Archive for July 2010

More Vindicated Daily

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

As regular scanners of my ‘e’ musings no doubt gather, I love my cycling passionately but I do get both incensed and disappointed with the softness that is creeping into what I’ve always considered, the world’s hardest sport. In comparison to pro-cycling days not so long gone, the riders have more crutches than a busload of Tiny Tim clones. Hey, they actually all do have buses to relax in now. The backseats of the Euro compact cars are long gone.

As the title infers, I again feel vindicated for my grumpy opinions with yesterday’s quote from Carlos Sastre:

“Whoever wants to start debating or raising controversy about this matter can do so freely.”  “I’ve fallen in this Tour, I fell in the Italian Giro d’Italia, I’ve had technical problems and no-one ever waited for me.

“I think we’re turning cycling into a sport for spoilt brats and that is what happens in these kinds of circumstances.”

Choice words by a great rider! I hope some of it sinks into those that would whine. Bike racing is the most beautifully elegant sport in the world, full of drama, action, suffering and emotion. Let us hope the hard edge comes back to “Le Club Brat Vitesse”….at least until I depart this earth and won’t have to hear/see it.

One more rant before I bolt. I saw yet another Cervelo ad today whist viewing today’s stage. This was one about how one size fits all. Wot a load of bollocks! Idiotic drivel of how “men and women are just the same shape and women’s only bikes are just marketing spin.” Tell that to my 5′8″ girlfriend with a 34″ inseam, 20″ femur as she’s looking at my 5′9″ statue supported by a 31″ inseam with 16.75″ thighs. Same seat angle huh?….and forget about the impossible top tube length difference.  Guess I should have learned more about marketing instead of wasting all that time learning a lifetime of fast, efficient biking. Oh well….too late now…..still, most times I do enjoy “bein’ a chicken hawk, see!”

 

 

Classic Cunninghams

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

I thought it might be fun to put up a few pictures of some older Cunningham bikes I built 8-12 years ago. There a couple of these older steel steeds in the shop right now and I thought I’d post some pictures of them. They give a good example of what I used to do including the Reynolds 853 classic lugged style and the fillet-brazed Columbus Foco with carbon stay construction. Actually the candy red one in the photo I built for myself and have yet to try it out. Must do that someday.

Check out the Gallery for a few more images of these classic bikes.

AVR bow 1003
AVR bow 997

I confess I do love any classic bike and I’ve always been a big steel fan (that’s why I love the Deda scandium so much…feels like steel on amphetamines).

Apologizing for winning?

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

I guess the world can always use more manners seeing as how so much of society seems to be degenerating around us but, what is with Contador having to go on YouTube and apologize for trying to win the most significant bike race in the world? Its not like he caused the problem.

Cycling is supposed to be a hard sport. Its a hard sport involving machines. Machines fail. Should he have also have slowed down and/or apologized if Schleck punctured too? Do GP drivers slow down when their competition has a mechanical?….no. Do sailors stop racing if the windward boat tears a sail…no. Did Thevenet stop when Merckx got punched in the stomach by some idiot French spectator during the 1975 Tour….no…..and this event had a very real effect on Eddy’s loss to Thevenet that year.

Even at my lower level of racing throughout the years I’ve been on both sides of fortune. Chasing down a fleeting group after being on the wrong side of a crash, or putting it in a bigger gear when one of the key riders flats. That’s bike riding. Guess what…not everybody is a winner.

Pro’s are paid to win races. Look at all the sit in sprint specialists who think nothing of never going to the front except during the last 200 metres of a race.

Sometimes makes me mental this wimpy world we seem to be living in.

Anyway, I still think this is the best Tour I’ve seen in years!!

Ryder’s right!

Friday, July 16th, 2010

After today’s stage and seeing how aggressive Ryder Hesjedal continues to be, anyone with an understanding of what it takes to be a good bike rider has to impressed.

As a rider that is not considered a star, he knows he has to take chances with his energy reserves and flail himself in attempts to get ahead. This in opposition to what the predictable stars can do by being a lot more calculating and reserved with their efforts. The big boys can dole it out at select moments.

Reading Ryder’s comments vis-a-vis his riding tactics, he absolutely knows that big aggression on his part is needed for his career and his results to go forward. He knows there is no real point of saving himself because the bigger guns are indeed bigger guns. What’s he got to lose? A 22 rimfire can knock out a 44 magnum if used correctly and he is proving himself so well in this Tour.

I’m especially impressed because he hails from my home province of British Columbia where (unless there are some good out-of-towners in the race) the racing is so negative and non-aggressive with most riders happy to be big fish in a little puddle. It never ceases to amaze me how the local racers can’t seem to figure out that they are never going to be any good unless they start racing as opposed to saving themselves for the sprint or suchlike. Bernie Hinault once said something to the effect, ” As long as I can breathe, I attack”. Apparently his credo worked for him because he won a few races in his life.

So, wankers of the bike racing world take note. You want to be a good racer?….keep hammering off the front until the string finally breaks. Yes you too can be a hero.

For those riders that simply enjoy their sport cycling, don’t be afraid to kick it up a cog or two on the hills and hurt like a madman for a bit. What’s the worst that will happen? Maybe you’ll blow before the top but maybe you won’t next time.