is that we worked together, stuck together, and finished together.  We were out there to have fun.  Thanks Robert and Jim for teaching me a lesson today. 

Finishing the way we started was more important to me than leaving a teammate on the road.  The most important thing that I hadn't counted on was the amount of fun that I had today.  Sign me up for the next one.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Across the pond in the land of all things pasta Cavendish put another notch on the toptube.  I have pretty much given up on the Giro now that Alberto is a min up on Sivtsov (HTC) second place and Nibali (Liquigas) is 1:21 down in third.  I'm so done with the Giro, Please for the love of all things cycling Please would someone else Please win this or at least get him out of the Miglia Rosa so I don't have to see his stupid face on the podium every day.  No, really that is how I feel.  I'm gettin a little sick just picturing him on the podium fake-shooting people.  Great, just threw up in my mouth.  Stick a fork in this's done, well done.  Or is that over-done?

Once again if it were not for the excellent racing going on right here in the states, the people in white coats would have to come and pad my walls and take away all my sharps.  I would have stabbed my eyes out with a butter knife long ago having to witness the unholy act of Contador on the podium day in and day out.  Horner lit it up yesterday and I have that burned into the memory dvr in my head and have been playing it over and over.  And, Yes, it puts a smile on my face every time I see him out-of-the-saddle dropping everyone and killing it to the end.  Smiley face wink.

Oscar Freire put on a show today, one that I would gladly pay admission.  En Fuego.  I enjoyed the sprint finish and was on the edge of the couch ready to jump, legs twitching, looking to head-butt or elbow anyone in my way.  Yeah I was in it to win it.  Even though I was so enamored with the sprint, I secretly was heart broken when the leadouts caught Freire.  I would have been just excited to see Oscar solo this stage.  The man owned it today, he took the first sprint, the first KOM, and then second on the fourth KOM.  He just needed the break to stick and solo it in for the glory.  That's why cycling is cycling.

If you don't follow me on Twitter, you might not know that I picked Tejay Van Garderen to win Cali.  I know, a little ambitious on my part -but you got to like this guy.  I'm a little torn with Horner leading this thing, I wouldn't mind seeing him take it on home.  Tejay is 2:05 down in 10th place, he has a decent TT and should move up higher in the top ten.  Also keep an eye on Andrew Talansky sitting in 12th, and Brent Bookwalter in 16th.  Bookwalter was in a crash at 5km to go and lost some precious time today.

I'm down to just spoons, they took all my forks and knives.  What's next my shoelaces?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

This is easy?

Ok, I am setting down at the desk-top with Napster on and I am forcing myself to try and put something down.  I don't care what it is, I just have to do something.  Forcing my fingers to type words and hoping that the words will somehow fit together to make a paragraph or two, heck maybe three... we will see.  I have not been able to come up with anything to write.  Have I lost my opinion?  Misplaced my sarcasm?  Or, is it the dreaded "writer's block"?  Well, not the block -duh I'm not a writer, so it can't be that.  I'm not even good enough to be called a hack.  Chop chop.

It's not like the racing hasn't been good, because it has been freakin' off the hook -as the kids say.  The Giro had the devastating loss of Wouter Weylandt, who was laid to rest in his homeland of Belgium today.  I have a hard time saying what an awesome race the Giro has been with such a black cloud hanging over it, and every time I try to start a piece about the Giro, all I can think about is Weylandt.  I know it sounds silly, but I just can't get through a sentence or two before Delete, Are you sure you want to Delete?  Yes.

Thank you Amgen, for the Tour of California.  When the minds who make the decisions moved the Cali race, I thought they were out of their Vulcan minds.  You move it and no one will come.  Yeah, that is why I don't make decisions.  My wife is always trying to get me to decide on something, anything.  With the decision making skills of an ADHD Lemur that's a bad idea.  "Where do you want to go eat?"  Yes???  Cali has been my cycling race savior since Contador got all tickled pink.  I can't bring myself to watch with that pointy-finger-gun-waving-_____, wearing the leader's jersey.  I know I'm juvenile. 

Where was I?  California.  Tahoe was a mess, snow in May?  Good call to not race -for the sake of the riders.  Live to fight another day.  I do hope they keep that stage in for next year, it was crazy long and great climbing.  Plus, I think Tahoe is beautiful, it can rival Europe on scenery head-to-head any day.  Sky looks like they took a page out of HTC's playbook, or maybe they just watched a lot of video in the off-season.  Swift-Henderson one two punch stage wins and leader's jersey swap in the first two stages.  Good job Sky, now lets see if you can take some of Rupert Murdoch's money and buy a stylist and get a new kit.  Heck, Adidas has class and style, give them a shot at the re-design.

Horner.  Enough said.

No, really.  Horner blew up the field on stage 4.  It looked like he was supposed to sheppard Levi, but ended up causing collateral damage to his teammate instead of pacing him to the line.  Wow, shades of Pais Vasco 2010 when Horner attacked at 10km to go and set off a grenade in the peloton.  As with stage 4 today, he was out of the saddle for what seemed like the entire climb in '10.  I was in pain watching him gut it out, but not fading...he seemed to be getting stronger.  Yes, I was screaming at the TV just like I was a year ago at the computer monitor.  "Holy_____Go! Go! Oh yeah! Go!  I might have had a few more blanks in there not sure.  Impressive on both accounts.  AND YES I am still a little T.O'd with RadioShack and Lance for not giving Horner the greenlight last year on TdF stage 16, Lance should have attacked and given Horner a chance.  A chance at something he has not done in his cycling career, win a TdF stage.  Whatever you do, don't forget Horner, he is the bad'ss of American cycling.


That felt good...hope I can do it again...soon