Alien Boy represent represent

My good buddy from knoxvegas C. Jon Todd Van Damme Alien Boy Livengood is now blogging. He comes in peace.

Check out his bikey blog. It is worth it, we can learn much from alien cultures.

Especially check out his tutorial on the alien way to track stand. Ommmmmmmmm.

Tour predictions

OK, looks like Vino is out due to his team being unable to field enough riders. At this point I would not be suprised if T-Mobile hired him tonight to ride in place of Jan Ulrich. It is somewhat shocking that Vinokorov was not named in the affair when the manager, 5 current riders and at least 2 recent riders on the Liberty-seguros/Astancia-Wurth team are caught up in the investigation. I think there is no possible way for me to keep up with the events as they happen, so please go see the excellent coverage at velonews, cyclingnews or Joe Lindsey's blog at mountainbike.com, among others.

Looks like Mancebo is retiring, I predict Ulrich retires. I predict americans take 1-4 in the prologue tomorrow (zabraski, hicapie, floyd, levi), with David Gimp Millar in 5th and Julich in 6th. I predict a mass of retirements at the end of the season for the veterans of this doping era, if they have not been caught yet, they certainly want to go out a-la Armstrong, rather than Ulrich.

Will hamilton race again? he has done the time, but it will be difficult for him to have any plausable deniability, so I say he either admits it and races again, or maintains innocence and never suits up as a pro roadie.

As a commenter pointed out, Menchov is a very good candidate for the overall. Maybe Discovery will figure out how to get Popovich, Hincapie AND Salvodelli in the top 5. It will be a free for all with the exception of Discovery which is still all teflon and lost nobody to the operacion puerto scandal, Discovery may be the only team that has not lost their leader and is strong enough to control the race, again.

I am not exactly sure what to make of all this, but I would like to reiterate that this expose is not due to drug testing, but due to police investigations. I think the WADA is bordering on reactionary irrelevance at this point and the UCI drug control is similarly blessed with negligable effect. Dick Pound of the WADA has spent an immense amount of public energy on a bordering on unethical crusade against Lance Armstrong, who is retired. He has spent no time in the press explaining how the WADA will move forward and improve the ability of testing agencies to catch cheats now and in the future. Dick Pound deserves to lose his job as his agency has been absolutely inept in cleaning up the sport. Wholesale changes should be in store for the UCI and the WADA doping procedure or cycling will lapse back into using the next untestable drug and staying 2 steps ahead of the dinosaur testing agencies.

OK then, let the race begin...

More Doping musings:
  • best tour ever
  • Liberty Seguros Quits cycling
  • dopingpalooza on the beginning of the Saiz/Seguros scandal
  • Tyler, Doping and baseball
  • On the IGF-1
  • Tyler riding in a race
  • Huge post on Tyler getting suspended with lots of doping links
  • Early post on the dealy
  • Best Tour Ever

    Well, I hope the Tour people are happy as they have kicked out everyone who was capable of beating the americans. Massive chaos reigns, but I am guessing 4 of the top 5 will be english speakers now with Floyd, Levi, Hincapie and Cadel Evans all in the top of the tour and probably Valverde filling in the gap. Surf on over to velonews to see the riders on the spanish criminal investigation list and who just got dumped from the tour. I was really looking forward to Ulrich and Basso in a battle with Floyd, Levi, hincapie, valverde and Vinokourov making things interesting putting pressure in case of someone cracking. Vinokourov is the random factor here, will he be allowed to race, will his whole team get kicked out except for him? If he does race will he be able to do anything with no team and big distraction? Wow.

    More Doping musings:
  • Liberty Seguros Quits cycling
  • dopingpalooza on the beginning of the Saiz/Seguros scandal
  • Tyler, Doping and baseball
  • On the IGF-1
  • Tyler riding in a race
  • Huge post on Tyler getting suspended with lots of doping links
  • Early post on the dealy
  • 6/29/2006

    Wellgo WAM-D10 Pedal Review

    Best pedal ever.

    No really, it has some downsides, but WAM-d10 where you been all my life.

    I have size 12 feet, I do not like riding longer distances on anything but clipless pedals or BMX pedals. I find almost all quill and platform pedals inadequate. I was looking for a two sided pedal (clipless on one side, flat pedal on the other) that had a suitably large platform for my fixie. These are they. I can ride them in my bike shoes, or my dress shoes, or my birkenstocks, no problem.

    The good:
  • completely 100% compatable with shimano sh51 SPD cleats. Hugely important when braving the wellgo waters.
  • Nice big bmx platform on one side with removable pins
  • magnesium, so it is hella light

    The bad:
  • The integration of the clipless mechanism is a bit clunky, but it works fine, even if you ride with flat shoes on the clipless side.
  • The pedal has a bit more play than I would like, but at 2000 plus dusty miles they are still smooth and working fine.
  • Mg? hella expensive, I think they were 70 bucks through my LBS ordered through QBP, not cheap for a townie pedal, but what is too much for a pedal that is the best ever? BUT I think nashbar has theses rebranded for on sale for 29 or so in their catalog if you shop catalogs.Nashbar Highlanders
  • You probably will need to shave some lugs off the cleat region of your shoe so you can engage the pedal.

    If you hate bmx pedals, get something else. If you love bmx pedals and want a flip flop pedal these are the only option and they work great. Far superior to the shimano dx type pedals for riding with flat shoes. The shimano doublesided platform clipless pedals are great for cross and mtb'n when you want a stable unclicked in platform for quick bail outs, when you want to be able to pedal when clogged for mud and for quick short trips in flat shoes, but they are not completely flat and uncomfy for longer trips with flat pedals. The WAM-D10 are great for a thirty mile ride in with flip flops. If you can handle BMX pedals.
  • David Millar, I christen thee...


    click for source

    What the crap? I sense that someone in the Saunier Duval-Prodir management has David Millar locked in a dungeon with only a trainer and skinsuits only letting him out for arty fetish photos and races.

    Much more disturbing than Boonen's armadillo


    Mighty Girl is probably the only has-nothing-to-do-with-bikes blog that I read often slipped into bikes this week:

    click for source post at mightygirl.net
    flicker photoset here

    A nice series of photos of dutch commuters against an orange container.



    Sorry for the long delay, lots of travel in a short time. More this week, but in the mean time, please surf on over to velonews and see some of the fall out from the spanish doping case. Tyler is implicated for not only blood doping and EPO, but also for using the 1GF-1, the new hormon on the block. Also murmurs of former Liberty Seguros now Wurth team being not allowed to race at the tour and Comunidad Valenciana in a lip service attempt to prove they were not doping by, en mass, taking a blood test. Nice try fellers. As anyone paying attention knows, blood tests only catch the guys who mess up.

    Also some more boring allegations against Cap't drug test, lance armstrong. Lemond proves to be ungracious as Armstrong is untouchable.

    Finally in vaguley related news, Vinokorov did NOT win the Kazak national championship sparing us all the sight of Vino's Baby Blue Bubble butt in the Tour, hopefully, if he races, his team will have black slimming shorts.



    Some interesting bike racks:

    Nice use of a scooter rack trunk on this generic rodbraked city bike:

    click for big

    There were a few nice motobecane city bikes floading around, this one had a very sturdy looking front rack:

    click for big

    Finally, all fantasies of "il postino" should be squashed in this part of italy. A whole mess of post "bikes" with really nice looking front racks:

    click for big

    Coffee and Deisel

    Some anonymous commenter complains I said nothing of coffee in Italy. I reiterate it was cheap and it was good and it came in little thick espresso cups often with a tiny glass of lemon soda water, yum. The cappuchinos were hit or miss, I think the standard coffee bar was a bit too hurried to heat the milk enough and they often used Parmalac type no refrig neeeded milk, so feh on those. The espresso's were 100% good even when they were using preground suspiciously folgers like coffee from cans. I am proud to say though, that using my pavoni at home I can replicate or exceed the italian espresso's often. I wish my digicam worked past day one, else I would have had pictures of the bewildering array of beautiful industrial espresso machines in the bars and resturaunts, some were easily older than me.

    click for big, I am pretty sure I saw no blond nor asian italian women.

    Commenter also said the fiat 500's did not run on deisel. Really? I just assumed everything was deisel and that was pretty much all you could get, but I was not paying too much attention. The car I really want them to sell in the US is the VW Polo wagon in TDI flavor.

    I wasunsuccessful capturing the chaos of scooters swamping car traffic at rush hour, here was the closest:



    A nice beat coppini city bike. The head tube badge said:
    Enzo Coppini
    Campiona Italiano
    Cyclo Tourism 1973

    I need to figure out how to become Italian Cyclotourism champion when I grow up.

    Sorry for the grainy phots, the new digcam decided to die on day one of vacation, so I resorted to disposal cameras for the rest of the week.


    Ciao bella

    She claimed I only wanted to take her picture because of her bike.

    Well it was a really really nice looking chain cased generatored Raleigh Bike. Pristene even. I think it was the only english bike I saw in sorrento.

    Alot of the employees and proprietors in the shops in the narrow old section of sorrento had their bikes stashed in the back of their shop. The woman above, judging from where her bike was parked, worked at the "Pinko" store that sold the ubiquitous self labled Pinko Bags, probably il modo or something similar that is beyond my comprehension. I do get bikes though, and she had a winner.

    The sorrento area though, as I suspect true for much of italy, is not about the bike, it is about the diesel fumes. I was high on the fumes of a million poorly tuned two stroke engines clogging the streets. It is a bad high, yet clashes pleasantly with the local white wines. I usually hate cars and scooters, especially hipsters riding smoke belching vespas, but when nearer to Rome than I have ever been before, one must do as the near Romans. Thus my number one favorite diesel fume emitter:

    click for big

    In the big picture you can see the mighty Fiat 500, conveyance to la gente, dwarfed by a VW Polo (a smaller VW Golf).

    More Pon

    click for big

    See the nice little paint missing on the top of the fork legs showing the front end collision. Mmmm steelicious. Nice headbadge too. Ponpon.

    Looking at yesterdays pics you can calculate the head tube and seat tube angle using the maths to be something like 61 degrees, maybe a bit steeper if you subtract out the slackening due to the fork being bent back a bit. But still that is mighty slack.


    Italy bike week

    Spent a week in sorrento near naples in Italy for a conference. Took some bike pics, thus it is italian bike week. Woo.

    Bikes were a mix of italian, french and dutch city bikes as well as lugged italian steel road machines with city bars and a few modern crappy MTB commuters and electric bikes.

    Start with an old Dutch Pon bike, with a nice front end collision perhaps. Note the insanely slack HT angle.

    click for big

    More more more this week.


    Best thing about italy

    If you order an espresso standing at the bar, they are gov't mandated to be 0.70 euro, with a macchiato costing the same.

    More pics later if I figure out my camera meltdown issue. Including nice italian classic steel roadies citified.


    minature albino mountain lion evidence

    Definitive evidence of the rare los alamos albino minature mountainlion:

    click for big