Friday, June 22, 2012

Summer is here: I've got that not-so-fresh feeling.

This past Wednesday was the first official day of Summer, which means that Tuesday was Summer's Eve. 

And this reminds me that I have, in my juvenile brain, something I call a "Douchemeter".  Essentially, this is a barometer by which I judge a person's douchiness, and just like pressure systems in weather patterns, the amplitude of one's douchiness can also vary dramatically on any given day or week.  I've always had this meter in my brain, even as a youngster back in the 80's, although then it was a much more primitive version which I referred to as a "Renob-O-gram."  At any rate, using the Douchemeter, I'm able to actually quantify a person's douchiness and measure it in specific units called "Riccos".

I bring this up now, because this week I've witnessed the meteoric rise of douchiness of several key members of Team RadioSchlep.  Firstly, Johan Bruyneel: Make no mistake, his Ricco count was already impressive when he left Chris Horner off of the forthcoming Tour de France long roster list, but didn't have the decency to tell him, rather letting Chris' wife read about it on the Internet.  But then Horner picked up some Riccos himself by sacrificing all self-respect and pandering to the Bruyneel after the snub saying publicly that he thinks Lance Armstrong never doped, and that, oh yeah - he still really wants to race in the Tour de, really really bad.  So Bruyneel proved why he is team leader by snatching one metric fuck-ton of Riccos by putting Horner on the final Tour de France squad and eliminating Jakob Fuglsang.  Yeah - the same Jakob Fuglsang who raced in the Tour de Suisse in support of Frankie Schleck and also won the Tour of Luxembourg recently.  Oh yeah - and a couple of days after not being declared good enough to race with Team RadioShitz, Fuglsang goes out and wins the Danish National Time Trial.  In the meantime Horner has in special secret training??


And everyone is well aware of Andy Schleck's issues this spring.  After being repeatedly dropped in the Criterium du Dauphine on a bunch of rolling stages during which he was said to be "deploying his Schleck-chute," said 'chute then apparently caught a nasty cross wind in the individual time trial and Andy crashed and fractured his sacrum.  Well - not to be outdone by his brother, in advance of the Tour de France, Frankie deploys his own Schleck-chute before the race even has a chance to begin by publicly declaring he does not want to be team leader for the Tour!  This is an unprecedented early deployment of the 'chute even by Schleck standards.  This registered high on the Douchemeter and also earned he and his brother commemorative t-shirts available from Cyclismas.

Only 29.99 but supplies are limited!  Act now!

And speaking of douches and the Tour de France, what's going on with Mark Cavendish?  Well, he will be the first Briton to wear the rainbow jersey in the Tour as current World Champion in 46 years.  Unfortunately for him, the Team Sky tour roster has been designed around those able to help teammate Bradley Wiggins in the mountains as he will be contending for the general classification, meaning that Cavendish will only have a single true lead-out man for the sprints: Edvald Boasson Hagen (Or as we like to refer to him: Eddie Bo-Hog).  This has lead some analysts to think that Cavendouche will not perform as well in this year's Tour without having the typical 4 or 5 man leadout train.  Honestly, I don't know what these skeptics are talking about.  Cavs will still have a 5-man lead out train, it just so happens that they will all be wearing Liquigas kits. 
Enough of that....let's get to a little mail:

Dear PooBah,
I'm heading over to France this week to photograph the big race and I cannot wait.  Having never travelled to Europe before though, I'm a little bit worried about avoiding the "ugly American tourist" stigma and am hoping I will be able to blend in easily.  Do you have any suggestions on how best to accomplish that?

Great question.  As a budding amateur photographer myself, and one to never shy away from getting close to the action along side many a race, I'm going to give you my magic combination of apparel items that will keep you cool, comfortable and feeling right at home in any European country:  Pink straw fedora, extra small running shorts and shirt.
Me in action.

Dear PooBah,
I'm intrigued by the concept of compression socks in aiding recovery following rides.  I'm a rather large guy - I think some call us "Clydesdales" - and am wondering if there is any evidence out there that would suggest that larger cyclists would see benefits from compression cycling apparel?
Thanks so much!

Actually yes.  There is some data obtained from an animal model that examined the use of compression wear in larger species.....actually wait, no....this was actually taken from a bestiality S and M latex-fetish trade show.....never mind.

Dear PooBah,
Rumor on the street is that Taylor Phinney is quite the ladies man.  This makes sense to me - he's a rising star in American cycling, and garnered a lot of attention at this year's Giro as the first American to wear pink since Christian VandeVelde did several years ago!  And now that he's heading back to the Olympics as a young attractive bachelor to represent the USA in the time trial, one has to wonder what kind of shenanigans he might get into with the female gymnasts in the Olympic village???
Any speculation?

Yeah - I think Taylor is liking life right now - and deservedly so.  I just hope he is able to "conceal his happiness" with some discretion while in London....

Dear PooBah,
I was walking down 9th street today and just happened upon this bike that has been modified for bike polo locked up. 
What is concerning is what I saw secured to the head tube with electrical tape!
A flipping pistol!  What do you make of this?

Yeah, this is concerning to say the least.  He's NEVER going to be able to retrieve that gun quickly enough if it is wrapped up in electrical tape like that.  He really ought to invest in a frame-mounted holster which should give him much more easy access in case he needs to drop somebody pilfering his cooler of PBR in the middle of a polo match. 

Dear PooBah,
My cassette freehub is making an awful squealing sound when I make a rapid descent.  Can you look at this photo of it and tell me what you think might be wrong with it?
Thank you so much -

Honestly, your hub body looks pretty good from where I'm sitting.....but I'd still be happy to come over and oil your bearings for you if you think it might help?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Virtual Stupidity: Crossing the Boundary into the Surreal

While channel surfing this weekend, I stumbled upon the movie "Saving Private Ryan."  This is a movie that I can pick up on at pretty much any point at any time and just start watching.  I think it drives the GEEC crazy when I do this - but there it is nonetheless.  At any rate, the part that I came in on was where the platoon led by Tom Hank's character (Captain Miller) finally engages Ryan's squadron which has been charged with defending a bridge deep in enemy territory.  After telling Ryan that he is being discharged from the army and sent back home, Ryan says that he refuses to leave his post.  Hanks is flummoxed by this and confides in his Sargent saying,

"We have crossed over some strange boundary here.  The world has taken a turn for the surreal."

This is pretty much exactly how I feel regarding some of the recent cycling news:

First came this message across twitter from Mathew McConaughey:

Following the link in the tweet leads you to a site titled "Stop the investigation of the USADA into Lance Armstrong" which is an online petition aimed at collecting 25,000 virtual signatures by July 13th to hopefully encourage the Obama administration to intervene.  So let me get this straight.  LA's defense has now devolved to the point of deploying a full "Bro-shield" from a guy whose new movie is about male strippers?

Mathew McConaughey appearing soon in a theatre near you in the feature film "Magic Mike"....released under the title of "Crocodile Dundee part IV" in France.

Wow.  Good luck with that.

And on to something equally as ludicrous has to be the story of the family of a cyclist who was killed on his bicycle who is now suing Strava.

"Two years ago, William "Kim" Flint was killed on his bicycle as he allegedly tried to beat a Strava speed record.  This morning, his survivors say they plan to file a negligence lawsuit against San Francisco-based Strava, claiming Strava are responsible for ensuring the crowd-sourced routes are safe......Since Flint's death in June 2010, some people believe Strava encourages people to ride recklessly so they can improve their rankings on Strava." 

For starters, I openly admit to being rather anti-Strava.  This is just personal opinion, obviously, but I guess I feel like if you want to race somebody, then go line up next to the person and duke it out on the road, not in the virtual ether.  But that's just me.  Admittedly, I have no experience with Srava, and maybe if I played with it a bit, I'd suddenly be asking myself what I ever did without it.  However, I get my ass kicked by real live cyclists all the time, so why would I want the beating to continue in perpetuity and for every other Strava member to publicly witness?  Is my real-life humiliation not enough?  But I wonder - say for example in the Columbia area - is there a list for the fastest ascents up Easley Hill?  I suspect that if local hard-ass Dan Miller was on Strava, then he'd own the top 20 spots on that list just like this kid I knew in middle school (Mark Hendershot) who laid claim to the top 10 scores on the DonkeyKong arcade game at the local RiteAid.  And truth be told - we all thought Hendershot was one DonkeyKong playing mean-ass mother fucker...but one has to wonder how much more he might have accomplished as a 12 year old if he wasn't always staring in awe at the list of his pixelated initials on that machine.  At any rate, the family suing Strava might as well sue the company that manufactured his bicycle as well, since they no doubt encouraged William to actually ride it outside, thus putting him in danger.....and then they might as well sue the county for building the road which he was killed on as it was clearly enticing people to ride bikes on it.

And speaking of dangerous bicycle encounters, comes the story of the Massachusetts man who was attacked while riding his bicycle by a man swinging a string of sausages! 
Actually, this kind of strategy could come in real handy this coming cross season.

And speaking of swinging phallic meat, comes this photo of the Manx Missile himself, Mark Cavendish, who apparently has decided to finally embrace his inner hipster.

Credit to his main squeeze.

A turn for the surreal, indeed.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Timing is everything: Ass-kissing 101.

Timing is everything, as they say.

Which leads me to this June 7th announcement I just read:
U.S. Postal Service's Bicycling Stamps Promote Healthy Lifestyle

"Excuse me, garรงon?  Could I please have an extra helping of bad timing to go with my irony and lentil soup?  Thank you."

Just remember to NOT lick the backs of the stamps within 14 days of any kind of competition that requires you to pee in a cup.
Speaking of the ramifications of having hot piss, we recently witnessed with the Alberto Contador case that if one loses the winner's Maillot Jaune due to doping infractions, the jersey is passed down to whomever is next on the podium - in that case Andy Schleck.  So this got me thinking - who actually will be awarded the wins for the Tour de France from 1999-2005 if Armstrong loses those jerseys as a result of the USADA investigation?  It's not as easy as just picking 2nd place - because most of those guys have subsequently been found to be loaded to the gills as well.  I went in search of an answer for this and the best source I could find was an article written by Bill Strickland in 2010.  For his analysis, Mr. Strickland was also curious what the podium would look like if all convicted dopers are removed for each of those years. Riders were not eliminated if there were only rumors or suspicion.  Thus, he excluded Lance Armstrong from the list in his article.  I will play devil's advocate and take it one step further to examine who would be awarded the maillot jaune if Armstrong is found to be guilty and have included any cyclist who has been convicted of doping since.  Interesting to note is just how far down the list you have to go in some years to get to someone who has not been found guilty by some governing body.  Here we go!

1999:  New winner: Fernando Escartin (formerly 3rd place)

2000:  New winner: Fernando Escartin (formerly 9th place)

2001: New winner: Andrei Kivilev (formerly 4th place)
(died as a result of a crash in the 2003 Paris-Nice race)

2002: New winner: Jose Azevedo (formerly 6th place)

2003: New winner: Haimar Zubeldia (formerly 5th place)

2004: New winner: Andrea Kloden (formerly 2nd place)

2005: New winner: Cadel Evans (formerly 8th place)

Yeah - you're probably thinking what I'm thinking.  If we allow suspicion to creep in, then several of these guys don't exactly look squeaky clean either - especially those that later went on to race for the Hog. 

And in the "Ass Kissing Will Get You Everywhere" department comes this chain of events:  One week ago Team RadioShack's director Johan Bruneel emphatically says Chris Horner is not racing in the Tour de France because he didn't race in the Tour de Suisse.  Period.  But doesn't have the decency to tell him this personally, and Chris has to learn about it when his wife reads it on the web.  Horner responds with a bit of understandable anger initially, but then yesterday issues this statement on Cyclingnews:

Chris Horner: I don't believe Armstrong cheated

And miracle beyond miracles, look what happens less than 12 hours later as reported by Bicycling.
Team boss Bruyneel is 'rethinking' RadioShack squad for Tour de France.

"I was talking with Johan yesterday about the Tour," Horner told Bicycling on Friday.  "We had some lost communication between us before the 14-man selection was made.  He said he will rethink the team for the Tour now with me in the mix.  So there is still a chance of me going.  Johan and I had a great talk so I'm hoping it all works out."

I don't know whose pandering is worse....Horner's to the Bruyneel-Armstrong machine, or Bruyneel to the American public by now considering a popular American for the last spot on the team two days after the USADA shit hits the fan.  It's pretty convenient for Johan that Andy broke his ass when he did so that he could play the Horner card to save a little face with some American skeptics in the wake of the systematic doping allegations.  Timing is everything.  And I thought for sure Chris was going to respond to Bruyneel with answer 'd'. 

Only time for a few of letters today:

Dear PooBah,
Shakespeare's Pizza (Best College Hangout in the nation as declared by Good Morning America) wants to revitalize it's pedicab service and is looking for pilots!  Can you tell any interested parties about it?  Thanks!

Will do.  Anyone interested can drop me an email and I will forward the phone number you need to call to get hooked up!

Dear PooBah,
I heard that a weekly cyclocross series is in the works for Columbia this coming fall, suitable for experts and beginners alike.  This sounds amazing!  I want to participate, but have never raced cross before and know how competitive the cycling atmosphere here in COMO is, so I'm a little nervous.  Any advice as to the equipment I should have?
Jerry G.

Just remember - it has nothing to do with your bike, and everything to do with your kit.  As a newb, I'd think about sporting one of these for your first season:
It's even made out of cotton so that you can sweat your balls off and lose that extra few pounds you've been toting around all summer.

Dear PooBah,
The shocks on my fork are squeaking something horribly!  I took a picture of them which I'm attaching to this email.  I wonder if you could take a peak and tell me what the problem might be?
Thank you so much -
Heather F.

For the life of me I cannot see the bike in the photograph you enclosed.  I think I better see it in person.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The "Big Message" just hit the fan...

Shit....I just woke up and stumbled to the computer.  Did I miss anything big?

Who would have thought that the LEAST bad thing that could happen to you if you were associated with Team RadioShack recently is being blown off your bike in a wind gust during a time trial and busting your sacrum, tearing your shorts and getting a big rasberry on your ass? 

If you don't know what I'm talking about - don't read any further, because you probably a) don't care, or b) don't want to hear anymore.  And, if you wanted to read the full USADA letter, you've probably already tracked it down yourself, but if not - here you go:  USADA letter secured by the Wall Street Journal.

Probably many of you are thinking - yeah yeah yeah, same "big message", different day.

But two things struck me in this letter as being relatively new, at least to me:

#1)  "This notice letter describes a portion of the evidence gathered by USADA in its investigation of potential doping on the United States Postal Service (USPS) (1996-2004), Discovery Channel (2205-2007), Astana (2009) and RadioShack (2010) cycling teams.  The witnesses to the conduct described in this letter include more than ten (10) cyclists as well as cycling team employees." (Page 2, paragraph 2.)

#2) "This action is being brought as as a single consolidated action because for a significant part of the periods from January 1, 1998, through the present, each of the Respondents has been part of a doping conspiracy involving team officials, employees, doctors, and elite cyclists of the United States Postal Service and Discovery Channel Cycling Teams who committed numerous violations of the Applicable Rules (the "USPS Conspiracy" or the "Conspiracy").   Because of the nature of the USPS Conspiracy, the fact that each of the Respondents actively participated together in a long running doping conspiracy and due to the close integration of the evidence against each of the Respondents as a described herein this proceeding is being brought as a consolidated case.  (Page 11, paragraphs 5 and 7.)

The specific doping products are then listed (pages 4 and 5)

1. Erythropoietin (EPO) also known as "E," "Po," "Edgar" or "Edgar Allen Poe,"
2. Blood transfusions
3. Testosterone
4. Human Growth Hormone (hGH)
5. Corticosteroids
6. Saline and plasma infusions

So I'm wondering firstly - who are the 10 cyclists?  I think it's safe to assume Hamilton, Landis and Andreu are numbers 1 through 3......but who are the others?  And this is the first time I've heard this referred to as a doping "conspiracy" per se.

And can we PLEASE stop pulling Eddie into this whole mess?  I mean, he did nothing wrong (other than marrying his 13 year old cousin - just so wrong....) so why do we have to keep dragging his name through the mud?

Regardless of how you feel about the subject, this case has the potential to change the face of cycling.  And triathlons as well, as Lance has been banned from competing in WTC triathlons while under investigation.  You know a bunch of NBC execs who thought they scored a money deal for signing on to televise forthcoming WTC Ironman competitions because of the Armstrong celebrity draw are doing the serious head smack right about now....

Everyone certainly has an opinion on the matter - and I can think of precious few who choose to avoid the topic altogether (maybe except for them).  And the naysayers out there are apt to tell us all "I told you so...." - the most blatant of which is probably going to be the Onion which reported on this way back in 2010!!

"I have to tell you something, but promise not to get mad, OK?"

And really - it was just a matter of time before this got created - but I didn't expect it would be so fast!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

True Grit! Grandma broke her coccyx!

And by 'Grandma', I actually mean Andy Shleck, and by 'coccyx', I actually mean his sacrum.  He busted it up in a crash during the time trial at the Criterium du Dauphine, which he later had to abandon.  Much like brother Frank's separated shoulder in the Giro d'Italia, director Johnan Bruyneel said it was nothing more than a flesh wound and should not prevent him from racing.  Oops.  Either way, news today is that he's out of the Tour de France, and The Hog (Johan Bruyneel) is left one man shy of a full roster for his catastrophically plummeting RadioSchlep team.  Interestingly enough - he's got someone waiting in the wings that he recently snubbed by intentionally NOT inviting to join the squad going to the Tour de France:
Chris Horner

Interestingly, Bruyneel reportedly never even called the veteran cyclist (who has finished as high as 9th place at the Tour in 2010) to tell him he would not be going to the Tour this year.

"Horner said he learned about his exclusion from the RadioShack Tour team from his wife, who read it on the Internet and called him while he was out training.  He added that as of Monday evening, he had not yet spoken with anyone from RadioShack team management.  The last time he spoke with team manager Johan Bruyneel, Horner said, was a month ealier in Santa Rosa, California, when Bruyneel briefly visited the team prior to the start of the Amgen Tour."

Of course, who are we to doubt the management practices of such a master tactician, like The Hog.  I  mean, after all - he wrote a book and everything!  He MUST know what he's doing - right?

So, by my calculations, Team RadioSchlep's tour roster is one man short, and the month of July looks pretty open in Chris Horner's planner.  So, one has to wonder if Hoggy is going to give Chris a ringy-dingy in Bend, Oregon and say something like...."So, busy next month?" 

Let's have a pop quiz and try to guess how Chris will respond.

a. Go Schleck yourself
b. Put your request in writing on the interwebs, and my wife will read it to me
c. Only if you can start lacing my autotransfusions with some fucking Rogaine
d. Did you really marry an ex-stripper?  DAYUMMMM!

To add insult to injury, in addition to his injured sacrum, it appears as though Andy also has a horrible anus.  This is the second Team RadioSchlep member to be diagnosed with a horrible anus in less than a week!

The Hog has been frustrated with his team all year, to be honest.  They just seem to be lacking grit......bravado.....guts.....chutzpah!  In a word, they are lacking what I call the LTDF.....or the Laurens Ten Dam Factor.  You remember the Rabobank cyclist from last year's tour - right?

The dude that smeared his nose off on the pavement of some God-forsaken French road, got wrapped up by a hack Mavic mechanic posing as a medic with gauze that looked like it once shrouded Boris Karloff, but still finished the race?  This is what the Hog is looking for!  His own Chris Horner did not show at either the US National Championships or the Tour de Suisse because of a supposed "back injury" - and it was this last race omission that finally pissed off The Hog enough to kick him off the Tour squad.  Meanwhile, Ten Dam IS racing in the Tour de Suisse and literally puked himself all the way up the Verbier the other night (which I took pictures of on my TV!)

Even his 'O-face' is a god-damned grimace!

(I had to crop out the rest of this photo to keep this post rated PG....but can tell you that those Rabobank soigneurs really know how to give a rub down...)

And speaking of true grit in the Tour de Suisse, comes this story from the Dutch sports page of the site of a Swiss land owner who refuses to take shit off of anybody....literally.

Boer lubricates Lotto team car full of excrement.

The translated story just have to read it yourself:

Nothing like drinking a couple cups of coffee chased with a RedBull moments before your race starts, and having to pinch one off - but finding your team bus toilets backed being forced to doing your "big message" in a nearby forest, having the land owner catch you, then "make himself evil", by "recognizing your sweater," and then "smearing the team car loaded with your gevoeg."

Now THAT - is a horrible anus....

Friday, June 8, 2012

It's better to be pissed off than pissed on, unless you're into that sort of thing...

Two days ago, I was convinced that we, as a race, had finally perched ourselves so far out on a ledge overlooking a chasm of such depravity that the very existence of humanity itself was at risk for being lost forever.  But today, there is news that some degree of normality has returned to civilization.  No, I'm not speaking of the story that Alberto Contador is NOT, in fact, going back to ride for Johan Bruyneel and team RadioSchleck as was recently rumored, but will instead be renewing his love affair with Bjarne Riis and Team SaxoBank for the next 3 years.
(They are so cute when they cuddle)

No, far more comforting than this, is the news that the Octomom will NOT, and I repeat, NOT, be dancing topless after all.
(Thank the dear, sweet Lord).

In other news, I was at Schnuck's this morning stocking up on several tubs of "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" which I use as chamois cream for no other reason than I find the name apropos as 'I can't believe I'm not smarter' and haven't just quit this God-damned sport with how slow I've become over the past month.  Thus, my taint doesn't deserve real butter.....and until I speed up, I'm giving it this synthetic shit.  After my non-butter purchase, I decided to peruse the magazine rack to look for some additional inspiration in the periodicals.  Naturally, the first magazine I always reach for is Cosmo, as I like to see if there are any new depilatory techniques I should be aware of, because even though I'm as close to being a real cyclist as I am to being a fucking astronaut, I can still maintain the charade in my mind - plus I don't like chafing in my bikini area.  Luckily I found the Cosmo quickly:
And lucky for me - this issue is a double bonus.  In addition to tips on new gentler razors, the cover sported the title of a story with a lot of potential: "Eeek!  You'll die when you read what these "normal" guys wanted once their pants hit the floor."  Well, I'll tell you what the ONLY thing that THIS "normal" guy wants when his pants hit the floor....and that is not to have these legs staring back at him from the mirror.
(Plus, the GEEC keeps complaining my nails are really scratching up her legs in bed at night).

Anyway - after snagging my Cosmo, I also picked up the June issue of "Men's Urnal"

I'm not sure who the guy on the cover is this month, but it sounds like his "troubles are behind him and he is out to dominate a new sport."  and thus might have some good advice on which fixture I should install in the new bathroom I want to put down in the man-cave.

(I'm sort of partial to the trough myself.)

But something tells me he won't have any decent advice since he apparently doesn't even use the urinals when he goes into a bathroom, but just looks in the mirror, assumes a time-trial pose and pisses straight into his chamois. 

It must be a tri-thing?

"The Act: The Key to letting it all go is a downhill slope, relaxation, and a carefree attitude....Once you crest [the top] of the hill, stop pedaling, stand up on your bike, and try to relax a bit....Once gravity has taken over and you start descending, let loose.....Also don't worry about other people behind you.  Once they realize what is happening, they will get out of the way very quickly."

No thanks!  If I have to piss myself, I'll do it for a worthy cause, like waiting in line for concert tickets to a really talented band or something.

Anyway - long time readers will know I reserve a little space for letters on Friday - so let's get though a couple:

Dear PooBah,

I'm new to road cycling, but have been invited on a number of different group rides lately.  The Tuesday night one sounds like fun, but I've heard the sprint finishes can get a little dicey.  Is there anyway to ensure I won't get cut off by somebody else?

Any advice would really be appreciated!


Hey Greg-
Welcome to a sport that will fill you with years of passive aggressiveness from people trying to quietly kick your ass while acting supportive of enjoyment.  My best advice is to ride this:

Good Luck!

Dear PooBah,

I may have committed a bit of a faux pas at the last group ride and I wanted to get your advice on how to remedy the situation.  Firstly, I overslept a bit and showed up at the designated meeting place a little late.  Then, as the group was assembling to get ready to head out to do a 50 mile training ride, I was trying to clip into my peddles and fell down right in front of everybody.  I feel like a fool as I'm afraid this makes me look like a total amateur.  After I fell, I was so embarrassed that I just sort of trailed off the back and went home.  My questions are: 1) Do you think anyone noticed, and 2) Do you think I should show up again next week?

Thank you!

You failed to mention you were also apparently liquored up on Night Train.  I would say that your biggest amateur move was missing the bed pan.  Better luck next time!

Dear PooBah,
I have a question regarding cycling fashion.  I've read somewhere that if you wear arm or knee warmers with your kit, that absolutely NO skin should show between the tops of the warmers and the jersey or shorts.  Is this true?  I think I may be offending this unwritten rule and am worried I might be laughed at by the cycling community.
Let me know as soon as possible, please!

That rule only applies if you're not wearing stripper boots.  As long as you are - you're doing it just right!

Have a great weekend, kids - and good luck to all of those going to St. Genevieve.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Trying to get to second base

I knew that trying to resurrect the blog once again would come with a certain amount of shit-slinging good natured ribbing.....and one might even say "McRibbing" as Tribune columnist SpokesMan compared the blog to a McDonald's McRib sandwich on facebook:

Johnson:  "This is the McRib of blogs.  It's not really that great but because it only comes around 1/12th of the year, I find myself craving it."

Speaking of McDonald's, I think they sponsor that new bike team here in COMO called Big Tree Cycling - don't they?  Man - they must have some money to throw around....How about a little monetary love from Ronald for some strategic product placement on this one?  I'll even throw in a diagram of a McRib if that will help.

(Take special note of the "lone pickle" in that aforementioned diagram.  For the past couple years, I have been the lone pickle in the COMO CYCO McRib when it comes to content.  Well I'm happy to announce that this is no longer the case.  I've just hired a second Pickle to help provide story lines, in an attempt to improve on the quality of this rag a bit.  In the spirit of anonymity, I wish to protect his name, so thought I would name him Second Pickle in Italian, which would be Sottaceto Secondo, but the abbreviation for that is 'SS' which makes him sound like some kind of that won't do at all.  So I'll just call him 'Pickle-2'.  We'll get back to him in a moment.)

Another comment I received yesterday on facebook was as follows:

CS: "How long as it been?  Seven months since the last update? Dude's more fickle than a teenage girl."

PB: If "fickle" is Latin for lazy - then I'm guilty as charged.

CS: "I think the translation is more akin to "shit or get off the pot."

Fair enough...fair enough.  I suppose it's time to poop then.

And speaking of pooping, poor Belgian pro cyclist Sep Vanmarcke had a bad day on the bike yesterday in the Criterium du Dauphine (CDD).  Apparently he was suffering from "gastric woes" which slowed his time trial today...

...and forced him to stop and duck into not one, but TWO restaurants yesterday during the stage to "let rip."  Hang on - do they have McDonald's in France?  Mais oui!
(Let's hope Sep experienced "L'exception Culturelle" yesterday during his visits.)

As previously mentioned, today is the individual time trial in the CDD, which means absolutely nothing since every source available has dismissed the CDD as nothing more than the training grounds for the Tour de France.  Team RadioShack Nissan-blah blah blah directeur Johan Bruyneel is quoted today as saying "He [Andy] is in the Dauphine to try to improve his condition for the tour."  I'm sure that makes the organizers very happy.  Racing in the CDD is kind of like asking a different girl out the week before the prom so you can try your moves out to see what's going to get you slapped before the big night arrives.  Therefore, if any cyclist has a substandard performance, their directeur sportifs minimize the significance saying "Ah....he's just opening his legs up a bit....he will be on form for the - he went for the bra hooks a little soon this time, but he will get to second base when it really counts." 

Thus I bring you the case of Schleck the younger, who's #Schleckchute seems to have been in constant deployment during the race.  As everyone knows, time trials are not quite his forte, so I was happy to find a photo of Johan giving him some tips prior to his start today:
Fuck the wind tunnel testing I say.  The Hog can sense the perfect angle of your helmet and guide it accordingly with his bare hand.  All hail the wind defying power of his touch.

Well maybe not so much.  Word just in is that Andy's ass kissed pavement hard today when he fell in a "wind-gust" 12km into the 52km course.  No boobies for Andy.

The Hog's comments afterwards always supportive; "You don't expect to crash from a gust of wind."

And speaking of boobies, before I leave you today, I have to go back to our new contributor, Pickle-2, very briefly.  Yesterday I gave him an assignment to come up with a good story for today's post.  And sure enough, in my inbox this morning, I found an email with the subject of: "Naked Women's bike team" with a link that lead me to this photo:

Naked Women's Racing p/b Tribella sounded like just the kind of story we'd like to tell here, as they are clearly outstanding ambassadors for women's cycling and ride in support of a literacy project called Ride for Reading.  Then I read the rest of Pickle-2's email:

Poobah -
"I did not find a single naked girl on this page.  Total bullshit."

Until then, I hadn't even considered the possibility that a link with the name Naked Women's Bike Team might actually lead to a website with naked women on it - I just naturally assumed it was a women's cycling team sponsored by Naked Juice that was concerned about the reading abilities of our youth!  But now I feel foolish - because their little double entendre is the equivalent of a "That's what SHE said joke" and I didn't get it!  Well I say the joke is on you, ladies!  Don't think for one minute your team name is going to draw more hits on the interwebs by its very nature.  We guys aren't just a bunch of walking penises, falling for any link that says Naked Women on it.