Friday, June 30, 2006

Stupid move

University Audi and Audi are basically saying that the sunroof was chipped and we have to pay $1,500 to fix it. First off, it wasn't chipped. We had a bike on top and had been checking regularly. But I can't believe that given the lawsuit potential here (I had to pull shards of glass out of my arm) and the level of corraboration (Carrie and I both can testify that the glass wasn't chipped, everyone saw me covered in glass, the Reno dealership saw it the next day) they would even try to nickle and dime us on this. I think it's a pretty stupid move. And the argument that it's never happened before so it can't happen now is also pretty lame. Has it really never happened before or does Audi just ignore it?

Second off, it's freakin' Audi. Aren't they supposed to be "better" than the rest? Apparently when it comes down to right and wrong, protecting $1500 is more important to them.

Update: Well, it took me about an hour to find out the service manager lied to me twice. First, while Audi USA will make the call on whether it's a straight warranty, the dealerships are responisble a) for inspecting the car to give info and b) deciding if it is an out of warranty problem that should still be covered. I was told by the service manager that it was entirely Audi USA's decision and there was nothing he could do. University Audi hasn't even looked at the car and he said it wouldn't matter since it was entirely a Audi USA decision. Second, the service manager stated that every similar case resulted from an existing crack. That's not true. There have in fact been other incidents of sunroofs exploding. To be fair, they were on the A4, but they do exist. And the ones I found resulted from the sunroof being overtightened on installation. Interestingly I suggested that it might have been the frame that caused and he told me that's impossible. But apparently has in fact happened.

The more I think about it the more this strikes me a bullshit.. in the technical sense. The service manager has already decided he won't fix the sunroof without charging. This decision was arbitrary. Everything else is just a bunch of words to justify that position. No serious effort was made (like, oh I don't know, looking at the freakin' sunroof and frame) to be fair. Just whatever he thought would get me to pay.

Holy Crap

Well, how am I supposed to find time to see Superman Returns when I have to get ready for the emergency call-up to ride the tour?

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Not much of a secret but...

Well, it's confirmed. El Gato, Big O and The McKissik will be racing for Priority Health at Cascade with Joe "Taco Bell" Holmes (hey man, just cause you ride for BRI doesn't mean we forget the glory years) DSing in the PruMobile.

Pappy P-Dog may be able to join, although work at the STP finish Expo calls....

How bout them M's?

It's about time.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Stage 3 & 4 and Jonny looks pretty in pink

I am pretty sure I was the first one dropped Friday. Seriously, THE FIRST ONE. I felt like complete crap. In retrospect going with the first attack by HealthNet probably was a bad idea. The Hedgehog certainly thought so. As did Big O. And El Gato. But, hey what do they know! It seemed like a good idea at the time. Get in an early move, get on the climb and hang on as I slid back. Sadly, the field caught us very quickly, and instead of slowing it got faster. I got dislodged over the first big roller and lost so much time in like 2 miles the cops thought I was a rec rider and sent me off course. So about 45 minutes of being pretty sure I was off course I turned around and rode back.

In contrast Big O rode real well, making the break and riding solid to finish 12th. He was able to lend some help to Tommy "Thor's Hammer" Zirbel which I am sure Priority appreciated. Jonny made a valient effort to bridge but that was for naught. Derik had slightly better luck than I did, getting hit by another rider and trashing his wheel. After a quick change he chased but ended up off the back.

The good news was I was able to run feed, and it was pretty cool chatting with Lance (Sinclair) who was feeding Priority and The Broadmark crowd (ps, if I call you Borgmark willl you get pissed? I mean I give everyone nicknames...). Cree was shocked to see me out. After all, with such a big climb it was tailer made for me :) smart ass... I am Boonen-like not Basso-esque.

Wierd Note: on the drive back the sunroof in the Audi exploded. Seriously, it just shattered. I spent 15 minutes pulling glass out of my arm. Jonny said I looked like I had glittered myself.

So for me Stage 3 trully sucked. It's the first one I actually didn't enjoy or come away with something from.

But Stage 4 was great. Which is sad, cause I lasted 21.20 minutes. That's right, I know down to the second how long I lasted. But, I was ready for it after Truckee, and was one of the last amateurs pulled. I didn't reach my goal of 30 minutesm but knowing that I lasted longer than most of the field was consolation. Which goes to how hard the crit was. I definitely felt like I could improve and it wasn't impossible. I also noted that several of the big California "pro" teams were out and dressed when I was pulled. So kudos to Broadmark which had at least Chad and Dixon left when I was pulled and I think both finished well.

Anyway, I learned a lot at the race. It was definitely different from the last NRC race I did, Willamette in '99. I plan on coming back next year cause I think I can improve (35 minutes in the crit ????). As long as you get something out of it right?

As an added bonus Jonny won the pink riders jersey as most popular rider!

Next up for Super Hyper Team Go: Cascade Classic. Fun times.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Stage 2: In which PruDog takes many kicks to the head

The Crit was not what I was expecting.. I had good start position but rather than sprinting to the corner lining out and sprinting to the next corner it was pretty smooth. More like a Time Trial...

Unfortunately I got caught behind a crash on lap 2 slid back, got caught in the slow down from another and then barely missed a 3rd right in front of me. None were horrible, but digging even 2% more popped me right over my limit and I ended up sliding out the back. I got pulled maybe 15 minutes in... after quite a few pro guys. i think about 2/3 of the field got pulled by 15 to go....

Hopefully I'll do better Saturday now that I know what to expect. Jonny did great, got some shout outs from the P.A.. Little Tommy Zirbel (Priority Health) was looking good until he blew a tire and took off most of his skin. He's planning to line up today.... they call him Thor's Hammer for a reason.

Morgan Schmidt (Broadmark) is holding the Young Riders jersey.. good job on that.

I'll be recieving some more brutal body blows today.. 100 degree and 100 miles. Yum.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Sweet Pain makes me Cry

Amazingly, The Hedgehog, El Gato and Omer made it into to Reno just an hour or so behind us. After getting host housing squared away and chatting with the Priority Health guys (Axley is their eyewear sponsor) we flicked Derik and Omer to have dinner with Lance from Sinclair (Ridley Bikes). Lance likes to put on a show and definitely took care of us as well as Priority and Broadmark. It was a neverending feast of Italian food.

Product plug: Ridley bikes rock. Go buy one.

The TT was short and sweet, 3 miles. Up hill then downhill then sprint uphill. I took it slow, came is 1:58 off the winning time (try to go slower!) and still ended up balled in pain. 2 hours later I am still hacking.

Little Tommy Zirbil(Priority Health) screamed the stage to win in 6:02. Now I got to track down the photographer and see if I can get a shot for our '07 catalogue. Derik didn't make the top 10 but he shouldn't be that far off... his time was around 6:22. I hope he was wearing Raptors....

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Tour De Nez roster Part 3

Well 3rd up in the TdN line-up is Omer Kem. Sadly, I don't know Omer that well yet. So he escapes my normally bitting wit. I am sure he is crying over that. Not to worry Omer, by Toona I'll have you pegged, nicknamed and otherwise ready to roll for the prudogblog.

I can tell you that word on the street is that The PruMobile (AKA The Ru) is a silent machine as both Omer and Derik are giving El Gato the silent treatment for being late. Thankfully Mrs. PruDog and I are in our own car with the PruShitsu.

Dinner made me sick though... not because it was bad but because it was in the shadow of that hill/park the 99 Tour of Willamette used as the prologue. I remember being balled up in pain for an hour after that. Eeeeks.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Tour de Nez Roster part 2

Next up on our TdN roster is Derik "The Hedgehog" Archibald. Derik may have shaved off the porn-stache but he'll always be our little Ron Jeremy. Of course, he's also taken 2nd at Ohop, won the Flatlands Road Race, kicked ass at Elma and taken the Wenatchee Crit out like it was a Sunday stroll. But who's counting? We're excited to have Derik on our first composite team and thanks to The Valley for the hook-up.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Tour de Nez Composite Team Roster

Our Tour de Nez AxleyUSA composite team* roster is set. It'll be small, unlike our Toona team which appears to be nearly maxed out. We'll be bunkin' with the Priority Health Squad and hopefully getting our local boys some good face time.

First up on the TdN roster is Jonny "El Gato" Sundt. Perhaps most famous for going all Kung Fu with Gag, Jonny has been a valuable addition to the / Spoke&Sprocket roster this year. Plus, he finally got those teeth of his fixed and his hair cut so we can take him out in public.

Jonny's favorite color is red, which what he sees while driving the break. Known for his attacks and leadouts, Jonny is also an excellent road Captain with years of pro experience he is willing to share. Whether you want it or not :) Plus, he's the only rider I know who looks good in the Gold Axley Raptors.

Thanks to wheelsinfocus for the picture.

*The AxleyUSA composite team is an effort to provide local teams with an avenue for sending their best and brightest riders to NRC events without having to invest in an NRC team themselves. Current contributors include The Valley and Recycled Cycles. Riders who join the Axley Composite Team can register under and their home team.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Flash Dance Relived?

I am going to ignore the outrageaus accusations hurled at me by Craig in his pitiful new blog.

I am much more distrubed at Conville's apparent use of the movie Flash Dance when picking out his cycling ensemble. Now that you have the ankle-slung legwarmer nailed, how about some nice shoulder pads for the jersey?

We Got Some Rain

I hope no one was riding in the tropical rain scwall we had yesterday. I thought I was going to float away.. but it was beautiful after that.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Even more Tax Policy Linkin'

Today is a long day so no original bloggin' for me. Instead I offer a link to a great article by economist Paul Krugman about Tax policy, the real arguments and the phony ones.

Since I am sure I have some conservative readers who might start howling that Krugman is a partisan democrat shilling the Democrat Party line let me offer his defence

My point is not to convince you Krugman is right. He is an unabashed liberal. However, he is a liberal economist. By that I mean he may have a particular slant on what our policy goals should be, but he is also committed to honestly examining the issues. I have read and followed Krugman's work since the 90's when he pissed off many lefty-activists by pointing out how many of their well meaning policy prescriptions actually had disasterous consequences.

Also, if you go read a lot of what Krugman has written over the last 20 years you'll find he has a pretty good track record. He's usually right, and when he's not it's usually an issue of degrees.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

More Estate Tax and Economics Bloggin'

Brad DeLong has a DiaBlog on the Conservative Economists (as opposed to politicians) objections to the Estate Tax and why he disagrees with them. Even if you disagree with DeLong it's instructive to understand the real arguments against the Estate Tax as opposed to the manipulative ones fronted out by NeoCons.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Wednesday Morning Mailbag

Ahh, another day another PR in the books. A good craftsman never blames his tools, but since I am not a good craftsman....

I could blame my utter lack of impact Tuesday night on my bent der. hanger (which made any out-of-saddle attack a bit scary) but to quote Michael Skinner, "I got nuthin' absolutly nuthin". I even saw the bridge go and couldn't move to get on it. So I spent most of the night sitting in and covering a couple moves. But, to quote Skinner again "There's plenty more fish in the sea". Unfortunately that fish is Tour de' Nez were I'll get to sit on the rivet every day just to get 123,409ths.

Now enough about me, let's get on to the mailbag. I had a guest columnist lined up, but he bailed on me. So I gotta do this myself.

Dear PDog,
You f*&^ing bastardo! What was that move you pulled last night????? I've seen Cat 5 guys on Crack ride a straighter line than you. I'm still trying to get the rocks out of my arse.


I am really sorry about that. I don't know what happened. It was lined out and this masters guy who jumped into our field was in front swerved and I had no choice. I am sorry man.

Dear PDog,
What the hell was that last night? I saw the whole thing. Don't even try to blame the masters like I know you will. You had plenty of time to see them before you got there. Dude, no wonder they hate you in Silverton.

PS, watch yourself on the corners.


Jeez. What are you my mother? Ok so maybe I had my head down. Maybe it was my fault. I blame my rear der. hanger.

Dear PDog,
I am the wife of a local cyclist. It was bad enough that he races all the time, but when he doesn't race he is always travelling. And when he's not travelling or racing he's posting on his blog. I don't know what to do. He was so kind and sweat when we met. Now instead of asking me about my day he gives me detailed accounts of every race he does. I don't care if he was in his 53x12 and needed a 53x11 to get the 2 prime. What do I do?
Mrs. PDog

Mrs. PDog,
That's a tough one. Your husband sounds like an ass. I'd... wait a minute. My lawyer just told me to respond "no comment".

Dear PDog
I am a former hotshot sprinting star. I'm making my big comeback, but when I am racing the Masters races no one will help me out. I keep trying to attack but all they do is snicker at me. And when I ask them if they are doing any good Centurions they insult my creme broule. What do I do.
~I'm From Back East

One word. Skinsuit. Two words. Not Flattering. Right now you just aren't intimidating anyone. You are carrying a bit extra weight and your kit choice isn't helping. Try all black, or something with pinstripes. It's slimming. Then, instead of babbling about Centurions try discussing manly topics. Like hunting. Or Thundercats.

Well that's it for today. Gotta get back to the bake sale.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Post Big Bear

The Marathon to 24 Hours of Big Bear is complete. I was sans Bike and manning the booth, a big regret. The course looked and sounded awesome. I kinda burnt out on 24 Hour racing, maybe cause of the courses but mostly because I like road and just got focused on that.

But, since my 3 year stint as 24 Hour Team National Champion expires on July 30th I am going to get me on a team for Killington and take one last whirl in the Star and Stripes.

Pittsburgh wasn't what I expected.. my mental image was similar to Mordor, but it was actually pretty. Traffic wasn't bad and cars actually stayed right. Imagine, the left lane used for passing!

But after nearly 18 hours on planes in the last 3 days I am happy to be home with Mrs. Pdog and PPuppy.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Friday Bastardo List Bloggin' Edition

I am getting ready for my marathon plane flight to WV but before I leave I thought I'd give you the now famous PruDog Bastardo List!

Currently on the list:
Tubbs, Jackson, Hone & Martin.
And Dori Monson.

Drum roll.... for the new inducteees.
Jamie Stangland! You stole my attacking style plans at PR and made me whimper. You are no longer exist in my mind! Plus, you flicked us for Tour de Nez*! You doubley are no longer exist in my mind!

Craig Hetherington! You freaky chef wannabe. I don't care about your wierd restaurant rituals. I no want your "game". You are no longer exist in my mind!

And SeaBass! I know you are mind controlling The Pleasure and trying to steal my valuable readers. You are no longer exist in my mind! Whatever you do, don't go check out these cute pictures of Seabass.

Now try to keep yourselves upright at Ballard.

*Now I can already here Jamie complaining "but I never said I was going to Nez, I gotta work, why are you so mean to me, oh woe is me." Well just cause Simoni cracked like a little baby under a little legal pressure doesn't mean I am going to retract any of my crazy, baseless accusations.

PS, TheOnion's report on Lance.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

PR Post Race, Estate Tax & The PDog ER

OK so I never gave a PR post-race. Frankly, it's hard to pay attention to the race when your heart-rate is pegged at 215 going up the climb. I blame Tubbs. All I remember is thinking "don't attack on the first lap" and then bridging across to someone on the first lap.

I thought that might end up being the start of the winning break. It looked good. Guys were trying to bridge across and the gap was holding. But then Stangeland bridged up to us and proceeded to attack. The next thing I knew all hell broke loose and the race was running full bore all night long.

I also remember attacking up the left at the top of the climb only to see Stangeland attack too... twice as fast and way better. I sat up. Maybe even whimpered. I hope no one heard that...

In the finish I was 134,976,109 riders back. But s
o was Gary so I told him to grab on and took him up to about 109,875,876 riders back. Amazingly this was enough for him to vault to second. Sadly, Andrew apparently was on Gary's wheel and got 1st.

Now, I know a bunch of you rode super hard. But again, at 215 it's hard to pay attention to anything but the wheel in front of me.

But it was a good time. I'd prefer to be attacking but in the end if the race is so hard I can't, then it was hard for everyone and a good day on the bike.

Estate Tax
Here's a link to someone who is a real economist discussing the estate tax. It's the hot topic right now. I've heard a lot of people bitchin' and moanin' about it (amazingly, most of the moaning is by people who aren't affected by the estate tax). But very few actually understand what the estate tax actually is and why we have it. There are real arguments on both sides. But they aren't the ones that are being pushed.

If none of you see me in the next few days it may be because I am vending at Big Bear. That's right PDog has bills to pay (you think getting Serpentor to answer your emails is cheap????). Or it may be because I've entered a hermetically sealed room to protect myself against the recent rashes of injuried to beset Chateaux PDog. Mrs. PDog called to tell me her teeth fell out on the flight to CA. OK, a filling in one tooth fell out. Then Mini-PDog's school called to tell me he ran into a cubby and lost his ear. OK, maybe just a small chunk that will grow back. But still, PDog sees the writting on the wall and has no intention of being the next victim of this secret campaign to remove body parts.

Racing Time Again
Looks like I'll be back in action at the Tour De Nez. 2 NRC crits. Greeeeaaaaatt. Maybe I'll see if I can hit 220 on the HRM.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Wednesday Morning Mailbag

I don't know which is worse. The fact I am blogging a PR after action report or the fact that you all read it. And get pissed if I don't. Well, forget it. I am out. Instead, Lord Serpentor has agreed to answer your emails for me.

Dear P-Dog,
I really want to get on your Bastardo list. It is very cool. Is there an application I can fill out? I can write a resume on my arm while I am soloing off the front at 35 miles per hour. Then, I'll just photocopy my arm and send it to you. Right now I just do my shopping list anyway.-- Jonny Stanglenator.

Insolent worm! Do you think I did not see you attack the P-Dog? You will pay for your insult.

Dear P-Dog,
I am a highly ranked local Cat 1. I used to fall off my bike a lot and lately I seem to be suffering a relapse. Last week I crashed myself out and this week I pulled an "El Gato" and nearly took out some poor First Rate guy. What should I do. -- Gone Skiian.

Insolent worm. You lack the leadership only I can provide. Yet, you do not deserve my brilliance. You will race PR, but you will do so with your lovely wife there to give you your commands. This I command!

Dear P-Dog,
Hey man. I didn't race PR last night because the one time I did and blogged about it people got all upset at me. I am a classy guy and I don't want to hurt anyones feelings. But, I also am a straight shooter and like to call it like I see it. What should I do?
--Classy Johnson.

Insolent worm. Your lord Serpentor insructs you to pick some obscure character and create a pseudonym. By turning the comments into some bizarre example of meta-humor you will be celebrated as a true genius. Like me. Or you will be beaten within an inch of your life by an angry mob.

Well, I hope you all enjoyed Lord Serpentor's advice. I know I did.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

New Business Model: All Dope, All The Time

Well, i guess now I know how to make money on the internet. All Dope News, All The Time.

My last post generated a ton of email. Pretty much everyone thinks Lance is guilty of doping. I think that misses my point. My post isn't about Lance's guilt or innocence. It's about WADA.

Vrijman's report confirms that the tests conducted on Lance's blood have not been scientifically validated. The results of these tests do not confirm or deny that Lance (or anyone) doped. It's important to note, as I keep doing, that WADA doesn't actually deny this. Instead, they make a lot of loud noises about how the tests are based on proven techniques that have been validated, how the researchers are respected in their fields, how the tests results have been published in the magazine or that. None of which validates the tests they use.

This means that WADA really has no more proof that Lance, or any rider, is guilty than you or I do. I am sure they believe that Lance (and all the other riders they accuse) is guilty. But believing something and being able to prove it are 2 different things. And I take great offense to WADA pretending that they can prove anything.

My aversion to this is probably deeply affected by my own experience. When I was in college I was arrested for shoplifting. I had run into some fellow students that a store had said hello and then continued shopping. Apparently one of those students had stolen something. And apparently the security guards thought I was part of some scheme. So the arrested me. When I pointed out that I had nothing stolen on me they magically produced a coat they had "found" on my person.

I have absolutely no doubt that the guards thought I was part of some shoplifting ring. I was wearing a UPS shirt and it was pretty clear from their venom that they held a lot of resentment for UPS students in general. And it was probably deserved. A lot of students did steal stuff.

But I didn't. Yet I have a shoplifting conviction on my record because some guard was so convinced I was guilty that they thought it was ok to cheat and plant evidence on me.

That's what WADA is doing. It's planting evidence to support what is, at the end of the day, an unprovable belief that a rider is guilty.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Waiting for WADA

WADA has responded to the conclussions drawn by UCI appointed investigater Emile Vrijman.

I actually read the report. I suspect Dick Pound hopes you do not. I don't know if Lance was doped or not. But it's pretty clear WADA and it's labs think it's ok to cheat when it suits them. My complaint about WADA has been that they use tests and procedures that have not been subjected to peer review and independent validation. Instead they point to the successful validation of similar tests or protocals implying that there is a transitive property of scientific validation. There isn't.

The report is actually pretty damning as it finds (see page 58) that the analysis of Armstrong's samples used a protocol that even they admit has not been validated. Their defense is that it doesn't need to be because it was used for research. But that's not a very good defense when it was then used to incriminate someone.

I don't really like Lance. But so far, the only one I know lied to me is Dick Pound and WADA.

Looking for a whipping boy.

So far, my plan to get rich off PruDogBlog (tm) hasn't been going great. I think I know why: I haven't pissed enough people off. So no more Mr. Nice Guy. I've got Simoni coursing through my veins, I got names and I am ready to make outrageous accusations online. So without further delay..

PruDog's Bastardo List
Mike Hone - Hone, you Bastardo, you attacked on the left at PR. You are no longer exist in my mind!
Ian Tubbs - Just cause you are ranked #1 in the State, you think you can crash whenever you want. You are no longer exist in my mind!
Anton Jackson - You think you can cap on WoW's result?? That's my job! You are no longer exist in my mind!
Andrew Martin - You think you can fall off your bike trying to clip out whenever you want? You are no longer exist in my mind!

OK, that's 4 of you I've hopefully pissed off. Now get my website traffic jacked up!
Oh yah, Dori Monson is a Bastardo too but you already knew that.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

My PR Report

Since you demanded it, I present my PR Report:

I was awesome. I dominated. Everyone else sucked. The only reason you didn't realize how domiate I was is because I was so dominate it created a time/space distortion that confused you. I would have won if only I hadn't been blocked/caught behind a crash/had a sore tooth/cared.

Actually it was a hard race. I was in a couple moves with Rihcter and it was all I could do to stay on his wheel. He is so fast at times that I think he doesn't realize the difference between us going slow and going fast. Several times I was behind him and he drilled it and I was out of the saddle trying to hold on, ful bore.

But, in the end it's hard for me to get jazzed about a points race on the road. I don't even know who won last night. I like the texture and tactics of racing. All the points racing does is make it fast with no chance of a break succeeding... because everyone has to sprint for points on each lap. I also think in the context of course selections at PR this year it's getting a bit monotonous.