Thursday, July 16, 2009

Le Tour

Well... "America's Team As Presented by Kazakhstan", a.k.a. Astana is looking really good right now. The other teams needed to get one of them into The Jersey to force them to work on these flat stages. Now all of Astana'a droids are all well rested for the fun and games that begins tomorrow.

Former Tour winner, Bernard Hinault has an interview up over at VeloNews. I like his take on Le Tour and Lance boy. Here's are a couple of quotes:

VN: What do you make of the Armstrong return?

BH: Pfft … I couldn’t care less in the end. It’s not my problem.

VN: Don’t you think it’s impressive that he’s been able to return to the top level after being away from the sport for three years?

BH: But what is his motive for coming back? Is it to win? To fight cancer, or something else in the future? To one day be the governor of Texas? I think at this moment, the Tour serves him more than what he serves the Tour.

My New Ride

We stopped at Arnold's Bike Shop in Thompson, Illinois on the Saturday leg of the Cedar Valley Nature Tour - Re-located. I scored a Zefal HPX frame pump there for fifteen bucks. We all bought one. These are the best frame pumps ever made. Sadly, they are out of production.

I also "test rode" a new bike. I don't think that I'll be riding this one on RAGBRAI this year.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Librarians Just Want To Have Fun

Who says those librarians don't know how to have fun? The daughter went to the American Library Association meeting in Chicagoland this weekend. She's hoping to catch the Book Cart World Championships. Here's a clip from last year:

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Le Tour

Well... I am now fully in the grip of that annual madness known as Le Tour. So far it's been a good one and it really starts to hot up tomorrow on stage 7. It's a lovely little 224 km from Barcelona to the ski station at Arcalis in the tiny Principality of Andorra. The last 10.6 km of the stage is at an average grade of 7.1%. Can you say ouch?

I have to give major props to the Shimano-Skil team. They are rocking Le Tour old school. They been sending riders in the breaks, working at the front, trying to get their sprinter to the line. It's the way it should be ridden.

Speaking of old school... I will admit, I didn't realize that this team still in existence. I was smiling when I saw those jerseys. I was remembering back to the old days, when Sean Kelly was in the red and white stripes. Now there was one of the iron men of the road.

Here's the definitive picture of him. It's from the podium of 1984's Liege Bastogne Liege. Be amazed...

Sunday, July 5, 2009


Well... Another week has gone by. Did a quick trip down to the St. Louis area for the 4th. A good trip. The drive was nice and boring, just like I like it. I actually made it over to the gym that was close to the hotel to ride a spin class so I could keep the legs working. It was pretty good, but I really don't care for the bikes they had. That said, it was a massive drip fest.

I'm now starting to get into RAGBY mode. I have to seal the floor of the tent and the ground sheet, but the magic stuff showed up a couple of days ago. Then it's find a few things here and there and start stuffing it into bags.

I plan to put the Ti beer wrench pictured above to good use with the folks from The Bus during the week. It will be nice to see everyone again. I find it interesting that since I started doing RAGBRAI, I've made a number of good friends that I see once a year. That's the best part of the ride.

Also... The 2009 edition of the Tour de France. I'm somewhat bummed that Jason McCartney didn't make the Saxo Bank Tour team. I would have loved to see Jason and Jens sitting on the front of the field and shredding it to pieces. There are a number of interesting twists to this year's race. The Team Time Trial (TTT) is back, but with time losses unlimited. Also, there are no time bonuses at the end of stages. I'm really hoping that someone other than Lance Boy wins. It will be very interesting to see how Astana manages to get four potential TdF winners making a team effort.