I have changed my mind on radios

December 28, 2008

2008-radio-blog-790880I used to think that raidos should be banned by professional cycling.  I watched too much technology ruin tennis, and take a big bite out of golf.  Then I had an Epiphany.  First, a little background.

You all know my passion.  My wife, Beth shares a passion for cooking.  I know very little about the art but definitely enjoy the end product of her labor.  The other day, we were in countdown to the arrival of guests for dinner.  I had just finished cleaning and noticed Beth running a bit behind.  I then offered to go to the food store for her.  Normally, this is a task that even I can perform with a high level of accuracy.  The only time I get tripped up is in the tomato isle trying to understand why there can be so many different varieties of canned tomatoes. 

So, I grab the list and head out.  When I arrived at Wegmans, I took my first good look at the shopping list.  There were things on there that I had no clue existed much less where to find them.  While I knew I was operating well above my pay grade, I was determined to get the job done successfully.  I asked store clerks as well as knowledgeable-looking shoppers.   I had found almost everything on the list without having to call back to the team car.

I finally realized I was up against superior competition so I needed to talk strategy with our Directeur Sportif.  Having too many objects in my hands, I bulled out my headset and called back to the team car.  The directeur talked me through the remainder of the shopping experience.  I don’t know what I would have done without the little voice in my head.


I know have a new appreciation for radios.


A stroll down memory lane

December 22, 2008

” You’ll look back on this and laugh”  is an expression that is true but always delivered at the most inappropriate time.  I had such a laugh while working in the basement this morning.  After doing some pre holiday assembly, I cleaned up the trash from my project.  That led to cleaning off my little work bench of various items that once had some useful purpose.  Out went some old cleat parts, shims, and several retired toothbrushes that served well as surrogate chain brushes.

Finally, I opened a few boxes to look at the contents for possible disposal.  There they were forgotten for many years.  An old pair of Look pedals.  These pedals probably weigh more than most bikes these days.  These pedals have a story that can now be told.

One day many, many years ago, my wife made a comment that she might like to take a ride with me sometime.  So excited was I that I immediately took her bike out, cleaned the dust off, cleaned and re-lubed everything.  I even replaced the tires which had begun to dry rot.  When buying the tires at the shop, I saw a pair of Look pedals on clearance.  I bought those too with some shoes also on sale.  I mean, she wants to ride, right?  Clipless pedals enhance the riding experience?  Right?

I mapped out the flattest course I could so we could enjoy our couple’s ride. Mimimal traffic, trees, singing birds, right out of a Disney movie.  Since we had skied a few times, I figured clipping in and out would be a natural movement for her to learn.  A quick lesson confirmed that and off we went.

We chatted as we began to roll out of our development.  We came to the stop sign at the end and I saw it all in slow motion.  The wobble, the tipping, the fall.  A neighbor leaving the development just happened to arrive at the worst moment possible.  “Are you all right?”  “Yes” was the response and the neighbor sped away.  I can’t describe the look I was given.  Maybe Stephen King can.  “Get these #*^%&#@ things off my bike.”

I tried to explain that getting used to clipless pedals took a little time.  No response.  I tried to encourage her to push on and finish the ride.  Nope.  On the way back, I said she would look back on this and laugh.  Another Stephen King look.  I replaced the pedals and put the bike back in storage.  We have since had kids and have gone out with them a few times but no more husband and wife outings. 

Do you think she’d like a Tandem?

I must admit, I like it

December 21, 2008

Schedenfreude [shahd-n-froi-duh] –noun satisfaction or pleasure felt at someone else’s misfortune

This is the time when I get reacquainted with with cycling videos.  I switch between cycling.tv, old World Cycling videos, and even movies such as Breaking Away.  These are an attempt to both distract myself from the doldrums of the trainer and to motivate me while working out in my basement.

I have to admit I have been really enjoying Bob Roll’s video, Crash.  Watching famous mishaps in some of my famous races appeals to par tof me that I am reluctant to admit exists.  I mean, come on, who doesn’t remember Abdu hitting the barrier, the photographer stepping in front of Giuseppe Guerini, or the huge pileup on stage 1 of the 2003 Tour de France.


If you want to break up those old videos, this is a must add. Bobke, Thanks!

I hate this time of year

December 19, 2008

It’s the most wonderful time of the year
With the kids jingle belling
And everyone telling you “Be of good cheer”
It’s the most wonderful time of the year
It’s the hap-happiest season of all
With those holiday greetings and gay happy meetings
When friends come to call
It’s the hap- happiest season of all – Andy Williams

For many, this is the season of joy.  An internal glow begins around Thanksgiving and continues to grow until the New Year dawns.  For me, it signals doom.  Why?  I’ll give you the reason.

The Trainer

Sometime during late fall, daylight is too short to accommodate both work and cycling.  Then the weekends begin to get progressively cooler.  Then the realization hits.  I have not really ridden in a while.  That must mean (cue music) It is time for the trainer.  There are two seasons.  Cycling season and Trainer season.


Take the bike to the basement.  Remove the rear skewer and replace with the trainer skewer.  Playing over and over in my head is Doug Hutchinison’s character from The Green Mile saying. “Walking the mile, walking the mile.”

I’ve tried to decorate my cell with items that remind me about life on the outside.  I have videos to pass the time.  A bird in a guilded cage is still a captive  and he knows it.

Time to start counting the days until Cycling season starts again.