Slippery when wet…
Make sure to watch for the crash at the end.
Slippery when wet…
Slippery when wet…
Make sure to watch for the crash at the end.
The rebates will be deposited next week.
President Bush expects the rebates to give the economy a boost.
I think it would be awesome if we could all put that money away and spend it the day after the Election! Good bye Shrub Bush
Butm that is all a dream. As for mine, I’m sure it will spent on new wheels for my bike, plus another couple of hundred dollars.
Okay, for cycling, its been a GREAT week. The weather has been great. I’ve gotten in some very productive miles. To be honest, at this point, I feel I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in this early. Of course, there is the time line. After all, I’m 50+.
In fact, I’m so positive, I’ve decided to not play hockey during the summer and concentrate on racing. It was a tough call. I love both so much, but I think it was best to be fair to my hockey team. Racing on Sunday AM, then playing an PM hockey game, wasn’t fair. To me, or my hockey team. Will I ever play hockey again?? I know I’ve said this before. But I have doubts.
OK, today’s rant. Every frigging time I go into the grocery store and see how the prices have gone up, all I can do is throw that package of chicken breast down and say “Geez”. And the thing is, yesterday, on the way home from the store, I decided we may be eating more beans and rice (which I love). I get home, turn on the CBS New with deadpan Katie Couric, and I hear about how the price of rice has skyrocketed, and that Costco and Sams are now limiting the sales of rice.
And gas.. I paid $3.59 a gallon today.
It’s all a Republican conspiracy
Am I the only one who noticed, in all of that “crying” after her eviction there was not one tear frpm Sheila. Not one.
Goodbye Lizard Neck!
I predict Adam will win.
I can never forget one reason I walked away from this beautiful sport for seven years. It’s called attitude and ego. And the number of guys who are full of it.
Why the rant? Guess you could say I have had another run it with a local cycling team. My former team. Despite the fact that I am racing with a team out of Austin, I paid my club dues for the local team, thinking I could use the camaraderie and join them on their team ride. But not! I’ve been removed from the club and cannot access the members only section.
Notice I said “another run in”. Last season, I took a subtle bashing from someone who had not raced at all during the season. He was pissed for not wanting to race with the 4s and 5s and race with the Masters in the last road race of the season. He said he wanted a win, not necessarily for himself, but for the team. The whole email read like it was all about him.
I replied back to the whole team stating “this is a year of accomplishment for me, getting back on the bike, and learning to deal with Crohn’s, and I felt it was best for me to race with the masters” He replied back..”There will be no undue pressure from me to you to suffer for the team. Geez, I don’t even know this guy, and I was getting an attitude.
Let it be known, I’m not trying to play my Crohn’s card. In fact, few people know I have it. Its something I have to live with, something I have adjusted too. And I will never use it as an excuse, or a reason to try to get anyone sympathy. But, unless someone lives with it, or knows someone who has it, I don’t think anyone could understand what it takes to deal with it.
If that’s the way they want it, fine. In fact, I probably have my most productive training ride when I ride by myself. And since I’m racing masters, I would be racing by myself.
Yes, I am a team player. But I also know what my physical limitations are. And I also know what I would like to accomplish thru cycling.
So, I’ve been thinking about the whole ego thing. And realize how many there out there.
There’s the bike shop attitude that you can sometimes run across. . Don’t have money to spend on top end, don’t waste their time. And speaking of spending top bucks, there are the people who spend top dollars on high end bikes and component, thinking it will impress others. And make them ride faster. In some cases it will, others not. ( I remember hearing the story of someone who, at the Tour of California, commented to a Rock Cycling team member how nice his bike was. Instead of saying thanks, he said “It should. It costs $10,000. But then again, this was Rock Racing . I wouldn’t expect less)
There are the guys who think it’s all about them. If I were being paid to race, it would be different. But geez, this is local amateur weekend warrior stuff. I was president of team in Texas back in the late 90’s. We welcomed all interested in joining, regardless of their ability or cycling goal. I was contacted by more than a few people who didn’t ask “how can I help” or “what can I do for you team” . When we received a substantial monetary sponsorship, it was “ what can your team do for me”
I was surfing the cycling blogs this morning and found this at The Road Bike:
The moral of this story is that cyclists are, alot of times, nothing more than jerks. If you encounter a jerk, politely call them out, and move on. Don’t hang out with them. Don’t continue to ride with them. If you join a local club that turns out to be full of snobs that claim there is only one way to do things…quit the club and start your own. Get out and ride. There is most definitely a “correct” way of doing things in cycling, but if it comes down to it, the most important thing is riding.
So, Clint from Portland, if you are new to cycling, and you are wondering if you will fit in…the answer is no. But, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you are part of cycling. We want you to be part of us. Ask my friend Billy that rides an early 1980’s Schwinn Le Tour. We still let him ride with us because the most important thing is that he rides. (By the way, Billy easily out-rides me on his 50lb LeTour)
Just get out and ride. Forget all that hierarchy stuff in cycling. Forget the snobs. You are welcome on a ride with me any day
So what it it about racing that breeds selfishness? Are we just a sport populated by well-to-do mostly spoiled kids? I have meet a number of fast racers in my years of racing. And I have met many amazing, interesting, humble riders
And there is their pretentiousness of some upper-tier cyclists. They need to forget their self worth, or how expensive bikes they ride are. Their wattage, their bikes, and their results, matter but likely do not define your existence and surely do not justify their conceit.
I have a treasure chest of examples of cyclists whose selfishness makes me cringe. My family once hosted a few guys from Columbia University who ate our food, dirtied our sheets and towels, pissed on the side of my house, and forgot to say any kind of thanks after it all. I have hosted bratty (but oh so promising!) junior riders who cared too much about their cycling development to share gratitude for the free housing and personal inconveniences. I have raced the collegiate scene for six years, during which I’ve seen many A riders who are just too fast to get up early and cheer for their slower teammates. I raced for four years with a guy named Andrew who never once asked me how my race went. Andrew had thousands of dollars worth of carbon TT equipment and all the cycling entitlement in the world. He also had a team who couldn’t give a shit if his threshold improved by four watts or if he won the race.
I am continually amused at the number of semi-pros, elite amateurs, and self-professed awesome riders who maintain blog shrines to themselves. These blogs can be identified by tables of personal wattage conquests, self-centered race/training babbling, and the distinct feeling that nobody is reading them. To be clear, I’m not against setting personal goals, tracking progress, and sharing training thoughts with the world. I am against boring posts, inflated egos, and the thinking that going fast somehow qualifies one to be a pompous ass.
I love cycling and am anything but bitter about the people with whom I share the activity. Yet there persists an ugly hubris amongst its upper ranks. These people forget that fitness is frail and a privilege. They have forgotten, or never experienced, what it is like to get dropped from every race one enters. They operate under the disillusion that the world watches their threshold power progress with bated breath. Their passion for the sport is wed to a desire to accumulate gear and count kilo Joules.
Am I glad I’m back? You bet! Despite the fact that attitudes and ego still exists. And always will.
SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP)—Rock Racing is a cycling team unlike any other, which is by design.
The racers wear flashy lime-and-black outfits, called “kits” in the cycling world. Their roster boasts an Olympic gold medalist and a former world champion, a tattoo aficionado and riders with checkered pasts. They ooze attitude, and even have a fleet of Cadillacs adorned with the team logo to carry their gear.
Those involved with cycling either love ‘em or hate ‘em.
“I really think that what we’re doing is great for the sport,” Rock racer Tyler Hamilton said. “People will have to see that.”
If Rock Racing posted a classified ad looking for riders, it might read something like this: “Talent a must. Past doping issues OK. Call Michael Ball to apply.”
Ball is the outspoken founder, one of cycling’s most polarizing figures. His team is filled with riders scorned by other teams in the cycling establishment, especially now, when the sport tries to escape its darkest chapter, the doping era.
Hamilton won Olympic gold for the United States in 2004, just before he was suspended for blood doping, which he still denies. Santiago Botero was world time trial champion in 2002 and a stage winner of the Tour de France, but was linked to the massive “Operation Puerto” doping scandal before being cleared by Colombian officials.
Spanish rider Oscar Sevilla also was linked to “Operation Puerto,” keeping him from the 2006 Tour de France. And Kayle Leogrande, the American racer known for his numerous tattoos, is involved in a legal dispute with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.
Even Floyd Landis, stripped of his Tour de France victory in 2006 after testing positive for abnormally high levels of testosterone, has been an adviser of sorts to Ball.
But when asked about the consistent trend among some of his riders, Ball— who says his team is committed to anti-doping—cringes.
“I don’t want to get into the whole thing about the guys that have questionable pasts, because there’s a lot of guys in the peloton that have questionable pasts,” Ball said. “But I think it’s a new day and I think the sport is cleaner today than it ever has been. The guys get it. The team owners get it. The promoters get it. We have to clean it up. It’s cleaner. It’ll continue to be cleaner.”
He was a highly successful bike racer once, and is still an avid cyclist. (my note- although there is some debate if he was really as successful as he actually claims) .His fashion company, Rock and Republic, appeals to the high-end shopper. He was once considered too brash for fashion.
Many in cycling think the same thing.
“Maybe they don’t go about everything the right way or the way people like,” said George Hincapie, the veteran American star who now rides for Team High Road. “But I think it’s a good thing to have them around.”
Some companies that were aligned with Rock Racing have broken deals because of Ball’s involvement with Hamilton and others.
He offers no apologies.
“You bring in new eyeballs, which ultimately means more dollars, new dollars, that will help grow this sport. And that’s what is needed,” Ball said. “Saying should I have signed this person or not signed this person, I don’t think that’s really what the focus should be on. We all get it. … Let’s start focusing on how do we make this sport bigger.”
Easier said than done, especially considering that not everyone is lining up for business with Rock Racing.
In February at the Tour of California, Hamilton, Botero and Sevilla were barred because of their alleged doping histories. And Rock’s spot at the invitation-only Tour de Georgia wasn’t settled until an out-of-court settlement was struck last week.
“You want to get the best racers competing against each other,” said Olympic silver medalist and former women’s world champion Mari Holden. “I like to see new ideas coming into cycling. But I also understand that there’s rules and you have to follow them.”
Rock Racing reportedly paid a $500,000 sponsorship fee to the Tour of California, and is listed this week as a “founding partner” of the Tour de Georgia.
Ball insists his financial involvement has nothing to do with his team getting into either race.
“The passion of the team and of Michael Ball certainly is applauded,” Tour de Georgia event director Chris Aronhalt said.
Ball acknowledges that some riders and owners haven’t hid their disdain for his approach, hiring practices, or marketing methods that include bringing “podium models” to races.
“Some people,” he said, “just don’t get it.”
Others are catching on.
Hincapie is a 12-time Tour de France veteran, is on track to be on the U.S. Olympic team for the fifth time and has a sportswear company bearing his name. Best known for once being Lance Armstrong’s top lieutenant, Hincapie isn’t an overly outspoken sort of guy.
But not only is he noticing Rock’s distinctly different approach, he sounds like he approves.
“I’ve got to tell you, I like them,” Hincapie said. “They bring controversy, but I think they’ve got a guy that really loves cycling. … It just brings a whole new fan base into the sport.”
Ball is either crazy or a genius, probably a little of both, and his wild approach applies to both cycling and fashion.
Who else, unhappy with the way his girlfriend looked in jeans, would design his own pair to better display her figure and then work out how to sell the denim creation for upward of $300 a pair? He’s a guy whose company will sell women something called a “metallic leather corset short” for $427, then complete their ensemble with $260 sunglasses and a $760 handbag.
His team appeared at the Tour de Georgia kickoff gala decked in Rock-designed stylish black blazers, shirts and jeans. As Botero left the stage, the wife of a race sponsor tried unsuccessfully to get his attention.
“I was going to offer him $500,” she squealed, “for his belt buckle!”
Say this for Rock Racing: Everywhere they go, they leave an impression.
“The team is different. Their approach is different. Their guy is new in cycling and he has a lot to learn,” said Tom Danielson, the 2005 winner of the Tour de Georgia who’s riding now with Slipstream Chipotle—a team that prides itself on racing clean and has its riders tested every 14 days. “But at the same time, he’s bringing great riders and great ideas to the sport. I’m excited they’re here.”
Ball vows he isn’t going anywhere, either. His team wears T-shirts with HERE TO STAY emblazoned on the back.
“Anybody who questions Michael Ball or questions Rock Racing has to know it’s bringing a whole new fan base to the sport,” Hamilton said. “Cycling needs more fans. This is a breath of fresh air, and maybe everyone doesn’t realize it yet, but cycling needs Michael Ball.”
Personally, I think Michael Ball is an ass. What he is doing, with his team of convicted dopers, does not help bring credibility to the sport