Friday, June 30, 2006



The various teams taking part in the Tour de France have
now suspended all of their riders implicated in the
Operacion Puerto affair, including Ivan Basso (CSC), whose
nickname was allegedly "Birillo" in Fuentes' files, and
Francisco Mancebo (AG2R). Joseba Beloki (Astana-Wurth) is
another to be sent home. After Jan Ullrich and Oscar Sevilla
were taken out this morning by T-Mobile, the teams are now
pulling their other riders out.

Notables on the list so far (not all names are included here)

***Astaná-Würth: Michele Scarponi, Marcos Serrano, David
Etxebarria, Joseba Beloki, Angel Vicioso, Isidro Nozal, Unai
Osa, Jörg Jaksche

***CSC: Ivan Basso

***Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears: Constantino Zaballa

***Saunier Duval: Carlos Zarate

***AG2R: Francisco Mancebo

***T-Mobile: Jan Ullrich, Oscar Sevilla

***Phonak: Jose Enrique Gutierrez, Jose Ignacio Gutierrez

***Comunidad Valenciana: Vicente Ballester, David Bernabeu,
David Blanco Rodriguez, Jose Adrian Bonillla, Juan Gomis
Lopez, Eladio Jimenez, David Latasa, Javier Pascual, Ruben
Plaza, J.Luis M. Jimenez

***Unibet.Com: Carlos Garcia Quesada

***Retired/suspended riders: Roberto Heras, Angel Casero,
Santiago Perez, Tyler Hamilton

Thursday, June 29, 2006


The AVC is only a couple of weeks away, and I feel very slow right now. Like not Cat. 4 slow, but definitely not nearly national-level fast. Which is slow. I think. I dont know. Rode a 12.01 at sprint night last week, which was a perfect example. All day, all I was thinking was "must go sub 12... sub 12... sub 12." I was visualizing and aligning my chi and keeping my positive ying balanced with my negative yang and when it came down to it, I missed it by 2 hundredths of a second. Bummer.

I kept thinking about it all weekend, and when I finally got back to the gym on Monday I went way beyond what I have been doing lately, which made walking around for the rest of the day a bit tough. Also made PIR a bit harder than it should be. PIR was pretty classic. Super windy, small-ish field and a single inhumanly strong pro in the field equals big splits and probably a solo or small group finish. And it did. Tuckerman, Ping-Pong and yours truly rode the entire race battling for last wheel. The only exceptions were the hot-spots before the break got clear and the final, in which cases I did the last half-lap blast around the field to get in position for the long tailwind sprint. This final was good fun. Three guys were away, but we wanted our money's worth, so I found Richard's wheel with a lap to go and got a pretty sweet ride in. Dude's got a great motor, and everything was going perfect untill we got to about 400 meters to go, I saw a bunch of shadows jumping around on both sides, but instead of doing the smart thing and hopping on somebody and popping them at the line, I dropped into the 11 and went from waaaay too far out. I held it, but barely. I saw stars. Went cross-eyed. Lost all function. Cramped big-time. It was hard.

I recovered the next day by lifting like a madman and trying to race Tabor. Makes sense, eh? Went Mano-uh-Mano with the Pong on the big Volcano. Long story short, I cracked hard after 10 laps or so and while riding by myself some friendly spectators at the top corner handed me the March 1987 Playboy to keep me motivated. Apparently while I was riding around staring at 20 year old pictures of naughty bits, one of Tabor's hippie longboard skater chicks did a pretty impressive digger into non-soft pavement. She was carving some sweet turns heading directly at a cross-eyed pack of bike racers, when she suddenly realized the magnitude of bummer she was about to enter by nailing 20 bike racers head-on, so she swerved out of the way and put a foot down at 30 miles an hour. I hear she didn't handle it so well. Everyone seemed to have thier own story about the aftermath, but all agreed she was unconcious, bleeding and not looking so good. Medics were on hand before you could say "what the.." and off she went to Emanual. Big drag for sure, but proof that common sense is not something we're all born with.


Monday, June 26, 2006

Ninja Skills

Tests and exams are all done for the term, so as soon as I get my card in the mail I'll be a certified EMT. Boo-ya.

So hot. Can't put together real sentences. Weather calls for 104 degrees today, it's 93 right now. I don't dig. Nothing like a high-rise apartment with no A/C to really brighten your day. Im so hot I almost considered going to the mall just for the air conditioning. ALMOST. Went to the gym for a second time today instead. Yesterday was hot as blazes as well, so after the sun went down I decided to go for a stroll. Council crest sounded like a fine idea, wind blowing, no clouds, city views...

I pulled up to the final turnoff up to the hill and was greeted by roadblock signs and cars in the middle of the street. But these didn't look like police or city cars. No no. These were clearly high school rigs. Lowered civics and mom's Jeep Liberty, guarded by two overgrown lunks in baseball hats and pink polo shirts. So I changed course. Parked around the block and elected to walk the rest of the way up the hill to see what was going on. Some kind of party maybe? Human sacrifice? Rampant drug use? I picked the trail I've walked up before so I could stay in the dark (you know, just in case). I rounded the corner and made my way to the upper loop, the water tower and the big red flashing lights. No party. No sacrifice. Just 7 or 8 piles of wriggling boardshorts and more pink polo shirts on the grass. Each pair maybe 10 feet from the next. Stacked like some hilarious makeout conga-line. Guess I had approached so quietly no one even knew I was there.

*This is akward*

I head back down the hill like some wierd conqueror. Ninja skills at work. 2 More couples made thier way up through the trees and tromped right by, not even 5 feet from where I was standing. I guess I can pass for a very short, sickly tree if it's dark enough.

Pretty dissapointing if you ask me. High schoolers are so boring these days, even we were more creative than that. I was hoping for at least a group of people with a bonfire and a couple of racks of PBR. I mean really, if you're going to take over council crest for the night, you should at least do something worthwile. Maybe a little human bowling? Time-warp outdoor dance party? Smack-talk smack-down? Anything?

By the way. It's hot.


Thursday, June 22, 2006

Just thought you should know...

SO there I was, knee deep at PIR when one of my teammates (who's strong like an ox) gets dropped from the break and comes back to the field. Meanwhile Molly Cameron is whining something about how the break is gone boo hooo.I think to myself. Hey, That group must be sailing. They're probably givin'er as hard as possible... wait... then I see some dude dressed in a stretched out purple kit come flying back to the group from the break like his brakes are dragging, or his tires are flat, or his frame is broken, or his pedals are siezed or maybe he's not very fast or something and check it out. It's Ping Pong. That guy is so slow I could probably outclimb him. Uphill. On a BIKE. Yeah. I know. That's pretty slow.

So we keep rollin along, some of us actually doing some work instead of doing the old "eehhh it's hard, we should just go home... i could be at stumptown not updating my blog right now...." like someone else who shall remain nameless. For anonymity's sake we'll call that person Molly Cameron.

In other news, the tour's about to start. I think Ullrich's gonna go into the mountains leading Savoldelli by a couple of tics, then out of nowhere Lance jumps out of the Disco team car foaming at the mouth and tackles Basso while screaming "IM THE MANNN!! IM THE MANN!!"

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Rider Sues Bike Shop, GT Bicycles for Failed Quick Release

from Bicycle Retailer and Industry News:

"MAY 26, 2006 -- SANTA FE, NM (BRAIN)—Archibald Sproul, a Santa Fe contractor is suing Rob and Charlie's, a local bicycle shop, and GT Bicycles who made the bike he purchased more than 10 years ago, for injuries he sustained when his quick-release failed and his front wheel came off.

The lawsuit, filed on May 18 at the First Judicial District Court Santa Fe, New Mexico, includes as defendants GT Bicycles, Pacific Cycle and frame maker Ishiwata. The damages sought by Sproul are unspecified and no court date has been set at this time.

The suit claims that the defendants are at fault for manufacturing and selling Sproul a GT All-Terra mountain bike without warning him of the dangers of a quick-release hub and implying that the bike was safe for its intended use. Sproul claims the quick-release eventually failed, causing the front wheel to fall off and causing Sproul extensive injuries."


Apparently this is coming from a lawyer who has a history of frivolous QR lawsuits (of all the wierd niches to get into).
I love that some people refuse to take responsibility for themselves. How evil. How slimy.

p.s. Anybody want free coffee? Eh? eh? Just show up at the Bike Gallery at 5329 SE Sandy at 6pm on Mondays and ride with us to Tully's. We'll buy. Good deal. Do it.


Friday, June 16, 2006

I'm through it Harry...

Finals are done. Holy crap that was a proccess. Two and a half weeks of hair-pulling and teeth-gnashing.

Had an interesting one last night. The 150 question final in my EMT class was a bit of a hard one for everyone including my instructor. He's a great guy, and looked like he wanted to jump up and tell us all the answers to the test because he'd want us all to do great, but of course he had to sit and pretend to grade papers. Fidget, fidget. People finish sporadically and wander into the hall for "the wait" and the first words out of everyone's mouth is 'beer.' After the results come in and everyone predictably does better than they thought, we all make our way to the nearby college watering hole to wind down with a few games of pool and speculation about who in class would make the worst EMT. We envite our instructor, but he laughs it off and turns us down on principle as a teacher. He says it loud enough so the administrators in the building can hear him clearly.

Two games in, he charges through the door of the bar. I don't think I've ever had a teacher that I could sit down and chat with about completely non-school related things, so it was pretty cool to hang out for a while before throwing out the old "i've gotta get to work in the morning, bla bla bla" escape route.

All things considered, it's great to be done for a few precious months.

See you at PIR.


Saturday, June 10, 2006

New Format, Old Story (i would've won if...)

So it's official. The new format for sprint night kicks ass. In the past it's been seeded by 200m times, fastest races slowest, second fastest races second slowest and on down the rest. By that method if you're on the bottom of the tree, you're guaranteed to lose your first couple races, and if you're on the top of the tree it's not much of a challenge to get through those first rounds. This week they did a new one. 4 groups split into 4 riders based on 200m times, and each person in thier bracket races every other person in the bracket whether they lose thier rounds or win them. The person with the most number of wins at the end of the night takes it. The cool thing is it gives you more chances to race with people that are closer to your speed, so it's a better workout and better fun for all.

Our group was solid. Zac Copeland, Steven McMuscles, Tim Luther and I. Once again, I'm the skinny guy (by a lot). I think all four of us are getting more and more comfortable racing each other, so each race made me sit back and think a bit about what I was doing. I also thought about how crazy ripped Zac Copeland is. The dude's about as tall but as heavy as a Volkswagen bug, and it's clearly not cozy-shack and beer. That guy's like a little bucket of muscles. Fast twitch muscles. He jumped pretty hard on the backside, I made the mistake of trying to come around too early in the wind, corrected, shut down and turned the giver switch back on out of the last corner to draw even with him... but it wasn't quite enough. All accounts said he had it by a couple of inches. If only I would have gone faster. Then I could win. Other two rides ended well. I think what little road endurance I have left plays in my favor by the 3rd round, makes up for the skinniness a little.

HeatherV came back strong and beat Craig Sinnanian. I congradulated Craig on his race by yelling "YOU JUST GOT BEAT BY A GIRL." Motivational speaking has always been one of my strengths.


Friday, June 09, 2006

so tired....

My apartment is a chaotic mess. The kitchen looks like a war zone. Textbooks, worksheets and notebooks full of illegible scrawl are on every surface in that place. I haven't had a spare minute to clean in weeks. My schedules are getting worse and worse as the final two weeks of school creep closer.
Yesterday for example, went like this: 5:30am wake up head to the gym, back by 7:30, grab some food and out the door by 8 to ride to work, spend the day at the shop working until 5pm (trying unsuccesfully to study at lunchbreaks and whenever it's slow), then head straight to class which starts at 6, try to remember everything I've learned all term so I can pass my 4 hours of practical finals, head home at 10 and finally get back through my door at 10:30 or 11 where I pass out and probably forget to do some homework for some other class.


On the 17th it will be all over. Finally. Going to have to change a few things when I go back next fall, this schedule will not work again (it's barely working this time).

Sprint night tonight, Ballard tommorow (oh crap). I'm at least happy to be heading to ballard, it's good to be racing (not that what I will be doing can be considered racing).

Drove to Hood River last week to check out the Mt. Hood Classic crit. Tuckerman decided not to pre-ride the course and then try to take the first hairpin turn a solid 15 mph faster than everyone else... and crashed. That just made him angry so he tried to take off a couple times to catch Greg Henderson and his coattail-riders, but no such luck. Hendi smashed all in his path to take the win, Kirk almost got his front wheel chopped off in the sprint, Adam missed a prime by the skin of his teeth and Richard and I successfully hassled a Canadian dude.



Saturday, June 03, 2006

When did hospital billing departments and insurance companies become so horribly unpleasant? Was it right around the time that they refused to talk to each other? I was under the impression that I had handled the whole hospital vs. insurance vs. physician's billing vs. insurance thing pretty well until out of the blue I recieved a final notice yesterday. I crossed all the T's dotted all the I's and sent everybody everything they needed and yet somehow I'm on the brink of being at the mercy of some bloodsucking collection agency? And all this for three excruciatingly painful hours waiting in a room for 2 chest x-rays and a doctor who says "yup, you're pretty busted up, and no you can't have any pain meds, but here's a perscription, good luck finding your own..." at eleven o'clock at night on a Sunday. Somehow I don't see the returns...

Sounds like Tuckerman is trying to ride his own guts out at Hood. That guy's going crazy fast. And Kirk, our newest guy hauls off and throws down a second place on a tough sprinter's stage. That's what we call rockin the casbah. Made me a little sad to be here at work hearing about sprint finishes, just wish I could have been out there to do the afterburner leadout. Just need to make it two more weeks, then schools out and my schedule takes a turn for the better.

Look out if you're riding the crit at Hood tonight, somewhere near one of the more sketchy corners you might get heckled by a pack of BG employees pouring beer down thier throats and on the course. There's a caravan leaving from the Hollywood store around 5pm if anyone's up for a evening of bike spectating and a bit of mt bike riding tommorow.

Picture of the day comes to us from Cyclingnews and Carl Decker, who doesn't care what you think of his showercap.