Thursday, October 21, 2010

Lance Number 5

--The Lance machine keeps chugging. Lance, age 39, just had his fifth, FIFTH!, kid with babymama Anna Hansen! Somebody tell this guy the podium only goes three deep! I guess by this point some of his kids must be riding bikes. I wonder if any of them are showing talent.

--Tonight I was reading one of these Astana rider cards that I got at the Eneco Tour last year. They have these facts about the riders mixed in with quirky facts about Kazakhstan. I came across this one with "Chechu" Rubiera:

The cool fact about him was that he opened Barlata. It's a tapas bar on Telegraph in Oakland. I had seen riders wearing kits with the name on there but had no clue it was owned by him. I'll definitely have to stop by!

--Last Sunday was my first full day out in the rain this season. The nice thing about riding in the rain, aside from the fact I like it wet/foggy out, is that no one else is out. No cars, no bikes, no tourists.

Oliver and I left SF at noon and the whole city was fogged in. Oliver bailed and I went up to San Anselmo, where it was still wet, to meet Marek. He and I rode Alpine Dam so I didn't get back until about five. Spending all day out in the rain gave me a chance to try out my latest rain tip.

The other day I emailed Phil Gaimon to see what was up with him and Jelly Belly. We emailed back and forth a few times and then I asked about rain advice. He said no special tires, it's all about air pressure. He's about 150 and rides as low as 85. So before I went out I put 90 in the rear and 85 in the back (rear wheel supports more weight so needs more pressure).

The difference was unreal. The lower pressure made the road feel dry. I noticed a lot less slippage and the turns were super smooth.

The other tip he gave me was to really put a lot of weight on the back wheel. Usually when descending with questionable traction I'll focus on keeping weight on my opposite foot. This is what I've always heard. Instead, I focused on just putting a ton of weight on my saddle.

The bike handled like a dream. When I weighted down the saddle [and the rear wheel] I just seemed to glide through the turns. It was really one of those "Ah ha!" moments, as though I had never really descended before.

--In other news, they just released the route for next year's Tour. Both reigning champion, Contador and points jersey winnner, Petacchi were notably absent.

Virenque did happen to be there and suggested that Sastre could win the mountains jersey. Was he drunk? Last time I checked Sastre finished 20th last year in the overall and 35th in the points for the mountains jersey. Not to mention he plans on doing all three grand tours next year. Hmm.

Team Sky also had lofty ambitions despite being a veritable no show at last year's Tour.

It was cool, however, was hearing that Androni - Diquigiovanni might end up riding the Tour next year. It would be sick to see the Italian conti team riding it. Especially since stage two is a TTT!

Oh and they're going to have a ton of cool climbs.

--In other news, the 50+ Jeannie Longo keeps winning. This woman is incredible. She just took the TT title at the Commonwealth Games.

--Speaking of the Commonwealth games, Cav continued to run his mouth about the HTC management. There are good ways to go about this and bad ways. Looks like he didn't learn anything from Greipel.

--And speaking of HTC, they're going to be riding Specialized! The Scotts were cool but these are so sick. I'm really psyched about them. Cool to see an American team riding Specialized.

--The mysterious Luxembourg team keeps signing riders. I'm excited to see who the sponsor is but also a bit puzzled. Why would you pay all the money for a team, and then not use what is essentially free advertising? I mean, whoever the sponsors are, they're paying for the team for a full year. But if they unveiled the name now, they'd get an extra quarter of advertising with no additional cost. Why wait?

I'm guessing they are still lining up sponsorships. I think often the team owners sign a team and then are able to attract sponsors in a "If you build it, they will come" model.

--Looks like Webcor has lost its funding for next year. This is really unfortunate considering the amount of support they've provided to women's cycling.

--VeloNews, which I'm usually really hard on, mainly because I think most of their pieces are bland and uninspiring, has a really cool new column. It's called "Ask Nick" and you get to ask a ProTour mechanic questions. The lastest one had some really good content. It's much more interesting, for me, than Zinn's pieces. Now if they just did an "Ask a PRO" column...

One more thing about VeloNews: I got a copy of their magazine at Interbike and it was actually pretty decent. I think they shrunk the width a bit to get it down to standard size but the content was good. They had some fun interviews and other pieces I couldn't find online. I also picked up a copy of Road, which I used to really like, and realized it wasn't that great anymore. The graphics are all dull and none of the articles were that exciting. I'd actually pick VeloNews over it.

--Cyclingnews had an article up with Jack Bauer's bike. Sick bike and cool to see him on there. He always kept his gear pristine and washed his bike before races.

--I'll leave you with a video of "Chicken" dancing...

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