I know Hoovis is probably pleasuring himself looking at that picture, and thinking about the Pens' big win, and fantasizing about Don Cherry naked except for hockey skates and a Hawaiian shirt halter top with a big Edwardian Collar... but that's okay. It's the Stanley Cup Playoffs. It's okay to dream, Burt. Yep, my ode to Grapes is for you, buddy... enjoy it, don't be afraid to hope and pour your heart into that stupid team of yours, because you're either about to get a mind blowing high from the Pens, or the worst gottdamt feeling ever, and the two feelings are not independent of each other, if you want one you need to risk the other. Such is playoff hockey. It wouldn't be the best if it wasn't heartbreaking too.
What, you other people don't think Don Cherry is cool? Okey, fine, then how 'bout this for having the coolest job in the world:
In the distance an orange cyclist, hunched over on his bars, his rain jacket catching enough wind to make him look like a human pillow, appeared. A good cyclist can always tell if another cyclist is competent, a professional, even if he is just a spot in the distance. Although just a spot of bursting orange, we all had a hunch it was Juan Antonio Flecha. . .
As he neared our group, he spun around, peeled off his orange cape and began climbing with us. A couple of quick hellos, some chatter about the Giro and its ludicrously hard stages, and then we were back breathing deeper as the pace intensified, everybody quiet, glancing down occasionally at their power meters to see the pertinent numbers: heart rate, watts, cadence.
Once at the top, we could see Barcelona, the Mediterranean coast, Girona and to the north the high snow capped Pyrenees. George Hincapie and Flecha pulled out their cameras for the photos of the day; we zipped up our jerseys, covered up with our rain capes, ate Powerbars, drank, and then began the descent towards home. The clock read that we had been out for well over three hours; we needed to make it home in two and a half to avoid the doghouse.
For all the bullshit in pro cycling, that right there is what's cool about it. At its core, it's a bunch of guys who mostly just love riding their bikes, getting together to ride their bikes. Just like us, except they totally don't suck. "Hincapie and Flecha pulled out their cameras for the photos of the day; we zipped up our jerseys, covered up with our rain capes, ate Powerbars, drank, and then began the descent towards home." I'll be damned if that's not the coolest thing I will read all week. There's more at the Velo News diary of Michael Barry.
Comments about the CSC Classic from Friend of the Rouleur Brian, who rode the Pro race: "I loved riding with Magnus... he's a monster." "The race wasn't bad. Until the last laps, then...[head shake]."
Comments about racing crits in the U.S. from Roger Hammond, who tasted some fine, fine North Arlington Tarmac before chasing back on, and competing in the bunch sprint - alongside 60 riders that he and the 12 man break had just lapped - 'cuz in crits, a break can re-join the pack and everybody sprints:
It was strange racing really," he said. "It was ok until 30 laps toI think it's safe to say that Healthnet/Maxxis, Colavita and the other hot US-based teams with a strong crit focus won't be hiring Hammond as a Director Sportivo when he retires from racing. His comments remind me of Chef, on SouthPark. "It don't make no sense, chirrets." Except Chef usually made sense.
go when we lapped the peloton, and it should have been race over, but
I don't understand the rules over here. We work hard to separate the
guys from their teams, like Colavita who has half the peloton here.
"So we attack until there are only two of them left but we lap the
field and then they have eight riders again," he added. "So if I come
back next year I'll just sit in and do nothing, because it makes no
Comments from a fast cat on Coppi who chatted with CSC director Lars Michaelson about the trials and tribulations of bringing Euro Pros to the U.S. to race crits:
He agreed that it really was a different race from what those guys were used to. He said, with hand motions, "They either take to it like little fishes, or they drown." And he went from waving his hand with side to side fin motions to palm flat.Nice. I hope the fast cat forgives me for lifting that quote from him. It's too good to keep secret.
Final thing - since everybody is doing them lately, I'm going to give you a quiz. Match up the Unholy Rouleur Phrase with the Unholy Rouleur Ride Experience on the new and improved Capital Crescent Trail, with its 15 MPH speed limit that is going to make us all safe.
B. Holy f***in' shit, lady! CRIPES!
C. What the f***? I mean, what the f***in' f***?
1. A cute Golden Labrador puppy (off the leash) belonging to a cute 20-something jogger cuts directly in front of my front wheel, nearly causing a major crash and getting itself killed, while the jogger giggles.
2. A cute 20-something jogger with the situational awareness of a Golden Lab pup, looks me right in the eye and steps off the side of the trail where she was stretching, *directly* into my path, causing me to take emergency evasive maneuvers and nearly take out an older couple walking in the oncoming lane.
3. Four middle aged ladies, none of them deaf as far as I could tell, were walking down the trail four abreast, and refusing to give me a passing lane, so I hopped into the gravel/grass fringe and pedaled past them, and bunny hopped back onto the path, offering my good-natured opinion about their chosen mode of travel as I passed.
Answers: A - 3; B - 2; C - 1
And just in case you were wondering I was going under 15 MPH at all times, and these three little dangerous events - okay the one was just rude, not dangerous - occurred in a 5 minute period of time on the upper CCT, the one that is now speed limited, "for our safety."
It just goes to show you, speed doesn't kill, but stupidity is a self-deploying Weapon of Mass Destruction. Can't wait to see what else gets dreamed up to save us dangerous cyclists from our own bad selves.