Archive for May, 2009


Carlos Versus the Volcano


What a crazy, up-and-down couple of weeks it has been for you, Carlos Sastre.

Despite being diagnosed with an incurable “brain cloud” by Dr. Ellison and having 5 months to live, you’ve finally found the huevos to quit that terrible bank job and ask Meg Ryan out.  You even won a big Stage 16 in the Giro d’Italia, kicking Ivan Basso’s ass up the side of Monte Petrano and launching yourself into a possible GC spot after weeks of anonymous safety in the peloton. Things were finally starting to look up.

But now you’ve really gone and done it, Carlos. You’ve pissed off the volcanic gods with your incredible win on Stage 19’s climb up the side of Mount Vesuvius, a dormant monster that buried Pompeii in 79 AD. They were totally pulling for Danilo Di Luca, and now you’re a marked man for making the Italian look like a fool trying to outrun Denis Menchov as you raced ahead.

So what now? Well, Lloyd Bridges wants to pay you to jump into the heart of the volcano inhabiting his island (Waponi Woo) for untold riches, while the natives want to throw you in for free. Meg Ryan is already screentesting for her next romantic comedy, and to top it off, you’re still not looking at a GC finish unless the top 3 eat pavement on the final time trial in the streets of Rome. What’s a Spaniard to do??

Perhaps at this point, it’s best to just remember the good times. While you’re deciding on whether to jump, we’ll be watching Beyond the Peloton, an incredibly well-produced HD documentary about the very first racing season of Cervélo TestTeam. And missing your smile, of course.

[Volcanic Victory for Sastre at the Giro – VeloNews]


You Can’t Resist It (it’s MonkeyLectric!)

Riding at night has always been something of a compromise between safety and style. You can deck yourself out in reflectors and high-visibility blinking LEDs and even your bright orange hunting/safety vest, or you can play the odds and have a chance at still having drinking companions once you arrive at the bar. I always make sure to ride with a headlight and tail light, but after a recent spate of cycling accidents at night involving riders using blinking lights (including one with a Iowa official; no charges filed against the driver), I find myself wondering if it’s enough. What if you turned your ride into something that drivers couldn’t help but see?

Introducing… MonkeyLectric!!!!!1

Built by Dan Goldwater, a former MIT scientist and apparent disco playboy, the Monkey Light is the safety solution of my dreams. Thanks to 32 full-color LEDs and the persistence of vision, this thing is capable of creating 9 distinct, full color patterns at speeds over 10 mph. So now, at least you can look good as you beef it over that car’s hood.

[more video and a professional review after the jump]

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Another Word from Lance: What the Hell is Going On???

CYCLING: MAY 12 Giro dItalia - Stage 4

If you haven’t already heard, Lance Armstrong is racing in this month’s centenary Giro d’Italia, and as of Monday’s mountainous Stage 16, is in 12th place overall. It’s been a tough few weeks for the cyclist and his team, and although he has begun enforcing a sort of personal media blackout — Armstrong has begun bypassing journalists waiting for him after each stage and heading directly to the team bus or hotel — he was kind enough to send us this dispatch.

Here’s the thing: I thought this whole Giro thing would be a great way to get back in shape for the tour and log some miles on the Italian coast. It’d be good on-the-job training since that asshole tripped me up at the Castilla y Leon (which would be a great name for an indie band, by the way) and I broke my collarbone. The way Johan [Bruyneel, Astana team manager] described it, this would just be a pleasure spin around Rome — he literally said to me, “Lance, the goddamn Pope will be waving to you out his window.” The goddamn Pope.

[more Lance after the jump.]

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Bike Dreams: Felt Curbside


For all of my empty attempts at wearing low-cut denim or smoking American Spirit cancer sticks, I’ve finally come to the realization that I’m simply not cut out for the hipster lifestyle. I don’t especially like Pitchfork (anymore) and I never really got Animal Collective. I thought The Science of Sleep was two stars at best. About the only thing I have to offer is a healthy sense of snark, but alas, even that is starting to look so last year.

But maybe there’s still hope — between NPR and Felt’s cool-but-not-too-cool Curbside fixie, I might just be able to get back into the scene. BOOYAH!…I mean…uh…right on, man.

[more tasty photos after the jump]

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Armstrong to Ride Communist Bike

Trek Madone, Fairey Edition


Just when you told yourself that you couldn’t stand any more of those Che-inspired, ARCH-SOCIALIST Obama posters, TERRORIST/ILLUSTRATOR Shepard Fairey strikes again! The only difference is that instead of working to elect PROVEN COMMUNIST Barack Obama to the highest office in the land, he has somehow convinced Lance Armstrong — capitalist/ubermensch/American hero — that his art is not SUBVERSIVE, WHICH IT IS.

I’m too sick to even discuss this new development, so I’ll just leave it to the RADICAL LEFTISTS in Trek’s marketing/PR department to explain the partnership between Fairey and Armstrong. I’ve taken the liberty of including a few clarifying notes in brackets:

As Lance Armstrong prepares for his first Grand Tour in nearly four years—the upcoming Giro d’Italia (May 9th-31st)—he’ll have two new bikes to ride as he races through the Italian countryside. The third and fourth bikes of the LIVESTRONGStages” art show—a Trek Madone and a Trek Equinox TTX—were recently unveiled by The Madone, conceived by contemporary artist, graphic designer, and illustrator [read: TROTSKITE] Shepard Fairey, is, according to SuperTouch, “a vibrant homage to Lance’s cancer fighting foundation” that includes “ancient patterning in honor of Italy’s rich architectural [read: FASCIST] details.”

Apparently the plans are to auction the bikes in the fall, with the proceeds going to benefit the Lance Armstrong Foundation, but we all know “foundation” is code for THEY WILL BE GIVEN TO THE PROLETARIAT. William F. Buckley, Jr. is spinning in his grave.

[More photos and a video after the jump]

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Your Belated Giro Update

Giro DItalia 1967

It’s been an exciting start to the Giro d’Italia so far this year, as riders have battled past crashes and over the mountains in search for the always illusive maglia rosa [the pink jersey]. The excitement continued with Stage 7’s thrilling 169 km ride began in the beautiful Sicilian port of Catania before winding around the base of Mt. Etna, an active volcano (in what other sport do athletes compete under the threat of molten rock?).

Franco himself

Franco himself

Although riders tried everything to close the time gap, including drafting off of spare dogs (like the Kas-Kaskol rider shown above), it still wasn’t enough to fend off Crazy Heart himself, Franco Bitossi. Fresh off a win at Tirreno-Adriatico, Bitossi could be a contender to take home the points jersey if he keeps this up.

And so, headed into a decisive Stage 8, a 218 km trek to Cosenza, Michele Dancelli holds the leader’s jersey, although Spain’s Jose Perez-Frances looks poised to strike.  Stay tuned for even more excitement from this year’s Giro d’Ita…

What’s that?

What do you mean this all happened 50 years ago? WHAT?! I just spent two hours researching all of this on Wikipedia! Yes, I’m aware anybody can edit it. What do you mean I should have known this information wasn’t up-to-date? The photos look fine — Italian cameras just have a vintage style about them. Oh, so you don’t believe me but I have to believe you? Real nice.

[Watch the 2009 Giro after the jump.]

Continue reading ‘Your Belated Giro Update’


Back From the Dead (or, Cannondale Run)

The definitive R300

The definitive R300

Alright, so it’s been a few days since I’ve been able to get up a post (in the middle of an already exciting Giro, no less) — I’ve been working like Dr. Frankenstein in the home stretch of the reanimation process to get this bike up and running before spring passes us completely by. The new freehub body and cassette have been installed, the chain is lubed and life is good. Of course Mother Nature had to visit with some terrible (ly awesome) weather right as I finished the project, but sunny skies are forecast for the weekend. Andy, you wanna ride to North Liberty or around the res?

[Related – My Rides: The Cannondale]