Monday, January 31, 2011

Broken People Need a Broomwagon

Long ago I grew tired of following and commenting on the Floyd Landis self-destruction. I tried for a long time, like many, to hold out a glimmer of hope that this guy, known for his grit and indefatigable determination, was indeed a true twiner of the Tour de France, and that amazing ride on Stage 17 into Morzine should be what we remember, not the endless appearances before a microphone accusing and being accused.

This morning I found myself skipping over the latest about Contador and ended up reading about, of all people, Landis. I'm glad I read this piece. It made me realize we need a broom wagon for humans, cyclist aside, like Floyd Landis; they aren't bad, just broken. A broom wagon so they can just crawl in, away from the looky-loo insensitivity of media and public, and go work in private at getting ready to start the Tour of Life the next year.

Today CyclingNews reported on the interview Landis did with former cyclist turned writer Paul Kimmage in the Sunday Times. It saddened me once again for Landis, but in a different way, as a human-being broken. Broken in a way we never wish for any human.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Mark & Mike's Grand Adventure - West End Bikes

Ok, this is right up front - a plug for Mark and Mike's new store here in Portland - West End Bikes.

West End is opening their doors at 1111 SW Stark Street Portland, OR 97205 - (503) 208-2933

I've known Mark Ontiveros a long time and this baby is close to his heart. All the love of cycling he exuded for years comes to fruition in this new Specialized Concept store - once inside and you look around the feeling is immediately, 'this is what a bike shop should feel like.' There are old stores that are cool, and I have been in many across the US and Europe, but creating a new shop from scratch that has this kinda vibe is not easy - Mark and Mike France, is business partner, with the support of Specialized bikes, have pulled it off.

Jonathan Maus, on said, "West End Bikes is likely to become one of the top shops in town the moment it opens for business. And in Portland, that's saying something."

See photos and Jonathan's other thoughts on A sneak peek inside West End Bikes - take a look, it's a shop worth getting excited about.

John (Hatfield, alias 'stokerboy') and I are proud to be wearing West End kits when we race the Calfee tandem this season. The new WEB kits can be seen a few photos down in Jonathan's article.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

"R" - Racing Reruns

Team RadioShack - "The Shack" - have blessed the New Year by doing a facelift to one of the worst looking kits in last years peloton. The new kits will hit the road just in time for the Aussie Pro Tour opener - the Santos Tour Down Under.

Each year January reveals new looks in the peloton, new teams, new riders, new kits, 2011 repeats that tradition. This year it appears you are either black & white or red & white, other wise you are "so last year."

The new look Shack kits are emblazoned with a huge scarlet "R" on a white background. Unfortunately what may also be 'so last year' are the results of the "R."

Hmm? "R"

While the kits are a clear aesthetic leap forward from that mess the boys road in throughout 2010, the "R" unfortunately may most accurately stand for Rerun and Retirement. For the team the Aussie Tour will be a rerun retirement of Lance Armstrong. Really.

Sadly the rerun part of "R" will also apply to Results. "R" as a team is a little long in the tooth. The average age of this team is staring down the road at 40.

Maybe the biggest "R" for fans of the new look Team RadioShack should be Realistic - at least you can realistically ride in a new kit that doesn't look Ridiculous.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Team Leopard-Trek, a.k.a. Luxembourg - the return of aesthetic sanity

You know it doesn't take much, just a flicker, and the hope returns. We're just days into 2011 and the newest (sorta) pro UCI team, Team Leopard-Trek's (a.k.a Team Luxembourg), presentation of their new kits dramatically reverses, thank god, a trend of hideous kit design that reached its pinnacle (or pit) in the flesh-colored disaster of Team Footon >>>>>.
After three decades of downward spiral from the neon glare of the 1980's to the non-design design of recent teams, e.g. Radioshack and Sky, there may be a return to kits that will assume their place among the classics - Pegueot, Molteni, Formaggio, for example, of years past.

Cancellara, Schleck brothers, et als on the new team will be sporting a simple elegant - old fashion - white body, black upper, spliced by a light azure strip. And in the greatest time machine journey back, one that would delight Mssr. Degrange, the sponsors, Trek and team manager Brian Nygaard's management company Leopard assume a tasteful - read "small" - presence on the side panels. Other corporate logos are again 'tastefully' placed on the upper black panel right and left - Craft and Mercedes.

Finally for the jersey collector in all of us, the riders will have their monikers enscribed on the jersey collar - replicating a move Team Sky began last season (Sky's one good move - see the general kit design disaster "Keep It Simple Stupid."

Score one for history, for style, for taste, for aesthetic sanity, thank you Brian Nygaard.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Bike Photo Contest Awards Jan 6th 2011

Come and join us at the 2010 Bicycling Northwest Bike Photo Contest Awards presented by Pro Photo Supply this Thursday night at the newest bike shop in Portland (so new the doors are only open for this First Thursday event!) - West End Bikes.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy Peace-filled New Year

Quick post to wish everyone a happy, healthy, upright, rubber-side-down, New Year.

Before taking off for work on the Gulf Coast last week I did manage to renew an old tradition of riding the first 100 miler of the year on my birthday - the "Kids" were nearly all there and I'll post that blog with photos this week. More importantly it also renews my cycle-blogging as well. Work elsewhere around the world has drawn me away from the bike and the posts, but lots are planned, including a trip to the Tour 2011, this year as well as a return to some "recreational racing" - yes, the back might be recovered enough to give it a go.

Tandem riding, and racing, will take a front seat this year so I'll post many more links and ride reviews here for those of you interested - keen to start - or curious about something different.

FYI - The Chasing the Lanterne Rouge book project is also rolling down the road nicely so look for posts here as well as coverage on the 2011 rouge rider live from the Tour.