Sunday, December 31, 2006
Saturday, December 30, 2006
i received the following letter from bunkermonkey4. the little tyke writes:
:) ok ok i know actually i do have a hybrid type bike. its a cannondale bike with strait bars (not road bars) also im kinda bumbed cause i want to go to the amigos sub zero xc race in fort dodge but parents wont let me go up by myself and i have no ride so im bumbed. well i get over it.
a lesson for everyone here: a bike is a bike. ride the darned thing. i've spent the past several weeks riding gravel and muck and trails with an old road bike with 23C tires, downtube shifting and a saddle that was dragged a few miles across town, and i'm having a great time.
when you're too good for the cannondale hybrid, SOMEONE will notice, and see to it that you get a better one. so ride the bike you have, and be glad you have one. there are kids in china who go to sleep at night without any kind of bike at all.
and for racing, if your folks won't let you go by yourself to the amigos sub zero xc race in fort dodge, maybe--just maybe--your folks know better. maybe you're better suited to be a roadie, or a trackie, and they're hoping you'll discover that without them having to tell you that you have no future as a mountain biker.
or maybe they're telling you to go out and make a friend!
in either event, check the gspot central iowa ride bulletin board below, and learn about some local alternatives, and quit your whining.
there are bikeless kids in china who--because of monopolistic, free-speech-hating microsoft deals with the chinese government--are unable to log on to the gspot and are unable even to dream of the great rides and socialization opportunities they're missing.
be glad you have a cannondale hybrid and parents who love you.
and dream tonight of the abundance of bikes at the orphanage, and if you're lucky, you'll dream you've run away from home, hitch-hiked to fort dodge, and got spanked by cam kirkpatrick, whose parents recognized early on that he would be a successful mountain bike racer once he cut his afro and got old and bald, and let him race whenever and wherever he wanted.
now go to bed, after you tell your parents you love them.
and don't look under your bed: that's where cam always hides!
--the mostly reverend grandpa kim
the orphanage, capitol city, iowa
Friday, December 29, 2006
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
will the death of gerald ford outshine the death of james brown? i'll search youtube for gerald's best moves [a quick perusal of 500 videos from snl yields nand], and you, the faithful readers will vote.
if you like to gamble, and you think of yourself as a seer, then you'll LOVE this place.
Monday, December 25, 2006
man, oh MAN!! the more i dig, the more amazing footage i find. this man is incredible. check out the footwork of his back-up singers. michael jackson has nothing on THESE guys!
a true showman, he was. listen to, and then buy, his old stuff. there's some great old studio and live work out there, especially "live at the apollo." nice story going around about the night he opened for mick jagger at the apollo. seems mick had to take several cigarette breaks during his set, just to calm his nerves. seems james brown tore the roof off the apollo, and mick had some might big shoes to fill--and feared he couldn't!
Sunday, December 24, 2006
Saturday, December 23, 2006
Friday, December 22, 2006
Senator Brownback and the Judge
If most people were asked to list the qualities they want in a federal judge, few would include “has not attended a same-sex commitment ceremony.” But that was the outrageous litmus test that Senator Sam Brownback, Republican of Kansas, applied to Janet Neff, whose nomination he has been blocking. Mr. Brownback — who has presidential ambitions — now says he will allow a vote on her nomination. We hope that is a sign that gay-baiting is becoming less tolerable, even to Republican primary voters.
Judge Neff, a Michigan state court judge, attended the commitment ceremony of the daughter of a family who had lived next door to her for 26 years. She said that attending and delivering a homily was like joining in an important event in the life of one of her own daughters.
Mr. Brownback, one of the most conservative senators, considered it to be a disqualifier for the bench. Later, he made an equally objectionable offer: he would allow a vote on Judge Neff if she agreed to recuse herself from cases involving same-sex unions. The Senate does not get to tell federal judges what areas of law they may rule on.
Senator Brownback now seems to be calculating that even in the Republican Party, the sort of extreme bigotry he has shown toward gay people would not be a selling point. At a time when Vice President Dick Cheney’s lesbian daughter is pregnant and President Bush has declared himself “happy for her,” Mr. Brownback’s hostility puts him far out on the political fringe.
Mr. Brownback says that although he will allow Judge Neff’s nomination to come to a vote, he is still likely to vote against her. If he does, he should be asked to explain his vote if he hits the presidential campaign trail. Whether someone has attended a same-sex commitment ceremony is not a worthy litmus test to impose on someone seeking an important office. Whether someone holds hateful views toward gay people certainly is.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
holy crap! a belated birthday gift from and to keith richards, who turned 63 yesterday. THIS is how i remember him! what a group of musicians! enjoy this rarity, and thanks, youtube!!!
Monday, December 18, 2006
Sunday, December 17, 2006
above is its immediate successor, another ralph road bike, shown equipped with the woundup carbon fork which was the hallmark of the ralph marque. again, a beautiful 50cm in blue and white, with its very comfortable 73/73 geometry, this bike, as with all ralph bikes ever owned by the reverend, had a hundred-mile shakedown cruise. the reverend firmly believes that if a new bike can't deliver a comfortable century first time out, it isn't worth a shit. [bank on that advice when you buy your next $8,000 ride.] this valiant bike is STILL performing a yeoman's task. just today, the rev completed a hat-trick with this old work horse he now calls his "atr" -- all terrain ralph. we rode with lou, miss jane, paul v from ames, and rick [whose ne'er-do-well friends bailed on him] and covered road miles, then gravel, and finally some great singletrack at raccoon river valley park, followed by more single track at denman's at the science center. this bike--i LOVE it--handled ALL of the challenges of the day in fine fashion. its early-90s dura ace downtube shifters were given a fine workout through sticky mud and dry, deep sand, and the little 21C tires treated me well. although i have a better understanding why we don't do cross and mountain biking with slicks! this bike will be ridden and raced for the foreseeable future. it's a stud's bike, and has accumulated more "tough guy" points than most of you riders around these parts, i shit you not.above is the newest of my ralphs: an aluminum single-speed cyclocross bike, with track-style rear drop-outs. it dates from october, 2000, and was built up by, of course, my man fry guy, who had many little tricks to execute to meet my bizarre expectations. as i recall, one of the most frustrating features was the rear brake set-up. but once done, no changes have been needed. in fact, the only thing i've changed since this thing rolled out of the door was to install a larger chainring, from a 38 to a 46, i believe. sweet speed: i think 175 cranks, can't recall the rear cog. none of that shit matters: it is extremely light, maneuverable, agile, comfy [yes, i did the 100 miler break-in], and beautiful. love this bike, too. despite the broken nose it delivered in mid-october, 2000, and the broken clavicle, ribs and collapsed lung it provided in october, 2006. pilot error, too much speed for the circumstances. but, goddamn it's fun!!
the orphanage was privileged recently to be the owner of this fine example of ralphdom: an orange with yellow scandium machine actually rumored to have been ridden by the man himself. unfortunately, this bike proved to be too much bike for the reverend, and it is now the prized possession of a certain "mr. tony" who promises to debut a track-worthy version later this next spring. the orange color is significant, and hopefully mr. tony will maintain the original color scheme, as the very first ralph bicycles were orange, as were the first generation socks and t-shirts. rumors persist about a re-issuance of ralphwear, although they most likely will be bootlegged articles. stay tuned to the daily sermonette for more details about ralph clothing.
here are the two latest fixies in the orphanage: mr. moto and my very fine late-60s schwinn racer. god, how i love that schwinn. it is remarkably comfortable [note the steve bauer-like geometry], and upside-down original handlebars with the real deal handgrips. sporty bmx saddle tops it off; kickstand makes it the envy of all my friends.
and what does the well-heeled cyclist wear while fixie spinning? how about a pair of maybe early 80s [or even late 70s] duegi lace-up racing shoes? these are so modern they came with state of the art breathable mesh uppers for the ultimate in comfort. [reverend's tip: don't throw ANYTHING away!] there you have it, my fixie shit for 2007 [and mostly likely through 2027]. thanks for asking!!
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Tina Marie Brown, 46, was stolen from us in a tragic accident on Friday, December 8, 2006. A memorial service will be held 9 a.m. Thursday, December 14, 2006 at Hamilton's Funeral Home, 605 Lyon Street. Visitation will be held Wednesday from 5 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home.
Tina was born May 19, 1960 to Larry and Leta Brown. She will be remembered for her love of her children and granddaughter; her free spirit; and her willingness to help anyone in need.
Tina is survived by her children, Samuel (Maria) Hill and Jadi (John Wright) Brown; granddaughter, Dakoda Wright; mother, Leta Brown; stepfather, Robert Frye; sisters, LeAnna (Peary) Sinopoli, Brenda (William) Campbell, and Jessica (Brian) Baber; brothers, Joe (Colleen) Brown and Brad (Ashley) Brown; and significant other, John Vitiritto. She was preceded in death by her father, Larry Brown.
Memorial contributions may be given to the family.
Monday, December 11, 2006
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Friday, December 08, 2006
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Radiation-Pattern Baldness - How come that Russian spy still had eyebrows?
No. Given enough time, severe radiation poisoning such as Litvinenko's would likely have affected the hair all over his body. Radiation causes hair loss because it tends to damage fast-growing cells like those of the germinal layer of the hair follicle. But there's likely to be more hair follicles engaged in active growth at any given time on your head than in your eyebrow region. (That's why people have to cut their hair more often than they trim their eyebrows.) This fact might explain why people who are undergoing chemotherapy—or who get poisoned with polonium-210—seem to lose hair from their scalp first.
Just because you're exposed to radiation doesn't necessarily mean you'll lose your hair, though. Whether your hair falls out can depend on what element you came into contact with and in what dosage. Litvinenko was exposed to short-range alpha radioactivity, from a source that traveled through the subdermal cells of his entire body. People who receive external-beam X-ray radiation tend to lose hair only on the parts of their bodies that were directly exposed. The effects of chemotherapy can also vary, depending on the type of chemo administered.
Hair-follicle damage looks dramatic, but most of the time it's not permanent. Had Litvinenko survived and recovered, he would probably have regrown his hair in two or three months. But radiation can be deadly for all rapidly dividing cells, such as those in bone marrow or the gastrointestinal tract. Litvinenko died as a result of bone marrow damage and the loss of white blood cells.
December 07, 2006
WASHINGTON: Mary Cheney, the gay daughter of US Vice-President Dick Cheney and wife Lynne, is pregnant.
Mary Cheney, 37, and her partner of 15 years, Heather Poe, 45, are "ecstatic" about the baby, due in late spring, The Washington Post reported last night, quoting a source close to the couple.
The Vice-President's other, older daughter, Elizabeth Cheney, is on leave as deputy assistant secretary of state before having her fifth child with her husband in July.
There was no announcement of either daughter's pregnancy from the Vice-President's office, but the Post quoted spokeswoman Lea Anne McBride as saying Mr and Mrs Cheney were "looking forward with eager anticipation to the arrival of their sixth grandchild".
The Post quoted its source as saying the circumstances of Mary Cheney's pregnancy would remain private.
#10 "You used up all the glue on purpose."
#9 "Electric sex gleeming in the window..."
#8 "Deliver a bowling alley..."
#7 "You'll shoot your eye out..."
#6 "Spare tires..."
#4 "That is the ugliest lamp..."
#3 "Icicles have been known to kill..."
#2 "Ohhhh Fu-u-u-u-u-dge..."
#1 "Fra-jee-lay! It must be Italian..."
Bonus Clip -- Deck the Halls with what?
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
i went on a little gravel ride tonight with a couple teammates. nothing special; just some buddies riding bikes, eating some dust, talking some shit, dodging trucks pulling trailers, looking for the moon, trying to find new roads and new hills. you know: december bike riding in iowa. it was 40-some degrees today, and we rolled out of town with a brilliant red sunset. ["red at night: sailor's delight" - note to self: shower, and go looking for a navyette. is that what they call them?] so we talked about lots of things, the three of us. light-hearted banter, joking about sports, the pros and cons of dusty versus muddy paris-roubaixs, and whether we preferred blue or white holiday lighting schemes. really pretty much talked about everything. except the latest news out of kansas. they've out-done themselves, and i'm thinking of moving there.
one of the topics we discussed was our old friend, scot dickson, who currently resides in delaware. here, in its entirety, is the very first email i opened after posting the above; it was sent to several friends [scot used to live in kansas; i thought of him when i posted that bit of news.]
Yesterday I needed to dress warmly since the temp reached only 35 which was a big shock after Friday's 74. So I dug into the time capsule to find something warm. I found a never-worn red Lambertini winter cycling top and bottom that I had won at a San Antonio crit April 22, 1979. That makes the suit older than you Walt. The red is so bright that you could ride at night without lights. I need to show up on one of the big weekend rides wearing this outfit along with a hairnet (strap helmet) astride my 1976 custom Bornstein frame. I also have some new/old stock official National Team clothing acquired from Ed Burke in 1979 that will need to make an appearance.
Monday, December 04, 2006
As he came closer he saw it was a bunch of young women skinny-dipping in his pond. He made the women aware of his presence and they all went to the deep end. One of the women shouted to him, "We're not coming out until you leave!" The old man frowned, "I didn't come down here to watch you ladies swim naked or make you get out of the pond naked." Holding the bucket up he said, "I'm here to feed the alligator."
Sunday, December 03, 2006
is she one of these women?
and why do i feel that without subtitles i would completely miss the point of this? but why do i feel an understanding of the spanish language is NOT needed to appreciate this blog? [but any translations would be looked kindly upon!]
Friday, December 01, 2006
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Monday, November 20, 2006
faces in the crowd? who can name these three bike fans shown above, enjoying a break from the latest monday night fixie ride about town. shown here, the three visitors to capitol city's burgeoning cycling scene are enjoying cold cans of schlitz at the locust street tap. leave your guesses in the comments section.
. . .and finally, which local green team is rumored to have inked a deal with lovely karina which will have her slipping into and out of green skinsuits all season long during 2007? click on her speedo to have a clue! and that's all i'm going to say about that - for now.
i am SOOO excited about next season!!! keeping my ear to the ground; i'll be back next time with more hot scoops.
A few simple tips to racing with your brain, not just your legs:
Many competitive cyclists lack an understanding of the basics of road racing. This isn’t a criticism so much as a comment on the lack of organized teaching in American cycling. There are countless books and articles on how to train, but all those intervals are useless if you are riding the entire race on the wrong side of the field and attacking on the downhills. There are also upper category riders who, despite their strength and abilities, could use a primer on racing basics. It’s not uncommon to see a Cat. II racer pull off to the wrong side in a paceline. I offer the information below as lessons that I have learned over the years. I’m not a particularly accomplished racer, but I’ve found this information helpful in getting me through races against better riders, and in adding to my enjoyment of racing. I hope it does the same for you.
ANTICIPATE THE WIND
First things first: Figure out where the wind is coming from. Then visualize the course and where the wind is in relation to the course. Anticipate the wind, and position yourself accordingly. In many instances, your position relative to the wind is far more important than your fore-aft position in the peloton. Use corners to switch sides of the field. You may sometimes want to ride in the wind temporarily, if it means you’ll have shelter for a longer stretch exiting a turn.
RIDE PROPER PACELINES
Pull off into the wind. This one drives me crazy. If done properly, the lead rider does his turn, then pulls off into the wind and fades to the back of the group, shielding the riders moving up in the line in the process. If done improperly, the riders moving up in the line are pulling into the wind before their turn and then resting as they slow down – a total waste. It’s very simple: Pull off into the wind.
Do not accelerate at the front. After the lead rider pulls off, he should slightly decelerate. The second rider should maintain pace (watching your speedometer is helpful). It’s the lead rider ending his turn who dictates the pace of rotation. The second rider should not storm past, by sprinting or accelerating quickly. The wind-breaking efficiency of a paceline is ruined if energy is wasted with riders constantly changing pace. You can increase your speed much more effectively and efficiently by subtly elevating the speed as a group.
Draft while going backwards. On a more leisurely ride, or when an attack first goes away, people can take long turns as the front. But once the group has settled in at speed, the paceline should be a steady rotation. This allows for maximum speed at minimum effort. Here’s how it should work: The lead rider (Rider A) should pull just until his rear wheels clears the front wheel of the rider who has just taken a turn (Rider B). The when Rider A pulls off and starts floating backwards, Rider B is getting a draft off of him. Some folks think they are doing the group a favor by taking long, hard pulls. You only accomplish two things with long, hard pulls: You break the paceline’s rhythm, and you completely flick the guy who pulled before you as he has no one to draft. Be smooth. If you follow the rules for pacelines above, your paceline should not consist of a guy pulling super hard and then sitting up and going right to the back. It should consist of guys making efforts just a hair above their limits for the short time they are in the wind, then making long steady efforts a hair below their limits, drafting as they move up the line and drafting as they move back.
Conserving energy is the most important thing that you can do, especially in longer races. Play a game with yourself within each race to see how little of an effort you can make. Think of your body as a bank account with $100. You must pay $1 for every minute of steady riding. But you have to pay $5 for every minute of hard accelerating. Typically, the rider who wins is the one with the most money at the end of the race – when it can all be spent with it counts most. Here are ways to conserve energy.
Look ahead. See what the riders at the front are doing. If they are sitting up, then there’s no reason to charge into the back of the field only to have to slam on your brakes. This is especially true out of corners. Conversely, if you see riders starting to attack and you know the pace is going to increase, you can gradually increase your pace instead of having to rapidly react when you notice the rider in front of you take off.
Don’t brake unless necessary. Braking means one or two things: That you went too hard earlier, or that you’ll have to accelerate after whatever you’re breaking for. In either event, braking usually means wasted energy.
Do not accelerate into dead air. If you need to move up, find a wheel to follow. Pulling out of line and sprinting into a wall of air is a waste of energy.
Ride the wave. You can see patterns in most races, especially circuit courses and criteriums. You see places where the field will accelerate and places where they sit up. Figure out those patterns and take advantage of them. If you know of a section where the pace will likely increase, position yourself toward the front before that spot, then let yourself float back during the acceleration if necessary. This way you can maintain a steady $1 pace while everyone else is spending $5. This theory works well with hills, as you can start a climb in the front, make less of an effort as you float back and arrive at the top still in the field. Conversely, if you know there is a slow section, use that time as a chance to improve your position in the field.
STOP PULLING FOR NO REASON
One of the main tactical differences between the Pro/Cat. I-II races and all other races is that no self-respecting Cat. I would take a hard pull without good reason. Conversely Cat. IV races often play out with everyone sitting around until someone attacks, then everyone killing themselves to catch the poor guy, then everyone sitting around again.
Save your big efforts to either attack or to bridge to a break. Don’t make a big effort just to give all the other riders a free ride. Plus, if you want to ever be in a successful break-away, you cannot contribute to the chase-at-any-cost mentality. If there are knuckleheads who want to ride like lemmings, let them. Then when you counterattack, they’ll be too tired to chase you.
Remember that there are more enemies in the pack – and on your wheel if you are pulling – than there are up the road. If someone is going to beat you, at least give a chance to the rider up the road making the effort and not to the passive riders taking advantage of your hard work.
ATTACK WHEN IT’S HARD
Anyone can attack when it’s easy. Anyone can attack downhill. And anyone can attack in a tailwind. If you feel fantastic and pace is easy, don’t bother attacking, because there are 99 other riders who feel as great as you. The key to a successful attack is to break the will of the other riders. It’s not easy to break the will of someone who’s been coasting for the last 5 minutes. If you are fit, you want to attack when it’s hard. If you’re suffering and you’re one of the strongest riders, they you have to suspect that the others are really suffering. That’s when they’re ripe for the cracking. These opportunities usually occur in crosswinds, on hills and at the end of races. Sometimes, though, it helps to attack when it’s easy – it makes the race harder. You can attack at the beginning of races or when the pace slows, just don’t make a full commitment to those efforts. Jumping and then cruising at 80 percent isn’t that draining, but it can stir up the field and induce counterattacks. Being off the front when that happens also allows you to slip back into the front of the field and into a good position for a counterattack with a real effort.
RIDE LIKE A TEAM
While a ProTour team giving a sprinter a 3km lead-out is quite a sight to see, team racing at the lower categories need not be so involved. There are a few simple ways though for teammates to effectively assist each other.
Counter-attack each other. If your teammate is in a break that gets caught and you do not counterattack, it is an insult – their efforts caused the chasing riders to tire while you sat on. That’s exactly the situation you’re looking for as a rider and as a team. Don’t let that effort go in vain. Counter. Even if you get caught, the stage is set for another teammate to attack and hit the pack again.
Give a leadout when it makes sense. Leadouts are often a waste of time at the lower levels. If you have 2 guys strong enough to both be at the front, you’re usually best served by sprinting and getting 2 results. There are exceptions: If you’re both out of position, sacrifice one rider to get the other into position. If it’s a tricky or dangerous finish, or if you are unsure about where to start the sprint, send one teammate – he might win, or if it’s too early, he might deliver his teammate to just the right spot.
Sprint early. Most new riders wait too long and find themselves in the middle of a mess. You’re usually better off going early and avoiding the chaos. Even if you get passed and finish 5th, it’s better than being trapped and finishing 12th. Or worse yet, ending up on the pavement. Also, you’ll never know how far you can sprint until you’ve gone too early a couple of times. Once you’ve seen how far you can go before you blow, then you can make the necessary adjustments based on wind, terrain and circumstances.
Pick the right gear. You are attempting to accelerate as quickly as possible and then hold you speed as along as possible. Unless you are J.J. Haedo, you can do neither in the 11-tooth cog. Sprint in a gear in which you can accelerate and then shift. Also once you are up to speed, do not be afraid to sit down and spin. You are much more aero seated, and in a long sprint you can often get a few more RPM’s out of you gear while in the seated position.
*Article written by & stolen from: Bill Laudien who is the former director of Sportsbook.com pro team. I suspect he was never really that good, or I'd have heard of him. But he sure writes purty.