Archive for June, 2009
I may be stretching the BikeAlike metaphor here, but this one has been in my head for a while now.
Today we feature an audio BikeAlike of sorts: two announcers who, while not exact matches, have similar vocal styles. I give you-
Michael Kay: New York Yankees play by play TV announcer
Dave Towle: Distinctive domestic cycling race announcer (and Mild Stallion celebrity commenter)
This edition accomplishes two things. One, I finally give life to the idea that these two guys voices make them sound like they could be brothers and Two, I get another excuse to mention Dave Towle.
To get the full effect, you have to catch Michael Kay toward the end of an exciting game. That way he has the gravely tone that evokes the sound of Dave Towle.
Whaddaya know? People can change.
The biggest knock against cycling’s perennial #2, Cadel Evans, is that he’s the ultimate wheelsucker. He could hang with the heads of state on the steep slopes, but he lacked the panache of an attacker. The only time he looked dominant was during Time Trials.
Well, as the final two stages of this years Dauphine showed, he is apparently a changed rider. He attacked the race leader, Alejandro Valverde relentlessly – supposedly at least 15 times on one stage. It’s good to see that an already top rider looked to change his tactics, not his biochemistry. The old statement, “great isn’t good enough” fits well here. However this time, the setting is strategy, not dope.
Good on ya, Cadel. Those tactics should serve you well come July 4th. That and a better team than last year.
So I did a hill repeat ride this week. It consisted of 5 trips up a grade on Schauber Road. Each climb only took a few minutes, but the recovery between each was about the same time. After the third repeat, I had that “why am I doing this?” feeling. The fourth one really hurt.
By the time I started the last one I knew that was it, so I eased up mentally – once I separated my mind from the sting in my legs I was really gliding up the hill. That probably impressed me more than anything else. I finished up with about 10 miles of flat to rolling terrain. I sure felt it the next day, but it wasn’t that bad – a good hurt.
It was about 150 feet gained each time and I definitely went into the red zone in the final 200 feet or so. According to Map My Ride there was a section at 13%! But it begs the question – why do it at all?
There’s something to be said about the purity of the effort but I think it goes a little past that. I’m not training for a race or anything that has a lot of climbing – I just want to impress myself. Prior to my time as a “serious” cyclist (about 5 years now) I was never an athletic person. In high school, I got a JV letter for bowling – an activity that can be aided by beer.
In some small way, suffering up a climb gives me a sense of worth. I know that I could never have dreamed of being able to do what I did on this ride back in my 20s. I guess the old saying “because it is there” applies here.
I hope I can wax so philosophical when I assault Lake Desolation Road later this year.
I recently gave an email shout out to Kim West of the Kim West Radio Cycling Show to let him know that he has a listener out this way. It turns out that he really is a genuine guy and answered my email and is looking to get me a mention on his show.
Aside from recumbent riders, I think there is a real unspoken kinship amongst us cyclists. When a guy like Kim West gets a nod from some Fred a thousand miles away, he doesn’t have to answer it, let alone give it credence on air.
It speaks to the kind of guy Kim must be. I sure hope he is, and I look forward to my 15 seconds (if I’m lucky) of fame. Good on ya, Kim.
BikeAlike™ returns with an entry as timely as today’s headlines. I give you: Thoroughbred horse trainer Todd Pletcher and 3-Time Tour champ Greg Lemond.
Apparently, these photos were taken after both men had just watched a sad movie. It is plausible that both of them would have struck a similar profile today anyway. Pletcher’s horse didn’t win the Belmont today, and Greg Lemond has just come across as downright ornery these days.