Archive for March, 2009

Royal BikeAlike

It’s a regal BikeAlike today, people.  Both of our participants are of noble parentage; one of a more traditional mode than the other.  I give you Prince William of Britain and cycling phenom Taylor Phinney:

Prince William  Taylor Phinney

The world surely knows William’s lineage, the son of Princess Diana Spencer and Charles, Prince of Wales.  He is in line to be King someday.

Taylor is the son of Olympic champ Connie Carpenter Phinney and Davis Phinney.  As any team physiologist will tell you, “choose your parents well” – and Taylor certainly has.  His mother not only won Olympic Gold, but a slew of national titles as well.  Davis’ palmares are perhaps more impressive; two stage wins at the Tour, God knows how many wins overall (I heard 328 somewhere).  While listening to The Competitors, I heard the tale of his teammates calling him the Cash Register because he won all the primes. 

The kid has crazy talent; if he has it in his heart, the sky is the limit for him.

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There’s a Hole In My Calendar

It’s a weird time of year.  The days are getting longer and there are times when I can actually ride outside.  By the looks of the forecast, I only have one day out of the next week and a half that looks good for hitting the road.  Outside of that, it’s back on the trainer.  And therein lies the problem.

It was great to be out on the road last week, breathing in the fresh air.  Conversely, it was a chore to go back on the trainer to do an easy tempo ride.  It’s hard to maintain motivation on the trainer at this time.  I want it to warm up so badly, but I also don’t want to lose fitness and start gaining weight.  I’m already pushing 175; I should be starting the road season around 170; 172 at the most.

I’m planning on doing an hour or so interval ride on the trainer tonight.  A month ago, this would have been easy.  Right now I want to be lazy and have to force myself on to the bike.  It may be getting lighter out, but these can be dark days.

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Season Opener Haiku

Today was my first brief foray on the road this season.  It sure was nice to be liberated from the trainer.  Looking at the forecast, the weather won’t quite hold after tomorrow so it’s one more and done for a little while. 

My new tires showed up in the mail (thanks ProBike Kit!) – a pair of Conti 4000 700×25s.  It’s gonna be a good year.

Pavé, I missed you!

The wind on my face felt nice

Spring started today

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Paris-Nice Perspective

paris-nice-2009For the second time in three years, the final stage of Paris-Nice was an exciting do-or-die stage.  In 2007, it was Alberto Contador taking the race with great panache from Davide Rebellin (who would win it in 2008).

Although Versus only televised the first and last stages, I was able to keep up with the race via Velonews’ daily coverage.  The biggest take away from this race for me was the end of the Astana Myth of Invincibility™.  On two occasions, Contador was isolated from his teammates and vulnerable.  On stage 7, he bonked spectacularly and lost a big chunk of time, and cost himself the race as a result.

I can’t think of this ever happening on the old “Blue Train” US Postal teams.  Can you imagine Lance without an escort in the critical mountain stages?  Can you imagine Lance not being focused enough to eat when he needed to?

Obviously, Contador is no amateurish chump.  It just baffled me that a team with such talent could let that happen to their leader.  They should have done better.  On paper, they should have ruthlessly dominated that race.  But, as Kenny Mayne said, the games aren’t played on paper, they’re played inside your TV set.

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Today’s BikeAlike

No way in Hades am I the first person to make this association:

Mike Greenberg of ESPN and recently retired American cyclist Bobby Julich

Mike Greenberg     Bobby Julilch

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Day Four

Close call today – I went to the vending machine here at the office intending to by a regular Coke.  By sheer force of habit I pushed the Diet Coke button and didn’t even notice it.  Fortunately, I only got about four steps away before it hit me.  Luckily I was able to pass it off to a coworker who will have it later.

I consumed another regular, sugary sweet Coke.  I don’t think that’s going to last long; it’s just not the same.  On Monday I will remove another layer of temptation in that I won’t be in the vicinity of the vending machines every morning.  You see, myself and a few other coworkers venture to the ground floor cafeteria here every morning around 9:15.  Starting Monday, I won’t be going anymore.  It was a nice little distraction to start off my workday, but I paid the price.  Not just in aspartame, but in extra calories.  Often I would succumb to temptation to get a bag of chips or a muffin.

Crimes of opportunity I suppose.  It was there, it looked good and I grabbed it.  Those muffins had to be at least 300-400 calories apiece.  Yikes.

The weekend looks promising; fewer temptations and two more days away from caffeine.  Next week will hopefully be the real turning point.  I still have cravings, but they are waning.

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Day Three

The craving isn’t as bad as yesterday.  I still feel like I could fall off the wagon if I’m not careful.

Tea again.  I think this will make it a little easier to kick the habit.  I haven’t had any bad headaches, even after doing a ride on the trainer last night (5 hill accelerations, if you’re interested).  My short term goal is to ween off of the caffeine altogether by the weekend.  If I can make that happen, I think the next step – removing basic temptations – will be easier.

Funny that getting off of caffeine isn’t the hard part.  I’m sure coffee drinkers take more in than I ever did with Diet Cokes; but that was never the issue.  I still don’t know what was in that stuff that had such a grip on me.

I wonder if having a regular Coke will be a problem.  I avoid it anyway because of the calorie count.  Something like 250 in a 20oz bottle.  That’s a lot of sugar!  They could probably take a third of that out and it would still taste good.

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