Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Have you ever held a 39 tooth chain ring in your hand?  It weighs next to nothing, and feels like you might bend it by accident.  It's small.  Ones brain cannot comprehend the importance such a frail piece of machined metal has on the locomotion of the bike.  How much force can this actually handle?  How many miles have I used this ring to propel me up hills or the occasional mountain pass.  How many chains has this dainty ring stretched to the point of replacement?

Only weighing a few grams, this chain ring is the life blood of a bicycle's drivetrain.  Taken by itself this small circular bit of metal is insignificant, but as a part of the drivetrain it is invaluable.  When it comes to the small chain ring, dynamite is packaged small.  Think of your favorite cruz gear, is it a 39 X 17?  This is where the chain is almost in a perfect straight line.  Your cadence is high, but almost effortless. Oh, the little 39 tooth chain ring.  On your next ride pay homage to little guy when the road gets steep or you just feel like a cruz.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Silly Season

Seriously, it's starting to get crazy and it is only going to get worse or is it better?  It is Transfer season, no not that kind of transfer where you have to drive to the start of a race.  I am talking about teams merging, riders changing teams and the all around hysterics that follow.  Rumors Rumors Rumors.

Cavendish says he has a team, but he is not talking.  What are the odds on favorite that it is Sky?  Not like that is a stab in the dark.  $$$$$$$.  HTC is hemorrhaging riders, come on Bob get a sponsor before it is just you and some old kits hanging in the bus.  The brothers Velits jumped ship to QuickStep or the entity that it will become once the marriage with Omega is consummated.  This holiest of unions of Belgian Superpowers has a very large question mark hanging over it like the sword of Damocles.  Where is Gilbert going to go?  Lotto, after it's divorce with Omega Pharma is hooking up with Ridley Bikes to form a new team or something like that.  I could not get the translator to work, so I have no idea other than the hook-up?  Is there a possible three way with Vacansoleil?  Hard to tell at this point.

How can Bob Stapleton just watch his empire that was the glorious T-Mobile-HighRoad-Columbia-HTC crumble at his feet?  This makes no sense to me whatsoever, Stapleton has to be one of the best in the business of cycling and it looks as though it is over for the superpower.  What a dark day for US cycling and the Euro peloton.  OK, I know it's not a done deal but it looks bad, real bad.  I'm talking ICU call in the Priest, bad.  Pull it together man, get a new sponsor and continue to dominate, with or without Cav.

That is one of the awesome aspects of this sport, riders are motivated by money, but they are also motivated by the desire to win.  Of course winning does equal money, so it is kind of a win win.  Or would that be a Win $?

Monday, August 1, 2011

No News

Le Tour is over and everyone is suffering from post Tour induced TV coverage black out.  I will turn on the TV just to have it on, I'm sick like that.  Don't blame me it's not my fault, my wife bought a beautiful piece of equipment that screams for me to use it.  Turn me on, turn me on, you know you want to, 999 channels and nothing on, so just push my buttons and turn me on.  Getting a little carried away, but it is a sexy TV and I a sucker for a pretty sleek sexy gal.  What can I say I'm a big dumb animal?

So where is all the doping scandals?  Did anyone pop positive at le Tour?  It's been a week and I have not heard anything.  Contador got to race despite my personal hunger strike against brussel sprouts, so I guess that went under rug swept.  There must be a new drug or a new masking agent that has not been detected yet, because the doping scene is pretty dead.  Don't get me wrong I would love to put this all to bed and pretend that everyone is clean, or is actually clean.  Please be clean, stop breaking my heart, or I'll come after you front wheel in hand a la Barredo.

The Belgian Tri-Color has been on the podium 13 times and has never looked better.  Gilbert is a force of nature that cannot be stopped.  I'm such a huge fan.  You gotta love the way this guy takes control of finishes.  One thing that we don't talk about it the Omega Pharma team that has been winning all of these races.  Let's face it even with the larger-than-life Gilbert, there has to be a strong team backing him up.  There are the two Jurgens.  Van de Walle and Roelandts, these two are b'dass and can break the hardmen in the peloton.  Vanendert, Willems, Veikkanen, Aerts are all able to hold their own over the cobbles or in a Grand Tour.  So there you have it the unsung supporting cast that "helps" carry the water for Gilbert.

So who is Gilbert going to ride for next year?  Who would not want to have Gilbert on their roster?  If I were a DS I would beg borrow steal kill and possibly maim to have Gilbert ride for me.  Rumor has it that Vacansoleil and Omega Pharma were going to combine sponsor forces, but now it is looking like Vacansoleil is out and QuickStep is the new partner.  For real or is it just another rumor?  I will wait and see.  Tom Boonen and Gilbert on the same team?  Is that possible?  Tom will have to work for Phil no doubt, but would he?  It will be interesting to see how this plays out.