Break out the black armbands. The Governor is not calling.

March 27, 2009

Cue Mozart’s Requiem

Imagine you were a die hard football fan living in Canton OH, or a baseball fan living in Cooperstown, NY.  What would you do if you heard the hall of fame was leaving your home town and no one cared enough to stop it.  That’s how I feel today.

The US Bicycle hall of fame is leaving my home town of Somerville, NJ.  Sources here say it is 90% certain that it will head for Greensboro North Carolina.  Either way, I feel like my heart just got ripped out.  

Ever since my children were born, we had a tradition of attending the oldest bicycle race in the US, The Tour of Somerville.  Part of the day included a stop at the Hall of Fame.  I would walk my kids around looking at all the memorabilia in the building.  When my daughter was 6 years old she pointed at the framed rainbow jersey and squealed “Mario Cippollini!”  

We would make a donation walk right out onto Main Street to watch the action.  The Hall had to move from that storefront.  A victim of progress that claimed the all the stores in the vicinity.  In its place a new modern shopping hub would provide the Hall of Fame it’s proper place.  In fact, there was even talk of a velodrome.  Sadly, the builder became a victim too.  One of endless lawsuits with the town and ultimately the economy.  For the past two years, the shopping center sits behind yellow tape an empty shell.

The Hall suffered from an out of sight out of mind syndrome and funding slowed to a trickle.  That’s when the bids went out for a new home.  Several NJ towns stepped up and made, in my opinion, half hearted attempts to save this piece of NJ history.  The state refused to step in and that was that.

I’ll still go to the Tour of Somerville until that becomes the Tour of Somewhere Else.  Now all I have of NJ is the highest US taxes, highest US unemployment, and the Turnpike.



March 25, 2009

Crash of Lance Armstrong in Vuelta Castilla y Leon

Yes, While places like Facebook and Twitter get all the press, the leader in the Web 2.0/user media space continues to be YouTube

Lance to have surgery

March 25, 2009

In a testament to the immediacy of social media, Lance Armstrong announced via Twitter that his fracture was not a clean break and he is forced to undergo the knife at 7am this morning (Austin time)

  1. Good morning. Ready to get this over with. “Higs” (my manager) will update when it’s over and keep y’all updated.(Approx 8am this morning Eastern Time)


  2. At home finally. Whew. Long coupla days. Surgery at 7am tomorrow.(Approx 1am last night Eastern Time)


  3. Getting a CT scan now.(Approx 11pm last night Eastern Time)


  4. At the doc’s office. I guess it wasn’t such a “clean” fracture after all. Bummer.(Approx 11pm last night Eastern Time)


  5. Back in austin. Headed to the doctor’s office.(Approx 9pm last night Eastern Time)
  6. Back in the good ol’ U S of A. (Approx 6pm last night Eastern Time)

Reuters and the AP can’t match this kind of coverage.  This shows that a silly application like Twitter can have tremendous implications as a real-time news source.  Who would have thought.

UPDATE: 9:49am Eastern 

About to head in. See y’all in a few. Livestrong.


Lance ready for surgery from Lance Armstrong via twitpic.

Lance ready for surgery from Lance Armstrong via twitpic.

Lance injured in a crash

March 23, 2009

Well I’m sorry to disappoint those who thought Lance was some sort of immortal.  I mean, he beat cancer then won 7 Tours de France without touching asphalt, or even suffering a inopportune flat.  In 2003, he lost over 12 pounds of water becoming dehydrated.  Even dehydrated, be beat all but one rider.  He also beat them all by the time the race hit Paris.

Lest you think his feats were confined to the bike.  He ignighted a world wide phenomenon by wearing a simple yellow bracelet.  And to cap it off, Lance regained his fertility and in expecting a child in June.  Surely he is not like us.  The laws of nature do not apply.

One law apparently does.  The laws of physics.  Specifically gravity.  Today, Lance showed us that he is, in fact, human. In today’s Vuelta Castilla y Leon, Lance engaged in a battle with gravity.  This time, gravity won.  It also seems that his bones do break as he may have broken his collarbone.

What does this mean?  Well in typical Lance fashion, he may come out on top.  I believe he started the season focusing on the Giro.  He was setting himself up for a selfless role helping Alberto Contador win the Tour.  Most folks feel Alberto is the better rider.

When Contador blew up at Paris-Nice, Lance must have seen the door open to being The Boss of the Tour once again.  But one problem remained.  How to back out of the Giro.  

Now no one would fault him if he came to the Giro in less than peak form.  Injuries always force a rider to readjust their calendar.  So this may delay peak form from May-June until July.  How unfortunate.

Winter hiatus is over

March 21, 2009

“Hey, let’s be careful out there”  Sgt. Phil Esterhaus Hill Street Blues 1981

 – Montagues vs. Capulets

 – Hatfields vs. McCoys

 – Army vs. Navy

 – Road Cyclists vs. Motorists

Every winter, the long standing feud goes dormant.  Road cyclists become few and far between.  During that time, the roads are dominated by cars.  As the days get longer and the weather warmer, you start seeing the return of two-wheeled, human-powered vehicles onto the roads.  While the swallows return to Capistrano are welcome, road cyclists are not given the same embrace.  In fact, the treatment is closer to that of the Canade Goose, that a swallow.

Winter, as measured by the lack of cyclists, is around 4 – 5 months in duration.  This is long enough for the average driver to reclaim dominance on the roads and forget what it is like to live in harmony with other road riding creatures.  Then the first few cyclists return and dormant aggressive feelings start to return. 

From a cyclist’s point of view, the first few rides are not ones that are remembered for fluidity and gracefulness.  After months on the trainer, the balance is less than perfect.  Combine that with the poor conditions of the road along with left over sand from previous snows and you have a cyclist who may be a little less predictable by a motorist than normal. 

Over the past few days, I’ve already had a season worth of close calls.  Most are due to simple preoccupation with all the issues of the world and not seeing the lycra clad rider in front.  That I can live with.  We need to retrain our brains to place cyclists onto the radar screen along with deer and other non-automobiles that may occupy asphalt.  It’s the agressive, “You do not belong here attitude”  that is already in full swing.  Hard honks, speeding up to pass in order to take a hard right in front of my wheel, passing so close I can feel the side view mirror on the hairs of my arm.  These are a little over the top. 

This morning after another encounter, I came home to Good Morning America on the TV.  The show was running a weekly segment where you use three words to make a statement about yourself or what you believe.  You express yourself with a video.  I will use a picture to share three words with you.  I’ve added a fourth at the bottom.