Friday, January 28, 2011

Need A New Ride?

Are you looking for a sweet, race-ready bike that won't break the bank?  A friend in New Berlin is selling this very nicely equipped GTR Team Carbon from GT for just $1,500.  Check out the details and contact me if you're interested:

Frame: 58cm (slightly sloping top tube)
Fork: Reynolds Ouzo carbon, with carbon steer tube
Headset: Cane Creek
Stem: Bontrager carbon
Brakeset: Campagnolo Record titanium
Derailleurs: Campagnolo Record, front and rear
Crankset: Campagnolo Chorus Carbon Ultra Torque
Chain: Campagnolo Record
Bottom Bracket: Campagnolo Record
Shifters: Campagnolo Centaur Ergo, 10-speed
Seatpost: Thomson Masterpiece Elite
Saddle: Bontrager Inform RXL
Wheelset: Spinergy carbon clinchers with PBO spokes
Tires: Specialized All-Condition

The frame has seen about 3,000–3,500 miles of use, the derailleurs about 5,000-6,000 miles, and the crankset about 2,000 miles.  The wheelset has been used only 500-600 miles and the shift levers and chain are essentially unused.  This is going to be a great deal for somebody!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Morals Clause

Jonathan Vaughters (L) and Matt White
This blog is long overdue for a reader poll, and this time I want to hear what you think about Sunday’s firing of Garmin-CervĂ©lo directeur sportif Matt White.  Search the cycling forums and you’ll see that this issue is hotly debated by the fans, both on its specifics and on the underlying motives of CEO Jonathan Vaughters.  My own take is this: in a sport whose credibility with the general public is so damaged by doping scandals, the mere appearance of impropriety is grounds for censure.

I applauded Rabobank when it removed Michael Rasmussen from the 2007 Tour de France.  Remember why the team took that action?  Rasmussen didn’t test positive for any banned substance; his “crime” was that he had failed to provide a complete and accurate account of his whereabouts while training before the Tour.  Rasmussen appeared to be avoiding out-of-competition doping controls, and that appearance of impropriety cost him the maillot jaune, his job and his reputation.

Perhaps there was nothing nefarious in White’s recommendation of Dr. Luis Garcia del Moral to rider Trent Lowe—and, as the incident happened way back in April 2009, the trail is cold—but I say it’s better to be safe than sorry.  White is at least guilty of violating the terms of his employment.  The doctor may be guilty of considerably more.  Cycling needs to wake up to something our mothers have been telling us since we were little: you’re known by the company you keep.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Whizzers Of Oz

Tom Leezer and Jos Van Emden try their best not to take the intermediate sprint points.
Always a stage race for the sprinters, the 2011 Tour Down Under again lived up to its reputation.  I won't tell you who won—and try not to look at the VeloNews feed over there on the right—but the entire tour came down to the final sprint on the final stage.  I watched the live Internet stream on what for the racers was Sunday afternoon and for me was Saturday night.  If you haven't seen the finish yet, check out the Versus rebroadcast on our Sunday at 4 p.m.

Tonight's live stream at won't be the only one this season, and tomorrow's rebroadcast won't be the last cable/satellite coverage.  Check out the full Versus cycling schedule here.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

“Neat, but will it work with my SPD pedals?”
The truth is, in the last week there hasn’t been much cycling news for me to share.  Cycling has been very much on my mind, as always, but the weather has been cold and snowy and since my last update I’ve spent more time shoveling than pedaling.  Without any realistic prospects for outdoor riding in the immediate future, I have been evaluating my equipment needs and making little changes here and there.  Yesterday I installed a new Easton EA70 stem on my flatbar Giant FCR3, replacing the heavy adjustable stem that was stock equipment.  The purchase was more for vanity than for performance—few things scream “Fred” louder than an adjustable stem—but the new stem is less than half the weight of the old one.  Soon I’ll be making some changes on the Raleigh Competition too, the most significant of which will be a wider handlebar (44cm instead of 40cm).  And I’m thinking about going to stainless steel bottle cages for the Raleigh as a way to get around the frame clearance issues I have with the Tacx Tao cages.

It will be many more weeks before I get my Team Pedal Moraine kit, but this week I plan to order some Bontrager bib tights that I hope I’ll have in time for the first outdoor ride of the new year.  With both orders completed, I should be set on clothing for a little while.

I have been a good soldier with my training so far in 2011, logging more time on the bike trainer and staying diligent with my upper body strength program.  I’ve been a lot more restrictive with my diet in recent weeks but so far that hasn’t paid dividends on the bathroom scale.  At least I haven’t gained any weight this month.  I hope to shed several pounds when the trainer workouts get more structured and difficult.  For now, hiking is still part of the cross-training plan.  Today I hiked through the snow at Royal Oaks Park and Lac Lawrann Conservancy.  But starting on Tuesday, Feb. 8, it’s all about the bike trainer for the remainder of the winter.

And just what am I training for, exactly?  That’s still unclear.  I have a long list of competitive events that interest me.  Some are familiar and some are not.  I intend to try mountain bike racing but I don’t know the WORS courses, so I have been doing a little reconnaissance by watching YouTube videos of old races.  Obviously there’s only so much information I can obtain that way; it’s not meant as a substitute for actual riding.  But ideally I’d like to cut my teeth on races that don’t ask too much of my technical riding skills.  I’m not sure how far I can develop those before the racing season starts on May 1.

Today after I came in from the cold I watched the Versus coverage of the Tour Down Under.  Versus will broadcast highlights all week long, a nice distraction from the frigid temperatures and additional snow that are coming our way.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Get Your Gravel On!

We don't really have cobbled roads in southeastern Wisconsin, but you can get a little taste of Paris-Roubaix and the Ronde van Vlaanderen on April 17 by joining me for Cheesehead Roubaix.  If you rode the 2010 edition of this event, then you'll recognize much of the route.  But for 2011 the route has been redrawn to include even more unpaved sectors!  It should be a great test of fitness early in the season.  Everyone is welcome, but please understand that there's no support: all riders are on their own.  Are you tough enough?

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Busy Day For January

John and Jimmy watch The Flying Scotsman while they pedal.
When I got up this morning the wind chill was -6, but I wasn't going to let that stop me from having a full day of cycling-related activities.  I spent the morning at Mutual Mall in West Bend for the second installment of this winter's Spinner and a Movie indoor cycling series.  Then I rushed home for lunch and a shower before joining nine of my new Team Pedal Moraine teammates for a 90-minute hike through Glacial Blue Hills Recreation Area.  The afternoon concluded with a meeting of nearly the entire roster of Team Pedal Moraine.  I scored a team T-shirt and ordered my race kit.  It will be several weeks before I get my jerseys and other stuff, but there's no rush.  We still have plenty of winter to endure.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

2011 WCBC Schedule

The 2011 Washington County Bicycle Club schedule is now available online.  Follow this link to get a printable copy of the schedule and waiver form.  Paper copies will be available at area bike shops soon.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Come On Down!

Washington County Bicycle Club's Annual Business Meeting
Monday, January 3, 2011 @ 6 p.m.

On the agenda: the 2011 ride schedule (date and route selection), membership dues, a new ride leader incentive program and more.
On the menu: Monday is 50-cent chicken wings night.  The price is right!