Sunday, November 14, 2010

RIP "Cobra"...

--The Cobra no more?? What's gotten into Riccò? Is he going soft on us all the sudden? It's one thing to quit doping, it's quite another to completely shed all remnants of his bad boy image. Looks like he's finally outgrown his "Cobra" nickname. And when I say "his nickname" I mean the one he gave himself... (For those of you who don't remember, Riccò and Riccò's babymama and Italian cyclocross racer, Vania Rossi, were both caught doping. Riccò was caught first, then Rossi, then Riccò dumped her, then her B sample came back negative. As far as I know Riccò didn't take her back after her B sample was negative.)

--Yesterday after a nice Paradise loop in the morning I headed down to Brisbane to watch the cross race.


The back side, where this pic was taken, was super fast and crit-like at times. I only stayed to watch Henry race but had a good time. Last year when Jim (@jwbender) raced was fun, too.

--Tuesday is the SF showing of Chasing Legends. There's a 630 and a 9 showing at the Castro Theater. Marek and Dylan have both seen it and have given it high marks so I'm psyched. I still have an extra ticket to the 9 showing if anyone is interested.

--The other night I went to see Race Across the Sky. I was expecting a play-by-play account of Levi's record-setting peformance--something I wouldn't have been expecting had I actually read the summary. Needless to say, it wasn't what I expected. If you're wanting all the PRO stuff about how Levi won, it doesn't have it. There's no behind the scenes with the mechanics, soigneurs, et cetera. There's roughly 20 minutes devoted to Levi and the real race, the rest is focused on the umpteen different cancer-or some other human affliction-surviving riders who are determined to finish. This is inspiring for the first 20 minutes at least. By the time the second hour started I was ready to leave. If you like this sort of thing, this movie is for you. It also will really make you want to ride MTB.

--Looks like Team Sky will be coming out to the Tour of Cali next year! It will be cool to see these guys out here. They didn't come last year because it didn't really suit the marketing goals of the team--Team Sky, as in the British cable company Sky. I'm not sure how it fits their goals this year given they have no US presence, but I'm stoked they're coming.

--In other local news, Quizno's Pro Challenge (Tour of Colorado) has announced the host cities. Looks like this race is slowly becoming a reality. Notably missing from the list is Boulder. Boulder Report mentioned something about it being their own fault, though.

--La Gazzetta is having a sale on his homemade emBROcations. I've been interested in these for a while but have yet to try them out. I think they're probably a lot better than the DZNuts stuff I tried. One of his posts mentioned they don't do that Icy Hot tingling because it's not good for your muscles. That was the part that was annoying about the DZNuts kind.

--Someone finally tracked down who's making those awful hawk helmets Scarponi has been wearing. The guy is Cornelio Perini. That being said I'd totally wear one.


--In true Inquisition style, some Spanish cycling official is saying Contador will be "punished." Good to know. In the meantime, Cyclocosm has made some Pistolero Steakhouse shirts which are really funny.

Back to the Spanish official thing. Is this just a whole cop out by the UCI? McQuaid doesn't want to be the bad guy so he lets the Spanish handle the case? The whole governing of these cases seems so arbitrary. Sometimes it's the country's court that's making decisions (ie CONI with Valverde) and other times it's the UCI. Where are the lines drawn?

--In another recent example, Iljo Keisse has had his suspension shortened by the Belgian Court of Appeals. The Belgian court has overturned a ruling by the CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport). How is this justified? So if you're in good with your local court, you can get out of a suspension? Or if a local court (ie CONI, the Italian court) needs a scapegoat (ie Valverde) they can go after you? What a system! (Keisse did, however, lose his contract with Quick Step over the deal.)

Some of you will remember I actually raced with Keisse in Belgium last summer. By "raced with Keisse" I mean I paid my three Euros, he paid his three Euros. I lined up, he lined up. I hung on for dear life, he made others hang on for dear life. I went in the bar after getting dropped and found a poster of him on the wall, he went in the bar after winning and found a poster of himself on the wall. You get the picture.

--Speaking of doping, looks like the Italian police raided Popovych's house in Tuscancy. This was after the Feds surprised him at some Lance event. Smells like abuse of power to me. First off, he's being investigated for things that happened years ago, so raiding his home is unlikely to yield anything. Secondly, he's being investigated for things that happened years ago, so you could interrogate him anytime, even when he's not at a charity event. Imagine that!

--Speaking of abuses of power, while riding with no hands yesterday I was told to put my hands on my bars by a police officer. I know this is "law" in Cat 5 races, especially at finishes. But as far as I know there's no real law regarding where the hands must be. (Interesting aside: once on a group ride to Windsor I was actually reprimanded by a Fredly Brit for "gesticulating" while riding.)

I asked about this on Quora and there are a lot of attorneys on there so we'll see what answers I get.

The reason the officer was there was because a group of citizens and police were stopping people at the light at Lake and Arguello. They were concerned because most, cars included, blow through the sign at the bottom of the hill (Washington St.). I had just blown through it and they were kind enough to not ticket me as well as hand me a pamphlet with information about cyclists' rights:


The fourth item is something I've read and was glad to see it's official--the pamphlets were made by SFPD. "Cyclists may use the full lane." I've been pulled over in Tiburon before for riding side by side with another cyclist. At the time I knew it wasn't the law, but realized it was the "law" in Tiburon. I'll have to carry a copy of this when I ride when they pull me over in Tiburon for riding in the middle of the lane I can cite the law on them. And then, they can cite the law on me and write me tickets for the five stop signs I just ran.

--I know I said I'd have a Fred post coming but I'm still working on it. It's coming along, though. In the meantime, this is way, way, way better...

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