Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Weight of Insanity

Now that I'm back from the Gulf I no longer wake to the hurricane updates on weather channel, instead have returned to a rhythm of checking CyclingNews and VeloNews - a nice diversion from reality.

This morning I learned two things - one, Fabulous Fabian's Fourth ITT World Championship places alone atop the podium of cycling's greatest time trial greats.

The second, insanity has a weight, exactly 50 "picograms" or 50/1,000,000,000 of a gram. Looking around for a representative of that weight - good luck. Start with a gram and work down. A gram? For all you off-season gram junkies a gram is equal to a medium size paperclip, or a Bic plastic pen cap (only), or one US dollar bill. Now imagine something one trillionth that size, add 49 more and you have it, INSANITY. Yes, that's insanity - the weight of its actions, or reactions, is much weightier, generally devastating in fact, often life changing. The victim of this weighty insanity? - recent Tour de France winner Alberto Contador(read more here on VeloNews).

[The UCI] however, added that only a “very small concentration” of the drug had been found and that the case warranted “further scientific investigation” because the Cologne laboratory that detected the substance is known to be able to detect the tiniest traces of drugs.

“The concentration found by the laboratory was estimated at 50 picograms (50 trillionths of a gram) which is 400 times less than what the antidoping laboratories accredited by WADA (World Anti Doping Agency) must be able to detect,” the UCI said, adding that testing of a second “B” sample taken at the same time confirmed the result.

I also booked my flights back to the Gulf to work on the post-BP spill mess, the hundreds of lives that have been destroyed or tossed on their heads, the environment disrupted for decades, that's an insanity I can measure and has real weight.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Talk all you want, good intercourse takes practice

My first blog back was going to be about last Tuesday's hilly little ride with the guys, but I got dropped so fast that there isn't much worth reporting other than I now have no doubt that eight weeks off the bike, on top of a general season without much riding, isn't the best strategy for surviving the hilliest Tuesday Night route of the season.

So let's move on...

I once heard the question, "Name a four letter word of intercourse?" naturally it's a question that provokes a smirk, maybe a grin, and perhaps a raised eyebrow. The answer, one option, is "talk."

Yes, talking is a form of intercourse - and apparently one the Manx Missile, Mark Cavendish, has confused with the other four letter option. This past weekend he was quoted by VeloNews online, in reference to holding on to a car in the Tour de France this past July,

"Are you f**king kidding me? If I go back, let alone if I'm dropped, I have two race officials, TV cameras, an ice-cream van and a marching band following me. How the f**k am I going to hold on to a car?” he asks.

Intercourse is apparently something Mark isn't very good at despite his constant practice. Colorful, or should that be colourful, definitely yes. Entertaining, well, all good intercourse should be. Sensitive, not so much. Kind to those with whom he is sharing the moment, rarely. All of which is odd considering his British upbringing. And there is the irony, he hails from the Isle of Man, yet hasn't become one. Unfortunately this little boy nor his language skills have matured.

Ah, the art of language. Now what is that saying? Ah yes, intercourse from another Mark, "It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt."

All of which makes me miss the articulate "professor" - Laurent Fignon - even more.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Catching Up After the Bayou Bicycle Blues

Ya know, one of the most frustrating things about having to go back to work for a living (see my Gulf blogs) is that cycling - which had been front and center for the past year - got regulated, no back-burnered, well, actually, pretty much dropped. The Vuelta for instance - what Vuelta?? The only thing I have been watching come from the 'old world' was a peloton of rookie hurricanes named Igor, Earl and now Lisa.

So I'm back in Portland, getting ready for the first Tuesday night ride in a while, actually the first ride of any kind in weeks, and trying to catch up on the pro peloton. I'm reading through old emails and WHAMMO! This stunner. How did I miss this even when wading through a bayou?!

From the press conference:
"You have to understand—in the high-pressure world of competitive cycling, it's all about getting any advantage you can," Armstrong said. "And if we were being realistic, we'd have to admit that everyone in cycling was trying to get an advantage. So, in a way, if we were all trying to get the same advantage, then the playing field was still completely equal. So I was still the best. It makes sense when you look at it that way. And nothing I am about to tell you changes that. So, when I'm finished saying what I have to say, you all have to promise to still adore me."
Read More:

Lance Armstrong Wants To Tell Nation Something But Nation Has To Promise Not To Get Mad