What I believe about cycling

A good hard ride with Mike, my training buddy and psychical therapist, snapped me out of my funk over Landis and an impending descent into a Marlon-Brando-in-a-muumuu, beer-drinking fat phase. Like the SI.com reporter Landis spoke to today (also see ongoing coverage from CyclingNews), I want to believe, but I don’t believe anything about professional cycling anymore. From the lab results that get leaked, questionable tests, Jan, Basso, and all of Operation Puerto, there’s nothing that’d surprise me, even if Lance was “el dope.”

What I do believe in is the bike. I remembered that on (and later off!) Mike’s wheel, cresting a hard climb, and a fast descent. Heroes fall, some come back, and the tour will be on again next year. We started Bike Hugger for the passionate cyclist, the culture, and mostly just for the bike and that’s what we’ll continue to focus on. I’ll also have a few beers this fall, just not enough to get fat.

Landis Positive for unusual level of testosterone

Following the announcement of a positive test for “an unusual level of testosterone/epitestosterone,” the news has broken (AP, CNN, NPR) that it’s Landis. TDF blog is tracking the story and rounding up the coverage. At last word, Landis was no where to be found.

All I can say is, “say it isn’t so.” And note that a false-positive is the first step in the process. Next is confirming the positive is accurate and then endocrinological examinations to determine if it’s naturally occurring.

Car-Free Vacation Contest

Xtracycle, who make it easy and fun for cyclists to meet all of their transportation needs, are promoting car-free vacations with a contest, tips, and evangelism. The contest is for 2 Xtracycle Free Radicals Hitchless Trailer Kits that’ll turn your bike into a Sport Utility Bike.

One of our Fall projects is the Bike Hugger Super Commuter and we’re going to post all about how we built it with an Xtracycle and Stokemonkey. From there a vacation is sure to follow, but not before we build up the Custom Carbon Davidson race bike.

An 11 x 26 with Force

As if the promise of SRAM’s new Force group wasn’t enough, they’re shipping it with an 11 x 26! Like Matt Pacocha says in his review of the new group for Velonews, I never understood why gruppo manufactures didn’t ship a gear bigger than a 23 with a 11. SRAM is offering a group that works “as well as anything else out there,” is lighter, less expensive, and has an 11 x 26 for us older riders.

I predict Force is going to be hit and in the peloton there’s already buzz about it being a good working group for crit racing season.

RAGBRAI rolling across Iowa

Possibly the world’s biggest rolling party is underway in Iowa, as the 34th annual edition of the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa traveled from Sergeant Bluff to Ida Grove on Sunday, the ride’s toughest day.

Ridership is limited to 8,500 full-week riders and 1,500 daily riders. This year’s ride has gotten some extra attention because some guy who used to race bikes will be riding along on Thursday.

Like the Tour de France, “teams” play an important role in RAGBRAI, providing team buses or trucks to carry bikes for injured, hungover, or exhausted riders; teammates to ride along with on the road, and an infrastructure for the acquisition and transportation of large quantities of beer.

On the Des Moines Register’s weblogs, Erin Crawford relays the first legend of RAGBRAI XXXIV (they’re numbered like Super Bowls): The story of Kevin Dudak.

Kevin was driving an RV to Iowa from Denver when the bike rack fell off. The driver behind managed to stop, got the bikes off the road, and waited for the RV to turn around to get the bikes. No sign of them.

Noticing a “RAGBRAI” tag on the bikes, he had a friend Google the unknown acronym. The friend found a former rider, who called RAGBRAI’s office, who tracked down Dudak’s cell phone number. Next thing you know, he’s got his (and his father’s) lost bike back.

RAGBRAI blogs:

dmregister.com | Erin Crawford

Wall Street Journal | Ragbrai Journal

gathkinsons.net | Bicycling posts

Allen has promised to post every night from the route.

Flickr.com | Photos tagged “ragbrai”

RAGBRAI official site

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