Friday, June 29, 2007

Monkey See...

Armstrong in Calgary for the 2007 Tour of Courage

It didn't take long to determine what type of significance Floyd Landis' Wiki Defense would have on the process of sports arbitration or on the way athletes defend themselves against allegations. Lance Armstrong has recently followed suit and published his own collection of legal documents on thepaceline.com to refute David Walsh's latest book, From Lance to Landis: Inside the American Doping Controversy at the Tour de France.

Among the published documents are:

Raise High The Roof Beam, Carpenters

I couldn't resist using the partial title as a means for introduction to this post, as J.D. Salinger is one of my favorite authors. If you've read any of his short stories, books, or even reviews of either, it becomes readily apparent that Salinger fashioned situations which not only revealed profound insights into his characters, but also into himself.

As I've recently reviewed my own writings, whether they be works of fiction or the banalities of some of my cycling posts, much of who I am and the passions that I exude are in my words and the topics I choose.

Given that, this week The Columbus Dispatch featured the story of some socially and environmentally conscious individuals who have brought a whole new meaning to the cycling term, hammerin'!

Hammer Time
To those in the 18 to 24 year old age bracket, the summer usually means a respite from school work, hanging out at the pool, catching up with friends, or working some odd summer job.

For the participants in Bike & Build, its an opportunity to "pedal to end poverty housing."

Groups of 30 young adults embark from various coastal locations cycling across the country and building affordable housing along the way. The group that was recently in the Columbus, OH area left Providence, RI on June 7th.

In its fourth year, over 400 individuals have participated, collectively raising over $750,000 for affordable housing groups like Habitat for Humanity.

You can follow certain individuals on their journeys through their respective blogs. Here are just a few:

Rachel Mollica (Central US)
Matt Vanderpool (NC to San Diego)
Caitlin Graboski (Southern US)
Rachel Hokanson (Providence to SF)

If you'd like more information on the group, are interested in participating, or would like to read some more blogs, head over to bikeandbuild.org.

On Tap...

On The Road & Track
Here's a listing of races in and around your area for June 29th to July 1st. For those looking for results from these races, check out Truesport.

06/29/2007
Proctor Cycling Classic
Chillicothe, Brimfield & Peoria, IL
NAS-Track #2
Velodrome at Bloomer Park
Rochester Hills, MI
Friday Night Development Series
Ed Rudolph Velodrome
Northbrook, IL

06/30/2007
Leesville Gap Road Race
Williams, CA
Ed Peters Memorial Masters Weekend -Criterium
Bethlehem Township, PA
Brownstown Road Race (TM)
Brownstown, PA
Tour de Grandview
Grandview, OH
Dexter Criterium State Championship
Dexter, MI
Hyde Park Blast
Cincinnati, OH
Fremont Criterium
Fremont, CA
Endeavour Elm Grove
Elm Grove, WI

07/01/2007
Vacaville Gran Prix
Vacaville, CA
Ed Peters Memorial Masters Weekend-Circuit Race
Center Valley, PA
Chevron Manhattan Beach Grand Prix
Manhattan Beach, CA

This weekend's featured race is the Tour de Granview in my hometown of Columbus, OH. Recently featured in The Columbus Dispatch, the race has certainly seen its share of ups and downs over its 15 year existence. The race has survived despite local political in-fighting, changes in sponsorship, and being dropped in stature on the USA Cycling racing calendar.

Its list of alumni reads like a who's who in professional cycling, as the race has seen the likes of Levi Leipheimer, Floyd Landis, Baden Cooke, Mark McCormack, Gord Fraser, Danny Pate, Nicole Freedman, and Melissa Sanborn.

If you're fortunate enough to be in the area on Friday, June 29th, plan to attend the "Reds, Whites & Bikes" Wine Tasting from 7:00p.m. to 10:00p.m. at Global Living, 855 Grandview Avenue. The event will serve as kick-off for the 2007 Germain Lexus Tour de Grandview Cycling Classic and a fundraiser. Tickets are $35 per person or $60 per couple in advance; $50 per person at the door. Advance tickets (which will be held at the door and not mailed to patrons) can be purchased at Members First Credit Union, located at 1445 W. Goodale Blvd., ph. (614) 462-6850 ext. 122.

Racing begins at around 1pm on both Saturday and Sunday.

Tour Preview
With the Tour de France only a week away, the hype machine really gets cranked up this weekend with Versus' Tour Preview. The odds on favorite looks to be Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana), but without any truly dominant riders in the peloton, it could be anybody's race. As stated previously, our own T-o-03 will be in London, England for the Prologue.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Gas Sucks...Ride A Bike

Its fast becoming a popular and ubiquitous slogan for cyclists, environmentalists, cyclists who are environmentalists, and environmentalists who cycle.

Earlier this month we featured cyclists around the world who en masse rode against oil dependency during the World Naked Bike Ride. Now comes this story from Minneapolis, MN about Karl and his friends who have taken the utility of bicycling to a whole other level (click on the image).


That's how we roll! (or better yet, how we should all roll)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Velodrome Love

The Detroit Free Press, which has one of the more memorable URLs, FREEP.com, recently featured the Mike Walden Velodrome in Rochester Hills, MI and those who run it and ride on it. If you still haven't taken a ride on the boards, just listening to (reading) what Maia Orabi (Wolverine Sports Club) has to say about it should at the very least pique your interest. Having met Maia out on the track, her personality is just as infectious as her love for it.

Gina Damron writes:
And then there's Maia, the 21-year-old newbie with the red, scabbed-over scrapes on her knees to show for it. Maia Orabi (inset) of Shelby Township is one of the few women racing against the men.

"Like how a mosquito tastes blood and wants more, more, more," she said, "I'm like that with the track."

[MORE]

Monday, June 25, 2007

IronKatie's Korner

Brief Update: It's official, our IronGal-in-training is now an Ironman! After being in communication with her family all day, getting the latest live Katie sightings and updates while providing online split times, pace, and placing, I felt completely lame as I couldn't even stay awake long enough to receive Katie's phone call after she finished the Ford Ironman Coeur d'Alene.

A complete update will follow, with yes some more cycling mishaps, when our IronGal has had an Ironman sized rest. Congratulations Katie!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Gusev's Got A Fever...

...and apparently the only prescription was MORE COWBELL! Gotta Have More Cowbell?

Discovery's Vladimir Gusev certainly "explored the space" up the Grimselpass and claimed the victory on the seventh stage of the Tour de Suisse. (Photo: Agence France Presse - 2007) While another Russian, Vladimir Efimkin (Caisse d'Epargne) still remains in yellow by a slim 24 seconds over T-Mobile's Kim Kirchen.

Watch the finale tomorrow LIVE on Cycling.tv or on taped delay on Versus' Cyclysm Sunday.

Friday, June 22, 2007

On Tap...

On The Racing Docket...
Here's this weekend's rundown of races in select areas. Not listed is NAS-TRACK #1 for the Madison Racing League at the Mike Walden Velodrome in Rochester Hills, MI. For those who have never witnessed the Madison upclose, click on the image below (Flash video - requires a high speed connection; may open up in a new window). The NAS-TRACK series begins tonight, Friday June 22nd; races begin at 7pm EST.


Speaking of Rochester, the downtown streets of Rochester, New York will host the next round of the USA Cycling Professional Tour in the form of the 4th Annual Saturn Rochester Twilight Criterium, on Saturday, June 23.

06/22/2007
Fastest Man on Wheels
Trexlertown, PA
Superior Bike Fest
Marquette, MI

06/23/2007
Shreve Chiropractic Cycling Challenge
Shreve, OH
San Pedro Grand Prix
San Pedro, CA
Dan Spencer Memorial Road Race; PA state masters c
Bloomsburg, PA
Pacific State Bank GP
Stockton, CA
MOTOR TABS Festival of Speed
Encino, CA
Cobb Park Criterium
Kankakee, IL
2nd Annual Downtown Lenoir Criterium
Lenoir, NC

06/24/2007

Wolverine State Time Trial Championship
Dearborn Heights, MI
Grand Prix of Groveport
Groveport, OH
Bloomsburg Town Park Criterium
Bloomsburg, PA
Burlingame Criterium
Burlingame, CA
State Games of North Carolina
Greensboro, NC
Reston Town Center Grand Prix
Reston, VA
Downtown Crit/State Champ-Darek Leyde Memorial
Salt Lake City, UT
State Masters Criterium Championship
Carson, CA
Fox River Grove Cycling Challenge
Fox River Grove, IL

For those looking for results and/or images from any of above listed events, check out Truesport.com - Your Cycling Resource


Armchair Cyclists

On Versus' (check your local listings) Cyclysm Sunday, watch the conclusion of the 71st Tour de Suisse. Like the Criterium du Dauphine Libere last week, this race is usually billed as a Tour de France preview for spectators and a Tour build-up for most of the riders. The main protagonist to date has been CSC's Frank Schleck, who looks to be on similar form when he was last year's Tour revelation.

Follow it LIVE online on Cyclingnews or Velonews, or watch it on Cycling.tv. As noted by T-o-03, Cycling.tv has now been optimized for Mac users. Can your Oude Granny get an AMEN!

Tri, Tri, and Tri Again
Our IronGal, Katie, is on route to Idaho for the 5th Annual Ford Ironman Coeur d'Alene, which kicks off this Sunday June 24th. If you'd like to follow Katie's progress, you can do so online at IronManLive (thanks for the tip Barb, the very proud mother of IronMan Jen Baer); her bib is # 1986. GO Katie!

Taken For Granted...

When you're in and around cycling circles, you hear it often: "I've got to upgrade (insert specific cycling part here)...I need a new bike...that one's just for the track," and that's just what's coming out of my own mouth.

For all its form and function as a means for fitness or competition, the bicycle can hold a different level of importance for some.

A film, like the "Bicycle Thief," or the image (AP: Mohammad Zubair) of Afghan refugees in Pakistan preparing to return to their homeland, reminds me just how important a bicycle is as the sole means of transportation or to maintaining someone's livelihood.

I doubt that they've strapped those bicycles on top of their make-shift caravan thinking "I've got to put some kilometers in when we get there because I need to stay on form."

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Fast and Reliable

No Excuses...Just Ride!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Katie's Korner - Fish Talk

As she prepare for her departure for Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, Katie, the Triple Crankset's resident IronGal in training, drops by the blog one last time. But before she gets on the plane, we've got some final words of advice from someone who's been there done that. Speaking of departures, our own T-o-03 soon departs for London and the start of the Tour de France.

Leaving on a Jet Plane
Hi. I'm nervous. Excited. Excited. Nervous.

I feel ready though. Strong. Body feels good. Weather looks like it will be great. I think I have packed and repacked 6 times and it is only Tuesday! I have made more lists than ever (and those of you who know me, know that I am already obsessive!).

This is actually another thanks to all of you that have been following along this journey...sending words of encouragement. I just read the comments on the blog from some of you and that meant more to me than anything! That is what I am going to think of to get me through. So thanks. I only hope that, whatever endeavors or goals you set for yourselves, that you have the support team that I have had. You know that I will be on your team as you have been on mine.

I hope to come back with many stories, both good and bad. I will savor each moment but I can't promise that I won't be longing for the finish line at some points...hehe.

But here I am now, saying thanks and goodbye...until after the race. My flight leaves Friday morning at 5am. I will be in tri mode until about 11pm Sunday night...and then I will collapse. I will make contact again with all of you ASAP after that. Thanks again for everything.
Here we go!!!
Katie

Straight From The Fish's Mouth
Last summer I had the opportunity to meet Andrea "Fish" Fisher at the Whirlpool Steelhead Triathlon, which is part of the Ironman 70.3 series, in Benton Harbor, MI.

Fish was a blur to me most of the day as she won the women's overall, clocking in at 4:31:10. So it wasn't until the transition area, after the race, where I finally caught up with her and her bike (we are a cycling blog afterall; see inset and click to enlarge).

I asked her a few questions about her bike, especially the unique paint scheme, which also adorns her website, and congratulated her on her great day (even though she was hoping for under a 4:30:00; if you go to the "race reports" section of her site you'll know where she lost that minute and ten seconds). By the way, I'm still receiving grief from my buddies for having shown that image to their significant others, as the expectation level for what might be wrapped by decorative paper went up a few notches (although she is now sponsored by Trek, you can get a Fish-like color scheme through their customizable Project One series). I feel more "hurt" on the way.

Andrea, from the bio on her website, is a former Lady Longhorn swimmer with 12 top 5 Ironman finishes including a 2nd place at Ironman Florida and 13th at Ironman Hawaii (her first stab at Kona where she was the top rookie finisher). She is the two time winner of the Blackwater Eagleman Half Ironman and a multiple winner of her hometown race, the Capital of Texas Triathlon. Being one of the fastest swimmers in the sport she has posted five Ironman course swim records as well as many half Ironman and Olympic distance race records. Included in her 2006 wins were the Steelhead 70.3 and the Texas State Triathlon.

Given that palmares, you'd think that Fish would be totally unapproachable (an unfortunate circumstance that befalls a lot of world-class athletes). Andrea, however, is one of those rare people who is considered one of the elites of her sport, yet is down-to-earth enough to relate to the beginner (a trait on which she prides herself). Along with her husband, Jamie Cleveland (a world-class triathlete himself), they head up the coaching service, Texas Iron Multisport Training.

So when I asked her for some advice and words of encouragement for our self-described "Average Joe" IronGal, Katie, she was more than willing to oblige and take time from her hectic racing/travel schedule.

Sorry for the delay as I’ve been traveling quite a bit. Words of encouragement….uhm….well as someone’s first IM here are a few thoughts I think are appropriate:
  • You only get 1 first time IM so enjoy the day, no matter what it throws at you.
  • If IM were easy, then anyone could do it. You aren’t just anyone.
  • Pain is temporary, regret is forever.
  • When it hurts, realize that it’s suppose to hurt and again if it were easy anyone could do it.
  • IM is about problem solving, and that’s what you have to do all day long: problem solve your way to the finish.
So those are some silly thoughts...I know they might sound cliché but they have helped me in past. Hope it works out and good luck.
Cheers,
Fish

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Double Trouble



-- VeloNews: Walsh, Landis books to hit shelves next week
-- AHN: Armstrong denies doping allegations as controversial book gets read to hit news
stands
-- AP: Tour winner Armstrong says doping 'a sports problem'
-- Andy Hood for USA Today: Officials seek Tour de France pledge from riders
-- AP:
Honchar fired by T-Mobile

More Appropriately ...

OK, so here's some cycling content and thoughts from the past few days ...
  • I think Granny is more into CyclingTV than I am. However, if you are a Mac user, or have a preference for Flash video streaming, our friends from Cycling TV now provides a dedicated Cycling.tv Free2View Flash player. This will ultimately provide access to all of the 2007 Free2View archived racing calendar, including Gent Wevelgem, Tour de Romandie, Le Tour 2003, much of the Spring Classics, Pais Vasco, and much more, including special Cycling.tv features like the "Armstrong Years." The Free2View Flash player also includes an expandable player feature for a full-screen option. Here's the Free2View Flash player.
  • New York Times: Vive le Tour! Bien Sur!
  • Monaco will stage the prologue to the 2009 Tour de France. Budapest has applied for 2010.
  • Samuel Abt of the International Herald Tribune: Teams Hold a Crisis Meeting
  • Ivan Basso has been suspended for two years by the Italian Cycling Federation. Three unidentified teams have already approached him to join them when the suspension ends in 2009 -- in time for Monaco! "I made a mistake but I have never asked for discounts or pity," says Basso in yet another poorly translated bit of Italian.
  • Remember Tom Danielson? He won't be making his Tour de France debut this year. Recurring stomach ailments, which forced him to pull out of the first stage of the Dauphiné Libéré, have sidelined the 29-year-old Discovery Channel rider. "Tom is off the Tour team," Discovery Channel director Johan Bruyneel told VeloNews. "He's sick. We're trying to find out exactly what the problem is. He's had stomach problems throughout the year at several key moments. It's definitely a disappointment." Danielson was both surprised by the announcement and unhappy about it. Maybe he'll jump ship with George Hincapie.

No Bikes in Sight

OK, you're going to have to forgive me for this one, but this is one of the funniest things I've seen online since video became ubiquitous. The tip comes from the New York Times' superb technology reporter (and the creator of all those "Missing Manual" books), David Pogue.
It's called, "How to Give a Great Man-to-Man Hug."

VideoJug: How To Give A Great Man To Man Hug

Katie's Korner

This marks the final "training" post from our IronGal-in-training, Katie. After this weekend we'll be able to refer to her simply as Ironman. For those of you who haven't been following along or are relatively new to the blog, Katie will be participating in the 5th Annual Ford Ironman Coeur d'Alene Triathlon on Sunday June 24th. So without further adieu...

Finals Week...One Long Exam
Well, here we are. The last week before the race. I knew this time would come...but I can't believe it is here.

Last weekend was the last long ride. Len and I drove up to Wilmot, WI for a nice century ride, which turned into a 107 mile ride because we got lost....so be it. [It] was a beautiful day with perfect weather. Lots of cows and barns, farmers in overalls, motorcycle rallies and people in spandex. Len, who had not ridden in 5 weeks due to injury, rode 75 miles...which is absolutely amazing!!

As for this week, its hard to get used to the taper. You totally feel like a slacker! You still can't go out and party but you seem to have so much more time on your hands! Makes me think how much of a different person I will be when this is over!

Sent my bike out on Monday to be shipped out to the netherlands of the West Coast!! Oh Boy!! Of course, the spring on my tri bars broke as I was finishing the ride last Sunday but a little late in the game to get new bars....so we just strapped them down. I can't wait to get out there and see all these crazy high tech bikes that weigh 8oz next to mine, with chicken wire holding down one tri bar...hehehehe. Oh Well.

Getting a little nervous I do have to admit. Its a good nervous though. Haven't done an open water swim, but I can't think about it. Hope to get in the water out there next weekend, before the race. The weather looks like it should be nice...not too hot...let's hope this is true!

I was thinking how cool it would have been to rig up a video camera on my bike so anyone [who wanted] could watch as I made the long bike ride. Maybe next time...hehehe. My body is feeling good overall and my spirits are up! A big thanks ahead of time for all your support and encouragement. You have no idea how important that is to me. I will keep you all posted!!

Here are a few things I can't wait to do when this is all over:
  1. Stay out late
  2. Not schedule my entire week/life around my workouts
  3. Eat/drink whatever I want
  4. Take a salsa dance class
  5. Read a book
  6. Take a road trip
  7. Plan my wedding (PS: Congrats Cathy!!!)
  8. Sleep in without an alarm
  9. Catch up with friends
  10. Have a freaking life!!
Night, Katie

Visualize It: Stone Cold Chillin'
(Replace Water Bottle with Beer)


Katie MacGuyver

I've got to hand out some kudos to Katie for MacGuyvering up her aerobars, as the spring in her flip up armrest fell out during our ride in Wilmot. However, unlike Katie, you need not revert to using chicken wire (except in MacGuyver-like conditions, ie. where stopping a madman's plan to blow up the world is somehow dependent upon fixing your aerobar). With the great amount of flexibility to adjust aerobars, they can likewise be broken down or separated out into individual pieces. Although the spring isn't easily replaced, you can replace the entire flip up bracket (see inset).

A good rule of thumb about bike parts: no matter how miniscule or seemingly insignificant a part may be, like the sponge or straw for your aero water bottle, someone somewhere has probably broken it off, lost it, or mangled it before you, so instead of replacing the whole bike, derailleur, etc. you can probably find a replacement part and/or get it fixed.

Well Wishes
Before I pass along some final words of wisdom, I wanted to send out my well wishes to all those heading out to Idaho on the Katie Karavan. As you can see, the caravan is undergoing some final touches and we're still awaiting the final shipment of cowbells.

We all know that Katie's got a fever, and the only prescription is "MORE COWBELL!" So feel free to explore the space Katie, explore the space.

Seriously, its been a pleasure having Katie on the blog, so much so that we're bringing her back in a different capacity. I wish I could simply say "YOU ROCK!" or "KICK SOME ARSE," but that somehow seems too impersonal, sterile. So I'll (we'll) leave you with this...

To the girl who understands that life is about moments (whether its getting lost in Kenosha, mooing at cows along the way, or getting splattered by road-kill opossum juice), enjoy every mile because they'll be as fleeting as your feet on the run - Len

Way to go K8T! What an accomplishment to complete the training. I'm so proud of you! - Love, Michelle S.

I wish you well. Don't worry about the lack of an open water swim...you probably avoided coming down w/ open water bateriaitis sickness that way! -
Amy

GOOD luck Katie!!! I'll be thinking about you!! I know you'll do great! - Love, Emily

Oh KTTM (Katie To The Max) - we are so-o-o proud of you.
  • we have LOVED your updates on your progress (note to self - don't mention the pain);
  • we have forwarded them on to perfect strangers who now cheer you on as we do;
  • we are amazed at your strength and endurance:
  • we laugh when you laugh at the things that have gone awry
  • we winced when your cycle failed you;
  • we cheered when you were undaunted;
  • we will never mention the 'incident' in your spandex;
  • we can't wait - like you - when your 'life after IronWoman' allows you to once again hang out with us.
YOU GO GIRL !!!!!!!!!!!! - maf

Congrats on coming this far! Your dedication will pay off. I still remember what an old man told me the day before IM Florida (he had completed 24 ironmans). He said, "Don't just savor the finish line. Savor every minute." Savor every minute Katie! I'll be thinking of you! - Erin K

KT: What can I say? I got you totally roped into this crazy race and then back out (and you thought it was an injury…!). I am so proud that you continued to plug along without me and will be lining up to jump in Lake Coeur D’Alene before sunrise on Sunday morning. What is a 2.4 mile swim anyway? NO problem!! You know how we always laugh that once you get out of the water, the hard part is over!!! At least you can’t sink or drown on the bike or the run. And you are a whiz at changing a flat now. To think that a year ago, you and I were hanging out along the side of the road in BFE with a flat wondering what the H-E-double hockey sticks we were going to do. You have come full circle, my friend. So I will think of you jumping on the bike (messed up tri bars and all) singing songs and enjoying every minute of that ride.

Remember – you are out there to have fun and you are one of the lucky ones that as the ability to participate. When people ask why you are doing it? Because you CAN!!! And during the rough spots, remember that if it was easy, everyone would do it. And just visualize what it will feel like to cross that finish line and hear those fabulous words…” Katie…YOU are an IRONMAN!!!!!”

Okay, I am now welling up with tears and wishing I was there next to you --- but, I will be there all damn day long in spirit. I love you tons and cannot wait to hear all of the glorious details! YOU ROCK!!!
- Stacie

A Step Back?

Since the retirement of Lance Armstrong, American cycling, at its highest level, has been on a slow downward descent. Armstrong's would-be successors (Tyler Hamilton and Floyd Landis) have been engulfed by doping scandals, and the subsequent big business backlash to renew sponsorships may leave American fans without a team for whom to root.

Now come reports from SportWereld that current American road race champion, George Hincapie, is "in touch" with T-Mobile. Hincapie whose contract with Discovery Channel runs out at the end of the year, faces the same plight that all the Discovery riders face come year's end; waiting for the current team to secure a new sponsor or seeking out job security with another team.

For Hincapie, a move to a European based team may be the needed lift to help him attain his goal of winning the jewels of the Spring Classics. But, the move of this American stalwart most likely spells the end of two decades of an American team competing in the European pro peloton.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Late Bloomer

Last year was my first in organized racing, and the first time I had ever ridden a fixed gear (at least a true fixie, as I've had many a rear derailleur mishap). But, it didn't take long for me to come down with "fixed gear fever."

Having lived in close proximity to two velodromes, the Ed Rudolph Velodrome in Northbrook, IL and the Washington Park Velodrome in Kenosha, WI, and with three Chicagoland area bike shops offering free fixed gear rentals, it was hard not to get hooked. I considered myself truly blessed.

But since I moved to Michigan, I now consider myself just plain spoiled.

Just northeast of Ann Arbor is the Velodrome at Bloomer Park in Rochester Hills, MI. The 1/8th of a mile wooden track was designed by Dale Hughes, who also designed the Olympic velodrome for the Atlanta Games (among others).

The banking is 18 degrees in the straights and 44 degrees in the corners. At a little over 28mph in the corners, you are perfectly perpendicular to the ground; anything over that you actually begin to tilt inward past perpendicular.

Considering that I learned on a track where the banking is only 18 degrees in the corners, my interests, as well as my nerves, were immediately piqued.

I spent all weekend out on the track getting comfortable and relearning most of the skills I developed last year. I essentially felt like a track newbie. The regulars who run the track, however, were more than happy to take me through the paces and provide me with any instruction I needed. I even got a helping hand from one of my former xXx-Athletico racing teammates, Dave, who is originally from the area and comes back often to race.

Atlhough I have yet to "cut my racing teeth" at Bloomer Park, with the Madison being this velodrome's bread-and-butter, any reason to get this "late bloomer" out on the track suits me just fine (just don't ask me to do another cone drill).

Racing Round-Up

Although a 9-time Tour de France finisher, Frankie Andreu, was in the area racing at the Allen Park Criterium in Allen Park, MI, your Oude Granny was at the Velodrome at Bloomer Park testing his leg(s).

Thank goodness that the Triple Crankset has indeed built up a "Crank Army" of followers, or at least maybe a small platoon (we may need to order t-shirts) that we're able to provide you with some racing coverage. So not to be out-done by her sister, who provided us some great shots from this year's finish at the Tour of California, our roving photographer in Westerville, OH captured the scenes at the Garret Wonders Memorial Criterium.

From the Garrett Wonders website:
“This is a non-profit race put on in honor of Garrett Wonders, a former employee of the Westerville Bike Shop, former president of the OSU cycling team, member of the Armed Forces cycling team, and friend. He was tragically struck by a car while on a training ride in South Carolina. Because of his enthusiasm for developing new riders and for the sport of cycling, we put this race on every year with all proceeds being donated to the Garrett Wonders Memorial Fund, which provides a collegiate cycling scholarship to an OSU student every year as well as promoting cycling awareness.”



Photos: Courtesy of Amy K

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Targeted


According to an AP article on CNNSI.com, Floyd Landis' reveals, in his soon to be released book, Positively False: The Real Story of How I Won the Tour de France, that he have been specifically targeted by USADA.

A Landis consultant, Paul Scott, "heard from contacts inside the anti-doping community that USADA declined to pursue two strong cases of doping violations by American athletes in the fall of 2006."

[MORE]

Friday, June 15, 2007

On Tap...

Local Spin
If you've been curious about racing, there's no better time to join in on the fun. On the calendar for this Saturday is the Pieffer Hill Road Race in Stevens, PA (see below), where 53rd Tooth gave us a preview of things to come, by way of his World Cup Ski & Cycle teammate, Zach Putt. As far the Continental Professionals are concerned, some will be down in Austin, TX participating in AT&T Downtown Austin Criterium as part of the USA Crit Series.

Also of note, Frankie Andreu (9-time Tour de France finisher) will be lining up for the Allen Park Criterium (see below) on the 16th.

06/15/2007
Red Robin's Keirin Cup
Trexlertown, PA

06/16/2007
Giro d' Grafton
Grafton, WI
Pieffer Hill Road Race (TM)
Stevens, PA
NC State Championship Time Trial
Havelock, NC
Midwest Cycling Group Allen Park Criterium
Allen Park, MI
VA State Senior TT Championship
Stony Creek, VA
Specialized/Sierra Nevada Criterium
Folsom, CA
Northern California/Nevada Track Championship
San Jose, CA
The 2007 Crystal City Classic p/b The US Air Force
Arlington, VA
The Garrett Wonders Memorial Criterium
Westerville, OH

06/17/2007
City Bikes RFK Criterium
Washington, DC
Bryan Park Circuit Race
Richmond, VA
Cargas Criterium
Lancaster, PA
Havelock/Cherry Point Criterium
Havelock, NC
Bicycle Johns Grand Prix
Glendale, CA
Atlantic Regional Junior Track Time Trial Champion
Trexlertown, PA
Nevada City Bicycle Classic
Nevada City, CA
Fond Du Lac Criterium
Fond Du Lac, WI

As for your Oude Granny, I'll be at the local velodrome, Bloomer Park, to take in some races, and possibly participating. More on Bloomer Park soon.

Eight Is Enough!
For those interested in pulling up a chair instead of pulling in a paceline, this Sunday wraps up the 8 Stage Criterium du Dauphine Libere. You can see the finale on Versus' Cyclysm Sunday (check your local listings).

In years past, a victory at the Dauphine, as in most races, held some measure of stature. But more recently, the Dauphine has been viewed as merely a tune up for July.

If there was ever a race where T-o-03 could extrapolate his "love" for sprinters (the purveyors of the low hanging fruit) to Grand Tour contenders, this would be it. Some of these guys might as well have taken the sprinters route and packed up and headed for home. After a superb ITT on Wednesday, Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana), the early line favorite to win the Tour, packed it up mentally and finished almost 8 minutes back on the summit of Mont Ventoux yesterday. If it were July, do you think he would have given up close to 8 minutes to anyone?

He gained some measure of respect back today by being part of an early break of 22 riders, coming home hand in hand with his Astana teammate, Antonio Colom, who won Stage 5 (Photo: AFP). But Vino's eyes and heart, like Cadel Evans', are well up the road.

Currently sitting in fourth, Cadel Evans (Predictor-Lotto) had this to say, "It's all about getting for July, but we're paid to win bike races, too...If the legs are good, I can try to go for the win. The most important thing is to be strong for the Tour."

The Early Read on Floyd

I'm having trouble keeping up with all the cycling-related news of the past few days, so here's a mish-mash of some articles and thoughts:
  • The New York Times got hold of a pre-release copy (June 26) of the new Bad Boy Floyd book, "Positively False: The Real Story of How I Won the Tour de France," in a most ingeneous way: by simply placing a regular order with an online bookseller (see story)! The Times story points out contradictions between Landis's recent testimony during his USDA doping hearing and what he says in the book, specifically about the firing of his manager, Will Geoghegan.
  • At the Dauphine Libere, Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) won Wednesday's time trial (David Zabriske of CSC was third); Christophe Moreau (Ag2r, pictured at right/Graham Watson) won his second stage in three days on Mont Ventoux; and Vinokourov's teammate, Andrey Kashechkin holds the overall GC lead (story). Vino isn't a bad choice to win the Tour de France next month.
  • Italy's Damiano Cunego, 25, will not participate in the Tour de France despite finishing as the best young rider in the 2006 race and finishing fith in the recent Giro d'Italia. Instead, Cunego will enter the Tour of Switzerland, which starts on June 16. The Tour de France begins on July 7 in London.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Fe, Fi, Fo, Fum...

The Giant of Provence
The Criterium du Dauphine Libere has never claimed to be the Tour de France, but any race that includes Le Mont Ventoux among its parcours certainly has its merits.


Ventoux isn't the highest or the steepest peak, but perhaps no other climb is more feared, respected, or fabled among cyclists. Its mystical stature stems from years of deforestation during the 12th Century. The resulting barren lunar-like landscape leaves cyclists at the mercy of the elements. At the summit, winds have been clocked as high as 193mph during certain seasons.

The summit was also the location of Tom Simpson's death during the 1967 Tour de France. Under the influence of amphetamines, Simpson rode past exhaustion and collapsed still attached to his bike. A memorial, fitting of the surrounding environment (inset), marks this tragic occasion.

Follow the action of the Dauphine's Stage 4 online at Cyclingnews or Velonews or watch the ascent on Cycling.tv.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Much Ado About Nothing?

As reported by Cyclingnews, non-negative results for banned substances were noted in three participants of this year's Giro d'Italia.

"Allegedly, two Italians tested positive for the presence of Salbutamol and one Spanish rider's test showed elevated testosterone levels. On Wednesday, Eurosport reported the alleged identity of the three riders: Italians Alessandro Petacchi (Milram) and Leonardo Piepoli (Saunier Duval) and Spaniard Iban Mayo (Saunier Duval).

The two Italians have medical exemptions on file for treating asthma, while according to Eurosport, Mayo is known to be prone to natural testosterone variations, something he has documented previously with the UCI."


On the surface, this report seems very benign and the results inconspicuous. But given the current doping climate of professional cycling, every act is now under suspicion and every character possibly wears a Janus mask.

The use of Salbutamol may seem especially disconcerting, as its alternative, Clenbuterol, is highly effective in increasing the aerobic capacity, of horses.

However, the former hasn't been shown to be effective in performance enhancement. And unbeknownst to most of the general public, asthma is quite common or prevalent in cyclists. In a 1996 study of 669 athletes who competed in the Atlanta Summer Olympics, 45% of the cyclists had asthma.

Does that percentage seem kind of high? Would it seem even more disproportionately high given that approximately 6% of ALL Americans have asthma?

In a sport where it's Grand Tour champions have been noted to have enhanced aerobic systems, cyclists sure have bad (or extremely sensitive) lungs.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Bet Lance Doesn't Have One of These!

OK, so I can't compete with the World Naked Bike Ride. And I don't think I'd want to.

But while we're considering the weirder realm of cycling, I can't let the table pictured above pass. How would you like THAT beauty in your living room? Yup, this glass-and-chrome beauty is available (3-weeks waiting time) for just £2618.68 (that's British pounds). Found it, and other indescribable items, on site called Popgadget. Be the first in your neighborhood!

Bare As You Dare


This past Saturday, June 9th, marked the 4th edition of the Chicago version of the World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR). The grassroots movement to protest oil dependence was officially started in 2004 by the merging of two groups, Artists For Peace (Canada) and Manifestación Ciclonudista (Spain). The WNBR now takes place in 20 countries and over 70 cities.

Reports from the initial Denver, CO ride were mixed, depending on which side of the law you gravitate towards. Most of the 23 participants (half of whom didn’t dare to bare) exclaimed that it was the best ride in which they’ve ever participated. Denver police thought differently, attempting to shut down the event before it was able to leave the downtown area, taking names, cell phones, handing out tickets, and arresting 2 participants.

Internationally, one look at the website for the organizers of Paris’ (and no that’s not Hilton, although something tells me riding a bike naked wouldn’t be too much of a stretch for her), first WNBR event suggests that they probably didn’t run into such legal issues or law enforcement harassment.

The success of the Chicago event (approximately 600 participated this year) can be attributed to several things: great organization, not releasing the actual route until the last minute, a healthy respect for the laws governing public nudity, and a mayor whose goal is to make Chicago the most bike friendly city around (although I’m sure Daly and Chicago’s finest would probably close down the route if they knew it beforehand).

For the exhibitionist at heart, the ride certainly provides another avenue for which to show your “wares” (hopefully those of the “soft” variety). While for the activists at heart, the WNBR provides a more than ample way to get your message across, “I consume calories and not oil by riding.”

So yes Virginia, (Katie in this case) there is a World Naked Bike Ride, and no my nasal congestion on Sunday can be attributed to allergies and not from riding around Chicago neighborhoods the evening before. At least that’s the story I’m sticking with…

Sunday, June 10, 2007

A Good Day at the Dauphine for Discovery

World pursuit champion Bradley Wiggins (Cofidis) tore through the 4.2-kilometer prologue time trial of the 2007 Dauphiné Libéré, narrowly edging out defending Dauphiné champion Levi Leipheimer (Discovery) on Sunday.

Wiggins covered the course in 4:50, one second better than Leipheimer and two seconds better than Andrey Kashechkin (Astana). Leipheimer's teammate, George Hincapie, finished fourth, three seconds off of Wiggins' time.

Wiggins, 27, is British and would like to repeat the performance on July 7 in London in the prologue of the Tour de France. Wiggins also won the time-trial at the Four Days of Dunkirk last month.

RESULTS:
1. Bradley Wiggins (GB), Cofidis, 4.2km in 4:50.42
2. Levi Leipheimer (USA), Discovery Channel, 4:51.87
3. Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz), Astana, 4:52.30
4. George Hincapie (USA), Discovery Channel, 4:52.54
5. Alejandro Valverde (Sp), Caisse d:Epargne, 4:53.32
6. Dave Zabriskie (USA), CSC, 4:53.94
7. Tom Boonen (B), Quick Step, 4:54.27
8. Nick Nuyens (F), Cofidis, 4:55.29
9. Egoi Martinez (Sp), Discovery Channel, 4:55.62

Saturday, June 09, 2007

The Next Best Thing to a Grand Tour

Next to the grand tours, no stage race may be more enjoyable than the mountain challenge that is the Dauphine Libere, named after the newspapers that serves communities of the French Alps.
You can catch television coverage of the first and last stages on Versus June 10 (4:30 p.m. ET) and June 17 (5 p.m. ET).

Here are some stories to get you started for the 60th annual race, which begins Sunday:
-- Andrew Hood for VeloNews: Tanned, rested and ready: Leipheimer ready for Dauphine
-- Reuters: Dauphine Libere preview
-- Andrew Hood for VeloNews: Mountainous Dauphine lives up to traditions
-- CyclingNews: 60 years and many mysteries
-- Alasdair Fotheringham for Reuters: Search for Tour champion begins in warm-up race
ALSO:
-- Reuters: Tour de France Beginners Guide

Friday, June 08, 2007

Enjoying the Giro Vicariously

So, what are one of those Trek Travel trips to a grand tour like? Take a look at this video by Jay Rolls, who enjoyed the recent Giro d' Italia with Trek. Check out the snow, some rain, and see if you can spot the granny gear.

It's Tour de France Time!


Well, the VeloNews didn't chicken out. That's Levi Leipheimer, not an empty yellow jersey, on the cover of the magazine's 2007 Tour de France guide. Cycle Sport went the empty-jersey route, as described earlier in the Crankset.

On Tap...

Tour Build-Up
The Criterium du Dauphine Libere, the eight stage annual preview (and hype machine) to the Tour de France, begins this Sunday. Cycling fans who look forward to the Tour every year, will be looking to see who's on form and start marking their favorites and darkhorses for this July.

Although the race covers some of the same parcours, it has seldom been truly predictive of who will end up winning the Tour. In the past 10 years, only twice has the winner of the Dauphine ended up winning the Tour (Lance Armstrong in 2002 and 2003) let alone ended up on podium on the Champs Elysees.

All eyes will most likely be on the bookmakers' odds on favorite for this year's Tour victory, Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana), who also won the Dauphine in 1999.

Catch the race on Versus' Cyclysm Sunday (check with your local cable provider), or on Cycling.tv.

Local Flavors
If you haven't already earmarked specific races on your calendar, here's a listing of some of the races in your area (contact me if you'd like your state to be added to the listings).

06/09/2007
Cape Fear Road Race
Fuquay Varina, NC
VA State Senior Criterium Championships
Norfolk, VA
Tour of Perry County
Somerset, OH
The Quicksilver
Sterling, VA
WI State Road Championship -- Spring Prairie Road
Burlington, WI
Pescadero Road Race
Pescadero, CA
Sugarhouse Park Criterium
Salt Lake City, UT
LA Velodrome 2007 Track Series
Carson, CA
2007 Commerce Bank Triple Crown Time Trial
Philadelphia, PA
JR Track Championship-Jim Rossi Omnium
Northbrook, IL
SISU Cycles- Race @ The Base
Sawyer, MI

06/10/2007
Mill Creek Criterium
Youngstown, OH
Juniors and Masters Crit Championships
Ontario, CA
MABRA Track Title and DE,MD/DC,& VA
Trexlertown, PA
Back Roads Time Trial
Lyons, WI
Northern California/Nevada TT Championships
Sattley, CA
Tour of Cedar Creek- Dan Cihak Memorial
Twin Lake, MI
Golden Empire Classic/SCNCA Championships RR
Bakersfield, CA
Wheaton Criterium
Wheaton, IL
Commerce Bank International Championship
Philadelphia, PA
Commerce Bank Liberty Classic
Philadelphia, PA

For those in the Philly area, this weekend wraps up the Pro Cycling Tour's Triple Crown (Tom Bamford Lancaster Classic, Reading Classic, and Philadelphia International Championship). So far, T-Mobile has taken the first two legs, with both Bernhard Eisel and Ina-Yoko Teutenberg, taking the men's and women's races respectively.

Natalie Klemko (Advil Chapstick), who I was able to watch dominate on my former local velodrome, the Ed Rudolph Velodrome in Northbrook, IL, has placed more than respectably at both Lancaster and Reading. More on Natalie later...

Speaking of the Ed Rudolph, I'll be in the area to take in the Juniors on the 9th, as I'll be in town to participate in the 26th Annual BCLC Ramble.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Enjoy the Underground Railroad Route

Here's a nice NPR story and audio report on the Underground Railroad route.

It concerns the first-ever Adventure Cycling group to tackle the route. Their hilly and evocative journey through history began April 14 in Mobile, Ala., and ended in Owen Sound -- which has a wonderful folk music festival, Summerfolk, I used to attend every summer with my sons -- on May 31.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Do They EVER Learn?

Former world time-trial champion Serhiy Honchar may have lined up for T-Mobile for the last time. The team has withdrawn him from the Tour de France due to abnormalities with his blood.
"An analysis of his blood four weeks ago revealed there to be something abnormal," said team manager Bob Stapleton.
"We will have another test done to decide whether he will be able to ride for us again. Apart from that, we do not expect him to be part of the team for the Tour de France."
Honchar was a star in last year's Tour, blowing away the field in both individual time trials.
Even if the second test absolves the Ukrainian of any wrongdoing, Stapleton said he expected the current season to be Honchar's last with T-Mobile.

Tete de Course

For those Liz Hatch fans who drop by the Triple Crankset looking for information, here you go. The photo was taken by Blacknell this weekend at the CSC Invitational in Virginia, and also posted at the Podium Cafe, which provides an answer to T-o-03's question of why some newspapers like the Washington Post, for instance, didn't have a presence at the races this past weekend.

So if you've been wondering who is at la tete de course (head of the race), why its Liz (of course) decked out in her new Vanderkitten kit!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Prudhomme on the Tour: 'I cannot guarantee it will be completely clean'

“You can take the Tour de France seriously because we have the real will to fight the doping problem."

“I cannot guarantee it will be completely clean but I can say that doping is the enemy of cycling and the Tour and that we are doing everything we can to combat it."

“Cycling is not alone when it comes to doping. We don’t have all the cheats in our sport and though we have been harmed we cannot always be looking back."

[Floyd] Landis gave us a new hero but 48 hours later he was out. Now a new hero will arrive."

-- Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme

53rd's New Rig?

With the recent plight of 53rd Tooth during a training ride in New Jersey, could it be the time for an "insurance" upgrade? The folks over at ROAD Magazine were at the unveiling of the new Trek Madone line.

MORE:
-- Trek reveals new Madone
-- Current Trek Madone
-- Tech Report, with Lennard Zinn on the new Madone

CSC Invitational Video on YouTube

There's plenty of video available on YouTube of the 2007 CSC Invitational June 2 in Arlington, Va.

Get a sense of the race and see an interview with the
men's pro winner, Rashaan Bahati.



Check out this one of the first turn.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Katie's Korner

Our "Average Joe" IronGal in training checks in with another installment. So Oude Granny, thought he'd help our Katie out by teaching her to channel another Kate, Kate Veatch (not my best Photoshop work).


Swimming and Riding and Running...OH MY!!
Three weeks left and I am getting excited. It was another great weekend of training but at the expense of something that bothered me dearly.

I had to pass on the wedding of my college roommate in Omaha. Granted, Brandon needed to attend class and put in some serious study hours, but still.

Advice for anyone considering an Ironman....let everyone know how much of a loser you will be! Because you will. By no means am I a stud Ironman triathlete either. I'm your Average Joe and I have missed a lot of important and meaningful stuff. Apologize in advance to your family and friends for the selfishness you will be displaying. Again, I apologize to everyone.

Last weekend was a good long run, however, I was dehydrated. I was so dehydrated I was looking longingly at dirty puddles of water. I also acquired nice chaffing under my arms from only wearing a sports bra (Ahhh, the lessons we learn in training). Nonetheless, this weekend was much better. Did a nice brick on Saturday and felt good. Granted, a 40 minute transition run is different than 26 miles....but eh!

Comical event [of the week] was me trying on my wetsuit in my apartment. You thought putting on tight jeans was hard! Try putting on that "bat suit!" Dry as a bone with some left over sand particles to boot! I'm just glad I got out of it and could make it in to work!

So now we begin to decrease miles and increase positive attitudes. Riding a century ride next Sunday with Len so that should be a blast.

As for now....TV. NICE.

The biggest congrats to Mick and Den on their wedding this weekend. I'm so very sad I missed it, but thought of you all day!

Katie

Sunday, June 03, 2007

A Killer of a Ride

As promised, DiLuca kitted in pink with a pink pimped out Cannondale

Three weeks later, Danilo DiLuca (Liquigas) has finally stamped his name on the list of Giro d'Italia champions. His first win of a Grand Tour may have come as a surprise to most, but he provided more than a glimpse of his capabilities during the 2005 edition of the race. The win also came at the expense of three former (and recent) Giro champions, further substantiating that this was no fluke.

An Event to Care About

Presenting of the colors at the 10th annual CSC Invitational in Arlington, Va.
(photo/Tour of '03)

Getting ready for the race. (photo/Tour of '03)

Disabled riders get ready for their race. (photo/Tour of '03)

I don't know what it is about cycling that mainstream media like the Washington Post finds so unappealing. I guess you could say its the doping culture of men's professional cycling, but that would assume that sports editors have an idea of something beyond football, baseball and basketball in this country.

Perhaps as many as 20,000 people showed up in the multi-cultural, ultra chic, she she, Clarendon neighborhood of Arlington, Va., on a hot, muggy Saturday for the 10th annual CSC Invitational. The event is free, so perhaps that keeps the mainstream media away (I'm looking for excuses here). If they don't like the men pros -- and there were 178 of them in the 100-km race -- because of whatever it is that Bad Boy Floyd may have done, or the 75 or so female pros, maybe it was all the little kids on bikes with their parents (it's a family event) or the disabled cyclists giving it their all that is so unappealing. After all, some overblown ego on the Washington Redskins probably deserves more attention in the off-season.

I believe that good news -- people news -- interests people and can sell newspapers (not that I care if the Washington Post sells two more papers). But couldn't the website have at least run some coverage ... taken some pictures ... shown some interest in its community and what really does interest people? Or is it just that people should watch, not do? Whatever it is, as a long-time journalist and teacher, I understand why the mainstream media is struggling to remain viable these days. To be financially viable, you have to be relevant to your community. That means knowing something about that community, whether its on the day that the toughest crit in the U.S. takes place in its coverage area, or whether it's any day of the week when thousands of area residents are out on their bikes, whether it's on the W&OD Trail or the streets, recreating.

If the mainstream media wants to remain relevant to people's lives, it needs to understand what's taking place in people's lives. Saturday in Arlington, the mainstream media once again demonstrated that it just doesn't have a clue. That's bad business.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Monkey See...

Armstrong in Calgary for the 2007 Tour of Courage

It didn't take long to determine what type of significance Floyd Landis' Wiki Defense would have on the process of sports arbitration or on the way athletes defend themselves against allegations. Lance Armstrong has recently followed suit and published his own collection of legal documents on thepaceline.com to refute David Walsh's latest book, From Lance to Landis: Inside the American Doping Controversy at the Tour de France.

Among the published documents are:

Raise High The Roof Beam, Carpenters

I couldn't resist using the partial title as a means for introduction to this post, as J.D. Salinger is one of my favorite authors. If you've read any of his short stories, books, or even reviews of either, it becomes readily apparent that Salinger fashioned situations which not only revealed profound insights into his characters, but also into himself.

As I've recently reviewed my own writings, whether they be works of fiction or the banalities of some of my cycling posts, much of who I am and the passions that I exude are in my words and the topics I choose.

Given that, this week The Columbus Dispatch featured the story of some socially and environmentally conscious individuals who have brought a whole new meaning to the cycling term, hammerin'!

Hammer Time
To those in the 18 to 24 year old age bracket, the summer usually means a respite from school work, hanging out at the pool, catching up with friends, or working some odd summer job.

For the participants in Bike & Build, its an opportunity to "pedal to end poverty housing."

Groups of 30 young adults embark from various coastal locations cycling across the country and building affordable housing along the way. The group that was recently in the Columbus, OH area left Providence, RI on June 7th.

In its fourth year, over 400 individuals have participated, collectively raising over $750,000 for affordable housing groups like Habitat for Humanity.

You can follow certain individuals on their journeys through their respective blogs. Here are just a few:

Rachel Mollica (Central US)
Matt Vanderpool (NC to San Diego)
Caitlin Graboski (Southern US)
Rachel Hokanson (Providence to SF)

If you'd like more information on the group, are interested in participating, or would like to read some more blogs, head over to bikeandbuild.org.

On Tap...

On The Road & Track
Here's a listing of races in and around your area for June 29th to July 1st. For those looking for results from these races, check out Truesport.

06/29/2007
Proctor Cycling Classic
Chillicothe, Brimfield & Peoria, IL
NAS-Track #2
Velodrome at Bloomer Park
Rochester Hills, MI
Friday Night Development Series
Ed Rudolph Velodrome
Northbrook, IL

06/30/2007
Leesville Gap Road Race
Williams, CA
Ed Peters Memorial Masters Weekend -Criterium
Bethlehem Township, PA
Brownstown Road Race (TM)
Brownstown, PA
Tour de Grandview
Grandview, OH
Dexter Criterium State Championship
Dexter, MI
Hyde Park Blast
Cincinnati, OH
Fremont Criterium
Fremont, CA
Endeavour Elm Grove
Elm Grove, WI

07/01/2007
Vacaville Gran Prix
Vacaville, CA
Ed Peters Memorial Masters Weekend-Circuit Race
Center Valley, PA
Chevron Manhattan Beach Grand Prix
Manhattan Beach, CA

This weekend's featured race is the Tour de Granview in my hometown of Columbus, OH. Recently featured in The Columbus Dispatch, the race has certainly seen its share of ups and downs over its 15 year existence. The race has survived despite local political in-fighting, changes in sponsorship, and being dropped in stature on the USA Cycling racing calendar.

Its list of alumni reads like a who's who in professional cycling, as the race has seen the likes of Levi Leipheimer, Floyd Landis, Baden Cooke, Mark McCormack, Gord Fraser, Danny Pate, Nicole Freedman, and Melissa Sanborn.

If you're fortunate enough to be in the area on Friday, June 29th, plan to attend the "Reds, Whites & Bikes" Wine Tasting from 7:00p.m. to 10:00p.m. at Global Living, 855 Grandview Avenue. The event will serve as kick-off for the 2007 Germain Lexus Tour de Grandview Cycling Classic and a fundraiser. Tickets are $35 per person or $60 per couple in advance; $50 per person at the door. Advance tickets (which will be held at the door and not mailed to patrons) can be purchased at Members First Credit Union, located at 1445 W. Goodale Blvd., ph. (614) 462-6850 ext. 122.

Racing begins at around 1pm on both Saturday and Sunday.

Tour Preview
With the Tour de France only a week away, the hype machine really gets cranked up this weekend with Versus' Tour Preview. The odds on favorite looks to be Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana), but without any truly dominant riders in the peloton, it could be anybody's race. As stated previously, our own T-o-03 will be in London, England for the Prologue.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Gas Sucks...Ride A Bike

Its fast becoming a popular and ubiquitous slogan for cyclists, environmentalists, cyclists who are environmentalists, and environmentalists who cycle.

Earlier this month we featured cyclists around the world who en masse rode against oil dependency during the World Naked Bike Ride. Now comes this story from Minneapolis, MN about Karl and his friends who have taken the utility of bicycling to a whole other level (click on the image).


That's how we roll! (or better yet, how we should all roll)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Velodrome Love

The Detroit Free Press, which has one of the more memorable URLs, FREEP.com, recently featured the Mike Walden Velodrome in Rochester Hills, MI and those who run it and ride on it. If you still haven't taken a ride on the boards, just listening to (reading) what Maia Orabi (Wolverine Sports Club) has to say about it should at the very least pique your interest. Having met Maia out on the track, her personality is just as infectious as her love for it.

Gina Damron writes:
And then there's Maia, the 21-year-old newbie with the red, scabbed-over scrapes on her knees to show for it. Maia Orabi (inset) of Shelby Township is one of the few women racing against the men.

"Like how a mosquito tastes blood and wants more, more, more," she said, "I'm like that with the track."

[MORE]

Monday, June 25, 2007

IronKatie's Korner

Brief Update: It's official, our IronGal-in-training is now an Ironman! After being in communication with her family all day, getting the latest live Katie sightings and updates while providing online split times, pace, and placing, I felt completely lame as I couldn't even stay awake long enough to receive Katie's phone call after she finished the Ford Ironman Coeur d'Alene.

A complete update will follow, with yes some more cycling mishaps, when our IronGal has had an Ironman sized rest. Congratulations Katie!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Gusev's Got A Fever...

...and apparently the only prescription was MORE COWBELL! Gotta Have More Cowbell?

Discovery's Vladimir Gusev certainly "explored the space" up the Grimselpass and claimed the victory on the seventh stage of the Tour de Suisse. (Photo: Agence France Presse - 2007) While another Russian, Vladimir Efimkin (Caisse d'Epargne) still remains in yellow by a slim 24 seconds over T-Mobile's Kim Kirchen.

Watch the finale tomorrow LIVE on Cycling.tv or on taped delay on Versus' Cyclysm Sunday.

Friday, June 22, 2007

On Tap...

On The Racing Docket...
Here's this weekend's rundown of races in select areas. Not listed is NAS-TRACK #1 for the Madison Racing League at the Mike Walden Velodrome in Rochester Hills, MI. For those who have never witnessed the Madison upclose, click on the image below (Flash video - requires a high speed connection; may open up in a new window). The NAS-TRACK series begins tonight, Friday June 22nd; races begin at 7pm EST.


Speaking of Rochester, the downtown streets of Rochester, New York will host the next round of the USA Cycling Professional Tour in the form of the 4th Annual Saturn Rochester Twilight Criterium, on Saturday, June 23.

06/22/2007
Fastest Man on Wheels
Trexlertown, PA
Superior Bike Fest
Marquette, MI

06/23/2007
Shreve Chiropractic Cycling Challenge
Shreve, OH
San Pedro Grand Prix
San Pedro, CA
Dan Spencer Memorial Road Race; PA state masters c
Bloomsburg, PA
Pacific State Bank GP
Stockton, CA
MOTOR TABS Festival of Speed
Encino, CA
Cobb Park Criterium
Kankakee, IL
2nd Annual Downtown Lenoir Criterium
Lenoir, NC

06/24/2007

Wolverine State Time Trial Championship
Dearborn Heights, MI
Grand Prix of Groveport
Groveport, OH
Bloomsburg Town Park Criterium
Bloomsburg, PA
Burlingame Criterium
Burlingame, CA
State Games of North Carolina
Greensboro, NC
Reston Town Center Grand Prix
Reston, VA
Downtown Crit/State Champ-Darek Leyde Memorial
Salt Lake City, UT
State Masters Criterium Championship
Carson, CA
Fox River Grove Cycling Challenge
Fox River Grove, IL

For those looking for results and/or images from any of above listed events, check out Truesport.com - Your Cycling Resource


Armchair Cyclists

On Versus' (check your local listings) Cyclysm Sunday, watch the conclusion of the 71st Tour de Suisse. Like the Criterium du Dauphine Libere last week, this race is usually billed as a Tour de France preview for spectators and a Tour build-up for most of the riders. The main protagonist to date has been CSC's Frank Schleck, who looks to be on similar form when he was last year's Tour revelation.

Follow it LIVE online on Cyclingnews or Velonews, or watch it on Cycling.tv. As noted by T-o-03, Cycling.tv has now been optimized for Mac users. Can your Oude Granny get an AMEN!

Tri, Tri, and Tri Again
Our IronGal, Katie, is on route to Idaho for the 5th Annual Ford Ironman Coeur d'Alene, which kicks off this Sunday June 24th. If you'd like to follow Katie's progress, you can do so online at IronManLive (thanks for the tip Barb, the very proud mother of IronMan Jen Baer); her bib is # 1986. GO Katie!

Taken For Granted...

When you're in and around cycling circles, you hear it often: "I've got to upgrade (insert specific cycling part here)...I need a new bike...that one's just for the track," and that's just what's coming out of my own mouth.

For all its form and function as a means for fitness or competition, the bicycle can hold a different level of importance for some.

A film, like the "Bicycle Thief," or the image (AP: Mohammad Zubair) of Afghan refugees in Pakistan preparing to return to their homeland, reminds me just how important a bicycle is as the sole means of transportation or to maintaining someone's livelihood.

I doubt that they've strapped those bicycles on top of their make-shift caravan thinking "I've got to put some kilometers in when we get there because I need to stay on form."

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Fast and Reliable

No Excuses...Just Ride!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Katie's Korner - Fish Talk

As she prepare for her departure for Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, Katie, the Triple Crankset's resident IronGal in training, drops by the blog one last time. But before she gets on the plane, we've got some final words of advice from someone who's been there done that. Speaking of departures, our own T-o-03 soon departs for London and the start of the Tour de France.

Leaving on a Jet Plane
Hi. I'm nervous. Excited. Excited. Nervous.

I feel ready though. Strong. Body feels good. Weather looks like it will be great. I think I have packed and repacked 6 times and it is only Tuesday! I have made more lists than ever (and those of you who know me, know that I am already obsessive!).

This is actually another thanks to all of you that have been following along this journey...sending words of encouragement. I just read the comments on the blog from some of you and that meant more to me than anything! That is what I am going to think of to get me through. So thanks. I only hope that, whatever endeavors or goals you set for yourselves, that you have the support team that I have had. You know that I will be on your team as you have been on mine.

I hope to come back with many stories, both good and bad. I will savor each moment but I can't promise that I won't be longing for the finish line at some points...hehe.

But here I am now, saying thanks and goodbye...until after the race. My flight leaves Friday morning at 5am. I will be in tri mode until about 11pm Sunday night...and then I will collapse. I will make contact again with all of you ASAP after that. Thanks again for everything.
Here we go!!!
Katie

Straight From The Fish's Mouth
Last summer I had the opportunity to meet Andrea "Fish" Fisher at the Whirlpool Steelhead Triathlon, which is part of the Ironman 70.3 series, in Benton Harbor, MI.

Fish was a blur to me most of the day as she won the women's overall, clocking in at 4:31:10. So it wasn't until the transition area, after the race, where I finally caught up with her and her bike (we are a cycling blog afterall; see inset and click to enlarge).

I asked her a few questions about her bike, especially the unique paint scheme, which also adorns her website, and congratulated her on her great day (even though she was hoping for under a 4:30:00; if you go to the "race reports" section of her site you'll know where she lost that minute and ten seconds). By the way, I'm still receiving grief from my buddies for having shown that image to their significant others, as the expectation level for what might be wrapped by decorative paper went up a few notches (although she is now sponsored by Trek, you can get a Fish-like color scheme through their customizable Project One series). I feel more "hurt" on the way.

Andrea, from the bio on her website, is a former Lady Longhorn swimmer with 12 top 5 Ironman finishes including a 2nd place at Ironman Florida and 13th at Ironman Hawaii (her first stab at Kona where she was the top rookie finisher). She is the two time winner of the Blackwater Eagleman Half Ironman and a multiple winner of her hometown race, the Capital of Texas Triathlon. Being one of the fastest swimmers in the sport she has posted five Ironman course swim records as well as many half Ironman and Olympic distance race records. Included in her 2006 wins were the Steelhead 70.3 and the Texas State Triathlon.

Given that palmares, you'd think that Fish would be totally unapproachable (an unfortunate circumstance that befalls a lot of world-class athletes). Andrea, however, is one of those rare people who is considered one of the elites of her sport, yet is down-to-earth enough to relate to the beginner (a trait on which she prides herself). Along with her husband, Jamie Cleveland (a world-class triathlete himself), they head up the coaching service, Texas Iron Multisport Training.

So when I asked her for some advice and words of encouragement for our self-described "Average Joe" IronGal, Katie, she was more than willing to oblige and take time from her hectic racing/travel schedule.

Sorry for the delay as I’ve been traveling quite a bit. Words of encouragement….uhm….well as someone’s first IM here are a few thoughts I think are appropriate:
  • You only get 1 first time IM so enjoy the day, no matter what it throws at you.
  • If IM were easy, then anyone could do it. You aren’t just anyone.
  • Pain is temporary, regret is forever.
  • When it hurts, realize that it’s suppose to hurt and again if it were easy anyone could do it.
  • IM is about problem solving, and that’s what you have to do all day long: problem solve your way to the finish.
So those are some silly thoughts...I know they might sound cliché but they have helped me in past. Hope it works out and good luck.
Cheers,
Fish

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Double Trouble



-- VeloNews: Walsh, Landis books to hit shelves next week
-- AHN: Armstrong denies doping allegations as controversial book gets read to hit news
stands
-- AP: Tour winner Armstrong says doping 'a sports problem'
-- Andy Hood for USA Today: Officials seek Tour de France pledge from riders
-- AP:
Honchar fired by T-Mobile

More Appropriately ...

OK, so here's some cycling content and thoughts from the past few days ...
  • I think Granny is more into CyclingTV than I am. However, if you are a Mac user, or have a preference for Flash video streaming, our friends from Cycling TV now provides a dedicated Cycling.tv Free2View Flash player. This will ultimately provide access to all of the 2007 Free2View archived racing calendar, including Gent Wevelgem, Tour de Romandie, Le Tour 2003, much of the Spring Classics, Pais Vasco, and much more, including special Cycling.tv features like the "Armstrong Years." The Free2View Flash player also includes an expandable player feature for a full-screen option. Here's the Free2View Flash player.
  • New York Times: Vive le Tour! Bien Sur!
  • Monaco will stage the prologue to the 2009 Tour de France. Budapest has applied for 2010.
  • Samuel Abt of the International Herald Tribune: Teams Hold a Crisis Meeting
  • Ivan Basso has been suspended for two years by the Italian Cycling Federation. Three unidentified teams have already approached him to join them when the suspension ends in 2009 -- in time for Monaco! "I made a mistake but I have never asked for discounts or pity," says Basso in yet another poorly translated bit of Italian.
  • Remember Tom Danielson? He won't be making his Tour de France debut this year. Recurring stomach ailments, which forced him to pull out of the first stage of the Dauphiné Libéré, have sidelined the 29-year-old Discovery Channel rider. "Tom is off the Tour team," Discovery Channel director Johan Bruyneel told VeloNews. "He's sick. We're trying to find out exactly what the problem is. He's had stomach problems throughout the year at several key moments. It's definitely a disappointment." Danielson was both surprised by the announcement and unhappy about it. Maybe he'll jump ship with George Hincapie.

No Bikes in Sight

OK, you're going to have to forgive me for this one, but this is one of the funniest things I've seen online since video became ubiquitous. The tip comes from the New York Times' superb technology reporter (and the creator of all those "Missing Manual" books), David Pogue.
It's called, "How to Give a Great Man-to-Man Hug."

VideoJug: How To Give A Great Man To Man Hug

Katie's Korner

This marks the final "training" post from our IronGal-in-training, Katie. After this weekend we'll be able to refer to her simply as Ironman. For those of you who haven't been following along or are relatively new to the blog, Katie will be participating in the 5th Annual Ford Ironman Coeur d'Alene Triathlon on Sunday June 24th. So without further adieu...

Finals Week...One Long Exam
Well, here we are. The last week before the race. I knew this time would come...but I can't believe it is here.

Last weekend was the last long ride. Len and I drove up to Wilmot, WI for a nice century ride, which turned into a 107 mile ride because we got lost....so be it. [It] was a beautiful day with perfect weather. Lots of cows and barns, farmers in overalls, motorcycle rallies and people in spandex. Len, who had not ridden in 5 weeks due to injury, rode 75 miles...which is absolutely amazing!!

As for this week, its hard to get used to the taper. You totally feel like a slacker! You still can't go out and party but you seem to have so much more time on your hands! Makes me think how much of a different person I will be when this is over!

Sent my bike out on Monday to be shipped out to the netherlands of the West Coast!! Oh Boy!! Of course, the spring on my tri bars broke as I was finishing the ride last Sunday but a little late in the game to get new bars....so we just strapped them down. I can't wait to get out there and see all these crazy high tech bikes that weigh 8oz next to mine, with chicken wire holding down one tri bar...hehehehe. Oh Well.

Getting a little nervous I do have to admit. Its a good nervous though. Haven't done an open water swim, but I can't think about it. Hope to get in the water out there next weekend, before the race. The weather looks like it should be nice...not too hot...let's hope this is true!

I was thinking how cool it would have been to rig up a video camera on my bike so anyone [who wanted] could watch as I made the long bike ride. Maybe next time...hehehe. My body is feeling good overall and my spirits are up! A big thanks ahead of time for all your support and encouragement. You have no idea how important that is to me. I will keep you all posted!!

Here are a few things I can't wait to do when this is all over:
  1. Stay out late
  2. Not schedule my entire week/life around my workouts
  3. Eat/drink whatever I want
  4. Take a salsa dance class
  5. Read a book
  6. Take a road trip
  7. Plan my wedding (PS: Congrats Cathy!!!)
  8. Sleep in without an alarm
  9. Catch up with friends
  10. Have a freaking life!!
Night, Katie

Visualize It: Stone Cold Chillin'
(Replace Water Bottle with Beer)


Katie MacGuyver

I've got to hand out some kudos to Katie for MacGuyvering up her aerobars, as the spring in her flip up armrest fell out during our ride in Wilmot. However, unlike Katie, you need not revert to using chicken wire (except in MacGuyver-like conditions, ie. where stopping a madman's plan to blow up the world is somehow dependent upon fixing your aerobar). With the great amount of flexibility to adjust aerobars, they can likewise be broken down or separated out into individual pieces. Although the spring isn't easily replaced, you can replace the entire flip up bracket (see inset).

A good rule of thumb about bike parts: no matter how miniscule or seemingly insignificant a part may be, like the sponge or straw for your aero water bottle, someone somewhere has probably broken it off, lost it, or mangled it before you, so instead of replacing the whole bike, derailleur, etc. you can probably find a replacement part and/or get it fixed.

Well Wishes
Before I pass along some final words of wisdom, I wanted to send out my well wishes to all those heading out to Idaho on the Katie Karavan. As you can see, the caravan is undergoing some final touches and we're still awaiting the final shipment of cowbells.

We all know that Katie's got a fever, and the only prescription is "MORE COWBELL!" So feel free to explore the space Katie, explore the space.

Seriously, its been a pleasure having Katie on the blog, so much so that we're bringing her back in a different capacity. I wish I could simply say "YOU ROCK!" or "KICK SOME ARSE," but that somehow seems too impersonal, sterile. So I'll (we'll) leave you with this...

To the girl who understands that life is about moments (whether its getting lost in Kenosha, mooing at cows along the way, or getting splattered by road-kill opossum juice), enjoy every mile because they'll be as fleeting as your feet on the run - Len

Way to go K8T! What an accomplishment to complete the training. I'm so proud of you! - Love, Michelle S.

I wish you well. Don't worry about the lack of an open water swim...you probably avoided coming down w/ open water bateriaitis sickness that way! -
Amy

GOOD luck Katie!!! I'll be thinking about you!! I know you'll do great! - Love, Emily

Oh KTTM (Katie To The Max) - we are so-o-o proud of you.
  • we have LOVED your updates on your progress (note to self - don't mention the pain);
  • we have forwarded them on to perfect strangers who now cheer you on as we do;
  • we are amazed at your strength and endurance:
  • we laugh when you laugh at the things that have gone awry
  • we winced when your cycle failed you;
  • we cheered when you were undaunted;
  • we will never mention the 'incident' in your spandex;
  • we can't wait - like you - when your 'life after IronWoman' allows you to once again hang out with us.
YOU GO GIRL !!!!!!!!!!!! - maf

Congrats on coming this far! Your dedication will pay off. I still remember what an old man told me the day before IM Florida (he had completed 24 ironmans). He said, "Don't just savor the finish line. Savor every minute." Savor every minute Katie! I'll be thinking of you! - Erin K

KT: What can I say? I got you totally roped into this crazy race and then back out (and you thought it was an injury…!). I am so proud that you continued to plug along without me and will be lining up to jump in Lake Coeur D’Alene before sunrise on Sunday morning. What is a 2.4 mile swim anyway? NO problem!! You know how we always laugh that once you get out of the water, the hard part is over!!! At least you can’t sink or drown on the bike or the run. And you are a whiz at changing a flat now. To think that a year ago, you and I were hanging out along the side of the road in BFE with a flat wondering what the H-E-double hockey sticks we were going to do. You have come full circle, my friend. So I will think of you jumping on the bike (messed up tri bars and all) singing songs and enjoying every minute of that ride.

Remember – you are out there to have fun and you are one of the lucky ones that as the ability to participate. When people ask why you are doing it? Because you CAN!!! And during the rough spots, remember that if it was easy, everyone would do it. And just visualize what it will feel like to cross that finish line and hear those fabulous words…” Katie…YOU are an IRONMAN!!!!!”

Okay, I am now welling up with tears and wishing I was there next to you --- but, I will be there all damn day long in spirit. I love you tons and cannot wait to hear all of the glorious details! YOU ROCK!!!
- Stacie

A Step Back?

Since the retirement of Lance Armstrong, American cycling, at its highest level, has been on a slow downward descent. Armstrong's would-be successors (Tyler Hamilton and Floyd Landis) have been engulfed by doping scandals, and the subsequent big business backlash to renew sponsorships may leave American fans without a team for whom to root.

Now come reports from SportWereld that current American road race champion, George Hincapie, is "in touch" with T-Mobile. Hincapie whose contract with Discovery Channel runs out at the end of the year, faces the same plight that all the Discovery riders face come year's end; waiting for the current team to secure a new sponsor or seeking out job security with another team.

For Hincapie, a move to a European based team may be the needed lift to help him attain his goal of winning the jewels of the Spring Classics. But, the move of this American stalwart most likely spells the end of two decades of an American team competing in the European pro peloton.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Late Bloomer

Last year was my first in organized racing, and the first time I had ever ridden a fixed gear (at least a true fixie, as I've had many a rear derailleur mishap). But, it didn't take long for me to come down with "fixed gear fever."

Having lived in close proximity to two velodromes, the Ed Rudolph Velodrome in Northbrook, IL and the Washington Park Velodrome in Kenosha, WI, and with three Chicagoland area bike shops offering free fixed gear rentals, it was hard not to get hooked. I considered myself truly blessed.

But since I moved to Michigan, I now consider myself just plain spoiled.

Just northeast of Ann Arbor is the Velodrome at Bloomer Park in Rochester Hills, MI. The 1/8th of a mile wooden track was designed by Dale Hughes, who also designed the Olympic velodrome for the Atlanta Games (among others).

The banking is 18 degrees in the straights and 44 degrees in the corners. At a little over 28mph in the corners, you are perfectly perpendicular to the ground; anything over that you actually begin to tilt inward past perpendicular.

Considering that I learned on a track where the banking is only 18 degrees in the corners, my interests, as well as my nerves, were immediately piqued.

I spent all weekend out on the track getting comfortable and relearning most of the skills I developed last year. I essentially felt like a track newbie. The regulars who run the track, however, were more than happy to take me through the paces and provide me with any instruction I needed. I even got a helping hand from one of my former xXx-Athletico racing teammates, Dave, who is originally from the area and comes back often to race.

Atlhough I have yet to "cut my racing teeth" at Bloomer Park, with the Madison being this velodrome's bread-and-butter, any reason to get this "late bloomer" out on the track suits me just fine (just don't ask me to do another cone drill).

Racing Round-Up

Although a 9-time Tour de France finisher, Frankie Andreu, was in the area racing at the Allen Park Criterium in Allen Park, MI, your Oude Granny was at the Velodrome at Bloomer Park testing his leg(s).

Thank goodness that the Triple Crankset has indeed built up a "Crank Army" of followers, or at least maybe a small platoon (we may need to order t-shirts) that we're able to provide you with some racing coverage. So not to be out-done by her sister, who provided us some great shots from this year's finish at the Tour of California, our roving photographer in Westerville, OH captured the scenes at the Garret Wonders Memorial Criterium.

From the Garrett Wonders website:
“This is a non-profit race put on in honor of Garrett Wonders, a former employee of the Westerville Bike Shop, former president of the OSU cycling team, member of the Armed Forces cycling team, and friend. He was tragically struck by a car while on a training ride in South Carolina. Because of his enthusiasm for developing new riders and for the sport of cycling, we put this race on every year with all proceeds being donated to the Garrett Wonders Memorial Fund, which provides a collegiate cycling scholarship to an OSU student every year as well as promoting cycling awareness.”



Photos: Courtesy of Amy K

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Targeted


According to an AP article on CNNSI.com, Floyd Landis' reveals, in his soon to be released book, Positively False: The Real Story of How I Won the Tour de France, that he have been specifically targeted by USADA.

A Landis consultant, Paul Scott, "heard from contacts inside the anti-doping community that USADA declined to pursue two strong cases of doping violations by American athletes in the fall of 2006."

[MORE]

Friday, June 15, 2007

On Tap...

Local Spin
If you've been curious about racing, there's no better time to join in on the fun. On the calendar for this Saturday is the Pieffer Hill Road Race in Stevens, PA (see below), where 53rd Tooth gave us a preview of things to come, by way of his World Cup Ski & Cycle teammate, Zach Putt. As far the Continental Professionals are concerned, some will be down in Austin, TX participating in AT&T Downtown Austin Criterium as part of the USA Crit Series.

Also of note, Frankie Andreu (9-time Tour de France finisher) will be lining up for the Allen Park Criterium (see below) on the 16th.

06/15/2007
Red Robin's Keirin Cup
Trexlertown, PA

06/16/2007
Giro d' Grafton
Grafton, WI
Pieffer Hill Road Race (TM)
Stevens, PA
NC State Championship Time Trial
Havelock, NC
Midwest Cycling Group Allen Park Criterium
Allen Park, MI
VA State Senior TT Championship
Stony Creek, VA
Specialized/Sierra Nevada Criterium
Folsom, CA
Northern California/Nevada Track Championship
San Jose, CA
The 2007 Crystal City Classic p/b The US Air Force
Arlington, VA
The Garrett Wonders Memorial Criterium
Westerville, OH

06/17/2007
City Bikes RFK Criterium
Washington, DC
Bryan Park Circuit Race
Richmond, VA
Cargas Criterium
Lancaster, PA
Havelock/Cherry Point Criterium
Havelock, NC
Bicycle Johns Grand Prix
Glendale, CA
Atlantic Regional Junior Track Time Trial Champion
Trexlertown, PA
Nevada City Bicycle Classic
Nevada City, CA
Fond Du Lac Criterium
Fond Du Lac, WI

As for your Oude Granny, I'll be at the local velodrome, Bloomer Park, to take in some races, and possibly participating. More on Bloomer Park soon.

Eight Is Enough!
For those interested in pulling up a chair instead of pulling in a paceline, this Sunday wraps up the 8 Stage Criterium du Dauphine Libere. You can see the finale on Versus' Cyclysm Sunday (check your local listings).

In years past, a victory at the Dauphine, as in most races, held some measure of stature. But more recently, the Dauphine has been viewed as merely a tune up for July.

If there was ever a race where T-o-03 could extrapolate his "love" for sprinters (the purveyors of the low hanging fruit) to Grand Tour contenders, this would be it. Some of these guys might as well have taken the sprinters route and packed up and headed for home. After a superb ITT on Wednesday, Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana), the early line favorite to win the Tour, packed it up mentally and finished almost 8 minutes back on the summit of Mont Ventoux yesterday. If it were July, do you think he would have given up close to 8 minutes to anyone?

He gained some measure of respect back today by being part of an early break of 22 riders, coming home hand in hand with his Astana teammate, Antonio Colom, who won Stage 5 (Photo: AFP). But Vino's eyes and heart, like Cadel Evans', are well up the road.

Currently sitting in fourth, Cadel Evans (Predictor-Lotto) had this to say, "It's all about getting for July, but we're paid to win bike races, too...If the legs are good, I can try to go for the win. The most important thing is to be strong for the Tour."

The Early Read on Floyd

I'm having trouble keeping up with all the cycling-related news of the past few days, so here's a mish-mash of some articles and thoughts:
  • The New York Times got hold of a pre-release copy (June 26) of the new Bad Boy Floyd book, "Positively False: The Real Story of How I Won the Tour de France," in a most ingeneous way: by simply placing a regular order with an online bookseller (see story)! The Times story points out contradictions between Landis's recent testimony during his USDA doping hearing and what he says in the book, specifically about the firing of his manager, Will Geoghegan.
  • At the Dauphine Libere, Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) won Wednesday's time trial (David Zabriske of CSC was third); Christophe Moreau (Ag2r, pictured at right/Graham Watson) won his second stage in three days on Mont Ventoux; and Vinokourov's teammate, Andrey Kashechkin holds the overall GC lead (story). Vino isn't a bad choice to win the Tour de France next month.
  • Italy's Damiano Cunego, 25, will not participate in the Tour de France despite finishing as the best young rider in the 2006 race and finishing fith in the recent Giro d'Italia. Instead, Cunego will enter the Tour of Switzerland, which starts on June 16. The Tour de France begins on July 7 in London.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Fe, Fi, Fo, Fum...

The Giant of Provence
The Criterium du Dauphine Libere has never claimed to be the Tour de France, but any race that includes Le Mont Ventoux among its parcours certainly has its merits.


Ventoux isn't the highest or the steepest peak, but perhaps no other climb is more feared, respected, or fabled among cyclists. Its mystical stature stems from years of deforestation during the 12th Century. The resulting barren lunar-like landscape leaves cyclists at the mercy of the elements. At the summit, winds have been clocked as high as 193mph during certain seasons.

The summit was also the location of Tom Simpson's death during the 1967 Tour de France. Under the influence of amphetamines, Simpson rode past exhaustion and collapsed still attached to his bike. A memorial, fitting of the surrounding environment (inset), marks this tragic occasion.

Follow the action of the Dauphine's Stage 4 online at Cyclingnews or Velonews or watch the ascent on Cycling.tv.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Much Ado About Nothing?

As reported by Cyclingnews, non-negative results for banned substances were noted in three participants of this year's Giro d'Italia.

"Allegedly, two Italians tested positive for the presence of Salbutamol and one Spanish rider's test showed elevated testosterone levels. On Wednesday, Eurosport reported the alleged identity of the three riders: Italians Alessandro Petacchi (Milram) and Leonardo Piepoli (Saunier Duval) and Spaniard Iban Mayo (Saunier Duval).

The two Italians have medical exemptions on file for treating asthma, while according to Eurosport, Mayo is known to be prone to natural testosterone variations, something he has documented previously with the UCI."


On the surface, this report seems very benign and the results inconspicuous. But given the current doping climate of professional cycling, every act is now under suspicion and every character possibly wears a Janus mask.

The use of Salbutamol may seem especially disconcerting, as its alternative, Clenbuterol, is highly effective in increasing the aerobic capacity, of horses.

However, the former hasn't been shown to be effective in performance enhancement. And unbeknownst to most of the general public, asthma is quite common or prevalent in cyclists. In a 1996 study of 669 athletes who competed in the Atlanta Summer Olympics, 45% of the cyclists had asthma.

Does that percentage seem kind of high? Would it seem even more disproportionately high given that approximately 6% of ALL Americans have asthma?

In a sport where it's Grand Tour champions have been noted to have enhanced aerobic systems, cyclists sure have bad (or extremely sensitive) lungs.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Bet Lance Doesn't Have One of These!

OK, so I can't compete with the World Naked Bike Ride. And I don't think I'd want to.

But while we're considering the weirder realm of cycling, I can't let the table pictured above pass. How would you like THAT beauty in your living room? Yup, this glass-and-chrome beauty is available (3-weeks waiting time) for just £2618.68 (that's British pounds). Found it, and other indescribable items, on site called Popgadget. Be the first in your neighborhood!

Bare As You Dare


This past Saturday, June 9th, marked the 4th edition of the Chicago version of the World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR). The grassroots movement to protest oil dependence was officially started in 2004 by the merging of two groups, Artists For Peace (Canada) and Manifestación Ciclonudista (Spain). The WNBR now takes place in 20 countries and over 70 cities.

Reports from the initial Denver, CO ride were mixed, depending on which side of the law you gravitate towards. Most of the 23 participants (half of whom didn’t dare to bare) exclaimed that it was the best ride in which they’ve ever participated. Denver police thought differently, attempting to shut down the event before it was able to leave the downtown area, taking names, cell phones, handing out tickets, and arresting 2 participants.

Internationally, one look at the website for the organizers of Paris’ (and no that’s not Hilton, although something tells me riding a bike naked wouldn’t be too much of a stretch for her), first WNBR event suggests that they probably didn’t run into such legal issues or law enforcement harassment.

The success of the Chicago event (approximately 600 participated this year) can be attributed to several things: great organization, not releasing the actual route until the last minute, a healthy respect for the laws governing public nudity, and a mayor whose goal is to make Chicago the most bike friendly city around (although I’m sure Daly and Chicago’s finest would probably close down the route if they knew it beforehand).

For the exhibitionist at heart, the ride certainly provides another avenue for which to show your “wares” (hopefully those of the “soft” variety). While for the activists at heart, the WNBR provides a more than ample way to get your message across, “I consume calories and not oil by riding.”

So yes Virginia, (Katie in this case) there is a World Naked Bike Ride, and no my nasal congestion on Sunday can be attributed to allergies and not from riding around Chicago neighborhoods the evening before. At least that’s the story I’m sticking with…

Sunday, June 10, 2007

A Good Day at the Dauphine for Discovery

World pursuit champion Bradley Wiggins (Cofidis) tore through the 4.2-kilometer prologue time trial of the 2007 Dauphiné Libéré, narrowly edging out defending Dauphiné champion Levi Leipheimer (Discovery) on Sunday.

Wiggins covered the course in 4:50, one second better than Leipheimer and two seconds better than Andrey Kashechkin (Astana). Leipheimer's teammate, George Hincapie, finished fourth, three seconds off of Wiggins' time.

Wiggins, 27, is British and would like to repeat the performance on July 7 in London in the prologue of the Tour de France. Wiggins also won the time-trial at the Four Days of Dunkirk last month.

RESULTS:
1. Bradley Wiggins (GB), Cofidis, 4.2km in 4:50.42
2. Levi Leipheimer (USA), Discovery Channel, 4:51.87
3. Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz), Astana, 4:52.30
4. George Hincapie (USA), Discovery Channel, 4:52.54
5. Alejandro Valverde (Sp), Caisse d:Epargne, 4:53.32
6. Dave Zabriskie (USA), CSC, 4:53.94
7. Tom Boonen (B), Quick Step, 4:54.27
8. Nick Nuyens (F), Cofidis, 4:55.29
9. Egoi Martinez (Sp), Discovery Channel, 4:55.62

Saturday, June 09, 2007

The Next Best Thing to a Grand Tour

Next to the grand tours, no stage race may be more enjoyable than the mountain challenge that is the Dauphine Libere, named after the newspapers that serves communities of the French Alps.
You can catch television coverage of the first and last stages on Versus June 10 (4:30 p.m. ET) and June 17 (5 p.m. ET).

Here are some stories to get you started for the 60th annual race, which begins Sunday:
-- Andrew Hood for VeloNews: Tanned, rested and ready: Leipheimer ready for Dauphine
-- Reuters: Dauphine Libere preview
-- Andrew Hood for VeloNews: Mountainous Dauphine lives up to traditions
-- CyclingNews: 60 years and many mysteries
-- Alasdair Fotheringham for Reuters: Search for Tour champion begins in warm-up race
ALSO:
-- Reuters: Tour de France Beginners Guide

Friday, June 08, 2007

Enjoying the Giro Vicariously

So, what are one of those Trek Travel trips to a grand tour like? Take a look at this video by Jay Rolls, who enjoyed the recent Giro d' Italia with Trek. Check out the snow, some rain, and see if you can spot the granny gear.

It's Tour de France Time!


Well, the VeloNews didn't chicken out. That's Levi Leipheimer, not an empty yellow jersey, on the cover of the magazine's 2007 Tour de France guide. Cycle Sport went the empty-jersey route, as described earlier in the Crankset.

On Tap...

Tour Build-Up
The Criterium du Dauphine Libere, the eight stage annual preview (and hype machine) to the Tour de France, begins this Sunday. Cycling fans who look forward to the Tour every year, will be looking to see who's on form and start marking their favorites and darkhorses for this July.

Although the race covers some of the same parcours, it has seldom been truly predictive of who will end up winning the Tour. In the past 10 years, only twice has the winner of the Dauphine ended up winning the Tour (Lance Armstrong in 2002 and 2003) let alone ended up on podium on the Champs Elysees.

All eyes will most likely be on the bookmakers' odds on favorite for this year's Tour victory, Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana), who also won the Dauphine in 1999.

Catch the race on Versus' Cyclysm Sunday (check with your local cable provider), or on Cycling.tv.

Local Flavors
If you haven't already earmarked specific races on your calendar, here's a listing of some of the races in your area (contact me if you'd like your state to be added to the listings).

06/09/2007
Cape Fear Road Race
Fuquay Varina, NC
VA State Senior Criterium Championships
Norfolk, VA
Tour of Perry County
Somerset, OH
The Quicksilver
Sterling, VA
WI State Road Championship -- Spring Prairie Road
Burlington, WI
Pescadero Road Race
Pescadero, CA
Sugarhouse Park Criterium
Salt Lake City, UT
LA Velodrome 2007 Track Series
Carson, CA
2007 Commerce Bank Triple Crown Time Trial
Philadelphia, PA
JR Track Championship-Jim Rossi Omnium
Northbrook, IL
SISU Cycles- Race @ The Base
Sawyer, MI

06/10/2007
Mill Creek Criterium
Youngstown, OH
Juniors and Masters Crit Championships
Ontario, CA
MABRA Track Title and DE,MD/DC,& VA
Trexlertown, PA
Back Roads Time Trial
Lyons, WI
Northern California/Nevada TT Championships
Sattley, CA
Tour of Cedar Creek- Dan Cihak Memorial
Twin Lake, MI
Golden Empire Classic/SCNCA Championships RR
Bakersfield, CA
Wheaton Criterium
Wheaton, IL
Commerce Bank International Championship
Philadelphia, PA
Commerce Bank Liberty Classic
Philadelphia, PA

For those in the Philly area, this weekend wraps up the Pro Cycling Tour's Triple Crown (Tom Bamford Lancaster Classic, Reading Classic, and Philadelphia International Championship). So far, T-Mobile has taken the first two legs, with both Bernhard Eisel and Ina-Yoko Teutenberg, taking the men's and women's races respectively.

Natalie Klemko (Advil Chapstick), who I was able to watch dominate on my former local velodrome, the Ed Rudolph Velodrome in Northbrook, IL, has placed more than respectably at both Lancaster and Reading. More on Natalie later...

Speaking of the Ed Rudolph, I'll be in the area to take in the Juniors on the 9th, as I'll be in town to participate in the 26th Annual BCLC Ramble.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Enjoy the Underground Railroad Route

Here's a nice NPR story and audio report on the Underground Railroad route.

It concerns the first-ever Adventure Cycling group to tackle the route. Their hilly and evocative journey through history began April 14 in Mobile, Ala., and ended in Owen Sound -- which has a wonderful folk music festival, Summerfolk, I used to attend every summer with my sons -- on May 31.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Do They EVER Learn?

Former world time-trial champion Serhiy Honchar may have lined up for T-Mobile for the last time. The team has withdrawn him from the Tour de France due to abnormalities with his blood.
"An analysis of his blood four weeks ago revealed there to be something abnormal," said team manager Bob Stapleton.
"We will have another test done to decide whether he will be able to ride for us again. Apart from that, we do not expect him to be part of the team for the Tour de France."
Honchar was a star in last year's Tour, blowing away the field in both individual time trials.
Even if the second test absolves the Ukrainian of any wrongdoing, Stapleton said he expected the current season to be Honchar's last with T-Mobile.

Tete de Course

For those Liz Hatch fans who drop by the Triple Crankset looking for information, here you go. The photo was taken by Blacknell this weekend at the CSC Invitational in Virginia, and also posted at the Podium Cafe, which provides an answer to T-o-03's question of why some newspapers like the Washington Post, for instance, didn't have a presence at the races this past weekend.

So if you've been wondering who is at la tete de course (head of the race), why its Liz (of course) decked out in her new Vanderkitten kit!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Prudhomme on the Tour: 'I cannot guarantee it will be completely clean'

“You can take the Tour de France seriously because we have the real will to fight the doping problem."

“I cannot guarantee it will be completely clean but I can say that doping is the enemy of cycling and the Tour and that we are doing everything we can to combat it."

“Cycling is not alone when it comes to doping. We don’t have all the cheats in our sport and though we have been harmed we cannot always be looking back."

[Floyd] Landis gave us a new hero but 48 hours later he was out. Now a new hero will arrive."

-- Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme

53rd's New Rig?

With the recent plight of 53rd Tooth during a training ride in New Jersey, could it be the time for an "insurance" upgrade? The folks over at ROAD Magazine were at the unveiling of the new Trek Madone line.

MORE:
-- Trek reveals new Madone
-- Current Trek Madone
-- Tech Report, with Lennard Zinn on the new Madone

CSC Invitational Video on YouTube

There's plenty of video available on YouTube of the 2007 CSC Invitational June 2 in Arlington, Va.

Get a sense of the race and see an interview with the
men's pro winner, Rashaan Bahati.



Check out this one of the first turn.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Katie's Korner

Our "Average Joe" IronGal in training checks in with another installment. So Oude Granny, thought he'd help our Katie out by teaching her to channel another Kate, Kate Veatch (not my best Photoshop work).


Swimming and Riding and Running...OH MY!!
Three weeks left and I am getting excited. It was another great weekend of training but at the expense of something that bothered me dearly.

I had to pass on the wedding of my college roommate in Omaha. Granted, Brandon needed to attend class and put in some serious study hours, but still.

Advice for anyone considering an Ironman....let everyone know how much of a loser you will be! Because you will. By no means am I a stud Ironman triathlete either. I'm your Average Joe and I have missed a lot of important and meaningful stuff. Apologize in advance to your family and friends for the selfishness you will be displaying. Again, I apologize to everyone.

Last weekend was a good long run, however, I was dehydrated. I was so dehydrated I was looking longingly at dirty puddles of water. I also acquired nice chaffing under my arms from only wearing a sports bra (Ahhh, the lessons we learn in training). Nonetheless, this weekend was much better. Did a nice brick on Saturday and felt good. Granted, a 40 minute transition run is different than 26 miles....but eh!

Comical event [of the week] was me trying on my wetsuit in my apartment. You thought putting on tight jeans was hard! Try putting on that "bat suit!" Dry as a bone with some left over sand particles to boot! I'm just glad I got out of it and could make it in to work!

So now we begin to decrease miles and increase positive attitudes. Riding a century ride next Sunday with Len so that should be a blast.

As for now....TV. NICE.

The biggest congrats to Mick and Den on their wedding this weekend. I'm so very sad I missed it, but thought of you all day!

Katie

Sunday, June 03, 2007

A Killer of a Ride

As promised, DiLuca kitted in pink with a pink pimped out Cannondale

Three weeks later, Danilo DiLuca (Liquigas) has finally stamped his name on the list of Giro d'Italia champions. His first win of a Grand Tour may have come as a surprise to most, but he provided more than a glimpse of his capabilities during the 2005 edition of the race. The win also came at the expense of three former (and recent) Giro champions, further substantiating that this was no fluke.

An Event to Care About

Presenting of the colors at the 10th annual CSC Invitational in Arlington, Va.
(photo/Tour of '03)

Getting ready for the race. (photo/Tour of '03)

Disabled riders get ready for their race. (photo/Tour of '03)

I don't know what it is about cycling that mainstream media like the Washington Post finds so unappealing. I guess you could say its the doping culture of men's professional cycling, but that would assume that sports editors have an idea of something beyond football, baseball and basketball in this country.

Perhaps as many as 20,000 people showed up in the multi-cultural, ultra chic, she she, Clarendon neighborhood of Arlington, Va., on a hot, muggy Saturday for the 10th annual CSC Invitational. The event is free, so perhaps that keeps the mainstream media away (I'm looking for excuses here). If they don't like the men pros -- and there were 178 of them in the 100-km race -- because of whatever it is that Bad Boy Floyd may have done, or the 75 or so female pros, maybe it was all the little kids on bikes with their parents (it's a family event) or the disabled cyclists giving it their all that is so unappealing. After all, some overblown ego on the Washington Redskins probably deserves more attention in the off-season.

I believe that good news -- people news -- interests people and can sell newspapers (not that I care if the Washington Post sells two more papers). But couldn't the website have at least run some coverage ... taken some pictures ... shown some interest in its community and what really does interest people? Or is it just that people should watch, not do? Whatever it is, as a long-time journalist and teacher, I understand why the mainstream media is struggling to remain viable these days. To be financially viable, you have to be relevant to your community. That means knowing something about that community, whether its on the day that the toughest crit in the U.S. takes place in its coverage area, or whether it's any day of the week when thousands of area residents are out on their bikes, whether it's on the W&OD Trail or the streets, recreating.

If the mainstream media wants to remain relevant to people's lives, it needs to understand what's taking place in people's lives. Saturday in Arlington, the mainstream media once again demonstrated that it just doesn't have a clue. That's bad business.