Saturday, March 24, 2012


We are elbow deep in the Classics season and the big monuments are just around the corner.  Yes, everyone is sucking at the teat of Paris - Roubaix, and fail to see the beautiful brutality of the Ronde van Vlaanderen, Gent Wevelgem, E3 Harelbeke, and Dwars door Vlaanderen.  Don't get me wrong and all misquoted, I love Roubaix with the TrouĂ©e d'Arenberg, and all the sectors of cobble.  BUT.  I'm a big fan of the quick steep climbs, muurs, bergs, whatever you wish to bestow upon them.  It's Belgium.  It's cycling at it's toughest.  It is so beautiful and brutal.

I am a fan of the dark horse, or more importantly the work horse.  Last year Vansummeren winning was poetic, and Nuyens crossing the line first made me a believer in my own religion.  Breakaways that stick, the solo that gets away...this is The Classics.  Terpstra won at Dwars just the other day.  Not a superstar.  Love it.  Did you see the winning move?  Was it when he got in the break or when he attacked his breakaway companions?  You tell me.  Bunch sprints are for Grand Tours, Classics are supposed to be won by men who have not broken or have been broken the least.  This is a hardman's race.  Today was E3, and a Tom Boonen won it out of the bunch, a small bunch that had been whittled down, strung out, and broken down.  Tommeke almost got taught a tough lesson by Freire at the line.  Don't get caught sleeping and don't celebrate too soon.  Wake up Tom and throw the bike, you got lucky this time.  Millimeters lucky. 

BMC.  What the ____ guys?  Superstar team my____.  What a bunch of overpaid comfortable well fed, okay I've got to stop there.  I know BMC has a winner on their squad, and his name is... Greg.  Don't scratch your head.  Greg Van Avermaet.  Kid can outride anyone on that team, just give him the chance put those "superstars" to work for him and you will have a magic show that you can take to Vegas.  Gilbert, what the heck happened there?  Too much money and now you can't pedal a bike?  Ballan, I don't even know what to say about Ballan, when he had the Rainbow Stripes he only won like a second tier race.  Now what?  Thor, are you just getting too old?  Or are you on the wrong team?  This guy is a Green Jersey machine and an all around bdass, but where did he put his cape?  George, I love you George.  Drop some knowledge on these fools and get them to work.  Hang up the cleats and get in the car and win some races with the real talent on this team.

Why why why is Garmin squandering their talent?  Vansummeren can win races, go to work for him.  Sep Vanmarcke is also a great talent that is being overshadowed by lesser riders.  Let 'em loose and see what they can do.  They can work in the Grands, but let them have their day in the Classics on their home soil.  Haussler, the man with a nationality confusion, are you German-Australian, Australian-German, or just Australian?  Just ride your dang bike already.  We know you have the ability, or you lost it drinking and driving, and changing nationalities. 

Don't know how many time I have to say it, but Chavanel needs to have his leash cut and given full gas.  Let him go, he has proven his loyalty time and time again when victory was in sight.  Green light this guy, stop making me yell at the screen and get all angry.  It is so frustrating to see him pulled from a break to come back and help Tom.  Love Tommeke, but give Chavanel his due.  Give him Roubaix.   I have to say that OPQS is my new favorite team.  Brian Holm is in the car, 'nuff said.

Cancellara.  Is he beatable?  Did you see him get taken out today?  What was that?  Then some dude stole his front wheel.  You will burn in a very hot place for that one.  Fabian gets taken out during a wheel change gets up back on the bike and chases back on.  He even passes his teammate that came back for him, drug him back up to the bunch.  I'm not a fan of Cancellara, but this guy scares me anytime he toes the line.  Said I was not a fan, didn't say that I did not have much respect for the guy. R E S P E C T. 

Guys to watch in the Classics.  Vacansoleil's Devolder, Leukemans, and Hoogerland are tough as nails.  Devolder is one of my favorites, although he has done nothing in the past few years.  Once a teammate of Boonen, he was the Champ of Belgium and a winner of Ronde van Vlaanderen.  I still have hopes for him.

Leif Hoste of Accent Jobs-Willems very very very dark horse, but could surprise.  Or Not.  In other news Jens Voigt is racing Criterium International for like the 100th time, as of this morning he is in 12th.  You know he can taste it, he has won this race like six or seven times???

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Midnight oil

This will be an interesting read.

I'm up late, the kind of late where you get out of bed because your body doesn't want to be in any position you put it in, out of bed.  I don't know what my deal is.  So with my mind racing, dreaming -no sleeping dreaming, I got up to exorcise the sleep depriving demons.  How does this work?  I'm tired, but physically I cannot get comfortable enough to sleep and then the brain powers up and starts going all ape poo.  Should I go all crazy and start writing just whatever is in my head?  Should I go cathartic and work the inner peace table talks with my soul?  If I were really good I could do both and we would all have a Merry Christmas.  Whatever.

Lets try this... The other day someone close to me dropped a bomb on me, no, no one came out of the closet.  Someone that I value their opinion straight up told me that they were embarrassed of me.  I was a little taken a back, or should we say, dumbfounded?  Anyway, that's not the big thing, the big thing is, is that it got me to thinking.  (insert thinking joke here)  Nice one.  Yes, Mike I do think.  I really started to think about my life and how I got to this point.  Most of you know that I recently started work at a bike shop, to be a bike mechanic and to sell bikes.  This has been a, let's say dream since I started riding bikes.  I can honestly say I am livin' it.  The dream that is.

What I really started thinking about was how I feel, and I have come to the conclusion that, I am me.  At this point in time I truly feel that I am as real as I can get.  This is who I am, this is what I am.  I am happy, and I am really enjoying life.  I have always believed that you are not what you do, your job does not define who you are.    Here is the problem with that logic, what if you love what you do?  What if what you do helps define who you are?  I'm talking about it being a real piece to the puzzle that makes you who you are, not a means to an end. 

I have a close friend that worries that he does not make a difference in people's lives.  He does, he is a life changer, he just can't see the forest because of all the dang trees in his way.  He helps people on a daily basis, yet feels that he is not doing enough.  Why?  Because he really cares about what he does, but what he does, does not define who he is.  His caring nature is his definition, this is the person who he really is.   I know this because I don't see him on a professional level, I see him as the caring husband, father, and friend.

I will never have the impact on people's lives as say a religious leader, a doctor, or a teacher, but I do feel that where I am right now in life is where I am supposed to be.  If I can sell a bike to someone or inspire someone to ride a bike to gain fitness -that is my impact.  I want people to know the pure joy and freedom that a bike can bring.  You know, the kind you had when you were a kid.  The feeling of flying. 

It's just like riding a bike.  No.  The only thing that is just like riding a riding a bike.