Monday, July 5, 2010

July 5th, 2010

Its been a trying few weeks to say the least. Before I forget the things I want to talk about I think I will itemize them here.

3.New Bike/Seigler
4.Floyd Landis
8.Tour de France

OK I think thats it.

First Denver:
I recently flew to Denver with my bike in tow to work the Pride Festival and Parade in downtown Denver, CO. I was excited for a few reasons: I like traveling and staying in nice hotel rooms, I like riding my bike in new places and exploring, I like gays and lesbians (especially when they are having a good time), and I like having money in the bank.

The first day of travel was laughable, and I tried to stay sane after a 14 hour trip to Denver from Orange County, CA. I first had to wake up at 4:30 because I had the first flight out of John Wayne Airport. Once Dane dropped me off I realized I had left my wallet in my pants, in my car, at the mechanics. I was forced to take a 60 dollar taxi ride back to my car after changing my flight to a later one leaving out of Long Beach Airport. The good thing was I had time to watch the world cup game at least. When I finally made it to Denver around 4:30 I was not able to check into my hotel because of a credit card snafu. Without being able to check into my room, I couldn't reassemble my bicycle, so I had to walk several miles to the corporate office to pick up the key for the truck I would need for Saturday. upon returning some 4 hours later I still couldn't get into my room and had to wait another hour.

Had everything gone according to plan I would have gotten to Denver around 11:30, checked into my room after lunch and gone on a 4 hour bike ride into the Rockies. Sounds great now.

The first day of the event was really long with 4 hours of set up and 10 hours of standing, but I still managed to get a 2 hour ride in AND go on a date with these two guys who asked me out to the bars. I had nothing else to do at 11 pm, so what the hell right? Besides the huge bar brawl it was completely harmless and entertaining. Its good to make friends, even if they keep asking to see your underwear, ESPECIALLY if they keep asking to see your underwear.

Each day of the even I used my bike as transportation and placed it inside my booth while I was working. With 5 employees and a fully enclosed booth it seemed pretty safe, and there was no incident on Saturday. Sunday I had a bad feeling for some reason, but placed my bike in the same spot, but covered it this time.

Sunday was the actual Pride Parade with floats and all, so there was a lot of down time since people were all pretty occupied by the entertainment and didn't want free product. I allowed my team to enjoy the parade as well, rather than be bored. Well during the parade I happened to glance back at the tent and, like Pee Wee, I flew into a rage and ran about 4 miles around the entire downtown are of Denver where the event was located. I couldn't find my bike anywhere, she was gone!

This is a truly devastating feeling, I don't encourage it.

Once my bike was stolen I really stopped caring about being in Denver, it was a bad trip and I wanted to go home. I would only get one day at home, before I had to head right back out to Seattle though.

2. Seattle
The next work trip followed Denver immediately. I had intended on bringing my road bike with me to ride with Eric, but I brought a cross bike instead. The cross bike is race ready with no bottle cage holes, so I have a tri rack on the saddle SWEET. These bikes are not meant for hours of riding in the saddle I don't think, because I was super uncomfortable after 2 hours.

Seattle was a completely different trip, I had friends to hang out and ride with, and I had plenty of time to ride and a rental car, so my bike stayed safe in my hotel room with a do not disturb sign on the door.

I really love Seattle, its an extremely interesting city, and riding in and out of it is no different. Truly great scenic rides, plus Eric has been logging many miles, so he is a great riding partner. Seattle also has great vegan eats.

To show how much my fortune had drastically changed in a few days, I got a flat out on a long ride with Eric. That's usually a bad thing, but I was riding my deep dish Mavics and had JUST purchased a new 80mm tube not 10 minutes before. I ran over a huge nail that once again pierced my rim and needed to be pried out. Why can't I run over simple glass ever?

I could say more about Seattle, but it went as planned and was pretty excellent. Got paid, rode my bike, ate food, and made my flight.

3. New Bike/Seigler
Well when I returned home I still had to deal with my bike being stolen. I had a lot to do. I had to make sure my insurance claim looked complete and would get accepted (still waiting on that), and I also didn't want to end my season so I needed a new bike straight away. I already had races planned for the next 2 weeks so I was getting very concerned. I knew worst case scenario, I could just take the Seigler back from Josh and race my old bike. I didn't want to, but it was an option, or so I thought.

As if I needed to be reminded about pissing off the universe, the Seigler was quickly stolen from Josh's garage not a week after the BMC was taken. This really frustrated me. I try to stay positive or at least calm and logical all the time, it was hard to do that. Luckily I have wonderful friends.

Ashley still had a beautiful Cannondale Supersix Hi Mod which was brand new and Brad had a 10 speed record groupo at Ashley's house. They both offered to sell them to me and after a short shopping spree for the missing items at Bannings Bikes with E Dubb, I was back on 2 wheels! Actually this bike is fucking brilliant, I am very happy and often find myself forgetting about June all together.

Seriously I can't say how much my family, friends, team, and the cycling community have enriched my life, I think that's why I try to get everyone into cycling.

4.Floyd Landis
I've stated before, I was a Landis supporter during his tour win, during his court battle, during his comeback, and I still am now. It's too easy to judge Floyd on his admission of doping during his time in the pro peleton and much harder to understand and respect the kind of person he is. I don't look up to Floyd Landis as a pillar of morality and I don't strive to be like Floyd (actually I don't think I could drink that much). I do get inspired by choices he has made, whether they be on the bike or off. I hope to one day have a stage 16-stage 17 moment on the bicycle, I don't think any amount of prohibited substances can create that kind of character. That is where my support was validated, but like a family member who makes their own choices, you have to expect to be let down. I can't really describe how I felt that night in May when I read at 1 am that Floyd had admitted to everything and more, I hoped I didn't know everything. I couldn't accept that he lied to me and everyone else for no reason. Later that morning I was given a more vivid picture as to what this all meant for Floyd.

The main thing I personally took away from the countless emails was that he lied because there was no way for him to be honest without implicating many of his closest friends. If you are going to tell a half truth, is that not the same as a lie, so you might as well lie completely. I have lots of opinions on this and can go on for a while if you care to listen.

The second thing I took away was that Lance Armstrong was as bad as I feared. I have to admit that I never really liked Lance, mostly because he was like Lady Gaga (everyone liked him). So I would not give him support, but I would give him credit, he won the worlds hardest race 7 times and should be treated like the champion he is. I still didn't LIKE him though. I would make excuses about his personal life and how they way he acted made him seem like a true asshole, but I never really KNEW.

The biggest problem with talking about Lance Armstrong is that he is a religion. There are believers, cheasters, and non-believers. Just like any other religion the argument goes the same way, two sides shouting at each other with their ears closed while the chesters show up when its convenient. I would be classified as a non-believer, one who does not drink the yellow cool aid. Anyone who has been on either side and had a discussion about Lance with someone else who feels differently knows all too well how the conversation goes.

With Floyd's admission he had also implicated most of the American pro peleton, including his ex team mate Lance Armstrong. Lance had been accused before, but this seemed all too believable. The only thing Lance has going for him is that Floyd is not credible now, but neither was Canseco right?

Having spent that moment laying in bed wondering about why Floyd lied to me, I can imagine what the believers must be going through right now. The conversation has gotten louder and more violent. The public relations storm has gotten unbearable and I think a lot of people are hoping they too do not have to cope with the fact that their favorite cyclist cheated and lied. I hope that Lance gets a chance to feel the relief that Floyd does now, but I wonder, honestly, if Lance is a psychopath and not a messiah.

5. Upgrade
I earned an upgrade with California Bicycle Racing earlier this year to category 3, but it wasn't until this past week that I was able to make it official with USA Cycling. Getting my upgrade and a new bike really helped me get through the mid season lows. I am truly excited to finish the season strong and enjoy myself. On to Cat 2!

6. Sacramento
Instead of going to the Midwest for Superweek, Ashley stayed local and I traveled up north to visit Pat, Jenny, and Baby D. I hadn't been up here in months so, its nice to see my fake family again. Pat is becoming my opposite with his happy wife and kid and house and shit. Plus he weighs 35 pounds less than me!

Yesterday was the Davis 4th of July Crit. I had an OK race here last year. I missed the winning break of 12 riders but won the field sprint for 13th, so I wasn't too mad. This course is pretty fun when you are strung out or attacking, otherwise it is very dangerous. Since I got my upgrade already I devoted myself to helping Pat and Ben try and get a top 10 finish. Pat has really been working on his Crit racing and it showed, Ben is always strong. I also had a chance to meet and race with our team mate Ryan, he was an excellent domestique, both of us neutralized all chases when either Ben or Pat were in solo breaks. They probably could have won from a break had anyone else joined them. Still it was awesome to control a race start to (almost) finish. In the end crashes held up our guys and while none of them went down, their race was over. I managed to stay near the front and got 14th, but I didn't sprint.

The rest of the week will include awesome training with Becher+ dudes and getting ready for the High Desert Omnium in Bend, OR.

7. Bend
I'm really excited for this omnium next weekend. There is a TT, a crit and a road race. The profile shows it to be a course that could suit me, but you never know. More on this later I suppose.

8. Tour de France
This really is a special time of year for pro cycling. Nothing comes close to the Tour, and nothing will. I'm still backing Cervelo Test Team like usual, so a great tour for me would include 2 jerseys and 3 stage wins. I think this course could really suit Sastre if they can keep him out of trouble like they did today and Cav has been making mistakes left and right which I think Thor can capitalize on. It would be fitting for Cav to go winless after taking fan favorite Tom Boonen and my favorite Heinrich Haussler out of the Tour before it started. I don't want Cav to get hurt though! There's been enough carnage through 3 days as it is. I hope Thor takes his anger from today and gets his "Paris-Roubaix" win tomorrow.

9. Cyclocross
I can't wait for it to begin and I want to take it seriously this year.


Now go back to watching your LeBron watch. <3

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