Sunday, September 30, 2007

Set Your TiVO for the Vuelta

If you missed the Vuelta a Espana, as I did, here's your chance to catch up on Denis Menchov's second victory in three years.
Our friends at Versus will televise a 1-hour review of the third and final grand tour of 2007 at 6 p.m. ET Sunday (AND 4 p.m. ET Monday) following, I might mention, the noon telecast of Anaheim vs. Los Angeles in their second regular-season game in London's O2 Arena.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Forget About Jan: Hincapie Joins T-Mobile

As widely expected, George Hincapie has signed a two-year contract with T-Mobile.

Hincapie helped Our Boy Lance win all of his record seven Tour de France races between 1999 and 2005. The 34-year-old American formerly rode for the disbanding Discovery Channel and U.S. Postal teams and recently won the Tour of Missouri. Hincapie will ride in the men's road race at the world championships in Stuttgart on Sunday.

The National Team Down Under

National teams for the upcoming professional cycling season seem to be the rage these days, with squads planned for Australia and Great Britain (and elsewhere?).

An Aussie team would be especially cool (imagine going out drinking with them!), and an Australian team competing in the Tour de France moved a step closer with a decision by the UCI to elevate Adelaide's Tour Down Under to ProTour status, according to a story in the TheAge.com.au.

"This is like going from a pre-season event to a home-and-away fixture," says Tony Smith, whose tourism company, Roamfree.com, has pledged $20 over four years towards establishing the team. "It just reinforces how big cycling is and how big Australia is in cycling."

ALSO:
-- William Fotheringham in the Guardian: British Cycling Vows to Control New Team at Tour de France
-- William Fotheringham: The War of the Wheels
-- Canadian Press: French daily [yeah, yeah, our buds at L'Equipe] reports Rasmussen used EPO-like substance during Tour de France [obviously, there's always the latest designer drug]
-- Matthew Pinset in the BBC: Time to reclaim cycling's soul

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Interbike Expo Day II - Bobke to Tommeke

Bobke and I Compared Broken Clavicles (He Won)

Bare Knuckle - Sweet Simplicity

Tour of Life Author Dave Shields

Golf Cycle?

Tommeke's Maillot Vert Winner

Photos: Leonard Basobas

Interbike Expo Day II - Catching Up With...


With the whole of Slipstream/Chipotle management in the INTERBIKE Media Center today for the announcement of their kit contest, I had the opportunity to speak with one of their new additions, Magnus Backstedt.

Maggie was in the INTERBIKE Media Center carrying [and I use that term lightly, quite literally] around a concept bike (inset) tricked out by the guys at Groupe de Tete [more on them a little later]. The bike weighed an astonishing 7 lbs.

Overall, Maggie seems very pleased with his decision to sign with Team Slipstream/Chipotle. He is anxiously looking forward to the team's training camp and the opportunity to meet his new teammates. In the meantime, he is going to continue his off season training practice of riding on the pines, as he's slated to ride with the Swedish National Track Team.

Photos: Leonard Basobas

Interbike Expo Day II - Not Your Average Joe

And the winner is...
Joe Yule
of Redondo Beach, CA. Joe submitted the winning design for the Team Slipstream/Chipotle "Get in the Slipstream" 2008 kit design contest. I was backstage at the INTERBIKE Media Center and caught up with Joe before the official announcement on INTERBIKE Media Center Studio/Cycling.tv.

The graphic designer spent approximately 30 hours on his winning design. According to Joe, he won by less than 30 votes of the 7,000 tabulated by the Slipstream/Chipotle website. Joe has a history of designing kits, with several currently out on the road for teams based in California. But he had always dreamed of one day having a kit design in the top tier of cycling.

He was still somewhat in a state of shock and amazement, as he had planned on coming to INTERBIKE on this day anyway. Then again, the whole contest took him by surprise as he wasn't aware of the competition until a friend sent him the information a few days before the submission deadline.

When I informed Joe that not only was his kit going to be in the professional peloton, but with the disbandment of Discovery Channel, his would represent the only American team, he simply shook his head.

Congratulations Joe, who won the team issue Felt bicycle, a kit signed by the entire team, and a seat in the director's car during some races.

NOTE: The only design modification to the winning entry was the replacement of the Chipotle logo on the front and back with another sponsor, H30.

Interbike Expo - Day 1 (More Images)

I don't think Ernesto Colnago likes my new haircut

TDF champ Alberto Contador at the Giro exhibit

The art that is Dario Pegoretti Bicycles

Kerri Martin and Patrick Connolly (Breille Cyclery)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Interbike Expo - Day 1

Walking out to any exposition floor for the first time is a bit intimidating and overwhelming. I've been to several for medical devices and sporting goods. But when that expo room is filled with things you love and a mixed bag of interesting people, its like being a kid in a candy store and the feelings of intimidation and being overwhelmed come simply from "where do I go first?"

Words can't really describe what North America's largest cycling tradeshow is all about. So here are some images that unfortunately will leave you with that empty feeling of seeing the candy through the storefront window.





Interbike - Demo Day II

BOULDER CITY, Nev. - Apparently the "demo" in Demo Days stands for demolition rather than demonstration, as I broke my clavicle yesterday (more on that in a few).

The day started off inauspiciously enough, as I continued to meet new and interesting people in and around the tent city that is the Interbike Outdoor Demo Days.

While waiting in line to board the bus at the Sands Convention Center, I met Sheena Johnson, who like Johlene Hess the day before, headed straight to the Demo before checking into her hotel (Paris, or was it the Palms, sorry inside joke there). Sheena fits into the "its a small world" category of friends [and not merely because she currently resides in Florida] as we had some acquaintances in common, and none more poignant than Bicycle Generation's owner, Leo Cordery.

Needless to say, Sheena is the manager of Downtown Bicycles in Fort Lauderdale, FL and races for the Kenda Tire Women's team. By her own admission, a chronic 6th place finisher who "hates the sprints," Sheena has already shown to be quite the competitor in her second year of racing on the road, placing on the podium several times. Although she races crits, she is a big fan of the stage race; having tackled the Joe Martin this year.

Sheena was kind enough to hang with me for most of the day, and she ended up being a wonderful resource in critiquing the bikes we rode. So on to the rides...

The adventures started off at the Marin tent to catch up with Sheena's friend Mike (inset), who works for the California cycling company. Mike set up Sheena with the Mount Vision in their QUAD XC series, while I headed to Wilier to try their top-of-the line Cento.

Sheena's thoughts on the XS 25-26 pound bike, "it was great and felt light on the trail and even on the climbs." The only time she felt the weight was during the flats at the end of the trail, but she couldn't tell if that was from lack of sleep and food or truly from the bike's weight.


My impressions of the Cento, "don't ride a sweetly set up bicycle as your first ride of the day otherwise you'll have a tough time comparing apples to apples." The Cento was setup with some of Italy's best, Campy and Fulcrum.


In comparison to the dirt trails, the road loop was recently manicured with a fresh coat of asphalt. So it was difficult to determine how the bikes would perform on rougher terrain. But the two great things about the loop were the descent and ascent.

The Cento descended and climbed impeccably well. So well in fact that my riding experiences after that were a little biased. Its easy to see why a climber like Damiano Cunego (Lampre/Fondital) has this ride under him as it was ultra responsive to accelerations when I chose to chase some folks up the final climb.

While I was out on the Cento, I met up with Kerri Martin, a mechanic for Breille Cyclery in New Jersey. The self described "atypical Jersey girl," [ed. unlike the pair of typical Jersey girls who nearly ran 53rd Tooth down] Kerri was out on one of Jersey's originals Van Dessel. She was out at Interbike with the shop's owner, Patrick Connolly, who also gave me some great feedback on the bikes he rode.

For the next round, Sheena stayed on the dirt and I on the road. She went out on Haro and I on the bike currently ridden by Colavita/Sutter Holmes, Blue.


Sheena didn't like the Haro as much, while I had little to complain about the Blue Rc-7. It handled beautifully, but again fell a tad bit short in comparison to both the Wilier and Lemond.

The next bike for Sheena was an Ibis. Athough the Ibis wasn't sporting any extraordinarily new technology, it won the best bike ridden for both Sheena and Patrick.

Intense - More Than a Brand, Its a Riding Style
Alright now to what you have been waiting for, some with bated breath, my broken clavicle story. The final bike I took out was the Intense Spyder FRO. I wanted to take out the 5.5 FRO, but none were available. But by choosing the Spyder FRO, it wasn't exactly like getting stuck with an ugly step sister. The Intense Spyder is a bike that I have long been wanting to try after reading about their first VPP (Virtual Pivot Point) bike.


The beautiful Karen Lundgren of the adventure racing team teamsole.com got me ready for the trails. Teamsole.com is sponsored by Intense and uses the 29ers for their races [I hope I'm not letting anything out of the bag there].

The crash occurred while I was out on a roller coaster like section of the trail. It was the perfect endo, not quite at the speed at which Tina Pic experienced in the photo above [at Downers Grove last year], but probably just as painful. Pic, however, walked away without any major injury, which can't be said for me.


The verdict, a distal fracture of the clavicle or collarbone. It has yet to be determined whether I'll need surgery or not.

It would be easy for some to blame the bike for what happened. But in fact, the only derogatory thing I can say is that it was so sweet that it challenged, even begged, my ego to take it out a lot harder than my rusty mountain bike skills would allow. It frankly made me feel like Superman [riding that is, not the flying through the air part].

The folks at the Intense tent had a good laugh with me about the mishap, with Paul Romero, offering these words of wisdom, "the red rocks up on Bootleg are red for a reason as everyone leaves a little blood out there." Consider mine part of the landscape.

Overall, my experience of the Outdoor Demo Days was positive even though I took a spill. The only negative was trying to get out of Bootleg Canyon. As the sun began to set, many of us were dusty prisoners of the lack of Interbike buses (below). But other than that it was great. How could it be anything less? It was the opportunity to live out what a lot of people [you know who you are] frankly dream of...having all the guilty pleasures of life without any of the consequences. Of course I got hurt in the process, but for thousands of others, they are still revelling and snickering in their accomplishments.


Thoughts Aside
The cheap airline tickets are provided by the various international airlines to facilitate the customers with affordable ratings. The cheap car rental services are offered by the car rental service providers to get the cheap rates of car rents. The cheap hotels are situated in the different areas of the world for the vacationers or outsiders who want to get accommodating facilities in the cheap rates. The cheap rental cars are another additional facility for the vacationers, offered by the vacation planners or organizers. The cruise deals are offered by the travel agents for the vacationers in the cheap rates. The cruise vacations are the best source of excursions for the vacationers. The value of las vegas resorts has been growing due to the entertaining and alluring natural beauty of the surroundings.

Photos: Leonard Basobas

Monday, September 24, 2007

Interbike: Demo Day 1

From Chip Smith (SOAR Communications):

BOULDER CITY, Nev. - A record number of 3,300-plus bicycle retailers visited Bootleg Canyon in Boulder City, Nevada today as part of the 2007 Interbike OutDoor Demo (the first day of the two-day event). The relocated and improved OutDoor Demo kicks off a week-long trade show, conference and exposition full of cycling-related product demonstrations, launches, seminars, clinics, advocacy outreach and networking.

"Momentum and preparation leading up to the OutDoor Demo resulted in a phenomenal first day," said Lance Camisasca Interbike's show director. "The sunny, 75-degree weather didn't hurt either. With the improvements to the booth expo area and so many new and returning exhibitors and sponsors, we were confident this year's Demo would surpass numbers from last year. Our goal is to provide attendees with an opportunity to test the latest gear on realistic and high-quality trails and courses - we felt that this year's OutDoor Demo accomplished that."

Located again in Bootleg Canyon, the Outdoor Demo's booth expo area was relocated approximately 350 yards to the west in an area improved with new landscaping. This year's OutDoor Demo expo area includes 65,000 net-sold, square-feet of space, an increase of more than six percent versus last year's totals. In addition, the expo area's new location provided OutDoor Demo attendees improved access to mountain bike trails in the area, as well as paved roads for road bike testing.

"The new Out Door Demo location is phenomenal so far and was the ideal way for us to launch our new Fuel EX, "said Derek Deubel, director of marketing for TREK."Today attendees have shown the most interest in our mountain bike lines, more than 120 demos and it's not even noon - another successful event!"

Retailers from all over North America and several international retailers got the chance to test bikes and accessories from such brands as Bell Sports, Giant, Kona, Scott, and Trek Bicycles before making crucial buying decisions for the upcoming year.

"OutDoor Demo is one of the only places we can get to know the newest products as well as we would like," said Darrell Blankenship, a retailer from El Paso, Texas. "The demo lets us get beyond just ordering from the catalogue and gives us the opportunity to really put these products to the test."

Hydrate or Die
Its a tagline that Camelback has been using for years, but I had to challenge the axiom today at Bootleg Canyon. I haven't been in a desert like environment in quite some time, let alone been physically active in it. And by being physically active in it, I mean simply walking around the numerous vendor tents to oggle the new parts and accessories.

By the time I decided to jump on and demo the bikes, I was already close to "E" and didn't even realize it. I cramped up badly.

In any event, I still rode and tomorrow will be more of the same as I intend to try every darn road bike, some cross bikes and a couple of choice mountain bikes.

Today I focused primarily on a few bikes and accessories. My test ride today was the Lemond Tete de Course. I won't speak to the specifications, referring you instead to the Pezcyclingnews review, but the bike handled just as I've read. It even surpassed some of my expectations without detracting from others. But I'll definitely need to ride some different frames before I can come out with a final verdict. At a little over $7700.00 tricked out, I better ride some more bikes.


Part of the Lemond's setup was the use of SRAM's Force components. Their double tap system took some getting used to but I was pleasantly surprised at its ease of use once I got the handle on things. SRAM has their RED components at Interbike, but I haven't got my hands on it yet.

The other accessory I've been reading about and looked forward to trying was Mavic's new wheelset the R-Sys. The wheelset looks markedly like Topolino's but it works both in traction and compression as a result of the use of tubular carbon spokes. What does that mean to you? Light and stiff my friend, light and stiff.


Photos: Leonard Basobas

Vegas Baby, Vegas!

LAS VEGAS - It has begun [famous last words, right?]. I've landed and have already met some interesting people.

Sean Weide can take pride in the fact that the three members from Cycle Works in Lincoln, NE, all knew of his work through Nebraska Cycling News.

But Johlene Hess, owner of East Coast Bicycle Academy in Harrisburg, VA takes the prize for independence and cycling passion. She showed up without accomodations [at least until her brother shows up tomorrow] after her husband decided not to head to Interbike this year. As such, she headed straight for Bootleg Canyon, for the OutDoor Demo Days (more later), right from the plane.

The Night Time is the Right Time...
I can honestly say that Vegas wouldn't be my top choice for a vacation spot. But there's something to be said about a place that seems to "rest" when the sun is up, and comes alive when illuminated by scores of incandescent colored lights. What that statement is I'm not yet quite sure?

More to come...

Almost Famous


CHICAGO - As I prepare to embark for Interbike, I can't help but feel [and look, as I've been rocking the mop top lately; inset] like William Miller, Patrick Fugit's character in the movie Almost Famous.

On his first real assignment, the teenaged aspiring rock journalist, is sent to cover an "on the verge of stardom" band called Stillwater. Though advised by his mentor to "experience it, enjoy it, just don't fall for it," William gets taken on an adventure that sees him transform from fan to professional journalist.

Although this is the second time the Triple Crankset has been credentialed as media, it is my first real assignment as a member of the "working media." Admittedly, I am not a professional journalist nor do I seriously aspire to become one; my passions slanting rather to fiction and short stories.

But as a blogger, my passions for writing and for cycling have converged. I have discovered an adeptness and a style of writing that feeds both sides of my being. I am a blogger. A blogger of cycling and of things cycling related, and I am about to experience the wild ride that is Interbike.

The trade show has gone from simply being an avenue for those in the cycling business and industry to inform, consult, and aid each other in maintaining or expanding their respective businesses to something bigger than life. It has politely been described to me as "an adult Disneyland for cyclists," or "AVN [look it up] for Bike Nerds."

As William covered the spectacle of rock & roll through the eyes of Stillwater, I will analogously be seeing the cycling industry through another set of eyes, Vanderkitten eyes.

The grassroots clothing company for "women who kick ass," is on the verge of becoming more than a regional brand. With Team Vanderkitten for the road set to race with a full lineup in 2008, and with an already established mountain bike team and a fledgling cyclocross team, they have postioned themselves for an exponential growth period.

So as I get set to meet our friend of the blog, Liz Hatch, and the rest of the Vanderkitten crew I couldn't help but parody both casts and crews.








Lester Bangs
(Phillip Seymour Hoffman) - Rock journalist & mentor. T-o-03 (Steve Klein) whose vast experience as a professional journalist, editor and professor has guided my creative processes.








Dick Roswell
(Noah Taylor) & Dennis Hope (Jimmy Fallon) - The band's managers who troubleshoot all. Vanderkitten's equivalent, Dave & Mark - the creative and entrepreneurial force behind Team Vanderkitten.









Russell Hammond
(Billy Crudup) and Stillwater (Jason Lee, John Fedevich, and Mark Kozelek). Hammond, the incendiary lead guitarist fronted the group to stardom. Liz Hatch and Team Vanderkitten - the one woman gang has fronted Team Vanderkitten for 2007. She's shown remarkably well for not having any teammates. Her latest exploits include another victory in the Infineon Raceway Twilight Series, and a dominating display at the Chico Criterium where she not only won, but took home every single prime to boot [guess who's buying the beer].








Penny Lane
(Kate Hudson) & the Band-Aids (Anna Paquin, Faruiza Balk, and Bijou Phillips) - The groupies who reinvent themselves into "aiding the band." Not really sure who the VK groupies or Manderkittens are, but they're probably already out there.

In the end, as in the movie, we may all be singing a revised rendition of Cover of the Rolling Stones.

WE TAKE ALL KINDS OF PILLS
TO GIVE US ALL KINDS OF THRILLS
BUT THE THRILL WE'VE NEVER KNOWN

IS THE THRILL THAT WILL GET YOU
WHEN YOU GET YOUR PICTURE
ON THE COVER OF THE VELONEWS

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Maybe Now We'll Know Denis Menchov

Denis Menchov (center) second-place Carlos Sastre (left) and third-place Samuel Sanchez (Euskatel-Euskadi) on the final podium of the Vuelta in Madrid on Sunday (AP photo/Bernat Armangue).

"After three long weeks of sometimes exciting racing ..." -- all of which I missed -- begins Andrew Hood of VeloNews, Denis Menchov won his second Vuelta title in three years.

Excuse me? So how come we don't have a better sense of the Rabobank rider?

Oh yeah, isn't that Michael Rasmussen's former team?

And last year, didn't someone else win the last couple Vuelta's?

Right. Roberto Heras won three-straight Vuelta's from 2003-05, as well as in 2000. But this year, Menchov won it outright. Menchov inherited the 2005 crown after Heras tested positive for EPO. Daniele Bennati (Lampre-Fondital) held off Alessandro Petacchi (Milram) to win his third stage in Sunday's final stage into Madrid and bring to an end the season's final grand tour.

Bennati also won the final stage of the Tour de France on the Champs-Elysées. The Italian sprinter won the points jersey.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Set Your TiVO for the Vuelta

If you missed the Vuelta a Espana, as I did, here's your chance to catch up on Denis Menchov's second victory in three years.
Our friends at Versus will televise a 1-hour review of the third and final grand tour of 2007 at 6 p.m. ET Sunday (AND 4 p.m. ET Monday) following, I might mention, the noon telecast of Anaheim vs. Los Angeles in their second regular-season game in London's O2 Arena.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Forget About Jan: Hincapie Joins T-Mobile

As widely expected, George Hincapie has signed a two-year contract with T-Mobile.

Hincapie helped Our Boy Lance win all of his record seven Tour de France races between 1999 and 2005. The 34-year-old American formerly rode for the disbanding Discovery Channel and U.S. Postal teams and recently won the Tour of Missouri. Hincapie will ride in the men's road race at the world championships in Stuttgart on Sunday.

The National Team Down Under

National teams for the upcoming professional cycling season seem to be the rage these days, with squads planned for Australia and Great Britain (and elsewhere?).

An Aussie team would be especially cool (imagine going out drinking with them!), and an Australian team competing in the Tour de France moved a step closer with a decision by the UCI to elevate Adelaide's Tour Down Under to ProTour status, according to a story in the TheAge.com.au.

"This is like going from a pre-season event to a home-and-away fixture," says Tony Smith, whose tourism company, Roamfree.com, has pledged $20 over four years towards establishing the team. "It just reinforces how big cycling is and how big Australia is in cycling."

ALSO:
-- William Fotheringham in the Guardian: British Cycling Vows to Control New Team at Tour de France
-- William Fotheringham: The War of the Wheels
-- Canadian Press: French daily [yeah, yeah, our buds at L'Equipe] reports Rasmussen used EPO-like substance during Tour de France [obviously, there's always the latest designer drug]
-- Matthew Pinset in the BBC: Time to reclaim cycling's soul

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Interbike Expo Day II - Bobke to Tommeke

Bobke and I Compared Broken Clavicles (He Won)

Bare Knuckle - Sweet Simplicity

Tour of Life Author Dave Shields

Golf Cycle?

Tommeke's Maillot Vert Winner

Photos: Leonard Basobas

Interbike Expo Day II - Catching Up With...


With the whole of Slipstream/Chipotle management in the INTERBIKE Media Center today for the announcement of their kit contest, I had the opportunity to speak with one of their new additions, Magnus Backstedt.

Maggie was in the INTERBIKE Media Center carrying [and I use that term lightly, quite literally] around a concept bike (inset) tricked out by the guys at Groupe de Tete [more on them a little later]. The bike weighed an astonishing 7 lbs.

Overall, Maggie seems very pleased with his decision to sign with Team Slipstream/Chipotle. He is anxiously looking forward to the team's training camp and the opportunity to meet his new teammates. In the meantime, he is going to continue his off season training practice of riding on the pines, as he's slated to ride with the Swedish National Track Team.

Photos: Leonard Basobas

Interbike Expo Day II - Not Your Average Joe

And the winner is...
Joe Yule
of Redondo Beach, CA. Joe submitted the winning design for the Team Slipstream/Chipotle "Get in the Slipstream" 2008 kit design contest. I was backstage at the INTERBIKE Media Center and caught up with Joe before the official announcement on INTERBIKE Media Center Studio/Cycling.tv.

The graphic designer spent approximately 30 hours on his winning design. According to Joe, he won by less than 30 votes of the 7,000 tabulated by the Slipstream/Chipotle website. Joe has a history of designing kits, with several currently out on the road for teams based in California. But he had always dreamed of one day having a kit design in the top tier of cycling.

He was still somewhat in a state of shock and amazement, as he had planned on coming to INTERBIKE on this day anyway. Then again, the whole contest took him by surprise as he wasn't aware of the competition until a friend sent him the information a few days before the submission deadline.

When I informed Joe that not only was his kit going to be in the professional peloton, but with the disbandment of Discovery Channel, his would represent the only American team, he simply shook his head.

Congratulations Joe, who won the team issue Felt bicycle, a kit signed by the entire team, and a seat in the director's car during some races.

NOTE: The only design modification to the winning entry was the replacement of the Chipotle logo on the front and back with another sponsor, H30.

Interbike Expo - Day 1 (More Images)

I don't think Ernesto Colnago likes my new haircut

TDF champ Alberto Contador at the Giro exhibit

The art that is Dario Pegoretti Bicycles

Kerri Martin and Patrick Connolly (Breille Cyclery)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Interbike Expo - Day 1

Walking out to any exposition floor for the first time is a bit intimidating and overwhelming. I've been to several for medical devices and sporting goods. But when that expo room is filled with things you love and a mixed bag of interesting people, its like being a kid in a candy store and the feelings of intimidation and being overwhelmed come simply from "where do I go first?"

Words can't really describe what North America's largest cycling tradeshow is all about. So here are some images that unfortunately will leave you with that empty feeling of seeing the candy through the storefront window.





Interbike - Demo Day II

BOULDER CITY, Nev. - Apparently the "demo" in Demo Days stands for demolition rather than demonstration, as I broke my clavicle yesterday (more on that in a few).

The day started off inauspiciously enough, as I continued to meet new and interesting people in and around the tent city that is the Interbike Outdoor Demo Days.

While waiting in line to board the bus at the Sands Convention Center, I met Sheena Johnson, who like Johlene Hess the day before, headed straight to the Demo before checking into her hotel (Paris, or was it the Palms, sorry inside joke there). Sheena fits into the "its a small world" category of friends [and not merely because she currently resides in Florida] as we had some acquaintances in common, and none more poignant than Bicycle Generation's owner, Leo Cordery.

Needless to say, Sheena is the manager of Downtown Bicycles in Fort Lauderdale, FL and races for the Kenda Tire Women's team. By her own admission, a chronic 6th place finisher who "hates the sprints," Sheena has already shown to be quite the competitor in her second year of racing on the road, placing on the podium several times. Although she races crits, she is a big fan of the stage race; having tackled the Joe Martin this year.

Sheena was kind enough to hang with me for most of the day, and she ended up being a wonderful resource in critiquing the bikes we rode. So on to the rides...

The adventures started off at the Marin tent to catch up with Sheena's friend Mike (inset), who works for the California cycling company. Mike set up Sheena with the Mount Vision in their QUAD XC series, while I headed to Wilier to try their top-of-the line Cento.

Sheena's thoughts on the XS 25-26 pound bike, "it was great and felt light on the trail and even on the climbs." The only time she felt the weight was during the flats at the end of the trail, but she couldn't tell if that was from lack of sleep and food or truly from the bike's weight.


My impressions of the Cento, "don't ride a sweetly set up bicycle as your first ride of the day otherwise you'll have a tough time comparing apples to apples." The Cento was setup with some of Italy's best, Campy and Fulcrum.


In comparison to the dirt trails, the road loop was recently manicured with a fresh coat of asphalt. So it was difficult to determine how the bikes would perform on rougher terrain. But the two great things about the loop were the descent and ascent.

The Cento descended and climbed impeccably well. So well in fact that my riding experiences after that were a little biased. Its easy to see why a climber like Damiano Cunego (Lampre/Fondital) has this ride under him as it was ultra responsive to accelerations when I chose to chase some folks up the final climb.

While I was out on the Cento, I met up with Kerri Martin, a mechanic for Breille Cyclery in New Jersey. The self described "atypical Jersey girl," [ed. unlike the pair of typical Jersey girls who nearly ran 53rd Tooth down] Kerri was out on one of Jersey's originals Van Dessel. She was out at Interbike with the shop's owner, Patrick Connolly, who also gave me some great feedback on the bikes he rode.

For the next round, Sheena stayed on the dirt and I on the road. She went out on Haro and I on the bike currently ridden by Colavita/Sutter Holmes, Blue.


Sheena didn't like the Haro as much, while I had little to complain about the Blue Rc-7. It handled beautifully, but again fell a tad bit short in comparison to both the Wilier and Lemond.

The next bike for Sheena was an Ibis. Athough the Ibis wasn't sporting any extraordinarily new technology, it won the best bike ridden for both Sheena and Patrick.

Intense - More Than a Brand, Its a Riding Style
Alright now to what you have been waiting for, some with bated breath, my broken clavicle story. The final bike I took out was the Intense Spyder FRO. I wanted to take out the 5.5 FRO, but none were available. But by choosing the Spyder FRO, it wasn't exactly like getting stuck with an ugly step sister. The Intense Spyder is a bike that I have long been wanting to try after reading about their first VPP (Virtual Pivot Point) bike.


The beautiful Karen Lundgren of the adventure racing team teamsole.com got me ready for the trails. Teamsole.com is sponsored by Intense and uses the 29ers for their races [I hope I'm not letting anything out of the bag there].

The crash occurred while I was out on a roller coaster like section of the trail. It was the perfect endo, not quite at the speed at which Tina Pic experienced in the photo above [at Downers Grove last year], but probably just as painful. Pic, however, walked away without any major injury, which can't be said for me.


The verdict, a distal fracture of the clavicle or collarbone. It has yet to be determined whether I'll need surgery or not.

It would be easy for some to blame the bike for what happened. But in fact, the only derogatory thing I can say is that it was so sweet that it challenged, even begged, my ego to take it out a lot harder than my rusty mountain bike skills would allow. It frankly made me feel like Superman [riding that is, not the flying through the air part].

The folks at the Intense tent had a good laugh with me about the mishap, with Paul Romero, offering these words of wisdom, "the red rocks up on Bootleg are red for a reason as everyone leaves a little blood out there." Consider mine part of the landscape.

Overall, my experience of the Outdoor Demo Days was positive even though I took a spill. The only negative was trying to get out of Bootleg Canyon. As the sun began to set, many of us were dusty prisoners of the lack of Interbike buses (below). But other than that it was great. How could it be anything less? It was the opportunity to live out what a lot of people [you know who you are] frankly dream of...having all the guilty pleasures of life without any of the consequences. Of course I got hurt in the process, but for thousands of others, they are still revelling and snickering in their accomplishments.


Thoughts Aside
The cheap airline tickets are provided by the various international airlines to facilitate the customers with affordable ratings. The cheap car rental services are offered by the car rental service providers to get the cheap rates of car rents. The cheap hotels are situated in the different areas of the world for the vacationers or outsiders who want to get accommodating facilities in the cheap rates. The cheap rental cars are another additional facility for the vacationers, offered by the vacation planners or organizers. The cruise deals are offered by the travel agents for the vacationers in the cheap rates. The cruise vacations are the best source of excursions for the vacationers. The value of las vegas resorts has been growing due to the entertaining and alluring natural beauty of the surroundings.

Photos: Leonard Basobas

Monday, September 24, 2007

Interbike: Demo Day 1

From Chip Smith (SOAR Communications):

BOULDER CITY, Nev. - A record number of 3,300-plus bicycle retailers visited Bootleg Canyon in Boulder City, Nevada today as part of the 2007 Interbike OutDoor Demo (the first day of the two-day event). The relocated and improved OutDoor Demo kicks off a week-long trade show, conference and exposition full of cycling-related product demonstrations, launches, seminars, clinics, advocacy outreach and networking.

"Momentum and preparation leading up to the OutDoor Demo resulted in a phenomenal first day," said Lance Camisasca Interbike's show director. "The sunny, 75-degree weather didn't hurt either. With the improvements to the booth expo area and so many new and returning exhibitors and sponsors, we were confident this year's Demo would surpass numbers from last year. Our goal is to provide attendees with an opportunity to test the latest gear on realistic and high-quality trails and courses - we felt that this year's OutDoor Demo accomplished that."

Located again in Bootleg Canyon, the Outdoor Demo's booth expo area was relocated approximately 350 yards to the west in an area improved with new landscaping. This year's OutDoor Demo expo area includes 65,000 net-sold, square-feet of space, an increase of more than six percent versus last year's totals. In addition, the expo area's new location provided OutDoor Demo attendees improved access to mountain bike trails in the area, as well as paved roads for road bike testing.

"The new Out Door Demo location is phenomenal so far and was the ideal way for us to launch our new Fuel EX, "said Derek Deubel, director of marketing for TREK."Today attendees have shown the most interest in our mountain bike lines, more than 120 demos and it's not even noon - another successful event!"

Retailers from all over North America and several international retailers got the chance to test bikes and accessories from such brands as Bell Sports, Giant, Kona, Scott, and Trek Bicycles before making crucial buying decisions for the upcoming year.

"OutDoor Demo is one of the only places we can get to know the newest products as well as we would like," said Darrell Blankenship, a retailer from El Paso, Texas. "The demo lets us get beyond just ordering from the catalogue and gives us the opportunity to really put these products to the test."

Hydrate or Die
Its a tagline that Camelback has been using for years, but I had to challenge the axiom today at Bootleg Canyon. I haven't been in a desert like environment in quite some time, let alone been physically active in it. And by being physically active in it, I mean simply walking around the numerous vendor tents to oggle the new parts and accessories.

By the time I decided to jump on and demo the bikes, I was already close to "E" and didn't even realize it. I cramped up badly.

In any event, I still rode and tomorrow will be more of the same as I intend to try every darn road bike, some cross bikes and a couple of choice mountain bikes.

Today I focused primarily on a few bikes and accessories. My test ride today was the Lemond Tete de Course. I won't speak to the specifications, referring you instead to the Pezcyclingnews review, but the bike handled just as I've read. It even surpassed some of my expectations without detracting from others. But I'll definitely need to ride some different frames before I can come out with a final verdict. At a little over $7700.00 tricked out, I better ride some more bikes.


Part of the Lemond's setup was the use of SRAM's Force components. Their double tap system took some getting used to but I was pleasantly surprised at its ease of use once I got the handle on things. SRAM has their RED components at Interbike, but I haven't got my hands on it yet.

The other accessory I've been reading about and looked forward to trying was Mavic's new wheelset the R-Sys. The wheelset looks markedly like Topolino's but it works both in traction and compression as a result of the use of tubular carbon spokes. What does that mean to you? Light and stiff my friend, light and stiff.


Photos: Leonard Basobas

Vegas Baby, Vegas!

LAS VEGAS - It has begun [famous last words, right?]. I've landed and have already met some interesting people.

Sean Weide can take pride in the fact that the three members from Cycle Works in Lincoln, NE, all knew of his work through Nebraska Cycling News.

But Johlene Hess, owner of East Coast Bicycle Academy in Harrisburg, VA takes the prize for independence and cycling passion. She showed up without accomodations [at least until her brother shows up tomorrow] after her husband decided not to head to Interbike this year. As such, she headed straight for Bootleg Canyon, for the OutDoor Demo Days (more later), right from the plane.

The Night Time is the Right Time...
I can honestly say that Vegas wouldn't be my top choice for a vacation spot. But there's something to be said about a place that seems to "rest" when the sun is up, and comes alive when illuminated by scores of incandescent colored lights. What that statement is I'm not yet quite sure?

More to come...

Almost Famous


CHICAGO - As I prepare to embark for Interbike, I can't help but feel [and look, as I've been rocking the mop top lately; inset] like William Miller, Patrick Fugit's character in the movie Almost Famous.

On his first real assignment, the teenaged aspiring rock journalist, is sent to cover an "on the verge of stardom" band called Stillwater. Though advised by his mentor to "experience it, enjoy it, just don't fall for it," William gets taken on an adventure that sees him transform from fan to professional journalist.

Although this is the second time the Triple Crankset has been credentialed as media, it is my first real assignment as a member of the "working media." Admittedly, I am not a professional journalist nor do I seriously aspire to become one; my passions slanting rather to fiction and short stories.

But as a blogger, my passions for writing and for cycling have converged. I have discovered an adeptness and a style of writing that feeds both sides of my being. I am a blogger. A blogger of cycling and of things cycling related, and I am about to experience the wild ride that is Interbike.

The trade show has gone from simply being an avenue for those in the cycling business and industry to inform, consult, and aid each other in maintaining or expanding their respective businesses to something bigger than life. It has politely been described to me as "an adult Disneyland for cyclists," or "AVN [look it up] for Bike Nerds."

As William covered the spectacle of rock & roll through the eyes of Stillwater, I will analogously be seeing the cycling industry through another set of eyes, Vanderkitten eyes.

The grassroots clothing company for "women who kick ass," is on the verge of becoming more than a regional brand. With Team Vanderkitten for the road set to race with a full lineup in 2008, and with an already established mountain bike team and a fledgling cyclocross team, they have postioned themselves for an exponential growth period.

So as I get set to meet our friend of the blog, Liz Hatch, and the rest of the Vanderkitten crew I couldn't help but parody both casts and crews.








Lester Bangs
(Phillip Seymour Hoffman) - Rock journalist & mentor. T-o-03 (Steve Klein) whose vast experience as a professional journalist, editor and professor has guided my creative processes.








Dick Roswell
(Noah Taylor) & Dennis Hope (Jimmy Fallon) - The band's managers who troubleshoot all. Vanderkitten's equivalent, Dave & Mark - the creative and entrepreneurial force behind Team Vanderkitten.









Russell Hammond
(Billy Crudup) and Stillwater (Jason Lee, John Fedevich, and Mark Kozelek). Hammond, the incendiary lead guitarist fronted the group to stardom. Liz Hatch and Team Vanderkitten - the one woman gang has fronted Team Vanderkitten for 2007. She's shown remarkably well for not having any teammates. Her latest exploits include another victory in the Infineon Raceway Twilight Series, and a dominating display at the Chico Criterium where she not only won, but took home every single prime to boot [guess who's buying the beer].








Penny Lane
(Kate Hudson) & the Band-Aids (Anna Paquin, Faruiza Balk, and Bijou Phillips) - The groupies who reinvent themselves into "aiding the band." Not really sure who the VK groupies or Manderkittens are, but they're probably already out there.

In the end, as in the movie, we may all be singing a revised rendition of Cover of the Rolling Stones.

WE TAKE ALL KINDS OF PILLS
TO GIVE US ALL KINDS OF THRILLS
BUT THE THRILL WE'VE NEVER KNOWN

IS THE THRILL THAT WILL GET YOU
WHEN YOU GET YOUR PICTURE
ON THE COVER OF THE VELONEWS

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Maybe Now We'll Know Denis Menchov

Denis Menchov (center) second-place Carlos Sastre (left) and third-place Samuel Sanchez (Euskatel-Euskadi) on the final podium of the Vuelta in Madrid on Sunday (AP photo/Bernat Armangue).

"After three long weeks of sometimes exciting racing ..." -- all of which I missed -- begins Andrew Hood of VeloNews, Denis Menchov won his second Vuelta title in three years.

Excuse me? So how come we don't have a better sense of the Rabobank rider?

Oh yeah, isn't that Michael Rasmussen's former team?

And last year, didn't someone else win the last couple Vuelta's?

Right. Roberto Heras won three-straight Vuelta's from 2003-05, as well as in 2000. But this year, Menchov won it outright. Menchov inherited the 2005 crown after Heras tested positive for EPO. Daniele Bennati (Lampre-Fondital) held off Alessandro Petacchi (Milram) to win his third stage in Sunday's final stage into Madrid and bring to an end the season's final grand tour.

Bennati also won the final stage of the Tour de France on the Champs-Elysées. The Italian sprinter won the points jersey.