Lance launches his new cologne…

12 10 2012

EPO – the scent of victory!

So a whole slew of Lance’s US Postal teammates have come forward and admitted they doped while on the team and that he not only doped, but was instrumental in pressuring/aiding them in doping and that he was involved in witness intimidation to aid the cover up. You can read USADA’s case online here and a summary is here. I’ve heard more than one lawyer who was not involved with the case on either side review the evidence and describe it as devastating. From rider testimony, to financial records, to emails and other documents what stands out to me is that so many different sources of information all say the same thing – there was an uber sophisticated doping program going on at US Postal and that LA was at the heart of it.

I think this whole process has been important and I’m glad USADA had the courage to go after US Postal and Lance. Why is it important? Well everyone in the peleton knew what was going on. As young riders came up the ranks Lance was the undisputed king. It was clear if you wanted to have any chance of rising to that level you had to dope. If you have any doubt about this reasoning just read the doping admissions of Levi, Big George and gang. By destroying the legacy of LA the myth that you can cheat and get away with it is busted. You may not get caught in the race you doped, but one day you will be held accountable and your legacy will be in ruins. That’s a powerful incentive to race clean.

What I think we need to ask next is why the US Federal Prosecutor that investigated the same evidence before USADA took up the case decided to drop the matter without filing any charges. It’s clear that there was overwhelming evidence to support the charges of doping at US Postal. My guess is Lance had friends in high places that were able to shut the investigation down. If that’s true than we ought to appreciate the work that Travis Tygart at USADA has done, because there was probably a whole slew of behind the scenes attacks we have not heard about.

Here’s a few perspectives on the USADA case from the media.

Lance vs. USADA…

16 06 2012

Click here to read the USADA Doping Letter…

TdeF Podium Analysis…

2 06 2011

The boys!

I thought this analysis of the riders who stood on the podium at the Tour de France over the last few years was interesting. Definitely makes me feel less guilty about that mid-brevet tripple espresso!…=-)

Sean’s Bike with Crud Roadracer MK2 fenders…

28 03 2011

Sean on the move...

I installed a set of Crud Roadracer Mk2 full coverage plastic fenders on Sean’s road bike Saturday. They went on in about 15mins without any hassles and fit well. They look like they’ll provide excellent protection for a quick attach fender although it didn’t rain on the Victoria Populaire yesterday so I can’t confirm that yet. They run quietly and don’t move around a ton. In terms of first impressions they seem like a nice option for bikes with minimal clearance that would preclude a more traditional plastic/metal fender. They look pretty nice as well.

Sean's ride...


Boulder Bicycle All Road Build…

11 03 2011

My Boulder Bicycle All Road...

Boulder Bicycle All Road

  • frame size custom tweaked but essentially size E 57.7cm TT
  • frame welded by Waterford
  • skinny standard size tube set [7-4-7mm TT and 8-5-8mm DT]
  • 1″ steel fork with 70mm offset [~30mm trail]
  • colour pearl white
  • Nitto Noodle 42cm bars
  • MEC white bar tape
  • Nitto 95mm 5 deg rise stem UI 5GX
  • Miche needle bearing headset
  • Nitto seatpost [single bolt]
  • Selle Anatomica Titanico
  • Cane Creek brake levers
  • Tektro 720 canti brakes w/ Koolstop salmon pads
  • Jagwire brake and cable housing
  • Shimano 9spd bar end shifters
  • Front derailleur Shimano LX
  • Sugino triple cranks [48/36/26] 175mm
  • SKF BB
  • Time ATAC XS pedals
  • SRAM 9spd chain PC971
  • Shimano 9spd 11-32 or 13-26 cassette
  • Nitto M-12 rack
  • Velocity Synergy 650B 32H rims
  • Front hub SON Deluxe
  • Rear hub White Industries
  • Grand Bois Hetres 42mm 650B tires
  • Honjo hammered fenders
  • Edelux headlight
  • Planet Bike Superflash/Blinky 7 taillight
  • Berthoud large [28] black bar bag
  • Cateye Strada bike computer
  • Velo Orange bottle cages
  • Planet Bike frame pump

Crud Road Racer Fenders…

10 03 2011

Full coverage fenders for road bikes...

I saw these full coverage plastic fenders on a road bike at Russ Hayes Bikes recently.  If you want to ride regularly here in the winter you need fenders and to ride in a group you need full coverage fenders.  That can be quite a challenge on most road bikes given their minimal clearance for even 23mm tires let alone adding a fender to the mix.  The SKS Race Blades have been around for a while, but they are fairly useless…better than nothing, but not by much.

I haven’t tried these fenders so I can’t say how well they work, but given the limited options for wet weather road bikers beggars can’t be choosers!

Looks like a clever design...

If you have a set of these I’d love to know how they are working for you.

Soaking in the sunshine…

5 03 2011

Countryside ramble...

Given the nice weather today I wasn’t going to miss my chance to pedal. Heading out of Victoria is easy from my house. Within a few minutes I’m on rural bike paths or quiet country roads. Spinning along on wide tires I don’t really care if the surface is paved, gravel or dirt. My bike just wants to roll. Passing fields, farms and houses as I ride through the trees and then along the ocean it’s not hard to figure out why so many cyclists call Victoria home…=-)

Rob’s Pretty in Pink Speeding Tikit…

15 01 2011

Pink Speed...

I found these 1 year old photos of Rob English’s Speeding Tikit on my HD in Baja.  Not much to say – just enjoy the Bike Friday Tikit porn…=-)

Pretty exciting bike!

I like the two colour paint job...

Custom steerer/stem combo...

Not as pink crazy as his sister...

This folder thinks it's a roadie...

Lovely shifter bling...

Crank bling...

SRAM Rival...

SRAM Rival brakes...

Ti mmmmmm......=-)

I'd use a Brooks...

More Rival...

The Man on a Mission...

Off The Beaten Path

4 12 2010

Cover Winter 2010 Issue of Bicycle Quarterly

I don’t read very many magazines, but one I try not to miss is Bicycle Quarterly published by Jan Heine.  It features detailled reviews and interesting articles for the practical cyclist as well as the aspiring randonneur.  The trouble is that I usually get through an issue in a few hours and they are only published 4 times per year so that leaves a lot of the year with no BQ or a lot of rereading my old issues.  The good news is that Jan now has a blog called Off The Beaten Path which provides us an opportunity to get some extra BQ content between issues and allows Jan a way to provide extra content that couldn’t be included in the limited pages of his magazine.  Sounds like a win – win to me!

Since we are talking about blogs originating in the PNW Alex Wetmore has started a new one called Rough Stuff Cycling Northwest to share info about backroad rides in the US NW.

And speaking of off the beaten path Cycle 9 is having an interview with one of the Riding the Spine crew next Tuesday.


29 11 2010

I must have been thinking ahead to 2011!

Every year I have at least one project bike and try out some new gear that’s been on my mind.  My main focus for 2011 will be to upgrade and improve my existing rides.  Here is what I am thinking of for 2011:

  • I’m going to put some energy into learning to unicycle.  Paul lent me a couple unis to try out.  I haven’t got to the point where I’m for sure going to take this up, but I should know by the end of 2010.  If I do I’ll score a uni for myself.
  • Sharon has realized that although her cruiser/city bike is nice to look at she needs a more efficient ride if she is to cover a lot of kms riding to work and for errands.  So I’m going to build her a Surly Cross Check [in Robin’s Egg Blue] using the main parts from her cruiser.  The more aggressive riding position and option to go with drops should be useful while still ending up with a nice looking ride.  Assuming she loves it I’m thinking of adding a dynohub wheel and headlight in the fall of 2011 for her birthday as her commutes to work start getting darker.
  • We’ll save Sharon’s city bike frame and any parts we don’t swap over to build up a SS Burning Man bike for 2012 when we head to the playa again.
  • My trusty Surly LHT is going to get a dynohub and dyno headlight for 24/7 light action.  I’ve really enjoyed the dyno setup on my Bike Friday NWT and it’s time to give my LHT the same treatment.  I’ll use a Shimano dynohub, but haven’t settled on a headlight yet.  My LHT will also get some smooth fast rolling Grand Bois Cypres tires.  I’ve been waiting until the existing Marathon  XRs wear out, but that is taking forever so I’ll pull them and save them for when I need a heavier tire on a tour.  If I get really into it I’d like a bigger/longer mudflap on my LHT, but that would be a luxury…the existing one is adequate.
  • My Surly Big Dummy will get a dynohub [a 26″ Shimano dynohub wheel I used on my Thorn Nomad] as well as a dyno headlight. Not sure about the headlight yet.  I’m thinking I’ll probably get an uber nice one for the LHT and a nice, but reasonably priced one for the Dummy. I can always swap them if I need a killer light on the Dummy.  I’ll probably swap the Jones Loop H-bar into the Dummy to test it out.
  • My CETMA cargo bike will get a hydraulic disc brake on the front wheel to address the spongy brake action caused the long convoluted cable run. I still haven’t mounted fenders so that has to happen and I think, given the short rides I do with it, I’ll mount a less expensive SDG saddle and save the Selle Anatomica for a rig that sees bigger distances.  I’m considering pulling the Rohloff hub from the CETMA and replacing it with a cheaper Nuvinci IGH.  I feel like the Rohloff is kind of wasted in that bike and I’ve been interested in the Nuvinci so this would be a good opporttunity to try one out in an application where the smaller gear range and higher weight isn’t an issue.
  • My Bike Friday NWT will get some full coverage Planet Bike Fenders and some fresh white bar tape. If Solidlights is still doing the XB2 light upgrade I may send my Solidlights dyno light back to the UK to get the upgrade from brighter LEDs and a focused optic.
  • My Pugsley needs a saddle [I stole the Selle Anatomica for the CETMA from my Pug].  Rather than put the SA back on I’ll replace it with SDG plastic saddle unless I take it on tour where the SA would be appreciated.  I’d also like to swap in some MTB riser bars from my spare parts bin for the Titec H-bars to get a better relationship between the brake levers and the shifter/grips.  Right now I can’t have my hand on the grips fully while braking which is a problem in technical terrain.  I have a set of Surly Larry knobby 4″ tires I will be installing on the Pugsely in 2011 to improve traction in the wet.
  • My Bike Friday 8spd Tikit has a new stem riser waiting on installation.  The new one piece unit replaces the previous separate stem and steering riser combo.  I’ve got to replace the whole drivetrain on this bike since it hasn’t seen any love since new.  It also needs a new set of Greenspeed Scorcher TRs.
  • I’d like to get a tour of Vancouver Island in this spring…from Port Hardy back down to Victoria.
  • I’d like to fit in more mountain biking.  Kiteboarding dominates my summer weekends, but I can fit more mountain bike rides in during the week.

There is also some stuff that I’m less certain about that is bouncing around my brain.  These items may not happen, but who knows?

  • Getting a tandem.  I’m continuing to do research and will hopefully get some test rides in over the next few months to confirm our interest in riding on the same bike. I’ve got a few possibilities on paper right now, but nothing that is so compelling I’d rule out other options.
  • Alfine 11 – I’d like to try one out, but I haven’t got a solid idea of where I might use one.
  • Carbon belt – I’d like to try out a carbon belt drive at some point.  I’m not 100% sold on them, but without trying one it’s hard to speak about the benefits vs. a chain.
  • Trying out a BQ approved 650B rando style bike.  I’m curious if I’ll come to the same conclusions as Jan Heine and the only way to know is to try one. I’m not ready to spend top of the line custom $$ on one so I’d be looking at something that’s in production like the Boulder Cycles Randonneur.
  • I’m contemplating riding some more brevets this year…if I do it will be just the shorter ones [100K, 200K and 300K].  I’ve got to find my love of long solo training road rides.   I’ve also done all my previous brevets on a recumbent.  I don’t own a bent and I don’t see one in my immediate future so I’d probably press my Surly LHT or BBC 24 into service.
  • I’m considering building a bike storage area in my yard to free up garage space.  It would be a concrete pad with eye bolts sunken into the pad for locking points.  It would have a roof, but not be fully enclosed.  I’d lock up my more sturdy bikes there [like my Surly Big Dummy] giving me more room in the garage and also making getting rolling on these bikes faster.
  • I may get rid of one of my two fixed gear bikes to free up some space.  I love the fixed gear experience, but one bike would meet all my needs.

Go Ryder! Go Canada!

8 07 2010


An excerpt from this article about Canadian Ryder Hesjedal at the Tour de France this year:

“After a superb stage-3 performance over the tough cobbles that saw him finish fourth on the day, former mountain biker Hesjedal sits in fourth place overall with more a minute on some of the bigger favorites.”

Practical Roadie

18 02 2010

Fendered Pacer at Campione Cycles

Who says a fast road bike can’t be practical?  I spotted this nicely built up Surly Pacer roadie at Campione Cycles recently. Fenders and bar end shifters aren’t typical on a road bike, but there isn’t anything wrong with them.  Particularly the fenders which makes this bike a whole lot more fun to ride in the rain than a typical road rig.

Fender detail...

Trek Road Bike For Sale

7 02 2010

Trek Road Bike

My friend Sean would like to sell this nice 52cm Trek road bike.  It’s equipped with a Shimano 105 drivetrain, Rolf wheels and has seen low mileage.  He’d like $400, but is open to offers.  Local pick up would be preferred.

My 2nd Selle Anatomica

19 05 2009
Adjusting my new Selle Anatomica

Adjusting my new Selle Anatomica

Anna bought a Selle Anatomica Titanico saddle and after trying it for a while decided she preferred her old Brooks B-17 Champion Flyer.  Her rides tend to be on the shorter side around town and she didn’t find the SA was any more comfortable for this sort of use.  Being the good friend I am I bought it from her since I love my Selle Anatomica saddle.  I put it on my Bow Cycle 2-4 test bike as the stock saddle isn’t comfortable for 4hrs+ road rides.

The SA saddle on my BBC cross bike.

The SA saddle on my BBC cross bike.

Continental Ultra Race

13 04 2009
At $43 it's half the price of the Schwalbe Ultremo.

At $43 it's half the price of the Schwalbe Ultremo.

So I scored a Continental Ultra Race tire in 23mm x 700c to replace the trashed Ultermo.  It’s about 50% of the cost.  Given that I have fenders, racks and lights on my bike I probably won’t notice any performance loss – time will tell I guess.  Hopefully this one will last more than a week!

Bowness Bike Company 2-4

9 04 2009
My new very red BBC 2-4...=-)

My new very red BBC 2-4...=-)

I’m going to be doing a longish term test of a BBC 2-4 cross bike this season.  I’ll be posting details over on my Bow Cycle Blog for those who are interested in such things.