Sunday, July 31, 2011

I guess the party's really over....

Well, go ahead and turn off the lights. Wow....I went from the total AWESOMENESS / MADNESS of le Tour to this complete cycling void in seemingly .2 seconds flat. I always realize during the race that the end is coming, and it's always a depressing thought...however it just seems even more-so this year for some reason. For me maybe it's because the Tour was the only race I saw all year (on TV I mean...I WAS able to go to a few ToC stages in person which was totally cool, but it's not the same). In previous years I'd watched the entire season starting in Jan with the Tour Down Under, and by the time the TDF ended I was ok, as I'd had my fill. Only this year I just got started and now it's over. Sure, there are more races...and I hear Universal will be showing the Vuelta...but it just seems that everything after July is just so anticlimactic.

I wonder how the riders react...certainly they of all people realize how NOT over the season is after the tour....but I wonder how it feels for those pro's who weren't included in the Tour squads? Do they watch it on TV like the rest of us? Sure there are some other races going on (not that the rest of the world is aware)...and after the Tour there are all the races that try their best to get the tour winners to show up. Why, we even have Cadel and his BMC squad showing up here in the US for the brand-new Tour of Colorado! And quite possibly both the Schlecks too...THAT will be pretty impressive and a great way to kick off a new race!

On a personal note, I did my 'usual' weekend road-ride yesterday moaning, and once again have to face up to my annual post-tour slump (due to NOT logging enough miles during July). It happens every year, and was readily apparent once-again yesterday. My LIVESTRONG event was on the 10th this year, and after that it was ALL TDF ALL the time (or so it seemed). I felt pretty good going out, but was fast running out of gas on the way home at the 2nd climb, and by the top of that I was minutes down from my time of just a few weeks ago, and by the time I got home I was almost 10 minutes slow. Strange how I just seem to yo-yo along all year in my riding-fitness. I just find it hard to stay motivated to put in the hours sometimes, and the worst is when I have no goal to push for. And that's where I stand big rides coming up to worry about. I'd love to ride Levi's Grand Fondo up in Santa Rosa in October, but it would kill me as it's just too hard of a ride. The 107 miles with a lowly 4000' of climbing left my neck sore for a week after...and the Grand Fondo would be SUBSTANTIALLY more than that.

And so...I enter the last third of another ever-so-short summer with nothing pressing on the horizon. And I just don't know what to do about it. I guess I could scour the cycling sites and look for something fairly close that I could ride in a reasonable time (around 5 to 6 hours riding time is about all my neck can bear)...but I can do that right from my door anytime I want. That in a nutshell is the crux of my problem. How to motivate myself to ride even when I don't need to. I'm a fair-weather cyclist. I LOVE to ride...when it's decent weather I mean. When it's foggy and chilly (or WINDY), I look outside and suddenly feel lazy. I'd rather sit back and suck down coffee and chill in front of the TV rather than go out into the crappy weather. I guess I'm just quite spoiled. I don't have 'real' my definition of lousy weather is somewhat lame compared to most.

Oh well...guess I'll kick back and have a beer and think about this dilemma of mine. And watch some TV. Seems like a reasonable thing to do.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Final thoughts, 2011 TDF

WOW. It's over. FINALLY! That is SO very bittersweet. On the one hand, it feels like it's been going on for months now (so long that I FORGOT yesterday that Cadel HAD won a stage...four I think?) Or maybe it wasn't how long ago it was rather than my complete lack of short-term memory.

What was I talking about?

OH thoughts.

1. NO VIDEO WHATSOEVER of Fabian's TT ride? EXCUSE ME??? FABIAN??? The guy who was  a REAL threat to WIN it? INEXCUSABLE!

2. PIP. They can do it when they are talking to the team-car...why not for the REST of the race? If this comes from the French TV, well, then they need to wake-up to the 1990's and realize that they CAN show both the breakaway AND the peleton, or even 3 screens when there's multiple chase groups. I don't care WHAT the reason (EXCUSE) is...FIX IT! Great googly-moogly!

3. Did anybody else hear Liam say something about Bobke retiring NEXT YEAR during the morning talk before the TT? It was the live edition, and I think they had P&P there...and Liam said something...but then this morning during the VS Yellow Jersey awarding to Phil he said something about winning it NEXT year...just wondering if I was hearing things.

4. Liam McHugh. I like him. MUCH MORE THAN HUMMER. No real reason, it's just what it is. He WASN'T annoying from the very first which for some reason I thought Hummer was.

5. NO Bobke prime-time full-blown announcing. THAT SUCKS! I typically only watch a few of the prime time shows, but when I do it's always one of the highlights hearing Bobke's narration. I guess it's NBC's way of cutting down the payroll (I'm assuming they pay him less as his duties are less...though I have no idea if this is true). Still it's sad...Bobke is the John Madden of cycling announcing. The BEEN THERE DONE THAT trench-warfare worker-bee guy. And he's just fabulous in front of the camera.

6. The Tragedy in Norway?? They were talking about it during the TT yesterday morning, and Thor was wearing a black armband and again today. And I STILL don't know what they are talking about, other than it sounds horrible. I guess among other things in July my complete lack of news from the outside world is quite apparent. My ride time goes WAY down, and I get less sleep. Just part of July. I'll have to sneak to CNN tomorrow at work...(after my post It's BEDTIME cuz I've been REAL busy this weekend and I'm beat!)

7. Johnny Hoogerland. I LIKE THIS KID. They should have a special award for HEART...similar to the overall 'most aggressive rider' thing...for the guy who shows the most heart. He won it HUGE this year and will forever be on my radar. I'll never get that video of him flinging into that barb-wire-fence out of my mind...I truly thought he would have been killed. And to just finish THAT stage was miraculous...but to finish the TOUR? He's earned a special place in my cycling heart. That is ONE TOUGH MAN! And he's in the right place...cuz cycling is a tough-man sport. He will do well.

8. TOMMY D! Gosh, he took over the reigns from CVV by default and did GREAT! And it was his FIRST TDF! He also has a great future and I look forward to seeing him on the final podium one day. And I guess along with him I must mention his entire team. Until this year they had been skunked from ANY stage wins. They knocked that monkey off their back with a gigantic baseball bat! FOUR WINS! AND Tommy D in 9th OVERALL in Paris! That is a HUGE race by ANY standards!

9. Radio Shack.'s like they went crazy in a house of mirrors and black cats just before the tour, breaking all the mirrors as the cats ran amok in front of them. One team just can't have much more bad luck than that in one race. I'd say after the Lance years, they are now EVEN on luck. Next year they can start afresh. I only hope and pray Horner will be there to try again.

10. The Schlecks. I thought they were just wonderful for the race. Neither was quite what I was expecting I hate to say, and can't really say why...I was expecting more of the energizer bunny Andy like we say last year. And Frank...he didn't really work as much as Andy so I TOTALLY thought HE would put Cadel under the gun in the final Mt stage...but it just seemed like neither one was up to it. Still they did GREAT and it was a joy seeing them on the podium together...and both very gracious.

And finally...Cadel. The cattle. The Bulldog. Oi Oi Oi! I was smiling HUGE for some reason watching him get the FINAL yellow tonight. He was SO happy. What a HUGE moment...I loved the part they showed just after the race finish when the team gathered and was a big group-hug. Good for them. And WAY TO GO George, for once again using your phenomenal experience and talent and taking care of yet ANOTHER GUY all the way to Paris You are DA MAN! Cadel really stepped up when he had to...I think back to the 1st day in the Alps when Andy attacked alone, Cadel letting him go. I STILL Think that was a mistake (hindsight has proven me wrong)...but IF Andy had been stronger and held onto that 4 minutes, It would have been ANDY on that top step tonight. Maybe Cadel had a good fortune teller or something and he KNEW it was safe to let the ONE MAN he was worried about (who had 2 teammates and a breakaway up the road) go away. Me must have nerves of platinum. But when push came to shove the new Cadel showed up yet again and did the job, pulling back 2 of those minutes, SAVING his race. THAT stage was when the tour was won. And he won it all by himself. Just like Andy was trying to do. THAT is an EPIC against man, the teams long gone. And Cadel was the strong man this year. Congrats Cadel!

OK...that's all I can think of at the moment....but I'd be remiss if I don't give a welcome shout-out to T!! Long time no hear! Glad to have you very sorry you and others are having problems with commenting...I have no idea what's up. I know I can't comment for work (big brother has it locked out) but from any other computer I log into google and it's easy-peasy. So I don't get it.

Well..I need to call DISH Network tomorrow and cancel my upgraded channel package...which is the final step in this years Tour. It's been an amazing ride....and I hope I got a years worth of P&P& Bobke! Cuz I'll need it...prob won't have VS again until next July (just too expensive). And so...thanks everybody for hanging out every's been GREAT fun once again...kind of brings back memories to HE Who Shall Not Be Named's place YEARS AGO when we all first kind of got together...gosh that was a LONG time ago! I wonder how he's doing? (not that I care really...cuz I STILL won't go back). And that's pretty much a wrapup for this years race. Please feel free to comment on your fav moments and thoughts...I figure in the coming days' I'll remember MORE stuff that I want to talk about.

And with that said, it's a wrap. It's sleepy time.

GAME over.

Friday, July 22, 2011


WHAT A STAGE! I'm plain exhausted from the sheer joy of watching this phenomenal drama play out day after day. I loved it that Contador attacked after his bad day yesterday, and Andy had the guts to go with him! Once again, the old 'play it safe' Cadel watched them go. He sure is a gambler that he would catch them again (which he did, but I still say it was a HUGE gamble!) All I can say to that is HAD he gone with Andy YESTERDAY, he'd be so far in the lead that he'd be untouchable, instead of 57 seconds BEHIND Andy, who now gets to start the biggest TT of his life IN YELLOW

So...can Andy do it? We shall see just what kind of wings the Mellow Johnny can provide, as I'm afraid he'll need them over the long TT course. Pretty obviously, other than a meteor or some such phenomenon, Frank won't hold his 2nd place over Cadel (DANG IT!)...but for the moment the brothers are one/two and I'm SO jazzed! I was quite pleased to watch Andy and Alberto work together on the escape today...maybe it was some 'payback' for last year? No was good to see pistol boy humbled and having to really struggle to gain time back...and I like it that he was given the 'most aggressive rider' red jersey number for the TT tomorrow. We did see shades of the old Alberto of last year as he danced his way up the start of the Alp, but whether it was his knee (didn't look very sore to ME) or just the overall fatigue from having crushed everybody in an excruciating Giro I can't say...but he faded quickly from that and was then riding just like the rest...fighting every foot of the way.

And's almost over, but these last few days have been just amazing, and tomorrows TT will be just as (if not MORE so) important and exciting as last years! For the second year in a row, the overall winner will truly be decided the day before Paris. It just doesn't get much better than that. And once again today Voeckler fought hard, but it was bound to catch up with him sooner or later. Today he re-learned that he's still not quite on the level of the true Mt goats. But I can't take away any of his amazing struggle over the last 9 was good for his country... and that a teammate and fellow countryman WON the stage today AND put on the white jersey, well....good for France and his team! They (the French) haven't had much to celebrate about in recent tours otherwise. It appears they have some real up and comers that will surely be in with the top riders very soon.

And so...I REALLY need to get out on a ride tomorrow morning, AND I need to do a BUNCH of stuff at home (Jeannie comes home NEXT Friday from her work-trip...been gone for 2 weeks now). I figure to get up EARLY and watch the TT for a bit, then hit the road (weather NOT totally covered by cold fog). Hope to knock out about 3 to 4 hours of hard riding, get back and eat lunch and watch the finish and THEN get busy with my chores. Sunday is Paris AND more chores. But obviously the Tour comes FIRST. Everything else is secondary.'s been another late night for me (being as I JUST finished today's stage a bit ago), though no work tomorrow thankfully....but still that 5:30am wakeup on a weekend day to watch a bunch of guys in lycra is killing me. NEXT weekend I hope to actually sleep in. Time will tell.'s bedtime for bonzo!


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

WHO can win this thing?

Oh my GOSH what a race this is turning out to be! Going into the most brutal stage of this years race, there are literally EIGHT guys who could conceivably have a shot...tho I agree spot on with Susie if I had to pick a few that I felt had a less than stellar shot. But even so, FIVE GUYS? And keep in mind the 'reducing' of the contenders we are discussing does NOT include who is LUCKY and who is not. Granted you often times create your own luck in cycling, but not always. Luck can be very take a quote from Shawshank, "bad luck was just floating around, and I guess it had to land somewhere".

All I know is that IF I had two days of vacation, I'd take them tomorrow and Friday! It will be total agony at work NOT peeking at ANY cycling site so I can come watch the broadcast as if it's live. And Rae...I am TOTALLY ticked that they have decided at the very beginning of the prime time broadcast to basically TELL you what to expect in the stage you are about to see! WHAT THE HAY? KNOCK IT OFF!!  I work HARD during the tour to NOT find out each days results...and then the very show I count on is doing it? Who's decision is this? Something to do with NBC?? They shook up things pretty much everywhere else...why not give away the stage at the very beginning.

Today's stage, I was thinking Andy looked much better than yesterday. However, tomorrow's stage is forecast for cold and wet...which seems to be his kyrptonite. Cadel looked calm and cool though...and I'm totally impressed...but can't help myself from wondering when the 'old' Cadel will show up...I HOPE he stays away and lets this calm and cool (and ATTACKING) Cadel keep riding! I like this guy!

Frank...he is the big threat of the Schlecks right now, but honestly I can't say that with a straight face. Unless the world goes upside down, he would need a BIG chunk of time to beat Cadel in the final TT. Andy is better but not THAT much better. Having Cadel in FRONT of him right now is BAD BAD BAD. Not where he should be. But tomorrow this will all change for sure. There WILL be attacks, and these 2 HC climbs WILL most assuredly open up dramatic gaps in the top 10.

And I know everybody is knocking Voeckler out of it, but he's been nothing short of a HUGE surprise to this point...and even though I'd tend to agree, you NEVER know! He IS the man in yellow...and it has been shown over and over throughout the years that it does indeed give the wearer the strength of 2 men. I expect him to fight like he's never fought before. He is not a fav, but I can't take away anything he's done so far...he's a real fighter and that's what I like to see. I would love to see Tommy D come up with a BIG ride tomorrow and move up a few places...THAT would be pretty cool! So I'll be rooting for him too....dang, it appears I'm rooting for pretty much everybody.....I just want a great race, with BIG things...I don't care WHO does the big thing. I want someone to step up and say THIS RACE IS MINE! But in all the unpredictability, I'd not even be surprised if it was Thor! (and HEY! Can't take away ANYTHING from Edvald Bo-whats-his-name! Gosh, I REALLY need to learn to spell that kids name, as he will surely be a star of the future. Heck..he's a star NOW at 24 years old in his FIRST tour! Way to go!!!) OH, and finally...Cathy, I think I would be jumping out of my chair if LEVI attacks and somehow wins the stage! Surely he has no pressure...I'd LOVE to see him do something to show what he's got. They'd probably let him go as he's so far down...I'd think he's got nothing to lose. GO LEVI!

OK..I'm beat (as always happens in July...funny how  mere spectating can take SO much out of you...they say the tour is all about recovery...well..I'm BARELY hanging in there! I can't fathom how THEY do it!) This race just can't get much more exciting! As Paul said tonight at the end of the broadcast..."can't we just turn the clock forward? I want the stage NOW!"

The course is laid, set Ludicrous speed! (Spaceballs)


Sunday, July 17, 2011

What have I missed??

Good gosh it seems that I've been gone almost entirely the last 8 days....I did manage to put over 1500 miles on my car in those days. Sheesh....I should have a TV in my car...or at least somehow get VS audio coverage...THAT would have been cool. But sadly no. Drove home from Pahrump last night....left about 9pm, dropped Greg off at his place about 1:30 and I was home by quarter to 4am....boy were the babies glad to see me! I got a few hours of sleep and then up to watch the final 17k of todays stage. Won't spoil it here this early in the day...but a good finish and I didn't see any crashes in that pretty crazy technical final k's....whew!

So...I have 7 full stages to somehow catchup on recorded on the DVR...(8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 14th, 15th & 16th). Me-thinks it's impossible. I will have to FF at like 300 speed and somehow catch the code-words, then FF again to the final k's of each's the ONLY possible way. Much like RIDING the tour, it turns out that just watching it is very difficult. Once it gains time on you, it's extremely hard to get it back. Who knew being a spectator was so difficult?

Just cruised thru the comments on the last post... so VERY glad ya'll keep up the chat'n when I'm's like I almost DON'T need to watch those stages...plain crazy stuff. I can't friggin BELIEVE Voeckler is STILL IN YELLOW!! Great googly-moogly! I wouldn't have bet a plugged-nickel he could do that thru the Pyrnees! And Thor winning a stage like that? I guess it's why we watch the Tour...for the surprises. If it was totally predictable it wouldn't be much fun. Well, nobody can say this year isn't unpredictable!  I totally expected the overall list to have just 1 or 2 guys within shooting distance of the final Yellow and everybody else to have cracked...but to have FRANK appearing to be the top-placed contender? (IF, and I mean IF they can peel the mellow-johnny off V?) It's like Andy is sandbagging....and so is AC...

Also pretty jazzed that Cadel is THAT CLOSE! I"m really rooting for him to podium... If this is Franks best chance EVER to finally notch a yellow in Paris (which would truly be one of the 7 signs of the apocalypse if he somehow can hold onto his positoin during the final ITT), well...the same goes for Cadel. He has NEVER been this healthy and w/in this distance to the final top podium spot, and likely won't ever get another shot like this. But hey....if there's ONE thing this years Tour is showing us is that pretty much ANYTHING can happen. I don't discount anything.

And poor Shack...what the hay? Good golly the Devil is most assuredly collecting his due from Johan for that amazing streak of luck w/ Lance....and that thing about the breathalyzer?? Just when you think you've heard it all....

Well hey kid'z....I haven't even unpacked the car...just drove it into the garage, flung some stuff onto the table and crawled into bed....I would REALLY like to sneak in a ride today, but honestly I'm not sure that's a good feels like I'm actually shaking I'm so tired...guess when you get OLD you can't do much on 4 hours sleep. I'd make a lousy Dr I can tell you....hear those folk stay up (and somehow TREAT people?) for 24 hours OR MORE...still not sure how that became the standard...would you want your airline pilot to have been up for 24 hours when he's getting ready to land the plane?

And so....lets see....what's on my list for today....I have laundry to do, groceries to buy, lawn to mow, babies baths to do (all 3), unpack the car, unpack my stuff, and do some basic housekeeping (Jeannie is up in Seattle teaching all of last week and for 2 I'm on a solo mission right now). Being a single-dad is tough stuff! Oh...and I need to stand around in various places of the house to figure out WHICH ONE of the stupid smoke-detectors is chirping! It seems amazing that you hear it and can then stand under it forever and it won't chirp, but you move to another one and the chirping is coming from where you just were. What, did they put motion sensors in them to NOT chirp when it sees you? Driving me CRAZY! I might just get a pile of batteries and do them all...

And JD...give you little sweetie hugs from all of us...she is just so darn cute! I can SOOOO relate...(I DO NOT want to turn FIFTY-FREAKING-ONE is just a little over a on earth is that possible?) Oh well...I GUESS it's just a number....(a REALLY BIG ONE). And yet life goes on.

OK..breakfast time then maybe roll the dice to see what gets done first. Later gaters....


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Things are looking UP!

Yes, tomorrow the boyz go UP into the Mts! And I'm going to MISS IT! I drive over to Pahrump NV (picking up Greg down in LA on the way) as we head over to spend the weekend with our Dad who turns 80 on Friday. Our other brother Dave flew into Vegas (renting a car and driving over to Pahrump) he will already be there when we get in tomorrow.

It will be a grand time, and we so RARELY all get together...can't pass up the opportunity. There's just so many of those available.

Apparently the link I posted in the comments to my LIVESTRONG Davis pics didn't work (thanks Susie!). So, here is a different one...stupid Shutterfly...I emailed myself the link and then opened it up, seemed fine...maybe it still knows it's "me" ....anyway, here is another try...

 We'll see how that goes. Also Fatty has now posted parts 1 and 2 of his Davis writeup, and he was very kind as always...(though I'm still recovering from my being "stabbed to death" at the Hall of Fame on Friday evening with plastic forks (part 1). Fatty is SO funny! Here are the links if you just want a quick jump there:

Part 1:
Part 2:

 Also know that Fatty seems to somehow recall that I was almost always on the front pulling...I don't quite remember it that way, though I DID take a few longer pulls than most I guess. I think it's because of how Greg and I ride (together). Every ride is a race. Period. He (Greg) can say all he wants that it's just a 'fun' ride, but make no's still a race. EVERY TIME.

Think of Dolph Lundgreen (sp?) in Rocky IV I was it when he fought either Apollo or Rocky ...and at the very beginning of the fight when they bump gloves and he mumbles (use your best Russian Dolph Lundgreen accent in your mind here) "I will crush you" (or was it "I MUST crush you"? Either way, it's what Greg is thinking). THAT is how Greg rides. He will crush you, or die trying. He's been crushing me for the last 2 straight years. But back in late THAT was my year! I WAS Da' MAN! We did Livestrong San Jose and I was pretty good. And I kept on getting stronger. We did a ride down in his neck of the woods (to Balcom Cyn and back thru Moorpark) and I made him cry Uncle on the pull home, and then a guy swooped past us while we were doing a quick bike repair...I poured on the gas and passed him, leaving both him and Greg in my wake...and finally finished up at his house well ahead. We went on to Austin that year and I was poised to squish him like an inconsequential insect. Only he CONVENIENTLY (yeah, right!) forgot his helmet at the hotel back in Austin (a mere 1.5 hours away thru traffic). So...he finally finds a helmet to borrow, only he's missed our front of the line start. So I don't see him again until the SAG stop where the 70 and 100 mile routes join together...(he rode the shorter loop with Angie, aka Rocket Girl). Lucky for him he wasn't with me...I was riding my very best and did a sub-5 hour century (my first ever, though truth be told it was only 92 miles). Sadly, it's been all downhill since then for me, but I think that year I lit a fire under him and I haven't beaten him since. I think he's doping personally..,'s the only answer that makes sense. Surely he can't REALLY be stronger than me, can he?

Anyway....I"ll be offline the next few days, don't get back home till Sunday evening...and I most likely won't have seen ANY of the Tour during this next 3 days.

Also I get my stitches out of my eye tomorrow just before I head out to pick up Greg...and it's doing great. In fact, it's a total non-issue I believe. Of course the Dr. will give me the clean bill of health I assume, but will be good to hear from him that all is A-OK. It is a bit odd looking in a magnified mirror (Jeannie has a 10x makeup mirror mounted on the wall)...that eyelid only has about 6 eyelashes...being as the high density of them was in the middle, which is all missing now. But I don't think it will even be noticeable except by me. I'm ok with could have been SO MUCH worse. Thankfully it was the lower one, not the upper ...THAT would have been  a LOT less fun. Just this past weekend over in Davis I was surrounded by fighters and survivors, and I felt very humbled and lucky. And proud to help where I can.

OK..gotta run. Have a GRAND weekend, and here's hoping ALL the boy'z keep the rubber side DOWN!


Monday, July 11, 2011

What in the WILD WILD World of Sports is going on?

Got home from Davis today, and maybe in the next day or so I'll post some pics and the writeup from the 107 mile ride yesterday...suffie to say it was just an AWESOME DAY!

Here at home after various other chores I FINALLY sat down to watch yesterday's stage (9). UN - FREAKING BELIEVABLE! I thought I'd seen everything, but that French TV car that took out the breakaway....there just aren't words! And it was so VIOLENT! Poor Johnny Hoogerland was flat-out catapulted off the road and the barbed-wire-fence stopped him instantly! And THEN he somehow gets on his bike (after being quickly patched up by the race Dr) and is again riding his bike! He must be SHREDDED! The driver of the car should be prosecuted! It was more than an was outright negligence on his part! Certainly poor driving. IF Hoogerland can actually start tomorrow will be a miracle. And same with Fletcha...he really hit the pave HARD! Watching the crash it's amazing he didn't shatter his collarbone the way he hit the road.

And then the big crash on the turn where Vino launched off the road into the trees! OMG! There was concrete barriers holding up what looked like steel pipes as the guardrails....if he hit those at speed the he too was catapulted off his bike...seeing his teammates helping him up the embankment was just painful to watch. And Z-man sitting there hurt...I've never seen anything like this! And Klodi involved he out? I haven't heard...if so it would appear that Johan's deal with the Devil (that so amazingly kept Lance unhurt in SEVEN consecutive Tours) is calling in his markers...and his team is being decimated leader by leader. And then after that crash with the entire peleton sitting up letting all those caught behind the crash (most of the peleton) catch up gave Voeckler and the breakaway extra minutes that were never recovered. Somehow this entire stage just doesn't seem fair.

And then the crash early on of Alberto...they showed the video a few times zoomed in on where he was, and I can say it appears he might have actually been shoved! Aerial footage would be key, but you could clearly see SOMETHING happened just before he veered into the crowd/barriers...and karapets in the red jersey) body suddenly moved the other way like he did suddenly push Alberto...that's what it looked like to there some bad blood going on there or something? I'd think something like that would get you thrown out of the race if it were verified...(he'd be put in the penalty box in hockey, and/or ejected). And then there was something Phil said (I had to rewind a few times and write it down) that struck me as quite funny (in a ARE YOU KIDDING ME? way). He said this after Alberto's crash as he was fighting to regain the peleton: "They may know Contador has fallen, but they won't be doing any attacks to keep him away because it was bad luck". EXCUSE ME PHIL? Are you the same guy who said Contador was totally right to attack Andy last year when his chain jumped off and jammed? Alberto isn't even in Yellow....I'd say the entire peleton would be TOTALLY within their rights to attack like MAD seeing him go down! ESPECIALLY after last year! I think Fabian should have whipped the entire peleton into a wild TT and just crushed him. And IF Karapets DID have something intentional to do with the crash, then he is out. Just my 2 cents worth...I'm SO out of touch...somehow need to go over the previous stages...just don't know when I'll get time for that...and I"ll be out of town again this weekend (Thurs, Fri, Sat and Sun) will lose FOUR MORE stages. Gosh...I need a vacation!

Gotta hit it...4:20am is coming FAST, and I'm whipped from an exhausting but incredible weekend.


Saturday, July 9, 2011


Well....we are having a BLAST up here in Davis!

Last night was our Team Fatty private evening at the US Bicycle Hall of Fame. We literally owned the place from 6 to 10pm....we had food, drinks, and about 30 to 40 of our team and family there. About 8:30 or so we got the private TOUR from Joe....and it was quite fascinating! They have displays of bikes going all the way back to 'walkers'..which was a hand-fabricated pile of iron with iron wheels, and no pedals they hadn't been just pushed it as you straddled the iron 'top bar'. It must have weighed 150 lbs, maybe more? And it just went on and on...they specialize in covering US cycling all the way back to it's beginning. Who knew that the US ruled world cycling back in the early 1900's? And they had a display of a "Six Day Race" kit...apparently there were races inside on a wooden track that actually went for 6 days STRAIGHT! In those 6 days the racers would cover approx 3000 miles (it was a team event, but  only TWO of you!) And they were done in smoky arena's (everybody smoked) on the dangerous wooden track surface which claimed the lives of MANY of the early racers. They also had crazy races back then where a guy on a early beast of a motorcycle would ride around the track and you (on the bike) would race inches behind him...each bike racer had his own motorcycle pacing him...they typically ran around 50 mph! And the crashes were horrendous and often fatal. Just amazing stuff...then displays on the road team 7-11, and all the early pioneers WAY before Lemond in US cycling.

 The Hall of fame belonged to US for the night!

Today we spent mostly over at the LIVESTRONG Village/Expo....the hotel is right here on the UC Davis campus (the campus is HUGE)...and they have loaner bikes (cruiser style) that we can borrow and ride around we took those over to the expo which was only about 10 blocks away...riding a cruiser carrying a coffee is an art I tell you! We all practiced this morning...quite fun! Among other things, there was a face-painting lady (for the kids). Angie and I had the Fatty Logo painted on our faces ....GREG is such a chicken....he wouldn't go for it.

A bit later while we were schmoozing around the LIVESTRONG Village / expo area, they made an announcement that the first 25 people would get a free autographed copy of Chris Carmichaels new book...well, he was sitting at a table about 25 feet from Greg was FIRST in line...and I was like 5th (I was getting a free T-shirt from the Nissan booth and had to wait). So I got to chat with him briefly and shake his hand, and have a nice autographed book...woo-HOO! THAT is a SWAG score!!!!! Drank about 3 of the ice cold FRS energy drinks...had a nice sour-kraut hot dog and lemonade for lunch...and a few prob got up to about 95 today...tomorrow is supposed to be a bit cooler for our ride thankfully!

Here is Fatty n Lisa, Greg, Angie, myself, and Carlos and Christine

Carlos and Christine are from New Jersey (you see Carlos in Fatty's comments as NYCarlos).
Later this afternoon Greg, Angie and I went for a short "shakedown" ride to make sure our bikes are in good working order, as we will be on the start line tomorrow morning at 6:55am for Team pics and the start at 7:30.

 Here we are in the sunflowers, just like in le Tour!

And tonight is the Awards banquet....we are showing up early (6pm) cuz Team Fatty are all Rock-Stars here....and we get to go in early for them to take pics n stuff with us....should be quite the fun evening! If I get a chance I"ll post a pic or 2 later tonight...but we will see. It should be a GRAND time, and I am assuming Lance will be there and we will get pics with him after the dinner up on stage (or whatever they have as a stage).

Watched some of the prime-time stage 7 at the Hall of Fame last night, got to see the part where Horner was on the stretcher, and kept asking "but did I finish?"...gosh I am DEVASTATED!! He was (IS) my main man! I am CRUSHED!! But I hope and pray he will be fine..thanks for the updates Cathy! So...Klodi is it by default. Gosh...what a crazy week. And Horner is out BEFORE he even gets to test himself against the mountain goats...DAMN!!!

OK kids...gotta run...happy Hour, then dinner!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Stage 7 and more

Just finished watching stage 6...rain rain go away. I HATE riding in wet conditions...amazingly YESTERDAY was all the crashes when the roads were bone dry...and today there was very little. So very sad for Levi...don't even know what happened...Phil (or Paul...can't remember which) said they thought he was on the white line and tires slipped...looks like he slid along the guardrail briefly before kissing the pave...but he appeared to be ok, just a very unfortunate time loss which he will have an almost impossible time getting back. At least Klodi and Chris are staying out of trouble (NO JINX PLEASE!!)

Tomorrow morning (Friday) I drive up to Davis...for the long LIVESTRONG should be a BLAST! Angie, Greg and I all have tickets to the ball on Saturday night (the Awards banquet)...Team Fatty swept the awards and we will have 41 of us there I think...Lance should be there too so we will hopefully get some time up on the stage after the festivities with him (like we did in Austin 2 years ago). Tomorrow evening is our private tour/dinner at the bicycle hall of fame...which should be very cool. Angie has been busy, as she arranged this for the team...way to go SISTA! And Sunday is the ride. They brought back the 'front of the line' start for us this we get to play chase with the police escorts as we zip thru Davis...not sure how long it will be, but it was around 9 miles back in San Jose until they dropped off and left us to 'rules of the road'. It' ws great fun to ride RIGHT behind a police escort...however it's also QUITE they speed up and slow down at EVERY single intersection as the motorcycles zoom by and block both sides so we can zip we go from about 22mph down to about 17mph and then back to this a few hundered times and see how your legs feel...(the accelertaoin back to 22mph is FAST). Last time I did this by the time we got done with the 'fun' part I was whipped and worried cuz I still had 91 miles to go.

But no worries, however it works out it will be a grand weekend. Of course I think we'll almost totally miss this little bike race...the DVR will be recording them but the only possible way to get thru them is to FF at about 300x speed unless you see something exciting...once you get behind in your stage viewing it's hard to catch up...kind of like Levi falling off near the end.

I will have my laptop with me so hope to maybe post some pics here and there...but don't stop's great fun to have everybody back yakkin' it up!


Sunday, July 3, 2011

Tour Talk Continues

Wow, the Team TT was as exciting as I expected! And what a way for Garmin to FINALLY win their first stage...a true Team award! Good for them...and then getting Thor in yellow is just icing on the cake. I bet they were pretty happy at the dinner table!

How about Eisel crashing out about 8 seconds into the race? I haven't yet heard if he made the cut or utterly horrible that would be for him and HTC if he is out...I'll keep my fingers crossed he was able to make it...tho it would take the TT of his life to do it. I have to give Alberto credit..he whipped his Spanish boyz into a frenzy and even going first they did pretty great! He will surely not go down without a fight. RS did really good also, which was nice to see.

I am extremely disappointed about Bobke's new role though...he's there in the morning and then a few zany commercials, and that appears to be it. But I DID see TWO new Road ID commercials today and they were dang funny! That's three zany Bobke ads in 2 stages! I wonder how many they made?

I'm starting to recall that July, along with being the awesome TOUR month, is also when I'm beat cuz I'm up early even on the weekends. Though I get the final 2 weeks to watch the episodes at my leisure as Jeannie is going up to Seattle to teach for 3 weeks...I myself head up to LiveSTRONG Davis next weekend, and on Monday I drive home and that's when she fly's north. Not the best handoff, but at least we don't have to pay doggie-sitters. The babies hate it when we go away....I just can't BELIEVE that LS Davis is already here...gosh...seems like I had MONTHS, and all of a sudden I drive up on Friday! Never been there before (Davis), but it will be a grand time I'm sure! Angie (aka Rocket Girl) has arranged a private tour of the Bicycle Hall of Fame on Friday evening for Team Fatty, along with a dinner. THAT will be pretty awesome! Then Saturday is hang out at LiveSTRONG village and such I assume, and maybe if we're lucky we can scrounge tickets to the awards dinner/banquet on Sat night....I haven't missed one yet, but I'm at Fatty's mercy as I didn't earn enough for my own tickets. It's been a tough year for fundraising as we have been SO busy at work...but so it goes. I do what I can.

OK...enough on that...I can't think of anything else off the top of my head...but figured we needed a new playground to yak fills up pretty QUICK in July!

OH...just checked my Fantasy team...I'm down in 8647th place with a whopping 497 points. But that's only my points for today...I didn't make my team up until last night, and it wouldn't let me add any of my riders for Stage one (which was already over) I guess I lost out completely. I thought they wouldn't count the first stage cuz the teams hadn't all been made and finalized yet...guess I would need to read the rules. Oh well....I'm sure overall my team will get slaughtered. Though I expect to do fairly well in the overall...but who knows...that's the beauty of it...the Tour is a blank slate!

OK...I need some sleep...5:30 is coming up FAST! (I give the broadcast a half-hour so I can ff thru the commercials)...around 7am I need to head out on my 4th of July road ride...going out EARLY cuz it's been HOT inland all of a sudden...summer truly is here. It's about time too!