220, 221 whatever it takes.

April 22, 2008

 Jeff:  Guys don’t judge things other guys do. It’s separate from the friendship.  That’s the code that guys live by.  That’s Guy Code.

Audrey:  So with Guy Code you can excuse any bad behavior just to go to a sky box?

Jeff:  It was invented by guys.

Audrey:  You know if Katie were an old friend, I’d tell her. I just don’t know her that well.

Jeff:  Even if you did, you couldn’t.

Audrey:  Why not?

Jeff:  Because Ray told me and Guy Code demand that it go no further .

Audrey:  But you told me

Jeff:  I’m allowed to because of Marriage Code

Audrey:  That doesn’t make any sense

Jeff:  It makes perfect sense. Guy Code and Marriage Code can intersect. The information I gave you is covered primarily under Guy Code so again, you can’t tell Katie.

Audrey:  What about Woman Code.

Audrey:  Don’t make me laugh.

Rules of Engagement 2007

Ladies, if you read further, you may suffer feelings of confusion.  That’s because this post may not make sense or may remind you of behavior you recognized with the man in your life.  If you need interpretation, please ask your spouse, friend, or any man close by.  He will clearly understand this post but you will not understand his explanation anyway.

I have a good friend John who recently asked me of my thoughts on the Garmin Edge 305. Initially, I pointed him to a review over at the Suitcase of Courage blog.  The post was objective, well researched, and well written.  The exact answer to his question. Most conversations end there.  For me, that was the beginning.

I now knew John was in the market for a fairly high end cyclometer.  So I immediately started to talk him into the Garmin Edge 705.  The 705 runs about $200 – $250 more. What do you get for that money? Besides a color screen, not much.

You see, that is exactly the point.  Could I shame, him into buying the most expensive cycle computer on the market? Once you lay out the $350, there is no going back.  Do you really want to look at that monochrome screen and think.  “What if?” or “I should have.”

You see, my motives are simple.  They can be summed up in two simple objectives.

  1. Can I cause a conversation that begins with “Well it sounded like a good idea at the time.” or “But Jim said”
  2. Make myself look good by comparison. “Well, at least I didn’t go out and spend that kind of money like John.”

But you may wonder why I would want John to have a better toy than me? Isn’t the Boys with Toys thing a big deal? Exactly.  With his purchase, I can lay the foundation here at home.  I can remark at all the cool things the Garmin can do.  How cycling is my one real passion in life.  Then I’ll be prepared for the Garmin 706! No doghouse included!

Ha! Take that John. Mine can do everything yours can AND it can tell time simultaneously in Monte Carlo, Beverly Hills, London, Paris, Rome, and Gstaad.


Back in the square

April 20, 2008

Did you ever have a friend that no matter how long you were apart, you seemed to just pick right up where you left off?  That’s the feeling around the square.  It is hard to believe that it has been 7 months almost to the day since we broke camp.

We have resumed our spots for the final time as the Floyd Landis Conclave enters its final session. 

Having learned from the last conclave that 10 days may not be 10 days, we have all brought plenty of supplies for an extended vigil.  As mentioned by Rant, it could be June before the doors open and we hear “Habemus Judicum!” for the last time.

Book Review

April 18, 2008

The conclusion of the Civil War marked the beginning of the cycling’s golden age.  Races and racers captivated the United States public.  Decades before Jackie Robinson broke Baseball’s color barrier there was Major Taylor.

About a year ago, during Black History month, my 10 year old son chose to write about a champion cyclist named Major Taylor. I was so moved by the essay that, with his permission, I posted it here. I had not heard of Major Taylor which saddened me to know that such a presence on the international sports scene had been forgotten.  Now comes a book that documents the life of this exceptional cyclist.

Todd Balf’s Major: A Black Athlete, A White Era, and the Fight to be the World’s Fastest Human Being documents that lost era of cycling and the heroes that were lost with it.  What makes this a fascinating book is that it is not about cycling, race, post civil war reconstruction.  And yet it is. 

Balf uses all of these lenses to tell us about an era of our Nation’s history which does not take up a lot of space in history books.  During this time, there was a perfect storm for cycling.  The advent of the pneumatic tube, lightweight bikes, bad roads, good lights, a public craving competition all led to the explosion of track racing. 

From the 1870’s to just after the turn of the century, the bicycle ruled the sporting world.  Balf captures this era with an easy style that follows Major Taylor’s life from his youth in Indianapolis to his ascendancy to the world stage. 

Every good story nees a villan which came from the Virginia-born Floyd McFarland. Each man pushed the other to new heights.  In the end, Major Taylor transcended sport to become a role model for generations to come.

I hope you read this fascinating book that revives a lost era and a lost hero.

I’m Back

April 16, 2008

I know I have taken a couple of sabbaticals in the last six months.  This one by far is the longest.  But I have an excuse, I promise.  Contributing to the delay has been some behind the scenes work that has allowed my to put my money where my mouth is. 

Anyone who reads this blog knows that I am passionate about the sport of cycling.  It is the most beautiful sport on the planet and it has withstood several years of non stop assualt.  While I think we have turned a corner, the sport is at a severe low in public opinion.  Therefore, I needed to do my part to help rebuild this sport.

Please note, my contribution is minimal at best.  I can’t let that stop me from doing anything I can.  Since the beginning of the year, I have been giving whatever help I can to several good people.  From trying to find a sponsor for a major ProTour race in Europe, helping a ProTour team get in contact with US sponsors to helping a great race continue to grow.

That great race is the Great River Energy Bicycle Festival.  aka The Nature Valley Grand Prix.  This race showcases what is great in cycling.  The folks putting on this race have done a lot of innovative things to broaden the appeal of cycling.  Look at the race design.  It does not try to replicate a classic European stage race.  It also does not run away from the appeal of European racing.  They have blended the best of European cycling stage races with American cycling stalwarts like the criterium.  This has created a race that is challenging to the riders as well as friendly to fans of all knowledge levels.

To bring in fans even more, they have done things like have volunteerswalk around in brightly colored shirts saying “Ask Me About Cycling” How many times have you increased a friends enjoyment of the Tour de France by explaining a simple concept like drafting. 

This year, the race wanted to use more social networking tools such as blogging.  Here is where I hoped to add a very small amount of help. This year, the Nature Valley Grand Prix has instituted two blogs.  The first is the Your Cycling blog sponsored by TRIA Orthopaedic group. This is a great Cycling 101 blog.  The second is for us race junkies.  It is called Pro Cycling Minnesota and has contributor list that is the who’s who of US cycling both men and women.

The design and content are the work of smart and dedicated people. Check it out, comment, join the discussion by adding your insights.  Show our future fans what kind of a community we are.

Oh, and buy Nature Vallley granola bars.  Tell them cycling sent you.