Friday, July 31, 2009

France Recap

The daily grind has began. Assimilation into society sucks. I just spent over two weeks living the simplest of lifestyles; eat, ride, eat, wine, sleep, and repeat. I can now fully realize the allure to the life of a pro cyclist. Although I’m sure the pressure and constant travel would make it a wash.

I finally got Garmin Connect to upload my data. Totals for the trip are impressive, I think. (I’ve left off two rides, one where my Garmin ran out of juice because I forgot to charge for a few days, and the ride up the Ventoux on race day.) Only one day off the whole trip.

Rides -- 11
Miles – 650
Ride Time – 40 hours
Calories – 37,000
Vertical feet climbed – 65,000

Total mileage was low, but when you figure each day had 6,000 feet of climbing, it starts to make sense how hard those rides were.

Things learned while covering the back roads of the French Alps:

--Always take TP to the toilette
--There is a total absence of soap or towels in any bathroom
--Ice is a foreign concept, be prepared to drink warm beer
--Wine is cheaper than water
--Turkish toilettes and dead cycling legs don’t mix
--When a climb is rated HC, its really, really hard…really
--The French are friendly if you try to speak their language
--We over complicate our food, simple IS better
--The Alps are BEAUTIFUL!!!!!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Winding Down

Last day in France. Looking at 24 hours of travel tomorrow. Did
Vontoux two different ways. All my pics on the camera not the phone.

The Alps have been speachless. Wildflowers, henious climbs, trees,
numbing decents, food o the food. I'm sad to go.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The views!!!!!!!!


Stage --I've lost track...

Monster day. The Telegraph and Gilibeia. Again I think views can't
get any better and I top out this climb to see this!!! Got passed by
2 million dollars worth of cars in 30 seconds, was almost blown off a
switchback earlier, and rode at 40+ mph for 15 miles today, awesome .

I've ridden 8 days straight now. Each day has been over 3 hours of
ride time and 4000 feet of climbing. Most are s lot more. My dogs
are tired!!! Tommorow two cols await. Better have another beer...

Stage 5 and coffee

Evenslower warned me of the superority of French coffee, he was
right . Delish. Today was another visual shocker over the Col de
I'seran. The climb up through the biggest ski resourt I've ever seen
and down through a breathtaking valley. The run in was hard with high
winds slowing us down. Totals for the week, a lot. 19,000 calories
burned means I can drink as much French wine that I want. By the way
wine is cheaper than water here, seriously!!!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Lunch on the streets of Bourg

More market pics

The market in Bourg


Stage 3

I'm a bit behind, but having to much fun to blog. Anyway, Thursday we
rode up the Piti St Bernard through Thulie. On the top of my list of
all time most senic rides. To say the views are indescrible would be
an understatement. Friday was a rest day, so 4 of us rode up the
Rosoline, start of a tour stage next week. Another perfect beauty
with 3000 feet of climbing.

Today, rain. :( we are taking the day off and will catch up on Sun.

I don't want to come home, ever!!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Stage 2

Oh man. When a tour stage says it's got a HC climb, it means holy
crap, this is gona' hurt . A trip up the col de St Bernard (stage 19
of the Tour) was the main course today. Followed by a 6000 foot ( yes
6000 feet) decent toAstoa, FZ.

Here is Cathy and Windy half way down.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Stage One

8000 feet of climbing in 95K. The climb up the Verbier was heaven on
a switchback. And the payoff at the top was a gorgeous Swiss Vila.

Sent from my iPhone

Morning view day one

Today the riding starts in earnest. Over to Switzerland to finish on
the Veriber climb to be used on stage 16 of this years tour. Crappy
cell phone pic attached.

Monday, July 13, 2009


Today was great!  We toured the town of Chamonix in the AM.  Picture perfect French ski town.  Then did a "warm up" ride into Switezerland.  Headedup to Emmoson dam, 3000 feet in 6.5 miles and back.  Had this ginger beer on the way here.  More tomorrow.

Sent from my iPhone

Sent from my iPhone


Saturday, July 11, 2009

And we are off!

First stop, STL Airport. Just past security I see this on the wall.
If u look close u can see my teamate in the Gateway cup race. 22
hours and we'll be in Lyon, FR. :)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


After much thought, and lack of sleep, I’m convinced that the ideal number of bikes the average rider needs is seven. I’ve discussed this at length with fellow riders alike, and most agree that you could get by with as little as three, and anything over ten is a maintenance nightmare, but seven is ideal. So without further a due, my rational:

Bike 1 – Super dope-a-lishous, sub 14 pound carbon wonder bike complete with deep dish carbon tubies, carbon bar tape, $100 - 6 gram carbon cages, and carbon seat, with of course carbon rails. The theme here is carbon people. This bike shall only be ridden on close course crit with thoroughly swept corners, and dry days with temps between 50-78 degrees. Its main purpose is to impress your cycling buddies, and to charge a nickel to anyone who chooses to pick it up to feel its lack of gravitational pull.

Bike 2 – Comfort training, but still light enough for stomping lesser riders at your local Tuesday Night Worlds. This could be carbon, but ideally something more unique and thought provoking to help project your obvious love and knowledge of the sport and your own quirkiness. Maybe a custom hyper light lugged steel beauty with a fade paint job, or something Ti from Serotta, or Moots. The key here is having something unique to your cycling group, but balances how cool/retro/hip/out-side-the-box you are, but is still blistering fast.

Bike 3 – One of these silly things is more than enough, yet you still need one. There will be days where its too wet, too windy, too hot, too cold, too (fill in the blank) to ride conventional, established methods of cycling bliss, and one must pursue an alternative course of action, the gravel road. This bike will be abused, ridden in the harshest of conditions, chained to a light post outside your local Starbucks, and put away wet for weeks on end. Buy a cheap Redline, and use the takeoff parts from Bike 1 to get it rolling.

Mountain Bike
Bike 4 -- Carbon hardtail race bike. Much like Bike 1, a bike kept showroom new, only to be released to fly on the most sun filled of days on dry hard packed race courses. Again carbon is the theme. All parts for this bike should come with a weight limit sticker, and it should crumble into a pile of glass splinters should anyone over 162 pounds grace its saddle on a ride over the street curb. No 29’ers please, this bike should be fast.

Bike 5 – Suspension race bike. If you want to go fast, and need suspension, get an Epic, open up your checkbook, build it to under 21 pounds, and don’t blame the bike. The current world champ cant be wrong. Do not ride Bike 4 or 5 for more than 2 hours, unless you have the back of a 10 year old gymnast, move on to Bike 6.

Bike 6 – Five inch travel, all day, do anything, ride anywhere modern trail bike. It should be durable like your grandpas overalls, but light like grandma’s pie crust. This will be your go to fat tire friend so choose wisely. Obviously I’d choose a DW bike, something from Pivot or Ibis would fill the void nicely. Again no 29’ers please.

The WTF Bike
Bike 7 -- You probably already own this one. The fix gear track bike, converted with bull horns and platform pedals. Or maybe the ridged single speed 29’er with drop bars and down tube shifters. The Mullett bike which came to life one lonely night in your dark basement after a six-pack of Blueberry beer and a marathon Pink Floyd jam session. Ride long enough and you’ll sure to amass enough parts that its conception will be inevitable. Besides, you’ve got to do something with that schweet six speed Ti Suntour cassette nestled away in the back drawer!

Like I said seven is optimal, your millage may vary. At the end of the day though, the formula for the number of bikes a cyclist thinks he/she really needs is:

N + 1 = Number of bikes needs (where N=current number of bike)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Mobil blogg test. Seeing if I can still make updates on the road.

July 4th Century = 1...2...3 Flats...

…or 5 if you count the two flat legs I brought to the ride. On the top 5 list of worst rides all time for me. The mix of rain, sweat, and road grime was stinging my eyes. I managed to succumb to the elements with not 1, nor 2, but 3 flats. Forgot to eat, bonked hard, and struggled to stay upright around the aero bar using tri-geeks in the pack. Mucho fun!

Oh well, I’m off to the Alps Saturday for a 2+ week vacation of bliss. With any luck I’ll get a good look at a certain rider from Austin, climb Mount Ventou, and sample some old world grape juice. Am I ready…I’m vibrating!!!

TTT is tonight. Take it to em LA!