It has been considered the last refuge of the blogger to throw together random bits of nonsense and call it a post, but who am I to suggest that I am any better than the average blogger sitting in the basement wearing only jammies and dorito dust? Certainly not I. It would be elitist or potentially un-American to suggest I am any better than my brethren bloggers (estimated to be at over 150 million), so as a acknowledgment of my humanity, I bring you random flotsam and jetsam of cycling.
Cyclocross Racing on Universal Sports - Rider 2 is the one who brought this to my attention, but a lot of the World Cup Cyclocross racing coverage on Universal Sports (Channel $$ on cable or $$$$$ for HD on cable) does not include commentary. Or more specifically, it doesn't include any english-speaking commentary. The native broadcast language is in the background but it is unusually pleasant to watch the race, have your own thoughts and just experience the race. Also, I know that Portland thinks they invented cyclocross racing and it has become as trendy to follow as Charlie Sheen on Twitter, but watching the racing at the World Cup level is really awe inspiring. It is a sport of very, very tough men and women.
Cycling Commentary - I shouldn't complain, but I am going to. I love the amount of cycling on TV now. Who would have guessed 10 years ago that daily coverage of both Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatica would be on TV? Not me. This week, however, I have watched some spring classics from the 80's on DVD while on the trainer and 2010 coverage of these races this week. If I had the time, I am confident that I could take the commentary of Paul Sherwin off any one of these races and dub it onto another race and you would not notice it. Honestly, he needs a writer to come up with some new shtick. It is time. Even Bob Roll is getting seriously repetitive. Bob needs to go back on whatever he was consuming during his VeloNews days.
Alberto Contador - Really?
Franco Pellizoti - Is this a surprise?
Best new cycling nickname - Ricardo "Refrigerator" Ricco. Don't worry, he isn't going to die so we can start making fun of him.
The Derrailleur That Everybody (or Nobody) Needs - Have you seen the Lightweight Rear Derrilleur? Bikes getting more expensive deserves some consideration of its own, but where did a rear derrailleur come from that costs $1,445? For ONLY the rear derrailleur. Shouldn't that come with a free bike attached, or an illegal act of human reproductive nature? (Did you see how sensitive I have become?) And what makes it worth that? It weighs a scant 120 grams, which is admittedly 30 grams less (yes, 1 ounce less) than a Campagnolo Super Record 11 rear derrailleur, although at a $1,000 premium. Or how about this comparison - SRAM Rival - Weight 183 disgusting grams (a full 2.2! ounces more) but is less than the sales tax on the Lightweight derraileur at only $83. Madness I tell you, madness!
Something else you may not need, but should want, but not really - Have you noticed "Mad Fiber" wheels popping up on show bikes this year? Taking a run at the Lightweight world of wheels may not be too newsworthy, except this is a Seattle company. Huh? I thought Germans had cornered the market on crazy carbon fiber manufacturing, but no, we have a local entry. I feel like buying some just to support our Washington State economy. Do you think my wife will go for that argument? No, I didn't think so either. Anyway, check out Mad Fiber Wheels. I can't help myself. I want some.
Pro Peloton Bikes - Have you looked at the field of bikes this season? There are more good looking bikes in the peloton this year than I remember from any prior season. Chock-a-block full.
Other stuff - Honestly, I could go on for hours. Just ask my wife or children or my bartender. How about Jens Voigt at Paris-Nice Stage 1, or the unfairness of moving Criterium International to a location where Jens won't get his record-breaking 6th win. How about Lance's sudden retirement? How about Floyd Landis' interview with Kimmage, or more specifically the transcript thereof? How about the sucky weather this winter for riding? How about the awesome season of bike racing coming up around Spokane this year? How about the cool expansion of Team Two Wheel this year? And the cool blog posts from the Team so far, and the technology behind mechBgon's video? And we haven't even started in on mountain bikes . . .