Farewell old friend

June 24, 2011

They say that breakin’ up is hard to do.
Now I know, I know that it’s true.
Don’t say that this is the end.
Instead of breakin’ up,
I wish that
we were makin’ up again – Neil Sedaka

On my ride Wednesday morning, I flatted.  Again.  Since I was not under any time pressure, I took my time fixing my flat.  I thoroughly inspected my tire and found several small cuts.  This is not the first time I experienced this with my tires.  Looking below the tire at the street, I saw the culprit.  There are thousands of tiny “chips” that adorn almost every inch of road here in New Jersey.

I love riding in New Jersey.  The terrain is both challenging and beautiful.  The shoulders are wide and safe.  Within a few miles, I am riding up long sweeping hills and descending by beautiful horse farms.  The problem is that I can no longer trust the road beneath my wheels.

New Jersey has been run so poorly over the last several decades that there is absolutely no money left.  No other place shows this more than the road system.  Roads sit in disrepair until as a last resort, the chip and seal truck drops a coating of gravel as a desperate attempt to avoid any type of paving.

Taking a corner becomes a religious experience.  I pray before every one.  Now, I have to give up one of my favorite things.  My Vittoria tires.

To me, there are two choices of equipment that are very personal.  These are saddles and tires.  No one works for everyone.  For me, having my Vittoria Open Corsa Evo CX on my bike was like slipping on my favorite shoes.  They felt great.  Other tires felt like work boots but Vittoria’s felt like slippers.  Alas, with tires tickling the triple digit mark, I can’t afford this luxury any more.

I’m switching to another set of tires that I auditioned last season.  I tried a pair of Continental 4000 tires for a few months and they rode great.  They did not feel like they were custom-made just for me but they felt great.  More importantly, they survived the harsh roads here in NJ.

I almost bought the Vittoria Pave but just can’t take the chance right now.  I’d be interested in feedback from anyone who rides them.  So, until New Jersey paves some roads or until I move out of state, I’m a Continental man.  But I’ll never forget my first true love.


Quiet Period

June 24, 2011

Early in my career, I worked at a start-up software business that went public.  The process was very interesting.  First was the road show.  Senior executives travelled all over to potential investors strutting their stuff.  They tried to generate interest and get them interested in participating in the public offering.  “Bet on me and you’ll win!” was the message.  Much like the most recent road races.  The Tour de Suisse and the Dauphine were the road shows for riders looking to make a squad like Tom Danielson and for riders with designs on winning like Andy Schleck.

Tom Danielson may have done enough to get Jonathan Vaughters to bet on tommy with one of his 9 Tour de France slots.  I’m not sure if Andy’s road show was successful.

After the road show came the quiet period.  This was time for the potential investors and investment media to go away and deliberate on what they saw.  Companies can’t issue and financial data that could have an effect on analyst’s’ recommendations.  We are now in the pre Tour quiet period.  Time for the professional and amateur analysts to take what they saw and issue their recommendation.


Can Wiggo win the Tour?

June 17, 2011

The Criterium Du Dauphine is a popular tune up for the Tour de France.  However, while the roads are the same as in July, the racers are different.  The top riders tend to hold back lest they expend valuable energy in June that might be needed in July.  Thus is the new science of cycling.

So it was refreshing to see Bradley Wiggins defend his lead in the race.  He dug deep into his famed “Suitcase of Courage” to defend his lead over the past few days.  The question is was that at the expense of the Tour de France?  Did he really have a shot at a podium in Paris?  This should be a good backstory starting July 2nd.


On my signal, unleash hell!

April 2, 2011

The Colosseum was used by the emperors to show off their power, wealth and to support their popularity. The show was usually held for more than one day and it included comical acts, displays of exotic animals and fights to the death
between animals.  The games really bagan when the gladiators came out to play.

Paris-Nice was a good opening act.  The metal on metal sound you hear are the gladiators sharmening their sworda for their epic battle that begins with the Ronde van Vlaanderen  or the Tour of Flanders.  The spring season of cycling does not begin until the first wheel touches the first belgian cobble.  My wife has already locked up my credit cards because if left unattended, I will be on the phone with Rosetta Stone buying their Duch/Flemish program.

The protagonists are set.  Most are focusing on the top gladiator, Fabian Cancellara.  Others are wondering if the formet top gladiator, Tom Boonen,  has anything left in his sword.  I have to agree that until someone comes up through the ranks, these two veterans of the Colosseum are the two to beat.  Wisdom and strength are both needed this week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The course profile is the typical Flemish saw-tooth profile that will sap the strong yet foolinh leaving those who parse their energy standing for the final battle.


Start Spreading the News…

October 11, 2010

If I can ride it there

I can ride it anywhere

It’s up to you New York, New York – apologies to Old Blue Eyes.

Sometimes you give an ‘A’ for effort.  The Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer released his report on the state of bike lanes in Manhattan. It seems that there is enough blame to go around.  For our part, cyclists need to obey basic traffic rules.  Do not run red lights, ride on the sidewalk, or ride the wrong way down a street.  These three activities are never smart but in Manhattan?  Come on!  Even if most of these infractions are by messengers, we can do a little better to make NYC bike friendly.

Now for the big issues that Mr. Stringer is looking to change.

  • Lane blockages – including NYPD using bike lanes in non emergency situations to avoid traffic
  • Pedestrians in bike lane.
  • Dooring – big issue with taxis.

Mr. Stringer, you have my full support.  Here is the full report.

 

Dear Friend,

After receiving numerous constituent complaints, my office studied bike lane use in neighborhoods throughout Manhattan. The verdict was clear: while bike lanes bring a tremendous benefit to New York City, misuse by all parties— motorists, pedestrians and cyclists —undermines their success. Over 22 hours my staff observed more than 1,700 infractions ranging from motor vehicles driving through the lanes and pedestrian use to cyclists going the wrong direction.

Today I announced the results of this unprecedented study, entitled Respect the Bike Lane and Clear the Path, and proposed several key recommendations to improve bike lane safety including increased enforcement, a public education campaign on dooring, and reserving parking spots for deliveries along commercial streets to discourage potential bike lane blockages

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions on this or any other work my office is doing please do not hesitate to call 212.xxx.xxxx

Sincerely,

Scott M. Stringer
Manhattan Borough President


39 ticks of the clock.

July 27, 2010

I remember talking to someone who does Marketing for Major League Baseball. He mentioned that one challenge was to keep people talking baseball during the off season. That is why you see MVP and Cy Young awards as well as other activities in the dead of winter. Get people talking about your sport all year round. Well, I’ll give you 39 reasons we will be talking about cycling long after Mother Nature has our bikes up on rollers or trainers. That is the 39 seconds between Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck.

How can you not believe in a higher authority after this year’s tour. That 39 seconds can’t be a random coincidence. It has to be part of someone’s grand plan. That someone has one heck of a sense of humor. Attack, drop chain, replace chain, lose 39 seconds. Have the time trial of your career and lose by….39seconds. If the margin was 38 seconds in Paris then you may have some people griping. Have it be 40 seconds and the other side can say that the Stage 15 decision didn’t matter. But spot on 39 seconds? Both sides have the fuel for a long debate.


Contador, Menchov, and Snachez, expect a call from your mothers.

July 19, 2010

Character is doing the right thing when nobody’s looking.  There are too many people who think that the only thing that’s right is to get by, and the only thing that’s wrong is to get caught.  ~J.C. Watts

Well Alberto, you got caught.  I have always been a fan of your ability.  I rooted for you when it seemed that your whole team worked against you last year.  Unfortunately, today your career may have been defined by one classless move. 

Ironic isn’t it.  Lance Armstrong who is known for breaking an opponent physically and mentally could not get into your head.  Then some kid from Luxemburg who by most accounts is a happy-go-lucky kid forced you to make a completely classless move.  You, Menchov and Sanchez took advantage of a situation that you were honor bound to uphold.  Odds are you could have taken Andy in the Time Trial.  I guess you could not wait.

I am reminded of a Shakespearean quote.

Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none. 

Also, own up to your actions to say “When I launched my attack, I was not aware of the incident. When I was told about it, we had a solid lead and we were going full gas.”  Passing a guy dressed in yellow bent over his chain is kind of hard to miss.


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