Friday, August 24, 2012

Dark Days

Well, unless you live under a rock (like I have been prone to do here and there) you are no doubt aware of the Lance situation. Before I go any further, a friend forwarded me this link to Lances statement and I think everybody should read is the link:


Whether you think he did or didn't, I think the sad part is that he has been convicted by the USADA with no trial. His only option was whether to oppose that conviction and go to arbitration (which we all know is a rigged system where you have to somehow prove your innocence but don't have the legal means to do it as in a trial).

Where all this goes from here is beyond me....I just know that I sure don't see how this will make anything better. Just who will those 7 TDF titles be given to?

Also of note, I can't help but wonder how this will affect LIVESTRONG...their mission has nothing to do with any of this but I'm afraid they will take a serious beating.

There are so many out there who have long ago convicted Lance....I have NO IDEA if he is innocent or guilty...all I know is what I've heard like most everyone else....I'd sure like to see and hear the ACTUAL case against him (and that isn't the case the media have been using for years now...I mean the one with REAL EVIDENCE, not just a bunch of hearsay, he-said, she-said). Sadly, it is USADA's public position that as he declined going to arbitration, that is the same as an admission of guilt (which is exactly what all the media have jumped on and are saying).

All I know for sure is that it's a dark day in cycling. One of the darkest I can recall. I'll be waiting to see how any good comes out of all this. But in the meantime I'll continue to ride my bikes, fund-raise for LIVESTRONG, and enjoy watching whatever races I can.

It will be interesting to see tonight's stage of the US Pro Cycling Tour and see just what Phil and Paul have to say about this.

And so I retreat into my DVR with the Pro Cycling Challenge and the Vuelta. Nothing has changed dramatically in my life with today's announcement, but I still feel like I've been kicked in the gut somehow.

And life goes on.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Holy cats....TWO, count em, TWO BIG RACES and I'm WATCHING THEM BOTH for a change! How about them apples? Wow...The Vuelta is being shown daily on Universal, and for ONCE I've got it! It was one of the extra channels I got when I upgraded my Dish package for the TDF (and kept it for the Olympics, and now I"m keeping it all thru the Vuelta). And then the Pro Cycling Challenge is on the NBC Sports channel ...Woo-HOO!

It is very strange watching the Vuelta tho....I've never had any other feeds than the OLN/VS/NBC Sports for the Tour and the spring races, so it's always been Phil and Paul and Bobke (or some variation of them). Watching the first two stages of the Vuelta, I still can't get over NOT having Phil or Paul's voice...I even miss Liam! But THEN last night I turned to the Pro Tour Challenge (directly after finishing stage 2 of the Vuelta) and lo and behold, P & P! I was SAVED!

And let me add this...watching stage 2 of the Vuelta, I was actually ROOTING for El Pistolero! was wonderful seeing VICIOUS ATTACKS in a brutal climb! And I was sadly pondering how the Tour would have gone...surely Alberto would have lit up Bradly like a pinball machine in the mountains....Froome was even having a hard time staying with him...he'd let AC go and then slowly reel him in...however I don't think  AC is at 100% just yet...if he was I think Froome's chances of reeling those attacks in would disappear over the top of the hill and that would be that. It will be VERY INTERESTING to see just how the race develops over the coming's surely a climbers dream.

Sadly, I don't see Cadel doing very well with all these mountain-top finishes...but he could surprise me...he's done that before. And Valverde...he was looking pretty good, and he had said he was there to support his teammate (who dropped off on that final climb and pretty much showed he has no chance for the overall, unless he was having a VERY bad day and that is his last).

And then onto the Pro Challenge...WOW! Tommy D was on FIRE! I can't believe he was reeled Healthnet no less! Good for them though...and in the end it probably turned out better for the team, with Tyler taking the win in a decisive way...maybe it will give him so confidence, of which he seems to have been lacking for a while now. Watching that stage on TV made me wish I was up in Colorado...if only I could arrange one of my Colo Springs trips during THIS race! But no luck...won't be going back there for a while...probably not this year. Oh well...but what a race that is!

OK...I"m off to dinner and then to try to somehow watch about 4 hours of two race coverage in the next hour or so...(which is impossible). Never before have I had this much cycling on after the tour...I'm quite jazzed! (I expected another dead end to the season like I usually have after the Tour...what a pleasant surprise for me!)

And so.....Viva le Vuelta AND le Pro Tour Challenge! (and sadly, it's Big George Hincapies final HOO!) Maybe he will win a stage and go out in style! GO GEORGE!!

Game ON!

Monday, August 13, 2012

NOW what do we do?

I can hardly believe it...the Olympics are OVER! Between that and the Tour, 6 weeks of my life has FLASHED by in a blink!

I didn't even get to watch nearly as much of the Olympics as I had hoped. Lots of reasons, mostly just the lack of that kind of time. One of my bi-annual gripes is the lack of specific event programming. I do NOT want to have to record 6 to 12 hours of general Olympics and then FF thru it to find the event I want, and then to have them show part of it, move to something else for awhile, then back and forth. I HATE THAT!

I ended up seeing ZERO gymnastics. Very little diving. A little bit of shooting (air rifles...they are just INCREDIBLE!), very little of the track cycling, and almost none of the track and field.....sheesh, just what DID I watch?

Somehow the time flew by and I can't really tell you what I did see...I did catch a few games of volleyball (both indoor and sand). Don't really care for basketball, not a huge soccer fan. I know I quickly wore Jeannie out and she put her foot down when she'd come home from work and I'd have it on day after day. So there were many days when I saw nothing. I manage record a whole bunch over the entire duration, but due to the complete lack of specific times/events, most of those ended up getting deleted unwatched.

And so...the 2012 Olympics are finished. The Thrill of victory, the agony of defeat. The sheer joy of just BEING THERE for the majority of the athletes. I did catch SOME of the closing ceremony...recorded the rest but again, that TIME thing...not sure when/if I'll get to it.

Life has returned to normal around there's only football (US style) for me to look forward to...but I don't actually watch very much of that either (time to sit and watch, and also Jeannie pretty much hates it overall). I do catch an occasional quarter or 2, college or pro...but over the course of the season I'll prob get to actually watch about the same as I did the Olympics....not very much. Oh goes on. Summer is drawing to a close. Soon it will be cooling off (for those of you who actually GET summer anyway)...

As for me, I'm still trying to mount my cycling 'comeback'....turns out being on travel for the first 4 months of the year (which is following the annual Nov/Dec holiday season of very little riding) doesn't bode well for me being anywhere NEAR prime condition. I had the one month (March) of riding in England...and even though I did log some good miles, those were all 'tourist' miles. I do know that overall I'm putting in the slowest average speed rides that I can recall (and I keep a log of EVERY ride). But I am slowly making progress.

Getting older stinks...comebacks seem to be OH so much harder the older you get. That is my words of wisdom for today.

And so, I wish you  a  "Happy nearly the end of summer" to all...get out there and ENJOY IT  while it lasts (and get AWAY from the TV for a while!)

Now we can officially begin the post Tour/Olympics withdrawl blues.

Game OVER.