Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Schumacher confirmed as second Olympic cyclist positive

Here we go again...

The Heat Is On!


After last night's friendly ride with our rival FGBC counterparts, it was agreed that Mike's performance in last weekend's road races will count towards the RRR/FGBC challenge despite some administrative confusion. This makes it official—the showdown has begun!

In Sunday's post-race media scrum, Mike stated "This ia a great start for RRR, but there are a lot of races ahead and FGBC has the numbers on us. We can't sit back now, everyone on the team needs to come out and play a full 60 minutes and not make any mistakes in our own end." There you have it.

The next race on the MCA calendar is the ITT on May 3rd, followed by the first crit of the season on May 5th, and the kickoff to the Wednesday Night MTB series on May 6th when it is anticipated the rivalry will really heat up.

While some may think, "if Mike is with us, who can be against us?", it must be stressed that the sum of RRR is greater than its parts, or something. Get your registrations in now! (I'm thinking specifically of a certain female RRR member who's been intensively TT training and recently took receipt of a sexy Scott Plasma for Sunday's ITT)

"For the record, we will use the same points system as the road race series. Points are awarded to the top 20 finishers, no matter how many racers show up, using the following scale: 1st – 25, 2nd – 22, 3rd – 20, 4th – 19, 5th – 18, 6th – 16, 7th – 15, 8th – 14, 9th – 13, 10th – 12, 11th – 11, 12th – 10, 13th – 9 ,14th – 8, 15th – 7, 16th – 6, 17th – 5, 18th – 4, 19th – 3, 20th – 2."
PS - Sunday's TT is an all-comers event. No license is required to participate. All the details here.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mike

With 39 in 39 at 39 behind us, we almost missed wishing Mike a happy birthday on the special day itself.

Happy birthday, dude! I'm already looking forward to 40 in 40 at 40.

A Somber Note to Start The Week

This is a sad story. I never got to meet this colleague, but he worked for the same employer as I, at the company's Kamloops facility. Another account provides a few more details about the severity of this accident.

This really hits close to home for me. It serves as a tragic reminder that we're never far from a similar fate as we begin to hit the local roadways with the dawn of a new cycling season.

Be vigilant out there! I pray we all have a safe 2009.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Bad News for Alberto, Good News for Tour Drama

Lemond vs. Hinault version two is a go. I can't wait.


Armstrong: 'Shower-gate' case closed

(Click for larger image)

The French anti-doping agency AFLD has confirmed that it will not seek disciplinary action against seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong for a March anti-doping control incident.

The AFLD said Friday that it has "decided to take into consideration the athlete's written explanations and, in consequence, not to open a disciplinary procedure against him." It also confirmed that no abnormalities were detected in the urine, blood and hair samples taken during the control.

Armstrong's Astana team spokesman Philippe Maertens confirmed to Cyclingnews that the AFLD met Thursday, and said "the disciplinary commission checked the evidence and explanation from both Lance and the tester and decided not to take the matter further."

The AFLD complained earlier this month that Armstrong left the presence of its doping control officer in order to take a shower. Armstrong, responding to the allegations, claimed he was given permission to leave.

Posting on his Twitter account on Friday, Armstrong wrote, "the word from the French agency AFLD on the shower gate incident. Case closed, no penalty, all samples clean. Onward."

The agency could have pursued a suspension of Armstrong for violating the World Anti-doping Agency's International Standard of Testing Article 5.4.1, which states that the person being subjected to an anti-doping control must remain within the sight of the doping control officer from the time of notification until the sample is collected.

Armstrong said he expected the AFLD's "antics" to prevent him from racing in this year's Tour de France. With the case closed, he will be free to attempt an eighth career victory in the Tour.

Armstrong is currently training in Aspen, Colorado, in preparation for his first attempt at the Giro d'Italia next month. He is recovering from a fractured collarbone that he sustained in the first stage of the Vuelta a Castilla y Léon.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

World's lightest production bike!

Everti, out of Duncan BC, claims to offer the world's lightest production bike. At only 11.4 lbs (Lars' Scott, comparitively, is a pig), the ti Everti Eagle has been built to "withstand the use of normal road riding". Of course, you need to weigh no more than 200 lbs for this claim to have any validity (that rules out 1/2 our group). And you can't ride in Manitoba—normal road riding here is epic in most parts of the civilized world given our road conditions, unless you're on Whytewold. I guess that leaves just Deuce, but he already has a sweet new ride.

Given this club's roots as a ti-frame company, I can't help but wonder if we should make a collect call to Yevgeny in Vladivostok to procure some sexy ti. Bringing sexy back...it might be worth the discussion.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Theo Bos: "This is really making me sick"

Mr. Bos claims he was trying to prevent a crash. Maybe - that might explain why he pulled Impey across his own front wheel.

Podium Cafe has a translation of an entry on Bos' blog responding to the crash here.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Don't mess with Theo Bos

As if bunch sprints aren't dangerous enough. Check out this video of Theo Bos tossing Daryl Impey into the barricades. The toss is at around 3:30.



And somebody please change the banner picture. That guy scares me...

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Time For More Training

You've likely heard or seen that the season opening mtb race at Grand Beach has been postponed until May 10.

What does this mean? This means you have a little extra time to get your race license, if you haven't already done so (you'll need to do this if even if you have aspirations to be LA's domestique, Lars). More importantly, this delayed start to the season gives you 10 more days to train for what's now the first mtb race of 2009—race #1 of Olympia's BHP Wednesday night series.

Get all the details here.

Now, get on your bike and ride! You know those FGBC dudes are.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Beer race


The amstel gold race sounds like a TNR. Racing and beer combined. Perfect. I hope everyone is going to watch this one. This is one race that Armstrong never won, but tried desperately. So, tomorrow, I'm going to see if I can find some amstel gold at my local LC, and drink while on the trainer. Go Kroon!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

AFLD Alleges New Astana Improprieties; Astana Unlikely at Tour de France

PARIS - In a startling turn of events today, the French Anti-doping Agency (AFLD) announced it is proceeding with disciplinary action toward several key members of Team Astana, essentially eliminating any chance the Kazakhstan-based cycling team has of competing in the 2009 Tour de France.

The extraordinary sequence of events began approximately one month ago, when an agent of AFLD asked Lance Armstrong for blood, urine, and hair samples. According to Armstrong, the American cycling star — having just returned from a long training ride — then evidently requested and obtained permission to take a shower while the AFLD representative’s credentials were verified.

Today, however, AFLD president Pierre Bordry revealed that there is much more to the story.

“Yes, Armstrong did ask to take a shower,” stated Bordry, “But he did not follow up by saying, ‘Mother may I?’”

Continued the AFLD official, “If Armstrong had correctly followed the protocol clearly stated in the Mother May I (MMI) handbook, he would not be in the trouble he is in. Because we totally would not have said, ‘Yes you may.’”

Concluded Bordry, “Armstrong purports to be a professional cyclist. If he doesn’t know how [MMI] is played, that’s his own problem and he’ll have to deal with the consequences. As you recall, Mr. Armstrong himself recently said, ‘It’s their event, their country, and their rules, and we have to play by those.’ Well, Mr. Armstrong, here in France we play MMI. And until you hear ‘Yes you may,’ you most certainly may not.”

Contador Out Too

In a press conference today, the AFLD announced that Armstrong is not the only Astana team member in hot water. Said a spokesman for the AFLD, “Today, in a routine out-of-competition collection, one of our representatives requested that Astana team member Alberto Contador fill up a sample bottle with urine.”

Continued the spokesman, “At this point, Contador immediately complied. However, the AFLD had not preceded the request by saying ‘Simon says.’”

“The rules are clear and unequivocal,” concluded the spokesman. “You don’t do anything until you hear ‘Simon says.’ Contador is banned from all professional cycling for two years, effective immediately.”

“It’s true. He totally got me,” said the Tour de France winner and former hopeful. “I had nailed each of the instructions leading up to this — roll up my sleeves, stand on one foot, shave my left armpit — but he got me on that last one.”

Said Contador ruefully, “Man, sometimes these French drug controls can be really tricky.”

More Problems for Astana

Armstrong and Contador — arguably two of the strongest podium contenders for the 2009 Tour de France — are not the only Astana members facing charges from the AFLD. According to the press release sent out today, other violations from the team include:

Levi Leipheimer: Refusing to provide a hair sample. “In my defense,” said Leipheimer, “I didn’t actually refuse to provide a hair sample. I simply don’t have any hair. What were my options?”
Andreas Kloden: Failure to acknowledge that Jerry Lewis is a comedic genius. Kloden defended himself, saying, “I have watched The Nutty Professor, the Patsy, and The Family Jewels. I tried to find the humor in them. I really did. But it’s all just mugging and variations on one silly voice. How is that funny?” “If you don’t get it, just say so,” retorted the AFLD spokesman
Chris Horner: Eating Hot Pockets. “Those things are an abomination and we will not permit anyone who eats such things in our country,” said Bordry.

AFLD Not Done

Once in contention for an unprecedented podium sweep at the Tour de France, Astana is now unlikely to participate in the race at all. But the AFLD housecleaning is far from over. “Unfortunately,” said Bordry, “there are many more non-French teams who have exhibited suspect behavior.”

Concluded Bordry, “We will not rest until all these nefarious cyclists have been removed from contention, making way for a truly clean team — such as Ag2r-La Mondiale, Agritubel, Bouygues Télécom, Cofidis, Crédit Agricole, or Française des Jeux — to take its rightful place on the podium on the Champs-Élysées.”

Story courtesy of Fat Cyclist Fake News Service

Why we all feel better in the Spring

More from Dr. Gabe. It's all about sunshine:

Muscle Soreness, Exercise Injuries and Vitamin D

When doctors don't know the cause of a patient's problem, they often give it a fancy name so you will believe they are giving you a useful diagnosis. A perfect example of this is "idiopathic inflammatory myopathy", which means you have chronic muscle soreness and your doctor doesn't know why.

Researchers recently reviewed the effects of exercise on people with chronic muscle soreness and found that exercise is beneficial (Current Opinion in Rheumatology, 04/07/09)
* The muscles of many of subjects with this condition did not get a sufficient oxygen supply
*Exercise increases endurance-type fibers after a 12-week exercise program
*Creatine supplements plus an exercise program are more beneficial than exercise alone
*Intensive resistance training improves muscle strength and endurance
*Exercise reduces muscle soreness and possibly even muscle inflammation

I am now convinced that a leading cause of muscle soreness and slow-healing injuries is lack of vitamin D. All my life, I have suffered a series of baffling injures that usually occur in the winter. and heal in the summer. For the entire winter of 2007-8, I was unable to exercise because of a non-healing hamstring injury and diffuse muscle soreness. Eventually I found that my vitamin D 3 level was 22 nmol/L (normal is greater than 75). I took the prescribed treatment of 50,000 IU of vitamin D twice a week and my muscles became so sore that I couldn't even walk. In the summer, the hamstring injury healed and the soreness disappeared.

This winter I went to Florida and was able to train on my bicycle better than ever. In March I went back to wintery Maryland and the non-healing hamstring injury and soreness reappeared. This time I improved within 24 hours of taking 2000 IU of vitamin D twice a day. From my experience, I conclude that:
* my muscle soreness and non-healing injuries are caused by or worsened by low levels of vitamin D
* very high doses (50,000 IU) may increase muscle soreness
* lower doses of vitamin D (2000 to 4000/day) or daily sunlight exposure cured my muscle soreness and helped to heal my injuries

Dr. John Cannell of the Vitamin D Council quotes 14 studies that show that athletic performance improves in the summer months when sunshine is abundant, or with ultraviolet light exposure in winter.

If your muscles feel sore or you keep on being injured when you exercise, get a blood test called D3. If it is below 75 nmol/L, your problems may be caused by lack of vitamin D and be cured by getting some sunshine or taking at least 2000 IU each day of the very inexpensive vitamin D3.

http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/newsletter/2007-mar.shtml

More here:

http://www.drmirkin.com

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Big Crash in Today's Scheldeprijs in Belgium


A few big names bit the dust in today's Scheldeprijs race. From the sounds of it, Robbie McEwan, Tornado Tom, and Van Avermaet are pretty banged up after today's crash. If these guys are out for an extended period, it should be interesting to see how FGBC's Spring Classics Pool is affected.

A video of the final kilometer, including the crash, is on the Belgian Web site www.sporza.be (laatste kilometer).

Apparently McEwan had some choice words for Van Avermaet who McEwan says caused the crash - will have to look for a video or transcript of his reaction later.

Wall Hanging


With all the chat about too many bikes etc., I decided to throw this one out there. It's been hanging on the wall too long. It needs to be built up and ridden. I rode it a few times and then put all the components on the NRS. So, anyone interested in a VT2? It is just a frame, (with a nice shock) but that's where it all starts.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

39 in 39 at 39 (Alpe d'Ingolf)

Here's visual proof that Mike's birthday ride did indeed take place...

After tasty early morning breakfast at Perry's and a stop at Tim's on the way out of town, Mike, The Impaler, Lars, KK, and new RRR recruit Kyle raced out to West Hawk to meet Lorno and get the ride started. The first few minutes on the bike started off a bit cool with a fairly gusty wind, but a few short, "punchy" climbs en route to Ingolf took care of this concern. The steep ascent, which Mike likened to Aple d'Huez (but much shorter) brought us to Ingolf's LCBO for a refreshing break in the action.

After tending to a broken chain and enjoying a Corona on a sunny deck, we retraced our steps and spun our way to Falcon Lake and then back to West Hawk for a Dab and a late lunch.

Mike broke his chain powering up L'Alpe d'Ingolf...the perfect excuse to stop for beer (what would we do without Lorno?)


the birthday boy

there's nothing like a neutral beer to bring rival clubs together (ever so briefly)

Lars

Falcon Lake


The next birthday on the RRR calendar is Paul's on May 7. I can't wait to see what fun he has planned for us!

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Ride

Well, I'm hoping KK will have some photos to add to this post, but here's the numbers. According to the Garmin, and my bike, we covered 50.39 km and ascended 490 m (or 1607 ft) a bit shy on the 3900 elevation, but exceeded the 39 kms. So, good ride nonetheless. Kyle is working on getting the graph of the ride so we can see it on here, but, no luck yet.

Oh, we need to add Kyle to the birthday series - June 2 ( I think).

Thor Smash!


Not much else to say. A good ride Saturday. Happy Birthday, Mike. KK, thanks for the humbling. All is right in the world.

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Real Jens.







For Lars- here's your Jens. Not quite as scrawny as Shleck, but not as buff as Robbie. I am also a big fan of Robbie-so no hard feelings eh mate!

KK: I had to add one more Jens photo

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Jens the Chuck Norris of the peleton? I beg to differ...

I have a hard time believing Jens would win in a cage match against the great Robbie.  Just look at those buggy whips and contorted face - I suspect Jens rode the short bus to school, and had sand kicked in his face last summer.  Too bad he never sent away for the Charles "Atlas-body-in-7-days" like my man Robbie McEwen.

Coffee

Make sure you are getting enough. Below is a cut and paste from Dr. Gabe Mirkin's latest newsletter. He is 70 something and still rides a few hundred miles a week. So Paul, what's your excuse?

More here.

Dr. Mirkin's Fitness & Health eZine
April 12, 2009

Special Issue on Coffee and other Caffeine Sources

Researchers at the University of Illinois report that 300 mg of caffeine (the amount in four cups of coffee) reduces muscle burning during intense exercise in both regular coffee drinkers and in those who do not drink coffee at all (International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. April, 2009). One of the researchers, Robert Motl, PhD, says that caffeine blocks spinal nerves that transmit pain messages to the brain. This means that people can exercise longer because they feel less pain.

Athletes take caffeine because they know it helps them to exercise longer. When muscles run out of their stored muscle sugar, they have to burn more fat which requires more oxygen. Lack of oxygen is the limiting factor in how fast and hard you can exercise over long periods of time. When you run low on oxygen, lactic acid accumulates in the muscles, which makes muscles more acidic, causing the burning that you feel in tired muscles. However, caffeine helps to delay the burning by causing muscles to burn more fat so they can preserve the sugar stored in muscles and you can exercise longer without accumulating large amounts of lactic acid.

Another interesting study from Iran showed that omega-3 fatty acids lessened delayed onset muscle soreness that occurs 48 hours after exercise in untrained men (Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, March 2009).

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Falcon or Hawk?


Saturday looks like the day for part 2 of the birthday series. Consensus says that road will probably be the better ride around Falcon Lake. Pre-ride breakfast and meeting out at Falcon for about 10am. Ride up to West Hawk (maybe Ingolf). 39 of something should transpire during our ride.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The black helicopters are leaving Austin

Somebody is going to get sued...

Michael Ashendon interview

Is LA's myth in danger? Larry, you may want to switch to a Garmin kit for your jammies.

Monday, April 6, 2009

A Strong Showing

Last night's conclusion to FGBC's brief 2008/09 Nordic Cross series proved to be a prelude to the rivalry that's sure to heat up in the weeks to come. While RRR prevailed (in dramatic fashion), word on the street is FGBC has some sort of secret puppet attack planned.

I'm not entirely sure what this means, but to be sure at least two of the guys in the banner above (you know who you are) need to:
(a) get their butt on a bike
(b) get their butt back on Manitoba soil
(c) all of the above

Watch for more details on Mike's birthday ride on April 11. Fun happens on 2 wheels...let the good times roll.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

STIJN!!!!!!!!


Nice race today. Devolder does it again. Very impressive race today. (last years photo) I love the Belgium colours too.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Rotate On These

Ah, memories. These cranks look sort of familiar, don't they? Haven't we seen something like this on Larry's bikes? With matching drilled-out forks, stems, levers, pedals, and cantis back when all his bike bits were ti (to match his drill bits)?

Maybe he's been doing some work on the side with Rotor and Cervélo, and that's why he's been MIA lately.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

More Jens

Sometimes you have to give luck a good swift kick in the balls...

If Jens Voigt was a planet, he'd be the World of Pain

Jens is one of Mike's and my favorite riders. A good interview here:

Jens

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Cavendish Outkicks McEwen


As reported by VN, the Manx menance to pelotons everywhere outkicked McEwan in what surely demonstrates who is the world's fastest man (sorry, Mike, it's not you anymore).

Super Legs!


I had to post this. These legs are incredible. That's all.