July 30, 2006
I had a fantastic ride this morning with Tuffy. We met up at about 7am and after fiddling with the pump for quite some time we were off so I could rediscover the topography of St. Paul. For the most part we stayed in the city limits today and still managed to put in about 32 miles including the big hills.
We did go outside the city a little bit so we could conquer the Ohio St. climb all the way to Smith Ave. We then rolled back to the city through Mendota past the infamous Saloon and onto Lilydale Road before we went up Ohio to the High Bridge over to the Ramsey switchbacks. It was at this point that we decided to go back down Cathedral Hill into St. Paul to get on the Mounds Park climb from the St. Paul Farmers Market. To make a long confusing story short and understandable I will tell you that we spent a good amount of time looking for the climb. We finally found it and it hurt.
I was so excited this morning that you couldn’t even tell that it was 88 degrees out at 7am. I went all over the road screaming in glee. I am happy to be back and when Sarah and Roscoe show up we will be the happiest people ever!
After the ride I had to run a bunch of errands. The first thing on my mind was to pick up the sweet table that Smithers has been offering for sometime. The table is beautiful and Sarah and I need to do something really nice for the Smithers Family. After I enlisted the help of my old roommate Dutch to pick it up we brought it back to the new place where I had already gotten the key from our new landlord.
Our new place is going to be awesome. We are really excited and can’t wait to have people over to the house and have dinner with us. The kitchen is huge and the floors are a real nice hardwood and most of it is only 8.55 blocks away from Dusty’s!
I also had to return the car today which was a strange task. This is because I had to convince Dutch to come with me and follow the Ford Freestyle all the way to the airport. Then while inside the garage I had to hand over the keys and get out of dodge. It was so hot and the air conditioner was working at full blast and it still seemed like it was an oven inside any vehicle I was in today.
I also had the privilege of going over to Sarah’s folks and hanging out with her mom and brother. You may know them as the Wishlist team from the Death Pool. They are fantastic and are some of the friendliest and kindest people I have met in the Twin Cities. I am blessed to have them in the extended family.
Anyone that is following the Fraud Landis case knows that he is rumored to have an artificial form of Testosterone in his system. Landis is naturally denying this and has hired one of the best lawyers in the game to fight for his cause. I wish that it wasn’t true, but I think he did it and hope more cyclists learn a lesson.
Naturally the Landis counter-argument is that he has a naturally high level of Testosterone. It has been pointed out by the Pro Tour rider-representative Jens Voight that every rider on the Pro Tour has a medical file that lists there natural tested Testosterone. So in Voight’s opinion, “It shouldn’t be hard to find out if Landis is telling the truth.”
I wish I could give Landis the benefit of the doubt on this, but he is the 8millionth rider to come along that has had a positive test for drugs. It is a dirty culture and it must be purged. This case will not solve the problem, but it might bring more light to the amount of doping going on in the pro and domestic peleton.
Tuffy has also put a great post on the Smithers blog about this. Smithers even elected the comment to the elusive “Comment Hall of Fame.” I don’t have linking capabilities from the computer I am on, but I recommend you go over to the Smithers site and see what Tuffy has to say about the Landis defense.
I start work on Tuesday. This means that tomorrow I am going to do a lot of ironing and washing of clothes. I also have to head over to the DMV and get a new license since my last one expired almost 25 days ago. You heard it here first folks, I AM ROCKING AN EXPIRED LICENSE! How gangsta is that?
As Sarah mentioned in one of the comments on my last post I am having her do the updating to Super-Rookie.com. That means if there is any funky posts about cats, chocolate or diamond rings it is probably coming from her just posting under my name. I don’t know what the problem is with the computer here at the folks house, but it won’t let me log into the website, nor comment on other people blogs that utilize a graphic cryptation feature such as the one on blogger.
It is really frustrating not being able to post comments on other people’s blogs. I feel that is one of the most important things about this form of communication. You share you thoughts, feelings and actions with the world and it is nice to hear what others think. Now I am not going to be able to do my part because of this stooooopid computer.
Nonetheless I am getting to use this computer for free so I am not really complaining.
The drive up from Chicago went relatively well except for a large amount of traffic on 90 just south of Janesville. I wondered what was going on, but then Sarah reminded me that most of the people were probably going to a klan rally. I say this because I was watching Geraldo when I was a kid and he went to Janesville to confront the Nazis and got arrested. It might go down in history as the only time I have ever agreed with Geraldo.
The rental car that I got to use was a Ford Freestyle. I don’t recommend it to anyone. It has a ton of space, but it just seems cheep. The Freestyle is Ford’s version of a Honda Element and/or smaller SUV that serves an “extreme” purpose. It does get 16 miles to the gallon (highway!).
I am getting amped for Sunday as I will be picking up the keys to the apartment and moving in the first piece of furniture. What is the lucky first piece? Smithers table that he has been trying to hawk off for some time. I just hope the darn thing fits in the Freestyle. After picking that up I am going to grab my old rug and single speed mountain bike over at the old house and return the rental car at the airport.
Dutch, my old roommate, is going to follow me to the airport and bring me back home. What a guy. I ran into him tonight briefly at Shaw’s in Northeast where he was having a get together. I can not tell you how excited I am to be back in the old neighborhood. Sarah is going to be thrilled as well.
The biggest thing on my plate for Sunday is an early morning training ride with Tuffy! I am stoked. I can’t wait to ride on city streets where cars are decent and there are hills and the roads are well taken care of. Just today I was thinking about this and I got a huge smile on my face. It is sad, but unless you live in the far suburbs of Chicago it is next to impossible to be a good road racer.
Riding up Ohio Street tomorrow is going to be a blast. Forcing Tuffy to ride up Ramsey is going to be awesome and moseying past the old high school is going to be gratifying. Cycling rulez!
July 29, 2006
Wow. Like that I am out of here. It is amazing to think that I have spent the last year in Chicago. I am amazed at how fast time flies when you don’t think about it. The day to day living in Chicago was fun, but most of the time it seemed to drag on for Sarah and myself. That feeling couldn’t be further from the truth. It wasn’t so long ago that I first arrived down here with the plans of being a bike messenger in downtown to continue my form of employment that I had in Minneapolis.
You know what would be fun? How about we look at places that I was employed since I moved to Chicago? That will help me understand, more than ever, the necessary reasons that I moved back to the Twin Cities.
Velocity Couriers= 4 days. I realized it wasn’t for me.
Sherwin’s Grocery= 1 day. The Legend of Super Bagger still haunts this grocery store.
Rocco’s All Star Grill= 4 weeks. I hate getting scheduled and then sent home.
United Center=3 months. Great place to work. Totally regret leaving. Go Hawks!
T-Spot Sushi=2 days. Everyone remembers the sushi place I was holding out for.
Amling’s Cycle and Fitness=5 months. I sold recumbents. Recumbents people.
So, as you can see I made quite a dent in the Chicago economic scene with my various places of employment here in Chicago. What is amazing about that list I have created is the length of employment at the Sushi place. As many of the regular readers know I was stoked and it was a nice place with good-yet-inexperienced owners that opened 5 months after it was supposed to. When I started there the bike shop gig started as well. I made a choice as to which place of employment. The wrong choice. Another lesson learned.
There are tons of other things that I never did in my time here in Chicago. Sarah is going to try and accomplish some of them, but now we will always have something on our list for when we come back and visit or take the entire 15 kids I plan on having down here for vacation. Here is that list:
Take the yellow line to Skokie. It is on the transit map. I want to take it.
Take and architectural tour of the river.
Visited with Ant J and Uncle D more often.
Go to Field Museum and Adler Planetarium.
Eat at Hot Dougs.
Ride a sail boat with the Courteous Fellow as Captain.
I know it is a short list, but I did a lot of things in Chicago that I am proud of and will never forget. Here is just a short, incomplete list of things I did here (creating this list is rather difficult as you don’t want to forget anything, but it 8am right before I am leaving, so sorry if what we did isn’t included):
Top of the Hancock Tower. Ant J took me there when I was younger. I liked it just as much the second time.
Rode the Metra to Glen Ellyn for Thanksgiving with Ant J and Uncle D.
Tossed a gum wrapper on the ground. Got away with it without a mean look!
Raced in a few alleycats.
Made my presence known at Kenosha and Northbrook.
Never got stuck, stranded or lost on the Blue Line. Quite an accomplishment!
Went to a football game at Northwestern.
Went to the Museum of Science.
Saw the World’s Fair Grounds.
Didn’t get shot on the way to Hyde Park.
Saw countless Hawks games for free.
Raced for xXx and got others to do so as well.
But, perhaps the biggest accomplishment of all that we had here in Chicago is that Sarah and I met tons of nice people and friends that will always have a place in our hearts. To those people we say thanks for making our time here fun and rewarding.
July 28, 2006
I heard from a lot of people that there was some really hot racing at Blaine this past Thursday. In what will be the last night of racing during the hiatus of Super Rookie it seems that (dis)pencer has earned enough points to get upgraded to Cat2 on the track. I am really excited for him, but he knows that this is a blessing in disguise since I will be at the track for the rest of the year!
While (dis)pencer and Tyler D (cat6) got 2nd and 3rd respectfully in the Cat3 State Championship Points Race the true hero of the evening was Skibby. From what I understand he put in some punishing attacks and is looking really strong. I still remember the first time I ever raced at the track in the cat3s. Skibby and Smithers were very nice and helpful towards me and my new level at the track. I am thrilled for Skibby to take home the title. He is one of the most selfless and dedicated people that the Minnesota Cycling community has. He is responsible for promoting many races and is the informative secretary of the Minnesota Cycling Federation. Hats off to Skibby.
Next week we look to crown the new Minnesota State Cat3 Keiren Champ. Last year it was Mikey! who ran away with the title from me and the entire finals heat. I have never been blown out of the water as easily as that. I thought I had it and then turn 2 came and it was a whole other story. Mikey! easily continued this dominance this year on the track and is now a force to be reckoned with in the Cat1/2s.
I am a little nervous about next weeks race as Adam Bergman showed up to the track and annihilated the entire field. Bergman used to race for Jelly Belly and has returned to racing with GP. This wasn’t the only big news from the track the other night as the Director Sportiff of Cat6 showed up and did really well. It must have been weird to show up at the track on your first night knowing that you are going to do well and Bergman shows up. Internal note to Bob Williams, track director: For selfish reasons please keep Bergman and the Director 4s for a little while and then have them skip the cat3 field altogether. Thanks.
I am really excited to get up to the cities and have some great rides. I will however miss plenty of things here in Chicago. That list is to come. So stay tuned. I feel terrible for leaving Sarah here for a few more days. I better get her a nice chocolate bar to make up for it.
From what I have heard from people and experienced this year it seems like the track is really blossoming this year. It seems like the amount of racers is growing every week. (dis)pencer reported over at Smithers that the number of racers eclipsed 50 for the first time in a long time and we are getting close to our record number of 59racers for one night.
I think the biggest news has to do with the fact that the track is starting to get more and more fans every week. It is a pleasure to race in front of over 200 people on a nice summer night and have them being active in cheering and supporting of the riders. Perhaps the greatest part about the fans is that many of them have no association with any of the riders. They just seem to be having fun coming out and watching the race. That is when you know you have a successful track!
There is a lot of news going on and I am going to get to the first item of the day that is the topic of watercoolers around the country; Fraud Landis. Did he? Didn’t he? We must all wait before we say he is guilty. He hasn’t been proven of doing anything yet. A sample came back that said he had a abnormal Testosterone level. They are going to be testing the “B” sample today and we will know if they have grounds to punish him.
If Landis was in fact doping I hope that he gets the maximum punishment, but I think that he will be able to beat this scandal and keep his ProTour license and Yellow Jersey in the long run. It might be 8 or 9 months before we hear the end of this, but I think that the CAS will overturn any conviction just like they did with Santiago Botero in ’99.
To all the newspaper journalists out there please back off of the Landis family and their farm in Pennsylvania. They never asked to be treated this way and don’t deserve to be swamped with cameras every time they come outside. Have some respect for his family.
I just received from (dis)pencer the updated standings of the Minneapolis Bicycle Messenger Association’s Fantasy Cycling League. There has been a major reshuffling of the standings and it seems that my team did quite well in the tour. I think it should also be known that the outcome of Floyd’s test will also determine the final point distribution from the Tour de France.
Earlier in the season the director sportiff over at Cat6 said my team was garbage. I assured him that I will right the ship for the Tour de France. I think I did just that. I won both the polka dots and green jersey as well as a top 10 finish from Cadel Evans. My biggest mistake was starting Iban Mayo over Axel Merckx. I thought that Mayo was looking really good after his mountain stage win at the Dauphine Libere.
Here are the standing after the Tour:
The only remaining events are the Vuelta and the Giro d’ Lombardia in September. The biggest loser from the Tour is probably going to be Jason and his mexXx team. He chose Flandis early in the draft and had lots of hopes of him riding into the Yellow Jersey. Now he might lose the huge points and fall all the way down to 5th place and we will then see the Clowns take a commanding lead as they have Oscar Perriero on their roster. The Flying V’s were also hurt with the exclusion of Vino and the broken collarbone of Valverde.
The individual scores from the Tour show that I had the best team!
We watched “Runaway Jury” last night. It is a really good movie that stars Dustin Hoffman, Gene Hackman and John Kusack. If you haven’t seen it I highly recommend it. It is based on a John Grishman novel and if you like legal thrillers rent this movie. An interesting side not is that this movie is based in New Orleans. It is a shame that a lot of that city will never return to what it looked like in this movie.
After this you will not hear anything more about this subject. I am a blogger and I put items on my personal blog for people to see if they choose to visit my site. I didn’t create this site to make friends. I also didn’t create this site to lose friends or create enemies. I wish that this had been dealt with in another way, but it wasn’t. I wish everyone all the best and hope that we can put this all behind us.
Sometimes you have to take a step back and look at things. I spent last night doing just that. I recognize that there are people that work very hard at what they do, including the management team at xXx. However, I now feel that certain members of the team do not respect what I do. I have proudly worn the xXx kit all year and participated in countless races all over the region. A part of wearing the xXx kit is also wearing the Clif logo on my shoulders. Because of what Clif has done for the juniors, I am proud to wear their logo. I respect xXx and the hard work that has gone into making the team what it is. I just ask that I get the similar amount of respect that they deserve.
I am about to leave the city of Chicago and I wish this wasn’t hanging over my head. I regret the drama between myself and this particular person that has seemed to get out of control in the past 24 hours. However, I also feel that what’s done is done and it’s time to move on. There are tons of things that I love about the city, including my teammates at xXx, and quite a few reasons that I dislike the city. I would be lying if I didn’t say that this controversy is hampering my efforts to leave with a clear conscience.
July 27, 2006
So what the hell is going on? Well here is a little glimpse into this entire thing. I woke up this morning with a nasty hangover and like normal I check the xXx Board. This is what I see:
[Edited from site because of forum rules.]
I thought it was pretty obvious ****** was talking about my friendly rivalry with Clif Bar that has become a theme of this site. I also saw it was obvious that this friendly rivalry has been misinterpreted. Friends of mine have left xXx for Clif Bar Racing, which is what has caused this friendly back and forth. My “hatred” for Clif Bar is nothing more than teasing my friends. If nothing else, my bantering has given Clif Bar more publicity than anything.
I understand that ****** is upset that Clif bar contacted her and I am upset that this “rivalry” has been misinterpreted. However finding this entry on the xXx message board is incredibly offensive and unprofessional. If she would have contacted me personally to discuss my relationship with Clif Bar, I would have been much more understanding and open to her, and Clif Bar’s, concerns. However, that is not what she did.
Naturally I am stubborn and responded on the message board in kind with:
[Edited from site because of forum rules.]
I felt that this was a fair response to being publicly disgraced on the xXx message board. However, ****** continued to deny that she was referring to me. Here is where I get a little confused with a denial of this site being the pointless little blog on the board:
[Edited from site because of forum rules.]
Ouch! I once again came back with another post. It was after this one that I agreed to take this topic off the board as not to bring others into it:
[Edited from site because of forum rules.]
I thought it was all said and done when I got this email about our agreement to end the ordeal on the board:
You know, I really just wanted the entire team to know that THIS is what happens. I spent a significant portion of my night last night trying to explain to one of our sponsors that their support was valuable to me.
Since Tim likes to communicate his important ideas through the internet I thought I would do the same. Since I don’t have my own pointless little blog I used the website. I was wrong to do so and I have removed my disparaging comments.
Tim, when I quit being so fucking mad maybe I’ll be able to communicate with you personally.
Wait, why is she so fucking mad at me when she wasn’t referring to my “pointless little blog?” I took this email as an admission to that she was referring to me discussing Clif Bar on super-rookie.com.
I thank ****** for admitting that she was wrong to publicly slander me on the xXx message board. Just as she took her post off of the message board, I took her name off of the previous post addressed to her. I also have taken off my personal posts on the team site. I have decided to put this subject on my website because it is no longer a team issue as much as a personal issue.
If she would have waited until she “quit being so fucking mad … to communicate with [me] personally” and contacted me to discuss her concern, I would have been more than happy to discuss my relationship to Clif Bar and super-rookie.com with her. However, this is not what she chose to do. She very rudely and unprofessionally came down on me on the message board visible to all team mates.
Consistent readers of the website know that I have been thankful for Clif’s support of the team and the junior program from day one. I am not looking for recognition of that, but it should be remembered when thinking about this issue.
Even though I am moving out of Chicago on Saturday, I planned on wearing the xXx kit in Minnesota because I considered myself a part of the team until season’s end. However, I do not wish to be a part of a team who cannot handle conflict in a professional manner.
It is my impression that a member of the management team of a major cycling club should have handled this situation much more professionally. Fortunately, I am not a member of the management team, nor am I any longer a member of xXx cycling. Therefore, I am bringing this issue to my pointless little blog (which seems to have created quite the stir for being so little and pointless) because I do not have to be professional regarding a team I no longer belong to.
Vuelta dis-invites Comunidad Valenciana
Another team falls from grace.
Lets all hope that Floyd just had one to many beers that night!
You know, this whole thing seems like someone’s on a bit of a power play.
Not only are you defending a sponsor that seemingly provides very little to xXx, but you have also insinuated that some xXx members get more from sponsors than others — a situation which, if true, is entirely indefensible on your part.
You have damaged the Team morale and our reputation publicly on the forum, and have no doubt created fissures among teammates. Congratulations.
You seem very aware that I am leaving in a few days time, I see no point in your actions, other than a weak attempt to hurt me and the team in general. You have done far more damage to the team than I could possibly do, and you are the only one of us that has to live with it, as I am leaving.
You mentioned that these sponsorship relationships are important and need to be cultivated because they will still be sponsors AFTER I am gone. Well, “AFTER” begins today, sweetheart.
Take your Clif Bar sponsorship and shove it.
The way you’ve dealt with this situation has been completely devoid of professionalism.
Good Luck Securing Sponsors,
PS: Please alert CliffBar to the fact that I will no longer be purchasing nor consuming their line of products and that I will be contacting PowerBar, GU and others regarding sponsorship opportunities for my new team in Minnesota.
There was a huge bit of news recently in the cycling world about Frankie Andreu getting fired as team director of the new pro Toyota-United cycling team. Andreu got the news upon returning from his stint with OLN in France covering the tour. Naturally this news is going to be swept under the rug because of the recent allegations of Landis doping.
Toyota-United is one of the newest teams in the country and has one of the largest budgets. Andreu was instrumental in setting up the team and its success during the season this year. Andreu, as many of you know, was recently subject of a deposition in which he testified that Lance Amrstrong admitted to taking drugs.
Low and behold he gets fired from Toyota-United for almost no reason at all. It was stated that he got fired for not fulfilling in contract ional obligations yet he is has been an OLN commentator for years and this was built into his contract. He also cleared his absence from the Tour de Nez with the team owner and his co-director Harm Jansen well before the event. It is this absence that is being used as the lighting rod for the firing.
After a little bit of investigation on my part and in conjunction with Stolen Underground and (dis)pencer it is nice to see that the owner of Toyota-United is financially tied to Lance Armstrong. Hmmmmm. Yep. Steven Tucker proudly talks about his links to Lance Armstrong on the team website. Why would he sack one of the best directors in America?
Because he was told to.
Lance Amstrong is a wanker. He will go after you and destroy you personally, financially and mentally.
Keep checking back. This is going to be a record posting day.