Monthly Archives: October 2015

Lance Bomb

Sometimes I have nothing happening so I’ll comment on current events. I was thinking about putting this up on Facebook but I decided not to and only share with who reads this thing.

 I always get a lot of comments when I mention Lance. Lots of opinions. Mostly bad. That’s understandable. Did you watch LA’s Oprah interview in 2012? He admits to doping but that’s as far as he would go. I still follow with whats all happening. Not sure why, mostly curious I guess.

Now he’s in a Federal court under oath and getting asked a lot of questions. And I think a lot of bombs will drop on some people because of it, whether good or bad. This one dropped on Bill Ochowicz currently of BMC. Of course he denies it but others have come out to confirm.

So now the SCA has settled to the tune of 10M and now Floyd Landis’s turn to get his pile of money on the whistleblower case. Im sure he will get his share.

But I tell you what…. there are a lot of riders and team directors who are shaking in their boots hoping their names do not come up while Lance is on the stand. Early on Lance did not name names unless he was forced to. Now he is forced to and some very high prominent icons in cycling both in the past and current will come out in the wash. Im sure a lot of them are friends of his.

When Tygard went after Lance and got him, not directly but with everyone else tattling on him in turn getting a reduced sentence, I knew nothing good was to come of this. But I have two views.

One is that the cycling world will take a huge hit. All faith in its athletes and the sport in general will be damaged to or near the point of no return. I always said finding these guys so far after the fact will hurt the sport and not help it. And I don’t mean in today’s peloton, I mean ten years ago. Why bring ten years ago to light, how about the guys today?

But on the other hand maybe a house cleaning from the bottom up will work out in the long run. Go back 10 years and move forward? I think that could have worked but they lost before they started when they gave the whistleblowers a meager 6 month downtime. Timed to start in the off season. But it did not matter cuz they now have Lance where Tygard wanted him. Good job. Now what? I think we are in the “long run” period now.

Are things better? Is doping done or at least less? I say none of the above.

With almost the entire Astana team getting popped at one time or another, still racing. And on our side of the fence we get Tommy D getting red flagged this summer. While TD is innocent unless proven, I have not heard a lot about that positive test. Swept under the rug? TD just rides off into the sunset never to be heard of again? Last seen tooling up and down Mt Lemmon?

And how about this dude. Busted after a Grand Fondo. What the hell? I thought Grand Fondo’s were just really fast group rides? But there are winners and losers?

So this stuff is happening today, right now. In our own backyard. The Lance effect has no power here. It’s all for naught as far as I’m concerned. So much time and effort being spent on Lance. Millions of dollars. Everyone thought Lance getting busted was going to be the turning point in cycling.

Not just cycling. What about other sports? Football, baseball, any ball. Track and field. I heard somewhere the cross country skiing athletes are rampant. Maybe because I only pay attention to cycling I don’t hear about the others.

I guess my thought here all along is why spend so much time on one guy who is old when there are others today. And maybe we’ll find out why in the next few months as LA spills his guts. So far Andreu has doped way more than he admitted. There’s a shocker. Let’s talk about Frank and Betsy a little.

Betsy Andreu has made it her life’s mission to do what she can to make LA lifes miserable and really her constant comments have no real effect. I get it. Lance had a big secret to hide and went to great lengths to keep it that way. Called her names. Lots of names for years. How terrible for her. So now it seems she was right all along. Will she get whistleblower money?  I’m not sure. But it seems her husband might be lying about the amount of doping he did in his career. Im sure she has no problem keeping her mouth shut about that.

I think I’m rambling here a bit. And I did have a point I wanted to make. I’m not a Lance fan at all. I was very disappointed when the truth came out.

My opinion on this has not changed. Here’s a post I did just before Lance got handed his sentence.

I think at this point in time the doping brigade should be concentrating on the Tommy D’s of this world and not the Lances.


Gravel Bike? Cross Bike?

This gravel bike thing is weird. When manufacturers came out with these I just said these are cross bikes. I ignored the genre cuz I thought it was just a rebranding of the cyclocross bike. Well, regardless of what I think this bike has a market now. A market that I don’t understand but a market nonetheless.

Cross\road\gravel bike

At least 4 guys in our riding group have gotten a “gravel” bike from a brand I do not sell. These bikes are road looking, road “relaxed” geometry bikes that fit fat road tires.

So Ive got it figured out now. These are cross bikes for those who will not ride a cross bike in the woods. Sort of a “pure roadie” cross bike.

Really a good cross bike is meant for cross racing. Nimble for tight twisting turns, a very high top tube for shouldering so the geometry is in that favor. Wheels bases and bottom bracket heights are different on a good cross bike. Than a road bike I mean.

So enter the gravel bike. The frames have none of the attributes that a cross frame is meant for. It truly is a road bike with fat tires. Relaxed geometry. And I kinda get it now after riding the Trek Boone as a road bike this summer. I mean really it was more a gravel bike than a cross bike at that point with bigger road tires and aero wheels. I never took it off road at all in that configuration. So take the fatter tires and disc brakes and put it on a road only geometry frame and that’s a gravel bike. Chain ring sizes are a bit different than a road bike too. More cross bikeish. Smaller overall.

Or some call them an “adventure” bike. But Im not so sure how much adventure you can have on the road. Maybe a little.

So.. my main brand, Trek, does not have a gravel bike. Not yet. I think maybe they sit back a bit to see what was going to happen with this. And I think this is a genre of bike that will sell. Its new and it has that target consumer. I would call that guy a rider who likes to have fast looking bikes but want a smoother ride when they are riding solo. No way would they bring the heavier slower bike to a high end group ride. They have their $10k rocket for that.

But for just tooling around on a slower more comfortable road bike this will fit the bill. I picture those riders a bit older than the average. Kinda like me I guess. I played out that exact scenario with the Boone this summer. So Im on the same page as those guys in our group that just bought these bikes. These are the same guys who would not buy a cross bike. But did buy a gravel bike.

Trek does not have any in their lineup yet but I also sell Raleigh and they do.

Heres one Im getting for stock.

Its looks like a road bike. Huge 40c tires. Hydro disc. Its a very fun looking bike. Nice specs.

But what does this bike give me that a Trek Boone cross bike does not? Besides small geometry differences, nothing.

So why am I getting one for the floor? Because there is a market for these road bikes. Personally I would “roadie” out a cross bike if I had the choice between the two. And I do have a choice. But not everybody does. While I still think its splitting hairs between gravel and cross it’s a hair that has been split.

 Last nites night ride had almost 20 bikes. Huge turnout. That will dwindle to half that once the temps turn. And that’s right around the corner. Weather dudes said maybe some snowflakes tonite. I say bring it.


Bike Fit Fail

Yes, I did miss a day. It happens. Busy Monday morn.

Saturday morn was a pretty big washout. 40 degrees and rain. So I passed on the morning ride but I did grab the pink bike and rode home after work. Took the long way for a 40 min ride.

Then on Sunday I also grabbed a bit over 20 miles in the morning before I took the grandkids to the pumpkin farm.


Ive had this bike for over 10 years now and riding it the last two times has felt terrible in its current configuration. This bike gets built with whatever I have laying around most of the time so I don’t put a lot of thought on fit since its a winter bike anyway but I had all that I could take to just do the 20 miles Sunday. I need changes.

I have the one piece bar\stem that I have been running for years but the fork has such a short steer tube that its just too low for me now. I think the cranks are 175mm and my knees felt that ongoing. With my bad knees Im going to go with 165mm cranks from now on. For real. I’ll have to get a stem\bar combo to lift up the bar a bit. I guess Im not getting any younger. But that steertube is so short the stem is practically slammed on the bike.

And the bike is maybe 12 years old. Just old geometry I guess. Its just when you come off a summer of one bike and the next one does not have the seat\bar\pedals even close to where your used to.

Maybe I just need to ride it more and let my body acclimate. I hate doing that. Or do I spend more money on stuff to help out my issue. I’ll ride it a couple more times and if I don’t feel better I change things. Or just order a new bike for this winter.

Tuesday nite ride tonite. On the Farley so no fit issues there.


Loud Lake

Huge east wind has the lake roaring this morn. You can hear it a half mile away. I remember when I lived 100 yards from the lake I would leave my window open a crack, even in winter to hear the lake. Pretty awesome. And this is the first time I uploaded a video to this website. I did some online stuff before but never one of my own. Again to show the sound of the lake. Its pretty easy to do.

Also on the way back from the park I saw a young eagle flying past. I jumped out of the car and this is the best shot I got. It all happened in about 15 seconds. It takes several years for them to get the white head and tail. Seeing young ones is a good sign.

Crappy pic but I had mere seconds.

Today is Friday and I did plan a ride this morn but cooler temps, high winds , no sun and no ambition added up to no ride. I hope to get in an hour tomorrow before work. Im alone all weekend in the store. The last few days also. Its such a bummer when its dark when I go home now. The last dark hour in the store is long, even if I have something to do. Soon will be daylites savings day. Pretty much the worst day of the year for me. Dark at 430pm soon. Bummer.

The leaves are still hanging on. Its past peak and less than 50% remain but they are still there. How fast the seasons come and go. Yesterday the woods was pretty awesome on my morning MTB ride. Sunny with temps ultimately in the 50’s before I was done. With all the leaves on the ground now I was glad to have the 4in tires and wheels back on. Just less chance of me hitting the ground and at my age that’s quite the good thing. I already have the 29+ wheelset sold and I have to ship today.

So after three years Ive finally started my idea to have a spin\fitness room upstairs in our storage room. In the summer this room is filled with repair bikes and stuff. In the winter I always wanted to turn it into some kind of spinning facility to try and make a few winter bucks during that downtime.


So this fall I had the carpet put in, getting a coat of paint. I have 15 fluid trainers with mats coming. Its going to be a bring your own bike deal. I will have a big screen set up on the wall.  Playing some specific spinning videos along with other stuff. Maybe spin and a movie. Maybe get some internet for it and watch some bike races. Whatever.

It a nice room for it with an outside door to use if needed. Anyway, Im shooting for a mid Nov start. Lots of work to do yet. Getting some scaffolding to finish the painting. Its an ongoing project so Im sure you will hear of it again.

Get outside this weekend.