Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Irene was nastier than I thought. And also "Team Leopard-Shack"?

Well...Irene didn't appear to be that nasty of a hurricane, but the flooding associated with it was a real shocker to much of the northeast. My friends and family in Virginia emerged unscathed, and my sister in law up in NY/Manhattan says it was pretty much a non-event overall for her. But tell that to the people in Vermont, or Connecticut, or any of the myriad of people in the New England area who lost houses, or roads. Or the people on Hatteras Island in NC who AGAIN lost the roads to their island. I admit I was shocked in the days after by the extent of the flooding. The video of the raging floodwater's in Vermont are just unbelievable! I don't even know how many of the scenic covered bridges the area is famous for are now gone. But it still could have OH so much worse had it been a greater wind category storm. And the season has just begun. Batten down the hatches over there. Susie, I hope things are good...haven't heard from you since last week. I hear there are still MILLIONS of people back east with no power...hopefully you aren't one of them, and your house is unscathed.

And now...on to the cycling rumors. Rae already saw it (thanks for your comment on the last post)...and it prompted me to quickly whip over to VN...and sure enough, it's a full fledged rumor that RS and LT will combine next year. I have to say that is a VERY BAD idea. I LIKE RS being a full blown American team! I have nothing whatsoever against fact, I think it's an awesome team and is chock full of amazing riders! They have NO NEED to merge with another team (IMO). RS looking to get out of cycling? Is this another team going down the drain (albeit slower than HTC)? If this rumor is true, American cycling is getting crushed. Sponsors must really be moving elsewhere with their advertising dollars. That HTC is breaking up just breaks my heart...but for RS to follow by having to join with another team would be crushing. At least it appears BMC is not only hanging in there, but spending money like it grows on trees! Both Thor AND Gilbert? On a team dedicated to WINNING the TDF next year?

I just don't know what to think of this news, though admittedly it's not news yet...only speculation. Tomorrow we should be hearing where ALL the HTC guys are going next year...and I guess Sept 1st is open-door on who goes to where for all the teams. Should be an interesting day....though quite honestly I think that day when everybody can announce their future plans should wait until AFTER the Vuelta.

OK....not a lot going on here at the home front...other than I got word yesterday that I will most likely be heading up to Sunnyvale for a few weeks, leaving on Tuesday (day after Labor Day). Haven't been up there for work in quite a while now....sure can use the overtime we also have news that PG (one of the furry-kids) needs surgery AGAIN. This time for lumps....we had them checked (they suck some cells out of them and see what they are) appears to be a lipoma (a fat blob)....but it's about the size of half an orange just under her belly skin hanging there. The other one is smaller and under her front leg armpit...and it is a pre-cancer thing which they highly recommend we get removed. Somehow she knew I had a trip coming up...seems if there's an extra dollar to be found, either the babies or one of our cars suck it right up...and that's IF we have anything left after the Fed/State governments get thru with us. Sheesh...

OK. That's it from the Central Coast. Oh wait...I forgot...had this from last week but the race in Colo pre-empted me from posting it...thought it was rather humorous (I see I wasn't the ONLY one who thought the media was making a pretty big deal out of the VA Earthquake):

OK, OK...I know that there was actual damage sustained all over the east coast....but I STILL thought this was quite funny!

And finally, there is this....a joke I got on the internet from a friend and made me laugh out loud :

Vatican Humor

After getting all of Pope Benedict's luggage loaded into the  limo (and he doesn't travel light), the driver notices the Pope is still standing on the curb. 
'Excuse me, Your Holiness,' says the driver, 'Would you please take your seat so we can leave?' 
'Well, to tell you the truth, ' says the Pope, ' they  never let me drive at the Vatican when I was a cardinal,  and I'd really like to drive today. ' 
'I'm sorry, Your Holiness, but I cannot let you do that. I'd lose my job! What if something should happen?' protests the driver, wishing he'd never gone to work that morning.
'Who's going to tell?' says the Pope with a smile. 
Reluctantly, the driver gets in the back as the Pope climbs in behind the wheel. The driver quickly regrets his decision when, after exiting the airport, the Pontiff floors it, accelerating  the limo to 205 kph. (Remember, the Pope is German) 
'Please slow down, Your Holiness!' pleads the worried driver, but the Pope keeps the pedal to the metal until they hear sirens.

'Oh, dear God, I'm going to lose my license -- and my job!' moans the driver. 
The Pope pulls over and rolls down the window as the cop approaches, but the cop takes one look at him, goes back to his motorcycle, and gets on the radio. 
'I need to talk to the Chief,'  he says to the dispatcher.
The Chief gets on the radio and the cop tells him that he's stopped a limo going 205 kph.

'So bust him,' says the Chief.

'I don't think we want to do that, he's really important,' said the cop.
The Chief exclaimed, 'All the more reason!'
'No, I mean really important,' said the cop with a bit of persistence.
The Chief then asked, 'Who do you have there, the mayor?'
Cop: 'Bigger.'
Chief: 'A senator?'
 Cop: 'Bigger.'
Chief: 'The Prime Minister?'
Cop: 'Bigger.'
'Well,' said the Chief, 'who is it?'
Cop: 'I think it's God!'
The Chief is even more puzzled and curious, 'What makes you think it's God?'

Cop: 'His chauffeur is the Pope!'
And with that, I say Game ON!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The end is near!

Lets hope the title of today's post ONLY applies to the Tour of Colorado, and not for the East coast! Susie and Barbara (and anybody else in Irene's path), I sure hope you are boarded up and hunkered down (or evac'd if that is prudent)...watching the news right now and it's going right over Norfolk/Va Beach....I still have friends there but haven't heard from then (I'm assuming they have no power). Looks pretty bad and it's going to get worse over the next few hours. Much will depend on the speed of the sustained winds, and the shift from 'clean' to 'dirty' side as the storm goes by, and then the storm surge...a LOT of the east coast is just a few feet above sea level. I know in my years in Norfolk/Va Beach I was always amazed (being from Wyoming/Montana) about the complete LACK of any altitude. The highest spot in the entire Tidewater area is the landfill turned into a park a few decades back (Mt Trashmore is what it's called...seriously. It's pretty funny probably has a vertical gain above sea-level of maybe 50- 75 feet!) I know the Navy has sent everything that can move out to sea from Norfolk Naval Station...the ships are far safer at sea where they can weather the outskirts of the storm. And I would assume the Naval Air Stations at Norfolk and Oceana (it's out in the Damneck/Va Beach area)  have sent everything that can fly elsewhere. I've spent a bunch of years in that area and it's going to get hammered today...will be sad to see the devastation in the light of day tomorrow.

OK...for today's post I thought I'd put up the pics Janann has emailed, without further adieu and for your viewing enjoyment from our Reporter in the field...

 Cadel at the Prologue

 "Uhm, ahem...excuse me miss...can I get thru here?"
Yeah, right BUDDY! GOOD LUCK! Can't you see I'm waiting to get a picture of Christian here?
(this brings a smile to my face every time I think of it! GREAT Pic!!!!)

CVV at the Prologue

Frank on the podium Stage 1 (with some unknown guy to his right)

Frankie at the prolouge (Simmer down Susie!)

George after winning Stage 2 (you are THE MAN!)

Jens at Stage 2 (you are ALSO the MAN!)

The Jerseys from Stage 1

Some unknown rider gets interviewed after winning Stage 1 (and YOU are ALSO da' MAN!)

Ooh...nice. That Unknown guy gets the points jersey after Stage 1.
I guess there really is a payoff for killing yourself all day on a bike! 

OK...that's all the pics I got, thanks Janann for sending them! I'm very excited for you to have been THERE for this entire race! And looking at the podium shots, holy-mackerel! You somehow got DEAD CENTER! All the races I go to, I can't get anywhere NEAR the poduim! You ladies can pull this stuff off...good for you! Now if only the 'podium kisses' shot was YOU up there giving Levi a kiss.... (any chance you can pull that off?) I'm sure hubby would understand...I know if Jeannie had a chance to give, oh, lets say Brad Pitt a kiss, I'd have to give her a pass on that.

OK..that's all I have for now. I'm sending my best positive thoughts to you over on the east fact, I think I'll take a little nappy and focus my thought-power in your direction (I a bit tired....just got back from a ride a bit ago...did a measly 50 mile road ride...would have done more but by 11am it was already 96 deg at the top of the canyon....had I gone down the other side it would have been over 100 for I cut off 10 miles and called it a day).

Later gaters....GAME ON!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

WOW! What a RACE!

Gosh...I'm just DYING that I'm not up in Colorado for this race! It just can't get much more exciting! Levi winning stage 1 in spectacular style, George winning the Queen stage yesterday over those crazy passes, and then.......


Well....I just looked at the TT results from today...and all I can say is OH MY GOSH! I could have hoped for that result, but I don't think I could have realistically expected it! The 10 mile TT had 1500' of climbing....which is a LOT for a TT!

And Levi DID IT! Took back the leaders jersey that he lost on the downhill in the rain and cold yesterday!! And in doing so, he beat the next best guy (who just happened to be CVV!) by only a HALF SECOND!! So now CVV is 2nd overall, with TJ Van Garderen is 3rd, Tommy D sitting in 4th (and he finished 4th today too!) and then BIG  GEORGE in 5th overall!! GREAT GOOGLY MOOGLY this is a dream race! ANY one of those 5 guys pulls off the win I'll be estatic!

I was so pshyched up after Geroges win yesterday, that I thought it couldn't get any better! That win brings me back to that Tour queen stage he won...his first (and last) Tour win ever! It's so great to see he's got this kind of riding left in him! I was thrilled once again for him...what an amazing man he is and WHAT A CAREER he has had! It just keeps getting better!'s pretty much overshadowing that OTHER race in Spain too...amazing that a Grand tour is taking a backseat to a much smaller stage race in the US!

Gosh...I'm just SO sad to be HERE and not there.....the guys I work with (who are up in Denver RIGHT NOW) aren't even cycling fans! THAT is a travesty!!! I'm sure they have no interest in this race...even though it will be IN Denver this weekend (at least I think...can't remember the stages offhand...isn't the last stage Golden to Denver or something like that, or is the Denver part on Saturday? Sheesh, it's sad to have almost no memory anymore. What was I talking about?)

OK.....keeping this short tonight, mostly cuz I JUST got back from my Thurs eve ride, and I'm STARVING! Gotta go eat some din-din, then get to bed....only ONE MORE DAY (work I mean)...then the weekend. COME ON SATURDAY!!

Oh, and Janann, thanks for your updates! We LOVE to hear this stuff...what you're doing, where you were, who you schmoozed, etc etc......GREAT STUFF, KEEP IT COMING! You're our newest roving reporter!


Saturday, August 20, 2011

And they're OFF!

The 2012 Vuelta is underway.

SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT!! Go no further if you are going to watch the opening stage!

OK....well....seems the gremlins from the tour have slipped into the baggage and stayed with Radio Shack. What an opening...they come down of the ramp and Jani slips his chain! What's the team to do but wait? Klodi is still there, but they have no idea how his back will be...and if they are forced to put all their eggs in that basket this early, well...that would be a huge gamble. Great googly moogly! But hey.... it could have been much worse, as they regrouped and only end up losing 28 seconds. Other teams gremlins were far nastier...such as Team Sky's. Two of their guys collided with each other in the first k, leaving the team group with only 4 guys (they need 5 to stop the clock). 2 of the dropped squad eventually rejoined, but Wigg'O was so strong he kept riding the guys off his wheel....not exactly riding the 'US Postal' model of how a TTT should go.

And look at poor Geox/TMC....both Menchov and Sastre now 43 seconds off the front after their team finished 2nd to LAST!

But HEY!!! Look at Leopard-Trek! Winning the opening stage...(and it won't be Fabian in red tomorrow...that is reserved for a guy I've never heard of ...well, actually I have heard of him, but he's not exactly the type of rider that's typically getting heaped with glory if you know what I mean). That's kind of cool of the unknown's in red! Jakob Fulsang....he said there was no plan as to who should be in front at the finish, just do the best TTT they can. And he was in front with only 200m to go and was giving it his all, fully expecting to get passed....but no one did. And when the dust settled, they had won the day....BAM! He gets the red jersey. I LOVE IT!

Tho his reign in red will probably be short lived, being as they have time bonuses in this race...things will change very quickly I'm afraid. But every day will be pretty exciting as all the GC guys have to really pay attention to that little fact. should be quite a race, and I'm sad that I won't get to watch any (well, maybe tidbits here and there on the weekends....IF I get up early enough to catch some online).

And so....the final Grand Tour of the year is off and running. And August will be over before we know it....and it will be fall. And I'll be another year older (early Sept)...rats.

Oh well...can't stop the passing of time. Gotta go with the flow and enjoy each day as it comes. Think it's time to go outside.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The end is near

Well....summer has almost run it's course. Le Tour is long over, and the Vuelta starts on Saturday. Huge congrats to Levi for winning his 2nd Tour of Utah...must feel pretty good considering the horrific Tour he and the rest of the team had. I know summer is coming fast to a close, as it's dark again when I'm driving into work. Though to say summer is gone here doesn't really mean much, except that we might FINALLY get some decent weather. Our little pocket of weather here makes it feel like we live in the southern hemisphere...when it's warm everywhere else in the US we are chilly. The last few days have been sunny...which is a change. In the summer the winds shift and we get covered by the marine layer for up to half the day, sometimes the entire day. Once the summer weather moves on the winds shift back and the layer is pushed offshore and we start getting nice sunny days. Very strange area we live in. But we don't get there is that. do you like for the Vuelta? I won't be watching it...I have cancelled my Dish package upgrade so no longer have VS. So this will be one of those races I just read about every day. Just like EVERY other race this year EXCEPT for the Tour. I don't even know who's starting, except that Thor isn't. Not sure if that is some kind of retaliation for his moving on next season to a new team....of course JV says it isn't...and we can only take his word for that. But Thor really wanted to do does everybody else interested in a shot at the worlds as it's the prime tune-up for that. So he'll have to do a bunch of smaller races...which won't quite be the same. But I think he might have a real shot at the the course seems to be suited for a strong sprinter/climber type...he fits that bill like very few others. Of course Gilbert will be there and if his season is any indication, he will be the favorite.

And the inaugural Tour of Colorado will take place during the Vuelta...which will be another BIG race for the US riders. For those of you going, I'm extremely jealous! It would be great fun to attend a few stages...I fondly remember the first Tour of Cali...(the one Floyd won?) The peleton rode right thru my area AND town...the finish that day was down in Santa Barbara. I saw them as they rode down hwy 1 in Guadalupe, then again on Clark Ave right here in Santa Maria/Orcutt as they were heading towards Foxen Canyon...and then we saw them yet again as they came down off of San Marcos Pass and into Santa Barbara. Rare to find a stage where you can catch the riders THREE times! Ahhhh....fond memories.

So...enjoy your vacations and take lots of pics! And JD, good luck on the autograph hunting! I sent you about 60 megs worth of pictures from this years ToC (only took like 4 days and MANY MANY MANY email attempts...who knew there was some kind of a size limit on emails!)...hopefully some of those will get you a good print and you can get them signed. You ladies can pull that sort of thing off where guys can't. Knock em'

OK..well....the doping front has been VERY QUIET this season...which is a good thing I'd think.....the ol' "no news is good news" seems to apply. Contador's CAS hearing over his LAST YEARS Tour Clen positive has now been moved up to the year 2037 I think (well, ok, it's this November, but at the rate they're going, they might as well move it to 2037). I'll be anxious to see what comes out of it. WILL they (the UCI) finally establish some kind of threshold? We can only hope so...but no matter how it goes, we will probably never know if he truly cheated or has been sucked into the black-hole of a crappy system. There are arguments both ways...but my rose-colored glasses say just give him a pass on this one. But that's just me...I know there are others out there (SUSIE!) who want heads (or more specifically, one head) to roll.I can't fault you for that I guess....once bitten, twice shy? I guess I just keep on sticking my hand into the big-dog's mouth. Some of us are really slow learners.

Alright-y then....that's about all I can think of at the moment. Oh....I have to give a huge congrats to Fatty btw for his sub-9 hour finish in Leadville last Saturday. That is a monumental achievement for a 'recreational' rider. And his wife Lisa (the Hammer) finished in around 9:30...which is ALSO monumental...on my best day she's still have crushed me (I rode with her in Davis and she DID crush me). I personally doubt that I could even do a 10 hour ride at that event.., and that's IF I could somehow endure the pain of riding my bike that long without becoming permanently crippled. I don't think any amount of motrin would help my neck after about 7 to 8 hours of riding. Ahhh....isn't it WONDERFUL getting old??

Well, that's all I've got...I'm OUTTA HERE (to bed I mean) ON!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Tour of Utah, the crapstorm we are heading for, and Q-rings.

Well...the Tour of Utah is underway! Of course, with NO VS to watch whatever they are planning on showing, I'm having a REALLY hard time getting stoked for it. Which is sad, because I hear it's a GREAT race! REading about todays stage, it sounds like Radio Shack came to WIN! Levi AND Jani in the top 5 GC...with a cushy lead over the rest of the wanna-be contenders. Sounds like after the disastrous Tour for the Shack they are out to regain some mojo. I wish them luck...they surely have earned some breaks I'd think!

Of course, just READING about the race plain SUCKS. But that's my lot in life this year...(and maybe next the way things are going just now in the world!) Not to bring politics in here, but JIMMINY CHRISTMAS! Our Fed Gov is crushing us...and I won't point fingers, cuz it's ALL of them! Their stupid little debt-ceiling rasiey-thing didn't fix a damn thing...they simply ONCE AGAIN deferred all the really hard decisions (ie: ones that would actually start to FIX THINGS) to the future.  And we NEED some damn things FIXED! I saw a neat quote from Warren Buffet, and it went something like this: "You want to get ride of deficits for good? Easy...we just need a law that says if the deficit goes over 3% of the GNP, the ENTIRE sitting congress is ineligible for re-election. Problem solved, you'd NEVER have a deficit again!" Boy, that's for sure...if there's ONE thing they all are REALLY good at, it's job preservation.

I'm so disgusted with the entire lot of them right now, I can't help but daydream about one of Tom Clancy's novels a while back....the one where a jetliner (empty, not hijacked mind you) purposely crashes into a joint session of congress. That's quite extreme obviously, but the reality is that things seem irrevocably broken. And our elected government seems totally incapable of fixing it. And WE all are going to pay for that. In the last few days I've watched my 401k shrink drastically, and there's just no good place to move it (the very few funds we do have are all crap...who PICKS these for us anyway? Is it a joke? Sure seems like it!)

OK...just had to get that out...I need a BIKE RIDE!! I didn't' ride Tues after work like normal cuz we got BUSY and I was running late. I HOPE To ride tomorrow (Thurs)...that will make me feel better. I noticed along ago that my bikes seem to be some kind of a lightening rod for negative energy...where it is somehow channeled into the earth and away from me, and afterwards I feel refreshed.

On a positive note, I got my birthday present from Jeannie in the mail tonight (it's a bit early, but timing was EVERYTHING!)...I got a set of Q-Rings for my mountain bike. What are Q-rings you ask? Well...let me explain. Ever hear of "Biopace" chainrings back in the 80's? These are like those, only different (better). The Biopace was an attempt to fix the 'dead spot' in pedaling. The pedals go around in circles, but human physiology means we can't actually pedal a circle (go ahead, sitting in your chair right now, try to rapidly pedal circles in the air with either foot....we just can't do it...turns out more like a square, or a strange triangle). That is the problem in a nutshell. are pedaling. The power stroke part of your 'circle' starts somewhere around when your top pedal gets to the 2-o'clock position....(slightly over the top heading down). The power part lasts as long as you are pushing mostly down...but very soon the pedal nears the bottom and starts to come backwards....the power part is now over...this is the 'dead spot'. Now your knees have to bear the brunt as your leg muscles try to power your top pedal forward (not up or down) and the bottom pedal almost directly backwards, and  those muscles and such are quite weak compared with the one that pushes down. Don't believe it? While sitting in your chair, push down with either can probably lift your entire body weight with either leg. Now move close to a wall or something (still sitting in your chair)...and with your knee bent at a 45 deg angle (thigh relativly parallel with the floor) put your toe against the wall and push forward with your foot...there is a GINORMOUS imbalance of power between these 2 positions. THIS is where cycling knee pain typically comes you can actually damage the soft tissues of your knee doing this over and over.

So...the fine folks at Rotor (a Spanish company) studied and studied, and realized that an elliptical shaped chainring (as was Biopace) with adjustment holes in the correct places (NOT Biopace) and having the group of holes in the RIGHT place (also not Biopace) allows for the chainring to actually be BIGGER just when your pedal is in the 'power' position' for both legs, and then to be smaller when the dead spot shows up for both legs. So you push a bigger gear momentarily just when you are best equipped to do so, and a smaller gear when you are at the weakest point. Biopace was the right idea but they didn't study the mechanics enough and had the bigger/smaller portions of the gears in the wrong place...and was not adjustable...thus they were total failures (they caused a lot of knee problems, which was one of the things they were trying to fix). of the guys I ride with got a set for his mt bike a few weeks back, and he magically started climbing with guys who routinely spank him on the climbs (he's a BIG guy...weighs around 240 I'd say)...and his knees don't hurt anymore. He thinks they are some sort of miracle, and wonders why every bike isn't equipped with them (I have to admit my skepticism I wonder the same exact thing...they've been out there for years apparently, yet I'd never heard of them before!) However, I looked around online, and then finally ebay (cuz a NEW set of these rings costs $265..which is outlandish!) I found a new in box set for my older XTR M960 crankset (they are now making XTR 970)....and I got a GREAT deal on them (well, Jeannie got a great deal on them I mean!) And the bonus is that Rotor doesn't make these older XTR Q-rings anymore...they only make the ones that fit the newer 970 I was VERY lucky to find these as you can't buy them from any store.

AND......they came in the mail TONIGHT!! Almost makes what's happening in Washington better...(almost). THANK YOU JEANNIE!! Happy birthday to MATT!! (a bit early)

I will mount them up tomorrow, and hopefully get out for my first acclimatization ride either tomorrow night or maybe Saturday.  They actually want you to do some easy rides so you get used to the different pedal your pedal stroke goes harder/easier with each circle you turn...however as that coincides with the actual strength of what you can do, they say it becomes totally natural very quickly. They recommend you ride a few hundred miles with the Q-rings in the #2 timing position (the middle one of 3) and after that you can move to the #1 or #3 to try out the slightly different feel and see what works best for everybody pedals differently. I'm quite jazzed to try these out....I was SO very lucky...if my birthday wasn't coming up very soon, I wouldn't' have gotten them (cuz I'm BROKE!)

Moving about the madness over in the UK??? It JUST SO HAPPENS that 5 of the guys I work with just flew into the UK...they left here on Monday morning and arrived in Manchester (via London) yesterday morning...right smack in the middle of all this unrest. I really was sad I didn't get to go on this trip (It's a 3 month stint)..I"m hoping for the 2nd or 3rd group..(we have work there for the next year or so). IF the schedule holds, this group will be there Aug/Sept/Oct, so the 2nd wave will be Nov/Dec/Jan (which I can't make, as we have Thanksgiving travel plans already paid for) HOPEFULLY I can make the Feb/Mar/Apr group. I have my travel road bike all ready to go...tho I'm betting it will be a tad chilly over there in Feb/Mar...but oh well...I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

OK..that's quite enough of an Inane smorgasbord for one post. In fact, it might almost be a new record for Inaneness....I'll have to work on some kind of rating-scale. Gotta run!


Friday, August 5, 2011

It's the last road for Highroad

I saw on the local news this morning that Bob Stapleton announced to his team on Sunday they are free to look for work because he has failed to find a new sponsor. Then I saw at least 2 articles on Velo News today about it, I guess the story just broke today. How utterly sad that the winning-est team in cycling can't get a sponsor. It's big news here as they are based just 30 miles up the road in San Luis Obisbo (I do most of my Mt biking up in the SLO area). I've been into Arts Cycling (they are the closest Cannondale dealer around) a few times, and they are the official 'Highroad' shop if you order team gear online. There's always lots of excitement in the shop due to their involvement with such an awesome team.

Obviously Cav and 3 or 4 of the leadout guys will no doubt find an awesome new home... hopefully they can stay together as they've been the premier 'sprinters' team for a few years now. Of course it will have to be a good Cav can't really go to a team that has a GC stake in the Tour..cuz the entire team will be dedicated to that (such as BMC and Leopard Trek). Garmin has a split personality with no 'top' GC contender, so they can afford to split the team and have a few guys take care of Tyler. I don't see him going to a team that already has a good sprinter...and Griepel is looking for a team thing you can say here is the trading/moving season will be VERY interesting! I have no idea how large the entire Highroad team is, but don't they sponsor a womens team too? I haven't heard but I'd assume that will be lost also. When you take into account ALL the people who work for a team, letalone all the unknown riders who are either new to the pro's or just the domestiques who do the work day in and day out for little to no glory, that's a lot of people looking for work in a field that is pretty small.

It's just so very depressing that we (the US) are losing one of our teams. It's been just incredible having all these teams the last few years...and I have to believe that the demise of one that is SUCH a powerhouse spells bad news down the road for all the others. I'd be VERY afraid when their current contracts are up.

And so....what's next for Stapleton? What does he do now?? He's a native of SLO...but I have no idea if he actually lives there when he's not managing a top pro cycling team. But he's obviously got the smarts and the contacts....maybe he can pull something together and start Highroad up again sometime in the future. But with the state of our economy I wouldn't hold my breath. We have lots of problems in the world and pro cycling might very well be a luxury if things continue to decline. Seems everybody is cutting back still, I wouldn't be surprised if we slip right into ANOTHER recession the way things are going. I'll keep riding MY bikes, tho I have to admit that I'm feeling the crunch too...just buying parts is getting hard....things are so expensive (the good parts I mean, not the chinsey stuff)....and my dollars just aren't going very far anymore. I'm maxed out on my retirement savings, but that doesn't leave much left after paying my share of the bills. Life is tough right now...our belts are tightened...and I can only hope we (I mean the entire WORLD) will pull out of this slump in the near future.

But for now...all we can do is hang in there. Cycling will go on, and next years season will be exciting if for no other reason than the huge shakeup that has teams will be stepping up with serious players and it will be SO very exciting! In the meantime, I can only wish good luck to all of Team Highroad...they've been an inspiration for many years now.

Thanks for the memories. It's been a great ride!

Oh...and speaking of the last road, .I found the link to the video of the launch pad deconstruction I talked about yesterday...the one where they cut-away the hammerhead and it crashes to the's a VERY short video...and it has audio..I can only imagine how it must have sounded anywhere nearby. It makes me sad to watch cuz I've spent a LOT of time up in that tower in the last 3 years of it's useful life (we shut it down after the LAST Titan IV launch in 2005) really served the country well for a lot of years and was home to many many BILLIONS of dollars of our finest spacecraft before they were sent into orbit. I drove by today and the pad-deck is just a pile of steel rubble...they've got some work to do just to clear that pile before they can continue. Anyway, here is the link if you are interested:

Vandenberg AFB SLC-4 hammerhead comes down