Floyd Landis Wins!

SI.com – More Sports – 2006 Tour de France – Landis becomes third American to win Tour – Sunday July 23, 2006 3:14PM

PARIS (AP) — The highs and lows of Floyd Landis’ nail-biter of a bike race ended without a hitch Sunday as he won the Tour de France and kept cycling’s most prestigious title in American hands for the eighth straight year.

The 30-year-old Landis, pedaling with an injured hip, cruised to victory on the cobblestones of the Champs-Elysees, a day after regaining the leader’s yellow jersey and building an insurmountable lead in the final time trial.

“I kept fighting, never stopped believing,” Landis said, shortly after he received the winner’s yellow jersey on the podium, joined by his daughter, Ryan.

How tough is he? He needs a hip replacement, but won anyway.

Sam’s MS 150: Best of Luck, riders!

 I was planning to ride today and tomorrow in the Multiple Sclerosis 150 mile ride here in DFW, sponsored this year by Sam’s Club.  I have a very nice bike, though I’ve been working so much I haven’t gotten a lot of riding in for preparation.  I’m mostly sure I could finish day 1, though day 2 would be a challenge, to say the least.

No matter.  This weekend we’re so shorthanded I have been scheduled on.  I’m not terribly happy about it, but if there’s nobody else, well, then it’s on me.  So, I’ll be there in spirit, if not in person.  I have a nice riding outfit for the team, and I suppose I’ll just wear it while riding for fun (I see a lot of old team jerseys when I ride, so now I’ll join that club, though on a pass).

It may rain, and that’ll be better than the blazing sun I would have predicted.

Good luck, riders, and if you not riding have an extra buck, the MS Society is taking donations.

Today’s ride

Today’s ride: 48.6 miles.

Started down the Benbrook lake road, after that loop along the Trinity Trail to downtown, then home again.

I now feel like overcooked pasta, just one limp noodle. 

I’m trying to get ready for the MS150, a two day, 150 mile ride (not a race, thank goodness) to raise money (and awareness) for Multiple Sclerosis research.  I’ve been allowed to join a good team, and hope I can finish without embarrassing myself. 

GruntDoc: doing the exercise Americans won’t do.

 

Helping stranded cyclists

…or, why I’ll be getting a frame pump tomorrow.

Today, early in my ride, I came across a stranded cyclist. As is my habit, I asked "you good?", which is about all you can get out in the time it takes me to pass someone standing still. Usually the answer is yes, and I pedal on. Today, the answer was "not really".

So I stopped. I don’t have rescue fantasies (I have a real job doing that) but I’m a ‘we’re all in this together’ kind of guy and I’ll help when I can. This cyclist was on flat number two, had a tube that was maybe-repaired correctly, and was out of CO2 cartridges. I have 2 CO2 bottles. One was expended (not by me) harmlessly into the air trying to inflate the suspect tube.

So, I gave away my spare tube and last CO2 bottle. Having nothing more to add, I bid my fellow cyclist farewell, and turned for home. Yes, I still have a patch kit, but no way to inflate a flat should I get it repaired. I have always wondered if the CO2 inflators were the way to go, and now I know.

Update: I now have a frame pump. It’s ugly. We’ll see if I keep it.

Fort Worth from a Bridge

Nice photo from a ride.

 

Fort Worth, from a Bridge
 

 

Yes, it’s a photomerge, demonstrated by the railing on the left.  I’ll get better at it. 

Cycle Time

It’s time for me to get in shape (again), and for me that means riding my bike with the training wheels around wherever it wants to go. Yesterday it wanted to go on the Trinity Trail, and I was hoping the recent rains had the Trinity river looking like something other than a runoff ditch. I wasn’t disappointed.

Colonial from the Trinity Trail

And, yes, that’s as close as I ever come to the Colonial golf course.

Gunner

Today, while cycling, I reminded myself that I’m a terrifically competitive person. This was my first time back in the saddle in about two months, and before starting I said to myself, about twenty times, ‘this is for completion only’. That means I wasn’t pushing for times, or speed, just for completion.

Then good intentions got squashed by my inner demon, competitiveness. It nearly always wins over good intentions.

They Called Me Gunner. I (and one commenter to this site) wore this appellation in medical school, and it was deserved. A medical school gunner is one of those hyper-competitive people who really wants to be at the top of the class. I’ve seen other definitions that includes sabotaging others, and there’s a different name for those people, and it rhymes with stick-bed. Time has made me a little more selective about the competition thing, but it’s still in there.

Back to the ride. I was only about 6 miles into it, a beautiful ride on a very popular bike trail on a nice day, so there were a lot of cycllists (and angry loners, too). I was loafing, I’ll admit it, admiring the blackened terrain from a recent grass fire, and then I noticed a cyclist behind me, about 150 feet.

‘Click’ went the switch, and suddenly it became very important for me to Not Be Passed. Now, I’m not going to block or do something stick-bedded, but if I can push harder and keep the same or bigger interval, I’ll do that. And I did, with a series of cyclists who appeared seemingly out of nowhere. It struck me, pedaling with a gastroc cramp, how sometimes that little competitive thing can work against the good intentions.

And it was a good ride, too.

Gunner. Heh.

No Fishing

Riding recently, I noticed how low the Benbrook reservoir is. How low is it?

tell it to the heron

This low. This is the boat dock, and that area of low brown grass is the inlet from the lake to the dock area.

As of today, 12 feet below normal (via the Army Corps of Engineers).

The Big Off

Well, it comes to all cyclists, and today I had it.  The Big Off.

There’s a long story here, but basically I had a touch of brain fade and bad luck at the same instant.  The next thing I know I’m slapping the left side of my entire body, including my over-rated head, on the concrete.  I’m fine, and except for a couple of abrasions and a forehead bruise the shape of a helmet pad, I’m none the worse for wear.

Basically, I drove off the narrow concrete path.  There was plenty of grass, but I inexplicably cut back toward the pavement and hit a nice deep groove.  It was then I rediscovered one of my brother’s sayings, ‘gravity never sleeps’, and hit the deck.  Hard.  The sound of my helmeted head hitting the ground couldn’t have been louder outside my skull than inside, and though I had a millisecond light flash surprisingly I have had no ill effects.  Not even a headache.  Finished the ride, which included adding some mileage before the turn around, and proved something to myself.

My bike, alas, looks like I dragged it over concrete.  Both Ultegra shifter covers are deeply scarred, and both rims have scratches on the left side, making interesting sounds under braking.  I figure nothing expensive was bent, which is good.  Oh, and I get to throw away the jersey I didn’t like due to the holes, so there’s always a silver lining. 

The helmet, a one-time-use item did its duty.  Its exterior shell looks like it met concrete, but the inner liner has the telltale cracks in the styrofoam, so that’s that.  I’d like to thank the nice folks at Giro, who made my helmet and will be the manufacturer of my next one.  Spend money on your helmet like your brain depends on it.  Mine did, and does.  As one of my residency colleagues used to say, "get a helmet, and wear it".

If only this immunized me from future spills.   Heh.