Sunday, April 6, 2014

Spring has sprung, the Classics, and where's Waldo (hint: I heard he was on MA flight 370)

Spring has Sprung. Well, at least out here that is. We've finally gotten the daily high winds I always associate with Spring. Lovely wind. 20+ mph pretty much every day. Yep..love spring here in the Central Coast. But in other places I hope and pray you are FINALLY getting real spring....it seems most of the country has suffered a rather amazingly horrible and LONG winter. Speaking of winter not giving up it's grip, I'm headed to Colorado Springs tomorrow (Monday) for the next 2 weeks, and I saw just last week they got more snow up in Denver (about 60 miles north). Hooray...snow. Can't wait to see snow again (NOT!). In my ever optimistic outlook, I called Colorado Cyclist last Friday and reserved me a beautiful Santa Cruz 5010 demo mt bike (I believe that's the correct model name)...it's a carbon 650b (27.5") wheel beast...the one in-between the niner and the regular 26" wheels. I hope and pray Cheyenne Canyon and the mountains just west of the Springs are relatively clear of snow at least up to the 9 or 10-thousand foot level, cuz that is my playground when I'm there. I'll only have the one weekend to ride, and hope I can get out on that beautiful carbon steed and really find out what I'm missing riding my old 2003 aluminum Santa Cruz Blur. Not that it's a bad bike (my current blur), far from it. But it's kind of heavy. 29lbs for a 4.5" rear travel bike, full XTR 9-speed triple (albeit 2003 stuff). Of course, there's always the bad side of this if I do get to ride, ie: finding out just how old and antiquated my current steed is and then forever lusting after a new $7000+ mt bike. I already have that problem with my road bike (it's also aluminum). I am lusting after a nice carbon frame, but just don't have that kind of disposable cash.

Another sign that spring has finally sprung is pro cycling. Yes, it's time for THE CLASSICS! I really wish I could see these live, but just can't sit at the computer all day, I have stuff to do. Today was Flanders, or more correctly, the Tour of Flanders...one of if not THE most famous of the Classics. It's been shaping up to be one of the best, as for the first time in a number of years, all the favorites enter it healthy and gunning for a win. Of course I'm rooting for Fabian, but he's got real competition in the renewed Boonen, and the young upstart Sagan, to name just the top 2 contenders. There are certainly a number of others who, given the right setup could easily slip onto the top podium spot. I'm actually rooting for Boonen for a change this year. It's like he's grown out of the young spotlight hound and has matured into a real rider that deserves respect. I'd really love for todays race to come down to Boonen and Cancellara fighting it out, and if they were to finish one/two in either order I wouldn't be sad in the least. But still deep down I want it to be Fabian. I just respect him SO MUCH. He's my fav probably of all time, though I still like and respect Big George (gasp, he was a DOPER!), and also Chris Horner. I'm really rooting for Horner to do well this season, and it would just be the most awesome thing on the planet if he can win another Grand Tour! I will surely be rooting for him to stay healthy and give it a run.

What else besides cycling is going on in my uhm, er, month and a half +  absence? How about Malaysian flight 370. Isn't that just one of the most bizarre things you can think of? In THIS day and age, an entire jumbo jet packed with people disappears from the planet (seemingly, unless we go with the alien abduction theory. If not, then it's still here on the planet SOMEWHERE!) And then add in the very odd scenario that it turned from it's original course to China, and where it went from there is truly anybody's guess right now. I am dying to know where and why...as is the rest of the world, ESPECIALLY the friends and family's of the missing passengers. There are many potential theory's...one being some kind of an on-board emergency that forced the pilots to turn the plane, but nothing really explains why someone turned off their transponder and why as they flew back over Malaysia (if they really did that) not ONE cell phone call was made from any of the passengers (surely somebody would be watching out a window and see lights, and then turn on their cell phone cuz the world is addicted to being online and I know someone would do that). So was it a bad guy/s taking over the plane? If that's the case I'd think we'd have heard SOMETHING, as one thing bad guys want is publicity. Did one of the pilots go rogue and make this happen? If so, what was the motivation and desired outcome of their plan? To disappear forever? Seems kind of out there to me. Was the entire plane full of people AND flight crew somehow incapacitated as it flew on the new altered course (using autopilot) until it ran out of fuel? They do know it went quite high for a while (that came out early in the investigation). Then we have the insane search for debris 1500 miles southwest out of Australia. It's been a month...if the plane went down over here today, in 2 weeks the debris would most likely be LONG away from that location, and in a month, double-long away. Like the Japanese Tsunami debris washing up on the West coast a month (ok, could have been a bit more than a month) after that devastating day. And I saw today a ship caught wind of a flight recorder pinger in a totally different area (north-west of Australia, nowhere near the elusive mystery debris field). It's been a month now. Not a whiff of what happened to those 270 people. In one of the early possibilities, it flew northwest in/over the Himalayas...crashing anywhere in there would be just as hard to find as in the ocean. I guess with what we truly know at this point in time, it could be almost anywhere on the planet, including in a hangar somewhere with everybody a hostage to some unknown group of bad guys. That's almost as likely as anything else, however I truly believe it went down somewhere, and it's a BIG world out there as this proves.

Well, I need to get off the computer and finish my chores....trying my best to leave Jeannie with the least to do possible. She has been selected for a Jury! Last week she sat thru selection nearly all week, and FINALLY after going thru I believe almost 180 potential jurors, they came up with their 12 and 4 alternates. Jeannie is Juror #5! She is quite excited to finally be on a jury, and she is also quite excited to escape from her work for the next 5 to 6 WEEKS! (they told them right up front it will be a lengthy trial, up to 6 weeks). She's not allowed to tell me pretty much anything, other than it's a rather high profile case, and I'll probably hear about it sooner or later.  She's not allowed to watch local news during the duration as she could hear talk of this trial. Of course after it's over she's allowed to tell me ALL! I'm quite excited for her, as I've never been on a jury either and would like to . If it weren't for this Colo Springs trip I'd LOVE to be on a jury right now, as my work has been insane lately and I'd appreciate the break. I'm looking at this trip as a nice little escape though, so other than being away from Jeannie and the babies I'm quite looking forward to it.

OK. Have to scoot. Stuff to do before I fly. Be safe out there and enjoy spring!

Cheers!


20 comments:

  1. Nice rambling post, Matt. I mean that in a good way. That whole disappearing jet thing is pretty weird, I agree. It seems impossible for such a thing to happen in an era when it seems like we are all being watched all the time. Who knows? It may remain a mystery forever.

    Colorado Springs in the Spring! Sounds great! Have a good time and write it up!

    tj

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    1. Hey TJ...rambling is one of my superpowers...(the other is eating). Hope all is going well down in ur neck of the woods, and you are surviving your times of 'working for the man' (the man being anybody but yourself). Hang in there brother!

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  2. Hey Matt, do you know if Doug Bruinsma still own Colorado Cyclist?? He started up here in Estes Park. I bought a Trek mountain bike from him in the early 80's that re-fixed up and gave to one of my boys for his campus cruiser. He graduates this May so it may come back home.
    Doug is a good guy, ran a good business and was sad to see him leave town.
    Bring layers because winter will just not leave....

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  3. Hey Jim, no idea about Doug and Colo Cyclist... (I'll be swinging by the shop tomorrow, sadly I'll be cutting my 2-day demo bike down to just Saturday, Sunday has a horrible forecast. Also just like to peruse thru the shop, as they have some seriously high-end stuff. I'm hoping my demo of the beautiful carbon Santa Cruz 5010 isn't a huge mistake (as in: gee honey, my bike SUCKS and I need a new $7000 mt bike). We'll see...if nothing else, it'll be living the high-life for a day. I can' deal w/ the cool weather, but not the rain (snow) up high where I hope to be....getting freezing rain when I'm up over 10,000' would be a bad thing. Sat the forecast is nice w/ low odds of rain, Sun it's COLD forecast (high below 40) and over 70% chance of rain. I guess Sunday will be a movie day or something.

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    1. I understand! I had a big plan for both Saturday and Sunday. Some major road miles in and around Ft. Collins on Sat. and Meeting my son Kyle for some dirt riding on Devil's Backbone between Loveland and FOCO on Sunday. Supposed to snow on Sunday. I'll probably just watch the Masters on Sunday and still try for early ride on Sat. Enjoy the Colorado sun if you get any!! And, enjoy that sporty ride!!! Dangerous business demoing a $7K bike....Bike Lust could set in!!

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  4. Hey Matt, glad to see the InaneAsylum isn't shuttered with a "for sale" sign tacked to the front door!

    I have wanted to go to Colorado, it is on the to do list for sometime...but I don't MTB and never will I think. Have a good ride Saturday, think of the bike as like having that extra special anniversary dinner- you don't want to eat like that every week, right?

    I was pulling for Tombo too, but at the end was reeallly hoping Van Avermaet could pull it off. What a race! If only Vandenbergh had been allowed to work in the break, who knows!

    Today I saw the queen stage of Pais Vasco -- Contador and Valverde seem to be back to their form of old. Cadel is right up there, though, and the Eurosport announcer kept making comments about him "rolling back the clock" but doubting that he could. He is another one that I would so love to see pull off one more big win -- always has been one of my favorites.

    I see that Cathy is still working for Katusha, wonder how she likes it?

    I've never been on a jury, think it must be fascinating. I have heard from friends that it is harder than it appears to the public. Hope that you can pass on some of Jeannie's experiences.

    Enjoy spring! Our forsythia has just bloomed (late for here) and local folklore holds that we will get 3 more snows, although not necessarily significant. My back yard has been in a state of either standing water or saturated-squishy for weeks. Really hope that we have a decent summer, but I am not optimistic. I need warmth and sunshine, so I can get rid of this extra weight that I gained while recovering from late summer's fractures and subsequent plantar fasciitis (which a chiropractor has just finally resolved thank goodness). I couldn't ride, walk, jog -- all too painful. I have to admire those pros, I surely never did bounce back for spills and injuries like they do.
    Rae

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    1. Hey Rae, welcome back (well, actually I have to welcome MYSELF back too I guess). I saw on Velo News that Contador is looking like he's back to the form of old, good to hear Cadel might be able to put up a fight too. Everybody needs warmth and sunshine (especially me). I'm afraid I might pick up a few lbs I had lost after the holidays on this trip...being on per diem for 2 weeks (it's now use it or lose it) is really hard, having great meals every day rather than skimping and saving like I used to do on trips. Anyway, glad to hear I didn't lose everybody in my repeat absenses. Hope your lawn dries out and you get that sun and warmth!

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  5. Hello everyone! It's been awhile, but I still enjoy popping by here to see what's new in the world of the Inane! Currently I've been with the team in Flanders and now northern France since last Saturday, so I enjoyed Tour of Flanders (at the Paterberg) in person and am now ready for Roubaix. We did a super fun recon of half of the sectors yesterday so I experienced my first time on the historic cobbles. All I can really say is wow - so impressive that riders actually ride them! It was an exceptional day seeing our team plus a few others train out there, along with the colorful characters already on course in anticipation of Sunday's race. Come Sunday I get to be in a team car, on course all day, skipping around from section to section before heading to the velodrome for the finish. I almost have to pinch myself to believe it's all real......but IT IS and I'm happy to be here! (Various reports appear from time to time on the team website under blog heading.)

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    1. Congratulations (even though I am soooo jealous!) Glad that it is going well! Sorry that Paolini had some bad luck today.
      Are you traveling to races with the team often, or was this a special occasion just to be there for Flanders and Roubaix?

      Rae

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    2. Hey Cathy! Thanks for checking in...you are living the dream girl!! Yep...livin' the dream....I'd love to see some monument races in person some day...riding in the team car? You GO!! (I'm betting the cobbles are quite horrible to actually ride on, let-alone race on....we always say we're riding cobbles when the road gets horrible, but in reality I bet I have no IDEA how bad horrible can be). Keep us updated here when you can, really appreciate it! And HAVE FUN!!!

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  6. Matt, I hope that you stayed in, and found a live stream to watch the race today! WHAT a race it was! Tommeke made the race for sure, wonder if it was a plan to sacrifice for Terpstra or just having the cards to play when needed? I am sentimental, would have loved to see Boonen win again, but I am satisfied with the result. I have been waiting to see Terpstra take a win (but didn't expect it to be P-R!)

    I think Phinney acquitted himself well, hope to see more from him next year!

    Garmin-Sharp is not making a lot of noise, but they seem to always have someone well up in the finishes -- just not threatening for the podium. Hope this is a re-sorting year that leads to bigger and better things.

    Rae

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  7. Hey Rae...no, did not see the race, I was out on a demo Santa Cruz mt bike in the mountains of Colorado Springs (Cheyenne Canyon and area). Just a perfect day, only prob was there is still snow up high...I got up to 9000' an it got sloppy real quick after that....being on a demo bike (that I had to pay extra if I bring it back goopy) I turned around and stayed down lower on the mountain...which is fine as there are plenty of good trails I had access to. All in all a banner day to check out a brand new 650b (27.5" wheels) carbon mt bike. My poor 11 year old full XTR Blur is pathetic in almost every way to the lower built bike I rode...now I MUST try a niner sometime. Today (Sunday) the predicted storm hit as planned...snow flurries all day, it's starting to stick and get pretty cold (dinner time). BRRRR! The roads are gonna be SLICK tomorrow...might be black ice everywhere!

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  8. P-R is supposed to be broadcast (tape-delayed) TONIGHT (Mon 4/14) on NBCSports at 8:00 PM eastern time (don't know when for west coast).

    I looked & looked for when/where/IF the race would be shown yesterday either live or tape-delayed till afternoon & there was NOTHING. VERY pissed at NBC but not surprised. Have to wonder how much longer ToC & Tour of Colorado will be shown or even exist.

    Yessireebub, the destruction of Lance Armstrong has "helped" the sport IMMENSELY in this country...

    Meanwhile, baseballer Ryan Braun got a standing ovation from his home crowd, as did 'retired' Barry Bonds. But at least our country is "safe" was the evil doping mastermind of the century... HAH!

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    1. Hey Susie...my DVR will be recording the race, I hope to have a chance to watch it when I get home (I"m in Colo Springs right now...it SNOWED yesterday (Sunday), and is pretty freaking cold today! Glad I was able to slip in a day of Mt biking on Saturday...what a diff...this cold front is a monster!

      And yep...nothing like the health of good ol' USA cycling now that the DEVIL has been cast out...everything is A-OK. Oh, and Floyd is STILL in line to get money in his "whistleblower" lawsuit...that still blows my mind that it could happen. It's quite a great system we have for sure.

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  9. Hey...did you all see the news about Horner being hurt? A hit and run by a car during a training ride....he's out for the giro, punctured lung and broken ribs...very lucky he's not hurt more. Pretty scary when even pro's are getting hit while riding in a cycling friendly European area...makes me even more scared than normal! Sure hope he's ok...

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  10. Hey Matt - just awful to read the news last week about Horner! He'd already been having a rough season & now this! BUT, it could have been worse - he was NOT wearing a helmet! He's so, so LUCKY his head was not injured or worse. How fast can one come back from a punctured lung? Cyclists always seem to shrug off broken ribs so I'm not too worried about those, but the lung injury sounds serious. Selfishly, I'm hoping that since he'll now miss the Giro, his team may actually put him in the Tour as a mt domestique & at least we'll be able to see him ride this season.

    I enjoyed watching P-R last night! Man, every time I watch either P-R or Flanders, I am always agog - HOW do those guys ride that stuff?! And crash, crash, crash! I'm thinking cycling needs to market itself to car racing enthusiasts - at least the ones that salivate over the crashes as the carnage on cobble races could be right up their alley. I was rooting for Spartacus of course. That he finished on the podium when one of his TEAMMATES almost wiped him out entirely about halfway & then when he had no helpers left with about 30k to go, well, that was AMAZING! I didn't think he'd have a chance at all at that point. I did feel kind of bad for Tomeke as he was definitely the spark of the race, even if I did think he went WAY too early (65k out I think). And WOW, mighty impressed with Wiggins! I may not like him much, but major props to him! A TDF winner finishing 9th in a (mostly) bunch sprint at Paris-Roubaix!

    And Rae - I wondered about Tomeke-Terpstra too! Was Terpstra given the go-ahead when Boonen maybe told the team he was too tired or did he just attack on his own? And poor Tommy - how many times did he wave at his fellow breakers to "move their bloomin arses" when he was frantically trying to get away? He should have saved his energy, what rider will "help" a 4-time P-R winner? They'd be stoopid. :)

    Wish I could have seen Flanders on TV. Only got to watch the final 4k on computer via Cyclingfans video clips (non-English commentary).

    Anybody know if Spartacus will ride in the Tour this year? I was very disappointed he chose to sit out last year. I would think with an American team owner, they'd want him in the ONLY cycling race that most Americans even know about & nowadays is 1 of less than a full handful of races we actually get to SEE on TV. Hey, I didn't get to see more than the final day of Paris-Nice, what's the scuttlebutt on whether Schleck Bros will be actual Tour contenders this year? And what do you think is the REAL reason Andy is a shell of his former self? That accident/injury was in early June 2012 & he had not been riding that great in the Spring even before. Sheesh, the last 5 years in pro-cycling have sure been a SHOCK! The greatest TDF champion stripped, destroyed, & scapegoated for what had been done in this sport since DAY ONE & then the anticipated 7-year Alberto-Andy TDF Duel has seemingly ended when it was only on its 1st leg. Once again, I cannot believe I'll be rooting for Contador at the TDF! But if he can crush Team Sky, I'm all in!

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    1. I saw a pic of CH in his hospital bed, although it wasn't a full view I looked carefully for any sign of a tube to re-inflate his lung and didn't see one -- could have been there, but if not then the puncture was minor and he should recover quickly. He does seem to be an injury magnet!

      I haven't seen anything about Fabu's race program. I have read that he is not so interested in pursuing TTs anymore though.

      Haha, marketing cycling in the USA -- last year I was visiting a kitchen remodeling blog (hey Matt did you get all your projects done?) and up on the side came an ad for NBCSports featuring an upclose shot of the bloody face of Laurens Ten Dam, taken after his faceplant in the 2012 TdF. Believe me, that was not appealing to the (mostly) ladies who were frequenting that forum! Many, many complaints! Wonder if it was my fault, googleAds tracked me down!

      I am beyond disgusted with NBCSports, if they do carry a race what time is it on? 1 or 2 am! Really, they can't bump one fishing show every 3rd week or so? Remember when OLN had racing every Sunday -- and a cycling home page that was actually updated with news that didn't just have to do with Lance and the TdF -- the good old days!

      Well, I did enjoy their commercial free livestream Sunday morning, I'll give that to them. Even if I did mute P&P to listen to the Eurosport commentators.

      Rae

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  11. I think Amstel Gold in on live, but maybe on BEIN or another channel. I saw it on my Directv guide and was shocked! I'll try to look tonight and post what I find.

    IT WAS SO FUN being inside the race for PR! Lordy, I've checked that one off my bucket list now and it was worth the wait!

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  12. Definitely live on BEIN Sports. On Directv that is channel 620. Starts when it's still dark out - maybe 5AM west coast!

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