Friday, April 28, 2006

Republican Hot Dogs

Maybe I should rethink my politics. If I join the GOP apparently I just need to hot dog it with the moral values and christian talk but get to hot dog it with a hooker all I want.

Ok that was stretched.

But seriously, how can anyone defend these guys? While I doubt any super conservatives read this sight, keep in mind that I am a moderate. To the extent I come off like a partisan democrat it's because I think the GOP is literally fascist and I've accepted that a vote for moderate or liberal republicans is wasted since they vote party line. As the bumper sticker said "W made me a Democrat".

Rest Week

No blog talk about cycling until Wednesday.. I am on my rest week!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Leaks and the NeoCons


eBay problems.. or reading is fundamental

Got an irate email this morning from an eBay bidder who, god love him, can't read.

He bought Crotchity's putter. Cool. Sent payment. Unverified paypal account. So I send him an email to the effect of "congrats. thanks for payment, but before I can ship it I need you to confirm that address".

So he emails back with some reason he can't. Since he's local I suggest a hand delivery.. I'll refund the paypay, he gives me cash all good.

He says no, but adds he reread my listing and it doesn't say anything about needing a verfied or confirmed account. So I respond, "uhh yah it does right there in payment instructions". No response. Then Friday I get another email. Hey, he says, I got my address verified can you ship now. Well, I was at this point in Walla Walla. So I email him saying sure, as soon as I get back to Seattle. So yesterday (72 hours later including a Sunday) I get an email asking where the heck the putter is and accusing me of trying to rip him off.


Maybe it's a scam on his part.. I don't know. But he seems to be a tad disconnected. Doesn't read the listing, read the emails and gets in my grill over it.

Oh well. Just had to shake my head.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Tour of Walla Walla

What a great weekend at Walla Walla. J-Cat and I drove out Friday and engaged in 5 hours of trully sophmoric humor. The hotel was nice, even if it was in Oregon (not as close as we were led to believe). The racing was good (if small) and the dinner/breakfast at the 26 Brix ruled. I used to work with Davis back at the BUCKS and now I sponsor his team, Clif Bar Midwest. I think his Dad owns the restaurant.. anyway thank you thank you thank you for the food. If you go to Walla Walla, stop in a get some of their excellent food.

And of course, we got 2nd on GC (Emde), 2nd on the road race (Emde) and 2nd (J-Cat) in the Crit. If you are going to lose, it might as well be to the Mighty Ian Tubbs. He won the road race and the overall for about the 5678th year in a row. I like everyone, but I really, really like Ian. I remember when he was the super strong guy who didn't win cause he got outsmarted and the day (I at least thought) it clicked (State Omnium 2000) and he turned into the real NW Tom Boonen (Sorry Anton). And how can you not love Leslie? Great job Ian.

I managed to attack Anton again after he flatted (hey man, I didn't know you were still chasing), but that was a bluff. I knew 10 miles into the race I was screwed. I don't think I've had legs that bad since I started racing again. I was hurting up the mildest grades at 12mph. Hopefully it's an abberation and I'll be back on form for States.

Again I was super impressed with Stangeland. Broadmark had him against a wall and credit the kid for not only coming out swinging, but attacking the guys in blue and yellow. He won the crit from a group of Jonny and Andrew.

The garage came up empty handed, but they took responsibility a couple times to chase and I think that they will be a very good team next year once a couple of their newer upgrades get experienced.

Not sure any of this is interesting to anyone who wasn't there.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Pot Science

It would appear the politicos are trying to obscure Science again.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Feeling Blah, Boonen and Controversy.

Well, so much for my sprinting career :) PR came and went. So did I, right off Jonny's wheel in the finish. Sadly in the wrong direction. Just didn't have it in the finish. WoW had about 100 guys in the field (for about 560% of the total). Props to Joltin' Joe for telling them to attack and chase regardless of who was or wasn't up the road.. in otherwords no 2005 style sittin' in the break or breaking up chases. Cool.

I felt pretty slow all race. Just didn't have any pop. I guess that happens. Jonny gave me a lot of good feedback after the race though and with a little bit of tactical savvy I could have done a lot better. But it's PR, and it's for learnin'

Cree is trying to stir-up some controversy at Cycling Soup. I am not sure what is funnier, the idea that I might actually believe I am like Boonen (I don't, I just think his mental approach is worth emulating) or that of 1 vote cast I see to be leading. Boo Yaa! If II resemble anyone, it's Robert Wright. Go see blogging heads to see the similarities.

But as Floyd Landis said, a little drama is a good thing. So let me toss this out to really get the fire fanned:

"Contacted at his home, Pruitt noted that if anything Boonen is like Pruitt. 'Hey look at our birthdates, the guy is clearly copying me'. I've won a round of PR, what has he ever done? (other than the Ronde, Roubaix, World Champs, ...............)"

But wait, by the transitive property would that make Anton my body double? This train of thought is disturbing my fragile mind.......

Sunday, April 16, 2006

It's snowing Dog's on Rob

T-S-T: it F*&^in snowed. The race can be summed up in one word: miserable. And Rob got eaten by a Dog. Or at least bit by one. That sucked. I missed the split on Anderson (I think it was Anderson) and got caught in the bus. That sucked too because I was strong enough but didn't know the climbs, started at the back when it started paced myself to cover the gap and then ended up caught out on the top of Holly cause I thought there was a nother k on climbing. I should have just jumped on the back of the wheel car to pace up. I didn't, but I saw Holland do it. Need to be more ruthless I guess.

Friday, April 14, 2006

A Good Craftsman Never Blames His Tools

I can't remember ever being as sketchy thought the corner as I was last night at Seward. Everytime through my front wheel slipped. It got better as the night went on; and as much as I'd love to blame my tires I suspect someone (me) was tapping that front brake a wee too much and weighting a bit too far forward.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Wait! No, companies shouldn't have a voice

Bryon York is wrong. I have no problem with individuals donating money. But companies *are not* people and should not be afforded the same rights as people. I think this is a major difference between left and right. I am not anti-corporation *but* I am also not naive.. corporations are amoral entities. They act in accordance with the various players that have interests.. stock holders, managers, ceo's, etc. By affording them the rights of people in general and especially rights equal to their aggragate employee count (as York implies with his seemingly offhanded comment about being responsible for the interests of it's employees) is wrong.

No More Frozen Flatlands For Me.

Stab me once, and I am out.

I have previously written about my irritation with Baddlands for changing the GC rules after the race was over. The rules stated that all riders had to start each stage to qualify. This was repeated over and over again before each stage. After the race, they decided to give GC based on points regardless of whether riders had started or not.

They don't appear to understand why this is important. I should have gotten 10th on GC. Instead I got 12th. It may not sound like much, but it is. WSBA rider ranking points only go 10 deep so holding that 10th spot was a very very calculated effort on my part. I rode exactly as much as I needed to to hold that spot while also helping Glenn and Michael who were higher on GC.

It even led me to work with Anton in a break. That break ended up with Derik winning, and lost a lot of Broadmark guys their GC spot. I should not have worked in that break at all.. and probably would not have if I wasn't thinking of GC in the back of my mind.

I also waited for Glenn when I easily could have gone in with Shneipp to actaully move up to 8th or 9th on GC.

It makes a difference. Our team brought 5 guys over and I am the one who stood up at the WSBA meeting to make sure their race did not get scheduled over the top of another race. Well forget that. I am out. I don't need to spend a couple hundred bucks to support a race that changed to the rules to benefit local riders who don't start every stage.

And, without the support of someone over here to look out for their interests I suspect attendance will drop back to previous levels at the Cat 1/2 level.

Good Words From Little Tommy Boonen

From Procycling:
“Every time I take the race into my own hands and take responsibility, I succeed. Every time I look at another guy, I fail. The best example is Petacchi. He’s the only guy who gets me in a situation like that and every time I lose I say to myself: ‘You dumb ass,’,” explained Boonen in his usual frank manner. No wonder he’s popular - and not only for his incredible riding skills.

I won't say I am anywhere near Boonen's level, but in terms of racing results in general these are words that ring true for me.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Sarcasm: it may be the lowest form of humor but also the most satisfying


The Show Goes On.

Everyone seemed a bit better today after Sunday's tragedy. The vigil Monday night went a long way to helping the community heal. I wasn't sure what to expect at PR (FKA SIR) but turnout was good and the weather was nice despite some early sprinkles.

Stangleland rolled away at the start and prompty beat us into submission. Actually, he rolled off with Andrew Martin and a team mate (I should know the guys name, he races all the time.. bad PDog bad PDog). I wanna say one of the BRI guys bridged with me, it may have been Robert (Valley). Anyway we got a good gap but then the WoW guys started working us. I saw jamie go and went after him but then started playing games with Martin... I think we both realized too late that Jamie actually was going to go for it. So we stopped screwing around and started chasing in a 2-man TT...

I think after a lap it got comical as Andrew was yelling at Jamie to wait and I was driving and Jamie was still going away from us like we were sipping Banana Daqueri's on the beach. Oh well... a bad tactical decision but I guess one that worked since he stayed out all day and won by hours.

I knew we were hosed because 2 of the 4 or 5 strongest guys were on the same team and one was upt he road. I later foudn out Richter didn't know Jamie was still gone...

I got 4th in the field sprint behind Richter, Martin and Joltin' Joe. I should have done better but as Joe noted I waited too long to launch. Actually, the much maligned WoW team did it exactly right and the lead out train was amazing, right there with BRI of 2 years ago. I stayed too long because the leadout man (who I had gotten on the wheel of) took it so close to the line I got greedy.

I'd say both Andrew and James are solid, solid riders. I hope that this means WoW will move up into a strong local team (and I mean team, not 2 strong guys and a bunch of guys in teh same jersey) for weekend races as well. They certainly rode better last night than I've ever seen and it's the first time I think you can say the entire team made their other guys better.

Good job.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Hitchens a Nut: I was there first!

Wonkette asks the question I asked 4 months ago.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Brad Lewis

F*&^. Brad Lewis crashed hard at Boat Street today. He hit his head on the curb. I gather it doesn't look good. I've known Brad via cycling for a long time. We weren't friends but we knew each other and I'd like to think he thought well of me. I thought well of him. It's a helpless feeling seeing someone in your community, someone you know lying there with medics and police giving CPR and not being able to do anything.

Anyway, I hope he makes it.

Updated: Brad did not pull through. Cause of death is cardiac arrest. I am not sure how to react, what to do. There's nothing I can do; but it just feels so crappy to know that.

Hincapie: No Lucky for you

I guess the new Trek didn't work out so well. From CyclingNews Live

16:00 CEST 214km/45km to go
Hincapie does an amazing move. His handlebars or stem or forks broke and he ended up in a ditch. He's out, for sure.

Belgian television reports that it was Hincapie's fork steerer that broke before, forcing him to ride no hands on a cobbled sector...with the obvious result. It's bad luck for the American, who was looking great today.

Update: Stopped by a train?????

16:53 CEST
Hoste's group is 32 seconds behind the leader, as Boonen's group is stopped by a train!! Oh dear. That's the end of their race.

16:53 CEST
Boonen's trio is back again, with a 30 second penalty. It's over for them. Hoste's group only just got through...

16:54 CEST 250km/9km to go
You could hear the disappointment in the velodrome when Boonen's group was stopped by the train. Well, that's bike racing.

That's bike racing????????

17:26 CEST
There has been a sensational change to the results! Leif Hoste, Vladimir Gussev and Peter van Petegem have *all* been disqualified for going through that level crossing in the last 10 km. That means Tom Boonen is actually second today, with Ballan third. Remarkable!

I say what??????

Updated: Well, on the plus side Discovery & PVP should get lots of publicity for this BS DQ. Kinda like GWG last year... a year of review. And no one will remember Boonen got 2nd but will talk about how Hoste and PVP got screwed.

Updated Again: Hey, no fair. Over at Velonews there's a picture of Boonen's group goign around the gate to race as the train passes... why didn't they get DQ'd???

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Were's the hell is my Lucky???

No one else showed up to Elma. Just me. OK, other riders did, but no one from my team. No problem. Ride smart I thought. That lasted 5 miles when I started covering every move and generally did too much work. I settled down though after a big break got clear and just said, screw it. Don't chase everything. Pick the one you like and bridge.

On lap 2 a nice group went on the climb. I thought it was good and waited until the screws after the start finish to jump across in the crosswind taking Joe Holmes with me.

The break was hauling but pretty disorganized.. mostly guys attacking. Tom Harriet got pissed and motored off with Derik. After that we got organized. I worked with the group, taking some pulls off and mentally debating whether I should work at all. My inclination is to work my ass off. So I have to really stop myself and think. There were 2 Broadmarks and 2 Recycled in the break along with Tom Peterson so I was thinking that working wasn't the smartest idea; Peterson would attack as soon as we got to the climb and I needed that energy. But, I worked anyway, taking about 75% off my pulls. Enough rest to save up some energy, enough work to not aggravate anyone. With 2 laps to go.. boom. Rear flat. Anton's Karma Gods came to punish me for Flatlands. And so I ended up waiting for the field, which turned out to be 11 guys. I ended up 14th, chapped, out of 19 finishers.

So bad luck, but I thought I road well and didn't crack like I did at Flatlands.

Leaderless in Elma

I will be leaving for the Elma Road Race in about 30 minutes. We will be missing both Michael and Jonny (seen hear giving Holland the stick eye) so our team leaders are absent... leaving me as defacto team leader. Hopefully I go well. I have not traditionally performed well under that kind of pressure.. I am more in the Jacky Durand/Jens Voigt type... attack and crack or win. Being a team leader requires a little more self control and shrewd tactical savvy than I usually have. But we'll see.

Either way, it should be the same course as states so it'll be a good dress rehearsal.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Plame Affair: Whether it's legal isn't the point

I've been reading a lot of analysis on the revelation that Bush authorized the Plame leak. Of course the neo-con response is that it's ok cause Bush decided what's classified and therefore can't leak unclassified info. So it's legal.


The focus on whether it was legal or not misses the central point. The Bush Administration used it's position to attack a political opponent by revealing his wife as a CIA agent. The reason they did it was because *they knew* it would ruin her career. The intent was to send a message to Joe Wilson and others that if you want to take on the administration they would be willing to destroy your life.

Regardless of whether it was legal or not, this was the issue. Do we support this type of government (and political party), one that will not hesitate to win by any means necessary.

And regardless of whether it was legal or not, Bush denied knowledge. He lied.

Any legal ramifacations are merely icing if it turned out that the Bush administration was guilty of dirty tricks (which I think it's pretty safe to infer). Don't let the focus on law distract you.

Updated: I think the Austin Bay posting demonstrates my favorite Bugga-Boo. The use of Bullshit by the NeoCons. Example:

UPDATE: CNN is exploring another angle: that the White House is “hypocritical” because it has come down hard on leaks. But a word is missing in this accusation: “unauthorized.” The White House has indeed come down hard on anyone leaking classified information. The White House has also been tough on executive branch employees who pass information via unauthorized leaks. The president wants to control the dissemination of information and has made that clear. The information released today said that what Libby leaked as declassified and authorized — but try getting that clear on atv squawk show where the game is gotcha. The hypocrisy allegation, unlike the criminal innuendo, is certainly within rational bounds.

This statement is bullshit. Why? It focuses on whether or not the leaks were authorized and even throughs out that this is at least a legitimate debate. But in doing so it subtly lays down an utterly false assertion: that the question was more specific than it was. It implies that the parsing of his words was relevent in the context it was made.

The question Bush was asked was this: Did someone in the administration leak Valerie Plame's identity. His answer was, to paraphrase: "no, and I hate leaks and if I find someone leaked this information they'll get it".

He did qualify his statement, but these types of qualifications are only meaningful if you know you are misleading someone and want to be able to say you weren't technically lying. The answer was designed to mean something different then than it does now. It was CYA.

And if we are going to try to parser words, at least be correct. I've heard the 2 clips in question and he did not mention "authorized" leaks. The parsing was "classified", as in "the are too many leaks of classified information". The "legal" parsing is not on authorization but on whether the President automagically declassifies information if he leaks it.

Update 2: I think this post underestimates the problem. It's not Bush, it's the NeoCon Movement. InstaPundit, AustinBay... completely disconected intellectually from their words.

Frozen Flatland Results: Say What?

The results from Frozen Flatlands are in.

Before I begin complaining I want to say that FF has been one of my favorite races. tactical controversy, wind, fun.

As an omnium, the race had a GC which was decided by points. In the flyer, website and race announcements prior to each stage it was stated that riders had to start each stage for their points to count on GC. But apparently sometime after the race finished and results were posted, the organizers decided to change the rules.


This is relevent as it cost me 10th on GC and perhaps a higher spot as I might have ridden differently during the race. The tactics of a single day and a GC event are different. In fact, had it not been for the "start every stage requirement" I wouldn't have raced Saturday. I only came to ride for the team on GC. That 10th is relevent because WSBA Rankings only go 10 deep. So by finishing 12th, I get no points.


Thursday, April 06, 2006

Still Pissed

Just in case you thought I was over it. I am not.

Bush: An Honest President

Oops. Guess not. Kos reported this awhile ago; but I guess this means it's public. Impeach Bush. Impeach him now.

Busted: Aaron Coker caught on film

Awesome. One guy who made a complete Jack-ass of himself at Independence Valley was Aaron Coker. The guy was over the centerline all day, and kept going over then sniping wheels. The officials didn't DQ him because they didn't see it (although they told me they could tell it looked like he was). I DQ'd him from the Cup because I am the official there. Well, it looks like Amara caught him on film. Not much denying it now Aaron. You are a cheater.

Webmasters Gone Bad: The Gift that Keeps on Giving

When we bought distribution of Axley eyewear we inherited a few things. One was a webhosting service which seemed ok at first. But as things went along and we learned more we found that the webmaster had a tendency to... well do stuff he thought was best without asking. Sometimes in violation of what we asked.

We fired him last fall. But every once in awhile get bit by something he did. So today we get a cease and desist from using Stephano Baldini's image on our website. That's odd I thought, we don't use Stephano's image. He isn't under contract; we knew this because we asked to use it. Axley Italy said no. We had to destroy a stack load of catalogue's because of it. So of course we aren't using his picture. So I go to the sponsorship page and low and behold there it is. And how did it get there? Well, I know Verio didn't put it there. I didn't put it there. So who did? Only one person can tell.

The gift that keeps on giving.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

It sucks to be the majority

Damn us non-Christians for our persecuting ways. At a mere 90% of the American population I don't know how they survive

Race Ethics Cont'd..

Although I am still undecided about the ethics of not waiting when a rider gets a flat in general I do think that the ethics of waiting at a race like Rainier Roubaix are pretty clear. While I applaud Anton for suggesting the field wait for Rob, the correct answer is you don't.

Equipement selection, bike handling and field position are a major part of these type of races. They are meant to be a determining factor, full stop.

That of course forces me to rethink whether or not I should have even considered Rainier Roubaix when we didn't wait for Anton.....

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Were the hell is my Ethics Handbook?

So Anton is annoyed that we didn't wait for him when he flatted at Frozen Flatlands. Apparently there were some heated comments that were deleted; I wish I had seen them.

First off I am going to say that I don't blame Anton for being pissed. Honestly I was uncomfortable with the situation. My gut was to sit up and wait. There was much discussion amongst the 3 of us and we decided to motor. Even while motoring I hoped he would get up to us.

If I wasn't comfortable with it, why did I work? Well.. the factors that made it 51-49 were these:

Anton was 4th on GC behind Michael who was behind. By working in the break as it was I was endangering Michael's 3rd on GC (as Anton points out). So by dropping Anton out of the break, that got me off the hook of having to sit on (which Anton knows I had to do once I knew Michael wasn't coming up). Which I despise doing (although I popped on the right hand turn once I started working). Keep in mind, I told Anton I wouldn't contest the sprint since I wasn't working.

But, that said, I still would have waited if I thought Anton would have waited for one of our GC riders in the same situation. I believe him now when he says he would have, but at the time my reference was both Sequim and Rainier Roubaix where we were told by a Broadmark rider point blank that they had upped the pace to get rid of Jonny when he flatted. My other reference was have Kiel and a Broadmark rider attack at Market Street when Derik crashed. I helped chase because I thought that was wrong even though it hurt our break which was legit and farther up the road. Broadmark helped at first and then stopped. So at the time, it just seemed like returning the favor.

I still don't feel good about what happened. And knowing what I know now, I would wait for Anton because he'd do the same. I would not extend the same courtesy to other riders if I felt they wouldn't to me. But had I to do it over again I'd also not have worked in the break at all since that was a tactical mistake and helped Anton.

Anyway, that's the story from my point of view. As Derik said when we were debating what to do it would have been nice to have an ethical handbook. I guess it still bugs me 2 days later because I am not 100% sure what is right here. My experience has been that the ethics tend to be situational.. if it happens to you it's dirty pool if it's someone else "that's just racing". I am not refering to Anton, I take him at his word that he wouldn't do that and that Sequim and RR were misunderstandings.

Personally, that's the first time I've been in that situation in 5 years so I am happy I can even be in a position that someone is pissed at me.