Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thurs afternoon, Silver City

In the last post, I described my awe at watching riders producing power mile after mile at levels we cannot imagine: climbing long steep hills in their big chainrings. Producing that power, while absolutely required for the job, is just the price of admission.

If you are that strong, and you have the other skills and bravery and dedication, you can be a Category One cyclist or you can turn pro. You will not however be kissing trophy girls.

For that, you have to have the power and much more. You have to be able to ride at racing pace while saving energy and calculating strategy and positioning yourself so that when the crunch comes, you will be able to do what you must do to succeed.

Today, Floyd Landis and three guys I do not know broke away and stayed away for miles. Floyd did most of the work - at least late in the race when my passenger/mechanic Steve Donovan and I got to the break. We had to ride the motorcycle 65mph for long periods to catch the break, for so long really that we thought we might be lost - because NO WAY could the front riders be that far ahead.

But there they were finally. We rode with Floyd and the little group to the finish, or nearly there, because the pack caught the break about a kilometer from the finish in Fort Bayard. Floyd sat up and pedaled in alone. Floyd makes that power and has all the skills, but they weren't enough today.

It's funny. I'm here and you're there, but you probably know who won today and I don't. I heard it was a Colavita rider. Perhaps I'll check the VN Online site and find out. I wanted Floyd to win, frankly. Everyone at the races likes the guy and you hear the folks along the road yelling his name.

I have the next two days off. Tomorrow is the time trial stage and Saturday is the downtown criterium. I'll be in touch again soon...

6:40 Weds Morning, Silver City

I remember riding behind the 160 guys yesterday on some rolling, winding back road. I'm on the motorcycle, remember, with effortless power ready to hand and a speedometer in front of me.

We're 60 miles into the race, further than I ride more than a few times a year. The guys have done that 60 miles in their big chainrings, even the huge rollers out on the highway before we turned onto country roads.

As I watch, the pack surges over another roller, still as usual in the big ring, thirty-plus miles an hour, and I cannot get over, though I've seen it a thousand times, the power in these skinny guys. I'd be in the 39/19 or something close to it (maybe lower) and they're going over thirty mph.

That's the truth of it, the reason for the training and personal selfishness and all that focus. And you can't see it on TV or from the sidelines, where the guys look fast but not that much faster than you and me. Trust me; they are much faster than you and me.

After 75 miles out in the wind, the pack turned a corner onto a little used road and climbed a long hill. Miles long. For a mile maybe, the group hung together. Then splits opened, maybe only a bike rider long. We moved up little by little, moving around riders from split to split.

We didn't see the finish from where we sat...maybe 10 or 15 riders back. Some of the guys sway on their bikes as they suffer, some merely pedal as if on a ride to coffee. No one pants or thrashes on his bike.

They know their limits because they have experienced them again and again. They come up against them almost every time they race. No one "blows up." They ride as hard as they can, no drama. It's an amazing thing to watch. Amazing in its lack of heroics or histrionics. Men at work.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Weds afternoon, Silver City, tired blogger

As you will all know, Levi won the stage today, a flattish stage for this race with a 10mi climb at the end. Typically, a break will go up the road but is absorbed on the climb as if it never happened.

I wasn't there to see the finish, but I was told that Levi jumped away from the front group (just being there is hard work for an elite rider) and won alone. Lance, before you ask, was eighth. I met reporters today from Cyclingnews and VeloNews, and I'd trust their reports before I would trust mine. Strictly hearsay.

I worked with Denverite Steve Donovan on the motor; all went well. We represented SRAM, the outfit that provides support at this race and many others - and that stepped in to sponsor the Tour of the Gila at nearly the last moment. Probably the race would have gone on, but on a smaller scale and with a reduced prize list.

I saw Lance today on his bike but he is not to be found before or after races. He is spirited away after events and appears just before the starting gun. He and Chris Horner and Levi are riding in Mello Johnny jerseys, if I've spelled the store name correctly. Lance is accompanied by his personal photographer, I'm told, and we have TV filming here for the first time ever.

US cycling is a different place in the Lance era - which evidently is not yet over. We used to have 125-rider elite fields here and no TV; now we have Lance here and it's a media frenzy. No kidding.

I'm exhausted, I'm afraid. I think I'm going to try to take a nap. More later, I promise....

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Monday in Silver City and Lance is here!

So there was substance to the rumor that Lance Armstrong intended to race the Tour of the Gila! He was seen pre-riding the time trial course today and his presence has caused ripples in the normally placid pool of the event. Seems his team wanted him to be in Europe, riding some insignificant event, but Lance wanted to be here in SW New Mexico riding the Tour of the Gila!

Because of high level racing politics, because some races are Pro Tour events and some are not, and because Lance is here with only two teammates, I hear, other teams have had to send some of their riders home...or to other races elsewhere. We'll see tomorrow how it all looks when the dust settles.

I'm in a nice hotel this year and I'm in the lobby on the hotel computer. I'll try to post to my blog from here or from the charming Silver City Library. The trip down seemed long, I gotta say. I did see a mother or father wolf and two cubs on the shoulder of I-25, and I saw three deer on the narrow, technical road between the interstate and Silver City.

Lots of old friends here, fun reunions.... More from cosmopolitan Silver City tomorrow!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

What Jim saw at Peet's

My Bay Area buddy Jim chatted over coffee with a guy riding one of these. Equipped with SRAM Red pieces, it was roughly as expensive as a SmartCar. But only seated one....

Please note that posting this link is not a recommendation or a condemnation. I've never seen one of these things. I thought you might enjoy looking at the photos - for whatever reasons.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Trip plans change...

Like many of you, I'm ill. I'm stuffed up and uncomfortable but not feverish. I'm taking meds that make me spacey and restless. So I'm not going to Bisbee as I have for some years, but waiting until the first of the week to ride directly to Silver City NM for the Tour of the Gila. 

I'm disappointed but I'm not fit to ride the motorcycle any distance. I'll be away from this coming Monday through the following Monday. 

The blessing of the cyclists - from the NY Times

It appears that the Times intends to run a piece each week about urban cycling. Here's a link to this week's piece. One wonders: All these cyclists gathered to seek a blessing. NYC cyclists (of all faiths, it seems) have been doing it for eleven years. Does it bring us together? Is there peace in the bike lane?

Monday, April 20, 2009

From my friend Corey; from Wikipedia: "His furniture was threatening him," he said.

Did you know (Corey asked) that yesterday was the anniversary of Albert Hofmann's Bicycle Day (the first LSD trip)? See (from Wikipedia): 

Bicycle Day

On April 19, 1943 Dr. Hofmann intentionally ingested 250 µg of LSD, which he hypothesized would be a threshold dose, based on other ergot alkaloids. After ingesting the substance Hofmann was struggling to speak intelligibly and asked his laboratory assistant, who knew of the self-experiment, to escort him home on his bicycle, due to the lack of available vehicles during wartime restrictions. On the bicycle ride home, Hofmann's condition became more severe and in his journal he stated that everything in his field of vision wavered and was distorted, as if seen in a curved mirror. Hofmann also stated that while riding on the bicycle, he had the sensation of being stationary, unable to move from where he was, despite the fact that he was moving very rapidly. Once Hofmann arrived safely home, he summoned a doctor and asked his neighbour for milk, believing it may help relieve the symptoms. Hofmann wrote that despite his delirious and bewildered condition, he was able to choose milk as a nonspecific antidote for poisoning.[5] Upon arriving, the doctor could find no abnormal physical symptoms other than extremely dilated pupils. After spending several hours terrified that his body had been possessed by a demon, that his next door neighbour was a witch, and that his furniture was threatening him, Dr. Hofmann feared he had become completely insane. In his journal Hofmann said that the doctor saw no reason to prescribe medication and instead sent him to his bed. At this time Hofmann said that the feelings of fear had started to give way to feelings of good fortune and gratitude, and that he was now enjoying the colours and plays of shapes that persisted behind his closed eyes. Hofmann mentions seeing "fantastic images" surging past him, alternating and opening and closing themselves into circles and spirals and finally exploding into coloured fountains and then rearranging themselves in a constant flux. Hofmann mentions that during the condition everyacoustic perception, such as the sound of a passing automobile, was transformed into optical perceptions. Eventually Hofmann slept and upon awakening the next morning felt refreshed and clearheaded, though somewhat physically tired. He also stated that he had a sensation of well being and renewed life and that his breakfast tasted unusually delicious. Upon walking in his garden he remarked that all of his senses were "vibrating in a condition of highest sensitivity, which then persisted for the entire day".[5]

Out of office memo...

I'll be leaving Thursday morning (in good weather, I think) for Bisbee AZ and Silver City NM.

I won't be working in support of the Vuelta de Bisbee stage race this weekend. The race promoter tells me that entries are down and he has no budget, not even for housing. I will be working for SRAM at the Tour of the Gila next week in SW New Mexico. I'll try to post a blog entry or two from the Silver City Library as I did last year.

The last two years I've left Denver in chilly weather with snow alongside the roads, especially at 6,000-plus feet of elevation. We've just had a big snowstorm here, wet, heavy spring snow, but it's nearly gone as I look out our patio window. The mountains are totally white and will be for weeks.

I'll try to respond to emails while I'm away. If you're in the area, I'll be in Bisbee this coming Sunday and Monday morning. Monday afternoon through Sunday noon in Silver City - in the Gila Wilderness.  

Spring is here, he writes, and the bicycle menace has returned...

I dunno... Can you blame this guy?

Here's the link to the piece...

Friday, April 17, 2009

Tim Neenan, Lighthouse Cycles...on the web!

I'm delighted to provide this link to the brand new Lighthouse Cycles web site. I've known Tim Neenan for 30 years and ridden one of his bikes for nearly 20. That's a vote of confidence, right?

The site is a work in progress. If you check in there every so often, you'll see it evolve as Tim's business evolves.

Tim and his bikes deserve the highest possible recommendation. If you yearn to love your bike and its builder, if buying bikes off of hooks in shops has lost its luster, get next to Tim Neenan. 

Like the highest mountain passes, he's sui generis - beyond categorization. 

Tyler Hamilton expected to retire after still another positive...

Here's the fine Charles Pelkey piece from VeloNews Online. If you're a race fan and don't know Tyler, you suspect that justice is finally served. He got what he deserved.

If you do know Tyler, you know that this is a sad day indeed. 

Before noon Denver time, VeloNews announced that Tyler Hamilton had in fact retired. 

Thumbs-down for "nasty people," thumbs-up for bikerider GW Bush

Here's a link to a piece from about how cycling is changing our cities for the better. Just the right amount of tongue-in-cheek in this Joel Connelly article. 

After all, how would you like to live in the state next door to greener-than-thou Oregon...?

His wife rides; he doesn't. He intends to do better...

Here's a link to a piece from the Sacramento News and Review, an alternative weekly. I might've ignored it but I sold a couple of pieces to the Chico, CA, News and Review in the late '90s and always enjoyed the paper. 

I'm about Style-Section'd out. I like Jeff vonKaenel's approach to coaxing motoring Americans to ride their bikes. See if you agree.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Another NY Times urban cycling article - from the Style Section. Curious, isn't it?

This is a lovely piece about people who would've in the past not pedaled to work, but are now doing so in fine style in fine expensive clothes on fine expensive Dutch bicycles. 

I should be happy about this, right? I should welcome these folks and their $275 button-down shirts and postman's bikes into the life, correct? 

Why does it bother me? It's just me, isn't it....? 

Be sure to watch the slide show, thank you.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

further clarification of my Scott Addict praise

Per my friend Earle's comment, I did not and do not maintain that a bike like the Scott Addict could be one's only bicycle. It's what we would have called, back when, a "road bike." A road bike in those days was not merely a bike intended for paved surfaces; you didn't call a touring bike a road bike.

A road bike was suited for use in road races.

No one at Scott, and you can correct me if you suspect I'm wrong, envisions an Addict as a commute bike or errand-runner. One carefully selected bike may serve for all seasons, but it probably isn't made of carbon fiber and probably doesn't cost as much as a two-year old Mini.

Given the Scott's limitations, and all bikes have them, it sure was a pleasure to ride. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Nyah, nyah - the prequel

Here's what funny about the following post: 

Earlier this morning, before I went to Turin and rode that lovely new bike, Peter Kelley and I (he's my editor at Classic Motorcycle Mechanics, subtitled "the best bikes of the '70s and '80s,") had a terrific exchange of emails about how much more fun we had on the charming, primitive motorcycles and empty, lightly policed roads of yesteryear. 

He and I both rode Velocette Venoms in the early-mid-'60s and we still thrill at how glorious were the days and the bikes. Oh, and they were...

Nevertheless, that Scott was terrific to ride, as hard as that may be to hear. 

Progressive development brought your favorite Whatever to its time as the hot setup. That development did not stop when they quit producing your Whatever model. 

I don't care about the magic shifting and I don't have any feelings about carbon fiber yea or nay. Nevertheless - nice bike that Scott...

Nyah, nyah....

Not to try to make you feel that I may have done something that you have not, but I just did something that you probably have not. 

I walked a few blocks to Turin Bikes to replace the disgracefully worn tires on my Lighthouse. As it happened, the Shimano rep, an independent rep who also represents Scott bicycles, was there. And he had brought with him his Scott Addict, said to be the lightest frame one can buy, equipped with...wait for it...the new Shimano electric shifting!

And because the Turin guys are good guys and the rep is a good guy, they insisted that I ride the bike. Naturally I resisted, just as you would. We aren't into ultralight carbon bikes and mysterious shifting. We like steel and cables and what we think of as "proven stuff." 

So I rode the Scott just to make you jealous, not because it could possibly impress me.

It was the rep's personal bike, and by chance he's the same size I am, 5'11" and long-legged. The seat height was exactly the same as mine, really to the sixteenth of an inch. The stem length was also perfect or nearly so. I could've just ridden off into the sunset on that bike as if it were mine.

As you probably know, the brake levers do not move side-to-side as they do with Shimano's mechanical shifting. There are two small buttons tucked in behind each lever, one for up and one for whatever the other way is called. 

There's a battery case on top of the downtube, down low, and the front derailleur has a motor encased above the cage. It isn't pretty but it isn't a bike-ruiner either. The rear derailleur is different-looking but not ugly. It could all be worse, esthetically. And it works fine. Reminded me of old Mavic Zap electric shifting, and I liked Zap. 

Nothing moves much when you push the buttons, by the way. You're not powering the shift, only selecting when and which way it changes gears.

I liked the shifting okay but I would not buy it to replace perfectly good mechanical Dura-Ace, for instance. I'd buy it if I needed a new group, not because it would change my life.

What I really liked was the bike. It was SO light and SO stable and SO easy to ride. I rolled over a few bumps; the bike was not disturbed. It was absolutely intuitive to steer. Seriously, I could have ridden it this afternoon instead of my Lighthouse without an adjustment of any kind except a pedal change. How often can we test ride a bike that's perfectly our size?

Oh, I'd have had to switch the brake cables: I use the rightside lever for the front brake. But that's all. I even liked the Fizik saddle.... Sigh....

I'm in the process of writing a piece about lugs and how tired I am of hearing about them. Folks rave about 20-year-old Fuji touring frames today because those undistinguished old structures have lugs, for heavens sakes. Who cares?

Today I rode a bike that is the furthest thing from a lugged steel icon, and I loved it. I am surer and surer as the years pass that guys who rave about old stuff maintain their mindset by never trying anything new. They already know all they want to know.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Contributed by bikelovejones as a comment...

This lament was sent as a comment to my somewhat satirical post about "still another example of Portland's seeming to be a paradise for those of us in the cycling life." Because you might have missed it as a comment, here it is as a post. Because you shouldn't miss it, and I believe bikelovejones...

Everything he said except the parts about affordability and opportunity. It depends on who is seeking those things.

Word up: Everyone who's living here already was born here, or got here well ahead of the rest of you. We are getting by on too few hours at work and increasing rents. We'd really prefer that a whole bunch of you not move here all at once and compete with us for jobs and affordable apartments that don't exist. 

Portland has NO rent control. Portland also has dwindling social services for those of us whose parents aren't propping us up in this toilet economy. Homes for sale are popping up on every street corner as the housing market plunges into the river. Demand at the food banks and soup kitchens has spiked as newly-unemployed join the homeless already in line.

To all those young, slender hipsters who've come here to:

1. be part of the bike culture;
2. be part of the "creative" class; 
3. live more cheaply than they can in, oh, San Francisco...

Well, welcome to Portland. I guess. 

Lots of people who moved here for bike culture want really nice bikes for fifty bucks, and throw a hissy fit when they're told that a decent bike in Portland starts at around 200 or more. 

The "creatives" who've moved here are willing to work for peanuts and are displacing older, more experienced workers in the process. How these kids can keep dressing stylishly and eating from gourmet boutique grocers is beyond me. (Maybe their folks are paying for it all to keep the kids from moving back home.)

If you moved here from the Bay Area, you're still probably richer than the rest of us, and I have grown tired of hearing you complain about how you can't find a decent something-or-other in this town. 

And if I hear one more newly-arrived hipster complain about the rain I swear I'll hit him over the head with a wet, moldy umbrella.

Sorry if I'm feeling snarly, but that's the other side of the coin up here. Everyone wants to move here and be cool, without giving a thought to what us long-timers really struggle with. And in Portland, lots of us are struggling these days. That's the part BikePortland doesn't discuss, perhaps because they're trying to reach a different market than the one I reside in.

Hey, Bo Puppy!

No one cares about this but me... But it's MY blog, right?

So.... from the NY Times Blogs, why there's a connection between the Obamas' new puppy and the late, lamented rock hero with the cowboy hat, the sheriff's badge, the square guitar and the Bo Diddley beat. 

I believe, states the blogger, that this White House is gonna work out fine...

Mr. Obama’s daughters reportedly named the puppy Bo:

Malia and Sasha chose the name, because their cousins have a cat named Bo and because first lady Michelle Obama’s father was nicknamed Diddley, a source said. (Get it? Bo … Diddley?)

Friday, April 10, 2009

But does Portland have just everything? No! The Bicycling Hall of Fame moves to Davis, CA!

After years and years in Somerville NJ, the Bicycling Hall of Fame is moving to a new home in the first Platinum-level cycling city in the US - Davis, California.

Here's the link to an article about the move in the Sacramento Bee...

Thursday, April 9, 2009

More predictably boring evidence that we cyclists should all be living in Portland.

Here's the piece, from

If we lived in Portland, what would we complain about? Well, there's the rain. And there's.... Uh.... 

Sensible stuff designed in the US...just when we need some help!

This NY Times piece is about ingenuity in design - of stuff we need, not "platinum cell phones." Read it all...or scroll down to see the cool Strida folding bicycle!

More statistics, less expected....

Do you drink and pedal? Here's a NY Times editorial about some folks who did....

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

What we can learn from NYC's bicycle fatality statistics

Some of this you can probably predict, but there are a few surprises....

Saturday, April 4, 2009

From my friend Jim in Saint Louis - possibly the finest bike ever built! Well, possibly....

"The bike that few could afford when it was new." And: "Probably the best bike you will ever own."

Not much to say about this Craigslist ad from St Louis...but I'm not sure if these old A-Ds are in fact the Rolls-Royce of bicycles. See for yourself.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Forwarded by my friend Corey - and sure to arouse strong feelings...

It's a link to a NY Time Fashion section piece on Rapha cycling clothing. The article is good, I'd say, but the clothing? Make up your own mind....

"Richard from England"

Hi Richard,

Thanks for the comment. They're blind, meaning I don't see your email address. If you read this, write me at  and tell me all about the Guzzi correspondence. I haven't even seen that issue of MCSL....                   Thanks!              Maynard

Thursday, April 2, 2009

With Screech, Smoke...and handmade messenger bags: an email invitation forwarded to us by James Mason

[ english text below ]


...eröffnet OBST&GEMÜSE seine Kuriertaschen Manufaktur und
den Fixedgear/Singlespeed Shop im Herzen von Kleinbasel.
Ab 10 Uhr steht unser Tor für euch offen. Es gibt Schönes für
Schnelles, Textiles und Modulares.

Zu GRILL&BEER fährt das Alleycat durch die blaue Stunde
und trifft auf Balkan-Beats. Wir feiern die Nacht mit GORAN
POTKONJAK (ZH) und freuen uns mit euch, dass der Frühling

Enjoy the ride!
Jacky / Andrea / Michel72 / RetoZ



...OBST & GEMUSE will be opening their shop of handmade messenger bags and
fixedgear/singlespeed bikes in the heart of Little Basel.
From 10 a.m. on, our doors will be open to you. There will be fine things
for the quick, textiles and modular components. (note from blogger: "quick?")

To complement our BBQ & BEER, participate in our Alleycat ride at dusk
followed by the sounds of Balkan-Beats. We will party the night away with
GORAN POTKONJAK (ZH), and look forward to celebrating the coming of Spring
with you.

Enjoy the ride!
Jacky / Andrea / Michel72 / RetoZ

When: Saturday, 4.4.2009 from 10am

The five worst bicycle films ever...and that's a long time

Here, from the St Cloud State University Chronicle, is a list of movies the author, Jack Hennes, feels are the five worst cycling films of all time, and the reasons they made his list.

After our Breaking Away love-fest last week, I figured we'd give Jack Hennes equal time. Even if a few of us won't agree with him.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Genevieve Jeanson - two VeloNews views

First, here's today's bulletin from VeloNews Online about the doctor and coach who "looked after" young bike-racing phenom Genevieve Jeanson a few years ago.

And here's the VeloNews piece I wrote about the woman in the early 2000s:

Cannibals One and Two

Thirty years ago Eddy Merckx dominated pro cycling as no one has before or since. Tireless, insatiable, he raced hard all season long. He won important races, minor races, classics, tours and six-days. You name it, he won it.

Merckx felt his job (or mission) was to win every race, and not by a wheel or so-many seconds. He beat you severely as he could, often as he could. He was called the "Cannibal," a man-eater.

If you raced in his era, even if you were a superman yourself you rode in his long shadow season after season, nearly invisible all your racing life.

We wonder what it was like to be Merckx and what it was like to be the other guys, watching helplessly as he rode away. We wonder if they cursed their bad luck or their bad timing. Crying shame, not being Merckx in the Merckx Era.

We are witnessing another long shadow - that of French-Canadian phenomenon Genevieve Jeanson. In North America, in the early season, if Jeanson pins on numbers and appears at the start, the rest of the field races for second place. It's news if she loses.

Unless the race is dead flat, great women riders, stars really, ride in her shadow. Certainly individual women are helpless. If the climbs are long and steep, teams are helpless, teamwork ineffective. Jeanson rides away alone.

From the tech motorcycle, I've watched her drop famous riders on major teams, riders whose resumes list victory after victory. What must it be like to be Kim Bruckner or Lyne Bessette watching Jeanson pedal away on some hill?

Jeanson can time-trial, climb and sprint. She climbs so well she'd finish high in the standings in MEN's races. At Redlands she'd have finished around 20th (of 200 men) in the uphill time-trial prologue. Imagine a 110-pound woman beating all those pros and cat ones up a power hill.

You don't see where the strength comes from: Jeanson is slender, medium height. Skinny legs. You'd never notice her in a crowd. You can't take your eyes off her on her bike.

Often she breaks away in the first few miles. I've followed her for miles and miles as she rides alone off the front. She rides like a guy: biggish gear, low over the bike, looking back under her arm, but not looking back often.

Nothing back there to see. No one's chasing.

She's not cruising, by the way. She's time-trialing, doing a race-long solo effort faster than the pack -- way, way behind her.

I've given her time splits and heard my mechanic/passenger giving her splits. I have walked past her at her team car before and after races. I used to say hi or wave, but I quit. It felt inappropriate. She's preoccupied.

During the three years I've been aware of Jeanson, I've met and chatted with lots of other women racers. They're a friendly bunch. In contrast, I have never heard Jeanson's voice live, only from TV speakers.

I don't believe she's "one of the girls." I never see her chatting with anyone, not even her teammates. I see her with her personal manager slash coach, who's also the team manager. You hear that he runs the team by yelling and dictating tactics, not always smart ones. No one defends him.

Is it her manager who drives her? Or is she truly another Cannibal? No one knows.

Like Merckx, Jeanson is not satisfied to beat you, even to beat you by a minute or several minutes on a given day. She wants to win by miles, solo. Why sit in a group or work with another girl - if your legs don't hurt?

No one knows what voices she hears. Is her coach screaming over the radio that a six-minute lead won't cut it? Are her personal demons demanding ever more gap, ever more dominance? Or is she trying to break the spirits of her "opponents?"

In a stage race, she'll probably win all the hilly stages. In flat stages or crits, more and more often she contests the intermediate and final sprints, banging elbows with the specialist finishers.

Doing so, she stands to gain a few seconds. Why take the risks? She'll win tomorrow's road race by four minutes, all alone, safe as a seat in church.

She may win a stage race overall by 10 minutes, racing hard even in the final miles on the last day, so that (God Forbid) she won't win by only nine.

At Redlands, she doubled her overall lead in the last road stage, winning on GC by nearly 13 minutes instead of "merely" half that. She told an interviewer that her opponents are so strong she felt she must keep hammering, must increase the gap to ensure her victory. No kidding?

Why not sit up, finish the race at some lesser pace? It's a mystery why she doesn't, especially given her susceptibility to injury. She gets hurt, not from crashing but from athletic injuries, overuse injuries.

Eddy Merckx was tough enough to absorb the beating that training and racing gave his body. Jeanson, still in her early 20s, hurts herself. By June, more often than not, she's injured. You hear she's injured, anyway. You see that she's gone, done racing for the season.

Remarkably, the next spring she's at it again, riding every event as if her salvation depended on it - until she hurts herself yet again and has to quit.

If it is her manager who drives Jeanson to such athletic excess, we can be sure her opponents wish him good health and lots of job security.

As long as (under his direction) she continues to beat herself up in the early season, there'll be those Jeanson-free months after she leaves the scene, months when mere superstars can win road races -- even if there's a hill.

Worst case would be Jeanson finding a new director-coach who'd soften her need to kick butt and break spirits, who'd teach her moderation. Instead of winning by miles in the springtime, she could coast, sorta, and win by still-impressive margins all season long.

Is that rocket science? Do any observers disagree? Nope. But does anyone expect that she'll do any of the above, make the changes, lift her nose off the stem, win by smaller margins? No again.

We expect it'll be business as usual: crush the opposition February through June, gone by July one.


The Netherlands' Shameful (April 1st) Secret - from Ron Richings in Beautiful BC

Here's the link. It's from Momentum Magazine, the magazine for self-propelled people.

Recessionary news from the Vuelta de Bisbee

You may remember that I posted to my blog last April from the public library in Bisbee, Arizona, a cool, hilly old mining town near the border with Mexico and an hour or so from Tucson.

I have worked (on my motorcycle) at the annual Vuelta de Bisbee bicycle stage race for the last six or seven years, I guess. I ride to Bisbee from home. The race pays for my lodging. I help out in a bicycle road race or two. I visit with old friends.

When it's over, I ride to Silver City, New Mexico, for the Tour of the Gila, a longer, tougher event. All seems to be well with that race.

I've just heard that because of low entry numbers, the promoter of the Bisbee event will not be able to put me up for the three days. This is certainly the economic downturn creeping into the lives of many of us who've been Vuelta regulars.

This year's race begins on Friday, April 24th. As the days pass and the race grows closer, I'll let you know about my itinerary. I was surely looking forward to seeing old Tucson friends in Bisbee.

Maybe I'll go to Bisbee anyway for part or all of race weekend. More news as it breaks....