November 23, 2014 § 5 Comments
I know some dudes who are great racers and some other dudes who are great trainers but they’re not usually the same. F’rinstance, there’s a bunch of dudes who are killing it in October and November on the group rides and the dudes who win all the races are at the back or off the back, and then later in the year the training beasts aren’t doing so hot and the racing dudes are smashing everyone’s face in. What’s up with that?
Racing and training are different. I’ve broken it down for you below.
1. Training: You get to stop when you’re tired and then start again after a latte, a potty break, and a chat with your pals.
Racing: You get to stop once, at the end, or when you fall off your bicycle, which then becomes the end.
2. Training: Looks matter.
Racing: Legs matter.
3. Training: Everyone’s a winner.
Racing: There is only one winner. And it’s not you.
4. Training: Your buddies help you.
Racing: Everyone tries to kill you, especially your buddies.
5. Training: Mileage matters.
Racing: Winning matters.
6. Training: Strava matters.
Racing: Winning matters.
7. Training: The best rider doesn’t always finish.
Racing: The fastest rider always wins. [Note: I’ve said this before and been ridiculed. Now re-read it and STFU, unless it’s one of those races where the winner crosses the line last.]
8. Training: You can tell your wife you killed it.
Racing: Results are posted on USA Cycling.
9. Training: You can’t lose a training ride.
Racing: You can lose a race, and you will.
10. Training: Respect is earned by showing up, shit-talking, wearing a fancy kit, riding at the front, blogging, buying lunch for others, etc.
Racing: Respect is earned by winning.
11. Training: You might be able to hang with Daniel Holloway, Mark Cavendish, or Taylor Phinney on a winter SoCal training ride.
Racing: I don’t need to say this one, do I?
Hope this helps.
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July 10, 2014 § 25 Comments
After Wednesday’s stunning reversal of fortune that saw last year’s Tour de France champion Chris Froome fall off his bicycle three separate times, the stem-gazing Man Of Something Not Quite As Hard As Steel announced that after falling and getting an “ouchie” he would not be starting Thursday’s stage. Cycling in the South Bay caught up with Chris and director David Brailsford aboard the team bus, now affectionately known as the “Froome Wagon.”
CitSB: So, what happened?
Froome: Aw, it was fuggin’ awful, mate, a bloody shit show. Rain, cobbles, traffic furniture, 190 idiots trying to squeeze onto a cow track, y’know?
CitSB: Cobbles got the best of you?
Froome: Well, it was the pre-cobbles.
Froome: Yar. I sort of hit some wanker’s wheel and fell off me bike.
CitSB: Did you break your wrist in your first pre-cobbles bike-falling-off incident, or the second?
Froome: The second. It’s not quite broken. But it’s very sore. Incredibly hurty sore. I couldn’t continue.
CitSB: What’s the current Dx?
Froome: Oh, it’s very painful and hurts. The riding and such and the rain and the other people trying to beat me and the stress made it very ouchy and hurty, eh? Tough day in the saddle for us hard men, that’s for sure.
CitSB: When did you know you wouldn’t be able to start Thursday’s stage?
Froome: Right away. I hit me hand and scratched it pretty bad like. The doctor put on three Band-Aids and a cold pack, y’know? It was super hurty ouchy. I can really relate to what Johnny Hoogerland and Tyler Hamilton went through. But it’s a tough sport and not to brag, but we’re tough guys. Hard men.
CitSB: What does this mean for the rest of your season?
Froome: It’s not too bad, actually. I plan on grabbing a couple of pints down at the pub tonight with Cav and Millar and maybe Wiggo. We’ve got a little support group going, eh. Rooney may show up, too. I get to rest all day today and all day Thursday, then I’ll pick up where I left off on Friday. It’s a stage that’s not too bad.
CitSB: Excuse me?
Froome: The Tour’s a three-week race, mate. What’s a day here or there? I’m surprised more guys don’t do it. Take a couple of days off and then come back sharper than a needle, if you know what I mean.
CitSB: So you’re going to just hop back in?
Froome: Yeah. Why wouldn’t I? I ain’t no quitter, mate.
CitSB: Have you discussed this with anyone?
Froome: Oh, sure. Brailsford’s on board with it. Right, Dave?
Brailsford: Absolutely. He’s prepared all year for this. A lot of guys would quit with a big nasty ouchie like that, but Chris is no quitter; he’s more like a pauser. He lives for the Tour. And for stems. And as he says, by Friday he’ll have recovered enough to have another go. We don’t expect him to pull on the yellow jersey until the mountains, though.
CitSB: Uh … don’t you guys know that, uh … never mind. So, have you had any second thoughts about Wiggo?
Froome: (laughs) Yeah. Our first thought was that he’s an arse. And our second thought is that he’s a hole. (guffaws)
CitSB: I mean, does your accident make you regret having left him off the team?
Froome: Not at all. Why would it?
CitSB: Well, if Wiggins had been selected he’d be able to lead the team now.
Froome: (suspiciously) What’s that supposed to mean? I told you I’m comin’ back on Friday, didn’t I? I’m the leader of this team, that’s sorted. And if I’d had me way I wouldn’t of rode today anyway. Stupid stage, like I said. I’m a bike racer, not a rock climber. I think next year we’ll do a bit more stage recon and skip the ones that ain’t a good fit.
Brailsford: We’re still planning on using Wiggins, actually.
CitSB: You are?
Brailsford: Yes. We’re saving him for a couple of key mountain stages. When everyone else is tired he’ll be fresh as a new blood bag. We’ll send him in to set pace for Chris. We figure that’s the best way to burn up Contador. Then we’ll rest him for a couple of stages and send him in again.
CitSB: Kind of like a pinch hitter in American baseball?
Froome: Yeah, exactly, without all the chewing tobacco.
CitSB: Any thoughts on the withdrawals of Andy Schleck and Mark Cavendish? They both went down in crashes, too.
Froome: (laughing) Them wankers ought to learn how to ride a bike!
July 6, 2012 § 12 Comments
The international organization representing the world’s professional cyclists, or CPA, announced today that it would boycott the remainder of the Turdy France unless the organizers, WADA, and the UCI immediately cease the unannounced “Higgs testing” that began July 4 of this year.
With CERN’s confirmation of the existence of the Higgs boson, or “God particle,” the World Antidoping Agency simultaneously announced that it had developed a “Higgs test” to determine the presence of the boson in human stool samples. Since the development of an effective test for EPO, physicists have observed that it was only a matter of time before lab testing caught up to what is known in the pro peloton as “Higgs doping.”
According to Peter Higgs, who first theorized about the existence of the boson in 1964, “It’s quite simple, really. The boson allows multiple identical particles to exist in the same place in the same quantum state. Think about it. A Higgs doper could, by injecting bosons into the bloodstream, allow multiple red blood cells to exist in the same place at the same time. A 49% hematocrit could be packed with three times the official reading’s worth of red blood cells, but never register as elevated.”
When asked if he thought that boson doping was in fact occurring, Dr. Higgs chuckled. “Of course it is. Brad Wiggins has been visiting the Hadron Supercollider in the off season for the last two years. The boy’s dumb as a box of biscuits; d’you think he’s hanging out to brush up on his calculus? That’s the world’s largest and highest-energy particle accelerator, and I think it’s clear he’s been climbing into the chamber and having them shoot bosons up his ass for months.”
Rider outrage at midnight testing
Mark Cavendish, reigning world champion, strongly disagreed with Dr. Higgs. “Fuckin’ dumbass,” said the typically blunt-spoken Cavendish through two feet of gauze from his latest finish-line crash. “We ain’t takin’ no fuckin’ bosons up the ass. We’re fuckin’ bike racers, not particle physicists.”
Jonathan Vaughters, admitted doper and anti-doping advocate, has sided with the cyclists. “The problem we have isn’t with the anti-boson doping programme. Gosh, I’m even willing to let them use the British spelling for ‘program.’ The problem is that these Higgs tests are highly invasive, are carried out late at night, and negatively affect the riders’ performance the following day.”
Adds admitted doper and anti-doping advocate David Millar: “Yeah, mate, that’s pretty much it, ey? Y’crack out 200km in the Tour and just as yer fallin’ asleep, some lab tester in a radiation suit comes in and wants to ram a supercollider tube up yer arse to check yer bunghole fer bosons? C’mon, ‘at’s bloody bullshit. Time they get the Higgs prod outter yer arse, yer wide awake, y’know? Then yer fuggin’ arse is so sore the next day y’can hardly sit on the saddle.”
Last-minute compromise in the works
UCI president Pat McQuaid dismissed the likelihood of a rider walkout. “Bunch of pussies, they’re always complaining about something. Radio bans, traffic furniture, preferential treatment of stars, riders getting killed or catastrophically injured, whatever. Back in my day we made five quid a month, slept on rock beds, sodomized each other between races, and was damn glad to have even that. Bottom line is that if they’re Higgs doping, we have to get to the bottom of it. And there’s no truth to the rumor that the UCI received money for a new supercollider from Team SKY.”
Jean-Patrick-de-Tuileries St. Pou-pou, director of merchandising for the Tour, was more circumspect. “We believe that we will be able to reach a compromise that satisfies the needs of all parties to not suffer another shameful doping scandal. There may in fact be a ‘two-speeds’ peloton, which would explain why the French riders are no longer in the top one hundred. But one cannot be certain.”
May 7, 2012 § Leave a comment
Stage 2 of the Giro began in Herning and ended in Herning. Herning? What the fuck kind of name is that? Some ancient Viking king who plied the sea lanes between Scandinavia and England, plundering the hapless forebears of Wiggins who cowered, britishly, under the wrath of the ruthless, fork-bearded marauders?
Herning was originally a heath, which is a barren wasteland. The heath accounted for millions of acres of land, all useless for agriculture, and all created as a result of the complete deforestation of the primeval forests by the Vikings, who clearcut the entire nation to build their ships. What they left behind was the medieval Superfund site otherwise known as Denmark.
In the 1860’s, when Denmark’s population began to explode, which is to say sometime after the Danes had been beaten to a bloody pulp by the Germans but before the discovery of porn, the starving and ill-tempered Scandinavians decided to reclaim the heath. “What we lost without, we will build within!” was the rallying cry.
Herning is one such reclamation project, created in the 1800’s, literally springing out of the waste of the earth.
That was then. This is now.
Not surprisingly, one of pro cycling’s biggest waste reclamation projects, “Mr. 60 Percent” Bjarne Riis, hales from Herning. A confessed drug cheat, architect of the T-Mobile systematized team doping program and general scallywag, it is only appropriate that the Giro would pay homage to its doping roots by kicking off 2012 in Mr. 60 Percent’s hometown.
Fortunately, Mr. 60 Percent and his Saxo Bank squad have put the terrible doping excesses of the 2000s, 90’s, 80’s, 70’s, 60’s, 50’s, 40’s, 30’s, 20’s, 10’s, and Aughty-Aught’s behind them, and have turned a new corner with clean cycling, except for the team’s star rider who is languishing under a doping ban for tainting his meat with clenbuterol and who was stripped of his 2011 TdF title and forced to write “I am a doping cheat” ten thousand times on the blackboard. But that is all ancient history.
The second page in the new history of clean sport and fair play from this year’s Giro was written by none other than Mark Cavendish, chubby sprinter dude who ate donuts and sucked wheel while the ten fastest guys in the pro peloton did all the work for 199k during Stage 2 and then delivered him safely to the last 200m, where he showed the power and speed of a smallish, angry, well-rested lardball that had been shot from a cannon.
This and other similar pre-arranged, predictable, stable return on investment-type finishes are programmed for the Giro’s entire stay in Denmark…or are they?
Elia, Ingvar Cronhammar, the Inverted Vault of Doom and the Danish Curse of “This is Bullshit”
Just a short distance to the east of the Master Start in Herning is one of the world’s great mysteries, rivaling Stonehenge, the Great Pyramids of Cheops, and Mitt Romney’s stance on healthcare.
It is Elia, the brain child of Ingvar Cronhammar.
Shaped like an inverted volcanic caldera, this hollow semi-sphere rises 30 meters out of the heath, where its top is punctuated by four massive steel cylinders. A furnace buried within the belly of the beast belches fire at random intervals, and the cylinders are made to especially attract lightning bolts. The acoustics of the beast’s empty bowels are such that they throw the growls of thunder back in the face of the gods from whence they were uttered.
The awe and majesty of this extraordinary “living” sculpture is captured on countless YouTube videos, where bored tourists and their colicky children can be heard off camera saying, “Is this it? We traveled all the way to fucking Denmark for this? This is bullshit!”
This, of course, is exactly what anyone looking for an actual sporting event is saying after a mere two days of Giro racing in Denmark.
Americans get all misty-eyed, the British stiffly shake hands, everyone else rolls their eyes
If you ever doubted the complete sporting fraud of modern pro cycling, Stage 2 didn’t even bother to hide the sham. Cav’s post race commentary said it all.
“[Teammate Ian Stannard] did 150 kilometers alone reeling in the break – he did incredible.” So pleased to know someone else did all the work, Mark.
“I was really looked after at the finish and kept sheltered. Geraint took me perfect and went exactly when he was supposed to. I was able to come off him and win the stage so I’m very, very happy.” So pleased to know that your race strategy consisted in being looked after. Did they warm your bottle and burp you prior to the lead out?
However, before Dick Fitzenceider sends me a snide comment reminding me that THAT’S CYCLING, it bears remembering that this awesome display of laziness and sloth by the reigning world champion is only a prelude to his true race strategy…pick up a few more wins and then quit.
“If Mark is thinking on the Tour and on the Olympics afterwards, as it’s the case, I think he will not finish the Giro.” Suspended meat-tainter Alberto Contador, on Cav’s near-certain withdrawal from the race.
The Manx La-Z-Boy rushed to his own defense in a roundabout way, claiming that Contador had been misquoted but then failing to confirm that he’d ride the race beyond the 13th stage, when the Giro goes from a donut feast to a force-feeding of nails and broken glass.
“I’ve planned to stay until the end. I never want to stop a race and leave the team.”
Check back on Stage 14 to see if “planned to stay” and “never want to stop a race” has equated to “willing to bust my ass for 22km up the Col de Joue and 27km more up to the finish at Cervinia at the end of a 205km stage.”
Wankmeister predicts that by the time the 14th stage concludes, the Manx La-Z-Boy will be sipping tea and chomping donuts back home in the Isle of (Not Quite) Man. Bets, anybody?