8/31/2006

Bwa bwa bwa bwa...

or Tyler likely coming to a race near you.


click for source

Things are looking grimmer for Tyler and he may be coming to your local Pro-1-2 crit rather than heading back to europe. Bummer dude, looks like he would be racing just fine at the worlds but for the appeal process. Kind of odd, but I think he pissed off alot of people in the upper echelons of the WADA and UCI with his somewhat improbable denials and long drawn out fight

The alleged connection to operacion Puerto and Dr. Fuentes is really the nail in his coffin here and really really makes it hard to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Ah well... Parking lot crits ahoy.

8/30/2006

Sammich

Meanwhile, over at the Vuelta, someone needs hella sammiches:




Click for source

8/29/2006

For Santa Feans with mad sand skills

So in case you were wondering...

The arroyo behind the hell that is santa fe automall on cerillos is the same arroyo that crosses under Rodeo and goes behind the hell that is Sams club, which connects to a really nice bike path that hooks up with the lamy trail at Siringo and gets you downtown after a fashion. Very useful. If you can ride deep sand pretty well, or know how to pick your lines.



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And another note, alot of the rip raring riprarian singletrack along the banks of the mighty Rio Santa Fe is underwater right now. Which means that, although the singletrack is not a contiguous link from down town to upper canyon and the trails there, the river is probably runnable by kayak. Go urban extreme sports.



click for big sunken single track

The largest single drop waterfall between Paseo de Peralta and Upper Canyon Road:

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Finally, I have seen the fields of goatheads growing all over the Lamy trail and the other arroyo trails tucked here and about in Santa Fe and we are all screwed this fall when they go to seed. Good lord. Acres and acres of em. Get yez some sealant tubes for your own sanity.

8/27/2006

Kelly Bikes

A long time ago in a corner of Oakland that does not really exist anymore, a skinny hungrier version of me worked sporadically for Kelly Bikes. I learned to make bikes and drink coffee, hopefully helped get bikes out the door and gained two lifelong friends in Chris Kelly and Robin Parisse. After many years in the industry and at least 10 churning out production Kelly bikes, Chris decided to shut the operation down and hang up his torch and welder for a bit. I am sad about this, but I think this is a good thing for them and hopefully will allow them some time to ride and spend time with their beautiful daughter. In the meantime, they are selling everything from the operation. Their inventory is here:
http://www.kellybike.com/2nd_rr_gobsale.html

and there are lots of good things for sale including nice MTB's and road bikes, really really nice steel stems for 1" threadless, some forks and a whole lot supplies for framebuilders or those aspiring to be, including jigs, tubes, bike front ends and the like. Act fast if you want some stuff as the inventory is decreasing daily. Tell em Tarik sent you.



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Today's and yesterday,s photos from the spectacular Dale Ball trails in Santa Fe.

8/26/2006

8/24/2006

Doing the Pigeon

As part of the show and tell for my bike talk I borrowed Craig Degenhardt's (owner of the retrodirect trike nice flying pigeon bike. It was much more styling than my forever bike.

Here is me riding the flying pigeon down in the 'querque:

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Nice slack HT, nice big roadster wheels.

It had a nice head tube and a really cool "hood ornament" and nice boxlining on the fenders:


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The bike was amazingly branded with nice little flying pigeon logos everywhere, like this one stamped on the crown:


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Styling chaincase with the standard gold lettering:

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Nice details on the back of the fender:

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Finally a decent full bike shot:

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I was disappointed in Cheng Du that there were virtually no Flying Pigeon bikes around, I only saw one or two. The forevers and others were pretty nice, but not quite as stylish as this one. The bikes seemed to be pretty regional with different brands in different areas.

Anyhoo, I was pleased to be able to borrow, ride and photograph the most stately and classic of the classic Chinese bikes. Thanks again Craig.

8/23/2006

Tyler Hamilton and the squashed comeback (?)

Tyler tyler tyler, will we ever see you race again?

Tyler Hamilton is laying the foundation for his triumphant return to cycling by whupping old guys and amateurs in big hill climb time trials (Mt washington). He is lobbying hard for a worlds position on the US team and perhaps a good showing will lead to a protour contract for the rest of the year and next. Maybe the new Kazachstani Astana? or Saunier Duval-Prodir? Like I says before, I eagerly await the his return to competition, however...

It seems that his implication in operation puerto is getting heavier by the day. A danish and a Belgian paper have published Tyler Hamilton doping calendars for the 2003 season. See cyclingnews's summary halfway down this page entitled Extensive doping alleged for Hamilton. The alleged products used are EPO, Human Growth Hormone, anabolic steroids, self blood transfusions and a pregnancy hormon used as a masking agent. All this with the help of Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes, the center of the operation puerto scandal. Doping products were alleged to cost Tyler 43,000 Euro over the 2003 season. Chump change for a million dollar salaried cyclist like him. Woo!

In the current climate I think the UCI/WADA will be as punitive as possible. Given that Tyler was already suspended and served his time, I am not sure if the allegations can be held against him. I am not convinced that he will get by unscathed though. UCI president Pat McQuaid has already said that Hamilton could face a lifetime ban if he is found to be involved in the current scandal. Some comments about his prospects before the latest news broke here. Sheesh.

Just a thought on Tyler Hamilton and Jan Ulrich, they both train with, to quote the excellent book Lance Armstrong's War,the Notorious Dr. Checcini. Both are also implicated in Operacion Puerto. Hmmm. I think it might be worth a tiny bit of time seeing how exactly this guy is training his athletes. Bjarne Riis, Tyler's coach in 2003, claimed no knowledge of his extensive doping program. He is humorously quoted here as saying ""I would like to remind you that we live in hotels and not in a prison..." If Riis did not know anything, perhaps his trainer, Checcini, did. I highly recommend reading Lance Armstrong's War to get a picture of the degree of scientific training, control and imput that trainers like Dr. Michele Ferrari and Dr. Luigi Checcini have on their riders. The inescapable conclusions are as follows:
1. They are so rigorous and scientific in their training, recovery and medical plans that there is no need to resort to doping.
2. They are so rigorous and scientific in their training, recovery and medical plans that systematic doping is the next logical step in improving performance.

Read it. It is spectacularly well written, entertaining and pretty eye opening. Best bike book I have read since The Rider.



Remember the Vuelta starts soon as well!

I hope to see Tom Danielson ascend to heights unacheived by americans in the vuelta previously. I also half expect to see some sort of excellent police action during the Vuelta catching dopers now that spain is serious about doping and emboldened by the overwhelming success of Operation Puerto.

More Doping musings:
  • Ignorance is Bliss on golf?!?!
  • Doping Law Clarified
  • Manzano Speaks
  • Blah blah blah floyd landis... On the initial stages of the Floydtosterone scandal.
  • Tour predictions, immediately pre 2006 tour
  • 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
  • 8/22/2006

    Just keep riding


    click for big

    No need to stop and fix it, the tube fixes itself! At the los alamos triathlon on saturday.

    8/15/2006

    Pancakes!

    What not to get stuck in your head while you are bonked and mostly pushing your bike up a 2000 foot climb.


    click for source and delicious bicycling pancake murder song. Wait for the zombies.

    You can tell because my crossbar is really low.

    8/14/2006

    Chinese tricycle retrodirect thingy

    Most of the trikes I had the opportunity to inspect in China had some serious mechanical problems like this clapped out trike. Lots of them had no longer functioning brakes, and weird long droopy chains. There was obviously more going on with some of them than single speeds, but I was unable to crawl around under them long enough to figure it out.

    When I went down to albuquerque to pick up the Flying Pigeon from Craig Degenhardt I got a chance to ride and inspect his chinese trike:

    click for big

    It sports a nice two gear system mostly called retrodirect gearing. Two independent single speed freewheels are mounted on the rear wheel (or drive shaft in this case). The chain runs from the front chainring around one of the freewheels, around an idler, then backwards around the second freewheel and then back to the chainring. The effect is that you engage one freewheel when pedalling forward (while the other rotates backwards) and get one gear ratio. When you pedal backwards you engage the second freewheel (while the first one rotates backwards) and get a second gear ratio. Despite the fact that you are pedalling backwards, the bike still goes forwar, see? See some clean photos of a hirondelle retrodirect here with a different description if mine is too muddled.

    Here is the whole drivetrain:

    click for big

    The forward drive is the larger gear, the reverse pedalling drive is the smaller gear. The idler is at the bottom of the photo for reversing the chain over the second freewheel. The spring seen to the left of the freewheels are for disengaging the gears, which is accomplished by the orange tipped lever on the non drive side.



    closer on the back bits:

    click for big

    The pulley looking thing behind the freewheel is the brake drum.

    Brake is operated by hand or foot via the lever here:

    click for big

    The brake lever is attached to a rod going back to a leather strap which tightens down on the drum to slow the bike:

    click for big

    Ah! It is all so clear now!

    The reverse low gear is really really low, but the chain friction is really really high, so by pedalling backwards you can lump the trike up steep little hills or get it going while it is loaded.

    Anyhow neat bike. Clear as mud?

    Ignorance is Bliss

    Interesting article in the NYT about doping in Golf. Mens golf claims there is no doping thus no need to test. Yeah. Good thinking guys. Meanwhile rumors are flying about that players are taking beta-blockers to calm themselves during matches. Hmmm... It also indicates that womens golf, the LPGA, will probably begin testing soon, along with some amateur tournaments. I can't wait until the LPGA and amateur golfers start testing positive while the PGA is still claiming that they don't have a problem thus do not need to test. Golf=prowrestling until they start testing for real.

    Article is here in the 8/14/2006 online sports section.

    More Doping musings:
  • Ignorance is Bliss on golf?!?!
  • Doping Law Clarified
  • Manzano Speaks
  • Blah blah blah floyd landis... On the initial stages of the Floydtosterone scandal.
  • Tour predictions, immediately pre 2006 tour
  • 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
  • 8/13/2006

    Mountain Bike Stupidity

    Did the epic Pajarito Punishment Mountainbike race yesterday. Ouch ouch ouch.

    See the painful course profile here. I think that is 4000+ feet of climbing over 25 miles, starting and ending at around 9000 feet.

    See the part that says three bears?

    Thats where I crashed on ball bearing like pumice rocks and did this to my shoulder:

    click for post race bigger shot.
    as well as grinding a bit of my hip, wrist and sunglasses. I think the bruises are much worse than the cuts.

    See the 13 mile mark? Thats where I bonked with 10 miles and 2000 plus feet of climbing left. Ouch ouch ouch.

    I have had good years doing this race and bad ones. This year was good in that I finished and did not vomit, but man this race gets harder and more epic every year. The newly cleared Guaje ridge trail is really spectacular, the higher elevation stuff in los alamos reminds me of some of the loamy singletrack in norcal.

    It was not really one for the rigid bike, my hands are blistered beyond belief, but thats what you get for not riding more than 2 hours previously and then attempting a 3 to four hour race. I think I scored the DFL for the singlespeed class, woo!

    Big congrats to the Sportsman-Dittmer family with Scott taking a strong third in the single speed catagory (also rigid), Carrie winning the womans race by a huge margin and young Ariana placing in the beginners race.

    The race was under new organizers this year and I have to say they did a great job. With the help of the tuffriders, the trails were in spectacular shape despite some unbelievably fierce monsoon rains in the last two weeks. So thanks to the organizers, volunteers and the trailmaintainers for helping the race go on. Big single loop races are rare and require lots of staff and volunteers to make them run. I really appreciate the efforts of all involved.

    8/11/2006

    Doping Law Clarified

    Velonews has an excellent article by bicycle lawyer Bob Mionski on the Laws of Doping. Go read it. It really clarifies what is legal, what is not, what is procedure, what is not. I think it subverts my half written rant on doping ethics.

    It starts from basic testing procedure (A and B samples, etc) and widens to implications of "innocent until proven guilty", "burden of proof", and due process as it pertains to the anti-doping law and specifically the case of Floyd Landis.

    I learned some interesting things from the article:

    There were clear violations of UCI procedure, but it appears that there is little official recourse for Floyd to take.

    The leaks from the lab to the press may not be stricly against the laboratory code of ethics. Leaking that there "is a positive" without naming who is positive is not prohibited. Nor is leaking results of tests (like the IRMS test) attached to a name if permission is granted by the testing agency and race organizers. Whether permission was granted, I do not know. It still makes the testing organization look biased.

    What was not clear from the article is if the testing lab knew they were testing Floyd landis's sample for the IRMS test and the B test. The article claims there is a possibility that this occured. This was a huge issue with the Tyler Hamilton case. Testing a sample non-anonymously is bad. Testing a sample with an expected result (based on a previous test, comments by race organizers, press, rider, etc.) is worse. It is easy to see how the lab could be pressured to test a sample until there was a positive, or interpret a borderline test as a positive in these cases. Tyler Hamilton claims that his samples were initially declared negative, but reinterpreted as positives due to UCI or WADA pressure. The fact that this doubt exists makes the Lab and the testing organizations look unethical and does not instill trust.

    Anyhow, read the article yourself, again here, and see what you learn.

    As a side note, I seem to remember that there was a paragraph in the article that covered a lesser sentence in exchange for testimony leading to conviction of doping suppliers, but it looks like that sentence is gone. Anyone else remember that? Or am I getting sources confused? Damn psuedo-journalism...

    More Doping musings:
  • Ignorance is Bliss on golf?!?!
  • Doping Law Clarified
  • Manzano Speaks
  • Blah blah blah floyd landis... On the initial stages of the Floydtosterone scandal.
  • Tour predictions, immediately pre 2006 tour
  • 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
  • Bike Vids

    Check this video of a 23 year old clean cut super skinny frank zappa teaching steve allen how to play the bike with drumsticks and bow. part one and part two at youtube.


    The playing starts at around 3:20 in the second video, but the lead up is pretty good if you have the time.

    Also, damn kids from nashville rage on their cruisers, it appears that they are the next big thing, they sound a bit like sleater-kinney to me, but you can't fault damn kids, punk rage and bikes. See the excellent bicycle based evil of Be Your Own Pet here, be your own pet website here, get their album at your local purveyor or online



    Finally, via the innovators at chunk666, a don't try this at home video, flaming bikes of death. Astounding.

    8/10/2006

    Road Find of the Day

    This was a team effort. I was doing the run leg of the splash and dash while elena was riding by taking pictures. I saw these out of the corner of my eye lying in the gutter and gesticulated wildly for elena to pick them up. I finished the race and elena saved the scissors. Score.

    Scissors with a ravenous Wink256 looking on hoping that I will feed him:




    Me mid race gesticulating for elena to get scissors:

    8/09/2006

    The deepening spiral of innuendo

    So maybe I should have said, at some previous point, what my qualifications are to rant on doping. I am a scientist with a doctorate, but not in any field remotely related to doping. I do like me the bicycling though. So essentially I have no direct qualifications except for the now hardwired ability to read vast amounts of information, process it and distill it into some condensed form. For me, the nice part about doping in cycling (and in baseball) is that it is so poorly covered in the press, there is tons of room for semicoherent pseudojournalism to fill in the gaps. I feel like I can help My "articles" are not so much journalism as op-eds with lots of background references.

    Am I biased? Hell yeah!

    Here are some of them:
    I do not believe tyler
    I do believe that retired riders should get a pass.
    I am glad armstrong retired when he did.
    I am sceptical but hopeful that landis is not guilty.
    I can't wait to see Danielson or Leipheimer or Tyler win the tour next year.
    I think the vast majority of the peleton is involved in doping practices.
    And has been for the last century.
    I think Dick Pound should be fired for massive ethics violations.
    I think doping labs should be punished for leaking results to the press.
    I think, just for kicks, doping should be criminalized in the US so we all can see how pervasive it is in baseball, football, basketball and hockey and then we can focus on intellegent testing policy instead of witch hunts.
    I wish I noticed that Floyd was on leno last night so I could have watched that.

    I do have a reasonably open mind though and can be convinced of many things with evidence.

    Anyhow, I still am piecing together some links on ethics in testing for a post on that, but in the meantime, you may enjoy the following pages:

    Free Floyd Landis someone who is blogging Floyd full time, good science background.
    Trust but Verify another one on Floydgate
    Dick Pound Profile in the NYT, goes easy on him I think, should have mentioned his complete lack of professionalism during Hamiltons case.
    Paul Kimmage weighs in as a rightfully skeptical cycling journalist.
    alien boy sporting a free floyd shirt.




    More Doping musings:
  • Manzano Speaks
  • Blah blah blah floyd landis... On the initial stages of the Floydtosterone scandal.
  • Tour predictions, immediately pre 2006 tour
  • 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
  • 8/07/2006

    Bike Culture ABQ

    Had a nice little trip down to Albuquerque last friday to pick up the flying pigeon and intersected with some of the bike culture in town.

    I ran into Rick and his really nice tall bike outside the Flying Star on RioGrande. It was pretty clean tall bike work, pretty tall and had a nice chainline. This apparently allows the chain to stay on despite flexiness when riding the top. It also allows the lower pedals to ghost turn. And possibly allow a small person to hunker inbetween the tall and small bikes and ride. Anyhow, I guess rick has a bunch of nice bikes, see a super chopper here.


    click for huge pic...


    Also saw this guy with his poor chopper strapped down to his truck. It must have been unruly.




    Finally some where on the west side i saw this nice floyd landis tableau.

    8/06/2006

    Talk talk talk

    The talk went well, maybe 30 attendees, about 50-50 regulars and bike people I guess. I think I talked for about an hour and got about 10 minutes of questioning out of it. I even got a free coffee from it. I was hoping for a few more bike people, but given how small the travel bug is, I am pretty sure any more people would have been too many. I would be glad to give the talk again if there are interested organizations.

    I handed out cards that elena made for me, so if there are any new readers from the talk, Thanks for coming.

    I wanted to thanks Craig Degenhardt from Albuquerque for lending me a really nice flying pigeon so I could have a bike for people to look at. See craig below with his nice pigeon and chinese trike he got back from China. He is also recovering from a gruesome bike induced upper arm fracture and is sporting some custom Ti internal hardware now. I will photograph the bikes a bit more carefully over the next day or two for bonus chinese bikes of the day.



    Click for big...

    8/03/2006

    Talk on Chinese Bikes in Santa Fe 8/5/06

    By me, this saturday, 5 pm, mostly presenting things along the lines of the Chinese bike of the day series I posted in March and February.

    It will be at travel bug in santa fe (now on paseo de peralta, no longer in san busco). Check it out if you can.

    Website of travelbug, links to other talks.

    I will write more on doping after I finish my presentation.

    8/01/2006

    big bug


    click for big

    Some sort of testosterone enhanced jurassic looking hornet that the cats knocked down over the weekend. About 2" long. Yeesh. Any budding entymologists know what thisun is? I will do some research.

    I speculate that it is some sort of plutonium mutated hornet that was entombed in an ancient mudhole deep in a canyon here in NM, released by recent thunderstorms and in search of the dinosaurs that it snacked on millenia ago.