Ride in the flowers

A nice ride this morning in the remainder of the wildflowers. Lots of time to take pictures as my meagre fitness was revealed by perimeter trail today. I was epically unsmooth today. I walked much. I almost fell off small boulders. Most of the tread came off my bike shoes. I got some new ones later.

Some sort of purple lined path up into the Jemez:

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A nice view of the little footyhills here in los alamos. Note the burnt trees that are a legacy of the cerro grande fires in 2000.

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another big pic of the flowers
, and some more los alamos wildflowers while riding over at scott's bolg


Robot trikes

How did I not know of these things until today?

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More at bubblegumfink found via coop maybe...



Snow and cold and vegi/auto carnage

It was a cold weekend here in los alamos, the hills are still abuzz with wildflowers but the high peaks got the first snow of the winter and a frost snap descended to kill the peppers, pumpkins, tomatoes and raspberries. Cold you bastard.

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Maybe three weeks earlier than last year, but maybe this is a harbinger of a good snow winter, instead of last years disasterously dry one.

Here is a nice picture of a similar view last week:

With the nice automobile carnage:

I am not really sure how he managed that, it is a gnarly downhill curve that lulls inattentive drivers into the barrier at high speeds, but getting all higglidy pigglidy akimbo as such is pretty impressive. He must have came pretty close to completely flipping over the barrier into oncoming traffic. Alternate view I think I was about 5 minutes after it happened as there was only one cop on the scene and the other emergency vehicles passed me on the way down the hill. No obvious major injuries. This is the second time in 3 weeks I came up on an accident in that exact spot. Nice job idjets, calmate, eh?


Seen in cambridge

Nice use of burly trailer for garage sale picking. near Harvard.

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Somebody stole this guy's tube! What a bummer. In Kendall.


Road finds of the week

New England edition.

Hey boston, this is you:

Red Sox cap found in Hyannis while on a late night run. I tripped in a pot hole on a dark street and shortly thereafter I was rewarded with a relatively new red sox cap.

Cape cod girls don't need sox caps, they cover their heads with codfish crap.

Moving on...

And on the sort of not really road find department, Imagine my suprise when I unpacked my luggage upoin arrival and revealed a big tube of oilpaint in my checked luggage. Hmm, I don't use oil paint, and never travel with it. I suspect TSA tried to confiscate it from another traveler and then said traveler tried to have it put in their checked luggage. Some harried check in person then dumped it in my bag by accident. Good job airport security. There also was a random tube of handsalve as well. What a freaking joke. Thank god they did not let me through the security check with water, if I was well hydrated, the terrorists would have won.


I'm an EPO man for doping

Well a long overdue doping update.
First he was fired, then he appears on a starbucks cup talking about fries and then a short time later, Frankie Andreu decides he has to come clean about EPO use in the 99 tour. A NYT article (PDF here via scott) quotes Frankie Andreu and am unnamed mystery cyclist from the US postal service team saying they both used EPO to make the 99 tour team. They were using to finish the tour to help lance. The implication is that Lance was involved in this. Although both cyclists are quoted as not having seen Lance dope, and as Lance points out in a rebuttal to the article that Frankie Andreu testified, under oath in court, as such:

Q: Did he (Armstrong) indicate to you that he was going to use EPO or consider using EPO?
A: No.
Q: Was there any discussion between you and Mr. Armstrong regarding EPO or the use of EPO during that time period?
A: No.
Q: '94, '95 time period?
A: No.
Q: Did anyone on the team tell you that they knew Mr. Armstrong was using EPO during that time period?
A: No.

Hmm. What is the point here frankie? His statement in velonews claims that he is doing it for the future of the sport, he also acknowledges that this won't help much. I agree. It is pointless. I think before the development of EPO testing (2003) use was pretty rampant in the pro peloton. I am glad pro cyclists are coming out of the woodwork with admissions, but at this point, no "I doped, but did it alone" admissions are going to help. I think the path foward is people who were part of large scale organized doping by teams or doctors need to come foward (a la Jesus Manzano) to make a dent in the problem. Frankie and his wife, especially his wife if you read the NYT article, seem to have some sort of grudge developing with armstrong. Betsy Andreu testified that she overheard Lance, in his sick bed, admitting to doctors that he used EPO, steroids and growth hormone as performance enhancers. This was roundly denied by all others present, including the doctor. Who knows. The timing of this announcement is odd. the Boulder Report does the usual good level headed analysis of the consequences of the admission and of pissing off Lance. Wild speculation gleaned from the internets says that this is Frankies revenge because LANCE got him fired from Toyota-United as revenge for the testimony. I disagree, if you want wild speculation, here is my take:
I believe starbucks impelled frankie to confess in exchange for his fame on the coffee cup quote and perhaps starbucks has it out for Lance as well, there I said it. Now armstrong AND starbucks are out to get me.

The big question is who is the other mystery cyclist. Assuming it was another retired american, it had to be either Kevin livingston or Jonathan Vaughters. I think odds are on Livingston. Bobke strut and others go into details on the Livingston Probability (good movie name, eh? I just trademarked it and will sell to Matt Damon, Jake Gyllenhall or highest bidder).

Finally circling back through doping news through Mr. Andreu's statement, which read in part:
We need to make some steps to make things better. If DNA sampling and testing is required then that is the way we should move. I understand the invasion of privacy and no other sport requires this, but if you put the truth out on the table then perhaps something good will come from it.

Good point, the problem is that most pro cyclists who have been implicated in the operation puerto scandal have refused to give DNA evidence to the prosecuters on the grounds that it would be an invasion of privacy. If Ivan Basso and Jan Ulrich complied with DNA requests, they could be exonerated if the investigators realize that their blood was not among that seized from Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes' lab. Of course, it could be that they are refusing as it would completely incriminate them and definitively end their careers. Or that they are highly principled individual who do not want to comprimise their right to privacy. It is a complex issue. But aparently not too complex for the German legal system. Apparently, while Jan was on his honeymoon, German authorities raided his home AND snatched samples of his DNA. Well, so much for the sanctity of privacy. Did I mention that his home is in Switzerland? Can the German "authorities" actually raid homes in Switzerland? Did they pick hair out of the drain of his tub? Or seize a dirty spoon? Or worse? The mind boggles.

Meanwhile in Spain, the Vuelta churns on with a spectacularly eventful week including Tom Danielson claiming his first grand tour stage win and the Kazachs attacking like mad. Great stuff, not doping, or at least not yet, but great stuff.

More Doping musings:
  • bwa bwa bwa more tyler hamilton
  • Tyler hamilton and the squashed comeback
  • 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
  • 9/11/2006

    Materials Geekery

    Many years ago, my mom bought me the book Uncle Tungsten: Memories of a Chemical Boyhood.In it author Oliver Sacks expounds on his fascination with different materials and his formidable skills as a budding chemist/materials scientist as a child in wartime and post-war london. At some point in the book he mentions a display in a museum containing physical examples of all the elements in the periodic table. Great stuff, I thought. Maybe I could do something like that. Despite having worked in a foundry and desigining for and working at accelerators, I really never got going on the project. It is daunting, some of the materials are a bit dangerous, a few are alot dangerous, some are really really expensive, some are hard to get in a purified form and others are difficult to store and display.

    However, thanks to theodore gray who seems to have a bit of income, time and spectacular connections, there is a great website with examples of all the materials. Kind of a online example of the physical periodic table, with a twist. He built an actuall table in the shape of the periodic table and the table has a spot for an example of the element. Pretty damn good stuff. But even better is his website, which has multitudes of examples of each element.

    The wooden periodic table

    Great great stuff. History, manufacturing, materials, everything. I am in geeked out materials science boy heaven. If you like the website, go get Uncle Tungsten,it was the inspiration for the wooden periodic table and a great read.


    Go voles!

    Did I mention I hate football. Its the nascar of team sports for fuck sake. I guess if you like Nascar, then that is not really a problem.

    Anyway, i was unable to watch the haughty siberian fembot play the belgie pocket female federer live today as the local network decided that the international powerhouse "Lobos" were more ratings worthy than the haughty siberian fembot. Are the lobos even D1? Nice job there local CBS affiliate. So I sit here at damn near midnight trying to catch up on the tennis.

    College football. What the crap? Why are grown men driving around New Mexico in a PT cruiser custom painted in University of Tennessee colors? Why?!? It is things like this that make me want to lie about my latest degree institution. Uh yeah, it was from, like Bob Jones U, or something. What a joke.

    in front of the Los Alamos (NM) Post office

    There is a game you can play when flying to Knoxville (TN). You are not allowed to look at your gate, you just wander around the terminal until you can guess which gate you are flying out of. The give away usually is the preponderance of people dressed head to toe in UT orange. Only once of 20 odd times did this not work for me.

    Anyhow, I think i forgot where I was going with this. I really don't like football, and universities that sell their souls for big time football are a travesty. Go to hell UT you are getting no alumni donations from me. First you gave over the entire campus to sports, and secondly you sold my address to marketers. Go to hell.


    Fired cyclist spouts on fries from the java cup

    So there I was, sitting in wet clothes in a seminar after a 10 minute ride in increasingly heavy rain to get there. A nice coworker brought me a much needed takeout coffee from the the local starbucks to warm and awake me.

    I get about an hour into the two of the talk and my attention flags. I look across my notes and over to the cup, and I see something like the following peeking under the cardboard javajacket:

    Frankie Andreu
    Director sportif of the Toyota-United Pro Cycling team, motivational speaker and the only American to finish nine consecutive Tours de France.

    How surreal I think. Not only is he fired from that job, he is kind of a weird person to be motivating from a starbucks cup. So I lift the cup from the carboard sleeve to see what he says, as I need some motivation. Frankie blasts forth with the following gem:

    I’m a ketchup man for fries. In Belgium, it’s actually a struggle to find ketchup at the frite stands but it’s no problem to find vats of mayo. If you’re riding or racing, what the heck are you eating that stuff for anyway?

    Well there we go then. I am a ketchup man for fries. Thanks Frankie. I am now psyched to go ride home in the disturbingly chilly rain now.

    And he knows exactly why you are eating this stuff anyway. It is because you are carrying 2% body fat, are racing in the cold rain in belgium on roads covered in cow shit AND are highly likely to chew your own arm off if not fed soon after a race. See bonk induced dementia here.

    Or at least he is (was) carrying 2% body fat. I am quite comfortable never venturing near the skeletor zone, yet still getting ravenously hungry post-ride/race and eating as I see fit to slake that need.


    My orange bike

    After a thread on the ibob list.

    Well none of these are really mine. Not even the bus. But taken outside the Kelly Bike Oakland compound in 2000 or thereabouts. Lots of orange bikes. I probably mitered the tubes and did clean up on these at some point. Or maybe not. I can't remember, maybe I only did the 1" ht production cross bikes, these are probably 1-1/8" bikes. Nevermind.

    click for much much bigger.

    I have an orange road bike, but can't find the pics, thus the overwhelming orange cross bike spectacular.


    I will mark this box "Random Bike Parts"

    Still moving and painting.


    Lack of Big Rides

    Hmm, the big difference between my crushing fitness last year and my middling pain this year seems to be 10-15 lbs and a distinct lack of long 2-4 hour rides.

    One example of the truth is an extremeley painful 5 mile time trial that gains some 1000 feet in the first two mile that I do somewhat regularly on the fixie. I think my fast times last year were in the 15:45 range, this year? 17:28 or so. I think I have one last race in the series next week to see if I can get within a minute of last years time. I doubt I can, especially as I am in the midst of move number 12 or so in the last 10 years.

    Another example is the stunning bonk I endured in the Los Alamos Fat tire festival this year, compared to the relative ease in riding really well last year.

    I am slowly gearing up for what I hope to be a good cross season followed by an XC ski season (with snow???) this year. Maybe I will see my weight in the 185 range by christmas? Or maybe not.

    Anyhow, last week I had my first epic solo ride of 2006. I posted some pics over the last week of the arroyo and santa fe river and dale ball trail portions of the ride. Basically my car needed a big servicing so I had 7 hours or so to kill in santa fe. I brought the MTB and rode from the santa fe auto mall way in the crap down on cerillo up to the lamy trail to downtown, stopping for coffee on the way. Up the singletrack along the santa fe river to upper canyon, to the Dale Ball trails, where I rode for about 1.5 hours. Back down to the lamy trail, over to the 2nd street brewerey where I had mighty buritos and beers, further down the lamy trail to Siringo, onto the bike path that leads to the arroyo that goes back to the santa fe auto mall. It was largely off road in the urban interstitials, maybe 35-40 miles total? I was wiped out, but in a good way.

    The Lamy trail is a nice network of dirt road, double track and single track along the railroad spur from Lamy (on the amtrack line) to the Santa Fe Station. I think if you start in santa fe it is 15 or so miles one way to lamy. There is lots of good views, interesting hobo camps and businesses along the tracks. It appears there is a pretty active railroad car dismantling business that has sprung up over the last year or so. Lots of neat old rr cars up on blocks and work crews with cutting torches taking the cars down from the top.

    RR car up on blocks at the old filling pump:

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    The car says "do not hump" on it. Must be a hobo thing. Or a santa fe thing. They seem to use "speed humps" for what I call "speed bumps". They are usually well marked in parking lots with "Hump" painted in big letters on the road and a yellow sign with "speed hump" on it. Damn hobos.

    Wheels and axles probably going for scrap:

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    Nearby I saw my pal Tony walking his dog, both at the beginning of the ride and on the way back 5 hours later. Tony is blind and has a nice walking loop that he does 4-5 times a day from his house in a nearby neighborhood, along the singletrack on the lamy trail for a long block and along back through the neighborhood. I met him 3 years ago when I was fixing a flat on his stretch of trail, he stopped and chatted, offered to help me fix the tire with patches and a pump he had back at his house. Tony is amazingly agile on the trail, negotiating a steep arroyo crossing that is sometimes washed out with aplomb. I think his yellow lab is named Francis or frannie, and has the halmark calm demeanor of the assistance dog. Good dog.

    Finally, in the arroyo on the way back to the car dealer I took some pictures of the detritus, especially the wheeled detritus.

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    I really liked the shopping carts with buried in sand, crushed by the flows, weeds sprouting within and have some more pics, but will save those for another post. Got to go set up the workshop...